Thursday, January 31, 2008

My, how they lie

Romney talked about blood and courage in Bentley strewn Boca Raton, McCain talked about "the white flag of surrender." You'd think this was some 18th century war where men met fact to face in gaudy uniforms on a battlefield to uphold the honor of their country and their king and their God while fair maidens watched from white horses.

It isn't. McCain still holds forth that
"It was worth getting rid of Saddam Hussein. He had used weapons of mass destruction, and it's clear that he was hell bent on acquiring them."
He used gas on some Kurdish villages many years ago, not on New York, nor did he ever try to, nor did he have the means to, much less the ability to make nuclear weapons at the time or in the near future. The sell-by date on that misrepresentation is long past.

In Simi Valley last night, Romney praised Bush for showing the world that there are "consequences to attacking the US." There have been - for millions who had nothing to do with it and for tens of thousands sent off to acquire oil leases at the cost of life, limb and sometimes sanity along with the honor and reputation of the United States of America.

Both of them never miss a chance to excoriate Democrats for wanting to end the war that McCain is willing to make permanent and Romney brags about the difficulty they will face when debating a Republican. Neither realizes that it's three quarters of the country who want out, not some easily labeled minority or that they may have considerable difficulty not being run out of Washington on a flagpole come November if the jingo jive doesn't stop and the supply side economic voodoo doesn't stop and the lies don't end. There will come a point where calling people Dems and Libs and similar balbative bullshit isn't going to hide the fact that there are enough pissed off people to vote these phony bastards and their phony war and their P.T. Barnum economic policies into oblivion.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Here he comes to save the day

The last time we had a simultaneous decline in U.S. household wealth and income was in 1974. One might suspect that the printing of dollars to pay for the Vietnam war had something to do with the inflation and stagnation that ensued and that we might be facing a seriously frustrating repeat of a situation that launched an anti-government philosophy and gave us Ronald Reagan and the "debt doesn't matter" idiocy.

But I digress. Today's rate cut by the Fed, following close upon the heels of another panicked attempt to avoid a stock market crash has had an effect so far this afternoon, but as Robert Shiller, a Yale University economist says,
"The Fed is going to have to keep slashing rates, probably below inflation,''
and that may fuel a continuation of the consumer borrowing and spending frenzy that got us into this mess; a frenzy that mirrors the myth and machismo driven borrow and spend Bush philosophy.

I've already had e-mails from friends today that seem to be some kind of sigh of relief that Bernanke's "bailout" will, like Mighty Mouse, save the day. I'm not so sure we can look to cartoon characters for redemption, as we have been doing since George took office. When interest rates are at the level of inflation, a level to which this latest reactionary rate cut may bring us, a repeat of the housing bubble seems likely. According to Craig Torres and Simon Kennedy writing for Bloomberg yesterday:
"The last time the Fed pushed real rates so low was in 2005, in the middle of the three-year housing bubble, when consumers took on $2.9 trillion in new home-loan debt, the biggest increase of any three-year period on record."
But I guess that's what being a Reaganite conservative today is all about: endless repetitions of a failed formula and attacks on any suggestion of any actual fiscal conservatism.

Change, anyone?

As for the Republican issue, none of it was unpredictable: the beautiful, sunny 74 degree day, the end of ridiculous Rudy, the recrudescence of the McCain campaign, the Floridian fizzlement of Ron Paul and the success of Governor Charlie Crist's Cure All tax cut. As for the Democratic, officially moot exercise in electronic voting, it was less so. I suspected that Obama might edge out Clinton, but I was wrong and of course we lost Edwards and I'm sad to see him go.

Apparently saying change a lot wins the cigar although the notion that McCain represents change in any discernible direction other than a less hysterical approach to immigration seems unsupported. I've seen him making out with George and talking up the forever war too often. Obama was my choice, which figures, since anyone I vote for usually loses, but don't ask me why. I actually didn't decide until I was in the booth. OK, so I thought he represented change although I still don't know why or what or how he would change anything.

So Nothing but Ambition Hillary scored a big win, but no delegates against Barak who won't get any Florida delegates either leaving Nothing but Ambition Edwards to go home. Nothing but Ambition McCain will get all the Republican delegates Florida has to offer. Nothing but Ambition (and bucks) Romney will have to keep slogging and smiling and pretending while Nothing but Ambition Huckabee has yet to decide whether God has forsaken his campaign along with Florida's Evangelicals.

So it's another gorgeous morning. Perfect day to put the top down again and go visit a local yacht broker to talk about boosting the local economy. Is there any change yet?

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Freedom of some religion

I've been told that there is freedom of religion in Iran. That's almost true. Unlike the US, where the government may not legally establish any list of approved or disapproved religions (Sorry, Republicans) only Judaism, Christianity and Zoroastrianism are legal in Iran.

Consequently, when 54 adherents of the Baha'i faith went out to help the poor of Shiraz, or so they said, they were arrested for proselytizing or as it was official charged, spreading propaganda against the regime. They were sentenced today to four years in prison. Of those 54, the sentences of 51 were reduced to one year conditionally while they were sent off to study at the Islamic Propaganda Organisation, ostensibly to be bullied onto dropping the idea that Bahá'u'lláh was the last of the prophets and accepting that the other guy was God's final phone call to planet Earth.

I'm not picking on Iran, at least not without also picking on the many other countries that are theocratic or even nominally atheistic where it's possible to prosecute someone for belonging to a religion or even a secular organization; to talk about it openly, to meet peacefully. Perhaps someone will remember just how precious the First Amendment to our constitution is when charming idiots like Mike Huckabee talk about changing America to be in line with his religious beliefs.

Indecisions and revisions

There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;

nother sunny morning in the Sunshine State and I soon will be off to my local polling place; a VFW hall about 3 miles from here, sitting all alone between large tracts of parkland that still show signs of the three hurricanes that passed through here a few years ago.

I always vote and I always know who I am going to vote for long before the primary, but this morning I have two big questions I have to answer: do I put the top down on the car and who the hell do I vote for? The second question may very well not be decided until I'm under way and perhaps not until I walk between the big, green howitzers into the building. I'm going to have to vote for someone.

Of course the Florida vote has been made all but moot by the Democratic Party's little hissy fit that deprived us of delegates and I'm convinced that as usual, the most preposterously unsuitable candidate will prevail on both sides and of those two, the less likely to fix our national mess will win - but there are local issues that need to be decided and it's a nice day for a drive in the country. . .

Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.
-T.S. Eliot-

Monday, January 28, 2008

Smells like smoke

I used to read The Gun Toting Liberal although other than for the title that describes me fairly well, it's slant is hardly liberal or even "slightly left of center" lately, and I haven't read much 2nd amendment debate there. I used to read them, but it's all over now and I'm through wishing I could quit them; I'm finished.

I'm aware that the title of "liberal" has become meaningless through decades of tendentious definition, but what kind of Liberal claims that Barak Obama is a Muslim, Caroline Kennedy is his daughter and the New York Times commits treason? Actually, the antic internet smear campaign against Obama is more comical than the usual swashbuckling swift boat stuff I've seen used against John Kerry, his wife, Max Cleland and even against John McCain in previous elections. It ranks with the little remembered and less effective campaign to insinuate that Dwight Eisenhower was Jewish.

Leonard Pitts comments in today's Miami Herald about the strangeness of a country that accepts Shaquille O'Neal and Mohammed Ali and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar who are Muslims and worries about whether Obama, who is not a follower of the Prophet, is secretly the Baghdad Candidate. I would actually dismiss the effort as being so puerile as to be ineffective but for the e-mails that pour into my mailbox with indignant comments about Barak Osama refusing to salute the flag or say the pledge of allegiance and taking his oath of office on the Koran. Apparently there are people looking for some reason to tear him down that distract from their real reason and then there are always those who will fall for the "where there's smoke, there's fire" fallacy. Of course, where there's smoke there's often a smokescreen and what smells like smoke to some, smells like bullshit to others.

Straight question

It so happens that I agree with John McCain about the need to improve medical care for veterans. He told an audience here in Florida this weekend that he would issue a "plastic card" that the recipient could take to any doctor or hospital instead of "waiting on line to wait on line to make an appointment to make an appointment" at a Veteran's Hospital. That would be nice, but why then would it be the first step into the dismal swamp of Socialism if that card were issued to the rest of us? Why isn't John recommending the privatization of the VA if he and his party want to leave health care in the hands of the insurers and drug manufacturers and for-profit hospitals? Why, if the government can't possibly help us and can't really do anything right as the Great Cornball Communicator told us and the Republicans count beads and repeat; why then does McCain think it can work for some and can't work for others?

Just looking for a straight answer.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Beat the clock

They used to say that the sun never sets on the British Empire. Will we have to say the clock never runs out on the American Empire?

George Bush's rhetoric is still all about freedom in Iraq and that means the freedom of George Bush to do what he pleases with Iraqis with impunity and immunity from any of the silly laws they pass under the false impression that they are free. It's no more convoluted than the argument that we had to attack Iraq for having a nuclear program when we knew he didn't have any - an absurdity that only Condy could say with a straight face.

The UN mandate authorizing our presence in Iraq expires at about the same time George Bush's term of office and George seems to want very much for the association to continue indefinitely according to the New York Times today. With the customary secrecy and anonymity protecting the customary suspects, White House, Pentagon, State Department and military officials have drafted a proposal that would commit the next president to keeping troops, both regular and mercenary, there indefinitely and keeping them above and immune to any laws Iraq might pass to protect its citizens from their boots and bullets.

It's a technique familiar to students of the British Empire and should be a caution to anyone who thinks Iraq 's citizens will be content to submit to tyranny and institutional abuse of power in order to further the interests of an occupier.

Nothing here surprises me except for the fact that the media continue to insist we'd rather hear about celebrity overdoses and childish spats between candidates than about the fact that Bush continues to equate freedom with eternal domination of Iraq and acts as though he did not give a flying hoot about representing the will of the United States People. If this becomes law, we might as well forget about electing a new president at all, because Bush will have the last laugh.

Click me!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Hundred year John

Know what I don't like about John McCain? it's one of the same things I dislike most about George Bush and Dick Cheney and their former colleague Don Rumsfeld. They all seem to think we're all so stupid and childish and primitive that they can accuse anyone trying to see the occupation of Iraq in the light of reality as wanting to "surrender" and expect us to start hooting and making animal noises in agreement.

That McCain reverts to the obnoxious rhetoric of the supporters of the Viet Nam mistake shouldn't be surprising , but it's still obnoxious and cheap and misleading and designed to stir the blood of the bloody minded idiots that support all war for the sake of victory of any kind.
“Candidate Clinton has called for surrender and waving the white flag,”
he said today in West Palm Beach.
"I think it’s terrible. I think it’s terrible.”
I think it's irresponsible. I think it's irresponsible. It's childish and insulting hyperbole; not so much insulting to Mrs. Clinton as it is to all of us. It's insulting to have to listen to him boast about the "hard earned gains" we've made against al Qaeda when it isn't al Qaeda he's talking about. Whatever gains we've made in Iraq has been at the expense of Iraq and of the maimed and murdered Americans stationed there, not of John McCain and that "success" has been so flimsy that he foresees a century of occupation. The kind of mind that sees everything only in terms of victory or surrender is either a dishonest mind, a disturbed mind or a mind more appropriate to a blue nosed baboon than to a man who would be President.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Market fundamentalism

If you're a Republican, you probably hate George Soros and aren't inclined to listen to his advice about economics as you are to that of some talking head on Fox. I don't know how he was received at the World Economic Conference in Davos this morning when he said

"The current crisis is not only the bust that follows the housing boom, it's basically the end of a 60-year period of continuing credit expansion based on the dollar as the reserve currency. Now the rest of the world is increasingly unwilling to accumulate dollars.''
but it makes sense to me. The figures bear that out as foreign-exchange reserves around the world have fallen to a record low recently as the share of the Euro increased. Of course increasingly unwilling is not a measure of the limits of the unwillingness, but reducing interest rates may not be the way to reduce that trend. It was an ill conceived expansion of credit that began in the Ronald Reagan 1980's
"That created an asymmetric incentive system, a moral hazard, that allowed the expansion of credit.''
Soros has been predicting the decline of the dollar for several years and despite the usual meaningless accusations of being a liberal, he's been right.
"We are there to clean up after bubbles first rather than to prevent the danger,''
said Stephen Roach, Morgan Stanley's Asia chairman, of the latest rate cut.
"It's a dangerous, reckless and irresponsible way to run the world's largest economy.''
Of course dangerous, reckless and irresponsible are words frequently used in describing the attitude and the actions of the Bush administration and the many messes we're in don't help the effort to deny it. If you hear any thing about this conference from the usual tabloid TV sources, it won't be much; this conference isn't the sort of thing that gets in the way of lachrymose laments about overdosing celebrities or steroids in sports or lurid crime stories, and the public isn't accustomed to giving a damn about any larger picture than the one on that flat screen HDTV they just bought on credit. They will just go on listening to candidates bitching about who believed Bush's story in 2003 or who loves Jesus more or who represents change without specific and realistic explanation. Knowledge of economics, and expertise with financial and monetary policies are nowhere near as appealing as the customary pandering to prejudice, greed and the glory of war.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Dive, dive, dive

Put the Hillary hate on hold. The hell with Huckabee. Let them all argue about who wants change without telling us what the change will be. There's only one story this morning. The Fed lowered interest rates by the most in two dozen years and nobody cared. Servers at financial reporting web pages were swamped at the opening and Bloomberg is all but inaccessible. People all over Florida with its high proportion of retirees, are wondering about cat food - is it what's for dinner this year?

