Tuesday, February 28, 2006

To War or Not to War

Societies often first exalt their leaders and wise people. Contrarily, they later seem to completely forget their words:

“Pyrrhus, when his friends congratulated to him his victory over the Romans under Fabricius, but with great slaughter of his own side, said to them, "Yes; but if we have such another victory, we are undone."

- Francis Bacon

“There never was a good war or a bad peace.”

- Benjamin Franklin

"A free government with an uncontrolled power of military conscription is the most ridiculous and abominable contradiction and nonsense that ever entered into the heads of men."
—Daniel Webster, Speech in the House of Representatives, January 14, 1814

“Allow the President to invade a neighboring nation, whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion, and you allow him to do so, whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such a purpose -- and you allow him to make war at pleasure. If today, he should choose to say he thinks it necessary to invade Canada, to prevent the British from invading us, how could you stop him? You may say to him, 'I see no probability of the British invading us' but he will say to you, 'Be silent; I see it, if you don't.'"
- US President Abraham Lincoln

"Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the President or any other public official save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country."
- US President Theodore Roosevelt

"Once lead this people into war and they'll forget there ever was such a thing as tolerance. To fight you must be brutal and ruthless and the spirit of ruthlessness will enter into the very fiber of our national life, infecting Congress, the courts, the policeman on the beat, the man in the street."
—US President Woodrow Wilson , 1917

“You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.”
- Jeanette Rankin, First woman elected to Congress (R-MT, 1918)

"I spent thirty-three years and four months in active service in the country's most agile military force, the Marines. I served in all ranks from second lieutenant to major general. And during that period I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.”
—Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler (former Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps) Common Sense, November 1935

"It is part of the general pattern of misguided policy that our country is now geared to an arms economy which was bred in an artificually induced psychosis of war hysteria and nurtured upon an incessant propaganda of fear."
—US General Douglas MacArthur, Speech, May 15, 1951

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed.”
- US President Dwight D. Eisenhower

“The military don't start wars. Politicians start wars.”

- US General William Westmoreland

“History teaches that war begins when governments believe the price of aggression is cheap.”
- US President Ronald Reagan

"FREEDOM FIGHTER, n. A State Department term referring to a mercenary attempting to install an authoritarian regime friendly to U.S. business interests”
- US President Ronald Reagan. (For those with short memories or too young to remember, this is what Reagan’s administration called Osama Bin Ladin and the Afghan Taliban in the 1980’s while providing them aid to the tune of $3 billion.)

“Violence is the first refuge of the incompetent”
- Issac Asimov (Perhaps forecasting GWB?)

“One can not doubt that the American objective in Iraq has failed.”
- William F. Buckley in National Review, 2/24/06

Monday, February 27, 2006

"God" vs reality

Man on a mission from God and easily getting himself confused with deities:

Man on the ground in Iraq, otherwise considered “dogmeat’ to those with ‘an ounce of sense”, as in the above deity:

Friday, February 17, 2006

God, Mom & Apple Pie!

Vice President Richard Cheney came home to Wyoming today to receive a standing ovation from lawmakers there, apparently for having limited out onTexas lawyers.

"It's a wonderful experience to be greeted by such warmth by the leaders of our great state. It's especially true when you've had a very long week.” said Cheney, who’s week was far worse than the guy he shot, certainly from his viewpoint.

To add icing to the Dick’s laudatory cake, Harry Wittington, the lawyer Cheney shot has now accepted full responsibility for having been at fault by getting in the way of Cheney’s shotgun blast.

"My family and I are deeply sorry for everything Vice President Cheney and his family have had to deal with," he said.

It is very comforting to learn that our country is in good hands and being run by people of such steel ethics and iron integrity. It is also good to know that in spite of the media hype and insinuations that our Vice President is a law-breaking drunken lout with little regard for the safety of others or human life, he is in fact the exact opposite.

The Bush administration came under sharp criticism because of Cheney's failure to publicly disclose Saturday's accident until the next day. But on Thursday, President Bush said Cheney handled the situation "just fine."

"I'm satisfied with the explanation he gave," Bush said, calling it "strong and powerful."

In Texas, the Kenedy County Sheriff's Department closed its investigation without filing any charges. The department's report supported Cheney's account. So skillful are members of the Kenedy County Texas Sheriff’s Department that they were able to unerringly determine Cheney was totally a law abiding citizen, not under the influence of alcohol, without seeing him until a full day after the shooting, and never taking a blood alcohol test. The only thing they could fault him for was a pesky little matter of having no hunting stamp. Showing no favoritism, they treated him just like any other ordinary citizen and allowed him to buy the stamp ‘after the fact’ and without censure, citation or penalty.

