Wednesday, March 30, 2005


Rousas John Rushdoony (1916-2001) is a well-known American writer and author. He founded the Chalcedon Foundation (you really need to take a look at the Chalcedon website....) and served as its president until his recent death. "His writing in the Chalcedon Report and his numerous books have spawned a generation of believers active in reconstructing the world to the glory of Jesus Christ." I have included some comments from Christian Reconstructivist Gary North previously in this weblog. (Find out more about North at . North is Rushdoony's son-in-law, and he is carrying on in Rushdoony's footsteps.

The following quotes are from Rushdoony:

"God in His law requires the death penalty for homosexuals."

"Democracy is the great love of the failures and cowards of life."

"One faith, one law and one standard of justice did not mean democracy. The heresy of democracy has since then worked havoc in church and state . . . Christianity and democracy are inevitably enemies."

"Christianity is completely and radically anti-democratic; it is committed to spiritual aristrocracy."

"The state is a bankrupt institution. The only alternative to this bankrupt 'humanistic' system is a God-centered government." (Hasn't Tom DeLay been saying things similar in nature to this quote?)

"The 'civil rights' revolutionary groups are a case in point. Their goal is not equality but power. The background of Negro culture is African and magic, and the purposes of magic are control and power. . . Voodoo or magic was the religion and life of American Negroes. Voodoo songs underlie jazz, and old voodoo, with its power goal, has been merely replaced with revolutionary voodoo, a modernized power drive."

"Segregation or separation is thus a basic principle of Biblical law with respect to religion and morality. Every attempt to destroy this principle is an effort to reduce society to its lowest common denominator. Toleration is the excuse under which this levelling is undertaken, but the concept of toleration conceals a radical intolerance. In the name of toleration, the believer is asked to associate on a common level of total acceptance with the atheist, the pervert, the criminal, and the adherents of other religions as though no differences existed."

"Biblical law permits voluntary slavery because it recognizes that some people are not able to maintain a position of independence . . . The law is humane and also unsentimental. It recognizes that some people are by nature slaves and will always be so."

"All who are content with a humanistic law system and do not strive to replace it with Biblical law are guilty of idolatry. They have forsaken the covenant of their God, and they are asking us to serve other gods. They are thus idolaters, and are, in our generation, when our world is idolatrous and our states also, to be objects of missionary activity. They must be called out of their idolatry into the service of the living God."

"The goal is the developed Kingdom of God, the New Jerusalem, a world order under God's law."

"1. God's covenant with Adam required him to exercise dominion over the earth and to subdue it (Gen. 1:26 ff) under God according to God's law-word.
2. The restoration of that covenant relationship was the work of Christ, His grace to His elect people.
3. The fulfillment of that covenant is their great commission: to subdue all things and all nations to Christ and His law-word."

Here are some links to more information about Rushdoony and the Christian Recontructionist movement. If you check these out, you may get a glimpse into what "free thinking" individuals could be up against in the United States if current trends continue. I hope these people don't influence our government and our nation's religious climate any more than they are already doing.


By Molly Ivins
Columbus Free Press

The John Wesley Hardin Died for You Society has a theme song that goes: "He wasn't really bad. He was just a victim of his times." I sometimes find this useful in trying to explain Texas political ethics to outsiders.

My theory is that few Texas pols are actual crooks, they just have an overdeveloped sense of the extenuating circumstance. Woodrow Wilson Bean once warned himself that he was skatin' close to the thin edge of ethics. After a moment, he concluded, "Woodrow Wilson Bean, ethics is for young lawyers."

We had a governor who was caught in a big, fat lie about a football scandal (serious stuff) and explained, "Well, there never was a Bible in the room."

Some civilians believe the definition of an honest Texas pol is one who stays bought. But among pols of the old school, the saying was, "If you can't take their money, drink their whiskey, screw their women and vote against 'em anyway, you don't belong in the Legislature." Many of our pols have the ethical sensitivity of a walnut. All this has led many to conclude erroneously that Tom DeLay, an alumnus of the Texas Legislature, is somehow our fault.

I grant you a certain resemblance to some of our more notorious standards: "Everybody does it" and "They did it first" are actually considered excuses here. But I categorically reject cultural responsibility for Tom DeLay. Real Texas politicians are neither hypocritical nor sanctimonious. A pol does what he must -- fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly -- but no pol of the Old School, when DeLay served in the Lege, would add self-righteousness to shady dealing.

Nor was hyper-partisanship practiced. Under Bill Hobby, Bob Bullock and Pete Laney, Republicans were given their fair share of power. In fact, Republicans and liberals sometimes joined forces against conservative Democrats.

This was before the time when religion was regularly dragged into politics. The idea that you were immune from ethical lapses because you had found Jesus did not fly here. Sanctimony stinks in the nostrils of the Lord.

Doing favors for big campaign donors may indeed be an "everybody does it," but when those favors take the form of laws that directly hurt your people, you're supposed to draw the line. Over the line is where Texas pols would put using a children's charity as a cover for collecting soft money from special interest groups and then spending it on dinners, a golf tournament, a rock concert, Broadway tickets and so forth. Because the money was supposedly for a charity, Celebrations for Children, Inc., special interests who wanted favors from DeLay were able to give him money without revealing themselves as campaign donors. Cute trick, Tom, but a really cruddy thing to do.

In another example of ethical rot, DeLay took a $100,000 check from the Corrections Corporation of America, a company that runs private prisons in Texas and has a 20-year history that includes mismanagement and abuse. CCA wants the Texas Lege, over which DeLay exercises considerable sway because he's a money conduit, to privatize the prisons. And that check? Made out to DeLay's children's charity, the DeLay Foundation for Kids. Barf.

