Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Under Mao's Thumb

You’d think Mick Jagger wouldn’t need the money, so I gues the only other reason he and the other Stones are agreeing to appear in concert for the first time in the People’s Republic of China would be-well, okay, tons more of it, you kow what they say, the more you have the more you want? A case could be made that they are doing this out of appreciation and respect for their millions of fans, and to spread the gospel of rock and roll. If that is the case, I guess I don’t blame them, but it irks me.

This is not the first time they have had the chance to appear in China, the first time was in the late 1970’s. Then, however, it was the Chinese whpo pulled the Oiental carpet out from under their feet. Remember, this was just a little more than a decade after the “Cultural Revolution”, and its slingering effects were still manifest on what passed for Chinese culture, which is still playing catch-up. It was greatly feared that the Stones would infect the people with decadent Western cultural and spiritual values.

So, I guess that the Stones appearrance can be considered a significant achievement, although there are songs they have agreed they will not perform. They are:

Let’s Spend The Night Together

Brown Sugar

Honky Tonk Women

Beast of Burden

These are considered, at least by the Chinese, I guess, as the Stones most sexually explicit songs. But hell, the Stones have always been sexually explicit, it’s their natures, and these are some of their best numbers. It’s enough to –uh, ahem – make a grown man cry.

But it’s not all dark, as in fact, two numbers that are considered among the Stones darkest compositions:

Under My Thumb

Sympathy For The Devil

Have evidently been approved.

One things for sure, they better not ever play those two in Havana.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Orlando-A Show Of Asses

Give people an inch and they’ll want a mile every time. That’s true of a great many if not most people, and I guess it can be said that the same is true of White Nationalists. Not content with having the same rights to protest and Freedom of Assembly as do the rest of us in this country, they have taken it on themselves to extend this right in the city of Orlando Florida by attempting to demonstrate in a predominantly black neighborhood. These seem to be the same peole who have stirred such a hornests nest by demonstrating in Toldedo Ohio, an action which resulted in the burning and looting of busineses in a predominantly minority neighborhood, by anti-racist protestors made up largely of minorites, and egged on, reportedly, by anarchists and other outsiders.

Things came to a head in Orlando, however, and a number of fights broke out between the two factions, resulting in five arrests. Now, there comes a time when common sense should prevail,though it rarely does, and, regardless of Constitutional rights, the major concern of local authorities will always, and should always, come down on the side of public safety. There is absolutely no reason for white racialists to conduct a march in a predominantly black, or other minority, neighborhoods.

Their message will just as easily get out if it were held in an atmosphere less inflammatory. And, by the way, it will still draw counter protests. There is still plenty of reason therefore to insure public safety by police presence even in these instances. But it would seem that the White Nationalist movement is aiming for more than just a demonstration, march,and rally to get their message out. The only explanation is that they are hoping for this kind of response as a way of demonstrating, for the world to see, just how animalistic, how savage, are the racial minorities whose presence they wish to protest, or , if not their presence, at the very least the “special rights” they complain the minorities seek- which to be fair perhaps all too many do.

After all, the major focus of the demonstrations is a protest against the crime that is so pervasive in minority neighborhoods, according to the white racialists, compared to that which exists in white majority neighborhoods. Doubtless they feel that the counter protestors will always play into their hands by proving their point for them. The fact that it is a very small but vocal segment of the minority popuation that does this is besides the point. And the racialists have a point that these neighborhoods are to a great extent controlled by drug gangs.

But this is pretty much common knowldege anyway, and their insinuations that this is the typical minority attitude and lifestyle is disingenous. I’m all for cracking down on the drug gangs, in the harshest terms imaginable. But residents of all neighborhoods deserve to live in an atmosphere that is not only free of crime, but free of unnecessary provocation that could inadverdantly lead to violence, destruction of private property, and the potential loss of lives of innocent-and law abiding-American citizens.

Embryonic Stem Cells And The Wounded Warrior

I have to wonder, just how wounded American soldiers feel, particularly those sufferring from paralysis, when they hear George Bush obstinantly declare that “respect for all human life” extends to the embryonic stage, and so precludes the “destuctiom” of stem cells for the purpose of harvesting them for research. Despite the fact that the very research being limited by the denial of federal funds is the very thing that might bring about a cure for paralysis, or for any number of injuries sufferred by the American soldiers George Bush proclaims to have such love and respect for. There is even the possibility that stem cell research might actually lead to the growing of limbs that might replace those that have been lost. Could an American soldier, say for example one totally bereft of arms and legs, and possibly paralyzed to boot, not consider this position and feel anything but dismay and anger?

This is a subject, and an angle, that has been seemingly skirted even by the Left. Possibly out of respet for the soldiers, or perhaps in some cases American soldiers are seen by a good many of them as brutal and willing partners in crime of the Bush Administration-so they deserve what they get.

Whatever the case, I think it is appalling that these veterans are denied the opportunity for treatment and hope for recovery that may turn out to be only possible by the utilization of this pioneer scientific technique. Especially when you consider that most of these stem cells are either destined to be destroyed, or will in time become worthless. Freezing them, after all, only saves them for so long, as with anything else, they will die, become worthless. Freezing them only slows down the process, it doesn’t prevent it.

Lately, the opponents of stem cell research have taken to airing commercials which features a wheel chair bound woman, who may so far as I know be nothing but an actress. I have never seen her name, and know nothing of her history, as to how she became dissabled. She asserts that, while of course she would like to have a cure, she would not like this to come at the cost of the destruction of innocent life-i.e., embryonic stem cells. There has been reseach into other areas of stem cells, adult stem cells for example, that have offerred grea thope of finding eventual cures, while embryonic stem cell research has produced not a single one.

With all due respect to this lady and her private health issues-whatever they are-that’s easy for her to say. I’m sure she was well paid for her participation in this bit of disingenous propoganda, and I have no doubt she is well cared for, both in terms of medical care and the bills for such, if indeed that was ever necessary in her case. Put it this way, if she was in debt before, I doubt she is now.

Regardless, it is not for her to speak for anybody but herself. Certainly, she has no say as to the moral obligation of Bush and his supporters insofar as what they owe to the members of the American military, nor for that matter does anybody else, especially for those who have sacrificed whateever hopes they ever had of living a normal and healthy life, for the sake of the Neo-Con dream turned to nightmare, and resulting in all too many private hells.

The Bush and conservative Republican position on this issue is arrogant beyond belief.

Those Evil Human Animal Hybrids

After watching George Bush for more than five years now, I’ve come to one very important conclusion. This is a very simple man, and you can easily know the truth of what he says. You just use this simple procedure-whenever he opens his mouth, the exact total oppossite of what he says is more than likely the truth. Whether it’s the Iraqi conflict, the Katrina debaucle, or environmental policy, he says exactly what he thinks most people want him to say-and then he does the exact oppossite. There are some apparent exceptions to this, of course, such as his oppossition to federal funding for stem cell research, but even in matters such as these, when he says he does not object to private ventures-only to use of federal funds-you can detect the hint of a wink and a nod.

This premise leads me back to a subject I have thought of at some length ever since the last State Of The Union Address. In pointing out the ethical dangers inherent in technological improvements and scientific advancements, in this modern age, and the need to insure against possibel abuses, he warned us all about the evil prospect of- the creationof animal/human hybrids.

The minute this came out of his mouth I wondered in amazement, where the hell did he dig that up from? Is this evidence that he is coming unhinged at last, or that he is, after all, a dry drunk, as has been suggested? Is it conceivable that such secret scientific experiments are on-going, and that he is setting the stage for plausible deniability of any personal knowledge in the event of a leak?

Then I got to thinking-why not? What would be the harm? I can think of a lot of good that could come of such research, and as such, I offer my thoughts on such such a potential-I call it:

THE HUMAN BIRD

Now what could be more thrilling and filled with greater potential of improving on the human species than this utilization of one of the oldest of mankinds dreams-the ability to fly like a bird? Not in a plane, helicopter, or glider, but with your own set of fully developed wings. The military applications in and of themselves make pursuing this possibility worthwhile. Imagine open air battles between warring armies, shooting at each other up in the air, far lesseningh the prospect of innocent loss of lives, as for the most part civilian non-combatants will be far more enabled to leave the scene of the conflict.

People would get far more exercise than they currently do. The pleasure of flying about the neighborhood or the countryside would take on entirely new dimensions, as it would allow one to take in more territory than is currently reasonable by walking, bicycling, or even by automobile. There would be time to make a few incidental stops at the market, make it to appointments, and work, on time, all in such a way that would lessen highway traffic congestion, to say nothing of pollution. Then, there would be the savings as to energy expenses.

Of course, people being people, the novelty would soon wear off in most cases, and those set of wings would pretty soon become about as useless as-well, as a pair of arms and legs.

On the other hand, maybe not. Toddlers will quikly learn to fly, and by the time they are two it will be a full time job chasing them down, literally, from the sky. Of course, soon they will be eight, and ten, and twelve, and then puberty sets in, so parents wings might get overworked, if anything.

And speaking of childcare, why stop with wings? Why not go the full route, create a human bird hybrid that, instead of carrying their young for nine months, will when becoming pregnant, simply lay an egg? Bingo. I think I see what the Neo-Cons are up to now. No disturbance of the work force, no pesky maternity leave for businesses to have to contend with. Just insure that all expecting families have access to affordable quality incubators-or, for that matter, incubation centers. Voila-an entirely new industry, with the potential of adding tens of thousands of new jobs to the work force.

Damn! I think I’ve hit on what might well end up being the one positive aspect of the Bush legacy.

