The Iraq Papers Volume II

Aquarian Weekly 12/7/05 REALITY CHECK

The Iraq Papers Part II WHEN GOOD IDEAS ARE EXECUTED BY DUMB ASSES Debunking The Myth of the Iraq Mistake

Mr. Nice GuyThe following is the second of five segments tying together the loose ends of a fantastic load of misinformation, propaganda, media hype and revisionist history surrounding what is now being erroneously dubbed the worst war effort in the 229 years of this republic. Today we continue our series by ceasing this ridiculous notion that somehow because spectacularly flawed nincompoops ran the war effort, the whole idea and philosophy behind it was asinine and wrong.

Let’s see if we can get at least this straight; ousting Saddam Hussein’s regime from the Middle East was an imperative. This had to be done. Whether he had WMD’s or lost them or hid them or sent them elsewhere, one way or another he was not going to be a stable influence on the most volatile part of this planet and was the biggest single threat to the United States, if not directly or philosophically, then at the very least, ideologically and peripherally by example and rhetoric. After the Gulf War and 9/11, Hussein had to go. The real question of whether this country should have been involved in this mess in the first place should have been more hotly debated in 1990. After the decision was made to kick his sorry ass out of Kuwait his remaining in charge was not going to end well for anyone involved, and we were definitely involved now.

And those half-wits who keep saying that Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 are predictably ill informed. Of course it did. Listen to Osama bin Laden’s threats as early as 1996 talking about American troops and military presence on holy ground, certain Arab monarchies in bed with the Evil Satan helping us kill fellow Muslims and disgracing his land, and the interminably long bullshit sermons about bankrolling the Israel Defense Force to torture Palestinians. It had everything to do with 9/11.

Bush Sr.’s oil war and Big Bill Clinton’s failure to make these third world serial killers pay for offing American citizens for close to a decade aboard had everything to do with 9/11. Not to mention Ronald Reagan’s bolstering of the Afghan freedom fighters against Russia’s invasion and the building of an Iraq military state to defeat the ever-popular Ayatollah Khomeini in the 80s’. It is the “You Make IT – You Own It” axiom of history. We fueled the flames; we had to come with the extinguisher. Either way you slice it this maniac had to be expunged.

Can you fathom these idiots carrying out the D-Day invasion? Jesus Christ, the very thought of it paralyzes me with a gripping fear. The entire planet riding on Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz and Dick Chaney and his Boy President ruminating on the greatest amphibious land assault in the history of warfare?

So it all had to do, eventually, inevitably with Iraq. Hussein could not be allowed to hang around anymore. Period. This is not up for debate. What is on the table for debate and certainly a boatload of prime ridicule is the haphazard amateur pussyfoot fashion in which his ousting was concocted by badly recycled Republican fossils using a mentally challenged burn out hick president as a flaccid battering ram. The result is what has to be the second worst planning and execution of war in our war-rich country’s history.

The worst was Viet Nam. Hands down. To argue this, as I have heard some foolishly devised assertions, is abject folly. But that’s a slice of silliness for a future installment. As Mencken used to say, “One malarkey at a time.”

First off, an all-out invasion was patently unnecessary to carry out the deed. Despite my enthusiastic support for making camel chum of Hussein, I have been consistently opposed to that course of action. Assassination had to be the first option, an option that would have sent the country into its current state of civil war and chaos, emboldening the Iranians and sending the entire region into a cauldron of hate and violence, only the United States Army would not have been in the middle of it. Then we might have hoped for the kind of worldwide support that cleans up messes and saves us from being stuck with fighting an endless litany of insurgencies and building a national government out of whole cloth alone.

But since we stopped assassinating leaders after the JFK screw up and bloodless coups went out of vogue, using the army became inevitable. But no one said we had to break records for desert speed racing and underestimate everything from troop numbers to local welcoming parties to ignoring the very-real possibility of fervent resistance and, of course, the Turkish government throwing a hissy fit. No one ordered up torture chambers or drunken marines taking photographs with naked prisoners and leaning on a CIA as sadly useless as bicycling trout.

In the spring of 2003, if anyone had the balls to tell me that this whole thing had to do with freeing Iraqis and using the US Army as traffic cops and construction foremen to help erect a democracy out of a thousand-plus years of violent religious madness, I would have laughed heartily and then said no thanks. This was vengeance and geographic chess, plain and simple. This was proactive, preemptive, and a license to kill after we were hit, baby. It was ugly and difficult and had to be done. Freeing Iraqis? Stabilizing the region with democracy? It is revisionist history, and bad revisionist history at that.

This invasion, if it had to be an invasion, needed to be executed strategically. This means expecting the worst and planning on every possible eventuality. Instead, the simplest, most obvious contingencies for war imagined from the Egyptians to Greeks to the Romans was pissed away in an arrogant assemblage of half-assed stumblebum pratfalls eventually bungled into what we’ve got now.

But it does not change the fact that it needed to be accomplished one way or the other. Turns out that “the other” was trusting this shitty band of marauders, who had the guts to dive in, but no brains to carry it out; a classic human flaw, like morning wood, customer service and Nazis. Speaking of which, can you imagine if these people had run World War II? Can you fathom these idiots carrying out the D-Day invasion? Jesus Christ, the very thought of it paralyzes me with a gripping fear. The entire planet riding on Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz and Dick Chaney and his Boy President ruminating on the greatest amphibious land assault in the history of warfare?

Okay, so let’s strike that nightmare. It didn’t happen. And good for the world. But bad for us, because this is not a dream. These guys are lost, admittedly. The whole thing has gone up in smoke. Dunderheads all. But it still had to be done. Would have been nice if it were done properly.

Next Week: THE SONG & DANCE MAN REVISITED– The Fancy White House Plan to Spin Victory from This Mess

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The Iraq Papers Volume I

Aquarian Weekly 11/30/05 REALITY CHECK

The Iraq Papers Part I THE CHIEF EXECUTIVE’S NEW CLOTHES Learning to Jog Naked on the Endless Treadmill of a Winless War

American Soldiers The following is the first of five segments tying together the loose ends of a fantastic cargo of misinformation, propaganda, media hype and revisionist history surrounding what is now being erroneously dubbed the worst war effort in the 229 years of this republic. Today we’ll lay the groundwork for our series by saving precious protest/debate time believing and/or fighting for the current administration to unfurl, discuss, or merely make-up an exit strategy.