So American citizens now rest assured that our Vice President is not a reckless drunk with a callous disregard for laws, rules and human life, and is not the ego-centric self-serving asshole politician he has been painted to be in this unfortunate incident. As Cheney gunshot victim Harry Wittington said,

"We all assume certain risks in what we do, in what activities we pursue. Accidents do and will happen."

Thank Heavens for God, Mom and Apple Pie too!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Overheard at the bar . . .

Overheard in the Texas Republican Gun Club bar last Monday evening:

“That durned ol’ fool Harry Wittington - who let that old sum’bitch in on the hunt anyway? Ah don’t give a shit iffen he HAS raised a buncha money for the Texas ‘Publicans - he didn’t have any damned business gittin' in the way of Dickie’s shot!

Now, everbody’s gonna blame things on Dick by God and everbody knows it’s that old sum'bitch Wittington’s fault. He didn’t have any damned business being out there atall an’ then goin’g an’ gittin’ hisself shot when he’s behind Cheney for Christ’s sake! Tarnation!

Hell, everybody knows Wittington don’t drink anymore - his livers bin gone fer years and he cain't drink nary a drop for fear a-dyin'’, and if he ain’t drunk how’n hell he gonna keep from gittin' shot anyhow? Ol’ sum’bitch cain’t even fall down right at his age.

Now he's gone and stomped on his pecker and Ol’ Dick’s too. Dickie’s gonna have to do a lot of buck passin'’ and ‘splaining to get out of this God-damned mess. An’ yew know how them damned bleedin’ heart liberals is gonna take this mess and run with it too. Yew just know it in yore bones an’ yew can lay a bet on it! Them bastards are already a-makin’ jokes about “Cheney’s done bagged his limit on lawyers’ an’ such like. Hell, they’s gonna pick on every little damned thing they can find. They’s already bitching about no damned quail stamp for Christ’s sake, and this an’ that and ever other damned thing!

First God-damned thing them dimmycrats done was to start in a-raisin’ hell about a ‘cover up” and “how come nobody said anything for almost a full God-damned day!” God-damned buncha meddlin’ pansy bastards! Now they’s even got a buncha them moderate ‘Publicans runnin’ fer cover an’ a-bitchin’ about gittin’ Cheney to come clean for Christ’s sake!

Now yew know and I know Ol’ Dick couldna gone to nobody legal ‘til he done sobered up. These days yew cain’t tell fer sure which one a them damned cops nair sheriff's boys is gonna turn out to be a goody-goody two shoes an’ go’n git all legal ‘n all. For Christ’s sake, all them God-damned liberal pinko media woulda jumped all over that like stink on hog shit! No damned way in hell he coulda done that. Yew have to admit he’s thinkin’ purty damned fast to be as drunk as he was, to thinka notifying the local newspaper the nex’ damned day ‘steada the day it happened. Purty smart o’ him too, to thinka gittin’ that gal there - the daughter of the feller who got him his Halliburton job - to git the word out to the local newspaper the way she did. They’s on his side! Give him a chanct to sober up!

Then them other good ol’ boys had a chanct to git him offa the sauce and sober the stupid bastard up enough to meet with the sheriff the nex’ day. An’ the fact that he didn’t have nary damned quail stamp jist works in his favor if yew wanta know the truth about that matter. That’ll act like a diversion to git the ‘tention offa the real shit. Throw ‘em a bone ta gnaw on while the ‘portant stuff gets all tidied up, nice and proper like!

It is damned good to see the press a-startin’ in to laying the blame on where it oughta be - right on ol’ Wittington’s gnarly ol’ God-damned ass fer steppin’ in front ol’ Dickie’s shot! I jist hope the ol’ sum’ bitch don’t die though, - even though it’d serve ‘im right - ‘cause then that’d be a whole new bucket a worms.

It’s a-gittin’ ta be mighty damned hard to run a country like yew want to anyway, without havin’ an ol’ sum’bitch like Wittington screw things up fer yew!”

Saturday, February 11, 2006

How's that again?

