Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2008 Highlights & Gutbusters

The year 2008 in review:

The highlights of 2008 for me, and proof positive that the Easter Bunny gods sure do have a sense of humor:

1: The video of President Bush nimbly ducking two shoes thrown his way during a press conference;

2: Seeing the merry, fun-loving face of Alaska Senator Ted Stevens on the front page of the newspapers the day he was indicted;

3: Watching Sarah Palin's infamous 'turkey pardon' video;

4: Tina Fey playing Sarah Palin - simply by repeating Palin's words verbatim;

5: Ann Coulter's jaw being wired shut;

6: OJ's court conviction and sentence;

7: Elliot Spitzer's $1000/hour date who trashed his entire life and career;

8: John McCain's statement "the fundamentals of our economy are strong" one whole week before the biggest economic meltdown in over 70 years;

9: "Joe the plumber", who campaigned for McCain, and turned out to be a non-plumber, back-taxes-owing deadbeat;

10: And who can forget Sarah Palin's daughter Bristol - raised on the strict 'abstinence' principle - showing up 7 months pregnant right after Palin's selection as McCain's VP pick?

Yepper, there were lot's of other things too, and it sure turned out to be a gut-busting year all right!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Holiday Songs For People in the News






GW Bush:
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas;
  • We Three Kings Disoriented Are

Dick Cheney:
  • You Better Watch Out;
  • Do You Hear What I hear?;

Larry Craig:
  • Nuts to You;
  • Nut Cracker;
  • (Chest)nuts Roasting on an Open Fire;
  • Silver Balls

Mark Foley:
  • What Child is This;
  • Oh Come Let Us Adore Him

Barack Obama:
  • Joy To The World;
  • Go Tell It On The Mountain

Jesse Jackson:
  • Should Auld Acquaintance Be Forgot?

Michael Jackson:
  • The Little Drummer Boy;
  • What Child Is This?

John McCain:
  • I'll be home for Christmas;
  • Silent Night

Bernard Madoff:
  • Sleigh Ride;
  • Fleeced Navidad

Sarah Palin:
  • I'll Have a Blue, Blue Christmas;
  • Never Do a Tango With An Eskimo;
  • Baby, It's Cold Outside

Condoleeza Rice:
  • I'm Dreaming Of A White Christmas

Monday, December 29, 2008

Lest we forget


As the day approaches when, thankfully, US president George W. Bush leaves office finally and for good, it is good to look back at some of the firsts and milestones for this person:


George W. Bush is the first person to:
  • Be the Texas governor who officially proclaimed an official 'Jesus Day';

  • Be the first US president ever elected to office by the US Supreme Court;

  • Be the US president who ignored all warnings to preside over an attack on US soil which took more lives than any on record;

  • Be the US president who squandered unprecedented international goodwill towards our country after 9/11, and turned it into active international hatred against our nation in a mere twelve months;

  • Achieve the lowest approval rating for any US president in history (as low as 17%);

  • Achieve the highest DISAPPROVAL rating for any US president ever recorded (78%);

  • Be the ONLY US president to have an official 'Absent Without Leave (AWOL) on his record;

  • Be the US president to enter office with the HIGHEST budget surplus on record;

  • Be the US president to leave office with the highest budget DEFICT on record;

  • Be the first US president to leave office with stock market averaging 10% below the level when he took office;

  • Be the only US president to preside over a SECOND US and international DEPRESSION;

  • Be the first US president to officially sanction torture;

  • Be the first US president to officially sanction wiretapping of US citizens - without warrants;

  • Be the first US president to engage our country in a 'preemptive' war against another country;

  • Be the only US president to withdraw official support for the international Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty;

  • Be the only US president to withdraw official support for the Kyoto Protocol - an international treaty to reduce global warming emissions;

  • Be the first US president to pass a law authorizing imprisonment of US citizens without trial - the Patriot Act;

  • Be the only US president to officially sanction the denial of habeas corpus for US citizens;

  • Be the only US president ever to instruct political operatives to override scientific data with political doggerel;

  • Be the only US president to implement a tax cut for the richest 5% of the people in the face of massive national budget deficits;

  • Be the only person in history more disliked by Arabs than Israelis - 3 times more hated than Ariel Sharon in fact;

  • Be the only US president to preside over a national disaster - Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans - where federal response was so pathetic that international aid was offered by dozens of other countries;

  • Be the only US president to be awarded the International Medal of Peace (by the Global Peace Coalition) in the midst of two wars, one of which was an unprovoked invasion of another country by that president;

  • Be the only US president in history to have shoes hurled at his head during a press conference.
And, lest we forget - let's keep in mind these other memorable events and happenings during the year 2008 from HUFFINGTON POST . . . .

Monday, December 22, 2008

President Bush to Undergo Sex Change

In a quiet, but sensational and possibly explosive announcement, US President George W. Bush revealed he intends to undergo a sex change operation in his first year out of office. He admitted he has been receiving hormone therapy for the past 12 months. He also hinted that his 'good buddy' Vladimir Putin of Russia might also join him in Stockholm, Sweden for a similar operation.


"All's I know is I've always felt more comfortable when I let my feminine side show." said Bush. "Being 'macho' has always been tough for me and I finally had to admit it to myself. And, I think Pootie feels exactly the same way I do."

"One problem though is this is really pissing off Karl Rove and making him very jealous. I had to tell him to 'just get over it'."

There are unconfirmed rumors that radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh was also so disturbed and livid with jealousy he has been forced to take a leave of absence for an unspecified period of time.

Dr. Richard Ingram of the Gender Identity Clinic at the Belfast City Hospital in Belfast, Northland Ireland is Bush's consulting psychiatrist for the operation.

Ingram commented, "Ever since I first took note of President Bush in 2000 I've realized he was terribly conflicted about his sexual identity. The unmistakeable signs are all there. There's the incessant need to always 'prove' his machismo such as by invading other nations and saying stupid macho things like 'Bring it on!'; There's Bush's penchant for going around in 'girlie' dress; There's his unabashed holding hands in public with other men, such as with the Saudi Prince, who Bush also blessed with a decidedly non-brotherly kiss on the lips."

