Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Say hello to the new plan

Same as the old plan.

Remember Nixon’s “Secret Plan to Win the War? The sad thing is that most of you do not. The Plan was to continue to do what had not worked and was failing to work and continue doing it until we won. We lost. The failure of the plan was inherent. You cannot win a war when you don’t know who the enemy is. You can’t know who the enemy is when you define the word as anyone you’re fighting against. You can’t know who will shoot at you, or detonate a bomb until it’s too late, so you must assume they are all the enemy.

Then as now, an enemy that cannot be told from anyone else will always lead you into committing atrocities that create more enemies. We become simply a hated occupier and occupiers are almost always on the wrong side of history.

The Administration is fighting for its raison d'être by releasing a detailed strategy plan yesterday and George Bush’s new 35-page "National Strategy for Victory in Iraq" plan to continue fighting until we win the war is just simple minded enough to please the multitudes of enthusiastic idiots who cannot see the difference between the occupation of a nation that was not an enemy until we occupied it and the liberation of Western Europe in World War Two. There is no “victory” aside from convincing the population that we are there for their own good, or as Nixon’s cheerleaders put it: win their hearts and minds. Infidels occupying Iraq don’t win any hearts or minds even when they manage to restore utilities and refrain from burning up, blowing up or torturing confessions out of even a few civilians.

The plan we have been given identifies the "enemy" in Iraq as "diffuse and sophisticated" and “a combination of Iraqis who reject democratic reforms, Saddam loyalists and al-Qaeda inspired terrorists.” That’s only partly the case as the chief inspiration for al-Qaeda is the presence of Western powers and the percentage of those who want us out is over 80% and growing. All that differs when comparing the two conflicts is that all who opposed us were called Communists and all who oppose us now are called “terrorists” in an attempt to hide their actual concerns. The “enemy” in Iraq is Iraq.

We are being assured and were assured by Nixon that local forces were being trained, although we were never given the numbers to show how ridiculously small and undependable they were and much of the report, as is customary, refers only to what we have to do, hoping you will think that it is thus not only being done, but is do-able.

We are a born again and born yesterday nation. We’re either too young or too blinded by faith to know that we’ve been there and done that and all we got was a war memorial.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Fear and Trembling

The very thought of reading Soren Kierkegaard brings those emotions to mind, but then there are scarier things out there than that Freshman Philosophy course.

Fear is a powerful political tool and yet it has been used so often of late that even some of the proto-hominids who support the Rabid Right are beginning to feel some traces of skepticism. The rest of us are just disgusted.

When I read in a report this morning that the Miami Police are planning a series of random “security” operations such as staking out banks and checking the identification of everyone going in or out; asking questions and passing out leaflets warning of dire threats, I ask myself not what the danger might be, but what political purpose the exercise serves. Every time the Administration steps down a rung on the ladder of public respect, we get terror alerts. Since the only substantial support George ever got was related to the way he pretended to wage his “Warrentare” it’s still the straw he grasps at.

According to Associated Press, Miami Police Chief John Timoney said there was no specific, credible threat of an imminent terror attack in Miami. But he said the city has repeatedly been mentioned in intelligence reports as a potential target. Timoney said that 14 of the 19 hijackers who took part in the Sept. 11 attacks lived in South Florida at various times and that other alleged terror cells have operated in the area.

The question sitting in the corner, begging with a tin cup in hand, is why now after 5 years?

Tamiflu and Rumsfeld too

Whether or not the infamous Avian Flu ever becomes a disease we have to worry about catching from a featherless biped, the fear of it is likewise beneficial to the administration, or at least to Don the Drug Man Rumsfeld. Rummy’s connection to the drug industry has been widely publicized and his machinations of Government to increase the profits of the drug companies he represented documented right here, so you’ll have to forgive me if I suspect that the fear of the flu might serve a purpose dear to Rummy’s heart, or his bank accounts, which may be the same thing.

The US has placed an order for 20 million doses of Tamiflu, a drug which may or may not shorten the course of the disease, should it ever emerge as an epidemic and may or may not pose health risks of its own. Tamiflu is produced by Roche, although generic manufacturers may or may not be allowed to make some, but it was invented by company called Gilead that 10 years ago gave Roche the exclusive rights to market and sell Tamiflu. You guessed it, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was made the chairman of Gilead in 1997. Since Rumsfeld holds major portions of stock in Gilead, he will handsomely profit from the scare tactics of the government that is being used to justify the purchase of $2 billion of Tamiflu.

“Quack, quack.”

-Supreme Court Justice Anton Scalia-

Monday, November 28, 2005

e unibus plurum

The façade of the Supreme Court of the United States is beginning to crumble.
Mene, mene, tekel upharsin.

One more lunar cycle until Christmas and the Christian patriots are proclaiming  without pause.  They read their pamphlets, they go to their madrasas on Sunday and they write what the papers print on Monday.  What a farrago of self-satisfied fallacy we’re given.  A nation of immigrants is asking itself “who let the immigrants in?”

“It’s a Christian country founded by Christians and we shouldn’t have to tolerate any dissent or show respect for dissenters” is proclaimed from pulpits and the pages of newspapers. It is enough to make Jesus bleed all over again, yet it’s a cornerstone of the Religious Right that we spite Jesus by turning the tables right up again by putting God all over the money, writing God on the walls where we sentence people to die, forcing people to make statements about God and puffing ourselves up as superior to others who by virtue of intelligence, education or moral scruple, object to it.

They are the majority and always have been, they falsely say who yet pose as a persecuted minority.  They have quotes from Woodrow Wilson and Abigail Adams and a host of other irrelevant commentators with which to drown out the secular, anti-clerical, Deist and agnostic voices of the creators of our nation.  

That the Majority should dominate the Minority is their low form of Democracy.  “Worship as we tell you or go away” is the low and crapulous Christianity they preach as though the teacher of respect and brotherly love and non-judgmentalism and peace never spoke.  “Go back where you came from” say the people who came from elsewhere to the people who designed and built and fought for a country that would accept us all and treat us all equally over the last 230 years.

So debased have we become by our ignorance and anger and self-worship and parochialism that we don’t deserve to be a free nation nor understand what it means to be one. No enemy from abroad could ever lay us so low as we have become. We have a Constitution and we have a history but we prefer to lie about it. We profess morality and a higher power, yet we worship our anger and lust for superiority.

The façade is crumbling.  Numbered, numbered, measured, divided.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Second Coming

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

-Yeats- The Second Coming

So, another Florida sunny Sunday and the letters to the editor are dark, dark, dark amidst the blaze of noon.

