Monday, October 31, 2005

An Open Letter to Senator Schumer

Dear Senator :

You have been quoted in the press as being opposed to the nomination of Judge Alito to the Supreme Court because it would “divide – not unite Americans”.

I don’t mean to sound sarcastic, but I should have thought you’d be aware America is ALREADY a “divided” nation – and, if you are the Liberal you claim to be, one would think you would want it to STAY that way !

We Americans differ on a LOT of issues.

For example , you have long been famous ( or infamous ) for your efforts to disarm the American public. I’m sure you’d like everyone to agree with you, but a lot of us don’t. Should we be silenced ? Disregarded ? Treated with hostility by the Court ?

You favor abortion – as do a lot of other people; however, a large number of people are opposed to it outright ; and , I suspect,an even larger number are uneasy with the concept of abortion for the sake of personal convenience. Should the Judiciary be compelled to march in lockstep with the Pro-Abortion groups – or should it remain independent ?

I think , if you were to ask the American people , they would tell you they FAVOR a “divided” Supreme Court ; that they LIKE the idea of Judges with differing points of view getting together , arguing the strengths and weaknesses of the cases before them , and arriving at carefully reasoned decisions .

What they hate – and what they have resisted vigorously in the past – is a Supreme Court so united in outlook , its only function is to rubber stamp the prevailing philosophy of elected officials.

I don’t know how qualified Judge Alito is for the Supreme Court , and I hope you will study his background carefully . If you find him ignorant, cruel and malicious , mentally unstable , mired in scandal , or otherwise unfit for office , I hope you will move to disqualify him.

By the same token, should you find him well suited for the High Court,I hope you will move to confirm him – even if you disagree with him on certain issues.

We are selecting a Justice of the Supreme Court – not a Schumer running mate.
Scratch Where it Itches


There was a gal named Ida Mae :
When she was seventeen,
She went to Atlantic City
To become a Beauty Queen.

She could sing just like an Angel,
An’ her figger shore did please-
But then she started scratchin’
Like an ol’ houn’ dog with fleas !


Scratch where it itches-
Right down in yer britches;
Scratch where it itches-
An’ not where it looks the best !


Oh, it musta been contagious ,
Or somethin’ in the air –
‘Cause all of them Contestants
Started itchin’ everywhere !

They had to stop the Pageant :
All the Judges hollered “Whoa !”
When lovely Miss America
Scratched herself from head to toe !


Scratch where it itches-
Right down in yer britches;
Scratch where it itches-
An’ not where it looks the best !


There’s a moral to this story-
Now that we’ve had our fun :
Folks are pretty much the same
After all is said and done,

There’s times you can’t be subtle-
When you gotta be direct:
When you gotta scratch even though it ain’t
Politically correct !


You gotta scratch where it itches :
Right down in your britches-
You gotta scratch where it itches,
An’ not where it looks the best !

Sunday, October 30, 2005


(Scene- The White House : It is early morning, and there is almost nothing happening . It is cold, and raining heavily . The carefully coiffed Newsreaders look a bit haggard at this hour, as they huddle under protective umbrellas.)

Back in the studio, the cameras focus on veteran Newsreader Frank Lee Marvelous, and his Co-anchor , Malise A. Forrthawt - better known as The Marvelous-Malise News Team.

Marvelous: It’s Day 1745 of our Impeachment Watch , and we’re awaiting exciting news from the White House !

Malise : Let me bring our viewers up to speed .

(Cut to archival tapes.)

Malise: One thousand,seven hundred forty-five days ago, an Evil Republican …

Marvelous : (snickers) Is there any other kind ?

Malise : (smiles, then re-assumes stern expression) As I was saying, an Evil Republican named George W. Bush was sworn into office as President of the United States, following what many called “ a stolen election” .

(Tape shows George Bush taking the oath of office – cuts to clip of
Al Gore ,who intones: “Let ALL the votes be counted.” – cuts again to clip of Karl Rove – then cuts to shot of VP Cheney, who looks as if he is having a gas pain - then (just for the hell of it) - to NY Senator Chuck Schumer elbowing his way towards a microphone – back to the inauguration of President Bush –then to clip of Scooter Libby riding in the back of a limo, while camera strobes flash. Tape is accompanied by music : “The Ride of the Valkyries”.)

Malise : It’s been quite a roller coaster ride for “Dubya” since then :
All downhill !

Marvelous: Now it’s Day 1745 of our Impeachment Watch, and we’re waiting for a surprise announcement from the White House !

Let’s go to our Impeachment Watcher , Kurt Ansar , at the White House. Kurt: What’s going on ?

Ansar : (Mutters something that will probably have to be edited out,and stands in front of camera.) Ah….Good morning ,Frank ; Malise. Ah…

As you can see, it’s still rather dark here – about what you’d expect at 5:03 AM on a rainy morning here in the Nation’s Capitol. There –uh – hasn’t been a great deal of activity yet.

(Three gang bangers materialize behind Ansar – (Lord knows where they come from !) – and begin mugging for the cameras : making faces, and flashing gang signs.)

Ansar: As you can see, the people on the street are quite excited about forthcoming events. (Beckons) I’ll try to get some reaction.

Ansar : (Addresses one of the gang bangers ) What are your feelings on Day 1745 ?

Gang Banger : Speaking from the perspective of a member of what has been regarded,traditionally,as the Under Class, I would have to say:


Give me your wallet, Homes , or I’ll perforate you with my O-O-O-O- zee ! You too, Camera Creep ! Give it up !!

Happy Hallowe’en !!!

Friday, October 28, 2005

Something Wonderful Happened Today !!

The Special Prosecutor met with the Media. He announced the indictment of VP Cheney’s aide, “Scooter” Libby ,and he went on and on about “Grand Jury Secrecy”.

He kept ducking and dodging, and invoking “secrecy” , until finally
our Star Reporter – Malisha Hemlock – leaped to her feet and shouted out the question all of us in the Responsible Mainstream Media wanted answered :

“When is Karl Rove going to be charged with High Treason and frog-marched in handcuffs across the White House lawn ? “

Her courageous question seemed to galvanize the other reporters,and they began stamping their feet , and shaking their fists, and chanting :

“Two – Four – Six – Eight : Karl Rove’s Head Upon a Plate !”

The Special Prosecutor got very rattled , and called for Courthouse Security –then he did something truly un-American : He had them shut the microphones and cameras off : thus depriving the Public of the right to see our reasonable display of First Amendment Rights !

Our camera persons , deprived of power for their broadcast feeds, began chanting too:

“Frog March ! Frog March ! Karl Rove Frog March !”

It was obvious to all of us “The Fix” was in . Somebody – no ! Some evil Neo-cons had gotten to the Grand Jury and forced them to leave the part about Karl Rove out of their findings.

Utterly despicable – but we stood up to them –because we just can’t help being wonderful - and we invite you to do likewise.

Please join us on Monday morning when we storm the White House.
We’ll have the cameras rolling , and the World will get to watch you on TV !

We’ll start with : “Frog March – Karl Rove ” , and work our way up from there.

(Don’t forget to bring good, stout ropes , so we can really “hang this administration out to dry !”)

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Oh, No ! More Animals in the News !!

London: Researchers from Emory University of Texas, and The University of Louisiana have made a careful study of two separate groups of chimpanzees – in an effort to determine whether the primates have any “altruistic impulses”.

Both groups noted ,when chimps are provided with treats, they are not the least bit inclined to share them with other chimps – despite clearly identifiable “begging gestures” by their less fortunate counterparts.

( Oddly enough,the same behavior has been observed in self-described liberals – who tend to contribute far less to the needy than their “tight-fisted” conservative counterparts . )

Cape Girardeau,Mo : Sharon , a 7 month-old goat ,who is the mascot of the Sigma Chi Fraternity at Southeastern Missouri State University,had an exceptionally bad week !

On Friday,somebody sneaked inside a security fence at the frat house,and spray-painted the capering Caprine.

On Sunday, the poor goat was (excuse the expression ) kidnapped.

On Monday, police located the missing goat ,who had been placed behind the fence of a local animal hospital.

No arrests were made; and , to add insult to injury ,unsympathetic Animal Control officials have served an “eviction order” on the fraternity’s Caprine companion: saying it is illegal to keep “ farm animals “ inside city limits.

The Morning Paper dispatched its best bleating-heart reporter to interview Sharon ; who said - (while trying to chew the reporter’s notepad) she was proud to call herself a Caprine-American, and that she was outraged at the specie-ist prejudice she had encountered on and off campus.

