2007/01/30

“DON’T JUST COMPLAIN ABOUT ETHICS, FILE AN ETHICS COMPLAINT”

Or, How to Create Do-It-Yourself Ethics Filings to Attack the Licenses to Practice Law held by Bush Administration Attorneys

Distressed that the Democratic National leadership has chosen to take impeachment “off the table?” Don’t want to wait until January 2009 to finally show the door to some of the current Administration’s flunkies? You don’t have to.

For one example, consider filing an ethics complaint against, say, the chief torture researcher for the Prez - Attorney General Roberto Gonzales. You can do it on your own.

You should file it with whatever agency in your particular state licenses attorneys which could be a committee or office within either the state bar association or state supreme court.

A sample is set forth below. While you’re at it, send a copy to the newspapers when it is filed.

In addition to Gonzales, consider filing against the White House Counsel and other licensed attorneys who drafted Bush’s various pro-torture, anti-Constitution legal opinions if you believe that they are illegal or unethical.

If nothing else, defending themselves might keep the defendants and their bosses so busy they can’t get up to much mischief the next couple of years.


Proposed possible wording, but feel free to use your own:

COMPLAINT AND REQUEST FOR INVESTIGATION

I respectfully request that the State [insert here the title of the appropriate Grievance, Disciplinary and/or Professional Responsibility Committee or Board] initiate an investigation of US Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales for the purpose of determining whether he is fit to practice law in this State.

From his public statements, his published writings, his testimony before Congress and other evidence, it strongly appears that Mr. Gonzales has (1) violated ethics, (2) committed, authorized, encouraged, participated in or directed acts which may constitute criminal conduct as well as (3) violated his oath of office to uphold the Constitution and the laws of the land.

If it is determined that he has violated ethics, it is requested that he be banned from entering our State to conduct any acts which might be deemed the practice of law, banned from supervising, hiring or firing licensed attorneys who are employees of the Justice Department regardless of his own physical location at the time, banned from participating in any way in any cases that take place in this state, and disbarred if he happens to be licensed here.

If it is determined he has committed, authorized, encouraged, participated in or directed acts which may constitute criminal conduct, it is further requested that the information be forwarded to the appropriate legal authorities for criminal investigation and possible arrest.

If it is determined that he violated his oath of office, it is requested that the information be forwarded to the Congressional delegation for our state so that he may be impeached to determine whether he should be removed from office and/or censured.

Among the most serious charges, the currently available evidence strongly suggests that Mr. Gonzales has repeatedly violated the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution and laws enacted by Congress such as PISA, not to mention our own State Constitution by having searches conducted without probable cause, without warrants, without court supervision of any sort and in defiance of the proposition that any court supervision or jurisdiction is required. Moreover, he has clearly indicated he plans to continue doing so in the future.

Mr. Gonzales has also apparently admitted to repeatedly counseling clients such as the President of the United States that it is permissible to ignore the separation of powers and other clauses of the Constitution, that it is permissible to ignore duly enacted US laws as well as international laws and treaties to which the US has agreed, all because it was unilaterally proclaimed by his client to be "war time." It should be noted that, even if armed conflict involving the US was occurring, that does not make a difference to the wording of the Constitution. No declaration of war has been formally passed since the current President took power and the so-called “force resolution” did not amount to one. Legal opinions by attorneys can be wrong or even stupid, but in court, truly frivolous arguments are not a defense to misconduct by attorneys.

Of more immediate consequence, Mr. Gonzales, by his own admissions, has consistently sought to deny many individuals in US custody access to attorneys, the courts and other fundamental human rights under both US and international law. Far worse, although he has chosen to call it something else, he apparently has conspired to actually torture some of them, at least as that term is commonly understood, not to mention as defined in specific laws. Even if one or more those laws have now been amended to permit such repugnant practices, nevertheless, the violations seem to have knowingly taken place prior to any applicable amendment.

Moreover, for a licensed attorney, regardless of his appointed office, to counsel someone on how to avoid punishment for past crimes of, say, robbing a bank, that is vastly different from counseling them on how to conduct bank robberies in the future. It is the latter which Mr. Gonzales appears to have done, not to mention it being utterly reprehensible for an officer of the court to condone such tactics.

Even if Congress passes a brand new law proclaiming all the foregoing is currently “legal” and even the Congress has chosen for the moment to take impeachment proceedings against any Administration official “off the table,” that does not prevent our State from independently pursuing the ethics violations. For that matter, merely because Congress passes a law declaring something "constitutional" does not necessarily make it so, especially when it contradicts unambiguous wording in and intent of the Constitution or its framers.

Thank you in advance for your consideration and whatever assistance you might provide in investigating this matter.


_________________________
[Name, Address, and Phone]

POTPOURRI FOR JANUARY 07

The following are January 2007 “Quick Quips” with the newest ones on top:


A DISTURBING COMPARISON OF THE BUSH AND NIXON PRESIDENCIES


Astonishingly, we are forced to look back on the Nixon presidency with almost nostalgia. His administration’s lies, criminal conduct and violation of basic rights seem almost minuscule in comparison to that of the present president. And, comparing the current wholesale dismantling of everything for which this country once stood makes Nixon appear to be nearly a model of bipartisan cooperation, rational thought, and action based on advance research grounded in reality. The truly fascinating aspect is that if Nixon were seeking office today, he would be rejected by his party for not being vicious enough.


THE ONE IRAQ WAR STRATEGY THAT MIGHT HAVE WORKED ONCE UPON A TIME


It’s fascinating in hindsight that there actually was one strategy which Bush could have pulled in Iraq and walked away triumphantly with a resounding win having an enormous moderating influence on the region.


Instead of the botched “nation building” and self styled “spreading of democracy” he is currently attempted, he could have gone in, simply smashed Iraq’s military and everything in sight, then immediately pulled out leaving them their chaos and promising to be back with worse if Iraq ever even thought of crossing US interests again such as by seeking WMDs.


Iraq probably would still be in the mess it is today, with sectarian violence, a sham of a national government, without electricity or infrastructure and possibly seriously weakened visa vi Iran. BUT, all those things are happening anyway and we wouldn’t be looking like the weak, ineffectual idiots we do now. Nor would it have cost us the trillions of dollars and thousands of unnecessary deaths and injuries. Although it still would have been stupid and hypocritical to launch such a pre-emptive invasion, at least we wouldn’t be facing the possibility of some day soon getting kicked out of Iraq as now is starting to look increasingly likely. Too bad there are no do-overs in international affairs. Too bad the Supreme Court picked the wrong guy to put in office.


