Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Project for the New American Century: Sociopaths working hard to ensure the destruction of American principles

I watched yet another frightening documentary on the pre-emptive, unnecessary and illegal war that is Operation
Enduring Freedom. This is a fairly appropriate title for this war since it is this administration that our freedoms have had to endure. In this cold, factual documentary, Uncovered: The War in Iraq, director Robert Greenwald has the usual cast of experts who explain how Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Perle and the other axis of evil got away with, well, murder. As this tragedy continues to play out-- and I even hesitate to call it a tragedy because tragedies usually begin well and end sadly-- this constitutional siege began badly and continues to worsen. In this documentary there is a mention of The Project for the New American Century, or as neocons so affectionately call it by its acronym, PNAC (click here for website - caution: material not suitable for truth-seekers!).

William Kristol heads this group of deranged, nerdy wannabe imperialists. If you do not know who William Kristol is, that is perfectly normal. You and 359 million other Americans have at least that in common. Mr. Kristol is also the editor of
The Weekly Standard, a very conservative, let's be honest, NEOconservative publication. If I could write The Weekly Standard's motto, it would read: "So what if we made up the intelligence report on Iraq's WMD program in order to go to war? We can't let silly things like truth or facts get in the way of global responsibility!"

Here is PNAC's mission statement, or better yet, a brief glimpse into the minds of individuals who played WAY too much
Dungeons and Dragons in their adolescent years:

The Project for the New American Century is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to a few fundamental propositions: that American leadership is good both for America and for the world; and that such leadership requires military strength, diplomatic energy and commitment to moral principle.

The Project for the New American Century intends, through issue briefs, research papers, advocacy journalism, conferences, and seminars, to explain what American world leadership entails. It will also strive to rally support for a vigorous and principled policy of American international involvement and to stimulate useful public debate on foreign and defense policy and America's role in the world. - William Kristol, Chairman

Now, lets play critic for moment and have fun with words! In the first part, Kristol decides to use the combination of "fundamental propositions". This can be interpreted in a variety of ways but here is my "proposition". "Fundamental", meaning, "necessary or essential, basic" is used with a word (proposition) that truly lacks any identity with being true or false. It translates to "essential suggestion". My experience has been that suggestions are merely "suggestive", never necessary. If you and your friends are hungry and are discussing where to eat, if you do not "suggest" a location, will all of you die of starvation? I doubt it.

Next William goes on to say that "American leadership is good both for America and for the world...". This is a bit ambitious, wouldn't you agree? I would "suggest" that the current White House administration has been anything BUT good for America, at least most of America (two beneficiaries: those who have stock in Haliburton and Osama Bin Laden). Ask around about gas prices, the Iraq situation, the surrendered hunt for Bin Laden, health care, the cutting of pay for soldiers or the No Billionaire Left Behind School Program. Ask some middle-class people in Livonia, MI who can't get work because their jobs are in China and... gas being what it is, can't make THAT kind of commute...Livonia is also where The Decider decided to autograph an American Flag for some lucky person. Imagine that...someone autographing the American Flag with a Sharpie, as if it were a concert t-shirt or a Major League Baseball...awwww shucks...humility is not his best quality.

As far as American leadership being good for the world, I'm not so sure Wild Bill. Iraq is certainly not as bucolic as Mr. Kristol's McLean, VA. La fuga del cervello, the flight of the intellect, continues to destroy Iraq from within and our decision to fire 450,000 Iraqi soldiers was not the beginning of a winning streak. Iraq is about as safe as you and I next to Dick Cheney on a hunting trip.

Next, Kristol maintains that, "...such leadership requires military strength, diplomatic energy and commitment to moral principles." Yippeeee....! "Such leadership"....where did he define what it was? He didn't. So what he has not defined still requires something. Sweet genius!
So let's bring our armed forces to enforce ___ and then let's put spread some "diplomatic energy" around___ (as if it were magic dust that may or may not work---hopefully it won't, that way we can have more shock and awe!) and then we can commit to "moral principles".
Ever "committed" to going fishing with one of your drinking buddies at 6AM on a Saturday morning while you are both sauced on Friday at midnight? And neither of you show up, but when you see each other later that day, you don't mention it because you both knew it was a long shot that you would have succeeded to begin with? I have committed to so many things without ever feeling a muscle move or blinking an eye. If there are 4 frogs on a log and one commits to jump off, how many are left?
4 -- that one frog only committed to jumping.

The second paragraph is less confusing but more disturbing. Kristol scribbles, "The Project for the New American Century intends [...] to explain what American world leadership entails."

Whatch you talkin' bout Willis??? Huh??? Did it already happen?? Where were we?
That statement contains no hypothetical words or conditional expressions! (teeth chattering)
I can see William and his fellow non-truth seekers all sitting around playing "Risk" in their Darth Vader/Hans Solo pajamas, pretending to be Napoleon.

The second half of the last statement is rather a bit of an oxymoron. If the objective of this sinister group is that America rules the world, then how or why could that insane, illogical, nonsensical goal "...stimulate useful public debate on foreign and defense policy and America's role in the world."

Wouldn't the debate sound something like this.

Participant X: I feel that American world leadership would curtail the natural order of things, that it would stifle the freedoms and liberties of other nations and their right to govern themselves as they see fit...since they are already a sovereign nation, it would be against our founding fathers' wishes that this democracy partake in such a tyrannical act.

William Kristol: America kicks ass and will continue to do so whether you want us to or not. Come to democracy or it will come to you! Next question please!

Aside from my attempts at humor, I chose to bring this serious issue to the attention of as many people as possible. Why? Because there are individuals who want to do great harm to this country and what it stands for. And not just Bush and Cheney. There is a very powerful neoconservative movement out there that has its eyes set on an Empire. They do not take days off and we cannot afford to either.

Where the leaders in the Democrat Party have failed us, and miserably, we must pick up the banner and continue to carry it for those who founded this country, for those who have fought for it and for those who will follow behind us. We do not want, nor can we allow ourselves, to be the generation that failed in its duty, that in the face of evil from both internal threats as well as external ones, we maintained with dignity our principles of truth and justice and we protected the Constitution with the fierceness of a lioness protecting her young. Even when the tendency was to constrict or eliminate freedoms and liberties, we realized that by doing so would suffocate any hope of victory against those who want to take them away.

