Friday, September 30, 2005

Bill Bennetts New Southern Strategy

Okay, I've heard it all now. You would think a former Secretary of Education would know better, but then again you would also think he would know better than to get in hock to gambling casinos, so what can you say? Well, you can try to come up with an explanation for his recent remarks to the effect that if you wanted to curtail black crime, or end it, you could simply abort all black babies. And so, in nomination for the grand prize in the category "What the fuck is this idiot thinking", we have the following entries:

1. The New Southern Strategy-Yeah, for sure, white southern racists have been given some cause for concern over the last few years, with all this talk from Republican circles about "compasionate conservativism", and the policy of "no child left behind" and now the recent assertion of the need to use federal money to rebuild New Orleans and address the issue of poverty that has for so long afflicted the mostly black population of New Orleans. So maybe this was simply a trail balloon aimed at easing white southern racist sensitivities.

2. The Black Party Strategy-Yeah, I know this one is a stretch, but let's face it. Ask any white conservative Republican, and you're liable to hear that the majority of black folks just love to party and get high, and fuck all night. Of course, this creates the problem of a good many unwanted pregnancies, and therefore out-of-wedlock births. For far too long have Republicans put themselves across as being insensitive to the partyin' cultural needs of black folks. So perhaps this is merely a need to reassure them that, if Republicans maintain and increase their hold on power, not only do black people need have no fear of interference in their culture and society by Republicans, but they can be assurred that no interference from Republicans will be offerred if they choose to take care of the little problem of unwanted pregnancies by way of the process of abortions. After all, George W. Bush picked up two or three per cent of the black vote in the last election over the usual Republican average. Why not pick up an extra two or three per cent. Well, the only way you can do that is by picking up those wild and crazy party blacks that usually vote Democratic. Hell, who knows, maybe they can get a majority the next time around. And cleverly do so in such a way as to not undermine the strength of the aforementioned Southern strategy.

3. A Moderation Of Pro-Life Policies-Oh sure, Bennett went on to say that it would be immoral and reprehensible to actually abort black babies for the purpose of reducing crime, but still, hee hee hee, he did say it. I could almost imagine him winking as he said it. So here you have a potential trial balloon that could be a hint at a coming moderation in the hard-core Republican stance toward abortion policies. A way to hack away at that Democratic feminist base by, once again, cleverly doing so in a way as to not undermine the Republican hold on Social Conservatives. And white bigots.

4. He is a fucking idiot who has inadverdently revealed the true Republican/Social Conservative mindset in regards to blacks and minorities and other racial issues.

And the winner is-may we have the envelope please (Drumroll)-

NUMBER FOUR (Applause).

No, that's okay Mr. Bennett, no speeches please-PLEASE

In all seriousness, how is it that a former Secretary of Education can come up with such a nutty idea, when it should be obvious to him, of all people, that one of the best ways to address the iussue of black crime, and of crime in general, is by, well, improving education. Improved job training and job opportunities and medical and insurance coverage might be among some of the others. But wherever it would fall on the list in terms of importance, education must certainly be the starting point. But this is a man whose main emphasis in life seems to be on morality issues. He was one of the most vociferous critics of Bill Clinton and is at the vanguard of those who emphasize a return to traditional values in terms of families, and schools. There can be little doubt that if he had his way, there would be a return to not only prayer in the public schools, but probably Bible reading as well, in addition to abstinence only sex educxation, and an overall emphasis on morality as a compass in public education. But whose morality?

Well, up until yesterday, the answer to that would have been, in part, the morality of a man who once asserted that abortion was wrong, presumably for any reason. I guess Bill Bennett is just another one of those who believe there can be exceptions to that rule.

Donkeys Shouldn't Bray Too Loudly

Both parties have contributed to the racial divide in the nation today, to just about an equal extent. Yes, I do mean by that the Democratic party. For all their lip service to the cause of eradicting racism, what have they really done that is truly constructive? Once you get past the Voting Rights Act, and the Civil Rights Act, for which they do for the most part deserve immense credit for remarkable political courage, the ugly truth is they have done remarkably little since then, and in a good many ways have, in fact, done more harm than good.

First you have the monstrous welfare system, which, despite the good intentions with which it was formulated, turned into more of a device to insure continued and steady employment among social servide employees than it did in actually helping blacks and the poverty stricken in general. In fact, it is generally now conceded by the majority of people that the welfare system actually did the reverse of what it porported to attempt, in that it actually kept blacks, more than any other single group, mired in poverty and transcended three generations in doing so. Had it not been reformed, it would doubtless have only gotten worse. The whole system was geared in such a way that welfare recipients were actually inadverdantly discouraged from getting off the system, and yet at the same time kept them at a base subsistence level at the same time.

But even this abject disaster pales in comparison to what the liberal movement did to the nation's education system, on a variety of levels. It started off with a reduction of the emphasis on basic educaton skills-the old three R's debate-and redirecting that emphasis on feel good social surdies which were based on assertions that had and have little if any validity. In the meantime, discipline was strongly undermined and replaced with a politically correct assumption that all kids, especially minorities, are basically good, and need only to be shown compassion, concern, and caring, and that their natural inclinations, shared by all humanity, to better themselves, would magically shine through, perhaps despite the myriad social problems and drawbacks with which they were in contention on a peer as well as an economic level.

To this end, true and honest history was replaced with the history of wishful thinking, as though the belief in theory as fact would somehow make it fact, and thus change the world for the better. Why bemoan what should have been but was not, when you can insist that it actaully was, but was covered up and disguised for some nefarious racist reason? To this end, Native Americans once again became the noble though unsophisticated victims of the white mans evil abuse, who further, in their lust for domination, fought an unjust war of aggression against the valiant Mexicans. And so, of course, these same evil white people just had to repress the black race, they had no other choice, it was almost a genetic predisposition, and any attempts by others among the white race to fight against the monstrosity of slavery had nothing whatsoever to do with their heartfelt oppossition to the practice-in fact, they probably had some other ulterior motives. And so, the animosity of blacks toward whites even to this day was not only justifiable and understandable, it was in fact to be encouraged. Whitey had it coming to him.

Discipline was severely undermined, and patriotism, once a given, was loudly decried. And liberal grading policies were assurred to guarantee that no child would be left behind when their other peers graduated. They would be passed on, and through, and graduated, and the exit door ponted out to them, in those many cases where they couldn't read the sign.

When drugs and crime and sexual promiscuity and even pregnancies and rape and violence, and finally murder, became widespread, this was a result of the social environment and the poverty in which they were raised and mired, and required understanding, but certainly not discipline-ceretainy not the passing of value judgements.

Bill Clinton was the first Democrat who actualy got it, and started making great strides toward beginning a truly comprehensive racial dialoque toward the understanding of racism in a very real way. And he made concrete strides towards addressing the issue. Welfare reform became a priority of his administration, as did the reform of the much abused system of Affirmative Action, with the rallying cry of "mend it, don't end it". And while urging furhter dialogue, understanding, and tolerance, he nevertheless addressed the need for discipline and responsibility among the black population, which was perhaps best illustrated by his chiding remarks aimed at the black female rapper "Sister Soljah" during a campaign appearrance at the black event in a joint appearrance with the reverand Jesse Jackson and other luminaries of the black civil rights movement. This was unheard of and no other democratic politician would have had the political courage to take such a stand.

Unfortunately, Clintons work and intentions in this regard, as in so many other things, was sadly derailed by his unfortunate incident with Ms. Lewinsky, which was cynically grasped by the Republican Party in such a way that almost guaranteed turning the clock back in so many ways-including fo rth eDemocratic party, which seemed determined to reverse course, and resume it's former defeatist path.

If the Democraticic party wants to start winning agian, and make a contribution to the undertanding and healing of racial divisions in America, in additions to the problem of poverty in general, and other issues, they would be well advised to take a page from the Clinton playbook. It's all well and good to pounce on such ill-advised comments and attitudes as those of Bill Bennett. Indeed, they should do this. But they can't just pile on this and assume that it will be enough. They have more they need to do-much, much more-to undo the damage done not only by decades of Republican misrule and cynicism, but in fact, they need to clean up their own house as well.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Edith Clements-New Supreme Court Nominee

Bush wants a woman, for a Supreme Court appointment, that is, and even Laura, that penultimate Stepford wife, is exerting her influence, in a overt way for once, to try to make this come about. Edith Clements is the obvious choice. For one thing, she was Bush's apparent choice to replace Rehnquist, right up until the time Bush did a 360 and picked John Roberts. This had to have been a dissappointment to Clements, who really was inordinately inconveneionced by what many took as a ruse on Bush's part to spring Roberts on the nation. In short, Bush kind of owes the woman a degree of consideration.

But there is more to it than that. In the wake of recent events in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, Clements may be seen as an acceptable alternative to other female judges that have been put under extreme scrutiny by the democrats lately as being not just conservative, but out of the mainstream, possibly even to the point where they might be considered conservtive activist judges along the lines of a Scalia or a Thomas.

If Clements is nominated, she too will come under the same scrutiny, but it would be easy to make a case that she would be unlikely to come down in any judicail proceedings with a decision that might negate past civil rights gains, for example, or for entitements aimed at helping the poor and the dispossessed, especially in the face of such a tragedy that her region recently sufferred. In fact, this could turn out to be just another cog in the wheel of Bush's getting back on track with his pronouncements and assertions of the doctrine of "compasionate conservativism".
On the other hand, it might be too easy for this to become yet another ruse to distract from any questions concerning Judge Clements' stands on Pro-Choice vs Pro-Life issues, Affirmative Action, Labor Rights, Environmental Issues, etc.