The piper, as the nifty allegory goes, is due. All doubt has been expunged. Whatever hopes and plans and flag-waving, ribbon-tying nonsense that has been perpetuated by the most blindly optimistic pom-pom gripping homers, they are now null and void. The jig is undeniably up, the check has been cashed, and every last chicken has settled home to roost. The Iraq War – Desert Shield in all its gory incarnations has now outlived even the direst doomsayer prognostications offered up by the least likely peaceniks of yesteryear. And there’s no end in sight. Not with this president, or any president who ordered the thing up.

It is beyond him now to stop it. Too late. And it wouldn’t have mattered if John Kerry had been elected a year ago either. It didn’t matter when Tricky Dick took the reigns from the tattered remains of LBJ. History is our greatest source. Been there. Done that. Got the tee shirt. Once the United States of America gets its teeth into an invasion, occupation, police action, whatever, it’s in for the long haul.

You think the Yale Boy doesn’t know he’s already sunk? His only chance at being painted by history as anything less than a war mongering dumbstruck goober is to blindly deal into an inside straight or even a royal motherfucking flush!

So when people ask you why the vermin are presently leaving the sinking vessel, so to speak, you just tell them any breathing mammal worth a shit knows when the cabin is taking on too much water. It’s a doomed proposition. Instinct tells you this. Pure instinct. Not fact or intellect. Vibes. This baby is screwed. Totally fucked, or as the marines like to say, FUBAR – Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition. That’s what we got here, ladies and gents, a full-on, hardcore FUBAR. And no one’s going to be able to click their heels and make it back to Kansas or Texas for that matter, regardless of what well-meaning congressmen say now.

Specifically we site Pennsylvania representative, John Murtha, a decorated war veteran, who spent 37 years of his life serving as a US Marine, and, who last week, after years of support for this mess, including printed records in his own book as late as a year ago, told his commander-in-chief we have to bring the boys home…right now! God bless him, he’s at least willing to admit he made a mistake voting for the war, plugging the war, going to the mat for our Boy President and our nation’s best stab at foreign intelligence. But he’s a silly man and he has lost his mind. Psychologists call it Temporary Paralysis of the Reasoning Functions. My father calls it Shit for Brains. Either way, he’ll be fine, but for now he’s a crazy man.

Try and remember if you can delve way back to the winter of 2002, this was invasion an easy sell. Everyone was on board, most importantly, the American people. Big time. Well over 60%. Close to 70%. Then came congress. Over 90% was it? An overwhelming vote for war. The CIA was hot with info, the Pentagon was breathing hard, and the press sat around saluting everyone and wearing American flags on their lapels. It was a slam dunk, to offer a tired quotation. Sure, maybe a few European nations were barking, a few college kids and folk singers, but even Ted Kennedy said Saddam Hussein had to go.

Oh, and by the way, let’s not leave out that the man won a national election 12 months ago and defeated an opponent who supported the war.

So why should the president abandon ship?

He has everyone on record as being enthusiastically for it. Didn’t have to sneak around like before Viet Nam or push embargos like before World War II or institute Marshall Law like before the Civil War. Marched right into the United Nations, which, despite later vapidly disingenuous protestations, passed an ironclad resolution to oust a dictator who did not comply with international regulations. Made a few speeches, showed dramatic slow-motion replays of planes crashing into the World Trade Center accompanied by haunting melodies, and whipped the remaining pansies out of the Oval Office.

Why should the president pull out now?

Even if the whole shebang has been deficiently planned and horribly executed, coupled with mounds of misinformation and bad predictions coming out of every orifice of his cabinet and the Pentagon and his generals, why should George W. Bush quit now? If he does, he loses. Presidents are not used to losing. In fact, they’re immune to it. This is how they become presidents. The very notion sends them into a diarrhea-induced rage. They spit and whine and twitch spastically as if cornholed by a 5,000-volt livestock taser.

But if the president stays in the game long enough, keeps slamming money on the table – he has a shot for the big cash-in. You think the Yale Boy doesn’t know he’s already sunk? His only chance at being painted by history as anything less than a war mongering dumbstruck goober is to blindly deal into an inside straight or even a royal motherfucking flush! Imagine that. Land on his feet like Mr. Magoo or the Boston Red Sox. Get lucky, if just once. Stay alive long enough to fall ass backwards into fortune.

But if the president leaves the table, he gets nothing. And right now Junior is one of the most unpopular presidents since Ulysses S. Grant. But he isn’t a war hero or even a decent drunk, and, most of all, he doesn’t have to get re-elected. Good luck.

Next Week: WHEN GOOD IDEAS ARE EXECUTED BY DUMB ASSES – Debunking The Myth of the Iraq Mistake

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Rosa Louise Parks – 1913 – 2005

Aquarian Weekly 11/9/05 REALITY CHECK

ROSA LOUISE PARKS 1913-2005

Rosa Louise ParksPeople always say that I didn’t give up my seat because I was tired, but that isn’t true. I was not tired physically, or no more tired than I usually was at the end of a working day. I was not old, although some people have an image of me as being old then. I was forty-two. No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in. – Rosa Louise Parks

She said no.

It was logical, courageous, and a bit disruptive. It was eventually measured defiant and consequently criminal. No, she said. No. She was not going to get up from her seat on the bus for no white guy or black guy or fat guy or some other guy. And it was less about race and it was even less about gender or timing or the fact that the bus idled in the town of Montgomery, Alabama and not New York City or Los Angeles or Chicago or Butte, Montana. Rosa Lee Parks was tired. She was there first. This was her seat, not anyone else’s. She paid for it, and she was not giving it up.

No.

Feet hurt. Got a seat. Paid in full. Not going to take it from her. No, sir. Not you or anyone.

She was tired, all right. She was tired of the whole bus business and the Jim Crow business and the American business of “Liberty and Justice for Some.” And she was tired because since she was a little girl she watched buses pass her by for school. She could see the white people dressed in their finery sitting comfortably.

She was damned tired from attempting to cast a vote in three elections before her vote was counted. She struggled just to be included in the 7% of black high school graduates nationwide. She kept silent as she was passed over for work time and again, while the comfortable white bus passengers took a job she was more than qualified to handle.

She was tired of being tired.

So she said no.

No good reason. No sensible explanation. Law? No. Race? No. Pride? No. She was just tired. Staying put.

