Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Isn't it exciting to know that Bush's ratings have now reached a bare 34%? Of course that is high compared to Tony Blair's 28% and Dick the Slimy's 18%. And isn't it depressing to know that it doesn't seem to matter one iota? Bush flies off to India just as if he is king of everything (even though, truth be told, no one wants him there). Cheney continues his secretive, paranoid ,strange, under the rocks lifestyle, emerging occasionally to speak with a handpicked sympathetic audience (although how he finds anyone sympathetic to him boggles the mind). As I have said previously (and I think cannot be said too often), if either Bush or Cheney had any interest whatsoever in the American public or American democracy they would resign immediately. This pair, sick and sicker, have destroyed our wonderful country all in the interest of their own greedy self-centered Corporate masters. They have murdered and tortured to the point of no return. They have to continue because they have no excuse, no defense, and no way out other than prison or worse. And the Republican party which has continued to protect and defend them is just as guilty as they are. And the same thing goes for the MSM. The problem is, the cancer is so huge by now it is virtually impossible to treat. It has obviously infected many Democrats as well. It is, I fear, very close to terminal. If we continue to let it go untreated we will quite likely all have to pay the very unpleasant consequences.

Interesting that when trying to defend the Dubai takeover of some of our major ports Bush said (I think it was Bush), what's the problem, many countries including China are in charge of our ports? Now aside from the fact that Dubai is an Arab country that happens to own the corporation that is about to take over these ports, and has a very questionable relationship with Osama bin Laden and others, there is a more basic question: why are our ports being managed by foreign companies in the first place? Are there no competent American companies that could do this? If they don't want to do it, why not? As there is virtually no security at our ports to begin with, why take a chance on an Arab country? As only 5% of the millions of containers that enter our ports are examined in any way, perhaps it doesn't really matter who manages them? What the hell, everyone deserves to make a buck. Sleep well in the knowledge that Bush/Cheney are looking after you.

Bush and Cheney Torture Daily.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Going from bad to worse

This business of selling control of our ports to Dubai is bringing to light just how bad things are here in the U.S. It seems that this is only one deal out of hundreds in which we are simply selling our assets to foreign governments. Hard assets, like ports, not just questionable bonds and such. This is obviously the same thing involved in the Bush/Cheney attempt to sell public lands. These kinds of assets, when gone, are gone for good. We will eventually not even own our own country. In short, we are so far in debt the only thing we can do is sell off our hard assets. I guess that is great news? The more we learn about this deal with Dubai the worse it stinks. Despite White House claims that there were no objections it turns out there were, in fact, serious objections from the Coast Guard and others. They were ignored. It also turns out there are intimate connections between Dubai and the Carlyle Group (surprise!). The deal is apparently illegal as well. But that won't bother Republicans who have already caved in to the White House. There is apparently absolutely nothing so outrageous, illegal and disgusting that Republicans won't support. Don't be surprised if the major Democrats don't also cave. If anyone believes that Dubai voluntarily requested a 45 day investigation they are too far gone for help. This is nothing but another scam designed to help Bush save face.

Because of increasing international pressure to close Guantanamo prison the Administration has now taken to sidetracking prisoners to a prison in Bagram, Afghanistan, that, according to reports, is even worse than Guantanamo. It has also become increasingly obvious that the torture that goes on in our scattered gulags is certainly not the result of a "few bad apples." Indeed, it is the result of many years of CIA research into just what kind of torture works the best. This torture business that our government is engaged in, including the Extraordinary Renditions, is so illegal, so vile, so disgusting, so horrendously awful it will define us as no better than Nazis probably forever. It cannot make anyone proud to be an American. Good god! What has happened to our country? Bush/Cheney and the neocons simply have to be held responsible for their heinous crimes against humanity. Those who continue to support them, Republicans or Democrats, are equally guilty.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Gloomy sundays - and an essay on baking

Sundays are gloomy, my hours are numberless, slumberless, and meaningless. Nothing happens on sundays. There is no news, no mail, no activity, no nothing. Blah. I look forward to mondays (I must be the only person in the world that does so).

Someone asked if I was "political." I have been a lifelong Democrat. I am probably closer to a socialist (except in the U.S. you can't be a socialist because a socialist is a liberal and we all know how terrible they are). The terms socialist and liberal have been so poisoned by the Republican media they probably should be abandoned. Republican is now merely a euphemism for fascist, but of course no one would admit to that. Being political in North Idaho is like being low chicken in the pecking order. This is the redest of the red states. The most Republican stronghold. The armpit of rational thought. The vast Republican majority here where I live do not read and apparently get their news only from Rush Limbaugh. I attend meetings of the local Democratic party. As there is no point in voting Democratic in Idaho I trade my vote somewhere else where it might do some good. It is frustrating to say the least. I believe things are improving slightly but entering the 20th century is proving difficult. There are a few liberals here. Actually, I think there are quite a few closet liberals as well. As my wife is the head of the local Democratic party, and she is tough as can be, there is hope. You can see why I indulge myself like the following nonsense.

This is another of those things I ponder even though it has no practical significance whatsoever. I don’t worry about it. I think about it and become confused. What, for example, is the difference between baking and roasting? I put this question to my wife (who is a super cook) and she said baking usually has to do with things like pies, cookies, and other pastries. That is obviously not definitive. I looked it up in a dictionary and found that: bake (cook food) in dry heat, like an oven. No exposure to flame.
Under roast: cook (especially meat) in an oven or exposed to open heat. This, of course, doesn’t get one very far. Clearly, if something is exposed to open flame it can be considered roasting rather than baking. But what about other cases? Potatoes are a good example. If you put a whole potato, skin and all, into an oven you are clearly baking. But if you peel that same potato, put some olive oil on it, and stick it in the oven, you are roasting it, no? What if you held a potato over an open fire, peel on or not? Obviously no one would do that because it would take too long. But hypothetically, would it not be roasted? How about if you wrapped it in something and buried it in the hot coals from an open fire? Baked or roasted?
It appears that you don’t bake vegetables in the oven, you roast them. If you put a piece of pork in the oven you are said to be roasting pork, always. No one ever says baked pork. Except in the case of ham. No one roasts ham, they bake it. Always. Both of these items are put in the same oven, most probably at the same temperature, so why is one roasted and the other baked? Similarly, you rarely hear of baked chicken, even though it goes into the same oven as the roasting chicken. You never hear of a weenie bake. It’s always a weenie roast. But the marshmallows you put on the same sticks and hold over an open fire are not described as being roasted, merely toasted. See, it does get confusing. Now what if you had a really hot oven with no open flame and you put your weenie on a stick and held it in the oven. Would it still be roasted, or would it be, could it be, baked? How about the marshmallow? Would it be toasted or baked? Bread is always baked. No one ever suggested roasted bread.
It is always roast beef, roast pork, roast leg of lamb, roast chicken, and so on. But what about baked fish? No one ever says I’m roasting a fish, do they? If you put the fish on a stick and held it over an open flame would you be roasting it? I guess. How come when eggs are cooked in an oven they are said be shirred rather than baked or roasted? Would it be possible to roast an egg? Apples and pears are always baked, never roasted. Anything cooked on a spit over and open flame is certainly roasted. But what about these new ovens that include a turning spit but there is no open flame. Is the stuff being baked or roasted? Maybe that’s what they mean by “broasted?”
It does seem clear that bread, cookies, pies, cakes, and such things are always baked. But why is it that when beef, pork, lamb, chicken, and such are actually being baked, they are said to be roasted? Apparently it has less to do with the actual mode of cooking as it does with what the item being cooked is. It is all much too confusing for me. It reminds me of the Bush/Cheney administration. In the case of cooking I confess it doesn’t make a damn bit of difference whether or not something is baked or roasted. In the case of politics and torture I think it does, so I worry about it a lot. So should you. Cheers.