The neocons, regarding the War on (of) Terror, often spew the tired rhetoric of "you're either with us or you're against us." My response is parallel to a quote by the great Mark Twain,
"Patriotism is supporting your country all the time and your government when it deserves it". I love America, the American Flag and the Statue of Liberty. I love the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and our forefathers who wrote them with our self-preservation in mind.

To PNAC and Bush I say,


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Putin is "Time" magazine Person of the Year---neocons get robbed !!

So an American didn't win "Time" magazine Person of the Year? Wait a second...but I thought we ARE the world...the rest of the countries are sub-human, terrorist, primitive, culturally-backward and overall inferior?
That's not the case? Huh??

But we have Kenny Chesney, NASCAR and Wrangler Jeans! I demand a recount! (wait a minute, we all know how recounts turn out - see Florida 2000 Election)

The neocons are screaming in disbelief about Time's choice. The average far right-winger has donned the lemming suit once again and is following the right-wing pundits' proposed selection of General David Petraeus--the man who singlehandedly saved Iraq from the "last throes of the insurgency" (in real terms, the general who saved the White House from further embarassment). Not sure exactly how much of a role General Petraeus is playing in the decline in violence in Iraq. Are we to discount the efforts by those brave men and women dodging bullets? And wasn't it the White House and Fox News who were touting the increase in solidarity among common Iraqi citizens against their own fellow disenfranchised national religious insurgent neighbors...errr...Al-Qaeda?

Forget Petraeus and Putin. Both men certainly had enormous influence on world affairs. But have we so quickly forgotten about the man who brought us to this point in history, who masterminded the fear and propaganda campaign after 9/11? The architect of the "Iraq has WMD/Iraq is behind 9/11"...The man who succeeded in dividing the country in such a way that hasn't been seen since the Civil War? The genius that came up with, "you're either with us or against us"...still no idea?

Karl "Joseph Goebbels" Rove!!!
click on name to see Karl decked out in full fascist gear

That's right ladies and gentlemen, this is the man responsible, primarily, for the following events: this blog, the divisiveness in our country, the unilateral and dangerously arrogant foreign policy of "The Decider", the constant fear of the unknown, the relinquished and surrendered efforts to capture bin Laden, the unnecessary bodily searches at your nearest airport, the illegal wiretapping program, the leaking of Valerie Plame's identity, allowing right-wing religious zealots to hijack the Republican Party, the pre-arranged firing of 8 U.S. Attorneys who wouldn't agree to shredding the Constitution, the planting of lunatics among peaceful protests to highlight civil unrest, the spying on normal, ordinary citizens, the elimination of habeas corpus, Guatanamo-ville, Operation Rendition, the idea of putting Saddam and 51 other Iraqi government officials on a deck of playing cards so that the Hannity and O'Reilly lemmings could understand and play "Shock and Awe" together, the fun and colorful "Terror Alert" seen on Fox News Channel until they realized that even the neocons were getting annoyed with it, the advent of Anthrax (not the muscial group), Bush winning the 2000 Presidential Election, and quite possibly, the curse of Steve Bartman (guy who interfered and caught the infamous foul ball in Cubs playoff game in 2003---okay, a bit of an exaggeration there...thought I could sneak one under the radar).

Quite a resume'. And this is a mere snapshot. This guy would make Hitler say, " that IS friggin' evil !!!"

So, Time, I am disappointed, too. I really thought you would have given this a bit more thought. Karl Rove has supposedly retired this year and rode his black horse back to Mordor (click here to view Karl's front lawn).

Perhaps we will someday honor this wicked man-- who in an effort to "protect America and spread democracy" did everything to the contrary.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

When men pray to God, they pray that 2 + 2 will not make 4...

Bush and his neo-conservative war hopes...errr... plans for Iran have been foiled by the National Intelligence Estimate!
16 different agencies produced the report and have concluded that Iran stopped its nuclear weapons program in 2003. Damn those wily liberals with all of their facts, truth and data!

Score one for democracy and the Constitution, not to mention mankind and peace.

Many neocons profess it to be God's will that the United States invade other countries to wage war and to the surprise of many, establish lucrative military contracts for Haliburton, Blackwater, Lockheed Martin, Boeing, etc. Who would have thought that God was a merciless, inhumane capitalist?!

With firm conviction in their socio-pathological minds, neo-conservatives claim to be such ardent followers of peaceful religions. So frequently they stereotype ALL Muslims to be replicas of Osama Bin-Laden. I guess that means ALL Christians and/or Jews are peaceful, non-violent, brother-loving, and selfless like....for example Rudy Giuliani's Foreign Policy Adviser, Norman Podhoretz, of Jewish faith. Norman wrote a very loving, peaceful op-ed piece for the
Wall Street Journal.

Here is the last paragraph of that "peaceful" article, exact quote:

"Not so George W. Bush, a man who knows evil when he sees it and who has demonstrated an unfailingly courageous willingness to endure vilification and contumely in setting his face against it. It now remains to be seen whether this president, battered more mercilessly and with less justification than any other in living memory, and weakened politically by the enemies of his policy in the Middle East in general and Iraq in particular, will find it possible to take the only action that can stop Iran from following through on its evil intentions both toward us and toward Israel. As an American and as a Jew, I pray with all my heart that he will."

Huh??? Did you just pray for what I thought you just prayed for???

I mean, I've heard of praying for Notre Dame to beat Michigan, for the Cubs to beat the Cardinals...but
praying for war...death, destruction, violence, grief and homelessness?

Sorry Norman, that "religion" I want no part of ! (same goes for radical Islamists)

Voting for Rudolph Giuliani for president is like voting for Bush...only with a New York accent, slightly larger vocabulary and instead of saying "nuclear" every 12 seconds, Rudy says "On September 11th, 2001..."

I leave you with this: "an eye for an eye leaves the world blind" - Gandhi

Peace to all this holiday season...even to you
Ahmadinejad...I'll love you until you can love yourself!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Just checking in...

It has been over 2 months since my last post. My wife suggested in early October that I take a break. I was getting a bit too emotional trying to exorcise the lemmings who continue to buy into the trinity: Rush, Sean Hannity and Fox News. It was an exercise in futility as these individuals continue to march forward with an ideology that appears to be more fascist in nature with each day that passes.

I really had to let go of the idea that I was, or currently am, capable of changing the mindset of misguided individuals. I must have faith that our Creator will eventually allow good to triumph over evil, and that, yes, the "truth will set us free."

