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George W. Bush’s Second Term

Aquarian Weekly 12/8/04 REALITY CHECK

THE IRON FIST PRINCIPLE Part I GOP Insider Georgetown Weighs in on Throwing Weight

The Madness of Bob JonesDear Mr. President:

The media tells us that you have received the largest number of popular votes of any president in America’s history. Congratulations!

In your re-election, God has graciously granted America-though she doesn’t deserve it-a reprieve from the agenda of paganism. You have been given a mandate. We the people expect your voice to be like the clear and certain sound of a trumpet. Because you seek the Lord daily, we who know the Lord will follow that kind of voice eagerly.

Don’t equivocate. Put your agenda on the front burner and let it boil. You owe the liberals nothing. They despise you because they despise your Christ. Honor the Lord, and He will honor you.

– Letter to President Bush from Bob Jones III of Bob Jones University 11/3/04

Soon it will be the 10th anniversary of a Republican controlled congress, and four years since the Grand Old Party has taken the reigns of every branch of government, save for the judiciary, which could soon change dramatically. This is their puppy now and for the foreseeable future, a future looking increasingly bleak, or for those remaining optimists, uncertain at best, no matter the chief executive. But that is opinion, not reality.

The reality is that this is a nation in serious debt with a gluttonous budget, rising poverty, a wounded image abroad, and at war in two countries with another soon to be an issue. The president, re-elected not on his sketchy, if not abysmal governing record, but on the wings of the metaphysical notion of morality and that old standby, fear, has made promises about deconstructing Social Security, balancing a sane budget, pursuing a constitutional amendment concerning the definition of marriage, and more.

However, currently there is division in the Republican ranks. More of the conservative wing, quiet during George W. Bush’s first campaign, much of his first term, and the re-election bid, has begun to bark. The religious quacks have come to collect a hefty bill, the war hawks are vindicated, and the big oil mongers are laying in wait. Supporters need to be greased and decisions have to be made. Second terms come with monstrous asterisks. It is the game. Sign up. Play hard.

So we go to our long-suffering Republican insider, the man, the myth, the maniac Georgetown for some much needed dirt. This comes on the heels of his refusal to dish any during the final months of the 2004 campaign, despite several requests for an audience and his insistence to pummel this reporter for revealing the obvious drinking problem of his party’s power broker a few weeks back. (Second Term Madness Issue: 11/10/04)

james campion: Say your piece. We have a lot to cover.

Georgetown: I just want those readers slow on the take to know this column often blurs the lines between satire, rare honest reporting, and vicious opinion. So, in light of that, I want to make clear that your observation and assessment of Karl Rove’s drinking a few weeks back, as off the record as it was, is irresponsible and wholly vindictive, and if I had known you would abuse the access our relationship provides you than I would have refused it, and will, until which time you have apologized in print.

jc: You’re assuming that I meant to imply that Rove is a drunkard and therefore most of the advice and direction of the Republican machine is powered by flippant, half-in the-bag concepts borne of whiskey.

GT: Correct.

jc: Well, for that I certainly apologize. How could anyone derive such an outlandish assumption from that paragraph? I called him a genius. I even lead with it.

GT: Don’t get me started. What do you need to know?

jc: How much is Rove’s monster going to force the president to cow tow to lunatics like Jerry Falwell and Bob Jones.

GT: There is no question that the religious right has embraced the party, and this president, but I see this term being much like the first; a lot of moral and cultural proclamations, but no real bite.

No one is forgetting the bullshit that came during he 9/11 Commission hearings. People sold out the president. They could not have expected to stay around after November 2.

jc: Tell me about these shake-ups in the cabinet and the stalemate over this proposed intelligence czar in congress.

GT: Obvious steps to gut the dissenters out of the inner circle. I’m not sure most conservative voices agree with the shake-ups in the cabinet, state, and the CIA, but no one is crying over Powell going, or Ridge, or some of those assholes over at CIA. Scapegoats abound. No one is forgetting the bullshit that came during he 9/11 Commission hearings. People sold out the president. They could not have expected to stay around after November 2.

jc: Yes, but let’s not forget the dumping on the CIA during the investigation. There seems to be no blood on the White House or anywhere else in Washington but in intelligence.

GT: Define it how you will, but know this: when the dust settles the 9/11 intelligence bill will pass and all the posturing by Donald Rumsfeld and the Pentagon will not stop it. I expect it to pass before the new year.

jc: This stinks of slapping a band-aid on a gaping wound. Classic lame duck congress forced to do something politically that makes no sense, not to mention piling another government agency on the thing. We’ve now officially entered The New Deal Part Two.

GT: The flack over the proposed 9/11 Commission bill request is not about national security, it’s simply that the war is being run exclusively, as all wars, from the Pentagon. And as a result, this glut of disinformation on WMD and all that did not sit well with state or Powell. Still doesn’t. But no one wants to reconstruct the present chain of command from the Pentagon to some kind of new fangled security/spy czar, which the present bill proposes. This only mucks up the process to wage war.

jc: I see this bill as another smoke screen for a government embarrassed about its collective incompetence leading up to 9/11 and painfully repeated before the war. Who is in charge? Who is responsible? No one. The FBI fails; we have government pork like Homeland Security. The CIA fails; we have more bureaucracy with this shit. How about someone doing their job?

GT: I don’t disagree. I think it’s a mistake. Adding more voices to an orgy of political ego and backbiting will cripple the effort. The president waited too long for this, now it’s throwing meat to the wolves.

jc: You’re certain the president is behind it.

GT: He is, but not at the cost of selling out the war people or the conservative hawks, who cannot run this war if they, or even in the case of Rumsfeld’s people, have to get red stamped in Washington for every fart. If it were peacetime, like before 9/11, the commission has a point. Not now.

jc: But won’t Bush be seen as a dreaded flip-flopper if he allows congress to dictate the passing of a national security bill after the tax payers went in for the whole commission nonsense? What about all this “I’ve got political capital” bullshit?

GT: The president will soon learn that a mandate, if this election defines itself as such, carries the power of the party, not the individual. To me, the most significant victory is Tom Daschle sent packing. Next to Kennedy in Massachusetts, there has not been a more insufferable liberal force. He was ousted and the House is truly ours. The president must abide.

Next Week: Part II

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George W. Bush Second Term

Aquarian Weekly 11/10/04 REALITY CHECK

SECOND TERM MADNESS Captain Shoo-In Gets a Rousing Rubber Stamp

“It’s not a lie, if you believe it.” – Zelda Fitzgerald

George Bush's AmericaFive years ago in a rotten Orlando resort bar, I told Karl Rove he was a fucking genius. We laughed a lot that night, mostly because we were really drunk. He got a kick out of me. I got a kick out of him. And to his credit he never ignored my warnings that his boy was in trouble against Al Gore, and fought hard to see that the incubus was sent packing. But about halfway through the evening I pointed out that it seemed fairly preposterous that he or any of the brain trust behind the creation of George W. Bush, God-Fearing Country Bumpkin, really believed it.

“We believe it, because George Bush believes it,” Rove told me. “He really believes he’s born again,” he slurred. “Jesus got him off the drugs and booze and forgave him for doing nothing and standing for nothing for 40 years, and he was going to take advantage of being a rich Yaley and make a difference. And that’s something Al Gore never believed about himself. He only believed merely being privileged makes him worthy. But the American people want to believe the guy who’s convinced himself he’s one of them; a proud American with a gun and a Bible who doesn’t take shit from anyone.”

