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While We Still Have Time

In spite of the grimness of the times in which we live, there is still hope. If you feel, like I do, that the usual discourse about matters of critical concern tends to be superficial, misguided, and false, then you might find some solace and inspiration here. I will try to offer insight and a holistic perspective on events and issues, and hopefully serve as a catalyst for raising the level of dialogue on this planet.

My Photo
Location: Madison, Wisconsin, United States

I was born in 1945, shortly before atom bombs were dropped on Japan. I served in the U.S. Army from 1968 to 1971. I earned master's degrees in Economics and Educational Psychology, and certificates in Web Page Design and as a Teacher of English as a Second Language. I followed an Indian guru for eight years, which immersed me in meditative practices and an attitude of reaching a higher level of being. A blog post listing the meditative practices I have pursued can be seen here.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Image over substance

Shower at Patton Barracks, Heidelberg, Germany, 1971The picture at right is of a shower stall in an Army barracks in Germany in 1971. This was not at some remote outpost like Baumholder, but in Patton Barracks, in Heidelberg, the headquarters of the U.S. Army in Europe (USAREUR). I was stationed there, and had to use this shower. It was a balancing act, and if I stood the wrong way, the unsteady pan would tip over. If conditions like this existed in the headquarters, it can only be imagined what they were like in the boonies. It is also likely that conditions were and are better in "American" prisons.

What reminded me of this indignity was the investigative report by Dana Priest and Anne Hull of the Washington Post, in which they revealed the conditions wounded soldiers are experiencing at the Walter Reed Army Hospital in “Washington, D.C.” The conditions at Walter Reed are much worse than what existed at Patton Barracks, and I was not wounded, but the pattern is familiar.

Join the Army and get out of debtPublic image. In a world of infinite resources, the wounded soldiers would be properly cared for, and Patton Barracks would have had adequate bathing facilities. In the actual world, resources are scarce, and are allocated according to priorities. In the military, a top priority is public relations. It used to be preparing for and fighting wars, and that still is a high priority, but more important nowadays is public perception, and its derivative, recruiting. Thus, there are advertising campaigns on TV, in magazines, and in newspapers. The Army even sponsors a high school all-star football game.

That isn't the only factor. I'm sure there are plenty of people at the bottom level at Walter Reed who are disgusted at the conditions there. A few of them probably complained to “superiors.” But the driving factor in the administration of health care in the military is bureaucracy - the movement of paper. As paper moves “up the line,” it gets sifted, neglected, and lost in the shuffle. Also, at every level, someone in a bureaucratic capacity has to make a decision. The more remote the mover of paper is from the soldier enduring neglect and hardship, the easier it is to ignore and reject the complaint.

So now the Army has a public relations disaster, at just the time when the Commander in Chief needs all the public relations help he can get in order to start his next war. If this story helps to stop the Bush criminal organization in its reckless bloodlust, then the sacrifices of these brave soldiers will not have been in vain.

For more information about the Walter Reed scandal, click here.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

A reminiscence

Map of IranIn my first time around in graduate school in the early '70s I got to know a number of students from “Iran.” (For those not used to my writing, I put the names of countries and other entities in quotes, because they are assumed names, arbitrary ascriptions given by men, and subject to change, as we are now finding out with "Iraq.") I enjoyed their good humor, their easy facility and sense of perspective on the “dismal science” of Economics, and their knowledge of world affairs. I especially was impressed with their dedication to the future of their homeland, and their commitment to ending the reign of the brutal “U.S.”-installed dictator, Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi.

An “Iranian” friend came to me one day with a letter he wrote for the school paper, rebuking a campus administrator for his glowing praise of a visiting official from Mashad University. The letter revealed that the visitor was a Shah appointee or collaborator, and that the rosy picture he painted of academic freedom in “Iran” was a lie. My friend, who later would become a high official in the “Iranian” revolutionary government, wanted me to sign my name to the letter, because he feared the “Iranian” secret police, the”Savak,” would have him deported back to “Iran,” where he would certainly be tortured to death. The “Savak” was very active in the “United States,” spying on “Iranian” students, and reporting on them to the “authorities” back home.