Of course, Judge Clements is likely to be as conservative on any issue, including those of the poor and dispossessed, as that of any of the other consevative judges that have been mentioned as potential Bush appointees. And probably will be, if she is the person nominated. Maybe in some cases she might even be more conservative. But as an appointee from the New Orleans area, Judge Clements-and Bush-can use the New Orleans tragedy to great dramatic and emotional effect, and probably will.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The Nicotine Troll

Yeah, I almost sabotaged my efforts at gradual cigarrette smoking cessation here over the last week, and it almost sent me into a virtual tailspin not unlike the one I went through a couple of years back when I tried a rudimentary variation on the same process. In other words, I tried to cut down too much, too quickly. The last time I did this, I ended up going back to smoking more than I had been before I started the process. Not cool. I was smoking, before, just under a pack a day. When I went into my deluge of self-detructive abandon in the aftermath of the great-great granmother of all nicotine fits, I suddenly found myself putting away a pack and a half-easily.

Of course, this is still better, much better than the two complete packs that I used to smoke, to say nothing of the two and a half packs before that. But I suddenly realized, hey, I have successfully reduced my input of tobacco, and it wasn't that hard. Money had a lot to do with it. Access had a lot as well. At one time you could smoke pretty much anywhere you wanted, at least in sections reserved for it. But this practice became more and more frowned upon as the habit itself became ever more expensive, with no end to the price hikes apparrent.

But the main problem that was keeping me from stopping all together, besides the actual addictive properties of the product itself, was the simple fact that I enjoy smoking very much. Or I did before it made me a slave to it. And I mean that literally. For a good while, I could not imagine being without a pack of cigarrettes within reaching distance, at any time. Just the thought of having to go somewhere for any purpose, for any length of time, was enough to insure that I would go out of my way to have a full pack of cigarrettes on my person, and if possible a spare pack just in case I inadverdantly was away for a longer period of time than expected.

But I made other discoveries. When I would be in certain situations that necessitated not smoking-busses, movie theatres, the librarie, etc.,I found that it wasn't actually that hard to go without a smoke. On the other hand, as soon as I got to the pint where I could finally have a cigarrette-man, did I ever put them away.

Anyway, it got to the point where I realized that I had to quit or at least try to, and so I tried, and I failed. To make a long story short, I realized that the only way that I could stop was gradually. None of this cold turkey bull shit for me, thee is no way I am going to spend the rest of my life fighting a craving for tobacco, thank you very much. So I tried again this year, detrmined, at that time, to be completely free of cigearrettes by Samhain (Halloween). The way things look, I will not suceed in that initial original goal. I will, however, have reduced to no more than six cigarrettes per day. And I will probably remain at that rate of smoking for a fairly long amount of time. maybe for as long as four months or more. Then, I will try to reduce from there. And maybe next Samhain, I can finally quit.

Yeah, I know, to some people, that probably sounds ridiculous, or at least weak. Well, yes, weak it is, that's what addiction does to you. It weakens the will and saps the energy necessary to offer any kind of resistance. And you feel edgey, nervous, irritable, and maybe in some cases even violent(Which is why I think up to a point the government and other anti-tobacco forces may have been playing with fire-no pun intended- when they started this anti-tobacco campaign).

You make so many associations when you are a nicotine addict. You have a cigarrette when you awaken in the morning, with your coffee, after meals, after sex, after a bath or shower, after a walk, before a walk, during a walk, before going to bed at night. That is the first thing, at least in my case, that you have to conquer, the mind-set that makes nicotine such an essential accessorrie to so many vital and necessary activities, or simply the most enjoyable ones.

I tried to time my reductions with the Sabbats of my Pagan religion. As these Sabbats mark pivotal points of the calendar that mark the suns gradual reduction in intensity, I was in effect seeking to magically and even spiritually have the sun take my problem, my addiction, away from me. A kind of magickal self-hypnosis, in a sense.

The scariest thing happenned early on in the process. I considered the prospect that, since there is a life force in everything, and this life force has it's own guardian spirit, in a sense, and since this would of course include tobacco, I considered the prospect of attunning with what I imagined to be the "goddess of tobacco". In my delusion, I imagined this goddess would be a dark, sultry, seductive goddess, not all together evil, but potentially destructive if crossed. And so, I went through a period of meditations, involving insense, candles, essential oils, and semi-precous stones-and, of course, tobacco-in an attempt to attune with this "goddess".

Unfortunately, the vision I finally received in a dream revealed a creature unlike anything I had previously ever imagined. Far from being the seductive siren I had imagined, the creature I saw was a horrendously ugly, dark green and oily troll looking creature, who turned away quickly from me after turning and grunting something in a kind of taunting dismissal. The best description I can give of this creature is to imagine the cartoon character Shrek. The creature was similar to that, ony far uglier, and with more of an attitude. Plus, I got the impression that this creature is actually quite stupid. But of course, this would also be in keeping with the demeanor and decription of a creature who inadverdantly destroys the life that it is dependant upon for it's own survival. In short, I was seeing my own personal, private little troll. And he has no intention of going anywhere.

Unfortunately, I have gotten to the point where, having reduced now to about eight cigarrettes a day, I now enjoy smoking again, the way I did when I first started smoking. In other words, I am now at the most dangerous point of all. Because this is the point where, as I wonder if maybe that troll is really that stupid, I start to question my need to stop all together. It does have some use, some benefit, I start to tell myself. What could be the harm of continuing to smoke, so long as I do not go more than a half pack a day.

And of course, the answer to that would be, because that would be the first step in the process of reversal of the process in reverse. Something that would be akin to a vicous cycle. To fail now, as this would surely lead me to do, would make it that much harder to start the process all over again. So long as I remain at eight a day until the carton I now am on is gone, and then reduce to perhaps six with the next carton, five a day with the next, etc., I should be okay. But there is going to have to come a time when I am going to have to stop completely, or risk that cycle reemerging and asserting itself.

Luckily, I have one thing if nothing else that is in my favor. With every reduction I sucessfuly phase down to, my will power gets a little bit stronger. The addiction gets a little weaker. And that troll becomes a little less intimidating.

Monday, September 26, 2005

The Bengals Are Back-For Now

For the first time since the 1990 season, the Cincinnati Bengals are now 3-0. Yeah, that is three wins, no losses. I think the guys are onto something. In fact, looking back over their past three games, I don't believe the boys have been behind a single game, witht he exception of the very first game, in which their first opponents, the Cleveland Browns, scored a touchdown and follow-up extra point on their first possession, in a very short time. When I saw that, I said to myself, "well, here we go again." The Bengals quickly recovered, however, and have seemingly not loked back since then.

It all comes down to three factors. For one thing, they have a dream quarterback, possibly their best ever, in first round draft pick Carson Palmer. And they have augmented him nicely with as talented a group of receivers, backs, and ends as a team could hope for, many of them rookies. But the second factor is every bit as important, yet is seemingy the most overlooked area of pro football. That is, of course, the offensive line. The Bengals have talent here to spare, and of course for any team to make it to the play-offs, this is vital. I always said, you can have the best quarterback, the best wide receivers, the best full backs and halfbacks and tight ends in the history of the game, but if you don't have an offensive line capable of providing coverage and protection, you can have Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, etc., and they are next to worthless.

The third factor, of course, is to have an at least better than average defense, and this would be an understatement in the case of the Bengals. Yesterday, against the Chicago Bears, in Chicago, the bengals defensive squad forced six turnovers, five of these pass interceptions, and one fumble recovery. The Bengals went on to win the game by a whopping 27 to 7.

It's about time. It's been going on a decade since Mike Brown, the team owner, more or less blackmailed the city of Cincinnati to build him a new stadium, seperate from the Cincinnati Reds, a demand to which the city accedded by passing a one half cent sales tax. This was a cause of much controversy, as for going on seven years the Bengals had steadily declined to where they were arguably the worse team in the NFL. The new stadium, at first, did little to dispel their woes, as the alst two seasons saw the Bengals cling tenuosly to an 8-8 record. Hardly a cause for celebration, or justification for a new stadium.

Yet, Cincinnat is a football town, it seems, maybe more now than a baseball town. Average attendance at Bengals games, it turns out, was well over 50,000 per game, in the worse of years. The last couple of years, the attendance has climbed to an impressive, maybe even a stunning, 62,000 per game. Given the rate of spill-over into other areas of the Cincinnati economy this might normally portend, you pretty much have your justification.

But will all this continue? Unfortunately, probably not. Football players tend to gravitate, with the expiration of their contracts, to those franchises that pay them the money they want, which in the best of cases tends to be appreciably more than reputed tightwad Mike Brown is willing to pay. One can only hope that enough of the better players will remain long enough to attract other, equally or even more talented rookies, and eventually a new dynasty of sorts can be established. But without a willingness to fork over a larger share of the profits in the direction of those players who are bringing in those profits to begin with, it is unlikely to be a very long lived dynasty.

But to those of us who cannot completely enjoy even the best of football seasons when the Bengals are at their typical sub-par status, when a season such as this one comes along, it brings forth renewed hope. You start looking forward again to the next Sunday, instead of channel surfing for a good movie.

Me, I can't wait to see the Bengals play long time rivals the Pittsburgh Steelers. Yep, hope springs eternal, for at least one more year.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Special Announcement

It seems as though I have discovered that, as much as I enjoy doing this Blog, it is probably a waste of my time to continue with it to the extent that I have. For one thing, it is inadverdantly taking time away from the process of writing a novel, which I now haven't touched in over a month, despite the fact that I have now written well over 500 pages and am more or less two-thirds of the way through the first draft. Add to this my dismay at learning that my Blog-this Blog-has probably been flagged, has almost in fact definitely been flagged on at least two occassions, and therefore will probably not be advertised on Bloggers home page, and you see and should understand my feelings on the subject.

In fact, not only am I reasonably sure I have been flagged, I can even tell you which two posts I almost know for a fact have been flagged. One of them has to do with Florida Secretary of State Kathryn Harris, who I reported as being in the process of preparing for a run for the Senate, as a Republican from Florida, as an opponent of former astronaut and current Democratic Senator Nelson.

