Thursday, May 31, 2007

Bush admits it

I've been telling everyone for months that Bush/Cheney have no intention of ever getting us out of Iraq. Bush has now said he envisions American troops in Iraq for another fifty years, just as in Korea. A little fact that Babble Boy apparently hasn't considered. The South Koreans were our allies. While they might not be entirely crazy about our troops still stationed there, they are at least not actively trying to murder them on a day to day basis. Iraq is nothing like Korea. The Iraqis don't want us there and are actively attacking our troops (when they are not too busy killing each other). Our troops don't want to be there. The American public certainly doesn't want them there. The rest of the world doesn't want them there. Bush apparently thinks what the Iraqis or anyone else thinks or wants just doesn't matter. As usual only he knows the truth about what we're doing, the "sacrifices" we've made "bringing democracy" to the Middle East, and blah, blah, blah. We're going to stay there and "protect our interests" (oil) whether they want us to or not. Just think of it, fifty more years of insurrection and bloodshed, who knows how many more American troops killed, and more thousands of Iraqis killed, all for Bush's crazy plan to make Iraq into an American Protectorate, 51st state, or whatever. He's even saying that he's going to make it so the next administration will have to carry on the occupation (I have no idea what he thinks he is going to do). Personally, I'm more convinced than ever that he is just plain crazy.

Indeed, there is growing evidence this may be so. It is reported that when visited by some of his Texas cronies he walked around beating his chest and repeating "I am the President." This follows a similar report of similar bizarre behavior a few weeks ago. I guess Laura and Barney still support him. And why not? Both Republicans and Democrats apparently still support him as evidenced by their failure to take any action against him whatsoever (like, maybe, impeachment, forced resignation, even cutting off funding for his absolutely illegal and horrible "war").

I would be pleased to see a charming, intelligent, successful black woman as first lady, but I suspect there are a lot of Americans, especially women, who would not be so pleased. There are probably people who are more willing to accept Obama himself than his wife. I hope I am wrong about this and if Obama should somehow be elected I would hope everyone would welcome her with open arms and all best wishes.


"Huamani's skepticism was substantial. He knew that men are a joke of the gods, sent to mortify the animals."
Abel Posse.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Sins and virtues

As I have grown older I have begun to think a lot about sin, virtue, and that kind of stuff. I guess I have been wondering where I stand. Consider lust, for example. I certainly don't lust any longer although I must have as a younger man. After all, I did become a teenager and I did experience those raging hormones and all that went along with it. I guess if just growing up and being an adolescent is sinful I was guilty. I can't really think of teenage lust as a sin. How about gluttony. I guess I had moments of gluttony, like over baked ham or pickled pigs feet and a few other things. But remember, unlike pregnancy, you can have just a little gluttony and it is situational. I don't worry too much about it now. Then there is greed. I don't believe I was ever greedy. Indeed, had I been greedy I would certainly never have become an anthropologist. Sloth is somewhat like gluttony, you can be slothful at times but not at all at other times. Wrath is more complicated. Wrath encompasses hate and anger and such. I don't think I experienced wrath very much until the elections of 2000. Since then my wrath has grown by leaps and bounds. However, I notice that fully 70% of the American population is apparently experiencing wrath like crazy. You might say wrath is virtually epidemic at the moment. So, yeah, I am wrathful. So's everyone else. I don't have much envy even though I suppose I could. I was very envious once. When I was about six. My close friend received a pair of cowboy chaps for Christmas and I didn't. I was envious. But I found being envious so painful that I gave it up. It's never bothered me much since. Finally, there is pride. I don't think I suffer pride very much, even before a fall.

But before patting myself on the back for not being very sinful, I have to also consider the holy virtues. Man, do I flunk here. Chastity, no. Abstinence, no. Liberality, I don't know. Diligence, no. Patience, no. Kindness, well, I don't know. I don't think I have ever been knowingly unkind. But I have noticed that on the few occasions I tried to be kind it was most unrewarding. I don't believe kindness is its own reward. Humility, I have learned, is a result of experience. My experiences, especially golf and duplicate bridge, have certainly taught me humility.

So...I don't think I have been terribly sinful, but I certainly can't claim to be virtuous. So where does that leave me? Probably right along with most everyone else. It is very difficult to be sinful these days what with the Republicans having a virtual monopoly on sin. Is there even one of the seven deadly sins the Republicans don't excell in? Think about it: lust, yes, gluttony, yes, greed, big time, sloth, yes, wrath, plenty, pride, certainly. That leaves envy which is perhaps a bit more complicated. As they have almost all the money and power, and more possessions than they could ever need or want, who would they envy? Why, each other, of course. They envy the next guy with the bigger office, the most money, the most power, the closest to the President, the largest budget, and so on. I believe it is fair to say they are sinners in spades. They are sinners, sinners, the apex of sinnerdom, the cream of the sinners crop, the very mother of all sinners.

I am introducing a new feature: Little Known but Interesting Quotations, LKBIQ's, for short:

"He (Uncle Pio) regarded love as a sort of cruel malady through which the elect are required to pass in their late youth and from which they emerge pale and wrung, but ready for the business of living. There was (he believed) a great repertory of errors mercifully impossible to human beings who had recovered from this illness."
Thornton Wilder.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Where did the Republican party find so many creepy guys? It seems all they want to do is torture and continue the "war." When faced with (an admittedly really stupid hypothetical) question about interrogation most of them just couldn't seem to emphasize just how tough they could be. Giuliani said they chould use anything they could think of. McCain stood by his claim that we don't torture (I guess he favors the term "enhanced interrogation techniques,") because we certainly have been doing something to our captives. Romney, who now has demostrated on several occasions that he is willing to blurt out anything to get elected, no matter how mindless or ridiculous, announced that we should double Guantanamo. If it weren't for the presence of Ron Paul one might think this is a cast of characters out of the Addams Family.

When Morialekafa first began in July of 2004 it was not so political. It used to offer some amusing essays, some short stories, and even an occasional poem. If you search in the archives of Morialekafa you will see what I mean. But as the Bush/Cheney administration turned into a political horror story Mori's focus became almost exclusively political. So for "old time's sake," if nothing else, here is a brief story:

Delivering a Mattress

You wouldn’t think delivering a mattress would be such a big deal. But you have to consider the circumstances. We lived in a small mining town built at the bottom of a narrow valley surrounded by pine covered mountains. On the valley floor there was only room for three main streets. On the west end of these streets were the finest homes in the city. On the east end was the downtown business district. Other not so fine homes were built up the steep mountainsides or off in small canyons. The town had burned to the ground in the Great Fire of 1910. When it rebuilt itself the downtown district became all brick, mostly two story buildings that stood side by side. The east end of the only street to run the entire length of the city was the major commercial center. The last two blocks contained virtually all the important stores: a large department store, soda fountain, butcher shop, bakery, bank, grocery, and a stationery and book store. An imposing once fine hotel occupied the last corner. Across the street were the fire and police stations. The street ended there where they backed up to what was known as the “lead creek,” a filthy oyster-colored stream running with mining waste, old appliances, tires, and detritus of all kinds. It was a convenient spot to rid yourself of unwanted kittens or puppies, offal, beer bottles, old shoes, and whatever else people couldn’t be bothered with. Curiously, all of the stores, for no apparent reason, were located on the south side of the street.
Facing them on the north side were mostly bars with a barber shop or two and a couple of cigar stores which also featured bars, and gambling. Gambling was illegal but no one paid much attention to that inconvenient detail. You might wonder what a small town did with 32 bars and 5 whorehouses. On weekends and holidays when the miners and loggers came to town drinking, whoring, gambling, and fighting, you knew. The place was a boom town, producing millions of ounces of silver, lead, gold, and other minerals. Everyone knew it was a hotbed of vice, but no vice, no miners.
What has this to do with delivering a mattress? Four of the whorehouses were located right on the main drag above bars. There was no way one could enter them or leave without the possibility of being seen. As the only movie theatre was located between these four establishments and the fire station the situation was, shall I say, awkward. Because the town mothers had no choice but to engage in their shopping and movie-going along this street there were strict rules about what the whores were permitted to do. They could not, for example, stand in the windows and advertise their wares. They were permitted to walk only to the Post Office, two blocks away, or to the Grocery, a mere block away. No pimps or gaffers were allowed to live in town. For recreation, whores had to meet their men elsewhere.
My problem was delivering a mattress to the U & I Rooms. I was a skinny 15 year-old with glasses. Somehow my father had arranged for me to work for the summer at the Post Office. An old man with a pickup truck had a contract to pick up the mail from the train and deliver it to the Post Office. He delivered other things as well. As he had arthritic knees and could not climb stairs he told me I would have to deliver this mattress. I balked. I had no idea what one might encounter in a whorehouse. I was mortified to think someone would see me perform this demeaning task. I was, in short, scared. But I had no choice other than quitting and I knew what my father would think of that. I laid awake worrying most of the night before I was to deliver this tainted object.
But deliver it I did, at 2 p.m., the middle of the busiest part of the day. As we couldn’t park right in front of the U & I Rooms, I was forced to carry the unwieldy mattress for a full block along the busy street. I averted my eyes and looked only at the sidewalk. The mattress was heavy and there was no convenient place to grasp it. Trying to maneuver it up the stairs was difficult as it twisted and turned as if it were alive. I was reminded of a Laurel and Hardy episode I had recently seen where they were trying to deliver a piano up some steep stairs. I was not amused. After considerable effort I finally attained the landing and with great trepidation knocked timidly on the door. No one answered for what seemed like an eternity. I thought of simply abandoning the mattress and running. But just then the door opened and an attractive middle-aged woman greeted me with, “Oh, the mattress, just bring it along here.” She led me, struggling with the damn thing, down a long hallway. I passed a large room with a piano and a juke box and two large couches. Then there was a kitchen. Two young women were seated there in colorful kimonos drinking something with little concern for their modesty. I looked away and fought the mattress. The lady opened the door to a small cell-like room. There was no window, a single bed, sans mattress, a night stand with a wash basin, soap and towel, and a straight backed chair. I happily rid myself of the terrible burden and followed her back down the hallway. One of the whores said, “Hi, honey, what’s your name?”
“John,” I blurted out. It was the only name I could think of. For some reason I did not want her to know my real name. “Just delivered the mattress,” I stammered, having nothing else to say.
“It’s about time I got a new mattress,” she said, “I’ve been bitching about that old one for weeks.”
The older woman, who I now realized must be the madam, handed me a five dollar bill. “Here’s for your trouble,” she said. “Thank you.” She was a nice lady.
Five dollars was a lot of money. “Thank you,” I muttered, and went hurriedly down the stairs. As I departed this house of ill-repute, still holding my five dollar bill, who should I encounter but three girls from my High School. Embarrassed, I mumbled something to the effect of, “Hi, I was just delivering something up there.”
They looked at me with disbelief and began to giggle. As I bolted in embarrassment up the street I heard them talking in excited voices but I couldn’t hear what they said. Safely in the pickup with the waiting old man, I relaxed and ran the encounter over in my mind. I knew every kid in town would hear about it within hours. Then I smiled. Suddenly I felt six feet tall.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day

