Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Net Neutrality

The FCC's new ‘Net Neutrality’ rules have created a lot of noise  recently. Admittedly, the concept has been so fuzzed up it is hard to understand. Who can forget the memorable talk about net neutrality by former Alaska Senator Ted Stevens (now deceased) in the Senate?



(WARNING! DO NOT CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW IF YOU PREFER NOT TO LAUGH):


Republican Mitch McConnell has strongly criticized the new rules along with Rush Limbaugh, buffoon though he may be. Don't kid yourself - Limbaugh has plenty of influence with many people who don’t think for themselves and eagerly buy into his nonsense. Many other so-called ‘conservatives’ are also exercised about the new net neutrality rules. Why?

Short answer: They, along with some ‘conservative’ Democrats are all in the pockets of the telecom companies who stand to make billions by up-charging for increased bandwidth and speed. That is already being done by one telecom company (Comcast).

Here’s a hypothetical conversation between a Progressive and a Conservative which tries to make it more understandable (thanks to an anonymous poster on DailyKos):

Progressive: "Comcast is one of the largest internet providers in the country. In many parts of the country, including where I live, it is the only option for broadband service. NBC was just sold to Comcast. As such, Comcast has a very real and demonstrable need to promote NBC and MSNBC over competitors. You're saying it should be legal for Comcast to limit access to Fox News videos and FoxNews.com, and increase bandwidth for MSNBC videos and MSNBC.com?"


Conservative: "But they wouldn't actually do that. It'd be a PR nightmare if they just blocked access to Fox."


Progressive:  "Ah, but that's not how'd they do it. They'd do what they already do, what cell phone companies have done for years: they'd exempt NBC/MSNBC from your bandwidth allotment. Just like AT&T subscribers can call other AT&T subscribers for free, unlimited, but you're charged by the minute when you talk to people on other networks."


Conservative: "What's wrong with that? It's probably cheaper for carrier customers to talk within the same carrier."


Progressive: "Perhaps, but the same would go for MSNBC shows. Comcast would be getting 100% of that ad revenue to stream MSNBC shows and display MSNBC content. They would be getting 0% of the ad revenue for Fox News and FoxNews.com. Bandwidth to Fox websites costs them money, and bandwidth to MSNBC websites makes them money."


Conservative: "So you think they'd purposely speed up MSNBC and slow down Fox?"


Progressive: "Without Net Neutrality, there's no reason they couldn't do that, which is reason enough to support it. But what Comcast is proposing is that they'll charge by bandwidth, say, 20GBs transfer per month, but exempt NBC.com, MSNBC.com, and other web traffic that they own. Like Verizon does with vCast now. They'll say 'oh, we're not blocking access to Fox -- we're just giving you unlimited free use to MSNBC instead as part of your package.' So naturally, people will be much more likely to get their news and opinion from MSNBC, which is free, as opposed to Fox, which counts against their bandwidth credit."


Conservative:  "Well obviously they'd have to make that illegal."


Progressive: "THAT'S. WHAT. NET. NEUTRALITY. IS!!!"



"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness"

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Political Verse Nonsense


POLITICS

Republicans just blather and blather.
While Democrats just get in a lather,
Though the rest of us,
We never much fuss,
Still hoping common sense they could gather

John Boehner is certainly not crazy,
Even if you think his man tan may be.
Nonetheless his crying,
Is quite stupefying,
And, puts to shame all other cry babies.

Limbaugh says Health Care is just fine as is,
And needs no new laws, taxes or patches,
“What’s a few million uninsured?”
“Hell, they can be faith cured,”
“And save money by dying in batches!”

Conservative, WASP, evangelical or Anglican
Republicans can be so downright unAmerican,
“To Hell with all the rest,
Let’s feather our own nest!”
Could be the the epithet of the last Republican.

Republicans say their tent is big and inclusive,
Declaring they wish not to be reclusive,
Yet tolerate no homos nor lesbians,
No Atheists, Progressives nor Haitians,
All those and Republicans are mutually exclusive!

"All those whiners!" declared Phil Gramm,
"We've got ours so we don't give a damn.
John 'n me and most of our friends,
Got more money than we can spend.
Let the poor eat cake and marmalade jam."

Too much education is a bad thing,”
Said Karl Rove of the Right Wing.
“It’s really quite pathetic,
Letting people vote Democratic,
Could well cut short a Republican swing.”

The Roadblock and Train Wreck party held a meeting,
“There’s absolutely no doubt we’re in for a beating.”
Said national Chairman Michael Steele,
“And, I must make a last ditch appeal,”
“To return to our core values of lying and cheating.”

An old Republican queer named Mitch,
Swore to run health care straight in the ditch,
Wearing a shirt of bright pink,
He minced as he winked,
“Screw health care, I’m still a stone bitch!”

A Democrat out driving a Toyota,
Ran over a Republican Voter.
‘Thank goodness!’ he cried,
“He was on the wrong side,”
“And I don’t blame myself one iota!”

Of the US Congress, who can say?
Why they plot, sellout, stall and delay?
All we absolutely know for sure,
Their results resemble horse manure,
With the public always the ones who pay.

ALASKANS

MILLEROSCOPY
Joe Miller ran for public office.
Alaska voters held a caucus.
Decided he was a nut case,
Wearing a thug’s beard on his face,
Who made everyone too nauseous.

Joe Miller went all wacky and nervous,
The election became a huge circus,
And, when the recount at last came in,
Poor ol’ Joe took it smack on the chin;
For, voters learned Joe Miller was worthless!

PALINOLOGY
Due to her total refudiation,  
Of all the entire Obama nation,
Sarah Palin drew a bead,
Never mind the need,
On all health care laws and legislation.

WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH SARAH PALIN?
Whatever could be the matter with Sarah Palin?
Disturbing all with her sad weeping and wailing.
Insisting the media spawned her political derailing,
Whining by Facebook, Twittering, and secret emailing,
Insinuating so much with insufficient detailing,
Blaming all but herself for her career's curtailing,
Hopefully now her political coffin has its last nail in.

THE DANCER
There once was a dancer named Bristol;
Who was ever so ignorantly blissful.
Like her mom, a mental midget,
She extended her middle digit,
And used her finger as her pistol.

