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Gore Vidal
Gore Vidal is an internationally acclaimed novelist, essayist, playwright and screenwriter whose historical fiction and collected criticisms have garnered him the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award, among others. An outspoken political activist, he ran for the U.S. House...








 
 

President Jonah, Meet Oliver Cromwell!

Today, as I sit, like so many Californians, at the heart of what seems to be a vast burning bush, I realize that Jehovah’s jinx of the weirdest American president is as operative in this lowering pre-Halloween season as it was last February when, guided by Scripture, I posted here on the Internet the bad news that our nominal president was seriously jinxed by an unrelenting deity who, from his throne of fire, now blows fiercely upon the west coast of the United States, spreading from San Diego to Malibu to Lake Arrowhead. Lucifer’s finest new-minted flames, a reminder to us, President Jonah’s Supreme Court-appointed subjects, that our ruler is triply cursed for his disobedience to obey his Lord not only long ago at Nineveh, but lately compounded by his inability to destroy all of Baghdad, a city hailed in that magical musical comedy, “Kismet,” by a song entitled “Never underestimate Baghdad.” But a jinxed president’s estimate is bound to be fatally wrong even in the eyes of his creator.

While contemplating the ill-starred presidency of G.W. Bush, I looked about for some sort of divine analogy. As usual, when in need of enlightenment, I fell upon the Holy Bible, authorized King James version of 1611; turning by chance to the Book of Jonah, I read that Jonah, who, like Bush, chats with God, had suffered a falling out with the Almighty and thus became himself a jinx dogged by luck so bad that when a Stone Age cruise liner, thanks to his presence aboard, was about to sink in a storm at sea, the crew for safety’s sake threw him overboard and—Lo!—the storm abated. The three days and nights he subsequently spent in the belly of a nauseous whale must have seemed like a serious jinx to the digestion-challenged mammal who extruded him much as the decent opinion of mankind has done to Bush.

Originally, God wanted Jonah to give hell to Nineveh, whose people, God noted disdainfully, “cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand,” (rather like the people of Baghdad who still cannot fathom what democracy has to do with their destruction at the hands of the Cheney-Bush cabal). But the analogy becomes even more precise when it comes to the plague of hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico that led to the Curse of Katrina upon a plainly incompetent president, as well as one who has been plainly jinxed by whatever faith he cringes before. Witness the ongoing screw-up of, say, prescription drugs, and the revival of an ancient race war in Louisiana. Who knows what further disasters are in store for us thanks to the curse Jonah is under? As the sailors fed the original Jonah to a whale, thus lifting the storm that was about to drown them, perhaps we the people can persuade President Jonah to retire to his other Eden in Crawford, Texas, taking his jinx with him. We deserve a rest. Plainly, so does he. Look at Nixon’s radiant features after his resignation! One can see former President Jonah in his sumptuous presidential library happily catering to faith-based fans with animated scriptures rooted in “The Pet Goat.”

Not since the glory days of Watergate and Nixon’s Luciferian fall has there been so much written about the dogged deceits and creative criminalities of our rulers. We have also come to a point in this dark age where there is not only no hero in view but no alternative road unblocked. We are trapped terribly in a now that few foresaw and even fewer can define despite a swarm of books and pamphlets like the vast cloud of locusts which dined on China in that ‘30s movie “The Good Earth.”

As I mentioned last February, I have read many of these descriptions of our fallen estate, looking for one that best describes in plain English how we got to this now and where we appear to be headed once our good Earth has been consumed by fire and only Rapture is left to whisk aloft the Faithful. Meanwhile, the rest of us can learn quite a lot from “Dark Ages America: The Final Phase of Empire” by Morris Berman, a professor of sociology at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

I must confess that I have a proprietary interest in anyone who refers to the United States as an empire since I am credited with first putting forward this heretical view in the early ‘70s. In fact, so disgusted with me was a book reviewer at Time magazine who, as proof of my madness, wrote: “He actually refers to the United States as an empire!” It should be noted that at about the same time Henry Luce, proprietor of Time, was booming on and on about “The American Century.” What a difference a word makes!

Berman sets his scene briskly in recent history. “We were already in our twilight phase when Ronald Reagan, with all the insight of an ostrich, declared it to be ‘morning in America’; twenty-odd years later, under the ‘boy emperor’ George W. Bush (as Chalmers Johnson refers to him), we have entered the Dark Ages in earnest, pursuing a short-sighted path that can only accelerate our decline. For what we are now seeing are the obvious characteristics of the West after the fall of Rome: the triumph of religion over reason; the atrophy of education and critical thinking; the integration of religion, the state, and the apparatus of torture—a troika that was for Voltaire the central horror of the pre-Enlightenment world; as well as, today, the political and economic marginalization of our culture…. The British historian Charles Freeman published an extended discussion of the transition that took place during the late Roman empire, the title of which could serve as a capsule summary of our current rulers: “The Closing of the Western Mind.”

Mr. Bush, as God knows best, is no Augustine; but Freeman points to the latter as the epitome of a more general process that was underway in the fourth century: namely, ‘the gradual subjection of reason to faith and authority.’ This is what we are seeing today, and it is a process that no society can undergo and still remain free. Yet it is a process of which administration officials, along with much of the American population, are aggressively proud.” In fact, close observers of this odd presidency note that Bush, like his evangelical base, believes he is on a mission from God and that faith trumps empirical evidence. Berman quotes a senior White House adviser who disdains what he calls the “reality-based” community, to which Berman sensibly responds: “If a nation is unable to perceive reality correctly, and persists in operating on the basis of faith-based delusions, its ability to hold its own in the world is pretty much foreclosed.”


Dig last updated on Feb. 7, 2006


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By John Hanks, June 17, 2009 at 9:53 am Link to this comment
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No soldier has a clue about the prospects of a battle.  It is always a reckless dubious and chancy battle.  Just do your duty.

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By dwhiteism, June 17, 2009 at 9:41 am Link to this comment

Unlike 4th century Rome, at least the US Empire hasn’t exiled all its philosophers. As Ben Franklin said, “Lighthouses are more useful than churches.”

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By John Hanks, June 1, 2009 at 5:41 pm Link to this comment
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Vonnegut understood that the U.S. was directed by organized crime.

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By John Hanks, February 25, 2009 at 10:37 am Link to this comment
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Other Americans are proud to be ignorant, but that doesn’t make anyone else smart.  Look at the weak bums in Washington and on Wall Street.  They can still steal from you.

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By dlibey, February 25, 2009 at 9:33 am Link to this comment

Thank you Mr. Vidal and may you provide us with your take on the American Situation for a long time to come. The adage that shit flows down hill has never been so true. Witness our treatment of our incapacitated elder children in our courts where they are relegated to second class citizenry while the court coddles and enables the court appointed lawyer/guardian. The lack of ideals, compassion and empathy is in stark contrast to the rampant corruption that exists within our courts. A prime example is my letter to Spokane County Court Commissioner Grovdahl.
Dean Libey

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By tpayne, November 8, 2008 at 11:46 am Link to this comment
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Glad you’re still around and kicking, Mr. Vidal, though I miss Hunter and Kurt.  Been a fan since I read Myra decades ago.  But it’s simple: as long as people have their darling pet Jesus to take over their thoughts via their emotions or a derivative identity, they have no need or use for critical thinking.  I know, I teach. Often my students amaze me though. It was they who told me about Obama and also a curious but amazing little novel, Scamming God.  This is, I feel, the most true and most historical appreciation of the real Jesus, the historical Jesus, not the darling Pet Jesus, that has ever been penned.  And, oddly enough, it is based on a true story, a marvelous masquerade, and which, through its understanding of personality, foreshadowed the collapse of the banks, the market meltdown and the looming hard times.

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By hetzer, October 17, 2008 at 9:33 am Link to this comment

TV established martial law when it lured us into sticking our nose to the wall.  TALKING, Reading, Writing, and Thinking are the cure.  Meanwhile let’s change New Mexico to New Armadillo.

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By AT, October 17, 2008 at 6:33 am Link to this comment
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Thank you Gore Vidal. We love you,yeah yeah yeah!

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By Hollyse, September 17, 2008 at 8:07 am Link to this comment
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Gore Vidal’s mention of a person asking an Arizona travel agent if it’s cheaper to fly or take a train to Hawaii brings to mind two other tales of stupidity. #! After moving to New Mexico I returned east to visit friends. One person actually asked me if in NM the people used the same currency as the USA. #2 Mailing a package at a US postal outlet to the state of New Mexico broght sheer disgust to people in line listening to the postal gal tell me rates will be different as the package is going out of the USA.  I told her NM is a state within the USA, yet she walked off to check the truth of what I was telling her.  This is America…land of, well, at this state of mind it’s as if the people are having frontal lobotomies holding onto minimal intelligence for real brain usage. Thank you Gore Vidal as always you never disappoint!

