Monday, July 24, 2006

Musings 158--Israel's dust up

I guess that I have lived too long to be surprised by much. Israel's move into Lebanon is the typical dust-up that happens every few years. It just lets the Arab world know who the main army is in that area of the world.

It is hard to blame Israel, since Hezbollah has worked diligently to point thousands of rockets at them over the past six years. Israel last walked through Lebanon in the year 2000.

Our neocons, headed by Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard, are simply giddy. (Bill's daddy Irving is considered the founder of the neoconservative movement.) It has always been their goal to take over Iraqi and wipe out Hezbollah from southern Lebanon. Then, with that finished, to wipe out Iran and Syria.

Bunches of the Christian Right are also happy that the Jews are showing a little muscle. It all fits nicely into the end of time theory they have. The Rapture is coming, the Rapture is coming...Hi ho the derio, the Rapture is coming. By the way, the Rapture is a made-up word to describe the end times for the world as we know it. The Rapture lovers are a cheery bunch who have nothing to do but hope for better times by destroying a whole world. These are the same smucks that are against abortion because it is murder. Killing a whole world is just simply...ah, God's will.

Now what I don't understand is how the neocons and the Christian right can get along so well. But...they do. The neocons want to rule the world and the Christians want to leave it. It seems that these two groups would not get along. But...they do. The logic escapes me.

So when Israel has their little dust-ups every few years, both of these groups have orgasms that send shockwaves throughout the world. They both get a little too happy about death and destruction to suit me. I guess I should say: Give peace a chance. I guess...but, that saying is pretty much, you guessed it...dead!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Musings 157--Meandering through the yellow jackets

The Bush Administration is kind of like me meandering through the yellow jackets.

Monday was a typical hot summer day in southern Ohio. Temperatures in the morning were in the high 80's. By noontime, the temperatures would be in the mid 90's. Ah, yes winter seemed far away.

I have about four miles of wilderness roads that criss-cross the 240 acres of The Farm. Some roads cross meadows, some of them wind through hay fields and some run through large wooded areas.

I jumped on my trusty Massey-Ferguson tractor, hooked up the brush hog, loaded up my gun, grabbed a set of limb pruners, got a bottle of cold water and headed out to chop down the tall weeds and brush that tend to creep in on my roads. I trundled up to what we call the old Rowe Place (because there used to be a family by the name of Rowe that lived there long ago) made a couple of rounds on the top of the hill and drove down the road to the area my father calls The Dump. I ran into my first yellow jackets nest embedded at the foot of an old pine tree. I saw them before they saw me, so I gave them a wide berth and went merrily on my way. I decided to mow down the cow pasture that leads around the hill. On my fourth round, I got stung by a pissed off yellow jacket that took offense at me running over his nest--twice.

Yellow jackets are bees that build their houses in the ground. When you run over them with a lawn mower or a tractor they immediately swarm up to see what is going on. When I made my next round after stirring them up, they got me. It hurts like the fires from hell, but it soon dissipates.

Rubbing my belly, I decided to journey onward. Heading back toward the area called the Old Spring, I decided to hang a left after going down the hill and cross the shallow creek. The meadow on the other side needed to be mowed. I set about doing this. One the fourth round, I got stung between the eyes by another yellow jacket that I had disturbed on my previous round.

Now rubbing my belly and the notch between my eyes--luckily I did not swell much--I continued mowing around the road. About a quarter mile around the hill there is a road that goes straight down the hill and connects to another road further down in the valley. I had sawed up a tree that had fallen over that road during the winter, and no one had traveled on it since. I decided to open it up by mowing down the weeds and pruning the branches. Once in the valley, I decided to turn and go back up the hill to widen the road a bit. There was a yellow jackets nest in the center of the road about 50 feet from the top of the hill. They were waiting for me. I got stung a couple of times on the back before speeding back around the hill, crossing the creek and continuing on to the the Old Spring. (The Old Spring is just that. A spring of cold water that never runs dry.) There is a small meadow before the Old Spring. I decided to mow it down. On round number five I got stung on the neck and back by the local yellow jackets, who did not want my tractor driving over them.