No tv today. I could not bear the sight or sound of our AWOL war criminal praising our military while at the same time sending them to Iraq for no purpose other than satisfying his ridiculously oversized ego. Everyone knows nothing will be accomplished by September that is going to make any difference whatsoever in this ongoing disaster that is Iraq. Republicans know it, Democrats know it, the public knows it, and I'll bet that even Bush and Cheney know it. They are just stalling for time, hoping to force Iraq to sign over its oil, waiting to turn their horrible mess over to the next President. In the meanwhile our troops continue to die on a daily basis. This is not merely politics, it is murder. I can only take hypocrisy up to a point. That point has been exceeded a thousandfold by this rotten-to-the-core Bush/Cheney administration. Continuing in Iraq is sheer insanity. Tell the truth, what in the hell can possibly turn things around in Iraq? I don't know about you, but I don't believe in miracles. I don't even believe Noah built an ark or Jonah was swallowed by a whale. And I don't believe even one word that comes out of the mouths of Bush or Cheney.

I have just finished the most incredible and fascinating book - A Perfect Red, by Amy Butler Greenfield. I guess it was so fascinating to me because it was about something I knew nothing about. I never knew anything about dyes, the dyeing industry, cloth, or the importance of colors, especially red. This book, a history of such things, has everything you can imagine: greed, intrique, spying, theft, Empire, exploration, adventure, the works. I certainly never heard of cochineal, a little bug that caused such a sensation when it was first discovered by European dye makers. If it had been up to me this would have been one of the best books of 2005.

It has been cold and rainy for two days. Tomorrow it is supposed to go up into the seventies. By saturday it is supposed to be in the ninetys! The weather in North Idaho is as peculiar as the population.

Sunday, May 27, 2007


I confess I really don't like sundays. Sundays are boring. There's no mail. If you don't go to church there isn't much to do. I never go to church. I did go to church once, about 60 years ago. My girlfriend made me go. I sat on an abalone shell that was used for the collection. It was noisy and embarrassing. I never went back. I'm an atheist. Well, not exactly, I believe in the Great Mystery. If I had a buffalo skull I would probably use it in some worshipful ceremony. Someone promised me a buffalo skull. But it never materialized. So I just go on thinking about the Great Mystery. It's all a mystery to me. But I don't believe there is an old white man with a grey beard waiting up there in the clouds for me. Nor do I believe Satan is waiting down there in the nether regions for someone as inconsequential as me. I certainly don't believe dinosaurs were contemporaneous with humans. I believe there is much evil in the world. But if there were no people it would disappear. Have you ever heard of evil plants or animals? If you think so I suggest it is merely projection. I like plants and animals. All of them. Except maybe eggplant and okra. I don't think they are evil. I just don't like the texture or the taste. Oh well, like I say, sundays, there isn't much to do.

There is always little or no news on sundays. I guess that means that the entire world rests. The senseless killing in Iraq comes to a halt for the sabbath? Nobody boos Cheney on sunday (you can bet he never rests, but then we never hear about what he's doing anyway down there under that rock he hides behind when he's not out telling outrageous lies). I didn't even hear anything about Paris Hilton or Britney today, a really slow news day.

One interesting thing I did read today; Iran wants to enter into agreements with Iraq to share the development and marketing of oil. I bet that woke Dick the Slimy up. No wonder he's desperate to goad Bush into starting a war against Iran. Trying to steal Cheney's oil. Disgusting. That oil doesn't belong to Iran or Iraq. It's ours. We fought for it. It defines our sole interest in the Middle East, that interest we're willing to send our fine young people to fight and die for. How do those people have the gall to claim all that oil, just because it lies under the territories they have inhabited for thousands of years. It's just like our blessed Ronald Reagan said about our conquest of the American Indians, "they were just sitting on all this land and didn't want to share it," or some such words. To hear Republicans tell it, Reagan was a saint. I think in a way he was. Saint Nitwit.

Here at Sandhill we tried to work outside in the gardens but it rained. Hard. We needed the rain. But we're behind schedule this year. Must be global warming. Oh, I forgot, that doesn't exist except in the minds of virtually every reputable scientist on earth.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Is he kidding?

Bush has reportedly said if they ask us to leave we'll leave. This has to be just another example of his mindless babbling. First of all, the Iraqis have made it pretty clear they want us to leave. So what is Bush waiting for? I guess he's waiting for someone who speaks for the Iraqi nation to formally ask us to leave. But who is there that speaks with that kind of authority for the Iraqis? Certainly not any of the puppets we have installed who pretend to be the leaders of a sovereign nation. Bush insists that Iraq is a sovereign nation. It is so sovereign that we are trying to force them to sign an oil bill giving away most of their oil to the huge oil companies (one of the benchmarks they must reach). This is passed off as a bill allocating oil revenues among the three major groups: Sunni, Shia, and Kurds. But that is really only a very minor part of the bill. The bulk of the bill, written in Washington D.C., calls upon Iraq to privatize its oil and award the lion's share to the big oil corporations. I submit Bush/Cheney are not going to leave without the oil deal whether we are asked to leave or not. Bush apparently wants us to believe he will just give up his city-sized "embassy" and the rest of the permanent bases we are creating because the Iraqis might ask us to leave. Does anyone believe this madman any longer?

Apparently a majority of Senate members believe him. They just gave him billions to continue use illegal and immoral "war." Democrats want us to believe this is just the first step in some strategy to eventually force him to stop the "war." September is now being touted as the crucial time. If we aren't making "progress" by September then we''s not clear what we'll... It is clear, however, who will define progress (guess). There is absolutely no reason to believe that by September we will have managed to do the impossible - subdue Bagdad and Iraq. Now that the Iraqis know that September is the crucial time do you think they are going to stop killing us as fast as they can? If anything they will step up their efforts. Indeed, Bush already knows this as he has predicted that August will be a particularly bloody month. So what in the hell is the point of going on with this madness. How many more of our troops will be sacrificed between now and September because this madman and his henchmen are unable to admit defeat? And the democrats went along with prolonging this agony. Do they really expect some miracle to occur by September, like we'll all wake up and realize this has all been nothing by a truly bad dream? What do they expect is going to happen other than what is already predictable. This is nothing but blood for oil, blood for oil, blood for oil. If only those stubborn Iraqis would sign over their oil rights we could withdraw some of our troops (and leave enough behind to protect our interests). After all, what are permanent bases for? And a 104 acre embassy with 27 buildings? Sure Bushie, we'll leave when asked. When pigs fly or you tell the truth for once in your life (I bet pigs will fly first).

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Senators like war

The Senate voted 80 - 14 to give Bush all the money he asked for to continue his insane illegal war. Obama and Hillary cleverly didn't vote until the issue was already decided. They safely voted no. It has become clear there is no hope that the democrats will act to end this horrible war. They are now in support of it along with the Republicans. And why not? It's good for business. Look at the Stock Market at record highs and still climbing.

It seems to be common knowledge that Condi Rice and her group are trying to use diplomacy with Iran and others while Cheney and his warmongers are doing what they can (along with Israel) to stir up a war with Iran. That Dick the Slimy, you have to give him credit, he certainly knows on which side his corporate toast is breaded. I guess there are just no limits to how much profit our corporations will seek, their greed is totally unbounded, just like the guy that won 86 million in the lottery a while back and announced that his ambition was to become a billionaire. I guess it's just the American way.

