Friday, May 02, 2008

Friday Funnies


DEN said...

Mark Fiore

DEN said...

"Barack Obama announced that after all the insulting comments and bitterness, he is severing his 20-year relationship with Reverend Wright. After hearing this, Bill Clinton said, 'Wait, you can do that with someone?'" --Conan O'Brien

"President Bush is taking a lot of heat right now, with the economy. President Bush has just been accused of trying to avoid questions about the economy. Because during yesterday's press conference, he told a reporter that she looked good in yellow and then asked about her baby. Even more embarrassing for Bush, the reporter was Wolf Blitzer." --Conan O'Brien

"David Blaine today broke the world record for holding his breath, on 'Oprah' - 17 minutes, four seconds. Blaine has now frozen himself, he's starved himself, he's gone without sleep for weeks, and deprived himself of oxygen. Today, Dick Cheney said, 'See, it's not torture. It's magic.'" --Jimmy Kimmel

"Barack Obama spoke today about the need to send a man into space. The man he wants to send? The Reverend Jeremiah Wright." --Jay Leno

"Barack Obama said in a speech yesterday, he now officially repudiates the Reverend Wright. To which President Bush said, 'Repudiate. That's like a black word, right?' I don't think he gets it. Like ebonics, I think." --Jay Leno

"Hey, did you know this? It was 219 years ago today [when] George Washington took office as our first president. And John McCain said, 'Has it been 219 years already? How time flies! Where does the time go?' See, I know he's watching tonight." --Jay Leno

"And this week, the government started mailing out those rebate checks. You get $600, plus $300 for every child you have. That means so far, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have taken in over $44,000. Pretty nice." --Jay Leno

"Boy, it is hard to keep up with all these crises we have in America. Remember last week, when everybody in America was obese? Remember that? This week there's a food shortage. What happened over the weekend? Did we pig out and eat all the food?" --Jay Leno

DEN said...

"Hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars were unnecessarily spent, and worse yet, too many of our most precious military resource, our American soldiers, were unnecessarily wounded, maimed, and killed as a result. In my mind, this action by the Bush administration amounts to gross incompetence and dereliction of duty."-Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez-


Definitely NOT funny.

DEN said...

Stop Blackwater!

I thought you might be interested in this Courage Campaign petition I just signed, asking Speaker Pelosi to support legislation effectively banning Blackwater from Iraq. We need to stop Blackwater before they use their mercenary profits from Iraq to set up a base of operations in San Diego just three blocks from the Mexican border.

If we can convince Speaker Pelosi to stop Blackwater from privatizing national security with our tax dollars, it could be the beginning of the end for Blackwater in Iraq. And California.

Please join me in asking Speaker Pelosi -- California's most powerful member of Congress -- to take leadership by supporting the "Stop Outsourcing Security Act" as soon as possible.

Will you join me?


DEN said...

Where Have All the Leaders Gone?

By Lee Iacocca with Catherine Whitney

Had Enough?

Am I the only guy in this country who's fed up with what's happening? Where the hell is our outrage? We should be screaming bloody murder. We've got a gang of clueless bozos steering our ship of state right over a cliff, we've got corporate gangsters stealing us blind, and we can't even clean up after a hurricane much less build a hybrid car. But instead of getting mad, everyone sits around and nods their heads when the politicians say, "Stay the course."

Stay the course? You've got to be kidding. This is America, not the damned Titanic. I'll give you a sound bite: Throw the bums out!

You might think I'm getting senile, that I've gone off my rocker, and maybe I have. But someone has to speak up. I hardly recognize this country anymore. The President of the United States is given a free pass to ignore the Constitution, tap our phones, and lead us to war on a pack of lies. Congress responds to record deficits by passing a huge tax cut for the wealthy (thanks, but I don't need it). The most famous business leaders are not the innovators but the guys in handcuffs. While we're fiddling in Iraq, the Middle East is burning and nobody seems to know what to do. And the press is waving pom-poms instead of asking hard questions. That's not the promise of America my parents and yours traveled across the ocean for. I've had enough. How about you?

I'll go a step further. You can't call yourself a patriot if you're not outraged. This is a fight I'm ready and willing to have.