The current guv'mint are the authors of the so-called "USA Patriot" Act of 2001 which - by mightily stretching - they claim stands for:

Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001 - (Really! I'm not kidding!)
Well, it damned sure hasn't united us, nor strengthened us - but it has provided the 'appropriate (illegal) tools required to obstruct' privacy and civil rights, so if you really want to know the whole truth, the acronym actually stands for:

Unsavory Scheme Attacking Privacy by Avaricious Thieves, Republican Ideologues and Oil Tycoons

"Reason and ignorance influence the bulk of mankind. If either of these can be rendered sufficiently extensive, the machinery of government goes easily on. Reason obeys itself and Ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it."
- Thomas Paine, 1797 in "Rights of Man"

Friday, February 10, 2006


Sometimes numbers can be very indicative of the 'personality' or a person, culture or group. Here are a few to give pause:

Amount (minimum) spent lobbying Congress in 2005: $3,000,000,000 (That’s as in BILLIONS)

Number of former members of Congress or federal agency heads who are now lobbyists: 240

Number of Americans who spend more than a quarter of their income on health care: 14,300,000 (That’s MILLIONS - and another 120 million or so have NO HEALTH CARE INSURANCE AT ALL)

Minimum number of EXXONMOBIL funded groups that have disputed mainstream scientific findings on climate change and global warming: 31

Total service charges collected by U.S. banks in 2004: $32,000,000,000

Number of America’s nine “Founding Fathers” who denied the “Divinity of Jesus”: 7

Number of illegitimate children fathered by those nine: 9

Number of US public school districts that have adopted a class in which the Bible is a primary textbook: 301

Rank, in the current line of succession to the US presidency, of the FIRST non-Christian: 16

Number of Alabama state senators co-sponsoring a bill last summer to “protect” public displays of the Ten Commandments: 10

Number of them who could list the Commandments: 1

Percentage of Bill Frist’s medical school class that sent him a letter accusing him of misusing his degree: 18

Days after Katrina hit that Dick Cheney’s office ordered an electric company to restore power to two oil pipelines: 1

Days after Hurricane Katrina that the White House authorized sending federal troops to New Orleans: 4

Years after the start of the Vietnam War that a majority of Americans first said it was a “mistake”: 3 1/2

Years after the start of the Iraq War that a majority said this: 1 1/4

Projected cost of disability payments to Iraq War veterans by 2050, based on rates for Gulf War veterans: $285,000,000,000 (That's in BILLIONS)

Number of “veterans of the global war on terrorism” that the VA budget assumed for 2005: 23,553

Estimated number today: 103,000

Number of consecutive years that the U.S. median income has failed to increase: 5

Number of consecutive years that the percentage of Americans living in poverty has increased: 4

Rank of 2004 among the most fiscally reckless years in U.S. history, according to the comptroller general: 1

Months of vacation that President Bush has taken in five years: 11

Source: Harper’s Index

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Ain't it the Truth?

This year, both Groundhog Day and the State of the Union address occurred on the same day. As Air America Radio pointed out:

"It is an ironic juxtaposition of events: one involves a meaningless ritual in which we look to a creature of little intelligence for prognostication while the other involves a groundhog."

Are You One of Those?

Many of us mere citizens wonder daily where the courage is in our leaders to stand up to a bizarrely dysfunctional administration seemingly bent on the destruction of traditional American values and mores.

Why are our political leaders allowing a minority of Neo-Con ideologues to set the agenda for our entire nation and take our country down the road to ruin?

I am a 64 year old military veteran, and have never failed to vote in any election - local, regional or nationwide - during my lifetime. Never in my life have I witnessed such an abdication to an ideological and extreme set of 'standards', so foreign to what our nation was built on, nor such a polarization in our people brought out by the current Neo-Con agenda.

I am terribly fearful for my country, my children and my grandchildren. I am ashamed for my countrymen and my country's political leaders to allowing this erosion of basic values to continue. Media opposition has proved an ineffective protection against doctrinal attacks on our values from within. The media has quickly caved in to the powers of the moment like the group of supercilious whores they have ultimately proven to be.

My fervent hope is that there are still some courageous leaders willing to stand up for real American values, and face the future without fear and without abandoning the very essentials that are most precious to us. It does not appear that we have those leaders in the mainstream of either major US party today.

Most of our so-called ‘leaders’ docilely allow themselves to be ‘disciplined’ by their respective parties, and are determined not to 'rock the boat' when the very thing we need is a good, vigorous shaking all over.

My countrymen seem to have allowed themselves to be paralyzed by fear, fanned by a cynical, clever & duplicitous minority bent on prosecuting their regressive agenda any way they can. Are you one of those?

Friday, February 03, 2006

Surreal Flights of Whimsical Fantasy

The defining hallmarks of most of the players in the Bush Administration are surreal grasps of actuality and almost whimsically creative flights of fancy.

Reality is not allowed to intrude. White House economic adviser Larry Lindsey was let go in 2002 when he dared to estimate the Iraq war could cost as much as $265 billion. At the same time Defense Secretary Rumsfeld - the person in overall charge of all things military in the US - estimated the cost at around $55 billion. Yeah, right.