Eight years before her bus seat became the most famous seat on any mode of transportation in the history of human dignity, Rosa Lee dove into the Civil Rights movement. That was 1943, when the Civil Rights movement was something of a faint murmur. In the South, it was like breathing under water. And this was when her country was busy freeing people of other nations, while her people were not free. Nowhere close to free.

A few months before her bus seat became the most discussed instrument in the pantheon of democracy, a 15-year-old girl by the name of Claudette Colvin refused to give up a bus seat to a white man. Imagine that. What a coincidence. Not so much. Colvin was counseled by Rosa Lee. Rosa told her to “always do what is right.” Little Claudette did, and she was hauled off to prison.

It was Colvin, not Rosa Louise Parks, who should have been the shining symbol of Civil Rights, but turns out Little Claudette was pregnant with the child of a much older man out of wedlock, and in 1955 Alabama, many who ran the movement felt this subject to be anything but sympathetic. So there was little hubbub for Little Claudette, but Rosa Lee did not forget.

She was, after all, tired.

She did not forget that the bus driver on the day her seat became the most famous seat in the fight for equality, James Blake, was the very same one that forced her to walk five miles in a driving rain because she entered through the “white front door”. Rosa Lee remembered how tired she was then. She remembered the humiliation then. Decided she was tired of being tired.

December 1, 1955, Rosa Louise Parks was asked to vacate a seat in the middle section of the bus, the section open to African Americans only if there were no Caucasian Americans present. This was law; Section 301 (31a, 31b and 31c) of Title 48, Code of Alabama, 1940 and Sections, 10 and 11 of Chapter 6 of the Code of the City of Montgomery to be exact.

It so happens on that day when a Caucasian American wanted her aisle seat, she politely moved to the window seat. Why not? She would kindly do the same for anyone; black, white, fat, tall, dumb, rich or poor. But damned if Rosa Lee was going to leave the window seat. No good reason. No sensible explanation. Law? No. Race? No. Pride? No. She was just tired. Staying put.

She said no.

And so Rosa Louise Parks was dragged off to prison. But unlike Little Claudette, she was married and not with child. She was employed, articulate, motivated, politically savvy, and experienced in the denial of basic rights granted by the United States Constitution. Most of all she was beyond tired. In another words she was trouble – trouble, and the perfect subject for change.

Three days later a minister from the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church by the name of Martin Luther King rose up from his chair in the Montgomery Improvement Association and helped plot the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The following months some 40,000 black commuters walked in the cold and snow to honor it, for many it meant 20 miles or more. The transit company stalled and began to crack. It was simple: Lift segragation or prepare for bankrupcy.

Nearly a year later the United States Supreme Court banned segregation on buses. Only then was the boycott lifted. There was still a long way to go, but it was a start. Thanks to a brave and fed up woman who was simply, irrevocably, vehemently, immovably tired.

So she said no.

No, she said.

No.

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GOP Insider Comes Clean

Aquarian Weekly 11/2/05 REALITY CHECK

A VIEW FROM THE BARRICADES Part IIA Top Republican Informant Comes Clean

Scooter LibbyThe following is the remainder of highlights from an over one-hour chat with this space’s most trusted Republican source, Georgetown, who was, to say the least feisty, but more in the vicinity of pissed by this point in the conversation.

James Campion: Before we leave these hearings on the Valerie Plame outing case, there is mounting evidence that this thing leads all the way to the vice president’s office. Now if Cheney is implicated, in any way, do you think he should stand trial or resign?

Georgetown: Cheney is untouchable, simply because that is precisely the type of finger pointing that has gotten this administration in the drink in Iraq in the first place. Private discussions about enemies of the White House do not have to end up in the NY Times or on Robert Novak’s desk. This is Libby’s problem, not Cheney’s.

jc: Yes, but Judith Miller has already testified to the fact that Cheney used her and the Times as his personal proving ground for war propaganda as far back as 2002. The vice president planted pro-war evidence in the Times in mid-week before a Sunday appearance on Meet The Press and then pointed to the story as proof of his argument for invasion. He did this directly and not with Scooter Libby’s assistance or even knowledge to my understanding.

GT: Look, no one is denying Cheney used his connections in the press to get his agenda out there. Who doesn’t do that? You’re using me right now?

jc: I’m a pissant columnist for a weekly music magazine. This is the Vice President of the United States, who, by all accounts now, hijacked the presidency from a hick dunderhead and rushed this nation into war on flimsy evidence. And all the time this shit-heel is telling everyone how swimmingly this will all go. I think he predicted a month or two of clean up, didn’t he?

GT: If you want to waste time trying to build a case against a vice president pushing White House policy on eager reporters you’re going to sound naïve. You know how this works. It’s the same reasons you and I both forgive a conniving little snake like Rove his underhanded weapons to protect the president. You know how this game works.

jc: Granted, but what about the effect of the Cheney implications on the party?

“Private discussions about enemies of the White House do not have to end up in the NY Times or on Robert Novak’s desk. This is Libby’s problem, not Cheney’s.

GT: Our plans for ’06 include spin doctoring this mess away from the candidates. That’s all that counts now. And there’s no sense speculating on this case until the prosecutor comes clean anyway. Look, no one with half a brain thinks Cheney didn’t leak this info on Plame to his assistants. It really begins with Cheney, but it should have also ended there.

jc: In the end, this whole thing is just a manifestation of the war propaganda machine that began three years ago. There was a sense of fantasy being conjured from the Cheney people, through Rumsfeld’s camp and pumped into the Oval Office. It is well documented that there was a fight about making a case for war in the White House, was there not? I specifically cite Woodward’s book that quotes Bush copiously on his indecisiveness regarding the CIA’s “slam dunk” case for invasion.

GT: I’ve been trying to tell you this for years now. This myth about Iraq being Bush’s war is nonsense. It’s his in the literal sense that he is commander-in-chief and makes the final call, but I think the president, and I’m pretty sure this is the accepted reality among top level Republicans, was less a hawk than some voices in this administration, yes.

jc: I smell a Reagan sneak-out-the-back-door plan here. Bush is going to claim responsibility even though he was duped, right?

GT: I don’t agree. Let’s leave it at that.

jc: What is your take on this crazy shit former Colin Powell assistant, Larry Wilkerson recently said about his time at the State Department. He described the war contingent at the White House as “cowboys”, Condoleezza Rice as “weak” and he said of former defense undersecretary Douglas Feith: “Seldom in my life have I met a dumber man.”

