Monday, February 28, 2005


Good morning starshine
the earth says hello
you twinkle above us
we twinkle below

good morning starshine
you lead us along
my love and me
as we sing our early morning singing song

gliddy glub gloopy
nibby nabby noopy
la la la - lo lo
sabba sibbi sabba
nooby aba naba
lee lee - lo lo
tooby ooby wala
nooby aba naba
early morning singing song

from the musical "Hair", sung by Oliver

Now that this song is playing in your head, HAVE A GREAT DAY!!

Sunday, February 27, 2005


I was over at Ms. Liberty's weblog, and posted on her topic about Americans generally disapproving of POTUS' performance. Here is the result, with some embellishments:

Sure it's tough seeing your candidate being defeated by someone like POTUS, but it also must be tough for many Republicans to watch POTUS drive the Republican party into the ground, knowing that with all its distinct factions it is basically held together by threads. The party could start imploding soon if the various factions within it can't get together and put the brakes on POTUS' wild spending and his kowtowing to the theocrats. It appears he is driving the fiscals nuts, and that he is also putting a very nice wedge between the fiscals and the religious right. Lots of the Repubs vote right-wing because of the money thing (preservation of wealth), and others do because they think the GOP is God's ordained party (i.e. Christ is pro-Republican, and he votes!) I'm not sure I see how those two factions can stay together under one tent... they seem like kind of an odd couple somehow.

Keep it up, POTUS, I'm cheering for ya! Good luck trying to be everything to everyone on the right, without taking any of the left wing's views or concerns into consideration. It's not a recipe for success, so I wish you lotsa luck.

A comment was made in that thread about polls being "useless to a true leader"; I disagree with that statement. A true leader will exercise true leadership, which involves examining information from various sources, synthesizing the info, considering various views on the issue, and listening to what the people are saying about it before he makes a decision. I see POTUS doing very little of that.

While I would agree with anyone who says polls should not be the sole determinant of our national policies, I think polls are just one of the many things to which POTUS needs to pay attention in order to become a truly effective leader for all Americans. I don't believe he is, by any stretch of the imagination, an effective leader for all Americans. Maybe for the wealthy and for the theocratic types, but definitely not for all of us, with many Republicans included.

This guy is taking those in his own political party for granted, using fear and religion to weaken them into submission. And he is taking the whole country on one big, expensive ride so he can satisfy his own selfish agenda.

We all need to be vigilant, to pay attention and to beware of the deadly Wolf-POTUS in sheep's clothing. He walks among us!


CAUTION TO READERS, MAINLY TO FREEPERS, TROLLERS, etc. : The following article is merely a rant. I cite no links, because I don't care. Go ahead and agree with the rant, criticize it, whatever. I am purposefully making blanket generalizations, trying to play on readers' emotions, portraying myself as an authority, and using countless other argumental fallacies in an effort to get you to bypass your critical thinking skills en route to adopting my way of thinking. I have listened to right wing pundits and have read their books enough to know how to do some of these things. From visiting various weblogs, I see those of you of the Republican persuasion have also been paying attention to your pundits and learning these skills. If you are reading this, you know who you are. And if it appears I have virtually nothing good to say about the POTUS? Well, you are correct. I DON'T! You will quickly notice I don't even like to type his real name. Anyway, I hope you have found my disclaimer both enlightening and entertaining. Now, please proceed to the enlightening and entertaining article below. Thank you!



I find it amazing how so many people are willing to simply give the POTUS a behavioral blank check when it comes to social security, education, invading other countries and pursuing an arrogant foreign policy among many other things... and how so many claim him to be such a wonderful "leader". Why is this? Is it because they are "devout" Republicans? It must be. How else could they be so blind to the diminishing of Constitutional rights they cherish? So blind to the way nearly every single thing this administration does is a bald "power play"? How the word "compromise" is virtually nowhere to be found in the new GOP dictionary? I daresay most Republicans will also give him a behavioral blank check if information should surface that he had an affair or used drugs.

Some of us who appear from our comments and opinions to be rabid Democrats aren't necessarily thrilled with the Democratic party. The Democrats seem to be nearly as consumed by the almighty dollar as the GOP is. I tend to be much more anti-GOP than I am pro-Democrat. It just happens the Democrats are currently the only viable alternative to the GOP, so the Dems get my support. This is because I believe missing nukes, N. Korea with nukes, Iran developing nukes, Islam, Red China, etc. aren't the biggest threats to world peace today... I think the biggest threat is the neonconservative movement within the GOP right here in America. American religious fundamentalism and nationalism are right up there too. The Republican party is being taken over by handfuls of religious fanatics and by apoplectic nationalists while the party's members snooze away in bliss.

"Pax Americana"? Many on the right would probably have little or no idea about what that is. If they try a Google search, they will learn how neocon think-tanks in the early 90's decided the U.S. should basically take over the world in light of the fact the Soviet Union no longer existed as such. If you are the only real "superpower" left in the world, it shouldn't be too tough to take over the world, right? Better strike while the iron is hot!! But does the ultimate goal of world dominance necessarily lead to friendly participation in the international community? If this wasn't the ultimate foreign policy goal of the administration, I don't think other countries would be so mad at us today.

Right-wingers decry the fanaticism of America-hating Muslims while through their ignorance they aid in the promotion and development of our own brand of mindlessly fanatical religious fundamentalism/nationalism here at home... and the POTUS is an adherent to this religious/nationalistic hard line. He says he talks to God... What if a voice he thinks is God tells him to nuke somebody? I have always thought one sign of a good leader was the ability to take information and opinions from a variety of sources, and to put that all together to make coherent decisions. A POTUS who ignores or disses facts, information, science... and instead pays attention to his gut feelings or to little voices he thinks are God speaking to him... is not a good leader, in my opinion. Maybe the POTUS actually thinks HE is God, and the little voices he hears are merely him talking to himself. If this is the case, I'm not surprised.

When 9-11 happened, I grieved for the loss of life first and foremost. Because of my love and concern for America, I was angry that 9-11 happened and I feared such acts might be repeated against our country. I also feared the United States would behave like a wounded or mad elephant running amok, lashing out with airstrikes and bombs, and making foreign policy decisions based on gut reactions and/or obsessions rather than on facts. My worst fears were confirmed when Bush got into his repeated "either for us or against us" remarks and when America invaded Iraq. True to his sorry form, the POTUS missed a huge opportunity to use what happened on 9-11 for our country's advantage. There was a major outpouring of sympathy and friendship from around the world, but today the world is more unsettled than ever, largely because... he's an inept divider, not an adept uniter. And maybe if he isn't doing his part to help fulfill the Biblical prophecies of Armageddon... he just might not think he's doing his job.

The invasion of Iraq happened at a time when our people, including most of our politicians, were especially weak, softened by 9-11 and the fears it generated. The POTUS was saying things like this:

"The recession -- no question, I remember when I was campaigning, I said, would you ever deficit spend? And I said, yes, only if there were a time of war, or recession, or a national emergency. Never thought we'd get -- (laughter and applause.) And so we have a temporary deficit in our budget, because we are at war, we're recovering, our economy is recovering, and we've had a national emergency. Never did I dream we'd have the trifecta. (Laughter.)" April 16, 2002

I believe that while the POTUS may not have had complete foreknowledge or what was to come, once 9-11 happened he knew it was a blessing in disguise for the pursuers of Pax Americana... because the American people, including many politicians, would be cowed into submissively agreeing with whatever he said, due to their being so full of fear.

I'm not saying the POTUS is glad 9-11 happened... for him to be glad, he would have to be a truly evil man. (I don't necessarily think he is evil, but I think there's a good chance he is mentally ill.) I'm saying he has used the situation to his own political advantage in a rather sad way. He now believes he has carte blanche to spend however much he wants because of our country's involvement in a war, a war entered under dubious circumstances with 9-11 being used as an extremely tenuous link for the war. National emergencies don't appear to be such a bad thing to some people, especially if such emergencies help to further a political agenda.

To illustrate, this is another of my favorite POTUS quotes:

"But all in all, it's been a fabulous year for Laura and me." -the POTUS summing up his first year in office, Washington, D.C., Dec. 20, 2001

That remark was made only several months after 9-11-01. How did this fellow get to be so blind, so callous, so self-absorbed?

The mad elephant is running amok in the circus we call the world. I don't advocate euthanizing the elephant, but I think a strong tranquilizer should be administered to stop it from trampling more people than it already has. At the very least, I think it would be highly beneficial for the elephant to modify its behavior, but when it's mad and running amok that can be a pretty tough thing to work on, and time may be of the essence. Quick decisions are needed. Someone get the tranquilizers, now!

