Monday, February 28, 2005

Our President, "Walking Eagle"

I don’t know if you have run across this as yet. If not I offer it here. It appeared on my email although I am not certain of the original source. It appears that George W. Bush appeared before some American Indian Group. After his speech he was awarded the title of “Walking Eagle.” Subsequently, when asked why they gave him the name Walking Eagle, they replied, “that’s what we call it when an Eagle is so full of shit it can’t fly.”

Years ago I prided myself on being an Independent and, as such, felt I could vote for the best person no matter what party they identified with. But no more. After what the Republicans did during the eight years of the Clinton Administration, plus what they have done for the last four years of the Bush Administration, there is no way I could ever, under any circumstances, vote for a Republican. They have proven to be the most dishonest, warmongering, rapacious, greedy, short-sighted, secretive, lying, devious, unfair, and irresponsible bunch of thugs and criminals ever to come along during my fairly extensive lifetime. I will never again vote for a Republican at any level of government.

This does pose a serious problem for me, because depending upon who the Democratic candidates turn out to be I might not be able to vote for them either. And as there will almost certainly not be a viable third party I may not be able to vote at all. Take Hilary, for example. Joe Biden, and I guess others, seem to think it will be difficult to keep the nomination away from her in 2008. I hope they are wrong. Although I would never vote for a Republican I would be almost equally unable to vote for Hilary. Not because she is a woman, because she is just another Republican-lite. Likewise, I would find it virtually impossible to vote for John Kerry. He was a lousy candidate. He seems to be a warmonger like the neocons. He has already been more or less discredited as a viable candidate, and seem to have nothing to offer but more troops and more war. I always admired Al Gore and thought he was probably the most desirable candidate for President ever. He had been a Senator and Vice President, with years and years of experience, he is knowledgeable about virtually all the important issue of our day, especially with respect to the environment and developing technology, and was clean of any scandals and so on. But when he chose Joe Lieberman as his running mate I had to part company (I did vote for him, of course). Picking Lieberman, in my opinion, was such an outrageous example of poor judgment that I don’t think I can ever forgive it. Lieberman is an absolute disgrace to the Democratic party, if not to the human race. I passionately hope they can find someone to unseat him in the coming election.

But, then, who will I be able to vote for? I am sad to say, perhaps no one. If it comes to this I might possibly vote for a third party candidate, as long as it is not Nader or Buchanan. I may regretfully finally just stop voting altogether. I am sick of what is going on and it seems to just get worse and worse. The only hope for the moment is that Dean can work some kind of miracle and get us a viable candidate that we can be proud to support. But don’t hold your breath.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Hilary for president?

It appears that Biden and others seem to think that Hilary has all but sewn up the nomination for Democratic candidate for the Presidency in 2008. I sincerely believe this is not true and I also believe it would be a suicidal mistake for Democrats. While there is much talk about the electorate being ready for a woman President I am skeptical. Very skeptical. Furthermore she has shown herself to be no more than just another Republican-lite. While this worked for Bill I don’t think it will work this time. With Bill palling around with the Bush’s, Hilary apparently on the board of WalMart, and otherwise receptive to the same corporate support as the Republicans, I don’t think the Democratic base is going to be very supportive. Of course I could be wrong. I often am. Naturally one would have to support the Democratic candidate over whomever the Republicans decide to run, how could it be otherwise? But please, let’s not have another best of two horrible candidates. There must be some Democrat out there who is not beholden to the Corporations and who would be willing to begin the process of disengagement from the big money. Where is our Roosevelt when we truly need him or her? I don’t believe Hilary fits the bill. Biden, maybe. We desperately need a charismatic candidate who will tell it as it is instead of trying to compromise with the evil empire that now prevails.

Sharon is already about to ditch the so-called peace process. When is everyone going to just acknowledge that Sharon’s Israelis have no desire whatsoever to see a viable Palestinian state? Why should they? With America’s blind support they have all the power. They can continue to steal Palestinian land and water, thumb their noses at the United Nations and everyone else, all the while continuing to claim they are under siege from Palestinian rock throwers and children. It is obviously true there are suicide bombers, and no doubt will continue to be until Israel give up their illegal and immoral occupation, but the toll taken by suicide bombers pales into insignificance when compared to the Israeli near genocide. There is absolutely no doubt whatsoever that the single greatest obstacle to any kind of peace in the Middle East, ever, is the U.S. support of Israel against the Palestinians. Why is it in the best interests of the United States to give Israel three billion dollars a year? Think about it, if there is anyone left here who thinks at all.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Still waiting

I am still waiting for Gannongate to make it big in the pages or screens of the major media. This is a truly big story, too big to allow the media to ignore or bury it like they have so many other scandals. This puts Monica and Watergate into small time scandals. We still have no explanation from the White House as to how and why Gannon/Guckert wss given repeated press passes. Did he even apply or was he just shoehorned in by someone in authority? Who vouched for him? Why? These are especially pertinent questions in that he had previously been denied such passes elewhere. If someone like Gannon/Guckart can get in so easily why couldn't someone else, someone with even more evil motives? Are reporters routinely searched for weapons? Was Gannon/Guckert sleeping with someone with the authority to get him a pass? Was there blackmail involved? We already know that the White House has lied about not knowing Eberle and also lied about Gannon. What else are they lying about now? What I have heard from Gannon so far it does not appear to me that he smart enough to have pulled this off by himself. Someone helped him. Who? Who was paying him? Why? How long? What other sneaky jobs did he engage in besides attacking Daschle? Come on, we have to find out what gives here. Keep it going until the media simply cannot ignore it any longer.

I have just finished Imperial Hubris and found it both fascinating and informative. I believe the author really knows what he is talking about and makes perfect sense of what might be done about it - even though I think there is no hope that his suggestions will be followed. This is not a book to be taken lightly. Of courwe anonymous is a conservative Republican, and his suggestion that we simply murder all the Muslims we can find to defend ourselves is a bit hard to take. I confess to being taken aback by his comment that Reagan was "a good a great man." This strikes me as about as far from the truth as one can get. But you should read it, it is most enlightening.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Dinner in Padua - short story

Watch 'n Wait: I'm certain that if Biden was the candidate I would support him. I think he would be a welcome change from the last Democratic candidates. But of course I would support anyone running against a Republican. I would have to hold my nose if it was Kerry, Hillary, or Gore. No more Republican-lite! I'm not positive but I think Hillary is actually on the Board of Directors of WalMart. That in itself would be enough to disqualify her as a Democratic candidate. I rather doubt that Biden will be able to get the nomination but we can always hope. After all, what else is left?

I actually heard as a news item on CNN this morning that the Pope ate ten biscuits and some yogurt for breakfast. I was happy to hear that. When I woke up I thought to myself: I wonder what the Pope is having for breakfast this morning.

I am so fed up with the whole business of politics for the moment I will escape with another short story.