Sharon said she is contemplating legal action, and has contacted the Caprine Appreciation League to that end.

(We didn’t have the heart to tell her the Caprine Appreciation League is a Middle Eastern group, dedicated to the creative preparation of goat meat.)

London: Over 26% of all dogs in Britain are “stressed out” ; and fully 1/3rd of all British canines are prone to vomiting and diarrhea –according to a survey of about 1200 pet owners , conducted by one Roger Mugford , a self-described pet behaviourist .

According to Mugford , humans lead increasingly busy lives , and feel guilty about not spending adequate time with their “animal companions”.

The survey results were announced by a spokesperson for “Direct Line Pet Insurance”- which may be as real as the statistic conclusions arrived at by this relatively tiny sampling of pet owners.

Come to think of it, I suspect someone was pulling the reporter’s leg- (dangerous metaphor there ) but maybe I’m barking up the wrong tree.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

“Biased” Reporting in Iraq ?

I recently posted a link to Michael Yon’s Online Magazine – specifically, to an article he wrote, entitled “Purple Fingers”.

(Here is a brief excerpt)

The soldiers do a pre-mission briefing before leaving the gates, and CSM Mellinger warned that the “Green Zone” is extremely dangerous, and not secure. “It’s just a place on the map,” he said. And then, apparently to make me feel more at home, he warned that journalists are specifically targeted. We started down Route Irish to the Combat Support Hospital (CSH) in the Green Zone.

Down at the CSH, Mellinger asked an Iraqi nurse what she thought of the referendum on Saturday. She seemed uncertain. Every time I’ve gone into a CSH, the people seem to be under stress, as if the carnage they see wears on them. Up in Mosul, one soldier told me that he once saw a nurse walk outside and just burst into tears.

For those unfamiliar with his work, Mr. Yon is a truly independent journalist – not affiliated or subservient to any of the networks, or to the so-called “think tanks” of the Right or Left. His work is totally financed by small contributions from people like you and me ; and, in case you are not aware of it, going to Iraq is a very expensive business !

He has travelled to Iraq twice , and has embedded himself with a line company of infantry. Embedded, in his case, means out in the field with the troops – not sitting in comfortable real echelon surroundings.

When the troops he is with are shot at – or bombed – he is in the line of fire ; but must resist the impulse to pick up a fallen soldier’s rifle ,and must continue to walk the fine line between “journalist” and “combatant”.

I admire his work ; but, as you might imagine, there are some Americans who claim his reporting is “biased” because it is “pro-American”.

These critics much prefer the work of “name” journalists , who hunker down in the relative safety of a heavily fortified and defended hotel,and who rely on “indigenous” correspondents and photographers (translation: correspondents embedded with the enemy ; only-we-can’t-call-them-“the enemy”-because-that-would-be-taking-sides.)

The work of these journalists can seldom be described as “pro-American” ; but it seems to fit the distorted, contorted worldview of the Neo-Left and their Copperhead companions.

Honest , no punches pulled reporting – such as that of Michael Yon-endangers the flimsy structure of their beliefs , and must therefore be labelled “biased”.

I have the feeling we could use a lot more Michael Yon – style “bias” in this troubled world !

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Good News for Iraqis = Bad News for Others ?

It’s official: the Iraqi people have voted to accept the contentiously-arrived-at draft of a new ,more democratic Charter.

The people came out and voted – in spite of bombings , drive-by shootings , beatings , threats , and vicious intimidation : but it appears their courage is not being greeted with much appreciation.

Islam Online first announced the Charter had been defeated – but hedged its bets by acknowledging – near the end of the article the Charter had actually been approved. Updated postings reflected the percentages : 78 % to 21% in favor of adoption - and began to complain the process had been rigged against the Sunnis.

Al Jazeera claimed the Charter had been “shoved down the throats “ of the Iraqi people.

The U.S. administration has managed to shove the rejected draft charter down the throats of the Iraqi people. The administration’s illegal tactics have been aided by the deliberate failure of the U.S media to investigate Iraq’s recent fraudulent elections. The evidence that this referendum was most certain to be rejected by the Iraqi people is abundant, but the United Nations and the media have chosen to ignore it.

Okay. I can understand the Islamic press being unhappy with democracy. How can you institute a caliphate if people are allowed to make up their own minds about how they wish to be governed ?

Let’s see what “our” Media has to say .

The Associated Press – which seems to view the election with a certain lack of enthusiasm – has now “buried” the good news in a story about American deaths in Iraq passing the 2000 mark , and increasing domestic opposition to the war.

CNN has followed the lead of AP in presenting this story.

I assume our “Mainstream Media” will (a) focus on American casualties and increasing resistance to the war ; (b) describe the Charter process as (Let me guess !) “deeply flawed”.

Was it flawed ? Let’s look at what the UN observers had to say :

The UN, which supervised the elections , says there was some fraud (about on the same order as we experience here , when the deceased rise from their graves in our larger cities to cast votes for the ruling political machine) ; but not enough to affect the outcome in any meaningful way.

The Radical Left has reacted (for the most part) with sullen silence, or with repetition of the Islamist “party line”. I assume they are too busy “celebrating” the death of 2000 Americans.

The Neo-Copperheads seem to be ignoring the Charter vote. (Some of them are apparently planning to join the Radical Left in celebrating American deaths, judging by board postings.)

From all this, I gather the Iraqi Charter elections are a blow to the self esteem of our national pundits. It did not work out as they had predicted-which means they were wrong – but, even if you were to torture them , they would never admit it ; because it might collapse the shaky foundations of their elaborate “Tower of Babel”.

Congratulations to the Iraqis with purple fingers !

Bad cess to your tormenters and detractors !

And as for those who celebrate the deaths of our troops –

“May the Devil come claim ye,while yer warm in the grave !”

Monday, October 24, 2005

Shh ! People From a Parallel Universe at Work !

Some say there are people who look like us, and walk amongst us:
people from a strange parallel universe !

Tijuana : A motorcylist , roaring through downtown Tijuana ,lost control while rounding a curve, crashed his bike , and fled on foot – leaving his helmet-wearing passenger behind.

When police checked the passenger, they discovered he had been dead for at least six hours. There were cuts and other wounds on his head ; and ligature marks suggested he had been strangled.

The deceased had bindles of methamphetamine in a pocket – leading police to suspect his demise had something to do with drugs. Police also speculated the motorcylist may have planned to dump the body in some remote,deserted area; but were mystified as to why he would have entered this heavily-populated city to do so.

Sidney: Australian authorities have apologized to the family of a man found dead in his car in a suburban shopping center.

The victim, who was in his 70’s and in poor health, had disappeared 9 days earlier, and police were supposed to be on the lookout for him.

When the body was finally discovered, police found one of their Parking officers had found him a day earlier – but had been so dedicated to his duty , he placed a parking ticket on the windshield of the decedent’s car , and walked away.

(Crikey,mate ! Bein’ dead’s no excuse for illegal parkin’ !)

West Bend, Wisconsin: A 40 year-old man from Hartford, Wisc. has told police he placed envelopes - containing photos of his genitalia
on the windshields of women who worked in local shopping centers , because he thought they “would find it funny”.

It seems he was inspired - while viewing a porn site- to offer photos of his “family jewels” for sale online ; but there were no takers . He had a large number of photos to dispose of , and decided to be more selective.

The “photogenic one” has been charged (so far) with 8 counts of lewd behavior and 5 counts of disorderly conduct. The District Attorney’s office says it expects another 14 counts to be filed here,and notes additional charges may be filed in other counties in which the defendant may have distributed his bounty.

Circuit Court Judge Annette Ziegler was able to control her amusement long enough to remand the defendant on $ 3000 bail.

(That’s today’s crop of people whose actions suggest they occupy a strange parallel universe – which occasionally intersects with ours – to our surprise and dismay.)

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Plan to Bomb Nuclear Reactor in US ?

October 04, 2005

CENTCOM: A recent posting to the UK-based Islamic Renewal Organization website assigned the “al-Qa'ida Organization in America led by Abu-Azzam al-Amriki” the task of blowing up a US nuclear reactor in the near future

This fantasy threat will go unfulfilled as the terrorists realize that any type of mass destruction attack would harm everyone. It would not only mean the end of al-Qa’ida and similar gangster-type organizations which routinely kill innocent women and children, but will ultimately hurt the communities of the terrorists and their supporters.