Deputy Defense Secretary Wolfowitz assured the country that postwar Iraqi oil sales would pay for the war. Yeah, right. This has not happened either - in fact far from it.

President Bush is currently asking Congress for another $120 billion for the wars in Iraq & Afghanistan bringing the total now to well over $400 billion. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that $320 billion has already been spent since 9/11 and the Iraq war begun by Bush.

The number $400 billion is hard for us mere mortals to grasp. How much will it buy?

* It would fully fund all global anti-hunger efforts more than 13 years;

* It would provide every child in the world with basic immunization for more than a century;

* It would fund 20 million college scholarships @ $20,000 per year;

* It would build 3.5 million new housing units;

* It would fully fund health care for 235 million children for one year.

And, the list goes on. Unfortunately, it is not Bush who is paying those war bills, but all the rest of us. The tragic costs in human lives is another matter entirely and there seems to be no end in sight. Like almost everything else touched by this administration, there was poor and little advance planning and no exit strategies. The watchwords have universally been ‘cut costs where people are concerned and give away the farm to the big corporations”.

A very grave tragedy for our country has been the failure of most of our so-called ‘leaders’ to effectively stand up for truth and reality. No forceful leader from either party has come forth to say;

“Now wait just a Gol-Darned minute you frigging demented wannabe cowboy idiot. What in the blazing hell do you think you are doing? This is our national treasure and our American lives you are pissing away here in your ideological & egocentric madness.”

Arizona Republican Senator John McCain seemed to have the political capital and has come closest, but in the end he too caved in to the Neo-Cons calling the shots. Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, and current chairman of the Democratic National Committee has been successfully demonized as a "loose cannon" and 'insane' and worse for daring to passionately speak the truths that so many of our countrymen seem afraid to hear.

The Neo-Cons scream 'Traitor!" at anyone who dares oppose the madness of this truly most bizarre and to me, unbelievable administration. They have done more harm to our nation in five years than we shall be able to repair in fifty more.

And, until our countrymen listen to and wake up to reality and demand an end to it, the madness will continue and our nation's moral deficit will deepen.

The good news: For the first time in living memory Patrick J. Buchanan's blather today is something I largely agree with. Is anyone else sensing a shift in the space-time continuum?:

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

George W. Bush Needs Your Help!

George Bush and the Republican Party want to be "Uniters, and not Dividers'. President Bush asked the nation in his State of the Union address last night to put national interests ahead of partisan bickering. Just as the Republican Party has set the example throughout the Bush presidency, President Bush believes it is time for Democrats and all dissidents to join together in putting the nation first. There must be no room for dissent, nor disagreement with the goals, or leadership of this administration, legal or not.

Many prominent Republican politicians are saying the same thing in so many words: "It is time to put partisan differences aside", and trust this administration to do the right thing for our country. After all they know best as they often tell us - they know what is going on while we can not because we don't have access to the information they do. Vital information and secrets must be kept from the public for national security reasons. If any information is declared 'sensitive' or confidential, we must trust the administration to protect that information from the public, and therefore out of the hands of the 'enemy'. We must also implicitly trust this administration to know exactly which information to protect from the public.

This administration has laid all partisans and ideological differences aside, and have no other goals than the best interests of our nation and our people. We must trust them to know and define what those are for the rest of us. If in the opinion of this administration, corporate welfare is best for the United States, then so be it. We must focus on that and set aside any priorities which may be centered on people, the environment, education, veterans, or anything else.

After all, the budget has limits. And even though Exxon/Mobil for example in 2005, had the largest profits in the history of any corporation in the history of the world, and though they have so far successfully managed to avoid payment of court ordered fines assessed against them for the Exxon-Valdez oil spill in 1989 - 17 years ago - they are still vulnerable to the vagaries of the market place and need and deserve all the breaks and gifts our politicians can provide them. The fact the oil spill ruined the livelihoods for thousands of individuals can not enter into the calculations.

So, we must help this administration finish the work they have set out to do, and trust them to do so without regard for doctrine or ideology. But, there is a problem and grave concern for this administration. Perhaps in the passion of the moment, this President, and this administration rashly, but loudly promised to go after the architect of the 9/11 attacks and get him, "Dead or Alive". That was nearly five years ago, but attention was refocused to a war in Iraq. Osama Bin Ladin is still out there running around taunting us and meeting the President's challenge to 'Bring it On" and that's not good.

So, in the interests of the good of our country, I call on all my countrymen to 'put partisan differences aside', to cease from dissent and help this President fulfill his vow to capture Bin Ladin. Otherwise, after November 2, 2006 the Republican party as we know it may cease to exist.

Please go to this web site to get information on how you may help in this vital task: