Monday, October 30, 2006

How red is your state?

How red is your state - and, should you be proud if it is?

States where those who identify themselves as ‘conservatives’ (sometimes AKA “Neocons”) predominate are known as “Red States”.

According to them, the liberals, social radicals and moral degenerates predominate in the so-called “Blue States” and are the authors of all the evil that exists in our country and across the globe.

“Conservatives’ as they define themselves like to be known as defenders of morality and good and decency and civilization as we know it.

They tell us conservative Republicans are the only ones standing between American values and degeneracy and moral ruin.

They claim to protect us all - whether we want their protections or not - from insidious contamination by liberals and Democrats.

They man the mighty ramparts of religion against the onslaughts of liberality and all other evil.

They tell us if only they can root out all the liberals and other moral degenerates our democracy will be safe.

But, if one takes the trouble to turn the rock over under which these ‘conservatives’ dwell, another not-so-pretty picture begins to emerge.

A recent article in Vanity Fair by James Wolcott paints a graphic and more disturbing mural of their reality, much at odds with ‘conservative’ claims. I present some of Vanity Fair’s graphics here for your edification. (Click on images to expand):

Some states are very preeminent in legally killing more of their citizens . . .

Certain color states put a higher percentage of their citizens in jail than others . . .

Certain color states seem to need to incarerate more women than others . . .

Deaths by firearms seem to be concentrated in certain states . . .

Some states take the lead in gambling or 'gaming' as it is euphemistically termed in Godly places . . .

Certain color states lead in fat heads . . . and that refers to head sizes, not smarts!

Certain states seem to lead in suicides . . .

Guess which color states seem to be leaders in numbers of divorces per 1000?

Many states breed more illegitimate children than others . . .

But, then there are those blue state folks who are apparently overeducated . . .

Friday, October 27, 2006

An Interview with Attorney General of the U.S. Alberto Gonzales

An Interview with Alberto Gonzales, Attorney General of the United States:

Interviewer: Yes sir Mr. Attorney General. I'd like to ask you a few questions if I may about the new Border Fence Act of 2006 just signed by President Bush.

Attorney General Gonzales: Thank you. Fire away. But I must ask you to be brief as I have a very busy schedule this morning.

Interviewer: Yes sir. Sir, I wanted to ask you if you had any personal feelings about the fence since you are of Mexican heritage yourself?

Attorney General Gonzales: Yes I am of Mexican heritage but I'd ask you to keep in mind that I am second generation and my family has Castilian roots. That puts my family several notches above your common Mestizo wetback. One of the proudest moments of my life was to finally be treated like an equal by our President.

Interviewer: Well, I'm surprised to hear you put it that way sir. Aren't both Mexico and the United States democracies, without class distinctions?

Attorney General Gonzales: Well yes and no. Yes, we are both democracies, and the reality is of course there ARE class distinctions. For example in Mexico you have your folks with Castilian roots and then your Mestizo, and of course here in the US your folks with money and power, like Republicans, and then you have your blacks, your Mestizo wetbacks and always of course a lot of your poor white trash.

Interviewer: Yes sir. But back to the fence. Do you support the fence and do you believe it will help the illegal immigrant situation?

Attorney General Gonzales: Yes, I support the fence. Just the notion of it should help the Republican Party considerably. But, it's not like we're gonna be funding it or anything. Just the idea of it really appeals to the poor white trash who are our main voting base. They can't stand the idea of those poor wetbacks coming into the country and taking jobs they're too lazy to do themselves. It won't do much to stop illegals though. They'll probably just tunnel under as they do now.

Interviewer: Well, if it's not going to be funded, how will it ever be built?

Attorney General Gonzales: Well, that's the beauty of it see? There's volunteer groups out there just clamoring to build it, and already raising private money to build the thing. For example there's an outfit calling themselves the 'Minuteman Civil Defense Corps' raising money like mad. They're your run of the mill far Right Wing militia zealots of course and need keeping an eye on, but they are raising funds. And, don't forget the militias are a big constituent part and backbone of the Republican base.

Interviewer: Will the fence get built then?

Attorney General Gonzales: Well no, it probably won't ever be built but that's not what matters. What matters is that we give it great lip service and just get it started. That'll give Republicans a leg up for the upcoming election. After that it won't matter and if it does come back up again we'll always blame the Democrats for blocking it. It's not like our voting base has a long term memory or anything. It's a win-win-win all the way around!

Interviewer: Well Mr. Attorney General, how are you viewing the overall security of our country these days?

Attorney General Gonzales: The country's in great danger at home and abroad. There's a bogeyman everywhere you look and Republicans are the only ones standing between evil and harm to our country. We've just gotten great new weapons to help us, thanks to our Republican controlled Congress. As you know, fear is what keeps Republican in power. May it always be so!

Interviewer: I guess you're referring to the recent Military Commissions Act which abolishes Habeas Corpus and allows torture of prisoners?

Attorney General Gonzales: Well, I wouldn't put it exactly that way, but yes, there are new arrows in our quiver. Since the Supreme court threw out our earlier weapons we desperately needed the MCA which gives us the tools to fight the Global War On Terror.

Interviewer: As White House Counsel and later as Attorney General of the United States you have encouraged the President in the use of torture, the suspension of Habeas Corpus, and the secret rendition of prisoners. Don't you feel that may be viewed as stepping beyond the bounds of your sworn duty to uphold the laws?

Attorney General Gonzales: Listen. This is a Global War On Terror! We need all the tools we can get to fight this war. Our own violations of stupid laws become secondary.

Interviewer: But, it's not just against the law! A lot of what is happening is also unconstitutional!

Attorney General Gonzales: Unconstitutional is what we say it is. Violations of the law are what we say they are. We're in control! When you're in control you make your own laws and rules! We're the greatest power on earth today.

Interviewer: But you are granting an illegal power to the President, and to his administration, which goes far beyond anything in the past. Aren't you concerned about too much power - about a dictatorship?

Attorney General Gonzales: This President has only the country's best interest in mind. If this were some other President like Clinton for example, yes, I would be worried. But Republicans are the only real Americans left. All those Democrats and liberals are just a bunch of pinko commies we're eventually going to have to deal with in some fashion and in due course - and we will if we can just stay in power long enough.