I wonder why the democrats keep pursuing all their investigations into Republican wrongdoing as they seem to have no intention whatsoever of doing anything about it. If they really wanted to do something they have had plenty of evidence for months, even years, that would easily have led to impeachment. Apparently the whole thing is little more than a charade, allowing democrats to pretend to be doing something while at the same time just going along with whatever Bush/Cheney desire. You notice that people are now speaking of "Cheney democrats." Cheney seems to be the godfather, the one that keeps the racket going, the endless war that just pumps more and more money into the pockets of his mobsters. He's not only bought the judges, right up to the Supreme Court, but he also controls the media (except for the internet, so far). He is apparently untouchable as even with his poll numbers lower than a snake's belly he continues to survive and thrive (notice how far Kucinich has got with his attempt at impeachment). It's really quite amazing and, for me at least, impossible to understand (is it mass blackmail, or just the money, or both). Did he study at the feet of the late J. Edgar Hoover?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

National service

I am completely opposed to a draft, if a draft means forcing our young people into the military. On the other hand I am frightened of a strictly volunteer army (and especially frightened of private military organizations such as Blackwater). There is a great danger that a volunteer military and a private army will do the bidding of whoever pays them, rather than acting out of patriotic motives. This is especially true when you have a dictatorial lunatic in charge. So how does one avoid this dilemna?

The idea of national service might be one way. I know many people think this is a terrible idea, some even going so far as to equate it with slavery. But that is just nonsense. Let us say, for the sake of the argument, that all of our young people, both male and female, when they reach the age of 18 or graduate from High School, had to serve their country for one year. I don't mean they would be simply put out to dig ditches or perform perfectly menial labor, at least not for the majority of the time. Why could they not specify what it is they would like to do and we would help them to do it as much as possible. That is, if someone wanted to explore engineering, for example, they could be placed in a situation where they could get some experience of that occupation. Or say, someone wanted to become a photographer. Why could they not pursue that interest. There may be some who are, in fact, interested in the military, and they could be placed in situations that would give them that experience. I don't mean to say these young people who spend all their time exclusively on what they want to do. I suggest there would be a curriculum that all would take: modest courses in citizenship, American history, voting rights, the nature of community and good fellowship, and so on.

Such a program would be like a combination of peace corps, civilian conservation corps, education, and on the job training, or something like that. It would have to benefit both the students and the nation. Part of the time they could work on restoring infrastructure, working as student aides for teachers, playing in orchestras or offering other forms of entertainment, helping out in various business enterprises, and so on. It would have to focus on individual needs and interests as well as on national problems. It should be organized in such a way that the students did not feel they were being coerced into doing something they truly did not wish to do. They should be instilled with pride in their country and pride in what they were doing to serve it. This could not be modeled on a military model, nor could it be run as a giant thankless bureacracy. In many cases, depending upon the circumstances, students could continue to live at home. If some could not, or did not wish to live at home, they could be housed in youth hostels. Those interested in culinary career could help to prepare meals. They would have access to libraries as well as movies and tv.

A pipe dream? I don't think so. Other countries already have such systems in place. Many of our young people, perhaps even the majority, have no idea what they want to do when they graduate from High School. There are not always satisfying jobs available to them. Many have far more leisure time than is healthy. Bored, they turn to gangs or drugs, or even crime. What better way to help our young people find themselves, begin to learn things they have interests in, and keep them off the streets. But such a program would not be focused solely on the poorer members of our culture, it would apply to everyone. This would help in spreading understanding between and among different groups and elements of our society.

Such a program would obviously require large sums of money and a cadre of trained and dedicated people to oversee it. This would provide jobs for large numbers of people and would also require lots of supplies and equipment which could be easily provided by companies that now waste their time building tanks and howitzers and nuclear bombs. Such a program would have to be done right and no matter what the cost it would be extremely inexpensive compared to our bloated and unnecessary fake defense budget. If there were not enough young people interested in military careers we could still, by offering enough incentives, recruit military personnel, and we would be recruiting them from a base of informed and dedicated citizens rather from the streets and the slums and poverty.

A program of this kind would, of course, be difficult. But I don't see why it would be impossible. The one thing above all else is that it would have to be designed in such a way as to not result in rebellion and resentment. It would have to be a positive experience and our young people would have to have pride in what they were doing. It would have to be seen as a noble act. Ask both what you can do for your country and what your country can do for you.

Am I a dreamer? I suppose so. The way things are going now it probably doesn't matter one way or the other. What are we going to do to try to recover from the unbelievable mess Bush/Cheney and the neocons have made of our wonderful country? How will we explain to the rest of the world the nightmare years of the beginning of the 21st century? Will we ever be ready to rejoin the world community with pride or will we simply remain a pariah, little more than a third rate country that once was the envy of all? To overcome the disaster Bush/Cheney have created is not going to be an easy task. It will require leadership of a kind that seems to be sorely lacking at the moment. Republicans have been dedicated warmongers for the past six years. Democrats have now joined them. Where is our FDR or Churchill? Do such leaders even exist anymore?

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Is anyone truly surprised that our Democratic leaders caved in so quickly to give Bush precisely what he has wanted - a bill with no withdrawal date? Oh, they did suggest some benchmarkes - but then they decided he should be able to wave them if he wishes. What kind of utter nonsense is this? Do democrats think they were elected in the last election to allow Bush to just continue his insane and fruitless "war?" It is as I have feared for some time now - democrats don't want this endless "war" to end any more than Republicans. There is absolutely no reason to believe that we are ever going to withdraw our troops from Iraq. Bush is now secretly sending even more troops, apparently up to bring the total up to 200,000. The Pentagon is making plans to provide troops for years to come. The city-sized embassy is progressing as are other permanent bases. If the Iraqis can be coerced into signing the oil bill giving most of the profits to the oil companies we might withdraw a few troops. But obviously we would have to leave some to protect our "interests." If they refuse to sign the bill we'll have to stay anyway to protect our interests. If Bush thinks the Iranians are going to help us steal the Iraqi oil I think he is going to be very disappointed.

There is a report that the Iraqi army is being prepared for the rapid evacuation of our troops. What this is all about is a mystery to me as I can see no conceivable withdrawal in any foreseeable future (short of being forced out against our will). It is being reported that the British will withdraw their troops (in another two years)? Is this merely wishful thinking on the part of the Iraqis? Could they possibly think that because the British will be leaving we will also? I don't think so. I really don't know what this is all about. But I don't believe we will be leaving Iraq anytime soon no matter who becomes President (unless it might be Richardson or Kucinich).

I do not believe there will be any immigration bill passed this year in spite of all the talk about bipartisanship and hard work. The proposals they are making are simply absurd on the face of them. A $5000 fine and an eight year waiting period, after having returned to the homeland? A massive new wall? Some kind of new point system to decide who is worthy and so on. It just isn't going to fly. It's too complicated and impractical.

I began reading Anthony Bourdain's book, Typhoid Mary. Interesting, but if you eat a lot in restaurants I don't advise reading it. It will make you feel that many of the unpleasant things you think might happen in restaurant kitchens actually do happen. We seldom eat out these days, mainly because there are no real restaurants here in Bonners Ferry and with the price of gasoline, driving very far to find a decent restaurant is most unrewarding. Besides, Linda is a super cook and excellent foodstuffs are available here: chemical free Highlands beef, chemical free pork and lamb, venison, buffalo, even yak steaks, free-ranging chickens, organic vegetables, the works. On top of that we have a super dentist, super mechanic, super library, super bookstore, and great neighbors. There are no hurricans, tornadoes, tidal waves, floods (where we are located), poisonous snakes, snails, termites, or what have you. Of course there are ticks and mosquitoes and the airport is too far away. But what the hell, you can't have everything (but we are close to it). See Bonners Ferry and live! But don't come here, it's getting too crowded already.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Pathetic hypocrites

Pathetic, laughable, hypocritical, childish, forgetful, desperate, dishonest. All terms that can easily be applied to our current Republican Senators and Representatives. They have the gall to complain that Waxman is issuing too many supoenas. Apparently they can't remember the hundreds upon hundreds of supoenas they issued in their completely partisan-driven dishonest attempts to discredit the Clinton administration. Similarly, when it comes to impeachment, the inveterate and destructive lying of Bush/Cheney is ignored even though lying (about a relatively trivial consensual sexual affair) was the basis for the Clinton impeachment. Similarly, they apparently find nothing dishonest about trying to defend the absolutely indefensible behavior of Alberto Gonzales. Nor do they seem to care about the treasonous outing of a CIA operative, torture, and other war crimes. Now that the shoe is on the other foot, so to speak, and Democrats at least have the power of the supoena, you might think all the rules have suddenly changed. They're like a bunch of children whose hands have been caught in the cookie jar and just won't admit it.

Not only are they criticizing Waxman for exercising his constitutional duty, they are complaining about the fact that Congress is investigating them at all. Congress, they say, should stop investigating and do more legislating. Like, it's not as if there is nothing to investigate. Merely the lies that led us into this illegal and disaster "war," along with scandals upon scandals upon scandals. Now that they have been caught red-handed violating the constitution, international law, U.S. law, and even the most basic of moral principles, they just want bygones to be bygones. I guess it never even entered their pin-sized brains that they might somehow be held accountable for their crimes. I guess they relied too heavily on good ol' Karl to produce an iron-clad one party system (dictatorship) in which there would simply be no accountability. Too bad they just can't take their ball and go home.

