Tuesday, May 17, 2005

It Was a Dark and Stormy Hiatus; the Vacation Came in a Torrent, with Occasional Bursts of Travel Reportage

The Generik Brand is going dark for a while, loyal readers.

As some of you already know, in less than two weeks I'll be off with the wife on the Mr. and Mrs. Generik's You Can't Spend It When You're Dead European Tour, with stops in such popular destinations as London, Paris, Rome, Prague and many more. During that time I will have only sporadic internet access at best (I'm not lugging the laptop all over western Europe), and so will not be posting much for the next couple months. I'm hoping to find a few internet cafes along the way, if only to read some email and keep people apprised of our progress across the continent and back, but I have no idea when or if that will happen with any regularity. You may see regular dispatches here on the blog, or you may see this particular post sitting atop the heap for weeks, like the last post at Dark Window or The Token Reader or Scaramouche. (And where the heck are those guys, anyway?)

The vacation officially begins May 28th, and I'm scheduled to be back at work August 1st. But before that happens, I have to move my office from the building I've been in for the past eight years or so to another building across the street, and I have to have it done before I leave. So there's all that packing and stuff to do, which I absolutely hate. I also hate giving up this office, which has afforded me a measure of privacy that I won't have in the new one. But the decision is out of my hands, and if I want to keep my job -- which I do, I do I do I do -- I'll make the move.

Not only that, but on the home front, we're getting some much-needed repairs done in our kitchen while we're gone (like a new sink and new shelves and maybe a new stove), so we have to pack up everything in there and have it out of the way before we go. Yikes.

The reservations are booked, the hotels and apartments and Eurail pass and all that is all taken care of, but I still feel like it's almost coming too fast for me. I haven't had time to re-learn my high school French! I don't know how to speak Czech! I still need to get some Euros for when we land in Dublin! Yeesh. These have been my concerns lately, and that's why I've been neglecting this site more than I like.

It's not like there isn't plenty of news out there to expound on, either. My outrage meter has been running in the red for so long I don't know what it's like to just be angry any more. The Downing Street memo is damning evidence, a smoking gun that leaves no room for dispute about how we were lied into the Iraq war, yet there are no serious calls for impeachment or war crimes trials of Bush and his evil henchmen. Bill Frist is still calling for the nuclear option in the Senate, willing to erase 217 years of tradition and protection of minority rights in a naked grab for absolute power. The Idiot Preznit is still pushing his ridiculous Social Security destruction plan. Low-level soldiers are being convicted of abuse and torture at Abu Ghraib, while the administration that condoned and encouraged those practices -- and that perpetuates them even today at Guantanamo and other spots, and engages in extraordinary rendition, sending American citizens to other countries to be tortured -- is somehow unaccountable. The Christian fascists are getting more and more powerful, their grassroot strategy having been successful beyond their wildest dreams; school boards, media outlets, women's clinics, city and state governments and the judiciary at all levels live in fear of their well-organized wrath. I have little doubt but that Bush will order bombings of Iran in June, as soon as I'm out of the country, and I won't be surprised at all to see anti-American demonstrations throughout my trip.

It's gotten so scary that I long for the days of even bad presidents like Nixon or Ford or Reagan. Well, sort of. I considered sewing a maple leaf on my luggage, and practicing saying "oot" and "aboot" and "eh?" while I'm gone, but that's a difficult fiction to maintain. I definitely will keep my red circle and slash over Bush's face pin on my backpack for the duration, just in case anyone wonders where I stand. In the end, though, I trust that most of the people I'll come into contact with will realize that not every American is a bloodthirsty right-wing idiot. And if they do think that, I'll be happy to help disabuse them of that notion.

So check in every once in a while if you feel the urge, maybe I'll have a nice travelogue post up about Dublin or Edinburgh or Venice or some place, but otherwise this is it for the time being. Good luck fighting the theocratic fascists trying to take over America; resist them on all fronts, and I'll be back to help man the barricades in August. Ciao. Au revoir. Hasta luego. See ya.