The right side of the law is not that which disrupts civilization and creates mayhem in the land or interferes with commerce, education, and the rights of men to raise their children safely. The terrorists have sent the message that their own families and neighbors are worth nothing and they are running out of places to hide. World history has proven that such brigands soon exceed their abilities and are justly punished.

Arabic Text:
إعلان جديد لتنظيم التجديد الإسلامي على موقعهم الإلكتروني في المملكة المتحدة, بتعيين "منظمة ألقاعدة في أمريكا التي يقودها أبو عزام الأمريكي" مهمة تفجير مفاعل نووي في الولايات المتحدة في المستقبل القريب. هذا التهديد الخيالي لن يتم تحقيقه عندما يتيقن الإرهابيون بأن أي نوع هجوم "تدمير شامل" سوف ينتج عنه أذىً للجميع. سوف لن يعني فقط النهاية لتنظيم ألقاعدة ومنظمات العصابات المشابهة ألتي بشكل روتيني تقتل الأبرياء من نساء وأطفال, بل في النهاية ستؤذي مجتمعات الإرهابيين ومؤيديهم. ليس الجانب الصحيح للقانون ذلك الذي يعطل الحضارة ويخلق ضرراً بتعمد في الأرض, أو بتعطيل التجارة والثقافة وحقوق الرجال في تربية أولادهم في بيئة آمنة, فالإرهابيون قد بعثوا رسالة بأن عائلاتهم وجيرانهم لا يستحقون شيئاً. لم يعد للإرهابيون مكاناً يختبؤون فيه. لقد برهن تاريخ العالم بأن قطاع الطرق كهؤلاء سوف يتجاوزون قدراتهم عن قريب وسيعاقبون بعدل.

“Terrorism: Participant Says al-Qa'ida in US Set to Attack Nuclear Reactor, Outlines Geographic Divisions

On 3 October, "Ayaf" posted a message to the Islamic Renewal Organization's forum in which he stated that "orders to destroy a nuclear reactor in the US " have been assigned to the al-Qa'ida division in the US , which is led by Abu Azzam al-Amriki.

The message also included the geographic area of responsibility for the al-Qa'ida leadership. "Ayaf" stated that he came about this information via a conversation with "brother Abu-Jandal," who he said is "close to al-Qa'ida leadership."

"Ayaf" signs all his postings to the forum as "Al-Zarqawi's aide," and includes his email addresses: " m and" The poster also included a photo of an individual in his signature. The individual sits before a background of Mecca . It is unclear whether this photo is of the author himself or someone else. Jihadist forum participants frequently include photos of "mujahidin martyrs" in their postings. *

*Note: This website no longer active.

A translation of the posting follows:

"Designation of tasks and geographic division for the al-Qa'ida Organizations . . . Orders to destroy a nuclear reactor

I transmit to you what went on between me and brother Abu-Jandal, who is close to the al-Qa'ida leadership. The middleman said that the leadership agreed to the following geographic division:

 al-Qa'ida Organization in the Middle East, Qa'idat al-Jihad led by Abu-Mus'ab al-Zarqawi
 --- al-Qa'ida Organization in Europe, Abu-Hafs al-Masri Brigades Organization led by Abu-Hamam
 -- al-Qa'ida Organization in America led by Abu-Azzam al-Amriki [the American]

The tasks are designated as agreed upon, add to that, the fact that al-Qa'ida is adamant on attacking a nuclear reactor in America during the coming days. The task will be designated by the leader Abu-Azzam al-Amriki.

Note that the FBI has published several photos of a wanted man under a variety of names. They said that he wanted to blow up a nuclear reactor. The last name published with that picture was Ja'far al-Tayyar. This was two years ago.

After that, it was unknown whether that photo was delusive, or whether he was arrested, or killed, since we no longer heard from him or saw pictures of him.

According to the information made available, the mission was assigned to the leader Abu-Azzam al-Amriki, may God grant him success. This is the information that we received. We present it to you just as we received it. We bear, with God's help, all [the consequences] that result from this."

The Islamic Renewal Organization is the website of the Saudi dissident group, formerly known as CDLR, based in the United Kingdom and headed by Muhammad al-Mas'ari.”

The FBI has been seeking information on this individual since 2004.

Link to their “poster”:

Is the “threat” real,or another “wannabee” boast ? I don’t know ; but,
I would hope, if any of you reading this has any information, you would contact the FBI.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Commander 'n Cheat

It’s now out in the open: The new TV drama “Commander in Chief” was aired to pre-test and pre-market the candidacy of Hillary Clinton for President in 2008.

Secondary goals may have been : getting on Hillary’s “good side” early on, suggesting what her agenda should be , getting some juicy staff appointments lined up in advance ,getting an inside track for the campaign advertising dollars – the possibilities are endless.

With this in mind, here are my screenplay notes for an ALL (!) NEW (!)
EPISODE (!) of TV’s up-and-coming drama :

(Please note: In keeping with my usual practice, I have made a conscious effort to offend as many people as possible. It’s hard work, but somebody has to do it ! )


(Scene is the Breakfast Nook in the White House. Camera does quick pan of tastefully set table , waiting attendants. Then, in background, we hear: )

Marine Guard : “ Ten….HUT !!”

(Secret Service Agents are shown briefly. They are at rigid attention-and humming “Hail to the Chief”. Brisk footsteps approach the Breakfast Nook.)

President Clinton : (Enter,stage right. Stops abruptly, glances back, snarls:)” Agent Witherspoon : Is that a gravy stain on your tie ?”

Witherspoon : (Stammering) “N-no, Madame President . It’s a blood stain…from when I got shot last time ? Jumping between you and that –uh- disappointed campaign contributor ?”

President : “ Oh. Yes. Well, consider yourself “on report” anyway. I want my people to look sharp !” (Enters Breakfast Nook.)

Attendant : “Good morning,Madame President ! What would you like for breakfast ?”

: “ Bring me a tall glass of iced tea with lemon. I need something to warm up my blood and sweeten my disposition.”
(Smiles. Geena Davis she’s not.)

Bill (Bubba) Clinton : ( Enters Breakfast Nook, looking a bit sheepish.)
“Mornin’ darlin’ !”

President : “Don’t good morning me, you worm …and it’s “Madame President” to you ! “

Bubba : “Lord,woman ! What did ah do now ? “

President : “You know very well what you did ! Last night !! “

Bubba : (Bites lip) “Ah did not have sex with that woman ! “

President : (Glares) “What woman ? “

Bubba : “ Helen Thomas , darlin’ . She was in the Lincoln bedroom last night, but she was with some Ay-rab feller : Pajama ? No, Osama .
Osama bin Laden, or some such. An’ Hugo Chavez, too. “

President: “What was Hugo Chavez doing in the Lincoln bedroom ?”

Bubba : “ Well….Fidel couldn’t make it. He is getting’ on in age,darlin’.
Hugo sorta took his place.

President : “ And what,exactly, were you doing there ?”

Bubba : “ Mostly, ah was tryin’ to keep a straight face, darlin’.”
(Grins) “ Ol’ Osama bin tryin’ , but he wasn’t doin’ much to uphold the honor of Islam – if you catch my drift. Ol’ Hugo kept a-yellin; : “Just pretend she’s a camel !” ; and Osama fires back : “ I thought she was !”

Bubba : An’ ol’ Helen : she’s lookin’ disgusted – like she mostly does anyway – and she says : “Do you think the American people will (umph) stand for this ? “

President: (Intrigued,in spite of herself) “ Then what ?”

Bubba : “Ol’ Hugo shouts: “ They won’t stand for it – they’ll be too busy rollin’ on the floor, laughin’ !”

Bubba: “ That was some “interview” she did ! Ah had the Chief of Staff tape the whole thing – just like ah had someone tape that interview you give to Janet before she got her big job.”

President: “ You-you – PIG ! If I ever find that tape , you’re HISTORY ! “

(Fade to……………..Commercial break.)

Thursday, October 20, 2005

It’s Geneva Conventions Time !

CNN – and any newsreader who can find a microphone and camera – is about to have a cow !

Oooh ! Ooooh !! Oooooh !!! (Newsreader looks shocked ) The Geneva Conventions have been violated (newsreader looks stern)
by American Troops - (newsreader frowns) In Afghanistan !!!

(Newsreader bites lip,pretends to look reluctant.) Let’s go to the video ! (Studio camera catches newsreader’s triumphant smile just before tape begins.)

Let’s see what all the fuss – and newsroom joy – is about , okay ?

