james campion.com

Aquarian Weekly 8/17/05 REALITY CHECK


Jeanine PirroIt’s taken five-plus years and a decade’s worth of bitching from this space, but we will finally, thankfully, have an old-fashioned knock down, drag out donnybrook for New York Senate this year, the kind mom and pop used to talk about or the history books try and hide – an Alexander Hamilton/Aaron Burr deal with pistols at dawn. And I’m not selling the usual sissy slap fights we inevitably get from rich white guys throwing money at each other like spoiled brats. I’m talking an all-pro political mutant fest squaring off to the death, and folks, they’re women.

Enter stage right; pit bull Westchester County District Attorney, Jeanine Pirro, who has set her sights on our beloved Senator Rodham, once the crown jewel of party palaver, but now operating with a sizable target between the shoulder blades. This was supposed to be Uncle Rudy’s fight last time, but divorce and cancer curtailed the fun. Thus we were stuck with the flaccidly surreal Rick Lazio “I’m From NY and You’re Not” review. But now the pot is sweetened by a bonafide catfight, one in which the claws and fangs have already been brandished.

Pirro is a gunslinger. She means business. Her husband’s a jailbird and her children are nuts. Yet she manages to exude an air of dominatrix. When you talk to her you have to fight the urge to flinch. She is at once charming and disarming, a die hard Republican hard-ass with a tinge of compassion rarely seen in high level law enforcement. Pirro gives a shit. She really does, and don’t think for one minute she believes Senator Rodham does.

When announcing her candidacy last week, Pirro quipped, “I am running against Hillary Clinton because New York State deserves a senator who will give her all to the people of New York for a full term, who will not miss votes to campaign in primaries.”


She continued…

Pirro is a gunslinger. She means business. Her husband’s a jailbird and her children are nuts. Yet she manages to exude an air of dominatrix. When you talk to her you have to fight the urge to flinch.

“When Mrs. Clinton first came to us and said she wanted to be a New Yorker, she asked New York to put out a welcome mat and we did,” Pirro sniped. “But now she wants us to re-elect her even though she won’t promise to serve out her term and wants to use us as a springboard to the presidency. She’s asking us to become her doormat. I believe we deserve better.”

Doormat. This is good. It’s better than carpetbagger. The carpetbagger stuff didn’t play in the sticks. Apparently they like outsiders in Binghamton, but who wants to be a Doormat?

No matter how you cut it, the Pirro move is genius by the New York Republican Party, which has begun its Stop Hillary campaign in full force by sending the equivalent of Uncle Rudy in a rough and tumble female package. You want a moderate, who has fought for women’s rights, nabbed sex offenders, and clamped down on underage drunks, and, most importantly, has not allowed the federal government to run willy nilly over the enforcement of the law in the Empire State? You got her, silver platter and all.

Senator Rodham has concerns. Believe me. I know Jeanine Pirro. She knows people I know in the know. Anyone who’s spent five minutes in NY politics for the past 20 years has dealt with Pirro in one way, shape or form. She is a specter. She will not go quietly. She has opinions stacked on opinions, and if you don’t like it, she has a pretty good opinion on that too.

And if Pirro cannot defeat the unsinkable Senator Rodham, a distinct possibility as she begins down by some 40 points in every poll imaginable, then she is merely set forth to slow the momentum, bare the scars and gnaw on the bones of this fast-track operation ramping up for Pennsylvania Avenue. State GOP Chairman, Stephen Minarik has already gone on record by suggesting that “the district attorney could bloody the former first lady as she prepares for a possible run for president in 2008”.

Rodham has been a fair senator, and, at times, has proven her mettle in dealing with bi-partisan issues. She has slid dramatically to the right to hasten her ascent to a national candidacy in the past few months, preaching fiscal responsibility and military strength abroad, while deftly maintaining star status in the liberal crunch of Howard Dean’s party. She is no sucker, and will no doubt dig up the bad vibes of Pirro’s past political aspirations, like a failed run for lieutenant governor in 1986, when her husband’s mounting evidence of tax fraud dragged her down like a ten-ton anchor.

Pirro, a staunch defender of a woman’s right to choose, will find problems of her own with the state’s conservative wing. There are already rumblings from that camp which has gone to great lengths to remind the local press that “no one has won a statewide race without our endorsement since 1974.” But, however rural most of New York can be, it is no Red State, and boasts a social liberal as its governor as well as the last two mayors of its largest city.

No matter how you slice it, the tale of the tape is a thing of beauty: Pirro, the hard-nosed prosecutor, practicing rancorous forms of tough love versus Madam Hillary, who has made a living pandering to special interests and sucking hard on the government teat. Pirro is street. Rodham is nerdish. While the former first lady can wax poetic and wonk you to death with stats and rhetoric, Pirro’s like some kind of teamster in a foul mood, lecturing you on the finer points of pistol whipping.

Political junkies, such as yours truly, have hit the jackpot with this one. You live many generations without seeing something this juicy with such high stakes. And when you couple that to what is coming in 2008, the first national election for President of the United States without an incumbent or standing vice president running since Eisenhower defeated a limping Adlai Stevenson 53 years ago, you begin to formulate the consequences.

This is as tasty as it gets kids. Two polished professionals, veterans of the battle, squaring off for all the marbles; call Don King and spit-shine the corpse of Boss Tweed, we gonna dance!

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Intelligent Design Vs. Evolution

Aquarian Weekly 8/10/05 REALITY CHECK


My Friend, TerryMan was made at the end of the week’s work when God was tired. – Mark Twain

Ah…the debate over Creation. This is a good one, and apparently, now a growing topic to be meandered by school boards and the federal government. Just last week our God President chimed in for this new fangled version of Creation Theory called Intelligent Design. The push by Christian groups, now running things around here, is to promote this Intelligent Design alongside Evolution for a practical theory of human existence. I’m not really sure how either theory is necessarily practical; I nevertheless weigh in, and have weighed in for sometime, on the side of Intelligent Design.

Surprising as this may seem to most of the readers of this space, since the Creator God takes more shit than a little here, and the idea of intelligent design surrounding any species that considers me a member, there is no concrete evidence human beings came from ape or some kind of slimy creature emerging from swampland. Having stated this, the likelihood of the whole weeklong workload creation thing for an omnipotent deity is slim and none, and in all seriousness, slim just left the building.

But if I may, in my limited capacity for any kind of scientific acumen, let me beat the drum for one of what theorists like to define as two schools of Evolution: Micro-evolution and Macro-evolution. Micro deals with small changes within a species which adapt that species to be better suited to its environment. Macro claims that through major genetic mutations one species can evolve into another, so over a long period of time fish could evolve into insects, birds and mammals. From this concept it’s suggested that all life could have evolved from simple chemical structures, thus life could have resulted from natural processes without the need for a creator.

