Zippidy Doo Da

I'm not stupid, I'm from Texas!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Assassination Nation

Pakistan, the original Islamic State, has never had a peaceful or even orderly transition of power. It’s like government by soccer hooligans, trying to shake down the stadium and get a bigger body count. Their usual feel-good unifying movement involves war with India, another nuclear state.

For some reason, all this brings to mind Cormac McCarthy’s latest novel, “The Road,” a grisly story of nuclear winter in Texas.

I saw an interview with McCarthy where he said that he doesn’t enjoy the company of artists, but rather, prefers to live around scientists. Here’s hoping that he’s not prescient with his choice of subject matter.

By the way, the Coen brother’s film of McCarthy’s “No Country for Old Men” is in theatres now. Also set in Texas, I expect it to be a fine film, for those that have the stomach for it.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Happy New Year

I'm sorry I was gone for a few days while I moved into our new home. Plus, I have been hobbled by various maladies associated with moving, like frequent falls from drunkish-ness.

As soon as I get back (many thanks to Judge Hoarse) I find out that Ms. Bhutto was killed, from bombs or bullets, by Musharef or Al-queda - who knows? Whether one views her legacy as tarnished by scandal, or as an unwitting tool of Bushco, she is still the greatest secular female politician in the mid-east, since ever, and her death is truly a tragic and a politically provocative event.

'08 predictions soon.

Love to all,


Thursday, December 27, 2007

You Can Look It Up

I didn’t have a brownbag that day so I was in the cafeteria when Julia found me. She was quite upset, on the verge of tears.

“The police called and said they have a warrant for you, and that if they stop us in my car, they’ll impound it!”

When I landed back on the floor, she told me what it was all about. You see, I had been to see the Astros play the Mets earlier that week. During the game, they showed my seat number on the big screen and said that I had “won an at-bat in the bigs.” I went down behind home plate and they gave me a jersey and a helmet and sent me to the plate against Rob Dribble.

I looked at a batting practice strike, and then fouled one off to the right side, but on the third pitch I hit a seeing-eye swinging bunt that rolled just out of Dribble’s reach that found me stretching for first as he pegged the ball at my head, disgusted. I ducked, and seeing the ball sail away from the first baseman, legged it to second on the overthrow.

By now Dribble was really pissed off, but he got a pop-up off the next batter to retire the side and stared daggers at me as I rounded the bases on my way back to the stands.

Well close as I can figure, he must have called somebody at the police department and told them some kind of story to put me in dutch.

My mind raced, searching for a connection who could get the cops off my case. I don’t know anybody with that kind of clout. I know, I thought, I’ll call Dierker, I’ve read his books, he’ll respect that and maybe he can help me out.

But I couldn’t get through to him on the phone. I went over to Union Station where the club has their offices and managed to stroll upstairs. There was a lot of traffic around Drayton’s office and I strolled in as if I belonged there.

When I got the boss’s attention I introduced myself, and told him of the first time we’d spoken, once in the concourse behind home plate when my daughter and I had crossed paths with him. When he heard of my trouble with Dribble, he sent for him and directed him to make things right between the police and me.

As we left the office suite together, Dribble said that I could go to the DMV and straighten things out.
“The hell I will you son of a bitch!” I shouted and tipped a table and slung a chair as our voices raised alerting others who came to my rescue by separating us. Drayton’s fixer reappeared, ushering me through the lobby as he assured me that all would be made well.

After that season Dribble was traded to Cincinnati, where he languored in the miners. You can look it up.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

With friends like these.....


Some 59 percent of GOP voters see John McCain as ethical, compared with 54 percent for Rudy Giuliani, 45 percent for Fred Thompson and 42 percent for Mitt Romney, according to an AP-Yahoo News survey taken in November.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

People in Hell Want Ice Water

I was astonished to see a NYT article headlined “Republicans unity brings unexpected success.” Didn’t I just read that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee had a $28 million edge over the GOP this year? What about all those poll numbers, all those Republican officials declining to seek reelection, and the party jumpers? They call this success?

But reading on, it turns out that the GOP is proud of themselves for keeping the war going, and for defeating the children’s health insurance bill.

