Sunday, February 27, 2005
What possibly could be more sleazy than having the Clinton/Lewinsky affair shoved in our faces daily from the front page of the New York Times? Suddenly our children were learning new words that they had never heard before. Gross.
Now our children are learning even MORE facts of life, thanks to George W. Bush. "Military escort" is taking on a whole new meaning for them. "Mommy, what exactly does a male prostitute do?"
Here's a photo of George Bush salivating over his "protege" Jeff Gannon, another White House intern. Will George Bush be able to state under oath, "I never had sex with that man"?
This Gannon affair is truly sleazy and should probably not even be discussed in public. So why am I dragging all this trash up from the gutter? Because I, as an American citizen, need to know that the kind of behavior that was sanctioned by Bush at Abu Ghraib will no longer be originating in the Oval Office -- or in the Lincoln Bedroom.
I want the White House to be a symbol of respect and dignity again.
Another lesson I have learned from the Gannon affair is this: Republican leaders are not raising a hue and cry over Jeff Gannon like they did over Lewinsky/Clinton. REPUBLICAN LEADERS are not objecting to homosexual pornography in the White House! But why should they? Judging from their behavior, many of them seem to think it is a good idea.
It appears that all too many Republican leaders don't object to homosexuality per se; they only object to gay MARRIAGE. Apparently, they aren't going to be happy until everyone is back in the closet where they "belong" -- just like in the good old days when J. Edgar Hoover dressed up in his pink chiffon tutus. For them, gay marriage is too...normal!
From what I can see, most Republican leaders -- gay or strait -- appear to revel in secrecy, clandestine operations and intrigue. Repubs seem to LOVE intrigue. That's why they invented the CIA, revel in Skull and Bones and hate the Bill of Rights. For them, DEMOCRACY is a bad thing -- and homosexuality only becomes a sin, a crime and an abomination if one steps out of the closet!
I myself forgive George Bush. He is a human being under God -- and what he does with his sex life is his business. But shilling for prostitutes and encouraging deviants -- whether in Abu Ghraib or in the White House Press Corps -- has got to stop.
From "Amy Goes to Tibet": In Lhasa, Tibet, the Potola Palace is respected and revered. The American White House, however, has been sold to the highest bidder. [Exerpt from Amy Goes to Tibet:] Then we went to the Potala Palace and it was everything I had ever imagined and far, far more. I was so excited, I even crossed myself. I could have lived there forever. Worldly goods and desires melted away.
"Ma, this way," said my son, pulling me out of my trance. The statue of the Fifth Dalai Lama, the beautifully painted and draped thankas, the butter lamps, the pilgrims -- it was everything I had ever imagined. http://travelswithamy.blogspot.com/2004/03/amy-goes-to-tibet-june-15-1999-my.html
Tuesday, February 15, 2005
In the Oval Office, President [sic] Bush nervously paced back and forth. "There are far too many people out there who have the goods on me, Karl." So what's the Leader of the Free World to do?
I know of at least 20 people who have George Bush by the balls. Can you think of anyone else, boys and girls? The man who has his finger on the trigger of 35,000 nuclear weapons can be easily blackmailed. That's scary.
For instance, what if the CEO of Diebold suddenly decided that he wanted to become Secretary of State? Bye bye, Condoleeza!
Who else has the goods on our George? Probably Osama. "I'm tired of living in a cave," bin Ladin e-mailed the White House. "Either whitewash me and have Fox tell America that I was an innocent victim of bad publicity or I'll out you on Oprah!" And he would, too. Osama knows who failed to alert America about 9-11. And the PNAC knows why.
The list of possible Bush blackmailers goes on and on and on. Kenny-boy Lay, Wall Street bagmen, Dick Cheney, Saddam Hussein, Big Pharma, Rupert Murdoch, "Jeff Gannon" in his tighty whities, Kathryn Harris, Kenneth Blackwell, Alan Greenspan, ANY member of the Bush family, Anton Scalia, Karl Rove himself.....
