What in the world has happened to the nation I grew up in? Let's try to figure it out together. Let's work toward making America a place where the rich and powerful no long victimize the poor and helpless. Let's create a nation that supports world peace by creating world justice.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

A Day in the Life of an Average Kid

A 10 year old boy living in New York wakes up to go to school. He is 5' tall and about 175-200 pounds. This is his story.

Joe finds a seat on his school bus (despite school being a 10 minute walk from his families apartment). Taking a seat in his fifth grade classroom, Joe spends the morning studying a regimented testing curriculum centered around giving his school tax benefits without him actually learning anything useful.

There is no recess, because in a vain attempt to save kids the personal self esteem crushing agony of losing a game of Hide n Seek, and to protect schools from parents with lawyers, recess is banned district-wide. Lunch is at 11:30. Joe opens his soggy paper bag to find a Twinkie, a Pepsi, and leftover pizza. He sits at a lunch table with a group of 5 other boys, all of whom are just as overweight as he is.

After class restarts from 12:00 to 3, he will be studying for next week's benchmark test. There's a benchmark next week and a State Standardized test in a month. Subjects include math, science, history, and writing. The teacher has been unenthusiastically teaching the kids to write accordion paragraphs to prepare, while reviewing math I myself learned in the third grade.

After school, he again takes the bus 2 blocks to his family home, a poorly kept 2 bedroom apartment with cable TV and a couch. His parents, both working long hours to get extra cash, are both working the 8 to 6 grind at a toy company (his father) and a conglomerate (his mother). Home alone for the next two hours, he manages to half of his homework done in those two hours, consisting of 6 separate 10 page testing study guides. Taking well deserved break, he catches tonight's latest episodes of Law and Order, Sex in the City, and Austin Powers 2 (on DVD). He stays awake until his parents arrive home at 7 (traffic) and bring home dinner: Burger King Stackers (4 patties for Dad, 3 for Joe, 2 for Mom, plus extra cheese, bacon, and no vegetables). The meal is complete with French fries and 3 Pepsi's. He stays up until midnight completing his massive amounts of homework, and crashes in bed. He awakes the next morning at 6, and the cycle continues.

Anybody think anything is wrong with this picture? Poor Joe, who may or may not be diabetic, may die before the age of 40 due to this lifestyle. This is not fictional BS. This is the real impoverished suburbanite lifestyle in lower-middle class America. Joe is also likely a member of a minority (African American, Mexican). He is grotesquely overweight, has a potential IQ above 120, but is being treated and handled as though he has an IQ below room temperature, and will likely never unlock his true potential until it is too late. He believes his life is normal, and unfortunately, he is 100% correct. This lifestyle is the new norm.

Due to a chain reaction involving the government's complete and total ignoring of stories like these, as well as the No Child Left Behind Act actually leaving plenty children behind, kids are getting fatter and more stupid. Also, some schools have imposed district blanket bans on recess and simple play, i.e. Tag, Touch Football, etc.

Memo to parents/schools/feds: THIS IS NOT RIGHT! Moreover, it doesn't have to be normal. Kids today are living in a false society where everything is just fine, while being shielded from real world problems such as fat, cholesterol, exercise, and sex (the last one will haunt them if they discover it on their own). The unfortunate members of what I will refer to as the Dystopian Generation ("Dystopia" is such a cool word) are being taught wonderful test taking skills while being assigned absurd amounts of frivolous homework, being taught stupid concepts and having their self esteem padded. They are not being informed that no major corporations gives a rat's ass about self esteem, and will not console you if you are a flaming idiot.

This false sense of "happy" is not only being fed to sub ten year olds-high school kids are equally as vulnerable. Moreover, high schools are being treated less like centers of education and more like prisons or quarantine zones, treating students as though we are all a bunch of psychotic criminals.

Bottom line: Parents, schools and the government still have time to save the Dystopian Generation. These people, who are all responsible for this weak system, must face facts: kids can learn the REAL facts of life the easy way or the hard way. Easy way: parents turn off the TV and talk to their kids once in a while. Hard way: they learn "where babies come from" at age 16, and get pregnant/get a girl pregnant. Also, schools need to give students more flexibility. They will never learn if they are shuffled from class to class without any say in what they are learning. This leads to widespread apathy, especially in teens. Parents need to be there for their kids at a young age to teach kids to care.

Did I miss anything?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Sex is sex

I was amazed today to hear Brit Hume say that there was no difference between a gay pedophile stalking underage boys, and an adult man having an affair with an adult woman. In a desperate attempt to make it seem like Representitive Foley was somehow no different than former President Clinton, Hume actually made the rather offhanded remark that the acts were basically the same.

Are they really? Do Republicans really think sex is sex and it doesn't matter if it is between concenting adults or a 52 year old man a boy? I am continually surprised at the depth to which the Republican propaganda machine will stoop to try to justify the conduct of the facsist right.

Rush Limbaugh rants for years about the fact that all druggies should be locked up. No plea bargains! They are evil and must go to prison. That is, until he is arrested as a druggie.

Now, stand back! A Republican gets caught out as a pedophile and he, and all the other Republicans who knew about it for over a year have not done anything wrong.

President Bush has admitted distorting the truth beyond reason to get us into war.

Dick Chenney shoots a friend in the face then makes the guy appologize to him.

This is the example I want for my children and grandchildren.

It is good to be a pedophile.
It is okay to lie and cost people their lives.
It is just fine to abuse drugs.
It is good to get drunk and shoot someone in the face.

I am so glad we have these people to look up to. I wish I was morally bankrupt enough to be a Republican!

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Fahrenheit 9/11

For all of those of you who are on the right, perhaps it is a good time to take a look at the movie Fahrenheit 9/11. Everyone condemned Michael Moore as a maniac and worse when the movie came out. They said he took things out of context and made Bush look like he was not telling the truth. I watched the movie again last night. I hadn't seen it since it was first released. It was interesting when I first saw it. Now it seems prophetic.

Moore shows Bush, Rumsfeldt, Chenney and the whole crew telling the big lies to get us into war. They deny ever having said these things now, but watch the movie and see them saying them in uncut video segments. What is especially shocking to me is the stuff about Halliburton and Dick Chenney's unnappologetic ranting about how he should be making a fortune from the war. The scenes at the Iraq war trade show are just sad. People sitting around learning how they can make huge amounts or money from the needless death of American soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines.

If you are beyond believing that Bush is a lying deserter who dragged us into a war that has made us much less safe from terror you should probably skip it. If you still have a rational bone in your body and think you would believe the truth if it bit you on the ass, watch Fahrenheit 9/11 and then try to reconcile it with what the Bush Administration is saying today.

Monday, July 31, 2006

My second first post

Hello, readers! I am back. I'm sure you have all heard about or seen the World Cup Final, near the end of which megastar Zinedine "Zizou" Zidane headbutted Italian defender Materazzi squarly in the chest after enduring a very hurtful "yo momma" comment. This was in addition to a game's worth of off-ball shoving and other heated insults. After the provacation hit the fan, Materazzi was instantly vilified in the court of public opinion.