"But, probably and most tellingly, there's the suggestive and cocky demonstration of 'manliness' Bush always seeks to portray, such as his strutting about on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier wearing a huge codpiece. I've examined Mr. Bush physically, and let me tell you, that was all for show, as there's no substance to it. Or as I'm told they say in Texas, it was 'All hat and no cattle'.

"Yes sir." said Dr. Ingram. "If there ever was a perfect candidate for a sex change operation it is President George W. Bush. In fact, I would go so far as to say the world would be infinitely better off had Mr. Bush received this operation twenty years ago."

Ingram said the operation itself presented little danger, although there is always the potential for failure. He pointed to the botched job done on columnist Ann Coulter who prior to her operation was a septic tank pump operator going by the name of Arnie. "That one is an unfortunate classic." he said. "but, I didn't have anything to do with it."

Dr. Ingram released a copy of his referral letter, which is reproduced below. (Click to view full size)

President Bush says there's only one thing he absolutely insists on, and that is 'that I don't wind up looking like my Mom'.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Presidential Lament


Oh, what to do when a shoe is threw?


Oh, what to do? What to Do?


Straight through the air it flew,


Square at my head with an aim so true,


Oh, what to do? What to do?


Duck and weave, ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh?


Oh My God, I don't have a clue!

Oh, what to do when a shoe is threw?

Oh, what to do? What to do?


And, he threw not one shoe, but two!


Ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh, ooh-ooh!


Hell, I'm even the President too!


Oh, what to do? What to do?



It all caused a humongous big to-do,


And made a hero for all Arabs to look to,

And created one big international stew.


Oh, what to do? What to do?


I could claim it's all a lie and untrue,


But, it's payed on TV for most anyone to view,


Hell, I might have to take up tae kwon do!


Oh, what to do? What to do?



I looked so darned stupid in playback reviews,


In all-dogoned-day-long deja vus!


And, no President ever faced this hitherto,


Oh, what to do? What to do?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Our President Gets a New Pair of Shoes

President George W. Bush got a new pair of shoes yesterday. They were flung at him during a news conference in Baghdad. An Iraqi TV reporter removed his shoes and threw them at Bush, one after the other. Bush ducked and they both missed. The reporter, Muntazer al-Zaidi of independent iraqi al-Baghdadiya television was arrested and taken into custody.


The current iraqi government, installed by the US has called the incident a "a barbaric and ignominious act". But, Al-Zaidi became an instant hero and celebrity in iraq and everywhere in the Arab world where 'disrespecting' someone with a shoe is a supreme insult. Many people there consider the illegal invasion of their country by US and 'coalition' forces to be barbaric and ignominious. Accurate figures are not available, but hundreds of thousands are believed to have been killed in the war.

Bush nimbly ducked the shoes as they came flying at him, and later airily dismissed the incident as just something to get attention. It got attention all right and is now the talk of the entire Arab world. In fact, it was so remarkable that anytime Bush now makes an appearance and does NOT have shoes thrown at him is considered a huge success." CBS headlines of Bush's later visit to Afghanistan read: "Shoes Stay On For Bush In Afghanistan"

Friday, December 12, 2008

Leaving town on the next thing smoking.

The Bush administration is packing up and looking for the next flight out of town.

Most can't wait.

Apparently, most of them are finally conceding to themselves what the rest of the country - and the world - have known for some time now. They are in a rush to put anything associated with the two Bush administrations and the last eight years behind them.

That's with the possible exception of president George W. Bush himself and his wife Laura of course. Bush's White House office has issued a two page letter of instructions to cabinet members telling them to emphasize the 'successes' of his presidency.

Successes? SUCCESSES?

The Bush White House - at taxpayer expense of course - established a formal 'Bush Legacy Team' to work on the official 'Bush Legacy Plan'. The White House sent a 2-page memo with 'talking points' to cabinet members and other high ranking administration officials entitled, "Speech Topper on the Bush Record".

The reason?

To burnish the official record of a president with the lowest approval rating on record - 24% and still falling. "What we have in mind with these documents is we feel the president's many accomplishments haven't been given the attention they deserve and in some cases have been purposely ignored," explained Carlton Carroll, a White House spokesman.

Accomplishments? ACCOMPLISHMENTS? Apparently self delusion knows no boundaries!

The memo totally fails any mention of the colossal and record setting FAILURES of the Bush administrations:

An illegal war costing upwards of a trillion dollars and many thousands of lives;

The illegal denial of habeas corpus and detention for hundreds of people without charges for upwards of seven years;

The Abu Garaib (and other) torture scandals;

The illegal wiretapping without warrants of American citizens;

The wholesale attacks on the US Constitution;

Unprecedented attacks on environmental laws and regulations on the books for decades, in favor of giant corporations;

Tax breaks for the very richest people in the country while ignoring the needs of the less fortunate - including returning veterans of overseas wars;

The most devastating damage and destruction of the economy of the United States and the entire world since the Great Depression;

The list goes on and on - but you get the drift.

The president's wife Laura Bush has also been enlisted in the effort, and appeared on a ABC's 'Nightline' and loyally championed her husband saying, "I think the history book says he's a very, very strong president."

Maybe so. But, methinks not.

Perhaps there's no more iconic and illustrative example of the ineptness of Bush et al than the loss of the Bush Library's web site domain name 'WBushLibrary.com.' The name had been purchased from a private citizen who had foreseen its value and reserved the name. The Bush Library Foundation paid $3,000 for it just last year. However, through oversight, it was allowed to expire, was grabbed up by an alert 'cyber squatter' and the foundation was then forced to repurchase the domain name - this time for $35,000!

No one can deny some serious burnishment was not sorely needed needed for a president who was not even allowed to attend his own party's national convention in September! Neither was his Vice President, who, along with Bush was avoided like the plague by other high party members.

Sad really.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Sarah Palin Mastercard Ad

Unpublished Mastercard ad:


Campaign yard sign for Obama/Biden - free;

Bumper sticker for Obama/Biden - $3.00;


Trip expenses and ticket to the Democratic Convention - $5000;


Sarah Palin turkey video - priceless!