I sincerely hope that John Bolton is not, at the moment, truly speaking for the Bush/Cheney administration. Or if he is, he is merely saying what they might wish to do rather than what they are going to do. Bolton, as you doubtless know, insists we should go to war with Iran. Why should we do this? Because Iran is going to develop a nuclear bomb. Imagine that! A country surrounded by many unfriendly nations, including Israel, that have nuclear weapons and they have the nerve to want them also? Do I believe they are, in fact, trying to develop nuclear arms in spite of their claims to the contrary. Of course they are. Or they certainly ought to be. They would be quite insane if they did not want nuclear arms, given the environment in which we have placed them. Persia is an ancient and sophisticated culture, a land of poets that has attacked no one for eons. Does anyone really believe that if they developed a nuclear bomb they would rush right out and drop it on Israel or anyone else? Of course they wouldn't. They're not crazy. Unlike Bush/Cheney they have the intelligence and foresight to at least consider the consequences of their actions. Actually, I don't believe Bush/Cheney or Bolton care whether they have a nuclear bomb or not, this is just an excuse for their long-standing desire for regime change in Iran, just another example of the insane meddling of the U.S. in the affairs of the Middle East which brought about 9/11 in the first place. We have existed for many years alongside a Russia with enough nuclear bombs to destroy the entire earth. Many other countries now have such weapons. If the Iranians suddenly had one it would make little difference other than allowing Iran a bit more freedom from our meddling in their affairs. Nuclear armed Pakistan is a much greater potential threat than Iran could ever be. And don't forget, the U.S. started Iran down the road to nuclear power in the first place.

Will Alberto resign? What if he doesn't. Give him a slap on the wrist and let's forget the whole thing. These are strange times indeed.

Saturday, May 19, 2007


You are probably all aware of the mongoose problem in Hawaii. If not, quite a few years ago a planter there had the idea that if they imported some mongeese they would eat the rats that were a problem. As it turns out this was not a very good idea. The mongeese were diurnal whereas the rats were nocturnal. So nothing happened to the rats while the mongeese turned their attention to birds eggs and such and became and remain a serious problem.

In Australia a man who had emigrated from England was a bit of a sportsman. He enjoyed hunting rabbits. There were no rabbits in Australia so he had a friend send him twenty or so, so he could hunt them there. Another disaster. The rabbits had no enemies in Australia and in that warm climate could breed all year round. So the rabbit population soared until there were millions of them and they devastated much of the environment. Hunting them didn't even make a dent in the growing population and to this day they still poison them and build huge fences to try to control them.

Another Australian had the great idea to import toads. There were no toads in Australia, just some frogs. The toads were meant to eat the cane beetles that infested the cane fields. Turned out the toads couldn't jump high enough to reach the beetles so...another disaster. Toads now overrun Australia. There are millions upon millions. They have helped destroy the ecosystem and created still another disaster.

Perhaps you haven't heard of the great beaver problem in Argentina. It seems some people there thought importing beavers was a good idea as they could sell the pelts and make money. So some 50 beavers were imported and set to work. As there were no natural enemies of the beavers, and as the country was ideal beaver country with lots of the right kinds of trees and many streams and rivers, the beavers thrived and now constitute a terrible problem.

There are many other such cases I am sure. It is often the case that even good intentions go astray. For example, many thought that eliminating Sadam Husein was a good idea. Perhaps it was, but the Iraqis now wish he was back as their conditions now are worse than they were to begin with. And you can see what trying to introduce democracy at the point of a gun does to a country.

Why is it that human beings insist on meddling everywhere. We seem to be not content with anything anywhere. We dam the rivers and destroy the salmon runs. We overfish the oceans so that many species of fish are virtually extinct. We overlogged the forests and damaged rivers and streams. We have radically changed the environment so that many species no longer exist. We shot all the Passenger Pigeons and tried as hard as we could to shoot all the buffalo. We killed whales like there was no tomorrow. And on and on and on. We seem to be inveterate meddlers and we meddle in things we more often than not when we do not understand the consequences, look at the pharmaceutical industry, for example, or genetically engineered food, or the implications of nuclear power, strip mining, etc., etc. Shoot first and ask questions later seems to be our motto when it comes to most everything. You might think that if something is suspected of being potentially harmful we would refrain from using it, but we don't. Our plan is to use it first and see if it has harmful consequences later. Good planning, huh?

People were not always so:

"We were contented to let things remain as the Great Spirit Chief made them. They were not; and would change the mountains and the rivers if they did not suit them."
Chief Joseph

It appears that many of the changes we have wrought do not suit us and in some cases it is too late even to do anything about it. Our existing capitalistic system is not very conducive to doing the right thing. Can we do better from now on. We had better hope so.

Friday, May 18, 2007

No Class

There is going to be a vote of no confidence on monday for Alberto Gonzales. Why? It would seem to me a complete waste of time. Everyone with a brain larger than a split pea already has no confidence in Gonzales. He should be fired. And if Bush refuses to fire him he should be impeached (along with Bush/Cheney would be ideal). Apparently there will be a vote of no confidence in both the House and the Senate. There is a suggestion that Republicans might filibuster in the Senate to prevent a no confidence vote. What? There are Senators that believe we should have confidence in Gonzales? If so, we should have no confidence in them whatsoever. In the House there is nothing Republicans can do to stop a vote of no confidence. So...there will probably be a vote of no confidence, and Gonzales will be told once again he should resign.

If Gonzales had any "Class" he would of course resign. But as the entire Republican establishment has no such class he may continue to resist. If Bush/Cheney had any semblance of class they would have resigned long ago. With their record of almost unblemished incompetence, if they had been Japanese leaders they would probably have committed suicide by now. If they had been leaders in most other cultures they would almost surely have either resigned or been forced out of office some time ago. But they have no class and, I suspect, don't even recognize it when they see it. I think it is most interesting that Americans don't even expect them to resign. That is an implicit recognition on the part of the public that these are truly classless individuals.

There is more to this, however, than just a lack of class. Bush/Cheney and the neocons that lied us into this disastrous "war" don't believe they have failed (at least not yet, if ever). Why should they? They have made unbelievable fortunes for their corporate cronies. They have managed to keep the price of gasoline at exorbitant levels. They haven't yet given up on their plan to coerce the Iraqis into signing away their oil rights to the big oil companies; although they may not succeed they are still trying. One of the benchmarks the Iraqis are supposed to reach are the signing of the oil bill drafted in Washington D.C. They haven't even necessarily given up on their plan to control the Middle East as they still threaten Iran and Syria (pretty hollow threats under the circumstances).

Rudy Giuliani is either too stupid to know what Ron Paul was talking about or, if he did know, tried to get in a really cheap shot. He is a complete phony with no credentials other than having lived through 9/11 (for which he was totally unprepared in spite of the previous bombing of the trade center). The fact that he is apparently leading in the Republican polls tells you a lot about the dismal state of the Republican Party. All ten of these candidates together wouldn't make a pimple on a real candidate's butt. They seem to be in agreement that we need more "war," more torture, more bodies at Guantanamo, more tax breaks for the wealthy, and the usual Republican drivel. I guess they need Thompson or Gingrich to lead them into their glorious future as ex nitwits.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

What's a guy gotta do?

What on earth does someone have to do nowadays to be held accountable? This latest account of Gonzales and Card visiting the ailing Ashcroft in the hospital to coerce him into signing something illegal, apparently with the help of Bush himself, has to be the absolute last straw. Gonzales is already guilty of violating the constitution repeatedly, lying to Congress, mocking the Geneva convention, politizing the Justice Department, and who knows what all else and so far has escaped any accountability at all. If this latest "adventure" in corruption and illegality doesn't result in firing, impeachment, or even jail time, I don't know what might. Of course Bush and Cheney should have been impeached long ago, along with their neocon war criminals, but somehow no one seems to care enough to actually do something.

I am beginning to believe that the attempt to establish a dictatorship in the U.S. is not simply a Republican plot to take over. There clearly has been an attempt to establish such an all powerful administration answerable to no one but themselves, run by huge international corporations, putting virtually all financial power into the hands of a few and reducing the mass of humanity into little more than serfs and peasants (as in the good old days of long ago when we had Kings and such). But this attempt involves Democrats as well as Republicans. Democratic leaders will take their place in the hierarchy along with Republicans, and will share in this new and all powerful organization. How else can you explain the unwillingness of Democrats to do anything to stop the massive corruption, multiple scandals, obvious war crimes and repeated blatant violations of our constitution? They have to be in on it and, of course, they get their funds from the same corporate teats as the Republicans. This is not just a Republican thing, it is an unprecedented collusion between Republicans and Democrats to change the very nature of our system of government. Anyone who doesn't play along just gets ignored and pushed out of the system (think Kucinich, Byrd, Wellstone, and even some of our Generals who refused to just go along).

I confess I thought Ashcroft was an absolutely terrible Attorney General. I was so pleased when he was replaced even though I was skeptical of Gonzales. But little did I know just how corrupt Gonzales was and how bad things could really become. I must say I have new respect for Ashcroft for refusing to sign an illegal document even when pressured when he had so little strength.