It's going to be a long day.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Does anybody have the paddle?

No sir, the economy is healthy, "financial markets are strong and solid" and Bush is optimistic. I'm glad the US markets are closed today, because the rest of the world is taking Bush's words to mean the end is nigh. Stocks plunged in Germany, Hong Kong, India and Brazil today and the European Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Index fell the most since Sept. 11, 2001. Commodities are falling on the perception that a recession will reduce demand.

The slide began last week while President Bush was unveiling his inchoate plan to fix everything with a small handout to the peasantry and a cheerful dose of oblivious optimism. The worst week for US stocks in five years followed apace. The rest of the world has caught on that their US investments are only as sound as the withering Dollar and nothing Bush is capable of doing will do anything to postpone or lessen the coming crisis. The Bank of China alone may have to write down 17.5 billion yuan ($2.4 billion) for the fourth quarter of 2007, and another $2.4 billion this year because of the mortgage crisis, says Bloomberg today and the rest of the world seems to be just as far up the creek.
"It's the worst I've ever seen,''
said Johan Stein, who helps manage the equivalent of about $14 billion at Nordea Asset Management in Stockholm.
"The financial system is in terrible shape, and no one knows where this will end.''
No one knows when either but my guess is that it won't end soon or nicely, nor will I be buying that new boat this year.
"We're confident that the global economy will continue to grow, and that the U.S. economy will return to stronger growth,''
Said White House spokesman Tony Fratto today. If there's anything that typifies the Bush Bunch's reliance on belief rather than competence to change reality, he just expressed it.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Radar love

"I don't know whether Arizonans want to be policed by cameras, It smacks of Big Brother to me."
said Senate Transportation Chairman Ron Gould of the plan to install photo radar in that state. It smacks of revenue enhancement to me. Most Americans aren't familiar with the apparatus that takes pictures of passing cars' license plates if they're exceeding the speed limit. They're common and a nuisance in England, but that's a country of narrow winding roads with blind corners every hundred yards or so. Arizona is a different story.

In my small town in Florida, some cameras have been installed at intersections to prevent the frequent (or so they say) running of red lights. Rear end collisions have risen and the popular suspicion is that the private company that manages the system has shortened the yellow light time because they get a cut of the fines. There is much credible evidence from studies not sponsored by those with a vested interest in enforcement, that speed limits aren't directly related to accident rates; it's more important that traffic move at a uniform speed. Strict enforcement tends to produce a greater disparity between the 15% or 20% who obey ( and have a higher percentage of accidents) and the vast majority that do not and thus it creates a more dangerous road. The prevalence of radar detectors ensures that that majority will continue to seek their own speed but will have to speed up and slow down constantly.

The assurance that we will be electronically monitored for our own safety is more transparent than most windshields - it's all about making up for revenue shortfalls. It's about extracting more money from the people without having to call it a tax.

The Arizona project was tested in Scottsdale and An Arizona State University professor who studied the results says that it reduced speeding and accident rates. No thought was given to the drivers who simply took an alternate route to avoid it and needless to say, I don't trust his figures. Even if it were true, the thought of being monitored in my actions by a soulless machine is enough to bring out the libertarian in me and I'm sure Arizonans will feel the same way. The real question is do we have any choice but to submit to the rules of those who make a living regulating us?

Friday, January 18, 2008


Will the Huckabullshit never stop? Talking to the gutless Wolf Blitzer only moments ago, Huckabee touted the idea that a few hundred dollars tax rebate would spur consumption and boost the economy that's been weakened by more of that same idea - while recommending that we decrease consumption by adding a "fair tax" or regressive sales tax that will have the less affluent spending more of their income on taxes than the more affluent. That's bullshit. Besides the lack of evidence that tax increases lead to recession and ignoring the fact that prolonged expansion has followed tax increases, we are looking at something even worse than Bush's borrow and spend policies. We're looking at a future where the Theocrats crush the peasants and the government governs private behavior according to the dictates of the clergy.

The same smiling face responded to Blitzer's question about making the constitution conform to the will of "the living God" by rambling on about female suffrage and the flexibility of the constitution and the permanence of the Ten Commandments. More bullshit. Huckabee's living God is a dead Jew on a stick, whom the government is forbidden to acknowledge as God and the ten commandments are superseded according to Christian tradition along with the other 603 Biblical commandments the Reverend Huckster chooses to ignore as a Christian.

It's more and more evident that this man is a dangerous idiot with a confused, self contradictory concept of economics, government and theology and a complete ignorance of science.

Shoot the messenger

Republicans. The dinner I attended last night after the Dow closed down another 300 points was supposed to be about boating, but the speaker manages a large brokerage house and his talk turned into a tirade about the sensationalist press grasping for ratings by spreading panic about the economy. I recall some film clips from 1929 with a similar message that encouraged people to buy, buy, buy because prosperity was just around the corner. It was of course, but the corner was a long way off.

He compared the financial press to the Weather Channel, which has dramatically increased ratings every time a hurricane is predicted. Ratings or no ratings, the three hurricanes that have devastated my town three times in the last few years were real enough. The sky may not actually fall, but the stock market does and so do telephone poles, trees and houses whether you read about it or not.

In fact I think the press has been talking up the economy for far too long, not to mention the Bush Administration and Bush himself who rhapsodized about his optimism just last week. A hundred point gain after a 600 point drop in the Dow is always announced as a "rebound" and the word Recession has as rarely been heard as a discouraging word. But it has nothing to do with Bloomberg looking for ratings that several European economists I know have been warning me that the creek we seem to be up would soon require the paddle we seem to be missing and not only Greenspan and Bernanke but George the Decider seem to be desperately seeking some way to boost an economy that was supposed to be wildly prosperous after 7 years of profligate spending, wanton borrowing and what has amounted to a tax holiday for major corporations and the very rich. What was supposed to trickle down has trickled overseas.

