Thursday, September 30, 2004

Pathological liars

Having just watched the debate between Kerry and Bush I confess to having been left virtually speechless. I don’t think Kerry did anywhere as well as he might have but he certainly outperformed the stumbling, bumbling Bush. But this is not surprising. How does one defend the indefensible? Bush wants to claim, “I didn’t start this war,” but he did. I guess he is referring to the war on terrorism that, of course, is not a war at all. But he certainly started the war on Iraq. It was clearly a war of his choice. Iraq was not a threat to the U.S. or anyone else. Two thirds of the country was under surveillance from U.S. and British planes, U.N. inspectors were right there on the ground, the country had been reduced to virtually nothing because of the years long sanctions, it was virtually helpless. Interestingly, neither Kerry or Bush spoke to the real reason for the invasion – oil – pure and simply. We wanted to steal their oil. Nor did either of them speak to the basic problem of the Middle East – Israel and the Palestinians.

I confess to not understanding this kid glove approach to the Bush Administration. Why not say it as it is – Bush/Cheney went to a pre-emptive war against a basically helpless sovereign nation because they wanted to steal their oil. That’s it. No amount of other explanations are either necessary or reasonable. Bush clings to his pathetic claim that we did the right thing by invading Iraq. We did not do the right thing! We did, in fact, the wrong thing! Kerry is absolutely right about this – it was he wrong war, at the wrong time, for the wrong reasons, and in the wrong place. But not, of course, if your aim all along was to steal Iraqi oil. But somehow this motive has been swept under the rug.

It is totally amazing how this pathetic pseudo-president can just tell one lie after another for months on end and go unchallenged by the media. Let me say it clearly: GEORGE W. BUSH IS A SERIAL LIAR! DICK CHENEY IS AN EVEN WORSE SERIAL LIAR! I say this with absolutely no fear of contradiction. Both of them, along with the rest of their criminal gang, should be arrested and tried for war crimes. This is not a matter of partisan politics. It is a matter of national pride. This administration has dishonored us and made the United States a criminal nation in the eyes of the international community. We can and must do better.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Chickens come home to roost

Here in the vastness of time
we mortals presume
to have the power of gods,
but challenge nature
with the mindlessness of fools.

If you haven’t seen it, and you probably haven’t, as you can be sure you won’t see it on any of the major news media, Bush’s hometown paper has endorsed John Kerry. Not only that, they have written the most detailed, intelligent, thorough indictment of the Bush/Cheney failures to date. Everyone should be able to read this marvelous account of Bush’s broken promises, lies, and more lies. This is not a partisan account. This is a paper that previously supported Bush. But they have now had enough of his miserable failure as President. And that is what he is, an absolutely miserable failure, just as he has failed at everything else he has attempted. A failed student, failed businessman, failed governor, failed National Guardsman, and now a demonstrably failed President. Thank goodness he wasn’t actually elected. That’s about all the American public can claim in their defense.

If the United States is ever going to be able to reclaim its rightful place in the world we will have to do more than simply defeat Bush/Cheney. They will have to be held accountable for their blatant war crimes. The Muslim world will never forgive us for what we have done until those responsible are held accountable. The blood on the hands of Bush/Cheney and their ilk will not simply disappear because they are no longer in office. It will be a long and very slow process to convince the world that what has happened was either necessary or justified. And this will have to also include an apology for our support of the racist, murderous, semi-genocidal behavior of Israel, a nation that has flounted the U.N. far more egregiously that Iraq ever did. There will NEVER be peace in the middle east until the Palestinians are treated fairly. And they will never be treated fairly as long as Sharon and Bush are in control. The Bush/Cheney war machine, that they obviously want to continue forever (profits, you know), has to be dismantled and replaced by a program of peace and prosperity for all, not just the few. The first step is obviously to rid the world of the current United States Administration. It is virtually impossible to conceive of anything worse than what we have at the moment.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Ashcroft for Supreme Court?

A very astute friend, who for the moment will remain nameless, suggested something to me this morning that either I had not thought about before, or if I had, it struck me as so horrifying I must have immediately repressed it. That is the possibility that if George W. Bush is elected, John Ashcroft might possibly be appointed to the Supreme Court. John Ashcroft on the Supreme Court!!! Think about that! Our Attorney General who is now 0 for 5000 attempts to bring “terrorists” to trial. Who did actually triumph over a semi-nude statue. Who was anointed by his good friend Clarence Thomas with Safflower oil, or Crisco, or whatever it was. I bet if he makes it to the Supreme Court they will actually move up to olive oil. No, probably not, that would be too “foreign” for them. Our fearless Attorney General who immediately after 911 tried to reduce the budget for fighting terrorism and who told one of his underlings that he did not want to “hear anymore about terrorism.” Who has bravely tried to do something about the problem of prostitution in Nevada, attempted to interfere with Oregon laws regarding assisted deaths, interfered with laws having to do with legalized medical use of marijuana, and indeed, just about everything else other than terrorism, who is opposed to Roe versus Wade, and just about everything else that has to do with common sense and decency. We really need people like him on the Supreme Court.