This is silly on principle alone, especially when considering Isaac Newton’s Third Law of Motion which states simply that “for every action there is a reaction”, or as my good friend and celebrated scientist, Cunliffe Merriwether cited in his groundbreaking work, Quitting Science, “I have some reason to believe that aliens from a certain planet, XPC-25, in the Auroral Cluster, were in fact the ones who fornicated with monkeys on this planet, producing the eohippus and other humanoid ancestors.”

This is all well and good, but, of course, Merriwether spends good portions of the book dissecting what he claims were Newton’s other lesser-known laws like “Newton’s 4th Law: ‘If You Build It, They Will Come’. Or Newton’s 5th Law: ‘Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind.’ Or his 6th: ‘It’s All Good'”. And then there’s my personal favorite, “Newton’s 9th Law: ‘Hey, What’s the Big Idea?'”

I think producing, say, the Missing Link is as paramount to the discussion as producing Noah’s Ark or the bones of Adam and Eve.

But crazy as the both of these men seem to you and me, they are scientists, and they live and breath with what can be proven, and not surmised or debated. And these are men who believe, if not in a Creator God, then some kind of source to the universe and existence therein. Yet most scientists are vehemently opposed to a discussion regarding Intelligent Design, despite the fact that beyond the Big Bang Theory, no one seems to be able to sufficiently explain where the Big Bang came from, or more precisely, why macro-evolution is fancy when suggesting how life developed from one species to another, but not so much on how we jumped from no life to life or from unconscious to conscious.

What about the complexity of DNA, anyway? Where’s the solid evidence that this is random? Even in the simplest life forms, we have a number of different and complex components which must all be in place for life to occur. Take any of the components away and you no longer have life. The building blocks of living beings are complex and are not independent. How can these components have been assembled separately apart from pre-existent life? Or as my brother once posed to me over a burrito, “You shift that axis of ours an infinitesimal amount and we’re a dead rock floating through space.”

This is where science becomes as thorny as religion. It becomes a defacto religion with contradictions and huge holes in the postulate. Hey, believe what you want to believe, but all I’m saying, along with our God President, is consider all of the alternatives to the once unshakably resolute Macro-evolution theory.

Now, chances are we’re not getting to the bottom of how humans came to be in this space today, but we can be certain that to dismiss Intelligent Design as the ranting of religious fanatics is unfair. I am not a religious fanatic, unless you consider Fletcherism a religion. I am wild about Fletcherism. But sticklers would deem it more of a practice, really; specifically the practice of chewing food until it is reduced to a finely divided, liquefied mass, which was originally advocated by 19th century nutritionist, Horace Fletcher. Thomas Edison was a devout Fletcherist, and it’s hard to argue with that guy. But, aside from Fletcherism, I despise religion mostly. However, to reject some of the concepts and theorems based on our superstitions and cultural divides is irresponsibly capricious and hardly scientific.

I think producing, say, the Missing Link is as paramount to the discussion as producing Noah’s Ark or the bones of Adam and Eve.

This reminds me of a more acceptable theory of Creation in the form of Intelligent Design from author and Biblical historian, Elaine Pagels, who recently put forth the once accepted theory among Israelites that one larger, more centralized Source Figure sparked another lesser Creator God, who, by all accounts, screwed the whole thing up. This may help to explain why this lesser, more jealous and spiteful, Creator God runs amok in the Torah flooding and burning and turning humans into salt when peeved in the slightest, while the Israelites continued to insist in literature and oral tradition that the unspoken One loved and nurtured its Creation per se.

Anyway, I’m sure that’s nonsense too, but it is a least an attempt beyond monkeys, aliens, Big Bangs, Let There Be Light, and Darwinism to explain things. Who’s to say who is wackier? Not me, not Christians, not science, and certainly not the US government.

Teach it all, and let the kids sort it out.

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Castro, Please Die

Aquarian Weekly 7/27/05 REALITY CHECK


Fidel CastroIl Presidente,

Please die.

Seriously. Just die.

We need your country. Well, I need your country, really. You see I have plans. Big plans. These include your demise. Anything will do. Shotgun wound to the cranium, bathtub accident, arsenic, 15 minutes in a room with Geraldo Rivera. Pretty much any mode of suicide is acceptable, as long as it results in you ceasing to exist asap. Believe me, it would be much appreciated.

I recently met with a team of accountants in North Carolina, and it was decided that much of your land is being, and has been, wasted on needless poverty and disease, when rapacious clods such as myself can acquire it at desperate discounts and turn it around for mucho dinero.

You see, cheap land in one of the world’s finest hot spots, once the playground of the mafia and American hotel chains, is now littered with crack ghettos. You can help by dropping dead. We don’t have to kill you per se. This kind of thing is messy and costs money, and, as we all know, hasn’t worked out to our advantage. Anyway, the Hussein fiasco has really strapped us over here; big time debt and all. We need a more cost effective way out. So fall down the stairs or suck on a tail pipe. Please.

Think of all the affordable real estate that is just rotting down there. Batista’s original infrastructure has got to be still around. Well, Batista. Shit. Who are we kidding? The United States’ original infrastructure is still there. We’ve sent out feelers, who have assured me reconstruction would be well worth the investment. Sugar, cigars, casinos, prostitution, gambling; oh there is much to exploit. We miss it. Florida is too crowded and far too sticky. We need some offshore breezes and fine pina coladas. Enough is enough. Die.

The ghost of Hemmingway implores you. He loved your country. He loved guns. And he killed himself. Are you getting the picture?

And really, how long can you expect to live? Honestly. You’ve been around long enough. You’ve had a good run, but let’s face it; you fucked up with this communism thing. There’s no money in it. And that short-sited Urban Reform Law? Who did that aid? Your pockets? Maybe, for a while, but you were never a long-term thinker. It’s always been about you – you, you, you. Don’t get me wrong. You’ve been a fine ruthless thug, but it’s time to give back.

Hey, I’ve seen some of the places you live now. This is not living. It ain’t like the old days, when you had Russian bank loans and underground American aid. But even that came at a cost. I guess you’ve never stopped laughing when we came for you. Man, we should have noticed the decline of the CIA then, huh? But the Kennedy’s were too busy riding Marilyn Monroe to pay attention to detail. But they’re all dead now. And so are communism and the Soviet Union. The jig is up. So why not give it a shot. I’ve heard a poison enema can be quite refreshing.

Here’s the deal: Prices of real estate have gone mad here in Jersey. New York is nuts, and only dead-eyed Caucasians live in Connecticut. It’s not for us. We like the adventure of diversity. Listen, truth is we love it here, but we no longer want to work like dogs just to hang our hats. It’s time we expand. I am not interested in Canada or Puerto Rico. I see a great opportunity in Cuba.