Is there any way to give the POTUS a wake-up call to which he would pay attention? What would it take? To think globally, we need to act locally, and getting the POTUS to wake up to reality might be the only way to get millions of his devout followers to wake up too... so many Americans seem so content to just let him run wild, trusting his every word and deed as if it was God talking to them and showing them the way.

The rest of the world is brewing a strong pot of coffee, but the POTUS has yet to wake up and smell it. Some drunks claim that coffee helps them wake up, but when they're drunk on power, strong coffee probably isn't enough to lift them from their blind stupor.

Getting the POTUS to pay attention and to see around his blind spots might be the biggest problems we face as a nation today. With his cadre of handlers constantly at his side, I won't be holding my breath that he will start paying attention any time soon.


Every once in a while I will dredge my archives and re-post something I look back at and laugh about. This one is a sentimental favorite of mine:


Have you seen "Return Of The King"? I was fairly amazed by it! I love the job Sean Astin did in this one as Sam, and so what if it's a fantasy film, I think he deserved to be nominated for Best Supporting Actor (and I think it was just about the most satisfying movie I saw in 2003). It seemed that all Elijah Wood had to do was look dazed (which I think he did quite well), and that this time it was Astin's show.

I never knew until recently that Ian McKellan is openly gay, so that made his role as Gandalf all the more enjoyable for me. I found myself imagining him wanting to do sordid things with Pippin and Merry. That could have been brutal, given that due to his being a powerful wizard, Gandalf is probably huge... Viggo Mortensen was sufficiently Hollywood-handsome and macho, and although I thought it would be fun to see him having sex with Liv Tyler in some Elven-palace bedroom, or on horseback during battle with the Lady Eowyn) it never did happen, of course. I love the character of Gollum. About the only Gollum thing that would have been perfect for me would have been a scene with him dragging his butt in the dirt due to pinworms or some such thing. Seeing him squatting in the rocks and taking a big, curly, gassy shit would have been nice too. Just imagine the facial expressions they could do on Gollum in such a situation, especially if there was constipation involved. Imagine him popping out a few logs as he hopped around chattering... They also could have had him take a leak on Sam as Sam slept! Just imagine Sam's reaction to an insult of that magnitude!! And surely Frodo would have vomited during at least a few of the hairy situations he endured throughout the trilogy. But if all he and Sam were eating was the little bit of Elven-bread, only occasionally... would they have had anything to throw up but bile?

There was plenty of violence anyway, so that soothed my sick, itching dementia-ridden mind. Not ultraviolence worthy of watching while eating a dripping sub sandwich, but fine stuff nonetheless. Seriously though, it was a pretty amazing movie! If you haven't been to it yet, just don't think of my ideas when you do see it. I wouldn't want to ruin the experience for you the same way Quentin Tarentino ruined the Stealer's Wheel tune "Stuck In The Middle With You" for me by using it during the nostril-splitting scene in "Reservoir Dogs". Heh...

Saturday, February 26, 2005


I enjoy procrastinating by spending loads of time taking silly quizzes instead of doing other things I should be doing. Anyway, here are a few things I learned about myself this evening.
According to quiz results from :
My purity profile:
Sexual 52%
Homosexual 38% (???)
Nerdiness 10%
Healthiness 29%
Financial 53%
Criminal 54%
Drug Use 69%
Grossness 88%
I will die at age 76.
I am tending toward "loser" status and need to get help soon.
Although I took many Geography courses in college, including Climatology, I scored at about the 20th percentile re. my knowledge of weather.
Only 26% of people are more spoiled than me.
80% to 90% of people with my educational background (Master's degree) know more than I do about chemistry.
On how much I love money: a slightly less than normal score.
From, my favorite quiz site, my results are as follows:
Given the Religion Selector, my top ones would be Secular Humanism 100% compatible, Unitarian Universalism 96%, Liberal Quakers 86%, Neo-Pagans 80%.
The philosopher with whom I would most agree is apparently Aristotle, according to one quiz. On another, Aristotle was listed as #2, behind Marx!
In my Presidential Mistress quiz, my top results suggested that I would be JFK, and my preferences would be 1. Angie Dickinson, 2. Jayne Mansfield, 3. Marilyn Monroe, 4. Inga Arvad, 5. Judith Campbell Exner.
My Greek God Selector says I would be Apollo, Artemis twin brother. He was a great musician, and the god of truth, light, and healing. #2 on the list is Neptune, the ruler of the sea, and Zeus's brother. He created the first horse, and the first earthquake. He was happily married. He is always seen carrying his trident. #3 is Hephaestus, the only crippled god. He had a deformed leg. He was the fire god. He created all the god's armor and weapons. He was known as being very kind and good natured. He was the blacksmith to the gods.
Of the seven available categories in the Political Belief selector, the survey says I am Left Liberal, followed in order by Socialist, Centrist, Authoritarian, Libertarian, Right Conservative and Reactionary. One Political Ideology selector pegs me as 1. Anarchist, 2. Marxist, 3. Socialist, 4. Progressive, 5. Leninist, 6. U.S. Liberal, 7. U.S. Libertarian, and lastly 8. U.S. Conservative. Another quiz placed me as 1. Liberal, 2. Socialist, and 3. Liberal Populist; and in the bottom three places on that list were 12. Conservative Moderate, 13. Conservative and 14. Conservative Populist. Yet another says I am 1. Liberal "Socialist", 2. American Liberal, 3. Anarcho-Communist, 4. Social Democratic, 5. Marxist.
My Hogwarts house would be Ravenclaw. The rest of them in order would be Slytherin, Gryffindor and Hufflepuff.
In the Middle East Political Opinion selector, I am an Average Israeli. The next best fit for me is Average Palestinian, followed by International Mediator. At the very bottom of my list is Palestinian Suicide Bomber.
My Past President Selector ranks ,y Top 20 presidents as follows: Thomas Jefferson 100, Abraham Lincoln 97, James Monroe 95, John Quincy Adams 92, George Washington 92, James Madison 91, Theodore Roosevelt 90, Franklin Delano Roosevelt 89, Harry S. Truman 89, Dwight D. Eisenhower 85, Lyndon Baines Johnson 85, John F. Kennedy 84, Woodrow Wilson 83, James K. Polk 79, John Adams 79, Ronald Reagan 78, William McKinley 78, Bill Clinton 78, Andrew Jackson 75, Grover Cleveland 75.
My favorite electric guitar would likely be a Paul Reed Smith hollow-body, followed by a Parker Fly, a Paul Reed Smith solid-body, a Gibson Flying V and a Gibson Les Paul.
Of ten Classical Composers listed in one quiz, my top five would be Chopin, followed by Schumann, Schubert, Liszt and Beethoven. And which Classical Composer am I? According to one survey, I am 1. Debussy, 2. Schubert, 3. Beethoven, 4. Schumann or 5. Rachmaninoff. Interestingly enough, Chopin came in last (16th) on that list. My tastes in Classical Music should tend toward 1. Late Romantic, 2. Modern, 3. Classical such as Mozart, 4. Minimalist and 5. Post-Modern.
My Scottish Politics selector says if I lived in Scotland I would be a 1. Scottish Socialist, 2. Scottish Green or 3. Scottish National.
My ideal presidential candidates for 2004, with my compatibility percentages:
So, what did I learn about myself from all the above quizzes? Not much, except that I reinforced the knowledge that I enjoy wasting time sitting at the computer when I could be doing something far more constructive such as housecleaning, playing a musical instrument, paying bills, playing with the cats, or possibly even sleeping. But heck, those sites are fun. Check 'em out, lemme know how you did!


Conservative columnist who took $240k from Bush criticized NAACP for sexual harassment and economic “improprieties” after settling his own sexual harassment suit

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(AP Photo)

Armstrong Williams lashed out at NAACP for sex harassment after settling harassment suit himself

By John Byrne RAW STORY Editor

The conservative columnist who was fired after accepting $240,000 to promote Bush’s ‘No Child Left Behind’ law rebuked the NAACP for “charges of sexual harassment and economic improprieties” after settling a sexual harassment suit himself, RAW STORY has learned.
Just last month, in an article discussing Kweisi Mfume’s resignation from the nation’s largest civil rights lobby, Williams said the NAACP was “foundering amidst charges of sexual harassment and economic improprieties” when Mfume was hired.

