Wednesday, November 30, 2005

pinions of buddy don: dead trees

ye probly dun herd bout that war agin christmus n everthang true bleevers holds dear. ye gut yer evil folks acktin lack tiz rong to call yer christmus tree a 'christmus tree'. in sted, they call it a 'holiday tree'. whut a insult tiz to call it a holiday tree!

tiz a nuff to thank thay wuz a christmus tree in the manjer whar jesus wuz born! whut makes thisn so strange is how usin a tree fer worship wuz cundemned by the earliest non-nativ amurkins:
It is not surprising that, like many other festive Christmas customs, the tree was adopted so late in America. To the New England Puritans, Christmas was sacred. The Pilgrims’ second governor, William Bradford, wrote that he tried hard to stamp out "pagan mockery" of the observance, penalizing any frivolity. The influential Oliver Cromwell preached against "the heathen traditions" of Christmas carols, decorated trees and any joyful expression that desecrated "that sacred event."

In 1659, the General Court of Massachusetts enacted a law making any observance of December 25 (other than a church service) a penal offense; people were fined for hanging decorations.
but whar did that tree cum frum?:
Nature - The recognition of the divine in nature is at the heart of Pagan belief. Pagans are deeply aware of the natural world and see the power of the divine in the ongoing cycle of life and death. Most Pagans are eco-friendly, seeking to live in a way that minimises harm to the natural environment.

Concepts of the divine - Pagans worship the divine in many different forms, through feminine as well as masculine imagery and also as without gender. The most important and widely recognised of these are the God and Goddess (or pantheons of God and Goddesses) whose annual cycle of procreation, giving birth and dying defines the Pagan year. Paganism strongly emphasises equality of the sexes. Women play a prominent role in the modern Pagan movement, and Goddess worship features in most Pagan ceremonies.

Pagan theology - Paganism is not based on doctrine or liturgy. Many pagans believe that 'if it harms none, do what you will'. Following this code, Pagan theology is based primarily on experience, with the aim of Pagan ritual being to make contact with the divine in the world that surrounds them.
twuz a nuff to rile sum early christchuns, that feller name of elgius fer instunts:
Diabolical games and dancing or chants of the gentiles will be forbidden. No Christian will do them because he thus makes himself pagan. Nor is it right that diabolical canticles should proceed from a Christian mouth where the sacrament of Christ is placed, which it becomes always to praise God. Therefore, brothers, spurn all inventions of the enemy with all your heart and flee these sacrileges with all horror. Venerate no creature beyond God and his saints. Shun springs and arbors which they call sacred. You are forbidden to make the crook which they place on the crossroads and wherever you find one you should burn it with fire. For you must believe that you can be saved by no other art than the invocation and cross of Christ. For how will it be if groves where these miserable men make their devotions, are felled and the wood from them given to the furnace? See how foolish man is, to offer honor to insensible, dead trees and despise the precepts of God almighty.
lucky a nuff, we gut sum good christchuns that dont foller that elgius feller:
WASHINGTON -- If it's a spruce tree adorned with 10,000 lights and 5,000 ornaments displayed on the Capitol grounds in December, it's a Christmas tree and that's what it should be called, says House Speaker Dennis Hastert.

Hastert, R-Ill., in a letter to the Architect of the Capitol, recommended that the annual Capitol Holiday Tree, as it has been called the past several years, be renamed the Capitol Christmas Tree.

"I strongly urge that we return to this tradition and join the White House, countless other public institutions and millions of American families in celebrating the holiday season with a Christmas tree," Hastert wrote to Architect Alan Hantman.
we kin all hope the revivull of christmus adorayshun of anshunt pagan tradishuns kin keep rite on – knock on wood!

Monday, November 28, 2005

refleckshuns of buddy don: how thangs change

me n miz bd jes gut back frum the secunt longest vacayshun i ever tuck (longest bein whenever we gut marrd). twuz a larnin eggsperients, speshly the part in knoxvull. our plans wuz simple: drive to tennessee, stay with mama, n then see the sites. whenever we wuz gittin reddy to go, eli calld us n sed twuz purrfeck that we wuz cummin when we wuz. i dint know whut he meant till we gut thar.

turnt out that mama wuz much wurse off than we had figgerd. eli wuz glad we wood be thar sos he could git sum time off frum babysittin her. whenever we seen mama, we could see why. las time we seen her, she wuz gittin feeble n havin sum trubles with fallin, but she was still herself, still gittin out n about.

then she tuck that trip to las vegas with roena may n lost her gall bladder. twuz a knockdown punch fer her that wuz hard to magin. it left her so feeble she couldnt barly walk. wurse of all wuz how she looked so much older. mama has always been verr keerfull bout her appearunts, keeping her hair dun n her makeup fresh n such. but twuz clear she had give up on a lotta that. it almost seemed lack she wonted to give up cumpletely. eli sed she had been a'sayin she wished she could fall asleep n not wake back up.

