Thursday, September 23, 2004

The President, the U.N. and Iraq

To: letters@nytimes.com
Re: The President, the U.N. and Iraq

Letter writer John E. Colbert states, "(Mr. Bush) is either utterly incompetent in his inability to understand the fundamental reasoning flaw in his standard defense of the war, or he assumes that much of the electorate is."

Bush rightly assumes that much of the electorate is incapable of logical thinking. He's not as stupid as he pretends to be. In an anti-intellectual society with the worst educational system in the developed world, what else can anyone expect?

Friday, September 17, 2004

Who answers the phone?

The hyper-rational part of my brain thinks that Bush ought to be re-elected because America is so dangerous that the world's only hope is in weakening its power, and four more years of Bush will guarantee the long-lasting isolation of the "sole superpower."

The emotional part of me can't stand the thought of the bastard winning.

There's an interesting new column about polls by Jimmy Breslin: Making call on sham of political polling. I have wondered for years how telephone polls could be accurate when they include only people willing to talk to strangers. I use answering machines and never talk to anybody I don't know. Breslin brings up something I'd never thought about: people who use only cell phones, which are not accessible to pollsters at all. In fact, I know one of these people, a young teacher I work with. A couple of months ago she asked me whether she should vote here (California) or in her home state (Pennsylvania), and I told her that a vote in Pennsylvania is worth much more. There is no possibility that a pollster has ever asked her about her intentions.

At any rate, the Gallup/CNN/USA Today polls have gotten so bad that no one can possibly be taking them seriously. Zogby doesn't use phones, and the September 7 Zogby poll (taken when Bush still had a 12-point lead according to most of the others) produces an electoral vote count of Bush 231, Kerry 307.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

More from Bob Fink - too disheartened to write anything myself

This individual seeks an executive position.
He will be available next January, and is willing to relocate.

RESUME

GEORGE W. BUSH
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20520


EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE:

Education:
- - - - - - -

Law Enforcement:

I was arrested in Kennebunkport, Maine, in 1976 for driving under the influence of alcohol. I pled guilty, paid a fine, and had my driver's license suspended for 30 days. My Texas driving record has been "lost" and is not available.

Military:

I joined the Texas Air National Guard and went AWOL. I refused to take a drug test or answer any questions about my drug use. By joining the Texas Air National Guard, I was able to avoid combat duty in Vietnam.

College:

I graduated from Yale University with a low C
average. I was a cheerleader.

PAST WORK EXPERIENCE:

I ran for U.S. Congress and lost. I began my career in the oil business in Midland, Texas, in 1975.
I bought an oil company, but couldn't find any oil in Texas. The company went bankrupt shortly after I sold all my stock. I bought the Texas Rangers baseball team in a sweetheart deal that took land using taxpayer money. With the help of my father and our friends in the oil industry (including Enron CEO Ken Lay), I was elected governor of Texas.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS AS GOVERNOR OF TEXAS:

I changed Texas pollution laws to favor power and oil companies, making Texas the most polluted state in the Union. During my tenure, Houston replaced Los Angeles as the most smog-ridden city in America.

I cut taxes and bankrupted the Texas treasury to the tune of billions in borrowed money.

I set the record for the most executions by any governor in American history.

With the help of my brother, the governor of Florida, and my father's appointments to the Supreme Court, I became President after losing by over 500,000 votes.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS AS PRESIDENT:

I am the first President in U.S. history to enter office with a criminal record.

I invaded and occupied two countries at a continuing cost of over one billion dollars per week.

I spent the U.S. surplus and effectively bankrupted the U.S. Treasury.

I shattered the record for the largest annual deficit in U.S. history.

I set an economic record for most private bankruptcies filed in any 12-month period.

I set the all-time record for most foreclosures in a 12-month period.

I set the all-time record for the biggest drop in the history of the U.S. stock market. In my first year in office, over 2 million Americans lost their jobs and that trend continues every month.

I'm proud that the members of my cabinet are the richest of any administration in U.S.
history. My "poorest millionaire," Condoleeza Rice, has a Chevron oil tanker named after her.

I set the record for most campaign fund- raising trips by a U.S. President.

I am the all-time U.S. and world record-holder for receiving the most corporate campaign donations.

My largest lifetime campaign contributor, and one of my best friends, Kenneth Lay, presided over the largest corporate bankruptcy fraud in U.S. History, Enron.

My political party used Enron private jets and corporate attorneys to assure my success with the U.S. Supreme Court during my election decision.

I have protected my friends at Enron and Halliburton against investigation or prosecution.
More time and money was spent investigating the Monica Lewinsky affair than has been spent investigating one of the biggest corporate rip-offs in history. I presided over the biggest energy crisis in U.S. history and refused to intervene when corruption involving the oil industry was revealed.

I presided over the highest gasoline prices in U.S. history.

I changed the U.S. policy to allow convicted criminals to be awarded government contracts.

I appointed more convicted criminals to administration than any President in U.S. history.