How about the barbarian who insists that the idea of the separation of Church and State as used by Jefferson meant only that no Christian sect shall have no preference over another Christian sect and that since we have graciously allowed others to live here, they should shut up about Christian supremacy or “return to the nation of their own belief(s)?”

We’re denying the intent of our Founding fathers, it seems, by not recognizing as Adolph Hitler also opined “our national history.”

I guess we’re seeing another soldier in Jerry Foulsmell’s campaign to make you think there’s a war on Christmas.

“Our founding Fathers had a covenant with the Lord God” says the anonymous writer no doubt lisping from the fork in his tongue and the sulfur encrusting his lips. Jerry didn’t remind him that Jefferson’s autobiography answered the question of Christian heritage by envisioning a government that had:

“. . . within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination.”

Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.
-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814

But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.
-Notes on Virginia, 1782

Covenant with the Lord who?

And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerve in the brain of Jupiter.
-Letter to John Adams, April 11, 1823

As to the role of the clergy in government, he said:

They believe that any portion of power confided to me, will be exerted in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly; for I have sworn upon the altar of god, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.

-Letter to Dr. Benjamin Rush, Sept. 23, 1800

The whole history of these books [the Gospels] is so defective and doubtful that it seems vain to attempt minute enquiry into it: and such tricks have been played with their text, and with the texts of other books relating to them, that we have a right, from that cause, to entertain much doubt what parts of them are genuine.
- letter to John Adams, January 24, 1814

Question with boldness even the existence of a god.
-Letter to Peter Carr, August 10, 1787

In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.

- Letter to Horatio G. Spafford, March 17, 1814

I’m starting to agree with
Crankyboy that it’s all lost, there is no fighting this monster and that the ancient evil our founding fathers sought to bury; that rough beast, its hour come round at last, is slouching toward Washington to be born.

Saturday, November 26, 2005


I can’t wait to not see Mel Gibson’s latest film. “An action adventure of mythic proportions” according to Mel, Apocalypto, set 3,000 years ago in Central America, features dialogue spoken in an obscure Mayan dialect. I suspect that it is, like Mel’s other religious epic, heavily dependent on myth and ignorant of history and will thus appeal heavily to the faith junkies.

The title suggests that the film which is said to explore “civilizations and what undermines them” will give some Gibsonian moral interpretation to what wiped out their cities. It will probably ignore the evidence that suggests it was a shift in rain patterns that destroyed their crops and forced them to abandon civilization – such as it was. I will not be seeing the film, and so I will leave it to you to tell me whether the Mayan dialect used in Apocalypto is as anachronistic as the 12th century Vulgate Gibson puts in the mouths of Roman Centurions. The film says he, will shun "European faces" to preserve authenticity, unlike the European faces of Jesus and friends set against the stereotypical Jews in his previous opus.

Having read about Mel’s belief that Hitler wasn’t all that bad and the Jews just moved to New Jersey, and having read about his belief that the Vatican Counsel of the 1960’s was a plot by Jews and Mormons to destroy the Roman Catholic Church, I’m tempted to dismiss his other historical assertions a priori. I’m sure it will be colorful and at least superficially authentic, but if it’s like his Passion which leans on the Gospel of John and ignores objective history it will be tendentious, pretentious and flawed.

To his credit, Mel Gibson, who seems to look more and more like a wild-eyed, Bronze Age prophet, has donated a million dollars in aid to Mexican storm victims and will be, for some reason I can’t fathom, donating the fake pyramids from the movie to the city of Veracruz, but he’s misspent his money. You see no Mexicans were harmed by the hurricane, they all went to New Jersey.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Jailhouse rock of ages

Jeb Bush shares one thing with his idiot brother, he’s hell bent to make you pay for spreading the Faith.  When I read that the Mullah of Tallahassee had just opened a “Faith Based” prison in Florida, I couldn’t believe my eyes.  What’s being called the nation's largest faith-and character-based prison will attempt to redeem prisoners through Jesus Christ at the taxpayers expense and the Constitution be damned.

According to Thursday’s Sun-Sentinel, Wakulla Correctional Institution in Florida’s panhandle offers religious training, choir practice, "life skills" and anger-management lessons and other spiritual activities to its 1600 prisoners seven days a week.

As the Republicans have been arguing against the redeemability of any inmate for more decades than I can count, this is a truly remarkable event in the annals of hypocrisy, if not the history of raiding the public treasury to promote State-approved religion.  Officials say that they are attempting to “serve” prisoners of all faiths and even of no faith, but the definition of “serve” is not specified. I would volunteer that it means “convert” as nearly all the religious instructors are Evangelicals.

Governor Bush told reporters he is pleased to see the faith-based program expand in the state, although he acknowledges that there is only anecdotal evidence that it's having an effect on reducing inmates' rate of returning to crime. There is no evidence at all that singing about Jesus all day has any better effect than literacy training and other education programs scorned by Republicans, but there is certainly a motive for prisoners to avoid gang-infested and dangerous jails by volunteering.  One has to question the sincerity of any conversions obtained in this way.

One does not have to question the audacity of Jeb, whose children all have criminal records, he just doesn’t care what the Constitution says any more than does his brother, St George the Crusader.

The Scarlet Letter

I like Florida Senator Bill Nelson. I’ll vote for him next year and not just because he’s running against the totally incompetent and morally challenged Katherine Harris, but when Nelson attempts to capitalize on the Florida hysteria about “sexual offenders,” claiming that we have 30,000 of them registered in the state, I have to wonder. There doesn’t seem to be any data confirming this, nor is there date showing an increase other than a handful of horrific crimes that are being used to feed the wrath of the public.

I bit of investigative reporting by the Orlando Weekly shows that many of these listed on the State Website share something with Chicago Voters – they’re dead. Many are incarcerated, some for life terms. Some are in jails outside the state and many live outside of Florida. Like Ms. Harris’s famed and flawed Florida Felons list that prevented tens of thousands of Democrats from voting in 2000, it results from an ulterior motive.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement of course has an interest in overstating the case as more offenders means more money, and politicians benefit from public hysteria because they can promise to do something about something that may or may not work regarding a problem that may or may not exist. There is no data that I have seen showing an increase in sex crimes in this state, but hysteria is running very high and people are writing to the papers and most likely to our representatives suggesting ever more restrictive and even vicious treatment of those on the list without regard to the actual nature of their crimes or how many decades ago they were perpetrated. Never mind the declining crime rates, which politicians mourn the way they mourn the loss of the Soviet menace they have to make life seem dangerous both to be seen to be heroes and so that the dangers of increasingly intrusive government can be hidden.

