Archive for September, 2007

**maybe Thoreau had it right**

September 30, 2007

I am a very reactive person. I react first (and usually not gracefully), then do my research and realign my understanding or take on the situation. With age comes a lessening of this flaw…for some people…however, that does not apply to me.

I am also very passionate about some things. I really do have a love for this stupid Great Lakes State of my birth and upbringing, but really, it is testing my patience lately. For those of you not following the mess that is the current Michigan state budget crisis, read this.

After nearly a year of fighting to balance our budget and get the state at an acceptable level, Governor Jennifer Granholm has finally said that as of midnight tonight all State operations deemed as unnecessary, are suspended until further notice. What does this affect, I wondered earlier. Here are just a few things that would happen:

Education

  • If the shutdown continues for more than 16 days, state aid payments to schools will be delayed. This delay may force some local schools to limit programs or transportation or cancel school altogether.
  • If the shutdown continues for more than 21 days, state aid payments to higher education institutions will be delayed. This delay may force some community colleges or universities to limit or cancel classes or activities.

Health Care

  • Without an appropriation from the Legislature, the state’s Medicaid program cannot make payments to providers that see patients with valid eligibility for Fiscal Year 2008. While the state will not make Medicaid payments during a government shutdown, it is expected that providers who render services during that period will eventually receive reimbursement.
  • The state’s six psychiatric facilities will continue their 24/7 operation during a government shutdown. However, some activities at these facilities may temporarily be discontinued, and admissions may be delayed.
  • The state will discontinue nursing home inspections during the course of a shutdown.

Public Safety

  • During a government shutdown, Michigan Department of Agriculture staff will not be available to test for pesticides, nitrates, or volatile chemicals. (This is for things like water).
  • A limited number of Michigan State Police troopers will provide law enforcement service on an emergency basis. (This effects those people, who like my parents, do not have local police, but rather, depend on a State Trooper outpost out in BFE!)
  • All Michigan State Police work sites will be closed to the public and will not provide administrative services during the shutdown.
  • All Michigan State Police forensic laboratories will be closed during the shutdown.
  • Fingerprint-based background checks for employment or licensing purposes will not be available during the shutdown.

Public Assistance

  • No new applications for our public assistance programs can be made during the shutdown. If you have an emergency need for food assistance, housing or other emergency assistance, you may make an application for the State Emergency Relief program at the local department of human services.
  • No new applications for day care subsidy can be taken during the shutdown.
  • Applications for adult home help will not be processed during the shutdown.

Public Services

  • The Secretary of State has indicated that branch offices will close during shutdown.
  • The State of Michigan Library will be closed (which though they don’t say it, might have an effect on dozens of libraries state wide, depending on how MEL-Michigan electronic library-is sanctioned.

Recreation

  • Waterfowl hunting season will open Oct. 6. However, if the partial shutdown is still in effect, there will be no staff available to run the draws at managed waterfowl hunts. (Hunting is a big source of income for the state).
  • Retailers will be instructed to stop Lottery sales during a government shutdown. (Michigan lottery sales go to help with state education funding).
  • Liquor sales are regulated by the state and therefore will stop during a government shutdown. Stores will be able to sell the inventory they have on hand, but will be unable to purchase additional inventory.
  • In order to be sold, cigarettes must contain a State of Michigan tobacco tax stamp. Stores will be able to sell the inventory they have on hand. However, if a wholesaler does not have sufficient stamps, cigarettes that do not carry a stamp cannot be sold to retailers.
  • According to state law, the three Detroit casinos cannot offer gaming. During a shutdown, gaming inspectors would not be working, therefore the Detroit casinos could not offer gaming. (Again, the casinos in Detroit, major source of income).
  • State historic sites will be closed during government shutdown.

Transportation

  • All road construction on state highways will cease during the shutdown. (Great…let’s stretch construction out until the lovely Michigan winter!)
  • State welcome centers and highway rest areas, including the bathroom facilities and parking lots, will be closed.
  • State docks and marinas will be closed during shutdown. In addition, locks operated by the state will not be in operation.
  • All Michigan State Police weigh stations will be closed during the shutdown.

