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WE'VE MOVED! Click here: http://www.hartwilliams.com/blog/blogger.html

Saturday, April 01, 2006
APRIL FOOLS

Welcome to the national holiday of the Sagittarian nation. Hope you're having a wonderful time.

This year, we thought we'd profile some of the most prominent April fools, in keeping with the hilarity of the day.

George W. Bush.

Today, in his weekly Saturday speech, the Resident pushed for making his tax cuts permanent. In a series of hilarious one liners, he set the nation giggling.
April 1

THE xRESIDENT: Good morning. As tax day approaches later this month, many American families are now finishing their tax returns. And as you do, an important debate is taking place in Washington that will affect the amount you will pay in the years ahead.

I believe our economy grows when you're allowed to keep more of your hard-earned money and make your own decisions about how to save, spend, and invest. So, working with Congress, we've provided tax relief for all Americans who pay income taxes. We lowered tax rates to let workers keep more of their paychecks. We doubled the child tax credit and reduced the marriage penalty, and we put the death tax on the road to extinction. We also cut taxes on dividends and capital gains and expanded incentives for small businesses to invest so they could grow and create new jobs.
And, he said it with a straight face.

Hilariously, he concluded with this:
The evidence is overwhelming: The opponents of tax cuts were wrong. Tax relief has helped to create jobs and opportunities for American families, and it's helped our economy grow. By maintaining our pro-growth economic policies and practicing spending restraint in Washington, we can keep our economy growing and stay on track to meet our goal of cutting the budget deficit in half by 2009.

The problem is that the tax relief we passed is set to expire over the next few years. Some Democrats in Washington are insisting that we let that happen -- or even repeal the tax cuts now. In either case, that would weaken our economy and would leave American families with a big tax hike that they do not expect and will not welcome. Because America needs more than a temporary economic expansion, we need more than temporary tax relief. To keep our economy growing, to keep our businesses investing, and to keep creating jobs, we need to ensure that you keep more of what you earn -- so Congress needs to make the tax relief permanent.

Making tax relief permanent includes extending the tax cuts on dividends and capital gains. These tax cuts have been vital to our economic growth. By lowering the cost of capital, this tax relief has given businesses an incentive to invest and expand, and that has helped create jobs and opportunity. I urge the Congress to extend these pro-growth tax cuts, so our businesses can plan with confidence and keep creating jobs for American workers.

The debate in Congress over taxes ultimately comes down to this: Who knows best how to use your money -- the politicians in Washington or you? I believe the money we spend in Washington is your money, not the government's money. I trust you to make the best decisions about what to do with your hard-earned dollars, because when you do, your family is better off, our economy grows, and prosperity and opportunity spread throughout our great land.

Thank you for listening.
Hilariously, he never mentioned that the stock market has finally gotten to where it was when he took office, that unemployment is higher than when he took office, and that the money is only worth half as much in real dollars as it was when he took office.

The guy's such a cut up! Here, from The Wooly Bible: King George Version
The Gospel according to St. Gannon-Guckert

The Sermon on the Rostrum

1 And seeing the multitudes, he went up onto a rostrum: and when he was set, his cronies came unto him:

2 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,

3 Blessed are the rich in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of Halliburton.

4 Blessed are they that don't mourn: for they shall be awarded reconstruction contracts.

5 Blessed are the brazen: for they shall inhabit the earth.

6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after media exposure: for they shall be filmed.

7 Blessed are the unmerciful: for they shall obtain stock options.

8 Blessed are the black in heart: for they shall make money marketing God.

9 Blessed are the warmongers: for they shall call themselves the children of God.

10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for self-righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of Washington.

11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you, for my sake. Fox News shall defend thee.

12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in Halliburton: for so prosecuted they the profits.

13 Ye are the cocaine of the earth: but if the coke have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be snorted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

14 Ye are the right of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. But it can be denied.

15 Neither do men light a roman candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a launchpad; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house, for as long as it shall burn.

16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Houston.

17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the profits: I am not come to destroy, but to creatively reinterpret.
Speaking of not destroying the law ...

A professor at George Mason University, jinxed their basketball team, jumping the gun on March 22nd, penning the following on TownHall.com in preparation for Friday's sparsely attended Censure Hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee. It is one of the most astonishingly slick sleights of mind (as opposed to manual legerdemain) this reporter has ever beheld, a tour-de-force of bravura mendacity, fallacious in every respect, and yet sounding so reasonable that you'd swear that it was a son's duty to beat his father, and, picking up a stick, he wrote:
Essentially, Senator Feingold is using a reprimand to resolve a "separation of powers" dispute between the president and Congress. Some members of Congress argue that Congress alone has the power to regulate the use of wiretaps domestically.

On the other hand, the White House says that the president's "war powers" and his interpretation of the Iraq War resolution give him authority to surveil enemy terrorist communications, even on U.S. soil.

Again, this is essentially a "separation of powers" dispute. Separation of powers is the concept that explains the way the political powers of our government are divided between an executive, a legislature and a judiciary. Under this model, each branch has separate and independent powers and areas of responsibility; however, each branch also possesses powers to limit or "check" the power exerted by the other branches.

Because there has yet to be any final determination as to whether the president has acted unlawfully or unconstitutionally, Senator Feingold's action is hasty at a minimum.

[ ...]

In the Book of Matthew, Jesus says, "Judge not, that ye not be judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged, and with the same measure you use, it will be measured back to you."

Condemning the president for actions which are allegedly "unconstitutional" or "unlawful" is a very loose standard; even Congress cannot stand up to this. Using this "extra-constitutional" power solely for partisan reasons will likely only result in members themselves being held accountable for similar alleged breeches. Before embarking down this path, senators should reconsider.
http://www.townhall.com/opinion/columns/HoraceCooper/2006/03/22/190715.html

Judge not, that ye be not judged ... like, say, them illegal MESSIKANS!

Oh.

The law is the law, and they done broke the law.

Speaking of slick sophistries, but with a Carolinian drawl, Senator Lindsey Graham (Asshole, SC) had a little tete a tete with John Dean, defending George Bush's Nixonian excesses with the unique strategem of ATTACKING John Dean and the Nixon White House. That's gotta be a first in the Annals of Mendacity.

Let's cut the crap. "Grand Old Party" ceased to have any meaning some time during the Coolidge Administration. So, let's be really daring, and tell the truth, AND make it sound like NOT telling the truth is the sexiest darn thing you ever seed in all yore live-long daze:

We're CHANGING our name. The Gee Oh Pee was too tough to say, so now we're the Eff Oh Em! The Festival Of Mendacity. Say it! So masculine. So rugged. So butch. The Festival of Mendacity is the party of the Twentieth Century!

And now, Senator Graham, (Asshole, SC) will amuse us all with his colorful antics:
Sharp exchanges fill censure hearing
Boston Globe

WASHINGTON -- Senator Russell Feingold was a lonely man yesterday. Of his seven Democratic colleagues on the Senate Judiciary Committee, only two showed up for the committee's hearing on Feingold's call for a censure of President Bush. One of them -- Feingold's fellow Wisconsin Democrat, Herb Kohl -- ducked out early without uttering a word. (teaser)

by Rick Klein, April 1, 2006

... To back him up, Feingold trotted out his star witness: John W. Dean, President Nixon's White House counsel. Dean spent four months behind bars for his role in covering up the Watergate scandal.