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By hetzer, September 16, 2008 at 5:52 pm Link to this comment

The election will start the ball rolling, and Obama had better be able to ride the new wave.

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By shelle, September 16, 2008 at 1:58 pm Link to this comment
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great article mr. vidal and i am glad to read you again.

i realize you probably don’t think bush is truly religious—i know i don’t.  what i do think is that he is a puppet for the superrich.  and he has been a good puppet, albeit, a VERY bad president.

the “New S A” gives it’s citizen, literally nothing for being citizens. nothing. no health care, no day care, no respect. nothing. oh, i forgot they do give us the death penalty. geez, silly me.

this government needs to be taught the value of its workers, post haste!  and i applaud wc curley for his comments.  in the years before its fall russian communism had general strikes…can we not do the same, are we not more free??

so, if citizens want healthcare, etc., all that is needed is for them to PICK A DAY and… stay home.
simple, stay home, don’t shop, don’t buy gas…just put those work-weary, underpaid feet up and relax—at home with your family.  EVERYONE.  simple. and as wc curley said, if it takes more than once—so be it. DO IT—IT WILL BE FUN. let’s all see how good it feels just once, to be powerful.  we can watch the pundits on tv talk about us and see ‘em try to “spin” it.  makes me all warm and fuzzy inside just thinking about it actually happening.

if the communists could do it—we can too! and we should do it while bush is in office.

are we people who deserve some reward for being working/retired citizenry or are we sheeeple who are just patiently waiting for theo-facsism to crash down on our heads??

the workers, en mass, are just as valuable as any corporation going.

OBAMA 08

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By hetzer, September 7, 2008 at 9:32 am Link to this comment

At last we can all speak and compare notes.  Even the crooks find it seductive at times.  Americans are trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and “reverent”.  I think we are beginning to rediscover our basic selves again.

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By hetzer, September 7, 2008 at 9:31 am Link to this comment

At last we can all speak and compare notes.  Even the crooks find it seductive at times.  Americans are trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, and reverent to their own.  I think we are beginning to rediscover our basic selves again.

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By Kevin Daly, September 6, 2008 at 8:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

..or claim him as America’s spiritual ancestor.
He was a joyless religious bigot guilty of war crimes…which arguably makes him one of George’s people (I’m sure he and Cheney will get on great in Hell).
But the man whose army rounded up the citizens of Drogheda and shipped them as slaves to the Caribbean (where among other horrors the children were deliberately sold to pedophiles) is not someone any civilised country would claim as its inspiration.

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By hetzer, August 25, 2008 at 12:45 pm Link to this comment

Biden may have been selected because crooks talked Obama into picking him.  He would make a good successor for them if Obama is killed.  Obama has become the perfect sacrificial lamb for the crooks.  If they kill him they demoralize and weaken the left for good.  They will destroy their will to fight.  It is the same with Anwar.  Environmentalists but toomany eggs in a remote basket.  The goal for the crooks is not the oil.  They want to destroy the environmental movement by destroying its will to fight.

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By hetzer, August 25, 2008 at 10:06 am Link to this comment

There are many things in the ancient world that actually countered crookism.  It is harder to fool a small town than a large country for instance, because everyone knows everyone, and they are always comparing notes.  I generally assume that all prophecies are basically crookist stunts.  You don’t have to “know the future” to know that at least the human race is pretty much finished.  Like some scorpions, it just can’t help stinging itself to death.  I’m afraid that if the planet survives it will be in the form of something lifeless.  I’m always willing to be pleasantly surprised.

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By tburns60, August 25, 2008 at 8:26 am Link to this comment

Morning Hetzer, The following is not to agitate you but to try and get you [hopefully others,too] to understand what it is that TAO [& my futile attempt to underscore that] is trying to tell us.
I will use only a part of your words to underscore this.

“This holocaust has been in the works for generations because ancient crookism replaced modern capitalism.  (Capitalism is poker between equals.”

**** Tao was talking about the mentality of Western man that emerged seven thousand years ago. A term used to describe this is used by Thom Hartman and others. That term is, ‘Young Culture’. A culture that emerged that for some zany reason was not connected to the Earth. They were the race/races that killed each other for their needs. Those that scorched the Earth for firewood & food. Lebanon was once a place of majestic trees that were cut down by the thousands for homes and hearths. Go there now & try to find those trees! 

Before that period and for at least a hundred thousand years there was a culture that we now call the ‘old culture’.
This old culture had a connection to their ecosystem that they were only another part of it. All things great and small; whether human, animal, plant, or mineral had an equal value in importance.
These people had a connection to everything around them..that they must nurture each other & protect the things that were provided for their sustenance.
To hurt another human or destroy a part of Earth was simply not considered a G-d given right. True, they did have to fight and struggle for survival occasionally. And even the ‘American’ Indian had some bad blood in it. Indian folklore is ripe with it. The Pueblo’s can certainly attest to this. Nobody’s perfect. Even the majestic Wolf had a little bad blood born to it’s species once in a while. Poisen Ivy is a similiar example of this if you would.
Young culture took advantage of the unwillingness of the old culture to fight back. Genocide became the norm. Read the Jewish bible for a testament to that.
Old culture understands that Mother Earth has only so much to give at any given time. If one sucks out more than one gives back it will eventually dissappear. That is the ‘payback’ of which TAO speaks. After seven thousand years of rape and plunder…we are next.
Yes, I believe the future can be changed. It has happened before. But it appears that it is way to late for that. The Mayans, the Egyptians, many ancient Indian ‘myths’ all point to the same date. The ancient Polonesian myths have it slightly earlier than that.
I believe these are not myths.
There is simply to much evidence now to back them up. TAO & so many others know with a conviction that is imbeded in their souls…it is no myth to them. 
We have but four years left to change that [tho’ the ‘correct’ calendar for this is also in debate]. 4 yrs. to begin giving back to Mother Earth what we have stolen. To cease killing our brothers & sisters. 4 yrs. to undo 7000 yrs. of rape, plunder & murder.
But Mother Earth will survive. We just won’t be here to see it. Who will cry for us?

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By hetzer, August 24, 2008 at 9:06 pm Link to this comment

Underneith it all I think the Neocons, sociopaths, and knowing Republicans set us up with the 911 stunt for kicks.  These are very ignorant and shallow people who were dumb enough to think that Iraq would welcome a foreign occupation by pirates.  They planned it all for years and they have enormous overwhelming logistical support.  Most of our institutions are totally bogus now because so many people were suckered into their con.

This holocaust has been in the works for generations because ancient crookism replaced modern capitalism.  (Capitalism is poker between equals.  Crookism is the use of force and fraud to mark and palm the cards and force suckers to play.)  Racketeering can’t go on forever, but I fear we may have set in motion numerous forces which may end all life on earth.

This is not the first time that a species has done ireparable and suicidal destruction while fowling its next for good.  Sociopaths are like termites.  Once the house collapses they know they can always start on another one.  They still have the old termite strength but not the wisdom to know that this is the end of the line.

Throughout the past, soldiers have been caught in hopeless battles that they cannot possibly win.  Yet, they still fought on for their comrades if nothing else.  We must keep fighting to the end at least to keep enjoying the company and to keep from fighting alone.

