Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Life in post-Bush America: Control freaks, rebels and drones

Forget about the split between Red States and Blue States. Since the advent of the George Bush phenomena, America has become divided into THREE states -- but they are not physical locations. They are all states of mind.

In the first state we have the control freaks. They are easy to spot. They are always righteously telling us what to do. Their whole lives are devoted to making sure that everyone else is thinking the same way that they do -- or at least not openly opposing their control.

If control freaks cannot get the rest of us to support and agree with their agendas, they will happily settle for sullen obedience. For control freaks, having subordinates who keep their mouth shut is a definite plus.

Historically famous control freaks: Religious enthusiasts in sixteenth-century Spain, King George III and the British Parliament before the 1776 American Revolution. Famous American control freaks: Bush Republicans and the "Religious" Right.

Then we have the rebels -- the "Rage against the Machine" types who do NOT like to be controlled. They are the loners, the cowboys, the bloggers and sometimes even teenagers, union members, hip-hoppers and the militia. They are the ones who speak out against lies and injustice no matter how much the Patriot Act tries to track us down and shut us up or the media tells us we are "conspiracy freaks" or the FBI shows up at our door.

Famous rebels in history: Socrates, Jesus, Gandhi, Florence Nightingale. Famous American rebels: George Washington, Geronimo, Martin Luther King Jr., John Conyers, Barbra Streisand and Eminem. Not-so-famous rebels: Me! I HATE being controlled.

And lastly we have the drones -- like the clerk at the mall who recently told my friend Maggie, "But I thought the Iraq war was over. You mean to say that it's not?"

They are the ones who believe that Bush-controlled elections are honest, that the economy isn't tanking and that they lost their jobs to outsourcing through some fault of their own. They have never heard of Jeff Gannon or the Downing Street memos -- or, if they have, they carefully keep their mouths shut. Many of them work for the White House and the Pentagon.

Famous drones in history: There are none. Famous American drones: Barbie? Scott McClellan? Maybe Bill Clinton. The other night when David Letterman asked him if he had heard of the Downing Street memos, Clinton replied, "What was that?"

I have rebel friends in Texas, control freak friends in New York City and even drone friends here in Berkeley -- clearly demonstrating that post-Bush America is no longer just a place. It has become a state of mind.

So. Which state are you in? If you're not really sure right now, just wait for a while and it will all sort itself out. The Bush Republican bubble is bound to collapse -- as always happens when there is reckless over-spending, gross corruption, intentional mismanagement and unjustifiable endless war -- causing the safe and protected world that we now know to vanish like it had been attacked by Steven Spielberg aliens. Then, like what happened to Tom Cruise in War of the Worlds, your bottom-line values will rise to the top and you will soon find out if you truly are a control freak or a drone. Or a rebel.

Another -- safer -- alternative is that we could avoid waiting for the inevitable chaos that comes with poor leadership and figure out where we stand now.

And we could decide right now that we are all...AMERICANS!

And, as Americans, we need to give up the luxury of being divided into control freaks, rebels and drones -- and start using common sense and good judgment instead. Let's go back to the ideals of our founding fathers and become honest, just, respectful, kind, frugal and patriotic Americans once again. It could happen. I for one hope that it does.

PS: What makes a control freak want to risk his life (and ours too) by dragging America into endless war? Let's ask Sigmund Freud about this. Hey, Sigmund! Pick some random CF to do a profile on and let's see what makes him tick. Say, for instance, some guy named George Bush?

Freud was up to the task.

"Our subject probably grew up in a home where any dissent was strictly forbidden and punished severely." Okay. The children-are-seen-but-not-heard thing. I can understand that.

"Further, young George either loved or hated his parents deeply..." Wow. How Freudian is that? "...and internalized every criticism they ever made of him to the point where his parents' endless commentary of constant criticism plays back to him in his head even now." Now that's deep. Go Siggie.