Another quality that makes DeLay an un-Texas pol is that he's mean. By and large, Texas pols are an agreeable set of less-than-perfect humans and quite often well-intentioned. As Carl Parker of Port Arthur used to observe, if you took all the fools out of the Lege, it would not be a representative body any longer. The old sense of collegiality was strong, and vindictive behavior -- punishing pols for partisan reasons -- was simply not done. But those are Tom DeLay's specialties, his trademarks. The Hammer is not only genuinely feared in Washington, he is, I'm sorry to say, hated.

Some of the ethics charges against DeLay are just plain old-fashioned grubby -- letting a lobbyist pay for a fancy hotel in London and a golf trip to St. Andrews (Delay claims he didn't know it was lobby money, even though he was accompanied by the lobbyist). What sets DeLay apart is his response when his shoddy behavior is exposed.

He has been admonished three times by the House Ethics Committee, so did he clean up his act? Nope, he went after the chairman of the ethics committee, threw him out, got the rules changed and then stacked the committee with his close allies. "The ethics process in the House of Representatives is in total shambles," said Fred Wertheimer, a longtime D.C. crusader on ethical issues.

I haven't even mentioned DeLay's apparent violation of Texas campaign finance law, quite a feat, since we only have the one. Or the whole nasty and absurd redistricting mess, or the dubious donations to his legal defense fund, or the Indian casino gambling saga, or, or, or.
The Houston Chronicle, DeLay's home paper, has been vigilant about tracking his lapses. The paper recently summed up his m.o.: "When in danger of losing, simply rewrite the rules in the middle of the game to make it impossible for the other side to win."

This guy smells like a slop jar. Get him out of there.

Monday, March 28, 2005


Saturday, March 26, 2005



It must have been in the late 90's that my good friend J.Marquis of "Are We There Yet?" introduced me to the music of Porcupine Tree. I was amazed when I first listened to some selections from their "Stupid Dream" CD. The music is lush, cerebral, full of texture and emotion. How has this band not been noticed by more people? If you take early 70's Pink Floyd, mix in a little King Crimson, beautiful vocal harmonies and the highest quality of musicanship... Porcupine Tree is what you get.

Porcupine Tree began as the brainchild of Steven Wilson, an English songwriter and guitarist/keyboardist born in 1967. Wilson recorded his early compositions in his home studio. From : "SW and his friend Malcom Stocks developed an almost entirely fictional history of a legendary seventies group complete with non-existent band members and an absurd discography - this was The Porcupine Tree. To back up the story Steven recorded several hours worth of music supposedly by this imaginary band. This was all done as pure self indulgence but by early 1989 Steven rated some of the music highly enough to compile a cassette "Tarquin's Seaweed Farm" and sent out copies to people that he felt might be interested. One of them went to the underground UK magazine Freakbeat, run by Richard Allen and Ivor Trueman. Unknown to Steven at the time they were in the process of setting up their own record company. Despite the fact that they gave the tape a rather lukewarm review in the magazine they invited Porcupine Tree to contribute a track to their first release, a compilation album of the best underground psychedelic groups."

Wilson released two tapes, both with liner notes, including a fictitious band history. In 1992 he compiled the best tracks and released the CD "On The Sunday Of Life", a collection of exploratory psychedelic tunes.
"Such was the interest from the press and public that this small run sold out almost immediately and was repressed along with a CD version. Among other tracks the album contained a future Porcupine Tree classic and frequent concert encore in "Radioactive Toy". By 2000 "On the Sunday of Life..." had racked up sales of 20,000 copies."

"On The Sunday Of Life" was basically Wilson's homage to his favorite music from the 60's and 70's. By this time he was able to quit his day job in computers and work full-time as a musician.
Wilson took some old LSD propaganda LPs from the 60's and used voices from those records in "Voyage 34", which became an "underground chill-out classic". "In 1993, "Up the Downstair" was greeted with rapture, Melody Maker describing it as "a psychedelic masterpiece.... one of the albums of the year".
The album continued the fusion of dance and rock and also featured guest appearances from two future full-time Porcupine Tree members Richard Barbieri (ex-Japan) and Colin Edwin."

"The profile of Porcupine Tree had now grown to the extent that the question of live performances could no longer be ignored. Thus in December 1993 Porcupine Tree became a live unit featuring in addition to Steven, Colin Edwin (bass) Chris Maitland (drums) and Richard Barbieri (keyboards). All three new members of the group had worked with Steven on various projects over the preceding years and all were excellent musicians sympathetic to the sound and direction of Porcupine Tree. "

It was at this point that Wilson and the band created what I consider to be one of their masterpieces, "The Sky Moves Sideways".
The website describes it as an "expansive soundscape of melody and ambient rock experimentation" which "would prove to be a transitional work with half recorded before the formation of the band and half recorded after."

Wanting to record a complete album with the full band, Porcupine Tree produced ""Signify", the first album to fully reflect the powerful live sound of the band, blending together numerous rock, and avant-garde styles whilst absorbing many diverse influences and relying on none."
The single "Waiting" garnered attention and airplay in Europe. This was followed by the live album "Coma Divine" in 1997
and by "Stupid Dream", in 1998.

It was from "Stupid Dream" that the band finally began to get some exposure in the United States. This album featured work that was more song-oriented, and the band attracted many new fans. In 2000, "Lightbulb Sun" followed, an intensely personal album which features some nice string arrangements by XTC's Dave Gregory.

