Saturday, October 29, 2005


Well, Samhain is nigh approaching, and I'm fucking broke. Yeah, sad to say, no money for the little trick or treaters, so I'll be turning out the lights, and standing wiht my shotgun at the ready in the event somebody gets a little irked at my lack of holiday spirit. No, no, don't worry, I promise, I'll just shoot up in the air. And while I'm watching the roost, I'll be cooking the only Halloween treat I can afford this year. A big pot full of pinto beans.

Don't feel sorry for me though. Actually, accordding to ancient Greek mythology, pinto beans have, at certain times of the year, the unique property of being attractive to the spirits of the dead. To wit, a spirit that hides inside a pinto bean stands the chance of being reincarnated, provided the bean is ingested by someone. In classical Greek times, this was considered a warning to not eat dried beans. I think, however, that in Pre-Classical times-Mychaenaean or possibly even Minoan-this was probably some form of fertility rite. In other words, the eating of beans was encouraged much like rice in Oriental cultures. Must have something to do with the protein, which, of course, cum is also chock full of. And, evidently, reincarnation was looked on more kindly in one or both of these cultures, whereas it was at least ignored, if not to be discouraged, in the Classical Greek times. A kind of ancestor worship? Maybe.

But, at any rate, it is best to soak your dried beans overnight. Ritually bless them, with the aid of the deities in order to keep out negative spirits. Soak them the night before Samhain, or Halloween, of course, and then cook them on the big day. Cook them with some bacon or some salt pork, if possible, otherwise lard or oil is fine. Salt them well. And eat at night, while attunning with the Goddess and the God, as that latter prepares to sojourn into his yearly underworld repose. Trust him to guide unto you those spirits with whom you wish to commune. And eat those beans, with gratitude and thanks. Luckily, fearing the potential for a fiscally rough month, I laid in a provision of cooking supplies early, so I will also have my traditional fantasy fudge, also cooked with visualization, personal power, and ritually blessed. And of course, the Anise Tea of which I posted earlier.

As for the "Hallowbeens", a word of caution is advised. When cooking them, you might want to add a pinch of baking soda. This will lessen the gas effects. Failure to do so might result in the manifestation within your abode of a scent most foul, malignant, and evil. And I'm not talking about an underworld spirit.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Mercury Retrograde

Every four months or so, the planet Mercury, the closest to the sun, goes retrograde, appearing to move backwards through the zodiac. This of course is an illussion. What actually appears to be happenning, in the case of Mercury (as with Venus) is that the planet is beginning to move around to the far side of the sun from the earth. During the period of time when it is beginning to "turn the corner", so to speak, it appears to be not moving at all, or, "stationary". Then, it makes the turn, and creates thus the illussion of reverse movement. Once it clears the far side ofthe sun, it will again appear to be stationary as it begins to move back around to the side on which we are. Then, as it clears that corner, and moves then toward us, it then appears to resume it's forward movement. It is said to be a harbinger of disruption when this occurs, in both travel and communications.

Of course, I can not stress enough that all this is an illussion, caused by the perspective of distance and relative position as regards the earth to the planet. However, that does not negate the potential of the energies of the planets involved in the process, nor our potential for tapping into those energies.

In fact, to those who are so inclined, the specific energies involved here may well be conducive to the use of magic in conducting a specific type of psychic experiment involving the utilization of divination of possible future events. To the uninitiated, this is often falsely referred to as "fortune telling",which is of course innaccurate and misleading.

There are no events which are pre-detemined, or "prophesied". There are, however, events which may be the short term, or the long term, results of the actions we have taken which lead us to those conclusions. They can be changed, however, as well as "predicted". But for any of this to occur there exists the necessity of awareness. And Mercury to be sure can be a vessel for the enhancing of awareness. But how best to take advantage of the energies of the planet, and especially of those energies which exist in abundance during it's retrograde motion, in order to enhance awareness, and psychic potential?

One might ask, if it is all an illussion, what difference does it make? Well, valid as that question is, you have to realize that the movement of the planet is thorugh the zodiac, that same zodiac through which we move. In the case of Mercury, before it turns retrograde, it will begins it's stationary period, for about three or four days, at that part of the zodiac at which we will later arrive, but haven't arrived at yet. That is what is important, as well as the energies of the planet nvolved-and our own.

In the next case, this will be prior to the fourteenth of November, for roughly three days, during which Mercury will be stationary at the tenth degree of Sagittarrius. Then, on the fourteenth, Mercury will begin it's retrograde motion, and will appear to be moving backwards through Sagittarrius, from the tenth degree, to the ninth, the eight, until, finally, sometime late on the 25th of Novemeber, or perhaps early on the 26th of November, it will reach the second degree of Sagittarrius, at which part of the zodiac the Sun will be seen to arive at on the same day. In short, at this point Mercury and the Sun will be in what is called an "inferior conjunction".

But in order to achieve the proper meditative state, it is necessary to begin prior to the fourteenth of November, while Merury is yet stationary. Meditate on the energies of the planet as you seek to empower a crystal, or some other precous or semi-precous stone, magically imbuing it with the energies of the planet in conjunction with your own psychic energies. Standing outside under the light of the planet, if it is yet visible, magically "bathe" the stone with the planets energy, utilzing the power of your visualization to "see" the planets energy enveloping it. If the planet is not visible, it is still possible to psychically attune with the planets energies and accomplish the same task.

Every night following this, meditate on the retrograde motion of the planet, by candlelight, as you meditate by the light of the candle on the crystal or stone, which you will have in effect made a representative surrogate of the planet. Do this every night, until the night in question comes. The ideal would be for you to receive a psychic vision on this date, the 25th or the 26th of November. But what exactly are you going to see?

We have to now backtrack, to the beginning of the retrograde. Remember I said the planet would be starting it's retrograde motion from the tenth degree of Sagitterrius. Well, the Sun itself does not get to that degree of Sagittarrius until the 3rd of December. Therfore, the psychic vision that you receive, on the 25th or the 26th of November, will be one which will pertain to an event that will transpire on the 3rd of December, when the sun reaches the degree of Sagittarrius (10th degree) that Mercury began it's retrograde motion from.

Don't expect, however, to receive some world shatterring news of some event of great national or world importance. Unless you yourself have a strong connection to the inner workings of such an event, you are unilkely to receive such a vision. Not that it is all together impossible, but the more likely potential is that you will receive a psychic vision pertaining to some event likely to transpire in your own prsonal life-however mundane or otherwise that might be- on the 3rd of December.

For the sake of simplicity, the follwing guide should suffice:

You will need:

1. A candle
2.A semi-precous stone

Empower with the energies of the planet and use to meditate on the nights in question. Other tools you might use are incense and essential oil. Use ritually to enhance the meditative state. Lavender is good, as is Sandlewood, which is probably the best and most conducive to meditation.

The pertinant dates areas follows:

November 14th: Mercury begin retrograde motion, and is stationary for a numbe ofdays befor this. Begin a couple of days prior to the 14th.

November 25th-26th-Sun comes into conjunction with Retrograde Mercury in the second degree of Sagittarrius. Psychic impressions should come somewhere during this time, in th eform of a vision or perhaps a psychic dream.

December 3rd: This should be the date on which your psychic dream or vision manifests in reality.

So there you have it. As for the stone you should use, I suggest a quartz crystal, an amethyst, a tigers' eye, a hematite, o a lapis. If you ahve access to a place that sells semi-precous stnes, look them over and fine one that best suits you. You will know it when you see it.