So perhaps what Freud is telling us is that control freaks such as our George like to feel good about themselves and so get tired of their subconscious minds constantly telling them what losers they are? But instead of just telling his subconscious, "Shut up you idiot. I'm wonderful. Get off my case," our Dubya -- bless his heart -- just keeps searching for other people to say "Shut up" to. Like me and you.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Prozac goes to war: Feeding our troops anti-depressants like they were Skittles or M&Ms

(Author's note: I first wrote this story in order to highlight one American soldier's plight in Iraq -- but then a friend e-mailed me another soldier's story and my essay expanded. Now it has become more than just one individual American's sad experience in Iraq. It has become a larger tale -- of greed, exploitation and mis-use.

Both of these stories -- as well as the many other stories in the hundreds of soldiers' blogs now pouring out of Iraq -- are documenting America's new reality: For Bush Republicans, the war on Iraq is a cash cow, designed to make money at any cost. Judging from all these stories, it appears that the people in control of the Pentagon, the Congress and the White House regard America's finest heroes as merely unfeeling and interchangeable human machines in their sweatshops -- or like indentured sharecroppers chopping cotton while they sip Mint Julips on the veranda of their Green Zone plantations.

No wonder recruiting is down!)


A friend of mine is stationed in Iraq and is totally flipping out. Can you possibly guess why? Maybe he's tired of following orders that routinely involve blowing up babies? Well, for whatever reason, the doctors there are trying to feed him anti-psychotic medications. "A bottle of pills is their answer to everything over here," he e-mailed me.

Guess what? A bottle of pills seems to be the answer to every problem over here too. I bet half of America is on anti-depressants. But I digress.

"I am afraid to take the anti-psychotics," my friend wrote me. "After everyone got so sick from the anthrax vaccinations they gave us, no one trusts ANYTHING the Army medical corps gives out any more."

So. Should our war hero start taking his pills? Or should he just wait until he has flipped out completely and started shooting everyone in sight? What are his alternatives? The Army is NOT offering him psychotherapy. Neither is it offering to let him go home. You gotta have an arm or a leg blown off for that to happen. Just psychosis or a lost finger or two doesn't count.

I just started reading Dr. William Glasser's book,
Warning: Psychiatry Can Be Dangerous To Your Mental Health. So far, the book has said that psychotropic medications are only 50 to 60% effective -- but that placebos are 47 to 50% effective too. That's scary -- that sugar pills are as effective as Prozac or Risperdal.

The next time I write my friend, I'll ask him if he would like me to send him some M&Ms and Skittles instead.

Another good cure for depression, neurosis, post-traumatic stress syndrome and psychosis in our soldiers in Iraq is to have them stop killing babies and start bringing our troops back home!

PS: Here's another quote from my soldier friend. "You might also want to check out where the manufacturers of Prozac are putting their 'charitable' donations, heh heh. I'm sure the government is getting a pretty penny for shoving all those pills in our mouths."

How many millions do Bush Republicans receive from drug lobby political action committees? George Bush alone received $891,208 to help lobby for drug companies in the year leading up to passing the Medicare Prescription Drug boondoggle. Shouldn't that be illegal?


I just received the following e-mail from a VERY worried parent:

My daughter talked to me yesterday in instant messages. She's an MP on a base in Iraq. She was sad because she got reprimanded for not waking up on time. Anyhoo, I told her, "Well you'd better go to bed earlier don't you think."

Her reply was, "Daddy, I go to bed EVERY night at 9 pm. But we are working 12 hours a day and have been since I arrived in January." She has a 12 hour shift and because they are shorthanded, she has to patrol the whole 12 hours alone in an unarmored SUV -- and her base usually gets mortared at LEAST once a day too.

"I already have three alarm clocks," the daughter answered, "but I'm exhausted and we work six days a week every week." It seems that when she arrived, Rumsfeld took half her unit and transferred it to Baghdad and so EVERY MP on her base must work 12 hours a day, six days a week. She told me that she's totally stressed out so I told her to go to the Doc on sick call and ask for Prozac for her stress. I am assuming from your story that she'll get it -- and then it occurred to me. They probably are ALL overworked since they can't get enough recruits to go there and it's stressing them all out. Imagine what the combat troops must be like? Their equipment is the same way, with most of it being used long past its checks and balances and sand takes a heavy toll on moving parts.