Business

  • Air, water, and wetland permits will not be accepted or processed during shutdown
  • Business license applications will not be taken or processed during shutdown.

These are just some of the ways that people will be affected if this state shut down happens. (The whole list is available here for anyone that is interested.)

While some of these things seem trivial, they really aren’t. The major things that would happen is that the state would lose millions on the closed casinos in Detroit, which are some of the main tourist attractions that the city has to offer. The closed casinos would mean 700+ people would be temporarily laid off. Nearly two-thirds of of Michigan’s 53,000+ state workers would be temporarily laid off.

I was talking to someone the other day that said that this doesn’t really her yet. It made me so angry to hear someone around my age talking like that. When will we grow out of this self centered age?! It will affect all of us if and when the Michigan income tax goes up from 3.9 percent to 4.6 percent, and we started getting charged a 6% service tax!

This whole state shut down, whether it happens or not, has given rise to a lot of thoughts about our civic and moral responsibilities. What is our responsibility in this situation? What can we do? How will this affect the already poverty stricken Detroit? What would become of all those who were out of work for however long this Sentate/House pissing match lasts?!

Well, dear readers, I don’t know. I’m just one Monster Library Student feeling very frustrated.

**Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience**

The Truth About US Imperial Oil Wars Is Even Worse Than You Suspected

September 30, 2007

Germans now call Bush America’s Hitler and they should know. Iran, meanwhile, has officially labeled the US army a “terrorist” organization.

Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh has consistently led the way in telling the story of what’s really going on in Iraq and Iran. SPIEGEL ONLINE spoke to him about America’s Hitler, Bush’s Vietnam, and how the US press failed the First Amendment. Bush is accused of accepting ‘Ethnic Cleansing’it’s been underestimated how much the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) knows. If you follow what
(IAEA head Mohamed) El Baradei (more…) and the various reports have been saying, the Iranians have claimed to be enriching uranium to higher than a 4 percent purity, which is the amount you need to run a peaceful nuclear reactor. But the IAEA’s best guess is that they are at 3.67 percent or something. The Iranians are not even doing what they claim to be doing. The IAEA has been saying all along that they’ve been making progress but basically, Iran is nowhere. Of course the US and Israel are going to say you have to look at the worst case scenario, but there isn’t enough evidence to justify a bombing raid.

Spiegel Online International

Read the entire article for another eye opener from Seymour Hersh. However unpopular George Bush, the American people are still largely in denial. Multiple choice opinion polls don’t have a check box for just how bad things have become.

The sorry state of America did not happen overnight. It’s a case study of the arrogance of power, how power corrupts and maintains itself, how power compromises its opposition with assassinations, bribes, and paid mercenaries.

Iran/Contra almost gave the game away. Ronald Reagan, playing stupid and senile, beat a high treason rap. Nevertheless, Special Prosecutor Lawrence Walsh believed Reagan himself complicit in a treasonous scheme to sell arms to Iran while laundering and funneling the proceeds to a right wing terrorist organization in Nicaragua.

The underlying facts of Iran/Contra are that, regardless of criminality, President Reagan, the secretary of state, the secretary of defense, and the director of central intelligence and their necessary assistants committed themselves, however reluctantly, to two programs contrary to congressional policy and contrary to national policy. They skirted the law, some of them broke the law, and almost all of them tried to cover up the President’s willful activities.

Concluding Observations, Investigations and Prosecutions, Lawrence E. Walsh, Independent Counsel, Final Report of the Independent Counsel for Iran/Contra Matters

If that’s not a description of high treason, I don’t know what is. Yet –Ronald Reagan got off with that scolding paragraph at the end of a lengthy report. May the traitor rest in peace! In the meantime, a POX on the GOP and every Democratic sellout will do nicely.

Former CIA Analyst, Ray McGovern says, of course, it’s about oil. It is so much about oil that the US government has consistently subverted legitimate regimes in order to get control of their oil and, hence, control over the price of oil on the spot markets and the price of gasoline at the pump.

So why the pressure for a wider war in which any victory will be Pyrrhic-for Israel and for the US? The short answer is arrogant stupidity; the longer answer-what the Chinese used to call “great power chauvinism”-and oil.