My friends tell me to calm down. They say, "Lee, you're eighty-two years old. Leave the rage to the young people." I'd love to—as soon as I can pry them away from their iPods for five seconds and get them to pay attention. I'm going to speak up because it's my patriotic duty. I think people will listen to me. They say I have a reputation as a straight shooter. So I'll tell you how I see it, and it's not pretty, but at least it's real. I'm hoping to strike a nerve in those young folks who say they don't vote because they don't trust politicians to represent their interests. Hey, America, wake up. These guys work for us.

Who Are These Guys, Anyway?

Why are we in this mess? How did we end up with this crowd in Washington? Well, we voted for them—or at least some of us did. But I'll tell you what we didn't do. We didn't agree to suspend the Constitution. We didn't agree to stop asking questions or demanding answers. Some of us are sick and tired of people who call free speech treason. Where I come from that's a dictatorship, not a democracy.

And don't tell me it's all the fault of right-wing Republicans or liberal Democrats. That's an intellectually lazy argument, and it's part of the reason we're in this stew. We're not just a nation of factions. We're a people. We share common principles and ideals. And we rise and fall together.

Where are the voices of leaders who can inspire us to action and make us stand taller? What happened to the strong and resolute party of Lincoln? What happened to the courageous, populist party of FDR and Truman? There was a time in this country when the voices of great leaders lifted us up and made us want to do better. Where have all the leaders gone?

The Test of a Leader

I've never been Commander in Chief, but I've been a CEO. I understand a few things about leadership at the top. I've figured out nine points—not ten (I don't want people accusing me of thinking I'm Moses). I call them the "Nine Cs of Leadership." They're not fancy or complicated. Just clear, obvious qualities that every true leader should have. We should look at how the current administration stacks up. Like it or not, this crew is going to be around until January 2009. Maybe we can learn something before we go to the polls in 2008. Then let's be sure we use the leadership test to screen the candidates who say they want to run the country. It's up to us to choose wisely.

So, here's my C list:

A leader has to show CURIOSITY. He has to listen to people outside of the "Yes, sir" crowd in his inner circle. He has to read voraciously, because the world is a big, complicated place. George W. Bush brags about never reading a newspaper. "I just scan the headlines," he says. Am I hearing this right? He's the President of the United States and he never reads a newspaper? Thomas Jefferson once said, "Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate for a moment to prefer the latter." Bush disagrees. As long as he gets his daily hour in the gym, with Fox News piped through the sound system, he's ready to go.

If a leader never steps outside his comfort zone to hear different ideas, he grows stale. If he doesn't put his beliefs to the test, how does he know he's right? The inability to listen is a form of arrogance. It means either you think you already know it all, or you just don't care. Before the 2006 election, George Bush made a big point of saying he didn't listen to the polls. Yeah, that's what they all say when the polls stink. But maybe he should have listened, because 70 percent of the people were saying he was on the wrong track. It took a "thumping" on election day to wake him up, but even then you got the feeling he wasn't listening so much as he was calculating how to do a better job of convincing everyone he was right.

A leader has to be CREATIVE, go out on a limb, be willing to try something different. You know, think outside the box. George Bush prides himself on never changing, even as the world around him is spinning out of control. God forbid someone should accuse him of flip-flopping. There's a disturbingly messianic fervor to his certainty. Senator Joe Biden recalled a conversation he had with Bush a few months after our troops marched into Baghdad. Joe was in the Oval Office outlining his concerns to the President—the explosive mix of Shiite and Sunni, the disbanded Iraqi army, the problems securing the oil fields. "The President was serene," Joe recalled. "He told me he was sure that we were on the right course and that all would be well. 'Mr. President,' I finally said, 'how can you be so sure when you don't yet know all the facts?'" Bush then reached over and put a steadying hand on Joe's shoulder. "My instincts," he said. "My instincts." Joe was flabbergasted. He told Bush, "Mr. President, your instincts aren't good enough." Joe Biden sure didn't think the matter was settled. And, as we all know now, it wasn't.

