Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Dance of the Stubborn

What we are seeing right now is President Bush responding to the utter failure of his main plan, the Iraq War. This was the big one for him - a chance to show Daddy that gut instincts can run the world better than exhaustive research and brain power. Now that it has blown up on him, Junior's ready to fold. He wants to fold. But he knows that he can't do it without looking like a colossal loser. This is the point where the arrogant little punk is at his worst. If he gives in, it will be with a big tantrum - like watching a nanny drag a rich brat out to the limo.

The beleaguered President of Iraq finally showed up to talk with our guy in Jordan. President Bush said, "One of his frustrations with me is that he believes that we've been slow about giving him the tools necessary to protect the Iraqi people. He doesn't have the capacity to respond. So we want to accelerate that capacity." Oh, so that's what went wrong. We forgot to accelerate the capacity. President Bush also said there will be no "graceful exit" from Iraq. It's clear that if he does give in, he's going to be as much of a pain in the ass about it as possible.

Meanwhile, there's that potential event out there: The real tipping point. When things go this poorly, it is very hard to keep them in a manageable level. Reporters in Iraq are saying that no amount of TV coverage can possible depict how messed up the place really is. How many Iraqis are there? 14 or 15 million? And we have less than 150,000 troops? In Vietnam, what would sometimes happen, would be that a base was overrun. Not that I was there or anything - I'm working off the History Channel here. The VC would take huge casualties but they would continue attacking until they had swarmed through the perimeter and taken one of our positions.

I worry that there is an event like that coming at us - an event so hideous that public opinion in America will turn from disgust to extreme anger. This Commander in Chief has left our troops out there in the wind. Every year gets worse, and the winter of 2006 is no different. The unbelievably hot days of the summer of 2007 lie ahead.

Let's hope that before then, our little rich kid gets past his need to drag this out, and relents. We can still do it on our terms or we can wait till something really awful happens involving the death or capture of a significant number of young Americans in one horrible event.

It's time for this stubborn little punk to realize that this is not about him or his famous resolve. Not anymore. He's acting like he's still concerned about his reputation with the American People. We've got to let him know not to bother.

The dance recital went poorly, the little brat is throwing a tantrum, and the America People must act as the nanny. We've got to drag this petulant child out to the limo and head home.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Is It Just Me Or Am I Being Stalked By A Turkey Wrap Sandwich?

This is not going to help with my paranoia - the feeling that I'm being singled out by an unseen force. A local TV station had a report on health code violations at grocery stores, and one of the examples they used was a turkey wrap sandwich from a Fred Meyer's. The report said the temperature of the sandwich was too high as it sat in the deli counter display case. I believe it was 52 degrees. Apparently another couple of degrees and it would have begun throbbing and mating with the sandwich next to it.

Watching at home, it struck me that the odds were fairly long that a sandwich I had purchased over 20 times would be featured on the 11 o'clock news. Plus of all the Fred Meyer's this turkey wrap could have been from, it just happened to have been made at the Fred Meyer's I go to everyday. See where the paranoia comes from? For the record, nothing ever happened to me, and I've chatted with the people who work there enough to like them and respect their work. One woman makes over 100 sandwiches every morning, and I trust her, having also had many of her turkey bagel sandwiches.

That is why I am writing off this experience as an attempt by the gods to unnerve me. Naturally I will refrain from ordering that particular sandwich for a while, out of respect, and if I do buy another I will leave it in its plastic wrapper and hit it once with a sledgehammer to make sure it is dead. Something of this nature deserves a measured response.

However I am not done. I will also take this opportunity to vent about my health code issue with grocery markets. It occurs at the "paper or plastic" stage. Often cashiers will reach for a new bag and since they are hard to get a hold of, the cashiers will wet their fingers on their mouths first. If I were King of this World, that would be punishable with prison time. Think of what the cashier is doing to his or her own body by repeatedly handling money and food and then touching their fingers to their mouth. Then they pass the saliva back to the plastic bag with your groceries. Perhaps you have felt a slight wetness when you picked up a bag.

This must stop. It is gross and unnecessary and unhealthy. I'm willing to overlook a turkey wrap sandwich in a refrigerated display case that is not cold enough, because I know you're going to address the problem. Indeed, I saw the looks on the deli department this morning. I could tell it's no fun when one of your sandwiches makes the 11 o'clock news. I will remain loyal, after the appropriate mourning period. Besides, these paranoia spells come and go - I'll be fine.

However, this thing where you touch your fingers to your lips before grabbing a bag, is not right. It has got to stop. The practice is one turkey of an idea and it's time for a wrap.

All Things Must Pass Away: Has It Really Been 5 Years?

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Bush Administration as a Charlie Chaplin Film

( I reposted this above because I was linked by Crooks and Liars.)

I usually tape "Imus in the Morning" on MSNBC. I know - that's revealing too much, but I get a kick out of the old grouch. Of course, the news segments are hours old by the time I watch, so I usually fast-forward to the interviews. It was during one of these moments when I saw the perfect view of the Bush administration: High speed like a Charlie Chaplin movie. The President walked comically to his helicopter, waved really fast, then climbed quickly up the steps of Air Force One, and waved again. Everything finally made sense. The Bush presidency is a Charlie Chaplin movie - that's the perfect vehicle. You could call it, "The Not-So-Great Dictator".

Unfortunately the tape slows back down, and we have our President saying things about Iraq like he did today: "There's one thing I'm not going to do, I'm not going to pull our troops off the battlefield before the mission is complete."

Off the battlefield? What battlefield? Most of our dead and wounded come from driving around Iraq waiting for an explosion to tear their vehicles and bodies apart. Maybe they die by sniper fire while standing at a forlorn checkpoint or guarding the Ministry of Oil. Battlefield? You can win on one of those.

President Bush went on to say that al Qaeda is the problem in Iraq. His statements now represent the final stage of a colossal failure - even the spin is spinning out. We're winning the war on terrorism but this terrorist group we're dismantling is now big enough to dominate Iraq? It's really quite desperate and beyond sad. He should stick to the phony tough-guy part. Don't try and explain - it just makes everything worse.

The best part about viewing the Bush administration in fast forward would be to shorten the remaining time. We've already got lots of great Chaplin-esque footage like the President strutting on the aircraft carrier wearing his little tough-guy jumpsuit. That'll look great in fast motion. Unfortunately, he started talking again. You remember, don't you? The "Mission Accomplished" speech?

See, that would be the best part about "The Not-So-Great Dictator" homage to the Chaplin films. It would be a silent movie, so you couldn't hear the President talk.

Spike Tuesday

The Portland Freelancer is currently being linked by the Denver Post, so I'm experiencing my biggest non-Jack-Bog-related spike yet, outside of the time I was on FARK. I can't find it on their site but it's either the Peace Wreath post or the John Callahan CD review. Blogging has a fishing element. These posts are like worms on a hook and every now and then a bigger fish comes along and bites. Today is such a day, so as long as I might be addressing the Denver area, may I say that the Cutler decision is a tough one but I respect it. And may I point out that my niece played in the Vanderbilt football band during his final year of college. Go Broncos.

Update: I found it in an article about the peace wreath. Here's the line they linked on:

Peace Wreath Debate
"Santa's little army of right wing talk show hosts will be all over that"

By the way, the Homeowners Association has backed down and the Peace Wreath stays.

John Callahan: "Purple Winos in the Rain" Live on 23rd

First of all, you have to admire John Callahan for getting his new CD, "Purple Winos in the Rain" out there. We've talked over the years and I knew his song-writing was a genuine interest above the hobby level, but how many of us have projects like that? There are books that never get written and home renovations that never get made - a million and one different projects that hover around our lives trying to get in.

So when I heard Callahan was going to be performing songs from his new CD at the Music Millennium on 23rd last Saturday night, I was impressed. Yes, he was going up against the USC-Notre Dame football game, but I started the VCR rolling and headed out.

Is there a worse area in Portland to take a car than NW 23rd? When I found a parking place it felt like I had won a contest. The air was brisk and affluent-looking people were roaming around. Maybe it was the cold, but the deranged element seemed to be absent and the vibe was a Colorado ski town. This was the fancy Portland that I'm still trying to accept.

In the store, a nice crowd gathered by the stage. I didn't catch the name of the piano player, but I recognized Terry Robb warming up his acoustic guitar. Seated in the center was John Callahan, looking determined but somber. The record store was playing a CD of a singer with what I thought was an impressive, intriguing voice, and so I locked into the lyrics. I was quite surprised when I heard the phrase, "Purple Winos in the Rain" and realized it was John's CD. The guy can actually sing.

I became somewhat competitive. John Callahan is a renowned cartoonist, but music is my area. I drifted into comedy from that side of the equation. I was a little irked that Callahan has a marketable voice, and I was definitely eager to see how he performed live. It's one thing to record something - let's check out how he delivered the songs to a crowd.

The concert started and I was impressed. It's very hard for a novice performer to sit there with just a piano and guitar backing him up, and deliver a song. John actually pulled it off and then some. The crowd really loved him.

The next day I talked to him for quite a while, saying how annoyed I was that he turned out to be that good. Incidentally, Kinky Friedman is a buddy of Callahan's and he wants to record the song,"Purple Winos in the Rain". I found that one replaying in my head later, too. I could definitely imagine the Kinkster loving the high quality of the quirky lyrics.

