Monday, December 31, 2007

Think of the starving

Steals a car, tire blows, steals
another, engine fire, steals
third, police spikes.
Not his day.

When I was a little boy and refused to eat stuff I didn't like, like spinach, broccoli, egg yokes, oatmeal, and such, my mother used to say, "think of the starving Chinese," or, somewhat later, "think of the starving Armenians." It never occurred to me that more than seventy years later I would be thinking of the starving Americans. I'm sure that in the 1930's there were starving Americans, too, but I didn't know anything about them, being a child and living in a remote part of the world (Wallace, Idaho). But, then, I didn't know that America was the richest nation on earth and still tolerated starving citizens, as it continues to do to the present day. Now I know about it, and I'm not happy about it. It's disgraceful, unconscionable, despicable, unnecessary, and immoral. It's the American way, at least the American way under the control of the Brafia. What was it Bush claimed to be, oh, yeah, a compassionate conservative. Hahahahaha, I guess he put one over on us.

Well, surprise! It turns out that both John McCain and Barak Obama have ties to corporate America. Hillary's ties to corporate America are right out in the open, McCain's and Obama's have been off limits until now. One might admire Hillary for at least not being hypocritical about it. Of course anyone who believes all of the candidates do not have such ties is probably pretty naive (Edwards is supported by the lawyers, I guess technically not a corporation. Kucinich is probably the only really clean one of the bunch). I read that Edwards is "coming on" in Iowa. That seems to mean he's gained two or three percentage points. Big deal. By friday morning we should know what happens in Iowa. Thank god, at least that much will be over.

I still don't have my computer! They said it would be maybe a week. It's now been more than a week. Everyone lies these days. They take their cues from Bush/Cheney who have apparently made lying acceptable. On my wife's desk there is a book entitled Moral Politics by George Lakoff. I haven't read this book. I think Moral Politics is probably the world's most blatant oxymoron. What do I know? Lakoff is supposedly godlike when it comes to language. Will I read this book? Probably not, I do not believe politics and morality are compatible. Besides, it will be too complicated for my aging brain to contemplate. One of the things I notice about aging is that you have less and less tolerance for ambiguity. I still believe right is right and wrong is wrong. And I can tell you with the assurance of my many years that Bush/Cheney and their gang of thugs are wrong. Completely and totally wrong. Murdeously, hatefully, viciously, unconscionably, greedily, rapaciously, and unforgivingly wrong. They make me want to believe in hell, and rotting there, but unfortunately I just believe in justice and think they must be held accountable.

Although I have struggled for years with the problem, I still do not understand the existence of evil. I know that it exists. But I don't know why. Nor do I know what can be done about it (apparently nothing). There is evil and there is super-evil, this latter seems to be a characteristic of the late 20th and 21st centuries. I think super-evil probably began during the Second World War, but that is a long and complicated story.

I sincerely hope that you all will have a better 2008. So Happy New Year!!!

"All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."
George Orwell

Sunday, December 30, 2007

End of the year

If there is anything I dislike more than Sundays it is the last day or two of the year. We are about to be treated to a review of all the disgusting developments and "news" items of the year 2007. I don't want to review all of this either sad or absurd detritus that washed up in the past year. It was bad enough the first time around. Furthermore, I'm not sure I look forward to the New Year with a great deal of optimism. More people will be losing their homes, more people will be without medical insurance, more people will die in Afghanistan and Iraq, our infrastructure will disintegrate a bit more, we will be fed more lies, and more and more women will pose claiming to have lost weight and be sexier than ever, while erections will be guaranteed, providing you don't have liver damage.

On the political front we will have to endure more pretending that we have a choice of candidates while the corporations continue to run everything behind the scenes. You can be certain we will have no chance to elect a Kucinich, and most probably not an Edwards or a Paul. We will probably have a choice between Hillary and Romney (two candidates guaranteed not to upset the status quo). All of the troops will not return home from either Iraq or Afghanistan, the huge international corporations will continue to haul in the big, big bucks, and, in fact, very little will change (even if Obama gets elected which I doubt will happen- he's black, you know, or at least part black - it only takes a touch of black blood to make you black). Hillary is a woman, of course, but she's a corporate woman and the next best thing to a Brafia (if not a Brafia). Bush/Cheney will continue to escape even any minimul accountability for their multiple war crimes and stomping all over the Constitution.

I know I sound terrible and my pessimism is unbearable. Convince me that I am wrong. Give me even a semblance of hope for this poor, lost nation. Hold me and tell me things are going to be okay. Where is my mother when I need her so? I feel like I am trapped in a culture of the absurd. In short, "Drop kick me Jesus, through the goal posts of life."

I just finished a fine book, When Nietszche Wept, by a Psychiarist at Stanford, Irvin Yolum (I think that's his right name). A very clever fictional account of an obsession and the beginnings of Psychoanalysis. I recommend it. However, I'm certain if Nietszche were alive at the moment he'd be weeping much more copiously.

I still don't have my computer back. I miss it. It's like a friend. At least it doesn't rip up the furniture or kill the birds like my other three more furry friends. Here at Sandhill we continue to have snow, cold, and ice. We look forward to the Iowa caucuses although I could not tell you why (I guess there is just nothing else to do this time of year). Be of good cheer (I dare you).

"Every American ought to have the right to be treated as he would wish to be treated, as one would wish his children to be treated. This is not the case."
John F. Kennedy

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Intelligent Design?

Angry because of dog in the shower
with them, woman is arrested
for assaulting lover.

These fundamentalists do not give up easily. Now there is a move afoot in Texas to sneak intelligent design into the science curriculum under the guise of questioning what is wrong with the theory of evolution. These are the same people who insist on believing the earth is only 6000 years old, even though geologists have known and been satisfied with the facts for much more than a hundred years.

The only excuse for these people is what is apparently their incredible ignorance of anything apart from the bible. How anyone with even a rudimentary idea of human history, from the hordes of Genghis Khan through the Crusades, the Inquisition, the discovery and colonialization of Asia, Africa, Siberia, Australia, and the Americas, could see anything of intelligence therein totally escapes me. Human history is nothing but one long account of murder, arson, plunder, torture, and rape. How can this dismal record be perceived as intelligent? As I have said several times before, if there was such a thing as intelligent design there would be no human beings. I believe this to be every bit as true as the theory of gravity (which we know less about than we do about evolution). The only way one could think otherwise would be to believe there is an exceptionally malicious intelligent being who designed a murderous species just for his/her amusement, sort of a global version of Roman entertainment only without the thumbs up. Please, can't we have done with this utter nonsense and approach the world and our place in it with at least some degree of honest curiosity? The fact that one of the leading candidates to be President of our country does not believe in evolution I find terrifying. I am terrified enough of the present occupant of that position who thinks intelligent design should be taught along with evolution (but, then, we all know where he was when brains were passed out). We are, hopefully, beginning to understand the dangers of mixing religion and politics, at least I hope we are. I, for one, do not want a President who believes the earth was created in six days, that people were contemporaneous with dinosaurs, That you must have a beard or wear a certain kind of hat, or that underwear is sacred. If there are people who truly believe these kinds of things, let them stay out of politics and high office.

Pakistan is a mess. Afghanistan is a mess. Iraq is a mess. We are now virtually without allies, a debtor nation, and an international pariah. God bless the King!

If all human misery
resulting from greed and war
could be distilled into a single drop
and cast into the oceans
it would poison all mankind
for eternity -- and more.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Who done it?

Arrested for domestic violence
woman wipes her nose on
policeman's shirt.

Ah, Bubblehead, always nice to hear from you. I guess you are right, Pakistanis are probably too incompetent to provide security (even though Musharif had agreed to be resonsible for it). And no doubt Bhutto stood up in her SUV out of sheer stupidity, not thinking she might have been relatively secure. And speaking of the underground Brafia headquarters, has anyone ever located Cheney's secret hideaway or does he just move from one to another at random?

So who done it? I have seen several explanations already. Some think Musharif was responsible. Some think al Quaida is responsible. First she was shot and then bombed, someone else suggested a sniper. Now we're told she didn't die from gunshots or shrapnel but, rather, from a broken skull. One essay today placed the blame on Bush, another claimed there were all kinds of people who might have wanted to kill her. Still another claimed there was no autopsy (so how would we know what actually killed her). The Taliban has also been mentioned. I'm surprised the Brafia hasn't suggested it was all Bill Clinton's fault. Huckabee may come up with the answer if he can manage to locate Pakistan. Ron Paul says we should leave Pakistan alone and mind our own business. Giuliani wants more troops. McCain says he knows exactly what to do (this seemed to involve immediately getting on the phone and calling Musharif). In short, it's an incredible mess. One essay suggested that like JFK we will never know (this seems like a good bet).

The Democratic candidates, at least Hillary, Obama, and Edwards are neck and neck in Iowa, Hillary and Obama are neck and neck in New Hampshire but the polls are all meaningless and no one really knows anything about what will happen. It's more exciting than the Kentucky Derby. Too bad the focus is on the race rather than on the prize. But, then, does it really matter who wins the prize? If any of these candidates win so will the medical insurance companies and the rest of big, big, business (all due respects to Edwards whose eyes are bigger than his stomach).

I haven't heard lately how Wexler's attempt to impeach Cheney are coming along. The MSM, for some reason, don't seem interested (they're too busy losing circulation). Can anyone think of anything the Brafia has done for the citizens of what used to be this great nation? Does anyone believe Cheney (and Bush) don't deserve to be impeached? Does anyone believe the Iraq "war" should end as soon as possible? Does anyone believe our children should have health insurance? Does anyone believe our troops should come home? Well, I've got news for you, the Brafia doesn't give a damn what you think.