"But they wouldn't turn on Bush like that," said my friend Paul. "He's their bread and butter!" They wouldn't? They've already sold out America. Why would they hesitate to sell out Bush?
Sunday, February 13, 2005
"I can't get the computer to run," I said. "Is the power out?" I poked my head out the door. The whole block was without electricity. Bother.
Two whole days later, the [gosh-darned] electricity came back on. Is this Baghdad or what?
That was the beginning of my story -- back in 2006. Then more and more things started to go wrong -- and I was totally unprepared.
"For years, they warned us that this was coming -- that wasting our nation's incredible wealth on conspicuous consumption and war toys was a stupid choice; that hundreds of thousands of soldiers and children were already starting to die from exposure to depleted uranium; that global warming was a reality and that, with a 51 trillion dollar deficit, the US economy had already started to tank," I told my grandchildren, "yet I did nothing."
"What could you have done?" Hummm.... What would I have done differently, knowing that civilization as we knew it was about to collapse? "First of all, I would have JOINED A UNION! Then I would have moved heaven and earth to jail George Bush." Failing that, I would have taken a course in first aid.
"I would have learned how to use a BB gun." Hunting squirrels and cats by hand is hard work when you are over 60. "I would have bought as many small gold rings as I could so I could trade them for chickens and beans. I would have started a garden. And I would have gone to the local community college and learned sewing and carpentry."
"What's a community college," my granddaughter asked.
I have become shocked and amazed lately at how bitter and cynical and mean my e-mails are becoming -- but ever since Bush, Rove, Rumsfeld and Cheney bombed several defenseless countries into rubble, failed to protect my country from 9-11, scalped our treasury and blatantly STOLE two national elections, I've just not been the same. I WANT to be a kind and loving and caring person but the example being set for me by America's "leaders" has precluded that from happening. My apologies.
In defense of my country, I must fight fire with fire. Those people in the White House are NASTY.
From Ed: Bush has just nominated John Negroponte to be chief of national intelligence. [Who will they nominate next? Osama bin Ladin? Charles Manson?]
From "Amy Goes to Belfast": What was it like in Belfast during The Troubles? Terrible. Like it will be here if George Bush keeps up his warmongering nonsense. "Now I am safely ensconced in the top back room of a two-up two-down Belfast row house one block off of Falls Road where British troops and Loyalist paramilitaries have pretty much burned and shot and bombed indiscriminately for the past 30 years. What a strange vacation this is turning out to be." Travels with Amy www.travelswithamy.blogspot.com/
Friday, February 11, 2005
How do you explain to a kid that you are deserting him?
I have spent the last year trying to break through the code of silence that protects "behavior modification" schools from outside scrutiny. It is impossible to do and I am giving up. I have called senators, contacted child protective services, joined survivor group chatrooms and even enlisted the help of librarians, prayer lists and consumer hotlines, trying to find out what goes on inside these places or how to get a kid out of one. It's been no use.
Even if a child commits a MAJOR crime and is sent to the deepest bowels of Juvenile Hall, he or she is still allowed to make phone calls, receive letters and write to the outside world. This is NOT true of the places that my daughter's friend "Jordan" has been dragged off to -- without having committed any crime at all.
I talked with someone else who tried to extricate a boy from one of these programs. "I did EVERYTHING," he said. "I hired a lawyer. I took it to court. We went up to the federal level. We subpoenaed everyone we could think of. We cited examples, we cited case law, we cited the blooming 14th Amendment! Nothing. These boot camps have a LOCK on the kids they hold hostage. Our only hope is that the boy we tried to rescue won't be too traumatized by the time he turns 18."
If I COULD break through these programs' code of silence and communicate with Jordan -- who, along with thousands and thousands of other American teenagers, has been trapped in one or another of these secretive programs well-hidden in the backwoods of the USA -- this is what I would say: "Although we have tried everything that we could possibly think of to let you at least know that someone in the outside world still cares about you, we have not been able to break that code. You are on your own now. I'm sorry."