On October 1st, troops who were part of a psychological warfare unit – attached to the US Army 173rd Airborne Brigade- moved the bodies of two dead terrorists ( the media persists in calling them “Taliban fighters”) into the hills ouside the village of Gonbaz- near the old Taliban stronghold at Kandahar.

Instead of wrapping the bodies in white linen and interring them with proper Muslim ceremony, the troops laid the bodies down – facing Mecca ( a big no-no !) ,doused them with fuel, and burned them,

Adding insult to injury, the troops then broadcast the following message in the local dialect , using loudspeakers:

“Taliban, you are all cowardly dogs ! You allowed your fighters to be laid down facing west and burned. You are too scared to come down and retrieve their bodies.”

(You don’t have to be a genius to figure out that the whole point of the exercise was to enrage the Taliban so much they would leave the safety of their hideouts and come storming into a carefully-laid ambush-thereby reducing the threat of Taliban terrorism for some time to come.Alas ! Such an outcome was not to be .)

An Australian free-lance reporter – Stephen Dupont – was shocked at this egregious violation of the Geneva Conventions, and had his camera crew record the burning bodies, and the watching American troops. He then filed an indignant report : American Misconduct in Afghanistan ! Geneva Conventions flouted !! Film at eleven !!!

Was the burning of the bodies a violation of the Geneva Conventions ?
Probably – and the Army is treating the matter as a crime : sending out CID teams , dotting every “i” and crossing every “t” – something the Army’s Rear Echelon ….persons are exceptionally good at.

The media,of course, is treating this incident as a “new Abu Ghraib” scandal , with which they hope to attack the Administration – especially the much-despised Donald Rumsfield , Secretary of Defense,and bane of reporters–who–ask–really–dumb–questions–during–press conferences.

Shouldn’t we be all distressed and agog ? Stammering with shame and confusion ? We are talking about the sacred, inviolable Geneva Conventions, are we not ?

Truth be known , this series of international treaties on the rules of “civilized warfare” –enacted between 1864 and 1949- has never been much more than words on paper,and long lists of arcane rules : almost none of which have any relationship to the realities of modern warfare.

One must , for example , never sharpen the edge of one’s bayonet – only the tip – but it’s okay to carry a sharp knife or machete, or to hone the edge of one’s entrenching shovel: thereby turning a tool into a weapon.

Rifle,pistol, and machinegun ammunition must be fully jacketed , to reduce the likelihood bullets will expand upon impact with human flesh-
but Russian and Chinese troops are equipped with the new AK-74 : which fires bullets made with a hollow tip under the metal jacket,so they will penetrate deeply and expand rapidly. ( Have you heard anyone protest – or even mention this wholesale violation ?)

In World War I, both the Germans and the “Allies” used poison gas against each other. In World War II, all parties involved engaged in the bombing of civilian targets. The Japanese experimented with biowarfare agents on helpless prisoners. We experimented with the non-peaceful use of atomic energy on the Japanese – and so it goes.

Now we are engaged in a war against terrorists- (Ooops ! We’re supposed to call them “Heroic Freedom Fighters” !!) – whose only interest in the Geneva Conventions arises when they are captured.

These are folks who murder children for daring to go to school,who beat and exploit women, who bomb their own countrymen because they follow a different version of Islam, who kidnap and behead people who have come to help their country rebuild, who murder and terrorize all they come into contact with.

It’s nice-I suppose-if we follow the Geneva Conventions while fighting them ; but I hope you will pardon my total indifference to violations –no matter how egregious – of their burial customs.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Official Conduct in the News

Sofia,Bulgaria: Two Bulgarian border guards are facing a variety of theft charges after a high-tech mobile phone – issued to US Ambassador John Beyrle was found in one of the guards’ pocket.

The Ambassador had set the phone down near the X-ray screening machines while his baggage was being screened by the two guards,and, when he glanced back, he saw the phone was missing.

The guards denied the phone had even been there;but, to their sorrow,the phone had a built-in tracking device,which-when activated-pinpointed its location in one of the guard’s pocket.

(Can you hear me now ? You have the right to a jail cell. )

Silchang,India: 54 years ago, 23 year-old Machal Lalung had an epilepsy attack-but was mis-diagnosed as “mentally ill” and confined to an asylum.

The patient protested to doctors – but was apparently thought to be “in denial” about his “illness” – and his confinement simply continued.

Thanks to the intervention of a human rights group, Lalung – now 77-has been released, and is living quietly with a nephew. He has no memory of his family,his original tribal dialect,or his earlier life.According to his nephew,he putters around in the garden,and so forth, but is essentially “waiting patiently for death”.

When reporters asked Lalung about women , he said there were many women in the hospital, but he never made friends with, or sought a relationship with one. “Who would want to marry a crazy woman ?”,he asked.

( What a shame this man’s deluded doctors cannot take his place in the asylum ! Let’s see: delusions of grandeur, denial of reality…)

Albequerque,NM : Bob Schwartz, Governor Bill Richard’s crime adviser,was hospitalized briefly over the weekend because of serious dog bites – inflicted by one of the Schwartz dogs.

Mr. Schwartz is the author of a new state law that permits filing of felony charges against the owners of dangerous dogs – especially dogs that attack people.

The law requires-among other things – prompt reporting by medical caregivers of all dogbites.

(Thus far, no such official report has been filed ; and Mr. Schwartz remains the proud owner of 2 bulldogs and a boxer.)

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Tuesday Trivia

Wasau,Wisconsin: A hungry 78 year old man drove his car into the glass entryway of a Burger King restaurant,causing extensive damage.

The man backed up, parked his car,and ordered a meal. He was sitting at a table,rather nonchalantly, eating his meal, when police arrived.

No summons was issued, because the incident occurred on private property.

(The restaurant manager declined to say what kind of food the gentleman ordered , but it definitely sounds like a “Happy Meal”.)

Brussels: European “sex workers” ( that’s the new PC term for prostitutes ) are demanding their unique profession be recognized as “work” , and say they deserve the same social rights as workers in other industries.

Male and female members of ICRSE (International Committee on the Rights of Sex Employees) held a news conference , urging the 25 member European Union to end discrimination against the Sex Industry.

Camille Cabral ,speaking for French workers, said it was time to end the stigma associated with the Sex Industry.

Reporters noted her tastefully selected ensemble included bright pink stickers reading : “Sluts Unite !” and “ Whore Power”.

(Parents of teenagers : You are now on notice as to what next week’s hot fashion statement will be. )

Monday, October 17, 2005

Monday Morning Musings

New York : American feminists – who have long complained about Barbie Dolls, and the “Barbie look” – are expected to go ballistic over toy maker Mattel’s plan to introduce high-priced, Barbie-styled designer clothing and accessories for women – under the “Barbie Luxe” label.

“Our target model is the fashionista “, according to Richard Dixon, VP of consumer marketing. “ It’s not Mattel’s usual target audience.”

“When a teen or 20-something is carrying an Anya Hindmarch Barbie bag, it’ll reinforce Barbie as (a) relevant cool brand for little girls”,said Dixon. “ Little girls are growing up faster than ever.”

(Indeed !)

Little girls have dainty feet – compared to the subject of this Texas conference.

Jefferson,TX: A Bigfoot Conference has drawn hundreds of true believers here to mill about tables stacked with plaster casts of footprints, books, T-shirts, and other memorabilia.

The purpose of the conference is to discuss the latest sighting reports,learn about new tracking methods, and to review the proper procedures for preservation of Sasquatchian evidence.

Conference participants estimate there may be as many as 2000 of the reclusive,hairy,evil-smelling giants living in North America, and believe it is only a matter of time before incontrovertible evidence is brought to light.

Hmm…. 2000, huh ? Nah. Not enough for a voting bloc – though it might work here:

Oakley,ID: The city of Oakley has two City Council vacancies to fill in November – but no candidates for the positions : not even a write-in candidate.

It appears the vacancies may have to be filled by mayoral appointment
If no one writes in to file for candidacy by October 25th.

( We should be so lucky around here ! )

Sunday, October 16, 2005

One for Each Hand

It’s funny the things you half-forget about your children – but are reminded of as new generations come along.

We had a get together today : my wife and I, our five children, seven grandchildren, and one great-grandson – two year-old Nicholas - who is fond of cookies.

Nicholas wanted a cookie for each hand , but seemed unsatisfied when he got his wish . Then I remembered: the correct “ one for each hand “ formula is : one cookie to nibble on –and then – one for each hand.