If that’s all they got to run on, I’m way happy for them. The Democratic congressional majorities have proven themselves to be nutless wonders, caving to the administration on war funding and domestic surveillance. (At least my rep’s not the only one.) Granted, they ain’t much, but they’re the only horse we got. If we just send more of ‘em next time, we’ll have what we need to start turning things around.

One thing I hope to see from this primary season (besides a prolonged contest where candidates are compelled to take stands on issues and defend them against competing ideas) is the return to irrelevance of the GOP, demonstrated as their primary turnout across the country is dwarfed by the multitudes polling with the Democrats.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Texas Round Up

Poorly cited news from around the state:

Sharon Keller, the lethal justice of the Criminal Court of Appeals has asked the courts to throw out a civil rights suit against her by the survivors of her victim..SA Current

A Judicial panel that issued a rare reprimand against a federal judge accused of sexually harassing a female employee decided Thursday to postpone acting on the woman's request for a harsher punishment..AP Weren't his demands that she spank him with wet celery his trouble in the first place?

A Williamson County couple faces child endangerment charges after their three children — ages 1, 2 and 3 — again tested positive for drugs..AP That's called hillbilly day care.

A woman who claims she was raped by a fellow employee while working for a U.S. contractor in Iraq told House lawmakers Wednesday that her case is far from unique.AP Fill in punchline: _________

Investigators are trying to determine the identity of a person they theorize may have been struck several times while trying to walk across the Gulf Freeway..Chron Lousy pedestrians! There's more blood on the Gulf Freeway that the road to Damascus.

A lot of people are unhappy that recent meetings between Greg Abbot and Tom Craddock constantly leave them both with "Got Milk?" smiles..BOR

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

I'm Against It!

I saw Congressman Joe Barton interviewed on CNN on the subject of the FCC’s proposed new rules allowing cross-ownership of newspapers by television stations. When Barton was first elected to Phil Gramm’s old house seat, he resembled a geeky young Mickey Roonie, but 25 years later, this twice-married paragon of republican family values (Family? Pay them out of campaign funds.) looks more like Snowball from Animal Farm.

Barton was a beneficiary of Tom DeLay’s “K Street Project,” and received money from companies convicted of making illegal contributions to Tom DeLay’s TRMPAC. In fact his statements sound like they came straight from DeLay spokesperson Shannon Flaherty. When questioned about the FCC’s 70 – 70 rule governing cable providers, he admitted that he had had to ask his staffers the same question. He should stick to being a stooge for the oil companies and stay out of the newspaper business.

FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell suggests that the old rules are “a millstone around the neck of a drowning industry,” and quoted a Mark Twain quip about how “if you don’t read the newspapers you are uninformed, but if you read the newspapers you are misinformed.”

Funny that he quoted Twain, who was an employee and part owner of the Buffalo Courier-Express, which was crushed by the Berkshire Hathaway owned Buffalo Evening News in 1979, much as the Houston Post was blotted out by the Hearst Corporation’s Houston Chronicle in 1984.

Barton and other Republicans always couch these deregulatory power grabs in terms of conservative or market principles. I suggest rather, that these quislings are all ears when money talks. I oppose media consolidation because an educated and informed citizenry is essential to the exercise of democracy. That’s the American way, or should be.

I Want My Country Back

There was a time in this country when a guy named Joe Lunchbucket, friend of Joe Sixpack, ruled the earth. He was lionized, and celebrated into mythology by characters from Fred and Barney to The Honeymooners, to Archie Bunker to Cheers, and on and on. He worked in a factory, or drove heavy equipment, belonged to a union, or held a trade. He died in wars. He drank beer and smoked. He wore some kind of hat. He loved his wife and kids, and dreamed the American Dream.

He was intensely dedicated to sports, especially football. The sport grew to represent modern gladiators who protected the honor and manhood of their chosen communities. The game was war, and Sunday battles were violent struggles between armies. Even in the cheap seats, a guy could share the glory, taste the victories and plan future conquests.

The field marshals, the likes of Landry, Lumbardi, and Brown, fatherly personified the wisdom and strength of the group. They were bouyied upon the love and trust of the community. A sacred trust.

