Monday, October 31, 2005

The Night HE Came Home...

Halloween... The Night He Came Home... Halloween, the night Michael Meyers came home, reigns as the most popular, successful, and possibly the best slasher film ever made. It certainly was the first real slasher movie and laid the groundwork for all that followed. Movies that proceeded Halloween had a piece or two of the puzzle, but in 1978, all the elements came together to form something that would become one of the most beloved sub-genres in horror film history… the slasher film! Some consider Halloween a whole lot more; many feel it's the best horror movie ever made. Whatever your opinion, it is a classic and has haunted millions. Who would have thought a William Shatner mask and a speechless "Boogeyman" with a butcher knife chasing a babysitter could change the face of horror? The film has spawned seven sequels so far, who knows when or if Michael Meyers' saga will ever end. While Halloween didn't kick off that huge wave of similar films right away, it is the father of them all, even Friday the 13th, which did usher in the 80's slasher craze. It made John Carpenter and Jamie Lee Curtis household names to fans and used that most special holiday to scare millions for years to come. After Halloween, no holiday was safe ever again, nor babysitter, nor teenager having fun. The " Boogeyman" was now real. The film works so well because we never know the reason why, Meyers is just evil, an evil kid that grows into an evil man, coming home after escaping an asylum to terrorize a group of friends on Halloween night in suburbia. Maybe the simplicity of it all makes it work so well. The film series has had good and bad spots. The direct sequel does a good job of picking up right where one left off. The third is a wholly different film and is Halloween in holiday theme and name only, but still a good movie. Meyers returned to the series thereafter and has remained and evaded destruction ever since. The sixth film is normally regarded as the weakest link, that is until we all scrutinize eight enough. Jamie Lee Curtis returned to the role that made her famous in seven, only to finally be killed by her maniac sibling in eight. Surely, Meyers will see the screen again sometime in the near future, as no horror "Franchise" stays dead long if it makes money. Perhaps Anchor Bay will release yet a few more versions to eager fans. Perhaps sequelization dulls memories a bit, but Halloween still stands as the most influential movie of its kind. No one who has viewed ever forgets it or Carpenters' memorable score. Where would we be without it? This site will be here, keeping watch for when He comes home again. Many thanks to MichaelMyers.Net for this write-up...GaP

More Metaphysical Musings

G-- Now that is very cool indeed! What I find odd is that the being (assuming it was the same “entity” both times) was felt in two different places. I’m no expert, am something of a Scully myself, but I think “ghosts” are usually connected to place, no? Now that you’ve opened to this maybe there will be more. It’s good to have an open, scientific mind; too many times possibilities are cut off in mid-imagination because a belief in dogma, whether religious, scientific or in food types, prejudices our thinking, our wonder. I’ll stay tuned! Best, Russ

Friday, October 28, 2005

Mulder And Scully On Either Shoulder (My First Paranormal Experience)

Regarding the Paranormal Experience... To set up the scene, we have to go back about a month when Bill was staying over at my place. We were lying in bed in the dead of night...and then he started, looking toward the ceiling... "What's the matter?" I asked. "I felt someone watching me. And I thought I saw some movement." He surmised that it could have been the reflection of a car-light reflecting through the window. He said the presence felt female...But then it was gone. -->I<-- didn't sense anything... Fast forward a month. We were lying in bed at HIS place. I was just floating up from the well of sleep, just talking to him. As I looked toward the door, I saw this vague patch of hazy fog GREYNESS...Very indistinct. I wasn't even sure if I actually SAW that part of it. That COULD have been the shadow of my hand against the wall thrown by the light generated by his digital clock, my inner Scully surmises. But I don't think so, the inner Mulder replies. The part of the experience I WILL attest to was the sense of a definite PRESENCE right in front of me. We were being watched. "We're not alone," I said in mid-sentence. It didn't feel malevolent. It was just there. I didn't sense any gender. And it dissipated quickly. So what the hell was THAT all about? The common denominators: We were at the OTHER'S house when he had our respective "sightings". Both times, I was having some doubts about the relationship. Now I try not to be freaked out by these sightings just because the person/being doing the visiting exists on another plane or level. And being dead or departed is just another state of being. Our fear of ghosts is predicated on the fear of death...especially in western societies. So what do I make of this? God only knows...Was it my mom checking up on me? Was one of my friends doing some unconscious astral-traveling, wondering where the hell I was? (I tend to go out of peoples' orbit for long stretches of time...) Just some random shade who likes to look in on us like an ectoplasmic Peeping Tom or Tina? We will never KNOW. But it was a pretty cool experience. And it happened on the heels of my shooting star revelation. I submit this for your consideration...GaP

Apocalypse Now and Then...

