Monday, May 31, 2004

Think I'm Turning Japanese

If you've ever been to Japan, you know they love to post signs in Japanese and English.
Trouble is, their translators are very literal.
That's when the fun begins.
Ret the Good Time Loll

Bread n' Butter Notes

Wouldn't the world be a better place if we could just write notes to people, ask them simple questions and get honest, direct answers?
Here's some:

Dear Neighbor,
Why do you park your pickup truck on your front lawn? Do you see anyone else in this neighborhood doing it? Do you wonder why they don't?

Dear Mr. Bush,
Could you please get your IQ tested and send me the results?

Dear Dick,
What exactly is your deal with Halliburton?

Dear Mrs. Bush,
Don't you think he'd be a lot less ornery if you'd fuck him once in a while?

Dear Martha,
Have you considered acting contrite, working in a soup kitchen or going on Saturday Night Live and letting them pick on you? You need some image work, babe.

Dear Jacko,
Did you do it?

Dear Rush,
Be honest. Do you still pop an occasional narcotic pill before work, or do you really believe stuff like the Iraqi prisoner abuse was no worse than a mess of fraternity pranks?

Dear Ann,
Does it get boring, just fucking old Republican guys?

Dear Mr. Powell,
If you had it to do over again, would you take the Secretary of State gig with this Bush administration?

Dear Condi,
When you are home alone, do you ever strip down to your undies, hold a hairbrush like a microphone and sing Aretha Franklin songs into the mirror?

Dear The Donald,
Do you really think that hairdo is flattering?

Dear Guys,
How often have your income taxes been audited?

Dear John,
What's the kinkiest sexual thing you've ever done, and with whom? Ever done it with a male?

Dear Mary,
Is your daddy's support of the amendment to ban gay marriage okay with you? We haven't heard much from you since the 2000 Bush campaign, when your daddy trotted you around to show how inclusive the GOP was. How much is the Bush/Cheney reelection campaign paying you?

Dear Senator Kerry,
Wouldn't you really love to kick Dubya right smack-dab in the nuts if you could get by with it?
Memorial Day

As we all know, this is the holiday where Americans celebrate our military and the sacrifices they made (and make) to ensure our security.
My dad is a W.W.II veteran, decorated with a Purple Heart for getting shot, a Silver Star for showing heroism in combat, and a slew of other medals for various acts of being a good soldier.
He returned from the war shell-shocked, partially deaf and he still cannot stand the sound of thunder or fireworks.
Dad never discussed his time in the war as I was growing up. Only in the last few years did he discuss the war at all, after he saw the movie, "Saving Private Ryan." Even then, all he said was, "The movie had some flaws, the biggest being officers in the field wearing their ensignias and being saluted."
Dad said if his guys saluted a lieutenant or captain in the field, Nazi snipers would pick them off faster than you could say, "at ease."

My city, San Antonio, is a military town filled with Air Force bases and Ft. Sam Houston, a big Army Post.
My sister retired as an Army Major. They begged her to stay in and accept a commission as a lieutenant colonel, but she'd had enough. My late husband was a Navy veteran. My brother served in the Texas National Guard during the Vietnam era, but unlike George W. Bush, he actually attended all his meetings and served out his entire tour of duty.

Today, I join everyone in honoring those who served and those who serve.
You see, I'm a liberal Democrat but I'm not anti military.
Any great nation needs a strong defense, including ours. Sometimes we need to fight.

I could understand sending troops to Afghanistan, but not to Iraq.

The president spoke at the recent dedication of the WW II Memorial in Washington. He filled the air with platitudes and praise for the old veterans, but he didn't mention that neither he nor the vice president served in the military.
He didn't mention that starting a war involves committing troops, and that putting their lives in harm's way calls for the most precise, carefully researched reasons for presidents to engage in war.
He didn't mention that rushing to war in Iraq was based on faulty intelligence and the word of an Arab guy named Chilabi who had less street cred than Huggy Bear did on "Starsky and Hutch."
He didn't mention the more than 800 American souls lost to his hasty rush to war, nor did he mention more lives being lost by the day.
He didn't mention Osama Bin Laden still being at large somewhere far away from Iraq.

John Kerry attended the dedication, too.
As a wounded Vietnam veteran, much decorated for heroism, he knows firsthand the horrors of war.
He returned from battle and marched against the war. He had that right.
Decades later, then-Secretary of Defense Robert McNamera wrote a book in which he agreed with Kerry. He said that war was a protracted nightmare we couldn't win.

Now we are at war in a region where we are not wanted.
We went to war for reasons that turned out to be untrue.
Experts say it is a war we cannot win.

Bush wants to stay the course, yet experts say the course was paved on lies and remains undefined, undermanned and undersupplied.
Bush thinks bombs and bullets will show America's will and cause the Iraqis to stop fighting back and behave like he wants them to. He calls it "establishing a democracy."
But people in his family don't do the actual fighting, and the democracy he's trying to force on them is not very democratic.
Kerry wants a rapid troop withdrawal, international cooperation in stabilizing the region and to create peace through diplomacy, not bullets.

Kerry understands war because he's fought in war.
Bush doesn't, because he didn't.

I think the biggest gift we can give our veterans this holiday is to pray for peace, and elect a president who honors our armed forces by understanding they should be deployed only as a last resort, not used like the tin soldiers little rich boys like Bush played with as children.

Happy Memorial Day to all the veterans out there.
Thanks for protecting us.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Republican Survivor!

Starting June 3, you'll get to vote off a Republican like Bush, Cheney, Ashcroft, Anne Coulter, Katherine Harris or Tom DeLay.
It ain't the real Survivor, but it'll do!
Click here to sign up!
Is It Just Me, or...

Has anyone noticed the veiled terrorist threat John Ashcroft has warned us about coinciding with Dubya's falling poll numbers?
I guess they figure if the scare tactics worked before, they'll work again.
But this time, they are so lackadaisical and disorganized that Tom Ridge of the Department of Homeland Insecurity has not adjusted the color of the windsock to indicate whatever color means more danger.
Maybe they need to switch the color to brown and just leave it there.
After all, it is the color of bullshit.
So That's What It Is

I have often mentioned having friends who are recovering alcoholics. I haven't often mentioned that I attend fairly frequent Al Anon meetings in order to better understand my role in the lives of alcoholics (recovering and otherwise) whom I love.
In my limited exposure to the philosophies of AA and AlAnon, I am familiar with the term "dry drunk," or the condition whereas someone quits drinking or drugging cold turkey, without seeking professional guidance to aid in understanding why the addiction was there to begin with.
Knowing George W. Bush quit his alcoholism cold turkey, I always considered him a dry drunk, but I never felt I had the professional competence to comment on how that effects his behavior.
I found the following article by a professor of social work who specializes in the field of addiction treatment helps explain the phenomenon.

Addiction, Brain Damage and the President

"Dry Drunk" Syndrome and George W. Bush


Ordinarily I would not use this term. But when I came across the article "Dry Drunk" - - Is Bush Making a Cry for Help? in American Politics Journalby Alan Bisbort, I was ready to concede, in the case of George W. Bush, the phrase may be quite apt.
Dry drunk is a slang term used by members and supporters of Alcoholics Anonymous and substance abuse counselors to describe the recovering alcoholic who is no longer drinking, one who is dry, but whose thinking is clouded. Such an individual is said to be dry but not truly sober. Such an individual tends to go to extremes
It was when I started noticing the extreme language that colored President Bush's speeches that I began to wonder. First there were the terms-- "crusade" and "infinite justice" that were later withdrawn.
Next came "evil doers," "axis of evil," and "regime change", terms that have almost become clichés in the mass media. Something about the polarized thinking and the obsessive repetition reminded me of many of the recovering alcoholics/addicts I had treated. (A point worth noting is that because of the connection between addiction and "stinking thinking," relapse prevention usually consists of work in the cognitive area).
Having worked with recovering alcoholics for years, I flinched at the single-mindedness and ego- and ethnocentricity in the President's speeches. (My husband likened his phraseology to the gardener character (Chauncy Gardener) played by Peter Sellers in the movie, Being There). Since words are the tools, the representations, of thought, I wondered what Bush's choice of words said about where he was coming from. Or where we would be going.
First, in this essay, we will look at the characteristics of the so-called "dry drunk;" then we will see if they apply to this individual, our president; and then we will review his drinking history for the record.
What is the dry drunk syndrome? "Dry drunk" traits consist of:

Exaggerated self-importance and pomposity
Grandiose behavior
A rigid, judgmental outlook
Childish behavior
Irresponsible behavior
Irrational rationalization

Clearly, George W. Bush has all these traits except exaggerated self importance. He may be pompous, especially with regard to international dealings, but his actual importance hardly can be exaggerated. His power, in fact, is such that if he collapses into paranoia, a large part of
the world will collapse with him.

Unfortunately, there are some indications of paranoia in statements such as the following:
"We must be prepared to stop rogue states and their terrorist clients before they are able to
threaten or use weapons of mass destruction against the United States and our allies and friends." The trait of projection is evidenced here as well, projection of the fact that we are ready to attack onto another nation which may not be so inclined.

Bush's rigid, judgmental outlook comes across in virtually all his speeches. To fight evil, Bush is ready to take on the world, in almost a Biblical sense. Consider his statement with reference to Israel: "Look, my job isn't to try to nuance. I think moral clarity is important... this is evil versus good."