thems sad wurds to hear cummin frum yer own mamas mouth. we did git to visit one of our three yungns, witch miz bd brung two n i brung one into the marrg. the one i brung lives in oak ridge n twuz a pleashur to see im agin.

but othern that, our vacayshun time in tennessee wuz spent with mama, sittin by her bed, trine to git her up to do sumthin. on our last day thar, we had a lil luck. she wuz reminissin bout the old days n she sed, 'ifn ye wonta see whut life wuz lack fer me, ye orta see that new movie bout edward r murrow.' she meant that movie Good Night and Good Luck. i ast her why dint she go with us n she dint have no anser we couldnt beat by sayin we wood take keer of it. all she wood half to do wuz walk to the car, sit in the car, walk to the thee-ater, sit in her seat, etc. so she dun it n twuz magick.

afterds i ast whar did she wonta eat. she ackted lack thay wuznt no way she could go out to eat, but we cunvinced her to let us take her to one of her favert places n low n behold, she had a grate meal n grate time.

twuz her furst time out of the house since she gut back frum las vegas. she wuz sprized by how much better it made her feel to git up n walk a bit. we had promissd twood make her feel better, but she dint bleeve it till she tride it.

thays much more vacayshun to discuss, witch i hope to do tomorrow since thays plenty good news. but twuz rite to start with mama on a counta how when ye see yer mother lookin ole fer the furst time, tiz a shock, tiz a message frum life that thangs is headed tords death eventchewally.

on tuther hand, that aint no reason to give up. ifn ye fite, ye dont half to go quiet into that nite, so to speak.

our pall gies to bof tennessee jed (n fambly) n eric n fambly at straight white guy (eric, yer email dont wurk fer me – everthang gits rejeckted). we had hopes of visitin em bof, but we spent the time with mama n dealin with sum other stuff that i aint a'gone mentchun.

tiz grate to be home. i am ackshly lookin ford to wurk! corse, i have a nuther four days of vacayshun i gut to take ere the year is over, so mayhap nex week me n miz bd will be off agin.

Friday, November 11, 2005

vacayshun of buddy don: drivin south

later on this mornin me n miz bd is a'gone git into a rented car n drive south to east tennessee. we hopes to see tennessee jed n fambly n hope we kin visit with eric over at straight white guy to give im a lil sumthin. we plan to hike mt le conte n see a bunch of fambly, manely mama, who lost her gall bladder in las vegas!

we aint thonly ones a'drivin south tho ...

Trade Deficit Increases to $66.1 Billion

Robertson Says Town Rejects God

Bush Aide Fires Back at Critics On Justification for War in Iraq

House Budget Measure Is Pulled; Moderates Buck GOP Leadership In Both Chambers

Thursday, November 10, 2005

pitchers tuck by buddy don: tonights 3/4 moon

three quarters moon

pinions of buddy don: last vacayshun chore

i couldnt git everthang dun yesterdy, so this mornin i will git back on that bus n go over to man hattan sos i kin finish off a lil presentayshun. tiz wurth it on a counta i will be off fer so long. i also gut my evaluwayshun yesterdy n seems lack thar a'gone keep me round n give me a lil better assinement. so thays minny a blessin to be counted. thays also these stories ...
  • how ye a'gone balants that budget? furst, ye gut to cut sum thangs, $54 billyuns wurth -- jes medicaid, food stamps, student loans, child support enforcement, farm supports, them verr wasteful items that dont nobidy need. then, to satisfy the futher greed of them that pays fer yer offus, ye gut to give em sum money back, witch how bout $70 billyuns? that should cut that deficit! lease we wont be drillin in alaska, rite? rite? i mean, i hope thats rite. GOP to Strike Arctic Drilling From House Bill:
    House GOP leaders agreed last night to strip plans to permit oil drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and in the offshore continental shelf from a $54 billion budget-cutting measure, probably securing the votes to pass the bill today.

    The move is a blow to President Bush, who has made expanded oil exploration a priority since he took office. Lawmakers said the White House applied pressure yesterday to Republicans to save the drilling provisions, especially in Alaska, even wooing conservative Democrats who have steadfastly opposed the GOP budget package.

    But the Democrats did not budge, and at least 22 Republicans told the House leadership they would not vote for the sweeping bill unless the drilling provision was removed and they were given assurances that it would not return after House and Senate negotiators hash out a final measure. Even then, several moderate Republicans have said they still would oppose the bill, which would allow states to impose new costs on Medicaid recipients, cut funds for student loans and child support enforcement, trim farm supports, and restrict access to food stamps.