THE ADMINISTRATION’S INABILITY TO ACKNOWLEDGE

THE PAUPERCY OF ITS TROOP SURGE POLICY


It’s a fine irony that the Republican Administration, which basically emasculated most bankruptcy protection rights for people who exhaust their resources, is unable itself to declare “bankruptcy” of policy in Iraq. Bush will never have sufficient resources available to ever “win” in Iraq and can’t afford the price of just pulling out. He’s permanently condemned, much like all those he stuck in debtor hell, unable to admit mistakes were made and start afresh.


THE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S “HOUSECLEANING” OF ANY REMAINING DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE CAREER ATTORNEYS WHO ARE NOT FANATICAL PARTY LOYALISTS


Attorney General Gonzales is quietly replacing the US Attorneys in various judicial districts with political hacks. Confirmations by Congress used to be required for each key appointment, but thanks to some provisions of the so-called Patriot Act no one apparently bothered to read at the time, Gonzales is now free to install his own “heckofajob Brownie” types in office. It is not clear whether is it simply the usual Bush Administration contempt for competence or a pre-emptive strike against efficacy of future criminal investigations into Bush activities. Either way, it seems to prove the Republican eternal insistence that they are the “anti-crime party” is a myth.


THE APPARENTLY BASELESS ASSUMPTIONS UPON WHICH THE TROOP SURGE IS JUSTIFIED


Has anyone else noticed how much the White House's entire Iraq War promotion scam is like those Nigerian fraud schemes that constantly plague our e-mails, both as to the techniques used and the public's astonishing gullibility? No wonder there seems to be no way to stop either con game.


THE DEMOCRAT’S RESPONSE TO THE STATE OF THE UNION PABLUM


Senator Jim Webb’s response to the President’s Address concluded with the thought that the Democrats “will be showing [Bush] the way.” Perhaps instead what the Democrats should be doing is showing Bush the "door." It's time to file a bill of impeachment so that investigations can begin using subpoena power to determine whether, as suspected, high crimes and misdemeanors have occurred in office. As traumatizing as the process is, the Founding Fathers believed in its efficacy and enshrined it in the Constitution for good reason. It is a tool we have been granted to cleanse the political system. Let’s use it.


THE DISCLOSURE THAT THE DIEBOLD COMPANY WAS EVEN MORE LAX ABOUT VOTING MACHINE SECURITY THAN PREVIOUSLY BELIEVED


It was recently revealed that Diebold, the company responsible for the unsecure paperless voting machines, uses a universal key to open all those machines, which means of course that anyone with a copy of the key can taint the votes. Worse yet, the nincompoops in charge of the company apparently left a photo of that very key on a company website which has allowed anyone who wants to produce working copies. Horrifying, especially when you stop to realize that the head of Diebold has publically indicated his desire to have Republicans in power in perpetuity. I guess we should be thankful that Bush and his cohorts like the Diebold CEO have turned out to be so utterly incompetent in the long run. Otherwise, our Democracy would already be dead.


A PRECONDITION TO THE PRESIDENT’S TROOP SURGE


How about we offer to Bush that he can have his “surge” in troops, more even if his generals are willing to openly state they need it and it would be worth while? BUT, in return, the President must agree that if he cannot finally show “mission accomplished” in, say, six to nine months, then he and Cheney publicly admit they were dead wrong and resign so that someone competent gets a chance. A “put up or shut up” policy in other words.


QANTAS AIRLINE’S REFUSAL TO ALLOW A PASSENGER WEARING AN ANTI-BUSH T-SHIRT TO TRAVEL


According to a BBC new story this week, an Australian traveler was stopped at an airport boarding gate when the attendant saw his T-shirt which had an image of George W. Bush and the words “World’s #1 Terrorist.” He was told the shirt was offensive and a security threat and was asked to remove it.


Sometimes the measure of accuracy of a statement is the length to which the opposition will go to suppress it. Given Bush’s proclivities, I'm surprised Bush did not just have the traveler shot. Perhaps Cheney's memo on that subject had not reached airport security.


BUSH’S BLAMING MALIKI FOR FAILURE TO GET IRAQ UNDER CONTROL


Why should we expect the Iraq Prime Minister to control the Sunnis or the Shiites in Iraq? Poor Maliki must try to govern a genuine democracy where what the majority of voters want actually counts for something unlike Bush’s America where he can’t control Republicans, let alone Democrats, even when he has a near dictatorship going.


ADMINISTRATION ATTACKS ON THE LAW FIRMS ATTEMPTING TO PROVIDE A LEGAL DEFENSE FOR DETAINEES


A Bush official, Charles Simpson the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Detainee Affairs, announced a list of the law firms representing accused terrorists should be publicized and those firms ostracized on the grounds that providing such Constitution mandated right to counsel was tantamount to supporting terrorism. Mr. Simpson’s overt desire was to try and punish such lawyers and their firms for defending our Bill of Rights.


Bush’s arrogant cohorts like Mr. Simpson should be careful. By that reasoning, we should also publicize a list of all Republican campaign contributors as being tantamount to supporters of graft, corruption, utter incompetence and, in the case of Mark Foley, apparent pedophilia.


Besides, Bush officials might want to be insisting on the right to defense counsel themselves soon.


REASONS TO RECONSIDER ESCALATING THE IRAQ WAR


There are two comparisons between Iraq and Vietnam that appear to have been missed. Astonishingly, we are rapidly approaching the point (particularly at the approaching $8 Billion dollar a month current expense of staying in Iraq) where in total cost the Vietnam War will be the fiscally cheaper of the two. Vietnam only cost about $660 Billion in today’s dollars.


And, equally counter-intuitively, the ultimate, albeit painful, result of our getting kicked out of Vietnam is a united, apparently peaceful, country that the same greedy warhawks in the White House today tout and visit as a highly desired trading partner of the US and which has never shown any inclination to continue its insurgent terrorist attacks on US troops once we finally left.


Draw your own conclusions. The next time the Prez tries to justify his continuing the Iraq War by claiming his particular quagmire is uniquely different, ask yourself if that is necessarily a good thing.


THE PEREMPTORY AND CIRCUS-LIKE HANGINGS IN IRAQ


When questioned about the botched vigilante-like hangings in Iraq, Bush said “They could have handled things better.” That’s my candidate for understatement of the 21st Century and the kindest possible epitaph for the Bush Administration.