Hence, Bill Nelson has introduced yet another bill mandating that all offenders in the country have ankle bracelets with Global Positioning Satellite devices so that they can be tracked nationwide – the dangerous, the harmless, the living and the dead, apparently forever.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Iron curtain

Did the Cornered Rat Syndrome really provoke George W. Bush to suggest bombing a network headquarters in US friendly Qatar? The sad thing is that it’s so easy to believe of this President whose output has been a vast network of sometimes interlocking, sometimes contradictory lies and ferocious cover-ups.

We’ve already had leaked information about how Tony Blair and George Bush collaborated in faking information that was used to trick us into going to war with a country that was no threat and now we have minutes of a face to face meeting between Blair and Bush in the White House in April 2004 in which Bush promoted an air strike to destroy Al Jazeera. Although Blair apparently talked Bush out of this mad and illegal act, Britain has acted to silence the press lest any more revelations come out. David Keogh, a former Cabinet Office official, has been charged under the secrets act with sending the memo on the Blair-Bush conversation to Leo O 'Connor, researcher to the former Labor MP Tony Clarke.

The image of Bush as a revenge-seeking madman is becoming hard to deny. An attack on a friendly country designed to silence the Arab press about atrocities in Fallujah furthers the perception of the US as a rogue nation without concern for truth, justice or human life. The only thing that makes us look worse is the fact that there remains a third of our citizens who still support Bush.

According to the Guardian, the censorship of the press is unprecedented. A move by the House of Commons to force Blair to publish a record of his discussions with Bush was tabled. The fact that no denial was issued guarantees the accuracy of the leaks. One can almost hear the Iron Curtain descending behind the roar of Bushs cries of Freedom.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


There’s AMAZING progress in Iraq, says the President – AMAZING! But still he says, he can understand the “debate.”  

“There's a political strategy,“ Says George “and as I said the other day, I said a couple of times, the progress in Iraq is amazing when you think -- the political progress. I mean, they've gone from tyranny to the election of a transitional national government, to the ratification of a constitution. And they're about to have elections again. And all this took place in two-and-a-half years. When you compare it to our own history, our road was quite bumpy getting to a constitution. And so the progress is strong.”

I always thought that a debate wasn’t a bunch of crooks and liars and delusional madmen trying to twist the law to punish disagreement, but that too is AMAZING!

Of course it wasn’t foreign occupying army of infidels that forced us to draft our constitution and we weren’t engaged in a brutal and ancient conflict between three religious groups ether.  In fact the country we broke away from had a constitutional monarchy with an elected representative government, but yet Bush keeps on making this embarrassingly idiotic comparison at every chance he gets.  The amazing thing is that he can insist there is amazing progress.  If this were the Gong Show, he’d be off the stage in moments. If this were actually a Democracy, he’d long since have been impeached.

Here is something really amazing though.  Jerry Falwell, God’s own Joseph Goebbels, is pretending there’s some infidel jihad against Christmas and he’s threatening to sue anyone who prefers to say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas.”  He wants to sue anyone who doesn’t want their kids to sing religious songs in school and his “"Friend or Foe Christmas Campaign," wants to sue anyone who tells anyone anything they do not agree with about Christmas. The 150,000 strong American Family Association has called for a boycott of Target stores next weekend. The chain's crime, according to the group, is a ban on the use of "Merry Christmas" in stores, a false accusation reminiscent of Saddam’s Al Qaeda connections and nuclear program - and equally as untrue. But things don’t have to be true to be true any more – not for people of faith. According to the Jackals of God  Target’s stock has fallen 7% because of their actions.  We can only speculate as to whether Don Wildmon, the Chairman has a short position.

Amazing.  Iraq is on the verge of being a new Athens and America is under attack by Jews and heretics and Curmudgeons who want a country not ruled by religious fascists like Falwell. The world is full of amazing things.

He gassed his own people!!

And now it’s our turn!

There have been attempts to downplay the horror of it, now that the story of US troops using White Phosphorus artillery shells on Iraqi civilians is less deniable than it was last week.

Not technically chemical weapons” says the Pentagon now that their denial has been rendered obsolete. Articles in the New York Times, in it’s role as distributor of Government Propaganda, state that it’s incorrect to call them chemical weapons although, of course the toxic nature of the substance is known to those few who can pass High School Chemistry these days.

Of course for Republicans, the truth is very relative because the same materials were deemed to be chemical weapons when Saddam used them against Iraqis and his use of chemical weapons against the Kurds was an oft cited reason for the “régime change” that at one stage was the reason for this war.

As points out, “. . .the distinction is a minor one, and arguably political in nature. A formerly classified 1995 Pentagon intelligence document titled “Possible Use of Phosphorous Chemical” describes the use of white phosphorus by Saddam Hussein on Kurdish fighters:”


Thus another step toward becoming the new Saddam in Iraq is taken. Thus another Bush lie has been exposed. The administration continues to tap dance around the truth and pretend everything is going amazingly well. How much longer will it take for America to wake up and smell the seared flesh? When will we impeach the worst President this country has ever had?

Monday, November 21, 2005


I’m fed up with French jokes and French bashing, but if you’ve spent time in France, you know they like to smoke and don’t like to be told they can’t.

But Sandrine Helene Sellies is a cut above the others when it comes to courtesy.  When she just had to have a smoke, she took her cigarettes, a lighter and headed for the door.  Unfortunately Helene had taken a little something to soothe her nerves and a lot of something else to wash it down and the door was located at 30,000 feet over the Pacific

Arriving in Australia for a vacation with her husband, says BBC she pleaded guilty to endangering the safety of an aircraft at Brisbane Magistrates Court and was given a 12-month A$1,000 good behavior bond - she will forfeit the money if she commits another offence.  That’s if they can find her wallet in the wreckage.

This way to the Egress

Substantial penalty for early withdrawal.  You used to see that message on advertising for Certificates of Deposit.  Does it apply to Iraq?

According to a recent Newsweek poll, some 73% of respondents favored immediate withdrawal.  Of course it’s not a scientific poll.  It favors those who can read and who do read Newsweek, but that’s a pretty high number and reflects the feelings of Americans about Viet Nam back in the 1970’s.  Then and now, as the number of disaffected citizens increased, the volume of the rhetoric increased and all the media were filled with the “stay the course” and “only cowards cut and run”  and “victory with honor” nonsense.  We had the same “protest is abetting the enemy and undermining morale” arguments, we had the same attacks on our right to protest.   When SUV sales decline, you get more and more advertisements for them – it’s easy to mistake the phenomenon for an actual public interest in the product.  But it’s becoming clear that he people aren’t buying any more expensive duds from the Bush administration.  