Okay, here's my opinion of the CD. It's one thing for someone who has suffered a lot in life to use it for humor, but when they really let you into the emotional side of their souls, it can be quite sad. I kidded around with John for a while on Sunday before I asked him the question that was bothering me: Is he really as bummed out as the songs imply? He assured me that some were written years ago when he was in a much darker place. I really like Callahan, but he's dealing with quite a weight. The phrase that comes to mind is, "Hell on Wheels". Searching the Net, I saw that it's been used to describe him many times.

The CD is worth checking out. His voice and the actual music are surprisingly good. My wife liked his singing, and she is really discerning when it comes to that. The idea of what John Callahan's song lyrics would be like has always intrigued me, and that alone makes this a fascinating work. But don't kid yourself. This is not a laugh riot. You won't be disappointed by how good this is, but you might be affected by the darkness. For John Callahan, life is no stroll through the park.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Peace Wreath Leads to Fines

As Lars Larson bravely gets ready to fight onward in the War on Christmas, here's a new opportunity for an attention-getting radio stunt: The War on Peace. In Colorado a home owner is being fined for displaying a Christmas wreath shaped like a peace sign. I'm sure Santa's little army of right wing talk show hosts will be all over that, won't they? I mean, here you have Christmas, a holiday to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, and a Peace Sign wreath is banned? I thought Christmas was all about Peace on Earth, unless you're fighting over a Playstation 3? The subject is everywhere - Peace is even mentioned in Christmas Carols such as "Silent Night, Holy Night". That makes it one of the fronts in the War on Christmas, doesn't it? So Lars and the other Rush Limbaugh clones will be all over the War on Peace, won't they?

Wrong! See, this peace wreath is seen as a protest over the Iraq War, and if there's one thing the right wing radio crowd has supported with all their hearts, it's the Iraq War. They were even willing to overlook many of the fine concepts behind Christianity to help the Bush administration sell this to the American Public. In fact, the whole idea of preemptive strikes and torture is fundamentally opposite from what Jesus Christ taught, but these right wing radio clowns didn't care about that. When it comes to the Bible versus the Bush Doctrine, these pompous blowhards ignored the Man from Bethlehem, and sided with the Man from Crawford.

Oh, no! I just had one of those terrible realizations. By supporting the preemptive strike on Iraq, Lars Larson was actually opposing the Prince of Peace - the same person whose birth we'll be celebrating on December 25th. You know what that means? Somebody call Santa Claus! Lars Larson is a traitor in the War on Christmas!
Woman faces fines for wreath peace sign - Yahoo! News

Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Middle East: It's Never Been This Bad Before

I don't want to interrupt your holiday cheer, but I just want to record something noteworthy from my own humble existence on the planet. I was born in the Middle East - in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. I lived there for 21 years, visiting many of the countries that are on the nightly news these days: Lebanon, Syria, Iran. I've been to Jerusalem and Cairo and Beirut and Damascus. Although I was an American, Arabia was home. I remember going to the consulate near the Dhahran air base to swear in officially as an American when I came of age. The Arabian desert will always be my primal underpinnings even though I haven't been there in over 30 years.

Naturally, I've followed the events of my old stomping grounds. How can I describe what that's like? If you root for the Chicago Cubs try multiplying the sense of futility by many factors of a trillion, and maybe you'll understand. There is a lot of pain that goes along with hoping for the best in the Middle East. The place is a heartbreaker. Nothing will ever equal the terrorist attack that killed my best friend for my own personal sense of loss, but in general I've watched the place go through bad times and worse. I remember during the Gulf War watching my hometown under a SCUD missile attack from Saddam, live on CNN. That was unusually screwed up, but looking back now, that seems almost like the good old days. The first Gulf War was dreadful, but there was a sense of order to it, compared to this.

That's what I want to record tonight. This is the week President Bush goes to Jordan and Cheney went to Arabia. How can they show their faces after what they've done to the people over there? This week is a significant milestone. It's so unusual to be in unchartered territory when it comes to the Middle East but that's where we are. So here goes:

In all my years, I have never seen the Middle East in such horrible shape. The Iraq War and the summer war between Israel and Lebanon, the Gaza Strip...My God, there's so many places that are ready to meltdown. Do I blame the Bush administration? Yes. President Bush is the worst kind of power-happy dummy. He actually was so arrogantly stupid that he looked at the Middle East and thought he could fix it. Well, he fixed it all right. He felt all it needed was a good old-fashioned dose of American military might packaged in a preemptive strike. There are many people in this world who think of President Bush and Dick Cheney as war criminals, and I would hate to have to argue with that. But what about the incompetence? What about leadership that gets us into a mess this big? Oh well. This part is all old news, and doesn't explain what I sense tonight.

There's something more happening now. This situation has gotten away. We're acting like we still have a say in the course of events. That could be the worst miscalculation yet. We think we are so great, that we can always bring this back from the brink. The leaders over there are literally begging the people to turn back, but this thing is too hot now. We talk about timetables like we can still set the agenda of events, but the American troops could pull out tomorrow, and we could find out that what we have unleashed over there still brings the world down. Maybe that's what the religious right wants. You know, the End of the World - Home for the Holidays!

This is as bad as I've ever seen it, and when you're talking the Middle East, that is really saying something. Now get out there and Christmas shop.

KGW Weather Department Needs Hype Refresher Course

One thing I've never accused the local TV people of is understatement when it comes to the weather. They usually have someone out doing a live remote, screaming when a snowflake lands. That is why I am so mystified about the record for the rainiest November in the history of Portland. I just went to the KGW weather blogs but they were too busy pimping their 2007 Weather Calendars. We've got a record here, people. It might have already happened - judging by the rain I heard last night but if not, let's get busy hyping this.

The current weather blogs at KGW have a bunch of pictures of the new calendar, including Matt Zaffino autographing one for some children. I'm sure that'll cover their college tuition when it hits eBay 15 years from now.

Bruce Sussman had the right idea, but it was a few days ago. Here's the last breathless post from him back on November 22nd: "Record Rain"
"We did it. Last night, we broke into the top 5. But this is no Billboard or Box Office list. If this were an awards show, we might call it the 'rainies'. Of course, I don't think that's really a word, but it probably works this case."

Now that's the right spirit. Rain so big it deserves an award! Careful, Bruce, or you'll pull a hype muscle! That is what the news people call a tease, isn't it? So where's the follow-up? Where's the big pay-off?

Here's the promo KGW should have been running 4 times every hour this past week. Imagine that announcer who does the movie trailers:

"Somewhere thousands of feet above our city, a raindrop is forming. This is not just any raindrop for this raindrop will fall with the weight of history. It will drop through the clouds until the Rose City comes in view. It will hit with devastating accuracy and bullet-like precision, striking its prey - the KGW rain gauge. Be there! This week we don't just bring you the weather. This week we bring you history!"

See how it's done? Work with me, people. This could have been huge. You could have coasted on the numbers for weeks. Why wait till someone gets hit by a snowflake? Grab everyone's attention now with this, and THEN you try and move the calendars.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Finally! The BBC Suggests a False Flag Hit in Lebanon

Yes, they buried the lede. That's two things I learned in the newspaper business: Don't bury the lede, and don't spell it "lead". "Lede" is an inside-newspaper term. So the BBC buried the lede about the Lebanon hit, but in this case they had no choice. This article falls under my theory of how news organizations really work to put topics out there that the reporters suspect are true, but can't address openly. Why? The powers that be in their own corporate structures don't want them to go there.

Read this BBC story and you'll see a text book example. It discusses the strange lack of motive Syria had in this recent assassination in Lebanon. Could this have been a false flag hit by the Neo-Cons? They sure advanced their agenda more than Syria did. Of course, using the term "false flag" would imply too much knowledge of this dark world, so the BBC reporters didn't bother. But they did imply it, which is all the freedom most corporate services are allowed.

That's the real news in this story: "Absent a Syrian Motive, Lebanon Hit Seen as False Flag Operation". Now read the article and see how carefully the BBC is with this topic. It's buried so far down that it's almost comical. I can just see the editor saying, "All right lads. You buried the lede, and that was wrong. But it's better to bury the lede than lose our bloody jobs. At least we've put the story out there. Now let's see what happens.
BBC NEWS | Middle East | Killing plunges Lebanon deeper into crisis

Rush Limbaugh to the Rescue

When I was just a tyke, I read the following joke in Reader's Digest: "I recently visited a friend's office and noticed how voluptuous all his secretaries were. I asked him about it and he said he had a simple rule when he interviewed a woman. He'd ask her to put her hands behind her head and walk towards a wall. If her elbows were the first things to touch then the interview was over."

I can't tell you what year or issue that was from. The Reader's Digest might have been in a waiting room which opens the years up to the 1800s, but it was probably from the late 1950s or early 60s. I do remember thinking how screwed up it was. That's why I still recall the joke all these years later. Sure, it had the routine lameness of the Reader's Digest - remember Humor in Uniform? But it also had a meanness to it that just wasn't funny. I'm not going to say I understood exactly why - I had probably just been reading a few years. But I knew this boss at the office was a big-time loser, and his friend was a jerk for thinking this was funny. It was also a small step in mistrusting authority as I sensed Reader's Digest wasn't doing anyone any favors by printing it.

It's been a week since the Michael Richards thing broke. I've struggled to process the response. Some of the invariable jokes about it seem too forgiving. Everyone has trouble processing something this ugly. I've written about how it gave me a feeling that the people I trust to be cool about things, are clearly not. I needed to get a sense that I was not misled that badly - that my instincts still work better than this. The people I oppose on a political level for having that basic meanness, needed to step up and prove I was right.

