Who Hijacked Our Country

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Trail of Tears

In the 1830s, about 15,000 Indians were abruptly forced out of their homes in the Southeastern states, to make way for a white settlement. They were marched along the Trail of Tears to their new reservation in Oklahoma. Thousands died during the march.

The National Park Service currently oversees the Trail of Tears. And a Republican Congressman from Tennessee, Zach Wamp, wants to fund a Congressional study to learn more about this disgraceful episode of America’s history. This Congressional effort might include an education and research center.

According to the National Park Service, “families were separated — the elderly and ill forced out at gunpoint — people given only moments to collect cherished possessions. White looters followed, ransacking homes as Cherokees were led away.”

Cleata Townsend, a Cherokee descendant, said visiting youngsters “don’t have a clue” about the forced removal of thousands of Southern Indians in the 1830s. She said “they all think we lived in tepees. That’s the one thing they see in movies.” She said Cherokees at the time were very established and “may have lived in better houses” than white settlers. “We may have been having dinner and soldiers came to our door and took us at gunpoint.”

Rep. Zach Wamp (also a Cherokee descendent) said “You have to recognize and acknowledge your mistakes for the white man to make this right…There has to be an acknowledgment that ... slavery was a mistake, the Trail of Tears was a mistake.”

America (like every country) has a lot of dark chapters in its history. We need to own up to this. The dark side needs to be publicized and acknowledged.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Elliott Abrams: The Neocons’ Favorite Neocon

Unless you closely followed the Iran-Contra scandal twenty years ago, Elliott Abrams probably isn’t a household name. But he’s been a rightwing warmongering influence on our government for a long time. To paraphrase a song title: Still a Douchebag After All These Years.

While other neocon thinktankers are repenting and dropping like flies, Abrams is still staying the course. He’s the number two person at the National Security Council, and he’s still tirelessly promoting American dominion over the rest of the world.

Abrams initially got his influence by marrying into a prominent rightwing family, and using his new family connections very effectively. A San Francisco Examiner columnist used to call him Little Elliott.

Wanna hear a hilarious euphemism? This is one for the records. The Bush Administration has wreaked havoc all over the Middle East, spent hundreds of billions of dollars, killed hundreds of thousands of people and alienated everybody in the world except Israel. And what are the neocons calling this? The “Democracy Movement.”

Saturday, November 25, 2006

“Pleased To Mr. Bush Is Make Asshole”

I just saw Borat. The movie finally made it up here to this remote corner of the Northwest. I’ll probably spend several days translating everything into Borat-speak.

Borat was a riot. I thought it might just be a rip-off of those Saturday Night Live skits about “Two Swinging Bachelors From Czechoslovakia” (Steve Martin and Dan Aykroyd). There’s some similarity but Borat goes much further. Dirty jokes, sick jokes, ethnic stereotypes and every other kind of stereotype — it has all the forbidden pleasures.

I think the soundtrack was authentic, based on music I’ve heard from Central Asia and Eastern Europe. The one thing I’ve known about Kazakhstan is that it’s huge (land area, not population). Several years ago I was looking at a globe and I couldn’t believe the size of it. It dwarfs all the other countries of Central Asia.

It’s the 9th largest country in the world (land area) and has a population density of fifteen people per square mile. (I just found that out from Wikipedia.)

Anyway, check out the movie (if you haven't already). It’s one gut-busting coffee-spewing laugh after another. The movie has generated complaints and even lawsuits; I don’t know enough about them to have an opinion. If the lawsuits are valid — fine.

But we all need to lighten up and find humor in the dark side. If you’re one of those twisted bastards who thinks sick jokes are funny, this movie is just what the doctor ordered.

Joe Bob says check it out.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Robert Altman

Yes I know everybody and his brother has already written about Robert Altman, but what the hey. His movies were like nobody else’s. This is the end of an era.

My favorite movies of his were two of his lesser-known ones. Brewster McCloud was Altman’s next movie after MASH. I don’t remember much about it, but I was really moved by it when I saw it in 1971. The only specific scene I remember is when Sally Kellerman wants to prevent a certain picture from being developed. She barges into the darkroom where they’re developing the film. She turns on the lights and says “oh, I thought this was the ladies’ room.” Funny, the trivia that stays with you for decades.