"There's some things money can't buy. For everything else there's Mastercard."

Friday, December 05, 2008

DENIAL

(1) Denial - (di-nahy-uhl) - a defense mechanism postulated by Sigmund Freud, in which a person is faced with a fact that is too uncomfortable to accept and rejects it instead, insisting that it is not true despite what may be overwhelming evidence;

(2) denial - (di-nahy-uhl) - In Psychology. an unconscious defense mechanism used to reduce anxiety by denying thoughts, feelings, or facts that are consciously intolerable;

(3) denial - (di-nahy-uhl) - In Law, a refusal to acknowledge the validity of an accusation, claim, suit;

Example 'A': Idaho politician Larry Craig's consistent denials of homosexual misconduct in the face of facts, as in in 1982 with Congressional pages;

Example 'B': and against in 2008 after his arrest in the men's room at the Minneapolis airport and later guilty plea in court:

However, Craig does insist Bill Clinton is a 'nasty, naughty boy' for having consensual heterosexual sex. Go figure!

(4) De Nile - (di-nahy-uhl) - (The) Nile river in North Africa is considered the longest river in the world. If you are caught 'up there without a paddle' it might be considered a very unhappy situation. Perhaps similar to the one the United States is faced with in Iraq today.

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0RntWGPEjoo)
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXO1-EhS31o)
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_Vs5570pKw&feature=related)

Sarah Palin's Extreme Makeover

Doggone! Turns out putting lipstick on a pit bull can be a very expensive proposition! Seems that turning a hockey mom into a pit bull attack dog is way more expensive than most of us might have imagined.

First were all those fancy clothes - about $150,000 worth more or less. I never realized you could spend that much on clothing for one person, but it seems I am naive and pretty much out of the loop on what constitutes 'suitable clothing' and what that costs. Besides, we are told that not all of the money was spent on Sarah, but some went for husband 'Iron Dog Todd' and their children - maybe $20,000 or so.

My wife and I estimate that we spend on the average, less than $500 a year on clothing for the both of us - but then again, I guess we're probably just miserly and overly conservative. I'm very humbled. I'm gonna check to see if I can start spending more so I can get more mainstream on these sorts of things.

But that's not all. Sarah's makeover cost another $68,400 for makeup (damn, that lipstick sure must be expensive!), and then roughly $42,225 for hair styling. My goodness, all I can think is there sure must of been some god-awful tangles in those 'do's' of hers! Whoo boy!

But, that's still not all! The Republican National Committee is saying another 'less that $30,000' worth of clothing expenses for Sarah would show up in their latest campaign report. Maybe that was for undergarments, or panty hose or something.

Good gosh a-mighty! She was either one more horrendous wreck of a hockey mom to start off with, or they must have surely turned her into one more fancy gold-plated Pit Bull - or maybe a lot of both!

On the other hand the RNC tells us what makes her so attractive to the Republican base is that she's just your normal small-town regular gal, down to earth and just like everybody else. Yeah, buddy.

Sarah's running mate, John McCain was belligerently defensive when reporters questioned him about her clothing expense. "What would you have the woman do?" he flared. "Walk out on stage in the all together?"

Then his eyes suddenly misted over and he seemed lost in some sort of reverie until Cindy McCain snapped her fingers sharply in front of his face several times.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Are Red States Hazardous to Your Health??

Could Red States be Hazardous to Your Health??

Short answer?

Well, hell yes! (Click on colored chart below to expand):

Recent studies now show that statistically, the Red State mindset leads to an unhealthy life style. I don't suppose this comes as any real surprise since conspicuous consumption is one of the defining hallmarks of Red Staters' doctrine.

But, to have it bourn out in statistical studies is sort of eye opening isn't it? Here's a chart of the data gathered by the United Health Foundation

(Maybe it's not called 'Lousy-Anna' for nothing!):

And, here's a down and dirty analysis:

(click on chart to expand)

Where is the outrage?

After over five years, many - most - Americans have turned against George W. Bush's 'War On Terror', (aka: 'War For Oil'). Most of us now know, or at least strongly suspect, that the real reasons for Bush's disastrous war had little to do with national security, and more about corporate interests, and particularly the oil companies'. Indeed, it hardly could have been otherwise, given both the President's and the Vice President's industrial-strength connections with the oil industry.

We now know or suspect, that corporate influence and corporatocracy were the real crusaders, and the movers and shakers for the war.

The Iraq War episode in our country's history desparately cries out for a thorough overhaul of the US political system. We need to GET THE MONEY OUT and pass some meaningful reforms - with major penalties against the buying of our elected officials. The present "Culture of Corruption" will ruin us all otherwise and it appears sooner rather than later.

Where were our political leaders when it counted? When our country could have had a truly democratic discussion BEFORE rushing off into a war which now everyone agrees is a supremely tragic mistake? Call me naive but it sure seems sort of late to hold that kind of discussion after the fact, with well over 4000 American military lives lost and still counting and no end in sight . . .

Were was the media suspicion? Where were those guardians of the public trust who are SUPPOSED to be suspicious of outrageous government claims? Where are those who were SUPPOSED to question all those specious political statements with NO TRUTH to them at all? Why aren't they now outraged and the royal hoodwinking we were all dealt out at the hands of the powers that be? Why were some, like Fox News such active, actual cheerleaders for the insanity?

Why is the public not outraged that the media so miserably failed, and some actually aided and abetted the forces of darkness? WHERE IS THE OUTRAGE?

There were all those claims - now shown to be baseless - which "proved" Saddam Hussein possessed WMD's. We were told if we didn't invade the sovereign third-world nation or Iraq, our next warning would be a mushroom cloud over some US city. It was all pure, unadulterated fear mongering balderdash and horse poopy from day one. Distortion and lies! In fact, it was all part of an orchestrated plan hashed out BEFORE the Bush administration even took office! Where is the outrage over those huge crimes?

The people in the Bush administration responsible for this should hang their heads in shame. In fact, I can think of several of them who simply should be hanged outright for their crimes against this nation, the world and humanity itself.