The other one has to do with the Schindler family, whom I have intimated are not only on the wrong side of the issue concerning son-in-law Michael Schiavo's determination to remove his wife and their daughter from life-support (a battle in which Mr. Schiavo was ultimately succesful) but that they may have had ulterior motives for doing so, including financial ones.

Evidently, one or more people took issue with my opinions, and I would almost be willing to wager that these someones are Republicans, probably of the far right wing fundamentalist evangelical conservative Christian variety. You see, these people talk a great game about believing in freedom, including freedom of speech, but this generally applies mainly to their perceived rights to get in your face and aggravate the living shit out of anyone they feel the need to haranque, and marginalize if that person or people refuses to come around to their side. It's quite a different matter when it comes to people such as myself who express a point of view that might be at odds with theirs, which I do and shall continue to do. They will try their goddamndest to shut you the fuck up. Therefore, the idea that they would take offense at my expression of my honest opinion does not surprise me in the least. Frankly, however, I feel it is my right to express my point of view, in whatever manner I want to express it, in any style of lanquage, etc. Again, I will not be deterred from doing so by these self-righteous hypocrits.

However, this little realization I have had may have been the best thing that could have happenned. I was spending too much time planning my weekly updates, which I wanted to be as comprehensive as possible. As I said, however, they were getting to the point that they were taking too much time away from other, more important matters. The projected novel I spoke of was only one example.

Nevertheless, I have not given up on Blgger yet. I will continue this Blog, and I will continue up-dating it, in fact I intend as of now to go back to my original format. I will update the Blog probably three, maybe four days a week. Each update will contain probably between one and four posts. It just depends on the given week in question, and my mood at the time, as well as what material is availiable.

For one thing, there are lots of things I could Blog about, but I want to do far more than just report ver batim things that have appearred on the news and papers. I want to give some kind of insight into them that might not ordinarily be apparrent from other sources. Otherwise, what is the point in taking my time with them, if I don't have anything original to add in the way of analysis.

Also, I intend to do more of an occult and magical type of thing from time to time. Something I have let more or less go by the wayside over the last couple of months.

Well, I guess that is about it. As for how I determined which two posts I know were flagged, well, it's like this. On a couple of occassions, when in the process of publishing a post, I was informed that the publishing could not occur, that something would not let it go through, but I can't recall the exact wording, unfortunately. What I do remember is that upon closer inspection of the page that popped up, I learned that the post I was in the process of trying to publish was not the problem. You see, when I publish any given post, I was hit "Re-Publish Blog" which does the whole Blog over. On the two occassions in question, the first time the cause of the problem was the Kathryn Harris post. The second time, it was the Schindler's post.

I almost deleted the two offensive posts, but then I decided to hell with it. I'm not going to let these sanctimonious motherfuckers censor me. Or Blogger, for that matter. And that's just the name of that tune.

Friday, September 23, 2005

My Guardian Angel

One time, in my drunken and down and out days, I was living in one ofthe worse places in Cincinnati a person could possibly live, which was known as Over-The-Rhine. At first glance, you might not really suspect how bad this neighborhood actually was. In fact, this is the area where some of the finest of old Cincinnati architecture is to be seen and appreciated, the old City Hall building, and Music hall, where the Cinncinnati Symphoney still plays, and quite well.

Over The Rhine is a place where, on Elm Street, the god Bacchus with his leery grin can be seen on a sign advertising the Bacchus Inn, which caters to the music hall crowd and musicians. Right next door to it is the City Gospel Mission, where a sign shows the image of Christ. It caters to the downtrodden, with a meal and more often than not, a sermon. There are or was at one time limited rooms availiable for transients and the homeless. Drinking, however, was not allowed. To put it plainly, I was a patron of the mission far more often than of the Bacchus Inn.

But on those nights I had a little too much to drink, and undertood that I could not get past Kartl or Kenny's watchful and suspicous through experience gaze, I made out the best I could. I was not truly addicted to alcohol, not in the way that I am to caffeine and nicotine, but I was in a sense addicted to the need to associate with an atmosphee of camaraderie, as oppossed to one of despair, which all too often seemed the more appropriate venue in my case.

But after three or four beers, I was on my way-most of the time. Sometimes I would hit eight, or ten, or more. Then, I was gone. Sometimes, I would be completely blacked out, and would not remember the folowing day, and thus would find myself agonizing over what may or may not have transpired. But one night, in particular, I remember all too well making my way from downtown, from the old Saloon, which had formerly been Larry Flint's old place, to my little sleeping room in Over The Rhine, on Race Street, just across Washngton park from Cincinnati Music Hall.

About halfway there, however, I was hailed by a man with a gruff voice, who asked me how I was doing. I was very unnerved at the prospect of being stopped by this person in the middle of a deserted Race Street, close to Washington park, one of the most crime ridden areas of Cincinnati, infestd with drugs and the potential for violence, and even murder. And I was obviously, to myself as well as to the world, stinking, staggerring drunk. I tried to act as casual as possible when he asked me where I was going. I told him I was going home, to Race Street. He told me he would walk with me.

I noticed for the first time the tall thin serious looking black man was wearing a beret, and held in his hand a walkie talkie. He talked into it quietly, too quiety for me to hear what he was saying, which to me was disconcerting in it's own right. I tried to chat it up with him, engage in small talk, but he didn't really seem that engaged. Not really hard to understand, seeing as how I can not recall the small talk I attempted to engage him in, it must have seemed as inane to him as the whole situation seems to me now. He seemed to be a man on a mission, and the more I walked alongside him, the more I was glad he was around.

That was my one and only experience with the Guardian Angels. I never saw the man again, to my knowledge. But I am quite sure that if I were to see him again, after all these years, I would remember him. And I would thank him again, and shake his hand again, as I did that night. Because it occurs to me that, although his presence that night might have been incidental, and had he not been there, nothing untoward may have occurred-you can never really be all that sure.

Sending Up Gotti

John Gotti, Jr. must lead a charmed life, as much so as his famous old man did until his luck finally run out and he was finally sent to prison for life. True, John Jr.s luck might eventually run out as well. Of course, there's also just a slight possibility the man might be innocent, but that is just too much for some folks to believe, certainly Curtis Slews, WABC New York City radio talk show host and founder of the Guardian Angels. Part of Gotti's recent trial was the result of an allegged attempt at a hit on Slewa, who was shot in the leg by an unknown assaillant. Slewa insisted it was Gotti, but the jury disagreed, by a margin of 7-5. All the other charges amounted to a hung jury as well, and Gotti was acquitted all together of the charge of Securities Fraud.

Slewa has been a vocal critic of the La Cosa Nostra, whom he insists you can never leave under any circumstances, and of Gotti, who has insisted that he has done just that. Evidently, his father, while still alive was, though in prison, the legitimate head of the mob, and allowed his son to exit the life. Sounds reasonable. But I would have liked to have become a little more famiiar with the evidence the state seemed to think it had gathered on Gotti.

You would think it would be somewhat compelling. Why else would the government have brought so many charges? Yet, they were incapable of achieving a convicton. And now, Curtis Slewa, whose connections I have always wondered about myself, to tell you the truth, fears for his life. He is, he claims, a dead man walking.

But hell, he has been that for going on twenty years now. What else is new?

A Big Easy Tax Plan

It will never be implemented, but taxes on wealthiest Americans, if raised by a mere one percent, would probably raise enough money to pay for the reconstruction of New Orleans and the entire Gulf Coast regions decimated by Hurricane Katrina, and possiby the coming destruction by Rita in the Texas and Louisiana areas as well-in one to three years time. Again, you will never see this, not under Bush.

I remember when Bush made his big grand speech with the equestrian statue of Andrew Jackson in the background, I knew better by then to take him at his word, and what he said at face value,though it sounded surprisingly good at the time. Even then, I think I knew. He's going to give yet more tax breaks to one or more corporations who will do the job, in addition to paying them handsomely for the work. What I'm waiting for is the other shoe to drop, in the form of an urging to cut taxes across the board, for all companies and corporations, on the grounds that to favor the few who contribute to New Orleans and Gulf Coast reconstruction would be unfair. Maybe even a violation of the equal protection clause of the constitution. All this help to the poor he promised will likely as well come in the form, to a large extent, of increased funding to Faith Based Initiatives.

I think people are slowly starting to get just what this guy is all about. And I don't say this out of a distaste at the notion of giving tax breaks to the companies that actually do the work of reconstruction. Actually, I am fine with that. But I think that in order to get those tax breaks they should be obliged to do the work on a not-for-profit basis. If they do this, do the work for merely cost coverage, with no eye to profit whatsoever, I would be fine with having all their tax liability eliminated for the next five years.

And in the meantime, for all other wealthiest Americans, and companies and corportions, yes, their taxes should be raised by one percent until the job is completed.

Hey Just Shut The Fuck Up

If I have to listen to these morons too much longer, I'm going to be the next Elvis. That is, I'm going to shoot my fucking television set. These idiots that are running the country are perfect proof that mankind is indeed an ape. At least that idiotic bitch governor of Louisiana is named appropriately-BLANCO-because this bitch is about as dumb as a blackboard that's just been erased.

And Mayor Nagin? What kind of a dumb bastard tells people to come back to a city that is still surrounded by areas and pockets of filth, flood water with e- coli and fecal matter, and contaminated with chemical waste? A place that still is not entirely with fresh drinkable water and power? As if that is not bad enough, when this moronic bastard issued this urging of citizens to return to New Orleans, it was still barely halfway through hurricane season, and the levees still had not been totally repaired.

Makes me wonder if this fool doesn't have a re-election facing him this coming November. Or something. What the hell could he possibly be thinking? And now, of course, they are being told they must evacuate again. And this idiotic bitch governor is advising them if they don't want to leave, to please mark their Social Security numbers on their thighs or somewhere so they can be identified if and when their dead bodoes are recovered.