"THE DIM-WITTED TWEETER" 
There was once a dim witted twit who twittered,
Who quitted her governor's job with all its glitter.
And, promised to never, ever leave Twitter.
But soon did so with nary a back-look nor titter.
Then, later behold! About-faced and unquitted Twitter!
Yes, this dim-witted twit recanted and re-twittered,
She twittered about this and that and the other,
Death panels, Russia and Obama's mother.
Hoping everyone forgot the job so blithely quittered.
On, she twittered, and twittered and twittered,
On subjects she hardly knew quit from quinolla,
She expounded on Levi, McCain, Trig and Angola.
On Sesame, governments, church and pipefitters.
She shamefully twittered and twittered and twittered,
While the country grew quite weary and so jittered,
All tired of her nonsense and now sadly embittered,
While the sheen on her star dimmed and quite flittered.
Nonetheless, she persistently, mindlessly twittered,
Ignoring all pleas, imprecations and screams,
Plugging always her twisted, evangelical dreams,
Even husband Todd too, wanted to jump up and hit her.
May we never see again all those perfidious twitters,
Playing so to fears, paranoia, religion and bitters,
Plainly,  insanely, chasing her own lost fame and glitters,
Yes, next time give us at least a rational bullshitter!

THE QUITTER
Sarah Palin thinks everyone's out to get her,
Which makes her mad and so awfully bitter,
She's resorting to politically incorrect twitters.
The public is greatly amazed, and all in a titter,
Her constituents never agreed to permit her,
To abandon her state nor to submit her,
To ridicule, amazement and rude side-splitters,
Being a lipsticked mom from a pit bull's litter,
Didn't qualify Sarah nor make her one bit fitter,
To govern a state nor be a political outwitter.
Turns out, Sarah's only an inept, low-octane quitter!

Tweet!

Tweet!

Tweet!


Thursday, December 02, 2010

Hijacking The Christmas Tree


There has been mini-controversy lately about a ‘Holiday Tree’ installed by the city of Portland, Maine in their Monument Square. The controversy comes because the city does not call the tree a ‘Christmas Tree’. instead they say it is, ‘the tree that signals the holiday season in Portland’. A lot of people around Maine are upset it is not being called a Christmas Tree.
Portland columnist Bill Nimitz suggests tongue in cheek the tree be called ‘Bruce the Spruce’, to disarm things, but that has only further inflamed the issue. For some reason, Christians in particular seem overly concerned about the nomenclature of things like trees, especially when they associate it with their religion.
But, the city of Portland has done exactly right. The tree is in the spirit of the holiday, and not a Christian Christmas. And, of course there are now several flavors to this seasonal holiday, among them ‘Kwansa & Hannukah’. A few years ago in Seattle a city Christmas Tree’ had to be taken down after a rabbi asked that a menorah be placed next to a Christmas display so labeled.
The rabbi had every right to make the request. When public money is spent on and identified with parochial issues - like Christmas - it is in violation of both the letter and intent of the US Constitution, although you will hear few Tea Partiers complain about that. They scream long, loudly and incessantly about the ‘Constitution’ and Constitutional rights - as long as they agree with whatever it is. But, go against their dogma - and the Tea Party is largely peopled by so-called ‘Christians’ - you will hear nary a peep. Not one single one. In fact, I’d lay even money that a lot of the people now screaming about the Holiday Tree in Portland are Tea Partiers. I'd win hands down too.
Ironically, the tree in Christmas celebrations has nothing to do with Christ. It is the result of a medieval priest’s (St. Boniface of Geismar, Germany) overreaction to the ‘Tree of Thor’, celebrating a Norse God. Maybe the tree should really be called the ‘Anti-Thor Tree’ or, the 'Un-Thor Tree'. Evergreen trees are associated with pagan pre-Christian Druid winter solstice celebrations, who also venerated Holly and Mistletoe. It is probably for that reason Puritans banned Christmas trees in early New England.
But, never mind. Christians have latched onto the tree and claimed it as their own. At first, about 150 years ago in the United States the custom was sporadic and took a while to catch on. But now, it is THEIRS by God and they want no one else to have a say in it. It’s a Christmas Tree by God, it’s theirs, it represents Christ’s birthday and by God that’s all there is to it! No matter the reality.
So, the tree has been hijacked, in many ways very like the way conservative movement and Tea Partiers  hijacked the word ‘Patriot’. Patriots are them by God, and only them by God, and no one else need apply by God. Anyone else is a traitor according to their definition. You don’t want to cross those conservative Christian Tea Partiers.
And, another funny thing is, according to old and longstanding tradition, the tree is not put up until Christmas Eve. Now that it appears everywhere just after Thanksgiving is due to the mercenary avariciousness of retailers, and Christmas Tree merchants - probably not a really good reason to celebrate with the tree. 
Ain’t history and reality fascinating?




Wednesday, December 01, 2010

The Tea Party and Alaska’s Joe Miller

I've gotten a lot of entertainment watching the Senate election campaign by Alaska's Tea Party favorite Joe Miller. His campaign has been a Chinese fire drill of missteps and malapropisms from almost the very beginning. Now, he is widely considered by most Alaskans as a 'Nut Job'. In the primary election, Miller was a kind of a ‘sleeper’ Tea Party supported candidate who captured the Republican senatorial nomination by catching a complacent sitting Senator Lisa Murkowski by surprise. Sarah Palin and the Tea Party threw support and buckets of out-of-state money into both the primary and the general elections.

Finally awakening to what was happening, Murkowski mounted an apparently successful write-in campaign to win the vote in the general election. When and if she is certified she will become only the second senator in history to do so, and the first since 1954 when Strom Thurman won a write-in campaign in South Carolina. The decision is now tied up in several court cases. Joe Miller is pulling out all the stops to block Murkowski from being certified the winner. The Tea Party, and especially Republican Senator Jim Demint of South Carolina are fighting a desperate last ditch battle in the hopes of having Miller put in office over the wishes of the people of the state of Alaska.

Someone called Miller a ‘descendant’ of the infamous Soapy Smith of Gold Rush days in Skagway, Alaska. He certainly looks the part. Soapy was the iconic con man originally from Georgia, who moved to Skagway in 1897 and gathered a large and intimidating gang to become the de facto ruler of the town. Ol’ Soapy had his fingers in just about every pie around and his gang enforced his rule with force of arms and bullying. He even formed his own ‘militia’, naming himself as captain, which was recognized by the US War Department, and which he used to help him control the town of Skagway.

Soapy Smith was ultimately confronted and shot to death by Frank Reid, who himself was wounded and died twelve days later. Reid was part of a vigilante committee formed to combat Soapy’s nefarious criminal activities
And, indeed the similarities between Joe Miller and Soapy Smith give one pause, especially the striking physical resemblances. Both came from ‘away’. Both lied, distorted and twisted facts. Miller has loudly and incessantly decried all government aid as ‘handouts’ while taking advantage of a great amount himself, or for his family. Soapy Smith’s ‘handouts’ were the ones he grabbed for himself through cons and swindles. I think my favorite Soapy Smith tale is about the fake telegraph office soapy set up for miners. For a charge of $5 he would ‘send’ a telegram back home for them - when telegraph lines did not even exist to Skagway at the time.

