Friday, May 28, 2004

J.F.K. in 2004

We've tried the Bush way, the stubborn way, the not working way, and it is time for a new course in Iraq.

It is crystal clear to me that George Bush doesn't understand America's strength or how to weild it. He doesn't understand that our Statue of Liberty drags chains of oppression in her wake and that her clear light is fueled with hope, not fear. He doesn't understand that every Iraqi will fight for their freedom if they only trust our motives, and the best way to inflate their trust is through transparency, not shady Halliburton-style deals.

This, I'm convinced, is George Bush's Achilles heel: He doesn't have faith in our Constitution, nor our will to be free. This is why he evades the truth, and why he tries to dictate to us; it is because he doesn't trust us.

John Kerry, on the other hand, wants to restore what was lost. If he begins to articlate the America I believe in, the one that was achingly desired in Tianamen square, then George Bush best get a new chain for his brush in Crawford.

Security and Strength for a New World

Hope burns brightest in the darkest nights. I am reminded of that as I look up into the night skies these days and see Venus, goddess of love and beauty. Look up!

Dear Mr. President

Click for a slide-show Posted by Hello

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Shooting fish in a barrel

Republicans have mired themselves in a rhetorical swamp and sufficient thrashing on their part now ought to sink them. However, if you would like to engage in a bit of mud-flinging I suggest...

If a Republican attacks Kerry for attacking Bush DURING A TIME OF WAR!, calmly point out to them that Bush declared our Mission Accomplished. Therefore, you are simply being critical of a nation-building exercise which is something Bush himself engaged in while campaigning (i.e. "I'm worried about an opponent who uses nation building and the military in the same sentence").

If a Republican suggests a terror attack this summer is Al Quaeda's way of getting you to vote for Kerry, tell them you had decided to vote for Kerry a long time ago and weren't going to let any terrorist influence your vote because that would be cowardly.

If a Republican suggests Democrats are soft on terror, remind them that Democrats won two world wars and backed the Ruskies out of Cuba and that when the world trade center was bombed on Clinton's watch, the perps were caught, arrested, and sent to rot in prison (thank you James Carville).

When you think about it, the Republican strategy is to paint liberals as gloaters for being correct about Iraq. So, don't gloat. Talk about the need to restore our credibility abroad by taking a new course, away from the stubborn Bush policies that are bankrupting our children's America.

If you feel like gloating, think about the soldiers in Iraq for a moment and it will quickly pass. Our marines have served us and now it is time for us to serve them by driving the neo-cons out. It should be like shooting fish in a barrel, shouldn't it?

Hypocrisy or democracy?

Newsday reports that American forces are taking hostages and using them as bargaining chips.

Human poker chips

I hope the story isn't true, because I believe that when people see the American way of life that they want if for themselves and their children, and I believe the strength of our ideals will win hearts and minds, while the strength of our arms should only be used in self defense.

I fear that we are now doing things backwards, that is, using bombs to win hearts and minds and ideals in self-defense (i.e. the domino theory).

JFK said it best, "We must lead by force of example, not by force of arms."

Bush Has Humiliated Us

Al Gore is full of piss-and-vinegar these days. Here he is calling for the heads of those responsible for leading us into Iraq:

Humiliation, not Humility

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

The Iranian Spy in the House of Bush

How badly were the neo-cons duped by Chalabi and Iran? Are our soldiers dying to promote Iran's foreign policy interests?

Duped by Iran

How incompetent is too incompetent for this Whitehouse?

Now fear this!

U.S. counterterrorism and law enforcement officials had said Tuesday that new intelligence indicates that a group of terrorists already deployed inside the United States is preparing to launch a major attack this summer. This information was described by a senior counterterrorism official on condition of anonymity as extremely credible and backed by an unusually high level of corroboration.

Code Yellow

Wednesday afternoon, May 26th, Ashcroft and Ridge are to make an announcement clarifying the threat. If you tune in, remember that fear blocks spiritual growth. Here are a few of the expected details:

Ministers of silly walks

If you are like most Americans, me included, you have absolutely no idea what the Homeland Security Advisory System of alerts means (I assume Code Red means elections will be suspended and we will be living under martial law with Fuhrer Bush at the helm).