And, admittedly, I love cigars, really good cigars – the kind of cigars that taste like chocolate cake. Mmmm. I know you can appreciate a good stogie, Fidel. So, spark one up, smoke it down, and slit your wrists. Do it vertically. It’s more effective. A survey of teenage girls proves it out. We’re looking for expediency here. Once you’re cold, we’ll take it from there. Bribes are in place. You won’t have to worry about a thing.

And since you’re such a man of the people (are we still selling that nonsense?) then you’ll be happy to know we’ll take care of yours. Wal Mart and Target and Nike and General Motors will be down there before you take your last breath. Jobs a-plenty. Red Roof Inn is on board. It will be great. As long as we can get in cheap, and, of course, you die right away.

Try to understand, this country of ours is in a tailspin of economic madness. Our president is a dumbstruck hick, and we’re nearly broke. We’ve got wars and enemies all over the place. The time to cash in the chips and buy up acres of prime Cuban real estate is now. But we know you have to save face and despise capitalism and American ingenuity, so it’s best if you shuffle off this mortal coil and let us bring home the proverbial bacon.

Thomas Jefferson, one of our nation’s greatest minds, and a guy who could knew well how to make an honest buck on the backs of free labor, once lovingly referred to your fair country as “a fruit that will soon fall into our hands.” It gets me misty to read it. How about you? I’m warm and fuzzy all over when I think of you now in your run-down study, chomping down on a Cohiba contemplating your principled exit. The joy wells in my soul.

You see yourself as a great man. Therefore, you deserve to go out on your own terms like my hero, Doctor Thompson. Take a tip from him and swallow a pistol. It is the honorable way out. Hear the Cuban band playing your song. “Good-bye cruel world, let someone without shit for brains run things for awhile.”

The ghost of Hemmingway implores you. He loved your country. He loved guns. And he killed himself. Are you getting the picture? In closing, I would like you to recall the ancient Zen saying: “There is no point to life if one cannot profit from a land grab.”

Thanks for your time and consideration,

jc ”

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Karl Rove Is Innocent

Aquarian Weekly 7/20/05 REALITY CHECK


Follow The BleederThis was supposed to be the piece many on the Reality Check News & Information Desk mailing list have requested. It would have been a searing tribute to the bravery and resilience of the British citizenry, whose generations have endured more than a half century of bombardment and terrorism, and last week took a hit in London from al Qaeda or some other rogue Islamic outfit trying to cash in on the publicity of the city’s Olympic bid win or some other bullshit about Iraq. I was going to wax poetic on the resolve and character of the English, how they bested Hitler’s Blitzkrieg and the random violence of the Irish Republican Army and how Prince Charles has become so completely and innocuously sad he belongs next to Flavor Flav in the “Surreal Life.”

But that’s all by the boards now. Friendship has taken precedence over the planned Anglo-gushing. A friendship, however warped and tainted it may be, which has been called to duty this week. Georgetown, our resident GOP snitch, has made the request I know he despised making. He needs a favor. A favor you ask? What could he elicit that would make a respectable journalist such as myself waste precious column space to entertain.

“You have to come to Karl Rove’s defense,” he demanded. “Remember The Meeting.”

It was a favor I knew one day would have to be returned – The Meeting. It was, after all, Georgetown who got me into a clandestine summit of Rove and the Fancy Boys that balmy summer night in DC five long years ago, when George W. Bush was a pretender from the Lone Star State and everyone was pretty sure that whatever carcass Al Gore left behind in Bill Bradley, it was merely a warm up act to wiping the campaign trail with our beloved Captain Shoo-In. Rove had gotten a kick out of my barrage of e-mails, which claimed, one after one, that I possessed compromising photographs of the vice president playing carnal games with farm animals and a detailed document claiming that Tipper had twice been to rehab in Westchester, NY for “substance abuse”. I was later to report she had been mainlining Ajax cut with Diet Rite Cola and Jim Beam, but that is neither here nor there.

What is in question now is how I will handle Mr. Rove’s latest battle to stay inside The Loop on Pennsylvania Avenue now that his name has been implicated as the “high ranking source” that leaked the name of an upitty CIA operative to syndicated columnist Robert Novak, a federal crime carrying a ten-year sentence. “Karl is a pussy,” Georgetown continued. “He’ll die in prison. He doesn’t have the facility for male sex that Gordon Liddy did.”

“Jesus Christ, man!” I screamed back at him. “You do realize they are tossing journalists in jail now. I will give you up, and Rove and Novak and every damn one of you pusillanimous dregs before I let that happen to me! You’re all guilty of something!”

There was no allaying his fears. There were many and they were varied. He was anxious. It was easy to see there was no way out for me. I would have to pen something akin to Old Soldiers Never Die or a Thomas Paine knock-off. I could do it. I have done it many times for less. This was a “high ranking official” of our government. I’m a literary jester at best, a sniveling bilge merchant at worst. But the piper had his hand out. I had danced. Now I needed to pay.

“Campion, god damn it!” my highly agitated friend intoned sternly. “This is important! None of your cheap jokes this time! A man’s life is at stake here – a very important man. He’s not like the rest of us. Karl Rove is…different.”

It was the way he whispered the word “different” that set me off. It was creepily reverent, and it disgusted me.

“Jesus Christ, man!” I screamed back at him. “You do realize they are tossing journalists in jail now. I will give you up, and Rove and Novak and every damn one of you pusillanimous dregs before I let that happen to me! You’re all guilty of something!”

“The only one who is guilty is that miserable bastard, Novak,” he simmered. “He would sell his grandmother to organ thieves for a decent column. He’s a hack and a cunt and he has sold out our soul for a paycheck!”

“I won’t let you abuse the name of anyone in the Fourth Estate,” I fought back. “Least of all for a binge drinker like Rove.”

“Karl Rove is a Christian and a great American genius, and like that other Great American Genius, Jacko, he cannot go to prison. The man saved us from John Kerry!”

“That may be so, but he tipped the bottle one time too many, and worse still, trusted the wrong man, one who is all-too sober and mean and had it in for the CIA for making the president look like a stone-faced liar and caused Scott McClellan to weakly blather excuses like a goober.”

“But it’s Karl Rove we’re talking about. The man is a saint. He loves his mother and Jesus and he wears all the right clothes!”

“Rove? What do we really know about this guy? The last time I saw him he shook me down for hooker money, and then after he’d had his way with the poor girl he sent her to me to replace her shoes!”

“That’s a damned lie, Campion!”

“I still get the shudders every time I think of what Rove did with a working girl’s pumps, and now you expect me to endure this horrible assignment!”