Our elected political "leaders" in both the Senate and House of Representative fell all over themselves to authorize Bush"s war. Only 23 senators had the courage to stand up and say "Hey! Wait a minute!". Only one single Republican Senator (Lincoln Chafee of RI) voted against the resolution handing George W. Bush virtually unbridled power to launch a preemptive * war against a nation with zero ties to the WTC attacks. (H.J. Resolution 114, 10/10/02).

The House of Representatives was not much better with the vote being 266 "yeas" to 133 "nays" with NO Republicans among the "nay" votes.

* "SEC. 3. AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES.
(a) AUTHORIZATION- The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to
(1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq;"

One would think that our elected leaders might have checked into this issue a bit more before handling over raw power to a President who acted more like a willful 5-year-old with a loaded gun instead of a wise and responsible leader. Honest Republicans who were hoodwinked into supporting this war should be up in arms and after the hides of everyone in Bush's administration responsible for this.

These bozos have set back the Republican Party 50 years at least.

Let us hope the Obama administration picks up the cudgel to deal out punishment where deserved. The world reasonably expects that. If we can not police our own house, how can we expect to 'police the world'?

So indeed, WHERE IS THE OUTRAGE?

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Propaganda Rules of the Bush administration:

1. The truth is whatever you say it is;

Corollary 'A': If you say it enough times it is true by default;

Examples:

"Knowing these realities, America must not ignore the threat gathering against us. Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof -- the smoking gun -- that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud. "

~ George W. Bush, October 7, 2002, Cincinnati, OH

"The problem here is that there will always be some uncertainty about how quickly Saddam can acquire nuclear weapons. But we don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud."

~ Condoleezza Rice, September 8, 2002, Washington, DC

" . . .inaction might provoke the sight of the first mushroom cloud on one of the major population centers on this planet’."

~ General Tommy R. Franks, the chief of the US Central Command, November 12, 2002

Corollary 'B': Obfuscation of the stupid is necessary;

Example:

"You can fool some of the people all the time, and those are the ones you want to concentrate on."
~ George W. Bush


2. Braggadocio is very effective with the simple minded;

Corollary: Bellicosity is best!

Examples:

“If he thinks he can hide and run from the United States and our allies, he will be sorely mistaken.”
~ George W. Bush in a speech shortly after 9/11, referring to Osama Bin Ladin (over SEVEN years ago)

"wanted, dead or alive"
~ George W. Bush referring to Osama Bin Ladin on 3/20/2003

"bring 'em on"
~ George W. Bush, at a press conference in July, 2003 referring to Iraqi 'insurgents' who have since killed nearly 4000 Americans

Corollary: Cocky strutting and swaggering by a 'War President' impresses the Football watching, gun-toting wannabe Republican base;

Example:

Wearing a suggestive 'codpiece' and landing on an aircraft carrier off the California coast to declare 'Mission Accomplished!" - May 1, 2003


3. If you ignore it, it is not there;

Corollary: If you refuse to verbalize it, it doesn't exist;

Example:

Never saying the word 'recession' means there isn't one, in spite of the worst economic disaster in almost eighty years.


4. Denial is an effective dodge, even when the whole world knows you are lying through your teeth.

Corollary: The use of a supercilious smirk while lying tells everyone you are letting them in on the joke.

Example:

" We must recognize that government intervention is not a cure-all . . .the surest path to that growth is free markets and free people"

~ George W. Bush at the Manhattan Institute 11/12/08 referring to the economic crisis threatening the entire world, brought on by his administration's deregulation of the US financial system on behalf of 'free markets'.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Smeaganomics My Ass!


We've all heard the term 'Reaganomics' touted by Republicans as if it were some magical formula for economic success. Sorry folks, but it was anything but. In fact, 'Reagonomics turned out to be a colossal economic disaster. Called 'Voo Doo Economics' by George Bush I, but you might also call it 'Smeaganomics' since it's really mostly smoke and mirrors (smeag - pronounced 'schmeg'), designed by a a bunch of financial con men hired by a Hollywood actor had-been.

What people fail to remember is that during Ronald Reagan's tenure in office, our national debt ballooned from the $85 billion inherited from the Carter administration to $283 Billion when Reagan left office. That's a 333% increase. Reagan set 5 new national debt records. Then Bush I came in office and set two more new records in four years, leaving us with a (1) national debt of $399 Billion .

Apparently, Reagonomics consists mostly of borrowing money, not paying your bills, giving tax breaks to your rich friends and spending your way to economic success. Just try that on a personal basis and see what happens!

During that 'tax and spend' Democrat Bill Clinton's 8 years at the controls, the national debt was trimmed to a mere $18 Billion - or a mere 4% of the debt he inherited. Clinton balanced the budget and left a (2) surplus of $127 Billion for GW Bush to squander - which he immediately and gleefully did.

Under Bush II, our national debt stood at $1.017 Trillion just prior to the economic crash and before the current 'bailout' began. God knows where it now is. Just remember that as of September 30, 2008 it stood at an increase of 5650% over what George W. Bush inherited!!! And, that is only one of the bitter legacies this so-called president is leaving us.

But, that's paltry compared to the projected so-called 'bailout' costs which now stand at around an estimated $8.5 Trillion. Now we're talking about some real money here!

And don't forget that under Bush II, the investment wealth of Americans has been trimmed by nearly 50% - not incidentally also making our national debt chump change in comparison. Between the stock market and housing devaluations losses are now estimated at (3) $4.5 Trillion.

Can we even add it all up I wonder? Where do we go from here? Well, hold on to your bippy baby, because it's gonna be a (4) bumpy ride!



Me, I've got a long, detailed memory. Smeaganomics and Republican conservatism my aching ass!


