Saturday, April 30, 2005

Profiles in Courage

I would like to commend Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Vice Chairman of the Join Chiefs of Staff Peter Pace for admitting that they do not know how to read. It takes a real man to expose that kind of weakness and to face it head on. To you two, I say bravo and I wish you luck getting hooked on phonics.

Back Story:

The two men where holding a press conference and recieved this question:

Human rights groups continue to criticize what they've described as systematic abuses in the interrogation process... And I wonder if you would just respond to the suggestion that there is a systematic problem rather than the kinds of individual abuses we've heard of before.

Their answers were as follows:
SEC. RUMSFELD: I don't believe there's been a single one of the investigations that have been conducted, which has got to be six, seven, eight or nine --

GEN. PACE: Ten major reviews and 300 individual investigations of one kind of another.

SEC. RUMSFELD: And have you seen one that characterized it as systematic or systemic?

GEN. PACE: No, sir.

SEC. RUMSFELD: I haven't, either.

For them to have not seen any report that described the Abugrabe and Gunatanamo abuses as "systemic" must mean that they actually do not know how to read. I say this because the report by General Antonio Taguba states:

Article 15-16 Investigation of the 800th Military Police Brigade, 5(S):

(S) That between October and December 2003, at the Abu Ghraib Confinement Facility (BCCF), numerous incidents of sadistic, blatant, and wanton criminal abuses were inflicted on several detainees. This systemic and illegal abuse of detainees was intentionally perpetrated by several members of the military police guard force (372nd Military Police Company, 320th Military Police Battalion, 800th MP Brigade), in Tier (section) 1-A of the Abu Ghraib Prison (BCCF). The allegations of abuse were substantiated by detailed witness statements (ANNEX 26) and the discovery of extremely graphic photographic evidence.

I hope that in expressing their adult literacy issue that Don and Peter are able to helped by First Lady Laura Bush's literacy program. If I am wrong and it is in the area pf morality where they are deficient, then perhaps there is an adult honesty program that can help them.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

WalMart carries Klantastic (now with extra whitening power)

According to Customer Service at Walmart:
"Our pharmacists may decline to fill a prescription based on personal convictions. However, they must find another pharmacist, either at Wal-Mart or another pharmacy, who can assist you by filling your prescription."

Hmmm. So, if I'm the Grand Dragon of the Illinois Klu Klux Klan (it could happen; they could move jews to the Okkk list and I could sustain a head injury) and a black man comes up and wants his prescription filled. My personal convictions regarding racial superiority and all that crap could lead me to decide to not serve the black man. He must now wait at the back of the bus for someone willing to serve him. This looks like a policy that supports separate but equal service. A little breach of basic civil rights seems to be Ok for Walmart.

Way to go Walmart!
You bring us all together (in bankruptcy by using our tax dollars to export our jobs to China. Hell, we'd have just wasted them something stupid like education and training anyway) and then you pull us apart by making it Ok for us to discriminate against each other. Its like an anti-American hoki-poki, perhaps that's what its all about.

If I weren't already boycotting the store for the job exportation thing, the locking in of workers, the deliberate use of welfare as part of the employee compensation package, the destruction of community businesses and the forcing of employees to clock out and continue working then I'd start boycotting Walmart for this one.

If Walmart annoys you, boycott them. You can probably get the same stuff at Target (which isn't great, but it ain't Walmart either). If you do boycott them, please be sure to let them know at

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

The End of Days is brought to you by our sponser...

I recently saw a television commercial for a new show called "Revelations." I gather it is another in a long line of books and programs about the end of days. I wonder which advertiser is chomping at the bit to have their ad shown just after Americans see the Beast. My money is on depends or Volvo. Both help people deal with fear.

Americans seem preoccupied with the Armageddon. We have TV shows depicting biblical and secular ends with Satan, Meteors, Super Volcanoes and Aliens providing the final blow. We have cult groups and religious sects eagerly awaiting the end of days. Some of these groups are trying to hasten our approach to this supposedly inevitable end. Certain sects seek to derail the Arab/Israeli peace process because they claim that the book of Revelations indicates that the Jews will control all of biblical Israel prior to the end. For the secular folks, this lust for the apocalypse expresses itself in doom and gloom predictions regarding the environment, global political instability or tales of freakish acts. The talk goes beyond identifying a problem and seeking remedies, there seems to be a twisted hope that these nightmares will come to pass.