On the Apocalypse: My father used to talk all the time about "The End Days" and "Armageddon;" I got tired of it especially when he missed allof his "deadlines." Your point about the Dark Ages echoes one I used to make (and how I often look back on our theological and philosophical arguments with nostalgia ... I enjoyed them); I told him that if you were in a village sacked by the Mongol hordes then you might think "theend was nigh ... sho 'nuff." Maybe we each face our own personal "endtimes" even before we reach the big finale when the lights go off. The Sunbeams in last month's Sun speak about this (I'm glad you send me that magazine ... thanks!). This was a rough trip; I'm getting pretty near the end of my fuse regarding human beings' stupidity and apathy. It's hard to keep the faith. But as long as we have each other, as long as we keep remindingeach other about the light, then perhaps this adventure will be survivable.I'm still waiting to hear about the paranormal experience! In town for a couple of days; will close on the townhouse before I leave on Saturday. After that ... well, I'll keep you posted! Take it easy, brother. Russ

Ladies And Gentlemen: The REAL George W. Bush

Ladies and Gentlemen: The Real George W. Bush By Stephen Pizzo, News for RealPosted on October 27, 2005, Printed on October 27, 2005 For three more years America is going to be led by not just a lame duck president, but a totally discredited president. In a poll taken yesterday, 90 percent of those asked said they believed top Bush administration officials are guilty of either illegal or unethical behavior in the CIA leak case. So where does that leave an un-indicted George W. Bush? There really are only two explanations, and neither reflect well on him. First, he can claim his closest aides conspired behind his back while he was otherwise occupied. I call that the "Exxon Valdez Defense" -- the captain was not at the helm when a careless crewman ran the ship of state aground. Unfortunately for Captain Bush, that defense did not wash for the real captain of the ill-fated tanker. Because, you see, the captain is always responsible. The other explanation is worse: that the President of the United States knew what was going on, maybe even participated in it. Either way, Bush is finished as a force in American politics. How he ever got to become president in the first place -- not once, but twice -- will remain a subject social scientists will study and debate for decades to come. Because there was plenty of evidence that George W. Bush was a made man. He had accomplished nothing in his adult life on his own -- not one thing. (Click here for more.) Of course, for those of us who have covered the Bush family for years, it's no mystery at all. The best way to think of George W. Bush is as a beard for others. At every step in his career, individuals of wealth or power groomed him, and then used him as their front man. These benefactors had learned long ago that there was more money and more power to be had in the shadows than in the limelight. All they needed was the right person to front for them -- someone with a name, a smile, a confident swagger. Vision, dreams, hopes and ethics were not only unnecessary, but liabilities in a beard. All they needed was a person they could program, wind up and send out into the public spotlight and deliver for them. That's George W. Bush. He fit the bill to a T. Texas oil men -- and companies with international agendas and voracious appetites for government contracts -- had found their perfect front man in GW: a kind of Forrest Gump from the Dark Side. A man ignorant and proud of it, and willing to take direction from those he considered friends. They began by nurturing Bush's pathetic efforts to become a high-rolling Texas oil man. Though his companies failed, they made sure he never did. Then they were able to further his ascendancy by indulging his playful side, buying him his own baseball team -- a Texas baseball team. That raised Bush's public profile to just a notch below their ultimate goal: public office. Fully groomed and programmed, they finally steered Bush towards the goal. And it worked, probably beyond their wildest expectations. As governor of Texas, their beard kept state regulators out of their hair on dollar and cents issues critical to the oil drilling and processing industries, like air quality. That alone would have been sufficient payoff for their years of cleaning up Bush's business messes. Bagging the United States presidency was an unexpected super-bonus. Still, they knew it was a development ripe with as much danger as opportunity. After all, they knew the real George W. Bush. There was no way they could send that hayseed off to the Big Show unattended. Dick Cheney and Karl Rove were tasked with keeping their idiot prince both on message and on a short leash. God forbid he should ever make a speech, take a position, or make a decision on his own. All went very well for the first four years. From day one, their boy delivered, delivered and delivered again. He was a gift that just kept giving: $1.6 trillion in tax cuts, the bulk of which went to people like them; Environmental laws watered down; expanded logging allowed in national forests A push to open protected Alaska wilderness to oil and gas drilling; Iraqi oil fields suddenly within reach; Plenty of cheap labor flooding across our southern border. And just as it looked as if he was on the way to fulfilling another assignment -- the elimination of the estate tax -- his beard fell off. It was the thing they had always feared most: the real George W. Bush went public. There it was, for the whole world to see: a chuckling, twitching dope of man standing in front of the American people, unleashed and unscripted. Worse yet, he was making his own decisions. He chose his friend and admirer, Harriet Miers, for the Supreme Court of the United States of America. What went wrong? Where were his handlers? Busy. They dropped Bush's leash when handed subpoenas. Junior was unleashed and home alone. It's a moment new to America -- a leader who needs to be led, and now unled. And the world is watching. It's as if the police had come and dragged Edgar Bergin offstage in the middle a show, leaving Charlie McCarthy, wide-eyed, mouth agape and slumped alone on his stool. So, what now? Stephen Pizzo is the author of numerous books, including "Inside Job: The Looting of America's Savings and Loans," which was nominated for a Pulitzer. © 2005 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.View this story online at:

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Are We Living On Krypton?