BUSH’S DECISION TO ATTACK AN IRANIAN CONSULATE IN KURD TERRITORY


The only ally among the Iraqi civil war factions Bush still had last week was the Kurds. So, why did he deliberately enrage them by a surprise raid on the Iranian consulate in Kurd territory arresting six diplomats they supposedly had invited? It nearly resulted in some American troops almost getting shot by Kurds at a road block and did result in a promise to shoot Americans if it happened again. Apparently, the decision was attributable to Bush personally. Is there any tactical, strategic or operational decision that Bush is not capable of bollixing?


MORE TROOPS BEING SENT TO THE IRAQ CIVIL WAR


How about a new rule that Bush can’t send any more American boys to Iraq until his own children are drafted in the Army and join the contingent?


THE NUMBER OF TROOPS BEING SENT AS TARGETS


Bush’s sending a minuscule 20,000 more troops to Iraq is like the businessman who is losing money on every single sale, but hopes to make it up in volume.


MORE PROOF REPUBLICANS DON’T REALLY CARE ABOUT U.S. SECURITY


One of the Republican congressmen gave a speech declaring that screening cargo coming into this country from overseas (as the 9/11 Commission has been insisting for years) will add cost to products. True enough, but real security does costs. It’ll probably still be cheaper than the $6,000,000,000 a month we’re spending in Iraq and cheaper than rebuilding destroyed national treasures.


The congressman went on to claim that such cargo screening’ll make us “non-competitive” which isn’t true. He chose not to remember that the cost’d be on incoming goods, not those we export ourselves. It’d actually make our own manufacturers, those few still left in this country, MORE competitive.


The congressman could a mental lightweight (which is possible considering his party affiliation) or it could be the congressman in question is getting “campaign contributions” from our foreign competitors or perhaps thinks more 9/11s would be good for his party. Either way, he’s a bigger threat to this country than Osama.


ALTERNATE SOURCES FOR THE SURGE IN IRAQ BOUND TROOPS


If the President wants to send more boots to Iraq as cannon fodder, why doesn’t he draft from that long list of incompetent political hacks he keeps nominating to head agencies like FEMA or become judges? They won’t do any good there, but at least when they got killed, it wouldn’t be the unmitigated tragedy it is every time our real soldiers are wasted.


LET’S STOP CALLING IT THE “IRAQ WAR.”


From now on, the fiasco in the Middle East ought to be known as “Bush’s War” and his alone. He must like war. He’s started plenty of others. His Wars against the Middle and Lower Classes, Gays, Minorities, the Elderly, the Ill, the Constitution and the Environment are all going strong. Yes sir, the President is quite a Warrior, except of course when it’s his own precious skin that might come under rifle fire.


WHY BUSH DID NOT WANT TO ATTEND FORD’S FUNERAL


In retrospect, it’s no wonder current president Bush hated going to former president Ford’s funeral and wanting it to be small and short. Ford was the polar opposite of Bush, at least within the Republican Party. Ford actually listened to the military on military matters. He also listened to outsiders, experts and opposing party members. He did not demonize or belittle opponents. He treated people and the press with respect. He actually seemed to like people and enjoy their company. He was polite and patient. He was reasonably intelligent and had read history and law. He did not lie about bad news or cover up his mistakes. He did not start wars for selfish or theoretical purposes. He felt war profiteers should be punished. He truly believed that part in his oath of office about defending the Constitution. He did not attempt to frighten the public for political advantage or sponsor political ads he knew were false. Frankly, Ford as a dead man would make a better president than Bush alive.


WHY BILL O’REILLY SHOULD NEVER BE CONFUSED WITH JOURNALISM


Cooperation, consensus, conciliation and compromise are nothing but curse words to pundits, particularly those like O'Reilly who are proven so consistently incorrect.


The name calling, shouting, bullying and microphone cutoffs that is their trademark are either proof that they have little personal confidence in the persuasiveness of their arguments or proof of their incompetence as interviewers. Either way, why is anyone still listening to them? How many times must listeners sample yellow snow to finally realize it is not for consumption?


WHY FORD ONLY DESERVED A MINOR FUNERAL


Other than the fact that he is dead, why are we praising former President Ford? But for him, we would not have Rumsfeld and Cheney today. But for them, we might not have Bush. Besides, his pardon of Nixon prevented investigation into the crime. Shouldn’t his pardon have come, if at all, after Nixon’s conviction?


THE RUSH, FRATERNITY PARTY-LIKE, TAUNTING EXECUTION OF SADDAM


Given how many people Bush executed as Governor of Texas, you’d think even he could somehow manage to accomplish the execution of Saddam with a modicum of propriety, solemnity and decorum. Guess not.


Only Bush could have screwed it up bad enough so that a heartless dictator comes across as sympathetic in his last moments and makes the executioners look like drunken frat boys. Only Bush could have somehow converted a death that most people would have normally cheered into a martyrdom and a galvanizing cause for enlistment of more terrorists.


Is there anything Bush cannot make worse? The only thing I am grateful for about Bush is that he is so incompetent his assault on the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and democracy hopefully will not be successful.


BIPARTISANSHIP IN BUSH’S DICTIONARY


A definition of Bush so-called bipartisanship when Republicans are in power: “I’m going to do what I want. End of discussion.”


A definition of Bush so-called bipartisanship when Republicans are not in power: “Do what I want because I say so. If you don’t, I’ll brand you as aiding terrorists.”


[Special January 1, 2007 Note: the following submission marked the 500th submission of a letter to the Editor of the state’s largest newspaper, a task reluctantly initiated in the last century when George W. Bush first publicly insisted he was the best man possible out of a hundred million or so to run our country. Obviously, not all the letters have been on that topic, but you must admit he and his appointees have certainly provided an unending supply of things deserving comment. While the number of my submissions has been substantial, none has been a repeat. Hopefully, my sincerity, concern, and the applicability of the thoughts set forth are obvious. In any event, it is my earnest hope that you favorably consider publishing this one to mark the occasion.]


HOW NOT TO BRING THE COMPETING GROUPS OF IRAQ TOGETHER


Compare and contrast Iraq’s very strange trial and abrupt lynching of Saddam with South Africa's orderly Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings. The former almost certainly exacerbated the dangerous Sunni/Shiite strife and divided that country further, while the latter almost certainly eased the Black/White tensions upon the end of apartheid thereby cleverly reuniting the country to the extent possible. Of course, it is probably not really fair to compare Iraq and South Aftrica though since South Africa was benefitted by the presence of Nobel Peace Prize Winner Nelson Mandela while poor Iraq got stuck with ol’ HeckofaJob George Bush.