Bush's tendency to dichotomize reality is not on the list above, but it should be, as this tendency to polarize is symptomatic of the classic addictive thinking pattern. I describe this thinking distortion in Addiction Treatment: A Strengths Perspective as either/or reasoning--
"either you are with us or against us."
Oddly, Bush used those very words in his dealings with other nations. All-or-nothing thinking is a related mode of thinking commonly found in newly recovering alcoholics/addicts. Such a
worldview traps people in a pattern of destructive behavior.

Obsessive thought patterns are also pronounced in persons prone to
addiction. There are organic reasons for this due to brain chemistry
irregularities; messages in one part of the brain become stuck there.
This leads to maddening repetition of thoughts. President Bush seems unduly
focused on getting revenge on Saddam Hussein ("he tried to kill my Dad")
leading the country and the world into war, accordingly.

Grandiosity enters the picture as well. What Bush is proposing to
Congress is not the right to attack on one country but a total shift in
military policy: America would now have the right to take military action
before the adversary even has the capacity to attack. This is in violation,
of course, of international law as well as national precedent. How to
explain this grandiose request? Jane Bryant Quinn provides the most commonly
offered explanation in a recent Newsweek editorial, "Iraq: It's the Oil, Stupid."

Many other opponents of the Bush doctrine similarly seek a rational
motive behind the obsession over first, the war on terror and now, Iraq. I
believe the explanation goes deeper than oil, that Bush's logic is being
given too much credit; I believe his obsession is far more visceral.

On this very day, a peace protestor in Portland held up the sign, "Drunk on
Power." This, I believe, is closer to the truth. The drive for power can be
an unquenchable thirst, addictive in itself. Senator William Fulbright, in
his popular bestseller of the 1960s, The Arrogance of Power, masterfully
described the essence of power-hungry politics as the pursuit of power; this
he conceived as an end in itself. "The causes and consequences of war may
have more to do with pathology than with politics," he wrote, "more to do
with irrational pressures of pride and pain than with rational calculation
of advantage and profit."

Another "dry drunk" trait is impatience. Bush is far from a patient man: "If
we wait for threats to fully materialize," he said in a speech he gave at
West Point, "we will have waited too long." Significantly, Bush only waited
for the United Nations and for Congress to take up the matter of Iraq's
disarmament with extreme reluctance.

Alan Bisbort argues that Bush possesses the characteristics of the "dry
drunk" in terms of: his incoherence while speaking away from the script; his
irritability with anyone (for example, Germany's Schröder) who dares
disagree with him; and his dangerous obsessing about only one thing (Iraq)
to the exclusion of all other things.

In short, George W. Bush seems to possess the traits characteristic of
addictive persons who still have the thought patterns that accompany
substance abuse. If we consult the latest scientific findings, we will
discover that scientists can now observe changes that occur in the brain as
a result of heavy alcohol and other drug abuse. Some of these changes may be
permanent. Except in extreme cases, however, these cognitive impairments
would not be obvious to most observers.

To reach any conclusions we need of course to know Bush's personal
history relevant to drinking/drug use. To this end I consulted several

Yes, there was much drunkenness, years of binge drinking starting in
college, at least one conviction for DUI in 1976 in Maine, and one
arrest before that for a drunken episode involving theft of a Christmas
wreath. According to J.D. Hatfield's book, Fortunate Son, Bush later
explained: "[A]lcohol began to compete with my energies....I'd lose focus."

Although he once said he couldn't remember a day he hadn't had a drink, he
added that he didn't believe he was "clinically alcoholic." Even his father,
who had known for years that his son had a serious drinking problem,
publicly proclaimed: "He was never an alcoholic. It's just he knows he can't
hold his liquor."

Bush drank heavily for over 20 years until he made the decision to
abstain at age 40. About this time he became a "born again Christian," going
as usual from one extreme to the other. During an Oprah interview, Bush
acknowledged that his wife had told him he needed to think about what he was
doing. When asked in another interview about his reported drug use, he
answered honestly, "I'm not going to talk about what I did 20 to 30 years

That there might be a tendency toward addiction in Bush's family is
indicated in the recent arrests or criticism of his daughters for
underage drinking and his niece for cocaine possession. Bush, of course,
deserves credit for his realization that he can't drink moderately, and his
decision today to abstain. The fact that he doesn't drink moderately, may be
suggestive of an inability to handle alcohol. In any case, Bush has clearly
gotten his life in order and is in good physical condition, careful to
exercise and rest when he needs to do so. The fact that some residual
effects from his earlier substance abuse, however slight, might cloud the
U.S. President's thinking and judgment is frightening, however, in the
context of the current global crisis.

One final consideration that might come into play in the foreign policy
realm relates to Bush's history relevant to his father. The Bush biography
reveals the story of a boy named for his father, sent to the exclusive
private school in the East where his father's reputation as star athlete and
later war hero were still remembered. The younger George's achievements were
dwarfed in the school's memory of his father. Athletically he could not
achieve his father's laurels, being smaller and perhaps less strong. His
drinking bouts and lack of intellectual gifts held him back as well. He was
popular and well liked, however. His military record was mediocre as
compared to his father's as well. Bush entered the Texas National Guard.

What he did there remains largely a mystery. There are reports of a lot of
barhopping during this period. It would be only natural that Bush would want
to prove himself today, that he would feel somewhat uncomfortable following,
as before, in his father's footsteps. I mention these things because when
you follow his speeches, Bush seems bent on a personal crusade. One motive
is to avenge his father. Another seems to be to prove himself to his father.
In fact, Bush seems to be trying somehow to achieve what his father failed
to do - - to finish the job of the Gulf War, to get the "evildoer" Saddam.

To summarize, George W. Bush manifests all the classic patterns of what
alcoholics in recovery call "the dry drunk." His behavior is consistent with
barely noticeable but meaningful brain damage brought on by years of heavy
drinking and possible cocaine use. All the classic patterns of addictive
thinking that are spelled out in my book are here:

the tendency to go to extremes (leading America into a massive 100
billion dollar strike-first war);

a "kill or be killed mentality;" the tunnel vision;

"I" as opposed to "we" thinking;

the black and white polarized thought processes (good versus evil, all
or nothing thinking).

His drive to finish his father's battles is of no small significance,

If the public (and politicians) could only see what Fulbright noted as
the 'pathology in the politics'.

One day, sadly, they will.

Katherine van Wormer is a Professor of Social Work at the University of
Northern Iowa Co-author of Addiction Treatment: A Strengths Perspective

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Whew, That's a Relief!

That George W. Bush thinks of everything.
Now with a random terrorist threat of epic proportions threatening to hit "somewhere" in America this summer, we have an excuse not to get in our cars and have to waste $3 a gallon gasoline traveling.
Let's see, where would terrorists get the most bang for their buck?
Theme parks are always full in the summer, plus in Florida they could get Jeb Bush in the process.
Washington DC has all those historical sites, that too would be a nice spot to hit.
With Bush's keen new Department of Homeland Security, we've learned that all sorts of extra money has been allotted to cities all over America to help us boost our security.
Instead of distributing it to those cities most in need of beefed up security, the GOP-heavy Congress has turned it into a pork barrel extravaganza.
Instead of determining fund distribution based on a city's need, NYC is getting about $5 per capita, as opposed to that terrorist hot zone Wyoming, which is getting about $75 a head. And let's not forget Guam, which is getting about $115 per capita.
If the terrorists do strike (or shall I say when they strike) there's really only one area that would make sense, but it's not a summer event.
The Republican National Convention will meet in New York City come early autumn.
Perhaps NYC can use their Homeland Security money to paint a big red bullseye on the roof of the convention site.
At least that way, women, children, minorities and gays will be spared.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Monday Night's Speech

I know many of you didn't bother to listen to Bush last night, giving the first of a series of six speeches designed to try to convince anyone who'll listen he knows what he's doing in Iraq.
Hell, I didn't listen to it either after CNN gave a list of the major points he would try to make.
According to news recaps, it was nothing new.
He still didn't answer how we were going to pay for it, or how he figured a new, trillion dollar tax cut would be possible, much less feasible, during this war he started.
He did offer our services in tearing down, then reconstructing a new prison to replace Aboo, uhh Aboog, uhh Abu Grabub. Right. Let's not leave a reminder, eh Dubya? Let's tear it down so people forget that soldiers under your command showed sadistic torture and/or depraved indifference toward other human beings.
The networks declined to cover the speech, knowing it was nothing more than Bush rehashing the same old bullshit he expects us to believe.
The cable news networks covered it so they'd have something to talk about.

With only about 40 percent of Americans still saying they believe Bush knows his ass from a hole in his head regarding Iraq, why does he bother?
Maybe if he read a newspaper from time to time he'd know his one term is about finished, and it'd be better for the country for him to slink back to Crawford, get back on his bike and practice staying on.

The guy's a loser who has dragged the whole country down with him.
It'll take decades to repair the messes he and his crooked cabinet have made.
Fuck him and fuck his weak speeches.
We've heard enough.

Monday, May 24, 2004

A Most Eloquent Editorial

History lesson: GOP must stop Bush
By Carl Bernstein

Thirty years ago, a Republican president, facing impeachment by the House of Representatives and conviction by the Senate, was forced to resign because of unprecedented crimes he and his aides committed against the Constitution and people of the United States. Ultimately, Richard Nixon left office voluntarily because courageous leaders of the Republican Party put principle above party and acted with heroism in defense of the Constitution and rule of law.

