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Tuesday, January 31, 2006
On this day:

The Toll

Here’s a taste of the State of the Union Mr. Bush will not mention tonight. Welcome to the Age of Polytrauma and the Year of Lost Hopes for more than 16,000 US troops.

Via NY Times:
To describe the maimed survivors of this ugly new war, a graceless new word, polytrauma, has entered the medical lexicon. Each soldier arriving at Tampa's Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center, inside the giant veterans hospital, brings a whole world of injury. The typical patient, Dr. Scott said, has head injuries, vision and hearing loss, nerve damage, multiple bone fractures, unhealed body wounds, infections and emotional or behavioral problems. Some have severed limbs or spinal cords.


The surge in complex casualties, doctors found, required major reorganizing, enabling them to focus extraordinary medical and therapeutic expertise on each patient and to offer counseling, housing and other aid to their often shellshocked wives, children and parents.

This is the true cost of “Spreading Democracy.” Is it worth it?

Sunday, January 29, 2006
On this day:

Great White Slope

I’ve held this theory close to my heart for years: The reign of the white man is over. I have no evidence for this outside my own experience. While more educated people than I will likely argue this from various standpoints, but to my ignorant eyes, this seems self-evident.

Perhaps it began in America with the emancipation of slaves. Perhaps this coincides with Euro-centric imperialism fading out because Caucasian dominance has run out of places to conquer. We’ve gone from “New World / Old World” to “One World” in a couple of centuries, and the electronic frontier is making the world smaller still.

White, male dominance has had its problems. Our history is unnecessarily bloody. While the system seems to work, it only works for a few. To my way of thinking, this is a huge fault line. Our Great White God and our Great White Hope has not served the planet well. We could use a cultural overhaul.

Recent events emanating from America I interpret as evidence of the fall of the white man. The very type that fears a change of cultural dominance is waging unpopular wars, and applying strong-arm tactics within American politics. They will not go down without a fight, but they will still go down. It’s happening already.

It’s past time for a global authority to heal the anachronistic chest-beating nationalism remaining from past centuries. What has occurred in the past during the white man’s reign will kill us all if it continues. As the descendants of Europe comprise a small part of the global community, the vast majority of humans have no voice. This is changing, thanks in large part to the technologies the ruling white men have embraced.

Although I’m a white male, I’m not sorry to hand the reins over to someone else. Perhaps geopolitical dominance by a different culture is just what the world needs. (Even as I type these words, I imagine a chorus of dissention.) Better would be a global consensus, however unlikely. Who’s to say this group or that group is better for humanity? Each cultural viewpoint contains different strengths and weaknesses, just as the people who comprise the groups. The Asians, for example, may bring society to a crash, too. They number so many more than us. They deserve a hand in guiding humanity from the cultural disease we are suffering.

As for us over-inflated white guys – time to pack it in.

Saturday, January 28, 2006
On this day:

The Law of Unintended Consequences

"U.S. power and influence has declined precipitously because of Iraq and the war on terror and that creates an incentive for anyone who wants to make trouble to go ahead and make it."

Who said this, and in what context? Read this.

Don't Blame Me...

I worked hard this week: 53 hours, mostly driving from job site to job site throughout lower Wisconsin. This mild winter we’re enjoying is jump starting the roofing season…

While making my daily trip north toward Milwaukee yesterday, I find myself behind a late-eighties model Camry in faded and road-worn silver paint. On the bumper is a new blue bumper sticker reading:

Don’t Blame Me I Voted For Bush

I read this a couple of times awaiting enlightenment. Changing lanes, I accelerate a bit to look into the vehicle. Inside is a fleshy Caucasian woman, a Betty Boop card handing from the rear view mirror like a pine tree air freshener: No enlightenment there.

The semi in front is moving too slowly. I get back behind the Camry. Don’t Blame Me I Voted For Bush. She’s one of those tunnel vision drivers that never check the side or rear view mirrors. She glides into a lane and stays there at as constant a speed as traffic will allow. Don’t Blame Me I Voted For Bush. She’s not curious about the gorgeous sunrise or the other commuters around here; not a glance left or right. Don’t Blame Me I Voted For Bush.