It is no coincidence that the teams started moving at the same time the factories started closing. The Browns, the Oilers, the Colts, the Rams, the Cardinals all left, torn from the desperate grip of Joe Lunchbucket, weakened from unemployment, the deteriorating neighborhoods, decaying schools, he couldn't hold on.

Sure, some never left, and some new teams reformed, sometimes with the same names, and the ones who left settled nicely into new cities. But it was never the same.

A guy who wants to go to a game will enter at the highest price. If a guy could afford that, and he wanted to take his kids, who still worship the fleet athletes in different ways, he might as well take out a bank loan. Everything goes to people who can withstand the market forces, and the guys who own the public airwaves, and pay the price for the stadium they can't get into, and struggle to hold on while paying more and more for less, are constantly reminded that they are losers in the new game.

I say screw NFL Network. Screw the Cowboys. Screw you Bud Adams, you fat f-cker! Screw you Jerry Jones, you old blood sucker.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Why I Love Bloggers

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, November 14, 2007 8:43 AM
Subject: General, about your blog...

My Brother in Christ,
I would enjoy reading a serious opinion peice from you on the subject of whether or not Mit Romney's faith is a relevant issue in his capaign for president.
Warmest regards,

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, November 14, 2007 12:32 PM
Subject: Re: General, about your blog...

yes, i should do that. I think i discussed it a little bit awhile back when I wrote about Nephi stealing the brass plates and murdering Laban in the Book of Mormon. If you are or were Mormon, you'll understand the story's relavance, It essentially about the end justifying the means--very consequential means in the story. The key piece of scripture in the story is "It is better that one man should die than for a nation to dwindle in unbelief." That's a very important scripture and concept in Mormon theology and, as we've learned over the last 7 years, a very dangerous belief for a president to have. If Mitt is a true believer, I don't think we can trust him with the power of the presidency.
What is your interest in this?

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, November 14, 2007 12:09 PM
Subject: Re: General, about your blog...

Bro. JC,
I am a WASP raised Presbertyrian (sic?). My only contact with LDS folks was some neighbors down the street whose garage was filled with sacks of flour, powdered milk and shovels, and whose (peculiar smelling) adolescent daughter would kiss but never put out. In Houston back in the seventies a squad of vicious murderers from the polygamous wing were wacking excommunicated members around town (1974-75?) which peaked my interest in the interesting skisms afflicting the faith. I was surprised to learn of thousands of LDS living all over northern Mexico, and have met some of the flax-haired brothers down in Piedras Negras.
So, although I have attempted to read the so-called Mormon Bible, (that the girl gave me) I am not fully informed.
My specific purpose for asking you this now is 1. this morning Atrios cussed the whole issue of Mitt addressing his faith in a "Kennedy-esq" speech as stupid and irrelevent; and, 2. although you are plainly the top political humorist in the country right now, I really find your broken character, from the heart stuff to be very, very good, and given your proximety/personal history, I sense that an essay from you on this would be highly influential nationally; AND,
Washed in the Blood of the Lamb,

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, November 14, 2007 4:09 PM
Subject: Re: General, about your blog...

i can't find anything on atrios site. do you have a link?

Sent: Thursday, November 15, 2007 8:47 AM
Subject: Re: General, about your blog...

Good morning,
Oooops. I, of all people, shouldn't make a spurious citation. My apologies to Eschaton for this error and to you for sending you down a blind alley. I knew it was either the Bible, H.L. Menken, or Steve Allen (ahem).

All of this to say, let's stop talking about Romney's religion. The fact that it offends our sense of reason and common sense does nothing to distinguish it from the ludicrous superstitions professed by his colleagues in this endeavor to be president. There are a myriad of reasons to oppose Romney-the fact that he is a corporate robot who will say anything to win election to prominent offices he can then use to make money for private interests, too slick by half, for example-we needn't drag his faith into the matter. The obsession over it all is not only symptomatic of our personality cult system of post-democratic politics in this country; it is symptomatic of our recently acquired obsession with religion in the public sphere. Both are immense threats to human freedom, almost as bad as insisting that our head of state profess belief in a particularly notable imaginary friend.