Fortunately for the Beautiful Game, Zidane's message is a memo to soccer politicians everywhere: stop these thugs! FIFA had made a lot of changes before the Cup, but most of them either made the offside rule even wierder, or, they ordered for refs to card players for very minor and stupid things, like a little push, or an attmept to slide tackle to stop a scoring run. And, the President of FIFA also ordered for the taking away of Golden Goal Sudden Death overtime for undecided games, and instead opting for 2 mandatory OT periods and a penalty kick shootout afterwards. Penalty kicks are nice, but Golden Ball, in my opinion, is better for the game due to the fact that with Golden Goal, every shot might end the game on the spot. In shootouts, players take turns shooting at point blank range to beat the other team in 5 rounds.

If I wanted to watch a game where players stand around, I would have watched the golf tournament instead. The running and intensity, mixed with an element of suspense, is what makes it worth while to watch games for some soccer fanatics. Watching players stand around to take shots isnt as fun as watching players try creatively to score game-breaking goals.

On another note, to Zidane's credit, he isn't the sports star to have his entire career defined by what he did wrong. Legendary NY Giants quarterback Y.A. Tittle is not remembered for his Hall of Fame career, but for the Hall of Shame photo taken of him looking very tired, bloody and defeated. Bill Buckner destroyed a decade of being a solid and dependable first baseman by making an error that was blamed for the Red Sox nervous melt-down that cost them the 1986 World Series. Umpire Don Derringer made a bad call on a play to first base that also led to a nervous breakdown that cost the Cardinals the Series.

But truly great teams can put stuff like that out of their head. That is where France, The Red Sox, and Cardinals all failed. Psychology plays a huge role in sport.

On a more humorous note, the retired Zidane was sentenced to a 3 game suspension. He later volunteered for 72 hours (3 days) of community service. Matterazzi (called "l'animale" in Italy) received 2 games and a trip to the hospital for his role.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Too Many Secrets

I was thinking today about how honest people act. Generally, when you ask them a question they answer. They don't avert their eyes and become evasive. The don't become offended when you ask them about what they are doing and they don't usually attack you for asking them about their work.

Now let's look at the Bush administration and their reaction to all the scandal's in which they have been involved. They have been caught over and over in behavior that most people see as wrong and illegal. In each case they are aggressive and abusive toward the people who have caught them. They (and their attack dogs in the media) threaten and bully the New York Times and intimate that the Times is somehow unpatriotic for catching them in lies and illegal behavior.

When they are caught telling lies to get us into a war they attack the person who showed them to be liars and try to get his wife and her associates killed. They are caught using illegal surveillance against Americans and again become defensive and blame everyone around them.

The list goes on and on but the bottom line is that they always look like liars. If they really think all the things they are doing are legal and ethical and moral, why do they take such great care to keep it all under wraps? Please don't say it's to preserve our advantage in the war on terror. Do you really believe that the heads of the Republican controlled Senate are enemies of the nation who can't be trusted with this information? The Bush administration certainly does.

We have to ask ourselves as a nation whether we want to continue to be the open, honest society that our founding fathers created, or do we want to go down the Bush path to becoming a police state where everything about our citizens, whether they are honest or criminal, is an open book to the power elite.

It is my hope that we will decide in November that we want to return to being America. Land of the free, home of the brave. A place where we are governed by the Constitution and Bill of Rights and where our elected officials see themselves as servants of the people, not our monarchs.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Fine If you F*** America (FIFA)

Like most Americans I have never followed soccer. The field is too big, the games are too long, the rules are moronic and other than Pele, there has never been a star whose name was known by anyone but soccer hooligans. The games often degenerate into gunfights or at least brawls and an exciting match ends up with a score of 0 - 1 after 90 minutes (or who really knows because the officials add a secret amount of time to each half) with some games reaching way into the single digits in scoring.

My point is this. All year I have been seeing those commercials saying that the World Cup shuts down all business everywhere. People take off work to watch these games and no one cares because the boss it not there anyway! Wow. They are really going all out to get me onto my fat American ass to watch this. They must really care if Americans join the fun.

But do they really? If they do, they might reconsider using it as a forum to beat up on Americans and take games away from them in a brazen display of official bias. Anyone who saw the game against Italy should be with me at this point.

An official who was tossed out of soccer for years because of questionable calls was allowed to run the U.S. versus Italy game. He tossed American players out of the game willy nilly for bogus reasons until he created what he must have thought was an insurmountable advantage for the Italians. When this strategy failed and the U.S. came up with the game winning goal, he simply called it back for no real reason. The U.S. was clearly cheated out of a World Cup win and no one seems to care.

Well, if the World Cup wants to entice me into watching this moronic sport, they have chosen the wrong way to get me hooked. I watched one match in order to give the sport a chance. Count me out from now on. Like most Americans I prefer sports that have actual rules and in which the injuries occur on the field, not in the stands.

Terror Plot!

The Bush administration dragged out their old, tried and true strategy of 'uncovering' a terror plot from which they saved the American public once again. In this case it was a plot to gas the New York subway system with cyanide gas. It seems that al Quaeda figured out how to deliver the deadly gas using parts from Home Depot.

Of course, like all terror plots that Bush has saved us from, this one happened 3 1/2 years ago. They sort of keep these in the bank and trot them out when Karl Rove needs something to try to help Bush's flagging ratings. Isn't it getting to be a bit old, though? I would think even red staters would figure out eventually that Bush saving us from plots several years ago is not exactly headline news. Also, if al Quaeda figured out how to do this thing with cyanide gas, why haven't they done it? Did they lose the plans? Did they forget? The problem with this story is that it makes no sense, even for a 'Rovism.' If the bad guys developed a weapon and it is easy to make and almost unstoppable, why haven't they used it? The answer seems to be that these stories don't need to make sense because the people who are Bush fans just take them on faith with no critical thought at all.

In a related story, the Bush administration has uncovered a plot by the British to assassinate General Washington. They plan to have a sniper using a flintlock shoot him from cover somewhere in Virginia. A spy was captured and gave up the plot around a fortnight before the dastardly act was to be performed. Of course, this brazen act of terrorism was planned for around 240 years ago, but the Bush administration just saw fit to release the news. I am glad they are in office to protect us from such things.

Monday, June 12, 2006

I'm Back

Even though I got screwed by Google (In my opinion, just a bunch or rich scuzbags ripping off the poor.) I decided to come back and write here again. I am not making money for it so I have to do it when I have time, but I wanted to add my voice to the crowd calling for a return to democracy and basic goodness in America.

