Thursday, August 31, 2006

Public Relations

What happens when the world's only superpower, with the greatest military ever assembled, is being humiliated by a bunch of civilians with not much more than small arms? When they have obviously made the greatest foreign policy blunder of all time and have no idea how to gracefully get out of it? When a vast majority of their own citizens has now concluded that their "war" is a total disaster? When every day brings more deaths and dismemberments? When things could not possibly get worse? Why...they just elect to spend 20 million dollars on a Public Relations campaign designed to feature only the positive aspects of their dismal failure (although I'm not at all certain there really are any positive aspects to feature). Let's face it, these people (and you know who I mean) are just plain and simply PATHETIC. They insist on having more of our troops killed for no purpose other than to "stay the (failed) course." They are worse than war criminals. They are sadistic monsters who are unable to admit they deliberately brought about an unnecessary and immoral "war," and apparently will not rest until they have actually destroyed what was once our wonderful country (I guess they will just flee to Paraguay to join whatever other war criminals still survive there). Indeed, they have looted enough money to probably buy Paraguay.

Fascists. Here we have another example of the classic Rove strategy. Now that a majority of American citizens have finally figured out that Bush/Cheney are establishing a Fascist Dictatorship here in the U.S., the Republicans have now began accusing the Muslims of being fascists. Islamofascism is their cry and they are working it all they can. The fact that it is a totally meaningless phrase matters not one whit to them, they know that if they repeat it often enough somehow it will stick and instead of them becoming recognized as the fascist threat they are, it will be the "Other," (Muslims) that are the fascists. And of course our only hope for survival will be if Republicans stay in power to protect us from this new fascist threat. No doubt the 35% of their mindless faithful will accept this utter bullshit. Can we not hope that the majority will see through this ridiculous scam?

The so-called "news" on CNN has now become so bad I no longer even turn it on to get the market report. Things in general just seem to keep on going from bad to worse. Don't worry. Be happy. As long as the idiot puppet in the White House continues to listen to the sound advice of the most evil man on the planet what do we have to worry about?

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


It has come to my attention that there are those who seem to think that because I am anti-Israeli I must also be anti-semitic. I do not believe I am anti-semitic. Where I was raised there were no Jews, or if there were one or two I was totally unaware of it. After all these many years of experience in many different cities and countries I might recognize Jews if they are obvious, like the hair, the hats, the clothes, etc. Other than that I am quite certain I would not recognize a Jew from anyone else. I am fully aware that in Israel there are many Jews who do not approve of what the Israeli government is doing. To conclude that I am anti-semitic because I don't approve of what the Israeli government has been doing all these many years is like arguing that I am anti-American because I don't approve of the Bush/Cheney administration. In other words, it is nonsensical. Apparently that does not register with those who blindly, meaninglessly, insist that whatevaer Israel and the U.S. do has to be right. The simple fact is, Israel has not been, and is not, a good neighbor in the Middle East. Since the 1967 war they have occupied territory that does not belong to them, and they have consistently not only refused to give it up, but have tried incessantly to expand even further into the territory of others. They have repeatedly been offered a deal - land for peace - and have repeatedly refused to give up their "conquered territory." They continue to occupy Syrian and Palestinian and now, Lebanese territory, and there is every reason to believe they would take over more of these lands if they could. Hamas and Hezbollah exist only as a result of Israeli aggression over their lands. Now the Israelis are demanding the U.N. do what they have proved unable to do - disarm Hezbollah and eliminate Hamas. They would also like it if the U.S. would stupidly eliminate Syria and Iran for them as well. As I have said before, I don't care if the Israeli government consists of Jews, Ethiopians, or Martians, what they have been and continue to do is just plain wrong. In the case of Palestinians it is nothing short of genocide. It is racist, indecent, colonial, and completely unjust. Accusations of anti-semitism are nothing more than a smoke screen to cover up a very unpleasant reality.

When is Donald Rumsfeld going to be put away somewhere where he can do no further harm? It has been obvious for years now that he does not inhabit the same universe as the rest of us. His recent speech in Denver, linking dissent against the Bush/Cheney administration to the appeasement of Hitler is, in my opinion, pretty clear evidence of serious mental deterioration. The fact that he apparently thinks people will believe this utter nonsense indicates even further mental problems (although I bet there were those in his audience who actually do believe him, an indication of things even more frightening).

Oh, well. Don't worry. Be happy. Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Rice know best.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Retroactive laws

You have to admit these Republicans are a creative bunch. They have come up and are promoting an entirely new approach to American jurisprudence. If you break a law just retroactively change that law. This is what they are attempting with the problem of warrantless wiretapping. You see, Bush has blatantly broken the law about wiretapping without a warrant (apparently because he just couldn't be bothered with all that red tape). He has even admitted to breaking this law. So what is the Republican solution - just retroactively change the law. Simple, no?

Now there is a better and much more important case. War crimes. It is obvious to anyone with even half a brain that Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Rice and other of the neocons have committed serious war crimes. Everyone on earth pretty much knows about it (apparently except some one third of the American public which seems to know nothing at all about anything). Preemptively attacking a country that is of no threat to you (as in the case of Iraq) is a monumental war crime. Torture is a war crime. Hiding prisoners from the Red Cross is a war crime. Killing innocent civilians including children is a war crime. Using white phosphorous bombs is a war crime. War profiteering is a war crime. Need I go on. So...what is the Republican solution to this obvious problem? Why, of course, just retroactively change the laws so Bush/Cheney et al will no longer be guilty of war crimes. This is precisely what they are attempting to do.

There is one serious problem they need to overcome, as I understand it (and I admit I don't understand much of what is going on at all), and that is, according to American law, it is against the law to retroactively change a law to protect criminals. But, what the hell, why would Republicans be concerned with a minor matter like that? They have always done what they wanted with no regard either for law or constitution, so why should they change now. They'll just change this law as well. You have to hand it to them, they manage to operate as if there is no law, morality, or ethics whatsoever, and they continue to get away with it. Quite amazing, really.

What is most amazing about it is that nobody seems to care, certainly not the Democrats who are supposed to be an opposition party. As far as I am concerned the very fact that they are attempting to change the laws is an admission of guilt. If they didn't think they were guilty why would they need to change the laws? They know they are guilty. The whole world knows they are guilty. Will they ever be held accountable for their multiple and horrendous war crimes? Or does might truly mean right? The true "war" is just now being joined - the war between the corporate fascists and the ordinary and decent citizens of the world.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Disarm Hezbollah? Never

What is this utter nonsense about disarming Hezbollah? Has Hezbollah been trying to incorporate Israel into Lebanese territory? Has Hezbollah been the aggressor in the years of Israeli designs on Lebanese territory? In fact, Hezbollah came into being as a result of Israeli aggression. So far Hezbollah is the only organization that prevents Israel from simply moving into Lebanon and taking over all the territory up to the Litani River (if not beyond). Now the U.S. and Israel are demanding that Hezbollah be disarmed. What a great idea! A wonderful solution to the problems in the Middle East. Why didn't people think of a great solution like this when Germany was attacking France. If France would have simply disarmed the problem would have disappeared. Right? So now we have Santos saying we should deny aid to Lebanon, and Germany arguing they have a right to inspect ships coming into Lebanon, and Israel arguing they will monitor all air and water shipments into Lebanon because they may be carrying arms to Hezbollah. Who monitors the shipments of billions of dollars worth of military equipment into Israel? Lebanon is supposed to be a sovereign nation. Hezbollah is a genuine political party in that besieged country. The Lebanese army is unable by itself to resist Israeli aggression. Hezbollah is not. To insist Hezollah disarm is basically saying that Lebanese territory should be given to Israel. Ask the Lebanese at the moment if they want to see Hezbollah disarmed. If they want Hezbollah purged from their country. By what right is Israel to be given free reign to run the Middle East as they desire? Who are they (or the U.S., for that matter) to decide who can have arms and who cannot? Who are we to tell the Iranians they cannot legally develop nuclear energy? Indeed, who are we to even tell them they cannot develop a nuclear bomb? We have such bombs. Russia has such bombs. England has such bombs. France has such bombs. Pakistan has such bombs. India has such bombs. China has such bombs. Even North Korea has such bombs. Iran (Persia) had a relatively "high civilization" when our ancestors were still wearing the skins of animals. They are not stupid people. They recognize what is right from wrong. They are not foolish enough to destroy their country merely in order to get rid of Israel. Even if they had a nuclear bomb they would not be a threat to the U.S., certainly no more than Russia has been a threat for years. This whole business about Iranian nuclear activity has nothing to do with the real problem, the same problem that exists with Iraq. They have lots of oil. And Cheney wants to control it. We want a "change of administration" in Iran, just as we did in Iraq. In other words we want another puppet government that will do our bidding. And Cheney is apparently stupid enough to believe he can achieve his goals simply through the force of arms. If his crazed dreams of empire have not already been destroyed by the debacle in Iraq, they will surely be put to death if he attacks Iran, an idea at the moment so insane as to get him committed to an institution (if we were living in a sane society, which apparently we are not).

By the way, if you are in College or University, and you want grant money to help out your education, don't major in evolutionary biology. The powers that be have ruled that such a major is not entitled to financial aid. They now claim this was merely a mistake. Yeah, Iraq was merely a mistake. Abu Ghraib was merely a mistake. Outing Plame was merely a mistake. Our obscene national debt is merely a mistake. In fact, the greatest mistake of all time has been the Bush/Cheney administration. In this case enough is far more than enough. Vote Democratic!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Margaret Halsey

Margaret Halsey, (may she rest in peace) who most of you probably never heard of, died in 1997 (I think). She was a great liberal who wrote books commenting on the eccentricities of the English and the peculiarities of Americans, but also about race relations (at a time when such discussions were not at all fashionable). Among other books she wrote a book called Color Blind, an account of one of the first integrated USO type organizations, which demonstrated that integration was not impossible (at a time when most people certainly thought it was). Naturally, as she was concerned about discrimination, poverty, and such things she was unfairly branded as a communist (as she pointed out herself, anyone who believed in fair play, equality, justice, etc., was automatically considered a communist (this was during the McCarthy period, of course).