He had no answer for my charges. He knew about the hooker’s shoes. They all did, McClellan, Chaney, that chubby fop who writes copy for FOX News. There was fury behind his solicitation, but Georgetown knew, as always, I would be his bitch, if only to fill space and be left alone. But he also knew more than anyone what Rove’s ouster would mean to the bedrock of religious freaks he drove to the polls last November. How would they react when their shining light is dragged into court like a common criminal to explain why this fuck-awful farce the administration has run into the ground in Iraq for the past two years could lead to corrupting the law?

But enough about that nonsense, I am a man of my word, if nothing else. So I shall do my part and fulfill my end of the bargain.

Karl Rove is innocent.

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ALCO Pet Control Screwed Me

Aquarian Weekly 7/13/05 REALITY CHECK


Zander“John Marshall has made his decision, now let him enforce it.” – President Andrew Jackson

Andrew Jackson was one of the 19th century’s grandest crazed monsters, and a serviceable model for the American President for decades. His mass genocide and forced extrication of Native Americans in the face of a Civil Rights Supreme Court ruling in 1831 rendered the pure meaning of Absolute Power and gave rise to beautifully prescient quotes like Richard Nixon’s “If the president wills it, it can’t be illegal.” Jackson, ever the progressive, vehemently disagreed with the Supreme Court’s ruling that his government was ignoring clearly framed treaties and proceeded to slaughter and/or evict American Indians from their land.

And it is that enviably defiant American Spirit and blind Manifest Destiny to which I turn to in order to outwardly challenge the federal government’s right to expunge me from my land on the grounds of Eminent Domain or Clear Public Use. The Supreme Court has made its decision, now let the U.S. Government enforce it. Jackson was brain damaged, but he had to be right. He’s on the $20 bill. We celebrate his madness. So pass all the Property Seizure laws or Flag Burning Amendments you want, you still have to enforce it. Good luck. I’m burning a flag right now as I write this.

This is why there is a preponderance of lawyers in this country. There are so many stupid laws, and alongside, the brave souls who wish to refute them with extreme prejudice. But you won’t find me among them. Except for my preternatural lust to burn flags, I am an upstanding citizen of these United States living quietly in my bucolic splendor, and as such I look to the Bill of Rights to respectfully refuse compliance to asinine rulings of this or any court. I have a wife and two cats, a few homeless chipmunks and a confused bat to protect and support. They need a roof over their heads. This roof. And before I surrender it, there will be blood and guts, believe me.

To be fair, I did try and extricate the bat. It was hard to handle, and even less feasible to feed. It took to swooping nervously in and out of our living room and back into the greenhouse. The wife was caught up in the NBA Finals and decided it best to don a blanket and yell expletives at it. “Zander, damn it! Stop hitting the fucking television! The Pistons are making a fourth quarter surge! Damn it, Zander!”

I have a wife and two cats, a few homeless chipmunks and a confused bat to protect and support. They need a roof over their heads. This roof. And before I surrender it, there will be blood and guts, believe me.

The wife likes to officially dub all spastically frightened rodents trapped in our house Zander. They remind her of a psychopathic photographer from Westchester, NY named Peter Zander, whom she served under as an assistant for a little less than a year and whose violent mood swings and pained jabbering from the alleged eruptions of brain bubbles caused her alarm. It wasn’t so much that she feared him, but it was, as she put it once, “infuriating to endure the struggle of the mentally challenged”. Fed up, most times she would try whacking Zander on the back of the head with the business end of an enlarger, but that only caused the poor bastard to flail his arms about uncontrollably. She told him the best thing for it was excessive masturbation, but he said he couldn’t jack off. Turns out he was unable to achieve an erection unless berating those in his employ, so she walked. “No sense trying to help that dickless ass,” she told me. “At least no more of his mutated genes will infect the species.”

And as much as I hated to admit it, I vividly recalled her terrible musings on the insanity of Zander when she continued to scream at the poor defenseless bat as it repeatedly crashed into the candle stand and bounced off the fireplace mantel. I tried to baby it, make it my own, but it did not work. The bat, I have read, responses better to tough love, especially with its metabolism running at frenzied levels. Zander was no different than his namesake. He too appeared to have the brain bubbles, and professional help was needed.

I rightly figured Zander the Bat a refugee from last year’s relocation plan, when a conniving little shit heel called Alan Constantino sandbagged me. From my experience with him, Constantino seems to run a highly focused con fronted by an Animal & Pest Control concern. Last summer his ALCO organization took two weeks to install a working one-way tunnel outside of my attic and guaranteed it for at least five years. This bogus “guarantee” lasted less than a year, at which time the arrival of the confused bat named Zander prompted my repeated telephoned pleas to Mr. Constantino that went unanswered. Although that’s not completely true. He smartly returned one about six weeks ago when we caught a little baby bat bouncing into the hallway upstairs, but he used our request for help to claim absentia due to a serious car accident, despite the sound of Hawaiian music and the titters of bar matrons in the background.

This, I decided, would not stand. Zander the Bat was losing its battle with my drapes. The ASPCA was apparently unconcerned. I had to act. But several of my desperately aggressive messages to his office had apparently caused Constantino to weep, answering my tenth such call with a girlishly whiny, “If you continue to leave nasty messages at this office, Jesus Christ would have a better chance to come out there than us.”

He was shaken. I could tell by the cracks in his voice. I tried to offer him therapy, but what do you say when a grown man is simpering like a child while a bat is hanging precariously over your head. Just because his mommy failed him does not give him the right to renege on a deal. “Get a hold of yourself, Alan!” I screamed at him. “Stand by your shoddy work, or I’ll have the district attorney after you!” But he could not contain his fear and hung up. He knew I was onto his scam: Half-ass the rube, how will he know I’ve ripped him off? He can’t even rehabilitate a flying rodent, could he really tell we threw up some cheap chicken wire and collected on the bill with no real compunction to honor it. Sucker!

Ah, but the ALCO fuckers and Zander the Bat and the Supreme Court have underestimated the rugged guile of our resolve. They have nothing on the hearty souls here at Clemens Estate. We don’t go in for the cheap thrills. It’s all or nothing here. We have the power of the press and the grit to see it through. This is all that may be left of The Law as we know it, but it is a call to arms, and we shall answer it.

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Iraq Do-Over?

