Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Do you know what it means, to miss New Orleans?

Not much needs to be said about the Katrina disaster to hit Louisiana and Mississippi and other points south, except that it should serve as a reminder to us all of how fortunate we are just to be alive in this hostile place we call Earth.

So, Click here for pictures that help give a sense of the catastrophe.

When I was done looking at them my heart ached.

What a catastrophe.


This photo of our useful President is too much. While the largest natural disaster to hit our nation is unfolding look at him playing around!

Is that leadership in a time of crisis?

A book and a cover

There are many reasons not to find merit in the theory of Intelligent Design, chief among them is following it to its logical conclusion.

Today I'd like to talk about another flaw, which is the implied Intelligence of the designer.

I ask you, if you had unlimited knowledge, unlimited talents, and unlimited time in which to create a world would it include:

The Ku Klux Klan?

Despotic tyrants?


The Khmer Rouge?


Forced child labor?



Or catastrophic floods?

If this world was designed, wasn't the creator more likely a Sadist than a being whose intentions were good?

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

On Guns and butter

Q: Does a sane country spend more than half it's money on killing other human beings so that it can cut food aid, school aid, medical aid, drought aid, and disaster aid?

A: No, but a country in which Republicans control the budget does.


Hem Hem

"What I think the president ought to do [when gas prices spike] is he ought to get on the phone with the OPEC cartel and say we expect you to open your spigots...And the president of the United States must jawbone OPEC members to lower the price."

- George W. Bush -
Campaign 2000

Raise your hand if you remember either oil prices going down or President Bush talking tough to OPEC in 5 and a half years in office.

Going once....
Going twice...

Monday, August 29, 2005

Before It's Too Late in Iraq

General Wesley Clarke talks about Iraq in this Washington Post article.

I believe in listening to people's advice when they have a proven track-record of success. To break it down, he says:

Going into Iraq was a mistake.
Pulling out now would be a mistake.
Here's a plan to tame the mess.

I think he's a little too callous about saying that casualties are leading to calls for ending the quagmire. I think reason number one more Americans want us out of Iraq is they now realize every reason articulated for going into Iraq was a bald-faced lie. Number two, I think, is the fact that Iraq did not and does not now pose a threat to America except in Dick Cheney's wildest nightmares. Number three, I think, are the mounting casualties. Reason number four has to be that everyone can see the plan sucks and what staying the mistake will yield.

Americans fight like hell when the threat is real and nobody ought to make light of that fact.

So, on with the actual plan...

Before It's Too Late in Iraq

On Republicans watch

I ask again, why are moderate Republicans MIA on environmental issues?

Take a look at this story. The Bush administration is proposing rule changes to weaken the environment again, to this time...

"allow cellphone towers and low-flying tour planes and would liberalize rules that prohibited mining, according to Bill Wade, former superintendent at Shenandoah National Park in Virginia"

Republican Sewardship

Moderate Republicans if you do not want your children to go to a National Park and see mines, cell towers, and noisy low-flying aircraft then you must become an American first and a Republican second and oppose your President.

Do you think your hero and outdoorsman Ronald Reagan would pander to business the way George W. Bush does? Are you content with this "new order" of unimpeded robber baron rule?

Where are you?


Anybody there?

Can you hear me now?

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Put your faith in liberty Posted by Picasa

Friday, August 26, 2005

Our friend Jon

Jon Stewart is a lot of fun and never any more fun than when someone hands him a hanging breaking ball over the plate. Pat Robertson's comments about assassinating the President of Venezuela was more like planting a ball on a tee in front of the Red Sox's Manny Ramirez.

Stewart knocks cover off Robertson


Better primaries

I have heard the point raised many times that Democrats ought to use the True Majority Rule voting system during their primary campaigns so that the candidate with the broadest appeal is the winner of the nomination.

That sounds, every time, like a great idea to me.

It is also, according to Scientific American, the fairest voting system of them all.