That's why I owe Rush Limbaugh a big debt of gratitude. He's helped me mend. Now, it would be easy to bring up the Michael J. Fox thing, but that's not what did it. I also once heard Rush say something so racially insensitive that I was convinced it would be a big story. If you must know, Rush was talking about how Democrats were scaring the elderly about Social Security. This was several years ago when an African American male had been dragged to death behind a pickup truck in Texas. I believe the town was called Jasper. Rush kidded that the Democrats might as well have an ad where an elderly black woman is dragged behind a truck to the Social Security office. And he was chuckling like this was funny. Now, I can't tell you when he said that but I ran to the tape recorder to get it on tape. He had moved on.

Of course this was years before the Michael Richards situation, but this week I happened to read a transcript of a live Rush performance at the Warner Theater in Washington. It reminded me of the time decades ago when I read the sexist joke as a tyke. Rush's big opening humor was as follows:

"You won't believe this. I haven't told this story much. Some time ago, I found myself in an elevator. It was in New York, and it was at a wedding. It was in Brooklyn, and I'm getting in the elevator to leave. It's been a long night, and just as the door is about to close, somebody puts their hand in the elevator doors that close, and it's Hillary Clinton. (laughter) She's senator at this time. She is a senator. and she gets in the elevator. She sees me, and she hits the stop button on the elevator. (laughter) She said, "I don't believe this. Do you know how long it's been since I have felt like a real woman?" (laughter) I didn't say anything, but I was thinking, "Yeah." (laughter) She said, "Would you make me feel like a real woman?" I said, "Certainly." So I took off all my clothes and I put them on the floor of the elevator, and I said, "Now fold them." (laughter)

Thank you, Rush Limbaugh. I needed to be reminded what jerks you right wing conservatives can be. It's been a tough week but I've found my way again. Thanks, Rush. I can go on now.

Friday, November 24, 2006

How Hip Is Portland?

It's always interesting seeing what the national media is writing about Portland. Here's an article about the competition among cities to lure young people. The Rose City is doing very well and that means our hipness quotient will remain high, although I doubt if they'll call it "hipness" much longer. Other cities like New York and Los Angeles are losing young people and this article makes that sound like doom. Philadelphia? Please. Young people are fleeing. The city could build condos and bike paths from now till eternity ends, and they are still screwed. They could build a bike path that actually goes through your condo and they're still done. Finished. The Eagles will win the Super Bowl this year, before Philadelphia stands a chance of surviving.
Cities Compete in Hipness Battle to Attract Young - New York Times

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanksgiving, 2006: Pray for Rain

How bad has the weather been? The last Bigfoot sighting was on a plane to Hawaii. But cheer up. Feeling like a drowned rat has its rewards. We are on the verge of a record: The wettest November in Oregon History. Right now we're over 10 inches for the month and probably close to 11. I hear we're in 4th place and the first three are are 1) 11.57" - 1942 2) 11.53" - 1973 3.) 11.15" - 1995. We could do that with ease and as long as we're this close, we might as well get into it. Let's crush the record so whenever anyone talks about the subject of precipitation again, we can squint into the sun - figuratively speaking - and say, "You think this is bad. Let me tell you about Thanksgiving back in 2006."

I also want them to say, "Thanksgiving, 2006, wasn't that the beginning of another Oregon tradition?" Yes, I hope so. Here's how it works: If it's Thanksgiving morning and you go out to the few espresso shops that don't close, always tip well, and be gracious for them being open - all that polite stuff. But when they ask you for your order, say, "I'll have a gravy latte." If enough of us join in, it'll become one of those classic Thanksgiving jokes that everybody enjoys. Okay, maybe not, but it worked this morning. Besides, if it's going to rain this much we should try and get some laughs anyway we can. Although the record for the rainiest November in Oregon history is a magnificent achievement, I think you'll agree: It's not all that amusing.

The End of the Cool Ones

There was a time when I knew who the cool people were. Life was clear. The Beatles were cool and Richard Nixon was not. Rock and roll was cool and Vietnam was not. I was around 15 and yet I could see things with a certainty that's gone now. It was ruined by experience. My ability to see clearly has been compromised by knowing too much.

Back then the good stuff used to glow. I could see a force field of magic around it and I moved towards it and away from the bad. That aura has faded from view. If the field was ever there, I can't see it anymore. In short, I grew up.

I actually assumed when my generation took over that everything would finally be great. One thing was obvious: The adults did not get it. I would hear them talk about Richard Nixon and I was baffled. How could they not see what a twisted weirdo this man was? Now I know. The years twist you. Time makes you weird. I still have my moments but I am becoming neutralized by my own thoughts. It's as if life takes place while the illusions about humanity are strong, but when the real data comes back, and the conclusions are reached about who we really are - well, then life begins to end. That's the look you see on old people. It's not that they're feeling poorly. They just get it.

For a longtime I assumed musicians were innately cool. I still feel they have some cool tendencies, but what does it say when so many great bands end up hating each other? How could a band like the Beatles break up? It says a lot about us. You want to see the ugly side of politics? Join a rock band. I still assume that a musician will be progressive and liberal-minding as opposed to Neo-Cons. People like Dick Cheney never are found in rock groups. Please, there are some lines of coolness that will never be crossed.

You know, I was even startled when I found out that one of the Ramones was a complete right-wing conservative. I could understand Ted Nugent. I mean he actually supports my theory that Republicans tap into our Stone Age meanness while Liberals are more about pie-in-the-sky notions of what life could be like. Ted literally dressed as a caveman running around shooting animals with a bow and arrow. It all fit, and made sense, but one of the Ramones being right-wing? A punk rocker? That's weird.

I rarely looked for athletes to be cool. Sure, there were exceptions, but as a group I thought they were too inside the system. They played ball literally. Oh, you'd get an occasional hero like Mohammed Ali, but there were a lot more clowns with crewcuts babbling out cliches we've all heard too often about what Coach said to do.

My fallback group was the comedians. I always assumed that a sense of humor went along with coolness. I mean uptight people got angry and had nasty reactions, while the cool ones kept it light or expressed anger and rage in a funny way. They were rebels with visibility. That's why I admired the comedians so much: These guys proved my point about who the cool ones were.

I still believe most comedians have intrinsic value, but something changed forever this week in my opinion of the group as a whole. This Michael Richards thing really bothered me. I know it's overused to say you're shocked, but I was shocked. I just never in my wildest nightmares could imagine a comedian being that uncool. I still can't. And then to see Jerry Seinfeld and David Letterman up there talking with him. That was devastating. That's like talking to the mean sicko in high school. That's like forming a rock band with Dick Cheney and Richard Nixon.

On some level, this was a life-changing event for me. Sure, I responded in standard fashion - writing jokes about it. My joke from an earlier post about him offending Pilgrims on Thanksgiving went on national TV last night. Some others went on the Lars Larson show via my friend Dwight Slade. But I felt like an impostor writing these jokes. It felt as foreign to me as if President Bush had asked me to join his cabinet as the new Secretary of Defense taking Rumsfeld's job. That scenario seems cooler than being associated with comedy this week. What a horror show.

I'm becoming one of those older types with a permanent scowl. I know too much about my species now, and the conclusions have locked up my head. There are no cool ones; just different shades of screwed up. That's what I found out about humanity. The 15-year-old kid I used to be was ignorant but brilliant. Now I know a lot more and it's not helping. Maybe all this life experience is working for you, but as for me? It feels like a lobotomy.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Lisa's Back on National TV

My people tell me the Decemberists are booked on David Letterman on November 28th. Or was that the Novemberists on December 28th? Either way, it's more good news for fans of Lisa Molinaro, who used to make espresso drinks at the Fresh Pot in Powell's on Hawthorne. At this point if I run into her, she will no longer be the local musician who's just making good. She is now a seasoned pro on the national music scene. How cool is that?

Case Closed on JFK? Not So Fast

Recently, I wrote a post about UFOs, that turned into a general conspiracy buff debate. One of the topics was the JFK assassination. Since then I have seen one special playing NASA transmissions about UFOs, I've seen one article that claims known CIA agents were at the RFK shooting, and then there's this 2001 article from the Washington Post.
There was also a recent assassination in Lebanon that reeks of a false flag operation. Yet, many people would prefer the safety of believing the official story on everything. This despite the fact that there have been government radiation programs that took decades to become known.
I hope we don't have to wait forever to find out the truth about 9/11. The more these phony official investigations are allowed by the American People, the more trouble we will be in. Let's start by releasing the classified material on JFK, and then let's look at the classified secrets of 9/11. Our country is at stake. Study Backs Theory of 'Grassy Knoll'

Thanksgiving for the Neo-Cons

You can tell it's almost Thanksgiving. Michael Richards just offended a group of Pilgrims. President Bush is back home, and I doubt he'll be making any surprise visits to Iraq this year. There's nothing to be gained from going there this year ostensibly to comfort our troops by holding up a fake turkey. The troops are on their own. This year, after losing both houses of Congress and stuck with a 31% approval rating, President Bush IS the turkey.

Over at Dick Cheney's place, he's shot the Thanksgiving bird by now and he's stuffing it with dead quail. He probably knows what many of us suspect: The latest assassination in Lebanon was a false flag operation designed to cause violence in the region, and to sabotage any efforts to reach out to Syria and Iran. Indeed, he had W. out there warning Iran and Syria before the body was even cold. Cheney probably knows it was a hit by the Neo-Cons - a typical false flag operation. He probably is following the reports of violence and tensions with quiet glee - another twisted scheme by him and his buddies going over perfectly without even a hint of suspicion in our media. People are dying and the Iran plan is proceeding on course. It's a good Thanksgiving in the Cheney household.