I have just watched the Daily Show during which Ralph Reed was interviewed by Jon Stewart. I don’t understand how they get these people to even agree to appear on the Daily Show but somehow they do. Ralph Reed, the baby faced little assassin of the religious right, sat there and mouthed one outrageous lie after another and seemed to be completely unfazed by Stewart”s suggestions that perhaps it wasn’t quite like that. I am absolutely amazed at Republican’s ability to lie about everything. EVERTHING! I swear they never tell the truth about ANYTHING! And the major media lets them get away with it time after time. The real battle for America now is not between Bush and Kerry, it’s between American Democracy and the media. And this is a life and death struggle between the proponents of fascism represented by the media and defenders of democracy. The corporate control of the media simply has to be dismantled if democracy is going to continue in the United States . Indeed, corporate control of our lives has to be abandoned if people are to continue living decent and satisfying lives. Karl Polanyi was absolutely right: land, labor, and money are not simply commodities that can be bought and sold on the marketplace without dire consequences for the environment and the human beings involved. I realize it will be difficult or impossible “to turn the clock back,” but the fate of human life on this planet demands it. Big is not better. Economies of scale are not the end-all, be-all of human existence. Small farms are better than agribusiness and Mom and Pop stores are better for humans than WalMarts, Targets, and Coscos. People are not just faceless debits or credits on the balance sheets of big business. We must take back our humanity no matter what the cost. Voting for John Kerry will certainly not bring this about. But getting rid of Bush/Cheney and their corporate slaveholders will be a necessary and important first step.

Monday, September 27, 2004

More fake polls

The latest CNN/Gallup poll claims to show that Bush is ahead of Kerry by some ten points or more. Don’t you believe it! There is no way it can be true. It is quite contrary to all other evidence. For example, in Ohio Democratic voter registrations are up 250%. It is predicted to be the largest voter turnout in history. A large voter turnout will surely favor Democrats. The Kerry/Edwards campaign is speaking to huge, even unprecedented turnouts. Bush/Cheney continue to speak only to carefully screened voters. Other polls show no such big differences, especially statewide polls. Somewhere today (I can’t find it now) I saw a poll that suggested 52% of world leaders preferred Bush. At least that’s what I think it said. If that is actually what was claimed it is obviously utter nonsense. Bush would be lucky to get 10% in a worldwide poll.

If Bush/Cheney were to actually be elected it will be because of the mass media, television and radio, who clearly are dedicated once again to giving Republicans all the breaks and virtually ignoring the Democrats when not actually going out of their way to denigrate them. America will never be America again until the corporate ownership of the mass media is broken and real competition is restored. If this does not happen as a result of this election and the previous one we are surely doomed to a fascist state with the news corporations simply part of the government itself. It is now and will be far worse that Pravda ever was. At least people knew Pravda was nothing but a government propaganda apparatus. There was none of this “fair and balanced” crap.

It should be clear by now to anyone with a brain larger than a pea why Bush/Cheney started a “presumptive war” against a small, helpless sovereign nation. Weapons of mass destruction, Bushit. Links to terrorists, Bushit. Freeing the Iraqi people, Bushit. Bringing democracy to the mideast, Bushit. Getting rid of a dictator, Bushit. Let us not mince words any further – it was because of oil. Oil alone. We wanted to steal their oil. There is absolutely no other reason for this terrible and illegal “war.” Bush/Cheney and their gang of international thieves are war criminals, plain and simple. And the deaths of thousands of innocent people are a direct result of their greed and lust for oil. Anyone who continues to support them in this criminal enterprise is just as guilty as they are.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Compassionate conservatism

CBS which already had a segment ready for broadcasting on the dishonest rationale for the “war” in Iraq has now decided not to air it because it would be “inappropriate” to do so just before the election. So when the hell would it be appropriate? After the election? CBS obviously caved in to pressure from the White House and now has distinguished itself as every bit as bad as the rest of the major media. There is no doubt that the media is complicit in giving every conceivable advantage to the Bush/Cheney campaign, and CBS is no different from Fox and the other major networks with respect to this travesty. Even the Kremlin never had it so good. Thank god for the internet – but even that may not be enough to overcome the effects of such a totally dishonest and partisan press.

And now for compassionate conservatism at work. Haiti, suffering unbelievably from hurricane damages, with at least 1500 dead and hundreds of thousands without food and water, with people rioting in the flood ravaged streets trying to stave off starvation, begging for aid from anyone, fighting with each other for a crust of bread or a drink of water, is about to get a “generous” contribution of $60,000 from the Bush administration. The European Union has pledged $1.8 million, Venezuela a million, and the United Kingdom $810,000. I am certain that our contribution of $60,000 will not go unrewarded in the future. But, hey, what can the Haitians do except go on working for slave wages for American and Canadian companies? Thanks to our benevolent concern for the Haitians over the years they no longer even have any trees left to hang themselves. But not to worry, the corporations will greatly benefit from all this poverty.

Apparently in the state of Ohio registration for Democrats is up by 250% whereas registration for Republicans is up only 25%. In our local paper, basically very conservative, letters to the editor run probably five or six to one against Bush/Cheney. In Madison, Wisconsin this summer the paper actually tried to recruit people to write pro-Bush letters as they had so few. Even in Idaho, the most dismally conservative state in the nation, it is said that what used to be a 70% to 30% split in favor of Republicans is now more like 55% to 45%. What does this tell you about the mood of the country? It doesn’t tell me that the election is too close to call. I even hear now for the first time people suggesting that if Bush/Cheney get elected there should be a revolution. Let us hope it will never come to that. But there is no doubt that Bush/Cheney and their evil gang of war criminals has to go.

War criminals belong in jail - not the White House!