The band outgrew it's label (Snapper), and after releasing "Recordings", a collection of B-sides from the previous two albums, signed a deal with Lava/Atlantic. 2002 saw Porcupine Tree's only lineup change, when Gavin Harrison replaced drummer Christ Maitland.

Once more from the website: "The eagerly awaited new album "In Absentia" is released by Lava Records in September 2002 (European release Jan 2003).
It is the band's most accomplished and complete work to date, featuring a much heavier sound on some tracks, but also some of the band's most beautiful and fragile works. The album receives great praise worldwide and, despite little or no airplay, goes on to become the band's best selling album shifting over 100,000 copies in it's first year of release, and charting in several European countries. To promote the album the band undertake four further tours of Europe and North America, including one with acclaimed Swedish metal band Opeth. During these tours the visual element of the band's performance is taken to new heights with the involvement of film-maker and photographer Lasse Hoile who creates a dark and surreal visual counterpoint to the PT's music. The long promotional campaign for In Absentia ends on November 30th as the band play a homecoming show to a packed out London Astoria."

"In Absentia" features a harder sound, almost grungy in places, with more guitar riffs... but the band has not lost its prog-rock perspective.

It was on the tour with Opeth that J.Marquis and I saw this band. What a show! Guitarist/singer John Wesley joined the band to increase their power in live performance. The visuals were fantastic, and the band was absolutely great live. I picked up a limited release CD called "XM" at the show; it is a collection of "live in the studio" material from the band's XM radio broadcast.

I look forward to April 26, when the Porcupine Tree CD "Deadwing" will be released!

Friday, March 25, 2005





Thursday, March 24, 2005



I have never seen Ishtar or Heaven's Gate, but I have seen my share of awful movies. I will list a few of them here.

Honorable mention: The Avengers, Toys, Plenty.

5. The League of Extroardinary Gentlemen - Okay, so I never read the graphic novel or comic or whatever... but this was almost as bad as Wild Wild West.

4. Random Hearts - While I am a Harrison Ford fan, I am awfully glad I rented this and didn't pay seven or eight bucks to see it in a movie theater. I kept waiting for something to happen, but nothing ever really did.

3. What Dreams May Come - Simply beautiful to look at, but the plot and dialogue were agonizing. Robin Williams has had some high and low points in film, but this may just about be his lowest.

2. Wild Wild West - This is a horrendous film. The giant spider contraption takes the cake.


1. Hook - Low points for Robin Williams, Julia Roberts and Dustin Hoffman. Poor Gwyneth Paltrow, making her film debut here as Wendy... Smarmy and trite, this one tries to dig into the viewer's sense of personal nostalgia, childhood lost, etc. by establishing some sense of timeless fantasy, but ends up pouring on enough syrup to make just about any viewer instantly diabetic.

From Maximonline: “Look, honey—Peter Pan!” How many hapless parents accidentally subjected their impressionable children to the hideous spectacle of Robin Williams in tights? Oh, and the tykes won’t spend a few years in therapy sorting out Dustin Hoffman’s menacing drag queen Captain Hook? Just sit Junior in front of an autopsy video—it’ll be far less traumatic.

From Perry Seibert, All Movie Guide: "Turning Peter Pan into an exploration of yuppie angst and a metaphor for rediscovering one's "inner-child," Hook might very well be the worst film of Steven Spielberg's career. The first of many disappointing fantasy-themed family comedies featuring Robin Williams, Hook dispenses with the charm and terror of the original tale in order to revel in some busy art direction and make parents realize they need to spend more time with their kids. Such moralizing would be fine if the film were at all entertaining, but none of the characters make any sense in their modern incarnations. The only character who works in a new way is Captain Hook, who misses battling with Peter, but Dustin Hoffman spends time chewing the scenery instead of acting. This is an artistic dead-end for everyone involved."

From Rob at : "Spielberg at his aggressively saccharine worst, and yet another one of 1991's rash of Busy Dad Sees the Error of His Ways fables."

COMING SOON: Bad Movies That I Love!


A portion of a human finger that a woman says she found while eating a bowl of chili at Wendys Restaurant. (AP Photo/Santa Clara County Department of Environmental Health)
Article from

(AP) - A woman bit into a partial finger served in a bowl of chili at California a Wendy's restaurant, leading authorities to a use a fingerprint database Thursday to determine who lost the digit.

The incident occurred Tuesday night at a San Jose Wendy's restaurant and left the customer ill and distraught, said Joy Alexiou, a spokeswoman for the Santa Clara County Health Department.

"She was so emotionally upset once she found out what it was," Alexiou said. "She was vomiting."

Employees at the Wendy's store were asked to show investigators their fingers after the Tuesday night incident. All employees' digits were accounted for, officials said, adding the well-cooked finger may have come from a food-processing plant that supplies the company.

"All of our employees have ten digits," said Denny Lynch, a spokesman for Wendy's International Inc., based in Dublin, Ohio.

He said there have been no reports to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration of injuries at any supplier of chili ingredients to Wendy's.

"By law, you can't hide that sort of stuff," Lynch said. "All of our chili suppliers report no accidents."

Investigators seized the remaining chili and closed the restaurant for a few hours late Tuesday.
Health officials said the fingertip was approximately four centimetres long. They believe it belongs to a woman because of the long, manicured nail.

Alexiou said the woman who bit into the finger, who asked officials not to identify her, is at minimal risk of contracting illnesses from the finger.