Saturday, February 25, 2006

The farce continues

How is it that Bush continues to be a super-duper fundraiser even though his approval ratings are dismal? Actually, a dumb question. As he continues to do his work solely for the filthy rich and the corporations they continue to support him. Do you really believe they care what we peasants think of him? As long as he does their bidding they are going to support him. And after all, what's a million or two to corporations or billionaires? If you haven't already got it, there is a war going on between corporate power and the rest of us. They are winning. This marriage of corporations to government is called fascism (ask Mussolini).

As a way for Bush to save face over the ridiculous Port security issue the Republican leaders (Frist, et al) are suggesting a new 45 day review of the deal. As it has already been vetted by the Republican controlled committee that does such things, what do you think they are going to find? Why, I bet they find that it is perfectly fine for a Dubai owned corporation to manage our ports. Surprise!

Will it interest you to learn that Dubai has at least an eight billion dollar investment in the Carlyle Group? You know, I hope, that the Bush's are prime movers of the Carlyle Group. But I guess that wouldn't have anything to do with the fact that Bush has threatened his first veto ever if anyone tries to interfere with the port deal. Naw, of course not.

It will not surprise you to learn that Arabs are exceedingly scornful of Condi Rice's hypocrisy when it comes to democracy in the Middle East. They observe, rightfully, that Hamas won the Palestinian election fair and square, but the U.S. and Israel, predictably, won't accept the outcome.

Ted Koppel, who is far better known and infinitely more influential than yours truly, has finally come right out and said what I have been saying all along. The "war" in Iraq is about oil. We need to control the oil in the Middle East or probably suffer the mother of all recessions. As we are totally dependent upon oil we cannot in the foreseeable future not have control over it. And, as China, Japan, India, and Europe also need it in ever growing quantities we have to have control over oil or lose out. Simple, yes? So why do people go on pretending that this is not so, that we really started this illegal, unconstitutional, and immoral "war" in order to spread democracy or some other such nonsense? And why do they go on pretending that we are going to bring the troops home? Do they mean home from the four enormous permanent bases we are constructing in Iraq? I guess we can't admit that we are a rogue and criminal nation intent on plundering that which rightly belongs to others, and that we are willing to kill and torture to that end. We could have bought the oil. The Iraqis were not going to just hoard it.

Friday, February 24, 2006


William F. Buckley, the conservative's conservative, has now stated publicly that the "American objective" in Iraq can be said to be a failure. He does not tell us what the American objective actually was but I guess whatever it was it must be a failure. Well, perhaps not so fast, we did remove Sadam Hussein from power, but the result of that seems to have made things worse than they were before we did so. I guess you could consider even this a failure. Of course we failed to gain control over their oil (at least so far), we certainly are not doing well spreading democracy in the Middle East (not that anyone seriously believed that is what we were doing), and it remains to be seen if we can maintain a permanent presence in that unfortunate country. We certainly didn't capture the WMD's that were not there in the first place. It is now being said that Iraq is teetering on the brink of Civil War. Tee hee, teetering, get that? As Sunnis have been murdering Shiites for weeks and vice versa, and as Kurds have also been fighting with Sunnis off and on, and are busily taking over the northern oil fields, one might say they are already engaged in a Civil War. Let's face it, Buckley is right, Iraq is a total disaster, thanks to Bush/Cheney and their insane neocon troops.

The University of Indiana apparently paid Ann Coulter to give a speech. As must have been expected it was quite controversial. Why anyone, let alone a University, would pay such a completely vicious and nothing but venomous person to give a speech is beyond my comprehension. Coulter is to the lecture circuit as Professional wrestlers are to wrestling.

There is a fund to pay for Libby's defense. It has some two million dollars in it. What I want to know is, do the contributors believe he is innocent? Or do they just not care?

My antiquated computer seems to be slowly dying.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Trust me?

This business of Dubai taking control of the management of six of our major ports seems to have struck raw nerves everywhere. With one exception Governors are not at all pleased, neither are many Senators and Congresspersons. There is lots of tough talk about stopping this deal. Want to bet it won't eventually be approved by the Republican controlled Senate and House?

It appears that Congress was not informed of the deal which has many upset. The deal was apparently consummated in private. Bush claims not to have known about it until just now but insists it is so important he may veto any attempt to stop it. Why would he do that? Could it be that the Bush family has ties with the powers that be in Dubai? No, of course not, even though they do. As usual, Bush says, "trust me." There is no reason to be concerned about security, he claims. The fact that two of the 9/11 terrorists came from Dubai, that the Emirate also had relations with Osama bin Laden, and apparently even funded his organization, seems not to matter to Bush. He can't seem to understand why anyone would be concerned, after all, these people are his friends.

He also seems not to understand there is a difference between England and the UAE with respect to this deal. Molly Ivens pointed out something that I was not aware of, namely, that the Corporation involved in taking over the ports is owned by the nation itself, so it is not just a private corporation like the British one that just sold out. As Molly rightly observes, where corporations are only motivated by profits, corporations owned by countries may well have other motivations. Bush, with his usual deception says, what's the difference between a British corporation managing our ports and an Arab one, completely obscuring this vitally important difference. Rove now generously allows how Bush might agree to a delay. Then they will no doubt try to sneak it through when no one is looking. All the tough talk by Senators and Congresspersons will simply be ignored and eventually forgotten - the same con once again. As usual it will be just talk, talk, and more talk, and no action whatsoever. King George rules equally over Democrats and Republicans alike.

Now the MSM suggests that Iraq may be on the verge of a civil war. Like, where have they been for the past few weeks. Iraq has been engaged in a civil war for quite a while even though no one has wanted to admit it. And even now the Administration wants you to believe it's not too serious and they can still all come together and form a viable government. There is no connection whatsoever between what the Administration wants you to believe and what is actually happening, and never has been. This entire Iraqi "adventure" has been nothing but a pack of outrageous lies from the very beginning and the lying continues endlessly. Iraq had weapons of mass destruction a lie. Iraq had ties with al Qaueda, a lie. We will not maintain a permanent presence in Iraq, a lie. Things are going well, a lie. We don't torture, a lie. It will only cost a couple of billion dollars, a lie. Iraqi oil will pay for it, a lie. We will be greeted as liberators with flowers, a lie. Apparently a majority of the American people think Bush should be impeached if he lied about taking us to "war." He lied. it is perfectly obvious he lied. So why isn't he being impeached? Clinton's lying about sex was impeachable but Bush's lying about taking us into "war" where thousands upon thousand of innocent people have been murdered is not impeachable? The United States under the present Administration is SICK! Republicans and Democrats in position of power and authority are SICK! Citizens who continue to put up with this are equally SICK!

The only explanation I can conceive of is that Americans, after decades of television and other mass media have developed small, smooth brains.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Just the usual chaos

I have only just now returned from my latest "mysterious trip to the west." I have found the usual chaos, maybe worse.