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By tburns60, August 24, 2008 at 7:38 pm Link to this comment

I’m mainly writing this post after reading more of the other posts at this blog. The one that caught my eye was that of TAO Walker. Although I’m from Mississippi I am not Indian. I am part Turkish-Mongolian, however, which is the blood of the race [Mongolian, not Turks] that left us the great stories of the People coming through the ice to this land, led by the twin brothers.
Also, being from that state and living in Georgia for 20 years, I count many of my best friends from several scattered tribes. That is part of the reason I know so many of these wonderful stories passed down for countless generations and recounted in some form by every nation of the People of the Earth.
I only wish that somehow we could all understand what TAO Walker is saying so plainly [to me anyway]. I feel he is sitting here now, next to me.
If you are reading this please scroll down and find his comments and read then very closely.
There is a book that all should read called ‘The Last Days of Sunlight’. A very simple, easy to read book that explains not only the Native Indian culture but that of many other older cultures around the world that understands this same beautiful way of life.
I can stress it no better than he only to say it as mostly a white Euro-American calling out to anyone who does not heed that message. We, all of us, are destroying a living, breathing thing. Indeed, the Indian [as well as myself], believe that life breathes in everything that exists; that everything has a soul, that everything is connected together…a centipede with billions of legs so to speak. Science is just now confirming this very thing if you prefer the ‘hard facts’.
Many misinformed people [not the People] believe that the Indian worshipped the bear or the buffalo or some other silly notion. That is simply not true. They do believe that they must thank the buffalo for his food and his coat before being allowed to take it’s life so that he and his family might live. To not do so would be sacrilige. They understood the way of the Mother. The greatest treasure of these noble Peoples is the Mother Earth from which all are provided for.
And we have come along and in a scant period of ten thousand years we have done nothing but rape her and the resources she abundantely gave us. We slaughtered their buffalo by the thousands until millions became a small herd. We dug the coal from her mountains until the landscape resembled the moon. We suck the oil from her bowels to spew carbon into her air so we can all breath it back in while blotting out her Brother, the Sun. We erradicate the ‘weaker’ peoples for the trees and food sources she gave them. And in the end it is us who will be erradicated for this foolish behavior.
Please read TAO’s last sentence and don’t be fool enough to laugh…pay back will indeed be hell. And I do agree with him; it is very,very close. And then my friend…
      We will fight no more forever!

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By hetzer, August 24, 2008 at 3:44 pm Link to this comment

My father was a CO during WWII for moral reasons.  My brother was a CO during Vietnam, and I was in the Navy during the same time.  So we have always been in the deviant category.  We didn’t always laugh and cheer at the right times or appropriately.  I wouldn’t have anything to do with the military now because I know much more about all the rackets involved in our wars, and I just don’t feel like using any time making a bunch of crooks even richer.  Naturally, I don’t like all the human weakness and sadness involved either.  I think the basic goal of any smart American is to help other Americans to develop some smarts.  I wear a T-shirt that says,  Anger and Fear Are Sucker Bait for Nazis.  I have another that says, Suckers are made, etc.

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By hetzer, August 24, 2008 at 3:36 pm Link to this comment

I think the beauty of our system (as far as crooks go) lies in the fact that suckers raise and educate more suckers by emphasising phony religion, phony patriotism and politics and so forth.  The basic template is largely in place by Kindergarten it seems.  So the mind of someone who is told he’s special (and therefore set up for milking) is already filling itself with things it needs to remain a sucker throughout their life.  I would guess that they would consider you and your family odd and they would avoid you, because you are different and have a lively interest in the world about you.  My family was similarly deviant in that we had lively (limited mainly to liberal) conversations, read books, wrote (under pressure) and did a fair amount of thinking.
Although we are not crooks (sociopaths), society at large might see us as being crooks.

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By tburns60, August 24, 2008 at 1:12 pm Link to this comment

I forgot how damn good that movie is. Anyway…
I’m kinda scratching my head over this:
“Our whole culture and especially schools and colleges are designed to produce suckers who think they are special.  They realize they are special because they are told they are special from birth, and this elusion is cultivated from then on with a system that caters to bureaucratic talents.”

I come from lower middle class parents who were born and lived in the Mississippi Delta. An area that most certainly qualified as a poor region. And of course there was and is a very rich class there but we were not part of it. Dad dropped out in 5th grade to help his sharecropper father feed a large family. He then served in Iwo Jima & Saipan as a marine forward-observer, a DI during Korea & became an officer before resigning in disgust over things I don’t know about. He was also a white civil rights leader in Mississippi up until his demiss.
In 1967, at age 17&1;/2 he took me to enlist in the Air Force. I worked for the Apollo missions in data & voice/video transmissions in Cocoa Beach. And for the DOD/DCA in Communications for the Army & Navy in the Far East. They gave me a damn good education that I still appreciate.
I used the GI bill to go to University and also raised two daughters. I taught them that they were special…because to me they are. I also taught them to take no crap from anyone. The eldest now holds a PHD in Education from the U. of S.F.
She also can sit & discuss the implications of the Bohemian Grove & the erosion of this country & is working to change that.
The youngest just got her masters in Colorado & has a scholarship in England for her Doctorate. She reads Vonnegut & Heller & Gore, & is quite pissed at how the legislatures of our Constitution allowed the ‘Patriot Act’ to be passed thus nullifying that very Constitution.
When together the three of us actually discuss these topics over a good bottle of Red & then we laugh & cry over the profundity of it all.[what if the Spanish decided to give an Inquisition?]
In 59 years of perpetual motion I have found that ‘suckers’ come in all shapes and sizes and education levels. I do believe that the best education begins on the street. I also know that colleges are businesses. But in College I had many educators that made me think. A few even would join me at home for a drink & maybe a little left-handed smoke back then & we’d either debate some silly thing or I’d put on some Van Morrison & blow our blues away. I also had teachers that shouldn’t have been allowed to teach. They were the ‘suckers’ & they can only produce their own kind…who usually go on to become politicians. I have a few friends who are up there in D.C. who shall remain nameless. We are friends but…they just don’t seem to be on the right wavelength if you know what I mean.
I have been questioned by a few who know some of the places I’ve been {Afghanistan, Pakistan, Palestine, Bosnia, Kosovo, Somolia, Eithiopia, etc. & usually well before any U.S. or NATO ‘intervention’. They are curious but I’m not sure I made a dent in their thinking processes.
Anyway, in the end it is the common man/woman where the dent will count most, even amongst the ‘suckers’. I do believe that ignorance is one of our chief enemies. It can be fought by proper schooling or simply by reading and talking and asking and observing. That is how I started. It is a process that should never stop until one’s last breathe.
‘Those who are not part of the solution…are part of the problem.’ -Eldridge Cleaver.

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By tburns60, August 24, 2008 at 10:39 am Link to this comment

Good point. I didn’t mean to imply we are born as sheep.
As you say, we/they/them are raised that way. It is generally not intended to make us as ‘sheep’, it is part of the process we are taught in societies that need to ‘get along’. At home, at school, at work and wherever there are other people. Laws were created for this ‘porpoise’ and then over time there becomes more laws than there are people. But as you know some of us recognize this and then begins the search for the/a truth [which constantly changes].
Well, ‘Little Man, Big Man’ just came on and I’ve gotta go join my fellow sheep in the living room. [that’s just a joke]
But I’ll be baa-ck.

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By hetzer, August 24, 2008 at 10:28 am Link to this comment

Our whole culture and especially schools and colleges are designed to produce suckers who think they are special.  They realize they are special because they are told they are special from birth, and this elusion is cultivated from then on with a system that caters to bureaucratic talents.  This goes on through their lives and they are carefully taught to fear and avoid ordinary people so they don’t compare notes with them.  Divide and rule is the main effective strategy that crooks use.  It is universal and ubiquitous. from soldier to officer and from student to teacher and worshiper from priest.

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By hetzer, August 24, 2008 at 10:21 am Link to this comment

People are not sheep.  They are certainly not born as sheep.  They are raised like sheep for the shearing.  Ordinary people know the score more than the middle class.  They have to cope with vicious crooks every day at work and everywhere else.  They certainly know they exist, while middle class people enable crooks without being aware of it.  Workers are lazy cowards who are easily scared and too lazy to find out how the scares work or even if they are real.  Middle class people are often the first to stampede because they think they are smarter and special and have more stake in crookism.