I had more or less forgotten the details of that conversation, until about three in the morning on election night when it became glaringly apparent that regardless of what havoc could be wreaked by a president, the electorate must trust that the guy they give the job to believes the bullshit. And for all his mistakes and faults, George W. Bush believes the job of this nation is to bring peace to the world with force and the people must be ruled with fear, because force and fear is what got Captain Shoo-In off the cocaine and the bottle and put him in the loving arms of Jesus and gave him the strength to fight terror and all that other nonsense. It was never political. It’s real for George Bush, and for reasons barely decipherable by even the weakest minds among us, it’s real for America.

A solid majority of Americans have rubber stamped this president and all that he believes. He is against Europe and international compromise of any kind. He is willing to bag civil rights for safety. He thinks the military is the best way to boost national morale. He is not sure gays choose to be gay or whatever they are, but he is damn sure they have no right to civil unions. He does not believe in vetoing anything as long as his party is in charge of the legislative branch, and he’s keen on growing business over and above anything petty like environmental issues. And boy does he believe in charging on the national debt. He believes it, and in overwhelming numbers, so does America.

Here’s something the Kerry camp never understood, that Bill Clinton’s people copped too, and why a political fossil like James Carville was whisked in too-little-too-late in the eleventh hour to manifest; the majority of people in this country care even less about intellect and privilege than they do about whiny foreigners and all that science mumbo jumbo and sissy diplomacy and threatening dissent. They want to relate to the fantasy model of the Everyman. They want a man who believes, whether it’s asinine, insane or astoundingly feral. Kennedy believed the bullshit. So did Teddy Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan. These were believers. They had it down. That’s why they won national elections.

George W. Bush is a believer. He is president, again.

John Kerry pretended to believe. He is going back to the senate.

This election tells us that more Americans want to love the flag and God and mom and apple pie, and not all the stinging reality of cold hard facts. They believe in the Shining City on the Hill. They want someone who believes it too, no matter what. They want a president that tells them the economy is coming around and the morally imperative war is going well. God loves us. We’re always right. Everyone else can go to hell. No one wants to be called a sucker of government malfeasance and victims of policy. Their kids aren’t fat, reality shows aren’t infantile, abortion isn’t choice, support the troops, and so on.

But the electorate is not entirely duped about this enormously flawed president. Two-thirds of it thinks the country’s going in the wrong direction and Iraq is madness. But the president believes in the madness. John Kerry didn’t believe his madness. You could feel it in the stump speeches and in his uneven debate performances. Any jabbering sop could’ve pushed George Bush around in those debates. Bush hung back, repeated the mantra: Man of my word, values, faith, pride, and belief. This is what voters in predominant parts of this country want to hear. Not long-winded tripe about deficits and policies or how we’re doomed.

Those people who were power-hosing the black folk in Alabama and Mississippi and the Carolinas during the Civil Rights movement? They’re still there, and they had children, and they’re not trading the country in for any slick talking Yankee lawyer who ain’t down with Jesus.

Kerry went on and on about change. He wasn’t going to change anything. We only needed him to be president to take the stank of the Bush mistakes off us. Change? About three hundred thousand of us voted for change. The rest of you participated in choosing between the madness. The guy who believed it, and the guy who made it up.

Turns out Zell Miller’s apoplectic lunacy at the convention three months ago was right on the money. He was goofy, but he spoke for the electorate. Miller represents the majority. It hasn’t changed in 220-plus years of this republic. You want to change the hearts and minds of the hinterland? You want to jerk the south from its Bible Belt? You had better get the army together, like Lincoln did. Burn their cities and teach them a thing or two. These people are still fighting the damned Civil War. Those people who were power-hosing the black folk in Alabama and Mississippi and the Carolinas during the Civil Rights movement? They’re still there, and they had children, and they’re not trading the country in for any slick talking Yankee lawyer who ain’t down with Jesus. Give them a smiling hick like Carter or Clinton or they’re sending you back to the Ivy League.

The Democratic Party doesn’t get it. They talk about issues and other mish-mosh, but leave out the visceral damage. Maybe northern Democrats need to cheat to win in the South or the Midwest. One thing is certain, pulling in a vacuous haircut like John Edwards backfired on Kerry. If he had taken the advice of this column, or harbored any idea of winning the White House, he would have secured something viable, like the upper mid-west and, most vitally, Ohio by choosing Bob Graham or Dick Gephardt. He wins Ohio, he’s president. But most people in this country are never going to vote for a Massachusetts liberal droning on and on about pacifying Europe and peace and gays and the right to choose and keeping God out of the statehouse. They damn well want God in there. What they obviously didn’t want was John Kerry.

Thus, we will begin the coronation on what has in recent years proven to be, if nothing else, an entertaining embarrassment; the second term. Seeing how second terms have not been kind to any president in my lifetime, to say I have every confidence it will end in disaster is to barely scratch the surface of the girlish excitement that rattles my bones. And those who didn’t live through Watergate, Iran-Contra, or may have forgotten the beauty of 15 months of Monica Lewinsky and Kenneth Starr, cannot fully understand the opportunity it provides cynical old political junkies like myself.

I was ecstatic George Bush beat Al Gore. Now the professionally sinister part of me is glad he’s back, because second terms with the brainwashed believers is what loving politics is all about. That’s what I told my friend Georgetown in ’96 when Bill Clinton, the last phony southerner, danced his way back into a second term of ignominy, and what Karl Rove admitted after half a quart of Chivas five long years ago, “We studied the Clintons. We know their moves and what counts. Watch us go.”

Damn right.

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Blaming Rumsfeld 101

Aquarian Weekly 5/19/04 REALITY CHECK

MAN OVERBOARD The Bogusly Self-Righteous Flogging Of Master Rumsfeld

Master RummyThe outrageous glut of evidence coming from the government’s recent censorship of media coverage of flag-draped caskets arriving at air force bases and the ridiculous furor over these “prisoner abuse” photos can lead anyone to assume the American people are woefully unaware of the casualty and operation of war. So, for those humble neophytes, I offer the following:

This war thing everyone was so hepped about? This vengeance jag we’ve all been on since 9/11/01? It’s ugly, petty, brutal and horrid. You don’t get to be squeamish and moral all of a sudden.

War is hell. Ever hear that one? It’s a popular axiom among those who’ve been there/done that. Young kids die senselessly during it. And people conducting these things don’t have the screws tightened onto the old noggin too well. This is why we hire them. Clear thinking, compassionate types make bad war contributions. Moreover, there are a plethora of sadistic freaks who head these things, on all sides. Animalistic torture, sickening reams of propaganda, and the killing of innocents is part of the deal. What did you think was going on here, table tennis?

Take this crazy American contractor roaming around Iraq trying to rebuild infrastructure. He didn’t get it. Now he is beheaded on video. It’s like that poor, misguided fool Pat Tillman. He wanted to be John Wayne. Now he is the poster-boy for ideological suicide.

And before you start sending me your hateful missives about my insensitivity toward these victims of war, I consider them fellow humans and therefore brothers, and if my biological brother came to me and said he was leaving $3.5 million at the tender age of 25 to go off to the desert and get shot at or planned on roaming around Iraq looking for work I would have advised him otherwise. And those who disagree are just not being honest.

But back to the “prisoner abuse” thing.

I cannot believe for one moment that anyone over the age of 10 would be shocked that this country would be fighting any other kind of war? We’re so different? We’re above it? Do you know whose running this thing? Hawks. Warmongers. Oil Men. Corporate land-rapers. When this inarticulate goober of a president stands on his sloping green lawn and has the gall to utter that these tactics do not represent the American spirit, it is so patently false you expect the sky to collapse on his head like some bad cartoon.