We're not going to get an admission of culpability here, just a breathless plea for more tax cuts that should give the average family enough extra cash to delay foreclosure for a week or two while the borrowing and spending go on and on and Bush looks to open a third front in his mindless and Quixotic crusade.

"I have a list of economists here who tell us the Dow will close higher at the end of 2008 than at the end of 2007," said the speaker. Who knows? But I'll bet most of those prognosticators are working for a living rather than lounging on their yachts, and if it does prove accurate, will we actually be better off? Will foreigners own more of our corporations and banks and bonds and real estate and other assets? Will General Motors be General Tso a year from now? Will milk be $122 a gallon?

The Dow is hardly indicative of the health of our economy or the wealth of our nation or even the prosperity of our citizens. How many of us are better off now than we were in 1998? Don't all raise your hands at once.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Huckabee's Church of America

The trouble with molding a society or running a government "according to God's standards" as Mike Huckabee says we should do, is that God's standards can only be determined by people like Mike Huckabee, and Mike Huckabee, like most of mankind, has his own God. I don't think he has Krishna in mind, or Vishnu, much less the God of whom Mohammad spoke or even the God who commands us to exterminate certain nations, cast out our non-Jewish wives and refrain upon pain of death from using certain kinds of thread in out clothing or eating a cheeseburger.

Of course Huckabee is really talking about amending the constitution, not to institute the 600 some odd Biblical commandments that he and his chuckleheaded Christian cheerleaders ignore as a fundamental precept of their religion, but to solicit the support of the fundamentalist barbarians who base their "values" on the unchristian and non-Christian contempt for homosexuals and are so dependent upon polyester preachers withTeflon tongues that they think the Bible prohibits abortion.

Opening my first e-mail this morning was like entering some gas station bathroom to find the toilet un-flushed and clogged. FAITH. FAMILY. FREEDOM was the headline, followed by

Mike Huckabee a Man of Principle for President.

“Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”

I could hardly read the rest of it. Needless to say, I don't think a government directed by faith is anything less than a tyranny of the faithful. I don't think we need a government intruding into family matters or a government to tell us who we may or may not include in our families and if we have that, we have no freedom at all.

I'm sure I don't have to explain that the foundation of the enlightenment philosophy that produced our form of government was that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness were fundamental rights and not privileges or favors bestowed upon us by God's chosen king. The latter of course was the way the world was run in the 18th century and that was supported by Biblical authority. It was a step away from the Biblical and ecclesiastical authority we took by assigning sovereignty to the people and not to the often half-witted and corrupt interpreters of "faith" like Mike Huckabee and to allow our Constitution to be twisted so as to pretend the American Revolution never occurred and the government and its Church were once again as one.

"I believe it's a lot easier to change the constitution than it would be to change the word of the living God, and that's what we need to do is to amend the Constitution so it's in God's standards rather than try to change God's standards,"
said Mike speaking as though he were God's own mouthpiece. Mike Huckabee would rather have us governed by an oligarchy of Baptists and bibles with their peremptory ideas about God than by the will of the citizens. Is there anything further from the essence of democracy than Huckabee's vision?

"We need a President that thinks about all the people"
says the screed floating in my in-box, and I agree. All the people are not fundamentalists however, much less Christians of any sort. Some of us have different gods, different ideas and all of us are guaranteed the right to have them.

"Mike Huckabee is attacked by the New York Times because when asked about evolution he states "I believe that creation has a Creator."
Not so; he's attacked by those who don't want science suppressed and superstition installed.

"More than 20 years ago Mike Huckabee determined to put his faith and conviction into action fighting for the American Family and their Freedom to Pursue Happiness"
except when that happiness includes things Huckabee thinks his personal god dislikes or when that family doesn't met Huckabee's standards. Huckabee and his pet god will tell you what freedom you're allowed and indeed it will be little enough of it unless those of us who really value liberty and want a government that is us rather than them, send Mike a message of contempt by voting for a candidate that represents our traditional, constitutional values and not a church.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

One less choice

Even though the month is barely half over, I think it's safe to award the Capt. Fogg Finger of Speech award for January to our Supreme Court, otherwise known as the judicial branch of the Republican Party and guardian of corporate and religious interests.

Without giving any explanation of their reasoning, the court decided yesterday that you or I have no right to try unapproved drugs even if we are terminally ill and have nothing to lose. It seems to me that such rights belong to anyone if one is to maintain, in keeping with law and precedent, that we are free people who own our selves, our lives, our bodies. Upholding a lower court's ruling that
"Although terminally ill patients desperately need curative treatments ... their deaths can certainly be hastened by the use of a potentially toxic drug with no proven therapeutic benefit,"
the Bush Court under God got out the rubber stamp and used it to establish that, the ninth amendment notwithstanding, we have no fundamental right to self preservation; no fundamental right to make decisions or take actions regarding our self preservation that put no one else at risk. This ruling easily reduces to absurdity. Depending on prayer rather than penicillin can kill you, why do we not force the proven treatment and deny the unproven in this case?

Of course a doctor can sell you a gun or give it to you, I can buy rat poison without a license, I can use nicotine with a proven tendency to shorten my life, but not some drug that hasn't had years of testing and approval by the Government and yet offers some small degree of hope to me and no risk of harm to anyone else. Death can certainly be hastened by withholding a promising treatment and when death is otherwise inevitable, where is the justification, legal or moral, for black Robed Republicans to withhold hope?

Our guardians of the constitution have essentially removed one more right from a thinking adult that they would so dearly love to grant to a fertilized egg and so, amongst the vast throng of deserving applicants, I have to chose our Republican packed courts as the most worthy of the first monthly Fogg Finger of Speech.


Michael Stickings has a habit of making precise, succinct statements that get right to the heart of matters that most of us only circle about like insects around a light bulb.

"In the end, for Bush and the Bushies, democracy means much less than whatever it is they can get out of their friendly dictators, like oil, which may be real, or support for Bush's war on terror, which may not be -- support in speech is not support in deed, something Bush has yet to figure out."
Read the rest of it at The Reaction.

