Friday, June 30, 2006

Just Say No!

More than half of American prisoners are in jail for drug-related offenses. The number of Americans imprisoned for drug offenses is greater than the entire European prison population. Now THAT'S freedom!

Remember that adorable little campaign that Nancy Reagan perpetrated on the American public? It was a laugh then, and is a bigger laugh now!

Watch the 1986 White House sponsored Just Say No video featuring a young Whitney Houston!

Yes! Whitney Houston doing an anti-drug commercial! And people say I don't love America! Silly! How cuold I not love America?

(Thanks to for the tips.)

Dick Mac Recommends:

Whitney Houston
Whitney Houston

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Bowie & Cher Duet

How badly did David Bowie want to be a star in America? Watch this! David Bowie and Cher sing "Young Americans" and other pop hits on The Cher Show (CBS November 23, 1975):

David Bowie might be the greatest pop star of all time!

Dick Mac Recommends:

Tony Visconti

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


In the past I found Bill Gates to represent all that is wrong with American business. My opinion of him changed when his wife convinced him to start giving away some of his billions. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is one of the most important organizations on the planet and the Gates do more to help those in need than anyone else in the world.

Next on my list of unfavorite Americans might be Warren Buffett. Yes, he is tremedously successful, but so what.

Then, he did what I least expected him to do: he gave 85% of his fortune, thirty billion dollars, to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

My opinion of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett has changed over the past few years, and I was happy to watch the two of them, along with Melinda Gates, interviewed by Charlie Rose on PBS.

You can watch it at Google Video by clicking this link.

Dick Mac Recommends:

Sometime in New York City
John Lennon, Yoko Ono, The Mothers

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Tasini Profiled By New York Times

I know I am not supposed to reprint articles in full, but I also provide the link to go look at the Ties' advertising.

A Democratic Bid That's Anti-Clinton All the Time
Published: June 26, 2006

With his glasses, balding head and leprechaunish smile, Jonathan Tasini doesn't look like a political threat to anyone. But he has become a thorn in Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's side as she seeks a commanding re-election victory this year to provide momentum for a possible presidential run in 2008.

Mr. Tasini is not, however, waging his attacks from the right, as one among the legions of so-called Hillary-haters. Instead, he is trying to rally fellow Democrats against her over a single theme: Mrs. Clinton's early and vociferous backing of the Iraq war, an issue that many Democrats believe will become more contentious as the midterm election approaches.

Mr. Tasini, 49, is gathering signatures to get on the Sept. 12 primary ballot, in a year when Mrs. Clinton faces a divided and weak Republican opposition. And while he acknowledges the odds are against him, his anti-Clinton campaign has attracted increasing attention in recent weeks, winning the endorsement of a variety of Democratic clubs and nearly forcing a resolution onto the floor of the state Democratic convention last month calling for the withdrawal of all troops from Iraq.

"I am convinced that the majority of Democratic primary voters agree with me," he said the other day as he waded through the noontime crowd in Bryant Park collecting signatures. "And if this race were not about name recognition, celebrity and her $25 million in campaign contributions, I would win."

Political analysts say Mr. Tasini embodies the frustration that is building on the left toward more mainstream Democrats like Mrs. Clinton. In her case, a strong showing by Mr. Tasini could foreshadow the challenges she might face in 2008 with Democratic presidential primary voters, who tend to be more liberal than the Democratic electorate as a whole.

It may be tempting to dismiss Mr. Tasini as a pesky agitator, given that almost nobody outside of politics has ever heard of him, that his campaign employs only four paid workers and that he has raised a pittance — about $100,000, with all but $15,000 spent — against a woman who is widely seen as the most formidable Democrat among the potential presidential contenders in 2008.

But Mr. Tasini's campaign has, to some measure, become a vehicle for liberals who are disenchanted with Mrs. Clinton on other issues as well, including her support for a ban on flag burning, her support for tougher work requirements for welfare recipients or her attempts to reach out to opponents of abortion.

Recently, Barbara Ehrenreich, the political essayist and author, sent out a fund-raising solicitation on behalf of Mr. Tasini accusing Mrs. Clinton of turning her back on core liberal beliefs. "I know the right sees Clinton as an archliberal, but there is less and less evidence for any liberal inclinations on her part," Ms. Ehrenreich wrote.

Mrs. Clinton's support among Democrats in New York remains strong. Recently, 74 percent of registered Democrats in the state told pollsters for the Siena Research Institute that they thought favorably of her. But even that poll, conducted this month, indicated that there might be reason for some concern in the Clinton camp, as her overall approval rating fell to 54 percent from 58 percent in May.

Beyond that, Mr. Tasini, who asserts that New Yorkers are frustrated enough with Mrs. Clinton's war stance that they would abandon her if the right candidate came along, likes to cite another recent poll, by the Zogby Group. That survey found that when given a choice between an unnamed antiwar candidate and Mrs. Clinton, 38 percent of the registered voters in New York said they would support Mrs. Clinton, while 32 percent said they would vote for the unnamed candidate.

But Mrs. Clinton's advisers point out that most public polls have shown her level of support to be relatively consistent in recent months and that any declines have been within the polls' margins of error.

Mrs. Clinton's advisers say they would not be surprised if Mr. Tasini collected the signatures he needs to get on the ballot. But they argue that her position on the war — she is opposed to an immediate pullout in Iraq but does not want an open-ended military presence there either — is broadly shared by New York Democrats.

"Senator Clinton is proud to have the strong and overwhelming support of Democrats across the state," said Howard Wolfson, a Clinton spokesman.

The developments in New York have drawn close attention from liberal activists around the country who believe Mr. Tasini's doggedness will allow him to rough up Mrs. Clinton and send a message to national Democratic leaders that the party's ideological base cannot be taken for granted.

"Even a respectable showing by Jon Tasini will shake up the leadership of the Democratic Party and make them take another look at just who Hillary Clinton is," said Marcy Winograd, an antiwar activist who ran an unsuccessful primary challenge against Representative Jane Harman of California, a hawkish Democrat.

"I have such respect for him," continued Ms. Winograd, who is a friend of Mr. Tasini's. "It's one thing to go up against Jane Harman. It's another to go up against someone with that kind of name recognition on a national scale."

This is not the first time Mr. Tasini, a union organizer who earned a bachelor's degree in political science at the University of California, Los Angeles, has taken on a powerful institution. As the president of the National Writers Union, he sued The New York Times on behalf of thousands of freelance writers in a case that wound up before the Supreme Court. The case, Tasini v. The New York Times, was decided in 2001 in favor of the plaintiffs and led to the establishment of a compensation fund for freelance writers.

On the campaign trail, Mr. Tasini has shown that he is not beneath engaging in stunts to grab headlines. He recently went on a 600-mile bicycle ride around the state and gathered 2,500 signatures for the antiwar resolution he introduced at the state Democratic Party convention.

As it turned out, party leaders worked furiously to block the resolution from going to a vote in order not to embarrass Mrs. Clinton.

"For the Democratic Party to not want to debate the most important issue of the day —— " he said, breaking off in exasperation, and pausing to find the right words. "How could you not want to debate the Iraq war? What is the party afraid of?"

Mr. Tasini was born in Houston but spent part of his childhood in New York State and now lives in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan. He remains a stranger to most New Yorkers, but he appears able to put people at ease when he introduces himself on the street, employing a cheery, hail-fellow-well-met manner. He seems to be finding new supporters every day, as was the case when he and a small group of volunteers walked around Union Square last week collecting signatures to get on the primary ballot.

"So you want to run against Hillary Clinton?" Derek Bermel, a 38-year-old composer from Brooklyn, asked Mr. Tasini after being cornered for a quick sales pitch. "Yes, I do, primarily because of her position on the war," Mr. Tasini responded eagerly, after having been turned away by one person after another.

"Well, let me sign that," Mr. Bermel said. "I'm ashamed of Hillary. I don't know who she thinks her constituents are."

Mr. Tasini has gained some traction among a handful of liberal clubs, picking up endorsements from the Village Independent Democrats, Brooklyn Democrats for Change, Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats and the Downtown Independent Democrats.

"He is a symbol," said Yayoi Tsuchitani, explaining why her group, the Village Independent Democrats, voted overwhelmingly to endorse Mr. Tasini. "Hillary has really disappointed her base," she continued. "She has forgotten her New York liberal following and basically abandoned us."

Dick Mac Recommends:

David McCullough

Monday, June 26, 2006

World Cup Kidnap

A New Yorker visiting Germany for the World Cup is stuck in a traffic jam.

He sees a man walking through the stalled traffic speaking to each driver. The New Yorker rolls down his window and asks, "What's going on?"

