Saturday, July 30, 2005

Cross my palm with silver: My lifeline research report on America's future

Six months ago, I got my palm read. "See that fork in your lifeline? That means you will travel." Hey, I'm up for that. Will I win the lottery too? So I can afford all this travel? But I digress.

After having my palm read, I became fascinated by lifelines. Were they really an accurate prediction of how long one's life was going to be? And if by some chance lifelines WERE accurate, then could I use them to be able to predict the future? For instance, if I looked at the lifelines of a whole bunch of children and their lifelines were long, deep and solid -- would that mean that somehow California was going to be able to avoid the future economic instability, health and education disasters and endless war that the Bush Republicans in Washington seem to have in mind for us?

I started reading up on lifelines. And I started grabbing people's hands. "What is important is the depth of the lifeline, not the length," said one book. That's good to know.

I have a friend who has diabetes and a very short lifeline but the line is way deep. That describes her situation exactly. Despite her infirmities, this friend takes care of business, is a force to be reckoned with. Hummm....

I also looked at the hands of some low-income African-American boys who live in my neighborhood. Their lifelines were all alike -- yet very different from the adult hands I had looked at so far. Their lifelines had all these stops and starts and branches and little islands in them. They were so unusual yet so common in this age/race group that I started to call them "Stay out of the Army" hands.

But, basically, the lifelines I've looked at so far were mostly strong and unbroken and unbranched.

Then I started looking at the lifelines of new immigrants to this country and THEIR lifelines were completely different -- they were all over the map, all broken and twisted and strange. These I started to call the "I've lived through Hell and survived it" kind of hands.

What have I learned from studying lifelines? Three things: To be extremely grateful that chance has allowed me be born in white middle-class America; that my lifeline is strong and secure and I have managed to stay out of the Army; and that I, unlike billions of other folks on this planet, have never had to come "back from the jaws of death, back from the mouth of Hell".

In addition, I now have a lot more respect for what other people have suffered through and survived. Compared to the lifelines of folks from El Salvador, Afghanistan and Rwanda, Americans have it really soft. And we Americans need to learn to be more grateful for all the wonder gifts that we now hold in our hands.

PS: When I looked at my friend Almira's palm yesterday, she had all these weird broken up lines on her lifeline too. "My goodness, Almira!" I cried. "You have the palm of a third world person. What's up with that?" For an American, this woman has really had a hard life!

But Almira just winked at me and said, "Now you have discovered my secret. I am an alien!" That explains it. Almira is not from no third world country. She's from OUT of this world completely!

PPS: My father was born in Roswell, New Mexico. Does that make me an alien too? Actually, my father and my daughter have something really interesting in common: Both of their mothers (including me) were pregnant with them when the Earth passed through the tail of Haley's Comet. What are the chances of that ever happening? You couldn't even PLAN something like that.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Wal-Mart has sucessfully invaded China: They shoulda had Wal-Mart invade Iraq too!

All that recent talk from Chinese generals threatening nuclear retaliation if the U.S. were to attack China because of Taiwan? Well. That's not going to happen. Why not? Wal-Mart has already attacked China -- and won!

According to my friend Joe Thompson, "There will be no nuclear war with China. Wal-Mart, who uses 3,000 factories in China -- while putting Americans out of work and reaping huge profits -- won't allow that to happen."

Ah. So Wal-Mart has already invaded China. Which leads to my next question. Why didn't we just send Sam's Club over to Iraq instead of buying all that high-priced attack gear that obviously didn't work? Imagine what us taxpayers could have saved if we had just sent in Wal-Mart instead of spending big bucks on radioactive weaponry, Halliburton, dominatrix and plastic turkeys.


How dumb can Karl Rove and Donald Rumsfeld be? They just squandered 200 billion dollars in taxpayers' money when they just coulda sent over Wal-Mart and McDonalds instead.

PS: Unfortunately, Wal-Mart has conquered America too -- soundly defeating our workers and unions without any opposition at all except for some heroic guerrilla resistance from the Teamsters and SEIU. But the recent Chinese workers' strikes and riots are indicating that Wal-Mart may soon be facing insurgents in China too....

Sunday, July 24, 2005

The Project for a New American Century for Dummies: How to Dominate the World and still receive Social Security!

I opened my inbox yesterday. Some guy had sent me a whole bunch of website links about world domination conspiracies. It really freaked me out! There were all these photos of jet bombers and missile weapons systems and underground bunkers in Idaho and top secret plots by evil madmen to conquer the world get the picture. "James Bond tried to warn us!" My paranoia ran free.

Then some Congressman from Colorado came on some talk show and started chit-chatting about how if there was an attack on America, the Bush guys were gonna nuke Mecca -- and if THAT happened, someone (it wasn't clear exactly who -- maybe Russia allied with China or some teenagers from London with backpacks) would nuke Israel and Israel in turn would launch a giant Tsunami that would bury New York all the way to Ohio. Okay.

I was into this! "What REALLY goes on at the top secret level that we normal schmucks are not privy to?" I asked myself. At the Kremlin/Pentagon/Downing Street/caves of Afghanistan level, I bet there really ARE wheels within wheels. Even after just one DAY of reading the back pages of the Wall Street Journal or browsing through, it all becomes obvious: Us Americans are just hapless dupes and set decorations -- happily shopping at the mall and voting on "for show" voting machines while being exploited by secretive mutants who live in some underground shadow government control center a la HG Well's book "The Time machine".

But if I am not just happily wallowing in cheap paranoia and this IS true, then who would be running these games?

Just exactly WHICH evil masterminds would be in control of the secret ultra-high-tech world domination operation that this website was talking about? Chinese, Arab, Russian? American? Okay, let's start searching for Doctor Doom.

Surely said evil masterminds would not be the idiots in the White House. Surely even Karl Rove is too bumbling to know how to come up with this stuff. And definitely not Georgie. Anyone who sees him stumble and stutter and listen to his earpiece on television knows it surely isn't he. Who then? Rumsfeld? Cheney? Bush senior? Putin? The aging Red Guard? Osama bin Ladin? Ariel Sharon?

The sinister masterminds in charge of world domination would have to be American. Nobody else could afford all those toys.

So. Who behind the scenes in American government (besides Dr. Strangelove) is weird enough to come up with all this Goldfinger/Doctor No/Doctor Evil global world order uber-overlord hyper-control stuff?

I put on my spy outfit and Googled "World Domination".

Just like that, up popped "The Project for a New American Century". Hummmm... And then, when I went to check out their website, my screen froze, my whole hard drive crashed and even my free cell computer solitaire game stopped working. Now I was REALLY getting paranoid!

Fortunately, when I re-booted, everything was fine. Except for that still, small voice inside my head that keeps saying, "Jane, they have spent trillions and trillions of (our tax) dollars on weapons. They have purchased over half of the Congress. They bought up the media. They own all the oil. They can't have done that for nothing." And all those weapons and bunkers and missiles and jet airplanes and tanks and...and all under the control of the PNAC.