Could is be that we look forward to Jesus, the space rock, the terrorists, global warming or the aliens ending life as we know so we don't have to face something far more difficult than these phantoms? If the world is not going to end, then we must remedy all the problems in our
lives. Osama is not going to blow up my house, so my mortgage will still be due. The beast will not come and therefore, each day of my life I will wake up and be faced with the chore or the opportunity to begin to repair the damage done to me and by me. I will have to take
responsibility for my actions and for those done in my name. I will need to face my fears and accept my limits. That is scarier than comic book apocalyptic climaxes and so enthrall us. Perhaps it is also more empowering. I can't beat Satan, but I'm pretty sure I can learn to
live more fully and to treat others as I would like to be treated.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Top 10 Reasons Why Michael Bolton Would Make a Better Ambassador to the UN

  1. Doesn't have a silly mustache
  2. Never Claimed the that UN doesn't exist
  3. Is much more "fabulicious"
  4. likes to collaborate with others, while John is advocates a go-it-alone foreign policy.
  5. Never referred to by Jessie Helms as "the kind of man with whom I would want to stand at Armageddon"
  6. Sold 52 million albums and singles worldwide (more global appeal than Johnny)
  7. Kenny G will be made Secretary General, sax solos for Peace.
  8. awarded the Martin Luther King Award by the Congress of Racial Equality.
  9. Never accused of bullying analysts in an attempt to obtain "intelligence" of Cuba's biological weapons program.*
  10. Will be so busy with diplomacy that he will not have time to produce more music.

Friday, April 08, 2005


King James Bible - Exodus 20:4
"Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth."

Funny, a 5,300-pound granite monument sure looks like an idol to me.... Posted by Hello

If the meek shall inherit the earth, the mighty need protection

Big government in towns like Scottsburg, Indiana (population 14,066) are in danger of bringing down small struggling businesses like Verizon and Qwest, companies who are just trying to get $29.99 a month per customer. These small town fat cats have decided that they can offer internet access to their citizens at a fraction of the cost of what these hard working telecom companies charge.

In the case of Scottsburg, the government "claims" that the big telecom firms wouldn't provide internet service because it wasn't economically viable and that local businesses were suffering. These communists decided that the town had the right to offer municipal wireless internet service to the community. An unparalleled intrusion in the lives of we-the-people never before seen in my America*.
( *except for municipal water, sewer, sanitation, and garbage collection)

In Philadelphia, the town decided to offer low cost internet service to close the technology gap faced by the working poor and to provide more economic development to the city. We all know that not tacking on an additional 500% for glutinous profits makes this welfare and welfare should go to large corporation who buy (I mean contribute to the campaigns of) politicians, not to the people who vote for them.

Verizon and Quest aren't taking this lying down. They are fighting for your right to not have the the right to vote. In state legislatures across the country Goliath is urging that the politicians help it prevent David from getting his hands on any rocks. The argument is pretty persuasive, it goes something like this: "We gave you {insert a number with many zeros after it here} for you last campaign. Small towns are cutting into our market. If you can't help us, we can give somebody else this nice big check."

So, to protect you from the dangers of democracy, your state legislature may be considering a bill to make it illegal for you to have your town set up a municipal internet service. Lets face it, giving citizens the right to vote on how their money is spent is like giving a child a loaded gun, a bad idea.

Just stop and think, if telecom giants can't continue to over charge for their services, how will they continue to pay the 7 digit salaries of their executives? How will they continue to export jobs to other countries? Limos and private jets cost money folks, these companies need your help.

For just $1000 a legislator, you can make a difference. You can help keep the corporate jets flying and help under-inebriated directors get to their three martini lunches. If you don't help, we could be faces with a world of low cost reliable internet service, a future to nightmarish to contemplate.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

A regular guy's attempt to have a movement

I often come across things which I find absurd, funny and troubling (usually, all at the same time). As these things happen, it seems to me that the entire country shrugs it's shoulders and says "so."
  • Our elected official on both sides of the aisle serve those who write checks instead of those who cast ballots.
  • Our funds destined to go to Iraq never make it there.
  • Our soldier's must write home to their mothers asking not for cookies, but for body armor because the Pentagon didn't see fit to provide it.
I have a hard time saying "so" to any of that. I have longed for a place where I could, like my hero Howard Beale, shout that "I'm mad as hell and I'm not gonna take it anymore." Well, this little corner of the internet is my space for doing just that.

I hope you will like what I have to contribute. I can assure you that even if you do not find my rantings to be humorous and thought provoking, that you will at least find them to be rife with gramatical mistakes.