Monday, December 24, 2007

I'm Back!

I’m back! Yeah, I know, I have been gone before, but … wow. It seems like I’ve been gone for months. And apparently, I have.

It’s been a really busy summer-fall-winter. First of all, my wife and I bought our first house, which was a long process that kind of took up a lot of my time and energy. Between that and the move and work and whatever, my mental processes were sapped, and my body is not designed for too many more moves.

Besides that, I have been so overwhelmed by the sheer volume of horrible current events that I have a hard time digesting it all, let alone write commentary. I am not talking about simple bad news, where one can shake one’s head and say, “Oh, those darn politicians, they’re such scoundrels, with their earmarks and their good old boy networks and their selling out government to the highest campaign contributor.” We’re used to that old stuff, it’s been going on forever; it’s old hat. I’m talking about how America has become everything that I was taught, growing up, was wrong: We invade and occupy other countries that pose no threat, in order to seize their resources. We kidnap people, hide them away in secret and torture them. We torture people! Or we send them to another country and have them tortured for us! and our leaders are arguing over whether or nor that is okay!? Domestically, civil rights have been demolished. Worker’s rights have been demolished. All power has been returned to the richest of the rich, and taken away from the people whose fathers and mothers fought so hard to win it during the last century. Corporate power rules over all and masses of the faithful are duped by corporate/political con men that wear masks of piety and spew hatred in God’s name. Fascism, plutocracy, theocracy, all combined into the new American Way. Our leaders have learned their lessons at the knee of their masters; the Nazis, the Soviets, and if you dare criticize or dissent, you are branded an enemy of the state by the brainwashed masses whose ideas are formed for them by corporate shills through the right-wing media.

I remember when one of the first actions by the Bush administration, before the wars against Afghanistan and Iraq, was to petition the world court and demand that America cannot be held responsible for war crimes. Again I point out, that was at the beginning, before the wars. How could anyone ignore such an action? How could people simply shrug that off and assume the Bush people had the best of intentions by demanding they be immune from prosecution for war crimes!?

I remember not long after that when they worked to eliminate workers’ right to overtime pay. What I do not recall was very much media attention paid to it and even less of a response from the workers themselves. And then there was all the lowering of restrictions on dumping poison into the air and water. The list goes on and on.

And it hasn’t stopped. It’s gotten worse and worse and worse. And the most mortifying reminder of it is the fact that the Democratic party screwed us all over by duping us into electing them to enact change and instead becoming the rubber-stamping enablers of the Republican fascists. I’ve said this in this blog many times before: who is worse, Hitler, or those who did his bidding? I am often inclined to choose the latter.

Depressing? Yes. So much so that I have a hard time maintaining a (generally) political blog. But, I promised myself at the beginning that I would keep forging ahead until this administration is out of office. I am aware that they may declare a national emergency and refuse to leave, but I intend to honor my vow and keep trying to make sense of it all.

So, I offer my happy-holiday wishes to all. I wish the best of luck to us all, as we ride out the eighth year of the most diabolically evil presidential administration in our nation’s history. Good luck.

Friday, August 17, 2007

This Freaks Me Out! [Pictures Newly Uploaded - Hope It Works This Time!]

For years I have noticed that members of the Bush administration are prone to flashing this particular hand sign when giving speeches or public statements. Now, I am no babe-in-the-woods, and I have been a keen observer of human behavior all my life. I never saw this gesture used so often by a specific group of people until I began noticing its frequent use by the Bush cabal.

It's not a new or complicated hand sign. It is a simple hand gesture, often used to indicate measurement, as in, "I need six #10 bolts about this long," or something like that (I know all the implied penis-size jokes are there too, so we don't have to bore each other with those). I have a theory, though. It will sound like typical "conspiracy theory" stuff, but here it is.

I think the gesture is a hand-sign/secret code used by the neocon "Bushies" to indicate something to specific listeners when they are speaking in a public forum. I believe that when they are speaking, they are not addressing the general public or an interviewer, they are secretly speaking to a target-audience of socioeconomic & political elite, their "base" as Bush called them. The hand-sign is flashed to indicate to those listeners who are "in the know" that the phrase connected with the sign is to be interpreted a particular way, rather than literally. It might mean to use a predetermined code, or to simply use the opposite meaning, or whatever; I do not know the code. But I suspect it exists and that is what they are doing.

Remember, these are a bunch of secret-society frat-boy types, Skull-and-Bones members, etc. They are long accustomed to communicating through elitist signals; it only makes sense that they would employ that tried-and-true method throughout their lives' endeavors. And remember what I said about the gesture being used ordinarily to indicate measurement? At the risk of ridicule, I offer the notion that the use of such a gesture as a secret message could have masonic roots.

In any event, here are a few examples:







I am dead serious. Can anyone tell me what is really going on with this?

Thursday, August 16, 2007

A Good Little "Why They Hate Us" Video

I used to have a link to a site that had a totally great little article called "Why They Hate Us," describing why so many people from other countries (say, Iran or Iraq) hate us (hint: they don't "hate us for our freedom").

Alas, that link is no more. I miss it so, but luckily other similar sites exist to fill the void. Here is one such link:



Infuriating and enlightening at the same time. Consider, for example, the part about 32 seconds into the piece, where it says that since 1991 were had been bombing Iraq on a weekly basis. The Bush administration has such a low opinion of you and me that they think we'll believe their lie that the Iraqis "hate is for our freedom," not for conducting bomb runs against them every week for years.

Whoever believes the right-wing position on world affairs is either an ignorant dupe or an evil bastard.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Probably More Likely to be My Last Rove Post

One more thing, damnit: I am sick to death of hearing about what a brilliant strategist and a genius Karl Rove was. Can someone please, please, tell me something he did to warrant such a description?

Frequently mentioned is his success in getting George W Bush into political office (I won't say "elected" because that's not how it went down). What is the brilliant strategy in lying and cheating and stealing? Maybe the result is the proof: One might have to be brilliant to get an asshole like Bush into office.

I am anxiously awaiting proof that the morally bankrupt failure Karl Rove is as smart as they all say he is. Personally, I think they are simply repeating that lie because they were ordered to... probably by him.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Maybe My Last Rove Post


Of course I can’t let the resignation of Carl Rove go by without comment. I have referred to him a lot since I began blogging. So, rather than re-hash old material, I’ll just hit a few highlights.

1. Rove is not the genius he is credited to be. His ideas and methods were not new or innovative. His tools (secrecy, lies, cheating) are as old as the hills. He is simply a cunning backroom schemer whose plans were/are so unethical that they caught his opponents by surprise (that in itself is surprising given the nature of American politics). Even his big claim to fame – perverting the American system of electing our political leaders into a sleazy fa├žade of pandering, corruption, election-rigging and vote-theft – has been done before, by both parties, more often than most of us would care to know. Of course, Rove had the audacity to take it to treasonous levels without remorse, but the important thing here is that his vaunted “genius” did not win the day. Not forever, anyway. Bottom line: not a genius, just so rotten that his peers thought only a genius could get away with that.

2. Rove’s grand vision of a permanent Republican majority fell down around him like a house on fire. I suppose he thought he could fool the public, for whom he and the Bush administration have demonstrated the utmost contempt throughout their reign, into thinking Republicans were morally above reproach, fiscally prudent, adherents of traditional Christian values and proponents of smaller, less intrusive government (I’ll continue as soon as you stop laughing). Now, certainly he (as a “genius”) must have been fully aware that Republicans were the exact opposite of all those things, morally, ethically, economically, & politically. So he must have thought he could build that permanent Republican majority either in spite of, or, even worse, because of, the despicable nature of Republican politicians. The “in spite of” option = stupidity, the “because of” option = evil. And that is the consistent hallmark of Republican politicians: you get to choose between stupid or evil (with the Texacutioner we got both). Either way, the “genius” failed miserably, for himself, his party, and his dark neocon masters.