But the PNAC boys are getting old now. It's not like it was back in the day of the Kennedy assassinations and the Bay of Pigs invasion when they were young lions with hopes. That was thirty or forty years ago! Maybe they started the War on Iraq at this point in time so that they would still be young enough to enjoy the fireworks without the use of Viagra -- and can still get it up when they stage the NEXT New Pearl Harbor, the one that will put the Middle East and even the whole world and Kansas under their control (and the Rapture comes in a red fireball too.... )

Forget it. All this paranoia stuff is getting to me. I'm going off to shop at the mall.

PS: When I was a kid, our teachers solemnly informed us that the world could blow up at any minute and that we had better be careful. I practiced ducking and covering faithfully -- totally convinced that when the Big One hit Millbrae, I alone would somehow survive. Maybe THAT'S why I'm still so paranoid about major weaponry. I'll have to ask Freud.

"Sigmund, I still have these dreams. I've had them since I was a kid. I'm sitting in the school cafeteria (chatting with my friend Terry Hughes, trying to flirt with that dreamboat John Palmer and eating creamed chipped beef and peas). Then I look out the window and the whole sky has lit up. Then I melt into ashes and am totally destroyed...."

Friday, July 22, 2005

Brat camp: If children are from Heaven, why put them through Hell?

This here diatribe is my passionate rebuttal to the new TV reality series called "Brat Camp." Have you WATCHED that show? The mere THOUGHT of glorifying those hell holes is driving me NUTS. My daughter's friend Jordan refuses to even watch that show. Poor Jordan has already survived three different "Brat Camps". There is no way he is going to live through something like that again -- even if just on TV.

I knew that this show was going to be heavy-going to watch after having listened to Jordan's tales of his experiences in these programs so I taped "Brat Camp" ahead of time so I could watch it in segments -- and I'm so glad I did! That program is SCARY! I can only stand a bit at at time before I need to take a break and watch "The Cut" or "Big Brother 6" or "Hell's Kitchen" or some other program that puts adults through the wringer -- not kids.

According to the script, the nine kids featured on the show were lying, stealing, drug-using angry promiscuous monsters before they arrived at Brat Camp -- and of course the show is extremely dramatic and entertaining as it drags these poor juvenile delinquents all over the outback of high-desert Oregon. But. How did these nine middle-class American kids get so out of line to deserve this incredibly harsh treatment in the first place? No one on the show answers THAT very important question. That is a shame.

From the very beginning, this show had me climbing the walls. Check out the way these kids even ARRIVED at Brat Camp -- they were lied to, deceived and/or kidnapped and dragged there. What does that say about the camp -- and their parents? Can YOU imagine being dragged out of your bed by burly strangers in the middle of the night and frog-marched off to God-knows-where? Or imagine having your boss blithely lie to you that he is giving you a free trip to Jamaica and then he drops you off at the unemployment line? Not honest, not trust-forming, not cool!

In last Wednesday's episode they had these children being force-marched through a 17-degree blizzard. Is that not child abuse? What if one of them had died? One of them almost did. This is supposed to make a MAN of a 14-year-old? Why don't they save this boy's parents $4,000 a month and just send him off to Iraq?

But aside from child endangerment, what really angers me about this reality show is that it glorifies "Brat Camps" and makes them seem so therapuetic for the poor teen schmucks who trudge through them. The teens you see on the screen are probably actors but the real-life "behavior modification" programs that the show is modeled after takes kids that are already wounded and hurting and just grinds in the pain, twisting the knife in the wound.

If you think "Brat Camp" behavior modification programs will straighten your kid out, think again.

What those camps actually do to the poor sad children who are trapped there for months -- sometimes years -- is to teach them that adults are not to be trusted, that people can do almost anything to you and get away with it because you are powerless, that you have no one to speak up for you -- and that you are NOT allowed to think for yourselves.

After parents actually PAY those "camps" and "schools" and "programs" $4,000 a month for two or three years, your child will come back to you brain-washed and spineless -- if not completely brain-dead. "Sir yes sir!" is all that they will say to you. There will be nothing else in their heads. Most parents seem to LOVE the results of these camps but they might as well have given birth to a zombie.

Of course there's no chance your kid will get into Harvard after a stint at "Brat Camp" but he or she will have no trouble getting into the cast of a re-make of the "Night of the Living Dead."

Or you child may learn really nasty habits -- once they are up there out in the middle of nowhere with no one to hang out with except a pack of juvenile delinquents and untrained "counselors" who can and will teach them bad stuff. For instance, look what happened to one sweet innocent young girl who I know personally. At age 14, she dared to say no to her parents. A teen saying no? Unheard of! So shocked were the parents that they shipped her off to Mission Mountain School in Montana for the next THREE YEARS.

This girl came back from Montana, all loving the program and the guy who ran it. "I just LOVED it there!" she told me. Be that as it may, this girl now has NO ambition and is acting out sexually in more ways than I even want to think about. Nice job, Mission Mountain School.... Or not.

But I have a great suggestion. Instead of sending poor bewildered lost teenagers off to be drill-instructed, endangered, abused and yelled at, let's send their PARENTS off to Brat Camp and see how THEY like it.

At some of these programs, children are denied food, water, toilet privileges and bathing accommodations for days or weeks on end. Hungry, thirsty, soiled and dirty, what do they learn? They learn how to hate. How long would YOU last under these conditions? With maggots in your food, mold growing on the floor where you lie face down by the hour like the kids endure at Tranquility Bay? Or at the WWASP programs where children are constantly brain-washed? Shamed, humiliated and treated like animals? With no communication with the outside world to the point where you realize that suicide is your only hope for rescue? How long would YOU last?

According to the Billings Montana Gazette, "Spring Creek Lodge spent $56,677 during the 90-day period the state legislature was in session in 2005, successfully defeating legislation which would have required therapeutic boarding schools to be licensed and regulated by the state." That's a LOT of money to spend to avoid regulation. Why would a legitimate program do that?

But do parents of "troubled teens" have any other choices open to them? Yes, yes and yes!

John Gray, the author of "Women are from Venus, Men are from Mars," tells us that "Children are from Heaven". He says that babies come into this world with a very strong drive to co-operate. This is a fabulous idea. But if it is true, then how did America's children get so fouled up so quickly? Gray's theory about this is that many parents are either too strict or too lenient -- but there is a happy medium somewhere in the middle where it's "okay to want more" and it's "okay to say no" -- so that children can learn how to make their own decisions -- but Mom and Dad are still the boss.

This exploring of the parameters of decision-making and learning this valuable skill simply doesn't happen at "behavior modification" programs. Those kids are regimented in everything -- every single waking hour. Exactly WHEN are they supposed to learn to think for themselves? At these programs, it's regimentation, regimentation, regimentation -- or else. (These kids will be READY for Army recruitment. Think of the money saved from not having to send them to boot camp -- ship them right off to Iraq!)

