Friday, February 29, 2008

Stupid laws

More jails. We need more jails. The number of Americans incarcerated for one thing or another has been increasing by “leaps and bounds” for the past few years so that we are now jailing one in every one hundred Americans. Is that an accomplishment of which we should be proud? We have more people in jail in absolute numbers than any other country. And we have a higher percentage of people in jail than any other country. Not content with such a fine record many states are having trouble building enough jails, anticipating further increases in the criminal element that seems to be growing in our country. Apparently it is regarded as easier or more responsible to keep building more and more jails than it is to consider the laws and circumstances that are resulting in this problem. One interesting and depressing fact is that we seem to be spending more money on jails than on education. Apparently our “leaders” don’t think there is any relationship between education and good citizenship and lives free of crime. Here in Idaho our Republican led Congress would be happy not to have to fund education at all, but they don’t seem to balk too much when it comes to more jails. Our present governor, Clement Leroy Otter (otherwise known as “Butch”) recently suggested privatizing our jails. This was rejected quickly, not because it was an inherently stupid idea, but because there was fear that convicts from other areas might end up here (I don’t know how they passed up the opportunity to make a profit). Whether we privatize or not it seems to be clear that we desperately need more jails. There is, of course, a perfectly sensible and even easy solution to much of this problem, just get rid of our incredibly misguided drug laws.

I don’t know the precise statistics but it is a good bet that fully one third of prisoners (probably more) are in jail for violations of drug laws, especially laws relating to the use of marijuana. It is well known by now (and has been for years) that this substance is nowhere near as bad as alcohol, is not addictive, does not inevitably lead to other drugs, and has been stupidly maligned for years. There is no reason a person who has or uses marijuana should ever be put in jail. Furthermore, it should be obvious by now that the laws having to do with marijuana don’t work (if they did there wouldn’t be so many users, would there). Our other drug laws aren’t much better. This is simply because drug usage and addiction is fundamentally a medical problem that has been made into a political problem. If drugs were made legal (but still by prescription) much of the prison problem would disappear almost immediately, just as was the case with prohibition. In fact, our current hysterical approach to drugs results, in some cases, in situations in which people who actually need the drugs can’t get them (doctors are nowadays sometimes afraid to prescribe drugs they know their patents need because they fear losing their licenses – big brother is constantly monitoring them). This is a situation that is out of control because of so many years of completely ill-informed legislation. Unfortunately, don’t look for it to change soon, even though other countries have demonstrated that drug legalization works and beyond any doubt reduces crime. There are sensible and responsible people in the world, they just don’t happen to be resident in our Congress. There is no doubt this is a serious problem in the U.S. that is causing untold misery for many individuals and families, to say nothing of costing taxpayers a great deal of money. One might think it would be something we ought to deal with, our “war on drugs” is every bit as much a failure as our “war” in Iraq, but we don’t seem to be capable of doing anything about either problem. It’s the American way! Oh, yeah, I forgot, steroids in baseball is a really big and important problem that requires immediate attention by our otherwise lethargic Congresspersons. What with constantly raising money to keep getting re-elected I guess this is the only problem they have time to consider. Do you think Clemens and Bond will go to jail? Probably not unless they smoked some weed. Just another chapter in our culture of the absurd.

“Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago.”
Bernard Berenson

Thursday, February 28, 2008


Kicked in the head by a cow,
Montana man decides to
make organic goat cheese.

This is one of those puzzles that comes under the heading of: what the hell is going on, I don’t get it and it makes no sense. The problem is this: Bush now has an approval rating of a mere 19%, the lowest of any President ever. A majority of the American public is fed up with this “war” and want out of it as soon as possible. The public is equally fed up with Congress for the failure to stop this unbelievably expensive and unnecessary war.

McCain’s whole strategy is based upon his support for this unpopular war. He has adopted Bush’s position that it was justified and if we continue we will somehow “win,” although what we will win has never been specified. In short, McCain is closely identified with Bush and this “war” that is seen as a complete disaster and the greatest foreign policy blunder ever. It is known that Democrats are turning out in record numbers whereas Republicans are not. Some are predicting a landslide victory for Democrats. It is also known that there are Republicans who are supporting Democrats this time.

At the same time, the national polls claim that McCain is essentially even with either of his potential opponents. In some polls he actually leads by a few points, in others he is not far behind. Some are even predicting a McCain win in November. How can this be? How do you explain this peculiar situation? Do the polls lie? (a distinct possibility). Do the voters lie? How can someone promote such a useless and disastrous policy, in the face of overwhelming opposition, and still be considered a possibility for President? I confess, I don’t get it. Are there a large number of secret warmongers out there who do not want to reveal their true warlike nature? Are the MSM faking these numbers or loading the polls with leading questions? What the hell is going on?

I think we need some new terms to describe what goes on in fighting and warfare. It seems to me the nature of warfare has changed dramatically but our language to describe it has not. For example, we have traditionally described battles and such in terms like “savagery,” or “barbarism.” These terms strike me as no longer entirely appropriate. Now that we have “advanced” beyond bows and arrows and spears and bayonets and sabers, and rifles and such, and entered a new era of technological warfare with planes and bombs and nowadays even robots and drones, terms like savage and barbaric don’t seem very useful. Where, for example, is the savagery in pushing a button from five miles above the earth, even though that act may result in thousands of deaths? Or how about sitting in your office hundreds of miles from the battlefield and pushing buttons to send a drone over Afghanistan to kill someone. I guess you can stretch such acts under the terms barbaric or savage but somehow it just doesn’t seem quite right. But we have no terms, as far as I know, for “beyond savagery” (and we are certainly far beyond it now). I suppose we could define mass bombings of cities and innocent people as acts of humanicide and describe them as “humanicidic” but that doesn’t seem to me to be entirely satisfactory (somehow it’s just not quite powerful enough to describe such cowardly and inhuman behavior). Remember that until the Germans carpet bombed Guernica just prior to WWII such attacks on civilian targets were basically unknown even in war. Nowadays, of course, we just blissfully kill 5,000, 10,000, 20,000 or more at a time and think nothing much of it. Just with sanctions we kill 500,000 Iraqi children and our Secretary of State says “it’s worth it.” We’ve come a long way baby, from mere savagery. But think of the future. It may soon be the case that whatever nation has the superior technology they may be able to annihilate everyone else on the planet just by pushing a few buttons. We better start catching up with our education for science and technology. Never mind the arts and humanities, we won’t need them, having moved beyond even civilization. Exciting times, these, one never knows for certain whether we’ll blow ourselves up first, or just slowly drown in our own filth and waste. No one seems to care enough to do much of anything about it. I know, let’s privatize it! That works swell for the public interest. Does anyone even remember what the public interest is anymore? Don’t mind me, I just get cranky when I don’t get enough sleep, and I don’t get enough sleep when I’m cranky. I’m lost in the funk of modern life.

“I think we agree, the past is over.”
George W. Bush

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

There's no justice

Drunken man on lawnmower
goes on rampage, breaks
window, and goes to jail

There’s no justice. Some have been saying this for years. It’s true. Consider what is going on right now in Congress. They are spending their time (and our money) going after baseball players. BASEBALL PLAYERS! I mean, it’s like there isn’t anything else for them to be doing? We have a President and Vice-President who are known war criminals, along with their henchpersons, Condi Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, Karl Rove, and more. These people have committed despicable acts of illegality and virtually the whole world knows it. But does Congress spend their time trying to bring them to justice. Of course not. They lied us into a pre-emptive war against a nation that was no threat to us (the number one war crime). They have tortured, killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people, hid prisoners from the Red Cross, engaged in secret renditions, war profiteering, illegal spying, doing away with habeas corpus, holding kangaroo trials in Guantanamo, and creating scandals one upon another almost endlessly. Congress goes after baseball players who may have used steroids and may have lied about it. A few in Congress are working to get Cheney impeached and seemingly are getting nowhere. Just can’t let anything that trivial interfere with baseball. This is so sick, so unbelievable, so tragic, so fantastically absurd there is no way to rationally even describe it. It makes one just want to scream and run around banging their head into the wall.

I have to change the subject, I can’t stand any more of the above. Let me ask another question. What happens when we run out of money? The dollar is now only worth one half of a Euro. We are in debt probably beyond our means to repay it (at least without a very painful effort for a very long time). At some point China, Japan, and Saudi Arabia are going to refuse to lend us any more money. Also, at some point, we will have to stop just printing more and more useless dollars as they will fail to be acceptable to anyone. So what do we do then? I guess we could sell everything to eager buyers around the world. I bet we’d get a lot for, say, Yellowstone Park. San Francisco would probably net a good bit. Then, of course, there are our national forests, and lots and lots of agricultural land. Actually, I believe a good bit of these properties are already being sold to people from other countries. I hope they will continue to let us reside here as serfs and peasants serving our new masters. We’re well on the road to that already. Soon the international bankers will have a lot more of our houses to go along with our businesses. Perhaps after global warming gets going a bit more strongly they could allow us to try and settle in Antarctica or the North Pole. You know, like they sent the convicts to Australia and indentured servants to New England. If you think I am joking I suggest you think more seriously about it.

George Bush’s poll ratings have now reached a new all-time low, 19%. No one seems to care. He’s still President. He still gives speeches and travels overseas representing us. Congress absolutely refuses to impeach him or even threaten to do so. I haven’t seen any ratings for Cheney recently, probably because there is no provision for negative numbers. They won’t impeach him either. Pelosi and Reid want to wait until the election because they think we’ll have a new President then. And we will, and won’t it be ironic if it turns out to be John McCain the Bush clone. Don’t laugh. The DLC has cleverly managed to lose the last two Presidential elections even though they should have been able to win by running anyone they could find hiding in an alley. I don’t see much hope for our country unless there is a massive turnover of personnel in Washington D.C., as well as some monumental changes in the way we allow them to conduct business. Vote for Obama and hope that he really will do something to change things. Neither Clinton or McCain will change anything that our corporate masters haven’t already agreed to, like medical insurance.

