Martian Anthropologist

My thoughts on life, the universe, and everything.

Gore Vidal’s Thoughts on Bush, and the Present-Day United States

Thanks to Naomi for the heads-up on this interview with Gore Vidal. It is an absolute must-read. He predicted in 2002 that Bush would leave office the most unpopular President in history. A few highlights:

His aristocratic pedigree is evident not just in his artistic sophistication but also in his locution. In a war of words, few can contend with Vidal. “I’m a lover of the old republic and I deeply resent the empire our President’s put in its place,” he declares.

He sees a certain continuity in U.S. foreign policy over the last fifty years. “The management, then and now, truly believes the United States is the master of the Earth and anyone who defies us will be napalmed or blockaded or covertly overthrown,” he says. “We are beyond law, which is not unusual for an empire; unfortunately, we are also beyond common sense.”

Q: In 2002, long before Bush’s current travails, you wrote, “Mark my words, he will leave office the most unpopular President in history.” How did you know that then?

Gore Vidal: I know these people. I don’t say that as though I know them personally. I know the types. I was brought up in Washington. When you are brought up in a zoo, you know what’s going on in the monkey house. You see a couple of monkeys loose and one is President and one is Vice President, you know it’s trouble. Monkeys make trouble.

Q: Bush’s ratings have been at personal lows. Cheney has had an 18 percent approval rating.

Vidal: Well, he deserves it.

Q: Yet the wars go on. It’s almost as if the people don’t matter.

Vidal: The people don’t matter to this gang. They pay no attention. They think in totalitarian terms. They’ve got the troops. They’ve got the army. They’ve got Congress. They’ve got the judiciary. Why should they worry? Let the chattering classes chatter. Bush is a thug. I think there is something really wrong with him.

Q: What do you think of the conspiracy theories about September 11?

Vidal: I’m willing to believe practically any mischief on the part of the Bush people. No, I don’t think they did it, as some conspiracy people think. Why? Because it was too intelligently done. This is beyond the competence of Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld. They couldn’t pull off a caper like 9/11. They are too clumsy.

Q: Today the United States is fighting two wars, one in Afghanistan and one in Iraq, and is now threatening to launch a third one on Iran. What is it going to take to stop the Bush onslaught?

Vidal: Economic collapse. We are too deeply in debt. We can’t service the debt, or so my financial friends tell me, that’s paying the interest on the Treasury bonds, particularly to the foreign countries that have been financing us. I think the Chinese will say the hell with you and pull their money out of the United States. That’s the end of our wars.

Q: You’re a veteran of World War II, the so-called good war. Would you recommend to a young person a career in the armed forces in the United States?

Vidal: No, but I would suggest Canada or New Zealand as a possible place to go until we are rid of our warmongers. We’ve never had a government like this. The United States has done wicked things in the past to other countries but never on such a scale and never in such an existentialist way. It’s as though we are evil. We strike first. We’ll destroy you. This is an eternal war against terrorism. It’s like a war against dandruff. There’s no such thing as a war against terrorism. It’s idiotic. These are slogans. These are lies. It’s advertising, which is the only art form we ever invented and developed.

But our media has collapsed. They’ve questioned no one. One of the reasons Bush and Cheney are so daring is that they know there’s nobody to stop them. Nobody is going to write a story that says this is not a war, only Congress can declare war. And you can only have a war with another country. You can’t have a war with bad temper or a war against paranoids. Nothing makes any sense, and the people are getting very confused. The people are not stupid, but they are totally misinformed.

A huge number of Americans still believe that Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11. You have a people that don’t know anything about the rest of the world, and you have leaders who lie to them, lie to them, and lie to them.

It’s so stupid, everything that they say. And the media take on it is just as stupid as theirs, sometimes worse. They at least have motives. They are making money out of the republic or what’s left of it. It’s the stupidity that will really drive me away from this country.

Those are the highlights; if you want to read the entire interview, go here.

1 comment

Mistrial Declared In Maureen Faibish Dog Mauling Case (12-Year-Old Killed)

Oh, for pete’s sake.

San Francisco, Calif. (KCBS) — A mistrial has been declared in the trial of a San Francisco mother accused of felony child neglect for leaving her 12-year-old son at home where he was mauled to death by the family dogs.

Maureen Faibish is the reason why I started this blog. I was so angry when this happened, that I decided to get my feelings out by writing them down. What I wrote ended up being the very first entry on this blog.

After her son was killed, Maureen Faibish said, “I have a lot of guilt, but I have to realize he was destined to go at this time.”

He was destined to go? Destined to go?

At that time, I wrote:

What the hell business does anyone have with a pit bull in a home with children?

This is something that drives me nuts about people: Lack of personal responsibility. This didn’t just happen in a vacuum. This is like letting a small child play in the street. Or playing Russion Roulette. You might get away with it, once, twice, or a hundred times, but sooner or later, your number is going to come up.

This woman has no one to blame but herself for her child’s death. Oh, but she doesn’t want to accept that. She’d rather blame God. It’s not her fault, it’s God’s, because it was her child’s time to go.