GT: I can’t speak for Wilkerson. He said those things at a closed affair for the New American Foundation.

jc: This may be, but he told the group that the president repeatedly told the state department to “screw off” when they piped up against the bogus CIA intelligence, and I quote, “What I saw for four-plus years was a case I have never seen in my studies of aberrations, bastardizations, perturbations, changes to the national security decision-making process.” The guy is on record, I saw the tape, as saying the American people should know that the State Department doesn’t exist anymore.

GT: If that’s Wilkerson’s take, then you should take it up with Wilkerson.

jc: But my point of bringing it up to you is to get your opinion on if Wilkerson has an axe to grind or was bumped like Richard Clarke or is some kind of loose canon. Too many of these former government officials have piles of dirt on this presidency and this war.

GT: He’s Powell’s boy. Powell was unhappy about fronting the war effort to the UN, which the Bush Administration did not have and obviously does not have any use for. State has to eat shit for war presidents. It’s as old as the hills. This doesn’t mean Wilkerson doesn’t have a point, whatever that is, it just means it is common griping.

jc: Look, fuck the war and the recent past, let’s just say that this nation’s ability to negotiate in the foreign arena has been paralyzed. Is that a fair statement?

GT: No. It is not fair, and it’s only broached because it backs your argument for a Kerry Administration to wipe the slate clean for Bush’s sins. It was not going to happen. Forget my affiliation with the party and know this; if this president, and not his successor, does not clean up this mess in Iraq, it will drag on for a decade or more. When Nixon was handed Viet Nam, he was handed a fixed game. Kerry would have failed miserably and then shrugged his shoulders and blamed the whole thing on Bush. But he did not run as an anti-war candidate. That was Howard Dean’s trip and he was pummeled in a Democrat primary. These Democrats do not get to cry foul now. They’re as guilty as Bush.

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GOP Insider Comes Clean

Aquarian Weekly 10/26/05 REALITY CHECK

A VIEW FROM THE BARRICADES Part I GOP Insider Comes Out Swinging

Harriet Miers & FriendGOP Insider Comes Out Swinging The Republicans are reeling. The president has gone haywire and his approval ratings are plummeting by the week. Iraq has now out-lasted the First World War in length and busted every American military record for burning money. Congressmen and senior advisors are being dragged into court like common thugs and the Supreme Court is filling up with Bush drinking buddies. The Second Term curse is in full swing. If there ever was a time to tap into the heart of the Grand Old Party, it is now. This means trolling the depths with our resident snitch insider and all-around character sniper, Georgetown.

Usually, even during what Georgetown dubbed “the dark days of Democrat rule” it was easy to get an audience with him. The last few years, when the Religious Right started running the country and propaganda freaks rode high in the saddle, he called weekly. Things were sunnier then. His team was on top, running wild inside the Beltway. But times are hard and informants and anonymous sources have become dangerous liaisons. Jail is a tough place to network, even for the initiated.

We were supposed to speak two weeks ago when the controversial Harriet Miers’ Supreme Court nomination hit the streets and conservative pundits began having the kind of fits that can shake the foundation of the Republican power base. The last time a Bush president pissed these people off (“Read my lips, no new taxes.”) it cracked the party in two, creating the mad troll Ross Perot and ushered in the Minister of Fun for eight years of gut-busting mayhem. But Georgetown did not return my repeated calls. The word I got was that he was angered by my “Karl Rove Is Innocent” campaign, which has obviously gone belly up. Turns out he wasn’t ready to bark.

Late Monday, 10/17 he began to bite.

James Campion: Let’s start with the Miers’ pick for Supreme Court. Do you, or more to the point; major conservative voices in the party take this as a slap in the face or another maverick move by a political loose cannon?

Georgetown: Firstly, I do not speak for the party as a whole or the conservative wing of the party directly. Let’s get it on record that I am more representative of the fiscally conservative wing. Our problems have been with this bloated federal budget, these insane immigration laws, the irresponsible Medicare Bill, and this cash-draining nation building this president promised would never be. I understand this president is in office because of the fine work done by Rove and his cronies getting out the religious vote. Rove is the one who has to worry that these people were assured of a challenge to Roe vs. Wade this time around if they put his boy back into office, but that is not our concern.

jc: So you think the extreme right wing of the party is being unfair to Bush?

“The president owes the base. He has chosen to ignore it. That is going to be a problem for the 2006 mid-term elections and therein lies the big problem, because, as it is, you lose seats in a second term mid-term election anyway. This mess has made it more difficult for key candidates next fall, period.

GT: I didn’t say that. What I’m saying is that if you’re talking to me my problems surround a different argument with this president. Now, if you were to get into the social conservative wing then these people have a right to feel betrayed. There are dozens of qualified judges on the right who have solid records of being strict constructionists and social conservatives. This is the base of the party now, like it or not, and they put this administration back in office. The president owes the base. He has chosen to ignore it. That is going to be a problem for the 2006 mid-term elections and therein lies the big problem, because, as it is, you lose seats in a second term mid-term election anyway. This mess has made it more difficult for key candidates next fall, period.

jc: It’s hard to nail down what conservatives I’m talking to. You have the religious conservatives like Jerry Falwell, then there is the religious/isolationist/fiscal conservatives like Pat Buchanan, then there is the intelligentsia conservatives like Bill Krystal and George Will, and then the wacky hick conservatives like Charlie Daniels and Rush Limbaugh.

GT: I’m not sure if I’m supposed to respond to this, but I will say Will’s comment that ‘Miers’ has had seven decades on this planet to form an opinion, but there is no record of it’ was brilliant. I thought Stephanopoulos’ head was going to explode.

jc: If you need a question, I’m asking: The conservative outcry on Miers is what then? Is it primarily with Bush’s hubris or a sense that there are no political guarantees for the Right to Life crowd?

GT: There is a sense that this president has chickened out, yes. He does not want a fight on this nomination. The Hurricane disaster put him on this spiral downward and he bet his legacy on this goddamned war. Now he watches the Social Security battle fizzle out and tries to avoid further political bloodshed with this god-awful nomination.

jc: Most of these people pot-shotting Bush are hawks. Are you telling me you didn’t defend this war now?