If you ever wondered why we need a federal government to provide oversight over the state and local governments, look no farther than Louisiana and New Orleans. And don't think for one minute they are the only states and municipalities that are bedeviled with corruption and incompetence. In fact, I have a feeling they are all too typical.

Whitley County Now Wide Open

This is really one for the books. The Whitley County Jail-the new, roughly 18 month or so old Whitley County Jail-has been ordered closed by the kentucky State Department of Health, because-it-is--------FILTHY!

Now how does a new, presumably modern housing facility buildt with maybe a combination of state and federal funds, but at least with state and county funds, become filthy in under two years. Well, we can assume it was never or rarely cleaned, and that the plumbing, if you can stand the thoughts of it, was allowed to degenerate, and then to remain, in a state of disrepair.

Because of this sorry state of affairs, the jailer, and his son too, have been indicted, though I'm unsure as to what the charge exactly is. But get this, they have each posted bond in the amount of 100,000 dollars. Now, either that jailers job pays a hell of a lot more in Whitley County than is normally the case elsewhere, or I'm starting to get some pretty good ideas where the money meant for the upkeep of the county jail vanished to. Why exactly the money was not immediately confiscated may have something to do with the fact that it may have been so throughly laundered as to be untraceable. Frankly, though, I figure more than likely nobody in Whitley County, or the State, really thought to check, or bothered to do so if they did.

The Sheriff, however, has made it clear, no matter what you do in Whitley County, as long as this situation is allowed to continue, you will not be arressted. There is simply no place to put anybody, and all other jails in neighboring counties are filed up. They will not, cannot, take any more prisoners from outside their own areas.

Of course, the State Police have stated they will continue to make arrests and will find places to house their prisoners, and when the situation is cleared up and the jail is reopened, naturally any crimes that have been committed in the meantime will probably be backtracked, and tracked down. The most serious ones, anyway. But in the meantime, it's more or less wide open, and thus a perfect breeding ground for potential vigilantism.

Does anybody still wonder why Kentucky is so often ridiculed by the country as a whole?

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Simon Wiesenthal-A Life At Rest

Simon Wiesenthal was born in 1908 and just the other day died at the age of 96. At roughly the eage of thirty, he was sent to a Nazi prison camp. Over the course of the following decade, until the close of World War II, he would serve time in as many as ten different prisn camps. He was a victim of the Holocaust, though he was also a survivor. Yet, while he himself lived to see the liberating forces free him from his camp in Austria, some 86 membes of his family would not be so lucky. They would all die in the camps.

Wiesenthal made it his life's mission-in fact, his life, period, to hunt down those Nazi war criminals who managed to escape capture toward the end of the war. Many of these escaped to South America. Others managed to immigrate to America itself. But Wiesenthal would be responsible for tracking and finding a good many of them, and bringing them to justice, a justice that they denied a reported 6,000,000 of their helpless Jewish victims. His most famous case was the capture of Adolph Eichmann, who was the head of Hitlers Jewish genocide program. But there were others as well, and at one time Wiesenthal was accussed by some of carrying his zeal too far, by going after "mere" prison guards, low level officials and soldiers who were merely "following orders".

Yet, it would be well to remember, Wiesenthal, as a ten year prisoner in a variety of different camps, would have been in a position to know first hand the mind-set of the prison guards. He would himself perhaps have been victimized, or at least bore horrified witness, to the brutality and vicousness which these low level guards engaged in, all to willingly, all too gleefully, and sadistically.

But perhaps the most important work the Simon Wiesenthal Center performed was not in the hunting and tracking of Nazi war criminals. No, as important and even necessary as this was for the case of healing and of justice, his most important contribution was in the simple act of ensuring that the Holocaust would never be simply swept under the rug in the wake of an official apology and perhaps some minor financial renumeration, only to be quickly forgotten, and perhaps even justified and excused. No, Wiesenthal and his center would make certain the Holocaust would be remembered, in al it's horrid details, with all the victims, or as many as possible, accounted for in words and in some cases all too harrowing films and pictures. And it would be an on-going work, that serves to remind us on a regular basis of the dangers of fanaticism, of extremism, and of all kinds of bigotry and ignorance, not merely anti-Semitism.

Of course, there are the detractors, and the Holocaust deniers. But the only legitimate question as to the reality of the Holocaust is only as pertains to the legitimacy of the numbers cited, and the evidence cited against the official numbers is questionable at best. There can certainly be no denying the reality of the Holocaust itself, nor it's origin and intent. That is the really horrifyig aspect of the whole thing.

Wiesenthal lived a hard life, but I don't think it was a bitter life. Just a sad one. But a determined one. And one that was adamant in it's determination to ensure justice, remembrance, and education. I wonder sometimes if he ever took the time to enjoy himself, even with simple everyday pleasures. When you think of the life he lived, the horrors he lived and witnessed, the sorrow, and the intensity in which he engaged his professional conduct following the war, one wonders how he could.

But he certainly derived some degree of satisfaction throughout his long and distinquished life. He finally died in bed, in his sleep. At rest. A rest that he well deserved.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Hermes-Would Nice To Be Seen On Blogger

I'm attunning these days with the god Hermes, and I don't know quite what to make of him. He's witty, he's funny, and he can be aggravating as hell. Just the other night I had a dream from him in which he showed me this page in black and white, white letters on a black background, that I could read as plain as day, and I remember I didn't like a bit of what I was reading. It made me feel sad, angry, and depressed. But when I woke up I couldn't remember a word of it. A refelction, possibly, of the fact that i don't really like where my life is heading at this point, and don't really know where that is.

Hermes is just that type of god, hard to figure out, but they all are. What are they, really? Are they actual deities in the traditional meaning of that word? Or are they merely forces of nature, a kind of energy, that people tend to project their conscous natures onto? Great sources of power nevertheless, regardless of their actual natures.

One way to attune with this messenger of the gods is by dice, or by coins. But most people just don't get it. They think you toss a coin, or a set of dice, and get a simple yes or no answer. It's more complicated than that. You toss the coin, or the dice, or whatever other divinatory tool you might use, and then you contemplate the result of the toss, maybe even sleep on it. Your answer will come to you, maybe in the form of a dream, or maybe in the form of a sudden awareness. But it will come, with time and patience. Incense is good as an augnentary tool, as are candles and stones.

As such, I intend to attune with him to a greater extent than normal, especially as regarding my social life and career. The first is nonexistent in any meaningful way. The other is tentative at best. But Hermes, well, he's somewhat of a trickster god, and reminded me of his presence just a bit ago. During my last post, in fact, which ended up being posted like about fifty fucking times. As I was bemoaning the lack of direction and focus my career path was taking in comparison to certain luminaries, I noticed the damn thing didn't want to post, the Internet was creeping painfully slowly, so I clicked and clicked and clicked, over and over agian, then in disgust went to the bathroom. Upon my return, i was told the page would not display, whereupon in a rage I went to the dashboard, where I learned the post had indeed been psted-more times than I could count.

Well, I got them all off, but one, the one I intended to post, and reflected somewhat on my life, and my dream, and the god. I had intended for this post to be about Hermes, but didn't know exactly what I had intended to say. Well, I guess that little problem was taken care of. Now I have another one, and it has to do with Blogger. They have this little thing now where you see what Blogs are being currently updated. But I haven't seen mine yet, though I have been updating all day. This, of course, is my regular update day. But I know why. They have another little policy where you can flag a potential problem Blog, and I guess mine has caught their attention. And they are just politically correct enough to not want to offend anybody. So don't look for too much of value in the Blgs they announce. I have looked through some of them, believe me, I know what I'm talking about.

The point to this? They assure us all that the Flag policy isn't intended to amount ot censorship, but the implications are obvious. They are hoping people will censor themselves, just to avoid not being recognized or promoted. My response to this? I will not change my Blogger style one whit. Not in the slightest. When I feel like being obnoxous, and nasty, and controversial, I will be so. I will change nothing. If they don't want to promote me, that is their problem, but it is also their loss. I may, some day, change to another Blog spot, or stop Blogging all together. I figure it has limited value at best, to begin with. But the minute they start binding their members to codes of conduct and expectations of political correctness just to avoid offending a few goddamned whiners and petty pussy assed cocksuckers, they are doing their readers a disservice, they are doing their bloggers a disservice, and in the log run, they are doing themselves a disservice.

And in the event that Blogger takes notice of this particular little Post, I would hope that they would consider it in the spirit in which it was intended. Consider it a form of divine intervention. Or, as Hermes himself might be apt to say, a little bit of friendly advice.

Not Craig Crawford's Mt. Vernon Kentucky

If you ever watch the cable news channels to any extent you might eventually see on one of them a man by the name of Craig Crawford, a sometimes commentator and journalist for the Congressional Quarterley, and frequent contributor to Imus In The Morning. He recently published a book entitiled "Don't Shoot The Messenger" and recently appearred in my hometown, of Mt. Vernon, Ky., for a book signing and promotion. It so happens he too is a former resident of Rockcastle County. You might eventually hear him talk about what a great little place Mt. Vernon is. Don't believe a fucking word of it. Not that he is lying, he just don't know. He led an insulated life while he was here, which was probably to his advantage and in fact I never heard of the guy until I saw him on Imus. He went to school in another town, I think, maybe a private school. I would like to one day meet him and show him my Mt. Vernon, the real thing, with all the warts and without the perfume the place was in the process of being fumigated with during the course of his visit.

Well, actually, I'll be honest and admit right here that I could care less about showing him Mt. Vernon, I'll allow him his well crafted illussions, and hope they aren't the outgrowth of some deep seated delusions. The main reason I would like to meet the man, is, one, I like the guy, he's smart, brilliant even, and I admire his work, what little I actually know of it. And the main main reason is I would be in the hopes he might give me a helping hand with my own writing career, which is on life support right now, and needs all the help it can get.