It will take some work and some practice, by the way. It might not work so well thefirst time out, but Mercury goes into Retrograde mtion three times a year. Practice doesn;t make perfect, but it does make you better every time. But it will require patience, and detemination. Hold to your meditation schedule, and stick to a minimum amount of time to devote to the procedure. I would suggest at least an hour, and preferably longer than that.

And keep in mind always what the goal of the meditation is, and the energies you are using to conduct them with. Make up your own chant, if you wish, and if that is conduciveto your own meditations. A rhymed verse, a spell in the words, might be helpful. But put it in your own words. Nothing extravagant, something simple. Something like, "oh Mercury, guide me through this night, and show me what awaits on the other side."

Good luck, and good forecasting. And remember. We make our own destinies. We may have influences for good or ill, true. But knowing is a kind of power, and if you cannot change something bad, at the very least you can be prepared. And maybe you can even take advantge of an opportunity that might unexpectedly come your way, if but ony briefly.

Gothic Sensitivities

Well, the murder of Pamela Vitale, wife of television legal analyst and attorney Daniel Horowitz, has presumably been solved. She was evidently murdered by a loner, a sixteen year old Goth who, after beating her over the head with a piece of molding more than thirty times, inscribed some kind of Gothic symbol on her back. The motive isn't too clear, but apparently this was all part of some credit card scheme that evidently went awry. The young man, whose name as of now has not been released, was part of a plot to grow marijuana. There was some question as to whether a credit card belonging to Vitale or Horowitz had been stolen in order to purchase the supplies for this, but the details here are a bit murky. Evidently, the young man assumed the supplies had beed delivered to the Horowitz's, possibly due to this being the only address on the large property on which all these people lived. Or possibly by mistlake. Whatever the reason, when he went to retrieve the delivery, he was confronted by Vitale. A battle ensued, and Vitale was killed, after putting up what was evidently a fierce struggle.

The perpetrator then proceeded to attempt to clean up the crime scene, and even went so far as to take a shower, according to some reports. The reason for the Gothic symbol being carved into Vitale's back is also unclear. But when he was arressted, having been turned in by one of his confederates in the former drug conspiracy, now gone awry, he displayed signs of injuries presumably inflicted upon his body by Vitale in the course of the conflict.

That should be the end of it, and doubtless a lot will be explained in due course of time. What is patently clear, however, or should be, is the extent to which certain media outlets and commentators are determined to milk this tragedy for all it is worth. There is more to it than meets the eye, they have all ready suggested. The boy was too young and small to be able to inflict such injuries, they insist. There must be more people involved than just himself, they hint. What exactly was his connection to Horrowitz and Vitale, they ask? How well did they really know each other?

Yes, Vacation Aruba, it seems, has just about run it's course. But that doesn't mean the fun is necesarrilly over with for good. Or the chance for increased ratings. Everybody, it seems, just loves a good murder mystery. So let's not solve it too damned quick, all right guys?

Look for more and more to come out, however, about the youngsters Gothic lifestyle, and the potential role that could have played in perpetuating his alienation from the rest of society. The implication being that any person who becomes a part of the Gothic sub-culture is a likely candidate to commit this kind of atrocitie. Geraldo Riviera is almost a sure bet to once again start beating the drum about the "Satanic" ritual aspects of what he will certainly suggest might have actually been a "human sacrifice" as well as a "ritual Satanic initiation".

Not that this might not necesarrilly be the case, mind you, but of course there are no good, lowdown Hispanics and news commentators too, arent there now?

But so it goes when you are the member of any minority. You become a target. Your lifestyle becomes open to question and interpretation. You are suspect. In the case of the Gothic sub-culture, it is all too easy to broaden and expand it to include any other sub-culture, such as pagans, Wiccans, etc. After all, they have a lot in common, don't they?

One good thing about it, though, and it's a talking point worthy of considation. For all the Columbines, vampire ritual murders, etc., that have occurred over the course of the last ten years in addition to this one, they are a very small percentage in comparison with the total number of equally heinous crimes committed on a yearly basis by "odinary everyday people"

BigDickHardigan-Talking Trash

It's been awhile since I did any kind of posting on another one of my Blogs, which I have under the name of BigDickHardigan, and called "TrashTalkin"-and thee's a reason for that. The Blog is operated and owned by Yahoo,and is called 360 degrees. That should tell you all you need to know. Suffice it to say, they call it "Yahell" in certain circles for a reason.

Now don't get me wrong. Yahoo has it's good aspects. But the bad aspects more or less make up for the good. If you have the free e-mail service, I can promise you a good deal of slow service, at intermittent periods. Did you ever wonder why that is? I mean, the real reson that is. If you have the free service, the next time things are going particularly slow, look around your screen. Do you see some little add moving around? Yep, you got it, that's probably the reason things are so slow-it's designed to make sure that you see the ad, and pay some kind of attention to it. Oh well, maybe it works with some people, it sure as hell don't with me. Okay, I noticed it, yeah-but that's it.

Yahoo is so concerned with censorship, they expect you to censor yourelf. If you don't, they will slyly ban you without letting you know about it. By the time you figure it out, you are presumably suppossed to know the reason for it. Well, they did it to the paganbitchslap-the Yahoo e-mail group that I started that is now just a little over a year old (and for which there is a link at the right) and there is nothing I can do about it. It was listed in the pagan category and was inadverdantly moved to the Adult-and I can't access the tools to change it back. All because I offended a handful of fluff bunnies that I made the mistake of inviting to the group. That or there was some kind of monitoring that I was nto aware of. Oh well-

Against my better judgement, I decided to start "Trash Talkin'" on Yahoo's new 360 degree. That's the name of the Blog, which I have no trouble accessing. Problem is I can't access the Homepage on 360 that I have registered under the name Big Dick Hardigan. Yeah, I guess you've figured I suspect the handle might have something to do with that.

For the record, Big Dick Hardigan is the name of a fictitous character-a porn star- that, with a little luck, will be a recurring fictional character in some novels that I have planned out that I wonder if I will ever actually get around to writing. I wish I could say that the name fits me, but in all honesty it doesn't. That will probably come as a surprsie to certain people, then again maybe not.

As for Trash Talkin,' well, that is exactly what it is-nothing but trash talkin'. It was fun while it lasted, unfortunately, the only way I can acces the Blog is through the Homepage, which is impossible most of the time to access, and I'm not in the mood to spend ten to twenty minutes trying to access it. So the only time I'm ever on it is when I respond to a mesage from somebody else on 360. Then, I can access the Blog, but still not the Homepage, or "My Page".

In the meantime, I just noticed recently Yahoo has adds on this Blog. So evidently they've made some kindof deal with Blogger, or maybe they have purchased Blogger outright. I doubt they've simply brought ad space on Blogger. I guess they could have, though. If they have brought it, I have to wonder just how long it wil take for them to fuck it up.

On the other hand, what with the fucking ignorant flagging policy Blogger has had for some time now, you can't get much more fucked up than that. And so, in conclusion:

1. Yahoo-Please don't fuck up Blogger any more than it is all ready fucked up, fix 360 degrees so it is actually worth a persons time to mess with, and stop censoring paganbitchslap.