This country’s military record of death, destruction, rape and pillaging is legendary. How do you think we got so rich and powerful? Good business acumen? God on our side? Yes, the tooth fairy and Uncle Sam had a baby and called it Liberty. OR maybe it was free land grabs, free slave labor, systematic economic backstabbing, not-so-secret assassinations, and an incredible roll call of CIA global crimes. Ripping off France, Spain, Mexico and anyone else minding the Manifest Destiny store put us in the catbird seat, sonny.

The spirit that sicked those Dobermans on that naked Iraqi grabbing his balls on the front page of every newspaper this week is the same one that slaughtered Native-Americans, torched Atlanta, firebombed Dresden, locked up American citizens of Japanese lineage, murdered women and children in My-Lai, and on and on and on.

Fact is peasant terrorists liberated this country by reeking guerilla warfare havoc on an imperialistic empire. Sound familiar?

I understand its human nature to eat a nice, fat, juicy steak and not wonder how it got there, or slip on those Nike’s and not consider what sweat shop made them. We’re here because horrible thugs with guns put us here. I’m a pacifist and I’m willing to admit it. Do it. It takes the edge off.

Letting our children be murdered while playing Peace Corps police force is a crime of unconscionable depths and should be rectified immediately.

Good. Now doesn’t this fuss over prison abuse ring as hollow as someone complaining about the rain during the Battle of Gettysburg?

And what can you say about the enemy, fanatic religious thugs running around with hoods and sub-machine guns? Five thousand years of violence in the name of Allah bankrolled by oil funds from the west. Starving Bengal tigers are too good for these monsters.

Just a few weeks ago the U.S. Army massacred hundreds of innocents in Fallujah. Not a peep. We get a few porn images that don’t look any worse than some of the shit I did in college, and we’re closing down shop? This is the same logic behind polls that have two-thirds of Americans judging George W. Bush a lying incompetent, but the clear choice for re-election.

So now in steps the embattled Secretary of Defense, of whom I wrote in the 3/6/02 issue of this magazine, “I think it’s important to point out that Donald Rumsfeld has gone insane. His Meet the Press, 2/24/02 appearance frightened me in ways that is hard to discern at the moment, but suffice it to suggest that he is clinically mad and currently has the power of two Caesars and Benito Mussolini thrown in for good measure.”

I went on to point out that to consider an invasion of Iraq, although not a terrible idea, must be run by a maniac to succeed. Loose cannons win wars. History is littered silly with their collective shadow. But although I do not blame The Master of War for these so-dubbed atrocities, I do blame him for conducting a chaotic, non-delineated cluster fuck of a battle plan that has dragged on for 13 months too long.

The idea that the United States of America could take this long to secure a third world desert nation with no army, with the silent, if not tepid support of the Arab nations bordering it, and, what is it now? $50 billion or some gaudy number, and still be screwing around out there is an outrage. Letting our children be murdered while playing Peace Corps police force is a crime of unconscionable depths and should be rectified immediately.

But instead we get The Passion of The Master Donald Rumsfeld, because every White House scandal, like every religion needs a sacrificial lamb. Kennedy gutted the CIA after the Bay of Pigs, Nixon threw his entire staff, cabinet, and the cook to the wolves during the final days of Watergate, The Gipper nailed Ollie North to the political cross for Iran-Contra, and poor Vernon Jordan had a hell of a time during Clinton’s Oval Office Fuck Fest.

But what is this government doing to secure this country we currently inhabit? Forget prisoners being piled into orgy balls. That’s window dressing, like women on television getting massive plastic surgery to sell flat screens. It wouldn’t surprise me if this government’s war effort leaked those photos to blind us to the real problem here: This administration has lost its grip, assuming it ever had one, on this occupation. Why would anyone take the damn photos in the first place?

And if this whole thing turns out to be a CIA affair, coming clearer each day, then it should be George Tenent, and not Rumsfeld who should go. Tenet was so hot and heavy for this mess. I propose we get this murdering lout on the rack and pour hot led into his rectum for starters. See how he likes war now.

Either we secure this thing or risk total anarchy in Iraq and most of the region. Otherwise Israel is doomed, if it isn’t tumbling towards that point already. And even though Iran, Jordan, Syria, Egypt and Saudi Arabia likes to put on the stern Arab face for their terrorist brethren, they would be appalled and frightened and become ornery business partners if this thing falls apart.

Firing Rumsfeld in the middle of this is like firing a coach during the third quarter. It’s too late in the game for this. He’s not getting off that easy. This is his mess; he should clean it up. Send in a mass of troops and take out everything in sight or get the hell out, cross the fingers, batten down the hatches, and get out your plastic to pay five bucks a gallon.

This lunatic has five months to end this madness or he goes when we boot out his boss in November to try something else.

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Of Course Bush Lied About WMD’s

Aquarian Weekly 2/18/04 REALITY CHECK

LAST WORD ON WMD’S

There can be no sane argument that the president did not lie about the invasion of Iraq. Let’s put that one to bed. He had to lie. All that droning on about evil regimes, human rights, direct threat to the US, and freeing the Iraqi people was admittedly weak Mob RulesTexas hooh-ha, but what did you want the man to do, get on the tube and talk about daddy’s revenge and restructuring the Middle East to secure oil concerns, protect Israel, and put a scare into the towel heads?

Nonetheless, as stated in this space before, Hussein had to go. My meager research alone (clearly dissected in past columns) has given me enough proof that if Iraq had continued to be run in that fashion, the compromises for not only Israel but also Saudi Arabia et al would have been grim. Thus, the concept of regime change (formulated over 12 years and three administrations) never was about a how or why, but when.

You know how much money and power was at stake here? So much that if someone told G.W. to do a hoola dance on Letterman to make trashing Iraq an imperative, he would have been trying on grass skirts by sundown. So let’s not have any allusions over a semantics argument regarding WMD’s or any other banal acronyms.

The frame of the debate over this Bush fiasco should be the methods and expediency of the current operation, both of which have been royally flummoxed from jump street. All the fears about Junior being a lost rich boy with agonizingly limited intellect came to pass.

But all presidents lie about invasions. This is part of the gig. Some are better than others. FDR was excellent. LBJ, not so much. Nixon and Reagan were just clumsy and stupid.

The jury is in on George W. Bush.

He stinks at it.

Now we get all the backtracking from the lackeys.

It pains me to see a gentlewoman and a scholar like Condoleezza Rice jump through hoops for political dunderheads. I don’t feel so bad for Colin Powel. His soft-core approach never fooled me. He is the worst kind of militaristic idiot, a useless tool of aggression with a predictably disingenuous twist on the facts. It’s the same old crap from these medal-toting pustules, break stuff first and ask questions later.

However, Donald Rumsfeld deserves to squirm. He was a corn-sniffer for Nixon and took it hard from Bush Sr., and has been rightly diagnosed in this space over a year ago as clinically insane. Nothing that has transpired since has reversed this judgment.

The rest of the administration is goofy. Not as insidious as the Left wants it to be, but it’s not functioning correctly right now.

Functioning rather badly in the realm of foreign relations in fact.

Innocents die, kids with guns run amok, and the map of the globe changes a bit. But the one thing that doesn’t change is the power structure. And as much as we hate to admit it in print, America is part of the power structure.

Okay, they’re lost.

Watching Tim Russert try and yank serviceable answers out of the president on this abortion last Sunday gave me pause. Firstly, Russert, of whom I have great respect, dropped the ball. He let a blatantly stupefied Bush make slap-dag ideology speeches without taking responsibility for anything, and heaving none of it on anyone else either. Most importantly, all prior talk about Bush having sincere convictions on religious grounds to save a wounded country and stand tall in the face of mounting adversity melted in the glare of network lights. The guy came off as a seat-of-the-pants dink. He’s not Nixionian in madness or morally strangulated in Reagonese. He’s lost.

Really lost.