"What did the president know and when did he know it?" a Republican senator — Howard Baker of Tennessee — famously asked of Nixon 30 springtimes ago.
Today, confronted by the graphic horrors of Abu Ghraib prison, by ginned-up intelligence to justify war, by 652 American deaths since presidential operatives declared "Mission Accomplished," Republican leaders have yet to suggest that George W. Bush be held responsible for the disaster in Iraq and that perhaps he, not just Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, is ill-suited for his job.
Having read the report of Major Gen. Antonio Taguba, I expect Baker's question will resound again in another congressional investigation. The equally relevant question is whether Republicans will, Pavlov-like, continue to defend their president with ideological and partisan reflex, or remember the example of principled predecessors who pursued truth at another dark moment.
Today, the issue may not be high crimes and misdemeanors, but rather Bush's failure, or inability, to lead competently and honestly.
"You are courageously leading our nation in the war against terror," Bush told Rumsfeld in a Wizard-of-Oz moment May 10, as Vice President Cheney, Secretary of State Colin Powell and senior generals looked on. "You are a strong secretary of Defense, and our nation owes you a debt of gratitude." The scene recalled another Oz moment: Nixon praising his enablers, Bob Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, as "two of the finest public servants I've ever known."
Sidestepping the Constitution
Like Nixon, this president decided the Constitution could be bent on his watch. Terrorism justified it, and Rumsfeld's Pentagon promoted policies making inevitable what happened at Abu Ghraib — and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The legal justification for ignoring the Geneva Conventions regarding humane treatment of prisoners was enunciated in a memo to Bush, dated Jan. 25, 2002, from the White House counsel.
"As you have said, the war against terrorism is a new kind of war," Alberto Gonzales wrote Bush. "In my judgment, this new paradigm renders obsolete Geneva's strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners and renders quaint some of its provisions." Quaint.
Since January, Bush and Rumsfeld have been aware of credible complaints of systematic torture. In March, Taguba's report reached Rumsfeld. Yet neither Bush nor his Defense secretary expressed concern publicly or leveled with Congress until photographic evidence of an American Gulag, possessed for months by the administration, was broadcast to the world.
Rumsfeld then explained, "You read it, as I say, it's one thing. You see these photographs and it's just unbelievable. ... It wasn't three-dimensional. It wasn't video. It wasn't color. It was quite a different thing." But the report also described atrocities never photographed or taped that were, often, even worse than the pictures — just as Nixon's actions were frequently far worse than his tapes recorded.
It was Barry Goldwater, the revered conservative, who convinced Nixon that he must resign or face certain conviction by the Senate — and perhaps jail. Goldwater delivered his message in person, at the White House, accompanied by Republican congressional leaders.
Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee likewise put principle above party to cast votes for articles of impeachment. On the eve of his mission, Goldwater told his wife that it might cost him his Senate seat on Election Day. Instead, the courage of Republicans willing to dissociate their party from Nixon helped Ronald Reagan win the presidency six years later, unencumbered by Watergate.
Another precedent is apt: In 1968, a few Democratic senators — J. William Fulbright, Eugene McCarthy, George McGovern and Robert F. Kennedy — challenged their party's torpor and insisted that President Lyndon Johnson be held accountable for his disastrous and disingenuous conduct of the Vietnam War, adding weight to public pressure, which, eventually, forced Johnson not to seek re-election.
Today, the United States is confronted by another ill-considered war, conceived in ideological zeal and pursued with contempt for truth, disregard of history and an arrogant assertion of American power that has stunned and alienated much of the world, including traditional allies. At a juncture in history when the United States needed a president to intelligently and forcefully lead a real international campaign against terrorism and its causes, Bush decided instead to unilaterally declare war on a totalitarian state that never represented a terrorist threat; to claim exemption from international law regarding the treatment of prisoners; to suspend constitutional guarantees even to non-combatants at home and abroad; and to ignore sound military advice from the only member of his Cabinet — Powell — with the most requisite experience. Instead of using America's moral authority to lead a great global cause, Bush squandered it.
In Republican cloakrooms, as in the Oval Office, response to catastrophe these days is more concerned with politics and PR than principle. Said Tom DeLay, House majority leader: "A full-fledged congressional investigation — that's like saying we need an investigation every time there's police brutality on the street."
When politics topples principles
To curtail any hint of dissension in the ranks, Bush scheduled a "pep rally" with congressional Republicans — speaking 35 minutes, after which, characteristically, he took no questions and lawmakers dutifully circled the wagons.
What did George W. Bush know and when did he know it? Another wartime president, Harry Truman, observed that the buck stops at the president's desk, not the Pentagon.
But among Republicans today, there seems to be scant interest in asking tough questions — or honoring the example of courageous leaders of Congress who, not long ago, stepped forward, setting principle before party, to hold accountable presidents who put their country in peril.
Carl Bernstein's most recent book is a biography of John Paul II, His Holiness. He is co-author, with Bob Woodward, of All the President's Men and The Final Days.

Pick a Problem

Ahhh, just as I predicted.
Bush has become the little Dutch boy with his finger in the dike.
His gross negligence, pandering to the rich, arrogance toward the rest of the world and general lack of intellect has resulted in problems the likes of which this nation has never encountered.
For once, I am overwhelmed by an abundance of anti Bush Blog topics from which to choose.
Some possibilities:
1. Bush deficit worse than claimed
2. Prison torture worse than initially revealed
3. Rumsfeld and other neocon hawks
4. Electronic voting may allow GOP to steal another election
5. Bush staff leaks CIA operative's name in revenge scheme
6. Gasoline prices reeling out of control
7. Bush's sneaky attempts to ban abortion
8. Halliburton's sweetheart contracts in Iraq
9. The crucification of Colin Powell
10. GOP's start to turn against each other
11. Bush clan turns on Chalabi
12. "Full sovereignty" on June 30
13. Michael Moore's film on Bush
14. Using gay marriage as a campaign distraction
15. The environment

Those are just a few. Which would y'all like me to write about next?

Friday, May 21, 2004

Nancy Pelosi: Finally, a Straight Shooter in the House

When House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday, "I believe that the president's leadership and the actions taken in Iraq demonstrate an incompetence in terms of knowledge, judgment and experience," Republicans reacted with theatrical shock.
One even showed he thinks Bush and America are one in the same:
Marc Racicot, the chairman of the Bush-Cheney campaign, described Pelosi's comments as a "reprehensible attempt to blame America for the actions of terrorists."
Blame America? She didn't mention the country, she was talking specifically about Bush.
Do the GOP really think Bush is America?
"This president should have known ... when you decide to go to war you have to know what the consequences of your action are and how you can accomplish the mission," Pelosi said.
There was plenty of intelligence to say there would be chaos in Iraq following the fall of Baghdad."
Bush's policy "of ignoring his own State Department about what would happen after the fall of Baghdad and ignoring the intelligence as to the chaotic situation that would exist ... carries with it a responsibility for all of the costs of war," she said.
"The results of his action are what undermine his leadership, not my statements," she said. "The emperor has no clothes. When are people going to face the reality?"

She's right.
Our troops are stuck in a country filled with people who hate us and we are spending $5 billion a month in the process. There's no end in sight, and the June deadline for handing over sovereignty is about as laughable as Bush's Mission Accomplished speech last year.
Sure, Iraq had a bad leader in Hussein. The Middle East has plenty of bad leaders.
But Iraq didn't attack us on 9/11, Bin Laden did.
For Bush to divert the focus from bringing Bin Laden to justice to his personal feud with Saddam Hussein is incompetence.

Pelosi may have fired the first volley across the aisle, but someone needed to.
Whatever it takes, Bush has got to go and Pelosi showed tremendous courage in saying aloud what so many in the House have likely been thinking.
The GOP who condemned her remarks keep missing her point.
Get this:
Steve Schmidt, a spokesman for the Bush-Cheney campaign, said the comments "represent a grotesque political attack. They're simply outrageous and the American people will reject that type of blame America first. ... American troops are bravely fighting the terrorist enemy and it is the terrorists who are responsible for the violence, not the president."
Rep. Tom Reynolds, R-N.Y., chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said if all Pelosi could offer is taunting U.S. troops "by saying they are dying needlessly and are risking their lives on a shallow mission, then she should just go back to her pastel-colored condo in San Francisco and keep her views to herself."
A Pelosi spokeswoman said that the congresswoman lives in a red-brick house.
Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie assailed "angry Democrats" who "have now adopted Blame America first as their official policy."

Republicans- Get your heads out of the sand. Pelosi blames Bush, not America, not American soldiers, she put the blame where it belongs- on Bush.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

GOP Catfight!

Seems some Republican Senators are fighting with Republican Congress Representatives and Dubya has had to go to Capitol Hill to try and mend fences.
The dissenting GOP Senators want what's best for the country, like a balanced budget, while the Congress Reps want them to toe the party line.
Dubya's going give them his old, "stay the course" speech.
I wonder if staying the course means kissing and making up with his and Dick Cheney's old buddy Ahmad Chalabi, the Iraqi criminal who sold Bush and clan the bullshit about all those WMD's Saddam had?
Chalabi led the "Iraqi National Congress," which until recently was getting $335,000 a month from Bush and Cheney to tell them what they wanted to hear.
Remember that, "Iraqis will greet Americans as liberators" line? That would be Chalabi's.

