Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Returns of Neptune-Too Little Too Late

In an effort to shore up his popularity beyond the 38% or so approval rating at which he is currently stuck, George W. Bush has finaly out of desperation decided to pursue an initiative of enhanced border security, unveiling a series of high tech innovations, such as unmanned aircraft drones and infrared surveillance cameras, in addition to promising an increase in border agents. As there has been an increase in atacks on border agents by illegal Mexican immigrants over the last few months, this would of course be met with approval.

Bush also promises he does not approve of any kind of amnesty. This is meant to allay the fears of traditional conservatives. But it doesn't ring true. It rings to me of politics, as a ploy, meant to do the same thing Bush always does. Say what people want to hear, andthen do the exact damned oppossite. He has pursued this tactic to great effect especially on environmental concerns, while turning back the clock on a vast aray of environmental measures and laws that were first initiated by the Clinton Administration. Yet, to hear Bush tell it, he is the best political friend of the environment since Teddy Roosevelt.

Bush knows the chickens are starting to come home to roost on him. But what else can he do? I hope I am wrong, I hope that he is sincere, and that these new initiatives for border security will be adequately staffed and funded, and followed through. Even if they are, of coure, it is not enough, not by a long shot, but at least it's a start. But I doubt that start will ever really leave the starting line, will just be stuck in place as a kind of show horse, so Bush can say, lookey what I got. But it will be nothing, just another image without substance.

And eventually on this as well the chickens will come home to roost, only in this case Bush will probably be gone by then. Not long gone, unfortunately, but gone by two or three years at least, I would say.

Why two or three years? Here's where things take a mystical turn. The year 2010 will mark the anniversary, the first return, of Neptune to the exact spot in Aquarius, more or less, from which it was during-the Mexican American War. And that is really what the potential leading up to 2010 is, an actual Mexican American War, only one fought out not between two nationalistic, jingoistic armies, one a purported Republic, the other a military dictatorship-but one fought more along cultural, socio-economic lines, one that could involve the intrusions of armed gangs, some well armed and well funded, drug gangs, violent Mexican illegals with nationalistic leanings, ones agitating to a return to the old state of Aztlan, in which California, New Mexico, Arizona, and California, was under Mexican suzerainty. In short, another terrorist type of conflict.

Only this time, the major theatre of war could be within our own borders.

Conservatives True Colors

I have been beside myself the last few months, ever since the New Orleans Katrina disaster, over the attitude of some avowed and committed conservatives. They should really be ashamed of themselves, but unfortunately I have yet to hear a single one offer any kind of rational explanation, nevermind an apology, for the vile and despicable things they said concerning the black victims of the disaster. Accordding to these, many of whom unbelievably consdier themselves to be good, religous, faithful Christians, the black residents of New Orleans pretty much brought their troubles on themselves. They failed to get out of the area, despte the many times they were warned to do so. never mind that many of these people had no way out fo the city, did not have the money to purchase transportation away, nor did they have anywhere to go or money to rent a place if they did get away. Yet, it is somehow their own faults.

It was certainy not the fault of George W. Bush, or FEMA or any similar Federal Government bureaucracy. On the other hand, the minute there was any kind of indication that the Democratic Party might have been in part responsible, either on the state or the local level, they were stunningly quick to pounce on that.

Then came the riots. What turned out to be a relative handful, a miority, of rioters engaging in looting, violence, and suppossedly even mureder and rape (all of which it turns out was greatly exaggerated) they insisted was indicative of the attitudes and predispositions of the majority, of not all, of the black residents of New Orleans.

Now that some time has passed, all this has seemingly been quickly forgotten. But I have not forgotten, nor will I ever forget it. I have been paying close attention, in fact, to see if Bush and the Republican Congress holds true to their word for much needed aid to the city and residents. They must have thought we would all be napping when FEMA announced the residents stil in hotel rooms would have to leave by a certain date. This was announced before Thanksgiving, and the final date was sometime well before Christmas when the unfortunate residents would have to evacuate from their temporary emergency lodgings. Happy Holidays!

Nwo they have been floating a trial balloon. Maybe New Orleans should not be rebuilt at all. A far cry from the money that was promised to strengthen the levees to the point where they should have been strengthened before the disaster. Whatever is decided, it is a long way off before the majority of New orleans residents wil be enabled to get their lives back on track, before he Crescent City is resotred to any semblance of it's former glory. Perhaps it never can be.

A lot of Republican conservatives doubtless could not prevent their mouths from watering at the prospect of the city being rebuildt to their specifications, with upper income condos stretching as far as the eye can see, new offices and homes overseeing a charade of a French Quarter, devoid of any true life, bereft of it's soul, a mere mecca for the ultra rich which would once a year, on Mardi Gras, pander to the appetites of a nation hungry for diversion and for absolution. Of course, there would be some area set aside for poor dock workers, well out of sight of the tourists and the upper crust districts that stride triumphantly where once rested the Ninth Ward.

A once a year Disneyland, for one week, in the midst of a renovated commercial/luxury area more akin to Key Biscayne than to New Orleans.

Well, that dream is over. And now come the recriminations. It could take a handful of people, such as Mayor Ray Nagin, and Senator Mary Landrieu, to get things back on track, and to ensure the federal government and Washington politicians, in addition to state and local civil and business entities, stand firm on their previous committments. Hopefully, they will do so, and in time New Orleans will be restored, better than ever. Hopefully, the original residents will return, with increased opportunities to advance themselves.

But I can not help but wonder how disspointed some Conservative Republicans were that the original death toll of 10,000 postulated by Mayor Nagin turned out to be greatly inflated from the actual 1000 or so actually dead. Maybe they would be lucky, and it would turn out to be more like 100,000, maybe more, uninsured people whose properties could easily be condemened, and sold for a song. Give em some jazz, some blues.

Maybe if they hold out for as long as possible, on aid and reconstruction, maybe even cause them more grief than they can bear in the long run, the majority of them will decide it's not worth it, will decide to remain where they are now, or go somewhere else, anywhere but New Orleans.

I know it sounds harsh, surely no one can be so callous, so uncaring, so unfeeling, about their fellow Americans. My only answer to that is, all you have to do is navigate some of the past forums and e-mail message groups, such as Yahoo Groups, etc., and go back over their archives to the time in question. The bigotry, the intolerance, the racism, and out and out despicable level of ignorance displayed toward the poor black residents of New Orleans, the black victimes of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, reeks of a kind of vile filth one could scarcely imagine. And still they are in denial as to their own level of bigotry, which they put on public display for all to see.

They should really be ashamed of themselves. But evidently they have no shame, and this says a lot not only about them, it makes you wonder about the values of the poiticans they claim to support, and the religous values they purport to have.

"Tookie" Williams

If anybody deserves the death penalty-and there are penty who do-then this former Crips leader and founder would cetainly qualify as among the list of most deserving. Yet, there is a good chance that California Governor Arnold Swarzennegger will, bowing to pressure from the left, grant clemency. After all, he has a staunch array of advocates and defenders, including rapper Snoop Dogg, who refers to Williams as an "inspiration".

I would be the first to assert that anyone can change, and promote a generally positive contribution to society. But how do you make up for seven lives? Granted, four of the lives Williams was convicted of being responsible for taking were rival gang members, but there were those other three. Simple Chinese storeowners, a man and his wife and daughter. Doubtless witnesses or complainants to Williams criminal enterprises, perhaps victims who would no longer sit back and take it, who would no longer remain silent. The reason is really irrelevant. The point is, they did not deserve their fate.

True, Williams has sought to make amends, to an extent, by becomming an author of childrens books, and a seemingly tireless anti-gang activist. In this way, he has contributed to undoing the harm he has wrought on society.

Well,that would take some doing, to be sure. For one thing, it would be almost impossible for him to balance out the scales. I am not here speaking about the three innocent lives that he destroyed forever, or the grief that he caused this families friends and extended relatives, but instead I refer to the overall harm he wrought on society. In the long run, Williams is responsible for more loss of life than the seven for which he was convicted. And if it were possible to total up all the lives that were ended by violence due to the influence of this gang that he founded and ran for so long, that would still not be the end of it.

You would still have to figure in all the lives that he has irrevocably ruined, all the children who were lead into a life of crimes and drug addiction, eventual prostitution, and criminal records, some of which may have eventually resulted in their own executions.

Though I am an advocate of the death penalty, I am not one of those kill crazy types who would kill any criminal at the slightest pretext. In fact, I am a staunch advocate of prison reform. I think an emphasis on rehabilitation and education, with proper medical care, job training, and viable pay and benefits while in prison for those most deserving, is the real way to go. I also think prison safety for all prisoners regardles of the crimes for which they are convicted, is appropriate.

But at the same time, there are some prisoners that can probably never be rehabilitated, and in addition, there are some who, due to the nature of their crimes, should never be set free again. I would think the death penalty would be merciful. Why would anyone want to live their entire life in prison?

At any rate, there are some cases in which the death penalty is just simply the only option that is justified. Tookie Williams fits the bill. He is obviously guilty of all seven of the murders for which he was convicted. He is just as obviously guilty of all the ruined lives and destroyed families I have spoken of. A few speeches and books, no matter how thoughtful, positive, and sincere, is not going to atone for that.

Now if there were some viable, legitimate questions as to his guilt, I would concede that clemency is appropriate, and in fact I would be the first to demand it. But this is not the case here. This man is obviously guilty. There can be no legitimate claims made here to the effect that his execution is racially motivated. His crimes are that obvious and glaring.

Whatever good he might do toward advocating against gangs were he allowed to live, there is one inescapable conclusion. His death for these crimes would be just as dramatic, and an even more final, statement and warning against the lifestyle of criminal gangs.