    Those measures and others would save $54 billion over five years, but moderates have complained that those savings would be more than lost if the House moved forward with a $70 billion tax-cut extension bill next week.
  • how bout the news fer them publicans? whut gits me is ifn ye make a list of our biggest problems, witchns did we have in 2000? gigantick deficits? no, twuz that trublesum surplus! how bout that war in iraq? no, we had that peace n such. hmm. partisan strife? thats it! we had it then, we gut it now. For GOP, 2006 Now Looms Much Larger:
    In a season of discontent for the White House, Tuesday's election results intensified Republican anxiety that next year's midterm contests could bring serious losses unless George W. Bush finds a way to turn around his presidency and shore up support among disaffected, moderate swing voters.

    Off-year gubernatorial contests in Virginia and New Jersey have proved to be unreliable predictors of elections, as Republican officials were quick to point out yesterday. But as short-term indicators, Tuesday's results confirmed that nothing happened to alter a political climate that now tilts against the GOP and that the president remains in the midst of a slump.
  • could it be thay dun fergut how to game the system? seems lack them publicans dun shot tharself in the foot. now they wonta back off. Senator Seeks to Defer Probe of CIA Prison Leak:
    The chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence told Senate leaders yesterday that Congress should hold off on a probe of the disclosure of classified information on secret prisons to The Washington Post until the Justice Department completes its own inquiry.

    Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) said he will "respectfully" request that Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) back off a strongly worded request that a bicameral investigation into the disclosure be convened immediately. Frist spokeswoman Amy Call said the majority leader had not decided how to respond. "He always takes what his chairmen say into consideration," she said.

    Frist and House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) surprised both Roberts and House intelligence committee Chairman Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.) with a joint letter demanding a House-Senate inquiry after the Nov. 2 publication of a Post article detailing a web of secret prisons in Eastern Europe and elsewhere, maintained by the CIA to detain suspected terrorists.

    The CIA general counsel's office also has notified the Justice Department that a release of classified information took place in connection with The Post's report. After the CIA details what it sees as the damage done by the article, Justice prosecutors will determine whether a criminal investigation is warranted.

    Asked how long that could take, Roberts joked, "Decades," indicating he is in no rush to convene his own inquiry. Hoekstra said he has not decided how to proceed.

    After months of partisan charges over the White House release of CIA operative Valerie Plame's name and false information on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, disclosure of classified information has become an issue among Republicans.
  • how much duz it cost to meet mr bush? Lobbyist Sought $9 Million to Set Bush Meeting:
    WASHINGTON, Nov. 9 - The lobbyist Jack Abramoff asked for $9 million in 2003 from the president of a West African nation to arrange a meeting with President Bush and directed his fees to a Maryland company now under federal scrutiny, according to newly disclosed documents.

    The African leader, President Omar Bongo of Gabon, met with President Bush in the Oval Office on May 26, 2004, 10 months after Mr. Abramoff made the offer. There has been no evidence in the public record that Mr. Abramoff had any role in organizing the meeting or that he received any money or had a signed contract with Gabon.
whut a worl! time to go. hope to see ye agin soon.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

pinions of buddy don: the power n the pendulum

the furst eleckshun i member wuz in 1960 twixt kennedy n nixon. mane thang i member is how my parnts stayd up all nite long a'rootin fer nixon n whenever he finely add mittted he had lost, my mama started crine. they tride to eggsplain to me whut wuz so awful bout them dimcrats winnin, but i couldnt unnerstand it much.

by the next presidentchul eleckshun, i unnerstood a lot more but not that much – fack is, i purty much bleeved innythang my daddy bleeved n he wuz a goldwater publican. that eleckshun made mama cry even more, but daddy sed he figgerd thangs wood be all rite.

i had to ast him how could they? he splaind it thisaway. furst, he tole the one bout how power corrupts n total power corrupts absolutely, so he figgerd them dimcrats wood implode purty soon.

next he splaind bout that pendulum. it swangs bof ways n kin only go so far in one die reckshun ere it swangs back tuther way. it could only swang tords the left fer so long. then twood go back tords the rite, witch he figgerd it dun that whenever ronald raygun won.

mayhap that them publicans has dun been corrupted by havin absolute power. they aint even makin no sents no more: GOP Leaders Urge Probe in Prisons Leak:
Lawmakers from both parties immediately expressed misgivings about the request. Democrats pounced on it, suggesting that if the GOP leaders believe the disclosure of information on secret prisons deserves to be investigated, so does the leak of inaccurate intelligence on Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction and White House officials identifying Plame as a covert CIA operative.

"There is plenty to investigate about the Bush administration's use and misuse of intelligence," said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). "The American people deserve the truth."

Rep. Christopher Shays (R-Conn.) said investigating the source of the prison article would be acceptable, as long as Congress also investigates the secret prisons themselves.

"If you want to investigate everything and not be selective, that would make sense," he said.

Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) said: "Talk about not seeing the forest for the trees. The real story is those jails."

