Or, Websites that should be Daily Doses

If you have enjoyed even one of the amateur postings at my own blog, http://resistence-is-possible.blogspot.com, then you definitely should make daily pilgrimages to the following internet sites which are consistently good:


http://dilbertblog.typepad.com - a daily compilation of the non-cartoon, offbeat wisdom and out-of-the-box thinking of cartoonist, Scott Adams. Invariably humorous, but more importantly, thought provoking. Go to the archives for “Appease on Earth” if you want to see what I mean.


http://www.truthdig.com - a daily compilation of progressive oriented video clips and political cartoons. Humor, typically pointing out hypocrisy in national leaders, seems to have a priority. It’s also a good spot to get clips of Jon Stewart’s “Daily Show,” which although played for laughs has some of the most astonishing and newsworthy newsclips you’ll never see on main stream tv.

http://www.buzzflash.com - also a daily compilation of progressive oriented articles, largely humorous in orientation (assuming you count satire, sarcasm as humor). In addition, it’s a relatively complete source for linking directly to other key progressive publications and sites.

http://www.commondreams.org - a daily compilation of serious progressive oriented both pure news articles and political commentator columns. These are traditional journalists and pundits for the most part. Sign up for the free newsletter.

http://www.prwatch.org - the nonprofit Center for Media and Democracy is essentially anti-spin, a “sniff” test on whatever propaganda the media or government is spouting.

http://www.counterpunch.org - more anti-propaganda inoculations, this time by F.A.I.R., but focused exclusively on journalists.

http://www.crooksandliars.com - the title says it all.


http://cagle.msnbc.com, http://cartoonbox.slate.com, http://www.comics.com, http://www.gocomics.com, and http://www.jibjab.com, - together they amount to a potpourri of cartoons. If you can’t find what you want at one of these, you just don’t like cartoons.

http://www.theonion.com - Unlike the live semi-fake news “Daily Show” mentioned above on the Comedy Channel , this is truly fake news, written version. Think Mad Magazine for the post high school graduate.

http://www.comics.com/comics/pibgorn - to single out one particular non-animated “cartoon” that manages to be quite different in its panel, try this one. Beautiful artwork, borderline sexiness and unusually literate. In one story arch stretching over Fall 2006, the artist staged the entire “Midsummer Night’s Dream.” It was set in 1930's Chicago, but his characters recited Shakespeare’s original iambic pentameter wording throughout.


http://www.cuteoverload.com - if these photos don’t make you smile, nothing will. Bah Humbug to you too, Scrooge.

http://www.mycathatesyou.com - a photo site that even the Scrooge pre-ghost visitations would like. The shots here are the opposite of the Cute Overload site mentioned above, but it still manages to make you smile if you don’t mind a little snarkiness.


http://www.naturesbestmagazine.com - best nature photos anywhere.

http://www.thenation.com - in depth reporting from a liberal perspective.

http://www.wired.com - the Rolling Stones for Geeks.

http://www.seedmagazine.com - geek science.

http://www.mentalfloss.com - cocktail party fodder.

http://www.greenlightmag.com/magazine.php - yes, Virginia you can live greenly.

http://grayssportingjournal.com - for the intellectual hunter and fisherman.

http://www.saveur.com/index.jsp - better than Emril and without the annoying “ Bam” all the time.


http://www.discover.com - science stories longer than Popular Science, but easier to understand than Scientific American.

Now you can’t say you didn’t get anything good for Christmas. Best of all, you can give all these to other without it costing you a dime. Spread the cheer in the new year. Cut and paste all or any portion of the above in an e-mail to anyone you think would enjoy it.



Or, Life and Death Questions for Politicians

1. What is the greatest risk for the elderly?
a. Cancer?
b. Alzheimer’s?
c. Oregon’s Death with Dignity Law?
d. Teenagers?
e. The Republican Social Security, Medicare and Drug “reform” programs?

2. What is most likely to make the Dollar nearly worthless and cause a new Depression?
a. The Republican Deficit?
b. The Republican Foreign Trade Imbalance?
c. The Republican tax cuts primarily for the already rich?
d. The Republican addiction to expensive oil?
e. All the above?

3. Why don’t we have an alternative source of energy that would be cheaper and stop embroiling us in the Middle East oil fields?
a. The Bush family’s friendship with the Sheiks running Saudi Arabian, homeland of most of the World Trade Center attackers?
b. The campaign contributions from oil companies?
c. A Vice President who is the former head of Haliburton and who gets most of his wealth from oil?
d. The Republican so-called Energy Bill?
e. Voters ignoring or unaware of any of the above?

4. Who has stolen the most money in the history of the World?
a. Jesse James?
b. The Dalton Gang?
c. Willie Loman?
d. Welfare cheats?
e. Enron Executives?

5. What is the best way to support our troops?
a. Pay hired mercenaries guarding Haliburton buildings at five times what we pay our own enlisted men?
b. Extend our troops enlistments without their consent?
c. Deprive them of critical supplies, more manpower, post enlistment medical care and veterans benefits?
d. Send them to fight a war so the President has a photo op in a military flight suit?
e. Impeach Bush?

6. What nations condoned Torture as official government policy?
a. Nazi Germany?
b. Imperial Japan?
c. Pol Pot Cambodia?
d. Bush’s America?
e. All of the above?

7. What do we need to insure freedom of religion which includes freedom from religion?
a. A President who can’t figure out that calling for a “Crusade” in one Muslim might offend Muslim allies?
b. A President who believes God talks to him personally?
c. Attorney Generals appointed by the Bush family?
d. Pat Robertson?
e. Simply enforcing the Constitution which calls for separation of church and state?

8. What is Vice President Cheney most afraid of?
a. That Bush will die?
b. That his daughter will marry another woman?
c. That Haliburton will be audited?
d. That any of the many alternatives to oil will be funded and allowed?
e. That someone will see his puppeteer hand up stuck up Howdy Doody Bush’s butt?