Dean made his first congressional testimony since Watergate a memorable one. He endorsed Feingold's call for a formal admonishment of Bush, which was something less than a surprise; Dean wrote the 2004 book, ''Worse than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush."

''I have probably more experience firsthand than anybody might want in what can go wrong, and how a president can get on the other side of the law," Dean told committee members. ''Had a censure resolution been issued about some of Nixon's conduct long before it erupted to the degree and the problem that came, it would have been a godsend."

The Watergate reference opened the door to the day's testiest exchange.

Senator Lindsey O. Graham, a South Carolina Republican, said Bush endorsed a debatable legal theory when he authorized the secret wiretaps. But Nixon and Dean, Graham said, were involved in patently illegal acts for which there were no legal justifications.

''Nobody read the Constitution to say that Richard Nixon and you could break into somebody's private offices," Graham told Dean. ''Isn't there a big difference between knowingly breaking the law -- burglarizing somebody's office -- and having a real debate about where authority begins and ends?"

Dean: ''Nixon didn't authorize the break-in."

Graham: ''Did he cover up a crime that he knew to be a crime?"

Dean shot back: ''He covered it up for national security reasons."

''Give me a break," Graham snapped. ''He covered it up to save his hide."

Defenses of Bush aside, several Republicans made clear yesterday that they're still not comfortable with the secret eavesdropping program. Graham reiterated his belief that the White House must work with Congress to bring new oversight to the program and draft a system that fits more comfortably within the law.

''The middle ground to me is the Congress and the president working together," Graham said.
Speaking of running for that middle ground, let us not forget the six Democratic Senators who didn't show up for the hearing. If discretion be the better part of valor, those six, were certainly the most valorous senators in the whole of Washington, that day. Such valor deserves commemoration on April Fools Day:
Edward M. Kennedy
MASSACHUSETTS

Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
DELAWARE

Herbert Kohl
WISCONSIN

Dianne Feinstein
CALIFORNIA

Russell D. Feingold
WISCONSIN

Charles E. Schumer
NEW YORK

Richard J. Durbin
ILLINOIS
And, of course to the Republican Party for screaming all weeks about the ILLEGAL aliens, and howling all week that the very idea that the president might have broken the law in his ALL OUT WAR against the terrorists, who were probably infiltrating into the country from Mexico as ILLEGAL aliens.

Let us not forget Condoleeza Rice, whose reception by the British populace (whose sons and daughters have also died for her cabal's Machiaevellian Iraqian machinations) have been betraying open animosity towards Miz Rice, Bush's Secretary. And, what with Bush having admitted that he intends to keep the troops in Iraq as long as he's president, in case you didn't properly translate his elliptical statement, the British, with a far longer experience of the English language than we Yew Essayists, figured out that Dubya's lying, broke the law, tortures people, tosses people in secret prisons, and isn't leaving Iraq anytime soon.

Or maybe they just thing (sic) she's a bitch. I know I sure do.

This festival of mendacity for April Fools Day has truly made it an April's Fools' Day. I really sort of like the Usurper's elliptical notification that "terrorist surveillance" had been going on for three years on a massive level, unprecedented in scope and magnitude, and, hey, I'm going to KEEP doing it, because what I say goes.

Er, one asks, what about the FOURTH AMENDMENT, sir? Its language is clear: The Fourth Amendment - Search and seizure. (Ratified 12/15/1791.)
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Bush would merely respond: Hey! Isn't that an illegal alien over there!

We would reply "Where!?!"

And so forth.

By the by, whatever happened to the debate about whether there's a civil war in Iraq?

And the right wing's demonizing of the freelance reporter for the CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR who was released last week after three months of kidnapping. That was special in the annals of Foolish Aprils.

And that's about all the fools that come to mind on this, their special day. Except ... something's ... there was something ... Ummmmm (the mantra of clarity)... oh yes!

Ah. My regular readers might have wondered about the letter I sent out Thursday, that there would be no blog Thursday (and then Friday...). CounterPunch was going to feature the blog entry "Confessions of a Second Class Citizen" and I wouldn't write, so that THAT would be what people saw (who would visit in significant numbers -- driven by CP, as I know from having previously been a website of the day in 2005.)

In other words, because I felt that the piece from Wednesday was an important piece in the debate, I felt that it was important enough that I should NOT blog Thursday or Friday (or Saturday), so that visitors would read THAT piece, and not anything posted after it. Acting on the word of a self-appointed conscience of society, I self-censored myself for the rest of the week. After all, persons of conscience are as good as their word, right? (I sent the piece out under the header "UNTITLED.")

I had received this email from the CounterPunch web editor:
Date: Thu, 30 Mar 2006 09:32:00 -0800
To: "Hart Williams" b***@h********s.com
From: Jeffrey St Clair s****@******t.net
Subject: Re: UNDOCUMENTED

Hart,

good piece. i'll link to it tomorrow.

best,
j
So, what did Mr. St. Clair of CounterPunch link to "tomorrow"?

31 Mar 2006: Website of the Day
Boobies, Dolphins and Flying Fish: Sailing the African Coast

Well, I figured that something else might have cropped up. Probably he meant the Saturday/Sunday posting. So, I said nothing. After all, this paragon of social justice had given his word. The plight of the slaves-in-all-but-name was important to him and, thus far unspoken in the "immigration" debate, right?
1/2 April 2006: Website of the Weekend
Pentagon Thievery

Hmm. That didn't sound promising. Ah, but click on it and you will find the following:
BrickBurner.org
"Radical News and Views"

Pentagon Thievery
An Interview with Jeffrey St. Clair


Jeffrey St. Clair is the co-editor of CounterPunch (online at CounterPunch.org) and the author of numerous books, most recently Grand Theft Pentagon: Tales of Corruption and Profiteering in the War on Terror (Common Courage Press 2006). He recently spoke with me about his latest book.

Joshua Frank: Jeff, it's been three long years since the US invaded Iraq and there has been a mountain of speculation as to the real motives for the war and occupation: Was it for oil, Israel? No WMDs have turned up, and there weren't any connections between Saddam and Bin Laden. After reading Grand Theft Pentagon, however, it's hard not to think that perhaps a larger reason the US invaded was to benefit economically. Can you talk about this a bit? Why the heck are we in Iraq anyway?

Jeffrey St. Clair:
Josh, stop cribbing questions from Helen Thomas! The invasion of Iraq had a MIRV warhead full of motives, none of which had to do with eliminating Saddam's arsenal of WMDs. They knew all he had at most were a few aging mustard gas bombs and the like that had been rusting away since the first Iran/Iraq war. (I believe we may be in the opening acts of the second Iran/Iraq war.) That's precisely why he felt so comfortable in launching the invasion with such a relatively small force. A lesson Iran and North Korea have taken to heart. Second, they knew Saddam the Atheist and Osama the Fundy loathed each other. But most Americans had no clue about this long-standing antagonism, so they were easily, and to some extent, willingly duped by this fictional alliance. [it goes on and on and on and on from about here: .x.]
So, I guess the April Fool's joke was on the 'undocumented' that I was trying to speak up for, and, of course, ME! Side-splitter! HI-larious!

Tee hee hee.

Hey. I told you I was a second-class citizen.

