Tuesday, February 28, 2006

UNCLEAN: Muslims killing Muslims is "Haram"

In Saudi Arabia, they follow the Qur'an to the letter and make their women dress up in sweltering black monkey suits, thinking that this is what Allah wants. And the women endure it without protest because they think it is what Allah wants too.

In the Islamic Republic of Iran, you could get in big trouble for drinking wine or eating pork. Eating pork is "Haram". Unclean. The Qur'an says so. So nobody eats it. They want to do the right thing.

In Indonesia, everyone covers their head when they pray -- in order to show respect to Allah.

In many Muslim countries, 12-year-olds have learned to recite the Qur'an by heart. They think that Allah will be pleased if they do.

All over the world, Muslims go on Hajj because they believe that by doing so they are honoring Mohammed (Peace Be Upon Him) by following in his footsteps.

When it comes to practicing our religion, Muslims seem to just love upholding all those picky little details of worship that are mentioned in the Qur'an. But how come some of us forget all this piety completely when it comes to the big things?

"Muslims do not kill non-Muslims unless they are attacked first," says the Qur'an. "And Muslims must NEVER kill Muslims." Period. This, not the eating of pork or the wearing of veils or the memorization tests, is the heart and soul of the Qur'an.

You want to be a true Muslim? You want to please Allah and honor the Prophet (PBUH)? You want to follow the letter of the Qur'an? Stop worrying so much about sweating the small stuff and concentrate on the true essence of Mohammed's (PBUH) teachings.


Yes, I know that this is easy for me to say while sitting in the safety of my California living room where the only danger I face is that cat hair might get on my prayer rug. Yes, I am aware that the Muslims of Afghanistan and Iraq have survived on only minumum amounts of water and food and electricty for almost two years. And, yes, I know that it is hard for them to watch their children be blown up and tortured without wanting to strike back in anger at someone.

But killing innocents and killing other Muslims is not the Islamic way.

PS: "Christians" need to start practicing their religion too. THEY need to start following the teachings of the Prophet Jesus (PBUH) and stop killing Muslims as well.

I'm currently reading the new Kathy Reich mystery, "Cross Bones". A section of it is about a monk who believed that the entire Christian religion was based on the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Jesus and if someone could prove that this never happened, the whole religion would fall apart.


The soul of the true Christian religion is one simple sentence. "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you." We worship Jesus, not because He performed miracles -- although miracles are nice -- but because he made us face the fact that human beings have the capability to change, become better and evolve. He gave us hope -- and the courage to live in peace with our neighbors. That is His true miracle.

And Mohammad (PBUH) has offered us that same miracle too. Let's go for it.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Drug smuggling made easy: Why GWB wants to sell America's ports to his friends?

Profits from the heroin trade are astronomical. Those of us who work for a living just to keep on top of paying the rent can't even grasp the amount of money involved. It's a lot. In 2004, Prof. Michel Chossudovsky of the University of Ottawa stated that, "The Afghan trade in opiates constitutes a large share of the worldwide annual turnover of narcotics, which was estimated by the United Nations to be of the order of $400-500 billion."

Prof. Chossudovsky goes on to state that, aside from oil production and weapons sales, the sale of opiates is the largest producer of revenue in the world.

And everybody who listens to KPFA or even reads the New York Times knows that 85% of the world's heroin supply now comes from American-occupied Afghanistan. Just Google "Heroin/Afghanistan" and see what shows up. This is NOT a closely-guarded secret.

Okay. We now understand that the heroin drug trade represents big bucks. And we also understand that most of the world's heroin supply is coming from American-occupied Afghanistan. But what we don't understand is, with all those drug-sniffing dogs poking around American airports, how can all these billions of dollars worth of heroin sneak their way into our country?

Through the ports!

And now George W. Bush is insisting that our ports are to be handed over to his friends. Think about it. Now George and his friends -- the very same people who control the country where the heroin is being produced -- are now in control of the ports where heroin enters America. How convenient for them. Now they have a monopoly on the production AND the distribution of drugs.

This is a perfect example of the free enterprise system at work.

Only it's only free for Bush and his friends.

We who work for a living -- and our drug-vulnerable children -- still have to pay.

PS: Am I saying that the Bush group will do anything to make a profit, even sell hard drugs to children? Yeah, duh. Never forget that the Bush bureaucracy's motto is, "We will do ANYTHING for cash."

These guys did market research. They found out what sells best: Guns, drugs and oil. These are their products. And they have just been voted "Salesmen of the Year".

You gotta admit that the Bush bureaucracy's sales campaign is brilliant. Their "divide and conquer" jingle is being hummed on every street corner in the world.