(Andrew Dobbs, 11/14/07)

Nevertheless, BOR is a progressive establishment blog and expresses a widely held view, I sense. Like Michel Malkin, my defense would be that just because Atrios didn't write it doesn't mean he isn't actually thinking it!

Mr. Dobbs uses the word "obsession" twice, which is a word best left to subjects like salted meats and pie. This passage is another example of why progressives get stomped by republicans, especially since said menace aren't going to keep religion out of the campaign just to alleviate "immense threats to human freedom."

You are a great American, sir,


Today from Jesus' General:

Mitt Wept

I really don't like to do these posts--they aren't what this blog is about--but like Mitt, I think it's important to understand Romney as a person of faith, particularly since his faith is bound to affect his presidential decision making. As a former Mormon from a very pious "old Mormon" family and a former "Seminary Bowl" (like college bowl) champion, I think I understand Mitt's beliefs better than most of you. I certainly understand them better than the media and every blogger I've read.

I feel like I must comment on Mitt's confession that he wept when he heard that Blacks had finally been given the priesthood, an honor that had been given to every 12 year old white boy since the Church came into being. I'm sure Mitt hopes that we'll all believe he cried because he was happy that an injustice had been righted, and I think many people will be fooled. But the truth is Mitt, as a true believer, would not have thought it was an injustice.

I knew a lot of Mormons who wept with joy when they learned of the revelation. I saw them tearfully bearing their testimonies at the first Fast and Testimony Meeting after that. They did so, not because an injustice had been righted, but because a prophecy was being fulfilled. Mormon doctrine held that in the last days, God would lift the curse He levied against Blacks for being indecisive in the heavenly war between Jesus and Lucifer and allow them to hold the priesthood.

I am certain that Mitt cried, if indeed he did cry, for the same reason. As a true believer, he would not, could not, believe that the denial of the priesthood to Blacks had been wrong up unto that point. To do so would have meant questioning God, because the ban was scriptural in origin. It's found in The Pearl of Great Price (Abr. 1 21-27), one of the four "standard works" of Mormonism (The others being The Book of Mormon, The Doctrine and Covenants, and The Bible.)

Labels: This Mitt Believes
posted by Gen. JC Christian, Patriot | 12:33 AM

On behalf of the People, thank you General.

Friday, December 14, 2007

A Foggy Day

A foggy day, I waded out into the back bay I frequent, was waist deep before I could see the opposite bank. This made me turn around, wondering if I could still see where I came in from. I didn’t have a compass to follow back to shore and there some deep holes here...

Which brought me back to L-D’s post last week, “War is Over.” Sometimes when I lack such a clear vision, I wish for some compass to follow. Consider that it’s almost twelve months until the general election. When the papers and the boob tube are full of stories about Willard Romney or Mike Huckabee they can start to seem almost normal after a while. We mustn’t forget that they represent the party of bankruptcy and Armageddon, the party that has controlled the White House for 8 years despite the Democratic candidates winning record numbers of votes in each election.

I have my favorite candidates, but I’ll be supporting whoever runs against the Tory candidate, and not just at the top of the ticket. It’s going to take solid majorities for the next president and congress to address the mess they’ll inherit.

Again, as L-D and Oliver Cromwell say, “keep your powder dry.”

Bush On Steroids

Who cares. Pump him up all you like, it’s not going to make him relevant. This “big story” is just another reason to hate TV news. The last time Bush was talking about steroids and sports was the 2004 State of the Union Address, when he was busy giving away the store to his rich cronies and plotting World War III. Now the Democratic candidates for president are debating in Iowa and the cable news drop coverage so they can tell us that ballplayers are doping? Give me a break.

Meanwhile, Bush just vetoed another children’s health insurance bill, while the cost of the Iraq was has reached $477 billion, and the national debt climbs to nine trillion, one hundred and seventy-seven billion dollars. (or $30,207 per person)

This baloney illustrates the buddhist idea of samsara, the illusory world; a fallen condition which is to be escaped, if possible.

Turn off your TV.

2008 Predictions (Part 1)

My industry sources in Houston tell me that the entire city is out of Vicodin. This, I believe, is impacting the price of pharmaceuticals nation- wide as reported in the MSM. Reflecting upon the level and intensity of pain in the Space City has sent me to the zone of contemplation until my family made me get out.