GT: The war is not the issue; it is the post-war plan or policing of this state with no end that is draining the party politically and crippling the country financially. I’ll tell you this, if you want to see bloodshed, let this maniac raise taxes to pay for all of it. Then you will see a revolt.

jc: What are you really worried about? The Democrats can’t take advantage of anything. This president was a fucking mess last summer and survived it all swimmingly. You think Hillary Clinton has a prayer to be president? Did you see the poll numbers for 85% of this nation? These people are living in the dark ages. Caligula would beat Hillary like a rented mule in 30 states.

GT: To hell with the executive branch. We could jail a Democrat in the White House if we keep congress. This is what Bush is banking on now. Think about it. You think one of these Republican Senators will fail to vote for Miers? I’d like to see it. Maybe one will protest. The rest is history.

jc: With Rove in court daily, you have any idea who is advising Bush now on whether he should consider rescinding the nomination?

GT: You’re kidding, right? Have you paid no attention to this man’s track record? There are so many yes-people in the White House now it would be hard to convince the president he isn’t the Sun God.

jc: Is Scooter Libby or Karl Rove going to jail? Because that would be boss.

GT: I think they’ll be indicted and then quit. It will be difficult to convict these people.

jc: Has there been a second term for a president in our lifetime where administration lackeys didn’t get indicted or investigated for something or other?

GT: No.

NEXT WEEK – PART II

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Tom Delay – Road Kill

Aquarian Weekly 10/12/05 REALITY CHECK

TOM DELAY – ROAD KILL

Tom DelayRemember Trent Lott? Everyone loved him. Especially Republicans. He was the face and breath of the GOP Washington comeback, a steely-eyed straight-laced God Boy in the mold of the New Right. But then he uttered some questionable observations about a celebrated racist fossil named Strom Thurmond, things about how if Thurmond has been elected president a hundred or so years ago we wouldn’t have all these problems around here, or some other ridiculous ranting. Then he was gone. Poof. Histoire, as the French would say; histoire like another Republican champion by the name of Newt Gingrich. Now we have Tom Delay. He soon will be gone.

But it doesn’t matter, Republican or Democrat. They have more waiting in the wings. There is always someone else, like that “Body Snatchers” movie. They grow them somewhere, mostly the university law programs, specifically in the south where they produce political manure with toothless abandon. And, let’s face it; we cannot help but vote for these guys. Shit, I can’t get enough of covering them. We are blindly smitten with slick talking greasy-haired power ties telling us we’re immoral slobs while they launder funds and redistrict all over the joint to fix the game.

So now Tom Delay, after about two-dozen ethics charges against him in as many years, acts like Bill Clinton, the man he hates. And, of course, we get the predictable hemming and hawing and PR trips to FOX NEWS, where he acts like Rubin Hurricane Carter. I was framed! Yes, he is a victim. And I’ll be playing centerfield for the Yankees next season.

Delay, for his part, is quite good at defending himself. He ought to be. He does it an awful lot. If he were a crack head or a sex addict, it would be more interesting. But he is a cheater, and we don’t like cheaters, unless they cheat for us. And Delay only seems interested in cheating for his own gain. That ain’t cool. And unless you consider being the Majority House Leader above the law or a case of earning the right to screw the system, then chances are you have seen the last of Tom Delay. Just like Trent Who? and the other white-haired piker who is now a pundit or a cast member of A Surreal Life.

This is what happens in Washington. It’s like High School. You get one fuck up, then you are branded, and then you can’t get the good pot or a descent date. You’re ostracized.

This is a country built on violent reprisal for those who try and tell us how to run our lives. Look it up. It’s all a matter of permanent record.

But Delay had to see it coming. He’s been around awhile. Once he got all preachy and dumb during the Terri Schiavo case he had a target on his back. No one likes strangers directing their destiny in speeches. People actually prefer cheaters to those who tell them how to run their lives. This is a country built on violent reprisal for those who try and tell us how to run our lives. Look it up. It’s all a matter of permanent record.

The other prime reasons Delay is a doomed man are the recent rumblings about Senate Majority Leader, Bill Frist’s insider trading like a riverboat gambler. The Frist thing is sketchy, but turns up the heat on who the party will inevitably turn its back on. Someone has to be thrown from the ship. It’s taking on water and there’s another Supreme Court nominee to consider and an election 13 months away. The president’s approval ratings are at an all-time low and the Katrina disaster had the federal government, whether fair or not – and momma told me life is anything but fair – looking like a gaggle of lazy, confused dunderheads. Then there is the not-so mysterious case of Bill Bennett.

Bennett, a former Reagan poof and Drug Czar for a nation swimming in drugs, is the Empower America, rid the world of smut and rock music dickweed who was busted a few years ago failing to make good on monstrous gambling loses. Apparently he is one of a trillion rightwing criminals (G. Gordon Liddy, Ollie North) with a radio show. Actually, everyone has a radio show. I would check your calendar; you’re on in ten minutes. Anyway, this jabbering buffoon told a caller last week that although abortion is a sin and an abomination, it might just reduce the crime rate if more black children were aborted.

Now although I despise everything about Bennett, and, of course, think his projection of unborn criminals spuriously inaccurate, despite glaring numbers that some 70% of crimes are committed by African Americans, I admittedly have espoused in this space that there are not enough abortions; black, white, green or otherwise. And anyone shocked or in disagreement with this statement should take a ride on a New York subway or drive through downtown Baltimore or check out some parts of the southeast of the republic. Either that or watch more television for the best examples of how accelerated abortion trends could benefit the national gene pool.

Then again, we wouldn’t have to listen to Bill Bennett’s nonsense if someone had been prescient enough to dump his fetus into the toilet.

But I digress considerably.

The deal is about to go down for Delay, win or lose. This war in Iraq has reached a Lewis Carroll kind of bizarre. I half expect the Walrus to show up at these Senate hearings. In fact, I think Donald Rumsfeld, who apparently has nude pictures of the Bush girls, which he’s successfully used to bribe our Boy President to keep his job, may actually be the Walrus. Goo goo g’ joob.

Alas, Delay will be allowed to stick around. They all are one way or the other, aren’t they? But his wings are effectively clipped. His days of pontificating are all but through. He’ll probably beat one or two of these raps on technicalities and other law-speak loop holes, collect a paycheck and look smart, but as far affecting the national political landscape…that ship has left the dock without him. And for now, I guess, it will have to do.