As I was driving today I remembered something that my mother always used to say to me. From the time I was old enough to understand language she told me that God judges people based on the way they treat people who can't help them. In other words, God judges us based on how we treat the poor and humble among us. During my entire life I have taken that to heart. Although I am a devout atheist (no, atheism is not a religion) I have always followed her simple words. As a result I have often been offended by the people around me. For a while I worked for a series of rich people in California. To them, people in service roles, people they viewed as beneath them were treated like trash. Steve Werner, the Publisher of Outdoor Photographer magazine (where I was managing editor), loved to tell a story about one day when he was working on the copy for the cover of the magazine. A group of people were standing around the art room working on how to phrase things when a courier came in to drop off a package. As he stood there waiting for Steve to sign for something, he joined in on the cover blurb discussion. Steve started discussing ideas with him. Finally, Steve realized he didn't recognize the guy - he signed the delivery bill and sent the courier on his way. As Steve told me months later, "I was standing there talking to this guy about cover blurbs and I suddenly realized, that, hey, I am standing here talking to a LOW LIFE about my magazine cover!" A low life? Steve's family made millions from the photo magazine and donated $15 per month to some Catholic charity. His mother posted that on the bulletin board in the lunch room for all of us to see. I would be embarrassed to point out that kind of "charity" but she thought she was Mother Theresa. Who is the low life?

Another guy I used to hang out with came from a family that had about $100 million in the bank. Every time we went out to lunch he would figure out the bill, make me pay my half to the penny, then charge it to his father's credit card. I paid him, his father paid the card. Not all rich people in America are like that. Just all the ones I've ever met. They always say the same thing, "The rich have money because they don't waste it." What a crock! None of the people I met made one cent of their money. They all lived off the family dole and were still cheap bastards. Face it, rich people are rich because their families are rich. They stay rich because they buy government favor that means they never have to pay their share.

Consider this. The richest 14 families in the world just changed the law in America so that they can keep their ludicrous wealth and become an aristocracy. We have effectively just made Paris Hilton and her ilk the royal families of America. We all know that money is power, Paris Hilton has about $4 billion which makes her very powerful. A woman who has made at least two explicit porn movies and finds 'average people' in America so laughable that she has a television show on which she ridicules us is now part of the power elite in America. By eliminating the inheritance tax, President Bush has made her the guardian of American values.

This is not just something the rich do to us here. We do well compared to the people in the rest of the world. The American aristocracy have invaded, slaughtered and ruled other countries for more than 100 years. They don't teach you in history class but we have conquered the Phillipines, Hawaii (it used to be a sovereign nation), Cuba and dozens of others. We are currently engaged in a war in the middle east for control of their oil. President Bush and his gang even published their plan for world domination and still many Americans refuse to believe it. It is true. They want to rule the world. Just like Hitler, Genghis Khan and all the psychos before them they want to use the American arsenal to take over the world.

It makes me think of my mother. These horrible people have been running the United States since Reagan. Some even go back to Nixon. They believe they can use force and hate to rule the world in order to make more money. They believe that having all the money makes them superior. They also claim to believe in God. I doubt that they really do. They really just use it as a way to control people. That is, after all, the historical role of religion. All religion uses the natural urges of humans to make them feel evil. It then offers them salvation if they just do what the leaders of the religion tell them to do.

People like Ken Lay and the other members of the criminal aristocracy who occasionally become so egregious that they end up in court (They almost never go to prison. Where is Ken Lay tonight?) they look for our sympathy. Have they earned it? Ken Lay and his employees laughed as they crippled California and left old women and other defenseless people to die without electricity. These people see you and I as "low life" and not worth their time.

If you don't believe me about all this, look at the people the rich and their evil spokespeople attack. Poor Mexicans who come here to work for their corporations (so that the corporations can make more money) are a big target. Who is less likely to be able to fight back they an illegal immigrant? Look at the Walmart Corporation. They use slave labor in China to create their fortune because, after all, the Chinese they abuse are low lifes, right? Gays make up about 4 percent of America, most people are not overly fond of them anyway. Again, the rich love to attack them to prove that they love Jesus. The thing is, Jesus never said he didn't like gays.

Do you want to bring America back? Are you a patriot who loves the United States and wants to see it return to greatness? Start out by treating those around you, even the ones you think are beneath your status with kindness and humanity. We can return America to its former greatness but not as long as people like Ann Coulter believe they speak for us.

When the election comes around in November let's start rebuilding this great nation by tossing out the Republican's who have been selling us down the river to rich people who hate us.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Psycho Cabinet, qu'est que c'est?

I guess I should have been stunned like every other rational human being in the world to learn that the lunatics currently holding the reigns of power in Washington D.C. are planning to end the world as we know it, but I wasn't. The reason is that I was raised by someone who would have seen Rumsfeldt, Chenney and Wolfowitz as spiritual siblings.

My father starting terrifying me with "Jesus is coming!" "The world is ending!" "Get ready to die in a great fireball and be reborn!" when I was about 4 or 5 years old. I remember one night we sat in the car at the drive-in movie. A lovely family evening together. Suddenly, my father looked out of the window and started to shriek. "It's happening!" he shouted. "Look! Look! Look!" He grabbed my arm roughly and dragged me out of the car. He pointed to the full moon, which was rising amid a newly formed smog layer in Ogden, Utah. The moon was tinted a deep orange as it rose a few degrees from the horizon. Dad started quoting from the book of Revelations. The insane fantasy that drives desperate people with no joy or love of life to pray for the destruction of the world. He was filled with zeal as he ranted about the sun going dark and the moon turning to blood. "See! See!" he shouted! It's just as the prophets predicted. Jesus is coming soon. The earth with be destroyed and cleansed with fire.

This did not sound good to me. Even at age 5 I had more of a connection to the real world than my father. All he ever wanted for himself, and for everyone else was to be dead and for all of us to live in some imaginary castle in the clouds where no one drank coffee, tea or booze and there was no filthy sex. If you are starting to get a vision of Carrie's mom, you are going about one step too far. He did enjoy sports but other than that, death was his main preoccupation.

Because of this upbringing I have a very deep understanding of the psychotic death wishes of George W. Bush and his circle of asylum buddies. They are all so filled with self loathing, loathing for everyone who isn't part of their cult, and loathing for the planet in general that all they really want to do is tear it all down. They believe with all their hearts that if they can start a nuclear conflict and destroy the world -- Jesus will immediately appear and they will all be heroes. I am not sure who said it, but that sort of delusion is pretty much the clinical definition of insanity.

At least Hitler had goals. He wanted to rule the world, not just destroy it.

I know there are a large group of people out there who think I have gone around the bend. Not a long trip for me, I admit, but not this time. We may be fortunate that a few people within the Bush circle seem to have regained their senses at least a little bit. Perhaps there is someone who would like to see his grandchildren grow up, or maybe someone has plans for retirement, but whatever the reason, someone finally leaked information about the Bush Terrorist organization's plans to fabricate a reason to launch a nuclear attack Iran. To Chenney and the wacko squad, this seems like a perfectly sane thing to do. It is not. Of course, as always, the Bush Crime Family gets caught and immediately starts to lie. Once plans were released, the Bush administration started protesting that they were never going to nuke Iran. Sure they weren't. Also, there were never going to lie to get us into the middle of a civil war in Iraq; they were never going to leak the identity of a CIA agent; they were never going to run the U.S. into financial ruin; gosh, they have sure done a lot of things they never intended to do.

One thing you can be sure of, however, is that if you read the Project for a New American Century documents, they do intend to launch World War III and start the armageddon. Dubya sees the end of the world as the legacy he wants to be remembered for. By whom, though? If they continue on their path of of religious suicide, there will be no one left to cook dinner for Jesus when he finally gets here.