Courage.
.
Friday, March 31, 2006
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
CONFESSIONS OF A SECOND CLASS CITIZEN
or, IF YOU LIVED HERE, YOU'D BE HOME BY NOW


The last Republican who ever tricked me is dead, now.

In 1980, thinking myself to be a clever fellow, and worried about the very state of the presidency -- after Nixon, bumbling Ford and congenitally incapable of decisiveness Carter -- I voted for Ronald Reagan.

Now, don't think I had any illusions. No: I was kind of worried about the overwhelmingly Democratic congress, who had swept in unprecedented numbers to overpowering numbers in the house and senate in the Landslide of 1974.

The landslide was so overwhelming that I remember pundits and talking heads seriously yabbling for a silly season "could this be the END of the Republican party?"

Well, not being an idiot, and having some slight sense of history, I would usually hiss back at the boob on the boob tube: "So what? They'd reform as another party, just as the Republicans formed out of the collapse of the Whigs."

But they didn't listen to me. And they're still dithering and blithering and blathering. Have you ever bothered to track all the nonsense spewed out of your idiot-box? The weatherman regularly gets it wrong, but continues, night after night, as though he were (or, increasingly, because of the eye candy factor, she) the Joe DiMaggio of meteorology, riding an unbroken streak of 'hits.'

Worse, if you track it further, you'll note that the pundits make those weatherhominids look like utter Nostradamuses. Or is that Nostradamii? Onward.

At any event, the Democrats had swept to power on a tide of rage at Nixonian predations, and were such utter cascading CFs that they managed to even stymie Carter's entire term. It was a cock fight between the Presidency and the Congress, and it looked like the Congress was going to win.

They were cocky. They were cock-sure, they were self-righteous, they were staunchly scattered, and I viewed them with deep suspicion. Because NOTHING was getting done. The whole government was in PeeCee trainwreck mode.

And, so, foolish little I voted for Blue-Haired Ronnie Death Valley Daze, and even convinced my Italian wife to do so, too, for which I deeply apologize to her.

I was wrong, but with a reason, and I think a valid one: I figured that if they could so stymie Carter, Reagan wouldn't have a chance.

And so there would be a chess game in a natural state of "check." Silly me.

And I lived in Hollywood, so Reagan's hokum and movie tricks were just what they were to me: hokum and movie tricks. He was a second-rate actor, but as a politician he at least played a first-rate one. So, I didn't mind a figurehead in the White House for four years.

How wrong and right I was. Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

Because he really WAS a figurehead. And the people behind him have been behind an awful lot of the political fecal matter that's hitting the rotating blades.

In fact, they were so keen to keep Carter from pulling off an "October Surprise" (the genesis of the term in political parlance) and get the hostages back, that they sent George I and Bill Casey to Madrid to negotiate with the Ayatollah Khomeni: If you hold the hostages until AFTER the election, we'll secretly sell you the parts for all your U.S.-made F-16 that we sold the Shah. And the other spare parts you need for your war with Iraq.

You see, American High Tech military gear is sold on the dealer/junkie model: you need a constant stream of spare parts and upgrades, and you can only get them ONE place.

And mostly, at that time, it was in Orange County, California, where McDonnell Douglas, Ford Aerospace, and a crapload of other defense contractors were headquartered. But we're coming to that.

Ronnie pulled his phony Hollywood crap, but, as an entertainment professional (hey, I've worked in theater, movies, the music industry, newspapers, magazines, and the various multimedia bleedovers thereof and wherefore), well, as an entertainment professional, it was nice to see SOMEBODY hitting his marks, and only occasionally flubbing his lines. To this very day, the act of allowing a politician in front of a microphone is an act of sheerest sonic masochism, at least to a sound engineer. The old Chair of the DPLC, the Union Goonatrice, used to bend down and scream into that poor little hyper-sensitive microphone in Harris Hall to the point I'd go outside, just to get away from the hideous screech of a self-important amateur blowing out a sensitive and expensive sound system.

I've run open mics in several places, and the most amateurish musician knows more about a microphone than the most polished politician, it seems. But, to a politician, a microphone and a TV camera are like honey to a bee.

Here's a little trick, kiddies. If you're ever at a convocation of models -- clothed or un - -- make sure you have a good looking camera. Whether it has film in it or not, doesn't matter. You will be the focus of all those models' attention. The same holds true for a politician and a microphone.

So, I voted for Ronnie, and got my wish. As they say, be very careful what you wish for.

Skip forward in time to 1987. The Meese Commission was jackbooting through my industry (men's magazines and porn films were the only place that a white boy without a bachelor's degree and an uncle in the business could get a job), and I foolishly decided to enter the "honest" world of "legitimate" business. They were raiding Valley warehouses looking for Tracy Lords tapes, and work was drying up everywhere. So, it seemed, like that foolish vote, to be a good idea at the time.

I got a job in Orange County.

***

Lyn Nofziger has a blog. Or, rather, HAD a blog. Lyn Nofziger was the media Karl Rove behind Reagan. He was one of those evil fixers we like to call "political strategists," and I believe that the one who actually tricked me on the Reagan vote was Nofziger.

Here is one of his last blog entries:

http://www.lynnofziger.com/musings.htm
No one doubts Mr. Murtha's bravery or patriotism, nor should they. But that does not, and should not, exempt him from doubts about his IQ or his common sense. The fact is there is no correlation between brains and bravery. Neither do medals for heroism fit a man to set policy for the country. The liberals know or should know these things, but they figure a lot of their fellow Americans do not.

So they hold up John Murtha as a wise old warrior whose medals and wounds qualify him as one whose advice should be heeded, even when that advice means abandoning an ally and a cause. Why not? Murtha must wonder. We did it in his war-Vietnam-so why not here?

This is not a very nice war. No wars are nice. This one, however, is less so because our leaders made the same mistake another generation made in Vietnam; they thought the enemy would be a pushover.

But because the road is longer than they thought and the way is tougher and the libs have begun clamoring, there is no reason for the United States to fold it tents and go home, John Murtha to the contrary not withstanding.

The United States did that in Korea and again in Vietnam. Who could ever trust us again if we make it three out of three? What soldier would ever again go willingly into battle if he knew that those who sent him there had their white flags cleaned and pressed and ready to wave.

Not even John Murtha, I'll bet.
Well, you can take the boy out of Right Wing Washington politics, but I guess you can't take the Right Wing Washington politics out of the boy. We'll get back to Nofziger in a minute.

***

At first I lived in Whittier, and commuted to downtown Santa Ana, where I worked for an evil little accountant and his hammer-toed Nebraska wife, who ran a place called AAA-***. The "AAA" was so that they'd be FIRST in the phone book.

They did resumes. But first, you had to apprentice directly in their offices, so that they could teach you properly how to screw unemployed families out of their rent money. It was a profoundly disturbing thing to me, having just come from pornography, to move into something so predatory and overtly evil. But that was what was available, and so I took the OCTD bus from a park and ride every morning, a long trip from Whittier to Santa Ana down I-5, past Disneyland.

In fact, I learned an interesting thing about the Orange County Transit District riding that bus.

I had to transfer, of course, and the transfer point was the Disneyland hotel. You see, back when Anaheim was mostly orange groves, and was the sleepy center of the Number One Agricultural County in the U.S.A., the only real traffic draw was Disneyland. So, naturally, all lines converged there. And, at the Disneyland hotel, half of the buses in Orange County converged. That was the transfer point.