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By tburns60, August 24, 2008 at 10:10 am Link to this comment

I do agree with what you say. This site would not exist if that were not so.
What causes me concern is the ‘average joe/jane’. Of course there is no such thing as ‘average’ but I use it for argument’s sake.
After living and working [as a civilian] for over fourteen years in the Middle East, Europe, Russia and many other places…I came home to retire. I had ordered my Harley while in Kuwait & just wanted a simpler life. I didn’t even know my own next door neighbors. I also found I didn’t know America anymore. A stranger in a strange land.
Of course I fell in with the local bikers & such, many of whom are professional people & many are not.
I found I had to learn to hold my tongue whenever anyone spoke of current events & what was going on ‘over there’. They thought I was some kind of radical or some such. I only wanted them to understand the realities of what we are doing and why.
The media does distort things terribly. I know this because that’s what I did; not as a Journalist but as an Engineer. They/we report mostly what sells or are lead by upper management policies that dictate certain criteria. Sometimes the distortions can’t be helped. A thousand things to say and only a few make it to the air or to print.
Case in point:
I have a chess friend at a bar who is in his seventies. It took us over a year to talk politics because he only watches Fox news, believing them to be the only source of truth on TV. Now I have friends there but I must say…OMG! LOL, Ever noticed that most all the female Fox reporters wear clear gloss over their lipstick? That’s no accident.
I may be getting away from my point here, sorry.
In a nutshell what I’m trying to say is…most people are sheep, easily lead around, easily fooled. Our government, our business leaders, as well as all other nations, have always known this and use their considerable powers to that advantage. {Did I tell you that I am a vietnam-era vet & worked in a ‘classified position’ back then?}
The chasm I previously referred to is a mirror image of the widening gap between the rich and poor. But I also see the principle of the pendeleum [spell check] in effect. With every swing to the positive there is an eventual swing to the negative and back again. It is the reason behind peace and revolutions, the Reformation, the fall of Persia, Greece, Eygpt, Rome, Russia…and eventually…my own country, your own country shall join them in the annuals of history.
When lied to and/or suppressed people will soon tire of it and there shall be change. Those luxuries so many hold as necessities are slowly eroding under the weight of what we have done and it will soon be pay back time. Witness the above comments regarding 9/11. People everywhere are becoming aware of the hidden agenda of those in power [not just the White House, mind you].
I can only hope that Thomas Jefferson will soon be proud of us once more.

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By hetzer, August 23, 2008 at 9:30 am Link to this comment

Educated people do a lot of this, and the talking has disappeared at work, at home…everywhere.  I don’t mean sports and celebrities and recipes either.  We don’t talk about general ideas like freedom from crooks or freedom for crooks.  We don’t talk about what a filthy rag the Constitution is except for the Bill of Rights.  General discussions never come to an end, but they start chains of associations and ideas that lead to more and more chains of associations and ideas.  Things turn up.  We develop good and better rules of thumb.  And, above all, we see through a lot of the bogus crooked horseshit that we have to step in every day.  Dumb suckers are never free.  We have to start developing some smarts.

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By tburns60, August 23, 2008 at 9:00 am Link to this comment

Vidal is a true ‘Voltaire’ of the 21st century [with Vonnegut on the mantle next to him].
Although the ‘little Frenchman’ was referring to the ‘Church’, his line, “Crush the Infamous Thing!” can be equally applied to our government of today.
It is sad for me to say that there is a great chasm in this country that widens every day. TV has replaced reading; ignorance is once again overcoming the quest for knowledge and ‘enlightment’ is turning dark.
Thinkers such as Vidal are rays of light that pierce through it all and give us hope.
Keep it up!

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By John Hanks, June 14, 2008 at 8:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We have to work to get others to accept the idea that the rich must be taxed out of existence.  They only use money and position to steal.  Trash talk the idle rich and all their rackets.  Annoy everyone else.  Once enough people know the score, they will find a way.

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By moineau, June 13, 2008 at 11:26 pm Link to this comment

today on DEMOCRACY NOW!, guest VINCENT BUGLIOSI, renowned lawyer and writer of charles manson fame, presented his new book, THE PROSECUTION OF GEORGE W. BUSH FOR MURDER.

he spent 20 minutes outlying much of the case against bush, and next week will begin reaching out to the nation’s prosecutors and district attorneys in preparation for the end of bush’s term and, consequently, his immunity. (think jacques chirac in 2007.)

bugliosi has established jurisdiction federally and in each of the 50 states for bush’s two crimes: conspiracy to commit murder and murder. there is no statute of limitations for murder.

you can watch the program or read the transcript online at democracynow.org. in its first week of publication, the book hits the NEW YORK TIMES bestseller list at number 14 this sunday.

yes, virginia, there is justice.

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By Marc Schlee, June 10, 2008 at 2:05 am Link to this comment
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A Vote of Confidence Amendment will enable us to remove politicians who fail to respond to the public will.

VOCA, Now!

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By John Hanks, June 7, 2008 at 2:21 pm Link to this comment
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I would be more gullible if they would address this nagging Building #7 thing.

Remember, America was stupid enough to buy the white male superiority thing when the evidence for the opposite has been under their nose for well over 200 years.

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By Alice Brown, June 7, 2008 at 10:05 am Link to this comment
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Another kangeroo trial in Guantanamo Boy: how can anyone believe what is going on there when only the 9/11 family members are allowed to be there, when there is a 30 second delay between what is said by the defendants and what the attendess at the show ‘trial’ hear?  This is just a star chamber trial, and the result of torture.
How can anyone there think that anyone with a brain or in any country but ours will believe the results of this ‘trial’ have any integrity?  Very similar to the chances of a black man being acquitted in segregation Birmingham, of a crime against a white person: nada.

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By John Hanks, June 6, 2008 at 5:04 pm Link to this comment
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You can go it alone almost every day.  My solitary street sign for today said:  Read History…Think Crooks.

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By alicecbrown, June 6, 2008 at 12:23 pm Link to this comment

Dear Gore, Please identify your love children, if you have any, because we so much need your seed spread upon the land.  And whence cometh this tremendous Biblical knowledge you evidence.  Do you believe, as did Kurt Vonnegut (another of my very few heroes) the greatest literature of all time is not that written by Shakespeare, but by his peers, the King James committee who wrote that version of the Bible?

Where are our leaders?  Why does Russ Feingold shrink inside Congress rather than subjecting himself to the slings and arrows of the cruel media, that pounce upon any weakness, that is, unless you’re a Repulsican. Then you get a free ride.
How can the worst president in our history still be covered with such idolatrous words as EVERY network shows him in his inane public appearances?
Yes, we do indeed need to get into the streets and shout down by whatever outlet possible, Internet or blog, even network interviews the lies that are accepted as truth by known to be propaganda by anyone with a brain, breeding and a conscience.

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By John Hanks, May 25, 2008 at 5:09 am Link to this comment
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A perfect summing up.  I copied and posted it to my address list.  I think the sociopaths are running out of public gullibility.  Hopefully, there are enough Americans who are taking off their rose-colored glasses and beginning to spot the sociopaths and wannabees.  The rest of the world is way ahead of us.

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By Stephanie, May 24, 2008 at 11:47 pm Link to this comment
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No one appears to understand that Bush et al. have fully succeeded at what they planned even before Bush was elected. The failed wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are not failures from their perspective!

They WANT a civil war in Iraq. They WANT a failed state in Afghanistan. They WANT Iran to try to take over. It is all just what they wanted: a destabilized Middle East with all of us squabbling over the wreckage, Big Oil controlling all the resources, our civil rights destroyed. Hell, how ‘bout another war (with Iran) just to be sure.

The rich are not dependent on our country to do well. Globalized economy means globalized wealth. They WANT to turn the US into a third-world country of Wal-Mart employees. They are draining the accumulated wealth our country built up over the brief “blip” of the rise of the middle class and putting it back in their off-shore bank accounts.

All of this is just what they want and Bush and his friends are toasting each other with smiles of congratulation as all their plans come to completion.

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By A. Z. Arrow, May 22, 2008 at 2:56 pm Link to this comment

Hanks refers to the “Oceanic feeling,” (as a physiological phenomena that can be stimulated by the use of electrodes on the brain’s right side), as the origin of a feeling, the idea of, and, ultimately, a belief in God, ghosts, spirits, and in other mysteries. Avoid blows to the head.

~A. Z. Arrow


Other Sources and links on the subject of “God” Ideas and the Material universe:

Definition

http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1O87-oceanicfeeling.html

Neurotheology: Interpretation of Reality or Creation of Religion
http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/exchange/node/2321

John Mills: The Ontology of Religiosity:

http://evans-experientialism.freewebspace.com/mills_jon.htm

INTERNET INFIDELS

http://www.infidels.org/

Author Index –Documents

http://www.infidels.org/library/historical/author.html

The Humanist Fellowship of San Diego

http://www.hfsd.info/welcome.html

American Atheists

http://www.atheists.org/

Materialism -Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Materialism

Dialectical Materialism -Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dialectical_materialism

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By Doug Wilson, May 22, 2008 at 5:55 am Link to this comment
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All focus and energy spent on figure heads and front men, as causative, is a result of successful misdirection. The power remains unseen; out of focus. I know it’s necessary to start somewhere. Expelling the president and every politician who drifts from publicly controlled action is essential. But to spend this much energy on men and women, who once gone, will be replaced by other men and women who will play along with the power or cease to exist, is wasteful.
There are watchdog groups online that keep track of who gives who money and how many lobbyists a particular entity has and so on. I share as much stuff as I can within my limited sphere.
What suggestions do all of you have that would move us towards exposing the power and its plans?