I surmise that this woman will never stumble across the vast cyber-sphere to these words. She’s probably not the type to read lefty blogs. Chances are astronomical that this page would show on any search request she may enter, if indeed she uses computers. Still, should a unlikely meeting occur between us, I would say this to her:

I don’t get it.

Thursday, January 26, 2006
On this day:


I'm a bit behind on my daily readings this week; work is overwhelming me.

That said, I quote from yesterday's Washington Post:

It's undisputed that Mr. Abramoff tried to use his influence, and his restaurant and his skyboxes and his chartered jets, to sway lawmakers and their staffs. Information uncovered by Mr. Bush's own Justice Department shows that Mr. Abramoff tried to do the same inside the executive branch.

Under these circumstances, asking about Mr. Abramoff's White House meetings is no mere exercise in reportorial curiosity but a legitimate inquiry about what an admitted felon might have been seeking at the highest levels of government. Whatever White House officials did or didn't do, there is every reason to believe that Mr. Abramoff was up to no good and therefore every reason the public ought to know with whom he was meeting.

Whew! You know its going bad for the team when WaPo is taking pot shots at the Republicans. While most of the media is chorusing "Alito" like it's the new hit opera, the other "A" is the real story. Abramoff's White house ties, if exposed, may scuttle the already listing "Good Ship GOP"

Well, one can hope...

Monday, January 23, 2006
On this day:

More Evidence

As if we need more data to support the obvious:

The wrong people are in Charge, here!

NY Times on the recent energy boom which, doesn't trickle down to consumers, and the Bushovik policies that rob the government of proceeds in this time of record defecits.

If royalty payments in fiscal 2005 for natural gas had risen in step with market prices, the government would have received about $700 million more than it actually did, a three-month investigation by The New York Times has found.

But an often byzantine set of federal regulations, largely shaped and fiercely defended by the energy industry itself, allowed companies producing natural gas to provide the Interior Department with much lower sale prices - the crucial determinant for calculating government royalties - than they reported to their shareholders.

As a result, the nation's taxpayers, collectively, the biggest owner of American oil and gas reserves, have missed much of the recent energy bonanza.

When the banks forclose on our great nation, we'll all need to learn Chinese.

Pouncing Tiger, Cringing President...

Sunday, January 22, 2006
On this day:

Fading Support

I look out my window this morning at the post-snow storm fog and notice a neighbor’s SUV with a single faded support ribbon, only a pale blue smudge marks the once colorful message in support of our troops. Also, as I drive around for work I notice far fewer political slickers on vehicles as last year. I never litter my bumper with slogans because I’m never quite sure if they come off. I picture hours of furtive, sweaty labor in garages across America peeling, scrubbing and scraping the backsides of our chariots to rid ourselves the humiliating association of a loosing candidate. Yes; the Kerry stickers were the first to go.

I still see, in my travels throughout lower Wisconsin, the occasional Bush ’04 oval affixed to window or rear panel, and for some odd reason the colors haven’t faded over time. Perhaps they are secretly being replaced with fresh ones, or – more likely – the evil powers creating them have magicked the dyes against fading. I have noted before how the Bush supporters tend toward aggressive driving habits in large vehicles; perhaps their trying to compensate for something…

Democracies must give a minimal nod to the mood of its people. Whatever an administration decides, it must try to involve public opinion. To do less is folly. Yet this is what our administration is trying to accomplish: forcing an agenda of imperialism in the guise of spreading Democracy without any nod toward Democratic controls at home. Bush and Co. does not hear the ever fickle voice of the people. Weather one agrees with the administration or not, one thing stands out; they have their ideas set in stone. Yesterday’s pep rally at the Republican National Convention shows how little they care about the shifting mood in America. Their message is clear, to paraphrase Roald Dahl: They’re right, you’re wrong, and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it.

Meanwhile the silent message of fading and disappearing stickers continues across America. The will of the people doesn’t always have to be spoken aloud. Politicians of both camps have the unfortunate propensity toward blindness. The Democrats were blind to the shift which brought the current crop into power, and now the pendulum returns.