Or does Bush mean staying the course by continuing to allow Donald Rumsfeld to condone detainee torture via his secret network of MI goons?

"Staying the course" is a phrase Bush should rethink.
If we stay his course, it'll be a race between bankruptcy and total obliteration by terrorist attacks.

I predicted an eventual rift in the GOP and now it is beginning.
That sound you hear is another wheel coming off the Bush bus as it careens nearer to the cliff.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

My Pen Pal

My political nemesis and fellow Blogger Barcodie and I have been corresponding.
I send him links to newspaper and magazine articles, he sends me links to Bloggers who think like he does.
He casts aspersions on the mainstream media, so he reads Blogs to get his news. I tell him Blogs aren't reliable news sources.
We are like Fred and Ethel Mertz, except I am the only witty one.
He was all atwitter on Monday when they located that artillery shell in Iraq. He considered that discovery a weapon of mass destruction. I considered it a weapon of minor distraction.
He was sure the discovery would exonerate Bush from telling us that big, fat lie that dragged us into this $5 billion a month war. I am sure it will do no such thing.
I told him the story wouldn't stay in the news past a few days.
As usual, I was right.
Barcodie blames the liberal media for killing the story. I blame the fact that finding an unmarked shell of dubious freshness is not that interesting.

Barcodie says things to me like, "Well, you being a "professional journalist" and all."
He puts quotes around "professional journalist."
It must just kill him that I am a professional journalist and I know more about the media than he does.
Sheesh. It's not like I call him a "professional postal worker" and try to tell him how the mail gets delivered.

He refuses to allow for comments on his Blog.
So, I'll ask him some questions here, so he can see how fair and balanced it is to allow others to express themselves on someone else's Blog.

1. Where is Bin Laden?
2. Why aren't the Iraqis welcoming our troops with flowers and sweets like Bush said they'd be, and why isn't Iraqi oil paying for Iraq's bills like Bush said it would?
3. Where are the WMD's?
4. Why is gasoline costing us so much money and still rising in cost?
5. Why is Rumsfeld still employed?
6. Why did Dick Cheney's Halliburton get away with more than $10 billion in no-bid, secret contracts in Iraq, when they've already been fined millions by the government for price gouging?
7. Why is it okay to isolate gays for constitutional discrimination?
8. Why does Bush claim credit for helping school children with an underfunded program?
9. If we can spend $5 billion a month in Iraq, why did Bush say we couldn't afford to spend the $10 billion it would have cost to equip domestic airports with state of the art security systems?
10. Why is it okay for Bush to have spent the budget surplus giving tax cuts to the wealthy?
11. Why is it okay for Bush to have run us into the highest budget deficit in history?
12. Why was it okay for Bush to lower standards on environmental regulations for companies that pollute our air and water?
13. Why is giving tax breaks to companies who outsource American jobs to foreign countries good for the American public?
14. Why is it okay to call burger flipping jobs "manufacturing jobs" to inflate employment statistics?
15. What is the difference between a radical fundamentalist Christian warmonger and a radical fundamentalist Islamic warmonger?
16. What exactly has Bush done for America?

If anyone else has a question for my pal Barcodie, feel free to chime in.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

A Cold Button Issue

Just for the record, most of the gays and lesbians I know and read about are worried about the economy, the war in Iraq, record high gas prices, the outsourcing of American jobs, the environment, education, AIDS funding, stem cell research, affordable prescription costs, affordable health insurance and other issues Bush has failed to handle effectively.

I don't know of any queer who will refuse to support Kerry because he said his personal opinion was that he thought marriage was a union between a man and a woman. He's entitled to his personal opinion, everyone is. Besides, he said he's okay with civil unions between queers, and that's a start.
Kerry doesn't endorse a Constitutional amendment that bans homosexuals from marrying, and that's all that really matters. He doesn't endorse the amendment, but Bush does.

The Bush spin machine is trying mightily to stir up the gay marriage issue and keep it on the front burner to use as a political hot potato.
Is that really where we need to put our focus, folks?
I'm not a Bush supporter for a variety of reasons. His homophobia and pandering to the Christian right are pretty far down my list of the many reasons to oppose him.

The neocons want the right-wing to vote for Bush, so they are trying to scare them into thinking a vote for Kerry equals gays having the right to marry.
The Bushites are gleefully saying, "In Kerry's home state of Massachusetts, gays are lining up to get legally married."
By doing so, they are trying to tie in Kerry with the Massachusetts Supreme Court decision that
gave gay marriage the green light in that state. It was a court decision, not a Senate decision, so I wish they'd stop trying to confuse stupid, gullible people by implying that Kerry had something to do with it.

Let's get something straight about gays, folks.
If their gayness was that big a deal, most gays and lesbians would move to more liberal, gay friendly states and cities
I am pretty damn queer, but I live in Texas where they still shoot at us in some areas. Why? Because my family and my roots are here, because I have a career here, have a house here, was educated here and met my Texan girlfriend here.
My best friends live here, my ancestors are buried here, I bought my first and last pieces of real estate here and cast my first voted here.
I love Texas in spite of its conservative element.
I embrace diversity, even those redneck shitkickers who actually help make Texas so damn colorful.
Will Eclair and I end up moving to Massachusetts so we can one day get married? Hell, no.
Does anyone really think now that gay marriage is legal, EVERYONE in Massachusetts will embrace homosexuality and make it a land free from homophobia?
Get real.
I'm happy for all the Massachusetts queers who now have the state's blessing to get married, but like most queers, I think this issue is nothing compared with our country's need to dump this horrid administration and reclaim our country.
We queers can agitate for gay rights later.
When the whole house is on fire, it's not the time to bitch about remodeling the closets.

Monday, May 17, 2004

Desperate Rumsfeld and His Aide:
Good Luck Fucking With Seymour Hersh

Any sane politician knows it's a bad idea to call an award-winning, widely respected journalist a liar.
With "sane" being the keyword, Donald Rumsfeld and his lackey, Pentagon spin doctor Lawrence Di Rita, called an article Seymour Hersh wrote for The New Yorker, "pure, unadulterated fiction."

That translates to them calling Hersh a liar.

In the article, Hersh wrote that Rumsfeld and Stephen A. Cambone, the undersecretary of defense for intelligence, approved the use of the tougher interrogation techniques in Iraq in 2003 to extract better information from Iraqi prisoners to counter the growing insurgency threat in the country.
Hersh said, "According to interviews with several past and present American intelligence officials, the Pentagon's operation, known inside the intelligence community by several code words, including Copper Green, encouraged physical coercion and sexual humiliation of Iraqi prisoners in an effort to generate more intelligence about the growing insurgency in Iraq."

Basically, Hersh's latest article focuses new attention on the burning question in the prisoner abuse scandal: exactly who ordered the mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners?
Rumsfeld said the orders were carried out by lower-level forces, without the approval of senior commanders.
The article suggests that Rumsfeld and Cambone have shifted the blame from top civilians at the Pentagon to lower-level military police guards.

Someone is not telling the truth.
Which side is lying? Who are the players?

We know who Rumsfeld is.
He's the one who said publicly, the rules for prisoner treatment as set forth in the Geneva Conventions "didn't apply in this situation."
When questioned about his smoking gun statement, he quibbled, "I meant in Afghanistan, not Iraq."

He works for George W. Bush.
Bush is the man who convinced Congress that Iraq held weapons of mass destruction that necessitated America's urgent need to start a war with that country.
More than a year later, the only "weapon" discovered has been a single artillery shell, containing a small amount of serin gas. Experts say the unmarked shell appeared to be old, possibly a relic of the Persian Gulf War.
Did Bush lie, too? You decide.

So, who is this Seymour Hersh? Is he the type to make up a pack of lies just to sell a story?
You decide.
In 1969, freelancer Hersh wrote the first account of the Mei Lei massacre in South Viet Nam. That story effectively turned the American public against the war by exposing the darkest side of the American military involvement in it.
Historians consider the Hersh Mei Lei article the most important piece of journalism of that era.

In the 70's, Hersh worked as a reporter for the New York Times in New York and Washington, DC.
He has won more than a dozen major journalism prizes, including a Pulitzer for International Reporting and four George Polk Awards.
To put those awards in perspective, in the field of journalism the Pulitzer Prize is like an Oscar and the Polk is like an Emmy. There are no higher honors awarded in journalism, these are the ultimate.
Hersh also has authored six books, including, "The Price of Power: Kissinger in the Nixon White House," which won the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Award.
In researching this story, I found no evidence of Hersh's credibility ever being questioned in the past.

Bush and the White House seem to use the tactic of discrediting anyone who challenges them or disagrees with them. They think it's okay to call anyone a liar or fraud without any regard for the inevitable evidence their victims must supply to salvage their careers and reputations.
They offer no apologies when their allegations are proven false.

This tactic was most evident when they challenged the war record of John Kerry.
Their allegations that Kerry's medal winning heroism was fraudulent have been debunked by many distinguished veterans who served on the battlefield with Kerry and witnessed firsthand his heroics.

Maybe it's because I worked as a journalist and rigorously adhered to the ethical standards set forth by the Society of Professional Journalists, but I get very offended when I hear politicians casually calling world reknown journalists liars.

Having heard countless, proven lies spewed forth by the Bush administration, this is a clear case of the pot calling the kettle black.

I think it's appalling that Rumsfeld and his goons have gotten so desperate, they'll say or do anything to cover their asses. They have no shame, no conscience, no sense of propriety and no respect for the reputations of those who corner them.