[more irreverence at http://resistence-is-possible.blogspot.com]

2007/01/29

POTPOURRI FOR DECEMBER 06

The following are December 2006 “Quick Quips” with the newest ones on top:


RESPONSE TO BUSH’S EULOGY OF FORD


In Bush’s radio address upon the death of Gerald Ford, he had the audacity to quote former president Ford’s famous declaration that “our long nightmare is over.” How ironic. Don’t we wish. Unfortunately, we still have two more years of the current president haunting our days and our dreams.


RESPONSE TO PLAN TO INCREASE THE CONGRESSIONAL WORKWEEK


Proposals have been circulating recently to increase the work week for Congressmen forcing them to actually spend more time in D.C. In light of the product quality Congress has been producing for so long, shouldn’t we really be seeking the exact opposite? Wouldn’t encouraging our elected officials to spend less time with K Street lobbyists, the Main Stream Media Corp, fawning bureaucrats and entrenched party leaders be more likely to generate better results? Hasn’t it occurred to anyone else that our Founding Fathers primary genius may have been to make it extraordinarily difficult to pass laws. Frankly, I’d prefer it be even harder. No proposal should become law unless it achieves a two-thirds or greater majority vote. That would necessitate consensus, conciliation, cooperation and compromise, generally good things. After all, if you can’t persuade at least two out of three people something is worthwhile, why should it be enacted?


RESPONSE TO CONSERVATIVE RADIO PERSONALITY MIKE GALLAGHER WHO APPEARED ON FOX NEWS ON TUESDAY TO VENT HIS ANGER AT “THE VIEW” HOST JOY BEHAR FOR COMPARING DONALD RUMSFELD TO HITLER. WITHOUT A SHRED OF IRONY, GALLAGHER THEN CALLED FOR THE GOVERNMENT TO ROUND UP BEHAR, MATT DAMON AND KEITH OLBERMANN AND “TAKE THE WHOLE BUNCH OF THEM AND PUT THEM IN A DETENTION CAMP UNTIL THIS WAR IS OVER, BECAUSE THEY’RE A BUNCH OF TRAITORS.”


Since the Democrats are now going to be the leaders in Congress, does that mean that Mike Gallagher will feel constrained against smearing them from now on? I also wonder if we check the record whether we will find he smeared Clinton while he occupied the White House.


RESPONSE TO A HUMOROUS SUGGESTION BY SCOTT ADAMS THAT THE AL-QAEDA ARE FAKE AND MADE AT THE AL-JAZEERA STUDIOS FOR RATINGS PURPOSES


I’m not sure I agree. I suspect neither al-Zawahri nor his boss, Osama bin Laden, is hiding in a cubicle as you speculate at the Al-Jazeera broadcast offices. The evidence strongly suggests instead that they are really working as high level officials in the West Wing of the White House.


Think about it. Could al-Qaeda possibly have done worse damage to the US economy, treasury, military, alliances, morale or its future than if Osama himself had been installed as President in 2000 instead of Bush, Jr.? At least if Osama openly occupied the Oval Office, we might have reacted somewhat more suspiciously to many of the stupidities there were being proposed there over the last 6 years.


Hiding on the White House grounds is probably also the reason that Osama has never been found. Our Keystone Kops in Washington seem to have trouble finding their mouths with a fork full of food. The Peter Principle on steroids operates there.


As Paul Campos wrote for the Rocky Mountain News yesterday, “. . . [I]n 18th century England mistakes made in the heat of battle could result in the most savage punishment. In America today, we are beset by the opposite problem: an incompetence so grotesque that it is as a practical matter difficult to distinguish from treason. . . .” Frankly, must of what the Prez has been doing looks like treason especially if you consider the results rather than the rhetoric.


Besides, even if Bush or his boys had been competent enough to find Osama, they wouldn’t have done so since Osama’s continued freedom and the fear it helped generate was key to Bush’s re-election.


So, my bet is the beards and turbans in all those videos of al-Qaeda leaders are really just fake, props like the AK-47s. The rest of the time they wear Brooks Brothers suits and wingtips as they devise new atrocities for Bush to approve.


RESPONSE TO LOCAL MUNICIPALITIES REFUSAL TO CONSIDER WIND POWER TO PREVENT FUTURE EXPENSIVE POWER OUTAGES


Power poop out prolonged and punishing? Perfectly predictable! Provably preventable! Winter Wind + Whirling Windmills = Plentiful Power. So, promptly protest. Or, perhaps pummel some politicians. Please proceed. And, promptly.


RESPONSE TO A HUMOROUS SUGGESTION BY SCOTT ADAMS THAT STUPID PEOPLE CANNOT ORGANIZE.


Nonsense. How can you possibly contend stupid people can't organize? Shoot, they do so all the time and in quite large organizations. Two of the largest are the Republican and Democratic Parties.


Moreover, they manage to select the stupidist possible individuals within their organizations to represent them, hence the current leadership ensconced in Washington, D.C. Granted, their respective organizations are remarkably ineffective at doing anything actually worthwhile, but they do manage to organize.


In fact, pick any random collection of capital letters (NRA, KKK, FCC, CIA, etc.) and I am confident you will have named the acronym for an organization of supremely stupid people competing for the title of world's most you know what.


RESPONSE TO CONTINUING ATTACKS OF REPUBLICANS ON THE UN


The Republicans are still loudly trying to punish the UN for corruption involving Iraqi oil. Guess Halliburton et al either want to divert attention from its own Iraqi oil corruption or they want to cut down the competition for the corruption.


DON’T IMPEACH THE PRESIDENT - SUE HIM


Forget impeaching the President for lying. Sue him and his co-conspirators for malpractice. Almost every news report shows the economy, employment and the deficit are swelling to epic proportions. Such incompetence combined with insider conflicts of interest equal a legal cause of action. Best of all, given how much they got rich at our expense, they can afford to pay the damage award. So, join a middle class - Class Action. Whether the case makes it through the Republican Supreme Court or not, it would still put the defendants under oath subject to cross examination. No lying, propaganda or weasel words allowed. That would be worth it all by itself.


THERE ARE LIES AND THEN THERE ARE DAMN LIES


Looks like Clinton may have lied about having sex, but Bush seems to lie about everything. Can’t we expect better of those in office? Can’t we ever convince them not to do it by firing some of them once in awhile?


RESPONSE TO COMMENT BY SCOTT ADAMS REGARDING HOW “FRACK” HAD BECOME A CURSE WORD.


Excellent point. There seems to be an even worse problem regarding cursing however. Have you noticed that in the past couple of decades, particularly on the national political scene, the words "compromise," "conciliation," "consensus," and "compromise" have all become curse words. Of course, "liberal" and "conservative" have long been curse words, at least for those respective components of our population. But, when did the very common sense concept of searching for things we can agree upon become construed as contemptible?