Not so good at his old buddy Donald Rumsfeld's place. I picture the crazy bastard sitting in his recliner pushing the buttons on the remote and mumbling, "Kill! Kill" over and over again.

Actually, the rest of the Neo-Cons have plenty to be thankful for. None of them have been tried for war crimes yet. 9/11 wasn't fully investigated. Their grand deception to get us into Iraq worked beautifully, and they don't seem to be taking the blame. It's now seen as a big mistake, rather than one of the great crimes of the last 50 years. That's good for them. The Neo-Cons are out there right now, distancing themselves from the failure - blaming it on poor execution. The Democrats in Congress are saying all the right things about rolling over and accepting these horrific misdeeds unchallenged. It could be a beautiful Neo-Con Thanksgiving after all.

Of course, there's the glow from knowing they hijacked the foreign policy of the greatest country on earth, and used it for their own ends. That was quite a thrill, I'm sure. Deceiving the American People on a scale like Iraq was exciting and fun, and the whole experience was an intense power rush. Remember how good those Thanksgivings were? Remember the parties at Dick Cheney's house?

But now the Iraq glow is starting to fade. In fact, it's almost gone. This year's turkey dinner will still taste quite good, but only at first. Then the Neo-Cons will start feeling that hunger again - a hunger that no amount of overeating can satisfy. By Thanksgiving afternoon they'll be looking into the fire, missing the power rush, and assessing their chance for another big helping of world domination.

Of course, it won't be as easy this time. Rumsfeld is gone - maybe they'll give him a call. No, he's out of power now - it'd be bad luck - like talking to a ghost. Better to look ahead and scheme. Screw Rumsfeld. Iraq is going poorly, but screw Iraq, too. That was yesterday's power rush. Besides, there are still enough of the old team left to implement the agenda ahead. Looking out the window of their comfortable upscale homes, they'll sip their cognac and contemplate the next preemptive strike. Once you've killed hundreds of thousands of people nothing else comes close. For the Neo-Cons, the invasion of Iraq was a blast, but it's been way too long.

As Thanksgiving evening rolls around, they'll begin to drift off - their bellies full of the feast. Then the sweet schemes will start to flood their twisted minds. Oh, the joy at what lies ahead for the Neo-Cons! There are many bombs to drop, and missiles to launch before they sleep.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Football: A Cruel Love

This weekend was shaping up to be football heaven but it ended with me questioning the fundamental goodness of the universe. Donovan McNabb is lost for the season - maybe even a full year.
I responded okay to it Sunday but found myself sniffling a little today. Suddenly so many games don't matter as much. My hope was the Cowboys would lose to the Colts and the Eagles would
beat the 2-7 Titans. Then tonight the Giants would lose and the Eagles would be tied for 1st place. Even when the reports of the score started drifting in, I was calculating about the future. Okay, the whole division loses this weekend, and the Eagles emerge next week for their run by beating the still undefeated Colts. When the pictures of McNabb's injury came across it didn't look that bad. Yes, I was worried to see him on the cart, but I never expected the worst. While the news broke I was watching the Cowboys looking like there are really getting it together by beating the Colts.
I took a couple of calls from friends who know how I feel about the Eagles. I made all the standard statements, and it wasn't till today that the undeniable magnitude of the bad news wore me down. The Eagles are a tough team to love. The all-time worst was the season everything looked so promising and Randall Cunningham blew out his knee in the 1st quarter of the first game. That was stunning. At least this year featured a wonderful defeat of the Cowboys when Terrell returned to Philly. The team played heroically and with a lot of entertainment.
Ironically, I was cheered up slightly last night by Joe Willie Namath's piece on 60 Minutes. As kids from Arabia, my siblings and I adopted the Jets as our team. It was the glorious AFL against the stodgy squares of the NFL. Every time I see the score 16-7 I think of the Super Bowl the Jets won over Baltimore.
It wasn't till my siblings and I started going away to school that I became an Eagles fan. I'd end up visiting my sister at the University of Pennsylvania, and I decided to adopt the city of Philadelphia as my home sports town. There would be one strong connection to the earlier Jets love - Buddy Ryan, who went on to coach the Eagles, was the defensive coach for the Namath-era Jets.
Anyway, you try not to get crazy with the sports stuff. I just think McNabb is one of the fun players in the league. He didn't deserve the Rush Limbaugh racism, and he didn't deserve the T.O. nightmare. Namath showed the scars on his legs on 60 Minutes and it was pretty dramatic. Football is a brutal sport and Donovan's got a long road back. Get better. This sucks, but you can handle it.
As for the Eagles, it's time to prepare to play the Colts next week. Anyone can throw in the towel, especially if they have an excuse. I expect the Eagles will play as if it matters, because in the bigger picture of life, it still does.

Kramer Versus Kramer

I've got some good news and some bad news. First the good news: FOX has canceled the OJ Simpson TV show for next week. Now the bad news:
They're replacing it with a Michael Richards special. If you haven't seen the Michael Richards video or the off-the-hook press conference with Paul Rodriguez and the owner of the Laugh Factory, I would skip it. You know how some racial incidents are good because they lead to a dialogue about our differences? This was not one of them. This was as ugly as it gets. I talked to my people in L.A., and they are scrambling to respond. It was so ugly that it calls for a statement, more than jokes. Jerry Seinfeld said he was just sick about it and I think that's how most comedians felt. At times like this, I point out that I am not a standup, I am a writer. I told my contact in L.A. "I'm sorry but you're on your own on this one." Of course, later I sent the joke that leads this off. Why? Because business is business. But I want to apologize to all Americans for what the comedians of America have come up with this weekend. As the offended man in the audience said, "It was uncalled for." I am disheartened and sickened by the ugliness of this event.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

The Scapegoat Pledge

It is time for all Americans who really want to help this country to step forward and take the following pledge:

"Dear Mr. President,
1. I want to say that you were 100% right about our reasons for going to war in Iraq. I could list them all but let me just sum up: They were well thought-out, noble, and brilliant. We are currently experiencing some problems implementing your plan, but I want to state forthrightly, that this is my fault, and the fault of people like me. By criticizing your plan, we gave strength to the enemies who hate us for our freedom. Blaming any of what went wrong on you or your team is a cynical attempt to make political points out of this situation, and I, for one, apologize that you have to endure it.

2. I would also like to state that - despite all the problems people such as myself have caused - we are now just 6 months from total victory in Iraq. The new government is almost ready to take hold and democracy is about to flower in the region. The sectarian violence is in its death throes, and a bright new day is only half a year away, proving - as if we needed proof - that your wisdom and resolve are as magnificent as advertised.

3. Despite our imminent victory, I'm sorry, but I'm going to screw things up again. In fact, I deserve the blame if we abandon our current strategy and get out of Iraq now. I know you will be criticized for it and that's so unfair. It's why I want to shout from the mountaintops: This is my fault! President Bush had a brilliant plan, and it was just about to work when I - and other like-minded terrorist appeasers - interfered with the march to history and screwed up Iraq!

4. Someday when we are out of there, and American soldiers are no longer riding around getting blown up for no apparent reason, I hope you will find it in your heart to forgive me. You had a great plan and I messed it up. Sorry, I apologize. It is not your fault Iraq failed. I repeat: It is not your fault. It is my fault. Now can we go?"

Jim Mesi and the 30-Year Guitar Lesson

I don't blame myself as much as I used to for thinking I could make it in the music business. After all, I was raised overseas and I had no idea what the talent level was like in this country. I do remember arriving in Portland in the 70s and going to a club called the Silver Moon. It was either that tavern or the one right down the block. Anyway, the Paul Delay band was on a break and I watched in amazement as this huge guy drank beer right out of a pitcher. It turned out to be the man himself, and when he took the stage again, there was a short lead guitarist who turned out to be Jim Mesi. I was about to get a lesson in guitar greatness, and I distinctly remember thinking, "Wow, these guys sound like a great blues record." I also remember thinking that my band was in big trouble.

I would later learn that the best music in the USA wasn't necessarily on the radio, and that there was a vast talent pool underneath the highly visible acts. In Arabia I had been in one of the best and only rock bands in the whole country. Here, I wasn't even in the best band on the block. Welcome to America, son.

Do you know how most things wear out? You're amazed when you're younger, but then you get used to it, and maybe even a little cynical? It's actually a good feature of humans - without it, we'd still be in a cave somewhere dazzled by fire. I call it my Bigfoot Theory. If they did capture the mythical monster, and put it in the zoo, we'd be used to it in around 18 months, and bored with it. Meanwhile, each and every time we see something like a giraffe we should be knocked out. With humans, it's always ho-hum way before it should be.

That's why Jim Mesi is so incredible. I saw him play last night at Duff's Garage as part of a benefit for yet another musician without health insurance. This guy's named Marco Savo and he tore up on guitar himself. There was also part of a group called the Insomniacs. By the way, Portland, I get it. You don't have to do anything further to convince me how much I suck on the guitar. Each guitarist that took the stage was dazzling in his own right. And then it was Jim Mesi's turn.

If you don't know his history, he was part of the touring bands of B.B. King and Roy Orbison. That should give you some idea of the talent level here. I knew he had the smoking roadhouse blues thing covered, I knew he had those 60s guitar instrumentals covered, and then some. I knew he could take a song like "Hot Rod Lincoln" and destroy it. I was impressed as always, but I wasn't amazed. It's that human ho-hum thing.

Then Jim began switching to a different style during some of his leads. He began floating around like a pedal steel guitar. In fact he was even getting volume swells - so much so that I walked up to the stage to see if he was using a volume pedal. Nope, it was Jim, generating volume swells with the bending of the strings. Ridiculous.