And who is a kid supposed to appeal to for a judgment call if they think that a counselor's decision is immoral? (Some of the counselors on "Brat Camp" BTW appear to be paranoid burned-out loose-cannon control freaks but I COULD be wrong.... Maybe they are just bad actors.) What sane adult would be available to come to these children's rescue out in a 120-degree desert or a 17-degree desert -- where the nearest adult not in the program is 60 miles away in who-knows-what direction because the kids were actually BLINDFOLDED before being taken to camp so they wouldn't know how to escape? And no phone calls are allowed.

So. What have we learned? That Hollywood has glorified "Brat Camp" -- but at what a cost?. Parents who send their kids off to these programs just may get what they wish for -- the endless night of the totally obedient living dead. Forty-five-year-old children, still living at home. Even in Jordan's case, this is a problem. After running away from his camp in Montana, he is now friendly and loving and obedient and a joy to spend time with -- but has absolutely NO ambition, does mostly nothing, dreads being around strangers and is on the verge of flunking out of school.

Or parents may get the opposite reaction from their children, once the "program" brain-washing wears off -- Godzilla gone mad. Jordan's brother returned home after FOUR YEARS at these programs and all he does now is pick fights, collect knives and obsess on how much he hates his parents.

My advice to parents is this: Go buy John Gray's book and save yourself $75,000. But if you still want your kid to swing from vines and have the wilderness experience, send him or her off to Outward Bound or scout camp or someplace where they don't lock up the phones.

PS: There is one "Brat Camp" I would LOVE to see happen. Wouldn't you just love to see those juvenile delinquents who are currently trashing our White House -- the ones who lied to us about WMDs in Iraq, hacked our voting machines, stole from our purses with bogus tax cuts, played with matches on Downing Street and sold our kids harmful drugs -- get frog-marched endlessly off across some Utah desert? You would? Me too!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

OMG, Roberts looks just like a Young Republican: Putting SWM back in control of the Supreme Court

My first impression of the new supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr was, "OMG, he looks just like an over-grown Young Republican!" And he does.

So I spent a whole HOUR Googling John. Nope, he wasn't a YR. But I did find some interesting stuff on him. He's definitely in George Bush's back pocket -- made a whole bunch of campaign contributions to the "Elect Georgie" slush fund.

In the law office where I work, there is a a framed document hanging on the wall -- showing the members of the "1923 Alameda County Bench and Bar Association". It is there to remind us. In 1923, there were 249 lawyers and judges in our county. Two of them were women. Perhaps four were Jews. There were no African-Americans. Period. Welcome to the good old days, Judge Roberts. Too bad for us women, working people and minorities. Rich white men are back in control!

I'm sure that Judge Roberts is a wonderful guy. But his nomination tells us something loud and clear. Bush Republicans are sending the likes of you and me a clear message. "The days of working people and small business owners and students and women and minorities and unions trying to run this country are definitely over." Too bad. It was nice while it lasted. There for a while, it looked like America was gonna be a beacon to the world.

No, those days are over. Now America is just gonna be yet another example of folks at the top bravely shouldering "The White Man's burden". But not to fear. The rest of us can always get jobs as cannon-fodder and scullery maids.

PS: I am currently reading George Orwell's classic, "Burmese Days" wherein Orwell insightfully shows us verbal images of what it was like under the British Raj. I highly recommend it. Bush Republicans would love this book. I am sure that the thought of evenings spent drinking at the club while "native" houseboys cleaned up after them would make Bush Republicans all positively DROOL!

PPS: At a recent Madison Square Graden convention, several Young Republicans were asked if they would be willing to serve in Iraq. Many answered that, while they supported the War on Iraq in principle, actually joining the Army and going there themselves was a Bad Idea. "We don't have to be there physically to fight [the war]," one YR stated. How patriotic! They are taking the same position taken by Cheney and Bush.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

"Plame off": How Rove will get away with outing a CIA agent

The Fantastic Four have been at it again. Karl Rove, also known as "The Human Torch", should have been in big trouble after flaming CIA agent Valerie Plame. Exposing a CIA agent is a felony and an act of treason -- a crime worthy of Doctor Doom himself. "Not to worry," said Rove. "Nothing will come of it. The storm will pass over. I'll get away with this one too."

And Rove is right. All he has to do is play "Invisible Girl" for a week or two until the press and the bloggers either move on to the next Rove-generated crisis or are accused of not supporting the troops. "They've been blogging us about 9/11for four years now," commented The Torch, "and NOTHING has come of it. We got caught with our pants down totally -- yet we are still here. Why get our knickers all in a twist over this?"

Why indeed. With Bill "Mr. Fantastic" Frist ruling Congress with an iron hand and the Supreme Court presided over by Antonin "The Thing" Scalia, just exactly WHO is going to persecute Mr. Rove? Not you and me.

Face it, America. Rove OWNS the USA. As our Karl so aptly described his tenure in the White House, "The Fantastic Four will prove to be the longest-running comic book series in history."

Like "The Thing", the Rove administration has also become "a hideously misshapen monster with superhuman strength." You can bet on it -- there will be no resignations, no impeachments and no jail time for this fantastic foursome. Why? Because Rove has torched all of our executive, legislative and judicial checks and balances. But setting justice on fire is not Karl Rove's only super-power. While he is busy being invisible, he can also render other objects invisible too -- such as our Bill of Rights (not to mention the economy).

Yes, we can expect the Plame incident to go the way of the 9/11 Commission, in-your-face election fraud, Gannongate and Downing Street.

"Plame off."

PS: It's still not too late for America. We could still be super-heroes. We could still show some balls. If those DC comic characters aren't going to listen to us, then let's let our local city councils and courtrooms and newspapers know. "We want our country back!" The Fantastic Four's evil clones only hold power over us if we let them. "Plame on!"

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Global warming: Soon America will only have 49 states

Two cousins who I haven't seen in 25 years just showed up on my doorstep. It was weird. One looked like the ghost of his father. The other looked liked the ghost of her mother. "It's so good to see you," I told them. "Let's play catch-up. Where have you been all this time? Whatcha been up to?"

"We've been living in Hawaii -- on Maui. We just LOVE it there!" said one of the cousins over dinner at the Sizzler. Malibu chicken and shrimp. (I'm so proud of myself. I actually resisted the buffet dessert table.) "You really should come over for a visit," she said. And as we discussed all the old family skeletons -- my money-grubbing sister, our uncle who used to pimp for Conrad Hilton, the other uncle who pretended to be an Oxford scholar when he was actually the son of an Oklahoma migrant farmer, how my mother and father lived in the same house while I was growing up and didn't speak to each other for ten years, my other uncle who claimed to have had an affair with General Vandenberg during World War II -- I started dreaming about actually GOING to Hawaii.

Then it hit me. I had better go there soon! With global warming raising the world's ocean levels at an alarming rate, 20 years from now there probably won't even be any Hawaii left to visit. And Cousin Veronica and Cousin Harry will have to come back to the Mainland and move in with me!