3. Maybe being known as the “brain” of a “shit-for-brains” president is not such a good thing after all.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Selling Us Up the River, or, How Long Has it Been Since I Wrote a Post Where I Had to Include the Word "AAAAUUUUGGGGHHHH!"

Okay, I don’t know why I never thought of this before, but:

Recently I received a call from a telemarketer who I believe was calling from outside the US, possibly India. Now, usually when this happens, I don’t give it much thought. We all know outsourced phone bank workers have become a normal part of the global economy. Customer service calls of all kinds are routed overseas to workers who earn a small fraction of what similar workers in America would earn.

But this time, it occurred to me that an international call from a telemarketer to my residence is now considered justification for me to be investigated by homeland security domestic surveillance operatives. After all, we now live in a country that believes any call in or out of the country is suspicious.

This whole situation pisses me off in all kinds of ways (surprise).

Besides the fact that domestic spying is an insult to our constitutional rights, and besides the fact that telemarketing is an insidious annoyance despised by all but it’s purveyors, and besides the fact that outsourcing cheats the working men and women of this country out of needed jobs, I am pissed off because corporations (who really run this country anyway) can not only take away your customer service or marketing job and then call you every evening to rub your nose in it, they can now turn you into a criminal just for having a working telephone in your home. They can turn you into a criminal and they can make money off it in the process!

Talk about another sick example of twisted repuke perversion of justice! I don't want to receive unsolicited calls from overseas, but I can't prevent it, and it is being fueled by the corporations who contribute to the politicians who insist that those calls make me criminally suspect, and yet they receive their campaign contributions and lobbyist money from the revenue based on those very calls!

AAAAAAUUUUUUGGGGGGHHHHHH!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Declaring War Against Ourselves?

Odds n’ Ends in the War on Terror
If the United States attacks Iran preemptively... the signatories of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty [NPT] do have certain obligations... basically Russia and China, as well as France and the United Kingdom, will "provide immediate assistance" to Iran if it "is a victim of an act, or an object of a threat of, aggression in which nuclear weapons are used." Interesting, eh? So if Bush-Cheney bomb Iran, the other NPT members are required under international law TO DEFEND IRAN.
So, if we attack Iran, out allies are obligated to defend Iran against us. Bush-Cheney could end up forcing the rest of the world to declare war against us.

Now, that's what I call a legacy.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Saturday is Music Appreciation Day at Constantly Amazed!

And I hope you'll enjoy a little Django Reinhardt. Trivia: His left hand (the one on the frets) was severely injured and he only had use of two fingers.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

They say to-may-to, I say to-mah-to...

In all the frequent mentioning in the media of oil issues (use, overuse, peak oil, war for oil, price of gas, OPEC, what have you), they are inevitably focused on automobile usage. It's always driving, driving, driving, and the price of gasoline. That's it. As if the whole petroleum industry starts and stops there. Okay, so maybe 1% of media mention heating oil. But the other 99% is all about gasoline.

As you might have already suspected, I think a little differently.

See, when they talk about fuel, I don't think about Joe Mullett's jacked up F250 or the asinine SUV Mr. & Mrs. Suburbia use to drive back and forth from their McMansion to the local warehouse store (driving with a starbuck's froofroo cafe caramel mocha latte half caff whatever in one hand and text messaging on their cell phone in the other). No way, Jose.

I think of all the other stuff. For example, cars a probably a drop in the bucket compared to the bazillions (I don't know exactly how many) of jet airplanes that fly back and forth across the country and across the world, and how much jet fuel goes into those things and gets burned up by the, what, hundreds or thousands of gallons a minute? Does anyone know?

Even more importantly, what about all the stuff that is made from petroleum that we use and toss away every single day? Plastic is a petroleum product, and everything is made from plastic (you may think this is old news, but 70% of Americans don't know plastic is made from oil)! There are even petroleum products in your food. I think more people should be reminded more often that the oil interests who want to control the resources of the middle east are not just interested in fuel and lubricants. If they control petroleum, they control just about every product produced on the planet.

A partial list of products made from petroleum: a partial list of products made from Petroleum (144 of 6000 items):
Ammonia, Anesthetics, Antifreeze, Antihistamines, Antiseptics, Artificial limbs, Artificial Turf, Aspirin, Awnings, Balloons, Ballpoint Pens, Bandages, Basketballs, Bearing Grease, Bicycle Tires, Boats, Cameras, Candles, Car Battery Cases, Car Enamel, Cassettes, Caulking, CD Player, CD's, Clothes, Clothesline, Cold cream, Combs, Cortisone, Crayons, Curtains, Dashboards, Denture Adhesive, Dentures, Deodorant, Detergents, Dice, Diesel, Dishes, Dishwasher, Dresses, Drinking Cups, Dyes, DVD's, Electric Blankets, Electrician's Tape, Enamel, Epoxy, Eyeglasses, Fan Belts, Faucet Washers, Fertilizers, Fishing Rods & gear, Floor Wax, Folding Doors, Food Preservatives, Football Cleats, Football Helmets, Footballs, Footballs, Gasoline, Glycerin, Golf Bags, Golf Balls, Guitar Strings, Hair Coloring, Hair Curlers, Handguns, Hand Lotion, Heart Valves, House Paint, Ice Chests, Ice Cube Trays, Ink, Insect Repellent, Insecticides, Life Jackets, Linings, Linoleum, Lipstick, Luggage, Model Cars, Mops, Motor Oil, Motorcycle Helmet, Movie film, Nail Polish, Nylon Rope, Oil Filters, Paint, Paint Brushes, Paint Rollers, Panty Hose, Parachutes, Percolators, Perfumes, Petroleum Jelly, Pillows, Plastic Wood, Purses, Putty, Refrigerant, Refrigerators, Roller Skates, Roofing, Rubber Cement, Rubbing Alcohol, Safety Glasses, Shag Rugs, Shampoo, Shaving Cream, Shoe Polish, Shoes, Shower Curtains, Skis, Slacks, Soap, Soft Contact lenses, Solvents, Speakers, Sports Car Bodies, Sun Glasses, Surf Boards, Sweaters, Synthetic Rubber, Telephones, Tennis Rackets, Tents, Tires, Toilet Seats, Tool Boxes, Tool Racks, Toothbrushes, Toothpaste, Transparent Tape, Trash Bags, TV Cabinets, Umbrellas, Upholstery, Vaporizers, Vitamin Capsules, Water Pipes, Wheels, Yarn...
Even $@#^& candy wrappers are made from plastic! Along with just about every piece of product packaging filling the aisles of your local Hell Mart.

And to top it off, you have things like this happening: Boeing Unveils Blockbuster Plane:
"What makes the 787 revolutionary is that it is the first airplane built mostly not of metal, but rather mostly of high tech composite material, a type of reinforced plastic."
Do you see what I mean? They don't just want to control the gas you put in your car. If they control oil, they control everything!

So now you know why, every time I hear someone from either side of the argument proposing to save the day by encouraging the use of biofuels, I feel a little cheated. Honestly, we need to address the big picture here. The fuel thing important, but we really need to address the fact that practically everything else is made from oil, too. And the neocons want to own every drop of it!

P.S. Someone once said that I shouldn't address problems like this without also providing a solution. So... how's this: Henry Ford built an automobile out of soy and hemp!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Mission Accomplished

Iraq PM: Country can manage without U.S.:
"BAGHDAD - Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki shrugged off U.S. doubts of his government's military and political progress on Saturday, saying Iraqi forces are capable and American troops can leave 'any time they want.' "
Whew! Glad that's over!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

In Honor of the "DC Madame" and her list of Political Pervs...

