Friday, March 31, 2006

What's Up?

There was no morialekafa last night because there was a meeting of the Boundary Country Democrats featuring the appearance of Larry Grant, running for the Congressional position being vacated by "Butch" Otter. Otter wants to run for Governor of Idaho. One person remarked lately that "If Otter gets elected we'll have a pair of tight jeans and a hangover in the State House" (which I think is a pretty good summary of Otter's qualifications). Larry Grant is smart, personable, and eminently electable. If we can't get a Democratic Governor this time it will probably be impossible to ever get one. There is a Democratic fundraiser tonight down the road in Bonner County (Sandpoint), again featuring Grant.

It appears to me that most everyone at the moment is standing by for shoes to start dropping all over the place. A second one of DeLay's aides pleaded guilty to bribery charges today (getting closer to DeLay all the time). Abramoff sentenced to almost six years in prison is being allowed to stay free for another 90 days in order to cooperate with officials interested in Congressional leaders and others who might be guilty of bribery and other offenses. Fitzgerald is said to be readying at least one further indictment and possibly two. Although Feingold's attempt to censure Bush has no chance of passing it is stimulating more and more talk of impeachment. Very suspensful times. Better than going to the circus (except there are more clowns involved - otherwise known as Republicans).

Given the extremely low poll numbers for Bush/Cheney and the Congress, and also given the problems with electronic voting, what will happen during the 2006 elections? No matter who wins, will anyone believe it? Especially if Republicans win substantially? What happens if it becomes apparent that Republicans have blatantly stolen further elections? Will the Democrats once again just give up and ignore it as they have up to now?

Are Bush/Cheney actually crazy enough to try to attack Iran? To drop nuclear bunker-buster bombs (and start World War III)?

Just think, we have all these things to look forward to, and fastening your seat belts may not be much help. We are mired deep in the "Nightmare Years."

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


We need to get out of Iraq now, as fast as possible. The alternative is to begin World War III (or IV if you listen to idiot neocons). Shiites are murdering Sunnis. Sunnis are murdering Shiites. The Kurds are cleansing themselves of the Arabs that Hussein forced on them, and just waiting to declare independence. When they do so this will bring Turkey into the picture. Iran is already involved in Iraq. The Saudis are now said to be trying to develop nuclear capabilities. Syria and Lebanon are going to be dragged into the disaster in the Middle East. Israel remains the biggest single problem. Egypt is barely hanging on. The U.S. was supporting the Shiites but now are demanding they do as we say. The Sunnis have refused to cooperate with the existing "government" (chosen by the U.S.), and now the Shiites themselves have shut down the process of governing because of U.S. complicity in a Mosque attack that left a number of innocents dead (murdered). It is a fine mess, indeed.

I fear (actually I don't fear at all) the neocons are just going to have to give up their insane aspirations to empire, write off their multibillion dollar waste of money (although most of it is already safely in the hands of our Corporate masters) and also write off the deaths and injuries to thousands of our troops. Oops, I guess attacking Iraq for no reason other than greed was a bad idea. Well, you can't win 'em all. We're really sorry we were so abysmally ignorant about what we were doing and refused to listen to virtually the entire world that warned us not to do it. But what the hell, a few lives here and there, thousands of lives ruined, a Sovereign country destroyed, the respect of the entire world lost, a national debt that will quite likely never be paid off, at least for several generations, a Constitution junked, the rule of law subverted, an economic disaster, no end in sight, but we are "winning" in Iraq, "victory" is going to be ours, the "job" will be "done," on earth as it is in heaven (some of us will be lifted up there soon when the rapture comes). God, these are really marvelous times. Think we'll have to fight over all them virgins when we all get there?

I have never been a conspiracy buff. Although I was mildly skeptical of the lone Oswalt theory I was not concerned enough to worry about it. Similarly, I didn't get too concerned about Iran-Contra, the CIA being involved in drugs, the assassinations of the Kennedy brothers, or the death of Marilyn Monroe. Now, after 9/11 and the failure to capture Osama bin Laden, the mysterious collapse of the towers, the flight of the Saudis, and etc., etc., I now envisage a conspiracy so immense as to probably be untouchable as well as virtually inconceivable. I believe Sibel Edmonds caught a glimpse of this. That is why she has been silenced. What if Osama bin Laden is still a CIA "asset," sitting comfortably between the poppy fields of Afghanistan, the CIA, and the world drug market? I hate to think like this but what is one to do after five years of Bush/Cheney? I now put nothing past them.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Democracy in Iraq

Ibrahim al-Jaafari, the duly elected Prime Minister of Iraq is not the choice of George W. Bush. Bush has apparently sent word to the Iraqis that he (George W. Bush, Emperor of Emporers, King of the World, God's Representative on Earth, Lion of Lions, George the Infallible, Mental Midget of Mental Midgets, etc., etc.) does not want al-Jaafari to serve a second term. much for democracy in Iraq. Democracy seems to be fine as long as the democratic process produces precisely the outcome that Bush desires. Otherwise, not. The recent elections in Gaza are a similar case in point. Actually, all this does is make public what has been obvious all along. The U.S. wants a puppet government in Iraq, a government that will do as they are told by the U.S. If that goal cannot be achieved (or probably even if it can) the U.S. will have to maintain a presence in Iraq. As there was never any plan not to maintain a presence in Iraq this should not come as a surprise. We are, definitely, positively, without doubt, building permanent bases in Iraq, along with the most heavily guarded Embassy ever conceived. This is not to say that someday, somehow, we will be forcibly pushed out. But that is certainly not the plan.

We have now announced that we are economically abandoning Iraq. They will have to do reconstruction on their own. How they might do this under the circumstances is not at all clear. Remember all the talk about how Iraqi oil would pay for the reconstruction, we were committed to reconstructing Iraq, and blah, blah, blah? Well, we aren't going to do it. They will be on their own. Oh, yeah, we were going to rebuild Afghanistan too. It must have just slipped our minds. The extent of our aid it appears will only be earmarked for more prisons. Whee! Just what they need in Iraq. More prisons. After all, if you insist on incarcerating everyone, guilty of anything or not, you need a lot of prison space. In Iraq you don't even have to smoke pot to go to jail. You only need to exist at all. American justice is a wonderful thing. Just ask the detainees at Guantanamo. But don't ask Justice Scalia. He has already decided they have no rights as they were caught on battlefields during a "war." The fact is, there is no "war." Thus they cannot be prisoners of war. If they were truly prisoners of war they would be entitled to rights under the Geneva Convention. So, if they are not prisoners of "war," what are they. I guess they must be criminals of some kind. But if they are criminals they should be entitled to a fair trial. Actually, most of them are neither soldiers or criminals, merely poor unfortunates that happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

But not to worry, General Peter Pace has spoken again. As the Turks and the Saudis, along with others in the neighborhood are concerned about U.S. intentions in Iraq, General Pace on a trip to the area, has assured them we are staying until "we get the job done." I, for one, have no idea what the "job" is, nor do I have any idea as to how we will tell if it gets "done." If he means bringing democracy to Iraq and the Middle East the job will never be done. NEVER! As bringing democracy there is not really the intention anyway, perhaps he means once we have established Iraq as a 51st state, with all the oil secured, we will be done. I suspect we will be done when we slink away with our tails between our legs as we were forced to do in Vietnam. If there are any people left at all in another 50 or 100 years they can explain to their children that for the want of oil the earth was lost.

I guess it must be obvious I am not in a happy mood. Please Great Mystery, let truth and beauty and justice prevail. We promise to do better. Honest. Scout's honor.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Rove vs Cheney?

A delightful tidbit on Buzzflash today. It appears that Karl Rove is cooperating with Patrick Fitzgerald (remember him, the prosecutor, presumably investigating the Plame affair?) Now, if this is true, and who knows what might or might not be true during these nightmare days, the only conceivable target of their cooperation has to be - you guessed it - Dick the Slimy!

The story, as I understand it, has to do with Rove's attempt to replace Cheney on the Republican ticket. Cheney's ratings are so low Rove apparently thought (thinks) they will be detrimental to Republican chances for winning (the 2004 elections as well as the 2006 elections). He might well be right. In any case, apparently Cheney got wind of Rove's inquiries and was, naturally enough, upset. So there is this obvious animosity between Rove and Cheney.

If Rove is cooperating with Fitzgerald he is doing so to save his own ass. And he is doing so by fingering Cheney as the main culprit in the outing of Valerie Plame.Fitzgerald has a reputation for not giving up until he gets to the top of the problem. I knew, and said from the beginning of the Plame affair, that it would lead to Dick the Slimy (so obvious one could hardly claim even insight). Libby would never have leaked her name and occupation without Cheney's approval.

Donald Rumsfeld continues to be the most egomaniacal, bumbling, and incompetent Secretary of State ever. George W. Bush makes even the most incompetent Presidents ever look like shining lights compared to him. Cheney continues to be probably the most evil person ever to hold office in the United States. Things continue to go well in Iraq. There were further car bombings and murders today and it appears that our troops may have committed further atrocities. But someday, somehow, some future President may see an end to this abominable, obscene, unnecessary, illegal, unconstitutional, unprovoked "war." Even so, the United States will remain an international pariah probably forever. Great job, Bushie!

Sunday, March 26, 2006

"We" are losing patience?

Two Senators, Russ Feingold and John McCain, on opposite sides of the fence with respect to Iraq, visiting there have both reported that we (the U.S.) are losing patience with Iraq. They are supposed to agree on a unity government as quickly as possible (because the American public is turning against the "war"). Can anyone appreciate the hypocrisy, the arrogance, the ignorance, the paternalism, the unreality, the stupidity, the absurdity of this position. WE are losing patience? What in the hell do they think the Iraqis are losing? First of all it is a totally artificial "nation" created by the British out of three separate groups of people who were never a nation in the first place. Now we are trying to insist they become a unified nation just because we say so. The fact that we illegally and immorally invaded them, opened up animosities that had been dormant for years, failed to restore electricity and water, imposed our own candidates for their government, treat them like less than human, invade and beat them in their own homes, humiliate them daily, try to steal their oil, desecrate their marvelous history, museums and archaeological sites, keep them unemployed and in poverty, and maintain an occupancy of their country, AND WE ARE LOSING PATIENCE! American arrogance and stupidity simply knows no bounds.