"It's an extremely low chance because the chili was cooked at a very high temperature that would have killed anything in the finger," Alexiou said.

Still, she said health officials would ask the woman's doctor to test her blood "to make sure nothing got passed to her."



For those of you who like to think "The Incredibles" was a right-wing movie, I give you "Robots". Not only is it a cute little animated movie meant primarily for kids, but with enough puns and references to keep adults amused... it also contains a nice left-wing message.

The protagonist, voiced by Ewan McGregor, leaves his humble home in Rivet Town to sell inventions in Robot City. Big Weld, the Robot City leaver voiced by Mel Brooks, has been replaced by the evil, corporate money-minded Ratchet (Greg Kinnear). The movie's theme, at least as I see it: the only way to change the way things are being run by corporate greed is for all of us to rise up and do something about it.

So, what do the robots do when they rise up? Check out the movie and see for yourself! And don't worry, the involvement of Robin Williams doesn't detract from the film!




By Gene Lyons
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Many Democrats still don't grasp what they're up against in today's Republican Party. Naive souls, they prefer to see national politics as a giant PTA meeting, and to comfort themselves with civics-text bromides about the virtues of compromise and bipartisanship.

Even in the face of the Clinton impeachment and the naked power play that decided the 2000 presidential election, they have trouble comprehending the sheer ruthlessness of the GOP political juggernaut.

This is nothing new. Even during FDR's presidency, Will Rogers joked that he belonged to no organized political party: He was a Democrat. Today, however, the party simply must learn to effectively counter the well-organized army of think-tank, opinion page and cable TV propagandists who parrot the GOP party line, no matter how illogical or preposterous.

In effect, organizations like FOX News, The Washington Times, The Wall Street Journal editorial page, Rush Limbaugh and right-wing talk radio are simply adjuncts of the Republican Party. To this add scores of Washington pundits often employed by tycoon-financed "think tanks" such as the American Heritage Institute, Cato Foundation, etc. For all the braying about "liberal media bias," which may be the most successful GOP "spin point," Democrats simply have no equivalent propaganda machine.

Unlike Democrats, typically all over the place, Republican-oriented pundits agree almost all the time--and not just substantively, but tactically, too. Faxes and e-mails go out from the Republican National Committee, and GOP sophists jump into line like the Rockettes.

According to David Brock, the onetime Republican "hit man" whose book, "The Republican Noise Machine," explains exactly how the system works, the White House's "explicit goal is to get us to the point where there are blue (state) facts and red (state) facts."

Judging by my e-mail, it's working. Hardly a day passes that I don't hear from perfectly decent, intelligent citizens who believe that there's proof Saddam's WMD were smuggled into Syria or that documents implicating him in 9/11 have been found. This was George Orwell's great fear: that the very concept of objectivity would disappear from political discourse. "Collective solipsism," he called it; the ability to convince people that two plus two equals five.

A few recent examples:
-- George W. Bush nominates a black woman as secretary of state, and pundits who have spent their careers decrying "political correctness" argue as one that Democrats opposing her must be hypocritical bigots.
-- He nominates for attorney general a guy who rationalized torture, and that man's ethnicity, too, becomes his only necessary credential. Only after Alberto Gonzales is confirmed by the Senate do some GOP pundits rediscover their consciences.
-- A former male escort infiltrates the White House press corps via the buddy system, and the very pundits who just months ago warned that Democrats would enshrine the "homosexual agenda" go silent. Or they pretend not to understand the difference between a gay reporter and a gay prostitute. No fatwa issues from radical clerics like Jerry Falwell or Pat Robertson; James Dobson keeps railing about the imagined sexual proclivities of a cartoon sponge.

What do such examples tell us? First, that neither the Bush White House nor most GOP pundits actually give a flying filigree about "political correctness," "family values," "moral clarity" or any of it. What counts is winning. What counts is power.

One more example: Last week, I wrote that Howard Dean, recently elected chair of the Democratic National Committee, appears capable of giving his party a wake-up call because he's scrappy, smart and fearless. Hence, the GOP party line on Dean is that he's a snobbish elitist and an advocate of cultural decadence. Also crazy, because, as we all know, anybody who sees through Bush must be consumed by anger and hatred.

A GOP columnist for my hometown Arkansas Democrat-Gazette took offense. On cue, he described Dean supporters as "shrill," "radical-left" "wacko," etc.

"(W)hen Dean bemoans the success of Republican appeals on `God, guns and gays,' " the fellow chided, "he forgets that most Americans still believe in God, don't want gay marriage and do want to keep their guns."

Now anybody dumb enough to think Dean (or any American politician) has declared himself anti-God quit reading long ago. But it's a fact that Dean was the only Democratic presidential candidate in 2004 to get an A rating from the National Rifle Association. He jokes that Vermont has only two gun laws: You can't take a gun to school, and you can't carry a loaded gun in a car because it's unfair to deer.

As Vermont governor, Dean opposed gay marriage. Marriage is between a man and a woman," he said. "Most Americans aren't going to support gay marriage, but most Americans will support equal rights."

Know what? I'd wager that my hometown antagonist, a college professor, knew all that. (I'd also entertain a side bet that this particular left-wing elitist owns more firearms than he does.)
But in the fashion of Republican pundits everywhere, he played his audience for suckers.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Maybe Howard Dean IS the Man...


By Gene Lyons
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Back when former Gov. Howard Dean appeared likely to win the Democratic presidential nomination, I thought he'd make a terrible candidate.