And now, we have a jury who can’t even decide if she’s guilty or not. In my opinion, she’s as guilty as if she shot him with a gun. She knew the dog was dangerous:

Faibish had been accused of felony child endangerment after the boy, Nicholas, was mauled to death by the family’s pit bull dogs. Last week during the trial, Faibish told the jury she knew the family’s two pit bulls posed a threat to her son, but still left him home alone anyway with the dogs.

What that article doesn’t say is that she locked her son in the basement and told him not to come out. “Typical Nicky,” she said at the time. “He wouldn’t listen to me.”

If there is a hell, it should be reserved for people like Maureen Faibish. At the least, she should go to jail for the rest of her life. The U.S. has people in jail for smoking dope and other non-violent crimes, and people like Maureen Faibish are walking around free.

One of the prosecutors said it would be several weeks before District Attorney Kamala Harris would decide to refile the case and bring it back to court again.

A plea to Ms. Harris: Try again. Maybe you’ll get a jury with a brain this time. But please, do not let this woman get away with murder.

Nicholas Faibish, killed by a pit bull


The ‘Final Throes’ of the Insurgents; McCain Licking Everyone’s Boots


Cheney made that statement on May 31, 2005. Yet now, Bush is committing more troops to Baghdad. Someone please explain to me again why the American people are still following these two liars.


Here are a few other things to chat about:

Jon Stewart interviewed John McCain this week

This week, I watched Senator John McCain interviewed by Jon Stewart, host of The Daily Show. McCain performed a moral self-autopsy. He tiredly removed his own spine. Even Stewart was embarrassed for him.

Stewart began the interview with: “President Bush says he has made the world a safer place.” Pause. “How much safer can the world afford to have him make us?”

McCain looked intensely uncomfortable and began blithering: “Before I answer that …” and didn’t answer it.

“Don’t dodge the question,” Stewart said, somewhat shocked at how badly McCain dodges these days.

Stewart then asked McCain if Dick Cheney saying he stood by his year-old statement that the Iraqi insurgency is in its final throes meant that Cheney was an idiot.

McCain babbled some more. He said Bush was doing things right. “Mistakes have been made,” he said. “Things are very tough,” he conceded, but said Bush knows that.

…He praised Bush, whom he despises and accepted a degree from Jerry Falwell’s “university,” which he had previously scorned. And now he tells Stewart: “I appreciate the president’s leadership on this. The president has been excellent on this issue.”

McCain wants to be president so badly that there isn’t a boot he won’t lick.

Letter to the Editor from Master Sgt. R. D. Criswell USAFR (ret.)

Mrs. Jacki Cook’s criticism of the Dixie Chicks that appeared in a recent column misses three of the most critical points in this controversy. First, Natalie Mane has a perfect right to her opinion. After all, she is a genuine Texan whereas George W. has always been a pretend cowboy.

Second, people still like hearing the Dixie Chicks while relatively few like to hear anything read-my-lips Jr. might care to say. Third, is the veracity factor, the level of truthfulness from the Bush Administration compared to the Dixie Chicks and those aficionados of good music versus those who prefer the dog and pony show.

George W. is not a real Texan, never has been. Buying the Crawford Chicken Ranch was Karl Roves idea to get curious George a set-up and launching point into Texas politics. Even after becoming governor, he was the same indecisive, self-centered dolt we currently see. There’s all this grand-standing now about putting National Guardsman on the border to stem the flood of illegal immigration.

As Governor of Texas, Bush could have taken such steps years ago along the Rio Grande; he didn’t need anyone’s permission. It wasn’t done because he and his cronies desire a steady stream of cheap immigrant labor into Texas.

About a year ago, Dick Cheney stated before the national networks that the insurgent attacks in Iraq were in their final throes.

When the war started there, George told us, “revenue from Iraqi oil would pay for this war.” George W. even lies to school kids. When asked what his favorite childhood book was, he replied “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.”

Trouble is, this book wasn’t published until curious George was in college.

The Dixie Chicks never lied to you or me. The Bush Administration on the other hand seems to trot-out a new line of bull every couple of weeks. They have a severe credibility problem.

Get real ladies, deadeye Dick and read-my-lips Jr. wouldn’t know the truth if it bit ‘em in their ample hindquarters. They are fixated on personal agendas detrimental to personal freedoms.

Master Sgt. R. D. Criswell USAFR (ret.)

Bush Has Created Problems For Future Generations

How long must we stay the course in Iraq? Until we have reached 10,000 troop deaths, bankrupted our country and let the insurgents turn Baghdad into a total wasteland?

Tell us again, President Bush, how we are making great progress there. Also, we need to hear again from Vice President Dick Cheney how the insurgency is in its last, final dying throes. The new Iraq government, we were assured, would gradually restore order. It’s not off to a good start, with chaos throughout the country and Baghdad under curfew.

There is no way Iraq is better off than before the invasion, or that the sacrifice of 2,500 of our troops was justified.

Our president, while espousing fiscal responsibility, has added more to our national debt than all previous presidents combined. And no other president has cut taxes while engaged in a war. Nevermind that it’s a war of his own choosing.