As punishment for not waking up on time, my daughter is now working 12 hours a day seven days a week instead of just six.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Holy Dirty Laundry, Batman! My house is a mess! And the White House is too....

"Well this certainly isn't the Bat Cave," said Robin as he looked around at all the mess. "Jane should be ashamed of herself. This place is a dump."

I'm innocent, guys. I'm out trying to save the freaking planet, not win a good housekeeping award from Readers Digest. Hell, even Batman has a butler and a BUNCH of maids. Why should I have to clean my house?

Just then Cat Woman, George Bush and Poison Ivy came to my defense. "We're too busy out trying to destroy the world to do housework either," they said.

What I need are a couple of neat freaks who LIKE to do housework to come to my rescue.

Anyone got any suggestions or clues?

"To the Jane Cave, Robin!" cried Batman. "And bring that butler dude along too!"

PS: The reason that it is so important for me to have a clean house is that, after finally getting my daughter GRADUATED FROM HIGH SCHOOL (!!!!!) this June and getting Jordan safely back from one of those weird teen "behavior modification" programs in Montana, I want to use my new-found skills and help other teenagers too. So I've applied to become a foster parent.

According to "A Better Way" foster care service, there is a crying need for capable foster parents. When I went to their training program on Saturday, they showed me a whole book full of children who are in desperate need of foster homes. If you live in Northern California, please e-mail Billie at and sign up to become a foster parent. Tell them Jane Stillwater referred you.

Then I can help to clean up the world -- by helping one person at a time -- as well as getting my own house clean.

PPS: The White House badly needs cleaning up too. Right now, it's filled with sleazy squatters who never take out their garbage. They shouldn't be there.

According to its lease, the U.S. Constitution, you gotta be elected to live at the White House -- but flagrant election fraud has forced that hair ball George Bush down our throats. So let's clean house at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, use the Downing Street deep throat memo to cough up GWB and send him off to jail where he can do KP in his cell.

And if Bush decides that he doesn't want to get evicted from the White House and, to avoid said fate, opens concentration camps for us patriots or stages a military coup...well.... As my friend Michael says, "If Bush opens concentration camps he'll have a revolution on his hands. As for a military coup, the same result. He damn well better not!"

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Then there were none: Here's a REALLY juicy Kennedy conspiracy theory!

What if someone told us that the Bush family and their sleazy "men in black" friends were behind the assassination of JFK? Everyone would say, "Well, duh." Or if someone said that these guys were responsible for the assassination of Robert Kennedy? "Yawn. What else is new."

But what if someone told you that the Bush mafia were also behind an attempted assassination of Teddy Kennedy? That's new.

What if Teddy's 1969 Chappaquiddick disaster wasn't just a stupid drunken spree with tragic results after all but a blatant assassination attempt -- that failed?

I just got an e-mail from my friend Patrick stating that the Teddy Kennedy/Chappaquiddick incident might have been planned by the same people who done in JFK and RFK. Wow!

"Most likely the Chappaquiddick incident was intended as a frame-up," said Patrick. "It was a more plausible alternative to a third Kennedy brother assassination (which might have raised eyebrows). In that respect, it did not fail. Dirtying Teddy's reputation at Chappaquiddick, along with likely threats that more could come, served to effectively remove him as the one presidential candidate who would re-open the Dallas investigation."

For those of you who remembered the Chappaquiddick scandal, we were all SO disappointed that this handsome young Senator from Massachusetts could get all liquored up, drive off a bridge and cause the death of Mary Jo -- I can't believe I forgot her last name. It was a household word in every newspaper in the country for over a year. It was like the O.J. Simpson/Michael Jackson trial rolled up into one and it went on and on and on....