And I can only hope the poor saps who made the call to send that jabbering moron into an interview format amidst plunging approval ratings was shot on site.

That scared the shit out of me. No one should have to endure that kind of meltdown. Anyone arguing that Janet Jackson’s striptease was anymore emotionally damaging is not paying attention to detail.

Now to this ridiculously childish idea that the CIA or the Pentagon act in the interest of public safety.

Who’s buying this laugh-out-loud absurdity?

Since the dawn of civilization, spies make things up and armies choose to fight over it. Most times this combination tragically results in reams of fantasy and we end up with Viet Nam or the World Trade Center disaster. Innocents die, kids with guns run amok, and the map of the globe changes a bit. But the one thing that doesn’t change is the power structure. And as much as we hate to admit it in print, America is part of the power structure.

We put Hussein in charge, fed him weapons, turned our backs on it, and then acted shocked when he went wiggy. America’s fingerprints are more or less over every nightmare from Korea to Iran to Pakistan to you name it. Occasionally, someone has to clean this shit up. If not this guy, then the next guy.

He can crow and hoot all he wants, but soon, if he is unlucky enough to achieve the job of commander and chief, John Kerry will have his hands filled with blood and old sins. It’s the nature of the beast, and the beast breathes. It’s a big ugly thing. And you best be sure you’re ready to ride it, rich boy.

Let’s face it, we’re all guilty.

Raise your fist in anger, but you’re guilty.

You drive a car that runs on petroleum? You’re guilty. You eat bananas? You’re guilty. You use GE products or run around in Nikes, read USA Today or take planes to places?

Guilty. Guilty. Guilty.

The real lie is that you can stomp around like you own everything, expect entitlements with no sacrifice and then hold up iconic villains to answer for your insecurities. But in this crazy experiment called a republic it all comes back to us. It’s not exactly a democracy, but its close enough to be the best humans could devise using eight percent of our brain matter.

Safety and privilege has a lofty price tag. Otherwise, where are the American Indians today? And why are all these people from Africa running around? Yeah, you don’t know. You’re just trying to get by. Some crazy people killed Lincoln and Kennedy. Truman had to torch thousands of innocent Japanese. Shit happens, right?

Sleep well.

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John Kerry Comeback

Aquarian Weekly 1/28/04 REALITY CHECK

DOGFIGHT REVISITED Surprises and Disguises Tumble into New Hampshire PART II

The only one that can’t win the dog race is the pace rabbit.” – Chris Matthews

Since my last discussion with our Democratic insider, Dibbs, things have gone awry. The heavy but invisible Howard Dean support wilted in Iowa, pulling in a meager 18%, which would have been gangbusters six months ago, but with Golden Boy running free the past three months, checks in at an unmitigated disaster. Meanwhile, the comebacks of John Kerry – expected six months ago – and John Edwards – a late comer to the ball – and the demise of perennial retread, Dick Gephardt has leveled the playing field and put a new perspective on the upcoming New Hampshire primary.

In addition to the resurrection of a surging Kerry and the coming out party of a second place showing by Edwards, Iowa did dramatically reframe the campaign rhetoric. Although three out of four voters chose their candidates based on an anti-war platform, more than half the votes went to the two men who supported the war.

“I think overall Dean lost his message after Hussein was captured. Yet, the polls indicated he had not. This is what added to the caucus’ drama. In the end, Internet buzz and the youth factor did not translate into votes for Dean.

The second most interesting noise out of the caucuses was the zeal with which the electorate abandoned personal ideology and went hard for candidates who would be “electable” in a national race come fall, leaving Dean, long considered a potential wild card sacrificial lamb out and the more conventional polticos in the driver’s seat. Judging from the woeful prognostication performance of Dibbs eight days ago, we began our 1/22 discussion with a vicious berating and continued merrily from there.

jc: Man, did you guys get that whole thing wrong in Iowa. The union boys fucked Gephardt and the kids screwed Dean.

DB: I told you the voters would decide. You’re the one who had Dean battling Clark for New Hampshire.

jc: That still may be, because as of this morning Kerry has leapfrogged Clark and Dean and now leads with a ballpark 5% to 10% cushion. But this could ironically save Dean in the long run. Now he doesn’t have to fend off Clark, the more dangerous southern democrat, and deal with his New England brother until Super Tuesday. But I stand by my column from over a month ago: Dean cannot beat Bush, so what would be the point?

DB: And I stand by last week’s data that suggests strongly that any Democratic candidate would stand in the base forty-percentile range and benefit from key Independent votes left in the Ralph Nader vacuum.

jc: I didn’t believe for one minute Kerry was as dead as the press had it. The man was the choice for four months and then Dean becomes this year’s John McCain. He galvanized the other candidates, was fun press for a while, but in the end the Democrat power base has to push the more electable candidate. That’s what happened in Iowa. Admit it.

DB: It was most interesting how many votes Edwards and Kerry picked up from the Gephardt troop. That was years of Gephardt’s guts floating out there Monday night (1/19). But I think overall Dean lost his message after Hussein was captured. Yet, the polls indicated he had not. This is what added to the caucus’ drama. In the end, Internet buzz and the youth factor did not translate into votes for Dean.

jc: Or money, which Dean still has plenty of, and judging from his apoplectic fit speech Monday night, he plans on spending it all the way to the bunker.

DB: Today’s Zogby polls have what amounts to a dead heat between Kerry and Dean with a hefty 15% undecided. With that many undecided, 5% or 10% either way matters little. It didn’t matter in Iowa, so Dean isn’t going anywhere, nor should he.

jc: Conventional wisdom, which by the way also got it’s ass kicked in Iowa, says that Clark takes a hit here, because he was ramping up to be the southern Democrat, War-Hero Anti-Dean, and now has to deal with North Carolina’s Edwards and the Viet Nam Vet Hero and new Anti-Dean, John Kerry.

DB: Perception is everything coming out of Iowa. Kerry is obviously the man of the minute. But if he fails to win NH with this kind of momentum, he’ll have some answering to do. Dean has 72 hours to resuscitate. But he certainly has the organization and money to do it.

jc: He had it in Iowa and got smoked. You have to come clean on what went down in Iowa, really. I maintain Kerry got down and dirty with party biggies and painted the same picture everyone refuses to publicly admit: Dean will implode on the national stump. Because it makes no sense that 75% of the electorate in Iowa is anti-war and then choose Kerry and Edwards; unless it came down to Dean not being a viable national candidate. Kerry and Edwards have always been the safe choices. Christ, Bush people were talking about Edwards Tuesday morning like the second coming of a Kennedy.

DB: We’ll find out about the Edwards push in South Carolina. Kerry or Dean has to win NH, or come in first and/or second, and Edwards cannot lose SC.

jc: And Clark?

DB: The debates will decide if Clark is a player. NH debates are notorious either as coming out parties or the exposing of lightweights. Clark must distinguish himself tonight (1/22) or he may sink behind Edwards. jc: The Boston Globe has Clark in third at 16% and Edwards hot on his ass at 11%.

DB: As I say, I believe this debate is a seminal moment for the general.

jc: Face it, you guys cannot win the White House without a southern Democrat. Clark and Edwards have bristled at taking the VP job, even in closed quarters. Kerry or Dean will definitely not survive without one of them or someone like Bob Graham as a running mate in the national election.

DB: Graham is an interesting choice. jc: Any idea who Lieberman will endorse with his 7% after he is pummeled in NH?

DB: Not Dean. My guess would be Kerry.

jc: You have any comment on Dean’s concession speech? The crazed banshee deluxe version, of course.

DB: No.

jc: Is it Gary Hart on the yacht or merely a Gennifer Flowers bump in the road?

DB: I think I answered no for a comment.