Mfume, he asserted, righted the ship–cleaning up the organization’s debt and concurrently issuing overtures to Republicans. But their veteran leader, Julian Bond, who in Williams’ piece was equated with an organization plagued by harassment, economic scandal and stridently anti-Bush messages–forced him out.

Williams, RAW STORY has discovered, settled accounts for the same misdeeds himself.
In 1997, Williams was sued in a massive $200,000 50-charge sexual harassment suit for repeatedly kissing his once male trainer Stephen Gregory who he had promoted repeatedly into his talk-show staff. Gregory claimed Williams had also grabbed his buttocks and genitals and climbed into bed with him on business trips. After rebuffing him, Gregory alleged, the pundit retaliated by reducing his pay and subsequently firing him.

At the time, the Williams had just teased an explosive quote from then-Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott who said that gays should be treated like those who have a problem with “alcohol … or sex addiction … or kleptomaniacs.”

Williams roundly supported this view.

Gregory’s attorney, Mickey Wheatley, a former lawyer with the Lamda Legal Defense Fund, a gay civil rights group, told the San Francisco Chronicle he thought it “ironic for Trent Lott to be making these offensive pronouncements when he’s sitting across from somebody who’s been accused of the most abusive kind of conduct of a homosexual nature.'’

Wheatley added: Williams “believes that (homosexuality) to be a sin, and so he must be in great pain over it, but he’s inflicting pain on others with his pronouncements. The way he treated my client would be indicative of what happens when you try to repress something as basic about yourself as your sexuality. My advice to him would be to get a boyfriend and leave his employees alone.'’

Williams failed to get the suit dismissed in 1998. His once-trainer presented an affidavit from a man who claimed Armstrong propositioned him in 1996 and also had testimony from an ex-intern who said he had brushed off Williams’ advances his first day on the job.

“The whole thing is an attempt to embarrass and humiliate Mr. Williams,'’ his attorney, Peter Axelrad, told the Chronicle. “We deny it. We deny all of it. We have full confidence that my client will be vindicated.'’

The columnist settled the case out of court in early 1999.

Friday, February 25, 2005


I posted this on another blog and liked the result, so... I put it here as well, with some editing and embellishment.

The blogger stated to a respondent "You're right about the belief in evolution being a religion unto itself. There again, all one can do is believe or not believe, we have no way to prove or disprove evolution. Yet atheists have no problem believing in evolution, where they won't believe in God for precisely the same reason."

While I believe that could be true, I also think the generalization about atheists is incorrect. There are many atheists who believe in neither gods nor evolution. I'm actually more of an agnostic who leans toward skepticism than I am an atheist, if we must apply labels, but many non-believers (that is, non-Christians) are actually nice people... I can usually count myself in that crowd. That is, unless I'm wallowing around in a fit of obsessive-compulsiveness or I have had too much to drink!

I'm very, very skeptical about things for which there isn't a whole lot of hard physical evidence, and I believe there are too many things the human mind is incapable of knowing. This makes it awfully tough for me to get worked up about how life got here.

I don't really understand the psychology of faith enough to know the answers to the following questions, but they are ones I have always asked myself:

If a person believes that God is in control, is it really all that important about how life began?

If one believes in the WHY (a creator or a divine entity), is the HOW (creationism, evolution, whatever) all that big a deal?

If God is really in control, and if how we all got here today is part of a plan or grand design which I would imagine we are unable to comprehend, then why not simply trust that God knows what God is doing and leave it at that?

So, with all that... Evolution Vs. Creationism: what's the big deal? Sure, I may lean toward Evolution because I believe there is far more real science to back it up, but when it gets down to it, it doesn't really matter a whole lot to me whether or not I descended from apes or that the world may actually be only 6,000 years old. When I look at the fact that I'm here on Earth in this time and place, and that I have so much in my life for which I feel fortunate, worrying about Evolution Vs. Creationism seems like simply... a waste of my time.

If there's a God up there, sometimes I think humans may have been created mainly for God's amusement and entertainment! If we are all God's children, I think God probably laughs at all of us equally, whether we be hardcore Christian fundamentalists, atheists, agnostics, skeptics, Creationists, Evolutionists, Republicans, Democrats, men, women, young, old, rich, poor, white, black, whatever.

Maybe THAT's some of what Christian singer/songwriter Bruce Cockburn (a favorite artist of mine, by the way) is singing about in his song "Listen For The Laugh":

"It's not the laughter of rain in the drain, It's not the laughter of a man in pain, It's not the laughter you can hide behind, It's not the laughter of a frightened mind, Balanced on the brink only waiting for a shove, You better listen for the laugh of love.

"It's not the laughter of the gloating rich, It's not the laughter of the sacred bitch, It's not the laughter of the macho fool, It's not the laughter that obeys the rules, More of a chain saw in a velvet glove, You better listen for the laugh of love.

"It's not the laughter of a child with toys, It's not the laughter of the president's boys, It's not the laughter of the media king, This laughter doesn't sell you anything, It's the wind in the wings of a diving dove, You better listen for the laugh of love.

"Whatever else you might be thinking of, You better listen for the laugh of love."

It seems to me that we humans must be way too self-important, relative to our place in the universe. Maybe part of what Bruce Cockburn is suggesting is that when we get to where we forget how small we really are, and if we listen hard enough, we can hear someone or something much larger than ourselves, laughing at us... and maybe that's God, telling us to GET REAL. Or maybe not.

Who knows?


"See, free nations do not develop weapons of mass destruction."

- George W. Bush, October 8, 2003

So, does this mean we are not a free nation?

Thursday, February 24, 2005


My dad is home from the hospital, and he is feeling better. It's hard for him to get up and move around, dress himself, and do other everyday things due to his lack of energy, but he is glad to be at home and we are happy to have him there! Thanks much for all your well-wishes. It will be a long haul for all involved, but for now things are going o.k.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005


Thanks for all your well-wishes! Things are going along in a holding pattern with my dad. We were there with him while he was dying Sunday night. The doc asked us if we wanted him to have a breathing tube, we said let's ask him what he wants to do. He said "Do whatever will work", and he was intubated and given all kinds of drugs. His blood pressure was as low as 39/15, which is basically "dead", but it went back up and he started getting rid of excess body fluids present due to his congestive heart failure. He's resting comfortably now, but he is still far from being out of the woods. The bad news is that he only has about 10% of his heart left re. working heart muscles, and the line between his being dehydrated and having too much fluid in his body is a thin one. So while he may be able to get well enough to come home, he probably doesn't have a lot longer to live. It's great that he doesn't have physical pain, and he still has all his marbles. Wish us luck, and maybe we can get him home during the next few days.

Sunday, February 20, 2005


I am not giving up on blogging, but you may see fewer entries from me for the time being. I may be in and out of commission for a while due to my father's health problems.

The phone rang about 11:15 last night and I knew it had to be something wrong with dad. He has had congestive heart failure for the last two years, and it has been hard for him to keep his blood pressure up. Mom said she heard some thumping and bumping in the kitchen, and when she got up to see what it was, she found him collapsed and tyring to pull himself up on a chair. I live just a couple of blocks away, so I was there in a minute or so. The EMT's and ambulance were already there.

Dad was sitting in a chair at the kitchen table, looking thin and drawn, shaking, his face pale. He tried to speak but his words were faint and very difficult to understand. I held his hand and propped him up while the EMT's got his IV lines started, and soon he was on his way to the hospital.

Mom and I waited there until about 2:00 a.m. when things were stable enough for him to be moved to the ICU (Intensive Care Unit). As of this morning he is still there, but tests show he didn't have a heart attack; from my experience working with stroke vicitims, I didn't think he was having a stroke. I think it's mainly a problem of his heart not being strong enough anymore to pump the blood efficiently. He has had a pacemaker since April, and since then has seemed to have more energy than he did a year or so ago.

Anyway, please wish my dad the best. He is a wonderful man, and has always done his utmost for me and Mom. I will keep you posted on how he is doing. As for Mom and me, we will continue to do the best we can under the circumstances.

Thanks! I will be back to blogging as time allows!

Saturday, February 19, 2005


What is geocaching? I'll tell you a little of what I know about it, but I still don't know much. I am about to learn a lot more!

For Valentine's Day, my wonderful wife Kit gave me a GPS device (which I guess stands for Global Positioning System?) I love treasure hunts, and a lot of folks nowadays are using GPS devices, which can read satellites to give you an exact location re. your latitude and longitude, to hide and find "cached" items.