These super-entrepreneurs have turned red state Americans and blue state Americans against each other. They've turned the American middle-class against the poor. They've turned Jews, Christians and Muslims against each other. They've even turned Muslims against Muslims. And in the resultant confusion, they make trillions of dollars in profit on drugs, guns and oil.

Drugs, guns and oil. Is that what we want our troops to die for? Is that what "Christians" value most? Are "Muslims" willing to soil the words of the Prophet (PBUH) by killing non-Muslims who have done them no harm? And by killing other Muslims? Are the CEOs of Bush Incorporated creating a whole world of avid consumers, zealously killing for drugs, guns and oil? Is this what the human race has come to?

We are being used.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Why there WILL be a war on Iran: Bush's daddy will pay for it

Now wait a minute. We taxpayers are already spending $118,000.00 a MINUTE to fund the wars on Afghanistan and Iraq. Why would George W. Bush want to start a war on Iran? That's going to cost us taxpayers even MORE money. That's going to cost us an arm and a leg.

Bush doesn't care.

Why should he care? It's not his money.

Like Veruca Salt, that spoiled little girl in "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," Bush has only to scream, "Daddy, I want it!" and he gets it -- no matter what the cost. He wants the war on Iran? He'll get it.

When Veruca, er, I mean GWB was younger, he got into a lot of trouble and got busted for alcohol and drugs. When he was arrested for cocaine possession, his daddy bailed him out and paid big bucks to have his record scrubbed. It cost his daddy an arm and a leg. But why should Bush care? It wasn't his money.

According to Larry Flynt, when George's girlfriend got pregnant, our Dubya avoided the consequences by pulling out his daddy's checkbook at a local abortion clinic. It cost his daddy an arm and a leg. But why should George care? It wasn't his money.

After he got out of college, Bush started several business ventures. They were failures. But it didn't matter. His daddy had funded them in the first place and, after they failed, his daddy and his daddy's friends bailed him out. It cost an arm and a leg. But why should G.W. care if he ran up a gigantic bill? It wasn't his money.

Daddy just wrote a check and the bills magically disappeared.

Now Bush has some new business ventures. And a new Daddy too. And, like his old business ventures, it doesn't matter to Bush whether his "wars" succeed or they fail. Bush is not footing the bill. If it takes a trillion dollars of somebody else's money to invade this or that oil-rich country and enrich Bush's oil baron buddies by even one cent, you can bet that Bush will do it. Bush doesn't care. It isn't his money.

Veruca, er, Georgie is now dying to start a new war on Iran -- even though his wars on Afghanistan and Iraq have already failed. "I want it! And I'll get it!" he screams. And why not? Daddy will pay for this too.

George W. Bush, unlike you and me, has NO experience with not getting what he wants.

However, even though George Sr. has money coming out of his ears from the billions he apparently made through his Carlysle war-profiteering schemes, even George Herbert Walker Bush isn't rich enough to supply George Junior with all these expensive new toys. So. "Who's your daddy now, George?"

That's easy to figure out.

Who do you know who has the bottomless pockets necessary to continue to spoil George W. rotten, find him the Golden Ticket, take him to the Chocolate Factory and buy him yet another bungled war? Who is George's new sugar daddy now? Who, by being threatened with the prospect of having to deal with yet another temper tantrum, can be bullied into buying GWB anything he wants on command? Who in the world has that kind of money? The United States taxpayer. That's who. You, me and us.

America, it's time to start practicing tough love on your Fortunate Son. America, it's time that we finally stop being bullied and ordered around by a grown man who continues to act like a hopelessly-spoiled child.

Let's finally stand up to this out-of-control brat and deny Veruca Bush his "war" on Iran. And let's also give him a "time out" in jail.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Data-mining our blogs: It's like tuna sleepwalking through quicksand!

"Those damn bloggers...." Poor Karl Rove. If it wasn't for bloggers, he wouldn't have to be hiding out in the back room of the White House right now. "They almost stopped the Alito nomination. If it wasn't for them, no one would have noticed the WMD lies. And why do they keep bringing up Diebold?"

The Bush bureaucracy hates bloggers. Something has to be done.

Ha. Something is already being done. Just ask AOL. It's called "data-mining". Just ask my friend Joe Thompson.

"Every time I use certain words in my e-mails to friends, AOL bounces them back." I bet he's a victim of data-mining.

Data-mining? What is that?