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By John Hanks, May 21, 2008 at 4:15 pm Link to this comment
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That is especially true for religions which are basically preposterous and based on magical thinking.  Mormonism, Zionism, Scientology and most of the rest are relatively recent, but they make sure that no criticism can be uttered in the general media.  They are huge mutual con job societies run by sociopaths.
Zionism was partly behind 911, but no one can mention it.  Half the neocons were Zionist right-wing Jews.  If you are anti-crook, you are anti-religion.

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By Jack, May 21, 2008 at 3:28 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Clinton has taken Kentucky and Obama is almost sure to win Oregon.
The Democratic race for nomination is still very much alive – and most likely to be decided by superdelegates – as CNN points out clearly

http://edition.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/05/20/primary.wrap/index.html

If you’re tired of waiting around for those super delegates to make a decision already, go to LobbyDelegates.com and push them to support Clinton or Obama

If you haven’t done so yet, please write a message to each of your state’s superdelegates at http://www.lobbydelegates.com

Obama Supporters:

Sending a note to current Obama supporters lets them know it’s appreciated, sending a note to current Clinton supporters can hopefully sway them to change their vote to Obama, and sending a note to the uncommitted folks will hopefully sway them to vote for Obama. It’s that easy…

Clinton Supporters too …. !

It takes a moment, but what’s a few minutes now worth to get Clinton in office?! Those are really worth !

Sending a note to current Clinton supporters lets them know it’s appreciated, sending a note to current Obama supporters can hopefully sway them to change their vote to Clinton, and sending a note to the uncommitted folks will hopefully sway them to vote for Clinton. It’s that easy…

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By dgswilson, May 5, 2008 at 9:12 am Link to this comment

Sorry, no, that wasn’t satire. Isn’t, wasn’t, can’t make it different by saying it is different. You wrote it; read it. You want out of it? First you need to own it. Hey, everyone makes mistakes and says stupid things…just accept it and move on.

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By John Hanks, May 1, 2008 at 7:04 am Link to this comment
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The secrets of the religionists are out.  God (whatever) is what Freud called “oceanic feelings” and they can be found in the upper right hand part of the brain.  Since these feelings have a biological source they probably have some survival use - perhaps they serve for necessary illusions under great stress.  Theology is not God (whatever).  It is an attempt to explain to ignorant people the nature of the unknowable.  It is a medicine show con job that finally becomes believable over time.  The Oceanic feelings are the emotional root for the stories that make up all the cults and religions.  It is important to separate the too.  Most people who are against organized religion understand this, but they may not extend it to such theologies as nationalism, etc.

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By anti-propoganda machine, April 30, 2008 at 6:41 pm Link to this comment
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having read through a lot of gore vidal’s work, i can’t say that this is any less true, it seems so odd that we afford religion such protection when there is no real reason to. I mean really, think about it. If someone has an idea in any category but religion (that you disagree with), it is socially acceptable to act intolerant of it. The attitude may not be considered intolerance, but really, that’s what it is. We afford religion respect and protection for no real reason. If a child in a conservative neighborhood has his house vandalized for his political affiliation, the house is expected to shrug it off, or go after them for vandalism. In a religous setting, the same act is considered a hate crime, and is thought of as being much more serious.

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By John Hanks, April 20, 2008 at 9:50 am Link to this comment
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were like crooked Catholics, they would take over our media, finances, and government and pour our money and youth into wars for the Vatican. 

I would guess that 60 percent of American Jews are moderate to liberal, and they are completely conned by the right-wing Israel nightmare.  It is OK to criticize anything except Judaism and Israel.

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By hollyse, April 20, 2008 at 2:24 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The fruits of Bush’s efforts, you say, but not yet felt, will surely sink home?  Soooooo true and that home is the USA.

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By Richard Brescia, April 17, 2008 at 1:25 pm Link to this comment
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“The original amendment to the Constitution is the cornerstone of the way of life in the United States, promising citizens the freedoms of religion, speech, press and assembly.”  That is taken from survey of student ignorance about the 1 st Amendment.  The quote omits the right to petition government.  Vidal made reference to the story.

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By John Hanks, April 14, 2008 at 10:19 pm Link to this comment
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“Like a good for nothing cock, without having won the victory, some walk away from an argument and crow.”  I would guess that you are about 14 years old.

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By Gabir, April 14, 2008 at 9:40 pm Link to this comment

After reading ALL your “posts” , it is painfully obvious that you are a very angry , blindly biased , attention starved , socially ignorant and possibly violent individual . What do you do for a living ? The State of Texas is always in need of executioners in their state Pens - you would make a great recruit and surely would be able to reduce your high anxiety and frustration in that line of work .

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By John Hanks, April 14, 2008 at 7:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Is that all you can do?

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By Tom Doff, April 10, 2008 at 10:31 am Link to this comment

I much admire Mr. Vidal, but I believe this analogy is incorrect.

After all, wasn’t it Bill Clinton, not George Bush, who was swallowed by a whale?

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By Cynthia Gair, April 4, 2008 at 7:15 pm Link to this comment
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Anyone who’s wondering what a credit default is - anyone who hasn’t heard this should listen to this amazingly clear, fascinating, and alarming interview with Michael Greenberger
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=89338743

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By John Hanks, March 20, 2008 at 3:04 pm Link to this comment
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Thanks for reminding me about Mr. Dooley.  The Imperial Raypublic has been a continuing nightmare throughout our rap sheet.  Those who don’t know history are likely to think it was admirable.

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By Tom Schultz, March 20, 2008 at 7:51 am Link to this comment
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AS usual, Mr. Vidal, your commentary is learned and spot on. However, as to your being the first . . .
I haven’t the exact date of publication at the moment, but the Irish-American author Finley Peter Dunne, in the guise of Mr. Dooley referred to the US as “this Imperial Raypublic” on numerous occasions, around the time of the Spanish-American War, when referring to the shenanigans of “me frind McKinley.”

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By John Hanks, March 13, 2008 at 12:54 pm Link to this comment
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Almost everything that is deemed sacred is a con job.  All of our institutions have degraded, poisoned and ripped us off.  Bush and Co. are just the latest incarnation of the hideous termites that have directed this country for years.  With the media they play us like a piano.  They can always send us where they want by changing the subject.  In Naziland the screaming never stops.  The worst thing you can do is to act as if they deserve any respect.

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By Cynthia Royce, March 13, 2008 at 7:40 am Link to this comment
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I read that Brattleboro had indeed passed this measure, which I find very sensible. The reaction of the White House was rather amusing, something along the lines of “Huh?”, but with more words.

What is this advertisement for John McCain doing on this Web page, I’d like to know?

Cheers,

Cynthia

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By Purple Girl, March 5, 2008 at 6:33 pm Link to this comment

Poor George he is truely cursed and has allowed himself to be used like a mere pawn in the game designed by Cheney and Sponsors.
If Poor George really had a clue- he’d sing a little song for All of US, before he rides off in the sunset. In fact that is the only way he will ever get the chance to do so. George is an ignorant fool, who has placed US in harms way through his mindless self indulgence.
Let US not be distracted by the Court Jester, the Village idiot, while the real culprits slip away again. Cheney is really only a mere ‘moral’, he has such weaknesses. What we fight is an Entity. A mass conglomerate brokering in necessary Natural Resources and human trafficking past,present and futures. Bush & Cheney et al have not been their first minions, nor will they be their last.
Even as an Atheist I see the Four Horsemen have long since arrived, the crescendo to their Masterpiece may not have been achieved just yet.
We have been enslaved by Religious leaders- Then We were given the words and the ability to read the Word
WE have been ruled by corrupt ‘Public Officials”- So we developed a Constitution of Laws and Principles
WE have been betrayed by the Corporations our ancestors built with their blood sweat and tears- now we think of the Global Market
We have caught ourselves in the reflection of the mas Media- and have shuttered at the sight and have joined the WWW instead.
Brick & mortar- only powerful if we deem them so, only wealthy if we see their paper or gold as valueable.
these entities have committed the most heinous of crimes against God,Nature and mankind.

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By Me, March 5, 2008 at 5:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/latestnews/index.php?id=11015
————————————
March 2nd, 2008 11:46 am
Indictment proposal gets hearing

By Susan Smallheer / Rutland Herald

BRATTLEBORO, VT – Vermonters have long taken stands on the big issues of the day at town meeting.