But, there does seem to be one big difference; Soapy Smith seems to have been extraordinarily intelligent, while Miller appears to just be one great big, bitter, whiny, deceitful Tea Party Republican dumb ass.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Political Quiz for Americans in the Year 2020


Concerning US political history:

What political ‘party’ was militantly opposed to immigration of certain kinds of people and wanted to impose strict rules and limits?

What political ‘party’ was disgusted by unresponsive politicians?

What political ‘party’ was an unofficial group with no centralized organization?

What political ‘party’ was made up of mostly middle class Americans?

What political ‘party’ described opponents as “the ally of tyranny, the opponent of material prosperity, the foe of thrift”?

What political ‘party’ coordinated their votes and threw their weight behind candidates sympathetic to their cause?

What political ‘party’ delayed a national project they disliked for political reasons, and what was done under their supervision had to be redone?

What political ‘party’ encouraged violence and intimidation in campaigns?

What political ‘party’ encouraged alien and sedition laws, was forever carping about the foreign-born citizen and trying to abridge his privileges?

What political ‘party’ wanted a wait of 21 years before an immigrant could gain citizenship?
What political ‘party’ wanted to have daily Bible readings in public schools?
What political ‘party’ wanted to restrict the use of languages other than English?


If you answered “Tea Party” you would be right! 

Furthermore, if you answered “Know-Nothing Party” you would also be right!


Now, just two more questions:

What political ‘party’ had roots in another political party which ended up being destroyed in the end.

What political ‘party’ ended up disappearing from the scene?

If you answered “Tea Party” you would be right. 

Furthermore, if you answered “Know-Nothing Party” my fervent hope is that you will also be right in the year 2020!


So help me!

America's Neros: Money Can Surely Buy You Political Love

Remember the story about Nero fiddling while Rome burned? Tragically, we now have our own versions of Nero’s fiddling (or worse) while our world’s climate degrades as a result of mankind’s pollution. Our Neros are political ‘Deniers’ of climate change. They are the ones we've elected, who choose to disregard over 95% of expert scientific opinion to tout the dissenting 5%. And many, if not all of those 5% are under the financial influence of big energy corporations or others who stand to lose if remedial legislation is enacted. There’s little hope of that now with control of the House of Representatives passing to the deniers.

Such is the power of money in politics. Now there are essentially no limits on political campaign money, the people, the man in the street so to speak, have been disenfranchised and are now at the mercy of well-heeled corporations. Under the recent ruling from the right-wing controlled Supreme Court, corporations may now use their virtually unlimited funds to buy any legislator - and legislation - they choose. And, they have done just that.

This is a breakdown by industry of the ratio of contributions during the 2010 election:

Energy companies: 2 to 1 to Republicans over Democrats;

Agriculture Industries: 2 to 1 to Republicans over Democrats;

Health Care Industries: 4 to 3 to Republicans over Democrats

And here are some remarks and details about the incoming people who will be in control of the House of Representatives:

John Boehner, (Ohio), Incoming House Majority leader: Beohner says, ‘The idea that carbon dioxide is a carcinogen, that is harmful to our environment, is almost comical’; Biggest campaign donors are: Drug and cigarette makers, banks, health insurers, oil companies, military contractors. (Boehner once handed out lobbyist checks from cigarette makers to other representatives on the house floor)

Darrel Issa, (California), Incoming Chair of the House Oversight Committee: Issa says he won’t use his new clout to ‘have corporate America live in fear’. Instead, Issa says his first moves will be to investigate the very climate researchers and scientists who are ringing the alarm bell loud and clear.

Issa’s top contributors: Pharmaceuticals/Health Products

John Shimkus, (Illinois), one of four running for chair of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce: Shimkus quotes Genesis 8:22 from the Christian bible: “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” and says, “I believe in the infallible word of God, and that’s the way it’s going to be for His creation;

Shimkus’ top contributors: Health Professionals, Pharmaceuticals& Drugs; Health products, Electric Utilities, Oil & Gas

Joe Barton, (Texas), is also running for the same chair: Barton says, “When it’s hot, we get shade. When it’s cold, we find a warm place to stay.” Barton is the same guy who demanded Obama apologize to BP for demanding they take more effective action during their gulf oil spill;

Barton’s top contributors: Electric Utilities, Oil & Gas, Pharmaceuticals & Health Products, Health professionals, Mining.

And, even before the recent election congressional Republicans schemed to eliminate the House Select Committee on Energy Independence.

Who says money can’t buy you love? (Or, at least favorable legislation). We should never forget Nero ultimately had his own mother (and step-brother) murdered back then in ancient Rome either.

Sources: Follow The Money

              Open Secrets

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Questions for Tea Party People *


A few questions for the Tea Party people who say they are ‘Mad as hell, and won’t take it anymore”:

What the hell is wrong with you?

Why didn’t you get mad when the Supreme Court stopped a legal recount and appointed a President who lost the popular vote?

Why didn’t you get mad when Cheney invited Energy company officials to secretly dictate Energy policy?

Why didn’t you get mad when a covert CIA operative was outed by White House staff?

Why didn’t you get mad when the Patriot Act was passed taking away rights and freedoms?

Why didn’t you get mad when we invaded a country posing no threat to us?

Why didn’t you get mad when we spent over 800 billion on that war - and still counting?

Why didn’t you get mad when under Bush, our country borrowed more money from foreign sources than the previous 42 Presidents combined?

Why didn’t you get mad when over 10 billion dollars in cash disappeared in Iraq?

Why didn’t you get mad when our government was outed for torturing people?

Why didn’t you get mad when Bush administration policies helped ship over 6 million American jobs overseas?

Why didn’t you get mad when the government illegally wiretapped American citizens?

Why didn’t you get mad when George Bush let Osama Bin Laden get away?

Why didn’t you get mad when Bush ran up 10 trillion dollars in combined budget and current account deficits?

Why didn’t you get mad about the disgusting conditions at Walter Reed army hospital?

Why didn’t you get mad when our government let a major US city, New Orleans, drown?

Why didn’t you get mad when we gave the ultra rich over a trillion dollars in undeserved tax breaks while our deficit was spiraling out of control?

Why didn’t you get mad over worst 8 year record of job creations since the Great Depression?

Why didn’t you get mad when over 200,000 US Citizens lost their lives due to lack of health insurance?

Why didn’t you get mad when lack of oversight caused our Citizens to lose 12 trillion dollars in investments, retirement, and home values?

But you finally did get mad when a black man was elected president and worked enable everyone to get to see a doctor when needed?

Oh but yes, illegal wars, lies, corruption, torture, job losses by the millions, transferring your tax dollars to make the rich richer, and presiding over the worst economic disaster since 1929 are all okay with you, but helping fellow Americans who are sick . . . Oh, Hell No!!

What the hell is wrong with you anyway?