–Ray McGovern, CIA Analyst, Bush, Oil and Moral Bankruptcy

The issue has grown critical with the ever-growing US dependence on foreign oil. US “problems” with other countries are always with oil producing countries. East Timor barely got a headline in the US. But if Saddam Hussein so much as sneezed, he was likened unto Hitler by folk who actually helped Hitler. Bush’s grandfather, in fact, financed Hitler, traded with Nazi-owned companies and plotted a treasonous fascist takeover of the US government. Treason, it seems, runs in the family.

The Bush family, sill supported by the Skull and Bones Society, the CIA, and members of the CIA in Skull and Bones forged an alliance with the US oil industry. That’s why these Connecticut Yankees are not in King Arthur’s court, but in a hell hole called Texas. To be fair to Texas, it was less a hell hole before the arrival of the Bush crime family.

McGovern reminds that a steady supply of oil has always been a US priority. That, and the oil depletion allowance, was a priority with US oil barons, at least as far back as Spindletop. One wonders: how long has the oil industry owned the US government which is in fact the industry’s enforcement arm?

The US, when it fails to achieve its goals through traditional diplomatic efforts, has proven itself willing time and again to go to war for oil.

The US felt its “interests” in Iran threatened in 1953 when the government of Iran nationalized its oil. Nevertheless, as McGovern points out, George W. Bush was the first US president to start a major war. Most often the US has employed the secret services of the CIA and, most recently, a mercenary army –Blackwater USA, little more than George Bush’s personal army. A Praetorian Guard?

The US will not tolerate someone like Hugo Chavez who dares to use oil revenues to improve the lot of the people of Venezuela. When Iran is laid waste to, will the US then strike in Venezuela?

An “enforcement” partnership between US big oil interests and the CIA was most certainly forged prior to the murder of JFK who had promised to smash the CIA into “…a thousand pieces” even has he threatened big oil with the loss of their big government hand out: the oil depletion allowance. You almost have to be from Texas to understand just how important that “oil depletion allowance” was to the likes of Clint Murchison and billionaire H.L. Hunt.

If we escalate tensions, if we succumb to hysteria, if we start making threats, we are likely to stampede ourselves into a war [with Iran], which most reasonable people agree would be a disaster for us…I think the administration, the president and the vice president particularly, are trying to hype the atmosphere, and that is reminiscent of what preceded the war in Iraq.

Zbigniew Brzezinski

The following videos by John Perkins, author of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man ” exposes US imperialism, the reasons the US is at war stealing oil in the Middle East

Part I

Part II:The second of a three part speech given to the Veterans For
Peace National Convention, Seattle, WA in August 2006.
Part III: John takes Q & A and discusses actions which can be taken to counter the globalization efforts of the multi-national corporations.

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11%

September 29, 2007

I nearly fell off my chair Thursday when listening to Lynn Samuels! Not being the TV cointisiour of manure that she is, I have no idea what show it was, but some show where the contestants have to guess or come closest to whatever the poll question that was asked to X # of people by Rasmutin (sic!), well the last one was, you guessed it, what %age of Americans still support the “war” in Iraq. Well guess what the answer was…take a guess…
11%!!!
You read that correctly, 11%. MEANWHILE, OUR GODDAMN WORTHLESS COMPLIMENT PROPAGANDA MEDIA JUST KEEPS TRUDGING ALONG LIKE 99.999% SUPPORTS THIS FUCKING BULLSHIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Again I have to say: LIBERAL MEDIA? MY ASS!!!
HERE is the only liberal media: the bloggers that aren’t rightwing wackadoodles, Air America, Mike Malloy & Nova M, Stephanie Miller, Bill Press, Neil Rogers, Pacifica (mainly Democracy Now! w/ Amy Goodman), Keith Olbermann, and a handful of other national and local shows, THAT’S FREAKIN’ IT. The mainstream media SUCKS, OK! Sucks…bites…blows…isn’t ANY good! They suck Publican asshole so hard they could suck the Goodyear blimp through a coffee straw!!!