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Human universals - essay

Anthropologists, those odd denizens of museums and the most run down buildings on University campuses, have long argued over the question of whether there are universal features of culture or whether everything must be considered "culturally relative." Having just had occasion to spend a month in Oaxaca, Mexico, where I spent much of my time observing the town square (the location of a lovely bar where one can sit outside), I believe I have discovered what seems to me an extremely curious, perhaps even universal human phenomenon (with the exceptions noted below).
For reasons that I do not know, there are embedded in the cobblestones that make up the square a pair of large heavy metal doors like the kind you often see embedded in the sidewalks near large buildings. Also, for reasons I do not know, one of these metal doors has been bent so that one corner protrudes unnaturally about two inches higher than it is obviously supposed to. My observations, while granted neither very systematic and certainly not scientific, do indicate an unusually strong pattern of behavior having to do with this out of place matter.
Male human beings, no matter what age or nationality, seem to be drawn to this door as if it is an affront to their sense of decency. They scrutinize it carefully and then invariably step on it in an absolutely vain attempt to make it go back into place (I confess to having done this myself). When this fails, as it inevitably must, they usually (there are rare exceptions) jump up and down on it several times and then get off to inspect their handiwork (I suppose footwork is more appropriate). Older men are somewhat more conscious of being observed jumping up and down on this door and are consequently prone to give up a bit earlier. In any case, the door doesn't give an inch and remains there as provocative and uncooperative as ever.
During the course of my month long investigaton of this strange phenomenon I observed Mexicans, Mestizos, and Indians all engaged in this utterly futile but obviously challenging task. Similarly, I observed Americans, Frenchmen, Germans, Italians, Dutch, Japanese and still others I am not certain of engaging in precisely the same routine for precisely the same purpose. And again, in many cases, both children and adults of all ages (although it is my impression that males of about 30 to 40 seem to be the most offended by this recalcitrant piece of metal). So why? Is there indeed some universal drive or need or instinct or compulsion that insists on order or symmetry? Is it something like the "dirt out of place" that anthropolgist Mary Douglas has argued offends people so that men and boys are driven to try to fix it? In fact I have seen some men actually depart their unfruitful attempts glowering with undisguised hatred at this piece of inert matter as if it were deliberately frustrating or even mocking them. Strange, that.
Yet what is perhaps even stranger is that only males do this. Females are apparently totally uninterested in this door that won't stay down. They must see it because they never trip over it. But they never (and I mean never) try to fix it. They don't walk or stand on it and they certainly don't jump on it. Not even little girls who, one might argue, are too young to have learned not to. Is this because women are simply uninterested in such things? Or is it because they are just naturally smarter than men? If this isn't grist for the anthropologists' mill I don't know grist when I see it.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Republican nonsense

Deep in the nearby mountains
the forest creatures
still live in blissful freedom,
unlike we mortals,
unhappily civilized.

I don’t know about you, but I can tell you if I was from either West Virginia or Arkansas I would be mightily offended. The Republican party has just admitted they were responsible for sending messages to those two states that the Democrats would “ban the bible” if they were elected. Apparently Republicans believe that people in those two states are stupid enough to actually believe that anyone could ban the bible. This surely tells you more about Republican elitism and racism than it does about either West Virginia or Arkansas. Don’t forget that one of the reasons Republicans were so anti-Clinton was precisely because he was from Arkansas, in their view a backward state full of hillbillys, biscuits and gravy, catfish, grits and incest. It is obvious there is nothing too low, dishonest, unethical, immoral or disgusting they will not use to attempt to remain in power.

Now that we know the so-called Presidential debates are entirely scripted what is the point of watching them? The questions are screened, the candidates cannot address each other directly, the moderator can only say “times up,” etc., etc. The fact that both sides have apparently agreed to this absolute nonsense tells you all you need to know about the dismal state of American politics. It is not hard to understand why the Republicans want it this way as their idiot representative cannot be trusted to answer any unscripted question, but why the Democrats would agree to this is a mystery I cannot fathom.

Do not be misled by the polls. If there was any truth in them Kerry would be leading and gaining ground. Be prepared for unprecedented dirty tricks and unconstitutional maneuvers. This is life or death for the neocons, not merely another election.

Bush/Cheney - WMD’s

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Bush's gut

Well, he’s done it again. Acted on his “gut instincts.” That is to say, Bush has dismissed the report by his multibillion dollar intelligence agency’s report that things are probably going to turn out as a disaster as merely “guessing,” in favor of the opinion of his hand-picked Iraqi puppet Allawi’s assurances that things are going well and there will be elections on time (a claim he cannot possibly predict at the present time). He actually said he knows things will turn out right because Allawi told him so. He actually said this at a press conference in front of a host of reporters, none of whom apparently had the temerity to actually question this utterly ridiculous statement. So much, once again, for our intrepid main stream media.

The Bush/Cheney administration is also saying that they will hold elections in Iraq even if there are portions of the country that will not be able to vote because of too much violence. This is rather like saying the election in the U.S. will go on even though California, New York, and Missouri will not be able to participate. I am certain that those parts of the country that were not involved in the voting will accept the results as definitive, fair, and entirely satisfactory. Are these guys completely nuts or what?

Then there is the $550,000 CBS is being charged to allowing Janet Jackson’s relatively little boobie to be exposed for a nanosecond during the Super Bowl, a glimpse that virtually no one could actually have seen or even cared about in the first place. That will certainly show the networks that they can’t get away with such gross obscenity during prime time television. Television otherwise is such a model of decorum, modesty and good behavior. Are these guys completely nuts of what?

Can you imagine that any of the Bush/Cheney gang have any conscience whatsoever? That they go to bed a night content in their belief that the lives of thousands of innocent people were sacrificed for no reason at all other than greed and a lust for power? Surely they cannot believe that starting an illegal, immoral, and unnecesary “war” was anything other than a naked attempt to establish American hegemony over the rest of the world. As they support dictators in other parts of the world they cannot in good conscience argue that they went to war because Sadam Hussein was a dictator. And as they clearly do not truly believe in democracy, as evidence by their behavior here at home, they cannot seriously believe they are trying to spread democracy abroad. As there were no weapons of mass destruction, and no link between Iraq and the terrorists, there was no rationale for the attack against an innocent and defenseless country. The reasons have become clear, the protection of Israel and oil. Now they are threatening to attack Iran for the same reasons.

Many people who know such things believe this has been the worst foreign policy blunder in the history of the Unites States. Bush/Cheney are proud of it. That should tell us all something about how far we have fallen in the eyes of the rest of the world. This has been the most disgraceful administration in our history.

