Cheney Checks Out Gas Reserves

Bush Gets The Turd Degree

The Times They Are A Changin'


"These few dollars you lose here today are going to buy you stories to tell your children and great-grandchildren. This could be one of the big moments in your life; don't make it your last!"

John Dillinger

“John Dillinger, a farm boy, escaped from jail once brandishing a wooden pistol he had whittled from a broken washtub slat. He blackened in with shoe polish! He was so entertaining. While on the run, robbing banks and vanishing into the boondocks, Dillinger wrote Henry Ford a fan letters. He thanked the old anti-Semite for making such fast and agile getaway cars!

It was possible to get away from the police back then if you were a better driver with a better car. Talk about fair play! Talk about what we say we want for everyone in America: a level playing field! And Dillinger robbed only the rich and strong, banks with armed guards and in person.

Dillinger wasn’t a simpering, sly swindler. He was an athlete.”

Kurt Vonnegut


“Why are you nervous? Well, I guess in some ways my life is on the line.”

Jeff Skilling
Former Eron CEO

"Yes, as through this world I've wandered
I've seen lots of funny men;
Some will rob you with a six-gun,
And some with a fountain pen.

And as through your life you travel,
Yes, as through your life you roam,
You won't never see an outlaw
Drive a family from their home."

Woody Guthrie
lrycis from Pretty Boy Floyd


Retired General Zinni "They Screwed Up"

Zinni Video @ CBS

60 Mins. Story:

"Retired General Anthony Zinni is one of the most respected and outspoken military leaders of the past two decades. "

"From 1997 to 2000, he was commander-in-chief of the United States Central Command, in charge of all American troops in the Middle East. That was the same job held by Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf before him, and Gen. Tommy Franks after.

Following his retirement from the Marine Corps, the Bush administration thought so highly of Zinni that it appointed him to one of its highest diplomatic posts -- special envoy to the Middle East.

But Zinni broke ranks with the administration over the war in Iraq, and now, in his harshest criticism yet, he says senior officials at the Pentagon are guilty of dereliction of duty -- and that the time has come for heads to roll. "

At 66 Grampa Tambourineman is Scary to Kids

New York Post:

May 3, 2007 -- KINDERGARTEN kids in ritzy L.A. suburb Calabasas have been coming home to their parents and talking about the "weird man" who keeps coming to their class to sing "scary" songs on his guitar. The "weird" one turns out to be Bob Dylan, whose grandson (Jakob Dylan's son) attends the school. He's been singing to the kindergarten class just for fun, but the kiddies have no idea they're being serenaded by a musical legend - to them, he's just Weird Guitar Guy.

Happy 66th Birthday Robert Zimmerman

It's the birthday of the singer and songwriter Bob Dylan, born Robert Zimmerman in Duluth, Minnesota (1941). He grew up in Hibbing, Minnesota, a mining town on the decline. Dylan later said, "It was a very itinerant place — no interstate highways yet, just country roads everywhere. There was an innocence about it all, and I don't recall anything bad ever happening." At school, his classmates said he was a quiet kid who didn't call much attention to himself. But then, in 1955, the movie Rebel Without a Cause came out, and Dylan went to see it at least four times. After that, he began wearing a red leather jacket to school, and he put grease in his hair. He set about forming the first rock and roll band in the history of Hibbing, Minnesota, and he called his band The Golden Chords.

Read more at NPR's The Writer's Almanac.

Pope John Paul II's Reflections on Islam

  • John Paul II, address on his Visit to the Umayyad Great Mosque, May 6, 2001 – first pope to enter a mosque
    “It is in mosques and churches that the Muslim and Christian communities shape their religious identity, and it is there that the young receive a significant part of their religious education. What sense of identity is instilled in young Christians and young Muslims in our churches and mosques? It is my ardent hope that Muslim and Christian religious leaders and teachers will present our two great religious communities as communities in respectful dialogue, never more as communities in conflict. It is crucial for the young to be taught the ways of respect and understanding, so that they will not be led to misuse religion itself to promote or justify hatred and violence. Violence destroys the image of the Creator in his creatures and should never be considered as the fruit of religious conviction.
  • “I truly hope that our meeting today in the Umayyad mosque will signal our determination to advance interreligious dialogue between the Catholic Church and Islam. This dialogue has gained momentum in recent decades; and today we can be grateful for the road we have traveled together so far.

Pope John Paul II meets with young Muslim who shot him.