Hence, my 2008 predictions, in part:

1. Bear baiting: This old standard is bound to make a hit. Look forward to the reality show, "Man verses Bear."

2. Traveling minstrels: No longer will you hear "get a job, hippie," when encountering the crusty guitar-toting panhandlers in public, the new economy will move many a rising star into the streets to make their living.

3. Dungeons: Keeping up with the Cheney's will be more fun than ever with new America's love of torture. Face it; everybody has secrets AND YOU WANT TO KNOW!

4. Witch Hunts: A drug soaked brain-sick public, denied science education, naturally want to burn witches in their free time when faced with glow sticks and pretty lights. I'm feeling a little "enchanted" already.

5. Sorcerers: Hello, people!! Weight loss might be easier with very little food around, but lets be real: he can make you fabulous!

6. Serfdom: Look, you have a lot fewer illegal immigrants that way.

7. Maelstroms: How long has it been since we had a good olde-fashioned maelstrom? Whether its a green fog that darkens the eastern seaboard for months, or flaming hail stones over Cleveland, this is backyard fun that's long overdue.

8. Highwaymen: This is bound to be a buzz-kill for the family vake, but the up-side is the appearance of more "ham" products.

9. Child Labor: About time.

10. Court jesters, Damsels, and Fools: I'm talking the end of the writers strike!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Driftwood Launches New Changes

I urge everyone to check out the newly modeled by clicking the link over there to your right.

Nails has redesigned the whole thing with new features, including all our music for your personal consumption, (in advance of our new record coming soon). Sample and enjoy. Please steal everything - feel free.

Also, we are wanting contributers. Poetry, art, photos, music, essays, reviews - you name it, we'll put it up (with rare exceptions).

Finally, please understand we can't pay anything in terms of renumeration, but we will put up any and all contact information (if requested) and look forward to some type of symbiosis.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

What Happens in the Green Zone Stays in the Green Zone

The universal condemnation over the report today that KBI - Brown & Root contractors tortured and gang-raped a fellow employee is rather unexpected.

A Houston, Texas woman says she was gang-raped by Halliburton/KBR coworkers in Baghdad, and the company and the U.S. government are covering up the incident.

Jamie Leigh Jones, now 22, says that after she was raped by multiple men at a KBR camp in the Green Zone, the company put her under guard in a shipping container with a bed and warned her that if she left Iraq for medical treatment, she'd be out of a job.

In a lawsuit filed in federal court against Halliburton and its then-subsidiary KBR, Jones says she was held in the shipping container for at least 24 hours without food or water by KBR, which posted armed security guards outside her door, who would not let her leave." Crooksand

This is Texas news. Now remember Halliburton completely divested of KBR in April of 2007, two days before they completed operations in Iran. Look what they said then:

HOUSTON, Texas – Halliburton Company (NYSE: HAL) today announced that it has completed the final separation of KBR Inc. (NYSE: KBR). The two companies now are separate and independent of each other.

"This is a major event for Halliburton, especially its dedicated employees, loyal customers and the shareholders," said Dave Lesar, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Halliburton. "As a pure oilfield services company, Halliburton now can focus on the global growth opportunities in its core energy services business."

They are obviously not together anymore. Dare to compare the two websites and note the strong differences. First, , and then, . HUGE difference, huh? I'm glad they're not together anymore since KBR had the secret security team that would occassionally kill people (hippies) for LBJ, and other despicable misdeads that would potentially damage certain highly placed individuals who might otherwise be held accountable.

Bad KBR!

Fortunately for them, they had a little/a lot of help from the state department, who, I guess, oversees the contractors. I like the way JC Christian puts it:

"A little over two years ago, a group of KBR employees drugged and gang raped Jamie Leigh Jones, a 20-year-old female American staffer. Jones responded by attempting to report the incident and management reacted by ordering their security division to lock her up in a shipping container.

A sympathetic guard eventually allowed her to use his cellphone and she called her father. He, in turn, called his congressman who contacted the State Department and asked them to dispatch embassy personnel to free her and take her to a medical facility for treatment.

Jones was examined by a doctor who determined that she had been vaginally and anally raped multiple times by the KBR contractors.