9. What is President Bush most afraid of?
a. Military service in a war zone?
b. Karl Rove?
c. Regaining of common sense by voters?
d. Cindy Sheehan?
e. Frequent and Open Press Conferences?

10. What legislation title actually means what the legislation is intended to accomplish?
a. The Clear Sky Initiative?
b. The Healthy Forest Act?
c. The No Child Left Behind Law?
d. The Fairness in Class Action Suits?
e. The Bill of Rights?

11. Who should decide on whether or not Social Security should be eliminated?
a. Extremely rich Republican Congressmen who already have a huge pension paid for by the government?
b. Wall Street brokers who stand to profit from turning over social security savings to them?
c. The young and healthy?
d. Alferd E. Newman?
e. The American voters?

12. What is the best reason for saving the Environment for future generations?
a. We should leave something for our grandchildren?
b. We won’t know what we really need until it is gone?
c. Plants and animals have rights too?
d. It is the right thing to do?
e. It is the conservative thing to do?

13. Which is the only one of the following that is finally protected and safe from terrorist attack after all these years since 9/11?
a. US Ports?
b. Chemical plants?
c. Nuclear facilities?
d. Surface transportation infrastructures?
e. Dick Cheney’s undisclosed bunker?

14. What is the least likely reason for high malpractice insurance bills?
a. Insurance companies charging higher premiums due to bad judgement in the stock and real estate markets?
b. Extremely high salaries for insurance company executives?
c. States without caps on jury awards for negligence?
d. Medical Boards banning incompetent doctors from practicing?
e. Lawyers occasionally proving conclusively that incompetent doctors harmed patients?

15. The greatest hope for corporate honesty?
a. Abolition of corporate political donations?
b. A fully staffed and funded SEC?
c. Jail terms for Bush’s largest campaign contributors?
d. A different Attorney General?
e. A different President?

16. Who have been the biggest liars and hypocrites in Washington, D.C. for the past six years?
a. TV Evangelists?
b. Fox News?
c. Swift Boat Veterans for the “Truth”?
d. The majority party in the House or Senate?
e. The occupants of the West Wing of the White House?

17. Who is least likely to be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom?
a. Someone who was too stupid to understand intelligence reports about their being no WMDs?
b. Someone who deliberately mislead the public about the justifications for the war?
c. Someone who screwed up the occupation by not having enough troops, not giving the troops we had enough armor, not securing all ammo dumps from theft, and not having a plan to get out?
d. Someone who will only tell the President what he wants to hear?
e. Someone who warned the President that the justification for the war was false and that the cost would be high?

18. Who is Bush likely to attack next?
a. Israel which is occupying land that does not belong to it and which is in violation of as many UN Resolutions as Iraq was?
b. Iran which hates us and will soon have nuclear weapons?
c. Pakistan which hates us and gave nuclear weapon technology to terrorist countries?
d. North Korea which has a large army, hates us and already has nuclear weapons?
e. Some small country full of dusky skinned natives which hates us, but is relatively weak and cannot harm us?

19. What is stupidest thing the President ever said?
a. That the reason we went to War with Iraq was because Saddam helped attack us on September 11?
b. That he is a compassionate conservative?
c. That he is a fiscal conservative?
d. That he never made a mistake?
e. Whatever was the last thing that left his mouth?

20. What we should cheer for?
a. That the Press Corp should grow some cojohnes?
b. That the President be sued for malpractice?
c. That the President’s intelligence magically increase by 80 points so he can be at least of average intelligence?
d. That the President eats more pretzels?
e. Sorry, there is nothing much to cheer for!



Subject: Press Release Regarding The Time Magazine “Person of the Year” Award

According to Time Magazine, I’m "Person of the Year" (along with everyone else in the world apparently). If so, here's my "State of the Union" message acknowledging the “honor.”

Thank you, I think, for naming me “Person of the Year.” In any event, I accept. The first thing I intend to do as a result of my newly elevated status is to use my podium to tell the Prez and the Press Corp - Get Us Out of Iraq! And, do it NOW, not some future year after I go back to not being worthy of counting by anybody in power! That’s My billions being wasted. That’s My friends and family being destroyed.

To insure we don’t keep getting mired over there again in the future, I also want an alternate energy program developed. I want it Now during My Year, not my Great Grandchildren’s Year. I realize we cannot get wind, wave, solar, and so on instantaneously as I would like, certainly not with those currently called "leaders," but as newly announced “Person of the Year,” I at least want a conservation program to go into effect - starting Now. And, in the meantime, how about a huge tax on oil companies to help encourage that conservation alternate energy use and development?

If I can't have any of those things, then I want some accountability for all the incompetence as well as lies and corruption I have been forced to witness. And that not only means the Prez, all those working for or with him, and all those who were too weak or ineffectual to stop them, it also means Time Magazine itself and the rest of the main stream media mavens that have proven themselves so embarrassingly gutless, lazy, trivial, scared and/or ignorant for so long.

Since I only have a year to be Time’s so-called "Person of the Year," I don’t have time to wait. Let's get these things underway Now!


Or, Why Do Scientists So Often Sound Like Crackpots in So-called Science News Stories?

Many have expressed some doubt about evolution, global warming and some other theories generally held high regard by an astonishingly high proportion of the specialty scientists who are actually researching those particular questions. Skepticism is always good and majority vote is not necessarily the best way to determine the veracity of anything.

Specifically, some have invoked sort of a “sniff and lump” test and questioned the current state of those theories on the grounds they don’t sound quite right. Fair enough. Some seem almost counterintuitive.

However, has any doubter stopped to think that perhaps the problem is not the cumulative corroborative data assembled on each of those topics which is quite significant, but how the journalists they happen to be reading “report” them?

Remember, reporters, even those who write primarily for popular science type publications or news programs, for some reason feel it is important to make everything they write attention grabbing, dramatic or at least sound interesting to the lay public. That leads often to a focus on the most speculative aspects of a theory which can’t help but diminish the credibility of the entirety.