I would concede there may even be riots, in addition to peaceful protests, agaisnt his execution, some of which might erupt in violence once the execution is finally conducted. The California State Police, and local police of various municipalities, should be aware of this, and prepare accordingly.

But this should simply not be an excuse for allowing this man to escape the death penalty which he is certainly deserving of. After all, there are many gang leaders and members who have a lot at stake, in a sordid kind of public relations way, in seeing that this man is not executed. If his death were to hinder or lessen in any way their future membership drives, that in itself would be a reason not to spare him.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Ramsey Clark Should Watch His Ass

Former U.S. Attorney General (Under Lyndon Johnson) Ramsey Clark probably wishes he had thought long and hard before even considering becomming Saddam Husseins Defense Attorney. After all, a number of Saddam's co-defendant's counsels have been abducted and/or assassinated. Their families have been targeted. Although it is unclear who the perpetrators are, it would seem that it is people who have had grievances with the former regime. It is also possible that it is actualy Ba'ath loyalists who consider the trial a sham, a public spectacle, and htat the verdict is a foregone conclusion. They would consider this not so much due to the obviyus weight of the evidence, which is weighted heavily toward the prosecution, but because the American occuppiers have all ready pre-ordained the outcome.

General Clark would probably echoe those sentiments, and has moved that the trial be held elsewhere, both for reasons of assurrances of a fair trial, and for the very legitimate security concerns.

He now has some extra time to make this case. Following his last appearrance, Saddam was told that the trial would be put off until the 6th of December. Not a lot of time, and I have grave doubts as to the trial being held anywhere but in Iraq.

Saddam was as obstreperos as ever. He complained bitterly about having to walk up six flights of stairs in shackles due to the elevator being out of order. The judge seemed sympathetic enough and told him he would tell the Americans to fix the problems. Saddam was adamant as he complained to the effect that the judge was an Iraqi, the Americans were occuppiers. You do not tell them anything, he insisted, you order them. These Amricans, he compkained, had manhandled him.

This from a man who, if the accussations are correct, had dissenters to his regime gassed bythe hundreds, if not thousands, had prisoners thrown from the tops of two or three story walls, had other prisoners arms and legs put through a wood chipper, and had wives and daughters of rivals ,both real and suppossed, raped.

No wonder Ramsey Clark feels as though he has his work more than cut out for him if the trial is held in Iraq, bu thwile he is concerned about fairness for Saddam, he had better be at least as concerned for his own safety. With Saddams fellow defendants lawyers being killed, it stands to reason that Ramsey Clark himself is not safe. And the danger may come from other quarters than opponnents of Saddams out for revenge.

Ramsey Clark, as a former U.S. Attorney General, knows full well what the relationship of the U.S. gvernment with Saddam was prior to the year of the First Gulf War. And he is well aware of the very cordial relationship that seems to have existed between Saddam and Vice President Dick Cheney, back in the days when Saddam was considered a necessary evil to balance the very real dangers of the fundamentalist Ayatollahs of Iran. It was during htis period, of the Reaan admiistration, and the earlier years of the Bush administration, that Saddam acquired, largely through the initiatives of then Secretary of Defense Cheney-well, ironically, weapons of mass destruction.

It is even conceivable that Dick Cheney could even be called as a witness to Saddamns trial. Such a tactic would be considered grandstsnding, of course, and this would probably be the case, but it would grandstanding with a point. Of course, Cheney would refuse to testify, and it is unlikely that he could be forced to do so, nor is it likely that former President George H. W. Bush could be forced to appear at the former Iraqi dictator's trial.

The question becomes, what is the precedent in Iraqi law that would enable the Iraqi judge to compel the testimony of men such as this? The answer is, of course, there is no such precedent. Iraqi law is, as it were, being made up out of whole cloth. And so, unless there is a provision in the newly drafted Iraqi legal code that specifies one way or another, the Judge could make precedent any way he chooses.

Ramsey Clark of course is well aware of this, and is probably aware that such a legal maneuvering would throw the entire proceedings into turmoil, into a tailspin as it were. He would certainly be aware of the points of American law that would make it possible or not to call such defendants, and he obviously will take advantage of any pretext on behalf of this client. Like any good lawyer, he is determined, no doubt, to get Saddam off the hook, and will use any legal trick or maneuvering at his disposal.

That is why he had better be damned careful. After all, a random sniper shot, or a suicide car bomber, or even a sudden kidnapping, could very easily be seen as the mark of the same anti-Saddam (or Pro-Saddam) insurgents who have all ready taken the lives of the Iraqi defense attorneys mentioned previously.

Ramsey Clarks knowledge of the ins and outs of American governent, intenational laws and precedent-and his probably ready familiarity with Iraqi/American relations and history, is comparable to knowing where the bodies have all been buried, and are rotting and reeking. Saddam could care less at this point about those bodies being uncovered. But others may not share his lack of concern.

A great part of the Iraqis present dislike for Americans, after all, may be found in the simple fact of the realization that, love him or hate him, Saddam started out as America's spoiled and tantrum throwing child, until he stepped over the line we drew too late across the sand.

Fooled Again

Yesterday I did something unusual, instead of watching "Meet The Press" with Tim Russert, I varied from this usual and time honored routine and kept the television set tuned to C-Span, on which appearred the author and blogspot Blogger Mark Crispin Miler. So impressed was I with this author that I decided to do a post about him today, and included a link in this title to his blog.

The full title of his book is something of a mouthful-"Fooled Again"-"How The Right Stole The 2004 election and will do it again (Unless We Stop Them)". The cover of the book features a spread of cards the top of which is George Bush as the Joker.

Although I have yet to read the authors book, he talked at length on C-Span about the documentation he had colected as to the voting irregularities and outright fraud and voter intimidation that occurred in the last preidential election. Although his main emphasis seems to have been on the race in Ohio, he asserts that this type of activity transpired on a national basis. Black voters especially, in places such as New Orleans, for example, were intimidated by requests for driver licenses, causing many to be turned away due to concerns over matters as trivial as unpaid parking tickets and other minor type fines. There were unwarranted challenges, and of course insufferably long lines at polls in Democratic areas, where there was a shortage of machines, while many of those that were delivered seemed to malfunction or have some kind of problems or glitches.

Miller asserts that the Diebold Company is a private enterprise and the intimation is obvious that he considers them to have Republican leanings, and possibly are even in leaque with the Republican Party.

But perhaps the most chilling of his assertions was that the Democratic Party seems for the most part uninterested in pursuing any investigation into the matter. For a time, he insists that John Kerry had said he believed the election might have been stolen, and so much as told him so, but now, according to Miller, Kerry denies the conversation ever took place. While Chris Dodd, the Senator from Connecticutt, outright refused to even consider the possibility.

Miller interprets the Democratic reluctance as a kind of fear, a type of denial, that anything could ever happen in this country of this magnitude, that to even entertain the possibility would be an admission that our entire national values and standards have been compromised.

This is the first disagreement that I have with Miller's interpretation of events. I think the explanation is far more malignant. Put quite simply, my feelings are that the problem isn't so much with the Democratic national party as it is with the state leaderships of both the Democratic and the Republican parties. But why would this be the case? Simpy put, the leaders of both parties, on the state levels, have everything to gain by ensuring that no waves are made. Leaders of a Democratic city, county, precinct, district, state, have every bit as much to gain from the Diebold fix as their Republican counterparts do.

When all is said and done, neither the Republican nor the Democratic state/local leadership cares about the national aspirations of their respective parties, so long as their own pieces of the pie is served warm with a plentiful helping a la mode, so to speak. They need never worry about some maverick independant or party insurgent upsetting the apple cart, and putting in jeopardy their own positions of pwer and influence. And it is these party leaders, who may when you get right down to it be no better or worse than the old time party bosses, who can make or break a candidate, even a long time established one such as Dodd or Kerry, or any others, who, after all, may have skeletons in thier closets they would just as soon be kept put.

Another disagreement that I have with Mr. Miller is in his choice of a cure for the problem, which isn't a cure at all. His positon is that the nation should adopt a standardized national policy of - get this , now- paper ballots. Can you say "hanging chads?"

Like I said, this is not a viable alternative. This is like finding out you've caught AIDS and wishing you had caught syphyllis instead. Certainly understandable, but the problem is it is just not good enough. An adequate prophylactic can prevent both, and "pregnant chads" as well.

And so I go back to my previous suggestion from some time back. The voting machines that have been in use in New York State and the Commonwealth of Kentucky are by far the better options. They are fast, dependable, and accurrate, and providing they are checked before hand by workers from both parties, they should be safe.

I wil admit I do not entirely know how they work, only that it is almost impossible to mess up on them. You go into the both, you flip a switch whch opens the voting process. You flip a switch by your candidates name, and can only flip one switch (candidate) per office sought. Yu just figured you flipped the wrong switch? No problem, you merely go back, flip the wrong switch back, and re-vote for the proper candidate. Then you go on down to the next office being sought and repeat the process.

Once you are through, you can check your votes. If you discover you have unwittingly made yet another mistake, you can go back and change it. You are now through voting. You therefore flip the switch, that signifies that you are through voting, and the machine is thus turned off, your votes are tabulated andf registered, and the machine is ready for the next voter. Since you turned the switch to indicate yu have finished (which is required before your votes are tabulated) the next person can not go in behind you and add to or change your vote. He cannot vote at all until he flips the switch, and the process begins again.

I think, though am not entirely certain, that the votes are tabulated and possibly even totaled, per machine. Once the totals are given to the election officials, they merely have to total the statewide results. It is of course up to the various party representatives to ensure that no skulduggery in thevarious precincts, districts, and counties have transpired.