I admired his straightforward style, but I doubted the Vermonter could win a single Southern state. Gay marriage alone would sink him. It wouldn't matter that Dean had brokered a compromise in Vermont favoring "civil unions." By the time Republicans got done demagoguing the issue, most "red state" voters wouldn't notice the distinction.

I also feared they'd tag Dean as unpatriotic for opposing the Iraq war, although he was right about that also.

To the surprise of Washington pundits, most Democratic primary voters turned out to be thinking tactically, too. They gave the nomination to Sen. John Kerry, a fellow New Englander who had the advantage of being a Vietnam war hero. Alas, the Massachusetts Supreme Court hung gay marriage around his neck, he failed to defend himself effectively against the vile smears of the so-called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth and he proved incapable of explaining his position on Iraq in two short sentences.

Yet he came within 65,000 votes of defeating George W. Bush in Ohio and winning the presidency.

Would Dean have done better? That's impossible to say. But win or lose, he definitely would have gone down fighting. That's why his recent election as chair of the Democratic National Committee strikes me as good news. If nothing else, Dean's a scrapper, and the Democrats definitely need one.

Bush's ill-conceived Social Security "reforms," moreover, have handed them exactly the kind of issue they need.

"You ever wonder why Republican campaigns are all run the same? Guns, God and gays. That's all they do," Dean said recently. "Why is that? It's because they never have anything constructive to say about jobs, health care and a real defense policy. They bring up those issues because they want people to vote against their economic interests..... We need to stop letting them tell America what we stand for, and we need to tell America what we stand for ourselves."

Almost on cue, a group called USA Next produced maybe the dumbest attack ad in the storied history of GOP smears. The thing is so preposterously over the top it seems like a parody. What's the latest anti-American group to display its unreasoning hatred of Bush? Believe it or not, it's the AARP, a.k.a. the American Association of Retired Persons. Grandma has gone subversive.

The ad, which ran briefly on The American Spectator Web site, showed a camouflaged U.S. soldier under a big red X and a pair of bridegrooms kissing under a green check mark. The caption read: "The REAL AARP Agenda." By resisting Bush's plan to borrow several trillion dollars to set up "personal accounts" and slash guaranteed Social Security benefits, the powerful geezer lobby had shown itself to be anti-defense and pro-gay marriage.

Lest anybody think such grotesque illogic was the result of an LSD flashback, USA Next majordomo Charlie Jarvis warned that AARP could run - well, toddle, anyway - but it couldn't hide. He vowed to spend $10 million exposing its sins.

"They are the boulder in the middle of the highway to personal savings accounts," he told reporters. "We will be the dynamite that removes them."

Almost needless to say, the 35 million member seniors lobbying group has no position on gay marriage or the war in Iraq. What it opposes is Bush's ideologically motivated Social Security shell game.

Because its members tend to be aware that they already have tax deferred retirement options such as 401(k)s and IRAs, they question the need for another investment plan that would yank the safety net from underneath society's most vulnerable members - especially one like the Bush scheme that would increase the federal budget deficit, as Vice President Dick Cheney has admitted, by several trillion dollars.

If the AARP wanted to fight fire with fire, it might respond with an ad showing Bush himself pledging to protect the Social Security Trust Fund during the 2000 campaign, vowing in 2001 to devote the entire $2.6 trillion budget surplus to shoring it up, then recently telling one of his captive, GOP-only "town-hall" audiences, in characteristically ungrammatical fashion, that no trust fund exists.

"The money, payroll taxes going into the Social Security, are spent," Bush said. "They're spent on benefits and they're spent on government programs. There is no trust."

Geezers being geezers, many also know that they've paid sharply increased payroll taxes since 1983 specifically to pay for the Baby Boomers' retirement. So if the money was spent, Bush himself spent it.

Howard Dean puts it bluntly: "The truth is, not one Republican president has balanced the budget in almost 40 years. You cannot trust Republicans with your money."

Sunday, March 20, 2005



By James Carney
Time Magazine

Ever since Bernard Kerik, George W. Bush’s choice to head the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, withdrew his name from consideration last December, the President had been playing it safe with his second-term nominations. And so it came as a surprise to almost everyone, in Washington and in capitals around the world, when the President last week announced John Bolton as his pick for the next U.S. ambassador to the U.N. A senior State Department official whose 24-year career in and out of government has been defined by a self-professed distaste for treaties, contempt for diplomatic niceties and hostility toward the U.N., Bolton was described by a liberal think tank as “possibly the least appropriate person in U.S. public life” for the job. Said a Republican Senator: “Is the President spoiling for a fight?”

The answer, say top Bush aides, is yes. But the fight the President seeks is not the one he will face, and almost certainly win, over Bolton’s nomination. Bush chose Bolton, they say, because he’s sure that the smart and abrasive onetime protégé of U.N. basher and former North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms is just the person to convince U.N. bashers in Congress that it will serve U.S. interests to give the scandal-plagued international body the American support and money it needs.

“This guy has the credibility to go to the skeptics and say, ‘It’s in our vital interests to have the U.N. because we can’t do all these things alone,’” insists a senior Bush aide.

But if Bush believes the U.N. is important, picking Bolton is a novel way to show it. In 1994, Bolton declared that if the 39-floor U.N. headquarters in New York City “lost 10 stories, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference.” In 2000 he told the U.S.’s National Public Radio that if he were remaking the U.N. Security Council, he would give it not five permanent members but just one—the U.S.—“because that’s the real reflection of the distribution of power in the world.”