As of now, Jordan is in a completely unaccredited and unregulated "behavior modification" program in Montana. I suppose that's better than the boot camp horror he was in last summer. But, since these programs are totally unregulated and uninspected, I have NO way of knowing.
"I have discovered the hard way," I would tell Jordan, "that as far as the law is concerned, when one of those programs gets a hold of you -- let alone your parents' $4,000 a month -- there will be NO communication with the outside world. You might as well be on the moon. But, even despite all this, I would STILL keep on trying to find out if you are okay -- except that one law has finally stopped me: King Solomon's law."
Your father called me the other day.
He told me, "If you don't stop trying to contact Jordan, I will send him back to that boot camp." I don't know what the program he is in now is like, but Jordan has told us all about the so-called boot camps he has already been in. And I wouldn't do that to my worst enemy let alone someone nice.
"Even if your father is willing to destroy you just to prove he is right, Jordan, I am not willing to do that. King Solomon knew what he was doing." Jordan, I know that you begged us to protect you from him, but your father has won. I'm backing off.
"You used to be a great kid, Jordan. I just keep my fingers crossed for you and hope when you get out that you will have retained some of that spark of innocent puppy-dog joy that made you so unique."
I pray that somehow, of all the terrible programs out there that enslave thousands of kids each year -- of all those terrible programs that put our children in mental and physical cages like they were dogs instead of children of God -- I pray that you will have landed in a "program" that might possibly be kind.
But I will never know, will I? And neither will all the other grandparents, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, friends, teachers and concerned adults in my same position who, under law, have absolutely no say.
PS: Do "behavior modification" programs and boot camps work? NO. Want some proof? Here it is: Jordan's older brother Nathan -- another sweet kid who at age 12 finally dared to hit back -- has been shipped off to one "program" or another for the last five years. Finally, this fall, his father relented and allowed Nathan to come home. And now Nathan is in juevie -- for trying to rob a bank.
But what DOES work? All this effort, expense and craziness could have been easily avoided if Jordan's father and all the other parents of rebellious teens had just read John Gray's book, "Children are for Heaven." Gray maintains that children are born with an inherent need to cooperate -- and that there are loving, kind and FRIENDLY ways to make a child want to behave. Shaming, controlling, manipulating and beating children the way that Jordan's father did may be satisfying to the father but it kills forever a child's need to do what parents say.
Thursday, February 10, 2005
How come General Electric gets a place in The Projects and we have to sleep on the streets? How come Monsanto gets government handouts? Where's MY government cheese?
Walmart gets Medicaid. Lockheed-Martin gets food stamps. Everyone knows that Halliburton is on the dole. And what's up with those welfare queens on Wall Street? How come we have to work and pay taxes and they don't? My income is called "income" and I pay through the nose but their income is called "capital gains" and doesn't count. How come they get a free ride?
The pharmaceutical industry gets Medicaid too. According to NewsTarget, "79 drug companies are now being accused of defrauding state Medicaid programs by artificially inflating the prices of drugs." But are WE eligible for Medicaid? Taxpayers need not apply.
It is against HUD regulations to allow people with drug abuse records and bad credit to receive housing subsidies but HUD makes an exception for George Bush. With his seven trillion dollar deficit and history of drug use, why does HE get to live in subsidized housing? If I were to go that far into debt, would the government start to pay me too?
Bush's new tax law has been nicknamed "welfare for the rich" for a very good reason. According to Paul Krugman of the New York Times, "More than half of the benefits from this backdoor tax cut would go to people with incomes of more than a million dollars...." Wow!
