Thursday, November 17, 2005

We've Got Mail!

Write again with confidence, we'll reply with the same!

Thanks to the great grand & glorious Mark Martin, our Yahoo email account is up and working perfectly now. Thanks to all who wrote with advice (and even invites to open new email -- thanks, Mitch, Andrew), but Mark was first to provide the needed technical recommendation -- which should have been waiting in my mailbox from Yahoo the morning of their system revamp. As Mark said to me, "They added that 'feature' to 'enhance' your experience. It's just like you suspected - something you did not ask for, don't want, etc - but god dammit you are gonna get it!!!" Ya, just like Alan Goldstein used to "enhance" the only computer at First Run Video I depended upon -- "enhancing" later-necessary files out of existence. Anyhoot, thank you, Mark -- it was an elegantly simple operation, but one I neither Marj or I would have thought of or inadvertantly stumbled upon in weeks of Sundays.

Awoke this morning (via Marj's radio alarm) to the dulcimer tones of our lying sack-of-shit Vice President Dick Cheney honking off at those pesky Democrats who apparently found the roadmap to one of their testicles this past week or two and are finally aggressively criticizing this Administration's rush to war in 2003.

Lying sack of shit, I say. This isn't a matter of opinion about Cheney: it's a fact. Lest you've forgotten, Cheney proved himself a complete sociopath before the nation in the very first words out of his piehole during the Vice-Presidential debates when he claimed to have never met Senator Edwards before, much less ever seen him on the Senate floor. This first-volley dirt-cheap shot at his debate opponent was countered within hours with news footage of Cheney himself magnanimously introducing Edwards and his wife before some event on the Senate floor. Cheney neither apologized nor was shamed. He is clearly incapable of the latter, and has steadfastly refused to do the former however callous his behavior or blatant his deceptions.

Cheney was the most visible Administration official to maintain the deceitful, non-existent link between the 9/11 attacks on the US and Saddam Hussein, hours after President Bush had admitted publicly none existed. Cheney, our first cyborg Vice, will demonstratably say or do anything with arrogant bravado and unshakable confidence to support whatever lie he chooses to tell or debunk whatever lie he pretends he didn't tell, and his bold bullying of the past days does nothing to counter the rational and long-overdue debate over the deceptive manner in which Bush, Cheney, and their cronies "sold the war" (their own term, mind you) to a gullible American public.

That they -- Bush and Cheney -- are so publicly tag-teaming in the current campaign to (a) legalize their torture state while (b) lying before the entire world (from foreign soil no less, moving from Bush's stand-by "America does not believe in torture" to the emphatic "America does not torture") is the latest one-two punch from men so intoxicated with power that they can't see or don't care about the basic incompatibility of these two synonymous positions. They apparently believe, given how "we" as a country continue to apparently support their rogue corrupt state, that "we" stupidly won't notice. This lethal pathology is growing more blatant and transparent, and one no longer knows how to react when (for instance) Bush lectures China on the principles of democracy (from a podium in Japan, mind you: given the centuries of animosity between China and Japan, Bush just topped his President Pop's faux pas of vomiting into a Japanese diplomat's lap: with a single speech, he humiliated both Japan and China, his host and the very country he is visiting next -- and remains oblivious to having humiliated both parties).

Just last week in England, Tony Blair couldn't get a bill passed extending detention of terrorist suspects from 14 to 90 days; in the US, "detainees" are still being imprisoned without charges for years on end. As of November 17th, AP reports we now have "detained more than 83,000 foreigners in the four years of the war on terror, enough to nearly fill the NFL's largest stadium" ("83,000 Foreigners Have Been Detained in War on Terror: Prisoners in Custody in Iraq Hit a High of Nearly 13,900 on November 1" by Katherine Shrader and Robert Burns, 11/17/05). These are our contemporary concentration camps, which "we" emphatically maintain "we" have a right to maintain indefinitely as our President and Vice-President campaign to extend such abuses of power into the realm of legalized torture even as "we" are and continue to torture without such "legal" sanctions (from the same AP story, just to summarize the situation: "...On Capitol Hill, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., is leading a campaign to ban cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of prisoners in U.S. custody. The administration says the legislation could tie the president's hands. Vice President Dick Cheney has pressed lawmakers to exempt the CIA..."). If you personally don't believe we're torturing detainees, take a moment to read Amy Goodman's sobering interview with American soldier (former U.S. Army interrogator Specialist) Tony Lagouranis
  • here.

  • We clearly are out of control. We are behaving like a rogue state, a rogue superpower, led by an American rogue's gallery like none in living memory.

    Of course, this is only further eroding whatever shred of credibility or illusion of decency left to our nation.

    This morning's radio-broadcast spectacle of mock indignation and no-doubt genuine outrage from the man who told Senator Leahy on the Senate floor to "go fuck yourself" and thereafter expressed his glee with having said it is just further evidence of the shameless guile, bile, and deceit this motherfucker revels in. It isn't swagger, it's his fundamental behavior pattern.

    I can't recall any Vice President since Spiro Agnew who has been so destructive to our country or the basic principles of democracy. Agnew was a piker next to Cheney, who 20 years ago would have seemed too incredible a character in the context of the most asinine of Charles Bronson or Chuck Norris thrillers -- and yet here we are, in the 21st Century, with this mind-boggling villain speaking (literally out of the side of his mouth) on behalf of our country time and time again, pretending to speak for our shared values, demonstrating the utter bankruptcy of our sham pretense to civility, decency, and democracy.

    He clearly has no shame.

    Have we no shame?