* With apologies and thanks to an otherwise unknown poster named 'Miles' from which the above has been paraphrased.


Friday, October 01, 2010

A Tea Party Jesus

I met a representative of Jesus the other day. That's what he told me.

He didn't seem a lot like the real Jesus, the one who was reportedly nailed to a cross over two millennia ago, then buried in a cave, then, if you believe in the legend, was raised from the dead to become the savior of Christian souls. No, this guy told me he was a retired tire vulcanizer from Cincinnati, Ohio. He carried a flag with a cross on it which had the words * 'Time to Reload' written on it. I found him at a Tea Party rally wearing a pair of camouflage pants and a baseball cap with the words, “NRA” boldly emblazoned in gold on the front.

I approached him for an interview. This guy was white, had a fair sized pot belly and was seriously going bald, both of which he tried to hide. He unsuccessfully tried to suck in his gut when I approached and his baldness wasn't evident until his flag accidentally brushed his cap off his head. He assured me he was 'standing up for Jesus' and was doing Jesus' work on Earth. He said was one of the faithful working to save our nation. I believed him.

And, I'm taking my country back!” he informed me defiantly.

From where and whom?” I wondered, puzzled.

From the communists, and illegal immigrants and queers and liberals of course!” he said. “Them and their puppet Obama have just about destroyed the country. Just look at how deep in debt they have us now!”

They have?” I asked.

Damned right! And now, they're gonna raise taxes on everybody!” he replied.

They are?” I asked. “I thought they were going to just let the tax cut for the rich expire. And, I thought the economy went sour while Bush was still in charge.”

They are going to raise taxes on everybody making over $250,000 a year!” He spurted. “And everybody knows the Democrats ran the economy in the ditch the last year of Bush's term!”

So, how will this affect you?” I asked. “Will your taxes go up because you make over $250,000 a year?”

It's not me I'm talking about!” he protested. “If you tax the rich, then they won't have money to invest! That's the core principle of trickle down economics. Rush Limbaugh is always talking about that.”

Well, it's not actually a tax increase.” I explained. “It's just letting Bush's tax cut expire. The tax rate will simply go back to where it was under Clinton – when we didn't have anything trickling down and things were booming right along nicely. We also had a big budget surplus back then too, or didn't you notice?”

Nope. I was too busy making a living, and waiting for the shoe to drop.” he said.

What shoe?” I asked.

The economic shoe, dummy! What just happened!”

But the economy went south two years ago under George W. Bush.” I pointed out mildly.

He snorted, “Are you nuts? It was Clinton's policies and the liberal Democrats in Congress who ambushed Bush and deliberately trashed the economy just to make him look bad. Rush Limbaugh has explained it on his radio show many, many times. Everybody knows that . . ”

They do?”

Hell yeah! Where you been, sleeping under a rock or something?” he retorted. “You must be part of that drive by media Rush is always talking about.”

There was no real answer to that so I just let it go.

So, you think Jesus wants you to take our country back with guns?” I asked to change the subject.

Damned right!” he retorted. “Just like we took it back from the British in the first place! It's about time to water the tree of liberty with blood, and * it's time to get liberals in the cross hairs!”

I said, “That doesn't sound much like the Jesus I learned about in Sunday School. That Jesus was supposed to be a man of peace and always tried to promote peace the way I remember it.”

He snorted, “Yeah, well if Jesus was on Earth today, he'd be out here with me. He doesn't intend for us to put us with communists and socialists or queers which are an abomination to his name. Jesus would have his guns loaded and locked, ready to defend our country against them like all patriots. I know that for a fact!”

You do? I asked. “How?”

Yep! All good Christians know that.”

I take it you consider yourself a good Christian then.” I said. “Which church do you go to?”

I'm a Jehovah's Witness.” he answered. “We're perfected Christians and my pastor says Jesus is real upset the way things are going and it's past time for Christians to set things straight. That's why I'm here today. If we can't straighten things out by electing the right people, we might need to take direct action.”

I asked, “Do you mean take up arms?”

Hell, yeah!” he responded. “A lot of us Christians are locked and loaded and ready to go.”

You do know armed insurrection against the government is illegal don't you?” I asked. “That if you take up guns to in defiance of law you could go to jail?”

We don't pay attention to any laws that ain't the law of God.' he retorted. “God and Jesus guide us every step of the way, and I'm here to bear witness to that!”

I though it impolitic and would not serve any real purpose to point out that was exactly the way the Taliban justifies their terrorism. The only difference being nomenclature – Allah instead of Jesus.

I came away from the interview thinking if things keep going along the same way, this guy would probably need to enter the Jehovah Witness Protection Program someday.

* actual quotes by Sarah Palin

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Grizzly Food

Two Grizzly bears on a national forest were hard up for food one year. After a too-cold Winter and a too-hot Spring, there was very little to eat. What there was was dried up and frizzled.

So, the older, more grizzled bear Sam, said to his younger companion Roger one day, “You know what? I’m so damned hungry I think I’m gonna eat me a tourist.”

“You can’t do that!” protested Roger. “Don’t you remember that warning Smokey gave us?”

“Yeah, yeah, I know. We’re not supposed to eat the tourists ‘cause if we do they’ll declare us ‘problem bears’ and hunt us down and shoot us like, well . . . . , bears. But, I’m a-telling you Roger, if we don’t start snacking on some  tourists pretty soon we’re gonna starve to death. Hell, that’s a worse way to die than getting shot.”

“Guess you’re right about that.” said Roger. “So, what do we do to catch us a tourist? I’ve never done that before.”

“Me neither, but it’s simple,” said Sam. “We just hide behind some rock beside a hiking trail and when we see a tourist coming by alone, why we just grab him and run off in the forest with him and fix him and eat him where no one will notice. Why don’t you go over and wait by the Upper Trail and I’ll take the Lower? We’ll meet again tonight to see how we did.”

“Roger that.” said Roger.

Later that evening when they met to compare notes Sam asked Roger, “So, how’d you do today?”

“Pretty good I guess.” Roger replied. “I caught me a Mexican. Holy Cow!  Was he all juicy and spicy! He tasted great once I got by that hot chili pepper zing. But, he was pretty buttery too so I’m worried about my cholesterol now. How’d you do?”

“Sheesh!” said Sam. “I’m gonna have to do better than I did today or I’m gonna starve completely to death anyway! I screwed up and caught me a Norwegian.”

“So, what’s wrong with Norwegians?” asked Roger.

“You don’t know? They’re mostly gnarly twisted gristle and not tasty at all, even on a good day. They eat too much fish and rotten cheese and downright stink inside.” said Sam disgustedly. “Everybody knows that. But, you can’t tell from the outside. My Norwegian must have eaten some of that awful, rotten Lutefisk too. Once I finally got all his stinky parts and bad pieces cleaned out, I ended up with only a couple handfuls of edible stuff. I tell you right now Roger, nobody can live on Norwegians! Let’s hope I can do better tomorrow.”