The big story at the moment has to do with a corporation in Dubai buying the rights to manage six major American ports. The Bush Administration is all in favor of this whereas members of Congress and the Senate seem to be adamantly opposed. They seem to think selling such rights to a foreign (read Arab) country, with potential ties to terrorists, and with little or no protection of the ports to begin with, may not be a very good idea. Bush feels so strongly about this he has vowed to veto any attempt to prevent the sale. As he has up to now never vetoed anything, one wonders about his conviction here. As usual, it turns out Bush didn't know anything about this deal until after it had already been approved. And, it also turns out the Dubai company involved has direct ties to at least two members of the White House: John Snow and David Sanborn. Surprise! Bush wants to now argue that to oppose this sale, which actually involves selling something the British had control of to an Arab country amounts to discrimination. Like, what's the difference between a British company and an Arab country? Strangely, if this is all that what was involved I think Bush might have a point. However, Bush doesn't give a damn about such things, he's only interested in promoting corporate interests wherever they originate and whatever they involve. Doesn't it make you wonder why no American corporation wants to manage our ports? Don't ask, don't tell. Bush might have to back down on this one, but don't bet your house on it.

Senator Orin Hatch, that paragon of Mormon idiocy, in a speech to some small group somewhere or other, reportedly said that the only people who don't believe there was a connection between Sadam Hussein and al Qaeda are people with no brains. I take it this means the 9/11 Commission as well as President Bush himself. I certainly believe none of these people have any brains to speak of but what do I know?

One of the most important Shiite Mosques was blown to smithereens and completely destroyed (apparently no one was killed). Shiites immediately attacked several Sunni mosques and the country is on the verge of civil war. Actually, they have been engaged in civil war for some time, with American troops caught in the middle, but no one seems willing to admit it. Call it what you will, Shiites are killing Sunnis and Sunnis are killing Shiites and Kurds are engaged in their own business, like getting complete control of Kirkuk where the northern oil fields are. But not to worry, Cheney says the opposition (to Americans) is in the last throes, and Bush and Rumsfeld will tell you that everyhing is going well in Iraq, perhaps not right on schedule, but going well. Of course they also tell you that black is white, up is down, lies are truth, we are good, they are evil, and pigs fly after suitable lipstick is applied.

They will also tell you that our goal is to withdraw American troops as soon as Iraqi troops can "stand up." But this doesn't mean we will withdraw American troops from the four massive permanent bases that are being constructed as we speak.

Dick the Slimy shot 70 pen raised pheasants in one day. He is a "hunter." He shot his hunting companion and tried to blame the victim. Dick the Slimy is a creep and a war criminal who belongs in jail along with his dimwitted dummy.

I have said before that had Al Gore been given the Presidency (which he clearly won and was entitled to) we would certainly not be in this horrendous mess we are now in. Indeed, I believe Al Gore was the most qualified person to become President ever, and was passed over for a bumbling idiot with virtually no credentials whatsoever. This is America the idiotic. The Clintons have made it clear they have gone over to the enemy. Now that they are rich and famous they have cultivated the very people who tried to destroy them (we wealthy people have to stick together). I believe Hilary has already blown any chance of being the Democratic candidate for President in 2008. Her dalliance with Gingrich, support of anti flag burning, warmongering, backpedaling on abortion, and serving on the Board of Directors of Wal Mart defines her as no more than Republican lite at best. The DLC has also been pretty much discredited as almost guaranteed losers. I suspect that Democrats will have to have a distinguished anti-war candidate but who that might be at the moment I cannot even guess.

Remember, however, I said Ronald Reagan could never be elected President. I also said George W. Bush could never be elected. I look forward to seeing Condaleeza Rice as our next President. It's the American way.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

The time has come

There will be no Morialekafa until Wednesday.

It is just as well. There really is very little left to say. Bush/Cheney and the neocons simply have to go, one way or another. They have made a complete shambles of the United States and are trying desperately to destroy the rest of the planet as well. It is surely common knowledge by now that the "war" in Iraq was a terrible mistake brought about by outright lies and deceptions. It is perfectly clear that the torture was not instigated by a few low-level soldiers but was, in fact, the result of careful study by the CIA of just what would work to humiliate Iraq citizens. There is no doubt that Bush/Cheney and others are guilty of heinous war crimes: attacking a country pre-emptively, hiding prisoners from the Red Cross, incarcerating prisoners arbitrarily with no rights whatsoever, using white phosphorous on human beings, war profiteering, rendition flights, secret gulags and more. Then there is the complete failure to deal with Katrina, incompetence even beyond belief. The absolutely obscene national debt brought about by complete fiscal irresponsibility, including tax breaks for the filthy rich. And scandals everywhere you look: DeLay, Abramoff, Frist, Cunningham, Libby, doubtless Rove and Cheney as well as dozens of others. Then there is the almost certainly illegal spying. Secrecy and stonewalling are all we get from the administration which continues to be supported uncritically by Republicans and apparently immune from criticism by Democratic fellow travelers.

So what is the point of talking about all of this day after day when nothing, absolutely nothing, seems to be happening to do anything about it? Obviously those presently in positions of authority are refusing to act. If anything is going to be done about this terrible state of affairs it will have to be done by ordinary citizens with whatever means they may have. If ordinary citizens fail to act the counry will surely be lost to fascism and disaster. Corporations and the filthy rich love it. Apparently some 39% of Americans also love it. They are not the majority.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Karen Hughes - masochist?

Is Karen Hughes a masochist or just plain stupid? You remember her. I think she is considered Assistant Secretary of State and charged with "selling" America, American culture, and American values to the rest of the world, especially the Middle East. On her maiden voyage a few weeks ago she distinguished herself by her abysmal ignorance of both history and the Middle East. Now she has been sent forth once again to convince the Middle East that America is really "good," and has only the best interests of everyone in mind. This at the time when Muslims are rioting all over the place because of cartoons insulting to the Prophet and, probably more importantly, enraged over the further pictures of torture at Abu Ghraid. I guess you would have to give her credit for Chutzpah if nothing else. The fact that the White House would even consider such a program indicates just how far from reality they are. Karen Hughes knows apparently nothing about the Middle East or Middle Eastern cultures. She also has apparently no background in history. She has been said by our dear Condi Rice to give really good sermons. Are there no limits at all to the idiocy of the Bush/Cheney administration? I'm sure she will accomplish much - if she can manage to stay alive.

On an even less optimistic note, it has been revealed that a Halliburton subsidiary has been awarded a 385 million dollar contract to build a bunch of "detention centers" around the United States. These are said to be "temporary" centers in case of "immigration emergencies" or "national disasters." Does that make you feel more secure. Just what immigration emergency might they have in mind? Bear in mind that Bush/Cheney have abrogataed to themselves power to lock up anyone they feel like, for any amount of time, with no charges and no ability to defend themselves. Now do you feel secure? We are, my friends, well along the road to an outright fascist dictatorship. So sleep well, knowing that your country is in good hands.

The Bush/Cheney administration has managed to survive and flourish so far because of fear. They have used fear to pass the outrageous Patriot Act, defend their warrantless and illegal wiretapping, and silence their critics. I suggest that fear may eventually backfire because when (and if) people wake up to what is going on they are going to be far more fearful of the Bush/Cheney administration than they are of presumed terrorists. And they should be. Do you want to end up in a detention center because of a wrong bumper sticker or t-shirt? Do you want to remain mute in the face of evil because you are afraid to speak the truth to power? This swarm of evil that is threatening to destroy our Republic has to be defeated. NOW!

Friday, February 17, 2006

Is it really just hopeless?

David: Interesting. But how do they know that 10% are recidivists? Do they stay in touch? I agree, what about the 90% (who probably didn't do anything in the first place)?