The Moderate Muslim Response:

For centuries, Muslims have felt alienated by Christianity. Though Muslims recognize Christianity as a revealed religion of God, Christian denominations have rejected Islam as heresy and waged holy wars against it.

Despite theological disagreements with Islam, Pope John Paul II departed from this historical practice. He always considered Muslims as a fellow spiritual community deserving of respect and admiration.

Islam and Christianity share a majority of their beliefs. The principle value of the unity of divinity, the prophets, Jesus and Mary, Jerusalem and the promise of life after life are all common to both faiths.

The Koran, the book that Muslims believe is the direct revelations from God, acknowledges Judaism and Christianity as precursors and early forms of Islam.

Today, through the efforts of John Paul II as a pioneer in interfaith bridge-building, Muslims, too, feel as though Catholicism has started to reciprocate and recognize Islam and Muslims as partners in spirituality.

The Radical Muslim Response:

Muslim anger over Pope's first visit to a mosque
Nicolas Pelham in Damascus
Sunday May 6, 2001
The Observer

After an angry visit to Greece, the frail Pope John Paul II is now accused of bringing Christianity by stealth to one of Islam's most important holy sites. His visit today to the historic Umayyad mosque in Damascus looks set to spark controversy. It is the first time a pontiff has entered a mosque.

Muslim leaders preparing to receive the Pope have demanded that he remove his cross, saying the crucifix is an insult to Islam. They also want him to say sorry for the Crusades, following his dramatic apology in Athens on Friday for the 'sins' committed by the Roman Catholic Church against its Orthodox brethren.

'In a Muslim state, crucifixes should not be brandished in public, all the more so inside the holy place of Islam,' said Sheikh al-Hout, of the nearby Amara mosque. 'The Pope must respect these conditions like anyone else.'

Islam recognises Jesus as a prophet, but claims he never died on the cross.

The Catholic bishop organising the papal visit, Izidore Battikha, dismissed the demands as the fuming of fanatics. 'There will be no apology, and the cross will be prominent on the Pope's vestments when he enters the mosque,' he said.

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians are set to pack the biblical Straight Street in Damascus, where St Paul converted to Christianity, to watch the Popemobile enter the Umayyad mosque. Syria's authorities are ruling out public protests. Demonstrations are banned under Syria's 40-year-old martial law.

But away from the state fanfare, Muslim preachers across Syria have questioned the Pope's motives for choosing the Umayyad mosque, which 1,400 years ago was a Byzantine cathedral and still houses the tomb of St John the Baptist. The Vatican's refusal to apologise for Christian aggression against Muslims has fuelled fears that the Pope may be seeking to revive the millennial battle for control of the holy places, rather than looking for reconciliation with Islam.

'History teaches us that Western pilgrimages have covert political motives,' said Dr Bouti, Syria's leading Sunni preacher. He joined other standard-bearers of conservative Islam to block the Vatican's attempt to hold a common Christian-Muslim prayer in the mosque.

May 15: International Conscientious Objectors' Day

Today we give our profound respect to conscientious objectors like GI Desmond Doss, who won a medal for bravery under fire in 1945, despite never picking up a rifle. He said, "soldiers must decide for themselves what it is right to do. But for me, it was wrong to kill and I felt I could not do it." Instead, he saved the lives of 100 fellow soldiers. Doss and three other men explain their different reasons for refusing to fight in four distinct conflicts: "Why I Would Not Kill in War."


Insights on Forgiveness from Reagan's Diary

From Last Weekend's Meet the Press

Let me go to March 30th, 1981, because it was a such a critical day in the Reagan presidency and in our nation’s history. Little more than two months into the presidency, Ronald Reagan is shot. He had been attending a speech at the Washington Hilton on Connecticut Avenue here in Washington.

This is what he wrote: “Left the hotel at the usual side entrance,” “headed for the car—suddenly there was a burst of gunfire from the left.” Secret service “agent pushed me onto the floor of the car” and “jumped on top. Then I began coughing up blood, which made both of us think—yes, I had a broken rib” and “it had punctured a lung.” The agent “switched orders from” going to the White House, go to George Washington University Hospital.