I created the Ministry of Homeland Security, the largest bureaucracy in the history of the United States government.

I've broken more international treaties than any President in U.S. history.

I am the first President in U.S. history to have the United Nations remove the U.S. from the Human Rights Commission.

I withdrew the U.S. from the World Court of Law.

I refused to allow inspector's access to U.S.
"prisoners of war" detainees and thereby have refused to abide by the Geneva Convention.

I am the first President in history to refuse United Nations election inspectors (during the 2002 U.S.
election).

I set the record for fewest numbers of press conferences of any President since the advent of television.

I set the all-time record for most days on vacation in any one-year period. After taking off the entire month of August, I presided over the worst security failure in U.S. history.

I garnered the most sympathy ever for the U.S.
after the World Trade Center attacks and less than a year later made the U.S. the most hated country in the world, the largest failure of diplomacy in world history.

I have set the all-time record for most people worldwide to simultaneously protest me in public venues (15 million people), shattering the record for protests against any person in the history of humankind.

I am the first President in U.S. history to order an unprovoked, pre-emptive attack and the military occupation of a sovereign nation. I did so against the will of the United Nations, the majority of U.S. citizens, and the world community.

I have cut health care benefits for war veterans and support a cut in duty benefits for active duty troops and their families in wartime.

In my State of the Union Address, I lied about our reasons for attacking Iraq and then blamed the lies on our British friends.

I am the first President in history to have a majority of Europeans (71%) view my presidency as the biggest threat to world peace and security.

I am supporting development of a nuclear "Tactical Bunker Buster," a WMD.

I have so far failed to fulfill my pledge to bring Osama Bin Laden to justice.

RECORDS AND REFERENCES:

All records of my tenure as governor of Texas are now in my father's library, sealed and unavailable for public view.

All records of SEC investigations into my insider trading and my bankrupt companies are sealed in secrecy and unavailable for public view.

All records or minutes from meetings that I, or my Vice-President, attended regarding public energy policy are sealed in secrecy and unavailable for public review.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Guest Commentary by Bob Fink

--- In delian@yahoogroups.com, Greenwich wrote:
My replies interspersed in your text below:

Chad Wozniak wrote:
In re "Arabs from occupied countries": fifteen of the nineteen 9-11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, and three others from Egypt, as I recall; not exactly occupied countries.

There are other forms of occupation besides military occupation, which can undemocratically dictate and coerce the policies that another people will live under. There is also economic occupation, and political occupation. These can do violence to a people, such as causing poverty, disease, pollution, lack of education or hope. The "absentee owner" occupies using the long arm of power if not always the muzzle of a gun.

The Yanks were occupied by Britain in 1776, which enforced laws, taxes ("Taxation without representation is tyranny"), and other policies, and also I mention the occupations in turn of the colonists of aboriginal lands and Native peoples. As has also the Israeli State done to the Palestinians.

The oppressed (Jews and Yanks both) always learn from the oppressor how to do it, don't we?

Well, I view the government of Saudi Arabia as a puppet regime (as was Saddam Hussein's -- where do you think he got the poisons and weaponry so in abundance in Iraq and in the Mid-East? From Greenland?).

The people of Saudi often see their gov't as a tyranny supported by oil folk of the West and the US. They see their *lives* as "occupied." Perhaps we should take a Christian view of it -- when the devil "occupies" your body and mind, it is called "possessed." Far more apt word, especially in terms of economic domination and occupation. They are a *possessed* people.

There is also a sense of solidarity of most Arabs with Palestinians, such as we felt when the Russian children were murdered, that it was an attack upon *all* innocents, whatever country.

For Arabs, it is an attack on all Arabs to oppress the Palestinians with an occupation that follows all the strategies of terror and humiliation learned by Israel from its past Nazi experience (collective punishment, bulldozing homes of relatives, ad nauseum). As Israeli Prime Minister Begin once said, during the siege of Beirut, "this is Berlin, and the PLO are Nazis."

That's a most tragic warp of a sickened mind bent on some kind of psychological "balance" or unfinished business, taken out on whomever is nearest -- as I once suffered when I was eight years old or so.

The gov't of Afghanistan is also a U.S. puppet regime (which controls only Kabul, while the world's supply of crack, heroin or cocaine is contributed to, greater now than ever, from that country's warlords, with no concern to stop it by the Bush admin -- too busy in Iraq.

Want to see real terrorism? Look in the possessed eyes of an addict robbing the liquor or drug store, or mugging you to pay for the next "hit," and ask yourself if you'll live through the robbery by "reasoning" with his/her desperation (perhaps addicted at birth). Of course, not being addicted yourself, "it's the addict's fault" -- not the Afghan suppliers whose occupiers look the other way and shrug.... right?

What other Arab countries are occupied, besides Iraq (if, that is, one admits of that as an occupation) and the West Bank (in re which, one can hardly blame the Israelis for not letting up on people whose only interest in life seems to be in hating and killing Jews)? Would Afghanistan be among those "occupied countries"? one might well say that the Arabs of Afghanistan (i.e., bin Laden's bunch) were occupiERs, not occupiED, with their support of one of history's most counter-human regimes.