Bolton has insisted that international law has no validity because “those who think [it] really means anything are those who want to constrict the United States.” He called the U.S. withdrawal from the International Criminal Court “the happiest moment of my government service.”

Bush aides argue that no matter what Bolton has said and done in the past, as U.N. ambassador he will carry out policy, not make it. But in his government jobs, Bolton has never been one to quietly follow orders. Critics say he consistently used his perch as Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security to undermine former Secretary of State Colin Powell in his policy battles with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney. And most famously, just as delicate six-party talks, including North Korea, were about to begin discussing Pyongyang’s nuclear-weapons program in 2003, Bolton delivered a speech excoriating Kim Jong Il as the “tyrannical dictator” of a country in which “life is a hellish nightmare.” Pyongyang responded by calling Bolton “human scum.”

With his bushy mustache and tweedy attire, Bolton, the son of a fire fighter and a homemaker, looks more like an eccentric professor than a pinstriped diplomat. He and his wife, a financial planner, live quietly in Washington, having packed off their only child, a daughter, to Yale. Friends and colleagues describe him as a cerebral and socially awkward workaholic who once brought a bottle of wine as a present to a 3-year-old’s birthday party. “It’s hard to imagine him living at the Waldorf,” says a friend, referring to the glamorous apartment used by America’s ambassador to the U.N.

A Baltimore native and Yale-educated lawyer, Bolton, 56, has been a staunch conservative since he campaigned for Barry Goldwater as a teenager in 1964. Bolton held jobs in both the Reagan and first Bush administrations, and treasures a gift he received from colleagues in the early 1980s—a bronze-plated hand grenade celebrating his reputation as a bomb thrower. After spending the Clinton years throwing bombs from a conservative think tank, Bolton played a key role as a lawyer representing Bush during the Florida recount in 2000, a sign of loyalty that guaranteed him a plum job in the new Administration. Bolton, Cheney once said, deserves “any job he wants.”

U.N. ambassador is not the job Bolton wanted most. After the 2004 election, White House and State Department sources say, he lobbied to become Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s deputy. But Rice, say sources close to the Secretary, didn’t want Bolton freelancing under her the way he had under Powell. In selling Bolton to Senators, Rice is arguing that sending a noted critic to be ambassador to the U.N. would be like “Nixon going to China.”

Though most Democrats oppose Bolton’s confirmation, some think Rice could be right. “Bolton could be both an Excedrin headache for the Secretary of State and someone who will be able to create negotiating space for her,” says Lee Feinstein, a veteran of the Clinton State and Defense departments. “The question is whether the pain will be worth the gain.”


This is Timmy. Timmy is as blind as a bat...


His IQ has dropped from 131 to 58 in just six short months. Timmy has to shave his right palm at least three times a day to prevent beard-like growth from engulfing his hand.

Why? Because Timmy is a chronic Onanist! Groping for that easy pleasure, that quick fix, that momentary "high", Timmy has reduced himself to a babbling vegetable, pumping out the precious fluid of his immortal soul by the bucketful.

Timmy was not always like this. Till recently his God-fearing parents had protected him from such Un-Christian subjects as; where babies come from, and why his sister is different from him. But then his school, a publicly financed school, I'd like to add, financed by your taxes! This school began a so-called SEX EDUCATION PROGRAM!! Daily, Timmy was encouraged to draw the private parts of young girls on the blackboard and to fondle "anatomically correct" models of NAKED men and women! Is it any wonder that before long little Timmy was SPILLING HIS SEED like a lawn-sprinkler?!

There isn't much we can do for Timmy now. We can buy him a guide dog, trim his palm, padlock his pants. But apart from that, nothing. Timmy will die soon and go to hell. And all because some faceless bureaucrat thought he ought to know the difference between a v----a and a p---s!

Folks, let's prevent other young Christians from slipping into the slimy pit of onanism. Let's get sex out of education, and back in the dark, where it belongs. The problem with sex is mounting all the time. But if we take it in hand we can beat it! One day, God willing, we'll even be able to lick it! But we need money folks. Lots of it. So send lots of money to me, Oral McJorrity c/o THE ORAL STATE CENTER FOR SELF ABUSE©.

Thank you.

More fun available at

Saturday, March 19, 2005




It is with great sadness that I bring you the news of the death of True American, author of so many amusing missives at

True American was born in 2004 and died in 2005. He was a 350-pound 50-year-old guy with thick glasses, a crew cut and four chins.

True American drove a beat-up 30-year-old Chevy station wagon that was on its last legs. He ate a high-cholesterol high-fat diet because he didn't know any better. He was unemployed, but had been a non-union worker in a hard-labor type job until felled by back problems and heart trouble. As much as he criticized the government, he would never admit he was suckling at the federal teat.

True American had an equally true-believing wife and two delinquent sons in their late teens who caused him endless heartache. The family spent a minimum of ten hours weekly at their Pentecostal church. When their radio wasn't tuned to AM talk radio, it was on the FM "country" station.

True American's television viewing consisted of FOX News, NASCAR, WWF and "country" music videos, with the occasional dose of "Entertainment Tonight", "Joan of Arcadia" and infomercials.

True American was a miserable man who found comfort in Jesus. The heart attack he suffered in January or whenever it was... he never recovered. The doctor told him to lay off the fast food, but he ate himself to death.

May he rest in peace. We will all miss his political acumen.