Interviewer: The US is receiving a great deal of international condemnation because of our internationally illegal actions. Aren't you worried that will hurt the United States?

Attorney General Gonzales: Listen, we're the most powerful nation on earth. If those other nations were - and I emphasize the word 'IF' - if they were ever strong enough to go toe to toe with the US militarily I might be a little more concerned. Until then we're gonna have things our way and as long as this President is in charge.

Interviewer: But aren't you worried we'll be viewed as oppressors, and other nations will get together to resist us? After all, history is full of cases where people and nations got tired of being ruled by someone else and eventually all got together to defeat their oppressors.

Attorney General Gonzales: I'd be careful if I were you! You're getting awfully close to the line! Don't forget I AM the Attorney General. You can't go around calling the US an oppressor! You cross over that line and your ass is mine!

Interviewer: Yes sir. Now sir. Sorry sir. I?m not calling anybody anything. I don't personally want to get defined as a threat somehow. I'm only asking questions.

Attorney General Gonzales: Well, I'm warning you! Be careful! You're getting pretty damned close to being an Unlawful Enemy Combatant and possibly giving aid and comfort to our enemies.

Interviewer: Sir, I'd just like to ask you about your sworn duties as Attorney General.

Attorney General Gonzales: Yes?

Interviewer: Well sir. As Attorney General aren't you sworn to uphold all the laws of the United States? How can ignore certain laws, or advise the President to ignore laws he doesn't like?

Attorney General Gonzales: I’ve already told you, the law is what I say it is!

Interviewer: Yes sir. But the written law, the laws passed by Congress and signed by previous Presidents are being routinely ignored! Basic and long-standing traditional constitutional rights are being routinely violated. How can it be that the Attorney General of the United States, duty bound and sworn to uphold those laws can . . . . . .

Attorney General Gonzales: (Interrupting) We're bound by no laws signed by any previous presidents! Especially any signed by some damned pinko Democrat!

Interviewer: But sir! Those are laws passed by the United States Congress. You can't . . . .
Attorney General Gonzales: (Interrupting) Don't try to tell me I can't! By God that does it!
You've finally crossed the line! I hereby declare you an Unlawful Enemy Combatant and a terrorist danger to the United States!

Interviewer: But, please, Mr. Attorney General Gonzales! I'm just a reporter working for my newspaper to get an interview and news story! I'm no danger to the United States and I certainly am not a terrorist or an enemy combatant . . .

Attorney General Gonzales: (Interrupting) Silence! You are what I say you are! And I say you are an Unlawful Enemy combatant and terrorist and you will now be dealt with accordingly!

Interviewer: But please sir!. I need to call my lawyer and my employer, and my wife! Please don't do this to me sir!

Attorney General Gonzales: Too late for you boyo! I told you to be silent! You're calling no one! You're out of here! We'll have no more of your damned seditious attitude and giving aid and comfort to the enemy! Anything you try to say or do now only hurts your case more. I doubt you'll ever see daylight again as it is!


NOTE: The above is a parody of what might and could happen under the present system in the United States of America today . . . .

Monday, October 23, 2006

Stay The Curse!

When I was a kid and you went to the movies you always knew deep inside that no matter how bad it got, how many bad guys were out there, no matter how hopeless the situation looked, you always knew the good guys in the white hats were gonna pull it out.

It might be at the last possible minute, but the good guys always won in the movies. Maybe there was a law or something back then, or maybe it was just the times, but no matter what, when you left that Saturday matinee you felt satisfied that good, and right, and wholesome had triumphed once again. The good but humble cowboy smiled at the pretty girl and kissed his horse and rode off into the sunset.

But for the past five or six years in our country it has looked awfully like the early parts of those old cowboy movies. You know the parts where the evil, snarly bandit/lying horse thief/cattle rustler/no good dry-gulcher terrorized the church women and had their way with the little cattle town, or poor rancher, or kindly old farmer, or hard working widow woman, or threadbare preacher or whatever. Of course the pretty daughter was obligatory too. Only in our late nightmare, it has sure seemed the bad guys held all the cards and power and there are no pretty daughters in sight.

The current bad guys control the entire government, from the White House on down. Their minions control the media machines, the big rapacious corporations and banks, and even most of the preachers are propagandizing for them in a maniacal and overweening fit of ascendancy. Often it seems their unrestrained power reaches orgiastic levels. Truth is what they said it is, and hang all reality.

The entire country has been full of bad guys every where you looked. Liars, corrupt politicians, schemers, con men, ruthless plunderers and philanderers. But, just like in the movies maybe you still keep this faint hope, this lonely, forlorn yearning that somehow, sometime, goodness will finally prevail against all the evil doers and triumph yet one more time.

And just like in the old cowboy movies, evil is at last once again imploding in upon itself. Like a merciless landslide, the transgressions of the bad guys are now reaching such an ominously critical mass for them, they have begun to avalanche down on the evil doers like so many megatons of inexorable rubble.

The corruption, the lies, the deceit, and the overreaching evil is now destroying those who would destroy the democratic foundations of our nation. The bad guys are running frantically for cover and turning upon each other like frantic rats. Like a cracked and stuck record, their leaders continue to repeat the same things over and over, but the world now tunes them out and hears them no more. And, when they do try to change their tune they only demonstrate their perfidy and hollowness all the more.

Thus for example, you have the spectacle of the current President of the United States claiming with a straight face there has never been any policy of “Stay the Course” in Iraq. Forget those are the actual words he himself has used on many occasions!


I mean, does our President really think we the people are that stupid? Most obviously!

The good guys are finally winning! Maybe we will in the end be able to STAY THE CURSE!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Bush II War Planning

* (Click on the image above to expand)

The Bush II administration has been widely criticized for lack of planning, or for having no plan at all the the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, there is no truth to those assertions.

Very formalized plans are now coming to light through undisclosed sources who wish to remain anonymous. In fact, both wars are proceeding in close accordance with generic war flow charts prepared prior to Bush II ever taking office.

Much criticism is directed at the lack of any war exit strategies, but as these charts demonstrate there is a very clear exit strategy for each war.