Over 1,000 years ago a few men sat around a table and decided what books would be included in the Bible. There was a raging debate over including the Book of Revelations. Many at the council saw it for what it is; an ancient book of fairy tales written by frightened cave dwellers who didn't know the sun would come back each spring. They huddled in their caves terrified of the world and made up stories about heroic figures that could protect them in their ignorance. We are way beyond the need for these fables at this point. It will be sad to see the world destroyed by a bunch of sick low IQs who just don't know fiction from reality.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Too Easy

It's a little hard to know what to write today. The right wing devils are just tossing out too much material. I began to think that they are trying to confuse the left by just giving us too many things to talk about. Let's try to make some sense of all of this.

First in line today was the revelation that not only did Dick Chenney authorize Scooter Libby to leak classified information about Valerie Plame and other matters, but President Bush bears the ultimate responsibility. While President Bush was condemning anyone who leaked information and damning them by saying they would be fired if he found out who they were, he was in fact lying through his teeth. He was behind the leaks and he did it for purely political reasons. Now, please tell me, all ye on the right of politics how it helped the United States, how it made us more secure, that President Bush released the identity of a woman leading a team of people trying to uncover international nuclear weapons plots in order to get back at one of his political enemies. I'm waiting. The fact is that, although Bush seems to be able to skate around this legally, he is an admitted traitor to U.S. interests. Come on, say something glib. You must have heard something on Rush Limpbaugh today that makes it okay for the President, Vice President their cabal to betray the interests of the U.S. For myself, I believe this has gone beyond anything like reality and become completely surreal. Our President, the only one in history to be put in office in the negation of a lawful election by the
Supreme Court, is a traitor to the U.S. and acted to undermine your (and my families) safety.

Of course, there was also more on the illegal wire tapping today as well. It seems that President Bush via his mouth piece (I think they call it 'concilery' in the mob) admitted that all that crap he was saying about illegal wiretapping being only carried out against foreign callers was another lie. Gonzales admitted today that the Bush administration has been spying on people within the U.S. without warrants as well. Again, I know that people on the political right hate the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights -- I hear it every day. "Who cares about my rights as long as they don't take away my Pop Tarts." Sorry, but that moronic drivel is wearing pretty thin. Whether you are on the right, the left or out in left field, it's time to start understanding what makes America different from the rest of the world. We are a nation of laws where the rich and powerful are supposed to be treated the same as the common man. What is it going to take to make some of you see that President Bush is destroying our democracy and turning it into a dictatorship? Are you all blind or just in so much denial that you won't see the fascist bus until it runs you down?

At the same time all this goes on we are bogged down in a war that will never end. Bush told us it would last a month. His lies have gone on for years. Now he tells us that he will not be the President to bring the troops home. As everyone said from the beginning, the troops will be in Iraq until at least 2009. When Helen Thomas asked the President why he got us into the war he refused to answer. The answer was made clear in another of today's revelations, though. A former general in the U.S. Army testified that he was shown maps a year before the invasion of Iraq showing which country would get what part of the Iraqi oil fields. This was never about WMD or anything else, it was about Bush's friends making money and Bush getting revenge against an old business rival. Other recent news showed that Bush and General Tommy Franks both lied about plans for the invasion of Iraq. The day President Bush held a press conference to deny that any such plans existed, another Army general has now testified that he was in the Oval Office going over the plans with Bush. Bush said at that time that there were no plans 'on his desk' for war. The plans were in fact on another table in the office. He admits that he lied by omission. Is he 9 years old?

In another amazing revelation in the last few days, Paul Wolfowitz, architect of a lot of the Bush madness admitted that the there were never any WMDs in Iraq and they knew it. They all sat around a table and had a marketing discussion over what would sell best to the American people to justify an invasion of a nation that never took any aggressive steps against us. They decided after some focus groups that Weapons of Mass Destruction would make the best advertising campaign. Really. That's why they chose them. It was a lie on the order of, "You can't take the country of Salem." An advertising agency decided how to sell America on the death and disability of thousands of brave American troops.

When will the right wake up and realize that conservatism has been stolen and sold to the highest bidder? There are no conservatives in power right now. I grew up Republican and voted for Reagan. I can tell you that there is nothing about the Bush regime that has anything to do with conservative values. They use any lie can think of to sell their increasingly naked dictatorship to the most ignorant and gullible people among us and it has worked like a charm. They have people believing that Bush is above the law; that having sex is worse than creating an illegal war; that giving up your rights as an American is just fine; that bankrupting the American treasury to provide a giveaway for the richest 2000 families in America is in their best interest; and the list goes on and on.

I am asking any of you on the right wing of politics to look at what Bush is doing to our country. If you have any shred of rationality left you must see that we are headed down the wrong path. Are you going to wait until America is gone before you see what we once had? I hope not.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Rotten to the Corps

All you need is love. Everybody. All you need is love.™
Well, that and a phalanx of attorneys ready to sue at the drop of a hat.

I was a bit horrified to see that the Beatles have entirely given up the peace and love of 1960s and have become just another group of venal businessmen who latch on to every opportunity to grab for the almighty dollar (or quid). Back in 1991 they sued Apple Computer over use of an apple as a logo. This reminded me of another allegedly money-grubbing A-hole, Claude Montana, suing everyone in the state of Montana for infringing on HIS copyright. If you have ever wondered what the final act in the corporatization of the world will look like, you are seeing the beginning of it now. Soon you won't be able to say "Hello" to your friends without paying the company that makes "Hello Kitty" a fee.

Of course, the peace and love generation gave up on peace and love a long time ago in exchange for a house in the 'burbs, an H3 and the loss of their soul. Activist Jerry Rubin (one of the Chicago seven, a group of... well, if you don't know who they are, nevermind) was one of driving forces in the hippie days. Later, an article in Playboy about him was titled, "The difference between deal and ideal is all in the "i" of the beholder." In other words, Rubin sold out and became a financial traitor in Los Angeles. Karma being what it is, he was hit by a car and killed crossing Wilshire Boulevard, presumably on the way back from making a financial killing.

At any rate, we are now over 35 years from the Beatles' last album as a band and they still think their logo is worth its weight in gold. I am at least glad that John and George (the ones who had souls) are not here to see this. The Beatles already got over $25 million from this 15 years ago, now they simply want to cash in again. I guess Paul's tours have not been doing as well as they had hoped.

What makes this even worse is that the legal part of the whole matter seems to be complete bullshit. According to the lawyers involved, Apple Computer is entitled to engage in the "distribution of digital entertainment content." I'm sorry, is that language too difficult for Paul and Richard (Ringo) to understand? What honest person could read that and think it means Apple Computer has no right to engage in the "distribution of digital entertainment content?"

As a former Beatles fan (we have all of their CDs and many cassettes and even a couple on vinyl) I am proposing a worldwide boycott of all music by the Beatles, members of the group as solo artists and anyone else (only Badfinger leaps to mind) sold on the Apple record label. We supported and loved the band and its members for the last 40 years because they stood for something beautiful. Now that they have become the Enron of music, there is no reason to nurture those old feelings. Time to cut them loose once and for all.