A recent documentary was released on DVD. The piece is entitled, "No end in sight" ( I recommend it to anyone who has not closely followed the Iraq quagmire...errr...conflict since the mission was declared "accomplished" back in May of 2003. The individuals interviewed in the documentary were those asked to head the reconstruction of post-conflict Iraq. Their stories will leave you in disbelief and perhaps even infuriate you. To see the lives of these young men and women who are maimed and severely damaged emotionally, having fought and given their lives for the empty rhetoric of "Global war on terror" and "spreading democracy", is the ultimate shame for this highly corrupt and pre-fascist White House administration. In ten years or less this documentary will be shown as part of the curriculum in social studies/history classes nationwide. You can contain the truth for a period of time but you can never make it disappear forever. (If Dick Cheney can't do it, no one can)

I recently purchased the latest book by Naomi Wolf, "The End of America: A Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot, A Citizen's Call to Action". Wolf does a superb job of highlighting the frightening similitudes between fascist regimes like those of Hitler and Mussolini and those of the current Bush Administration. The thread that ties the book together is the fact that the regimes of Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy did not fully blossom overnight, but rather, in a long, systematic process that devoured civil liberties piecemeal. Wolf delivers her thesis in a chilling intellectual manner, subverting emotion to remain factually and historically accurate. If you don't believe you can be arrested at random and be labeled an "enemy combatant" by George Walker Bush and be sentenced to a military prison for years without a trial and subjected to torture, then you are guilty of one of three things: 1) you have not read the list of executive orders delivered by Bush over the last 16 months or noticed that OUR political leaders passed the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (click here for information), or 2) you do not know the full story of Jose' Padilla or 3) you watch Fox News and believe that Bush, if he had the power to do that, is justified in doing so (Yeeeee-haw...Freedom ain't free you A-rab lovin' librals!).
Either way the information is out there. It's free, but it won't come to you without your seeking it out.

If you think you are patriotic, if you love the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, if you believe that Ben Franklin, James Madison and Thomas Jefferson were men of principle and foresight, if you long for the days when this country was respected, then both the documentary and book are for you.

There has never been a democracy like ours in the history of mankind. Enjoy it while you can.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

"When Johnny comes marching home again..."---For whom or what does the soldier fight?

One of the many drums that the Bush administration has continued to beat is that of the "brave young men and women who are fighting for our freedom and democracy." It has been used as a very sharp, sentimental weapon: when Congress was slow on approving funds for the war, when morale and support for the war in general begins to weaken and when there is a tide of an angry and tired public which questions the overall legitimacy of this war, the war machine spits out a couple of televised meetings with the families of fallen soldiers or shows video of Bush's latest visit to a military base. As I mentioned in an earlier post, support for this war means everything to the Bush administration. They will stop at nothing to create it and/or find more of it. If there's no support, John and Jane Citizen may see this war for what it truly is and may take some serious action to get us the hell out of there (losing votes is devastating).

In August Rep. Lindsey Graham-R attempted to debate the Iraq question with Democrat Senator Jim Webb on Meet the Press. One of Rep. Graham's talking points was a very tired one, and a very misunderstood one: that more and more soldiers are reenlisting to go back to Iraq and fight after redeployment or injury. Now, Sen. Webb, a Vietnam veteran himself, could have slammed him on that remark. I was surprised he didn't. But then again, what I'm about to discuss in this blog entry rarely attracts any debate. It would be not only unpopular but the subject alone requires an enormous amount of concentration and comprehension, which in the age of excitement can be annoying.

One of my faults (so they told me) in graduate school was my occasional overly-simplified explanation of highly intellectual material. I write to be understood, not to play hide-and-seek with the reader. My dream would be to teach a course on the Divine Comedy strictly in the lexicon of the pop culture.
Alright "hip" reader, you're in luck. Today's blog concerns the field of semiotics, which is the study of signs and symbols and their meaning as they relate to communication. I will address this by presenting two psychoanalytic concepts by Jacques Lacan and demonstrate how they can be used to understand why and for what the modern soldier fights.

In 1963 Jacques Lacan gave his famous 11th Seminar entitled, "The Four Fundamental Concepts of Pyschoanalysis." (L'Ecrits) For the first time Lacan proposed a break in the theory of Saussure regarding the concepts of the "signifier" and the "signified".

Let me break this down. Let's use something we all know fairly well, language. A signifier could be the word "cat", not in the sense of feline or what it means to be a cat or to meow, or even what it smells like or feels like, but simply the word, cat. The word cat on paper is simply that, a word. It doesn't have meaning until we give it one. When we give it meaning in our minds is when it becomes the signified. The signified could obviously change and be very different depending on the individual. I say the word cat and some of you think of Garfield, some of you think of a pet you had years ago and some of you think of allergies. Bottom line: there is a book full of signifiers, it's called a dictionary. What you think of when you read a particular word is a signified.

We could also say this: the signifier is the external reality and the signified is the internal reality, right? I mean, cat is generally accepted in our society as a four-legged feline that can be a domestic animal/pet. It purrs, meows and scratches. That is the signifier and in this case seems to be a generally accepted external reality.

The signified could mean various things to different individuals. Those meanings tend to be internalized and therefore exist only in our mind, a kind of internal reality. This does not mean that those internal realities are false and/or imaginary. On the contrary, they could all be true and authentic. The unique quality is that the signified usually differs among individuals because of experience and personal identification. After all, being scratched by a cat is very real to us.

Okay Federalist, where in the hell are you going with all this?

For the soldier, the war in Iraq has two distinct and very different realities: an external reality, what the German philosophers called Umwelt and an internal reality, called an Innenwelt.

The external reality, as we have established as the signifier, translates to the soldier as what the Bush administration has coined "The Global War on Terror". This signifier is one that is common to all soldiers and to the American public (Fox News flings this term around every 1.6 seconds). The soldiers have enlisted in the Armed Services. They were called up to go and wage war in Iraq and Afghanistan in the name of this coined phrase "The Global War on Terror". They cannot discriminate or use discretion in deciding where or when to wage war. They are forced to go.

I argue that these soldiers are not fighting for nationalistic ideals of spreading democracy, they do not subscribe to the tired rhetoric of "they hate us for our freedoms", heck, they may not even believe in those silly bumper sticks that say "Freedom ain't free". The idea that these soldiers are being injured in combat and wishing to return to the front to fight for such lofty and intangible ideologies like that of spreading democracy is not only the stuff of fairy tales but it is a disgrace to those who have given the ultimate sacrifice! Shame on those who continue to say that this war is just and necessary and that those fallen soldiers gave their lives so you can be free!