I’m afraid the problems Bush said he didn’t want to pass on to future generations will be multiplied for many generations to come.

Mahlon Bickford, Clinton

The above letters put things very well. I must say, I used to respect McCain. Boy, has he turned into a politician. But we don’t need politicians any more. We need leaders.

How many more have to die before the USA admits this war was a mistake?


Old Age is a Gift.

Though I am not old — I’m in my mid-30s — I have had this attitude for a long time, but even more so since becoming sick. This little essay, author unknown, really sums up how I feel.

I make my own rules — I don’t live my life by someone else’s. I do what I want, when I want. Irresponsible? No, I take care of my family, and pay my bills. I’m not irresponsible. I’m just free.

And 90% of freedom is living your life the way you want, not caring about what others think.

(And thank you to a special person, who means so much to me, for having this posted on your fridge — and for being there when I needed you this week.)

Here is the essay.

The other day a young person asked me how I felt about being old. I was taken aback, for I do not think of myself as old. Upon seeing my reaction, she was immediately embarrassed, but I explained that it was an interesting question, and I would ponder it, and let him know.

Old Age, I decided, is a gift.

I am now, probably for the first time in my life, the person I have always wanted to be. Oh, not my body! I sometime despair over my body . the wrinkles, the baggy eyes, and the sagging butt. And often I am taken aback by that old person that lives in my mirror, but I don’t agonize over those things for long.

I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, my loving family for less gray hair or a flatter belly. As I’ve aged, I’ve become more kind to myself, and less critical of myself. I’ve become my own friend. I don’t chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not making my bed, or for buying that silly cement gecko that I didn’t need, but looks so avante garde on my patio. I am entitled to overeat, to be messy, to be extravagant. I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.

Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4 a.m, and sleep until noon?

I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60’s, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love … I will.

I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the bikini set.

They, too, will get old.

I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. and I eventually remember the important things.

Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when a beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turn gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver. I can say “no,” and mean it. I can say “yes.” and mean it.

As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don’t question myself anymore. I’ve even earned the right to be wrong.

So, to answer your question, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day.

Today, I wish you a day of ordinary miracles.


Resume of George W. Bush

The Selfish Bastard’s author gave me permission to repost this.



1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Washington DC




I was arrested in Kennebunkport, Maine, in 1976 for driving under the influence of alcohol. I pled guilty, paid a fine, and had my driver’s license suspended for 30 days. My Texas driving record has been “lost” and is not available.


I joined the Texas Air National Guard and went AWOL. I refused to take a drug test or answer any questions about my drug use. By joining the Texas Air National Guard, I was able to avoid combat duty in Vietnam


I graduated from Yale University with a low C average. I was a cheerleader.


I ran for U.S. Congress and lost. I began my career in the oil business in Midland, Texas, in 1975. I bought an oil company, but couldn’t find any oil in Texas . The company went bankrupt shortly after I sold all my stock.

I bought the Texas Rangers baseball team in a sweetheart deal that took land using taxpayer money. With the help of my father and our friends in the oil industry, including Enron CEO Ken Lay, I was elected governor of Texas.


I changed Texas pollution laws to favor power and oil companies, making Texas the most polluted state in the Union. During my tenure, Houston replaced Los Angeles as the most smog-ridden city in America. I cut taxes and bankrupted the Texas treasury to the tune of billions in borrowed money. I set the record for the most executions by any governor in American history. With the help of my brother, the governor of Florida, and my father’s appointments to the Supreme Court, I became President after losing by over 500,000 votes.


I am the first President in U.S. history to enter office with a criminal record. I invaded and occupied two countries at a continuing cost of over one billion dollars per week. I spent the U.S. surplus and effectively bankrupted the U.S. Treasury. I shattered the record for the largest annual deficit in U.S.history. I set an economic record for most private bankruptcies filed in any 12-month period. I set the all-time record for most foreclosures in a 12-month period. I set the all-time record for the biggest drop in the history of the U.S. stock market.

In my first year in office, over 2 million Americans lost their jobs and that trend continues every month.

I’m proud that the members of my cabinet are the richest of any administration in U.S. history. My “poorest millionaire,” Condoleeza Rice, had a Chevron oil tanker named after her. I set the record for most campaign fund-raising trips by a U.S. President. I am the all-time U.S. and world record-holder for receiving the most corporate campaign donations. My largest lifetime campaign contributor, and one of my best friends, Kenneth Lay, presided over the largest corporate bankruptcy fraud in U.S. History, Enron.

My political party used Enron private jets and corporate attorneys to assure my success with theU.S. Supreme Court during my election decision. I have protected my friends at Enron and Halliburton against investigation or prosecution. More time and money was spent investigating the Monica Lewinsky affair than has been spent investigating one of the biggest corporate rip- offs in history.

I presided over the biggest energy crisis in U.S. history and refused to intervene when corruption involving the oil industry was revealed. I presided over the highest gasoline prices in U.S. history. I changed the U.S. policy to allow convicted criminals to be awarded government contracts. I appointed more convicted criminals to administration than any President in U.S. history. I created the Ministry of Homeland Security, the largest bureaucracy in the history of the United States government.