"The First Amendment has erected a wall between church and state. That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach."
Justice Hugo Black

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Bhutto killed

It could not have come as much of a surprise that Bhutto was assassinated. She had feared for her life for a long time and had asked for tight security that was promised her by Musharif. So where was it? How could it have happened that a young man with an automatic pistol and a bomb could get so close to her? Obviously there was a breakdown in security. But why? If you ask yourself who would gain from her death it is obvious that Musharif stood to gain. But does that make him guilty? He, of course, blames terrorists (everyone blames terrorists nowadays for everything). What would the terrorists have gained except, perhaps, chaos? In any case she is no longer a player in Pakistan politics and apparently there is no one to take her place. Thus Pakistan is in an even more precarious situation than before this unfortunate event. What I find the most interesting about this development is that Bush phoned Musharif and insisted that Pakistan go ahead with their elections, scheduled in just a few days. This seems to me strange advice unless Bush thinks his buddy Musharif will win and his dictatorship will continue (so much for Bush's interest in democracy). Dodd, with his many years of experience, says the elections should be postponed until Bhutto's party can regroup. If this does not happen there would only be one other candidate to run against Musharif and he is not regarded as having much chance (of course the election will be "fixed" in any case). If they were to wait there would be at least a chance for a democratic election.

Who among our Presidential candidates stands to benefit from Bhutto's death? I guess it is obvious that those with the most experience would be the ones. This means Hillary and McCain, because Dodd, Biden, and the others have already been dismissed. Richardson came out with the most incredibly stupid idea of all, insisting that Musharif resign and leave the country truly in chaos (with all those nuclear warheads up for grabs). How Osama bin Laden must be loving this! Not only has he managed to get Bush to do everything he wanted, and got everyone flying to remove their shoes and stop taking their toothpaste, he's now created an even more safe haven for himself in Pakistan (if, indeed, that's where he really is). What would Osama have done without Bush? Not much, I suspect.

I guess Bush/Cheney could try to reinstate a draft, raise a military force of two or three million, put the country on an all-out war footing, and invade Afghanistan. That seems unlikely at the moment and would probably fail anyway with Bush at the helm. So just what in the hell are we doing in Afghanistan anyway? Everyone knows we can't possibly "win," and it's a completely lost cause unless the goal is to promote endless war (which, for Bush/Cheney and their Brafia, it is).

The only "war" they seem to be winning is the war on the middle class. The war on drugs has been completely lost, and the war on poverty never even got off the ground. We lost the war in Korea, lost the war in Vietnam, are losing big-time in Iraq and Afghanistan, lost in Lebanon, and will lose for certain if we foolishly try to take on Iran. But who cares if we're losing everywhere, the military/industrial/political complex is making money hand over fist. It's a great time to be alive, if you're a CEO or a national politician. So let's hear it for war!

"You must be ready to burn yourself in your own flame: how could you become new, if you had not first become ashes?
Thus Spake Zarathustra

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Iowa nonsense

Shot dead for dropping his pants
and attacking cars on the freeway
cops say drugs may have been involved.

Someone suggested today that the only real purpose of the Iowa caucus is to bring attention to the state, the funcional equivalent of the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. I think that must be the case. Certainly the few Bible Belters that participate in the selection of delegats that eventually decide on an Iowa candidate for President do not speak for me. That what is about to happen in Iowa has any genuine significance with respect to who eventually becomes President I believe is doubtful in the extreme. And why what happens in Iowa should influence what happens in New Hampshire and Florida seems to me even more far-fetched. The Iowa polls are pretty meaningless and hardly a basis from which to predict. Even so, I will go out on a limb (just to be in the game) and predict that Hillary will win for the Democrats in Iowa and Huckabee will win for the Republicans. I won't bother to explain my rationale for
these picks but this is what I expect to happen (as you know, I am often wrong. I would like to be wrong about this).

I learned an interesting thing today. Pigs cannot be eaten in certain areas of the world because they have cleft hooves (feet) but are not ruminants. Deer can be eaten even though they have cleft hooves because they are also ruminants. Deer have now taken to lying down in our backyard and chewing their cuds (they apparently have four stomachs like cattle). You see, you do learn something new every day. Of course there is no guarantee that what you learn is necessarily true.

Some kind of evil and vicious alien captured my computer which is now in the hands of the Geek Squad (and they don't work for peanuts). I am writing this on my wife's laptop that I find awkward. I'm not certain if my fingers are too big or the keys are too little. I have no idea how this disaster came about - none whatever.

Is Kucinich even on the ballot in Iowa? I mean could he be picked by the caucus? During the last election when we caucused here in Bonners Ferry Kucinich actually was picked as one of the two from here (the other was Kerry, of course). The MSM and the powers that be behind them must be terrified of Kucinich, given the lengths to which they have gone to ignore and/or denigrate him. I wonder how many votes he could get if given a fair chance? Why is it that Ron Paul gets so much support when he has no more chance than Kucinich? American voters certainly perform in devious ways; they elected Nixon, Reagan, and Bush. Things can't get much stranger than that (unless, of course, they decide to elect Giuliani, Romney, or Huckabee).

"There is an inevitable divergence, attributable to the imperfections of the human mind, between the world as it is and the world as men perceive it."
James William Fulbright

Monday, December 24, 2007

Believe it or not

Believe it or not there are still some people who support Bush/Cheney and the Brafia. After seven years of incessant lying, violations of the Constitution, flagrant war crimes such as torture and profiteering, the indiscriminate killing of innocent civilians, dropping illegal bombs, virtually bankrupting the nation, and scandals as far as the eye can see, some 28% or so of Americans still think Bush/Cheney are okay. I find this impossible to understand, short of believing that 28% must be either totally uninformed or quite mad. I guess these people must be those who get their news exclusively from Fox (the rest of the MSM aren't much better) and listen only to Limbaugh, O'Reilly, Coulter and the rest of the hatemongers. I realize that this is America and people are entitled to free speech and all that, but that doesn't mean you have to believe everything you hear, especially from such obviously prejudiced sources. One only has to hear the sound of Limbaugh''s voice to know he is lying, and the same is true of O'Reilly. And Coulter is so far gone off the deep end, so to speak, it is obvious she is just making things up to outrage and make big bucks. These miserable no-talents are doing the equivalent of falsely yelling "fire" in a crowded theatre and not being held accountable for it. Of course nowadays, under the Brafia empire, there is no such thing as accountability.

Does anyone believe that the White House was not involved in the destruction of the torture tapes? The politicization of the Justice Department? The doings at Abu Ghraib? The Israeli attack on Lebanon? The Abramhof scandal? The Plame scandal? The theft of elections? I do not know a single person who thinks they are innocent of these things. Of course I don't know any members of the Brafia so my horizons are limited. But even though a majority of Americans now know how bad Bush/Cheney have been, and even though there are increasing calls for impeachment, things just continue as if there are no problems at all. Bush/Cheney continue making their speeches, reporters listen but do not question, and the charade continues.

I have not yet decided who I will vote for, as I know I will not be given the choice to vote for Kucinich. But the first candidate who will announce publicly they will seriously attempt to hold Bush/Cheney accountable for their war crimes will get my vote.

"What makes Western civilization worth saving is the freedom of the mind, now under heavy attack from the primitives...who have persisted among us. If we have not the courage to defend that faith, it won't matter much whether we are saved or not."
Elmer Davis

Saturday, December 22, 2007

On the warpath

First, some exciting news from Boundary County:

Local businessman Tom Hollingsworth, a Democrat, has announced his candidacy for an Idaho Congressional Seat, District One. Boundary Country has not had a representative in Boise for twenty years. Not only is it unusual for Boundary County to field a candidate, the fact that Hollingsworth is a Democrat makes it even more unusual. But not only is Tom a candidate, he's a much more than average candidate. He has been very active during his twenty year residency here, serving on many different committees and in different roles. He is currently Chairman of the Boundary County Planning and Zoning Commission and is known for his common sense and fairness. He will be a wonderful representative for North Idaho and I urge everyone to support him.

Linda Langness, an 18 year resident of Boundary County and a superb cook, has just started a new blog entitled, In Linda's Kitchen. If you are interested in food (and who is not) you should follow this blog: A new restaurant is opening on the Eiffel Tower. They report the place will be accessible to all, with lunches starting at $108, and dinners at $216. I must be missing something.

The Lakota Indians, of Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse fame, have announced they are seceding from the United States. This is an absolutely fascinating development. As you doubtless know, American Indian Tribes are supposedly Sovereign Nations. But if the Lakota are Sovereign wny do they have to secede? I assume this must be because they want international recognition for their sovereignty. They have approached Venezuela and Bolivia, among others, for recognition. If any country recognizes their sovereignty then presumably the United Nations would also. They have canceled all of their treaties with the U.S. as they say the U.S. has violated all of them. Remember, the Lakota cover parts of Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming. Somewhere I saw where it suggested one could join them if one was prepared to give up their U.S. citizenship (personally, I would not like to live in the area). This is going to be interesting. Obviously the U.S. is not going to allow this to happen. And equally obviously the U.S. could make them completely miserable (more miserable, that is, than we have already made them). The U.S. could make it impossible for anyone to travel there without a passport, could keep people from going to the Indian Casinos, cut off supplies, and etc. I wonder what it is, specifically, the Lakota are going to demand. And will the U.S. negotiate at all, let alone in good faith. What if there is violence? Will the U.S. Military become involved, or just local police? Will Bush/Cheney send in their Blackguards (I mean Blackwater) as they did during Katrina? With their experience in killing and raping innocent people the Lakota should be a pushover for them. Maybe they'll just send in the Cavalry. General Custer was certainly successful in dealing with uppity Indians. Of course Wounded Knee showed them what's what (I have no idea what's what is anymore). Might I suggest that if the U.S. had been honest and honored all the treaties this would not have come about. Can you imagine that we are going to be fighting Indian wars in 2008? I was just informed that some tribe down by San Franciso has said if the Lakota can do it, so can they. It's all very interesting and shows what happens when you lie and refuse to honor your treaties and commitments. You will probably have noticed the MSM have said nothing about this, choosing to ignore it, I gather. I haven't even seen too much about it as yet on the internet. But stay tuned.