Of course the will of the people and the actions of a President are not tightly linked and indeed many conservative types admire a leader for such intransigence.  The previous poll however, showed that only 15% would vote for a Republican candidate in 2006, so if we may be a long way yet from ending our occupation, a Democrat congress may put a withdrawal in sight, even if is difficult to envision a resolution favoring our interest in Middle East stability.

It’s not hard to understand the fear of a sudden withdrawal, the possible scenarios are all gloomy in my opinion, but then so were the scenarios 30 years ago when all of Asia would fall like dominoes to Communism and the “lights of freedom would go out” all over the world – or so they said.  They were wrong.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

The high cost of their greed

f you get the ch
ance to see Wal-mart; the high cost of low price, the film that has Wal-mart on the defensive and has the Republican blogs and other blowhards screaming about socialism – do it.

Even if you think you know all about it, see the movie anyway – except if you work for Wal-Mart, in which case, you may lose your job or be subject to intense surveillance and harassment. It isn’t about Socialism; it’s about basic human rights that we take for granted as American citizens, including the right to free assembly. It’s about getting paid for your actual hours, not being forced to work overtime for no pay, not being forced to go on public assistance when you’re working 60 hours per week and getting paid for 25. It’s about not suffering discrimination based on race or gender, it’s about replacing local entrepreneurship with dead-end junk jobs, it’s about destroying towns and forcing them to close schools and reduce fire and emergency services. It’s about massive corporate welfare to a corporation that makes massive profits while its “associates” have to apply for welfare. It’s about thriving on slave labor: making foreign workers work 14 hour days, seven days a week for a few dollars a week, sleeping in overpriced bunks in the factory. It’s about selling goods that cost 15 cents to make for a thousand percent markup. It’s about having to close your chain of stores and go to work sweeping floors for pay that won’t feed your family while the 27 million per year CEO brags about providing quality jobs with a chance for personal development.

It’s about environmental negligence, graft and legal stonewalling. It’s about spending hundreds of millions to videotape, bully and harass those who want to organize and not spending a dime on parking lot security - and much, much more.

After you see it, look at the web sites of their Republican supporters and see the face of mendacity and greed. See everything we are told is the essence of America being used as toilet paper by the richest family and the richest corporation on the planet. Watch the little devils mock and dance as they try to sell you a trip to hell by calling it economic freedom. Watch the cheerleaders for unbridled, Industrial Revolution Klepto-Capitalism howl about Liberals and limited government. Watch them and weep.

Capitalism can be used to lead us to prosperity and it can be used to lead us to slavery and repression and economic feudalism. The Republican Party and the plutocrat plunderers have only one objective and that is to make us all into serfs without any rights. Look at what they support and beware.


Jim Cramer calls Wal-Mart "Shameless!" watch the video. They're all about paying as little as they can and they're too big to be denied no matter what the law says.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Best of Breed

TALLAHASSEE, Florida (Reuters) - A Florida law firm's television advertisement featuring a pit bull, a dog known for its vicious aggression, is misleading and an affront to the legal profession.

Think about it. The Florida Bar Association has suddenly acquired sensitivity – at least when it comes to its own image. When a pair of Fort Lauderdale attorneys ran a series of TV ads showing a Pit Bull terrier with spiked collar and a phone number of 1-800-PIT BULL, the Florida Bar, which to my knowledge doesn’t object visibly to most of the ethical shenanigans common to the profession in our fair state, took them to court.

The glorious views such as still exist in my area are most often blocked by billboards advertising personal injury lawyers and our dramatic tropical sunsets and expanses of field and forest can best be seen by peering around signs advertising the likes of Philip DeBerard whose bloated features stand 30 feet tall along US Rte 1 – at least they did before the last hurricane. One is encouraged to sue someone else mile after mile while driving and a dozen times an hour on television and many of these ads brag about the fierce fight that will be put up on your behalf.

Yet the Florida Bar is concerned about the image of attorneys being portrayed as aggressive and so they aggressively went after the firm. In 2004 a referee/judge had decided that the law firm of Pape & Chandler had a constitutional right to use a logo depicting a pit bull and a 1-800-PIT-BULL telephone line, and accordingly dismissed the Florida Bar's ethics complaint against the firm, but the tenacious pit bulls at the Bar association fought on. Thursday’s ruling by the Florida Supreme Court said the ads violated a prohibition on legal advertising that suggests behavior, conduct or tactics that are contrary to rules of professional conduct. As of this morning, the firm continues to use the pit bull logo on their web site, which also features two very muscular and intimidating young men and a Harley Davidson.

Would that there were a prohibition on all ads based entirely on outright lies, deliberate distortions and false claims, but since usually no attorney is harmed by mendacious marketing techniques, you’ll have to call 1-800-PIT BULL and sue the bastards.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Nameless, unreasoning, unjustified

``Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.''

-Franklin Delano Roosevelt-

Tough is cheap. Acts of cruelty are the mark of the coward, not of the strong and cowardly are the cringing crowds who still support the Bush/Cheney notion that there are no limits to moral behavior in the face of “terror.” Just as they have sought over the years to justify treatment of criminals by the amount of anger we have, they now seek to undermine human values through justification by fear.

“So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. “

These famous words from FDR’s first inaugural address were what the nation needed to hear in September of 2001, but what we heard was “be afraid.” What we got was “9/11 changed everything” as though Pearl Harbor or the declaration of war on the US by Hitler had required us to abandon all moral considerations.

We didn’t torture the Nazi prisoners or Japanese prisoners, and not even the leaders, and as a result we won the world’s respect as moral liberators not as conquerors. We did not retreat; we advanced and we advanced the cause of freedom.

All this seems lost on the Bush/Cheney war machine as they continue to seethe about the exposure of their secret torture chambers in Romania and elsewhere. They are in retreat in Iraq and Afghanistan and we have mortgaged our morals and our freedom.

They are adamant in denying that we torture anyone, yet they are adamant about insisting that they need to continue torturing in order to extract information. Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kansas) says a little torture never hurt anybody because we are trying "to detain and interrogate the worst of the worst." That we don’t know who the worst of the worst are much of the time – unless we first torture them, harkens back to the Inquisition and witch hunts where you had to die horribly to prove your innocence.

Remember when Warped War President George told us to go to Disneyland or the “Terrorists” would win? They’ve already won – they’ve dragged us down to their level with the eager cooperation of the ruthless bastards who hijacked our government, our morals our treasury and our self-respect.

It’s no wonder that the Republicans hate Darwin. Darwin turned animals into men – they turn men into animals.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

No - honestly. . . .

The People who did it don’t deny it, but plenty of others do. “The Holocaust never happened,” says British “historian” David Irving in his book Hitler’s War and the War Path one of 30 books he has published on the subject.