"Terrorists have kidnapped three USA fans and are holding them for a $10,000,000 ransom. If they don't get paid they're going to douse them with gasoline and set them on fire. We're going from car to car, taking a collection."

The driver asks, "How much is everyone giving?"

"About a gallon."

Dick Mac Recommends:

The Decline and Fall of the American Empire
Gore Vidal

Friday, June 23, 2006

Help Stop Further Media Consolidation!

I received this information from Mista Mayday via Clown At Your Party. Thank you to both.


Tell the FCC to Stop Big Media

The FCC wants to lift media ownership rules and open the floodgates to wholesale consolidation of local newspaper, radio and television outlets.

The FCC needs to hear from you before they hand over local media to concentrated giants like News Corp., General Electric and Clear Channel. Big Media's drive to control local outlets stifles the competition, localism and diversity that are the lifeblood of a democratic media system.

Use the address below to file your comments with the FCC. Use the text or write your own comments about how greater media consolidation will affect your community.


Thank You,

PS: please forward this on to as many people as possible. Let them know that we are not all just sheep being led through the pasture.
Mista Mayday

Dick Mac Recommends:

Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them
Al Franken

Is it opera?

Is it football?

Absurdist Threat

On Wednesday, June 21, 2006, United States President George W Bush, Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schussel, and EU Commission President Jose Barroso held a press conference in Vienna, Austria.

A European reporter had the audacity to instigate the following exchange.

[REPORTER]: A question to President Barroso and President Bush. Do you actually share the view that Russia is using its energy resources to oppress other countries? And in what respect does your cooperation help you now to position yourselves against that?

And if I may, to President Bush, you've got Iran's nuclear program, you've got North Korea, yet, most Europeans consider the United States the biggest threat to global stability. Do you have any regrets about that?

PRESIDENT BUSH: That's absurd. The United States is -- we'll defend ourselves, but at the same time, we're actively working with our partners to spread peace and democracy. So whoever says that is -- it's an absurd statement.

Read the full-text here.

Dick Mac Recommends:

The Decline and Fall of the American Empire
Gore Vidal

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Senate Kills Minimum Wage Increase Amendment

"When the Democrats control the Senate, one of the first pieces of legislation we'll see is an increase in the minimum wage," said Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA).

If this is true, Senator, why is the minimum wage so low? Did the last Demcoratic-controlled Senate pass an increase to minimum wage? I don't think so! Why should we believe you now?

Kennedy is one of the few Democratiic leaders I still respect. With statements like that, however, he is losing me fast.

GOP-run Senate kills minimum wage increase
By DAVID ESPO, AP Special Correspondent

The Republican-controlled Senate smothered a proposed election-year increase in the minimum wage Wednesday, rejecting Democratic claims that it was past time to boost the $5.15 hourly pay floor that has been in effect for nearly a decade.

The 52-46 vote was eight short of the 60 needed for approval under budget rules and came one day after House Republican leaders made clear they do not intend to allow a vote on the issue, fearing it might pass.

The Senate vote marked the ninth time since 1997 that Democrats there have proposed — and Republicans have blocked — a stand-alone increase in the minimum wage. The debate fell along predictable lines.

"Americans believe that no one who works hard for a living should have to live in poverty. A job should lift you out of poverty, not keep you in it," said Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (news, bio, voting record), D-Mass. He said a worker paid $5.15 an hour would earn $10,700 a year, "almost $6,000 below the poverty line for a family of three."

Kennedy also said lawmakers' annual pay has risen by roughly $30,000 since the last increase in the minimum wage. . . . Read more

These Americans in whom we have entrusted the power to run our government, think that Americans can survive on $5.15 per hour (which as a full-time wage is $6,000 under the poverty line):

Alexander (R-TN)
Allard (R-CO)
Allen (R-VA)
Bennett (R-UT)
Bond (R-MO)
Brownback (R-KS)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burns (R-MT)
Burr (R-NC)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Craig (R-ID)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
Dole (R-NC)
Domenici (R-NM)
Ensign (R-NV)
Enzi (R-WY)
Frist (R-TN)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Gregg (R-NH)
Hagel (R-NE)
Hatch (R-UT)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Lott (R-MS)
Martinez (R-FL)
McCain (R-AZ) (You see! He is a bad man!)
McConnell (R-KY)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Roberts (R-KS)
Santorum (R-PA)
Sessions (R-AL)
Smith (R-OR)
Stevens (R-AK)
Sununu (R-NH) (Hello people of New Hampshire!)
Talent (R-MO)
Thomas (R-WY)
Thune (R-SD)
Vitter (R-LA)
Voinovich (R-OH)

If one of these people represents your state, please call them and say that the minimum wage should have been raised and then work against them in the next election.

See the full senate roll call here


Dick Mac Recommends:

Our Endangered Values
Jimmy Carter

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Who Cares About Human Rights? Cuba, for one!

The United States did not put itself forth as a candidate for the United Nations Human Rights Council. This is wise, because we as a nation do not support human rights and are currently the greatest violator of human rights in the world.

I know that all the Reaganites, Clintonites and Bush supporters think that human rights is for sissies, it gets in the way of business, and is not the concern of the American taxpayer; but, we need to remember that we (American taxpayers) previously led the world in the battle for human rights.

Even Richard Nixon supported the notion that the USA should lead the world in protection of human rights. Then again, it was Richard Nixon who said that Ronald Reagan was a danger to America's economy. Never thought I'd share an economic position with Richard Nixon!

What follows is a speech by the Cuban delegate to the UNHRC.

Today is a particularly symbolic day. Cuba is a founding member of the Human Rights Council and the United States is not. Cuba was elected with the overwhelming support of 135 countries, more than two-thirds of the United Nations General Assembly, while the United States did not even dare to run as a candidate. Cuba relied on the secret vote for the same reasons that the United States was afraid of it.

Cuba’s election epitomizes the victory of principles and truth; it stands as recognition of the value of our resilience. The absence of the United States is the defeat of lies; it is the moral punishment for the haughtiness of an empire.

The election entailed a demanding assessment. Each one got what they deserved. Cuba was rewarded and the United States was punished. Each one had its history and the voting countries were well aware of it.

The African countries recalled that over 2,000 Cuban fighters had shed their generous blood in the struggle against the outrageous Apartheid regime, which the United States supported and furnished with weapons, even nuclear ones.

The election for Cuba came at a moment in which nearly 30,000 Cuban doctors were saving lives and alleviating the pain in 70 countries, while the United States reached that stage with 150,000 invading soldiers, sent to kill and die in an unjust and illegal war.

The election for Cuba came with more than 300,000 patients from 26 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean who were recovering their eyesight thanks to the cost-free surgeries performed by Cuban eye specialists. It came for the United States with over 100,000 civilians murdered and 2,500 American youths dead in a war concocted to steal a country’s oil and give away sumptuous contracts to a group of cronies of the President of the world’s sole superpower.

The election for Cuba came with more than 25,000 youths from 120 Third World countries studying in its universities and colleges free of charge. It came for the United States with a concentration camp in Guantánamo, where prisoners are subjected to torture and where the official statement of the prison wardens was that the suicide of three human beings “is not an act of despair but an act of war and propaganda.”

The election for Cuba came with its airplanes carrying Cuban medical doctors and field hospitals to places where there had been natural disasters or epidemics. It came for the United States with its aircraft secretly carrying drugged and handcuffed prisoners from one jail to another.

The election for Cuba came with its proclamation of the prevalence of lawfulness over force, defending the United Nations Charter, demanding and fighting for a better world. It came for the United States with its proclamation of “if you are not on our side, you are against us.”

The election for Cuba came with its proposal of setting aside the trillion US dollars annually spent on weapons to fight off the yearly death of preventable causes of 11 million children under the age of five years and 600,000 poor women at childbirth. In the meantime, it came for the United States with its proclamation of its right to bomb and “preemptively” wipe out what it scornfully called “any dark corners of the world” if its designs were not obeyed. That included the city of The Hague, if there were any attempts to prosecute an American soldier at the International Criminal Court.

While Cuba defended the rights of the Palestinian people, the United States was the main pillar behind Israel’s crimes and atrocities.

While under the striking force of Hurricane Katrina the US Government abandoned hundreds of thousands of people to their luck, most of them black and poor, Cuba immediately offered to send 1,100 doctors, who could have saved lives and alleviated their suffering.

I could go on and on listing reasons until tomorrow. I just want to add that it is the Government of the United States, not its people, which does not have a seat today as a member of the Council. The American people will be represented in the others, including Cuba’s seat. Our delegation will also speak out for the rights of the American people and, particularly, for the rights of its most discriminated and excluded sectors.