It’s the same formula his Great-Aunt Marianne “required” at the same age ; and, for a few moments, I was awash in memories – and regrets.

I’ve always wished I could have shared more of my children’s “growing-up” years – but you can’t always do what your heart tells you is right ;and like most parents , I had to settle for doing what I could.

We can’t always have “one for each hand” and one to nibble on.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Biowarfare: Are My Predictions Coming True ?

In August, I wrote a blog about “the next 9/11”,in which I suggested the next attack might come in on the wings of wildfowl – carrying a lethal-to-humans Chinese-manipulated version of Avian Influenza (“bird flu”).

I predicted in that blog the Chinese would suddenly announce they had developed a vaccine for the deadly disease – and that they would make it available to the world : at a price.

“Bird Flu” has erupted in the Far East, in Russia,and in Europe, and has been claiming human victims. There may have been “non-human” cases in the United States and Canada already.

An alarm has been raised. The President has asked for a major government-funded project to fight the oncoming pandemic (and some witless politicians have voiced the usual criticisms).

The are vaccines – but they are of limited efficacy. The World Health Organization is still trapped in its own bureaucratic timewarp. The Media is finally voicing shrill cries of alarm (between car commercials and promos,of course),and folks are beginning to get a wee bit worried.

(“If civilization grinds to an ignominious halt, how will that affect the playoffs?” “ What will be in fashion after an epidemic ?” “Shouldn’t we push for a new art museum now – while there is still somebody to pay for it” ?)

I sort of wondered when I read a few months ago about “vaccines being administered to Party leaders” in China (source Boxun Network) after an outbreak of “streptococcus suis” – (modified bird flu ?), and I was not too surprised when I read this on the Reuters Alert Net this morning.

BEIJING, Oct 15 (Reuters) - China has developed a new and better vaccine for use on birds against the avian influenza strain that scientists fear could cause a global pandemic among humans, state media said on Saturday.

(This is an excerpt. Full article is available here.)

When I published my original blog, there were many who suggested a nice,long rest in a well-padded room might be helpful – or that the tinfoil in my (deerstalker) hat might be in need of replacement.

To tell you the truth, I hope they are right !

UPDATE: October 20,2005- Source Recombinomics Commentary:

Dr. Henry Niman reports H5N1 - infected birds were smuggled into Taiwan from China,and were part of a cargo seized.

I think my tinfoil hat is getting loose again !

Friday, October 14, 2005

Commander-In-Chief ?

Yes ma’am ! No ma’am ! Aye-aye,ma’am !!

Shine your shoes,ma’am ?

I’ve been watching (what some call) the Hillary Clinton Commercial-otherwise known as “Commander –in- Chief” , on ABC, and have to admit I’m fascinated !

The plot goes something like this: The President is dying. He summons his Vice President –ably portrayed by Gena Davis – and asks her to resign : saying she really wasn’t his choice for the office, but he needed her to get the Women’s vote.

Madam VP is not too thrilled – in fact one could say she is enraged ; but she drafts a letter of resignation like a good and faithful do-bee ,and is about to turn it in for typing , when – you guessed it – El Presidente messes up everybody’s plans by dying.

Can you say “coup d’etat” ? Neither can I, but Madam Vice President sure can ! She tears up the letter and gets herself sworn in as President before you can say “ Purloined silverware.”

While official Washington is still reeling from the shock, the new President mounts a military operation to free a Nigerian woman who has been condemned to death for adultery.

She lets the Nigerian ambassador watch the planning . He is – as one might expect – horrified ; and races to the phone to call his boss, and to arrange the safe release of the woman into US military custody.

At this point, the women of America are divided : some shouting : “Sisterhood is powerful !” ; others muttering : “ I don’t like that outfit on her. “

A week later,Madam President confounds the Evil-Republican Speaker of the House by selecting one of her most bitter rivals-a retired general- to be her Vice President.(He seems to have a Southern accent…Arkansas,maybe. Sort of like retired general Clarke….Could it be ???)

While confounding Evil-Republicans and Dazed-Democrats ,Madam
President overthrows the military dictator of an un-named South American country by sending planes ,with orders to spray the cocoa crop and bomb the cocaine-processing facilities.

The cocoa farmers overthrow the dictator, and the crops are spared-but-just to keep everybody on the same page, Gena has the cocaine processing plants destroyed.

Wow ! Two military operations in as many weeks !! This President is making Ronald Reagan look like somebody’s feeble Grandmother !!!

The Media responds by mobbing the President’s children – but is forced to hunker down, shame-faced when the President herself confronts them , and orders them to lay off.

There’s nary a peep out of the UN – but I imagine that’s because she’s threatened to nuke ‘em.

One of the amusing features of this slightly psycho drama is the role of the “First Husband” . ( Bubba, are you reading this ? )

We are led to believe he was once a powerful politician; but now he is being consulted on menu choices , and being handed color swatches.

Presumably he will soon be directed to spend a few hours on the Stair Master  firming up those thighs,and getting rid of unsightly midriff bulge.

( It’s also safe to assume the Secret Service will protect him from inadvertent ravishment by Interns , etc. ; and that the only woman he will have sex with will be Madam President – if she ever allows him in her bed again. )

As I remarked at the beginning, this show fascinates me – and, if this really is a “Hillary Commercial” – it scares the hell out of me !

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Today’s Trivial News – Including Justin Raimondo

Port Charlotte,FL: The pastor of the Bethanie Seventh Day Adventist Church was forced to call the Sheriff’s Office for help when 16 of his parishioners began singing hymns as he tried to deliver his service.

One of the caroling congregants said the group was protesting the diversion of $ 100,000 in hurricane insurance proceeds from Bethanie to the building of a new church in Fort Myers : apparently a pet project of the pastor.

Another complained the pastor had assaulted him during an October 1st meeting to elect new church board members.

All 16 were charged with simple trespass, released without bail,and advised to worship elsewhere. All agreed,saying their primary goal was to rid their church of this particular pastor.

The pastor said he “just wants to get on” with delivering his message-but it sounds as if he might have a tough audience !

San Angelo,TX : Texas-Angelo State University is now the proud possessor of a baby two-headed rattlesnake : Western Diamondback type –donated by a visiting professor of Biology.

The professor said he found the creature in a rockpile; and notes the two fully functional heads were joined at the neck. Both heads had eyes,forked tongues,and fully functional fangs.

Noting that the snake was lethargic, refused food, and wouldn’t strike at him,the biologist euthanized it, before presenting it to the University.

(“Eat your veggies, or I’ll euthanize you !”, snarled Mom. )

Speaking of Snakes: Justin Raimondo ,spokesperson for what some call the “Copperhead Faction” of the Libertarian movement , had some unkind words for those who would spread democracy in the Middle East , and other parts of the world.

(You may view his complete text here.)

Justin has expressed a preference for strong leaders : men with a mustache and a mission - like Slobodan Milosevic and Saddam Hussein , and clean-shaven chaps like the murderous Hugo Chavez : all men who – given the opportunity – would stand him against a wall just to see how many AK-47 rounds he could absorb.

This may surprise you, but not everybody loves Justin !

(Me ? I find him ....trivial. )

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Important (?) News From Around the Globe

Chesapeake ,VA: Motorists who travel busy Interstate 464 in eastern Virginia will no doubt be distraught to learn one of two full-sized fiberglass cows has been stolen from a 50’ billboard overlooking the highway –assuming they ever noticed it in the first place.

The theft was discovered by workers from a company that services billboards . They expressed some bafflement as to how it was carried out, but note there have been about a dozen such thefts across the country in the last year.

Value of the “rustled” fiberglass cow - $3200;

Advertising value of reporting the theft : Priceless.

Seneca Falls,NY : Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton – especially noted for her collection of White House silverware – has been inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.

Montclair,CA : When a 71 car Union Pacific freight train stopped for a signal,the perhaps-overly-enterprising Juventino Vallejo - Camerena
climbed aboard ,armed with a bow and arrow , and allegedly tried to hijack it.

The two UP employees aboard – the engineer and the conductor – made their escape , turned off the fuel switches so the engine could not be moved,and, in a departure from Wild West tradition ,used a cell phone to call the police.

When the cops arrive , the wannabee hijacker pointed his bow at them and drew back the string; but one of the officers (who had, perhaps, heard tales of The Lone Ranger) shot the bow right out of his hand-merely grazing the “owlhoot’s” wrist.