Luckily, I didn't know he was in town until it was too late, otherwise I would have gone to the book signing at Cox's hardware Store and made a complete ass of myself. On the other hand maybe not. There's always a chance I would have been stopped and turned around at the door.

Some of these local yahos around here don't really know me now, they know the me of x amount of years or so ago, back when I was wild, wooley, eccentric, and somewhat deluded. And I am still somewhat wild, and somewhat wooley, and somewhat eccentric. But I have left my delusions far behind, thank you very much, and one of those delusions is the one that ever suggessted that I had a snowballs chance in hell of ever fitting in with this bunch around here. Not that I don't like them, some of them are good people, they're just not my type of folks. It's like hi, and bye, and otherwise, don't get any bright ideas. In other words, they will never get to know the real me, because that's not the one they're used to. Or something like that. Plus, I seriously doubt they would like the real me anyway. After all, I am a pagan, and a Witch, something I go out of my way not ot advertise in this Christian, mostly Baptist, and very small town.

But on the other hand, hey, I love being me. I just wish there was a few more of me. And when you get right down to it, who the fuck is Craig Crawford anyway?

Fingers Through The Bars Please

I just recenty rediscovered series television after a relatively long hiatus. There have been a cople of regular exceptions, to be sure. 24 is a must watch, whenever it's on, and I can't wait fo rthe new season, eventhough I will have to do jut that, which is due in January. ANother one I like is Cold Case. But fo rht emost part, I tend to avoid series television like the plaque. Buthtere is a lot of things on this year that look compelling. One such show is Prison Break.

Prison Break follows the adventures of a couple of brothers. One has been set up to take the fall for the murder of the Vice-President's brother, by some energy consortium that seems to be headed by a vaquely presented mother and homemaker who bears an eerily suggestive similarity to Martha Stewart. The younger brother has set himself up to be sent to the same prison where his brother has been sent and will soon be executed, with the intention of breaking him out and hopefully going on from there to discover the truth behind the conspiracy and clear his brother's name. As for him, he simply went into a bank, pulled a gun, then dropped it when the poice came. Since then, he has made friends and enemies, including a black drug dealer who has given him the drugs necessary to make him appear diabetic, all to enable access to the one part of ther prison where he plans to make his escape.

The doctor at the hospital is a woman who seems to have fallen, or is starting to fall, inlove with him. One of the inmates wants in his pants too, or did before the inmates main squeezed was brutaly stabbed in a prison brawl. Now the inmate, who blames him for the attack, wants to kill him.

Yet another inmate was charged with trying to find out what he knows, and cut off his toe, and still failed. Now that inmate is an uneasy ally, after his children were taken into custody by his
superior. The hero doesn't know whether he can be trusted, and neither do we.

Finally, the brother due to be executed is being assisted on the outside by his wife, who as an attorney is working around the clock to learn the truth that has caused one reluctant witness to be murdered by a man who identifies himself as a Secret Service agent. And the clock is ticking.

Anyway, it's a good show, one worth a watch. It makes me appreciate the recent friendships I have established with certain female inamates of the city jail whom I have gotten to know during those perods of time they are on work release, while I am sitting under the big oak tree at the court house for a rest in the middle of my early morning walk routine. I always stop there for a cigarrette, and I have gotten to know a few of them slightly. I have been advised to be wary of them, as it happens. They are not allowed to converse with those on the outside, it seems.

Shit, I ain't really interested in them, I just like to shoot the shit with them. I sure as hell wouldn't want to get anything going long term with them. I figure they are in jail for a reason. On the other hand I have to wonder if they are allowed conjugal visits. If so, I would not be adverse to showing a little mercy on one of them in particular. More than likely though, the most they would allow is for me to visit them and talk to them through the glass. I haven't been to the jail, I might be wrong, knowing how fucking backwards this place is they probably still have open bars. If so, I guess I could be amenable to eating her pussy through the bars, or maybe she can just turn around and bend over. I would have to squat though. Probably the best bet would be for me to just finger fuck her through the bars.

Court Dramas For Soap Lovers

I can't stand to sit through a segment of Court TV, for a number of reasons. For one thing, they have an obvious political agenda in almost every case they cover. I don't necesarrily say that I disagree with that agenda at all times, I just think it is out of place, unwarranted, unnecessary, and to be perfectly blunt, innappropriate. They are obviously commentators and pundits, I don't have a problem with that. On the other hand, I come away from it feeling like if I don't agree with them in their assessment of particular cases and/or criminal defendants, then I would be seen by them as either stupid, naive, or possibly even criminally suspect in my own right.

Another thing I have against them quite simply is the quality of their programming is lacking, to say the least. They have the sappiest movies and documentaries I have ever seen in my life gathered under the aegis of one single individual station. Well, I don't know, they might have some competition there with the Discovery Channel, and quite a few others as well, but the point is, the concept of this network should inspire much better, much higher quality than is usually presented here.

It didn't take me long watching them to figure out what a good lot of the problem is. Quite simply, this is a network geared toward women, that targets a female audience. As a result, if you are looking for variety on Court TV, I advise you to look elsewhere. You are pretty much limited here to celebrity trials. Failing that, if you want to see a certain trial on Court TV, consider the following criteria. If it doesn't involve a sexual component, such as child molestation, or spousal abuse of some form, or rape, then it doesn't matter how compelling or even how important the case might be. It is simply not going to make it onto Court TV.

A case in point involves the recent assasination of the incumbent County Sheriff of Pulaski County, whose popularity virtualy guaranteed re-election befoe he was gunned down at a fish fry campaign appearrance. Luckily, the assassin, who had attempted to flee on motorcycle after shooting the sheriff from long range, was quickly apprehended, due to quick thinking and professional reactions by deputies present. It then turned out that the person who had initiatd the asassination was none other than the Sheriff's main opponent in the Sheriff's election in Pulaski County. And he had a partner-in-crime, said to be in fact the major mover and shaker in the plan, a man who was in fact a major figure in the illicit drug trade in the area.

All three of them were brought to trial though there was some plea bargaining that eventually resulted, but the point is that, for all the imporance and interest that would seem to be apparrent for a case like this, you never heard it mentioned on Court TV. Why? Well, there was no sex, no rape, no woman scorned, no chld molestation or abandonment, no sexual harrassment. Nothing, in other words, the decision makers of Court TV would consider would be of interest to their one and only tageted audience, the American woman. I suppose the presence of bereved family doesn't count.

I suppose I should count my blessings. After the way such luminaries on the network as Diane Diamond and Goria Allred and her daughter have spent such inordiante amounts of time making complete asss and bitches out of themselves, that is, in the way they cover cerain trials. One can not help but conclude they are actually attempting to prejudice any potential jury trial that might arise as a result of criminal prosecutions.

Audrey Marcum R.I.P.

Going by her glamour shots, Audrey Marcum was a remarkably beautiful woman, one who is now unfortunatey dead. Murdered, by gunshot, in the garage of her Jackson County Kentucky home, by an unknown assaillant who seems to have waited for her arrival, for the express purposes of killing her.

There were a number of suspects in the case. Her ex-husband, who was said to have had a violent temper, was one. Another was her then current live-in girlfriend (Audrey had engaged in recent months in a lesbian relationship) with whom she had had recent problems.

But the man who was eventualy tried, and acquitted, of her murder was the man for whom she had recenlty worked as a clerk in the Jackson County Cout Clek's office, the Court Clerk himself, Mr. Jerry Dean. There was ample reason to suspect him, to be sure. Audrey had just recently filed a sexual harrassment lawsuit against Mr. Dean, and his own son had given information to the police to the effect that he himself believed his father was guilty of the crime. During the subsequent trial, Dean (who agreed to testify on his own behalf) was confronted with a letter he had written to Audrey that was sexually explicit. Of course, this was not proof of the murder, but it did go to motive, implying fear at the potential result of the pending lawsuit.

But the jury did not buy it. Or if they did, they just weren't wholly convinced. Dean scored some points, on the one hand, by agreeing to testify, which had to have been hard, to say nothing of humiliating. Furthermore, his son came across as a very troubled thuggish type of drug addled redneck who might, it turns out, legitimately be considered a suspect in his own right.

Of course, this was the year Dean was to run for re-election to the Jackson County Court Clerk's office, and he stood his ground, though the formerely well liked and respected Dean lost by twenty seven votes to Doanld "Duck" Moore. Now, Dean has recently announced that he will indeed run for re-election agaisnt the now incumbent Mr. Moore.

When making the announcement, Dean said little about the Marcum case, other than that the real tragedy was the girls death, not his re-election loss.

Yeah, Jerry, right.

Donald "Duck" Moore, offerred little comment himself on the news that he would soon be faced in a rematch with his oponnent, only that he would "run a clean campaign".

Yeah, "Duck". Good idea.

It Takes A Cock

I've never been so frustrated in my life (well, now that is an exaggeration, but-) as I have the last few days, from not being able to discern more, from my own local media outlets at that, as to the one bit of information that was given out concerning a recent cockfighting ring that was recently busted in the Newport Kentucky area. Of course, nationwide, cockfighting, despte it's almost near universal illegality and the disdain in which it is rightfully viewed by most segments of society, is a multi-million dollar industry. And nothing illustrates the popularity the sport enjoys by it's adherents more so than the facilities raided at Newport. This was not just a smoke filled speak-easy type place, with sawdust all over the place, cheap whiskey and beer flowing from taps. This damn place, from what I have gathered, was practically a resort. It had it's own restaurant. It had it's own gift shop. It had, I would bet you, a lot of customers, and a lot of financial backers, and I'm not necessarilly talking about hillbilly mafia types. I'm talking about local law enforcement and city and county government officials. Operations like this just don't happen in a vacuum, I'm afraid. Luckily, it was stopped.