What the soldier can and does relate to is their signified, whatever that may be. It usually starts out with a pregnant wife or girlfriend back in the States, one or two young children, it could be a farm with hundreds of animals, it could be the desire to seek a college degree with money earned from enlisting...the list could go on ad infinitum.

In combat the signified for which the soldier fights expands and cements itself in the form of a fraternal bond. Their focus then becomes common protection and survival with the man who is beside them in the foxhole taking mortar rounds. They begin to feel an incredible sense of duty and brotherhood with those who are closest in proximity. When they are injured or maimed and cannot return to combat, my senses tell me that these brave but unfortunate soldiers are not crying out for returning to spread democracy or to eliminate the al-Qaeda network. They are crying out for that signified that represents the essence of their being and their purpose. Their families, their fellow soldiers, their lieutenants, their pick-up trucks and a cold 6-pack of beer back home.

Bottom line: the soldiers fight for these things because they are tangible and they mean something to them. These and only these type of ideals, those that are personal to the soldier and are ones he can identify with, are the signifieds for which that soldier fights, so that those who planned this horrible war and who continue to profit from it, can achieve, perhaps, their own personal signifieds.

(photo is of Jacques Lacan, French pyschoanalyst, psychiatrist and doctor, 1901-1981)

Sunday, September 30, 2007

The line at the bathroom stall is's a solution!

So, yeah, I've been a little absent from submitting new posts for my blog. Since my last post so many things have taken place that it almost makes me want to procrastinate further.

A while back, a story broke which reported that Idaho Senator Larry Craig (a man with two first names...suspicious already) had been arrested on June 11 in a sting operation designed to curtail homosexual sex acts in a public bathroom in the Minneapolis Hubert Humphrey Airport. The charge was a misdemeanor to which Craig immediately pleaded guilty in hopes that the whole episode would vanish as quickly as Dick Cheney's e-mails. Well, it didn't. Just because a tree falls in the get the picture.

Now, as always the case when "straight" married men get busted for homosexual sex, Craig's first response was that of giving his track record of 60 plus years of continuous heterosexuality, the physical presence of a wife and children (proof of at least two heterosexual sexual acts, possibly three) and for the mere fact that he is a Republican, and therefore, straight. After all, homosexuality is a choice (remember when you, reader, chose your was a Wednesday, wasn't it?) and a sinful one at that. A Christian Republican would never willingly commit sodomy (Ted Haggard, Mark Foley...cough cough).

The Republican party finally hung Craig out to dry and made him walk the plank. Namely because at the center of the controversy was a homosexual act and also because Idaho has a Republican governor, who would undoubtedly replace Craig with another Republican senator, therefore keeping the seat. The GOP probably thought that Craig had caught some contagious viral disease, gaykemia, and wanted nothing to do with that.

Democrats have been claiming hypocrisy and Republicans have been citing Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky.

So...where's Frodo and who has the ring?

Hypocrisy. Google tells me that it's the " The practice of professing beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not hold or possess; falseness." Saying one thing and doing another. Republicans such as Craig have run on the platform of ferocious opposition to gays and to gay rights. This would then beg the question: are they opposing gay rights because they don't like gay people and what they represent (i.e. parades, better dance club music, great taste in fashion and home decorating) or is it because they are opposed to homosexuality? I suppose you could be gay AND be asexual. But you could also be married with children and be homosexual...come to think of it, you can be just about anything nowadays. Therefore, Craig and his posse must be against the parades and all its gayness, right? Because it would appear that they are not so much against the gay sex part (at least Craig isn't).

The hypocrisy hangs over this situation like Rudy Giuliani's new hairpiece, even better. You see, the Republicans came out swinging in 1994 with slogan "We are the party of family values." While that may have been true for former Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, who, let's face it, will never be voluntarily involved in any sex scandal...ever, it has certainly proven to be an unreachable ideal for many other prominent Republicans who have professed, and continue to profess, to be morally superior.

Ted Haggard. No explanation needed. C'mon, look at the guy. There's nothing about him that screams straight other than his teeth. Here's a preacher who spoke directly with the White House nearly once a week and fought against gay rights. Proof that the harder you fight the urge for something, the more you go overboard with it when you get it. Remember that uptight dude from the movie "Chocolat"? When he finally got his hands on some chocolate, he got it all over...his...I'll stop there.

Mark Foley. A former congressman from Florida who advocated stiffer (sorry) punishment for pedophiles in his home state of Florida. Meanwhile, he's texting 15 year old male pages (young lads that do summer work at the Capitol to gain experience...hmmm...maybe this is where it starts) telling them that he's got an erection and asking when he can "help slip their shorts off." Someone call Chris Hansen from Dateline NBC, we gotta live one.

Brian J. Doyle. Former number 5 in charge in Department of Homeland Security was busted for soliciting an officer posing as a 14 yr old girl in a child internet sex sting. He even told the officer who he was, that he worked for Homeland Security and he even gave out his government issued cell number. He even sent hard-core pornographic movie clips to the undercover officer. Feel safe yet? (link to story)

Senator David Vitter. Current Senator from Louisiana who was on a Washington madam's call list (really expensive hookers with no diseases). Vitter was virtually congratulated by his colleagues for this heroic heterosexual act. Vitter claimed that he had a deep conversation with "his God" and that "his God" forgave him, so everything is cool now. Seems like many Republicans have conversations with God, none of which are ever recorded or witnessed by anyone, and they seem to be the only conduits to Heaven. Never mind that prostitution is still illegal (God is all powerful but He has had difficulty overturning that law in Washington D.C.) and that Vitter is married. No worries. The GOP had to keep Vitter, because Louisiana has a Democrat for a governor and the people of Louisiana are not exactly doing cartwheels for the current White House administration.

This list goes on ad nauseum. John McCain's Florida campaign adviser was busted in a park bathroom for soliciting gay sex. Another Homeland Security person was busted in a child internet sex sting last week.

Bottom line, as far as hypocrisy goes, is that the Democrats don't run on the platform of being morally superior because THEY KNOW THEY'RE NOT. They don't run on the platform of judging others, of what's acceptable social behavior and what's not, of who is good and who is bad, of speaking for a God from whom they could not be further away. There was a candidate years ago, that ran on a platform of not wanting to judge or condemn others, of not wanting to call others names and insults, who believed that everyone was equal and should have the same opportunities as others. What was his name...??? Oh yeah, Jesus of Nazareth. Crazy socialist liberal.

