Friday, February 24, 2006

The Dick Heard 'Round the World


I'm very late in weighing in on Cheney's shooting incident. At the time it happened all I really heard and cared to hear was that the Vice-President had shot someone. I wasn't in the mood to pursue the matter any further and I just figured Scooter Libby had gone to that great bureaucracy in the sky and I just sunk back into my self-pitying funk.

With the odd exception of Paul Begala, I haven't heard anyone from the left who knew a great deal about hunting and the rules that govern doing it safely. Of course my first thought was,"Paul Begala hunts?" Then it occurred to me that I'm a walking, talking case study of someone who can be raised in the testoterone-soaked gun and hunting culture of the South and the West and not turn out like say, Dick Cheney.

But Jesus Christ, Paul Begala?

Anyway, all that aside, I'm not going to rehash all the stuff you already know. I'm going to talk, from a former hunters standpoint, about what a fucking idiot Dick Cheney is.

First thing: Dick Cheney and his band of merry men weren't hunting. They were out shooting mostly tame, raised for the purpose of being shot, birds. In my mind this is no different from deciding to take your gun and mow down all the family pets in your neighborhood. And they didn't even have the decency to walk to where the tame birds were.

The had to drive.

They had to drive SUV's.

Is there anything that sums up the pampered wanna-be macho swagger of this administration than that? I have no doubt in the caravan of courage that was this little hunting trip that there was a White House photographer ready to snap a picture of Cheney shooting trained birds.

Why do I keep picturing Uncle Jimbo from South Park drunkenly yelling"They're coming right for us"?

I don't hunt anymore. I feel absolutely no need to show my dominance over nature by gunning down animals for fun. I feel only scorn for people who hunt for sport. If you don't eat it, don't kill it. I have known, and still know, people who hunt for food. Many times when I was growing up a freezer full of deer meat helped my parents stretch their incomes to make it through to payday. If today, I found it difficult to feed my family, I would hunt to do so. I won't lie and say a part of me wouldn't enjoy it either. It's just that when it comes to dealing out life and death, I believe it should be a matter of life and death.

Growing up here in the South I have hunted just about everything that swam, flew, and ran through the Tennessee mountains and valleys. I really enjoyed squirrel and rabbit hunting. Believe it or not it was a challenge. You had a split second to identify your target, make sure no dogs or fellow hunters were downrange (hear that Dick?), aim quickly, and fire. It took practice and skill and we ate everything we killed. When we fished, if we weren't planning on eating the Stripe or Bass we caught, we threw them back to fight another day. I hunted deer on several occasions but I'm glad to say I've never killed one of the beautiful creatures, not for lack of trying, I assure you. I was just never quiet or stealthy enough. Besides, sitting in the woods at four a.m. in twenty degree weather, being absolutely still for hours on end, never appealed to me.
Hunting rabbits and squirrel, you tried to make noise in order to flush them. Shooting them once you did was the challenge.

I'm glad I never killed deer myself but I've been up close and personal on dozens of occasions when fellow hunters have. It's brutal and in no way something I would even want to be around today.I may someday teach my son to safely handle firearms, but I don't plan on introducing him to hunting. Age has brought empathy, and I don't like to watch any creature die violently. However I do admire the skill it takes, especially the guys I know that hunt deer with bows. Yes, for those who don't know, here in the modern age of assault rifles and twenty power scopes, some hunters prefer to do it the old-fashioned way, using bows and arrows. Even though these powerful compound bows carry the knock-down power of modern rifles, it still takes incredible skill to shoot something fifty yards away with one. Hell, I've known people that have hunted huge and dangerous Kodiak brown bears in Alaska with bows. Miss one of those and you may just find which part of the food chain you really belong to.

I said all of that to say this: There are hunters, who have a deep respect for nature and use what they kill for themselves and their families.

And there are men like Dick Cheney who like to murder small animals for sport.

One of the first and most important lessons you learn to do in firearms training is never, ever fire your weapon when you aren't sure of your target. And one of the first rules of hunting is always know where the members of your party are before you fire. Cheney violated both rules.

If you want to live a long life with all of the limbs you were born with, you never drink while handling firearms and you never hunt with a bunch of idiots who are drinking. The Vice-President's "I had a beer at lunch" is one of the stupidest things to ever come out of Cheney's mouth.