[more irreverence at http://resistence-is-possible.blogspot.com]

POTPOURRI FOR NOVEMBER 06

The following are November 2006 “Quick Quips” with the newest ones on top:


RESPONSE TO SCOTT ADAMS ON HOW THE POPE AND THE LEADER OF TURKEY

ARE IN TALKS


Speaking of religious leaders, is there anyone above the rank of, say, alterboy that genuinely believes 100% of whatever they happen to be spouting as gospel? I ask this because other professions tend to have cynics at their head, men who have been around long enough to know where all the bodies are buried, so to speak, and have earned their self doubts. God knows heads of state tend to be pathological liars. Or, is it that they are just better at self delusion than others?


RESPONSE TO WORD THAT A RUSSIAN IS BUYING STEEL MILLS HERE


The Russians are Coming! The Russians are . . . what? Buying up Oregon’s entire Steel Industry?? Bush did what? Went (finally) to Communist Vietnam and is apparently pleading for trade deals? Communist China holds our national mortgage at its whim and creates much of our trade deficit? Communist N. Korea created a nuclear stockpile and thumbs its nose at us? Castro lived long enough to sip Geritol in still Communist Cuba? Sandanistas elected Daniel Ortega as President of Nicaragua? Socialist Venezuela dictating to us how much we will have to pay at the pump? Did Reagan really lose the Cold War and was just too embarrassed to tell us?


MISCELLANEOUS FOLEY FOMENTING


How can you tell if a professed Christian actually follows the teachings of Christ. He voted for the Democratic Party Platform.


Is every loud gay basher really gay or just Republican?


It must be okay to be gay since so many Republican and Church leaders seem to be.


If we have to rely on Republican and TV Evangelists to tell us God’s message, then God needs a better signal or greater bandwidth.


DEMOCRACY IN IRAQ


Two-thirds or more of all Iraqis and about the same percentage of American soldiers as well as voters want us out of Iraq. So naturally, applying the same brilliant logic that got us mired there in the first place, the Prez says we can’t cut an run because “democracy” requires it.


A THOUGHT ABOUT THE REPUBLICAN BUDGET BUSTING


Republicans are a very reliable party. We can rely on them to rob the Treasury.


The Enron trials had a useful effect on corporate honesty. Shouldn’t be doing the same thing for Congressional honesty.? Put some more in jail?


JOHN KERRY’S MOUTH


John Kerry made an inappropriate jib about students needing to get good grades so they wouldn’t be left with little option later except to join the military and possibly end up in an ill conceived, poorly conducted war. The Republican leadership leaped upon the comment like a pack of jackals ripping open a corpse. It was perfect for their purposes to divert from the real questions this election.


However, it should be noted that if the same Republican leadership did not fervently believe in every single word Kerry said, then how else to explain why so few, if any, of the Republican leadership’s privileged kids 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? And, if the Republican leadership truly supported the troops, why haven’t they heavily taxed themselves to pay for adequate armor and enough troops to do the job?


Frankly, I am tired of those who refused to defend their country by wearing a uniform where bullets are flying accusing those who actually have of being cowards or disliking the military. Dissent against a particularly wrong war or dissent against how it is being conducted is the height of patriotism, rather than the opposite.

REPUBLICAN EQUATION FOR “VICTORY IN IRAQ”


3 (years) + 3,000 (soldiers dead) + 30,000 (soldiers wounded) + $3,000,000,000,000 (to be spent) = 3 (1 ineffective dictator on trial + 1 ineffective president still loose + 1 destroyed Constitution).



[more irreverence at http://resistence-is-possible.blogspot.com]

2007/01/27

2007/01/16

“BINDING BUSH”

Or, You’re Gonna Have to Do More than Debate Non-binding Resolutions If Ya Really Want Us out of Iraq

Let’s first stop calling it the “Iraq War.” From now on, it ought to be known as “Bush’s War” and his alone. Re-label the whole abomination just like the Republicans morphed the phrase “Estate Taxes” into so-called “Death Taxes” even though only large estates were actually taxed anything. That’ll make it tougher for him to sell.

While we are at re-labeling, has anyone else noticed how much the White House's entire Iraq War promotion scam is like those Nigerian fraud schemes that constantly plague our e-mails, both as to the techniques used and the public's astonishing gullibility? No wonder there seems to be no way to stop either type of con game. So, let's start with not only calling it Bush's personal video game, but what it really is, a bloody mess promoted on fraudulent grounds so a tiny few people could make a lot of money.

That way, if the President wants to send more boots to Iraq as cannon fodder, we are now free to ask him why doesn’t he draft from that long list of incompetent political hacks he keeps nominating to head agencies like FEMA or become judges? They won’t do any good there, but at least when they got killed, it wouldn’t be the unmitigated tragedy it is every time our real soldiers are wasted.

Or, how about a new rule that Bush can’t send any more American kids to Iraq until at least his own children are drafted in the Army and join the contingent? Embarrass the heck out of him in a way the press might report.

Or, how about we offer a compromise to Bush? We tell him that he can have his “surge” in troops, more even if his generals are willing to openly state they need it and it would be worth while. BUT, in return, the President must agree that if he cannot finally show “mission actually accomplished” in, say, six to nine months, then he and Cheney publicly admit they were dead wrong and resign so that someone competent gets a chance. A “put up or shut up” policy in other words. The press might like that.

Better yet, instead of asking him, how about telling him to end the War. Keep in mind, Congress, and Congress alone, has the power to declare War. The Executive Branch doesn’t. It’s quite clearly specified in the US Constitution, not that many people in Washington seem to have read anything in the Constitution. Granted the President has a significant amount of operational control over certain, although not all, of the military issues. BUT, suppose Congress chooses to formally declare Peace instead of War? Suppose Congress rescinded its ill advised resolution initially authorizing the President to use force in Iraq? Suppose it declared that further use of force by the US Military personnel in Iraq except in self defense would be illegal and that anyone issuing orders for offensive use of force would be committing a High Crime or Misdemeanor authorizing indictment or impeachment as appropriate.

Try it Congress. Please. The anti-war folks in the deliberative body, especially ones in the Senate, are already looking like idiots with their deliberating forever over “non-binding resolutions.” The Bush diehard loyalists have managed to make them look like laughing stocks who can’t even get meaningless words voted on.

If nothing else, trying some of the above ploys might tie the President up so much with lawyers trying to sort out the legalities that he becomes too busy to engage in further mischief with other countries such as Iran or Syria. This almost certainly would be a better route than simply trying to cut off funding for Bush’s current and planned Middle East “Crusades.” That conceivably might jeopardize the troops already there. Obviously, the President cares nothing about them, but the rest of us do.

