Wednesday, August 24, 2005
  Plant Some Bushes In Iraq
Dear Mr. President,

Mr. President - or why don't I just call you George? Everybody knows you're just a good ole boy. OK, now here's the thing Georgie-Boy; since we can't get our men and women in Iraq decent armor AND since they are fighting for such a noble cause, here's what I was thinking:

Iraq is a pretty desolate place; not many trees or plants. So, you know, when the shootin' starts, there just ain't nothing to hide behind. So what we need over there, since we can't get our people armor, is some Bushes to hide behind.

I thought we could start out by sending the twin Bushes. You know, your daughters, Jenna and Barbara. I'm sure both of them would love a chance to serve their country for such a noble cause. Sure, they might get an arm or a leg blown off, but hey, they'll be able to take advantage of that great Veteran's Medical System you helped run more efficiently by cutting their funding. And if they get killed, it might hurt for a little while but it'll be OK because you'll know they died for a really noble cause.

Of course, two Bushes won't be nearly enough. Don't forget about your brother Jeb's kids. I'm sure the Governor of Florida's military age kids George P. Bush, Noelle Bush and John Ellis Bush Jr. would all be just tickled pink (no double meaning intended there, he he ...) to get over to Iraq and knock off a few them Insurgents for a ... ah ... you know ... one of them noble cause thingies.

Then, let's not forget Neil Bush's little darlings Lauren Bush and Pierce Bush. They're both military age and I just bet they'd look mighty nice in Marine uniforms with those fancy red strips down the sides of the legs. I can see 'em both now ridin' in one of them Humvees, sharp-eyed, on the lookout for one them there IED's (Improvised Explosive Device.) Hopefully they would have been able to get enough scrap metal out of the Baghdad garbage dump to armor the bottoms and sides where another good ole boy skimped just a little bit to squeeze up that profit margin. Tell Neil there's nothing to worry about. The odd's that they'll actually get hit by one of those IED's is not very high. Even if they do, they're tough kids. They just might live long enough to be medivac'd to Germany. And, if the worse happens, well, it was for a noble cause.

And the noble cause could still be served. To replace them, there's your nephew Marshall Bush, son of Marvin Bush. Let's not forget Dorothy Bush Koch's military age children Samuel LeBlond and Ellie LeBlond.

You know your kin better than I do Georgie-boy. What do ya think? They're not gonna mind giving up they're kids for a really, really noble cause like the one we have over there in Iraq are they?

If you think about it, that's a lot of Bushes. What amazes me is that them little whippersnappers aren't already over there showing us lesser folk how its done - just like their dad's did in the Viet Nam war. You older generation just gotta quit hoggin' all that glory from your noble service in Viet Nam and let them young 'uns go. To help nudge ya'll in the right direction, Buzzflash has started a little petition.

I've already signed it (its for a noble cause after all) and I hope everybody else who wants to see some Bushes in Iraq, hop on over to Buzzflash and sign this petition. Send some Bushes to Iraq so our soldiers will have something duck behind when the shootin' starts.
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
  Who Would Jesus Assassinate?
Pat Robertson - I refuse to use the term "Reverend" for this piece of gutter scum - called Monday for the assassination of the duly and legally elected president of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez. "We have the ability to take him out, and I think the time has come that we exercise that ability," Robertson said Monday on the Christian Broadcast Network's "The 700 Club." "We don't need another $200 billion war to get rid of one, you know, strong-arm dictator," he continued. "It's a whole lot easier to have some of the covert operatives do the job and then get it over with."
President Chavez is a very vocal critic of President Bush and his administration's policies towards Iraq, Cuba, Central and South America. He has accused U.S. officials of backing the plot in 2002 in which Chavez was briefly overthrown. He was returned to power by popular demand only a few weeks later. His relationship with Bush and the U.S. has been strained since he demanded a higher percentage per barrel of oil taken from Venezuela. Chavez has used the additional revenue for education and increased health care for the people of Venezuela.
Pat Robertson, a staunch supporter of George Bush, is the founder of the Christian Coalition of America and a former U.S. presidential candidate. Robertson went on to say "... I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it (assassinate Chavez.) It's a whole lot cheaper than starting a war ... and I don't think any oil shipments will stop."
I can just hear the prayers of the faithful now:
"Dear Lord, help us to kill this dirty scoundrel who is so beloved by his people that he was elected by a landslide, unlike our leader who probably wasn't elected at all."
"I say Lord, help us to rid the earth of a creature who dares ask for enough money from his poor countries only natural resource so that he can commit the un-American SIN of putting food into the mouths of his hungry people and education into the minds of their children."
"Yes Lord, in your wisdom and mercy, let us kill just this one person. Otherwise God, we just might have to go in there and bomb the hell out of all of them and take what we want. And if you force us to do that, why, a hundred thousand men, women, children and little babies are going to get killed. But we'll do as you will Lord."
"In Jesus name, we pray. Amen."
Monday, August 22, 2005
  Open Letter to Senator Mark Pryor
To The Honorable Senator Mark Pryor;
Regarding your email response to me about my email to you being in an unreadable format:
Does it really matter? It seems that trying to communicate with an elected Democrat from Arkansas is about on a par with talking to a brick wall. It has become painfully obvious that neither you nor Senator Blanche Lincoln nor Representative Vic Snyder represent my interests or the interests of any other working person in Arkansas. I, for one, am with the Steel Workers Union on the record of the three of you. Next election, I will vote for a Republican if I have to, but I won't be voting for you three.
And don't worry about any more unreadable email from me - or readable email for that matter. My time would be better spent spitting into the wind.
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
  Goodness Gracious
Kevin Gilbert was a very talented musician and writer. The lyrics to this song make it appear that he could also see into the future. But actually, though it is eerily accurate to our circumstances today, it was written during the first U.S. invasion of Iraq.