Bill Clinton was impeached because he lied to a grand jury. He said he DIDN'T DO SOMETHING THAT HE ACTUALLY DID. That's called lying. That's against the law when you're in court. He did not, however, say during any of his campaigns that he was a "man of family values" and that he was going to restore "good faith, morals and values to the White House." Fortunately for Bill, cheating on your wife by having sex with an intern in the Oval Office, while a very poor decision, is not against the law. I don't think you're going to see Bill Clinton do any type of marriage counseling or hold any fidelity workshops in this lifetime. Again, poor decision but no hypocrisy.

The sad part for Republicans is that for millions of men in this country, homosexuality seems to be working out quite nicely. I rarely hear any complaints from any of my gay friends about their choice. If I ask, "How's it going Brad?", rarely do I hear, "It's going okay, things could be better if I weren't so freakin' gay." They generally seem happy, joyous and free with their lifestyle. They love themselves and love others unconditionally. A lesson few have learned.

The tragic part for the Republicans is that the GOP drove a good man and great public servant like Larry Craig into a dirty, filthy public bathroom to engage in what it deems sinful, despicable and unmentionable. His chance of contracting HIV or any other STD, or passing one on, increases exponentially every time the stall door closes. Who knows how many men he has been in contact with and how many they have subsequently been with? He is confined to a bathroom stall because outside of this urine and fecal receptacle area lies a whole world so incredibly judgmental and so full of hate and misunderstanding, that instead of being a punchline at a Washington party and the recipient of a thousand condescending stares, he chooses to have the most intimate sexual act in a place you can't get out of fast enough. You neo-con Republicans fail to realize that this is not a choice. You act as if one day Craig woke up, poured a cup of soy milk and said to himself, "I think today is a good day to start having anonymous gay sex in public bathrooms across the country."

Stop treating homosexuality like it's contagious. Don't worry: if you don't have it by now you're not going to get it. You're safe. Quit touching feet in Minneapolis, open the stall and let the others out of the bathroom so they can be safe, too.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Barack Obama looking to gain votes from "A little shock and awe never hurt nobody" crowd...why the attitude?

(" betta recognize!")

For those of you who missed it, last week Barack Obama provided additional comments that the right-wing pundits devilishly enjoyed spinning and sensationalizing. Obama's comments were the following:

"Let me make this clear...There are terrorists holed up in those mountains who murdered 3,000 Americans. They are plotting to strike again. It was a terrible mistake to fail to act when we had a chance to take out an al-Qaida leadership meeting in 2005. If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won't act, we will."

How cool would it be to hear that quote come from the mouth of James Earl Jones....SWEET!

Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but there was this good ol' boy from Crawford, Texas, who came on the television shortly after 9/11 and said that Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda were the guilty ones. He SWORE that he would hunt them down, wherever, whenever, however. He gave that, "you're with us or against us" line. He said that anyone who harbors terrorists is as guilty as the terrorists themselves. Heck, G-Dub even said HE would invade Pakistan, with or without their permission. What? He did? When? Click here.

So why is everyone all uptight about Obama saying the same thing? I mean, Obama can't do anything. He's NOT president. Our president CAN and IS arrogant and ignorant enough TO in fact, light up another country, with or without congress and the United Nations. He's got the direct line to God. (By the way, is that line being tapped in the warrant-less, unconstitutional wiretapping program?)

So... why is everyone SOOO concerned, given that the President, back when he was at 80% approval rating...(remember that time? ...seems like two generations ago) SWORE that the perpetrators of this horrific, terrifying, tragic act of murder would be brought to justice? Is Obama not seeing that promise through when discussing what he would do if he were president? Did everyone suddenly forget why we are in this awful mess to begin with? I don't remember hearing anything about "Iraq" in the month that followed 9/11. But I do remember seeing this tall, shy fellow with a beard, speaking from a cave (and you know he got that camouflage jacket from a military second-hand store)

The right constantly beats the drum of "you scaredy-cat liberals are for cut and run!" Obama seems to be for kicking the door down and hunting for terrorists. Something the current administration has failed to perform. You see, we're in Iraq. See this map in case you forgot how far that is from Afghanistan. Well, it's far. Imagine taking a flight from New York to Los Angeles, but the plane stops in Denver and the pilot says, "Oops, my bad."
Despite Bush pleading and supplicating that you believe that the terrorists we're fighting in Iraq are those of 9/11, they're not the ones who dun it! We're fighting the pissed off Iraqis and killing them, and staying out of the way when they want to kill each other (primary job of a liberator, right?).

So, to make sure we understand the rules... When we want to stick our chest out and say "we'll fight 'em anywhere", invading a country like Pakistan, an ally with nuclear weapons, is perfectly legitimate. Right? "Yee-haw, it's fer the Global War on Terror boys...Amirca's colors don't run!" Wave a couple flags in the backdrop and play some country music in the background. Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh will convince you that Bush's plan is brilliant. As soon as they procure a copy of the talking points from Tony Snow and Rupert Murdoch, the light then turns green and they begin their rhetoric. 30 minutes into it, you start believing that Musharaf is actually an old drinking buddy of Bin Laden, that they both slept with Rosie O'Donnell and then you can't wait another minute for the Hellfire missiles to start raining down on the mountains of Pakistan. As the saying goes, "If you don't come to democracy, democracy will come to you."

On the other hand, you have a presidential candidate with EXACTLY the same amount of White House experience that Bush had at the time of his first campaign (zero), saying what he would do if he were president and fighting terrorism. He's doing two things: 1) he is dispelling the "cut and run" accusations from the right that are as tired as Ann Coulter's jokes and 2) he's is attempting to gain respect and ultimately votes from those who are just right of center. Those who are perhaps NOT NRA members but are very patriotic, who don't mind a couple of missile explosions now and then, just to keep the world honest.

THIS base ladies and gentlemen, is the key voter base that is worth its weight in These people get out and vote EVERY time. They are thinkers: doctors, lawyers, accountants, business owners, teachers, nurses, and they are not driven entirely on emotion. They could respect someone like Obama; tough on terrorism, proponent of an education bill that would actually complete its intended purpose, someone who is willing to talk out disagreements instead of sending 175,000 to troops to "offer diplomacy" and lastly, someone who is not afraid to show his religion and/or spirituality.

Being left of center, I have to admit that the right-wing tends to get its voters to polls with much higher frequency. Sadly. My little skateboarders and goth monsters are not pulling their weight in terms of civic duty. No one has shown them that they can be who they want to be AND go to the voting booth one day a year.