I actually followed him out to his car and had a quick talk with him. I told him it was an honor to live in the same town as him, and it is. Then I said I couldn't believe some of the high ethereal tones he was coaxing out of his Gibson and - I hesitated to say this since he's a blues guy - I told him that it sounded like a pedal steel. Much to my surprise he replied, "Well, you know I play pedal steel."

My wife and I didn't stick around for Duffy Bishop and Paul Delay. She wanted to, but my mind was fried. I couldn't believe what I had just heard out of Jim Mesi - everything else seemed like overkill. 30 years later, the guy's more of a guitar monster now than ever. Okay, Portland, I get it! I really suck on the guitar. I had no business thinking I could make it as a musician. I could have played bass in Jim Mesi's band but once I blew out my wrist, it was over. I should have skipped the guitar and walked away. It took 30 years but I understand that now. If I didn't learn my lesson back in the 70s, Jim Mesi just gave me a refresher course.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Time to Get Our Heads Back in the Game

You know it's bad when Geraldo starts making sense. I heard him give his opinion on the Iraq war the other day and he painted a very grim portrait. This thing is now beyond crazy. He described a unit of our military assigned to patrol a certain road. They go out each and every day. During the sunlight hours they own the road and it is fairly secure. However, due to massive manpower shortfalls, they cannot guard the road at night. So every night new IEDs are planted. The road is pockmarked with an incredible number of them that have already gone off, and it only takes 5 minutes to plant a new one. The night ends and the daylight begins. This beleaguered military unit goes back out to patrol the same road, and every now and then, one of our soldiers gets blown up. Geraldo says that two of their command structure were recent casualties. It is not a battle so much as a lottery execution.

There is a long history in literature and films that depicts the absurdity of war by exaggerating the craziness. "The King of Hearts" is one such movie, involving an insane asylum being accidentally liberated by advancing troops. The point of the movie is that the clinically insane actually appear less crazy than the warring armies. There's also "Catch 22", a book that shaped my sense of humor. I felt it was one of the true classics of literature and one of the first that showed a generational difference between my father's opinion and mine, even though the author was from my father's time. My Dad thought the book was shallow. Of course, he went to Columbia as a high school brain much younger than his classmates, so to him, it probably was shallow. I thought it was brilliant.

The point is that the madness of war is often portrayed in absurd ways. The action in literature is often not entirely true - it's surreal and built up to illustrate the insanity. This will not be necessary with Iraq. The idea of controlling a road during the day, letting the enemy wire it at night, and then patrolling it again the next day is as insane as anything in "Catch 22". It's as if the asylum patients from "The King of Hearts" were at the controls in Washington, D.C. Future authors will just have to describe the events leading up to and including the war, and then detail the patrols around Iraq - the excursions to see who blows up. "Catch 22" won't stand a chance against the absurd realities of the Iraq war.

Many people opposed to this disaster have taken a breather since the elections. It's been several frustrating years, and the urge to relax for awhile is great. I personally have basically kissed off the blog, the cable show, and my jokes as far as using them to advance an agenda.

Frankly, I've spent more time lately thinking about the Michigan-Ohio State football game than anything else. Shallow? I'm sure my Dad would have thought so, and it's got to end. The 4 American soldiers who were announced as killed today deserve our grief as much as any of the others. The carnage continues whether we're tuned in or not.

The election was a wonderful event, but if we still have American soldiers driving around Iraq waiting for an explosion, then not enough has been accomplished. We've got to get back to work and end this horrible war now.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Adam Morrison Goes Off - Bobcats Beat San Antonio

Morrison Shooting Over Duncan, Finley, and Parker

Okay, I know what hoops fans are thinking. Bill is worse than Dick Cheney - cherry-picking the intelligence. Adam Morrison played poorly in his first start Friday and followed that with another awful game. To tell you the truth, I almost blogged about those games because I thought his comments afterwards were right on the money.

See, what I got watching Gonzaga play the last few years is a sense of this guy's mental toughness. He is a gun-slinger from the Wild West, and he might get beat up in the saloon every now and then, but he is mentally prepared to fight back. He knows who he is and he doesn't doubt himself. He doesn't need a sports psychologist or a therapist. Plus he can shoot the lights out. Here's what Spurs coach Greg Popovich said, "He's a scoring machine. He's a fantastic young talent." Here's one other quote from the linked article: "Much of Morrison's night came against Spurs forward Bruce Bowen, who has three straight NBA All-Defensive first team honors."

I'm going to move on from making this a Blazers mistake. It was, but I'm pulling for the Blazers. LeMarcus has an amazing upside. Brandon Roy was a brilliant pick and the injury is one of those things. But not taking Morrison was more than a mistake - it was a Blazers disaster.

Imagine Brandon Roy and Adam Morrison working together. Anytime one of them slumps you'd get your Washington State - Washington wisecracks and we'd be right back in business. This was a franchise going out of its way not to see what was right there to be seen. And the sportswriters in this town didn't exactly commit with their expertise either. This was a no-brainer, and they blew it. 27 against San Antonio for a rookie a few games in? Are you kidding me?
NBA - Charlotte Bobcats/San Antonio Spurs Recap Wednesday November 15, 2006 - Yahoo! Sports

Uh, Oh: I Know Where This Is Going

Wow, it’s 5 of 9 and I’ve got nothing. This blog post can't make it to the archives fast enough. I had a good title for a piece on Chasse: At What Point Does D.A. Mean “Designated Accomplice”? I also thought about doing an O.J. update, based on the time I met Bob Shapiro at the Producers Guild Awards dinner: “The outside world was room temperature with no breeze. The tall palm trees seemed as fake as the breasts on the Hollywood wives below.” You know, detective novel stuff.

Ahh, screw it. I’ve got a head cold and nothing is working. President Bush is in Vietnam so the general rule applies: Don’t make fun of the President while he’s in another country, unless it’s about the specific visit.

1. When President Bush got to Vietnam, he asked why one of their prostitutes is so famous. Who is this Ho Chi Ming anyway?

2. President Bush still doesn’t get it about Vietnam. He asked if he was going to be staying at the Hanoi Hilton.

3. The Vietnamese had a wonderful state dinner for the President. In his honor the main course was Lame Duck.

Yeah, I’m sure they’re going to go for those.

Worse yet, this is payback day for taking my wife to see “Borat”. I’ve got to go sit through, “The Queen”, about the British Royal family. I’ll be the one yelling out, “Get a job!”

I’m sorry, I know they’re good for tourism but the British Royal Family is one of my peeves. Especially a few years back when they were all humping like rabbits. My all-time favorite from those days: Princess Diana, getting it from her riding instructor in the Royal Stables. That’s a scene I bet they didn’t put in the movie. Mount up! Talk about riding bareback. I wonder if he still used the stirrups and the little whip?

I'm sure none of the fun scenes from the Royal Family will be in the movie. That leads to an obvious question: Why do most so-called classy movies suck?

I prefer the less stuffy world of the lower classes. Did you see Roseanne on Larry King? He asked her about her upbringing, and she had a great twist on a standard sentimental line. She said something like, “Yes, Larry, we didn’t have money, but we didn’t know what it meant to be poor. Why? Because we were stupid, too.”

I know, I’ll finish this up with my Roseanne anecdote. Leno was a witness in the Michael Jackson trial so he was under a gag order on the subject during the monologue. He would bring out other celebrities to do the Michael Jackson jokes so I got to hear Roseanne do one of mine: "Defense lawyers say that Michael may testify. They don't really want him to but they think it's the only way
they can get his nose to grow back."

God, that joke’s stupid, but it’s my Roseanne anecdote.
Anyway, it’s back to business here. I’ve got a cold, we’re expecting rainstorm #1139-B, and then I’ve got to go see “The Queen”. This incessant whining has been brought to you by your Portland Freelancer. Have a wonderful day.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

After the Thumping: What's Next for Political Comedy?

I went into a little slump after the elections, but that's over now. I just didn't see the immediate riff on the Bush administration. I mean the comedy writers of America have been lambasting these guys for years, and rightfully so. While the right wing radio blowhards were babbling away with their chicken-hawk talking points, the noble progressives on late-night TV were steadily living up to their promise in a free society. I don't want to get sentimental here, but I'm proud of it. I think the highlight for me was having a joke in Time Magazine. I also enjoyed the nationally-aired one saying Cheney would waterboard trick-or-treaters on Halloween till they gave up their candy. I noted that a joke like that - with a sitting Vice President torturing children - had no chance in previous years. The fact that it went on, was a sign that the protective coating of 9/11 is now faded and gone. The joke was a sign that the Republicans were in trouble.

Political discourse in this country really has been ghastly lately. In the last few years, the corporate media's been acting as a PR firm for the powers that be. People were afraid to show dissent - even though that's a hallmark of democracy - lest they be branded terrorist-appeasing traitors. We were living in the presence of bullies and questioning them was met with a frenzied bleating from their all-too-willing stooges on talk radio.

The only place I saw the appropriate ridicule was from the comedians of America. That's what we're here for - providing our own form of checks and balances - and it paid off last Tuesday night. Nancy Pelosi didn't help save America but Jon Stewart might have.

So what's next? Where do we go with it now? It's no longer funny to dump on Republicans in a pre-election way, now that they've taken a "thumping" in Congress. Nothing is older news faster than in comedy, and the election is now ancient history. Okay, here's my opinion on the road ahead.