Thank god, there's only a few more days until the (probably useless) Iowa caucus. There is no use looking at the polls as they mean very little (especially in Iowa). So will it be Hillary or Obama or Edwards? Will it be Romney or Huckabee? Is it really going to make any difference? At this point I just want it to be over, I don't even care who wins (as I'm sure it won't be Kucinich, the only candidate worth voting for).

"The Constitution does not provide for first and second class citizens."
Wendell Willkie

Friday, December 21, 2007

What is it?

Italian court refuses "Friday" as
infant's name, insists it would bring
shame and ridicule. Suggest Gregorio

What is it about reporters when writing about female candidates? In an article today ostensibly focusing on Hillary's ability in foreign policy I find the following:
"...Clinton is a 'leader who can command,' West told students and residents as the candidate, standing straight in a brown pantsuit and pink blouse, nodded and smiled."
They never write like this about male candidates. How about "Romney stood nearby in a tailored brown suit with a pink tie, smiling like a Cheshire cat." Or Kucinich appeared in a hundred dollar suit with a natty silk cravat, looking like a million bucks." Or Thompson slouched on stage in a rumpled grey blazer with a red, white and blue tie, carrying a gun in each hand." Or...but you get the picture. What in the hell does what Hillary is wearing have to do with her ability at foreign policy? Why this obvious double standard? This is not an isolated case. Reporters are somehow obsessed with having to comment upon female attire although they would never so report on males (except, of course, on $400 haircuts or, in the case of Nixon, five o'clock shadow). We'll just have to live with this because there is probably no chance it will ever change.

In the latest Atlantic Monthly there is a fine article on Obama that argues that he is the ideal candidate to bridge the gap between the generations and bring about a new era of bipartisanship. He says there are lots of "good Republicans" who are eager to cooperate and bring about necessary changes. Personally, I see no evidence for this. If there are any such Republicans they have certainly remained hidden up until now. What used to be the Republican Party is no more, having been replaced by the Brafia that scorns politics as usual and operates exactly like a mafia mob, an evil bunch of criminal conspirators that have no other aim than forever profiting at the expense of the tax-paying public. With the exception of Hagel they all apparently kiss the hand of their putative "leader."

Here at Sandhill it is cold. Our weather is going through phases: snow, rain, ice, snow, rain, ice. Today we are in an ice phase. We can barely get up and down the driveway which is not conducive to Christmas shopping (which my son and I only do at the last moment). But it was a nice clear, sunny but cold day today and at one point there were seven deer in our backyard no more than 30 feet from my study window). I think they are smart enough to know that if they stay close to the house they will not get shot. At least, unlike the wild turkeys, they don't come up on the porch and poop everywhere. The skunk, I guess, must be hibernating (smart).

"Women have served all these centuries as looking-glasses possessing the magic and delicious power of reflecting the figure of man at twice its natural size."
Virginia Woolf

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Worth it?

Unarmed jogger runs into bank,
orders people on floor, jumps
counter, takes money, flees.

When Madeline Albright was Secretary of State, and the sanctions against Iraq had killed half a million (or more) Iraqi children, she was asked if it was worth it. She replied that it was. I thought at the time, and still do, this was the most monstrous and ghoulish statement I had ever heard from anyone, anywhere, under any circumstances. Of course she never explained exactly what "it" was.

This morning I gather Bush was giving a Press Conference. It took me a minute to get to the control to shut it off. During that minute I gather Bush was reporting that someone, an Iraqi I suppose, was telling him how things were better now. This raised for me a question. So what? So what if things are better now? Assume that this nightmare was over and we had "won." And assume that things in Iraq were far better than we could have ever expected. Would it have been worth it? A million or more Iraqis killed, two million or more displaced, almost 4000 American troops dead, 35 or 40 thousand more maimed for life, a trillion or more dollars wasted that could have been used here at home for universal medical care, education, rebuilding our own failing infrastructre, and so on. What would we have gained? At best, control over some oil that we could have purchased in the first place? We would have rebuilt a nation that was better off to begin with (even under Saddam) and was no threat to us in the first place. If Bush thinks this was worth it I believe he must be insane.

I am convinced that current American politics is insane. Consider that now someone has made a video of some children saying that Hillary trashed cookie making. Remember, she once said in answer to a question, "should I have stayed home and made cookies?" At worst all this does is make the obvious point that some things are more important than others, especially to different people. Does anyone actually believe that making cookies is more important than running for high public office? For President? For trying to establish universal health care? This in no way trashes cookie making, it merely says there are different priorities and that some are more important than others. Why anyone would dredge this up now and make a video of it indicates to me that our current political system is pathetic.

It seems that Mitt Romney just can't tell the truth about anything. It turns out that his claim that his father marched with Martin Luther King is false. There is no record of any such thing. It is obvious that Romney will tell any lie in order to get the nomination. What is worse, he's the leading candidate (although Huckabee, a bona fide Jesus freak, is coming up fast). This indicates to me, again, that our current political climate is pathetic.

When Alan Keyes was allowed to participate in the recent Brafia "debate" I assumed that he must have had the credentials (an office and staff in Iowa) whereas Kucinich did not. Apparently this was not the case. Keyes should no more have been allowed than Kucinich. Our current political system is pathetic.

"It is told that such are the aerodynamics and wing-loading of the bumblebee that, in principle, it cannot fly...If all this be among bumblebees must bear a remarkable resemblance to life in the United States."

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


If you watched Olberman (Allison Stewart) tonight you will have learned that in three recent polls: Hillary was ahead in one, Obama was ahead in one, and Edwards was ahead in one. No one seemed to think this was particularly remarkable because they all seem to agree that polls, especially at this time of the election cycle, and also especially in Iowa, don't mean anything. I believe this is true. But if it is true, and if it is so obvious to everyone they are meaningless, why do they continue to do and report them? I conclude it must be to give the pundits and television people something to talk about after they have exhausted all the other non-topics about haircuts, cleavage, dress, body language, likeability, kindergarten, dogs, marriages, underwear, who loves Jesus, and whatever. After all, who would want to hear anything serious about Iraq, Iran, the deficit, medical insurance, education, the infrastucture, global warming, impeachment, or things like that. Better to learn who would be best to have a beer with.

I have not been a fan or supporter of John Edwards but I suddenly find myself coming around (as I know I can't have Kucinich, the only candidate who has genuine convictions and could be trusted to act on them). The reason I might be coming around is that in my simple mind it comes down to this: The Brafia is the enemy that has to be defeated. Hillary is part of it. Obama wants to make peace with it. Edwards wants to destroy it. I'm for Edwards on this. It is true the basic problem is the control over our lives exercised by corporations through their bought and paid for Brafia. The only real change will come if we can break this control. Edwards insists he will fight to do this. I do not believe that either Hillary or Obama will (perhaps for different reasons). I have not decided for sure about this but I am seriously considering it.

I must say I am pleased to learn that at last Giuliani's, shall we say, "checkered" past has caught up with him and he is rapidly going down in the polls. He and Hillary seem to continue to lead the national polls by quite a margin but that won't mean a thing depending upon what happens in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Florida. Huckabee won't get anywhere after the Bible Belt, Giuliani is dead in the water, Thompson has all but disappeared, so it may come down to the lying Mormon or the warmongering McCain. Ron Paul may be raking in the big bucks but he'll not get the nomination. In any case, I doubt that it matters who the Brafia candidate is, or even if they have one.

I still cling to my fantasy that the Democratic convention will deadlock and Gore will be threatened with a melting iceberg to accept the nomination. Just imagine, if you can, where we would be now if Gore had actually been allowed to accept his legitimately won Presidency. I know Gore is no miracle man but compare him to any of the others, most of whom, especially on the Brafia side, are little more than bad jokes. Hillary is Brafia, Obama is naive if he thinks the Brafia is going to join him in changing America. Edwards may possibly may possibly make a good start at ridding us of the lying, greedy, dishonest, and conscienceless thugs that have been in charge for too long.

Closer to home, Bill Sali is sending out a Christmas letter in which he mentions building a fence on our southern border, no amnesty, and making English the official language. He reminds me of another Brafia who, when told there were tunnels under the border, said "that's why we need a fence. He didn't mention the abortions that cause cancer. Bill Sali is a nitwit. Vote for Grant.

"For books are more than books. They are the life, the very heart and core of ages past, the reason why men lived and worked and died, the essence and quintessence of their lives."
Amy Lowell

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Three year old boy dies at birthday
party when two adults fall off the
indoor play equipment, crushing him.

The FCC is changing the rules to make it possible for the corporate news companies to own newspapers in cities where they also own TV stations, changing a law that has been on the books for 32 years. As far as I know, no one but these huge corporations want this. But what the Brafia wants, the Brafia gets. What this means, I guess, is they will one more outlet to not give us any news.