Dinner in Padua

Will was not the kind of person to take advice; didn't even listen to it as near as I could tell. He certainly wouldn't take advice from his daughter, even though she had traveled widely in Europe and had been living in Germany for the past year. Will and Rosemary had never been to Europe. They thought it would be nice to visit while we were there so we could "show them around." They had two weeks in which they wanted to see "everything."
On the drive from the Frankfurt airport to the city in which we lived they complained of the heat, a complaint that might have elicited more sympathy had we not repeatedly warned them not to visit Europe in August.
During dinner the first night they complained that the bottled water they were forced to drink didn't come with ice. The waiter, incredulous, was coerced into bringing ice. He placed it on the table in a shallow dish as though he were feeding his dog.
While Will and Rosemary thought bed and breakfast was "cute" they were unhappy with only rolls and coffee. The idea of serving cold meats and cheese for breakfast they found totally abhorrent. The coffee required hot milk to make it drinkable, but they were not accustomed to the combination and didn't like it. The salads they preferred for lunch were not up to their standards either; the absence of a choice of salad dressing they found unforgivable.
There was a huge, sweating, but appreciative crowd in Munich to watch the glockenspiel. Will, after having seen it, observed that "Disney would have been able to do it much better." Rosemary's only comment was that she had never smelled so much body odor in her life.
Will did entertain us with his recurrent accounts of battling the shower curtains. "These are the smallest showers I've ever seen," he reported. "How are you supposed to take a shower when the curtain keeps wrapping around you and clinging to your body?" Of course when the showers didn't have curtains the complaint was that water spilled all over the floor. "How in the hell are you supposed to take a shower in these things without getting water all over the bathroom," he groused. Often they could not figure out how to flush the toilets. "Why don't they standardize these damn toilets?" Will complained. "Sometimes they have a button to push! Sometimes they have something to pull up and let go of! Sometimes the lever is on one side and sometimes on the other! Sometimes you can't even find anything to push or pull! The last thing Rosemary said as she was getting on the plane to return home was "I can hardly wait to get home and have a real shower. I haven't felt clean for two weeks."
Castles on the Rhine had little appeal for either of them. "They wouldn't last a minute nowadays," Will asserted, "what with airplanes and bombs and all."
"They don't keep them up very well, do they?" Rosemary commented. "They must have been terribly uncomfortable to live in."
So fearful were they of the roads in Switzerland they scarcely noticed the Alps. They did observe that things were expensive and that they could get them cheaper at home.
Venice was crowded. There was no hope of getting a hotel. "You'd think if you were willing to pay for it you could get a room anywhere," Will grumbled angrily.
"We told you not to come in August," his daughter said sweetly in her best "I told you so" accent.
We found rooms in Padua. Will insisted on the most expensive, apparently out of spite. We returned to Venice the following morning where we waited for over an hour to park. Then we waited in another line for that long again to board a flagrantly overloaded water taxi. It was seasonally hot and exceptionally humid. The narrow streets were packed with smelly, rude, overripe humanity who flowed through them by the thousands like living torrents of uncontrollable lava. You could scarcely breathe and when you did you wished you hadn't. What was worse as far as Rosemary was concerned was that you could scarcely shop. "People shouldn't come to Europe," she had announced the first day, "unless they want to shop." By the time we returned to Padua that evening we desperately needed respite. We suggested they dine without us.
"You should have seen us last night," Will announced proudly the next morning. We were headed north to Austria with Will driving the car we had rented at his request (for more than we would have had to pay had he rented it through an agency 'back home'). "We went to that American Bar. They have a restaurant there too, you know. It was so funny. The waiter couldn't speak a word of English. We couldn't read the Italian menu so we asked for a menu in English. He looked all over and couldn't seem to find one."
"I think he was embarrassed," Rosemary added, "He wouldn't have anything to do with us. We kept motioning to him but he just ignored us for the longest time."
"Yeah, every time he came near he'd say something we took to be 'just a minute' and then he'd be gone again. There were two other waiters, too, but he was obviously in charge. He just rushed around everywhere. But he couldn't find the menu and I guess he was upset about it because he wouldn't come back to our table. We had ordered a bottle of wine which we proceeded to drink while we were waiting. Finally he came, still without the English menu, so we tried to ask him what different things were. It was really funny. My few words of Italian and his lack of English. He was actually sweating because he couldn't find the menu. Then he stood behind me and read everything on the menu to me, in Italian! As if I could understand it."
"It really was funny," Rosemary agreed. The poor man was desperate. The sweat just poured off him."
"The only thing we could understand was soup of the day -- minestrone. And pesto, we could get that, too. So we ordered soup and pesto for both of us. But then we had to wait again. Even though there were two other waiters it was obvious that he was in charge of everything and they just got out of his way. He was running all over the place doing everything for everybody. Then finally he brought us soup but only one pesto. We tried and tried but couldn't get his attention so we went ahead and ate that. won't believe this...he brought us two more pestos! So we ate them too."
"Your father ate two pestos!" Rosemary said, "I think he had too much wine."
"Me! No way. Your mother was blotto."
"I was not."
"She was so drunk she couldn't finish her dinner."
"I wasn't hungry by then, after the soup and all that wine. Anyway, you should have been there. It was a riot! That waiter actually did break out in a sweat over that menu. You could see it just dripping off him. It was fun, wasn't it honey?"
"Yeah, we had a really great time. You should have been there."
"I don't know what American Bar stands for," Rosemary added. "It certainly doesn't mean they speak English."
My wife, cringing in her corner of the back seat, looked over and rolled her eyes. No one spoke for several minutes. We moved at high speed along the autostrada. Will broke the silence.
"You know the only thing we didn't do last night that we should have done Rosy? We should have asked that waiter to take our picture

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Gannongate is not going away

Canada is refusing to go along with the utterly ridiculous “star wars” program that the United States insists on pursuing. I say utterly ridiculous because there is no evidence to date that the program is even remotely close to working. Every test has failed, in spite of the billions of dollars that has gone into it up to now. Outraged by this example of common sense and responsibility members of the administration claim that Canada is giving up their sovereignty. Does this mean we are about to attack Canada? With this administration there is no telling. Canadians are sensible. Americans are crazy. It’s just about that simple. It’s not as if Canada has said they won’t beef up their security and cooperate with the U.S., improve their own military, and try to be responsible for North American security – but they don’t want to be involved in an absolute waste of money, pouring more billions into American Corporations to keep pursuing an absurd fantasy dreamed up by Ronald Reagan, a fantasy most probably inspired by one of his B movies.

It looks for the moment that Gannongate is not going to go away, in spite of the major media’s attempt to ignore it. Why should it? It’s the biggest story to come along in a very long time. And there is good reason to believe that it involves senior members of the White House as well as Gannon/Guckert. We still have no explanation from the White House as to how this phony reporter was repeatedly given access to the White House press corps and allowed to ask one softball question after another. Will someone eventually come clean or will this scandal just disappear along with Plame, 9/11, Cheney’s secret energy planning, and etc., etc? Is it going to be impossible to bring any of these guys to accountability? Ever? For anything? Even Durbin, who claims there should be an investigation, is now saying: oh, well, with Republicans in control there probably isn’t anything that will happen. Balderdash! He and all the other democrats should be dancing nude in the streets of Washington D.C. if that’s what it takes to get to the bottom of this.

It becomes more inconceivable to me every day how ANYONE could possibly continue to support the Bush/Cheney administration. What does it take to bring people to their senses? They are known universally to be war criminals. They are despised by virtually everyone on the planet. They have lied incessantly to the American people and the Congress, unconstituitionally gone to “war,” tortured, killed civilians, stolen Iraqi resources, destroyed their country, illegally bribed reporters to promote their agenda, placed a non-credentialled “reporter” in the White House press corps, engaged in absolutely shameful war profiteering, and who knows what all else, and still the Bush faithful seem to think they are wonderful. I used to believe that Republicans were just ignorant and ill-informed. I am now beginning to believe they are instrinsically evil, just as Bush/Cheney are evil. I guess nothing in life is more important than stealing and controlling oil. Oh, I always forget, we are just spreading democracy and American values around the world.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Proud to be a Republican?

So far Gannongate shows no signs of disappearing in spite of the Major Media’s attempts to ignore or downplay it. And why should it? This is a scandal a hundred times or more worse than Monicagate. Just how did Gannon get those press passes? We are still awaiting answers. In the meanwhile people are guessing Gannon must have been sleeping with someone in high places, perhaps even Karl Rove himself. You would think the White House would be interested in denying all these rumors and speculations but so far, nothing. I guess they think like with all their other scandals if they just ignore it, it will go away. I sincerely hope not this time. At some point reality and truth has to catch up with them.

Some people seem to think that the release of the Bush tapes, in which he discusses his marijuana use and his feeling about gays, should be damaging to Bush. I don’t see why. He comes across in those tapes as being concerned about children and marijuana, and also about not discriminating against gays. He admits being a sinner which the Fundamentalists can swoon over. And their release came just at the right moment to take our minds off the Gannongate scandal. I think Rove was behind this just as he was probably behind the fake materials that led to Rather’s downfall.

We are being told that Bush’s Europe trip has been a success, that all 26 countries have agreed to help with the Iraq problem. But it has been pointed out by someone that all of the help they have actually offered means they will be contributing only .5 percent of the training of an Iraqi police/military force. When you consider that France offered only one (1) officer to help in this endeavor it makes you wonder if Bush even perceives the insult. Furthermore there have been large anti-Bush turnouts in Belgium and Germany and elsewhere that have hardly been reported by the American press. I think it is fair to say that this trip has not been a resounding success, or even a success, or even less than that. Also going largely unnoticed is the failure to hold a so-called town hall meeting with ordinary German citizens because Bush is too cowardly to face any potential difficult questions and the Germans, bless them, refused to agree to questions screened in advance.