NEXT WEEK: NEW HAMPSHIRE FALLOUT

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Ann Coulter: Champion of the Dumb

Aquarian Weekly 7/2/03 REALITY CHECK

ALL HAIL ANN COULTER – CHAMPION OF THE DUMB

For those who merely get their junk food media jones from Reality TV or Eminem or video game violence, you are missing one of the great purveyors of grandiose stupidity on the market today; Ann Coulter. Noted author, and celebrated carnival barker; Coulter is the living embodiment of modern pop culture genius, well-dressed freak show merchants masquerading their commentary with bombastic rhetoric, mixed daringly with a waft of jingoistic perfume.

I worship her beatific vision.

Coulter’s efforts are noble and sound. She knows well the avenue of history has long been open for armchair revisionists to sidle up to the microphone and trump hyperbolic issues and hot-button names in an ostentatious peddling of merchandise. Having pitched a book for the past few months, I bow to her prescient supremacy.

Mostly, Coulter is a wonderful siren for our greatest attributes, the inability to understand rudimentary ideas beyond our own prejudiced hallucinations. No other social or political essayist possesses more of a keen eye for P.T. Barnum’s vast audience of ravenous lap dogs in the American heart.

Coulter is a wonderful siren for our greatest attributes, the inability to understand rudimentary ideas beyond our own prejudiced hallucinations. No other social or political essayist possesses more of a keen eye for P.T. Barnum’s vast audience of ravenous lap dogs in the American heart.

This is a sorely needed talent in today’s politically correct world of pusillanimous frauds. She is a maverick among sheep, but Coulter is often vilified for this, while she should be lauded as a hero for our most precious national resource: The Dumb.

In the grand tradition of Jerry Springer, Colonel Tom Parker and Joseph Goebbels, Coulter is merrily plugging her new cantankerous volume entitled, “Treason: Liberal Treachery From the Cold War To The War On Terrorism” with the subtlety of a sledgehammer. And from recent quotes, the book appears to brilliantly reveal how Americans understand history and its effects on today’s social fabric.

For instance, last night on MSNBC, Coulter wildly defended Senator Joseph McCarthy as “a misunderstood American hero whose sacrifices preserved America’s sovereignty for thirty-plus years.”

This is the very same McCarthy whose incredible ride to infamy included an historic monopoly of world-class fear mongering this democracy has ever had the displeasure to endure.

Understand Coulter’s genius here. Aside from Hitler or Manson or Nixon or Liberace, the very name McCarthy, attached as it is to a period of madness called McCarthyism, is notable for its enviable shock quotient. A monument to hate bating and paranoia run amok, McCarthy’s legacy is nothing if not noteworthy. He was a tremendous brute of his times, clinically insane and furiously malevolent, a true celebrity monster. But apparently in Coulter’s luminous tome we relearn that McCarthy’s savagely clumsy attack on basic democratic liberties was “bravery” and that “The myth of ‘McCarthyism’ is the greatest Orwellian fraud of our times.”

Order Books by jc Now! Trailing Jesus Autographed CopyAmazon Barnes & Noble Fear No Art Autographed CopyAmazonBarnes & Noble Deep Tank Jersey Autographed CopyAmazonBarnes & Noble

On the heels of Hillary Clinton’s fantastically successful, “Living History” – an embarrassingly potent political manifesto wrapped neatly in a package of scrumptiously infantile musings – Coulter’s grandstanding is sublime, painfully striking, and a clear roadmap to 21st century thought. Clinton’s book aimed to put distance between her and her ass of a husband. Coulter’s work puts a loving stamp on what her president’s dissenters have dubbed “fear-mongering” in the guise of patriotism. But Clinton is a politician, and nothing politicians have written has really meant anything binding since “Mein Kampf”.

Coulter is different. She is a pro, in every brutal sense of the word. Coulter writes: “Liberals are fanatical liars, then as now. Everything you think you know about McCarthy is a hegemonic lie.”

This is excellent hyperbole, with just the right amount of stern recognition, but having not read the entire thing, I can only assume she gets to the bottom of these lies about McCarthy; lies which are a matter of overly analyzed public record for half a century. But the book, or the childish assumption that only Liberals held, or hold, McCarthy contemptible, is not the issue here. It is the use of McCarthy as a notorious figure, and an effigy of politics gone frightfully awry, as a weapon against Coulter’s enemy, The Left.

Trashing The Left, like Senator Rodham’s subtle forms of trashing The Right in her book tour, allow both to employ an important ingredient to mass appeal, consistency. No one wants their Bruce Springsteens jamming funk or Bill Bennetts strung out on cheap wine and loading up on seven-figure Vegas bets.

Some may find championing terrible goons as political martyrs for the benefit of ideology wrong.

Hardly.

Getting massive digs in on the enemy, while refiguring the legacy of a national embarrassment for personal profit has merit. This is what many books have done for decades, rediscovering the Kennedy assassination or the Vietnam War or the Nixon Tapes. It’s good press, even in the face of complete and utter contempt for common sense and truth.

Another fine example from Coulter: “McCarthy was not tilting at windmills. Soviet spies in the government were not a figment of right-wing imaginations. He was tilting at an authentic Communist conspiracy that had been laughed off by the Democratic Party.”

Beautiful craziness.

Did the overall manic dismantling of McCarthy’s crusade have a tinge of backlash fanaticism? Of course. Were there Communists in the government? Sure. In the pall of a Cold War, was it a threat to national security? Correct. Was this why McCarthy was finally harangued by his contemporaries or forever noted as a criminally insane lunatic? No. It was McCarthy’s methods of sidestepping laws, using media outcry and troubled times to promote a sick obsession to shamelessly self-promote his career.

Even Coulter sheepishly admits to McCarthy’s famous lie about a list of 57 names in the US government with Communist ties. But you won’t find that as a headline on the day I write this. You see, in a way, what Coulter is doing is a metaphor for McCarthy’s greatest legacy: Say something completely shocking and outlandish, and make someone deny or address it.

Artistic grace.

And finally the second most successful slant on truth used by Coulter here is her assessment that the Democratic Party was more or less run by a radical anti-American Communist regime since McCarthy’s public demise. This scoffs in the face of horrific mistakes made by Democratic administrations, not the least of which would be the Korean and Viet Nam Wars, instigated, by the way, by Democratic presidents, or the Bay of Pigs disaster, or blah, blah blah.

Coulter is silly, surely, but I, for one, salute her moxy, her guts, her complete disregard for clear thought and simple research to bolster her debate. She is a hero to our trade, and a great patriot, pointing us to the core of our being; not letting facts get in the way of making a buck.

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The Persecution of Lenny Bruce

 

Aquarian Weekly 12/11/02 REALITY CHECK

ECHOES OF A PRECARIOUS FREEDOM
The Legal Persecution of Lenny Bruce Dissected – Part Two

Lenny BruceAll law is interpretation. A lawyer uses words, which are inherently imprecise, and when a law is applied to the fact of a new situation what lawyers do is interpret the code words to deem them appropriately or inappropriately applied to the case at hand. To view the law means to understand interpretation. Law has more to do with critical literacy studies than it probably has to do with anything else. – David Skover, Professor of Law at Seattle University

From April 10, 1961 until his death at age, 41 in 1966, comedian, Lenny Bruce was arrested time and again on the charge of obscenity for routines performed in adult nightclubs in four of America’s most cosmopolitan and “enlightened” cities, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, and New York. Under the guise of vulgar language and lewd behavior, local officials, clumsily utilizing bully tactics and ambiguously interpreted public decency laws, preceded to railroad a valid political and social dissenter. Preceded by their fears and ignorance, they unleashed their handmaidens in the law to make a mockery of the U.S. Constitution and destroy the livelihood of a courageous artist while sounding a reverberating siren for generations to come.

