Thursday, March 22, 2007


From my friend, Benny, the firecracker salesman. By the way, this is what a real live progressive Democrat sounds like--or SHOULD sound like at this particular moment, if he is the real thing. Born in deep East Texas, but he crawled out of that red dirt loblolly wilderness, shed the alligator suit and learned how to think for himself. This is the real McCoy--no compromise with the truth, no pusillanimous half-measures. The code he lives by: "The only thing you find in the middle of the road are yellow stripes and dead armadillos."

So, here's the note I just received from him in my e-mail box:
Did you get a thing from Camp Casey Easter meet-up and act-up? I don't think I'm up to it. What is going on in our Congress is simply that the half-way Blue Dog Democrats won't sign onto anything unless it is deeply compromised, watered-down, and ineffective. They represent districts that contain voters that resent being forced to elect Democrats in the first place and think that the oceans rising to cover Hillsboro and Texarkana is not nearly so scary as taking the Confederate flag down from the Georgia statehouse. There are a few good progressives left, but before they can vote for anything that makes a nickel's worth of difference, they have to be elected to office, and have you looked lately at the American citizen who does the deciding of whom to elect? Parts of Massachusetts and California and Oregon is all that remains of the nation inspired and devoted to the Enlightenment. The best and brightest were sitting at University Christian Church when you were the only speaker in the entire lousy temple with a shred of ordinary human decency, and not a one of them gave a flying fuck for any principle or any virtue, or for anyone but their own goddamn self. And one is branded a bomb-throwing red if you're not sitting in the Amen section of the First Baptist Church every Sunday morning listening to the most puerile, hateful, clap-trap you can possibly imagine in your sweatiest, bourbon-soaked dream. If Pelosi had an ounce less grit or single-minded devotion to working her ass off for a country that doesn't feel a dime's worth of gratitude for her leadership or for her diamond-hard devotion to doing the best job possible for this ungrateful, self-absorbed nation, which hasn't even a willingness to become informed of what is happening in the world besides a big-breasted blond bimbo over-dosing and killing her stinking, trifling ass with grossly over-priced pills from Rexall drugstore or the Dallas goddamn Cowboys beating Washington in a football game on television, she would go back to San Francisco and leave the malignant greed-heads to do whatever they wanted without anyone to interfere or do one fucking thing to impede their rule, just like before she was chosen to serve as Speaker. It is, I am accepting a bit more every day, a rare privilege to be acquainted with even a handful of friends and family that remain kind and steadfast and thoughtful. I can't imagine Ms. Pelosi or any other intelligent member of Congress maintaining a willingness to give a shit, or certainly not to beat their head against a brick wall day after day for a nation of selfish, rich, stupid, and mean citizens. If I continue to look honestly at my country, or even at humanity its own self for more than a few quick minutes, a craving for whiskey becomes pretty bothersome. Reality has been difficult for me for some reason since I was a kid. I'm really glad I'm not trying to fix this unworthy country like those losers in our Congress. --Ben H.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

wislawa szymborska DINOSAUR SKELETON

Beloved Brethren,
we have before us an example of incorrect proportions.
Behold! the dinosaur's skeleton looms above--

Dear Friends,
on the left we see the tail trailing into one infinity,
on the right, the neck juts into another--

Esteemed Comrades,
in between, four legs that finally mired in the slime
beneath this hillock of a trunk--

Gentle Citizens,
nature does not err, but it loves its little joke:
please note the laughably small head--

Ladies, Gentlemen,
a head this size does not have room for foresight,
and that is why its owner is extinct--

Honored Dignitaries,
a mind too small, an appetite too large,
more senseless sleep than prudent apprehension--

Distinguished Guests,
we're in far better shape in this regard,
life is beautiful and the world is ours--

Venerated Delegation,
the starry sky above the thinking reed
and moral law within it--

Most Reverend Deputation,
such success does not come twice
and perhaps beneath this single sun alone--

Inestimable Council,
how deft the hands,
how eloquent the lips,
what a head on these shoulders--

Supremest of Courts,
so much responsibility in place of a vanished tail--

Monday, March 12, 2007


From Democracy Now, This excerpt from Hugo Chavez's speech in Buenos Aires:

"The imperial little gentleman that's visiting Latin America today said about seventy-two or forty-eight hours ago in one of his speeches, when he was announcing that he was leaving for Latin America, he compared Simon Bolivar to George Washington. In fact, he even said the ridiculous thing -- and I can't say it's hypocrisy, because it is simply ridiculous, the most ridiculous thing he could say. He said, today we are all children of Washington and Bolivar. That is, he thinks that he is a son of Bolivar. What he is is a son of a -- but I can't say that word here.