War Criminals belong in jail - not the White House!

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Republican loonies

I’m up a little later than usual tonight. I have just witnessed what I believe is the most incredible interview I have ever seen. Mark Roscoe (that’s the way he says it not the way it is spelled) was interviewed on the Daily Show. I cannot begin to describe how utterly fantastic a performance it was. Nor can I remember precisely what was said, except at one point when he actually said “our campaign is so positive…” Jon Stewart looked at him in absolute disbelief and then said “What? Did you not listen to the speeches at the convention?” Roscoe, an ex governor of Montana, who is now the chairman of the Bush re-election campaign, went on to describe the current situation in terms that were so far fetched as to be unbelievable. It was so incredibly absurd that I found myself actually wondering if in fact he was totally mad. At one point he strung together some fifteen or more adjectives describing Bush that confirmed that he was, indeed, totally mad.

This performance even outdid Dick the Slimy’s attack on John Kerry. Cheney, who had five deferments from the draft, because “he had other more important options at the time,” the same Cheney who was behind the illegal attack on Iraq, the same Cheney who as CEO of Halliburton presumably illegally bribed people in Africa, who lied about his continuing ties to Halliburton, who refuses to confess to collusion with the energy companies, who had already divided up the oil spoils they would steal from Iraq, and who apparently runs the U.S. from secret bunkers here and there, actually had the gall to claim that John Kerry was not qualified to be President.

I will not even bother to comment on Bush’s performance before the U.N., a speech met with stony silence that was really a plea for election rather than a statesmanlike report on the actual state of the world. It was pathetic. He does read better from a prepared text than he used to, I guess we might give him credit for that. He clings to his claim that things are going well in Iraq and that they are well on the way to democracy, just as Afghanistan is also. I no longer believe that Republicans are simply evil people who are only interested in holding on to power and money. After today I believe they are all STARK RAVING MAD!

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

An illegal war?

So Lou Dobbs and Kitty Pilgrim are outraged that Kofi Annan said the “war” in Iraq was illegal. What on earth do they think it was? A “pre-emptive” strike against a sovereign nation that was no threat to the United States or anyone else was clearly an illegal act. Precisely the grounds for prosecuting Germany for starting WWII. Furthermore, it was not only illegal, it was unconstitutional. There is nothing in the constitution that allows the Congress to give the President the unilateral power to declare war. One might argue that the Congress did something stupid but it was still in violation of the constitution that says only the Congress has the power to declare war. Thus no war was actually declared except in the same sense as one might have declared war on poverty or drugs or whatever. There is no “war” on terrorism because you cannot have a war against a method of attack. And it was not a war against terrorism because Iraq was not a terrorist country. Iraq had nothing to do with the terrorist attack on New York. It was not only illegal and immoral, it was also unnecesary. And those who started it must someday be held accountable for the thousands and thousands of deaths and injuries that did not have to happen.

In spite of Bush/Cheney’s attempts to justify this totally unjust “war,” there is absolutely no compelling reason for why it had to happen. Iraq was not a threat. Indeed, even if they had had nuclear weapons they would not have been much of threat. Unseating a vicious dictator was not a reason. The U.S. supported Hussein while he was a dictator and even gave him weapons of mass destruction to use against Iran. And even now we continue to support dictators in other parts of the world. He had no weapons of mass destruction and to now claim that he had the intent to have them is so ridiculous as to go without further comment. He had nothing to do with Osama bin Laden or the Taliban. Nothing whatsoever. The fact that he had not complied with United Nations directives in the past was not a reason for the attack either. He was in compliance at the time of the attack. U.N. inspectors were right there on the ground with no restrictions on their activities. They had found nothing and were not given time to continue their inspections – so eager were Bush/Cheney to attack. Furthermore, if non compliance with U.N. directives is a cause for war what about Israel which has been totally out of compliance with U.N. directives for years and years?

The fact is, there was no justification for attacking Iraq. None. Bush/Cheney and their gang of neocon international gangsters have done irreparable damage to Iraq, the United States, the United Nations and the world. The very idea that they would attempt to run for office after what they have done is absurd, indeed, loathsome. The possibility that they might actually succeed is frightening beyond belief. If this should actually happen it will only prove that the United States is a nation of mental midgets who get what they deserve.

Monday, September 20, 2004

A poem and prediction

You don't hear the Strawberry Roan
The city fathers no longer play billiards as they
once did.
Men no longer tip their hats to ladies.
Indeed, there are no ladies
as there once were,
just as there are no bustles
or cannonballs, or willow fishing poles,
and baking pies is a
lost art,
along with darning socks,
and milking cows,
and churning butter,
and gathering eggs,
and eight horse teams,
and baking bread,
and hay rides in the snow,
and shivarees,
and wakes,
and all the memories I have,
from my childhood,
so long ago.
The world does not wait
for the likes of me,
the sentimental
and the slow.

I am about to be 75 years old. Never in my lifetime have I been so depressed about the state of the world. Not even during WW II. Not even during he McCarthy era. Not even during Vietnam. The current Bush/Cheney administration has made the greatest mess of things in history. The national debt is out of control. The very real threat of global warming is being ignored. The environment is being systematically destroyed. The situation in Iraq and in Afghanistan deteriorates day by day. Civil liberties and the Constitution are under attack. Corporations rule. The middle class is disappearing. The rich grow richer and the poor grow poorer. The powers that be have abandoned the people in favor of pretty much unregulated big business. We have entered a new era in which might makes right has returned from the past. These are, indeed, troubled times.