I told him I would write my own letter, based on what he wrote. I did, in my usual irreverent style. It got printed, and caused a bit of a stir on campus, particularly within the administration. It also gained me the great thanks of the “Iranian” students, and I was invited to their annual dinner, which I believe was the celebration of No Ruz or Nowrooz, the “Iranian” New Year. I was something of a guest of honor, and can't remember a time when I felt more honored. It also was my first experience of Middle Eastern food, and I loved it: spicy yogurt, pita bread, falafel, and a vegetable dish I don't remember, probably tabouli. After the dinner there were music, dance, and dramatic performances, including anti-Shah skits by students with paper bags over their heads to disguise their identities.

I remained close to my “Iranian” friends for the rest of my time in school, but once I left, never saw or heard from any of them again. Throughout my life I have made many fresh starts, and have left the past behind without looking back. But never forgetting.

Now the Bush criminal regime is planning to bomb and/or invade “Iran,” motivated primarily, I believe, for purposes of concentrating their power, and also to deflect the building legal case for impeachment and other legal prosecutions for the many crimes of the last six years. The memories of my old friendships have been revived, and I am reminded of their anger and fear of the “United States” government that had for so long supported the oppression of their friends, neighbors, relatives, and fellow citizens.

It’s all completely crazy. The major “U.S.” media have been involved in giving Bush propaganda cover, similar to what they did in the buildup to the invasion and occupation of “Iraq.” It is different this time, because the media are under continuous pressure, exposure, criticism, debunking, ridicule, and, most of all, competition. The Internet is proving to be the greatest source of pressure and competition, and the momentum for bombing “Iran” is continually having to restart, build up, and get knocked down again. If this continues for much longer, Bush and his gang may have to give up their scheme and dedicate their energies full-force to fending off prosecution.

This is where the situation stands at this juncture. The latest Bush propaganda effort, to blame the “Iranians” for the “explosively formed projectiles (EFP)” has failed. Kurt Nimmo contends that the devices are actually made in America. It is likely, since Bush says they were made in “Iran,” and Bush is a liar. Not someone who lies, but a liar. A liar is someone who lies whenever he speaks. Bush lies whenever he speaks.

What I would like to add to the discussion about “Iran” is a bit of the human side of the country the Bush crime family is hoping to bomb, invade, and dominate. “Iran” is the name for a large area on this planet. It is the former “Persia,” a civilization that existed long before the idea of the “United States” was ever dreamed up. The area of “Iran” is populated by 68,688,433 human beings. They live in houses, apartments, and probably a variety of other types of abode. They have families, jobs, hopes for the future, and fears of annihilation. Their bodies are made primarily of oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus - just like ours. They mostly believe in a higher level of being, just like most “Americans” do. They call their higher being “Allah.” We call ours “God.” I can say from personal experience that they have great senses of humor, are very smart, they love the freedoms that the founding fathers of "America" instituted, and they have much to give to world civilization. They should not be bombed by the Bush criminal organization or its proxies.

There is a nasty element in this country that relishes the thought of obliterating “other” people on this planet. They have a lust for murder, a lust for power, and a lust for the wealth and resources of “others.” They lie, browbeat, condemn, attack, revile, shout, threaten, ridicule, and whatever else they can conjure up to generate hatred and violence towards “others.” The “others” are “foreigners” of any kind, with the enemy du jour moving from “Arabs” to “Mexicans,” and from “French” to “Iranians.” Domestically the enemy du jour moves from “homosexuals” to “blacks,” from “liberals” to “feminists,” “Jews” to “Democrats,” and from “Hollywood” to “Boston.” They also have attempted to demonize relatives of the victims of the September 11 attacks, and to ridicule victims of the Indian Ocean Tsunami of 2004.