I have deleted all Beatles songs from my iTunes and iPods and we are tossing all our CDs, cassettes and LPs in the trash. I hope you will all do the same.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

What Republicans want you to believe...

From time to time I like to pass along the best of what I get from the internet. This one came from a friend in Texas, of all places. I wish I could tell you who wrote it. Whoever it is should be running the Democratic party!

- Jesus loves you, and shares your hatred of homosexuals and Hillary Clinton.
- Saddam was a good guy when Reagan armed him, a bad guy when Bush's daddy made war on him, a good guy when Cheney did business with him, and a bad guy when Bush needed a "we can't find Bin Laden" diversion.
- Trade with Cuba is wrong because the country is Communist, but trade with China and Vietnam is vital to a spirit of international harmony and our greedy consumer economy.
- The United States should get out of the United Nations, and our highest national priority is enforcing U.N. resolutions against Iraq.
- A woman can't be trusted with decisions about her own body, but multi-national corporations can make decisions affecting all mankind without regulation.
- The best way to improve military morale is to praise the troops in speeches, while slashing veterans' benefits and combat pay.
- If condoms are kept out of schools, adolescents won't have sex.
- A good way to fight terrorism is to belittle our long-time allies, then demand their cooperation and money.
- Providing health care to all Iraqis is sound policy, but providing health care to all Americans is socialism. HMOs and insurance companies have the best interests of the public at heart.
- Global warming and tobacco's link to cancer are junk science, but creationism should be taught in schools.
- Alcohol and addictive pharmaceuticals are good because big corporations make money, while marijuana is relegated to the black market since it is a free gift from God where excess profits are not possible.
- A president lying about an extramarital affair is an impeachable offense, but a president lying to enlist support for a war in which thousands die is solid defense policy.
- Government should limit itself to the powers named in the Constitution, which include banning gay marriages and censoring the Internet.
- The public has a right to know about Hillary's cattle trades, but George Bush's driving record is none of our business.
- Being a drug addict is a moral failing and a crime, unless you're a conservative radio host. Then it's an illness and you need our prayers for your recovery.
- We should support "Executive Privilege" for every Republican ever born, who will be born or who might be born( in perpetuity.)
- What Bill Clinton did in the 1960s is of vital national interest, but what Bush did in the '80s is irrelevant.
- You should support poor hunters who shoot their friends then blame them for wearing orange vests similar to those worn by the quail.

Response to a Student

One of my former students wrote me asking what we could do to stem the tide of dictatorship that is sweeping the political right. She told me her boyfriend is beginning to advocate violent revolution. I suspect this is youthfull zeal more than starting to stockpile guns but increasingly, American's are feeling that we are heading in the wrong direction and they don't know how to help get us back on track. I am posting my response to her below. I hope it helps those of you who are feeling that the neo-cons have already destroyed our great experiment in Democracy. I think we can still save it but we have to take it seriously and start working toward bringing back the America we love.

Dear Hannah:

I am not ready to start a revolution at this point but I think there are a couple of things that can help.

1) Vote by absentee ballot and encourage everyone you know to do it, too. These ballots are paper and can't be made to dissapear as easily as computer ballots.

2) Tell people how you feel about it. You would be surprised how much that helps.

3) Stay informed. Listen to Air America radio. It is the only broadcast that talks about things from the left wing perspective. It helps to see what they have to say.

4) Write a blog or respond to other people's blogs. What will cause change in Washington DC is a critical mass of public opinion. Bush is going down in the polls and that is helping a lot. We need to keep the pressure on. Maybe it will lead to a change in the balance of Congress in the midterm elections.

5) Contact your Senator and Congressman and let them know you are pissed. Keep up with the issues and email or phone them every time you think they did the wrong thing.

6) Remember that it is important to respect and defend the Constitution. People of the political right these days seem to think it is okay to shred the Bill of Rights to keep us safe from terrorists. If we lose our rights, what good is it to be an American?

7) Finally, remember that the American system is about balance. Whether the government is too heavy on the left or the right it doesn't work. We have to keep Republican's and Democrat's in a postion to keep each other in check. The problems we see today are the result of the far right wing of the Republican party gaining way too much power in Washington DC and in the media. We have to stop that if we are going to save the Republic.

I hope this helps.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

32,608 dollars in debt

No, that's not me personally, that's you, me and every other American. Thanks to President Bush and the system he has forged over the last 5 years, we are each now 32,608 dollars in debt. That is, 9 trillion dollars they approved as the new amount they can borrow dived by 276 million Americans.

The interest alone means my great grandchildren, who will be paying this off, will probably start out life about 1/4 million dollars in debt once you tack on the interest we are paying.

Since Bush got into office he has:

1) Looted the social security fund and created the crisis he later claimed he wanted to fix. Does anyone remember Al Gore saying he would put the money from social security in a lock box? This fake crisis Bush created is why. Bush is saying we will be $400 million short over the next 30 years. That is exactly what he looted from social security and gave to the rich as a tax cut. How can all of you Republicans still be running around saying Bush is saving the economy and we are doing great?

2) Run up an amazing tab in Iraq. Before the war officials from the administration testified before congress that the war and reconstruction would cost $1.7 billion. When they were questioned about this they belligerently sneered that that was it. The questioner asked if the figure wasn't more likely to be around $200 billion and again, they just sneered. We are now up to over $400 billion. Nice job by the Republicans with your money. Nearly half a trillion dollars for what? To start a civil war and destabilize the middle east.

3) While running up a staggering debt, the Bush Administration has also recorded a breathtaking amount of welfare for the rich. Over 5 years of handouts to the wealthiest Americans Bush has succeeded in doing what the Democrats are always accused of doing. The redistribution of wealth. Bush's welfare for the rich comes at a time the nation can least afford it. If you count the $4 trillion that Clinton left him as a surplus, Bush has handed out a staggering $13 trillion in welfare to the rich. Once again the Republican administration makes sure the wealthy keep gaining an irreversible stranglehold on the rest of us. Amazingly, this is the first time in the history of the Republic that tax handouts have been given to the rich during a time of war. At the same time Bush gives away the treasury, Rumsfeldt tells us that "we have to fight with the army we have." Right, The army we have because we can no longer afford the army we need. Bush gave away their funding to buy better yachts for his friends.

I was absolutely amazed to have a discussion tonight with a Republican who shouted at me that all of this is the fault of Clinton, Gore, Jimmy Carter and other Democrats. Huh? Who has been in charge of every aspect of government for the last 6 years? Who has made every fiscal decision since 2000? Who lied us into war? Who has been spending like a drunken sailor?

If you can answer any of these with the name of any Democrat please let me know. Otherwise start owning up to the fact that the single party Republican system has been a colossal failure.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Torture, torture everywhere

As most people probably read today, the hostage who was killed by his al Quaeda captives was tortured before he died. He was shot to death, but examination of his body showed signs of bruising which doctors interpreted to mean that he was beaten and possibly worse.

It makes me wonder if he might have been waterboarded or lead around naked by a dog leash or forced to participate in a naked pyramid. There are all sorts of inhumane things that might have happened to him, especially if the enemy thought he might have information about places we might attack them. I guess in some sick way that would justify their torturing him.