Democrats might also use the primary process to implement electronic voting done right (see example here). Why not train legions of Americans that electronic voting can be done quickly, easily, and devoid of corruption? Why not use the most accurate, and therefore most democratic, method to choose the party front-runner?

Why not free voters from wrangling about harming candidate A (Kerry) by voting for candidate B (Nader), or harming candidate A (H.W. Bush) by voting for candidate B (Ross Perot)?

In other words, why not lead on the issue by showing faith in the idea that will produce the strongest candidates?

Seems indefensible

AIDS is deadly.

HIV can not get through latex or polyurethane condoms.

The Catholic Church is forbidding followers to wear condoms.

This seems like an indefensible moral position leading to needless human suffering.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

I say again

And he is too cowardly to face us too, except in sanitized forums where every question is pre-approved.

Commander bawk-bawk-bawk chicken

Here's the PLAN

John Edwards, David Sirota, and Brian Schweitzer teaming up sounds like a hell of a good idea to me. That they would team up to form an organization whose purpose is to promote progressive politics at the state level sounds like an even better one.

Judging by the hot-headed comments from Republicans I'd say they think it threatens their rule.

Take a bow

Halliburton is America Hurtin'

Could it be that while America is fighting in a Face And Rear Saving Endeavor (or was that Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism) that more of our patriotic pals at Halliburton are picking our pockets?


Glenn Allen Powell has pleaded guilty in U.S. District court in Rock Island, Illinois to taking 20% of a subcontract.

Frequent Fraud

Whatever happened to people's sense of duty?

Is money that good?

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

What I like about Cindy

Cindy Sheehan touched a nerve.

Not with George Bush, mind you, but with many decent Americans she did.

One day, amidst a lull in the apocalypse cheerleading the dust cleared just a little bit and people saw a Gold Star mother asking "Why?".

Only the most loathsome character, someone like Rush Limbaugh or Anne Coulter would demean someone in Cindy's shoes. But decent people know to respect a great sacrifice like Cindy's and to listen to what she has to say. After all, one can hardly Support the Troops and insult their mothers can they?

What this mother had to say is that her son is dead because the President lied to him. Her son is dead because he had enough faith in America to defend it with his life, and yet that trust was misled.

And she wants to look President Bush in the eye and ask him why he told those lies which cost her so much.

And he is too cowardly to face her.

And so she waits and draws attention to that fact.

And the nation waits wondering much the same thing as Cindy.

And he is too cowardly to face us too, except in sanitized forums where every question is pre-approved.

But Cindy is undeterred and that determination is what I like about her. That, and the fact that she says things like this:

How in the world is anybody still sitting on that fence?'

"If you fall on the side that is pro-George and pro-war, you get your ass over to Iraq, and take the place of somebody who wants to come home. And if you fall on the side that is against this war and against George Bush, stand up and speak out."

Cindy Sheehan

If you decide that you want to stand up and speak out, then you should mark your calendars for this event on Saturday, September 24th:

Just say No

I'd consider it a job well done if all the Bush horses and all the Bush men could not put the Iraq lie back together again. So, if you need just a little push to get down off the fence, then perhaps this article by Ray McGovern will provide the Humpty Dumptian nudge necessary.

In closing I'd like to offer thanks to Cindy for awakening the conscience of a nation. The war supporters try so hard to maintain their ill-gotten war that it must seem daunting to stand in their way? To suffer the personal attacks? To be a Gold Star mother and get lectured about your patriotism from those drive-by ignoramuses?

Perhaps your vigil has turned a death into something that will save lives; not Casey's life, but perhaps the life of the child of a new friend (of which I'm guessing you now have many). Thank you for trying. It is honorable work.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Assassinate thine enemy?


How can a Christian leader promote assassination on-air and yet maintain his credentials as a Christian?