Reporters also favor controversies to spice things up and feel compelled to have “balance,” i.e. someone saying the exact opposite, no matter how provably dysfunctional the naysayer happens to be. This is akin to requiring someone be located who will claim the sun might rise in the west every time a scientist discusses the illusion of it “rising” in the east each morning. Often times, there not even a weighting given to the competing credentials on each side. Any “scientist” will do so long as he or she manages to says something different or provocative and not necessarily in a good sense.

Worse, reporters often try to encapsulate the entire subject reducing all its complexities to headline length or a sound bite which usually means it must be wrong in at least major part. How many science stories you have read exceeded three pages or three minutes unless there were lots of photos to go with it?

Worse yet, reporters tend to leave out almost all the qualifiers, if’s, and’s and but’s out of the resulting articles. Consequently, if any portion of a theory, no matter how minuscule, is shown to be inaccurate later, the initial thesis and everything and everyone related to it is rendered suspect or even ridiculed by the public who recall the early reports despite the fact that that is precisely how the scientific method is supposed to work.

If there is ever a fact found not to fit, a true scientist, unlike a reporter, modifies the theory rather than the facts and continues gathering facts. The classic example is the “missing link.” How can man have descended from ape-like creatures if there are no intermediate fossils showing a progression? Good point, but we seem to keep finding the intermediate fossils that when assembled and compared side by side appear to show just such an incremental progression even to uneducated eyes. Devoted creation theorists tend to focus that there are still some gaps left, albeit ever narrowing ones. Genuine anthropological palaeontologists in contrast would abandon the entire theory of evolution if genuinely inconsistent facts are discovered, but that does not seem to be happening.

As a result, perhaps doubters should reconsider their source material on the theories they have been reading about as opposed to the theories themselves.

Granted, the lack of understanding by non-specialists is at least in large part attributable to scientists who cannot seem to communicate clearly, but shouldn’t stricter standards of accuracy be imposed on journalists? If journalists want to be viewed as true professionals, perhaps they should reform their trade to act more like a true profession, one with enforceable standards of investigation and communication. That probably will not happen. Nevertheless, at least cut the working scientists some slack.

Besides, I suspect the intuition some seem to trust so much works best on those things our ancestral DNA and survival experience have taught us about interacting with people and our immediate environment, rather than the big picture things. After all, the earth looks flat until you get high enough.



Or, 99 Reasons To Be Embarrassed You Ever Voted Republican in the 21st Century

1. You are fiscally conservative and believe governments should not spend more than you earn. The conversion of a national budget surplus into a doubled budget deficit appalls you.

2. You have read the Bible, especially the parts where it talks about what Jesus actually did such as throwing the money lenders out of the temple.

3. You have read the Bill of Rights and believe the words might have some importance for fairness and justice such as the parts that forbid warrantless searches and you wonder why the President admits spying on Americans without warrants and says he plans to continue doing so.

4. You believe the Bill of Rights should be enforced as written, not as someone else wished it was written.

5. You believe that our system of checks and balances between the branches of government has worked well and should not be abandoned despite being at war, especially an undeclared one.

6. You are appalled at the lack of oversight.

7. You have read the entire Constitution and noted that only Congress has the power to declare War. You are astounded that the last President to actually have the guts to ask Congress to declare a genuine War was Roosevelt.

8. You believe that diplomacy should be attempted before military force, especially when the military option costs billions a day.

9. You believe there should be plans for the peace as well as the war.

10. You do not believe you should be paying civil mercenaries $150,000 to do the same job privates in the military are doing for $20,000, especially when military families sometimes have to go on welfare.

11. You believe privates in the military ought to have effective armor vest and other basic necessities if they are heading into combat.

12. You believe members of the armed forces should not be forced to waste time being used as backdrops for politicians giving to political speeches.

13. You believe that the National Guard has a job to do in the states.

14. You believe there should be at least enough people in the military to get all its jobs done. For example, there is no excuse to not have guarded Iraqi arms depots so that the explosives could not be stolen for use later for explosives.

15. You believe there should be an accounting for the missing billions of nation building funds in Iraqi.

16. Your fiscal conservatism is appalled by the concept of no bid contracts granted to Halliburton and others, especially given the Vice President’s probable conflict of interest.

17. You believe that contracts with soldiers such as their periods of enlistment ought to be honored rather than ignored.

18. You believe in a return to the long established and highly useful tradition that those in command in the military ought to be reprimanded as well as any of their troops, especially when the troops in question seem to be following the spirit of what they were ordered as was the case with the torturing of prisoners by techniques that would not be allowed in US jails.

19. You believe that those in command when a military unit goes rogue and deliberately kills innocent civilians ought to be fired as well as the actual perpetrators.

20. You believe that simply changing the definition of torture is not sufficient to claim there is no torture being conducted.

21. You believe stupid mistakes or faulty intelligence data that get us into war are one thing. Deliberate misrepresentations and deceit are another.

22. You believe that those who claim they support the current Wars ought not to be hypocrites. You believe they ought to be willing to have their own sons and daughters in the military and be willing to help pay for it.

23. You find it ludicrous to hear the President insist he will stay in Iraq “as long as anyone wants to do us harm” which means effectively we will be there forever.

24. You owned stock in 2000 and wish it was still worth something.

25. You earn a wage for a living and would like to continue earning it rather than seeing your job taken by someone in India or China.

26. You can add 2 + 2 getting the same number three times running and wish the politicians, accountants and CEOs could too.

27. You are appalled to discover that some of the CEOs of companies have each managed to steal more money than all the armed robbers and welfare cheats in the entire history of this country put together.

28. You find it embarrassing that CEO salaries are thousands of times larger than the employees even when the CEO is caught running the company into the ground.

29. You don’t believe any CEO deserves to be paid over $100,000 per day.

30. You got at least a C in history, social studies, math, geography, geology and biology and wish that was a prerequisite for office seekers.