The loudest voices of this incitement to violence are the radio and television personalities Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, and Glenn Beck. Among the “Christian” fulminators there are Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, and the “God hates fags” fanatic Fred Phelps. There are many imitators on a smaller scale all over the country. If there truly is a Hell, that is where these people are headed. They are bad for “America,” bad for the planet, bad for themselves, and just plain bad human beings.

By themselves these people are not very interesting. What is interesting is the support they have from “ordinary” people all over the country. People who should know better. They can be forgiven to a certain degree because they have been duped by seemingly powerful, credible people, but still the gullible should know better. If you fall for the lies and hatred of Hannity, O’Reilly, and Limbaugh, then you are either an idiot or someone who is a criminal at heart.

More reprehensible, though, are the media companies and their executives who put these people on the air and publish their insidious books. For money, for relative status, for ego-gratification, and for other gratifications, these prostitutes of human discourse have defiled the public forum. They are worse than the people they employ, and of course can expect the same fate.

We all die. Some consequence to our lives happens to us all. Every religion or “wisdom tradition” professes a belief that we reap what we have sown in our short time on the physical plane. None of us at this level can say with certainty what fate will befall the fomenters of hatred who are proliferating like rats in the sewers.

We can surmise, though. For instance, it is a safe surmise that the inciters to the bombing and/or invasion of “Iran” will attain the eternity they so eagerly wish for those they hate. The same can be surmised for the planners and implementers of the bombing and/or invasion. I don’t know what my next assignment will be when my time here is over, but I’m sure glad I’m not them.

For a slide show of “Iran,” click here. It has a soundtrack.

For a little light reading on the background of the planned attack on “Iran,” click here.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

More things that never see the light of day - until now

As I am wont to do, I fired off a barrage of emails and comments to various news programs and websites this past week. On Tuesday I watched the Frontline documentary on PBS, "News War." It was an odd juxtaposition of experiences, since I had just come home from seeing "Borat" at the local cheapie theater. It wasn't the movie I wanted to see, but it was the one I could squeeze in. I didn't like "Borat" much, but it had its moments, like the scene at the evangelical mega-church. Priceless, certainly worth the three dollars I spent.

But I digress. Seeing "Frontline" immediately after "Borat" put some aspects of the show in relief. If you read some of the comments to the show, you might get the idea that the interviewer, Lowell Bergman, wasn't tough enough. What would be easy to miss, though, was that Bergman, in his relaxed style, got people talking, and they revealed more of their tone and attitude than they would have liked to. We can always expect people in Washington to spin, posture, mislead, and manipulate. As a Reggae artist once told me, it's what is in between the lines (he actually said it's what you don't play) that matters. Below is my comment to the show, which didn't make the final cut. It's OK. When you refer to the President of the United States as a criminal you can expect to be ignored. Also, my rendition of speaking in tongues could have been trimmed down a bit. It's kind of hard when you're speaking in tongues to edit. Bombababombabombabombombababom bababombabadangadangdang babadingadongdingbluemoon.

Anyway, part two of "News War." is on this Tuesday. It will be worth the watch. If there is a cheapie theater near you, "Borat" might still be playing. See it first, and you will be primed.

To: Frontline
Date: February 14, 2007
Subject: The stupid capital of the universe

It took a while for my intuition about this show to gel, but the beauty of it finally became clear. Seemingly about the protection of the rights of "journalists," what the program actually depicted was the near-complete amorality and ethical vacuum that is Washington, D.C., and the "players" therein.

Though it would be easy to pick Judith Miller as the poster-child of this amorality, it is Bob Woodward who stands out the most. To him, the revelation of a CIA agent's identity is insignificant, as is the wrongness of his affirmation of the Bush regime's lies about Iraq's supposed weapons of mass destruction. Now, thousands of lives destroyed and utter chaos in Iraq later, there is no repentence among the media celebrities. They were just wrong. Tomorrow's another day.