“Nowadays men lead lives of noisy desperation.”
James Thurber

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Please, no more

Please, please, let us have no more debates. Clinton and Obama just finished their 20th debate, the last 3 one on one. MSNBC spent the entire day talking about the debate that we had tonight. Then we had the debate, 90 minutes. As I write this the newspeople are still going on and on about it, going over every answer, every nuance, every gesture, everything they can dredge up to pontificate about. Virtually nothing happened during the debate that we didn’t already know about. Clinton would have happily kept going on health care for the whole 90 minutes but mercifully, they stopped it after an only excruciating 16 minutes. Nothing new was added to this question that they have debated over and over again. Then clips were shown of the two of them saying things about each other, things they obviously said to try to make election points that really amounted to very little. Then Tim Russert, who seems unable to resist hypothetical questions, provided some of those. These are questions for which the answers are perfectly obvious or cannot be answered at all. In other words they are a complete waste of time. Russert seems to have a reputation for being a really tough interviewer. He might be tough in the sense that he doggedly pursues ridiculous questions but he’s basically pretty inept. Brian Williams didn’t seem to have much to offer or say. Clinton must have had a super make-up artist as she looked much younger and less fatigued tonight. Obama was, well, just Obama. He doesn’t get rattled, doesn’t get shrill or angry, just looks calm and Presidential. All in all another waste of a lot of air time. No one won, the moderators were, like, moderators, with a lot of really kind of stupid questions. Russert did manage to maneuver Clinton into admitting that she would like to be able to take back her vote for the “war.” Verbally this is the closest she has ever come to acknowledging it was a mistake. You would have thought Russert had just ended WW III, from the look on his face as he was receiving congratulations from his peers. Mind you, she still didn’t admit it was a mistake, but I guess progress comes slowly in the news business. Personally, I think we need a much more precise definition of “news.” As it is anything can be news, and unfortunately these days, is. When asked about Putin and Russia the candidates gave the answer that anyone who reads already knew. I guess if you were illiterate or totally uninterested you might have found it interesting. Did anyone say anything we didn’t already know or could have predicted? I don’t think so. If they hadn’t spent the whole day talking about the debate that was to come they could have given us some real news. Like, there must have been a car chase in L.A. Or Paris Hilton must have been up to something. Or Britney. There must have been all kinds of news we missed. Darn. I have cut down my news watching to 45 minutes per day (just the first 45 minutes of Olberman), and I am seriously considering giving that up. No news is good news.

On the home front: Linda took the front-wheel drive Honda to work for the first time and actually managed to get it up the ice sheet that is our driveway. Work on my book proceeds, but not as fast as it should. We are about to order seeds for this year’s garden. I just re-read The Heart of Darkness and have started on The League of the Iroquois. We patiently await our fifth season of the year, spring break-up. Lots of mud, potholes, and ruts. Eventually they will get around to converting the potholes from holes to bumps. Life goes on at Sandpile, er. Sandhill. Cheers and best wishes to all.

“Men’s natures are alike, it is their habits that carry them far apart.”

Monday, February 25, 2008

Hope is not mocked

Hope does not lend itself very well to sarcasm and mockery. Indeed, to mock hope seems not only stupid but cruel. Making fun of someone because they hope things will be better? I don’t understand why Clinton has taken this tack. I believe it is a terrible mistake. I like to think the real Hillary was the one at the end of the last debate, reaching out and claiming unity. I think she is not being well-advised by her “handlers.” In fact, I think she has been very ill-advised from the very beginning and it is too late now to turn things around. It appears to me that her advisors have now adopted a “scorched earth” attitude. If Hillary and the DLC can’t win they will spoil it for Obama and the DNC. All this negative stuff about Obama will play into the hands of the Brafia, of course it will be mild compared to what they will come up with. The Clinton campaign is now accusing Obama of dirty tricks while it is they, themselves, who are playing such tricks. The Clinton campaign, under the direction of Penn, has descended into the very depths of dirty politics. Unfortunately, they are dragging Hillary down with them. This is not entirely surprising as they have managed to lose the last two elections when a dead duck should have been able to beat Bush. Let’s see the end of the DLC. Hillary will be a lot better off without them.

McCain has said if he can’t convince Americans that the “war” in Iraq was/is worthwhile, he will lose. So come on McCain, convince me. Four thousand American troops lost, thousands more wounded and maimed, maybe a million Iraqis dead, including huge numbers of women and children, three or four million displaced from their homes, Iraqi infrastructure largely destroyed, their people tortured and humiliated, the U.S. in depth beyond ordinary imagination, and all this for a “war” that was completely unnecessary to begin with. What do we have to show for it? Basically nothing. Even if we were miraculously to “win,” what is it we will have won? McCain is insane, if he thinks he is going to convince anyone this was all worth it (there’s a bumper sticker there, McCain’s Insane). I think one of the reasons American citizens are fed up with it is because it is so incredibly insane. How could this be allowed to happen? What the hell are we going to do about it now? Only one answer makes any sense – get out now, apologize to the Iraqis and the rest of the world, hold those responsible for it accountable, and hope that our image can eventually be restored. If McCain wants to stay there for a hundred years, let him, and let him take Bush/Cheney and the neocons with him. Good riddance. The Iraqis would probably have some good ideas as to what to do with these war criminals. No one here even dares mention the question of what to do with them.

The roviating is starting to pick up already. They are showing a photo of Obama dressed up in a Somali costume while he was visiting there. How awful! And of course they are starting in on the idea that he may be too cozy with the Palestinians. How awful! How awful would it be to have a President who actually understands that Palestinians are people, too, and they are suffering terribly under Israeli colonialism. Maybe such a President would actually do something to bring about some kind of peace in the Middle East instead of just meekly bowing to every Israeli whim and desire. It’s perfectly clear that Hillary will never do anything to offend the Israelis, nor will McCain. In short, there is no hope at all for the Israeli/Palestinian problem unless there is at least a chance that Obama will attempt something meaningful. It’s a long shot, he may do nothing, but there is always that hope that Hillary is making fun of. Remember, depression is child’s play compared with hopelessness.

“And this stillness of life did not in the least resemble a peace. It was the stillness of an implacable force brooding over an inscrutable intention.”
Joseph Conrad

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Nader, again

Ralph Nader, egomaniacal once-was, has decided to run again. Why? He has absolutely nothing to add. No organization, nothing new to say, no hope of winning. He says the current candidates aren’t paying enough attention to the corporate control of Washington D.C. So what is he going to do about it? He’s going to join the Brafia, that criminal organization that once was known as the Republican Party. Presumably, by joining with the Brafia he can take votes away from the Democrats. But as the Brafia candidate is the one who represents the corporate controllers, somehow this seems a strange strategy. Helping the Brafia is certainly not going to have any effect on the Corporations other than helping them. It would be great if the MSM would just ignore him. But as he is now on their side they certainly won’t do that. Remember, this is the same MSM that refused to cover Kucinich at all, and didn’t do much better with Edwards. Now they are going to lavish attention on this megalomaniac who wants once again to be a “spoiler.” I guess he has decided to be on the side of the torturers and warmongers. Great job Ralph! Welcome to Hypocrisy Incorporated. You’ll fit right in.

Well, we gathered to watch the annual collection of commercials, but some weird program called the Academy Awards kept interrupting. Apparently this is some annual event in which a bunch of adults get together to dress up and celebrate which of them are the best at make-believe. Having not seen any of the pictures, and knowing nothing about it, I watched because I had no choice. I thought some guy named Michael Clayton was going to win. Then I found out that’s the name of a movie. How embarrassing. I thought Jon Stewart did a fine monologue to start things off. I also thought the five nominated songs were excruciatingly bad. As all this happened an hour ago I’ve already forgotten who won. I fear I have completely lost my taste for movies. I noticed that some of the biggest female stars are so white they are almost transparent. I think they may not have enough blood. I also noticed that designer gowns are still in but “hair-do’s” are out. I don’t recall ever seeing so many hanging wisps of hair. The 98 year-old man in the wheelchair was pretty good. Johnny Depp is kind of funny looking, but so is John Travolta. Everyone seemed to have a good time, except maybe the losers. Oh, yeah, the ex-stripper won for best screenplay. I thought that was good. It was a script about a pregnant teen-ager (yawn). Don’t mind me, I’m just jealous.

It’s that dreadful time of year. Tax time! This is the time of year when whatever suicidal tendencies I have come to the surface. I don’t mind the basic concept of taxes. I think we ought to have schools and police and firemen, and stuff. However, I don’t think we should have nuclear bombs and a military budget so ridiculously out of control. I resent my tax dollars being spent to kill innocent people, especially women and children, all around the globe, and simply being transferred from my pockets into the pockets of the filthy rich and powerful who don’t even need them. But this is only part of the problem. I can’t do my taxes. I have no idea how to do them. It’s is far too complicated for my tiny brain to grasp. I just have to gather up whatever stuff I have, put it in an envelope, and give it to someone who presumably knows what they are doing (and charges me accordingly). I hate this! Hate it! We have a tax code that is roughly the size of the Encyclopedia Brittanica which no one truly understands completely. So every year we go through the same painful business. I have thought of just not paying my taxes. By the time they caught up with me I’d be dead. But then they’d just make my wife’s life miserable which of course wouldn’t be fair (I’m really not a bad guy, I truly think about my wife’s welfare). When I was first in Los Angeles at UCLA I had to ask some of my friends to recommend a tax man. They did. He even made office calls. I admit I was somewhat surprised when he first appeared. He was black. He had a strangely cocked eye. He also had a shirt open to the navel with several gold chains hanging around his neck and a big diamond ring. He was both a lawyer and a tax man. I knew at first sight he was the right guy for me. His opening question was: “How do you feel about paying taxes.” He was great! I truly miss him. Ah, yes, better days.