Calling one of America's most respected journalism professionals a liar might buy them some time, the journalism community is like any professional group. They protect their own when one is singled out for unfair, dishonest allegations.

Good luck, Rummy.

Back to the Grind

It was nice to clear my head of news and politics this weekend, and Eclair was more than helpful in redirecting my attention whenever it strayed back to the topic.
Under the zenlike admonition to chop wood and carry water to clear one's head of worldly concerns, we decided to focus on creating an inviting oasis in her backyard, in preparation for her birthday party in two weeks.
The wooden fence surrounding her in-ground swimming pool faces the street on one side and the alley on another.
The gaps in the fence have been an ongoing concern for us, because we may be, umm, over a certain age, but we're still very damn frisky and don't want her snoopy neighborhood peepers having heart attacks while spying on us.
We decided to affix rolls of tightly woven bamboo fencing to the inside of the wooden fence.
It was hard work, but the results were fabulous. The yard looked like a cozy tropical paradise once we finished, sort of like a Survivor Tribal Council set, I told her.
Once finished, we went out to the street to see how well we'd covered the gaps to ensure total privacy.
Alas, in too many spots, the gaps in the wooden fence lined up perfectly with the gaps in the bamboo fencing, so we were back to square one. Such dejection.
Luckily, Eclair has hooked up with me, one of the biggest jerryriggers in home improvement history. I had an idea.
We spent Sunday taking down the bamboo fencing and sticking strip after strip of duck tape over the gaps in the wooden fence.
I thought the proper term was 'duct tape,' but the six jumbo rolls we bought said 'duck' on the label, just for the record.
She was horrified with my slapdash solution at first, but like everyone eventually discovers, duck tape is the miracle cure for most household dilemmas. She's been converted.
In addition us installing 40 miles of duck tape-fortified new tropical-look privacy fencing, I gave her some early birthday presents for her yard.
She got 10 new wooden birdhouses, in assorted architectural styles, painted in many colors.
I have no patience for bad grammar, stupidity or liars, but I have Job-like patience for detailed painting projects like little wooden bird houses. These were doozies, if I do say so myself.
Some were done in Arts & Crafts Revival style. Some were futuristic. One was painted to look like an old, stone church.
One caters to punk rock birds. Another looks like a typical motel chain seen from any Interstate highway. One has a white, glass glitter roof fashioned to look like snow. Another was painted in rainbow colors to resemble a birdie gay bar. One is festooned with stenciled flowers in dozens of colors. Another looks like a Palm Beach disco.
When she first saw the assortment, Eclair was a little overwhelmed, but by now she's used to my credo, "anything worth doing is worth overdoing."
We felt very smug and satisfied once we finished the work we'd done in her yard.
Even the birds in the hood chirped in admiration.

By Sunday, I was starting to get curious about world news.
I perused the Sunday paper and found my beloved Spurs had lost the playoff series to the evil Laker devil spawn. My gut felt like I'd been eating AAA batteries, and I was glad we didn't watch game the night before.
Delving further into the newspaper, I skimmed the headlines, skipped the stories and worked the crossword puzzles instead.
Many of my Blogger buddies wrote thoughtful, powerful anti-Bush and political Blogs over the weekend while I was dormant and recharging my soul's batteries. We are lucky to have so many intelligent, politically astute people out there who can write with impact. Nice job, friends.

This morning, I caught up with all the news.
It was as bad as ever.
More bloodshed. More buck passing. More reasons to loathe Bush and his criminal cohorts.

God, it's good to be back.

Friday, May 14, 2004

My Head is Stuffed

I am going to steer clear of the news from now until I read the Sunday paper.
I have CNN Abuse Syndrome, where I've watched so much news and read so many articles lately, I feel like my head is going to explode.
Dr. Phil was on Larry King last night, and maybe it's because he's a Texan and I understand his shpiel, or maybe because I like his directness, but I have to admit I like the guy.
He spoke of how we become inundated with tragic or controversial news and we go on little binges wanting to hear more and more, and we end up settling for hearing the same stories a hundred times.
In doing so, we break with the spiritual side of our beings and clutter our minds with horrible images and heated resentments that really can become toxic in large doses.

Nah. I'm taking a break.
It's Friday afternoon, the monsoon rains have stopped and the sky is clear.
I plan to spend the weekend with Eclair, hoping it gets hot enough to jump in her pool and play in the water with her.
We swam last weekend, but the water was so cold I just sort of rolled into a ball like a pillbug.
Poor Eclair was like a happy penguin in the water wanting to play, and all I did was shiver, chatter my teeth and make my eyes look real shocked.
She's very tolerant. All she did was smile and hug me to warm me up while I whined.

I just want to veg this weekend.
I want the image of Rumsfeld's face and the sound of Dubya's voice stammering and saying uhh every four words to disappear from my brain. For the whole weekend, I want to stop thinking of ways to persuade everyone to vote Bush out.

Speaking of which, I know I write a lot of political Blogs because I am indeed obsessed with getting Bush out of office.
Last night, when I was pondering new ways to convince everyone to vote Bush out, something occurred to me.

Those of you who Blog but rarely Blog about politics, if you want Bush to be defeated, please try to mention that on occasionally on your Blogs.
People like Mike Z, Crazy Tracy and Melly who get a zillion hits a day have a great opportunity to influence the undecided, stir the dormant and educate the ignorant.
While I'm on this brief political hiatus, I challenge everyone to write the ultimate political Blog. Stir people up! Make 'em cuss in your comments boxes! I may even award a little prize the the biggest barnburner.

My biggest decision tonight will be white or red.
See ya.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Random Snipes, Gloves Off

White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan has to be the biggest douche bag in Washington. At least former Bush flak Ari Fleischer deferred answering questions that would require he tell a big, fat lie. Mc Clellan must leave a slime trail in his wake. I wonder if he kisses his mother with that lying mouth?

I wrote a letter to Oklahoma Senator Inhole to complain about the stupid comments he made during the detainee abuse senate hearings. I'm usually pretty formal and polite when I write to legislators, but this asswipe didn't deserve it. I'll spare you the details, but here's the ending:
"You are a disgrace to the American people and an embarrassment to the Senate.
Pull your head out of your ass, "Senator," and if you can't say anything intelligent, keep your stupid mouth shut."

Gasoline is predicted to soon rise to $3 a gallon. If I hear one more right-wingnut say, "It's not that bad when it's adjusted to inflation," I am going to stick an air hose in them and adjust them to inflation.
I don't give a damn what it used to be, 3 bucks a gallon is outrageous and it's Dubya and Aunt Jemima Condi Rice's fault for being such miserable pimps for the petroleum industry.

Donald Rumsfeld gave a rousing speech to the troops in Iraq during his spur of the moment spin doctoring trip there today. Too little, too late, Rummy. I wonder how much his little esprit de tour cost the taxpayers?
Look to the Bush tribe to play and replay snippets of the troops applauding his speech.
What else could they do, boo him and end up with hoods over their heads and electrodes wired to their naughty bits? That guy is scary. I'd applaud too, just to make sure his goon squad didn't carry me off to a torture room.

In 48 days, Bush is supposed to turn over sovereignty of Iraq to Iraqis. He still doesn't know which Iraqis or when he will know which Iraqis, but Bush is continuing to talk with his traditional certainty over a matter of total uncertainty.
Are you getting tired of him blowing smoke out his ass? I mean, come on, does anyone believe Iraq will get its country back on June 30? Why keep bullshitting us?

Why don't they move Colin Powell over to Secretary of Defense? He's as good a scapegoat as any Bush pimp, and he and Rummy hate each other's guts, so it'd be a good poke in Rummy's eye.

Venerated journalist Helen Thomas, who has been the traditional first journalist called on to ask questions of presidents from JFK to Clinton, is no longer called on during Dubya's rare press conferences (only three so far in his entire term).
The 84-year-old got into trouble and was muzzled last April when she sassed Bush apologist Scott Douchebag Mc Clellan, who was explaining why some of the Iraqis in the towns under siege seem reluctant to accept "our gift of democracy."
MCCLELLAN: Now there are some thugs and terrorists that continue to exist ...
THOMAS: Maybe they're just Iraqis.
McCLELLAN: Helen, all you have to have to do is look at the types of attacks that they carried out on innocent Americans recently to know that these are thugs and terrorists. They have no regard for human life.
THOMAS: Maybe they’re defending their own country against an occupation?

Helen Thomas said last week, "The United States is now at a fork in the road in its Iraq policy. The deplorable prison abuse and the mounting casualty toll may wake up Americans to ask a question about Iraq, a question Bush and his administration have never clearly answered: Why are we there?"