The first of these busts occurred at Frisco’s progressive hot spot, the Jazz Workshop, where eventually Bruce was exonerated after sixteen months of expensive legal wrangling, travel expenses, blacklisting and jail time for the crime of uttering the word, “cocksucker” in mixed company. The second bust was a three-pronged attack wherein Bruce was ostensibly hauled off the stage for the same act on consecutive nights at the famed hipster haven, Troubadour club in L.A. While standing trial for these offenses in late ’62 and early ’63, Bruce was arrested at the Gate of Horn club in Chicago and the Unicorn back in San Francisco, where police repeatedly attended his performances in full view of the audience taking notes and staring down their prey.

While one of the L.A busts were thrown out of court, several raged on through much of the next three years, exhausting Bruce of his finances which he failed to recoup because of municipal pressure on clubs not to hire him. “It’s becoming chic to arrest me,” Bruce intoned during this absurd witch-hunt which culminated in his late 1965 New York City arrests at the Greenwich Village ultra-liberal art nook, Café Au Go Go, where the owners of the establishment were jailed and put on trial alongside him.

The details of this theater of abuse and oppression is well-documented in Ronald Collins and David Skover’s new book, “The Trials of Lenny Bruce”, which brilliantly uses history to paint a parallel view of a country hell-bent on defending its image against the more painfully unfurled truth. Complete with an accompanying compact disc of Bruce’s “criminal” behavior and desperate defenses with and without his oft-confused and overworked attorneys, the book exhaustively uncovers the all-too frighteningly real reasons for this high-powered harassment.

“Lenny’s four, eight, ten letter words today would not be the weapons of his destruction, “Skover warns. “But would his ideology be shocking today…you bet.”

“We must remember the context of Lenny’s comedy landscape,” Skover told me in a recent phone interview. “America had just come out of the Eisenhower era, an era of incredibly repressed sexuality, political patriotism and social conservatism. Lenny was at the forefront with the Beatniks long before the free love hippy movement.”

Outside the lines of accepted modes of media such as television, radio, recordings or the published word, Lenny Bruce used the subterranean culture of the nightclub to pound away at what he perceived was the enemy of justice, hidden truths. Beginning his act as a series of comedy routines and ending in a bombastic free-association, stream-of-consciousness bulldozer of powerful messages, Lenny skillfully stripped away preconceptions and began to adjust the mirror of visibility on a society hiding from its wounds. “I’m not a comedian, I’m Lenny Bruce,” the artist announced before several historic performances which chimed a bell for change and released a backlash of epic consequence.

Sex with chickens, transvestite Nazis, pissing in sinks, a gay Lone Ranger, the gender duality of the cocksucker, the hammer effects of social hate-speak like nigger-boogie-kike-wop, the conjugative discussion of “To is a preposition, cum is a verb”, Eleanor Roosevelt’s tits, the phony imagery of a Jackie Kennedy, the laughable oppression of the Catholic church are just some of the “bits” used to convict Bruce of obscenity. Armed with cryptically worded legal precedence the prosecutors acted as a kind of vengeance squad for the angered American façade.

Causing sexual enticement or turning red the face of a female audience member led to the charge of obscenity in law-speak, but something more sinister was at play. “No one could be convicted for blasphemy in any court,” Skover cites. “But in a very real sense Lenny was tried for it anyway.”

Blurting “fuck” or “cock” or “tit” may have been the smoking gun, but what Bruce was actually incarcerated for was his irreverent attack on taboo subjects like sexual mores, strained race relations, religious and social persecution, political deceitfulness and asinine celebrity worship. Lenny Bruce voiced too loudly what no one at the time was brave enough to admit in a public forum; things weren’t as rosy and wonderful in the good ole USA as previously, and falsely, advertised. And when he refused to bend to threats, those in charge of protecting its image, the government, the church, and the remaining power-based status quo endeavored to bring him down.

In the end, Lenny Bruce was not a foul-mouthed smut-lord, but a dangerous voice crying out from the wilderness. And the echo of such sentiments would be just as harmful in these more accepting times.

“Lenny’s four, eight, ten letter words today would not be the weapons of his destruction, “Skover warns. “But would his ideology be shocking today…you bet.

Look at Bill Mahr’s public persecution following his criticism of president Bush’s war on the Taliban on ‘Politically Incorrect’ last year. What Mahr was nearly fired for by ABC was what Lenny had been busted for thirty years ago, the poetic theme from Thomas Merton’s idea that war’s winners are no better than war’s losers.”

Skover reminds us that the difference between the Mahr backlash and the ridiculously overblown Sinead O’Connor harangue against her Saturday Night Live protest of child molestation by the hands of the Catholic church in Ireland or even the outlandish censoring of the Dave Anderson column by the NY Times last week is that these people, among so many others, have not and will never be handcuffed like common criminals and thrown into jail for uttering controversial and unpopular opinions.

Today Lenny Bruce is still a convicted felon in the state of New York, his case never reaching the Supreme Court, while his comedic descendents make millions on HBO. But the lesson of Bruce’s considerable legal legacy; his battles to express not just the most precious forms of free speech, but the incontrovertible idea that every American has a mind and spirit of his/her own that does not walk to the beat of the collective drummer is enduring. To suppress such a notion is un-American in every sense. The legal and social persecution of Lenny Bruce speaks loudly to those ideals.

“Lenny never got the right to say what he wanted how he wanted to say it,” Skover concludes. “But thanks to his vehement defense of his voice, others do. That is what we owe to the trials of Lenny Bruce.”

Read Part I

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The Bonzi Conspiracy

Aquarian Weekly 8/21/02 REALITY CHECK

THE BONZI CONSPIRACY

Internet spying by the CIA, FBI and the Nike Corporation has reached new levels of paranoia and mayhem in the aftermath of 9/11. The dedicated crew of the Reality Check News & Information Desk has compiled several smoking guns as to how government organizations, corporate recognizance and diabolical Arab nations have used software, downloads and subtle forms of subconscious propaganda to infiltrate the minds of web surfing Americans.

The following is a public service warning from our own computer guru and web double agent, G-Padre, the Godfather of Spam, and the Duke of Hacking. Seems the cute purple gorilla icon known to insiders as the Bonzi Buddy is an egregious breech in security for Internet users, as well as a blatant mockery of the 4th Amendment.

The potential evil of this “Bonzi” was first revealed to me through several scathing E-mails disseminated by the legendary Chief Wonka, who in his haste to destroy Bonzi as a tool of oppression inadvertently fingered him to the cyber press. But since everyone has lost their shirt on tech stocks in the last fifteen months, and many Internet police have been sacked, the only way to implicate those barons behind this insidious plot was to communicate with G-Padre through code.

Please be advised that this type of intricate emissary tactics have been kept from the public for decades. The same kind of language can be found in hidden documents regarding the planning of D-Day, the Bay of Pigs Invasion, the ensuing Kennedy Assassination, the botched Waco infiltration and detailed paparazzi communication during the recent Liza Minnelli wedding.

“I said fuck Bonzi….whitey!!!!!!!!!!! Another plot from the man to monitor my computer you fascist fuck hole!!!!

The transmission, although crude and often offensive, is a glimpse into international intrigue and rogue agents of badass journalists. It begins with a veiled discussion about the implicated desktop icon, Bonzi, but deteriorates into what appears to the untrained eye as a blathering piss fight between drunken street gangstas. But although crack cocaine has run high among top-level CIA informants, be assured the security of your civil rights hangs in the balance of this ostensibly innocuous conversation.