What matters to these people is their relative positions in the chessboard (or really checkerboard) that is Washington, D.C. More specifically, what matters to them is their own egos. They are under the delusion that they are bigger than the stories they cover, bigger than the people affected by their pretensions, and bigger than Planet Earth. Ahh, the glory of it all!

Frontline scored a coup. It's kind of like "Borat," letting people be themselves, and watching them show themselves for what they really are. When Bob Woodward is speaking in tongues, speak tongues along with him, and you get more than you bargained for. Hullabaloo baladoodlidoo - integrity - igidiwaddledoopdedoopdedoop - ethics -
rammalammalammalammadingdong ooheeooahahtingtangwallawallabingbang - sources - dipdipdipdipdipdipmmmmm getajobsonnananasonnananana.

We have a criminal for a president, and these people have enabled him. Therefore, they are criminals. No amount of placement on the chessboard of Washington, D.C., stupid capital of the universe, can change that.

Here are a few other screeds sent to various online newspapers and websites:

To: The Washington Post
Date: February 17, 2007
Subject: Standards of honor and decency

I was reading a bit of Glenn Greenwald, and it made me wonder what the editorial staff at the Washington Post is planning in response. I have found David Broder pretty odious for years, partly from reading his column in syndication, and partly from seeing him on TV shows like Washington Week. He is one of those practiced "wise men" who have all the wisdom of a Paul Shanley, and even has the manner of a priest.

As long as the Washington Post has people like David Broder in its employ it will serve in the role of propaganda organ for the Bush criminal regime. It will be harder for the paper to maintain its readership in such a circumstance, and it will be harder to retain its real journalists. The remaining few will be the likes of Broder, Bob Woodward, and ______ (fill in the blank).

This era will end. The collaborators with the Bush criminal regime may or may not be held accountable for their enabling, but the relatively few pieces of silver and honor among thieves they have gleaned will not be much comfort. It will not be much fun being in the company of David Broder, Bob Woodward, and ______ (fill in the blank).

To: The SMU Daily Campus
Subject: The George W. Bush memorial library
Date: February 1, 2007

I spent a couple of summers of my youth in Dallas (read about it here), staying with relatives in Highland Park, not far from SMU. I liked Dallas, and was impressed with the university, its buildings, and its traditions. Of course then SMU was a national football power too, and their star running back Billy Gannon (I think) was a lifeguard at the nearby pool.

A few years later President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, giving the city a distinction that few would want. Now SMU is considering the indignity of being the home of the George W. Bush presidential library. It is one thing to go willingly into being a national laughingstock, but the legacy of George W. Bush will be one of criminality, incompetence, negligence and deception. A library in his name will be an irony that Shakespeare would envy. George Bush would appreciate the irony, having read "three Shakespeares" while on vacation. For SMU, the irony may not be such an honor.

To: The Daily Australian
Date: Thursday, February 15, 2007
Subject: Time's a wastin'

I found this site on a simple Google search, using the names Barack Obama and John Howard. I wanted to see how the little dustup between the two public servants is playing out in Australia. As here, it's predictable, along "ideological" lines. I put "ideological" in quotes because the "ideology" is always secondary to the psychology. Like "conservatives," I don't particularly like "liberals." Unlike "conservatives," I don't like "conservatives" either. To a man and woman, they are frauds. I have known many. Underlying the "belief system" is a core of narcissism, antisocial personality disorder, greed, and insecurity.

John Howard fits perfectly into this personality disorder, and his bluff was easily called by Barack Obama. I don't necessarily support Obama for president, but it is refreshing how easily he distpatches "conservative" blowhards.

As far as the threatened manhood of war zealots is concerned, put your "manhood" where your mouths are. Instead of repeating the vicarious war thrill that resulted in Gallipoli, go to Iraq yourselves. There are plenty of opportunities for the masculine and courageous to prove yourselves worthy of honor and reproductive gratification. And who better to lead you than John Howard, man among men? How about it? You could call your contingent the John Howard Brigade, volunteers for the fatherland. History could be made! Time's a wastin'.