The train was loaded with containers – nothing hazardous – and was bound for an ocean shipping port. What this latter-day outlaw planned to do with it is unclear.

(Oh well: Let’s whistle a few bars of “The William Tell Overture”
anyway ! )

Miami Gardens, FL: The disappearance of Frances- a treasured one year-old Siamese cat appears to have been solved.

Fish and Wildlife personnel were called to the scene of the disappearance when a man –who was searching for his lost wallet-
Discovered a 12’ Burmese python taking its ease.

The snake – captured after a strenuous tussle – had a missing-cat-sized-bulge in the midsection.

Such incidents are increasingly common in Florida , where residents who think it is “way cool” to own pythons , boas , and other potentially dangerous snakes , think it equally cool to turn the creatures loose in the Everglades.

(Picture this: Former snake owner stands at the edge of the “Glades”, humming “ Born Free” , as Agnes, his former pet , eyes him with increasing interest. "Are these things edible ? , she muses…)

Monday, October 10, 2005

All the Naked News That’s Fit to Print

Clearfield,Utah: A 51 year-old Sunset, Utah man, who, it is alleged, has a certain fondness for appearing nude in public , was charged with lewdness after entering a local convenience store- wearing nothing but a tentative smile.

Not content with that achievement,he reportedly made a trip –au natural-past the drive-in window at a fast food restaurant,

After being arrested and released on recognizance, the intrepid flasher telephoned the convenience store,asked permission to enter the store naked,and tried to talk employees out of testifying against him.

Store personnel called the police-who watched as the man approached the shop, stripped naked , and walked inside.

He is now lodged in the county jail on a variety of charges and has been issued nice, eye-catching orange clothing.

For more of the “naked truth”, let us go to:

Darlington, SC : When police responded to an intrusion alarm at a local check cashing/cash advance center, they noticed ceiling tiles,insulation,wires and braces littering the floor.

A naked 22 year-old man – whose body showed numerous scapes, bruises and abrasions, then dropped from the ceiling and tried to open the front door .

He claimed somebody had thrown his keys up on the roof of the building – which explained why he might have climbed up there – but was at a bit of a loss to explain why he had removed his clothes and slid through a roof air vent.

The intruder has been charged with burglary, and will doubtless be chagrined to learn the business keeps no money on the premises overnight.

Medford,Oregon: A 33 year-old man, who is registered in the state of Washington as a sex offender, apparently started out his visit to Oregon naked-and covered with what looked like excrement.

A Medford woman was a bit alarmed when she saw the visitor enter her yard – wearing nothing but a piece of rope around his waist.

The man then tore a strip of “leopard - pattern” vinyl from the seat of a lawn chair, and used it to fashion himself a sort of loincloth.

The woman alerted police, who began looking for him – but four high school girls riding in a car spotted him first.

By this time,the Washington man had acquired a pair of jeans – (cool!) but still appeared to be covered with excrement – ( uncool !)

The young ladies declined his request for a lift to a nearby motel, and called police.

Police took the man into custody and stripped him, prepatory to hosing him down – (he said he had rolled in tomato paste the night before, but police scented a whiff of deception ) – and found he was wearing a leopard - pattern vinyl loincloth, secured by a rope.

(Two cases solved with one arrest ! Now that’s police work !)

Friday, October 07, 2005

Have They, At Last, No Shame ??

It has just come to my attention – via the Associated Press – the Evil Idealogues in the US House of Representatives have voted to fund hurricane relief by making cuts in Medicaid funding !

The House resolution calls for de-funding Medicaid-subsidized purchase of vitally needed erectile disfunction drugs (EDD)– such as Viagra and Cialis !!

It was bad enough when they voted to cut off EDD funding for sex offenders , but this is just over the top. Have they, at last, no shame ??

Don’t they realize, without EDD funding there will be lower birth rates among disfunctional and lower income families ? That Public Assistance applications may decrease , instead of increasing at comfortably predictable levels ??

Hasn’t it crossed their puny minds there may well be a serious ripple effect ?

Fewer recipients could have an adverse effect on the careers of thousands of dedicated Assistance workers : fewer job openings;fewer opportunities for supervisors ; fewer chances for the up-and-coming Administrator to attend catered meetings and conferences with peers; fewer opportunities to nod wisely and say : “Yes. This is important. This is very important !”

Please contact your elected representatives today , and let them know how much is riding on the setting aside of this ill-considered decision :
campaign contributions , welcoming speeches , and votes (assuming any of you actually vote ! )

Amalgamated Social Service and Incredibly Perspicacious Executive Supervisors *
Executive Committee

* Sorry for long name. We haven't come up with a catchy acronym yet !

-This message sponsored in part by the EDD Mfrs. Of America -

Thursday, October 06, 2005

I Hadn’t Planned to Tell This Story – But :

Sometimes you have to speak out and be heard – even when you’re a Certified Old Fogey .

Long ago , but not too far away , I lived in a little country town, in upstate New York. Most of the people who lived there were small farmers, tradesmen, mechanics, or factory workers : “blue collar with pretensions” , I guess you’d call us.

The town was mostly what my Dad used to call “ Narrowback Protestants “ ( You’d have to show a girl your Sunday School pins before she’d neck in a parked car with you ) with a scattering of Roman Catholics (regarded with deep suspicion) and one or two Jews (routinely mocked and despised.)

One of the town Jews- an old grouch named Meyer- owned a United Cigar store : candy, newspapers,cigarettes, tobacco, pipes, magazines, and sundries.

On the 4th of July – if you were old enough , and hadn’t been kicked out of the store too many times , you might be allowed to buy (illegal, immoral, delightful) firecrackers.

When World War II ended , one of the soldiers who came home was a fellow named Sid. We’d always heard Jews got “ the soft spots” in the Army : places where they would never be in danger, and could probably turn a few bucks on the side ; so we didn’t quite know what to make of Sid – who had been a Ranger, and who had taken 6 machine gun bullets in the hedgerows of France.

Sid married Meyer’s very pretty daughter, and took over the store –
As much as Meyer would let him, anyway; and, in the fullness of time,became the man to see if you wanted to buy cigarettes ( for your Dad,of course ), condoms ( to carry in your wallet –forever unused ) or those illegal, immoral ,delightful 4th of July firecrackers.

Our part-time Town Constable – as narrowback as they come – regarded the Cigar store as a den of iniquity , and kept a very close eye on it : the same way he kept a close eye on “the girls” who worked in the town’s little factory. He was the foreman there – and universally hated for his ability to sneak up behind workers and catch them if they paused to chat.

He sneaked up on me as I prepared to light the second firecracker from a pack I had just talked Sid into selling me . “I’ll take those firecrackers ,”he purred. “ You’re in big trouble !”

The Constable wasted no time in making his offer: I would not be prosecuted for possession of fireworks , but would have to identify the person who sold them to me…in front of a Jury.

When you are 12 years old and trying (well:sort of) to do the right thing, a Subpoena can make you feel pretty tense.

For one thing, I liked and respected Sid and his wife. I used to hang out in the store when I could , and talk about life , and values, and the turbulent world we lived in. They never “talked down” to me , and I had gotten to be on a first name basis with them.

On the other hand , Dad was part of the Town Board that paid the Constable’s salary , and I was expected to be reasonably upright and law-abiding. I knew – when summoned to testify in a case – one is supposed to tell the truth , the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

I agonized for weeks over what to do in the matter of The State of New York - by Grace of God Free and Independent vs Sid : wounded war veteran , small town merchant ,and friend. Everyone I talked to had different advice – even Sid , who said : “ Whether it helps me or harms me - do what your conscience says is right.”

Suddenly it was time to appear in court. The Constable came to the house , and we began driving to the County seat.

We rode in silence for a while, and then he said : “ Don’t be nervous. All you have to do is tell the truth. “ He glanced over at me. “ Do you think you can do that ?”

“Yes sir”, I responded glumly.

“Good !”, he beamed. “ I’ve been trying to get something on that damn kike for a long time !”

Would it surprise you to learn I had a sudden loss of memory on the stand ? That Sid and his attorney sat there trying not to look surprised as the memory loss persisted ? That cross-examination by the prosecution and further direct questioning by an irate judge failed to restore my faculties ?

I hadn’t planned to tell this story –ever ; but today I ran across another anti-Semite on the Internet --- and I guess you could say it restored my memory !

Just a couple of footnotes: One Halloween night, the Constable found himself the "disgruntled"- I guess you could say - possessor of a 300 lb.,not-very-happy pig,which had somehow gotten tied to the bumper of his patrol car. (That was back when cars actually had bumpers !)