Within the inner circles of this administration these exit strategies are known as the “BABU” Strategies, an acronym for “Blame Anyone But Us”.

Whatever you call things, this chart will lay to rest once and for all any doubts about lack of planning for these wars.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Too Much Damned Truth Tellin'!

A very upset and angry President George W. Bush stomped into the small White House room where his senior advisor Karl Rove was getting one of his twice daily body massages. Bush flopped down on the couch with the presidential spokesdog Barney. He was so upset he was visibly trembling.

“Dammit, Turd-blossum!” said Mr. Bush. “Things are just gettin’ out of hand and you gotta fix it!”

“All right Junior,” said Mr. Rove as he daintily and carefully wiped oil from his wrists with kleenex. “What do you want me to do for you?”

“Well, dammit Karl, you’re just gonna have to do something! There’s ‘way too much truth-telling goin' on around here these days. It’s bad enough the Republican Party is in the biggest freaking meltdown in political history. But now, you have all these bozos coming out of the woodwork a-tellin’ the truth an’ all, and there’s no tellin’ where that’s gonna take us or how it's gonna reflect on me either! You’ve just gotta put a stop to it and I mean right damned now!”

“Well, OK Junior. Just which bozos are you referring to?”

“Hell, I’m a-talkin’ about damned near all a them!” screamed Bush. “I mean the last one was that there army general what’s his name. General Major, I mean Major General Caldwell who’s supposed to be our military expert and spokesman on the ground there in Eye-Rack. He just hauled off and said we are being counterproductive, whatever in the hell that means! The press is all over it for Christ’s sake! We cain’t stand no damned more truth-tellin’!”

“Hell, the SOB even said our last crackdown in Eye-Rack is a freaking failure! And Karl, you know how I hate that word ‘failure’ doncha? Ever since folks found out what turned up when they did an internet search for that word what turned up. Dammit, cain’t I depend on any damned body any more?”

“OK Junior,” said Rove diplomatically. “I’ll see what I can do.”

“Do hell!” Screamed Bush. “I want you to put a damned stop to it! This has gone ‘way too far. What the hell do you think this is going to do to my legacy as President?”

“Well Junior,” commented Rove. “I think your presidential legacy is pretty much already set in stone and there’s no way anyone can damage it any more. I wouldn’t worry myself anymore about that.”

Bush’s eyes spun in his head as he shouted, “Dammit Turd-Blossum! All this damned truth-tellin’ is the freaking reason! I mean just look at all the damage! First, way back when you had that damned White House Budget Advisor Lawrence Lindsey claiming the Iraq war could cost over $200 billion all at the same time Rumsfeld was saying it was lot’s less than $50 billion. We fired that sumbitch Lindsey the same day for that damned bit of truth-tellin’ and that put the fear o’ God in the rest of ‘em. That’s what I mean!”

“And at least some folks like Colin Powell got the hell out of the administration without gettin’ into the truth-tellin’ game. Where’s that kinda loyalty today?”

“Well, I already said I’d see what I can do Junior.” said Rove calmly. “I’ll go to work on it as soon as I get back from lunch between my massages.”

“Lunch, smunch you four-eyed fat-assed pervert!” screamed Bush. “Either you get started on this right-damned-now or I’m gonna fire your big fat ass!”

Now showing some temper himself, Rove said quite nastily, “I’m sorry Junior, but I don’t think so. You better take that up with Dick Cheney before you get hold of something you can’t handle. You just damned sure don’t want to go there.”

At that, Rove grabbed an orange from the nearby fruit bowl and hurled it at Bush’s head before heading back to the massage table shaking his head from side to side. "Tsk, tsk, tsk" he clucked.
“Nennh, nennh, nennh to you too you big fatty cakes!” sneered Bush as he grabbed the presidential spokesdog Barney and beat a hasty retreat back to the oval office.

Even Barney seemed a considerably nonplussed.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

What Planet Are These Guys From?

REALLY! What planet did they get these guys from and how did they ever get down here?

Do they actually believe people will continue to buy their fantasies?

VP Richard Cheney is NOT a popular American, maintaining as he does an even lower approval rating than George W. Bush. On 10/18/06 Cheney met with TIME MAGAZINE’S Mike Allen and James Carney in the sitting room of the Vice President's house in Washington to discuss the elections, Iraq and more.

INTERVIEWER'S QUESTION: What do you think a Democratic House would be like?

CHENEY: "Well, I don't expect that to happen. . . . . .One of the things I do talk about on the campaign trail is the importance of what we've been able to do with tax policy. . . . If Charlie Rangel (Democrat) were to be Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, he would put at risk . . . .he would put at risk some of the best economic policy this nation has seen in a long time. It has produced phenomenal results for the economy."

(Could Cheney possibly be referring to giving a $500 billion tax break to the wealthiest Americans while dropping many vital public services - even health care for wounded veterans - and being responsible for the largest deficit in history? After the highest surplus in history? Or maybe he's referring to the stock market which has finally re-reached the high point it was prior to Bush taking office over six and one-half years ago, albeit with a dollar which has thoroughly depreciated since then?)

INTERVIEWER'S QUESTION: How long do you think it will be before the average American sees going to Iraq as a good idea?

(I confess. I had to snort with disbelief at this question - and almost choked myself!)

CHENEY: "That will all depend upon the final outcome. I think it's difficult to judge, . . . .I think we've done the right thing. I think we're doing the right thing now. I firmly believe that. The President firmly believes it."

(Really? Staying the course? That’s only digging a deeper hole! Even the senior generals - who actually have some war experience, almost universally say this is a fact.)

"It's going to be tough to finish the task, but I think it's very important that we complete the task."

(now that may well be true . . . but this administration is very obviously going to leave that up to their sucessors, and it looks like that may take even longer than the ten years wasted in Vietnam before Nixon finally decided to “Cut and Run”.

INTERVIEWER'S QUESTION: There's certainly a lot of talk in Washington that there will be a search for an exit strategy after the election.

CHENEY: "I know what the President thinks. I know what I think. And we're not looking for an exit strategy; we're looking for victory."

(Yeah right! They’ve been looking for that ever since ‘Mission Accomplished” over three years ago! Maybe they should try looking under the cabbage leaf. Trouble is “Staying the Course” is never going to produce it!)