Despite countless accounts from survivors, despite films and photos and eyewitness accounts from our military, despite written records, confessions and overwhelming evidence, people who want to believe that it never happened, believe it never happened and that the Jews are perpetrating a hoax for fun and profit.

I’ve argued with such people personally and they usually deny that they hate Jews, but with such people who don’t hate them, they don’t need enemies. Although I have a bit of a personal stake in this argument, I usually refrain from addressing them directly in the belief that you can’t argue the devil into righteousness or an idiot into wisdom. Belief is a terrible and often incurable disease.

There are degrees of denial. Mel Gibson’s father Hutton Gibson argues that it was only exaggerated – a few Jews were killed but the rest went to Australia and New Jersey. They will all burn in hell however – for killing Jesus – so what’s the difference? Gibson also believes that the Second Vatican Counsel was a plot by Mormons and Jews to take over the Church, so we don’t have to presume sanity as part of his opinions or really of the opinions of any of these revisionists. Yet they are everywhere and some of them make movies that produce holy swoons in millions of belief junkies and some of them write history books that other believers believe.

At one time I attended Northwestern University where Professor of Electrical Engineering Arthur Butz who insisted that aerial photos of the ruins proved that there were no gas chambers at Auschwitz, still has tenure. At one time I toured Dachau, just outside of Munich and at one time I knew a man who escaped that camp. I saw the fingernail marks on the steel walls of the gas chambers. I have strong feelings about people of this ilk such as Germar Rudolf best known for his Rudolf Report, a pseudo scientific study first published in 1993 in German and in 2003 in English, which supports the assertions of Fred Leuchter on the non-existence of the Auschwitz gas chambers. So perhaps you’ll want to take my words with a grain of salt, if not Zyklon-B, but the website The Revisionist is like an inflamed boil full of the pustulent words of these men and their laments about how poorly the world treats them.

David Irving got the worst of it. He was stupid enough to show up this week in Austria where they know better about what is revisionism and what is the truth and where they have had enough from the Nazis and historical revisionists, thank you very much. This kind of crap is illegal in Germany and Austria.

I read in the Guardian that Irving is now in a cell in Graz and that he remained in custody, according to the Austria Press Agency. Calls by the Guardian to the Graz court went unanswered late Thursday afternoon but as far as I’m concerned, it never happened, there is no jail in Graz and David Irving is just a hoax.

The descent of Bush

There’s good news and bad news. Which is which depends on the side of the isle you prefer. Lets say you’re more or less sane and reasonably intelligent. Let’s say you’re a Democrat. You’ll be happy to hear that Bush’s poll ratings are still mimicking the Titanic and that his evil cohorts aren’t doing much better.

The Bad news is that the Democrats are also taking on water. According to the latest Harris Poll numbers in today’s Wall Street Journal, only a quarter of Americans polled give Democrats a positive rating in the latest poll, compared with 31% in August, while Republicans' approval ratings fell to 27% from 32%.

Cabinet members, Congressional leaders and both parties in Congress have also seen their ratings slip, with Democrats seeing one of the biggest dips in approval, the telephone poll of 1,011 U.S. adults shows.”

If the sinking ratings mean that the public is simply sick of politics and politicians, then they may be more vulnerable to manipulation by nefarious fringe elements than before. It behooves the Democrats to offer new faces and candidates appealing to the center. The Republicans have succeeded in making some of the most well known Democrats into a pantheon of Pavlovian stimuli and the mere mention of Hillary Clinton or Al Sharpton in connection with any person or proposition is enough to make it unclean.

The single biggest issue by a wide margin, as the poll shows, is now the war in Iraq. Using Cheney as a cheerleader for the war when Cheney’s ratings are worse than Bush’s doesn’t seem productive and the hypocricy of the Vice President's tirade against dishonesty and historical revisionism can be measured on the Richter Scale, but it’s important to remember that a sinking Republican ship doesn’t float the Democrat boat.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Right Brothers

Did you know there was more good news in Iraq than bad news? I didn’t either although I’ve been hearing that line from the mental midgets on the Right since the war started. Usually the “evidence” will be some article in the New York Post or Washington Times by someone who wrote it in a hotel lobby as dictated by some Government official, but I stumbled into a website called that has that same astonishing message – it’s a renaissance in Baghdad, everyone is happy, the sun is shining and the schools are full of laughing children rejoicing in their freedom. One wonders if somewhere Max Bialystock waits in the wings for this production to flop.

But wait – there’s more. It’s a musical. The web site tells us: “The youth in America are being LIED to by liberal politicians and the mainstream media... but we've come up with a GREAT way to get the TRUTH to them: MUSIC. The Right Brothers, a conservative music duo out of Nashville, has released a new song that does what needed to be done: it tells the TRUTH. Titled Bush Was Right, the song hits the listener with fact after fact after fact - but the tune is so catchy, and the music is so driving, you can't help but sing along (especially on the chorus)!”

Of course the catchy chorus is the chant “Bush was right” over and over again in some mindless ostinato like savage drums in some prehistoric night, but you can read the lyrics yourself. You won’t believe it if I quote it here.

We're launching a NATIONWIDE ad campaign, to spread the TRUTH about Iraq. We're going to run FULL-PAGE ads in national newspapers and magazines, and radio ads across America, to get the word out: there's more GOOD news in Iraq than bad news, and the cause our soldiers are fighting for is NOBLE and JUST. Will you help us get the word out?

So that’s what I’m doing – here’s the word – read it and laugh. It’s full of the most salacious, moronic sleaze and slime you’ve ever seen and if it doesn’t make you ashamed to belong to our species, you must be a Republican.

This land is their land

We all know why the Ruling Junta has been fighting to keep you from knowing who was part of Vice President Cheney's energy task force in 2001. Our energy strategy, which seems to be all about more and bigger giveaways to the massively profitable corporations that keep your Hummer humming, was, according to a leaked White House document obtained by the Washington Post crafted with the help of the Empire of Oil. Industry CEOs denied this before Congress as recently as last week although Commerce Chairman Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) cooperatively chose not to swear in the executives so they can’t be charged with perjury.

Testifying before the Senate Energy and Commerce committees, the chief executives of Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp. and ConocoPhillips said their firms did not participate in the 2001 task force. The president of Shell Oil said his company did not participate "to my knowledge," and the chief of BP America Inc. said he did not know. Cheney had a separate meeting with John Browne, BP's chief executive, according to a person familiar with the task force's work; that meeting is not noted in the document.