I guess Bush/Cheney supporters must be very proud to know that their champions are universally despised, have been illegally bribing newspeople to spread their propaganda, coddling fake gay newsmen in the press corps, making utter fools of themselves internationally, blatantly lying about Social Security, covering up their failure to prevent 9/11, outing an important CIA operative, ruining the U.S. military, failing to find bin Laden, being outsmarted by the Iraqi religious leaders, bankrupting the U.S. economy, and etc., etc. When will it ever end? Or is this it? The end of the American century and American democracy. Stay tuned, things can only get worse.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Bush the communicator

Do you think that George W. Bush has any idea of just how ridiculous he appears to others? Just this morning I heard him say during one of his several appearances in Europe: “The idea that the U.S. is going to attack Iran is ridiculous. But all options are on the table.” What was the point of that? He might as well have said nothing at all. In fact, it would have been better if he had said nothing at all. He struts around and tells everyone what they should do: Russia should try to be more democratic, Syria should get out of Lebanon, Iran should give up their nuclear program, Europeans should bail him out of Iraq, they should not sell arms to China, and on and on. He comes across as exactly what he is, a know-nothing bully who thinks the U.S. can simply order the rest of the world what to do. And you can bet that underneath those poses with European leaders there is a genuine distrust and animosity. And why not? Bush has seldom told the truth about anything. He has no credibility anymore. Europeans cannot understand how in the world he got re-elected – and neither can I. Of course he wasn’t really re-elected anyway.

It appears that Sibel Edmonds may get her day in court after all. And what a juicy scandal this will be. The FBI is going to come out of this with egg all over their face, and rightly so.

Gannongate is not going away, just as I predicted. Now the Democrats, and hopefully a few Republicans as well, are demanding an investigation into how an unqualified reporter for a blatantly partisan and very questionable news organization was able to get repeated passes to the White House press conferences. Actually he received passes even before he claimed to represent any news organization. And he was also apparently invited to White House parties. But, like, who invited him? Who got him the press passes? In short, what in the hell is going on here? Think money. Where did his money come from? Who was paying him? Beyond that, think homosexuality. Did McClellan really frequent gay bars in Texas? Where does Karl Rove fit in? How is it that Bush called on him by name? Why was such a person allowed anywhere near the President? This is a far bigger scandal than Monicagate. If the Democrats can’t get anywhere with this we are surely doomed. But don’t hold your breath waiting for Democrats to do much; they are as much a part of the same corrupt Corporate Fascist takeover as Republicans. Shame on both of their houses. Hope that Howard Dean and the grassroots will ultimately win out. It’s the only game in town.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Rove strikes again?

Do you believe that the release of the Bush tapes at this moment in time was simply a coincidence? Consider that Bush comes across as a noble fellow who would not like children to try marijuana as he did (probably cocaine as well). And he also comes across as a noble fellow who would not discriminate against anyone (gays). This at precisely the moment there is a growing scandal involving a fake reporter obviously placed in the press corps to ask softball questions of the Press Secretary and, indeed, the President himself. A fake reporter who, by the way, who also sells himself as a gay prostitute when not regurgitating Bush/Cheney’s desires to the American public. Of course the major media are doing everything they can to make this story disappear. And what better way than to release Bush’s previous “private” conversations with one of his friends, conversations that only show him in a positive light? If this doesn’t say Karl Rove all over it I don’t know what would. Perhaps it is going to backfire as there are now questions about who authorized the press passes, why, did Rove himself have anything to do with it, and how about Scott McClellan himself, known to frequent gay bars in Texas. If this had happened on Clinton’s watch he would already have been impeached. But not Bush. He could be caught having homosexual relations with Karl Rove on the White House steps and they would still claim it was simply a democratic dirty trick, if not Clinton’s fault.

And what about the security precautions for Bush’s visit to Germany? Totally unprecedented to the point where they actually have become ludicrous. I trust the Bush supporters are proud to know that not only is their President a known war criminal but is also the single most hated person in the world (next, perhaps, to Dick Cheney). I hope you can recall when Clinton visited Europe and people turned out in the thousands to cheer him. And he walked right out among the crowds instead of hiding behind thousands of bodyguards, snipers, helicopters, fighter planes, and so on. What I don’t understand is why Germany went along with this ridiculous nonsense. Actually, I don’t understand why anyone at all goes along with it. If ever there was a case of the Emperor having no clothes this would have to be it. But everyone seems to go along with it, treating this utter moron as the Emperor of the world, and giving in to his whims time after time. Of course the reality must be that behind the scenes it is really Cheney who is doing the negotiating. No one would leave it up the Chimp himself. But I guess we can give him credit for one thing – he has learned to read the prompter much better than he did at first. I doubt that he has any idea of what it actually says or means. But with divine guidance and biblical truths what more does he need? When, dear God, is justice going to catch up with these evil lunatics who are destroying our democracy and ruining our country?

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Am I hallucinating?

Am I hallucinating or what? I swear that earlier today I saw an item on RawStory (I think that’s what it is called) in which someone claimed to have had a homosexual encounter with Karl Rove in 1970 at some Young Republican Convention. There were at least three or four subsequent comments to the effect that if what you are saying is true please contact so-and-so. But tonight when I returned to the same site that particular comment no longer appears. Does that mean it was not true and then withdrawn? Does it mean it was true but now it has been passed on to more important people? Or does it mean that I just imagined the whole thing? Quite frankly, I don’t know. I do know that there are now comments that assume there may well have been a relationship between Gannon, the Press Secretary, Rove, and others(?). Of course the major media are doing whatever they can to bury this story. If they succeed again it will be eminently clear just how far the media has fallen.

There are apparently no limits whatsoever on how far the major media will go to cover up and defend the Bush/Cheney administration. Anything that appears to be negative gets covered up or just disappears from view. The 9/11 scandal, the Plame scandal, the Energy meeting scandal, Bush’s AWOL scandal, and now this Gannongate scandal. The performance of our major media: television, radio, newspapers, and magazines is so utterly disgraceful as to be unbelievable. But you better believe it. Unless this situation can be seriously reformed there will be no chance to continue our rapidly disappearing democracy.

It seem to me that we now how no choice but to put our future into the hands of Howard Dean. There is clearly no hope for a third party. Socialism has become such a dirty word in America there is no hope there. Ralph Nader has been exposed as an egomaniacal spoiler. The DLC is nothing but a Republican front. Most democrats are nothing but Republican-lites. Kerry is hopeless. Gore displayed such bad judgment in picking Lieberman as a running mate that he can not be forgiven. Hillary is selling out to the anti-abortionists, as well as claiming the insurgents in Iraq must be failing because they can only murder 50 or 100 people at once these days. Bill Clinton is now in bed with the Bushes. We need a new approach, a rejuvenated democratic party, and some truly active new blood. Who it might be I do not at the moment know. I hate to stake my life on Howard Dean but what is the alternative?

Saturday, February 19, 2005


According to Buzzflash the Gannon/Guckert scandal is finding its way into the mainstream media. Apparently not wanting to be outdone by the bloggers they are having to confront the story. And what a story it is! If they truly pursue it rather than trying to bury it as usual it should mean really bad news for the White House. How do you explain how a right wing homosexual fake journalist was repeatedly given press passes to the White House and was also routinely called on for questions, questions that were extremely sympathetic to the Bush/Cheney administration? When questioned by Anderson Cooper on CNN (can you believe it?) Gannon gave absolutely no satisfactory answers and just seemed to dig himself in deeper and deeper. In fact, I see no point in his appearing on Anderson Cooper. But now that he has been "outed," so to speak, he should be fair game for not only bloggers but also the major news outlets. Let us hope.

Hillary, on a recent quick trip to Iraq, has announced that the recent suicide bombers, who only managed to kill about 50 people, proves that the resistance is slowing down. Huh? Somewhere I saw mentioned that Joe Lieberman might be considered a replacement for Rumsfeld (if he should leave) Huh? I hope this was just a joke, not that I think it is overdue for Rummy to leave. It appears there is a chance that Chalabi might still end up as the big honcho in Iraq. Huh?