INTERVIEWER'S QUESTION: Mr. Vice President, if you had to take back any one thing you'd said about Iraq, what would it be?

CHENEY: "I expressed the sentiment some time ago that I thought we were over the hump in terms of violence, I think that was premature. . ."

(God Almighty! Do tell!)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

An Interview with Alaska's Senator Stevens

Alaska’s senior Senator Ted Stevens watches with dismay the erosion of the gains made by Republicans over the past decade.

Declaring that Republicans had ‘unfinished business’ to attend to and the country would make a huge mistake to ‘let all this slip into the sea’, Stevens was unwavering about ‘staying the course’.

“Hmrmp, er, ah, I think and I oughta say . . just let me say that . . . What’s that?” said the Senator. “What’s that? Well, yes you can quote me on that.”

“And I can tell you this, and it won’t be for the first time either, aha, ah, ah, uh. No Sir! What I mean to say is by golly, I WILL RESIGN FROM THE SENATE before I’ll let that happen! I mean it too! Not like the last time I ah, ah said that . . . no, Sir.”

When asked by a reporter why the public should elect a Republican congress today, the Senator was adamant:

“Well by golly, just you ah look at what Republicans have done for the country since we’ve ah, er, er, ah, been in power. We’ve, we’ve, we’ve protected the country against ah, terrorism, uh, uh. And, we’re uh, uh, uh, gonna build a big fence to ah, ah, keep those illegal wetbacks, I mean spicks, I mean, ah, ah, aliens where they belong. We’re ah, uh, fighting a war in Eye-Rack, and uh, uh, what’s the name of that other place? Yeah, I mean ah, ah Afghan too, ah, ah.”

“And just you look at the economy! Under the Republicans the economy is ah, ah now all the way ah, ah, back to where it was six years, ah, ah, ago, when we took, ah, over the administration.”

“And, we’ve got that Patriot Act now which uh, ah, ah let’s, I mean helps, ah, us, ah, keep the liberals, I mean Democrats, I mean terrorists in . . . an’ gives us the weapons we need to protect the ah, the ah, the party . . . I mean the country - the nation I mean.”

“And make no mistake! Our ah, ah, uh resolve is firm and ah, ah, uh, ah, fer, fer, fer, fervent! We’re ah, ah, ah determined to protect this great nation, and ah, ah, ah the oil companies, and the financial districts, ah, ah, and all the churches of course. Make ah, make ah, no mistake!”

“But sir,” one reporter asked, “The prevailing opinion now is that the war in Iraq was a huge mistake, and this administration has butchered the Constitution and is violating individual human rights on a huge scale . . . . “

The Senator interrupted, “Now just an ah, ah minute! I told you I WOULD RESIGN FROM THE SENATE IF I DON’T GET MY, AH, AH, WAY! I ah, ah, ah don’t know how I can be any more clear than, ah, ah, ah THAT! GET THE HELL OUT OF MY WAY YOU UNGRATEFUL PEON! Hrmmph, aha.”

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Anybody But The Incumbent

Our US political system is broken. Most politicians admit that. When approval ratings for Congress is below 20% - it is very, very obvious our system is in need of serious repair. "Politicians for Life" treat our government as their own personal honey pot while simultaneously avoiding responsibility:

We’ve allowed unbridled capitalism to corrupt politicians and the process beyond repair. What can be done? For one thing, “we the people“ must get more involved in things. We must shine a bright spotlight on the deficiencies and make sure the public is aware.

Another part is motivating the public to do something.
So what can we as individuals do?

I once had an acquaintance who declared his political philosophy was always to 'vote the SOB’s out!', referring to any incumbent. 25 years ago I thought his attitude was incredibly simple minded. But almost anyone today will admit that would be a better situation than we now have.

My wife says all political offices would be better served by a lottery system - sort of like a military draft, and I tend to agree with her more every day. Such a system would certainly be no worse than we now have, save untold amounts of money and completely remove special interests from the political equation. Partisan craziness would be just another bad memory of the past!

Office holders would be prevented from becoming political royalty with a lifetime sinecure to be used to their personal advantage. For example, it might well have kept Representative Dennis Hastert from parlaying a $250-300,00 net worth to well over $6 million in the nineteen years he's been in office.
At an annual 10% return Hastert should have been at about $1.35 - 1.5 million for example. Instead, he's increased his net worth by an average of over 16-1/2% annually. While theoretically possible, it boggles the mind to imagine Dennis Hastert to be financially astute enough to outperform the stock market by that order of magnitude.

The same phenomenon is true with many other long term politicians. And, let’s not forget there are many members in Congress who got there in the first place by promising to impose term limits upon themselves. But once secure in their offices they’ve quickly forgotten those promises to their constituents - in the interests of ‘continuity’ no doubt.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Terrorists & Presidential Equilibrium

Newpaper Headline: "Terrorist Teacher Arrested in New York"

NEW YORK, NY - A public school teacher was arrested today at John F. Kennedy International Airport as he attempted to board a flight while in possession of a ruler, a protractor, a set square, a slide rule and a calculator. He was charged with being an "Unlawful Enemy Combatant" under the new Military Commissions Act of 2006.

At a morning press conference, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said he believes the man is a member of the notorious Al-gebra movement. He did not identify the man, who has been charged by the FBI with carrying weapons of math instruction.

"Al-gebra is a problem for us," Gonzales said. "They desire solutions by means and extremes, and sometimes go off on tangents in a search of absolute value. They use secret code names like 'x' and 'y' and refer to themselves as ' unknowns', but we have determined they belong to a common denominator of the axis of medieval with coordinates in every country. As the Greek philanderer Isosceles used to say, 'There are three sides to every triangle'."

When asked to comment on the arrest, President Bush said, "If our Christian God had wanted us to have better weapons of math instruction, He would have given us more fingers and toes." White House aides told reporters they could not recall a more intelligent or profound statement by the president.