It's pretty goddam pathetic when an 84-year old woman shows more balls than anyone in the White House Press Corps.
Seems the women in the media like Thomas, Molly Ivins and Arianna Huffington all have more guts than those parakeet-balled men in the media. Fucking cowards.
Survivor: Second Million Dollar Booty

My online pal and winner of Survivor Panama, Sandra Diaz-Twine, replied to my note yesterday.
I asked her who she thought would win the viewer's vote for most deserving of the second million dollar prize the producers are offering for the All Star Survivor series.
She said, "Rupert, all the way."
She and Rupert were especially close during Survivor Panama, so I hope gets to see her pal join her as a millionaire.
Okay, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out who most people rooted for this time around, and we can all sort of assume Rupert will get the money tonight at 7 central on CBS.
Though the outcome is very predictable, I'm planning to watch because it'll be one of those rare times in life when a deserving, average shlub like ourselves is rewarded for being a decent, honest, hard working person.
Besides all that, Rupert represents something rather refreshing to those of us who are sick of the cookie cutter Alpha male representing the American Ideal.
He's kind of fat, he's sloppy, he needs a haircut and a beard trim. He bellows like a bear.
He wore a floral skirt he made himself in Panama and didn't give a shit what all the hunky jocks said about it.
He adores his wife and kid, and isn't the least bit ashamed to show the rawest of tender emotions in front of cameras and millions of viewers.
So I'll jump the gun and say congratulations, Rupe.
Thanks for pulling us away from the nightmare we've been living day in and day out with this government we're stuck with. I hope you'll send some of that million to Kerry-after all, I suspect you are NOT a Bush man.

Take the Quiz

Which presidential candidate suits you best?

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Why I Love Arianna Huffington
Look what she wrote!


By Arianna Huffington

To hear Don Rumsfeld tell it, even though the Bush administration had been told back in January about the abuse and torture going on at Abu Ghraib — and that there were photos documenting it — the idea that this might be a very bad thing didn’t really hit home until recently because no one in the White House had actually laid eyes on the photos.

“It is the photographs that give one the vivid realization of what actually took place,” Rumsfeld told the Senate Armed Services Committee last week. “Words don’t do it.”


So being notified by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff that U.S. soldiers were torturing and humiliating naked Iraqi prisoners in the very place that had once been Saddam Hussein’s favorite Little Shop of Horrors wasn’t vivid enough to get the alarm bells ringing on Pennsylvania Avenue?

Neither apparently were the non-visual warnings about the mistreatment of prisoners delivered by the Red Cross, Colin Powell and Paul Bremer.

Why not? Is the country being run by a bunch of preschoolers who can’t process all those big words and will only sit still for a colorful picture book?

See Rummy spin. Spin, Rummy, spin.

Even the release of Gen. Taguba’s damning 53-page report detailing the “systematic and illegal abuse of detainees” wasn’t enough to pique Rumsfeld’s concern.

“The problem at that stage,” he testified, “was one-dimensional. It wasn’t three-dimensional. It wasn’t video. It wasn’t color.”

I challenge anyone to read the Taguba report and say that the nightmares it depicts aren’t chillingly three-dimensional. Even without pop-up illustrations.

According to Taguba, U.S. soldiers at Abu Ghraib were guilty of: “Positioning a naked detainee on a box . . . with a sandbag on his head, and attaching wires to his fingers, toes and penis to simulate electric torture”; “Breaking chemical lights and pouring the phosphoric liquid on detainees”; “Beating detainees with a broom handle and a chair”; “Sodomizing a detainee with a chemical light and perhaps a broomstick.”

Close your eyes. Now picture what you just read. Still need to see photos before you hit the roof? I didn’t think so.

What a colossal failure of imagination on the part of our leaders.

But even as ludicrous as the “No photos, no fury” justification is, let’s accept the premise that detailed descriptions of chemical light buggery and electrodes attached to genitals aren’t enough — that Rummy and company have made such a habit of twisting and spinning and manipulating words, mere language has lost its power to move them.


But since photographic proof is now the prerequisite for moral outrage, why didn’t Rumsfeld demand to see the photos as soon as he was told about them back in January? If you were in his shoes, wouldn’t you have ordered them to be on your desk within the hour?

Of course you would have. But not the man Dick Cheney just called “the best secretary of defense the Unites States has ever had.”

When asked by a reporter why he never got around to actually viewing the incendiary photos until the night before he was called on the Senate carpet, Rummy insisted the problem wasn’t his lack of interest; it was the lack of a good photo developer. Call it the Fotomat defense.

“I think I did inquire about the pictures,” he said, “and was told that we didn’t have copies.”

No copies? The biggest U.S. military scandal since My Lai and the secretary of defense can’t get any extra prints sent his way?

Memo to Rummy: We now live in the era of digital photos and instant uploads. “The dog ate my negative” just ain’t gonna fly.

Rumsfeld claims he was “blindsided” by the revelation of what he called the “radioactive” torture photos. But the timeline proves otherwise: He wasn’t blindsided, merely blind to the devastating impact the pictures would have once they became public.

That’s where this failure of imagination turned into a profound failure of leadership.

The White House has said that the war on terror is as much a war of ideas as a war of weapons. If that were more than rhetoric, someone there would have seen the writing on the prison wall and gotten out in front of this crisis instead of allowing the Taguba report to languish unread by the top brass and the photos to be made public by the press and not the president.

Indeed, they treated it not as a political land mine that could flatten America’s moral high ground but as a PR problem that would disappear if they kept the photos from public view.

Always a master of understatement, Rummy termed the Abu Ghraib scandal “unhelpful in a fundamental way.” The time has come for him and his cohorts to admit that the situation in Iraq has become untenable in a fundamental way.

We can’t put the torture genie back in the bottle. And we can no longer pretend that we have any chance of ushering democracy into Iraq so long as democracy has an American face.

See Bush crumble. Crumble, Bush, crumble."

Brava, Arianna!
Cut the Crap, Boys

In almost identical scripts, yesterday Cheney and Rumsfeld kept saying, "Remember, the medial didn't report the abuse of prisoners, the military did!"
Sure they did, you fucking quibblers.
They reported it in January, but you clowns and the resident didn't bother to see the photos until "60 Minutes II" crammed them down your throats three months later.
When ultra conservative CBS starts busting these clowns, the fat lady is about to sing her encore.

Do yourself a favor.
There's a free, daily e-mail list called Bushwatch that gives the top headlines from all over the world as they pertain to this mess our nation is in. You won't believe how easy this makes it to connect the dots.
Subscribe to Bushwatch
Read it, find out who the players are and see how easy it becomes to spot the lies. The daily lies.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Beheading Civilians

Is anyone surprised that the poorly trained American reservists who abused, tortured, raped and murdered Iraqi detainees have spawned the most gruesome kind of vengeance among the Iraqis?
A civilian named Nick Berg from Philadelphia was beheaded on video by five Islamic extremists.
One of his executioners gave this statement on their website:
''For the mothers and wives of American soldiers, we tell you that we offered the U.S. administration to exchange this hostage with some of the detainees in Abu Ghraib and they refused.
''So we tell you that the dignity of the Muslim men and women in Abu Ghraib and others is not redeemed except by blood and souls. You will not receive anything from us but coffins after coffins ... slaughtered in this way.''

The careless rush to war by Bush and Rumsfeld is at the root of this atrocity.
These perpetrators are not Islamic extremists being animals, they are Islamic extremists being Islamic extremists. This is what they do.
They won't change just because we have troops occupying Iraq, and the longer we stay the more they'll slaughter anyone who's not one of them.

We need to get our troops out of Iraq.
Bush never should have sent troops there to begin with, but he's never served in the military so he has no idea what he's doing. That much is painfully obvious.

I don't like Islamic extremists. They are dangerous and misled by their warped vision of Allah and the Koran.
I don't like Christian fundamentalists, either. They are dangerous and misled by their warped vision of Jesus and the Bible.
The United States no longer has the moral high ground in this conflict.
Our religious fanatic president and his acolytes have dragged us off the deep end with them.
They are as bad as the other side.
Neither values human life, and neither honors God.

Monday, May 10, 2004

Meet The Press

Did anyone see the most recent MTP with guests from the Senate and Congress discussing the Iraqi detainee torture, and a he said/she said debate with James Carville and his wife?
The Carvilles have to be the most unattractive couple in political history, but that's beside the point. I am afraid to look for pictures of their kids.
While Barcodie insists we Democrats/liberals are living in a warped, parallel universe, seems to me after watching MTP, politicos from both sides of the aisle are enraged with this Rumsfeld bullshit.

When asked who was the responsible chain of command for the sadistic GI grunts who tortured, raped and murdered detainees, and I mean who gave the orders, Sen. John Warner (the leader of the hearings pack) said that was a question that has yet to be answered.

If Rumsfeld couldn't answer that much, why the hell is he still employed?

When regular people who work for a living have to worry about tardiness as a reason to get fired, how is it this incompetent liar and sidestepper is still employed?
I said some time ago, when former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neil wrote the tell-all book about this ridiculous administration and their lies, the fuse was lit.
Looks like I was right.
The wheels are coming off, right before our eyes.
A long time ago, I bet Barcodie that Bush would be defeated. He jumped on the bet, with the loser having to post a photo of him or herself wearing a T-shirt with a Kerry or Bush logo on it.
I know Bush will be defeated, but I won't enforce the bet.
What I will do as a victory celebration is compare statements I made with statements he made on our respective Blogs.
Then we'll see who's been wearing the aluminum hat on his stupid-ass head all this time.
To Kelly, Winner of the Survivor Final Two Contest

Kelly at Welcome to my life won the Pulp Friction prize for guessing Amber and Rob as the final two winners of Survivor All Stars.
She's opted for the haiku prize. So here it is.