The next evening they met again. Sam said, “Well, I did a lot better today, thank goodness. I caught me one of those monks from over at the monastery. He was delicious, filling and fully satisfying.”

“Gosh Sam,” said Roger. “I caught me one of those monks too, but I could hardly eat the damned guy, tasted awful. I had to choke him down.”

“How’d you fix him?” asked Sam.

“Boiled him of course, like I always do.”

“Well, there’s your damned problem right there! Don’t you ever learn? Those kind of monks are friars!” laughed Sam as Roger hung his head.

They met again next evening. Roger was grinning and Sam was out of sorts.

“Man, this was the best day so far!” grinned Roger.

“I probably don’t even want to hear about it,” snarled Sam. “but, go ahead and tell me if you must.”

“Yeah, well, I really lucked up and caught me a Democrat.” chortled Roger. “Man, was he sweet and succulent. He hardly even hollered when I grabbed him. He was oozing with all this sweet syrupy stuff and smelled good too. I’m so full of sweet, environmentally friendly wholesome food I gotta take a nap. How’d you do yourself?

“Hell, wouldn’t you just believe the damned luck?” Sam snarled. “You go out and catch yourself a nice fat Democrat and all I got was this knotty, shitty, stinking damned Republican. Once I got all the shit cleaned out of him there was nothing left but his teeth, his gold cross and his wallet. He was ten times worse than a Norwegian! Damn! Do ya think maybe he coulda been a freaking Norwegian Republican?

“I tell ya what Roger, tomorrow me and you are gonna switch trails!”




Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Tea Party Ship of State

I first saw the Tea Party Express down at the docks. I was drawn to that odd vessel by all those flags waving about overhead. That boat was a strange sight indeed. First, there was the hull itself which looked hurriedly cobbled together - and not very expertly either - seemingly out of discarded railroad boxcars, re-cycled army tanks, church steeples and a lot of other unidentifiable material. Lying at the dock, the boat seemed to list impossibly far to the right. In fact, the strange craft looked entirely hard aground and near capsizing.

There were all those flags and banners of course. First, there was a huge American flag flying from the masthead, which itself seemed to be made from an extra high church steeple. Flying from the crossbars of the cross on top were  other flags. One had ‘Don’t Tread on Me’ boldly written beneath the image of a rattlesnake on a yellow background. Another small one showed a tree with the words “It’s Time to Water the Tree of Liberty with Blood”. Still other smaller ones here and there had pictures of guns, and some had images and words which would guarantee a desperate life-or-death fight if unwisely waved in the Watts neighborhood of LA for example.

Still and all it was a colorful sight. I spotted an oddly dressed man striding importantly about on deck. He wore camouflage trousers and a shirt seemingly made out of the United States flag. On his head appeared to be some sort of floppy olive drab military campaign hat. A large, oval silver belt buckle with an American eagle set in gold was at his waist, and a large silver cross hung conspicuously from a chain around his neck. “I (heart) Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck” was tattooed on his right arm. Taking him for some sort of comic icon I asked if he knew where the captain might be found.

“I am the captain!” he informed me importantly. I introduced myself and said my newspaper sent me to write an article on the ship and that I’d like to interview him.

“Fire away.” he said. I had noticed that he seemed very militant and had sort of belligerent in-your-face attitude, so first, I asked him about his military experience.

“Unfortunately, to my great regret, I never had the opportunity to serve my country in the military.” he answered.

I asked why not since his apparent age seemed about right for the Vietnam years.
“Well at the time I was seeking a critical civilian occupation and felt my services were far more important to the war effort through that there here at home.” he replied, not looking me in the eye.

I wondered out loud what that critical civilian occupation might have been.

“Well, to be honest, I was between jobs but looking for work of a critical civilian nature so to speak. So I could offer my expertise you know.  But unfortunately, it was very hard to find the right kind of work and since I had a high draft number, I just was never called up during those times.”

“Did you ever find your critical civilian job, or think about volunteering for the military?” I asked.

“No.” he said tersely, looking up at the huge American flag flying at the steeple-mast. “I spent most of that time working in construction, which you really should consider critical work couldn’t you? I just never thought of it that way until just now.”

I sensed he wished to be off this particular subject. “So, tell me about your boat.” I said to him.

“Well, first of all,” he said rather stuffily, “this here is not a boat. This here is a ship, and a powerful ship of state to be precise. This here ship will be used to bring about critically needed political change to a nation in great peril. Namely ours.”

He went on, “This here ship is very strong. A lot of people don’t know this, but we’ve got a pretty much unlimited budget to make sure the ship is as strong as we want. For example, our powerful engines have been provided to us by wealthy patriots like the Koch brothers and Rupert Murdock who are vitally and unselfishly concerned about this here country. Other money and all our fuel is provided by big oil and energy companies who care about the direction our country is headed and want to dispel any and all ridiculous climate change myths. The hull and many other important parts were donated by Christian patriots who only want to make sure God’s will is followed by the leaders of our country to guarantee abortionists and homosexuals aren’t able to contaminate our society any further.”

“So, where did you get the design for your ship, and who is responsible for that?” I asked, a burning question I had in mind ever since I first saw the thing.

“God provided the design.” he said. “This here ship was built and guided by the hand of God. All the input, every part, every screw and bolt and welded seam was directed by God, every paint brush stroke. In fact, I think this here ship should be considered holy. All we did when we built the ship was put the pieces where it seemed like God wanted them.”

“Which God is that?” I wondered. “Would that be a Jewish god, or Buddhist god, or a combination of a lot of different kinds of gods?”

“Of course not you idiot! I mean the one and only Christian God, Jesus Christ our savior, the Holy Trinity and our country’s salvation!”

I protested at once, “But, our country was founded on freedom of religion or no religion at all. It wasn’t based on any Christian god and neither was the US Constitution.”

The captain instantly swelled up at that and got red in the face. “Well, that’s where you’re absolutely and completely 100% wrong, by God!” he shouted loudly. “Everyone knows this here is a Christian nation, founded by Christians and on solid Christian principles! Maybe they just made a mistake in not pointing that out in the Constitution in the first place, I don’t know. But, that’s one of the things we aim to fix. We’re gonna put Christ back in the schools where he belongs, and put the Ten Commandments in every courthouse in this here country! What are you some kind of heathen atheist communist or traitor or something?”

“No, not at all.” I answered. “Actually I was raised as a Catholic, though probably not a very good one.”

“Well, there you are then. That’s different. Catholics are actually Christians too in their own way I’ve been told.” he said. “Although I don’t know all that much about you Mackerel Smackers myself.”