Aquarian Weekly 7/6/05 REALITY CHECK


Bush at Fort Bragg“I just don’t think it’s the role of the United States to walk into a country and say, we do it this way, so should you ….but I think one way for us to end up being viewed as the ugly American is for us to go around the world saying, we do it this way, so should you…..I think the United States must be humble and must be proud and confident of our values, but humble in how we treat nations that are figuring out how to chart their own course.” – Candidate George W. Bush Second Gore-Bush Presidential Debate October 11, 2000

“We’re helping Iraqis build a free nation that is an ally in the war on terror. We’re advancing freedom in the broader Middle East. We are removing a source of violence and instability and laying the foundation of peace for our children and our grandchildren.” – President George W. Bush June 28, 2005

After the unmitigated disaster of polls prior to and during the 2004 presidential election it is a wonder any of us pay attention to this shit anymore. According to most polls John Kerry is president now. Didn’t you get the memo? I know one thing; if I were still invited to the press club in DC I would move to have John Zogby tarred and feathered and then have his bleeding carcass shot out of a cannon into the Potomac for the dime-store fraud he perpetuated on this country’s voting psyche on November 2. But this is the very reason my credentials were revoked in the first place, so let’s not revisit ancient history.

Speaking of ancient history, I understand now 60% of Americans are against Baby Bush’s Iraq War, or, to be more specific, the handling of said conflict. Fuck them. Who are these idiots? Did they stay home on Election Day or are they the obligatory face of the American consumer: hyped up with the impulse to run up the credit on frivolous trappings only to end up with the hangover of buyer’s remorse. Well these assholes don’t get a do-over. They handed the guy with the bloody maw a blank check and he’s taking it to the bank, and there isn’t a fucking thing you or six silly members of this flaccid congress can do about it.

This is the grand flaw in the Zogby logic: Polling the American people in the first place. Take the pulse of the easily duped and terribly spoiled? You’d have a better time asking your five-year-old kid what he thinks of the Bush Doctrine at this juncture. 60%? I’ve never seen anything more ridiculous, like people pressuring Karl Rove to apologize for calling liberals wimps. To hell with them. If that’s what he thinks good for him. I think all bald, bespectacled white conservatives are impotent, and I’m not apologizing for it, and neither should he. If that’s what he thinks, why take it back?

No sane majority outside of Germany can be as stupid as to elect a president during a war ten months ago and then whine like bratty children if they feel suckered.

And you can’t take back Baby Bush either. He is our boy. We rubber-stamped this thing. It was in all the papers: Bush Wins Second Term. Check the Internet, I’m pretty sure you’ll find details of it there. And if I’m not mistaken there’s also a clear record on this war Captain Shoo-In bet his presidency on in the spring of 2003, one year before he had to defend his job, and defend it he did, successfully. He was the man with the plan. John Kerry was a heathen war criminal and Ralph Nader was nuts. Remember?

I penned those thoughts some 33 hours before the president took to the airwaves to rally the troops again. I normally wait to dissect the madness, but I have an early deadline, and the last thing I want to do before four frightfully inebriated days of independence celebration is sit up until three in the morning trying to make sense of the nonsense that passes for a Commander-in-Chief Pep Rally.

But I am a weak man. I need the pap. I crave the flag-waving salute your daddy nonsense that extricates the young from their limbs. I cannot help myself. I am a patriot, true and true. I have a primal need to be snowed by my leaders. From the Halls of Montezuma…

And our Commander-in-Chief did not disappoint, evoking Independence Day and 9/11 and the Civil War and the ghosts of Patrick Henry and Audie Murphy. It was brilliant and heartwarming and so criminally deceptive I had to call the police, but they did not seem to care. The West Milford Department Chief told me to turn off the set and read a book. “God damn it, Campion. You cannot call the cops every time you see some dunderhead with a blue tie comes on television to lie to you about a war. We’re busy over here shooting bear!”

But enough about my delusions or the president’s for that matter. Bush was right about one thing during the campaign last year, he is nothing if not consistent. He gave us a clear choice. He has not wavered on this mess, nor should he. And now he has your confidence, legal and binding, as all elections are, or are sold to be, at least not as innocuous as these miserable Zogby Lies. No sane majority outside of Germany can be as stupid as to elect a president during a war ten months ago and then whine like bratty children if they feel suckered. First its All For It, Daddy! Now it’s Bring The Boys Home?

This thing is so fucked even the Secretary of Defense had the balls to admit in front of a Senate Committee that he begged the president to resign…twice! But GW isn’t that dumb. Rumsfeld is going down with the ship, or at least the part of the ship that sinks below the surface while he’s still running things. I’m sure the Secretary of Defense will live to a ripe old age, but the fallout of his fantastically inept war plans will take more than a decade to disappear into the surf.

I feel for all you people with 10-year-old boys. They will be tickling the trigger of a gun soon, and it will be law, because at this rate, a more than 40% drop-off in recruiting, the jig is up. The kids are no longer falling for the 9/11 Weepy Bullshit Speeches anymore. They see their friends coming back in pieces or in boxes and they would rather get laid and have a joint and hit the beach. Maybe we can suit up Dick Chaney’s daughters and strap them to the Kilroy Was Here missiles. It will be gangbusters for morale.

Caveat Emptor.

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Legalize Marijuana Already

Aquarian Weekly 6/15/05 REALITY CHECK


MarijunaThe day everybody got stoned, it was a Thursday, The sky was blue and the birds sang pretty. Traffic moved really, really, really, really, really slow But no one cared, they had the tunes cranking loud Really, really, really, really, really, really loud. The cops stayed in the donut shop all day No one got shot, no one got robbed, Although eleven million people ended up quitting their jobs. – Dan Bern

I often turn to my good friend Admiral Bernstein in times of sociological or political crisis. He’s like Twain in the wisdom department, except he’s alive and I can have a laugh with him anytime I want. Twain would have seen the need to legalize marijuana in this country, and not because it would boost the economy and mellow everyone the hell out, but because a preponderance of us blow it anyway, and Mrs. Clemens’ baby boy hated denial and hypocrisy. And, most of all, it makes little sense for a society hell-bent on gobbling every pharmaceutical drug known to modern science, guzzle galloons of alcohol daily, and mainline coffee freely and without regret to act all high and mighty about grass.

I know this is the Age of Morality and the Republicans are using God and Family to keep jobs they don’t deserve, but this latest ruling by the Supreme Court that “marijuana may not be distributed to persons who prove a medical necessity for the drug” is patently criminal. Where’s the morality in that? And where are the Tom Delays now that sick people are being denied treatment? Is someone with glaucoma any less inflicted than Terry Schiavo, or is it that the churchgoing Bible freaks are against the evil pot?

I think we know the answer to that one.

It’s selective morality. I ask you: Who decides what treatment is evil?

I’ve recently learned there are morality clauses in some half-dozen states that allow pharmacists to deny women birth control pills based on the personal beliefs of the pharmacist, but that is so far off the charts unconstitutional I will leave it up to comedians and women’s groups to grapple with. I’m on the weed thing right now.

Okay, so Selective Morals goes nicely with our Selective Foreign Policy of whom we choose to free from tyrannical regimes and whose oppressed citizenry of tradable nations we ignore, but it doesn’t wash in the realm of sober reasoning. And this is what we deal with in this space, despite it being ignored in just about every media and press outlet in this country.