The Sierra Club was shut out of the meetings and they along with Judicial Watch tried in vain to obtain a list of who was there under the mistaken notion that this is in any way a free country – or even our country. You will remember how Dick “G.F.Y.” Cheney went duck hunting with Anton “quack-quack” Scalia before the Court decided to stiff us. They don’t even care how bad it looks and why should they? It’s not a free country, it’s their country and Freedom of Information means they’re free to withhold it and you’re free to Go F Yourself.

When they talk about Freedom, remember that for them, freedom means their freedom to wield power without restraint. We can’t ask, they won’t tell. Sure, it’s illegal to make false statements to Congress, even if the Lords of Oil weren’t under oath, but this is a government of men, oil men, and not of laws. I’m not going to waste time waiting for the law to get around to applying to the Lords of Oil.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Smiley O’Reilly and Tricky Dick II

So Smilin’ Bill O’Reilly now says he was just kidding about inviting an attack on San Francisco now that all other explanations for his treasonous statements haven’t worked. The previous explanation was that it was a vast left-wing conspiracy to slime him but having remembered that his own words made that a bit hard to swallow, he suddenly confessed that it was a joke. Those Liberals just have no sense of humor.

Taking a few moments out of his “Get out of Dodge” Asiatic tour, President George phoned Fox News to say that he, at least got the joke. “Y’know, Billy, I don’t think these people understood that this whole WMD thing was a put on and out they went and started a war over it; the stupid Liberals.”

Meanwhile, John Dean said last night on Countdown with Keith Olbermann that he thinks Cheney will retire. Richard Nixon’s White house Counsel might just have enough experience with the habits of crooked officials to know what he’s talking about. Scooter Libby says Dean, may be a firewall for Cheney – at least until the midterm election.

. . . what I see happening is, if there is a change in the Congress, either the House or the Senate, or both, get under the control of the Democrats, it‘s going to be Katie-bar-the-door, and investigations of these issues that the people of America really want to know the answers to. And that may well be a campaign issue in ‘06. So I think Mr. Cheney‘s future, and I suspect his health, might be much worse after ‘06, should a Democrat Congress be in place and starting investigations.

I don’t think he’s kidding.

Monday, November 14, 2005

The Beast

Somebody once said that it would be possible to staff all the concentration camps of the Third Reich from any small city in America. I thought it was hyperbole, but I believe now that it’s true. My local newspaper is running an on-line poll with this question:

President Bush wants Congress to exempt the CIA from a proposed law banning the torture of prisoners by the U.S. government, saying it needs wide powers to prevent terror attacks. What do you think?

55% say that preventing “terror attacks” is more important than decency, morality or any other value, Christian or otherwise. Nietzsche famously cautioned us against becoming a monster by fighting monsters. It’s too late. The flag waving, the saccharine appeals to patriotism, honor, and duty are all too evocative of marching Hitler Jugend, torture chambers and death camps. In fact we have a network of CIA torture centers which George “we don’t torture” Bush is fighting to keep. We have become no different than the Soviets with their KGB or the Nazis with their Gestapo. We have no morals. We have no values. We have become the Beast.

I’m tired of the “Right to life” hypocrites; I’m sick of the war mongers who are happy to accept any enemy the President says is an enemy and follow any hideous order in the name of Freedom. I’m sick of the Godmongers’ raving about commandments and pledges because, whether or not we ever had God on our side we are certainly no longer on God’s side – at least not in Martin County Florida – the land of the coward and the home of the cornered beast.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Go F*X yourself!

It’s gratifying in a way to watch the psychotic soothsayers of the idiot Right hiss and fume and snarl, because it’s an indicator of their situation. They are cornered vermin and their rage is no longer couched in soothing, pseudo-Christian, quasi-logical phrases.

The Far Right Fabricator Bill O’Reilly told America on November 8th, that it would be just fine with him if someone like al Qaeda would attack San Francisco because that city was uncomfortable about the recruitment of cannon fodder in the schools. Although neither Bill nor anyone in his family seems to feel any personal commitment to military service other than to launch brainless attacks, he has no scruples when it comes to treason, for that’s just what backing a violent attack on America is.

In a subsequent rant this week on a radical Right talk radio program (yes, I know that’s redundant) O’Reilly refused to back down from his support of another al Qaeda attack on the United States, claiming his treason “needed to be said.”

His attempt to make it seem as though he was somehow the victim of a personal attack by critics of his treason, is of course a relic of the old days of Bill O’Reilly for whom the pre-emptive accusation was a trademark, but this is a new day for this enemy of all America. Although he will escape the fate that the law provides for traitors, It’s the beginning of his slide into disgrace.

Go Fox yourself Bill, and I really mean it.

Friday, November 11, 2005

If this be treason. . .

The best way to figure out what Bush is doing is to look at what he accuses his detractors of doing, so when Bush today slammed the majority of Americans who think he lied to us for having rewritten history, he let another mangy cat out of the bag. As if it weren’t ironic enough that the man who would rewrite the history of the universe according to his religion; the man who went to war because of forged documents may have used more forged documents today to show that the first set of forged documents was true.

“In his recent letter, Zawahiri writes that al Qaeda views Iraq as, quote, ‘the place of the greatest battle.’ The terrorists regard Iraq as the central front in their war against humanity. We must recognize Iraq as the central front in our war against the Terrorists” quoth the President. "While it's perfectly legitimate to criticize my decision or the conduct of the war, it is deeply irresponsible to rewrite the history of how that war began." And of course everything Bush has said and done since the Gulf War of 1989 has been exactly that – a rewrite of history

The leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, claims according to AKN that the letter found by US soldiers in Iraq, which is said to be written by al-Qaeda number two Ayman al-Zawahiri, is false. In a statement released over the Internet he denies the authenticity of the letter, and accuses the US forces of making up the story as a slur on al-Qaeda. Mohammad Hage Ali of the London-based Arabic-language newspaper Al-Hayat, cites the tone of the letter as a reason he doubts its authenticity, says CNN.

Recently declassified documents and a report by the CIA now cast serious doubt about Bush’s initial claims about a Iraq – al Qaeda connection. Bush had enough data to know that these claims were false before he had Colin Powell present them to the United Nations.

The President’s pleading that both Democrats and Republicans had the same information which led them to believe the war was necessary, therefore is not only a rewrite of history, but an obscene bit of sophistry. Bush had the information and knew that it was false; the Democrats had the information that Bush wanted them to have and nothing more.