At this point, the State Department had a decision to make. Should they allow the rape kit to be sent to the FBI and the Justice Department or given to Jones for a potential lawsuit (contractors are shielded by law from being arrested for anything) and by doing so, side with the young woman against the contractor, or should they seize it and give it to KBR--the company that had imprisoned her to keep her from complaining--and thus honor the sacred covenant Our Leader made with the owners in his ownership society.

As one would expect from any agency run by a good Republican soldier like Condi Rice, State sided with the contractor and gave the rape kit to KBR security, who promptly lost it."

I think that in the traditional American captivity narrative, the brown people are supposed to be the "bad guys," and the rescuers are supposed to be the good guys? The only way this will work out in the media for KBR, the State Department, Condi Rice, et al, is for Ms. Jones to become a bad girl.

Stay tuned.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

The War is Over?

I'm heading towards an ideological milestone that was revealed to me in greater clarity with the news that in the consensus of 16 intelligence agencies, mighty Persia has no bomb and isn't making one.

The upshot of this, to me, is that Bob Gates and not George Bush or Dangerous Dick C. is running the country right now. In fact, there might have been a second bloodless coup since 2000 in which the Joint Chiefs, DOD, CIA hard guys and key civil authorities like Joe Biden, basically went to Chimpy McCokespoon and said, "that'll do, pig."

Maybe it wasn't a shadow government that vanquished the neo-nazi death cult that had nearly killed our country, but some kind of Divine intervention? When I realized the enormity of this (see right wing media freakout) the hate I feel at times, and the tremendous hopelessness, virtually poured out of my heart.

It would be nice to get back to debating conservatives about policy and ideology in the future. They are no longer a threat to a free society, for now, and in many cases, just frightened pants-wetters and gas bags.

Of course, we must cut the cancer from the body politic, which means working to root out dead-enders, who waxed creamy dreams of Armageddon's cleansing light in order to scare people, and to make sure that religious extremism, hate, intolerance, ignorance, and apocalyptic death cults do not have any place in civil discourse.

Let us build anew.

Peter Higgins
Moulton, Texas

Friday, December 07, 2007

Friday Factiod

The drunkest cities in America according the Men's Health Magazine:

100 Denver, CO F

99 Anchorage, AK F

98 Colorado Springs, CO F

97 Omaha, NE F

96 Fargo, ND F

95 San Antonio, TX F

94 Austin, TX F

93 Fresno, CA F

92 Lubbock, TX F

91 Milwaukee, WI F

90 El Paso, TX F

NOTE: Lubbock's ranking is even more impressive given they are in a "dry" county where liquor can't be purchased.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Ignorant or Deceitful?

-US intelligence learned months ago that Iran suspended its atomic weapons program in 2003. Nevertheless, President Chucklenuts has been beating his war drum and spouting off about world war three. It makes me wonder if he knows what’s going on or if the facts don’t matter to him. Here’s a sample of opinions from Chronicle readers:

“The editorial jumped on this to accuse our president of not being credible. This by the same editorial board that fried President Bush for believing the intelligence on Iraq. You can't have it both ways.

“Have the Chronicle's editorial writers forgotten the memories of hostages, 444 days, Jimmy Carter booted out of office? The leader of Iran was one of the students who took the hostages. And now he is praised for making the rational choice? This is the same Iran that is supplying weapons in Iraq. It is incapable of being rational.”


-Well, Mr. Bailey, something you won’t hear from Fox News is that the Iranians certainly haven’t forgotten about our CIA “Operation Ajax” which overthrew their elected government in 1953 after the Iranian parliament voted to nationalize British Petroleum because they refused to open their books when questioned about their 85% share of oil profits. The Iranian revolution and US hostage crisis is a classic case of “blowback” from US covert operations.

-Here’s another:

“That George W. Bush should only be aware recently of its contents is not at all surprising for this uninterested and uninformed president, who imagines he runs the "free world" based on his "gut" and divine guidance.

“That the report does nothing to change his apocalyptic view of the world is unsurprising as well. We can only hope to survive the remaining months of this presidency without blundering into yet another war.”


-And one more:

“How did such incompetent people get into the White House? What role did the political process play? The U.S. Supreme Court? The mainstream news media? The religious right?

