The continuation of Skiing Uphill and Boregasm, Zug is 'the little blog that could.'

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Name: Ed Waldo
Location: of The West,

I am a fictional construct originally conceived as a pen name for articles in the Los Angeles FREE PRESS at the 2000 Democratic Convention. The plume relating to the nom in question rests in the left hand of Hart Williams, about whom, the less said, the better. Officially "SMEARED" by the Howie Rich Gang . GIT'CHER ZUG SWAG HERE!

Friday, May 25, 2007

The Feast of Crow Awaiteth ...

Nyah, nyah.

Not to you, gentle reader: I direct my comments to three of our county commissioners, who sparked a massive controversy here in Lane County, Oregon based on a crisis that turned out to be illusory.

It's kind of like little Timmy was involved in a car accident, and he was taken to the hospital. And Timmy's mommy, ever the hysterical exponent of smotherly love, and without full information from the hospital has gone ahead and contacted the newspaper for the obituary, and gone to the mortuary, picked out the casket and started calling the relatives.

Only, it turns out that Timmy was OK.


Well, it's OK. Our in loco parentis local "progressive" talk show host, Brian Shaw, flogged the phony crisis for months, screaming that the sky was falling. And the nattering nabobs of Nervous Nellidom nitpicked and nuanced negativity. Non-stop.

No crow, oddly, was evident on the menu this morning, however.

(Funny how authoritatians always conveniently forget the bad predictions and the dumb positions, ain't it? ESPECIALLY when they've been flogging you with their "superior wisdom" for months on an issue).

Here is what I wrote in early April:

Tuesday, April 3, 2007
Head 'Em Off At The Dumbass

The capping of a tax that didn't exist would have created the tax, and while Lane County voters may not all be whizzes at algebra, they saw through that one in a heartbeat. The tax was voted down.

So, claiming that NOW there was a huge crisis, and the wolf was at the door, three of the five county commissioners voted to enact an income tax just a couple months later.

"This isn't the SAME tax," they said with tremendous credibility.

The howl that was raised spread across the land, making it all the way to Paul Jacob's house in the new, fashionable suburbs of Washington, D.C. and he did a "Common Sense" radio spot yowl about it.

And then, the Oregon congressional delegation stepped in. Are you kidding? quoth they. We shall get another year for the timber offset.

And when has Congress ever turned down such a thing? We Americans may often be stupid and even brutal, but, generally, we cannot perceive of ourselves as not nice, and thus, the rider was easily tacked onto both the House and Senate versions of the supplemental war funding bill (e.g. emergency cash for the war, because we didn't bother funding it in the lame duck session of the GOP congress).

That was the bill Bush was threatening to veto this morning...

[Paraphrasing Bush]: You gave it to me, but with extra stuff. So, I will veto it.

If you don't give me what I want, the troops will suffer.

The reptile brain isn't big on nuance. What it heard was: GIVE ME WHAT I WANT OR I WILL MAKE THE TROOPS SUFFER.


And I remember that Ulysses S. Grant (I believe) said that the most important thing he learned was not to make important decisions until he HAD to.

So, even though Bush may veto the current war bill and harm the troops until he gets a "clean" bill, I have a feeling that the supplemental timber money will make it through congress.

And, IF that happens, then this whole insane food fight never need have happened. In trying to be "prudent," these Nervous Nellies jumped the gun, crossed the Rubicon, and NEVER HAD TO.

They could not distinguish between a real crisis and a possible (e.g. fantasy) crisis.

And here is what I wrote LAST WEEK:

Wednesday, May 16, 2007
What Are They Smoking in Eugene?

... But the commissioners now predict doom and gloom, and the "NO" people now say that cuts can be made, and both are probably less than correct. The Rural Schools timber offset money is still floating around the 110th Congress, and the election may well have proven utterly pointless if congress comes to the rescue (as well it may) considering that the tax even had an automatic nullification clause, should congress pass the supplimental. In which case, one wonders: WHAT WAS THE POINT OF THIS MADNESS? (It's like a bad Cheech & Chong movie, if that's not redundant.)
And here is what the AP writes today:

House approves one-year extension of timber payments
May 24, 2007 10:39 PM

WASHINGTON (Map, News) - Congress approved $425 million in emergency spending for a one-year extension of payments to rural counties hurt by cutbacks in federal logging.