South Dakota v. Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood has vowed to fight the recently passed law in South Dakota, in which abortion is to be banned in al cases except for those cases where the mothers life is I jeopardy. The governor has vowed to sign the bil into law, after ensuring that there are “no loopholes”.

Loopholes? What in the hell is he talking about? It seems pretty cut and dried to me. Is he wanting to make sure, perhaps, that there will be a second or third opinion from a qualified physician to verify the first diagnosis? If so, that in itself could be one hell of a loophole, assumming these second and third opinions are coming from physicians hired by the state. If this is the case, from where will these phsicians be taken? What willl be their own philosophies in regards to the procedure? I shudder to think about it.

And why not allow the procedure in the case of rape? Are they really that afraid that some women will claim rape as a means of getting around the ban if they allow this exclusion? I suspect this is true in some cases, but the sad, sad truth is that, for the most part, a good many well meaning people actually believe that rape does not justify an abortion. After all, it is not “the baby’s fault.”

And what of incest? Now, it would be pretty easy to verify this. But it is still, alas, an innocent life. An innocent life that will still, nevertheless, pass on dangerously defective DNA into the general population, perhaps to manifest two or three generations later, if not immediately-but innocent nevertheless.

Thankfully, this law will be overturned on appeal, and most observers believe this will be upheld by the Supreme Court. But people are stating to pay for very close attention to recent rulings bythe Court on life and death issues, especially those involving choice and privacy, such as the recent vote on the Oegon asisted suicide law. In addition, the court is due to hear a case involving a ban on late term abortion procedures.

The up-and-coming off year congressional elections promises to be a busy one. Look for an increase in voter paticipation this year. And look for any further Bush judicial appointments to be scrutinized even more than usual, including those to the Federal Appelate courts. Those are the ones that are, after all, perhaps as important in their own wayt, if not more so, than the Supreme Court potentials.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Hugo Chavez And Citgo

Just today I got a forward that is evidently making the rounds that is so obvious anybody should be able to tell what it’s purpose is, plainly put, pure propoganda. The target of this smear piece is Venezualan President Hugo Chavez, and as if to make some kind of point as to it’s sinister implications, it includes a photo taken of the Venezualan Socialist dictator in the company of the American Iraqi War protestor Cindy Shehan.

As stated, however, the text of the forward is a warning about how Chavez suppossedly wishes to bring down the government of the United States. It goes on to remind the reader, if unaware, that Venezuala is the government owner of the Citgo convenience franchise, which owns a string of combination convenience stores and gas stations throughout the United States. It suggests that by patronizing Citgo, a customer would by proxy be supporting a company owned by a government whose stated purpose is the overthrow of the United States. In effect, the profits of the company would either directly or inadverdantly go toward this purpose. Obviously, the patriotic thing to do would be to rufuse to shop at the Venezuelan owned company.

Okay, there are several problems with this story. For one, Chavez never, to my knowledge, advocated the overthrow of the Untied States government, he merely advocates overthrow of United States imperialism, and in point of fact, his main objection to United States influence in South and Central America would seem to be in oppossition to such free trade agreements as NAFTA and CAFTA. That is a distinction with quite a bit of difference, at least in practical terms, if not in sentiment. Of course, Chavez is a Socialist, and would like to see the United States eventually become Socialist, as would Fidel Castro-another name brought up in the forward as an earstwhile ally of Chavez. Then again, the US government would, undoubtedly, be happy to see Venezuela adopt a more Democratic style of government. Of course, Chavez came to power by way of a democratic election, so let’s be clear. What the Bush Administration wants, wtih a Democratic veneer, is what it wants here, and what it wants there, and what it damned well wants everywhere-

Unregulated Capitalism!

Yeah, what moves this country has made in that direction over the course of the last twenty five years has worked real well, hasn’t it? Uuuhh-not really. Not unless you can with a good conscience discount that 8 trillion dollar national debt that just keeps piling up. But who’s counting?

Chavez wants an end to free trade, it would seem, as do I, as do the majority of Americans. So how is he our enemy? The answer is, of course, he is not, he is merely the foe of all those American corporatists that want to insure a continual flow of cheap foreign labor into our borders, and open permission to establish production facilities in countries where they can produce their goods at a fraction of the cost of what they would have to pay to produce them here, with American workers. I’m not so na├»ve, of course, to suppose that Chavez cares one whit about the American people. I will, however, give him credit for caring about his own, and certainly he cares about the prospect of his power in the region being maintained, and not undermined by American Realpolitik, as he suspects was the case when he was briefly overthrown, before staging a quick recovery of his power and position.

So who is behind the propoganda? It would be too easy to say pawns of the Bush Administration, but this ploy is too cheap for a major government operation. It is tempting as well to attribute it possibly to a ploy by Ameican oil companies, trying to seize the opportunity to marginalize to as great an extent as possible a competitor, one who will not fall into line with their price fixing schemes and manipulation of the markets.

Something this cheap, this cheesey, looks more like the work, to tell you the truth, of a regional BP manager,for example, out to increase his revenues. A regional ploy, which brings me back to Ms. Sheehan, whom I mentioned at the start of this post. I myelf have had my criticisms of her-and still do-but I like to consider that they are thoughtful, not foaming at the mouth vendettas that are typical of so many on the Far Right, who fall into line with anything certain ones tell them-certain ones like Pat Robertson, for example.

And that is pretty much where it stands. The irrelevance of Cindy Sheehan’s inclusion in a circulated internet drive to encourage a boycott of Citgo marks it as a Far Right ruse, if not by Robertson or his ilk, then probably by a minor player, like my mythical regional BP manager.

And what it all boils down to is this- I will purchase my gasoline from whatever company offers me quality product at the most affordable price. Now that is something any business person should be able to appreciate-the Bottom Line

Jessica Simpson-On The Road Again?

It looks now as though a major show trial is destined to take place on American soil, one involving infidelity, celebrity, and possibly even perjury. There seems to be an inconsistencie in the accounts of Nick LaChey and Jessica Simpson as to when they were actualy legally seperated. According to Smpson they were seperated in mid-Novmber, but acording to LaChey they were seperated in December, some three weeks later. So why the discrepancy, and why is it important?

Well, because Jessica made, in just that span of time, one and a half million dollars, therefore the time is indeed vital. If they were legally seperated according to her acount,then LaChey would not be entitled to half of that million and a half dollars that he otherwise would be if his account is the correct one. Remember, these are the seprerate claims made in legal court filings. Of course, it may be hard to prove perjury in any case. More than likely, the case will all come down to a finding of fact. And here’s where it might get interesting.

Yeah, I know there are some people groaning right about now, those that are still reading. But I just can’t help mself, as I consider this might possibly be one of the all time great Hollywood sex and scandal stories of all time. Or maybe not. It could be something as mundane as two people that simply grew apart, became dissafected and, as happens so often in the world of celebrity entertainment, went their separate ways. There may be no affairs as such that are pertinent to the case.

On the other hand, there just might be. An affair,that is. And I’m not talking about with Johnny Knoxville. Or Kermit The Frog. Now, the goofy little kid in the Pizza Hut commerical,that would be a scandal. But no, I’m referring back to an earlier post on this subject, in which I revealed my beliefs that Jessica Simpson, during her filming of the big screen version of The Dukes Of Hazard, engaged in an affair, not with co-star Johnny Knoxville, but with another co-star: Willie Nelson.

I repeat (and will continue to do so until I sell this story to the National Enquirer), it has all the elements you could hope to find in a celebrity gossip piece. And it makes sense. You take Willie, the seasoned, veteran entertainer, put him in an on location trailor with Jessica, the grasping, ambitous would be starlet and celebrity brimming over with enthusiasm, and looking for career advice, as pertaining to both music and film. Add a little pot, a llittle, or maybe a lot, of liquor, into the mix, and voila. You think Willie wouldn’t go for that? You think Jessica wouldn’t, for the possile chance to tour with Willie, to have him produce one of her albums, and play on it, and for a chance to appear on one of his?

And who the hell is Johnny Knoxville anyway? Okay, he’s another dime a dozen Hollywood stud, like Jesica Simpson doesn’t have more than her share of opportunities for that. But Willie. I can just see it now, that old, withered flesh and gnarled, grizzled face, commingled with the sculpted beauty and squeaky clean image of Ms. Simpson. Yeah, I can just hear that old movie lot trailor boucing around right now.

On the Road Again? Just can’t wait to get on the road again-

The life I love is making music with my friends-

I can’t wait to get on the road again

Willie,this is your chance to make yourself relevant again. Stand by Ms. Simpson, and tell us like it was. Sure, it won’t prove anything as to which account of the time of the legal seperaion is the correct one. But who cares? When the truth gets out, it might be cathartic, you might be able to get those two crazy kids to reconcile. After all,they are Hollywood types, they are enlightened. They will get over it. Jessica will thank you. Nick will thank you.

Well, okay, they probably won’t. But the world will.

Me, I’m just going to think about it and masturbate.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Any Port In A Storm-A Terrorist Scenario

Now that Bush appears to be possibly looking for a way to wriggle out of the latest announced deal to hand over the running of six major U.S. ports to a company owned by the government of the United Arab Emirates, according to the latest trial balloon released by the White House (Bush didn't know about the deal, suppossedly, until it was finalized, according to White House sources), one can only hope that he will decide to do the sensible thing-for once-and put an end to this ill-advised venture. At the very least, he could be persuaded to not veto any Congressional bill forbidding the project. Hopefully the measure would pass by a large enough margin to override a presidential veto, in any event.

