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Friday, January 21, 2005
I GET MAIL

A friend of mine "d" wrote me today regarding a letter I'd forwarded him pointing out that Bush is guilty of two of the four counts of war crimes that we hanged a bunch of people over at the Nuremberg Trials: "Count one: conspiracy to wage aggressive war, and count two: waging aggressive war, or 'crimes against peace.' "

Seems to me that the President is ripe for Censure, as I understand the criteria. what's your take on that?

d

probably spelled Censure wrong. but you know what I'm talking about: He lied. He needs to be held accountable. As my favorite bumper sticker proclaims: NO ONE DIED WHEN CLINTON LIED


I replied thusly:

Dear d:

Well, I'm personally in favor of a third term for Bush, except that I believe that term should be 20 to life.

Censure has no legal effect. It's just a "neener-neener pooh-pooh" from Congress. Has all the effectiveness of sending a nasty Hallmark card.

On the other hand, war crimes are clearly "high crimes and misdemeanors" and impeachment and imprisonment are the ONLY appropriate penalties. When a man has clearly broken the law in an egregious way (he's killed nearly 1500 Americans and over 100,000 Iraqi *civilians* -- you know, grandparents, women, children), then just clucking our tongues is tantamount to aiding and abetting.

Bush is sitting more or less where Nixon was in 1973. Re-elected through unscrupulous means, he was already a criminal. Finally, there's only one choice: either he's committed one of the greatest mass murders since World War II, or else the USA is guilty of aiding and abetting that crime via our silence.

I'm not willing to be an accomplice. Murdering 100,000 human beings is a crime that only a very few tyrants have pulled off. Nero didn't manage it. Caligula didn't manage it. Hell, even Bluebeard and Elizabeth Bathory didn't manage it put together.

So, if we keep pointing out the basic truth of that crime, sooner or later maybe the American people will come out of denial, and understand that either we do something or else face an historical stain that will come back to haunt us again and again.

Censure is like putting a band-aid over a severed limb.

Bests,

Hart


It's true whether we admit it or not. We might as well admit it.

Thursday, January 20, 2005
Remember the Alamo, Maine or Whatever

By a strange quirk of fate, because my birthday (like Senator Kerry's) falls on December 11th, I have in my possession a United States flag that was flown over the U.S. Capitol Building on December 11, 2000 -- the last day of democracy in America.

On December 12, 2000, the Supreme Court selected the loser of the 2000 Presidential election as the winner, and the United States of America -- and the world -- have gone severely to hell in a handbasket ever since.

I will not fly my flag until democracy is restored to the United States again -- a prospect that now seems at least four years distant.

Whether or not democracy is ever restored (and remember, historically, republics/democracies only tend to have about a 200-year run and we're on year 229), no one can ever say that I didn't do everything in my power to prevent this outcome: Oregon went for the Democrat in both elections, alas, to no avail.

Ora pro nobis.

QUOTATION:

"Well, Doctor, what have we got--a Republic or a Monarchy?"

"A Republic, if you can keep it."

ATTRIBUTION:

The response is attributed to BENJAMIN FRANKLIN--at the close of the Constitutional Convention of 1787, when queried as he left Independence Hall on the final day of deliberation--in the notes of Dr. James McHenry, one of Maryland's delegates to the Convention. McHenry's notes were first published in The American Historical Review, vol. 11, 1906, and the anecdote on p. 618 reads: "A lady asked Dr. Franklin Well Doctor what have we got a republic or a monarchy. A republic replied the Doctor if you can keep it." When McHenry's notes were included in The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, ed. Max Farrand, vol. 3, appendix A, p. 85 (1911, reprinted 1934), a footnote stated that the date this anecdote was written is uncertain.

SOURCE:
Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations. 1989.

Looks like we didn't keep it.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005
NOTES ON THE CORONATION

From my friend Bill:

He he... Have you read Bush's interview with the Washington Post Sunday?

"The Post: Why do you think [Osama] bin Laden has not been caught?

THE PRESIDENT: Because he's hiding

Uhhhh duh!

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A12570-2005Jan15?language=printer

****

ME: The question was 'have I read Bush's interview?'

I hadn't. Now I have. I only have one short response.

The Post: What is that short response?

I'm sorry. No editorializing in the questions. Heh heh.

The Post: What is ...

I said no editorializing in the questions. Heh heh.

The Post: Yes, we ....

I was making a funny joke. I want to privatize all jokes. I want American to draw the best comedians in the world so that we we can have an "ownership humor" society. America needs to maintain its position as the number one joke nation in the world.

The Post: You were going to respond?

That's why I want asbestos reform.

The Post: That's your short response to Bush's interview?