Her last book, which appeared in 1963, was entitled The Pseudo-Ethic. In it she argued that the United States was becoming a one institution society, and that one overriding institution was business. She wrote of this: "...Today's ethics reflect the fact that America has become in recent years a one-institution society. Sparta was a one-institution society, the single institution being militarism. Europe in the Middle Ages, before the rise of the nation-states, was similarly organized, the dominant institution being the Church. In such a society, the single institution tends to be so much in the ascendant that there is no place you can go to get away from it. In the United States today, the dominant institution is business.
Business is so ubiquitous that, except to those outside the culture, its ascendancy is almost not visible.
Farming is now a mechanized industry.
Education, at least on the college level, has become a threshing floor for the great corporations.
Philanthropy is keyed to tax evasion and is dominated by huge foundations set up with industrial fortunes.
Scientific research, even in universities, hardly exists except as sponsored by corporations or by a government that runs interference for business.
In politics, the electorate is treated like a body of consumers, not a body of voters, and Eisenhower's backers openly avowed their candidate would be sold 'like toothpaste.'"

Is this not a perfect description of what we have become? Except that we have attained this culture of business far beyond even what Halsey would have imagined. We are completely dominated by corporate interests. Where these characterists were perhaps still nascent in the 1960's they have now matured into the military/industrial/government nightmare that is keeping us in perpetual war and converted whatever ethics we once had into irrelevancies of the past. This Bush/Cheney administration has no ethics whatsoever. To them even the constitution is nothing but "a godamn piece of paper." This is the most immoral, unethical, administration in the history of the United States. With them, anything goes: bombing and killing innocent children and non-combatants, torture, secrecry, pre-emptive "wars," lying to Congress and the public, war profiteering, violations of international agreements that we signed (and even promoted), treason, fiscal responsibility, common human decency, you name it, they do it in spades. There are apparently no honest, responsible, moral, ethical, or decent Congressmen or Senators anymore. They are all "on the take," and they take from the same huge corporations that now control the world. I believe Margaret Halsey must be turning over in her grave.

Not only has the concept of ethics disappeared, so, too, has the concept of cooperation. As long as we (and our Israeli buddies) believe we can coerce the rest of the world into doing our bidding by the use of naked force there can never be peace in the Middle East (or anywhere else on earth, for that matter). We need a drastic change in our foreign policy, a drastic change in our attitudes towards the rest of the world, and a drastic change in administration. The mindless evil savages that brought all this about because of their greed and dreams of empire must be held accountable. Otherwise there is simply no hope for the world.

The Vast Self-Storage Epidemic - Essay

As things have reached a point where idiocy and incompetence reign supreme, and as this is now apparent to anyone with a brain larger than a split pea, there is really little more to say until something drastic happens, if it ever does. So I am engaging in another observation of ongoing events outside of the political realm (actually, if the truth were known, this phenomenon is probably political as well, but that is too complicated for such a limited space).

If you are not yet aware of it, there is an epidemic raging in the Northwest, an epidemic of Self-Storage construction. If you don’t believe me I suggest you drive around Idaho and Washington and observe it for yourself. It is utterly amazing. In every burg, small town, city, and metropolis, self-storage units are springing up faster than politicians at a corporate feeding trough, faster than mushrooms after a rain, faster even than speeding bullets at an NRA shooting range. I suspect this may be a national phenomenon as well. These self-storage units are all of pretty uniform construction, rows of inexpensive buildings with dozens of spaces, each with a metal door than can be locked, and usually of standard sizes, although sometimes there are smaller and larger units. I don’t know the actual dimensions but I would surmise 12 x 12 or thereabouts is pretty standard. In some cases there may be only a dozen bays or so but in others there are dozens and dozens. Some of these facilities occupy an acre or more, row upon row of them, all alike, all either waiting for customers or already filled. They are absolutely ubiquitous. They are springing up by the thousands.
I cannot understand this development. Who rents these spaces? Why? For how long? We are supposedly living in a society that engages in obsolescence. That is, when your toaster breaks, or your refrigerator, or your TV, or whatever, you are supposed to throw it away and get a new one. You wouldn’t expect these storage bins to be full of no longer functional machinery, would you? You think they might be full of broken refrigerators, washers and dryers, used mattresses, broken tables and chairs, etc.? That seems to me unlikely. So what are they full of? They must be used by the relatively affluent because presumably the poor wouldn’t have surpluses of things to store, would they? I was unable to perceive any genuine correlation between the existence of trailer parks and self-storage units. Similarly, you would not expect people living in small apartments to have great surpluses to squirrel away, would you? And the poor unfortunates who lived through Katrina probably don’t have a lot of stuff left either. No, it seems to me only relatively rich people would have enough surplus goods to warrant renting additional space. Especially space that is not easily accessible on a day-to-day basis. Perhaps this is the latest thing in status symbols? “I rent more spaces than you, nha nha,” or something? I suppose it is also possible that many people are renting these units in anticipation of no longer being able to afford the huge houses they have purchased in the past few years – have to have someplace to potentially store those surplus couches, dining room tables, easy chairs, and whatever.
I also wonder what restrictions, if any, apply to what one can store. Could you, for example, cut up your wife or mother-in-law and stash the body away? Does anyone actually check on what’s there? When you arrive to inspect your treasures does anyone watch? Does anyone even care what you stash away? As there is no temperature control I guess no one stores fine wines. As there is no running water, toilets, stoves, windows, or fresh air I don’t suppose you could use a unit as a weekend getaway. My guess is, if you inspected some of these spaces you would probably find old trunks full of family photographs, dishware, quilts, maybe years of receipts, correspondence, old books, and things like that. Things your grandparents or maybe even parents treasured that to you are basically junk but can’t really be thrown away. (at least not yet - your children or their children will do it).
But another question might be raised here. Who builds these units? How do we know this is not a horrendous terrorist plot of some kind? Just think, if a terrorist were to plant even one bomb in one unit in every self-storage facility in the United States, every town and city in the U.S. would experience a massive explosion at precisely the same time. Would that cause a real panic or what? I know, I know, it all sounds paranoid and far-fetched. Personally I find this unprecedented and unbelievably rapid growth of self-storage facilities far-fetched. Perhaps I should not be concerned. Perhaps this is just another manifestation of the affluent society we live in. Perhaps it is merely symbolic of our hard-working Protestant ethic, our success in the marketplace of life. Maybe it’s where people save their money. You know, when your unit is up to your waist in twenty dollar bills, you might have enough to send your child to college. My best guess is this is where our CEO’s stash their millions and billions of taxpayer monies so we won’t get too suspicious. After all, if a Congressman can have $90,000 stashed in his freezer, why can’t a CEO have a few millions stashed in an old mattress in his self-storage unit? Isn’t that what self-storage is all about? You tell me. I have no idea what the hell this epidemic is all about.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


Morialekafa will not appear for the next two or three days. You have all heard that classic advice: go west old man. I will go where there are no computers, no television, and few people. Happy days! Perhaps I can have a few hours of sanity during these nightmare years.

Having watched excerpts from Bush's latest Press Conference the only word to describe his performance is pathetic. Absolutely pathetic. This is a guy who is in so far over his head that he no longer has any connection with reality. When asked serious questions about Iraq, our strategy, how we got involved, etc., he just plain and simply babbles. He continues to link Iraq to 9/11, continues to argue that taking out Sadam Hussein was the greatest thing since the invention of fire, continues to claim that Iraq is the breeding ground for terrorists (which it is now, thanks to Bush/Cheney), continues to argue we have to stay the course or they will attack us here at home (he seems to think that if we withdraw they have ships and planes loaded with terrorists who will immediately attack mainland U.S.A.). I personally believe he is becoming completely unbalanced (if he was ever balanced in the first place). Using the term pathetic to describe his performance is actually being generous. How anyone can continue to support this absolute disaster of a president is totally beyond my comprehension. Every time he appears in public now he just reinforces his image as an absolutely incompetent, uninformed, and mainly disinterested participant in events so far over his head as to be incomprehensible to him. What are we supposed to say - we know he's an idiot but he's our idiot?"

John Karr, John Karr, John Karr, John Karr, John Karr. All day long now for the last couple of days that's all you hear - John Karr. If it turns out he is simply another nutcase looking for attention he will have certainly succeeded beyond any reasonable expectations. Were we really supposed to wait breathlessly all morning to witness his two minute extradition hearing? I no longer watch CNN but I confess I turn it on once in a while to see what the market is doing. I swear that everytime in the last couple of days it was always John Karr. Typical for our MSM. It's like nothing else is going on in the world. They have 24 hours of constant news and what they give is the same story over and over and over. And it's usually some ridiculous car chase or fire or hostage situation, or whatever. It's as if they don't really want you to hear any real serious news (which, of course, they don't). If Bush is pathetic, our MSM are dismal.

You know, I truly dislike George Allen, Rick Santorum, Trent Lott, and a few others like them. I dislike them because they are racist, sexist, homophobic holdovers from the early 20th century. But mostly I despise them because they are so unutterably stupid. They are stupid because they seem to believe they can actually get away with their racism, etc. at the present time. They are not intelligent enough to realize that they should keep their disgusting beliefs private. They seem unable to understand that playing to their local constituencies racism and homophobia is not going to play well nationally. Perhaps if all goes well we can be rid of them soon. We do not need such people in our government, not now, not ever. The thought of them actually trying to be nominated as presidential candidates is enough to make one want to vomit. But what do I know? I said Reagan could never be president. I said Bush could never become president. I thought the American public had at least a semblance of brains and common sense. Alas, I was wrong again.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Bush gets it!