Otherwise, this has the makings of a potential disaster of epic proportions. Consider the possibilities. A Dubai company takes control of six major ports, a number of which are located in the Gulf of Mexico region. Typically, only seven per cent of the cargoes that enter U.S. ports are inspected, even in this post 9/11 world. Somewhere along the line, terrorists come into the picture, bribing officials in Dubai to insure they have visas that will pass scrutiny. They make it to this country, and await further instructions. They all ready know what to look for, a ship which contains a thermo-nuclear device. Their pre-arranged mission: to insure it's safe passage into the port of Miami, for example.

The ship is docked at the port, it's legitimate cargo unloaded, it's secret cargo safely hidden away. Then, inadverantly, it is ordered to remain docked, as it is discovered to be in need of repairs. Coincidentally, it is now the beginning of hurricane season.

Before long, a hurricane is spotted, or a tropical storm that eventually becomes a hurricane. One of these eventually comes dangerously close to the port of Miami, or a least close enough that it can be quickly reached. The ship departs, and before anyone realizes what is happenning, it follows a path that will take it right to the path of the on-coming hurricane. It might be a category two,or three, or four, or even just a weak category one. The stronger the better-but it doesnt really matter. The ship strays, with seeming great carelessness, into it's path. Or, it stays right where it was docked, in the port of Miami, and awaits the approaching storm.

Before the storm reaches landfall, however, or before it reaches the part of the Gulf to where the ship makes it's eventual way, disaster strikes. The long hidden and disguised-and protected-thermonuclear device explodes, unleashing the fury of the atom right in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico, or the port of Miami-right in the path of the storm.

When that storm finally hits, the temperature of the water that it eventually passes over has been heated to an unimaginable degree, hotter than ever. For a time the water boils, and the ship is totally vaporized, along with all people on board. By the time the storm finally hits the area, there is nothing that can be done, but watch and wait. The water is no longer boiling away, but it is still extremely, excessively hot, steaming hot-and radioactive.

Then, the hurricane hits. It roars quickly up into category five status, and may even warrant the creation of an entirely unheard of category six, or seven. It engulfs the entire Gulf Coast in a blanketing wave of hot and radioactive wind and rain. Winds and rain of utter annihilation.

The Gulf Coast is left all but uninhabitable from this point on unto the foreseeable future, as the hurricane makes it's way up into the interior of the country, up into the Midwest region, perhaps even up into the upper Midwest, possibly as strong still as a category three hurricane, or even greater. Eventually, in it's rage, it spews out an uncountable spawn of devastating tornadoes.

The land is flooded, the winds howl as the nation is brought to ruin-and to it's knees.

And so writes finis to the record of George W. Bush, the terror warrior President-and to the nation as well.

But nahhhh-we shouldn't assume the worse about an "ally" on the war on terror. Right, George?

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Prussian Blue And David Irving-Modern Martyrs?

So it has actually happenned-British author and historian David Irving has been sentenced to three years in an Austrian jail for denying the Holocaust. This assault on Freedom of Speech in a suppossedly culturally advanced European nation would be horrendous enough if it were perpetrated merely against an Austrian citizen, in an Austrian court. But the fact that this is an aspect of internatonal law, that a British citizen could be tried in an Austrian Court on such a trumped up charge, is staggering in it's implications. Regardless of how one feels or comes down on anti-Semitism, White Nationalism, Zionism, or the Holocaust, or any number of such issues, everyone should feel compelled to protest this ill-advised assault on civil liberties.

While all this has transpired, the white nationalist band Prussian Blue-two thirteen year old fraternal twins Lynx and Lamb Gaede-have just been the subject of an extensive profile and interview in the latest edition of Gentleman's Quarterly. Although I dread doing this, I am going to try and correctly include in the title of the post a link to the article. The link URL itself is about as long as the damn article so I will probably mess it up at least once-patience, please).

But these two concurrent events brings up an interesting hypothesis. Could the mother of the twins, April Gaede, be prosecuted acording to international law? Could the twins themselves be subject for prosecution when they "come of age"?

After all, it has been said the name "Prussian Blue" is the colloquial name for the pigment which should have been found in far more abundant quantities on the walls of the gas chambers where six million Jews were allegedly gassed, if this were indeed the case, as the gas contained as a component a compound that would have produced this color on the walls.

Finally, could the leaders of the White Nationalist movements, such as StormFront, the Ku Klux Klan, etc., be indicted-again, under international law-for denying the holocaust, in addition to any variety of their non-conformist, at times rather bizarre, beliefs?

It's a chilling thought, and one that incidentally plays probably right into the hands of any numbers of these leaders and their followers. After all, everybody loves, and needs, a martyr, hell, all the great world movements have at least one.

Let's take for example Jesus Christ, to many the ultimate martyr. Frankly, I have serious misgivings about him, the idea that he was the virgin born Son of God being the least of them. My main suspicion concerning him is that he was not an actual living, historical person, may in fact have originally been a pagan God, a pre-Judaized Galillean (yes, the Galilleans were originally pagans before being forcibly converted to Judaism by the Jewish King Aristobulus,less than one hundred years before the purported birth of Jesus). He may have in fact been a Gallillean version of Bacchus, or Osirus, or Adonis.etc. My little theory simply proposes that the original Priethood to the pagan God, having been forced underground immediately following the forced conversion to Judaism, re-emerged decades later with a suitably Judaized covering.

Okay, so what, one may ask, is the point? Simply put, is it possibly that I could one day be prosecuted for propounding and promoting this theory? After all,former President Clinton has according to some sources recently gone on record as saying that freedom of speech does not give anybody the right to insult other peoples religions. Well, couldn't my theory be interpreted as much an insult to mainstream Christianity, to say nothing of the more radical fringes of it, as a Danish cartoon of the prophet Muhammed wearing a turban with a bomb could be seen as an insult to Islam?

Where does it all end? In the GQ magazine article I cited, there is a brief mention of the Gaede sisters grandfather, Bill Gaede, a rancher who utilizes as his brand the swastika. It describes how one day, taking note of how a tree near his property was starting to attract daily and growing visitors due to it's suppssed resemblance to the Virgin Mary, took a chainsaw to the tree and cut it down.

Shocking? Hell, that sounds like something I might do over a bad weekend. Over a good one I might rope it off and charge admission to it, particularly if it were on my property, or I might insist that it is acutally an image of Athene. Whatever the case,would I be subject to prosecution on the grounds of religous insensitivity in some European Court? Not in this day and time one might assert. But the future is always just one day removed from the present, ultimatly, when you really stop to think about it. Just one step, one day, at a time.

I wish the Gaede twins well. They are cute, they are talented-though they need to work on it (but so did Ozzy) and more to the point, they got moxy (a Jewish word, I think, ironically). It's the moxy, unfortunately, that, while making them endearing, will also get them into trouble.

I'm still hoping they will eventually evolve beyond the white nationalist gig, which has limited entertainment value at best, though not that they should embrace a multi-culturalist ideal. They should remain true adherents to white European culture, and promoters of same, if that is and remains their inclinations. Nothing wrong with that, in fact, it is admirable, so long as it does evolve into the positive aspects of white culture,and away from the negative aspects of race baiting and xenophobia so typical of a great many of their fellow white nationalists.

But even if they do not evolve beyond this, what they say and write is still, or should be, protected speech. It is abhorent to me that they have been vicimized over the course of the last few months by evidently grown men and women who spew such vile hatred and venom their way they had to moderate their web pages. Even a photo blog of their little step-sister Dresden-a toddler-was subject to harrassment. One incredibly stupid person even went so far as to send the girls, over the Internet, a cartoon featuring a cookie monster stuffing a cookie into the vagina of a horrified young girl. They have been told they should be raped by blacks, they should be killed, etc.-all by people who, by the way, object to their "hate" and racist views. Incredible!

This is the kind of thinking that enables manipulation of the ignorant masses by governments intent on controlling "the sheeple". Feed into their fears, their hatreds, and their prejudices, and in this remarkably bizarre time in which we live, make them think they are on the side of goodness and morality, against hatred and prejudice. And it might be coming to a country near you, thanks to a concept called interntional law,and the international criminal courts.

Monday, February 20, 2006

The Fucking Police Of Spotsylvania County Virginia

The deputies of the Spotsylvania County Virginia Sheriffs Department may have given new meaning to the term "giving your all" when, in the course of conducting a sting operation on the Moon Spa, a massage parlor on Plank Road, they actually engaged in sexual activity with several of the women, not once, but four times. On one occassion, one of the officers left a 350 dollar tip.

Then, the evidence having carefully been gathered, they busted them. As might be expected, this raised quite a bit more than just the deputies involved, including quite a few eyebrows. Yet, Sheriff Howard D. Smith, who initiated the sting operation, insisted that actual sexual contact was the only way to insure a conviction, reasoning that most prostitutes are careful not to say anything that is incriminating. He gave his assurrances that only unmarried officers were utilized.

Henry "Hap" Connors Jr., Chairman of the Spotsylvania Board of Supervisors, was unaware of the practice, and seemed to be well displeased. There were other crimes to investigate, such as the recent stabbing death of a local teen, in which the officers time would be better spent than in what would seem to be the mere "pursuit of pleasurable acts".

Supervisor Robert Hogan said that it sounded to him like a legal question. He felt that if other jurisdictions were able to mount a successful sting, and prosecution, without going to this extent, then Spotsylvania County should be able to do it too. "But I'm not the Sheriff," he said, "and Howard's a pretty smart guy."