It appears that Iraq is on the verge of complete collapse. Bush is now reduced to having to go "hat in hand" to Iran for help. The Iranians know we are weak and would much rather deal with a weak President that what could be a much stronger one down the line. In other words, the Iranians are going to win and Bush/Cheney are going to lose. The Iranians, far more clever than Bush/Cheney could ever be, will allow us to withdraw with at least some saving of face, but they will get what they want and we, with our trillion dollar investment and wasted troops will get nothing, not even the coveted oil deal. The worst foreign policy blunder in American history is grinding to an end, a disaster of such monumental proportions as to boggle one's mind. Will Bush/Cheney and the neocons walk away unscathed? If they do the United States will be held in utter contempt by the rest of the world, probably forever. The "war" certainly has been more than good for the military/industrial/political complex that spawned it. Wall Street has loved it.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

On taxes

Is there no connection between taxes and what is going on in our country? You notice that when our politicians nowadays talk about withdrawing our troops or adding troops or whatever they always say something to the effect that "it depends upon what is going on on the ground," or some such thing. A sort of practical idea. But when they talk about taxes they say they'll never raise them. How can they be so sure? What if something unusual happens that requires additional revenues, like a Katrina disaster, or an additional war, or whatever? Of course we all know what they say isn't what they will do, but even so, why do they always announce they will not raise taxes (the implication being, no matter what). Remember Daddy Bush, "watch my lips, no new taxes?" Now today Romney said he would never raise taxes. This seems to be just another mindless Republican credo. You have to give John Edwards credit for saying he wants universal health care and he'll pay for it by increasing taxes on the wealthy. What a refreshing statement. Republicans are fond of saying "tax and spend liberals." The obviously favor borrow and spend. Eventually we will have to raise taxes in order to bail out of this enormous debt. It will probably happen during a democratic administration (see the self fulfilling system here). Democrats will have to raise taxes to pay for Republican irresponsibility, they will then be seen as raising taxes, which will result in a new Republican administration. At least thats the way it's supposed to work. I suspect this won't work any longer because the current Republican administration has been so discredited it may not survive at all.

I'm all for taxing the rich. No one needs a hundred million or more a year that they cannot spend no matter how hard they might try. The only conceivable result of having that much money is that they will have much more money the following year, and the year after that, and eventually they will have all the money and the rest of us will return to serfdom (is this not what is happening right now). What ought to happen in the best of all worlds is that we would not only tax the rich, we would also reduce our false "defense" budget by half, and we would have so much money to spend on health care, education, infrastructure, and so on we might actually become the greatest country on earth. Imagine that, the greatest country on earth, instead of just another third world has been.

I guess the Republican ten had another debate tonight. I didn't watch it. I couldn't watch it. I might have had a heart attack as listening to their mindless drivel enrages me. Besides, it's all we're going to hear and read about for the next few days anyway. Unless, of course, there's another high speed chase in L.A. or some blond bimbo gets bumped off, or they manufacture another fake war hero, or O.J. claims to write another book, or whatever. Anything to keep our little minds off the failed "war," or the prosecutor scandal, or the Abramhof scandal, or any of the other countless scandals of this administration. Oh, I forgot, Falwell died. We'll hear a lot about that for a while. Thanks Jerry, it's just what we needed.

Would it not be sensible to acknowledge that there is indeed a relationship between taxes and what a society requires instead of just mindlessly repeating the manta, I WILL NOT RAISE TAXES!

Monday, May 14, 2007

They hate our freedoms?

Oh wad some power the giftie gie us
To see oursels as others see us!
It wad frae monie a blunder free us,
An' foolish notion.
Robert Burns, To a Louse (1786)

When you hear that Muslims attack us because they hate our freedoms you should know, of course, that is nothing more than typical meaningless Bush/Cheney/Republican goodbleygook. First, if Bush means it when he claim everyone desires freedom and democracy, and we are the one country that (presumably) personifies those values, then it follows they should admire us rather than hate us. So why might they hate us? I think it is telling that no one ever tries to look at the problem from the Iraqi point of view (after all, along with the Iranians and others, they are just a bunch of towel heads).

Consider, for example, the fact that for thousands of years they have lived in a culture that prescribes for women a style of dress that literally covers them from head to foot, with even their faces mostly covered (you don't have to approve of this to acknowledge that it is so). They are aware that we do not share that practice and, indeed, allow our women to routinely appear in public virtually nude. We also provide sexually explicit motion pictures and so on. From their point of view this is clearly immoral. Perhaps they hate us because of our immorality?

For most of our history we have meddled in the affairs of the Middle East, supporting dictators when needed, overthrowing governments when we felt like it, exploiting their resources, and even sending missionaries to tell them how to live. When was the last time a Muslim missionary came to your door to tell your wife how to dress? Perhaps they hate us because of our arrogance and disrespect?

They also know that we indulge, and even overindulge in alcoholic drink, which their religion does not allow (perhaps some of them do on the sly). In general they do not drink or approve of drinking alcoholic beverages. Perhaps they hate us because of our drunkenness and drunken behavior?

Back in the 1960's and 70's we helped found the Israeli state on land that had been occupied for a very long time by Palestinians. Thousands of Palestinians were forced to leave their own country to make way for the Israelis. We were complicit in this. Perhaps they hate us because we helped steal their land and continue to look the other way while the Israelis take over more of it?

The Palestinians, and since our occupation, the Iraqis, have been brutalized and murdered, in many cases even though they were completely innocent of any crimes or misdeeds. We have bombed their villages and cities, killing civilians at random. We kick in the doors to their houses, arbitrarily arrest their menfolk, sometimes rape their women, and humiliate them in virtually every way possible. Perhaps they hate us because we occupy their country, brutalize them at will and lack compassion?

We premptively attacked their country even though it was no threat to us, a blatant war crime. We have tortured, jailed, and hidden their citizens with no recourse even to habeas corpus. Perhaps they hate us because of our war crimes?

We took it upon ourselves to rid them of a brutal dictator and have created a situation that is so terrible they wish he was back. We did this with virtually no knowledge of their culture or religions and no regard for the consequences. Perhaps they hate us because of our stupidity?

Even now we continue to occupy their country while trying to force them into signing away their oil to our huge oil corporations under terms that are exceedingly unfavorable to themselves. Perhaps they hate us because of our greed?

We promised to rebuild what we destroyed but have criminally failed to do so. We brought in American companies to do what Iraqis could have done themselves if given the chance. They now have problems with electricity and water and transportation, and much of their superstructure and no signs that this will improve in the near future. Perhaps they hate us because of our incompetence?

Even before our illegal and immoral attack on their country we forced them to live under sanctions that resulted (it is estimated) in the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children. Since our occupation thousands more children have died or become crippled both in body and mind. It is estimated that as many as two million Iraqis have fled their country because of the civil war we created through our ignorance. We have accomplished nothing by all this violence and destruction other than enriching those corporations who thrive on never ending war. Perhaps they hate us because of our war profiteering?

No, it couldn't be any of the above. What right to these unfortunate people have for a point of view? They just hate us because of our freedoms, those very freedoms we are slowly losing as a result of this horrible disaster we have wrought. Will no one be held accountable?

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Out of the loop?

Is Mitch McConnell out of the loop? Does he not understand what is going on in Iraq? He says Republicans are very upset with the Iraqi government because they haven't signed an oil bill or dismantled the Baath Party. The oil bill, which is being cited as one of the "benchmarks" the Iraqis have to overcome, was written in Washington D.C. and blatantly favors the huge oil companies at the expense of the Iraqi people. Of course they haven't signed it. And they probably won't sign it. And if they are ultimately forced to sign it they will rescind it at the first opportunity. And why not? As far as the Baath Party goes, it was dismantled, a horrible mistake. Now we are trying to reinstate much of it. Where has McConnell been? He also said if they ask us to leave we will certainly do so. Where does he get that idea? As I recall, Bush himself once made such an apparently ridiculous claim. It sounds good when you say it, but of course there is no truth to it. We are not going to leave Iraq, even if they sign the oil bill. After all, we have to leave troops there to protect our interests. Even Hillary, Obama, and all the other candidates know this. Talk of leaving Iraq short of being driven out is just more Republican poppycock.

Chuck Hegel has now said that come fall Bush may find himself standing alone. It seems to me he is pretty much standing alone with Cheney already although most Republicans seem unwilling to actually come out and say so. Hegel claims that the 11 who met with Bush only represent the tip of the iceberg. If so the remainder must be staying under water for the time being. What are they waiting for? Apparently September. But as that perennial favorite song of the middle-aged says, "it's a long, long time, from May to September." The way things are going September may never arrive and if it does it may be too late.

It is being claimed by someone or other, who claims to know, that our Generals will revolt if Bush/Cheney keep the "surge" going into next year. Could we be looking forward to an unprecedented military coup here in the U.S.? Things are getting desperate indeed.

Now Cheney says we can talk with Iran, but only about Iraq. That's generous of him. But what if the Iranians want to talk about more than that? I guess Cheney will just tell them what's what. Like, please help us with the situation in Iraq so we can go ahead and steal their oil? Dick the Slimy is even more delusional than Bush. So why does anyone continue to listen to either one of them? By now most everyone seems to know what's happening, that Bush/Cheney have no credibility, and that the situation in Iraq is a complete and total disaster. But so far no one except Kucinich seems willing to try to do anything about it. He did get one more Congressman to sign on to his impeachment bill so there are four now. All the rest of the Congresspersons are still sucking their thumbs and waiting for a miracle to save them from having to actually take some action. The miracle ought to be if any of them get re-elected.