Back in 1854, the issue was slavery. Several towns passed resolutions condemning the pending federal Kansas-Nebraska legislation that would have allowed the new states to sanction slavery, according to State Archivist Gregory Sanford.

In 1974, the town of Thetford voted to impeach then-President Richard Nixon, who went on to resign later that year.

Eight years later, 150 Vermont towns adopted a nuclear weapons freeze resolution.

This town meeting Brattleboro voters will decide whether President George Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney should be indicted for violating their oath of office and failing to follow the Constitution for a variety of actions stemming from the war in Iraq and the war on terrorism.
....
————————————
Can the people of Washington, D.C., forbid Bush to enter their town? So he would have to fly to the White House by helicopter?
Then, a little late of course, one could have tried to ban political candidates who don’t oppose the war or support(ed) torture (almost all)...
How about banning army recruiters from schools, colleges, villages and towns?
...

Every sting matters, said the bee.

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By the ungodly Vidal Idiot, February 22, 2008 at 1:13 am Link to this comment
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JPBreeze, I wrote the original post you and several others have critiqued with your fine wit and grace.
The only problem is that you intellectuals either read only the first sentence or have no concept of irony or caricature. Vidal surely understood I was having fun at Bush’s expense. I am stunned that you and other responders are baffled by blatant satire.

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By odlid, February 20, 2008 at 11:00 am Link to this comment
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Hi John,  I like the insect thing. But you malign insects everywhere with your comparison. Think of the busy, busy honey bee or the tireless leaf-cutter ant…all good citizens of our planet. Pinworms might be closer to the mark. You must present alternatives, great one. Bomarc, holy shit. Haven’t heard that one in a while. Vacuum tubes, I’ll bet. How about Snark, Nike Ajax, launch on warning, failsafe point, duck and cover…? I’ve already done my Curtis LeMay screed under a different nic but you got to love these mad bomber types. They worry too much about precious bodily fluids, though. Remember that Slim Pickins ride down the pike?

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By John Hanks, February 12, 2008 at 12:58 pm Link to this comment
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I just got back from a lively conversation with a B-24 pilot, a B-52 pilot and a Bomarc Missile engineer.  I am a Navy veteran.  We have lively conversations about politics in a local coffee shop and people overhear us every time we meet.  I make the same arguments that I make on this site.  I always express the basic notion that the human race is made up of crooks, suckers, and lazy cowards.  That the human race stops growing intellectually and emotionally at 14 years old, and that most of our institutions are responsible.

I don’t try to convert.  That is always a major mistake, because you set up a vertical dynamic that way.  You just have to speak plainly and as honestly as possible.  (That means dump the Marxist jargon.)

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By A. Z. Arrow, February 12, 2008 at 12:17 pm Link to this comment

SECOND PART (conclusion)

Well folks, remember, “It could be worse, ” and I suspect, “it will be worse”: unless the current ruling class ideology is immediately placed in the dumpster of history. These problems will fester and will carry into the next administration unless the present crop of government “executive”from the Punder-Elite is brought to justice. This process of healing can begin by demanding thst Congress arrest Bush , Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, Bill Crystol, Joe Lieberman, and a representative assortment of warmongers and send them off to the Hague to stand trial for war crimes against the people of Iraq ( 1,173,734 murdered by this war) and against the people of the United States.(with 3,960 U.S. Military Personnel Sacrifice.)

Lets cut the military budget by 50%.

Cut all funding of the War of Aggression Against the People of Iraq.

In America it is either “Rule by fear,” or it’s “rule by law?”

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/02/04/ED5OUPQJ7.DTL

~A.Z. Arrow

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By A. Z. Arrow, February 12, 2008 at 11:57 am Link to this comment

John Hanks wrote: “Americans learn enough stupid things by the age of 14 to be susceptible to every crook that comes down the pike.”
Often they elect these crooks to the highest offices of government.

As a result, we have the perpetual class war against the American people, (commentt 506): 

Bush is requesting a 3 trillion dollar federal budget. One trillion dollars of this proposed budget is ear marked for the Pentagon.A figure that does not include emergency appropriations for the War of Aggression Against the People of Iraq, the ultimate social cost of the Bush administration’s assault on the Bill of Rights, or the operational economic liabilities of an authoritarian police state that accompanies the waste of American wealth on the Military-Debt-Complex and on economic inequality. Chalmers Johnson looks at the fiscal crisis and threatening bankruptcy confronting the American Empire. http://www.countercurrents.org/johnson080208.htm

Bush’s proposal, if this attains Congresszional support, will be used to cover exiszting tax give-a ways to the highest income strata, and for his continuing, unnecessary, PNAC driven war. The current federal debt is now at $9 trillion dollars and will increase dramatically under this new budget. The Military Debt-Complex will soon request an additional “emergency” expenditure of $700 billion dollars (or more) that is not contained in this “class war” budget, and that emergency request will dramatically add to deficit spending, if ( or szhould I say, when) Congress passes that “request” using patriotism as an excuse. (This ‘emergency appropriation” will be gobbled up by war profiteers, racketeering Corporate Contractors, and will quickly disappear into Bush’s “nation building” sink hole in Iraq.

The trade debt has now surpasses the federal government’s debt by an additional two trillion dollars: the stock market is in decline; and there is a looming “currency crisis” in the value of the greenback. Bush is counting on China, Japan, Saudi Arabia and Russia to purchase U.S treasury notes and his administration is counting on U. S. taxpayers to cover their mounting interest liabilities on these “market to government ‘investments’”.
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article18832.htm

Twenty years of intentional deceit and public ignorance about “Trickle Down Economics” has ended objectively in total economic failure. The conservative myth about “deregulation of the market” has objectively intensified, an sppeed-up global monopolization, and theses policies( during both the Clinton and Bush administrations) have accelerated the outsourcing of capital, industry, and jobs (That is, Capital flight in search of a slave labor force.)

New job growth in 2007 (lower paying service sector jobs) is but half that of the 2006—a 50% decline in one year.
The rising price of fuel, food, heating and shelter has blown the top off the charts. And there is the circus spectacle of Bible beating politicians that preach “creationism” and that seek to subordinate the United States Constitution to a retarded fundamentalist theology. Science research is in decline and accompanied by a “brain drain” to nations with greater respect for free scientific inquiry such as Japan, New Zealand, Ireland, China and Sweden.

Since “misery likes company,” our Congress is proud of having joined Bushin these fcollies, and it too has allied itself with the warmongering Neonazicons and in Bush/Cheney’s efforts at trashing the Bill of Right, impossing secret government, eavesdropping on American citizens, and rationalizing the torture of prisoners of war.

http://www.alternet.org/module/printversion/76388

~A. Z. Arrow

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By John Hanks, February 10, 2008 at 6:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Americans learn just enough stupid things by age 14 to be susceptible to every crook lie that comes down the pike.  They are not made intellectually and emotionally immature.  The media keeps them intellectually and emotionally immature by pandering to that level of development.

Even simple villagers know enough to compare notes about strangers.  We have lost the art.  We don’t talk, think, read, or write.  We are perfectly groomed suckers.

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By JPBreeze, February 10, 2008 at 3:59 pm Link to this comment
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To the ungodly vidal idiot;

The fruits of Bush’s efforts have already been felt, just not in the way he imagined.  Whatever grand visions Dubya imagined, were hijacked by the neocon’s, “Project for a New American Century”, which is almost within their grasp.  The final piece to the puzzle is to gain control of the internet, which CIA spook McConnell is currently writing.

Maybe you could afford some of us an example where Bush made just a “minor slip”?  The crimes of Bushco are to varied and many to be afforded the “just a slip” moniker.  As for you labelling Vidal as someone who pokes Mexicans with sticks, where do you get off saying this?  Is it because you have done so yourself?  Get a life!  Maybe you need to read some Ann Coulter, yea, that will get you in a good mood.

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By John Hanks, January 29, 2008 at 12:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Let’s not give this frat boy filth the status of criminals.  They are priceless examples of insect depravity.  They should spend two hours a day chained to light posts with signs and funny hats.  The rest of their day should be spend visting schools and telling the stories of their endless, hustles, lies and crimes.
ALL AMERICANS ARE CROOKS, SUCKERS, AND LAZY COWARDS.  They need to see what can sometimes happen when the country is infested with Republican termites.

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By John Hanks, January 29, 2008 at 12:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A simple war on stupidity would be more than worthwhile.

Critical thinking is an imaginary “skill”.  The war on stupidity is a never ending artistic adventure.