Obama and his team understand the importance of this demographic. But instead of threatening them or offering them bribes (cough George Allen cough-sneeze) for their votes, Obama is offering a return to those days following 9/11: when so many of us wanted to catch those parties responsible for the largest terrorist attack ever on American soil. Or, as our president so eloquently called them, "the folks who did this."

Friday, August 3, 2007

Sean Hannity: The intellectual pride of neoconservative thought...why debate when you can hate?

("You peace-loving liberals just don't get it, do you?")

This post is dedicated to the thoughtful, compassionate and moral side of the Iraq debate. Remember the party that once said they would return "morals and values to Washington"(Mark Foley, Tom Delay, Dennis Hastert, David Vitter, Scooter Libby, Ted Haggard...ZZZZzzzzz)

As I stated in my very first blog entry, the right encounters enormous difficulty when attempting to debate the Iraq question. When confronted with annoying issues like facts and data, the right typically resorts to ad hominem attacks, suggestions of violence and vulgar insults that make me warm and fuzzy with nostalgia for my days in middle-school.

Compassion knows no boundaries. Sean Hannity is an expert hate-monger. His daily talk show consists of twisting the truth in such a manner that some of his listeners would believe that Al-Qaeda actually created Hurricane Katrina. His followers now congregate in the venues of the Freedom Concert Series, which is terribly ironic when you realize that "freedom" is exactly what Bush is taking away from American citizens in the way of recent executive orders. The trickle-down effect of his rhetoric has manifested itself in so many of the common right-wing citizens that, despite factual evidence and widely-accepted truths, his followers generally cling to the following items:

1) There is no such thing as Global Warming. These two words were invented by Al Gore. He is a democrat. He is evil and wants America to be taken over by Islamic extremists. There was no Global Warming when Jesus was driving his Ford Expedition around. There ain't none now either!

2) The Global War on Terror is completely justified. If you're not with us, then you're against us. We are fighting them there so we don't have to fight them here. If we weren't in Iraq right now, the terrorists would be arriving by the thousands daily. We would be attacked right here on our own soil! You liberal loonies don't get it! And Jesus told Bush to invade Iraq anyway. How can you be wrong when JC has your back?
(Despite the declaration of war on a mere concept, for instance, I could make a Global War on Daylight, the right believes this war is necessary for the fight for survival for the planet. It's like Terminator 2: Judgment Day and we can't let the machines win.)

3) We are also under attack by Mexicans who are poor, hungry and have 2 changes of clothing. They are all violent heathens and speak that damn Spanish. This is going to be problematic because we can't tell them apart from the Al-Qaeda terrorists, who are due to land on our shores in a matter of days (if a democrat is elected president!)

4) All Democrats are for the Islamic extremists. They actually want them to win. The Democrats want everyone to convert to Islam, hand over ALL of their possessions to the new socialist regime and make everyone take a humanities course in college to become more civil.

These are only a few of the strong talking points that are originating from the right-wing pundits. Sean Hannity, encyclopedic arrogance, once had his lunch handed to him by the mayor of Salt Lake City in a debate over the Iraq conflict. While Mayor Rocky was serving up unemotional, intellectual facts, Sean resulted in name-calling, various insults and an emotional plea to the crowd as he started out with footage from a recent funeral of a fallen soldier. You would have made Lincoln kick his dog with that performance Sean.

Here are the links to parts of that debate. Click Here.


Individuals like Hannity (Coulter, Limbaugh, O'Reilly, Melanie Morgan) do absolutely nothing for healthy debate in this country, especially on an issue so critically important as Iraq. Instead of searching for information to dissect the situation, Hannity and others simply gather audio clips of Democrats speaking, taking only bits of the clip in order to bash, ridicule, judge and hate. Brilliant. Melanie Morgan did this piece on Nancy Pelosi while on Hannity and Colmes. Click Here.

Sean Hannity even has his own website. No, it's not But here's a link to the forum on his website, full of loving, compassionate comments by his SS soldiers.

Click here to read some of the posts left by Hannity!

Perhaps I'm giving these individuals more credit than they deserve. I tend to forget that they are, after all, entertainers. They are capitalizing on this situation just as some of the government officials are doing, as I mentioned in my previous post.

Despite the hate that some have for my views and possibly your views as well, I continue to focus instead on love and tolerance. Maybe the terrorists don't hate us for our freedom, but rather because most of us choose to love instead of hate. Piss off a neo-con and fight the right-wing pundit's agenda, do something kind for someone today, and don't tell anyone you did it!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

War is business....and business is booming!

By now most Americans understand that our initial reasons for invading Iraq were completely false. There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. I mean, come on. Don't you think if there had been Bush would have jumped at that photo op? A picture of him sitting on top of a can of yellow cake or on top of a missile, with that Crawford grin and the big thumbs up? There was no meeting between Mohammed Atta and a senior Iraqi intelligence official in Prague in April 2001. The supposedly "high-quality aluminum tubes" would certainly have made Lt. Columbo say, "Ummm...sorry to bother again, it's all a bit confusing, but just one more question..."

Bush finally admitted in 2006, "my bad, Iraq didn't have any weapons of mass destruction. Okay, let's eat." But he quickly added that he and the rest of the world believed that Iraq was better off without a brutal dictator like, that is now the reason why we invaded. No, wait a second. He was a state sponsor of terror. Hold up...I got it! Saddam was illegally downloading music on his iPod. Gotta keep up people. The reasons change every six months.

The problem with maintaining a national defense is that at some point weapons became stale. Yes, they have a shelf life. And when the shelf life nears you can either a) destroy them or b) destroy them AND some humans. The United States opted for "b". Shock and awe cleaned out the inventory and allowed for the manufacturing of new military toys. And you can only imagine that if you had played your cards right, that is to say that if you had been prescient and predicted the Iraq conflict, then you could have invested beforehand in companies like Boeing, Haliburton, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon and made a frightening amount of money. Buying low and then cashing in later when stock is high is a sweet deal. Ask Martha and those over at Enron.

These companies, among others, produce the military gadgets that cost huge amounts of money.
I mean, do you know what an Apache Helicopter goes for these days? And what if you could make lots of them for the conflict in Iraq and sell some to Israel, Netherlands and Greece?
Well, take 18 million dollars a pop and multiply that by roughly 500. For starters. Point being that there are some individuals that are making serious coin off of this war business. Who are these lucky bastards and how did they know ahead of time to put their chips on that horse?