It’s just too bad there isn’t some international law that protects people from being tortured, even during time of war. Wait, I seem to recall that there might have been some law that did protect people from torture. It was called the Geneva Conventions but some major signatory to it decided that it was “quaint and antiquated” and no longer worth following. Oh yeah, that was our own attorney general speaking on behalf of the President.

Now it is coming back to me. Senator John McCain, himself a victim of torture during the war in VietNam, insisted that we pass a law stating that the United States would take the moral high ground and refrain from using torture in any form. Vice President Dick Cheney said he would never agree to that. Of course we all know what happened. The law was passed and as soon as President’s Bush’s signature dried on the paper he announced publicly that he could issue executive orders to ignore it anyway.

So we find ourselves, for the first time in our history, having our people abducted and tortured in a foreign land with no justification for even asking the enemy to stop doing it. The Bush administration, the supposed bastion of morality, has given up on morality entirely, and American citizens are now suffering very real consequences because of it. As I have pointed out here before, logic can be a cruel master.

At least they are tearing down Abu Ghraib prison. What a great symbolic gesture. In Bushie world, that is the right PR move. Of course, they are not going to stop torturing people, but they are going to do it in a place that is not called Abu Ghraib. As we all know, if the place where you torture people is not called Abu Ghraib, the torture no longer counts. It’s sort of the international law equivalent to the 6 year old’s game of “king’s-x.”

I am sorry for our troops, foreign missionaries and any American working, traveling or living abroad. Their government has let them down. In a world where America has almost always lead the way in human rights and holding people to their treaty and other legal commitments, the Bush administration has chosen to follow the least moral path. As long as the United States sanctions torture, we have no moral authority to ask others to refrain.

This hen has come home to roost. Watch for the rest of the “New American Century” barnyard to follow. By turning America into a warrior nation with the stated goal of conquering the world, our government has painted a target on the back of every one of us. I am very sorry for the family of peace activist Tom Fox. I know he was a real person doing what he believed in and that he had family who loved him. I feel their loss.

On the other hand, do you expect a man like Dick Cheney to feel their loss? The Vice President raged against the anti-torture legislation. When he shot a man in the face, he made the man he man he shot apologize to HIM on national television. Is a man this nasty and vicious capable of empathy. I really doubt it.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Congress strikes another blow for states rights!

Sorry, I got that backward. The Republican party, champion of states rights and fiscal responsibility are ramming through a law called House Resolution 4167. Because it is written and sponsored by lobbyists who are family members of the congressmen involved in passing it, the house members have seen no need for icky hearings and public discussion.

What does the proposed law do? It takes away the right of any state to label food with warnings, or even to tell you what is in it. The argument the shills are using this time is that the federal government should have final say over this kind of labeling to avoid consumer confusion.

They don't even both to come up with plausible lies anymore. The fact is that it is inconvenient for food producers to tell you that there is say, poison or rat excrement or traces of peanuts (which many people have deadly allergy to) in your food. It wastes time and money, they want to eliminate all food labeling. It is easier for them to hire teams of attorneys to say you didn't become ill or die from their food.

Amazingly, they are replacing the labeling in places like California and Oregon with... no labeling. That's right, by federal mandate, states will no longer be able to create standards to say what's in food.

Of course, there is a good reason for this. The reason is that House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohioi) and Majority Whip Roy Blunt have family and friends pushing it through. In fact, Blunt's wife Abigail works for Kraft's parent company and two former staffers from Boehner's office work for the Food Products Association and the American Beverage Association.

The Republicans retard to these allegation in the usual way. They say they are not trying to ram this bill down our throats (literally), they are trying to build a consensus and pass it in a bipartisan way. Right. Just like all the other by bipartisan things they have done in the last 5 years.

What is most amazing about this is that it is yet another example of the Republican party tossing their holy mantra of "states rights over everything" on the fire again. They profess to being the party that can watch the checkbook and keep the federal government from infringing on the legal rights of states.

What will their next lie be? Poison is good for you? A study by the Fundamentalist Christian Medical Society found that Americans are not getting enough mercury in their diet?

This is simply more proof that the Republicans in power don't give a damn if your family lives or dies as long as they pile up more billions. How long are all of you right wing fanatics going to keep letting them do this? Do any of you care at all about America or your family?

They take away your right to privacy and you don't care.
They loot the treasury and you don't care.
They get us into a never ending war with a bunch of lies and you don't care.
They sell the government to lobbyists at wholesale prices and you don't care.
Now they want to poison your family and I bet you still don't care.

Do you really think the people in the food industry who are buying this law are doing so to protect you and your family? If you do, you might think about waking up from the psychotic dream you are living in. I was reviled by one reader for saying he didn't care about anything. His response was that he cared, just not about what I care about.

So what is it that he cares about? Poptarts. That was the line that couldn't be crossed. As long as he can have Poptarts the Republican mono-government can have the rest. All of you pathetic losers who support this President and his band of thieves deserve what you get. The problem is your ignorance and apathy are going to drag the rest of us down with you.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Republican Choices

The Republican party brags to anyone who will listen that they are the party of personal choice. With personal choice, though, comes personal responsibility. What choices have the Republicans who currently control the entire government made and therefore what are their responsibilities?

Choice: President Bush mandated that the Federal Emergency Management Agency should be sold off piecemeal to private contractors. This is not a left-wing conspiracy theory, Bush’s own appointees at FEMA have testified to this fact.
Consequences: When Katrina hit land, everyone was scrambling to avoid reacting because it would cut into their profit margin. If we are going to run a government on pure crony capitalism this will always be the result in a disaster. Why spend resources to save lives when you lose money on it? Ironically, the same bunch of people who gave you the new ‘for-profit FEMA’ are the same people who want this to be a Christian nation. Just like Jesus said, “Suffer the little children to come unto me if I can find a way to profit from it personally.”

Choice: President Bush was tired of all the regulations on mining companies. Why should they have to spend money to make mines safe for the people who work in them? So, he replaced all the people in charge of mine safety with lobbyists from the mining industry.
Consequences: Many miners have died to increase the profitability of the mines. In case you think you start to see a pattern here, you are right. The Bush administration has chosen a course of action leading to the deaths of innocent people as a way to make the rich in America richer. Amazingly, in almost every case where Bush is trading lives for profit, the industries in question were already making their owners rich. Bush simply wants them to have more money. It’s not a question of the survival of businesses, it is just a question of paying back people who contributed to put Bush in office. Bush is the best President money can buy. The problem is that if you are not rich, he (and the rest of the neo-cons) don’t care if you live or die.

Choice: Lie about threats posed by Iraq and Saddam Hussein. This is so well documented at this point that even President Bush acknowledged in his state of the union address that we had to ‘move on’ from all the blaming about how the war started and figure out what do to about it now.
Consequences: More than 110,000 dead, including over 2400 Americans, and more than 40,000 wounded, many of whom will live with their debilitating injuries for life. What have we gained from all this? Nothing. We have actually lost ground in the middle east by all accounts. Iraq was a stable regime that kept Iran in check. We funded Iraq’s war against Iran for years. Of course, under Reagan and ‘George the First’ we also funded Iran. For those who have forgotten, the Iran-Contra scandal was half about giving military weapons to Iran. This was payment for them keeping hostages in Tehran to make President Carter look bad so Reagan would win the election. This was done at a time when Iran was our sworn enemy. This was actual treason, as opposed to Ann Coulter’s version of treason which is that you commit treason if you don’t like the Bush administration in any way.