We average, grubby Americans of the working class love the troops as we ever have, but we want them home. We cannot back a war without clear gains, and we cannot support leaders who won’t listen to us – or at least pretend to listen. In the minds of more and more Americans, Iraq is a loosing battle; time to set aside our ridiculous national pride and lick our wounds. It’s over.

Saturday, January 21, 2006
On this day:

The Same Old

Karl Rove came out of the closet along with RNC Chair Ken Mehlman to rally the troops and shake their pompoms in preparation for the upcoming mid terms. I see no reports if they wore skirts, or not, and perhaps that’s a good thing…

The good news is the RNC is running on the same busted platforms as before: 9/11, 9/11, terrorism, national security and, um, 9/11. While the rhetoric has tempered a bit, the oligarchs are singing the same tune. Good Dog Karl managed to use 9/11 twice in one sentence:
"At the core, we are dealing with two parties that have fundamentally different views on national security," Rove said. "Republicans have a post-9/11 worldview and many Democrats have a pre-9/11 worldview. That doesn't make them unpatriotic -- not at all. But it does make them wrong -- deeply and profoundly and consistently wrong."

Not bad…

The bad news is that the RNC is running on the same old platform. Although the underpinnings are loose and missing in some places, many Americans still want to believe the in imminent destruction of parts of our nations. I find it interesting that most southern, and western voters are red, while the large cities in the north and northeast, prime targets for Osamafication, are blue. The red-staters perhaps show their disdain for city folk and wish them eradicated? But I digress.

Bring out a new audio tape of veiled threats and weak offer for peace, which the government couldn’t agree to if they tried, and rouse the rabble for the next upcoming battle: election season. There may be, somewhere in the bowels of America, enough die-hard war dandies to keep the current majority. On the other hand, one more news flash about internal corruption and this gig may be over. I wouldn’t want to bet on this one…

So: expect more of the same from the RNC. More corruption, more cheating, more lies and most of all more references to 9/11 that any sane person would care to count. Because when the grit is wiped away, our Republican congress came to power due to a confluence of these factors. The most insidious crime of the new century is how the Bushoviks used the tragedy for political gain. And they’re still doing it…

Friday, January 20, 2006
On this day:

Outblogged Again!

I really wanted to post something erudite (for a change) in response to Osama's latest tape. Read the complete transcript here. After spending a couple of hours pingponging the blogocube, I found, via Lance Mannion, the Sideshow - and I gave up: A more succinct summation cannot be written.

It's pretty obvious the Republicans worked fast to make sure everyone knew the talking point in response to bin Laden's tape: Tie him to Democrats, liberals, and anti-war supporters. And they can't let up for a minute on that, or else people might notice that bin Laden is much more like Fallwell than like Moore, has far closer ties to the Bush family and other Republicans than to Kennedy, and that it was the Bush administration that left us open for 9/11 in the first place and they still aren't doing a damned thing to make us safer. And the media, including alleged liberals like Matthews, picked it up right on cue.

Darn! Outblogged again!

Thursday, January 19, 2006
On this day:

Hooray For An Underdog!

I’m not much into business news stories, and you’ll not see much on that front here, but I’m elated that AMD is gaining market share against Intel. I love computers; often I say with pride that I understand them more than I understand humans, and it’s true! Early on I jumped on the Advanced Micro Devices bandwagon, doing my part to create a dynamic market, foreseeing a potential for monopoly in Intel very much akin to the slothful market behemoth that Microsoft is still.

Due to the fact that there were no serious competing operating systems out there – there still isn't – Microsoft was not keen on refining their product and consumers were forced to deal with crappy and overpriced software: Windows 95, anyone? Not to mention MS Office sticker shock! Only as the various Linux mutations grew in support and sophistication did MS finally build an OS that is stable with Windows XP. The need for a stable computer network, one Microsoft couldn’t provide even with NT, forced the software giant to adapt: In my opinion, decades too late. Even Star Office is becoming a real player lately.