31. You recall from history that a “patriot” was someone who rebelled against King George, not someone who automatically supported his government, right or wrong.

32. You recall that they put the words “Don’t Tread on Me” on the flag, not in a constitutional amendment. You believe that Freedom of Speech means freedom for others to speak things you do not like.

33. You don’t understand why resources would be diverted from the hunt for Osama into conquering Iraq without finding Osama first.

34. You don’t understand why if it was necessary to invade Axis of Evil countries that the ones which admitted having nuclear weapons weren’t invaded first.

35. You are embarrassed that a secular country like Iraq is being converted into a fundamentalist Shitte country which will almost certainly tilt toward Iran.

36. You don’t understand why the ports and cargo containers are still not protected and inspected against terrorist tactics this long after 9/11.

37. You have to buy prescription medicine or cannot get health insurance.

38. You pay utility bills and still drive a gas powered engine. You wouldn’t mind paying $3.00 a gallon for gas if the increase in price was going to develop alternative sources of energy rather than being diverted to oil producing countries that hate us.

39. You think it borders on foolhardiness to insist we continue burning petroleum when it is obviously a finite resources leaving us at the mercy of those with oil.

40. You want accredited scientists making determinations on scientific merit rather than letting political appointees make determinations on whim or ideology. The attack on science and refusal to use science data unless it conforms ideological assumptions strikes you as stupid.

41. The refusal to even allow condoms or other forms of birth control for those who want to prevent unwanted pregnancies strikes you as a good argument for abortion of politicians after they get into office.

42. You honor your written word and believe others should too, including treaties we have signed. You don’t understand how we can expect others to honor commitments if we don’t show a good example.
43. You don't like bullies and hate torturers. You believe they belong in jail cells instead running the jails.

44. You would like to be able to trust the food you eat, the liquids you drink and the air you breathe. The idea of having inspectors and regulations to protect them was and is comforting.

45. You believe that the passenger rail system deserved to be saved particularly in a time of skyrocketing gas prices.

46. You believe laws should be obeyed and the regulators entrusted to enforce such laws should be well staffed, well financed, well trained and politically neutral.

47. You do not believe the words consensus, cooperation, compromise, conciliation and common sense should be curse words.

48. You believe that the impeachment standards applied to Clinton ought to apply to all Presidents, not just those of the other party.

49. You believe that there should be punishment for breaking the law regardless of how much you wish the law would be broken.

50. You understand that Freedom of Religion also means Freedom from Religion.

51. You are appalled that Osama Bin Laden is still at large years later even though the Taliban offered to surrender him for trial if the US would merely provide the minimal probably cause which a US court would insist upon anyway.

52. You have noticed the devaluation of the Medals of Freedom by being awarded to CIA Director George Tenet, Iraqi administrator Paul Bremer III, and Army General Tommy R. Franks for their intelligence (or lack thereof) regarding Iraq’s “WMDs” and the bungling of the War.

53. You were puzzled by the dismissals from government of Richard Clarke who got it right on terrorism, Larry Lindsey who got it right on the monetary cost of the Iraq War, General Eric Shinseki who got it right on the number of troops really needed, Colonel Charles Pritchard who got it right on North Korea’s nuclear intent, and Paul O’Neill who got it right on the tax cuts costs.

54. Unapologetic cronyism disgusts you. It is one thing to give party hacks jobs that do not mean anything, but keep them out of agencies that have important work to do or require special training or expertise.

55. You watched the tv coverage of Hurricane Katrina and all the preventable damage and destruction.

56. You learned despite the lack of qualifications of “Brownie” he was still appointed as head of FEMA.

57. You believe the legal community ought to be listened to regarding whether a judge has demonstrated competence and fairness.

58. You believe the best qualified and most neutral judges should be selected, preferably the ones that will appeal to the broadest spectrum of Americans to encourage obedience to the law and stability, rather than chaos.

59. You are angered why the titles of so many laws being passed such as the so-called Patriot Act, the so-called Clear Skies Initiative, the so-called Bankruptcy Reform Act, the so-called Healthy Forest Initiative, and the so-called Debt Reduction Act all seem to the opposite of the actual intent of the laws.

60. Your sense of fairness is offended by tax cuts which only go to the super rich and bankruptcy law changes which only adversely affect the lower classes and not the rich or their companies.

61. Your sense of fairness is offended by those driving a company into bankruptcy to take away pension plans and promises to the employees. You believe pensions and savings that someone has worked for all their lives is sacrosanct.

62. A $120,000,000 bridge to an Alaskan island with less than 100 people and the refusal of the senator to divert it to help hurricane victims speaks for itself especially when it would have been cheaper to just give the residents of the island a $100,000 each so they could each have their own yacht.

63. You are embarrassed that out opposition to the elimination of land mines putting the US solely in the company of dictators.

64. You may wish President Chavez was assassinated, but you don’t like hypocrites an example being Pat Robertson, a church leader and self proclaimed religious man, who called for assassinations of those he disagrees with like President Chavez.

65. You don’t like fat hypocrites like Limbaugh, an admitted drug addict, and Bennett, a compulsive gambler, holding themselves out as virtuous moral examples.

66. You don’t like liars like the so-called Swift Boat Veteran’s for the Truth and their Ads.

67. Hiditha.

68. Halliburton, Rayethon, General Dynamics and no bid contracts.

69. A 50 foot wall to be constructed at $1.3 million per mile on a tiny portion of the Mexican border, especially when there was not even any funding for it.

70. The proposed silly $100 tax rebate for gas prices.

71. Bankruptcy of pension funds.

72. The cutting of funds from the Mining Safety agency every year and the deaths that follow, especially given the cost/benefit analysis showing that it would be cheaper to prevent disasters than to try and clean them up.

73. You are worried about Afghanistan now growing more heroin poppies than when the Taliban were in charge.

74. You are worried about the national leader of Afghanistan seems to be really only the mayor of the capitol city given how little he controls.