Case in point. It is absolutely outrageous that the MSM have not deigned to mention the attempt by Congressman Wexler and his two colleagues to start impeachment proceedings against Dick the Slimy NOW. They wanted 50,000 signatures. They had 30,000 within the first 24 hours. Then they had 62,000. Now they have over 81,000. How many signatures do you think will be required before this actually gets some media attention? I fear that no amount of signatures will ever be enough. The MSM has decided they do not want to even mention impeachment. This is not only shocking, it is also un-American and unconscionable. These media giants have got to go. It should be one of the first orders of business when (and if) we get a new President. There is no way to explain what has happened in the U.S. in the last seven years, and especially what Bush/Cheney have been allowed to get away with, without concluding there is in fact a genuine Brafia at work. A criminal organization that pays no attention to the law or the constitution, buys judges and lawyers, cheats and lies in every way possible. This organization is bigger than either of the so-called political parties and has taken over our country. John Edwards is absolutely right about this. The people will have to act, there appears to be no other way.

What's with Bill Clinton? He's supposed to be the finest politician of our time. But he's done more in the past couple of weeks to torpedo Hillary's campaign than anyone. His attacks on Obama haven't helped. His going off on his own and saying whatever pops into his head isn't helping. Today is a great case in point. He announced that the first thing Hillary would do when she becomes President is send him and Bush Sr. around the world to announce that the U.S. is now going to cooperate and change the policies of Bush Jr.'s administration. Even if this were true it is an absolutely bizarre thing for him to say right now. It is clear that people want change. So how is linking up with Bush Sr. going to bring about change? Furthermore, it calls attention to the question of dynasties - a Bush dynasty now linked to a Clinton dynasty. This cannot be helpful to Hillary. I gather the campaign is having trouble trying to curb him. I think that Bill Clinton has changed since becoming a member of the nouveau riche. He now buddies about with the Bush's and others that had nothing to do with him when he was a poor boy from Arkansas. I guess he's forgiven them all for what they attempted to do to him. Hillary, of course, has always been a closet Republican who is currently "outing" herself.
By the way, George Bush Sr. says he knows nothing about this, wasn't consulted, and doesn't think it's a good idea. Bill, I fear, has diarrea of the mouth.

"I'll not listen to reason...Reason always means what someone else has got to say."
Elizabeth C. Gaskell

Monday, December 17, 2007


Let's see, where to begin?

Ron Paul just set a new one day record for raising funds, around six million. As it is fairly widely believed that he has no chance of actually getting the nomination, how do you explain this? I am not a Ron Paul fan, but only because I do not agree with his extreme libertarianism, especially when it has to do with states' rights. So if he has so little chance why are all these people donating so much money. Is this what is truly meant by "the audacity of hope?"

It seems that Ed Rollins, hired as Huckabee's campaign manager, let slip in an interview that Marcos once slipped ten million in cash under the table to Saint Ronald (and possibly much more than that over time). Want to bet you won't hear much more about it, especially from the MSM.

Speaking of the MSM, notice they are completely avoiding the story about Wexler's attempt to impeach Cheney NOW. Wexler and his two comrades wanted to get 50,000 signatures for this attempt at impeachment. They raised 30,000 in the first 24 hours. The latest figure I saw is 61,000. Hopefully there are more by now. But does this make news? Apparently not for the MSM who remain firmly in the pockets of the Brafia.

Romney apparently just can't stop lying (just like Bush/Cheney). Now he claims to have been endorsed by the NRA when he was running for Governor. But it turns out that isn't true, just as it isn't true the was a hunter all his life, and that freedom requires religion, and whatever. Is chronic lying acceptable to Mormons? Or is it just acceptable when someone is running for office? Now it turns out that Huckabee's claim to having a degree in theology is also not true. Is there anything these guys won't say to get elected? Does anyone care or have we just come to understand that lying is perfectly acceptable when running for office?

It seem the Italians do not want an American base near or at their town of Vicenza. Thousands of them turned out, along with supporters from other countries, to march in protest against this base. I hope this catches on quickly around the world where we have something like 700 other bases protecting us from what? Is there some danger that the Italians are about to declare war on us? How about Rumanians? Poles? Maybe the Swedes or Norwegians? Perhaps the Finns? Just think, perhaps if we didn't have all these unnecessary bases everywhere our children could have medical care and better schools (just daydreaming).

Thank god for Chris Dodd whose single-handed bravery at least slowed the Brafia down until next year. Perhaps by then he can enlist some help and do away with this absurd piece of legislature forever. We do not need immunity for companies that climb in bed with the Brafia to break the law.

If you have never read Orwell's essay, "Politics and the English Language," you should. It is amazing what politics does to language and how different individuals interpret statements. The recent flap over Sheehan's (I think that's his name) comment that the Brafia would use Obama's drug use against him is a case in point. It was a perfectly true observation but it resulted in his getting the sack from Hillary's campaign (it was regarded as a dirty trick, which perhaps it was). It was still a true statement but apparently we "can't accept the truth." Now there is a similar flap about Bill Clinton's statement that if we elect Obama we are "rolling the dice." That could mean many things. It could simply mean that as Obama has not been around a lot, or in the Senate for long, we would be taking a chance because we don't know enough about him. That's perfectly sensible. But you could, of course, say the same thing about anyone else, including Hillary. How can we know what she will do if she wins the Presidency. But what makes this worse is that at least one pundit converts this into "we can't trust him." I don't think that is what Bill Clinton meant, at least I hope that is not what he meant. While it might be true that Obama has not been around as long as Hillary, and doesn't have as much experience, that has nothing to do with whether or not he can be trusted. Perhaps everyone in the country should be sworn to silence for six months prior to the election. The candidates could just parade around and pose while we observe their appearance, their clothing, their expressions, posture, whether they take care of their shoes or not, and what kind of haircuts or manicures they have.

"Man in this moment of his history has emerged in greater supremacy over the forces of nature than has ever been dreamed of before. He has it in his power to solve quite easily the problems of material existence. He has conquered the wild beasts and he has even conquered the insects and microbes. All is in his hand. He has to conquer his last and worst enemy -- himself."
Sir Winston Churchill

Saturday, December 15, 2007

It's not complicated

Three members of Congress: Robert Wexler, Democrat of Florida, Luis Gutierres, Democrat of Illinois, and Tammy Baldwin, Democrat of Wisconsin, are calling for the impeachment of Dick Cheney NOW. They want to move ahead with Dennis Kucinich's bill to impeach the Vice-President as they say it is required by the Constitution. They authored an opinion piece of this that was rejected by a number of papers, including the Miami Herald, the Washington Post, the New York Times, and others. This is a virtually unprecedented act of censorship for a paper dealing with such an important topic and authored by members of Congress. They have a piece on Smirking Chimp today asking for signatures to support their effort. I am told that they got 30,000 signatures in the first 24 hours. If you wish to add your name to this list go to where you will find it. I believe this is terribly important and I urge you to make the effort if you so desire.

This morning I heard the ubiquitous Pat Buchanan interviewed on some program or other. The young thing interviewing him was asking him about waterboarding and torture and what did he think about it. He kept insisting it was complicated. His argument seemed to boil down to the fact that although 70 percent of Americans say it is torture and shouldn't be allowed, they also say that anything ought to be used to obtain information in an emergency situation. Buchanan said that although he didn't condone torture he would, in fact, use it if it was necessary to avoid some imminent act of terrorism. IT'S NOT COMPLICATED! Waterboarding is torture and has been so defined since the Inquisition. It is against both International and United States law. It has also been widely agreed by experts that it does not provide reliable information as the person being subjected to it is apt to say anything in order to get it to stop. Buchanan's insistence that he would use it if necessary clearly falls under the category of repeating the same thing over and over and expecting to get a different result, an indication of insanity.

My son has developed a sort of obsession with politics this season. As a result I have seen far more television than I normally would. What I believe I have learned has nothing to do with politics. As near as I can tell every major television station has a veritable stable of young, attractive women who read the news off the teleprompter. They are all very accomplished at this. I wonder where they all come from. Is there a factory that produces them? What training do they have? What happens to them as they seem to disappear from television rather quickly. I notice that although they are not exclusively white, they are overwhelmingly so. While I am not certain I think there is probably a preponderance of blondes. You never see a young man in one of these positions except, sometimes, as a weatherperson. This would seem to me a form of discrimination. I remember when airline stewardess's were all young and pretty and white. Eventually they were forced to change so now we have older ones, Black ones, Asian ones, and so on. Will this occur on television eventually? I hope so. Let's have some handsome, young man read us the news (I am not gay if that is what you are thinking). I strive for fairness in all things. It is true there are a few older newswomen like Candy Crowley, Andrea Mitchell, Barbara Walters, and such, but this is an entirely different category. These women are real newspersons who have been in the business for a long time. You notice that except for the recent promotion of Katie Couric all the major anchors are male.

The following is the complete text of a poem composed this very morning by my good friend Barbara H. It is reproduced here with permission of the author.

"snow snow
oh oh oh"

Friday, December 14, 2007


In India a Holy man's magical leg
was cut off and has not been found.
Said to be an act of superstition.

If you have not either read An Omnivore's Dilemna or listened to it on tape, you definitely should. You will never think of food in the same way again. It is kind of long and detailed but well worth the effort. You may be surprised to learn that most of what you eat is merely corn.

Speaking of such things, do we really need over 100 varieties of cold cereal. I never eat the stuff but the other day while waiting at the supermarket I tried to count all the different cold cereals but quit after I reached a hundred. Boxes upon boxes of cereal, all somewhere around three dollars a box. I would be very surprised to learn that the actual contents are worth more than just a few cents. The packaging and advertising must be by far the most expensive part of the product. The boxes are usually gaudy and much larger than they need to be. This kind of cereal for breakfast has now become a standard part of American life for most people, just another part of the "fast food" craze.