I finally found time to start reading Imperial Hubris. Terrific. Too bad Bush can't read, or at least doesn't. I guess non of the neocons do, unless perhaps the comics. Too bad things aren't funny anymore.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Honor and dignity in the White House

Okay democrats, now is not the time to let go of Gannon/Guckertgate. This is a scandal that will make Monicagate look like small potatoes. Do not let the major media bury this as they will be wont to do. All kudos to Anderson Cooper who is at least trying to find out what the hell happened. How did this totally unqualified person get repeated passes to the White House Press Corps? He claims he just applied and was given the passes. There is no way that could have happened unless he had some very high level support. Furthermore, he was given passes even before he supposedly represented Talon News, a known Republican right wing organization. He was asking questions of Ari Fleischer before Scott McClellan was on the scene, which is not to say that McClellan might not have had some influence to get him his passes. McClellan knew he was using an alias. He also called on him repeatedly, especially when the questioning was getting difficult. And McClellan apparently is known to have visited gay bars in Texas. So who was responsible for getting him into the White House Press Corps with no genuine credentials and a false name? If you believe he just asked all by himself and was given the passes, I have a bridge here in Bonners Ferry, Idaho that I will sell you cheap. This is potentially the scandal of scandals. Don’t let it go, milk it for all it’s worth. And give no sympathy to Gannon/Guckert who is now saying his private life is not fair game. Tell that to Bill Clinton. Never in the history of the world have there been hypocrites like the current Republican variety.

Somewhere on the web today I saw a report from a recent University of Maryland poll. I can’t repeat it all here but, for example: 75% of Bush supporters believe Iraq was providing substantial support for al Qaeda. 74% believe Bush favors including labor and environmental standards in agreements on trade. 72% believe Iraq had a WMD’s or a program to develop them. The same percentage believes Bush supports the treaty banning landmines. And etc., etc., etc. What is truly disturbing about this is that even if only half of it, or even less, is correct it means that these people are so divorced from reality there is not even any hope of convincing them otherwise. This represents an ignorance so abysmal, so profound, as to be insurmountable. Heaven forbid, it would appear there either has to be a cultural revolution or a pogram. I guess the basic question was asked by someone in Europe: “How could 59,000,000 people be so stupid?” I guess the answer is, we work at it.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Stupid or arrogant, or both?

I can’t believe it! The Guckert/Gannon scandal actually made it onto CNN, a mainstream media outlet. True, they kind of circled around the most titillating parts, but they did mention the basics. I would hope this would make it difficult for the other major networks to ignore the problem. And a real problem it is, provided they don’t let go of it. Can you imagine, a “reporter” with no journalistic experience, working for a known right wing organization, given repeated access to the press room, and called on by name by both the Press Secretary and the President, was also a male prostitute offering himself in nude pictures on gay websites. I guess he must have been thoroughly “vetted” by the FBI, supposedly an absolute prerequisite before getting a press pass? This whole business smells to high heaven and if they get away with burying it like all their other scandals we are doomed. Can you imagine if such a thing had happened during the Clinton administration? But these are Republicans, remember, they restored dignity and honor back to the White House.

I am becoming even more confused than ever. Are Bush/Cheney as stupid as they appear to be? Or do they have some agenda I cannot comprehend. Not only are they trying to keep American veterans who were tortured in the first Gulf war from being compensated, they are also constantly cutting veterans benefits, including medical care. They charge hospitalized casualties for their meals, make them pay to fly home on leave, and etc., etc. I cannot understand how they believe this can possibly help them politically. They are also going after Social Security, clearly another very non-popular activity. Are we to believe they are so noble, so enlightened, so concerned about public welfare, they are doing these things in the public interest in spite of their unpopularity? This of course says nothing about their constant favoritism to corporations at public expense, as well as stealing from the poor to enhance the rich. Either they are unbelievably stupid or unbelievably arrogant. I suspect the latter. Will this arrogance eventually catch up with them and destroy them? I hope so. Even if it does, will it be too late? Will they already have looted the entire known world? Will they escape unpunished for their repeated crimes against humanity? I hope I am not being too naïve. I still believe the bad guys lose.

What's wrong with us?

Let’s put all nonsense aside for the moment. The “war” against Iraq was not because of WMD’s, not because of terrorism, not because of wanting to spread democracy throughout the world. It was because of oil. The United States wants to control the oil in the Middle East and thereby also prevent the Chinese and Indians and others from having it. It is by now pretty much established that oil production has peaked and from now on will be going downhill. That is, less and less oil available no matter who wants it. Now that we know this you might think that instead of trying to steal the remaining oil we would try to figure out how to use less and less of it. This would mean either finding some other fuel for all the internal combustion engines on earth or find other means of transportation – such as buses or trains or whatever. It is apparent by now that no one in the United States is intelligent enough to have figured this out. We still have not come to grips with the simple fact that we should never have embraced the internal combustion engine and automobile transportation in the first place. We gave up trains for gigantic gas driven trucks and also for public transportation. It was a terrible mistake. Even now in Europe, although they still drive too many cars, there is perfectly adequate public transportation. There are trains and buses that run pretty much on time and reliably. Here in the U.S. we still need a ton of steel or so for each one of us to manage to even get to the store. Quite frankly, it’s disgusting.

What I find even more difficult to understand is why China and India and others are foolish enough to want to emulate this ridiculous, wasteful, and stupid behavior. They should know by now that the U.S. did something incredibly stupid and now has no public transportation to speak of, no way to live without millions of stupid gas guzzling machines that mostly lead us to perfectly mundane everyday shopping centers or to our work and hour or more away. With over a billion people in China why on earth would they want to compete for a dwindling supply of oil when they could easily come up with much better plans? India the same? It is as if they think the U.S. has something they are entitled to no matter how stupid and short-sighted it may be. Why should we be in competition with each other for a supply of something that is inevitably going to disappear when we could all be working out solutions that would make so much more sense? You want to know why? Because human beings are both greedy and stupid, to say nothing of short-sighted and ridiculous.

Even now, with our total dependence on oil, it would be entirely possible to reduce the amount of oil we have to have. Cars and trucks could get much better mileage than they do. The technology is readily available and has been for years. But of course the automobile manufacturers and the oil industry don’t want to have to change their ways. How awful it would be if people had to drive smaller, lighter vehicles. No, let’s just go on making them bigger and bigger and more inefficient year after year. Everyone, if they are anyone, ought to deserve a Hummer. Is this not the most ridiculous thing you ever heard of? Small cars are too dangerous as they might run into a Hummer or an SUV. But what if there were no Hummers and SUV’s? Wouldn’t the world be a better place? And what about ATV’s, snowmobiles and personal watercraft? No, don’t let me get started on that.
People are quite mad. It’s just that simple. And it doesn’t look like they will change until it is all over. So happy dreams.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

One outrage after another

Watch'n Wait: You will never convince me about turkey breast. But I'm with you 100% for bacon wrapped filet mignon on charcoal. However, you should know that we only eat beef from Scottish Highland cattle, raised by friends, with no antibiotics, hormones, or chemicals whatsoever (and fed only first cuttings of alfalfa). We are partial to New York cuts but on the rare occasions we wrap bacon around a filet we wrap bacon from pigs raised in the same way. Cheers.

A group of pilots who were shot down in Iraq during the first gulf war and then tortured by the Iraqis filed a lawsuit against the Iraqi government for close to a billion dollars in damages. There is over a billion dollars of Iraqi money frozen by the United States which could be used to pay for these obvious damages. The Bush/Cheney administration is fighting tooth and nail to prevent these American heroes from receiving any compensation at all. As I understand it, this has to do with some complicated notions about a new Iraqi government, they need the money to rebuild, and so on. All of this is happening at the same time that Rumsfeld has been arguing that the Iraqis who were tortured at Abu Ghraib should be entitled to compensation. Does this make any sense whatsoever to anyone with a brain larger than a split pea?

If this is not outrage enough there is a piece in Smirking Chimp today by Evelyn Pringle about a plan to expand something called the Texas Mental Health Parity policy nationwide. This plan already exists in Texas and also in Pennsylvania. I confess to not fully understanding it but it appears to be a scheme to test students up to 12K for mental abilities, aberrations, or whatever. In Pennsylvania this has already been accused of being nothing but a Trojan horse for the Pharmaceutical industry. That is, if this is put into effect it will result in the sales of drugs to treat these students who are found to be problematical. Please note that it is not directed to students who are problematical but, rather, to search out those who may be so defined by whatever criterion those in charge determine is relevant or useful. In other words, to put it in its simplest form, it is a gigantic scam to sell more drugs to more people who almost certainly in most cases do not need them. This is absolutely shameless. This makes their current advertising schemes to get people to “ask your doctor if whats-a-dingy is good for you,” pale into insignificance. Something needs to be done about the Pharmaceuticals now!!!

