Tuesday, September 27, 2005

You can't fool Mother Nature:  Bush and Cheney should RESIGN IMMEDIATELY...

GWB and his neocon minions have fooled a lot of people -- enough to steal two Presidential elections.  But it seems they cannot fool Mother Nature.  Unfortunately this conclusion has come only after thousands of innocents have suffered and died, sacrificed as if before a neocon altar, selfish, short-sighted and perhaps thirty years in the making.

And we, as citizens of the U.S. and the world, should not allow this death and suffering to be in vain!

And that is why I demand the resignation of Bush and Cheney, chief presiders over a Ponzi scheme government of contemptuous and incompetent cronies and lobbyists at virtually every level. Affirming evidence literally speaks for itself:

1. The over-reaction to Hurricane Rita: Bush calling for fuel "conservation" then making an 11th, energy sucking, helicopter escorted, photo-opportunity questing trip to the Gulf Coast.

2. The tragedy and travesty of Hurricane Katrina: being "on vacation" for four days while a class five hurricane bore down on New Orleans. Michael Brown, Bush's appointed head of FEMA, doing nothing for four days, after declaration of a National Disaster was requested by the governors of Louisiana and Mississippi. And just today, at a congressional investigation so obviously neocon CYA in scope that most committee Democrats refused to attend, "Brownie", probably the least trustworthy person (with the possible exception of Rove) in America today, had the unmitigated gall to blame others, specifically the Democrat governor of Louisiana, for his incompetence.

3. The "Pack of Lies" Iraq war: >$200 Billion spent or committed; >1.8 Billion bullets; >50,000 "insurgents" killed; >2000 "coalition" servicemen/women killed.  When will it end?  Why did it start?  Who, save the Halliburton and Bechtel corporations, can possibly benefit?

4. Karl Rove's possible criminal leaking of the identity of CIA agent Valerie Plame, followed by his possible perjury recounting the event before a Grand Jury investigating the leak.

5. Richard Nixon, the last U.S. President to resign, was guilty of far less. Guilty of perjury and an organized coverup -- yes; but not attempted murder and contrived war!  Lest we forget, Nixon ultimately ended Viet Nam, he didn't start it.  Nixon initiated detente' (disarmament) with the former Soviet Union.  Nixon visited China and sought further diplomacy and normalization of relations.  Nixon may have been paranoid or even mildly insane, but he didn't work to bring about Armageddon.  Bush is our first Armageddon President.

For these reasons and many many more, Bush and Cheney should be forced to resign!  2008 is simply too far in the future to allow this insanity and hypocrisy to continue; to allow the deep, perhaps fatal, wounds these fools have inflicted to fester inside the body of our great Democracy; to prevent this great nation from resolving its present fiscal, moral, legal, economic, and international political crises.

And here is my immediate agenda for a newly appointed, post-Bush, emergency government:

Immediately appoint a commission of government, academic and industry leaders to begin a new, noble race against time; a "Manhattan Project" or "Moon Shot" for the 21st Century.  But not to create unthinkable weapons of mass destruction or uselessly project people into space.  Instead, this time, to once-and-for-all rid this nation and this planet of the political tyranny and unmitigated pollution from extracting fossil-fuels and burning them in internal combustion engines and electricity generating plants.  If all government incentives and subsidies designed to insure an enduring U.S. and global aristocracy were eliminated, solar and solar-thermal power would be competitive, price-wise today (albeit with high initial system costs that must be amortized) and hydrogen fuel cells will be competitive soon as U.S. domestic petroleum reserves are exhausted and our only alternative is importation at prevailing market prices.

Repeal the Bush tax cuts.
If Bush's fiscally and morally irresponsible attacks against our government and its ability to fund its legislated agenda are not repealed, then the U.S. must simply face the following economic reality: we cannot, as a nation, simultaneously pursue internationalization, social reform, educational reform, and government/tax reform. We simply cannot afford it. Our nation is approaching historically unprecedented deficit (as a percentage of GDP) levels -- the effects of this debt might be nothing short of catastrophic, given present funding formulae and projected future liabilities.  Our lower and middle classes are tapped, stressed, un/under-employed, or haven't seen pay raises in three or more years.  If all these goals are to be pursued, simultaneously, then quite simply, the wealthy, the only class growing and prospering under the neocons will have to make up the shortfall.

Remove the cap on Social Security taxes.
Progressive taxation? How can we call our tax system progressive (whereby higher income earners pay more, because they can afford to) when the 15.3% (employer and employee combined) Social Security tax rate disappears for wages in excess of $87,900. Removing the regressive cap can cover 42% of the present unfunded, future Social Security shortfall beginning in 2017 when payments exceed collections under current benefit formulae.