I’ve broken more international treaties than any President in U.S. history. I am the first President in U.S. history to have the United Nations remove the U.S. from the Human Rights Commission. I withdrew the U.S. from the World Court of Law. I refused to allow inspectors access to U.S. “prisoners of war” detainees and thereby have refused to abide by the Geneva Convention. I am the first President in history to refuse United Nations election inspectors (during the 2002 U.S. election). I set the record for fewest numbers of press conferences of any President since the advent of television. I set the all-time record for most days on vacation in any one-year period. After taking off the entire month of August, I presided over the worst security failure in U.S. history. I garnered the most sympathy for the U.S. after the WorldTrade Center attacks and less than a year later made the U.S. the most hated country in the world, the largest failure of diplomacy in world history.

I have set the all-time record for most people worldwide to simultaneously protest me in public venues (15 million people), shattering the record for protests against any person in the history of mankind.

I am the first President in U.S. history to order an unprovoked, pre-emptive attack and the military occupation of a sovereign nation. I did so against the will of the United Nations, the majority of U.S.citizens, and the world community. I have cut health care benefits for war veterans and support a cut in duty benefits for active duty troops and their families-in-wartime. In my State of the Union Address, I lied about our reasons for attacking Iraq and then blamed the lies on our British friends. I am the first President in history to have a majority of Europeans (71%) view my presidency as the biggest threat to world peace and security. I am supporting development of a nuclear “Tactical Bunker Buster,” a WMD. I have so far failed to fulfill my pledge to bring Osama Bin Laden [sic] to justice.


All records of my tenure as governor of Texas are now in my father’s library, sealed and unavailable for public view. All records of SEC investigations into my insider trading and my bankrupt companies are sealed in secrecy and unavailable for public view. All records or minutes from meetings that I, or my Vice-President, attended regarding public energy policy are sealed in secrecy and unavailable for public review. I am a member of the Republican Party.



A Question For Republicans

If invading Iraq was so necessary — supposedly because they had WMDs — why is the USA not invading North Korea? After all, North Korea is far more dangerous than Iraq ever was. There’s no doubt that they have nuclear weapons.

If the reasons for attacking Iraq were so valid, why are those same reasons not valid for attacking North Korea?

I’d like an answer.

Of course, the answer is, Bush had his sights set on going to war with Iraq from the very beginning. The reasons given were just an excuse.  The guy should be tried for war crimes.

Don’t think so, right-wingers?  A Nuremberg prosecutor disagrees with you, and his opinion is far more weighty than yours.


Fiasco: A Book About The War in Iraq

The U.S. led invasion was launched recklessly… it assembled an agonizingly incompetent occupation.

Thomas Ricks writes that the U.S. “worst-cased” the threat from Iraq, and “best-cased” the cost and difficulty of occupying the country.

I’d say that certainly sums it up. In a war that was supposedly over 3 years ago — according to the world’s most arrogant and stupid man, George W. Bush — 100 civilians are now being killed a day.

Go here to listen to NPR interviewing Thomas Ricks, the author of Fiasco. And if you even listen to it for the first 10 or 15 minutes, you’ll be amazed and flabbergasted at the incredible stupidity of the United States and its President.

I’d appreciate no one commenting on this entry unless they listen to at least the first 10 minutes, if not all of it.

Buy the book here — I’m going to.


Bush Gropes German Chancellor Angela Merkel

This is your President, folks. Go here to watch a YouTube video of George W. Bush groping German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Is it just me, or should every man alive know that you don’t put your hands on a woman unless she’s a really good friend? When are people going to get the fact that there is something seriously wrong with this guy?

Or, as the guy who uploaded the video put it: “Bush channeled the Creepy Guy at Work who gives a female coworker an unwanted massage.


My Excuse For Not Posting As Much.

Sorry, folks, for the very few posts this last week. I know there are a lot of people out there that enjoy this blog. I’m very grateful for that. There’s nothing better for a writer than to have people read his work, and like it — or at least discuss it.

Hospice called us a few days ago. They told my wife that it might be just a few days, at most, before her mom dies. So she left for her hometown, joining her brothers and sisters. I would have went, but she did not want our son seeing his Gramma like that.

(Speaking of my son — he’s amazing. The last time my wife was at her mom’s, my son told her that he would never see Gramma again. He has an amazing ability to know things that he should not. One time in line at the mall, he asked the lady behind me if her baby was sick. She was very surprised and said yes, he had just been in the hospital. The strange thing was, the baby looked normal to me. Anyway, he has already said his goodbyes to his “Gramma Far Away”.)

So between that, and not having Mom at home, and my business, and going to the ER and being in pain the past few days, I’ve been a little preoccupied. But another post coming tonight — I think.


With First Veto, Bush Shows His Hypocrisy…Again.

Bush’s first veto today:

President Bush cast the first veto of his presidency Wednesday, saying legislation easing limits on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research “crosses a moral boundary.”