What I do know is that it is fast and efficient, and the system is not computerized, so there is no chance for glitches or hacking, etc. It is solely a mechanical calculating device, I would presume. All I know is, on any given election, Kentucky will be one of the first states - most of the time it wil be the very first state - to announce it's results, which is geneally not too long after the close of voting on election night.

Add to this the fact that Kentucky and New York are the only states to use these machines on a consistent basis. I have an idea (though I as of yet do not know) that this started in Kentucky through the machinations of President Harry Trumans Vice-President Alben Barkley, who wanted to ensure that his political state rivals didn't do him in. Him and Governor A. B. "Happy Chandler" had been at odds for some time. Or it could have been Chandler who was responsible for the machines. All I know is the mnachines have been a part of state Kentucky poitics for some time now, and have served admirably.

Their presence in New York would be a matter of even more speculation on my part, but I would imagine the reputation for chicanery in New York politics, a la Tammany Hall, had something to do with it. This and New Yorks burgeoning population at the time required an efficient and speedy, yet reliable and accurate, method of counting the votes in a way that could be seen to be fair, with little chance for skulduggery.

Whatever the reasons for the use of the machines in New York and Kentucky, it is hard for me to imaginethat any would think something like paper ballots could be more effective, or more efficient, or less prone to the likelihood of error, or chicanery.

Which brings us back to the prospect of state party leaders, again, leaders of both parties. Naturally, a good many of these, if not most-if not all-would prefer to see methods in place that make it easy for them to maniplate the results, as the need arises.

The voting machines in place in Kentucky and New York, if adequately supervised by representatives of both parties, are the way to go to ensure elections that are fast, efficient, and fair.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Predictions-For December 3rd (And Beyond)

Anybody that is a regular reader of this blog may or may not at least vaquely remember a past post in which I outlined a psychic experiment involving attunning with the retrograde movements of the planet Mercury. For those who need a reminder, and who might have the slightest interest, you will see that a link has been provided in the title, just click on the title of this post and it will take you to the pertinent past post in question.

Unfortunatley, my little experiment this time around didn't yield much in the way of results, though there was one little vision I found most disconcerting, which I had at more or less the time I was suppossed to receive a vision.

In this vision, if it turns out to be actually a prophetical one, then on the 3rd of December of this year, a man will feed his wife to his exotic pet-a huge snake, either a boa constrictor or a python.

Is this a symbolic image, or a literal one? Well, there was a great deal of symbolism in the vision to be sure, in fact, the event seemed to be taking place inside my home, though it didn't seem to involve me. My house may therefore have simply been a way of anchoring my dream mind to a point of reference. The man and wife was no one I seemed to know, and I do not own a snake.

Of course, if this is to be a literal event, it needs no comment as to how bizzarre this would be. I can imagine few things more horrible than to be squeezed and then swallowed, especially if still alive, by a boa constrictor. Yet, this seems to be the prediction, that this will ccur, somewhere, to someone, and that it will be intentionally allowed to hapen to a woman due to the machinations of her husband. Hell of a way to dispose of a body, to be sure. Probably little if any blood, and no trace of a body, unless somebody thinks of the obvious recourse of cutting open the snake. On the other hand, by the time he gets around to reporting the woman to be missing, the woman could be completely digested and all DNA evidience of her existence likewise digestd and transformed into something totally unrecognizable.

If this is to be a symbolic event, then I need hardly comment, I would imagine, as to the obvious phallic symbolism inherent in the image of the snake. But what does it mean? A man will sacrifice the welfare of his marriage, his wife, to his own voracous sexual appetities? Well, I am not married, so if it has anything to do with me, it must be in regards to a friend or a family member.

Or it could be a prediction that I might become involved with somebody, sexually, and it will get out of hand, and grow to the point of-well, never mind. Put it this way, I do have a voracous sexual appetitie, and I also love to eat.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005


A happy Thanksgiving to everybody. To me, this is perhaps the only Holiday that, in America anyway, is celebrated by the majority of people in the way that it was intended to be. With the posible exception, that is, of Christmas, which despite Christian beliefs to the contrary, actually pretty much is celebratd the way it was originally intended before the Church co-opted and unsuccessfuly, for the most part, tried to change it-but that is an all together different story.

Most other holidays, to tell you the truth, are days to get off of work with pay and cook out on the grill, or visit the family. Thing like that. Oh sure, there are some people that celebrate the Fourth of July, Veterans Day, Memorial Day, etc., the way they were inteneded, but most of us do not, and that is just a fact.

But Thanksgiving Day is different, I would suggest, because americans deep down are truly grateful for the good things we have here, for the most part, despite all the bitching that we do, and the very real and legitimate grievances we all have. And each one becomes a little more special each year, becuase any more I have to wonder if Thanksgiving really, after very long is going to mean anything more than any of the others. What do we really have to be thankful about, after all, when it looks like the leaders of the country seem to be intent on ignoring our wishes and selling us out in so many ways. These are not happy times, and happy times may never be here again.

But for the time being I will maintain some hope, some optimism. And as long as I have that gift, and as long as I have other things to be thankful about, I guess it's okay-for now.

Hey, if you have and are able to cook a traditional Thanksgiving meal, the turkey, the dressing, the pumpkin pie, etc., that has to be in and of itself something to be thankful for. And if you have family and friends, so much the better. That's really what it's all about anyway.

Happy Holidays.

Why Does Mary Cry?

There is no shortage of miracles in the world today, accordding to the more devout Catholics, and proof of this has recently been asserted in the form of a staute, an icon, of the Virgin mary which sits outside on the grounds of a Southern California Cathedral. The statue was first reported to have been crying real tears. By the time the following day came around, those tears turned into tears of blood. Naturally, the faithful have begun flocking to the grounds of the church, in hopes of a miracle, perhaps in hopes of a healing, or simply to experience union with the divine.

I will offer no rational scientific explanation for the manifestation, nor will I suggest that the thing might actually be a fraud. For the time being, I will take the reported miracle at face value. Perhaps this actually is a manfestation of the Virgin Mary, that she is crying real tears of blood, as a sign to this generation.

But what exactly is Mary crying about? Is she crying because-

*The pedophile Priest scandal has gone largely unresolved, though it has cost the Church enormous sums in regards to not ony it's material wealth, but more importanty in terms of it's much vaunted moral authority.

*Catholic Church attendance is down, and so is the reservoir of Priests and Seminarians, which grows less and less as the years go by, all of which in turn threatens the income of the Church.

*A great many among the Catholic Church hierarchy would like to see a return to the days when the Church had a great deal of influence, some would even suggest control, over states and their governments. This of course insured then, and would do so now, a degree of corruption unbecomming a spiritual organization.

*To this end the Church is manipulating the fears and prejudices of it's lay members in order to influence and even outright determine the outcome of elections in democratic nations, such as for example here in the U.S.

*The Church is encouraging massive illegal immigration from Mexico and other Latin American nations to the United States, of what it perceives would be a large majority Catholic population, which they intend to use as a base from which to expand and extend their power, influence, and eventual control over U.S. politics.

*Last but not least, perhaps Mary is more distraught than ever that, in this day and age when scientific advancement offers unparrallelled hopes in finding previousy unimagined cures for diseases that have over the years caused intense pain, and sufferring, and massive death and grief, that same church that claims to revere her and worship her son would stand in the way of embryonic stem cell research. That they would do so out of the unreasonable claim that this is the destruction of human life, when in fact these cells would be destroyed anyway, in fact would either be incinerated or unceremoniuously dumped in he garbage, perhaps to be eaten by rats, if they are otherwise not used for something.

*Or, perhaps it could all be sumed up by saying, quite frankly, that the Church has become an anachronism, that it has in fact done what it has for the most of it's history always done-stood in the way of scientific and cultural and political and social advancement out of a vain attempt to maintain control over the masses through fear, intimidation, and superstition.

If Mary really is crying I damned well can't say that I blame her.

Animal Instincts

Whether anybody likes it or not, or wants to believe it or not, or even cares to hear about it or not, the strange case of Kara Borden and David Ludwig from Lancaster County Pennsylvania are living proof of the theory of evolution. They, and especially Kara, are proof that, once you strip mankind down to his basic self, strip him from his pretenses of superiority, from his social pretensions, from the parental and/or societal influences by which they learn, by rote, by repetition, how to be civilized-how to be human-mankind is at his core nothing but an animal. The most highly advanced by far, true, but still animal to the core.

The idea of home schooling, in the case of these two, paved the way for their animal instincts to be brought to the fore. Say what you will about public schools, with all their drawbakcs, they do provide an atmosphere that can be conducive to social adjustment. Homeschooling in most cases is strongly lacking in this regard, and the homeschool environment in which Kara and David became involved does not seem to have been an exception. In time, they became attracted, sexually, physical, emotionally, to each other, drawn to each other, became sexually active with each other, and finally fell in love with each other. They became inextricably bound together, pretty much married to each other, in a very real sense.

While all this was going on around their parents, who pretty much seem to have napped during the whole affair, a recipe for tragedy was being created. This was augmented by the seemingly free wheeling lifestyle of the Ludwig family. How else can you describe a family who seems to have allowed a teenage son open access to more than fifty firearms of various kinds, including various types of pistols and rifles. This seems to have been the culture he was raised in, and he even, along with a friend, recorded his adventures in some form of bizzarre ritual which has been described as a kind of night patrol, where he stalked various residences, planning and mapping out strategies for the conducting of home invasions and robberries.