A. When the people that follow him are gullible and uncritical.
B. When his followers have so little understanding of their faith that the words and works of Jesus are essentially meaningless to them.
C. When the compulsion to obey the pulpit overwhelms the helps that come from reason.
D. Those who covet violence are often willing to maintain their ignorance through self-deception and religious rhetoric.
E. All of the above.

Who would Jesus assassinate

Times are strange in America.

People seem to have forgotten that announcing you are Christian is a deed without a work.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Bush clearing

I think that President Bush likes clearing brush because (unlike Iraq) it is a problem whose solution he understands and can manage. He knows that if he keeps going back and forth, back and forth from the brush to the brush pile that the pile will get bigger and the brush will get thinned. If he then burns the pile it will be reduced to ashes and confront him no more.

I think maybe that is the type of problem the President is well suited for. I don't think he understands Iraq and why Iraqis have been able to confront him after Baghdad was burned. I don't think he understands that going back and forth, back and forth from hardened base to conflagration is not thinning the insurgents, but rather increasing their numbers.

I think that he doesn't know what to do. He shocked and awed them Iraqis according to plan but there were no candies. There were no flowers. His stature did not become Churchillian, but more like Jethro Bodine (although an unkind one).

So now he seems to put on the best show he can, all pomp and leers, all tirades and arm waving, all hat and no cattle. As America's problems escalate he bikes, and fishes, and naps, and clears brush because those are activities he can handle. Let us hope he remembers to chew his pretzels.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Frustration level at maximum.

I'm feeling a bit wound up this morning and so I think I'll pass along some great advice from Kevin Drum to Democrats.

See for yourself

Americans know the Iraq war is ill-gotten and unlikely to produce a shining beacon of democracy in gains. More likely it will produce an Iranian client-state if we're lucky, and a terrorist breeding ground ala Afghanistan if we are unlucky.

Climbing aboard a ship of fools is not a wise thing to do, yet the top Democrats sit on deck and complain about the tea service, without realizing that Republicans are making off quietly with the life boats.

Isn't it obvious?

Republicans are trying to cut-and-run without the appearance of cutting and running and Democrats are letting them.

It is time for the democratic leadership to wake up and get an exit strategy from the Bush administration now!

Here is a handy quote to use as ammo:

The only definition of Victory is Exit Strategy
George W. Bush 1999

Nobody will think you're tough for quibbling about structural changes and what-not. Demand a plan for victory. Get Republicans to define the parameters for victory. Don't waste a breath on pull-out dates. Get pull-out conditions.

If you don't lead at a time when it counts, when does it count if you lead?

Word play

I don't know if you've noticed a secret military unit called Able Danger in the news recently.

Apart from the fact that this means the US military is spying on American citizens, I became interested in the name chosen for the unit.

Able Danger?

Who thinks these names up?

It sounds like an anagram to me, but an anagram for what?

Here are some possibilities:

Banal Greed
Arab Legend
Bad General
Reagan Bled

Here are a bunch more anagrams

I guess that's nowhere near as good as realizing that the water Evian, spelled backwards, is naive, or that Evil spelled backwards is Live.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Cargo of a dove

Israel is vacating the Gaza settlements this week and it can expect little in return for this move, and particularly from the Palestinian Authority.

My opinions are conflicted on many points, for instance:

I am almost always against using troops on citizens, but a few citizens cannot be allowed to obstruct a democratic decision with violence.

I find Sharon's aggression part of the problem, particularly his quick rejection of Jimmy Carter's attempts to broker an agreement recently (I say Israel owes Jimmy more respect for the Camp David accord).

I find Israel's repeated spying on the US indefensible, particularly when we have sacrificed lives repeatedly on her behalf. It is, in short, no way to treat a friend and can only serve to weaken our alliance.

I find our moral position compromised by our own Westward expansion through nations of Native Americans and that little episode we had with slavery.

That said, though, Israel has decided it wants peace and is willing to sacrifice to get it. Perhaps the world community can recognize this as a step and applaud it and encourage one from Palestine, since Peace doesn't come through strength of arms but the approach of justice for all parties.