Choice: The Republicans who are currently in power have made it clear that they want to eliminate the traditional wall in America between church and state. Before 2000 no one in America with an IQ over room temperature would have wanted that because we all understood what it meant. If you don’t understand just look at Iran. They have what Bush longs for - a state run by its religious leaders. Is that what you want for America?
Consequences: This is one the neo-cons have apparently not thought through. When we remove the barriers between church and state we create a nation that is ruled by whatever religion can gain control. What happens 50 years from now when America is mostly Muslim? You think it couldn't happen? What if it does? Are you ready to have women lose the right to drive and vote and appear in public without being covered from head to toe? When you start down the road to a nation ruled by religion, it is impossible to know where it will lead. That is why real Americans have never even considered it before. The Catholic controlled Supreme Court is about to make abortion illegal. Congratulation to you on the far right. How will you respond, though, when they make it illegal to be Protestant or Jewish or divorced? I hope you can live for the next 40 years with a country that is ruled by Papal law. The right wanted the all Catholic court as a way to overturn Roe versus Wade, but what happens when that is done? Bush has created a court that will allow the Pope to rule America with an iron fist. President Kennedy was attacked because people were afraid a Catholic president would bring America under the control of the Pope. What happens now that the Supreme Court is all Catholic. Remember, too, that Jeb Bush, who has become a devout Catholic is running for President next. How will you like living in the Catholic states of America?

Choice: The neo-con agenda is aimed at getting rid of Social Security. In fact, they want to roll back all social programs. Why? Is it because they want to protect you in your old age by taking away the money that might have supported you and kept you off the street? That’s what they say. What is the real reason? As they state on the ‘Project for the New American Century’ website, Social Security is a great place to grab money to fund their perpetual war machine. Again, this is not some paranoid fantasy. They spell it out in black and white for anyone to see.
Consequences: My father lived the last few years of his life with nothing but his social security money to support him. He assumed that Jesus would take him when he chose to go (I guess those prayers got misfiled) so he gave all of his money to the Mormon Church. He lived another 20 years and the Church (while grateful to have his money) offered no help. Before social security was enacted the streets of America were filled with old people who were begging and living on the streets. Many died for lack of food and shelter. Now the Christian right wants to bring that back. If Bush and his ilk end up winning this battle watch for a lot of older people to die in horrible ways that haven’t been seen in America for 50 years. How quickly we forget. I will go to my grave amazed that the Jesus loving people on the right wing of American politics think their Savior wants them to give up on helping the elderly and just let them die in pain if they can’t support themselves. Oh the joy of Christian love.

I could honestly go on like this for days. It is sad that the administration of personal responsibility is populated by people like Karl Rove, a traitor to America, who brags openly about releasing classified information about the cover of the CIA agent working to find the truth about weapons of mass destruction. What was his lofty Christian motive for this? Revenge.

The same goes for Vice President Chenney. He also released classified information about Valerie Plame and brags about it. His excuse? He can do whatever he wants. He is Dick f---ing Chenney! If he wants to get drunk, shoot you in the face and then lie about it you can’t stop him. When it’s over I promise that YOU will be the one on television appologizing for making him shoot you.

How about our beloved President Bush. He finally admitted that he used cocaine and marijuana and was an alcohol abuser. He lied about it during his campaign and said later that he didn’t want little children to hear about his bad acts and think that it was okay to do them. (It is apparently good to teach them to lie for their own gain.) His lies and manipulations have killed thousands of Americas and will continue to do so. He has handed over the Republic to one religion (something that never happened before) and he has put us so far in debt that we may never recover.

What are the consequences for Bush and his cronies? None. They are all filthy rich and can live on that money for generations even if the world falls apart around them (and you). As the old saying goes, “Be careful what you wish for.” As time passes that will become the mantra for the right wing in America. You have created a one party system dedicated to serving the ultra-rich and dominated by the Catholic Church. I hope it makes you happy in the coming years.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Kindness is not the same as Weakness

We live in a United States that abhors kindness. I am not sure when it happened, but I think it started in the 1980s. The 1960s were all about loving and helping. The 1970s were about more selfish pursuits and in the 1980s, Ronald Reagan lead a revolution that taught us to worry about number ONE only. If everyone just takes care of themself, everything will be okay.
This philosophy lead to massive deregulation because, after all, why should the government regulate. Strong people can regulate themselves. As a result we lost all control of airline competition, oil prices, air traffic control, competition in the media, cable TV rates and most forms of consumer protection. Are we better off now? What rational person can say we are?

We no longer have news at all. With very few exceptions the media outlets have been bought up by the rich and used to feed propaganda to that makes people believe that losing their rights, their lives and their livelihood is in their best interest. When Reagan deregulated the cable television industry he said rates would plummet because competition always brought prices down. At the time he said that people were complaining because they paid $20 per month for cable, which included HBO and other premium channels. Today, we pay $79.95 for a basic cable package and they go up to far over $100 if you want “premium channels.”

I could go through the whole litany of things the rich have used to take our money (with Republican help) but I would rather just ask again, “What makes all of you who believe in Bush and his unitary executive believe that you are better off under this President?”

I think it is mostly just a steady diet of right wing hatred. Life is actually getting worse and Fox News is there to tell you why. It’s all the fault of those darn Liberals (this word must always be said with a sneer).

Here is another question, though, if being a liberal is so bad, why is it that Jesus was pretty clearly a liberal?

In Matthew 5:7, Jesus says,“Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” Is that what happened at Abu Graib? Is that what happened with the death squads in central and south America? It seems to me that the Republican party hates the quality of mercy and sees it simply as weakness.

In Matthew 5:9 Jesus says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.” This is a tough one. While Presidents Carter and Clinton tried hard to keep peace in the world, often at great personal cost, President Bush and his handlers at the “New American Century” loudly proclaim just the opposite. They shout to anyone who will listen that we must create the ultimate war machine and take over the world. They want to make war until there is no one left to stand up to them and then proclaim the “pax americana,” that is the ironically titled, “peace of America.” What is amazing is that they don’t want to reach it through love and kindness and offering aid to those less fortunate. They simply want to kill off anyone who disagrees with them until only those as vicious, corrupt and filled with hate and fear as they are are left. The only problem is, once they reach their goal, who will be left? If you are demented enough to want to kill off everyone who disagrees with you, when can you stop? They want to create a world where the winner of the pax Americana is simply the last man standing.

What about turning the other cheek? Jesus said in Matthew 5:28 and 5:29, “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, do not resist the evildoer. But whoever strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other to him as well.” Is this what those devout Christians in the Whitehouse did after 9/11? Not at all. They used the media to foment hatred against the Muslims and have used it to launch wars. Was there another way to respond to being attacked by terrorists than the one the Bush administration chose? Only if you really believe in the Bible and don’t simply say you do to feel superior to others.