So he has said -- he has said -- and you should listen to what he said here -- he said that now is the time to finish the revolution that Washington and Bolivar commenced . How's that for heresy? That is heresy and ignorance, because we have to remember -- and I say this with all due respect to George Washington, who is historically one of the founding fathers of that country -- but we must also remember the differences and how different George Washington and Simon Bolivar were, are and will always be.

George Washington won a war to gain the independence of the North American economic elite from the English empire, and when Washington died, or, rather, after his independence and after having been the president of the United States, after ordering the massacre of the indigenous peoples of North America, after defending slavery, he ended up being a very rich owner of slaves and of a plantation. He was a great landowner. That was George Washington.

Simon Bolivar, however, was born with a silver spoon, and at eight years old his parents died and he inherited a large fortune, together with his brothers, and he inherited haciendas and slaves. Simon Bolivar, when history led him -- and as Karl Marx said, men can make history, but only as far as history allows us to do so -- when history took Bolivar and made him the leader of the independence process in Venezuela, he made that process revolutionary. Simon Bolivar turned over all of his land. He freed all of his slaves, and he turned them into soldiers, and he brought them here. He brought them to Peru and Carabobo, and he worked together with the troops of San Martin to liberate this continent. That is Simon Bolivar.

And Simon Bolivar, having been born with that silver spoon in his mouth, when he died on the Caribbean coast of Colombia, when he died on December 17 in 1830, he was dressed with a shirt of someone else, because he had no clothes. Simon Bolivar is the leader of the revolution of this land. He is the leader of the social revolution, the people's revolution, the historical revolution. George Washington has nothing -- nothing -- to do with this history."


"It would appear that [Bush] doesn't even dare mention my name, because he was asked in Brasilia today in a press conference -- I saw it, I watched it at the hotel -- and the journalist asked him, “It is said that you are here to stop Chavez's movement in South America.” And it looked like he almost had a heart attack when he heard "Chavez," because he actually stuttered a couple of times, and he actually changed the subject. He didn't answer the question. He didn't answer the question at all. So he doesn't even dare."

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


Vice President Dick Cheney has a blood clot in his leg, tests revealed on Monday. Cheney went to the doctor's office in Washington D.C. complaining of a “mild calf discomfort,” following a nine day trip to Asia and the Middle East that ended last week.

Ultrasound revealed a deep venous thrombosis or blood clot in his left lower leg. Blood clots of this type are normally considered dangerous, since they can move to the heart and cause heart attack or stroke. But this particular blood clot is actually quite old, and has apparently been inside the Vice President for most of his life.

“In fact, I would say this clot has been in Dick Cheney's brain since he was about twelve years old,” says Dr. Sam Cleavern, Chief Surgeon at Jacob And Wilhelm Grimm Memorial Hospital, and Cheney's personal physician. “You might say, it's more like an entity than a common blood clot,” Cleavern added.

When pressed further for a description, Cleavern hesitated, then said, “Well, you might say it's something like a troll or a homunculus.” Apparently, it's been feeding off Cheney's brain, sucking it out in minute degrees till now there's virtually nothing left. It appears the homunculus has literally taken the place of the Vice President's brain.

Dr. Hans Bordeleou of New York University says that when a blood clot occurs in the leg, there can be pain or swelling. If the condition worsens, some people suffer shortness of breath or may even cough blood. He disputes the notion of a homunculus at large in the Vice President's body, calling the theory absurd.

Nevertheless, when Cheney addressed a Veterans of Foreign Wars meeting at a Washington hotel on Monday morning, several witnesses reported seeing his eyes bulge, become reddened, and blood shoot from his mouth over the podium. However, the Vice President continued his speech as if nothing unusual had happened.

Rumors of Cheney's odd behavior have been flying around the blogosphere for several years, none of which have been confirmed. A nurse at the hospital that treated 79-year-old Harry Whittington, whom Cheney shot in the face with a 28-guage shotgun in February, 2006, said the Austin lawyer had confided to her that just before Cheney squeezed the trigger, Whittington thought he saw the Vice President's eyes bulge and blood spray from his mouth. Reached for comment, Whittington would neither confirm nor deny the story.

During his recent trip to the Middle East to talk about the “surge” in Iraq and possible war with Iran, several witnesses reported seeing the Vice President's eyes bulge as he spoke. At least two high ranking military commanders described the Vice President's expression as "pop-eyed," and said that blood either "spurted" or "dripped" from his mouth.