George W. Bush, our sort-of president, seems to have finally got it. He said in his recent Press Conference, "These are not joyous times." See, he finally noticed. Does that mean hope? Unfortunately not, as he says he will change nothing, just go on with his winning strategy called "stay the course." As virtually every sentient being on the planet now knows there is no hope of "winning" you might think he would finally "get that" too. As he insists that Israel "won" in Lebanon I guess he thinks we are winning in Iraq (I shouldn't say "thinks" as it is obvious that is not an activity he engages in). Does he actually believe we might be winning? I doubt it. Even he can't possibly be that stupid (I hope). But as he has managed to get caught in a difficult situation of his own making, and obviously has no idea how to get out of it, what else can he do but continue to insist that we are winning, or, at least, going to win. His plan now (if he can be said to have one) is to stay the course until the next president will have to deal with it. What is the poor guy to do? On the one hand there are large numbers of Americans who want us out. But they are mostly Democrats so they don't count for much. On the other hand, Cheney and the neocons want us to attack Syria and Iran (an idea at the moment so absurd as to be absolutely terrifying). McCain, who might well be the Republican candidate for president in 2008 insists the problem can be solved by sending more troops (this is an idea so supremely insane that by itself ought to disqualify him from the nomination). The Republicans are looking for a semantic solution to the raging civil war in Iraq (is it technically a civil war or what?).

Bush also in his Press Conference, when asked what Iraq had to do with 9/11 said "nothing." Can you believe it? Of course he is trying to deny that anyone ever said there was a link (there must be tons of vidiotape to show how utterly false this claim is). He has lied so consistently people now just ignore it (unfortunately). We've become so accustomed to his lying we no longer even expect that he will not be lying whenever he opens his mouth. That is what is so shocking about his public confession today that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. Is he suddently getting soft-headed or did he just forget the party line for a moment? Not that it matters as the whole world knows by now the Iraq "war" was brought about through constant lies by Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Rice et al. The world knows they are war criminals as well. What, if anything, will ever be done about it?

Sunday, August 20, 2006


What does it say for the condition of the world to know that CNN now has a regular program entitled "This Week at War?" What is even more depressing is to consider this may well become a permanent program. What a sick bunch of human beings inhabit this pathetic little planet. It probably won't matter much longer as we have now fouled our nest so bad (perhaps irreparably) that we can't survive much longer. I guess the oil and defense corporations can take their obscene profits with them when the "Rapture" arrives. I'd like to hear them explain it all to Big JoJo.

It appears that the latest terrorist threat (you know, London, plot to blow up airplanes, etc.), is going to turn out to be pretty much a bust like all of the other so-called plots. It seems these "conspirators" had no tickets, no explosives, no passports, and no way on earth to have carried out such a plot within any finite amount of time. Indeed, some experts claim what they are said to have wanted to do would be impossible. So chalk this one up to the same Administration crap about blowing up the Sears tower, some bridge in Michigan that services a few rural dwellers, the totally phony Los Angeles story, and whatever others you can remember. Has any serious terrorist plot actually ever been uncovered in the last couple of years? Oh, I forget, if we dare criticize the Bush?Cheney war criminals, or dare to vote for an anti-war candidate, we will immediately be attacked by terrorists who hate us merely because we have "freedoms." Bush and Cheney's plans for the Middle East ARE "crap." It's nice to know more and more people are coming to that basic truth.

Whittaker Chambers, during his testimony against Alger Hiss, once said, "For there are kinds of music that the world should not hear." Bush/Cheney have taken this to heart and believe we should not hear any music at all. Will we ever hear music again or are we doomed to just put up with their incessant "noise" forever?

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Clement Leroy gets married

Clemont Leroy "Butch" Otter finally decided to marry one of his girlfriends. I guess he is pretty confident he will become Idaho's next governor and it would be inappropriate to move into the State House while living in sin. His ultra conservative base would almost certainly not approve. I guess you could describe this as a marriage of convenience. But does it mean that if he loses the election he will get divorced? Remember he is a Roman Catholic, or so he claims. It has taken him a while to manage to get his first marriage (which produced four children) annulled. The Catholic church moves in mysterious ways. There was a fairly detailed description of the wedding in our sort of local paper. The bride apparently wore some kind of tasteful off-white gown. Clement Leroy looked quite handsome in his white jacket. I couldn't tell whether or not he was wearing his famous tight jeans.

Anyway, I have been looking at his record in Idaho politics. He was, as you doubtless know, Lieutenant Governor for some 13 years (1987-2000). I have been unable to determine if during that time he did one single thing for the benefit of Idaho citizens (other than Simplot and other wealthy farmers and businessmen). He could easily be described as an "insider's insider," a good ol' boy magnified by one hundred (he claims membership in so many different organizations you can scarcely count them). What you can learn from his record is that he once won a "tight jeans contest" in a bar. He also accumulated a DUI along the way. And he twice was fined for violating Idaho water laws. He has now admitted that as a Congressman since 2001 he has been bored and found it difficult to accomplish anything (and he has, indeed, accomplished very little). I guess he just decided that being a Congressman was boring so he'd become Idaho governor (he would have no reason to assume he could not do this as he has all the right connections, etc.). Why anyone but Simplot and a few other wealthy Idahoans would want him to be governor is not at all clear to me (not that the rest of us peasants should have anything much to say about it). Oh, if you want to know where he stands on most issues look up his voting record. It runs between 85 and 97 percent on virtually any John Birch Society rating. In addition to being and insider's insider he is an ultra conservative's conservative. Just what we need in Idaho to sink us even deeper into the pit of right-wing slime.

There is an exceptionally fine Democratic candidate for governor, Jerry Brady (who was very nearly elected governor once before), who will actually stand up for the interests of ordinary citizens rather than just the wealthy. Look him up.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Larry Grant for Congress

Our county fair is still going. Our Democratic booth doesn't get a lot of play but it does get some. A few people, newcomers of which we have quite a few, expressed surprise that there even was a Democratic party in Bonners Ferry, and were pleased to learn there was. The county is changing. Larry Grant, our candidate for Congress put in an appearance for a few hours and we had a pleasant interlude with him later. He is articulate, knowledgeable, pleasant, intelligent, willing to listen, and a pleasure to be with. I cannot honestly describe him as a genuinely "Progressive" Democrat but he is certainly a fine candidate and has a great chance of winning (imagine, a Democratic Congressman from Idaho). He is clearly a "moderate." But remember, this is Idaho, and even a moderate Democrat has to be seen as a great leap forward from the Republican dinosaurs that currently rule the state.

This is all the more true when you consider his opponent, Bill Sali. Sali has been described by members of his own Republican party as "an idiot's idiot." He is so bad even members of his party refuse to support him and have formed a Republicans for Grant organization. Sali clings to a belief that abortion causes breast cancer (for which, of course, there is no evidence whatsoever). He is opposed to abortion even in cases of incest or rape. He is homophobic in the extreme. While I am not certain of this, I believe he probably believes education is basically a waste of money. Certainly our Republican legislature has not been interested in funding education (and indeed, one Republican suggested changing the Idaho Constitution so the state would not even be responsbible for education). Dick Cheney came to Boise the other day to raise money for Sali. I have been told that only 200 people showed up. Two hundred people to see the vice-president of the U.S. Incredible. Hastert is supposed to appear in Post Falls in support of Sali. Bear in mind they are not necessarily supporting Sali the person but, rather, Sali the candidate. They are terrified of losing a Congressional seat, especially in a red state like Idaho. If Sali, an extremist's extremist, should win over an honorable decent candidate like Grant, Idaho would fall even deeper into a pit of mindless shame. But remember, we're still struggling here to enter the 20th century.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Poor innocent put-upon Israel

I must say I am relieved to learn that all the biased, ill-informed, mindless supporters of Israel aggression are not limited to Washington D.C. It seems that Nicole Kidman and some 84 other Hollywood biggies have taken out an ad condemning Hezbollah and Hamas. I guess they believe, along with Howard Dean and pretty much the entire Washington establishment, that the continuing festering problems in the Middle East are all the fault of Hezbollah and Hamas. In their view Israel is completely innocent, a poor nation trying to be a good neighbor but surrounded by vile Arabs trying to destroy them for no reason other than that they exist and/or they don't like freedoms. Hezbollah and Hamas started it, that's their credo.

Now, even when I was five years old my mother (may she rest in peace no longer having to put up with this utter nonsense) taught me "there are always two sides to every story." I believed she was right then, and I believe it now. Listening to Kidman and her cronies, along with the malevolent war criminals in Washington, you can only conclude that as far as they are concerned there is only one side - Israel's.

Is it not the case there have been repeated skirmishes across the borders for months, even years on end, involving violations by both sides? Is it not a fact that Israel has been illegally occupying Palestinian, Syrian, and Lebanese territory? Is it not true that Israel has violated something like 68 consecutive UN resolutions, far more than any other nation ever? Is it not the case that Palestinians have been subjected to daily humiliations just trying to cross the check points and go about their daily business? Is it also not true that Israel has consistently done everything they can to prevent a viable Palestinian state? Has Israel not been told repeatedly that if they truly want peace they should withdraw to the original agreed-upon 1967 borders? And is it also not true they have consistently not only refused but attempted to claim more and more Palestinian land, going so far as to actually bulldoze established orchards, kill Palestinian livestock, build a patently illegal wall, and so on? And is it not so that Hezbollah and Hamas came into being mainly as a result of Israeli colonialism and aggression?