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Stacey Campfield, BallBuster Supreme

Aquarian Weekly 10/5/05 REALITY CHECK

BALLBUSTING 101

Stacey CampfieldI am interested in anything about revolt, disorder, chaos – especially activity that seems to have no meaning. It seems to me to be the road toward freedom. – Jim Morrison

I have a new hero. His name is Stacey Campfield, a Republican lawmaker from the state of Tennessee. Campfield is a major league ballbuster. Coming as no shock to the readers of this space, ballbusting, especially world-class ballbusting, is one of my favorite past times. Some might dub it a hobby of sorts. I consider it more a way of life than a hobby or past time really, a religion, you might say. But ballbusting has become something of a crusade for Campfield, who has boldly taken to petitioning the state’s Black Caucus for inclusion. Campfield, you see, is white. Very white. Very southern white. His blog states emphatically that he loves the Bible and cites his favorite activities as karate, scuba diving, real estate and fencing. He left out mayonnaise and the Gap.

Okay, so Campfield is a blonde blue-eyed WASP, who just happens to want to join the Black Caucus in Knoxville. What’s the big deal?

Black Caucus Chairman Rep. Johnny Shaw, lacking a keen sense of irony, has described Campfield as an oddball, crazy, and a racist, and strongly believes he just “wants to mess with somebody”. You can’t blame Shaw for not warming to Campfield’s high jinks. He’s an African American from Tennessee. He deals with enough shit. Not to mention that Shaw is old enough to chair a caucus, so he likely remembers when he was prohibited from eating at the same local diner as guys like Campfield.

For his part Campfield argues that when he endeavored to procure information on how the group spends its money and, failing this, obtain a list of its bylaws, a labor he insists was born of curiosity, he was refused. He had to be a member, Shaw told him. So he applied for membership, but was summarily denied, because, get this – he’s white!

That’s when Campfield decided to play the race card too. He did so by offering the KKK’s bylaws as being fairer than the Black Caucus.

This brand of homespun wackiness gets you national press.

“My understanding is that the KKK doesn’t even ban members by race,” Campfield told AP reporter Matt Gouras, adding that the KKK “has less racist bylaws” than the black lawmakers’ group.

By even top-level ballbusting standards, this is atomic. You must stand in awe of this guy. This shames even Ann Coulter and Michael Moore style antics.

By even top-level ballbusting standards, this is atomic. You must stand in awe of this guy. This shames even Ann Coulter and Michael Moore style antics.

Back on planet earth, the embattled Black Caucus bylaws begin with a simple refrain: “The regular membership shall consist of those black elected officials serving in the state Senate and House of Representatives.”

This was apparently not good enough for Campfield, nor should it be good enough for any worthwhile ballbuster. The ballbuster hopes, even prays, for boundaries and hurdles impeding the ball-bust salvo. This way it looks like the ballbuster is truly “working it”. I myself find such vagaries as logic, law, or the odd outcry an added pleasure to the ballbusting. The best of the best ballbusters had their own hindrances: Socrates, Jesus, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Gandhi, Alice Paul, Edward R. Murrow, Bobby Seale, Lenny Bruce to name a few. But they rose above them and made history.

It is unlikely Mr. Campfield’s story will survive the next hurricane watch or Bush Administration blunder, but, for now, it is making enough noise to warrant space here.

As a matter of habit or mental crudeness, I have always enjoyed those who wish to horn in on traditional parameters for social upheaval. For instance, the Gay Pride set who insist on marching as gay Irishmen in the St. Paddy’s Day Parade. I always figured parades for all-inclusive festivities, albeit silly ones, but then the city of New York banned these potential revelers from marching as gays, not merely Irishmen, just gays.

Then there are those interesting theologians, who wish to combine personal beliefs with the stringent parameters of the Catholic Church, like giddy pro-choicers who wish to keep posing as Catholic.

And the meaningless anti-activity doesn’t have to express social commentary. I especially love vegetarians who eat fish and dieters who scarf loads of low-cal cookies. What about federal emergency departments that ignore emergencies? That’s a good one.

Anyway, you get my drift.

But I pain to demean Campfield’s efforts to merely better shine a light on exclusionary tactics, or the semantics of law. For instance, boys wanting to join the Girl Scouts or vice versa, Jews allowed to golf in gentile-only country clubs or ten year old girls playing in the NFL. His is a grander stand.

As a conservative from the south, I bet he also protests the idea that school prayer and religious symbolism might exclude the sensibilities of citizens who may not worship. He probably thinks the erosion of the God thing in American society a devaluation of his rights and morals. But that can’t be right, because then he would be a hypocrite, and, again, as any reader of this space knows, we don’t suffer those gladly.

Of course, I could be wrong about Campfield. Maybe he seriously wants to participate in the Black Caucus. I fear he will face the same flack I received from the Sussex County Chapter of the Wicca Society. But I doubt it. Witches tend to make rashes appear on sensitive places and speak oddly about your aura. You do not want to ball bust witches.

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Solutions For OPEC Price Gouging

Aquarian Weekly 9/21/05 REALITY CHECK

SOLUTIONS FOR OPEC PRICE GOUGING

Saudi Oil I think this space has made perfectly clear its low expectations for our Boy President. Many liberals think him evil and mad. He isn’t. Those on the right celebrate his tough frankness. Not exactly. The best and worst you can rate him against most modern presidents is limited. I have used mediocre to describe his tenure. I still think this description apt. Granted, the second term thing carries with it a predictable kind of doom, like the ragged end of his incoherent sentences, but for the most part, George W. Bush is unlucky, unprepared, and a shitty leader. Establishing this, there is one thing we did not count on – this pathetic inability to manage these OPEC cretins.

Regardless of what you think of Dick Chaney or Donald Rumsfeld or the Halliburton gang or whomever you’d like to name for crimes against humanity or heroic duty against all odds, none of us thought these rich bastards would allow OPEC to sink the world economy, and with it, the Republican Party. And this Republican congress; what a bunch of pussies. Where is the GOP iron fist? Where is the big corporate greed for the good of the US dollar? Where are the strong words and calming aphorisms from the fiscally sound party?

I’d be willing to put up with these outlandish civil rights abuses, gay bashing, and religious fanaticism if somebody would make even a veiled attempt at ceasing this price gouging. Maybe we can exhume Regan and prop him up on the world stage like the old days. We’ll get Springsteen to play “Born In The USA” and then complain its been co-opted by kill freaks.