75. You are worried that all the effort in Afghanistan and all the deaths and all the money may have been for nothing.

76. Granting a White House press pass to a gay stripper solely because he asked soft questions strikes you as deeply offensive.

77. Special prosecutor Ken Starr and his monument to incompetency is still bothering you.

78. You believe that Speakers of the House should not make medical diagnosis from videotapes even if they are doctors.

79. You believe that if the Republican party is for States Rights, then it ought to apply even if you don’t like what some other state is doing like Oregon’s Right to Die with Dignity law.

80. You are offended that the leadership thinks you are too stupid to understand the games being played with words like changing “estate tax” to “death tax” especially when the only ones being taxed these days are those with monstrous estates.

81. You believe that the loyal opposition has a right to oppose and not be called traitors, especially since you have often been the loyal opposition.

82. You believe that anyone should be able to attend public meetings paid for or defended out of taxpayer funds and not denied entry merely because they disagree with the speaker.

83. You realize the pendulum always swings the other way at some point and wish those in power weren’t so intent on making mortal enemies. You are worried the other side might decide to adopt the same dirty tricks to get into and stay in office.

84. Mark Foley and the Republican controlled Congressional “Ethics” Committees.

85. Republican owned Diebold Corporation which supplies voting machines which can cheat especially since Republicans might not always own or control such machines.

86. The President’s opposition to the 9/11 Commission and his refusal to adopt most of its proposed safeguards scares you.

87. The President’s opposition to the Baker Commission and his refusal to adopt most of its proposed safeguards scares you.

88. The continuation of pork barrel earmarks.

89. The do-nothing Congress.

90. The trade deficit.

91. The budget deficit.

92. Unemployment.

93. The alienation of our allies.

94. Arrogance, petulance and childishness.

95. Cowardice whether to the enemy or the press corp.

96. Boorishness, talking with your mouth full on camera at a summit meeting, lack of manners and fondling on camera the female leader of another country who obviously did not want to be fondled.

97. Inflexibility, inability to change course when needed and unwillingness to listen to advice. Getting it wrong and endangering us or costing us is one thing. Refusing to consider other approaches once you know it is wrong is something else.

98. It is one thing to lie to enemies. It is another thing to lie to us.

99. Doing so much so wrong for so long makes even Hillary Clinton looks like a viable candidate in comparison.



Ancestral Bush Pithiness

Teddy Roosevelt Bush - Speak clumsily and act like a big dick.

F. D. R. Bush - The only thing you have to fear is me.

William Clinton Bush - It depends on what I say the definition of torture is.

Tricky Dick Bush - I am not a crook, but all my campaign contributors are.

Harry S. Bush - After the buck stops here, I give it to my rich friends.

Dwight D. Bush - I am the military/industrial complex.

Thomas Jefferson Bush - I am endowed by the Creator with certain unalienable rights and among these are the right to rule as I please and the pursuit of your money.

Dan Q. Bush - Potatoe, Tomatoe. It’s all Greek to me

John Paul Bush - I have not yet begun to lose the fight.

Patrick Henry Bush - I regret that I have only the lives of several thousand soldiers to give for my ego.

Brownie Bush - I’m doing a heckofa job.

Ben Franklin Bush - Early to bed. Early to lie. It makes a man healthy and wealthy if not wise.

Herbert Hoover Bush - 9/29! 9/29! What coming depression?

Winston C. Bush - Never have some many been forced to give so much to so few.

Marie Antoinette Bush - Let them eat dirt.

Noah Bush - What rising sea levels?

Groucho Bush - A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five to explain it to me.

George Custer Bush - Don’t worry. Those Injuns’ll be greeting us with open arms.

Thomas Dewey Bush - Dam the environment. Full speed ahead with global warming.

Henry Ford Bush - You can vote any color you want as long as it's red.

Ronald R. Bush - People don't start wars, I do.

J. F. K. Bush - Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what it can do for me.

Abraham L. Bush - You can fool some of the people some of the time. You can fool me all the time. No wait, I meant something else.



Or, What Kerry Said May Have Been Clumsy, But That Doesn’t Mean He Was Wrong

The Republican leadership have been loudly proclaiming Senator John Kerry attacked our troops and supports our enemies. I subscribe to over a hundred publications of various sorts, not to mention being a junkie of news sources of all times from blogs to news channels. Yet, not once have I ever run across anything that ever could be construed as anything but 100% support of the troops themselves. Try using “The Google” as Bush ignorantly calls it or any of the other internet search engines and see for yourself by bringing up the actual words and context.

The same goes for all the claims of the Republican leadership attempting to smear Senator Murtha and others who have chosen to question the strategy or tactics of the occupation of Iraq. In general, no matter who is speaking, no matter how vociferous the well deserved condemnation of those in charge at the top levels, the individual in uniform serving his or her country has received nothing but support, encouragement, prayers and deference.

The only notable exceptions are those individual soldiers who might have committed crimes such as the Abu Graib prisoner interrogation violations or the shooting of defenseless non combatants. Even then, the inclination was to give the benefit of the doubt to them until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and instead look to the civilians in charge at the top levels that fostered an atmosphere which tacitly allowed such outrages. Not even the harshest antiwar activists condemned all the military for what was undoubtedly the actions of the few. Support for the actual troops on the ground has, for all practical purposes, been universal this time around.

There have been legitimate concerns about the lowered admissions standards for recruits, reduced training and preparation and the climate of the end justifies the means. At the same time, such concerns are offered to protect the troops, not attack them as the Republican leadership tries to spin it. Better troops, better training - Reduced Risks. In fact, such criticism is usually also coupled with demands for better armor, more troops to do the job, less frequent long deployments, better pay, better care and better benefits for the enlisted men and their families. Somehow even those concerns are warped by the Republican leadership which, astonishingly, has fought implementation of all those in one way or another. The troops carrying weapons get across the board support from one and all for their difficult and dangerous job and we are proud of their accomplishments. We do not expect them to do the impossible as the occupant of the White House apparently does.