If Congress wants to cut off funding for anything, how about cutting off the White House’s money for speech writers, lawyers, heat, water, booze, waiters, football channels, plumbers, toilet paper and the like. He’s not granted those in the Constitution. That sort of cutting would do more good and harm few. And, it wouldn’t be a meaningless gesture. Let him finally experience some personal deprivations like our military does overseas. After all, he declared this was supposedly a “Struggle for Civilization” itself. Let him show it by struggling through without air conditioning.

Besides, it would be a terrific PR bombshell, especially since the White House wants to pretend that “non-essentials” like health care, veterans benefits, protection of our food sources, and education should be trimmed from the domestic budget to pay for his war. Think how much fun it would be to hoist him on his own gold plated petard. The supposed “conservatives” would not even be allowed to complain since we are saving a few bucks in the process.

Bush seems to think he’s got Congress boxed in. If so, it’s time to start thinking outside the box.

Okay, some of those suggestions are somewhat silly. At least though they do not on their face sound as silly as trying to tell the American solid majority against the war that “non-binding resolutions” will somehow help.

If you don’t like any of those ideas, then it's time to demand Congress finally file a bill of impeachment so that investigations can begin using subpoena power to determine whether, as suspected, high crimes and misdemeanors have occurred in office. The end result of that process can be very binding. As traumatizing as the process is, the Founding Fathers believed in its efficacy and enshrined it in the Constitution for good reason. It is a tool we have been granted to cleanse the political system. Let’s use it.

The one thing certain is that whether it’s 20,000 troops or 200,000 or 2,000,000, Bush’ll still screw it up. For instance, the only ally among the Iraqi civil war factions Bush still had was the Kurds. So, why did he deliberately enrage them by a surprise raid on the Iranian consulate in Kurd territory arresting six diplomats they supposedly had invited? It nearly resulted in some American troops almost getting shot by Kurds at a road block and did result in a promise to shot Americans if it happened again. Apparently, the decision was attributable to Bush personally. Is there any tactical, strategic or operational decision that Bush is not capable of bollixing?

Similarly, when questioned about the botched vigilante-like hangings in Iraq, Bush sheepishly admitted “They could have handled things better.” That’s my candidate for understatement of the 21st Century and the kindest possible epitaph for the Bush Administration.

The bottom line is we need to stop him now. The so-called non-binding resolutions, which seems to be the only thing the opposition has come up with so far make the party look like a disorganized pack ineffectual weaklings. If the current office holders are not capable of doing anything useful, then perhaps they should resign and let other, more focused, newcomers have a chance.

2007/01/15

“BIN LADEN DESIRES - BUSH ACHIEVEMENTS”

Or, Are we sure Bin Laden hasn’t been hiding in the West Wing?


What Osama Wished

What George Wrought

Damn and demonize the US in the eyes of its allies, supporters and apologists.

Unilaterally invade sovereign countries on whim, ego and neocon ideology routinely ignoring the advice and wishes of almost all formerly friendly nations as well as experts diplomats . Use the military option first and allow diplomacy only when military efforts do not work or we are losing. Attempt to suppress terrorists using warfare tactics instead of police tactics which usually results in creation of brand new enemies out of the relatives of innocent civilian casualties caused by, say, stand-off bombing to kill as opposed to policeman-like surround, isolate and capture. Use incompetent arrogant cronies and hacks who are primarily interested in lining their pockets and cannot even speak the language, let alone understand the local customs, religions and history. Take sides in Middle East and other conflicts without fully understanding there might be two sides worth considering before acting. Then, act precipitously with little planning at all and no planning for when things go wrong. Be proven hypocrites consistently and keep real intentions secret.

Demoralize and destitute the US military.

Initiate so-called “stop loss” policies to prevent soldiers from leaving as promised at the end of their enlistments. Send them back to ill defined combat every year and send them ill equipped to do jobs for which they were ill trained if at all. Do so in insufficient numbers to accomplish the task. Ignore advice of the experienced military officers. Ignore other potential threats elsewhere in the world. Down size our military and take away their ability to deal with potential foes who might actually have technological sophistication. Spend lots for unproven big buck weapon systems while simultaneously impoverishing enlisted personnel and their families. Ignore the plight of the wounded and discharged veterans. Abandon the Geneva Convention protections.

Devalue and dilute the US economy.

Eviscerate fair trade in favor of “free” trade favoring only large international companies concerned about only their profits. Eviscerate all potential opposition in sight, especially unions, reporters and any attempts at controls on management and fraud. Govern primarily by corruption, campaign bribes, and pork barrel politics. Create monopolies. Send jobs and manufacturing overseas. Allow revenue to escape offshore untaxed. Refuse to investigate government contractor fraud and embezzlement. Subsidize companies that do not need it, especially oil companies enjoying record profits. Write into laws whatever large corporations desire. Indenture our grandchildren to the Chinese by creating massive government debt, massive waste and fraud, massive budget deficits and massive trade deficits. Encourage massive consumer debt and immunize creditors for abuses. Abolish or diminish funding for research and development, especially for the hard sciences. Create massive salary gaps between workers and CEOs. Wipe out pension funds and worker benefits. Discourage savings. Ignore viable alternative energy sources and rely solely on increasing expensive, increasingly scarce foreign oil from countries that hate us. Keep intentions secret.

Devastate and damage the US homeland.

Refuse to pay for levee, train track, bridge and other infrastructure repair and maintenance. Refuse to effective emergency communication and coordination. Appoint incompetent arrogant cronies and hacks to FEMA and similar agencies. Ignore science and scientists. Pollute the air, land, water and food sources. Over fish, over graze and over log. Eviscerate regulations designed to protect same and eliminate regulators and/or their budgets. Leave ports and cargo unscreened and unprotected. Strip funding for protecting genuine national monuments against security threats. Ignore warnings. Concentrate targets for ease of destruction such as no electro magnetic pulse protection for all our civilian financial and other critical data.

Divide and disillusion the US population.

Continue unabated “class warfare” by transferring large amounts of money from the lower and middle classes to the Uber rich. Accuse anyone of pointing it out as indulging in class warfare. Demonize any opposition by calling them traitors and unpatriotic. Demonize minorities, especially any of Middle Eastern origin. Ignore all advice and research. Consolidate media and means of communication solely in a few supporters. Declare everything secret, especially mistakes. Harass and stonewall reporters and investigators. Refuse oversight by other branches of government. Install cronies and hacks as judges. Indulge in gerrymandering, voting machine fraud and knowingly false attack ads. Cripple health care. Concentrate on “wedge” issues like gay marriage to distract attention to the problems. Pretend to be doing anything about hard drug smuggling.