“Thanks.” I said. “Glad to know I will be allowed to get along in your world once you take over.’ I said somewhat sarcastically. The captain looked at me sharply.

“You ain’t trying to be a smart ass or anything are you?” he snorted.

“Nosirree, not me.” I replied. “So, tell me about the ships’s navigation equipment, the compass and electronics and things like that.”

He smiled as if here he knew to be on solid ground. “Well, we have all the latest there is. All the radars and radios and GPS’s and stuff like that. We didn’t need to spend no money on anything like a compass, now with all the fancy electronics and all, so we didn’t.”

“What if you have a power failure or something?” I asked. “Besides a compass being required by law, power failures do happen on ships fairly often, you know.”

“Law, schmaw. Ridiculous laws ain’t meant to be followed, at least by real Americans. If it’s God will we don’t need no particular law, we don’t pay no attention to it at all. Anyway, God’s hand will guide us if anything happens. Just like he guided Moses in the wilderness, and like he’s guided us so far.” he gave a superior grin. “We have no fear or worries about any of that being Christians. Ain’t you been listening to what I been telling you?”

“Oh, yes, I’ve been hearing you.” I said.

He went on. “Through this here ship we aim to take our country back, and set things right. We’ll fix the excessive taxation, and the runaway budget, and do away with all that social welfare stuff. If folks can’t make it, well, just let them go somewhere else where they believe in and have all that socialism stuff. We ain’t gonna allow that crap here. This country is for God-fearing, hardworking, Christian Americans only. No one else need apply. And that means all those wetbacks too. We’re gonna round ‘em up and send ‘em back where they belong. We’re gonna save America for us Americans!”

“You do know this country was founded almost 100% by immigrants from other countries don’t you?” I asked. “Plus the country was already inhabited by native people who weren’t Christians when our ancestors got here.”

“Well yes, that’s so. But THOSE immigrants were good Christians, and those Indians had to turn over their country to us because they WEREN’T Christians! That was God’s will!” the captain retorted. “Now, it’s our job to keep any more damned dark-skinned heathens out.”

“Most all Mexicans and Central Americans are good and faithful Catholics.” I pointed out.

“Yes, but they are mostly from the brown races which the Europeans brought religion to, just to save their souls from hell and damnation. But they ain’t exactly perfected as Christians yet neither in my opinion. I’ve always suspected that holy Catholic stuff was just a cover for them anyway. Those wetbacks ain’t got no business in our country I tell you, Catholic or not.” the good captain replied.

To change the subject I asked him, “So where is the ship ‘Tea Party Express’ headed from here and what qualifications do you have as captain?” 

The captain replied. “As for my qualifications, why, I’ve got years of experience operating wheat combines on Kansas farms, which ought to qualify me enough to run just about anything you know. As to where we’re headed, why we’re headed to Washington, DC of course. We’re gonna be taking over there or ain’t you heard yet?”

“Well, I’ve certainly heard that’s your goal, but there are at least 70 percent of other Americans who don’t agree with you.” I said.

“Don’t matter.” he said. “We know what’s best for everybody. It may be a little rough for them at first, but they’ll soon see the light and be satisfied once we fix things.”

“What if they aren’t?” I asked. “What if they still disagree?”

“Too bad for them I guess. Like I said, it don’t matter if they do or not. You just can’t go against God’s will.” he replied.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Unfettered Capitalism Myth

"Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains." -- so said Thomas Jefferson when he advocated against corporations having political power and worked to build a wall between them and our government. Corporations are the single largest form of dominance over people ever devised and have no particular loyalty to any country, including our own.  Profits are the singular guiding standard as Jefferson noted and ever since his time corporations have tried to insinuate themselves into our political system.

They have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. They are now defined as ‘persons’ and the US Supreme Court recently ruled they can spend as much as they like to elect politicians of their choice. This signals a crystal clear and present danger for our way of life. Now, there seems to be no real obstacle to corporations taking complete control of our government

Lot’s of us own stock in corporations, and prosper from their prosperity to various degrees. That’s only one of the many ways used to mollify and soothe the masses. But, it has gone far beyond that.  Corporations invested in and have been stunningly successful in enlisting the very people they are economically enslaving  to their defense and cause. Disparaging ‘capitalism’ in the slightest way exposes you to attack, ridicule and accusation of being communist or treasonous.

“Unrestrained and unfettered capitalism” is the popular war cry. And, war cry it is. The problem is, it is a complete and utter myth. First, it is not capitalism at all. Capitalism as in the popular conception of it went out the window a long time ago. Capitalism as it exists today is actually a 'Corporatocracy', a many-tentacled form of governance by entities nourished and sustained by corporate socialism in the form of huge subsidies and tax breaks from our government. This is orchestrated by the elites who rule the corporations. And, the ones paying the bill are you and I, the taxpaying saps who are now virtual economic slaves.

These elites have access to unlimited funds to influence the legislators who live in their pockets, and have little hope of election without their help. They also have huge treasure chests to propagandize the masses to get them behind their causes.

The Tea Party is a prime example. The spark, and initial money behind this ‘movement’ has been traced back to the Koch brothers, two of the richest men in America and the world. They are aided by a huge media conglomerate (FOX), also owned, not incidentally by one of the richest men in the world. They capitalize on the legitimate fears and frustrations of millions of Americans watching our politicians sell out our country wholesale. Faith in Congress is at an all-time historic low, and with good and sufficient reason. It’s simple really. Congress long ago essentially defaulted on the people’s business, except occasionally under the strongest public pressure. Instead, they block, obfuscate, confuse and dodge any progress or beneficial change objected to by their real clients - the corporations who keep them in office.

And, the damage caused by special interest legislation is legion. One historic example: Corporate money funded legislation legalize a mining method called 'mountaintop removal'  (‘Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977,' (515(c)(1)'. Today this vast region is internationally  known as 'APPALACHIA'  with the distinction as the most backward region with the lowest health and literacy rates anywhere in the US. There is more of the same type of thing going on in our country today than most people can ever imagine. The human, or social parts of our society have little value to corporations except for how we can contribute to their profits.

Who are these elites who rule the corporations, and thereby the rest of us? Well, to begin with they are, with few exceptions, the really, really rich. Some of their wealth is inherited, and some was gained through their own efforts, Horatio Alger style. But generally speaking, they comprise the richest one or two percent of people in the nation, and internationally too, as many corporations are wholly or partly foreign owned - yet still have their full say in our political system. And, since they essentially rule our nation, this means we are also being partially ruled by foreigners. Hard to believe, eh?  It is harder still to stomach.

We have been through similar times in our past. The infamous ‘laissez faire’ times of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries come to mind. The rich had control back then too. In 1928 almost 24% of the nation’s income came to the hands of the richest 1%. This ratio declined to around 8 or 9% by the 1970’s due to economic reforms, wars and the so-called Great Society. By 2007 we were right back to 1928 levels - almost 24% of total income came once again to the richest 1%. 