Now, the truth is that the United States was not alone in its gross and desperate schemes and pressures to prevent Cuba’s election. A handful of its allies followed them to the very end. The usual posse: beneficiaries of the unjust and exclusion-oriented world order, most of them former colonial metropolises, which have not yet paid off their historical debt to their once-colonies.

Cuba is perfectly aware, even to its barest details, of the secret agreement negotiated in Brussels through which the European Union undertook not to vote for Cuba and then work closely with the United States against our candidature. But they failed famously. It turned out that Cuba was elected without its support and its uncomfortable ally, which they need as a policeman to guarantee its privileges and squandering opulence, could not even run as a candidate.

The corridors and halls of this building are now reverberating with repeated calls for “a fresh start” and “breathing fresh air into the new Council” – precisely by those who are responsible for the manipulation, hypocrisy and selectivity that caused the Commission on Human Rights to run aground. It is fitting to point out that a fresh start cannot be built on the oblivion of what has been happening or the simulation that some sugar-coated rhetoric is a problem-solver. What we need are deeds and not words.

If there is any truth to the statements by the spokespersons of the European Union and we are actually faced with a mea culpa, then we are still awaiting their rectification. Not because of Cuba. Not because they colluded with the United States to try to prevent our election. Not because they have never been able to have an ethical and independent policy towards Cuba.

We are awaiting a rectification to the attitude of the European Union, which last year prevented the Commission on Human Rights from adopting an investigation into the massive, flagrant and systematic human rights violations at Guantánamo Naval Base.

A rectification to the silent complicity with which they allowed hundreds of secret CIA flights carrying kidnapped people and the establishment of clandestine prisons right on European soil, where prisoners are tortured and harassed. So far, the European Union has hypocritically hindered the investigation and the clarification of these events.

The European Union has not mustered the courage to serve exemplary sanctions on the miserable manifestations of lack of respect for other religions and customs.

The European Union was an accomplice to the United States in turning the former Commission into some sort of Inquisition Tribunal against the countries of the South. We just hope that it will not happen again now.

The European Union has not even acknowledged its historical debt to the nearly 100 countries – currently independent nations after years of struggle and sacrifice – which were its pillaged colonies when, fifty-seven years ago, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted, which paradoxically stated that: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.”


This session can usher in a new stage in the struggle to create a real system for the promotion and protection of all human rights for all the inhabitants on the planet, and not just for the rich and privileged. A radical change will be required to that end; a real revolution in the concepts and methods that weighed down the defunct Commission.

Cuba does not indulge in wishful thinking about the real willingness of the developed countries – allies of the United States – to take that significant and historical step. However, it will give them the benefit of the doubt. It will wait and watch them.

Cuba can be counted upon if we work towards fulfilling the promises that have been trumpeted. If the past repeats itself and the Council becomes a battlefield again, from now on Cuba can be counted upon to turn, one more time, into a fighter in the trenches of ideas of the Third World.

Cuba cannot be counted upon to turn the Council into an exclusive tribunal against the underdeveloped countries and ensure the impunity of those in the North. Nor can it be relied upon to use the Council’s suspension clause against rebellious countries or to continue using, in a politicized and selective fashion, the country resolutions to punish those that do not bow their head.

Cuba cannot be counted upon to use the new universal periodical review mechanism as an instrument of new pressures and media campaigns.

Nor can Cuba be counted upon to defend lies and act hypocritically.

Cuba can be counted upon to fight for truth and transparency, to defend the right to independence, to self-determination, to social justice, to equality. And also to defend the right to food, to education, to health, to dignity, the right to a dignified life.

Cuba can be counted upon to defend real democracy, true participation and the real enjoyment of all human rights.

Cuba’s cooperation cannot be counted upon to assist the spurious mandate of any envoy, representative or rapporteur imposed through force and blackmail. Cuba can be counted upon to cooperate, on an equal footing, with the Council and its non-selective mechanisms.

Cuba’s cooperation cannot be counted upon to make silence and fail to speak out against the ruthless economic blockade that we have endured for over four decades, nor can it be relied upon not to demand the return to our Homeland of five pure and courageous Cuban youths that were fighting terrorism and are currently imprisoned in US jails unjustly and illegally.

Cuba’s cooperation cannot be counted upon to relinquish a single principle. Cuba will always be counted upon to uphold the noble ideal of building a better world for all.

Finally, on behalf of the Cuban people, who dream, build and defend their Revolution back in our Homeland, I would like to extend a special gratitude to our Third World brothers and sisters for their decisive support for Cuba’s election as a member of the Human Rights Council – and I hereby reiterate that the Cubans will never betray the trust that you have placed in us.

For those who support Cuba’s struggle for its rights, which is also the struggle for the rights of all the nations in the Third World and the progressive and democratic forces in the First World, we have a message: Until victory onwards!

For those who attack Cuba and for their accomplices, we have another message: ¡Patria o Muerte!


(Translated by ESTI)

Thank you to lefti for the link.

The absence of the United States on the Human Rights Council is moral punishment for the arrogance of an empire


Dick Mac Recommends:

Sorry, Everybody
James Zetlen

Monday, June 19, 2006

Who Supports The Troops?

Who Supports The Troops? (O.K.: "Which Senators Support The Troops" is more accurate!)

According to John Nichols at The Nation, it is a short list:

Barbara Boxer of California.
Robert Byrd of West Virginia.
Russ Feingold of Wisconsin.
Tom Harkin of Iowa.
Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts.
John Kerry of Massachusetts.

These are the six senators who most recently voted against Karl Rove's war.

Please note that Hillary Clinton is not on the list! So, if you're a New Yorker and you are oppossed to the war you should plan to vote against her. If you are not a New Yorker and you are oppossed to the war, you should send a campaign contribution to Jonathan Tasini.

Here is the text of the article:

The February Le Moyne College/Zogby International survey of U.S. troops serving in Iraq found that 72 percent of them thought the United States end its operations in that country by the end of 2006.

On Thursday, the U.S. Senate decided not to call for the withdrawal of combat troops by year's end when it shelved a measure proposing that "only forces that are critical to completing the mission of standing up Iraqi security forces" remain in Iraq in 2007.

After a stilted debate, the Senate voted to block the amendment 93-6.

Every Republican in the Senate voted for the amendment, which was advanced by their party leadership in as part of a coordinated political push by Karl Rove and the White House political shop to mock and minimize the debate about the war and create the impression that there is broad support for the long-term occupation of Iraq. So, too, did most Democrats, who chose not to oppose the latest administration strategy, just as they refused to challenge the Republicans prior to the disastrous 2002 and 2004 elections.

Who were the six senators who refused to play Rove's game and voted for the "Bring the Troops Home" amendment?

Barbara Boxer of California.

Robert Byrd of West Virginia.

Russ Feingold of Wisconsin.

Tom Harkin of Iowa.

Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts.

John Kerry of Massachusetts.

On the day when the 2,500th American died in the Iraq quagmire, the Senate was asked to approve the sentiment of the troops who say that it is time for them to get out of the middle of a foreign civil war.

The vast majority of senators decided to do the bidding of the president who deceived them about the "case" for war and who then played politics with national security and the lives of the young men and women who wear the uniform of the United States.

Only six members of the chamber charged with serving as the ultimate check and balance on the fools' missions of failed presidents chose to support the troops. Boxer, Byrd, Feingold, Harkin, Kennedy and Kerry will, of course, be vilified by Rove regenerated attack machine for having done so. It will be suggested that they sent the wrong message to the troops by voting as they did.

At the end of the day on which the American death toll topped 2,500, however, the only message the six senators sent to the troops was this: We agree with you.

Dick Mac Recommends:
Our Endangered Values
Jimmy Carter

Friday, June 16, 2006

Maybe The Anarchists Are Correct!

Since I became aware of the government's function in 1968, and with only a brief reprieve during the Carter Administration, the United States government has been a shining example of waste, fraud, ineptitude, lying and disgrace.

There have been wars and wiretaps and blowjobs. Some incidents have been frigthening, some sickening, some humorous.

The incident that most recently came to my attention is pretty disgusting, and I think it perfectly illustrates the moral bankruptcy of the Bush Administration.

AP Enterprise: 9/11 thefts not prosecuted
By MARGARET EBRAHIM and PAT MILTON, Associated Press Writers

Once-secret documents obtained by The Associated Press show a disaster supply management company went unpunished for Sept. 11 thefts after the government discovered FBI agents and other government officials had stolen artifacts from New York's ground zero.

Kieger Enterprises of Lino Lakes, Minn., dispatched trucks to a Long Island warehouse and loaded hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of donated bottled water, clothes, tools and generators to be moved to Minnesota in a plot to sell some for profit, according to government records and interviews.