Debunk and dissipate the US moral superiority.

Claim torture and rendition is allowed by the Constitution. Claim there are no other equal branches of government during “war” and unilaterally declare eternal war. Abolish most of the Bill of Rights even for American citizens. Presume guilt. Profile particular minorities. Spy on everyone without warrant. Invade all privacies. Imprison without trial or legal counsel. Lie about everything even when caught and attack the press. Never admit mistakes or change course in light of new evidence. Create an atmosphere of fear and hopelessness.

Denounce democracy and dominate the religion of others.

Have the stupidity to announce in Muslim territory that the War in the Middle East is a “Crusade.” Refuse to allow American military and diplomatic personnel of Middle Eastern backgrounds or with gay inclinations to play any key roles in interpretation and decision making. Install “puppets” in power in occupied countries. Leave friendly dictators and drug running warlords in power. Denounce results of fairly conducted elections in Palestine, Venezuela, Peru and elsewhere when they put hostile parties in power. Attempt to destabilize or replace by force if necessary any democratically elected governments when they disagree with current US desires. Support our own fundamentalists’ agenda to the exclusion or diminution of other religions. Support Jerry Falwell and similar cronies, hacks and hypocrites. Act the eternal hypocrite.


Conclusion: If you want to find where Osama has been hiding since 9/11, perhaps you should search the West Wing of the White House first.

2007/01/14

“CAR-TUNES”

Or, Why You Will Never See Me at the Detroit Auto Show

I have never understood or related to the American male’s fascination with cars, particularly sports cars. (It must be something wrong with my XY set of chromosomes because I have never understood the male devotion to professional sports teams or the “sport” of killing small things at a distance with high powered equipment either. Somehow both seem to be somewhat unsporting. It has always struck me that before you can call yourself a true “sportsman,” you need to have gone after grizzly with a Bowie knife, shark with a surfboard and a ten pound test line or, better yet, intelligent game that can shoot back. But, that is another story.)

I’m afraid that I see vehicles merely as a more convenient transportation mode than walking. I drive them until they die or I am forced to put a slug through their engine block and give them a decent burial. Why own a new one each year when it loses half it’s value driving it off the dealer’s sales lot? Why bother to learn the different makes since, with only a few exceptions, they have become pretty much indistinguishable from each other from the 1980s onward. I haven’t been able to spot the differences in brands since tail fins went out of style. (Yeah, I can tell the difference between a Ferrari and a Volkswagon bug, but they prove my point.) As with cats on a dark night, they all look black to me. The cars usually need to have a quarter million dollar difference in price before I begin to notice much of a quality difference driving them.

I suppose there is another reason I tend to own individual cars for years until they finally rust shut. To get a different one, I have to deal with car dealers. Frankly, I would rather have a tooth extraction without Novocaine. Maybe it is because of all the complaints of clients who have been cheated or lied to that make me weary. Maybe I am just afraid that the salesmen will spot my ignorance.

It probably should be mentioned that I hate driving as well. I can’t wait for teleportation. Beam me up, Scotty. My back hurts on even the shortest ride which explains part of why I don’t drool over car magazines. (Drooling over the female models sitting on the car models yes, but not the cars themselves). Of course, that is only part of it. My back did not always hurt, but I always hated car trips, not to mention car sickness on the winding mountain roads where I grew up.

At one time, cars did provide a convenient place for intimacies with those having two X chromosomes. And, the fancier cars with expensive foreign names did provide clues for the genetic imperative of females to locate males able to provide for future families, but now days motels accept credit cards from just about anyone no matter how short and females can just Google the financial status of potential mates on the internet. Heck, these days, you can bring your high school date to your room at home and close the door with an expectation of privacy.

Maybe I might like cars if I was rich enough to have a chauffeur do all the driving. Nah, if I was rich enough to get all my wishes fulfilled, I’d rather have a helicopter or luxury jet to simply get me there fast. After all, I love travel and seeing new places. It’s just that I hate the traveling necessary to actually get anywhere really interesting.

I do know the years my own vehicles were made as well as the makes, but that’s only because I need to know the information every time I renew my license tag or have a repair appointment.

Being a life long environmentalist, I also hate to be burning gasoline, polluting the atmosphere, enriching oil companies and supporting countries who hate us. Some of my friends kid me about driving cars with such poor gas mileage. However, when I ask them to compare total mileage driven in any given year, I usually come out ahead. We deliberately chose a place to live where home, office and food is all within wheelchair distance.

So, what does it all mean? Nothing I guess other than if Detroit had to depend on me for its profits, it would go bankrupt. Oh wait. It’s going bankrupt anyway. Gee, I wonder why?

2007/01/13

“THE INVISIBLE 500 POUND CANARY”

Or, Do We Have to Take Sides in the Middle East?

I realize it must be a difficult or dangerous question since no politician in any party except Jimmy Carter has been willing to even mention the subject. BUT, why isn’t this country even considering an open and adult discussion about whether Israel should be asked to obey UN resolutions?

It seems kind of hypocritical since our current White House occupant justified launching a peremptory invasion of Iraq on the grounds that it wasn’t “obeying UN resolutions.” For decades, Israel has been holding conquered land outside the original borders that were granted it by UN vote back in 1949. Israel freely admits displacing locals and creating permanent new settlements inside what amounts to another country despite UN repeated demands the land be returned. We didn’t let a Muslim country get away with that in 1990.

Whatever is thought of the comparative violations of Iraq and Israel, whatever might be Israel’s improved security position as a result of keeping such land, however much we admire underdog Israel’s success against high odds, however much Israel is a useful base of operations for us, and even with the horrific memory of Holocaust suffering, shouldn’t we be consistent regarding such military occupations? Even if Israel initially got control of the extra land in self defense, shouldn’t we be at least debating publically the merits of it if we are dragged into the conflict as a consequence?

Unfortunately, evidence strongly suggests our failure to address such issues is what’s driving a significant portion of the animosity toward us in the Muslim and non-Muslim world alike. Granted, they now have other independent reasons to despise us, but the fact that Basque, Chechen, South American, and Northern Irish terrorists, to name a few other violence prone sorts, are not attacking us speaks for itself. Over the years, there does seem to be a correlation between some of the terrorist attacks on Americans and our open approval of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. Attacks on us seemed fewer when we pretended to be neutral. The appearance of neutrality we once had though has long since vanished from the speeches of those running things in Washington now days.