“By the time we arrived, I was having great trouble getting enough air. I walked into the emergency room and was hoisted onto a cart. It was then we learned I’d been shot” and “had a bullet in my lung. “Getting shot hurts. Still my fear was growing because no matter how hard I tried to breathe it seemed I was getting less and less air. I focused on that tile ceiling and prayed. But I realized I couldn’t ask for God’s help while at the same time I felt hatred for the mixed up young man who had shot me. Isn’t that the meaning of the lost sheep? We are all God’s children and therefore equally beloved by him. I began to pray for his soul and that he” could “find his way back to the fold. ... The days of therapy, transfusion, intravenous, etc.” had gone, “have gone by—now it is Saturday, April 11, and this morning I left the hospital.

“I recognize this—this kid was insane, I have to forgive him. He’s—he has a deep mental illness problem.”

“Whatever happens now I owe my life to God and will try to serve him in every way I can.”

And Now A Word from Our Commander Guy

Breaking News

In 2008, It's Security Stupid!

"We need only two things to defend America effectively: 1) a missile defense that will repel any nuclear attack, and 2) a border patrol that will protect us from those rampaging Canadians when they come charging across the border from Ontario."

-Harry Browne

Superpower Undone By Small War

The war in Iraq that started in 2003 has now lasted longer than the First World War. Militarily, the conflicts could not be more different. The scale of the fighting in Iraq is far below anything seen in 1914-18, but the political significance of the Iraq war has been enormous. America blithely invaded Iraq to overthrow Saddam Hussein to show its great political and military strength. Instead it demonstrated its weakness. The vastly expensive U.S. war machine failed to defeat a limited number of Sunni Arab guerrillas. International leaders such as Tony Blair who confidently allied themselves to Washington at the start of the war, convinced that they were betting on a winner, are either discredited or out of power.

At times, President Bush seemed intent on finding out how much damage could be done to the U.S. by the conflict in Iraq. He did so by believing a high proportion of his own propaganda about the resistance to the occupation being limited in scale and inspired from outside the country. By 2007, the administration was even claiming that the fervently anti-Iranian Sunni insurgents were being equipped by Iran. It was a repeat performance of U.S, assertions four years earlier that Saddam Hussein was backing al-Qaeda. In this fantasy world, constructed to impress American voters, in which failures were sold as successes, it was impossible to devise sensible policies.

Patrick Cockburn

Middle East correspondent for The Independent, Patrick Cockburn was awarded the 2005 Martha Gellhorn prize for war reporting. His book, The Occupation: War and Resistance in Iraq, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for non-fiction.

Read Cockburn's Superpower Undone By Small War at Tom Paine.



Bush Skips The Lipstick

What Makes Tommy Run

"I was very sick the day of the debate. I had all of the problems with the flu and bronchitis that you have, including running to the bathroom. I was just hanging on. I could not wait until the debate got off so I could go to the bathroom."

Republican presidential hopeful Tommy Thompson
On why he said at a GOP presidential debate that an employer should be allowed to fire a gay worker, after previously having blamed his hearing aid.


Conservatism Made Simple


"You can't write novels without a touch of paranoia. I'm paranoid as an act of good citizenship, concerned about what the powerful people are up to. I suspect them of making money any way they can. It intrigues me that people want to be rich, and I try to imagine what they do when they are rich....People are very willing to kill, to make killing machinery, and let kids go over to Vietnam to run the killing machines. The suggestion of declaring a victory in Vietnam and withdrawing is charming. I'd simply get out. I've lost my honor enough to know that it doesn't come to much to lose one's honor. Unfortunately, military successes are seen as a proof of moral or racial superiority. The other people -- by virtue of not being bulletproof -- will not be permitted to reproduce.

When I lived in Schenectady, the old families were Dutch Reformed. The biggest and oldest church in town was Dutch Reformed -- very stern, the church of the Boers and apartheid. Neither there nor elsewhere do the sermons preach against something simple -- like greed or killing someone. I think people should be offended by so many things, beginning with the sight of a rabbit killed by a hunter. You can teach savagery to people, and I think a lot of people teach savagery to their children to survive. They may need the savagery, but it's bad for the neighbors, I prefer to teach gentleness.

I would alert teachers to the fact that paranoia is part of every personality. I would tell teachers to direct this paranoia in some way -- toward being suspicious of the military-industrial complex, for example, although I've always liked engineers."

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
New York Times
March 21, 1969

Ron Paul In GOP Debate 2

Congressman Ron Paul at the GOP Presidential Debate

Ron Paul Attacked by Sean Hannity After 2nd GOP Debate
(Is Paul to far to the right or left for Hannity?)