Leadership is all about managing change—whether you're leading a company or leading a country. Things change, and you get creative. You adapt. Maybe Bush was absent the day they covered that at Harvard Business School.

A leader has to COMMUNICATE. I'm not talking about running off at the mouth or spouting sound bites. I'm talking about facing reality and telling the truth. Nobody in the current administration seems to know how to talk straight anymore. Instead, they spend most of their time trying to convince us that things are not really as bad as they seem. I don't know if it's denial or dishonesty, but it can start to drive you crazy after a while. Communication has to start with telling the truth, even when it's painful. The war in Iraq has been, among other things, a grand failure of communication. Bush is like the boy who didn't cry wolf when the wolf was at the door. After years of being told that all is well, even as the casualties and chaos mount, we've stopped listening to him.

A leader has to be a person of CHARACTER. That means knowing the difference between right and wrong and having the guts to do the right thing. Abraham Lincoln once said, "If you want to test a man's character, give him power." George Bush has a lot of power. What does it say about his character? Bush has shown a willingness to take bold action on the world stage because he has the power, but he shows little regard for the grievous consequences. He has sent our troops (not to mention hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi citizens) to their deaths—for what? To build our oil reserves? To avenge his daddy because Saddam Hussein once tried to have him killed? To show his daddy he's tougher? The motivations behind the war in Iraq are questionable, and the execution of the war has been a disaster. A man of character does not ask a single soldier to die for a failed policy.

A leader must have COURAGE. I'm talking about balls. (That even goes for female leaders.) Swagger isn't courage. Tough talk isn't courage. George Bush comes from a blue-blooded Connecticut family, but he likes to talk like a cowboy. You know, My gun is bigger than your gun. Courage in the twenty-first century doesn't mean posturing and bravado. Courage is a commitment to sit down at the negotiating table and talk.

If you're a politician, courage means taking a position even when you know it will cost you votes. Bush can't even make a public appearance unless the audience has been handpicked and sanitized. He did a series of so-called town hall meetings last year, in auditoriums packed with his most devoted fans. The questions were all softballs.

To be a leader you've got to have CONVICTION—a fire in your belly. You've got to have passion. You've got to really want to get something done. How do you measure fire in the belly? Bush has set the all-time record for number of vacation days taken by a U.S. President—four hundred and counting. He'd rather clear brush on his ranch than immerse himself in the business of governing. He even told an interviewer that the high point of his presidency so far was catching a seven-and-a-half-pound perch in his hand-stocked lake.

It's no better on Capitol Hill. Congress was in session only ninety-seven days in 2006. That's eleven days less than the record set in 1948, when President Harry Truman coined the term do-nothing Congress. Most people would expect to be fired if they worked so little and had nothing to show for it. But Congress managed to find the time to vote itself a raise. Now, that's not leadership.

A leader should have CHARISMA. I'm not talking about being flashy. Charisma is the quality that makes people want to follow you. It's the ability to inspire. People follow a leader because they trust him. That's my definition of charisma. Maybe George Bush is a great guy to hang out with at a barbecue or a ball game. But put him at a global summit where the future of our planet is at stake, and he doesn't look very presidential. Those frat-boy pranks and the kidding around he enjoys so much don't go over that well with world leaders. Just ask German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who received an unwelcome shoulder massage from our President at a G-8 Summit. When he came up behind her and started squeezing, I thought she was going to go right through the roof.

A leader has to be COMPETENT. That seems obvious, doesn't it? You've got to know what you're doing. More important than that, you've got to surround yourself with people who know what they're doing. Bush brags about being our first MBA President. Does that make him competent? Well, let's see. Thanks to our first MBA President, we've got the largest deficit in history, Social Security is on life support, and we've run up a half-a-trillion-dollar price tag (so far) in Iraq. And that's just for starters. A leader has to be a problem solver, and the biggest problems we face as a nation seem to be on the back burner.