Here are a couple of official explanations to help you wade through the alert system:

Understanding the Alert System

Preparing your freedom bunker

ADDENDUM: CNN plans live coverage of Wednesday's 2 p.m. (1800 GMT) news conference with Attorney General John Ashcroft and FBI Director Robert Mueller.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004


Ever wonder just exactly what the Geneva Convention relative to the treatment of prisoners of war actually says?

Wonder no more:


After reading that, think about this:

"The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality." -- Dante

Plato on Patriotism

Plato depicted a classic dilemma which results from any effort to define morality by reference to an external authority (in Euthyphro). Here, I adapt the dilemma to our times.

Does my government approve of my actions because they are patriotic, or are my actions patriotic because my government approves of them?

If my actions are patriotic only because my government approves of them, then patriotic behavior is entirely arbitrary, depending upon the whims of the government.

If, on the other hand, the government approves of my actions because they are intrinsically patriotic, then there must be some divine source of values which we might come to know independently of the government (i.e. Bill of Rights, Constitution).

Socrates, though, felt a citizen should always obey the state. He seemed to equate residence with an implied contract that was morally binding. He, in fact, chose death over escape loosely based on that argument.

I wonder how Socrates would feel if patriotic action became equated with ideals which ran in contrast to the laws of the state?


This is the America that I love. Click the link below to hear "Sorry". It is sheer genius.


The site from whence this came is:

Levin and Lammers


Anthony Zinni is a Bush detractor

Here is what Anthony Zinni sounds like when on the attack, "I saw, at a minimum, true dereliction, negligence and irresponsibility, at worse, lying, incompetence and corruption."

I have often felt that Zinni would be an interesting running-mate for Kerry. I think he'd make short work of Cheney in a VP debate and would love to have the opportunity to do so.

Here's the story:

Zinni on 60 minutes II
A new CBS poll shows that 65% of Americans think the direction of the country is on the wrong track.

Na, na, na, Goodbye

Are they all a bunch of Iraqi dead-enders or foreign nationals? Are they all a bunch of unpatriotic Americans that can't stand freedom? Do they want to see America fail in Iraq? Have they no sense of loyalty to the War commander?

Will John Kerry fill the void of discontent with a show of leadership? Will he stand for the America we all believe in?

Tune in this November to find out.

Monday, May 24, 2004

Nothing accomplished

Click the bumper sticker for a free one. Posted by Hello

Our Darkest Days Are Here

Michael Moore said, in his Academy award acceptance speech, "anytime you've got the Pope and the Dixie Chicks against you, you're in trouble".

To that list, we can now add Walter Cronkite and Andy Rooney.

Andy Rooney's piece, which is short, sharp, and doesn't mince any words is here:

Rooney - Our Darkest Days Are Here

Walter's latest, which is longer but perhaps more weighty, is here:

Where do we go from here?

George Bush's goose is cooked.

Beleagured Bush to Boost Believers

Tonight President George W. Bush will address the nation to try to convince we Americans that "staying the course" isn't dooming ourselves to more failure. If past performance is any indication of what to expect, we can expect the following:

1. The president will stiffly stammer his way through his speech. Many of us will be shocked at his glaring lack of skills, but the press will gush and applaud as if Abraham Lincoln himself were speaking.

2. There will be lots and lots of happy-talk, just like the Ruskies used to employ (i.e. the schools are getting fresh paint). And, just like the Ruskies, the population will know it is nothing more than warm wind.

3. There will be lots and lots of smirking. This cannot be helped.

4. There will be pandering to the far-right, perhaps a mention of a constitutional ban on gay marriage.

5. The president will seize every opportunity to portray detractors as unpatriotic rubes that would rather see America fail (again, we'd vote for George if that were the case).

My fantasy speech looks something like this:

1. The President will start with an apology to the American people.

2. He will follow this apology with the announcement of Ahmed Chalabi's arrest.

3. He will follow the arrest announcement with the sacking of Donald Rumsfeld, Douglas Feith, Richard Perle, Dick Cheney, and Condi Rice.

4. He will follow this sacking with a promise to close Guantanamo bay and Abu Ghraib and open new facilities properly operated under the nose of the Red Cross.

5. He will reach out to the international community and ask for forgiveness, explaining that his desire to protect Americans blinded his judgement to their warnings. Then, he would make an appeal for a renewed effort to resolve the Iraq conflict.

6. He will announce the formation of a unity government, by reaching across the aisle to appoint Bob Kerry his new National Security Advisor.

In short, I'd like to see Bush wipe the slate clean in a master stroke and restore credibility to the Whitehouse.

