the only solution

e-mail to Senator Barbara Boxer today:

Dear Senator Boxer,

I received your email newsletter today, asking for support in ending the occupation of Iraq. You ask your constituents to take a stand. With respect, Ma’am, after you. Asking President Bush for his attention in this matter is futile. He has long proven only a tenuous grasp of reality; he has no wish or willingness to be reasoned with. The only solution is the one solution that Speaker Pelosi declared to be off the table: impeachment. This is the right and proper solution envisioned by our founders. You take that stand, Senator, and we’ll be right behind you.

Respectfully …

don’t cry for alberto

“Al Gonzales is a man of integrity, decency and principle. …After months of unfair treatment that has created a harmful distraction at the Justice Department, Judge Gonzales decided to resign his position and I accept his decision. It’s sad that we live in a time when a talented and honorable person like Alberto Gonzales is impeded from doing important work because his good name was dragged through the mud for political reasons.” — President Bush.

Alberto Gonzales is a spineless toady, who instead of serving the people as their senior law enforcement official served the president as one of his flying monkeys. He’s a liar, or so say the US Congress. Bush is sorry to see Gonzales go because he’s losing an excellent Yes Man and the co-author of many of this administration’s crimes against civil and human rights.

As for potential lost because of being dragged through the mud, W should be referring to Bill Clinton, not Al “no recollection” Gonzales.

By the way, has Bush broken the all time world record for vacation time for a national leader yet? Last time I heard, he was really close to Nero or somebody. But seriously, I read that Reagan had the record for US Presidents and Bush topped it last week. He’s spent almost 30% of his presidency taking a break. During time of war.

If Bush wasn’t so dangerous, he’d be useless. He should be impeached.

T M I …

… or, what’s up Bush’s Butt.

Yesterday, I was watching my TV, when CNN offered – following the incipient commercial break – to tell me “what doctors found” in the course of Bush’s Saturday colonoscopy. I snatched up the remote and turned off the tube. Time to resort to a book. But in the intervening hours, my willful ignorance has plagued me. What the devil was in there? I mean, as American citizens, it’s our duty to imagine it, don’t you think?

I imagine they found – inter alia – Rumsfeld’s humanity, Gonzales’ competence, Rice’s honesty, and Karl Rove’s head. I’m sure they found, like countless shining polyps, the millions of jobs that have packed up and shipped overseas since 2000. And what are those – over there? Oh, a whole shitload of mortgages, which might have survived under a better president. And the impacted, long lost hopes of lives saved with decent funding of scientific research.

And what about Bush’s brain? That hasn’t been located yet. They’re searching the deep brush, out on the ranch.

what kind of world

Humpback nuzzled her saviors in thanks | SF Chronicle:

“‘When I was cutting the line going through the mouth, its eye was there winking at me, watching me,’ Moskito said. ‘It was an epic moment of my life.’

When the whale realized it was free, it began swimming around in circles, according to the rescuers. Moskito said it swam to each diver, nuzzled him and then swam to the next one.

‘It seemed kind of affectionate, like a dog that’s happy to see you,” Moskito said. ‘I never felt threatened. It was an amazing, unbelievable experience.'”

My Mom sent me an email that’s going around about this event, which took place in December, 2005. A humpback whale got tangled in crab trap lines near San Francisco, nearly died and was rescued by volunteers, in an act that can’t be called less than heroism. I guess Mom knows it’s the kind of thing that makes me happy. I love animals, and I have a special fondness for dolphins and whales.

It’s also the kind of thing that makes me confused, a little sad. I look at how I perceive the world of human beings, and what we’ve always made of it – generally – and I just have to sigh. I mean, look at this blog. Post after post full of derision and cynicism, not just because of the evil that we seem powerless to prevent but the good that those in power seem wholly disinterested in doing.

Here was a group of men – maybe women too, it doesn’t say – who risked their lives to save a fellow Being, a fellow traveler on life’s inscrutable timeline. And they were rewarded for it. They’ve learned the wisdom, which obviously they inclined to previously, that life is for doing good, for leaving the world in any small measure better than you found it.

How can a man like Bush, for an obvious example, even claim to be a Christian? Oh, he’ll hug a disaster survivor now and then, in a staged demonstration of compassion. But his actions as a leader have always been nothing less than evil. He’ll commute the sentence of iScooter (how cool is that word?) Libby. But as governor of Texas, he refused to commute the sentences of people sentenced to death, despite their repentance and the ardent pleas of the world’s citizens, up to and including the Pope. He couldn’t let them live out their lives in maximum security; they had to die. As president … we’ll, we’ve seen what he’s capable of … he is a man of blood, a “war president.”