For further details, please visit

Friday, March 18, 2005


The Plastic Bucket Method

"Making fermented fish heads in plastic containers with tight-fitting lids made an ideal growing situation for the botulism germs. If you make fish heads in a plastic container with tight-fitting lids, it seems that your risk of getting botulism is much higher." - Tom Hennessy, MD, MPH Chief, Epidemiology Branch, Arctic Investigations Program, NCID, CDC

"In our Native community, we are most concerned about people eating fermented Native foods. In the past, people would bury their fish heads or seal flipper in the ground and we didn’t have many cases of botulism. Now people are placing their Native foods in either plastic buckets or plastic bags. Plastic creates an ideal situation for botulism germs to grow and produce poison."
- Barbara Riley, MD Physician, Kanakanak Hospital, Dillingham, Alaska

"My two aunties put beaver tail in plastic and put it under the stove in a warm place. It took about 4 days until they ate them. They didn’t make it."
- Sacally, Botulism survivor

"My mom got sick from seal oil and many people don’t know they could get botulism from seal oil. She was lucky to be seen by the doctors early because they caught it and had enough time to treat her."
- Lillian Gamechuck, Community Health Practitioner, Manokotak, Alaska

"We ate stinky heads that were fermented in a plastic bucket and left open in the hot sun."
- Joe and Lucy, Botulism survivors

If you are going to prepare fermented fish heads, this is the safe way to do it:


An experiment conducted by CDC measured botulism poison in fermented fish heads. No botulism poison was found in the fermented fish heads made in the traditional method by using a grass-lined hole in the ground. However, botulism poison was found in the fermented fish heads made in the modern method by using a plastic bucket with a tight-fitting lid that was buried in the ground.

The above information is from

Bon appetit!


Thanks to my dear friend Mr. Bezoar for sending me this delicious item. Enjoy!


OH YEAH? Read this:

Margarine was originally manufactured to fatten turkeys; when it killed the turkeys the people who had put all the money into the research wanted a payback so they put their heads together to figure out what to do with this product to get their money back. It was a white substance with no food appeal so they added the yellow coloring and sold it to people to use in place of butter. How do you like it? They have come out with some clever new flavorings.

DO YOU KNOW...the difference between margarine and butter?
- Both have the same amount of calories.
- Butter is slightly higher in saturated fats at 8 grams compared to 5 grams.
- Eating margarine can increase heart disease in women by 53% over eating the same amount of butter, according to a recent Harvard Medical Study.
- Eating butter increases the absorption of many other nutrients in other foods.
- Butter has many nutritional benefits where margarine has a few only because they are added!
- Butter tastes much better than margarine and it can enhance the flavors of other foods.
- Butter has been around for centuries where margarine has been around for less than 100 years.

And now, for Margarine...
- Very high in trans fatty acids.
- Triple risk of coronary heart disease.
- Increases total cholesterol and LDL (this is the bad cholesterol).
- Lowers HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol).
- Increases the risk of cancers by up to five fold.
- Lowers quality of breast milk.
- Decreases immune response.
- Decreases insulin response.
- And here is the most disturbing fact....Margarine is ONE MOLECULE away from being PLASTIC...This fact alone was enough to have me avoiding margarine for life and anything else that is hydrogenated (this means hydrogen is added, changing the molecular structure of the substance).

You can try this yourself: Purchase a tub of margarine and leave it in your garage or shaded area. Within a couple of days you will note a couple of things: no flies, not even those pesky fruit flies will go near it (that should tell you something!) Iit does not rot or smell differently because it has no nutritional value, nothing will grow on it even those teeny weenie microorganisms will not a find a home to grow. Why? Because it is nearly plastic.

Would you melt your Tupperware and spread that on your toast?


What would you do?

Your spouse, now age 41, suffered severe brain damage 15 years ago when a chemical imbalance apparently brought on by an eating disorder caused her heart to stop beating for a few minutes. Now she can breathe on her own, but she has relied on a feeding and hydration tube to keep her alive since 1990. Before all this happened, she told you she didn't ever want to be kept alive if she was going to have to be in a vegetative or comatose state. She has now been comatose for the last 15 years, and others (including her parents and a number of politicians) have prevented you (her spouse and guardian), from having her feeding tube disconnected. The doctors have agreed she will never regain any cognitive function, so it seems like the humane thing to do, to disconnect her tubes and letting her go.

On the other hand, if the tube is disconnected, she will die from slow starvation. This seems barbaric, like a form of torture.

I know my spouse wouldn't want to be kept alive for years and years in a comatose state, but I also know it would be hell for me and for our kids to watch her die of starvation.

In this case, I suppose the "quality of life" issue is a moot point for Terri Shiavo. If she is truly without cognition, she may be able to feel physical pain but I would doubt she can think or reason about her situation. If this is so, she wouldn't understand anything about the current quality of her life. If she feels physical pain but has no cognition, then it follows she would not be aware she was experiencing pain, or in other words, it is doubtful she would recognize pain as such. If "quality of life" comes into play, it would be more of an issue for her survivors: her husband, who can't bear to see her continue living as she is now, and her parents, who can't bear to see her die.

What would be worse? Having no say at all in whether or not your daughter's feeding tube remained in, or seeing your wife's life perpetuated in a way that would obviously be against her wishes? I have daughters, and I have tried to put myself in Terri Schiavo's parents' shoes. I am also married to my wonderful wife, and I have tried to put myself in the shoes of Terri Schiavo's husband, Michael. Either set of shoes would be awful to wear.