Personally, I'm into "slow food." Did you know there actually is a Slow Food Movement that started in Italy and is gaining membership at a healthy clip. I love slow food and I despise fast food. I don't like using the microwave as it doesn't seem like you are truly eating. I like the cutting, stirring, patting, mixing, seasoning, supervising, tasting, and waiting that goes into cooking a real meal. Sure, you have to wait a bit, but it's well worth it. It's less expensive as well. Here in Idaho in the winter you can buy a 10 pound bag of russet potatoes for 88 cents, far less than a small package of frozen prepared potatoes costs. And really, how hard is it to prepare potatoes? With rare exceptions I don't believe most people are too busy to cook. I suspect they are too lazy. I just don't get it when I notice even people on food stamps buy canned beans and stuff instead of dried that would be much more economical and last much longer. I suspect our approach to food is going to change what with global warming and the energy crisis - no more exotic and out of season stuff flown in from Timbuctoo and Patagonia (except, of course, for the wealthy for whom price is no object). There are also those who are attempting to eat only foods grown or present within a 100 mile radius of where they live. I guess this wouldn't be too bad if you lived in some places like the Northwest Coast, but I don't think I'd like it if I lived in the middle of Kansas or Nebraska. Nonetheless, I think we'll all be eating more and more locally as time goes by and our current approaches to eating become more and more questionable. Anyway, good luck.

By the way, if you haven't noticed, we still have some form of government although I am no longer certain what it is. The Democrats have caved again and are prepared to give the Brafia everything they want, from war funding to immunity. Bush is preparing to veto anti-torture legislation even though he insists we do not torture.
Go figure. Our new Attorney General is another of the Brafia's "made men." Hillary is slipping, Huckalbee is gaining, Giuliani is sinking, our shrinking world is a complete mess, there is not really much to look forward to these days. I would like to say otherwise but my mother always told me I could go to jail for lying the same as stealing. Be of good cheer (if you can).

"Whatever happened to
Turkey in the Straw and
The Strawberry Roan?
Music from a different world,
so very long ago."

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Democratic "debate"

Man hanged himself in jail with bedsheet,
after requesting private cell. His
trial had been rescheduled 8 times.

The Democratic "debate" (I don't know why they keep referring to these question and answer events as debates) went well, I thought. It wasn't exciting. I don't think anyone learned anything new. I doubt that anyone's mind was changed. All of the candidates performed well. I don't think anyone "won," although Obama did a little better than usual. The Fox analysts tried to make a big deal of the fact that there was no real challenging back and forth and so on. To me, that was the most interesting thing about what happened today. The Democratic candidates all basically agree about the problems and what needs to be done about them. They all want to end the "war" in Iraq, some perhaps sooner than others. They all want to protect Social Security and Medicare. They all want to tax the wealthy. They all want universal health care. They all want to undo the unconstitutional and illegal things Bush has done. They all agree that the Bush/Cheney administration has been a disaster and we need to go around the world trying to fix our broken fences. They all agree that leadership is essential. I was very pleased with all six of the candidates and, as they all pretty much agree on the basics, I could accept any one of them as President. About the only thing left to decide on the Democratic side (provided you believe they are all telling the truth) is who would be best able to bring about the results they all claim to believe necessary. I confess I have some skepticism about some of them. Hillary, I think, would actively pursue some of these issues, but she is, I fear, basically on the margins of the Brafia. Obama wants to bring us together and would probably try to accomplish that. But I don't want Democrats to reach out to war criminals, I want to see them held accountable for their crimes. Edwards wants to fight the corporations which I believe is necessary but I wonder if he can muster enough support from Britney fans and the Nascar crowd, to say nothing of the evangelicals. Both Biden and Dodd would probably be capable but mostly as caretaker Presidents. Richardson I like but I have trouble seeing him as truly Presidential. Obviously I could be wrong about all of this (I have a terrible record when it comes to picking Presidents). No doubt there are some differences between these six but they cannot be great.

One reason there was so much unanimity today obviously had to do with the exclusion of Kucinich and Gravel (which I believe unconscionable). As I have said previously, if we can't have Kucinich, it probably doesn't matter too much who we have. Gravel has never been a serious candidate, just a grouchy old man who wants to get his two cents in (and should be allowed to do so). If Alan Keyes is allowed to mouth off as he did yesterday it is unbelievable that Kucinich and Gravel were not allowed some time, especially Kucinich, who is the only candidate that makes perfect sense about the majority of issues.

The Clinton campaign is taking its lumps over their remarks about Obama's drug use. I am of two minds about this. The truth hurts. Hillary's manager (or whatever he was) probably should not have said what he did, although what he said is doubtless true - the Brafia will certainly use his former drug use against him. Remember, we are dealing here with the same bunch that spread the rumor about McCain's black child, and have played the race card every chance they have had (it is the bedrock of their southern strategy). Of course they were going to use Obama's "youthful indiscretions" against him - a black man running for President with a history of drug use. There is no way they would not have used this. But Clinton's campaign should not have helped them along even though what was said was perfectly true as any political analyst would have known. I tend to side with Hillary on this. I don't think she was part of it, for the simple reason that she is too smart and would have known it would backfire, just as his kindergarten desire to be President did. But who knows what goes on in the privacy of these campaigns. I have never believed that Obama could become President. Not that I don't like him. I do. But my cynicism leads me to believe that in the privacy of their voting booths Americans are not truly ready for a black President. I would love to be proven wrong about this if Obama succeeds in getting the nomination. Conversely, I have come to the conclusion that America probably is ready for a female President, especially if it is Hillary as she is at worst Brafia-lite, she is prepared, and she has the support of the powers that be. I stick with my prediction of January 07, President Hillary Clinton. I would love to be proven wrong about this, too. Without Kucinich I fear it is going to be pretty much business as usual.

"It is eternity now. I am in the midst of it. It is about me in the sunshine; I am in it, as the butterfly in the light-laden air. Nothing has to come; it is now. Now is eternity; now is the immortal life."
Richard Jefferies

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Sheesh is right

Told he couldn't take vodka on plane
German man chug-a-lugs entire bottle,
soon can't stand, talk, or walk.

Round up the usual eight losers, add an escapee from the asylum, put them in a absurd format, and what do you get - boredom. Today's Brafia "debate" was an absolutely useless waste of time. Nothing happened. Nobody won. It was so bad the moderator was heard to mutter "sheesh." Obvious questions, obvious answers. The only bright spot (if you can generously call it that) was when Thompson refused to answer a raise-your-hand question. The participants seemed to agree that no one should be asked to sacrifice anything and, indeed, it should not be necessary if we just don't spend so much money. No one except Paul suggested any way to do this. His solution is to abolish the American "empire" which we can't afford. On the other hand Thompson and others suggested we needed to strengthen our military, the usual nonsense that overlooks the obvious fact that we already spend most of our budget on defense against those armies from outer space armed with tanks, submarines, battleships, and armed flying saucers (no provision for suitcase bombs or such). Above all, more important than life itself, we should never, under any circumstances, no matter what, ever, ever, raise taxes. When it comes to abortion or education we should just leave it up to the states (Idaho education is a fine example of what happens when you leave it up to the states). Of course if we leave all this stuff up to the states we will be assured of equal rights for all (except those from other states). Let's see, I guess one could live in one state long enough to buy and carry a gun, then switch to another state for a gay marriage, still another for an abortion, one more for the right to a dignified death, and another to make sure your automobile passes the exhaust test. States' rights is such a great idea maybe we could go back to hanging Black people, Indians, and Chinamen, to say nothing of Muslims. Oh, yeah, if you lived in just the right place maybe you could step across the state line for a drink or a smoke, or a morning after pill. Yeah, let's hear it for states' rights.

Let me repeat, I believe that a candidate's religious beliefs are important when considering someone for the highest office on earth (short of Pope, that is). I was particularly taken with Huckabees argument that all students should take music and art (along with math and logic, to develop both sides of their brains). Interestingly, he didn't say about teaching evolution which he doesn't believe in (maybe we should make that a states' right thing also). We could have creative design in Iowa and evolution in California. That would be good, no?

In spite of the fact that waterboarding has been defined as torture since the Inquisition, is specifically against the law in the United States and Internationally, Japanese were found guilty of it, and so on, our newly elected Attorney General is still trying to determine if it really is torture. Is it because he can't read and comprehend? Or is it because if it is torture Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld and others are automatically war criminals? I place my bet on the latter. Why defend war criminals? It's the Brafia way, the basic credo, the Code of Omerta.

It is interesting (to put it mildly) that Alan Keyes, lunatic-at-large, was allowed into the Brafia debate, but Dennis Kucinich will not be allowed in for tomorrow's Democratic debate (he didn't rent an office in Iowa. Apparently Keyes, who most people didn't even know was running, did?). I wonder if he was even told this was necessary. But what the hell, it's Iowa, intelligence and common-sense aren't very important there in the land of Intelligent Design, it's Huckabee territory. I learned today that in Pocatello, Idaho it is against the law to look sad. I love local laws. I think every city should be able to determined their own abortion, gun, and civil rights, states just don't cut it and conditions do vary from place to place. Perhaps we should revisit the Wise-Use Movement so we could leave this all up to counties. I don't know, it's just too difficult for an old man.