For Bush/Cheney disaster is success. Lies are truth. Science is wrong. Fundamentalism is the way. In spite of all the evidence to the contrary things in Iraq are just going fine. They seem to be so completely divorced from reality as to make you believe they are actually living on a different planet. And yet there are those who continue to support them. The election is said to be so close the outcome cannot be predicted. I don’t believe it. If there is a fair election (doubtful at this point) I see no way Bush/Cheney can be elected. Try to think just who, outside of corporate interests, religious fundamentalists and the NRA, will vote for them? A majority of American women apparently believe in choice. Most of the large unions have endorsed Kerry. A majority of Americans believe the assault weapons ban should have been continued. A majority of Hispanics favor Kerry. Virtually all Blacks will vote Kerry. Young people, apparently registering to vote in record numbers are said to be two to one in favor of Kerry. Older people being ripped off by the Medicare scam are not too likely to vote for Bush/Cheney. Trial lawyers will certainly not vote for them. Scientists will not. Most teachers will probably not. I predict the largest voter turnout in history and it will not favor Republicans who have shown no sense of decency or fair play for the last twelve years. But, then, I said Ronald Reagan could never be elected President. Sigh!

Sunday, September 19, 2004


Can things really get much worse? In spite of Bush’s constantly repeated claims that we are winning the war in Iraq it is perfectly obvious to anyone not living in fantasyland that we quite definitely are not. Things get progressively worse day by day. More killing, more bombings resulting in more civilian deaths, more American troops sacrificed for oil, more waste of taxpayer’s dollars, more lies, and more insults to anyone with a brain larger than that of a shrew. And more Iraqis and others willing to give up their lives to get rid of the American occupiers. And Bush/Cheney keep insisting that things are going well. What would it be like if things were not going so well? Be advised that if by some strange aberration or illegality Bush/Cheney should manage to get elected things will continue to just get worse. Lyndon Johnson was doing better than this when he gave up and quit. Bush/Cheney should admit they have dismally failed, resign, and let someone else try to clean up their unbelievable mess. They should also be tried for war crimes. NONE OF THIS HAD TO HAPPEN!!! Iraq was not a threat to the U.S. Iraq had nothing to do with 911! Iraq did not have anything to do with the terrorists! Bush/Cheney attacked what was essentially a defenseless country for reasons that had nothing to do with weapons of mass destruction, threats to their neighbors, or that fact that it was ruled by an evil dictator. This is the most massively dishonest and tragic farce ever inflicted on the American people. And anyone who continues to support this absolutely rotten regime is just as guilty as Bush/Cheney and the rest of their gang of ideological thugs.

There is a growing disconnect between the military and the Secretary of Defense with the former increasingly convinced that the “war” was a mistake and there is no way to win. It is obvious that catastrophic mistakes were made. It is equally obvious that there are not enough troops available for any successful conclusion to this absolute disaster. And no one, NO ONE, has been held accountable for any of this, not 911, not the misguided attack on Iraq, not the failure to prepare for the aftermath of the hostilities, not the disgusting war profiteering that is taking place, not the unprecedented lies and deceptions, and not the treasonous outing of a CIA operative, not the torture, and not the slimy, dishonest attack ads that have characterized this election. In this administration no one is ever wrong, no one is ever responsible, no one is ever accountable, and the only people who get punished are those brave souls who try to tell the truth about just how corrupt and idiotic this administration has been. The United States we have all grown up in and loved is being destroyed and replaced with a fascist regime as bad as any that has existed up until now.



Saturday, September 18, 2004

Patriotic Americans?

Morialekafa is back from a few days in paradise. British Columbia, western Alberta, and the Rocky Mountains have to be among the most beautiful parts of the entire world. But, back to grim reality.

Wouldn’t you think that any normal patriotic American would want to have a President the world would admire, trust, and look up to? And wouldn’t that same American want a President who would unite the country behind him? And wouldn’t he want a President who would tell the truth about what was happening in the country and the world? Perhaps I am wrong but that is the kind of President I would like to have.

It is quite obviously the case that George W. Bush is not such a President. He and his administration are hated and reviled by virtually the entire world. He has divided our country to an extent not seen since the Civil War or at least the Vietnam era. He has lied to us repeatedly and continues to do so on a daily basis. The hatred of Bush is palpable in both Canada and the United States, and also in most nations of the world. Republicans have commented on this, expressing surprise that it should be so. But why should it not be so?

But as it is so, and quite obviously so, what does this say for Republicans who continue to support Bush/Cheney and their evil empire? Apparently their thirst for money and power outweigh any patriotism they feel. The attitude seems to be, we've got ours and want more and more and to hell with the rest of you.

They rail against so-called tax and spend Democrats while they themselves have become simply spend and spend Republicans and leave the bill to our kids and grandkids If this is the kind of Presidency you want, vote for Bush/Cheney. If not, vote for John Kerry. There is at the moment no other viable choice.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

On names - essay

There will no blogs for this coming week as morialekafa is going on vacation. Next blog one week from today.