Let’s be honest, the stigma of marijuana is deep. It carries with it a demonization that rarely attaches itself to booze or gambling. Why? Detractors argue it is because it’s dangerous and leads to harder drug use. This is a fairy tale. You know why? There is no scientific proof to this argument. And this is the same argument (no scientific proof) that the Supreme Court offers on the issue of medicinal use of the drug.

To wit: “Marijuana has no currently accepted medical use in the case of the Controlled Substances Act, the statute reflects a determination that marijuana has no medical benefits worthy of an exception (outside the confines of a government-approved research project).”

Is someone with glaucoma any less inflicted than Terry Schiavo, or is it that the churchgoing Bible freaks are against the evil pot?

This was Justice Clarence Thomas’ statement following the ruling, and it speaks volumes.

Let’s break it down.

It is okay to refuse the prescription of a drug based on little to no scientific proof while simultaneously denying its effectiveness based on the same criteria. How is that possible? And who the hell knows what is good or bad, really? Government agencies? The same government agencies that continuously pass pharmaceutical drugs and then yank them back when dangerous side effects start mounting? The same government agencies that tell us eggs are good, eggs are bad, eggs are good, eggs are bad…what the fuck?

Thomas’ final parenthetical aside is paramount to understanding this discrimination against cannabis – “Outside the confines of government-approved research project.” Do you know what gets the government-approved projects? Big time pharmaceutical concerns that lobby the shit out of congress and share in the grotesque profits of said drugs, that’s who.

Once again, we get moral rhetoric to hide greed. And that’s okay. We readily accept greed. We don’t begrudge anyone making a buck on Fear. It is the pillar of capitalism. But using the same tactic to beat down the competition is suppose to be a form a racketeering and is regulated by free-trade laws, except ganja can’t get the same treatment, because its illegal.

Believe me, if the oil companies could outlaw electricity or the meat companies could outlaw soy products, they sure as hell would. But it’s hard to get Mom and Pop riled up about Veggie burgers. There is no stigma against that. Damn it! But there is one against marijuana, and that’s the hammer used to keep it illegal.

I don’t smoke pot, so personally I couldn’t give half a shit if it were legalized or not. I dig on absinthe, which is rightfully illegal and would likely cripple half the pot smokers in this country. But at least I’m honest enough to admit what is happening to hemp has no basis in fact or merit. It is capricious and arbitrary reasoning, like the morality arguments that support it. Furthermore, if you think about it, there is no basis in reality for moral arguments being included in the law. And don’t give me bullshit about crimes like theft and murder being symptomatic of a moral construct. These acts infringe on civil rights, how exactly does smoking dope to alleviate pain infringe on anyone’s rights?

Okay, so you legalize marijuana and everyone is lazy and forgetful and eats too much junk food, Pink Floyd makes a comeback and people say “man” a lot. So what? Its no worse than assholes dancing around football games in sub-zero weather with their shirt off or college girls whipping off their tops for a video clip or Dick Chaney going on national television and telling everyone the Iraq war would last two weeks.

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Deep Throat Revealed, Or…?

Aquarian Weekly 6/8/05 REALITY CHECK


Deep Throat EscapesThe evil that men do lives after them; The good is oft interred with their bones. – William Shakespeare Julius Caesar Act III

By now everyone has heard that 91-year-old W. Mark Felt, former second in command at the FBI during the Watergate scandal that eventually took down the 37th President of the United States has finally come forth as the identity behind the infamous Deep Throat. The most notorious anonymous source in the history of journalism, so dubbed after the celebrated porn film of the same name by then Washington Post Managing Editor Howard Simons, the paper that unleashed the investigative talents of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein to uncover a series of outlandish crimes by Richard Nixon, has been bandied about in books, college classrooms and documentaries for three decades. None of which had successfully fingered Felt among dozens of suspects. Some still argue it could not have merely been Felt, and I agree.

Up until Felt’s confession, the accepted theory was that Deep Throat, as most deep-background anonymous sources, was a composite of several hidden voices. This made sense purely because Deep Throat’s knowledge of numerous interconnected events and key characters was so vast and his access inside the White House so complete that anyone outside of Nixon’s most loyal inner sanctum could not have achieved it. However, the composite theory works on a simpler level. Woodward, merely a metro reporter who had been with the Post for a lousy nine months would have had a tough time selling several off-the-record sources as evidence that the most powerful position in the land had plotted and bankrolled this kind of cheap underhanded prank. One “deep” imbedded source was an easier pitch.

But those are simply theories. Evidence that an FBI source, however “high-ranking”, would not have been able to provide the kind of evidence portrayed in the Post’s 1973 stories appears in more detail in Woodward and Bernstein’s masterful, “All The President’s Men”. The book contains, as do many of the ’73 articles, several references to Deep Throat as a White House source or top-level insider, someone with first-hand knowledge of the Nixon tapes, incriminating documents, and a spectacular history of insidious plots hatched by the most powerful people in the country. Could this have merely been Felt?

Of course Felt was apprised of the evidence compiled by the FBI in the ongoing investigation at the time, but as a top man in the bureau, could he have been doing his job while snooping around gathering dirt from several different sources himself?

John Dean, then White House counsel and point man for the 1972 break-in said this week that Felt’s prominent position at the FBI so soon after the death of lifetime director J. Edgar Hoover made it practically impossible for Felt to have had the time or the balls for such tasks as writing cryptic messages in Woodward’s NY Times to arrange clandestine garage meetings that sometimes took up hours of the participants’ time. Dean had his finger on the pulse of events from start to finish. It was his riveting testimony at the hearings that was corroborated word-for-word on the infamous smoking-gun tape that ultimately buried Nixon. When the president finally asked him to put his name to paper outlining the gory events leading up to Watergate, one of several blatant scapegoat moves, Dean turned coat to save his ass. When he went to the FBI with his story, Dean admits he pretty much knew who could have been leaking what, and Felt never made his list.

It is fair to deduce that if Mark Felt was the Deep Throat and not a source composite, then he had help, much help in gathering the type of gaudy facts that eventually, with air-tight precision, destroyed the presidency of one of the most crooked politicians this country has ever produced.

No doubt Felt was a prime candidate. He had an axe to grind, believing, among many of his colleagues at the FBI that Nixon’s appointment of Assistant Attorney General L. Patrick Gray as director instead of a veteran insider reeked of an overt kind of self-serving. Gray’s name was later pulled when he admitted to sharing the FBI’s investigation of Watergate with Dean, who then had designs on helping the White House cover-up their party to the incident.

