Sunday, September 28, 2003

Making deals with the devil will always get you burned! So I'm watching PBS's "Now with Bill Moyers" today (taped it, ya know ...) and a French author/philosopher who's published a book titled "Who Killed Daniel Pearl?" tells the interviewer that Perez Musharaff (sp?), the president of Pakistan, is a puppet leader who allows terrorists like Osama bin Laden to operate with impugnity in his country.

Bernard Henri-Levy, the author, says after spending 30 years in Pakistan and writing dozens of books and articles about that untidy nation, he's determined that Bush's overt support of the Mushareff government is a bad mistake. He points out that Daniel Pearl was killed by people who received active support from the chief of intelligence for the Pakistani government.

"Mushareff is a king without a throne," Henri-Levy said. "Pakistan is already half-run by extremists who teach hatred of the Western powers, especially the United States."

It was Mahoud Akhmad (sp?), the aforementioned intelligence chief, who funnled $100,000 from the Pakistan coffers to none other than Mohammed Atta, leader of the 9-11 terrorists, Henri-Levy said.

So Mushareff's visit with Bush is a mockery of those who died on 9-11, he said. "It's a disgrace!" he added.

Forgive the mispelled names but hear the message I'm conveying here. The Bush administration, like others before his, is in collusion with and paying huge sums of cash to a country that's the center of world terrorism. Ironic, eh?

Well, its seems to me that we've made a deal with the devil when we asked Mushareff for help in dealing with Afghanistan. I wouldn't be surprised if bin Laden approved the deal and high-tailed it out of Afghanistan just before the assault on the Taliban began.

How else do we explain why our intelligence agencies are unable to locate such a high-profile personage as bin Laden? It would suggest at least the possibility that bin Laden is being allowed to slip the noose – for whatever political reasons we may have. Hell, perhaps Bush and his cronies aren't aware that they're being played by Pakistan. It's not a stretch to believe that, not at all.

So hold on to your backpacks kiddies, we're in for some very weird days ahead, I fear. And it will be our so-called allies who open the door for bin Laden or some other evil bastard to cross the U.S. borders and reek havoc somewhere in this great nation.

As for Iraq, I noticed that Powell (Colin, of course) juggled the balls nicely when asked about the public opinion of Bush's request for $87 billion to float the Iraqi campaign through the end of the year.

Of course, the president will have to ask for another multi-billion package in 2004 to continue the democratization of Iraq, a fools bet if ever there was one.

And so it goes.

Sunday, September 21, 2003

The pundits are out in force and the media seems mesmerized by Bush's lies. So what's a voter to do when faced with the prospect of finding John Ashcroft in your bedroom at 3 a.m.? The Bush administration's upcoming presidential election will be a single-issue platform though it will be layered with multiple buzz words. The platform? Iraq, Iraq, Iraq. Bush will argue that his is the only way to free the world of terrorism and the Democrats will go soft on the effort to rid the world of nasty bastards like Osama bin Laden.

The buzz words will be terrorism, Iraq and 9-11. Wht else can the GOP do? The national economic plan (whatever it is) is a failure. The goofy tax rebates – pure Texas politics, pure payola on a gigantic scale, is looking like the terrible idea it always was and is.

And our standing on the world stage is shakier by the day. Even our allies are distancing themselves from our policies, and I don't mean only in Iraq.

But Bush's big stick is the war on terrorism and he will use it to good effect, I've no doubt.

The GOP is making it nearly traitorous to criticize the president and his administration, and neat hat trick.

With very little additional tooling, the Republicans ought to be able to convince the electorate that its' patriotic duty will be to vote for Bush, Afghanistan's savior (though we don't seem to be able to find Osama bin Laden, nor have we been able to truly oust the Taliban), and the man who single-handedly ousted the horrible Saddam Hussein. Did you really think that politics played no role in the decision to ignore the U.N. and most of our allies' reticence to invade Iraq? Sorry. I think it was a calculated risk to build Bush's image as a true-blue American individual who makes decisions unencumbered by meddling foreigners, though we badly need those foreigners' aid.

So, as long as there's not another terrorist action on U.S. soil, and maybe even if there is, Bush can point out how much safer we are with him in office, though I would argue that's an improvable fact.

But fear, it seems, is a powerful motivator and a valuable factor when one is trying to convince the public that its welfare is protected by a 'caring' government that knows best what's needed to maintain an umbrella of protection.