You can't be a leader if you don't have COMMON SENSE. I call this Charlie Beacham's rule. When I was a young guy just starting out in the car business, one of my first jobs was as Ford's zone manager in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. My boss was a guy named Charlie Beacham, who was the East Coast regional manager. Charlie was a big Southerner, with a warm drawl, a huge smile, and a core of steel. Charlie used to tell me, "Remember, Lee, the only thing you've got going for you as a human being is your ability to reason and your common sense. If you don't know a dip of horseshit from a dip of vanilla ice cream, you'll never make it." George Bush doesn't have common sense. He just has a lot of sound bites. You know—Mr.they'll-welcome-us-as-liberators-no-child-left-behind-heck-of-a-job-Brownie-mission-accomplished Bush.

Former President Bill Clinton once said, "I grew up in an alcoholic home. I spent half my childhood trying to get into the reality-based world—and I like it here."

I think our current President should visit the real world once in a while.

The Biggest C is Crisis

Leaders are made, not born. Leadership is forged in times of crisis. It's easy to sit there with your feet up on the desk and talk theory. Or send someone else's kids off to war when you've never seen a battlefield yourself. It's another thing to lead when your world comes tumbling down.

On September 11, 2001, we needed a strong leader more than any other time in our history. We needed a steady hand to guide us out of the ashes. Where was George Bush? He was reading a story about a pet goat to kids in Florida when he heard about the attacks. He kept sitting there for twenty minutes with a baffled look on his face. It's all on tape. You can see it for yourself. Then, instead of taking the quickest route back to Washington and immediately going on the air to reassure the panicked people of this country, he decided it wasn't safe to return to the White House. He basically went into hiding for the day—and he told Vice President Dick Cheney to stay put in his bunker. We were all frozen in front of our TVs, scared out of our wits, waiting for our leaders to tell us that we were going to be okay, and there was nobody home. It took Bush a couple of days to get his bearings and devise the right photo op at Ground Zero.

That was George Bush's moment of truth, and he was paralyzed. And what did he do when he'd regained his composure? He led us down the road to Iraq—a road his own father had considered disastrous when he was President. But Bush didn't listen to Daddy. He listened to a higher father. He prides himself on being faith based, not reality based. If that doesn't scare the crap out of you, I don't know what will.

A Hell of a Mess

So here's where we stand. We're immersed in a bloody war with no plan for winning and no plan for leaving. We're running the biggest deficit in the history of the country. We're losing the manufacturing edge to Asia, while our once-great companies are getting slaughtered by health care costs. Gas prices are skyrocketing, and nobody in power has a coherent energy policy. Our schools are in trouble. Our borders are like sieves. The middle class is being squeezed every which way. These are times that cry out for leadership.

But when you look around, you've got to ask: "Where have all the leaders gone?" Where are the curious, creative communicators? Where are the people of character, courage, conviction, competence, and common sense? I may be a sucker for alliteration, but I think you get the point.

Name me a leader who has a better idea for homeland security than making us take off our shoes in airports and throw away our shampoo? We've spent billions of dollars building a huge new bureaucracy, and all we know how to do is react to things that have already happened.

Name me one leader who emerged from the crisis of Hurricane Katrina. Congress has yet to spend a single day evaluating the response to the hurricane, or demanding accountability for the decisions that were made in the crucial hours after the storm. Everyone's hunkering down, fingers crossed, hoping it doesn't happen again. Now, that's just crazy. Storms happen. Deal with it. Make a plan. Figure out what you're going to do the next time.

Name me an industry leader who is thinking creatively about how we can restore our competitive edge in manufacturing. Who would have believed that there could ever be a time when "the Big Three" referred to Japanese car companies? How did this happen—and more important, what are we going to do about it?

Name me a government leader who can articulate a plan for paying down the debt, or solving the energy crisis, or managing the health care problem. The silence is deafening. But these are the crises that are eating away at our country and milking the middle class dry.

I have news for the gang in Congress. We didn't elect you to sit on your asses and do nothing and remain silent while our democracy is being hijacked and our greatness is being replaced with mediocrity. What is everybody so afraid of? That some bobblehead on Fox News will call them a name? Give me a break. Why don't you guys show some spine for a change?

Had Enough?