Friday, May 13, 2005

The Past Pipes Up

Here's a quote from the last decent Republican president, and yes, I am including Bill Clinton in that group:

"Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things . Among them are ... a few other Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid ."

–President Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1954

There's nothing I can add to that, except to say that I wish the part about Preznit Raw Deal's party disappearing would come true. This country has skewed so far to the right, however, that I just don't see that happening any time soon. The Birchers and the Freepers and the Fundies -- what used to be known as the Fringe Element -- have coopted the Republican party, and have no plans to give it back or open it up for moderates of any sort. They're well-funded, organized, and they're not going away. We've got to fight them at every turn, using just about any means necessary. There's a war on in this country, and it isn't against terrorism, it's against tyranny.

Political Art

I want to thank Deb from Out on the Limb and the indy-weblogs email list for alerting me to this great work -- it's called American Fundamentalists (Christ's Entry into Washington 2008), and it's by artist Joel Pelletier. It's modeled on an 1888 piece by James Ensor titled Christ's Entry into Brussells, 1889, and it's really an amazing piece of work. There are approximately one hundred current political and religious figures depicted, from the Bush family and prominent Republican Senators and Congressmen to the usual suspects in the Jesus Hates You, America crowd -- Falwell, Robertson, Dobson, Terry, et al.

It's available as a poster for purchase, and is also going on the road very soon (see the site for details). It is available for appearances at venues large and small, and should be seen by art lovers and disdainers of hypocrisy everywhere. Check it out, won't you?

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Wednesday Joementum Blogging

Here's reason enough to send Traitor Joe back to the private sector where he belongs:

"Okay, so I had a three-way with a purple dinosaur once, but at least I never fucked a mule!"

Barney loves you, you love Barney, you're all a happy... uh... whatever. Great. Maybe Sesame Street has an opening for a moralistic pseudo-Republican who sounds like a frog that just got kicked in the nuts. You can even use me for a reference.

Buh-bye, Joe.

But It's Okay If You're A Republican!

This story from News Hounds has been flying all over the blogosphere and the radio lately, and I just felt the urge to pile on because... well, I don't know, just because. It's weird and gross and everything, and points up the hypocrisy that exists like a huge, unacknowledged elephant shitting on the drink table inside the Republican tent, but I'm also posting this because I have a somewhat-related story (also weird and gross) to accompany it.

It seems that noted anti-abortion activist Neal Horsley (extra points for being so aptly named) admitted to Fox Radio host Alan Colmes (or, as Al Franken refers to him, Alan Colmes) that he had sex with animals -- specifically a mule -- while growing up on a farm in Georgia. He further said that this was a normal thing to do, and implied that just about any farm boy from Georgia would have had a similar experience. Yeesh!

The transcript is getting loads of press, and you can read it yourself (if you haven't already) by clicking on the link above, so I'll refrain from posting the entire converation, but it's worth checking out.

As to that somewhat-related story of mine... maybe Mr. Horsley wasn't so far wrong when he said that his experience was not an isolated one. I recall being about 17 or so and attending a Cal Poly fraternity party in my home town of Pomona, where I drank about as much beer as I could pour down my throat in four or five hours, and having some rather interesting conversations with the college guys there. One in particular stood out then and still does today. A fellow not too many years older than me told me he had grown up in nearby Chino, then known mainly for dairy farms and a couple of correctional facilities. He said he loved growing up on a dairy farm, and proceeded to describe the advantages of being close to young calves who, he claimed, would "suck on just about anything you put in their mouths -- you know, your finger, whatever." The glint in his eye and the smile on his face told me all I needed to know about what "whatever" might be, and I began to look around for a quick exit.

"Excuse me," I said, pointing off in the general direction of my friend Walt and a few other people on the other side of the room, "but there are some human beings over there that I think I need to talk to."

I wonder if that guy at the frat party grew up to be a Republican activist? It wouldn't surprise me a bit.