"Education: that which reveals to the wise, and conceals from the stupid, the vast limits of their knowledge."
Mark Twain

Saturday, February 23, 2008

King Leopold's Ghost

Fishermen catch 16 foot
shark, hang it by its tail,
wallet falls out.

I have just finished King Leopold’s Ghost by Adam Hockschild, 1998, Houghton Mifflin. This is probably the most illustrative example of the greed, hypocrisy, and horror of European colonialism. The area once known as the Belgian Congo is the setting. King Leopold II of Belgium the chief villain.

Leopold II found himself King of Belgium, a small, relatively powerless nation surrounded by much stronger ones. Being unusually greedy, he dreamed of having a colony just like the other nations of Europe were developing. So desperate was he to realize his dream he actually tried to buy colonies in South America, Africa, and the Pacific (he once tried to buy Fiji). Frustrated by his failure, and fascinated by the adventures in the Congo of Henry Morton Stanley, he sought out Stanley and entered into a secret agreement with him to develop a colony in what was then the huge, unknown, and neglected heart of Africa. Knowing he would meet opposition for attempting to develop a commercial venture, he cleverly and dishonestly passed off his endeavors as being purely altruistic. He would put a stop to Arab slavery and bring the word of god, as well as civilization, to the black heathens in the Congo. He managed to con the U.S. and Britain into recognizing his claim to the Congo for these noble purposes, and other nations then followed suit.

Of course once he had control of this huge and distant land, where there was no one to witness or monitor what he was doing, he set about systematically looting it of its valuables, particularly ivory at first. He built a small railroad and a system of roads to make it easier to transport ivory from the interior to his shipping points on the coast. This took several years and in the meantime the ivory had to be transported by native carriers, thousand and thousands of them. They were provided by native chieftains who owned and provided them, but also by simply capturing them, chaining them together, and forcing them to carry heavy loads over long distances. Thousands of them died. If they refused to work or misbehaved they were severely beaten with special whips made or raw, sharp edged, twisted, dried Hippopotamus hide. Twenty five lashes could cause unconsciousness, 100 lashes, which were common, could result in death.

Leopold created an army that eventually grew to 19,000 troops, mostly Africans under the command of European officers. This was the largest army in Africa and operated not only as an antiguerilla unit, but also was in charge of labor. As you might surmise, officers and troops with little supervision and absolute power did not hesitate to use it. Natives were shot indiscriminately, raped, beaten, tortured, and treated abominably in every way, all in the name of civilizing them, while at the same time collecting all the ivory as fast as they could. This was mild compared to what happened next.

Rubber became a highly desired commodity at just this time. The Congo was blessed with wild rubber vines that could be tapped for their precious juices. But this required even more labor and the natives did not want to spend days and weeks scouring the forest for rubber. No problem, they were conscripted and forced to do it. If some resisted entire villages were destroyed to warn others. Natives who refused were beaten and shot. Their women were captured and held hostage to force the men to work. Women, like men, were chained together and sometimes just disappeared. Some became concubines and; some were tortured if they resisted.

The worst feature of this unbelievably greedy enterprise came when officers in the army decided they needed proof that someone had been killed for each of the cartridges they issued their black troops. They were made to produce the right hands of their victims. Hands were produced and handed over by the thousands. Often they were smoked to preserve them long enough to deliver them before they spoiled. Heads, too, were taken. Officers were apparently proud of this as they had their pictures taken with them, one officer standing in a ring of heads, another sending a head packed in salt to his taxidermist in Europe, still others being displayed on posts. Another officer was known for paying his troops for each head they produced after battles he fought, “to stimulate their prowess in the face of the enemy.”

All of this, like the rest of European colonialism, because of European beliefs about race, evolution, and the necessity to bring civilization to the heathens. Read this book, and re-read Joseph Conrad’s, The Heart of Darkness, that was based on Conrad’s own experience in this unfortunate land. The meaning of “the horror, the horror,” becomes much more understandable.

"Why shouldn't things be largely absurd, futile, and transitory? They are so, and we are so, and they and we go very well together."
George Santayana

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Clinton surrenders

German with machete takes lover's
head in rucksack, deliberately drives
into path of oncoming truck.

Clinton gives up, surrenders to Obama. At least that’s the way I interpreted the debate we just witnessed in Austin. It is obvious there are no differences that make a difference between the two of them. Clinton had to win to have any chance to become the nominee. I believe she sensed she did not manage to establish a genuine difference between herself and Obama, and given that fact, understood that she was finished. If Obama wins or splits Texas and Ohio it will be over for certain and it looks like that is precisely what is going to happen.

Clinton has too much baggage, and I don’t mean Bill. Trying to prove she was “tough” she voted for the “war,” for Lieberman/Kyl, for cluster bombs, for continuing funding for the Iraq misadventure, and those votes hung around her neck like an albatross. If she had faced a less accomplished candidate she might have succeeded, but Obama proved to be just too much better, especially as the campaign continued. He just got better and better and Hillary did worse and worse. When Obama suggested tonight that her attempts to brand him as a plagiarist was part of the political “silly season,” everyone recognized the truth of that allegation. Hillary kept looking at him with what I thought was virtually adoration, and at the very end she admitted her defeat. It has to be a personal tragedy for her. She was supposed to be the inevitable candidate, and it certainly started out that way. Obama, who many thought couldn’t last more than a couple of months, fooled everyone and truly upset expectations. Whether Obama can live up to what he has promised remains to be seen, but a great many Americans seem prepared to drink the Obama kool-aid. God speed, Barack, we’re rolling the dice on you.

The New York Times story on McCain may or may not have much foundation. But it has already reminded people of the Keating five scandal and has also revealed McCain’s relationships with lobbyists in the past. Naturally, being part of the Brafia, he can’t possibly be entirely “clean.” I don’t think this means he’s “a dirty old man,” just another Washington politician (but clever enough to pull the wool over people’s eyes for years). Once he’s asked how he’s going to pay for his continuing “war,” and finance the other ones he insists will happen, I think he’ll be finished. I doubt the Democrats will show too much respect for his age.

Why do the moderators in these debates continue to ask completely ridiculous questions? Tonight, for example, they asked Clinton point blank if she thought Obama was not qualified to be President. Did they really expect her to say yes? This attempt to introject purely personal attacks into the debates must be done on purpose just to cause trouble where there obviously is none. It’s the same thing with Michelle Obama’s remark about being proud of America for the first time. It’s perfectly obvious to anyone with a brain larger than a bb what she meant. But that doesn’t keep the MSM and hatemongers like Limbaugh from trying to make something out of it that just isn’t there. Maybe I’m giving them too much credit, maybe they just truly have such small minds they really think these things are important. Remember Hillary’s cleavage, her laugh, her clapping, someone’s lapel pin, haircut, etc., etc. They might as well just recite nonsense syllables. It’s what passes for news nowadays. We used to get more news from the old black and white “News of the Day” shorts they used to play in the movies.

“What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?”
Mahatma Gandhi

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

There's no fool like an old fool?

Three right feet in sneakers
have been found on islands
in the Strait of Georgia

I find it hilarious that the New York Times broke a story today about possible hanky panky between John McCain and some female lobbiest (sp?). Apparently this story has been around for quite some time but until now they decided not to print it. This raises the obvious question of why? And why now? First, the story is eight years old. Second, they haven’t given any details other than the fact that McCain’s staff intervened “to protect him from himself” (there’s no fool like an old fool?). With no real details known or revealed there is all sorts of speculation – was it romantic (they seemed to think it was). Was it sexual (lots of doubt). More importantly, did he do favors for her clients in some kind of quid pro quo (this is the only thing that strikes me as potentially important). Everyone seems to believe the NYT must have more information than they have revealed. Until they produce it I have to regard this as more comical than serious. Like, who cares what he did with a female lobbiest eight years ago (unless he did her favors for her clients)? I guess that eight years ago he must have been 63, an old enough age to be treated as a child? Somehow this smacks of an LBJ scenario (accuse him of having sex with a goat, even though you know its not true, just to watch him squirm while having to deny it). I sort of miss old LBJ. Obviously McCain is going to deny everything. Probably nothing will come of this. But think of how many hours the MSM can waste of our time. It’s certainly better than having to talk about Iraq, Afghanistan, or the economy.

Now someone has slipped in the notion that Obama is a communist (I don’t remember where I saw this). Whoever it was I am certain he or she is an absolute nitwit, just like those who say he is a Muslim, a Muslim plant who wants to overthrow the government, a cult leader, a socialist, communist, na├»ve, a wimp, or first baseman for the Kansas City Bloomergirls. I’m sure more ridiculous accusations are yet to come, along with other accusations probably too dirty to mention (I haven’t seen the heavy hand of Karl Rove yet). This raises a question I’ve been meaning to ask for some time: If Karl Rove is Bush’s brain, and if he is no longer available in the White House, does this mean Bush has no brain? I mean, I know he has no brain, this is merely hypothetical. As a donkey with a memory that never forgets, what ever happened with that homosexual prostitute, Gannon/Guckert or whatever his name was, who used to mysteriously pay calls to the White House. We never did get an explanation. And why does this association occur in my mind with the mention of Karl Rove? Where is Freud when one needs him? And whatever happened to truth and beauty? Bush/Cheney has done away with them. Can Obama bring them back? Can he possibly live up to all the hype? Of course not. It’ll probably take him the first four years of his Presidency just to clean up the filth in the White House itself, let alone the world. I am assuming he will be the Democratic nominee. In a strange way I feel sorry for him, having to clean up after the Brafia scoundrels that have virtually destroyed our country, a virtually impossible task. I fear that is now the Brafia strategy. They know they can’t win, so let a Democratic President fail at an absolutely impossible task, and then they can take up where they left off – bankrupting our country, destroying any standing it once had in the world, killing indiscriminately, starting new wars, destroying our once proud military, and lying, lying, always lying. What will they do when there is nothing left. Why, they’ll take their money and buy Paraguay (they probably won’t be allowed anywhere else). Bite the bullet. Try to be of good cheer. Sleep well. Have pleasant dreams. Maybe someone will come on a white horse and save us from the barbarian hordes in Washington D.C.