Today we went to a city park and played with the GPS. I found our co-ordinates near a huge pile of dog poop, and "marked" that location. We walked about a quarter of a mile away, and then used a feature on the device which led us right back to the poo pile! It even told us how many feet we were from it as we got closer. Pretty amazing technology... There is also a software bundle of maps which can be downloaded into the GPS device from our computer. And the maps are highly detailed! is the website which tells where to find the "treasures" people have cached. You go to the site and punch in your zip code... and voila! There will be a list of caches in your area. A typical cache will be something like a metal ammunition box, or maybe a mayo jar, and in that container will be a "treasure"... which may amount to nothing much. It might be a small trinket, maybe a Pez dispenser, maybe some nail clippers, who knows. But it's the hunt itself that makes it fun. The treasures usually aren't buried, but rather are concealed under/between rocks or in bushes or tall grass.

We may spend Sunday looking for caches around La Grande. When we get around to leaving our own caches, what kinds of things will I put in them? Probably some home-burned CDs of odd music, probably some tacky figurines. No excrement, though.

I will very likely be referring back to geocaching as I continue to blog. Anyone out there have good suggestions about things to leave hidden for others to find?

Tuesday, February 15, 2005


If you don't recognize the parody below, you REALLY need to rent a copy of "The Producers". It is one of my favorites of all time, anyway. I threw this together for your entertainment:

America was having trouble
What a sad, sad story
Needed a new leader to restore
Its former moral glory
Where, oh, where was he?
Where could that man be?
We looked around and then we found
The man for you and me

And now it's...Springtime for Dubya and America
America is happy and gay!
We're marching to a faster pace
Look out, here comes the master race!
Springtime for Dubya and America
D.C.'s a feecie once more!
Springtime for Dubya and America
Watch out, Muslims,
We're going on tour!
Springtime for Dubya and America...

Look, it's springtime

Winter for Iraq and Iran

Springtime for Dubya and America!

Springtime! Springtime!Springtime! Springtime!
Springtime! Springtime!Springtime! Springtime!

Come on, Republicans,Go into your dance!

I was born in good ol' Casper
Und that is why they call me Bastard.

Don't be stupid, be a smarty, come and join the Grand Old Party!

Our Leader is coming, our Leader is coming, our Leader is coming!

Hail Bush!

Heil Bush!

Heil Dubya!
Springtime for Dubya and America

Hail Dubya!

Hail myself
Hail to me
I'm the guy
Who's out to change our history
Hail myself
Raise your hand
There's no greaterDictator in the land!
Everything I do, I do for you!

Yes, you do!

If you're looking for a war, here's World War Three!
Hail myself
Raise your beer


Ev'ry greedy G.O.Petie stand and cheer

Ev'ry greedy G.O.Petie...

Heil myself!

CHORUS:Ev'ry greedy G.O.Petie...

Hail myself!

Ev'ry greedy G.O.Petie...

...stand and cheer!

The president’s causing a negligence!
He's got those Demos on the run
You gotta love that wacky Hun!
The president’s causing an acqueiscence
They can't say "no" to his demands
They're freaking out in foreign lands
He's got the whole world in his hands
The president’s causing some negligence!

I was just a big oil driller
No one more discreeter
Got a phone call from the party
Told me I was Leader
America was blue
What, oh, what to do?
Hitched up my pants
And dissed ol’ France
Now America's smiling through!
But it wasn't always so easy...It was 2002.
Karl Rove was working the Big Room and I...
I was playing the lounge.
And then I got my big break.
Somebody burned down the election system.
And, would you believe it?
They made me president. President!
It ain't no myst'ry
If it's politics or hist'ry
The thing you gotta know is
Ev'rything is show biz
Hail myself
Watch my show
I'm the hurl, I’m Minnie Pearl
Don’tcha know
We are conquerin’ borders
The new world order is here
Make a great big wail
Ev'ryone hail to me
And now it's...

Springtime for Dubya and America
Goose-step's the new step today


Bombs falling from the skies again

America is on the rise again

Springtime for Dubya and America
U-boats are sailing once more
Springtime for Dubya and America

Means that...

Soon we'll be going...

We've got to be going...

You know we'll be going....

You bet we'll be going...

You know we'll be going to war!!

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Monday, February 14, 2005


Your eyes too close, your impish smirk
Your macho cowboy swagger...
Each time I see you on TV,
I feel a twisting dagger.

I'm so glad you have Karl Rove
To fix your mangled words
So everything that you might say
Is the Blossom of his Turds.

Cut SS? Cut Medicare?
Thanks, but don't cut either.
Cut the taxes, keep on spending?
We wish you would do neither.

Your way with words, your manner bold,
Your concrete way of thinking...
It's just about enough to drive
The rest of the world to drinking.

Your presidency so malign,
Is as a rampant tumor.
The only silver lining is
You lend yourself to humor.

And so I'll joke at your expense
And hope you'll take your knocks,
While more than half of Americans
Have blindest faith in FOX.

Dubya Dear, you warm my heart,
You fill me with desire
That someday soon, ALL Americans
Will admit that you're a liar.

And Cheney, he might do his best
With Rice, et al a-workin'
To hide the fact they pull the strings
While Puppet Dubya's jerkin'.

If there's a God in Heaven,
Then I hope It understands
It needs to come stop Dubya now,
'Ere we attack Iran.

The world will fall like dominos
'Neath Dubya's furrowed brow
As he spreads "freedom" to all lands...
Lest we do something NOW!


Valentine's Day, that is.

Friday, February 11, 2005


I love acronyms. One of my current favorites is POTUS, which is short for President Of The United States. It is sometimes extended to POTUSA, with the A for America.

I think there are some other acronyms applicable to the government and politics. There could be a nearly infinite number of these for shortening official titles and names of programs. Here are 129 of 'em I created just for you, plus several others... Feel free to add to the list!