Posted on: Smirking Chimp
Feb 18 2007

Thinking outside the box

All the old methods of stopping the two occupations and the next war are still useful, but we need a few new ones. One I would like to recommend is what I call the corporate project. Key corporate leaders or boards of directors can be approached and enlightened on the dangers to their bottom lines should George W. Bush start another war.

The first corporation to be approached should be Microsoft. It's a major player and profit-maker. Apple of course is an obvious other.

Since a disruption in the oil supply will likely send the economy into a depression, large financial corporations like Goldman-Sachs, Citigroup, Bank One, Chase, American Express, and others can be shown the way, the truth, and the light.

In the civil rights movement and the antiwar movement there were different dynamics than there are today. They involved large sectors of the society against each other. Now we have a criminal regime that has seized control of the Federal government, and is hyping up another war in order to escape responsibility for the previous one(s). The dwindling support for this criminal regime is now confined to other criminals and religious fanatics. These are not constituencies that would tend to be sensitive to protest or civil disobedience.

"Leftists" are unable to see the world in any other terms than "left" and "right," and are thus limited to actions that are within that perspective. "Left" and "right" are metaphors. They are not physical reality. They are models of reality, and outdated ones at that. If we are unable to see beyond "left" and "right," then we will fail to stop this war. I have been writing about this consistently for the last 7+ years, and the usual response is no response, which fits perfectly with our national pattern of passive aggression as a means of human interaction.

In other words, the problem we face is holistic. It is not merely George W. Bush. He is just the front man, the face of our national personality. It should be easy to overcome the Bush criminal regime. If we get another chance, we could get someone smarter, more devious, more charismatic, and more ruthless. He will come from us, as did George W. Bush.

Posted on: Smirking Chimp
Date: Feb 17 2007

Broadening the perspective

Just for a little perspective, the corporation is an ad hoc phenomenon, specific to mass culture. Everything that has a beginning has an end. The day of the corporation will end.

One thing that should be understood about corporations is that they are collections of individuals, each trying to "succeed" within the context of the organization. The corporation does not have an existence independent of the individuals that make it up, but depends on their compiance and advancement of the goals of the organization, which are decided by the emergence of individual initiatives within the corporate culture.

External to the corporation is the natural environment, the ecological life support for mankind, the human capital of corporations. As we are seeing with Global Warming, the natural environment does not depend on corporations in order to support life, but the corporations depend on the natural environment. As a time variable, the degradation of the environment will outweigh the progressive domination by corporations.

So the future will be different, something that should be obvious. Everything exists within its cultural and historical context. Twenty five years ago Wal-Mart was an unknown. Before 1975 Microsoft did not exist. Twenty five years from now many things will be very different from what exists now. There will be less oil. The melting of the Polar ice caps and glaciers, among other things, will have wrought great changes.
We can plan for these changes, and plan for the demise of corporations. They are not all-powerful. They are not God. With a bit of genius, something mankind has had throughout its history, ways can be found to put an end to the corporate state. The first step is confidence. Just knowing about what corporations do is pretty meaningless.

Posted on: Smirking Chimp
Date: February 9, 2007

Idiot wind

"Life's but a walking shadow; a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more: it is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." - Shakespeare, Hamlet. The current idiot who will be heard no more is Bill Donohue. Like the doomesday clock, he is at about 2 minutes to midnight.

I grew up "Catholic," even graduated from a "Catholic" college. It was a good preparation for critical thinking, independence, and freedom from "Catholicism." It should be kept in mind that "Catholicism" was started by men, and that it will have an end. The end will come as it becomes increasingly irrelevant to people's lives. It depends for its existence on the control it has over the psyches of its followers, exercised through fear, manipulation, intimidation, and threat of "excommunication." The decline began long before the sex abuse scandals. For just one example, in my senior year in high school a priest attacked a student in class, and got himself slammed against a blackboard, to universal delight. It was 1963.