Goodness Gracious
by Kevin Gilbert
Born 1967 - Died 1996
Goodness Gracious is there nothing left to say?
When the ones that get to keep looking
are the ones that look away
It's pabulum for the sleepers
in the cult of brighter days
Goodness Gracious at the mercy of the crooks
We're broke and stroking vegetables
and there's way too many cooks
In every pot a pink slip, In every mouth a hook
Goodness Gracious I'm not listening anymore
Cause the spooks are in the White House
and they've justified a war
So wake me when they notify
we're gonna fight some more
Goodness Gracious not many people care
Concern is getting scarcer
true compassion really rare
I can see it on our faces. I can feel it in the air
Goodness Gracious me.
Goodness Gracious my generation's lost
They burned down all our bridges
before we had a chance to cross
Is it the winter of our discontent or just an early frost?
Goodness Gracious of apathy I sing
The baby boomers had it all and wasted everything
Now recess is almost over
and they won't get off the swing.
Goodness Gracious we came in at the end
No sex that isn't dangerous, no money left to spend
We're the cleanup crew for parties
we were too young to attend
Goodness Gracious me.
Goodness Gracious my grandma used to say
The world's a scary place now,
things were different in her day
What horrors will be commonplace
when my hair starts to grey?
Thursday, August 11, 2005
  The Noble Sacrifice of Kevin Benderman

I have learned from first hand experience that war is the destroyer of everything that is good in the world, it turns our young into soulless killers and we tell them that they are heroes when they master the "art" of killing. -Kevin Benderman

General, your tank is a powerful vehicle. It smashes down forests and crushes a hundred men but it has one defect: it needs a driver.

General, your bomber is powerful. It flies faster than a storm and carries more than an elephant but it has one defect: it needs a mechanic.

General, man is very useful. He can fly and he can kill. But he has one defect: He can think.
-- Brecht
Casey Sheehan, age 24, was killed on April 4, 2004. Bush told his grieving mother, Cindy Sheehan, that her son had made a noble sacrifice for freedom and for his country. Of course, Bush didn't go into any details about the exact nature of the mission Casey was on when he was killed or exactly what his platoon was doing when Casey was struck down and killed by enemy fire. Now Cindy Sheehan is camped outside Bush's Crawford, Texas ranch because she wants to ask him for those details. Just what was the nature of his job that made his death so noble? That's all she wants to know.

Even if Bush were to stoop to answer that question, odds are good that he doesn't know the answer. He stays as far removed from the actuality of war and death as he possible can. I'm sure it has never occurred to him to ask for details of the circumstances surrounding any of the thousands who have been killed and maimed in Iraq.

Bush probably doesn’t know that Casey Sheehan was killed during the Sadr Rebellion in the slums of Baghdad. Most likely Bush doesn't have a clue about what the Sadr Rebellion was, where it was, or why it happened.