Data-mining is like when those gigantic fishing fleets send down their nets to troll the ocean for tuna -- and end up catching dolphins too. Then, in order to produce dolphin-free tuna, they check their nets, keep the tuna and throw the dolphins back. Data-mining programs work the same way. They troll the internet ocean constantly -- but they don't read every word in our e-mails. They throw our "dolphin" words back. They are just scanning for certain "un-American" words. The words "garden club" and "stock market options" for instance would be considered "dolphin" words. They get thrown back.

"Impeach" is a tuna word. If you have "lies" and "Bush" and "Abramoff" in the same e-mail, you got a "tuna" e-mail and it goes into the can.

I've been a rabid blogger for years -- ever since the day that the federal Supreme Court violated Florida's states rights and stole the 2000 election for Bush. (If you use "stolen" and "election" in the same sentence they become tuna words, by the way.)

What happens to e-mails that contain "tuna" words? AOL bounces them -- and Yahoo sends them off to the Bulk Mail graveyard where they are miraculously converted from "tuna" to "spam".

I don't know the exact figure but I estimate that only about 50% of the political e-mails I send out actually manage to escape all the "tuna" nets in their way.

In the last six years, the mere act of sending my blog out to people has gotten harder and harder. It's beginning to feel like sleepwalking through quicksand. You think what you are walking on is solid ground. But it's not. You think that your e-mails are being sent and received. But they're not. Is the data-mining quicksand swallowing up all my tuna? I'd like to know.

While I can't really prove that our e-mails are being data-mined without a court order to strip-search the White House, I still think there is something fishy going on with our internet. You know when you are asleep and you sorta kinda maybe hear a noise and you are asleep so it doesn't really register? Well, I think that the noise I'm hearing in my sleep is all my "tuna" words going off to the "spam" factory to be canned.

We bloggers need to start waking up. Why? Because the next words that Karl Rove will be data-mining for will be "freedom" and "democracy" and "Thou shalt not kill".

PS: Blogging these days really IS like sleepwalking through quicksand, especially when you try to send a new article out. "Wow! This new article is HOT," you think to yourself. "People are just gonna LOVE my new broadside. Freedom and truth! And George Bush is just gonna hate it. But Thomas Paine will be proud." And then you try to send your new blog article out.

"The first thing I do when I write a new essay is to send a draft to myself to see what it looks like," I told my friend Joe. "And lately that has become a VERY interesting process. First of all, my draft disappears into cyberspace for approximately a half-hour while it's apparently being thoroughly data-mined somewhere. Then the draft suddenly pops up in my Bulk Mail box." How the freak can you send Bulk Mail to yourself?

I then hit the Yahoo button that says, "This is not SPAM". Yeah right. Like Yahoo is going to change my setting and no longer send my essays to Bulk Mail the next time I e-mail myself? Dream on. My stuff ALWAYS goes into Bulk Mail. Why? Because I always use "tuna" words. (However, I do promise to stop using "tuna" words -- just as soon as secretive sleazy self-aggrandizing special-interest groups stop hijacking our democracy and GWB is in jail.)

Anyway, somehow I finally manage to fish my latest blog out of the Bulk Mail swamp, polish it up and try to send it off. But that's not going to happen either. Why? Because my internet service provider now sends me something called a "String Character Verification" message, which basically says, "I'm sorry but we data-mined your out-going e-mail and we think that your blog article is SPAM. Please verify the following characters: J8xA4."

Okay. I can do that. I carefully type in "J8xA4".

"I'm sorry," says the next message. "You are an idiot. You cannot even type five characters correctly. Your message has not been sent and it has not been saved." This happens almost every time I send out a tuna-fish blog.

If I send Aunt Suzie a message that reads, "How's your new puppy," I never have this problem.

Sending out a blog article is like herding a school of tuna through a swamp. I spend over half my blogging time just sleepwalking and herding tuna.

I bet that Karl Rove is very pleased that he can waste so much of my time -- but I think that he'd be even more pleased if I gave up blogging altogether and just watched Fox News.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Syria just changed over to the euro: I want to change to euros too!

Almost everyone in the world is really pissed off at George Bush. That man has managed to completely alienate almost the entire population of this planet -- with the possible exception of a handful of Republicans who listen to Rush Limbaugh and/or watch Fox News.

But despite all their anger, most of the people in the world aren't doing anything about Bush's pissy attitude toward common sense, diplomacy and enlightened self-interest. But now Syria has stepped up to the plate and is actually attempting to do something to stop Bush's maniacal foolishness. According to Reuters, "Syria has switched all of the state's foreign currency transactions to euros from dollars...."