Another thing to keep in mind, something "leftists" have a really hard time with, is that blowhard grandstanders of any stripe are just blowhard grandstanders. It isn't the belief that matters, it's the attention. It's easier to be a blowhard grandstander in the "Irish" "Catholic" tradition because of its history of authoritarianism, alcoholism, and violence.

If there is one thing the human race will have learned when this era is over it will be that we don't have the option of being such louts. Bill Donahue wouldn't even merit a listen in an intelligent society. The way things are going, the lesson is going to be a very, very hard one.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

A time to grow in strength

One of the things I like to do is read sacred texts like the Bhagavad Gita, the Tao Te Ching, the Bhakti Sutras and others. They put me in instant connection with intuition, otherwise known as the Inner Self, the Atman, the Tao, and the Divine. Chapter 30 of the Tao Te Ching has particular relevance to present day "America:"

He who knows how to guide a ruler in the path of Tao
Does not try to override the world with force of arms
It is in the nature of a military weapon to turn against its wielder

Wherever armies are stationed
thorny bushes grow
After a great war
bad years invariably follow

What you want is to protect efficiently your own state
But not to aim at self-aggrandisement

After you have attained your purpose
You must not parade your success
You must not boast of your ability
You must not feel proud
You must rather regret that you had not
been able to prevent the war
You must never think of conquering others by force

For to be over-developed is to hasten decay
And this is against Tao
And what is against Tao will soon cease to be

Chapter 29 is equally relevant:

Does anyone want to take the world and do what he wants with it?
I do not see how he can succeed

The world is a sacred vessel
which must not be tampered with or grabbed after
To tamper with it is to spoil it
and to grasp it is to lose it

In fact, for all things
there is a time for going ahead
and a time for following behind
A time for slow-breathing
and a time for fast-breathing
A time to grow in strength
and a time to decay
A time to be up
and a time to be down

Therefore, the Sage avoids all extremes,
excesses and extravagances

I believe it is safe to say that the "leaders" of "America" are not following the Tao (pronounced "Dow"). To save themselves from responsibility for their current fiasco, they are now trying to drum up hysteria for a new war, against "Iran" this time.

When George W. Bush lied the nation into invading "Iraq," he had the backing of 90 percent of the "American" people. Flush with triumphalism and a bully mentality, we, as a people, were feverish about "bombing Iraq back to the Stone Age," just as we were feverish about "bombing Afghanistan back to the Stone Age."

Now we are not so feverish. Our jobs are going to China, our climate is going to Hell, our votes are going to Diebold, and our treasury is going to Halliburton. We are bogged down in an inevitable defeat in "Iraq," and we will be there as long as it serves to protect the Bush criminal regime from being held responsible for its invasion, as well as numerous other crimes. That is, if the Bush criminal regime has its way.

Admonish the sinnerWe would do well to look at the words from the Tao Te Ching above. If your inclination is otherwise, you can read the Bible, the Koran, the Torah, Pope John Paul, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, or Mark Twain.

This is not a time for sitting back and letting pretenders to power destroy our planet. We will pay a dear price for their criminality, but we can at least put an end to their criminal spree, and maybe allow for a future for life on this fragile sphere.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Alternative media

Molly IvinsIt was busy in the news last week. Longtime columnist and social critic Molly Ivins died on January 31. Paul Krugman wrote a great tribute to her in the New York Times, which you can read here. Her last column appears here. A supposedy important event occurred when presidential hopeful Joe Biden made some condescending remarks about rival candidate Barack Obama.

There were other events in the news, notably the growing pressure in the Congress against the planned "surge" in Iraq, and the increased propaganda against Iran. And let's not forget the "Scooter" Libby trial, which is edging closer to the criminality of Dick Cheney. What stood out for me, though, was not the news itself, but the delivery of the news. We depend for our information about the world at large on what is known as the "media," short for mass-information media.