"All say, 'How hard it is that we have to die' -- a strange complaint to come from the mouths of people who have had to live."
Mark Twain

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Does anyone know how many different investigations are presently being conducted or called for by Democrats. It seems to me that Henry Waxman himself must have called for dozens of investigations into Brafia misdeeds. I head somewhere today there are 46 separate Brafia scandals. If that is so, and I know in many cases there is more than one investigation involved, there must be somewhere close to a hundred. What I find the most fascinating about these so-called investigations is that they are never finished. Did you ever hear of one being finished? Of course there was the Libby thing, but even there it was never truly finished and I think Fitzgerald could still continue it if he wished. Remarkable, so many investigations, so little time. Let's see, they got Abramof but they are still investigating a whole lot of others. They have never completed the second part of the 9/11 investigation (the most important part). Then there is the Alaska situation, as well as the rest of the Cunningham investigation. How about the investigation into the Plame affair, the illegal spying, the recent NIE business, and so on and on. I suspect by the time all these investigations are completed (they probably never will be) all of those being investigated will be dead and gone. Of course when you get the CIA investigating itself, and the Justice Department investigating itself, and the White House investigating itself, and FIMA investigating itself, and other nonsensical pretend investigations, what can you expect? One way or another the Brafia manages to keep any of these investigations from actually producing any results.

Eleven hundred (1100) signing statements. That is the number Bush has signed, more by quite a few than all of those signed by all previous Presidents. This is one way that Bush/Cheney have set themselves up as their own government and made a mockery of Congress, the Public, and the Constitution. This has been going on for seven years, continues, and no one has attempted to do anything about it. Apparently the Brafia is just too powerful to be challenged by anything as insignificant as the Congress of the United States, the Justice Department, or anyone else. As near as I can tell Bush now has more power than Peter the Great had, or Hitler, or Sadam Hussein, or Stalin, or perhaps even Genghis Khan. He and Cheney have been allowed to do whatever they wish. I'm surprised they have not taken to wearing ermine and sable robes and carrying solid gold staffs and such (that may yet come).

Hillary has been slipping in the polls. Iowa is said to be too close to call. Huckabee is coming on strong. McCain is said to be make a bit of a comeback. Thompson is out of it as near as I can see. Giuliani's moment of fame I think is fading. Even the Brafia can't decide on a candidate. I am sticking with my prediction that Hillary will be the next President of the United States. The Brafia knows one of their own can't be elected so Hillary is the best bet. I hesitate to say she is one of them, but she comes close. Edwards may make a better showing than most everyone expects but I don't think he can make it. Obama, even if he were to win the nomination, probably could not be elected (he has a black wife) as too many black people and others refuse to believe a black can be elected (and unfortunately, I suspect they are right). I doubt that even Oprah can upstage Bill Clinton when it comes to Democrats and Blacks. Hold your nose and put your money on Hillary (that's apparently what all the big boys are doing).

"Of all the creatures that were made he (man) is the most detestable. Of the entire brood he is the only one--the solitary one--that possesses malice. That is the basest of all instincts, passions, vices--the most hateful....He is the only creature that inflicts pain for sport, knowing it to be pain...Also--in all the list he is the only creature that has a nasty mind."
Mark Twain

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Iran hysteria?

Perhaps I am incredibly naive, and I know I am not completely well-informed, but would someone explain to me our apparent hysteria over Iran. I constantly encounter claims that Iran is "the greatest threat to the Middle East," or Iran might start WWIII if they get a bomb, and Iran supports terrorists, and they are helping Iraqis to murder our troops, and so on, and on.

As far as I know Iran has not attacked anyone for about two hundred years. They do not have any recent history of being a predatory nation. When attacked by Iraq (with the help of the U.S.) they tried to defend themselves. When the CIA overthrew their government and installed the Shah they were not pleased (should they have been).

They support Hezbollah, a terrorist organization. It is only a terrorist organization depending upon your point of view. In fact, Hezbollah only came into existence to protect Lebanon from Israel. From the point of view of Iran and other countries they are not a terrorist organization.

They support Hamas, another terrorist organization (according to us). Hamas is the legitimately elected through the democratic process government of the Palestinians. In truth, they can hardly be said to be terrorists anymore than Israelis can be said to be terrorists.

They are said to be shipping explosives and such into Iraq to aid in the killing of American soldiers. As near as I can determine there is little evidence this is true.

They have no business interfering in Iraq. Iraq is a neighboring country. They are far more interested in what goes on there than we should be (we are 8000 miles away from there. Why are we there in the first place).

They are trying to build a nuclear bomb. At the moment there is more reason to believe this is not true than to believe it is. They have always said they are interested in nuclear power, not nuclear bombs. The United Nations inspector says there is no evidence they are building a bomb and now our own 16 separate Intelligence agencies agree. Furthermore, even if they did build a bomb they would hardly be stupid enough to use it as they know they would immediately be blown off the face of the earth.

Iran has made overtures to the U.S., wanting to establish better relations. They have been rejected repeatedly by Dick Cheney and others. Why have they been rejected? It would hardly seem reasonable to think they are terribly dangerous when they have been seeking improved relations with us.

They are constantly said to be "exporting terrorism." Aside from one instance in the distant past I have seen no specific examples of this. So where? When? What happened? Remember that the 9/11 attackers were Saudis, and most of the foreign elements in Iraq attacking us are also Saudis. Where have Iranians actually attacked us?

We have been threatening Iran for years with "regime change." What business do we have trying to change their regime (again). Should they not be concerned that we have this bellicose position? The Iranians know perfectly well that we covet their enormous oil potential. Should they not be concerned to protect their resources from a predatory U.S. government?

Iran was a highly civilized culture before the U.S. existed. From their point of view we must appear like a barbarian horde trying to destroy them (there is more than a mere grain of truth in this).

So tell me, dear readers, why the hysteria? What is we fear so much? Iran has a defense budget probably less than 10% of ours. They are in no position to attack us even if they desired to do so. If they actually do want a bomb you can be sure they want it to protect themselves, not to unleash a nuclear war they would clearly lose. I can only conclude that Iran is a threat to us and the Middle East only insofar as their interests are not ours. They seem willing to engage diplomatically. We do not.

I don't think the Brafia is going to get their way on this. Bush is no Genghis Khan (although he seems to want to be), and he doesn't have enough horses to pull this particular criminal act off. Don't spend a lot of time worrying about the Iranians.

"The U.N. was set up not to get us to Heaven but only to save us from Hell."
Sir Winston Churchill

Saturday, December 08, 2007

The Brafia

As there is apparently absolutely nothing he can do, no matter how illegal, immoral, unconstitutional, or egregious, that Republicans will not support, I believe they no longer constitute a genuine political party. So until such time as the Bush administration is completely finished and over (if it ever is) I will no longer refer to Republicans. From here on I will only refer to that bunch of liars and war criminals as the Brafia (the Bush/Republican mafia). This is a criminal organization just like the original from which it derives its name. They have no regard for law, the Constitution, morality, or even common decency. To be a member of this organization you apparently do not have to be a Republican as it appears that many high level Democrats have successfully become members. The members of the Brafia have apparently made vows to support Bush/Cheney and their minions no matter what they profess or do. If the Brafia wants to make war on a country that is no threat to the U.S., that's fine. If they want to bankrupt the U.S. to transfer money to their corporations, that's fine. If they want to torture, that's fine. If they want to lie to bring about wars, that's fine. If they want to illegally spy on everyone, that too, is fine. Neglecting children and veterans is fine, as is keeping millions of American citizens without health care, decent wages, and subject to usurious interest rates. I could go on but I think you get the picture. Whether the Brafia can ever be overcome and destroyed is questionable as the two candidates picked to vie for the Presidency will almost certainly themselves be members of the organization. One of their plans is to create a universal health care plan that will include the insurance companies, the American Medical Association, and the Pharmaceutical Industry. This will be paid for by taxpayers, thus relieving the Corporations of having to bear such a terrible burden. Permanent war is also on their agenda as that will insure the continued existence of the Military/Industrial/Politial complex they have worked so hard to create and sustain.
The coming election has nothing to do with two political parties vying for control of the White House and Congress. It has to do only with maintaining the controlling position of the Brafia. Be prepared to kiss the one ring for a long time or leave the shire and the country.

I have only just now managed to see Sicko (these things do not really come to Bonners Ferry) on television. Everyone should be made to see it. Even if it is true that Moore perhaps paints too bright a picture of Universal Health Care in Canada, Cuba, Britain, and France, there is no doubt that the U.S. medical system is little short of disastrous. Dennis Kucinich is the only candidate who insists on a univeral, single-payer, not for profit health care system. He is absolutely right about this. Of course the odds against it ever happening here are enormous what with the insurance companies, American Medical Association, the Pharmaceuticals, and the Brafia dead set against it (socialism, you know). The U.S. is the only industrialized country that does not have universal health care. It is also the only country that spends most of its money on the military/industrial/political conspiracy that promotes nothing but death and destruction forever. We have become a sick society and a culture of the absurd.

"What's the Constitution between friends?"
Timothy J. Campbell

Friday, December 07, 2007

Rampant idiocy

Angered by train whistle, man
chases train, fails to board,
threatens conducter with pistol.

To describe the following letter to the Editor of our weekly Bonners Ferry Herald as idiotic does not do it justice. I reproduce it in its entirety:

"Don't elect a Muslim as next U.S. President?