More on the speech here:

New world orderer

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Bush fell down and broke his crown....

President Bush fell off his mountain bike while exercising on his ranch. His doctor, Richard Tubb, immediately attended the minor scrapes.

For those keeping score, that's one incident of choking on a pretzel, one fall from a Segway that wasn't turned on, and one fall from a mountain bike. If he isn't careful people will think he is as clumsy as Ford.

To fetch a pail of water

I immediately thought of Abbott and Costello when I heard this. I imagine the Presidential secret service force yelling "Look out for that bush!". George turns his head and says, "Look out for what?". The agent, "that bush!". George again, somewhat exasperated, "Look out for what?!?"


Saturday, May 22, 2004

d'Or for Moore

Fahrenheit 9/11 has won the Palme d'Or best film award at the Cannes film festival. The last documentary to win this prize was Jacques Cousteau's "The Silent World" in 1956.

Here's the beef:

d'Or for Moore

I, for one, can't wait to see the movie.

Born right the first time

Christian radicals seem incapable of reading the Sermon on the Mount with anything that passes for understanding. Where Jesus bade his followers to forgive, they preach holy war. Where Jesus bade his followers not to judge others, they run morality crusades. Where Jesus bade his followers to feed their enemies, their policy is to bomb the bejezus out of theirs. And, where Jesus asked his flock to feed and clothes the poor, their agenda is to oppress the needy for self-gain.

In other words, I think they are a bunch of hypocrites distorting the teachings of their "personal savior" to suit their personal ambitions. In other words, I think they wear the black hats in a Western and play the role of butler in a who-done-it.

PBS has analyzed the connection between Bush and Christian radicals (also called fundaMENTALists). You can watch the program here:

Bush and the Bible

Friday, May 21, 2004

Pressure valve

All bad news and no play makes for a dull day.

In 1882 the planet Venus made a transit of the sun. John Philip Sousa (composer of Washington Post March and Stars and Stripes Forever) was so bedazzled that he wrote "Transit of Venus March". You can view the sheet music and also hear it here:

Background Reading: Music

On June 8th, 2004, Venus will again transit the sun. Nobody alive today has ever witnessed this event. For detailed information about the transit in your neck of the woods see:

Transit Predictions


Resign, Rumsfeld

Q: Who takes pictures of themselves engaging in criminal behavior?

A: Someone not concerned with being punished.

Q: Who is more likely to take the fall for abusing prisoners at Abu Ghraib, those giving orders or those carrying them out?

A: See this story: Bush Gives Rumsfeld Strong Endorsement for a hint.

Meanwhile, Rush Limbaugh feels our soldiers were "... having a good time, these people, you ever heard of emotional release? You [ever] heard of need to blow some steam off?"

Here are the sordid details. I don't know about you, but I will think twice about calling Rush for a good time.

New Abuse (

Finally, Israel's intelligence services pointed out that this type of intelligence is "worse than useless because a broken man will say anything, and as soon as he gets the chance he will seek revenge". (I paraphrase)

By the way, we released hundreds of prisoners today from Abu Ghraib.

Nick Berg's dad is fed up with war

I would rather be subjected to violence than perpetuate it, but I might sing a new tune at the beheading of my own son. Michael Berg, though, says "We need to let the evildoers on both sides of the Atlantic know that we are fed up with war".

Let's all hope that men like Michael prevail in the battle for hearts and minds. Read his full statement here:

George Bush never looked into Nick's eyes

If you are the praying type, may I suggest this Hopi prayer for peace. It's language is all mystical and stuff, but it's sentiment speaks to Michael's wishes.

Can't we all just get along?

Then, there is this most famous of Peace prayers by Saint Francis of Assisi:

Make me an instrument of your peace


I love this photo with this caption. He looks so proud! Posted by Hello

I have a song in my heart this morning....

I went for laughs, and jokes, and singing this morning, but feel free to dance.

Sing this to the theme song from the Beverly Hillbillies (which, by the way, was written by Lester Flatt and Earle Scruggs).

Neo-con Hillbillies (?)

Young George Bush he
don't know what he's doin'.
His fiscal plan wrought
economic ruin.

He says tax cuts are
the only way to go,
but two million jobs have
fled to Mexico.

Or, India that is,
Cess pools...
Feudal laws...

Well, smart folks said,
"Don't you attack Iraq".
Dumb folks said,
"We're on Osama's track".