You could ask me who was responsible,but I'd probably have trouble remembering the guilty party's name !

The other thing is less flattering: Often,of a sleepless night, I find myself wishing I had grown up to be half the man I was at the age of 12...

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

The Anthrax Investigation: Deceptions and False Trails

Just over four years ago, a small batch of letters was dropped into the mail at Palmer Square, Princeton, NJ. Unlike our regular, dependable mail, these letters were tainted with a reasonable approximation of weapons-grade anthrax.

Evaluators have differed over how close to weapons-grade the deadly enclosure was, but none can quarrel with its effect: 5 people known dead, at least 17 others seriously ill (some with permanent after-effects) , paralysis of the postal system, contamination of Senate offices, and nationwide panic.

The letters themselves contained layers of deception – ranging from the use of a fictitious New Jersey elementary school as a return address on the envelopes, to the text of the letters themselves.

This is the text (including exact punctuation used ) of the letter sent to Senator Tom Daschle ( D- S. Dakota ) who was then Senate Majority Leader.



This is the text (Note lack of punctuation) of the Brokaw and NY Post letters.



( Please note – in both sets of letters – the flat,unemotional affect of the text. No exclamations; no excitement.)

It took me quite a while – and the reading of Lord knows how many actual “jihad” letters , published by genuine Islamic militants – to see
what was wrong with the text of these letters : “Allah” is mentioned in the wrong part of the anthrax letters.

Every “jihad letter” I have ever seen opens with a pious invocation of the name of Allah ; eg : “The blessings of Allah the merciful and compassionate be upon us.” – even when the rest of the letter promises the destruction of the recipient.

Placing the name of God at the end of the letters constitutes an act of disrespect verging upon the blasphemous , and tells us the persons who prepared the anthrax letters were probably not militant Muslims.

Yet another (probable) layer of deception is the use of “ 09-11-01” as a heading. It is intended to persuade the recipient the letter has a direct relationship to the 9/11 attacks – and was , arguably, carried out by the same organization : al-Qaeda.

Viewed as a deception alone , the letters say ( to me, anyway ) “ This attack has nothing to do with 9/11; and, had it occurred at some other time, might well have revealed the identities of those responsible. We have, therefore, used 9/11 as a frame of reference because we want you to link these separate events. “

Footnote on the letters: The misspelling of penicillin as “penacilin” in the letters has been taken as evidence they were written by a non-English-speaking person. If you run a search of that word-spelled that way- you will learn such a misspelling is fairly common among Americans – especially those who learned phonetic spelling- as a precursor for “the real thing” -in school; Americans now in their 30’s and 40’s.


Let’s imagine – (Humor me on this ) – 9/11 had never happened , but there had been an anthrax attack.

(There would,of course,be no reference to “09-11-01” at the top of the letters , and I imagine Allah might have been “out of the picture” for this purpose – no offense to Muslims intended ! )

Who would suspicion have fallen upon ?

Would this group have become “Persons of Interest” ?

DISCLAIMER: As far as I know, the Sunshine Project had nothing whatsoever to do with the anthrax attacks of 2001, and is merely a well-informed non-profit group dedicated to eliminating biochemical warfare-a goal I concur with.I have used them purely and solely as an illustration !

The Sunshine Project
Press Release
29 August 2000
USA Admits Possible Link between Biological Weapons and Agent Green
Seattle and Hamburg, 29 August - In an August 22 memorandum, US President Bill Clinton has conceded that the US plan to use microbial agents to eradicate drug crops may have an impact on biological weapons proliferation. This is the first time that US officials have publicly admitted that the use of biological agents like Fusarium oxysporum (dubbed "Agent Green") raises arms control concerns.

The Sunshine Project has convincingly argued that F. oxysporum and other mycoherbicides are biological weapons. Because of its illicit coca crop, Colombia is on the front line of US biological warfare plans. Other projects on biological agents to kill opium poppy and marijuana are also funded by the US and the British Governments.

The Presidential memo waives several conditions for US assistance to Colombia. In particular, Clinton overruled the US Congress and severed the link between Colombian acceptance of Agent Green and the overall implementation of the US 1.3 billion dollar bilateral assistance package for Plan Colombia. Clinton states that the US will not use Agent Green until "a broader national security assessment, including consideration of the potential impact on biological weapons proliferation and terrorism, provides a solid foundation for concluding that the use of this particular drug control tool is in our national interest." (from Memorandum of Justification for Presidential Determination 2000-28).

According to the Sunshine Project's Edward Hammond, "This is an important step forward. While important parts of the US Government stubbornly refuse to withdraw support for Agent Green, President Clinton has eased the bilateral pressure on Colombia and admitted that this may have been a bad idea from the start."

Adds Sunshine's Jan Van Aken, "Agent Green is a biological weapon. It was developed with a hostile purpose, intended to be used in an armed conflict in Colombia. Use of Agent Green threatens to undermine international agreements prohibiting biological weapons. It must be stopped immediately, worldwide."

It is important to note that the presidential memorandum does not necessarily signal a change in US policy. "Pro-fungus parts of the schizophrenic US Government could easily rebound. The memorandum is a window of opportunity. Governments should take fast action and exploit the possibilities for progress before the window closes." says the Sunshine Project's Susana Pimiento.

The Sunshine Project is calling on governments and international agencies to take the following steps:

The United Nations Drug Control Program (UNDCP), which administers the US-funded work in Uzbekistan and is promoting Fusarium testing in Colombia, should immediately freeze all of its international projects on crop-killing biological agents and withdraw the contract it is offering Colombia. No government, much less a United Nations agency, can take risks with bioweapons proliferation. Work cannot resume until the arms control issues have been resolved, a broader range of expert UN agencies have independently evaluated the program, and UNDCP's governing body has fully reviewed the work.

With aid no longer conditional on acceptance of Agent Green and with the US publicly admitting that it is uncertain about bioweapons links, there is no reason why the Government of Colombia has to proceed with the US-inspired biological eradication idea. Colombia may now heal regional unease with the plan and publicly withdraw from negotiations with UNDCP, halting any planned research on Fusarium and other biological agents.

The US Government must conduct a transparent review of the US Department of Agriculture program that funded and developed F. oxysporum and other crop-killing weapons.

The USDA worked for more than a decade on projects. A dangerous policy failure has taken place if serious assessment of the treaty compliance and proliferation aspects of this program have not been reviewed until now - after agent identification, work on virulence enhancement, delivery systems, and field testing.

The current situation offers a remarkable opportunity to strengthen the Biological and Toxic Weapons Convention (BTWC), updating it to reflect new and different political realities and type of conflict prevalent in the post-Cold War era. With the US leadership having conceded there are proliferation concerns raised by the drug war biological agents, during the next Review Conference of the BTWC in 2001, states parties should leap on the opportunity to insure that all crop-killing biological agents, especially those used with hostile intent in an armed conflict, are banned by the convention.

Opposition Increasing In July, the Ecuadorian Government banned the introduction and use of Fusarium oxysporum. In an editorial in its August 7th edition titled "Agent Orange and F. oxysporum", the Managing Editor of Chemical and Engineering News, the magazine of the American Chemical Society, called for a halt to drug war bioweapon research. Accusing the US of developing "dubious weapons systems", the editorial condemns the program, saying, "There is an unavoidable moral component to scientific research, and development of F. oxysporum as a weapon in the war on drugs or any other war violates it. Scientists should just say no to participating in this research."

If you knew Jan Van Aken holds a PhD in Cell Biology, has received UNMOVIC training , and is on the UNMOVIC roster , would you wonder about him as the FBI wondered about Hatfill and Berry ?

If you knew Susana Pimiento was Colombian - born –( I don’t know what her citizenship status is at present) – would you wonder if the possible destruction of cocoa crops , necessary to cocaine production, in Colombia and Ecuador might have inspired a “counterattack” ?

If you knew Edward H. Hammond had published something “interesting”- on or about the same date the anthrax letters were mailed
Would you think of him as a “person if interest” ? (Following was published on 9/19/01.A similar statement was published on 09/25/01.)


Critical Policy Mistakes
As fear of a terrorist use of weapons of mass destruction skyrockets, the US must analyze and correct its policies that contribute to biological weapons instability. There are four recent critical missteps:
 First, the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is conducting a secret program of biodefense research that, in the opinion of many experts, violates the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention. This work, revealed in the New York Times, involves testing mock biological bombs and construction of a bioweapons production facility in Nevada. If any other country conducted this research, it would have drawn the US's harshest denunciations and, quite possibly, military attack. The longer the United States insists on this biological weapons research double standard, the more determined its enemies will be, and the greater the risk to its own and allies' citizens.