Life Under ‘Big Bro’

September 29, 2007

In March 2006, my article Bush’s New PR Offensive: Old Lies Die Hard! was visited by Bush’s State Department. [ISP 169.252.4.# (U.S. Department of State) ] I say “Bush’s State Department” rather than the “US Department of State” because the letters “US” imply, indirectly the people’s ownership of the apparatus of government. Under Bush that is no longer true. And under either Colin Powell or Condo Rice the “State Department” no longer belongs to the people of “…these United States”. Now –I am quite sure that other bloggers are visited routinely by Big Brother and there is no reason to suppose that my anti-Bush stance has not been visited on numerous other occasions via proxy servers. I have stopped counting the really suspicious visits, from obvious proxy servers. The really malevolent spying –that done by CIA or NSA –I will most certainly never know about.

Little has changed since I wrote this almost two years ago. Therefore, since Bush is still in office, still flouting the rule of law, still subverting American values, still a threat to world peace with the world’s largest stockpile of WMD at his disposal, sill a terrorist in fact, still a war criminal, still a liar, still a failed and sorry excuse for a “President”, and for having made my opinion known by at least one “state” visitor, here is the offending article in its entirety.


Bush has thrown down the gauntlet yet again! And congress continues to let him get away with it. Once again, the “rule of law” takes a beating. Bush repeats a fairy tale about Iraq and cites it as justification for thumbing his nose at the Constitution, circular, delusional thinking.

The reality in Iraq is a stark contrast to Bush’s PR version. Numerous writers in Iraq describe a “…a country convulsed by fear” where sectarian killings are commonplace; the scale of violence is largely unseen. In a nation �still largely without lights or running water �civilians flee old neighborhoods desperately seeking safer ground �IF it can be found. Death squads roam the streets. Bush never talks about this.

And even as Bush has created chaos and civil war in Iraq, he cites Iraq as justification for his crackdown on civil liberties and the rule of law at home. That, in and of itself, should be grounds enough for impeachment and removal from office immediately.

Socrates said that the good was good not because the gods approved it but that the gods approved because it was good. Bush and his party have reversed the logic of Socrates. The GOP reverses thought processes, thinking backward to make legal crimes already committed, rationalizing bad decisions after the harm has already been done. Fast forward to G. W. Bush, who, like Richard Nixon before him, has said that if the President does it it’s legal. If Socrates were alive, he would say that both Nixon and Bush had it backward. Socrates is right; the GOP is dead wrong.

Backward thinking is not uncommon in the ranks of the GOP but it seems to have reached epidemic levels with the ascension of George W. Bush. Before the Supreme Court handed down Bush v Gore, the most infamous 5 to 4 decision in its history, Antonin Scalia had already given the game away. Continuing the recount, he said, would be harmful to Bush.

On still another occasion, Scalia said:

Count first, and rule upon legality afterwards, is not a recipe for producing election results that have the public acceptance democratic stability requires.

�Antonin Scalia, US Supreme Court Justice

Scalia assumes that Bush had already more votes than Gore but, of course, we know now that such was not the case. Scalia’s conclusive was, therefore, entirely partisan. His mind had been made up going in. Had the court simply ordered that the recount continue, as it should have, Gore would surely have won the White House. Take Scalia to his logical conclusion and the actual counting of votes need never be done again. Counting votes is sure to be harmful to someone. Last time I checked, the candidate getting the fewer number of votes was supposed to lose.

Ironically, it was Scalia who had said that it was not the court’s job to hand down decisions applicable only in single cases; it was, rather, the job of the court to make precedent, establish case law. But, guiltily, the Bush v Gore court added a hasty, guilty proviso limiting Bush v Gore to one case and one case only. This would seem to be, in itself, a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment cited so fallaciously and disingenuously by the five vote ideological majority.

And lately Bush crows about “Inherent” powers” and “implicit” authorization! It makes one long for the good old days when President Bush pledged his allegiance to a philosophy of “strict” construction. I’ve never seen anything in the Constitution about “inherent” or “implicit” powers and, if the GOP had not been disingenuous about “strict constructionism”, they would have to admit that they haven’t either.

President Truman claimed to have “implicit” or “inherent powers” to seize U.S. steel mills during the Korean War. But, in a landmark decision, Youngstown Sheet & Tube v. Sawyer, the Supreme Court rejected Truman’s argument, ruling that his seizure was unconstitutional.