Flynt is tracking 20 congressional sex scandal leads

"Larry Flynt, the porn-industry magnate who first linked Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) to the escort service of the “D.C. Madam,” said Wednesday that his investigators are tracking more than 20 leads on alleged congressional sex scandals."
What's that I see on the horizon? Is it a whole flock of republican sex scandals headed this way? Why, it is!


Update: Here we go!
[McCain campaign co-chair] Rep. Bob Allen arrested on sex charge

Sunday, July 8, 2007

It isn't too late

Does anyone remember this?

It isn't too late to send him there. We can still do it. Please, please, let's send Bush and his crew to Mars.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

How cheerful

Little bits of random information from a mailer I received from Mother Jones magazine: 60% of U.S. companies don't pay taxes, half of the FDA's drug evaluation budget is funded by drug companies, four of the top richest people in the U.S. are Walmart heirs.

Lovely.

Friday, July 6, 2007

I know I'm preaching to the choir, but...

This is from ImpeachCheney.org

He's the one, you know. Those of us who have maintained that Bush is the stooge and Cheney pulls the strings have been right all along. Cheney must be impeached first. If Bush went first, imagine a world where Cheney was president...!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Yup, it's independence day...


And everyone will be blogging the Declaration of Independence. You know what? So will I. Part of it, anyway. Because it is that important to remind ourselves that, eventually, we cannot tolerate the status quo anymore.

From the Declaration of Independence:
When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another... whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends [life, liberty, and the persuit of happiness], it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government... experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.
I tell ya, a lot of us are this close.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Walking the Walk and All That Stuff

These tidbits from the independent column of Blogwatch detail a few very interesting tidbits about our beloved "lesser of two evils" party:

Third Party & Independents:: Facts on Democrats: Part One
Third Party & Independents:: Facts on Democrats: Part Two

Reading these posts, it appears that Dennis Kucinich is the Dem that most closely shares my values. I am still doing research on the candidates, but, as usual, the ones I like are the ones who don't stand a chance, like Dennis Kucinich and Bill Richardson.

I say "as usual" because in '92 I liked Paul Tsongas (Clinton struck me as the most conservative of the democratic candidates that year, simply an easy sell to the crossover vote, typical Dem strategy). Tsongas was the only one who was responsible enough to say that if people wanted the government to provide goods and services, they would have to be paid for with taxes. No one else was honest enough to admit that. Tsongas lost the primary, but developed cancer and died before his first term would have been completed.

But that's in the past. I'm saying Dennis Kucinich and Bill Richardson are the guys to watch. As my luck runs, I will watch them lose the primaries to corporate meat puppets of the military industrial complex, and we will have more of the same horrific, surreal political nightmare we have been subject to since the dawn of the new millenium.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Saturday Music Appreciation Day is Back at Constantly Amazed!

For the longest time, Blogger wouldn't let me post You Tube videos. Now I can again, finally... so, for now at least, they are forgiven.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Tagged...

...with the task of offering 8 interesting, random facts about moi:

1. Politically, I'm a Pluralist: I pick and choose what I think are the best ideas from whatever political ideology I want; left, right, up, down, whatever.

2. I am a great bass player. No, I am more than a bass player... I'm a Bassist.

3. My favorite art style right now is Googie (like this or this or...)

4. However, my favorite artist at the moment is not googie at all, but is instead the dark and demented, late, great Edward Gorey (try this or this or...)

5. I used to be a typesetter, and I loved it.

6. I have always cultivated madness in the belief that it is good for my art. It has been said that manic-depression is good for one's art. I am hoping paranoia, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and mild autism are helpful, too.

7. An embarrassing truth: I think young-people's books, especially those produced over the last few years, are the coolest. I'll take Lemony Snicket over Stephen King any day.

8. I am still convinced that the greatest television show of all time is Northern Exposure. No matter how messed up our civiliation becomes, at least we had that.

Now... am I supposed to tag eight other people? Do I even know eight people? Okay, um...

um...

uh...

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Ball-n-Cheney

(Warning - naughty naughty language - as usual - what else would you expect on my $^&$#*! blog?)

Now that Dick Cheney, all-powerful king of all the world, is back in the news, it is appropriate to recall he stellar performances of days gone by. Remember his speech at the Republican Convention in 2004(ish)? What a silver-tongued devil.


Thursday, June 14, 2007

Only The Most Important News Items of The Day Can Shake Me From My Procrastination Coma

Yes, I've been away again, dammit, too long. But when a story this big, this important, this significant, this relevent, comes along... I can't lie dormant any longer. The sleeping giant has awoken!

This is the kind of thing that effects all of us. How long can this sort of thing go on!? How long can we sit idly by and allow this to happen!? Is there a limit to our tolerance!?

What am I ranting about now, you ask? Just this:
Rampaging squirrel injures 3:
"An aggressive squirrel attacked and injured three people in a German town before a 72-year-old pensioner dispatched the rampaging animal with his crutch.

The squirrel first ran into a house in the southern town of Passau, leapt from behind on a 70-year-old woman, and sank its teeth into her hand, a local police spokesman said on Thursday.

With the squirrel still hanging from her hand, the woman ran onto the street in panic, where she managed to shake it off.

The animal then entered a building site and jumped on a construction worker, injuring him on the hand and arm, before he managed to fight it off with a measuring pole.

"After that, the squirrel went into the 72-year-old man's garden and massively attacked him on the arms, hand and thigh."
Rampaging squirrels! OMG! AAAAUUUGGGHHH!!! How long are we going to allow these criminal rodents who roam about committing violence without remorse to continue their wild invasion? They have no regard for human life. They're not even human! And they're everywhere. And you know where they're coming from, right? That's right. They're coming from over there.

We can't allow this, can we? We must stand with our allies, the Germans, to battle this scourge. I mean, today it's Germany, tomorrow, well, France, then maybe Spain and/or Portugal and, well, I don't know, maybe Norway, I doubt Italy or Greece, but then eventually Britain and then...

Say hello to your little friend!

A snarling, spitting, growling and glowering sqirrel-from-hell, with nuts on his mind and you in his crosshairs!

You know, if we don't stop them over there, they'll "follow us home". And once they do, they'll end up taking the nuts that our right-thinking American squirrels won't pick up, only before too long, there won't be any nuts for any squirrels anymore! What do we have to do... build a fence!?

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day (plus bonus links)

(Apologies for the profanity that is sprinkled throughout my writing. When I re-read my posts and discover the frequent vulgarities, I think to myself, "Goddamn it, what the hell was I thinking?")

Memorial Day. It's a great day to say that I do not "support the troops", I do not believe that soldiers who fight (or fought) in Iraq or Afghanistan are heroes, and I am sick to death of all the obsequious kow-towing for the corporate stormtroopers and oil nazis (yeah, I said it) who are the fingers and toes, the teeth and the claws of Cheney and Bush and the rest of their vile syndicate of neocon pigs.

I apologize to those fellow bloggers whom I respect so highly, and who I am surely going to offend with this post, who write of honoring the fallen. But I say this "I oppose the war but support the troops" line was bullshit 15 years ago when it accompanied our first war against Iraq, and it is bullshit today.

"The troops" are not defending our country, or our freedoms, or our way of life (unless you define our way of life as an orgy of consumerism and excess consumption). They're carrying out the marching orders of powermongers whose gluttony is boundless. Invade and conquer, destroy and possess, crush all dissent, crush all opposition, death and carnage from above and below. Dick Cheney says they're defending democracy, so they must be heroes.

Give me a fucking break. The troops are either 1) gullible dupes who got sucked into hell as victims of their own ignorance, in which case they have my sincere and utmost sympathy, or 2) they are violent assholes who love to shoot and kill (and they are out there in droves), or 3) they are rightwing idealogues who share the sentiments of Cheney and Bush and the rest, in which case I say to hell with them, they (2&3) are more dangerous to our country than the foreign terrorists.