2. Blogger-Please drop your ignorant fucking flagging policy, it's curtailing all desire to put any work into this Blog on my part

3. To anybody who might be dismayed to learn the name Big Dick Hardigan may not be an exactly accurrate nickname for myself, be of good cheer. I can still eat one hell of a mean pussy.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Prussian Blue-The Aryan Olsens

Wow. I guess I've seen it all now, but these two girls, Lynx and Lamb, are the living embodiment of every cliche you could imagine as applied to young teen girls. They are at first glance,cute, wholesome, pure, clean, yada, yada, yada. But look a little closer andf you find-they are Nazis. Or so it would seem. I think there's a lot more to them than meets the eye, but for the time being suffice it to say they are twin sisters, aged thirteen, and are singers and musicians. Lamb has even written some songs.

Now before you read any further, I want to make it clear, I didn't post this with the intention of piling on. Sure, they seem to epitomize white racism. They would call themselves "racialists". But hey, there are racist blacks, Hispanics, etc., etc., etc., so, being white myself, if I am going to pile on racism in general, I'll pile on the lot of them.

On the other hand, why bother? What's the point? In fact, there is nothing wrong with a moderate amount of "racialism". There is certainly nothing wrong in my opinion with celebrating white, European, Anglo-Saxon, Germanic, etc., culture. There is nothing wrong with being proud of that culture. Just as there is nothing wrong with the member of another race or culture being proud of and/or celebrating that particular race or culture.

Actually, to be honest, one of the reasons I am a pagan is due to the connection it helps me to forge to my ancestral European roots. So I can certainy undersand the white "racialist movement" from this aspect.

I can also appreciate the desire of some to seek legal protections from what they consider the unfairness in many laws which may in some cases seem to go a bit too far in protecting the legal and constitutional rights of minorites, by inadverdantly minimizing the rights of those of us with European white heritage.

I can even go so far as to say that I understand the feelings, and the heartfelt beliefs-so long as they don't propose to force it on everybody else-of those who want to raise their children to not mix racially, or to intermarry, with those of other races.

Let's face it. It is a good thing that there is a white race. There should always be a pure white race. Of course, the caveat to that is that there should also as well be a pure black race, a pure Hispanic, Oriental, etc, race and races. All races and culture should be celebrated and appreciated-and yes, perpetuated. On the other hand, if someone wants to intermarry with one of another race, well, quite frankly that is nobody elses business. That is probably where me and the white racialist crowd would part company, that and the heartfelt belief on my part that all races and cultures, and religions, should have legal protections, and rights, including the right to live and work in peace wherever in this nation they want. That no doors should be barred to anyone of any race or heritage. Of course, personal and private preference as to who a person does or does not wish to associate with is, again, a private matter.

And of course, the laws should be applied equally, across the board, for better or for worse, to all races and cultures.

So where then and what is the problem? What is it about Lynx and Lamb, and the lifestyle and society in which they are being raised, that disturbs me? There are quite a few things that I disagree with them about. Big deal. Some things I understand, some things in which I even agree with them. But the main problem I have with the white racialist movement in which these beautiful young girls seem to be being groomed to become the spokespersons for, is something which quite frankly makes me crazy.

Adolf Hitler. One of the worse monsters to ever walk the face of the earth, at least that had any degree of power and influence, has become a cult hero to the majority of white "racialists". Now one might say, well duh-they are nazis you know. And I guess that is a point. But when I see a Hitler forelock and moustache superimposed on a smiley face, adorning a t-shirt worn frequently by these girls, I have to wonder exactly if they really know what they are being lead into accepting. And why.

Hitler "had a lot of good ideas" one of them recently aid in an interview. Oh really? Turns out the murder of 6,000,000 Jews was an "exaggeration". Okay, so maybe it was, maybe it wasn't. Of course, the point of the Holocaust wasn't so much the numbers killed or not as it was the original intent of "der Fuerher".

But even this is not the point. What Hitler did to the Jews falls way down on the list of reasons I consider him a monster. It's on the list, to be sure, but it's a distant fourth, at best, on the list. The most important reason for my reviling of the man is, quite simply-and this is what white racialists don't seem to get-HE WAS THE ENEMY OF THIS COUNTRY!

Now, if that doesn't make it plain enough, let me make it clear, regardless of the reasons for the war, the war was a fact, and as a result of it, hundreds of thousands of Americans lost their lives, as well as innocent British and other Europeans. White Europeans, including, by the way, Germans. For anyone to heroize, to idolize, this man, will automatically smack the majority of Americans, including white ones, as disloyal, to say the least. Thus, they automatically tend to want to tune out whatever valid message they might otherwise have. And that's the real shame. Becuase frankly, I think, like they, that there is much in white European/American history and culture that is good, and honorable, and just, and worthy of admiration. And white cuture-like all others-should be celebrated and perpetuated.

But when I see a monster like Adolf Hitler held up as an example, as an icon-well, frankly, it pisses me off. Because, when you get right down to it, Hitler and his cronies were more than just the enemies of America. They were the enemies of freedom and democracy. Some would go so far as to say they were, inadverdantly at least, the enemies of civilization itself. Whatever the case, there can be no doubt that, had Hitler won in the end, that would have been the end of the advancement of freedom and democracy. Anybody that thinks otherwise is just deluding themselves.

I have to wonder just what the people who are raising these girls are thinking. They have all ready been banned from an appearrance at a fair where they had performed the previous year, in Bakersfield California, due to evidently some protests and complaints. They can expect more of this kind of treatment as time goes on. And it's all so stupid, so unnecesary. If they have real talent, which evidently they do, why not allow them to express it creatively in ways that might be more mainstream. Politics can come later, if they are so inclined. If not, so be it. Who knows, if their popularity were to grow, and be allowed to manifest in ways that would be more conducive to a general audience, they might one day in the future make some kind of an impact.

But for now, these are kids. Chldren. They should have the lives of children, while still pursuing their dreams. I understand they are destined to live insulated lives, to a point, and I don't begrudge their mother raising them in whatever philosophy or religion or cultural values she chooses. That is her right as a parent, as far as I'm concerned. But in the meantime, they should take the time out, from time to time, and hopefully they do, to enjoy the simple pleasures of childhood. Because childhood only comes around once. It's fine to spend a portion of it learning about politics and cultural issues. Spending a majority of it revolved around those aspects of life, on the other hand, may be something else all together.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

The Magic And Ritual Uses Of Anise

I recently read something that may be quite timely,and I thought I'd share it with all-or both-of my readers. Seems that Anise might be a preventative to the Avian Bird Flu that seems ready to take the world by storm. Not a cure now, mind you, but possibly-note, I said possibly-a preventative, evidently the possibility being that it serves to bolster the bodies immune system in some way that it might-again, might-serve to keep one from coming down with the nasty virus.

To those who are unawares, Anise is quite simply a plant the seeds of which have a strong licorice like aroma and flavor. In fact, most of the licorice sold in stores as a candy are actually flavored with this herb. Actual true licorice would be prohibitively expensive, unfortunately.

Both anise and licorice have their uses in ritual and magic. Licorice is used to inspire lust, while Anise can be used to heighten psychic awareness. The method is quite simply, in the case of Anise, to inhale the scent of the essential oil that is derived from the seed. As no essential oil is made from licorice that I am aware of, you have to stick to the root, which I assume can be purchased in herbal stores, specially Chineese herb shops.

Some might wonder what the difference would be ritually, since the scent andf taste is so similar, and that would be a good and valid question. In my own case, I have no experience with licorice, but I do have considerable experience with Anise. Yes, it, too, inspires lust. But then that is easy enough in my case. It very definitely inspires psychic awareness. Especially when used in conjunction with a good joint of marijuana.