 Second, the United States failed to disclose the CIA's research in annual declarations of biodefense activities to the Bioweapons Convention, deliberately evading a UN mechanism to enhance transparency and trust between nations. The significance of this US failure is difficult to overstate. Secret US biological weapons research has drawn suspicion from the US allies and undermined faith in voluntary confidence building measures. To US enemies, the CIA's work is nothing short of a biological weapons threat. Failing corrective action, pious declarations about the danger of bioweapons will ring hollow and be understood by US enemies as lies - or even threats.

 Third, while it may shock many Americans, it is no secret to arms control experts that the United States has menaced Afghanistan (and Colombia, home to three groups on the US State DepartmentÕs terrorist list) with the threat of a biological attack since at least 1998. This threat is through plans to use the fungus Pleospora papaveracea, a biological weapon, to forcibly eradicate opium poppy crops. Transcripts of Kabul Radio clearly indicate that the Taliban is aware of the plan and opposes it. Through the United Nations Drug Control Program, the US has attempted to veil the fungus in legality by obtaining the approval of the Afghan government in exile, which has no de facto power. The Taliban is thought to willingly harbor terrorists who use weapons of mass destruction. The US and its allies are foolish, hypocritical, and courting disaster to continue to threaten such a state with a biological weapons attack.

 Fourth, in July, the United States trashed six years of negotiations to develop a Protocol for international verification of the Bioweapons Convention. Not only did it anger the world by being uncooperative, the US even said it would block other nations' attempts to proceed with new controls on biological weapons. Close US allies were publicly appalled; but few publicly suggested it was because the US itself intended to violate the treaty. With the New York Times revelation and the new, dangerous atmosphere following the terrorist attacks, the size and ramifications of the USA's terrible miscalculation are now fully apparent.
At a minimum, the US needs to take the following actions:
1) The CIA's research program must be immediately and entirely terminated. Because of frail US credibility on this issue, this decision must be made and explained in clear detail by a high-ranking US official and;
2) In light of incontrovertible evidence that it has not complied with confidence building measures, the US has no peaceful alternative but to endorse a United Nations system of bioweapons verification requiring broad declarations and mandatory, short-notice, and comprehensively-equipped UN inspections of commercial and military biotechnology facilities. Nothing less will restore faith in US compliance. Dubious arguments about shielding US facilities in deference to commercial interests are outmoded by recent events and no longer tenable. Lives cannot be put at risk in the interest biotechnology profits, even if the US Defense Secretary once headed Searle, the former pharmaceutical division of Monsanto;
3) The Drug War cannot be a pretext for undermining biological weapons controls and escalating the war on terrorism. The United States and the United Nations Drug Control Program must immediately and unequivocally renounce the development and use of biological agents in forced crop eradication. The US-supported research facility at the Institute for Genetics in Tashkent, Uzbekistan must be immediately locked and the key thrown away. Research efforts in the United States must be similarly halted. The government of the United Kingdom, which has provided lukewarm support for the research, should announce that in light of the current political situation it must withdraw its support in the interests of peace and security.
4) The United States must come back to the table at the Verification Protocol negotiations and signal its intention to cooperate. The US does not have the ability to inspect suspected biological weapons facilities worldwide. A UN system could possess this strength and obtain access and apply verification technology not possible for any state to use alone. US policymakers say they are developing new ideas for verification, which they Ð and other countries - should bring to the 5th Review Conference of the BTWC in November. But political reality dictates that the current negotiating text must be the starting point. The vast majority of countries have already agreed to a number of measures to improve verification. Scrapping existing work and developing a new text is an option unlikely to be possible for at least several years.
A working hypothesis might well conclude – had the anthrax attacks occurred in some context other than 9/11 – that a domestic group – willing to use mass terror to achieve its ends, and not overly squeamish about possible loss of life was responsible.

Investigators would probably begin with some of the large number of highly-skilled people who had been laid off in the early to mid 90’s from “secure” government careers at Fort Detrick and Dugway ,and who might be bitter at the loss of their jobs.

It was exactly such people the Hartford Courant interviewed in November/December of 2001- and it is from these people the Courant learned of the deplorable “ Camel Club” incidents of 9 years earlier-incidents the Courant was able to verify with FOIA filings.

The Hartford Courant did a tremendous job of reporting --- but could very well have been “played” by one of the disaffected former workers, who wanted to lay a false trail , and deflect attention from his/her own activities.

It has been an exceptionally durable false trail – used as recently as a month ago by the “ever popular” Justin Raimondo for one of his “Neo-Copperhead” rants.

That particular false trail – which inferred, without a shred of supporting evidence, that because retired Army Colonel Philip Zack visited lab worker Marian Rippey when she was working the night shift, the visits involved conspiracy instead of concupisence.

The next false trail was laid by Barbara Hatch Rosenberg – generally described as “ an expert in bioweapons” (though some have raised doubts about that description).

As far as I know, Dr. Rosenberg was acting in good faith when she began suggesting to the FBI they might have a “person of interest” in Steven Hatfill – a man with a slightly questionable past.Dr. Hatfill and his attorney think otherwise,as might be imagined.

After a massive ( some might say frenzied) FBI investigation – that included the draining of a pond and the destruction of Hatfill’s career, the FBI moved on to ( You guessed it !) yet another false trail.

This one included Dr. Kenneth Berry an upstate New York physician who was apparently at odds with his wife, and who may (according to media reports) have engaged in domestic violence.

Again, there was massive media frenzy: fanned by images of FBI agents in protective gear raiding Dr. Berry’s homes , coming up with nothing, and wrecking whatever career he had. (He is drawing Unemployment benefits in New Jersey , as of last report.)

So far, I’ve counted 3 major false trails (apart from the letters themselves) , and really don’t know if they were deliberately laid – or just happened ; but I am beginning to doubt they were all happenstance.

I’m also beginning to form a “ profile “ of the persons who were responsible for the anthrax attacks – and I invite you to do likewise.

Maybe-just maybe – one of us will come up with an answer.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Eagle Song

The Eagle calls !

Forsaking walls

My spirit leaps to join her

In the freedom of the skies.

Our golden eyes

Flash like summer lightning

As in mock attack we clash :

Talons locked, we pinwheel down

In savage Courtship Dance.

Plummeting like meteors :

How the wind around us sings !

Until, content , we spread our whistling wings

To soar , aloof

Above Man’s world of petty things.

But then , below , I see myself

Still trapped in Human chains :

Never to know the secrets of the wind -

Or to drink the wine of Freedom

From the chalice of the rains.

( Written while riding in a NY subway to yet another assignment.)

Saturday, October 01, 2005

“Inconceivable” was Unpardonable

In an effort to placate my wife – who insists : “ You never want to watch the shows I watch !” – I watched the new drama (or whatever it is) called “ Inconceivable”.

The setting is an upscale, cutting-edge fertility clinic ; and the viewer is introduced to surrogate mothers who change their minds (thankfully before impregnation) , couples seeking eugenically superior “designer babies” , and a clinic worker who is surreptitiously changing the label on a specimen.

There is a lawsuit – filed by a couple who are unhappy with the baby the clinic “designed” for them. (Could this be related to the clinic worker who is switching labels ? Hmmmmmmmmm….)

There is a gay couple with an infant – presumably acquired from a surrogate mother. One partner works in the clinic. The other is the “maternal” one ; and the issue is finding a reliable source of breast milk for the infant. ( A helpful,heart-of-gold-but-nothing-to-look-at clinic worker finds an answer of sorts – artificial udders – on e Bay.)

There is Angie Harmon – of “Law and Order” fame – who pauses from time to time with a deer-in-the-headlights look , as if to say : “ I can’t believe I let my agent talk me into this role !”

Let’s see: what else ? Oh. Everybody has ISSUES – an absolute requirement for a TV show aimed at a carefully targeted upscale feminine audience that is sure to look at the cosmetic and feminine hygiene commercials supporting this …whatever it is.

Oh yeah. I almost forgot to tell you : About 40 minutes into the program,
my wife exercised her “right to choose” by handing me the remote and announcing : “ That’s it ! I’m going to bed !! “

As she headed up the stairs , she paused to snarl : “ Why do you watch programs like this ? “