Well, predictably, a judge has now ordered Abramoff and his partner must be questioned about the murder of the man from whom they fraudulently bought casino river boats. Gee, why should they be questioned? After all, we know who committed the murders (they have already confessed) but we don't really know why. Like who, besides Abramoff, might have benefitted from this? But, as Abramoff is apparently an orthodox Jew, of course he could not be involved. Just as he could not have involved with DeLay. Seemingly religious people never do anything wrong.

In Afghanistan there is the case of a man who converted to Christianity. Converting to Christianity is a crime punishable by death in that culture. While I think this is utterly stupid and mindless beyond belief, and I sincerely hope he will not be executed for it, I am happy in the knowledge that Christians have never killed anyone because of their religious beliefs, especially not Jews, atheists, or Muslims. Oh, yeah, and witches. Those witches were really bad.

The Seattle Repertory Theatre has decided to put on "My Name is Rachel Corrie." This will be the first major theatre company to do it as the New York people have capitulated to the Israelis. Hooray for Seattle!

A couple of nights ago someone commented on this blog to the effect that Rachel Corrie "lived like a terrorist and died like a terrorist." As I know of no evidence for this whatsoever I said so the following day. I also said that the claim she was "accidentally" run over by a bulldozer was absurd. I have been giving some thought to this and looking into it more carefully. I now think maybe she could have been a terrorist involved in smuggling guns into Gaza. Look at her background. She attended Evergreen College, a progressive, experimental College near Olympia, Washington, known to be a serious liberal arts college (that's pretty bad on the face of it). I guess they must be notorious for training terrorists. Then she went to Palestine because of her idealistic beliefs about truth and justice. As she stood in front of that Israeli bulldozer that was about to raze a house full of children I'm certain she was thinking about protecting the smugglers. Why else would she have done such a stupid thing? And of course the bulldozer, armored by Caterpillar for just such a purpose, just "accidentally ran over her."

Oh, by the way, the agressive terrorists in training at Evergreen College picked as their College Mascot, the Geoduck (look it up).

One final observation (my wife gave me this):

WOMAN IN AUDIENCE: 'I don't really understand. How is the new plan going to fix the problem?'

Verbatim response: PRESIDENT BUSH:

'Because the -- all which is on the table begins to address the big cost drivers. For example, how benefits are calculated, for example, is on the table. Whether or not benefits rise based upon wage increases or price increases. There's a series of parts of the formula that are being considered. And when you couple that, those different cost drivers, affecting those -- changing those with personal accounts, the idea is to get what has been promised more likely to be -- or closer delivered to that has been promised. Does that make any sense to you? It's kind of muddled. Look, there's a series of things that cause the -- like, for example, benefits are calculated based upon the increase of wages, as opposed to the increase of prices. Some have suggested that we calculate -- the benefits will rise based upon inflation, supposed to wage increases. There is a reform that would help solve the red if that were put into effect. In other words, how fast benefits grow, how fast the promised benefits grow, if those -- if that growth is affected, it will help on the red.'

Do I really need to comment on this?


Saturday, March 25, 2006

So few, so much, so many

"Never was so much owed by so many to so few." This famous line was from a speech by Winston Churchill on August 20th, 1940. This was at the height of the German attack on Great Britain and Churchill was referring to the Royal Air Force as the few. And they were few, indeed, compared to what the Germans had to offer.

Unfortunately, if one were now to consider such a statement it would have to be: never have so few destroyed so many lives for such ignoble purposes. The few here being Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle, Rice, Hadley, Libby, Rove, and other neocons who highjacked American foreign policy and lied us into this horrible, unnecessary war of greed and pillage. Absolutely no one benefits from this "war" except for oil companies and the military-industrial complex (of which Cheney, the Bush family, and others are members). These people are war criminals, plain and simple. And they must be somehow held accountable for their crimes.

When Helen Thomas was finally allowed to ask a question she asked "why did you go to war in Iraq?" Bush's reply was so totally dishonest and pathetic he has to have been exposed for the creepy know-nothing that he is. After listening to his reply it is clear that he is either insane or so far out of the loop as to be irrelevant. We are supposed to put up with this for another three years?

This has to be one of the saddest, most depressing and horrible things I have ever read:

"Mr. Azawi's body was found the next morning at a sewage treatment plant. A slight man who raised nightingales, he had been hogtied, drilled with power tools, and shot."

Mr. Azawi's "crime" seems to have been that he was a Sunni. It is certainly unlikely that it was because he raised nightingales.I do not believe such a thing would have happened prior to Bush/Cheney's "war."

Do you think that Bush/Cheney and the other neocons sleep well and have pleasant dreams (of murder, torture, plunder, rape and misery?). Or do they just count their money and very expensive barrels of oil?

Friday, March 24, 2006


I think we have reached the point where any further speeches about Iraq can just be dismissed out of hand as laughable. Bush has no credibility whatsoever. Cheney has even less. The Senate and the House are just as silly. Bush/Cheney have thumbed their noses at the Constitution and the rule of law and no one seems seriously to care. There is talk of censure, talk of impeachment, talk of new blood in the White House, and so on. But that's all there is. Talk. Talk is cheap. But it apparently is enough to keep everyone believing that something might be happening. Nothing much seems to be happening. Even Patrick what's-his-name (remember him) seems to have been silenced. The Republicans are about to make legal Bush's illegal warrantless searches. Bush has signed another adendum to the Patriot Act saying that he will not necessarily follow the rules if he doesn't want to. He continues to illegally wiretap and spy. Our Attorney General, such as he is, seems to have copied Bush's smirk and seems not to try very hard not to laugh at Senators. Iraq continues to be a daily bloodbath. No one seem to have a clue how to get out of this disastrous mess Bush/Cheney have created. Democrats continue to keep their heads there where the sun don't shine. It is an absolutely wonderful world, just spinning, spinning, spinning out of control. I guess it must be a result of the intelligent design we keep hearing about.

Luis Posada Carriles, as I understand it, is a Venezuelan citizen. He is a know anti-Castro fanatic. He is believed to have masterminded the terrorist blowing up of a Cuban airliner killing some seventy plus innocents. He escaped from a Venezuelan jail and entered the United States illegally. Venezuela and Cuba want him extradited to stand trial. The U.S. refuses to cooperate (try not to choke - we are afraid he might be tortured). So much for the war on terror. Just more U.S. hypocrisy (is it possible to exceed the limit of hypocrisy? If so, we must be very close).

On Znet today there is a fine article on how the U.S. Press treats Palestinians as compared to Israelis. Worth reading.

The beat goes on but I fear it is getting more and more feeble.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

A terrorist?

I do not believe there is any evidence whatsoever that Rachel Corrie was a terrorist or that she was involved in smuggling. I find the claim that she was "accidentally" run over by an armored bulldozer to be absurd.

How anyone could possibly believe after all this time that the Palestians have been given a fair deal is utterly beyond comprehension. Israel is an occupying power with overwhelming military superiority. They have ignored the United Nations for years while claiming more and more Palestianian land and water. They obviously do not want a viable Palestianian state and have done everything they can to prevent one.

I was very much in favor of the creation of Israel and was for many years very pro-Israel. I am sorry to say they have lost my respect many times over. If they truly want peace (which I no longer believe) they can achieve it by ending their illegal occupation.

I want to see peace in the Middle East. Israel is the biggest single obstacle to that end, and has been for years. Neither Iranians nor Arabs are any more intrinsically "evil" than anyone else. If you want to see the true face of evil take a look at Dick Cheney.

There is more and more talk of impeachment, more and more calls for Rumsfeld the Incompetent to resign. If these people had even one shred of decency they would all resign now. They obviously do not have the interests of the American people or our nation in mind.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Rachel Corrie

I guess you must all be more or less aware of the Rachel Corrie story. If not, you should be. Rachel Corrie was a young woman from Olympia, Washington, who decided to travel to Palestine in the interest of peace. She was killed by an Israeli bulldozer while standing in front of a Palestinian house that was about to be razed. Inside the house was a Palestinian family including several children. Their house was being razed because the Israelis wanted to create a buffer zone (not because the family had done anything wrong). Rachel bravely stood in front of the house and faced the bulldozer, indicating that she would not allow the house (and family) to be destroyed. The bulldozer ran over her and then backed up over her.

Rachel Corrie was a very idealistic young woman, beautiful and intelligent. She left a number of diaries and notes that were recently made into a sort of stage play, "My Name is Rachel Corrie." This was produced in London to rave audiences. It was to open in New York today (or maybe yesterday) but was canceled at the last minute. While it is not entirely clear why it was canceled it obviously had something to do with politics. The election of Hamass and the condition of Ariel Sharon were said to have something to do with it - the owners of the theatre said they did not want to get involved with a political problem. The producers are claiming they really wanted to open it but did not have enough time to work out the problems. In short, it is a kind of mess.

The fact is, or at least seems to be, that a number of people or organizations started to demonize Ms. Corrie, claiming, among other things, she was a member of Hamass (a blatant falsehood). What seems to be clear, at least to me, is that Ms. Corrie stood up for the Palestinians rather than the Israelis (an obvious no-no in the United States). She exposed the Israelis for the murderous greedy land-grabbing racists they have turned out to be, and of course this is not to be tolerated in this Israeli-loving "land of the free."

"My Name is Rachel Corrie" will undoubtedly eventually open somewhere in the United States if not in New York. It is said to be an extremely moving experience that has more to do with the problem of violence than with politics per se. It does not pay to be perceived as pro-Palestianian - after all, they're just Arabs.