In fact, the ritual in which I did this utilized a crystal ball, a very small one, a blue candle, anise essential oil, a joint, and a sheet of parchment upon which I dabbed a few drops of the oil. After inhaling the scent and smoking the joint, I lit the candle, some incense, and dropped a few drops on the candle, which I also previously annointed with the oil. I then meditated by the light of the blue candle, on the old style parchment, and the crystal ball.

Before long, the anise blots on the old style parchment became like a kind of Rorshach test, and I could divine shapes in them that told me the answer to the question I had been divining. But that was only the beginning. After so long the shapes actually seemed to take on a life of their own, and they actually began to move around on the parchment. It became almost like looking at an editorial page cartoon transposed to film, with movement. It was quite bizzarre, to say the least.

Thing about it was, I was unsure as to exactly what I was looking at. Then, three days later, it hit me, out of the blue, just exactly what I was looking at. At the time the truth occurred to me, I had actually put it out of my mind somewhat, but I was waking across a bridge, in fact the bluue suspension bridge (Roebbling, I think is the name of it) that goes from Cincinnati to Covington, Ky., when it hit me. The purpose of the divination was to discover the true identity of the person or persons responsible for the murder of somebody. Incredibly, I knew one of the two people involved, and maybe the other one as well, though I could never be too certain of that second.

Now, of course, I said to myself, okay, I don't like this person, so I'm projecting my intense dislike of him onto a crime scene as a way of playing some kind of subconscous game of retribution. So I put this out of my mind. But, it turns out,(though I didn't know it at the time of the ritual) the person in question, who shall remain nameless, was exactly the type of person who would commit this specific type of crime against this specific type of victim. Voila. Unfortunately, I had and have no real evidence, so it has had to remain my secret. What am I going to tell the cops, that I saw the guilty parties on a sheet of parchment after I smoked a joint and conducted a Wiccan style ritual? And one of them just turned out to be a person I'd been having some problems with? Nothing serious, the guy was just a loudmouthed asshole and a prick. Strangely enough, however, the guy became eerily friendly almost immediately after my ritual, after I had spoken with him a couple of times. Almost like a part of him, somewhere deep down, knew that I knew. But knowledge based on divination, no matter how valid and based on comprehensive study and verification afterwards, is worthless without some kind of hard evidence to back it up. As such, I have a real problem with a lot of these phoney psychics who put themselves across as having some kind of special knowledge of some crime or mystery.

But anyway, I have strayed somewhat, from my original point, but at least perhaps it served to illustrate the validity of the magical andf ritual uses of the herb, depending on whether one would care to take my word for it. Naturally, in the case of the smoking of marijuana, I would never (ahem) under any circumstances (Ahem) encourage anybody to break the law (ahem). But there you have it, take it for what it's worth.

Fortunately, you can enjoy the benefits of the magical powers of anise with ot without the use of marijuana, or any other drug. The psychic enhancing powers of the scent is still quite powerful, and may possibly be even easier to access without marijuana, which in my case causes my mind to stray very quickly from first one thing to another.(Of course, in the case of psychic workings, that might not be all together bad)

But there are other ways to enjoy the benefits of the herb, bsides merely inhaling the scent. I enjoy making a tea out of the seeds. It is quite simple, really. Just fill a coffee filter about one third to one half way full ofthe seeds, then run about ten cups of water through your coffee maker. Of course, the more seeds you can put in your filter, the stronger and thus better the tea. Enjoy the tea by the light of the moon, especially the full moon, as you sit outside under it at night. Or simply enjoy it in the comfort and privacy of your home, as you meditate by candlelight. Either way, or both, is fine. As Samhain is fast approaching, what better way to attune with the spirits of the dead, or with the Goddess and the God, than by this brew. I used to add other ingredients. A dash of cinnammon, a couple tablespoons of ginger, a pinch of spearmint. This year, however, I think I am going to stick to pure anise tea. I might add a teaspoon of sugar per cup, but I might not even do that. Whatever the case, I strongly recommend it for a person's Samhain celebrations-or anytime for that matter.

A word of caution is advised, however. As with any herb, check with your physician before you ingest too much of it. Anise in particular can be dangerous for persons sufferring from high blood pressure. Otherwise, anise tea while meditating is an enjoyable addition to my Samhain observances.

And with what I learned about it's potential as a preventative for the contracting of the Avian Flu, Samhain couldn't come at a better time.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Bo Dietl Runs His Mouth-And MSNBC Runs Away

Bo Dietl is a frequent contributor to the MSNBC Imus In The Morning show, which is actually a simulcast from the radio program. I watch it on a fairly regular basis. Imus gets away with a good lot on the show that a good many people wouldn't even dream of doing, even if they wanted to, which you suspect a good lot of them would. Dietl, a regular, is as much a character as is Imus himself. A former New York Police detective, he has gone on to amass a considerable fortune as a private securtiy expert and businessman. He appears on quite a few programs, in fact, as an analyst, and has written a book, "Business Luncheatations", in which he gives advice on how to get ahead simply by selling yourself to the rich and powerful. Of course, in order to get the kind of access he describes you all ready have to be fairly successful (to say the least) to start out with.

He is very irascible, and can be quite abrasive. He may be an easy person to admire, but not so much to like. He comes across as a person who pulled himself up out of the dirt and clawed his way to the top the hard way. As such, he is his own most ardent admirer. Though he was a cop, he drops names of people with whom he is intimately connected, and intimates that his closest friends and allies may have ties to the mob. Sweet.

But just yesterday, he may have started to go just a little too far. He has gone through this kind of thing before, where he starts out talking about the war on terror and Iraq (which he has now come to oppose although in the beginning he was an ardent proponent of it). Like Imus is wont to do, he gruffilly and angrily dismisses the Arab/Muslim fanatics and terrorists as "towel heads" or "ragheads", and makes no apologies for doing it. Sensitivity is not Bo's strong asset.

Funny thing is, I agree with him on this. Why pussyfoot around the issue and worry abut political correctness when it comes to people that would as soon cut your throat as look at you. He, like I, am resentful of the people who stress that we ought to approach the issue of terrorism with the attitude of trying to understand our enemies to the point that we should go so far as to sympathize with them to some extent, perhaps even open a dialogue with them. Try to reason with them. Try to appease them, in some fashion, and certainly come down hard on any abuses, real or imagined (or made up) at places such as Guantanamo or Abu Ghraib.

When Dietl starts opining on this issue, he takes on a frenzied, near maniacal personna, and you can tell that he, like myself, is as angry at the American leftist apologists for the terrorists and "insurgents" as he is with the Islamic Fascists themselves.

Yesterday, he took it to the point of advising a strategy to deal with the insurgents. We should get on Al-Jazeera, he stressed, and show a bunch of soldiers dipping bullets in pigs blood. We should then let it be known far and wide that, when we shoot an insurgent, these pigs blood soaked bullets will be what will penetrate their bodies. Therefore, they will go straight to hell. No paradise. No seventy-two virgins.

Of course, this is ridiculous as a strategy, and I can barely believe he was truly serious, angry though he was. It would be too easy for Bin Laden or another Al-Queda leader to issue a "Fatwa" to the effect that such an artifice by an "infidel" would not preclude a good Muslim from going to heaven, and that would probably be that, if it were even ever necessary to begin with. Moreover, such a tactic would serve merely to inflame even more Muslims against us. There are enough of them, and they are bad enough, as it is.