So please, can't we at least go back to my mother's sage advice and agree there might actually be two sides to the problem? Is that really too much to ask or consider? I am hardly an authority on the Middle East but even I know that if you delve even slightly into the history of this situation you will know there are, indeed, two sides to the story. I guess this is just too simple-minded a view to get any attention in Washington or Hollywood. So let's just keep the violence going for another thousand years or so. Remember, it's good for business.

In our Democratic booth at the country fair we have literature and campaign buttons, the usual fare. Today we had two requests for buttons, both from obviously mentally retarded persons. Sigh!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

How do cowboys feel about it?

There has been a lot of talk about Bush being nothing but a cowboy. You know, cowboy diplomacy, cowboy who is all hat but no cattle, Texas cowboy, and today, from England, he's crap, just a cowboy with his stetson on. First, I might ask, what's wrong with cowboys? On the one hand cowboys are romanticized, out there on the prairie, driving cattle, enduring hardships, saving widows from the bad guys, shooting it out at the OK corral, stuff like that. Is that what people have in mind when they denigrate Bush as being just a cowboy? Of course not. They have in mind some reckless jerk who shoots first and asks questions after. I don't think cowboys were really like that. But I think Bush is. It's all very confusing. It is even more confusing when you know he lives on a former pig farm, doesn't own any cattle, can't ride a horse, and is probably frightened of firearms, especially around Cheney. I think his critics get away with this label because there aren't any real cowboys around anymore to defend their image. It is even more confusing when you realize Bush isn't from Texas but, rather, from New England, didn't go to the school of hard knocks but an Ivy League school, and must have learned how to speak from watching cowboy movies. He is an absolute phony in every way. Maybe you could describe him as a "Midnight Cowboy." Why have we never seen any pictures of him on a horse. You know, with his chaps and lariat whirling while his horse rears and snorts, and all that stuff. I'm sorry, while I think he's an absolute jerk and a phony, and without doubt the most stupid man ever to hold the office, he's not a cowboy. I think the whole idea of the cowboy has been terribly distorted in recent years. Consider the movie Brokeback Mountain, widely described as a cowboy love story. The principals involved were not cowboys. They were, horrors of horror, Sheepherders! Why this movies was advertised as about cowboys I don't know. Perhaps because the director was Chinese and could not be expected to know the difference between a cowboy and a sheepherder? Do you think anyone would have bought tickets to a movie described as a love affair between sheepherders? I don't mean to demean sheepherders. I am sure they are honest, upstanding, very hardworking, decent people. But surely they lack the romantic image of the cowboy. Anyway, to describe Bush as a cowboy is to denigrate cowboys, at least our memory of cowboys. Maybe a "Drugstore Cowboy?" We need another label for him. How about a nice Indian type name, like "Knows Nothing," or "Fears Horses," or perhaps, "Kill'em All," you know, something more descriptive.

Our annual county fair started today. I spent several hours observing "the masses." I determined that the averate weight of men over thirty is probably somewhere in the vicinity of 230 pounds, most of this in bellies. The average weight of women over thirty is probably about the same, but mostly in butts. I also concluded that to expect these people to vote intelligently on the issues is too far-fetched to contemplate. The few people actually approached our Democratic booth seemed not to know who the candidates were, who they were running against, what offices were involved, and what the issues were. With one exception they declined any of the masses of literature we were prepared to offer them. There was a great deal of interest in the tractors displayed nearby. I fully expect that whoever wins will be the recipient of random forces totally divorced from reality. Pictures of the candidates seem to be far more useful than any amount of prose. I also determined that if you can impart even one slight bit of information they understand they will be on your side irrespective of any and all other considerations. Politics is really exciting. Just take my word for it and vote Democratic.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The First Amendment

I'm having trouble with the first amendment. I believe passionately in the right of free speech and dissent. But is it possible that free speech and dissent can actually go so far as to become criminal? What is bothering me has to do with the Evangelical Christians who believe in Armageddon and the Rapture. They have now formed together, hired a lobbyist, and apparently have a great deal of influence on the White House. They are encouraging the Bush/Cheney nitwits to allow Israel to expand its territory, murder as many Palestinians and Lebanese as they wish, and by thus doing so accelerate the end of times, the Rapture. Now I suppose they are entitled to believe any kind of utter nonsense they want, but when they are encouraging outright murder and warfare in order to bring about something that I believe is utter nonsense, should I not be concerned? They are playing with my life (as well as yours). The outcome of their professed desires is not simply going to affect them, it is going to affect all of humanity. The Rapture is going to come and they who believe will be swept up to heaven while the rest of us will burn in hell forever. Frankly, I don't want my government to go to war with this outcome in mind. This is, I believe, a real problem at the moment, precisely because these nutcases actually do have influence on our foreign policy. Doesn't it bother you to know that reason and common sense are being swept aside by people who hold beliefs so ridiculous as to indicate some form of mental illness. Who are they to decide what should happen to our foreign policy and by implication the rest of us? If they want to believe in the literal truth of the bible that's one thing, but why should the rest of the world be forced to go along with this nonsense? I think that by encouraging Israel to engage in an all out war against its neighbors in order to bring about some fantasy outcome is basically criminal. I suppose you could argue that the way to counter their influence is to provide cogent arguments against it. But how can you provide cogent arguments against those who believe in something completely irrational but who are unwilling to even listen?

This bring up a further point. What has happened to our belief in science? People don't seem to have much problem believing in science when it comes to space travel, pharmaceuticals, technological advances in general, and so on. So why should they allow the Bush/Cheney administration to simply dismiss scientific opinion whenever they decide to do so. Take global warming as a great example. There is no doubt this is a serious problem, no doubt that it is occuring, the scientific community is virtually unanimous in this opinion. But this opinion is simply being dismissed. How can this be? What has happened to our culture in the past few years to enable our government to simply dismiss scientific opinion as no more worthy than biblical mumbo-jumbo? Are we truly ready to allow this to happen? Is no one concerned about the dangerous implications of this ignorance? Are we going to allow religious fundamentalists the power to decide what is going to happen to us as a nation, as a species? There was a very fine book written by Andrew White many years ago, A History of the Warfare between Science and Theology in Christendom. It sorely needs to be brought up to date.

Monday, August 14, 2006


I saw somewhere the other day that Bush has decided to concentrate on the problem of entitlements in his last two years in office. You know, Social Security, Medicare, stuff that requires lots of money every year and, in the eyes of Republicans, are really unnecessary (they can all be privatized). Apparently he is not going to concern himself with Iraq (having already announed that the next President will have to deal with that problem). And, as he can't realistically invade Iran, I guess he has given up on that as well. His plan to have Israel attack Syria seems to have fallen on deaf Israeli ears. The national debt, as Cheney told us earliers, is not a problem. Blatant corruption in Washington has now become so commonplace it is just accepted as business as usual. He has already vetoed stem cell research. So, as he doesn't have much else to do, it is no wonder he want to concentrate on entitlements.

Rather than worry about entitlements at the moment might I suggest another area where some money could be saved? I guess this has become a taboo subject as you don't seem to see much about it. The Defense Budget. Realize first of all that our defense budget is larger than all the rest of the world's combined. I guess this is because we are constantly being threatened by Cuba, Luxembourg, Lichtenstein, and other great powers. Apparently it is also necessary for us to keep troops in half the countries of the world, especially places like Germany and Japan who cannot afford to protect themselves. If this is all that was involved maybe things wouldn't be so bad. However, our defense budget spends billions of dollars on stuff we no longer need, like tanks, for example. Or a missile defense system that doesn't work. Or horrible new forms of killing as many as possible. If the defense budget were cut in half (which I believe would be easy and not truly affect our defensive abilities) we wouldn't even have to worry about entitlements. We might even have money for decent public schools, rebuilding our infrastructure, universal health care, and other stuff like that. How many billions has been spent in Iraq in the last three years? And what do we have to show for it? And why should we be sending billions of dollars of military equipment to Israel? And what are we doing with all our military outposts all around the globe? Certainly not minding our own business. Let's face it, our defense budget is an absolute disgrace. It doesn't really exist even for national defense anyway. It exists only to provide corporations with more money than they know what to do with. And where does that money come from? It comes from American taxpayers. It is pure and simply a military-industrial-governmental scam that exists primarily to convert taxpayer monies into corporate profits. Saying that our defense budget is not obscenely bloated is like arguing Hippos are basically svelte, that baconburgers and fries are really good for you, that Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rice actually know what they are doing, that war is good (especially if you are in the defense industry). What an absolute farce we are living out. Is no one ever going to admit how ridiculous it all is? Is human greed and stupidity really the apex of evolution? The top of the great chain of being? The end result of intelligent design?

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Cease fire?

So when is a cease fire not a cease fire? Why, in Lebanon of course. In spite of the cease fire agreement Israel does not give up their right to respond to Hezbollah attacks. Hezbolla announces they will not stop attacking until all Israeli troops are out of Lebanon. As it will take at least ten days to two weeks to establish a joint UN/Lebanon force in southern Lebanon the hostilities will continue. Wonderful. Israel is trying desperately to claim some kind of victory in Lebanon while Hezbollah is claiming to have completely stymied the IDF. I don't think this bodes well for peace in the Middle East. But what do I know? I have said from the very beginning that George W. Bush is borderline retarded. While Cheney and Rumsfeld, and probably Rice as well may not be they clearly inhabit some planet other than earth. It can't be they don't know they screwed up big time, they just can't bring themselves to admit it. As a result Bush, too, cannot admit a mistake. So there we have it. Chaos. Disaster. Hopelessness. War crimes. The total catastrophe.