PS: Speaking of ocean levels rising as the polar ice caps melt, we have started to lose many low-lying islands already. In the Marshall Islands, water has already begun to slowly creep up on the shoreline and the people there are already discussing alternatives such as relocating residents or building a seawall. "The cost of constructing a sea wall for one Marshall Island atoll alone has been estimated at one hundred million US dollars." I guess that's not going to happen.

And in Papua New Guinea, they are seriously considering changing their national anthem and adopting Johnny Cash's song "How high's the water, Mamma?" instead. According to my in-depth and, "The effects of global warming are already becoming apparent in many of the outer islands of Papua New Guinea where the rising sea water level has spilled inland with a resultant detrimental effect on food gardens and crops."

So. It looks like I'd better start saving ASAP for my Maui vacation with the cousins while it's still possible -- and if the Bush Republicans (who keep telling us that global warming is just a big myth) still own the White House and Congress in ten years, they had better start designing a new 49-star flag.

PPS: I am truly afraid of global warming -- truly afraid. "The pollution that circles our planet," said a speaker at a recent KPFA town hall meeting, "has the same effect as keeping the windows on our cars rolled up on a hot day, trapping all the hot air inside. When we are stuck in the car with the windows rolled up and the sun beats down on us relentlessly, then we are in big trouble." That's scary, sure, but that's not what really frightens me.

What REALLY scares me are the implications of what my friend Jim just said. "We won't eat the perch or the catfish raised in a lake here -- we have to have cold-water fish brought in from half way around the world. No baby, the government is not responsible for this global warming mess. It is us. We are getting the world we demand and we vote politicians into office because they promise to give it to us. No, it's not Bush or Clinton or Reagan or even big business behind that curtain. It is us."

What really scares me? I am afraid that the only way to keep the seas from rising and swamping Hawaii and Tahiti and even Miami and BERKELEY (most of the world's population lives within 60 miles of the sea) is to drastically cut down on my lifestyle. No more cars? The end of suburbia? No more airplanes? No more electricity? THAT SUCKS EGGS!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

The Dr. is in: How to stop anemia, hemorrhoids, the common cold, cancer and the war on Iraq

Here are some of my very favorite health hints. This is a LONG list but bear with me. Health is IMPORTANT! Let's start with the biggest health hint of all:

How to stop dying at a young age from an infected hangnail after losing all your teeth: That's easy. Just move to Canada. Or Sweden. Or any country that is civilized enough to have decent healthcare.

There is now a bill in the California legislature that will instigate single-payer healthcare that we can all afford. The HMOs are fighting this bill tooth and nail.

Remember when Alta Bates Hospital was the crown-jewel hospital in all of California? We all used to look FORWARD to getting sick just so we could go spend a week in the Alta Bates Hilton and get pampered. Then the HMOs took it over. Now Alta Bates faces losing its ACCREDITATION. The best hospital in the WORLD is about to lose its accreditation? And people aren't marching in the streets? That's sick.

If you have healthcare, you live longer. Duh. Wanna be healthy? Demand healthcare! And dental care too. It's better to have teeth and eyes than to give our money to rich CEOs who are robbing us blind (and toothless). They don't need our money. We do!!!!!

How to stop the common cold: Colds exist for a reason, you know. Every single day, we are surrounded by MILLIONS of cold viruses. So why aren't we all in bed with the sniffles 24/7? Because colds are set off by something else besides the virus. Colds happen when our immune systems go on strike!

"I'm gonna stay up to 3 am to finish this project," our brain tells our body. Fine. But do that three nights in a row or stuff ourselves all day with bon-bons or drink 53 Tequila Sunrises in a row? Our immune systems will tell our brains, "Forget that! I'm outta here! I'm going on strike until you cut out all this nonsense. I know my rights!" And that's how we succumb to colds.

Wanna recover quickly from a cold? The best way to do it is to cut down on input. Hide out in a darkened room. Eat lots of oranges and spinach. Stop scaring our poor sweet immune systems. Promise them health benefits and higher wages. They will stop going on strike.

You think this isn't true, isn't scientific? Try it next time you get a cold. And go to your doctor. He will tell you. "Get plenty of bed-rest." But if you do it BEFORE you get the cold, you won't even get one!

How to stop poison oak: "Leaves of three -- leave it be." I learned that in Girl Scouts. But what if you forget to count? No problem-o! I just LOVE this cure. You buy Fels Naphtha laundry soap and wash yourself with it after being exposed. The naphtha in the soap neutralizes the acid in the poison oak. You never even develop a rash! How cool is that? But wait -- It gets even cooler! If you ignore your Aunt Jane's good advice, forget to wash with Fels Naphtha and get poison oak anyway, it's still not too late. Just rub Fels Naphtha over the rashes and they go away like magic. Totally cool!

How to stop hemorrhoids: Got hemorrhoids? One easy way to get rid of them is to get rid of that pain in the butt in the White House. Evict him for violating his lease and not paying his rent and you will no longer have to constantly CYA while Bush Republicans keep you in hot water locally and globally 24/7.

Aside from that, there is another way to cure hemorrhoids that I once heard an obstetrician give a talk about. But -- warning -- even though it works, her method is kind of yucky-sounding. The obstetrician said that "During birth, when a baby's head is 'crowning,' I avoid overly stretching the cervix/perineum area by pressing my fingers on the outside of the skin that is being stretched around the baby's head in order to counterbalance the pressure caused by the baby's head coming out. This counterbalancing action keeps that area -- already stretched by the presence of the baby's head -- from receiving too much strain. And you can use this same concept of applied physics when passing bowel movements as well. People should hold their fingers firmly on the outside of the sphincter/perineum area while passing a bowel movement. This counterbalancing force reduces the pressure on the anal sphincter muscle, protects it from strain and Voila! No more hemorrhoids." Eeuuww.

This is all easy for the obstetrician to say. She gets to wear latex gloves. Would using toilet paper to press down on the outside area do as well? Or is the cure worse than the cause? Double-eeuuww. Hemorrhoids are gross. Let's change the subject.

How to stop anemia: Are you anemic? Low energy? Having trouble sleeping? Can't take iron pills because -- gasp -- they make you constipated and give you hemorrhoids? I've got a great cure. Take one tablespoon of Plantation Blackstrap Molasses once a day. It's gotta be Plantation. It's gotta be Blackstrap.


Because Plantation Blackstrap Molasses contains 20% of our daily iron requirement. And 20% of our daily calcium requirement too. It also stops osteoporosis. And it causes your hair to grow faster too. How's that for getting your money's worth?

How to stop cancer: As for stopping the spread of cancer -- that's easy. Get rid of the Bush Republicans who are contaminating our air and water supply with carcinogenic toxic waste. And you can get rid of autism the same way: Outlaw the mercury-poisoning-for profit lobbies in Washington -- and the drug-poisoning-for profit lobbies too. Stroke of the pen. End of story. No more autism.