Old News That Still Upsets

I took my first look at the new Huffington blog this morning, and already I'm feeling that old sense of outrage that boiled up last November and has since died back (somewhat) to a bitter level of bile at the back of my throat, always there and always threatening to rise up and choke me like it did right after the election. The election. The stolen, illegitimate contest in which Preznit Shit For Brains somehow (read: by subterfuge, fraud and cheating) managed to hang on to power for another four years; four years in which he will attempt to gut every successful social program still extant, to pack the judiciary with the most extreme right-wing judges ever seen in this country, to carry on even more deadly and devastating military blunders around the globe, to further degrade the environment of this country and to create a deficit so overwhelming that our children and grandchildren will be unable to fund any sort of government programs that might actually help the average American because they will be so busy paying off our creditors in China and Japan.

Contributor Jim Lampley, the former sports broadcaster, pulls no punches in declaring the 2004 election to be fraudulent and illegitimate. He rightly calls it the "biggest story of our lives," and decries today's docile, bought-and-paid-for mainstream media for ignoring this crisis that he says is bigger than Watergate. I have to agree with him on this. When Watergate happened, we still had effective checks and balances in place to ensure that our country would survive. We still had a legitimate press corps willing to question those in power, to seek out and publish the truth, no matter where the trail might lead. These days, we are subject to blanket coverage of Scott Peterson and Michael Jackson, American Idols and runaway brides, and the media either ignore big issues or simply parrot official talking points and spin. Columnists like John Tierney in the NY Times suggest that the media stop reporting the news out of Iraq in an effort to... what? Make the insurgents stop fighting, or make the American people stop thinking about it? The country as a whole has been (and continues to be) dumbed down, and panem et circenses is the order of the day.

Here's the final paragraph from Lampley's post:

"Karl Rove isn't capable of conceiving and executing such a grandiose crime? Wake up. They did it. The silence of traditional media on this subject is enough to establish their newfound bankruptcy. The revolution will have to start here. I challenge every other thinker at the Huffington Post: is there any greater imperative than to reverse this crime and reestablish democracy in America? Why the mass silence? Let's go to work with the circumstantial evidence, begin to narrow from the outside in, and find some witnesses who will turn. That's how they cracked Watergate. This is bigger, and I never dreamed I would say that in my baby boomer lifetime."

It would appear to the casual observer that this fight may have already been lost. Mention of the 2004 election having been less than above-board usually generates hoots of derision and calls for adjustment of one's tin-foil hat. Yet the evidence is strong that we are now suffering under a second four-year term of illegitimacy, a second stolen presidency, and that there is virtually nothing we can do about it. This is what makes me worried about the future. If they can do it once, they can do it twice. If they can do it twice, why would they ever stop doing it? In a world where honesty and justice prevail, we would already have been rid of that evil clown in the White House. After the shenanigans of the past year, and the plummeting approval ratings of the current arrogant majority, we could also look forward to the Republicans losing seats in both houses of Congress in the 2006 elections. But when the game is fixed, you can't count on anything.

It can happen here. It has happened here. It will continue to happen here. We are so fucked.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Please Mr. Postman

It would appear that someone has put me on a list of people that Republicans believe support their causes and vote their way. First I get the survey and plea for monetary contributions from that evil cat-killin' Senator, Dr. Bill Frist, and now I've received an invitation to contribute funds to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation. This latest request for money comes complete with a full color 8.5 x 11" photo of the USS Ronald Reagan and a "personal" letter from Nancy "Who's Your Astrologer, Bitch?" Reagan.

In a way, that's kind of a funny thing to have happen. I even suspect a coworker of having done it deliberately, just for the comic potential inherent in me receiving requests for money from the very theocratic fascists I have lately sworn to defeat. But I'll tell you, my printer is in danger of burning up these days, cranking out all those pages from Get Your War On with which to stuff their reply envelopes.

On the other hand... bring it on, Republicans, bring it on. Especially when you pay for the postage.

Monday, May 09, 2005

These Colors Don't Vote

Motis, my young brougham, my Main Man In China, has set himself up a Cafe Press store with all sorts of patriotic-looking ware for your approval, priced to move!

Check it out, and tell him Generik sent you.