More generally, Republicans suggested it is unwise to pick a fight with the media over an issue that exposes so many political vulnerabilities for their party.

The emergence of the congressional leaders' letter came as a surprise to House intelligence committee Chairman Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.) and Senate intelligence committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), both of whom said they learned of the request from the media. Roberts said that his committee "stands ready to be of service" but that he had "not received any marching orders from the leadership."
how is it wurkin out fer em? in new jersey, corzine whupped forrester. by the way, i called thisn in a innerview fer the local fox affiliate!

turns out i vote at the same place corzine duz, so whenever i cum out frum votin, a feller ast me wood i lack to be innerviewd? i tole em twuz ok n then dint say whut the wonted me to. they ast me who i voted fer n whuter i figgerd he wood win. i sed he orta doot in a walk. he ast me why n i sed he wuz a better man with a better campane n a better message. so he ast wuz i a homeowner, witch i wuz proud to add mitt it. then wuznt i upset by hi taxes? i tole him i wuz more upset by folks that dont unnerstand whut ye git fer yer taxes, witch i give im a few eggzamples of why tiz a bargain in my pinion. that wuz the end of the innerview n i dont thank twuz broadcast.

innywho, the presdint his ownself deecided he wood try to hep that publican in virginny, but it dint wurk.

should we be sprized that folks druther be governd by folks that bleeves in gummint than by folks that bleeves gummint is the problem n then tries to proov it ever chants they git?

finely, on a cumpletely differnt topick, after today i am a'gone be on vacayshun till november 28! we plan on visitin our mothers, one in tennessee, tuthern in ohio. i hope to keep on makin notes up in here, but i lackly will git a lil lazy.

n i kin hardly wait!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

pitchers tuck by buddy don: still trine to shoot the moon

i aint satisfide yet, but heres my latest atempt to shoot the moon:

thay used to be songs of protest that wuz art at the same time n one of the bes wuz bad moon risin dun by creedence clearwater revival. thays been plenty of hurricanes n earthquakes n such. reminds me of when we wuz invadin iraq, rite after the shock n awe, rite after we gut to baghdad, whar thay wuz so much lootin a'goin on. i called mama lack i do ever sundy mornin n sed sumthin bout how twuz a shame that we dint real eyes how folks mite steal sum of humanties oldest artifacks. she anserd how it dont matter nun on a counta how the end is upon us. i druther not bleeve that n dont thank tiz sumthin innybidy kin know.

but thays plenty evidents that it could be the end fer sum. lease i hope so. will we git a return to the rule of law? or will the presdint be the rule? them supremes is a'gone take up the topick.

could be that sum publicans thanks the end is cum on a counta how even thar budget cuts on the poorest could be in truble. ye kin read bout it in a articull name of GOP Budget Cuts Face Varied Opposition. ifn that wuznt a nuff, ye gut that probe of prewar intelligents a'growin, mr bush n mr cheney aint hardly gittin along lack they used to do, n they know that sum of the intelligents they used to cunvints folks we orta invade iraq wuz knowd to be rong!

mayhap bleevin the world is about to end is whar they git the idee that this kinda math is ok:
To review this ridiculous math, that's more than $60 billion extra for Katrina, minus between $35 billion and $55 billion in program cuts, followed by roughly $70 billion in tax cuts. Such is life under Bush, Hastert, and Frist.

Before the Senate voted last week, there was a final irony. Democrat Kent Conrad of North Dakota proposed that Congress return to the rules of the '90s that helped produce record surpluses -- strict pay-as-you go budgeting, meaning no spending increases or revenue reductions without compensating cuts in spending or increases in revenue. It needed 60 votes and got 50. The ''conservatives" were against it; the progressives for it -- a reflection of the fundamental political reality in this upside-down age.

Monday, November 07, 2005

pinions of buddy don: the 19% man

ye probly dun herd bout the member of the administrayshun that has a 19% approval ratin. after readin sum of todays news, ye mite wunder who could be in that 19%. why do they hate the amurkin ideals? we are a cuntry of laws, not men, whar innybidy detained is tole the reason why, gits a lawyer, gits to confrunt the accuser, gits a trial, gits to be assumed innocent till proovd guilty. the battle that we have with terrism aint one of military mite but one of harts n minds. we claim the spread of demockrussy will make the worl safer on a counta the ideals we live by, witch i jes listed sum of the most importunt.

but them ideals aint good a nuff fer mr 19%. he wonts to go back on em, wonts us to be listed with them that tortchurs folks n detains em without trial, that sends em to other demockrussies (sos they kin all be tainted with the same betrayull of thar ideals?).

all i kin say bout the stories that follers is read em n weep ...