Dan L'Allier said he witnessed 45 tons of the New York loot being unloaded in Minnesota at his company's headquarters. He and disaster specialist Chris Christopherson complained to a company executive, but were ordered to keep quiet. They persisted, going instead to the FBI.

The two whistleblowers eventually lost their jobs, received death threats and were blackballed in the disaster relief industry. But they remained convinced their sacrifice was worth seeing justice done.

They were wrong.

As a result, most Americans were kept in the dark about a major fraud involving their donated goods even as new requests for charity emerged with disasters like Hurricane Katrina. And Christopherson and L'Allier were left disillusioned.

"I wouldn't open my mouth again for all the tea in China," L'Allier said. Added Christopherson, a 34-year-old father of two: "I paid a big price."

As firefighters searched for survivors after the Sept. 11 attacks, heat from the World Trade Center's smoldering ruins burned the soles off their boots. They needed new ones every few hours, and Christopherson made sure they got them. The moment that crushed Christopherson's faith was when his employer dispatched the trucks to the warehouse for those supplies, donated by Americans.

The government ultimately gave the whistleblowers $30,000 each after expenses, their share in a civil settlement against KEI. They say the sum was hardly worth their trouble.

Federal prosecutors eventually charged KEI and some executives with fraud, including overbilling the government in several disasters, but excluded the Sept. 11 thefts. Officially, the government can't fully explain why.

KEI had worked for years for the government, providing disaster relief services during tornadoes, floods and other catastrophes. It was picked to manage the New York warehouse for the government's main Sept. 11 relief contractor.

Thomas Heffelfinger, the former U.S. attorney in Minnesota who prosecuted KEI, said he never intended to charge the company for the ground zero theft, and instead referred that part of the case to prosecutors in New York.

"At the heart of the KEI case was financial fraud," Heffelfinger said. "It was so bad we didn't need the theft."

Heather Tasker, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office in New York, declined to discuss the KEI case. The whistleblowers, however, said they've never been contacted by New York prosecutors.

FBI documents indicate the government, in fact, was preparing to charge KEI with Sept. 11 thefts.

A March 2002 entry in the FBI's "prosecutive status" report states the U.S. Attorney's office in Minnesota intended "to prosecute individuals who were alleged to be involved in the transportation of stolen goods from New York City after the terrorist attack." A followup entry from Sept. 6, 2002 lists the specific evidence supporting such a charge.

The lead investigators for the FBI and the Federal Emergency Management Agency told AP that the plan to prosecute KEI for those thefts stopped as soon as it became clear in late summer 2002 that an FBI agent in Minnesota had stolen a crystal globe from ground zero.

That prompted a broader review that ultimately found 16 government employees, including a top FBI executive and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, had such artifacts from New York or the Pentagon.

"How could you secure an indictment?" FEMA investigator Kirk Beauchamp asked. "It would be a conflict."

While the globe's discovery had been widely reported, its impact on the Sept. 11 thefts had remained mostly unknown.

Prosecutors "and the FBI were very conscious of the fact that if they proceeded in one direction, they would have to proceed in the other, which meant prosecuting FBI agents," said Jane Turner, the lead FBI agent. She too became a whistleblower alleging the bureau tried to fire her for bringing the stolen artifacts to light. Turner retired in 2003.

The FBI declined to discuss Turner's allegation, saying it involved a personnel matter.

"It's illogical" not to prosecute KEI because of the agents' stolen artifacts, said E. Lawrence Barcella, former chief of major crimes in the U.S. attorney's office in Washington. "The fact that FBI agents stole trinkets is an order of magnitude different than a company selling things they steal."

Nick Gess, another former federal prosecutor, said the agents' actions shouldn't have precluded prosecuting the company.

"DEA agents have been found to smoke pot occasionally," Gess said. "That doesn't mean they (the Drug Enforcement Administration) can't still work on drug cases."

The government also didn't prosecute any of its employees for taking souvenirs, claiming it lacked a policy prohibiting such thefts.

Ultimately, the FBI donated the stolen goods found at KEI's warehouse to the Salvation Army.

Joe Friedberg, a lawyer who represented a KEI executive, dismissed the Sept. 11 thefts as "much ado about nothing." Friedberg said KEI took a few pallets of water and T-shirts because they had authorization from a FEMA official to take surplus items.

But that FEMA official, Kathy McCoy, said she never gave Kieger such permission.

Those who work near ground zero today are shocked to learn such thefts went unpunished.

"To take advantage of people at a time of despair, it's probably one of the worst things human beings can do to another person," said Gregory Broms, Sr., a firefighter with Engine Company 10 at the foot of the former World Trade Center site. "It was morally wrong."

Christopherson recalled receiving boxes of white T-shirts stolen from the Long Island warehouse sent back to him after KEI had embossed a Sept. 11 logo on the front. He was instructed by his boss to sell them to firefighters, police and volunteers for $12 a piece. Disgusted, he threw them in the corner and never sold them.

Christopherson and L'Allier went to the FBI in fall 2001. On April 16, 2002, agents raided KEI, recovering at least 15,000 T-shirts and 18,000 bottles of bottled water. Because months had passed, the seized items were a fraction of the total the company had taken, the whistleblowers said.

Both men were threatened and harassed, reporting it to the FBI's Turner. "We all experienced the death threats," L'Allier said. "We all experienced the phone ringing at three in the morning and no one being there. I'd come home and the house would be wide open."

A few months after the raid, prosecutors drafted charges accusing the company of stealing the ground zero relief supplies, seeking an indictment on the one-year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, Turner said.

But Turner discovered in late August 2002 a cracked Tiffany & Co. globe — lifted from the World Trade Center ruins — on the desk of a colleague. The theft case against KEI sputtered.

Eventually, KEI executives Edward Kieger Jr., Patrick Iwan and Joseph Dreshar were indicted in 2004 by a federal grand jury on charges of scheming to defraud the government. The former executives pleaded guilty, and Kieger and Iwan are serving prison terms. KEI has gone out of business.

Christopherson and L'Allier were stunned when the indictment excluded the ground zero thefts. They spent two years unsuccessfully trying to find new work in disaster relief. Christopherson now runs a landscaping business; L'Allier works as a paramedic.

For years, the two couldn't speak publicly because their whistleblower case remained under seal. They worried similar fraud might have occurred during Katrina.

"If you donated, at your local supermarket, water or canned goods or cleaning supplies and a truck goes down there (to New Orleans), who knows where it is ending up," L'Allier.

Today, the whistleblowers worry their fate might chill others from exposing wrongdoing.

"They felt they had to come forward about the theft because it was so wrong," Turner said. "I've lost my career. They've lost their jobs. The price is so high for telling the truth."

On the Net: The National Whistleblower Center:

Maybe anarchy is the best solution! Let's just eliminate the government! Let the automobile companies pay for the roads, and the airplane manufacturers pay for the airports, and the oil companies can pay for the military, and all corporations pay for public transportation.

OK -- not realistc? You may be correct.

If we are going to keep elected officials in a paycheck, let's at least get them to respond to us!

I suggest you call your elected officials in Washington, DC, and ask why this has happened! Tell them you want something done: prosecute all government officials, including FBI agents, and private operators who stole from Ground Zero. Tell them you want them imprisoned. Tell them you are offended that they have done nothing about this.

Another site to find your congressional representatives.

Dick Mac Recommends:
Worse Than Watergate
John W. Dean

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Clinton Continues Her Move To The Right

The following article appears in the New York Daily News.

Clinton continues to try to move Democrats to the Right. She is a conservative trying to destroy the Democratic Party. Note this remark telling leftists that they need to become moderates (a nice word for right-winger):

"We have to reach out to people who may not yet agree with us," she said. "We've got to win elections or it won't matter."

No, Mrs. Clinton has proven that winning elections does nothing but benefit HER! We need to change the world. We need to elect actual progressives, not moderates. We need to reach out to our neighbors and co-workers and plead with them to help change the world. Americans changed the world in the 1960s and 1970s by taking action, by standing up for real American values. Let's start by removing Hillary Clinton from office.

Lefties climb Hil on Iraq

Dems boo her war stance


WASHINGTON - Sen. Hillary Clinton walked a tightrope yesterday in a key speech to the left wing of her party - and got heartily booed for her stance on Iraq.
Clinton - the top Democratic presidential prospect for 2008 - won applause on such issues as raising the minimum wage, fighting the marriage amendment and blocking Social Security privatization.

Citing the pluses of the Clinton administration played like progressive catnip to an audience that will be vital in Democratic primaries in two years.

But huzzahs turned to heckles when Clinton tiptoed between slamming President Bush's policies in Iraq and standing by his refusal to set a date to withdraw U.S. troops.