Regardless of how Bush twists facts to deny other facts, all these acts, when put together dwarf any individual act of perfidy – letting this country go to war for reasons known to be false and incomplete is treason. Polls have shown that a majority of Americans think Bush should be impeached if he can be shown to have lied to start a war and he has now been shown to have done exactly that to anyone not so clouded by religious faith. From the Downing Street Memo, to the list of forged documents to the testimony of his associates, Bush is a demonstrable liar. A majority of Americans seem now to believe Bush lied according to according to MSNBC. ImpeachPAC, a new political action committee created to support congressional candidates who favor impeaching Bush and Cheney, raised $30,569 from 696 donors in its very first weekend.

Has the sleeping Giant awakened at last?

Pennsylvania Apocalypse?

Today he shall be lifted up and tomorrow he shall not be found, for he is returned into his dust and his thought has come to nothing

I Macabees 2:63

Pat Robertson is the best argument there is against the existence of a deity that is involved in the world, much less one who punishes us for wrongdoing.  

If these were the days of Sodom and Gomorrah, Robertson would long since have been consumed and his followers changed to pillars of dung.  As you read here back on September 6th, Robertson steals from the charities he promotes and owns and uses the money to run mining operations in Africa that exploit the people of those countries.  He’s been caught at it. He’s taken funds that he was directed by the courts to give back to charitable uses and spent the money on his propaganda operation The 700 Club, where people are exhorted to give more money to his “charities.”

Robertson regularly blasphemes the God he exploits to scare people into supporting his corrupt enterprises by proclaiming that God drowns the pious and the profligate alike for, never mind what Jesus taught, tolerating “sinners.”   Since eight Dover Pennsylvania School Board members lost their positions yesterday the Hermann Goering of God has been threatening that city with fire and brimstone.  Never mind that he never quenched the fires of Auschwitz or saved one child from starvation or AIDS in Africa; God will be so upset that people are told the demonstrable truth that he didn’t make Adam out of mud or create the plesiosaur and the spirochete all in the same day, that he will destroy sections of Pennsylvania.

"I'd like to say to the good citizens of Dover: if there is a disaster in your area, don't turn to God, you just rejected Him from your city," Robertson said on his daily television show broadcast from Virginia.

"And don't wonder why He hasn't helped you when problems begin, if they begin. I'm not saying they will, but if they do, just remember, you just voted God out of your city. And if that's the case, don't ask for His help because he might not be there," he said.

Perhaps there is a deity who gives us lessons in justice and perhaps when Pat Robertson dies (may my mine eyes behold the Glory) sprawled on the soiled mattress of some sordid motel with an underage boy, his crooked enterprises will dissolve and his followers wander off to some desert place to perish while awaiting his return.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Signs and portents

There are signs. Maybe they mean something, maybe they don’t.

  • A plan to allow oil and gas drilling closer to Florida's Gulf Coast has been blocked for this year as U.S. House leaders decided to drop the measure.

  • A budding House-Senate deal on the expiring USA Patriot Act includes new limits on federal law enforcement powers and rejects the Bush administration's request to grant the FBI authority to get administrative subpoenas for wiretaps and other covert devices without a judge's approval.  Judges would get the authority to reject national security letters giving the government secret access to people's phone and e-mail records, financial data and favorite Internet sites. (wonder what the rhetoric about judicial activism is about?)

Even a small step forward after such a leap to the rear is welcome news.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Willy Pete

The dove descending breaks the air
With flame of incandescent terror
Of which the tongues declare
The one discharge from sin and error.

-T.S. Eliot-

It’s not just the President who lives in a bubble, cut off from reality, it’s America as well. We may have convinced ourselves that we’re the good guys and that we’re only trying to spread “freedom” throughout the world, but everyone else knows, or thinks they know better.

White phosphorus – it’s one of the horrors of WW I that was never to be repeated. It’s a chemical weapon that the US may have used against the nation that had no chemical weapons in a struggle to remove a dictator who needed to be removed because he once used chemical weapons in Iraq. Does that make sense?

According to the Independent, In a documentary to be broadcast by RAI, the Italian state broadcaster this morning, a former American soldier who fought at Fallujah says: "I heard the order to pay attention because they were going to use white phosphorus on Fallujah.”

In military jargon it's known as Willy Pete.
"Phosphorus burns bodies, in fact it melts the flesh all the way down to the bone ... I saw the burned bodies of women and children. Phosphorus explodes and forms a cloud. Anyone within a radius of 150 metres is done for."

The Government has been denying the use of chemical weapons against the Iraqis; weapons like gas and phosphorus, which they claim is only used to illuminate a battlefield. The use of phosphorus on targets like Fallujah contravenes the UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons of 1980, which only allows its use against military targets. We deny - they have the video. Who is the world going to believe? Will there be an Islamic partisan not enraged to the point of action against us?

A biologist in Fallujah, Mohamad Tareq, interviewed for the film, says: "A rain of fire fell on the city, the people struck by this multi-coloured substance started to burn, we found people dead with strange wounds, the bodies burned but the clothes intact." The documentary, entitled Fallujah: the Hidden Massacre, also provides what it claims is clinching evidence that incendiary bombs known as Mark 77, a new, improved form of napalm, was used in the attack on Fallujah.

I doubt that anyone in the world save for Tony Blair and Bush’s gang of thugs in Washington thinks we’re any better than Tamarlane or Attila at this point and our smug disregard of what anyone thinks only serves to isolate us further. Even if these charges are not true, they have the force of truth. There is nothing we can do to redeem our “mission” and nothing we can do to complete it. George W. Bush has betrayed us, betrayed the principles we thought we had, destroyed our good name, killed thousands and sold our birthright to his criminal friends. We may never be able to hold our heads up in the world again.

We’re the good guys – we’re the good guys – hold your hands over your eyes and keep saying we’re the good guys. . . . . .

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

In the future

In the future, everything the President says will be true for 15 minutes.  

The future is now.
"There's an enemy that lurks and plots and plans and wants to hurt America again," Bush said in Panama City Monday morning as reported by AP.  "So you bet we will aggressively pursue them but we will do so under the law." He declared, "We do not torture."
For that to be true, many unimpeachable sources would have to be liars. One of those sources would have to be our own eyes.  Of course the law is defined by loyal Bushites as whatever Bush wants it to be, and “we do not torture” is true or not true depending on the definition of torture, and the definition of we.  I’m sure Bush has hands as clean as any other Brush Cutter with a fantasy ranch.
So although the Senate has passed legislation outlawing torture and although Bush, at least for the next 15 minutes, is not torturing anyone and thus shouldn’t care, the White House yet is seeking a special exemption allowing the CIA to torture prisoners in the various torture rooms we are using, many from the old Soviet régime.  Of course we will need those torture chambers because even though we do not torture, the CIA does and even if perhaps we are not torturing anyone at this precise minute, we will shortly be doing so.
So the President is telling the truth that we do not torture even though we do torture.  He was technically right for 15 minutes, honest man that he is.  What is truth, after all?