Remember all the tough talk about how the House and Senate were going to investigate the question of illegal warrantless wiretaps? Well, forget about it. Republicans, being led by Senator Pat Roberts, the Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, have killed any investigation, at least for now. There is some talk they will do it later but don't hold your breath. Roberts is clearly a toady for Bush and has done everything he can to protect and serve. This is just another example of the Senate's failure to excercise their responsibility to oversee the Executive. They just give up time after time. Democrats seem to be just as useless as Republicans, perhaps even more useless, if that is possible. We have a genuine crisis of leadership in the United States, both Republican and Democratic. Someone has to step up and put an end to this endless lying, secrecy, power-grabbing, dishonest, greedy, short-sighted, incompetent administration. And it had better happen soon or it may well be too late.

Cheney now claims that he has the authority to declassify secrets or whatever whenever he wishes. There is apparently some kind of memo that Bush signed that gives him this authority, and more. I don't know the truth about this but it appears that Bush may have signed over the Presidency to Cheney, sounds like the kind of idiocy Bush might have engaged in. Does the President have the authority to do something like that? We know that Bush doesn't really want to be bothered with being President. Stay tuned.

Russ Feingold is single-handedly trying to stop the outrageous Patriot Act from being renewed. The Senate apparently voted 96 to 3 to not support him. Apparently there is supposed to be some kind of compromise that makes the Patriot Act more palatable. In fact it does nothing but let Senators claim to have done something (when, in fact, they have done virtually nothing). Let's face it, the Senate has completely abdicated its responsibily to oversee the President. They just go along with any outrageous claims the Executive Branch makes. Senators might as well not even exist. This is what we elect them for?

Where is Patrick Fitzgerald when we desperately need him? What happened to Tom DeLay? Bill Frist? Jack Abramoff? Karl Rove? Gannon/Guckert? The Plame affair? Does anyone remember any of this? I guess not, especially when there are much more important stories like Cheney's accidental shooting. And oh, yeah, last week a tree fell on a trailer in California. And yesterday a bus crashed somewhere. And a dog wandered off and got lost. Just stay tuned to CNN if you want the really important news. I am beginning to think it really may be hopeless. Sigh!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Abu Guantanamo

glenda in the land of oz: nice blog!

So the Pentagon is upset over the newly released pictures from Abu Ghraib? They think they will lead to further violence and further hatred of the United States. Well, duh! Maybe they should have worried about it before they allowed the torture to happen? Just what in the hell did they think would happen when they engaged in this totally unacceptable, illegal, disgusting, criminal, behavior? Oh, yeah, perhaps it wasn't the Pentagon. Maybe it was just the CIA. Has any CIA agent been held responsible for torture? Of course not. Will anyone of them be? Highly unlikely. Was the torture just the result of a few "bad apples" (enlisted men and women). Nonsense. It was allowed and encouraged by the highest levels of the administration, however subtley or indirectly. Will any of them be held accountable? Equally unlikely.

Virtually the entire world has now spoken and said that Guantanamo should be closed immediately and the unfortunates being held there should be given trials and either found guilty or released. It is also known that most of the prisoners there are almost surely innocent of any crimes against the United States. What goes on there cloaked in secrecy, almost certainly is in violation of the Constitution, American law, and International law. Where does it say anywhere that the President of the United States has divine rights? Where does it say he can arbitrarily, even whimsically, arrest and hold someone forever with no rights whatsoever? This is absurd on the face of it. Why was it allowed to happen in the first place? Apparently the United States is no longer a nation of laws, merely a dictatorship at the mercy of the President.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Cheney Story

I guess you all know that the big story for the past few days is Dick the Slimy's shooting of a friend while quail hunting. This is good for Republicans because, of course, it keeps everyone's attention away from the genuinely serious problems like Iraq, warrantless spying, the Plame affair, DeLay, Frist, Abramoff, etc., etc., etc. There are as always many questions about this shooting affair. One speculation is that Cheney may have been drinking before hunting. And maybe they were shooting too late in the afternoon and the light wasn't what it should have been. Perhaps the victim just asked for it as he failed to tell them where he was. Perhaps whoever was supposed to be directing the hunt wasn't doing his/her job? Perhaps the victim was much closer to Cheney than has been claimed (some don't believe the tiny 28 gauge shotgun could have done that much damage at 30 yards)? The only information we have comes from Cheney and his friends so how would anyone know what truly happened?

There are, however, some serious questions that it would be good to have answers for. Did Cheney, who admitted to having one beer, have more than one? Remember, this is a guy who was kicked out of Yale for drinking beer rather than studying. And, he has the distinction of having had two DUI's. Makes you think doesn't it? Is this perhaps the reason the local sheriff was not allowed to question him? The Secret Service did not allow it when the sheriff turned up to do it. Why?

Another suggestion is that Cheney was trying to keep a lady friend out of it. It seems that Pamela Whittelford, Ambassador to Switzerland and Lichtenstein, was one of the three quail hunters. It is said by some that Lynne Cheney does not approve of Dick's relationship with said lady. I have no idea if there is anything to this or not. But I think there is a good question that might be asked. What was Ms. Whittelford doing there as one of only three hunters? Do they commonly invite female hunters on these trips? Why her? Is she a renowned quail hunter? A real aficionado? Is she a close friend of the victim? The owner of the ranch? Or merely a friend of Cheney's? Personally, I don't care. But I would certainly like to know why the sheriff was not permitted to interview Cheney at the time. And I would also like to know why it took almost 24 hours before all of this started to be made public. Is it really because Cheney is so arrogant he doesn't think he has to be responsible to anyone. I think he is that, but I don't think that explains the delay.

I guess people think the Muslims around the world are rioting and destroying American stores and restaurants because they are upset about some cartoons. While the cartoons may be a convenient explanation there is obviously much more to it than that. They hate what we have done to them and have been doing to them for many, many years. This is an opportunity for them to express their pent-up rage and they are taking advantage of it big time. The publication of the cartoons was a deliberate act of provocation aimed at the Muslims in Denmark. This is not a question of the right of free speech versus Muslim fundamentalism. Muslims, contrary to what the MSM tries to peddle, are not simply a bunch of raving fanatics who cannot bear the idea of free speech. They have been truly offended in ways that go far beyond cartoons. It is long past time we arrived beyond pip, pip, old chap, white man't burden, brown skinned children, bringing civilization (democracy), and the like. We need some genuine respect for each other. But don't expect any respect for anyone from Bush/Cheney (except for their corporate masters).

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Vice-President shot someone

Dick the Slimy shot a hunting companion in the face and chest.


Dick the Slimy shot someone.


Dick the Slimy shot someone.

Warrantless spying.

Dick the Slimy shot a hunting companion.


Dick the Slimy shot someone.

Bill Frist

Dick the Slimy shot someone.


Dick the Slimy shot 70 pen raised pheasants in one day.

He's an avid hunter

Dick the Slimy shot someone.

Valerie Plame

Dick the Slimy shot a lawyer.

He didn't want to tell anyone until Rove had been consulted

Dick the Slimy shot one of his hunting companions.

He called to say he was sorry

Dick the Slimy shot him in the face and heart.

He had a heart attack of sorts

Dick the Slimy shot his lawyer friend.

I bet he really hopes he doesn't die

Dick the Slimy shot someone.

It was the victim's own fault for not announcing where he was

Dick the Slimy accidentally shot a hunting companion.

No one told him you were supposed to look before you shot

Dick the Slimy shot someone.

The Press wasn't notified until 24 hours later

Dick the Slimy shot a lawyer friend.