"I do not think it is a smart strategy, either, for the President to continue with his open-ended commitment," the New York senator told the liberal "Take Back America" conference.

"Nor do I think it is smart strategy to set a date certain," she added to a chorus of boos. "I do not agree that is in the best interests of our troops or our country."

When she left the stage many in the crowd began chanting, "Bring the troops home."

In spite of the disapproval, Clinton advised the lefty crowd to follow a similar centrist path if they want to put pressure on the GOP.

"We have to reach out to people who may not yet agree with us," she said. "We've got to win elections or it won't matter."

She also made a plea for fiscal responsibility, saying it should be at the core of progressive politics because it saves money for causes they cherish.

"What do you think we were doing in the 1990s? We were building the capital needed to make the hard decisions," she said, including "making health care available and affordable for every single American."

Clinton may have shored up moderate support, but Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry - among White House wanna-bes seizing territory to Clinton's left - won ovations for his anti-war stand. And he took a shot at Iraq positions like Clinton's, saying, "We cannot have it both ways."

"It's not enough to argue with the logistics or to argue about the details," he said. "It is essential to acknowledge that the war itself was a mistake."

Originally published on June 14, 2006

Dick Mac Recommends:

Howl and Other Poems
Allen Ginsberg

Flag Day

"These Colors Don't Run" is a favorite slogan of militaristic aoplogists. The implication is not that the colors red, white, and blue run together in the rain (to create lavendar), but that the United States does not run away from adversity or enemies.

left I on the news points out today that our President flies around at night in a jet with no lights (which means you cannot see the US flag insignia) and the United States soccer team playing in Germany rides around in an unmarked bus, unlike other nations that proudly display their nation's colors. Do we think that Germany is going to attack our soccer tam because we are Americans?

These colors may not run, but they sure do hide!

Why do we have to hide? Ask your President and Senator and Representative! They created this mess.

Dick Mac Recommends:

David McCullough


I am guilty of being an over-the-shoulder reader while commuting on the subway. Mostly I do it out of boredom.

This morning, my seatmate was reading Vanity Fair. I glanced over and saw this line in large type:

"In 1963 slavery was abolished. The term Guest Worker is preferred now."


Dick Mac Recommends:

Howl and Other Poems
Allen Ginsberg

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Fat, Greedy, Traitorous Pig Destroys America And Smirks

There would have been no point in convicting Karl Rove, because Traitor Bush would pardon him anyhow.

Never has our nation seen such a lot of criminals. These guys make Nixon and Clinton look like Jimmy Carter!

Will somebody please give Bush a blow-job so we can impeach him?!?!?!?
Rove won't be charged in CIA leak case
By JOHN SOLOMON, Associated Press Writer

Top White House aide Karl Rove has been told by prosecutors he won't be charged with any crimes in the investigation into the leak of a CIA officer's identity, his lawyer said Tuesday, lifting a heavy burden from one of President Bush's most trusted advisers.

Attorney Robert Luskin said that special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald informed him of the decision on Monday, ending months of speculation about the fate of Rove, the architect of Bush's 2004 re-election now focused on stopping Democrats from capturing the House or Senate in this November's elections.

Fitzgerald has already secured a criminal indictment against Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby.

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said Bush — on a brief and secretive trip to Baghdad to meet with Iraq's new prime minister — was notified that Rove had been cleared.

"We are pleased that the special counsel has concluded his deliberations," Perino said. "Karl is, as he has been throughout the process, fully focused on the task at hand — crafting and building support for the president's agenda."

The announcement cheered Republicans and a White House beleaguered by war and low approval ratings. Mark Corallo, a spokesman for Rove, said Rove "is elated" and said that "we're done."

Fitzgerald met with chief U.S. District Judge Thomas Hogan before he notified Rove. Hogan has been overseeing the grand juries in the CIA leak case. Fitzgerald's spokesman, Randall Samborn, declined comment. Asked if the CIA leak investigation is still continuing, Samborn said, "I'm not commenting on that as well at this time."

The prosecutor called Luskin late Monday afternoon to tell him he would not be seeking charges against Rove. Rove had just gotten on a plane, so his lawyer and spokesman did not reach him until he had landed in Manchester, N.H., where he was to give a speech to state GOP officials.

"We believe the special counsel's decision should put an end to the baseless speculation about Mr. Rove's conduct," Luskin said.

Fitzgerald has been investigating whether senior administration officials intentionally leaked the identity of CIA undercover operative Valerie Plame in retribution because her husband, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, sharply criticized the administration's pursuit of war in Iraq.

Rove testified five times before a grand jury, most recently in April. He has admitted he spoke with columnist Robert Novak and Time magazine reporter Matt Cooper in the days before they published Plame's name in July 2003.

Rove, however, did not originally tell prosecutors about his conversation with Cooper, only revealing it after his lawyer discovered a White House e-mail that referred to it.

Fitzgerald was investigating whether Rove lied or obstructed justice in failing to initially disclose the conversation. The presidential aide blamed a faulty memory and sought to testify before the grand jury after finding the e-mail to correct his testimony.

The threat of indictment had hung over Rove, even as Rove was focusing on the arduous task of halting Bush's popularity spiral and keeping Democrats from capturing the House or Senate in November elections.

Fitzgerald's investigation has been under way since the start of the 2004 election, and the decision not to indict Rove is certain to buoy Republicans, who also got good news in the last week with the military's killing of most-wanted Iraq terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

"The fact is this, I thought it was wrong when you had people like Howard Dean and (Sen.) Harry Reid presuming that he was guilty," Republican Party Chairman Ken Mehlman told Fox News Channel's "Fox and Friends" show Tuesday morning.

Democrats, on the other hand, had no reason to cheer.

"He doesn't belong in the White House. If the president valued America more than he valued his connection to Karl Rove, Karl Rove would have been fired a long time ago," said Dean, the Democratic Party chairman, speaking Tuesday on NBC's "Today" show. "So I think this is probably good news for the White House, but it's not very good news for America."

Rove has been at Bush's side since his days as Texas governor and was the architect of Bush's two presidential election victories. Rove assumed new policy responsibilities inside the White House in 2005 as deputy chief of staff. Earlier this year, as part of the shake-up brought by new White House chief of staff Joshua Bolten, Rove shed those policymaking duties to return to full time politics.

Fitzgerald's case against Libby is moving toward trial, as the two sides work through pretrial issues such as access to classified documents.

Libby, 55, was charged last October with lying to the FBI and a federal grand jury about how he learned and when he subsequently told three reporters about Plame. He faces five counts of perjury, false statements and obstruction of justice.

With Rove's fate now decided, other unfinished business in Fitzgerald's probe focuses on the source who provided Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward information about Plame.

Woodward says his source, whom he has not publicly identified, provided the information about Wilson's wife, several weeks before Novak learned of Plame's identity. The Post reporter, who never wrote a story, was interviewed by Fitzgerald late last year.

Associated Press reporters Toni Locy and Nedra Pickler contributed to this report.

Dick Mac Recommends:

Sorry, Everybody
James Zetlen

Friday, June 09, 2006

Oh, Those Whacky Canadians . . .

U.S. interventionism defeated at OAS General Assembly
BY PASTOR VALLE-GARAY , University of York

TORONTO, Canada.— It’s classically typical of the George W. Bush administration: more lost than a homeless dog. One has only to look at what happened to the under secretary of state in the Dominican Republic this past week.

Robert Zoellick, leading his country’s delegation, arrived ill-prepared at the 36th General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Santo Domingo. One would assume that a delegation leader would come to such events after thoroughly consulting with State Department experts. Not so.

Perhaps the issue is the OAS. Gringo proconsuls have traditionally attended the forum as if they were wearing the headdress of an arrogant Catholic archbishop. They would arrive and preach, and the servile flock would genuflect and vote in line with orders from the Vatican in Washington. Once the farce was concluded, masters and slaves would retire to sip cocktails in the gringo’s suite.

Things have changed. These days, Zoellick would barely say mass. Nobody is following his orders. Deaf ears to silly words.

Perhaps it is because, in holding on to the last vestiges of their ignorant arrogance, Bush and company have not yet grasped our irreversible political changes. Our America is no longer the backyard of the White House. Period.

Perhaps it is because the State Department did not have the decency to warn the under secretary that Washington’s negligence has cost it the miniscule support that it used to have in the hemisphere. Now Bush is as popular as a homeless dog.

Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps. One could speculate ad nauseum. The reality is that Zoellick underestimated the intelligence and determination of delegates not to let themselves be trampled over by imperialist political maneuvers.

During his speech, Zoellick made a fool of himself, thus confirming Washington’s abysmal ignorance regarding hemispheric issues and international diplomacy. The gringo agenda began to collapse with a loud crash when Zoellick wrongly assumed that Brazil and Argentina would block Venezuela’s entry onto the UN Security Council. That backfired. Both nations announced their unconditional support for Venezuela’s candidacy.