Short Cuts wasn’t lesser known maybe, but it was less popular and acclaimed than MASH and Nashville. Short Cuts is as “Americana” as you can get. Even though the setting is modern (as of 1993) L.A., historians will be holding this movie up next to the works of Mark Twain, William Faulkner and Tennessee Williams.

The movie lasts three hours but it's riveting. It'll be over before you know it. Like most of Altman’s movies, it jumps all over the place. It’s hard to keep track of all the characters and how they’re connected. Every emotional button gets pushed — humor, sadness, joy, fury, hope, you name it — sometimes all at the same time. While you’re trying to remember who this person is and how he/she relates to that person, you’re on the wickedest emotional roller coaster ride of your life.


Monday, November 20, 2006

Bush’s Newest Deserter: The Cakewalk Guy

We’ve officially come full circle now. Kenneth Adelman, who announced in 2002 that an Iraqi invasion would be “a cakewalk,” is now the latest conservative rat to desert the sinking ship.

In 2002, Bush anointed Iraq as part of his “Axis of Evil.” Bush and Cheney traveled all over the country whipping up hysteria and paranoia about Saddam Hussein. And in our Famous Last Words department, Kenneth Adelman wrote:

“I believe demolishing Hussein's military power and liberating Iraq would be a cakewalk. Let me give simple, responsible reasons: (1) It was a cakewalk last time; (2) they’ve become much weaker; (3) we’ve become much stronger; and (4) now we’re playing for keeps.”

Oh boy, a cakewalk! What’re we waiting for?? This can’t lose!

Right after the statue of Saddam Hussein was yanked down, Adelman and Cheney and a few other Neocons had a party celebrating our victory. But, in the words of this article, “Forty-three months later, the cakewalk looks more like a death march.”

Adelman has had a falling out with Rumsfeld, he’s no longer on speaking terms with Cheney and he believes that “the president is ultimately responsible” for “the debacle that was Iraq.”

Last week Adelman said “There are a lot of lives that are lost. A country’s at stake. A region’s at stake. This is a gigantic situation…This didn’t have to be managed this bad. It’s just awful.”

Nothing like a little twenty twenty hindsight. Save the crocodile tears. A cakewalk???

Boy George is Calling For Help

You can help this poor pitiful sixty-year-old child or you can turn the page.

Friday, November 17, 2006

What Did The Election Mean?

What’s your take on the election results? Rightwing bloggers seem to think American voters want to keep invading more countries, cut taxes even further and give even more power to the Biblethumping element. According to these people, Republicans got voted out because they were too moderate and wishy-washy. They need to get out there and rattle those sabers and show the world who’s Number One.

And too many Liberals are ready to pretend the last 26 years never happened. Ah yes, where were we before we were so rudely interrupted in 1980?

American voters have NOT moved to the Left. They were tired of the arrogance, corruption and complacency of the party in power. Both parties have been guilty of this in the past. Voters of all political viewpoints were alarmed by the assaults on our Constitution and the mind-numbing incompetence of our government.

A record budget surplus turned into a crippling deficit that our children’s children’s children will be paying off. (And let’s hope our Chinese landlords don’t decide to repossess our country.) A 3-day cakewalk turned into a four-year quagmire which has killed almost 3,000 American soldiers. FEMA’s paralyzed spastic “response” to Katrina would have been disgraceful even in the poorest Third World country, let alone America. The voters finally said: YOU’RE FIRED!

The worst thing Congressional Democrats could do is read too much into this election and overplay their hand (like the Republicans just did). If they do this, they’ll be the minority party again in two years.

Nancy Pelosi has promised the most open transparent government in our history. Maybe those are just campaign buzzwords, but that’s the smartest move the Democratic Congress could make. The best way for the Democrats to get even is to NOT be a bunch of unaccountable powerdrunk mean-spirited douchebags like their predecessors.

I think the voters are tired of partisanship and extremism from both sides. A lot of great liberal programs were created from the 1930s through the ‘70s. After that, the voters apparently decided enough was enough (that wasn’t my opinion). And now this Newsweek column has sounded the death knell for Conservative extremism. It’s about time.

The author, Jonathan Alter, says the 2006 election is the end of the 42-year movement that began with Barry Goldwater. He says “the intellectual vitality and coherence that once characterized modern conservatism have been shattered…In the Schiavo case, in which 70 percent of voters thought Washington should have butted out, Republicans drove a wedge through their own ranks…Most important, the stitching that was meant to hold the GOP’s big tent together contained none of the hope and optimism essential to success in American politics. Fear failed.”