It began when, in our quest for to bring freedom and democracy to Iraq, the Coalition Provisional Authority decided that a great first step to that end would be to close down Baghdad's most popular newspaper, al Hawza. Bush's man there decided it was just too hard to build a coalition favoring the right "brand" of freedom when you had people freely speaking their minds all the time and getting that much front-page exposure. It wasn't that they weren't going to have a free press in Iraq. It was just that they weren't going to have a free press that disagreed with the Bush administration.

For some reason, the closing of their newspaper made those ingrate Iraqis mad, who knows why. Anyway, when demonstrators poured into the streets opposing the closing of the paper and demanding freedom of the press, American troops where ordered to open fire and, like the good British troops in Boston in 1776, the American troops followed their orders. Several unarmed people were killed.

That is the noble event that sparked the rebellion in which Casey Sheehan lost his life. That is the noble cause for which Cindy Sheehan lost her precious, priceless, irreplaceable son.

On July 29, 2005, Kevin Benderman started a fifteen month stretch in prison because he refused redeployment to Iraq - at least that is the reason given for his sentence. What he was guilty of was filing a conscientious objector application with the Army. He doesn't just object to the war in Iraq. He objects to all wars anywhere that are wars of aggression. Federal law prohibits prosecuting an individual for being a conscientious objector but every good lawyer knows there are more ways to skin a cat than there are cats, so the Army just convicted him of "intentionally missing movement" which is a federal crime. In other words, you can be a conscientious objector as long as it doesn't interfere with your job of killing people for the Army - even if that means shooting down unarmed civilians demonstrating for freedom of the press.

My heart goes out to Cindy Sheehan and her family. I, too, have lost a child the same age as Casey. I know what a chunk it tears from your soul. I know that that tear in my soul has never healed. I'm sure it is the same for most parents who have the brightest part of their lives snuffed out to serve some part of an incomprehensible machine. Especially when you know in your heart that in the grand scheme of the universe that human-grinding misery-producing machine headed up by tiny men like Bush and Rove and Rumsfield is just so unimportant.

At the same time, I salute Kevin Benderman and I salute his noble sacrifice of fifteen months of his life. Perhaps because of it, some young man or woman will really think about what they are doing before they offer themselves up to feed the machine. Perhaps because of his sacrifice, there will be one less parent grieving in the hot sweltering summer sun just so they can ask an unknowing and uncaring man one question: Why?
Monday, August 08, 2005
  Spreading Ethical Standards
August 6th has come and gone and I managed not to write anything that day. I was afraid that if I got started, I wouldn't be able to control what came out. I just didn't want to put that much of myself on display.

August 6th is truly a day that should live in infamy the world over. It is a day when all earth's teaming billions should simultaneously stand still in rememberance. It is the day when the single most deadly terrorist act in modern history was committed. August 6th, 1945 is the day the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the civilian population of Hiroshima.

Three days later, on August 9th, the United States dropped another atomic bomb on Nagasaki. Together, the two bombs instantly annialted over a quarter of a million men, women, and children in a firey furnace that literally melted skin and bone of the victums.

Truman, who had been president all of four months at the time, said it was regretable but necessary to save American lives. Later, General Dwight Eisenhower was critical of the use of the bomb and voiced his concerns to Secretary of War Stimson. Eisenhower later wrote, “Japan was at that very moment seeking some way to surrender with minimum loss of ‘face.’ It wasn’t necessary to hit them with that awful thing.”

Admiral William Leahy, President Truman’s Chief of Staff, was even stronger in his condemnation of the use of atomic weapons on Japan. “My own feeling,” he said, “was that in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was not taught to make war in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children….”

On August 9th, pause for just a moment where ever you may be and think a moment of the horror unleashed in those three days. Is it really Democracy the United States is spreading around the world or the ethical standard we adopted sixty years ago over Japan?
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
  Stick Your Yellow Ribbon

A friend recently asked why I hadn't posted anything recently. I think the answer is because writing and maintaining a blog like this is just too much like preaching to the choir. If anybody reads it who doesn't agree with me, they never leave a message or bother to state an opposing point of view. So I decided that maybe it is time that I abandoned any attempt at reasonable discourse and just tried to piss people off and see if I could rattle someone's cage.

So this is to all you a**holes who drive around in your gas-guzzling SUVs with a cheap yellow magnet stuck on the back that says "I support our troops." I've got a question for you. Just how in hell does sticking a yellow fake ribbon on your vehicle support our troops?