Bill has warned the voters in Texas that it is all up to them. If they don’t vote for Hillary she probably won’t be the candidate. This strikes me as a foolish threat. We’ll soon know if it works.

“If you want to know what god thinks of money, just look at who he gave it to.”
Dorothy Parker

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Clinton's last stand

Fiancee refuses to stop smoking in his
apartment. German man sprays her and
her cigarette with fire extinguisher.

Barack Obama has won the primary in Wisconsin, a state ostensibly favorable to Clinton. This means that Ohio and Texas will be Clinton’s last stand. It already appears from the polls that Texas is split about even. Clinton is ahead in Ohio but that will certainly be subject to change after tonight. I fear that just like “The Son of the Morning Star,” Clinton will soon be massacred. Unfortunately, her own political ambition is going to come back to haunt her. She voted for the “war.” She voted for the Lieberman/Kyl bill (potentially more war). She voted repeatedly to continue funding for the Iraq misadventure. And perhaps worst of all, she voted to continue the use of cluster bombs. The American public is forgiving, but I doubt they are that forgiving. If this unexpected upset holds I hope she will leave graciously. I like Hillary. I think she is well-intentioned and exceedingly well-versed in the problems that beset our ailing country. But she is DLC and on the wrong side of history. Our country clearly wants no more of business as usual.

I hope Obama is fully prepared for what the Brafia will begin to throw at him non-stop. Now that he looks pretty sure to be the Democratic candidate the roviating will begin in earnest. It has already been suggested, as you doubtless know, that he is really a Muslim (totally false but some of he ultra-right nitwits will stick with it). Not only is he said by them to be a Muslim, he is a Muslim plant whose aim is to destroy America (this deserves no comment at all). A few days ago someone suggested that Obamarama was really a cult of some kind (a cult, I guess, with the largest membership in the history of such things). Now someone has slyly suggested he is a black Jim Jones. I guess this is related to the fact that on at least six occasions someone has fainted during his speeches. As far as I know all these were women. I think a more accurate comparison might be that he is a black Frank Sinatra (without the famous bow ties that Sinatra used to untie at just the right moment while the girls swooned). I assure you these slanders will be much worse before the Brafia gets through with him. Watch them try to make something out of Michelle Obama’s comment that for the first time in her adult life she is proud of America. I know what she means. For me, until something actually changes, I say it’s the first time in my life I have been completely ashamed to be an American. You can thank Bush/Cheney and their not so merry band of cutthroats, thieves, and war criminals for that.

Castro has resigned after 49 years of rule. His brother is now in charge of Cuba. The U.S. is going out of its way to make clear there will be no changes in policy (no lifting of sanctions), even though Raul Castro is believed to be more flexible than Fidel. As the sanctions have been in place for many years and seem to have had little effect, and as Cuba can hardly be seen as a threat to the U.S., you might think that reason and common sense would prevail. But, hey, this is the U.S., there doesn’t seem to be any place for either reason or common sense.

The Brafia is saying some pretty strange and provocative things of late. Karl Rove, in a speech somewhere in Canada, is reported to have said that “someday the world will look back and say it was really a good thing that Bush invaded Iraq” (or words to that effect). I guess he thinks that Canadians don’t have any brains. Just today Eagleburgear (remember that cranky old man) suggested if the Democrats win the Presidency it will be “horrifying.” Wow! Horrifying. What the hell does he think its going to be if McCain should win? Horrifying won’t come close to describing it. McCain, tonight in his victory speech, referred to our “enemies” in the Middle East as “moral monsters.” I guess people who resent having their country invaded and their people killed by the thousands are somehow morally deficient. I hope he meant only al Qaida but I’m not sure. I don’t think he’s very sympathetic to “towel-heads” and those with the temerity to not do what we tell them to do. I saw the Brafia battle cry on a raised big pickup truck even before we actually attacked Iraq but I didn’t recognize it at the time: “Nuke their ass and steal their gas.” We haven’t managed to literally do both of those things as yet, but Cheney hasn’t given up trying.

“Her own mother lived the latter years of her life in the horrible suspicion that electricity was dripping invisibly all over the house.”
James Thurber

Monday, February 18, 2008


The desperation of a long time campaigner. Hillary Clinton must be getting desperate indeed to try to pin Obama with plagiarism. Because a phrase or two of Obama’s were identical to those of one of his close political friends (who he consults with all the time) they want to accuse him of plagiarism. Unfortunately this will be seen by virtually everyone as an act of political desperation. It will be much ado about nothing. But the fact that they would even attempt it shows just how shaky the Clinton campaign really is. Similarly, they are trying to label him as a flip-flopper on campaign financing by distorting what he has said in the past about it. This, too, is too transparent to work. You can see in this, however, that they have their minions working overtime trying to find something, anything, that will slow down the Obama momentum. Now the polls show Obama ahead in Wisconsin and Texas a dead heat. If this turns out this way Clinton might as well pack up and go back to New York. She may want to stay and fight to win by enlisting the superdelegates but it appears to me that some senior members of the Democratic party have already decided that is not going to happen.

Bush the Dumb has now announced that the “war” in Iraq, costing billions a month, has nothing to do with the U.S. economy. I guess you might find somewhere in history a claim more ridiculous than that but I don’t know where it would be. This is a claim even more absurd than Giuliani’s famous claim that there is no relationship, none at all, between American foreign policy and what is transpiring in the Middle East. Where does the Brafia even find these people, let alone tolerate and support them?

It appears that the powerful Israeli lobby probably made a mistake by jumping on the Clinton bandwagon too soon. They did not regard Obama as being sufficiently friendly to Israel, misjudged how the campaign would play out, and now are finding it a bit too late to switch their allegiance. Remember, Obama was raised at least in part in a Muslim environment, and he has also said in the past that the Palestinians are among the most downtrodden people on earth (or words to that effect). Does that mean we might have some hope that finally, at long last, we may have a President who does not cave in to every Israeli desire, and might in fact actually do something to help the Palestinian cause? Someone who might curb Israeli’s ongoing racist colonialism? I sincerely hope so, but of course it remains to be seen. Look for more false claims that he is a Muslim and worse. Obviously we cannot know for certain what Obama will do if he attains the Presidency. But in my case the will to believe in him is so strong I don’t care what they try to paint him as, he’s by far our best hope for meaningful change.

As a brief respite today from the gloom and doom of the current world situation I watched an ant. In the bathroom. It was fascinating, especially as my mind began to run away in a whirlwind of fantasy. This time of year, when it is cold and dry and icy, ants sometimes try to come into our house. We spray them and they give up for a time, but then they try again. I guess they want both water and food. Anyway, this ant was a loner. It was in the middle of our bathroom floor. It is a good sized room with an all tile floor. This lone ant must have been, in ant miles, a good hundred miles, maybe much more, from any other ant and certainly from any ant colony. To the ant the floor must have resembled a gigantic almost endless desert. There is nothing but tile, one after another, separated by caulking. The ant wandered here and there, in and out of the valleys of caulk, seemingly lost, or at least not doing anything purposeful that I could see. But that is what was so fascinating. Why was it there? How did it get there? Did it have a purpose? Was it merely lost? Perhaps it was a spy, sent out to find another ant colony that his compatriots could attack? Maybe it was a messenger, looking desperately for a general, like in “A Message for Garcia?” I thought maybe it was a scout, sent out to locate some food and water. Perhaps it was an outcast, having violated some ant law and been banished to wander forever on bathroom floors, something like the Flying Dutchman? Then it could have been a romantic ant looking for love, or even for a lost love. It trudged on doggedly over seemingly endless terrain. Finally it began climbing the waste basket, a task for it roughly one hundred times more difficult than Tensing conquering Everest. Poor little ant tyke. I wished it well as it disappeared into a miasma of used tissues and assorted bric-a-brac. I am an incurable romantic.

“Hegel was right when he said that we learn from history that man can never learn anything from history.”
George Bernard Shaw

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Imperial Reckoning

I have just read one of the most incredible books I have seen in a very long time, Imperial Reckoning, by Caroline Elkins, 2005, Henry Holt, N.Y.

Caroline Elkins is an Assistant Professor of History at Harvard University. She spent years researching the Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya for her dissertation. She not only employed all the resources of the archives, but interviewed dozens of people who lived through those dreadful years, both natives and colonials. There is no reason to suppose that what she has written is not the truth, or an exceedingly close approximation of the truth. It is a horrible story. I confess that while reading it I truly resisted believing it, even though I know it is true. It’s a sad and depressing account of the Mau Mau rebellion and how the British dealt with it. The Mau Mau were cruel, and in their attempt to win back their homeland and overcome the years of abuse they experienced at the hands of the British, they spared no one. Their grisly attacks on settlers and on the natives that were collaborating with the British caused the latter to panic. An Emergency was declared, and an attempt was made to eliminate the Mau Mau completely. British propaganda immediately branded the Mau Mau fighters as bestial, evil, primitive savages, obsessed with blood lust and the desire to just kill, kill, kill. They were presented as creatures no better than animals. At the same time British colonial society was presented as a peaceful, noble enterprise attempting only to bring “civilization” to the natives of Kenya.

The first attempt to eliminate the Mau Mau consisted of what were termed “screenings.” Hundreds, perhaps thousands of natives were made to undergo a screening. The purpose of these screenings were to determine who had taken the Mau Mau oaths and were therefore Mau Mau, or at least to learn if they knew any Mau Mau. The nature of these screenings can be seen in the following quotes from some who had experienced them.

An account from Ndirita Kibira, a gardener:

“we were taken to a camp in a farm {Bhati} owned by a settler whom we had nicknamed Nyangweso. That was where we were screened. We would be asked whether we had taken the oath, and those who denied having taken it were beaten badly until they were forced to confess or at least gave them some information. Many died from the beatings…The black askaris {guards} were the ones who were doing most of the beating, but the white settlers and policemen were there as well, directing it and also beating us. (Elkins, 12005:65).