We have much to gain by Israel’s strength and independence and we definitely need to honor our defense treaties, as all treaties should be. At the same time, it seems like Israel’s goal of unilaterally expanding boundaries and making armed incursions may be dragging us into unwanted, unneeded quagmires. Besides, how can we expect the UN to be an effective peacekeeper if we won’t respect it ourselves?

Surely, we ought to at least consider asking Israel to either obey UN resolutions or look elsewhere in the future for largess if it refuses. If it wants to keep the land forcibly taken, okay. However, perhaps it should do it without our tacit approval and funds.

Of course, not everyone agrees the UN resolutions imposed on Israel should be obeyed. And, I recognize that anyone who even thinks about being even handed in the Middle East is instantly branded as having religious prejudices. Look how former President Carter is being treated. Apparently, board members of the Carter Center have resigned due to his merely raising the vexing question. Nevertheless, isn’t it a fair question for our democracy to consider. After all, the stakes are almost astronomically high. Literally trillions of dollars, tens of thousands of lives, and our own nation’s way of life, not to mention the bill of rights which defines our society, are all at risk from the consequences.

If Israel’s independent actions did not adversely affect us, it might be none of our business except general concern about everyone acting nice toward each other. Quite obviously though, that isn’t the case here. We ourselves have been put at risk. Therefore, aren’t there any politicians, pundits or press besides Carter brave enough or that care sufficiently about unintended disastrous side effects on American lives and American interests to at least open an inquiry?

Clearly there are pros and cons on each side. Clearly there are impassioned emotions on each side. Perhaps we’ll decide to continue as is. Perhaps we will decide the cost and risk is even worth increasing. So be it. But, shouldn’t we be at least openly talking about it. . . like adults? How can we make intelligent informed decisions if the politicians, the press and the public are all gagged from merely discussing the subject?

2007/01/06

“CAN’T ANYONE IN CHARGE COUNT?”

Or, Why Sending 20,000 More Troops Is Just a Drop in a Bucket. . .of Blood

The President is currently insisting after almost four years, 3000 dead troops, seven times that or more injured or maimed and a couple trillion dollars (counting equipment replacements, future medical costs and wasted infrastructure rebuilding) that we can still have “victory” or “mission accomplished” in Iraq by simply adding another 20,000 or so to the approximately 135,000 US military already there. No wonder the investors lost money in all the companies Bush ran before fleeing to politics. He failed accounting.

In the first place, when I was in the military, the ratio out of all the military to those at the sharp end of the stick, in other words the “ground pounders” who go out and personally kicked in doors of suspected enemy, was only about one in ten. The rest were clerk-typists, truck drivers, instructors, and the like. I am not disparaging them because those jobs need to be done as well, but we need to focus on whether 20,000 uniformed bodies, even 20,000 front line combat veterans who have already earned combat infantry badges, makes the slightest sense.

Let’s assume, just for the sake of argument, that the giant, self propelled, bureaucracy known as the US Military has managed to cut that combat troop to support troop ratio in half by farming out potato peeling or counting those in high risk MOSs (military occupation specialties) such as military policemen and combat engineers. That would still mean only about 10,000 additional armed door kickers are available to do the job.

Let’s also assume that none of those get sick or are on leave and that they are diligently out there beyond the perimeter kicking in doors twelve hours a day seven days a week. That means that at any given moment, only about 5,000 are out and about at any one time. After all, they have to sleep and eat some portion of each day. That is about the number that attend a decent, but not championship, basketball game.
Now, 5,000 looks like a lot crammed closely together in a stadium. But, disburse them over a country the size of California and they become lost. That works out to about one pair of new boots on the ground for every 33 square miles of Iraq or 277 troops per province.

Let’s assume however that the 5,000 are not scatted geographically. Logically, most would be concentrated where the people are, in the cities. Let’s also assume that not a single one is put in the Kurdish areas which still like us to a certain extent. Since there are (or were) 26,074,906 people in Iraq, not counting the new terrorists migrating there from elsewhere, and since up to about 20% of those are Kurds, that means each proposed new trooper on patrol only has to suppress about 4,000+ Iraqi. Even Custer faced better odds than that. You couldn’t carry enough bullets per person to defend against that if they started mobbing.

Actually, to be fair, each new troop would not have to face 4,000 hostiles. Since there are already about 135,000 military in Iraq (not all of which are door kickers of course, but most can shoot in self defense), that would lower the odds. Still, very roughly, it is currently only one personal in US uniform per every 167 Iraqis. Adding another 20,000 targets for the Iraqis to shoot at doesn’t help much.

According to public opinion polls about 60% of Iraqis favor killing Americans in their country. Because that includes the Kurds, the percentage is presumably higher yet among the Shi'ite Muslims (who represent 60% of the population) and especially among the non-Kurd Sunni (who represent much of the balance and lost all their power once Saddam was gone).

The figure apparently rises to eight or nine out of ten Iraqis who want us to leave, but let’s ignore the ignoring of democratic opinion and concentrate just on the six out of ten who openly want our troops dead. Bush proposes to increase the number of imbedded US advisors within Iraq army units. Oh good, surround our boys with armed Iraqis, six out of ten who wouldn’t mind if a bullet went astray in the heat of battle toward those same unpopular US advisors/trainers. In Nam, unpopular offices got “fragged.” Will they be “Iraqed” in this new configuration?

Twenty thousand new troops, even quadruple that number, hardly seems adequate given the magnitude of the task. Would a million troops in Iraq be enough to bring “stability” and “democracy” to that country, especially given the previous disastrous policies we have been pursuing? That would reduce the occupying army ratio to suppressed citizenry down to a more manageable one to twenty or so.

It would be insanity of course to contemplate such a “surge” in troop numbers, not to mention fiscal suicide. According to on-line encyclopedias, as of 2004, there were only 1,450,689 active duty military personnel from all services including the Coast Guard. About ten percent of the grand total is already in Iraq. The National Guard and Reserves are already stretched to the breaking point. To even add 20,000 more means many soldiers (and indirectly their families) will have to risk third and four tours in a combat zone, something Bush himself was not willing to risk even once.

Bush has been granted an unprecedented carte blanche for two thirds of his Presidency to use whatever he wanted in whatever way he wanted supervised by whomever he wanted to pursue whatever ends he wanted. Everyone except Bush has known for years however that the existing number of troops is not enough to accomplish any legitimate objection (even assuming there was one to begin with).

It’s time for some rigorous cost/benefit analysis. The question that must be asked now is whether it is even possible to add enough troops to accomplish anything. If not, then why the hell are we doing it? I'm no accountant, but it doesn’t seem to add up.