1. ABC - Always Blame Clinton (I think that one has already been used elsewhere)
2. PENIS - President's Errant National-International Strategies
3. POOP - Presidential Office Of Prevarication, or Presidential Office Of Propaganda
4. PISS - Presidential International Strategy of Stupidity
5. ANUS - American Nuke Use Supporters
6. ARSE - AM Radio Sucks Excessively
7. HOLE - Homeland Office of Lax Enforcement
8. DOOFUS - Director Of Our Free United States (this acronym could be substituted for POTUS)
9. KOA - King Of America
10. DOT - Department Of Tyranny
11. DORK - Director Of Ridiculing Korea
12. DORF - Director Of Ridiculing France
13. DORM - Director Of Ridiculing the Mid-East
14. DORE - Director Of Ridiculing Europe
15. DOOR - Director Of Outraging Russia
16. DOOM - Director Of Ousting Moderates
17. OAF - Office of American Freedom
18. SOFT - Secretary Of Fighting Terrorism
19. SOS - Secretary Of State, also Save Our Ship
20. BOAR - Bureau Of Awful Republicans
21. BORE - Bureau of Republican Education
22. FARCE - Free Americans Receiving a Conservative Education
23. OOPS - Office Of Political Strategery
24. COPTIC - Chief Of Pandering To Inept Conservatives
25. SEX - Secretary for Education on Xenophobia
26. D'OH - Department Of Homophobia
27. DODO - Department Of Departmental Offices
28. BIG - the "Bureaucracy Is Great" program
29. SLANT - the "Spending Like America has No Tomorrow" program
30. GAG - the "Growing America's Government" program
31. DOSE - Department Of Spending Excessively
32. DOGMA - Department Of Gross Misinformation in America
33. GROSS - Getting Rid Of Social Security
34. DDD - Democrat Defamation Department
35. RUSH - Radio Undersecretary of Sleazy Hooey
36. HURL - Horrible, Ugly Rush Limbaugh
37. FIAT - FOX Is A Thug
38. ACID - Anne Coulter Is Daft
39. FOX - the "Fomenters Of Xenophobia" program
40. SHIT - Sean Hannity Is Treasonous
41. CHOTA - Creepiness Happening On The Airwaves
42. BUSH - Belligerent Undermining of Secular Humanism
43. NCLB - No Conservative Left Behind
44. BAA!! - Belittling America's Atheists!!
45. BOSS - Bill O'Reilly Sucks Shit
46. BILE - Brit Is Lying Excessively
47. PPP - the "President Paying Pundits" program
48. ALARM - Americans Lobbying Against Rupert Murdoch
49. PIGS - Politicians In Government Systems
50. RIBBED - Rove Is the Brains Behind Executive Decisions
51. SOOT - Secretary Of Offing Terrorists
52. NAAPC - National Association for the Advancement of Political Correctness
53. NASCAR - Not A 'Specially Cool American Ritual
54. The LIAR program - "The Lord Is A Republican" program
55. CHRISTIAN - the "Conservatives Have Religious Interests Sowing Trouble In the American Nation" program
56. RAJAH - Republicans Aren't Jesus' only Adored Humans
57. FEAR - Fools Energizing America's Republicans
58. TOOL - The Office Of Lying (as in "a tool from TOOL")
59. BRAT - Bureau of Republican Anti-Truths (as in "a brat from BRAT")
60. RAT - Republicans Against Truth (and "a rat from RAT", of course)
61. RATIO - Republicans Agree, Truth Is Overrated
62. GLAD - the "Governmental Largess And Disinformation" program
63. LORD - the "Letting Only Republicans Decide" program
64. AGLOW - American Government Leaving Out Women
65. CRACK - Christian Reconstructivists Are Coming! Kneel!
66. Oh, CRAP - Oh, Christian Republicans Are Persecuted!
67. Don't SPAR! - Don't Stop Persecuting America's Republicans!
68. AHA! - Americans Hastening Armageddon!
69. WARP - Weird-Ass Republican President
70. ONANISM - Only Neocons Allowed Near Internal Security Matters
71. DARE - Dealing with America's Republican Elite
72. TURD - The Undersecretary of Republican Discipline
73. FAD - the "Forgetting American Democracy" program
74. BRIEFS - Bush Reiterates: Evidence Is For Sissies
75. WOMB - Weapons Of Mass Bumbling
76. NAFTA - Not About Freedom, Truth or Accuracy
77. PUS - Pitying the Un-Saved
78. LAY - Lying to American Youth
79. LAYER - Luring America's Youth to the Evangelical Right
80. TEA - Theocratic Education Association
81. DOTARD - Dirtiest Of Tricks Are Republican-Designed
82. CYST - Conniving, Yammering, Sneaky Theocrats
83. TARD - Theocrats Are Republican Draftees (I don't like the word "tard", but felt I needed to connect it to theocrats somehow.)
84. CALM! - Conservative Alarm: "Liberal Media"!
85. SARS - Simple American Red States
86. ABORT - Anal Bush Obsesses on Republican Tactics
87. ASPCA - American Society for the Prevention of Conservative Assholes
88. POFPOTUSA - President Of Fifty-One Percent Of The USA
89. POHTUSA - President Of Half The USA
90. PORSUSA - President Of Red State USA
91. OverHOUSE - Over Half Of Us Suck Eggs
92. NAMBLA - Not in America's Mainstream, Bush Lunges Ahead
93. KRAFT - Knee-jerk Reactions Are For Tories
94. HEIL - Hating Education and Ignoring Literacy
95. CALM - Conservative Americans Legislating Morality
96. BUM - Bush's Unfunded Mandate
97. STIFF - Squandering Americans' Income For Foolery
98. HARD - Heartless American Republican Dictators
99. UFF DA - Unimaginative Fault Finding with Democrats of America
100. HITLER - House Investigative Team is Lax on Elite Republicans
101. NEWT - Nutcase, Ever Without Thought
102. CO-ED - Committee On Environmental Destruction
103. BOA - Big Oil Administration
104. BOOB - Big Oil Operates Bush
105. NORMAL - No Oppression! (Read My Asinine Lips!)
106. DOLT - Department Of Loser Theology
107. CONAN - Chairman Of National Arts Neglect
108. ADAPT - Americans Defunding Arts Programs Thoroughly
109. CPA - Conservative Prudes of America
110. GOP - Greedy Old Parasites (I didn't create this one)
111. GOP - Grumpy Old Poops (same with this one)
112. SUAVE - Severely Underestimating American Voters' Intelligence
113. IDIOT - Irreversible Damage In Our Times
114. CHIMP - Clever Human Impersonator, Maybe President
115. SMIRK - Shady Money Is Republican Know-how
116. SWAGGER - Some Wonks Are GOP Generators of Excessive Refuse
117. SAD - Sucks At Debates
118. SORRY - Sick Of Raging Republican Yammering (so tell a Republican you're sorry, but use all CAPS when writing the word!)
119. BLUE - Bush Leaves Us Excrement
120. ACT - Angry Conservative Tedium
121. RIPE - Rove Is Public Enemy
122. FART - Forget Any Republican Talk
123. FART! - Fantastic! A Republican on Trial!
124. NOOGIE - Neocons Own Our Government, Irritate Everyone
125. SNIP - Situating Neocons In Prison
126. CART - Conservatives Are Reluctant Taxpayers
127. MOCHA - Making Other Countries Horribly Angry
128. MUFF - Messing Up in Foreign aFfairs
129. FLIP FLOP - Floundering Lackeys Inciting Paranoia, Fueling Lawlessness, Offering Poison
130. FAR - Forgetting the American Republic
131. the POMPOUS - Party Of Money and of Power Over U.s. Simpletons
132. FRITOS - Freaky Republicans In The Old South

Now, it's YOUR turn!


Scapegoating is a fun game to play. I was at Ms. Liberty's blog this morning and read her comment about Bush being at fault for 9-11. In some ways I agree: more could have been done to prevent it. Anyway, I left a comment on her blog, and thought I would reprint the comment, with modifications, here. Enjoy, if you can. If you don't enjoy the following, consider yourself entertained:

Omigawd! BILL CLINTON! He is the Root of All Evil! What a horrible, horrible man! I could be wrong, but I think Ms. L. is mainly just trying to catch our attention and point out what she views as the general incompetence of the Bush bunch.

Talk about "liberals" having scapegoats... Bush is certainly easy prey for the left, but it seems like lots of folks on the right like to deny the fallibility of their fearless leader by bringing up the name of Bill Clinton. It's kind of a reflexive action that has probably been conditioned by listening to too much talk radio or watching too much FOX "News".

So if G.W. Bush really did inherit all this AWFUL stuff (like a nice budget surplus, good relations with Europe, and the start of welfare reform) when he was "elected" in 2000, what has he done to correct all these horrible, awful things? If Clinton didn't get Bin Laden, then why hasn't Bush?
I won't go so far as to say Bush was personally responsible for 9-11, but I think his administration could have paid better attention to information prior to the tragedy. And it's very possible that the previous administration (yes, Clinton's) was lax on intelligence or had priorities that seemed correct at the time but that weren't on target due to the nature of many future happenings being unpredictable... the Clinton administration certainly wasn't perfect either, although I doubt they were able to predict 9-11 as some on the right might like to suggest.

When many on the right go the scapegoat route, it's always Bill Clinton. I see passing references to Hillary once in a while, or maybe to "Hollywood", FDR, or the catch-all word "liberals" which to many of them includes atheists, murderers, rapists, communists, etc.

When we on the left go the scapegoat route for the sorry state of the nation, we tend to say it is most often the entire Bush administration and many, many other far-right conservatives who are at fault. After all, isn't it better to blame bad stuff on a bunch of people rather than an individual? It allows for more sweeping generalization, which is, like scapegoating, lots of fun.

When I examine what I see as a downhill trend in our nation's economic, domestic and foreign policies over the last four years, I like to blame Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Rice, Powell, Rove, Bush Sr., most of the GOP House and Senate, faulty intelligence over the years, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, James Dobson, Tim LaHaye, Gary North, Gary Bauer, Bob Jones University, Alan Keyes, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, Anne Coulter, FOX News in general Mona Charon, Linda Chavez, Cal Thomas, unbridled capitalism, the growing of government, economic Darwinism, the oil industry, the auto industry, the pharmaceutical industry, lobbyists, flat-out corporate greed, the general greed and hunger for power found in politicians on both sides of the aisle, and too many other hardcore right-wing people to mention. There are often simple facts of life, such as Yassir Arafat, that tend to make things difficult regardless of which party is in charge of the US. Who or what did I leave out? With so many things to blame, it's hard to be specific sometimes.

Even though the GOP has been in the White House 16 of the last 24 years (and 24 of the last 36, soon to be 28 of the last 40 years... 70%!), I suppose simply blaming Bill Clinton for everything under the sun is much easier and involves far less thought. Go for it, you guys! Let's get creative!