He also says “Smart politicians have always known that the G spot of the American body politic is in the middle…So the Conservative Era is over, a cautionary tale for Democrats who might be tempted to impose a liberal one. Bush, who worked well with a Democratic legislature in Texas, must now admit that America is not Dittohead Nation.”

Maybe, just maybe, both parties could work together to find pragmatic solutions to America’s problems. Think that’s possible?

cross-posted at Bring It On!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The Good News From Iraq

I’m not trying to give credence to the Far Right’s favorite mantra, but there actually IS some good news from Iraq. No, our soldiers aren’t being greeted as liberators, and the insurgency isn’t on its last legs.

The Kurds of Northern Iraq are doing better than ever. Their economy is one of the strongest in the Middle East. The Iraqi Kurds are pushing development and Westernization, and they’re attracting investors from all over the Middle East, Europe and the United States.

The Kurdistan Development Corporation intends to “raise awareness of the Kurdistan region among the grassroots of America, to make people aware that the Kurdistan region exists — some people still mix us up with Kyrgyzstan and Kazahkstan — and that the region is peaceful and stable, and we are rebuilding.”

One spokesperson says Americans “haven’t heard the story, the heroic story, of Iraqi Kurdistan. It’s a virtual oasis in the middle of an area with pretty nasty neighbors.”

Another Kurdish group has a website which invites tourists and investors to “a place where the universities, markets, cafes and fair grounds buzz with progress and prosperity.”

Along with modernizing, they’re also hoping to bring more tourists to their museums, mosques and 12th century architecture.

The region has its problems. The government is a police state and is totally corrupt (this is the Middle East after all). An American Middle East scholar said that investing in Kurdistan is “sort of like investing in Chicago in the 1930s. It’s not a capitalist paradise yet.”

It isn’t perfect but it’s one of the few bright spots in the Middle East.

Monday, November 13, 2006

A Child’s View of War

Sometimes a comic strip can speak volumes.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Three Cheers For South Dakota!! YAAAAYY!!!!!

I’ve already done two separate posts slamming South Dakota for 1. Their new abortion law which bans virtually ALL abortions; and 2. A ballot initiative which would disbar — even imprison — judges who make unpopular decisions.

So in the spirit of fairness, here’s the good news: the people of South Dakota defeated both of those laws on Election Day. You Go People! Twenty-first Century here we come.

The abortion law was passed earlier this year by a huge majority of the state legislature. Opponents of the law put a measure on the ballot to overturn it, and 55% of the people voted to overturn the abortion ban. Methinks a few legislators are out of touch with their constituents.

Abortion opponents were hoping this law would be appealed to the Supreme Court, and this would pave the way for the Supreme Court to overturn Roe vs. Wade. Whoa, not so fast!

The ballot initiative for disciplining “activist judges” was known as “JAIL 4 Judges.” This would have turned the clock back to the thirteenth century, when the concept of Judicial Immunity was originated. If this initiative had passed, its backers were planning to export this brilliant idea to all fifty states.

Sorry wingnuts — next time you come up with an idea, try not to turn the clock quite so far back.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


Thank you Jesus it’s finally over. Most of all of course I’m grateful that the Democrats won. But regardless of the outcome, there’s an overwhelming feeling of relief. I read somewhere that when a murderer is on the run for a long time and finally gets caught, he’s apt to fall asleep in the back of the police car, because it’s finally over. I know the feeling.

The Democrats can’t blow this or they’ll be out again in two years. The last thing they can afford to do is start gloating, getting even or being complacent.

But, to paraphrase that real estate cliché: investigate investigate investigate. Six years of one-party rule, with Congress being a rubber stamp. Six years of secret deals, scandals, cover-ups, and more cover-ups to cover up the cover-up. It’s time to drain the swamp. Start lifting those rocks to see what’s festering underneath.

I personally don’t care if Bush is impeached or not. But we need to find out what happened, how it happened and how to prevent it from ever happening again. Neither party can ever be allowed to achieve this much secrecy and unaccountability again. Ever.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Beware: Last Minute GOP Dirty Tricks

Robocalling. This is the Republicans’ favorite sleaze weapon as the campaign enters the final hours. Republican dirty tricksters are sending robocalls (automated phone calls) to Democratic voters.