(1) http://www.lafn.org/gvdc/Natl_Debt_Chart.html
(2) http://clinton3.nara.gov/WH/Work/102899.html
(3) http://www.dailyreckoning.com.au/usa-loses-45t/2007/11/13/
(4) http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/well-great-depression-2-2011/story.aspx?guid={B28B49B5-EFD1-4941-B57E-A2BA1545BA09}&dist=morenews

Saturday, July 05, 2008

A Short History of Fuggers

Many people think the word 'Fugger' and its derivatives are generic terms and do not realize the word is an actual family name - a family whose descendants exist to this day, though greatly dispersed and diluted.

The Fugger family originated somewhere near Augsburg, in Swabia (southern Germany). Their first mention is in 1357 when Hans Fugger was listed on the tax register in Augsburg. His eldest son Andreas became a successful merchant and bought up land and properties. He became so rich people referred to him as 'that damned rich Fugger'.


Andreas' son Lucas came along and hung out with Emperor Frederick III who granted a coat of arms with a golden deer on it. Naturally, folks then began calling him 'that silly damned deer Fugger'. Unfortunately, Lucas was more of the playboy type and went bankrupt, thereby becoming 'that broke damned Fugger'.


Hans' younger son Jakob was more successful, and chose a lily for his coat of arms, becoming 'a Fugger of the lilies'. Jakob became very, very rich, loaning money to Roman Emperor Maximilian I and later bribing the electors to install Charles V as Emperor. Charles repaid the favor by granting the family nobility and sovereign rights over their lands, and the right to coin their own money. They became known as 'those damned money-printing Fuggers' at that point.
The successors of this branch remain to this day, primarily now operating mints for the US government I believe.

In 1514, Jakob bought up part of the city of Augsburg, and founded the famous 'Fuggerei' - almshouses for the needy which are still in existence to this day. Rent was, and still is only one Rheinischer Gulden per year (.88 Euros) plus three daily prayers for the owners: the Lord's Prayer, Hail Mary and the Niciene Creed. To qualify for residence in the Fuggerei, a person must be Catholic, indigent but without debt, and have lived in Augsburg for the two previous years.

However, visitors to the the Fuggerei today must pay two euros - more than twice the residents' annual rent. It's just the way those Fuggers have always done business.

Jakob's descendants married well, some into the wealthy and royal Hapsburg banking family of Austria & Hungary - and became 'those damned banking Fuggers'. They were so rich they financed wars for kings, countries and empires. A few people who did not always appreciate the way they did business sometimes called them 'those Goddamned banking Fuggers', or often, simply just 'those Goddamned Fuggers'.

Fuggers survive to this day. Indeed, many non-Fuggers are so awed by Fuggers they will do almost anything to become Fuggers themselves. And, even though they may be named something else like 'Richard B. Cheney' or 'George H. W. Bush', they are nonetheless certifiable, and real, total Fuggers. Thus you will find manifestations of Fuggers in many, many descriptions today, including, but not limited to:

Lawyer Fuggers
Banking Fuggers

Republican Fuggers

Democratic Fuggers

Corporate Fuggers

Greedy Fuggers

Religious Fuggers

Rich Fuggers

Stupid Fuggers

Silly Fuggers

Dirty Fuggers

Mother Fuggers

Other Fuggers

And, this is the literal truth, so help me God!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Richard Nixon Was a Very Smart Man

Richard Milhouse Nixon was a very smart man. True, he did a lot of things wrongly, and illegally. But, all the same he was smart enough to realize the best way to deal with a problem was (gasp!) first to recognize it and then to deal with it!

Nixon did not deny problems, nor did he ignore them in the hopes they would somehow, mysteriously, miraculously go away, or never be noticed. Nixon was in no way a denier. No sir, Mr. Nixon saw the problems, grasped them by the horns and dealt with them. He usually did a great job of it too. I am no particular fan of Nixon's, but I have to acknowledge he solved many problems, and the world is a better place for it today.

We saw ANILCA come in on Nixon's watch along with the acts setting up the EPA - the weapon of choice for the environmentalists of today. Nixon is also responsible for rapprochement with China, arms limitations, ending the Vietnam War and a myriad other good things beneficial to our citizens and the world at large. Would be that the current Republican bozos in charge were one tenth as smart as Nixon's group.

Would that they could claim even one tiny bit of success with their policies - but alas, there is none. None, zippo, nada.

And, not a prayer either. Today's birds are simply greedy, rapacious throwbacks to the despoil and pillage Republicans of the latter part of the nineteenth century and early part of the twentieth. Yes, the same ones who bought down the Great Depression upon our country and the world. But, they are very, very good at one thing, and that is to convince their followers they are doing what's 'best for everyone' when nothing could be farther from the truth.

And, those followers are today's sheep-like defenders of the 'Global Warming Myth' and the worst administration in the history of our great nation. They are the ones who characterize anyone who disagrees as 'socialists' and much, much worse - 'eco-terrorists' for example, painting all with the same brush. But the rest of us - the other 70% - are going to set things right again, and damned soon too - or it will be too late.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Eternal words that haunt

Words can live eternally - and eternally haunt you. Just in case you have forgotten, here are few prognostications from the past which have proved a little off the mark

2/13/02 - "I believe demolishing Hussein's military power and liberating Iraq would be a cakewalk."
- Kenneth Adelman, member of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board.

7/11/02 - "Support for Saddam, including within his military organization, will collapse after the first whiff of gunpowder."
- Richard Perle, Chairman of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board.

7/11/02 - "Iraq is a very wealthy country. Enormous oil reserves. They can finance, largely finance the reconstruction of their own country. And I have no doubt that they will."
- Richard Perle, Chairman of the Pentagon's Defense Policy Board.

9/02 - "It is unimaginable that the United States would have to contribute hundreds of billions of dollars and highly unlikely that we would have to contribute even tens of billions of dollars."
- Kenneth Pollack, former director for Persian Gulf affairs, National Security Council

9/16/02 - "The likely economic effects [of the war in Iraq] would be relatively small... Under every plausible scenario, the negative effect will be quite small relative to the economic benefits."
- Lawrence Lindsey, White House Economic Advisor

10/4/02" - The costs of any intervention would be very small."
- Glenn Hubbard, White House economic adviser

11/15/02 - "The idea that it's going to be a long, long, long battle of some kind I think is belied by the fact of what happened in 1990. Five days or five weeks or five months, but it certainly isn't going to last any longer than that."
- Donald H. Rumsfeld, U.S. Secretary of Defense.