Apparently Al Gore is about to give a major speech castigating the Bush/Cheney administration for failing to take global warming seriously. He describes their position as moral cowardice. I have no doubt he is correct in this. I always admired Al Gore and would have voted for him again had I had the choice. I believe he is probably the most qualified candidate in the history of the United States to be president. Certainly on the environment he is knowledgeable and outspoken. He also knows a great deal about foreign policy and the domestic budget. He is probably a great guy. I would never support him again. You want to know why? Because he chose Joe Lieberman as his running mate. Joe Lieberman is a Republican. He is kissed by Bush. He’s a secret right winger. For Gore to have picked him for a running mate is the ultimate in bad judgment. I can never forgive him for it. If he thinks Lieberman is proper material for vice-president I suspect not only his motives but his judgment. So please Al, don’t try to run again. And don’t encourage either Kerry or Hillary either. We don’t need anymore Republican-lite. Someone today suggested we run Tom Hanks, because, after all, the Republicans ran Arnold, and everyone likes Tom Hanks. Given the current level of American electorate intelligence it might not be a bad idea.

Monday, February 14, 2005


Let’s not let go of this Gannon/Guckert scandal. What an absolute scumbag! But the White House apparently liked him enough to allow him press credentials enough to shill repeatedly for Bush/Cheney. And it is clear enough that Scott whats-his-name knew he was operating under a false name and pretenses and called upon him repeatedly. So let’s not have any utter crap about we didn’t know and didn’t have anything to do with it. This has all the makings of a monumental scandal although of course the major media will try to ignore it as much as possible. Just another great example of how sleazy this administration really is.

But in all the excitement let’s not lose sight of the situation in Iraq. It turns out that the results of the election are exactly the opposite of what the Bush/Cheney bunch wanted. Now Iraq will have a government sympathetic to Iran and a constitution following Islamic law. What is not clear as yet is whether or not Bush/Cheney made a deal with Sistani – you give us the rights to the oil and we’ll let you take over. And to hell with women’s rights. That will be your business. Our business is oil, oil, oil. Let us control the oil and you can boil people alive if you wish.

Of course I don’t know if this is what is happening. But I certainly wouldn’t be surprised. Can there possibly be any doubt now that the Bush/Cheney Administration is the most corrupt, dishonest, secretive, anti-constitutional, and immoral ever? Bush’s popularity ratings keep plummeting and his credibility at the moment must be approaching zero, but still nothing is done about it. There are no honorable people in Washington D.C. They are all in it together, Republicans and Democrats and their Corporate Masters. Pray for Howard Dean and the grass roots.

By the way, if you haven’t heard, we now have the greatest budget deficit in history, the largest trade imbalance in history, the largest national debt in history, the worst health care system among major nations (unless you are a multi-millionare), a terrible environmental record, a failing educational system, failing infrastructure as far as the eyes can see, and etc., etc., etc. But not to worry. The Rapture is imminent. Who needs a rotten little planet with a lousy climate anyway?

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Turkey breasts - essay

I attended a Democratic pancake and politics breakfast this morning. I cannot deal with any more politics today. Here is another essay.

What is this obsession we Americans have with turkey breasts? Can there be anything more dry and tasteless than turkey breast? Yet over the years the turkey growers of America have invested tons of money, yes, tons, developing genetically modified turkeys that are virtually all breast. Indeed, this practice has resulted in turkeys with breasts so large the creatures can no longer even breed on their own and have to be artificially bred. Me, I like dark meat. Dark meat has virtually disappeared from turkeys. The legs have become so shrunken they can barely support these gigantic swollen breasts. Next time you see a turkey come out of the oven observe how obscene that enormous breast appears when compared with the rest of the beast. Breasts are in, drumsticks are out. How can this be? How did it come about?
It has to do with fat, of course. Americans, especially American women, are not only obsessed with turkey breasts they are also obsessed with fat. That is, with the absence of fat. turkey breasts have little or no fat the two things go together. Of course, as we all know, the less fat the less flavor. People seem to be willing to put up with the absence of flavor in the interest of low fat. Is there anyone anywhere who is prepared to argue that turkey breasts have flavor?
Oh, I know that there might be one cook in a thousand that can cook a turkey with a relatively moist breast. I emphasize relatively because even when slightly moist, turkey breast is barely a cut above dry alfalfa. That is precisely why it is always served either with loads of gravy or cranberry sauce or both. Without these accompaniments it is virtually inedible. And even if it is relatively moist when it comes out of the oven an hour later it is dry as the Sahara desert. Even dryer.
Of course it's much better if you can get a slice of breast with the skin still on it. Skin is good. It's fat. That's why it's good. But nowadays you rarely if ever get a slice with the skin still on it. In fact if you reach for a piece of turkey skin nowadays you'll probably get your hand slapped along with a lecture on how bad turkey skin is for your health. As if anyone eats turkey skin for their health!
I'd venture to say that most children are aware of this problem with the turkeys. I've actually seen children gag when forced to eat white meat of turkey. Once they are old enough to understand what's happening they beg for dark meat. Drumsticks. That's what children want. Why do they want drumsticks? For flavor, of course. Children aren't stupid, like their parents. They don't get into "low-fat" until middle age. And I'll wager that even then they have to force themselves to forego the drumsticks and thighs in favor of "what's good for them." Does anyone understand just how ridiculous this is? Think of it. How many times a year does one eat turkey? Probably no more than twice on an average. Thus if a person lives to be 70 years of age he or she has probably eaten turkey no more than 140 times at most. How many calories of fat do you suppose you save over 140 turkey meals by avoiding the dark meat? Not many, I'd wager. It's certainly not as if you're eating turkey every day. Not as if you're eating a whole turkey every time. So why not come to your senses and enjoy?
If the turkey breeders and growers of American had had any genuine interest in their product they would have spent those millions on genetic research to breed turkeys with four legs. Four big legs. Four enormous flavorful, moist, tender, delicious drumsticks! How could they have gone so wrong?

Saturday, February 12, 2005

What's with Waxman?

What’s with Henry Waxman? It seems like almost everyday he’s calling for a new investigation of something or other, but nothing ever comes of it. His latest call for hearings has to do with the fact that there were 52 warnings prior to 9/11 about the possibilities of highjackings, suicide flights, etc., etc., but they were all ignored. He suggests that possibly, just possibly, Condoleeza Rice was incompetent, along with others. But how could she have been incompetent? She’s now Secretary of State. Of course as Secretary of State she doesn’t have to think or do anything other than just parrot whatever our bumbling pseudo-President tells her to say.

It appears that Howard Dean is now officially the chairman of the DNC. However, it appears that he achieved this lofty goal without the help of any of the Democratic leaders in either the House or the Senate (I hope I am wrong about this). If this is true I don’t know whether to be happy or sad. On the one hand it appears he has the strong support of the more or less rank and file Democrats, which is good. But on the other hand, if the leaders in the House and Senate don’t really want him, that bodes ill for his effectiveness. Of course it’s not as if the Democratic leaders in the House and Senate ever do a damn thing except genuflect to Bush. Personally I think we’ll be better off without them. I’m all for Dean. It’s our only chance to somehow get out of this nightmare we’re in. There is obviously no point in trying to be a Socialist in the United States, that label has been so discredited for so many years it might as well just disappear. And third parties have never done well. So let’s all get behind Dean and hope for the best. We certainly can’t take much more of the Bush/Cheney disaster-is-us bunch. How could we have possibly come to such a miserable state? But, oh, yeah, I keep forgetting. The Rapture.

Things continue to go well in Iraq. Let’s see, 50 killed yesterday, 20 or 30 today, with obviously more to come. But not to worry, Rumsfeld has been there shoring up morale all over the place, especially in the hospitals where our maimed and psychologically damaged are increasingly being found. There is renewed talk of a draft, something both Bush and Rumsfeld have categorically denied. You believe them? There is a new organization being formed, Mothers Against the Draft. Good on you. There should also be a Fathers Against the Draft, a Brothers Against the Draft, Sisters Against the Draft, Cousins and Uncles and Aunts Against the Draft, and most of all, Potential Draftees Against the Draft. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was a war and no one showed up? In this case it should certainly come to that. Who in their right mind would send any more cannon fodder to Iraq for Cheney’s oil? Oil? I thought it was to spread democracy. Or no, to destroy WMD’s. Or something anyway.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Grieve for your country

It seems to have reached the point now where there is really not much left to say. The current Administration is so corrupt, so dishonest, so secretive, so thick skinned and unresponsive to any reasonable request or question there is not much more to be done short of impeachment.