Kelly loves to read
She reviews whatever she reads
So we will read, too

Kell was in college
When she first started Blogging
Now she's got a job

Kell was adopted
She met her birth Mom last year
Chip off the old block

Kell's a lesbian
But she's too sweet to be a
Radical lesbo

Don't send her movies
I sent her 'The Ruling Class'
She's refused to watch

Kelly's an Aries
Bold, adventurous, stubborn
Don't send her movies

Kelly's face was on
front page of the Advocate
baby dyke issue

If you're a lesbo
Looking for someone to date
Kelly is single
Give Rupert the Money

The producers of Survivor have decided to award a second million dollar prize to the player the public thinks most deserves it.
Go to CBS and vote as often as you like.
Though I think Rupert will probably win the money (to be awarded on a special edition of Survivor next Thursday night) it won't hurt to drum up some Bloggy support for him.
And how about CBS? Let's give them a hand.
First they leaked the photos of Iraqi detainee abuse in prison on, "60 Minutes II," then Survivor Host Jeff Probst told the American public that Richard Hatch has a new Argentinean boyfriend.
I imagine CBS got into so much heat from airing the prison photos, the Bush administration will start to revoke their FCC license before long, so they figured what the hell.
Way to go CBS. Fuck the Bush administration, they're on their way out, anyway.

Anyway, go vote for Rupert and give the poor schmuck a chance to finance a nice future for his wife and kid. It's great to see a man love his family that much, plus he needs some new threads. That tie dye undershirt is played out.

Saturday, May 08, 2004

The final episode of Survivor is on Sunday at 6 central.
If you correctly pick:
a) the final two
b) the ultimate winner
You can win:
either a bunch of haiku... all about you
or a phone call interview from me (United States only) and a Blog written... all about you.
Enter today!
Things Used To Be So Much Fun

When I started Blogging, Bill Clinton was president and I rarely wrote about political issues.
It was a great time to write funny, playful Blogs about life and the world in general.
In looking over my archives, I see my level of political vituperance has grown in direct proportion to the Bush level of incompetence.
Times used to be so simple before Bush.
Back then, I was making a lot more money, gas cost less than a buck a gallon, we weren't at war, and I was traveling all over North America at a moment's notice because air travel used to be so convenient.
Now we have to dread the details of flying. We have to schedule hours of extra time to be searched, questioned and sequestered the from non-ticketed before we even get to the gate.
Now we have to watch what we say in public.
We have to make sure our e-mail and IM's are not too controversial.
Mail takes longer to send and receive.
We have to watch every dollar we make and spend.
We have to budget for trips that will require extra gasoline.
We have to pitch in and help family and friends who are unemployed.
We have to worry about more angry people from more foreign lands invading us, bombing us or otherwise trying to destroy us.
We have to decipher miles of complicated laws and rules to find affordable prescriptions for our elders.
We have to worry again about a woman's right to choose.
We have to wonder why the arts are no longer important to our nation.
We queers have to worry that our rights may be eroded to the point of having no rights at all.
We have to worry about dirty air and polluted water.
We have to worry about big corporations swallowing up smaller businesses and dictating their terms to us as employees and consumers.
We have to worry about our younger friends and family possibly getting drafted.
We have to let people in Africa die of AIDS because our government no longer helps them.
We have to listen to racist and inflammatory speech our Fundamental Christian government hurls toward non-Christians.
We have to tolerate aggressive right-wingers who've been emboldened by the President's lead.
We have to watch our constitution be ignored or even worse, tampered with.
We have to see the damage caused by a GOP dominated legislative and executive branch, and we have no redress at the Supreme Court level.
We have to tolerate sweetheart deals that allow for a vice president's company to make billions of dollars on an illegal war, and watch them make even more billions repairing the damage still being caused by that war.
We have to listen to draft dodger in the Oval Office challenge the military record of his much decorated veteran opponent.
We have to hear the word liberal used as a synonym for un-American, communist, unpatriotic or things otherwise unsavory.
We have to let vital medical progress like stem cell research die because the right-wing Christians who rule Bush think it's sinful.
We have to watch efforts to provide all American children with a quality education be abandoned.
We have to watch millions of families suffer without adequate access to basic health care.
We've had to witness a systematic collapse of our nation's infrastructure, our economy and our global position as leaders in freedom and democracy.
We've allowed ourselves to become citizens of a country that is no longer respected and no longer great.
America has become a dreary reflection of its president and his administration.

Damn. I can't wait for this phoenix of a country to dump Bush and rise again.
Then we can all get back to writing funny, more carefree, all American Blogs.

Friday, May 07, 2004

Occupation Watch

The group CODEPINK that protested for the ousting of Donald Rumsfeld at the beginning of the Capitol Hill hearing isn't just a bunch of feminists who decided to form a little group to jam up the hearings.
Their leaders have visited Iraq and seen for themselves atrocities perpetrated by American and British military personnel that go well beyond the walls of Abu Gharaib prison.
Not all coalition military troops are sadistic, human rights violators, in fact, most are not.
Take a look at their website and read some firsthand accounts of what's being done in Iraq.
You may not like what you read, but you still may want to know. Occupation Watch
In these troubling times, America should stop military occupation in Iraq, bring our troops home and start funding peacekeeping missions, where people from other countries can go in and help the Iraqi people start whatever new government they want.
We invaded them over a trumped up reason.
They don't want us there; we aren't welcome.
It's too dangerous to continue risking the lives of our military in an unwinnable war.
We need to have the dignity as a nation to atone for the abuse of detainees and innocent civilians, apologize, donate a few billion bucks, then get the hell out of their country.
Rumsfeld on Capitol Hill

I watched several hours of the hearing on CNN.
A few of Donald Rumsfeld's top generals saw pictures of the Iraqi detainee abuse on a CD disk back in January.
Rumsfeld claimed not to have seen any of the photos on the CD until last night at 7:30 p.m.
Clearly, his generals knew the scandal was going to be a serious problem, yet they did not inform the Secretary of Defense? He had to hear about it on "60 Minutes"?
What kind of chain of command does the Rumsfeld-led military possess?

Rumsfeld continually made two statements:
1. There are more than 18,000 DoD cases currently being investigated for possible courts martial so it's virtually impossible for him to know the details of each of them.
2. Things have to change now that digital and video cameras exist.

As to #1:
When cases like the sexual abuse, sadistic torture and probable murder of Iraqi detainees are under investigation, they should move up the chain of command for adjudication immediately. Rumsfeld's statement made it seem like all cases get processed in order, regardless of the severity of the accusation, and that he should hear about them only after they are processed and adjudicated. If that's not what he meant, he should have communicated more clearly.
As to #2:
The presence of digital & video cameras available to document criminal activity perpetrated by members of the military shouldn't matter. Seems like Rumsfeld was complaining that the cameras are causing a problem because they make it too easy for the public to learn of the military's dirty little secrets. If that's not what he meant, he shouldn't have mentioned the cameras at all.

The commander who oversaw the detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad also allowed for officers including colonels on up to be called by their first names. Uniforms were not required. Saluting officers was not required.
The Brigade General who commanded the unit that allowed this lapse of protocol and discipline was relieved of duty, as well she should have been.
She blames Army Intelligence (AI) for mismanagement of the prison.
Why was AI tasked with performing Army MP duties? That is blatantly against Army regulations.
Her superior officer is responsible for her lapse in performing her duties and for allowing AI to run things, if they were. He should be relieved of that command.
His superior officer allowed him to be negligent in supervising that command. He should be relieved of his command.
And up, up and up until changes are made, because a snake rots from the head.

Today, Rumsfeld said, "These events occurred on my watch. As secretary of defense, I am accountable for them and I take full responsibility."

If he truly means it, he is admitting that he is responsible for human rights violations that caused America international disgrace and will cause untold new peril for soldiers stationed all over the Middle East- particularly GI prisoners.
He also admitted there are more photos and more videos out there yet to surface in the media- showing rape, torture, sodomy and quite possibly even murder done by Americans to these Iraqi detainees.

When asked, he arrogantly said calls for him to resign are political.

Not this time.
He admitted he was responsible for a scandal that will take decades for America to live down.
He failed to create an environment that would not allow for atrocities like these to occur. He failed to tell his generals the consequences of such a scandal, so they didn't watch their underlings like, uhh, hawks.
He has failed to perform his duty.

He needs to resign, or be fired.

Hell Yes, Rumsfeld Should Be Fired!

Rumsfeld knew about the torture of Iraqi detainees and prisoners as early as January and didn't do a damn thing about it.
He's incompetent as Secretary of Defense and his incompetence has created a global backlash of epic proportions against the United States.
Remember when the war started and American GI's were destroying priceless Iraqi antiquities including rare vases?
Rumsfeld said of the media reporting the incidents, "It's the same picture someone coming out of some building with a vase," Rumsfeld joked, "and you see it 20 times and you think, my goodness, were there that many vases? Is it possible that there were that many vases in the whole country?"
Rumsfeld pooh-poohed it all, saying: "Bad things do happen in life, and people do loot."
That same arrogance and stupidity seems to have been applied to his knowledge of the prisoner abuse, and his attitude flowed to the Oval Office.
Bush has lied about this war since the beginning.
He has also endorsed the misdeeds of his Cabinet Secretaries by refusing to fire them.
This time, he's either been kept out of the loop by his scheming Defense Secretary, or like Rummy, he knew and didn't do a damn thing to stop the torture of prisoners. No More Rape Rooms, Bush said.
Rumsfeld said guidelines set forth in the Geneva Convention relative to the treatment of prisoners of war didn't apply in this instance.
Yet he didn't hesitate to claim the Iraqis violated those same terms when they allowed audio interviews of American prisoners to be broadcasted.
Is he out of his fucking mind?
Yes, he is. Either that, or he's just so damned arrogant he thinks he's above the rules.
Bush said he, "wants to keep him in (sic) his cabinet."
Rumsfeld may indeed need to be kept in a cabinet, but he does not deserve to be kept on the president's cabinet.
Whatever Rumsfeld says today when he testifies on Capitol Hill won't be enough.
He fucked up. He blew it.
It's time for him to go.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Friends & Enemies

Friends: I didn't watch the last episode.
As it turns out, I don't care how it ends. Once Joey started shtupping Rachel, the show
jumped the shark.
Besides, where were all the black folks on that honky show?
Hell, I live in Texas and have more black friends than those New Yorkers.
It's just not right.