Will Palestine reciprocate or will it be violence and victimhood as usual?

On a related note, here is an article that I read which I enjoyed. It doesn't paint things in terms of right and wrong or black and white, but rather in terms of progress towards peace. You do what you can, the author seems to say, you do what you can:

Gush Katif

A healing balm

There may be a balm in Gilead to heal a sick, sick soul, but I know from experience that there is also an easily accessible balm at Comedy Central known as the Daily Show.

You may be aware that Iraq did NOT prepare it's constitution by August 15th as President Bush expected. To journalists this is a trifle that should be buried on page 15 between somebody's grandmother's tuna casserole recipe and an appeal for a lost cat.

To one that works in comedy, though, it is a chance to heal with laughter:

Thanks Jon


Wednesday, August 17, 2005


A Bush supporter drove a truck through a line of grave markers with the names of dead American soldiers inscribed on them.

I don't know if I have to say any more than that.

Details Here...

Click Picture for examples Posted by Picasa

Heaven Help Us !!!

To President Bush global warming is a myth, intelligent design is a science, and the Patriot Act is vital in the defense of freedom.

To President Bush Iraq attacked us on 911, Osama bin Laden is unimportant, and you respond to hard work with long vacations.

To President Bush "Victory is exit strategy" and we have no exit strategy for Iraq.

To President Bush our Mission is Accomplished and Donald Rumsfeld is a success.

To President Bush Iraq is evil and Saudi Arabia is an ally that needs to be coddled.

I'm getting really sick of President Bush.

Rant Inspiration

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Republicans MIA

One of the most perplexing things to me about the last five years of uncontested Republican control of the US government is this: why are Republicans MIA on environmental issues?

Republicans have traditionally defended our national park systems, protected hunting and fishing lands, and put partisanship aside to pass clean air and water laws.

What the hell has happened during the Bush reign?

Mercury laws have been weakened.

Energy bills have been passed encouraging coal use (the heat-source of cavemen).

Clean air laws have been weakened.

Our national parks are under assault with budget cuts, drilling plans, and privatization schemes.

Why aren't Republicans up-in-arms about fish too contaminated to eat?

Why aren't Republicans up-in-arms about oil drilling plans in Alaska?

Why aren't Republicans up-in-arms about global warming?

Why aren't Republicans up-in-arms about asthma levels among children in our cities?

Why aren't Republicans working with Democrats to defend the clean air and water acts?

Why aren't Republicans encouraging renewable energy generation?

Why, in other words, are environmentally concerned Republicans rolling over for Bush on environmental issues?

The only Republican I see consistently upholding their principles on the environment is John McCain.

I don't understand what has happened.

Protecting our parks for future generations is a virtue is it not?

Aren't Republican Christians concerned about proper stewardship of God's creation?

What is it that I am missing?

E.L. Doctorow on G.W. Bush

My writings about the mess Republicans have made for us in Iraq amount to a rather crude body of work, especially when compared to this statement by author E.L. Doctorow:

The Unfeeling President

Good writing can be stunning.

I am stunned.

Monday, August 15, 2005


What does the schedule of a man too busy to spend any time talking with Cindy Sheehan, (the mom who lost a son in Iraq and wants to ask President Bush "Why?), look like?

In addition to the two-hour bike ride, Bush's Saturday schedule included an evening Little League Baseball playoff game, a lunch meeting with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, a nap, some fishing and some reading.


Friday, August 12, 2005

Halliburton and Iran

Halliburton sold nuclear technology to Iran.

I don't think I need to say any more than that.

Story here

Many more dead than reported?

This website contends that:

U.S. Military Personnel who died in German hospitals or en route to German hospitals have very rarely been counted. They total about 6,210 as of 1 January, 2005. The ongoing, underreporting of the dead in Iraq, is not accurate. The DoD is deliberately reducing the figures. A review of many foreign news sites show that actual deaths are far higher than the newly reduced ones. Iraqi civilian casualties are never reported but International Red Cross, Red Crescent and UN figures indicate that as of 1 January 2005, the numbers are just under 100,000.