Meanwhile Intel, long seeking a monopoly in itself, has consistently been foiled by upstart AMD. This dynamic helped fuel Moore’s Law and enabled engineering feats unanticipated in the brief, turbulent history of micro architecture. Who in 1970 would have dared predict dual-core processors or clock speeds above 3 GHz? All the while, consumers benefited from real competition in the marketplace. Had Microsoft this kind of tooth-and-nail marketing competition… Well, I envision voice activated 3D interfaces, machines that update themselves on the fly, without ever needing rebooting. Who knows what else we could now be working with if Microsoft had to run for its money?

That is why I applaud AMD for sticking it out in a tough, expensive industry. Today and for the past year, virtual centuries in internet time, they have the best product going, beating benchmarks consistently against a giant in terms of infrastructure, fabrication capabilities, and R&D budget. For now and for the near future, that’s where my I place my bets!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006
On this day:

Falling Polls, Rising Danger

As the far left crows about a “new poll” that shows a majority of Americans now favor impeachment proceeding should it be proved that George W-is-for-wiretapping Bush did indeed “eavesdrop” on Americans without court approval, those on the right scream about how we’re at war!!! And all’s fair in love and war… or something like that. The argument, as near as I can parse, is that our Commander-in-Chief has near god-like powers that cannot be questioned, must not be debated until our troops come home bathed in glory from the battlefield, a la 1945.

Its time to stop watching Hogan’s Heroes folks: those days are over. One terrorist attack, however successful, does not create an ongoing threat. Especially so when one considers that it took almost a decade to prepare for this one since the last time “terrorists” tried to bomb the twin towers. Back then we didn’t call them that, yet.

Yet today, in response perhaps, to Mr. Bush’s falling polls and to out-crow the lefties, the news let out that a “senior” official at the US State department thinks another terrorist attack to be “very high.” This trick is well worn. During the years following 9/11, every reasonable inquiry into the machinations of the bush administration was followed by a nightly update on the red-orange-yellow terror alert status; the worse the criticism, the redder the alert. It amazes me still, how the US intelligence service can have so many experts tipping off the media without resulting in a breach of security. So here we go again, with the “President Who Cried Terrorist” playing the newswire like a harp string. How boring!

Do I think danger is real? Yes: I fear my own government. I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop; the first one fell when we invaded Iraq, creating a haven and a training field for counter-American forces to learn what they can about the weaknesses in our high-tech army. Next, we’ll probably do something really stupid, like bore the American people with repeated, fictitious terror alerts, until no one gives a damn anymore, thereby opening the field for the same counter-American operatives to recruit from the hate groups we already have, like white supremacists, and neo—Nazis. Arm these whitebread yahoos with money and bombs, and let them loose on their fellow Americans: now, that would create havoc. Then our good ol’ boy government can try use the same tactics - so helpful for the spread of Democracy in Iraq - locally. White phosphorus, anyone?

Sunday, January 15, 2006
On this day:

A Lengthening List of Imcompetence

While our Corporate-owned Commander-in-Chief is busy prepping national opinion for the next phase of his War Against non-Christians, the latest item on a lengthening list of failure emerges in his (lack of) domestic policy:

From the Washington Post:
Two weeks into the new Medicare prescription drug program, many of the nation's sickest and poorest elderly and disabled people are being turned away or overcharged at pharmacies, prompting more than a dozen states to declare health emergencies and pay for their life-saving medicines.

Computer glitches, overloaded telephone lines and poorly trained pharmacists are being blamed for mix-ups that have resulted in the worst of unintended consequences: As many as 6.4 million low-income seniors, who until Dec. 31 received their medications free, suddenly find themselves navigating an insurance maze of large deductibles, co-payments and outright denial of coverage
You’ve got to hand it to him, he is consistent: Katrina wiped out half a state, and his administration just jeeps warring, the ripple effects of the storm that devastated New Orleans will likely have adverse affects on the Republican base throughout the south, but no one cares. Now, the administration is alienating the aging baby boomer generation, a voting bloc most politicians have been pandering to for decades. All the while the Bushoviks are killing off the youngest voting-age demographic in a can’t-win war against… whatever it’s against.

What’s a mid-lifer like myself supposed to do – watch as my mother goes blind filling out forms in order to get the glaucoma medicine the government used to provide, or watch as my nephew proudly enlists his way into a body bag?

