Wednesday, August 30, 2006

In (The Christian) God We (Must) Trust

So, you always thought that freedom of religion in the US means freedom of any religion and even freedom from religion if you so choose? Well, think again according to Katherine Harris - the Floridian who ruled in Bush's favor in the 2000 election fiasco. Ms. Harris you may recall, was the red lipstick smeared motormouth who so blatantly supported Bush while assuring everyone she was merely doing her job as the then Florida Secretary of State.

Ms. Harris, now a Florida Representative to Congress (R-Fla.), and a candidate in the Sept. 5 Republican primary for U.S. Senate, said her religious beliefs "animate" everything she does, including her votes in Congress.

She said this week that God did not intend for the United States to be a "nation of secular laws" and that the separation of church and state is a "lie we have been told" to keep religious people out of politics.
"If you're not electing Christians, then in essence you are going to legislate sin," Harris told interviewers from the Florida Baptist Witness, the weekly journal of the Florida Baptist State Convention. She cited abortion and same-sex marriage as examples of that sin.

But like other Far Right Wing nut cases running for office recently, Harris is seriously down in the polls. Two entire campaign staffs have resigned en mass in the past few months and her poll numbers are running well under 20% approval.

Many in her own party in fact have indicated they may vote for her Democratic opposition.

Seems our country - even in Florida - is finally waking up.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Running For Cover

They had to rush GWB to the hospital the other day. Seems he got undressed to take a shower and noticed all these little round bruises all over his body.

They ran all sorts of tests;

The tested him for this;

And, they tested him for that;

Then they tested him for the other;

They even tested him for testes;

All with negative results;

They re-ran all the tests;

They checked into liver spots;

They checked for adverse cocaine reactions;

They checked for alcohol poisoning;

And even marijuana reactions;

They checked on his swollen spleen;

They checked on his bi-polar disorder;

And on his paranoid dementia;
A
nd, his manic depression;

And his Attention Deficit Disorder;
And his speech disorder;

And nothing they checked him for;

Could cause the circular bruising symptoms;

Finally in desperation, a senior aide asked if anyone had checked him for pole bruises -

"Pole bruises?" asked one doctor.

"Sure, pole bruises," answered the former aide for Newt Gingrich & Tom Delay. "You know those spots folks get from being poked all over with 10 foot poles."
Sure enough . . . .
Like I've always said - by the time the next elections comes around you won't be able to find anyone who will admit to voting for this guy . . . but we sure as hell aren't going to ever let 'em forget!

I'm getting a real kick out of everyone running for the door these days when he shows up . . . too bad our country's paying the price.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Partisanship

The problem with political partisanship is that supporters often lose sight of reality in their zealotry. This is unbelievably true for Bush apologists. It simply doesn’t matter to them what is or isn’t so. Even when Bush admits something, he retains many vociferous defenders in absolute denial. Case in point from a video clip of Presidential press conference played on the Jon Stewart Show:

GW Bush: "You know, I've heard this theory about everything was just fine [in Iraq] until we arrived, and kind of 'we're going to stir up the hornet's nest' theory. It just doesn't hold water, as far as I'm concerned. The terrorists attacked us and killed 3,000 of our citizens before we started the freedom agenda in the Middle East."

Cox News Service reporter Ken Herman: "What did Iraq have to do with that?"

GW Bush: "What did Iraq have to do with what?"

Herman: "The attack on the World Trade Center?"

GW Bush: "Nothing."

Yet many people in the face of all reality even today still insist Iraq was behind the 9/11 attacks, though the numbers are finally dwindling as common Americans come out of our fear-induced coma.

But see, that’s the thing about reality: It’s real. It doesn’t go away just because someone insists on something else. Saying something’s so doesn’t make it so no matter how many times it is said.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

One Wheeled President


Our One Wheeled Presidency
Unlike the One Trick Pony who always manages to keep his balance no matter how many times he performs his trick, our One Wheeled President totters along like the proverbial drunken sailor. The more he totters, the more he drinks, and the more he drinks the more he totters and reels from side to side. Sadly, the more he totters and reels, the more he denies he’s under the influence.

Not only is the One Wheeled President limited to one trick compounded by his continual denials, but he also is afflicted with the phenomenon of “I know it’s so because I said it’s so!” In other words he believes his own baloney. “9/11”, “9/11”,“9/11”, “9/11”,“9/11”, “9/11”, ad infinitum and "we’re bringing freedom and democracy to the Middle East” for examples.

Sooner or later a drunken sailor stumbles into the ditch if he’s lucky. But, if he’s unfortunate enough to manage to stay upright long enough to drink too much for what’s good for him he is likely to pitch into deep water, or worse even, in front of a speeding 18-wheeler.