Barack Hussein Obama, a Muslim wants to be our next president.
How can a good Muslim be a 'good American,' much less the President of the United States of America?
Politically he can't because he must submit to the mullah (political leader) who teach (sic) annihilation of Israel and destruction of the great satin (sic) they refer to as America. Death to all who are not Muslim.
Intellectually he cannot accept the American Constitution since it is based on Biblical principles and he believes as a Muslim that the Bible is corrupt.
Philosophically he cannot because Islam Mohammed (sic) and the Iran (sic) do not allow freedom of religion. Democracy and Islam cannot co-exist. Every Muslim government is either dictatorial or antrocatic (sic).
Spiritually he cannot because when we declare 'One Nation Under God,' our Christian God is loving and kind while Allah is never referred to as a Heavenly Father nor is he ever called love in the Iran (sic). Muslims cannot be both a good Muslim and a good American. Their personal preference and allegiance is to Allah and not our Constitution, nor our God.
A state of our nation has already elected a Muslim (Obama) to the House of Representatives (sic).
He is in the current session of Congress 2007 and during his swearing in he used the Muslim Iran (sic) instead of our Bible.
How dare we not recognize this as the evil it will bring to our nation if we allow Obama to be our next president.
Also four Senators along with many others voted against English as our official American language. Senators Biden, Clinton, Dodd, Obama, Boxer, Kerry, Kennedy, Lieferman (sic) and many more. Where is their loyalty to America?
None of these people should be leaders of our 'Great Nation.' In our country people are free to believe anything they want to as well as their religious preference. But they don't qualify to be the President of the United States of America when they don't support or believe in our Constitution. They are not loyal Americans and talk our of both sides of their mouth.
Please use your voting priviledge to keep these people out of the White House. Please do not elect them to be the President of the United States of America. This may be the most serious election our country has ever faced. Our government isn't perfect but it's the best one in the whole world. Let's help keep it that way. Our vote may be a matter of life or death and liberty (sic) for all."

I have omitted the writer's name. I'm sure that she will hear enough about it from others. What can I say about this? The apalling ignorance of the writer speaks for itself. But what of the paper and its editor? One can only wonder if the editor even read this absurd piece of racist, religious bigotry before it was published. He or she certainly did not proofread it. That something like this could appear in our only local paper (owned and operated by Republicans) is an insult to the good people of Boundary County. Along with the antics of Larry Craig and Bill Sali it denigrates us all. Vote Democratic as though your life depends on it - it may.

"If, after I depart this vale, you remember me and have thought to please my ghost, forgive some sinner and wink your eye at some homely girl."
H. L. Mencken

Thursday, December 06, 2007

What's an Atheist to do?

I was wrong about missing Romney's speech. We were so late getting started this morning that I did actually listen to it. It was, I concur, a great speech, well-written, well delivered, well thought out. Of course it didn't tell you anything about Mormonism or Romney's participation in it. One thing it did do, unlike John Kennedy's Catholic speech, is insist there is no separation of church and state. I found this a bit disturbing. Also disturbing was his statement that one's religion should not keep him from office. This was disturbing only because he himself had already dismissed Muslims from his cabinet on the grounds that they were a minority and should perhaps be allowed to serve only in a "lower" capacity. I also found it a bit hard to take when he insisted he believed in his religion but did not offer to tell us anything about it. You notice, as I predicted, he did not even mention the Book of Mormon.

In all this talk and folderol about whether a Mormon should be President, or a Catholic, or a Muslim, or whether religion should even be considered at all, omits for me a far more basic question that doesn't even arise (in polite company, I guess). Should a candidate's religious beliefs have anything to do with his potential Presidency. The answer we are being given is "no," it should be irrelevant. I disagree. Let me speak bluntly. I think a candidate's religious beliefs might well be critical in assessing his qualifications for the Presidency. For example, if a candidate claims he believes in a literal interpretation of the Bible, I have to conclude that he/she is grossly uninformed and thereby ignorant. He or she might also be considered stupid (there is a difference between being ignorant and stupid). Similarly, if a candidate says they don't believe in evolution that, too, indicates to me a disturbing lack of knowledge and/or stupidity. I do not want such a person to be President of my country.

So what is a poor decrepit old Atheist to do? I have never found the beliefs of any organized religion something I could believe in. I do not believe Jonah was swallowed by a whale, Noah built an ark for all the animals, someone parted the Red sea, and so on. Indeed, I think such beliefs on the part of those who claim to a literal interpretation of the Bible to be absurd. I can have no respect or confidence in someone who professes to believe this. Likewise, if someone claims that dinosaurs existed simultaneously with humans, I think they are not only misinformed but inexcusably ignorant and/or stupid. I do not want such a person to be my President. And, while I don't mean to be rude or inconsiderate, I must admit that if someone believes their underwear is sacred I find their judgment to be questionable at best. If someone believes Intelligent Design is on the same level of explanation as the theory of evolution I, again, suspect their brainpower. Thus I do not believe for one moment that a person's religious beliefs are necessarily irrelevant to whether or not they should hold high public office. The battle here, and it is, I believe, a battle of sorts, is not between Mormons and Catholics, or Protestants and Jews, or Muslims and Buddhists, or whatever, but between those who believe in science and scientific evidence and those who believe in what are basically fairy tales. I am not familiar with the Book of Mormon or many Mormon beliefs, but I know there are some that I could never believe in.

I am not a student of religion. I confess to being ignorant of most religions. But when their arguments involve things like whether one should wear a white cap or a black cap, or whether one should be allowed to play a musical instrument or not, or whether there is a trinity or not, or whether the Jews killed Christ or not, or is Jesus the son of God or not (assuming that Jesus even existed), or whether you should eat fish on friday, or use only horse carriages, or circumsize, or examine the entrails of chickens for omens, or fast for visions, or face mecca so many times a day, or go to church on sunday as opposed to saturday, and on and on and on, I think somehow the important questions are not being addressed. I do not believe people speak directly to God or vice-versa, no exceptions. Unlike our perfect Mr. Romney I do not believe one must be a Christian to be an American.

If people wish to believe in bizarre beliefs of all kinds and call them religious I can't see there is much harm in it (or much good, either) as long as they are private beliefs and no one attempts to force them on others. While it can be argued that Christian missionaries have done good things around the world I know from personal experience they have also done incalculable harm. The history of Christianity is not pretty. I believe with John Kennedy there is an ABSOLUTE separation of church and state and I do not believe we should allow Romney, Huckabee, or anyone else to proclaim otherwise. I think Romney's clever speech may very well inspire people to examine Mormon beliefs more carefully, and if they do, I think Romney may well be finished.

For me an Atheist is someone who does not, and cannot, believe in the tenets of any organized religion. There is a question here, however, that I cannot yet completely resolve. There is an Edward Curtis print of an American Indian with a buffalo skull offering a prayer to the Great Mystery. While I am suspicious of the efficacy of prayer, I cannot deny the presence of a Great Mystery which I find truly awesome. I can't say that I actually worship this Great Mystery but its presence is never far from my mind. Am I an Atheist?

"I count religion but a childish toy,
And hold there is no sin but ignorance."
Christopher Marlowe

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

So Bush lied

Seattle. An early morning walk. There's nothing like the smell of exhaust to wake you up and remind you of why you love Bonners Ferry. I also really like the endless drone of traffic and the preponderance of sirens that seem to go on at all hours of the day and night. There is also the never ending construction of skyscrapers. It's a real thrill when you realize there are giant cranes dangling huge object directly over your head. But it didn't rain today, and it wasn't very cold. They have great food here (if you can afford it after you have paid to park). Back to Bonners Ferry tomorrow. Hurrah! Happily I will miss Romney's speech on Faith(?). Want to bet he won't mention the Book of Mormon. I think this speech will make his campaign even more questionable.

It is now perfectly clear that Bush lied about what he was told and what he knew about Iran's nuclear program. So what? He has never done anything but lie for the past seven years. Why does everyone concern themselves about his lying if they aren't prepared to do something about it. He lied. That's nothing new. Will anything be done about it now? Almost certainly not. I guess Congress has just made up its mind (if it can be said to have one) that our President, the leader of our country, is a pathological liar but somehow that's okay because it's just Bush. Remember Bill Clinton, our ex-President who was impeached for lying. That Bush lies constantly and gets away with it will puzzle me to the end of my days.

On Buzzflash today there was a piece on John Conyer and why he thinks Bush/Cheney can't be impeached. The main reason seems to be that they can't get enough votes and to fail would actually help Bush/Cheney. Think about that, if you will. He can't get enough votes. That means he can't get Republicans to vote to impeach. That means, in turn, that Republicans apparently think constantly lying and committing war crimes are matters of unimportance to our country. THINK OF THAT! REPUBLICANS DON'T CARE ABOUT LYING AND WAR CRIMES! They continue to support Bush/Cheney in spite of all the evidence against them and all the damage they have done to our nation. Remember that when you enter the voting booth next time.

"You're not to be so blind with patriotism that you cannot face reality. Wrong is wrong no matter who does it or says it."
Malcolm X

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


Seattle. Yes, it is wet here. From Spokane to Snoqualmie it was sunny and bright. It started to rain on the pass and by the time we got to Seattle it was a virtual cloudburst. But now tonight it has stopped. There has obviously been some rough weather here.

Could it be that Bush/Cheney have been lying all this time about Iran? Do bears do it in the woods? Does water flow downhill? Does the sun rise in the East? Of course they've been lying. Didn't everyone know that even before this latest intelligence report? When have they ever done anything but lie? Will anything be done about it? Probably not. If Congress has not seen fit up until now to hold them accountable why suppose they will now? I am seriously beginning to believe that everyone in Congress is completely brain dead. How else could they put up with this stuff year after year for seven years? The Bush/Cheney bunch say things that are so patently ridiculous it is a wonder they have not been long since impeached or imprisoned or both. Frankly, I don't understand why lightning bolts have not struck them all dead. Take the idiotic spokesperson, Perino, who asks Helen Thomas how she can possibly think we are killing civilians. This goes beyond merely lying as it is so completely whacky one just doesn't know how to deal with it. And now Bush is telling us that this intelligence report really means that Iran is just as dangerous as ever - because - get this, they could start up a program again. And they might get the knowledge to make a bomb. How on earth could anyone keep them from getting the knowledge. This is like Bush saying he's invented fire but he's not going to tell anyone how to do it. Of course they COULD start up a program again. So could Lichtenstein. Bush's reaction to this is so unutterably stupid it is unbelievable. The failure of Congress to hold Bush/Cheney accountable for their lies and war crimes is even more unbelievable. They could be impeached a dozen times over by now for what they have already done. I do not know how to understand this except to assume that the Democrats are just as dishonest warmongers as Bush/Cheney. Biden says that if Bush attacks Iran he (Biden) will personally lead the impeachment. Why wait? Bush is already impeachable and so is Cheney. If this latest revelation doesn't result in impeachment or worse then we might as well all just surrender to Bush/Cheney and their illegal, immoral, disgusting, unconstitutional acts.