Take my advice. Elect people to office who represent Us not Them. A lot fewer of your friends and relatives will be dying of cancer. There will be no more autism. And there will be no more idiots in the White House too.

Another good way to stop cancer? Give up eating red dye number 40. My biologist friend Carolina just told me, "It causes mutations in baby mice and it's illegal in Europe -- but it is in almost every processed food sold here." Apparently kids eat it "It's in jelly beans, most strawberry ice cream, Doritos, Gatorade, Jello, Pop-Tarts and almost anything cherry-flavored." Plus it's in my absolute culinary favorite -- birthday cake!

Does that mean that, after surviving all those birthdays, I'm gonna get done in by MY OWN CAKE? That's so not fair.

How to stop psychosis: Wanna stop psychosis? First you gotta understand what causes it. According to Dr. William Glasser, psychosis is not a mental illness like Alzheimer's or Parkinson's Disease. Psychosis apparently is caused by attempts to be mentally healthy! When you and I see something wrong with our lives, we try to fix it of course -- but we only try sensible stuff that we know might straighten things out. But psychotics apparently see stuff wrong with their lives and try EVERYTHING to try to straighten things out. Theirs is sort of a shot-gun approach to mental health. And it usually doesn't work. Sorry.

You gotta "order early and be specific" if you want to stop being psychotic. It's called a REALITY CHECK.

Those idiots in Washington DC need an occasional reality check too. You can't be 45 trillion dollars in debt and kill 150,000 people in Iraq and expect these "solutions" to work. That's crazy talk.

How to stop homosexuality: What other health hints do you want to know about? Here's one for all those Bush Republican closet queens and hate-pushers who are always yammering on about homosexuals. Time to put your money where your mouth is, guys. Do you REALLY want to stop the spread of homosexuality or is it just a political ploy?

Stopping the spread of homosexuality is really easy to do. Just stop beating your kids!

According to another doctor I know, homosexuality is not only caused by genetics. Much of it is caused by "childhood stress". You want proof? In states like Texas where paddling and spanking are encouraged, the rate of homosexuality spirals (and then they -- except for the ones who become closet queen Republicans and frequent the plush private gay clubs of Dallas -- all move to San Francisco! You hear lots of southern accents at the S.F. Gay Pride Month parade). Just look at male prostitute Jeff Gannon and his connection to the George Bush White House. (Well, actually, George isn't from Texas -- he was raised in Connecticut. All hat, no catttle.)

Yes, we can thank folks like the Reverend James Dobson -- who encourages physical violence against those shorter and more helpless than us -- for creating even more homosexuals. Want to stop homosexuality? Stop beating your kids, start financing education programs that aren't just teach-to-tests boondoggles, be kind to babies when they just pop out of the womb -- and within a generation, non-genetic homosexuality will be reduced dramatically. However, while I truly hate child abuse, gay people are kinda interesting and cool....

But I digress.

How to stop Montezuma's revenge: Got an upset stomach? Use Po Chai pills! They are Asia's answer to Alka-Seltzer and boy do they work. Diarrhea? Vomiting? Even food poisoning! They are dynamite little herbal pills in a box. I can't imagine raising children without them. Go to ANY Chinese grocery store and ask for them by name. Po Chai pills.

How to stop the war on Iraq: Want to stop the war on Iraq? Bring our troops home? Use the billions and billions we will have saved to upgrade hospitals and schools? Here's the plan: First, take back all that blood money stolen from us. That's easy to do -- you can find it hidden away in various Bush Republicans' Swiss bank accounts.

Next, we need to trust the Iraqis. Did you know that there are more PhDs per capita in Iraq than there are in America? Did you know that before Poppy and Baby Bush started bombing that country, Iraq had one of the finest healthcare systems in the world? Iraqis can deal with their own country. We need to stand aside and let THEM begin the slow, painful process of healing from the terrible wounds inflicted on them by the loose-cannon pyromaniacs who have invaded our White House.

And last but not least we need to forget about Iraq and start spending our valuable time and resources where they are most needed to protect our country -- here in America.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Uncle Sam to give Israeli settler families 1 mil each to relocate? Sign me up!

I read in the papers today that Ariel Sharon has just asked the United States for an extra $2,200,000,000.00 to cover the cost of relocating Israeli "settlers" away from the Gaza Strip.

Okay. I got out my calculator.

If the U.S. gives Sharon 2.5 billion dollars to help move 9,100 settlers, that's $241,758.24 each! For a family of four, that's $967,032.96 per family. How come we aren't giving almost one million US dollars per family to the poor displaced settlers in Rwanda? In Columbia? In Haiti? In Darfur? Or in Iraq?

And what about the people in New London, Connecticut that the Supreme Court recently kicked out of THEIR homes? Are they getting one mil per family too?

And what about me? Give me $241,758.24 for every member of my family and we will settle anywhere! But preferably in a condo on the Riviera.

PS: My friend Rich just pointed out, "Maybe because leaving Gaza was part of Bush's road map, he promised to pay for the withdrawal." But the BBC says that Sharon is requesting 2.2 billion dollars EXTRA. What does that mean? That the settlers are getting MORE than one million dollars per family? That I should ask for a condo on the Riviera AND a condo in Hawaii too? Help me out here. I'm confused.

PPS: If it only costs -- let's say -- $10,000 per settler to move them, does Sharon get to pocket the rest?

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Swinging thru trees with the Rich & Famous: Jane plays Tarzan at the Bohemian Grove

(Author's note: For those of you who are not familiar with it, the Bohemian Grove, located in northern California, is where fantastically rich men from all over the world gather together each July -- with one apparent goal in mind: To search for newer and better ways to screw those of us who make less than five million dollars a year.

Originally the Bohemian Grove was started in the 19th century by local San Francisco tycoons but, since then, many U.S presidents have attended it including Hoover, Eisenhower and Reagan. Richard M. Nixon described The Grove thusly: "The Bohemian Grove -- which I attend from time to time -- it is the most faggy goddamned thing you could ever imagine, with that San Francisco crowd. I can't shake hands with anybody from San Francisco.")

I had so much fun sneaking into the Bohemian Grove last year that this year I think I'm going to try it again. However, because no women are allowed at this stag-party-in-the-woods for rich guys, last year I had to go disguised as a man. Do you know what that means? In order to keep me out this year, they are going to have to strip-search everyone who attends -- and check to see if they have any balls.

I guess that will leave out the Bush Republicans.

Karl Rove, however, might be attending this year anyway. The Grove would be just the place for him. With its no-ladies-allowed policy, he can safely hide out from Judith Miller.

Bush and Cheney won't be there. The Grove is too primitive for them. They prefer urban settings, places with towers, airplanes and subways -- like New York, London, Baghdad and Madrid.

Tony Blaire will be there however. You gotta understand that the Bohemian Grove is where billionaires go to network. And Blaire will be needing to network his heart out -- seeing that, having deceitfully entangled Britian in the Iraq fiasco that caused 7/7, he will soon be out of a job.