Hey, I'm not trying to be the voice of gloom and doom here. I'm trying to light a fire. I'm speaking out because I have hope. I believe in America. In my lifetime I've had the privilege of living through some of America's greatest moments. I've also experienced some of our worst crises—the Great Depression, World War II, the Korean War, the Kennedy assassination, the Vietnam War, the 1970s oil crisis, and the struggles of recent years culminating with 9/11. If I've learned one thing, it's this: You don't get anywhere by standing on the sidelines waiting for somebody else to take action. Whether it's building a better car or building a better future for our children, we all have a role to play. That's the challenge I'm raising in this book. It's a call to action for people who, like me, believe in America. It's not too late, but it's getting pretty close. So let's shake off the horseshit and go to work. Let's tell 'em all we've had enough.

Yup the guy who brought Chryser Corp back and made the infamous "K car" Plymouth Reliant and Dodge Aries is pissed and not taking it any more.

Well join the club of chimp haters.

DEN said...

During several recent appearances on The Alex Jones Show, Palfrey also said that she was at risk of being killed and that authorities would make it look like suicide. She made it clear that she was not suicidal and if she was found dead it would be murder.

Palfrey had threatened to release the names of well-known clients of her upscale call girl ring in the nation's capitol, and had indicated that Dick Cheney may be one of them.

"We now know it goes at least as high as a United States Senator," Palfrey told The Alex Jones Show, "I'm hearing rumors now from other people that there are other possibilities in that stratosphere so to speak, on that level."

"No I'm not planning to commit suicide," Palfrey told The Alex Jones Show on her last appearance in March, "I'm planning on going into court and defending myself vigorously and exposing the government," she said.

"Blanche Palfrey had no sign that her daughter was suicidal, and there was no immediate indication that alcohol or drugs were involved, police Capt. Jeffrey Young said," according to an AP report.


Sounds about right for this bunch of thieves and robbers and corrupt officials to off a security risk, hope she left a 'If I am dead' letter.

DEN said...

The MSM sez she did it herself.

The MSM also sez Clinton is pulling more interest than Obama.

The MSM is a rigged operation covering their parent companies government contracts, but that's not news.

David B. Benson said...

All of us do it:

Buried Prejudice: The Bigot in Your Brain

Saladin said...

My contribution to the Friday Funnies.

10 ways to blow your tax rebate
Gas, video games, meditation, booze. What, you were planning on paying bills? As if...

By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist

Here's the bad news: Your little recession-deflecting tax rebate? No rebate at all. Not even close.

It's more like this: You've been continuously mugged and beaten and robbed blind for the past seven years straight, and as you lay there on the cold, hard economic ground, bleeding and gasping and wondering what the hell happened to your vacation time and your health care plan and your mortgage payment, your attackers scoff and leer and toss a couple of bloodstained nickels on your pulverized face and mutter, here sucker, have some bus fare, and then they cackle and stomp away with all your loot and dignity and hope, back to the White House from whence they came.

What, too harsh? Not really. It's a lovely feeling, made even more sweetly ironic by the fact that Congress will likely soon shove through another $108 billion in war funds like a giant kidney stone through our collective fiscal urethra. Right there, that's about 500 bucks for each and every adult human in America, baristas and Baptists and NASCAR fans alike.

Do you see? Your "economic stimulus" check is meaningless, an empty gesture, a trifling crumb of recompense after robbing you blind via insane gas prices, infrastructure meltdowns, massive failed wars that aren't really wars. Thanks for the bogus check, Dubya, now where can I buy a sliver of our missing national dignity? Oh, that's right.

So then. Here are your bloody nickels, America. Think of it as a "recession whippit," because trust me, its quickie high won't last long. What will you do with it? Pay off the porn bill? Hit the Vegas strip? Stock up on water and freeze-dried meats and a nice Bowie knife in preparation for the apocalypse? Not bad, not bad. Of course, you could also spend it on:

* One share of Google. Hey, it's the most powerful company on Earth. It belches up bits of Microsoft after an organic tofu and wakame salad lunch in its massive world-class floating cafeteria in the sky. Why not buy a tiny crumb of the company that already owns a large piece of you and everything you do and play with and think about and log into every single day? Sort of like buying back a tiny, digitized, bitmapped, rebranded, YouTubed, Street Viewed piece of your own exhausted soul. Neat!