Zoellick also underestimated the hemisphere’s diplomats when he urged a condemnation of Venezuela. He accused President Hugo Chávez of interfering in the Peruvian elections. The forum categorically rejected Zoellick’s nonsense. When they got no support, Zoellick and Peru withdrew their accusations. Ironically, the OAS refusal represents a resounding and unequivocal slap in the face to Washington’s crude interventionism in the hemisphere.

Desperate after these defeats, Zoellick tried to convince Brazil, Argentina and other nations to criticize President Chávez’ "illusion of populism" and his influence in the hemisphere. Very stupid. Zoellick crashed against a solid wall of opposition. In unmistakable and direct diplomatic language, Brazilian Foreign Minister Celso Marín reminded Zoellick of "the importance of non-intervention." Marín’s statement made it clear that the OAS is not going to meddle in Venezuela’s internal affairs. That was confirmed by the final resolution, which condemned all foreign intervention in the hemisphere. Without mentioning any particular country, the resolution is a subtle but obvious criticism of Washington’s interventionism in Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua.

Zoellick’s audacity was further unmasked. The under secretary of state demanded that that OAS send "as soon as possible" an observer mission to Nicaragua to prevent the "old strongmen of corruption and communism who want to stay in power." According to Zoellick, Nicaragua needs "justice, transparence and direct and clear reports" regarding the upcoming November elections, when that Central American nation will elect its president and General Assembly representatives.

One of two possibilities: either the State Department misinformed Zoellick before he traveled to the Dominican Republic, or he was drunk when he made his demands. In a press conference in Managua, Patricio Fajardo, coordinator of the 33-member OAS election observer mission, stated this week that a group of eight technicians has been in Nicaragua since May 7 to monitor the elections. The head of the mission, Gustavo Fernández, also arrived there this week, accompanied by OAS special advisors; Nina Pacari, former Ecuadorian foreign minister; Ignacio Waker, of Chile; and Ana María Sanjuán, of Venezuela.

Zoellick is not stupid. Nor is he ignorant of the OAS initiative supported by Nicaraguan political parties for the presidential elections. Zoellick is perverse. Only an imprudent individual would to try to mislead the OAS regarding the organization’s activities. However, Zoellick’s imbecility is based on the obsession of the White House of denying victory to the Sandinista Party in the presidential elections.

For more than a year, Bush has been sending high-ranking diplomats to Nicaragua. He began with former Secretary of State Colin Powell, followed by two dozen bureaucrats bent on advocating the political unity of the opposition parties, destabilization of the Front (Sandinista National Liberation Front - FSLN), and Nicaraguan democracy.

With that aim, Paul Trivelli, current U.S. ambassador in Managua, has been meeting night and day with the opposition; has published articles against Daniel Ortega in Nicaraguan dailies, and has appeared on television as part of the disgusting campaign to grossly insult the Sandinista Party and the Nicaraguan people. None of it has done him any good. On the contrary: instead of bringing together the traitors and bootlickers of the opposition, the only thing he has achieved is to divide them even further into individual power-seekers.

Every candidate, no matter how good-for-nothing, is suffering from the Bush complex. He or she trusts that Washington’s political and financial support will assure him or her of the coveted presidency independent of other insignificant opposition leaders or unity of purpose against their formidable rival.

As a result of Trivelli’s interventionism, the opposition has become weaker, while it would seem that the Front, with its greater discipline and superior organizational capacity, could win the elections, including the presidency and the General Assembly. In effect, Trivelli’s failure has given the White House another Olympic-sized nightmare. This week, it was rumored in Managua that Bush, disappointed over the failure, is to replace Trivelli with John Maisto, a mafioso trusted by the White House and a former ambassador in Managua. The conspirators were too late. Not even the Cardinal will save them this time; in fact, he himself has made a 180-degree turn, and is supporting Ortega’s candidacy.

In short, Bush, Zoellick, Trivelli and the rest of Washington’s pack of imbeciles lack the moral authority to cynically demand that other nations refrain from the interventionism that the White House has made into the axis of its foreign policy. Bush’s interventionism is as transparent, vile and brazen in Nicaragua as its interventionism and attacks to destabilize and overthrow the legitimate governments of Presidents Fidel Castro in Cuba, Hugo Chávez in Venezuela and Evo Morales in Bolivia.

The culmination of Washington’s cynicism was revealed during the 36th General Assembly of the Organization of American States that has just concluded in the Dominican Republic. Zoellick arrived with the single and evil purpose of accusing Venezuela of meddling in Peru’s affairs. He didn’t succeed. The hemisphere rejected him, and he left the forum as he deserved to: humiliated. Like a trouble-making street dog, with his tail between his legs, and dragging along to Washington the exposed shamefulness of White House interventionism in Nicaragua, Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia, together with a resounding and unequivocal message that the community of Our America is no longer bending to Yankee hegemony.

Dick Mac Recommends:

Sorry, Everybody
James Zetlen


I received this gem in my office email today:
While it is not expressly stated in our policy, it would be wise to remind ourselves that our office is a business casual environment, not a casual business environment.

Dick Mac Recommends:
Worse Than Watergate
John W. Dean

Thursday, June 08, 2006

"But now their eyes are open."

George W. Bush and a secret service agent are taking a stroll when they come upon a little girl carrying a basket with a blanket over it.

Curious, Bush asks the girl, "What's in the basket?"

She replies, "New baby kittens," and she opens the basket to show him.

"How nice," says Bush. "What kind are they?"

The little girl says, "Republicans."

Bush smiles, pats the little girl on the head and continues on.

Three weeks later, Bush is taking another stroll, this time with Karl Rove.

They see the little girl again with the same basket. Bush says, "Watch this, Karl? It's really cute." They approach the little girl.

Bush greets her and asks how the kittens are doing, and she says, "Fine."

Then, smirking, he nudges Rove with his elbow and asks the little girl, "And can you tell us what kind of kittens they are?"

She replies, "Democrats."

Aghast, Bush says, "But three weeks ago you said they were Republicans!"

"I know," she says. "But now their eyes are open."

Thanks to fiogi for sending this along!

Dick Mac Recommends:

Our Endangered Values
Jimmy Carter

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

A Position And A Request

I have been doing some work on the Tasini For New York campaign this year. Jonathan Tasini is a progressive Democrat who would like to represent New York in the United States Senate. Tasini is running against Hillary Rodham-Clinton for the Democratic nomination.

It has been many years since I have been involved in electoral politics and I can tell you that it feels really good to be active. It feels especially good working to get New York represented by a progressive Democrat in Washington.

I know that many of my younger friends have abandoned the Democratic Party in hopes of finding more progressive candidates in the Working Families Party and the Green Party. I applaud your commitment to your values and I am happy to tell you that I often vote the WFP line.

At 48 years-old, though, I remain a registered Democratic and I am angry that the Democrats have become the party of lethargy instead of the party of progress, the party of inertia instead of the party of action.

I have found the recent history of the Democratic Party to be rather sad. From President Clinton's attack on American workers with the passage of NAFTA, to John Kerry's move to the right in hopes of painting himself a conservative, to Mrs. Clinton's right-wing pro-Bush voting record, to Barack Obama's charading as a liberal, I often wonder why I bother. Still, the Democratic Party is my party. It is the party of my parents and grandparents. It is the party of workers and unions. It is the party of fairness and open-mindedness.

It is time for thinking people of every political persuasion to push the Democratic Party back to its roots.

Many of my gay friends remain loyal to Mrs. Clinton, even though she opposes the rights of homosexuals to marry.

Many of my women friends continue to support Mrs. Clinton, even though her position on women's reproductive rights has shifted to almost mirror that of many East Coast Republicans.

Many of my friends of color plan to vote for Mrs. Clinton, even though her economic policies hurt inner-city residents and her refusal to legislate an increase to the minimum wage hurts those members of the Democratic Party who need her help the most.

Mrs. Clinton's support for President Bush, his failed economic policies and tax cuts, his immoral war in Iraq shows her to be further to the political right than most New Yorkers; and certainly more to the right than anyone I know in all of the United States.

Even though Mrs. Clinton supports the President in all his campaigns, she fails to bring any federal funding to the State and City that has been most dramatically affected by the criminal acts of September 11, 2001. New York City, in particular, is suffering because of her support of the President and his party's refusal to send any money to New York. If we are going to have a senator that supports the President, at least that senator should bring some funding home from Washington. Mrs. Clinton will never bring funding to New York.