With Kara, he exchanged photograps, nude and/or semi-nude photographs and constant e-mail communications. How long this was going on I am unsure, but evidently something happenned that finally caused the Borden family to realize that their little angel, who they doubtless thought to protect from the big bad world through homeschooling, had become far more learned than they had imagined, only in ways they ceretainly would never have approved of.

They then commanded an end to the relationship betweent he fourteen year old Kara and the eighteen year old David, and the resulting argument cost both parents their lives. It is still unclear just exactly what the level of involvement Kara had with her parents murder, but after David shot both her parents dead, it is now pretty well established that she left with him willingly. After all, they were each others whole world, their reason for being. They were all each other really had. They were one.

Kara especially had bound herself to this man she loved, her mate, for all time.In her own mind, her parents had betrayed her. They had attempted to destroy her world, the one they themselves had fostered and encouraged for years. There was no question as to whom her loyalty belonged.

Now the only thing that remains to be determined, besides the level of her involvement beforehand, is the degree of accountability to whcih she should be held. In my opinion, she should be held in juvenile detention until she is eighteen, undergo extensive and comprehensive therapy, and her incarceration shouldcontinue in a halfway house setting until the age of 21 to 25, depending on the degree of her adjustment and progress.

David Ludwigs story is a different one. I feel that he should receive 20 years to life. In other words, he should not be released from prison until a full twenty years have passed, after which he should remain on parole for the remainder of his natural life, assumming he makes parole. He might well never leave prison. At the age of eighteen, he might be too far gone by now to be rehabilitated.

Some might feel this is too lenient, especialy for a girl who may have actually been involved in the pre-meditated murder of her parents, and indeed if that turns out to be the case, then perhaps a harsher sentence might be called for. It is horrible though, and an indictment of our society today, not so much that children of this age might face such harsh punishment for such crimes as these, but that they become deevolved downward to the state that they become capable of such actions as these in the first place.

But then again, like I said, when you get right down to it, we are all just animals anyway, and once the pretense of anything otherwise is stripped away, we are after all creatures of instinct. Teenagers, especially those at the age of puberty, are certainly all the more so.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Sister Mary Scallene

I couldn't go any further without mentioning a word about one woman who puts her Christian ideals and heart where her mouth is. Her name, as you would have correctly surmised from the post title, is Sister Mary Scallene. So what is so great about her?

Well, to put it simply, she has almost singlehandedly, on her own initiative (though with help of course) cut the homeless problem in Philadelphia Pennsylvania virtually in half. She has in effect devoted her life and her ministry to the homeless, so much to the point it is said of her, when Sister Mary goes to bed at night, she wonders how many people are sleeping out on the streets. And when she awakes in the morning she wonders how many homeless people she can help.

She does more it would seem than providing temporary shelter for a few nights, she goes out of her way to improve the lives of the homeless, whatever their story, whatever their circumstances. She helps not just with temporary shelter, but with permanent housing, and when possible, work training.

I just thought after my last post I should make it clear I don't consider all Chrisitans to be evil hypocrits out to use their religion to gain power and control over the weak, ignorant, and superstitous (although that is way too often unfortunately the case). This woman, who I assume from her title is a Catholic Nun, is a rarity however, though thankfullyshe is not alone. As I said before, she does have help, not only from other religous minded individuals, but from public officials, to whom Sister Mary Scallene is doubltess a true blessign.

As she is to a good many people, and continues to be so, probably more than she herself can keep track of.

so what is it about a person like this? What is itthat pushed them, that drives them? They would probably be thefirst to give the credit to some higher spiritual authority. Some God, in the case of pagans, some Gods and/or Goddesses.

Frankly, I see it as a matter of it just being the kind of person or persons they are. Just like evil people many times use the devil, or society, or some other evil misfortune, as an excuse for the way they have turned out and the things they have done, so too, do good people have this tendency to look beyond themselves. I would submit that their deities and religion provided a kind of inspiration, and strength when needed to go on when times are hard.

So in a sense you can say, that yes, the deites have seen fit to work within the context of a certain person or persons, using hteir gifts, their resources, their abilities, to achieve a desired result, or work toward the same.. But that person or persons have to let them do so.


The reason I wrote all this in one word is because that is the URL name of the Yahoo Group, Robins Hood Community Center,and it is worth looking up. In fact, I am a member of this pagan group, although unfortunately I haven't devoted any time to it lately, in fact I have rarely visited the site over the last three or four months, due quite plainly to lack of time to do so. Yet, that is the only Pagan charity that I know of, certainly the only one that I know of in the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area. And they do good work, or at least they try to.

They give free food (canned goods and dried goods, etc.) in addition to free clothing to people in need, especially to people that have experienced a sudden tragedy, such as a loss of home due to fire, death in the family of the main breadwinner, etc. Most importantly, perhaps, they have provided a place of refuge during the cold winter nights for the homeless, many of whom have no other place to go, and might otherwise freeze to death during sub-zero temperatures. Nothing fancy, just a place to come in and stay warm for the night.

The Reverend Bonnie Campaniello, who runs this organization out of donations, and with some proceeds from her New Age/Pagan oriented store, The Faerie Realm, is devoted to making a difference in the lives of the needy in Covington Kentucky, not necessarrily just pagans, but for anybody that needs help, whenever it is possible to do so.

Unfortunately, she has met some roadblocks along the way, from the more mainstream Christian oriented charities who seem to see her,and her religion, as some kind of a threat. One such place that purports to care for the poor and homeless had the temerity to turn down a donation of canned goods that Bonnie brought to their door. They didn't like the idea of receiving goods from a witch, I suppose thinking that this would look bad, for a Christian group to receive aid from one it likes to paint as "Satanic" and evil.

Another group, which runs a web-site by the name of Northern kentucky Saved, even went so far as to concuct harrassment of the premises of The Faerie Realm, acting in an insulting manner by praying at their window that the "evil" would cease.

Yet, some of these same Christian charities proved to be of no avail to Joe Young, who last year was thrown out of a Christian mission, and was forced to remain out on the streets. He was found dead, frozen to death, the following day. According to witnesses at the offending missions, there were availiable beds, but Joe had stayed his limit. Perhaps he had become somewhat rowdy, as he had a drinking problem, or possibly he was forced to leave simply because he had alcohol on his breath. At any rate, he is dead-murdered by Christians. The same types of people who like to pretend they are too good to receive aid from a pagan, the kind who feel they have a Chrisitan duty to harass practitioners of Wicca.

As for the Reverend Bonnie, she tries to help those who need help, when she can, without the expectation or the suggestion that they should be converted to Wiccan or Paganism, nor does she require identification, somehting which unfortunately might prevent her from receiving any kind of official aid, as this generally requires the collection of identification for law enforcement purposes.

She just helps because she feels she should do so. And her organizations, Robins Hood Community Center, and The Faerie realm, are two that are definitely deserving of support. As suchg, as winter months are nigh approaching, I would heartily encourage any of the unfortunately probably small handful of people htat might read this blog to donate what you can. It might give you a warm, fuzzy feeling inside. Besides, it would just be a good thing to do.

David Irving-An Assault On Freedom Of Speech

Hopefully, it will never happen here, but Europe has recently shown itself for it's much vaunted andhyped and for that matter relatively recent views on democracy and freedom of the press and speech. David Irving is a British (and it is important to note this) historian, who has recently been charged in an AUSTRIAN court for the unthinkable crime of denying the Holocaust.

No matter what you might think abour Mr. Irving, or for that matter no matter how you may feel about the Holocaust, Nazism, or any so-called "Jewish conspiracies"-or lack thereof-no person who respects freedom in any of it's cerebral forms, that of thought, of speech, of assembly, or any kind of freedom, could be happy with this.

Yet, such is the world we live in, and I fear the precedent this might set. Should the World Court ever become an accepted reality in everyday life, is this an example of the result that might ensue, for not only America, but for any of the signatories?

Irving has had a long and at times distinquished, at other times controversial, career as a historian who worships at the altar of research. He once offerred a rspectable sum of money to any researcher who could prove that Hitler ordered the extermination of Jewish prisoners. In fact, Irving asserted that not only di dHitler not order the Holocaust, he did not even know of any atrocities committed agaisnt jewish prisoners before 1943. He even went so far as to refute the existence of ovens (for the destruction of Jews) in Nazi death camps.

Irving is no stranger to litigation. He was successfully sued by a Captain J.S. Broome, who commanded the escort of a convoy Irving wrote critically about in "The Destruction of Convoy PQ 17". He also lost a suit filed agaisnt an American academic, Deborah Lipstadt, who criticized him in her "Denying The Holocaust: The Growing Assault On Truth And Memory". She had asserted that Irving was a "Holocaust Denier", to which Irving took exception.

Of course, Irving did, in addition to his doubts about the ovens, assert serious doubts about the veracity of the numbers of Jews killed in the Holocaust. The official number-6,000,000-does seem questionable, and it has been stated that the Jews "fudged the numbers" out of some type of mystical need to assert their spiritual identity in a way prophesied many centuries ago. The number 6,000,000, in other words, has prohetical significance, so it has been said.

Whatever the truth of the assertions and the counter allegations, however,that is not the point, and frankly I could care less (which at the rate things are going will probably one day turn out to be a crime as well) . My concern is with freedom of all kinds, mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual. If a person has a theory, that person has very right to present that theory, and all others have a right to agree, disagree, support, or ridicule, as they see fit. No one has a right to assault or in any manner marginalize a person for their beliefs.