1/29/03 - "I will bet you the best dinner in the gaslight district of San Diego that military action will not last more than a week. Are you willing to take that wager?"
- Bill O'Reilly, radio columnist

2/7/03 - "It is unknowable how long that conflict will last. It could be six days, six weeks. I doubt six months."
- Donald H. Rumsfeld, U.S. Secretary of Defense.

2/10/03 - "It won't take weeks... Our military machine will crush Iraq in a matter of days and there's no question that it will."
- Bill O'Reilly, radio columnist

2/18/03 - "Iraq has tremendous resources that belong to the Iraqi people. And so there are a variety of means that Iraq has to be able to shoulder much of the burden for their own reconstruction."
- Ari Fleischer, White House press secretary

2/27/03 - "It's hard to conceive that it would take more forces to provide stability in post-Saddam Iraq than it would take to conduct the war itself and to secure the surrender of Saddam's security forces and his army. Hard to image."
- Paul Wolfowitz, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense, testifying before the House Budget Committee.

3/27/03 - "When it comes to reconstruction, before we turn to the American taxpayer, we will turn first to the resources of the Iraqi government and the international community."
- Donald H. Rumsfeld, U.S. Secretary of Defense

3/27/03 - "There is a lot of money to pay for this that doesn't have to be U.S. taxpayer money, and it starts with the assets of the Iraqi people. We are talking about a country that can really finance its own reconstruction and relatively soon."
- Paul Wolfowitz, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense, testifying before the Defense Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee.

4/21/03 - "The United States is committed to helping Iraq recover from the conflict, but Iraq will not require sustained aid."
- Mitchell Daniels, Director, White House Office of Management and Budget.

10/5/04 - "The allies [have contributed] $14 billion in direct aid."
- Dick Cheney, vice presidential debate with Democratic candidate John Edwards

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Karl Rove's CRAPS Group


The newly formed CRAPS group sat around a table in the penthouse of a fancy Houston, Texas hotel. Karl Rove attempted to call the group to order - but not without some flack from former Attorney General John Ashcroft first.

"I should be in charge here!" Ashcroft demanded petulantly pushing Rove aside to stand at the podium.

"John, please sit down." said Senator Larry Craig of Idaho calmingly. "You've had that particular bee in your bonnet ever since that dead man beat you in that senate race. Time to let that go."





Ashcroft 'garumphed' noisily, but then went silent and sat back down.




"Praise the Lord." Rove said, his piggy little eyes glittering schemingly. "Now then. I've called this charter meeting of C.R.A.P.S. to order. And, you all know why we're here."







"Well, I'm not too damned sure about why I'm here." snorted former Representative Tom DeLay of Texas. "Hell, they have only indicted me so far. They never proved one damned thing, much less passed sentence or anything.








The words 'indicted' and 'passed sentence' seemed to set off a spasm of uncontrollable foot-tapping from Larry Craig. It got even worse when someone mentioned former Representative Randy 'Duke' Cunningham of California.





"Somebody stick a Valium under Larry's tongue, won't you?" said Rove.




"Bit too late for old Duke, eh?" sniffed former White House counsel Harriet Miers as she slipped Craig a pill.



Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales sat at Miers' side, but said nothing as he patted his shiny, coiffed pompadour.












"Ol' Jack Abramof did that poor bastard in. He's doing hard time at Tucson right now. Looks like he's still gonna get his Congressional pension though."













"Well, of course I know WHY I'm here." sniffed ex- Representative Mark Foley of Florida rather prissily. "But, I don't know WHY I'm here if you know what I mean. All this stuff is giving me the absolute fan-tabs I tell you! Nobody worked harder in Congress than me. In fact, I stayed up many nights all night long, turning over page after page studying stuff."



"Well Mark, those aren't the kinds of studying and pages that count unless you wanted a scandal." Rove remarked.



"Well, I never!" Foley snapped.



"Oh, but yes it damned sure looks like you damned well did!" retorted Rove quickly.




Scooter Libby was next. "Well, I guess it may be a little too late for me since I've already been indicted, tried and sentenced - but I got paroled and commuted, Thank the Lord. But, I am here to offer my advice & counsel."







There was a loud 'thump' as Larry Craig fainted dead away, foot still tapping away wildly.








"Er, ah, ah, ah, ha, ha, er, up, up, ah - what day is it?" griped the venerable Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska as he awoke with the sudden noise. "Somebody better get those Goddamned internet tubes unplugged!"




"It's OK Uncle Ted." soothed Stevens' colleague and fellow Alaskan Representative Don Young. "Take another pill and go back to sleep. You ain't got no damned problems Ted! Now, I can tell you about damned problems! Yessiree! How's about me already spending over a million Goddamned bucks in 'preemptive' legal fees, just to keep my fat ass out of jail? And, I still might go, huh?"



"Snargle, snarf, ut, ut, uff, uff, ah, ah, SHIT!" answered Stevens as he nodded off again.








"By the by," interrupted Vice President Richard Cheney. "Karl, just what does the group's acronym 'CRAPS' stand for?



"Yes, I thought you'd get a kick out of that Dick." chortled a laughing Rove, his rotund little cheeks jiggling merrily in concert with his wriggling fat ass.


"It's simple really. CRAPS stands for 'Corrupt Republicans Avoiding Prosecution & Sentencing'.







"Goddamned right! I approve!" applauded Cheney.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

US Department of Justice

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

I never thought I'd live to see the day my own government became the insidious, sneaky criminals they have under GW Bush. Forget George Orwell's '1984' indeed. That has nothing on GW Bush's '2008'.

Not content with the manipulation and propagandizing of the news media, the US government under the control of George W. Bush appears completely determined to REWRITE THE ACTUAL FACTS anytime they displease the powers that be - true or not. With the Bush crowd, truth is definitely not a parameter.