  • Cheney Fights for Detainee Policy; As Pressure Mounts to Limit Handling Of Terror Suspects, He Holds Hard Line:
    Over the past year, Vice President Cheney has waged an intense and largely unpublicized campaign to stop Congress, the Pentagon and the State Department from imposing more restrictive rules on the handling of terrorist suspects, according to defense, state, intelligence and congressional officials.

    Last winter, when Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, began pushing to have the full committee briefed on the CIA's interrogation practices, Cheney called him to the White House to urge that he drop the matter, said three U.S. officials.

    In recent months, Cheney has been the force against adding safeguards to the Defense Department's rules on treatment of military prisoners, putting him at odds with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and acting Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon R. England. On a trip to Canada last month, Rice interrupted a packed itinerary to hold a secure video-teleconference with Cheney on detainee policy to make sure no decisions were made without her input.

    Just last week, Cheney showed up at a Republican senatorial luncheon to lobby lawmakers for a CIA exemption to an amendment by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) that would ban torture and inhumane treatment of prisoners. The exemption would cover the CIA's covert "black sites" in several Eastern European democracies and other countries where key al Qaeda captives are being kept.
  • Prisoner Accounts Suggest Detention At Secret Facilities; Rights Group Draws Link to the CIA:
    Three Yemeni nationals who were arrested in late 2003 say they were transferred to U.S. custody and kept isolated in at least four secret detention facilities that Amnesty International officials believe could be part of a covert CIA prison system.

    The three detainees have not said they were physically abused while in U.S. custody, but they describe being whisked away in airplanes to unknown locations where they were interrogated by Americans in civilian clothes, according to an Amnesty International report. At one prison, the detainees were guarded by people in all-black "ninja" suits, who communicated using hand gestures.

    During their separate incarcerations, the detainees were never visited by the International Committee of the Red Cross, never had access to lawyers, were unable to correspond with their families and had no contact with the outside world, the report said. Their families believed they were dead or were told that they had gone to Iraq to fight the United States.

    The accounts, taken in independent interviews by Amnesty International researchers over the past few months, appear to be consistent with reports of a network of secret CIA detention facilities, according to the report. The detainees could not determine where they were because they were hooded during the flights, but because of the travel time they assumed they were in Europe or the Middle East, according to Amnesty International.
  • Senators Question Terrorism Inquiries; FBI Use of Patriot Act Is Weighed Against Rights of Individuals in U.S.:
    Lawmakers expressed concern yesterday that the FBI was aggressively pushing the powers of the anti-terrorist USA Patriot Act to retrieve private phone and financial records of ordinary people.

    "It appears to me that this is, if not abused, being close to abused," said Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.), who is a member of the Judiciary Committee.

    Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.), a member of the Select Committee on Intelligence, agreed, saying the government's expanded power highlights the risks of balancing national security against individual rights. "It does point up how dangerous this can be," said Hagel, who appeared with Biden on ABC's "This Week."

    Under the Patriot Act, the FBI issues more than 30,000 national security letters allowing the investigations each year, a hundred-fold increase over historic norms, The Washington Post reported yesterday, quoting unnamed government sources.

    The security letters, which were first used in the 1970s, allow access to people's phone and e-mail records, financial data and the Internet sites they visit. The 2001 Patriot Act removed the requirement that the records sought be those of someone under suspicion.

    As a result, FBI agents can review the digital records of a citizen as long as the bureau can certify that the person's records are "relevant" to a terrorism investigation.
  • And the War Goes On:
    The coalition of the clueless that launched the tragically misguided war in Iraq is in complete disarray.

    Dick Cheney is simultaneously running from questions about his role in the Valerie Wilson affair and fighting like mad to block any measure that would outlaw torture by the C.I.A. His former top aide, Scooter Libby, one of the original Iraq war zealots, is now an accused felon who is seldom seen in public unaccompanied by defense counsel.

    Donald Rumsfeld, the high-strutting, high-profile defense secretary who was supposed to win this war in a walk, is suddenly on the down-low. There are people in the witness protection program who are easier to find than Rummy.

    As for the president, he went all the way to South America to get away from the Washington heat. But even within the luxurious confines of Air Force One, Mr. Bush found that he couldn't escape the increasingly corrosive effect of the fiascos plaguing his administration.
  • Deconstructing Cheney:
    THE INDICTMENT of the vice president's chief of staff for perjury and obstruction of justice is an occasion to consider just how damaging the long public career of Richard Cheney has been to the United States. He began as a political scientist devoted to caring for the elbow of Donald Rumsfeld. As a congressman, Rumsfeld had reliably voted against programs to help the nation's poor, so (as I recalled in reading James Mann's ''Rise of the Vulcans") it was with more than usual cynicism that Richard Nixon appointed him head of the Office of Economic Opportunity, the antipoverty agency. Rumsfeld named Cheney as his deputy, and the two set out to gut the program-- the beginning of the Republican rollback of the Great Society, what we saw in New Orleans this fall.