He then added, almost as an afterthought, "It seems extreme."

According to prosecutors, in addition to judges, legal experts, and even defense attorneys, all that is usually required to conduct a successful sting and follow up prosecution is a verbal agreement to perform sexual sevices for pay, augmented at most by an overt act such as the removal of clothing.

Yet, to be completely fair, this might not be the fault of the Sheriff, not entirely,who may have had his hands tied by the vagaries of the local law. While some jurisdictions may be clear on the procedures and the legalities involved, others may not be so clear, and in fact may be open to interpretation. It could well be that Spotsylvania County is just such a case.

If that is the case, however, it would seem to me the best recourse would be to move toward clarifying the law. Even that, however, may not be the entire answer. Insofar as local governments in a good many cases tend to be notoriously corrupt, it could well be that something this drastic may have been needed to illustrate just exactly how pervasive the problem is in regards to this particular county. The problem could well reside as much or more in the County's judicial chambers or those of the Hall Of Supervisors than in those of the Moon Spa.

Whatever the case, it hardly warrants going to this extreme. It would seem to be a clear case of the misuse of the taxpayers money, to say nothing of a betrayal of trust. But as much or more than this, or the idea that the Sheriff's Department, as well as the County as a whole, is now pretty much a laughing stock, there is a public safety issue to consider. Safety precautions being unreliable, even in this advanced age, these officers were put, however willingly, in the position of possibly contracting an STD, such as syphyllis, AIDS, gonorrhea, clymidea, or herpes, to say nothing of hepatitis, that could have easily been transferred to their girlfriends, and from there on to the general community.

No, the best recourse would be to treat this matter not as a public morals issue, but as a public health concern. In the event such a disease could be traced back to the establishment, it could be closed on those grounds, and the owners and operators prosecuted. In addition to this, zoning laws could be rewritten which could conceivably allow for the strict regulation of this obviously adult oriented business. Anything but this.

The only other reasonable alternative would seem to be to drop the charges against the women, and write finis to the saga of this ill-advised policy. Should it continue from this point on, put it down to money well spent for officers morale-a kind of fringe benefit.

Subliminal Testing

I just got throgh watching a portion of an interesting contest, not on the Winter Olympics, but a “Moot Court” contest, a taping of a mock court contest held at Georgetown University, at which one of the three presidieng judges was Chief Justice of The Supreme Court, John Roberts. In this cotnest, two Georgetown Law students are representing one side, the plaintiff of a case, while the other side of two are arguing the case on behalf of the respondent.

Like I said, this is a contest, not a real case, though I’m not sure whether what they are arguing is concerning real law or not. If it is I need to brush up on my legal knowledge. This case involves an act passed by Congress-again, I don’t know if this is for real or not-which outlaws subliminal messages. According to the mock trial in seesion, this law was overturned by the Thirteenth Circuit Appeals Court on the grounds that it is an unconstitutional abridgement of the First Amendment. Evidently, it was decided too broadly, to the extent that it not only outlaws subliminal messages which are transmitted to the public wihtout their knowledge or consent, it can also be interpreted as making illegal the recording and disseminating any type of subliminal messages, even those that are clearly marked for the purpose of consensual use.

For eample, suppose you happenned upon a tape that overtly played music, or featured the sounds of nature-a waterfall, sounds inside a rainforrest, a thundestorm, animal sounds, etc-but hidden inside the sounds you hear outwardly is a hidden message, one to sought to influence you to stop smoking, stop overreating, adopt a more positive attitude, and so on and so forth. This, too, would be illegal, according to the original wording of the law as written by Congress, insomuch as it as well may be disseminated over a public medium, against the knowledge and consent of potential listeners.

It was also pointed out that this law could also potentially impose undue restrictions on such venues as painting, poetry, music, and fiction, insomuch as works of art such as these tend to a large extent to contain what might easily be considered to be sublimianl messages.

Now I know that there was indeed a controversy over the use of sublimianl messages in advertisements, and many people would be familiar with the example given of the experimental movie theatre sublimianl ads inserted into different films and trailers which contained images of popcorn, soft drinks, etc. When played, these were so quickly flashed they were imperceptible to the naked eye, yet were picked up by the subconscous mind, resulting in an increase in snack vendor sales. It was pointed out that there was a potential for vast and dangerous misuse by not only advertisers, but unsrupulous politicians as well.

But, evidently, in pasing a law against this potential manipulation of an unsuspecting public, which tends to be gullible enough as it is, Congress did what it tends to do so well one is tempted to point out that it did what it actually seems to do best-it went way too far. Which leaves open the question-did it intentionally go too far, hoping no one would notice. After all, what better way of trampling free speech than by going this back door route, all the time pretending you are merely trying to insure that the back door is locked? What better way, or example, to assault the religious liberties of minority religions than by asserting the brainwashing potentials of their liturgy, music, or rituals? What better way of intruding upon the free speech rights of a sub-culture than by targeting the free expression rights o fthat group as potentially encouraging lawless behavior?

Of course, another possible explanation is simply that Congress tends to be too lazy to devote the necessary time to insure that laws such as these will pass the constitutional smell test. Which is why it is a good thing our system, more than any other that I know anything about, has a system of government that establishes, or seeks to anyway, an independent judiciary that hopefully will not be influenced by their own preconceived notions and preferences, or prejudices, against, for example, hip-hop songs or Wiccan Samhain rituals. Hopefully, this independence will remain overtime, free of undue influence by boththe right and the left of the poltical spectrum, or even, as far as that goes, by the middle.

Not only is that good for the country just on it’s face value, it has the added advantage that it should encourage the other two branches of government to actually do their jobs, as well as to mind their p’s and q’s. Hopefully, in this one specific example, a law should easily be agreed upon whereby the public can be protected against undue manipulation, while protecting legitimate First Amendment rights.

By the way, if you read this entire post, in the interest of full disclosure-I just told you to try to initiate a sexual relationship with the first attractive person you come in contact with besides your mate.

Kid Rock And Scott Stapp Sex Tape

Soon, very soon, rock fans the world over will be able to thrill to the duo performance of Scott Stapp, formerly of the pop/grunge band Creed, and Kid Rock, together for the first and possibly the last time. However, the performance has nothing to do with music. It seems that it is an old performance as well, filmed sometime in 1999, and features the two engaging in a sexual orgy with four female fans.

According to David Joseph, President of Red Light District, the company the previously brought you "One Night In Paris", the film was puchased from an individual who had originally planned on putting the film on the Internet free of charge. It was filmed by more than one person, according to Joseph, and there is no need for either Kid Rock or Stapp to sign off on it. Nevertheless, apparently as a courtesy, Joseph attmpoted to contact the two, neither of which bothered to respond to the messages.

"It's really good", said Joseph. "I wish I was a rock star, I tell you. I'm in the wrong business."

Stapp earlier made headlines after being arrested in an airport for being stinking drunk. It would seem that his career has gone down the shitter since Creed dissolved. Though I thought the bank was good, it was heavily criticized for it's commecial approach to the Grunge movement which spawned such acclaimed groups as Nirvana, Stone Temple Pilots, and Pearl Jam, this last of which Creed, and Stapp in particular, was unfavorably compared.Particularly, Stapp himself was accussed of mimicking the vocal style of the groups lead singer.

Interestingly, Creed had also been described as a Christian Rock band, which Stapp denied, saying that the band had no agenda as such. This latest internet film, a portion of which might be released in advance of the release of the full product, would seem to put this controversy to rest, at least insofar as Stapp is concerned.

Kid Rock, of course, presents no real surprise, other than, as has been said, he might be the only one of Pamela Anderson's ex-boyfriends to have not been featured in a sex tape-until now.

No word as of yet as to whether the two of them engage in any kind of sexual act with each other. Probably not. After all, these guys have their image to think of.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

The Would Be Vengeance Of Dick Morris

Add Dick Moris to the ever growing list of those who have found fesh ammunition to use against the Administration due to the recent misadventures of Deadeye Dick Cheney, only in this case most might tend to wonder exactly why Morris, generally considered a supporter of the Administration, would jump on this bandwagon, going so far to insist on a ecent episode of Fox News Channels Hannity And Colmes-to the shagrin of conservative host and radio pundit Shawn hannity-that the Vice-President was probably drunk. He intimated that this was usually the case in situations like this, and that it was the most logical explanation as to why Cheney delayed informing the press, and waitied so long to issue a public statement after it got out.

Morris was adamant too in his judgement of Cheney's character, nor was it the first time he has criticized Cheney. But in this case, Hannity, growing ever more frustrated, called Morris's statements irresponsible.

But Morris knows what he is doing. Well, Morris thinks he knows what he is doing, and so, I think, do I. This is just another push in his drive to publicly stage manage what he is hopeful will be the political coming of age of Secretary of State and former National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice, who Morris sees as the eventual Republican nominee for the 2008 presidential election.

He has even written a book which reads more like a prophecy, entitled, I think "Hillary Clinton versus Condoleeza Rice-The Next Great Presidential Race". In this book he envisions Rice the eventual winner in what would be the most fiercely competitive race in modern history, with record numbers at the polls, and Rice winning by keeping a lock on the traditional Republican base and combining this by winning the independant voters, in addition to drawing appreciable amounts of blacks and women, and other minority groups as well.

And, he might well be right in his assessment of the race, if it were to ever come about. The only problem with it would seem to be, it probably is not going to happen. For one thing, Rice has categorically denied any intentions to seek the nomination, and has done so repeatedly. In addition, recent polling indicates the heavy favorite, for now, to win the nomination is Rudy Giulliani, coming in at about ten points ahead of his next closest competitor, Arizona Senator John McCain.