Friday, May 06, 2005

A Final Salute

I just found out that Col. David Hackworth, one of the military's most-decorated soldiers ever, died Wednesday at the age of 74. He died in Mexico from cancer believed to have been caused by Agent Blue and/or Agent Orange, the defoliants used extensively in Vietnam. Col. Hackworth was long a champion of the everyday soldier, and over the past ten or twenty years had become one of the most strident critics of career brass he labeled "Perfumed Princes." He called Vietnam a "bad war," and said we should have gotten out of there long before we did. He was also highly critical of the US invasion of Iraq, and wrote many times about the Bush administration's illegal use of the military and shameful treatment of America's veterans.

I always enjoyed reading his no-nonsense articles, coming as they did from a perspective of someone who had witnessed combat first-hand on many occasions and who did not suffer fools (or chickenhawks, like most members of the current administration) gladly. He will be greatly missed.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

If the Sun Rises in the East Today, You Can Bet the President's Lying

Just read a great post at the deliciously-named Frog Soup blog, and wanted to share some of it with you. It's titled Eskimo Retirement Party (!!), and it contains some seriously worthwhile information contradicting the lie Preznit Prevaricate keeps telling anyone who'll listen -- that seniors 55 and older will not be affected by privatizing Social Security. Here's an excerpt from Monkey99's post:

"He made the same statement in this year's SOTU speech, so I'll quote him dirctly from the whitehouse website:
'I have a message for every American who is 55 or older: Do not let anyone mislead you; for you, the Social Security system will not change in any way. (Applause.)'

"Actually, according to his own plan, at least any sketch of it he has allowed the public to see, this statement is a lie. For retired or nearly retired Americans, the Social Security system will change in a fundamental and drastic way. It's going to lose its sole source of funding: payroll taxes. According to the commonly circulated but-not-quite-official White House proposal, as much as a third of payroll taxes (for starters) will be diverted into individual accounts. That money is currently used to fund retirees' benefits. Now, the missing funding, in order to keep the president's promise, will have to be made up somehow from the general budget. Either taxes will have to be raised (snort!) or, let's be serious, the money will have to be borrowed.

"I hear a lot of buzz about the extra borrowing, but not a lot about the fact that the 'grandfathered in' traditional Social Security beneficiaries will basically be standing in the same line as everyone else for their benefits. Gone will be the dedicated funding stream. And I guarantee that once the Republicans are finished cutting taxes on unearned wealth as close to zero as they can manage, they will magically metamorphize back into budget hawks. There will be nothing keeping them from cutting those benefits except a promise. Look at all the other programs Bush has promised money to, how are those programs doing?"

And to see just how the Preznit's evil plan would work in real life, here's a study, courtesy of Senator Barbara Boxer and the non-partisan Congressional Research Service, of three counties in Texas that opted for privatized accounts for their public employees in lieu of Social Security. The bottom line is that the public employees got screwed, and that they all would have been better off sticking with Social Security in the first place.

Quelle surprise!

¿Que es la Dia?

¡Buenos dias, amigos, y feliz Cinco de Mayo!

As a life-long resident of the mythical land of Aztlan, en el Tiempo del Quinto Sol, allow me to give a big shout-out of solidarity to my Mexican hermanos y hermanas on this day of celebration and historical significance. As most of you know, today marks the anniversary of the Mexican Army defeating the French occupying forces at the Battle of Puebla near Veracruz back in, what was it? 1862, I think? Something like that. Anyway, now it's essentially an excuse for Americans to drink Corona and Pacifico and Dos Equis cerveza and knock back a few shots of tequila. Oh, and to embarrass ourselves in public by speaking bad español.

So, mission accomplished there, linguistically at least. The tequila y cerveza will come later.