Pat Robertson is at it again. Commenting on a new book which I gather is entitled "The Professors," he claims that Professors are like termites that have infiltrated the Universities, are "out and out communists," and some of them are "killers." He also claims that they actually beat up students. Doesn't it make you wonder why Robertson has not been committed? This guy is so psychotic, and has been for years, it is virtually impossible to believe he continues to have some kind of following and was, in fact, a candidate for President at one time. How many complete loonies are there in the U.S.? At the moment I guess there are a lot.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

President Pathetic

I do not ordinarily watch President Pathetic as he babbles on endlessly about things he obviously knows little about. Unfortunately, this morning, I found myself in a situation where I could not help but witness part of his Press Conference. I found it excruciatingly embarrassing. I don't know why they have suddently decided to let him host Press Conferences where he can be asked real questions. I guess it must be a measure of Republican desperation. In any case, it truly was pathetic. Watching him smirk and smile completely inappropriately is bad enough. But actually listening to his unceasing babble is much worse. It is impossible to review the conference here in any detail. Just let me give you a couple of examples. He took a question from Helen Thomas for the first time in the last three or four years. She asked him, as she has wanted to all this time, "why did you go to war in Iraq?" This elicited a rambling non-answer that among other things included the blatant lie that Sadam had resisted inspectors. There was no follow up. Everyone realized it would be hopeless. Then when asked about the monumental 8.9 trillion dollar deficit Bush blamed it on Social Security and Medicaid "because the President has no control over those espenses." No mention of his obscene tax breaks for the filthy rich. And even much more importantly, no mention of the obscene defense budget (larger than all the rest of the world combined) which does virtually nothing to defend us from terrorism but continues to fill the coffers of his defense industry and oil company buddies. I could go on but what is the point. The Bush/Cheney administration is nothing more than a criminal enterprise designed to keep the price of oil as high as possible and insure record profits for those involved. The more Iraqi oil that is kept off the market the higher the profits. It's very simple. Want to bet the Carlyle group isn't one of the prime beneficiaries?

Strange things are being done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for oil. Not a single virgin is to be left unravished, not an oil company executive left behind, not a single truth ever to be told.

Often the sin is itself more forgiveable than the stupidity that led to it. Morialekafa. Here and now.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Permanent bases?

There will be no morialekafa on Monday. The Siren song of Seattle Seafood is just too strong to resist. See you again on Tuesday.

I keep insisting that the U.S. is building permanent bases in Iraq and has no intention of not maintaining them. Some keep insisting that we are not going to maintain a permanent presence and others insist that we are. I believe we are.

Barbara Lee (D. Oakland) has introduced an amendment to the recent 91 billion spending bill (HR 4939) that would block any funding for permanent bases. It is said that this amendment passed on a voice vote in the House. Let us watch what happens with respect to this amendment. It is quite possible that these four bases are already more or less finished (all those billions of dollars must have gone somewhere). We are also building the world's most expensive and fortified Embassy ever conceived in Bagdad. I guess we will just leave it to the mercy of the next Iraqi government (if there ever is one). Anyway, stay tuned.

Bush/Cheney continue to insist they are pleased with the "progress" that is being made in Iraq. Rumsfeld continues to deny there is a civil war (indeed, he seems bemused by the very idea there even could be such a civil war - he is either a liar or a fake or both). Allawi, the former Prime Minister of Iraq, says they are already in a civil war. Watch Rumsfeld, et al, start quibbling over the definition of civil war. How much longer will we put up with this idiocy? I can think of no other country in the world, nor any corporation of any kind, nor even any business of any kind, that would tolerate such total incompetence. Some 35% of Americans apparently continue to support these hopeless buffoons. Why? Oh, yeah, they want to protect us from abortions and gay marriages. Abortions are murder. Killing innocent Iraqi women and children is apparently just sport, like shooting pen raised pheasants and hunting companions.

Hasta la vista, baby. Make my day. Bring 'em on. Mission accomplished. You're either with us or against us. Dead or alive. Stay the course. Torture. Kill. Lie. Cheat. Steal. Bribe. Obfuscate. Stonewall. Ignore. It's the Republican way. Three cheers for the party in power! Party above all. Profit even above that. Sell us the rope so we can hang you.

President Warren Harding was not known for his use of the English language. When he died, E. E. Cummings wrote: "the only man, woman or child who could write a simple declarative sentence with seven grammatical errors, has died." (I saw this somewhere on the web this morning).

I don't believe George W. Dimwit could even write a declartive sentence, errors or not. He certainly can't say one.

Saturday, March 18, 2006


I know how it would be possible to destroy any country on earth without ever firing a shot. Indeed, you could bring any culture to an absolute standstill with virtually no effort at all. Pass a law that would allow people to bring charges or sue for incompetence. That's all it would take. As it is, as far as I know, there is no penalty for incompetence (certainly not in the United States). Well, I guess you might get fired for it, as in the case of Michael Brown, but you have to admit that is very unusual. Even though virtually every government official involved in the Katrina catastrophe was shown to be incompetent nothing happened to them. They still have their jobs. And of course there are George W. Bush and Dick the Slimy Cheney, both incompetent beyond belief, but still not up to the level of incompetence of our Secretary of Defense. "I'm not aware of a civil war, he says, are you?" turning in feigned innocence to General Pace standing next to him. This is the same General Pace who earlier said he believed things were going well in Iraq (and the same General Pace whose career is dependent upon the favor of Rumsfeld the Incompetent).

But I'm not speaking just of high level incompetence. I mean to go after incompetence wherever found. Like the shoe clerk, for example, who knows nothing about shoes. The plumber who floods your basement. The electrician who burns down your house. The auto mechanic who uses the wrong spark plugs. Even worse, the surgeon who amputates the wrong limb. These things happen every day in the United States. Apparently they happen so frequently in hospitals you might well be better off to avoid hospitals. Then there are the hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of bureacrats, that are basically defined by their incompetence. You know, the kind that say "I can't sign that until so-and-so has signed it," when so-and-so has already refused to sign it because they haven't signed it. The ones that punish little kids for bringing half inch toy plastic guns to school, or little old ladies who bring knitting needles on airplances or refuse to take off their shoes.

Just think, if there were laws against incompetence, and you could file charges against incompetence, the whole world would quickly stop if not come to an end. That is precisely why there are no such laws. Think about it. And this is not merely an American problem. It is a universal problem that exists in all cultures at all times. There is never a dearth of incompetence. Never. Not anywhere. Human incompetence is so widespread, so fundamental, so basic to our nature, that it makes completely clear how there could not possibly be such a thing as "Intelligent Design." But at the same time it also strongly implies that "Survival of the Fittest" is equally implausable. Now there is a philosophical problem that should keep you busy until something happens in American politics that makes any sense whatsoever.

In case you haven't been listening, President Brain-dead insists we are making "progress" in Iraq and we are going to achieve "victory."

Friday, March 17, 2006

Ask your doctor - essay

The Bush/Cheney/Rove Operation Smarmy is such a blatant and transparent PR attempt it is not worthy of comment.

Whatever happened to Patrick Fitzgerald? I like to think he is on to something so big it will bring down the Bush/Cheney Administration forthwith. But has the Bush mafia got to him? What?

For the moment I have other things on my mind:

I confess to being a tad bit hypochondriacal. Perhaps more than just a tad bit. Well, hypochondriacal enough to have stopped reading medical books and journals many years ago. You know the syndrome. You have the problem and then when you read about some disease or other you begin to suspect that you actually might have it. It’s a drag. It’s easy enough to give up reading medical books but now, it appears, I will have to give up television as well.
Some time ago (maybe a year or two), for some reason, the Pharmaceutical Industry apparently decided the obscene profits they have been making for so many years were just not enough. They began a campaign to suggest to innocent consumers they might need other drugs they (and even their doctors) might not have heard of as yet. They began an advertising campaign to insure that no drug would go unnoticed (and hopefully, unprescribed).
Given my abnormal condition I was, of course, ripe for this campaign. I remember the first time I saw a commercial for Lunesta, a sleep aid. While in my Doctor’s office I casually asked, “Doc, do you think Lunesta is right for me?”
“Why,” he queried, “are you having trouble sleeping?”
“Well, not really,” I replied. “Except that the other night I actually woke up in the middle of the night for no apparent reason. Maybe that’s a sign that I might be going to have a problem.”
“I don’t think so,” he said, dismissively.
It wasn’t long , however, before I was convinced I needed Nexium. “Doc,’ I said, do you think Nexium is right for me?”
“Why,” he asked. “Do you have heartburn?”
“Well, I did the other day after I ate some hot sausage.”
“That’s the only time?” he asked.
“Yeah, but don’t you think that could be a sign that I may be going to have a problem with it?”
“I don’t think so,” he said, looking at me with what I perceived to be a rather disgusted look.
Vesicare was next. “Doc,” I said, “do you think Vesicare is right for me?”
“Why?” he asked. “Are you having trouble going to the bathroom?”
“The other night I woke up and had to go. I don’t usually do that. Do you think that might be a precursor to a problem?”
He could barely conceal his disdain. “No, I don’t think you need Vesicare. In fact I think your health is fine. Why do you keep asking me about drugs you obviously don’t need?”
“Well, doc, I just keep seeing these ads on television suggesting that I should ask you about these things.”
“Do you believe everything you see on TV?” he demanded.
“Well, gee, no. But this is stuff that might be important, don’t you think?”
“No,’ he replied.
As I was beginning to get the impression that he was not really concerned about my health (certainly not as much as I was), I decided to refrain from further inquiries for the time being. I deliberately did not ask him about Toprol xl, Mylanta, Vytoran, Copacol, Nasonex, Plavix, Vesicare, Fosamex Plus D, Zetia, Coricidan, or Avordart. And I certainly didn’t ask him about any of the tumescence enhancers. Being a long term hypochrondriac I know when my doctor has been pushed to his limit.
I can’t bring myself to believe that these drug companies are doing this merely for profit. I’m sure they must be really, truly concerned about my health. I know their advertising campaigns are probably doubling or tripling the cost of drugs but, hey, doesn’t it make you feel good to know they are so concerned about your health?
I’m still waiting for that one commercial that comes on and says, “Worried about your health? Confused about commercials for drugs? Disappointed by your doctor? Ask him if psychiatric care is right for you.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Stop me before I kill again

Remember this phrase written by some serial killer? It would seem to be particularly pertinent at the moment, given Bush's claim that our national defense policy continues to be preemptive strikes against anyone we feel like "taking out." Iran, of course, is the first "terrible danger" on the list. I guess this is because of our assumtion that Iranians are basically a nation of utter morons. Can there be any doubt that if Iran actually acquired a nuclear weapon the first thing they would do would be to drop it on Israel? They obviously are either inordinately stupid or they have a death wish. Do they think they could drop a bomb of any kind of Israel without suffering an immediate response that would destroy their country entirely? Of course they don't think that. Need I remind you that Iran (Persia) had a highly developed culture (civilization) when the U.S. was still in its bawling infancy? That they are a nation of poets and thinkers rather than a nation of fast foods and nonsensical television? And, I guess this might surprise you, they are not Arabs. In fact, they are the original Aryans (Iranians, Aryans).