Last I heard, Bill Clinton was to blame for the tsunami that killed so many in SE Asia. He was responsible for all the hurricanes in Florida during 2004. He influenced the Romans to go after Christ, he sacked and burned the library at Alexandria, and he used biological warfare to start the Black Plague in Europe in the 1400's. He was also a close personal advisor to Adolf Hitler, and later to both Idi Amin and Pol Pot. And he pronounces the word "nuclear" incorrectly... it is really "nucular", as demonstrated so well by Bush. (Bush isn't responsible for his speech errors... it's Clinton who is behind all that.)

But if you want to go WAY back in history, Clinton was responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs about 60 million years ago! And Clinton definitely stands for the BIG BANG theory.

Anything else we can blame on Bill Clinton? Comments? Come on, let's get this out of our systems once and for all.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005


Here is some food for thought from the "religious right", which I believe is neither, actually:

Dear Fellow American,

Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence, wrote:

"You seem to think that the Supreme Court is the ultimate arbiter of constitutional interpretation, a very dangerous doctrine indeed and one that would place us under the tyranny of an oligarchy."

How wise Jefferson was. Yet even Jefferson could not have foreseen what the Supreme Court has done to the Constitution of the United States since 1962. Just think what five unelected judges have done to our nation's moral framework.

In 1962, they ruled prayer out of the public schools.
In 1963, they ruled the Bible out of public schools.
In 1973, they applied a "right of privacy" not found in the Constitution as the basis for opening the door to the slaughter of more than 43,000,000 innocent unborn children.

Subsequent federal courts have ruled the Ten Commandments were illegal in schools, that statues of Jesus were illegal in public parks, that prayers on a map in North Carolina were illegal, and that it was illegal for little elementary school children to give thanks over their milk and cookies at snack time.

Now, the Supreme Court has declared a constitutional right to consensual sodomy and, by the language in its decision, has opened the door to homosexual marriages, bigamy, legalized prostitution, and even incest.

The framers of our Constitution never intended anything like this to take place in our land. Yet we seem to be helpless to do anything about it. Why? Because we are under the tyranny of a nonelected oligarchy. Just think, five unelected men and women who serve for life can change the moral fabric of our nation and take away the protections which our elected legislators have wisely put in place.

But there is a higher tribunal than the United States Supreme Court. There is the Judge of all the earth. We must earnestly come before Him now and cry out for redress of our grievances. He loves America as much as we do, and He does not wish to destroy it. But no culture has ever endured which has turned openly to homosexuality. And no society has ever been spared the wrath of God which has been guilty of slaughtering tens of millions of the innocent.

In short, by its distorted reading of the religion clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and its "discovery" of emanations from the 14th Amendment called "penumbras," the Supreme Court is bringing upon this nation the wrath of God when the precious liberties that we love so much may be taken away from all of us.

Would you join with me and many others in crying out to our Lord to change the Court? If we fast and pray and earnestly seek God's face, then He will hear our prayer and give us relief. One justice is 83 years old, another has cancer, and another has a heart condition. Would it not be possible for God to put it in the minds of these three judges that the time has come to retire? With their retirement and the appointment of conservative judges, a massive change in federal jurisprudence can take place.

We can have a court that no longer legislates from the bench the wishes of The New York Times and The Washington Post, but which will earnestly seek to interpret the Constitution as it is written and to give meaning to the centuries of moral standards which have undergirded this wonderful country called the United States of America.

Please join us in prayer to support a massive prayer offensive that we are going to call Operation Supreme Court Freedom."

With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible" (Matthew 19:26).

God bless you.

Yours in Christ,
Pat Robertson

Tuesday, February 08, 2005


We’re Not in Lake Wobegon Anymore
by Garrison Keillor
August 26, 2004

How did the Party of Lincoln and Liberty transmogrify into the party of Newt Gingrich’s evil spawn and their Etch-A-Sketch president, a dull and rigid man, whose philosophy is a jumble of badly sutured body parts trying to walk?
By Garrison Keillor

Something has gone seriously haywire with the Republican Party. Once, it was the party of pragmatic Main Street businessmen in steel-rimmed spectacles who decried profligacy and waste, were devoted to their communities and supported the sort of prosperity that raises all ships. They were good-hearted people who vanquished the gnarlier elements of their party, the paranoid Roosevelt-haters, the flat Earthers and Prohibitionists, the antipapist antiforeigner element. The genial Eisenhower was their man, a genuine American hero of D-Day, who made it OK for reasonable people to vote Republican. He brought the Korean War to a stalemate, produced the Interstate Highway System, declined to rescue the French colonial army in Vietnam, and gave us a period of peace and prosperity, in which (oddly) American arts and letters flourished and higher education burgeoned—and there was a degree of plain decency in the country. Fifties Republicans were giants compared to today’s. Richard Nixon was the last Republican leader to feel a Christian obligation toward the poor.

In the years between Nixon and Newt Gingrich, the party migrated southward down the Twisting Trail of Rhetoric and sneered at the idea of public service and became the Scourge of Liberalism, the Great Crusade Against the Sixties, the Death Star of Government, a gang of pirates that diverted and fascinated the media by their sheer chutzpah, such as the misty-eyed flag-waving of Ronald Reagan who, while George McGovern flew bombers in World War II, took a pass and made training films in Long Beach. The Nixon moderate vanished like the passenger pigeon, purged by a legion of angry white men who rose to power on pure punk politics. “Bipartisanship is another term of date rape,” says Grover Norquist, the Sid Vicious of the GOP. “I don’t want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.” The boy has Oedipal problems and government is his daddy.

The party of Lincoln and Liberty was transmogrified into the party of hairy-backed swamp developers and corporate shills, faith-based economists, fundamentalist bullies with Bibles, Christians of convenience, freelance racists, misanthropic frat boys, shrieking midgets of AM radio, tax cheats, nihilists in golf pants, brownshirts in pinstripes, sweatshop tycoons, hacks, fakirs, aggressive dorks, Lamborghini libertarians, people who believe Neil Armstrong’s moonwalk was filmed in Roswell, New Mexico, little honkers out to diminish the rest of us, Newt’s evil spawn and their Etch-A-Sketch president, a dull and rigid man suspicious of the free flow of information and of secular institutions, whose philosophy is a jumble of badly sutured body parts trying to walk. Republicans: The No.1 reason the rest of the world thinks we’re deaf, dumb and dangerous.

Rich ironies abound! Lies pop up like toadstools in the forest! Wild swine crowd round the public trough! Outrageous gerrymandering! Pocket lining on a massive scale! Paid lobbyists sit in committee rooms and write legislation to alleviate the suffering of billionaires! Hypocrisies shine like cat turds in the moonlight! O Mark Twain, where art thou at this hour? Arise and behold the Gilded Age reincarnated gaudier than ever, upholding great wealth as the sure sign of Divine Grace.

Here in 2004, George W. Bush is running for reelection on a platform of tragedy—the single greatest failure of national defense in our history, the attacks of 9/11 in which 19 men with box cutters put this nation into a tailspin, a failure the details of which the White House fought to keep secret even as it ran the country into hock up to the hubcaps, thanks to generous tax cuts for the well-fixed, hoping to lead us into a box canyon of debt that will render government impotent, even as we engage in a war against a small country that was undertaken for the president’s personal satisfaction but sold to the American public on the basis of brazen misinformation, a war whose purpose is to distract us from an enormous transfer of wealth taking place in this country, flowing upward, and the deception is working beautifully.

The concentration of wealth and power in the hands of the few is the death knell of democracy. No republic in the history of humanity has survived this. The election of 2004 will say something about what happens to ours. The omens are not good.

Our beloved land has been fogged with fear—fear, the greatest political strategy ever. An ominous silence, distant sirens, a drumbeat of whispered warnings and alarms to keep the public uneasy and silence the opposition. And in a time of vague fear, you can appoint bullet-brained judges, strip the bark off the Constitution, eviscerate federal regulatory agencies, bring public education to a standstill, stupefy the press, lavish gorgeous tax breaks on the rich.

There is a stink drifting through this election year. It isn’t the Florida recount or the Supreme Court decision. No, it’s 9/11 that we keep coming back to. It wasn’t the “end of innocence,” or a turning point in our history, or a cosmic occurrence, it was an event, a lapse of security. And patriotism shouldn’t prevent people from asking hard questions of the man who was purportedly in charge of national security at the time.

Whenever I think of those New Yorkers hurrying along Park Place or getting off the No.1 Broadway local, hustling toward their office on the 90th floor, the morning paper under their arms, I think of that non-reader George W. Bush and how he hopes to exploit those people with a little economic uptick, maybe the capture of Osama, cruise to victory in November and proceed to get some serious nation-changing done in his second term.