When the United States signs agreements like the Geneva Conventions, they become the law of the land. Congress is therefore allowing Bush to circumvent the law with his unilateral re-invention of both law and language. Bush has invented new descriptions of “enemies”, and he has arrogated unto himself the power to define what he unilaterally chooses to call “enemy combatants”. He assumes the power to hold this “class” of his invention incommunicado indefinitely �even if they are American citizens. Though the Supreme Court has said that this is outside the law, Bush would have you believe that he is above the law. If Bush is correct, SCOTUS is moot. Have the justices on the court been given two weeks notice and pension?

If Bush is allowed to interpret the laws, then the independent judiciary is no longer required. Bush has denied authorizing the torture of captives, but when Congress proposed to outlaw the practice, he threatened to veto their efforts. That would seem to be, in itself, evidence that he had ordered torture knowing that it was a violation of the law. Then Bush compounded his crime; when a ban was passed with a veto-proof majority, Bush signed the measure but added a memo that said, in effect, that if he felt the need, he would not obey it, “it” being the law.

It is not Bush’s job to decide which laws he will enforce and which laws he will not. I don’t give a damn about how Bush “feels” about the law. If he wants to talk about his feelings, let him join a support group! “His “memo” is a challenge to the separation of powers and more evidence that the quote attributed to Bush is accurate.

The Constitution is just a goddamned piece of paper!

�George W. Bush, as quoted in Capitol Hill Blue

On yet another related issue, Bush has acted in a manner consistent with the quote that is attributed to him. For example, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act states �without ambiguity �that domestic phone surveillance could not be conducted without a warrant. A special court [FISA] was set up by Congress so that Presidents could obtain court approvals in a timely manner. Bush, however, chose to ignore and violate the law setting up the FISA court.

It was not only Democrats who were alarmed:

We have not just allegations, but proud admissions by the Republican Administration of George W. Bush that it has been conducting surreptitious electronic surveillance of American citizens, without court approval, in obvious contravention of an explicit federal law to the contrary.

Bob Barr

Meanwhile, Bush continues to thumb his nose at Congress, wiretapping, bugging and spying on American citizens and boasting about it �though he is violating the law daily! NOTHING said by Bush has in any way refuted the law or rescinded it.

Where is the Congress when the President of the United States thumbs his nose at the rule of law, the Constitution, and the separation of powers? Everything done by Bush over the last several months has supported the charge that Bush exploits terrorism in order to maintain the U.S. presence in Iraq �in itself an ongoing war crime. [See:325 000 names on terror list ]

Bush’s subversion of our laws erodes Democracy and the rule of law. Our Chief Executive has become an outlaw, and, in the process, we have ceased to be a Democratic Republic.


Gore Vidal on the Origins of the Cold War

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September 29, 2007

ANDY MARTIN ON THE DEMOCRATS’ DELUSION IN IRAQ

NEWS FROM:
ANDY MARTIN
Executive Editor
ContrarianCommentary.com

�Factually Correct, Not
Politically Correct�

THE IRAQ QUAGMIRE: PART THREE

THE WEEK THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY FELL TO EARTH;

AND THE WEEK THE REPUBLICANS MAY HAVE WON THE 2008 ELECTION

THE DEMOCRATS� DELUSION IS PUNCTURED BY REALITY

(CHICAGO)(September 29, 2007) The Democrats fell to earth this week. Thud. The great shell game, the great con game they were conducting with their �base� finally ended. Their grand illusion and great delusion exploded in New Hampshire.

This column has been in preparation for several weeks. I watched the Democrats campaign for president with increasingly flatulent promises to withdraw our troops, when it was becoming increasingly obvious that the troops could not be withdrawn with the stroke of a pen. I believed that the Democrats were conducting a con game with their voters, promising something they could not deliver and knew could not be delivered. Ever. How long could it last? It ended before I could write this column.

In New Hampshire.

At a candidates� debate the three leading candidates all admitted there could be U. S. troops in Iraq at the end of their �first� administration in 2013! In other words, there are no easy solutions to the Iraq quagmire. All of the Democrats bluster and all of the fatuous promises about withdrawing tomorrow or next week at the latest, have exploded.