The plan, approved 348-73 by the House and 80-14 by the Senate on Thursday, would provide payments through September to more than 700 timber counties in 39 states, mostly in the West and South.

The bill, part of a measure to pay for the war in Iraq, also includes $465 million to fight wildfires and $60 million for West Coast salmon fishermen.

But it does not include a Senate-approved plan to spend nearly $5 billion to continue the payments law through 2011 and reimburse state and local governments for federally owned property. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., was the only Northwest senator to oppose the bill. He was the chief sponsor of the five-year provision, and has vowed to try to revive it later this year....

Still, most Western lawmakers said they were pleased to salvage at least a one-year extension, noting that some schools and counties in the rural West and South have begun layoffs in anticipation of a funding cutoff.

"I wish we could have prevailed on the five-year extension, but we need a tourniquet to stop the bleeding while we continue to push for longer-term funding," said Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., who led House efforts to secure the timber money.

"This emergency funding will help stave-off some of the layoffs and cuts in critical services like law enforcement and health care, and prevent the state (of Oregon) from having to take over those essential services while we work on a longer-term solution."
Score one for Hart, none for the Nervous Nellies. And, of all the mots, bon and otherwise, the only truly appropriate one would seem to be:

Nyah, nyah-nuh nyah, nyah.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Yes, It's Twofer Wednesday!

Missed Twofer Tuesday entirely, I did. 'Twofer' means the old advertese of "Two For The Price of One." I've been posting over on The Democratic Daily for the past few weeks by kind invitation of TDD's proprietor, the indefatigable Pamela Leavey, and, in attempting to maintain a proper decorum, there's a bit of schizophrenia in remembering to write in a more dignified, bloggerly manner.

Shorter, lotsa cites; a slightly more Wolcottish Coquettery. Vox bloguli, Vox Dei. (I could'a been a contendah ... )

(stay tuned immediately after the first blog for the special bonus TWOFER blog on the occupation ... "war".)

Domestic Terrorist Press Quippings

NOT a terrorist, according to the mainstream press, even though he's a religious fanatic bomber:

Liberty student arrested on bomb charges

Associated Press Writer

A Liberty University student who told a family member he had made bombs and planned to attend the funeral of the Rev. Jerry Falwell was apparently upset about an anti-gay fringe group that protested at the funeral, authorities said....

Google News searches:

terrorist = 54,360

falwell bombs funeral = 1,064

falwell bombs funeral terrorist = 4

Top Hillary Campaign Contributor has Terrorist Connection
Accuracy In Media (= David Horowitz group)

By Tom Fitton | May 23, 2007

Hillary Clinton recently crowned Palestinian lobbyist Hani Masri, as one of her coveted "Hillraisers," for bringing more than $100,000 into her presidential campaign in the first quarter alone. Marsi [sic], who also hosted a secret $50,000 fundraiser at his Washington, D.C. home for Hillary's Senate 2000 campaign, was a close associate of the late Palestinian terrorist leader Yassar Arafat. Arafat was responsible for the murder of Americans and thousands of other innocents, including children.

... When questioned on the Masri connection, the Clinton campaign was unapologetic.

(How's that for "fair and balanced"?)

But, the SAME mainstream press that doesn't find anything 'terrorist' in a Falwell follower planning to bomb anyone protesting Falwell's funeral DOES report THIS (via the San Diego Union and its "header"):

War on Terror
Federal government seeks terrorist label for 10 arsonists facing sentencing in Oregon

By Jeff Barnard

6:25 a.m. May 15, 2007

EUGENE, Ore. – Their guilt isn't in question. The six men and four women already admitted being involved in a series of arson fires that did $40 million in damage to research facilities, a ski resort and other businesses in the West...

Google news search 'terrorist Oregon' = 479

And, one notes, that the pipe bomb found outside the abortion clinic in Austin Texas last month was not characterized as "terrorism" in the mainstream press. From MSNBC:

Bomb found in Texas abortion clinic parking lot
Police safely detonate explosive device; area providers urged to be vigilant

Updated: 12:03 a.m. PT April 27, 2007

AUSTIN, Texas - A bomb was left in a duffel bag in the parking lot of a clinic where abortions are performed, but a bomb squad safely detonated it.

(See? Nothing to see here. Move along. Move along. How positively odd from a press corps[e] that becomes utterly ecstatic at puffing up the slightest fear into a boogie man of colossal proportions.)