The President spoke thru his ever faithful spokesdog Barney.
Bush has a very close personal rapport with Barney, for like the President, Barney formerly had a severely challenged personal equilibrium, spacial orientation and comfort level with his physical surroundings. It is believed that the President’s problems stem from his father’s early proclivity to use his young son for third base in family pickup ball games. As a result, it took the President some time after adulthood to establish comfort with standard gravitational forces since he was challenged in so many areas.
The President has often suffered physically due to his equilibrium challenges:

After his election, Mr. Bush’s staff embarked on an ambitious program designed with the latest technology to rehabilitate the President and help his equilibrium:
Though there were many setbacks along the way, the President perservered:

Mr. Bush’s presidential staff purchased Barney the dog as a companion for the President, but it was soon apparent that Barney suffered from many of the same challenges as the President, and had to receive further training himself. Barney’s problems were more extensive than the President’s as he had no gravitational orientation whatever, and was just as likely to attempt walking upside down as anything:

But, Barney’s progression was faster than Mr. Bush’s. Based on his own experiences, the President took personal charge of Barney’s therapy. Using the traditional “sink or swim’ technique of simply throwing Barney into the air until he learned to right himself and land on all four feet, Mr. Bush soon taught the canine total equilibrium:

Barney is now an invaluable member of the Bush’s Oval Office inner circle and the President's constant companion as well as Bush’s personal spokesdog. Unlike the President, Barney showed a quick proclivity for and picked up on the proper use of speech. Although somewhat garbled by his canine vocal restrictions, Barney manages to understand language, and use pronunciation, nomenclature and proper language structure much better than the President. Mr. Bush now depends upon Barney almost exclusively for all his private, personal communications.

However, since Barney cannot manipulate the instrument, Mr. Bush is still greatly challenged by telephone use. To this day he struggles valiantly and continues to work on his difficulties with the spoken word and motor manipulation while his staff desperately seeks a remedy.

Friday, October 13, 2006

The History of "Cut & Run"

I found it interesting and illuminating to compile an informal score card of US war history under various administrations:

From the US Civil War, four wars have begun under Democratic administrations:

Two wars have ended under Democratic administrations as follows:

From the US Civil War, five wars have begun under Republican administrations:

Five wars have also ended under Republican administrations as follows:

And, it now appears that for the first time in history the US is losing two wars simultaneously under a Republican administration as follows:

But, it also now seems more than likely this Republican administration can shove the responsibility for ending these disasters off on someone else.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Another Hastert Interview

Another imaginary interview with Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert:

Interviewer: Thanks for meeting with me again Mr. Speaker. I just need to clear up a few more things . . .

Hastert: Well, don’t waste my time! Let’s get on with it. I’m very busy attending to the people’s business you know!

Interviewer: Yes sir. Actually, that’s what I wanted to ask. There have been some questions raised that maybe you weren’t attending to the people’s business in a responsible or timely fashion in dealing with Congressman Foley of Florida . . .

Hastert: (Interrupting) Now wait just a damned minute! That’s what I mean. You folks in the media are on some kinda witch hunt or something. And another thing, the Democrats have - in my view have - put this thing forward to try to block us from telling the story. They’re trying to put us on defense! It isn’t gonna fly though, let me tell you that!

Interviewer: Yes sir, But, isn’t it part of your job to oversee things in the House, and part of that includes the welfare of all the teenage pages?

Hastert: Yessir. And that’s just what I did. The minute I heard that little fairy from Florida was after those boys I jumped right in and took some action. I’ve got nothing to hide! I did my job by golly and I can prove it!

Interviewer: And, what action was that Mr. Speaker?

Hastert: Well for one thing I turned it over to my aides for action. I’ve just assumed they took the proper action.

Interviewer: But Mr. Speaker, those were some fairly serious concerns. Shouldn’t you have done some follow-up? Isn’t that in your job description?

Hastert: Watch it boy! Well by God, if you can’t trust your own aides. who the hell can you trust? I mean my people were charged with looking after this issue. If I find out they dropped the ball, well you know what I’m gonna do. I’m gonna discipline ‘em. I’m gonna fire me some butts! I’ll put some in jail if I have to!

Interviewer: Well Mr. Speaker, does that shoe fit you as well? I mean if the Congress finds out you yourself dropped the ball, shouldn’t you be fired - or resign?

Hastert: I already told you to watch it Boy! Hell No and double hell no! I’m the Speaker of the House for Christ’s sakes! For one thing I can’t be fired. Just remember this entire administration is controlled by Republicans - of which I am one I might remind you - and they’re not gonna fire the top dog in the House!

Interviewer: Well, with all due respect sir, that’s exactly what the public is saying: That since Republicans are in control of everything, there’s no hope of getting any fairness in this process if you won’t go after the bad guys. Can the Republicans be trusted to discipline one of their own after all is said and done?

Hastert: Well yes, of course we would if we found out anything was wrong. But that’s just the thing. So far all we’ve got are a bunch of accusations coming out of some traitorous left field. There’s no proof we did anything wrong, and in particular, there’s no proof I myself did anything wrong.

Interviewer: Well sir, that’s another thing the public is saying. They are saying you didn’t do anything when you should have. They are saying you ignored a problem for partisan reasons. They’re saying you didn’t do anything because there’s another Republican involved. They’re saying you knew about the problem with Foley and the pages for years . . . .

Hastert: Now, hold on just a damned minute! I’ve already told you I didn’t find out about this stuff until just the other day . .

Interviewer: (Interrupting) . . . and you just ignored it. Other Republicans are attesting to this, and more than one too!

Hastert: Well by God I’m telling you they’re just a bunch of damned liars! I don’t care if they are Republicans!

Interviewer: Some of your own aides are saying these things Mr. Speaker!

Hastert: Well it looks like I may have to clean house! If there’s anything I can’t stand it’s an aide who won’t lie for his boss! I’m telling you, I don’t care how many of ‘em claim I knew about this in ‘03 or ‘01 or ‘99 or whatever the damned year it was. I ain’t gonna admit I to it no matter what. My job is too damned important to the country to let a little scandal ruin my career. Somebody else - maybe several other somebodies - are gonna have to take the blame for this. I myself am not to blame!

Interviewer: Well Mr. Speaker, most of the country now disagrees with you. Most of the public now believes you’ve let partisan cynicism rule you and you have ignored this problem in order to protect the Republican party.