Wow, this is revolutionary news! Syria is really going out on a big limb on this one by challenging Bush's death-grip on the world. Syria is putting its money where its mouth is. Syria is fed up with Bush and is actually DOING something about it.

The last country to challenge Bush by moving their currency from dollars to euros was Iraq in 2003. And look what happened to them!

In the revolution against George Bush's idiotic and self-centered foreign policies, Syria's action is a major shot across the bow. And apparently Iran plans to fire a second shot soon. And what if Latin America fires a third shot and switches to the euro too?

Put me down for shot number four! I want to convert my $285-a-month Social Security check to euros too!

George Bush had better watch out.

PS: There are other reason to go on the euro -- ASAP! According to my friend Juli, the dollar is pretty much worthless. "Holy crap!" Juli wrote me last week. "I just got a copy of the 2005 independent auditor's report on federal finances. According to him, after the GOP took over Congress in 1997, there has been no financial record-keeping and no one really knows who is spending what or how much. He says this much however, that it is illegal. He also says that the cost of operating the government has risen to $46 trillion from $20 trillion a few years ago. The IRS reports revenues at only $1.2 trillion. HAAHAA HAAHAA HAAAAA...."

Whoa. We got 46 trillion dollars going out and 1.2 trillion dollars coming in? "I call that one whopping deficit. And then they report that $300 billion has been given back in refunds. The auditor claims that much of the problem comes from no oversight and nobody keeping records. Wasted money essentially." And Bush ran on a platform of cutting down on bureaucratic government spending? Yeah right. "And another problem is that the defense department is purposefully not keeping records to hide their spending too."

Let's put it in terms everyone (even me) can understand. If the auditor's report is true, this is like finding out that your boyfriend just stole the family heirlooms. And cleared out your bank account. And maxed out your credit card. And loaned your car to a guy who runs a chop-shop. And sold your niece to a sweatshop in Belize!

We're screwed.

Maybe California should save itself from the sinking ship and seriously consider joining the EU.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Global Exchange has a Reality Tour leaving for Afghanistan on July 8, 2006. I want to go.

The only way one can find out what is really happening in Afghanistan is to go there. Please help fund my "investigative journalism" trip by joining Global Exchange ($35) at https://secure.groundspring.org/dn/index.php?id=2192. Type "Jane Stillwater" on the line that says "on behalf of". And sign up to go to Afghanastan yourself too!

Monday, February 06, 2006

Thank you, GWB: To put my daughter through college, I'm selling the family china!

"Mom, I'm in total burn-out!" my youngest daughter told me last night. "My college loan people are sending me nasty letters saying I have to start paying them back NOW -- but I'm still only a freshman. And pay them with what? The money I make at my minimum-wage part-time job? Yeah right. Mom, I can't go to school, pay my car insurance, buy gas, pay commute fares, pay my rent and buy food on $90 a week. I live like a hermit. I never go to movies or buy CDs. My computer is broken. I only have one pair of jeans. I go to school in $5 pajama bottoms that I buy from Walgreens. I'm already living on peanut butter and Kraft Dinner. I don't know what else I can do."

"I'm sorry, sweetheart," I replied sadly. "I'll do what I can to help out but I'm in between jobs right now and living on Kraft Dinner too." Oh boy. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Who knows what lies ahead. That billionaire who lives in the White House has just slashed Congressional subsidies to the college student loan programs. And his "War on the Working Stiff" program is costing America how many millions of jobs? Plus his mis-managing of the nation's treasury is about to lead to a major depression where no one will be able to afford ANYTHING -- let alone Kraft dinner. "I'm sorry, dear, but I haven't a clue what to do."

My motto is, "If in doubt, avoid cleaning house." I do my best thinking while avoiding cleaning house. "Let's see. I could avoid moving this box into the closet.... Wonder what's in it? Oops, it's what's left of the family china!" In 1959, my mother had given me some Heirloom Royal Albert china for my hope chest when I was a teenager. She bought it on a trip to Great Britain. It's all gold and decadent and hand-painted. There were seven dessert plates, two saucers and five salad plates left. Hummmm.

I e-mailed eBay. They came to my rescue and listed my ad. Here it is:

But instead of being reduced to selling the family heirlooms on eBay to get my poor sweet daughter through college, wouldn't it be easier to just to start pumping money into our college system instead of spending trillions of dollars on war?

To quote Robert Fisk, "War is primarily about death and the infliction of death -- and represents the total failure of the human spirit" -- to say nothing of a total failure to educate a whole generation of American children.

PS: Someone just wrote me that it was not up to George Bush -- or anyone else for that matter -- to put my daughter through school. Well! It is not up to George Bush, or anyone else for that matter, to hit up every single person in America for one million dollars so the Bush buddy system can make profits off our dying troops. College education is better.