The Plame scandal. Nothing happens. The Enron scandal. Nothing happens. The secret energy meetings that were supposed to go back to a lower court. Nothing happens. The 9/11 failures. Nothing happens. The lies that led us into the Iraq fiasco. Nothing happens. Lies about the cost of Medicare. Nothing happens. War profiteering. Nothing happens. The unprecedented national debt. Nothing happens. The absolutely failed “war” in Iraq. Nothing happens. The torture scandal. Nothing happens.

Does anyone actually believe that a small group of West Virginian enlisted personnel sat down together and decided what kinds of interrogation techniques would work to break down Iraqis? Iraqis hate nudity, one of them must have said. Oh, yeah, and they hate being made to masterbate in public. Oh, and I think putting a leash around the neck of a naked man might be a way to break them down. How about making them act out sexual acts? I bet they wouldn’t like that. Better yet, let’s threaten them with female interrogators, you know, threatening to menstruate on them, teasing them before their prayers, stuff like that. I think making them think they’ll be electrocuted might work. And keeping hoods over their heads. I bet they wouldn’t like that. How about forcing them to kneel in awkward positions for hours on end. Or better yet, let’s let them think we’re drowning them. Of course we could always beat or rape their children in front of them. I bet they would especially hate it if we raped one of their boys and they had to listen to the screams.

This is not the plan of a few enlisted men and women. It is obviously a plan developed by someone in the CIA or elsewhere that studied Iraqi culture beforehand. It was a systematic attempt to use techniques that would specifically offend members of this particular culture. It was deliberately planned and passed down to others to execute. There was no little group of “bad apples” just having fun. Anyone who thinks otherwise is just plain naïve, if not downright stupid. But you notice no one above the rank of Sergeant is being held accountable. A blatant cover up. And like everything else. Nothing happens. As far as I am concerned the United States has gone mad. This is not the country of my childhood. Not the country I have been so proud of most of my life. Certainly not the country I want it to be.

I want action now! I want Bush/Cheney impeached. I want the neocons held responsible for this terrible disaster that has turned my wonderful country into this pathetic international pariah. I don’t want a President who is regarded as the world’s most reviled man, a world that regards my country as the number one terrorist organization, the gravest threat to world peace. I cannot believe this has been allowed to happen, that roughly half of the population of the U.S. seems to think this is all fine and good. What is the matter with these people? Have they no decency whatsoever? It’s obvious that our Republicans have none. And Democrats for the most part don’t seem much better. I grieve daily for what we have lost. I want it back.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

What are they really up to?

If it hasn’t been obvious for the past four years (which I can’t believe) it is certainly obvious now. George W. Bush is a liar. As far as I am concerned he has always been a liar. He lied about WMD’s, lied about Iraqi capabilities for delivering them, lied about intelligence reports, and on and on. He wiggles out of this by saying that he and many others believed they had WMD’s. But he can’t deny he is lying about Social Security. When he says the system will be bankrupt in 2042 he has to know that he is lying. So he is deliberately lying and anyone with a brain larger than a grain of wheat has to know that he is lying. So why do we put up with it? What is it about this arrogant twit that allows him to get away with his outrageous lies time after time? I guess the American Public is so accustomed to lying by now that they just don’t pay attention anymore. After all, he isn’t lying about a consensual sexual act between adults. He’s only lying about why thousands upon thousands of innocent people were killed. Now he’s lying about Social Security which only affects several million of us. No big deal I guess.

What I don’t understand is why he is doing this. Why is he spending so much time and energy on Social Security when there are other problems far more urgent and far more serious? It is almost surely the case that he will not be able to privatize (personalize) Social Security. It is virtually a lost cause to begin with. So why? The only conclusion I can come to is that he wants to distract attention away from all of the other problems: the questionable situation in Iraq, the obscene national debt, the rape of the environment, the enrichment of the obscenely wealthy at the expense of the poor, the various scandals of his administration which are already pretty much ignored by the media, preparations for war on Iran, plans for a draft, and on and on virtually ad infinitum. Let’s face it, this is the worst President and the worst Administration in U.S. history. They are demonstrably war criminals. The whole world knows it. And roughly half of the U.S. population seems to think it is just fine. This is sick, a sick society, a sick Presidency, just sick, sick, sick.

Now to add insult to injury we have to put up with a stamp honoring that great moral midget, Ronald Reagan who started this whole sick business. Please let me wake up from this nightmare sooner rather than later.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Why Social Security?

Let’s hear it for Lt. General Mattis of the United States Marine Corps, a man who doesn’t mince words. Killing people can be fun. I wonder what that will do for enlistments? I guess to become a general in the Marine Corps you don’t have to have even a semblance of either compassion or intelligence. He certainly fits right in with the current administration. Rumsfeld says the general was chastised for his loose lips. Loose lips don’t sink ships in the current situation, they just give away secrets.

Let’s also hear it for Jeff Gannon, the Rove plant in the White House Press Corps. He has resigned from the Press Corps even though he was never officially part of it in the first place. His questions were so outrageously partisan that even the rest of that obsequious bunch couldn’t take it any longer. Of course Gannon might not even be his name, and being a reporter was pretty clearly not his game. He can take his place along with the rest of the Republican shills that have been paid to promote the White House policies under the guise of news. I doubt that we will ever learn just how much of this illegal and immoral behavior has occurred. You have to give this administration credit, they have made honesty, ethics, morality, and decency into just dim memories of the past.

Whatever happened to Barbara Boxer? You certainly don’t see much mention of her in the mainstream media anymore. You don’t see much about any of the dozens of scandals surrounding this administration either. Things like the pre-9/11 failures, the Plame case, Enron, the secret energy meetings with Cheney, the lies that led to the “war” with Iraq, Abu Ghraib, etc., etc., etc. Now that Iraq has had an election presumably the Bush/Cheney disaster is just a thing of the past. Never mind that they started an illegal, unconstitutional, immoral, and totally unnecessary “war” that has resulted in thousands upon thousands of innocent people being slaughtered and billions of dollars being wasted that could have been used for much needed improvements in the lives of everyone.

And what’s with the Social Security nonsense? Bush/Cheney/Rove must be aware that trying to fix a system that isn’t really broken is almost surely a lost cause. So why are they devoting so much energy and time to trying to convince everyone that white is black? Granted that Republicans would like nothing better than to destroy Social Security, this fixation on it at the moment has to be just a distraction from other more monumental problems. Medicare and Medicaid for example. The disastrous national debt. The war profiteering. The lies that brought about the situation in the first place. The numerous scandals that would have brought down any other administration in history, and should bring this one down, except for the connivance of the major media, bought and paid for by the Republican/Corporate Fascists. We are a nation being led by war criminals. And half the population seems to think it is fine.

The other day I heard on the radio an exchange between Wyoming’s Simpson and Bill Maher. Simpson said something to the effect that if Maher continues to make fun of religion the democrats would never win another election. Then he also said, although it didn’t make much sense to me, that people moved to America to escape religious persecution. He seems to be totally unaware of the fact that we are being persecuted right now by religious conservatives who are determined to inflict their absolutely absurd ideas on the rest of us. This administration is attempting to return us to the Middle Ages and, unfortunately, they seem to be succeeding at the moment. Our glorious country is being turned into an international laughingstock. But I always forget, when the Rapture comes it won’t matter.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Bush's arrogance

Republican arrogance seems to know no bounds. Can you believe that at the very same time Bush wants to make permanent his tax breaks for the obscenely wealthy he wants to cut aid to the poor by one billion dollars? And about the only budgets he wants to raise are for defense and Homeland Security. I guess a military budget larger than the military budgets of the next ten largest countries on earth is just not enough. And whom do you think this is going to benefit? If you said the citizens of the United States you are WRONG. How about the usual military/industrials and Bush/Cheney’s cronies?