"Herein lies a riddle. How can a people so gifted by God become so seduced by naked power, so greedy for money, so addicted to violence, so slavish before mediocre and treacherous leadership, so paranoid, deluded, lunatic."
Philip Berrigan

Monday, December 03, 2007

Really, Hillary!

Hitting below the diaper pins. I don't know if Hillary herself has had anything to do with this nonsense of Obama wanting to be President since he was a child. Apparently he wrote an essay when he was (in the third grade?), in which he reportedly said he wanted to be President. I can't see why this would matter to anyone but the Clinton campaign is using it to prove that he has always wanted to be President in spite of his claim he only aspired to that office after he was in the Senate. I guess this must be in response to claims that Hillary and Bill conspired to both become Presidents way back when, or to repeated criticisms of Hillary that she has been "too ambitious." All of this is the utmost nonsense. I mention it only because I cannot believe the Clintons would stoop so low as to even try to use Obama's juvenile essay in this way (if, indeed, they actually had anything to do with it). I have never understood how anyone could be criticized in the United States for being "too ambitious." Citizens of the U.S. are supposed to be ambitious. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that Hillary wanted to be President when she was two. But so what? How many American children dream of being President? And would you want a President who was not ambitious? This is the stuff American politics has been made of in recent years. Never mind the phony "war," the torture, the falling dollar, the deteriorating infrastructure, immigration, or whatever. Chris Mathews told us seriously a few days ago that what this election is all about is personality. You know, like when Bush was elected because people thought he would be a nice person to have a beer with. Alas, it is true, this is what our elections have become.

It looks to me like Giuliani's campaign is about to collapse over his multiple scandals and dishonesty. Romney's campaign is probably going to wreck on the shoals of his Mormonism. If he goes through with his threat to give a speech on his faith I think it will only add to his problems with "not really being a Christian," or "belonging to a cult." Just think of the fallout of this if it happens. Huckabee will be the leading candidate. Huckabee, a Jesus Freak who thinks God is directing his poll numbers and doesn't believe in evolution. He seriously expects to get elected on the basis of his "Christian leadership?" While some in Iowa might go for this nonsense I sincerely hope the rest of the country will not (and I don't believe they will).

Iran is now said to have given up its muclear bomb program in 2003. This is according to our best intelligence sources. Did Bush/Cheney not know about this before? And if they did why have they gone on and on about the dangers of Iran's nuclear ambitions? And if they didn't know about it, where were they? In any case this disclosure is in direct contradiction to everything Bush/Cheney and the MSM have been feeding us for all these months while they prepare to bomb Iran. I guess Bush will be making a speech about this tomorrow. I won't hear it as I will be on the way to Seattle. But I bet it will be a doozy. He'll probably blame Bill Clinton, the usual suspect.

Putin's party won the Russian election in a virtual landslide. Putin is the most popular Russian leader ever and has brought Russia back into the rank of genuine world powers. Naturally our MSM are claiming all sorts of lies about Putin and the election. Compare Putin and his record with Bush's, if you dare.

Chavez is another great success story. He gets probably more U.S. badmouthing than anyone. You either give in to the desires of Bush/Cheney or you are a terrible leader. Chavez received a bit of a setback in Venezuela's recent election. Did he whine about it and exercise dictatorial powers? The answer is no. And by the way, the election was not about making him President for life, it was about changing the rules so that IF he were elected again he could again be President. We should have such a system (of course we'd have to have honest elections first).

Here at Sandhill in recent days we've had over two feet of snow. Now it is raining. No doubt it will freeze overnight. Life is just a bowl of cherries.

"Those who expect to reap the blessing of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
Thomas Paine

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Our men in Congress

Our man in the 19th century, Bill Sali, has done everything he can and more to keep any changes to occur to the mining laws of 1872. I think he offered something like 19 separate amendments to the current attempt to update this archaic law, all of which were defeated. You have to give him credit for trying to slow down the overly rapid pace of change involved in our culture. Heaven forbid that miners would have to pay more than $5 an acre for land in these times of increasing inflation. Bill Sali is a nitwit. Vote for Larry Grant.

Speaking of nitwits, our Senator from Boise Cascade, Larry Craig, has now been "outed" big time. He has made the headlines all over the country as at least four men have now testified publicly they had sex with Craig or that he had made sexual overtures to them (actually, I think there are more than four). Craig must have been banking, all these years, on the fact that no one would really come out and admit to this. Apparently these four became so fed up with Craig's continuing claim to not being gay they felt they had to expose him once and for all. This is, of course, a terrible tragedy that could have been avoided. I'm sure that many people would not have cared if he was gay if he had just admitted it and had not acted so hypocritically about gay rights in the past. I guess Craig feared the citizens of Idaho would not have accepted a gay person as Senator, and he most probably was right (homophobia is rampant here in Idaho). But continuing to deny it even after he was caught soliciting sex in a men's room just added to his woes. The problem is not that Craig is gay, it's that he has proven to be both a liar and a hypocrite. Will he still insist on serving out his term? Why not? It won't make much difference as he's never been much more than a rubber stamp for the Republican party anyway.

Karl Rove continues to insist it was Congress who pushed for "war" with Iraq when the administration was resistant. He sticks with this in spite of the fact that both Democrats and members of his own party, as well as the public record, show that it is simply not the case. Rove apparently truly believes that if you tell a big lie often enough people will come to believe it. I don't think it's working this time.

It seems to be pretty much agreed that Bush's much ballyhooed Annapolis conference has no chance to result in anything positive without his active participation which apparently will not be forthcoming. Will Bush try to convince us that he tried but Israel and the Palestinians failed? Probably. Is there any chance that Israel will agree to a viable Palestinian state? Not likely. Does this whole plan for peace simply allow Israel to stall longer while they systematically steal more Palestinain land. Bet on it. Israel and the U.S. want to pretend they are playing a high stakes game with the Palestinians, but the Palestinians have no high cards. The whole idea of this conference was just another Bush/Cheney/Israeli fraud.

I guess the latest poll shows Obama leading in Iowa, with Hillary in second place. We'll see soon enough. Personally, I believe that thinking Iowa is going to determine anything much is just so much wishful thinking. Iowa hardly represents the rest of the U.S. I'm beginning to believe that if we can't have Kucinich it probably doesn't matter who wins. And what's this about an Obama/Bloomberg meeting? A Black man and a Jew plotting together for some political end? It doesn't bother me but I don't think it will fly too well with the rest of the country (I cannot overcome my natural cynicism when it comes to politics). Give me Kucinich or give me the same ol' same ol' corporate state.

"The privilege of absurdity; to which no living creature is subject but man only."
Thomas Hobbes

Saturday, December 01, 2007

East of the Sun -- book

Talk about deja vue all over again! I'm reading East of the Sun by Benson Bobrick, an account of the Russian conquest of Siberia. It's like reading a mirror image of the European conquest of America. The same attitude prevailed:
"Like other European powers then expanding overseas, the Russians were 'convinced of their right to dispossess inferior and barbaric foes, to establish the true faith, and to reap the economic benefits of dominion.' For the Russians--as for the Spanish, English, or Portuguese--progress was conveniently understood as a rise from 'savagery' to 'civilization,' and it demanded the conquest of the wilderness, in keeping with the divine injunction to 'Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish and subdue the earth.'"
They accomplished this with the same means Europeans used in the Americas:
" June 1651 they began to fight their way down the Amur. Khabarov ravaged numerous settlments without mercy, and in this barbarous manner conquered both banks of the river as far as the Sungari. Below this tributary, the region was 'completely devastated within a week's time' as the Russians looted and burned and cut down the natives 'like trees.' In one instance they seized hundreds of women and children, 'with God's help,' recalled Khubarov, 'we burned them, we knocked them on the head...and counting big and little, we killed six hundred sixty one.' His rampage continued into the land of the Goldi, where he again left a trail of blood."
This, of course, is only one example of the carnage the Russians inflicted on the aboriginal population of Siberia:
"So the culture of the Siberian peoples was not negligible, and of more than strictly anthropological note. But the Russian conquest threatened to sweep it all away, and pulverize it almost to nothing with musket and cannon shot."
Sound familiar? It should. The same thing happened as Europeans spread into the Americas, Africa, Asia and the Pacific. The record is clear. There is no doubt what happened. It was so common and so widespread that at least one writer has suggested that Europeans must have suffered from a collective Wiitiko cannibalistic psychosis. He meant cannibalistic in the sense that it destroyed lives through various means, not that they literally consumed the flesh of their victims. Unhappily there are still examples of it going on in various parts of the globe at this very moment. The human species is a strange one, virtually unique in its capacity for self-destruction. You might think that after all these years of experience we might try to do something about it. Fat chance. If you even suggest Peace instead of War you are looked upon as peculiar, to say the least (think Dennis Kucinich). First Iraq, then Iran, and then the world! We are mighty! Mighty like a bunch of mental midgets.

"Wherever they burn books they will also, in the end, burn human beings."
Heinrich Heine