Sometimes these robocalls will be “informing” Democratic voters of a last-minute change of address for the local polling place. The address is incorrect, of course, and the voter will hopefully be too confused to find the right address and will be tricked out of voting.

Other times, robocallers will pretend to be a local Democratic candidate. They will repeatedly call the same voters over and over and over. The goal is to infuriate voters and have them thinking “that’s the 13th call I’ve gotten from Nancy Pelosi in the last four hours. That does it! I’m not voting for her!”

These dictator wannabes are getting more desperate by the hour. They know what will happen if they lose either the House or the Senate — investigations, resignations, possible jail terms. They’re determined to maintain their grip, and they’ll do anything — ANYTHING — to stay in power.


Saturday, November 04, 2006

A Message From The President

Fellow Americans: I realize that this upcoming midterm election has turned into a referendum on me. I lied and sleazed and finagled to get us into a war that has killed nearly 3,000 American soldiers. I inherited a huge budget surplus six years ago, and I’ve turned it into a crippling deficit that your great grandchildren will be paying for. I’ve transferred billions of dollars from the middle class to the wealthiest one percent of the population.

And so, with a heavy heart, I say to you that I do not seek and I will not accept the nomination I don’t give a flying fuck. I’m not running for anything. Do you see my name on any of the ballots, you stupid chumps?

Karl and Dick have instructed me to keep a low profile; stay out of the limelight and don’t embarrass any Republican candidates by campaigning for them. “Why don’t you just hide out in Crawford ‘til next Wednesday” is what they told me. OK, but before I go I just want to remind you of the grave importance of this election. If the wrong people get into Congress I’ll be investigated and impeached and America will be ruined.

If Democrats win control of the House of Representatives, do you know who will be the Speaker of the House? Nancy Pelosi!! NOOO!!! May I remind you, she’s from San Francisco. Need I say more? We cannot let the sacred halls of Congress be soiled by that effete latte-sipping queer-coddling terrorist-loving crack whore!! In the name of all that is Holy, we can NOT allow this to happen!

And in Tennessee, there’s a close Senate race that threatens to destroy the America we know and love. Democrats are threatening to elect an uppity Nigra who lusts after white women! Is this what Strom Thurmond and Bull Connor died for??? Now I don’t mind if Congress has a few Negroes, but they have to know their place. The Southern states are America’s last bastion of morals and decency. There’s a lot at stake here.

If the Republicans keep control of Congress, we will continue to be Number One. Numero Uno! A nation feared by the rest of the world. A nation free from terrorism. Remember, we haven’t been attacked since 9/11, and I take full credit for that.

If the Democrats win, terrorists will roam America’s streets, schools and churches, killing innocent Americans while our Liberal government coddles them.

If we maintain Republican control of Congress, America will remain a proud nation where people work hard, go to church and protect their families. If the Democrats win, roving gangs of homosexuals will invade your home whenever they want. You’ll be forced to watch helplessly while they perform unnatural acts in your living room, right in front of the children.

These are the choices you’ll be making on Election Day.

God wants you to vote Republican. Osama bin Laden wants you to vote Democratic. Who are you gonna listen to?

I’m George W. Bush and I approved this message.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Rightwing Bloggers Marching in Lockstep (Again!)

Rightwing bloggers have been so fixated on John Kerry’s dumb comment, I’ve almost forgotten what they used to write about. What happened to “family values,” “stay the course,” “gay marriage,” “cut and run?”

The rightwing automatons must have been running out of ammunition, because Kerry’s “botched joke” sure has given them something to blather about. I don’t know who’s been sending out daily instructions to thousands of rightwing bloggers, but they sure did get the memo.

Flocks of birds will often swoop and zigzag in unison, but Homo Sapiens doesn’t operate that way. If several thousand people are walking along, you won’t see them stopping and starting and turning in lockstep (unless they’re military recruits following their Drill Instructor). Do rightwing bloggers have a drill instructor? Does Karl Rove have the e-mail address of each and every one of them?

Surfing through the traffic exchange sites, it’s all you see. One rightwing blog after another: Kerry this, Kerry that, Kerry insulted the troops, Kerry hates America…The lemmings are on the march. It’s kind of like that scene in Monty Python’s “The Life of Brian” where Jesus/Brian called out to a huge crowd “you are all individuals.” And they all responded in unison with “yes we are all individuals.”