His recommendation of Alberto Gonzales for Attorney General is another case of arrogance out of control. Gonzales is clearly damaged goods, given his approval of torture and attempt to convert the President into a dictator. Anyone but Bush would have understood that his appointment would send a terrible message not only to Democrats but also to the entire world. He put all Republican Senators on the spot, having to vote for a sponsor of terror and dictatorship or not. But he did it anyway. And Republicans, true to recent form, went along with it, apparently afraid to complain or even question it. This Gonzales appointment was arrogant in the extreme. The same arrogance can be seen in Bush’s insistence on putting forward judges that have already been rejected by the Senate. Bush makes no attempt whatsoever to cooperate with anyone. He just goes ahead with whatever strikes his fancy, a behavior pattern that apparently goes back to his priviledged childhood. He is, in short, a spoiled arrogant rich brat. And Republicans, drunk with power, go along with whatever he proposes. I have asked it before: are there no honorable Republicans? The answer, unfortunately is no, there are none. It turns out there are few honorable Democrats either.

I suggest our only hope for the immediate future lies in Howard Dean who is apparently going to win the DNC Chairmanship. Nothing can turn things around short of a massive grass roots movement. Hopefully, Dean might be able to bring that about. Move the center of Democratic power out of Washington D.C. Forget about the Clintons or the Kerrys, or the rest of Republican-lites, and focus on those who will actually rebel against the fascist takeover that is occurring. All power to the people! Let us fervently hope that Dean can wake people up to what is happening to America before it is truly too late.

I hope you all noticed Bush, at the end of his speech, kissing Joe Lieberman on the cheek. Where were the Family Values people? And what does that tell you about Lieberman? He’s a Republican. In retrospect I can’t even imagine why Gore chose him to be his running mate. Actually I couldn’t understand it even at the time, but now it strikes me as inconceivable. And it doesn’t do much for my opinion of Gore. We need some new blood in the Democratic party – red blood. Hot blood. Less blue blood.

Barren ground is like lost love.
Carefully I search
for some sign of movement,
any hint of life,
but alas, there is nothing.

Sunday, February 06, 2005


We won’t know until next week what the final vote count will be in Iraq but it looks like the Shiites and Sistani are going to win. This probably means ultimately a Muslim constitution making certain to keep those uppity Iraqi women in their place. As women, under Sadam Hussein’s reign, had at least some rights this will not be a step forward but, rather, a big step backward. Iraq will resemble Iran and Saudi Arabia rather than a democracy. And, as Rumsfeld has indicated there is no predicting when the Iraqis will be prepared to take over their own security, you can bet we’ll be there for a long time. Did anyone seriously believe otherwise?

I am sad to report that my opinion of Bill Clinton just keeps going further and further downhill. I liked Clinton. I though he was a good President. Things went fairly well there for a while. We had a surplus. There was widespread employment. The Stock Market did well. Things were good. But now, with the elapse of time, it has become obvious that Clinton was basically just another Republican-lite. Ditto for Senator Clinton. I could never support her for President or even Vice President. Nowadays I don’t like the company they keep.

By the way, whatever happened to James Carville? We certainly don’t hear much from him these days. CNN is supposedly hiring that bow-tie-wearing nincompoop Tucker Carlson for his own show. I guess they’ve decided to come all the way out of the closet instead of pretending to be giving both sides of the issues. What conceivable talent Carlson has escapes me.

Well, another Super Bowl has come and gone. Alas, the Eagles lost. But they didn’t disgrace themselves. The ads, I thought, were not much this year. Perhaps by next year they will only be for churches, abstinence, school vouchers, and where to invest your retirement money. If there is a next year. I hate to say it, but contrary to Bush/Cheney, things are not going well. Is this just “the lull before the storm?” How long can we continue down this path to destruction? Can anyone give me a positive outlook for the future? Help!

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Tennis Shoes - essay

Aaaagh! I can't take any more for the time being. Rumsfeld can't go to a meeting in Germany because he might be charged with war crimes. As far as I can see no one seems to think this is of any particular interest. Bush continues to spread his incredible lies about Social Security, somehow managing to not get laughed off the podium. We are supposed to believe that everything is just fine in Iraq. The Bush budget to be submitted on monday is going to cut the debt by half by 2009. Pigs are going to fly and the Rapture is coming soon. Forty eight percent of Americans believe that God has a special soft spot in his heart for Americans. Abortion is bad. Killing towelheads is good. More money for the rich is good, poverty is your own fault. We apparently have too many policemen and firefighters. We can't have cheaper drugs because the Pharmadeutical industry doesn't like it. Need I go on?

To escape momentarily here is another essay from my unwanted, uncollected, unpublished, and mostly unread prose.

Although well into my dotage I recently found it necessary to purchase a pair of what I referred to simply as "Tennis Shoes." The clerk, a luscious young thing in a too-tight T-shirt, looked at me in utter disbelief.
"You want shoes to play tennis in?" she queried.
"Well, no, I don't play tennis anymore. But you know, just tennis shoes."
She obviously had no idea what I was talking about. But she did lead me to the back of the store where I found myself completely surrounded by what were obviously sports shoes of one kind or another. I couldn't believe my eyes! Or my ears either, for that matter. I was dumbfounded. I couldn't believe what has happened in the shoe business. When I was a boy and you wanted to play sports you simply went to the store and bought tennis shoes. Everyone knew what they were. There was only one kind. Canvas tops, rubber soles. Ankle length. Black. That was it.
What an education I received. First of all, there apparently are tennis shoes. That is, shoes made especially for playing tennis. There are, for example, "Baseline," "Hallmark," "Gallant," "Back Court," "Captor," "Conquest," and "Nemesis" models. And this was only in one store! Look a little further and you'll find shoes like "Xattack," "Vista," "Explorer," "Thief," "Blitz," "Bungali," "Stretch," and many, many more, far too numerous to mention. These models are made by different manufacturers with unusual imaginations. Frankly, except for some minor cosmetic differences, they all look pretty much the same to me.
But not only do they make tennis shoes, they also make running, walking, casual, hiking, basketball, and cross-training shoes (whatever they are). And in each of these categories there are at least seven different models made by a variety of different manufacturers. Actually, there are far more than this. It is all terribly confusing. But again, aside from very slight differences in design or color, they all looked pretty much alike to me. The luscious young clerk tried to convince me there were important differences. She failed. I defy anyone to show me significant differences between these virtually unlimited models of shoes. The whole thing is utterly ridiculous.
Alas, this is only the tip of the sports shoe iceberg. These shoes are apparently manufactured just for schmucks like me who don't know any better. The true afficionados turn their noses up at these relatively inexpensive but perfectly serviceable shoes. They go by brand names and, more importantly, by which superstar endorses them. Thus, for example, a Nike shoe endorsed by say, Michael Jordan, is at a premium. And, I might add, at a premium price. A pair like this, which I'll wager are no better than the more mundane shoes, can cost upwards of a week's salary for many people. Of course the children have to have them. They wouldn't be seen dead in anything else. And given how fast the little tykes grow out of them, a family of four must have difficulty staying above the poverty line.
In addition to preying on idol worship, these companies sometimes rely on gimmicks of one kind or another. For a while there was a model with a little light on the heel that lit up as you moved about. How this light might have helped walking or running is a mystery to me. But people bought them until the little mercury switch was shown to be environmentally harmful. But think of it! What a marketing ploy. Little lights on your shoes. Sick. Of course I believe choice is good. But so is sanity. Seen any lately?

Friday, February 04, 2005

Flotsam and Jetsam

Watch 'n Wait: Thank you.

My wife and her friends have gone to see a production of the Vagina Monologues put on by a local group. Don’t tell me that we have no Culture here in North Idaho. I have no idea what the Vagina Monologues are about, other than it must have something to do with women. Even so, I am thinking about a possible male version. I may call it “The Dick Speaks.” Maybe “Penis Pontifications.” Perhaps “Phallus Phantasies.” I sort of like “Goliath Roars,” but that, of course, would be much too personal. Actually, a story about Winston Churchill would be much closer to the truth. Apparently Winston was attending a conference when his male secretary sent him a note saying his fly was open. Winston, never at a loss for a reply, sent back a note saying, “not to worry, dead birds don’t fall out of the nest.” I really miss Winston.