Now, in order to be going the right way to drop you off at the Disneyland hotel bus stop, the bus always had to take a big loop around the block opposite Disneyland, mostly residential, at that time.

And, as we came around the back side of Disneyland, every day, I saw something that no tourist ever saw, and which burned into me something that is part and parcel of that California Republican idea that Reagan and his handlers carried from the Land of El Gringo Fascisto to Washington, D.C.

Behind Disneyland, there was a large vacant area as the bus made the turn. The first thing that caught your eye was the absurdist "Disneyland" sign, utterly alone in a strawberry field, with its backdrop of a thirty-foot-high ivy-covered fence: a massive chain-link fence that formed an almost impenetrable backdrop.

The sign itself was one of those telescopic signs you see in front of a Denny's, with a plastic "Disneyland" bas-relief logo over what were undoubtedly fluorescent lights. At the base, there was a well-rutted patch of bare dirt, always muddy by the base of the sign. And a concrete pedestal.

If you had the bus window open, you could kind of hear the Mine Ride roller-coaster behind it, but Disneyland itself might as well have been on another planet.

There was a depressed spot in the curb for trucks to pull in, and the mud around the sign bore mute witness to countless heavy trucks making the circle into the field, and then back around to the other curb exit.

The first time I saw it, that was what I saw.

But after that, I saw something else.

In the strawberry field, dozens of Mexican peasants stooped, picking fruit in the broiling sunshine. The women wore shawls, and some of the men were barefoot. They looked like people from another time, another world. And, in the heat of the midday sun, they soaked their feet in the cool mud, sitting on the pedestal of that Disneyland sign, taking advantage of the only shade to be had.

And I thought of these peasants, doing backbreaking work, shoeless, many homeless, and right through that Ivy Curtain, the whole American Dream screamed with false joy at the twists and turns of the wild mine ride.

The magic kingdom had a dark shadow that I saw every day. In the distance, there was a new block of condos going up, and there was a banner with a phone number that said: "If you lived here, you'd be home by now."

And I thought: what must they think of us?

We, sitting in our Disney shorts, with our Disney cameras slung over our Mickey Mouse T-shirts, gaily blowing more cash than any of these illegals would see in a year.

And I felt a dark rage that persists to this day. Who the hell were we? How could we stuff our fat faces with obscene amounts of junk food, and blow hundreds and thousands of dollars in the false magic of the kingdom, where Goofy is King, and Mickey rules, like the red death, o'er all.

There was something poisonous and shameful about it.

At the resume office, I was learning, for minimum wage, to use the vanity and false pride of the yuppies who would soon be occupying those condos, but they didn't like the cut of my jib, and called me into the office in the middle of a $400 sale, to fire me.

It had been a bad day, anyway. I had been looking at TIME magazine, and one of the actresses I'd known from the old days was being feted in its pages as a "Feminist filmmaker," while I was doing a two-hour bus commute every day, invisible to TIME magazine because of my gender, even though I had worked in the same industry, and had done better work.

But, like those peasants in the fields, I was a second-class citizen.

Except that I was a citizen, and white, and they were illegal and brown. I had rights. They did not.

Do you hear me?

They did not.

You see, this whole false debate foisted on us by the most incompetent bunch of thugs since St. Bruno was sacking the temples of Venus, this whole phony debate has been based on the point of view of the overfed, overpampered visitors blowing their vacation money to ride Space Mountain and the Matterhorn.

And these pampered gluttons pompously and self-righteously bray about how those barefoot peasants are a threat ... to THEM! What a "threat" those poor, desperate, underfed, barely paid, no rights, no legal recourse, no identity and no prospects are ... to THEM!

To US!

If you lived here, you'd be home by now.

I got another job. Typesetting for one of those Orange County firms that services the defense industry. We were in the same building that the "Walter Foster" art books headquarters was in. You can only see the "Walter Foster" logo from the freeway, by the way. The building itself is at the end of a cul-de-sac in a residential neighborhood with avocado trees -- whose fruit I used to mix with Del-Taco mayonnaise for meals when my paychecks bounced, which started happening within a few months.

I was living in a place between the two main freeways in Santa Ana -- the 5 and the 55 -- called "The Bluebird Motel." The money I made typesetting presentations for TOW missiles, space stations, McDonnell Douglas management manuals and fireplace equipment catalogs just covered the cost of the motel every week.

There was a brand-new mirrored building, and a used car lot on that block. Across the street was a Harley-Davidson dealership that was always frequented by actual Southern California bikers. But as the glass high-rises of high-tech Orange County rose everywhere in the boom I'd ridden in on, there were still fields here and there, oases of Orange County as it used to be.

And in the strawberry fields in front of that mirror building, between the used-car lot and the freeway off-ramp, Mexican peasants stooped in the hot sun, without shade, and picked our strawberries for us. For slave wages, you might say, except you should stop and think about what you just said.

When you have no rights, are you not a slave? When you can be turned in (as often happened and happens still) by the field owner, before he pays you. When your women can be raped, your belongings stolen, or when you can be beaten mercilessly and NO ONE will lift a finger, except to deport you, aren't you a slave? You are in no wise a free man, that is certain.

And so, I typeset for Reagan's defense contractors, and wrote book reviews for the Orange County Register, and did my level best not to feel horrible guilt every day when I saw those people in the fields. Our slaves. Making sure that we had cheap lettuce and cheap strawberries at the supermarket.

And at the vending booths there in Disneyland.

The typesetting shop started bouncing checks, but the owner of the Bluebird Motel took pity on me, and instead of kicking me out into the street, he agreed to hold onto their check until they made good on it, and even cashed it for me. He was a tough old Armenian, but he thought I was honest, even if I was a second-class citizen, living week to week in the "bad" part of Santa Ana.

And in the fields, day after day, they bent over in the hot sun, picking strawberries.

***

Lyn Nofziger was an old California political pro. Here, from his blog:

http://www.lynnofziger.com/index.html
I'm Lyn Nofziger and this is my website.

If you're looking for a female exhibitionist with a digital camera you've come to the wrong place. ...

The odds are you've never heard of me, which is all right because I've probably never heard of you either, so let me tell you a little bit about myself. ...

I am a Californian, a World War II army veteran, a former newspaperman, a politician and the author of four published Western novels. I make an occasional political speech, write an occasional political column or op ed piece and complain a lot. If you visit this page from time to time you will be able to see what I complain about.

In more detail, I spent 16 years as a newspaperman, including eight as a Washington Correspondent for the Copley Newspapers of California and Illinois.

I served in Ronald Reagan's governor's office and White House and in Richard Nixon's White House. I have run and participated in numerous political campaigns, including five for president, and have won some and lost some. Once I even worked at the Republican National Committee. ...
***

In Disneyland, they herd you in cattle-stalls, just like at the abattoir. There are too many people, and you spend most of your time at the "Magic Kingdom" standing in line.

Disney was a good Republican. He was a "freedom lovin'" self made man, who had that John Wayne, I-made-myself-why-don't-you attitude. Disneyland and Orange County were a good mix. The barons of the orchards and endless fields had absolute sway over their Mexicans, just as they'd had absolute sway over the Okies back during those old "Grapes of Wrath" days.