Memorial Day. Yeah, I honor the memory of those whose sacrifice actually meant something for this country, who defended America and what it really stood for, the freedoms which this administration wants to abolish (using "the troops" as their instrument). But as for the dupes of the military-industrial complex, they have only my sympathy. And the willing participants of American imperial expansionism and exploitation receive only my contempt.

SPECIAL BONUS LINKS

A Brief History of United States Interventions, 1945 to the Present

Let the Bloody Truth Be Told: A Chronology of U.S. Imperialism

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Jerry Falwell Burns in Hell

...actually, I don't believe in hell. The headline is simply my way of saying “good riddance to bad rubbish.”

Falwell, like so many others throughout the history of Christianity, used that religion to enrich and empower himself, and as a vehicle to propagate his hatred and bigotry. To him, Christianity was a force to be used to crush opposition and dominate his victims. It was a strict code of control he wanted to force on the rest of us.

I’m not a Christian, but if I was, I would say, “Thank God Jerry Falwell is finally dead.”

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Why Do I Get So Depressed?

Forgive me truthseekers, for it has been a long long time since I have blogged. I used to give explanations for that, but my wife has clued me into "Blogging Without Guilt", which is blogging without getting all anxious and guilt-ridden during those periods of not blogging. I'll try... but I still feel like I have somehow failed to meet my obligations by not blogging night and day. Argh!

In the time I've been away, I have continued to accumulate links to the extent that, laid end-to-end, they would reach to the recently-discovered Earth-like planet and back again 78 times. I'll bet there are bloggers on that planet with the same problem.

So, I am sliding back into the fray by looking at the general topics of the day, as it were (I maintain my nerd status by using the phrase "as it were" wherever possible). The big topics at the moment are the war and the 2008 presidential elections (global warming is on the back burner for now, so to speak).

Today, I'll start with the war:

One thing that bothers me to no end about the war is that the press is absolutely silent on the real reason for it. The Democrats never mention this either, nor do anti-war pundits for the most part. Occasionally it is briefly referenced, but not often enough or emphatically enough, even though it is possibly the most important aspect of the war(s).

The purpose of the war is the war. It was never about terrorism, or WMDs, or Saddam Hussein, or Osama Bin Laden, or Al Qaida, or the Taliban, or about "spreading democracy". Oil is a part of it, but it is secondary to the overall purpose. Oil is, if you'll pardon the metaphor, gravy. The purpose of the war is to wage war, permanently.

We know the Bush administration neocon tactic of engaging in warfare to manipulate American society and facilitate the success for their agenda, both foreign and domestic. Ordinarily, approval ratings skyrocket for world leaders who wage war, and that rule held fast for this president for quite a while. But that aside, the Bush/Cheney/Neocons are the military-industrial complex, and they need to maintain a permanent presence in the middle east to maintain their power here. They never, never intended to do any of the noble (or ignoble) things they claimed, like establishing peace, rebuilding, or any of that. Those poor people in the middle east are lambs to the slaughter, as far as this presidential administration is concerned. It's goal is to remain there permanently and perpetuate bloody warfare forever, or at least for as long as they live (they couldn't care less about future generations). It's their business. They are the Halliban, they are the Carlyle group, they are the Project for the New American Century, they are in the business of waging war to enrich themselves with money and power.

Until the press addresses that issue powerfully enough to capture the interest of the mainstream public, the situation will not change.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Tax Day Fun: IRS Totally Bogus?

Truthseekers, dig this article that I found on the web in time for Tax day: 31 Questions and Answers about the IRS, Revision 3.3.

It contends that the IRS has no authority, and that is it a totally bogus, unconstitutional, fraudulent organization. Now, I believe in "pay-as-you-go" as much as any liberal. But as for the IRS as an entity, I found this information to be quite interesting. You might, too.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Happy Easter Redux

Here is my third annual reprint of tidbits from 2003's easter post. Happy Oestre, Pagans!

Easter Origins
Many, perhaps most, Pagan religions in the Mediterranean area had a major seasonal day of religious celebration at or following the Spring Equinox. Cybele, the Phrygian fertility goddess, had a fictional consort who was believed to have been born via a virgin birth. He was Attis, who was believed to have died and been resurrected each year during the period March 22 to 25. "About 200 B.C. mystery cults began to appear in Rome just as they had earlier in Greece. Most notable was the Cybele cult centered on Vatican hill...Associated with the Cybele cult was that of her lover, Attis (the older Tammuz, Osiris, Dionysus, or Orpheus under a new name). He was a god of ever-reviving vegetation. Born of a virgin, he died and was reborn annually. The festival began as a day of blood on Black Friday and culminated after three days in a day of rejoicing over the resurrection."

Wherever Christian worship of Jesus and Pagan worship of Attis were active in the same geographical area in ancient times, Christians "used to celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus on the same date; and pagans and Christians used to quarrel bitterly about which of their gods was the true prototype and which the imitation."

Many religious historians believe that the death and resurrection legends were first associated with Attis, many centuries before the birth of Jesus. They were simply grafted onto stories of Jesus' life in order to make Christian theology more acceptable to Pagans. Others suggest that many of the events in Jesus' life that were recorded in the gospels were lifted from the life of Krishna, the second person of the Hindu Trinity. Ancient Christians had an alternative explanation; they claimed that Satan had created counterfeit deities in advance of the coming of Christ in order to confuse humanity. 4 Modern-day Christians generally regard the Attis legend as being a Pagan myth of little value. They regard Jesus' death and resurrection account as being true, and unrelated to the earlier tradition.

Wiccans and other modern-day Neopagans continue to celebrate the Spring Equinox as one of their 8 yearly Sabbats (holy days of celebration). Near the Mediterranean, this is a time of sprouting of the summer's crop; farther north, it is the time for seeding. Their rituals at the Spring Equinox are related primarily to the fertility of the crops and to the balance of the day and night times. Where Wiccans can safely celebrate the Sabbat out of doors without threat of religious persecution, they often incorporate a bonfire into their rituals, jumping over the dying embers is believed to assure fertility of people and crops.
Oh, cool! My employer is encouraging us all to one of the 8 Wiccan Sabbats!

More about Easter
In Norway, in addition to skiing in the mountains and painting eggs for decorating, it is tradition to solve murders at Easter. All the major television channels show crime and detective stories (such as Poirot), magazines print stories where the readers can try to figure out who did it, and many new books are published. Even the milk cartons change to have murder stories on their sides. Another tradition is Yahtzee games.

In the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia, a tradition of whipping is carried out on Easter Monday. In the morning, males whip females with a special handmade whip... [consisting] of eight, twelve or even twenty-four withies (willow rods) and is usually from half a meter to two meters long and decorated with coloured ribbons at the end. It must be mentioned that while whipping can be painful, the purpose is not to cause suffering. Rather, the purpose is for males to exhibit their attraction to females; unvisited females can even feel offended. The whipped female gives a coloured egg to the male as a sign of her thanks and forgiveness. A legend says that females should be whipped in order to keep their health and fertility during whole next year. In some regions the females can get revenge in the afternoon when they can pour a bucket of cold water on any male.
Whether it's Spring Solstice, Fertility, Jesus, Rabbits, or whatever... even the celebration of the marketing of hideous crap, there's room in the basket for eggs of every color.

And let's not forget what these guys said:
"The United States is in no sense founded upon the Christian doctrine." - George Washington

"As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion ..." - Treaty of Tripoli, 1797

"Neither a state nor the Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups and vice versa." - The U.S. Supreme Court, 1947

"The national government ... will offer strong protection to Christianity as the very basis of our collective morality.” - Adolf Hitler
So, happy easter, everyone... another ancient ritual celebrating the natural order of things. Seasons change. New life appears, and old things pass away. Amazing, isn't it?