Here are a few haikus for George W. Bush to try to read.

Fire Don Rumsfeld
Fire Condoleezza Rice
Then fire Karl Rove

Bush, you are too weak
You are arrogant and smug
Not to mention dumb

Bush says he's sorry
to the King of Jordan...huh?
like it's his bidness

Bush apologized
to Jordan, because to Bush-
Arabs: whatever

This prison torture
Bush blames on gay marriages
His fans don't ask why

Bush fans don't ask much
but then they don't really know
shit from Shinola

Bush and his brothers
Not much difference 'tween them,
Uday and Qusay
Survivor Tonight!

We are quickly closing in on the end, and after tonight's show, we'll see who wins the million on Sunday at 7 p.m. central.
Sunday will be the perfect TV day- first, the Spurs will humiliate the Lakers in their own crib, then the two hour Survivor finale, followed by a one-hour Survivor reunion show.

It may be unfathomable, but the tribe members failed to seize the chance to oust Boston Rob and Amber and now they are down to Amber, Big Tom, Rob, Rupert and Jenna.
As everyone assumed, Shii Ann got the boot last week.
She tried let everyone know that Amber was The Chosen One by casting her vote her way, but I doubt any of the remaining knuckleheads got the hint. Au revoir to the show's most tedious eye roller.

Most of us have said Rob is the horse to beat, but let's face it, Amber has played him like a $2 fiddle. I mean, come on.
Assuming she'll be the number two Survivor next to Rob, to whom do you think the jury would prefer to hand a million dollars, her or that sniveling, double crossing rat Rob?
Amber has used Rob to do her dirty work. She controls him with that joystick big dumb guys like him take such pride in. Atta girl, sistah!
In order of likelihood to be booted tonight, it's gotta be Tom, then Jenna, then Rupert.
Amber and Rob rode the waves like pros, and they are heading for the final two.
Why Tom? Because he's got no alliances. Plus, he's a dumb ass redneck. He once had Rupert but Rupe left him in the dust long ago, as evidenced by Tom getting the second to the last crappiest meal from the restaurant when Rupert was the host.
Yep, Rupert's been kissing Rob's ass for a while now, the sucker.
The All Stars show has been great because we got to see who learned from past mistakes and who didn't. We also got to see who came to play around and who came to win.
The final two? Rob and Amber.
The winner? Amber, who's reportedly already knocked up with Rob's baby.
Looks like she'll hold the final purse strings, but Rob'll hold the trump card: baby Rombah.
I think they played well and deserve to win, but I am glad it'll be likely Amber with the big money instead of Rob. It'll keep him humble, and the boy needs a big shitload of that.
Your take?

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Come November: Vote Absentee

By now, almost everyone knows many states will be using electronic voting machines in the presidential election, allegedly to avoid the same kind of debacle that allowed Jeb Bush, the Governor of Florida, to work with the GOP-loving Supreme Court and hand big brother George W. Bush the presidency.
We also know Diebold makes the new voting machines and the owner is a major campaign contributor to the Bush reelection campaign.
Also common knowledge is the machines can be easily tampered with. Google "Diebold voting machines" and read about these lousy machines for yourself.

If you are like me, you know the Bush administration is dishonest, manipulative, secretive and guilty of criminal malfeasance that spans the entire gamut of the executive branch of the government.

If you are like me, you know with all certainty that they will not hesitate to manipulate the votes come November and steal another term in office. They will be desperate. Their freedom from criminal prosecution depends on it.

Stop them.
By voting absentee, you can create a paper trail they cannot deny, alter or delete with a key stroke.

Vote absentee.
Volunteer to drive the elderly and/or disabled to vote absentee.
Tell your loved ones and neighbors to vote absentee, and tell them why, so they can tell others.

Do not trust these electronic voting machines, unless you plan to vote for Bush.
If that's the case, may God help restore you to sanity.
Even George Thinks George is an Idiot

When conservative political columnist George Will starts pointing out what an imbecile George W. Bush is, even these clam brained neo-con artists should start to take notice.
Check it out.
I hope someone is keeping score on how many conservative pundits are starting to call Bush on his relentless bullshit and bluster.
At this rate, by November the only ones still blind enough to be in the Bush camp will be Barcodie, Barbara Bush and Rupert Murdoch.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Damned Old Hippy Throwback Kitty

Eclair and I were at Whole Foods over the weekend and she bought me a beautifully healthy little potted patchouli plant. They are hard to find and this one was especially fragrant and perky, and since she got it for me, it made it even more special.
Tonight we went to World Market and I found a perfect pot for it, a terra cotta number shaped sort of like a conga drum and glazed with a thick layer of shiny, slate blue.
When I got home, I rushed to place the plant into the pot to see how it would look once I potted it.
Seems my elder cat Bart took a shine to the delicate patchouli scent and decided to eat or otherwise destroy most of the leaves. Basically, the plant looks like it got a haircut done with a semi-sharp rock.
Bart is 14-years-old. I thought we had reached a sort of detente by now.
He knows my hard rules and I know and accept his shortcomings, so discipline is no longer much of an issue, unlike with his spoiled brat baby brother, James.
Bart acting out like a hoodlum stray and destroying my precious new plant has me stymied.
He's too old to beat, and for all I know, patchouli leaves may be toxic and he could be dead by morning, causing me a lifetime of guilt for leaving the plant alone on my coffee table while I was out cavorting with Eclair.
It could be worse, I suppose.
It could have been a bag of primo weed he ate and scattered on the rug below instead of a bunch of patchouli leaves. Not that I smoke weed... I'm just sayin.'
So, I have decided to pot the raggedy ass plant in the beautiful glazed container I purchased for it and try to nurse the four remaining leaves and its bent, bruised stems back to health.
I'll have to put it outside now that Bart has displayed such a freakish taste for it.
Maybe old dogs can't learn new tricks, but kitties apparently can. I just wish Bart's new trick wasn't destroying plants with such sentimental meaning to them.
He can forget his weekly dose of catnip for now, the little criminal. He's on restriction from getting high until my plant starts to bounce back.
Daily Reads!

Finally, my new browser allowed me to update and clean up my list of daily reads.
If I know you and haven't linked you yet, it's because I still have some linking to do.
If you are wKen or similarly idle Blog-wise, I know you'll forgive my deleting you until you come up for air and let me know your Bloglights are back on.
I try to keep my list reasonably short so others are more likely to sample the Blogs I like.
Recently I have added Blogs that reflect my political views and I highly recommend you try them:
One is AmericaBlog written by John Aravosis, the superbly effective gay activist who made his bones with his first major website, Stop
Another is AriannaHuffington who started as a Repugnican pundit, then had the wisdom to cross over to the liberal side, where she suddenly morphed into someone very witty and bright. She is also a brilliant author and TV commentator.
I especially like that AmericaBlog and Arianna are situated squarely on top of my political nemesis Barcodie. Deal with it, Commissar.

Monday, May 03, 2004

On the Launchpad

Finally, I have upgraded to Mac OSX and AOL 9.0.
Now I can actually post my own Blogs, use my browser like all the regular folks online. Thanks to Grey Bird and Melly for helping me for so long.
I can now see the ad banners on the top of my Blog. Ehh.
I just found out e-mail can contain different fonts and colors.
Now that I have this new stuff, I'll have to learn all the new glitches.
But it'll take a while, because Tuesday I am in charge of entertaining my elderly mother from morning till evening.
I can't help but think all this new stuff will help me stick it to Bush even more.
Oh, and speaking of Bush, one year ago he told us we had prevailed in Iraq. Mission accomplished.
Let's all celebrate with a magnum of Condoleezza's finest premium unleaded.
We can all spare the twenty bucks, can't we?

Saturday, May 01, 2004

Oh, God.

Between people blasting Ted Koppel and ABC's "Nightline" for honoring the memories of our military who lost their lives in Iraq by announcing their names, and the scenes of Iraqi prisoners being tortured by our forces in sadomasochistic, sexually humiliating ways, I am thoroughly disgusted.
Bush has created a nightmare with increasingly far-reaching consequences.
More Middle Easterners than ever hate our guts because they think we Americans support this madman.
Bush hides behind the fake cloak of his Christianity while he perpetrates horrible acts, yet he condemns Islamic fundamentalists as being extremists and lunatics.
He's an extremist lunatic whose actions look far more satanic than they do Christian.
While we still have a first amendment that guarantees us freedom of speech, we all need to get vocal, get involved and get rid of this malignant cancer growing out of the White House.
Four more years of this insanity will destroy our nation.
How to get started in STOPPING BUSH!
Please hit this link and find something--anything--you can do to help.
Then, please, tell us the ways you discovered you can help.