Google search (not news):

austin texas abortion bomb = 361,000

austin texas abortion bomb terrorist = 144,000*

"Terrorist" -- in the press was almost universally mentioned ONLY as in:

"A team of local and federal police agencies, working under the Joint Terrorism Task Force, is investigating the incident." Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Here is the (peripheral) mention in the vast majority of all MSM stories, the only mention of "terror" or "terrorism" in nearly all cases (emphasis added):

Carter said the device was in a "carry-all type bag", but Austin police and the FBI would not provide more details on the device and its makeup. The Joint Terrorism Task Force was investigating, Carter said.(CNN)

The Texas Joint Terrorism Task Force -- made up of federal, state and local law enforcement authorities -- arrested Paul Ross Evans, who authorities said was on parole for an unspecified crime. (Reuters)
(And ONLY in the AP photo caption??!?):

Evans was arrested by the Terrorism Task Force, made up of state, local and federal law enforcement officers, including the FBI and is in federal custody according to the Austin Police Department.(AP)
(The majority of actual "terrorist" citations are blogs, naturally. And mostly asking HOW COME THIS WASN'T CALLED 'TERRORISM'?)

Usage of the term "terrorist" seems analogous to the manner in which Faux Nooz has trademarked "Fair and Balanced"-- a sales slogan, not a rational description.


(Special BONUS BLOG! Collect the whole series!)

Troops Being Quietly Doubled in Iraq

I received this link from a friend whose son is about to be re-deployed to Iraq. My son is already there, I'm fairly certain.

They hide the troops going over. They hide the coffins coming back. What's worse is that it no longer surprises us.

It seems so very, very far away from that stolen election in 2000 and Nader's cry that there wasn't any difference between the two parties.

Second Iraq Troop Surge Starts
By Stewart M. Powell
Hearst Newspapers

Monday 21 May 2007

US quietly doubling combat troop numbers.

Washington - The Bush administration is quietly on track to nearly double the number of combat troops in Iraq this year, an analysis of Pentagon deployment orders showed Monday.

This "second surge" of troops in Iraq, which is being executed by extending tours for brigades already there and by deploying more units, could boost the number of combat troops to as many as 98,000 by the end of this year. When support troops are included, the total number of U.S. troops in Iraq could increase from 162,000 now to more than 200,000 - the most ever - by the end of the year.

The efforts to reinforce U.S. troops in Iraq are being carried out without the fanfare that accompanied President Bush's initial troop surge in January.

Retired Army Maj. Gen. William Nash, the U.S. commander who led NATO troops into Bosnia in late 1995, when asked to comment on the analysis of deployment orders, said: "It doesn't surprise me that they're not talking about it. I think they would be very happy not to have any more attention paid to this." (more)
And it's only about salving the ego of the mad "commander guy," and his complicit cronies.

(It's too bad that Greek tragedies can't be confined to the stage; to watch them played out in real life is just too damned sad to comment on.)


Monday, May 21, 2007

Heck, I Didn't Know Bush even HAD a Petard

Banality is a symptom of non-communication.
Men hide behind their clichés.

—Eugène Ionesco
There’s a reason that Right Wingers do so poorly on forums like “Real Time with Bill Maher.” It’s because they are so used to only “debating” in scream-friendly forums like Faux Nooz and Rushing (to) Limbo that their “fair debate muscles” are atrophied.

It’s less that they are lightweights than that they’ve been weightless.

They’ve been floating in the weightlessness of uncritical acceptance of their spiel for so long that a return to the “gravity” of normal American political discourse and fair debate leaves them helpless on the ground, unable to “walk” (although they still manage to run, with no seemingly-deleterious effects).

So, too, Bush is sounding increasingly like a right wing pundit caught in a fair debate. This weekend’s dustup with Jimmy Carter over his PERCEIVED comments was purest ad hominem from the “White House”—although the “White House” was speaking from Crawford, Texas’ legendary overgrown brush.

A fit stage setting perhaps. Carter was characterized as “sad” and “increasingly irrelevant” in what would seem an apt defense of, if not a failed presidency, then surely a failing one.

As Americans, we should all be ashamed that the office of the President is being dragged through the gutter, sniping all the way. And, as a critic of literature and drama, I can only look askance (and perhaps vaguely nauseous) as yet another histrionic performance was enacted today at the faux ranch without cows or horses.