But on to more serious matters. According to an article in Buzzflash the famous bulge in Bush’s suit was almost certainly a device for prompting his answers. This was researched by a number of different people and organizations and was a story ready to be published in the New York Times. But it was killed at the last minute. They didn’t want to publish it so close to the election. I wonder why?

It appears that when Bush appeared to tell his Social Security lies in Fargo, North Dakota, some forty people were not allowed to attend. These were people known to be opposed to Bush’s “war” and etc. We know this is not the first time something like this has happened. So much for American democracy.

We are still waiting for the results of the “Democratic Election” in Iraq. At the moment it seems that the Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani faction is winning over the Bush choice, Prime Minister Ayad Alawii, but nothing is definite as yet. What does seem definite is that the initial claims of heavy turnout are turning out to be just that – claims. One source suggests that in Mosul only ten percent turned out. As no one seems to know how many registered voters there were to begin with the entire attempt is nothing but utter speculation. Supposedly we should have the result by early next week. What does it matter, the results will be nothing more than poppycock anyway. What would be truly interesting is if Ali al-Sistani does “win” and then demands that the U.S. withdraw its troops. I know, this is not going to happen. But it would certainly put some pressure on those 14 permanent bases we are said to be constructing.

Yes, Alberto Gonzales was confirmed and is now taking over as Attorney General. Be advised that six Democrats voted for him: Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut, Mary Landrieu of Lousiana, Bill Nelson of Florida, Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Mark Pryor of Arkansas. I believe we should do everything possible to say goodbye to these nitwits in the next election, especially Lieberman who has proven once again to be a Republican. The only conceivable good in all this is that no matter how bad Gonzales turns out to be, he could not possibly be worse than Ashcroft. Perhaps he will even turn out to be okay. Would that not be a happy day?

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Torture wins!

As predicted, Gonzales was confirmed to be the new Attorney General. This means that torture is now officially okay and the President of the United States is entitled to dictatorial power. I think the vote was 60 in favor and 36 opposed. Apparently all Republicans voted in favor while at least of majority of Democrats did not. I don’t know who the Democrats were that voted in favor but we should certainly find out and let them know in the next election what we think of them. It is perfectly obvious by now there are no honorable Republicans. None. There is at least a hint of honor among some Democrats but, alas, not enough to matter. I’m waiting to see which Democrats voted for Gonzales and which did not.

Bush is on a five state tour to promote his absurd Social Security “crisis.” That is, if you believe something will go wrong in the year 2042 is a crisis. I thought he had abandoned the crisis claim but apparently not as he reportedly used that threat again today in North Dakota. Also in North Dakota people who were opposed in any way to the Bush Administration were not allowed to attend his speech. Ah, Democracy. Too bad we don’t have it here in the United States. What is it going to take to get the American public to realize the Fascists are right on the brink of taking over entirely?

We can all rest more easily now that we know Condoleeza Rice is on a ten day trip to make things right in Europe and the Middle East. That is, if anyone can shut her up long enough to get a word in here and there. She is like a mechanical doll, once you push her button she just recites and recites and recites. But let’s hope she’ll be a better Secretary of State than she was a National Security Advisor. If not, heaven help us.

It has now been revealed that Rumsfeld offered to resign twice and twice Bush refused to let him go. Bush has a real gift for wallowing in failure. There is apparently some chance the Shiites may deny Allawi the election. Won’t that be interesting? I can’t wait to see the final election returns, not that they will be in the least trustworthy. Whatever the votes turn out to be you can be sure the election will be decided on other grounds, grounds not as simple as ballots. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

I just can't listen to it

I did not listen to the State of the Union address as the sight and sound of George W. Bush makes me start to feel physically ill. Thus I do not know what he actually said. I would be willing to bet, however, that his speech was an incredible web of lies, distortions, and arrogant pronouncements of U.S. noble intentions vis-à-vis the rest of the world. He probably spent a lot of time on Social Security and how it is that it must be fixed right now, even though it seems to be okay until 2042 at least. Personally, I believe he fixates on Social Security to take our attention away from all the rest of the problems that we are facing: the soon to be failure of medicare and medicaid, the obscene national debt which just gets worse and worse, the faltering dollar, the loss of civil rights, the illegal detention of prisoners, economic disaster, and etc. At the moment it seems unlikely he will get anywhere with Social Security reform. But at least it gives us something to occupy our time while he manages to turn Iraq into an American colony pumping oil for Exxon, Mobil, Chevron, and whomever. It will take a little while before the full implications of his plan for the next four years becomes clear. Don’t hold your breath for the environment, Iran, Syria, Iraq, Palestine, and other areas of neocon interest.

I observe with interest that an Administration shill has managed to be added to the White House Press Corp. Some fellow named Jeff Dannon, with no credentials as a newsman, now sits in to ask only questions that shed a positive light on the Administration. Whenever anyone asks what might be an embarrassing question Dannon pipes in with some absolutely asinine question aimed at changing the subject and putting the Administration in a positive light. Wonderful. I guess it wasn't enough that the Administration has been illegally bribing newspersons to tout their various programs, now they have infiltrated the Press Corps with a shill. Leave no dirty trick behind.

If that is not enough consider the issue of “minders.” Apparently if reporters want to wander around Republican meetings nowadays they cannot do so without being followed by one or more minders. That is, Republican operatives that keep an eye on what they are doing, who they are interviewing, and more importantly intimidating interviewees by making it clear they are being watched. Shades of the Soviet Union. Is anyone truly aware of just how sick our sick society has become?

It appears that Alberto Gonzales will be confirmed as Attorney General. Democrats have apparently decided not to filibuster, saving that option for when he gets nominated for the Supreme Court. At least I guess that is what they have in mind. If Democrats will not filibuster this appointment they should at least join ranks and vote unanimously against his confirmation, thus making it clear to the rest of the world that it is the present Administration that is declaring war on them and not the Democrats. The fact that the Senate of the United States could vote for someone who advocates not only torture but also dictatorship leads me to believe that we have lost our collective senses entirely. The fact that a known war criminal can deliver a speech and be repeatedly applauded by the Congress of the United States reinforces that belief. For the first time in my 75 years of life I am ashamed to be a citizen of the United States.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

No time for euphoria

We will never know what actually happened during the recent Iraqi election. In spite of the false euphoria being touted by the major media and the White House, it may well be the case that things will not eventually turn out for the best. There is some reason to believe that at least some Iraqis believed that if they did not vote they would not get their food rations. There is even more reason to believe that many voted because they erroneously thought they were voting for a new president. And apparently many voted because they thought the only way they could get rid of the U.S. occupation was to vote. Also, as predicted, while the Kurds and Shiites turned out in large numbers the Sunnis did not. Whether the Sunnis will come on board or not is not at all clear. When you understand that all the Arab countries around Iraq are controlled by Sunnis, and the Shiites have not been in control anywhere for some 14 hundred years, it does make you wonder (I believe this is correct. If not, please advise). The Kurds were voting for independence, the Shiites for control they have never had. It is not unlikely there will be a civil war with the U.S. backing the Shiites against the Arab states backing the Sunnis. The Kurds will continue their quest for independence, violently opposed by the Turks. Obviously I do not know what will happen and perhaps things will actually go well. But don’t hold your breath, and don’t swallow the usual crap from the major media and the White House.

It appears that at least 30 democrats will vote against the confirmation of Gonzales. Why not all democrats? How can anyone in good conscience vote for a man who favors not only torture but a dictatorship? Why should the democrats not send a message, loud and clear, that they are not in favor of torture or dictatorship, and if the Republicans vote for confirmation in spite of this opposition, they, and they alone will be responsible for the message they will be sending the rest of the world, as well as the non-Republicans in the United States. This would be nothing less than a declaration of war, Republicans against the world. Any democrat who votes for Gonzales should certainly be voted out of office in the next election. As there is yet to be any sign of an honest or ethical Republican, and as they will predictably follow the Bush/Cheney line, we can automatically write them off as quasi-loonies.

And speaking of loonies, the American Family Association just heard a speech from Dr. D. James Kennedy (whoever he is) who asserted the evolution is the most destructive idea ever, responsible for 135 million deaths (although how this happened is not clear). Evolution is worse than terrorism, worse than war, apparently worse than anything in the world. No doubt there are people who will actually believe this, just as they believe the earth is a mere 6000 years old, the Grand Canyon was caused by the flood, and the Rapture will be upon us soon. Sigh.