The attempt by the Bush/Cheney administration to demonize Iran is disgusting beyond belief. Having overthrown their legitimate government in the past to install our puppet, the Shah, and having meddled in their affairs endlessly, why should they have to suffer our attempts to control them (and their oil) any longer? They are apparently a long way from developing a nuclear bomb in spite of the Bush/Cheney attempt to claim otherwise. Furthermore, even if they had a bomb what difference would it make? Russia has had nuclear bombs for years which actually prevented us from attacking them. Iran would be better off with a bonb than not. Indeed, I suspect every country on earth ought to have such bombs as long as we have them, along with the United Kingdom, France, Pakistan, India, Israel, North Korea, and so on. I suspect even Lichtenstein would be better off with a bomb than not. And, if we are so frightened that such a weapon might fall into the hands of terrorists, we should get rid of ours along with everyone else. The U.S. is so hypocritical on this issue as to have no credibility whatsoever.

I guess, like our serial killers, Bush/Cheney have decided that as they are already war criminals, they might as well do it again as they would have nothing to lose. For the U.S. to attack Iran at the moment (or ever, for that matter) would be nothing short of insanity (don't bet they are not insane). Our military is stretched to the limit (and perhaps beyond), and have indicated overwhelmingly they want to come home. We are bankrupt and have no money to fight another war. The entire world holds us in contempt and would certainly not condone an attack on Iran. The idea that Bush/Cheney might launch an offensive against Iran because it would unite the country behind them has to be an unbelievable fantasy. Indeed, I suspect if they attack Iran at this point in time there may well be riots in the streets and people actually sacking the White House. A very large segment of the U.S. population believes the Bush/Cheney Administration doesn't know what they are doing. So why would they follow them into another disastrously stupid if not utterly insane attack on still another country that is, in fact, no danger to us? There would have to be a draft. Do you think the American public at the moment would agree to a draft?

It is true that Bush/Cheney and their gang of war criminals are desperate. But are they suicidal? Let us hope not.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Is there a loop?

Three days ago our Ambassador to Iraq, Khalilzad, said the United States had no intention of keeping permanent bases in Iraq. Today General Abizaid said we probably would want to keep permanent bases in Iraq. Which one of these guys is "out of the loop?" More basically, is there a loop? I have been saying all along that the U.S. has no intention whatsoever of getting our troops (all of them, that is) out of Iraq. The Democrats have been pressuring the White House for months to say we have no intention of maintaining permanent bases in Iraq. Have you ever heard anyone in the Bush/Cheney Administration say we are not going to stay there permanently? Of course not, because they never have. And why have they never said so? Because there has never been any intention of not maintaining permanent bases. We are spending billions to create at least four such bases, all enormous enough to be essentially self-contained American towns (complete with Burger Kings and whatever). So why do people keep talking about bringing the troops home? No one has ever said we are going to bring all the troops home. It seems unlikely to me that even if there is a change in Administrators we would bring all the troops home. Why can't anyone recognize reality and tell the truth?

A Blue Ribbon Committee is being established to "rethink Iraq" and how we might withdraw from there "successfully." I don't know if this means "victoriously" or what. This is a high-powered committee composed of a number of very important people. Apparently this Committee was resisted by the White House but because of intense pressure finally materialized. Want to bet the White House will pay any attention to whatever they suggest? There have been suggestions that Bush might need new advisors as his current staff has been there for all five years of his (absolutely disastrous) Administration. There is no sign that Bush is interested - he apparently likes the abject failures he already has.

Senator Russ Feingold is trying to introduce a motion to censure Bush for breaking the law with respect to unwarrantaed wiretapping. He apparently has failed to find even a single co-sponsor (although I just now heard that Barbara Boxer may be on board). It is not clear at the moment what, if anything, will come of this. I guess there may be a vote on it (want to guess the outcome?).

In three different recent polls Bush's numbers are now 33%, 35%, and 36%. As near as I can tell, aside from reporting this, no one is inclined to take any action. Even Lou Dobbs is outraged. What I want to know is, would his ratings have to go all the way to zero before anyone really cared? And would anyone care even if they did? Don't even bother about Democrats. If Bush/Cheney went to zero they would still be standing around sucking their thumbs.

Has there ever been a culture with such an unbelievable patience for total incompetence? Have Americans become so familiar with incompetence in their daily lives they no longer even recognize it? Try to find a shoe salesman nowadays who knows anything about shoes, or a butcher who knows what a hanger steak is, or how to pull the tendons from a turkey leg. It remind me of a recent incident involving one of my friends. It seems that in the winter he became somewhat bored so he purchased a cheap putter in a Wal Mart. After a few days he returned it, handing it to the sweet young thing behind the counter and telling her, "this just doesn't work."

"Really?" she said, and then let him exchange it. Sigh!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The Godfather - comments

I am convinced that any further discussion of the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Rice/Neocon disaster is fruitless. Far more than enough has been said. It is now time for some serious action. As nothing seriously seems to happen along those lines I suggest we now either put up or shut up. Either we rescue our Republic or we give it up for a dictatorship.

As a distraction, a few comments on The Godfather, the movie and the book. I have just now read the book for the first time. Usually when I see a motion picture based on a well-known book I assume that the book will be much better than the movie. In this case I am not so sure. It is most interesting that Puzo maintained all along he was writing a book for the sole purpose of making money. It is equally interesting that Coppola said he made the movie only so he would be able to then make movies he really wanted to make (another example of sheer commercialism). And yet, between the two of them they managed to make a great motion picture that will no doubt remain as a classic.

What I find most interesting about this is that there are large sections of the book that do not appear in the movie, and there are very important situations in the movie that do not appear in the book. For example, the bits about the relationship of the family to the Senator, including the famous blackmail scheme, are not in the book. Similarly, the relationship of Michael to his wife, Kay, is totally differenct in the book than how it is portrayed in the movie. The character of Fredo is quite different in the book and he is not murdered by his brother. All of the Cuba scenes and situation are absent in the book. Vito Corleone's revenge attack on the man who tried to kill him as a boy is completely absent in the book. At the same time many of the best scenes in the movie are taken directly from the book. The wedding ceremony, the death of Sonny, the offer that couldn't be refused, Luca Brasi, Michael's murder of the police captain, the death of Michael's Italian wife, and many others.

So what does one make of this? I don't know that it matters a great deal. But I think this is a rare case where the movie is much better than the book. The movie manages to mostly ignore the rather blatant sex (which clearly was written to make money), although there is some sex in the movie. The story, I think, is much more tightly organized in the movie than in the book. The movie, with the exception of Diane Keaton, is very well cast. The supporting actors are all first rate. The flashback to the emergence of Don Corleone I think was superb. In short, I like the movie better than the book. The book comes across as a rather obvious attempt to titillate and make money. The movie much less so. But, what does it matter what I think anyway? Enjoy both the book and the movie. And try not to think about our current pretend Godfather who comes across more like the village idiot.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Drinking the kool-aid (and then some)

There will be no Morialekafa until tuesday night. Be prepared for a new bunch of pathetic lies (speeches) from President Numbskull.

Actually, Republicans must be imbibing something much stronger than the kool-aid these days. Consider the following Republican remarks in the last couple of days:

Bill Frist, the nitwit leader of the Senate Republicans, defending Bush, actually said (I can't believe he was serious but he would like to be President) about those criticizing Bush, criticizing our "Commander-in-Chief who is leading us with a bold vision in a way that is making our homeland safer is wrong." Leading us with a bold vision (stay the course, stay the course, stay the course)? Making us safer in our homeland (we are far less safe now than before)? Frist apparently won in the straw poll for who Republicans wanted the most to be their candidate in 2008 (he shipped in supporters to insure he would win).

Then there is Karl Rove, boy genius, who has not been roviating a lot lately (too busy trying to stay out of jail). In a recent speech to another audience of brain dead Republican faithful said, "we will not leave Iraq until total victory." Conveniently, he did not define total victory. Some think he must mean winning the elections in 2006, as it is unlikely we will ever win total victory in Iraq. Indeed, it is as meaningless to talk of total victory in Iraq as it would be to claim Republicans have souls. Just what in the hell would victory in Iraq entail? A government that will be totally subservient to U.S. interests (this seems to be a lost cause)? Perhaps total victory means we will have killed the last Iraqi on earth (we seem to be really trying as hard as we can). I guess total victory means we will not only have successfully brought democracy to Iraq but it will spread throughout the entire Middle East (this is about as likely as pigs flying - actually far less likely). But I know it sounds good. Bush and Cheney and Rove and Rumsfeld all seem to think it could possibly happen (they are not known for being right about one single thing so far).