No American engineers, no oil production. No oil production, no printing of money. Balls in vice. Prices lower.

I don’t want to hear about alternative sources of energy either. This is nonsense. That dog didn’t have wings during the Carter Gas Crisis, and it can barely trot now. I wonder how many Arabs we have to kill to get this under two bucks a gallon. Is it wrong to call for an assassination in a column? Hearst did it. McKinley, I think. Then someone shot the poor bastard and we were all giddy about the power of the pen.

But I wouldn’t write such nonsense. Not now. Hearst was a maniac. His wife was a dummy and his best newsmen spent weekends in opium dens. He had his reasons, and I have mine. We’re at war, ostensibly for oil, or freedom, or security, or some such shit. I don’t know. I do know that three bucks a gallon for gasoline is stupid, especially with oil barons running things. And if they have the future of their party’s majority standing in congress at heart, they will end this madness.

So in lieu of murder I call for Captain Shoe-In to use the WTO to file a business grievance with OPEC for obvious racketeering and overt mockery of trade laws. Failing that, someone should be shot. Shake up the cartel a little. A kind of Mafia thing.

Did I just write that? Doesn’t matter. It will never make press. Someone dying for gasoline? It’s absurd. It would have to top four dollars before bodies started turning up, right? Who knows? We’re through the looking glass now, people. Black is white and up is down. Wait until the winter comes. You’re going to see some bitching then. Killing OPEC chairmen will be the tamest suggestion.

One more reasonable solution is to start attacking EXXON and MOBILE like the Clintons went after the tobacco crowd. Start with full investigations, audits and sanctions; an all-out smear campaign complete with Texas fat cats chewing on fresh placenta; paint those in charge as spawns of Satan and the ruination of American youth. We can get one of these evangelist nuts that think Adam and Eve played with dinosaurs to start weeping on television. Maybe some soccer moms with signs. No hippies, though. People hate hippies.

But let’s start with legal matters: the complaint. It’s easy. Six of the seven OPEC cartels are part of the WTO. Lean on these fuckers. Threaten them with pulling our engineers. No American engineers, no oil production. No oil production, no printing of money. Balls in vice. Prices lower. The citizens of the richest nation are happy and willing to send more of their kids to die in the desert to secure Iraqi religious fanatics for civil war.

Of course this won’t happen. Forget about the 10% kickback for the oil barons, what about this insane spike in gas tax? It’s an incremental raise every time these prices jump. I know the federal government needs the money. We have a huge deficit and a dipshit in the White House. But enough is enough.

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New Orleans Drowns

Aquarian Weekly 9/14/05
REALITY CHECK

THE BIG DESPERATE
New Orleans Drowns It’s Poor And Huddled Masses

Michael Brown of FEMAYou gentlemen who think you have a mission To purge us of the seven deadly sins Should first sort out the basic food position Then start your preaching. – Bertolt Brecht “What Keeps Mankind Alive?” The Threepenny Opera

Louisiana, Louisiana
They’re trying to wash us away.
– Randy Newman “Louisiana 1927”

If you’ve gleaned anything from reading the mess I’ve sent to press for close to a decade, I hope you’ve learned this: If you are counting on anything or anyone in this life to keep you from harm’s way, or to get you ahead, or to make you happy or fulfilled or confident about the world at large besides your family and/or your wife/husband, you are insane. Period. Not mistaken or mislead or misinformed, insane; painfully so. This is not opinion or philosophy. It is truth. And if what happened in the greater Southeast these past weeks is not the saddest example of this fact, then there isn’t one.

If one iota of the truth of this sinks into your skull for even a millisecond, then those poor souls would not have died in vain.

The central theme to the aftermath of the Hurricane Katrina disaster, specifically in New Orleans, is money; not race, or politics, or region or whatever you may have heard regurgitated by the usual suspects. It’s money, fans. If you’ve got it, you’re not forced to live in a flood zone beneath weak levees, and when the shit storm comes, you have the means to get the hell out. Otherwise, you die. This is true if you believe in Jesus, Justice and The American Way or not. Without the funds, you’re screwed.

It’s money, fans. If you’ve got it, you’re not forced to live in a flood zone beneath weak levees, and when the shit storm comes, you have the means to get the hell out. Otherwise, you die.

What those flood waters did, the way it happens in your basement, is dredge up the things you’ve ignored for sometime. Many of those things are not pretty. We ignore poverty in this country. It’s not pretty. We like to turn the other way, throw some money at it once in a while, make speeches and hold charity events, but for the most part, we ignore it. This is not to say we’re the only country to do this, just the most unseemly, when you consider the way we’re always offering up international advise on how to run things, that is when we’re not congratulating ourselves on being the best nation in the history of civilization.

But who has time to face poverty, when you’re worrying about space programs, Paris Hilton and whether gays are marrying. Meanwhile, there are a frighteningly large number of people in the richest of all nations who are waiting out a death sentence. The number came up for thousands of them last week.

For the uninitiated, and consider yourself lucky you are, when the impoverished are trapped and flooded or burned or turned out of their homes and sent into chaos, they run amok. This is what desperation does to humans. This is when we learn how much like animals we are, when we’re pushed to the brink and have nothing to lose and are given a blank slate with no order. We commit violence, random and furious, and we loot, because we have nothing, and no one is stopping us. It is the same principle with the rich, but they do it in boardrooms and on stock floors and trade on land like a Monopoly board. But do not fool yourself, the rich are human too, and they are ruthless and care very little when the slate becomes blank and the rules no longer apply. See Enron for the latest and greatest example of this.

The other big deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and its historic devastation is this crazy idea that the state or federal governments should be spectacularly vilified for their inadequate, and at times, criminally inept behavior during the disaster. This is wrong. Who in their right mind thought the Louisiana Government, world famous for a legacy of corruption and stupidity going back to the murderous Old Bourbons and a demented megalomaniac by the name of Huey Long, America’s last profitable fascist, would rescue anyone? And what of this fancy federal government of ours, who has shown a spectacularly miserable effort in protecting its borders; did it have the track record in preparing for disaster? Has no one paid attention to the recent past?