“Margaret Nyaruai, a young woman at the time of Mau Mau, was taken to the screening hut on the estate of her settler employer near Kabaru not long after the start of the Emergency. There she was beaten by a white man whom the Kikuyu had nicknamed Koroki, or He Who Comes at Dawn, by the young settler turned British colonial officer nicknamed YY. While being screened, Margaret was asked:
‘Questions like the number of oaths I had taken, where my husband went, where two of my stepbrothers had gone (they had gone into the forest). I was badly whipped while naked. They didn’t care that I had just given birth. In fact, I think my baby was lucky it was not killed like the rest...Apart from the beatings, women used to have banana leaves and flowers inserted into their vaginas and rectums, as well as have their breasts squeezed with pliers; after which a woman would say everything because of the pain...even the men had their testicles squeezed with pliers to make them confess! After such things were done to me, I told them everything. I survived after the torture, but I still have a lot of pain in my body even today from it.’” (Elkins 2005:68).

These are not the only accounts given in the book. There are dozens of them. This was mild, however, compared to what was to come for the Mau Mau. As it was basically a nationalistic movement with the goal of recapturing their lands that had been taken from them, as well as their dignity that had also been taken, it had an extremely broad membership and a great deal of popular support. It became impossible to deal with in this way. Eventually most of the Kikuyu were rounded up and put in camps. These camps were easily a match for, if not worse than the German concentration camps and the Russian gulags. Indeed, Elkins terms them just that – gulags. The accounts from those who survived these camps are worse that the ones quoted above, and, again, there are many of them which I will not quote here. The fact is, these British gulags existed, the inmates were subjected to horrible tortures and, yes, savagery beyond belief. The British government naturally tried to cover this up but eventually the truth came out, the camps were disbanded, and Kenya was given its independence with Jomo Kenyatta as its first President.

To me this story seems almost unbelievable. Remember, we’re not talking about 1750, or 1850, we’re talking about 1950. The British and the rest of the world were well acquainted with the German camps as well as the Russian gulags. That the British would have behaved in this way in 1950 tells us something about human nature, something most unpleasant. It is true that such institutionalized brutality seems to attract the scum of the earth, and much of the torture was conducted by natives recruited for the purpose (some from other countries), but it is also true that white settlers and British military personnel were involved as well. Not only did they order it and condone it they also at times participated in it. Many of these British officers were educated in fine schools in England before finding themselves in Kenya in positions of power. This kind of thing is occurring at the present time in places like Darfur, Liberia, Sierra Leone, the Ivory Coast, West New Guinea, Timor, and yes, unfortunately, even closer to home. I recommend this book highly, but you will need a strong stomach.

Do not speak to me of Intelligent Design. If there was any such creator involved in the creation of the human species, it must have been a vicious, malevolent, sadistic, perverted, inhuman creature or thing at best. There is a terrible flaw built into our species, a flaw not shared by any other living thing.

"It has been said that man is a rational animal. All my life I have been searching for evidence which could support this."
Bertrand Russell

Saturday, February 16, 2008


Limerence. Ever hear of it? It could conceivably become a new Psychiatric term for a new psychiatric "illness." As I understand it, limerence refers to the state of initially falling in love. In order to suffer from limerence you must be totally wrapped up in your newfound love to the point where it can be seen as obsessional. You know, you can't bear to be away from your love, you think of nothing else, can't sleep properly, or eat properly, and so on. Frankly, this sounds to me like pretty much par for the course when it comes to falling in love. But some psychologists seem to think it is a special state of mind that could be a form of mental illness. But don't worry, if the pharmaceutical industry can't come up with a pill for it, it will probably just disappear (as I suspect it ought to). I think manufacturing health problems (where they probably don't exist) is becoming big business. All you have to do is find some plausible excuse for a new pill and you're in business. Take Restless Leg Syndrome, for example. It seems there are a few people who legitimately have something like restless leg syndrome, serious enough that they really need help for it. But the vast majority of people who think they have it, don't really have it, at least not seriously enough to warrant taking pills for it. But with a bit of advertising the drug companies can make you believe you have all sorts of problems, hence the non-stop ads these days for every pill known to man. And when you add the Cosmetic Industry there is literally no problem you can't find a pill or a salve or a lotion for. Wrinkles, no problem. Age spots, no problem, gray hair, no problem, unsightly toenails, no problem, and so on and so forth. God, this is a great counry we live in. Think of trying to live in a country where people just grow old gracefully and accept their minor little problems philosophically. I bet there will be a pill soon for lefthandedness, probably one for making your face perfectly symmetrical, as well as one for your posture. And there will surely be pills to make you live longer (actually, I guess there already are). My mother-in-law (who is younger than I am) often suggests I should do something to look younger. I tell her I don't care if I look younger, I want to be younger. There's no pill for that - yet.

Harry Reid really is a kind of wimp. He seems to make his living providing for Bush's every need. You need more money for the "war?" Call Harry. You want immunity for the telecom companies? Call Harry. You don't want to be impeached? Call Harry. He's supposed to be a Democrat and a leader. He fails on both scores as near as I can tell.

There is an interesting exchange going on, on Red State Rebels, having to do with Walt Minnick. Those who defend him do so mostly on the grounds that he's such a great guy. He probably is a great guy. He is also said to have run a successful forest products company while being an environmentalist at the same time. Someone also claims that he has forgotten more about nuclear energy and waste than most people have ever known. If this is so, I can't help but question why he supports nuclear energy. He must know there is no way to dispose of nuclear waste (the claim that France does is nonsense). He must also know that nuclear energy is fantastically expensive and costs the taxpayers really big bucks. As far as biofuels. which he also supports, there are serious questions about what producing them does to the environment. The most interesting question about Minnick, however, which goes unanswered, is why is he running at all? There is a perfectly good, indeed, outstanding candidate, in Larry Grant who ran against Sali in the last election. He did pretty well for a Democratic candidate in an entirely Republican state and I believe would almost certainly win this time. I would like a straightforward answer to the question: what is wrong with Larry Grant as a candidate for Congress? So far I have heard only two items: first, he ran a lackluster campaign (which I believe is false), and second, he ran an entirely grassroots campaign to avoid taking outside money (some apparently think this was bad). He worked hard in his last campaign. He knocked on doors, marched in parades, met and talked with people around the state, and so forth. He is honest, intelligent, willing to listen, and an outstanding person in every way. Minnick did not run in the last election. He seems to be taking advantage of Grant's previous efforts on behalf of Democrats. I am told he is presumably a better candidate because he's a really nice guy and he has money. I believe Larry Grant is just as good or better as a candidate, and because of the time and effort he has already invested, he is probably quite a lot better. Bill Sali, having proven himself to be an utter nitwit, is extremely vulnerable this time. I think Grant would win easily. He deserves it (and he's not for nuclear energy, which is far more important than money). Vote for Larry Grant!

“In our civilization, and under our republican form of government, intelligence is so highly honored that it is rewarded by exemption from the cares of office.”
Ambrose Bierce

Friday, February 15, 2008


"Stimulus checks should be in the mail in May. I don't know if I will even get one. But what a concept! It's sort of Pavolovian. You hear the words stimulus and checks and start to salivate, expecting the rewards to come. There is a certain logic involved. The public is about two thirds of the economy. If they stop spending the economy suffers. If the economy suffers too much there is a recession, or depression. order to keep the economy going you just have to give the public some money, assuming they will run right out and spend it and thus save us from ourselves. Not a bad idea, huh? There is a slight flaw in this concept, however, a trivial little matter that has to do with the fact that the government doesn’t have 168 billion dollars to give us all a stimulus. I guess they assume that as we are slightly over 9 trillion dollars in debt another 168 billion won’t matter. This is what passes now for fiscal responsibility. This plan is supposed to stimulate us in two ways, stimulate us to go out and spend, and thus stimulate the economy. There is no doubt most people will spend the money as they are all tapped out and losing their homes and going hungry because of the cost of food and fuel and etc. But there is also a question of where they will spend this money and for what. You can be certain that a great deal of it will be spent in Wal Mart. Wal Mart gets most of its merchandise from China. China is probably going to have to lend us the 168 billion so I suppose in some sense it is only fair that we buy Chinese made Wal Mart junk. But how, you might ask, does that help our economy? Well, you might say we’ll spend a lot of it on oil. Yes, no doubt we will. But the oil mostly comes from Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Canada, and elsewhere. So how does that help our economy? Food, that’s it. We’ll spend a lot of it on food. But our food is increasingly coming from overseas: asparagus from Peru, fish from China, Thailand, New Zealand, and elsewhere. How is that going to help our economy? There must be something made in America, how about cars? Yes, there are cars made in America. The best selling cars made in America are being made by Japanese companies. They do employ American labor so that I guess is good. But explain to me how it is the Japanese can manufacture cars and make a profit in the U.S., where American companies have to increasingly outsource for labor and supplies. I confess this is all a mystery to me. I’m not an economist (of course I’m not into witchcraft either), I don’t understand these things. But I just can’t wait to get my stimulus (if, indeed, I do get one).

Speaking of Wal Mart I find myself sometimes having to shop there. I never used to shop there. But a combination of living too long and shrinking retirement benefits, plus the terrible inflation that has set in, has caused me to attempt to adjust to poverty. Thus I go to Wal Mart with most of the rest of America (sometimes it’s the only game in town). As I am now one of them I do not mean to speak disparagingly about this experience. However, I must admit that when I go there I feel like I am in a gigantic warehouse full of losers. The clerks and managers and such seem to be losers, and the customers for the most part are certainly losers (like me). It is depressing. I know they are working for less than living wages and I know the customers are there because they can’t afford to shop elsewhere (if, indeed, they have anywhere else to shop once they have a Wal Mart in their vicinity). Adding insult to injury I have recently learned that fully 80% of what you buy at Wal Mart is not, in fact, cheaper than elsewhere (they sell a few items cheaper and advertise always cheaper prices, etc..It’s a kind of scam). But like I say, once you have a Wal Mart you don’t find many other places to shop anyway. Sometimes when I first wake up in the morning I lie there reflecting upon things (it’s my best time for reflecting). Often I reflect on the “ultimate real,” but lately I’ve been reflecting on Wal Mart, wondering how much different it might make if the three or four multi-billionaires that own it would just take a few billions less out of the till for themselves and pay their help better (and perhaps even buy better merchandise). But then reality sets in once again and I realize how lucky we are to live under a full-blown “free-market” society where mostly everything is “privatized.” This is why we are doing so well. Just wait until they get to privatize water and air, along with medical care, fuel, and food. It will no doubt put the finishing touches on paradise. If I sound cynical, I am.

The Democrats finally managed to stand up to Bush/Cheney. Only on the question of illegal spying, however. The war and torture party still gets its way on most everything else. Having consistently blocked any Democratic attempt to stop the illegal “war,” and now voting not to ban torture, I guess it is very clear where the Brafia stands. It should be an interesting election: the war and torture party versus us “wimps.”

"Life is full of misery, loneliness, and suffering - and its all over much too soon."
Woody Allen

Thursday, February 14, 2008


The “straight talk express” is evolving into the hypocrites chariot right before our eyes. It turns out that John McCain is a man with no courage of his convictions. McCain not long ago absolutely insisted that waterboarding was torture and should not be permitted. Now he has voted against a ban on it. Flip-flop does not do justice to this blatant hypocrisy. McCain wants to be President so bad he is willing to do anything…anything. What do you expect from a guy willing to be photographed hugging George W. Bush? Sorry, John, if you ever had any credibility you don’t have it anymore. Why not dishonor yourself even more, pick your buddy, Mitt Romney, for your running mate. Don’t let your apparent dislike of him keep you from it, it didn’t keep you from voting on torture. If the Brafia allows this old fool to be their candidate they will only be humoring him in his dotage and waiting for the 2012 election. Such a strategy has worked for them before.

I’ve been thinking about tobacco. Well, actually, I was provoked into thinking about it by someone who insists people should be allowed to smoke if they wish. Interestingly enough, I agree with that. If people want to smoke and take the risks (alone and outside) I think they should be allowed to do that. If a bar owner wants to run a bar where customers want to smoke, fine. None of this bothers me in the slightest. What bothers me about tobacco is not the rights of individuals to do stupid things if they wish, it is that tobacco is allowed to be produced and marketed at all. Tobacco, it seems to me, is a unique product. It is the only thing produced for the express purpose of killing people. Tobacco is a poison. It kills people. Everyone knows this. Even the tobacco companies know it. But they still go ahead year after year packaging and marketing it. You don’t even have to abuse it to get killed. Alcohol is bad, but in order to actually kill yourself with it you have to truly abuse it. Drugs of various kinds, too, can be bad. But they are not produced with the knowledge that they are going to kill people, unless, again, they are terribly abused. How do you explain an industry that knows its product kills hundreds of thousands of people but goes ahead and produces it anyway. Not only produces it, but spends millions of dollars promoting it, even to children. And what do you think of a nation that allows this murderous enterprise to persist and thrive? Just another example of our culture of the absurd. So…if people want to smoke and kill themselves, let them. But let them grow their own weed, roll it up, stick it in their mouths, and light it on fire. There’s no accounting for taste. Marijuana, by the way, doesn’t kill. If you sell it you go to jail. If you sell tobacco you make lots of money, legally, and live (happily?) ever after. If, that is, you have no conscience or respect for others, like Bush the Dumb and Dick the Slimy.

The Clintons have a new magic word – “solutions.” Obama just has speeches, Hillary has solutions. But what if it turns out Obama has both speeches and solutions? Maybe the Clintons could claim they have “magic?” Black magic. Lots of people would eagerly believe they have black magic. That’s why Hillary has a cackle instead of a laugh, she really is a witch or a sorceress. If she has black magic I hope she works it on the Brafia, they certainly deserve it. The polls show Clinton with a pretty commanding lead in both Ohio and Texas, and also in Pennsylvania. I bet when the time comes those leads won’t be so commanding. I think if Obama should unexpectedly take any one of those three states it will be all over for the Clintons, in spite of the superdelegates (do not lose sight of the fact that I am often wrong). Prognostication is not my forte. In fact, I seem to have no forte.


Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Young woman mistakenly
deposits meth in her ATM,
along with her address.

I guess it’s good to know that our Senate is fully complicit with the criminal Bush/Cheney administration. With 31 Democratic Senators voting with the Brafia they have tried to keep immunity for the telecom companies that have helped illegally spy on us for so long. The House of Representatives might stop this travesty but don’t bet on it. If nothing happens for a few days we’ll just automatically revert to having to get judicial permission for spying, like we used to before the criminals took over. The telecom industry is the fourth or fifth most powerful lobby. Think that has anything to do with this?

I hope you didn’t miss Bush’s performance this morning trying to coerce Congress into passing this immunity bill. I don’t have his precise words but basically he told us that at this very moment terrorists are plotting to attack our country in such a way that 9/11 will look like a picnic. Fear anyone? Bush is so transparent and so stupid I guess he thinks someone will believe him. I suppose there is a grain of truth in it: someone, somewhere, somehow, someway, someday, might conceive and carry out another terrorist attack. This is like saying Lutherans are people who believe that someone, somewhere, somehow, might actually enjoy him or herself, or something like that.

Justice Scalia, the Dark Prince of the Supreme Court, has now said that the Constitution does not prohibit torture and thus our CIA (or whomever) could slap people and stick things under their fingernails and so on. I haven’t read the Constitution for a long time, and I don’t happen to have a copy handy, but I don’t think it specifically prohibits murder either. It also doesn’t mention a whole host of things that didn’t even exist when it was written. I don’t know why it matters anyway as Bush/Cheney have long since given up paying even lip service to that sacred document. After all, as Bush said, “it’s just a damn piece of paper.”

Kudos to Representative Robert Wexler who is doggedly trying to get Congress to perform its Constitutional duty and impeach Dick the Slimy. He questioned Rice today about the intelligence we were offered before the Iraq “war.” He wants to know why none of the contradictory evidence was mentioned, but only the evidence Condi and others elected to tell us. I didn’t see the exchange but Wexler claims she lied. Condi lie? Surely not Condi? Haven’t all the Brafia members of this administration always told us the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth? Or have I missed something? By the way, watch out for the mushroom clouds that seem to drift around whenever the Brafia speaks.

Have you heard the latest about smoking pot. It rots your teeth, according to some study or other. Wow! It used to just cause black guys to rush out and rape white women. Where do they find people to make this stuff up? Do you think they interviewed the several millions of pot smokers? Maybe just the homeless ones with no money living under bridges? What will they come up with next? Will anyone ever try to bring to an end this utterly ridiculous, useless, costly, stupid “war on drugs?”

I notice that some are trying to label the Obama phenomena a “cult.” If so, it’s the biggest damn cult anyone has seen for a very long time, maybe ever. Some have not given up yet on Clinton and believe she might still win the nomination. It is, of course, theoretically possible, but I believe it to be highly unlikely. “It’s hard to keep ‘em back on the farm after they’ve seen Paree.” There is a danger here for Obama. If people begin to see him as a Messiah he won’t be able to live up to their expectations. Let’s hope he tries. He may be just the person we’ve been looking for. He may prove to be just another politician. Let’s roll them dice and hope that Big Juju will be on our side this time.

“I think that God in creating Man somewhat overestimated his ability.”
Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Nukes and stuff

Woman has her dream Greek
wedding, dies of heart attack
dancing in husband’s arms.

More nuclear weapons? I thought we had international agreements to reduce nuclear arms. Bush now wants 150 billion dollars to develop new ones, in spite of the fact they are not needed. Oh, I forgot, they are needed – by the military/industrial/political complex. Another step in creating the new arms race and putting humanity right back on the brink of humanicide. Great job, morons!

If you have been thinking there is something wrong with our Senate, don’t think again. Now the apparent nitwits that inhabit that questionable institution have voted to preserve immunity for the telephone companies who have been illegally helping Bush/Cheney spy on us. Why do they care if they spy on us, they just get more money from them. We continue on our rapidly sinking ship of state. Great job, Senators!

Bill Sali continues in his remarkable ability to vote against anything decent and for anything indecent. Running true to form he voted against making College less expensive (losing 354 – 48), and voted against protection for the mentally ill or addicted (losing 384 – 23). Then he voted for the 168 billion bribe to the public, leading them to believe our President and Congress actually care about us. Sali better hope the Chinese will actually come through with the loan, I think our credit rating, like the dollar, is rapidly deteriorating. Maybe he believes his $600 gift will help get him out of debt. Great job Sali! VOTE FOR LARRY GRANT!!!

John Foster, the Executive Director of the Idaho Democrats has resigned after only a few months in office, “to spend more time with his family.” As usual, an explanation that demands reasonable doubt. I have no idea what is actually going on down there in Boise but I bet it has much more to do with Idaho politics than it has to do with child care.

Since “Super Tuesday” Obama has now won eight elections in a row, having just now won in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C. And, as usual, he won every contest by a large margin of votes. So where does this leave the Clintons who “never give up?” It leaves them now banking on big wins in Texas, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, a form of Giuliani strategy which may well lead them to the same fate as that discredited opportunist.

I predicted in January of 07 that Hillary Clinton would be our next President, that she was the choice of the Corporate power structure, and the whole thing was a done deal. I also predicted that Obamarama would fade quickly. I still think I was right about the first prediction, but I was totally wrong about the second one. Who would have dreamed that a charismatic African American with little experience could go so far in this nation with its history of discrimination? Anyway, he hasn’t won the Presidency yet, I could still be right about Clinton. I sincerely hope not. I know better than to predict anything in politics. I’m almost always wrong. Somehow I am out of sync with the American public. I’m glad.