The next thing you know
we're stuck in a quagmire,
and the dead men pile up
higher and higher.

Transfer tubes...
Belated flowers...

Y'all vote for someone else now, ya hear?

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Jiminy Cricket!

Has Michael Moore created a masterpiece? Will the company that brought us "Song of the South" (Synopsis, Order here) block US distribution of the film for a tax-cut? How long was the standing ovation at Cannes for the debut?

Read Desson Thomson's review in the Washington Post here:

'Fahrenheit 9/11': Connecting With a Hard Left (

Or this review by Roger Ebert:

Less is Moore in subdued, effective '9/11'

Queer Eye for the straight candidates

Would George Bush look pretty in pink? Could John Kerry use a new hair product?

Find out here:

Queer Eye for the Straight Candidates

I used to love you, but it's all over now.... Posted by Hello

Speculation can be fun

I am a Red Sox fan and we employ off-season speculation to get us through the winter. While the political season is idling I'd like to weigh in with my thoughts on Kerry's choice of V.P.

I think that all this talk about John McCain serving as John Kerry's VP does two things:

1. It produces a crumpling kick-in-the-balls to Kerry whomever Kerry does announce, especially if he announces a Democrat with a capital D.

2. The Republicans love to call the kettle black, and so will claim that Kerry is a divider, not a uniter, for choosing somebody other than a Republican. The hypocrisy of that statement will go un-challenged by the media, when it is also utterly uncommon to CHOOSE A CANDIDATE FROM THE OTHER SIDE, because they DO NOT SHARE YOUR PRIORITIES.

The reason I don't think McCain will be selected is threefold:

1. He said he isn't interested and McCain is almost always a straight shooter. If he now accepts he can only do so as a hypocrite.

2. McCain is anti-abortion and his selection would weaken Kerry's support among women (and their normally eager mates).

3. Ralph Nader will peel away support from the left. This would complete Kerry's transformation into another Gore and we know how that played out.

Who do I favor?

I'd like to see Dennis Kucinich in the role of VP. I think the sputtering support that Nader has managed to drum up would evaporate and that Dennis is one of those visionary people that could rekindle hope in the hearts of Americans. I think that hope for the future is a better message than fear of the future.

Who do I expect to get the nod?

I expect Howard Dean to be the choice. He's organized. He's good at raising money. He's good with policy. He'd make a great attack dog, and he doesn't make Kerry look bad the way John Edwards would.

Who could be a surprise candidate?

Colin Powell.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Death cries of the dinosaurs

As things fall apart in Iraq, those most responsible have begun to blame liberals. It's not surprising, really, but it is pathetic. Some people have no sense of shame, nor decency.

Joshua Micah Marshall has an excellent article on the subject:

Talking Points Memo

What to do?

If someone has the impertinance to suggest that you want to see America fail in Iraq, tell them you'd cast your vote for Bush in 2004 if that was your aim.

Rantings from unchristian christians and the antidote.

Sometimes the best way to make a fool of someone is to let them open their mouths. Here are quotes from the religious right, which seem neither Christian nor well-educated to me.

Straight from God to you

If you, like Bill Maher and myself, think the Bible ought to be interpreted loosely and the Constitution literally, then you might enjoy this antidote.


Setting democracy back

Does sexual humiliation win friends and spread democracy? Find out what Robin Wright of the Washington Post thinks by reading her article below (registration may be required):

Turning Points (

Final Speech of The Great Dictator by Charlie Chaplin (1940)

The Great Dictator by Charlie Chaplin is my favorite movie of all time. I love the way he decimates fascists with a mixture of ridicule and grace (the scene with the globe comes to mind). Here is a link to the text of the final speech. The speech would not seem out of place or time if it were delivered in the halls of Congress right now (with all the President's men in attendance).

Final Speech of The Great Dictator by Charlie Chaplin (1940)

The first post

Here is a snatch from Monty Python's "Always look on the bright side of life" to get us started. I expect a lot of the news here to be upsetting (because we humans are so stupid) and this seems like a fitting mantra to keep in mind.

If life seems jolly rotten
There's something you've forgotten
And that's to laugh and smile and
dance and sing
When you're feeling in the dumps
Don't be silly chumps
Just purse your lips and whistle
- that's the thing.
And... always look on the bright side of life...

Please check back later for more and be sure to face the curtain with a bow.

Foot Quotes

"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge"

Charles Darwin