Only, eventually, the Okies got rights. And, with their white skins and pale complexions, they were able to climb the ladder of California society.

But, even though California was a big chunk of the half of Mexico that we stole in Polk's Mexican War of 1846, the Mexicans, whether living in California originally or not, never really had any chance of climbing that ladder.

[Parenthetical: please realize that only about HALF of the "illegal aliens" that the big hoo-haw is about are Hispanics from South of the Border. But the big hoo-haw is actually ABOUT those Mexicans, and Salvadorans, and Hondurans, and Panamanians, Columbians, and other "Americans" whose names we fatasses in our Mickey Mouse ears bluster and arrogate as ONLY us.]

The whole economy of Southern California would collapse without underpaid, sub-minimum wage workers, and the only people who fall into that category are the undocumented. There was an unwritten code among the police to ignore them, unless they made trouble.

You would see them, on the streets of Santa Ana, five and six in a cheap used car they'd pooled their money to buy, unlicensed, no papers, driving, driving. They had those flat-brimmed hats, and you could tell that they were Mexican farmers, not city boys, not sophisticates.

And they cooled their bare, cracked feet in the mud at the base of the Disneyland sign.

***

How are they hurting these arrogant Americans? They take the jobs that the Unions demand too much to take, while the owners take the lion's share of the profits from the illegal work, and dole out as much of a pittance as can be gotten away with.

I moved up, and ended up running a resume office for another company. Serendipitously, I'd already been trained. And I lived in Trabuco Canyon, in one of several converted cabins that remained from a dude ranch that had been there in the 20's and '30s. Where rich East Coasteners would send their chubby-faced little darlings to pretend that they were cowboys and cowgirls.

The dude ranch had long since gone out of fashion, but cowboy transvestitism (where you dress up like a cowboy and pretend to be John Wayne, or Tom Mix, or Willam S. Hart) hasn't gone out of fashion. Just look at Ronald (Illinois) Reagan or George (Connecticut) Bush.

And, as I took the long way 'round every morning to my office across the street from the Orange County Airport, just renamed the "John Wayne Airport" with a huge statue of "The Duke," I would pass Orange and Katella, where a long line of fresh immigrants would line up along the wall by the McDonald's and Burger King, and pickup trucks would come by, and three or four would jump in and go off for a day of underpaid, backbreaking work.

It was a lot like watching the prostitutes working Sunset Boulevard west of La Brea.

If some Ed Gein decided to make himself a Mexican Nipple Belt, or an eyeball bolero, no one would ever be the wiser. These were rightless people. They were expendible. The were free-lance slaves.

You could always tell the ones fresh over the border. We didn't call them "wetbacks" in California, because there was no Rio Grande to swim. That's only in Texas.

No, they were just "Beaners." Or "Messikans." Or worse.

And the fat, overstuffed, rosy-cheeked little darlings of Orange County used to yell "clever" things at them, lined up there in the morning.

They thought that they would look American if they wore a "Dallas Cowboys" t-shirt, and a "Los Angeles Dodgers" baseball cap. It was the uniform of the newly arrived.

And they stood there in the sun, at 7:30 in the morning, waiting for work of any kind. Mostly, they got it. The lines were long, but the pickup trucks were steady.

If you lived here, you'd be home by now.

***

Lyn Nofziger was a poster-child of that Libertarian "It's MINE!" set. I'm sure that he was as offended by those damned Messikans coming over taking jobs as anyone else. But I bet he knew where to get five strong backs to move boulders and pick weeds in his garden when he needed them.

No "gum'mint" interference going to keep these proud individualists, these self-made men of Southern California from exercising their God-given right to pay as little for as much work as they could mule a man out of.

I knew a mixed-race couple.

He was a Jew. She was black. They had a Salvadoran maid, who spoke no English. They paid her nothing, just room and board for taking care of their chubby-cheeked, cherubic little pampered darlings. She worked seven days a week.

Don't ask me how I found out. I did, that's all. I just did.

And when I gently brought it up to them, they were extremely mortified. Good lord, EVERYBODY does it.

Hell, she's LUCKY to have a roof over her head and plenty to eat. It's MINE! MINE!

No pay. No days off. And, if "Massa" wants to bend her over the couch and have his way with her, who is she going to complain to? Trust me, it happens a LOT more in Southern California than anyone will ever admit. It is our secret shame and our secret sin for keeping these human beings as slaves, with no legal rights, no human rights.

Slavery corrupts both the slave and the slave-owner. If any civilized nation ought to know that, WE ought to.

But no. This is the philosophy that won the west. The gospel according to Nofziger:
... Sometimes I wish I were a Democrat because Democrats seem to have more fun. At other times I wish I were a Libertarian because Republicans are too much like Democrats.

What I actually am is a right-wing independent who is registered Republican because there isn't any place else to go. In the future I expect to be critical of both parties and their leadership and a lot of other people and things, too... [ibid.]
***

Try as I might, though, I could never scrape above subsistence, living in Orange County. When I had to use the bus, I still found myself taking that back turn around Disneyland to connect at the hotel, and they were still soaking their feet in the mud.

When you have to deep-six ten years of your writing life on your resume, the only thing you're qualified to do is write resumes for other people. I watched the boom in Orange County, as an endless stream of job-seekers came through my door, but I could never bring myself to gouge them deeply enough to make any real money at it.

Just a second class citizen, sitting in a mostly empty office, trying to pay my rent. And in the fields, and along the cinderblock walls at the intersections, sun-blackened men in Dodger caps and wearing Dallas Cowboys t-shirts waited for the willing trucks.

***

Lyn Nofziger has passed away, the last Republican to trick me, but, sadly, not the last trickster Republican. Let us not speak ill of the dead. He is what he is, and I have given him to you in his own words.

But I wish he were still alive so that I could ask him about this statement on his site of his core belief:
"I am a Republican because I believe that freedom is more important than government-provided security."
Did he mean freedom from having to pay decent wages to workers -- which is what fuels the two-faced hypocrisy of our collective behavior towards those Messikans that the yabblers are all yabbling about on the airwaves and in the halls of Congress?

Or did he mean freedom from Patriot Acts, Departments of Homeland Security, massive national debts (which have halved the value of our money, so, take that "DOW JONES" index and recognize that in real dollars, it's HALF of what it was during the Clinton years) and Nixonesque spying, dirty tricks, surveillance and propaganda?

What "freedom" did he mean?

Surely not "freedom" for those illegal wetback beaner sons-a-bitches. Surely not for them. Surely freedom from taxes, from regulations, from environmental laws that stop us from spreading ant-poison and herbicide, and hiring a couple of illegals to get out in the poison fields and hack the ivy vines off of the oak tree so that they can plant nasturtiums and columbines. What freedom did you mean, Mr. Nofziger? And how, in the Nixon, Reagan, and Bush regimes did you serve it?

Well, of course, Nofziger is dead and cannot answer, so we will leave him to his trek to that great Disneyland in the Sky.

Oh, and even though I didn't register as a Democrat until 1988, eight years later, that vote for Reagan in 1980 was the very last Republican vote I ever cast.

You live and you learn: better to be a second class citizen than no citizen at all.

Courage.
.
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
SEPTEMBER ELEVEN, TWO THOUSAND AND ONE
or, WHAT I SAID THEN, I WRITE NOW

I remember the madness of September 11. I was sitting with my sketchpad on the observation deck, drawing an Alaskan fjord, when the announcement came onto the loud speaker. An hour later, we pulled into Juneau, Alaska.