No. I mean that asbestos reform will attract the best comedians from all over the world to come to America to make jokes.

The Post: What was your response?

I'm sorry. Could you repeat the question?

The Post: What was your response to the Bush interview?

Oh. That's easy. My response is: OH DEAR GOD.

The Post: That's it?

Thanks. Gotta go. The flyer of this aeroplane says that I'm supposed to belt myself in now. I'd love to stay and talk, but I might start making sense.

The Post: Thank you Mr. Williams.

Go find someone else's ass to lick. OK, fellows? Heh heh.

The Post: Yes sir. Thank you sir. We will sir.

I'm gonna nickname you two the "asslickers." See you in the funny papers, asslickers! Heh heh. (to himself) Asslickers! Heh heh.

EXEUNT
Monday, January 17, 2005
Synchronicity

Was on deadline for my piece in AVA OREGON! all day. Had two articles to get finished: one investigative, and one a compilation of news you probably won't see otherwise.

Got the last piece in (the mailstamp sez) at 4:59:24, or 36 seconds ahead of deadline. Plenty of time.

Meantime, a friend stopped by to loan me his DVD of "Hunting the President" which is REALLY weird, since my piece concerned (in part) Richard Mellon Scaife, who bankrolled an awful lot of that hunt. Piece clocked in at exactly 2,222 words. Whatever the hell THAT means.

Synchronicity -- which is, of course, a fancy term for 'coincidence' for them whats spells reel good and wants to be impressin' you and all.

And I received an email from local tycoon John Musemici, but I can't reveal what it said or what I said, because he included the following warning after his sig:

CONFIDENTIAL COMMUNICATION This e-mail message and any attachments are intended only for the use of the addressee named above and may contain information that is privileged and confidential. If you are not the intended recipient, any dissemination, distribution, or copying is strictly prohibited. If you have received this e-mail in error, please immediately notify the sender by replying to this e-mail message or by telephone, deletethis e-mail from your
computer, and destroy any printed copies. Thank you.

What's really scary about it (other than its utter unenforceability, of course) is that it's about a zillion times longer than the actual message.

I prefer my sig. It's long, but at least it's funny in a gallows humor sort of way:

Bests,

Hart Williams

"The truth of that matter is, if you listen carefully, Saddam would still be in power if he were president of the United States, and we'd be a lot better off."

-­ Bush at the second presidential debate in St. Louis, Oct. 8


A more elegant statement, don't you think? And it's ACCURATE. (The quote, not the purported statement of 'fact' of course).

Let's face it, kiddies, them lawyers is just out of control. Oh, the communication was laconic (to say the least) terse and zenlike. It's better that I don't reveal it to you here. You'd just be disappointed. On the other hand, the mystery is just soooooo much more interesting.

Excelsior.




Sunday, January 16, 2005
An Open Letter to Bob Keefer
(of the Eugene REGISTER-GUARD)


Dear Bob:

I write for AVA OREGON! these days.

And, when I got this week's issue, I was surprised to see your byline on the front page. But ... when I read through the story, it turned out to be a piece of hack satire by a self-impressed fellow named Rob Zako.

I know that you'll appreciate that I don't have anything to do with anything appearing in the paper that's not under MY byline, but, quite frankly, I feel very strongly that appropriating someone else's byline -- even as"satire" -- is *completely* beyond the pale.

Generally, one's byline is the only public face that a writer has, and I want you to know that whatever peripheral connection I might have to the piece in question, I personally want to apologize to you for it. It sucked, he's a schmuck, and I feel personally slimed.

I don't know Rob Zako. At this point, I have zero interest in knowing him. Arrogating someone else's name and byline is what I'd call "obscene." Right up there with dog and pony shows and kiddie porn.

So, for whatever it's worth, I'm sorry that it happened, and I want you to know that at least one writer for the paper thinks it's an horrific abuse.

Bests,
Hart Williams

NOTE TO BLOG: I've met Bob Keefer. He seems a decent fellow. We both wrote for Southern California newspapers during the same era. I'd like to think that we're BOTH professionals. In contradistinction to "Rob Zako" I guess. I have a funny feeling that Zako's professional writing resume could easily fit on a JuicyFruit gum wrapper -- the stick, not the whole pack.

I have no idea what agenda of imbecility Zako's putting forward, but if he wants to "parody" an R-G writer, it's perfectly appropriate for him to use a fake name that's close. But to use the actual byline of another writer ... well them's fighting words, kiddies. I can't help but put myself in Keefer's place, and I know that if some tyro pulled that crap on me, I'd be discussing it with him in a dark alley. I wouldn't be doing much talking, either.

Good lord.

hart williams
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