This is not to say that efforts to end the war should be suspended. Beneath all of the Washington preening and posturing there is a healthy debate going on about what our tactics and strategy should be in the Middle East. Indeed, in our democracy that is what politics and policy should be about: challenging opponents, combating errors, proffering new ideas. I have never hesitated to disagree with and castigate the Bush administration even though I am a Republican. That�s my job. Pity they didn�t listen. I bet now they wish they had. My unpopular reporting both before the war and from Iraq in 2003 looks pretty prescient. My claim to be an “expert” is based on a solid foundation of public commentary and analysis.

Were Democrats were listening this week? I am sure they were. The base must have cracked. They heard Barack Obama say the troops were not coming out yesterday. Ditto for Clinton. Ditto for Edwards. The three �Dittoheads.�

Moveon.org, the new furhur of the Democratic Party, has not been heard from, yet; but they can�t be happy to hear the troops are staying. That admission ends the best rationale for a change in Washington.

The Republicans may have won the 2008 election this week. By accident. My guess is that when the history of the 2008 election is written, we will identify the Democrats� debate as the turning point, the precise time when reality began to set in with the Democrats, and when reality began to sink in with the electorate. After all, if the troops are staying, whom do you trust to best support them? Not that either party really does right by our men and women in uniform, but would you rather have Dick Durbin or a Republican overseeing the welfare and well-being of our troops abroad? The upshot? More divided government.

The Democrats were always selling an illusion. This week they had to face their own delusions and admit they were bunkum artists.

Don�t get me wrong, I favor bringing our men and women home as quickly as possible, as rapidly as feasible. But I also realize that running for the door, leaving behind a bloodbath would destroy long-term prospects for American policy. Colin Powell was right. We broke it; now we own the mess.

I was an opponent of the war when Obama was an opponent, in 2002. Barry O and I have that in common. And I have openly and publicly challenged Republican leaders to face the same reality on their side that Democrats have now had to confront on theirs. The right-wing base does not like reality any more than left-wingers do. That they have in common. But cheap talk is just that, in both parties.

Politicians, of course, never want to face reality. They prefer complacency to reality. Always. Their own illusions are so much more comforting. That�s why we have elections on a set schedule. To make people confront reality. And make decisions.

And that�s where the Moveon.org types now play a role. Are they going to accept a nominee for president who admits U. S. troops may be in Iraq in 2013? Is that going to be the bipartisan base-line of the presidential debates next year? Or is Moveon.org going to seek to inflate the electoral prospects of one of the other presidential candidates who promise �immediate� withdrawal. I don�t know.

What I do know is that by admitting the troop withdrawal issue is not a simple one, the Democrats have given Republicans an opening. And as Republicans are known to do, they will exploit that opening, probably winning the White House in 2008.

My guess is that when the congress convenes in 2009, and the new president is sworn in, we will see divided government, again. Democrats will control congress, and Republicans will retake the White House. All because of a little campaign candor that began this week in New Hampshire.

On to Tehran? Anyone?
——————————————
Chicago-based Internet journalist, broadcaster and media critic Andy Martin is the Executive Editor and publisher of ContrarianCommentary.com. � Copyright by Andy Martin 2007. Martin covers regional, national and world events with forty years of experience. He is America’s most respected independent foreign policy analyst. Andy has been reporting from the Middle East since 1970; he became involved with the study of revolutionary warfare under Professor Bernard Fall during the mid 1960�s, and later became a founder of the Revolutionary War Research Center, a consortium in Washington and New York. He served as a Baghdad Bureau Chief in 2003.

Columns also posted at ContrarianCommentary.blogspot.com and ContrarianCommentary.wordpress.com. Comments? E-mail: AndyMart20@aol.com. Media contact: (866) 706-2639. Web sites: ContrarianCommentary.com; AndyforUSSenator.com

Scorched Earth politics burn Michigan

September 29, 2007

Government needs to be run like a business, so we’re always told.

Well, if that’s the case, then haul Mike Bishop’s butt into the soon-to-be closed unemployment office, thanks to a looming state government shutdown no one seems eager to stop.

The Republican Senate majority leader announced this week “there’s no way” a budget can be finished by the Monday deadline and Gov. Jennifer Granholm better deal with it.