And as I watched the madness unfold, each port of call -- from Ketchikan to Skagway to Sitka, and thence back, through Canada and back into the Bizarro-world version of the USA, was an unfolding of a "Heart of Darkness," or an "Apocalypse Now." Safe in our little bubble, we had watched the world go mad, sailing on calm waters.

And then, when we invaded Afghanistan a few months later, I said to my wife (and my friends): Dear God, this is Br'er Rabbit and the Tar Baby. Every blow we strike will get us deeper and deeper into the mire of the Middle East.

I have been proven correct.

But, what is important and current was that Zacharias Moussaoui today took the stand in his sentencing hearing, and told the court that he had been part of the 9-11 plot, his part to fly a jet into the White House.

Here, from Legends of the Old Plantation, copyright 1881, the first of the Uncle Remus collections by Joel Chandler Harris:
THE WONDERFUL TAR BABY STORY

"Didn't the fox never catch the rabbit, Uncle Remus?" asked the little boy the next evening.

"He come mighty nigh it, honey, sho's you born--Brer Fox did. One day atter Brer Rabbit fool 'im wid dat calamus root, Brer Fox went ter wuk en got 'im some tar, en mix it wid some turkentime, en fix up a contrapshun w'at he call a Tar-Baby, en he tuck dish yer Tar-Baby en he sot 'er in de big road, en den he lay off in de bushes fer to see what de news wuz gwine ter be. En he didn't hatter wait long, nudder, kaze bimeby here come Brer Rabbit pacin' down de road--lippity-clippity, clippity -lippity--dez ez sassy ez a jay-bird. Brer Fox, he lay low. Brer Rabbit come prancin' 'long twel he spy de Tar-Baby, en den he fotch up on his behime legs like he wuz 'stonished. De Tar Baby, she sot dar, she did, en Brer Fox, he lay low.

How to outfox Fox News

"`Mawnin'!' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee - `nice wedder dis mawnin',' sezee.

"Tar-Baby ain't sayin' nuthin', en Brer Fox he lay low.

"`How duz yo' sym'tums seem ter segashuate?' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee.

"Brer Fox, he wink his eye slow, en lay low, en de Tar-Baby, she ain't sayin' nuthin'.

"'How you come on, den? Is you deaf?' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee. 'Kaze if you is, I kin holler louder,' sezee.

"Tar-Baby stay still, en Brer Fox, he lay low.

"'You er stuck up, dat's w'at you is,' says Brer Rabbit, sezee, 'en I;m gwine ter kyore you, dat's w'at I'm a gwine ter do,' sezee.

"Brer Fox, he sorter chuckle in his stummick, he did, but Tar-Baby ain't sayin' nothin'.

"'I'm gwine ter larn you how ter talk ter 'spectubble folks ef hit's de las' ack,' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee. 'Ef you don't take off dat hat en tell me howdy, I'm gwine ter bus' you wide open,' sezee.

"Tar-Baby stay still, en Brer Fox, he lay low.

"Brer Rabbit keep on axin' 'im, en de Tar-Baby, she keep on sayin' nothin', twel present'y Brer Rabbit draw back wid his fis', he did, en blip he tuck 'er side er de head. Right dar's whar he broke his merlasses jug. His fis' stuck, en he can't pull loose. De tar hilt 'im. But Tar-Baby, she stay still, en Brer Fox, he lay low.

"`Ef you don't lemme loose, I'll knock you agin,' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee, en wid dat he fotch 'er a wipe wid de udder han', en dat stuck. Tar-Baby, she ain'y sayin' nuthin', en Brer Fox, he lay low.

"`Tu'n me loose, fo' I kick de natal stuffin' outen you,' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee, but de Tar-Baby, she ain't sayin' nuthin'. She des hilt on, en de Brer Rabbit lose de use er his feet in de same way. Brer Fox, he lay low. Den Brer Rabbit squall out dat ef de Tar-Baby don't tu'n 'im loose he butt 'er cranksided. En den he butted, en his head got stuck. Den Brer Fox, he sa'ntered fort', lookin' dez ez innercent ez wunner yo' mammy's mockin'-birds.

"`Howdy, Brer Rabbit,' sez Brer Fox, sezee. `You look sorter stuck up dis mawnin',' sezee, en den he rolled on de groun', en laft en laft twel he couldn't laff no mo'. `I speck you'll take dinner wid me dis time, Brer Rabbit. I done laid in some calamus root, en I ain't gwineter take no skuse,' sez Brer Fox, sezee."

Here Uncle Remus paused, and drew a two-pound yam out of the ashes.

"Did the fox eat the rabbit?" asked the little boy to whom the story had been told.

"Dat's all de fur de tale goes," replied the old man. "He mout, an den agin he moutent. Some say Judge B'ar come 'long en loosed 'im - some say he didn't. I hear Miss Sally callin'. You better run 'long."
Now, you might wonder what this has to do with the only survivor of 9-11, and why I should bring it up here and now. Well, you need to read the second half, the tale of Br'er Rabbit and the Briar Patch, and then you'll be way ahead of me, you perceptive reader, you.

From the same book by the same author (stolen, you might note, from American Folklore, specifically appropriated from plantation slave folklore):
HOW MR. RABBIT WAS TOO SHARP FOR MR. FOX

"Uncle Remus, " said the little boy one evening, when he had found the old man with little or nothing to do, "did the fox kill and eat the rabbit when he caught him with the Tar-Baby?"

"Law, honey, ain't I tell you 'bout dat?" replied the old darkey, chuckling slyly. "I 'clar ter grashus I ought er tole you dat, but ole man Nod wuz ridin' on my eyelids twel a leetle mo'n I'd a dis'member'd my own name, en den on to dat here come yo' mammy hollerin' atter you.

"W'at I tell you w'en I fus' begin? I tole you Brer Rabbit wuz a monstus soon beas'; leas'ways dat's w'at I laid out fer ter tell you. Well, den, honey, don't you go en make no udder kalkalashuns, kaze in dem days Brer Rabbit en his fambly wuz at de head er de gang w'en enny racket wuz en han', en dar dey stayed. 'Fo' you begins fer ter wipe yo' eyes 'bout Brer Rabbit, you wait en see wha'bouts Brer Rabbit gwineter fetch up at. But dat's needer yer ner dar.

"W'en Brer Fox fine Brer Rabbit mixt up wid de Tar-baby, he feel mighty good, en he roll on de groun' en laff. Bimeby he up'n say, sezee:

"'Well, I speck I got you did time, Brer Rabbit,' sezee; 'maybe I ain't but I speck I is. You been runnin' 'roun' here sassin' atter me a mighty long time, but I speck you done come ter de cen' er de row. You bin currin' up yo' capers en bouncin' 'roun' in dis naberhood ontwel you come ter b'leeve yo'se'f de boss er de whole gang. En der youer allers some'rs whar you got no bixness,' ses Brer Fox, sezee. 'Who ax you fer ter come en strike up a 'quaintence wid dish yer Tar-Baby? En who stuck you up dar whar you iz? Nobody in de 'roun' worril. You des tuck en jam yo'se'f on dat Tar-Baby widout waintin' fer enny invite,' sez Brer Fox, sezee, 'en dar you is, en dar you'll stay twel I fixes up a bresh-pile and fires her up, kaze I'm gwinteter bobbycue you dis day, sho,' sez Brer Fox, sezee.