“This disaster should be thoroughly investigated and corrections made so it will never happen again. Recently, Bush reported that Iran could be responsible for World War III. With the recent revelations, it seems that, if any nation would be responsible for World War III, it would be the United States. What a disturbing thought!”


19th Century Values, Really!

It’s great to be reading Rick Casey’s column in the Chronicle again. See this one:

He reports on Texas Education Agency Science Director Chris Comer’s resignation under fire from former Bush staffer Lizette Reynolds and other promulgators of Creationism. He then gives a sampling of examples from American history of people who had to fight for the right to freely practice their religion.

And he’s not talking Hindu or Hopi here, this is strictly Christians fighting.

If you read nothing else here, check out this from the Ohio Supreme Court in 1869:

"When Christianity asks the aid of government beyond mere impartial protection, it denies itself. Its laws are divine and not human. Its essential interests lie beyond the reach and range of human governments. United with government, religion never rises above the merest superstition; united with religion, government never rises above the merest despotism; and all history shows us that the more widely and completely they are separated, the better it is for both."

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Chupacabra Report

Not that I’m a loyal democrat or anything, (When as precinct chair I had to pledge to support “all democratic party candidates” I always did so with fingers crossed; hell, I remember years when we had a Lyndon LaRouche nutcase or a transsexual convicted murderer on the slate) but having waited over ten years for the tables to turn, I’m finally feeling that the stars are in alignment, and that the coming year’s elections will really shuffle the deck on American politics. Consider the following....

-In Pasadena Texas last month, a man saw a pair of burglars leaving his neighbor’s house. He called 911, told the operator that he was going to kill them, and then he did just that. The grand jury has yet to report back, but meanwhile activists from the Nation of Islam and the New Black Panther Party are demonstrating outside the shooter’s house, prompting counterdemonstrations by neighbors, bikers, and 2nd Amendment types calling the man a hero. This has meant long hours for Pasadena police charged with keeping the mob scene from becoming a race riot.

-In Phoenix Arizona, police are now turning non-citizens over to federal authorities for their own protection, as crazed right-wing talk show hosts and white supremacists have been inciting violence against them. This as violence spawned by failed drug war and immigration policies spreads northward into Texas and Arizona.

-All this as the national debt soars,the dollar falls, the housing and automotive industries go into the tank, the healthcare industry threatens to bankrupt the entire country, just as it has done to millions of families, and the nation drags into the sixth year of an unpopular war. No wonder Tory politicians are resigning in droves.

When Life Becomes a Sitcom

I am more skeptical than ever of what I'm informed by the media, and what is taken for granted as the truth with regard to the election. This narrative from punditry and reporters that Iowan's are some kind of highly evolved super-electorate, and therefore the best laboratory for democracy is mythology to me, now that I think about it.

When I worked in restaurants, there was a white guy I once knew from Iowa City, ironically home to Majarishni University and the Emma Goldman Clinic) who in 23 years had never met a black person. Imagine, a society that is 99.9999999% white is chosen, and remains, the spot that selects who will run our multi-racial society? Is that right?

I mean, this is the state that is typified by Dubuque, where there is bar every block, and folks there spend their lives trudging from one to the next, in the snow, until they eventually fall unconscious into a drift. There is even a bar/day care called "Cradle and All" which encourages all the young parent's to pound a boiler-maker while dropping off junior. And a bar/church called "Our Lady of Bitters." Last Sunday's sermon was "remember to use a coaster, please."

Speaking of circles, this is the state that elected the gerbil-faced TV hack, Gopher. I saw him at a meat and greet in a bank lobby. He went round-and-round in the turn style entrance until somebody had to pull him out. At the buffet he stuffed his cheeks with the mixed nuts and scurried under the table. Sheesh! This the state that has elected Charles Grassley every term since reconstruction.

They elected George Bush the last two times, and these are the guys that are the most sophisticated electorate?

I personally don't care who wins the Democratic end of this, since I like and approve of them all. Even Mike Gravel is comforting compared to Bush. He might be crazy, but at least he's not evil and mentally retarded.

However, in the Republican race, you can bet Mike Huckabee will win. He gives out Silly Puddy and shiny toys at all his appearances.