Bill Kristol just appeared once again on the Daily Show, confirming what I have long thought. He’s crazy. Isn’t someone out of touch with reality crazy? Of course on that score he merely joins the rest of the Brafia that seems to thrive primarily on blood lust and greed.

The Israelis continue bombing Gaza, and now they say they are going to increase their assassinations of Hamas leaders. How well would it be received if the U.S. announced an official policy of assassinating Russian leaders? Israel has never had anything but contempt for either the U.N. or world opinion. They just blissfully go on with their slow and premeditated criminal genocide, with the help of the U.S., and no one seems able to get them to stop. There will never be peace in the Middle East until someone curbs the Israelis. The two questions that dare not be asked of any of the candidates: what will you do about Israeli colonialism? What will you do about the Bush/Cheney war crimes? The dogs bark but the caravan moves on.

"I wish I could believe in the Bible, like you people -- I just can't. And I wish I could get hope out of it like you do. I've got no hope."
Clarence Darrow

Sunday, February 10, 2008


What about Afghnistan? Does anyone have any idea why we are still there, and apparently still losing? Gates has been there whining because there don’t seem to be enough European troops willing to fight and die for the cause. You might well ask, what cause? What is our cause in Afghanistan? Why are we still there? It is pretty obvious we are not working very hard to get Osama bin Laden. And we surely do not intend to occupy the entire country and turn it into an American colony (at least I don’t think we are quite that insane). In order to do that we would doubtless need about a million man army and perhaps one hundred years (no one has ever managed to conquer Afghanistan). As far as I know, aside from the claim that we want to get Osama bin Laden (but aren’t really trying), the only reason we have to be there at all is because we want to build some kind of oil pipeline through that unfortunate country and manage therefore to bypass Russia (I could be wrong about this, if so, please advise). So…why should European countries want to sacrifice their soldiers for our hypothetical pipeline? NATO was created to control Russia (which presumably used to be a threat but, realistically, is no longer). It was certainly not created to help us create a pipeline through Afghanistan. Oh, well, those dumb Europeans, what do they know? I do not believe there is any doubt whatsoever in the minds of those with IQ’s above say, 70, that we are inevitably going to “fail” in Afghanistan. What other outcome is even theoretically possible? If you know, please let me know. This has to be the single most useless military adventure in history, worse, even, than the “Charge of the Light Brigade.” But what do I know?

Well, Barack Hussein Obama, god bless him, has now won Maine, in addition to Nebraska, Washington, and Louisiana (and the Virgin Islands). This means he has won at least 19 out of 30 states so far. If he wins in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C., which he is quite likely to do, Hillary will not have won a single state since super Tuesday. This will have to be excruciatingly embarrassing for the Clintons no matter how many delegates they still have. And what if it then continues and Obama wins at least some more states (which he almost certainly will? We will have a situation in which Obama has won a majority of states (probably by substantial majorities), plus the popular vote, but the Clintons still refuse to give up, hoping the superdelegates (party insiders) will save them. Disaster for the Democratic party is lurking here and it may not be at all easy to avert it.

I am having a certain amount of trouble over the issue of gun control. It seems to me the problem has to do with your initial assumptions. If, for example, you start with the assumption that the 2nd amendment can be taken to apply to individual gun owners as well as, or in addition to, militias, then obviously there should be no problem with the individual ownership of guns. But then you are confronted with the question of what kind of guns. If you assume the reason for owning guns is simply practical, that is, either for self defense or hunting, there is no reason you should not be able to own pistols or shotguns or rifles, useful for hunting or self-protection. But, then, why should you want any other kinds of guns, like fully automatic weapons, 50 calibre machine guns, or such? If you argument for them is because you need to protect yourself from the government itself, then why should there be any restrictions at all, Why not bazookas, rocket launchers, howitzers, even tanks? But then the government would still have the air force, submarines, nuclear bombs, poison gas, who knows what all. How would you protect yourself from that? You see the problem, I hope. It basically reduces itself to a matter of trust. If you trust your own government you should be satisfied with hunting weapons and handguns at most. If not, there are no limits. Of course no one in the United States (or hardly anyone) is going to argue that people should not be allowed guns at all. That would mean no self-protection or hunting. But how about inner-city violence? Gangs, that sort of thing? When it is bad enough should a city be allowed to ban guns? Certain kinds of guns? What? I swear this is not a simple problem. Therefore, I wash my hands of it and go with the status quo, whatever that may be.

When confronted with a difficult problem always take the easy way out. Take immigration for another example…aaagh, no forget it. My tiny brain is overtaxed. But how about the Israeli genocide of Palestinians? Should they be allowed to herd the legimitely elected democratic Palestinians into tiny Gaza, shut off their electricity and food supplies, bomb and slowly starve them, and whatever they please, with the blessings of the Bush/Cheney administration? Oh, excuse me, mustn’t upset the Israeli lobby. Israel? Palestine? What do they have to do with the Middle East? I give up. These problems are just too difficult to deal with. Eat, drink, and be merry, tomorrow we die.

“There warn’t anybody at the church, except maybe a hog or two, for there warn’t any lock on the door, and hogs likes a puncheon floor in summertime because it’s cool. If you notice, most folks don’t go to church only when they’ve got to; but a hog is different.”
Mark Twain

Saturday, February 09, 2008

More nonsense

There is just no end to the nonsense that characterizes human behavior. Sometimes it is rather amusing but more often than not it’s just plain stupid. Take, for example, the recent detailed study of Barack Obama’s youthful drug use. It turns out that it was virtually non-existent. Interviews with those who went to school with him and knew him indicate clearly that at worst he seems to have dabbled with marijuana. He is described as a serious young man with no problems with drugs, focused on his studies, and so on. So…referring back to his book it is being suggested that he might have exaggerated his experiments with drugs in order to make it more interesting and increase sales. Perhaps he did. But not content with such speculation, and chagrined at not being able to characterize him as a drug-crazed teen-ager, they now want to say he is a liar! So now Barack’s image is torn between being a fine upstanding serious young man or a liar. Human beings are strange creatures indeed. One might wonder why they even bothered about his so-called drug use, given the fact that our current occupant in the White House was admittedly a drunkard and a cocaine user (he’s been forgiven). Obama won’t find any forgiveness for anything he might have done when the roviaters start in on him.

Another thing that strikes me as amusing, although I’m sure many people will take it very seriously, is a headline I saw somewhere on an article that said, “U.S. doesn’t see a need for a second Iraqi nuclear plant.” Get that? The U.S. doesn’t see the need. One might ask just what business is it of ours whether they want a second plant or not. France has dozens of them and other nations have many more than two. What if the Iranians see a need for it? Oh, yeah, their perceptions and needs don’t count. It’s just another problem with the “white man’s burden.” These people just don’t know what’s good for themselves. We do, of course. We seem to know what’s good for everybody on earth (except, apparently and sadly, ourselves).

As I write this the election returns are coming in. It seems that Obama is winning Nebraska, Washington, and Louisiana, all by very large margins. And while it’s true he got a huge percentage of the black vote, it’s also true that blacks do not make up a large part of the populations in Nebraska or Washington, so he clearly isn’t just winning because of the black vote. Clinton is virtually being shut out when it comes to winning states even though she does claim California, Arizona, and New York. If this continues it is going to be most embarrassing for the Clintons no matter how many delegates they have. Bill Clinton suggested that electing Obama would be a roll of the dice (electing anyone, including Hillary, will be a roll of the dice as no one knows what they will actually do if they get the power). What I say is: “come seven, come eleven, baby needs a new pair of shoes.”

Having seen how difficult it is to conduct a caucus with 150 people, I don’t see how in the world you could conduct one with 1000 or 8000 people. This was never a problem before because there were always so few voters involved. If the trend continues I think we’ll have to give up on the caucus system. The turnout continues to be completely unprecedented everywhere. There is no doubt, people want change,
and they want it bad.

"There are men in the world who derive as stern an exaltation from the proximity of disaster and ruin, as others from success."
Sir Winston Churchill

Friday, February 08, 2008


The stuff that has been coming out of this Bush/Cheney White House is so completely, unbelievably, incredibly, fantastically, monumentally, stupidly, unprecedentally, unconscionably, ridiculously PREPOSTEROUS, I believe it has caused the entire American population to lose their senses. No one seems able to cope with a story so out of touch with reality it is becoming unrecognizable as such. The latest claim coming out of the White House is that waterboarding is legal and the President can authorize it again if need be. Waterboarding has been known since the Inquisition as torture. Some Japanese were actually executed because they waterboarded Americans during WW II. Everyone on earth knows it is torture and that it is illegal. So how did it become legal? This is where it becomes stranger than fiction. Bush, our sort-of President, took his personal lawyer, Alberto Gonzales, with him to the White House. He then managed to make him Attorney General. As Attorney General this obsequious peasant decided to do what Bush wanted and declared torture, including waterboarding, legal. He also told Bush that the Geneva Convention, banning torture and other things, was simply “quaint” and out-of-touch. Thus Gonzales and his Justice Department ignored International law as well as the law of the United States and told Bush that as President he had unlimited powers and could do as he wished. Bush/Cheney, sadistic monsters that they are, went wild with their new-found (but completely illegal) powers and starting torturing all around the globe. Now that they have been found out they claim that what they did was legal at the time (it isn’t legal again now). Why was it legal? Because Bush’s toadies in the Justice Department declared that it was. And now the argument coming from the current Attorney General is that because the Justice Department had said it was legal, the current Justice Department cannot investigate themselves for doing what they had said was legal. Dizzy yet? So far everyone seems to accept the idea that Gonzales and his henchmen could blissfully do away with all legal precedents just because they wanted to do so. This is a scheme so fantastic it defies science fiction, to say nothing of just plain old common sense. It is so far-fetched that the Bush/Cheney administration can’t even admit that it is/was torture, as that would land them in prison for war crimes. Hence they continue to claim that it isn’t torture (even though the world knows that it is). So far they are getting away with this obvious crime against humanity. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them eventually living in luxury in Paraguay or even Saudi Arabia. Indeed, at the rate this is currently playing out they may well be dead and gone. What is worse, this business over torture is merely the tip of an enormous iceberg of even more preposterous acts perpetrated by this administration, the collective enormity of them so great as to make the nine and a half trillion dollar U.S. debt almost a comprehensible figure.