But that's not even really the point. What really struck me more than anything else about this childish and idiotic outburst, was that MSNBC cut it off, practically in mid-sentence, and jumped five minutes ahead of schedule to the last segment of Imus's simulcast on the network, showing what had occurred "earlier on Imus in the Morning." Typically the last segment of the show before the next hour goes into the MSNBC morning news segment.

In an effort then to prevent Muslims and Arabs that might be watching from becomming offended, and possibly to prevent their leftist apologists and maybe a politician or two from trying to make an issue out of it, MSNBC proved Dietl's point. Political correctness has become so rife, so rampant in our culture, that this country, the country that prides itself on freedom of speech and expression as guaranteed by the Constitution and the First Amendment, is collectively afraid to open it's fucking mouth about anything, about any person or subject, out of the fear that it might offend somebody.

Arabs and Muslims, of course, as is the case with most other minorities and special interest groups, are free to express their offense, and are free to demand-and more often than not get-an apology, whether or not one is deseved or called for.

I don't know for sure how valid the war on terror is anymore. In fact, I think we all ready lost it, a long time ago.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Vikings-Living Up To The Name

Since the Minnessotta Vikings have come into hard times lately, it seems like a good lot ofthe people involved within the sports and other media are salivating like vultures over the corpse of a slaughtered coastal villager in Pre-Christian days. Well, what would you expect? You have an NFL team that is on, or needs to be on, terminal life support. They have a loosing record so far this season, and just can't get it together on the field. Team discipline has totally dissipated. One wonders what in the hell the occassion for a cruise was to begin with. What exactly were they celebrating?

Or was it meant more to be a kind of old style funeral barge. Well, somebody set the boat on fire, all right. So far, no team owner or manager has stepped forward to claim repsondibility for what happened on the cruise ship that ploughed the waters of Lake Minetonken, yet someone in addition to chartering Al And Almas cruise ship had prostitutes (what the hell else could you call them) shipped in from Alabama. So in addition to possibly facing team and leaque sanctions, there could potentially be a question of federal criminality involved here, as it involves interstate transportation to perform a criminal act-prostitution.

Unfortunately, it doesn't stop there. Some of the crew members evidently felt harrassed, and were reportedly threatened, by several of the team members. I smell a lawsuit, or several of them, coming down the pike, and what's worse, one or more of the players (some of whom made statements of apology for the conduct of their teammates) may be called to testify on behalf of the plaintiffs, if it does come to that. This could indeed turn out to be the biggest mess to hit the NFL, or any professional sport, in a long, long time.

Still, again, no owner, no team coach or manager, has come forward to claim even a semblance of responsibility for allowing, or encouraging, or facilitating this event. Not as yet, to my knowledge. Obviously, there was a good deal of alcohol intoxication,and probably drug use involved as well. So perhaps it is understandable from both a legal and a public relations standpoint.

Hopefully,this issue will be resolved, and all relevant parties will be held accountable, including the team ownership, if applicable. As for the team as a whole, one can only hope they will concentrate their efforts on living up to the Viking name on the football field. In other areas, they should perhaps try to be a bit more civilized than that.

Public Menace

If the city of Toledo had it's collective way, it probably would like a chance to go back and rethink it's decision to allow members of the American Nazi Party to stage a protest march in what was evidently a mixed neighborhood of the city, as this was a decision that has resulted in a lot of turmoil and destruction. A neighborhood tavern was torched, and an ambulance was attacked with rocks as it entered the area.

The decision to allow the march was one only the ACLU could love. After all, they sucessfully fought for the right of Neo-Nazis to march in the streets of a Jewish neighborhood. The group and it's supporters like to tout this as suppossed proof that they are out to protect the Constitutional rights of all groups,not just progressive and liberal groups. Of course, that decision did not result in the kind of turmoil that occurred in Toledo. Nor was either case proof of the concern of any party involved as to the constitutional free speech rights of any group.

Amazingly, the riots transpired aftr the Nazis had all ready packed up and left, accorrding to most acounts. And, though the mayor of Toledo bemoaned the actions as something that would be touted by the right wing extremists as proving their point-their ostensible purpose for the march was in protest of black gangs attacking whites-one has to wonder what the city expected, and what the hell, actually, they were thinking when allowing this protest.

After all, in any such decision, there are always public health and safety considerations which are tantamount. Not to say that the demonstration should not have been allowed, only that it should have been thought out and coordinated more carefully. Perhaps limited to a certain area, where proponents, or for that matter opponents, could have been informed as to the time and place, and allowed to attend, under security scrutiny, along with the media. The group could have staged their event, and could have made their point.

Unfortunately, it seems as though the group was determined to get in the faces of the targets of their protests, and worse, the city seems to have been glad to oblige. As a result, what might be described as a counter protest did indeed get way out of hand, which could have resulted in tragic consequences. What is more, this seems to have been encouraged by gang members working in conjunction with anarchists from out of town. One thousand anarchists or more, in fact.

If I didn't know better, I would swear that the city allowed this to occur not out of any concerns for the free speech rights of the Nazis, so much as out of a perceived method of working the city residents up into on the one hand shaming themselves into cleaning up the very real problems of the city, and on the other hand inflaming them against the nazis in a way they could then use to harness the energy of their indignation come the next election. Toledo is I think a Democratic city, and this could have been perceived as a way of working up even more furor against the Republicans, who tend to be identified with the Nazi crowd by a large segment ofthe black population. At the same time they could have made the point that they were the champions of free speech.

But the city of Toledo bit off more than it could chew here. It may never have occurred to them that with racial tensions being on such a jagged edge now, in the aftermath of the Katrina disaster and rampant unemployment (Toledo's being at 6 per cent, a point higher than the national average) the last thing the black population of the city of Toledo needed was a dressing down by American Nazis giving the German Nazi salute. And more to the point, the blacks who were riled up to the point of rioting seems to have been as resentful of the city which allowed the protest, as it was of the Nazis themselves.

All told, not a good day for Toledo, nor an admirable example of the practice of free speech or the support of same.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Harriett Miers-Just What Does Dobson Know?