When a script is written for a Hollywood disaster movie, it's not enough to have the major players just be professionals. They always write in some family relationships. There's a father-daughter situation going on or a married couple splitting up and reuniting. Just imagine that movie trailer voice: "Life tore them apart, but disaster brought them back together again!"

Now it's happening in a horror movie known as the Bush administration. The fact that our beleaguered President is turning once more to his Dad to bail his sorry ass out, is the next big comedic twist -the next riff. Okay, it's not comedy gold, because there is no man/woman sex angle. But make no mistake, this is comedy silver. This is a marketable hook we have here.

I fired one of the first salvos tonight: "President Bush is turning to his Dad to help with Iraq and his Dad is not too happy about it. In fact, this could be the first sitting President to get grounded."

There was a distraction in the studio audience that screwed up the response, but watching at home, I felt the path ahead was clear. The familiar "Tale of the Screw-up Son" is entering its final act. Let's review: The Screw-up Son grows up around the famous, war-hero Father who becomes President. The Screw-up Son gets in all kinds of trouble with the Father helping him get out of it, over and over again. The Father's friends help the Screw-up Son get out of Vietnam. The Father's friends help the Screw-Up Son become President.

Suddenly, the Screw-Up Son is a Big Shot and he's going to show Dad that he can run the world even better. Who needs all that fancy book learnin'? The Screw-Up Son will just rely on his instincts and his faith. Then the inevitable happens: The Screw-Up Son screws up. I mean the Screw-up Son screws up BADLY! And now Dad's back to bail him out one more time.

It's mythic. It's legendary. Okay, it's a little trite and formulaic but there's a reason formulas last: They work. The way ahead in comedy is to examine the return of Dad to save the Screw-Up Son. It's wired and it's gold. Okay, not gold, but silver.

The last reel in one of the great Presidential disaster movies is underway, and the comedy writers of America are going to be all over it. How bad is the situation? This Thanksgiving the first President Bush is making George sit at the kiddie table again.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Apollo 11's Buzz Aldrin talks about UFOs

I thought I'd add this to my earlier post about astronauts and UFOs.
YouTube - Buzz Aldrin talks about UFOs

Secrets of Apollo

I was always interested in Space as a kid. I was a huge fan of our Space Program back in the day, and when I was 14, I saw the astronauts in Richard Nixon's Inaugural Parade in Washington, D.C. I can remember reading specific books by people like John Glenn - one was called "P.S. I Listened to Your Heartbeat." Along the way, I also happened to read a UFO book called, "Incident at Exeter" that had a profound impact on me, especially since I ended up in that New Hampshire town for 2 and a half years of boarding school. You could say I became fascinated with the idea of Space Programs in general - ours or otherwise.

One of the better columns I did for the Portland Tribune was about Project Disclosure and Dr. Steven Greer. I was delighted to see it reprinted later on his UFO site. Whenever I get into the topic with someone I always ask the person what the best evidence for UFOs is. My personal favorite: The Belgium Sightings of the late 1980s. That had hundreds of witnesses, ground radar, jet fighter radar, video of the radar instrument readings in the jets showing outrageous altitude movements, and also a picture. The Belgium sightings of a huge, silent, triangular craft that could hover and also fly at incredible speeds, lead to only two real possibilities: It was ours or it was theirs.
I saw the astronauts 6 months before we landed on the moon. There has always been a ton of reporting about sightings of UFOs on the Apollo missions. That is such a rich area because we're not talking about the Jethro-sees-swamp-gas model here. These are American heroes with the Right Stuff. If you want to look into some of the mysterious transmissions between the astronauts and Mission Control, you know where to go. If you're interested in this topic - and I cannot understand anyone who isn't - you've probably already checked them out. As a young boy I was just delighted to see my heroes from the Space Program - they really looked the part by the way. Now I wonder what secrets they would be asked to keep.

Have you ever pondered why we stopped going to the moon? Throughout human history, if we went somewhere we usually stayed there or at least kept going back. We first landed on the Moon 38 years ago next July. Where's our base? How come Neil Armstrong has been so private and mysterious about what happened up there?

As with all my topics of interest, I occasionally see something intriguing. Here's something new from Apollo 16. It's a picture with an unidentified triangular object above the lunar horizon. Warning: The website places the enhanced object on the original photograph, which is a mistake. Check out the lower photos for a better feel. I doubt it's the orbiting part of our mission. From the angle it could be quite huge. You know....sort of like the craft seen over Belgium. Enjoy.

Treasure of the Abyss: Morningstar Discovers Luminous "Sky Object" Above Lunar Surface In Apollo 16 Photograph

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Sacha Baron Cohen is Borat

You have to see the comedian Sacha Baron Cohen as himself, before you can understand his gift for creating characters. I watched an old interview with David Letterman and it was amazing. This can't be the same guy who portrays Borat or Ali G. It's like their DNA is different. So before you get to the material, have a little respect: This is one of the great comedic talents of all time. When it comes to committing to a character, he's right there with the great Peter Sellers. If comedy were given the same respect as drama, Sasha would be looking at an Academy Award for Borat. It's that brilliant as an...I can't even call it an acting job. This transformation is complete. You never for a moment lose the belief in the reality of the character. That is remarkable.

I have sat in darkened auditoriums and watched Robin Williams switch between characters: The Russian accent, the French guy, and a host of others. It amounts to amazing work. His impressions of other people are extraordinary, but they are impressions. Borat is a person. Ali G is another. Sasha is so far into the character that it's like he's doing the impression from the soul outwards. This is a Hall of Fame Comedy Talent who will be remembered the way Groucho Marx or W.C. Fields is remembered. The closest comparison I could think of was from music. The brillance and the vulgarity of the material - even the appearance - remind me of another monster talent: Frank Zappa.

The way I work the movie selections with my wife is that she'll go to my pick, if I'll go to hers. Of course, I try to avoid subjecting her to something she would hate, but I traded her "Borat" for me going to see "Queen" about the Royal Family of England (boo, hisss...). My wife's one sentence review of Borat was, "I feel like I've been hit by a giant sack of crap." She did not enjoy the intensely gross and insensitive material in the movie. It didn't matter to her that he was actually saying some brilliant things. The jokes, especially about women, and the one particularly grim scene, were a major turn-off for her.

Meanwhile, I was laughing like a lunatic. Borat is comedy genius. Yes, it is also vulgar at times. Much like Frank Zappa's music and lyrics cound be. But, it is brilliant.

The funny thing for me is that I've been trying to sell comedy scripts in Hollywood that are - in fundamental ways - even farther out there than Borat. And the producer who options them has a hot-shot son who helped edit the Borat movie. I've been exchanging emails about it with my producer friend, and the feeling in Hollywood is that this movie will change things. Leonard Maltin said America will never be the same and I agree. The box office was twice as much as they expected and the film went #1. The crowds laugh like idiots and it's not just one or two scenes - it's the entire thing.

Suddenly, the old standard where you get an SNL alum and stick him or her into a fairly tame premise, and then have 2 or 3 funny scenes that are featured in the trailer so they're not funny when you finally see it....that model is in the garbage can right now. Borat changed things. It actually made for some awkward moments between me and the producer - he's paying me for comedy scripts that don't sell while his son lands in one of the legendary comedy films of all time as First Assistant Editor. Whoops.

The Monday after Borat opened every movie executive in LA was driving to work wondering how to react. Most of Hollywood decision-making is about reacting to someone else's success. That alone puts my scripts back in play, because if Borat is out there to Mars, some of mine are out there to Jupiter. Of course, Borat brings along the next Peter Sellers - the next Groucho Marx - in Sacha Baron Cohen. Sacha is the Frank Zappa of Comedy and that is something no mere script can provide.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Listen Up, GOP Base: You’re Britney Spears and President Bush is Kevin Federline

Everyone should be lucky enough to have siblings, especially if they’re from the opposite sex. Why? To give us a better perspective on the people we find attractive. As we come of age, the dynamics of attraction skew reasonable thought. Sometimes you need a sibling to point out stuff that should be obvious, but isn’t.

I remember as a young boy when my sister advised me to pick a wife – not just because she was pretty – but because I could be friends with her. That stopped me cold. I had literally never thought of it. This leads to one of my theories for the systemic disrespect between the sexes.

How many woman out there have watched men fall all over someone who they know is a loser? They know the hottie in question is all wrong for the star-struck, love-sick guy she ends up with, and he finds out down the road. Meanwhile, he’s wasted all that time while he could have been happier. This is not breaking news here – it’s been covered for ages in songs like, “Why Do Fools Fall in Love?”

The same thing is true for straight men watching women fall all over some guy. I knew Kevin Federline was a low-rent, card-carrying hound dog from 2 minutes after he showed up. Hearing him chat with Britney on their moronic reality show, I knew right away that he was a hustler – there wasn’t anything good in his heart. It takes discipline to watch women go ga-ga, over someone you know is a devious clown, and not lose respect for the gender. Just as women lose respect for men, when we do our crazy stuff, ruining families and lives just for a crack at some devastatingly fine, sweet young thing.

Throughout the last few years, I’ve searched for an analogy for what was going on between President Bush and his supporters. The only one that fit was the teenage girl-puppy love model. That is, until now. President Bush is Kevin Federline. He’s shallow, dumb, mediocre, devious, reckless, and morally lacking. His conservative GOP base – those loyal Republicans in the unmovable 30% - represent Britney Spears. They look upon this man whom the rest of us can see right through, and gush about how wonderful he is: “Look, he’s clearing brush. He’s wearing his cowboy jeans. He’s a godly man!”