Hastert: Balderdash! Republicans are in charge and we’re gonna save this country from the terrorists! All this is is just a plot to wreck the country. And, it sure looks like the plotters are after me on behalf of the terrorists, me, the Speaker of the House! - why I’m gonna pull out all the stops. It will be me and the Republican Party against those enemy combatants. And let me tell you we are now armed! We’ve just passed the Military Commission Act and the president has signed it into law! We can declare anyone we want an enemy combatant and hold them indefinitely, without charges and incommunicado forever if we want to. Ain’t a damned thing they can do either!

Interviewer: But Mr. Speaker - you can’t just declare anyone you want to an enemy combatant . . .

Hastert: (Interrupting) Like Hell we can’t! The president can declare, or he can appoint whoever he wants to to declare someone an enemy combatant! No limits to it if the president or his people decides someone is a danger to this great nation! That’s what the act was passed for - to protect this country from those who would do us harm, like the traitors who want to trash the Republican Party over some little Florida fairy’s pederast dalliances. We won’t tolerate it! Nosiree!

Interviewer: But Mr. Speaker, just because someone questions the administration doesn’t make him an enemy combatant . . .

Hastert: (Interrupting) Oh Hell yes it does! Questioning this administration is exactly the same thing as disloyalty to the country after 9/11. Nay sayers are all traitors, and they will be dealt with accordingly. We are just not going to tolerate disloyalty to the president or to the Republican party!

Interviewer: Yes Mr. Speaker with all due respect, the Republican Party is not the same thing as the United States of America. The Republican Party is not our nation - it’s a political party! You can’t equate them.

Hastert: Who says we can’t? We’re in charge of protecting this great country and we’ll do what’s good for the country the way we see it. Anyone who disagrees can just go cut bait. Unless he or she wants to mouth off about it. Then we’ll deal with ‘em. That Military Commission Act gives us the tools to handle those traitors.

Interviewer: But Mr. Speaker aren’t we becoming just like the old Soviet Union under the Communists? They imprisoned and ‘disappeared’ folks who disagreed too . .

Hastert: (Interrupting) Hold on! Hold On! You’ve gone ‘way too far now! You can’t compare this administration to the Communists! I’ll have your smart ass thrown in jail forever! No one will ever hear from you again!

Interviewer: Oh no Sir! I didn’t mean it that way! I was just trying to do my job and draw a word picture! I don’t mean to be disrespectful or anything . . . or, heaven forbid disloyal . .

Hastert: Too late you pinko jerk! I’ll show you how we deal with traitors! Guard! Security! Security! Get in here! Someone’s let a terrorist in the building!

Interviewer: Oh my God Sir! I was just trying to ask some questions for my paper! Please Sir. Please, please don’t overreact!

Hastert: Oh Boyo you’ve really gone and done it now! I’ll show you over reaction . . .!

(Over his shoulder to the security guards now gathering at the doorway to Hastert’s office): There he is boys! There’s the terrorist who thinks he can just waltz in here and ask any damned thing he likes. Take him away! And, don’t worry about being gentle with him either if you value your jobs. Get this slimy pinko out of here now!

Interviewer: Oh please! No! No! No!

Security Guards: Thump! Thump! Kick! Thump! Kick! Thump! Zap! (Taser), Ziiitz! (Taser)

Interviewer: Ohhh, ohhhh!

Hastert: Good work boys! Take this traitorous SOB down to the Rendition Embarkation Center right now! Gimme his notebook and tape recorder!

Security Guard: Yessir! You got it! Say, you want I should grab you some joe on the way back up Sir? Cream & double sugar, right?

Hastert: Yeah, an’ three or four of them jelly rolls too!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Living under Corporatism!

There all all sorts of corporations and corporate personalities just as there are in individuals. But, an overweening characteristic of big corporations is what appears to be greed (it really isn’t exactly that) and often an antagonistic relationship with their employees, especially those on the lower levels. I believe this is a direct result of corporate necessity to MAKE AS BIG A PROFIT AS POSSIBLE AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE - thus the appearance of greed. Everything else is subordinated to those goals, and I do mean EVERYTHING.

This is the so-called ‘Capitalistic’ system which we still so avidly subscribe to in this country, but which has now actually morphed into “CORPORATISM” and is in reality a very muscular and burly second cousin only to a far weaker ‘capitalism’. In our country this fact is not yet widely perceived and the corporatists prefer to continue to fly under the radar using the capitalist label.

Corporations are also the largest beneficiaries by far of public welfare - in the form of tax advantages if not outright cash benefits which are also very common.
Corporatists do not wish for the public to understand that corporatism now rules, for if we did there very well might be a strong public rejection and a move towards more socialism and perhaps even communistic type systems.

That is exactly what happened when Marx, Engels and Lenin motivated the masses against the piratical capitalist plunderers of their times.

One big difference is that instead of individuals or very small groups of people controlling corporations, there are today interlocking Boards of Directors, sometimes involved with many other corporations, who employ ‘hired guns’ in the form of highly trained CEO’s and CFO’s, etc., to do their bidding, thus moving themselves one or more levels away from the actual corporate piracy and antisocial corporate conduct. Another major difference is corporatists are clever enough today to spread the largesse around among more people near the top in order to keep everyone doing their bidding, or at least quiet and complacent.

Thus you have the spectacle of all the CEO’s of all the major tobacco corporations together in one group, blatantly and cynically lying before Congress - and getting completely away with it!

Today in our country money controls our political system in a way not seen in a century. Corporatism has seen to this, and has worked assiduously to remove obstacles preventing money from influencing laws and regulation. “Corporate Campaign Contributions” are now widely expected and accepted - and cynically defined as ‘Freedom of Speech’ instead of the vote buying bribes they in reality are.

Corporatists have also moved aggressively to control media and public organs of expression, and to suppress those they perceive as antagonistic to their interests. There are minutely planned and organized campaigns against anyone or anything perceived as populist, a la Karl Rove et al. The word “Liberal” has very nearly been defined as a swear word today and the word ‘progressive’ is rapidly being redefined as well. In other words, ‘black’ has become ‘white’ and vice versa.