* Four tanks of gas for the Escalade. What, you're still driving that giant Saudi-blessed beast? Still loving yourself some big clunky Range Rover? Good for you (and good luck trying to trade it in). But I'm guessing even you few remaining SUV lovers out there feel a bit of a twinge now when the gas pump tips well over $100 to fill your massive tank as your tax refund merely flows straight back to Bush's cronies in Big Oil in a giant feedback loop of joyful patriotic all-American pain.

* A copy of Grand Theft Auto IV, three bottles of Stoli Vanilla, large hammer. Mmm, the Great American Fantasy, playing the role of a macho Eastern European thug antihero who lives in the seedy underworld of Hellhole City, all broken glass and bad skin and silicone boob jobs and grunged-out everything, killing and stealing and blood splattering and fire, all part of a new and rather insane blockbuster game which employs an astonishing, hyperrealistic animation engine that makes the character's movements so frighteningly lifelike, when you beat down that whore or shoot that cop in the face with an Uzi you can actually feel his facial bones pulverize as his body slams into the pavement and Death itself hovers just over your PS3, eager to go multiplayer on your ass.

Gaming tips: Slam two shots of vanilla Stoli between levels and strike self in head with hammer every time you murder a rival sociopathic thug, to acknowledge/symbolize the death of yet another hunk of any lingering compassion and/or love you may feel in this life. Dude! You're never getting laid! Cool!

* IPod Touch, new Portishead album, bottle of absinthe. Because nothing says modern American irony than listening to the most beautifully bleak and gorgeously despondent album of the year on the most sleek high-tech consumer gadget currently made, all while slowly lowering your brain cells down into the black cavelike dungeon of bittersweet anise-flavored bliss. Or maybe that's just me.

* Three excellent meals at upscale sushi restaurant, attempting with each and every bite not to be painfully reminded of the depleted fish stocks and mercury poisoning and how just about every single game fish on the menu is overfished or horribly endangered or dying out or full of tiny little plastic pellets from the Pacific garbage patch. Oh well. At least the sake is still safe to drink, right? I mean, except for the potential global rice shortage? And the rioting?

* Spiffy new Flip Video camera, copy of iMovie, small vial of unchecked insanity. Dash through airport security waving a small pink Swiss Army knife and screaming "Behold my tiny one-inch pocketknife scissors of terror! I also have large metal nipple rings!" Film wacky reaction from Homeland Security agents. Have spouse upload videos to YouTube. Use remaining portion of tax refund for attorney fees/hospital bills.

* Ticket to latest Judd Apatow flick, one dozen homemade pot brownies, never-used (but still active) gym membership from 1998. Chortle at the wondrous fantasyland of these mindless inverse RomComs, how most every male is a flabby wise-cracking doofus stoner loser who still manages to somehow get the sweet hottie girl because he's such a loveable stoner doofus and she's apparently just not all that bright. Reserve a small amount of money for 10-pack of XXL wifebeater logo T-shirts from and a Black Jesus bobblehead for your cubicle because you're all, like, meta-ironic, and stuff.

* Ten-day silent meditation course/retreat. Do you love that recent study that essentially proves, yet again, what monks and gurus and yogis and wise ones have known for roughly 1 billion years? It's this: Meditation can actually make you more compassionate, can induce states of empathy, can calm the turgid roil and boil of the Grand Theft Auto IV that is you and your badass 1998 Honda Civic and your cube-farm life. It's a breakthrough! Or, you know, not.

Goes well with all the other studies from years past, proving how meditation boosts brain activity, helps focus attention, improves sleep, relieves stress, licks your heart, and helps you realize organized religion is absolutely silly and inane and dangerous because, hey look, close your eyes and breathe deeply and there's the divine, right there, floating just on front of your third eye like a free bonus hooker from Level 9 of GTA-IV! Awesome! BYOZP, SFOS. (Bring Your own Zazen Pillow, Secret Flask of Scotch.)

* Party supplies for the massive bonfire/cleansing ritual we shall have at the beach on 01-20-09. I mean, obviously.
I myself plan on buying ammo and more bulk food!