If you are one of these conservative Republican Bush supporters, you should be going through what Britney Spears is right now. You should be seeking a divorce. Tuesday night was the night America went home with someone else. Use the hurt to come to your senses. We’re still in deep trouble as a country here, and we can no longer afford 30% of our citizens to be fawning, pop tarts. Take the advice of your political siblings. President Bush is a loser, and it’s time for you to grow up.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Exhale and Resume Living

I have a glorious job - it’s all about freedom and time. When I’m done writing comedy everyday my brain feels like it’s glowing. My radio clients and I have established nothing short of a lovefest. And check this out: They’re in another state and I’ve never even met them.

The woman I deal with in L.A. is so cool that I can’t even talk about her without getting emotional. She is a high-caliber individual. Somehow through years of following these crazy late-night comedy topics together, we have become great friends - even though we’ve never met. She is the comedy standard. I could write a lot of cruder material and it would sell, but I don’t do that out of respect for her having to read it. Sometimes – even when a joke makes it to national TV – I apologize to her for the subject matter, because she’s a decent person.

When all this fell in place, I would finish the “work” and head out the door. I would wander around, walking miles, hopping on a bus if it came by, going to whatever movie was next up at a movie theater. I would chat with Portlanders, and sometimes drop by where I used to work just to see my old friends. I remember sitting by the railroad tracks one time just because I was in the mood to see a freight train go by. And when one finally showed up, it was excellent.

At the end of the day, the finished sheet would come back from the radio company, and the monologue would play on TV and I’d see how I did. There were many times when a joke would get a big laugh or say something I thought was important, and I'd try to sleep but I’d be too excited. I’d go back to the computer and work on a script or write emails. I’d finally wind down and crash, and though I had tons of stressful dreams about working in banquets, I’ve never had a bad dream about writing comedy. Life was a quiet celebration.

The last few years haven’t been like that. I became so worried about the course the American government was taking that I no longer had the same joy. There was nothing carefree about these times.

Yesterday, it all came back. I finished the work, and felt compelled to go out there. I took a bus just because it came along, went to a movie without checking the times first – without planning it. I rode on the MAX train, which frankly was quite cool. Everything was amazing. Portland looked great, individual buildings looked intense and I wished I had brought my video camera. Later I got hit by a rainstorm so I took a cab home. The driver was brilliant – we had a great conversation about comedy and the close call America had just been through.

The only time I became sad was when I realized that these last 6 years didn’t have to be like they were. See, I’ve been thinking that I had just gotten too old to feel the joy, or too burned-out. Wrong. The Bush administration has been weighing on me. I saw this bunch as a threat to the fundamental greatness of our political system. I saw them as a threat to our liberty. I believe they wanted to use 9/11 to establish authoritarian rule and they almost pulled it off.

The election was a tremendous relief. My wife and I danced in the streets. I mean that. We literally danced in the streets. I feel like I can breathe again, and this country is once more a wonderful place. Yesterday I bounced around and it was just like the good old days. In fact it was better, because it was a good new day.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Rush Limbaugh Throws the Republicans Under the Bus

Have you heard what Rush Limbaugh has to say about the election? First, some background:

Rush Limbaugh played a crucial role in the Republicans' defeat. By mocking Michael J. Fox he helped hand the Democrats a victory in Missouri and across the country. He also got off one of the most chilling statements of the campaign – for me anyway - when he said that Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House would be unacceptable. Unacceptable? That’s the talk of authoritarian rule: “We do not accept this and decree otherwise!”

It’s the same way President Bush found over 750 laws that Congress passed to be unacceptable. As a brilliant cab driver told me this afternoon: “It’s like he just threw out the rule book.” President Bush felt that following the Constitution, the Geneva Conventions and the rule of law was unacceptable, so he didn't. And he had all the logic he needed: It was his decision because he was the Decider.

So what happens when the American People decide otherwise? And what does Rush Limbaugh say when the unacceptable happens? Here is Rush's reaction to the elections:

“I feel liberated, and I'm going to tell you as plainly as I can why. I no longer am going to have to carry the water for people who I don't think deserve having their water carried. Now, you might say, "Well, why have you been doing it?" Because the stakes are high. Even though the Republican Party let us down, to me they represent a far better future for my beliefs and therefore the country's than the Democrat Party and liberalism does.

I believe my side is worthy of victory, and I believe it's much easier to reform things that are going wrong on my side from a position of strength. Now I'm liberated from having to constantly come in here every day and try to buck up a bunch of people who don't deserve it, to try to carry the water and make excuses for people who don't deserve it.”

Rush helped sell the Iraq War. He is the leading marketer of the Bush administration. His admission that he was just carrying water and didn’t truly believe in the people he’s been supporting, is more an indictment of him, than them.

Of course, he doesn't mention that while he was carrying water for this gang of losers, our troops were carrying wounded buddies to the helicopters. Instead, when the election goes poorly, he ditches his buddies and gets the hell out of the way. He can’t distance himself from this election fast enough.
See who these people are? Richard Perle, Dick Cheney, Rush Limbaugh?
They love their power, and they work their schemes, but when the going gets tough, they cover their asses and flee. Calling them chicken hawks is way too kind.

Rumsfeld, We've Got an Exit Strategy....For You

This could be the last chance for my Rumsfeld picture.

President Bush Gets the Election Results

"WHAT THE #@$@%#$@%!!!???!! I thought I was the Decider???!!!"

A Night for the Ages

Last night, America self-corrected, and the Forefathers smiled. Checks and balances returned to government and the country lurched back on track. I watched several leading Democrats - like James Carville - act humble in victory, and I'm going to take my cue from them. We are in a dangerous time still because a certain spoiled brat on a bicycle just found out he's not king after all. President Bush is in a bad, pouty mood and we've got to take him through this gingerly. He could still end the world with one press of the button, so I hope the appropriate people are monitoring his mental state. I would recommend extra ice cream - anything to help him get through these next few days.

The purse strings for the Iraq War are now out of the hands of the Republicans. One of the most annoying things was having them ask what to do in Iraq? It's a hell of a mess, and a lot of young Americans have been killed and wounded. Last night showed they didn't die or lose their limbs in vain. How's that? Because they didn't die representing a lost America - an America hijacked by the Neo-Cons and given over to authoritarian rule. Last night made it clear that the system of government these soldiers represented is still the best on earth. They died for the good America, because something in this whole ordeal has strengthened our system. This was a huge test and the American People passed. Last night the American People said, "Yes, Iraq is a huge mess and you're going to pay for getting us into it."

It was not all rosy, and we've got to snap back into the groove immediately. I don't want to write jokes today, but I have to. On a personal level, I was disappointed that I didn't get my "Liberty Sluts" song finished in time for this but my computer crashed 8 days ago and I just got it back yesterday afternoon. I am proud of the hundreds of anti-Bush jokes I put out there the last few years. The night before the election it was, "President Bush says that Cheney and Rumsfeld are doing a terrific job and they're going to stay till the end of his term. I don't know what they have on him, but it must be good."

I've always felt these jokes on Leno had impact. I had 6 on in the 6 shows before the election, and they are usually reprinted in newspapers and websites far and wide. This has given me a feeling of participating and - though I've had that before - it was usually followed by deep disappointment after the last few elections. Speaking of disappointment, I was also canned by the Portland Tribune for writing columns questioning Iraq before the Invasion. At the time, it really hurt, but now it just makes me proud.

By the way, I never had an agenda in comedy until President Bush came along. He turned me and millions of other people into accidental activists - bloggers, e-mailers, debaters, prodders of all sorts. Ironically, President Bush - by being such a threat to our country - has made a lot of us better human beings. This morning I'm trying to be gracious in victory, but I'm not ready to thank him just yet.

If you're feeling spiteful and want to lash out at Republicans today, here's a way to handle it: Just think of all our people and everyone else who've been hurt or destroyed by the Iraq War. Last night was beautiful, but when things get this ugly, it's hard to bask in the joy. My sister used the word "relief" and that's what this is. Many people have paid a terrible price for the horrendous deeds of the Bush administration, but at least America appears as if it will continue. The ideas that made this country great, may survive these years after all. That is a huge relief and it makes the evening of 11-7-06 big history. That was a Night for the Ages.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Speeches We Didn't Hear

Here’s a speech that was never made by President Bush, the Great Spreader of Democracy, back in January, 2001:

"I realize this presidential election was a national disaster. Although I won finally, I can see the system needs fixing to insure this country never experiences anything like Election 2000 again. Voting is at the heart of our democratic process and the reliability of the counts is everything.

The first order of business for my administration will be to make our elections corruption-free. Fortunately the many moral leaders in the Republican-controlled Congress will help this happen. Ronald Reagan said you have to be able to verify a treaty, and the same is true of an election. It’s not enough that the machines work perfectly, if we can’t check them later. So that will be my first task as President - to spare the nation from a repeat of this crisis we just experienced.

How can I talk about spreading democracy around the world, if our own system is broken? Besides, if I don’t fix the problems of 2000, the People may begin to think my party relies on voter fraud to hold onto power."

That speech was never made - or if it was, it was never followed up on. This is the 3rd election that feels like a banana republic. The Great Spreader has been spreading something all right. But it’s not democracy.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Some Notes Before the Votes

Pastor Ted Haggard has confessed to having a repulsive side to his personality, so I want to say right now that it’s okay to be a conservative Republican. It’s nothing to be ashamed of, and you might have been born that way - with an uncontrollable desire to follow authoritarian rulers. We forgive you for being a conservative Republican, and while we hate the sin - we love the sinner. Beside, it’s not your fault that your hideous heroes have led you astray. Well, maybe just a little, but the first thing to realize is that you can still get help. You can change for the better.