I grow weary of the rhetoric. I’ve been listening to people claim to want peace all of my life, and we don’t have it. We don’t seem any closer to getting it. It’s right there, in front of us. All we have to do is reach out and choose it. We have merely to decide what kind of world we want – essentially whales and no war or war and no whales – and be the change we wish to see in the world.

Perhaps those in power are incapable of good because we have not taught them goodness, and indifferent to peace because we have not shown them the peace in us.

The spirit of democracy is not a mechanical thing to be adjusted by abolition of forms. It requires change of heart.
— Ghandi

We may never be strong enough to be entirely nonviolent in thought, word and deed. But we must keep nonviolence as our goal and make strong progress towards it.
–Ghandi, again

Bush should resign

Keith Olbermann: Brilliant, compelling, a must-see moment at the apex of the vocation of the fourth estate.

The video cuts off the last 5 seconds or so. Here’s the very end:

For you, Mr. Bush, and for Mr. Cheney, there is a lesser task. You need merely achieve a very low threshold indeed. Display just that iota of patriotism which Richard Nixon showed, on August 9th, 1974.


And give us someone – anyone – about whom all of us might yet be able to quote John Wayne, and say, “I didn’t vote for him, but he’s my president, and I hope he does a good job.”

made men

When I first saw the title of this column by William Rivers Pitt, “Was Commuting Libby an Impeachable Offense?” I thought “Bah, that’s like accusing Genghis Khan of littering. Who cares? Bush is prosecuting a personal war, at unimaginable expense, just for kicks and profit.” But then I read the column and found that it poses a very interesting issue:

Libby’s legal defense from the first day of his trial was that he was a fall guy taking the rap for others.

Fitzgerald pointedly stated that the details surrounding Libby’s actions put a cloud of suspicion over Vice President Dick Cheney.

Combine these two details and you wind up with Libby standing as a patsy taking the rap for Cheney.

Bush has the constitutional power to offer commutations, of course. But if this commutation was granted to Libby in order to derail a criminal investigation, if it was granted to cover up prior or ongoing criminal activities, that is itself a crime meriting the impeachment of George W. Bush.

Of course, the dunderheads democrats on capitol hill will never see this light. I suspect that if Bush nuked a major US city, then headed off to the ranch to clear brush, and Cheney got Halliburton on the line to start failing to rebuilding Ground Zero, the democrats might hold a news conference. Patrick Leahy would deliver a tersely worded statement. But they do not want to impeach George Bush. They want him right where he is, so he can play their MacGuffin through the ’08 elections.

Fahgeddaboudit. Deys untouchable.

pardon me, hoss, but while you’re at it …

Well, we’ve had a night to get over our giddy enjoyment of the Libby commutation. We’ve seen W on TV, declaiming the ponderous difficulty of his decision. He looks sober, if not grave, about it, doesn’t he? And that scene would’ve played much funnier if he hadn’t been at Walter Reed, handing out Purple Hearts. The man has all the depth of a horse trough.

The Libby pardon would also be more amusing if Bush wasn’t holding hundreds of people in prison without trial, charge, or the rights to counsel and habeas corpus. And if he hadn’t passed, without comment, on the opportunity to commute the sentences of two Border Patrol agents, each serving over a decade in prison for shooting a drug dealer in the ass.

On Saturday, while Bush was perhaps deep in contemplation of Scooter’s fate, protesters rallied in San Antonio for the release of the two agents.

Waving American flags and chanting “U.S.A., U.S.A.,” protestors angry about the imprisonment of two U.S. Border Patrol agents rallied Saturday, demanding the release of the men and calling for the dismissal of the prosecutor who handled the case.

The demonstration drew about 200 activists to the office lawn of U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton, the top prosecutor for the Western District of Texas who won the convictions last year and has become a main target of groups fighting for tighter immigration controls.

I can’t find reference to any comment by Bush on the Ramos-Compean case. And that’s a shame. It’s a travesty of justice and it proves that W didn’t intercede for Libby because it’s fair, but because it appeals to W’s sense of fraternity. Libby is one of his boys; he wears the old school tie, so to speak.

When did the White House become Omega House? Same as it ever was.

possible worlds, possible blogs

(… or, feeling full, needing to void)

Apologies in advance to all of you, to Western philosophy, physics, Vonnegut, Shakespeare, and Douglas Adams.

In comments to my post veterans protest the war, my friend Corewell asks, “How about amnesty for all the illegal Mexicans, Indians, Arabs, Chinese,etc? Do you deliberately ignore this issue?”

That’s an extremely interesting question. I have posted about immigration several times. But I’m currently ignoring that, and an infinite number of other topics. Actually, all media, and all conceivable expressions of human consciousness, are always ignoring infinite topics. In fact, when you compare the infinite topics that I’m ignoring with the few that I’m not ignoring, my blog is grain of sand on an endless beach.