Can you believe there are still people claiming to run as Republicans? If I were a Republican at the moment I would be ashamed to show my face in public. But don't forget that half of the population scores under 100 on the I.Q. scales. The 33% that continue to suport Bush/Cheney have to be at the lower end of that part of the scale. I think there is nothing we can do about that.

Just remember that Israel is always right. Arabs are always wrong. Hezbollah and Lebanon, to say nothing of the Palestinians, have no complaints worthy of consideration. Iran and Syria have no right to provide arms to Hezbollah or Palestinians. The U.S. has every right to arm Israel to the teeth. How or why should it be otherwise? Once we straighten out Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, North Korea, China, Russia, Nigeria, the Congo, Venezuela, Bolivia, Argentina, Brazil and Cuba everything will just be hunky-dory. I forgot, Indonesia, India, Pakistan, and all the 'stans need our guidance too, to say nothing of Canada and Mexico. I guess we'll be busy for a while. But not to worry, Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld?Rice are in charge.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Why do they hate us?

Why do they hate us? This question keeps popping up here and there all the time. Might I suggest that those who do not know the answer to this question by now simply have no idea of what has happened over the years with respect to American foreign policy. These must be the same people that continue to support Bush/Cheney no matter what. That is, people who know nothing and apparently make no attempt whatsoever to know anything. They must not read, and apparently do not follow the news very carefully. I guess if they watch anything, or listen to anything, it must be Fox News and Rush Limbaugh. If this is so, then the answer to the question, as Bush keeps telling us, is that they hate our freedom. Now I guess one might excuse the great unwashed know-nothings for asking this ridiculous question over and over again, but what excuse is there for the president of the U.S. to keep repeating this utter nonsense? He is supposedly the head of the most powerful nation on earth. Does he really believe they hate us for our freedom? If so he is the greatest idiot ever to hold office of any kind in the U.S. If he knows better and continues to claim this he is simply evil and deliberately misleading us. I guess a better description of him might well be "The Great Misleader." Although I do believe he is stupid beyond belief for someone holding high office I cannot believe he is so stupid he doesn't know that they hate us for our foreign policy. Surely Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rice have to know the truth. Do they have a conspiracy of silence to keep this widely known truth from Bubble Boy? They go on and on about how they hate us but never, ever, acknowledge the reasons for this hatred. Just like they go on and on about permanent peace in the Middle East without ever mentioning the true "root cause" of the problem. And, at the same time they mouth their nonsense about peace they are trying to start an even greater "war" than they have now (a totally unnecessary "war" they brought on themselves). If anyone would take the trouble to even briefly peruse the history of American foreign policy in the Middle East they would immediately understand the problem. Perhaps if someone started a soap opera or a game show, or a vido game about the history of our foreign policy it might eventually make at least a modest dent in the abysmal ignorance that passes for an informed electorate in the U.S.

Would someone kindly explain to me what the hell an "Islamic Fascist" is? I would love to hear Bush's definition.

Bubblehead: Bush never says or announces anything that is not for political advantage - not even good morning. I suggest he not be allowed to say anything at all for the next couple of years except perhaps "guilty, your honor." Let Cheney, Rumsfeld and Rice do the talking. They never say anything but the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me Satan.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Another terrorism plot - ho hum

As seems to be typically the case with recent terrorism plots, either they turn out to be not serious, made up, or, at the very least, not what they seem. What to make of this latest terrorist plot to use liquid explosives to blow up flights from the U.K. to the U.S.? Whether they are made up or not they all involve politics. This latest plot, hatched in England by mostly Pakistanis, may have been serious rather than just a phony. I don't know. But there are some questions one might want answers to. For example, if they following this plot since July of 2005, why did they wait to this precise moment to reveal it? Why not a week ago? A month ago? Two weeks from now? Would I suggest American politics had something to do with it? Do bears do it in the woods? Then there is the interesting fact that this discovery of a terrorist plot had little or nothing to do with American intelligence - it was the British that discovered and exposed it (but don't believe the U.S. won't claim an important role in it). As our anti-terrorism program has been a dismal failure we have to try to get some credit somewhere. There is also the interesting point that ten years ago there was a plot uncovered in the Phillipines having to do with blowing up airline flights with liquid explosives. Apparently no research was done on this procedure. This recent plot has been treated as something unprecedented. Bush has apparently been trying to reduce a budget for this type of research by six million dollars. If one had to describe our anti-terrorism efforts to date, Keystone cops would surely come to mind.

I am trying as hard as possible to refrain from hysterical laughter. Israel has asked that we expedite more cluster bombs (which are supposedly illegal). We have agreed to do this but are admonishing them to "be careful."

Locally things are progressing. Dennis Hastert is going to appear in Post Falls to support Bill Sali (who, if you don't know, is running for Congress from North Idaho). Bill Sali was described to me today by someone who formerly served with him as "another born-again Christian nutcase." I have heard this sentiment was widely shared by other of his colleagues. But better yet, Dick the Slimy himself is coming to Boise to support Sali. So, if you like Dick Cheney (who is arguably the most evil and hated man on the planet) you ought to really like Bill Sali. Sali, I have been told, is anti-abortion, even in cases of incest or rape, is anti-gay, anti-tax, anti-education, and I guess just about anti-everything decent citizens ought to be for. Larry Grant, his opponent, is just about everything you might want in a Congressman: smart, personable, informed, fair-minded, open to suggestions, willing to compromise if necessary, and so on. His biggest problem - he's a Democrat, and this is Idaho.

I appear to be the number one target for absolutely ridiculous spam. I guess this is because my computer is so antiquated it has no way of blocking this stuff. I get about 70 to 100 of these emails daily. The people who engage in this kind of marketing apparently do not discriminate at all and just send their stuff everywhere. So I get emails offering me new cars, laptops, student loans, black dating, older dating, younger dating, erotic conversation, payday loans, cooking utensils, free this and free that, and other things too ridiculous to mention. I am about to be 77 years old. They don't seem to be interested in the fact they are not only wasting my time but seriously wasting their own time. I received an offer today to buy two bottles of fine wine, complete with corkscrew. Now wouldn't you assume that anyone interested in buying two bottles of fine wine might already possess a corkscrew? As you have not been able to carry corkscrews on airplanes for quite a long time, everytime I have traveled someplace I have had to buy a corkscrew. Then I mail it back to myself. I now have enough corkscrews to probably use a different one for each individual bottle of wine. Oh, well, just be careful with them cluster bombs.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

So where are we?

Where are we in this fast moving chaotic mess? Nowhere, I guess. Israel has massed troops (big time) at the Lebanese border for a massive expansion of their attack on that unfortunate country. They are holding off temporarily to see what diplomacy might accomplish. Ha, ha. They are actually waiting to see if the UN can be conned into giving them what they want without them having to risk any more troops (or embarrassing defeats). If the UN gives them the right to occupy southern Lebanon they will do so, of course. If the UN doesn't give them southern Lebanon they will expand their attack and take it anyway (and then thumb their nose at the rest of the world, as usual). They say, of course, they don't want to occupy southern Lebanon, just move Hezbollah farther away. Don't believe it. If they get control of Lebanese territory all the way to the Litani river they will not easily give it up (unless Hezbollah can drive them out again). Lebanon has agreed to send 15,000 of their army to southern Lebanon to protect Israel from Hezbollah. Israel won't agree because they say the Lebanese army won't be up to the task. Of course they won't because by now they are entirely in sympathy with Hezbollah. Israel may have a point here. But they also don't want a UN force in southern Lebanon unless it has enough firepower, etc., to control Hezbollah. In other words, for all intents and purposes, an extension of the Israeli military. In short, Israel wants to control southern Lebanon by itself, and will do so unless somehow the international community can raise enough of a fuss about it to stop it (don't bet on it - Israel up to now seems to get away without whatever they want). In fact, Israel doesn't give a damn what the UN or the international community thinks about it, and as long as they can count on American support they will go on just pillaging whatever they want.

Oh, yeah, another terrorism attack foiled (just in the nick of time). It was foiled by the British but we were closely involved as our fight against terrorism has been nothing but a resounding success. Now you will not only have to take off your shoes to fly, you'll also have to go without any liquids. The British claim they acted on this now (even though they've been investigating for some time) because it was about to happen. In all fairness I have to point out that it is not at all clear it was about to seriously happen. Let us wait for all the facts. Bush/Cheney won't need any facts, Rove will make hay with this while the sunshines and whatever truth there may or may not be will be obscured by Rovian propaganda. And how convenient this exciting story broke just the day after Bush's kissing buddy lost his primary. Wonders never cease. Like all the other terrorist attacks Bush/Cheney claim to have averted it will be better to wait and see what is actually involved (not that I would distrust their account even for one minute).

If you want to sleep well tonight just think of Rummy out there baying at the moon in his senile incompetence while Condi is telling the rest of the world what we are going to do for them. Watch out Cuba, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and all the rest of humanity, 'cause Condi knows best. American democracy is on the march - right down into the toilet of oblivion. My son is worried about me. He says he hasn't seen me smile for several days. What am I supposed to tell him? Things are going well? We are making progress? We should stay the course?