I also read Richard Perle is furious that his comments dissing Iraq were leaked before the election by Vanity Fair. Yes, the man who helped get America into this mess was duped by some magazine editors. Top flight work, Richard.

I also suspect the Dick Cheney/hunting story was leaked. The only reason he’d wait till Election Day was so the voters wouldn’t be reminded of how reckless and incompetent he really is. Meanwhile, the urge to kill little birds must have been building up inside him, much like the urge Pastor Haggard felt for the gay prostitute and the meth. Why wouldn't Cheney wait an extra week? Because the urges were too great. The pastor couldn’t keep his lips off the gay prostitute, and Dick Cheney couldn’t wait another day before he picked up his shotgun again to blast some little birdies to Kingdom Come. It really is a marvelous bunch, isn’t it?

It’s to the point now where if someone says they are a politician who is devoutly religious, I just sort of assume there’s some twisted repression going on. Has there ever been a man who needed to get his freak on more than John Ashcroft? That no-dancing, sad-eyed little clown recently said we should just trust President Bush with these unchecked powers we’ve granted him. Why? Wasn’t America better off when we were a nation of laws - not waiting on the whims of some kinky Messiah figure?

I say it’s time to get rid of these page-humping, meth-snorting, gay-prostitute-hiring, Constitution-shredding creeps and get America back on track. Of course, it’s not going to be easy. As I look ahead to tomorrow, my #1 question of life comes to mind once more: How weird is this going to get?

Vote. It could be your last chance.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Urgent Memo From Karl Rove: The Saddam Verdict and Nuremberg

I’m ordering all members of the Right Wing Propaganda Machine to stop comparing the Saddam verdict to the Nuremburg trials - effective immediately. I’ll explain in a moment.

First, great job denying we had anything to do with the timing here. It is absolutely essential that you maintain that line no matter what. Let me lead you through the implications: We’ve already said that there’s an upturn of violence prior to our Mid-Term Elections. Remember, that’s how we explained all those American soldiers killed in October? If the American People realize that we could have delayed this verdict another 48 hours till the announcement would be safer for our troops, they’ll be hell to pay. They could point out that Saddam is being held in an American facility, guarded by American soldiers. We could have just said he was sick for a few days, to spare the increased threat to our own soldiers. We could have said the life of one American soldier is worth more than pulling a political stunt like this in a desperate attempt to sway an election. So it is absolutely essential that the American People don’t realize that we planned this whole thing months ago. Remember, we all know the mainstream media didn’t cover it, but it has been appearing on radical websites as early as September.

Oh well, I’m not too worried about the Public. Even though we occupy Iraq and have spent a third of a trillion dollars so far, there's no reason to assume we could control an event like this for our political gain. We did but if you keep repeating the opposite, we can sell them the B.S. that this just dropped into our laps.

Better yet: Suggest the timing was the work of Jesus. That could play well with the whack-jobs in our religious base. It did happen on a Sunday, didn't it? So get out there and play the God card, at least for a couple of more days.

Okay, the Nuremberg thing: Some of you have been getting carried away and gone off-script here. Yes, there are historical comparisons to the Nuremberg Trials, and I admit it does play well in terms of some of our other themes - that the Invasion of Iraq was like the Invasion of Normandy, that this is World War 3, and that President Bush is our Winston Churchill.

However, need I remind you that an actual Nuremberg prosecutor was still alive a few months ago and he advocated putting President Bush on trial for war crimes, along with Saddam? Do you see how that is sort of AWKWARD!!!!!!!!!!! So knock it off, will you please?

Okay, sorry to vent. It’s been a long campaign. Keep up the good work and I’ll have the memo on how to handle the rigged voting machines to you by Monday afternoon.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Comedy Signs: How Did the Torture Joke Play?

Remember the good old days when politicians would lie right before an election, instead of all the time? The inaccuracies were called campaign promises such as "Read my lips - no new taxes." Of course, President Bush has made that tradition sort of quaint and old-fashioned. You know, like the Constitution, the Geneva Conventions, and the rule of law. And the way he’s done it is by lying all the time.
For this President lying is like breathing with a little more sound. And one of his favorites is to say, "America does not torture."


CAROL D. LEONNIG AND ERIC RICH, WASHINGTON POST - The Bush administration has told a federal judge that terrorism suspects held in
secret CIA prisons should not be allowed to reveal details of the
"alternative interrogation methods" that their captors used to get them
to talk.

The government says in new court filings that those interrogation
methods are now among the nation's most sensitive national security
secrets and that their release -- even to the detainees' own attorneys
-- "could reasonably be expected to cause extremely grave damage."
Terrorists could use the information to train in counter-interrogation
techniques and foil government efforts to elicit information about their
methods and plots, according to government documents submitted to U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton on Oct. 26. . .

Joseph Margulies, a Northwestern University law professor who has
represented several detainees at Guantanamo, said the prisoners "can't
even say what our government did to these guys to elicit the statements
that are the basis for them being held. Kafkaesque doesn't do it
justice. This is 'Alice in Wonderland.'"

Isn’t that great? America doesn’t torture and if the people we tortured tell a court about it, it could help the people we’re going to torture, prepare for it. But America doesn’t torture.

Right now we are being inundated with pundits predicting how this election will turn out. They do polls and I write jokes. Let me tell you what I’ve learned about America’s opinion of the Bush administration and torture.
This past week I had 5 jokes on National TV. One was about Dick Cheney waterboarding trick-or-treaters on Halloween till they gave up their candy. It wasn’t too long ago that any joke about our leaders would be met with an uneasy laugh, at best. The audience would chuckle but they would look around as if they could get in trouble.

This time the joke got a big laugh. Of course, that’s TV. How would the staid world of newspapers react? Would it be republished in the Sunday Oregonian, for example? The answer is yes, and what that tells me is the President’s credibility is pretty well shot. In short, he's become somewhat of a national joke, himself. A few years ago you couldn’t make fun of these people. Now a line about the Vice President torturing children makes it into the newspapers. Credibility? Respect? You tell me it isn’t over for this bunch.

Neo-Con Richard Perle Ditches Iraq

Have you ever seen a Neo-Con in person? I’m not talking about the legions of cowardly sheep who follow this President, and who think that giving up our freedom in the name of feeling safe is somehow a manly thing to do. No, I’m talking about a member of the original gang of weasels who brought us to this place in history. Well, I have. I was once in a hallway and Richard Perle walked by.

There are few people who I wouldn’t shake hands with - I may not make a scene about it, but I’d stay at least 6 feet in distance so the opportunity wouldn’t come up. Richard Perle is in that category. I consider him an arch criminal - a man whose twisted schemes have cost lives in the hundreds of thousands, and suffering that will go on till the last American vet from Iraq passes away 80 years from now. So I stayed 6 feet off to the side and watched as this cretin slithered past.

You know he looks the part? He does. I mean this is a sickly looking man with ghastly white skin and dead eyes. The poison in his soul has clearly seeped to the surface, and his terrible viscous deeds hang over him like a bad smell.

By the way, it is popular in some circles to suggest that Richard Perle is doing the bidding of Israel - using our foreign policy to enhance Israel’s security in the region. I’ve even heard that the Lebanon model of maximum damage and suffering is what is really going on in Iraq. That is a theory, you know. That the insurgency is getting some help from unlikely places.

The thing to remember is that you can’t lump a country or the FBI or the U.S. military into one position or another. Richard Perle is not doing the bidding of Israel. He is working with the Neo-Cons in Israel. That’s the difference, and there’s a huge peace movement in Israel that is every bit as appalled as anyone here by what’s happened in the Middle East. So, save your knee-jerk reactions: I’m not anti-Jew. I’m anti-Neo-Con.

Hmm, let's see how the Neo-Con plan is going these days. Wow, not all that great. In fact, it's clearly time for the chicken-hawk manipulators who got us into Iraq to start scurrying for cover. How about Richard Perle? Guess what this slippery bastard is saying now? He’s abandoned the Iraq War and blamed the failure of his plan on poor execution by President Bush. In a Vanity Fair article he states, "The decisions did not get made that should have been. They didn't get made in a timely fashion, and the differences were argued out endlessly.… At the end of the day, you have to hold the president responsible."

Would he do it again, knowing what he knows now? "I think if I had been delphic, and had seen where we are today, and people had said, 'Should we go into Iraq?,' I think now I probably would have said, 'No, let's consider other strategies for dealing with the thing that concerns us most, which is Saddam supplying weapons of mass destruction to terrorists.'"

Quite a man, huh? Tell all those grieving parents of a fallen soldier that one of the Neo-Cons who dreamt up this Bush doctrine, is now trying to scrape it off his shoe. Sorry, the plan that got your son’s limbs blown off? It turns out it was a bad idea. Yet, the blame doesn’t rest solely with the Neo-Cons. As the movie, "Natural Born Killers" points out, you can’t be mad at a snake for being a snake.

The blame also falls on these shrinking numbers of Bush supporters who sold out American ideals in a macho rush to support this despicable gang of armchair thugs. It’s you - the phony patriots of the right wing - who’ve done the most harm to this country. Sure, Richard Perle will go down in history as one of the worst sinister creeps ever to hijack a country’s foreign policy for their own craven ends. But the right wing Republicans in power now and their devout followers, actually may end up destroying much more. They’ve helped destroy the greatness of America. It is these right wing conservatives who will share the Neo-Con guilt and be forever stained with blood from the war in Iraq.