Anyone who has ever watched some drunk driver at a traffic stop on Cops knows that there are rules to lying about alcohol consumption.

"I had a beer" means "I had three".

"I had a couple" means " I drank a sixpack".

"Yes, I've been drinking" means "I'm shitfaced, Ossifer, go fuck yourself"

Add to this the fact that a man who has had something like eighty four heart attacks as Deadeye Dick has, is surely on a shitload of blood pressure and blood thinning medications and shouldn't be drinking any alcohol at lunch, dinner, or anywhere else. Much less around loaded (no pun intended) firearms.

Of course Harry "The Target" Whittington seems to be fine with being shot in the head and heart by a man who couldn't even bother to go to hospital to check on him, so I suppose this too will go away.It will be lost in the storm of slime and corruption that is the trademark of the increasingly lawless Bush administration.

So the Vice-President of the United States who, by his own admission, was drinking while handling loaded firearms and shot a member of his hunting party. Then they failed to inform the media for almost a full day. Then the Secret Service turned away police officers who tried to investigate.

Thank God he didn't do something really horrible, like have consensual sex with a woman.

That would have really riled up the puritan sensibilities of America's Republicans.

Then it would have been impeachment time for sure.

Yeah right.

I always viewed Cheney as a shrewd politician and certainly an intelligent man and he no doubt is when it comes to life in the ivory towers of Washington.

But out in the real world, like his mental midget boss, Dick Cheney is arrogant and careless. It explains how this administration can keep doing the arrogant and careless things they keep doing on the world stage. Bush and Cheney are both just a couple of drunks stumbling around with really big loaded guns.

It's just a matter of time until they hurt someone else.

Presidentin Is Hard


"Look, you people need to understand, Presidentin is hard! "
"And I'm havin' to do it with half the brain of a normal moron!"
"I thought when they said Dubai they meant "Yes, we want to buy
your ports"
"Presidintin is hard".

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Human and Proud


This post is for Suheir, for teaching me the great Lesson.

Hello dear friends of Green September.

If you can imagine being give a huge dose of speed then being thrown into an industrial-sized blender all while having the worst migraine headache of your life, you get the picture of what things have been like for yours truly these past weeks.

As of eight minutes ago I still had a pulse and was drawing breath, so at least there is that.

All of your kind words of support have meant more than I could ever try to say. Thank you.

The truth is that I'm a bit overwhelmed about trying to catch up. Where do I start? Cheney's itchy trigger finger? Cindy Sheehan's disgraceful treatment at the State of the Onion party?
Mosques blowing up?

Or how about the fact that thus far a President who has broken the law by spying on American citizens hasn't even been questioned by anyone in a position to do anything about it?

How about selling our ports her in America to the country that allegedly attacked us on September 11?

I admit it. I'm overwhelmed. Scandal fatigue. Post Traumatic Outrage Disorder or something. I truly don't know what to say to a lot of the shit that's going on other than : Told you so.

I'm too tired to laugh gleefully when Republicans like my own Congressman Zach Wamp react with shock, shock I say, when speaking on local radio about the Saudi ports deal. What! Bush and the White House incredibly incompetent or just down right uncaring about homeland security?!!!! Shocked!!!!

I can't laugh because I know that all of this is costing our future. Yours and mine. The money, energy, and human beings being squandered by this administration cannot be kept track of. Even if we had accurate information of what these people have done, you still could not keep pace with the tally of daily atrocities being committed.

Perhaps I sound a bit defeatist. Not really. I'm just being realistic. I know that if giant aliens from the planet Gleebfar (fuck you spell checker, let's see you find a close match for that) came down and kidnapped the entire Bush administration. we would still be generations in paying for their horrid policies.

But I still believe. I still believe that one person can make a difference. I still believe that the future can be bright.