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Hopeless in Gaza

What is the point? What is the point of more and more civilians in Gaza and Lebanon being killed by overwhelming Israeli firepower?Is their anything they can gain by this other than simply destroying everyone that stands between them and their colonial ambitions? Outside of such aims this overwhelming violence makes no sense whatsoever. Do they really believe they can get away with this blatant genocidal land grab? Is there no force on earth that can contain Israeli greed and ambition?
Besides, of course, the U.S., which will do nothing but support anything the Israelis want? Everyone on earth with a brain larger than half a pea knows exactly what the problem is - the problem that dare not speak its name (in the U.S.). Israel continues to illegally occupy land that belongs to Palestinians, Syrians, and Lebanese. They refuse to give up their claims on these disputed lands. As long as this is so there can never be peace in the Middle East. What is so complicataed about this? Even children understand it. Even I understand it. I would not be surprised to learn that even my cat might understand it if she could tear herself away from the excitement of doing nothing all day. Bush's interest in this crisis takes the form of a ten day vacation on his pig farm. Can you even imagine FDR, Truman, Nixon, Clinton, or any other president doing such a thing? Of course they didn't have such a wonderful vice president as Dick the Slimy to look after things in their absence (actually Bush has been absent throughout his entire presidency so what does it really matter?).

Well, anyway, Lieberloser actually lost. A good thing. Of course this paragon of Democratic loyalty is going to run as an independent so he can make sure his personal ambition takes precedence over party needs. What a great guy!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Israeli/U.S. genocide

I think the truth has been lurking down in the inky depths of my puny brain all along. But the truth is so horrible that I have not been able to bring it into consciousness until now. Things are so bad that I can no longer repress what I believe to be true. What is going on in Lebanon (and Gaza) is nothing less than genocide. And this Israeli genocide is being actively supported by the U.S. Thus for the first time since the 1800's (when our genocide of American Indians was completed) we are involved in genocide. I don't know what other conclusion one could come to. Clearly the Israeli response to the capture of two of their soldiers (soldiers are ordinarily captured, not kidnapped - but kidnapped makes it sound worse) is far more than necessary. And indeed, we know now that the plan for the invasion of Lebanon was hatched at least a year before this incident allowed it to take place. People have been wondering why the Israelis reacted in such a completely unprecedented and overly aggressive way to what was really not much more than an ordinary border dispute (disputes of this type have been commonplace). Why have they been focused on killing civilians, bombing apartment buildings, insisting that people in southern Lebanon get out of there? Why are they making sure that these refugees will have no homes to return to? Why are they insisting to move all the way to the Litani River (and perhaps even further if they can)? What conceivable explanation can there be for such overwhelming destruction? Why are they refusing to even allow humanitarian aid to enter Lebanon? Why have they threatened even the UN if they attempt to rebuild the roads into Lebanon for humanitarian aid? Is this simply some kind of insane blood lust? I suggest the answer is quite clear. They want the Lebanese to vacate this territory and they intend to illegally occupy it just as they continue to occupy Palestinian and Syrian lands. They say they don't intend to occupy southern Lebanon. That is clearly utter bullshit. They certainly do not have a good track record when it comes to vacating stolen land. Remember, the early Israelis thought their border should be the Litani River. And remember, Israel occupied Lebanese territory for some twenty years before being chased out by Hezbollah. They have coveted this land and the Litani for a long time. Now they are trying to get the U.S. and even the International community to do for them what they are unable to do for themselves - disarm Hezbollah and occupy southern Lebanon once again. This is a blatant act of genocidal colonialism, backed by the U.S. Oh, the in it up to our eyeballs. Why stalling in a cease fire for days "to allow the Israelis to accomplish their goals?" Why rushing them more bonbs and missiles? The French (god bless 'em) seem to have figured this out and now have withdrawn from the plan they originally drew up with the U.S. France now wants Israel to have to withdraw from southern Lebanon (because they know what will happen if they are allowed to stay - new Israeli settlements and claims to occupied territory. I guess Congress will have to change French fries back to Freedom fries. Those disgusting Frenchmen!).

I can see no other explanation for what is going on. Why the complete destruction of Lebanese infrastructure? Why the refusal of even humanitarian aid? Why the deliberate annihilation of Lebanese citizens, including women and children (nits make lice?). Why the destruction of hospitals and ambulances? Why the warnings to leave, but not drive anywhere? For me, there is only one answer and that is this is a deliberate, blatant act of genocide with the ultimate aim of claiming Lebanese territory. Hezbollah is the only thing that stands between them and their goal. Their strategy is simple and transparent - get everyone to agree that it is all Hezbollah's fault and they have to be disarmed (if not entirely eliminated). They seem to have pretty much convinced all American politicians of this totally partisan falsehood. France (and some of the Arab nations) may be all that stands between Israel and their immoral, indecent, genocidal goals. Palestine and Lebanon now, Syria and Iran next. God help us all if they get away with this genocidal horror.

Bush/Cheney and the neocons have to be involved in this plan. But don't forget that our Congress voted overwhelmingly to support Israel against Hezbollah. The Israeli lobby is powerful indeed, and totally lacking in morality or even common sense. Israel is now doomed to centuries of terrorism and violence and the U.S. will probably not fare much better. The U.S. policy in the Middle East has been, and continues to be, a total disaster, far beyond even the most active imaginations. Bush/Cheney, you've done a heck of a job!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Non-starters and local nonsense

First on the local scene. Jim Risch, our temporary and unelected governor, along with our Republican dominated legislature, in a special session on August 25th, are about to engage in some typical Republican tax reform. They propose to add 1 cent to our sales tax and thus will benefit mostly business interests and non-resident landowners that are not as subject to sales taxes. Only 40 percent of the savings will go to Idaho resident homeowners. Of course residents who do not own property will receive no benefits and will actually have their taxes increased. Risch has called for a simple up or down vote on this Republican plan. There is a Democratic plan that is far superior and would give the tax breaks to those who truly deserve them. This plan will not be voted on. In fact, it won't even be considered (even though a recent poll indicates that 70 percent of North Idaho residents would prefer it). Do you think that Arnold the Gropenfuehrer is more deserving of a tax break than Idaho residents? Is this really the way you want your government to operate? Enough is enough! Vote Democratic!

Now for non-starters. Bush began his announcement on the UN resolution by asserting that "Hezbollah started this." This indicates to me that either he is totally ignorant of the facts (and recent history) or he is deliberately feigning ignorance in order to load the dice against Hezbollah. I remind you once again that Hezbollah only came into being as a resistance movement against Israeli aggression (and occupation of Lebanese territory). At the moment Hezbollah is the only thing that is keeping Israel from completely destroying Lebanon and/or occupying it once again. Thus the idea that Hezbollah is the guilty party and should agree to disarm is so idiotic (and non-starting) that it clearly can never get anywhere. Dean, by the way, recently claimed the same thing - Hezbollah is guilty, thus indicating that he is every bit as uninformed and biased as Bush and the neocons. The next part of Bush's plan is equally as ridiculous. Hezbollah is to return the two Israeli prisoners immediately. Israel is not expected to release any of the thousands of Lebanese prisoners they have been holding for years. Then, there is to be a prohibition of any arms coming in to Hezbollah from the outside. Israel, of course, will continue to receive billions in American military aid - another non-starter. Then, there is to be an international peace-keeping force to protect Israel from Hezbollah - in other words an extension of Israeli control over southern Lebanon. And those ungrateful Lebanese are opposed to this fine plan. Can you believe it?

Bush keeps repeating that we have to get to the "root cause" of the problems. The root cause in his view is apparently the existence of Hezbollah. It is most interesting that no one who talks about the root cause ever talks about the root cause. I suppose that one could well argue that the root cause has to do with the English and American insistence on establishing a Jewish homeland in the middle of Arab lands in the first place. But the more immediate root cause certainly has to do with the Israeli occupation of Palestinian and Syrian lands and their unceasing attempt to take over even more and more of such territory. This says nothing of their systematic daily degradation and humiliation of Palestinians. Until this can be seen as the root cause by the Isrelis and the U.S. there is simply no point whatsoever in talking about peace in the Middle East.

It ought to be clear by now, but doesn't seem to be, that Israel and the U.S. will not be able to bomb the Arab world into submission. And their attempt to do so will guarantee a thousand years of animosity and hatred. Israel, in particular, but the U.S. also, will never again (if they ever did) command the respect of the rest of the world (no matter how many bombs and missiles and nuclear weapons they possess). Let's face facts. Bush/Cheny and the neocons have blown it big time. Watch them squirm as they try to exist Iraq with their tails between their legs.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Savages and savagery

Savagery n. 1. a. The quality of being savage b. an act of cruelty or violence 2. an uncivilized state

“For here in my native country, too, the ancient law of human nature holds good. First one must vilify in one’s own spirit what one is about to destroy in others; and the greater the unadmitted doubt of the deed within, the greater fanaticism of the action without.”

Laurens van der Post
The Lost World of the Kalahari p. 41

Surely one of the greatest ironies of all time has to be the fact that those who were in the process of labeling others as savages were themselves at the same time guilty of acts of savagery often beyond even the imagination of those being savaged. It seems that whenever a more "advanced" (technologically) society encountered others they could label as "savages," (or gooks, towel heads, redskins, or such) their first impulses were to brutalize and destroy them. No doubt a clue as to what was to follow can be found in the famous voyages of Christopher Columbus. On his very first encounter with the Arawak Indians in the Bahamas (who were, in fact, very peaceful people) he captured some of them by force. As they wore small earrings of gold he wanted them to show him the source of that much desired treasure. Then, on another encounter, when the Indians refused to do what he wished, two of them were run through with swords and left to bleed to death. Then on Haiti, where Columbus believed there would be gold fields, he ordered everyone older than fourteen to collect so much gold every three months. If they brought it in they were given a copper token. As there were no gold fields as such, merely bits of gold dust, the Indians could not comply. No matter, when they did not have a copper Columbus had their hands cut off and let them bleed to death. If they tried to run away they were hunted down with dogs and killed. Failing to find the gold he wanted Columbus loaded his ships with slaves to be sold in Spain (Zinn 1980:2-4).
The cutting off of hands was widespread under the Spanish, as was the cutting off of ears, the deliberate slicing of Indian flesh to test the Spanish blades, the brutal flogging of Indian slaves, rape, the killing of helpless infants, burning people alive, and brutality of all kinds too outrageous to believe (de las Casas 1971).
Columbus gave such a glowing account of the islands he had discovered that on his second voyage he was in charge of seventeen ships and twelve hundred men. Their mission was to acquire gold and slaves. Columbus had left 39 men on Hispaniola (the island that is now Haiti and the Dominican Republic) to find and store gold. Upon his return he learned they had been killed by the natives, murdered because they had roamed the island taking slaves for labor and sex. Columbus sent many expeditions around the islands searching for gold. When they did not find it they filled the ships with slaves, picking the best 500 from the 1500 they had rounded up and penned. Two hundred died on the voyage to Spain. The Arawaks tried to resist but they were no match for the muskets and swords and horses of the Spanish. When the Spanish took prisoners they either burned them alive or hanged them. The Indians began mass suicides using poison made from the cassava plant. They killed their infants to save them from the Invaders. Within two years half of the original population of Haiti, 250,000 individuals, were dead.