Actually, I have a Cinco de Mayo story from south of the border. I was about 18 or 19 years old, and happened to be in Ensenada on the fifth of May. It was a national holiday there, and most businesses were closed -- except the bars and the shops that sold trinkets to tourists, of course. People were all dressed up and walking around drinking, celebrating and setting off fireworks everywhere. The most memorable scene for me from that day was seeing a guy driving a trash truck slowly through the jammed streets, when he spotted a federale walking along the sidewalk with his M-16 at the ready. The driver stopped the truck in the heavy traffic and yelled something to the federale, who looked over at him with a wary eye. The driver then produced a large bottle of tequila from inside the truck, saluted the federale and took a long pull from the bottle. He said something else, cackled like a madman and then drove on, while the federale said nothing, and just kept walking. I tried to imagine that happening in the US on the Fourth of July, but couldn't believe that it would end up the same way at all.

Then I went to Hussong's and got drunk.

¡Arriba! ¡Caramba! ¡Ay chihuahua!

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

The Check's (and Balances) In the Mail

Recently I got a letter from Senate majority leader Bill Frist, that vile, unprincipled lying sack of weasel shit, and in it was a survey that he wanted me to fill out. Me! He wanted ME to fill out a survey marked "An Official Project of the National Republican Senatorial Committee". Am I blessed, or what?

The survey contains such leading questions as "Do you support federal funding for research on a limited number of embryonic stem cell lines?" (not an unlimited number, of course... and I would expect that most respondents vote "no" anyway) and "Should Congress continue to pursue a Constitutional amendment to protect marriage as the union of a man and a woman?" The choices are yes, no and undecided. Maybe I'll just fill out all the questions as "undecided" and return it that way. Riiiiight.

Some other choice questions in the survey (try not to gag while reading them):

"Do you believe the federal government should strengthen the Patriot Act?"

"Should the United States do everything in its power to stop the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction, Ballistic Missiles, and related materials?"

"Should we make the tax cuts that have helped fuel our economic recovery permanent?"

"Should we reduce spending for programs like farm price supports, Veteran's benefits, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, etc. to balance the federal budget?"

"Do you believe class action lawsuits drive up the cost of consumer products?"

"Should we renegotiate the Kyoto Treaty?"

"Do you favor allowing individuals to voluntarily invest part of their Social Security payroll tax into private investment accounts?"

"Do you believe the $70 billion the federal government currently spends on education is enough?"

"Do you agree that strengthening our Republican Majority in the U.S. Senate is critical to passing President Bush's agenda and fighting for America's future?"

"Do you believe that the Republican Party's investment at the grassroots level is key to strengthening our Senate Majority from Democratic filibustering?"

"Will you support the NRSC's efforts to help President Bush move his agenda forward for a freer, safer, and more prosperous future for America?"

Of course it concludes with a plea for money. Like I'm going to send one goddamned dime to the party of theocratic fascists actively trying to shred the Constitution and turn America into a one-religion police state. Think again, Dr. Bill, you fucking cat-killer.

No, my only dilemma now is whether or not to answer the survey as best I can and send it back or to see just how many printed pages of Get Your War On I can stuff into the return envelope.

Pass the Catch-Up

Gawd, I am soooo behind the times, behind the curve, behind the eight-ball... I haven't been posting regularly for, like, two or three weeks, and no one even seems to notice. Unlike a couple other MIA bloggers -- one of whom disappeared from the ether nearly six months ago, while the other has been out of action for just the past few weeks (and where the heck are ya, anyway?) -- I have been doing these intermittent posts, keeping my hand in while still managing to neglect my duties and my loyal audience. What can I say? Sometimes I just don't have much to write about, or much time in which to write lately. So I save it all up and spew it all over when I get too full or find some spare time.

Step back, folks; it's spewin' time. Here are a series of generally unrelated items that have been running around my brain lately like I'm Herb Caen reincarnated. Dot dot dot.

* * *

I was reading a new-to-me blog called Pops' Bucket (thanks to mrgumby for the link) last night, and I had a dream that Shannon Hoon of Blind Melon came back to life. In the dream, I wasn't sure whether or not to tell him that there were a number of people who wouldn't be very happy with that turn of events, but I ended up saying nothing. When I woke up, I had a Cowsills song inexplicably stuck in my brain.

o/` "Flowers in her hair...
flowers everywheeeee-eeerrrre..." o/`

* * *

Ask Blog Jesus is my new favorite advice column. It beats Ask Beth by a heavenly mile.