You have to wonder about just what kind of person could possibly enjoy engaging in such a brutal activity, where roosters ae made to fight many times to the death, and even the winners probably don't last very long. Just look at your typical punch drunk boxer with cauliflower ears, and in the case of Muhammed Ali, Parkinson's idsease, and you get the picture. Of course, humans have the option not to engage in the sport. They make the ultimate diecsion, at least the initial one. Roosters have no choice. Just fight or die. Or maybe both.

Not only are the owners and trainers sick individuals, with cruelty and malice just eeking from their collective conscousness, but no less so are the patrons of the sport. Standing around, laughing and cheering, and jeering,and booing, for their favorite participants, as the betting money flows in a stream that is as intoxicating as the whiskey, beer, and cigarrette smoke.

And the people that are paid off, the people that allow this to go on, who turn their heads to the cruelty, the malicousness? What can you say? I did get kind of a laugh at a recent Oklahoma lawmaker who recently sponsored a bill in his state to legalize the sport,suggesting the roosters be made to wear a kind of specially designed boxing gloves. His reasoning was the sport will go on anyway, and his idea would at least insure a minimum of decent treatment for the roosters. That's a point, I guess, but I can't help but think that his point was inspired more by political influence than out of any humanitarian concerns.

And money. There is money in cockfighting, lots of it. And, in fact, in certain areas, standing in oppossition to it can spell political defeat. This depsite it's ilegality. It is in fact, I think, a felony in most jurisdictions. This probably adds, however, yet a further element of danger, intrique, and excitement to the adventure of the so-called sport of cock-fighting. In other words, a criminal element. An aspect to the overall culture of cockfighting that actually can, and has, gotten not only roosters but people killed.

Psychic Vampire Updates And Alerts

Recently, Janet Arviso, the mother of the child plaintiff in the Michael Jackson case in California, was charged with welfare fraud. Seems that when ol' Janet went on the public dole, she neglected to mention the roguhly 30,000, or was it 300,000, dollars that she had recently settled with J.C. Penny in a lawsuit in which she had claimed assault and sexual battery against employees of the store who had tried to prevent her, along with her children, from ripping them off. Of course, this was the result of information that was disclosed in the Jackson trial. Evidently, she is going to be hard pressed, as a result, in any civil lawsuit against Michael Jackson, which of course seems to have been the intent behind Jackson's lawyer Tom Messerreau insuring that this information was made public at the trial.

As for Michael, he has recently decided that he will get together with other uminaries of the pop music business in order to create a record which is geared toward making money for New Orleans disaster relief. This is a good idea. Michael is short of funds these days, according to many accounts, and needs all the money this might eventually garner him. It might also inspire some appreciation in Louisiana, where he was recenty accussed of at one time in the past picking up a young boy in his limo and sexually molesting him, and then dropping him back off at the same spot some time later. Nothing ever really came of this bizzarre story, as of yet, but it says a lot that jackson inspires this kind of sordid fantasy-if a fantasy it was. Remember, at one time in the not all that distant past, Jackson was a popular enough entertainer that he did happen to have throngs of not only admirers, but, believe it or not, imitators. Some of these imitators went to extraordinary lengths to adopt the appearrance of their beloved idol. Imagine how they feel now.

Probably not as bad as he does, though maybe considerably more stupid, as they are for the most part unlikely to have the means to ecape to Bahrain, where Jackson was recently invited to stay for an indeterminate amount of time, curtousy of a visiting Bahrainian Prince of the royal family. Jackson is to stay at his estate. If I remember correctly, in fact, in his own private mansion. Just the type of place Jackson needs to get away from it all, to rest and to relax, among Arab royalty, surrounded by fresh air, sunshine, servants who will do his every bidding as a guest of the royal family, and dark, beautiful little young Arab boys.

I Pledge Allegiance

I had a strangely psychic occurrence yesterday that was most remarkable. For no apparrent reason, I could hear, vaquely, as though from a distance, from inside my house, with no radio or television playing, what sounded to be a group of people singing the pledge of allegiance. I heard it, over and over again, as I was planning this Blog update, and I didn't think it was ever going to stop, until finally, almost imperceptibly, it did. Later on in the day, I made the discovery that yestersay was the anniversary of the Pledge of Allegiance (though whether this was the anniversary of it's writing or of it's adoption as our national anthem I am still unsure, though probably it's the latter).

It turned out that yesterday was also another milestone. The 13th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, apparrently, decided to declare the law that established the Pledge of Allegiance to be spoken in schools, to be unconstitutional. Of course, this will not be the end of it. But Michael Neudow, who initially brought the suit, must feel some degree finally of justification and satisfaction.

Frankly, I think Michael brought this suit as a means of advertising his legal services on a national basis. That, of course, is not to say that his suit is without merit. In fact, I think he might be on very firm legal ground here. His suit is based on the proposition that the Pledge as required to be recited in schools amounts to an establishment of religion, and therefore is explicitly against the establishment clause ofthe Constitution. And I think that, frankly, he is correct.

Now, some conservative lawmakers and pundits would disagree with this assessment, on the grounds that it doesn't establish a specific religion. But in fact, if you look at the intent with which the law was passed at the behest of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, the implication becomes ever clearer that this was precisely the intent. Or at least it is the seeming surface result.

The objectionable words "under God" of course, was not originally in the pledge, which was in fact to begin with a socialist pledge, before adopted, with some minor revisions, as the national pledge. The words "under God" were added in 1954, or thereabouts, and when Eisenhower became President, he pushed for the Pledge law to be adopted, making the statement that, to paraphrase him, it warmed his heart to think of the countless school children who would have God's name on their lips as they recited the Pledge.

In other words, Eisenhower was trying to establish the public schools of America as a place of religous instruction and edification with patriotic packaging. It might have been a secondary reason on his part, but it was nevertheless an important one, and his intent in doing so was clear. Remember, at one point, prayers and Bible readings were pretty much comonplace and accepted practice in most American schools. The Pledge of Allegiance, in effect, is the one archaic remnant of this mind-set. Neudow is right, if only in the most cold and technical sense, to want to see it removed.

Unfortunately, it is almost certainly destined to become yet another hot potato in the game of political got'cha toard the coming election season, and I don't hold out much hope for support of the ruling among the political elite, including among most Democrats. And I suspect that when it eventualy makes it's way toward the Supreme Court, as it certainly will in time, it will probably be reversed.

In the meantime, one cannot help but wonder how, assumming there is such an entity as the Judaeo-Christian God, he truly would feel about the numberless school children of today mindlessly invoking his name, without any real thought put into just what the hell they are talking about.

John Roberts's Very Judicous Temper(ament)

John Roberts is going to be the next Chief Justice of the United States, and according to his relatively youthful age, he is going to be there for awhile, maybe as long as thirty years or more. It's only natural that a good many politicians, especially the Democratic members of the "loyal oppossition" would want to know as much about him as they can possibly gleen. But Judge Roberts has not exactly been forthcoming. On the other hand, he has given us some telling glimpses into his psyche and his temperament, and in fact his judical philosophy as a whole is crystal clear. He is a conservative. He will rule the bench of the highest court of the land, as a conservative. Still, he has given some Democrats reason to breathe sighs of relief. He has even gone so far as to say he considers Roe v. Wade to be settled law, and in the same breathe goes further by suggesting that he has a respect for legal precedent, and that it is not to be lightly thrown out. He further expounded his acceptance of the belief in an implied constitutional right to privacy, more good news.

But no matter what especially the Democrats on the committee says or does, he is simply not going to give his personal opinions on any kind of subject matter that might at any time stand a chance of coming up before the court. His reasoning is that he wants any future litigant to feel that his case is being fairly considered. He further went on to assure the committee that he would never let personal opinion of a matter influence his decision as a judge on a case. Of course, this is so much bull shit. There are widely divergent views on the Constitution, to the point you cannot engage in any matter that requires it's oversight without having an opinion on how it should be viewed. You either see the Constitution as a living document, whose founders meant for it to grow and evolve over time and circumstances, or you view it with the mind of a strict construtionist. It means exactly what it says, and nothing else, in other words. Any variance would therefore require an amendment, if necessary, but certainly not an adaptive interpretation of what might be all ready there. Unfortunately, not all strict constructionists have that view on all matters, nor do all "living document" adherents have that view in every single case. It seems to come down to a matter of, yes, personal opinion, of the issue involved that is, as to which view applies, in all too many cases.

And this is precisely what has certain members of the committee practically besides themselves with Roberts obstinence, or what they obviously view as such. He feels evidently that he should be take at his word as regarding his promises of impartiality, but politicians are a suspicous bunch by nature, rightly so in most cases.

On the other hand, Joe Biden of Delaware is obviousy trying to score early points in his soon to probably be Quixotic bid for the Democratic Presidential nomination for 2008, with his accussations of purposely avoiding answering direct questions Biden just can't understand what his problem is in answering.

The same goes for Russell Feingold, who made me want to throw up yesterday when he suggested that Roberts should not have held back certain members of the Reagan administration from reassurring the public as to the true nature of the HIV virus and AIDS. It was widely feared at one time to be as easily caught as the common cold, and Roberts warned Reagan against issuing any information to the contrary, until the facts were known for certain. This seemed like a common sense approach to me, but Feingold is evidently the kind of prick who would rather feed people what might turn out to be in the long run misinformation (so far as was known at the time in question) just in order to avoid panic. The hell with the facts, in other words, we will worry about them later and hope for the best. Well, this is the kind of person I precisely do not want to see leading the country, so if you are running for president, Russell, guess what, you just lost my vote (in the primaries, at least) .