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Hormuz Hoax, part II

George W. Bush wants a war with Iran so badly that I have to be suspicious of any news item that relates to Iranian matters, particularly when the information comes from the US government. When I first heard the mysterious voice saying "I am coming to you ... You will explode in a few minutes." something sounded wrong about it. It's not only that the voice seemed to be putting on a deliberately thick accent, it certainly wasn't coming from a speed boat pounding through the swells at 30 knots or more as the video seemed to indicate; no effect on the voice of the impact of the hull against the water, no background noise of roaring engines or wind. I spend a lot of time on the radio, both from my boat and from my amateur station. I can tell the difference. It's unusual, but not unknown for such behavior to be found on the Amateur Radio bands and less often on the police and public service bands. On CB radio, it's almost standard procedure. When such people are identified, the punishment can be rather severe and the perpetrators are very often teens who are using dad's radio equipment when he's not around. Of course the VHF marine channels used by everything from pleasure boats to battleships are not immune to abuse.

Now the Navy Times is blaming the incident on a mysterious pirate radio operator or operators who have been doing just this sort of thing on the Marine VHF channel 16 for decades at all hours of the day and night. It seems in fact, to be happening all over the world and is often attributed to the mythical "Filipino Monkey." Someone with a radio on shore or on another ship gets his kicks from listening to conversations, interrupting with obscenities and making threats. According to many radiomen, female voices on the radio often elicit vulgar comments from these people. All ships and most boats are required to monitor channel 16 and so it is difficult to claim that the transmission was intended for one vessel or another and impossible to know where it originated, particularly in crowded shipping lanes like the straights of Hormuz. Such radios can be bought at any marine supply store without having to show any identification or license.

We were shown the audio and video of the boats simultaneously said
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead, because “ it gives you a better idea of what is happening” not because there is really any evidence that the voice came from the boats. Can it be that we have just narrowly escaped fulfilling Bush's dream of a massive air attack on Iran using this random and meaningless incident as an excuse? We've been fooled in just this way before at the cost of millions of lives and we have a president with a record of fooling us again and again.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Freedom and the Hormuz hoax

When I was in grammar school, polls showed that the vast majority of Americans trusted the government, but how far we have come when the first reaction to reports of a few Iranian speed boats harassing a US Navy fleet is that the President is telling another lie to start yet another disastrous war. Do we really know where those little boats came from or who was in them other than that there were some distorted recordings of someone grumbling in Farsi?

We do know that Bush continues to press for further and more substantial confrontation even though his insistence that there is an active nuclear bomb producing facility in Iran has been severely weakened. Bush said today in Abu Dhabi, according to the New York Times, that Iran is threatening the security of the world and that the United States and Arab allies must join together to confront the danger ''before it's too late.'' Can we presume that too late means after Bush has lost the ability to open another front in his battle for Middle East dominance? Too late for what? Too late for whom? ''Iran is the world's leading state sponsor of terror,'' says Bush without any attempt to define terror. I'm not terrified of Iran, are you? I'm not inclined to credit his latest apocalyptic warnings, are you?

It seems as though Bush is now taking his crapulous argument to the world, now that he has three quarters of us pressing for an immediate withdrawal from Iraq and an end to his "freedom agenda." It's nice to see that he finally realizes the fact, but I'm sure he's unaware of the irony wafting through the high priced atmosphere of The Emirates Palace, a three billion dollar playground for the ultra rich aristocracy, as he says to the Iraqi people ''You have made your choice for democracy and have stood firm'' as though the Iraqi people now living in ruins or forced into exile hadn't had their current plight violently forced upon them.

''Democracy is the only form of government that treats individuals with the dignity and equality that is their right''
said he to the silk robed absolute monarchs he calls friends and allies; said he about an environment in which the few elections that have occurred tend to reflect a widespread support of militant theocracy and Sharia Law with its beheadings and stonings.
''We know from experience that democracy is the only system of government that yields lasting peace and stability,''
said he in ignorance of experience and as though democracy were a system of government and not a broad concept impossible to implement without the institutions that have been inimical to him and his party for decades.

There may be a few of us who buy into the current script of Bush's Opera Buffo wherein the last 7 years have been about advancing the cause of freedom and democracy in places where the oil lies thick and deep under the hot sand. The rest of us are waiting and watching his hands as our future shuttles like a dried pea across the polished mahogany table, from one walnut shell to the next.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Best in Show

Hark, hark The dogs do bark
The beggars are coming to town

-13th century nursery rhyme-

Do we really believe Ron Paul has no idea about who wrote the articles that went out under his name during the 1990's? Does anyone buy the statement that he never read them? Does anyone think it's irrelevant because it happened before the 6 week memory span of the American public? Paul says what I want to hear about our drift away from a constitutional Republic toward an oligarchy driven by expedience. He is willing to directly address many problems directly that his opponents are either ignorant of or afraid to incriminate themselves by mentioning, but anyone can say anything. His customary candor seems to have gone missing when it comes to the Ron Paul Political Report.

Does anyone believe the pusillanimous pandering of Fred Thompson?
“On the one hand,” he said last night “you have the Reagan revolution, you have the Reagan coalition of limited government and strong national security."
Actually we never did, we had a corrupt president with a progressive neurodegenerative disease who inflated the government to record size, ignored the law, trained terrorists in Central America sold missiles to Iran and a military that tripped all over it's inadequacies while invading the tiny Caribbean Island of Grenada. A pretty revolting sort of revolution it was.
"He would be a Christian leader, but he would also bring about liberal economic policies, liberal foreign policies”
Thompson said of Huckabee. The Pope would be a Christian leader too, even though neither man could be accused of being Liberal or being qualified to be our president, nor could Jesus be accused of being conservative. Perhaps that's all there is to Thompson's campaign: just say Reagan and Liberal and lie about what that means until the dogs start to bark.

“The Air Force has a saying that says if you’re not catching flak, you’re not over the target,” he said. “I’m catching the flak; I must be over the target” was supposed to be a demonstration of the Huckabeean wit and probably was, to anyone dumb enough to let the false syllogism pass unnoticed.

And then there was Rudy.
"There were other people on this stage that also supported the surge. The night of the president’s speech, I was on television. I supported the surge, I’ve supported it throughout.”
Me too, me too you guys - it wasn't only him, it was me too! 9/11 - 9/11 - I was there! What about a candidate that isn't afraid to criticize the grotesque and fatal errors of the worst president and most inept Commander in Chief in American history? Not amongst the Republican kennel club.
"I’m going to fight for every single job. Michigan, South Carolina, every state in this country. We’re going to fight for jobs and make sure that our future is bright.”
Says Uncle Milton Romney. Sure you are, Mitt and I'm sure you'll explain just how you're going to do it after the election is over.

Then came McCain.
“One of the reasons why I won in New Hampshire is because I went there and told them the truth, and sometimes you have to tell people things they don’t want to hear along with things that they do want to hear.”
Right, whatever suits the occasion and the audience and that's usually the latter.