Therefore, it seems that Morris has taken steps to push along his prediction and help it becme a reality. There was at one point a web-site that promoted Rice for President at the head of the Republican Party ticket, and this was doubtless either instigated by Morris, or inspired and encouraged by him. And, as I said before, this is not the first time Cheney, in addition to other Republican Party officials, including Bush himself, has drawn criticism from the former Clinton staffer who fell out with his boss, the former President. He now now little good to say about Clinton, and even less kind words to say about Hillary, whom he promotes as a Far Left ideoloque, and a demagoque trying transparantly to move toward the center. He sees her as a real danger to the country.

Morris may feel he has reason to be bitter. He was at least partially responsible for Clintons resurrection in the polls following the 1994 off- year election debaucle which saw dissatisfactionwith his Administration enable the Republican party to take control of both houses of Congress for the first time in forty years. Thanks in part to Morris, Clinton came back and won re-election to the presidency in 1996, handily defeating Republican nominee Robert Dole, depsite being kept to just under fifty percent of the total vote due to the presence on the ballot of Ross Perot.

Sometime following this, Morris was discovered to have used the White House phone to engage in some kind of kinky phone sex shenanigans, I forget exactly what it was all about, but it seems to have been one of those 900 number type of deals, and there was some mention of toe sucking. All this, of course, got him the boot, and he evidently blames Hillary, whose boot he had doubtless felt disposed to lick from time to time. Yet, though he must certainly have undertood the embarrassment this prediament put the Administration in, he was understandably, perhaps, irate at what he doubltess perceives as the then First lady's ingratitude, as well as Clintons. He was doubltess all the more enraged when Hillary coldly stood by her man in the wake of the Lewinsky scandal. And, he must have felt some kind of vengeful glee at their predicament.

Still, Morris remained out of the limelight, for the most part, though in recent years saw fit to resurface, writing such boooks as "Off With Their Heads", and then "Rewriting History",which was an answer to Hillary's "Living History". He briefly mused about writing an answer to Bill Clintons best selling memoir, tentatively to be titled, "Because He Could", a chiding response to Clinton's evasively throwaway explanation as to why he engaged in the sexual romp and roll with Ms. Lewisnsky.

Instead, he ultimately produced the latest tomb about the foretold '08 race between Hillary and Condi. And in order to promote this visionary dream, it seems that no one is safe, particularly the Vice-President, who now must ironically himself feel somewhat the hunted quarry.

After all, in the wake of the recent polls and Condi's obstinate refusal to seek the nomination, and even to insist on an appearrance on Tim Russerts Meet The Press that not only will she not seek the nomination she will not accept it were it offerred, there doesn't seem to be much wiggle room for Morris. So an uncomfortable situation such as this is made to order. Were Cheney to be pushed aside, then obviously Bush would have to nominate a replacement. McCain would be unlikely, and Giulliani would seem to be an imposibility. Bush is certainly enough of a political animal to understand that whoever replaced Cheney as Vice-President would have the upper hand in fund raising and campaigning were that person to actively seek the Party's nomination.

It stands to reason that Bush would be favorably disposed towards Rice, and one wonders just how many times the president has been presented with this scenario and has seriously considered it. The Senate Democrats, of course, would be hard pressed to fight such an appointment, and would seem to have no grounds for a filibuster, though there are some who would certainly try. One cannot help but entertain the thoughts of how Hillary would react. It would certainly put her in an uncomfortable position, and her handling of it might well speak volumes about her personally and politically. But what could she do, besides visibly fume?

Finally, what is in all this for Morris? Besides revenge, it would be the capstone of his career, obviously. But were it to come about, does he envision, in addition to the degree of self-satisfaction this would net him, some kind of political appointment? A staff position, perhaps, or even a minor political appointment. It would be hard to justify such political patronage in Morris's case, and he probably knows that. Yet, you have to wonder just what goes on in the back of the mind of Dick Morris when he sees such news footage of Rice walking in pointy toed black stilletto boots.

These boots are made for walking?

Arsonists For Jesus

Somebody in the state of Alabama really seems to be on fire for the Lord, and would appear to want to spread the love, in a very real way. So much so that two arsonists, on one occasion, almost fell victim to their own devices, finding themselves locked in one of the last rural Alabama churches they set fire to, before luckily somehow smashing their way through the back door. They managed to escape just in the knick of time, but not before being spotted. As in an earlier fire, they were described as two white men, in their twenties or thirties, driving a dark colored SUV. The only other clues left behind, at least the only ones that have been released, is a footprint on the door they managed to kick down in making good the said escape. Any other clues they may or may not have left behind are being kept secret, according to law enforcement personnel, in order to insure they are able to apprehend the right suspects.

The most curious thing about this whole affair is that most if not all fires have seemingly been centered at the area of the chuch where the preacher stands and delivers his sermons. Once started in this area, the flames genrally spread and engulf the entirety of the church, leaving some to be totally destroyed, while a handful of others have been put out in time to escape total destruction, while yet, for the most part, sustaining serious damage.

The first five or so were all in one county in the center of the state. Since then, the arsonists have branched out into other, somewhat adjoining counties. At last count there have been a total of about ten over the course of the last month or so. It has generally been denied that there is a racial component to the arsons, as it has been pointed out that some of the churches, at least, were of mixed congregations, while certainly some have been of predominantly black congregations. Nevertheless, those of mixed congregations seem to have a white majority.

There have been calls now for Bush to get involved, similar to the manner in which Clinton during his presidency, when a similar set of circumstances took place, though in a wider spread area taking in a vaiety of Southenr states, put together a task force to investigate the church arsons, in these instances of churches of all or predominantly black congregations. After some time, the arsons came ot a stop. Well,now it appeas they have started up again.

What the Alabama officials in this case don’t seem to get is that, factually, the United States government has no jurisdiction in these matters, so long as there is-officially-no racial motive for the arsons. A racial motive, of course, would make it a potential civil rights violation, therefore making it a prosecutable offense under the U.S. Constitution. A mere arson, even a series of them, even of churches, limits it to the purview of the state of Alabama.

So, is it racially motivated, or is it not? I tend to think that it is, though I certainly have no proof of that. The fact that a good many of the churches have predominantly white congregations,however, with a small number of blacks, doesn’t dispel that notion in my mind, if anything in fact it strengthens it. So why not call it what it seems to obviously be? Is it a fear of stirring up old animosities. If this is the case, it should be recognized that sometimes this just cannot be avoided, particularly when the perpetrators of crimes such as this have themselves an overabundance of animus. If it is this same old cancer that has returned, as cancers oftimes do, denial will no more remove it now than it ever hoped to in the past. No, such a resurgence has to be faced head on. As sickening and debilitating as the treatment may inadverdantly be, avoiding the issue is far worse, and will only serve to hasten and intensify the metastisis.

So what is the real evidence pointing in this direction? Without making a judgement call as to the validity of that argument, one has to look at the obvious possibility, and reach a sound analysis. Racism, in point of fact, has been marginalized to the point that it is fast becoming an unwelcome partner within the ranks of the Republican Party. The migration from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party began in eanest in the nineteen sixties, and continued on through the seventies and eighties. It levelled out along that time, but over the course of the last decade, the Republicans have tried to make serious inroads, albeit with limited success, in reaching out to the black community, as well as other minorities. True racists are more and more finding themseles left out in the cold. They were used to great effect in the late sixties, and during the seventies and eighties, as part of Richard Nixons and Ronald Reagans so-called Southern Strategy.

But something happenned in the course of the loss of the stranglehold the Democrats typically held over the South, especially the Deep South. As the Republican Party became more and more competitive, the region started to advance in myriads of ways, and though they still have a long ways to go in certain areas, particularly in regards to education, they have on average improved vastly in overall increase in living standards and in the prospect for opportunity. This is the ultimate result anytime there is a strong two party system in any state or region, as is true on a national level. A one party domination, by either party, is an encouragemnt to corruption, and to backwardness. A strong, healthy, and competitive two party system leads to improvements, as both parties come to recognize they have to try harder, work better, to earn the peoples trust.

Domination by a single party over an extended period of time, such as was the case here in Kentucky for so long , is a perfect advertisement agaisnt such one party systems such as communism. A strong, vibrant,and healthy two party system is the American way, and should be to the benefit of all Americans. Unfortunatley, there are those who don’t wish to share the American Dream, those who are anchored to the glories of a bygone past that never truly existed, yet dwells like an insidious virus in their hearts and souls. But a strong and competitive two party system has to grow and advance as well in outreach, else one party or the other becomes stagnant, and eventually falls to the wayside like a useless limb. So it is only natural that the Republican Party should eventually reach out to minorities, offer them their vision of the American Dream.

And there is resentment, and resistance, from both sides. From the left and the minority leaders who would prefer to hold on to their power and influence with the black, in this case, community, and equally from the right, the extreme right, the racially oriented quadrant of American society that has all but gone the way of the dinosaur. Such as this might be their last stand. They realize that their voices will pale in to insignificance if relegated to such minority status as offerred by such minority parties as the Knights Party, or the so-called Constitution Party. Nor can they hope for much sympathy from such better known third parties as the Libertarians or The Reform Party. And, to their horror,they have doubtless noted recent inclinations of certain racialist elements to sudden drift frighteningly more toward a mainstream philosophy.