    When Rumsfeld became Gerald Ford's White House chief of staff, he again tapped Cheney as his deputy. Now they set out to destroy detente, the fragile new relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union. Dismissing detente as moral relativism, Cheney so believed in Cold War bipolarity that when it began to melt in the late 1980s, he tried to refreeze it. As George H.W. Bush's secretary of defense, Cheney was key to America's refusal to accommodate the hopeful new spirit of the age. Violence was in retreat, with peace breaking out across the globe, from the Philippines to South Africa, Ireland, the Middle East, and Central America. When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, Cheney forged America's response -- which was, little over a month later, to wage an illegal war against Panama.

    As Mikhail Gorbachev presided over the nonviolent dismantling of the Soviet Union, Cheney warned Bush not to trust it. When the justification for the huge military machine over which Cheney presided disappeared, he leapt on the next casus belli -- Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait. Hussein, a former ally, was now Hitler.

    Against Cheney's own uniformed advisers (notably including Joint Chiefs Chairman Colin Powell), he forged Washington's choice of violence over diplomacy. The first Gulf War, remembered by Americans as justified, was in fact an unnecessary affirmation of military might as the ground of international order, just as an historic alternative was opening up. US responses in that period, mainly shaped by Cheney, stand in stark contrast to Gorbachev's, who, refusing to call on military might even to save the Soviet Union, was ordering his soldiers back to their barracks. The unsentimental Cheney, eschewing human rights rhetoric, was explicit in defining America's Gulf War interest as all about oil. (The oil industry having made Cheney rich.) Cheney's initiatives, more than any other's, defined the insult to the Arab world that spawned Al Qaeda.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

songs of buddy don: Watch What You Do

Watch What You Do

You better
Watch what you do
Cause they could be watching you
Big Brother
Big Brother

You Better
Watch what you view
Cause they could be watching too
Big Brother
Big Brother
They can
Watch what you say
And who you say it to
Watch who you call
And who is calling you

That's right!
It's legal!
Big Brother!
You better
Watch what you do
Cause they could be watching too
Big Brother
Big Brother

You better
Watch what you read
Cause it might be a lead
Big Brother
Big Brother
They can
Watch what you know
And what you choose to buy
Watch where you go
With their own private eye

That's right!
It's legal!
Big Brother!
You better
Watch what you do
Cause they could be watching you
Big Brother
Big Brother

Saturday, November 05, 2005

pitchers tuck by buddy don: down thar in soho

steppin into the shadows

elvis sitin

self-portrut with miz bd

Friday, November 04, 2005

celebrayshuns of buddy don: evenin at keens

yesterdy wuz a verr hard day. i been hopin to take a vacayshun startin thursdy n goin on till the mundy after thanksgivin, witch i aint had no chants to take no vacayshun much this year on a counta bein so sick. but i wurk at goodbank, as i dun menchund a time or six, n they bleeves ye dont count sick days n ifn ye dont git no vacayshun, yer wurks a'gone suffer. i had dun offerd to give back my vacayshun days, but they woodnt here nun of it.

in spite of that, thays so much wurk to be dun that twill be hard to start that vacayshun on thursdy. then cums a new projeck to git dun befor the vacayshun. i wuz told bout it late in the afternoon when i dint have no energy lef. i half to add mitt, twuz hard news n i jes wonted to give up.

so happend that my irish frien micky had dun invited me n miz bd to dinner at keens chophouse with him n his wife to celebrate our closin on this condo.

twuz jes whut the docter orderd. fer one thang, micky is a master at how to do dinner. he has lodes of stories to tell, lacks to git folks together, lacks to drank good sangle malt scotch, yew name it. innywho, we gut thar bout 6:30 n started off by ordern us sum sangle malts. i gut a dram of lagavulin 12, miz bd gut sum 1979 port ellen, n micky gut sum glenfarcles 25. we sniffd em fer thar nose n swished em round in the glass fer thar legs n sipped on em fer the taste n finish. as we generly do, we passd em round on a counta all thays verr eggspensive n ye wont be gittin no more of sum of em: port ellens dun been closed n they dun quit bottlin lagavulin 12. bout the time we orderd dinner, i had dun fergut my trubles.

last few times we et at keens, i wuznt eatin no meat, but as ye mite could member, that ackupunkchurist tole me i wood half to change my diet ifn i wonted to bet them migraines. he sed by that he meant beef n lamb. so i gut to eatin it n whenever twuz time to order last nite, i orderd the chops keens is noted fer, the mutton chop. tiz about 3 inches thick in jes as tasty as ye could ever hope fer.

we then indulged in all that wunderful food n more scotch -- a glen scotia 17 fer miz bd n a caol ila unchill filterd 12 year fer me -- n sumhow we even squeezed in a lil deesert.