Here is how we in America support our troops. To start with, there are 300 million of us. Of that 300 million, there are maybe 500,000 that are actually in Afghanistan or Iraq (yes, there is still fighting in Afghanistan.) or at risk of being deployed to these war zones at some time in the future. That is less than two-tenths of a per cent (<0.2%). It is reasonable to assume that each soldier's deployment affects a wider family of 20 people either financially, emotionally or both. That means that the war will actually touch the lives of about 10 million Americans. That's just slightly more than 3% of the population.

But even though the war doesn't actually touch our lives in any intimate way, we pay taxes to support our troops, right? Wrong!

The money for the president's "war on terror" doesn't come from the US taxpayers (at least not yet but that's another story.) The money for the war is not even considered part of the national budget. It is a special appropriation considered separate from the budget. When that appropriation is passed, there is no real money to pay for it so the government borrows the money from foreign lenders - mainly China and Japan.

So that means that 97% of us are skating free without a care in the world. "War? What war? Oh that car bomb that went off in Iraq yesterday that killed five soldiers. Man, that's a damn shame. They should get those guys some armor or something. Hey, did you hear about the special they got on yellow "Support the Troop" magnetic ribbons at Wal-Mart? I'm a-gonna go down there and get me one for the other side of the car. We gotta support our troops. It's the least we can do." You got that right - the very least.

National resolve? Damn right we've got national resolve coming out our ying-yangs. As long as there is no war-tax and as long as only 0.2% of us are in any danger at all (and not one the son or daughter of a national decision maker) we can have all the good old fashion American resolve any war-mongering president, congress and senate could ever wish for. Editorialists (who's sons and daughters are in college where they are supposed to be - not in some crazy-assed war getting their butts shot off) all agree that a steadfast American public are resolved to stay the course. Of course, the editorialists overlook the fact that most of the American public get their news from E! TV and couldn't find Iraq or Afghanistan on a map unless it had a picture of Britney Spears or Jessica Simpson pinned on it. For some of the American public, it would have to be a picture of Big Bird or Barney.

So what is my point? My point is that we paste magnetic stickers on our cars saying "I Support Our Troops" yet at the same time, we allow the families of our troops serving in battle zones to suffer from financial distress to the point where some communities have actually held pancake dinners to raise money so they could stock a food pantry for the families of hard-pressed reservists and National Guardsmen. A community in New Jersey managed to raise $12,000 (bless them) but the real question is, why the hell are the families of our troops having to get food from charity food pantries? And $12,000 is what? Four thousand f*cking yellow car magnets.

Speaking again of yellow car magnets, the State of Illinois gave tax-payers a chance in 2004 to put their tax-returns where their magnets said their hearts were by creating a program whereby their citizens could donate their tax-return for 2004 to needy families of National Guard members serving in Iraq or Afghanistan. In all of 2004, the program raised $400,000. This is a commendable effort but in the state of Illinois, $400,000 amounts to a donation of three cents per person. You know the good citizens of Illinois spent at least ten times that on yellow car magnets.

Then, there is the ultimate insult - the scene of Congress engaged in a name-calling ego battle over a billion dollar shortfall in the yearly budget for our VA hospitals. People, we have poured over 200 billion dollars down that rat hole called Halliburton, excuse me, I mean Iraq. This country has an annual income of 15 trillion dollars. When viewed from that perspective, that is a drop in the bucket. When viewed from the perspective of the soldiers returning without arms, legs, eyes, and in need of long-term care and physical therapy because they actually believed those "I Support Our Troops" slogans we should all be hanging our heads in shame.

Better yet, go out to your car. Rip that damn magnet off. Fold it up. Stuff it in an envelope. Write a letter to your Senator demanding that the U.S. government put its money where its mouth is when they say "Support Our Troops." Stuff that in on top of the magnet and mail it to your Senator.

In closing, I would like to say: It is time we all got madder than hell. Its time we stand up and really support our troops. Its time to get them out of that quagmire the egotistical power-hungry madmen who run the government have created in Iraq. Its time we brought our troops home. Not next year but now! And it is time we got rid of the bastards who put them there in the first place.
Samizdat: an underground system for the circulation of forbidden works of literature and political criticism in the Soviet era of Russia.

Location: Arkansas, United States

Angry, angry, angry ... but still, any day above ground is a good day.