It was getting on toward late afternoon, and I finally understood the handwriting on the wall. The yellow jackets wanted me to go home and quit bothering them. They didn't sting me on the first pass, but they were waiting on the second. I had been stung enough.

Bush jr. has taken the U. S. into the yellow jacket's nest of the middle east. We've been fumbling around in Iraq and Afghanistan. If we stay there too long, we will get stung more times than we can stand. Sometimes is is better to limp home and stay in the air-conditioned comfort of our own borders. Unfortunately, it is a lesson that both I and Bush jr. have to learn over and over again. The only difference is that I just forgot that the yellow jackets are making their nests in the hot weather of July.

Bush jr. has six years of experience to pull from, but he isn't learning much from it. He keeps doing the same things over and over. Stupid people just keep doing stupid things. I guess he hasn't been stung enough, yet.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Musings 156--"Lessons learned."

Vice President Dick Cheney's old company Halliburton is being booted by the Army. It seems that the military has learned what I reported here years ago--Halliburton is getting rich off the deaths of U. S. Troops. (See Link)

There have been numerous reports in the media about bad water and over-charging for services by the corporate giant. The Senate even held hearings in 2005 about the charges of bad food and water. (See Link 2)

Now it is a year later and the Army is finally doing something about the problems. According to spokesman Dave Foster, this is part of the army's "lessons learned" process. Now that is scary! The army has been around since 1776 and it is just now learning that no-bid contracts result in abuse. Some organizations are really, really, really slow learners.

"The Army lives on 'lessons-learned.' We get better each and every time we do it," Foster said in an Associated Press stroy written by Pauline Jelinek. "There's discussion under way that there may be--may be-- a better way of doing this. If you open it up to as many as three bids, that offers more open competition."

Three bids...three bids! Wow, if I were a soldier, I'd feel really good about that.

"It has taken them far too long," Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., in the same AP story, said of the Army. "I believe literally hundreds of millions, and probably billions, of dollars have been wasted — it's almost an unbelievable amount of waste and abuse and likely fraud."

Personally, I think an investigation into what Halliburton did and where the waste and abuse was would be in order. It won't happen, since the Republicans control both houses. There has been absolutely no accounting of anything by the Congress on this so-called "War on Terror."

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Musings 155--Bush the leaker and DeLay's dilemma

Sometimes you just don't know where to start. I guess Bush jr. is always a good place to begin, since most of the ignorance of the world usually starts with him.

It now seems that George Bush, himself, was the one who decided--he is the decider--to go after Joe Wilson after his trip to Niger (See Link). Now isn't that special? Months ago, I said that Bush jr. would have to investigate himself over the outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame. Well...I was right. He kicked the Vice President in his big fat ass and pointed him in the direction he should go. VP Cheney then kicked lackey "Scooter" and the mystery is solved. However, Bush jr. didn't tell them to out Ms. Plame. No siree, they (Cheney and Libby) thought that one up by themselves. Sure they did.

No one should be that surprised that Bush jr. was behind the whole sordid affair. Several years ago we thought that VP Cheney was the puppetmaster. Well, we were wrong. Little George does quite nicely on his own. Two and a half years remain of his presidency. That's a lot of time for one that turns everything to crap when he touches it.

Now, about Congressman Tom DeLay...the Texas courts will not allow him to take his name off the ballot in his congressional district. (See Link 2) It seems that his greed has screwed over the Republican Party one last time. DeLay received millions of dollars for his re-election campaign, which he transferred over to his legal defense fund, after he announced he would not run again in Texas. He said that his legal residence was not Texas but Washington D.C. Hence, he couldn't run. But the courts said that was not a good reason. The courts said he was a residence when he started to run, so his name will still appear on the ballot. The Republicans can either leave his name on the ballot or take it off and run a blank space against the Democratic candidate. Sometimes life is sweet. Yes!!

So if you are a mover and shaker in the Republican Party of Texas, you have to ask youself this question: "Do I want a disgraced, indicted former congressman that is retired or a blank on the Republican part of the ballot?" The answer to the dilemma seems clear enough. Let's hear it for the blank!!

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