Did Jesus want us to have a greed based society? Not really. In Matthew 6:19 to 21 he said “Do not accumulate for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But accumulate for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” It is a little hard for me to believe that a group of people who’s only goal seems to be to amass wealth are follows of Jesus. The Bush administration can say whatever they want about loving the Lord and living by faith but how many scandals have we seen where gaining wealth is the only goal? Why does Bush work relentlessly to protect his oil interests (he is a Texas oil-man after all) to the detriment of world civilization, the environment and our health? While he says he is in favor of new ways of making energy he does not show it. He lies to make you think he has your best interest at heart but he loves only money and the power it creates.

How did Jesus tell us to react to those who sin against us? Matthew 18:21 - 22 Then Peter came to him and said, “Lord, how many times must I forgive my brother who sins against me? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, I tell you, but seventy-seven times! The fundamentalist Muslims have sinned against us perhaps, half a dozen times but I don’t think they have reached 77 yet. And I don’t believe Jesus meant we could retaliate after 78 times. He used 77 just as a very high number to mean we should always forgive those who sin against us. Are torture and war part of this forgiveness? It’s a little hard for me to understand that anyone could have even opened the New Testament and read the words of Jesus Christ and believe the actions of the Bush administration are justified by his profession of religion. By the same token, how can those who (incorrectly) shout from the mountain tops that America is a Christian nation and the founding fathers were all Christians (wrong again) believe in our course of action in the world.

We are only halfway through the first book of the New Testament and Jesus has already pretty much condemned Bush and his followers to everlasting hell. The rest of the book doesn’t make it any easier on them.

If so many people out there want to make this into a Christian nation then more of them need to read and understand the words of Jesus. He was not a murderous, war mongering, greedy, self-aggrandizing, hate-filled monster. He taught love and acceptance and lived his life to help others.

So I ask again - do you really believe in Jesus teachings? If you do, you can’t possibly believe that the hate and war taught by the Bush administration, even as a reaction to 9/11 are justified by your faith.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Another “Mission Accomplished!”

Today in Golden, Colorado where I live, President Bush ran up another giant “Mission Accomplished” banner at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

In a move reminiscent of the Nazi’s giving blankets to American POWs during World War II, a member of the Bush administration transferred $5 million to NREL over the past weekend so they could hire back the people Bush fired last month. Apparently embarrassed by being caught in a lie during the State of the Union address, Bush had planned to come to NREL for a photo op to prove that he backed them 100%.

[See for a description of the administrations emergency funding of NREL just before the visit.]

It seems that Karl Rove and others on Bush’s staff thought the photo op might not play as well in an empty lab full of boxes and janitorial staff preparing to close the facility for lack of funding. Of course, Bush had just cut $28 million from the funding so they are still short about $23 million from their already pathetically underfunded budget.

As anyone who follows this knows, this funding issue has plagued NREL for the last 25 years. Whenever Republicans are in control of the Whitehouse they stop funding alternative energy research. Then the Democrats take control and the lab gets funded again. The result of all this is that the lab has never been able to make progress like it should have. Republicans point to this lack of progress and say that we will never be independent of foreign oil. I think President Bush may have accidentally let the real story slip in the State of the Union when he said we were going to try to be free of mideast oil by the year 2025. This is the year many say will mark the end of OPECs ability to supply world demand for oil.

The problem with Bush’s approach is that it will take at least 15 years by many estimates for these new technologies to reach the point that they are useable. One scientist I heard speaking out today said that if Bush had not reduced funding since he was elected in 2000 they would have had high efficiency solar panels that were small and affordable and could take care of the electrical needs of a single family home. Imagine how much money Bush’s cronies could lose if you could buy panels and put them on your roof then NEVER have to pay for energy again.

There is a lot at stake here and it’s not your best interest President Bush is taking into account. More than any President in history Bush is bought and paid for and looking out for the richest people in the world. If you don’t believe me just wait a couple of weeks and see if the “camp guards” at NREL don’t start collecting the chocolate and blankets they passed out over the weekend. In other words, President Bush funded this facility just for this photo op. If you think I am exaggerating, watch the news to see when the funding stops again and the lab goes back to begging for silicon and test tubes from the military. I will give you a hint though, you won’t see it on Fox News or any of the big three networks. They don’t talk about that kind of thing. If you look hard enough you will find it. Then you will know that I was right and the Bush administration is really willing to stifle anything that could really reduce oil consumption. They say now that they want to get us off oil but who has been pushing it on us for years? Democrats and Republicans alike passed standards that would have made cars more fuel efficient. President Bush tossed them out the window and made driving a gas guzzling piece of crap the thing to do. If he is not a shill for the oil companies, ask yourself what a person trying to get you to use more oil WOULD look like.

When you think of the President just picture him standing next to a schoolyard with a raincoat full of drugs. The only difference it he is not by a schoolyard, his gang has the gas stations staked out and they are pushing something a lot more valuable then heroin, but a pusher by any other name...

Monday, February 20, 2006

Science versus Religion

Science and religion are almost completely different.

Religion claims ultimate authority and bases its "perfect knowledge" of the world on the claim that a higher power relates ultimate truth through some mystical channel. The Bible is a book of ancient folk tales. Many of them have little validity in the modern world. Believers continually bend and stretch these fables with new interpretations in a vein attempt to keep the stories relevant to modern life. Christians pick and choose parts of the Bible to support their beliefs. The root problem is that they are tied a set of books based on the knowledge of the stone and bronze ages at a time when knowledge of our actual world doubles every year or so. The fact is that although there is some wisdom in the Bible, it doesn't have the only concession on truth and goodness. Many religious and sectarian works can teach us how to live a moral life.

On the other hand science is not based on an ultimate truth at all. While scientists have been published and even revered, there is no immutable truth in science. That is it's strength. Einstein made profound discoveries about the way the world works. His theories are not considered sacred and were not even held as largely true until they were tested.

No theory in science has the status of eternal truth. Darwin had many profound insights into the way life has evolved on earth. No rational person can honestly doubt that life changes over the years. We know from observation that over the past several centuries people have gotten taller. I read today that IQ scores have trended upward for more than 30 years. Humans have an appendix and wisdom teeth because thousands of years ago we needed two stomaches to digest uncooked food and we needed wisdom teeth to grind it. These are things we know. While scientists respect the work of Darwin they do not believe he brought us truth in the religious sense. He merely recognized and recorded patterns in the life around him and surmised that there was an understandable way that it changed over vast periods of time.

This is how all of science works. People see something in the world. They make a guess about how it works and then they test that guess. If their test provides data that makes it appear they guessed correctly, they tell others who test to see if they get the same results. Through this method, science grows and changes in its understanding of the way things in the world around us function.

By seeing the world through rational eyes we have gained a great deal. We have cars, nylon, chunks of mars and the moon and all the technology that makes our lives easier and more interesting because scientists guessed and tested then made new guesses about how things work.

Please don’t try to equate a stultified, moribund philosophy based on as attempt to stop progress with a methodology that brings us new knowledge all the time.

Science and religion are not the same at all.