He doesn't want to talk about it.

Dick the Slimy is a real jerk. And totally dishonest.

Dick the Slimy believes he has absolute power.

He should be disabused of this idea, impeached, and tried for war crimes.

Republicans love him.

Republicans are just as guilty as Cheney.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

All you can eat - essay

There will be no Morialekafa tomorrow as I am a victim of witchcraft.

Dick the Slimy accidentally shot another hunter while quail hunting in Texas, right in the face and upper torso. He's in the hospital and apparently doing okay. The explanation for this accident is now being offered by the press. You want to know who was guilty? The victim! Ha, ha, ha.

Consider the "All You Can Eat" phenomenon:

It is fairly common in the United States to come across a restaurant that advertises “all you can eat.” Sometimes this is all you can eat spaghetti, sometimes fried fish, sometimes fried chicken, and sometimes other particular dishes. This has to be a purely American custom. Can you even imagine a Frenchman or Italian, or any other European for that matter, who would treat food in such a disrespectful way? Food and eating are just not embedded in American culture as they are in European countries. In France and Italy in particular food is enormously important and eating is a ritual in which you savor everything: taste, seasoning, smell, preparation, appearance, dressings, the proper wine accompaniment, and so on. A meal is something to be truly enjoyed, not just gulped down in huge quantities in an orgy of gross overeating. The object of eating by this latter method is to consume as much as you can possibly hold, sometimes because it is thought of as a such a bargain and other times as a kind of test of one’s capacity. Of course it has to be terrible for you and clearly is a most unhealthy practice. But Americans, at least many of them, think gluttony of this type is just fine, even fun. They look forward to these (often Friday night) feast fests, and quite likely starve themselves in anticipation.
My only personal experience of this disgusting custom was when I was young, stupid and irresponsible, many years ago, and living in a Beach House with three other young men in Manhattan Beach, California. A few blocks from our house was a restaurant called The Little Bavarian Café (at least I think that is what it was called). On Friday nights they fed you all the fried chicken you could eat. The four of us, young and always hungry, could put away unbelievable amounts of this delicacy. Of course we paid no attention to how it was cooked or whether it was good for us or not, only how much of it we could eat, and who could eat the most. We gloated over our gluttony, so to speak. Obviously the restaurant couldn’t make any money doing this. But that wasn’t the idea. The place was always very crowded. There were no reservations. You had to wait, usually quite a long time, in the bar. Obviously that was the plan. They made so much money on drinks they didn’t really care how much we ate. And, of course, the more you drank before your meal, the less you were able to eat. It was a clever scheme and kept them in business for many years. I recall there was a piano player and a hostess who was a real knockout. It was all great fun and I do not recall any ill effects from this questionable diet other than spending Saturdays trying to recover. I don’t suppose this café exists anymore.
A variant of this custom of all you can eat are various eating contests. I’m sure you are aware of these. You know, who can eat the most pancakes in ten minutes, or who can eat the most hot dogs in some finite time, and most recently, a contest to see who could eat the most chicken wings in X amount of time. Sometimes there are pie-eating contests in which the contestants have to eat more pie than anyone else but they cannot use their hands or any silverware. These are really funny if you like watching people with lots of messy pie on their faces. Sometimes the winner of the hot dog eating contest turns out to be a 110 pound Japanese who defeats a 300 pounder. In fact, little guys often out-eat everyone else. Makes you wonder doesn’t it? Another variant of this is the restaurant that advertises 24 ounce or even larger steaks and dares you to eat one (often you can get it free if you succeed – few ever succeed).
But doesn’t it also make you wonder what in the world is wrong with Americans? What is this desire to gobble down enormous masses of tasteless food as fast as possible? Do you think they worry about how the stuff was cooked? Or even how it tastes? Can you imagine someone sending back a 24 ounce steak because it wasn’t cooked to perfection? Or refuses to eat the hot dogs? Could this be a result of childhood starvation? Seems unlikely to me. Is it merely to emphasize the obvious fecundity of America? To prove to the world that we are, indeed, a land of plenty? I don’t think so. But it is clearly related to the fast food craze in our culture. It seems obvious that if you are a devotee of fast foods you don’t really care much about taste, quality, health, or appearance (consider the obesity epidemic). It all seems to be related in some way that I cannot understand.
As KFC, McDonald’s, and other American chains are moving into Europe and apparently finding at least some acceptance, perhaps we can hope that “All You Can Eat,” contests won’t be far behind. Maybe we could insist on this at the point of a gun? American culture uber alles!

Saturday, February 11, 2006


Bush/Cheney's latest plan to sell public lands in order to raise money to help with our various debts has to be the most stupid, asinine, ridiculous, disgusting, childish, irrational suggestion ever. The fact that they would even suggest such a thing reveals their utter contempt for our country and its citizens. Obviously selling public lands would be nothing but a one time fix for our serious inability to live within out means. Once those lands were gone (no doubt to Bush/Cheney's developer friends, if not to China or Japan) they would be gone for good. And we would still be in debut up to our eyeballs. So...why not just sell off some more public land. And then some more. This would be a solution to our obscene national debt. By the time we could sell enough of our land to get out of debt there wouldn't be much left. So then I guess we could start to sell our children as they have to do in Asia. After all, if you don't have any land, why would you need to have children?

Only an evil and and corrupt administration like our current one could come up with such a suggestion. It is part of their idea that everything should be privatized. But remember, land is just another word for the environment. Do you really want our environment to be placed in the hands of private developers? Is that somehow a good idea? If they have their way everything will be privatized: land, air, water, energy, health, transportation, education, you name it. It would never occur to any of these greedy capitalistic creeps that there are things that are just too important to be privatized - like health care, water, air, the environment, and so forth. We have just had a great example of what happens when energy is privatized in California, and the current oil situation is another great example. You simply cannot have an unregulated "free market" economy without sacrificing both workers and the environment. Of course you can placate the masses for a time "with a six pack of beer and a long-legged whore on Saturday night" (someone else's phrase), but when you reach the point when they can no longer even afford that pleasure something has to change. We seem to be approaching such a situation.

This says nothing about all of our other problems: Iraq, Afghanistan, Abramoff, DeLay, Frist, Hastert, Libby, Cheney, Katrina, spying, lying, and the dying or our Republic. Oh, well, there's always "Lost" on Wednesday night, what an apt description of our present condition. Do you think there will ever be a happy episode called "Found." I hope so but my hope is growing dimmer and dimmer with each passing forgotten scandal.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Should we just give up?

Day by day the evidence against the Bush/Cheney administration grows. But nothing happens. Paul Pillar, who was the National Intelligence Officer for the Near East and South Asia from 2000 to 2005, has now stated that Bush/Cheney "cherry picked" the intelligence to make a case for going to "war" against Iraq. Not only that, he says that the intelligence was largely irrelevant because they didn't really pay much attention to it anyway in their desire to illegally attack Iraq.

Libby apparently testified that he was "authorized" to leak information by his superiors (read Cheney and probably Hadley) in order to help justify their going to "war." It also has become clear that the attempt to smear Wilson originated in Cheney's office.

Abramoff has now said that he met Bush almost a dozen times and that they even discussed his family. He was also invited to Crawford but for some reason could not attend. Remember that Bush claims he never met Abramoff and doesn't remember him (even though there are at least five pictures of them together). Bush is a liar. Does that surprise anyone? Bush claimed he didn't know Ken ("Kenny Boy") Lay either and that Lay had supported his opponent when he ran for Governor of Texas - and absolutely blatant lie.

Michael Brown testified that the White House knew at least 14 hours earlier than they claimed that the levees were breached in New Orleans. They did nothing until the next day. Brown was pretty useless as director of FEMA but it clearly wasn't all just his fault.

Add all this to the multiple scandals involving the Republicans, the lying to start an illegal, unconstitutional and unnecessary "war," the torturing, hiding prisoners from the Red Cross, the illegal wiretapping, bombing civilians, the use of white phosphorous, etc., etc., etc, wouldn't you conclude that something needs to be done? But nothing happens. Nothing. No impeachment, no demands for resignations, nothing.

Our trusty heads up senior Senator Craig, in a letter to my wife, says there are no grounds for impeachment because there is no proof Bush lied to start the "war." I wonder what he would consider proof? Remember, this is our man who still thinks we are going to find WMD's in Iraq. There is no chance he will be replaced in the Senate by someone with a brain.

By the way, the Danish newspaper that printed the provocative cartoons about Muhammad, two years earlier refused to publish cartoons that depicted the resurrection. They said they would offend their readers. They clearly didn't worry about offending Muslims. This is a right wing paper and the publishing of these cartoons was a deliberate and provocative act designed to denigrate Muslims. It had little or nothing to do with free speech. You reap what you sow.

Will happy days ever be here again?

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Cheney and anger

From the moment Libby was indicted it was obvious that he would not have acted on his own but was, in fact, following orders from Dick the Slimy. And now we know that is true. Fitzgerald now has testimony from several individuals that the whole roviating of Wilson originated in Cheney's office and that Cheney himself authorized Libby to leak information. I guess the question is, what is anyone going to do about it? And if Democrats run true to form I guess the answer is probably nothing. Just like they will probably do nothing about Bush/Cheney's unconstitutional power grab. Gonzales is going to brief both the House and the Senate on the spying. That will no doubt make the Democrats feel better (better to get a bit of information than none at all) and they will then drop the issue. Ah, Democrats. How I wish there was a viable third party.

As near as I can tell from the web most everyone (that I read) believes that Gonzales appearance was a marvelous mixture of horse shit, bull shit, with a generous dose of pig pucky. He managed to dazzle the Senators with his Alice in Wonderland style of driving them crazy. Clever fellow, Gonzales, still acting as the President's private attorney rather than as Attorney General of the United States. So what did you expect, Bush brought him along from Texas, just another crony appointment, another incompetent but loyal follower.

The Republican strategy at the moment seems to focus on the fact that Hilary and other Democrats are angry. And, according to them, angry people don't get elected. I guess they are unaware of the problem that a majority of the American electorate is angry. Angry as hell. And why would Hilary and the rest of us not be angry after five years of incessant lying, cheating, and a whole litany of war crimes? of course she's angry. So are the rest of us. And I hope we will continue to be angry as hell until these lying war criminals are held accountable for their murderous illegal and unconstitutional acts. I am not suggesting that we should support the warmonger Clinton, only that we should understand her anger. I do not believe that any Democratic candidate can be elected unless they are demonstrably anti-war. This means that Hilary, Kerry, Lieberman (heaven forbid), Biden, and several others are already out of the running. At the moment that would seem to leave Feingold, maybe Warner, perhaps Gore, possibly Edwards, as the only possibilities. The problem is, who in their right mind would want the responsibility of trying to clean up the mess Bush/Cheney have made?

I don't think I will live long enough to see this mess cleaned up. I fear infinity is not for me. But good luck to you all.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

A Prayer Breakfast?

It seems that our esteemed Governor Kempthorne on March fourth is going to host a "Prayer Breakfast." Why do we need a prayer breakfast? What are they praying for - breakfast? I would hope they might pray that we can be delivered from the evil emanating from the White House, but given the nature of our State politics that seems highly unlikely. They are probably going to pray for deliverance from homosexuals and abortionists, the two "problems" that seem to occupy their minds the most (except when they are scheming to make sure they don't have to spend any money at all on education). We are apparently going to have a constitutional amendment banning gay marriages. Not only that, we are going to even ban any rights at all for gay couples. There are already laws in the state of Idaho against gay marriage but apparently they need a constitutional amendment "just in case." But don't despair, we are trying very hard to enter the 20th century.

Apparently the featured speaker at this breakfast, whose name eludes me for the moment, believes that all Muslims should be converted to Christianity. Now this is an idea that leave naivete so far behind as it enters the realm of the unutterably stupid that it is absolutely mind-boggling. Why should any self-respecting Muslim want to convert to Christianity, especially the kind of Chrisianity so stupid as to believe they might want to do so?

Want to bet that the wiretapping and spying scandal won't just disappear along with all of the other Republican scandals? The Democrats, having had their moment in front of the cameras, will just lie down again, pretend that they tried to stop it, and allow it to be swept under the rug along with everything else. This works for the Republicans because they generate new scandals much faster than the old ones can be dealt with. Little wonder that Gonzales was trying not to laugh at those Senators who were so obviously frustrated they could barely speak at times. And why should they not be frustrated? Trying to deal with Republicans is like sliding down into the rabbit hole of Alice in Wonderland where there is no logic, no reason, no common sense, no common ground upon which to base a conversation. This is exactly the kind of communication problem that leads men to kill their wives and vice-versa. You begin to wonder if it is not you who is crazy rather than those who are driving you crazy. The Gonzales hearing was an absolutely classic example.

Remember, Bush doesn't know Abramoff or Ken Lay. Pigs fly and Republicans always tell the truth, especially Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, and McClellan.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The secret threat from outer space

The Bush/Cheney administration is well known for secrecy. I think they must have secret knowledge of an invasion from outer space. Otherwise I don't see how they could possibly justify a defense budget of 440 billion dollars. FOUR HUNDRED AND FORTY BILLION DOLLARS! What country on earth could possibly be contemplating an attack on the United States that would justify such an obscene amount for defense? Russia? Nonsense. Iran? Even more nonsensical. North Korea? Don't make me laugh. China? Ah, yes, China. Does anyone in their right mind believe China is about to attack the United States? First of all, they don't have to do that as they already own much of the U.S. And with Bush's plan to sell off Public Lands they will no doubt literally own most of the United States. Actually, it's a great idea. Sell them all of our Public Land in return for cancelling our enormous debt to them. The only problem with that is that we would no longer own our own country. I guess Bush/Cheney wouldn't care. They could just take their ill-gotten gains and move to Paraguay or someplace. In any case, China can take over the United States without ever firing a shot. And they will soon if we don't get rid of Bush/Cheney.

Defense Budget is a terrible misnomer. It would be far more accurate to speak of the Offense Budget. All the money they want couldn't possibly be just for defense. Indeed, aside from paying our mercenaries and a bit of maintenance we could no doubt defend ourselves for years without spending much of anything. And think of all the good things we could do with all that money here at home. But, you say, what about our Empire? Well, what about it? Do most Americans want us to have an Empire? Do they want us policing all the rest of the world? Do you think they are even aware of the problem? I think most Americans want to live and let live. What business is it of ours to go around the world proselytizing? And why should we continue to support and defend Israel's occupation of Palestinian land? The American Empire is about to implode as we become just another third rate country in hock beyond our means to China and Japan.

Why was Alberto Gonzales not sworn in yesterday when he faced the Senate? Why were Bush/Cheney not under oath when they testified? Why was Condi Rice not under oath? As near as I could tell Gonzales was actually trying not to laugh at the Senators who were trying to question him. Our Republic is in great danger. Will the Senate just cave in to the Republicans once again? These would be exciting times if anything ever happened other than just talk and more talk. We're talking ourselves into oblivion. How about some action for a change?

Monday, February 06, 2006

Yes or no?

Watching this business about spying is like watching two children: yes, you did, no, I didn,t, yes you did, no I didn't, etc. etc.

Gonzales, the President's toady Attorney General, insists that what Bush has done is legal. Leahy, Spector, Graham, and others don't think so. So is it legal or not? My guess is that they will push this all the way to Bush's Supreme Court which they believe will act in their favor (that somehow it is legal). Remember, Alito was appointed specifically because he is a conservative who believes in the power of the Executive.

Notice how the Republicans have framed the discussion. They keep insisting that the spying is necessary (thus implying that Democrat don't think it is necessary). But that is not the issue. Everyone believes that some form of spying is necessary. The question is not whether or not it is necessary, everyone agrees that it is, the question is whether it is being done legally. And the answer to that question is almost certainly that it has not been done legally. The argument, apparently borrowed from Nixon, is that if the President does it, it must be legal. I doubt this is ultimately going to fly. But, of course, by the time anyone bothers to do anything about it we'll all be dead. The fact that justice (if there is any) moves so slowly certainly favors those in office, or those who are on trial (Ken Lay comes to mind).

You notice that Gonzales did not testify under oath. A very strange situation. Democrats, of course, wanted him under oath but Arlen Spector, in charge of the proceedings, refused to have him sworn in. Why do you suppose he did that? It couldn't be because he knew he would be lying - or could it? There are those suspicious folk like me who think the whole thing is simply being staged and the outcome has been totally predetermined. Would Republicans do something as sneaky as that? You bet your life!

Rove and the rest of the "gang" are apparently going to bet on painting the Democrats as soft on defense and terrorism, as they have up until now. They keep insisting in one way or another that Democrats don't really care if we get bombed and are too sympathetic to terrorists, etc., etc. Will they get away with this crap again? They will if we let them (again). It is long past time that we throw the whole bunch of them out. Bush/Cheney should be impeached and then tried for their obvious war crimes. But if we let Republicans steal the next election (again) that will never happen. So be prepared. If they send in their Brownshirts again, resist. If they try to force their crooked Diebold machines on us again, resist. I hate to be so corny but it is true: "Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country."

Sunday, February 05, 2006


First, the Seahawks lost to the Steelers, 21 - 10.

Tiger Woods won the Dubai, beating Ernie Els in a one hole playoff. So Tiger wins two in a row so far this year. Awesome.

Much more importantly, the British have now indicated they plan on a permanent base in southern Iraq. They have also allowed that they expect an American/British presence in that unfortunate land for at least ten years (is that when they expect the oil to run out?). As the Americans have constructed four permanent bases throughout Iraq, and have no intention of leaving, I wish people would stop tsalking about when the troops will come home. Such foolishness. This has been the American/British plan all along and the reason they illegally invaded in the first place. Give me crap like WMD's, a Hussein/bin Laden connectlon, spreading democracy, overthrowing a dictator, and whatever. The plan is to control the Mideast and the oil that just happens to be there. So prepare for years of resistance and an American/Iraq situation that parallels Israel/Palestine. Permanent "war" so that Bush can claim dictatorial powers forever.

The Attorney General will face the Senate tomorrow to defend the claim that Bush has a legal right to warrantless wiretapping. This should be most interesting. Of course you can't really watch it for long without going to sleep as it always moves at a glacial pace. Actually, I think the glaciers probably move faster.

A favorite verse:
Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain
shall meet,
Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God's great Judgment
But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor
When two strong men stand facae to face, though they come
from the ends of the earth!

Rudyard Kipling
The Ballad of East and West

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Learning to read - reminiscence

Nothing much happens on weekends. Oh, yeah, on CNN yesterday they spent a lot of time on a tree that fell on a trailer in a trailer park. I will use this down time to reminisce.

My only remaining lifetime friend recently returned a book he borrowed, Rex, a Dog Story for Boys, by Fullerton Waldo, published in 1932. What makes this somewhat unusual and of interest is that I loaned him the book in 1940! Getting it back after only 66 years I guess is better than not getting it back at all. Of course I have long since outgrown such a book. But it has made me think about reading and about how I learned to read. Actually I don’t really remember how I learned to read. Although my parents loved me I do not remember either of them reading to me. But somehow I learned. I guess in school. I vaguely remember a teacher holding up flash cards with the vowels and consonants on them. In any case, I was an early reader and an avid and dedicated one at that. I read voraciously, just about anything I could find: Rex, Silver Chief, Carcajou, Black Beauty, Wind in the Willows, comic books, westerns, detective stories, the works. I remember when I was in the third grade there was a whole series of childrens’ books about various Indians. I read them all so quickly my teacher refused to believe it. I read at school, at home, at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I even read after going to bed, using a flashlight under the covers so my parents would not know and insist I stop and sleep.
I was during all of this time a very indiscriminate reader. I read for the stories and, I guess, for escape. Questions of style, genre, or even verisimilitude never entered my mind. I simply vacuumed up prose wherever found. The only thing I didn’t read was poetry. I don’t know why but poetry never appealed to me – still doesn’t, really. My mother encouraged my reading and often bought me books. Books were cheap in those days. There was a series called Big Little Books. They were called that because they were only about 2 ½ inches tall and about 2 ½ inches thick. I believe they cost a nickel. I had many of them (I wish I still did as they are now collector’s items).
It was because of Big Little Books that I finally learned to READ, instead of merely read. It was like an epiphany, but a somewhat embarrassing one. When I was eleven my mother took me to Los Angeles to visit my eccentric Uncle Otto (a candidate for a much longer essay someday). Uncle Otto had attended Stanford University and taken a degree in Engineering. I guess he was a fine engineer but I don’t believe he was much of a reader. Nonetheless, one afternoon he picked up the Big Little Book I was reading, a western, and began to read it out loud. It went something as follows:
Bang! The slender young cowboy jumped to his feet.
Crash! He buckled on his six guns.
Boom! He mounted his trusty horse.
Hiya! He rode off like the wind into the night.

Need I say more? I suddenly realized for the first time there was writing and then there was WRITING. I became from that moment on a much more aware and discriminating reader. In a short time I gave up comic books and then, finally, Big Little Books. I was an entirely new person.
My mother must have perceived the change in my reading habits. The next time I was sick with some childhood malady, staying home with nothing to do, she brought me a chocolate milkshake (my mother had unbelievable faith in the curative powers of chocolate milk shakes), and the Studs Lonigan Trilogy! I think I was thirteen at the time.
Bang! I was off on a new life.