So what else is there to do but take this last desperate stand, this protest against those they feel have betrayed them and betrayed white America, what they consider white Christian America. A reminder that those preachers who should be on fire for Christ have become lukewarm, have become what you might call sell outs, to the forces of multi-culturalism and secular humanism. They want to rekindle that old flame in the hearts of white Americans, at least white Southern Americans.

In conclusion, let me state emphatically, I do not believe this to be the work of the Ku Klux Klan. Having visited their site recently in the course of conducting research for the writing of a novel, I noted that they vehemently warn any members and potential future members against violence or engaging in any illegal activity. Until proven otherwise, I take them at their word on this, if at least for no other reasons than the practical ones involved. This might well, however, be the work of a small splinter group of the Klan or other racialist motivated individuals. Whatever the case, the possibility certainly warrants investigation by Federal in addition to State authorities. In that regard, a joint task force would certainly be appropriate, in my view. But the state authorities in the meantime have to recognize,and consider, the possibilities, and everything htat is at stake.

So far there have been no loss of lives, nor any injuries. Yet, some of these churches, including ones that were totally destroyed, go back well into the eighteen hundreds. There is a cultural legacy and history at stake, as well as a spiritual one. The likelihood that some parishioners may take it on themselves to stand guard at these churches in order to spare them the possible destruction, cannot be discounted. And, in that case, there comes along the potential for violence, and for murder.

For that reason, and due to the potential that this is indeed a civil rights matter, the Feds should be brought into the investigation, as soon as possible.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Lindsey Jacobellis Sets A Sterling Example

Lindsey Jacobellis is the last person on earth a person should ordinarily feel sorry for, yet even though she did seemingly bring her loss of Olympic Gold on herself, it's hard not to feel at least a smidgen of symppathy for the World Snowboarding Champion. Even though she did somehow manage to pull herself together enough to bing home the Silver Medal in the Womens Snowboarding Event at the 2006 Olympic Games currently being held in Torrino Italy.

Here's how it went down. After winning handily in her matches in the quarter finals and semi-finals, Lindsey, the clean cut, bright eyed blonde haired 20 year old American got off to a quick start in the finals. At one point early in the match, one of her competitors touched the back of Lindsey's snowboard with her own (an incidental type of contact which is legal in snowboarding). This, however, had no effect on Jacobellis, who quickly pulled far ahead.

A bit later, tragedy befell two of her other competitors, both of them Canadians, when they both quickly crashed. Neither of them recovered their footing, and in fact at last count one of them had to be carried off on a stretcher. No word as of yet on her condition, yet, as what I watched was a replay, I am hopeful she was not seriously injured.

At any rate, Lindsey was well ahead of the other remaining competitor, a Swiss snowboarder, and the victory, and the gold, was well within spitting distance, when she looked back. Turning back around, after making the last jump, she did a little twisting move, which turned out to be a bit too celebratory, as it seems to have thrown off her timing. She lost her footing after landing from the last jump, and fell. She recovered quickly enough to finish the race, unfortunately, she finished behind the Swiss snowboarder, who as a result will take home the gold.

Lindsey's entire family was on hand to witness the event, and the disapointment,the anxiety, was palpable on the faces of her father, and other family members, with whom Lindsey evidently still lives. This might be the first time in history a world champion sports figure will be sent home to bed without supper.

I know she was disheartened, and I imagine she felt stupid standing there while the Swiss staff gathered around the victor in cheerful celeratory mood, while Lindsey just stood there, obviously wanting to appear gracous in waiting to offer her congratulations, yet being compeltely ignored, totally out of the loop.

The worse thing about this is if both of the other two competitors had not ealier crashed, she well may not have even taken the silver, or the bronze, for that matter. All because she felt the juvenile need to show off. The world champion snowboarder, who probably felt she was a shoe-in for millions of dollars in commerical endorsement contracts, will now have to temper any potential promises of such with a bit of crow for her dinner. Any appearrances she makes will probably be tempered with all the expected shows of contrition and self-effacement expected of those who make a complete ass ofthemselves.

In the meantime, she will be held up as an example,though not the kind of example she had hoped to be presented as, but an example of how pride can go before the fall-leterally. She will now be seen as a living embodiment of an Aesops Fable, and a reminder to all future potential sports enthusiasts, a warning to keep pride in check and to keep everything in the proper perspective.

"You don't want to end up like Lindsey Jacobellis, do you?', will now be the refrain.

She will I am sure recover from this, and hopefully will be strengthened by it. But when you stop to think of what could have been, in this, her first ever Winter Olympics appearrance, that is, indeed, cold comfort.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

The Boring Misadventures Of Deadeye Dick Cheney

It was, said Bryan Wiliams, the anchor of NBC News, the first time a sitting Vice-President of the United States had shot someone since Aaron Burr shot and killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel a little over 200 years before. That is perhaps the most extreme example of hyperbole which has been constant since Dick Cheney accidentally shot his friend, Texas lawyer Harry Whittington, in the course of a quail hunt on a private ranch, an incident which put Whittington in a hospital in intensive care, and in time led to his sufferring a mild heart attack when one of the bird shot pellets whilch remained lodged in his body made it's way to his heart.

Here's what I don't discount about the incident, yet I don't and will not believe it until it is proven otherwise:

*Cheney was having an affair with one of the other of his hunting companions, the ambassador to Switzerland, and formerly the ambassador to Luxembourg.

*Cheney was drunk.

*Cheny deliberately witheld information from the press for an extended period of time in order to cover up one, or both, of these facts.

Following is what I tend to believe about the incident:

*Cheney's delay in reporting the incident to the press is symptomatic of his and other high administration officials reluctance to be forthcoming with the American people concerning matters both large and small.

*Cheney avoided the press possibly due to concern about his friends well-being. He feared the possible descent of hundreds, maybe even thousands, of reporters on the small hospital and the potential for interference in the duties of the doctors and other hospital staff, especially since his friends injuries, after all, may have been, so far as was known, more serious than they turned out to be. In fact, they indeed were more serious than was initially believed.

In conclusion, the following is what I know for a fact:

*A great many people secretly wish that Whittington had been killed.

*It was an accident

*It's time to move on.

I might also add that, if there is anything that can be gleaned from this incident about the Vice-President's character, it is the fact that Cheney, though seemingly an avid hunter, is no sportsman. Cheney is the type of guy that would rather sit safely and securely in his car, or in an otherwise controlled setting, and shoot his helpless prey like so many ducks-or in this case quail-in a shooting gallery. He certainly has no interest in the prospect of the hunt, or in giving his prey a fighting chance for survival.

Which leads me to my final observation

"Mr. Vice-President, I have followed your career for lo, these past five plus years now. Mr. Vice-President, I feel that I know you well. Mr. Vice-President-you're no Aaron Burr.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Joan D'Arc-A Real Man's Woman

Scientists may be on the verge of at last solving one of the great mysteries of the last half century. Using advanced genetic scientific testing, they may be able to prove conclusively that the remains of Saint Joan of Arc- the peasant girl who, disguised as a man, lead the French to numerous victories over the English during the One Hundred Years War before being finally captured and burned at the stake as a heretic-may actually be her remains.

Huh? Yeah, that's right, it all depends on whether the few remaining pieces of skin and bone fragments, faithfully preserved for all these centuries, can be shown to come from the right period of time, and, in addition, whether it can be proven that they are, indeed, the remains of a female.

If either one of these two conditions are not met, then this would prove conclusively they do not belong to the late cannonized Saint. But, if these conditions are met, then again, it proves that they might, indeed,have belonged to the late Joan of Arc.

And after all that trouble the British went to to destroy her. First, they burned her, but she only died by way of smoke inhalation. Being a superstitous lot,they buned her again. However, this did not destory her internal organs. And so, they burned her a third time, leaving nothing but the aforementioned bones and some skins, which were later dutifuly collected and preserved.

Again, if they are really hers. The first test-do they belong to the right period of time-should be easy to prove or to disprove, since carbon dating has advanced to the point it should be able to narrow down the span of time in which the person, whoever it is, lived to within a half century. I guess.

The second part of the test, however, may present a problem. What if the remains can be demonstrated to having belonged to a male? Well, so much for that, right?

Not exactly. You see, there is a theory which hasn't really been considered, let alone accepted, which makes a great deal of sense, and that is, Joan D'Arc may have, in fact, actually been a man. A hermaphrodite, in fact, whose penis may have been all but invisible, hidden within the folds of her-or his-labia. Yet, the vagina, according to this theory, while visible, may have been of no more a contributing factor to her physiology than what it added to her appearrance, that is, that of a woman, while the penis,hidden from view,may have been the truly functional sexual organ, albeit small though it was.

To those whose heads are now spinninng, I understand enough to know that a clitoris is little more than an extremely small penis hidden inside the folds of the vagina, so what I am describing here may sound at first glance to be simply an ordinary, every day, garden variety female. But it's more complicated than that. There may have been a small though likewise functional set of testacles involved, likewise hidden from view.

In other words, Joan Of Arc, for all intents and purposes, may have been, in all but physical appearrance-a young teenaged boy.

This would certainly explain the onset of voices which she heard after what must have been a partcularly traumatic experience going through puberty. One can certainly imagine the implications .

I saw this theory expounded years ago, but it was quickly discounted by the Catholic Church, and by the legions of followers of the Saint,who was cannonized, finally, early in the last century.
The idea was never repeated, though to be sure, there was never any scientific evidence presented to dispute what seemed to me to be a very sensible theory, unprovable though it seemed to have been.