Our stubborn, One Wheeled President appears to be determined to outright lay down in the asphalt roadway right in front of that 18 wheeler. Trouble is he’s going to take a whole bunch of others with him who perceive too late they have hung with the wrong drunk too long. They too will be in danger of being smashed to smithereens by the same roaring juggernaut which will blot the One Wheeled President into a long, greasy, stinking spot on the highway. Personally at that point in time I will only say ‘good riddance!”


There are millions who were taken in by our One Wheeled President and stuck by him through all his delirium tremens who will suffer too. Many mean well. They are not necessarily bad people. They simply bought into the One Wheeled President’s persona as ‘someone I might like to sit down and have a beer with” and looked no further - as if that could ever happen. They haven’t troubled to look beneath the surface of the “I’m just telling you it’s so” blarney & propaganda to see the reality underneath.


That’s the thing about reality though. It’s real. Hype and propaganda always give way in the face of it eventually. Always Oh, you can keep up a good belligerent show for quite a while, but as Lincoln famously said, ‘you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.” And that’s the trouble - if you hang on too long the damage gets much worse. Eventually, our One Wheeled President will not even be able to fool any of the people any of the time, and that time seems to be fast approaching.

Supporters are abandoning our One Wheeled President in droves. His one wheel is smoking and noisily clattering. You must try to be out of the way when he crashes and burns.
It’s going to take a long time to get our national vessel back on course after the inebriated debauchery of the sot who somehow got his hands on the helm.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Routine Corporate Deceit

We have some contentious election issues coming up during the primary elections in Alaska next week.

One ballot issue everyone is watching closely is a proposed cruise ship passenger fee on any large cruise ship entering Alaska’s waters. Local activists got the issue on the ballot thru initiative and the cruise ship industry has pulled out all the stops to defeat it.

These are all foreign owned ships who:

Pay no local taxes beyond port fees;

Employ crews from overseas at wages a fraction of any US worker’s rate - so no employment taxes;

Pay no Alaska or Federal income taxes;

Pay no sales taxes (all sales taxes in Alaska are local);

Purchase all their fuel elsewhere;

Purchase most of their provisions elsewhere;

Run onboard stores that compete directly with shore side stores (not open when the ships are docked) and often sell things at steep discounts. (passengers are often heard to remark (“Oh, I can get that on board much cheaper”);

Charge steep commissions for any shore side tours sold aboard ship - 35-40% is the norm;

Etc., etc., etc.

Typical of big multinational corporations they have created a deceptively misnamed group known as “Alaskans Protecting Our Economy”. They recruited a number of local shills - mostly from people involved in the tourism and travel industry in some fashion. Using the shills as spokespersons, they are bombarding the state with a blitz of TV ads and glossy, large format mail outs - I received two cards just today and several last week and each week in the several weeks before that.

But thankfully, Alaska has a reporting requirement for political action groups and it is fairly easy to determine who is behind such groups by going to the “Alaska Public Offices Commission” web site.

It turns out that the so-called “ALASKANS PROTECTING OUR ECONOMY” received $1,874,575.00 of their funding from the NORTH WEST CRUISE SHIP ASSOCIATION based in Vancouver, BC. That’s out of a total funding reported of $1,182,545.00! Don’t ask me how they received MORE from just one entity that the total they reported having received - they did their own reporting after all and you’d have to ask them. Perhaps APOC will.

The group then turned around a spent $1,172,879.00 with PAC WEST COMMUNICATIONS in Wilsonville, OR for their publicity campaign.

All that seems a mighty long ways from “ALASKANS” “Protecting our Economy” doesn’t it? In fact, the only Alaskan component of this entire scam is the wool they hope to pull over the eyes of Alaska’s citizens!

The sheer hypocrisy of this Alaskan effort is very offensive. But far more disturbing to me is that the top cats in all industries routinely and easily get away with many such deceptive & smarmy practices and no one calls them on it. Our own governments in fact, are often deeply complicit in such things! In Alaska for example, the Alaska Travel Industry Association (ATIA) which is 50% funded by the state, is waging an aggressive ‘get-out-the-vote’ campaign to defeat the cruise ship fee issue. Though not a political action committee, and not supposed to be a lobby, ATIA’s director claims it is ‘using membership dues and not state marketing dollars” to do just that.

Yeah, Right

And Exxon Mobil routinely funds a number of groups with deliberately deceptive and ‘green’ names for example, whose main goal is to try to throw a smokescreen around the global warming issue.

Lying and deception must pay off for them, but there really ‘oughta be a law’.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Tom Delay & Jack Abramoff

QUESTION FOR TOM DELAY AND JACK ABRAMOFF:

Saturday, August 12, 2006

An Hubristic Ex-Senator To Be


The Bush Administration as supported by Joe Lieberman, is currently in gross and direct violation of civil rights and liberties, and national and international law. It is not a pretty sight. Most Americans will not tolerate such things for very long. By supporting a contemptible regime guilty of falsity, deceit and outright criminality, Joe Lieberman has permitted his own selfish political ambitions to overpower his sense of the American way, constitutional correctness, moral right, and ethics.