Of course I sometimes backslid a bit. During WWII we had paper drives (most of you won’t remember this). We kids went around town picking up old magazines, newspapers, and such, that we then brought to some designated old garages or houses to be eventually picked up for the war effort. As they weren’t picked up very often (if, in fact, at all) we indulged ourselves in various ways. We built forts out of magazines and threw them back and forth in mock battles. But we also read them. What an education that was! There were “spicy” magazines: Spicy Detective, Spicy Western, Spicy Science Fiction, and I guess Spicy Romance as well. The effect these tomes had on us makes Playboy pale into insignificance. These particular magazines have long since disappeared. Small loss. I’m certain there are others taking their place. Happily, they are no longer on my reading list.
Reading! What a wonderful thing.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Insanity prevails

The United States is several trillion (yes, trillion) dollars in debt. Bush is now asking for an additional 120 billion dollars for "wars" in Afghanistan and Iraq. At the same time the Senate has just passed a 70 billion dollar tax break that will, once again, favor the filthy rich who don't need it. He is also going to submit a defense budget of 439 billion dollars, five percent more than last year. This is a defense budget that exceeds all the other nations' defense budgets put together. This is, in a word, insane. Please explain to me what it is we have gained or are gaining from pouring billions of dollars into the "war" in Iraq? We certainly aren't getting any oil. And the entire Arab world hates us with a passion because of what we have done to them. Why on earth should we spend another 120 billion there? And, of course, this won't be the end of it. He'll be asking for more later. Who has benefitted from this ridiculous and obscene Bush "war?" Halliburton, that's who. Corporations. War profiteers, mercenaries. Continuing this travesty, this celebration of war crimes, is just plain insane. Can no one put a stop to it?

World Can't Wait is at least trying. Tomorrow they are supposed to descend on the capital by the thousands demanding that Bush step down. You want to bet you will hear anything about it from the mainstream media. I bet not.

The Libby trial is now postponed until next January, conveniently after the 2006 elections. Of course the elections have nothing to do with the postponement, just like the New York Times sitting on the illegal wiretapping leak for a year so that would not come up before an election. How coincidental these things are. How long has it been since the Enron scandal was exposed? It is just now going to trial and you can bet by the time it is finished Ken Lay will have died happily in his old age. Justice in the United States is truly remarkable.

Whitman, who was head of the EPA, is now being charged with having deliberately misled New Yorkers about how dangerous it was to stay in or return to the area after the 9/11 attacks. The air quality was terrible and she claimed it was safe. Many New Yorkers are now suffering the consequences of this blatant lying. Who do you suppose was primarily responsible for this disgusting act?

House resolution 635, having to do with investigating the possibilities for impeachment now has 17 signatures. Will there be any more? If not, why not? If anyone ever deserved to be impeached it has to be Bush/Cheney.

Rumsfeld, our apparently senile Secretary of Defense, now has said the "war" in Iraq will not be a long one. Do you have any idea what he is talking about? We have built four permanent military bases in Iraq. In the past different people have said we would be there for ten years, maybe longer. No one has ever said, realistically, that it would not be a long and difficult "war." So now, Rumpot suddenly has announced it will not be long? Does he really have any idea what he is talking about? Perhaps he knows something the rest of the world doesn't, like, maybe we're going to pull out quickly? Seems most unlikely to me.

Does anyone, other than the hard core Bush supporters who would apparently support him no matter what he did (he is already responsible for murder, arson, rape and other assorted war crimes) believe a word he says? Or what anyone else in his administration says? We are living in a nightmare of Bush/Cheney's doing and so far there seems to be no end in sight. Forgive me for seeing no light at the end of the tunnel.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Flotsam and Jetsam

Today I was sitting and waiting for a prescription to be filled at our local Safeway pharmacy, minding my own business, not bothering a soul. An old woman, dressed in what I guess is Bonners Ferry chic: a sweatshirt over a longer shirt that hung out behind, sweat pants that had obviously seen better days and were a foot too short, ankle length black boots that were untied, and what appeared to be mismatched socks, stood nearby looking down on me. She had no teeth and was leaning heavily on a wooden cane. With absolutely no preliminaries she suddently asked, "what do you call a cow with two short legs?"
Taken aback, I answered, "I don't know, what do you call such a creature?"
"Lean beef!" She announced with glee.
I smiled. She then commanded, "what do you call a cow with no legs?"
"Beats me," I said. "What?"
"Ground beef!" she announced in her loud voice, then laughing heartily.
Before I could recover from that she went on, "what do you call a bunch of cows that have just had abortions?"
I just stared at her unable to even speak. "Decalfinated!" she cackled, opening her toothless mouth in uninhibited mirth. Her prescription in hand she limped off with her cane. "Have a nice day," she exclaimed.
God, I love Bonners Ferry.

I recall that when Addington was picked to replace Libby there were some raised eyebrows. But as most of us had never heard of him we didn't know exactly what to expect - other than trouble, of course. He is another one of Dick the Slimy's thugs, like Bolton, who will stop at nothing to get their way. He was also one of those who influenced Yoo to write his absurd legal opinions about totally unrestricted Presidential powers. He apparently also had great influence with our apparently pretty clueless Attorney General. Barring another grossly illegal Supreme Court ruling it is doubtful that these Presidential yes-men will be able to prevail. Surely there is nothing in the Constitution or American law, or International law, that would allow a President of the United States dictatorial powers. It has been asserted often enough, it seem to me, that "no President is above the law." What more needs to be said. In fact, it is absurd that this is even being questioned (unless, of course, we have already entered Wonderland). I find it terribly unlikely that international treaties that have been ratified by other branches of government can be simply ignored by the Executive. Similarly, as we are not truly at "war," which can only be authorized by Congress, Bush's claims to absolute wartime powers is more than merely questionable. However, with Democrats effectively castrated, and the American public anesthetized by television garbage, I guess most anything could happen.
Happy days, I fear, are not here again.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Just more words

Happily I was not able to watch or hear Bush's State of the Union speech. Actually, I would not have watched it even if I could because Bush's speeches make me nauseous. I always wait for the analyses. The problem with that, however, is they always play excerpts from the speeches so you cannot entirely avoid listening to the chief moron. Having now seen many excerpts from many of his speeches I know two things: first, there is no connection whatsoever between what he is saying and his brain. That is, he has learned to deliver the words he has been given by his speechwriters or whoever, and he says them with false sincerity and emphasis, but he has no idea what they mean. I mean, seriously, how could he believe we are "winning" in Iraq. Indeed, what in the hell would winning in Iraq mean? What could possibly be a "victory?" And when there are others, with recent experience in Iraq, who say we cannot possibly win, what are we to make of Bush's absurd claims? Second, there is no connection between what Bush says and what he and his henchmen do. Consider his now presumably famous pronouncement that "we are addicted to oil" (and presumably should try to not be)? At the same time one of his fellow Republicans, Allen of Virginia, says we should start drilling in the Arctic and along our sensitive coastlines for more oil. That will cure our addiction I am sure. Similarly, Bush says we have to become more competitive and train more scientists (actually, he doesn't really believe in science). I guess the best way to bring this about is to cut student loans by the largest amount in history. Think about it. When we had to confront falling behind the Russians when they launched sputnik, how far would we have gone if we had cut student loans? In any case, no one could possibly believe that Bush and his cronies would ever even consider giving up oil in favor of other sources of energy - at least not until they have bled the world's oil reserves dry and insured their obscene profits. Bush lies. Does that surprise you?

Alito was confirmed as we knew he would be. The Democrats late attempt to filibuster was just too late and too confusing - and too pathetic as usual. Republicans and Bush can count this as a great victory. Until it eventually comes back to bite them in the ass. Republican Senators will ultimately lose as much power and influence as Democratic ones. And Bush will become Emperor so they can all worship him on their knees.

Isn't it interesting to learn from Mr. Fitzgerald that many of Cheney's e-mails from the period around the Plame affair were not preserved, contrary to White House policy? How coincidental. How convenient. How disgustingly Cheneyish. God, these Republicans are a fine bunch. They make Al Capone and John Dillinger look like pygmies. And none of them ever knew or even met Abramoff.

In my last blog I mentioned the difference between stupidity and ignorance. I forget to mention that it is possible to be both stupid and ignorant at the same time. I have a few candidates in mind, one in particular. Guess.