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By alicecbrown, January 29, 2008 at 10:36 am Link to this comment

MOre mispronunciations, more lies, and more gobbledy-gook by the Democratic governor of Kansas.  Why can’t we have a leader such as Russ Feingold step forth as head of the party?  Why do we have Cheney and his monkey, Bush still in power rather than rotting in jail as the war criminals they are?
At this point with the inferior slate of presidential candidates, I’ll be satisfied with one who can pronounce English.

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By alicecbrown, January 29, 2008 at 10:33 am Link to this comment

As we rush like lemmings toward depression riding the latest bubble of alternative energies, I regret that we are a nation of peasants, ignorant of the Bill of Rights that is being shredded daily.  Bush is just a mirror of our white trash tastes and beliefs, created by an inferior public school system.  Unfortunately, the abdication by U.S. parents of their roles as nurturers has caused the ex locus parentis teachers to enlarge THEIR roles to the extent they don’t have time to teach critical thinking, even if they knew how.

Our slate of presidential candidates allowed by the media to continue does not reflect the best and brightest, just the slyest.  So sad ... no courage in Congress to do what we elected the new Dems to do: bring our troops home NOW from Iraq!!!

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By Peterless, January 28, 2008 at 7:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Peter,  I don’t think you read my post carefully.

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By John Hanks, January 27, 2008 at 9:00 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The only strategy Bush had was to “liberate” the Iraqi people and then liberate their resources.  Since the invasion and occupation, Bush has had to keep his money scam alive hoping for divine intervention.

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By bc41, January 27, 2008 at 7:16 pm Link to this comment

I would like to know what strategy Bush had when, as it seamed, in Pelosi’s delivering of her final political move of “no funding bill for the war,” and that following the inclusion of benchmarks, how Bush delivered the reversal. Suddenly there are the Sunni awakening groups with tentative approval by Sheittes, and the victories there on have changed but not solved our dilemma.  I noticed that when Bush was challenged at that time, people in the middle east I read about in the newspaper started thinking and talking frankly about how they felt about things: Maliki, our generals, field commander, the leader of Iran, Iraqi legislators. A moment of sanity, ok to think out loud no matter if you agree or not.

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By hetzer, January 27, 2008 at 8:43 am Link to this comment

Nobody ever went wrong hating the pretensions of the human race - especially so-called Christians, Jews, Muslims etc.  They have a rap sheet as long as Stalin and Hitler’s combined, and they have never found an idol that they couldn’t worship.  Jesus Christ was a composite like Betty Crocker, if he existed at all.  One of the few smart things he ever did was announce his contempt for blockheads and phonies.  Sorry everybody.  Jesus says there will be no rapture this time.

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By Peter, January 26, 2008 at 11:06 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To defy Ungodly Vidal,
The Republicans are smoking something better than i am if they think bush is being maligned!!!

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By hetzer, January 23, 2008 at 11:17 am Link to this comment

The greatest crybaby I ever saw was a right-wing nut job caught in a lie.

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By srelf, January 23, 2008 at 11:13 am Link to this comment

That was meant for the person known as “defyungodlyvidal”

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By srelf, January 23, 2008 at 11:09 am Link to this comment

What!!??

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By A. Z. Arrow, January 14, 2008 at 10:25 am Link to this comment

Hetzer (below): The Bush/Cheney gang are also thugs,war profiteers, Occupiers of nations that belong to other peoples (sand certainly not to their imperial soldiers and corporate thieves) , mass murderers, warmongers, and right wing terrorists who are busy attacking our Bill of Rights. All of them, together with the leaders of the Israeli government should be placed in the Docket at the Hague and charged with the War Crimes that they have committed. As to religious insanity: Bush with his unpredictable wars of aggression is an abomination before Jesus Christ who preached an unequivocal message of PEACE and ,LOVE; America is an insult to the early Christian communist communities and to all sincere religious followers of Jesus,  Bush is an insult to the faith of the martyrs and revolutionaries that died for truth and godly motives.

“DOWN WITH THE BUSH GANG AND ALL THE RUNNING DOGS OF OCCUPATION, PLUNDER AND INITIATORS OF OVERT WARS OF AGGRESSION! . . .DOWN WITH THE U.S. AND ISRAELI TERRORIST, AND THEIR LEGION OF OCCUPIERS (quoted from ine one and two of the “NEW CORRECTED BIBLE .ACCORDING TO THE REAL GOD OF TRUTH.”)

and submitted by Arrow on behalf of Sir Cart DuMonde who cannot read or write but is known to be highly educated and wise.
1/14/2008

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By Defy ungodly Vidal, January 12, 2008 at 3:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

President George W. Bush is being maligned by the master of misdirection. Vidal, a closet admirer of Aaron Burr, would have been at home huddling with Burr and Andrew Jackson, the three of them cruising around looking for good Indian land and maybe whacking a Mexican with a stick if no one is looking. His historical soul-mates not available, Vidal has made George W his personal Mexican, poking him with a stick every time this President makes a minor slip; like letting the second most prominent target on earth, the Twin Towers, not be defended. or…stuff like blowing up a small country for no apparent reason…or keep saying nukuler or just not (though no fault of his own) being able to do one thing. Vidal, in summary, is a WHINER. Yes, a hitting Mexican with a stick whiner. George W. Bush will be known to future generations for his inner greatness and his vision for a better world. The fruits of his efforts, though not yet felt, will surely sink home in not so many years.

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By hetzer, January 9, 2008 at 2:47 pm Link to this comment

I’m glad to see the vicious traitors get jinxed once in awhile.  But the crook media will protect its own.  I think they have already rigged the Democrats for a bogus rescue.

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By observer, January 9, 2008 at 11:38 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Man that s- is just too damn FUNNY- take that on the road!

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By Libgress, January 4, 2008 at 12:08 pm Link to this comment

Lawlessness said:
“I gleefully chuckled at Mr. Gore’s idea Bush is really just a jinx
who inadvertently causes disasters for all those around him.”

Mike Papintonio remarked that such a hapless schmo is referenced
in the South as being ‘snakebit’

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By John Hanks, December 18, 2007 at 2:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I can see media and corporate filth laughing together like the Beavis and Butthead they are.  We will never get their attention.  That is why I talk, talk, talk, and put signs on my car.  Millions know what is going on.  They just need to see that they are not alone.  There is also Air America radio, thank God.

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By Bill Blackolive, December 18, 2007 at 11:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Gore, enough already.  We do not need your humor today when untold many are tortured.  Please get back to 9/11 is inside.  Shaking the cage long enough will have corporate TV talking finally.  Please, please.

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By Bill Blackolive, December 18, 2007 at 11:28 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Gore, hey.  That 9/11 is an inside job is better conversation than being funny.  Enough, please.  Please get on back at your original: 9/11 is inside.  In all the stupifying chickenshit we need to get the enfeebled across the starting line, gang up and get it going.  Too much time wasted already, time now is death, starvation, torture, imprisonment for thousands, millions.  Gore, it is time to make some true noise, rattle the mob truly.  Enough already.

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By TAO Walker, November 18, 2007 at 7:26 pm Link to this comment

Gore Vidal has long offered theamericanpeople an antidote to the steady diet of toxic pablum most of them mistake for “information” about the condition their condition is in.  He has been candid, as well, in conceding that those who need it most are the least likely even to be aware of it, nevermind actually going so far as to down a dose.

This old Indian has observed the same suicidal incapacity, in Vidal’s countrymen and -women, and over a considerably longer time.  Now here in the terminal phase of a project aimed at nothing short of the total subjugation of our Mother Earth and all Her natural Children, those perpetrating the great gangbang no longer even pretend otherwise….evidently confident their subjects are too demoralized to raise even a token resistance to their ultimate degradation.

This “global” stress-to-destruct test, with six-and-a-half billion involuntary human guinea-pigs as the designated crash-test dummies, is no more the work of feckless two-legged power/fear-mongers than a Kansas feedlot is the work of its bovine inmates and the hapless human crew who abuse them.  Our Mother Earth has been under murderous assault by a “race” of insane fools from elsewhere in the Living Universe for over ten thousand years now. 

These tormentors (everything we know about them we’ve learned the hard way) have finally come to the end of their rope here.  Their last desperate ploy is the threat of taking us all with them, if we don’t let them go, and help them on their dirty way.  That simply isn’t in the cards.

So get ready, Boys and Girls, because we’re going all together through “The Eye of the Needle.” 

HokaHey!

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By John Hanks, November 15, 2007 at 7:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sorry David.  You can’t speak for anyone but yourself.  I will fight against this filth until my last breath - alone if need be.