Is old age stealing my memory? Nah. I never had one to begin with.

Meanwhile, back at the bridge: There is one piece missing in Patrick's theory: How would the Bad Guys know that Mary Jo would die and that Teddy would swim free of the wreck? They couldn't have known that. Nope, it had to be that they were out to kill yet another popular young Kennedy presidential candidate -- only this time to make it look like an accident.

Why am I thinking this? Maybe our Ted just got drunk, was speeding too fast and went off the bridge? Well sure, Teddy was a bit of a playboy. But still. While making the 90-degree turn onto the road to the bridge, even he had to slow down. If he hadn't, he wouldn't have been able to make the turn and the headlines would have read, "Teddy Kennedy drives into a field" instead.

So. How did the Bad Guys arrange the accident? Was a surveillance team watching for an opportunity? Did an infiltrator encourage Teddy to drive around the island that night? A sabotaged tire? An object placed in the road? A slow leak of brake fluid? Or did they just run him off the road like they did with Karen Silkwood? You gotta remember that this happened long before there were more subtle inventions like laser beams and anthrax.

Back in the day before we started being more aware of political assassinations -- before they became the Central Intelligence Agency's official policy -- a staged accident would have been SO easy to do, especially if you were, like George Bush Sr, head of the CIA and knew all that James Bond stuff about fixing cars and fixing drinks. Maybe the assassins lucked out that Teddy went off the bridge. Maybe they were just hoping that he and Mary Jo would just run into a tree.

"But," you might say, "if all this is true, why hasn't Teddy spoken out?" If you had just had two of your brothers brutally murdered and an attempt had just been made on your life, what would you have done?

OMG, don't you just love it? Isn't this just the JUICIEST conspiracy theory yet?

PS: How come when Bush Republicans come up with some absolute whoppers -- like the existence of WMDs in Iraq or that there were no fighter jets available to protect America on 9-11 because they were ALL in Greenland playing war games or that corrupt liberals are out to get poor sweet honest Tom DeLay or that it's okay to have Jeff Gannon, a known male prostitute, spend 18 nights at the White House -- how come these are called facts? But when I come up with some really good stuff, it's called a conspiracy theory? That's not fair!

Bush's stuff stinks. My stuff is HOT.

PPS: My friend Joe Thompson just reminded me about our beloved John-John Kennedy too. "Given the circumstances and the popularity of all mentioned, I would say the Bush gang was behind it all without even talking to Patrick. They are a ruthless people with a ruthless agenda. The Kennedys had to be stopped if the Bushes were to move ahead. If John Jr. were alive today, there would not be a Lunatic running this country." Good grief! I had forgotten about John-John. And Senator Carnahan. And Paul Wellstone. And the postal workers who died of weapons-grade anthrax. And all those American heroes who died needlessly on 9-11 and in Iraq so that Bush Republicans could have power over me and you....

What to do about all this mess? Let's do what they just did in Bolivia. Let's confiscate all the blood money that the Bush mafia has stolen from us and then demand a new and HONEST president. My friend Jonathan just suggested Rep. John Conyers for the position. Works for me. Then put someone with integrity like Senator Boxer or Rep. Dennis Kucinich in as Veep and America will finally be good to go. Or perhaps Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Bottom line: For a long time -- from the Kennedys through the Clintons and the anthrax -- Bush Republicans are sending out a message. "Dare to oppose us? You're next." It's time for Americans to start to stand up to that!

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Ariel Sharon the Hypocrite: What will he do when 5,337,185 Palestinians convert?

It was a beautiful spring day in the Gaza strip but all the Palestinians there were sick and tired of being on house arrest. "I have an idea," said Ahmed. "Let's convert to Judaism and then they will HAVE to give us our property back." It was a fabulous idea and it caught on like wildfire. Why not? Muslims revered Abraham so Mohammed would be proud of them for honoring his memory. Moses? The Torah? Muslims were People of the Book already. It was all good.