Here is Bush in the brush, selling his talking point, according to Reuters. See if you can guess what today’s Pavlovian catch-phrase is:

Bush defends Gonzales, rips into critics
Mon May 21, 2007 4:19PM EDT
By Thomas Ferraro

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President George W. Bush on Monday accused Democrats in Congress who are seeking no-confidence votes on Attorney General Alberto Gonzales of engaging in “pure political theater.”

Brushing aside concerns from Republicans as well as Democrats about the effectiveness of the chief U.S. law enforcement officer, Bush said: “He has got my confidence. He has done nothing wrong.” … Gonzales is the target of widening congressional investigations into the firing last year of nine of the 93 U.S. attorneys.

Bush and Gonzales maintain that the ousters were justified though mishandled. Critics charge it seems as if Gonzales politicized the Justice Department and the firing of a number of federal prosecutors.

Bush rejected those charges, saying: “I frankly view what’s taking place in Washington today as pure political theater.”

“And it is the kind of political theater that has caused the American people to lose confidence in how Washington operates,” Bush said at a joint news conference at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, with NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer. … “I stand by Al Gonzales,” Bush said.

Bush added that the attorney general’s critics “ought to get the job done of passing legislation as opposed to figuring how to be actors on the political theater stage.”
If the Reuters reporters (and AP’s reporters via CNN, who repeated the phrase “political theater” FIVE times to Reuters’ mere FOUR) are any indication, Bush must still believe he’s playing to a Faux-friendly audience in the media.

Certainly the MSM CONTINUES to be criminally complicit in mindlessly repeating (literally) what are, at best, tissue-thin rationalizations. Were I Reuters (or AP), I’d be embarrassed to be publishing such a lickspittle “news” piece. But then, this whole political theater of Bush has always seemed absurd. And, increasingly, ever moreso. It’s less about RINO’s and more Rhinoceros, as in the famed absurdist play by Eugène Ionesco.

There is an old saying in the law:

When the facts are on your side, pound on the facts.
When the law is on your side, pound on the law.
And when you don’t have anything on your side, pound on the table.

Increasingly it sounds like Bush is pounding on the table.


Sunday, May 20, 2007

Slap on the back or slap in the face?

Warning: you may well decide that this is snarky. But I assure you that it isn't, as you'll see. Heck, I'd have preferred to not even have written it, but it now seems a matter of necessity. (And note that the hypertexting is intrinsic to the piece.)

I've been getting email from my friends about the Register-Guard piece for the past 36 hours of which these are typical samples:

congratulations!!!!! At least they spelt your name right!
(Well, actually they incorrectly listed the blog's address AND emasculated the image of the blog itself—about which more later). Or, consider this:

Y'know, I could probably write one even crazier (or more crazy, if you will), but I got a feeling after a mere week there would be angry villagers, waving torches and pitchforks, demanding my head.

or, this one:

Congratulations! Better to be known for your zaniness, lest not be known at all!

or even this one:

I don't necessarily see "Wild Man" in a negative light. It would seem to me as if there is a little bit of awe and affection mixed with that appellation. I would be more offended by being called the "craziest blogger." The writer may be referring "crazy" in terms of fun or fearlessness... but it could also mean that they do not take you very seriously.

I think you can wear the "Wild Man" name proudly, but I believe that they could (and should) be challenged if they are questioning your sanity.

Unfortunately, there's a little problem (as I replied to the last email cited):

Dear Name and Address Withheld:

Normally, I might agree with you.

But the problem you have is this: in the space of one paragraph, I'm called "crazy" a "wild man" and a " pornographer."

How the HELL do you think that's going to create any positive impression with anyone?

(And do you really think that Ma and Pa "Main Street"—who are the voters that really matter—will grant me any shred of credibility? Or will they AUTOMATICALLY discount everything I have to say?)

As I said, I think he may have meant it as a "compliment"—I've learned that sometimes your friends' defenses can be more deadly than your enemies' attacks— but they've heated up the skillet hot enough that anybody's "thought" is going to go skittering off like a drop of water on said skillet.

Crazy Wild Man Pornographer—that's what the reptile brain heard.

And so, whether intended as a "compliment" or not, I'm obligated to mount a defense.