It occurs to me that personal names in the United States are boring. You know, names like Don, Bill, Bob, Pete, Joe, Jakob, and Mary, Ellen, Ann, Susan, Cynthia, and so on. What do you really know about someone if his name is Bob or John? Not much, of course. Names like that are not only uninformative but they also lack "color." In recent years there have been at least rudimentary attempts to improve on this situation, the most popular names do change over the years, but basically the changes are minimal and very slow. African Americans have been much more creative than others when it comes to naming their children, so now we find people called Keyshawn, Donta, Ki-Jana, Aundray, Tiki, Santana, Dewayne, Terrelle, and Ladonna, Laila, Reginae, Jacida and Dorena.
However laudable these innovations, like most names in the United States, they do not tell you much of anything about the person so named, except that it's a good bet that he or she is quite likely an African American. It's the same with names world wide. Names like Bodo, Ratbald, Dietrich and Adolf, however strange to our ears here in the U.S., suggest only that the person might be German. Similarly if you know of a Boris, Radovic, Rakovski, Raskolnikov, Dmitri, or Zametov, you would probably surmise they were Russian or at least Slavic. I doubt that Raskolnikov or Dmitri are any more colorful in their cultural context than are Bob and Jim in ours.
American Indians had the right idea about names. They are not only more descriptive but far more colorful. Thus there are names like Sitting Bull, Rain in the Face, Standing Elk, White Buffalo, Bear's Belly, Snow Child, Dew Moving, Many Goats, Good Bear, Crow's Heart, Three White Cows, Ben Long Ear, and so on.
So enamored am I of the American Indian model that I have found myself, almost obsessivelly, bestowing Indian-like names on those I know and, indeed, even on those I don't know. It began with my teenage son who, for reasons we cannot fathom, insists on coming to breakfast in his underwear (a habit, however repugnant, we have found virtually impossible to overcome). He is now known to me as Forgets His Pants. One of my fishing buddies has become Rocks The Boat. A golfing partner is aptly described as Hits It Far, whereas another is Drives It Crooked, and still another is Misses His Putts. Then there is my friend Belches A Lot and his wife Overcooks It. On my son's basketball team there are characters like Shoots a Lot, Can't Pass, Feet Too Big, and Kicks The Ball, to say nothing of Jumps Too Late.
An old friend frequently calls long distance to report his troubles, which are many. Although I love him I can't help thinking of him as Whines At Night. Around town there are people I identify only as Eats Pig, Talks Too Loud, Stands In Place, Slaughters Sheep, Drinks Beer, Big Bull, Beautiful But Dumb, Smokes A Lot, Peach Blossom, and Carries Her Dog. There was an old man I named Walks Crooked but, alas, he recently died. While you of course don't know these people you know more about them than you would if I used their given names - like Bob, Sally, Pete, Mary, Joe, etc. - and certainly they are more colorfully named.
You understand, of course, that for the most part these names are terms of reference, not of address. I obviously would not address someone as Eats Pig or Belches A Lot unless I was prepared to defend myself. Peach Blossom, maybe. In any case, I submit this is a far better method of naming than the one we typically apply. And there is no reason these names have to be pejorative. Why could we not have people like Angel Face, Light Feather, Walking Deer, Strong Ox, Gentle Lamb, Smart Fox, Wins A Lot, Speaks Her Mind, Works Too Hard, Beautiful Butterfly, Two Birds, Sings A Lot, names like that. I don't know about you but I would far rather be surrounded by people with colorful names like these than by all the Tom, Dick and Harry's of the world. It's not that I don't like Tom, Dick and Harry. I prefer to think of them as Tiny Titmouse, Dizzy Duck, and Heavy Horse.
I have discussed this obsession with my wife, whom I have re-christened Shouting Bear. Entering into the spirit of things she now refers to me simply as Lost His Marbles.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Just politics?

When does the “just political” become criminal? We know there are so-called “dirty tricks” in politics but when, if ever, do dirty tricks become more than “just politica?” I guess Watergate would be an example of a “just political” stunt gone wrong and therefore passing over into criminal. After all, it was a burglary as well as a political dirty trick. And it did bring down the Nixon Presidency.

But what about something like Republicans planting a rumor that John McCain had fathered a black baby? Or that Dukakis was mentally ill? Or that Bill Clinton had Vince Foster murdered? No one seems to have ever been punished for any of these claims. How about the Swift Boat Veterans for (un)Truth. They clearly acted with malice and also clearly lied. John Dean has suggested that John Kerry should sue, so perhaps what they have done might be considered criminal. What about Bob Dole’s slanderous remarks about Kerry’s medals? When questioned about it he replied that it was “just politics.”

More importantly, perhaps, how did Tripp and Goldberg and others get away with conspiring to bring down a legally elected and popular president? Shouldn’t a conspiracy to bring down a president be illegal? After millions were spent chasing nonsensical charges and Clinton was unable to tend to more important matters for eight years, shouldn’t someone have been held responsible? Or was it all “just politics?”

What if it should turn out that the recently published letters respecting Bush’s service in the Guard were, indeed, fraudulent (not that I believe they were, but suppose)? Would that be considered “just political?”

And how about the disenfranchisement of thousands of voters in Florida?” Just another political dirty trick? How about the Republicans stealing Democratic memos from the computers? Or telling black voters the wrong day for the election? Tying up the Democratic phone line on election day?

It would seem that Republicans would have lost a great many elections had they not stooped to these kinds of dirty tricks. They are certainly engaged in more of the same at the moment. And they always seem to go unpunished, So, are we to just accept that these kinds of things are just routine in American politics? That there are no limits to the kind of dirty tricks and dishonesty the public has to accept as “just political?”

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Did he or didn't he?

Deep in the nearby mountains
the forest creatures
still live in blissful freedom,
unlike we mortals,
unhappily civilized.

Ah, the plot thickens. Did he or didn’t he get preferential treatment to get into the Guard? Seems pretty clear he did. Did he get preferential treatment after he was in the Guard? Looks like he probably did. Did he get his apparent violations “sugar coated.?” Looks like he probably did. Did he try to disobey a direct order from a high-ranking officer? Looks like he did. Did he lie to the Press and the American public about his service? Looks like he probably did? Is this just another rehash of old stories that have already been discredited? Looks like maybe not. Did he get suspended from flying because he refused to take a physical? Looks like he did. Is he an unmitigated liar? Looks like he is. Will he Republicans care? Looks like they won’t. Is he more truthful about his military record than John Kerry? Doesn’t seem so. Are the Swift Boat Veterans for (un)Truth telling the truth? Absolutely not. Has either George W. Bush or Dick Cheney ever told the truth about anything? The answer is NO! I am about to be 75 years old. Have I ever seen an administration as vile, dishonest, and evil as this one? The answer is absolutely not! Am I angry and frustrated by the failure of others to see these totally dishonest, evil, and incompetent creeps as they truly are? You better believe it. I do not believe the polls which I am sure are being rigged by the mass media in favor of Republicans. I still have faith in the good sense of most of the American public. I believe that in an honest election Kerry/Edwards will win hands down. Whether there will be an honest election this year is at the moment in doubt. Make sure you vote and get others to vote as well. This is, indeed, the most important election of your life.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Republican desperation

“It is absolutely essential that eight weeks from today, on Nov. 2, we make the right choice, because if we make the wrong choice then the danger is that we’ll get hit again and will be hit in a way that will be devastating from the standpoint of the United States.”