Alberto Gonzales, the man who gave us Abu Ghraib, will also be trying to tap into the Old Boy network; lobbying like crazy to be head of the Supreme Court. You think us citizens have any influence on who gets elected or appointed to our government? Think again. The fat cats at The Grove run our government -- but the likes of you and me will never be allowed to attend.

Speaking of elections, the makers of automatic voting machines will be there also. "We are worried because Bev Harris is starting a shoddy-product-recall move against us." Like the old Ford Pinto, Diebold and ES&S voting machines can be hazardous to our health.

Will Osama bin Ladin be at The Grove again this year? It's doubtful. He's not on the A-list any more. No one in Washington is looking for him any longer. If they ever were.

Who else will be there? Not Hillary Clinton, Condi Rice or even Ann Coulter -- unless they join the local group of "professional" ladies who get free backstage passes each year.

Anyway, I guess I should go there again this year. Maybe I could go cleverly disguised as Tarzan? So I can swing through the trees with Donald Rumsfeld, Tom Delay and Bill Frist? They too need to network. Badly. Their jobs are also in danger. If the 2005 Republican Congress was graded by efficiency experts on how well they served United States citizens, those three would all get an F.

And Arnold Schwarzenegger will be there as usual, once again trying to sell off California chunk by chunk. Pssst. Wanna buy Los Angeles? Arnie is your man.

One can always count on The Grove for entertainment and hot gossip. Here is my account of last year's gathering. Enjoy:

My weird weekend at the Bohemian Grove, by Jane Stillwater, July 27, 2004

"Wanna go to the Bohemian Grove with me this weekend?" asked my friend. I can't! Why? Because I'm not a billionaire, I'm not a man and I'm not a Republican! And besides, I have nothing to wear.

"We can fix that," said my friend. "From now on, you are going to be Fred Armitage, GOP super-tycoon billionaire!" Fred?

Then my friend started handing me stuff. "Identification?" Check. "Hong Kong-tailored sweatpants?" Check. "Chest binder, voice deepener, toupee?" Check. "Limo driver?" Check. I felt like James Bond.

The Bohemian Grove is where fantastically rich men from all over the world go each year -- with one goal in mind: To learn new and better answers to that age-old question, "What can we do to screw America?"

Once up in the Russian River area, we turned off the highway, drove three miles into The Grove and passed through a bunch of checkpoints. Security was tight here. They stopped just short of giving me a retinal scan. I had been expecting a castle. There were redwood trees everywhere.

"This is it? This is where the power brokers of the world wheel and deal? The fat cats' Mecca, Xanadu and Nirvana? These little...cottages?" They all looked like the Swiss Family Robinson tree house at Disneyland. Hide the Armanis, guys. We were clearly roughing it. "Hey! Look! There's Antonin Scalia, Sandra Day O'Connor's husband and Clarence Thomas!"

Chris Matthews from Hardball strolled by. There's Henry Kissinger. There's Clint Eastwood. "Nice knee socks, Chris!"

Just then George Bush Senior ambled over, wearing a...sarong? And there were a couple of white-robed Saudi princes too. "I didn't realize that everyone here would be wearing table linen," I said. "I thought they were all going to just run around nude." Sorry, Jane. That only happens when they can't find their sheets.

After a quickie tour of the encampment, I schlepped off to my very own non-electrified chalet/hunting lodge/wet bar. On my right were a bunch of newly-elected Republican governors -- all of whom have already failed their campaign promises miserably. Special interests? Absolutely! On my left were a whole bunch of cottages occupied by the matching billionaires of Carlyle.

About 2,400 men come to the Grove each summer. "The Grove is divided into over one hundred camps. Each camp has a theme." Just like the Boy Scouts! I sat in on some of the "focus groups". One seminar was on how to get Americans to buy more junk food. If I sit all the way through it, will I get a free Big Mac?

Over near the steam baths, I thought I saw Arnold Schwarzenegger pumping iron with Kenny-Boy Lay. That would certainly explain the Grove's lack of electricity!

At one camp often frequented by Rumsfeld, Baker, Powell, Cheney and even Dubya himself before he was elected, Henry Kissinger was holding forth. "I support George Bush 100%" Why not? You have so much in common. Killing, outrageous profits and fake Texas accents. I think that I heard him say, "Fear is good for Americans. It makes them vote Republican." But maybe I just misunderstood.

Speaking of Georgie, the one small glitch in the generally self-congratulatory mood at the Grove was the latest Capitol Blue report that GWB was on anti-depressants, screaming the F-word at his employees and manically crashing around Crawford [and the G-8 conference] on his mountain bike.

Who else did I see? Bob Weir and Mickey Hart? What in the world where they doing here? Maybe they took a wrong turn on their way to Burning Man?

At a "'Lakeside Talk" on the Federal Reserve, it was clearly obvious that no one had read "The Civilizing of the United States" by John Machado, who has stated that, "when your government borrows money, it removes from the kitty the dollars that would have been available to businesses for start-up, growth, research, testing, innovation and invention." No, at the rate they were "creating" money and borrowing it from various Asian nations, the Federal Reserve was not overly concerned about preserving the American economy.

Then Colin Powell dropped a bombshell. "Seven out of twelve of our naval carrier strike groups have just been deployed off the coast of China." What! Bush is at war with half the Middle East and our naval backup is over ruining diplomatic relations with China? What's with invading China? Doesn't the Bush Gang know that China has already won the war with us? Their workers went up against our workers. We lost. But this economic disaster for America had no effect on the Grove boys. In fact they are doing quite well as they help collect interest on our six hundred billion dollar debt to the Chinese.

The main theme of the Bohemian Grove was money and power. Lots of money. Lots of power. How to get it. How to keep it. I thought about my measly little nest egg of $200. I thought about being continually out-maneuvered by the two-year-old next door. I had no power. I had no money. What was I thinking? "I want money! I want power!" I screamed.

Sorry, Jane. No money for you. And definitely no power. You will never get them if you keep thinking that life's winners are the pure of heart. Forget that. It's all about who you know. "One guy came up here last year. His business was failing. So what did he do? He networked! This year he is a millionaire. They told him what to invest in and when." There's a lot of insider trading going on here.

What else did I learn? Toupees and chest binders suck? That America is ripe for the picking? How to slit my country's throat and sell the corpse while it is still warm? Like Sherman when he marched through Georgia, the Grovies are taking America by storm.

Did you know that within 20 years, 1% of America will hold 90% of America's wealth? At the Grove, these guys are getting a big head start.

But enough of talk. I was getting bored. But there's no problem with boredom at the Grove. "Bring on the Bacchanalia! Bring on the whores!" So they DO allow women in here.