Never mind that the so-called Patriot Act of 2001, and its second installment, Patriot Act II, tramples the Constitutional rights of Americans. No one seems to care. As long as bearded, nasty, anti-American zealots with bombs don't get a chance to blow up your child's daycare center, the electorate will be happy to put on blinders and divorce itself from Constitutional questions, which I find selfish, idiotic and, what's worse, traitorous. What are we doing to protect the rights of our children and theirs when we give John Ashcroft and the Department of Justice free reign over our private lives in the name of personal safety?

Maybe Americans always have been sheep-like and stupid, but I don't want to think so.

I do think that 9-11 so traumatized many of my generation (yea, the baby boomers), who've never had to suffer like our grandparents and theirs did, that we hid our collective heads in the sand and continue to do so today.

Now is Bush an evil man? Probably, but not in the religious sense.

To my way of thinking, Bush is prone to cowboy politics; shoot first and ask questions later. His brand of nationalism tends toward isolationism, a doctrine that I thought had died with President Woodrow Wilson. It's tough to detect the isolationist bent during this troubled time, especially since most Americans are happy to thumb their noses at the rest of the world – mimicking the president's own flagrant arrogance as expressed in nearly every decision he's made vis a vis international politics since 9-11.

But America is becoming more and more isolated every day and that's a direct result of the Bush Doctrine.

So I say to the Democratic contenders in the race for the White House, good luck. You'll need it. But more than luck, you'll need an unshakeable desire to beat Bush, and a platform that's simple enough for middle America to understand. One that both separates you from the Bush Doctrine but embraces the safety of America in this world of terrorists and Islamic paranoia.

Good luck, indeed!

Check out the Dem's blog site. One hopes the party lives up to the title they chose for the site.

Friday, September 12, 2003

Rounders and flounders and little birds too! Just trying to add a comments link to my blogs, including this one.

It's Friday and I'm so tired I could sleep for a week – well, maybe for 12 hours or so. Work is tedious of late because we've had equipment failures and slowdowns that cause everyone to stand around twiddling their thumbs. C'est la vie.

I've got "Cannary Row" on the tube and it's stirring memories of my time spent on that hallowed ground. The decrepit buildings, the huge blocks of concrete strewn about the rocky beachhead; the swaying, rotting piers, no longer used, abandoned and left to nature to reclaim its molecules.

I spent many a magical night walking among the ghosts of Cannery Row. Remind and I'll tell you about it sometime.

Monday, September 01, 2003

There is good and bad in this world. There are good people and bad people and the seething mass of humanity mixes the two factions together in such a way that collisions occur. When these 'collisions' happen, it's usually the weak, the uneducated, the poor or the mentally ill who suffer for it. Bullies come in lots of forms. Some bullies wear suits and ties and the latest $800 shoes from Italy. Some bullies wear blue jeans, T-shirts and have long, short, slicked-back, uncombed, well-coifed hairdos.

To recognize a bully can be a dangerous exercise unless one is able to make oneself either invisible or so visible that too much light shines upon one for the bad to attack. The bad prefer the dark, the shadows, the alleyways and country roads where weeds grow tall and sick fantasies are given free rein to flourish.

}:( It's a deadly world for many, especially for those who seem defenseless. It seems to me that many men who hold high office or are given special powers attributed by their jobs, e.g., police officers, politicians, corporate leaders, gangsters, psychopaths and well-groomed rich egoists.

For the police to shoot an unarmed man 41 times and have no disciplinary action taken against those who killed is not justice – it's sanctioned murder and, in my opinion, murder for sport.

So how does a philosopher or a minister or a priest, a father or mother or someone seeking the "light" of life explain the cruelty that is allowed to continue to a child? From the open prairies to the mountains to the seas, to the little dying towns in the hinterlands and the metropolises nestled around the edges of the continent's borders, pockets of crazies thrash and crash their ways through other peoples' lives with seeming impunity.

What can one say but life is unfair and bad things happen to good people, and the usual litany of cliches that leave one feeling bewildered and befuddled.

Well, I must run to Hastings to purchase a copy of "Beowulf," the cliff notes, of course, for D's teenage daughter. So walk softly and carry a .357 magnum, if you must. Or better yet, learn to recognize trouble before it nears you and avoid it like the plague, for plague it is!

I bid you farewell.