The Spanish in the Indies took pleasure in inventing cruelties:
“The Spaniards found pleasure in inventing all kinds of odd cruelties, the more cruel the better, with which to spill human blood. They built a long gibbet, low enough for the toes to touch the ground and prevent strangling, and hanged thirteen of them at a time in honor of Christ Our Saviour and the twelve Apostles. When the Indians were thus still alive and hanging, the Spaniards tested their strength and their blades against them, ripping chests open with one blow and exposing entrails, and there were those who did worse. Then straw was wrapped around their torn bodies and they were burned alive…My eyes have seen these acts so foreign to human nature, and now I tremble as I write, not believing them myself, afraid that perhaps I was dreaming. But truly, this sort of thing has happened all over the Indies, and more cruelly too sometimes, and I am quite sure that I have not forgotten” (de las Casas 1971:121).
Later, as the Spaniards moved into Central America Vasco Nunez de Balboa apparentley invented a new technique for killing Indians, called “dogging.”
‘This had to do with setting vicious mastiffs and wolfhounds – raised on a diet of human flesh, trained to disembowel upon command, and often equipped with special armour – loose on hapless natives. ‘A properly fleshed dog could pursue a “savage” as zealously and effectively as a deer or a boat…To many of the conquerors, the Indian was merely another savage animal, and the dogs were trained to rip apart their human quarry with the same zest as they felt when hunting wild beasts.’” (Churchill 1997:105).

It would be nice if one could say these were just the acts of a few bad apples. But when you consider that this kind of thing went on virtually everplace Europeans encountered "savages," it was clearly not just a few. In Australia and Tasmania, the "savages" were hunted with dogs and even in some cases used as dog food. We all know what happened to American Indians. The same things happened in Africa and South America.

One could well argue that the "higher" up a society is supposed to be on a scale of savagery to civilization, the more likely they were (are) to engage in savagery. The so-called savagery of savages was mere child's play when compared to what has gone on in so-called "civilized" societies up until now. And unfortunately this is continuing at this very moment. Consider our brutal treatment of Iraqi women and children, along with men. Consider what Israel is doing in Lebanon, indiscriminately killing innocent civilians, including women and children (Hezbollah, of course is doing the same thing with their random missiles). Someone who knows about such things said today that up until the second world war casualties were usually 90 percent military personnel, but now that has been reversed and most by far of the casualties are innocent civilians, including women and children. While there is no space here to pursue it, it is most unlikely that any "primitive" society engaged in such indiscriminate slaughter, at least on such a massive scale. It's true they did not have the means but I strongly suspect they would not have had the desire - most of them needed their enemies for one thing or another (even for taking some of their heads, for brides, and etc.).

There is not the slightest doubt that the United States and Israel are committing war crimes. Hezbollah was accused of committing war crimes also (but there was no mention of Israeli or U.S. war crimes). What van der Post observed above is true: there seems to be a universal law that makes one group of people want to completely dehumanize another so as to facilitate their destruction. Is this really a demonstration of "intelligent design?"

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Ya-ya land we are now right in the midst of ya-ya land. You remember the neocons, Perle, Wolfowitz, Cheney, and others came out with a plan for taking over the Middle East (and by implication, at least, the world). This was called something like The Plan for the New American Century (or something like that, I can't remember exactly what in the hell it was called). This was a plan to take over control of the Middle East and all that delicious oil by the use of American military might (as we were the only superpower left). When this plan was presented to Clinton it was dismissed as "crazy" and the authors of it were referred to it as "the crazies." Now you know why. After George W. Bush became president, who wouldn't know the difference between a crazy and a tub of pig pucky, and put the crazies in power, we are right in the middle of it at the moment. Remember, the idea was to take over Iraq, which would welcome us with open arms and flowers, and then move on to Syria and Iran. We would change the Middle East and convert it to a happy group of Democratic nations that would do America's bidding ('cause they would be too frightened of shock and awe to resist). So where are we? Iraq is in the midst of a civil war (I know, I know, they say it might drift into a civil war, but that is just the usual Republican BS). Part of this plan was to insure the safety of Israel, which is our only democratic "ally" in the Middle East. Having thrown our lot in with the Israeli kamikaze attack on Lebanon we have now managed to alienate the rest of the known world, abandoned all pretense of being "an honest broker" for peace, and established ourselves as the most hated nation on earth (next to Israel). Now you know why the plan was regarded as crazy, and the designers of it as the crazies. The idea that the U.S. could command the Middle East through military might was (and is) crazy, as we are now finding out the hard way. But the neocons have not given up. They are still trying to goad Israel into attacking Syria and Iran (I guess they have a death wish, or maybe they realy do believe in the Rapture). Dick the Slimy Cheney is the chief cheerleader for this doomed enterprise. Bush's concern for what is happening at the moment is to leave for another ten day vacation on his pig farm in Crawford. Now in collaboration with our good friends in France (freedom fries have now been converted back to French fries) we are going to offer a solution to the problems of the Middle East. This plan has about as much chance of succeeding as an ant in my wife's kitchen. I haven't actually seen it as yet but you can be sure it will call upon Hezbollah to give up most everything and Israel to give up nothing. And as long as Israel is not called upon to give up much of anything (like their illegally occupied Palestinian and Syrian lands) it will of course go absolutely nowhere (other than perhaps a temporary cease fire, which is desperately needed).

Don't look to our embattled Secretary of Defense for any help. He is so far into ya-ya land as to be unreachable. Consider his explanation of whether our troops are ready or not:

When asked if the Army was declining in readiness, being under-resourced and being run into the ground, Rumsfeld squinted and replied: (Note: I've whittled this down.) "One of the problems we've seen is that in the readiness charts that are used, we see apples and oranges; we see a standard on the left side for some years back, and then a standard that's different on the right side. So if you had a standard of X on the left side, and you then looked at your circumstance today and saw it had deteriorated dramatically, you need to know what the standard is on the right side. And if it's 2X, if you've increased you standard by double and you've only been able to improve circumstance by 50 percent, then you've got a significant degradation. It appears to be a significant degradation when in fact you have a substantial improvement in your capabilities and your equipment."

This is taken from a marvelous article by Ed Naha in the Smirking Chimp. Or consider the following:

When asked if the military was at the ready, Rummy opined: "So the question -- and a third aspect of that that General Pace and I have been probing is you can say, 'Ready for what,' and if they're ready for the task they're doing, that's what you want. Or you could put a standard that says, 'Are they ready for any conceivable task that might be asked,' and if that's the standard, then you get a different set of numbers...

"For example, if you have an artillery unit and you separate it from its artillery, and you then measure it and readiness to do its artillery job, but it's in Iraq doing an entirely different job because you don't need artillery there, you could -- but you're measuring it against its artillery roles, then, obviously, it's not going to be C-1 or C-2."

Naha asks, "Is it any wonder that the troops in the field don't know whether to kick a prisoner's balls or tickle them or just shoot them off?"

But not to worry, we'll be bringing our troops home soon enough, from a disaster that is going to make Vietnam look like a victory.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Better late than never?

Hillary Clinton, presumably the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination for president (I sincerely hope not), has now castigated Donald Rumsfeld as an incompetent Secretary of Defense. Is this not a case of closing the barn door after the horse has escaped? Rumsfeld has been incompetent from the very beginning, five or more years ago. So what took Hillary so long? Not that I can't agree with her. But where has she been all this time? One might think that as someone who voted for the "war," and someone who has consistently agreed with "staying the course," she might have paid more attention to what was going on. Oh, well, perhaps better late than never. Not that Rumsfeld will ever deign to resign. His ego simply would not allow it, just as Bush's ego would never allow him to admit a terrible mistake. Besides, Dick the Slimy would never permit it, and he obviously has the last (and only) word.

Now to Cuba. Real excitement there. Fidel Castro is sick and in the hospital. Everyone in Florida is rejoicing and praying for his death. No one seems to know what will happen next. But the one thing you can be certain of is that the Bush/Cheney administration will try to decide what should happen in Cuba. Like, it's really none of our business. Like, why can the Cubans decide what they want? Like, Cuba has been and continues to be a genuine threat to the U.S. (at least they might be if it weren't for all our nuclear submarines, aircraft carriers, overwhelming military superiority, and so on. Watch out for Cuba. They will probably attack at any moment. Oh, I forgot, they are a dastardly communist country so we cannot deal with them, we are too busy making our money dealing with the Chinese Democracy. Can anyone even remember when there was any sanity at all in our foreign policy? But damn it, American corporations could make big bucks in Cuba. I bet we could even improve on their universal health plan. And no doubt we could make a real dent in their universal literacy with our far superior educational system (just think of what no child left behind could do there). I bet if we could get control of Cuba we could even beat them in baseball. Well, maybe not. Just think what Las Vegas could do in Cuba. The whole island could become just one great neon light. I bet it would rival the northern lights. But enough of Cuba. We'll have them in our greedy clutches soon enough.