Special agent Tork, an agent of unknown origin, joins G-Padre, a Korean expatriate for this revealing transmission. The names and places have been hidden for legal purposes. To decipher the code-speak of these men, it is best to clear the mind of all preconceptions of accepted diction and coherence.

As the great mathematician, Lewis Carroll once wrote, “We are now through the looking glass.”

Somewhere in the Western Hemisphere:

Tork: Did you use your Bonzi Buddy today?

G-Padre: Fuck Bonzi, you cocksucker.

T: Are you denying your everlasting love and devotion to the Lord Bonzi??

G: I said fuck Bonzi….whitey!!!!!!!!!!! Another plot from the man to monitor my computer you fascist fuck hole!!!!

T: Fuck yo momz, Bonzi ain’t no narc like P-Diddy. Get wit da bomb, k- dag.

G: What do you know CRACKER??!!!!!!! Round mother fuckin eye!!! Stay out of the ghetto mofo or get sprayed.

T: Listen you poser, muthafucka, jump back or get a smack daddy back to the ghetto blaster! There is nobody like the Bonzi when the deal goes down, cumputa boyeee!!!!

G: DTAI – BAI, you wack-ass cracker. Stay your ass out da hood!

T: DA HOOD? What you know about the boogie down, cribble beatch? It’s Bonzi’s world and you’re renting!! Whatcha think of that, punk tech slut??

G: Who are you talking to you cumputa slut. Stop tricking the cyber hood bitch. Bonzi pimps you!!!

T: LOVE BONZI or DIE BONZI – know it, be it, live it, gutta ho!!

G: Reppin 845 straight out da projects bitch. Nigga what?? Thug life, kid, thug life. —yo, tootie pussy ass black mofo!

T: Check da time and do the crime, if ya’ll can stands the heat at 108 and counting, muffin muncher!!!!

G: Uncle Tom get da step bitch.

T: Get dat weak-ass, k-dawg shit offa my cumputer skizzie, or you will be cueing up for statistics! And keep your time on this work “ORIGINAL SPEC” BITCH!

G: Take your yoga and shove it up your ass. Walk on coals motherfucker? Try walking in the hood at night and then be proud.

T: Listen, jungle telly, almond-eyed bitch, you think you escaping the Bonzi threat of the day in your midday slumber!!! Think again, mutha humpa!! Fight the power. Get up, stand up, stand up for your rights. Don’t get it twisted, Bonzi trick.

G: Yo, buffalo soldier, don’t worry ’bout a ting, man.

T: Dat’s the Jah lookin afta ya, not Bonzi. He is da white man’s lord & savior — son of kong, don’t ya know? Git wit it, rastah!! One love, one world lets get together and feel all right.

G: Straight from Babylon with gaze trees bitch. Keep it gansta. Keep it gator.

T: BABB –BE ABOUT BONZI BITCH!!!

G: Fuck the po po, mutha humpa. Bonzi be a cop killa, cheap ho, lap-ass barracuda bitch – fo po, yo!!

T: G’s up, ho’s down. Bonzi ho – peace out.

G: Righteous clean.

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James Campion – Local Author Breaks Down Barriers

Press

North County News 9/7/01

JAMES CAMPION:LOCAL AUTHOR BREAKS DOWN BARRIERS

by Brad King

JCLocal author and all-around radical journalist James Campion, a modern-day, pen-wheeling harlequin who depicts the underbelly of American politics, music and sociology amid cutting satires, has released two note-worthy books: deep tank jersey and fear no art: observations on the death of the american century.

Campion, 39 and a Putnam Valley resident, is quite verbose at times but underneath his fifty-cent words are honest, intellectual inflections that are aimed at breaking down the American facade of politically correct standards and practices.

Pleasant though forthright, Campion would probably be welcomed in the circle of such writers as William Burroughs, Hunter S. Thompson and Jack Kerouac and thrown head-first through the turnstile of popular American ideals by the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Jesse Helm.

He writes political morays but doesn’t belong to a political party. Campion considers himself independent by nature but ignores the Independent Party.

A self-proclaimed, “recovering Catholic,” Campion certainly has soul but again is a strict nonconformist when considering organized religion. If he conforms to any ideals they would be freedom and the principals America was founded on, but were somehow lost along the way.

He favors Abraham Lincoln and considers Lincoln to be the essence of first-class politics, while saying William Jefferson Clinton is politics gone helplessly awry. But he maintains the American political process has always been marred by an overindulgence of power.

“Check the records, the history, the long line of terror emanating from Pennsylvania Ave. and deny the ugly truth. Jefferson had his slaves, Lincoln had his fractured country, Hoover had his stock market crash, FDR had his manipulations, Truman had his bomb, and Kennedy and Nixon had their terrible secrets. Bill Clinton has his … (genitals). He is not an aberration. He is the proud sibling of the tarnished-crown legacy” — an excerpt from fear no art.

fear no art is a societal magnifying glass that uses the powerful literary rays of Campion’s counter-culture thoughts to singe the endless line of sheep-like ants that in his opinion define American popular culture. Campion’s writing could certainly snap the synapses of tame minds but might allow for serious contemplation.

To name a few topics covered in fear no art like E Coli, Seinfeld, George Bush, Paula Jones, Movies, Education, World Politics and Sports, Campion uses his pen to incite a revolution of new thought.

Campion’s strength lies more in honest expression than a supposed American truth, which in his opinion has been spoon-fed to the masses for the better part of the last century.

If you are weak or strong-minded you may have a problem with Campion’s writing. But if you’re open-minded, you may be introduced to new thoughts or just be reaffirmed of your own beliefs.

However, if you are willing to take a step outside yourself and allow for comparison, you may see where this auteur is coming from.

It is of course worth mentioning that Campion is no stranger to expressive, creative mediums.

Aside from penning these two books, he has contributed his journalist skills to many publications, a list that seems endless but does include The Aquarium Weekly, North County News and Genesis Magazine.

He has performed in musical groups, mainly rock-n-roll bands as well as been a broadcaster and to round his character, he is also an avid sports fan.

He credits Pete Townsend, songwriter and guitar player for The Who, for getting him through adolescence and given the chance Campion said he would give Townsend a big hug and say “thank you.” He considers music, in all forms, to be a magical exploration of expression. deep tank jersey effectively allows the every-day person to step inside the microcosm of a real-life rock band.

Before the popularity of VH1’s Behind the Music, or famed screenwriter Cameron Crowe’s movie, Almost Famous, Campion dissected a struggling Jersey rock band, Dogvoices, and allowed readers and band members a concise looking glass into the cutthroat life within the music business.

This book allows the corporate type, the teacher, the doctor, or the mechanic to live vicariously through the somewhat manic life of the five band members.

Campion offers one a chance to travel on the road with Dogvoices, eat with them, be on stage with them and become a part of their circle.

Despite the supposed lure of a decadent, carefree lifestyle, Campion seems to highlight the frills and perks experienced by rock bands only with intermediate alcohol-drenched snowballs falling into the caverns of a hell-like existence.

He takes on the role of the scribe; at first it is apparent that band members recognize his presence by their apprehensions to speak candidly and lets their lives become a living, moving mosaic of idealistic expression.

However, through the course of the book, Campion becomes more a fly on the wall and band members begin to open their lives to not only Campion, but the world. At this point, with their guards down and their truths rising to the surface like a crescendo of musical cream, Campion does finally find the gritty truth behind the members of not only Dogvoices but himself.

The band recently appeared on VH1’s Cover Wars, which is a contest pitting cover bands against each other; though Dogvoices didn’t win, they did place second. NCN caught up with Campion during a balmy August afternoon and true to nature, Campion didn’t hold back any punches and pontificated on his work, career and his thoughts for the future.

