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Friday, March 04, 2005

A COUPLE RANDOM THOUGHTS

We were talking about the Bush Crime Family. You know, the ones where George Senior and Babs sat on the board of directors of one of the biggest war contractors; where Dubya's uncle Bucky Bush got into the munitions contracting business in 2000 and made out like a bandit after the Iraq invasion; the one where his brother Neil was convicted on criminal charges stemming from his part in the billion dollar failure of Eldorado Savings & Loan during the S&L scandal of the Ray-Gun Administration, but was slapped with a $50,000 fine, claiming that he was being persecuted by daddie's political enemies as his daddie waltzed out the door (no doubt absconding with the White House silverware on his way out).

And let's not forget Dubya Brother Marvin!

[By comparison, you'll recall that James MacDougal, Clinton's friend, died in prison over the much much smaller Madison Guarantee. Persecuted by Clinton's political enemiess? Nawww.]

We were talking about how Dubya was born with a silver spoon up his nose.

Neil has led quite the charmed life himself, after all.

And then we realized that when the Bush Crime Family talks about a Pyramid Scheme, unlike most other con artists, they are talking about REAL pyramids.

Oy.
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I PUT IN MY $0.02 ON SOCIAL SECURITY
(That's more than Bush wants me to get back)


OK. Unless you're completely off in left field, you know that the Bush proposal on Social Security won't help the "crisis." It'll only exacerbate the very problem he cites. And you know that you'll have to pay back the entire amount of your "private" account to the level of benefits you'd have received under the current system (assuming Congress doesn't "tweak" it between now and when you retire -- A virtual impossibility).

And, of course, you're entirely aware that Social Security isn't a retirement fund, but an insurance policy to ensure that seniors, the disabled, children and others don't starve to death. That if you want a retirement savings program we've ALREADY got SEPs, SIMPLES, traditional and Roth IRA's, which are a WHOLE lot better than the system Bush is proposing.

And in order to shore up the "old" system, we'll have to borrow 1 trillion dollars or more. (Even though the ENTIRE amount of wealth produced by every single person and compant in the USA from the Revolution until 1986 was 1.5 trillion, and monkey-boy is proposing potentially borrowing THAT MUCH again!?!?)

You knew that, right?

What I wanted to talk about was the level of corruption guaranteed by the current proposal, and WHY it's even being floated.

The first thing you always ask is "WHO does it serve?"

Clearly, it ain't the future retirees, even though many have been hornswoggled into believing that they'll actually end up with more money.

It's about Wall Street, and the brokers, who get to divert the ENTIRE amount of the Social Sccurity trust fund to play with. The brokers get endless commissions and administrative fees, guaranteeing THEIR retirement plans to the end of time. Wall Street gets an infusion of capital that staggers the imagination. And when you look at WHO has contributed to the Bush campaign, it becomes increasingly apparent who he's placating.

MBNA, the credit card and financial services company, has contributed over $25 million to Bush's campaigns. Etc. etc. etc. But leave all that aside for a moment.

Bush promises that the investments you'll make in your private accounts will only go to "safe" investments -- so you don't end up like an ENRON employee, who lost their entire retirement in the debacle following the company's collapse . That collapse was engendered by trading schemes in "deregulated" energy. Or you don't want to end up like Orange County, California public employees, who watched their entire retirement fund disappear as their fund manager dabbled in derivatives and lost it all.

You get the idea.

Don't want "unsafe" investments. So, a watchdog, a gatekeeper will HAVE to be appointed.

And that person or persons will act as the "guardian" for the largest single investment fund in the history of the world. Trillions of dollars. Literally.

Is there any doubt about the pressures that, say, an ENRON would put on that gatekeeper to declare their stock "safe"? Can you even begin to imagine the types of pressure that the top companies in the USA would put on the gatekeepers to remain on the "safe" list of investments?

And can there be any doubt that we are vitually guaranteed of scandal, corruption and bribery in that position? Is there anyone in the history of Mankind who could withstand the Shylockian pressures that the cumulative greed of EVERY publicly traded company in the USA would place on that gatekeeper?

(And if there was, do you really think that he'd take the job?)

Guaranteed failure, if you allow it.

But that's not even what I wanted to talk about. The INDIANAPOLIS STAR says this: "Under Bush's plan, there would be no change for current retirees or workers age 55 and older. "

And I got to thinking: Where did Bushie boy come up with THAT number?

And then I realized ...

Bush is 57.

Even though he will never dip into his Social Security, it's nice to know that, like the tax cuts that personally enriched Bush and Cheney immeasurably (and no one ever mentioned the fetid stench of self-serving self-interest involved in that one), Bush is making sure that he and his schoolmate peers are immune from his "solution." Only people a year or so YOUNGER than he is.