So. Suddenly Israel found itself with 5,337,185 new Jews. This should have made Ariel Sharon happy because up until then the poor guy had been forced to scour the world looking for Jews to move into his new West Bank condominiums. He even paid some Peruvians from the upper Amazon jungle to convert and move to the Promised Land. This should have been his dream come true.

What a hypocrite.

It turned out that Sharon was in the real estate racket because of the power and money it gave him -- not because he cared about Jews. And even though Israel and Palestine were now united religiously, the Apartheid Wall still stood. The checkpoints still stood. And the army still killed teenagers -- only now they were Jewish teenagers.

Oy vey!

"But how can you harass your fellow Jews?" Ahmed asked Sharon.

"Simple," replied Ariel. "I want Jews who blindly obey me. I'm looking for Jews that will kiss I'm not looking for Jews seeking justice. There is no place on MY land for those kind of Jews." His land? I thought that land belonged to....

PS: Whenever I criticize Ariel Sharon, some guy always phones me at 2:00 am shortly thereafter and calls me the female-dog word -- like THAT'S going to make me more fond of Ariel? Yeah right.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Batman begins at 9-11: "Fixing the facts" on Gotham City as well as on Iraq

Holy nightmare, Robin! Bush lied to us about Iraq! So why should we continue to believe that he told us the truth regarding 9-11?

According to newly-released Downing Street memos, the Bush Republicans "created the conditions" and "fixed the facts" to get us involved in the War on Iraq. There is a pattern here, Batman.

They probably "created the conditions" and "fixed the facts" on 9-11 to get us involved in the War on Terror too. I can just hear The Penguin now as he whispers into Two-Face's ear on that fateful morning in the fall of 2001. "The conditions are right. The facts are fixed. Get out your goat book and practice your reading."

To the Bat Cave, Robin! Let's send these Jokers to jail.

PS: If you have ever heard the mating call of a penguin, it sounds just like a little old lady who is totally furious because her purse has just been snatched.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Reenacting the 1776 American Revolution (Won't Congress be surprised!)

After Republican Congressman James Sensenbrenner had the outright nerve to shut down C-Span in the middle of a Judiciary Committee hearing this week, I'm EVEN MORE outraged than usual at the blatant trampling of our civil rights by the current corrupt "government" in Washington.

It's like being colonized by the British all over again.

When will the Bush Republicans' gluttony for sucking out America's life-blood finally stop? How much is enough?

The Bush/DeLay/Halliburton political machine's well-documented corruption wasn't enough. The Downing Street plan to lie to the American people about Iraq wasn't enough. The death of America's fabulous economy wasn't enough. Leaving our elderly to live on cat food while they steal our Social Security reserves wasn't enough. Defaming the character of Jesus Christ wasn't enough. Now they gotta take away C-Span?

This is revolting. I'm revolted. Enough is enough. It's time to do what our founding fathers did. It's time for a Revolution. It's time for Paul Revere to go on another midnight ride.

This time, however, our Paul won't be warning America's villages and towns. We villagers and townfolk already know what is up. We've already seen our sky-rocketing property taxes, our diminished dollar power, our run-down schools, our out-sourced jobs, our slashed Constitution, our rigged elections and our sons being killed in an Iraq now occupied by even worse torturers than Saddam Hussein.

This time Paul Revere needs to go ride his horse up and down Pennsylvania Avenue -- and warn those Inside-the-Beltway aristocracy wannabees in D.C. that we Americans are tired of being lied to, stolen from, controlled, cheated and conned.

And Paul Revere isn't the only one who needs to spread the word. It's time for all us patriots to grab our lanterns and head for Washington because the Bush Republicans need to be thoughtfully reminded of exactly where their so-called power comes from. Us. It's time for We the People to stage a realistic reenactment of the 1776 American Revolution.

Are you fed up with having our country suffer from Taxation without Representation as dubiously-elected Congressmen squander our tax money on their own lavish profits? And are you tired of having some know-nothing who dares to call himself a Representative of the People turning off OUR C-Span? Then come on down and join the 229th anniversary reenactment of America's 1776 Revolution!