A lot has been made out of a recent statement by Dr. James Dobson, of Focus On The Family, to the effect that he knew some things about Harriett Miers-George Bush's most recent Supreme Court nominee-that he probably shouldn't know. The information evidently came to him in the coure of a conversation with senior Presidential advisor (for the time being) Karl Rove. As a result of this conversation, Dobson has pledged his support to Ms. Miers. To Bush's obvious chagrin, he is one of the relatively few social conservative leaders to do so. In fact, even Dick Cheney recently founmd himself in the absurd predicament of having to call-in on the radio show of conservative windbag extraordinaire Rush Limbaugh in a seemingly vain attempt to convince the fat blow hard to support the Miers nomination.
To be sure, Dobson's support is tepid, to say the least. He has said that he gives the support with the knowledge that the blood of more innocent babies might well be on his hands, in part. But he has given it, nevertheless. Why?
I have always been of the opinion that most conservatives want the fight more than they actually want a conservative nominee. But without a truly known conservative nominee, there can be no fight. No rallying of the troops. No blood, no guts, no money. Again, what does Dobson know? Could this be a simple means of gearing up the conservative Christian camp for a fight, to sound the alarums of war? Or is there truly something in Miers background that Dobson has been made privy to?
It would be too easy to suppose that Rove told Dobson that Miers has expressed oppossition to abortion in private, and has all but assurred the President that if nominated she will if given the opportunity vote to overturn Roe v. Wade. Of course, if she were to have actually said that, she would if it were to come out be immediately disqualified from the court, or at the very least would be obliged to recuse herself from any ruling on the matter of abortion rights versus right to life. Possibly even if it was a ruling that just sought to nibble around the edges of Roe v. Wade.
I find it hard to believe that Rove would have told Dobson something like that, and if he did, it seems incalculable to me that Dobson would have mentioned it on his radio program, or anywhere else, publicly or privately.
That leaves very little else to consider. Perhaps Rove has just stressed to Dobson that the President knows Miers very well, and would not have nominated her for the Supreme Court if he did not know her and her beliefs and feelings on a myriad of subjects, including not only such issues of concern to Dobson as might one day come before the court, but perhaps more importantly, that Bush is well aware of Miers' judicial philosophy. Perhaps Miers has stated in no uncertain terms that she is a "strict constructionist" of the Constitution. She may have said that there is indeed precedent for oveturning precedent when a case has been wrongly decided, as in the case when a decision might smack of politics, or of "judicial activism".
This could be it. But there seems to be something missing here. Something personal. After all, Dobson could easily assume any or all of the above that I have mentioned, without Rove's or anyone elses input. It is really not a matter of something that one should know that maybe one shouldn't know.
It occurred to me just the other night, and I know it's a stretch, but there might indeed be something personal in the life of Harriet Miers that a person like Dr. James Dobson might well find reassurring, to a point.
Harriet Miers, at the age of sixty, has never been married, and it has even been rumored that she has never engaged in sexual relations. I find this unlikely, to tell you the truth, yet it is a fact she has never married. She was at one time a Catholic, and yet, for some reason as yet unspecified, she converted to evangelical Christianity. This is somewhat of a rarity. Yet, it seems to have occurred sometime during the late seventies to early eighties. Well before Harriett Miers reached the age of forty. She has been a devout evangelical Christian ever since, and has involved herself to some extent in Pro Life matters, donating money to Pro Life charities. A decade later, she converted as well, from a supporter of the Democratic party to a Republican supporter. Soon thereafter, she met Bush, to whom she has been attached ever since.
My question is this? Did Harriet Miers ever have sexual relations-consensual or otherwise-with any man? Is it possible that this resulted in a pregnancy? And is it even possible that, yes, Harriet Miers, possibly after agonizing over the decision, possibly not, had an abortion? How would this have affected her life? Did she go through a torrent of agonizing guilt over her actions? Some women, it is said, have been racked by guilt and depression after undergoing an abortion, sometimes even when the aborted pregnancy is the result of rape-or incest.
Did this lead to her future abandonment of the Catholic Church, where such an act would be considered an heinous sin, and carries with it to this day even the threat of permanent expulsion, of excommunication? Did this convince her to turn from the church, which she came to view as cold and harsh, and turn to the open, and loving, and forgiving arms of the evangelical Christian movement?
Of course, all this is the most rank speculation, I know that. But it is easy to see how Harriet Miers and George W. Bush, also a born again convert, would become so close. I have no doubt that Bush knows her well-too well. But is it possible that she would have confided such a harrowing life experience as this to the comander-in-chief that she so admires and respects. I think she would.
Of course, all this brings up yet another question. If it were to turn out that Harriet Miers had had an abortion, a life changing experience, which, out of guilt and remorse, turned her into a staunch abortion opponnent, this in itself would certainly not disqualify her from a seat on the Supreme Court. What is more improtant, it may not even require her to recuse herself from any decision involving Roe v. Wade, or any other Pro-Life versus Pro-Choice issue that might come up before the court.
On the other hand, it might well indeed disqualify her. For, what if it were to turn out that this abortion transpired before 1973? The year before Roe v. Wade was decided, and then became the law of the land? Then, assumming Harriet Miers was an adult at the time of the abortion, and that it was thus not forced upon her, but that it was the result of her own adult decision-then Harriet Miers would have broken the law. In fact, she would have to be considered a murderer, and of her own child at that, accordding to the law as it stood at the time. 
How ironic would that be? People have been disqualified from lower court seats and from lower cabinet posts for a lot less than that. But for Harriet Miers to be disqualified from a seat on the Supreme Court because she had at one time had an illegal abortion, well, that would take the cake.  

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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

America No Longer The Worlds Greatest nation

It just struck me last night as I was watching Hannity and Colmes, as Sean Hannity was berating a guest who had recently taken a job as a reporter for the Arab network Al-Jazeera. The former American soldier was asked repeatedly whether he thought America was the worlds greatest nation.
The soldier turned reporter answered in the affirmative, but it seemed to me as if he did so by rote, that his heart wasnt' really in it. And I understood quite well the reason for this. What does it mean, really, when somebody states that the Untied States of America is the greatest nation on the face of the earth, the greatest nation, in fact, to have ever existed?
Well, the answer to that would depend on who you ask. Some people, the more simple minded, would say because we are the most powerful nation, militarily and economically, and because of our "freedom" and our purported belief in God. A great many would agree with this assessment only in part.
The real answer, of course, should be because of our founding documents, the Constitution, the Bill Of Rights, the Declaration of Independence. Because of our history of adhering to the principles inherent in these documents, and of being the shining light to the world for those who long to live in liberty, and propserity, and the promise that everyone who "works hard and plays by the rules" stands a good chance of achieving their dreams-the so-called "American Dream."
Unfortunately, the American Dream may well have turned into a nightmare. No longer are we the worlds greatest nation. Oh sure, we are still the greatest economic power, the greatest military power, and we still have the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and in fact the infrastructure of our government is still very much in place, as strong or stronger than it has ever been before.
But none of that is important, when you get right down to it. A country is not it's government, nor is it it's military or economy. It is not even it's founding documents, admirable though these all are. The greatness of a nation, of any nation, is in it's people. So, let's rethink this assertion of greatness.
When, ever, if at all, was America truly "The Greatest Nation On Earth"? I submit that there was indeed a time when this was the case. Never was there a time when this was more true than during the onset of the nineteen thirties, during the darkest days of the Great Depression. This had been ongoing by 1932 for some three years, and the country was now at it's bleakest period. Franklin D. Roosevelt rallied the people after this, and though the struggle was long and hard, the people persevered. Note I said the people persevered. Not Roosevelt, not the Democratic party. Although Roosevelt and his Party were indeed instrumental in harnassing the power of the collective will and faith of America, it was the spirit of the people itself that enabled the long term transformation. It was a story that is itself the stuff of greatness.
This greatness continued, as we persevered through the horrors or World War II in the 1940's, on through the on-set of the Cold War in the late forties and throughout the fifties. Despite the trepidation that existed then, again America persevered, throughout even the tumltous decade of the ninteen sixties. It was perhaps this decade during which America was tested like never before, when our very values were called into question, and when we were forced to really examine whether or not American justice and values were only for the chosen few, or for all Americans. The unrest of the Civil Rights and Viet Nam era was cetainly a testing period. We lived through the assassination of a President, a former attornedy general and Presidential anti-war and pro-civil rights candidate, and the greatest of all civil rights leaders. All this culminated with the end of Viet Nam war, and the resignation of a President in disgrace.
Things had indeed come full circle. Throughout the decade of the nineteen seventies, America was going through a healing process, what Jimmy Carter mistakenly referred to as a "malaise". America was, in fact, an exhausted nation, a nation sufferring from an advanced case of collective clinical depression.
For just a brief time, Ronald Reagan inspired a kind of revitalization of the American spirit during the decade of the nineteen eighties, but this was illussory, based on empty premises of a new "morning in America", where most of the people were still left in the dark, until the glaring light of Iran Contra temporarily shocked us out of our complacency. But still, we didn't really care. Not enough.
We continued to live our delusions, on into the nineteen nineties. Then came Clinton, and, quickly following his ascension to the presidency, in 1994, came what was billed as the "Republican Revolution". Lead by Newt Gingrich, soon to be the first Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives in more than forty years, this was the one event that set the stage for the ultimate downhill slide of America, into the doldrums of a Third World Backwater.
Clinton, who was luckily re-elected in 1996, managed to maintain some semblance of control over events, enough to oversee probably the greatest economy in American history. But by this time, the bitterness and factionalism between Democrats and Republicans had manifested to an extent not seen since the days of the American Civil War. By the time Clinton left office, there was no way to go but down.
Yes, we still have the Constitution and the Bill Of Rights. Our democratically elected leaders should read it every now and then. Both sides. The way it stands now, both factions have become so intransigent, their heels dug in so deeply, as they become more and more controlled by PACS and spercial interest groups, as oppossed to being guided by the will, and the rights, of all American citizens.
Because of this, precious little is ever accomplished anymore. Moderation and compromise have become as rare, if at all existant, as the civility which used to at least pretend to exist among our elected leaders.
We are, in effect, in the middle of a Second American Civil War. But it is one fought not for the achievement of a lofty goal, or for the righting of one of humanities great evils. It is a war fought for the simple acquisition of power, and wealth, and control. And the American people, for the most part, either sit on the side-lines, wathcing in dismay and disgust, or they take sides, some rather tentatively,without really giving a whole lot of thought to the choices they make. In fact, a good lot of them, I am afraid to say, are really too ignorant to make an informed choice, they just act accordding to what they perceive their own selfish best itnerests to be, rightly or wrongly, and try to tell themselves that they are doing it for the "good of the country", or to please some supposed divine personnage.
Perhaps it was a little harsh to refer to the country as a "backwater". But that is exactly where we are headed, and quicker than one might think, if things aren't changed, and quickly. But this is unlikely to happen. The factionalism, the bitterness, and the outright hatred that has overtaken the country tells the true story of the state of our nation. And it might well be the final chapter. What's liable to replace it afterwards could very well be an entirely different type of volume, one based on totalitarianism, with an economic system that would probably be best described as a modern kind of feudalism.
Not exactly what the Founding Father's had in mind, in fact a far cry from the lofty ideals as set forth in the Constitution and the Bill Of Rights. And that is all that matters. The greatness, long term, of any nation, is not where it has been, but where it ends up going.   