I am amazed at the success Neo-Cons have in redefining something to be exactly the opposite of what it really is; “Bringing Freedom and Democracy to Iraq” while unilaterally invading and subjugating Iraq, or ‘Protecting Our Freedoms” while energetically taking them away being two prime examples. Unfortunately for us there are too many more.

Of course not all corporations are evil. There are still examples of corporations who ‘do good’ and treat their people - all of them - well. But, all corporations must survive in the competitive marketplace. Because of our now perverted system, larger corporations in particular are very susceptible to being subordinated to or becoming controlled by corporatists with strictly monetary interests above all else. Remember the old adage about nice guys finishing last? Ours is a decidedly unfriendly landscape for ‘good’ corporations.

Many large corporations are guilty of ‘buying’ public good will by contributing large sums of money to worthy causes, but which sums are very small mini-fractions of their bottom lines. Exxon Mobil contributes relative pittances to worthy causes while cynically and simultaneously working (and funding) behind the scenes efforts to undermine global warming mitigation and avoid court ordered fines for example.

Cynically, many large corporations mount egregiously false campaigns to polish their public images. BP touts their ‘environmentally friendly’ behavior for example when nothing could be further from the truth. In fact this practice is so pervasive I am surprised we haven’t seen laws passed against such barefaced corporate lying - but they remain blithely free to do so with impunity. No one in politics or the major media ever calls them on it. Not ever.

Such is life under corporatism!

"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism, since it is the merger of state and corporate power."
- - - - Benito Mussolini.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Dennis Hastert Interview

An imaginary interview with Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert over the Mark Foley controversy:

INTERVIEWER: Good afternoon Speaker Hastert. Thank you for meeting with me for this interview. There are just a few questions I’d like to ask you about Representative Foley.

Speaker HASTERT : Yes, well. I’ll help you all I can but there’s not a great deal I know about this whole business you understand.

INTERVIEWER: Well Mr. Speaker, what about allegations that you have known about Mark Foley’s predatory pederasty behavior since July, 2003?

Speaker HASTERT : Nonsense! That’s just another vicious partisan lie and a scheme to make political hay by the Democrats. I only learned about Foley in September of ’03!

INTERVIEWER: But didn’t you recently claim you hadn’t heard about it at all until the messages between Foley and the pages were made public.

Speaker HASTERT : Well, I just didn’t remember it until someone refreshed my memory for me. Of course now it has been disclosed that Representative Foley was sexually abused as a child and has been suffering from alcoholism since last Friday too.

INTERVIEWER: Isn’t it your duty as a leader and Speaker of the House to take overall responsibility to make sure all representatives obey the law, and in particular protect the young pages?

Speaker HASTERT : Well of course it is. As you know under my leadership we have now opened a full and complete investigation into this unfortunate affair.

INTERVIEWER: Don’t you think you should resign & let the investigation proceed without being influenced by you, another Republican? Couldn’t that be construed as a conflict of interest?

Speaker HASTERT: Of course I shouldn’t resign. I’m the Republican leader. Republicans control the House. Republicans control the Senate. There’s a Republican sitting in the White House. Republicans control the Ethics Committee. Republicans control everything and I’m untouchable and can’t be made to resign by anyone unless a majority of Republicans say so! There’s no conflict of interest unless we say so either!

INTERVIEWER: Don’t you think you’re setting a double standard here? For example Republicans viciously went after Clinton for his dalliance with a 21 year old White House intern - above the age of consent incidentally. Kenneth Starr spent over 80 million taxpayer dollars to do that.

Speaker HASTERT: Well, this is not anywhere near as serious as what Clinton did. There's no real proof yet Mark Foley ever did anything with a page either. We’re contacting every single page to make sure there’s no proof in the future too, no mater how much it costs. There was absolute proof Clinton did something - a stain on a blue dress if you remember.

INTERVIEWER: But Mr. Speaker, don’t you have an overall responsibility to protect the teenage pages? I mean they are High School juniors for Heaven’s sakes!

Speaker HASTERT: Listen. Those kids are smart. That’s why they are selected as pages in the first place. Anyhow, who’s to say they didn’t scheme to set this up and trap Foley? How about that, huh? Just because they are young doesn’t mean they aren’t dirty little conniving political beasts!

INTERVIEWER: But Mr. Speaker, it’s your DUTY . . .

Speaker HASTERT: LISTEN! Don’t talk to me about duty. Those little bastards have caused all kinds of trouble now. Just look at the mess they’ve made here! All good Republicans KNOW this is just a dirty, Democrat plot to muddy the waters and put the screws to Republicans! That just goes without saying for Heaven’s sakes! If we can find something to hang on those little page bastards we’ll prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law By God! I wouldn’t be a damned bit surprised to find out a lot of ‘em are Enemy Combatants either!

INTERVIEWER: Enemy Combatants? But, there’s absolutely no evidence or proof of anything like that! Not even a suggestion . . .

Speaker HASTERT: Proof schmoof! By God we’ll find some proof! I mean what in hell do you think the FBI is for these days? That’s the difference between Republicans and Democrats anyway you know. Republicans have never let the mere absence of proof be a problem! By God we’ll get the CIA involved if we have to!

INTERVIEWER: You’d make up some kind of case against them?

Speaker HASTERT: Hell yes! Just look at the damage to Republicans they’re causing just over a little bit of pedophilia. Keep in mind what’s important here is the Republican Party and the continuity of the party! Rendition is certainly not out of the question here either!


Speaker HASTERT: Damned right! That’s what we do with Enemy Combatants you know . . . never have to worry about ‘em again!

INTERVIEWER: But how could you ever say any one of these kids is an Enemy Combatant? I mean one of them is from a right wing neo-con family in Louisiana for goodness sakes!

Speaker HASTERT: Doesn’t matter! Don’t even need to. If that little bastard’s got a Democrat anywhere in his family background - grandma, great aunt, third cousin whatever - there’s a damned good chance he’s an Enemy Combatant. We can make the case! Just look at that John Walker Lindh for example. You know, the "American Taliban” kid. All we had to do was threaten to classify him as an Enemy Combatant to get his confession! Now he’s doing twenty years without parole, right now, this day!