But it would seem as though the Austrian court has every intention of becomming the very Nazis they so pretend to despise. Which of course would be asppropriate, as Hitler was, after all, an Austrian. I don't have any idea how this will all turn out, but if this is the standard for European justice and freedom, I want no part of it, and sincerely hope the U.S. never becomes a signatory to the World Court, or anything remotely similar to it.

As for Mr. Irving, it is impossible now for him to find a publisher for his works, and spends his time on the lecture circuit, in fact he recently returned from the U.S. where he embarked on a lecture tour. As for his writings, they are availiable for free on the Internet. Monster that I am, I will in the future provide a link to them, probably on this post. I will provide a link to this post then in a future one, if a significant amount of posts have been added by then.

Mr. Irvings previous books include:

"The Destuction of Dresden"-in which Mr. Irving stated his view that the bombing of that city was the greatest atrocity ever visited upon a European city.

"The Mare's Nest"

"The Virus House"

He is currently working on a biography of SS Chief Heinrich Himmler.

Republican Policies And GM

The title of this post should say it all, but I doubt that Americans will learn their lessons for long. The most we can hope for is that they at least have gotten tired enough of them to throw them out of office for at least a couple of terms. But I seriously doubt they will vote them out of office for much longer than that. Not the presidency anyway.

It's not all the people's faults, actually, the Democrats have a way of adopting some of the stupidest, most asinine policies you can imagine, and then wondering why the average American gets sick of them and they therefore lose election after election.

And the Republicans come along and play on the fears that the Democrats have in many ways failed to address at best, and at worse, have unintentionally created and/or compounded. And so, the Democratic Party, the party who fought and won two World Wars, as well as a regional European war, without a single American life being lost, has the reputation as the party that is weak on national defense, as the party who seems to care more for our standing within the International Community than they do America's independance and national sovereignty insofar as it's own laws and internal affairs are concerned. The party who cares more about the rights of criminals than the rights of victims, the party that wants to enact strident, unneccesary and intrusive gun control laws, the party that wants to respect to the point of kowtowing to every minority religion even at the point of seeming to marginalize Christianity. The paryt that wants to support gay marriage or at least civil unions while keeping intact tax laws that penalize traditional marriage. The party that wants to tax initiative and productivity at the expense of supporting and funding programs for the unproductive members of society. The party that cares for the rights of the minority to the point that it becomes politically incorrect to question any policies or laws for their benefit. The party whose main concern when appointing federal judges or Supreme Court judges seems to be insuring the nominee will support or at the least agree not to oppose abortion rights.

I could go on and on. And sometimes I do, to the point that a goopd many people probably are left with the impression that I am a Republican, or at least am damned sure no democrat.

Actually, I am. I am a traditional liberal Democrat, though certainly not in any way on the Far Left of the spectrum. As a traditional liberal, I am pro minority rights, pro union and labor, pro environment, pro gay rights, pro choice and womens rights. I believe that the wealthy have an obligation and actually a patriotic duty to pay taxes, yes, at a greater rate than the middle and lower classes, maybe to the tune of one third of their income, maybe a little more. Especially since it is the wealthy who are responsible more than any other sector of American society for the majority if not all of the wars we tend to become engaged in.

When an American president asserts the need to go to war to "protect our interests", that is usually portrayed as meaning our security interests. And this is true up to a point, but by the same token those security interests seem to revolve around the security of our ability to import needed materials and goods, at least to some extent. When we are said to be "protecting our allies"-our allies in what? Well, it would seem to be our trading partners. That's where the money is. In the Middle East, of course, it was oil, in Korea it was nickel (a necessary component of the steel industry at the time), etc.

And it is the Republicans more so than the Democrats who are willing to go to war at a moments notice to protect thsoe trade and security interests-those economic interests, and to that end are responsible more than any other party for the bloated military budget which most Democrats by now have figured is their Third Rail every bit as much as Social Security is to the Republican Party.

The Pentagon needs to go on an extreme diet, the bloating is the result of kickbacks and graft, the typical corruption. Mind you, not all the fat has to be trimed, and probably shouldn't. Like a physical human body, the pentagon probably needs a degree of fat. But too much and it suddenly ceases to grease the wheels, and the arteries start to clog.

In the meantime, in order to support this insane diet, tax cuts become necessary, but it seems now they are never enough, and never will be sufficient. Thus, we now have an eight trillion dolar national debt. Our yearly deficit is around 500 billion dollars, so that debt grows by this amount, plus interest, every year.

And thanks to the trade agreements,such as NAFTA and others, we now are faced with a ballooning trade deficit as well. Suppossedly, this is the only way American companies can compete with foreign ones, by sending their work offshore to compete with the foreign companies who flood our markets with their cheap goods, a good lot of which is produced by way of cheap ass, practically slave, labor.

But the cheap goods, they keep coming here, and the cheap foreign labor as well, while the good jobs continue to be sent overseas. Where will it all end? I wish I knew. Bu if I did know, I would probably wish I didn't.

GM is just the latest of the casualties. It probably won't be the last. But it is a milestone indeed, that one of the companies most responsible for America's greatness as a manufacturing nation, and for contributing to the swelling of the ranks of the American Middle Class has now seen fit to announce, before Thanksgiving at that, that it will be cutting some 30,000 jobs and closing a number of plants across the country, plants that to a large degree were the life's blood ofthe communites in which they were located, for more than fifty years, sixty years.

America's Middle Class is rapidly dissappearring, and all the coutnry is left with is a rapidly expanding Middle Age Spread, a midriff bulge that is a sure sign of advanced age, decadence, and, unfortunately, seeing as to the undeniable ability of the majority of America voters to vote against their own best economic interests-advanced senility

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Robert Blake-Back To Hollywood

Well, it's official, Robert Blake has become the latest casualty in the corrupt legal court system and it's recent phenomenon of totally disregarding legal and constitutional precedent by figuring out a way to get around the law against double jeopardy. Though Blake was found not guilty, in criminal court, on all counts pertaining to the accussations as to his suppossed involvement in the murder of his late wife, Bonnie Lee Bakely, he was still convicted, in civil court. The Judgement? Blake, it has been determined, was responsible for the death of Bakely, and is ordered therefore to pay damages to the sum of thirty mllion dollars.

Blake must have smelled this coming shortly after his earlier not guilty verdict was handed down, and put it out, somewhat obviously, and obviously innefectively, that he was all but broke. But the family of Bakely was out for blood. They had pretty much intimated along with their attorney that they would be seeking this action regardless of the outcome of the criminal proceedings. And so they did.

My feelings about all this are pretty firm. To begin with, the only thing Blake should be prosecuted for is being stupid enough-and I do mean stupid enough-to allow himself to become involved with this piece of garbage to begin with. In a sense, for that reason alone, he deserves whatever happens to him. But that doesn't make it right.

And of course, I firmly believe that whatever the decision reached in a criminal cvourt might be, that should be it. If a person is found not guilty, regardless fo the veracity fo the verdict, well, that's the way it is, asnd that's the way it should stand. There should be no other court proceedings, civil or otherwise.

And as for the Bakely family- This is a family of obvious grifters. Everytime I see them on television, and their lawyer as well, I feel the sudden need to take a long hot bath, followed by a long hotter shower to make sure the scum is completely washed away. It may sound cruel and inhuman, but if Blake killed this bitch I say more power to him, I wouldn't have blamed him a bit. And had I been on the jury, I probably would have found him Not Guilty for precisely this reason, unless the evidence had been so compelling and overwhelming there would be no reasonable way to avoid a guilty verdict. But I damned sure would have been looking for a way. I mean, this is a woman who lived to try to ingratiate herself with wealthy, prominent, and famous men, for the purpose of living off them. In Blakes case, she purposely got herself pregnant by him, after assurring Blake she used birth control, and then insisting she couldn't bear the thought of an abortion. Blake was livid, and sounded menacing on the taped conversation that I heard replayed on television. It was obvious to him that he had been scammed.

Another of her potential targets had been Chrisitian Brando, son of late actor Marlon Brando, who himself had been in a great deal of legal trouble. But it was Blake who ended up getting her pregnant. She had tried this same stunt with Brando at approximately the same time , and in the beginning didn't know for sure which of the two men the child belonged to.

There was a great deal of acrimoney between the two after they were married, which Blake foolishly insisted upon, knowing that he would be the object of lawsuits otherwise, and probably realized he still could be. God only knows what happenned in the interim, between th emarriage and the murder, but Blakely, while living on the property, did not live with Blake in his home.

But at any rate, whether Blake had it done or not, or did himself or not, the deed was done. Blake could probably appeal tje verdict, but what woulkd be theuse. My advice to him-return to Hollywood, make another movie, maybe two or three, or more. The right flicks would certainly make him enough money to cover the cost of this lawsuit.

Unfortunatley, Blake's reputation in Hollywood is that of a man who is not easy, to say the least, to get along with, to work with-to live with.

Bob Woodward-Has He Sold Out?

I honestly think he has. He has now become involved in the recent controversy involving the leaking of the name of CIA analyst and former covert operative Valerie Plame. Apparrently, Woodward was one of the first people to be informed of the identity of Ms. Plame, the wife of former ambassador Joseph Wilson, well before it was leaked to other reporters by Vice President Cheney's Chief of Staff I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby.

Although the "high level White House official" who divulged this information to Woodward gave him permission to release this information, he unfortunately did not give him permission to release his name. And so Woodward has now had to testify at a preliminary hearing, at which he confirmed all this.

Administration backers are saying this might well absolve Libby of any charged of wrong doing. Except for lying of course, before the Grand Jury, and in contradiction of his sworn statements to Justice Department investigators. But, it is said, perhaps Libby was simply confused after all, to have lied in obvious contradiction of his written notes.