The "war" on poverty lost. The "war" on drugs lost. Vietnam lost. Afghanistan about to be lost. Iraq lost. The U.S./Israeli war against Lebanon lost. But we sure showed those savage people in Grenada and Haiti how powerful we are. Maybe we shouldn't fight so many "wars" until we grow up? We could at least legalize drugs, certainly marijuana, if the pharmaceutical, tobacco, and liquor industries would let us. But no, let us continue this multi billion dollar failure along with our Iraq failure. We have to play the cards we've been dealt, right? Bush was apparently not dealt any cards. He's the greatest loser of all time and there is no chance he's going to give up his record.

Honoruru, I was once told, is full of Hoodrums. So is Washington D.C.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Encouraging and discouraging

Can you believe it? There was actually some encouraging news today. Hillary said we needed lower tuition for Colleges and Universities and we also need to reform the student loan programs. Hooray! As tuition has increased in recent years far ahead of inflation we desperately need some improvement.

I am also encouraged by a report that Israel is apparently at least saying they will give up more of the West Bank settlements in the interest of being able to form a Palestinian state. I'll believe it when I see it, but it is the most encouraging sign I've seen in the Israeli/Palestinian problem for years. Interesting that the Israeli/Palestinian issue is the most important single problem facing the Middle East and yet none of our Presidential candidates even mentions it.

Discouraging news comes from General Benjamin Mixon who reports that he doesn't have enough troops to control his part of northern Iraq. I believe it is quite unusual for a General to publicly announce that he needs more troops. Perhaps this was done to embarrass the Bush/Cheney administration as they are running out of troops to sacrifice for oil. I like to hope this might be the case but of course I don't know.

At the very moment that General Mixon is asking for more troops in Iraq Dick the Slimy is threatening the Iranians with all kinds of warnings and whatever. The Iranians are certainly smart enough to recognize empty threats when they see them. With too few troops to control Iraq it seems unlikely we are in any position to attack Iran. I don't know if Cheney is just totally divorced from reality or if he has some motive that ordinary people can't understand.

I finally saw the movie "Bobby" tonight. I thought the last 10 or 15 minutes was very good. The bulk of it struck me as rather soap-operaish. But, then, I'm not much for movies anyway. My father thought movies were for children. I think he was right. It's all just make believe.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Keystone Cops

Where are the Keystone Cops when you really need them? I am convinced they could do a better job of running a country than our current crop of elected officials (and at least one who was not truly elected). I am not thinking merely of Republicans or just the Bush/Cheney administration. As near as I can tell the whole bloody lot of them are a bunch of helpless lunatics who have no more connection to good government than they do to the rings of Saturn. Think about it.

We are being led by a bunch of obvious war criminals with the blood of thousands upon thousands on their hands. Do you ever hear anything about war crimes on our MSM? Of course not. If you hear anything about the conduct of the completely illegal, immoral and unnecessary "war" it is to the effect that the war criminals who are leading it are not good enough at it. This is simply ridiculous.

Our foreign policy is largely dictated by Israel even though Israeli interests are not always the same as our own. The Israeli lobby is so powerful no one can speak out against it no matter how outrageous Israeli policy towards the Palestinians becomes. Even though we support them to the tune of billions every year we never threaten to withdraw our aid no matter how many times they blatantly violate UN rules and regulations. And they have, in fact, violated UN regulations far more than any other country in the world, including Iraq. We aid and abet them at every turn. Ridiculous.

How about Katrina, the deadly Hurricane that left New Orleans a shambles, and a shambles it remains to this day. Government promises to rebuild, etc. have not been met. People are living in trailers that are poisoned by toxins and are just told to open the windows. Thousands have left and are unable to return. The rebuilt levees are known to be faulty, and etc. This, too, is ridiculous. Now in Kansas, a town completely destroyed by a tornado, they are having trouble helping because much of their National Guard equipment is in Iraq.

Ah, yes, Iraq. A great success there. In spite of billions of dollars wasted on war profiteers, many American lives lost, more years than WW II, we are no closer to success than we were in the beginning. If, indeed, there is any possibility of success. This phony "war" is the worst foreign policy disaster in American history -what are we doing? Why, continuing it, of course. Democrats, swept into office presumably to get us out of Iraq have proven to be every bit as hopeless as the Keystone Cops, perhaps worse. They submit a bill to Bush that calls for withdrawal knowing full well he is going to veto it. He does so. They back down on withdrawal. Now they play with funding until July when they will consider more funding. What a farce. They talk about benchmarks when it is obvious that Bush will ignore any such benchmarks if he feels like it. And they will do nothing. Impeachment is "off the table." This is super ridiculous. Kucinich, the only one with any sense of decency at all, submits articles of impeachment against the vice-president (who is the most deserving person to be impeached probably in all of American history) and everyone just ignores it.

Now we have the case of our Attorney General who just obviously stonewalls to protect the White House. When asked by a Congressman whether Bush submitted the name of Iglesias for removal Gonzales answered no. Did Cheney submit it? No. Did Karl Rove submit it? No. Did you submit it? No. None of your aides submitted it, so who did submit it? I wish I could tell you that, Gonzales replies, smirking just like his boss. It looks like he is going to get away with this as long as Bush refuses to fire him. Apparently he could be impeached but with our current bunch of witless, spineless, apparent fellow travelers he almost surely won't be.

In the six plus years Bush/Cheney have been in office there has been nothing but lies and scandals one after another. They are never held accountable no matter how outrageous the lies or the scandals. A homosexual prostitute in the White House for no obvious reason. Ignore it. Outing a CIA operative, an act of treason. Ignore it. Torture people in direct violation of International law. Ignore it. Massive corruption by many Republicans. Ignore it. Politicizing the Justice Department. Have hearings and do nothing. And so it goes, on and on and on. No one is ever held accountable for anything. Both sides of the aisle are basically hopeless do-nothings. The Republican Congress for six years did virtually nothing at all other than fatten the wallets of the huge corporations and the already filthy rich. The Democrats, so far, have done nothing to change this, and probably couldn't anyway because Republicans still have enough power to block any major changes.

We have just about destroyed our marvelous army and Marine corps. The situation is so bad that even retired Generals are on TV challenging Bush/Cheney, a virtually unprecedented situation. Are we doing anything about it. No, we're just continuing to fund this utter disaster while more and more of our troops come home in body bags or psychotic trauma or missing body parts. Democrats and Republicans alike treat our troops like they are pieces on a chess board that can be played with however they choose. Four dead one day, eight the next, two more, three more, what the hell, "war" is like that. And they did volunteer. But we do support the troops. We put stickers on our cars and fly American flags, and talk about how brave they are and how well they are doing. Unhappily, they are doing well, as well as can be expected under the circumstances (lack of adequate equipment, body armor, etc.). Don't worry, better Humvees are coming (four years too late). What has been allowed to happen here is totally disgraceful, even criminal. There is no end in sight. If only our Iraqi puppets would just sign away the right to their oil we might think about withdrawing a few of our troops.

We have, I am sorry to say, a government of clowns. From top to bottom the most inept, incompetent, useless bunch of (presumably) human beings ever assembled. Any idea that government is supposed to be of the people, for the people, vanished long ago. Government now exists for the exclusive benefit of huge, greedy, rapacious, corporations and the one percent of citizens with so much money they are untouchable. Never mind a nation half slave and half free. We now have a nation one percent free and the rest slave. Credit cards have become the functional equivalent of slavery, the only difference being that massa can't whimsically beat you whenever he feels like it.

Give me the Keystone Cops anyday. At least they were honestly inept.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Baldface lies?

Just what is a baldface lie? Indeed, is there such a thing? I have been using that phrase for as long as I can remember. My wife, who is from a different part of the country and a different generation entirely uses it also. However, it does not appear in my handy dandy dictionary of cliches. It only appears there as barefaced lie. I conclude that baldface lie must be a local variant, perhaps a western thing.

According to my wife a baldfaced (barefaced) lie is a lie someone tells when they know it is a lie. Fine, but that doesn't explain why it is called a baldfaced one, or even a barefaced one. It is suggested that it has something to do with the absence of a beard although what that has to do with it eludes me. Anyway, consider some examples. When Romney says he has been a hunter all his life, when in fact he has only hunted twice, once as a boy and one other time, does that constitute a baldfaced lie? I would certainly think so. As his Mormon brethern are loading him with money I guess they don't care if it is baldfaced, barefaced, or even a lie.

How about when Bush said Iraq was trying to get yellowcake from Africa? Cheney and others knew that was not true. Did Bush know it was not true? Was it a baldfaced lie or just an ordinary lie, or perhaps, from the mouth of an innocent, not a lie at all? Personally, I think it was a baldfaced lie. Iraq has weapons of mass destruction. A baldfaced lie. They have planes capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction to the U.S. Another baldfaced lie.

When Condi Rice said no one expected the terrorists to use a plane was that a baldfaced lie? Yes, I fear it certainly was. When Cheney insisted on a connection between Sadam and Osama? Bigtime baldfaced lie. Indeed, our vice-president, Dick the Slimy, has to be the all time champion of baldfaced lies. I'm doubtful that he ever told the truth in his life. Again today he insisted that progress is being made in Iraq - at the very moment those in the green zone were being warned to wear their flak jackets because of the mortar fire into that presumably safe zone. Someone once said, you can go to hell for lying, the same as stealing. If that is so, and if I were Dick the Slimy, I'd be worried as hell.

There are also such things as little white lies. I don't believe any the hundreds or thousands of lies told by the Bush/Cheney administration ever come under this rubric. If there is one thing that characterizes the Bush/Cheney administration it has to be their unrelenting, persistent, monumental, deliberate, calculating, blatant lies. And these lies have not been told to us in order to protect us from something. There are no noble motives behind the lies of this criminal administration.