While my nephew tromps through the sand on his way to the next bullet, his poor wife struggles with their daughter’s inner-city school district to provide assistance because she’s a slow learner. She’s not disabled, by the government’s definition; she just needs more help because her family lives next to the Chicago River, which has for years shown signs of high mercury content, and this proximity to toxins has slightly affected the poor child’s higher reasoning skills.

Ahh… Life in America: the greatest nation on earth; soon to be – if our administration has its way – the only nation on earth. Meanwhile every good Chicagoan can look the other way today and shout: “Go Bears!”

Saturday, January 14, 2006
On this day:

A Weekend Rant

The Oscar season is upon us. Does anyone care? Sure, as an industry measuring stick of profitability, the Oscars are important. As a commercial for recent movies and upcoming DVD releases it can’t be beat. Besides that, it stokes the already inflated egos of the Hollywood firmament - as if that needs doing…

Can anyone tell me what import the Oscar ceremony with its attendant pomposity contains? Beyond the occasional well-delivered punch line, the whole thing is boring. Yet every year, I read in the news, prognostications, tidbit and vignettes aimed to bolster the ceremony to superbowl status. As I imagine beautiful people strut before cameras in self-serving splendor, I try to envision starving children in war torn areas who, because America is so full of its self, cannot receive the medical benefits of education – let alone food and peace – they need to thrive. As I think of the billions of dollars wasted to feed and industry of sycophants and drama queens, of technogeeks and theatricks, I cringe. There are so many people suffering in this world, caused indirectly from America’s hoarding of its money. We, a warmongering state of the richest, most ignorant and self-consumed humans on the planet, must wake up to the plight of the rest of humanity, as we leech mine gold in Indonesia, force slaves to dig up our diamonds in Africa, go to war to preserve an unfair advantage in the dwindling oil reserves. Because of these things and more, thousands are dying and suffering.

Go ahead, play ostrich and stick you heads in the tube for another night of ignoring the planet. When you die from your excesses, why should you care what the world looks like? It’s not like you’ll be coming back…

Wednesday, January 11, 2006
On this day:

Just This, Justice

While I froth over the Abramoff story, I just can’t get worked up over Judge Alito. I’m not yawning, here, I’m like the guy strapped to a chair watching Oprah reruns for a fortnight… Dazed senseless, only his pulse shows life. And so it is with this whole telethon.

Every Night I get tough worded emails on how the Dems of this group or that group are going to splatter the walls with judicial chutney. Three times in these correspondences are links to facilitate donations to the group du jour. When I read the transcripts, the ever-so-polite snippets, I hear a weakness that belies the tough words: I’m glad I resisted donating.

I’m not convinced of the left handed rhetoric. John Bolton gave me the willies, but Sam Alito, admittedly right-minded, is no devil. No: For the Democrats to rally against him is to throw paper into a hurricane. He is at worst a small representation of a larger ill, one that is curing itself without foam-flecked Democratic resistance, one that proves that a model of extremism cannot remain sustainable as a function of government within even as faulty republic as ours.

Tom DeLay would agree, that is if he was the kind of person given to self-reflection and soul searching. Never mind.

Even the Great White Newt (Gingrich) is warning, to a few unfortunates, of the dangers of excess. He should know.

I predict when the spaghetti settles, Samuel Alito will be appointed. There’s just not enough public support or enough logic against this. Once again my party-of-choice will wake up with its bum in the breeze looking foolish.

Now that really emits a sigh. (SIGH)

Tuesday, January 10, 2006
On this day:

When Freedom Cringes

In the name of National Security, I feel less secure from my own government.

First, a devilish troika of National ID Cards, GPS tracking of people and their devices, and monitoring credit card purchases would track anyone's movements for any entity tapped into a national database, or for anyone who can provide a subpoena. Same thing. Next, we learn that the Feds are now free to wiretap - I mean eavesdrop - on any citizen at any time - openly endorsed by the Bushoviks. Now, I learn that the border patrol has been opening private correspondence in the name of National Security.