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Saturday, October 08, 2005

Mars Retrograde-What Will Happen This Time?

As of this month, the first of this month in fact, the planet Mars, which is currently transiting the sign of Taurus, began going through retrograde motion, which is an illussion that makes it appear that a planet is going backwards. This illussion is caused by the position of a planet in relation to the position of the earth in the zodiac. Thus, when the Sun appears to be transiting a sign which is at the oppossite end of the spectrum from the planet in question, the planet-in this case Mars-appears to be moving backward. Although this is an illussion, astrologers have long noted certain conditions that seem to be prevalent in regards to retrograde motion of various planets. Mercury retrograde, for example (which likewise starts again later on this month) is said to cause difficulty in communications and travels, etc.

So what is the influence of Mars retrograde? A look back at past events may provide a telling example. In the year 2001, Mars went retrograde in the sign of Sagittarrius, when the Sun was in the sign of Gemini. About the middle of June of that year, the Sun and Mars came in complete oppossition. Two and a half months later was September 11th, 2001. At this time, Mars had resumed it's normal forward trajectory, albeit slowly, and had returned to the point roughly in the Zodiac at which it began it's retrograde motion.

The last time Mars went retrograde, was in July of 2003. Mars and the Sun came in oppossition in August of that year. About the time things started going horribly wrong in Iraq, although the U.S. forces had succeeded finally in tracking down and killing the sons of Saddam Hussein.

This year, the Sun and Mars shall come in oppossition about midnight of November 7th. Around the last of January, 2006, will be about the time which would be the equivalent of September 11th of 2001.

So what does it mean? Does it have some mystical connotation that we can barely grasp for now? Possibly. However, there could actually be a mundane explanation, besides mere coincidence. Bear in mind that the terrorists who advocate a return to what they purport as the original intent of Islam as propogated by the prophet Muhammed look forward-or backward-to a return to the so-called glory days of Islam. In those days, Islamic societies had established a reputation as the cultural centers of their day. They were adept at various branches of science and mathematics, had an admirable literary heritage and, more importantly, were considered at the forefront of astronomy and astrology.

The point? Is it possible that the Al-Queda terrorists actually use astrology as a means of plotting strategy? It would make a good deal of sense when you consider the difficulties they have, especialy now, more than ever, in maintaining effective real time communication capabilites in regards to leaders to their followers. By utilizing astrology, they could conceivable therefore have planned well in advance their strategies. Weeks, and months, and yes, even years ahead of time.

If this is true, what might be their strategy this time around? Unfortunately, it could well be that we will just have to wait to find out. Hopefully, the utilization of astrology as a strategic tool, while it might be effective, need not necessarrily be a guarantor of success.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Conservatives Seem To Hate Harriett

It seems that very few in the Republican Party care for her one whit, which surprises me to no end. Bush must be beside himself. His last nomination, that of John Roberts, played to such good reviews, he must have thought a follow through hit was guaranteed to be a success. After all, how can anyone legitimately criticize a woman who was HIS-George W. Bush's- White House counsel, and had been associated with him for a number of years before that. A woman who had been the first woman to head the Texas branch of the American Bar Asociation, an organization which she, as well, encouraged to not support "abortion rights". A woman who would be easily asummed to be a staunch conservative, with not only a conservative view of the Constitution, but one who, as a former attorney, could easily become a "conservative activist" when it was deemed appropriate.

If that sounds contradictory, all you have to do is remember that conservative activism generally hides behind an illussion, a facade if you will, of "States Rights" (Federalism), and even more importantly in the case of the hard core social conservatives, "Traditional Values" (Judaeo Christian values, in other words). But they would insist that it is never, ever, "activist". After all, how can it be "activist" to simply go back to the way things are supposed to be. Get it?

But they are genuinely upset, and to a large degree are even questioning Ms. Miers's conservative credentials. Something I would never have imagined in my wildest dreams, even after an ounce of pot with a brand new shiny deck of tarot cards. What is going on here? Rush Limbaugh complained bitterly over the appointment, which he opined seemed to have been made "from weakness". Even more unbelievably, Vice-President Dick Cheney called in to Limbaugh's program to defent the nomination.

Also to my amazement, most Democrats seem to actually be happy with the nomination. Why? Do they know something, some people have openly wondered? Some have made hay over the fact that Ms. Miers donated money to the Al Gore campaign in 1988. Okay, that is an eyebrow raiser, for sure, but remember, Al Gore in 1988 was a far cry from the Al Gore of the Clinton Presidency, from the Presidential 2000 race. Gore was considered a moderate, maybe even a conservative to an extent, and his wife Tipper had made headlines by encouraging some degree of what many critics regarded as censorship of television, movies, and music. Al Gore may even have taken a Pro-Gun, Anti-Abortion stance at this time. (He certainly did at some point up before the time in question).

It is worth noting that Al Gore, of course, did not receive the 1988 Democratic Presidential nomination, nor is there any record of Ms. Meirs's donating money or campaigning in any way for eventual nominee Michael DuKakis-or for any other Democrat past that point.