When conservative stalwarts like the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and Big John Engler beg you to compromise � even if it means raising taxes � by God, listen to reason, man. At least take their calls.

Mr. Bishop, in the business world, when you have 10 months to complete a project and countless experts at your disposal, failure equals firing.

Now aren’t you glad you work for the big, bad government you’re helping demolish?Slap the governor with a pink slip, too.

Granholm’s earned it with her reckless disregard for the people about whom she claims to care � children, seniors, teachers, business owners, union members, the poor and the infirm.

During her ’06 campaign, the Democratic guv proudly declared, “I’m the captain of this ship.”Damn right. And while this ship plummets to new lows � along with the state’s reputation and bond rating � she’s done little other than blame the GOP.

Now the governor is content to turn away a lifeboat, the continuation budget passed by the Senate.Would it be a sign of political weakness? Who cares? We wouldn’t have to destroy the state supposedly to save it.

Schools wouldn’t have to close, seniors could still have in-home care and police and prison guards would still be paid to protect us from the bad guys.We wouldn’t rack up $4 million a day in debt, adding to the already Herculean $1.8 billion we have today.

But the truth is, Granholm wants a showdown. The Capitol is abuzz this week that she reportedly told her staff, “I want this shutdown to be as painful as possible.”

Which translates to: Screw you, Michigan, if I can gain partisan advantage off this. That’s the one idea Bishop can agree with, egged on by desperate state GOP Chairman Saul Anuzis, who’s salivating over the catastrophe to jump-start his ailing party.

As this crisis careens into a shutdown � which seems inevitable, given the players and their pettiness � it should be a career-killer for Mike ‘n Jen.

Any Democratic presidential campaign scouting out talent for an ’08 administration (that means you, Hillary) should promptly pass on the poison that is Jennifer Granholm.

Anyone who sticks a Mike Bishop for Governor pin on his lapel should be forced to take a Breathalyzer test.

The tragedy is that everyone knows a deal could have been hammered out back in February if Lansing wasn’t the playground of the inept, illogical and idiotic.

Such is the sad state of affairs when lobbyists outnumber citizens and journalists in the House and Senate galleries.

It already is too late to undo some of the damage � at the very least, some state payments and paychecks will be delayed � but our leaders still can turn this ship around.Don’t leave the bargaining table until you do.

It is worth noting that the reasonable voices in these scorched earth times are those of Republicans, like the 28 former lawmakers who eloquently called for statesmanship and speed in solving the budget.

Leading the way in the Legislature is a duo from Livingston County, the lily white Detroit exurbs nicknamed the deep South of the far North, where raising taxes is akin to treason. Rep. Chris Ward was the sole Republican to pull the lever for an income tax hike anyway. Ditto for Sen. Valde Garcia in nixing $600 million in cuts to what he called “essential” services.

Ladies and gentlemen, that’s called leadership.It’s a stark contrast to the Democrats, cowering in the corner from former Rep. Leon Drolet, a little man with a big foam pig threatening recall efforts.

Step up to the plate, make some common-sense cuts to prisons and employee benefits and vote for a modest tax increase.

Wake up. We are now the laughingstock of the country, as if having the highest unemployment and a collapsing auto industry weren’t enough.This crisis has gone way too far. The next move isn’t about who blinks first.

It’s about who loves this state enough to save it.

Chavez and Ahmadinejad Pow-wow Amid Fears of US ‘Economic Armageddon’

September 28, 2007

A Canticle For Leibowitz by Walter Miller.

September 28, 2007

I first read “A Canticle For Leibowitz” in High School. Being an avid sci-fan I was in an ideal position to ace my book report on this classic, but it is a few years later that I started to appreciate the philosophy and intent of the book itself.

It is a shame that this is Walter Miller’s only novel. Like J.D. Salinger and his “The Catcher In The Rye” novel, A Canticle For Leibowitz is a classic and it is the only piece of work that Walter Miller will be remembered for.

The page where the link to download the book is here.

Long after the Cold War

September 28, 2007

In a blog the Effing Librarian wrote the other day he spoke of not trusting anyone under 30. I thought about the things he had to say and I agree…I hate that people in my age group are part of this digital machine; seemingly not able to eat, sleep, or poop without having to text (or Heaven forbid) send someone a picture about it.