They have started a simple process to figure out the truth. They published the list of official Iraq casualties (here) and have asked family members to check the list for their fallen loved ones. If your family member died in the Iraq war and is not on the list you should contact the author of the study.

As of July 26th the author verified 52 more names of dead GIs which never made the official Pentagon list.

Even a skeptic like myself has a hard time believing the Whitehouse would be so monstrous to those that deserve honor and dignity for their service.

Hopefully it isn't true.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Click picture for more on Nero Posted by Picasa

What rhymes with hypocrite?

I feel that Art's highest achievement is to make Truth captivating. Who could look away, for instance, from Nick Ut's famous "Napalm Girl" photograph without being changed forever? In that tradition perhaps, Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones have used their musical talents to take a roundhouse swipe at US neo-cons and I cannot wait to hear their new songs.

All too often these days censors are willing to remove songs of protest from the airwaves and from store shelves, but it will be hard for radio stations to ignore anything that the Stones do without incurring lots of listener blowback. That, I think, is what makes this album most significant.

A Bigger Bang

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Texas oil cheats

The Economist has a story about Benon Sevan, the UN oil-for-food diplomat caught accepting bribes. It is a disheartening story, but quite unfair to cast him as the only culprit.

Corruption at the heart of the United Nations

You see, the company offering Mr. Sevan bribes to get at Saddam Hussein's oil was an American company, AMEP Oil, and it is run by a gaggle of Texas oil men. Take a look at their board of directors here:

Texas turds

At a time when Saddam Hussein was under an embargo an American company was bribing officials to get at Iraq's oil. And this, after we fought a war with Iraq!

Benon Sevan is a disgrace and a fraud and he should be ejected by the UN at once. However, people should save some indignation for the Texas oilmen of AMEP Oil for placing their interests ahead of America's security. Well, that and the fact that bribing officials is illegal in it's own right.

What are the chances that Texas oilmen weren't "negotiating" with the UN without a little "support" from the Bush administration?

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Grieving mom frightens Bush

Mr. tough-talk, Mr. compassion, Mr. brush-clearing macho man continues to hide like a frightened child from Cindy Sheehan (a mother who lost a son to the Iraq war).

I say that if a parent of one of our fallen soldiers wants to meet the President (particularly while he is loafing on a 5-week vacation) then the President ought to meet them. You show respect to such people no matter how much brush requires clearing.

Is the President afraid to face the truth of his ideology and the cost of his lies?

Mr. President, There's Someone Waiting, and Waiting, to See You

Support our troops at 13 mpg

As I was leaving the grocery store I saw a curious sight. There was one of those gargantuan SUVs with one of those ubiquitous "Support Our Troops" flag/ribbon magnets on it. I thought to myself, that right there is a failure of Republican leadership to communicate with the American people that it is time to curb our appetite for fossil fuel.

People don't realize that the more gas we use the more money we put in Saudi Arabia's pockets, and that 17 of the 19 911 hijackers were Saudi!

People don't realize that the Islamo-fascists that attacked us adhere to a fundamentalist version of Islam (Wahabi) that is bred, fed, and spread from Saudi Arabia!

For God sakes if you want to support the troops pedal a damn bicycle!

Then I got all riled up considering that Bush is gung-ho to go to Mars to see if there is life, when he should be more interested in seeing if he can save life on earth by combating global warming. Just imagine if we took that Mars-project money and used it to propagate wind-mills.

It all goes together in one vision. Put up windmills, solar, tidal power, and any other technologically advanced non-polluting, local power sources and you fight terrorism AND global warming.

Ride the bus to work and you fight terrorism.
Ride the subway and you fight terrorism.
Drive a Prius and you fight terrorism.

Drive a huge, gas-guzzling SUV in the city and you put money in our enemies hands.