Certainly your might expect such a thing in a place like Red China, but the US? Under this administration? Oh my yes indeed:
And don't forget the folks at the US Department of Justice are the very same boys who wrote letters validating and authorizing the use of torture of prisoners. For the first time in US history I might remind you. Shameful indeed.

On the other hand, the George W. Bush administration has set MANY historic 'firsts' and all-time records - and not a single one of them to be proud of or brag about. NOT ONE.

But, at least they wrote letters to excuse themselves on the torture thing, while Saddam Hussein or Robert Mugabe didn't need to bother. But then, GW Bush likes to cover his ass.

And, of course when caught red-handed, GW's folks claim that the 'editing' , even tho' done during business hours, and from government computers was the fault of 'individuals' and not the government departments involved. This useful denial tactic is apparently very contagious and has bled over into the activities of our erstwhile allies in the 'Global War On Terror' in Great Britain, who claim their own editing on such topics was,


Oh but, of course not!

Where will it end? Who knows? But, FAIR WARNING - it's getting pretty darned late in the game already.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Mormonry and Lots of Wives

Mormonry has been much in the news of late with the raiding of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) compound near Eldorado, Texas. Being a Mormon and having lot's of young wives seems it might be a pretty good deal for a lusty guy, right? Outside the fact that sometimes ONE wife is too much for some folks, there is more than one way to look at this . . .

Just in case you are a guy, and figure it would be pretty cool to have a whole bunch of young wives, you may want to rethink that. In order for there to be a large enough supply of girls to turn into multiple wives for the lone male FLDS'ers, MOST of the young men must be, and are excommunicated and expelled from the cult at puberty: FLDS Logistics

So, not only do they not get even ONE Mormon wife, they are also damned to Hell for eternity! For once you are expelled from the Mormon church, you are guaranteed to go to eternal damnation. What kind of deal is that?

Brigham Young himself, in the words of Bernard De Voto of Ogden, Utah, "conquered the wilderness and, neighboring with the coyote, brought forth a state (Utah). And so on - - the recital is familiar. Yet he did all this without humor and without imagination - - did it with poverty-stricken realism, and above all, with an intangible smugness, a bucolic megalomania, a self-righteousness which assured him that the Lord God Jehovah, whose hinder parts Moses and Joseph Smith had seen, watched over all his business and made them sound."

In fact, generally there does not seem to be much fun in being a Mormon, most of whom regard levity as a sin against the Holy Ghost. Of Mormons in general, De Voto said, "And then, a man who can believe in the pathological god of Joseph Smith and who must worship him after the mercantile manner of Brigham Young, such a man has little understanding of beauty or refinement and no patience with them. They do not pay."

"The Man of God, Son of Thunder"

I think my favorite Mormon story is about Brigham Young's murderous emissary and enforcer, Orrin Porter Rockwell, AKA 'the Destroying Angel of Mormondom', reputed to have killed over 100 persons, mostly 'in the name of the Lord'. Rockwell once said 'I never killed anybody who didn't need killing'.

An ordained Mormon Elder, Rockwell believed - or at least publicly claimed - that his union suit underwear (fundamentalist Mormons are commanded to wear long underwear, every day of the year) 'would turn bullets' because it was blessed by Brigham Young himself.

One day, a pint-sized, but very drunk Irishman named Flannigan accosted Rockwell in the street and asked him, 'Are ye Port' Rockwell?"

When Rockwell allowed as how he was, Flannigan replied, ''Well then by God, ye are the man whose underwear will turn bullets, and I've been called by God to put it to the proof! 'Tis a revelation ye understand, so to speak according to Mormon."

Whereupon Flannigan produced a large pistol and stuck it in Rockwell's mouth, thereby immediately inducing him to begin proclaiming many and varied obscenities concerning Brigham Young's person and ancestry at Flannigan's persuasive insistence and urging. Alas, Rockwell did not seem to have the total and complete confidence in the protective underwear to actually put it to the test for the ten minutes of so of his very public ordeal. So much for the "Man of God, Son of thunder' as Rockwell was often called by other Mormons.

The Fancy Barouche

Another story which is illustrative I believe, concerns Brigham Young's fancy barouche. Ol' Brigham in his high haughtiness had a fancy carriage built back east - a 'barouche' it was called - and shipped to him in Salt Lake City. Young, regally nodding to his worshipers, loved to parade around town in this splendid equippage, marked with the carved & gilded, all-seeing Mormon eye on one side and the Beehive of Deseret on the other.

'Gentile Kate' (Mormons call Christians 'gentiles') - was a brothel owner and the Madame Supreme of Salt Lake City, whose uncompromising credo was 'Never lend money to a Mormon'. Kate ran a large and successful bordello in Salt Lake City and was well-known for her generosity to the downtrodden, often lending money (at interest) to her clients and others.

A disaffected Mormon ex-plural wife wrote a sensational autobiography accusing Young himself of running a 'percentage Hoar house' and devising a plot to trap Kate purportedly to stifle competition. This was never proven, but what is known and recorded is that Kate successfully sued Young for $150,000 and claimed his personal property to settle the debt.


A typical barouche.


After the obese Prophet Brigham Young ate himself to death, his personal effects were auctioned off. The day after Young died, Kate herself appeared haughtily rolling through the streets in old boy's barouche, sans the carvings. This of course outraged the saintly Mormons - but it certainly must have been very satisfying for Kate!

No matter who you are, you must admire this woman's chutzpah if not her orneriness.

Mormonism & me?

Me? I think I'm gonna stick with the Easter Bunny . . . .

Saturday, April 05, 2008

The Republican War On People

First, let me say I am not a Democrat. Or Libertarian, or Green or whatever. I am 'unaffiliated' and always have been. In fact I am a 'conservative' person (in the true sense of the word) and have probably voted for more Republican candidates over the years than any other party, or even a combination of 'all others'.

But, no more. The Republicans of today are not the Republicans I used to know and love.

Why? Simply because it has become glaringly obvious to me the folks who call themselves 'Republicans' today are not friends of 'the people'. Instead, they are supporters of business and not one thing else - unless it be war for the benefit of business. Every time the interest of the people come in conflict with 'big business', the people lose, each and every time. Guaranteed.