This year, as in the past, Republicans will portray us Democrats as embittered academics, desiccated Unitarians, whacked-out hippies and communards, people who talk to telephone poles, the party of the Deadheads. They will wave enormous flags and wow over and over the footage of firemen in the wreckage of the World Trade Center and bodies being carried out and they will lie about their economic policies with astonishing enthusiasm.

The Union is what needs defending this year. Government of Enron and by Halliburton and for the Southern Baptists is not the same as what Lincoln spoke of. This gang of Pithecanthropus Republicanii has humbugged us to death on terrorism and tax cuts for the comfy and school prayer and flag burning and claimed the right to know what books we read and to dump their sewage upstream from the town and clear-cut the forests and gut the IRS and mark up the constitution on behalf of intolerance and promote the corporate takeover of the public airwaves and to hell with anybody who opposes them.

This is a great country, and it wasn’t made so by angry people. We have a sacred duty to bequeath it to our grandchildren in better shape than however we found it. We have a long way to go and we’re not getting any younger.

Dante said that the hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who in time of crisis remain neutral, so I have spoken my piece, and thank you, dear reader. It’s a beautiful world, rain or shine, and there is more to life than winning.


By Mike Carlton
Sydney Morning Herald
January 22, 2005

George Bush's second inaugural extravaganza was every bit as repugnant as I had expected, a vulgar orgy of triumphalism probably unmatched since Napoleon crowned himself emperor of the French in Notre Dame in 1804.

The little Corsican corporal had a few decent victories to his escutcheon. Lodi, Marengo, that sort of thing. Not so this strutting Texan mountebank, with his chimpanzee smirk and his born-again banalities delivered in that constipated syntax that sounds the way cold cheeseburgers look, and his grinning plastic wife, and his scheming junta of neo-con spivs, shamans, flatterers and armchair warmongers, and his sinuous evasions and his brazen lies, and his sleight of hand theft from the American poor, and his rape of the environment, and his lethal conviction that the world must submit to his Pax Americana or be bombed into charcoal.

Difficult to know what was more repellent: the estimated $US40 million cost of this jamboree (most of it stumped up by Republican fat-cats buying future presidential favours), or the sheer crassness of its excess when American boys are dying in the quagmire of Bush's very own Iraq war.

Other wartime presidents sought restraint. Abraham Lincoln's second inaugural address in 1865 - "with malice toward none, with charity for all" - is the shortest ever. And he had pretty much won the Civil War by that time.

In 1944, Franklin Delano Roosevelt opened his fourth-term speech with the "wish that the form of this inauguration be simple and its words brief". He spoke for a couple of eloquent minutes, then went off to a light lunch, his wartime victory almost complete as well.

But restraint is not a Dubya word. Learning nothing, the dumbest and nastiest president since the scandalous Warren Harding died in 1923, Bush is now intent on expanding the Iraq war to neighbouring Iran.

Condoleezza Rice did admit to the US Senate this week that there had been some "not so good" decisions. But the more I see of her gleaming teeth and her fibreglass helmet of hair and her perky confidence, the more I am convinced that back in the '60s she used to be Cindy Birdsong, up there beside Diana Ross as one of the Supremes of Motown fame. I don't think it's a good idea to let her make a comeback as Secretary of State.

THE war in Iran is underway already, if we believe Seymour Hersh, the distinguished investigative writer for The New Yorker magazine.

Hersh reported this week that clandestine US special forces have been on the ground there, targeting nuclear facilities to be bombed whenever Bush feels the time is ripe.

"The immediate goals of the attacks would be to destroy, or at least temporarily derail, Iran's ability to go nuclear," he wrote, quoting reliable intelligence sources.

"But there are other, equally purposeful, motives at work. The government consultant told me that the hawks in the Pentagon, in private discussions, have been urging a limited attack on Iran because they believe it could lead to a toppling of the religious leadership."

Naturally, Pentagon flacks rushed out to deny all. But then they did that when Hersh broke the story of the My Lai massacre in Vietnam in 1968, and again when he revealed the torture of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib. A tussle for the truth between Hersh and the Pentagon is no contest.

What terrifies me most is the people planning this new war. The CIA professionals have been frozen out: too weak and wimpy for the Bushies.

The Defence Secretary, the incompetent Donald Rumsfeld, has seized control, aided by two Pentagon under-secretaries. One is Douglas Feith, a mad-eyed Zionist largely responsible for the post-invasion collapse of order in Iraq, a civilian bureaucrat memorably described by the former Centcom commander, General Tommy Franks, as "the f---ing stupidest guy on the face of the Earth".

The other is army Lieutenant General William G. (Jerry) Boykin, whose name also rings a bell. Jerry is a born-again Christian evangelical, a three-star bigot who, in his spare time, stumps the country in full uniform, preaching that America's enemy is Satan, Allah is a false idol, and that George Bush has been ordained by the Lord to rout evil.

"He's in the White House because God put him there for a time such as this," Jerry told a prayer meetin' in Oregon just a while back.

Be very afraid.

Monday, February 07, 2005

WEALTH = HAPPINESS? MY LEFT-BRAIN DOESN'T THINK SO! The real truth, as grandiloquently expressed by the cranky Snave himself...

I recently heard of a new book in which the author discusses results of a study of happiness of the wealthy. I don't recall the name of either the book or the author at this time, so if anyone out there can help me, that would be great. Anyway, the basic finding was apparently that many rich folks are unhappy. In a radio interview, the author mentioned that in the frontal lobe of the brain, the left side experiences happiness, while many of the emotions of unhappiness are experienced in the right side.

It could be that none of that is true... but what if it is? If ANY of the above is true, what might be the ramifications in our nation's current political divide? Let’s take a tongue-in-cheek look:

First off, if wealth is driving the GOP and if many of those wealthy people are unhappy, this might explain the Republican leadership's seemingly constant desire to tear things down rather than build things up. For example, they might think “We are unhappy, and we are powerful. We envy those who are unencumbered by wealth. So, let's take away some of the things they value.” This could be things like social programs, a public school system, or even a sense of personal freedom: "Gee, I don't have that kind of personal freedom... let's take some of it away from them. Then I'll feel good." As many of these unhappy GOP leaders seem to be mainly interested in the plight of the rich upper class (fellow unhappy folk), sadness could therefore be an underlying cause of their lack of attention to the plight of all the rest of us. Then might we at least agree that such leaders are "sad cases"?

Is it possible that spending more money than one takes in is a sign of depression? Some people feel good, or at least feel better, when they spend money or acquire more "things". Maybe the excessive spending by the Bush administration is simply a way to make themselves cheer up and feel better. After all, they will be gone from office by the time the collection agency arrives to tell our government to pay up... so in knowing that, it must help the administration to have at least some sense of freedom from their actions. Too bad for the rest of us who will still be around to deal with foreclosure.

If happiness is experienced on the left side of the brain, then that is why the Democrats are referred to as “left”-wingers. We are generally a good-natured happy-go-lucky lot who love America, puppies, and most cute things with the exception of Thomas Kinkade's "art" (I will refrain from inserting a brutal vomit photo here). Thus, if unhappiness is associated with the right side of the frontal lobe, that is why Republicans are referred to as “right”-wingers, because they generally take a negative view of the world, and for the most part are unhappy people. In a more traditional left-brain vs. right-brain view, the left side of the brain is for logical organization, and the right side is what houses creativity and emotion. In my scenario, let’s just go with the “left” having the logic on its side, while the “right” is the one full of (often irrational) emotion. Using science for one's own agenda is so much fun!

One other thing about the brain: there is a thing in there called the corpus collosum which allows the two sides of the brain to communicate and work together. Does our country have a collective corpus collosum? I believe it may have had one at one time, but during the last 20 years it seems like that part of the country’s brain has slowly withered away, especially during the psat decade.

None of the following is to say the GOP has superior brainpower... not at all. Neither political party has lost the use of its collective corpus colosum during the last 10-20 years, but I have to say the GOP has used its collective brain to greater advantage during that time. As the Democrats got complacent during the 90's, their use of both creativity and organization declined (i.e. see their last two presidential campaigns.) The GOP, far more base and primitive by nature, became frighteningly savage during the 90's as a collective, radio-fueled paranoia prompted them to be relentless in their quest for trophy Democrat jugular. Being defeated twice by Bill Clinton was more than they could handle. Consider their poor behavior after the 1992 election when Newt Gingrich began to get powerful: "Get Clinton" was their war cry! (Thus began our modern era of "bipartisanship".) Naturally, their limited ability to keep their emotions in check went further downhill after Clinton beat the GOP a second time in '96, culminating in an impeachment attempt that was really little more than a symbolic, cathartic act on the part of those Republicans involved. And the right wing loves to talk about us Democrats being sore losers after the last two elections... ! Go figure. Remember, any of their talk about "sore loser Democrats" is just another smokescreen, designed to distract people from the memory of how they behaved when they were on the losing end... and of how they cleverly "won" the 2000 election. Very creative on their part!