Yet, it seems ironic that,should these scant few remains be demonstrated to have belonged to a male, this may indeed point to the possibility that it was the truth after all. Yet, doubtless the Church, in all it's wisdom, will declare the remains to be a fraud if proven to be male, while, if shown to have belonged to a female, they will be proclaimed as possibly and probably being legitimate-though in fact they may well not be.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Screwing Your Future Mate

If you begin a relationship this Valentine's Day, there's a good chance it will last the remainder of your life. And, if that happens to be a scary thought, that is a pretty good sign you are with the wrong person. It's easy to be fooled-or to fool yourself-with all that you find attractive about your mate on an outer level, and be lulled into the false sense of security that this is indeed an accurrate reflection of the persons innermost being. But is it?

If you answered yes to this question, you had better ask yourself the following question. Do you put your innermost being up for display for all the world to see. Obviously, you do not, I would bet. If you can agree to be that honest, then it follows that you should ask, am I giving not only the world, but those closest to me, a totally honest and accurrate image of the inner person that is me. If you are like most of us, probably you are not.

Valentine's Day has become so ingrained in the popular imagination, it has become almost a ritual of love, in all it's forms, but it still predominantly seems more devoted to lovers and spouses. Any person beginning a relationship at this time will be in addition to the properties of this time period be adding into the make-up of the relationship the properties of magic and illussion inherent in the planet Neptune, which the sun is now in conjunction with, though barely. Over the course of the next couple of years, the conjunction between Neptune and the Sun will be more pronounced on Valentines Day, as Neptune inches ever so slowly through the sign of Aquarius, at about the rate of two degrees per calendar year.

By February 14th 2009, the Sun and Neptune will be in almost a perect conjunction, and therefore the magic-and the illussion-of love will be particularly strong. Take heed, therefore, and enjoy the magic, but with a wary eye for the potential possibilities, good and ill.

As the years progress from that point on, and the planet Neptune goes ever forward through the sign of Aquarius, the conjunction between Neptune and the Sun, on Valentines Day will become less and less pronounced, until by about 2015, the conjunction will have no applicable connection to Valentine Day when it does finally occur, this time in the sign of Pisces.

And from 2009 on, until that time, that magic and illussory beauty might well start to fade, as it almost always does, but this time, it might well be with more obvious, and even drastic, results.

Want to give some more thought to those roses and candies?

The New Prohibitionist Movement

It was announced earlier today that Great Britain would soon enact and enforce tough new laws against all forms of public tobacco smoking, including in pubs, and, even more insidiously, even in private clubs.

This is exacly the kind of thing which, here in the United States of America, has made it next to impossible for the Democratic Party to make any real headway in their constant and agonizing uphill stuggle to retake the Congress, as well as the White House, from the Republican party,which has been the majority paty now for going on twelve years.

It is certainly the reason the Democratic party lost it's stranglehold on power in the state of Kentucky after nearly a half century of no oppossition to speak of. Of course, this in itself was by no means a bad thing. Still, it was indeed a major reason for the Democrats reversal of fortune.

Certainly, for the country as a whole, the tobacco issue is a fairly minor one, but it is a factor. It is a perfect example of how the Democratic party, over the last three decades, have become more and more intrusive in the arena of privacy rights, and in personal choices and lifestyle decisions, while to the amazement of all who pay attention, claiming to be the champions of same.

I think a boycott on Great Britain is now in order, and indeed on all nations of the EU who would impose this dictatorial social policy disguised as a matter of public health. And the same holds true for the states, and cities in those states, including Lexington, Kentucky and Louisville, Cincinnati, and all others here in the U.S. who apply it. As for how to approach the boycott on the national level, the answer is simple and straightforward. Simply refuse to support any candidate of any political party who would take it any further than it has all ready gone. Enough is enough.

It sttarted out well and good, and reasonable. It was a legitimate health concern, and a reason could be found in the added burden on medical expenses. But it soon became obvious that this could be a cash cow, a way of raising taxes in order to promote all kinds of social programs the politiciasns didn't have the political courgae to ovetly raise taxes across the board in order to promote. In other words, they could care less about public health, in fact the more that people continue to smoke, the more money they damned well know they are going to rake in in the form of taxes, and the constant harrassment of the tobacco companies are helping them to achieve their goals in two ways.

One, it enables the politicians to put on a good face to the anti-smoking fanatics, while at the same time forcing up ever more the price of tobacco products, which means all that much more tax money. Who the hell do they thinkthey are fooling.

It is the United States government who is responsible to begin with for the smoking addictions that plaque the nation. It was Congress who for so long supported the tobacco industry at every step of the way. At one time, the tobacco lobby was one of the most powerful in Washington, even well into the time that it was well known that smoking was a contributing factor to heart disease, cancer and other lung diseases, and was highly addictive to boot. On top of that, a heavy percentage of the tobacco industry supporters in Congress, maybe even a majority of them-were Democrats.

So now, the very people who openly supported and promoted a lifestyle choice that was so mainstream I was easily led into becomming addicted by it, are suppossedly concerned for my health and well being, and want to try to make it as difficult as possible in order to make me quit. Gee, thanks guys, I don't know what to say.

Except I hope you all come down with cancer.

Ganesh-Theft Of A Sacred Idol

Modernization surely has it's rewards, but it brings with it a good many things the nation of India would gladly do without. Thanks to the increase in tourism to even the more remote areas of the Indian subcontinent, there has been an increase in the theft of sacred artifacts, including those of idols. The latest casualty to be recorded occurred very early in the morning hours of this last Monday, when an idol of the Hindu God Ganesh was stolen in what has been described as a throughly professional operation.

The eight armed idol, made of stone, was two feet high and weighed 22 kg. It had for the last 1100 years stood outside the temple of Durga in Himachal Pradesh, in the Rahru valley, by what is described as the winding, crystal clear Pabbor River. The Chief Priest of the Temple of Durga, Hari Chand Sharma, has expressed great distress at the theft, which will bring equal consternation among the villagers who, quite naturally, consider the idol to be not only a sacred idol, but an important part of their religous and cultural heritage.

It has been theorized that the idol was probably stolen by armed professional thieves,working with ATVs, which would seem to be the only explanation for the way the idol was removed so quickly, without being detected.

It is hoped that this theft will conclude with a happy ending, much as occured with an earlier theft of a Bhuddhist idol, which was recovered with the help of Interpol. Unfortunately, security at the majority of Hindu and Bhuddhist temples has not kept pace with the growing increase of moden tourism, and the obvious increased potential for robberies by temple thieves.

As of now, there are 200 Bhuddhist and Hindu temples registered with the state, as well as some 300 idols. Evidently, fears of ancient curses are no deterrant to the thieves who would gladly prey upon the treasures for the money they might bring in some quarters. But what about their customers? One might assume that, in at least some cases, they want these idols for their religous value. Also, is there a possibility this might, in at least some cases, be an inside job. After all, are temple priests really that well enumerated? Of course, even if this is not always the case, it goes without saying that a native guide to the area would be all but essential in securing not only the theft, but a quick and relatively easy get away.

One thing I know, if I were going to disturb a temple, and steal an idol, Durga would be about the last deity I would want to mess around with. She has a particularly bloodthirsty reputation. Nor would Ganesh, the Elephant God,be likely to ever forget this indignity.

Don't Screw With Jack Bauer

Last nights episode of 24 was arguably the worse episode of it's entire run of, as of now 4, and 1/3 seasons. Last nights episode eight of the current season, in fact, marks episode 104. The final episode of this year will be number 120, and I wonder where, or if, it will go on from there.

Jack Bauer,(played by Keifer Sutherland) of course, is the CTU (Counter Terrorism Unit) agent, stationed in Los Angeles, who seems to not only not mind breaking the rules in order to accomplish his mission, he appears to relish it. He will engage in coercion and in torture in a heartbeat if it means the difference in the accomplishment of his mission, or for that matter if it means this will speed things up by, oh, say, a second or two.

But in a Jack Bauer mission, of course, every second counts. Hey, remember, he's only got 24 hours in each season, to accomplish such feats as:

* Prevent the assassination of a candidate for President of the United States (Season One)

*Prevent a nuclear bomb from exploding somewhere in Los Angeles (Season Two)

*Prevent Mexican drug lords from selling a bio-terrorism virus to a terrorist group (Season Three)

*Prevent the televised execution by terrorists of the Secretary of State, prevent the meltdown by way of sabotage by terrorists of a dozen nuclear plants, and then prevent the launching of a nuclear missile (A particularly busy season four which also saw the shows second President shot down out of the sky by a traitorous military pilot flying a stealth bomber).

Now, in season five, which opened with the assassination of the shows first and then former President, David Palmer (yes, the same David Palmer whom Jack went to all that damn trouble in season one to save), Jack has come out of hiding (he had been forced to assume a new identity to prevent his being handed over to the angry Chinese government for a staged attack on their embassy-long story) in order to prevent the release of a dozen chemical weapons cannisters which had been stored in an airort in Los Angeles, and then hijacked, and will be released in a dozen different locations of highly populated areas. The potential fatalities could well exceed over one hundred thousand people, we are told.

Originally, these cannisters were to be delivered to Russia, to aid a seperatist terrorist movement in their ogoing struggle with the Russian governemnt. But since they were betrayed by the current Presidents Chief of Staff-he had intended to detonate the weapons on them after they had been delivered to them, (in a wild plot which would have enabled the U.S. to secure a military presence in Central Asia, and thus secured for the U.S. a large and steady oil supply) they have now decided to take revenge on the American government by releasing the cannisters here.