Felt was also privy to all of the mounting evidence that began to “grow as a cancer on the presidency”, so much so that Nixon urged his cronies to steer the FBI away from the proceedings claiming it a CIA matter that was of utmost importance to national security. Right then Felt, wounded by being passed over and wanting to seal Gray’s fate, would have had ample evidence and motivation for spilling the beans on Nixon. It is also important to note that Felt, originally a spy detector for the bureau, was later convicted and then pardoned by Ronald Reagan for authorizing FBI break-ins of war protester headquarters in the ’70s. He knew well the tactics of the Beltway and could identify a juicy breach from a mile away.

After the revealing Vanity Fair article was presented to the press this week, Woodward, who met in a DC garage seven times with Felt during the Post’s investigation, corroborated the confession in a statement followed by a brilliantly detailed column unfurling his close friendship and series of spot-on info Felt had funneled him long before Watergate. Woodward tells of Felt’s fears of the Nixon Administration’s “corruption” spilling into the FBI’s domain of illegal wire-tapping, opening of mail, and authorized break-ins – all later corroborated tactics of the Nixon era.

This is precisely why all this talk lately about Felt being some kind of traitor snitch who should have gone through the proper legal channels to prosecute Nixon instead of leaking evidence to cub reporters is ludicrous. By the time Felt, rightly or not, was passed over for FBI director the bureau was in turmoil. Hoover, the FBI’s only director, was dead. For decades he ran the tightest ship in DC, and in many ways held more sway than the president. The White House, as many had tried in the past, was beginning to put a stranglehold on several forms of the government, especially Hoover’s former untouchable domain. It was hard to fathom who was Nixon’s bitch and who was up and up. Well-worn stories of Gray dumping vital evidentiary records into the Potomac are all Felt would need to know before unburdening his soul.

To hear Woodward tell it, the best case scenario taking all of the evidence through the ringer; the surveillance of Woodward’s apartment to arrange the garage meetings to the detailed descriptions of major conversations and documents coming straight from the Oval Office to third-rate burglars and CIA rejects etc., it is fair to deduce that if Mark Felt was the Deep Throat and not a source composite, then he had help, much help in gathering the type of gaudy facts that eventually, with air-tight precision, destroyed the presidency of one of the most crooked politicians this country has ever produced.

Woodward concludes in his latest piece for the Post, “Because of his position virtually atop the chief investigative agency, his words and guidance had immense, at times even staggering, authority. The weight, authenticity and his restraint were more important than his design, if he had one.”

But the question remains for this reporter: Who was behind Deep Throat?

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Erotic Expo 2005

Aquarian Weekly 5/25/05 REALITY CHECK

PEDDLING MORALITY IN THE DEN OF INIQUITY Why Christian Extremists Get First Class Treatment At A Porn Convention

Tera Patrick“I’m from the Christian Coalition for Decency & Moral Servitude,” I announced with the piggish authority of a professional. The doe-eyed staffer for the 2005 Erotic Expo stood with mouth agape, stunned, but cordial. “Excuse me, sir?” he asked politely, trying hard to feign deafness. I repeated my phony title more forcefully this time; waving at him an old plastic Bill Bradley Campaign credential I had rattling around in my bag. “Uh, um, well, do you have a pass for this event?” he asked, tugging nervously on his nifty yellow uniform. I told him I did not.

“Why do I need a pass, kind sir?” I shouted. “I have a pass from the Lord!”

The lobby of the Hotel Pennsylvania, another in a series of renovated ancient accommodations in midtown Manhattan, buzzed all around me. The eager traders of flesh were oblivious to my regal stance. It was painfully evident that smut was being peddled here, and I thought it best to see how strident these Purveyors of Pornography are when faced with a salty Soldier of God.

The illusion was miraculous, seeing how I was dressed in the usual frumpy journalist garb; wrinkled shirt sloppily untucked beneath a ragged blue blazer, coffee-stained jeans and a whirring mini-tape recorder clutched in my right fist, which I used it to shake violently at the press secretary, a handsomely tanned middle-aged man with an unnerving grin.

“I’ve come to record names, addresses and income figures of your merchants of filth!” I told him.

“No one apprised us of your arrival, Mister…?”

“Koczan,” I told him. It was the first name I thought of, and the managing editor of this magazine. Poor soul. He sends me an e-mail every week asking if there is anything he could do, so I figured lending his name to this charade is as good an anything as there is.

After much haggling, dropping a few power names like Ralph Reed, Bill Bennett, Sean Hannity, Larry Flynt, and claiming first class citizenship in the Republican Super Rangers (big cash lobbyists for the Religious Right) I managed to procure a pass.

Once inside, I decided to keep the impersonation on the down low. No sense riling up the festivities with any talk of Jesus or Tom Delay. Wait to spring it on them at the last minute after they give it up.

It was time to extricate myself from the proceedings and not speak a word of this to anyone. Who expected the ghost of Calvin Coolidge to beat in the heart of horny?

“I’m from Maxim,” I told the marketing spokesman for Epic Adult World, a chunky mustached fellow named Scott, who perked up when he thought his musings on the fastest growing industry in the United States, which, by the way, earns billions of dollars a year with 98.9% American sweat and tears, would appear in the nation’s hottest magazine. “We toil for the most domestically solvent industry in this country,” Scott beamed. “There’s no outsourcing in porn.”

He was a proud American, and it was hard to lie to him, or at least perpetuate the second lie, the one about me representing Maxim, an odd choice, especially since my letter-bomb mishap of 2002 has made it nearly impossible for me to sell them anything. So I went back to the first lie.

“You’re from a Christian Organization?” Scott laughed, and then promptly called over a spokesman for E & A Video Magazine, who reminded me that in the last decade alone the number of adult production companies, actors, agencies, and distributors has quadrupled. This includes the obligatory influx of enthusiastic money minds like accountants and investors. “In 1990, for instance, porn companies and studios in California’s San Fernando Valley (known among the insiders as Porn Valley, USA) has gone from dozens to hundreds,” the grayish pipe smoking friendly explained. “You’re talking about entire towns being kept in the black by the production and sale of video sex acts.”

Knowing I was opposed to their line of work seemed to delight these guys. It was as if I tapped into why so many young men claim to be Bible Thumpers. Free access to porn, I surmised, an enviable coup for any growing American deviant to say the least.

I was about to sermonize on eternal damnation when a young gentleman representing Eighty-East Entertainment, a major online shipping porn service from right here in Wyckoff, NJ provided me hardcore (pun intended) profit numbers set in graph form. The image was staggering. Since 1998, there appeared not one ripple in the graph line. It rode unimpeded up and to the right, the kind of gaudy illustration of profit margins that would keep Donald Trump hard for weeks.

Staring at the graph I was reminded of an old Chrysler axiom coined by Lee Iacocca before he had his third nervous breakdown and rammed a steam ship with his yacht while screaming incoherently about Karl Marx: Money Talks/God Walks.