Won't King Dubya be surprised to look out the window of OUR White House and see George Washington glowering back at him from behind large boxes of tea that he has brought down from Boston?

Let's dress up like Thomas Payne, go visit our Senators and remind those toffee-nosed hypocrites once again that our country was founded upon the principles of freedom and justice -- not on who can reach the deepest into America's wallets. Let's tell them that Americans do not suffer fools gladly. Nor stolen elections. Nor treasury giveaways. Nor media sell-outs (or was it FCC hand-outs?) and definitely not C-Span black-outs!

And let's cheer for Ben Franklin as he stumps off to picket the corporate offices of Enron and Halliburton and Fox. Or maybe, since they are no longer American companies, Ben could just picket their offshore tax-avoiding mailboxes. Or, better yet, let's be really revolutionary and open our own offshore tax-evading mailbox.

Then let's send John Hancock and Samuel Adams over to enlighten our House of Representatives. "You fat cats are supposed to be working for the interests of the American People -- not just for special interests, hyper-rich war profiteers and the Queens of corporate welfare," Hancock will tell them. And he will put it in writing too! And by the way, John, when you go there be sure to bring along a bunch of Minutemen and Patriots.

Tired of trying to flag down your Congressman to tell him that you need new schools and new hospitals instead of new wars? Then let's send Betsy Ross over to sew up some of those fiscal holes in the Pentagon. Bush's generals have a 400 billion dollar budget to design new and better ways to blow up women and children? That's criminal. The Department of Defense needs to stop waving their stripes and start wearing them.

And I want C-Span back.

Every patriot in America needs to dress in breeches and broadcloth and MARCH ON WASHINGTON to remind all the Redcoats and Tories there that, in the immortal words of Thomas Jefferson, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights." That's right, Tom!

And "to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." That is the consent of the GOVERNED we're talking about -- not the consent of some hyper-rich Benedict Arnolds and their vote-eating voting machines!

And "That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government." It's time to reenact the principles that America was founded upon -- and to let those corporate welfare Turncoats in D.C. know who is boss.


PS: WHY was Paul Revere running around the New England countryside like a chicken with his head cut off? Think about it. He was a middle-class guy. He had food on his table. He had a job. What made him risk all that to stand up and fight? And what is making US do the same thing? WE have food on our table, a roof over our heads and a TV droning soothingly in the background telling us that all is well, all is well, the Bush Republicans are working for us and in our our best interests.

WHY can't I just accept what Fox News tells me and stop wasting untold hours of my life pounding out a constant stream of cries for freedom and justice and fruitlessly sending them off to "Letters to the Editor" and Congressional in-boxes who obviously don't want them and only send me back "System Administrator" notices that these in-boxes have rejected my e-mails as spam?

Why can't I just be content with letting Uncle George be large and in charge? Why can't I just shut up and "appreciate what I've got"?

According to William Glasser, MD, the human mind does not live by bread alone. The human mind, in the final analysis, cannot be brainwashed or programmed from the outside to accept "security" instead of the honor and glory of freedom and our intense internal drive for justice. Lie to us, jail us, deride us, censor us, nuke us (well, maybe not that) but you will never be able to silence that still, small voice inside of us that whispers to our inner souls, "What the Bush Republicans are doing to our country is WRONG."

PPS: My friend Michael said that it may already be too late for Americans to dissent -- let alone revolt. "As for revolution, if the American people really knew the whole truth, Washington would already be in ashes by now. But they don't and they probably won't until it's too late. It may already be too late."

When it comes to planning for suppressing future dissent, the Bush Republicans are right on the job. Do you think we can just vote them out of office? With no paper trails? Dream on. And for another thing, they have carefully built the largest military force in the world. Want to object to the loss of your rights and your money? Try going up against Star Wars. These people are ruthless.