The Republicans running things trip over themselves to support the lessening and defeat of regulations designed to protect PEOPLE, the environment, etc., you name it - ranging from petty to the very large. As a side note, their propaganda machine succeeds in mobilizing a large number of people in support of their depredations. The very folks who will suffer the damage.

Tragic really.

The following is a great example in graphic subterfuge (image borrowed from Scientific American September, 2007):


(Click on image to expand)

Image on the left came out in 1992 and was reasonably easy to understand.. Image on the right replaced this in 2004, and the 2005 is an enhanced version of that. (View for your self at): http://www.mypyramid.gov/

The 2005 version advocates 'more exercise', but hides what the pyramid actually consists of - unless you take the trouble to look it up for yourself - and that takes digging into the site at least two more clicks. The right hand image was developed with the 'help' of food industry lobbyists - who not surprisingly think folks should eat more - not necessarily the best thing for one's health. The 'exercise' component is apparently thrown in to help offset the ensuing damages).   This is deceit and favoritism at its most basic level.

And we are left to wonder why our young people are going through an obesity epidemic?

This is our 'benevolent' and 'people friendly' government under Bush and his legions of special interests. The health and welfare of citizens always takes a back seat to the need for making ever more dollars from them. The danger for the Neocons is that 'the people' are beginning to notice the duplicity and corporate favoritism.

And, let's don't even talk about energy costs except to say it is well worth remembering that average gasoline prices were $1.46 per gallon when our War President took office! Even after adjusting for inflation, gasoline prices at the pump are now almost $1.00 more per gallon than when our "Uniter' took his oath of office.

Am I missing something here?

Saturday, January 26, 2008

PILLAGING OUR NATIONAL ASSETS

(By email) An open letter to:

D. Bruce Means, PhD
President and Executive Director
COASTAL PLAINS INSTITUTE
AND LAND CONSERVANCY

1313 Milton Street, Tallahassee, Fl 32303 USA

Dear Dr. Means:

First, let me say I am impressed with your dedication to your cause, and I am also posting this letter to my online blog:

I am an Alaskan from the SE Alaska panhandle (Juneau). My wife and I are wintering in Carrabelle, Florida this year. I was appalled after driving up route 65 through a part of the Apalachicola National Forest to discover what you can see from the highway is really nothing more than a huge tree farm. I was too sickened by what I saw to drive down any of the feeder roads going into the forest. Imagine then my feelings when I observed the huge Georgia-Pacific chip mill at Hosford, Florida (photo below).

I did a little research online after returning to our condo and was further appalled to learn a full whopping 1% of this forest has been reserved as old growth! One full percent! Imagine that. From a cursory examination of the information quickly available online it appears most of this forest is dedicated for timber production, and that for the benefit of the Georgia-Pacific Corporation, a rank EPA offender of the first magnitude. GP is also ranked as the 15th largest air pollution producer in the United States and is currently being sued for civil rights violations.

I am personally very offended our national forests all over out country, are being virtually given over to the sole interests of the timber interests, all other uses for the publicly owned forests relegated to decidedly less importance. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad, except I can also see all the acres of sub-standard housing used by employees of the big timber interests, who themselves are virtual serfs to the companies.

So much for the USFS mandate to manage the forests for multiple interests! The only multiple of any real importance apparently being the number of dollars timber interests are contributing to politicians to curry their legislative, and other favors.

I am a veteran of years of advocacy for protections of the 17 million acre Tongass National Forest in Alaska, also under severe and continuous attack for many years by pulp companies, and logging operators who ship most of their 'product' in the round overseas to Japan and Korea for any value-added processing. A real travesty, especially when one considers our national policy of destroying public assets also costs the American taxpayer over 40 million dollars per year on the Tongass alone.

Our political leaders are obviously in the pockets of the special interests, especially those of the current administration. But, I am convinced if the American public were truly made aware of the economics connected with donating our publicly owned assets to special interests, most of us would rise up in righteous indignation and chase the perpetrators out of office. Especially so after our public learns the true extent we ourselves are paying to have our forests destroyed at our own expense.

Even a so-called 'conservative' right-wing 'business oriented' ideologue can see the idiocy of such a policy!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Gasoline Prices?

So - You say you'd like to know where some of that nearly $3.50 per gallon you're paying for gasoline goes these days?

There is only part of an answer, but you can safely say where it's NOT GOING:

It's NOT GOING to help pay for medical care for the needy public;

It's NOT GOING to pay down taxes;

It's NOT GOING for public projects;

It's NOT GOING to help educate the next generation;

It's NOT GOING towards feeding people, at least not those who may need feeding;

It's NOT GOING for cleaning up the air we breathe - having the opposite effect in fact;

It's NOT GOING for purifying water supplies;

It's NOT GOING towards alleviating poverty, and actually contributes a great deal to that particular problem.

It's NOT GOING for building infrastructure of any kind - unless of course it's for the benefit of Big Oil;

It's NOT GOING for increasing our security - conversely, it generates instability in the world;

It's NOT GOING to pay for the cost of fighting overseas wars - but it DOES help cause them;

It's NOT GOING towards building housing (except as below - and this you must see this to believe!);

But, some of it, A LOT of it, IS GOING towards electing politicians who guarantee that Big Oil always has its way all over the world - and helps keep a very few people paid off to live in a style which we mere mortals can not even imagine. Pictures can only hint at it:



Just in case you are wondering where this beautiful hotel is, this isn't a hotel at all.

THIS IS A HOUSE!

This house is owned by Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan & family. Sheikh Zayed is the former president of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Abu-Dhabi.


























The automobile below is NOT PAINTED a silver color. The body of this automobile is BUILT out of ACTUAL SILVER. (That really should help prevent a non-existent desert rust problem!)




Amazing what the profits from nearly $3.50 per gallon of gasoline can buy these days, isn't it?

(EVEN, George W. Bush, the President of the United States of America!)

Praise Allah!














Pucker up, Little Man!


“Communism has never come to power in a country that was not disrupted by war or corruption, or both.”

- John F. Kennedy