It will be bright wherever I call home. I will teach my child that there is goodness, hope, and nobility in the human spirit and I will attempt to demonstrate this in my actions. I want my son to know the truth about humans. We can be violent, bloody barbarians while at the same time looking at the stars and dreaming. We are light and we are the shadow cast by light. Nietzsche and Gandhi were both right. We are an ugly/beautiful race that is simply finding it's way.
Some disagreed with a post a while back when I included Bush, Cheney and the Neo-Cons as part of the great Us. Now more than ever we need to remember that the opposition are indeed human beings with fears an foibles just like us. Because if we simply say these men are monsters or worse, obstacles to be removed on the way to Utopia, we fall into the Abyss of inhumanity that we fight so hard against. It's very simple, the only way to keep our humanity in the world that is and that is to come, is to do just that: keep our humanity. Love more, for those that do not love. Hate injustice more for those that do not. Live loud! Fight and fuck and be angry and compassionate! Be exactly what and who you are and be it like a beacon in darkness a thousand fathoms deep.

It's all we can do right now. Remember hope. Cling to each other, and know that dawn follows night.

All New!!!!!!!!!


If you're reading this, and you still care, please know that I will be adding new posts this evening and thank you for sticking around.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

What It Means To Be A Republican


Published on Sunday, February 19, 2006 by
What It Means To Be A Republican
by Larry Beinhart

The vice president shoots you in the heart and in the face. Then you apologize for all the trouble it’s caused him. That’s what it means to be a Republican.

Despite almost hysterical warnings the president stays asleep at the wheel. He does nothing about terrorism and 9/11 happens. He responds by running away to Nebraska. Three days later he makes a supposedly impromptu speech with a bull horn on the rubble of the World Trade Center. He is universally cheered as a hero. That’s what it means to be a Republican. The president puts together false claims to go to war with the wrong country. His party universally supports him. That’s what it means to be a Republican.

The administration mismanages the war in Iraq so that it creates chaos, a breeding ground for terrorists and political opportunities for Islamic fundamentalists. Along the way, the reasons for going to war are exposed as false. The president runs on national security as his main issue. He is re-elected. That’s what it means to be a Republican.

The president cheerfully gives away the surplus to the richest people in the country. Then he runs up record debts, just to throw more money their way. He claims it has helped America’s economy. People act like they believe him. That’s what it means to be a Republican.

The administration continues it’s magnificent tradition of going to sleep when it is warned of disaster. It does nothing when Katrina is coming. It continues its record of doing nothing when disaster arrives. As New Orleans was lost, just as when the World Trade Center was lost, the president got as far away as possible. But he can’t be blamed for what nature did. That’s what it means to be a Republican.

The president orders wiretaps without warrants, a straightforward violation of the constitution. When the Attorney General is called to testify, the head of the Judiciary Committee insists that his testimony not be under oath. The head of the intelligence committee suggests that the law be changed, now, to make it legal after the fact. That’s what it means to be a Republican.

Alberto Gonzales helped come up with the program that rejected the Geneva Conventions, that permits torture, that says that the president is above the law and that “I was only following orders” should be a defense against a charge of war crimes. Ah, if only the Nazi war criminals who were hung at Nuremberg had Gonzales there to defend them. The president nominates Gonzales to be his new Attorney General. He is confirmed with little debate and no outrage. That’s what it means to be a Republican.

This needs to be understood.

What it implies is that Republicans can’t be dealt with as if reason and facts will sway them. Because it wont. It’s hard for reality based people, regular Democrats and Liberals to understand that.

What it let’s us know is that reality based people, Democrats, Liberals, real Conservatives, old-fashioned Republicans and non-profit Christians have to take more vigorous and rigorous stands. Or reality and real American values and the American landscape will disappear, not just temporarily, but forever.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Dead Eye Dick


Open thread for all things Dick.

Monday, February 13, 2006

One goddamned day at a time

Sorry I've been away

Personal problems have taken me out of the Game.

My wife and I are separating.

I will continue with Green September.

Please keep me in your thoughts.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

I've crawled back out of the bag of weed, and I feel much better


OK, so the worst thing that could happen, as far as Bush's power grab, has happened. Alito, who will no doubt support any expansion of the "Terminal Executive" or whatever the hell the Neo-Cons are calling it these days, was confirmed. All but 25 members of the "opposition" party had the courage to even attempt to fight back. I sent so many E-mails Sunday to various Senators, I lost track. I may have asked Bill Frist for his support, I'm not sure.

I was slightly disappointed by the outcome.

So. Things suck.

What do you, my friends, think will come next?