Are we bothering to name a "winner" in these debates any more? For may part, I don't give a damn and I don't have a dog in this fight anyway but It's easy enough to name a loser of course. There may be about 300 million of them.

Some in rags and some in Jags
And one in a velvet gown

Thursday, January 10, 2008

FAIR and friends

Lou Dobbs is quick to argue that his obsession with illegal immigration centers on the illegality and not the fact of immigration or the ethnicity of the immigrants, although I haven't heard a peep out of him about Canadian immigrants or the need to close the northern border. Indeed, many of the illegal immigration opinion shouters take great pains to tell us that they are only concerned that laws are being broken even though the near hysterical reaction to the very thought of Spanish being spoken within our borders is visible everywhere and calls their dispassionate pose into question. Are we looking at racism carefully cleaned up, shaved and passed off as reason?

Dan Stein, president of FAIR or the Federation For American Immigration Reform has appeared on Lou Dobbs' television show more than a dozen times, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center and many times on other news programs. His organization, the largest anti-immigration group in the US, has been called on by Congress to testify about immigration more than 30 times and has been instrumental in shooting down immigration reforms. Are these people voicing reasonable concerns about immigration policies and the effects on the US of immigrant labor or are they something else? Is it fair to look at FAIR and friends a little closer?

Stein has been communicating about immigration policies with a Belgian political party that has been banned from that country by their Supreme Court for their racist views. FAIR's Western Field representative, Joeseph Turner has created and been the head of an anti immigrant group whose rallies were frequented by neo-Nazis; people Turner refused to disassociate with his group.

The founder of FAIR, John Taunton, was an outspoken critic of Latinos and Catholics and a proponent of eugenics, a selective breeding program developed by Adolph Hitler. Stein calls him" a remarkable figure in American politics." FAIR has accepted $1,200,000 from the Pioneer Fund to promote the racial stock of the original colonists (presumably not those from Spain or Africa.) It's for such reasons as this that SPLC has added FAIR to it's list of hate groups.

It's not surprising that people with notions about an ethnically pure United States should try to dignify the enterprises of such people or cover up their slimier aspects. The facade of avuncular sincerity of people like Dobbs is quite convincing, but then it's part of a long American tradition of pretending that slavery and then segregation and religious discrimination were really reasonable policies well thought out by reasonable men. That's not to say that we don't have a problem; it is to say that when you listen to someone's statement of a problem and to the solution he offers, it's a good idea to know who stands behind him and what their real agenda is.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

We can't handle the truth

It seems to have slipped past the window so fast that hardly anyone noticed it, what with the obsessive/compulsive coverage of the New Hampshire primary. Of course the US being what it is, anything that occurred more than a week ago is uninteresting and irrelevant no matter how interesting and relevant it is.

There is one subject that I've argued about on the Web more than any other. Long before there were blogs; in fact long before there was a Worldwide Web, there were content providers and bulletin boards and other places where the reprehensible right wing rabble could strut their views about how Nixon did nothing wrong and the Viet Nam war was a valiant struggle for American freedom against an enemy who attacked our Navy in the Gulf of Tonkin in 1964. That Lyndon Johnson used that attack to gain the power to make a huge military commitment to a war that claimed as many as 2 million lives, many of them civilian, is not a matter of conjecture, but that the incident ever occurred is - or was until now.

I've been called a traitor, an idiot, a Communist, a Pinko and worst of all, a Liberal for maintaining that it never happened and those accusers have had their smug, war-loving way for decades. I would love to think that the NSA review of classified signals which now proves that it was invented would chasten them, but I'm sure it doesn't. The excuse is already emerging that Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara truly had reason to believe that the bogus attack was real and the evidence "unimpeachable" so the undeclared and illegitimate war was as legitimate as our invasion of Iraq under false pretenses.

The sort of people that think Vietnam was glorious, necessary and all about Freedom aren't often persuaded by facts, particularly when the facts prove that they are and always have been on the side of needless death and destruction. The sort of people most of us are don't even care one way or another, whether out of Chauvinism, ignorance or preoccupation with the wonderful world of entertainment. It's with their help that America's foreign exploits over the last hundred years or so often have resembled the actions of some guy with an inferiority complex who goes looking for bar fights and tells himself it's really all about how somebody spilled his beer or smiled at his girlfriend.

Did the Bush administration try it all over again in the Strait of Hormuz? How can anyone know for sure? How can know anything in a country where people would rather believe than think and where nobody really cares? So I should feel vindicated, but I don't. I should be pleased to see the truth prevail at long last, but I'm not because the truth just doesn't matter.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Mixed messenger

George Walker Bush gave a speech yesterday at the Union League Club in Chicago. That, of course, is a club where it's been a tradition that no one of my ethnic background would have been allowed to join. Of course I have as much interest in applying as I do in furthering the economic rape of the United States by Mr. Bush's clients, but I digress. The revelation here is not that Bush feels at home in restricted men's clubs but that he's made a long overdue admission, carefully disguised as optimism, that the economy stands on foundations of Jello.

"We can't take growth for granted"
is as close to an admission of the rising doo-doo level as I've heard him make. Rising unemployment, plunging housing markets and the struggling Dollar were were tangentially touched upon by saying
“recent economic indicators have become increasingly mixed.”
I've never served on a Submarine, but I've seen enough movies to have an idea that when the klaxon blows it doesn't indicate a mixed message; something is heading downward very soon and I'm sure that isn't a violin I'm hearing.
“Many Americans are anxious about the economy,”
says the decider who seems as yet undecided as to whether to openly acknowledge that we have a problem for fear that someone might notice that he caused it. We will probably have to wait until what I will celebrate as his last State of the Union Address later this month to know whether he intends to ignore the invisible hand of the market and try to stimulate the economy, whether he intends to run out the clock, or whether he will just do the Bush thing and push for another regressive tax cut.
“People said, ‘Are you optimistic?’ I said, ‘Absolutely, absolutely optimistic. Do I recognize the reality of the situation? You bet I do.”
Said Bush to his base. I'll bet he does too but you'll have to give me a billion to one odds.

The Democratic response, according to The New York Times will likely resemble "a $500 across-the-board rebate, possibly to be returned to taxpayers in their paychecks through the payroll tax system, as well as a plan to restore the $1,000 per child tax credit to many low-income families that currently do not qualify for it." Who knows if that will help slow the downward momentum but it may help restore optimism outside the Bush bubble.