I think we should keep our minds open and our powder dry. Let Iowa be Iowa.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The Banality of Evil

As the war drags on, a few of the Bush family that have been unfortunate enough to get caught at disparate crimes along the way are being processed through history. The AP reports today:

Lay's widow says her husband didn't commit any crimes. The AP reports today:

By JUAN A. LOZANO / Associated Press

The widow of Enron Corp. founder Kenneth Lay says her husband didn't commit any crimes, according to court documents filed Friday in the ongoing effort by the federal government to seize nearly $13 million in assets from his estate.

Linda Lay's claims were in response to an October 2006 civil action filed by federal prosecutors after her husband's convictions for his role in Enron's collapse were vacated following his death last year.

The civil action was the only way federal authorities could try to seize $12.7 million in assets they claim were "proceeds of the fraud proven in the criminal case against Lay."

Kenneth Lay had been convicted in May 2006 of 10 counts of fraud, conspiracy and lying to banks in two separate cases. But his convictions were vacated because of his July 2006 death from heart disease.

Prosecutors are looking to take three things: $2.5 million of the value of the couple's condominium in one of Houston's most exclusive high-rises; $10.2 million from a partnership named for both the Lays; and nearly $23,000 in a bank account.

Linda Lay's response to the civil action comes after U.S. District Judge Ewing Werlein on Nov. 14 rejected a request from her to halt the government's bid for the money.

In the response, Linda Lay "denies any criminal activity on the part of Kenneth L. Lay, including his alleged participation in securities, fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy or money laundering."

She also denied that any of the property or assets officials are trying to seize was involved in money laundering or acquired through criminal conduct.

Jaclyn Lesch, a Justice Department spokeswoman, declined to comment on Linda Lay's claims.

Both Linda Lay and prosecutors have asked for a jury trial, which has not been scheduled.

Enron, once the nation's seventh-largest company, crumbled into bankruptcy proceedings in December 2001 when years of accounting tricks could no longer hide billions in debt or make failing ventures appear profitable.

Enron's collapse wiped out thousands of jobs, more than $60 billion in market value and more than $2 billion in pension plans.

It's funny how much sympathy Lay still receives from his old party crowd. We are constantly reminded of the good things he did (with other peoples money) and how he was just a trusting old grand dad (stealing other peoples money) Why does this happen. It's not just him. Look what happened to Oscar:

Wyatt faces a probable prison sentence of between 18 and 24 months on the one count and he also agreed to forfeit $11 million. The four charges that were dropped in exchange for the guilty plea included conducting financial transactions with an enemy nation (Iraq) and violating a United States embargo on Iraq. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 27.

My sense is that Wyatt cut a reasonably good deal under the circumstances, or at least as good as any deal can be that likely will require a prison sentence. The government had already cut deals with a series of witnesses who had agreed to testify against Wyatt and -- let's face it -- it's hard to think of a less popular criminal defendant in New York City than a wealthy Texas oilman who openly criticized the U.S. State Department's traditional Middle Eastern policy of supporting Israel. Moreover, although dozens of companies and individuals were cited in the Volcker Report on the scandal-ridden oil-for-food program, it was clear that the Department of Justice was going to make Wyatt the poster boy for the corrupt U.N. program.

That's fine and dandy, except at the time we were pouring French wine in the gutter and eating Freedom Fries. I called Wyatt a traitor here once, but upon reflection that's not really how I feel. What most outrages me about these stories is the antagonist's sickening sense of entitlement . I m reminded of Atrios' story:

Staff Sgt. Jason Rivera, 26, a Marine recruiter in Pittsburgh, went to the home of a high school student who had expressed interest in joining the Marine Reserve to talk to his parents.

It was a large home in a well-to-do suburb north of the city. Two American flags adorned the yard. The prospect's mom greeted him wearing an American flag T-shirt.

"I want you to know we support you," she gushed.

Rivera soon reached the limits of her support.

"Military service isn't for our son. It isn't for our kind of people," she told him.

War is just an opportunity to steal. Business is just an opportunity to steal. Patriotism, service, committ,emt and sacrifice are for suckers. That is the BFEE moto.