That’s when my buddies over at Genesis magazine, (a periodical I freelanced for when they actually had articles) started parading over porn stars for a chat. Scantly clad women from bright-eyed mid-twenties to hard-bitten thirties; enhanced, slender, bold as sailors, and richer than Jay-Lo. Nearly every one of the half dozen I spoke with either own production companies, modeling agencies, marketing firms or act as spokespersons and CEOs for full-scale pay web sites, which actually make money – not like some financial sinkhole like Amazon. These women with interesting stage monikers like Tera Patrick, Taylor Wane, Olivia O’Lovely, among others have homes on both coasts, high-rise offices and actually own their likenesses, something I’m sure Britney Spears or Jessica Simpson don’t.

Oh, and by the way, they’re all Christians. So I didn’t have the heart to tell them I was an imposter and I couldn’t give half a fart what they did for cash, as long as it was fairly legal and didn’t involve me having to sell shoes.

It was time to extricate myself from the proceedings and not speak a word of this to anyone. Who expected the ghost of Calvin Coolidge to beat in the heart of horny?

“Once you do a film, there’s no going back,” remarked Patrick, a tall brunette with the kind of eyes that tell tales. She is reportedly one of the biggies, second only to the legendary Jenna Jameson in transcending the T & A crowd. She makes a handful of videos a year, or at least enough to stockpile a backlog to vend well into her early retirement.

She’s not yet 30.

I’m 42 and impersonating a Christian activist at a NYC porn expo for a thousand word column.

We had a laugh about that and I went home, cranked this out, and went about checking out the two hundred penis enhancement ads in my e-mail box.

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GOP Gridlock

Aquarian Weekly 5/18/05 REALITY CHECK

GOP GRIDLOCK – PART II Social Security, Conservative Judges, Putin, Iran, North Korea & Political Suicide

Vladimir PutinMy conversation with Republican insider Georgetown from the last week of April continues.

jc: Let’s just say for the sake of argument you guys can get some semblance of this Social Security reform onto the floor. What are the chances that a compromise can be met?

Georgetown: Before mid-term elections? None. Like I said, there are too many jobs on the line here. This is the issue, political survival, and unless it is handled correctly it could swing the power, or at least senate power back to the democrats. I think it more than a worthy cause, maybe the most worthy cause, but it’s political suicide within 19 months of an election. Democratic opponents in certain districts have already started pouncing. There’s tension building and some of these congressmen and senators are not going to the mat for this, not if their job is on the line, and it is.

jc: In a nutshell, it’s either the battle for judges or Social Security reform.

GT: Yes. If the battle is waged and stymied on one front, it could halt the momentum of the other. The ideological war is currently, and I think dangerously, winning out over the fiscal one, and that is where the main rift between conservatives, fiscal conservatives I’m talking about now, not the bible thumpers, and more moderate republicans lies. The true business hawks have lain low since the election, but they are barking now. We want the judges, sure. We need to fight back on those key social issues, but I believe if there is a knock-down drag-out it should be over Social Security and not gay marriage and abortion or other ancillary moral issues. It defeats the purpose of a congress to be too far-reaching, especially in this divisive a political climate.

jc: I think Social Security reform is inevitable. It might not be the convoluted Bush plan, but it is inevitable. The moral issues come and go and come again. So, I ask you, what survives this administration?

GT: Sadly not the reform.

jc: You think it’s dead.

GT: As a doornail.

jc: Let’s get to this government’s credibility on issuing threats to other nations, Iran, North Korea, whatever, based on intelligence evidence compiled by the CIA and selling the inherent dangers to its people based on the track record leading up to the war in Iraq. Why doesn’t anyone see this as a problem?

“You are supposed to make the Democrats look like stallers and backbiters, not make the party in charge look like power mongers.”

GT: I’ll tell you why, because we’re on the righteous course now. This is not a defense plan; this is a restructure policy internationally. We have put the onus on nations to cut the shit, not keep us out of it. This is a change from the Iraq theories of threats by a nation with WMD after being attacked on our own soil. Iraq was sold on security and then freedom. We’re on the freedom track now. Ridding the world of tyrants. Tyrants usually insolate themselves with huge weapons pile-ups. This is now a no-no in the defacto war on terror. I think it a clever tact.

jc: Change the argument to fit the issue.

GT: Right on.

jc: But I don’t think you grasp my point. We are now making allegations against Korea and Iran that are eerily similar to those leveled against Hussein. Now, in the case of Hussein they turned out cooked, but these are dead serious. But with the first having been the big thing on the back of nothing…

GT: It compromises our position internationally? No it doesn’t. We’ve already stated in several places on a myriad of occasions that this is a global war on terror. It is on going. It evolves, and it evolves on our dime and our time. We just move on over to the next bad guy when we see fit. This is the whole thing. It has to move, like a shark. It’s shark foreign tactics. Hit and run, pick the target and stay on it. The best part about this is one of these rogue nations are going to get to the bottom of the Osama bin Laden MIA shit. You just know someone from Iran is going to execute this idiot, so they can claim great friend of the United States and then point the finger if we try and keep them from building a massive war machine. I’m telling you, that’s coming.

jc: What do you make of Vladimir Putin? Is it the same old crap, or is this guy a maverick? And what’s Bush’s fascination with him? If there actually is one. And what’s with this proposed meeting in Russia?

GT: Putin is an imperialist. He will fight for his slice of the Middle East pie. He’s already started. This bullshit with Ariel Sharon, wherein he’s whipping up plans for peace and restructuring settlements in Israel is laughable. He couldn’t give two shits about Israel. It’s a grandstand to get involved in what he sees as a serious doctrine to change the political landscape there. Listen, I’ve always said that you can tell how your foreign policy is going when everyone tries to rip it off for their own gain. Putin is the proof that Bush’s plan, however ass-backwards and inept it can look sometimes, is sound.

jc: But doesn’t Putin have a right to be involved? Even though I share much of your cynicism about his sincerity. I mean, this is happening in his backyard.

GT: Sure, he can do anything he wants. Doesn’t mean it’s not a transparent power grab. I think our president might say as much when he goes to Russia.

jc: And this accomplishes the “Let me play chess with the Arabs, find your own war zone to gut” doctrine?

GT: Funny. Take it on the road.

jc: One last thing about the world stage. Do you think the Brit election will mean a hill of beans to the final three years of this administration or the final months of this congress?

GT: Nope. Small potatoes.

jc: Big ally.

GT: It’s a bit noisy for me.

jc: How many judges do you get through?

GT: One. I think one. Maybe two. A big maybe. It’s a fair fight. No one with a background in these things is complaining. But someone with a conservative record is getting through. Count on it.

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