I’ll tell you one thing, after 9/11, it is impossible for anyone who isn’t living in a red white and blue fantasyland to trust the federal government to do anything but wage war and make deals with large corporations and oil concerns. The fact is the federal government is distracted, in hock, and run by colossal buck passers and excuse makers, and if I were standing in a waterlogged shack on the banks of the Mississippi, the last thing I would expect is an army helicopter to swoop in and save the day.

This is a government that continues to pitch dumb about an attack on its soil and played innocent bumpkins all the way through this thing. Some dunderhead even advised our Boy President to publicly admit they had no idea the levees wouldn’t hold despite numerous engineering books on the subject published as early as 1981, and, of course, a rich history of Louisiana floods. Was this any different than eight years after the World Trade Center bombing well-paid people scratched their heads in disbelief over terrorist activity in the same place?

Here’s a final tidbit of useful wisdom; although humans can create, invent, conquer and reconstruct in the fields of science, religion and politics, we have never, and will never be able to stop the tides if they rise or the flames if they’re left to devour. Loads of water and unchecked fire wins every time. Nature is unforgiving, like human nature. So gain the high ground and batten down the hatches. You’re on our own.

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james campion.com

Aquarian Weekly 8/31/05 REALITY CHECK

THE VACUUM OF JOURNALISM

George Pataki & FriendsRage is the only quality which has kept me, or anybody I have ever studied, writing columns for newspapers. – Jimmy Breslin

Who is the cheap whore who sandbagged George Pataki? He is a friend and a warrior, if not dumbfounded by party politics and bad associations with stammering trolls like Al D’Amato, but we’ve long forgiven him his deviances here. Heck, we’ve known the governor, more or less, since he stood on the platform of the Peekskill train station one late July dawn hawking votes for mayor. We’ve worked with his daughter and hung with his campaign rubes, and we like their demented ilk. So when anyone railroads our kind, like these recreant piss boys trying to play Linda Tripp with the suddenly lazy-ass NY Post, we arm for war.

I guess this is what passes for front-page dirt in the once gloriously primal NY Post now. The halcyon days are officially over. What happened to the kind of world-class yellow journalism that had W. R. Hearst spinning happy in his eternity box like “Tea with Son of Sam” or “Ed Koch Steals Money from the Federal Government”, “Uncle Rudy’s Trigger-Happy Blue Line Guns Down Delivery Boy”, or “Donald Trump Caught in Plaza Bathroom Snorting Coke Off Corpulent Hooker’s Cleavage”?

They should be ashamed of themselves over there. I mean, really. Who the fuck cares if Libby Pataki thinks the Giulianis are publicity hounds? They are, and they love it. And what if a dime-store widget gaffer like this Wall Street groupie, Thomas Doherty is pissed about his seating at the state’s GOP fundraisers? I know Doherty. Republican insiders laugh at this idiot. It would not surprise me if he leaked these tapes. Probably has a closet full of them in his room at his mom’s house, where he lives still, jacking off to old Reagan speeches.

I think if Pat Robertson is going to blather stupid shit like murdering presidents, like my irresponsibly professional pitch for Castro’s head a few weeks back, he should be on some kind of ticket come 2006. Get in the arena, and stop hiding behind the hem of the Virgin Mary. I might join him.

Perhaps if Pataki were getting hummers from chubby interns or building tennis centers with firemen funds, we’d have something here. But this meaningless nonsense is wrong and fucked and needs to be settled in a court of law, especially in a nation where journalists are routinely being jailed for protecting sources while mutant vermin like Robert Novak run free.

We absolutely cannot have civilians running wiretaps while the FBI has the type of Gestapo freedom international law enforcement creams over. If anyone was to know what was going on through these phone lines over here at The Desk, we’d be deported or worse. I do not, under any circumstances, want to end up in a pile of naked POW’s in Guantanamo bay, pal.

Wait a minute. Fuck this. Was I just at a diner in Wayne reading a scroll on CNN that claimed that Pat Robertson, voice of the Christ Incarnate, just called for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez? How beautiful is that? I nearly choked up my mediocre veggie burger on the spot. He’s got to be kidding, right? Was he in a Jesus trance, calling on the Lord’s vengeance for the evil darkies? What a terrific monster this guy is. Not Chavez, although he is an annoying twit, but Robertson, once a candidate for president, now reduced to a graying freak show, curing brain cancer victims BEFORE they contract cancer; a thing of beauty, really.

PT Barnum’s adage is as true today as the day he burped it at McSorley’s Bar on the Lower East Side nearly 150 years ago. There is a sucker born every day, and they vote in South America and they listen to Christian Evangelists and buy stories of laundry lists for the NY Post.

Perhaps we can put Pat and his God Boys on the Pataki Phone Tapes case. Weed out the chickenshit buggers like Chuck Colson once did for Nixon, before Liddy and Hunt and the CIA boys screwed it up by leaving White House checks with the valet at the Watergate. Those guys knew how to play it, not like Doherty or Novak. These hacks couldn’t make Nixon’s starting line-up. That took balls, and an utter lack of respect for places like heaven. Doherty just wants to be loved, and Novak is a whiney bitch, who walks off television debate shows after being verbally horse-whipped by a lame pansy like James Carville.

I think if Pat Robertson is going to blather stupid shit like murdering presidents, like my irresponsibly professional pitch for Castro’s head a few weeks back, he should be on some kind of ticket come 2006. Get in the arena, and stop hiding behind the hem of the Virgin Mary. I might join him. We need his kind to show us the festering boils beneath the pomp and revelry of democracy, where anyone with half a brain can ramble on for a thousand words and get paid.

God Bless America!

This brings me to this Cindy Sheehan person, who doesn’t get paid to make a spectacle of herself like me, Novak or Robertson. But she has done a fine job of it, and although the war propaganda hounds over at FOX NEWS like Brit Hume have decided she is a misguided fool, she gets plenty of liberal press. And none of it is good for this aborted war effort, now reduced to the foulest kind of bloody suicide for the poor suckers who joined the armed forces.

Believe me, there will be more like her to come, even though, bless their wounded hearts, they will have all left the barn door open, and be far too late to bemoan the loss. If Sheehan really loved her son, she might have talked him out of joining this folly more vehemently. But, then again, he was a big boy. He wanted to be a soldier, and soldiers die. Presidents send them there. This was the case hundreds of years before any of these kids marched to the firing squad.

Hey, PT Barnum was right about another thing: No one is forced to come into the tent to see the show, you know.

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