How compassionate.

CLICK HERE for your own Social Security trading card. A "Skiing Uphill" exclusive!
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Wednesday, March 02, 2005
MY LAST LETTER TO THE REGISTER-GUARD

You know, in the nearly 13 years I've been in town, the R-G hasn't exactly been my best buddy. When I got to town, I noticed that the old whore didn't have a book review section, and made a proposal.

After dicking me around for nearly 6 months, they finally had a "retreat" and decided to hire me as a book critic: four 1000-words columns a month for $100.

It was an insulting pittance, but, as we live in a town with real authors, I considered it pro bono work, and provided columns from late December 1993 to April 1994. Foolishly, I offered an "April Fool's" column, and suggested that if it wasn't OK, they call me, and I had a regular column ready.

The dumb cocksucker who still edits the arts section panicked, forgot that the thing on his desk was called a "telephone" and ran a wire-service review anyway. There was no excuse for it, and even though they more or less "let me go" -- the local yokel was obsessed with the idea of reviewing local yokels, whether or not we had any to review -- the Executive Editor went to the extraordinary length of apologizing to me in a letter, so that I wouldn't sue the incompetent bastards.

And that was before they "dumbed down" the paper.

As you know, it's been a rough month for me, voice-wise. I'm increasingly marginalized and silenced. But for the years in between, I have often sent "letters to the editor" to the R-G, which seem to be appreciated by the citizenry.

On Feb. 16, wrote on an important subject, which is the looming attack on academia and the silencing of voices.

And the cocksuckers decided to silence my voice again. It's funny, but whenever I write the illiterate fuckers on a subject that's REALLY important to me, they psychically divine it, and don't publish it. Here is the letter.

See if you find this writing to be "below" the "high" standards of the R-G. (The letters editor, by the by, is the same "Executive Editor" who ap0logized for their unprofessional behavior, lo those 11 years ago. He was demoted about a year ago. Rumor has it that, married to the boss' daughter, he was caught cheating on her. Now he edits the letters to the Editor. How the mighty have fallen.)

I won't be writing to the R-G again.

body: 250 words exactly.

(Just for the sheer arrogance of it, EVERY letter I write them is neither 249 nor 251 words long, but EXACTLY250 words, which is their limit. They must thing I "slave" doing it, but, tell the truth, when you've been writing professionally for 30 years, you hit the mark pretty closely the first time, and it only takes a few edits, contractions, removal of superfluous words here and there to hit the mark precisely. Since I won't be doing it again, I thought I'd share my "secret" with them.)

Dear Editor:

Senator Wayne Morse, if memory serves, was the only Senator to vote against the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, which enabled the quagmire of the Vietnam War. For that act of solitary courage, he was forcibly retired from the Senate by Bob Packwood. Since then, blue-state Oregonians have solemnly invoked his name and enjoy arrogating his courage as if it were their birth-right.

Now the Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics has disinvited U. Colo. professor Ward Churchill to speak at a conference on race and immigration issues. Churchill is the poster-boy for David Horowitz's McCarthy-esque attack on academia for being "too liberal." And, of course, having been attacked by the right wing echo machine, Margaret Hallock, the Morse Center's Director, now rationalizes the functional censure of Churchill because he "was going to substantially change the nature of the conference."

In other words, even though Churchill would not be speaking on the opinion that engendered the controversy -- which Churchill apologists invariably take great pains to distance themselves from -- he should be censored simply for being controversial.

"Political Correctness" is now making common cause with the Radical Right's jihad against academia. Here was a chance to take a brave stand for academic freedom, and for the indisputable necessity for freewheeling discourse on subjects in the public arena, but Hallock, et al punted, functionally awarding victory to Horowitz and his ersatz "Students for Academic Freedom" claque. I wonder what the late Wayne Morse would have thought of this craven act?

Hart Williams
Eugene

You know, in my 13 years in this wretched burg, I have -- as a civic-minded volunteer -- ONLY done good for its many institutions -- generally at substantial loss to me of my time and my money, which I have freely given -- and yet I have been treated with criminal contempt by each and every one, including the Register-Guard, for whom I have been writing for free -- or nearly so -- since I first got here.

In the words of the JDL: Never Again.

Look for an expansion of my views on this backwater, hick town of clueless snobs in the near future. The Eugene "National Anthem" is the theme from the movie "Deliverance."
Tuesday, March 01, 2005
THE TOKEN ATTORNEY GENERAL SQUEAKS

Actually, this is about the "national media," who, once again, got it entirely wrong. Headlines have been blaring all across the land about Alberto Gonzales' speech to the uber-conservative Hoover Institute Fellows yesterday:

ATTORNEY GENERAL TO GO AFTER PORN!!!!