Even the very top generals, for the most part, have escaped personal criticism from those opposing the degenerating Iraq occupation. The wide spread assumption is that those generals have told Bush and Rumsfeld what was needed and the advice was ignored. Most critics of the current Administration accept that men in uniform, generals included, must obey orders, be circumspect and keep secrets even when the secrecy was imposed for the sole purpose of prevention knowledge of active malfeasance by their bosses. At worst, some opponents of the war have wished that the soldiers were more outspoken while in uniform about the obvious incompetency and failures of the Secretary of Defense and the White House. After all, unless it has been rewritten from when I served, the Code of Military Justice, not to mention honor and morality itself, specifies that soldiers are required to disobey illegal orders such as torture or deliberately killing someone in custody. If failures are not acknowledged and learned from, how can they possibly be avoided?

The Republican leadership does not care about anything apparently except its own ego its all consuming desire to stay in power no matter who is harmed. Bush trumpets that a desire to pull out of Iraq is a failure to “support the troops” or honor the lives of those already killed in what turns out to have been an unneeded invasion, at least as to the originally stated reasons for starting. Even the most IQ challenged though among the voters ought to realize that the Republican leadership is primarily just trying to confuse lack of support for the President’s policies with lack of support for those who must attempt to carry them out under deadly fire. In contrast, surely, it ought to be obvious that those who demand immediate withdrawal are requesting it to harm the troops. The opposite seems to the goal even for the most strident activists.

Even if you buy the President’s assertion that it is better to “fight them over there,” how is it a lack of support for the troops to insist upon a cost/benefit analysis of the Iraq war, especially in terms of lives of those being sent there who have to die or live with the consequences? Would it save more lives to not be there? Would it be better to have the troops here protecting than there? Would less enemies be created or united if we leave? You can disagree with the long term result predictions one way or the other, but you cannot claim that a request to pull out as soon as possible is somehow an attack on our troops. Moreover, as long as the Republican leadership tenaciously tries to remain in office by shouting “lack of support for the troops,” there can never be legitimate debate on the subject and we cannot know which is the better way to support those wearing our desert camo fatigues.

The Republican leadership suggests that those who want our troops out of Iraq are “cowards.” That is odd coming from many in the same Republican leadership who actually proved themselves cowardly during the Vietnam fighting by refusing to go there. That aside, it is not fair to call those who are not opposed to wars in general, merely this particular fiasco, cowards. Nor is it even fair to call pacifists who disagree with all wars cowards. In this country, it takes far more courage and bravery to oppose a war than to support it as the Republicans prove almost every day with their retaliatory efforts.

Worse, the Republican leadership in their efforts to subvert the elections, not to mention the concept of patriotism and free speech, label those who want out of Iraq as “traitors.” A much better argument could be made that the Republican leadership with its refusal to find alternatives to oil, fighting the war on the cheap where troops were forced to buy their own body armor, or war profiteering or outright violations of almost every principle in the Constitution constitute the real traitors today.

More importantly, for the Republican leadership to claim others are traitors, cowards or not supporting the popular troops shows just how much the Republican leadership are cowards themselves. Their efforts to suppress constructive criticisms suggests they fear their own ideas, policies and arguments are not persuasive. They are terrified of true democracy and unwilling to debate fairly. It is time to stop listening to anything they have to say.

As to the remarks by Senator Kerry that got the Republican leadership so excited, it should be noted that if the Republican leadership did not fervently believe in every single word the Senator said, then why are so few, if any, of their own privileged children are fighting in Iraq? Kerry may have been stupid to make such a remark, but that does not make the remark inaccurate.

In fact, if we are truly in a “Struggle for Civilization” itself as our fearful leader insists, then why aren’t the First Daughters wearing olive drab? The next time any Republican mentions the words “support of the troops,” the words “lying hypocrites” deserve mention.



Or, The Unofficial Guide to What Officials Are Telling You

What Politicians Say:

What Politicians Really Mean:

“The article about me was fair and balanced.”

The newspaper for some reason actually printed my press release verbatim.

“The article about my opponent was fair and balanced.”

The newspaper for some reason printed the unsubstantiated rumors my press secretary whispered in a bar last week.

“I will never raise taxes.”

I will call it something else.

“I'll never lie to you.”

I'm lying to you now.

“I have an overwhelming mandate.”

Fortunately for me, there doesn’t have to be a majority of all eligible voters.

“I despise bureaucracies.”

Unless I am elected.

“I can solve the problem.”

I obviously cannot comprehend what the problem is.

“I am always willing to listen to relevant facts and I welcome alternative points of view.”

Why am I forced to waste time listening to drivel? The lobbyist already told me how to vote.

“My opponent is a crook.”

I am a crook.

“I am a reasonable man.”

The bribe you offered is not enough.

“My door is always open to any constituent.”

I just won't be there at the time.

“I enjoy getting back to my roots.”

About as much as I enjoy getting a root canal.

“I respect my esteemed colleagues.”

If you believe that, I can probably sell you a bridge too.

“I am middle of the road.”

As if I would say anything else.

“I have made a careful study.”

My aide handed it to me ten minutes ago.

“Thousands cried out for this proposal.”

I got two calls about this. Both were lobbyists

“This is good for the people.”

This will get me re-elected. So, who cares what else it does.

“Rules are important.”

But they don’t apply to me.

“I believe in majority rule.”

I should rule.

“We must increase education.”

Except of the electorate.

“I am not a professional politician.”

I am unprofessional in everything I do.



Or, The Illusion of Free Will

Over the past five decades, I have reluctantly and sadly come to the conclusion that there is relatively little “free will.” That is a pretty complete reversal of my original beliefs.

While that change of mind will be argued by some as proof that free will has triumphed, actually it doesn’t. After all, I did not say it is non-existent. I have merely observed over the years it is active, if at all, in a surprisingly small percentage of our decisions, at least those big fundamental decisions in our lives.