Monday, November 07, 2005


I wish to descend in the social scale. High society is low society. I am a social climber climbing downward And the descent is difficult. The Upper Middle Class Ideal is for the birds but the birds have no use for it having their own kind of pecking order.

-Lawrence Ferlinghetti: Junkman's Obligato-

Rebellions and revolutions seem to be self-betraying. The rebellion against middle class proprieties, moralities and repression of consensual behavior that was the Beat movement tried to embrace what they saw as the greater freedom and dignity of working class people and particularly Black people.

In his 1956 essay The White Negro: Superficial Reflections on the Hipster, Norman Mailer defined the hipster as a philosophical psychopath and urban adventurer, who has adopted elements from black culture and could be called "a White Negro". To become a hipster is a conscious choice for members of the intellectual élite.

It wasn’t long before Ferlinghetti began to notice that this new counter culture was generating ten thousand identical coffee houses filled with a million patrons identically dressed and all talking and acting the same hip way. A new pecking order had emerged and to be hip was a thing to be climbed toward through careful attention to dress, speech patterns, musical interests and topics of discussion.

It wasn’t long before mainstream culture was able to sell you everything you needed to seem to have dropped out. Because the phantom caravan of hipness has returned to the middle class ideal it started out to deny, it requires conformity, punishes dissent and mocks the outsider. We are hip because we listen to the most popular music and wear the correct although ever changing uniform. Social climbing by chasing the ephemeral, we are hip through our narcissistic obsessions, our endless pursuit of entertainment and of course our youth. Thus as we age and become increasing frantic that we are no longer as hip, we spend more money on hipness accessories.

We use terms like Edgy, hip, and “with it” as though they expressed some ineffable quality other than what they really mean: I’ve purchased products that identify me with a certain group of people who through watching each other’s purchases and styles closely for clues, adopt the air of a rebelliously independent elite. It’s an endless cycle that always ends in despair, unless of course, we rebel and drop out. . . . . .

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Take your SUV and SHUV it!

I can’t stand to hear it any more: “Now that we have kids we need to buy an SUV.” Some people are born gullible conformists and others just listen to too many “zoom-zoom” commercials on TV.

Face it, you’re not ever in this life going to be blasting across the arctic tundra or the Serengeti or fording some remote tributary of the Amazon in your leather upholstered Leviathan and if you were to try, you couldn’t do it in an overweight Lincoln Arrogator, Cadillac Exhibitionist, Lexus Bloatmaster or even a Hummjob H2. What you are going to be doing is driving a top-heavy, horrible handling, terrible braking, ladder-frame truck on the highway and often on tires that aren’t meant for that kind of service. You don’t need or want one to handle twisty mountain roads – you’re far safer in a car. You can’t legally drive in or even get to almost all the exotic places the ads suggest you can only get to in their magic sleds, much less can you avoid killing yourself in the process. Think you’re making a statement in your Ford Flatulator? You are – but not the statement you think you’re making.

A commercial encomium in last week’s Newsweek intimated that the Newest Hummer could stop faster than a car because it had anti-lock brakes. Such journalism is criminal as these brakes slightly increase stopping distance at the expense of steering control and do nothing to overcome the inherently bad stopping power of a heavy vehicle. That extra 4 or 5 car lengths the luxotruck needs to stop on the highway can mean someone’s life – maybe mine.

Physics are physics and high roll centers make for much less ability to handle quick maneuvers, even if Newton’s laws are “just a theory.” More weight dramatically lengthens stopping distance and reduces the ability to go around an obstacle. Four Wheel drive can make it much more difficult to recover from the spins that high roll centers bring. High centers of gravity and high ground clearance make it much more likely that the driver will lose control, flip over the tops of guard rails and into ditches. The sheer weight of these trucks in car’s clothing often causes roofs to collapse and break up, squashing the passengers. Ladder frame vehicles do not have energy absorbing crumple zones. Electronic gadgets and airbags don’t make up for the differences and all the advertising hyperbole won’t allow the best handling one of them to compete with the worst handling cars of 50 years ago.

SUVs and similar trucks get into more accidents and are 4 times more likely to kill someone than cars are. SUV back over 2400 children every year. Yes, the most important safety feature is the driver, but all too often, that driver is doing 95, talking on the phone, drinking coffee and dusting someone’s bumper on the Interstate. They feel safe – they’ve been told that they’re safe driving a truck, even if they haven’t got the experience and skills of a truck driver.

I see this nightmare repeated every few minutes when I take my weekly jaunt on the Florida Turnpike. I’m passed constantly by soccer moms and macho dads and witless teens pushing 95 or more in their trucks and every few weeks I see the results, strewn across medians, upside down in the ditch or being loaded onto flatbed wreckers.

Zoom Zoom to you too, ya moron.

Friday, November 04, 2005

An eye for an eye - a thumb for a tag

And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched.

Mark 9:43

Maybe we shouldn’t be dividing the United States into Red and Blue States: maybe quality States and junk States would be a better way of looking at the patchwork of idiocy that stains our country with bloody blotches. If we consider the forces of Evolution that allow the adaptable to adapt and the non-adaptable to go the way of the Neanderthal, maybe we will see how letting political entities that are self-destructive and unable to exist in a changing world ride on the coat-tails of the progressive and enlightened is not a good thing.

Did we fight the third Reich and the Empire of Japan; did we stare down Stalinism and the Soviets to preserve the right of Nevada to uphold the principles of savagery and ignorance?

"In the old days in France, they had beheadings of people who commit heinous crimes," Reno Mayor Oscar Goodman said Wednesday on the TV show Nevada Newsmakers. The crime in question was highway graffiti. Apparently Oscar was playing Blackjack the week they studied the French Revolution in High School. I am not a historian or an expert on the Reign of Terror in France, but I’m fairly sure that nothing was improved by its excess and I’m fairly sure that al fresco painting was not the kind of crime that led to the guillotine. I’m very sure however that good old Goodman knows far less. He’s not talking about the political crimes that kept Madame DeFarge knitting away, he’s talking about kids with spray cans.

"I'm saying maybe you put them on TV and cut off a thumb," the mayor said. "That may be the right thing to do." According to a report on CNN today, Goodman also suggested that whippings should be brought back for children who get into trouble. Reports that the Mayor favors installing private booths where the whipping and maiming of children can be watched by a certain clientele are as yet unconfirmed.

I say push Nevada to the outside of the herd. Seal the borders and let the whoring, boozing and gambling hoards go elsewhere until the State becomes just another desert full of madmen cutting off each other’s body parts while screaming about God. That may be the right thing to do.