Surprise, surprise! It turns out that NSA, our spying agency, is now working for the Israelis, spying on Syria and Iran to see if they are providing missiles and stuff to Hezbollah. This is part of our "honest broker" approach to the Middle East, part of what Condi (not so nice Rice) claims is our even-handed approach to the Israeli/Palestinian/Lebanese problem. Hey, with Condi and Rummy in charge how could you even doubt for a moment that things are going to work out for the best (for Hezbollah, Syria, and Iran)? Does George W. Bush have a brain? No. Does Dick the Slimy have a brain? Perhaps, but seriously diseased. Does Rumsfeld have a brain - surely you jest. How about Condi? She has good taste in clothes (apart from her occasional dominitrix mode). But not to worry, the Senate is in the good hands of Bill Frist and the House in the good hands of Dennis Hastert, who together seem to have the full mental capacity of a gnat (perhaps a mosquito).

Just repeat after me: there is no civil war in Iraq. Things are going well. We are making progress. Repeat this 100 times without stopping. Then repeat: It is all the fault of Hezbollah, it is all he fault of Hezbollah. Israel is just defending itself, Israel is just defending itself (from those vicious three and four year olds and their mothers with the tanks and airplanes). And don't forget the mantra: we are good, they are bad, Israel is all good, everyone else is all bad. We are going to heaven (after killing enough Arabs), they are going to hell. The bible tells us so.
Happy fourth of August, 2006!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Speechless in Bonners Ferry

Well...I'm not really speechless, but almost. The White House is now attempting something so absurd it does render one virtually speechless. You remember that the Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 that what the Bush Administration was doing in Guantanamo (and by implication elsewhere as well) is unconstitutional and violates both U.S. and International law. This involves holding prisoners indefinately, without charge, and without the right to see a lawyer, and etc. So what is the Bush/Cheney administration doing about this? They want to have legislation that will extend this illegal and unconstitutional procedure to non-terrorist ordinary American citizens. That's right. They want to be able to hold American citizens (and others) on suspicion of wrongdoing. They want to be able to hold (virtually anyone they single out I gather) indefinitely, try them by military commissions in which they would not be allowed to be present at their trials, could have hearsay evidence and evidence obtained by torture used against them, and not even be allowed to see the evidence presented against them. I confess I don't understand all of the details involved but I believe this is pretty much the gist of it. Can you believe this? The very fact they would even suggest such a totally un-American thing reveals their total contempt for American and Internatinal law, to say nothing of the rights of American citizens. These people are sick beyond belief. No doubt there will be those (mindless Bush supporters) who will say, "I'm not doing anything wrong so why should I worry." But this legislation is so broadly defined, so nebulous, so utterly criminal in its intent, most anyone could be charged. Let's say your old aunt Mabel wrote a check to an organization she thought was a bona fide charity, but the administration believed it to be a terrorist organization, or even a sympathizer. Aunt Mabel could end up in the slammer indefinitely with no legal recourse whatsoever. This legislation, if approved, would rival anything that occurred in Stalin's Russia. So welcome to "Darkness at Noon," morning, afternoon and night.If you thought Hitler and Stalin were evil, meet Dick the Slimy and his dummy, George.

Does Condi Rice actually have a brain? Does she think? Is she fully conscious? Or is she by nature simply evil? I saw a clip of her on tv today in which she actually said the U.S. was neutral in the "war" between Israel and Palestine/Lebanon (those were not her precise words but that is what she meant to say). How could she dare to say such an absolutely ridiculous false statement? Has the U.S. not provided Israel with billions upon billions of dollars worth of military hardware (how much have they given the Palestinians and Lebanese?). Did we not actually "rush" more bombs and missiles to Israel just in the last few weeks? Have we not virtually unanimously claimed that Hezbollah is the "root cause" of the problem, with no recognition whatsoever of Palestinian and Lebanese rights? Have we not refused a cease-fire, giving Israel free reign to kill more and more innocent civilians, including large numbers of children? Does the entire world not know we are totally on the side of Israel? Rice's claim is so completely ludicrous you have to believe she is probably insane (just like Bush/Cheney and all the rest of the neocons).

Trying to make sense of this administration is like trying to understand and deal with a room full of schizophrenics. As they don't share the same reality others do there is no reasoning with them, no common communication, no actual human contact, no way to understand their behavior (other than to realize it is somehow crazy).

Of all the crazies, Donald Rumsfeld has to be the craziest of all. This most incompetent of incompetents continues to pretend he knows what he (we) are doing in Iraq and Afghanistan. He should have been replaced years ago. But, then, Bush, who is also crazy, would have to admit he was wrong. How could anyone who communicates directly with god be wrong? Things are so bad I may actually look forward to the Rapture. After all, hell can't be much worse than this, and I won't have to put up with these rotten evil bastards much longer.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Permanent peace and other fairly tales

Bush/Rice and the other nitwits that make up our current administration insist they want to create a permanent peace. I find this a truly interesting claim because: (1) they have done absolutely nothing for the past six years to bring about any positive moves towards a permanent peace, (2) what they are doing at the moment will guarantee there will never be a permanent peace, (3) they claim Hezbollah is the "root cause" of the problem, and (4) they are either unwilling or unable to admit that the root cause is the continuing Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands. This is really quite simple. Virtually everyone on earth understands it. Israel is illegally occupying lands that belong to others. They have continually attempted to alienate more and more Palestinian land and water. They refuse to return to the 1967 borders and, in fact, will not even discuss the situation. As long as this continues there can never be peace in the Middle East.

Now Israel, with the active aid of the U.S., has virtually guaranteed there can never be peace. The world, especially the Arab world, and more especially the Lebanese and Palestinians, are never going to forgive the absolutely blatant war crimes that are going on. These are unforgivable. The hatred engendered by this ongoing activity will never dissipate, and I mean never. Israel has now placed itself in a situation in which they are surrounded by other nations that despise them (and the U.S. as well). Even those nations, like Egypt, for example, that have tried to accept Israel, are now alienated. Israel has brought this on themselves (with the help of the U.S.). If Syria and Iran become involved the situation will be irreparable quite likely forever. Indeed, Israelis may well eventually find themselves "driven into the sea," an outcome much desired by some and now most probably desired by even more.

What is so complicated about this? The countries most affected by the situation have offered a solution for years: "land for peace." The Israelis are unwilling to give up any of their stolen land and, in fact, constantly strive to claim more and more. They, along with the unbelievably stupid Bush administration, believe they can "win" through overwhelming military might. They cannot. There is no military solution to the problem, only a political solution. A political solution does not seem to be acceptable to them. Hence, never ending hostilities. Oh, I forget, the Rapture will be here soon. The way things are going it may be the only solution.

Tell me more about "intelligent design."

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


Bush, according to an Associated Press Reporter, "dismissed any idea of simply 'stopping for the sake of stopping, without a plan for lasting peace.'" This statement by Bush reveals a mind so vacuous, so lacking in compassion, so devoid of empathy, so divorced from reality, so thoughtless, so unutterably stupid, one can only conclude that he must be a psychopathological sociopath (if there can be such a thing). Certainly absent is any concern whatsoever for human life, at least the lives of Arabs. Apparently he is unable even to understand that stopping might save the lives of hundreds of people, including many children. Does he think it is possible to go on killing until suddently there emerges a permanent solution? The fact is, this statement reveals that he obviously doesn't think at all (this does not come as news to some of us who have argued from the beginning that he is marginally retarded - but it turns out he is far worse than merely that). Rice, who has now failed miserably as Secretary of State, is just as bad. Her statement to the effect that we are now seeing "the birth pangs of a New Middle East," has so enraged the Arab world it is doubtful anyone will ever take her seriously again, if they ever have (it is revealing that Lebanon has already told her she is unwelcome). So...things continue to go well in the Middle East (especially in Iraq - remember Iraq?). Well, Iraq has kind of been upstaged by Gaza and Lebanon and they, in turn, may quite likely be upstaged by Syria and Iran if the neocons get their way. Might I point out that if they manage to drag Syria and Iran into another "war," the consequences will be so terrible as to be almost unimaginable. But I guess Armagedon is what they desire. These people are crazy, absolutely and totally, completely evil and with no saving graces whatsoever. Do they represent you? They certainly don't represent me. I am a U.S. citizen in limbo. If Democrats cannot capture the House or the Senate (preferably both) I do not know what I might become.

Well...Mel Gibson certainly made a fine mess of things. Drunk, disorderly, spouting vicious anti-Semitic remarks, in general making an absolute fool of himself (a common problem for drunkards). Now he wants us to believe he is not anti-Semitic or a bigot, it was just the booze talking. Nonsense, drunks don't rave about things that are the exact opposite of what they believe. When drunk they lose their inhibitions and say the things they believe they are usually unable or too restrained to say. Will Hollywood forgive him? Of course. Hollywood is only interested in money and Gibson has lots of it and the ability to generate even lots more. Disney is said to have cancelled a project with him. Don't expect everyone else to follow suit (don't even bet Disney won't eventually come around). Some are saying his career is ruined. Balderdash! Wait and see. Even some of the Jews have already forgiven him (they are said to be interested in money too). He has apparently entered a rehabilitation program. He'll get lots of points for that (whether it works or not). Ah, Hollywood. Ah, America. Ah, s....