by the time we wuz back out on the street trine to flag down a cab, all my trubles seemd to have melted away.

thankee, micky, fer that fine evenin!

when i gut up this mornin, i seen this good news: amurkins is a'wakin up n finely notissin whuts a'happenin to thar cuntry! not only that, but one of amurkas bes pundits had im a fine articull bout who we are here in amurka n why we caint let our ideals git compromized. the pundits name is eugene robinson n the articull is Out of a Bad Spy Novel, witch i strongly reckommend ye go read the hole thang.

heres a pitcher of sum of them pipes they gut at keens. thays hunnerts of em, all sined by sum of the famus folks that dun et thar. i been readin isaac asimov lately, so twuz a treat to see he had dun et thar too!

keens chophouse pipes

i need to reemind myself when thangs looks hard how ye gut to count yer blessins!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

ramblins of buddy don: a lil this n that fer thursdy

sum say tiz a chinese curse, sum say tiz frum the roma n one feller studied it n cum to the cunclushyun tiz frum a 1950 sci-fi novel, but wharever it cum frum, tiz a curse fittin fer our times: may ye live in innerstin times. that we do. tiz lack a nuther chinese proverb that sez tiz better to be a dog in peacefull times than a man in a chaotick age. i reckun we are livin in that chaotick age. heres sum stories that backs that up ...
  • Rove's Future Role Is Debated; White House May Seek Fresh Start In Wake of Leak:
    Top White House aides are privately discussing the future of Karl Rove, with some expressing doubt that President Bush can move beyond the damaging CIA leak case as long as his closest political strategist remains in the administration.

    If Rove stays, which colleagues say remains his intention, he may at a minimum have to issue a formal apology for misleading colleagues and the public about his role in conversations that led to the unmasking of CIA operative Valerie Plame, according to senior Republican sources familiar with White House deliberations.

    While Rove faces doubts about his White House status, there are new indications that he remains in legal jeopardy from Special Counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald's criminal investigation of the Plame leak. The prosecutor spoke this week with an attorney for Time magazine reporter Matthew Cooper about his client's conversations with Rove before and after Plame's identity became publicly known because of anonymous disclosures by White House officials, according to two sources familiar with the conversation.

    Fitzgerald is considering charging Rove with making false statements in the course of the 22-month probe, and sources close to Rove -- who holds the titles of senior adviser and White House deputy chief of staff -- said they expect to know within weeks whether the most powerful aide in the White House will be accused of a crime.
  • Food Stamp Cuts Are On Table; House Plan Would Affect 300,000:
    House Republicans are pushing to cut tens of thousands of legal immigrants off food stamps, partially reversing President Bush's efforts to win Latino votes by restoring similar cuts made in the 1990s.

    The food stamp measure is just one of several provisions in an expansive congressional budget-cutting package that critics say unfairly targets the poor and disadvantaged, especially poor children.
  • South Americans' Discontent Portends a Chilly Reception for Bush:
    BUENOS AIRES -- As President Bush prepares for a visit to South America this week, thousands of people in the region have been preparing to make sure he knows exactly what they think of him.

    In Argentina, where Bush will attend a Summit of the Americas conference Friday and Saturday, small bombs have been tossed at several American bank branches and chain stores, and soccer idol Diego Maradona has urged viewers of his popular TV talk show to join him in a protest to "say no to Bush" outside the meeting, being held in the seaside town of Mar del Plata.

    In Brazil, where Bush will meet Sunday with President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, thousands of protesters have stood outside the U.S. Embassy with signs labeling Bush "Public Enemy Number One."

    The chilly welcome, according to public opinion polls, reflects a general slide of the U.S. government's popularity throughout South America. While some of the criticism centers on the war in Iraq, much of it is linked to regional economic policies such as privatization and low tariffs promoted by multinational lenders and supported by both the Clinton and Bush administrations.
  • Critics See Ammunition In Alito's Rights Record:
    Eight years ago, a trio of federal appellate judges heard the case of Beryl Bray, a housekeeping manager at a Marriott hotel in Park Ridge, N.J., who alleged that she was denied a promotion because she was black. Two of the judges concluded that Bray had shown a lower court enough evidence of discrimination that she deserved a jury trial.

    But the third judge, Samuel A. Alito Jr., disagreed, writing that the hotel had merely committed "minor inconsistencies" in its rules for filling jobs and that it would be wrong to allow "disgruntled employees to impose the costs of trial on employers who, although they have not acted with the intent to discriminate, may have treated their employees unfairly."

    Alito's dissent prompted a rebuke from his normally congenial colleagues. The law that bans employment discrimination, the other two judges wrote, "would be eviscerated" if courts followed Alito's logic.
  • Secrets and Shame:
    Ultimately the whole truth will come out and historians will have their say, and Americans will look in the mirror and be ashamed.