Once he had found out the Chief of Staff, Walt Cumings, had been involved in this plot, as well as the assassination of David Palmer (who had somehow found out about it), Jack did what jack does best. Disabling the terrified Cummings, in the presence of the President himself, who was prevented from protecting him by a particularly patriotic Secret Service agent, Jack threatened to cut out first one eyeball, and then another eyeball, and he would, he promised, keep cutting until he found out what he wanted to know. And he meant it, and was just about to go through with it,when Cummings relented.

This is standard Jack Bauer fare. It is nothing unusual for him to oversee the attachment of electrodes, or the administering of a neurotoxin by way of injection into an artery of the neck which causes severe pain. In one episode he threatened a captured terrorist, during the course of interrogation, with his entire family, his wife and children, being shot, and even set it up so that it appearred that one of his sons was executed as he watched it live by way of satellite feed.

In last weeks episode, when attempting to interrogate a particularly uncooperative suspect, he intimated, "you don't want to go down this road with me."

So imagine my agitation, my consternation, when this hard-boiled, embitterred agent took the time to save the life of an adolescent girl, at significant risk to his own life. He had taken off the gas mask he had been wearing in order to prevent the girl from further breathing in the nerve gas which had just been released, as a test, in a busy Los Angeles mall. This, of course, put his own person in danger of exposure to the gases, and of course he should have known if that had happenned, the nation would have been short a valuable, perhaps an irreplaceable agent in the war on terrorism. But he did it anyway. What gives?

Okay, yes, it was the decent thing to do, and I like to think I would have done it myself. (On the other hand, I know good and damn well I wouldn't have). But the point is, why was this even put in the show? Was it realy necessary? Do we need a reminder that Jack has a "human" side? Hell, the man has saved America four seasons in a row, is well on his way to saving it a fifth time, at considerable risk, to say nothing of extraordinary self-sacrifice, to himself. Yet, he still keeps plucking along, despite the fact that the current President, Logan, whose hide he stands to save by this, is the very President who was willing to throw him to the wolves, and in the end okayed his assassination in order to keep peace with the Chinese and insure his own political standing as president. Yet, Jack Bauer has thrown himself back into the battle for his country, without a second thought, and with no complaint.

Well,okay,maybe he does need something to make him look human. But this?

I think this has as much to do with the Ultra Left peace and love crowd, more than anything. As an aside, I refuse to call them "Liberals" anymore. These people would ruin a wet dream. These are the same people that used to demand that any group of people should include at least one black. Now, they insist there should be one Hispaniic, and one Oriental, etc. Nothing against these folks, but is it really necessary, any time you see a specific number of peopel gathered together, that a percentage of them be a minority? Every damn time?

These are the same people who also ruined the classic television Western dramas. They were, "too violent", they used to whine. And so the American Western died with it's boots on. Every now and then, an attempt is made at a revival, but there is seldom any real violent fare one usually associates with the Western lifestyle. Now, they are more like the Waltons on horseback, are particularly family oriented, suppossedly emphasize plot, character, and storyline as oppossed to range wars and gunfights, and usually, after the first few episodes, you've seen enough. They do good enough at times to warrant an extended run, though are seldom in the top ten of the Nielson ratings, at least not for very long, and eventually die, albeit sometimes a long, slow death. They are boring.

But they help make the feel good crowd, well, feel good. They are suppossedly good family fare, and set good examples for "the children". Of course, they never explain to you just why we can't have both. After all, there are other kinds of shows on television that portray violence, and sexually oriented material, and the Far Right is rightly lambasted for wanting to censor these, but one does wonder why the peace and love sissies-er, excuse me, I meant to say sixties- ressurrectionists don't join in with them on this.

Of course, these people are hypocrits. It's not the violence they object to so much as the perspective. They dislike the portrayal of American history in anything that might promote it as a heroic era. This includes the era of the American West. Think about it. When was the last time you saw a group of neighborhood children playing "cowboys and Indians". Or "cops and robbers". Or, "Army". You probably don't. The peace and love crowd dislikes violence, and to tell you the truth, they dislike America. Certainly not the violent aspects of it. And that's their right, I guess, to not like it, but it's not their right to criticize it on the one hand, and at the same time try to change history. The American West, for example, was what it was, good and bad. It wasn't always "Little House On The Prairie". Let's see history portrayed as it was, at least when it's well past the young'uns bedtime. If you don't want them to play "Cowboys and Indians", hell, buy 'em Barbie dolls, and make them go to bed at nine o'clock.

And another thing, next football season, I goddamned sure had better, at the approach of the last two minutes of any given game I watch, hear the announcemnt of "Sudden Death"-not "Two Minute Warning". We're watching a goddamned football game, not cooking a fucking soft-boiled egg.

And finally-stop trying to tinker with Jack Bauer. Got it? Just because you read something by Craig Crawford referring to President George Bush as "the Jack Bauer President", doesn't mean you should suddenly conduct intervention on one of my favorite shows. Got it? Understand? If not, let me speak as plainly as I know how-

You don't want to go down this road with me.

Monday, February 13, 2006

The NSA Spying Scandal-What You Need To Know

Has anybody ever thought to wonder just who leaked the story of the NSA spying program to the New York Times. More importantly, has anybody ever wondered why?

We were all suppossed to be really up in the air when we found out that Bush, in conducting the so-called "War on Terror", was spying on American citizens, using the NSA to intercept and record telephone conversations and e-mail messages, without going through the FISA Courts as required by law. Even when Bush adamantly insisted that this would place an unnecessary burden on intelligence collection, and could even be detrimental to the process, most of us found the reasoning behind it suspicous.

After all, Bush has a number of days, after initiating surveillance, before he has to get court approval, and this more often than not is granted easily enough. Some Senators have suggested the FISA law can be changed, amended in order to more easily accomodate the changes in the pace of communications in these days, some 28 years after the FISA law was passed.

The bottom line is, they insist, the President is breaking the law.

But, come to find out, he might not be, according to the powers granted him under the War Powers provisions of the Constitution. He may be doing nothing more extreme than any wartime president has done, including FDR and Lincoln.

In addition, come to find out, the spying is, according to the administration, confined to those Americans who have been engaged in overseas communications with known or suspected members of Al-Queda, and assummedly any other known terrorist organization.

Can you hear the hissing sound? That is the sound of a different kind of leak, the leak of wind from the sails of the Administrations opponents. It's a subtle leak, one that may not be noticed until the final two weeks or so of the coming November elections.

Now, back to the original question of this post. Who did the leaking, and, well, why did the leaking leak? The answer:

I believe this to be a politcal ploy by none other than the Bush Administration themselves, and I earnestly believe the Democrats are taking the bait, hook, line, and sinker. They have taken it, and are running with it, and soon the very Republican operatives who planted this leak to begin with,though obviously by way of surrogates, will start to reel them in.

The first mistake the Democrats made was in not calling for an investigation of the leak on the grounds of national security, the way they did in the course of the Juddith Miller/Valerie Plame affair. They should not only have joined the ranks of theRepublicans in calling for this investigation, they should have out shouted them on it. They could have done so, and still expressed dismay at the potential abuse of power this might have indicated, and called for an investigation of that as well. Then, the Republicans would have been left holding thier dicks. Nor would it have been a contradictory position to take had they insisted on an investigation in a Secret bi-partisan session of the Intelligence Committee, for example.

That way, the leaker could have been punished-or, if appropriate, rewarded-while the truth could have come out about the Presidents potential abuse of power, if that's what it was, and all in such a way that national security or operational security would not have been compromised.

The way it stands now, the Democrats are the ones with their dicks in their hands. Sure, they are down their own pants for now, but it is still obvious for all the world to see. The Democrats seem to care more about partisan political gain, and in playing to their Far Left base, than they do about national security.

So who is the mastermind of this nefarious plot? No way to know for sure, but I suspect none other than Karl Rove, or maybe Dick Cheney, or someone from his office. If the actual physical leaker is ever revealed, of course, this will turn out to be some mid-level official, quite possibly someone none of us has ever heard of, who will in turn point the finger to a higher level official as the person who advised him to do the leaking. This person, if not Rove himself, will be someone directly conected to Rove or Cheney, or that office. Either that person, or the next one up the ladder, will then deny any involvement with any plan to leak classified information. The poor klutz who actually did the leaking, therefore, will be left to hang on his own, and may in fact be found hanging somewhere if it ever gets right down to the nitty gritty.

Does all this sound too bizarre to be believed? Well, think about it. Hurricane Karina, and the incompetent way that, and it's aftermath, were handled by the Administration. The Iraqi War, and the incompetent way that has been handled, to say nothing of the deceptive way we were brought into it to begin with. The Jack Abramof scandal, and all the Republican poltiicians with important links to the Bush Administration who have been tainted, and might be brought down, by it. The sorry state of the border situation with Mexico, America's overall standing in the world, the exhorbitantly high energy prices and it's resultant drag on the economy, the increasingly desperate state of health care, the environment, the budget deficit, the national debt.

What better way to avoid answering for all this than by somehow focusing attention on the one area where Bush is perceived still to be strong, perhaps the only area where he is seen as such-the fact that, since 9/11, there have been no terrorist attacks on American soil.

Yes, this is still a big deal to the majority of American voters. Yes, this is still one of the major issues that will drive his base, and an appreciable number of independant voters as well, to the polls this coming November. And they are all paying very close attention to what happens in the course of this controversy, and the coming hearings concerning it. A great many of them, unfortunatley, are only paying attention to what they are being told by those they should know better by now than to listen to.

Still, an appreciable lot of them are paying equally close attention to what the Democrats are saying, and doing.

Let the games begin!