I had HOPED to be talking about what I've dug up about Don McIntyre, but, instead, the trolls over at NW Republican and anyone else who needs to shut me up only needs to cite the R-G 'blog' article to attack me personally and to attack my credibility.

How the f*ck is THAT a friendly or helpful thing to do?

No: after carefully sleeping on it for TWO nights, I have to clear the goddam air on this bullsh*t, instead of going after McIntyre, TAO, OIA, et al.

I have to defend my literary and journalistic reputation, as a matter of professional necessity, instead of engaging in pro bono investigative reporting, as a matter of pure citizenship.

And that serves no one. (Although I imagine at some point I'll be accused of serving myself.)

So, here is my defense, as sent out to one of my mailing lists:

Dear readership:

The local newspaper says that I'm a "wild man." (The Libran in me is more than a trace offended. I can cite Erté with the best of 'em.)

It is astonishing to me that I can inspire a PBS "NOW" investigation into Howie Rich & Friends last fall, and, just half a year later, the only thing that matters in referring to my blog is that I edited HUSTLER Magazine nearly thirty years ago.

Oh, and that for a decade I was active in the Oregon Democratic party — implicitly linking the two in some odd manner. (They don't note that I was the DPLC and DPO webmaster —across two centuries and two millennia—which would at LEAST be appropriate to the article).

When I arrived in Eugene in 1993, I founded the REGISTER-GUARD's Sunday Book page,* which continues to this day. (This, as well, was not considered newsworthy by the R-G). Nor that I've written professionally since 1976 -- including newspapers from coast to coast, like, the WASHINGTON POST, the LOS ANGELES TIMES, the Portland OREGONIAN and the KANSAS CITY STAR. And, with Gerry Rempel, we kicked Michael Savage off the airwaves in Eugene.

The mainstream media hates and fears bloggers, as we all know. Still, I can't get over the fact that they probably think that they were handing me a "compliment." Now, this may seem like "whining," but, frankly, much as I was willing to shine it on, it finally seemed important to at least correct the historical record. Years hence, some lazy journalist will google the article and misquote it. Perhaps they'll find this "correction," as well. The effort had to, at least, be made.

Just think: it was only a decade ago that I won a gold medal in the first "virtual" World's Fair, as noted in the book A World's Fair for the Global Village By Carl Malamud (page 136).

Anyway, here's the article from Friday's Register-Guard, and here is MY headline:.

Slap on the back or slap in the face?


Hart "Wild Man" Williams

[* If you only click on ONE link, please click on this from the R-G, 1-9-1994.]

With friends like these ...
er, interesting screen capture of this blog (second from left)

Or, maybe they're just jealous that blogs naturally hypertext. But, finally, my friend TOMM— whose wise counsel I will have only occasionally heeded for thirty years as of 2008—wrote the following eloquent response (I've added some links to illuminate his points, but they are NOT his choices, nor should they be imputed to be. And note that the R-G's "link" to my blog is incorrect, but I fortunately anticipated just such errata and provided for it, long ago.):

May 19, 2007 6:31 PM
Re: The Register Guard Piece

hadn't read the whole piece, but did see the item on yr blog, reaching it by that interesting back door. Old media are still pretty clueless about the whole blogging phenomenon, but in so far as it breaks news stories, aggregates news, or provides insightful commentary, they are all challenged by what is often done better for free. Hence the Broders of the world rant and freak and gin up crap about blogger ethics. And other papers totally go berzerk because the filthy fucking hippies hold them accountable for their lies and incompetence-- as when a GOP candidate cancels a fundraiser with a farm family not rich enough for his current campaign theme and the MSM ignore it in favor of more Edwards haircut drivel, or as when a news story interviews only Republicans or a "debate" questions of Democrats ask procedural questions rather than policy questions, when women, minorities, Dems, and liberals get short shrift on Sunday morning talking head shows, and so on.

Didn't realize there'd been no Drama Pulitzer this year. Reminds me that the advisory committee resigned en mass the year the board refused to grant a prize to Albee for Virginia Woolf and left the envelope empty. These things happen. A prophet is not w/o honor, etc. As you know all too well, "real" bloggers don't do it for the fame but to make a difference. And you know that you continue to do That, even if local notice is both begrudging and more than a little weird.

Bravo, TOMM. So, defense having been mounted, it's time to return to the TAO of electoral chicanery.