Friday, April 6, 2007

It's (not) my party and I'll cry if I want to...

Fresh on the heals of my last post, which was critical of current environmentalist icon Al Gore, I offer another post which shines a spotlight on the failings of some current leaders of the left.

Now, don't get me wrong: I am still a Progressive, I still abhor the Bush/Cheney neocon oil-nazis and the republican corporate plutocrats, fascists, xenophobe dupes, and perverted christopaths who support their criminal regime.

But I also hold a special kind of low opinion for those on the left who pretend to represent us, yet engage in the same vile hypocrisy and villainy as Republicans.

I mean, I expect republicans to do all the horrible things they do, so I don't lose any respect for them when they inevitably do them. Not anymore, anyway. How could I? They're so far beneath contempt as it is, they've plumbed depths of depravity that haven't been realized since antiquity. That's conservatism for you.

But, I hold liberals and, yes, Democrats, to a higher standard. I expect them to learn from their past mistakes and improve their behavior, not engage in the conservative ideal of repeating their mistakes over and over again until people accept them as the norm. In short, Democrats need to do more than proclaim their values, they need to live them.

Which leads us to things like this:

1. Nancy Pelosi would rather prolong the war in Iraq than impeach Bush/Cheney.

2. Diane Feinstein is a war profiteer.

Their is no room for hypocrisy in my progressive left. I expect my political representation to be above reproach, period. Lawmakers expect us to toe the line, so we have every reason to expect them to do the same.

Now, just so you know I have not given on the the Dems, dig this, truthseekers:

Cynthia McKinney's Speech at the March 17th Anti-War rally at the Pentagon

Cynthia McKinney
Remarks in front of the Pentagon
March 17, 2007
Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5G3eq-I7CzM

Well, it seems that George Bush and Democratic Leaders were right.

They confidently told us that not only would Democrats fund the surge, but that the Democrats would not stop action in Iran, too.

Now, we are not surprised when the unelected, illegitimate Administration of George Bush ignores us, but we are shocked that the Democratic majority in Congress chose war over us as we say Bring our troops home now!

The answer is clear: Our country has been hijacked.

What about a livable wage for America's workers?

What about the right of return for Katrina survivors?

What about repealing the Patriot Act, the Secret Evidence Act, and the Military Tribunals Act?

Why is impeachment "off the table"?

Our country is bankrupt yet this institution has "lost" 2.3 trillion dollars!

I want that money back . . .

For jobs . . . for health care . . . for education . . . for our veterans!

The Democrats have become so timid they won't even repeal the Bush tax cuts as a strategy to deal with a bankrupt nation.

Seems the story is the same: more money for war, but we can't feed the poor.

It's hard to believe, but now the Democrats are full partners in George Bush's wars.

And by funding his wars, the Democratic Congress is explicitly complicit.

Complicit in war crimes! Complicit in torture! Complicit in crimes against humanity! Complicit in crimes against peace!

The FBI spied on us; Condoleezza, Dick, and George lied to us.

In 1957, Dr. King observed that "Both political parties have betrayed the cause of justice."

And so it must be repeated today.

Our beloved America is dividing again into two Americas. Our struggle is for nothing less than the soul of our country.

We want an America that is respected in the commonwealth of man; we want our values to shine like a beacon throughout the world.

As an American of conscience, I hereby declare my independence from every bomb dropped, every threat leveled, every civil liberties rollback, every child killed, every veteran maimed, every man tortured.

And I sadly declare my independence from the leaders who let it happen.

We will not stop. We will win. We will get our country back!
Guess who I would like to see run for president?

Monday, April 2, 2007

Question Authority, Green Version

An article entitled The Green Imposter describes how environmentalist causes were trampled underfoot by... guess who? If you read my blog sometimes then you'd assume I was talking about Bush (1or2), or maybe Reagan. Nope. This article describes a betrayal of green values during the Clinton/Gore administration. Now, if this was just another rightwing character-assasination piece, I wouldn't give it much credence. But this is coming from a powerful progressive media voice, Counterpunch. They tend to pull no punches and announce their observations regarding the emperor's new clothes, no matter which emperor might be the topic at the time. And apparently Al Gore has some concrete-colored skeletons in his closet. You can read the article and see what you think. All I can say is that it serves to remind us all: Question authority. Trust no one.

The article doesn't alter my belief in the profound importance of environmentalist causes (or as they used to be called, "conservation"). What is does do is serve notice to keep a critical eye on whomever is employed to deliver the message.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Other Lemmings

Here is one I liked from The Progressive Daily Beacon: "Epler's World: An Inconvenient Republican Truth..."
W.C. 'Bill' Epler, February 10th, 2007

There's a sad game many of us have been playing which it's time to stop. It's called: "Surely our Republican neighbors have been duped."

We know these people; some of them are our in-laws, some of them are our neighbors, some of them are colleagues at work, and we just can't bring ourselves to believe that they live in the same moral/irrational sewer as George W. Bush.

But isn't that exactly what people said about the German supporters of Hitler during WW2? That's a rhetorical question, because, yes, that's EXACTLY what people said about the German supporters of Hitler during WW2. And they were wrong, dead wrong, monstrously wrong. That's what the Nuremberg trials were all about.

We can't have it both ways. It may be comforting to think that our Viva Bush neighbors, relatives, and colleagues are brainwashed puppets, but it's not that simple.

People support George Bush because in some sense they "are" George Bush. Republicans = Bush - he hasn't raped anyone. The doors to their bedrooms have always been open.

So what does this mean? It means that what is now happening in America isn't politics as usual. What's happening is virtually a species war.

Republicans aren't just Americans with different views, even though that probably used to be true when politics was Americans debating Americans (this was when Republicans were Americans first and Republicans second).

But that's no longer true and here's the proof. Let's use Jesus' dictum of, "Ye shall judge them by their fruits." Isn't that what Jesus meant? Wasn't he warning us not to be taken in by spinning? Walking the walk is what counts, not talking the talk.

The same thing is true for Republicans. You can't support an irrational, immoral thug without being an irrational, immoral thug. And that includes our sisters, our fishing companions, and our employees.

This is a hard and desperately painful truth, but it must be confronted. Republicans (with exceptions that prove the rule) are like the sleazy suitors of Penelope who Odysseus came home to in Ithaca. When he massively asserted himself to rid his kingdom of their cancer, one of them asked him why he was so furious. Remember his answer? He said, "It's because you were trying to steal my world."

That's the definition of a Republican: Someone who's trying to steal your world. Someone for whom might makes right and the end justifies any means. Someone for whom money is God and who is willing to do ANYTHING to get more, including killing your children.

So these aren't neighborly disagreements anymore. These are people who are anti-science, anti-environment, and contemptuous of humanity. Their spirituality is fake and stinks. Evangelicals are where Christianity ISN'T. Jesus spoke of love and compassion. Compare his words to the recent terrorist remarks of people like Pat Robinson. The marriage between Republicans and the Christian Right (or the UN-Christian Wrong) is truly made in hell.

So no more blinders, please. Time to see it like it is. Republicans aren't dupes and neither were the supporters of Hitler (or your tyrant of choice).

So long as this is unclear, we will keep trying to have ethical, rational conversations with criminals who break into our homes and abuse our families. And we will keep trying to have ethical, rational conversations with people who pretend George Bush didn't murder New Orleans through unimaginable incompetence.

It helps to see that Republicans really KNOW that Bush's energy policies are raping Mother Nature, and that Republicans really KNOW that Bush has lied to us about everything in Iraq in order make greed vampires like Cheney/Halliburton rich beyond the dreams of Midas.