Take eating. We might choose what to eat, but not whether to eat. Yes, some people do go on hunger strikes and commit suicide by delaying eating until it is too late. On the other hand, that represents such a minuscule percentile of the population, perhaps one in a million, it could even be explained by a typical random mutation in their particular DNA code. Remember, we are not talking about those forced into starvation, just those who supposedly do it voluntarily to perhaps prove their point such as Ghandi or those suffering from something which has a powerful driving force of its own like terminal cancer patients experiencing what is to them unbearable pain. Given the biological (i.e. non-free will) urges of both hunger pangs and instinctive self preservation, we do not really have the free will to not eat.

Even the choices of what we eat as opposed to if we eat seem to be driven largely by something other than pure free will. That’s true even if we leave out examples supportive of the non-free will theory such as addiction to certain substances due to our brain synapses being held prisoner on the molecular level. Our preprogramed biological stimuli such as liking the taste of sugar or foods cooked in fat have a powerful impact. And, how can we discount advertising, let alone monetary, ethnic, social status, education and other considerations, influencing the alleged free will in the determination?

We also have little free will in our food dislikes. Take for instance our repulsion to certain smells which our prehistoric ancestors learned to associate with putrification. Those ancestors who ignored the smells and ate contaminated food tended to end up dead and not pass on their genes. Obviously, that native or inherited impulse to avoid certain “bad” smelling foods can be overcome by us if we are hungry enough or there are peer or other pressures requiring us to do so. Is acting on a “double dog dare” challenge to eat a worm something genuinely a free exercise of will?

I recognize that once others have proven there is no harm from something despite its off putting smell, we do eat what our nose or eyes tells us might be questionable. Nevertheless, as before, the percentage of people who are not starving and still eat food that smells or slimily looks like long dead carrion is relatively small.

We also tend to have what little free will we might be biologically born with stultified by our upbringing or culture. Cats, dogs, horses, snails, and bugs are all capable of safe ingestion by human beings. In one sense, it’s all just protein. In North America however, try to find someone who will exercise the free will necessary to eat one of those if they don’t happen to be starving at the time. The thought is almost horrifying to those raised in this county. Many would not eat one of them even if they were starving. As with everything, isolated exceptions can be pointed to, but aren’t they likely the exceptions that prove the general rule. Do a few exceptions demonstrate that we all have exercisable free will at all times? If it cannot be exercised by us, is it truly free will?

Lest the messenger be attacked for advocating eating Lassie or Fluffy, keep in mind that I would not eat any of those either. I find it hard to even write about despite knowing that other cultures semi routinely eat all those types of animals. My bringing up the point is to simply illustrate the relative lack of power that there is to any free will on the subject.

Some will argue that it is a “choice” not to eat pets. That seems to be a rationalization though. While some would say they are electing to avoid those menu choices because they would not like the taste, how can they know if they had not tried it at least once? Trying something like grilled dog leg and then never having it again conceivably could be argued, albeit weakly, is an expression of free will. Conversely, not even trying it when it has been certified safe for consumption suggests the opposite.

In fact, there is doubt that even the time of eating is entirely free will for the most part. Both hunger cycles and culture norms go far in dictating when as well as whether and what. Same for how.

On a different but related topic, how about our choice of mates? Recent scientific studies are starting to show that we are primarily and, more importantly, unconsciously influenced by how they smell, the symmetry of their facial features, the size ratio between their hips and their waist, and the clearness of their skin. These unconscious preferences, among others, cut across racial and cultural barriers to become almost universals. Again, it is apparently something stored in our ancestral DNA. Those mates who had those particular favorable features tended to be disease free and could give birth to robust children. Those who didn’t tended not to pass their genes on to future generations. Natural selection at work so to speak. Over time, several million years, the cumulative effect tends to add up. How then can it be asserted that we are making a free will choice of future spouses, if we are not even aware of what factors are influencing us.

Body language is another, almost entirely unconscious motivator in pairing off. Lab studies prove again and again that we are reacting to stimuli from others, signals of which we are not aware. In females, hair flips, cocked heads, length of eye contacts, hand locations, body angles, all give messages to which males routinely react even though neither the female involved is aware of giving nor the male involved is aware of receiving. Body language often dictates the choice belying whatever words might have been expressed at the time. While it is possible to deliberately display some body signals, they are almost always being displayed whether we intend to do so or not.

Yeah, we also look for other things in the opposite sex, sometimes consciously so. Reddish lips are built in biological signs of sexual willingness and the price of the cars the potential mate is driving communicates certain information. At the same time, those “choices” too often are traceable to past pressures on the gene pool. Historically, the male with the most possessions is signaling that he would be a good provider. Even if they are some ostensibly conscious factors in a given selection of a mate, how much weight can be given to the hair color type choices when we are not consciously aware that a balanced face is even a factor? Even hair color selection, to some extent tends to be driven by cultural or other pressures that are not conducive to free will. The phrase “arranged marriage” is a tacit recognition in our language of the long establish lack of true choice.

Look at babies. Aw, how cute. Again, scientists have proven that we are hard wired to like the way babies look. The sight of large heads relative to body size coupled with small ears, noses and mouths triggers flows of endorphins in our brains, whether we are looking at baby humans or mammals of any sort. It makes us feel good due to the flooding of feel good chemicals it generates.

The population members who don’t happen to like the way babies look, once again, tend to not have babies of their own. That is a competitive disadvantage in the long run. No babies - no passing on that mental predisposition if the a pro-baby reaction is genetic as it seems to be.

Even grammar astonishingly may be hard wired into our brains. Some studies of children from different ethnic groups suggests not the particular words, but the structure of language itself may be driven by how our brain is constructed and grows rather than conscious choice.