It is not coincidental that both periods were followed by the greatest economic crashes in history. Sadly for the rest of us, ironically, in bad economic times the rich tend to get richer, relatively speaking, than any of the rest of us. This bears our the cliché that if you do not learn from history, you are destined to repeat it.  Sadly for our country, all too true.

An election is coming up. We are daily being innundated with political ads demonizing ‘Obamacare’ - the first comprehensive health care plan for all citizens in our entire history. ‘Liberals’ and ‘Progressives’ are roundly pilloried. How anyone can be against progress is beyond my understanding, but there you are. Today is a black is white, white is black world, bought and paid for lock, stock and barrel by Big Corporate Money - ‘BCM’.

Enjoy if you can.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Are Some Tea Partiers Gun Nuts?

Are Gun Nuts Part of the Tea Party Movement?


You can bet your pink pig’s pretty lipstick they are!!!

Gun nuts are out in force at many Tea Party meetings - many openly armed with anything from pistols to assault weapons. No doubt many are carrying concealed weapons too. They are not hesitant about their belligerency and threatening postures.  They are openly claiming to be ‘armed and ready’ for revolution. Many appear to be trying to intimidate all opposition.

This phenomenon seems to be an overboard reaction to their perception and claims that President Barrack Obama is, A): a Muslim; B): A non-citizen, C): a socialist, D): a communist, E): planning to seize all firearms, F): planning to enact legislation making firearms ownership illegal. They are also motivated by extreme, self-feeding paranoia over illegal immigration, abortion, and religion.

‘Liberals’ are routinely denigrated as communists, socialists, ‘libotards’, traitors and so on - without a shred of evidence except in an invented, self-induced paranoia. A prime propaganda source for them is Glen Beck of Fox News. That would be the Glen Beck college drop out, drug addict and alcohol abuser who relentlessly expounds on these themes in his broadcasts.

I can not recall any other group maintaining this level of threat, intimidation and belligerency besides militia crazies and hate/racist groups like the Ku Klux Klan.

All this fear and paranoia is seized upon and fed with incessant propaganda designed deliberately to inflame these people, from sources like the irresponsible Fox News and National Rifle Association (NRA), evangelical church, anti-abortion, militias and anti-immigration groups.

Are they dangerous?  Yes.  You can bet your pig’s lipstick on that too. Any group of armed people motivated by anger, fear and paranoia is intrinsically dangerous by definition. In fact, there have already been incidents of violence and even murder attributed to these paranoids. It doesn’t seem to occur to them in their perception of ‘protecting their rights’ they are heavily infringing on the rights of others.

But, I am also encouraged that leveler heads both inside and outside the Tea Party movement will prevail. I believe most Tea Partiers are probably sincere people, and in their own way as reasonable as can be expected by any group motivated by anger and fear. I also believe the authorities are keeping an eye on the more extreme elements of the Tea Party movement and will act if and when necessary.

Further, I believe Tea Partiers are seriously overestimating their potency in general and in due course will be relegated to the sidelines where they belong by the electorate at large.  I also believe Tea Partiers seriously underestimate the reaction of more moderate people in the event of a showdown.  For one thing, many, if not most ‘moderates’ also own and know how to use firearms.  One other thing: many of us were also well-trained in the use of them during our military tours.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Are Tea Partiers Racist?


We've always heard the saying, "One picture is worth a thousand words". Sometimes I find that is exactly true.

We have seen and heard the claims that the Tea Party phenomenon includes a lot of racism. I have seen some indications of this but figured, well sure, there are some racists in the movement, just as there are in all political movements.  I did not believe it was rampant, or represents a large constituency in the movement.  

I now believe I was wrong.

I became interested because of the recent NAACP allegations and decided to do a little checking for myself. I always like to check for myself because there seems to be so many hysterical claims from all sides.  I spent about three hours to locate all the 'signs' I needed to change my opinion.  It appears the movement is rampant with racism and several other isms besides.  I will post some information on the other isms in future pages. I am attempting to limit my pages to one topic at a time.

There seem to be many well-meaning, sincere people in the Tea Party movement. But, by their own admission, Tea Partiers are not experienced in political activism, which might tend to make them a bit naive about the propaganda they so obviously and avidly consume. Apparently many have been convinced it's OK to bring their latent racism out of the closet once again. And, any 'political movement' championed, planned, coached and organized by a Fox News commentator who is a school dropout and has a history of alcoholism and drug problems has to be suspect from the outset. You'd think. 

My admittedly non-comprehensive personal investigation convinces me the Tea Party is full of kooks and nut jobs.  And, if you believe their claims they are not racist, I am including several dozen photographs that distinctly and emphatically say otherwise. I have gathered these from many different sources on the web, which you can do for yourself by simply searching for 'Tea Party Racist Images'.

In fact, the sheer numbers I found in such a few short, informal searches makes me fear for our country. It also makes me deeply ashamed of and for some of my countrymen and women.

Are Tea Partiers Racist?  You can bet your pig's pretty pink lipstick they are - and more!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

How to Start a Marriage Off Wrong

My first wife so earnestly wanted to be sophisticated and citified, and was as a consequence, a determined early woman’s libber.  She had a ‘down home’ first cousin named Bobby Jack.  Ol' Bobby Jack was a lanky and laconic Good Ol’ Country Boy who had a drawl that seemed to drag across two or three time zones. Bobby Jack was married to a buxom country girl named Sharla Sue - a name it seemed to take Ol’ Bobby Jack several seconds to get out. They shared a little wood framed house with a couple kids about ten miles out in the country from town. I will always remember the one and only visit my ex-wife and I made to see them, early in our marriage.

My ex-wife sprang from exactly the same kind of poor dirt farmer country stock as Bobby Jack and Sharla Sue. But, she outgrew her roots so to speak, went off to college, got educated and leveraged herself by sheer force of will into entirely another social strata. I will always credit her with the willpower and determination to do that, no matter our many other differences.

Normally my ex didn’t have much to do with her country cousins, and certainly not on a social level. She always tried to keep them at least an arm’s length away if she could. Nowadays I've observed she’s more laid back and generally more accepting of her family and their roots. Age can do that for you I think. But, back then she wasn’t. On that occasion she kind of let herself get trapped into this particular visit.

Sharla Sue bumped into my wife unexpectedly in town and just insisted that we come out to ‘supper’ that very night - 'dinner' being the noon meal in that part of the world. My wife reluctantly, but graciously agreed and later, dragged me out to their house for dinner, ‘to be polite.’ I didn’t really mind, and besides, I was newly married and curious about her family.