“This bill would support the taking of innocent human life in the hope of finding medical benefits for others,” Bush said at a White House event where he was surrounded by 18 families who “adopted” frozen embryos not used by other couples, and then used those leftover embryos to have children.

“Each of these children was still adopted while still an embryo and has been blessed with a chance to grow, to grow up in a loving family. These boys and girls are not spare parts,” he said.

How utterly hypocritical. Even though these embryos will be discarded anyway, Bush refuses to allow them to be used in research; research that might end many of today’s diseases. He says that it “crosses a moral boundary.”

At the same time, he has no problem sending adult citizens of his country to die in a war that he started. Not to mention the thousands of Iraqi men, women, and children civilians who have died because of his policies.

Why is OK to kill people in a merit-less war, but it’s not OK to use embryos for research to stop disease — embryos that would have been discarded anyway?

In addition, Bush is ignoring the will of the American people:

Yet public opinion sides strongly with giving scientists an opportunity to explore the possibilities. A recent Gallup poll found Americans considered stem cell research using human embryos to be morally acceptable by a 2-to-1 margin, and other measures have found majority support for putting federal dollars behind the effort.

This research has the possibility of helping so many people. Does the President care? Hell, no.

In a competitive House race outside Philadelphia, Democrat Joe Sestak says his experience with his daughter, who has a malignant brain tumor now in remission, and the health care system led him to enter the race, and to promote steps opposed by Republican Rep. Curt Weldon on stem cell research.

“I believe that stem cells open the promise of life for so many people,” Sestak said in an interview Wednesday. “I happened to have the opportunity to see people in a cancer ward, children, it breaks your heart. How can you not explore the possibility that they will be there to be an adult?”

…Supporters of the research tap into the personal experiences and hopes of anyone who has a sick relative who may or may not be within reach of a cure from stem cell science someday.

These figures have included Nancy Reagan, who spent years tending to her husband Ronald in an old age ravaged by Alzheimer’s, and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., a surgeon. Frist and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., both abortion opponents and potential presidential candidates, broke with Bush on the issue and crossed social conservatives in the process.

Embryonic stem cell research is solidly supported in polls in ways other issues are not.

Bush said today that embryos are not “spare parts.” News flash, Mr. President: Iraqi civilians and American soldiers are not spare parts, either.


U.S. Bankrupt?

Not hard to believe:

The United States may already be bankrupt:

The United States is heading for bankruptcy - that is, if it is not already bankrupt - claims a paper by Professor Laurence Kotlikoff, a key member of the country’s central bank… “The US government is, indeed, bankrupt, insofar as it will be unable to pay its creditors, who, in this context, are current and future generations to whom it has explicitly or implicitly promised future net payments of various kinds,” he argues.

And Dr. Franz Lee says, “Economically, the United States is bankrupt, and what is at stake is that Bush (as the representative of American corporativism and the military-industrial complex) actually needs world wars very badly.”

Thanks, Mr. President.


In the Dead of Night.

It’s 4:30 in the morning. I’m downstairs in my hideaway, wide awake. I got a lot of sleep yesterday following a trip to the emergency room in the middle of the night last night. I was in unbearable pain for hours. Finally I decided that it just wasn’t going away and my wife took me to the hospital.

It is such a relief, when I’m in that kind of pain, when they give me the shot and I feel the hurt sliding away.

So I got so much sleep yesterday that I woke up in the middle of the night, tonight. Since I woke up 2 hours ago, I’ve been watching The Night Stalker on DVD. It’s a remake of an old show; I liked the old show, but I like this one too. It’s quite different. This new Night Stalker got cancelled last fall after only 4 or 5 episodes. Not sure why, it’s better than most shows on television. They made it into a two disc DVD package. It’s worth picking up or putting on Netflix.

Now I’m watching Angel — or rather, re-watching an episode for the millionth time.

Good thing I don’t have a real job.


Putin to Bush Today: Don’t Lecture Me About Democracy!

Poor George Bush. Out of his league again.

During a press conference today at the G8 summit in Russia, Putin:

delivered a barbed retort to George Bush’s muted criticism of Russia’s democratic record yesterday when he told reporters at a joint press conference that he did not want to head a democracy like Iraq’s.

The remark, which raised a loud laugh from the assembled press pool, capped a joint appearance that exposed how relations between the two men have become strained in the past two years, since Washington began criticising Putin’s iron grip on Russia’s media and politics.

Bush said that, during two hours of discussions, ‘I talked about my desire to promote institutional change in parts of the world like Iraq where there’s a free press and free religion. I told [Putin] a lot of people in our country … would hope that Russia would do the same thing. I fully understand, however, that there will be a Russian style of democracy.’

Putin replied, smiling: ‘I’ll be honest with you: we, of course, would not want to have a democracy like in Iraq.’


Full story here.


An Iraq War Apologist

Here is an email that I received today, exactly as I received it. No line breaks, etc. This is how the neo-cons actually think.