And guess who else is on the corporate welfare roles? ES&S and Diebold. 80% of America's votes are counted on jankity voting machines that NOBODY would buy if they weren't government-subsidized. Even slot machines are a lot more reliable than these. When California's Secretary of State Kevin Shelley blew the whistle on Diebold in 2004, it was he, not the head of Diebold, who lost his job -- just another fabulous demonstration of Welfare Economics.
How come all those "public utilities" that make billions in profits each year are being guaranteed AFDC? (For the uninitiated, AFDC stands for Aid to Families with Dependent CEOs -- and Enron executives.) California rate-payers now have to pay $1,300 EACH to make up for Pacific Gas & Electric's bankruptcy -- and having our new governor meet secretly with Enron executives before his election has only made us Californians wonder if Arnie too is on the dole.
And Congress is on welfare too. According to Carol Wolman, "Last week, eighteen Senate Democrats crossed the aisle to vote for limitations on class action suits, a measure that protects corporations from consumers seeking redress from harm caused them by corporate products, such as cigarettes or defective tires." It's a very safe bet that, on Capitol Hill, those monthly checks arrive in the mail.
Who else is sponging off our tax dollars? Time-Warner, Disney, Clear Channel, Viacom -- those are OUR airwaves that the FCC, like good social workers, are handing out for free.
Every day you and I try to grind out our 9-to-5 living while American corporations use our tax money to sit around on their fat butts eating bonbons and watching the soaps.
Without corporate welfare to shore them up, corporate giants would fail because they are inefficient, ineffective and shoddy. Capitalism is when you build a better mousetrap and people come to buy it. Corporate welfare is when we taxpayers pay a billion dollars for ONE mousetrap. If checks from us didn't arrive in corporate mailboxes at the first of each month, we would immediately see what a joke American "capitalism" is. Without corporate welfare, those Queens would all be standing down at the corner waiting for us to drive by and offer them jobs. "Lord, I just broke a nail and soiled my Armani!"
Let me repeat. "America is NOT a capitalistic society. America is a corporate welfare state."
Under the law in America, corporations are considered as "persons," persons with individual rights -- like the right to go on the dole.
The very next law that America needs to pass is this: A "person" is a person. And a corporation is NOT.
After that, let's do away with corporate subsidies. While Bush et al. are happily taking away "subsidies" like education, baseball fields, home heating, clean water and Social Security from us little people -- from farmers, families, small businesses, seniors, veterans and what my aunt used to call "the salt of the earth" -- and making us sink or swim alone, IT IS ONLY FAIR that fat subsidies to corporate giants -- including tax breaks, offshore manipulations and war profiteering -- be jerked out from under the corporate red carpet too. Let's see how well these corporate welfare queens do when they too have to swim with the sharks.
Let's stop handing over our paychecks to welfare cheats.
Monday, February 07, 2005
Apparently it is illegal to show "EOTP" legally because of copyright laws. You know how when you read a quote in a history text? That's not plagarism, right? If you cite the source? Well, it's not the same if you use video footage -- even if you cite the source. It's still illegal. So we are trying to change that so that TV footage can be used in documentaries and stuff. Otherwise, all our history from the invention of TV will simply disappear into corporate media vaults.
Tuesday night, all across the nation, people are going to be committing civil disobedience by showing "Eyes on the Prize". My boss, a former civil rights worker in Selma, Alabama, is going to show the DVD too. Here's the press release:
Berkeley Joins in National Protest:
Famous PBS Documentary on Civil Rights
Barred by Copyright Holders
Tuesday, February 8, 2005
An act of civil disobedience will be committed by Tom Hunt, Berkeley activist, in defiance of unjust copyright laws. Mr. Hunt will download and show the highly regarded documentary "Eyes on the Prize" to a group that will include many civil rights workers, who have issued a statement that:
" . . . in the spirit of the Southern Freedom Movement, we who once defied the laws and customs that denied people of color their human rights and dignity, we whose faces are seen in "Eyes on the Prize," we who helped produce it, will on February 8, 2005, defy the media giants who have buried our story in their vaults by publicly sharing episodes of this forbidden knowledge with all who wish to see it."