In short, Joe Lieberman has prostituted himself for his own political ambitions with little apparent regard for principle or virtue and is paying the inevitable political price. So will the major players in the Bush Administration.


Joe Lieberman has now been rendered a verdict on his political persona for this. Joe Lieberman would be very wise to pay attention. It is a terrible mistake for Joe Lieberman to allow his own high-rise opinion of himself to overload his political sanity and basement-level moral judgment.

Should Joe Lieberman persist in his ill-advised pursuit of personal power at the expense of ethics, legality and morality, he will fully and rightfully deserve the political fate to be served up to him and the shameful mantle which shall descend upon him




“ When Ego and Fantasy exceeds one’s Actuality, Fiasco and Failure are the predictable Results.”


It is ‘way past time for Joe Lieberman to wake up and smell the roses.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

A Most Perfect Storm

It is hard to conceive of a more disastrous foreign policy than ones pursued by the Bush administration in the Middle East since taking control of our government.

We are witnessing a complete Middle East meltdown there which is in large part a result of this administration’s stubborn & shortsighted pigheadedness. Our children and grandchildren will be dealing with the ramifications of the problems created or exacerbated by their policies. It is all so tragic, unnecessary and sad.

To quote Professor Emeritus Wayne G. Reilly of Hollins University :

“The American invasion of Iraq appears to be the critical action that precipitated the current tragedies in the Middle East. Why is that so? In short, because it was the wrong action, at the wrong time, in the wrong place. We deposed Saddam Hussein while blithely ignoring the existing regional problems. In addition, we also ignored the most important and intransigent political issue in the Middle East, the condition of Israel.”


Professor Reilly has explained things in crystal clarity in his recent article in The
Roanoke Times, and in a far better fashion that I ever could:

“A PERFECT STORM IN THE MIDDLE EAST”

Let us all hope and pray that we never again allow such a malignant administration to gain control of our government. Having acquiesced and permitted Bush et al to run things for our country has resulted in incalculable damage to the US and the world.

Never again.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Scare Politics as Usual

What I find truly amazing - and kinda scary - is the ease which this administration has managed to induce paranoia in so many Americans. Amazing because it’s even happening and scary because of what it possibly portends for the future of our nation and culture.

The clever use of fear and the willingness of many Americans to accept just any claim regarding ‘national security’ without serious question has enabled Bush et al to get this far. But any reasonably non-doctrinal person who takes the time to do some basic research and actually question some of the more outrageous claims is forced to wonder. It is no accident that a widespread citizen belief in the administration’s propaganda - for propaganda is what it is - has enabled the far right wing of the Republican Party to gain control of the Republican Party and the nation.

This fear tactic and propaganda has been effectively employed before, and more than once. The most outrageous example in recent history was the Nazi Party in the early 30’s in Germany which ultimately resulted in one of the greatest human calamities in recorded history. This is not to compare the Bush administration to the Nazis, though there are many, many eerily similar parallels. I wish merely to point out that the clever (and planned) use of fear to incite and motivate the population can be a very, very effective control tactic.

That the 9/11 attacks occurred when they did was just serendipitous as far as the Neo-Cons are concerned as regards their hold on the party and the nation. Evidence of this may be found in the hundred and thousands of references to that event in nearly every utterance from that group to this day nearly five years later. “9/11”, “9/11”, “9/11”, “9/11”, “9/11”, “9/11” is what we hear ad nauseum. Thankfully however, recently many people are beginning to wake up to what is going on, including many non-neocon Republicans.

There is a sea change in the wind for sure. It is not because of any ‘culture of corruption’ though there is certainly abundant evidence of that and it does play a role. Corruption inevitably follows any group who gains dominance whether it be Republican or Democrat or any other group. Evidentially a certain number of any type will succumb to temptation to cheat or steal when in a position to do so. There is abundant evidence throughout history of this, from all sides of the equation.

In my opinion, partisan politics and doctrine are the real culprit. This is greatly exacerbated by the role that money is permitted to play in our system. Whenever dollars or the interests of dollars are allowed more influence than the interests of citizens we are bound to be controlled by that. And when just a few control so much wealth as in our system, we are bound to be controlled by them and their interests, whatever those may be. If those interests are merely more dollars or more power, well then you are bound to get the results we now have in our country. Guaranteed. It’s as simple as that. Until that is changed we will have more of the same no matter who is in control.

What this country really needs are two basic and essential things: 1. Campaign finance reform; and, 2. Term Limits for any public office.