Only Dick (the Slimy) Cheney could make such a statement, a statement that is at once: juvenile, stupid, dishonest, irresponsible, unethical, inappropriate, uncalled for, below-the-belt, and utterly preposterous. No doubt the 350 people who were stupid enough to attend his talk in the first place will believe it.

The fact that he would make such a childish comment is further proof of just how desperate the Republicans are. As they have absolutely no positive achievements to run on they have no choice but to simply disparage their opponents and sow fear into the minds of what appears to be an increasingly gullible public.

Related to this desperation is the LA Times poll that claimed Bush ahead by 11%, a claim that lasted less that a day, and a claim that was patently absurd on the face of it. But of course we know by now not to expect any honest statement from either Republicans or their handmaidens in the mainstream media. They are desperate indeed.

Now there are claims that George W. Bush snorted cocaine while at Camp David when his father was President. And further claims that seem to be closer to proving that he was, in fact, AWOL while in the Guard.

Then there are indications that the U.S. has been acting more in Israel’s interest than heretofore believed. The so-called democratic election in Iraq is not going to allow certain parts of the country to vote because they are not under sufficient control. Some way to conduct an election. I’m sure the citizens who will be left out will be entirely satisfied with the results.

Finally for today, as I’m sure you all know by now, the death toll of U.S. troops now exceeds one thousand. All for a “war” THAT WAS TOTALLY UNNECESSARY!!!

We absolutely must be rid of these evil incompetent clowns and the sooner the better.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004


One definition of charade is “an absurd pretense.” Is this not a perfect definition of the Republican convention and campaign? As the Bush/Cheney campaign has so little connection with reality what can it be other than a charade?

Bush/Cheney claim we are winning the war on terror (that is, when they aren’t saying it is unwinnable). This claim can be seen as demonstrably false.

They claim things are going well in Iraq. Clearly not so.

They claim a victory in Afghanistan. Nonsense.

Unemployment has gone down to 5.4. But not if you include the hundreds of thousands who have simply given up even looking for a job.

We’re on the road to recovery. The Stock Market is down and we now have the largest national debt in history.

And what are we to think when the following rather important matters are totally ignored?
Osama bin Laden
Charges that Bush was AWOL
Charges that Bush sniffed cocaine at Camp David
Potential criminal charges against Dick Cheney
The failures of 911
The outing of a CIA operative
The outing of a Pakistani mole
The role of Saudi Arabia in 911
The price of oil
The spy scandal at the Pentagon
The question of Church and State
The Swift Boat liars

And whatever happened to:
Donald Rumsfeld
Richard Perle
Condaleeza Rice
Colin Powell
Paul Wolfowitz
And various other former “bigmouths”

Not to mention such notables as:
Jerry Falwell
Pat Robertson
Gary Bauer

Republicans want us to believe that everything is just fine, terrorism is under control, George W. Bush will protect us like a father (with a little help from the great father above), and oh, by the way, John Kerry is unfit for the presidency because he sometimes changes his mind (this charge from the greatest flip-flopper in history, George W. Bush himself). Just give us another four years and we will do better this time (but of course we didn’t make any mistakes the first time). If this whole procedure is not a charade, what is? Perhaps a better description would be SCAM.

Monday, September 06, 2004


No blog yesterday. Sorry about that. According to the major news media nothing happened yesterday except the Hurricane.

Is it my imagination or is it true that most of the Republican “analysts” are dumb blondes? It seems to me that most of the time I see one of these creatures trying to defend the indefensible they are young blond “true believers.” They seem to be modeled on Kate O’Beirne of the Washington Gang, who would defend Bush even if he was filmed having a homosexual relationship at high noon in Washington Square.

Isn’t it curious that all of the five documents that would answer the question of Bush’s National Guard service are missing? What a coincidence.

I guess it is not surprising that members say they cannot pray for President Clinton’s recovery, just as they would not for Senator Kennedy, Hitler, and whomever. What a noble bunch. Clinton haters will never give it up while at the same time claiming they cannot image how anyone could hate Bush/Cheney. How on earth could anyone in their right mind not hate Bush/Cheney? They are demonstrably liars, war criminals, war profiteers, and totally unscrupulous and vicious politicians who will stop at nothing to stay in power.

Finally, let us consider the polls. The Los Angeles Times and Newsweek polls claim that Bush has an eleven point advantage. If you believe that I have a Golden Gate bridge that I will happily sell you cheap. There is no conceivable way Bush can have an eleven point advantage unless they only polled Orange County. This is part of the media conspiracy to make it look like the election is a dead heat. Otherwise it will be more difficult for Bush/Cheny/Rove to steal another one.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