. . . they also well know that 9/11 was an avoidable horror that happened on his watch!

The point is that Republicans aren't deluded or "taken in" by these things any more than all of the rest of us, it's just that they simply could care less so long as the cash register keeps dinging and they get to keep one upping all the non white, non Protestant, non old money, non good ol' boy suckers -- and so long as their pitiful Religious Right fear of life gets to hide on the other side of the universe from reality. And our President? Well, doesn't his smirk say it all?

It's been said that terrorism isn't the problem; terrorism is a symptom of the problem. Same thing here. George Bush isn't the problem; George Bush is a symptom of the problem.

Today's radicalized Republicans are the problem.
In other words... those who still support these psychos... what the hell are they thinking!?

Monday, March 26, 2007

I'm back 8^)

Well, it seems like forever since I last posted. I feel bad about it being so long... you know, fellow bloggers, that feeling you get, that you owe the world a daily post, and you feel pressured to provide it, and when you don't, you feel like you've let everyone down? Am I just crazy?

I tried several times to post a Youtube video, but I keep getting an error message and it won’t work (aauugghh!). Is it just me? I welcome any helpful hints here.

I have so many idea-inspiring links saved that there is no way I could possibly get them all organized and written about. I mean, piles and piles of ‘em, mountains of ‘em, folders stuffed with ‘em. But that's okay. I'll just jump back in with some free-form stream-of-consciousness commentary, just like the good old days.

One thing that has happened while I have been away is that Sacramento Ca, the capitol city of a state that is regarded as one of the nation’s most liberal, lost Air America. Lost it! That means I don’t get to listen to Randi Rhodes at lunchtime anymore, which I used to enjoy a lot.

Sacramento has had major problems delivering Air America from the beginning. Again, this should not have been the case here on the blue left coast. It started out okay, but it was on a station with a very weak signal, so it was quite hard to pull in most of the time. Still, I loved listening to Rachel Maddow et al in the morning, etc.. Then, they suddenly dropped that station, and jumped to another. They compounded things by not broadcasting Air America stuff all the time, replacing it with local programming. They also made asinine decisions like replacing Rachel Maddow with Jerry @$%#! Springer. Stupid. It was just a downward spiral from there. Finally, AAR tanked in Sac.

Air America’s failure in the Sacramento market was like a gift from heaven to local right-wing commentators. It was mortifying… it seemed to validate all the Rush O’Hannity bullshit about how progressive talk is doomed to failure in this country. Maybe they’re right. Maybe we’re in too much of a minority. Or, maybe their audience listens to the radio, while ours concentrates on the internet. Who knows?

The good news is that the original station, the one that AAR was on before the switch, remains true to their progressive roots, and carries Mike Malloy (go, truthseekers!).

So, lately I have tuned in a couple of times to rightwing talk radio to see what they’re up to. Yikes. I’ll tell you what: if we were judged on debate points, we would have no worries at all. For example, I listened to Michael Medved, a right-winger who fancies himself to be quite “fair and balanced,” and whose show I supposedly one famous for allowing honest debate.

During a call-in show about impeachment of “president” (sic) Bush, what do you suppose his response was to those calling for Bush’s impeachment? You guessed it: “If you’re going to go back and retroactively impeach presidents,” (employing the metaphysical strategy that one reason not to impeach Bush is because his actions took place in the past), “why not go back and look at Clinton?” oh, yes, he did, “because [he did this and he did that and blah blah blah]…”

I had to laugh. The theme of the program was that impeachment of Bush was a bad idea propagated by “Bush-haters”. And his defense was that it isn’t fair to impeach Bush after Clinton did all those horrible things. I wanted to say, “Dude, guess what: Clinton is not president anymore! You had your chance while you were impeaching him for that other stuff… what, eight years ago?! It’s over!” Or, as the right-wingers love to say, “Get over it!”

And, it goes on. I have no progressive talk radio where I live. Pity me.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Just For a Diversion: The World of Music Nerds :)

Okay, here's a step away from current events. Some of you already know I check out the usenet newsgroups now and then, and one in particular is alt.guitar.bass. The following post there made me chuckle a little... this is so totally a great example of guitar-nerd-speak. I know you twang-bar-kings out there will dig it, and those of you who are not musicians can get a giggle at what some people consider understandable conversation:
"Consider this scenario. I want to substitute the G7 - as the V of a 2-5-1 progression in C - with a tritone. So I pick a Db7 chord. When it comes to creating an impro line around this chord, do I use, as a first choice, a lydian Db7 scale? Additionally, can I also consider G7 as a Bmin7 b5 chord, and again what are the scalar possibilities available, other than the lydian approach?"
I wanted to reply to it with a smartass remark about avoiding a dominant flat on a minor-7-sus-4-pentatonic triad, but I was nice and didn't. By the way, Carlos Santana says it's all in the soul, anyway.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Argh

I've been gone so long it's crazy. I feel bad about not blogging since... Presidents Day? Yikes. I got really busy in January, and the ripples were winding down in February, but I'm ready to come back now.

As for political blogging, news gets so totally fucking depressing that I can hardly stand it. This article kind of addresses where it's at right now... and it only scrapes the surface.

I can hardly stand it anymore.

Here's the article:

Turn off the life support: America is dead

By DOUG THOMPSON

03/09/07 "Capital Hill Blue" -- -- Maybe, just maybe, it's time to pull the plug on this failed democratic republic called The United States of America.

Turn off the life support. Disconnect the IVs. Bring in the priest for last rites. The US of A is brain dead with no chance for revival.

Some 40 years ago, I lost friends in the heat and squalor of Vietnam. They died in a war that never needed to be fought, supporting a cause that didn't exist for a government that lied to justify the fight.

A few years later, as a young reporter, I wrote about the attempts of Richard Milhous Nixon to destroy the Constitution of the United States. He failed because the system worked and both Congress and the Supreme Court exercised their powers in our system of checks and balances to restore order to a faltering nation.

"The lessons of Vietnam and Watergate provide a roadmap for the future," I wrote at the time. "With luck, our leaders can use that roadmap to avoid the mistakes of the past."

Now, 33-and-a-half years after the Vietnam War came to an end without resolution and Nixon left office without honor, I'm losing family of friends in the heat and squalor of Iraq. They die in a war that never needed to be fought, supporting a cause that doesn't exist for a government that lied to justify their sacrifices.

Another despot occupies the Presidency, an evil man whose lust for power surpasses Nixon and who poses a far greater danger to the Constitution. This time, however, the system is failing to protect America from despots. George W. Bush rides roughshod over a compliant Congress. The Supreme Court, packed with knee-jerk right-wingers who helped put Bush in office in 2000, abdicated its role long ago.

For a moment - a brief one to be sure - we held out hope that the voice of the voters might be heard after the November midterm elections. But turning out the corrupt Republican leadership of Congress was not enough. Democrats who control the House lack the balls to take Bush on and the razor-thin majority in the Senate can't even get a vote together on a non-binding resolution.

Democrats Thursday unveiled a plan to bring troops home by the end of 2008 but Bush is already threatening a veto if the bill gets out of Congress, which is probably won't.

In the meantime, we've learned that Bush lied about both the size and cost of his "troop surge" that he claims will bring peace and stability to Iraq. Not only are we sending more troops in than he said, at a cost far higher than he projected, his own general on the ground says they will have to stay longer than he told the American people earlier this year.

Over at the U.S. Department of Justice, an contradiction of terms if we over heard one, the FBI has lied repeatedly about its use, and abuse, of the rights-robbing USA Patriot Act to obtain information on U.S. citizens. I find it disturbing that in all their rhetoric about restoring America to the people, the new Democratic leadership of Congress doesn't say a damn thing about repealing the USA Patriot Act, an ill-conceived bill crafted by former attorney general John Ashcroft, and hastily voted into law after 9/11 by shell-shocked representatives and Senators who later admitted they hadn't even read it.