It is easy to see why Roberts is so impressive to so many people as to his nature, his intelligence, his capacity for thoughtfulness, and his judicial temperament. It would take a hell of a lot of patience to keep me from pouncing on this crew. But Roberts is a jouster, and I bet he's a bit of a chess player. I can spot them a mile away, but most people seem surprisingly to have missed his little verbal joust, which happenned the very first day of the Senate confirmation hearings. But it was a telling blow, and may say quite a bit about the true nature of his temperament.

A judge, he said, has to look at the law and apply it as written. A judge, he continued, is not a politician, who can promise people things in return for their votes. Ouch!

The Buck Stops With Me And You, Damnmit

When Harry Truman first introduced the term, "The Buck Stops Here", it was a perfect illustration of the simplicity and common sense of the President from Missouri, who was incredibly unpopular at the end of his presidency when viewed against the general respect and admiration he engenders now in most quarters. The term was sincere in it's scope and intent, and quickly became a part of the American politcal lexicon. In fact, almost every politician has used this as a sort of mantra, at one time or another, almost to the point that it has almost become pointless and meaningless.

Tonight, you will almost certainly hear George W. Bush mouth this refrain for the first time in his presidency, which is really the only thing special about it. Other than that, it means nothing. When Harry Truman said it, it meant, "okay, come on ahead and give me my lumps, I got it coming, I deserve it."

When Bush (and to be fair everyone else) uses it it means simply, "see what a good guy I am? So now let's just forget the whole thing, okay?"

And a lot of people may well forget the whole thing. They might forget how badly and sorrowfuly things are going now in Iraq. They might forget the horrible border situation, that he bears some if not most of the responsibility for the burgeoning price of gasoline, and soon heating fuel and electricity, and all the after-effects of this. And they might even forget in time the horrible way he personally mishandled, and continued to allow to be mishandled, the worse natural disaster in American history, The New Orleans and Gulf Coast destruction by Hurricane Katrina.

On the other hand, maybe they won't so easily forget it. Bush's poll numbers are at their lowest point, more so than at any other time of his presidency, and most Americans now even believe we are not ready for another major terrorist attack. Most Americans have lost all confidence in him as Commander-In-Chief, in his ability to lead the war on terror and protect the nation, and even in his general honesty. Frankly, I believe that he is one of America's all time worse presidents, along with Buchanan, Hoover, and Harding. That's saying something. If any president truly deserved to be impeached, it is this one.

So when he talks tonight before the American people, when he attempts the part of sincerity in his assignment of his part of the blame squarely where it belongs, in a speech I am sure he will spend all this day practising before a select group of advisors, a crew of speech writers at the ready in case a rewrite or additional catch phrase is suggested and agreed upon-I for one will take it with a grain of salt. If I were there in person, I might well wait for the wedgie from ol' George, that Yale Skull and Bones prankster. Everybody should be leery of this guy by now, regadless of their political leanings.

Because, in the long run, the buck doesn't stop with Bush, or any president or politican, it stops with us, the voters who put them in the positions of power all too many of them will say and do anything to attain, and to keep.

Big Easy Lawsuits

It's good to know Mayor Negin is bound and determined to rebuild New Orleans better than ever, while keeping the city true to it's unique cultural heritage. It's good that he seems to have plenty of support from the business and the poltical community as regards to this. But a lot of work remains to be done. There is still an appreciable amount of dead to be identified and buried, for example. There are still numerous children to be reunited with their parents, and pets with their owners. And yes, there is blame yet to be assigned, and dealt with. Not just the political leaders such as Negin and the Governor, but the entire local and state bureaucracy has a lot of accounting to do. Take for example the New Orleans Levi Board, who wasted appreciable amounts of funds meant for levee protections, on such matters as a fountain, and a walkway leading to casinos, and other wasteful expenditures. 45,000 dollars, it has been said, went toward digging up dirt meant to discredit a radio station disc jockey who had been vocaly critical of the Board. An equal amount of money went toward settling a lawsuit with the same disc jockey once he threatend legal action once he learned about this. And of course everybody knows by now about the St. Rita's Nursing Home scandal, where 35 patients were left to fend for themselves as the husband and wife owners, who had turned down various offers of aid beforehand, scurried to safety. Probably all ready been paid in full for their patients care, I would suspect, but that would be mean. Then again, so is leaving elderly people on the bottom floor of a facility, not even taking the time to take them to an upper floor.

Yes, there is a lot to be accounted for. And I'm sure it will. Unfortunately, the drawback to all this is that this is likely to become, in the long run, the big story behind the New Orleans disaster. Oh sure, peple will sing the praises of the heroes from all across the coutnry, the firefighters and police who voluntarily went to New Orleans, the generous churches, organizations, and individuals across the nation who donated money and time. And of course, the next Mardi Gras, whenever that turns out to be, will become a national media event unlike any Mardi Gras before it. But these are all stories that, important though they might be, are stories which will be of relatively temporary duration in the public conscousness.

The lawsuits, which are certainly coming, will be a long drawn out story for months, nay years to come. Most rightly so, in all probability. They will be numerous I am sure, diected at all the state, local, federal agencies and companies and individuals all of whom share some part of the burden of blame. Unfortunately, the real burden will be on the city of New Orleans itself, which is to say the people. Criminal neglect of this magnitude has to be dealt with, and severely. I just hope it doesn't in the meantime interfere in the progress of the city and it's people toward recovery and revitalization. This of course will be one of the mantras you will hear expoused in order to keep these legal actions to a bare minimum, in fact, a whole lot of the passing of the blame is more geared towards just this, in my opinion.

But it doesn't make sense to pass the blame when everybody shares in it to such a considerable extent.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

The Fly On The Wall

Another update completed in just one days time, I'm kinda proud of myself, but I'm fucking wore out, lemme tell ya. Last week was hell. I don't know how many of you my regular readers have caught on to this, but I like to seque from one post into another. There will more often than not be a slight if tenous connection with one post to the one that came before it, and the one that came after it, and so on and so forth. It doesnt' always work out so good, and last week was a real mess. Everything that happenned in New Orleans and the Gulf Coast was just so serious and tragic I couldn't let it go by with just one or two casual comments, and ended up devoting most of last weeks updates to it, and most of this one as well. I've included here an idea for a National Mardi Gras Week to aid in relief efforts, in addition to some helpful links that those who are concerned about New Orleans and Gulf Coast area pets and pet owners might hopefully find will be of help. Look for this under Remember These Links

Of course, I've included more than a few rants such as You Know It's Coming about religous fanatics views on the disaster, and Political Correctness Always Rears It's Ugly Head, which should be self-explanatory. The Work Cut Out and Trent, Mary, Carlos, and Silver Dollar Sam ae kind of rants too (what the hell here ain't) but deals more withthe technical aspets of the problems New orleans might face on an environmental level on the one hand, and for an historical analysis as to the reasons this may have been allowed to happen on the other.

Then, we gravitate away from the disaster for awhile, after all, there are other things going on and it's good to clear your mind from tragedy ever once in a while in order to avoid total burn out, a sad but real predicament of human nature. And so I deal a little in Two Supremes with the prospect of John Roberts being named as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. I then manage to find it in my heart to let Saddam off the hook in Saddams True Confessions (Okay, I just found out this site ain't worth a fuck so no more Italics-ever! ).

Then, I go into a Missing Persons mode with link to an e-mail Yahoo Profile of a person who has mysteriously vanished in "Hey I Am So Crazy"(Yeah, quotation marks work fine-fuck Italics). Then I go into the case of the murdered and formerly missing "Julie Popovich And The Lido Shuffle". And of course no missing persons portfolio is complete without yet another installment of "Vacation Aruba", this one called "Paradise Lost".

Then, finally, I have a special treat for my beloved little Meowcat, a little something I call "Balls". Enjoy, Meow. And don't be mad about my removing your comment from an earlier post. I can't be having you telling all my secrets, can I now?

By the way, in closing, you all may notice a change in the links section, well, that is because I didn't really know what the fuck i was doing the first time out, but I got it all straightened out now. I may add some more links later on, but by almeans avail yourelves of them, I try to add ones that I think are unusual and of interest, yet ones that you might not think about, or know about, otherwise.

Well, later, as they say.

National Mardi Gras Week

I have had one hell of an idea, and I'm sure as hell certain that somebody will get the credit for it besides myself if it is ever implemented. On the other hand, these posts are dated, so there.

So here is the plan. Why do we not as a nation have one week in February for National Mardi Gras week. Think about it, what would be a better way of showing solidarity with the beleaguered city of New Orleans? And more importantly, what would be a better way of raising much needed money for the resotration of the area in all it's glory.

Of course, I know it's cold in a lot of places during February, but so what? A Mardi Gras in every major American city, and others besides. We could set a goal of fifty Mardi Gras in fifty major cities. And we get the vendors and business people to donate one half of their profits for New Orleans recovery, with the assurrance that they don't have to pay any taxes on their profits from the event. We talk the local, state, and federal governments to agree as well to the no tax on profits for Mardi Gras scheme.

Then, we have at least fifty Mardi Gras that ain't no way in hell could be as good as the original, but some might come close, and after the cities rake in the dough, the profits can be forwarded to an organization that can be trusted, with oversight, to distribute the monies that are made in the way that would be the most effetive, however that might be.

I have an idea that it is unlikely there will be a Mardi Gras this year. It might be ready by then, but there is a good chance it will not be. What better way of making up for this, and showing solidarity with city in the midst of it's travails, than in this manner? Even if there is a Mardi Gras in new orleans thios year, it would still be an appropriate expression of unity in the face of tragedy.

Hell, I think this is an idea even the french could love.

You Know It's Coming

Now the Islamic terrorists are calling Hurricane Katrina "Private katrina", implying that somehow this monstrosity was sent by God to punsih the Americans because, of course, he ison their side. It's all about them, the motherfuckers. Give it time, and you'll hear how Bin Laden planned for this hurricane, and it came along as an answer to the carefully and respectfully worded prayers of him and his cohorts.