Iraq is a beginning front of the War on Terror. It could very well be the beginning of WWIII. We didn’t start this war. This is a war that began on 9/11 (actually, even earlier, with some prior attacks) when we were attacked by terrorists backed by most every rogue nation on Earth. (Iraq, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, etc.) Yes, we haven’t attacked any other countries except Afghanistan and Iraq. Afghanistan was harboring the Taliban. Iraq was in constant violation of many UN resolutions after the First Gulf War. Saddam thumbed his nose at the world for years. He had dealings with Al-Quada. Only a fool would believe otherwise. He fired missiles into Israel during the First Gulf War. Finally, the world had enough, and, as usual, it was up to the United States to do something about it. It is always up to us to deal with this stuff, because we have the resources and the power and no one else has the stomach for it, except Britain and Israel, for the most part. Look what is going on with Israel and Lebanon right now. Israel has made many concessions to the terrorists. It never works. Now they want more and Israel is defending itself. The terrorists were counting on America being weak, confused and unfocused. They were wrong. This war is unpleasant, (what war isn’t), but it is no Vietnam. It is establishing a base (a sympathetic government) that the West can use to stage conflicts with anybody else in the Middle East who causes trouble. The terrorists know this. They are royally pissed. That is why there is so much fighting going on now. But they will not win. Not while we are there. Their stated goal is to convert the rest of the world to Islam. That would mean a Taliban-like goverment EVERYWHERE. They would love to have Iraq as the base for this government. Then you, dear Martian, and I would not have the luxury to engage in this friendly debate. That’s why we are in Iraq. This war is every bit as important and necessary as WWII. We are fighting an enemy that lurks in the shadows. They claim no allegiance to states. But we know who is sympathetic to them. These other countries will be dealt with accordingly. This isn’t easy. It isn’t fun. It could go on for years. But it needs to be done. It isn’t about Osama, per se. He is a figurehead. It is about the elimination of a radical ideology that is growing like a cancer. Our presence in Iraq is not the cause. It is a result. Don’t be misled by leftist rants about how our attack on Iraq caused all this misery and that it would all go away if we would just leave the terrorists alone. Tell that to Israel! Our job isn’t just blowing up stuff and killing people. It is educating millions of people who, misguidedly, are brainwashed into thinking the West is corrupt and evil. Sure, some are. It’s like that in every culture. But I truly believe that our system is the best we have and it should be defended. It should be propagated. The WMDs are, most likely, in Syria. I have no proof of this, of course, but just think… We gave Iraq months to meet our demands. THEY could have avoided this war. But Saddam choose to play games. His gamble that we wouldn’t attack lost his government everything. If he had chose to cooperate he would still be in power. (See Gaddafi) The WMDs were smuggled out of the country.

I don’t even know where to start on such a circular, illogical argument. I will say this, though: Iraq did not attack us. Al Queda attacked us. The man responsible has still not been brought to justice; in fact the President stated a couple of years ago that he wasn’t even worried about him. Bush went after Iraq instead of Al Queda.

And it’s common knowledge that this administration was just looking for a reason to invade Iraq.


I do want to add this link, from a recent Alternet article:

A Nuremberg chief prosecutor says there is a case for trying Bush for the ’supreme crime against humanity, an illegal war of aggression against a sovereign nation.’

I assume anyone reading this knows who a Nuremberg prosecutor is, and why his opinion is more important than anyone else’s. A couple of other excerpts:

Perhaps no person on the planet is better equipped to identify and describe our crimes in Iraq than Benjamin Ferenccz, a former chief prosecutor of the Nuremberg Trials who successfully convicted 22 Nazi officers for their work in orchestrating death squads that killed more than one million people in the famous Einsatzgruppen Case. Ferencz, now 87, has gone on to become a founding father of the basis behind international law regarding war crimes, and his essays and legal work drawing from the Nuremberg trials and later the commission that established the International Criminal Court remain a lasting influence in that realm.

Ferencz’s biggest contribution to the war crimes field is his assertion that an unprovoked or “aggressive” war is the highest crime against mankind. It was the decision to invade Iraq in 2003 that made possible the horrors of Abu Ghraib, the destruction of Fallouja and Ramadi, the tens of thousands of Iraqi deaths, civilian massacres like Haditha, and on and on. Ferencz believes that a “prima facie case can be made that the United States is guilty of the supreme crime against humanity, that being an illegal war of aggression against a sovereign nation.”

Read the rest here: Could Bush Be Prosecuted For War Crimes?


Sen. Ted Stevens and the Internet

This is a classic example of why this country is so screwed up.  The leadership, making decisions, has no idea what they are talking about; whether it’s preparing for war, or voting on a key Internet issue.

I’m sure you have read about Senator Ted Stevens’ helpful description of how the Internet works.  Jon Stewart had some fun with this.  Go here for the video.


Martian Parenting Rules

My wife and I constantly have people comment on how well-behaved our 4 year old son is, how smart he is, how full of life he is, what a great personality he has, and so on.

Some of that obviously is in the genes, on my wife’s side, of course. Lucky for my future children and me, I married the best woman on the planet 10 years ago. But there’s a lot more to it than good genes. It’s in the way we raise him.

