Saturday, July 31, 2004

Deodorant - essay

In the small mining town I grew up in I don't believe anyone ever used deodorant, any man that is. In fact, I'd be pretty certain they never even heard of deodorant for men. For women, maybe. I've never given much thought to this before. The only reason I do now is that I recently ran out of the stuff and, because I happened to be in Germany rather than home in the United States, I had to do something slightly unusual. That is, usually I just use that stick deodorant. I don't remember where or when I got in the habit. I guess maybe someone must have once told me I ought to use it and, embarassed, I repressed it or something. Anyway, usually I just go to the store and take it off the shelf. I know exactly where it is and what it looks like and I never have to look at anything else. But here I couldn't find the kind I usually use so I was forced to choose a new one. Wow! I never realized there could possibly be so many deodorants for men, to say nothing of the ones that can apparently be used by either sex. I'm certain I counted at least 30 different kinds in one store alone, and given American's obsession with such things, I'll wager there are a great deal more back home. But its not just the quantity that is amazing, the names are even more amazing. How about "Team," for example? Doesn't that just make you feel like you ought to belong out there on the same team with your buddies? "Men's Club" would seem to be a more adult variation on this. Or maybe "Gran Valor." That would certainly seem like something every able bodied male should have. "Prestige" is another one hard to resist. I think "Care" and "Care #2" are really a bit too feminine for my taste, but of course I guess men should care, too. "Worth for Men" is one I found almost impossible to pass up. What could possibly be better for a man than worth? Even the man who has everything could use that. Then there are those that strike me as a shade more subtle but nonetheless suggestive of something that a man might well want to be identified with. Something like "Tabac" or "Denim" or "Country." "Russian Leather" might fit into this category as well. "Silvestre" doesn't do much for me, especially with that spelling. "Champaca" I frankly didn't understand. "Old Spice" is much too descriptive even if it does guarantee the attention of every beautiful young thing within smelling distance. There are some that just almost knock you down with their directness. "Toro," "Brut," and "Camarao" I would all put in this class. "Derringer" sounds a little too sneaky, sort of conjures up images of romantic riverboat gamblers, which, I suppose, is alright if you fancy yourself that type. Then there are the ones that appeal directly to your sense of smell to help you conceptualize your place in the world. "Musk" is perhaps the best example of this, but I think "Irish Moss" and "Canada Cedar" rank right up there with the best of these. "Rodeo" is the one I finally settled on. To me it meant a combination of sweat, straw, and manure, a real masculine odor that would clearly identify me to all comers. My wife took it away from me, said it was supposed to identify you with Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. Certainly not for me. She bought me something called "Hidro Fugal." Don't ask me what it means. I just do what I'm told. I don't seem to smell too bad though

Friday, July 30, 2004

Run on Bush's Record?

I couldn’t believe my eyes so I read it again in our local paper. Giuliani is quoted as saying “We’re going to run on President Bush’s record, we’re not going to run away from it” (as he implies the democrats have been doing with Kerry’s record).

Ignore for the moment the fact that Republican attack ads have virtually all been negative because there is nothing positive to say about Bush’s accomplishments, and try to imagine, if you will, what running on Bush’s record might entail:

Let’s see…there’s the national debt higher than it has ever been and destined to go even higher.

There is the “resounding success” in Afghanistan where the drug trade has grown larger than it ever was before and the country is virtually a total mess. Bin Laden is neither captured nor killed despite Cowboy George’s boast to that effect, the Taliban have regrouped, warlords control most of the country as they always did, and aid workers have had to flee the country and the election has been postponed because of the lack of security.

The economy has not created enough jobs to keep up with the unemployment rate that is the most dismal under any Presidency in history. But apparently the term “economy” doesn’t include jobs in Bush’s definition as he is currently boasting that the economy is growing faster than anytime in the past 20 years. There is considerable doubt that Bush has any idea what the term is supposed to mean.

Then there is the marvelous job Bush has done on the Israeli-Palestinian question. The so-called Road Map has vanished, Israeli near-genocide continues unabated, and Sharon seems to be in charge of the entire world, repeatedly thumbing his nose at the U.N. and nothing is done about it. Here at home the Bushites seem content to wait for the coming “Rapture.”

Corporate assaults on the environment grow bolder and bolder, encouraged by the full cooperation of the White House in overturning or ignoring any and all environmental rules and regulations created over years and years of effort. Air and water are dirtier than ever and CEO’s just received a 20% increase in their already obscenely bloated paychecks.

The earth’s temperature keeps rising but Bush assures us there is no problem and refuses to cooperate with the rest of the world in trying to do something about it (after all, why do anything if it is not a problem).

Still no solution to the anthrax attacks, no solution to the “outing” of a CIA operative, no solution to the Cheney energy question, no solution to the Florida voting rights scandal, and on and on.

Did I mention Iraq?

Rudy, sure you weren’t misquoted?

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Shove it!

Teresa Heinz Kerry was great last night! and I sincerely hope that her action in telling that disgusting partisan reporter to "shove it" is symbolic of the attitude all democrats will have from now until the election. Indeed, it should become the standard response to all the negative ads from now on. "Your latest unprincipled lying attack ad has been duly noticed - shove it! And, as Bush/Cheney have absolutely nothing positive to report on their time in office we can expect nothing but more lies and distortions about Kerry/Edwards from now until election day. So, Republicans, shove it all!

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Who will vote for Bush/Cheny?


By the river
boulders gather
I sit
in contemplation
a grain of sand

I am confused. I read the papers, watch the tv news, and surf the web. As near as I can tell the election is supposed to be too close to call. How can this be when at the same time I learn that:

Most veterans are going to vote against Bush.
Most women are going to vote against Bush.
Most educators will vote against Bush.
The labor unions will vote against Bush.
A majority of Hispanics will vote against Bush.
Virtually all black people will vote against Bush.
Most of the elderly will vote against Bush.
Environmentalists will vote against Bush.
Gays and Lesbians will vote against Bush.
Some Republicans, even in Idaho(!)plan to vote against Bush.

Who does this leave to vote for Bush? I suggest probably the following:

The apparently insatiably greedy (the filthy rich and CEO's who have more money than they can comfortably spend but still think they are entitled to more, more, more, while the rest of us will have to make do with less and less).

An undetermined number of voters whose I.Q.'s hover between 75 and 90 (and who are apparently determined to vote "for one of their own").

Those who believe the "Rapture" is imminent (provided, of course, the Israelis, with the help of the Bush Administration, can steal enough Palestinian land).

Perhaps if a majority of U. S. citizens are either greedy, dim-witted, or outright loony,it isn't worth worrying about.

Monday, July 26, 2004

Republicans sure are forgiving

Another recent letter to an editor:

In view of the human, social, economic, environmental and international destruction wrought by the Bush/Cheney administration, I find it inconceivable that anyone could support them. Yet the coming election is predicted to be very close.

I take this to mean Republicans think it's OK that Bush/Cheney, et al, lied to start a "pre-emptive war" that was/is illegal, immoral and unnecessary -- an undeclared and unconstitutional "war" resulting in the deaths and injuries of thousands of American troops and innocent Iraqi citizens.

Republicans apparently think it's fine that Bush/Cheney took a projected surplus of billions and converted it in three years to the largest national debt ever. Republicans must be pleased that someone in the White House treasonously "outed" a CIA operative and have refused to cooperate in revealing who it was.

Republicans must be proud that their "leader" is regarded even by his own colleagues as too inept to face the 9-11 Commission by himself.

Republicans must also be proud that when faced by repeated warnings about imminent attacks on the United States by terrorists, Bush decided to take a monthlong vacation. And now that Iraq is falling apart, he's taking another one. No matter how many artificial jobs they might create, they'll still be liars and war criminals.

Still another recent letter:

Good-evil war fought at home

Are there no honorable congresspersons? It is perfectly obvious by now to anyone but the most dismally dimwitted that Bush/Cheney should be impeached for multiple reasons (lying to Congress and the citizens of the U.S., war profiteering, violating the Genevea Conventions, etc., etc). The rest of the world is not going to settle for Bush/Cheney merely being voted out of office come November. They are going to demand accountability.

The Democrats are apparently so fearful of the Rove slime machine they refuse to take any action. The Republicans have obviously decided that loyalty to political party is more important than loyalty to country. This means the present administration dare not lose the coming election, as they will most probably end up in jail or worse.

So look for a conveniently timed terrorist attack, the capture of Osama bin Lden, a declaration of martial law or another stolen election of some kind. Make no mistake about it; there is a war of good versus evil. It is being fought right here at home. It is a war of democracy versus an insidious creeping fascism. A war the American people can ill afford to lose.

Last letter to bring me up to date:

Is Karl Rove losing his touch? First they went after John Kerry because of his $200 shirts. As Bush wears $2000 - $3000 dollar suits that didn't fly. Then they tried savaging him because he is wealthy. As they are themselves filthy rich that didn't fly either. Then it was his war record they attacked but as Bush's record is so abysmal that didn't work. They accused him of "looking French" and what is apparently worse, actually speaking French. No one seems to have taken that seriously. They tried to label him as a spoiled rich kid from New England -- as if Bush was born and raised in Texas without a silver spoon in his mouth. Now they portray him as a flip flopper. Unfortunately, Bush is an even greater flip flopper: no Rice testimony, Rice testimony, no nation building, nation builing, one hour only, no limit, no 9-11 commission, 9-11 commission, weapons of mass destruction, no weapons of mass destruction, etc., etc., etc. And now, incredibly, war president, peace president!!!

I can hardly wait until they try to accuse Kerry/Edwards of lying.

I trust it is obvious where my sentiments lie:


Sunday, July 25, 2004

Bush, aides are serial hypocrites

First they attacked John Kerry for taking $640,000 from special interests over the course of his entire career. This from Bush who took 6.5 million in one year!

Bush is using 9-11 to promote his re-election at the same time he stonewalled the 9-11 committee at every turn.

Now he criticizes Kerry for $75 haircuts and wearing $250 shirts, while he wears suits that cost thousands of dollars. Does Laura cut his hair?

The Bush administration continuously claims to be doing one thing while at the same time doing something quite different. Have they ever said anything that was not a lie?

Bush, Cheney, Rove are carrying hypocrisy to levels previously unknown. Why are they repeatedly allowed to get away with this totally dishonest behavior?