Zalmay Khalilzad, our Ambassador to Iraq, has now announced that we (the U.S.) do not wish to have permanent bases in Iraq. I wonder if he cleared this with Cheney. What, pray tell, are we going to do with the four billion dollar bases we have been busily constructing all this time? I guess we will just turn them over to the Iraqis. Perhaps they can use them for kindergartens? Or better yet, as hostels for the 2100 Olympics.

Finally, for the moment, there is the case of John (the weird) McCain. At the straw vote the other day he said people (I guess you might consider Republicans people) should vote for George W. Bush, as he is our President, and we should support him no matter what the polls show. Always the sportsman, he doesn't think we should abandon him just because his poll numbers are lower than a snake's belly. I guess he thinks the reasons his poll numbers are so low is just because of the fickleness of the public. After all, those numbers couldn't really mean that Bush is a hopeless, incompetent, numbskull who has come very close to destroying our country.

If you believe any of what these Republican "leaders" say, ask your doctor if you need psychiatric care.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Hearts and minds

They (the Bush/Cheney gang of cutthroats) continue to speak of "winning the hearts and minds" of people in the Middle East. Where do they come by this delusion? How on earth can they even believe it would be possible for us to win the hearts and minds of people in the Middle East. After all, we have unconditionally supported Israel for years, in spite of their blatant land and water grabs, in spite of their absolutely disrespectful treatment of Palestinians, in spite of their constant refusal to abide by any United Nations attempts to curb them, in spite of their program of assassinations and militarism, murder of innocents, and so on.

There is also the problem of the historical record in which we overthrew the Iranian government and installed the Shah, and constantly meddled in the Middle East in our quest to control their oil reserves, illegally invaded and occupied Iraq, tortured indiscriminately, insisted on forming a puppet government, failed to reconstruct much of anything, allowed their national treasures to be looted, filled their country with spent uranium, killed thousands upon thousands by our sanctions, and god knows what all else. And we think we are going to win their hearts and minds? Oh, yeah, I forgot, we are sending the Hughes woman, a religious nutcase who knows absolutely nothing about Middle Eastern cultures and apparently even less about history, to accomplish this task. Why do I worry? It's all so simple.

I have been reading Bread and Wine by Ignazio Silone. Although it was written quite some time ago (1937) I came across this passage that I might have written just now:
"At the age of seventy-five one can change one's ideas, but not one's habits. A retired life is the only one that suits my character. Even when I was young I lived very much apart. I always kept aloof from politics because of my repugnance to vulgarity. Taste and an aesthetic education always witheld me from action. Besides, my aversion to the present state of things is not political. It is not as a voter but as a man that I find this society intolerable. And then I ask myself what am I to do. I look around and see very little that I can do."

And what about this gem:
"I decided that politics was grotesque--nothing but an artificial struggle between rival degenerates."


Friday, March 10, 2006

The Nightmare years

You know how it is we speak of the Reagan years, the Clinton years, the New Deal, Camelot, and such things. Do you think that in the future anyone will speak of the Bush years? I don't think so. The first years of the 21st century will have to become known as the Nightmare Years. Even the McCarthy years will pale into insignificance compared to the first eight years of the 21st century. The years in which George W. Bush was illegally and unconstitutionally installed as President by the Supreme Court (which was so ashamed it announced that this could not be taken as a precedent). The years in which the United States was deceived into attacking a Sovereign Nation that was no threat either to itself or anyone else. The years in which the Secretary of State went before the United Nations and blatantly lied to make a case for an illegal, immoral, unconstitutional and unnecessary war. The years in which the United States, unprecedented in all that came before, announced that torture was actually acceptable. The years in which the President of the United States took upon himself the right to arrest and detain anyone he chose with no rights of self defense, no right to a lawyer, no right to even contact their own families, no right to any protections whatsoever. Persons who could be incarcerated presumably for life with absolutely no right to appeal. The years in which the government could illegally spy on anyone they wished with no warrants and with no probable cause. The years in which people could be fired for having the wrong bumper sticker. Years in which the audience for the leaders were hand-picked for their loyalty before being admitted to the audience. The years in which lying became standard operating procedure, fiscal responsibility became totally irrelevant, might became right, up became down, black became white, no laws were needed because the Executive was above the law, and loyalty to party took precedence over the common good (common good, laughable). Profit became the only acceptable motive for human behavior. Never mind health care, minimum wages, outsourcing jobs, basic human rights of any kind, the environment, global warming, international agreements, nuclear proliferation, poverty, even common decency. Everything was suspended in the interest of profit, greed, and apparently even blood lust. It was not he best of times and the worst of times. It was absolutely the worst of times. The worst of times ever in the history of the United States. It was a time of murder, arson, rape, and looting. A time of might makes right. If they won't give up their resources kill them. Kill, kill, kill. We don't want to buy their oil, we want to control all of it. It's ours. All ours. No one else should be allowed to have it. We are all powerful. The world should recognize our hegemony. They should become like us. We are right. Everyone else in the world is wrong. McDonalds, Kentucky Friend Chicken, Wendy's, Burger King, Coca Cola, all good. Why can't everyone be like us? Stupid savages. Speak English, damn it. What's wrong with you? Don't you understand we are only doing this to help you? Aaaaagh! Stop the planet. I want to get off.

Thursday, March 09, 2006


Watch 'n Wait: thanks for the tip. Good site.

Congress today apparently told Bush/Cheney that their Dubai ports deal was dead in the water, could not possibly be approved, and that was that. They have enough votes to override any threatened veto. They didn't make at all clear what might happen now.

This reminds me of an anecdote I once read somewhere (probably in a Doctor's or Dentist's office as that is the only place I ever see a Reader's Digest. I confess I never read anything in the Digest other than the jokes and anecdotes. Similarly, I never read anything in the New Yorker other than the cartoons - ever. I guess this will give you an indication of the shallowness of my character. But I digress).

It seems that a well known gambler died and his funeral was attended by relatives and many of his peers. The minister was saying something to the effect, "Nick hasn't really died, he's just passed on to another place." A voice from the rear of the church said, "eight to five he's dead." I strongly believe that in the case of the Dubai ports deal, it's eight to five it's not really dead. They (Bush/Cheney and their universally dishonest colleagues) will figure out a way to put lipstick on the pig and get away with it in spite of the opposition. It's the Republican way.

There is more and more talk about impeachment. Several towns in Vermont have voted for impeachment. The concept is more and more being mentioned, even in such disreputable places as the Wall Street Journal. But it's still all just talk. I guess it's good that Congress has blocked the Dubai ports deal (or at least have pretended to), and there is still talk of indicting Rove and perhaps even Cheney, and maybe someday we'll really know what happened prior to 9/11, and as we don't torture there's no need to dwell on that unpleasant topic, and of course Blair/Bush did not conspire to start an illegal, immoral, unconstitutional and unnecessary war, and things are going well in Iraq. Rumsfeld is still standing around pretending to be Secretary of Defense and basically saying, "what's going on here?" The fact that Rumsfeld is still Secretary of Defense after all these years tell you all you need to know about the totally hopeless incompetent Bush/Cheney administration. The only one who has been continually more wrong than our senile Secretary of State is our pathological Vice-President who seems to be running the country (if it can be said that the country is actualy running).

Will something happen? Will Patrick Fitzgerald actually resurface someday? Is there any hope at all? Please stay tuned.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Republican beat goes on

Man, oh man, the Republicans are distancing themselves from Bush at the moment as fast as they can. They want to kill this Dubai deal now! Real action. Protect our ports! National security! No foreign control! What's going on? How could we be selling our vital assets to foreigners? Might I suggest that the reason we are selling our vital assets to foreigners is because we have to? What happens to people who find themselves falling further and further into debt and have no other way to borrow money? They have to sell their hard assets. That is what we are doing. This is exactly what selling public lands is all about. We don't have the money to pay for our rural schools so we will sell our land to pay. Of course once we sold the land we can't sell it again. It will be gone. So what happens next? I guess, like in China and other Asian countries, we sell our female children.

Do you really believe that the members of the House are vitally concerned about national security? Do you think if Bush's poll ratings were 65% they would be doing the same thing? Of course not, they don't give a damn about national security, they want to be re-elected. That's it. Period. End of story. We've been selling our assets for years and no one was much concerned about it. But now that Bush has been caught red-handed, and now that 80% of the public is opposed, it is suddenly a problem that needs immediate attention. Republicans are desperate to stay in power, so desperate that if it comes to it they will even ditch Bush/Cheney. If our Corporate masters decide that Bush/Cheney have become liabilities it will be all over for them. Republicans are only interested in profit. They will sell the rope to hang themselves.

Notice that the Intelligence Committee, with its Republican majority, voted to not investigate Bush/Cheney's illegal warrantless wiretapping (spying). Apparently Republicans think it is good that we should have illegal wiretapping. Oh, yeah, there will be a committee (of Republicans) to oversee it so that will make it okay. If the laws don't allow you to do whatever you want just change the laws. It's the Republican way.

You will also notice that Tom DeLay actually won in the Texas primary he was running in, in spite of the fact that he is under indictment and is widely known to be about the biggest sleazeball in Congress. Texas Republicans don't care how dishonest he is, they are only concerned with power. I bet that if Al Capone and John Dillinger were still alive and running as Republicans they would be elected in landslides. They are cut from the same cloth as our current crop of Republicans - dishonest, criminal, unconscionable, greedy, short-sighted, nasty, hypocritical, and without any saving graces.