•c•arol said...

So much for Ron Paul giving anyone hope that he is a politician that cares about we peasants.

"Congress passed landmark legislation Thursday barring employers and health insurers from discriminating against people based on their genetic predisposition toward disease or medical problems.

The House voted 414-1 to approve the landmark Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, voted against it.

ยบ¿carol said...


Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Posted by Jim Hightower

Oh, ye cynics who decry George W’s debacle in Iraq, let the news go forth that there has been a tremendous breakthrough for civil order in that war torn society. Yes, the gruesome bombings and kidnappings continue, mass corruption proceeds unimpeded, the fractious sectarian divides are unhealed, and the dysfunctional Iraqi government remains dependent on American largesse for the foreseeable future – but now there is progress in one important area: police authorities all across the country are cracking down on people who violate the seat belt laws.

Yes, buckle-up in Baghdad, or be ticketed. As one district traffic commander for the capital city explains: “It is part of the healing process of this country and of Baghdad to enforce the laws, law by law.” Well, maybe. But after five years, 4,000 U.S. deaths, and trillions of American dollars committed to this disastrous occupation – our measure of progress is that brigades of traffic officers are being dispatched to look out for seat belt violators?

If traffic is to be the government’s priority, perhaps it would be better to focus on the fact that commuters are continually interrupted by car bombings, that traffic usually crawls so slowly that seat belts are hardly needed, that roads are often blocked, and that people are so spooked by the threat of violence that it’s not uncommon to see drivers zooming the wrong way down a street.

Also, if authorities really want to teach the people proper driving behavior, they might focus first on the outlaw antics of such privatized security outfits as Blackwater. To clear a path for themselves, employees of these corporate mercenaries sometimes throw water bottles at pedestrians or fire their guns into the air.

If seat belt enforcement is the best they can do in terms of making “progress.” it’s time for our soldiers to hit the road home.

“Striving for Normality, Iraq Cracks Down on Seat Belt Scofflaws,” The New York Times, April 17, 2008

David B. Benson said...

Saladin --- Can't eat the ammo.


Saladin said...

No Carol, he is a politician that cares about constitutional restrictions against govt. from sticking their nose into every nook and cranny of your life! Let's see, you might be a peasant hater if you:

1. Think the war on drugs is a sham and a crime and work to end it.

2. You think the Federal Reserve and it's henchman the IRS is against all Constitutional and moral laws and seek to end it's reign of terror against the poor and middle classes, restoring a sane and non-fiat based economy.

3. You think endless US empire building is destructive to both the US and the world and want to bring all our troops home to defend this country.

4. You think the war on terror is bogus and based on lies and never would vote for an atrocity such as the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq and the subsequent funding or the illegal Patriot Act.

5. You think illegal wiretapping and all such govt. snooping on US citizens violates the basic rights of Americans and goes against the very heart of the Constitution.

6. You think it's wrong to vote yourself a pay raise at the expense of American taxpayers.

7. You think it's wrong to take advantage of the lucrative pension plan offered to retired congressman.

8. You refuse to participate in govt. funded junkets.

9. You think the govt. is the employee of the people, not the opposite.

10. You never vote to raise taxes to pay for pork.

11. You believe in the 2nd amendment and the right it bestows upon the people to provide for the defense of themselves and their families.

12. You believe that all humans have the basic rights to work and live peacefully with liberty.

13. You think the federal govt. has no right to override states rights as regards voters choices.

14. You don't think the Constitution provides for giving US tax payer money to tyrants and terrorist regimes around the world and calling them allies.

15. You believe the Constitution is the law of the land and ALL politicians are sworn to uphold it, NO EXCEPTIONS!

16. You don't think the govt. has the right to impose laws that restrict the rights of individuals to engage in free speech, free press, free religion, or to engage in activities that do not infringe upon the rights of others.

17. You think that private property is a right that should not be taken away unless harm or criminal activity is taking place.

18. You think that granting special rights and privileges to certain groups is hypocritical and that all people are equal.

19. You don't think the federal govt. has the right to dish out corporate welfare and other incentives to control the market.