Monday, January 07, 2008

McCain's war

The funny thing - well one of the funny things about John McCain is that he doesn't equate 100 years of peaceful US presence in Iraq with the likely result of 100 years of war.
"What I believe we can achieve is a reduction in casualties to the point where the Iraqis are doing the fighting and dying we're supporting them,"
he said somewhat ungrammatically to Tim Russert yesterday. With the disturbing caveat that that American presence would only require putting Iraqis in jeopardy he tacitly admits that whatever type of government it is that we wish to impose might take 4 or five generations for such a government to be an expression of popular will and not the will of a colonial power. I'm being as restrained as possible by saying that's misguided. I would prefer to say it's insane or at least dishonest and I have to wonder where he studied history, much less current events.

Our stated function as "advisers" to the South Vietnamese government wasn't very successful and I think it's not too far fetched to compare the internal popularity of American backed and corrupt puppet governments as opposed to native governments in both cases.

The assumption that a sufficient number of Iraqis would be willing to spend their lives, their children's, grand children's and great grand children's life spans or longer in that "fighting and dying" to sustain American colonialism for the long term good of their country contains an admission of it's improbability. If enough people to require American presence are still willing to fight against Western government after 90 years, than it's about colonialism not about democracy or independence. If enough people aren't in place after 6 years, it's already a dubious battle. In fact the military we would spend decades developing, arming and "advising" would likely be the ones to throw us out long before the next century rolls by. Just ask any of the other former colonial empires.

For that occupation to really be able to pass the job on to the Iraqi military would probably require the kind of government there that could ignore the popular feelings about a hundred years war. That means dictatorship, not democracy and it would likely be necessary for us to occupy other nations while continuing to fight stateless armies to a greater extent then we currently are doing.

The value of the McCain goals to the US is hard for me to see. It smells more like an unwillingness to challenge the validity of the Bush administrations ambitions and to chalk up the failure to a minor tactical mistake that can be remedied with more troops and more war. More troops and more war hardly reflects American public opinion and I find it strange that a candidate who will pander shamelessly to special interests has no interest in pandering to the electorate upon whom the sovereignty of this republic depends.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Loser Chic

We real cool. We
Left school. We

Lurk late. We
Strike Straight. We

Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We

Jazz June. We
Die soon.

-Gwendolyn Brooks-

t's not so much that Frantz Leger acts like an asshole; it's more that nobody really wants to look at his bare ass while they're eating. Frantz was arrested the other day at a nearby mall that had banned him for repeatedly grossing out the paying food court customers by parading around with his baggy pants halfway to his knees and baring his buttocks to the breeze. Naturally, he thinks it's about race. That's what he told the cops.

Is this the pathetic moon shadow of what started as a youth movement 40 odd years ago? Annoying our gray flannel, close cropped, buttoned down elders was the byproduct of a Liberal political and cultural movement as well as a change in sartorial viewpoint that appears to have been permanent. That wasn't a new idea. It must have been equally as astonishing when kids stopped wearing ruffled collars and leggings and switched to black suits , but that was slightly before my time. Still, these were statements and strong statements; powdered wigs are so out, man. Questioning old values and assuming new ones is usually a mark of progress, but not all change is progress, or the product of enlightenment.

Facial tattoos, bits of metal run through eyebrows and noses and lips and worse; an anus in the face in a public place. Is this part of a natural progression where generations reject the axioms of their elders, or is this the latest devolution of a society in which "fuck you" is not only a motto, but the only discernible theme?

Damned if I know, but pointless provocation as a goal in itself, is an admission that one and one's peers have nothing further to say but to display the finger of speech. It's no longer a rejection of the politics, music and culture of the past; at least not a rejection that offers a replacement, unless you consider consumerism, ignorance, gangs, violence and rectal displays to be such.

Still, sending 20 deputies, a helicopter and canine units to arrest some brainless bozo looking for attention through staged victimhood is not a solution, but rather a way to give some meaning to the empty egotistical provocation; to play into the hands of those trying to create a racial incident out of a proctological display. There's really only one way to deal with it and that's the way America dealt with hippies back in the day. When most of us remember hippies, we remember affluent suburban kids with long hair who bought their beads and sandals at Sears and watched Hootenanny on TV. They were flotsam in the wake of the real, but moribund thing. They were the death of it all, not the crest of a wave.

You guessed it, that's just what I'm suggesting. Stores from The Gap to Dolce & Gabbana to Old Navy have to start selling baggy pants with sewn in boxer shorts and we've got to jump on the bare ass band wagon en mode de parade until America has more moons showing than the rest of the solar system. It's the only way and only you can take back America. OK, you Northern people can wait for spring. I'm not heartless.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Fool me twice

Alcides Moreno and his brother fell 47 stories when a scaffold collapsed December 7th in New York. Alcides survived somehow and has regained consciousness. He's expected to recover and even to be able to walk again despite having broken everything.

"You're not going back to work there," says his wife and I'll bet she means it. Republicans in Iowa should be so smart. The economic news is gloomy, foreign companies are buying up all our assets, we're in massive debt to people who don't have our best interests at heart. The specters of recession and inflation are starting to seem real and our wars grind on and on and on. Corruption is rampant, funneling of public funds into private hands is standard procedure, our rights have been trampled on, but Iowa Republicans, at least a plurality of them, seem to want more of the same.

By voting for another Bible Belt Believer with the cognitive inadequacy to reject science and logic, with a preference for the authority of preachers over the law; a guy who shares their hysteria about Mexicans, their fear of "terrorists" and who seems just as much of a small town, foot shuffling mediocrity as they are, they're getting set to go back to work there.

Mike Huckabee? What about somebody who knows economics and finance.? What about somebody who knows the military from the inside, who has had lots of experience with foreign affairs, a background in science and technology? What about someone who can discuss history with the best of them -- what about someone who is the best of them?

We don't need someone to teach Sunday School to 5 year olds. We don't need someone to sit on the bench and discuss this years crops with or have a beer with or quote mistranslated Bible passages with; we don't need Mike Huckabee running or representing this country to the world. If we survive Bush, we don't need to tempt fate by getting back on that same scaffold with the same worn ropes and expect to survive again.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Out in the cold

One normally doesn't associate the need for cold weather survival techniques with South Florida, but normally at this time of year we do get some cold weather and many Floridians have trouble coping with it. About once in a hundred years we get frost. In the late 17th century, a fellow named Jonathan Dickinson was washed up in a storm not far from my house and the survivors of the wreck were captured by the local Jove (pronounced Hobay) Indians. Stripped of possessions and clothing, they made their way, naked and with nothing, 230 miles up the coast to the Spanish settlement of St. Augustine where those who had not died of the cold and starvation got passage to Philadelphia. It gets cold in Florida.