Gossip seems to have the same status. It is much harder to find those who truly do not gossip especially about high profile members of our society such as celebrities or tribal leaders. The attention to those special members seems to be built in, possibly as a defense mechanism as is suggested by studies of primate colonies. Even those who claim they never gossip do so though they may call it something else. It is one of the ways we, as well as chimps and apes, almost automatically organize our society.

Even heroics, or maybe especially heroics, seems often to be dictated by other things than conscious choice. Those who jump on grenades for instance frequently say that there was little or no conscious thought associated with the act. Training or instinct seems to be a bigger factor. The “tribal” bonding with others perhaps. Almost never is it for flag or country abstracts that consciously dictate leaping on that grenade. Those national “Uncle Sam Needs You” types peer or legal pressures such as the draft adversely affect free will on their own. The individual often feels he had to join the military and that may have put the individual in a circumstance which later provided the sad opportunity to jump on a live grenade. The survivors are thankful and celebrate the sacrifice and declare heroism. Still, few if any contemplate joining the military for the opportunity of jumping on a grenade.

Are even the suicide bombers doing so because of the 76 virgins alleged promised in Paradise? That one is really interesting and where we need the most research. Did they really do it due to lack of choice in their lives or religion rather than choice? If so, free will seems even less likely.

What of the all volunteer Army you say? Perhaps a certain portion, the few rich and famous Pat Tillmans of this world, picked it out of real choice, but how often is it a true choice? True free will at work? How many joined instead because of the complete lack of better job opportunities or inability to afford a college education or family traditions or guilt or a simple jail term as an alternative? If you need proof that the volunteer aspect of the Army might not really be a completely volunteer situation, how many sons of Congressmen or daughters of the President are enlisting, let alone for the combat arms?

Perhaps some might argue that apparent cowardice like the President’s during the Vietnam War is a “choice.” Is it? Maybe cowardice is genetically programed. The “fight or flight” adrenalin pumping our bodies have comes out of the autonomic hormone system. That has little to do with free will or choice.

I have been fortunate to never be in the live grenade or a similar situation where the act happens to protect others. But, I can remember the first time I went to a movie after completing basic training in the Army. The lights when down. The screen lit up with an image of the flag and the national anthem blared. Someone yelled “Attention” and the entire theater audience instantly leaped to their collective feet including me. I cannot speak for others, but I can say I astonishingly found myself at attention without any volition on my part. Similarly, the first time off the base, I was coming out of a restaurant and was halfway into a hand salute having spotted a pair of captain bars on a shoulder of someone entering until I realized I was saluting a state trooper. That was the beginning of my revelation that maybe free will is illusory in most, if not all, our actions.

As to those who would like to prove me wrong, I sincerely wish you good luck and hope you are right. I really do because otherwise, that suggests we will always be stuck with war, hatred, suspicion, intolerance, and the other traits that foul almost all of history. If there is little free will, that probably means we will always have an irreducible percentage of people who will blindly follow their leaders or preachers no matter what disaster they lead us into. If there is little free will, then we will almost always have corrupt politicians almost always selecting their self interest rather than the greater good. I would much prefer a world in which free will existed because then there might finally be hope for some of those problems.



A Memo From the Desk of Karl Rove
The Republican Road to our Republic’s Renaissance

TOP SECRET - for your eyes only

From: Karl Rove

To: All Republican Operatives

Subject: Campaign Strategies

Date: October 24, 2006

For victory in the upcoming elections, the following are recommended courses of action:

I. If you don’t have the facts in your favor,

A. Outspend them. We have plenty of super rich who owe us big time.

B. Never agree to a genuine old time debate with the other side.

C. Never answer the actual questions asked by the other side or the press.

D. Bribe the press with money or access.

E. Intimidate or threaten the press who cross us.

F. Never admit mistakes or uncertainty.

G. Stick to simplistic unprovable sound bites.

H. When flip flopping, accuse the other side of doing so.

I. Pound them with meaningless “culture” issues.

J. Claim you are a Christian.

K. Change the meaning of the words.

L. Play the fear card.

M. Attack the character of the opposition rather than their positions.

N. When necessary, lie. Or, better yet, get someone else to lie for you. After all, they probably won’t catch it until it doesn’t matter anymore.

O. Consider useful dirty tricksters.

P. When caught, claim the other side does it too and worse.

II. If you don’t have enough voters, keep the naive demogrunts on the other side from voting.

A. Ask the NSA for useful data obtained by data mining and spying on the other side and other traitors.

B. Destroy or freeze funds of unions and consumer protection groups and agencies or jail or discredit their leaders.

C. Purge the voter lists.

D. Create language, reading or intelligence pre-requisites.

E. Change district boundaries and polling places.

F. Send police to intimidate.

G. Threaten deportation.

H. Prevent the other side from using telephone trees and buses.

I. When necessary, lie about voting rights.

J. Consider useful dirty tricksters.

K. When caught, claim the other side does it too and worse.

III. Cheat on the count.

A. Use Diebold paperless voting machines when possible and he will take care of the rest.

B. Use confusing ballots.

C. Fight on interpretations of how it is marked.

D. Lose ballots, ballot boxes, and totals.

E. Intimidate or eliminate poll watchers from the other side.

F. When necessary, lie about number.

G. Consider useful dirty tricksters.

H. When caught, claim the other side does it too and worse.

IV. If a recount is likely, make it difficult.

A. Make it expensive.

B. Make it slow.

C. Make it illegal.

D. Use Republican appointed judges.

E. Don’t recount if at all possible.

F. When necessary, lie about the findings.

G. Consider useful dirty tricksters.

H. When caught, claim the other side does it too and worse.

V. If the recount goes against us,

A. Stack the appellate court with beholden Republican judges.

B. Declare a national emergency.

C. Suspend habeus corpus, jail dissidents without counsel or trial and torture if necessary. (Already accomplished.)

D. Amend or ignore the Constitution.

E. When necessary, lie.

F. Consider useful dirty tricksters.

G. When caught, claim the other side does it too and worse.