War criminals belong in jail, not the White House.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Ho hum - and an essay on Democracy and Education

Will someone please wake me up when the House, Senate, or anyone else actually does something about the disaster that is Bush/Cheney, something, that is, other than just talk about it. The situation is quite clear. There is no question about what they have done. They clearly should be held accountable. Personally, I think impeachment would be too good for them. They should be arrested for war crimes and put on trial. Al Gore, who actually won the election of 2000, should be installed as interim President and everyone, without exception, should stand behind him while he tries to clean up this horrendous mess. Of course I know this will never happen. But I can dream, can't I? Or is dreaming now prohibited too?

In order to have and maintain a viable, healthy democracy you must have an informed and well-educated citizenry. At the present time in the United States we have neither. The media have abandoned any pretense of providing news of importance in favor of endless hours of trivial sensationalism about Michael Jackson, runaway brides, Janet Jackson’s breast, Paris Hilton, Britney’s pregnancy, and other such vital matters. If you wish to learn anything substantial about important things like the obscene “war” in Iraq, the Gannon/Guckert scandal, the torture and other scandals that are being covered up, the obscene national debt, the failure of 9/11, warrantless wiretapping, etc., you have to go to the internet or to foreign news sources. The state of our major media in the United States is shameful. In answer to a viewer’s question, “Why aren’t Iraq truths printed?” an editor on our only major newspaper summed up his rather evasive answer by commenting, “No paper is showing circulation gains covering the war in Iraq.” He meant to imply that newspapers actually were covering the war in Iraq at great expense even though Americans, he claims, don’t want to hear about it. In fact, our newspapers are not printing the truth about Iraq. Their sole goal nowadays is to provide “infotainment” to increase circulation, not to provide a public service, even though they are supposedly obliged to do so, not to act as watchdogs over our increasingly dishonest politicians, not to act as a “fourth estate,” to perform the functions in society that up until a short time ago they have always provided. They want to make money. And yes, the media are in fact controlled by a very small number of huge corporations that toady to the Bush/Cheney Administration and manage the news. It is not hard to understand why the Bush Administration does not want us to know the truth. Most Americans I know would like to know the truth.

When it comes to education the situation is just as bad and perhaps worse. The only way you can have a healthy democracy is to have a well-educated citizenry. The only way you can have that is to have first-rate public schools. Our current public schools are far from first-rate. Indeed, they are arguably not even second-rate. Nowhere is this more true than in the State of Idaho. Schools are one of the most basic, important, and necessary institutions in any civilized country, fundamentally as or more important than police and fire protection. As such they should be prized, well-funded, and secure. Under the Idaho system they must in effect beg for funding year after year. If local people refuse to pass levies the schools suffer. Hypothetically, you could have schools one year but not the next. Of course this rarely happens. But what does happen is that the very best you can hope for are mediocre schools one year and poorer schools in other years. This is an absolutely absurd situation. I don’t know who originated this scheme in the first place but it is clearly our Republican controlled legislature in recent years that has caused this situation to persist. Perhaps back in the days of one-room schoolhouses, horse-powered farming, cannonball warfare, hand cranked telephones, and outdoor privies, this might have been acceptable. But this is the 21st century! Children have to be prepared to cope in a modern world of enormous complexity, technological sophistication, and rapid culture change. It is becoming increasing obvious that our schools are nowhere near up to this challenge. The U.S. is demonstrably falling further and further behind other nations such as Japan, China, India and others. The so-called American Century is about to come to a close. But our (Republican) powers that be refuse year after year to adequately fund our schools. One Republican legislator a few years ago even suggested changing the State Constitution so the state would have no responsibility at all for funding schools. More recently they have engaged in endless legal maneuvers to escape responsibility. In the meanwhile the schools continue to deteriorate and the children suffer the sins of thoughtless and short-sighted adults.

The idea of the fundamental and crucial value of Public Schools and universal education to a large and healthy democracy in the abstract I think cannot be denied. In practice, of course, it is difficult to achieve such a perfect situation. Obviously there are good and bad schools, depending upon the value local people place upon their particular schools and their willingness to reliably fund and support them. If there are bad administrators and teachers, or both, which regrettably there sometimes are, they should be held accountable by the citizenry. But never forget you pay for what you get. If you refuse to provide decent salaries or proper facilities you obviously won’t get much. Public Schools are an absolutely fundamental institution in American society and as such they should have assured continuity and reliable funding year after year and not have to resort to annual begging. It is not only the children and the schools that suffer. If a community has mediocre or worse schools, intelligent, ambitious, and creative people are going to avoid them, thus insuring a spiral of further and further decline and decay.
There is absolutely no way you can argue that poor schools are “good enough” or an asset to a community. If you can’t afford schools, especially in these modern and trying times, you don’t deserve children.

I strongly suspect that beginning with Ronald Reagan it became official Republican policy to starve and downgrade education in the United States. Republicans and Corporate America do not want citizens who are both aware and think for themselves. They prefer peasants.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Go figure

You must have all heard about the guy who killed his parents and then pleaded for mercy because he was an orphan. So consider this: two Iraqi women who wished to come to the U.S. to participate in a program to help the American people understand what is happening in Iraq were refused visas. They were refused visas because we (the U.S.) thought they would not want to return to Iraq after their speaking tour. Why would they not want to return to Iraq? Because we killed their entire families and therefore they would have no reason to return. Simple? Yes. Stupid? Incredibly. Mean? Entirely. Is this a great country or what?

One of the Iraqi women who did manage to get into the U.S. for this speaking tour was interviewed by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now. In the course of the interview she observed that the only people that could possibly benefit from a Civil War in Iraq would be the U.S. Why? Because the U.S. needs an excuse to maintain a permanent presence in that unfortunate country. Sensible? Yes. True? Probably. Is this a great country or what?

South Dakota has voted to return to the 18th century. All abortions are to be illegal, except to save the life of a mother (but not in cases of rape or incest). What a fine idea. Let's send all the women who want and/or need an abortion into the alley where they can be aided by the help of coathangers or other such useful devices. A spokesperson for John McCain says he would sign such a bill because he thinks it is up to the states to decide such matters (happily he has no authority in South Dakota). Other Repoublicans have said the same thing - it ought to be up to the states to decide such things (except, I guess, in cases like Terri Schiavo). I think this is an absolutely wonderful idea. Just think, if we had followed this line of reasoning all along we could still be lynching people in Mississippi and Georgia for whistling at white women. Trees all over the south could still be bearing their "strange fruit." Is this a great country or what?

Bush, not content with having illegally allowed the sale of ports to Dubai, has now entered into a secret deal with India to provide them with nuclear materials so they can make more bombs. Cleverly, he avoided a similar deal with Pakistan. I'm sure this is going to make things in that part of the world safer for everyone. Congress is said to be upset at not being consulted. They are also said to be upset over not being consulted about the Dubai deal. And, of course, they are upset about being not consulted about illegal wiretapping. But that's it, they are upset. But not enough to actually do anything about it. Talk, talk, talk, that's what they do. Is this a great country or what?

"Liberty isn't a thing you are given as a present..."You can be a free man under a dictatorship. It is sufficient if you struggle against it. He who thinks with his own head is a free man. He who struggles for what he believes to be right is a free man. Even if you live in the freest country in the world and are lazy, callous, apathetic, irresolute, you are not free but a slave, though there be no coercion and no oppression. Liberty is something you have to take for yourself. It's no use begging it from others."

Ignatzio Silone
Bread and Wine

Inspiring words are they not? What we seem to have here in our country at the moment might be better described as something like "Courage a poo-poo."

Sunday, March 05, 2006


I just watched the Academy Awards. This is something I do not ordinarily do, partly because I have very little interest in them and also because I rarely, if ever, see any of the movies that are nominated and involved. In spite of my abysmal ignorance of the movies and this annual event I still managed to predict most of the major contests. I knew Hoffman would win for Capote. I knew Reese Witherspoon would win. I knew Ang Lee would win for best director. I knew that Cloony would win at least one award. And I also knew that Brokeback Mountain would not win best picture. How did I know this? I don't know. I just knew. I think I knew because I am an American from the Northwest and I know something (I think) about American culture. I forget the other one or two that I predicted correctly. No matter. I confess to knowing nothing and just guessing.

More importantly, and what to my absolute horror I learned by watching this insider backscratching, is the truth about Brokeback Mountain. For months I have heard and read about this movie about two cowboys who are in love. Homosexual love. Horror of horrors! What might this do to our romantic image of the macho cowboys of the American west? Would it be well received in Kansas? Would the public embrace it? Would it be box office? Would it win the award for best picture? Would the two male leads win Oscars? How daring to openly embrace such a theme in a major motion picture. How sensitively it was directed by Ang Lee. A movie so advanced it marks a major change in American culture. And so on.

IT'S A MOVIE ABOUT SHEEPHERDERS!!! The "cowboys" are actually sheepherders in Wyoming. SHEEPHERDERS!!! Cowboys HATE sheepherders. To call sheepherders cowboys is offensive beyond belief. It's worse than calling Iranians Arabs. This is a mistake so egregious it cannot be forgiven. While I admire Ang Lee as a director, he clearly is out of touch with American culture on this one. He is clearly ignorant of all the literature and movies about cowboys versus sheepherders (and there are many). No self respecting cowboy would have anything to do with sheep or sheepherders. Ever. Under no circumstances. Not only have I not seen this movie, there is no way now I would ever go to see it. Do not misunderstand! I don't care if it is a movie about homosexual love, cowboy love, or universal love. I don't care if it is sensitive in its portrayal of these basic human emotions. It is not a movie about cowboys. It's a movie about sheepherders. Sheepherders are to cowboys what Republicans are to truth and beauty, to decency and fair play, to reason and justice. Sheepherders (Sheepmen as they are often referred to) just do not have the same romantic image that cowboys do. Not even close. This is probably why they try to pass this movie off as about cowboys (you know, those ridin' ropin' bronco bustin' two gun heroes who save the widows and orphans and such). Who would go see a movie about sheepherders falling in love, gay or not? Sheepherders are loners, spending their time with just their flocks and their trusty dogs, living in cramped run down wagons, inventing golf out of boredom and such things.