* * *

Only 41% of Americans interviewed in a recent USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup poll say the war in Iraq was worth it; 57% say it wasn't. Guess that "fooling all the people all the time" thing isn't quite working out the way Preznit Need Some Wood had hoped. Maybe he should talk about something people want to hear about, to take their minds off the daily killings and 'splosions happening over there instead. You know, like Social Security, or John Bolton or something.

* * *

Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson makes the claim that George W. Bush will be remembered mainly for making this country safe for torture and extraordinary rendition, and he would seem to have a pretty solid case for believing this.

"It was a year ago when the first snapshots emerged from Abu Ghraib -- the pyramids of naked men; the vicious dogs lunging at naked men; and Lynndie England with her leash, leading a naked man like an animal. The one I can't get out of my mind is the hooded prisoner with wires attached to his genitals, fearing electrocution but seeming almost resigned to it, arms outstretched and head slightly inclined in a pose suggesting the Passion. It's something out of Hieronymus Bosch, a fantasy of Hell from the late Middle Ages.

"A year later, only the low-ranking grunts who grinned and gave thumbs-ups while committing these sadistic acts have been made to answer. Only one ranking officer -- a reservist, a woman, Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski -- has been sanctioned. The White House and Pentagon officials who opened the door to these abuses, and the careerist Army brass who oversaw the brutality, sit comfortably in their offices, talking disingenuously of 'rogue' privates and sergeants."

According to John at Blogenlust, Lynndie England's defense team asked for leniency because she was oxygen-deprived at birth and had a learning disability. What, I wondered then, were Rummy and Chimpy's excuses?

* * *

From Wonkette comes this gem, The Three Faces of Evil Times Two.

"My brain hurts. Preznitin's hard work!" "Checkin' my eyelids for leaks... be with you in a minute." "Aaaa-veeee Mariiiii-iiiaaaaa..." "Whoa! I didn't know I could get my thumb that far up my ass with my pants on!" (*Gas*) "Terra. 9/11. 9/11. September the Eleventh. Terra. Heh."

* * *

I don't know what it is about Drew's posts over at Scamboogah!! (remember, that's SCAM-boo-gah, em-PHA-sis on the first syl-LAH-buhl), but they often inspire some of what I consider my best comments. I especially enjoyed his post about Pat Robertson (*ptoo!*) from yesterday.

I have to admit, though, being the geezer that I am, that the whole Pac-Man vs. Frogger thread left me cold. When you start debating the merits of ring-a-levio versus mumbletypeg, give me a holler.

* * *

Our esteemed colleague The King of Zembla offers up a link to The Swift Report post describing how a whole bunch of fundies have their collective Jesus-fish-embroidered panties in a considerable wad over Laura Bush's recent comic roasting of her idiot husband; and if any of you missed Jon Stewart's Daily Show take on her equine comments, you really missed a good horse laugh. I had horse milk shooting out my nose two nights in a row from that.

* * *

When I first read this interview with biologist Richard Dawkins on Salon last week, I wanted to reprint the entire thing here on the blog. I thought it was that good. Here are just a very few excepts, but you should really read it in its entirety.

Salon: Still, so many people resist believing in evolution. Where does the resistance come from?

Dawkins: "It comes, I'm sorry to say, from religion. And from bad religion. You won't find any opposition to the idea of evolution among sophisticated, educated theologians. It comes from an exceedingly retarded, primitive version of religion, which unfortunately is at present undergoing an epidemic in the United States. Not in Europe, not in Britain, but in the United States.

"My American friends tell me that you are slipping towards a theocratic Dark Age. Which is very disagreeable for the very large number of educated, intelligent and right-thinking people in America. Unfortunately, at present, it's slightly outnumbered by the ignorant, uneducated people who voted Bush in.

"But the broad direction of history is toward enlightenment, and so I think that what America is going through at the moment will prove to be a temporary reverse. I think there is great hope for the future. My advice would be, Don't despair, these things pass."

Fifty years ago, philosophers like Bertrand Russell felt that the religious worldview would fade as science and reason emerged. Why hasn't it?