It’s pretty irritating when someone says to us how “lucky” we are that we have such a good boy. Usually, they say this as they are complaining about what brats their kids are — as if it is the kids’ fault.

There is no such thing as a bad kid — only bad parents.

The following are a few rules that we have concerning how we raise our son. I’m probably going to add to this list as time goes on.

  • The only TV he is allowed to watch is PBS programs. Certainly nothing with commercials. PBS child programs integrate learning and entertainment.
  • A nap every day; at night, get him to bed early enough so that he gets plenty of sleep.
  • Listen to him. When he talks to us, we respect what he has to say. We don’t just say “uh huh” at the appropriate spots.
  • Books are a big part of his life. We read to him a lot.
  • We spend a lot of time with him. We’re not both working full time jobs, sending our son to someone else to raise every day.
  • But we do send him to a good daycare three days a week for a few hours — that way he doesn’t think he’s the center of the universe.
  • When he starts to throw a fit, we stop it immediately.
  • We feel it’s never to early to learn a little responsibility. After dinner, he takes his plate to the kitchen. He cleans his room. He puts DVDs back in the the case when he’s done watching them. He feeds his dog.
  • Most importantly… he knows that we love him. You can make a lot of mistakes, but if they know you love them, that they are the most important thing in the world to you, that’s a lot of it. I tell him I love him several times a day; I hug him, I kiss him.

Just random, and more to come… as I recall them.

I don’t know. Looking back over these, it looks like common sense to me. But it’s amazing how many parents I know don’t do these things. They ignore their kids. They scream at their kids. They are incredibly impatient with them. They allow the TV to be the babysitter, and wonder why their kids are constantly begging for toys they see on commercials. They get home from work, spend five minutes with them, and then flip channels or do something else “important”.

The most important thing in the world is being a parent. I often tell myself that even if I failed at everything else, as long as I’m a great Dad, I’m a success.

And I know it’s true.


Abandoning Your Family To Go To War

Psychobabble wrote:

Joining the military is NOT “abandoning” your family. While the young man in question may be misguided, he feels he is doing what is neccassary to protect his country and by extension his family. Not to mention that enlistment does not automatically garner deployment. I do not agree with Bush and Cronies’ spiel about the war in Iraq, but I find it insulting that you’d equate enlisment with abandonment.

Let me take those one at a time.

Joining the military is NOT “abandoning” your family.

Sure it is. The kid I mentioned is getting married, has a baby on the way, and his only thought is that he wants to go fight in Iraq? He’s got other responsibilities now.

If he’s so hot to join the invasion, he should done so before he knocked his girlfriend up.

While the young man in question may be misguided, he feels he is doing what is neccassary to protect his country and by extension his family.

He’s misguided all right. But more to the point, he’s an idiot. He’s an idiot because he hasn’t bothered to actually find out for himself what the war is all about. He just unquestioningly believes what he is told.

Again, his main responsibility is to his child. And I would assume that anyone that thinks otherwise is not a parent.

And by the way, how is going to war in Iraq protecting his country? And how is he going to be there for his wife and child if he gets killed?

Not to mention that enlistment does not automatically garner deployment.

That’s moot. As I mentioned before, his whole reason for joining is because he wants to go to Iraq.

I do not agree with Bush and Cronies’ spiel about the war in Iraq, but I find it insulting that you’d equate enlisment with abandonment.

And I find it insulting that this young man will leave his family because he believes in a lie. He’s not leaving to go fight against the Axis in World War II, you know. He’s going to join an invasion, for pete’s sake.

This war has killed over 38,000 Iraqi civilians. Do you find this honorable? Is this something worth leaving your new wife and child over?

You know, changing diapers and warming baby bottles may not seem as glorious as invading another country, but I assure you, it’s far more important.


George Bush Is No FDR

From Appalachian Greens, an excellent point:

Our involvement in Iraq so far has taken longer than was necessary to defeat Germany and Italy in World War II.

And what is the USA even doing there?

The United States was attacked on September 11, 2001. It’s amazing, but there are still people that believe that it was by Iraq.

The other day, a friend told me about a co-worker of his, a young man in his early 20s. This guy is getting married, and has a baby on the way. So what’s his plan? To join the army and fight in Iraq.

My friend asked him why we wanted to do that, and he replied that he wanted to make a difference, because Iraq attacked us on 9/11. Of course, Bush and his cronies heavily implied that when they decided to invade Iraq. It just seems incredible to me that some people still believe it.

So this young man wants to abandon his responsibilities, abandon his new wife and child, for some make-believe freedom fight.

Appalachian Greens continues,

Franklin Roosevelt was faced with what was probably the biggest threat to freedom the world has ever seen. Along with our Allies he set a course to defeat that threat. Advance planning for the post war administration of the defeated countries began early on and with the end of organized fighting, a generally smooth transition to peace ensued. The American people supported the war effort, its aims were clear.