Don't misunderstand. I don't personally have anything against sheepherders. I'm sure we need them just like we need mechanical engineers and ship captains and doctors and (I was going to say lawyers but I caught myself just in time) and farmers of all kinds. I don't even care if gays marry and have children. But cowboys don't like sheepherders. This is a basic fact of the old west (and probably the new west as well). To promote Brokeback Mountain as a movie about gay cowboys is a travesty. Ang Lee is a great director but he doesn't have his finger on the pulse of America (at least the American west) here. My god! SHEEPHERDERS!!!

I confess that one reason I watched was to see how Jon Stewart would do. While he was not Billy Crystal, I thought he did well. Jon Stewart is exceptionally bright and very quick. Larry King is terrified of him. The tongue is mightier than the sword. At least sometimes. Peace (what a ridiculous expectation). I bet that if there was only one man left on earth he would be at war with himself.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Donkey - short story

Another weekend. Nothing happens on weekends. Indeed, at the moment nothing much happens at all except more hollow talk. If anything important did happen the MSM wouldn't tell us about it anyway. We can't handle the truth. So here is another short story to keep you occupied until something, someday, somewhere, somehow, happens.

Alfredo warmed the powerful outboard carefully in the early morning darkness. As we left the pier heading straight to sea the nineteen footer began to pick up speed. We waited for sunrise and the dolphins. Where you found the dolphins you also found tuna.
We never spoke until after sunrise although I don't know why. Mitchell was always the first to see the powerful black and white torpedo shapes weaving so gracefully in and out of the water. He would point, Alfredo would cut the throttle, and we'd begin to troll the artificial squids, little heavy metal cones with colored rubber skirts. As there was only one rod and reel we used a handline on the other side of the businesslike old cruiser. Alfredo would have liked a new boat, or at least another rod and reel, but there wasn't much chance of that.
When the twin lures were following at the appropriate distance Mitchell fastened the lines to the long guide poles with heavy rubber bands. When a fish struck the rubber bands snapped with a loud pop and the action began. On the rod it was exactly like sportfishing. With the handline you had to be careful not to cut your hands. The result was the same, a fine fish you could sell for a good price. Sometimes we received as much as a dollar a pound. Even one or two tuna at a hundred, sometimes two hundred pounds, was a good morning's work. Of course we didn't get fish everyday, but, then, it didn't take much money to live there in the quiet village.
Being otherwise chronically unemployed Alfredo and Mitchell regarded fishing as work. But it was fun, too. They laughed at the tourists who chartered expensive boats to do what we did for free. Of course we didn't get our picture in the paper standing there with a rod in our hands and the fish hanging from the scale to an admiring audience in front of the hotel. We didn't enter the annual fishing derbies either. We didn't care. We thought what we did was better.
Whether the fish came by handline or rod and reel the thrill was the same. The tuna were fighters, and strong. You had to be careful to play them out before bringing them close to the boat. Even then, sometimes with a last desperate effort, one would manage to throw the hook and escape. The best and most beautiful part was seeing the gorgeous creatures coming up out of the deep water all phosphorescent blues and greens, ancient survivors from another time, another world. The colors faded quickly once they were in the boat.
We'd been trolling for two hours with no luck when the CB radio sounded. Alfredo carried on a brief conversation, none of which I could hear from my seat near the outboard. Mitchell must have understood as he immediately began to bring in the lines. Alfredo made a sharp turn to port and accelerated.
"Where we going?" I asked Mitchell.
"You'll see," he said, laughing.
The Pacific was calm and we rode the swells easily. Alfredo stared ahead obviously trying to locate something. We were at least ten miles out to sea. He adjusted our course slightly and then I saw the other boat riding dead in the water. I thought something must be wrong and they had called for help.
"What's wrong?" I asked, walking to Alfredo at the helm.
"Donkey," he said.
"A Donkey. They've got a Donkey. You can help. Go forward on the bow and when I bring us close enough jump into their boat."
By then I could see someone with a rod obviously playing a fish. He wore a harness to help hold the rod just like the charter boats used and was holding the heavily bent rod tip up as hard as he could. Another man was standing behind him. Alfredo skillfully brought the bow in close and yelled for me to jump, which I did, successfully, but with little grace. As I approached the two men I recognized them from the village but couldn't remember their names.
"Marlin," the standing man said. "You want to work him for a while?"
"Me?" I said, incredulous.
"He's big, really heavy," he went on. "You can try it." He tapped the younger man on the shoulder, pointed at me, and began to help him out of the harness. They worked quickly and suddenly I was in the chair with the butt of the big rod anchored in the harness. I noticed with relief that a small nylon line fastened both rod and reel to the harness so that if I lost control the expensive outfit would not disappear into the ocean.
At first I couldn't feel anything except how heavy the rod seemed. It took all my strength just to hold it steady. Just when I thought I might be losing it, Alfredo, now standing on my right, reached over and released the drag. The line played out rapidly and then suddenly stopped.
"Put the drag back on," Alfredo ordered. I did as I was told and could feel the heaviness again. Then I felt the line go slack so I began to reel it in, reeling as fast as possible until the tip almost touched the water, then lifting it skyward so as to reel again, and then doing it again and again, trying to retrieve as much line as possible before the big fish decided to run once more.
"Good," Alfredo said. "Keep it up."
I stayed with the fish for forty five minutes. There was no holding him when he decided to run, but there was plenty of line and he would inevitably stop and give me a chance to recover some of it. I noticed the fingers of my right hand were bleeding from the friction of the reel handle and my inexperience. At Alfredo's instructions I slipped out of the harness and he put it on himself. We had still not seen the fish but there was no doubt it was there. Then Alfredo yelled and pointed with his nose and I saw the marlin come out of the water about a hundred yards away. It leaped high in the air shaking its head and crashed back into the blue water. Then it came out shaking again, trying desperately to throw the hook.
"God! It's huge!" I'd never seen such a big fish. Alfredo laughed and began reeling, trying to gain a little more on the creature.
"Come on, you Donkey!" he yelled, and laughed some more.
After Alfredo had worked for a half hour and had the fish a bit closer he motioned me back into the harness. I was eager now but worried about what everyone would think if I lost it just when it ought to be played out. The fight continued. I held him steady for a time and then he ran off to starboard. When he paused I reeled as fast as possible, then we tested each other again, and so it went for another half hour. Finally I sensed weakness. I worked him slowly, carefully, closer and closer to the boat. Then he was there, right alongside, looking like a section of log until he thrashed about banging his head against the side and I could see the wicked sharp sword. A black marlin! I watched, holding my breath, as Alfredo and the skipper of the boat simultaneously sunk sharp gaffs into the monster and held it against the side of the drifting boat. It took four of us to lift it into the cockpit where it stretched out almost touching both fore and aft.
"Four hundred pounds," said Alfredo.
"Bigger," said the skipper. "Maybe five hundred."
We left them with the fish and boarded our own boat to follow them back to the village. It was long past the time we usually stopped fishing. As we approached the island the water turned an increasingly brighter blue, exaggerating the whiteness of the surf as it broke on the grasping volcanic fingers that reached into it as if to hold ocean and land together. Coconut palms grew thick in groves with here and there a dilapidated frame house sitting among them as though it had been there for as long as the trees themselves. Children played on the shingle beach in the cove. From where we were they looked like tiny scurrying amphibians. Behind them the land rose sharply with rocky cliffs and awesome peaks rising up into an almost permanent cloud cover. Jade green gave way to emerald and then to myriad darker shades of green as your eyes were swept upwards to the sharp ridges at the summit. Except for the clouds obscuring the peaks the sky was as blue as the ocean.
"Why did you call the marlin a donkey?" I asked Alfredo. The three of us were standing close together watching the island as it slowly grew larger.
"It takes too long to catch one and they aren't good for anything," he replied.
"Can't you sell it like the tuna?"
"Naw," Mitchell said, "they won't give you anything. Maybe ten cents a pound. It's not worth it. They say they're full of mercury. Poison."
"They're a pain in the butt," Alfredo continued, "we don't like to hook one but sometimes you do; they go for the squid just like the tuna. But they break up your tackle and waste your time. The tourists can have 'em all for all we care. That's what they pay for, so why not?" Mitchell nodded his agreement.
Just then I noticed Glenn's small unpainted boat coming in. He must have fished later than usual also. Although Glenn was part native he didn't belong to the village. He lived with his wife and infant daughter just outside it on the barren lava without even a tree to shade his two small tents and the miscellaneous odds and ends of crates and boxes that made up his home. He was a college dropout who had just appeared one day in an old van with no explanation other than announcing he was going to fish. He was part Asian and part Portuguese and looked more like an islander than anyone else within miles. His parents lived on the coast several miles to the north but there was no easy access to the ocean there. Glenn acquired an old boat from somewhere, with a coughing old outboard we heard regularly every morning. People in the village thought he was crazy. He thought he was going to live the good life, outdoors, close to nature, no pollution, crime, traffic, ulcers; the romantic vision so characteristic of the times. He wasn't a hippy, just a local boy who apparently had had his fill of university requirements, politics, regimentation, and, lately, demonstrations. He fished diligently every day as we did but without much luck, a fact he attributed, perhaps rightly, to his smaller boat which did not allow him sufficient mobility to pursue the widely ranging schools of tuna. He barely caught enough to survive but stubbornly kept on while his wife spent hot lonely days in the small camp taking care of the child, reading and sometimes writing not very good poetry. They rarely visited the village although they were welcome, especially the baby.
We tied up to the huge concrete foundation that served as the village dock. The original structure had disappeared so many years previously no one knew what it had been. Glenn tied up just as we were collectively lifting the huge marlin onto the lower of the two concrete ledges we used for unloading. There was a crowd of women and children including Alfredo's and Mitchell's wives who, wondering why we were late, had come to wait at the dock.
As everyone was admiring the marlin I could see a carload of tourists drive into the village. They noticed the crowd, parked, and, ignoring the large and obvious sign that read "Private Property, Keep Out," traipsed through Auntie Sally's yard and right out onto the dock. Three middle aged couples, from the midwest I guessed, all dressed in his and her outfits. The man in the lead walked up to look at the fish as the crowd parted to make way.
"Wow! he said, "look at that swordfish." He turned to his companions. "Just look at that. I never saw a fish like that before except in pictures." The others made appropriate noises and stood looking at the huge shape oblivious to the quiet stares of the villagers and the hostile silence that surrounded them.
"I've got to have a picture," the man exclaimed. "You," he pointed to Glenn, "stand over there by the fish."
"I didn't catch it," Glenn protested, "I didn't have anything to do with it."
"Aw, that don't matter," the midwesterner said. "Go on, stand over there. Right there." He pointed to a spot where he thought Glenn should stand. Glenn looked at us, shrugged, and took his place. I could see from his expression how badly he wanted to tell them how disgustingly rude they were. I fought back the same temptation. We both knew there were many good reasons the villagers did not want trouble with the tourists. "You kids there, move back a little," the photographer ordered, motioning them away with his left hand while sighting through his camera. "You, take off that hat," he commanded. For some reason no one could understand Glenn always wore a black watch cap while fishing. He dutifully removed it and held it in front of him with both hands. As he did so he turned to the fish and kicked it as hard as he could.
"Roll over donkey," he ordered.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Let's hear it for torture!