Today we learn that the federal government, at the direction of the White House, routinely ignores the Freedom of Information Act and hides more and more government documents under a cloak of secrecy.

Both Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid joined with Republicans to vote not only for original passage of the USA Patriot Act but also to reauthorize it. Bush has used the act to justify spying on Americans, wiretapping without warrants and strip away the last protections of the Constitution.

While Congress slept and the Supreme Court looked the other way, the Bush administration has gone on its merry way seizing absolute control of the United States government. He fired independent thinking U.S. attorneys, replacing them with lockstep right-wingers who share his view of totalitarian control of government. He ignores the laws of Congress, issuing "signing statements" that give him the power to do whatever he wants. When the federal courts declared his wiretapping of Americans illegal, he ignored the ruling and appointed an in-house review panel that declared the program "legal."

It doesn't matter who controls Congress. Congress is a dead institution, ruled by timid legislators who no longer exercise any real role in the governing of this nation.

It doesn't matter what the Supreme Court may or may not do. The President of the United States has declared himself a "war time President" and granted himself dictatorial rights that no one in Congress or the Court appears able to successfully challenge him.

The America we used to cherish is dead, replaced by a ruthless dictator. The America that more than 3,100 men and women died for in Iraq no longer exists. We might as well pull the sheet over Uncle Sam's head and prepare for the funeral.

Or can we, as a people, regain control of our government? Perhaps, but doing so will require drastic measures. I'm not talking about kicking out one party of political hacks and replacing it with another: Been there, done that, witnessed the failure.

We need to rethink this experiment called America. Maybe we need to start with a clean sheet of paper. Maybe it's time to recognize that our present America is a rotting corpse, devoured from within by the cancer of politics, corruption, greed and a lust for power.

Maybe it's time for a new American Revolution. After all, the last one started because another guy named George tried to destroy our way of life.

Friday, February 16, 2007

...from the "internets"

"What we do know is that the Quds force was instrumental in providing these deadly IEDs to networks inside of Iraq. We know that. And we also know that the Quds force is a part of the Iranian government. That's a known." -- Bush

"We know exactly where Saddam is hiding his WMDs. They're North, South and West of Tikrit. That's a known." -- Rumsfeld

"Filthy liars." -- Me

Monday, February 12, 2007

Happy Darwin Day!

February 12 is Darwin Day! Woo hoo! Rock on, those of you who eschew the literal interpretation of Genesis!

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Still Tryin' to Get Back to the Blog...

...but I swear, every tricky day has been followed by:

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Sadness

It has been ten days or so since I blogged last. I hated to be gone so long, but I got busy with some work stuff and had to prioritize. I'm sure you all understand. Thanks for coming back 8^)

But the reason I have to write a post this evening is because Molly Ivins died.

Molly Ivins was my favorite political columnist. I don't use the word "favorite" lightly. She was consistently brilliant and awe-inspiring. You can read her columns here.

There are very, very few people in the public arena who I cared for enough to be affected by their death. A felt a profound sense of loss when Jim Henson, of all people, died, and I didn't even expect to feel that way, but I did. I was stricken when my idol John Entwistle died, too, although I knew that day would eventually come. Maybe a few others.

But as for Molly... I hadn't even heard she was sick until a few days ago. Now this. Damn. It is particularly saddening that she didn't live long enough to see the end of the Bush "presidency".

The rest of us must carry on. Molly encouraged people to be aware of what was going on politically, and to take an active role when they could. She inspired many of us to do just that. In that way, she will live forever.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Petro-Vampirism Rises from the Ashes

Here we go, truthseekers: another reference to the real reason we're in Iraq, and will remain there forever: New Oil Law Means Victory in Iraq for Bush
...the law will give Exxon Mobil, BP, Shell and other carbon cronies of the White House unprecedented sweetheart deals, allowing them to pump gargantuan profits from Iraq's nominally state-owned oilfields for decades to come.
It's almost like comfort food, isn't it? Like having a discussion about the war from back in 2004.
This law has been in the works since the very beginning of the invasion - indeed, since months before the invasion, when the Bush administration brought in Phillip Carroll, former CEO of both Shell and Fluor, the politically-wired oil servicing firm, to devise 'contingency plans' for divvying up Iraq's oil after the attack. Once the deed was done, Carroll was made head of the American 'advisory committee' overseeing the oil industry of the conquered land...
This, of course, is why Bush, Cheney, Rice, etc., are all unswervingly dedicated to conquering Iraq. We've been saying it for years now. It's all a just a racket.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

What "Conservatism" Hath Wrought

You would be hard-pressed to find many criticisms of "conservatism" in my blog. I criticise the republican party and neoconservitism, but I rarely go after conservatism itself. Nevertheless, it was those who define themselves as conservatives that joyously placed the Bush regime in power and celebrated the results (they were for Bush before they were against him). Whether supportive through the siren call of "low taxes", or the promise of a transformation toward a christian theocracy, or the sheer avarice of corporate greed, this sort of thing is their legacy: "The Pentagon set rules Thursday for detainee trials that could allow terror suspects to be convicted and perhaps executed using hearsay testimony and coerced statements".

How sad for us all that modern conservatism strives to recreate the worst aspects of tyranical dictatorship in America. This, along with their complicity in the boundless corruption of the republican party, will be their legacy.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Kinda busy lately...

...so blogging might slow down a bit.

Okay, word verification is back on...

...because the spam was getting a little much. Oh well. 8^)

Monday, January 15, 2007

Puzzle Pieces

There couldn't be a connection here... could there?

U.S. moving to refurbish its nuclear arsenal
The Bush administration is expected to announce this week a major step forward in the building of the country's first new nuclear warhead in nearly two decades.
Israel Planning, Training for Low-Level Nuke Strike Against Iran
ISRAEL has drawn up secret plans to destroy Iran’s uranium enrichment facilities with tactical nuclear weapons.
Does self-proclaimed-born-again-christian-evangelical George W. Bush want to create armageddon? Is that what he perceives as his mission on earth?

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Saturday is Music Appreciation Day at Constantly Amazed... Daddy-O!

Sometimes, you just don't know what will turn up when you start lookin' for musical tidbits online. Yowie!

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Totally Dumbass Typical Republican Quote of the New Year:

Quotes of note - The Boston Globe:
"'What we really expect out of the Democrats is for them to treat us as they would liked to have been treated.'
Representative JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), the new House minority leader "
Oh, please. The republicans went to extraordinary lengths to lock the democrats out of the governmental process. And now they're whining like babies!?

The next repuke blogger who attaches the famous "crying baby" picture to any other political party but their own might as well have "hypocrite" stamped on their forehead.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Oh, Arizona...

...land of my birth. Where the balmy desert sun meets the enlightenment of the Puritans: Weird Science.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Jan 2nd: I finally get around to posting about Gerald @#$% Ford

Okay, apparently many government offices are closed today because of Gerald Ford's funeral. The media are awash with references to how wonderful he was. What a nice guy. An average Joe. So unassuming. So level headed. Such integrity. Such a…

...traitor. One who opened the floodgates to allow the horrific, appalling corruption of the Bush administration to occur, and to flourish unchecked. One who sent the message in no uncertain terms that Republicans are above the law, and they live to rule a nation of their cronies, by their cronies, and for their cronies. One who, in true Republican fashion, chose to swear his allegiance to his party and it’s ongoing quest for absolute power over the welfare of the country he was elected to serve. A criminal on a national scale, disguised as a feed-store clerk.