Wisdom teeth - essay

I have no idea why we have wisdom teeth. Nor do I understand why they are called "wisdom" teeth. As they erupt between seventeen and twenty-one years of age there can't be much wisdom involved. In any case, we all have them. Unless, of course, the dentist gets them. Dentists, I have learned from much experience, can't stand wisdom teeth. Or at least they can't stand the fact that someone over twenty or thirty-something still has them. I have had mine for almost sixty years. That is, two of them. The dentist got two of them before I was savvy enough to know I could keep them if I wished. I have been to many dentists during these many years. To a man they have all coveted my remaining wisdom teeth. I should say to a man and woman, as I mistakenly went to two different female dentists under the delusion they would perhaps be more gentle than males. But this is a different story. The fact is, every dentist upon seeing these two remaining third molars has insisted they be removed. Having memories of the trauma involved in losing the first two I have actively resisted, usually by seeking out a new dentist. "They never bother me," I insist. "Why should you take them out?"
"They serve no useful purpose," they argue. "They are hard to clean," they observe. "They might get infected," they hypothesize. "They're crowding the rest of your teeth," they remonstrate. "There is no opposing tooth for them to grind on," they explain. "They're going to need filling so you might as well have them removed." And so on.
Throughout all of this I have remained steadfast. Like a rock, as the song says. "They don't bother me. When they start to bother me I'll have them out" (I'm not sure I really mean this). I have gone through about fifty years of this. The teeth still don't bother me. But they continue to drive dentists absolutely bonkers. Some of them can barely contain their anger in the face of such utter (in their view) stubborn stupidity. I no longer care what they think. By the time the two lonely partnerless and neglected molars start to bother me I'll be so old it won't matter. Perhaps I won't be here at all. But for better or worse I'll still have my two sturdy back teeth and my pride.
I hesitate to say it, but I suspect it may be true. They don't want my wisdom teeth at all. What they really want is a new putter. Or a paint job for their Porsche. Or a birthday present for their wife. Or some such. It makes you wonder what they learn in dental school. Do they really believe they should take out a perfectly healthy tooth because it might get infected? It should be removed because of its remote location? Because it perhaps will develop a cavity and have to be filled (just try to get a dentist to fill a wisdom tooth)? Because it performs no useful function (imagine a world in which everything with no function was removed). Can they really believe all these things or is it, as with probably many prescriptions for braces, just another way of fleecing a gullible public under the guise of respectable modern orthodontics? This all seems to boil down to one basic question: If God didn't intend us to have wisdom teeth why are they there?

Friday, September 03, 2004

All out war

Although it has been obvious for the eight years of the Clinton administration, and the last four years of the current administration that Republicans have no genuine interest in bipartisanship, it is now crystal clear from the Republican convention they now prefer all out war. After their scurrilous attacks on John Kerry there is no conceivable way bipartisanship can be obtained. If the speeches by Cheney, Guiliani and McCain were not bad enough the absolutely crazed performance of Zell Miller has to have made it clear. Nothing Republicans said at the convention can be construed as reaching out to independents or potential democratic turncoats. It was just pure venom and hate from start to finish. The battle is joined. It is a battle between the Republican base and the Democratic base. For the most part the issues are clear. If you are opposed to a woman’s right to choose, vote Republican. If you want social security to be privatized, vote Republican. If you want a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, vote Republican. If you want permanent tax breaks for the filthy rich and corporations, vote Republican. If you want continual damage to the environment, vote Republican. If you believe global warming is not a problem, vote Republican. If you want permanent war, vote Republican. If you want to continually increase the gap between rich and poor, vote Republican. If you want the United States to ignore the rest of the world, including the United Nations, vote Republican.

It can’t get much more obvious than it is. The Bush administration, controlled as it is by the chickenhawks and neocons, have no intention of ever leaving Iraq. They are busily squandering whatever monies they can on building fourteen permanent military bases in that occupied country. After the election, if Bush/Cheney can somehow get elected, you can be sure they will move eventually into Syria, Lebanon, and Iran. Their lunatic dreams of empire have not yet been abandoned. Nor have their plans to force the Palestinians into ghettos and economic slavery. This is the most evil, dangerous, short-sighted, corrupt, greedy, anti-humanitarian, warmongering, despicable, murdering, torturing administration in the history of the United States. If they are not defeated in this election god help us all.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Pathetic Republicans

Pity the poor Republicans. As they have absolutely no positive achievements to run on (unless, of course, you believe that unending tax cuts for the very rich and more corporate welfare are positive achievements), they have no choice but to denigrate their opponents. The unprincipled attacks on John Kerry last night by George the Slimy (who certainly lived up to his nickname) and the (I think possibly demented Zell Miller) were so sleazy, so extreme, so contradictory of how they have spoken of Kerry in the past, to make you wonder if they have totally lost their minds. This is especially true of Miller, who only a few short years ago praised Kerry as an authentic American hero and paragon of virtue. As in the case of John McCain, you can only wonder what it is they have been promised for their dishonesty. The title of a James M. Cain novel, Past all Dishonor, comes to mind.

It was not only what they said that was offensive, it was also the way they said it. There was certainly no compassion, no humor, no sense of fair play, nothing but pure hatred. And why should they hate Kerry? Because he threatens to remove them from their positions of power, power they have consistently abused to favor their corporate interests, Israeli racism and greed, and their insane ideas of empire.

These single-minded neocons have never hesitated to slime and try to remove anyone who presumes to get in their way – John McCain, Max Cleland, and now John Kerry. This says nothing of people like Clark, O’Neil, Wilson, and who knows how many others. Make no mistake about it, these are evil people who want to reduce us to serfdom in the service of corporate interests.
Bush/Cheney - WMD’s

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Putting lipstick on the pig

In deserted city streets
empty houses speak
of greed and terror.
Where are conquering heroes
on their white horses?

Well, I guess the Republican convention managed to get through night two. Rudolf Giuliani spun his web of lies, followed by the Gropenfuehrer, followed by the twins, who pretty much flunked politics 101, and Laura – all desperately putting lipstick on the pig, trying to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. Too bad they have so little to work with. Tonight anyone foolish enough to watch this crap will be treated to Dick the Slimy who, I gather, is going to trash Kerry some more, all the while pretending George W. Bush is a great leader (sigh). In the meanwhile nothing positive has happened anywhere in the world, as near as I can determine.