"Den Brer Rabbit talk mighty 'umble,

"'I don't keer w'at you do wid me, Brer Fox,' sezee, 'so you don't fling me in dat brier-patch. Roas' me, Brer Fox,' sezee, 'but don't fling me in dat brier-patch,' sezee.

"'I ain't got no string,' sez Brer Fox, sezee, 'en now I speck I'll hatter drwon you,' sezee.

"'Drown me des ez deep es you please, Brer Fox," sez Brer Rabbit, sezee, 'but do don't fling me in dat brier-patch, ' sezee.

"'Dey ain't no water nigh,' sez Brer Fox, sezee, 'en now I speck I'll hatter skin you,' sezee.

"'Skin me, Brer Fox,' sez Brer Rabbit, sezee, 'snatch out my eyeballs, t'ar out my yeras by de roots, en cut off my legs,' sezee, 'but do please, Brer Fox, don't fling me in dat brier-patch,' sezee.

"Co'se Brer Fox wnater hurt Brer Rabbit bad ez he kin, so he cotch 'im by de behime legs en slung 'im right in de middle er de brierpatch. dar wuz a considerbul flutter whar Brer Rabbit struck de bushes, en Brer Fox sorter hang 'roun' fer ter see w'at wuz gwinter happen. Bimeby he hear somebody call im, en way up de hill he see Brer Rabbit settin' crosslegged on a chinkapin log koamin' de pitch outen his har wid a chip. Den Brer Fox know dat he bin swop off mighty bad. Brer Rabbit wuz bleedzed fer ter fling back some er his sass, en he holler out:

"'Bred en bawn in a brier-patch, Brer Fox--bred en bawn in a brier-patch!' en wid dat he skip out des ez lively as a cricket in de embers."
Yes. Moussaoui WANTS to be thrown in the briar patch. The idiot U.S. Attorneys desperately wanted to impose the death penalty, but managed to bungle it. They actually were coaching witnesses, attempting to frame a guilty man. And, they lost their tainted witnesses.

There was always something chilling in their contention that HAD MOUSSAOUI TOLD THEM about 9-11, they COULD HAVE stopped it, and, therefore, Moussaoui was guilty of causing 9-11 by omission, and should be executed. A capital sin by omission. This is a rare and dangerous sort of judicial precedent, but then, strange and dangerous judicial precedents are, arguably, the hallmark of this maladministration.

This is sheerest madness, even leaving aside the fact that the FBI, while they had the fellow in custody, didn't bother looking on his computer, which would have ALSO tipped them off.

But madness is the operating system of the Bush Computer. (Madness 3.0, Service Pack 666, to be precise).

And so Moussaoui had to take the stand on his own behalf.

Don't throw me into the briar patch, old Mr. Fox News! Please don't throw me into the BRIAR PATCH, screamed Mr. Moussaoui.

And, what do you want to bet that now they will toss him into the briars? Don't they GET it? He WANTS to die. He WANTS to be a martyr. Otherwise, why would he have been involved (or, at least have confessed to being involved for murky reasons of his own) in 9-11?

Throw him in the briar patch, Mr. Fox News. And, while you're at it, keep on punching that old Tar Baby: Iraq.

Courage.
.
Monday, March 27, 2006
SO MUCH PERFIDY, SO LITTLE TIME
or, HANDBASKETS FOR THE UPCOMING TRIP


Antonin Scalia -- he who goes duck hunting with Dick Cheney when a case in which Cheney is the plaintiff is pending before the Supreme Court -- good old "Mr. Moral" Antonin Scalia has managed to stick his foot in it again.

We have reached a sorry pass in this country when a Supreme Court Justice can pre-judge a case with impunity, arrogantly declare that he doesn't have any conflict of interest, and cast a vote on that case, after making a public speech prior to the hearing of that case as to how he's going to vote.

The superior media watchdogs over at Media Matters note that the Associated Press decided this issue wasn't worthy of note in their coverage of the "controversy."

http://mediamatters.org/items/200603270006
By J.K.

In a March 26 article on a recent speech by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, in which he said that detainees held at the Pentagon's prison facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, are not entitled to legal protection under the U.S. Constitution or international conventions, the Associated Press left out any mention of the significance of Scalia's comments -- that the Supreme Court is scheduled on March 28 to hear the case of Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, which concerns precisely the issue on which Scalia was indicating his views. Scalia's statements raise serious questions about whether he should recuse himself, an issue wholly ignored in the AP story.

During an unpublicized March 8 lecture at the University of Freiburg in Switzerland, Scalia told the audience that the legal rights of the detainees held at Guantanamo are not protected by the U.S. Constitution nor the Geneva Conventions. Newsweek broke the story in a brief article in its April 3 issue:

"War is war, and it has never been the case that when you captured a combatant you have to give them a jury trial in your civil courts," he [Scalia] says on a tape of the talk reviewed by NEWSWEEK. "Give me a break." Challenged by one audience member about whether the Gitmo detainees don't have protections under the Geneva or human-rights conventions, Scalia shot back: "If he was captured by my army on a battlefield, that is where he belongs. I had a son on that battlefield and they were shooting at my son and I'm not about to give this man who was captured in a war a full jury trial. I mean it's crazy." Scalia was apparently referring to his son Matthew, who served with the U.S. Army in Iraq.

The article, written by Newsweek investigative correspondent Michael Isikoff, went on to broach the question of whether Scalia's comments obligate him to sit out as the court rules on Hamdan. Federal law requires a justice to "disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.
After all, it was Scalia who issued the injunction in 2000 that stopped the counting of votes in Florida, because it would cause "irreparable" harm to George W. Bush.

Too bad he didn't go hunting with Cheney back in the 20th Century.

Let's see, what else?

Oh yes. The President's mother, using a charitable organization in Houston. laundered a whole lot of "undisclosed amount" of cash to her bad boy son Neil's company "Ignite!" This minor criminality -- that she would use the tax code to donate money earmarked specifically to be spent on her son's company, but insufficient to do so, and requiring that OTHER charitable money be shoveled in to make up the difference -- has been unworthy of comment by the media, and NO ONE seems to think it's illegal.

Try: tax fraud.

Babs not only gets to write off her "contribution" at YOUR expense (who, after all, makes up the difference for her "charity" when SHE gets all that money back in the form of tax offsets?), enriches her evil son, Neil (who was sitting on the board of directors when the Eldorado Savings & Loan in Colorado tanked to the tune of $1 billion -- which YOU paid for), but she ALSO sucks OTHER charitable funds into the scheme, all so the Houston schools can buy "Curriculum on Wheels" machines that allegedly teach students how to pass the new mandated multiple choice tests that his big brother shoved through in Texas when he was governor, and shoved through in the United States now that he has usurped the presidency.

They call them COWs, appropriately enough. Cash COWs, that is. And Barbara Bush got YOU and other charitable donors to buy Neil's Frankensteins and gets ALL the money back. The story surfaced and disappeared over the weekend. Ho hum.

She's a crook. She has defrauded the taxpayers and defrauded those who gave to the charity in good faith, and all to enrich her prostitute-lovin' black sheep son, Neil.