Raise the U.S. Inheritance Tax to 100% of assets.
No limits. No exceptions. After all, it's one thing for a government to allow individuals to amass ridiculous wealth.  It's quite another, altogether more sinister and class stratifying thing, to allow such wealth to pass directly to heirs, in perpetuity.

End the Illegal, Immoral, Imperialist Invasion and Occupation of Iraq
There is a word for killing someone because they might want to kill you: MURDER!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

on Bill Marr...

He is wonderful.
He speaks the truth, almost always. Which is more than you can say about just about any other human being on this rotting planet!
Latest, greatest quote: "If you think that boys doing it to each other is worse than the polar ice caps melting, then YOU ARE THE BOGEYMAN!"

Welcome to GWB America!
Welcome to the end of the world!
And may God's next enema (Katrina, Rita, etc.) strike your face, your home, your breeding ground!

Good night, sweet prince (that's quote from William Shakespeare, Hamlet, in case you didn't know, you illiterate GWB-voting cretins)!
Todd Ryder 9/20/2005

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Why I Hate George Bush: A Labor Day Manifesto

People often ask me... "Why do you hate George Bush so much?"

Allow me to count the reasons...

1. He Lies and surrounds himself with Liars

Bush's government outed a working CIA agent, Valerie Plame, apparently as punishment for negative reports and editorials by her husband, Joe Wilson, because those reports were counter to Cheney and Rumsfeld's propaganda surrounding Iraq and WMD. Then Bush's press secretary, Scott McClellan, stated publicly that the "leaker" if found, would be summarily dismissed from Government -- that is, until the leaker was found to be Carl Rove!  Now it seems such statements are "no longer operative." In short, with each passing day, the neo-con garbage heap of deceipt, mis-information and "spin" seems deeper and more egregious than the day before.

2. His actions (and inactions) have tarnished the U.S.

"America's crisis President," did nothing, even as a category 5 hurricane beared down on the city of New Orleans; did nothing while airplanes crashed into the Twin Towers; and does nothing in general, except force a rich, selfish, inhumane agenda upon our Government, our States, our Judiciary, and our Schools.

In response to hurricane Katrina, why didn't Bush's Government, in advance of the catastrophe, use FEMA, the Military and other Federal resources to evacuate 40,000 mostly poor, mostly black, Americans from New Orleans and other soon to be devastated areas. These desperate people were and are citizens -- that don't own cars and couldn't even hitch rides out of evacuation zones when they needed them. So thousands died and thousands more are still stranded on rooftops or suffering in ill-prepared shelters. But preparedness for catastrophes is part of the government's responsibility. However, five years of tax cuts for the rich and horrendous, nepotistic Federal appointments have rendered the U.S. powerless -- against Al Queda; against mother nature; and against negative World opinion.

3. He symbolizes selfishness and undue privilege in a nation founded on opportunity, equality and democracy

By now, I'm sure we've all seen or heard reports of middle and upper class tourists abandoning hotel rooms in New Orleans before Katrina -- refusing rides to unfortunate strangers, despite the desperate circumstances.  Why did they refuse?  Because toting luggage prevented taking on passengers.  It was too great a loss to leave luggage behind!?  Such intolerable selfishness, in my opinion, is the true legacy of neo-conservatism in this country.  It is the legacy of George W. Bush's "I've got mine! Now go fuck yourself!" America.

And WHY do we, the richest and most advanced nation in human history, practice such utter disregard for others, endangered species, natural wilderness, in short, virtually everything but our immediate selves; everything but our pathetic, genital nerve centers?

Because none of those things represent power and money.  Because the neo-con doctrine we've gorged on since Reagan has played us for fools.  And now it's as if we're virtually pawns; tools for exploitation:  as consumers and voters.  But when elections are over, our neo-con leaders need all the money our government can print (without collapsing our economy, of course) to win their unjust, un-winnable Iraq (Vietraq) war.

4. His Pack of Lies Iraq War

A war for it's own sake.
A war because "... That man put out a contract on my Dad..."
A war because we're good and they're evil?
A war for which we are expected to blindly stay the course.
A war to save face.
A war to insure the legacy of one George W. Bush and the neo-cons.
A war so wrong and mis-represented it was lost before we invaded!

5. He favors the Corporatization of America

Under George Bush it seems to me that our Government fights and kills and maims and prints and spends for all the wrong reasons -- e.g. to fund tax breaks for the real neo-con constituency.  Hint: it's not the "culture of life" but rather BIG ENERGY, BIG PHARMA and BIG BANKS, all while the neo-cons gut and dismantle Medicaid and Social Security -- the very New Deal that represents the only safety net for the poorest, most suffering and least able U.S. citizens.