My feelings and opinions is nothing earth shatterring. I think that Libby, and others, are acting out of a sense of urgency and need to protect the Vice President himself. If the truth were known, the President himself, as well, might be involved in this sordid affair. They have all ready used the press shamelessly in their effort to ratchet up American public opinion in favor of the Iraqi War, and when Joseph Wilson crossed them by calling into question many of their assertions, most particularly that made by the President in his 2002 State Of The Union speech, they went after Wilson by asserting his wife, not the Vice President, had commissioned his fact finding trip to the West African nation of Niger. The problem with this is this let out that Wilsons wife was a CIA agent, which immediately may have put at serious risk of imprisonment, harm, or death, those contacts she had made over the years while she pretended to be employed by a company that was in actuality a CIA front.

In short, they may have, knowingly or unknowingly, broken the law. At the very least, they acted in a manner that was highly unethical. And so you have the cover up. And things are getting hotter by the day. In my opinion, this is just one more possible charge in a potential impeachment hearing.

Enter Bob Woodward, the long reknowned Washington Post investigative reporter who uncovered the truth behind the Watergate cover up scandal. What better person to have on your side? In my opinion, he has been in the tank for George W. Bush and his regime for quite some time. I always thought it was a bit odd, the way he suppossedly decided he was going to write a book about the White Houses decisions to go to war agaisnt Iraq, and the events leading up to that ultimate decision. It's like he just decided he was going to do it, and everybody at the White House just rolled over for him, welcomed him in with open arms, because, it was implied, by both him and others, to refuse Bob Woodward might well be an invitation to become the subject of an ongoing journalistic investigation.

Like he just decided this out of the blue, "hell, I think I'm going to write a book about Bush and the war in Iraq"-and it was that damned easy. No, I don;t think so, not even for Bob Woodward.

I have concluded that he was actualy invited to write this book, which was probably as big a con job perpetrated on the American public as anything else involving this stupid war. And I believe Woodward was paid well for his service, and has no telling how much money squirreled away in some Swiss bank account.

I am not the only one that feels this way either, a good many of his fellow journalists at the Post are obviousy dismayed that he kept the information he was earlier granted about Valerie Plame a secret for so long. They have given him a pass, of course, hell, this is Bob Woodward. So he won't be fired, or officially reprimanded. But everybody obviously has questions, and you know they are asking them quietly, if not openly, if to no one but themselves.

I even wonder if the story is true, if he was really given this information, or if this might not be a part of some ploy, some strategy to save Libby's hide, and therefore prevent him from breaking when Patrick Fitzgeral starts putting the squeeze on him fo rmore information which might lead to more, and even more stunning, indictments of higher officials.

After all, if I am right, Woodward has obviously all ready sold his journalistic soul, to people that may have never had one of any kind. A case of an episode of perjury to cover for another might seem untoward for a journalist of all people, especially one that made his reputation for shedding light on such corruption, but once that road is travelled it would be hard to turn back, especially for a man of Woodwards reputation.

But this selling of the Iraqi War and of administration policies in general is nothing unusual to the Bush administration, and Woodward is not the only one compromised, and may not be the first. But the may be the most compelling case of the power of this corrupt administration. Especially the idea of Bush as a type of modern day messiah, which may have begun with Bob Woodward. It may have in fact been Woodward who revealed how Bush believed himself to be specially chosen by God in order to spread freedom and democracy throughout the world, especially the Middle East, beginning with Afghanistan and Iraq.

When this was first revealed before Woodwards book was released, it was met with a great deal of criticism and in some corners derision. It was trumpeted as evidence the President was not truly living in reality. It was implied actually that he may have been sufferring from some kind of serious delusoin or other type mental disorder.

I remember seeing Woodward when he was questioned about this, however, and he seemed genuinely surprised at this, and denied that it was evidence the the President of the United States may have been somewhat crazed. He immediately defended the president, no, he wasn't literally talking to God, it was just a feeling he had. But something about Woodwards defense of this bizzarre type of behavior didn't seem right.

And then it hit me. Bush, through Woodward, was playing up to the religous sensitivities of his far right conservative evangelical fundamentalist base of supporters, and Christians and religous minded people everywhere. In other words, it was a serious, a very serious, miscalculation on Bush's part. Not only were they overestimating the degree of religous superstition and dogmatic literalism of his most ardent supporters, but he seemed to have forgotten that there are an appreciable number of people, here and in the rest of the world, that would see this type of hubris for what it is. But remember, this was near the height of Bush's popularity, and he and his administration were riding high.

Now that popularity seems to have fallen to it's lowest ebb, and Woodward may be in a bind. He has been the object of suspicion for some time now, since his writing of his book about the Bush war in Iraq. The story about Deep Throat began to once again make the rounds, and there were those who said that Deep Throat may actually not have been a real person after all, but a composite of different sources that Woodward used to weave his story about Watergate, seemingly out of whole cloth, and just got it lucky.

Not too long afterwards, the true identity of Deep Throat was finally revealed as one Mark Felt, formerly a top level FBI agent under J. Edgar Hoover. Somebody, or some set of circumstances, lead the family of the old man, now sufferring from dementia, to come forward and reveal the story. Woodward and his partner Carl Bernstein, quickly came forward with verification, after making sure all the i's were dotted and t's were crossed.

And Woodward quickly went to work on another book, this one about Mark Felt, written in conjunction with former partner Bernstein. I am unsure now as to whether this book has been released, but when it finally is it should certainly be a best seller. Mr. Woodward has certainly worked hard at maintaining a professional journalistic reputation. One wonders whether the family of Mark Felt was bribed, and if so, by who.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Sleeping With The Devil

I could never figure out what the attraction is for Christian conservatives to the Republican party, other than that the latter obviously gives lip service to the former. These conservative Christians know it too, you just know they have to. Really, now, these are not stupid people. Well, okay, let me correct myself somewhat. Their leaders aren't stupid people.

Well, okay, most of them aren't stupid people. Jerry Falwell,for example, is certainly no idiot, nor is Doctor James Dobson. Perhaps one could make a case for questioning the sanity, and even the overall intelligence, of Pat Robertson, but for the most part, these people are manipulative, media savvy, and quite well educated.

Bu do they really believe in the Bible? Are they actually true Christians, in the sense that they truly believe in the values of the Bible? Never mind whether or not they actually take its more fantastical mythological stories literally or not, the point is, do they really, truly, honestly believe in the spiritual precepts of the Bible. That is the real meat and potatoes of Christianity, the myths are what the Apostle Paul might have referred to as the "milk of the word", something that an infant must of necessity feed on in the beginning, before growing enough to transistion into a more meaty and substantive diet.

I don't see how they actually could believe in this kind of thing, and at the same time throw their lot in with people whose values are, to put it kindly, anything but spiritual. But they do. Perhaps an explanation is to be found in the attitudes of their parishoners. In a general sense, most Bible believing Christians seem to be the type who pride themselves on their patriotism and their loyalty to God and country and family and all the other buzz words by which your typical average American identifies himself.

They also have a deep mistrust of government, or at least the federal government, and also a deep fear and mistrust of foreigners, especially those from the Third World. Yet, they support missionary work to these countries, and private donations and charities to the dispossessed and distressed from the world, though balk at tax monies being spent for the same purposes.

And when there is a war, typically, they can be counted on to rally behind the flag, and display the most ardent patriotism, and at the same time disdain, and even revulsion, for those who dare exhibit the slightest skepticism of national policy in this regard. Suddenly, the very government they in ordinary times distrust and revile, they suddenly become the most ardent supporters of. Small wonder then that war is entered in too many times haphazardly-some might suggest, as in the present case, unnecessarrily.

Small wonder as well that those in government who wish to tap into this great reservoir of mass power are all too willing to placate them as to their most ardent desires and fears, and do so shamelessly. As exploitive as it is, it is a wonder that so many blindly fall into this trap, seemingly without question. It seems they simply do not know any better.

But the preachers, priests, ministers, and rabbis do, or at least should, know better, and I submit they certainly do know better. They could put a stop to this nonsense, could have done so a long time ago in fact before it ever got started. I would suggest that they have misused and abused their roles as the so-called shapherds of their flocks by leading the sheep into the lair of the wolf. But what do they get out of it?

It doesn't take much intellectal exercise to perceive that they are getting some degree of power and influence to a greater extent than they would ordinarily have. They have enough as it is, but by tapping into this vast reservoir of anger, frustration, fear, and in way too many cases, I am afraid, prejudice and hate, they are magnifying their power and influence, and thus their wealth, two or three or even more times.

This is not unusual, religous leaders have always done this, throughout world history. But it wasn't suppossed to be that way here. This was suppossed to be a country where religous power over government was kept in check, and government influence over religion, all religions, was likewise kept to a minimum. Supposedly, that is. Churches, and politicians as well, have always gave a wink and a nod, the usual lip-service, to the philosophy of seperation of church and state, from the earliest of days, until it got to the point where it really wasn't an issue, in fact, it was actually so all pervasive it was not even noticed.

The sixties, seventies,and early eighties changed all that, as churches and religous leaders felt their power andinfluence dwindling and lessenning it seemed with each passing year, until to some it seemed the survival of Christianity itself was threatened. By casting his lot in with the Reagan Revolution, it was Jerry Falwell by way of his so-caled "Moral Majority", who fired the first real volley in the religous cultural wars and brought the government right into lock-step with him.