But it's not just them. Christians here in our own country have jumped into the fray, claiming that Hurricane Katrina is indeed God's judgement on the city of New Orleans because of their hedonistic ways, not just because of Mardi Gras, but because evidently there were plans in the works for a gay parade and celebration of the gay lifestyle.

I started to e-mail one of these despicable ass wipes to ask them if God didn't think the area might be worthy of reconsideration since they voted for that motherfucker Bush in the last election. But then, I forgot, oh no, Mississippi now has, guess what, legalized riverboat casino gambling. Well, I guess that more than trumps voting Republican all right. Of course, I guess God's little plan of vengeance may have backfired on him after all. Seems that plans are in the works now in Mississippi to change the laws that have previously required casinos to be on riverboats in the Gulf of Mexico or similarly somewhere off shore. Seems now they will be allowed on shore, maybe even farther up land. So God will just have to try a little harder next time to get his point across.

And people wonder why I hate these motherfuckers so much.

Remember These Links-For New Orleans Pets

E-Mail at

The first link especially is for New Orleans and Gulf Coast REFUGEES OR EVACUEES who do not have a palce to take their pets becaise the stupid motherfuckers that run the federal and state government rescue operations stubbornly refuse to allow people to take their pets with them. Hopefully, there can be a way made to enablethese folks to go to these shelters, which allow pets, as long as they are socialized to the pint they won't be a danger to any of the other animals or humans. These are pagans, but they allow anybody witht he need to go there, they have facilities including busses and tent facilities. So check them out and forward them to anybody that mght be interested in lending a helping hand.

A lot of victims in the New Orleans area especially are refusing to leave withouttheir beloved pets, and if I was there frankly I would be one of them. I would sit and die with her before I would go off and leave my cat to die in misery while I lived and she sat and meowed in terror and pain wondering where I had gone and faithfully waiting for me to come back to save her. I would never be able to sleep another night if I did that, and I just wouldn't do that. A perfect example ofyour government in action. A bunch of unfeeling, uncaring motherfuckers who like to hold press conferences after they allowed this shit to happen and still just don't get it, that people have things in their lives that they actually care about and love and don't want to just leave behind to die a miserable death. Fuck the sons-of-bitches.

And where the fuck are those useless no good cocksuckers PETA when you need them?

The Work Cut Out

Now Vice-President Cheney has been called to assess the Gulf Coast area, well, I'm feling better all ready. And I'm not being sarcastc. This motherfucker don't give a shit about anybody but his fat cat partners and maybe on a good day his family, and that is exactly what is needed to get control of this situation. So think about it, yeah, he'll make sure Haliburton cleans up on this contract while their cleaning up the area, and frankly, I don't give a shit, as long as they do the job and do it right, and I'm sure they can. I admit, I'm a little worried over the prospect that this might set the kind of precedent where future disasters will be allowed to occur so they can take advantage of it again, but right now, first things first. I watched Elaine Chiao the other night on something, I think it was Hardball, and she said that they were going to make sure that those who wanted to and were able could contribute to the clean-up of their areas. Now that's a good idea, as is the 2000 dollars that FEMA is giving each family in the form of a debit card for ready cash for whatever they need. Of course, all this came way too late, but at least it's something. First things first.

But the thing that really worries me more than anything, as far as future consequences go, is the environmental impact of this motherfucking mess. All that raw sewage and garbage and medical waste and oil and gas and industrial waste and chemicals and human corpses, maybe 10,000 of them, and animal corpses, and the disease and bacteria and insects and snakes and rats and alligators. Yeah, let's just pump it out of the city into good old Lake Ponchartrain, hell, it won't be there for long, it will eventually just flow into the Gulf of Mexico, so what, first things first.

See why I feel good about Cheney being there? If anybody knows pollution, it's Dick Cheney.

Political Correctness ALways Rears It's Ugly Fucking Head

I hate political correctness, in fact, if I had my way it would be fucking outlawed, only I'm just not sure how to go about doing it in a way that would be constitutional. But you would think that in a situation like the New Orleans disaster these stupid motherfuckers would give it a rest. Would that be asking too much, in a situation like this, in such a heart wrenching tragedy that could end up costing more than ten thousand lives? Yes, I guess it is. But this has got to be te ultimate in insanity, so maybe it might in effect be a good thing. After all, if no one can see from this stupidity how ignorant and wrong politcal correctness is then they'll just never see it.

But I can always hope, and the more I think about it, it would be like the clock turning around full circle. Think about it, one of the first times political correctness won the day was, believe it or not, over the process of naming hurricanes. Feminists were incensed over the process by which all hurricanes were named after women. They were enraged and inisted that it was onlyright that some of them also be name after men. And so it came to pass that it was decided that hurricanes would be named alternately after a man, then a woman, etc. Okay, fine, no problem.A few wags had some fun with the hurricane thing, suggesting that instead of calling all such storms hurricanes, every oter one should be called a "himmicane". Of course, some people heard this and took it as a serious suggestion, so yet more controversy, and fun, ensued.

Frankly, I wold have just as soon that hurricanes had never been named, in a way. After all, why trivialize something as potentially detructive as such an awesome force of nature as this by giving it a little cutesy moniker to remember it by. But I'm rambling. back to the point. Yeah, political correctness, and how it has once again reared it's ugly fucking head. Okay.


Okay, I'll stop shouting now. But it's obvious to me that this is the sign of politicans and journalists and analysts who don't know what the fuck to do, so they come up with some kind of crap to make people think that they care. Well, here's what I and I'm sure the majority of people actually care about. And I damned sure know this is what the people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast care about.

Rebuild the area, and after ensuring the health of the survivors bring them back if they want to return to an area that is safe and clean and repaired and ready to thrive, secure in the knowledge that steps have been taken to ensure their future safety and, if necessary, their swift and sure evacuation to places of relative safety and comfort

Finally, get rid of the incompetent motherfuckers who allowed this to happen,whoever they are, and let the chips fall where they may, whether federal or state, republican or democrat. Get rid of the people that allowed this to happen, and implement policies and procedures that can be enacted swiftly and concisely and in such ways that if this ever happens again-this will never happen again.

Trent, Mary, Carlos, And SIlver Dollar Sam

Trent Lott is hopping mad, but as usual he doesn't show anger that well, if he did, I would imagine a lot of people would have gotten an earful by now. For a bigoted racist, he certainly knows how to put the Bush boys through their paces though. After all, look at Mississippi. To hear most people, you would think it was paradise on earth compared to New Orleans, when in fact nothing could be further from the truth. Actually, Mississippi was initialy hit much harder than most places in Louisiana, with the possible exception of Slidell, Louisiana, which is where the eye of the hurricane actually went through. But Biloxi and Gulfsport Mississippi are practically no-man's lands. Hardly a building is still standing and most of the ante-bellum homes have been destroyed along with the modern convenience stations and greasy spoons. The death toll was initially higher as well, and contagions due to contaminated flood waters have run rampant, causing a number of illnesses and a few deaths. Hand it to Trent, he got the Feds off their lazy sorry asses and demanded action. And remember, a large percentage of his constituents are black, and I for one don't think he gave that the least bit of consideration.

Contrast this and the actions of Mississippi governor Haley Barbour with the relatively incompetent responses of the Louisiana Governor and New Orleans mayor. These people were lost from the beginning and are still in conflict, the mayor teling everyone they have to evacuate, the governor telling them they can not be forced to leave, and nobody else really knowing what to make of the situation. And the shame of their incompetence is remarkably demonstrated by the scores of yellow school busses and other public transportation vehicles which now stand in yet two or three feet at least of flood water, left to sit idle when they could have been used to evacuate citizens who otherwise may have not had a way to get out of the city. Disgusting.

Then there's our poor little lost lamb Mary, Senator Landrieu, who at one time I had fond hopes for in terms of a potential Vice-Presidential nomination in 2008, provided of course Hillary somehow were to fail to get the nomination (two female running mates would just not be practical, even in this supposedly enlightened age), in addition to certain other secret fantasies I have entertaied at various times concerning Mary. Alas, now one fantasy is no more or less likely than the other.

Poor Mary, she just seemed lost, and finally, after all was said and done, she decided she wanted to hit somebody. Well, so do I Mary, but let's not get carried away. Let's face it, the Louisiana folks are just in over their heads. It's just as much their fault as it is the Feds. In fact, initially, it can be legitimately said to be more their fault, but of course the Feds and Bush just seem to have decided they would show they could be just every bit as incompetent as the Louisiana State officials could be, and they proved their point handsomely.

And the reason is historical in nature. The plain facts are, the elected leaders and public officials of Louisiana have just been corrupt and incompetent from the days of Huey Long, who was the last truly effective elected official, both Govrnor and Senator, the state has produced. And Huey of course was assassinated. Since then, the people elected to run the state have seldom done so. The state has in fact been the domain of the Mafia. The elected officials have historically just done what they are told, and therefore have no real experience or tradition of actual leadership.

The true leaders and power brokers of Louisiana have been the "Silver Dollar Sam" Corollas, the Carlos Marcellos. In other words, the oldest continually existing mafia family in the United States, up until Marcello was finally brought down by a Federal sting operation in the 1980's. The Mafia pretty much fell apart after him, though I'm certain they still exist in factions that are relatively powerless in comparison to the glory days of the Louisiana Mafia. Which is the irony in that if a Carlos Marcello or a Silver Dollar Sam were still in active control of Louisiana today the state would have probably reacted faster and more effectively to the coming disaster than what has turned out to be the case.

On the other hand, they are the ones respnsible for Louisiana having such a heritage of corruption and inefficiency and incompetence. That is just the political culture of the state. As such, you can't expect it to be an enclave of statemanship. That is just the sad, hard facts.