The Republicans? Creative? Yes! The GOP has been using both the emotion and creativity of its right brain while developing its left-brain organizational skills to win the last two elections. "Creativity" and "Republican" are certainly not an oxymoron, and they never have been. I challenge any reader to find people more creative than those who have generated the following: the myriad reasons for our invasion of Iraq, the Swift Boat Veterans For Truth, the "outing" of Valerie Plame, the concoction of such stories as the Chicken Little-esque Social Security "crisis" and the McCarthy-led Communist scare of the Fifties, and the perpetration of the false notion that Christianity and Republicanism should go hand in hand (which includes something gradually becoming accepted as fact in GOP circles: Jesus himself is a Republican!) And Ronald Reagan wasn't dubbed "The Great Prevaricator" for nothing... he earned the title! The extent of his lying must surely be the reason he is so admired by so many in the Republican party. Such creativity!

As the Democrats rediscover their own right-brain skills, things will get better in the USA. They need to use more creativity, as their Republican counterparts have done. The Democrats simply need to bite the bullet and start telling more lies at campaign time. They need to walk unafraid, to grow some hair, to dip into their bag of dirty tricks! Some good name-calling would help. And they could stand to start some genuine scandals, because we know there is plenty of GOP fodder for such an approach (the media won't help the Dems here, so they will need to do it by other means!) This might help many well-meaning voters who went Republican this last time around to see through the thick, foul, oozing, saccharine, fetid, purulent, stinking, weeping, dripping, horrific negative-adjective-laden GOP hooey.

And maybe more than anything else, the Democrats need to get better organized, which probably does not include letting Howard Dean run the party.

I hope this has all cleared up a lot of things for you, dear readers.

I might not have been too nice to the Democrats here, but hey, we need to be collectively kicked in the butt (or maybe even the teeth) good and hard with a steel-tipped toecap so we will get busy doing what needs to be done to rid the White House of neoconservatives.

And hey, ya miffed Republicans.... get over yourselves! If that throbbing vein on your right temple is any indicator, the right side of your collective ditto-head frontal lobe is about to explode! Why do you hate America so? I knew it, you DO hate America, don't you! Oops, sorry... Really, I wasn't actually trying to make that vein pop. Just don't bring any friviolus lawsuits against me, okay? I can hear it now: "WAAAH! I need more money! [choke, sob] The nasty "liberal" made my poor little vein pop! WAAAAH! Daddy, make the nasty "liberal" go away! WAAAAAAH!!! 8-)>

Okay, okay... I already said this was “tongue-in-cheek”, so there... it has been "tongue-in-cheek" because I said so! And I’ll say this now, as the Wrong Reverend Rush Limbaugh might say: this was intended “for entertainment only”. I hope you have all been duly entertained, and I give you my sincere thanks for taking time to consider these truths of which I speak.

God bless America.


Thanks to J. Marquis for posting a picture of Franklin Delano Roosevelt on his weblog ( J. is doing a good service to all of us in keeping this great man's memory alive.

The mere sight of a picture of FDR will make the blood of many good Republicans boil to the point of near-evaporation. He is the one major thing Republicans would like to erase from our collective political consciousness. As history continues to be rewritten by right-wingers (I'm not sure they are actually rewriting it, but I said so just to piss off any of them who might be reading this because they always like to say that about "liberals"), I am sure FDR's positive role in U.S. history will be diminished. It seems that no matter what he started, the GOP is still hellbent on getting rid of it even after all these years. I guess when most of what the GOP accomplishes is a series of non-accomplishments, it's o.k. to be jealous.

When George W. Bush spoke the other day about getting rid of about 150 government programs, I had to cringe. Especially when he got to Social Security. However, I don't think he will make much headway with major reforms of that program because there are too many Republicans, particularly elderly Republicans, who depend on it. While the proposed changes shouldn't affect the elderly as much as those younger, I can't see the AARP being in favor of very much of what Bush is talking about re. this issue. Those in Congress and the Senate who don't listen to their consituents and who instead go along with Bush may not get votes from those people next time around. While this could be a good thing for Democrats trying to gain seats in Congress and the Senate, I don't think destroying Social Security and a whole bunch of programs upon which many people depend would be good for the country. Anyone who cares about making sure Social Security remains a safe plan for everyone, let's call or write our Representatives and Senators!

I think the GOP drive to "revamp" Social Security is a continuation of a "get FDR" thing. I think the bill introduced a while back to have at least one building in every U.S. county named after Ronald Reagan is another part of that plan. Those who are serious about putting Reagan on Mt. Rushmore or on our currency are doing their part too. The Soviet Union collapsed while Reagan was in office, and Reagan had a great charismatic personality. I'm not sure what else there is in his repertoire to merit such lionization. Trickle-down economics? Iran-Contra?

An aside: it always seemed to me like the Soviet Union was headed for collapse anyway. It was such a flawed concept to begin with, and people can only tolerate repression for so long. Its economy was horrible. Had that country collapsed during the administration of Bush 1, would people be singing his praises instead of Reagan's? What if the USSR had collapsed while Clinton was in office? How would today's GOP deal with that? Not very well, I would imagine.

Back to FDR. When I was back East four years ago, one of the highlights of my tour of Washington D.C. was time spent one beautiful spring evening at the FDR Memorial. When my daughter took a picture of me sitting on the knee of a statue of FDR, it was a personal moment of joy! With my arm around FDR's shoulder and a smile on my face, it was the next best thing to being right there with the man himself.

We need to put a stop to all the anti-FDR moaning so many of these GOP folks engage in. We survived WWII, and the USA did its part for the world while we were under his leadership. Let's at least keep him on the dime as we continue to teach our kids about what he accomplished during his time as president. I'm not in favor of adding anyone else to Mt. Rushmore, but for sheer impact on our country's history, if anyone else could be on Mt. Rushmore... it's FDR. More so than JFK for sure. And yes, more so than Ronald Reagan.

Come on, Republicans! None of this "But... but..." stuff! Don't be afraid! Acknowledge his greatness. It isn't like our national memory of and appreciation of FDR are a Big Bad Wolf, here to huff and puff and blow your house down. FDR isn't the hungry wolf who ate your grandmother and who wants to devour you whole. Step back, take a look, and you might see that all the reasons you have been given to whine about him are merely fairy tales.

Thursday, February 03, 2005


Q: How many Bush administration officials does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

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A: None. There is nothing wrong with the light bulb; its conditions are improving every day. Any reports of its lack of incandescence are a delusional spin from the liberal media. That light bulb has served honorably, and anything you say undermines the lighting effect. Why do you hate America?


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photo: NY Post

Most of the major network channels didn't have much to offer during our dinner hour, so last night Kit and I watched the State Of The Union Address on Animal Planet. President Jeff Corwin had great delivery, and it was a delight to see him articulate his positions on the issues of the day. As usual, when he speaks, we learn something new from him. Last night was no exception.

This address centered on big cats, as he devoted particular attention to the cheetah. He also directed our attention to a giant cockroach, which he pretended to eat. He did not neglect what he considers to be the plight of the elephant. I tend to think there is definitely a problem with the elephants in that there are too many of them in the United States. I disagree with people who say these elephants need protection. There are plenty of them in our country. The staged "hug" between the elephant and the lion didn't do anything for me.

In statements George W. Bush made yesterday evening, it was insinuated that donkeys might get dumped on by elephants (see below) if they didn't go along with the demands of the elephant community. To Jeff Corwin's credit, I have never heard him say anything like this about donkeys. I have heard him talk about poop from time to time, but when he does, it is educational and not threatening.

I am sure many in our country will give him their blind support, as he is the kind of person with whom they would feel safe in the wilds of the world. Plus, he has a great smile! It doesn't matter that some of his actions may defy logic. In today's cult of personality, if someone says they are a "leader" enough times, sooner or later people will believe... and they will follow.

What we saw and heard in the State of the Union address was amusing, but when it gets right down to it, it was more of the same old.... stuff:

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