Then there is the phrase, lying through one's teeth. It has been suggested that the teeth might signify a smiling, shameless lie. Now it's pretty obvious that most if not all of these Republicans lie through their teeth (how could they not, they have the best dental insurance money can buy, unlike the forty or so million Americans who don't). If you have teeth you have to lie through them. I don't know about the smiling part but there is little doubt about the shamelessness. It is perfectly obvious that neither Bush nor Cheney have any shame (or guilt either as near as I can tell). If they experienced either of those emotions they would have resigned long ago.

A delegation of 11 Republican Congressmen had a 75 minute private meeting with Bush, Rice, Snow, and others in the White House (I guess Cheney wasn't there - too bad) and told Bush very bluntly that he has no credibility and has to stop lying about the situation in Iraq. I am not certain that Bush has the capability to stop lying about it and it remains to be seen if he will accept their advice (he never has accepted any up until now). I guess they suggested he leave the assessment of progress in Iraq be left up to General Petraeous. In other words, get someone else to do the lying. I guess we should see this as a positive development and a further example of the cornering of the rats, many of whom have already abandoned this sinking ship of state. Now even some retired generals are going on tv protesting this stupid illegal slaughter.

35,000 troops have been told they will deploy to Iraq in August. This, they say, will allow the surge to continue into 2008. Remember, in January the surge was to last three months, then it was to be September, and now it is to be sometime in 2008. Bush/Cheney have no intention of ever withdrawing from Iraq, certainly not until they can force the Iraqis to sign over their oil to Western Corporations. As this is one of the conditions the Iraqis have to meet, and as they are not stupid enough to give in to it, there is no end in sight. Where are the democrats? Sucking their thumbs, as usual. Never have so many spineless few done so little for so many.

Watch out! Watch out! The Iranians are coming! We might have to talk with them!

Monday, May 07, 2007

The benchmark

Bush/Cheney's illegal "war" will be over soon. No later than September. That is the benchmark being set by the Republicans, although they don't call it that. But for all intents and purposes the whole immoral episode will have to end no later than September. General Petraeus has said September is the month we should know if the surge is working. Now Boenher, the minority whip has said September, as has Trent Lott. So now that they have informed the Iraqi resistance that September is to be the witching hour, so to speak, there is no doubt it will have to come to an end. The Iraqis are not going to let up on their attacks knowing that we have to show progress by September. And as we have far too few troops (even with the recent addition of 28,500) to actually control Bagdad and the rest of Iraq, there is nothing we can do about it. There is not going to be any plan B. The only plan B will have to be withdrawing our troops. Unless, that is, you believe that if things aren't better in September Bush/Cheney will try to unveil some new military strategy. As the pressure is intense now for withdrawal do you think they will find a receptive audience for more military action? I don't think so. As I believe this is true we might as well pull out now and save untold further unnecessary deaths. What is the point of continuing a pointless campaign that is almost certainly destined to fail? Of course I could be wrong. With mindless Republican drones drunk on the kool-aid there is no telling for sure what they might do - like even bombing Iran and hastening the end of the world.

Watching McCain's tirade about Osama bin Laden and what he would do to him after "following him to the gates of hell," leads me to believe that McCain has entirely flipped his lid, so to speak. He finished his emotional outburst with a smile that was completely inappropriate, almost schizophrenic. And his behavior in general over the past couple of months has not been what I would regard as entirely normal. Giuliani and Romney are both phonier than three dollar bills, obviously willing to say anything, no matter how far fetched, to get the nomination. The rest of the undistinguished ten white man field seem to be on personal ego trips. Perhaps it will be Hegel to the rescue.

Having given up on CNN a long time ago, and having never ever watched Fox, I have been watching MSNBC. As of now I vow never to watch Hardball again, as long as Chris Matthews is featured. He is the most hopeless interviewer I have ever seen, unable to keep his mouth shut even long enough to let his guests finish speaking. His interview today with Tenet was so bad I had to just turn it off and give up. And of course I can't watch Tucker Carlson without becoming ill. I'll stick with Olberman for a while longer. I am beginning to suspect that CNN with Glen Beck, Lou Dobbs, and that dreadful Nancy Grace just doesn't want any regular viewers. Along with the MSM in general they don't seem to understand that they are driving us more and more to the internet. I am even thinking of cancelling my subscription to our only local newspaper of note. I hesitate only because it does have some local news that I can't get on the internet. In terms of what we need to know the MSM have become actually subversive. Corporate control of the Press and TV has to go.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Idaho's Bill Sali

Bill Sali, refreshing change or poison pen. You decide. Thanks to Red State Rebels who are monitoring Sali I can report the following votes:

He opposed aid to victims of torture. This bill passed 418 to 7.
He opposed easier access to business loans. This bill passed 380 to 45.
He opposed funding for scientific research 397 - 20.
He opposed restrictions on maritime pollution 359-48.
He opposed restrictions on dogfighting and cockfighting 368 - 39.
He opposed protection for whistleblowers 331 -94.
He opposed funds for the National Science Foundation 399 - 17.
He opposed head start programs 365 - 48.
He opposed technological innovation 385 - 23.
He opposed control of noxious weeds 390 - 10.
He also voted against the Hate Crimes Prevention Act (the only vote where he voted with all other Republicans. And, like them, he supports the "war" in Iraq.

Now you have to admit this is a far cry (a refreshing change?) from the rubber stamp votes of Craig and Crapo. A far cry indeed. Indeed, it is so far out one might say it borders on some form of insanity. Is this really what Idahoans voted for when they put this loony tunes in Congress? Perhaps this might have been expected from someone who insists that abortions cause breast cancer (in spite of all the evidence to the contrary). Maybe he is really an alien from outer space sent here to humiliate the citizens of the state of Idaho. He certainly was placed here by out of state interests - the infamous anti government Club for Growth that pumped around a million dollars into his campaign. We had an outstanding Democratic candidate who came close to being elected. But this is Idaho - Democrats are regarded as out of the mainstream (unlike Sali). Way to go Idaho! We don't want no sensible, responsible, informed, intelligent Democrats when we can have a really outstanding guy like Bill (the Martian) Sali. Put one hand on the telly vision and one hand on the afflicted part (your brain) and perhaps you will one day see the light. Oh, I forgot, this is Idaho, a state apparently so red it is sizzling away to oblivion. Bill Sali is leading the way. Keep up the good work, Bill!

I am comforted to know that we have experienced military people like Rudy Giuliani, with his vast foreign policy knowledge, planning for our military (we need ten more combat brigades) and keeping us safe from 9/11 (where were you Rudy in the months and years before 9/11? I also have lots of confidence in Romney, who managed to hunt his whole life without a license, and never flip flops on the issues. I'll put our Super Eight against their Dismal Ten anytime, but only if they promise to play by the rules for once (sometimes even I expect miracles).

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Crazy ideas

Crazy ideas. Republicans seem to be fond of them. For example, Rudy Giuliani has now said he believes we need 10 more combat brigades. We already have the largest defense budget in the world. In fact, larger than all the rest of the world combined. And we have the most sophisticated weaponry in the world. We have no serious military enemies at the moment and probably won't have in any foreseeable future. But Rudy thinks we need ten more combat brigades. That is a crazy idea. I read somewhere the other day that some people believe Rudy is crazy. Now that he has suggested doom if a Democrat gets elected president and now wants more troops I think maybe he is. As our defense budget only exists in part for defense and more importantly to feed our military/industrial/political system it could probably be reduced by 50% and it would make no real difference in the defense of our country. Who are we so afraid of? Be honest.

Another really crazy Republican idea they keep harping on is that if we don't fight them there (in Iraq) we'll have to fight them here. Bush/Cheney keep repeating this even though it is an idea so crazy and stupid it makes no sense whatsoever. When we leave (fat chance) the Iraqis are going to jump into their massive naval armada and chase us home to invade the U.S.? They will use their superior air power to attack us here on the U.S. mainland? Perhaps they will bridge the Atlantic so they can bring their thousands of tanks and howitzers across, chasing our troops all the way. The idea that this would happen is nonsense, utter and complete nonsense, and so absurd there may be some Republicans who believe it (certainly no one else could possibly believe it). It is Republican BALDERDASH.

This is not to say there could not be a few terrorists who might try to enter the U.S. (if there aren't a few already here) and commit some terrible acts against us. But there is nothing stopping them from doing that now. And we do have a very expensive Homeland Security system that is supposed to protect us. Do you think Bush/Cheney are so worried about Iraqis attacking us here because they know they are guilty of faking homeland security (as far as I know we are still virtually defenceless against acts of terrorism). In fact, if terrorists want to attack us here they would be well advised to do it now before our 160,000 troops and 100.000 mercenaries return home.

Still another crazy Republican idea has to do with believing they have any chance whatsoever of retaining the White House or the Congress. Bush's rating is now 28%, Cheney's is much lower. The American public has made it clear they want us out of Iraq but the Republicans persist in supporting this "war." They believe this is going to give them a chance in 2008? This is in the same unreal ballpark as admitting you don't believe in evolution but want to be president. Where do they even find these people?