Add our recent penchant for holding "detainees" for indefinite periods to the mix, and I see a New American Century of jackbooted stormtroopers knocking on doors next. Has anyone vanished without a trace in the US of A yet? Soon, perhaps, beginning with the lefty bloggers...

Sunday, January 08, 2006
On this day:

The Freedom to Fear

As a species, humans fear. A ruler knows that the mob can be a deadly force if fear overtakes it. Despots have longed understood the value in instilling fear as means of control. Organized religion, capitalizing as is does the fear of the unknown, cannot exist without stoking the fires of uncertainty.

As individuals, we spend time and energy to avoid what we fear, even to our detriment. Avoidance of what discomforts us can further our discomfort. A man I know doesn’t like computers. In a sense, he fears what he doesn’t know and what he does not want to learn. As a result, he is willing to give up his job because it increasingly involves a computer to document his actions, to communicate throughout the corporation, to keep track of the workload. Fear of the unknown, however benign the unknown may be, rules his actions and forces his decisions. This fear causes personal anxiety and organizational disarray within the workforce. One man’s fear affects everyone around him.

People can adopt a collective, social fear as well. September 11, 2001 caused a mass hysteria of societal fear we are still reconciling today. Our leaders have capitalized on this fear to create a veritable blank check for legislation over the past few years. Only now, as the fear subsides, can we begin to understand how our emotional response to a tragedy of such proportion can influence the entire world. If tempered with reason, typical human emotions in response to 9/11 – anger, bitterness, retribution – are to some degree rationalized into a coherent response. Fear, however, cannot treat with reason. Because we as a nation fear another terrorist attack, we condone actions we otherwise would be horrified to contemplate, we look away as our military overcompensates for the wrongs against our nation, and we rationalize preemptive actions that have no bearing upon the actual causes of the terrorist attack itself.

In all of our brief national history, I find no example where America has ever given into fear as we have in this new century. As a people, we are inundated with alerts aimed at this most influential emotion: terror attacks and warning; avian flu; racism; food and environmental allergies; pollution and its affects; corrupt businesses; corrupt government; mass murderers; child molesters; car thieves… the list is endless. The media gleefully panders to our fear, because this means pennies in their pockets; the government eagerly panders to our fears because this creates a passive and more malleable population.

The past century of increased information overload has come with a price. Freedoms have increased, as affluence has increased: We are now free to fear everything around us. This new entitlement, handed out surreptitiously, is in reality anti-freedom. Fear shackles our minds. We are no longer free to let our children play outdoors, to sleep with our doors unlocked, to strike a conversation with a fellow shopper in the mall. We do not dare to leave our cars unlocked; we buy mace and take self-defense lessons. Our children are shuttled from building to car to building, breathing filtered air and feeling filtered sunlight in their skins. We are in constant connection with our teenagers via cell phones which act as a dog leash and masquerade as a safety net.

We fear, and this fear tells us what to buy and how to act. It shuts us off from each other. We vote for people who can stoke this fear. Therefore, we turn our minds off with a thousand entertainments to avoid looking at our fear, investigating our lives and the diminished lifestyles we silently, fearfully accept. Our media, the corporations who profit by selling into it, and by the government whose job becomes easier because of it, repackage fear. Collectively, these forces rename fear as “freedom”.

And we believe it.

Friday, January 06, 2006
On this day:

Great White Guilt

Is this blood money? Jack Abramoff, now famous for screwing Native Americans, has inadvertently given them a windfall. As congress sheds the ill-gotten gains of American-styled, high stakes governance. As Rome learned long ago, greed drives republics: More so in this, the worlds richest economy. Just as white America cannot rid itself of the stigma of slavery and its attendant racism; neither can it rid itself of the taint of genocide of indigenous populations. Fully aware of white man’s disgusting histories in America, our congressional leaders react with automatic guilt and try to rid ourselves of questionable proceeds as fast as possible.

Some of the Native American leaders show confusion by our response, feeling a return of their campaign contributions would undermine their voice in government. Some take a more practical approach: take the money and run. Now, that’s a truly American reaction. Although the unscrupulously diverted funds would provide no benefit to native tribes while in the coffers of officials, the return of them may indeed help the many struggling poor on our reservations. Let’s all praise the Law of Unintended Consequences, for providing justice beyond the reach of American law or judiciary precedence. The irony is as thick as the benefits are clear.