Some call them government officials. I call them the Axis of Evil.

See for yourself. Perpetual War Portfolio

Now, the names of the members of congress in the last column made their cash on political contributions from these companies, contributions that range from $2,000 to nearly $36,000. Don't get me wrong, I find those contributions to be pretty slimy. But that is pretty common for members of congress. And individually they don't have a direct effect on foreign policy like those of the Axis of Evil.

But let's take a look at those individuals in the third column from the left.

Lynne Cheney (wife of Darth Vader) served as the Director of the Board of Lockheed Martin, the largest national defense contractor until January 2001. Are you freaking kidding me? Yeah, okay, let's see if I can get my arms around this. While dining over pot roast, Lynne, speaking on behalf of the old chums at Lockheed, and the VP can discuss how to prolong this conflict in order to manufacture thousands more Hellfire Missiles. Conflict of interest? Nah.

Richard Armitage, leaker of Valerie Plame (Wilson) the CIA agent. When Joe Wilson returned from Niger and said, "Geez guys, I know you want to see a link between Iraq and Niger in the purchase of uranium...I simply can't find the link. I don't think there is one." Armitage said to Scooter (I love saying that name, sounds like someone off of Dukes of Hazzard) Libby, "Tell the NY Times that his wife is a covert CIA agent. That'll teach him." Armitage was a major architect for the invasion of Iraq.

Paul Wolfowitz, recently asked to resign from president of World Bank. Previously he was Donnie Rumsfeld's Deputy Secretary of Defense. I wouldn't ask this guy to manage the money from the ashtray in my car. This guy jets off to a neighborhood in suburban Detroit and polls 100 super-wealthy Iraqis, asking if they feel that Iraq would be better off without Saddam AND if they think there would be any difficult in unifying the country in reconstruction efforts. They all responded with a resounding "NO" and so, the complex post-war Iraq plans were a done deal. How'd that little insurgency turn out for ya Paulie?

Then there's Stephen "the war is going great" Hadley. Deputy National Security Adviser. He is the one who said that Iraq is NOT in a civil war. Definition of a civil war: A war between factions or regions of the same country. I know what you're thinking, lawyers say the craziest things.

Lastly, it's the evil warlock Karl Rove, Bush's right-hand villain. The man who lives in the shadows, the one who jumps with joy when Bush rattles off 3-4 long, compound sentences without making a mistake. Karl is a shareholder in Boeing and is probably going to cash that in when he rides back to Sleepy Hollow in January of 2009.

What is tragic about this episode is that, despite the dead bodies coming home for the neocon money machine, the president is still able to find humor in the loss of young lives.
(See this clip)

I believe the word for it is "sociopath". But don't forget: "we're fighting them there so we don't have to fight 'em here."
Sounds to me like we should be fighting THEM here so we don't have to fight anyone THERE.

(Perpetual War Portfolio link provided by Dack Ragus 2002-2003.)

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. -- Joseph Goebbels

Okay, so you have to be wondering by now, how is it that George Bush can continue to make the claim that the Al-Qaeda we are fighting in Iraq is the Al-Qaeda that executed the terrorist attack on 9/11? It is simply not true. Al-Qaeda did not exist in Iraq prior to our invasion. Moreover, the Al-Qaeda that is in Iraq now, due entirely to our removal of Saddam Hussein and lack of a plan to secure the peace, is a collection of sectarian groups who have attempted to align themselves with Al-Qaeda in hopes of gaining control of Iraq, naturally through violent means. But hey, last time I checked, 17% of the population still thinks Saddam was behind 9/11...

The title of this blog is a quote by one of the greatest propagandistic minds of all-time. Joseph Goebbels was propaganda chief for Hitler and the Nazi Regime. His success stemmed from his ability to mobilize the press, radio and the visual arts to create a national fervor for a large military conflict. The overall success for Germany's war plans depended almost entirely on the nation as a whole to offer itself either in the form of labor or as a soldier in the military (or as a fertile woman to make lots of little Nazis). Intellectual and scholastic achievements, if they were not for furthering Nazi propaganda, were simply stifled.

I find some striking similarities between the Nazi regime of Germany in the late 1930's and the current Bush Administration. It's important to always be precise when using these examples. Not everyone in Germany was a Nazi and certainly not everyone in America supports Bush.

Dr. Laurence Britt supports this theory in this video clip

So why does Bush still make the claim of a connection between Iraq and 9/11?

If you consider the consequences of discontinuing the effort to connect Iraq to 9/11, Bush must continue to make that false connection. His base is one that has completely bought into the fear and terrorism package that the White House and Fox News have pushed from the onset. He is playing the flute and he still has many mice that are following the tune.

If this base, which is fiercely loyal, were willing and open to look at the factual evidence then perhaps the support would dissipate very quickly. But to possess the willingness is problematic when you are fearful that you may have been misled. The fear is reinforced by the image of the young boy or girl stomping their feet, hands over their ears, screaming, “I CAN’T HEAR YOU, I’M NOT LISTENING! BLAH, BLAH, BLAH!”

In my opinion you have a rather socio-psychological phenomenon that is conducive to prolonging this awfully destructive policy. First, you have a group of people that arguably suffer from an enormous sense of pride and an unquestionable patriotism, both of which are dangerously foolish, and who would be psychologically damaged if they were to admit that they had been misled. These are ultra-conservative individuals who typically do not possess a global awareness, nor are they are terribly respectful or knowledgeable about the cultures of other nations. They cling to the American flag because it prevents them from slipping into the margins of society, a sort of rallying point where they can gain emotional support and comfort from others who share the same narrow-minded perspective, that the world is a competition and America must win “it”---whatever “it” is. (that sort of "you're either with us or against us" mentality). These individuals are serenaded by the country music ballads singing of fallen soldiers, the fight for freedom, how the eagle must soar and how America has bought the international rights to the colors red, white and blue (same colors as the French flag).

I believe that they continue to buy into these lies because it is an internal, psychological defense mechanism that prevents and protects them from being humiliated. My truth is, however, that the progressive side has taught me that we don't shoot the wounded. Perhaps the conservative base is projecting their character defects on to others, that is to say, that those supporters of Bush who would admit that they have been lied to would somehow be judged and condemned by those who have seen truth for several years. (The age-old, "damn it, you guys were right the whole time and now you’re going to rub our noses in it").