20. You think the federal govt. should be 100% transparent to the citizens, not beholden to any lobbyist or any foreign powers by accepting funding for the furtherance of your career.

Gosh, I could go on and on, but what's the point? If the fed. doesn't throw us peasants a few crumbs then what damn good are they? Fuck the constitution, it's just a goddamn piece of paper anyway. Praise God and Pass the bullets. Tally Ho Iran!

Saladin said...

That's true Mr. Benson, but you CAN catch food with it! And we have a plethora of game around here.

DEN said...

Killin-n-skinnin critters eh?

Do you clean fish?

I can catch 'em.

Hajji said...

Ammo...Check...year's supply of 12g birdshot, 00 and a few slugs, 9mm, .22s out the wazzoo. Barring any necessary offensive incursions into neighbor's (tasty) cow pastures.

Need claymores, a ballpeen hammer, condoms and wheel of Tillamook!

Garden...Check... 'Maters looking good so far, we'll have yellow squash and Zucchinis enough for plenty of gifts on national "Leave a bag of squash on friends Porch and run away" day. Black and blueberries at bumper-crop levels, judging by the flowers.

Well water and two 50-gal rain barrels chock-full and treated for everything but heavy metal.

Speaking of...plenty of Def Lepard and Motorhead on CD... (actually the BBC sessions, Led Zep are about all the metal anybody the hell did they DO that Live?)

Freezer full of deer parts, goose parts, duck parts, wild Turkey parts, wild boar parts...(Jill's boyz just don't STOP huntin'!) chicken parts, bovine parts, rabbit parts(all local and free-range)...and something that looks vaugely like something else I took to pathology the other night, let's call it "Stew-Meat".

Enough rods/reels/lures and local bait (them catfish just LOVES them little chunks of that "stew meat") to add protein to the protein-laden freezer as depletion sets in.
(maybe I should start smokin' and jerky-in some o'dat stuff, eh? Speakin' of smokin', that stuff for makin' brownies is waaaay more expensive, I hear, than consumable ethanol)

Cans and cans and cans and cans. Fruit, veggies, dog food, and about 15 label-less "suprises"...

Pasta, pasta, pasta, pasta. 30lbs of white rice, 10 lbs of Wisconsin' wild rice. Dried beans and a chandelier of dried peppers of varying intesities. Some semi-intelligent alien life growing up out of the 'tater and onion bins...

Coffee, pods, ground and beans for about 3 months of jittery guard duty.

Dog food? Well...they LOVE "Stew Meat" and bring home enough squirrel and rabbit to keep 'em busy, anyway...hell, we ALL need to lose a bit of weight on this hill, anyway.

Enough gas and oil to run the generator and chainsaws for a long while.

Medicine...last time I looked in Jill's FEMA bag...we could open a free-clinic for a few months...

Well-armed and cooperative neighbors on all sides...GOD's people, one and all.

Obviously, I begged off a day of hiking to get some stuff done 'round here. I'll be working out of a staging location at a "Panera Bread" in South Asheville/Arden, NC for the next 4 days.

I'd be interested in Rep.Paul's explanation of his vote... He usually makes sense some when he 'splains his position.

I talked to a lot of folks today, while I was out in the world running some errands. People are downright SPOOKED, just like the gummint wants 'em to be...

...did you know that racism in America is mostly the fault of a Black Preacher from Chicago?


I'll check in on Wednesday. Last night of sleeping inside for a while...


Carry on...carry a tune...carry a grudge...carry me back to ol Virginny...Carey's moving...I wish her to be "home" when she gets there!


DEN said...

T, well put.

Saladin said...

DEN and Hajji, we do what we have to do. This isn't a land of milk and honey anymore, that's been taken away. We are all officially useless eaters now, let them promise whatever it takes to gain your trust. I say, trust yourself, stock up, if you can store enough for local charity please do, and hope for the best. What else can we do? Starving, defenseless people are nothing but cannon fodder. Who wants to go down like that? I won't.

Peace my friends.

micki said...

Thnx for the post directed to me, Saladin.

A good read.

micki said...

The most important survival skill that will help keep humans alive in troubled times is getting along.

Without that, what is there?