Thursday, January 05, 2006
On this day:

Just When I Thought It Was Fixed

Just when I thought my bullshitometer was fixed form the other night's utterance form Jack Abramoff, it moans loudly after trying the digest this WaPo quote:
"He defrauded the tribes, he defrauded his law firms, so why isn't it that he defrauded public officials, as well?" asked Jan W. Baran, an attorney at Wiley Rein & Fielding. "Proving somebody accepted campaign contributions and expense-paid trips and then did something of benefit for Abramoff is not in and of itself proving bribery."
This is said in attempt to discredit Jack before he even begins to testify against our enlightened leaders. What I anticipate to be most interesting to watch about this latest Republican scandal (I've lost count already!) is just how low the affected and their attorneys will stoop to deflect blame or distract from their actions. It's starting already.

On a side thought, I wonder how many future indictees will be on the roster for "Justice Sunday III," the latest attempt of the extreme right to fuse politics and the pulpit into a holy crucible of power.

Oust the Bums

Big Dick Cheney says the “eavesdropping program,” (also known as illegal wiretapping to us outsiders) might have prevented 9/11. After sipping some coffee over that thought, I propose a short list of other things that “might have prevented 9/11.”
  • Paying attention to reports from previous incumbents on issues of the day during administration “changing of the guard” period following election.

  • Locking up all angry-looking non-whites on general suspicion (Yes. You, too Condoleeza.).

  • Immediate establishment of United States of Christianity and announcing any un-American behavior to be act against God.

  • Ask Pat Robertson to interpret to bible to prove that George W. Bush is anointed by God to become the Supreme Leader of the Known Universe, then to change by executive order term limits for American presidents to life terms.

  • Nuke the entire Middle East.

  • Force the nearly half of Americans who oppose Bush to wear colorful scraps of cloth on their outer clothing for easy identification, then seize all their assets in the name of National Security to sell on EBAY overseas, refilling campaign coffers and legal funds for Republicans.

Any or all of these actions “might have prevented 9/11.” The problem lies in proving this. We’ll never know for sure. What we can be sure of is that our government’s “eavesdropping program” has not found a guilty person subverting national security in the many days following 9/11; No bad guys have been implicated due to these questionable tactics, therefore no reason exists to sustain these questionable tactics.

Personally, I’m becoming more convinced our national security, such as it is, would be better served by throwing out the pompous, fractious and arrogant Republican majority from the Capitol. At least is would make great “reality TV.”

Wednesday, January 04, 2006
On this day:

Poor Looser

Our lame duck president whines about those nasty Democrats who, for "political reasons" are undermining the (sorely mis-named) Patriot Act. Never mind the fact that this very same man endorsed the very same legislation for "political reasons." Don't look at the man behind the curtain, Dorothy!

I love this quote:
"For partisan reasons, in my mind, people have not stepped up," Bush told reporters, with 19 federal prosecutors by his side. "The enemy has not gone away; they're still there, and I expect Congress to understand that we're still at war and they've got to give us the tools necessary to win this war."
This administration has excelled at drawing partisan lines in the proverbial sand. For all his talk about "the enemy" never once has he defined just whom the enemy is. Is it Saddam? No, we got him already. Is it Osama? Knock Knock. Whose there? Osama. Osama who? Osama's got yo mama. No: the real emeny is Democracy. those damn democrats think the rabble ought to have a say in national decisions, and good, god-fearing republicans know better. Corporations should run the country. And the rest of the world, too. Specifically those corporations beholden to republican dealmakers and in whose shares republican congressmen hold. We're still at war. Even I can't deny that fact. But why are we at war, and why are we still at war? Oh, what tools are necessary? Body armor or body bags?

And for all of you who still support our war, don't DeLay, Jack. Sign up!