Another officer, Major General William Fefferman, noticed blood spray on his uniform after speaking with the Vice President face to face. He said he saw the flecks of blood in a mirror a few minutes after speaking with Cheney about attacking Iran. He recalled the air between them appeared to turn pale red as Cheney spoke of “annihilating America's enemies.”

Said General Fefferman, “If you want to know what I really think, I believe it was God talking to me. God is now speaking through Dick Cheney. I love God and I love Dick Cheney, and whatever God or Dick wants me to do, I will do it, no questions asked.”

Dr. Cleavern believes the homunculus is now acting on its own, traveling freely throughout Cheney's body. “Currently, it's in his left leg. Tomorrow, it could be in his right leg. Or it may travel elsewhere,” Dr. Cleavern said. “It may even decide to return to the Vice President's head. We just don't know what it's next move is going to be. It's subject to change at a moment's notice.”

Currently, the medical staff at the D.C. hospital is uncertain how to treat the condition.

Saturday, March 03, 2007


by Harold Pinter.

Harold Pinter was recently award the Nobel Prize in literature. In 1995, he won the David Cohen British Literature Prize, awarded for a lifetime's achievement in literature. In 1996 he was given the Laurence Olivier Award for a lifetime's achievement in theater. In 2002 he was made a Companion of Honour for services to literature.

There's an old story about Oliver Cromwell. After he had taken the town of Drogheda, the citizens were brought to the main square. Cromwell announced to his lieutenants, "Right! Kill all the women and rape all the men." One of his aides said, "Excuse me, General. Isn't it the other way around?" A voice from the crowd called out, "Mr. Cromwell knows what he's doing!" That voice is the voice of Tony Blair. "Mr. Bush knows what he's doing!"

But the fact is that Mr. Bush and his gang do know what they're doing and Blair, unless he really is the deluded idiot he often appears to be, also knows what they're doing. They are determined, quite simply, to control the world and the world's resources. And they don't give a damn how many people they murder on the way. And Blair goes along with it.

He hasn't the support of the Labour Party, he hasn't the support of the country or of the celebrated "international community." How can he justify taking this country into a war nobody wants? He can't. He can only resort to rhetoric, cliche, and propaganda. Little did we think when we voted Blair into power that we would come to despise him. The idea that he has influence over Bush is laughable. His supine acceptance of American bullying is pathetic.

Bullying is of course a time-honored American tradition. In 1965, Lyndon Johnson said to the Greek Ambassador to the United States, "Fuck your parliament and your constitution. America is an elephant. Cyprus is a flea. Greece is a flea. If these two fellows continue itching the elephant they may just get whacked by the elephant's trunk, whacked good."

He meant what he said. Shortly afterward the Colonels, supported by the United States, took over, and the Greek people spent seven years in hell.

As for the American elephant, it has grown to be a monster of grotesque and obscene proportions.

The "special relationship" between the United States and the United Kingdom has, in the last twelve years, brought about the deaths of thousands upon thousands of people in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Serbia. All this in pursuit of the American and British "moral crusade" to bring "peace and stability to the world."

The use of depleted uranium in the Gulf War has been particularly effective. Radiation levels in Iraq are appallingly high. Babies are born with no brain, no eyes, no genitals. Where they do have ears, mouths, or rectums, all that issues from these orifices is blood.

Blair and Bush are of course totally indifferent to such facts, not forgetting the charming, grinning, beguiling Bill Clinton, who was apparently given a standing ovation at the Labour Party Conference. For what, killing Iraqi children? Or Serbian children?

Bush has said, "We will not allow the world's worst weapons to remain in the hands of the world's worst leaders." Quite right. Look in the mirror, chum. That's you.

The United States is at this moment developing advanced systems of "weapons of mass destruction" and is prepared to use them where it sees fit. It has walked away from international agreements on biological and chemical weapons, refusing to allow any inspection of its own factories.

It is holding hundreds of Afghans prisoner in Guantanamo Bay, allowing them no legal redress although they are charged with nothing, holding them captive virtually forever.

It is insisting on immunity from the international criminal court, a stance which beggars belief but which is now supported by Great Britain.

The hypocrisy is breathtaking.

Tony Blair's contemptible subservience to this criminal American regime demeans and dishonors this country.
October 15, 2002

copeland morris ENTWINED SONNET

Her shaded eyes, her necklace black velvet, onyx. Anguish she spoke; and he carried on, obsessed As only a young man could. An odd harm...