Oh, I know, the left is happily touting Bob Woodward's paragraphs about how Ford condemned Bush's foreign policy, as if that's a victory. Oh, please! Ford chose to protect the guilty by withholding that opinion until after he was dead. To Gerald Ford, the image of the Republican party was more important than the many thousands of lives lost, the damage done across the globe, and the trashing of our constitution and our reputation in the eyes of the world. That is what is revered as a lifetime of public service? Gerald Ford's deathbed confession is worthless.

Allow me to reproduce some items from usenet and other corners of the web (where links aren’t included, I’ll just give credit right now to the original authors, all can be googled):

From usenet:
Gerald Ford was a TRAITOR.

As far as I'm concerned, Ford's legacy is that of interfering with justice by pardoning Nixon rather than allowing democratic process to deal with him as provided by the Constitution. Thus commenced the dangerous precedent of not requiring accountability of the highest official in the land.

If accountability is not required of the person in the position of the presidency, then it should not be required of anyone. The President is expected to set an example of the highest principles in our nation.

If the President is allowed to get away with "high crimes and misdemeanors," treason, mass murder, violation of international treaties, deceiving the public into sending their children to die in foreign wars and more, then why should anyone else be expected to abide by the law? The law and the Constitution which he has sworn to uphold has been rendered meaningless.

From Gerald Ford, Unsentimentally, By Matthew Rothschild
Sorry, but I refuse to let my tear ducts open over the death of Gerald
Ford.

There’s something profoundly undemocratic and vaguely medieval about the almost mandatory salutes that we, the people, are supposed to offer when a former President dies.

The niceties of custom all too often reinforce the habits of blind obedience to the unworthy wielders of power.

Say no ill of the dead, we are told.

Hogwash. Let’s look at Gerald Ford’s record.

The first thing he did was to pardon Richard Nixon, even though ten days previously he had said that the special prosecutor should proceed against “any and all individuals” and a year before, he averred that “I do not think the public would stand for it.”

The pardon short-circuited the necessary prosecution of Nixon, which would have served as a salutary check on future inhabitants of the Oval Office.

Instead, the pardon set a precedent for such flagrant lawbreakers as we have in the White House today.

If impeachment of Bush and Cheney may be just a remote possibility, prosecution and incarceration remain inconceivable. And so Bush and Cheney, thanks to Ford, can float comfortably above the law.

On domestic policy, Ford was a standard issue Republican, vetoing social spending bills, cutting food stamps and housing and education programs, infamously denying aid to New York City while all the while boosting Pentagon spending.

And, in a move Bush and Cheney would have applauded, he proposed the nation’s first official secrets act to provide criminal penalties for the unauthorized disclosure of classified material.

On foreign policy, Ford was damnable.

He fronted for Pinochet in Chile, and kept aid flowing to that vicious strongman.

And on December 6, 1975, Ford and Henry Kissinger flew to Jakarta to meet with dictator Suharto and to give him a green light to invade East Timor.

According to a declassified State Department cable, here was part of their conversation.

Suharto to Ford and Kissinger: “We want your understanding if we deem it necessary to take rapid or drastic action.”

Ford: “We will understand and will not press you on the issue. We understand the problem you have and the intentions you have.”

Kissinger: “We understand your problem and the need to move quickly, but I am only saying that it would be better if it were done after we returned.”

Ford and Kissinger returned to the United States, and Suharto launched his invasion hours later.

Suharto’s invasion and occupation cost the lives of 200,000 Timorese. But never mind.

We’re not supposed to remember those things.

Just that Gerry Ford was such a nice guy.

All this in only 3 years.
From Alternet: Ford's legacy is Cheney and Rumsfeld
Ford appointed Rumsfeld his chief of staff when he took office after Nixon's resignation in 1974. The next year, when he made the 42-year-old Rumsfeld the youngest secretary of defense in the nation's history, he named 34-year-old Dick Cheney his chief of staff, also the youngest ever.

Those two Ford appointees worked together ever since. The Bush White House assertion of unchecked presidential power stems from the lessons they drew from their experience of working for the weakest president in recent American history. "For Dick and Don," Harold Meyerson wrote in The American Prospect last July, "the frustrations of the Ford years have been compensated for by the abuses of the Bush years."

Ford also named a new head of the CIA -- a former Texas congressman named George H. W. Bush. Thus you could also credit also Ford with launching the Bush dynasty.

It was during Ford's presidency that the last Americans left Vietnam -- that photo of them struggling to get into that chopper on the roof of the Saigon embassy remains our most powerful image of American defeat, and it shadows our current debate about how to get out of Iraq.

Ford did leave one positive legacy, as Meyerson reminds us: his supreme court appointee, John Paul Stevens. Few remember it today, but when the Court majority appointed Bush president in December, 2000, Stevens wrote a blistering dissent, damning the other Republican appointees for their blatant partisanship. And this year Stevens wrote the majority opinion in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld declaring that the military tribunals at Guantanamo violated the Geneva Convention.

But we wouldn't need Stevens if we didn't have Rumsfeld, Cheney and Bush -- that's the legacy of Gerald Ford.
From Ford, Nixon Sustained Friendship for Decades:
"Anytime you want me to do anything, under any circumstances, you give me a call, Mr. President," [Ford] told Nixon during that May 1, 1973, conversation. "We'll stand by you morning, noon and night."

Ford: "I looked upon him as my personal friend. And I always treasured our relationship. And I had no hesitancy about granting the pardon, because I felt that we had this relationship and that I didn't want to see my real friend have the stigma," Ford said in the interview.
Meaning, of course, that he believed it was okay to violate the law and shit on the things our nation holds most dear, as long as he and his cronies could get off the hook. Vile, contemptible pigs, each and every one of them.

Here's more:

I Can't Forgive Ford
The standard set by Ford remains. Republicans get a pass. Democrats get held to a standard Nixon did not. I'm one of the people against impeaching Mr. Bush, with the caveat that we must follow the investigations to come wherever they may lead. But it does raise the question: If Clinton got impeached, and Nixon got pardoned by Ford, what is fitting for Mr. Bush? The scales have not been set right since Ford's actions robbed this country of a just and much needed trial. If we throw in the actions of Henry Kissinger, who did much of Nixon's foreign policy handywork, you could have had the political crimes of the 20th century. President Gerald R. Ford robbed us all of that justice. It follows us still.
NIXON PARDON: For Friendship, Not Country
The pardon had absolutely nothing to do with this country. It was strictly personal.
Furthermore, in the article Cheney hails Nixon pardon at Ford's state funeral, sick-sicko-sickest-of-all-psycho-greedy-evil-diabolical-hellspawn-dick-cheney says things that are beyond belief (in other words, cherished right-wing dogma).
Ford, the 38th president who died on Tuesday at age 93, steered the United States through "a crisis that could have turned to catastrophe," said Cheney, chief of staff in Ford's White House 30 years ago and an honorary pallbearer at the ceremony in the U.S. Capitol rotunda.
What he meant by crisis was, a crisis for him and his cronies, who were spared ever being held accountable for their crimes. He continued,
"In politics it can take a generation or more for a matter to settle, for tempers to cool," Cheney said. "We will never know what further unravelings, what greater malevolence might have come in that time of furies turned loose and hearts turned cold. But we do know this: America was spared the worst and this was the doing of an American president."
Again, replace the word "America" with "me and my corrupt cronies who regard all the rest of you with utter contempt." Vile prick.

And just to top it off, how about this: With all that lofty rhetoric about "sparing America the worst", saving us from some national crises, etc., what did they do? Of course: They went ahead and unleashed that "worst", that "crisis" upon the country anyway, to punish us for wanting them to obey the law!

And they call themselves morally superior. I swear, I've seen dogs lick up things that have been excreted and regurgitated that have more integrity than the American conservative right. Nixon burns in hell, and Ford will join his friend there.