    Abraham Lincoln spoke of the "better angels" of our nature. George W. Bush will have none of that. He's set his sights much, much lower.

    The latest story from the Dante-esque depths of this administration was front-page news in The Washington Post yesterday. The reporter, Dana Priest, gave us the best glimpse yet of the extent of the secret network of prisons in which the C.I.A. has been hiding and interrogating terror suspects. The network includes a facility at a Soviet-era compound in Eastern Europe.

    "The hidden global internment network is a central element in the C.I.A.'s unconventional war on terrorism," wrote Ms. Priest. "It depends on the cooperation of foreign intelligence services, and on keeping even basic information about the system secret from the public, foreign officials and nearly all members of Congress charged with overseeing the C.I.A.'s covert actions."

    The individuals held in these prisons have been deprived of all rights. They don't even have the basic minimum safeguards of prisoners of war. If they are being tortured or otherwise abused, there is no way for the outside world to know about it. If some mistake has been made and they are, in fact, innocent of wrongdoing - too bad.
  • Bush's bunker strategy; A prisoner of the neocons, the president hunkers down, awaiting the outcome of the Libby indictment:
    One year after his reelection President Bush governs from a bunker. "We go forward with complete confidence," he proclaimed in his second inaugural address. He urged "our youngest citizens" to see the future "in the determined faces of our soldiers" and to choose between "evil" and "courage." But as he listened to Bush that day, Vice President Dick Cheney knew that the election had been secured by a coverup.

    "I would have wished nothing better," declared Patrick Fitzgerald in his press conference of Oct. 28, announcing the indictment on five counts of perjury and obstruction of justice of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the vice president's chief of staff, "that, when the subpoenas were issued in August 2004, witnesses testified then, and we would have been here in October 2004 instead of October 2005. No one would have went to jail."
  • Abramoff-Scanlon School of Sleaze:
    Up-and-coming Republican hacks would do well to watch closely the ongoing Senate investigations of superstar lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his former business partner Michael Scanlon. The power duo stand accused of exploiting Native American tribes to the tune of roughly $66 million, laundering that money into bank accounts they controlled and then using it to buy favors for powerful members of Congress and the executive branch.

    But they sure did know how to play the game.

    Consider one memo highlighted in a Capitol Hill hearing Wednesday that Scanlon, a former aide to Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas, sent the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana to describe his strategy for protecting the tribe's gambling business. In plain terms, Scanlon confessed the source code of recent Republican electoral victories: target religious conservatives, distract everyone else, and then railroad through complex initiatives.

    "The wackos get their information through the Christian right, Christian radio, mail, the internet and telephone trees," Scanlon wrote in the memo, which was read into the public record at a hearing of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. "Simply put, we want to bring out the wackos to vote against something and make sure the rest of the public lets the whole thing slip past them." The brilliance of this strategy was twofold: Not only would most voters not know about an initiative to protect Coushatta gambling revenues, but religious "wackos" could be tricked into supporting gambling at the Coushatta casino even as they thought they were opposing it.
  • What Judy forgot: Your Right to Know:
    The most intriguing revelation of Special Prosecutor Patrick J. Fitzgerald's news conference last week was his assertion that he would have presented his indictment of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby a year ago if not for the intransigence of reporters who refused to testify before the grand jury. He said that without that delay, "we would have been here in October 2004 instead of October 2005."

    Had that been the case, John Kerry probably would be president of the United States today.

    Surely a sufficient number of swing voters in the very tight race would have been outraged to learn weeks before the 2004 election that, according to this indictment, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff – a key member of the White House team that made the fraudulent case for invading Iraq – "did knowingly and corruptly endeavor to influence, obstruct and impede the due administration of justice."
  • Bush's Job Approval Hits New Low:
    Tempers cooled a bit in Washington Wednesday after the partisan meltdown that brought Senate business to a halt Tuesday.

    Even so, neither Congress nor the White House will find much in a new CBS News poll to put them in a better humor. President Bush's job approval has reached the lowest level yet. Only 35 percent approve of the job he's doing.

    Congress is rated even lower. Only 34 percent approve of its work.

    Vice President Cheney has never been as popular as the president, but his favorable rating is down nine points this year to just 19 percent.
innerestin, verr innerestin!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

pinions of buddy don: Topic Change

Topic Change

Ever since that woman came a'calling
To ask the question that was haunting her –
The president's approval rate's been falling –
As Pres he's worse than as entrepreneur!

Were this high tragedy and not low farce
His fear of that one question would provide
An insight into how we ought to parse
The tragic flaw that cannot be denied.

Pride goes before a fall, the Bible states –
And in this as in all it must be so –
Hubristic failure to admit mistakes
Should lead him to his tragic quid pro quo.

Yet in an age ruled by entertainment
Topic change equals damage containment!