At the New York State Democratic Convention last week, the state convention passed a resolution calling the War in Iraq an "error"! If the New York Democratic Party considers the war an error, Mrs. Clinton must be held to task.

Someone must engage Mrs. Clinton in a debate about her voting record, and Jonathan Tasini is trying to do it. Sure, she may get re-elected, but let's have her explain her unwavering support for a conservative agenda before we vote for her.

Jonathan Tasini is now beginning his drive to get on the ballot. He must collect 15,000 signatures of registered New York voters. Without a spot on the ballot, he cannot engage Mrs. Clinton in a debate.

If you are a New Yorker, I ask you to register to vote, sign the Petition to get Tasini on the ballot and make a contribution to Jonathan's campaign at his Contribution Page. Getting Tasini on the ballot will open the dialog that this nation deserves.

If you are not a New Yorker, I ask that you consider two things: (1) make a contribution to Jonathan's campaign at his Contribution Page; and (2) ask yourself why you support Mrs. Clinton, if you do.

Jonathan Tasini is a hard-working, pro-labor American who cares about the War in Iraq, the anti-worker policies coming out of Washington, and the state of our nation.

Read more about Jonathan here.
Howard Zinn endorses Jonathan.
Susan Sarandon and others endorse Tasini.

I hope you will consider supporting Jonathan in whatever way you can.

Thank you for reading this.


Dick Mac Recommends:

Tasini For New York

Monday, June 05, 2006

"Howl" Turns 50

On June 4, 1956, Allen Ginsburg's epic poem was released. It remains relevant these fifty years later.

Allen Ginsberg
For Carl Solomon

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by
madness, starving hysterical naked,
dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn
looking for an angry fix,
angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly
connection to the starry dynamo in the machin-
ery of night,
who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat
up smoking in the supernatural darkness of
cold-water flats floating across the tops of cities
contemplating jazz,
who bared their brains to Heaven under the El and
saw Mohammedan angels staggering on tene-
ment roofs illuminated,
who passed through universities with radiant cool eyes
hallucinating Arkansas and Blake-light tragedy
among the scholars of war,
who were expelled from the academies for crazy &
publishing obscene odes on the windows of the

who cowered in unshaven rooms in underwear, burn-
ing their money in wastebaskets and listening
to the Terror through the wall,
who got busted in their pubic beards returning through
Laredo with a belt of marijuana for New York,
who ate fire in paint hotels or drank turpentine in
Paradise Alley, death, or purgatoried their
torsos night after night
with dreams, with drugs, with waking nightmares, al-
cohol and cock and endless balls,
incomparable blind; streets of shuddering cloud and
lightning in the mind leaping toward poles of
Canada & Paterson, illuminating all the mo-
tionless world of Time between,
Peyote solidities of halls, backyard green tree cemetery
dawns, wine drunkenness over the rooftops,
storefront boroughs of teahead joyride neon
blinking traffic light, sun and moon and tree
vibrations in the roaring winter dusks of Brook-
lyn, ashcan rantings and kind king light of mind,
who chained themselves to subways for the endless
ride from Battery to holy Bronx on benzedrine
until the noise of wheels and children brought
them down shuddering mouth-wracked and
battered bleak of brain all drained of brilliance
in the drear light of Zoo,

who sank all night in submarine light of Bickford's
floated out and sat through the stale beer after
noon in desolate Fugazzi's, listening to the crack
of doom on the hydrogen jukebox,
who talked continuously seventy hours from park to
pad to bar to Bellevue to museum to the Brook-
lyn Bridge,
lost battalion of platonic conversationalists jumping
down the stoops off fire escapes off windowsills
off Empire State out of the moon,
yacketayakking screaming vomiting whispering facts
and memories and anecdotes and eyeball kicks
and shocks of hospitals and jails and wars,
whole intellects disgorged in total recall for seven days
and nights with brilliant eyes, meat for the
Synagogue cast on the pavement,
who vanished into nowhere Zen New Jersey leaving a
trail of ambiguous picture postcards of Atlantic
City Hall,
suffering Eastern sweats and Tangerian bone-grind-
ings and migraines of China under junk-with-
drawal in Newark's bleak furnished room,
who wandered around and around at midnight in the
railroad yard wondering where to go, and went,
leaving no broken hearts,

who lit cigarettes in boxcars boxcars boxcars racketing
through snow toward lonesome farms in grand-
father night,
who studied Plotinus Poe St. John of the Cross telep-
athy and bop kabbalah because the cosmos in-
stinctively vibrated at their feet in Kansas,
who loned it through the streets of Idaho seeking vis-
ionary indian angels who were visionary indian
who thought they were only mad when Baltimore
gleamed in supernatural ecstasy,
who jumped in limousines with the Chinaman of Okla-
homa on the impulse of winter midnight street
light smalltown rain,
who lounged hungry and lonesome through Houston
seeking jazz or sex or soup, and followed the
brilliant Spaniard to converse about America
and Eternity, a hopeless task, and so took ship
to Africa,
who disappeared into the volcanoes of Mexico leaving
behind nothing but the shadow of dungarees
and the lava and ash of poetry scattered in fire
place Chicago,
who reappeared on the West Coast investigating the
F.B.I. in beards and shorts with big pacifist
eyes sexy in their dark skin passing out incom-
prehensible leaflets,

who burned cigarette holes in their arms protesting
the narcotic tobacco haze of Capitalism,
who distributed Supercommunist pamphlets in Union
Square weeping and undressing while the sirens
of Los Alamos wailed them down, and wailed
down Wall, and the Staten Island ferry also
who broke down crying in white gymnasiums naked
and trembling before the machinery of other
who bit detectives in the neck and shrieked with delight
in policecars for committing no crime but their
own wild cooking pederasty and intoxication,
who howled on their knees in the subway and were
dragged off the roof waving genitals and manu-
who let themselves be fucked in the ass by saintly
motorcyclists, and screamed with joy,
who blew and were blown by those human seraphim,
the sailors, caresses of Atlantic and Caribbean
who balled in the morning in the evenings in rose
gardens and the grass of public parks and
cemeteries scattering their semen freely to
whomever come who may,

who hiccuped endlessly trying to giggle but wound up
with a sob behind a partition in a Turkish Bath
when the blond & naked angel came to pierce
them with a sword,
who lost their loveboys to the three old shrews of fate
the one eyed shrew of the heterosexual dollar
the one eyed shrew that winks out of the womb
and the one eyed shrew that does nothing but
sit on her ass and snip the intellectual golden
threads of the craftsman's loom,
who copulated ecstatic and insatiate with a bottle of
beer a sweetheart a package of cigarettes a can-
dle and fell off the bed, and continued along
the floor and down the hall and ended fainting
on the wall with a vision of ultimate cunt and
come eluding the last gyzym of consciousness,
who sweetened the snatches of a million girls trembling
in the sunset, and were red eyed in the morning
but prepared to sweeten the snatch of the sun
rise, flashing buttocks under barns and naked
in the lake,
who went out whoring through Colorado in myriad
stolen night-cars, N.C., secret hero of these
poems, cocksman and Adonis of Denver-joy
to the memory of his innumerable lays of girls
in empty lots & diner backyards, moviehouses'
rickety rows, on mountaintops in caves or with
gaunt waitresses in familiar roadside lonely pet-
ticoat upliftings & especially secret gas-station
solipsisms of johns, & hometown alleys too,
who faded out in vast sordid movies, were shifted in
dreams, woke on a sudden Manhattan, and
picked themselves up out of basements hung
over with heartless Tokay and horrors of Third
Avenue iron dreams & stumbled to unemploy-
ment offices,
who walked all night with their shoes full of blood on
the snowbank docks waiting for a door in the
East River to open to a room full of steamheat
and opium,
who created great suicidal dramas on the apartment
cliff-banks of the Hudson under the wartime
blue floodlight of the moon & their heads shall
be crowned with laurel in oblivion,
who ate the lamb stew of the imagination or digested
the crab at the muddy bottom of the rivers of
who wept at the romance of the streets with their
pushcarts full of onions and bad music,
who sat in boxes breathing in the darkness under the
bridge, and rose up to build harpsichords in
their lofts,

who coughed on the sixth floor of Harlem crowned
with flame under the tubercular sky surrounded
by orange crates of theology,
who scribbled all night rocking and rolling over lofty
incantations which in the yellow morning were
stanzas of gibberish,
who cooked rotten animals lung heart feet tail borsht
& tortillas dreaming of the pure vegetable
who plunged themselves under meat trucks looking for
an egg,
who threw their watches off the roof to cast their ballot
for Eternity outside of Time, & alarm clocks
fell on their heads every day for the next decade,
who cut their wrists three times successively unsuccess-
fully, gave up and were forced to open antique
stores where they thought they were growing
old and cried,
who were burned alive in their innocent flannel suits
on Madison Avenue amid blasts of leaden verse
& the tanked-up clatter of the iron regiments
of fashion & the nitroglycerine shrieks of the
fairies of advertising & the mustard gas of sinis-
ter intelligent editors, or were run down by the
drunken taxicabs of Absolute Reality,

who jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge this actually hap-
pened and walked away unknown and forgotten
into the ghostly daze of Chinatown soup alley
ways & firetrucks, not even one free beer,
who sang out of their windows in despair, fell out of
the subway window, jumped in the filthy Pas-
saic, leaped on negroes, cried all over the street,
danced on broken wineglasses barefoot smashed
phonograph records of nostalgic European
1930s German jazz finished the whiskey and
threw up groaning into the bloody toilet, moans
in their ears and the blast of colossal steam
who barreled down the highways of the past journeying
to each other's hotrod-Golgotha jail-solitude
watch or Birmingham jazz incarnation,
who drove crosscountry seventytwo hours to find out
if I had a vision or you had a vision or he had
a vision to find out Eternity,
who journeyed to Denver, who died in Denver, who
came back to Denver & waited in vain, who
watched over Denver & brooded & loned in
Denver and finally went away to find out the
Time, & now Denver is lonesome for her heroes,

who fell on their knees in hopeless cathedrals praying
for each other's salvation and light and breasts,
until the soul illuminated its hair for a second,
who crashed through their minds in jail waiting for
impossible criminals with golden heads and the
charm of reality in their hearts who sang sweet
blues to Alcatraz,
who retired to Mexico to cultivate a habit, or Rocky
Mount to tender Buddha or Tangiers to boys
or Southern Pacific to the black locomotive or
Harvard to Narcissus to Woodlawn to the
daisychain or grave,
who demanded sanity trials accusing the radio of hyp
notism & were left with their insanity & their
hands & a hung jury,
who threw potato salad at CCNY lecturers on Dadaism
and subsequently presented themselves on the
granite steps of the madhouse with shaven heads
and harlequin speech of suicide, demanding in-
stantaneous lobotomy,
and who were given instead the concrete void of insulin
Metrazol electricity hydrotherapy psycho-
therapy occupational therapy pingpong &
who in humorless protest overturned only one symbolic
pingpong table, resting briefly in catatonia,

returning years later truly bald except for a wig of
blood, and tears and fingers, to the visible mad
man doom of the wards of the madtowns of the
Pilgrim State's Rockland's and Greystone's foetid
halls, bickering with the echoes of the soul, rock-
ing and rolling in the midnight solitude-bench
dolmen-realms of love, dream of life a night-
mare, bodies turned to stone as heavy as the
with mother finally ******, and the last fantastic book
flung out of the tenement window, and the last
door closed at 4. A.M. and the last telephone
slammed at the wall in reply and the last fur-
nished room emptied down to the last piece of
mental furniture, a yellow paper rose twisted
on a wire hanger in the closet, and even that
imaginary, nothing but a hopeful little bit of
ah, Carl, while you are not safe I am not safe, and
now you're really in the total animal soup of
and who therefore ran through the icy streets obsessed
with a sudden flash of the alchemy of the use
of the ellipse the catalog the meter & the vibrat-
ing plane,

who dreamt and made incarnate gaps in Time & Space
through images juxtaposed, and trapped the
archangel of the soul between 2 visual images
and joined the elemental verbs and set the noun
and dash of consciousness together jumping
with sensation of Pater Omnipotens Aeterna
to recreate the syntax and measure of poor human
prose and stand before you speechless and intel-
ligent and shaking with shame, rejected yet con-
fessing out the soul to conform to the rhythm
of thought in his naked and endless head,
the madman bum and angel beat in Time, unknown,
yet putting down here what might be left to say
in time come after death,
and rose reincarnate in the ghostly clothes of jazz in
the goldhorn shadow of the band and blew the
suffering of America's naked mind for love into
an eli eli lamma lamma sabacthani saxophone
cry that shivered the cities down to the last radio
with the absolute heart of the poem of life butchered
out of their own bodies good to eat a thousand


What sphinx of cement and aluminum bashed open
their skulls and ate up their brains and imagi-
Moloch! Solitude! Filth! Ugliness! Ashcans and unob
tainable dollars! Children screaming under the
stairways! Boys sobbing in armies! Old men
weeping in the parks!
Moloch! Moloch! Nightmare of Moloch! Moloch the
loveless! Mental Moloch! Moloch the heavy
judger of men!
Moloch the incomprehensible prison! Moloch the
crossbone soulless jailhouse and Congress of
sorrows! Moloch whose buildings are judgment!
Moloch the vast stone of war! Moloch the stun-
ned governments!
Moloch whose mind is pure machinery! Moloch whose
blood is running money! Moloch whose fingers
are ten armies! Moloch whose breast is a canni-
bal dynamo! Moloch whose ear is a smoking
Moloch whose eyes are a thousand blind windows!
Moloch whose skyscrapers stand in the long
streets like endless Jehovahs! Moloch whose fac-
tories dream and croak in the fog! Moloch whose
smokestacks and antennae crown the cities!

Moloch whose love is endless oil and stone! Moloch
whose soul is electricity and banks! Moloch
whose poverty is the specter of genius! Moloch
whose fate is a cloud of sexless hydrogen!
Moloch whose name is the Mind!
Moloch in whom I sit lonely! Moloch in whom I dream
Angels! Crazy in Moloch! Cocksucker in
Moloch! Lacklove and manless in Moloch!
Moloch who entered my soul early! Moloch in whom
I am a consciousness without a body! Moloch
who frightened me out of my natural ecstasy!
Moloch whom I abandon! Wake up in Moloch!
Light streaming out of the sky!
Moloch! Moloch! Robot apartments! invisible suburbs!
skeleton treasuries! blind capitals! demonic
industries! spectral nations! invincible mad
houses! granite cocks! monstrous bombs!
They broke their backs lifting Moloch to Heaven! Pave-
ments, trees, radios, tons! lifting the city to
Heaven which exists and is everywhere about
Visions! omens! hallucinations! miracles! ecstasies!
gone down the American river!
Dreams! adorations! illuminations! religions! the whole
boatload of sensitive bullshit!

Breakthroughs! over the river! flips and crucifixions!
gone down the flood! Highs! Epiphanies! De-
spairs! Ten years' animal screams and suicides!
Minds! New loves! Mad generation! down on
the rocks of Time!
Real holy laughter in the river! They saw it all! the
wild eyes! the holy yells! They bade farewell!
They jumped off the roof! to solitude! waving!
carrying flowers! Down to the river! into the


Carl Solomon! I'm with you in Rockland
where you're madder than I am
I'm with you in Rockland
where you must feel very strange
I'm with you in Rockland
where you imitate the shade of my mother
I'm with you in Rockland
where you've murdered your twelve secretaries
I'm with you in Rockland
where you laugh at this invisible humor
I'm with you in Rockland
where we are great writers on the same dreadful
I'm with you in Rockland
where your condition has become serious and
is reported on the radio
I'm with you in Rockland
where the faculties of the skull no longer admit
the worms of the senses
I'm with you in Rockland
where you drink the tea of the breasts of the
spinsters of Utica
I'm with you in Rockland
where you pun on the bodies of your nurses the
harpies of the Bronx

I'm with you in Rockland
where you scream in a straightjacket that you're
losing the game of the actual pingpong of the
I'm with you in Rockland
where you bang on the catatonic piano the soul
is innocent and immortal it should never die
ungodly in an armed madhouse
I'm with you in Rockland
where fifty more shocks will never return your
soul to its body again from its pilgrimage to a
cross in the void
I'm with you in Rockland
where you accuse your doctors of insanity and
plot the Hebrew socialist revolution against the
fascist national Golgotha
I'm with you in Rockland
where you will split the heavens of Long Island
and resurrect your living human Jesus from the
superhuman tomb
I'm with you in Rockland
where there are twenty-five-thousand mad com-
rades all together singing the final stanzas of
the Internationale

I'm with you in Rockland
where we hug and kiss the United States under
our bedsheets the United States that coughs all
night and won't let us sleep
I'm with you in Rockland
where we wake up electrified out of the coma
by our own souls' airplanes roaring over the
roof they've come to drop angelic bombs the
hospital illuminates itself imaginary walls col-
lapse O skinny legions run outside O starry
spangled shock of mercy the eternal war is
here O victory forget your underwear we're
I'm with you in Rockland
in my dreams you walk dripping from a sea-
journey on the highway across America in tears
to the door of my cottage in the Western night

Dick Mac Recommends:

Howl and Other Poems
Allen Ginsberg