I had the misfortune last night of having to watch Blood Diamond. Here at Sandhill it is not always possible to avoid such things. How Hollywood must have drooled when they first saw this script! Perfect for the box office. Deals with a current topic, diamond mining, virtually unlimited violence and killing, non-stop shooting, explosions, killing innocent women and children, cutting off hands, the works. Interestingly enough there was no sex (I guess they thought that with all the action they didn't need sex so it was just kind of suggested). The fact that the plot was completely far-fetched and the female lead was less than convincing didn't matter a bit. It was a rousing non-stop bloody murderous depressing motion picture. Oh, I know that such things are really happening in Africa, but they didn't have to go completely overboard on it. I don't recommend it, especially for children. Leonardo was pretty much okay and the black actors were fine. I have always expected Hollywood to make a slapstick picture about buses and trains on their way to the Gas Chambers, but with a romantic interest as well. I will be content to go without it.

Friday, May 04, 2007

The ultimate absurdity

I would never have believed in a thousand years I would actually hear a candidate for President of the United States admit, on national tv, he did not believe in evolution. The three that confessed to that might as well have said, I am an idiot and I want to be President. We can't fall much further than this. What has our nation become when candidates for President can split over whether or not evolution occurred? Even elementary school children are more sophisticated than that. At least I sincerely hope they are. This is disgraceful. I have no doubt the entire world is laughing out loud. One idiot President is enough. I wanted to say the civilized world but I no longer believe any of us are truly civilized.

Bill Richardson is right. All troops out of Iraq now. ALL TROOPS. NOW! I don't know what else Richardson might want but I say impeach Bush/Cheney, charge them with war crimes, and have done with the total disaster they have brought on the world. This mindless, useless killing simply cannot continue. Our troops are not toys for Bush/Cheney to play with, nor are they playing with monopology money. Enough in this case is far more than enough. We must end this madness. If Bush/Cheney refuse to stop they will have to be pushed aside in favor of sanity. If the cowardly Democrats won't do it let's we the people force them to do it. After all, it is our country - or at least it once was. And while we're at it let's take our country back from the corporate thieves that have stolen it. Are we never going to learn that what's good for GM is not good for the country. Are we never to learn that some things are too important to privatize. Wake up America, this charade has played itself out.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Letting bygones be bygones?

Does Nancy Pelosi truly believe in letting bygones be bygones? Like, it's not as if Bush snubbed her for her best girlfriend when they were in the eighth grade. We're talking here about murder, arson, rape, and pillage on a massive scale. Multiple war crimes. So Pelosi takes impeachment "off the table?" Does she really mean to just overlook the war crime of the century? Perhaps she has some secret plan for accountability that we don't know about? Sorry Nancy, this is not a time for letting bygones be bygones. Bush/Cheney must be held accountable. It is your constitutional duty to see that this happens. So get with the program. NOW!

The Democrats caved. I guess it was a foregone conclusion. Now they are supposedly negotiating over benchmarks. What a farce. They can set all the benchmarks they want, Bush/Cheney will simply ignore them and/or Bush will just sign another of his famous signing statements saying that he doesn't have to follow them. If either the Democrats or the Republicans wanted to stop this phony illegal "war" they could do so right now. It is obvious they don't want it to stop.

One also can only laugh at their desire to have neighboring countries help them in Iraq, countries like Syria and Iran, for example. What are they saying to them - please come and help us steal Iraqi oil? Here we are intervening militarily in a once sovereign nation 6000 miles away that was no threat to us (or anyone else at the time) and we have the gall to tell Syria and Iran to stop allowing insurgents to cross into Iraq? This is carrying chutzpa and hypocrisy to entirely new levels. No, I guess not, Bush/Cheney have done worse. Many believe that Bush has gone AWOL from the Presidency. Cheney has been quiet of late. Rice continues to babble on in various parts of the globe apparently with little or no success anywhere. She has got photo-ops down to a science. I guess maybe that is progress.

Our monthly Democratic meeting this evening. The topic was education and how we fund the schools (with periodic levees). Some believe you simply must vote for every levee because we have to support our schools and the Democratic platform says we must support public education. I don't believe this has to be interpreted in such a way that although you support education in general you have to support every individual school no matter how rotten it might be. Furthermore, why should we have to vote on levees every year or two in the first place? The reason is simple enough, our Republican controlled legislature over the last years simply refused to adequately fund the schools. And who votes time after time for the Republicans? Why none other than most of the school administrators and teachers. Other states don't have to vote levees constantly to barely fund their schools. Indeed, many states are proud to fund their schools and want them to be first class. Here in Idaho we think we are lucky to fund our schools at the most basic levels possible. Some said tonight we should demand excellence in our schools and go for levees much higher than we have in the past. Terrific idea. But the idea of excellent schools in Idaho, if possible, is only possible in the very distant future. Of course if we could elect a Democratic legislature it might become possible. The issue, as it seems to be framed, is that the Democratic party is obliged to support the levees. So I say, okay, let's say we do, that doesn't mean that every Democrat individually has to vote for the levee (it is a private ballot after all). Interestingly, and predictably I guess, everyone politely ignored the fact that both our Superintendent and Principal are authoritarian vindictive bullies that violate the civil rights of the students and the Idaho code of education, to say nothing of questionable spending priorities. Hey, this is Idaho, the most red state in the union, what would you expect? In the end we focused on the solution for all problems - we suggested a committee.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Viva Edwards!

I must say that John Edwards jumped a few hundred points in my estimation today when I saw him with Wolf Blitzer and he said "Bush has to be stopped." This is a belief I share wholeheartedly. Edwards insists the Democrats not back down and keep sending him bills with a deadlines for withdrawal until he will have to stop this dreadful "war." Virtually every sentient being on the planet (except for Bush's moronic base) want this killing and destruction ended. A majority of Americans want it ended, Iraqis want it ended, many of our Generals want it ended, troops want it ended, Democrats want it ended. Who doesn't want it ended? Republicans. If there was any doubt about who wants to continue the war and who doesn't it was made plain when the Republicans (with apparently only two exceptions) refused to vote with the Democrats. How Republicans can continue to support this dismal failure of a President along with this illegal and immoral "war" is something I fear I will never understand. I think it tells me something about human behavior I'm not sure I want to know. Indeed, I'm no long certain that these Republican supporters are fully human as they seem to lack both reason and empathy. They obviously have no regard for human life and nothing but contempt for their fellow citizens. Perhaps it is just case of "follow the money."

Bush assured us the other day that if Condi encountered her Iranian counterpart she would not be rude. She has now assured us that she will be polite. What did they expect, that she would punch him in the mouth? The utter nonsense that emanates from the mouths of Republicans never ceases to amaze (this is more true of our dimwitted President who apparently sets an example for the rest).

At least two Congresspersons have joined Kucinich in his attempt to impeach Dick the Slimy. I pray to the Great Mystery there will be more, many more. If ever there would be a "slam dunk" it would be impeaching this warmongering war profiteer who has proven to be a serial and pathological liar. I cannot think of one single thing Cheney has been right about. I have come to the conclusion that he has some kind of strange condition such that he is actually unable to tell the truth. He can't shoot straight either.

It seems the Gonzales problem has gone from being simply a politcal one to a possible criminal one. Apparently Ms. Goodling was hiring people based upon their political loyalties which is against the law. As this is how the Bush/Cheney administration hired people to work in Iraq why would they not have done it in this case as well. It also looks more and more that this particular scandal is leading directly to the White House. There ought to be a law that states whenever the number of scandals is higher than the age of the President multiplied by 213 he ought to be relieved of his position.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


According to our local conservative rag, The Spokesman Review, terrorist attacks increased by 91% in the past year or so. It also reported that this April was the worst month for our troops (over 100 dead) in the last four years. On the positive side it was reported that secular Iraqi deaths have declined (because they conveniently stopped considering car bombings). We are supposed to believe that progress is being made? The "surge" is working? That somehow we are going to (miraculously) "win?" Now Bush has vetoed the bill Congress sent him as it suggests a deadline for withdrawing our troops (while at the same time giving him more money than he asked for). Why is he doing this? Because, as I have said repeatedly, Bush/Cheney have no intention of ever withdrawing from Iraq. This is why there was no post war planning. Congress should send him another bill with the same insistence on withdrawing. If he vetoes that, they should send him another just the same. Don't bet they will. It appears the whole thing is little more than a charade. Bush will please his base (of utter nitwits) while the Democrats will pretend for while to make some points with the anti-war crowd, and then they will all agree on some kind of cockamami plan to insist on unenforceable goals that will just be ignored. All of this going on at the same time people everywhere are spelling out impeach with their nude bodies, candles, and what have you. Will Pelosi be able to keep impeachment off the table? I hope not.

When Bush was asked what Condi Rice would do if she encountered her Iranian counterpart he said she would not be rude. I did not make this up. I actually heard it on tv. Later he said Wolfowitz had brought to the World Bank the idea that it should deal with poverty. I'm not kidding. He actually said these things.

Don't be misled (as I was for a time) into thinking Gonzales is simply an empty headed moron who can't remember anything and doesn't know what's going on. He's falling on his sword for Bush. He has to act like a complete nitwit because if he did anything else he would have to give away the truth about this totally corrupt administration. This is why Bush can say he has even more confidence in Gonzales, he is doing what he has to do. It can't be pleasant pretending to be a complete fool but when the stakes are high enough it has to be done.

I doubt there is any truth to the rumor that the Bush's have bought a huge ranch in Paraguay. But the way things are going at the moment, if they didn't, perhaps they should.