Some of the best information available appears in what is known as the "alternative media" - the Internet, independent publications, radio networks like Pacifica, and syndicated radio, especially Air America and Jones Radio. A good example of the power of alternative media to present images and information ignored by the corporate media are in these two revelations about the "American" practice of torture: Click here and here. Another must read is this.

I rely mainly on a few sources of information: Salon, Smirking Chimp, CounterPunch, and Common Dreams. I get my news from National Public Radio, the BBC, some TV network news, and the News Hour. I listen to a few shows on Madison's "progressive talk" station, WXXM: Stephanie Miller, Al Franken, and the few minutes I can stand of Ed Schultz. Stephanie Miller is my favorite because she is the most entertaining, the liveliest, and her humor is the most biting and unmerciful in its skewering of the mythical "right-wing," especially Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Fox News, Bush, Limbaugh, and Ann Coulter.

That is not to say that any of these shows is above criticism. Below are copies of some of my recent emails to Stephanie Miller, Al Franken, and NPR's Morning Edition. I don't bother with Ed Schultz. He's a blowhard, and a waste of time. He makes a few good points on his show, and has some good guests, but way too full of himself to be affected by dissent.

Stephanie Miller:

To: http://www.stephaniemiller.com/contact/
Date: January 31, 2007

Hi Stephanie

I listened in this morning, but was busy doing other things, so only caught highlights. I was a bit surprised when Sean Hannity called, and you accorded him a certain amount of respect, as if advocacy broadcasting is one big chummy exclusive club.

In case you have forgotten, our invasion of Iraq has caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, the deaths and maiming of many thousand Americans, and the hatred and enmity of much of Planet Earth towards our country. Sean Hannity has served as a hired propagandist and interference runner for the criminal element that foisted this debacle on the world. As such, he is a criminal sociopath, deserving of no respect. He should be in jail, and in years past would be a prime candidate for execution as a traitor. That is, assuming we actually have a functioning system of justice.

But somehow you can say on the air that you like him, and trade mutual admiration quips with him. In contrast, when some of your admiring fans call in, such as the woman named Joy (Her name was actually Flo) today, they get ridiculed. I understand the cutting tongue of the comedian is hard to shut off sometimes, but it seemed to be a bit less sharp when it came to Sean Hannity.

On another note, you might want to expand the role of Chris LaVoie a bit. He argues better than you or Jim. While I don't necessarily agree with some of his stances, he holds his ground, and doesn't get rattled, and doesn't resort to absurdity to defend what he believes. When you have a "right wing" caller or guest, you might want to turn him loose.

As always, I listen because you have the best show on the radio, and often find your humor inspiring. I wouldn't get complacent though. You can easily lose your edge, and going easy on the likes of Sean Hannity is a surefire way to follow down that path.

To: http://www.stephaniemiller.com/content/view/100/104/
Date: February 1, 2007

Hi Stephanie

You can do better than the bipartisanship excuse. Lying, fakery, bombast, bullying, war mongering, making the poor poorer, the rich richer, indefinite detention, torture - these are not the characteristics of a legitimate belief system. They are the characteristics of criminals.

There is not a partisan side of decency versus the criminal side, fighting it out on the forum of ideas. That would make the "sides" of the "argument" equal. You can only believe this if you see the world in terms of what is known as the two-factor paradigm. One "side" versus the "other." It is what keeps the world stuck in stupidity and war.

So, presuming you aren't that dumb, there must be another reason for the Sean Hannity segment. It's not hard to figure out. It's the world of celebrity. It's all the same. The famous scratching each others' backs, mutually reinforcing their shared sense of stardom. The medium is the message. It's all grist for the mill. Once you're in the club, your hands are in each others' pants.

Or, in the immortal words of that great sage Billy Joel, it's all rock 'n roll to thee.