(And, think about it: to be a black sheep in the BUSH family is really accomplishing something in a Satanic Olympic Competition. Gold medal, fer sure.)

Do any reporters make this connection? Does this make anyone uncomfortable? Does anyone dare call the mother of the usurper a flim-flam artist? Does anyone anywhere in the "media" even suggest this?

Surely you jest.

Here's some of the pussified coverage (WARNING, do not read while eating, or drinking, or nausea and/or blowing fluids out of your nose may ensue.)

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-donation25mar25,1,5007518.story?coll=la-headlines-nation
Hurricane Donation Benefited Bush Son
Barbara Bush required that some of her gift be spent on software from Neil Bush's Texas firm.
By Lianne Hart, (LA) Times Staff Writer
March 25, 2006

HOUSTON - In a city housing thousands of Katrina evacuees, Barbara Bush's donation to a local hurricane relief fund normally would not seem controversial.

But more than a few eyebrows were raised when the former first lady stipulated that part of her contribution was to be spent on educational software purchased from her son Neil's company, Ignite Learning of Austin, Texas.

"I would think if she wants to do something beneficial for Katrina victims, she shouldn't be making the decision that the vendor is her son," said Daniel Borochoff, president of the American Institute of Philanthropy, a charity watchdog group. "Other education experts need to be making that decision, not somebody who has a family interest in the success of her son's business."

Barbara Bush's donation to the Bush-Clinton Houston Hurricane Relief Fund was made a few weeks ago, said Steve Maislin, president of the Greater Houston Community Foundation, which administers the fund. That fund, which supports Houston-area relief efforts, is not connected to the national Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund, he said.

The Houston fund forwarded Bush's donation to another nonprofit organization, which bought the software.

"There are a lot of students who went through Katrina and Rita in the Houston area, and she wanted to do something very specific to help them," Jean Becker, chief of staff for former President George H.W. Bush, said of Barbara Bush.

"She is a huge fan of her son's software program - it has gotten great reviews from teachers and students - and she wanted to make sure it was available to the students."

Maislin would not disclose the amount of the donation, but he said it was not unusual for a contributor to specify how his or her money should be spent.

"It's common for someone to say: 'I want to give money, but I want it to go to a certain organization,' " he said.

But Borochoff said donors who direct that their money be used to buy products from a family business set a bad precedent.

"If everybody started doing that, it would ruin our whole system for tax-exempt organizations, because people would be using them to benefit their business rather than for the public benefit. That's not why our government gives tax deductions for donations," he said. "I hope other donors across the country don't start dictating that their contributions go to their family business. That would be a rip-off of our tax system."

Bush contributed to the relief fund instead of directly to her son's company to help publicize the nonprofit, Maislin said. "It helps us when someone with her visibility contributes. We could advertise the fact … and help build momentum" for donations.
Well, then. There you go. It's JUST FINE to do that, right?

I guess in a country that sees nothing wrong in setting up a "Heritage Foundation" so that it can hire all the old crooks of the Nixon, Reagan and Bush I administrations as speakers and fellows, can openly invite "movement conservatives" to Washington, D.C. where they can be shoved into the bureaucracy in "policy level" positions; can literally write the speeches the Republican congresserpents give in their little CSPAN moments, can write up legislation, policy papers and the rest and ALL as a "charitable" 501(c)3, just like a church or a soup kitchen, all offsetting taxes that YOU pay, well, I guess using a charity to enrich your crook son merely "raises eyebrows."

Here: the AP bends over and begs for buccal intercourse:
(Houston-AP) March 24, 2006 - Former first lady Barbara Bush is helping her son by helping Hurricane Katrina evacuees.

She gave an undisclosed sum to the Bush-Clinton Houston Hurricane Relief Fund, but only if it's used to buy educational software from her son Neil's company.

The Houston Chronicle reports the Ignite Learning program has been given to eight public schools with high numbers of Katrina refugees since Mrs. Bush's gift.

Former President Bush's chief of staff says Barbara Bush "wanted to do something specifically for education" and for the new students in Houston schools.

Jean Becker says Mrs. Bush "supports her son and has genuine enthusiasm for his company's program."

Neil Bush founded the Austin-based company in 1999.
See? All kosher. All OK. I don't know about you, but if anyone else was caught in such a scheme, the IRS and maybe the state attorney general would be on them like, well, like Bushes to ill-gotten gains. (You thought I was going to use the less obscene "flies to shit" didn't you?)

But, as the press flack and the supine "watchdog" note: there's nothing to see here. Move along.

Move along.

And, thank ghod that we've got "moral" Republican pricks like these yahoos to protect us from the one reporter who HAS publicly noted that there's something very wrong about Babs' little "charitable" donation:

http://newsbusters.org/node/4600
NewsBusters: Exposing and Combating Liberal Media Bias

New Low: Olbermann Calls Barbara Bush "Worst Person in the World"

Posted by Brad Wilmouth on March 24, 2006 - 00:33.

On his Countdown show Thursday night, MSNBC's Keith Olbermann devoted part of his "Worst Person in the World" segment to attacking former First Lady Barbara Bush over a donation she made to the Bush-Clinton Katrina Fund, a donation she required be used to buy education software for Houston schools from her son Neil's software company. Olbermann snapped that if you "make the charity give the donation to your son, it's not a damned donation anymore!" However, the Countdown host neglected to mention that the Bush family had also given other donations without any requirement as to how the money should be spent....
Yes. That's true. And, as Al Capone's business cards noted, he was a "used furniture dealer." So, that must have been what he was. After all, being a used furniture dealer automatically precludes being head of Murder, Incorporated, and, giving donations to charity without criminal intent makes it impossible to give said donations WITH criminal intent. And, doing legitimate business in a bank precludes you from robbing one. Right? Right.

Nothing to see here, folks. Now, REALLY, move ALONG! We've got to get this off-ramp on the information superhighway cleared off for the "march of the jackboots" later in the afternoon.

Oh, and after a (lowball from the LAPD) half-million to a million (other estimates) marched in the streets of Los Angeles this weekend to protest the punitive and lunatic proposals to rein in "illegal immigration," the Senate Judiciary Committee managed to solve the entire problem in one day -- by 5:37 PM Eastern Standard Time on a Monday.
US Senate panel approves broad immigration reform
Mon Mar 27, 2006 5:59 PM ET (NOTE: Bloomberg's report was posted at 5:37)

WASHINGTON, March 27 (Reuters) - An immigration reform bill that would create a guest worker program pushed by President George W. Bush and give millions of illegal immigrants a chance to earn citizenship was approved on Monday by a U.S. Senate panel.

The first step toward comprehensive legislation was passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee and now goes to the full Senate for debate.
Who knew that our congress could act so fast? They managed to solve the entire immigration issue in ONE DAY! Huzzah!

In England, the speaker of the house is not allowed to speak. Maybe that's something we can all build on.

Oh yes. Our Usurper President and his little monkey Alberto dealt with the controversy by showing up for a new citizen swearing in ceremony at Constitution Hall, a few blocks from the (formerly) White House.

It's kind of scary to think that, to pass the citizenship test, each and every one of those new US citizens was required to know more about the history and mechanics of our Constitution and government than either George or his Attorney General apparently do.

Courage.
.
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