Maybe so, but the speech wasn't where that headline germinated. Perhaps a bottle of Jack Daniels was.

Token-boy begins chillingly enough:
"Thank you, General Meese, for that introduction, and for your distinguished service to America. When General Meese left the Department of Justice, President Ronald Reagan saluted him, saying that he had led the Department with courage and vigor, and left behind a record of outstanding accomplishment. As in so many other things, President Reagan was exactly right."

We hates them Meeses to pieces, to quote Jinx the Cat.

Now, after running through a litany of his travails in suddenly having a body guard, etc. and about his wife, and a long-winded dramatic recitation of a victim of 9/11 making his last cel-phone call to his wife, Bushie Boy's Personal Toady then says this 7/8ths of the way down the page (downloaded the transcript from the Attorney General's Website):

"Another area where I will continue to advance the cause of justice and human dignity is in the aggressive prosecution of purveyors of obscene materials. I am strongly committed to ensuring the right of free speech; the right of ordinary citizens and of the press to speak out and to express their views and ideas is one of the greatest strengths of our form of government, but obscene materials are not protected by the First Amendment, and I am committed to prosecuting these crimes aggressively. As an example, recently, the Department announced our appeal in an important obscenity prosecution in Pittsburgh, which involved materials that depicted rape, sexual assault, and a variety of other degrading conduct. I have directed Department officials to carefully review federal laws to see how we might strengthen our hand in prosecuting obscenity. "


Then he goes off for several paragraphs on White Slavery, or, in the NewSpeak parlance: Human Trafficking. It hasn't gotten much traction (and still didn't here) but clearly it polled well with focus groups, and the Bushies have never thrown away a good bumper-sticker's worth of policy/philosophy when they didn't have to, after all.

(One presumes that this stentorian brick of prose was crafted to tittilate the octagenarian audience of prunes on the Centennial of the McKinley Administration's similar White Slavery crackdown.) And then he jabbers on about how Bushie Boy's Nazi Stooge Judges aren't getting confirmed, and HOW the media managed to pick the obscenity case (he's appealing it after it was tossed out by the Western Pennsylvania Federal Judge) as "new" since the A.G. had announced the appeal last week in a press release you can ALSO download off the AG's website -- well, that's any one's guess.

Sex and Drugs and Rock and Roll: all on the A.G.s list, one would suppose. Gee, and I thought we'd fought this battle back in the 'Sixties. But then, the delivery was probably as weary as the prose. If you suffer from insomnia, go to the AG's website and download the speech. Guaranteed somnombulance, if not pleasant dreams of shiny jackboots and fresh-scrubbed little Hitler Youth.

So: why have the national media picked up on THAT innocuous porno paragraph as THE statement of Token Boy's intent?

Jack Daniels, I have to presume.

It's a boring speech by a small man, reciting a laundry list of Bushie Boy's doublespeak "agenda" items, but the newsies were bored yesterday, so that dull paragraph, delivered by a bored clerk somehow became the great headline across this great land in our great newspapers who have such great reporters.

Isn't that great?

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Sunday, February 27, 2005
TOLD YA SO!

Occasionally, even my detractors have to admit that I am even more infrequently correct. It looks as if I might have actually stumbled on something vaguely accurate through the sheer volume of my verbiage. It is too soon to tell, of course, but we present the following evidence, nonetheless. From Feb 26 and Feb 3, respectively.

Today's news (from the OREGONIAN)
Signs point to governor running again
By CHARLES E. BEGGS
The Associated Press
2/26/2005, 12:22 p.m. PT

SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- Gov. Ted Kulongoski is planning on running for second term, according to a key adviser, Peter Bragdon.

[...]

There has been persistent talk that another Eugene Democrat, state Sen. Vicki Walker, also might run for governor. This past week she neither denied nor confirmed that she might get into the race.

"I've heard that rumor, too," joked Walker, an outspoken lawmaker who has criticized Kulongoski as lacking leadership on some issues.

******

yesterday's prediction

What's the Matter With Senator Walker?
by Hart Williams
AVA OREGON! (final issue)
February 3, 2005

[...]

Still, Walker had done very nicely for herself: once again, the Crusader had garnered national press attention. Once again, she was the sexual abuse survivor bravely providing an example to women everywhere. She had literally destroyed her "enemy" Neil Goldschmidt and walked over his political corpse to rise in power. Who knows? She might even be able to turn this episode into an extended stay in the Governor's mansion. There has already been talk.


However, in the spirit of bipartisanship currently in vogue throughout the land, let me offer Senator Walker a campaign poster, free of charge, for her next campaign.
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