Al Franken:

This first one was on a day when Al Franken was having surgery, and was replaced by Lawrence O'Donnell.

To: http://www.airamerica.com/alfrankenshow/feedback
Date: February 1, 2007

A few points to consider:

1. Molly Ivins died yesterday. So far no mention.

2. Who cares about Joe Biden? You are behaving as if the "horse race" is more important than what the horse race is for. It is the survival of the human species that is important. Pursuant to that survival is removing the criminal Bush regime from office, and bringing them to justice (jail). The candidacy of anyone for president is important only to the degree that it serves the well-being of the planet, and the people who reside within.

3. A successful radio network is able to do the simplest things, like connecting callers to the live broadcast. As anyone in any kind of show business knows, you prepare, rehearse, plan ahead. If this doesn't occur to you, then you will end up finding another line of work.

4. The President of the United States is a sociopathic criminal. Has it occurred to you that this might be a national priority?

Other than that, you're doing a great job.

To: http://www.airamerica.com/alfrankenshow/feedback
Date: February 2, 2007

Hi Al

Good show of heart. If you keep your humanity, you'll always be a positive force.

Anyway, a thought occurred that you might want to pursue. Barack Obama is a "white" guy. His mother was "white." Why can't he be "white?" If one's mother being a "Jew" makes someone a "Jew," then "white" motherhood makes a person "white."

Or, in the Limbaughian sense, he's "Hamerican." I could go on, but the idea of "race" is pretty silly, and trying to fit someone into a box leads to the kind of absurdity that we see with Joe Biden. He might as well have said "You have to admit, those people have a lot of rhythm. Willie Mays sure can hit a baseball!" (I've been around a while.)

So if it's remarkable to find a clean white guy, then Joe Biden must not be very clean. Or articulate. Good looking. Maybe he's half something else. It'll all come out in the campaign.

National Public Radio:

To: http://www.npr.org/contact/
Date: January 31, 2007

NPR sure has a lot of "senior" correspondents and analysts. It would be interesting to know how much they are being paid.

Just minutes ago I heard the latest, um, edition of the "senior analyst," Ted Koppel lament that "American interests" are being ignored in the debate about "Iraq." What he failed to say was just what those "interests" are, who defines them, and how these "interests" justify what we have done to this unfortunate country.

Minutes later, a seemingly "junior" correspondent stated that "Iranian" "agents" have been arrested in "Iraq." If he knew that they were "agents," then he might have enlightened us as to what "agency" they wre "agents" of. Indeed, what does it take to be an "agent?" My dictionary says it is "one who acts." I guess Jack Nicholson is also an agent.

I suppose also that NPR's senior and junior analysts and correspondents are also agents. Very "interest" - ing.

Here's one more for good measure, to PBS's "Washington Week":

To: http://www.pbs.org/weta/washingtonweek/feedback.html
Date: February 4, 2007
Subject: Annals of the center of the universe

I have an easy answer to the "what was he thinking" question: Who cares about Joe Biden? Which calls for the obvious answer: Hangers-on in Washington, D.C.

"Leftists" are calling Joe Biden a "racist," which is a bit of a stretch. He revealed a level of prejudice at the unconscious level, but mostly he revealed that he's just another dumb guy who wants to be president.

It's all grist for the mill in Washington, D.C., wherein people think they are in the center of the universe. As we are now finding out, Washington, D.C. is indeed the center of the universe - almost. It is the stupid center of the universe.

Your show should be renamed "Stupid Center of the Universe Week."

I'd rather not be listening to any of this stuff, but the need is great for clarity and insight. I may be making a great blunder, neglecting the meditative practices that I so much love and need, but the "United States of America" is blundering its way to oblivion, risking the destruction of life on this planet for a few pieces of silver and triumphalism. To the degree that the "alternative" media cooperate in this march to oblivion, they make the path all that easier. If I can stand it, I'll keep offering what I can. If it does some good, then it is worth the effort.