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By david, November 15, 2007 at 3:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sorry, Gore, no one cares enough to do anything.  We are all hostages to the Repubs and Dems.  Neither will serve the populace, only themselves.  RIP America 1776-2001

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By John Hanks, Laramie, Wyoming, November 13, 2007 at 5:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Every window on my car is covered with computer printed signs expressing my hatred for the Nazi filth who stole this country and the lazy cowards who have gone along with it.  My car is a very hostile billboard against these scum.  I don’t give a damn whether anyone agrees with me or not.  I will not go silently into this dark night.  It is not enough to analyze things.  There is not time enough.  “Anger is tiresome.  Hatred is serene.”

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By Love You Long Time, November 13, 2007 at 2:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In response to #113198 by John Hanks, reading:
“Every nation is populated by lazy cowards and suckers.  The remaining crooks have plenty to feed on.  Bush is simply the latest manifestation of cartel filth.  It is always a small minority that has the smarts to know what is going on and to put up a fight.  I hope that liberals and others learn a soldier’s hatred before it is too late.

John, Don’t hold back. Say what you really think.
Err…only thing I can suggest is that you don’t cut the red wire.  (Actually, if you’ll replace the soldier’s hatred with a Ritter-style cold analysis, you’ll find a lot of posters here agree with you).
Don’t be too mad at Mr. Bush. He’s only following the natural tendency to domination for which Americans have had a craving since at least the McKinley-Teddy Roosevelt years.

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By alicecbrown, November 13, 2007 at 2:23 pm Link to this comment

WE truly have a sociopath in the White House, an illegally seated ‘president’ who is just a puppet for the neocons and the corporate interests who now rule our country.  We are no longer a republic but an oligarchy, ruled by the rich corporations who make the laws to fit their greed.
“A land of laws, not people”? ludicrous, when the crooks make the laws.

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By John Hanks, Laramie, Wyoming, November 12, 2007 at 5:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Every nation is populated by lazy cowards and suckers.  The remaining crooks have plenty to feed on.  Bush is simply the latest manifestation of cartel filth.  It is always a small minority that has the smarts to know what is going on and to put up a fight.  I hope that liberals and others learn a soldier’s hatred before it is too late.

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By alicecbrown, November 12, 2007 at 2:26 pm Link to this comment

So glad to see Gore Vidal living on and stimulating debate, whether or not it agrees with him or me, for that matter.  At least we’re not watching Paris Hilton or Bryan Williams, for that matter. 
Yes, our country is dying because we the people are so dumb, and getting dumber.  The Dems are bought and spineless, the Republicans are running the country into the ground with their corporate pollution of the air, the water and the airwaves, through the PRAVDA-like media.
WE can hear the truth nowhere except from Keith Olbermann, Stephen Colbert and the Daily Show, with attempts to be heard that are squelched (see Pravda) or ridiculed by the media by Kucinich or Russ Feingold.
When a Dem actually DOES something, we don’t hear about it, unless we’re watching/listening to Air America Radio.
Will SOMEONE give me the names of the new Dems who are caving in to the right and voting to confirm these rats?  Feinstein and Pelosi, is there something about California air that makes them so spineless and short-sighted? 
The tree of liberty must be sprinkled by the blood of patriot and villain alike, every 20 years, said Thomas Jefferson (but he was a chicken-hawk, so I’m inclined to wonder at his sincerity).
Thanks GV, a true patriot and guide for us who still love this country and the Bill of Rights, have a brain and are slowly getting a spine.  18 Vets for Peace were arrested yesterday at the Veterans’ Day Parade for trying to speak with the other Vets.  How dare they raise an opposing opinion?  Do they think they fought for freedom of speech or something?

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By lawlessone, November 12, 2007 at 11:46 am Link to this comment
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I gleefully chuckled at Mr. Gore’s idea Bush is really just a jinx who inadvertently causes disasters for all those around him.  If I was superstitious or believed in Fate, I would likely find that suggestion a welcome explanation for incredible tidal wave of trouble Bush and his buddies continue to immerse us. 

The image of Biblical Jonah in the White House, couldn’t help but conjure up for me other walking disasters from literature.  I even wondered if instead of Jonah, perhaps the reference shouldn’t be to the eternally wrong optimist, Candide, or maybe Joe Btfsplk, the sad character in Little Abner who was constantly followed by a cloud of rain.  Thanks for the mental fun. 

Ultimately though, I realized that none of them, not even Jonah of whale fame, really apply here since in each case including Jonah, the characters were essentially innocent victims.  They did not bring the vortexs of troubles upon themselves.  Incompetence, ignorance, ego, hubris, laziness and extremely questionable motives played little or no part in their particular pitfalls.  With Bush however, all those are present in unending supply. 

Moreover, Bush suffers little or not at all the calamities he sows.  Other than the occasional disparaging word or image, which he probably never sees or hears anyway, there are few consequences.  Unlike Custer, our current leaders are the ones least likely to suffer from their idiocies.

Worse, we are not innocent victims ourselves.  After all, although we did not put this putz in power, we allow him to remain there where he can harm us and our descendants.  Consequently, we probably deserve what misfortunes befall us.  This story unfortunately is a tragedy, not a comedy.

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By marshall peck, November 12, 2007 at 6:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I feel that “Dark Ages”, in reference to our current predicament, unjustly defiles that unilluminated period.  I prefer to anoint this special time we are in as the “Gray Ages”. The gray implies a greater deceit and hipocrisy.

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By Adriana Salinas, November 9, 2007 at 6:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I must say that this is an article and a style of writing I can appreciate. The biblical reference is one that hopefully the rest of society could relate to. Also, the American Republic is how I see this country as well, I don’t know about anyone else.

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By Guitarsandmore, November 8, 2007 at 11:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There once was a pundit named Hannity
Who possessed neither reason nor sanity
Champion of slobs
A disgrace to the Gods
What he held to be truth was just vanity

There was an old man named George Bush
Who put the whole country on its tush
Lost in pursuit
While ignoring the truth
The country impeached him with a Whoosh!

There was a mean, mad, dog named Cheney
Who snarled, bit, chewed, barked, and pissed on me.
Deserving a kick
I launched him real quick
And so was revealed this epiphany:

When government ignores your commands
And pees on the truth in your hands
Gently remind them
By kicking behind them
Its your dollar they have in their hands!

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By John Hanks, November 6, 2007 at 8:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I blame our addiction to media filth.

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By Max L. Cadenhead, November 4, 2007 at 1:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr. Vidal’s article is thoughtful, humorous, compassionate, and supurbly written.  What else should one expect from the greatest literary figure in American letters since Mark Twain?  He scatters opprobria over this president and his croneys as a bishop of constitutional orthodoxy wielding an aspergillum filled with holy water, or perhaps filled with ink from Mr. Jefferson’s inkwell.
  I will not comment further on the contents of the article, save to agree that this period is indeed the beginning of the end of intellectual imagination in this Republic.  It is interesting to compare the numbers of doctors, philosophers, engineers, poets, writers, scientists, and other such persons in the four hundred years prior to Caesar Augustus, and the four hundred years following the ascension of the Princeps.  It’s easy enough to do…and you will find the intellectual life of Europe growing thinner and thinner on the ground, until, after the incident at the Malvern bridge, it soons ceases to exist in and meaningful way for a THOUSAND years.
  Our drought will not be so long.  China will not permit it.  Nevertheless, this National Treasure in the form of Mr. Vidal is to be understood absolutely. 
  Enough of the so excellent article.  Now a word about the man.  When I was a lad of 16 years, I first discovered Mr. Vidal’s “The City and the Pillar”, in a massive old library in Paterson, New Jersey.  I was a Southerner from Carolina lost in this big Yankee city, and while I remember little about the place, (which was, at this time in the ‘50’s, in decline), I found a writer who has given so many, many hours of pleasure, to me and others, and has been a link for me, to the long political traditions of the Republic back to its earliest days.  My thanks to you, Sir, for your valiant attempts to remind your fellow citizens what the US was all about, when it was concieved, and where it has deviated in succeeding years.  You have taught us so much, and still you continue.  May the gods bless you for your efforts.  Perhaps you may yet clarify for an apathetic citizenry, the difference between ruling and governing, as between tyranny and liberty.  The Republic owes you much, indeed.
  Max L. Cadenhead,
  Libertarian/Socialist club.

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By Michael, November 3, 2007 at 10:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The “Imperator,” to borrow an expression from the Orient, has lost the “Mandate of Heaven.”

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