With many books dissecting American culture filling the shelves of stores throughout the country, Campion feels that fear no art is different.

“I honestly defy anyone to read similar takes on certain subjects as the ones presented in ‘fear no art.’ I’m not saying they are sober or even meaningful, but I don’t think anyone putting their name to anything binding like a book would spew the kind of insanity that is associated with the thoughts in that book,” Campion continued.

“It’s relatable information as well, because I liken the style to someone driving down the highway jacked on three cups of grade-a java and running a free-associated brain fest that ends in the sudden awareness that it was all a daydream.”

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Creativity is said to be born from a nonphysical place, but Campion doesn’t seem to acknowledge any definite source of inspiration.

“I don’t question inspiration or muses. It’s like the Buddha quote of refusing medical attention until I know the identity of my assailant. It is meaningless,” Campion said. Always questing for understanding, Campion commented on the birth of the new millennium, which leaves his self-described death of the last century in a dust cloud of Y2K hype.

“Of course times change. Technology, science and fashion change. People are for the most part the same, smarter in complied knowledge but primarily stupid,” Campion continued.

“We have mental blocks binding us from achieving anything really binding or true. The best example of this is our innate inability to govern ourselves.” Campion doesn’t seem to seek success, though he acknowledges the importance of an audience.

“The writer is mostly a miserable, lonely wreck. I am lucky to be able to have an audience at all,” Campion continued.

“I don’t think that (inspiration) comes entirely from me, but I don’t dare lift the rocks to see what’s in there. But I’m rarely inspired by outside sources.” Campion explained that aside from his almost-always-busy schedule, he does give lectures to students and aspiring writers and believes in the fortitude of the new generation.

“I think we are evolving and children today are smarter because of the information they are given.”

Campion added. “It’s not 1955 any more and the honesty kids are faced with today is a plus. The information is out there and we have to educate them.” Campion, happily married, spreads himself thin but seems to have an earnest approach to each aspect of his life.

With two books under his belt, it comes as no surprise that Campion is in the process of working on two more.

“I’m working on a short novel, my first, really, complete work of fiction, and even then it’s more or less a slice of reality,” Campion continued.

“I see it as a true urban legend. It is fiction in the way say Kerouac or Burroughs might be fiction, using parts of memory and characters from my past as metaphors for all that is wrong with my own small corner of society, journalism or art. I’ve always been fond of fantasy as satire, like Baum or Milne or Carroll or Dahl —using outlandish scenarios to sell concepts or theories.”

Campion went on to explain that the other book he is working on will deal with a spiritual pilgrimage.

“I’ve also been working on what should have been the follow up to deep tank jersey, a book about my spiritual sabbatical to Israel, which has turned into five plus years of my life’s work. but, since I threw those damn insatiable publishing cretins, fear no art, they have laid off me. But soon it will be put up or shut-up, and unlike deep tank jersey, I want this book to have less immediacy and more sheen.”

To read James Campion is to know him. His work is a far reach from any form of pretension and though a controversial writer, it is refreshing to know that a jester of Campion’s caliber still exists.

Campion’s books are available at Barnes & Noble in the Cortlandt Town Center and B Daltons He will have a book-signing in October at Barnes & Noble (the date was unavailable at press time). His books also can be ordered at https://www.jamescampion.com

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Dissecting Bob Kerrey & Viet Nam War Atrocities gets to the bone on war.

Aquarian Weekly 5/9/01 REALITY CHECK

WAR IS HELL & OTHER EXCLUSIVES

As long as war is regarded as wicked, it will always have its fascination. When it is looked upon as vulgar, it will cease to be popular. – Oscar Wilde

Big story this week: Innocent people died in Viet Nam. Other noteworthy events were the sun came up today and when you stop breathing…you die.

Stop the presses: War is Bad. Put it up in huge letters on the front page and send a copy to Dan Rather when you can wake him.

It was apparently newsworthy for Time magazine to slap former Senator and Navy SEAL, Bob Kerrey on its cover for his recent revelations about killing women and children in combat. At first he wasn’t sure he didn’t kill the enemy. He might have killed women and children. Somebody killed women and children. Whatever.

This is still an issue for anti-Viet Nam activists that cannot seem let go. They somehow feel by laying it all out on the line about the horrors of that unjust war, as if any war is just, then a nation and humanity will be healed. These are the same dupes who protest this country’s involvement in ceasing the systematic eradication of people due to religion or race or some other insignificant attribute.

But who among us can blame them? Anytime a father, brother or friend gets shipped against his will to a jungle halfway across the globe to be slaughtered for the pride or ideology of the rich and powerful, it tends to take all talk of glory out of the thing. No one wrote any clever musical ditties or memorable slogans promoting that.

War is Bad. But war is also the best thing a country can do for its economy. There are still scholars and historians who swear on stacks of Bibles that every war from Ancient Greece to WWII to that asinine Desert Storm was the result of sagging economies. War is good for money and if there is killing, mass or otherwise, there is most likely money involved: Money, power, God, all of that crap. No Time cover or endless debate on burning babies and massacred innocents will make it stop.

Blood is on the hands of Kerrey and his troupe. This is the unfortunate reality of war, but blame, fault, public derision and outcry should not accompany it. Kerrey was put into one of life’s most impossible situations. He was a soldier. His job was to kill and break stuff. Mostly, Kerrey wanted to stay alive. In the midst of chaos and disorder, shit happens.

The Shit. Isn’t that what the poor souls like Kerrey called battle in South East Asia? Kerrey has to live with that, but the blame, no sir.

Blame goes to John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon. This was their war, enacted strategically by the heartless kill mongers who culled paychecks from the Pentagon, the CIA and the military. If there is anything resembling a hell, there is a special wing housing them. And they are surely trading anecdotes with the litany of leaders who sent the masses to their doom for a patch of land.

But these have been the gory details of civilization since its senseless inception; so dissecting these concepts, as if it happened for the first time yesterday, is redundant and silly and really should stop. Now.

The ONLY reason to perpetuate this sorrowful mess, beyond television and radio ratings and newspaper sales, is the remote possibility that someone might learn about how disgusting and meaningless the loss of ANY life is over rifts about borders or perspective. But that will not happen, because as long as there is the penis and available currency, atrocities will soon follow. Dredging up memories of the poor souls sent across the globe to set this horror show in motion does no good for anyone.

Sure its interesting, like watching idiots eat bugs for a million dollars, but after its over we’ll be distracted by Cuban refugee children or a celebrity drug overdose. What is most important is that we understand that this country has been involved in some heinous war crimes. This is a prerequisite for any country. Ask the original natives of any continent. Ask Native Americans.

Viet Nam was a major fuck up. It was wrong and pointless and costs thousands of lives for little reason beyond ego. But in the grand scale of the putrid abortion man has made of this globe, Viet Nam is nothing more than blowing through a toll on the Garden State Parkway.

We used to revile people who came forward with the truth about war. Then we applauded them. Now we want them to stand for everything that is bad about anything. And when they are done, we wonder how they sleep or could have kept it hidden for so long.

Bob Kerrey wanted to be president. He failed. Now he is pouring his heart out to magazine editors and 60 Minutes. But this is not going to mean a hill of beans to people who lay in wait for the next big American invasion, so the sales of ammo and helicopters and flags can rise and CNN can make media stars of cub reporters willing to stand on rooftops and be bombarded by missile fire. It makes for great television and wins awards, don’t you know.

People will protest, make noise and eventually governments will come to some compromise on how to satiate the masses and gear up for another slice of Hades. And in the middle of it all will be another Bob Kerrey, and he will kill innocents and be haunted by it. He may or may not tell us about it. But it won’t make a fucking difference.

Hey, did you hear?

War is Bad.

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