However, as I posted in Effing’s comments section, I consider myself to be more akin to those of an older generation, partly because I was raised (until Grad school, really) as a technological retard, and also because I grew up in a family that demanded communication. Unlike many people today, our communication came in the form of “pass the taters please” (“What’s taters, Precious?“), as opposed to “BFF pass t spuds…WTF…LOL…”or whatever people text each other (I hate those new damn commercials!)

Then, thinking about what might separate some of us generationally, I found this super website, where you put in your birth (and death year?) and got a list of some of the events that have happened in my life. If I ever remember or find the link to that site I will post it-sorry.

Birth: 1980

1946-1980 The Cold War from before birth until age 9

1977-1980 James Earl Carter Jr. President of US

1980 I was born 1980 Mount St. Helens Erupts

1981-1988 Ronald Reagan President of US from age 1 to 8

1981 1st female supreme court justice at age 1

1983 Bluford 1st black in space at age 3

1984 HIV determined to be cause of AIDs at age 4

1986 Chernobyl Power Plant melts down, Shuttle Challenger explodes, at age 6

1989 1. Powell is 1st black Chairman Joint US Chiefs of Staff 2. Fall of Berlin Wall 3. Breakup of the Soviet Union 4. U.S. Invades Panama, topples Noriega at age 9

1989-1992 George Bush President of US from age 9 to 12

1991 Iraq attacks Kuwait, US Attacks Iraq at age 11

1992 Blacks riot in South Central neighborhood, Los Angeles at age 12

1993-2000 William Clinton President of US from age 13 to 20

1993 Muslim terrorists bomb World Trade Center at age 13

1994 South Africa moves to 1 person, 1 vote system at age 14

1995 American Terrorist bombing in Oklahoma City at age 15

1998 Pres. Clinton Impeached December 19th. at age 18

1999 US attacks Bosnia at age 19

2000 North Pole ice melts – 1.5 km of open water in August at age 20

2001 1. Muslim terrorists destroy World Trade Center Sep 11th 2. US attacks Afghanistan, October 7th 3. Earthquake at Gujarat, India – 20,000 deaths at age 21 2001-2009 George W. Bush President of US, age 21

2002 Euro currency introduced, age 22

2003 1. Shuttle Columbia destroyed during re-entry, 2. 28,000 die in 3. Iran earthquake, age 23

2004 1. Indian Ocean earthquake/tsunami kills 290,000 – December 26 2. Ten terrorist bombs kill 200, injure 1240 in Spain, age 24

2005 1. Hurricanes Katrina, Rita devastate New Orleans – Aug, Sep. 2. Muslim terrorists bomb London transit system July 7th, age 25

2006 and 2007 were not covered by this site so I did some exploring of my own since, honestly, the last two years have been a blur, and decided to leave those two years blank…too much Debbie Downer shit.

Books By John Steinbeck

September 27, 2007

BookYards has completed its section on John Steinbeck.

I was first exposed to John Steinbeck when I had to read his classic “Grapes Of Wrath” in high school. At the time I found the book very hard to fathom and understand …. particularly the ending. I think it is because of the fact that as a young teenager who had never experienced poverty and hunger….. to then somehow immediately understand the suffering that the characters in the Grapes Of Wrath must endure ….. well ….. let us say that this gap was not breached on my part. Years later….. living on my own …. being aware of the world as well as personally experiencing “hard times” …. I now understand where John Steinbeck was coming from.

The next book that I read was “Of Mice And Men“, followed by “The Pearl” and “Tortilla Flat“. “Travels With Charley” is my favorite of the Steinbeck books, and it is my goal to travel the United States and explore it in the same manner as he did in the book.

The books written by John Steinbeck that we have collected or found links from other sites to download are the following:
Cannery Row
Cup of Gold
East Of Eden
Grapes Of Wrath
Of Mice And Men
Once There Was A War
The Moon Is Down
The Pastures Of Heaven
The Pearl
To A God Unknown
Tortilla Flat

Useful resource links for fans of John Steinbeck can be found here.