This act of defiance will be coordinated with groups all around this country who will have similar showings on the same date.
Saturday, February 05, 2005
Our Senate ratified an Attorney General who supports the use of torture. Does that make us Nazis? Nah.
Our Pentagon blitzkrieged Baghdad. 100,000 people are dead. Does that make us Nazis? Nah.
Our hearts and minds are constantly brainwashed by pro-war propaganda machines. Does that make us Nazis? Nah.
Our dissidents are hauled off to secret jails, free speech is in deep dog dookie, the Bill of Rights is a relic of the past, U.S. citizens are denied lawyers and held for years without being charged and PTECH and PROMIS invade people's computers and data-mine people's lives. Does that make us Nazis? Nah.
Election fraud is rampant, corporations own our country, labor unions are hounded and all our country's money is being siphoned off to feed the war machine. Does that make us Nazis? Nah.
Education is being de-funded, teachers are fired for expressing opinions, books are being burned, libraries are being closed and our leaders appear at Nuremberg-style rallies where the average citizen is banned. Does that make us Nazis? Nah.
Freedom of religion is being systematically eradicated, people are being persecuted solely on the basis of their religion, women's rights are being replaced with "Kirche, Kueche, Kinder" and racism is alive and well. Does that make us Nazis? Nah.
Our leaders feed us outrageous lies like Iraq has WMDs, Social Security is in trouble, the voting machines weren't tampered with, Saudi Arabia is our friend, unemployment is at a new low, our treasury isn't bankrupt, Tom DeLay didn't commit ethics violations, Gulf War Syndrome doesn't exist, Bush actually won the 2000 and 2004 elections, Palestine isn't a reinactment of the Warsaw Ghetto, liberals are the enemy, outsourcing is a good thing, flipping burgers is a manufacturing job, the dollar hasn't dropped 40% in the last four years and SYRIA is the cause of all our grief. SYRIA? As Hitler used to say, "No one believes small lies but tell Big Lies and everyone will believe you because they simply can't grasp the fact that anyone would lie that outrageously." And we, the Queens of Denial, swallow all these Big Lies and beg for more. Does that make us Nazis? Nah.
Our brave young troops are taught how to torture prisoners and our doctors perform "medical experiments" on them. Does that make us Nazis? Nah.
Our government gets its way by using threats, intimidation, propaganda, bribes, secrets and lies. We as citizens live in constant fear of saying something that might get us in trouble -- rubber bullets if we protest, no-fly lists, website closures or getting fired for speaking out. The midnight knock on the door is an actual possibility. So is the mysterious plane crash. Does that make us Nazis? Nah.
There are rumors everywhere that 9-11, like the burning of the Reichstag, was an inside job but nobody except the Jersey Girls mounts a serious investigation. Nobody except the Jersey Girls seems to care. Does that make us Nazis? Nah.
That makes us "Good Germans".
Sometimes I feel like I'm on the Hogan's Heroes show, utterly surrounded by a sea of Americans who think it's okay -- not even okay but ethical, moral and brilliant! -- to torture and lie and steal. I feel like Colonel Hogan, burrowing from within while the rest of America actually applauds and cheers torture, blitzkrieg and mass murder.
Am I the only one left in America who notices this kind of crap? Am I the only one left in America with ideals? Where is Kinch? Where is Newkirk? Where is Carter? Where is LeBeau? All of America should be out protesting these blatant outrages. At best we only have Sergeant Schultz muttering "I know nuthing!"
Everyone in America seems to be rushing to play the part of Helga or Hilda or Colonel Klink -- living their lives in fear of standing up. "But if I say anything, they will send me to the front!"
No fear of that here, America. If Bush keeps up his current policies, the same thing that happened to Germany will happen here -- the "front" will come to us.