Sharla Sue met us at the screen door, gushing over with welcome and invited us in. She said the kids were playing in the back room. And, Bobby Jack sat there in the living room all kicked back in his Lazy Boy recliner watching television. He didn’t bother to get up, but waved his hand lazily in the air.  “Y’all come on in.” he said neighborly, “Y'all come on in and sit down and make yo'self comfabull.”

He languorously waved over in the general direction of the sofa next to his recliner. I politely shook his hand and sat down. I'd never seen the guy before in my life. My wife and Sharla Sue headed for the kitchen where the dinner was cooking. It smelled great. Fried chicken nearly always does I’ve noticed.

I exchanged a few cautiously polite words with Bobby Jack as I sat on the sofa. Then almost out of nowhere Bobby Jack announced, “I gotta get these God-damned shoes off.” referring to his dirty brogans which were splayed out on the footrest, all covered with mud and God knows what else from the hog pen. I assumed he was excusing himself in order to get up from the recliner and go somewhere to take those nasty things off. They were, after all, exuding a fairly unpleasant odor, competing uneasily with the smell of dinner.

But Ol’ Bobby Jack surprised me by simply rolling to one side on that Lazy Boy recliner, turning his head in the direction of the kitchen and loudly hollering, "Sharla Sue! Sharla Sue! Come in here just a damned minute!"

Those were his exact words. Sharla Sue’s head popped into the doorway almost instantly as she asked sweetly, "What you want Sugarpop?”

Bobby Jack ordered in a sort of peevish, whiny quarrelsome voice: "Pull off my God-damned brogans  and put on my God-damned slippers!"

It was a startlingly definite command or order, delivered with little inflection, yet was most emphatic. The slightly peevish way he said it made it forceful, even through a heavy drawl which seemed to take half a minute to get out.

Bobby Jack then sort of stiffened his body and pushed back a little further in that recliner, sticking his broganned feet out beyond the footrest. His body language and attitude reminded me exactly of a petulant, willful child. I could see my wife watching from the doorway with a offended, glittering look in her eyes. I was quite stunned myself, but also amused by my wife’s reaction, apparently unnoticed by the others. I didn’t say a word.

Without missing a beat and just as cheerful as could be,  Sharla Sue takes hold of his muddy shoe and said, "Here ya go sweetheart." and unties and pulls those smelly, muddy old brogans off and puts on his house slippers. She tossed the brogans on the porch and wiped her hands on her apron.

“That all you need Sweetie Pie?”  She asked as she headed for the kitchen - butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth.

“Mmph.”  Ol’ Bobby Jack acknowledged grudgingly.

Sharla Sue simply smiled sweetly and went on in the kitchen.  My wife turned to follow her in - I could sense she was more than a little indignant and wondered what she might say to Sharla Sue.

They were gone only a moment or two when Bobby Jack asked me, “You lack ('like') that there God-damned tee-vee show?”

“It’s OK,” I said politely.  “It doesn’t make any difference to me.” I was more interested in the family interplay and hardly paying any attention to the television at all.

Bobby Jack leaned back and hollers out again,  "Sharla Sue!  Sharla Sue!  Come back in here just a God-damned minute!"

She came back in from the kitchen and only slightly less sweetly says, "What you want now Sweetie?"

Bobby Jack ordered, "Reach up there and change the channel on that there God-damned tee-vee!”, this being in the days before TV remotes.  He could easily have reached it himself by raising up a little and stretching and leaning forward in the recliner.

But Sharla Sue didn't say a word,  she just smiled sweetly,  reached over and flipped the the channel selector, watching closely until Bobby Jack nodded he was satisfied.  She then returned to the kitchen to finish cooking the fried chicken.

My wife was standing in the doorway once again with her eyes glittering. I could see the rage boiling into her face like a cloud of angry red wasps. I immediately sensed this was a moment not to waste.

I simply could not resist the impulse to say to her, "Honey, I need you to pay really close attention now and take really good notice. You can take notes if you need to. This is the way I  expect you to treat me from now on, by God! Understand?"

And, that right there quite possibly, might be one of the big reasons I’m not married to that woman today. Some people are simply not equipped to share a rollicking sense of humor. Anyway, he was HER damned cousin!


(This little story is entirely true, although I have changed the names to protect the guilty)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Which Country is This?

Let’s suppose you are working clandestinely for your government’s intelligence services. Because of your anti-war activist credentials you are able to make international contacts otherwise unavailable to the government. Your handlers routinely use you for ‘back door’ contacts to unfriendly foreign governments. Let’s suppose you have done this through years of service to your country with good success.

Through your clandestine contacts, you become aware of a direct and imminent threat to your country. Your warnings are ignored and the dire threat becomes all too true, blossoming into a horrific event with international repercussions. After the event, you frantically and repeatedly try to warn your country’s leader against an erroneous course of action leading to war. You even have a close relative who works directly for your leader in his own office, and as a last resort you try to get a warning message to the leader through your relative. Sadly for everyone, that fails.

Now, let’s suppose you watch the leader of your government embark on a course of action which you believe in error. Horrible and bloody wars with all its terrible consequences now result. You are devastated because all your warnings were ignored.

 You try to tell your country what happened. But now, you are a political threat to your government and your leader because of what you know about the ignored warnings. You are arrested by your government’s secret police on  ‘Secret’ spying charges and kept imprisoned without trial for five years.  The courts declare you mentally incompetent and you confined despite psychiatrists' finding that you are not.

After years of imprisonment without trial you are finally released. Even though you try to get it out, the media ignores your story largely because the government has officially branded you as mentally incompetent. In what country do you live? 18th Century France? Cold war Russia?  North Korea?  China?  Iran?  Zimbabwe?

None of the above. Sadly, the answer is “The United States of America”,  and you are a lily-white, natural born American woman, born in the USA, named Susan Lindauer . Your father was a Republican nominee for the governor of Alaska.  The time is 2004-2009. Sadly, most of the media exposure of this tragically unhappy story came through foreign sources.

Read this if you dare. Fair warning: If you are an American, this will give you some very uneasy and chilling feelings about your own country, and most particularly about the so-called ‘Patriot Act’.

In particular, please read Susan’s letter of January 6, 2003 to her cousin Andrew Card, President George W. Bush’s Chief of Staff. That letter is eerily prescient, coming just two months before the Iraq invasion. Even if Susan was mentally challenged this letter should give you pause. Susan’s letter was dismissed by the US Department of Justice as  "an unsuccessful attempt to influence United States policy."

Would that it had . . . oh, would that it had.

Lindauer’s prosecution was quietly dropped 5 days before Barrack Obama’s inauguration as President. Odd, timing isn’t it?  Perhaps the Patriot Act should really be called the 'Patriot Prosecution Act'.

Further reading:  http://www.electionfraudnews.com/News/sl/links.htm