"It looks like the Bush Republicans have already planned well for what lies ahead," said Michael. Getting our democracy back might be a little bit tricky. "Why do you think they have expanded their Patriot Act powers to allow the FBI to spy on us? And the Senate has secretly approved new unconstitutional powers that basically make Bush a dictator. They know there will be plenty of social unrest here in the not too distant future and they are prepared for it."

To hell with the Bush Republicans. Let's stage a Revolutionary reenactment anyway. I want C-Span back!

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Hitting the Oregon [paper] Trail: How to save billions & stop vote fraud too

Well, it's time for Americans to hit the trail -- the Oregon Trail. The Oregon Paper Trail.

Please explain to me why Congress is so hot and anxious to circle the wagons and spend BILLIONS of dollars on voting machines that don't work when they can follow the example of voting pioneers in Oregon and just have everyone MAIL in their votes. Why spend our hard-earned bucks on Diebold when we can chose the Pony Express instead?

And here's another Oregon [paper] Trail that needs to be looked at carefully. There was, according to prominent Republicans, a LOT of cross-party vote switching going on in Florida. Oh really? Why is that? "Abortion issues. Gay issues. 'Moral' issues," the Republicans told us. But those same issues are present in Oregon too. Many Oregonians think a lot like Floridans regarding these issues. For instance, Oregon just passed an anti-gay-marriage ordinance. And a friend of mine who just moved there told me that she was surrounded by right-wing evangelical types. And yet despite all this potential for vote-switching, Kerry still won in Oregon.

After noticing the pronounced differences between Oregon vote-switching patterns and Florida vote-switching patterns despite similarities in voter attitudes, it becomes ovbious that we need to check out the Florida Trail too. However, in far too many cases, there isn't any trail to check out. How sad for Americans. How convenient for Bush.

Our George is always talking about how much he needs more money to buy weapons with. Well. If Bush REALLY wanted to save more money to give to his scalawag friends in the weapons business, he would jump right on this here band wagon -- or, in his words, "catapult the propaganda" -- in favor of mail-in ballots. They are safe. They are accurate. They are CHEAP.

When it comes to eliminating vote fraud, acting like a free country and saving tons and tons of money, the rest of America needs to dump those high-falutin' lily-livered voting machine varmits in Washington and hit the Oregon Trail!

Monday, June 06, 2005

Visa or Mastercard?: The new American serfs

"Wanna move to San Francisco?" Can't. I got a mortgage tying me to Utah.

"Wanna dump that job you hate?" Can't. I got a Mastercard debt I gotta pay off.

"Wanna get your kid into Harvard?" Can't. I can't afford the tuition.

"Wanna devote your life to the teachings of Christ?" Can't. I have to work off my student loan.

"Wanna be happy? Wanna be free? Wanna stand on your own two feet and be an AMERICAN?" Can't. My credit rating won't allow it.

"Wanna avoid serving in the Iraq war?" Can't. It's the only job I can find and I need a job.

"Want a new car?" Desperately. More than I want to be happy or serve my fellowman or live in a democratic country or stay out of jail or be healthy or ANYTHING!

"Congratulations. You have passed the test. You have sold your soul. You are now my serf. Sign here." In blood. In American blood.

PS: This is my "Readers Digest/Desperate Housewives" condensed version of a very interesting article by Nigel Maund entitled "The Financial Endgame Slowly Plays Out..." ( Maund maintains that debt now ties us Americans to our owners just like the serfs of feudal times were tied to theirs. Read the article then do what he suggests: Cut up all your credit cards.

"Cut up my credit cards? I can't do that!" You can't? Just remember that Gandhi, Jesus and Buddha did really well without credit cards and so did Abraham and Mohammed. Trust me. You will too. Why? Because Heaven offers a much bigger line of credit than Mastercard.

PPS: Apparently, most Bush Republicans are history buffs and are BIG into reenactments. Right now they are working on re-creating the Hoover Era. The Republican Congress must have gotten a sneak preview of "Cinderella Man" and decided they wanted to re-create all that Great Depression atmosphere again. Congratulations, guys. You are well on your way toward doing it.