Falwell became the first of many powerful religous kingmakers. And they have pervaded all areas of political and public life, and have sought to control the ideologies of both parties. The Left Wing Christians, when you get right down to it, have been every bit as much of an all pervasive power over the Democratic Party as the Conservative Christians have been over the Republicans. One is every bit as dangerous as the other,and in fact the Liberal Chrisitans may be as much of a danger as the Conservatives, precisely because their influence is not as recognized. They do not shout and wave their arms from the rooftops, rend their clothes in despair, rant and rave about the threats of hell-fire and damnation, and so they are just not as obvious. Until, that is, you see the results.

I would like to see religion kept totaly seperated from government policy making. Religions seem to have the effect of limiting progress, when they are at their most benign. At worse, they keep progress to a complete standstill, and maybe in some cases even serve to turn back the clock. I'm not saying, of course, that religous people shouldn't vote, or that they shouldn't vote according to their values. But leaders like Falwell should stay out of the business of trying to influence public policy. At most, they have the right to stand up for the rights of their parishioners to make sure their religous rights are protected, and that's about it.

But of course, it is ridiculous on my part to even hope that htis ideal will ever be realized. As long as religous leaders hold sway over their parishioners, they can and will use this influence to wield political power and influence, and thus gain even more wealth, inflence,and power for themselves.

In fact, I think I'm going to write a song aboutthis. I've gotten into a song writing mood lately, thanks to Green Day. I'm going to call my song by the title of this post "Sleeping With The Devil". It shouldn't take me that long to write it, in fact, I'e been working on it some sinc elast night. Here's the chorus-

"I'm Sleeping With The Devil
I'm Sleeping With The Devil
I'm Sleeping With The Devil
And I'm Nothing But The Devil's Whore"

Or something like that. I'll post the whole song in a later post, hopefully in the next dya or two. Who knows, maybe I'll find a good group to record it, and it will be a big hit, and I'llmake mucho money. Or more than likely not, but it would be fun trying.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Pulling Teeth

I just recently started getting into this old, old cassette by the group Green Day, a group I never really gave much attention to before. I think this is because when I first heard of them, from a former co-worker, something about the name put me off. It's like something down inside said, "Oh, probably a bunch of radical environmental whackos. The kind that gives reasonable and thoughtfully progressive environmentalists a bad name. I think I associated them witht he group "Greenpeace", in a sense. Yeah, folks, you can only guess at the snakes I've got crawling around in my head.

Anyway, years later, I'm at this old antique mall, and see this cassette by the aforementioned Green Day-for a dollar. I remembered my former co-workers rantings about the group, and figured, hell, they have to be worth a dollar. And so I brought the cassette, entitled "Dookie". As soon as I got home, I put it on the shelf, where it promptly began to collect roughly one sixteenth of a inch of dust over thecourse of the following year.

I almost completely forgot about it until the group happenned to be featured on I think it was the Tonight Show, and I thought, hell, they are good. In fact-hell, they are damned good. Then, it hit me. This is the group that was in that old soft drink commercial, Pepsi or Coca-Cola one, I don't remember. The kid was in the mosh pit, where to his surprise his pop is there cheering on the band, and the kid looks on in shock and mounting horror as he realizes his mom too is somewhere in the mix, cheering on Green day, as they sing some song about masturbating. I remember all this becuase I always wondered how it was that that commerical was even allowed to air, let alone that it lasted so long. It was finally removed, probably after somebody like Jerry Falwell or James Dobson was told by one of his or their younger and formerly hipper parishioners exactly what the lead singer was singing in this soft drink televsion commercial.

Laer on, I retrieved that tape, wondering if the song on the commecial was on the tape I had purchased, which luckily turned out to have been in good shape. I went through the first side, and I think what was on the commercial might have been from the song "Longview", buit I'm not sure. What was improtant was that eventually I happenned onto one of the best songs of all time, it seemed at the time, and easily the best song of all that I have yet heard from Green Day. It's a song called,. as a Green Day fan might have probably figured out by the title of the post, "Pulling Teeth".

I don't know if this song was ever a hit from the group or not, but if it wasn't it definitely should have been. Maybe if they extended it by repeating the middle eight and adding a verse, it could even be one of the biggest hits of all time, or at least the year they release it as a hit.

To understand what the song is about, which it took me some time to do, think of the book "Misery" by Stephen King, which may well be what the song is based on for all I know.

"I'm all busted up, broken bones and nasty cuts
Accidents will happen-"

Only it turns out it's not an accident, his girlfriend has put him in this shape and now has him imprisoned, seemingly totally at his mercy, so he has to pretend his love is true. In the meantime, he looks out his window hoping someone will pass by-but no one knows.

Now I guess by now you're thinking those snakes in my head are slithering ovvertimer for me to be so hung up on something like this, but you have to know Green Day. This is a song you want to dance to, in pure Pete Townshend fashion, bouncing around the dance floor like a rag doll with a life of it's own. If you were with your woman, but you wanted to be with somebody else, and you were around both of them at a karaoke bar, this is the kind of song you would sing to the girl you wanted to be with while you were wearing dark sun glasses in the smoke-filled crowded dark bar, and you were staring right at her the whole time. Yeah, the snakes have now bitten.

Anyway, "Pulling Teeth" is now up there in my group of all time favorite songs, easily in the top one hundred, at least for now, until I wear it out. Which I might well do. Since I got so hung up on this one, I can't get past it on the cassette, not even for the one that follows, which I recognize as a tune that gets frequent FM airplay.

No, I don't have the fucking time to listen to you whine. But it only takes a few seconds to hit the rewind button.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Attack Of The Clones

One day in February of 2004, a man by the name of Patrick Hutchinson, after years of dealing with the depths of insanity, finally went off the deep end. He shot and killed his wife of many years, leaving her dead body in the couples yard, in rural Fayette County. He then according to reports fired a number of shots, all of which precipitated a call to 911 by the police.
Unfortunately, there was an inexplicable disconnect between the Fayette County Kentucky Police  and the Fayette County Fire Department, which also responded to the call. Yet, due to a breakdown in communications, the Fire Department was seemingly unaware of the danger that they hurtled headlong into on that fateful mid-winter evening. They found themselves in the line of fire, in a madmans sights.
As a result, a woman by the name of Brenda Cowan, the first African American woman to work on the Fayette County Fire Department, who had received commendations and had appearred on the local media in interviews, was shot to death. In addition, a police officer was also shot and injured. He recovered, but the death of Cowan was particularly hard, especially to the members of the Fire Department with whom Cowan was a well liked and respected member.
So why did this happen? Why did this young, vital, admired woman lose her life? What twisted madness afflicted the mind of Patrick Hutchinson?
He believed that the entire world, except for a chosen few which included himself, were in reality clones, intent on taking over the world, destroying all the true humans of the world and replacing them with soleless replicas. He evidently believed that these clones were only human copies in appearrance, in reality they were evidently some disguised species of either supernatural or extraterrestrial (or possibly both) origin, and of a serpentine nature and appearrance.
That is what he believed, with the utmost sincerity. What the genesis of this delusion was can only be guessed at, or even how long ago it began, though it seems to have been of a long duration. His wife and family were aware to a small extent of his mental and emotional instability, though I would imagine they didn't exactly comprehend the extent of it. Bu in fact, in his tortured mind, he firmly believed that there were only perhaps twenty thousand or so true humans left on the earth. All the rest had been killed, murdered, and replaced by these clones. The last straw, the breaking point, seems to have occurred when he obviousy came to believe that his own wife was, after all, a clone herself. One can only imagine by what process he arrived at this fateful conclusion.
Had it been a recent occurrence? Or had she been "one of them" all along, and fooling him for all these years, trying to control him and at the same time trying to find out just what all he "knew".
Did the total and final break come when she threatened to leave him for good, or possibly to do so if he would not seek help? For all the reasoning she may have tried to utilize at her disposal, someone with this level of delusion would never listen to any kind of logic or reason. Their logic and reason, after all, is as firmly esconced in their own mind as the average persons is to themselves. Such an appeal would be viewed as a trick, a manever to get him imprisoned, entrapped within some alien realm where he would be at the mercy of their far superior technology. He was, after all, one of the few who had somehow been immune to their invasion of his body, heart, mind, and sould. He had not only successfully resisted them, but had at the same time become aware of their presence. Not only was he therefore a danger to them, it was of the utmost necessity that he be kept under observation, studied. Only the most thorough and disciplned scientific research might yield clues as to what was so special about this one particular human. Once they learned the truth then they would be able to adequately deal with the "others". Those very few twenty thousand or so.
Perhaps this is what set him off. Perhaps she even admitted to the "truth" of this, as a means to humor him, or out of sheer disgust. She had had it with him, and decided she might as well tell him what he wanted to hear, he was going to believe it regardless. We may never know, for certain, as the secret is now perhaps permanently locked inside the tortured mind of Patrick Hutchinson. 
It was recenty decided in court that Patrick Hutchinson was still yet unfit to stand trial. And so, for yet another year, he will be kept under psychiatric observation, yet safely locked away. It has been said that he may never be well enough to stand trial. He was obviosuly insane at the time of the trial, they said, and he is still every bit as insane now as he was then. True, he seems calm. Maybe he now believes he too is a clone. Maybe he has come to an inner acceptance of his fate. Maybe he now has come to loathe the person that was Patrick Hutchinson, and now longs to go out into the world at large, and take his place among the greater society of his fellow clones. Again, we may never know.
All we know for certain is that this procedure will be repeated once a year, he will be reevaluated on a yearly basis, to see if there has been an improvement in his mental condition. Should that day ever come that he is considered to be over his insanity, then he will finally, at long last, be put on trial for the murder of his wife and Brenda Cowen.
You see, Kentucky has this unusual policy that, if a person is considered insane, they can not be put on trial for any crime they may have committed while so afflicted. However, when it is perceived that they are cured, or in recovery, then they can be tried for the crime-depsite the fact that they were obviously insane at the time they comitted it.
In other words, it is not out of concern for the welfare for the mentally afflicted, out of a desire to see they are treated with compassion and fairness. They merely want to ensure that they know what they are being punished for when and if they finally are. Whether they had the vaquest idea of what they were doing at the time or not.
Patrick Hutchinson will probably never for the remainder of his life have a free day or night, he will doubtless be incarcerated for the rest of his life, whether he is ever tried in court or not. Crazy or not, I would imagine that the social life of a clone must look pretty good to him right now.