It seems obvious, but perhaps more obvious is that Condi Rice had an oil tanker named after her and President Bush was in the Texas oil business himself.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Clicking my heels

Somewhere over the rainbow
Skies are blue
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true

- Harold Arlen -

Has Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald handed out Grand Jury indictments to President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Chief of Staff Andrew Card, Lewis "Scooter" Libby, Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, former AG John Ashcroft, reporter Judith Miller, and Senior Cheney advisor Mary Matalin?

Has Karl Rove become the icing on the cake with an indictment for Perjury?

Is it time for bluebirds to sing?

Friday, August 05, 2005

The Watchmaker's Ancestors

Since when does the President of the United States dictate to schools how and what to teach?

If you ask me it is a rather Castro-esque thing to do.

If you ask me America's children have fallen far enough behind the Chinese in math and science without letting a man that can't pronounce "nuclear" set educational policy for tens of millions of children.

Furthermore, the "intelligent design" or "watchmaker" theory is plagiarized straight from the Bible (see Wisdom of Solomon) and masquerades as science among only the hopelessly uncritical. This religious teaching does not belong in a fact-based discipline like a science course, except to demonstrate the shortcomings of an ideologically driven approach to learning.

If people want religion taught in the schools why should it be at the expense of science?

If people want their children to be that dumb, why don't they just stick to inbreeding and/or home-schooling?


Thursday, August 04, 2005

Pining for Bill

I find myself missing former President Bill Clinton under whose leadership:

We had a 30 year low on unemployment
We had a 32 year low in welfare roles
We had a 27 year low in the crime rate
We had three years of surpluses in the budget for the first time in 70 years
We had the biggest increase in aid to university students in 50 years.
We had 22 million jobs created
We had 7 million families move out of poverty.
We had a drop in the number of abortions.

That's what happens when you shed ideas that don't work and embrace those that do.

The religious left

Reading this article about the religious left fighting back this morning made me think about how easily Americans are divided.

Are you left or right?

Are you red or blue?

Are you gay or straight?

Are you religious or secular?

Do you support or oppose the Iraq war wholeheartedly?

Are you an environmentalist or a defender of ecocide?

Are you for or against guns?

Are you for or against abortion?

Are you for or against unions?

Are you for or against corporations?

Are you with or against France?

And so on...

The trouble with this politics of divide-and-conquer is that people start looking at every issue in black and white terms, and that is moronic.

For instance you can be an environmentalist, as I consider myself, without being against logging. I am for logging because I would rather people use bio-degradable, renewable, all-natural building products and an outdoor career strikes me as enjoyable (at least on some levels). I am, however, against indiscriminate harvesting techniques which plunder the landscape murderously. I am against spraying thousands of acres of forest land with herbicides which poisons the landscape and the wildlife. I am for wind-power wherever it can be installed, and the quicker the better.

I am both for and against guns, which some people call wishy-washy, but I consider practical. I am a gun owner and I hunt, however I see the folly of allowing guns in the hands of children, the insane, violent criminals, or urban settings (here I am speaking only of use, not ownership).

I am secular, but like most secular people (I think) I haven't convincingly disproved the notion of God to myself (i.e. "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence"). I have only rejected the more popular religious views of God's benevolence. I guess you could say I look at organized religion like a community of the superstitious, but I feel no need to persecute them any more than people that are afraid of black cats crossing their paths. However, I do live an ethical life and try to treat others as I myself wish to be treated, not because I expect a Heaven exists, but because I believe that to love and to be loved is the only way to be happy.