Other Republicans and Conservatives have started a litany of complaints due to her suppossed support of other "liberal" causes-support for women in combat, for gay adoption, etc. But is this true, or is it simply a pack of lies meant to derail the nomination, meant to force Bush to make another appointment, of a better known conservative judge, one with unimpeachable credentials.

The Democrats might be right to be happy with this appointment, to be sure. But I can't see it. Certainly Bush has taken the time to get to know this woman and is at least reasonably sure as to not only her judicial philosophy and view of the constitution and the interpretaiton of laws-one would strongly suspect he would be well aware of her views on a variety of subjects, most particularly on the matter of abortion rights.

I would be willing to bet that Bush has nominated, in both Roberts and Meirs, two people who will indeed be in time regarded as judicial activists of the conservative variety. I would be more certain of Ms. Meirs in this regard than I would be of recently confirmed Chief Justice Roberts. Maybe not. Certainly, I could be wrong, that would hardly be a first. But the question becomes, why should the Democrats be so content. And why should the Republican Conservatives be so stridently oppossed-so bitterly dissappointed?

And it suddenly occurred to me what might-just might, mind you-be the problem. It's not the Republican faithful as a whole. They pretty much, like the Democratic faithful, believe what they are told, and act accordingly. So who is it, besides Limbaugh, and other pundits, who are beating this drum against Meirs. And why?

And it all comes down to money. With a Miquel Estrada, or an Edith Jones, or any of a number of other known conservative judges, they know there would be a fight. They know the Democrats would balk. And that is exactly what they want, a fight. They don't really care, in my view, whether they lose that fight or not. It's the fight that is important. Why? Because that is what brings in the money, the contributions, and gets the base out and active and excited.

Face it, the Republican base has had very little these days to feel good about. A conservative activist judge would be the one thing that could conceivably renew their spirits, and help them to overcome the doldrums, the malaise, that has come about as a result of the horrible state of affairs in Iraq, or the meagre response to the Hurricane Katrina disaster, especially in New Orleans, and the tragic consequences attendant with that. With the staggerringly high cost of gasoline prices, with home heating fuel price concerns looming in the very near future.

Bush has taken the one thing from them they most need to revive their sagging spirits-a good fight, for the cause they most believe in, that which to them is the most noble cause of all, the fight for conservative family traditional values that takes a special kind of judicial nominee to inspire. But that would require a paper trail, the very thing Bush at this moment of weakness in his Presidency, at this time of greatest vulnerability, fears the most.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Moves Toward A Conservative Activist Supreme Court

A good many people have come to realize over the last few years of the Bush Presidency that the Administration as well as, for the most part, the party in power in Congress, seldom says exactly what it means. In fact, a case can be made that it usually does exactly the oppossite of what it says. When the Republicans, for example, bemoan the lack of civility in Washington, and speak in negative turns about the Democrats and their suppossed inclinations to engage in personal "ad hominem attacks", they usually go on to engage in what is a good lot of the time the most outrageous example of smear tactics, and innuendos, and in some cases plain flat out falsehoods. Ask former Georgia Senator Max Cleland, for one. Or consider the case of the Homeland Security Department. Initially an idea of for the most part moderate Democrats such as Joe Liebermann, and at first oppossed by the Bush administration, it was soon seized and confiscated by the Bushes upon the perception of the growing popularity of the idea. Then, a lot of questionable policies were added on to it, and the same Democrats were then berated for oppossing some of these additions, such as the right to seize library records, for one.
There are other such examples of the Republican Party talking out of both sides of their collective mouths at once, but the latest example regarding nominations to the Supreme Court, is perhaps the most serious, the most far-reaching, and by far the most troubling.
WIth today's nomination of Harriet Miers, long time legal adviser to the President, to fill the coming Supreme Court vacancy to be left by retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, we may have now seen a perfect example of double speak come to fruition. Bush assurred us that, like the recently confirmed Chief Justice John Roberts, Harriet Miers is a perfect example of a legal scholar who will respect the law, the Constiutution, and, most importantly, will not seek to legislate from the bench.
Of course, this is a lot of nonsense. To legislate from the bench is exactly what Bush is hoping for, and counting on. From a conservative viewpoint, of course. One of the top priorities of Bush as concerning his presidency, from the very beginning of it, if not his number one priority, was specifically to nominate a judge who, in his own words, would be in the mold of a Justice Clarence Thomas or a Justice Antonin Scalia. In other words, his ideal role model would be a conservative activist. The scary thing is, Bush probably personally sees no contradiction here. But of course he can't say that, he's got to spin it in a matter which would ensure the highest probability of public palatability.
There can be little if any doubt as to how Harriet Miers stands on the issues. She has been an associate of Bush's since the mid-1980's, so we can assume that sometime over the course of that twenty plus years period of time, he has taken the opportunity to pick her brain on a variety of topics, ceretainly over the last few years, with precisely this in mind. He knows where she stands on abortion, for example. But nobody else need legitimately know. Bush may have scored his most important coup de gras with this appointment.
If the Democrats confirm her without a fight her, without much muss or fuss, it would prevent Bush from using a fight he obviously expects, (and expects in the long run to win by utilizing through his pawns in Congress the prospect of the "nuclear option" if necessary) to detract attention from his growing and obvious problems which continually mount in other areas. However, they have to put up some kind of a fight. They know that, and have no choice, and know they have no choice. To weaken now over the appointment of such a questionable nominee would be a sign of the utmost weakness, and their base, especially their core constituents, their more activist base, would go completely haywire, and for once they might be at least partially right to do so. But they have to walk a fine line nevertheless. 
Their best and most obvious line of reasoning in oppossing her would be precisely becuase she has no - absolutely none - judicial experience. Harriet Miers is a 60 year old woman who has made her living as an advocate, an attorney. Precisely the type of person who, if suddenly thrust into a position of judicial power, would tend to become an "activist judge". Who would be the most likely kind of judge to "legislate from the bench".
Her life experience has been as an advocate for her client. Not as a fair and impartial arbitrer of the law and the constiutution. Justice Roberts himself had precious little experience as a Judge on the Appellate D.C. Circuit, way too little really to be on the Supreme Court. But at least he had SOME experience, and in addition had a distinquished career before the Court as an attorney , and also served as clerk for Justice Rehnquist. So a case could be made for him.
But with this appointment, we now see a growing trend. The appointment of Judges, in all probability of a conservative activist temperament, who have no paper trail and no record to question or examine. This appointment I have no doubt will receive confirmation, and Harriet Miers will then become the 110th Justice Of The Supreme Court. That just leaves one appoitment to go, in order for Bush to have achieved the goal that is his most enduring wish to achieve for the establsihment of his legacy-a five to four conservative majority on the Supreme Court, led by a Chief Justice who, at age fifty, could conceivably continue for three, or even four, decades. Bush has three years to go yet before his second  term expires. The next one to retire would, it stands to reason, be Justice John Paul Stevens, the lone appointment made by President Gerald Ford, now the senior member of the bench, and arguably among the more dependably liberal members of it.
It is very unlikely, saving death or severe incapacitation, that Justices Scalia or Thomas will step down any time soon. So that Conservative Court that is Bush's most important goal, may just be a few heartbeats away. It is even conceivable that Bush may yet get to make not just one more appointment, but two more-or even three. If that were to occur, the long term result may well be the establishment of a conservative court, and even an activist one, which will be of long term duration. It will be a far different country then. But conservative views to the contrary, it is likely to be a far, far cry from what the Founding Fathers actually had in mind.

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