Secondly, you have an administration that is creating its own constitution as it goes along. Karl Rove, as evil as he is, is terribly shrewd and cunning, and understands the dynamics of the political landscape in a post 9-11 America. Both he and Cheney are the brains of this organization; Bush simply throws in the "good ole boy" persona with his rolled-up sleeves and southern accent. The loss of habeas corpus, illegal wiretapping, questionable firings and information leaks now come frequently and always without consequence (all in the name of patriotism).

What does this translate to? It translates to a low-level Fascist-type of regime which has subverted everything for which we stand. To sacrifice liberties and freedom to fight an enemy that has never declared war on us, but rather committed an awful crime, is terribly ironic when it is continually presented in the context that these enemies "want to prevent individuals from enjoying democracy and liberty". This concept was used by Joseph Goebbels in the Nazi regime, in order to keep the population on board with the objectives of the administration.

To list the mistakes we have made in the execution of this illegal war would take too much time. We are all aware of many mistakes made, from L. Paul Bremer firing the entire Iraqi army to lack of armor and weaponry to our own troops to the ignorance and refusal of advice provided by experts on Iraq and the Middle East. Those are facts and they cannot be manipulated by someone's "gut" feeling.

There is no connection between Iraq and 9-11. We were going into Iraq as Bush was stealing Florida in the 2000 election. 9-11 was a convenient agent to force entry into this illegal war. Even had Saddam come out, hands up in the air with his supposed weapons of mass destruction, there was no turning back. In Iraq, we never found the weapons of mass destruction. Instead, the mission changed objectives over night, and we removed a brutal dictator and called it “mission accomplished”. But, as experts warned numerous times in standard and Crawford-Texan English, in its place we created an incubator for growing future terrorists, alienated our allies and incited fear in nearly every corner of the globe.

I continue to support any who is in combat in this conflict and their respective families and friends, that they stay safe and return home as soon as possible.

Why am I here?

I turned 36 this morning at 7:58AM. I figured it is time to align myself with my contemporaries and begin to publish some of my thoughts.
I've been interested in doing this for some time now. My lovely wife ( has encouraged me for months now to funnel my political thoughts and ideas in places other than her ears. Nevertheless, as with most men it takes a lot of time for reasonable suggestions to sink in. I do believe though that some of my perspectives have rubbed off on her :)

I'm not exactly sure how or when I became so passionate about the current political situation here in the U.S. Prior to 9/11 I suppose I was like many of you; just trying to find my way and find my place in the world. I wouldn't say that I was terribly selfish or self-absorbed but I had a child-like faith that men and women in government generally had our best interests in mind, and more often than not, steered clear of deceit and corruption. I thought that if I worked hard and remained persistent that I could realize my dreams like anyone else. I wouldn't say that belief was or is naive whatsoever. After all, I grew up in the Midwest, played Wiffle Ball every day in the summer, followed the baseball box scores, collected sports cards and rode my Big Wheel around town like I owned the place.

Growing up I was presented the same sloppy version of U.S. history that every other white kid my age got: England was mean so we fought back and won, our forefathers all agreed on the constitution, we kindly asked our good friends, the "Indians", if they would let us have some more land, we helped out Europe,...errrr...won WWI and WWII and the Soviet Union wanted to blow up the planet as many times as possible. Generally speaking, white Americans kicked a lot of ass and never had to say they were sorry. Does it get better than that?

A higher education (those wily liberals!) is a wonderful thing, as it allows one to study things like The Federalist Papers, the systematic genocide of the Native American people, the Scottsboro Nine, Emmett Till and Medgar Evers, the atrocities of the conflict in Vietnam, Operation Northwoods and the U.S. support for the Taliban and Al-Qaeda in the 80's and 90's. I felt pretty foolish when asked what I knew about these things. History is, in fact, told by the least in Smalltown, USA.

I guess for my generation (30-40?) you could say that we classify our lives into two distinct categories: pre-9/11 and now. I was living in Tallahassee, Florida when 9/11 happened. I was a Master's degree student/teaching assistant at Florida State University. I reacted like many that day: shock, terror, sadness, doubt, fear, anger, and worry. For a while in the "now" period, I would say from September 12, 2001 until about May of 2003, I was a regular consumer of the Bush Administration's kool-aid. I have to admit: during those 20 months I was a bit apprehensive about even being in an elevator with anyone who appeared to be of Middle Eastern descent. I wouldn't classify it as a resentment, most likely due to the fact that I worked in a very culturally diverse environment, but I can't deny that I had prejudice thoughts constantly swimming in my head.

Looking back on that I can see how the media, mainly Fox News, and the Bush rhetoric nearly converted me to this narrow-minded and intellectually surrendering type of thinking. "You're either with us or you're with the terrorists" quit working for me.

Not until I arrived in Madison, Wisconsin in the summer of 2003 to begin doctoral work did I begin to feel some sense of freedom from this oppressive and suffocating neo-conservative propaganda. (Thank you Melody and Eugenia!) I tell people that I was face-to-face with the dark side, and somehow was fortunate enough to turn and head in the direction of truth and reason. I know that I have always been a truth-seeker. Since my adolescent years I have always sought to gather information that would lead me to the truth. Moreover, my years in graduate school afforded me serious intellectual and scholastic growth. An education of this sort, mostly in the area of humanities, furnished me with the tools and knowledge that I believe are fundamental in forming a logical and syllogistic argument. I discovered early on that in order to present a solid paper it was necessary to place intellect over emotion.

And I guess that is why I am here, sort of. I find that the current political situation has become so incredibly emotional that it is hard to sit down and have a discussion with someone about, for instance, the U.S. occupation of Iraq.

My goal is to launch some of my thoughts and ideas about the current political landscape and to solicit feedback and dialog, all in a non-threatening way and without the ad hominem attacks. I simply cannot be unique in my thoughts.

Does anyone question our government? Did you stop questioning after 9/11 because you feel in doing so you are a traitor? Do you ever feel that terrorists must not like us for reasons OTHER than, "they hate us for our freedom"? Did anyone else feel that even if Saddam had had weapons of mass destruction and had surrendered them to the Bush regime that we were going to invade Iraq anyway? Do you ever wonder why we aren't looking for Osama Bin Laden?

There must be many others out there who are as bewildered as I am, scratching their heads and asking, "how did we get here and why hasn't anyone gotten upset about it?"

(photo is of James Madison 1751-1809, the fourth U.S. president and co-author of "The Federalist Papers")