If America is to be a leading nation, we HAVE to have an educated population. It is in the common good to send as many people as possible to college FREE in order to once again become a great manufacturing nation instead of some has-been grandpa with big guns.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Health Care in a Third World Country: Better than what we get here

The local hospital in Berkeley, CA is a paragon of glass windows, crisp uniforms, indoor plants, top-of-the-line computers and all that kind of stuff. But does it deliver the goods?

If you get sick in the U.S. and you are poor, you are screwed. Want to spend ten hours in the waiting room of an ER? Then America is the country for you! Our healthcare system is really, really pretty -- and it costs an arm and a leg. But does it deliver the goods?

A friend of mine just got back from a third world country. Here is her report. "I got desperately sick three weeks ago and went to the local hospital with grave hesitation. From the outside it looked like Abu Ghraib and on the inside it looked like a seedy version of the most run-down office building in Detroit." But did it deliver the goods?

And how much did it cost?

"I was processed through reception and triage in less than five minutes. That would be a record in ANY U.S. hospital. I was diagnosed with bronchitis (not bird flu!) ten minutes later. Five minutes after that, I had my prescription in hand and was out the door."

Fine. But how much did it cost? "It was free!"

Let's see America top that.

"The next week I went back and got free dental care. And when my cough didn't go away, they sent me to a specialist and I got a chest X-ray and they even had a podiatrist look at my foot. All that and I was in and out in 45 minutes. I swear!" The place looked like a slum, but looks aren't everything. American hospitals rate a 10 for appearance. This place rated a 2. American hospitals rate a 5 for service, medical skill and effectiveness. This place rated a 10.

Moral? Next time you're sick, move to a third world country? No. Demand that America provide proper healthcare HERE.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

GWB's January 2006 State of the Union speech: A sociopath's dream...

"Sociopath" is a relatively new word in the English language but the concept is old as time. Just look in the Bible. Cain seemed like a presentable young man, the kind of guy you would be proud to have as a son. Had he been alive today, he might have graduated from Harvard. Or Yale. But while he was being a glib charmer on the outside, on the inside he was plotting bad things. Inside of his mind and heart lurked dreams of chaos -- not brotherly love.

We got one of those guys in the White House now. "That's a pretty bold statement, Jane. Where your proof?" Proof? The January 2006 State of the Union speech is my proof! Just look at all the stuff he promised us! And then look what we get. Lies. Theft. Corruption. Torture. Lots and lots of torture. Any sociopath worthy of the name at all has got to have at least SOME links to torture in his resume. Bush's resume has all that! The Abramoff scandal. The WMD lies. The 9-11 "Let it happen" attitude. The FEMA "Let it happen" attitude. The Florida/Ohio lies. Missing money from Enron. Missing money from the defense budget. And then there's Abu Ghraib.

And in the State of the Union speech, what does this guy promise us? Democracy! Medical insurance! Education! Economic wonderfulness! Alternative energy sources! Freedom! Happy children!

"Abroad, our nation is committed to an historic, long-term goal -- we seek the end of tyranny in our world." No mention of the 100,000 innocent civilians Bush ordered fried to a crisp in Iraq.

"Our men and women in uniform are making sacrifices -- and showing a sense of duty stronger than all fear." No mention of our men and women in uniform's rotting food, lack of body armor, cheesy pay and being sent to their deaths for a lie.

"Our economy is healthy and vigorous, and growing faster than other major industrialized nations." Yeah right. We're trillion of dollars in debt while Bush's Swiss bank accounts are bulging. My daughter has to work and get loans and live on Kraft Dinner in order to say in college. And 12% of America is living in poverty. They would be GLAD to have Kraft Dinner! And if China calls in its markers, we're all gonna be below the poverty line -- except of course for George Bush.

"To change how we power our homes and offices, we will invest more in zero-emission coal-fired plants, revolutionary solar and wind technologies, and clean, safe nuclear energy." This coming from the man who controls much of the world's oil and is gouging us in order to benefit his monopolies? Can you even IMAGINE Bush funding solar energy? Or asking his buddies in the coal industry to clean up their act and make the mines safe?

"A hopeful society expects elected officials to uphold the public trust." Yeah and we get Enron and Jack Abramoff? A sociopath says anything he thinks will make you happy. Are we happy now, George?

Anyway, I could go on and on here. GWB gives us enough contrasts between what he says and what he does to keep even Sigmund Freud happy. But I gotta go get ready for work...while I still have a job!