When it comes to abortion I prefer to keep such a deeply personal decision out of the hands of government. In instances of rape, or when the well-being of the mother is in question I believe it is morally correct to allow for abortions. I view nothing so sadly as an unloved child (since I argue they turn out like neo-cons). Also, when a child will be born with a debilitating deformity (i.e. a hole in the brain or incurable painful conditions) then I also believe it is morally correct to allow for abortions. I believe the morning-after pill ought to be readily available, particularly to the young as they learn to cope with the most powerful of emotions. I argue that this does not "cheapen life" as many anti-abortionists charge, but rather allows prospective parents to choose to raise a family when they are prepared to act selflessly on behalf of their children, or in other words to cherish them. I also believe that most people are good people and do not treat the procedure of having an abortion lightly and that assertions to the contrary are propaganda.

When it comes to France, perhaps I am a clear-cut supporter. They are a free and open society that loves good food and good fun, they're cantankerous and argumentative and fantastic bakers. They sent us the statue of liberty. Their citizens resisted the Nazi's with more success than their army. They have a love/hate relationship with the British. And finally, when it comes to Iraq they did what a true-blue friend should, they told us we were wrong.

When it comes to unions I am mostly for them. My grandfather was an early union-man in the textile industry. When I asked him about it he said the mill wanted him to work seven days a week, with no overtime pay, when he was already working six days a week. Sunday, it should be pointed out, was an important day of worship to him and also the only day my grandfather had to spend with his family (8 children!). So, in response to corporate abuse (in my opinion) people joined and formed unions as a matter of self-defense (there is strength in numbers). My dad was also in a union, but he was a member as America's steel-industry went into decline (eventually he had to find a new career). In his case unions had already established the 40-hour workweek and a living wage, but had then started to fight for things uncompetitive like complicated seniority systems, over-zealous job protection (i.e. there was to be no picking-up-of-slack or cross-training). I also believe that in Poland unions turned a nation into a democracy, and that if we encouraged Iraqis organize into unions we'd be promoting deep democratic roots there.

I haven't touched on everything, but you see what I mean don't you? When presented with an either-or yes-no with-or-against choice you must reject the question.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

14 US Marines killed in Western Iraq

14 US marines and a civilian interpreter were killed in Iraq today, bringing the death toll past 1800.

We will be welcomed as liberators.
Mission Accomplished!
We will be spoon fed by celebrators.
Democracy Accomplished!


Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Bush end-runs democracy

When I first heard that President Bush appointed John Bolton during a Congressional recess, then had the audacity to insinuate Mr. Bolton's nomination was being held up by partisanship I screamed "George W. Bush isn't fit to reside in a democracy, let alone lead one, since he is afraid to face the people when they call him on his hair-brained ideas!"

Then I paused for reflection.

What I realized when I did so was that the President has a whole lot more opposition from within the Republican party than I realized. Truthfully, partisanship can't hold up anything if he can manage to at least get the support of his own party. Republicans control the House, Senate, Judiciary, and the Presidency and there are no effective brakes on Republican power except in circumstances when there isn't partisainship.

The truth is John Bolton is as bad an appointment for UN ambassador imaginable and lots of Republicans know it and refuse to truck this kind of foolishness. John Bolton is an angry shoe-pounder-type that by most accounts is abusive as a manager and a devottee of self-promotion. Not only that, but he is a seasoned UN hater and seems to have lied about WMDs to please his boss (affectionately known as *ss-kissing, brown-nosing, or ring-kissing). His immoral conduct seems to have been greatly appreciated by said boss.

After reflection then, I became happy and hopeful for my country again. Sure, for a while we'll have an ogre at the UN that is brash, brown-nosed, and likely widely disrespected at a time we could use a few allies, but nothing underscores the President's pigheaded and marginal status like this appointment. It also illustrates his lying abilities quite clearly to the rest of the world. Remember that trip he made to Europe recently when he told everyone he was ready to work with the world community? One can now classify such sentiments as another pack of lies.

So, my anger turned to cheerfulness. The President, it seems, is a lame duck clinging to stubborness and stupidity like a life-raft. Let us hope the current carries him swiftly into the history books where he is likely to be remembered as an abject failure as a leader on international and domestic issues, kinda like Harding.

Bolton details

Foot Quotes

"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge"

Charles Darwin