As for the cause of these terrible crimes, I would suggest looking at the criminals who commit those crimes - and then at other people who excuse and rationalize those crimes. Everyone has a choice not to do such hideous things...


This shows a lack of logic: How do you explain that terrorists generally come from certain common backgrounds and experiences -- if there's a choice? If it was choice alone, then terrorists would be equally distributed among all populations, among all economic levels, educational backgrounds, gender and nationalities, right? Or do you believe there are "inferior" or "flawed" types of peoples?

Did the Irish have a choice about opposing British occupation? Did George Washington or the minute men have a choice about obeying British "laws" instead of turning to illegal violence against "civilized" Brits? Did slaves have a choice about killing their masters to obtain freedom?

Did your childhood have a choice about which language you'd learn? Or do you think it's "lucky I was born here, because English is the only language I know?" Or choose which religion and creeds you would enter the world learning and adopting, or choose what amount of food and shelter your family could provide?

Or whether you'd learn how to "scalp" your enemies after the colonists taught the Indians how to do it, by doing it first to the Indians by offering money rewards for each Indian head-"pelt"? (The colonists' proclamations to pay for Indian scalps are available in abundance to see.)

Choice is *non-existent* for most people in the world, and if many do not undertake various behaviors, good or bad ones, unlike you, they still recognize choice was not really there. Instead they say: "There but for the grace of god (or luck or birth or circumstances) go I."

But is Chad above such human responses if mistreated long enough to either make your spirit break -- or bite back?

...A huge number, if not a majority, of people probably could claim to be abused and oppressed in some fashion, yet only these few use that as an excuse to commit their crimes.

So again, what's your answer to the same question, asked for the third time? WHY do they want to commit these crimes when others don't? Are you even looking for an explanation? Or is "hating back" just so much easier to do? Is an answer knowable, or is it an eternal mystery?
--Bob

Monday, September 06, 2004

Corn and Coal

Today's lead editorial in The New York Times urges Bush and Kerry to talk about the agricultural subsidy problem: The Candidates' Tariff Dodge. The world of editorial writers seems awfully remote from the world we live in. I wrote this:

To: editorials@nytimes.com
Subject: The Candidates' Tariff Dodge

Of course you're right, theoretically—but I suggest you read this, from page 11 (In an Old Coal Town, the Party Labels Are Faded):

"Kerry scares me," Ms. Bookman said. "I don't trust him." Still, she expressed concern about the Iraq war's drain on the economy. "We shouldn't be over there building them back up because they didn't build our towers back up," she said, suggesting that Iraq was involved in the Sept. 11 attacks, even though no such link has been found.

This election will be won by the candidate who appeals the most to people who are abysmally ignorant. Like it or not, that is the reality.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Prescience from me

To: books@nytimes.com
Subject: The Wrath of Wieseltier

Leon Wieseltier replies to letter-writer Jim Sleeper that he "firmly believed that there were weapons of mass destruction in the hands of a tyrant who had already used them. (Did Sleeper know that Hussein was bluffing? Then it was shameful of him to keep the information to himself.)"

Saddam denied having WMD in the years leading up to the invasion, so can hardly be accused of "bluffing." And many people, myself included, knew he didn't have them. (I knew because I habitually read commentary and analysis in several languages.) "Keep the information to himself"? In March 2003 I sent a letter to the Los Angeles Times that included the following. Of course it wasn't published. No newspaper in this country would have printed it.

To: letters@latimes.com
Subject: Bush and Iraq

When the U.S. invades Iraq, there will be no weapons of mass destruction. The entire Iraqi population will simply go home. Everyone capable of using an AK-47 will have one, and the resulting bloodbath will spill over into neighboring countries, eventually ending American supremacy in the world.

All this began when the U.S. Supreme Court subverted democracy by making George W. Bush President.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Four More Years

My website runs automatically-generated ads provided by a well-known source. (The well-known source is extremely fussy about its TOS, so will remain unnamed.) One of the site's pages, a list of my husband's compositions for solo organ, contains about 20 occurrences of the word Christ, as in 'Light of Christ' and 'Path of Christ.' John means Maitreya, not Jesus, but robots don't know that, so at first I got lots of ads for televangelists, millennialists and other riffraff, which I promptly excluded. Yesterday there was one for George W. Bush, and I've never rushed to the blocked advertiser's list so fast.

On the other hand, I'm coming to agree with John. Four more years of Bushian disaster is exactly what this country deserves. Kerry wouldn't be able to accomplish much anyway, and if he is elected there will be widespread anger and disillusionment when he can't keep his promises.

In a very few years China's economy will be bigger than that of the U.S. A Malaysian diplomat said a few days ago that his country was forging closer ties with China because of mutual concerns: "We both have to protect ourselves from the United States."

I think that the decline of the American empire is now irreversible.