John Conyer, who has the power to begin impeachment proceedings against Bush/Cheney, but has resisted doing so, now claims he is on the brink of doing it. However, he has said that one must be careful because there would be blowback from the “corporate power structure.” In other words, he’s afraid of the corporations that are running things. I guess it couldn’t be much more blatant and obvious than that. The corporations don’t want Bush/Cheney impeached so our Congressmen are bowing and scraping and doing their bidding. So much for Congressional power. Congressman Wexler is supposedly bringing up his impeachment attempt next week. Let’s see if he gets any farther than Kucinich. With the exception of Wexler, Kucinich, and a few others we have a Congress staffed overwhelmingly by cowards with no interest whatsoever in the public well-being, justice, truth, honor and decency, or anything unrelated to their maintaining their cushy jobs pretending to be important and relevant. We should certainly show them the way out next November, along with the Brafia Senators.

Equally PREPOSTEROUS is Bush’s recent budget. He wants to increase the defense budget by 8% while cutting back on domestic programs like Medicaid. Our defense budget that is larger already than all the rest of the world combined, and already eats up more than half of our annual budge, needs to be increased? Bush/Cheney and the Pentagon are drinking something a lot more powerful than kool-aid, while chuckling over all those billions that just somehow got lost along the way. Remember we have a long way to go before we rest, and more and more wars to start to prove we’re the best. John McCain will lead the way, he knows what’s right and doesn’t care what we say. Iran’ll be next and then the rest, and we’ll all be happy in our polluted nest. Onward Christian soldiers! Save the heathens! Remember the Alamo! Get rich, sleep till noon, and screw ‘em all. We’re Amuricans, and don’t you forget it!

“There is a moment of difficulty and danger at which flattery and falsehood can no longer deceive, and simplicity itself can no longer be misled.”

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Believing impossible things

Minneapolis man steals her
purse and cell phone, then
demands to suck her toes.

The latest feeble (but so far successful) attempt to keep Bush from being tried for his war crimes comes from our (apparently totally without principles) Attorney General. He has now said that as the (Bush appointed) Justice Department had said it (waterboarding) was legal at the time they did it, it can not now be investigated as criminal. I guess this is another example of Nixon’s claim that “if the President does it, it can’t be illegal.” What a concept! Let’s see, Bush could have his Justice Department toadies declare that robbing banks at gunpoint is legal, they could then rob all the banks, and they couldn’t be prosecuted because it was legal at the time. Actually, this isn’t far from what they have done, only they’ve done it on such a massive scale it is almost impossible to comprehend. They declared that pre-emptive “wars” were part of the new American foreign policy. They then started a pre-emptive “war” against Iraq. The only people who have benefited from this (war crime) are the massive corporations that have been looting our treasury, and are trying desperately to steal Iraqi oil. What a neat system (if you are an absolutely dishonest, heartless, sadistic, greedy monster with no respect whatsoever for either law or human life). Greed is good. It’s the American way. They want us to believe that all of this is to protect us from terrorists, deliver us from evil, and spread democracy around the globe (preferably by the massive bombing of innocent civilians to reduce any possible casualties to our too-thin and exhausted troops). Dick the Slimy (remember him) has said, Damn right! We’d do it again. Other of these nitwits insist its “been worth it.” I’m still waiting to learn what the “it” is that was worthy of all this murder, arson, plunder, rape, and untold misery for millions. Have we actually gained anything at all from this monumental blunder? If so, kindly explain to me what it is.

Mitt Romney has proven that he really is an astute businessman. Having blown some 15 million of his own money (probably more) on acquiring a few delegates, and having then figured out that realistically he had no chance whatsoever of winning the nomination, he has dropped out (or, rather, suspended his campaign, in hopes that something might happen to McCain). I think he said he might try again next time (I really look forward to another few years of flip-flopping and lying). Of course it’s all that evil Huckabee’s fault. If he had just dropped out as Romney wished, things might have been different. I’m kind of disappointed. I’m so used to chronic lying I think a lying Mormon would have given us some continuity. What I liked the best about Romney’s decision is, that because he loves America so much, he is helping to protect us from “surrendering to terrorists” (by not running for President). What a noble sentiment. We Democrats just can’t wait to wave the white flag and keep us from further war crimes and the senseless slaughter of more innocents. Oh, well, we can’t have everything. And think of what we have gained; a warmongering imperialistic militaristic old guy whose motto seems to be shoot first and ask questions later. As a very substantial majority of Americans are opposed to this “war” and want out, and as McCain is in it for the next 100 years (in addition to the other wars he assures us will happen), he should go far in the election to come. As many Brafia absolutely can’t stand him, I think their strategy is to humor him as a sacrificial animal, wait until the Democratic President finds out it is totally impossible to clean up after Bush in only four years, then criticize him or her for their failure, and attempt to regain the White House (this worked pretty well with Carter). But don’t sell McCain short. As the American public voted twice for Bush (sort of, anyway), there’s no telling what they might do by election day (we might even be in another war by then). Of course we could have had Giuliani, another astute Brafia candidate who blew about 50 millions (I think) of other people’s money and managed to get one (1) delegate. Heck of job, Rudy!

I despise meetings. I attend our local Democratic meetings merely to add bulk (and to eat war wonton soup). As Democrats here are few every body counts. I swear that every meeting I have ever attended is basically the same as the first meeting I attended as a cub scout. They always last from two to four times as long as necessary. The same people usually have to speak, whether they have anything to say or not, people rarely stay on the point, and usually they don’t really know much about what they blather on about. Thank god we don’t have to deal with pipe smokers anymore. You know, those guys who had to stop and clean their pipes while reviewing for themselves whatever stupid remarks they were going to make. We used to waste a lot of time waiting for these guys to clean, fill, and light those smelly things. See, I guess “progress” really is being made.

“There’s no use trying,” she said: “one can’t believe impossible things..”
“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half-an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
Lewis Carroll

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

We're the Crazies

We’re the Crazies

Robber snatches money from till,
patron stops him with well-placed
whack to head with six-pack of bottles.

I have believed from even before he was elected that our Disuniter-in-Chief was borderline retarded. I also think he may well be crazy, or at the very least, sadistic.
But recently I have concluded that we (the American public) are the crazies. We must be to put up with him and his Brafia all this time. Consider some of the sordid facts that we already know: he lied to get us entangled in an illegal pre-emptive “war,” against a nation that was no threat to us. He has ordered the killing of hundreds of thousands of innocent people, many of them women and children. He has hidden prisoners from the Red Cross and “rendered” them into secret prisons around the world. He has violated our Constitution that he pledged to uphold repeatedly. He has placed himself above the law through multiple signing statements and refusal to obey them. He has illegally spied on us and insists he will continue. Our elected Democratic Congress refuses to impeach either him or his criminal Vice-President. He has continued to insist that we do not torture. The Director of the CIA has now admitted that we did waterboard at least three terrorists (and probably falsely claims we don’t do it anymore). Waterboarding is torture. It has to be authorized at the highest levels. Bush must have authorized it. It is a well-known and long-established war crime. Our Attorney General says if it happened to him it would be torture, but refuses to say it is legally torture. Bush claims we don’t torture (we just waterboard) because what we did was legal. Everyone knows it is not legal, that it is torture, that he is a war criminal several times over, that he has violated both our laws and international laws, he shows no remorse or any indication that he will stop. And what do we do? NOTHING! If that doesn’t indicate we are crazy, what does?

Oh, yes, the caucus. Last night here in little old Boundary Country 145 people turned out on a miserable snowy cold night to caucus for the Democrats. That is almost three times as many people as turned out the last time we did this. We have 3 delegates to our state convention. Obama won 2 and Clinton 1. Obama had more than 70% of the vote. In Idaho generally Obama won by 81%. What does this indicate? That people in Idaho, the most red state of all, as well a most lily-white state, presumptive home of the Aryan Nations, overwhelmingly voted for an African-American to be President. I am sure that many of these voters are enamored of Obama who is, admittedly charismatic and inspiring. But I suspect that lurking under all of this is the simple fact that there are damn few people in Idaho who would ever vote for Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton, the very name strikes terror into the hearts of tough-minded Idahoans everywhere. We have people who refuse to commit to running for office because they think she will be the candidate and every redneck in the state will come down off the mountains and vote against her, taking them with her into oblivion. I don’t believe this but people here believe it passionately. Somehow I doubt very much that Hillary Clinton worries a lot about the state of Idaho. But we sure worry a lot about her. It was great that Obama came to Boise and inspired us. But when the general election comes around, no matter who the Democratic candidate is, he or she will almost certainly lose to whatever mangy black-dog Brafia clown they decide to run. Any friend of Bill Sali’s is a friend of ours.

Can Clinton’s campaign be so hard up for money she had to personally loan it 5 million? Something fishy there. Obama is said to have raised 4.2 million just since last night. The Brafia is in a fine mess. Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch (of criminals). Limbaugh, Coulter, and the rest of the Brafia cheerleaders are “fit to be tied” (interesting, I can’t find this in my Dictionary of Idioms) but it is expressive.

“The time to hear bird music is between four and six in the morning. Seven o’clock is not too late, but by eight the fine rapture is over, due, I suspect, to the contentment of the inner man that comes with breakfast; a poet should always be hungry or have a lost love.”
Donald C. Peattie