What is it about torture that Bush/Cheney can't understand? Now they are trying to argue that the anti-torture legislation (the McCain amendment) doesn't apply to Guantanamo (actually, according to Bush, it doesn't apply anywhere as he will torture whenever and wherever he wants). But why would they argue against not torturing at Guantanamo? Obviously they think torture should be allowed, especially if it occurs outside of the Continental United States. Can you believe this? No modern country in the history of the world has ever argued that torture should be an acceptable method of interrogation. This is not to say they haven't done it, but they certainly haven't admitted to it (as in the case of the U.S. for the past who knows how long). Torture is unacceptable no matter where or under what circumstances it occurs. Period. That's it. There can be no argument. It is a recognizable violation not only of international law but also the laws of the United States. It is NOT PERMITTED! Anywhere. For any reason. Why should the U.S. be allowed to hold captives for years without any legal recourse, treat them however abusively they wish, brutally force feed them, interrogate them endlessly, and deny them even the most basic of human rights? The entire civilized world (if, indeed, one could believe the world is "civilized") is outraged over Guantanamo and is demanding it be shut down. But Rumsfeld, our senile and disgusting pretend Secretary of Defense insists, in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, that Guantanamo is a wonderful place, a model of a prison, where the food is wonderful and everyone is treated like a prince (especially the teenagers).

I gather that Bush/Cheney are determined to start the nuclear arms race all over again. How else can you explain their new attempts to upgrade our nuclear arsenal, manufacture new and more creative nuclear bombs, spread nuclear know-how to India, and blatantly violate all nuclear agreements signed up until now? How is it that India can have nuclear weapons, Pakistan can, Israel can, we can, Britain can, France can, Russia can, even Korea can, but Iran can't? Do they (the utter morons that are in control at the moment) actually believe that if Iran had nuclear weapons they would immediately try to attack Israel or anywhere else? Do they believe the Iranians have a death wish such that they would do something to get their country immediately blown off the face of the earth? Of course Iran would like to have nuclear bombs if they could. They would be insane not to want them. Under the circumstances the world would probably be a safer place if they had them. Indeed, probably every country ought to have nuclear weapons as that seems to be the only guarantee they won't be bullied and threatened by those who have them.

And the farce continues. People still talk about bringing the troops home. The situation in Iraq is such that now we won't be able to bring the troops home, the Iraqi army isn't able to take over so we can't bring the troops home, we are looking into bringing the troops home, etc. GODDAMN IT! We have no intention of bringing the troops home. We are building permanent bases in Iraq. That has been the intention from the very beginning. I am convinced that the only people who have any grasp on reality at all are the Iraqis themselves. They know we have no intention of allowing them to have a legitimate democratic government that isn't totally subservient to the United States. And they are doing whatever they can to prevent us from doing just that.

I bet if you looked up stupid in the dictionary you would find a picture of George W. Bush. If you looked up evil you would find a picture of Dick the Slimy. If you looked up senile you would find Rumsfeld. And if you looked up inept you would find a picture of Condi Rice. It's a wonderful world we are living in. Happy days!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Republican scum

Scum, as near as I can discern, has to do with a layer of dirt, froth, or other impurities rising to the top of a pond or something. Is this not a perfect description of what has happened to the Republican Party? Consider only a few of the recent developments:

Bush/Cheney have requested 100 million dollars for reconstruction in Iraq. This is the only reconstruction they intend to carry out for the next year. ALL of this money is to build more prisons. Need I say anymore about this?

It turns out that since 2001 the amount of money and time devoted to mine safety has decreased to the point where there are now some two or three thousand cases in a backlog of litigation. There are also thousands, even millions of uncollected fines for mine safety violations. This is a direct result of the Bush/Cheney policies having to do with cooperation with mine owners.

Bush/Cheney have requested 27 million dollars to jump start a new nuclear program designed to update and improve our nuclear arsenal. As there are other millions hidden here and there in other bills this is merely the tip of the iceberg. This is in direct violation of all nuclear disarmement agreements the U.S. has signed, a blatantly criminal activity on the part of our government.

Laura Berg, a VA nurse, is being investigated on charges of sedition because of a letter she wrote to her local newspaper critical of the Bush/Cheney administration. This is a blatant violation of her right to free speech. And don't forget the problems many have had with t-shirts and bumper stickers in the past few months.

Residents of the Navajo reservation are fighting to prevent the development of a new uranium mine near one of their towns. The corporation that wants to do the mining is offering mucho dinero to the families that own the land where they want to develop the mine. Other families who live nearby are fearful for their health. As teenagers in this part of the reservation are 17 times more likely to develop cancer than anyone else in the U.S. you might think they have a reasonable objection. Indians are fair game just as they have always been. They are supposed to be a sovereign nation. When it comes to exploitation their sovereignty will probably just be ignored.

Bush was advised in no uncertain terms of what was in store for New Orleans when Katrina struck, including the fact that the levees might well be breeched. He listened to the presentations, asked not even a single question, announced that we were completely prepared, and went on vacation. A few days later he said, "no one knew the levees might be breeched," just another of his blatant lies. "Who would have thought they might fly airplanes into buildings." "We know they have WMD's," "there is a relationship between Iraq and al Quaida," etc., etc.

Is there nothing so atrocious, so illegal, so immoral, so disgusting, so unconstitutional, so untruthful, so ridiculous or absurd that Bush/Cheney will not be forgiven? Scumbags! There is no better word to describe Republicans (and unfortunately some Democrats as well).

As we have fallen so low, why not Lieberman for President? Maybe Zeb Miller? How about another village idiot?

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Whatever happened to reality?

Let's see...A majority of Americans now think the "war" in Iraq was a mistake and we should withdraw the troops as soon as realistically possible. Murtha, speaking for many others as well as himself, says we should withdraw as soon as feasible. A recent poll indicates that a vast majority of the troops in Iraq believe we should leave, some immediately, some after six months, still others after a year. Iraq is in the midst of a Civil War (never mind the BS about being on the "brink" of one). The vast majority of Iraqis believe we should leave as soon as possible. However, Bush/Cheney insist we should "stay the course." Hilary believes we should send more troops. If you can find even the remotest semblance of reality here you are entitled to win the belly-button lint collection contest. Even Buckley acknowledges that the project has failed, as do others who previously were all gung-ho for it. If there is, indeed, any reality here it has to be let's get the hell out of there as fast as possible. As Bush/Cheney and Rumsfeld are living in fantasyland I guess we will "stay the course" unless someone, somewhere, somehow, someway, can convince enough others to insist on forcing them to glimpse reality at last. With Bush's ratings at 34%, Cheney's at a blistering 18%, you would think the time had come for some form of action. But, no, Bush is off to India where tens of thousands of protestors took to the streets against him. He is apparently oblivious to this, just as he seems oblivious to the polls. He seems to cling to the delusion that he is somehow "leading."

Bush has been caught once again in a blatant lie. He was informed that the levees could be breached days before it happened. His answer was to go on another vacation. He was warned before 9/11 there might be an attck on the U.S. His response was to go on vacation. The fact is, his brain has been on vacation since birth. He has lied consistently about everything. In fact, I don't believe he has EVER told the truth. Even now 34% of Americans support him. Funny, I didn't realize that the percentage of deaf, dumb, and blind in America was quite that high.

It appears that our new Supreme Court Justice, Samuel Alito, has written a thank you letter to Dobson, the influential Evangelical moron, thanking him for his help in getting on the Supreme Court. I hope the nitwit Democrats that voted for him are paying attention.

A most interesting development. Ehab Elmaghrady, an Egyptian, who was picked up after 9/11 on no charge other than being a Muslim, and held in jail for about a year, during which time he was seriously abused, was awarded $300,000 dollars by an American court. This is the first time such an award was given for such a thing. What I think makes this so significant is that if it is taken as a precedent there will be hundreds, if not thousands of similar cases in the future. So multiply $300,000 by X and see what you might come up with. Not to worry, just add it to the trillions of dollars we already owe.

It appears that this Dubai deal may be actually waking people up to the fact that foreign companies (and governments) have taken over control of some 80% of our ports. Were you aware that China is in control of both ends of the Panama Canal as well as some of our ports? Do you know that Costco is owned by the Chinese Government? These facts are merely the tip of the iceberg, a result of the idea of "free markets" and globalization. So wake up America! Oh, I forgot, we're lost in Lost. Do you think there will ever be a "Found?"