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Monday, November 14, 2005

Goliath-Who Or What Was He?

One of the most fascinatring components of the science of archaeology has been the subset known as Biblical archaeology, that branch whereby the art and the science of archaeology tends to become particularly muddled. "Proof" of the literal truth of the Bible is one of the constant demands imposed on the field by the more literal minded of Biblical students and theologians. The more rational scientific approach tends to look upon these foks with a bemused glance, yet is wary of saying too much of a disparaging word about them. After all, any serious archaeological endeavor has to of necessity receive funding from one source or another, and those interested in uncovering archaeological evidence to support their faith one might imagine would tnd to be among the more generous of donors. And so, the more serious student and afficianado of archaeology-those of us who wnat to discover the truth, whatever that might be-tend to laugh in silence.

However, the branch of pseudo-archaeology may have gotten a much needed shot in the arm (akin to heroin, some of us might cruelly suggest) when it was announced recently that an archaeological discovery in the ancient Philistine city of Gath, in Southern Israel, may at last lend credence to the story of David and Goliath. In fact, the name Goliath has been discovered on pottery shards, in the form of it's Philistine version Golyath.

I first heard of this watching the news crawl on CNN when it was announced that a "Goliath of a find" possibly proves the existence of the giant, whose name was doscovered on shards IN HIS HOME!

"Huh?" I said to myself. What do they mean, his "Home"? You see, I 've learned to read these crawls with every bit as much skepticism as I do the tone in Sean Hannity's voice when he goes into his super patriot schpiel, or O'Reilly's assertion of being a populist, everyman type of independant.

Sure enough, it turns out the home was not the house, but the city-Gath- which was suppossedly the giants hometown. But nevertheless the crawl succeeded in heightening my interest long enough for me to give it what I hope is some rational thought. It didn't take me long to figure out the obvious.

Goliath was probably originally-a Philistine God. A heroic type of Philistine Hercules. He may not have originally even been seen as a giant so much as a great heroic strongman. The giant business may have been assigned by later Hebrew writers, who may have seen a giant stature as a sign of evil and cruelty.

It would take a lot of study and more archaeological work to learn more, but why else would a name appear on a Philistine shard. Another possible explanation is that this was actually a common Phlistine personal and/or family name, and that this might have been a signature of either creation or ownership. But I tend to want to adhere to the god idea. He may possibly have been a half human, or even a totally divine, son of Dagon, who seems to have been, from what we now know, the most important of all the Philistine deities.

Actually, the Philistines originally were not native to the area, but seem to have had some connection to the Minoan civilization that dominated the Meditterrannen prior to the coming of the Mychaenaean Greeks (who themselves preceeded the more familiar classical Greeks). In fact, they may indeed have been the remnants of the civilization of Crete, the Minoans, who had establsihed a highly advanced maritime civilization but who ultimately met a sudden demise about 1500 B.C. or so. Sometime afterwards, the group of maritime marauders known as the "Sea Peoples" laid waste to the entire Meditterrannean area, ultimately proving insatiable and unstoppable, until they finally were held in check by the power of the Egyptians. The remnants of the Sea Peoples then established their territory in what later came to be known as Philistia. That sorrowful little strip of land now known as the Gaza Strip. In fact, the ancient city of Gaza was one of their major cities, Gath being another. In fact, there were five major cities, each ruled as a semi-autonomous city state ruled by it's own individual king.

In point of fact, though the Philistines are generally viewed as being quite barbaric, they may actually have been quite advanced, and may have had a generally high cultural level. There can be little doubt, however, that they were warlike, and aggressive, and bend on dominating the area of the world to which they had become consigned.

One way of gathering clues as to the true nature and/or identity of the giant/hero/godman Goliath, might actually be in comparing the evidence from Minoan archaeological endeavors. It could well be that the Sea Peoples who were the forebears of the Philistines might actually have originated from Minoa, or Crete. Or, it could be that they originated from Sardinia, or some other such Meditterrannean island, but at any rate there should be some form of comparison in the record if this were the case.

Whatever the case, you can count on fundamentalist Christians in days and weeks to come to begin pounding the drum to the rhythym of an imagined proof as to the existence of Goliath, and thus overall proof of the Bible. Such as was the case when the discovery of the name of Abraham turned up in some ancient records, despite the fact that Abraham was doubtless as well a fairly common name of the time.

What might be interesting is if the building where these shards were uncovered, turned out to be the remains of some ancient Philistine temple. Of course, as I imagine a good many temples tended to have high ceilings, and doorways, this might to the overeager be utilized as proof of Goliath's giant stature.

It would be nothing unusual if Goliath turned out to have been a god or godman hero. Actually, the ancient Hebrews did this quite often, and the early Christians followed suit, in turning the heroes and deities of a rival culture into villains and devils. The entire story of the plaques of ancient Egypt, for example, the seven plaques put on Pharoah and the Egyptians by God because the Egyptian ruler refused to accede to Moses demands to let his people go free from bondage-these plaques individually were God's conquest of first one, and then another, Egyptian deity.

The miracles of Christ, to a large extent, were simply a revision of this. Christ overcoming the power of the pagan Romans deities with his greater power as the only son of the one true God. Poseidon can make the seas rage with madenning fury? Well, with just a word, Christ can calm them immediately. Demeter when displeased can bring upon the earth famine, and therefore starvation? Well, with little effort at all Christ can feed the multitudes with just a few fish and loaves of bread.

So this is standard for the ancient Jewish writers. My God is better than your God, or Gods. Remember, mankind was pretty much in a juvenile phase during this historical epoch. We haven't really grown much more mature, unfortunately, over the last three thousand years.

But three thousand years ago, it would make a kind of sense, and a point of national pride, to establsh a great hero, a representative of the Israelites, as a man of God as well as a conquering hero, who with faith in the Lord conquered a giant evil which seemed at first glance to dwarf him, against whom no thinking person would have given him, or any other person, the slightest chance of standing against.

It was a great story, to be sure, and valid on a personal level as to the struggle between good and evil, as much so as on a cultural and national level. I guess that is the thing about the best myths. Their power and majesty resides to a great extent in their ability to, by striking some inner chord, and filling some dark inner void, not only make you believe them, but make you want to believe in them.

I recognize that power, but I still want to know the truth, regarless of what it confirms or denies. But I guess I shouldn't be so hard on those who want to believe their little fantasies are literal truth. It's understandable-insane, but understandable.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Prison Break

Just a word about what is undoubtedly the best not only new show on television, but as far as I'm concerned the best show on television period. It's great on so many levels, the acting, directing, cinematography, plot, dialogue, and finally, though I damn well hope Inever find this out for sure, it seems to be a very realistic portrayal of prison life.

I will just give a brief summar of the plot, with a warning. This show is a serial, something that is almost a necessity in order for a television show to hold my interest. So if you miss one episode you are missing out. Also, if you havent' caught the show as of yet, you might want to seriously consider waiting until the entire years episodes are re-run.

As for what the show is about, it is about a man who purpsely commits a crime, or pretends to make the attempt (by discharging a firearm in a bank, then promptly surrendering to the guards) in order to get sent to the prison at wehich his brother ios soon to be executed fo rthe murder of none other than the Vice-President of the United States. Lincoln Burrows is innocent of course, and his half-brother Michael Scoffield is certain of that, but all appeals have been exhausted. And so, while Burrows ex-girlfriend, a lawyer, is busily working on the outside doing research through legal channels to try to win yet another appeal before the execution date, Michaels has firmly implanted himself in the prison, complete with a large scale tattoo all over his torse that just happens to be the blueprints of the prison, which he himself happened to have designed while working for the firm that built the facility.

Of course, there are all kinds of characters there. There is Abruzzi, a mob boss spending the rest of his life in prison for the murder of mob rivals, and who Scoffield has forged an uneasy alliance with. There is Sucre, a Hispanic and cell-mate of Scoffield who has joined in the plot to escape out of desperation in that his lady, the love of his life, has impatiently run into the arms of his cousin and rival. There is T-Bag, a real dirt bag, a homosexual rapist/murderer and head of a white supremacist group who has instigated himself into the plot to break out of the prison by virtue of accidentally learning about it.

There is actually an endless list of characters, including the fictitous female vice-president of the United States, who seems to be the head of the conspiracy to set Lincold Burrows up for the murder of her brother. But this is one of those shows where every thing isn't necessarrily what it seems to be. But the two secret service agents who have murdered Burrows' ex-wife and husband, and are tracking his child, LJ,are determined to keep the vp, who has recently announced her own run for the presidency, out of any hint of trouble or scandal, by any means necessary.

Well, going over what I've written here, I realize that there is no way I can describe the shwo in a way that will do it justice. All I can do is encourage you to watch it and find ut for yourself. I dopn't recommend series elevision very often. The only other series I watch on a regular basis are Cold Case, The Night Stalker, and 24, which I am patiently waitng for the return of this January.

At any rate, if you like edge of your seat, jaw dropping and heart stopping suspense, mystery, and action, you can't go wrong with Prison Break.