Under the neo-cons, this nation has become the UNITED STATES OF CORPORATE AMERICA. And in the corporate-owned United States, I see no real democracy and no real justice. And without Justice and Fairness and Charity and other basic human ideals, regardless of whom or what GWB thinks he prays to, there can be no living God -- not without someone to do its work.  And even if I don't believe that dead bones (of believers, only, mind you) will be made flesh; that Jesus lives in Heaven; that one day he'll return...  I do believe in the ideals implicit in virtually all religions -- Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Taoist, etc. -- and they all begin and end with Justice, by which I really mean just-ness!

6. He's a PRESIDENT seemingly intent to Destroy Government

Quite simply, our nation has concentrated too much of the world's wealth and resources in too few hands. And collectively, it engages in over-consumption at virtually every level of human behavior. But despite our nation's vast wealth, its government is more bankrupt and its deficit larger than ever in its history. Still it fails to adequately fund what I consider very basic societal needs:
a. Clean air and water
b. The basic rule of law
c. Health care
d. Transportation and energy
e. An economy based on fair wages and trade

And, without these, our great nation and our wonderful, living planet is losing its ability to sustain our economy, to sustain human and animal life, and to advance human ideals.

In the neo-con world view, responsibility for providing basic human needs and engendering individuals with basic human ideals has been abdicated by our government -- to the already disintegrating family; and worse, to the free marketeers, Social Darwinists and Libertarians -- in short, to the takers and give-nothings, who believe that all persons are equal -- equal to take as much as they can, whenever they can, for as long as they can, and then to pass individual gains to their children as some absurd birth right to insure another selfish generation.

Rather than grapple with obvious wealth inequity, over-consumption and the pollution that's literally burying this planet in carbon dioxide, what does our neo-con government do? a.) Bush refuses to sign the Kyoto Accord on Global Warming; b.) His neo-cons in Congress deny the very existence of Global Warming; and c.) They promote business as usual regarding our country and our world's insane dependence on crude oil, despite the obvious and increasingly measurable risks. Don't bother asking why there is no "Apollo space program" to replace fossil fuel? It's because of people like George Bush.

7. His philosophy and policies are myopic and cruel

Here's a news flash. They don't hate us for our freedom. They hate us because we're often liars and thieves and almost always hypocrites. I still remember a powerful quote I read a decade or so ago in Rolling Stone by Joe Strummer of The Clash:  "All men are not created equal!"  Instead each of us is born into a complex society that, as I see it, disproportionately rewards birth status, intellect, and political ability. But what about the weak, sick, poor and under/mis-educated? Who helps them in George Bush's America. I suppose his answer would be faith-based, non-government-organizations (NGOs). But why do I need a "dose of religion" when all I need is a bowl of soup and, hope against hope, a job -- where I don't have to get my face blown off in Iraq.

So (and I know this is an all too recurring them by now) WHERE is Justice, for all, including the less fortunate? Today it seems that societal benefits, under the neo-cons and George Bush are increasingly available only to the rich and the powerful; or perhaps, for a short while longer to those of us in the middle; at least as long as we're needed to swing "democratic" elections for those, like Bush, that seem to hold nothing but contempt for the rest of us. Some neo-cons (e.g. former Reagan Interior Secretary, James Watt) actually believe in Dominion Theory -- a twisted take on a passage in the Bible's Book of Genesis whereby human beings are endowed by God with absolute impunity to exploit the physical world entirely as they see fit.

Well, we're not. And it's time for a serious re-examination of social, moral, and ethical responsibility in this country; time to hold the neo-conservative gospel to the light; to reveal its fallacy, hypocrisy, and insanity. Because I don't want to live in a nation where workers are unable to retire because they can't afford to or cannot even die with their debts paid. And I'm sorry but Karl Marx was right about a great many things. Socialism isn't evil, but people certainly can be, especially when they're delusional enough to believe they receive mandates from God.

Government, for all its flaws, may be our best, perhaps only, hope for the betterment of humankind. And it's time to choose: stronger, more responsible, better funded governments or bigger, more dehumanizing corporations? And if you don't know whose side the neo-cons are on by now, then I've just wasted another Sunday afternoon.

Todd Ryder

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Yesterday, Baghdad. Today, New Orleans. Tomorrow... Your Town.

"My only weapon is my pen..." Sly Stone, 1970, "There's a Riot Going On."

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Todd Ryder