Dawkins: "That trend toward enlightenment has indeed continued in Europe and Britain. It just has not continued in the U.S., and not in the Islamic world. We're seeing a rather unholy alliance between the burgeoning theocracy in the U.S. and its allies, the theocrats in the Islamic world. They are fighting the same battle: Christian on one side, Muslim on the other. The very large numbers of people in the United States and in Europe who don't subscribe to that worldview are caught in the middle.

"Actually, holy alliance would be a better phrase. Bush and bin Laden are really on the same side: the side of faith and violence against the side of reason and discussion. Both have implacable faith that they are right and the other is evil. Each believes that when he dies he is going to heaven. Each believes that if he could kill the other, his path to paradise in the next world would be even swifter. The delusional 'next world' is welcome to both of them. This world would be a much better place without either of them."

There's more, lots more, including quite a few letters to Salon and a long discussion in the comments section over at Pharyngula. I urge you to check it out.

* * *

Finally, there is this brief but pithy post (pithy post? say that three times fast) from mrgumby at itlookslikethis:

"There will be no price gouging at gas pumps in America."
-George W. Bush, April 28, 2005 Press Conference

Oil company profits up.

Any questions?

I don't have any myself, but thanks for asking.

Also check out (if you haven't already) his tribute to Marla Ann Ruzicka on the BARBARIAN Blog. That is some of the finest writing I've seen on a blog in some time. Beautiful work, and a real tribute to a genuine American hero.

Wednesday Joementum Blogging

On this particular Cuatro de Mayo, the 35th anniversary of the Kent State shootings, I think it's worth remembering just how polarized this country was over the Vietnam War in the late '60s and early '70s.

America kills its own: A student lies dead after being shot by Ohio National Guardsmen for protesting the illegal military incursion into Cambodia.

What's this got to do with Traitor Joe? Well, it seems we've got our own version of Vietnam going on right now, in a little place you might have heard of called Iraq. And it further seems that Joe was not only an early supporter of the invasion of that country, citing Saddam Hussein's supposed cache of elusive WMD as reason enough to start bombing away, but that he continues to support the war effort and to pay lip service to Preznit Knucklehead's ever-changing rationale for being there. For instance, here are just three relevant quotes from Senator Waste o' Skin, all from January, 2004:

We made the right decision to send soldiers to Iraq
"We made the right decision. I didn't need George Bush to convince me that Saddam Hussein was a threat to the US. John McCain and I wrote the law that made it national policy to change the regime in Baghdad. This man was a homicidal maniac, killed hundreds of thousands of people, did have weapons of mass destruction in the '90s, used them against the Kurdish Iraqis and the Iranians, admitted to the UN he had enough chemical and biological to kill millions of people, supported terrorism, tried to assassinate former President Bush. I repeat: We are safer with Saddam Hussein in prison than in power."

Saddam's overthrow caused Libya & Iran to capitulate
"I seriously doubt whether Libya would have given up its weapons of mass destruction if we had not overthrown Saddam Hussein, and if the Iranians would have allowed international inspectors come in and looked at their nuclear weapons sites if we had not done that. I've worked to keep our military strong and to know that in a dangerous world, sometimes you have to use that power against dangerous people.

"The overthrow and then capture of Saddam Hussein has made America safer and made the world safer. It has not ended all of our problems or all the threats to our security, but a president has to deal with more than one threat at a time. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict directly related. We have to stay the course in Iraq now and continue to build a stable, modernizing, democratizing country there. That will show the Arab world what happens as a result of American intervention, that you live better, freer lives, and will send a message to terrorists that we mean business."

Iraq victory opens door to Israeli-Palestinian peace
"Between the Israelis and the Palestinians, there is only one good solution, it is a two-state solution. As president, I would devote time, commit my secretary of state to it, appoint a special ambassador to be there to work with both sides to move along the path to peace. The doors are open now, in part because of our victory in Iraq."

I can't wait for him to start talking about "peace with honor" and "the light at the end of the tunnel."

Oh wait -- yes, I can. I can wait.
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