If this blog is compared to just the known world of the Internet, which is just a crapload of stuff on a bunch of computers, a recent and perhaps ill-advised invention on a small and insignificant planet on the outer spiral arm of a low rent galaxy, this blog blinks out of perceivable existence altogether. I mean, I get an average of six readers a day … God bless you, every one.

One of the next ideas to arrive (admittedly, I have no idea how many ideas I’ve had in the minutes I’ve been writing this, and only a fleeting apprehension that I’m thinking at all) is to say So It Goes. This is not an expression of indifference, but an allusion to the premise held forth by the Tralfamadorians of Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five. It’s true that I’m not currently blogging about immigration, but there are unknowable moments along the timeline of the universe – and across possible worlds – in which I am blogging about immigration.

Watch your step! We have been shoved off the rail fence of phenomenology into the sticky pastures of ontology. But I’ll be brief.

We can blame a Greek guy named Leucippus, who lived about 2500 years ago, for the idea that the universe consists of two elements – for our purposes, issues. He called them the Full (Solid), and the Empty (Void). Both the solid and the void in the universe are infinite, he said. And everything is made of these two issues. Before that, nobody believed in things that weren’t solid; i.e., didn’t exist. They said that what is (solid) is finite and immutable, because change can only happen if what is not becomes what is, which is an unintelligible concept to George W. Bush.

Wait, how did he poke his snout in here? Let’s come back to him in a minute.

Leucippus sets the foundation of multiple – hence infinite – possible worlds. And proves that the things I have blogged about, and the things I haven’t even thought about, are equally possible and infinite. Now, given that the world we think we know and live in is as beset by paradox as the universe is infested with what appears to be space, I have no problem conceiving a possible world in which I am Lou Dobbs. But since this world has one of him, I’ll stick to being what I think of as being Me.

And Me wants to assert that the war is a solid, immigration is a void, and Bush is a gas.

Which brings us back to George W. Bush and the non-issue of immigration. It’s a situation. It’s not an issue until the issue is defined, which it hasn’t been, and until a solution is devised, which seems less plausible than me being Dobbs, or Vonnegut, or Shakespeare for that matter, in any possible world.

Well this has been fun. You got to watch me write and shake my eclectic cap and bells, and pretend I know stuff. But look, now Bush is on stage in his Henry V “Once more into the breach dear friends” official US Navy flight suit, declaiming on immigration reform, to dissolve the gathering clarity of his total and totalitarian incompetence, high crimes, and misdemeanors.

America, off the table

I was listening to Democracy Now on PBS today, and heard some remarkable comments by Salt Lake City’s democratic mayor on the subject of Bush-Cheney impeachment, and the failures of the Democratic Party.

ROCKY ANDERSON: It seems very odd to me that any Democrat would say that a constitutional remedy, a remedy the founders felt very strongly about, when a president through his or her wrongdoing is doing damage to our country, that that remedy would ever be off the table. There can only be one reason for it, and that’s the Democrats want to politically cash in on this disastrous administration in the 2008 elections. And I think that’s wrong.

I think that when we have a president who has blatantly violated our own Constitution, our own treaty obligations, our own statutory law, abused his powers in remarkable ways, undermined the balance of power, exerted a unitary executive power unknown to this country and to our democracy, and at the same time betrayed his trust with our Congress, with the American people, by his deceit in leading us into this war and through his utter incompetency — if impeachment were ever called for, this is certainly the time, and this is exactly what the founders had in mind.

I strongly recommend the whole interview.


George W Bush must be one of the greatest hypocrites ever born of a woman. Certainly, he shovels more manure than any thousand pork barrel politicians.

In his weekly radio address, Bush pointed the rabbity finger of accusation at the Democrats for tax and spend policies, and promised to veto any bill that spends too much.

The administration of Bush the Lesser has been the most fiscally irresponsible in the history of this nation. Clinton left him with a surplus budget. He blew through that like it was just enough for a weekend in Vegas, and it’s all gone downhill from there. But shoot, his economic policies were in a tailspin four years ago.

Oh the war will pay for itself, they said. Meadow muffins.

I wouldn’t mind seeing some conserve put back into conservatism. I wouldn’t mind seeing some checks and balances in our economy. Balance – the middle way – is a good thing. But for this man who spends our money on a war that amounts to a whim of biblical proportions to talk about the democrats’ spending is just asinine.

…. He will not feed,
Nourish or help; and his rabbity hand
Lifted in the fading light of the hemlocks
Waves to them, gestures to the young to die.

– Robert Bly