INTERVIEWER: But, how can you possibly do that? You’d make up the evidence?

Speaker HASTERT: Wouldn’t have to! A single Democrat in the woodpile would be enough for us! That’s all the proof we need.
. . .

INTERVIEWER: Well Mr. Speaker, I certainly am surprised and amazed at your position on this matter. There’s just a few more questions I need to ask you . . . .

Speaker HASTERT: Sorry! I’ve gotta go now. Got a high level Republican strategy session to hold with my colleagues, then a pig roast to attend before my next fund raiser. No more time.

INTERVIEWER: But Mr. Speaker, you promised me a full hour for this interview . . .

Speaker HASTERT: Doesn’t matter! Gotta go! Say, you wouldn’t have any Democrats in your background would you . . . ? You sure do ask a lot of suspicious Enemy Combatant type questions . . . .

INTERVIEWER: Yep! You’re right! Gotta go too!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Global Warming Proof

Someone recently sent me some graphical proof of global warming to combat all the nay sayers and obfuscators who claim there's no such thing. This graphic closely correlates to the shrinkage of planetary ice mass on Earth. (click on the images to expand):

Coincidentally some history buffs believe they have now established a strong link between the rise of global temperatures and the average head size of some of the prominent Republican figures over the years. In this case, the head sizes correlate directly and parallel to the global temperature gains over the same time periods:

Some of the less respectful have suggested that this really simply illustrates a Republican "Pig Factor" and does not necessarily relate directly to Global Warming. Personally I think they are one and the same and closely inter-twined.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Vituperative & Foulmouthed?

An acquaintance has wondered if my blog could be considered 'vituperative & foulmouthed' as the Washington Post's David Broder has described certain 'liberal's' blogs.

I like to consider myself as 'progressive' though I wouldn't be surprised to be described as a 'vituperative liberal' by some. Such are the labels used by word gamers these days. I consider myself simply as an 'environmentalist' for example, but invariably find people like me now painted as 'extreme' or 'radical environmentalists' by the likes of Alaska's Senator Ted Stevens or Congressman Don Young even though I've not changed nor done nothing more extreme or radical than publicly express my opinion. Such are the words games that politicians play to marginalize those who don't agree with them. It is just a fact of life today in America.

I do try not to be foulmouthed. A friend once told me that swearing and being foulmouthed was just a manifestation of a lack of imagination and intellect, not to mention vocabulary. I've always considered myself to be 'center of the bird' in the words of comedian Pat Paulsen who humorously ran for President back in Nixon's time. He claimed that having too much left wing or right wing just caused you to fly around in circles. I agree. But, being a 'progressive centrist' lately has meant being shoved (without moving!) way over to the left by the Neo-cons who have now pried the country so far to the right. I did an inventory once not too long ago and realized that I have actually voted for more Republicans than Democrats in my life.

But, my views are changing over the past few years. I now perceive we live in neither a democracy, nor the 'capitalist' society that I've always believed in. Instead, I've belatedly recognized the US is actually under 'corporatism' or 'corporate statism' no matter which party holds the White House. Though admittedly this is far more true under Republicans. In fact, under the present administration our country can quite accurately be called Fascist as I understand the term. My countrymen may not like to hear that, but in my humble opinion that is very close to the truth.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Partisan Irresponsibility

There’s a well deserved Republican leadership meltdown ongoing over the scandal involving Florida Republican Congressman Mark Foley & congressional pages. Foley ‘resigned immediately’ on 29 September, 2006 following disclosure of his inappropriate e-mails to male pages. It is widely speculated that Foley is in fear of further disclosures.

Ironically, Foley is a high profile opponent of chid pornography and served as cochairman of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children. He was sponsor of child protection legislation, but his e-mails to boy pages show a definite pederast slant of his own. Maybe all Foley’s ‘protesting too much’ is akin to his being a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The biblically inclined like to point to Matthew 7:15:

“Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing,
but inwardly are ravenous wolves.
You will know them by their fruits.”

Foley may be subject to criminal prosecution under the very laws he helped write and pass. If so, his would be a classically apt example of being ‘hoist by his own petard’. This cliché was made famous by William Shakespeare in Hamlet:

“There's letters seal'd: and my two schoolfellows,
Whom I will trust as I will adders fang'd,

They bear the mandate;
they must sweep my way

And marshal me to knavery.
Let it work;

For 'tis the sport to have the engineer

Hoist with his own petar:
and 't shall go hard

But I will delve one yard below their mines

And blow them at the moon:
O, 'tis most sweet,

When in one line two crafts directly meet.”

As Shakespeare meant it, “hoist” means “blown up” as in bomb. A petar(d) is literally a buried bomb (mine). Being hoist by your own petard means being caught by your own booby trap! How fitting in this instance.

But the real story isn’t about Mark Foley. We will always have pederasts, perverts and child molesters among us. It’s the responsibility of other adults to protect the children against them. The real story is the partisan cover-up of Foley’s antics by the GOP leadership for well over a full year. Like the Catholic church covering up and hiding the predatory abuse of children by the priesthood, the Republican leadership made a cynical choice to protect their Republican turf instead of the children.

Astoundingly, Foley's excusers have gone so far as to blame the teenage pages themselves. Matt Drudge calls them ‘little beasts’. You can listen to his ranting for yourself here: MATT DRUDGE

It is unbelievably ridiculous, except that it is also a serious failure of responsibility. That the Republican leadership would choose to cover things up and leave the teenagers exposed to Foley’s overtures is criminal in many people's opinions. To their credit some Republican leadership are calling for a full investigation and censuring some of those whose responsibility it was to have taken action. This story is far from over.

And for Alaskans, what response do you think we have had from our lone congressman, Republican Don Young? Unsuprisingly, U.S. Rep. Don Young is not joining the call for House Speaker Dennis Hastert's resignation over a former Florida congressman's online messages to underage boys.

Meredith Kenny, the Alaska Republican's spokeswoman, said "It's not in his character to comment on someone else's personal problems. Well, not problems, someone's personal matters," "He's not going to get involved in this."

I thought it very apropos that the web site for ex-Congressman Foley's 16th Florida District now terms the position as "The Honorable Vacant" and the "Leadership" as "None":