Does anybody else out there want to become a Hogan's Hero? Then join the freedom and democracy underground! There are places you can go on the web (Shhhh... Don't tell General Burkhalter!) and here is a random sampling: Barbara Boxer's PAC at http://www.changethecongress.com/about/ ; alternate news sources like TruthOut at http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/020405A.shtml and CLG News at http://legitgov.org/index.html#breaking_news and Dennis Kucinich's grassroots organizing team at http://www.kucinich.us/VolunteerAction/index.php
Let's all stop being prisoners of war and band together to help send the Bush Gang to the Klink!
Friday, February 04, 2005
I've been thinking about this for a long time. And now that Howard Zinn is stealing my idea, I'd better speak up fast! Here goes: "If the Sunnis and the Shi'is and the Kurds all hate each other, why not just send them to separate parts of the schoolyard and let them play by themselves."
"But what if America leaves and they all kill each other!" you might think. You would be wrong. NOTHING Iraqis could do to each other can possibly be worse than what George Bush is doing to them now.
In the past two years, Bush's Operation Iraqi Freedom has all but destroyed the infrastructure of Iraq -- their electricity, sewage, schools, roads and public safety systems are all (literally) shot to hell. Plus Bush indescriminately uses depleted uranium, collective punishment of civilians, torture, destruction of whole cities and even napalm.
ANYONE could do better at governing Iraq. Even Iraqis. Duh.
As Howard Zinn stated, "We must not underestimate the capacity of the Iraqis, once free of both Saddam Hussein and the U.S. occupying army, to forge their own future." And as even George W. himself said the other day, "Ordinary Iraqis are anxious to shoulder all the security burdens of our country as quickly as possible." How can we argue with that?
Before it got bombed to smithereens, Iraq was not a stone-age country. Even now, many of the citizens there -- among the ones that Bush hasn't managed to maim or kill -- actually have college degrees. They are perfectly capable of making decisions for themselves.
But let's pretend for a moment that I, me, Jane -- not that spoiled brat in the White House -- am Caesar. Here is my decree: "Let the Sunnis have what is left of Fallugah and the Sunni Triangle."
"Let the Shi'is have Baghdad." Bush doesn't want it anyway. It is covered with DU. It glows in the dark!
"Let the Kurds get the north."
And let everyone (except poor sorry George Bush who will probably sulk about this for decades) split the oil profits.
If the Iraqis divide themselves up this way -- and perhaps form a federation like the U.S. federation of states -- everyone will be happy. Everyone will get a piece of the pie.
"But what will America get out of this?" you might ask. American parents won't have to send thousands more sons and daughters into a hopeless quagmire, we taxpayers will save hundreds of billions of dollars -- and America will get to take its marbles home INSTEAD OF LOSING THEM!
End of problem.
Caesar did it. We can too.
Wednesday, February 02, 2005
It was Sunday. My daughter and I had made plans to go up to Tilden Park and walk in the woods but we were lazy and running late and didn't get to it until after dark. We ended up walking around Jewel Lake in the moonlight. It was magical.
Can you imagine poor sorry George Bush doing something like that?
First, he would have had to schedule it months in advance and get a permission slip from Karl Rove. Then he'd have to have the whole region scouted out by his secret police.
Park officials would have to be notified.
The bullet-proof limo would have to be trotted out.
The path around Jewel Lake would have to be paved.
In the end, 800 policemen and 2,000 troops would have to accompany him.
No wonder Bush always talks about Freedom! He mentioned Freedom 26 times in his inaugural speech. But between me and George Bush, which one of us do you think is most free?
Bush wanted that White house job so badly that he was willing to commit election fraud TWICE to get it. And now he's stuck with it, trapped as surely as Saddam Hussein in his spider hole. Do I feel sorry for him?
PS: Actually, this is a question of semantics. When most people refer to Freedom, we are talking about warm and fuzzy patriotic stuff like "The land of the free and the home of the brave." When our George talks about Freedom, he is talking about his freedom to gouge American taxpayers.