It was 35 degrees this morning in Hobe Sound, an area named for those long gone natives. The wind off the Atlantic is very brisk, making it feel like 20 degrees if you're wearing the light clothing that makes up the Florida wardrobe. For those around the county in unheated trailers or unheated shacks it was very uncomfortable, and for those without housing, sleeping on the beach or in the woods last night was a dangerous choice. Some try to loiter in all night stores, some build camps in the woods, some just keep walking all night. Fortunately for those who can make their way to Stuart, the local Red Cross chapter opened a shelter last night, furnishing a cot, some food and heat for about 8 people.

When you think of homeless people, it's not always accurate to envision some scruffy, bearded, addicted or alcoholic misfit. It's not accurate to describe 30 year old Jean Cournoyer that way; reasonably dressed and groomed, he carries a shopping bag full of the basic toiletries needed to stay that way and he is here intending to get a job as a cook as soon as possible. What he lacks is money and he lacks it not because he's a bum or unemployable or lazy or drunk; it's because the United States Government in it's most xenophobic fear and fascist arrogance forced him to spend every dime he has to reunite his family. You see his wife is a British citizen and once upon a time she overstayed her visa by 24 hours.

That's enough to alert the iron curtain mentality of Immigration and Customs Enforcement to deny her entrance; to tag her as The Enemy. Cournoyer hasn't seen his wife and small children in a year and all his efforts to reunite his family have been to no avail.

Think of him before you start screeching "illegal, illegal" at every sad immigration story. Think of him when you start blowing hard about our "freedom;" about our "Christian principles" and "family values." Think about it when you smugly tell us that it can't happen here, because it already has, and when I think about it, what comes to mind is a country where ordinary, decent people disappear into secret jails and are abused, where official fear of people getting in and information getting out smells like the Soviets, the Maoists, the Nazis and every other corrupt, paranoid and tyrannical government where the law speaks for the few and crushes the rest.

If our Republic survives as a free, democratic and open society and we are able and allowed to remember the Bush years, I think our descendants will remember George Bush as the man who tried to conquer America but failed. If not, perhaps I will take this opportunity, while I still can, to say God Damn the Bush family. Damn everyone who has supported them; the greedy, the stupid and the malicious. Damn the bastards who have made me ashamed to be an American. Damn them all.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

The way we celebrate

Most newspapers today have pictures of big-city fireworks around the world. One might be tempted to think this is the way people all over the vastness of the United States celebrate, but they would be wrong. In Chicago, where I used to live for many years, private ownership of fireworks is looked upon with horror and fear. If one is caught driving into Illinois with fireworks purchased in more liberal States, there is a risk of having the car confiscated on top of heavy fines or worse. Public displays are pretty much limited to July 4th. Who wants to risk hypothermia?

Here in small town Florida, where the local fireworks supermarket does a brisk business this time of year, the warm night sky was filled with brilliant color from countless back yard rocket launches, and the barrage of firecrackers along with the occasional blast from the family shotgun made it hard to watch the safe and sanitary display of colored light emitting diodes from Times Square.

Florida is a big state with a variety of cultures. The locals here are very proud of their Christian affiliations and would love to see a bible based legal and educational system, but down in Key West last night, thousands of inebriates of all persuasions and levels of undress were out in the street at midnight to watch Sushi, a drag queen of some local prominence being lowered from a Duval Street balcony in a high heeled ruby slipper.

Of course since my town has suffered a great deal more of God's wrath lately than has the island home of debauchery, one might speculate that diversity is really not so dangerous and perhaps even that governments have better things to be concerned about than sparklers and firecrackers, but one way or another we and most of the world seem to have survived not only New Years Eve but the year 2007 itself. Who knows what 2008 will bring, but as the old song goes: I've been down so long, it looks like up to me.

Happy New Year!

Cross posted from The Impolitic

Proactively efforting impactful resolutions

"Will the impact negatively impact Mars? We're efforting more information"
- TV news anchor -

Well, it's another new year and time for those resolutions, but this time it's going to be different. I've had enough with the "lose ten pounds, clean up the garage nonsense."

So, enter the caped crusader, the masked avenger, the diabolical Doctor Syntax; scourge of the illiterate and the savior of the tongue. No, I'm not the only one that would prefer to have people speak plain English rather than hide their flimsy educations behind meaningless, redundant, inappropriate, misused cliche, jargon and worn out metaphor, but I'm the only one willing to do more than compose lists that only the literate will read. This time it's going to be different. This time I resolve to kill.

  • The next person I hear using "efforting" as a verb as in "I'm efforting information" is a dead man. If you are unaware of participles like attempting, trying or even endeavoring, I'm going to make an effort to see how many slugs I can put through you before you hit the ground.
  • If you insist on using words like "impactful" or "impactify" or think it's cute and witty to continually and relentlessly substitute the stale and mawkishly metaphorical "impact" for effect, I'm going to think it's cute and witty to put a hollow point between your eyes. How's that for proactive impactification, bozo?
  • Same goes for those who think "having a negative impact on" sounds more educated than hurt or harmed or damaged. If an impact is a collision, a negative impact must be an explosion - like the one that propels a 9mm slug through your empty skull - impactfuly, of course.
  • I don't care what your excuse is, waiting for someone is very different than waiting on someone. Think otherwise? Here, hold these two wires.
  • The verb to invite doesn't turn into an invitation by stressing the first syllable, even if you're on Jeff Foxworthy's list. I invite you to have some of this Kool Aid - it's delicious.
  • You angry folks who write about "mute" points and use "haft to" and "tow the line" and expect me to take your arguments seriously: I'm not going to, I'm going to kill you instead.
  • You upper middle class suburbanites who think it's cute to appropriate stale inner city slang - it's jewelry, not "bling" and the next sound you hear is not going to be bling either - it'll be BANG! Badunkadunk? Sounds like this UZI blowing your head off, now get back in your Lexus and go back to Palm Beach.
  • "Could of?" "Try and?" "the reason why I did it?" " The reason was because?" Up against the wall.
You'll have to guess at the rest, I'm not going to help you too much and it will do you good to think twice about your obsession with redundant 1980's academic neologisms and political buzz words, like empowerment and proactive -- or those just plain annoying Deconstructionist affectations like Verisimilitude. Think Kindergarten portmanteau words like "Ginormous" make you sound erudite? Think twice, because I just may be lurking around the corner somewhere. Doctor Syntax is listening to you.