Six Degrees of Bull$#!*

Was Jack Abramoff the linchpin of the Republican money machine? Dems and Repo's alike tremble at the possibilities of association in a six-degrees from Jack paranoia game. NY Times quotes an un-named Democrat:
"We're talking about people who have longstanding careers in Congress who took contributions from somebody who knew somebody who knew somebody who knew Jack Abramoff," said a Democratic Congressional aide who insisted on anonymity so as not to drag his boss into the scandal. "Now they're panicked. The hope is that this investigation will root out the wrongdoing without innocent people getting hit with the ricochet."

Here's a sample of the connections one can make: Tom DeLay, Ralph Reed, Grover G. Norquist, David H. Safavian, and who could forget Karl Rove. And that's only the first tier!

Democrats, true to form and struggling for a clean image, trumpet Jack's fall with holy abandon. Republicans mimick Alfred E. Neumann and shrug: "What Me Worry?" Given that the supreme court is being packed like sardines with like-minded scourges, they might be onto something. How could yet another indictment compare to the unholy troika of Iraq, Katrina, and the wholesaling of America to China?

Today's Quote Of The Day in the Times blew up my bullshitometer:

"All of my remaining days, I will feel tremendous sadness and regret for my conduct and for what I have done."

JACK A. ABRAMOFF, a Washington lobbyist, pleading guilty in a corruption case.

I'd be sorry for screwing up a consulting job that pays $750 and hour, too.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006
On this day:

Fending Off Despair

A lot of death in the news today: In Germany an ice rink collapsed; assassination attempts and a car bombing in Iraq; and fears of lost miners in Virginia, lost family in fire-ravaged plains states and in Californian torrents.

The weather is going haywire, too. Chicago, known for freezing winters, was a balmy 40 degrees today, the ground a soupy mess. California is declaring emergency action in response to unusual rainfall. Wildfires rampage the dry plains states, a phenomena I always associated with late summer or autumn, not January. We all know about our past hurricane season…

Bipolar politics adds a unique twist to this mess. Jack Abramoff cops a plea, now the dealmakers shudder as the Great Republican Greedmonger Show takes another hit. Democrats dream of impeachment proceedures. How long until Americans fight each other in the streets for their politics like in Iraq? Our lack-witted president says spying on Americans is necessary to safeguard our nation. I ask: from whom? Now that we breed terrorists in Iraq, and provide them with the anarchy needed to grow, why should they bother to come here? What we need protection from is ourselves. Who can provide that?

I scan the daily blues for an article of hope. Again, I find none. Wars, disasters, indictments… NY Times, Washington Post, CNN all spread the same dread, all repeat the same things, an echo chamber of diseased minds acting out, displaced people, and disturbing events. If I didn’t believe in the inherent goodness of people, I would despair.

Monday, January 02, 2006
On this day:

A Rough Return to Normal

My first day back to work ate my brain. Trying to post at IdoitSynchracies causes hicups and repeated postings. So I just kick back and have some fun at MyCatHatesYou dot com.

Happy freaking Monday (sigh)

Sunday, January 01, 2006
On this day:

Climbing Back Aboard

I’ve fallen off the blog train lately. You’ve noticed. Web site traffic reports have reflected a slowdown; my three readers are wondering what’s up with me. My standing in the ecosphere has diminished somewhat, due to recent inactivity and the increasing staleness of the BBA, et al.

Most bloggers will attest motivation can falter sometimes. This is natural; we humans, infinitely flawed creatures, cannot sustain things indefinitely. A fermata is a musical construct, not a natural state. So, with the waning daylight, I find my blogging fading as well.

It’s time for a few rethinks, and for a casual look at continuity. Sparing you the boring details, I will now get back online and restart my blogging. Why do I do this? I don’t really know. Today the sunshine and the promise of a new year combine to recharge my batteries, tomorrow – who knows?

I’ve always wondered about the human proclivity for shouting into a void, as we bloggers do. The internet, in this metaphor, is the world’s largest Echo Canyon, from which I still hope to find another’s voice coming back: Maybe this year. So here I go, wishing all the obligatory wishes of a refreshed calendar, a healthy return to the grinding stone of daily ritual, and a vague, whispered promise for the betterment of human condition.

But then, I always was a dreamer.