I’ve heard it said, mostly by Republicans, that war is messy and you can’t plan for everything. Of course that’s true. But the Bush Administration didn’t plan for anything. President Roosevelt planned for the occupation of the defeated countries early on.

Bush didn’t, even though he was advised to.

I listen to old-time radio shows from the 40s a lot. It’s cool, because in a lot of the programs they have preserved the commercials and public service announcements. A lot of them are about the war, and “supporting our boys overseas”. Back then, they really were fighting for freedom.

The Iraq War is a sham. It’s nothing like that.

I’ll quote it again, because I think it’s such a good point:

Our involvement in Iraq so far has taken longer than was necessary to defeat Germany and Italy in World War II.

George W. Bush is no FDR, that’s for sure.


I See Dumb People…

The following is a rant. It may come off as stuck-up, but I really don’t care.

Jesus H. Christ, I have had to deal with so many stupid people lately. In my business, in my personal life. They’re everywhere.

When I remember that most humans are stupid, my life is easier. I’m more patient with them. I feel sorry for them because they’re so dumb. But a lot of the time — perhaps because I spend so much time online conversing with smart folks — I forget. I forget that the average person I come across in my day-to-day life is an absolute moron.

And not just dumb, but solipsistic, too. People that seem to think that they’re the only person on the planet. People in the store who stop right in the middle of the fucking aisle, instead of off to the side. Drivers who pull right out in front of you, because they just can’t stand to wait another 5 seconds for you to pass. Stupid women who stand right in front of a doorway to have their moronic conversation.

In my business, I sell… things. So the other day, after much looking, a couple decides to wait a few days to make their decision. OK, fine by me. But when they finally make that decision, the product is gone, and they are just flabbergasted as to how this could happen — as if they are the only ones in the city looking for that particular product. Then, they take their sweet time on product #2 — and the same thing happens. I’m wondering when they’re finally going to get it.

Another young couple wants to buy a similar product from me. It takes time for this product to be, shall we say, delivered. Everyone knows this. So what do they do? They wait until the last minute, and then ask me if I can get the job done. Christ.

I’ve had some real morons on this blog, too. For example, the other day someone told me that there was no evidence for evolution, so why was I asking for evidence for creationism? After all, she implied, both are just “beliefs”. Hey, I don’t mind ignorance. I’m ignorant of many things. But I don’t try to debate those things. I don’t understand anyone who would converse about a subject that they’ve never read one book about — or even bothered to click on Wikipedia for free, and read up. At that point, it’s not even worth talking to that person. It’s like debating if the world is flat or round.

So anyway. This isn’t one of those deep posts that I’m going to get a lot of “way-to-go”s for, I know. This is just me, pissed off at people.

It is no wonder that the planet is in such a mess. After all, the humans are in charge. I mean, sheesh — look at who the Americans elected President — twice.

So, what dumb things have people done to you lately?  It’s open mike time!  Let’s hear it! 



Columbine Killers’ Writings Released

From Guardian Unlimited:

GOLDEN, Colo. (AP) - Authorities released nearly 1,000 pages of new documents from the Columbine High School massacre Thursday, including step-by-step plans written by the two killers as they gleefully plotted the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history.

“Hell on Earth - ahh, my favorite,'’ Dylan Klebold writes in the 1998 yearbook of Eric Harris above a drawing of a gun-wielding headless soldier. “So many people need to die.'’

The documents released by the Jefferson County sheriff include essays, school work and computer files from Harris and Klebold, the two suicidal killers. The papers also included a journal kept by Harris’ father that refers to his son’s disciplinary and psychological problems but sheds no light on whether he knew the teen might be capable of the slaughter that left 13 people dead.

I’ll shed some light, then.

Was he aware his son was capable of murder? I don’t know. But I do know this:

He should have been aware.

How can two kids amass the weapons that they did, and be planning what they did, without the parents knowing?

I’ll tell you how: Because they didn’t care. Because they didn’t pay attention. Because, for pete’s sake, they were lousy parents.

One of them had some idea, though. It’s late and I’m tired, so I’m not going to bother to look this up right now, but I read that one of the fathers called the police that day and told them that his son could be involved.

Too bad he didn’t pay a little more attention before then, eh? Lives might have been saved.

My opinion is that if a minor kills someone, the parent should be held responsible as well. I see so many parents who ignore what their kids do, don’t pay attention to their kids, or look at their children as something to be endured.

They have excuses about why they can’t spend time with their kids. “I have to work a lot” is a common one. You know what? You’ll find the time for what’s important to you. And at the risk of sounding sexist, there are good reasons for Mom to stay home with the kids. And if Mom is the bread-winner, Dad should stay home.

In my opinion, it is the parents’ fault that all those kids died that day.

Brian Rohrbough, whose son Daniel was among those slain, said he struck by the fact that Wayne Harris had kept a diary tracking his son’s problems.

“It tells you this kid was dangerous,'’ Rohrbough said. “The premise that these are families that didn’t know what was going on in their homes is completely refuted by this journal. They used all the influence they could muster to keep their kids out of trouble.'’

In my opinion a lot of kids are dead because Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris had lousy parents.


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