Although either scenario is horrible, I lean toward the husband in this case. While I can see the parents are experiencing anguish, their daughter was 26 when she had her problems, and she was no longer living with them... she had gotten married. I believe that while Mrs. Schiavo's parents knew her well from having raised her, her husband knew her well from the standpoint of a married relationship. If theirs was a good marriage, the Schiavos knew much about each others' innermost feelings, quite possibly to the point that such things as the prolonging of life were indeed discussed. If you make a commitment to another person for life, and with death being a part of life, it only seems a natural thing for life partners to discuss the subject. My wife and I have. Most people I know have. I am a husband, and my wife and I have a pretty good marriage... and we have had discussions about the inevitable... so I am probably biased toward the husband due to my personal circumstances.

The basic question may well be: Is Terri Schiavo actually Terri Schiavo anymore? Is what used to be Mrs. Schiavo now simply a breathing, vegetative shell without awareness or thought? While she will always be Terri to her parents and to her husband, all of them must realize the Terri they knew 15 years ago isn't with them now. Nonetheless, that doesn't make it any easier for them to let her go. Michael Schiavo is ready to let go of Terri's shell; Terri's parents are not.

What are your thoughts on this?





At last, a clear explanation of proposed Social Security reform, from the POTUS himself!!!


The President explains the virtues of his Social Security plan, Tampa, FL,Feb. 4, 2005

WOMAN IN AUDIENCE: I don't really understand. How is it the new [Social Security] plan is going to fix that problem?

Verbatim response:

President Bush: Because the -- all which is on the table begins to address the big cost drivers. For example, how benefits are calculated, for example, is on the table. Whether or not benefits rise based upon wage increases or price increases. There's a series of parts of the formula that are being considered. And when you couple that, those different cost drivers, affecting those --changing those with personal accounts, the idea is to get what has been promised more likely to be -- or closer delivered to that has been promised. Does that make any sense to you? It's kind of muddled. Look, there's a series of things that cause the -- like, for example, benefits are calculated based upon the increase of wages, as opposed to the increase of prices. Some have suggested that we calculate -- the benefits will rise based upon inflation, as opposed to wage increases. There is a reform that would help solve the red if that were put into effect. In other words, how fast benefits grow, how fast the promised benefits grow, if those -- if that growth is affected, it will help on the red.

Thursday, March 17, 2005





Wednesday, March 16, 2005
















By Paul Krugman
Salt Lake Tribune

Four years ago, Alan Greenspan urged Congress to cut taxes, asserting that the federal government was in imminent danger of paying off too much debt.

On Wednesday, the Fed chairman warned Congress of the opposite fiscal danger: He asserted that there would be large budget deficits for the foreseeable future, leading to an unsustainable rise in federal debt. But he counseled against reversing the tax cuts, calling instead for cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

Does anyone still take Greenspan's pose as a nonpartisan font of wisdom seriously?

When Greenspan made his contorted argument for tax cuts back in 2001, his reputation made it hard for many observers to admit the obvious: He was mainly looking for some way to do the Bush administration a political favor. But there's no reason to be taken in by his equally weak, contorted argument against reversing those cuts today.

To put Greenspan's game of fiscal three-card monte in perspective, remember that the push for Social Security privatization is only part of the right's strategy for dismantling the New Deal and the Great Society. The other big piece of that strategy is the use of tax cuts to ''starve the beast.''

Until the 1970s, conservatives tended to be open about their disdain for Social Security and Medicare. But honesty was bad politics, because voters value those programs.

So conservative intellectuals proposed a bait-and-switch strategy: First, advocate tax cuts, using whatever rationale you think might work - supply-side economics, inflated budget projections, whatever. Then, use the resulting deficits to argue for slashing government spending.

And that's the story of the last four years. In 2001, President Bush and Greenspan justified tax cuts with sunny predictions that the budget would remain comfortably in surplus. But Bush's advisers knew that the tax cuts would probably cause budget problems, and welcomed the prospect.

In fact, Bush celebrated the budget's initial slide into deficit. In the summer of 2001 he called plunging federal revenue ''incredibly positive news'' because it would ''put a straightjacket'' on federal spending.

To keep that straightjacket on, however, those who sold tax cuts with the assurance that they were easily affordable must convince the public that the cuts can't be reversed now that those assurances have proved false. And Greenspan has once again tried to come to the president's aid, insisting that we should deal with deficits ''primarily, if not wholly'' by slashing Social Security and Medicare because tax increases would ''pose significant risks to economic growth.''

Really? America prospered for half a century under a level of federal taxes higher than the one we face today - according to the administration's own estimates, Bush's second term will see the lowest tax take as a percentage of GDP since the Truman administration. And don't forget that President Bill Clinton's 1993 tax increase ushered in an economic boom. Why, exactly, are tax increases out of the question?

OK, enough about Greenspan. The real news is the growing evidence that the political theory behind the Bush tax cuts was as wrong as the economic theory.

According to starve-the-beast doctrine, right-wing politicians can use the big deficits generated by tax cuts as an excuse to slash social insurance programs. Bush's advisers thought that it would prove especially easy to sell benefit cuts in the context of Social Security privatization because the president could pretend that a plan that sharply cut benefits would actually be good for workers.

But the theory isn't working. As soon as voters heard that privatization would involve benefit cuts, support for Social Security ''reform'' plunged. Another sign of the theory's falsity: Across the nation, Republican governors, finding that voters really want adequate public services, are talking about tax increases.

And the consequence of the failure of the starve-the-beast theory is a looming fiscal crisis - Greenspan isn't wrong about that. The middle class won't give up programs that are essential to its financial security; the right won't give up tax cuts that it sold on false pretenses. The only question now is when foreign investors, who have financed our deficits so far, will decide to pull the plug.