Sooner than we think, the gigantic debt bubble that Bush Republicans have so carefully crafted will burst and when that happens, we will be able to re-experience -- free of charge -- such familiar Great Depression era highlights as the bread line, the soup kitchen, the dollar-an-hour minimum wage and the shanty town.

The Bush Republicans, however, need to be aware that if they successfully reenact the Great Depression Hoover Era, they may also successfully cause the reenactment of the 1776 Revolution Era shortly thereafter.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

I need frequent flyer miles to go to an October conference in Jerusalem. Got any extra ones?

I was watching Barbara Scherr on public television last night and she was saying, "If you are happy, you are doing what you are supposed to be doing." Okay. Does that mean that because George Bush is happily bombing babies that he is doing what he is supposed to be doing?

So. I got to thinking. What would make ME happy? Going to this conference in Jerusalem. How can I DO that? Frequent flyer miles? I don't have any. Do any of your Republican friends have any? I could borrow them and PROMISE to give them back?

To paraphrase Grover Norquist's famous quote, "We need to starve corporate welfare queens until they are small enough to drown in the bathtub!" Let's start by taking away their tax breaks and all those subsidies that normal business folks don't get -- and then take away their frequent flyer miles (and give them to me!)

Or if you could help pay part of my airfare, I could be a correspondent for your newspaper or bring you something back. Roman coins? Something from Bethlehem? Let me know at Thanks.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

The Gilmore Girls meet the House of Wax: Nuclear power vs. alternative energy

I was listening to KPFA the other day and they said something like this: "The government has given the nuclear power industry BILLIONS of dollars to invent and develop nuclear energy." My friend Russell Hoffman said that the amount was probably closer to trillions of dollars. That's a lot of money.

How much money are we talking about here? Enough money to put a solar panel on the roof of every house in America and still have enough panels left over to do Mexico and Canada.

Speaking of Mexico, there is a totally sweet little town outside Puerto Vallarta that is only reachable by a two-hour boat ride or 30 miles by mule-back. This town used to have no cars and NO ELECTRICITY. For years everyone there just used lanterns and flashlights. While it still has no cars, every home now has a solar panel on its roof to power its electric lights.

If some backwater town in the middle of nowhere can be this technologically advanced, how come America isn't?

America is being outdistanced in the energy race by a Mexican hamlet for only one reason: Because billions -- or trillions -- of dollars are NOT being spent to develop solar energy. Instead, they are being spent to develop and propagate the House of Wax.

You know how clean and cute Rory Gilmore is (except of course for the time she got drunk and talked Logan into stealing a yacht)?

You know that scene in the House of Wax where the stairway melts as the heroes are trying to climb up it to escape from the deranged bad guy?

Which represents solar power and which represents nuclear power? Make an offhand guess.

The decayed old Three-Mile-Island-class nuclear generators that dot America's landscape are ticking time bombs, just waiting to become melted stairs. And the nuclear waste they emit is -- eeuuww -- trapped in the basement of this House of Wax with its fingers sticking through the grating, begging for help. And those of us who saw the movie know how badly that ends.

But according to Helen Caldicott, the nuclear waste is no longer even trapped in the basement. "Every male in the northern hemisphere has a small load of plutonium in his gonads." And according to radiation expert Leuren Moret, "Anywhere from within a 100 miles of a nuclear power plant is where two-thirds of all breast cancer deaths occurred in the U.S. between 1985 and 1989." That's a pretty big ball of wax!

Solar energy and other alternative energy sources, on the other hand, are more like the Gilmore Girls' home town, Stars Hollow -- a product of Yankee ingenuity and history and grit, in the Thomas Edison mode.

Which would you like your future to be like? And if you are weird enough to answer "House of Wax," no problem. There is a nuclear power plant near you that is ready, willing and able to melt down at any minute!

PS: I want a solar panel on MY roof! No more outrageous electricity bills? What's not to like about that.