What did a weekend at the Grove teach me? That what the wealthy men of America have in mind for us commoners is NOT some simplistic, level-playing-field, up-by-your-bootstraps, no-child-left-behind bull dookie. No, sir. I learned that the world is run by secret men in secret clubs behind closed doors. I learned that the rich dudes of the world are NOT willing to pay taxes here -- even as the price for doing business in our great country -- when it is so easy to avoid it. (Is it easy for US to avoid paying taxes? Ha!)

I learned that these men of great wealth and power have no desire at all to share this wealth with the likes of you and me or even to do what they must to not kill America, the goose that is laying their golden eggs.

And I learned that fabulous chefs from all over the world are flown in to the Grove to cook for these fat cats while they are divvying up the spoils. Which brings up the moral question of temptation. Exactly how far would I be willing to go in order to be fed by the best chefs of the world? Would I be willing to join these so-called Bohemians and to sell my soul? Well, the creme brulee really was good....

As the limo dropped me back at my housing project in south Berkeley this Sunday, I was really, really glad to get home. How much power is enough power? How much money is enough? There's never enough. Yet for all their money and power, the Bohemian Grovies could never buy the happiness I felt when I took off my Armanis and hugged my son and daughter. "Honey! I'm home!"

Friday, July 08, 2005


Last week, some girl had the NERVE to dis my daughter. Ha! Ya think I'm hard on George Bush? I'm almost polite to him compared to what I have to say about anybody who trashes MY daughter. This little hoochie ain't seen NOTHING!

Mommie strikes back: Defending my daughter's reputation from the Wicked Queen

Okay, so my daughter took the internet quiz and it said that -- of all the Disney Princesses -- she identifed most with Belle. But, to me, Ashley will always be Snow White (and not just because she gots a job as a skate guard at Iceland). It is because, to quote that famous magic mirror, "Snow White is the fairest of them all." And to have some punk Wicked Queen wannabe say nasty stuff about my Ashley? Hell no.

In The Future, Miz 'Wicked Queen' thang, you need to keep your mouth SHUT about my daughter. Or you will be in Deep Dwarf Dookie -- with a WHOLE BUNCH of dwarfs on your case. The mirror will crack. Prince Charming will kick your bootie. The Good King will desert you -- and you will get NO alimony. So. Take a tip from the Mothers Grimm. You better start kissing my Snow White princess girl's feet!

Take a bite out of them apples!
Paraphrasing the local Muslim cleric [I think I got it right]:

Mohammed said that killing innocents in time of war is immoral. Islam is a moral religion. A long time ago in Arabia, under the pressure of foreign invasions, a cult developed lead by a man named Wahabi. Wahabi believed that killing non-Muslims and even Muslims that didn't agree with him was okay. But real Muslims -- even in the heat of battle -- do NOT kill innocent people; do NOT torture and do NOT harm women and children. ["Christians" should take note. And so should the followers of Wahabi.]
One-trick pony: George Bush's "Bring it on" policies are NOT WORKING

"I think that I shall never see a poem as pretty as a tree."

I woke up this morning to the sound of chainsaws as a tree-service crew began to cut down the old pine tree in front of my home.

I threw on my jacket, ran outside in my braids and nightgown and cried, "Halt!" The tree crew just stared at me. "You are dealing with the ultimate tree-hugger here!" I warned them. They cowered visibly, backed off and put down their saws.

Then I went over to the big old pine tree and gave it a huge hug. "Bye bye, Tree," I told it. And to the amazed tree crew, I said, "Thanks, guys. You can carry on now."

That tree had to go. Everybody knew that. Even I knew that. The tree had wound its roots under the flooring of the unit next to me. It had already destroyed the sidewalk and was now working on the sewer system and the drainage. Having that tree there WASN'T WORKING. It was time to cut it down.

The same can be said of George Bush's foreign policy. It is NOT WORKING. And it is destroying the drainage. The monetary waste in Iraq, the senseless bloodshed there, the bombing in Madrid and now the London bombing -- it's time for the people of America to try something else. Let's start looking at different alternatives. Being locked into one policy is very limiting.

If you controlled Congress and the White House, what would YOU do differently -- instead of just re-hashing Bush's same old failed policies?

PS: What I think that WE should do -- and what seems to be our only weapon at this point -- is to do what Karl Roves does: Run a smear campaign. Subtly. On a backyard gossip level. Like Rove did with John McCain in South Carolina during one of those endless Bush presidential "elections" or what he did to Valerie Plame. The only difference between Rove and us is that WE have better material to work with. OUR stuff is more scandalous, more outrageous -- and, better yet, our stuff is even TRUE.

Bottom line: The London massacre has stepped up Bush's failed one-trick-pony show a whole other notch. As my friend Liz said, "We are now playing for our lives for real here." Bush's "Bring it on" policies are no longer just some tin-horn circus acts that we can safely ignore -- and there is now no telling what Bush will do next to escalate his failing policies. One of our crucial next tasks is to find a way to make his "base" to see this.

Bush is biting the hand that feeds him. "Hey, guys. He is biting YOUR hand." As well as mine.

How to do this? To counteract all the Bush Republican failed strategies, we need our own propaganda machine! We all need to get out there, win the lottery and use that money to run endless pro-peace, pro-America, pro-Bill of Rights, pro-do-unto-others, pro-enlightened-self-interest, pro-honesty-in-government, pro-democracy ads on every porn channel in America (those are the only TV channels you can seiously count on the "Religious" Right people to watch religiously!)

PPS: JReed just e-mailed me. "The problem is that you cannot apease factions like this. Clinton tried to apease them and have discourse. The Whaobi [sic] sect believes tht all non-Muslims must die. They want to dictate our foreign policy and who our allies will be and to whom we can assist. Why were we attacked on 9/11?" Good question. Here's the answer:

After staging the attack on the Third Reich and masterminding D-Day, Dwight D. Eisenhower was just sitting around the White House, bored as could be. I mean, after the Invasion of Normandy, just being President was sort of anti-climactic. That this exact vulnerable moment, the CIA came to him and said, "Hey, Ike! Let's destroy Iran's democracy...."

For Eisenhower, this was the snake in the Garden of Eden.

And almost every U.S. President since Eisenhower has funded, master-minded and/or launched at least one major, large-scale attack upon the Middle East. After having witnessed U.S. policymmakers happily sic at least 50 years of Shock and Awe upon various countries in the Middle East, we should perhaps be grateful that this stupid dog-and-pony show only resulted in 9/11.

Sorry, Eisenhower's ghost. Your "Bring it on" policies didn't work in the 1950s and they STILL AREN'T WORKING.


"Bring it on" didn't even work in the Old West. It was the small farmers and School Marms (and even the Native Americans) who brought civilization to the western territories.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

If the Iraq war was over two years ago, why did it just move to London?

I hold George Bush personally responsible for every single death in the London subway today. Children will be crying all over London tonight because their parents WILL NEVER RETURN. Why? Because Bush bombed Baghdad and bombed Baghdad and bombed Baghdad. And now he is surprised that London got bombed in retaliation?

The first thing they teach us in parenting school is that, "If you solve problems by striking your children, they will grow up believing that violence is the answer to every problem." It isn't. violence isn't the answer to ANYTHING. Hear that, George? What have you done to us?

Our schools are rotting because of you.

Our healthcare and retirement and jobs have disappeared because of you -- disappeared down the rat-hole that is Iraq.

And now this? Will an American city be next? Thanks, for nothing, George.

My friend Roger just sent me a cartoon. Doonesbury said it all. "George Bush thinks that the Iraq war was over two years ago." No, it is not. It has now moved to London. And if the American people allow Bush to keep up this madness, it may soon move to MY LIVING ROOM.

George, you need to have the following words tattooed on your brain. If you still have one. "Imagine a world where EVERY child is wanted, nurtured, protected and loved: World Peace in one generation." It's time we got our priorities right.


The cartoon from Roger:

Friday, July 01, 2005

The Supremes & the War of the Worlds: Saving America from corporate tripod aliens

For our semi-annual movie day event yesterday, my boss closed our office and we all went off to see "War of the Worlds". What was so amazing about that movie was that it exposured the sheer fragility of our existence here in America. Suddenly, everything that everyone had assumed to be completely secure and permanent was being totally destroyed. Houses and bridges and people and cars -- gone in a moment!

Too many of us currently take the American way of life for granted. As Steven Spielberg just REALLY GRAPHICALLY pointed out to us in this movie, there is nothing lasting or guaranteed about the way we now live. And I equate the three-legged tripod monsters driven by the aliens that tried to destroy America in that movie to another set of three-legged tripod monsters -- The White House, the Congress and soon the Supreme Court -- that are now being driven by giant corporate aliens who are happily destroying the world as we know it too.

Like Spielberg aliens from another planet, giant corporations like Monsanto, Lockheed, Halliburton, Enron, WalMart and Coca-Cola have NO COMMITMENT to the American people. To them, we have become just another bovine feedlot, to be harvested at will. Corporations in America are above the law. They are not chained by the Ten Commandments and morality like we are. They are aliens. They are here to destroy and to take -- not to create or to build.

Corporate alien giants are erupting up from under the pavements of Main Street America and they are destroying us as surely as if they were Men from Mars. You think America is too strong to be taken down by blood-sucking alien invaders? Go see the movie.

Interruption here, folks. My Aunt June just called to wish me happy birthday. She's 80 years old and she's a smart cookie. "Thanks, Aunt June. I had a great birthday. My children took me out to dinner and I had a GIANT birthday cake."

"Speaking of birthday cakes," she replied, "I just found out that I have diabetes. Too much sugar. But, frankly, I am beginning to suspect that being sick is so profitable that corporations encourage us to eat sugar so they can sell us their drugs." Wow!

There's hope for America, Mr. Spielberg. None of those corporate aliens are able to fool my Aunt June!

Meanwhile, back at the "War of the Worlds" -- how can we stop the corporate monster tripods and the aliens who drive them? The same way that they were stopped in the movie. I don't want to give away the plot or nothing but it was small things that stopped those blood-sucking alien giants. It was little things that acted locally. Let's do it too.

City Councils across America can override Congress. White House functions can be replaced by the over 20,000 determined American mayors who are sick and tired of seeing their cities crumble under the alien onslaught of immoral corporate tripod monsters. American mayors are sick and tired of seeing federal funds trot off to line corporate pocketbooks while local communities' houses crumble, schools fall into decay, jobs disappear and roads become dysfunctional.

This movie is going to have a happy ending because us little people are going to finally stop our disorganized flight away from the destruction, slowly start to band together and then we are going to scream "Stop!" at the top of our lungs.

For instance, the City of Berkeley just passed a resoultion to develop a Department of Peace! We're not giving our tax money away to war profiteering Bush Republicans' Swiss bank acounts any more. No no no. We stand with Dakota Fanning, Gene Berry and Tom Cruise!

And replacing the Supreme Court is easy too. George Bush, the ultimate corporate lobbyist, is gleefully getting ready to hand the corporate tripod its third leg now that Rehnquist and O'Connor are about to leave two empty spots. But we small people still have the power. We can still take the corporate tripods off to Small Claims Court!

PS: Even though Bush has committed a whole law book's worth of impeachable offenses (the Plame case, the Gannon scandal, the Downing Street memos, the National Forest sell-offs, declaring war without a license, etc.) we would have an extremely hard time successfully suing him in federal court because he has spent four years stacking the courts in his favor and it would take a battalion of lawyers to win just one case against him. But not so in small claims court! LAWYERS ARE NOT ALLOWED IN SMALL CLAIMS COURT. And the judges are all local people. In small claims court, we would still have a chance for justice.

To take our George to small claims court, all we have to do is to find something simple, small and personal to charge him with. If we can find evidence that having a lunatic in the Oval Office has cost us -- personally -- an amount up to the $5,000 (the small claims court limit) then we are good to go. And with all the hanky-panky going on in D.C., we should be able to do that in a heartbeat!

Having Bush instead of Gore in the White House between 2000 and 2004 has already cost every man, woman and child in America over $37,000.00. But I digress.

In my own case, Bush's presence in the White House has cost me personally bigtime out-of-pocket expenses. For example, when Bush lied about the war on Iraq, gas prices went up over $1 per gallon. At ten gallons a week for two years, that's $1,400.00 extra of my own personal money that I have had to spend at the pump in the last two years because GW. Humph.

My daughter starts college this month (Yea!!!! She graduated from high school!!!!! Go Class of '05!!!) and her FAFSA grant is $2,000 a year less than when her brother (high school class of '97) went to college. $2,000 is a lot of money. Bush, you owe me!

My heating bill has sky-rocketed. And I broke my arm on federal property because there are no funds to repair the sidewalk in front of the White House when I went there to evict Bush for violating his lease the U.S. Constitution (you gotta be ELECTED to live at the White House). My hospital emergency room bill? $800.

And I'm not the only one who has personally lost money because of George Bush. ALL OF US need to take Bush to court.

If five or ten million of us sued him, Bush would have to spend the rest of his life going from small claims court to small claims court throughout our nation trying to represent himself. Then he won't have enough time left to keep on destroying the world.

That's a good thing.

PPS: My friend Michael just told me, "Unfortunately, no one can sue the president while he is the president." No problem there. Bush wasn't legally elected. He committed major, well-documented election fraud in 2000 AND in 2004. And his friends on the Supreme Court such as Sandra Day O'Connor also conspired to put him in power illegally. Bush has stolen the White House. Twice. There is no WAY that George W. Bush is our President. Sorry, Michael but that dog just don't hunt.

We've got the grounds to sue George W. And we got the venue. So. Let's all go down to small claims court, fill out our forms and sue him. Get a Judgment against him. Garnish his billions. And get all our money back too.

$5,000 apiece payback from the Bush family Swiss bank account to every man, woman and child in America? That would be no small claim if that happened. THAT would be SUPREME JUSTICE!