G--, Thanks for the thoughtful reply. I'm going to read it again when I get back in Va; when I'll have time to ponder. Meanwhile the thoughts will have a day or two to "ferment." I am eager to hear about your "first bonafide paranormal experience!" I'm always interested in events which "split the veil." A while ago you mentioned visions of the Apocalypse. In the past week I've been, not quite overwhelmed but certainly, acutely aware of the amount of bad news; the hurricanes, the tidal waves, the earthquakes, the Bush administration, the War (in Babylon of all places), the populace's fascination with fluff and no substance (what is that biblical quote? "They will dance and screw until the last minute?" That's a very loose paraphrase, no?). Anyway, add the airline's problems to the mix, including a financial future far different from my expectations, and it makes for a pretty depressing scenario. With all that said ... enjoy your trip! Russ

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Thoughts On The Subject...

What we've been up to... "I was thinking about the respective paths we’ve taken individually these past few years. Being more true to our authentic self, starting down that road, leaving the “old way” behind, are we any happier? Is there any sense of greater satisfaction? The only thing I can identify is that I’m more genuine. But that’s like saying “I’m not going to wear clothes just to be fashionable.” Where is the sense of happiness or satisfaction? I’d like to hear your thoughts on this." ---------------------------------------------------------- Russ... And hear them you shall. The easiest example I can draw is to refer to your experience...that is considering going back to your wife for HER sake, live the PLEASANTVILLE facade at the cost of your growth and self-discovery. You KNOW that would have been a living death. An empty exercise designed to keep up appearances. And you know what? Your wife would have eventually sensed it and you own self-worth and positivity would have rotted out from the inside. Don't you think that would have self-destructed in a FAR grander fashion than a mere divorce? Or worse, a quiet, living death pondering the "could-have-beens". Speaking from my own point-of-view and more importantly Bill's...When I was going home on the bus after having a near-sexual encounter with Julie T. and NOT HAVING ANY REACTION, I felt this deep, inescapable depression...a prelude to the whole closet-outcoming. Deep down, I KNEW that if I was going to be going for the "normal", heterosexual life, I would have been living a lie. And if ANYone knows about that, it's Bill. In the twenty-five years of marriage during which he helped to raise a son, he KNEW something was off. He told me of nights when he would wait LONG after his wife went to bed so she would be asleep LONG after he slinked into bed. They stayed on either side of the bed...a cold distance. Eventually, his wife iniated the divorce because Bill was immobilized. He'd lived the lie for SO long, it BECAME a reliable truth, merely backround noise. ("I know it's approaching torture, but I've got my routine."--Aimee Mann, MOMENTUM) He feared change. (Who among us doesn't?) He went through his own amount of soul-searching and nearly took his own life coming to terms with things. And here he is. So to answer your question...While following our path maybe sometimes difficult but at least we're on our way on or TO something REAL. It's not heading off in the complete opposite direction. (Anakin Skywalker, anyone? Talk about a living nightmare, about being DEAD in a life that you never wanted...The genius of George Lucas is that Anakin's fate seemed sort of like a dark, alternative universe to the way things SHOULD have gone...much like one of those STAR TREK parallel universes that get fixed by the end of the episode...) You may feel pain when you slip or when you doubt yourself...but being TRUE to yourself is ultimately worth it, I think. And remember, Russ, this is ME talking...the one who sometimes stares into the abyss and yearns to be swallowed up by it so he doesn't have to think or FEEL anymore. Current point on MY path...although it sunk my mood a bit, a passenger ripped me a new hole for manhandling his luggage. (I won't bore you with the details...) Throughout the whole tirade, I kept my cool. His rant was SO fiery at one point that another passenger ran back to the galley to tell my co-workers. It was over by the time she showed up. He calmed down toward the end of the flight...During the taxi, he was burying his face in his hands and couldn't meet my eyes during the deplaning process. Doesn't matter because I was ignoring HIM too...I think that's SOME kind of progress... Heading out on my second of three AMS in a row. Remind me to tell you about my first bonafide paranormal experience...Also, keep me apprised of your moving/address status. Keep the faith, my brother...You are an important force in my life. Don't know what I would have done without you all of these years exchanging electrons... All The Best...GaP

Monday, October 24, 2005

Response to "And Then Everything Changed..."

Hi G---, I found the quote I was thinking about yesterday concerning our experience of the divine; the eternal. It comes from the 1995 winter issue of the magazine “Parabola.” In an interview Jacob Needleman says, “The point is that there is another emotional nature in us which is free of the ego. We can touch that … when we’re in love [or, as he says in another place, wonder, which is what you experienced, or grief], but it easily gets mixed with something more egoistic, just as grief often turns into guilt and self-reproach. And wonder can turn into ‘I’m going to figure it all out, I’m going to become like God,’ or something like that. When one’s standing under the stars, one has a feeling of wonder … one feels ‘I wish to be part of this – more, I am part of it – I’m a very small being, a small thing, but I’m part of something great,’ and that can turn into ‘Now I’m going to solve the problems of the universe,’ and then it’s no longer wonder.” That directly speaks about your experience with the meteor. He also says, “[Recognition of one’s sense of incompleteness is a] recognition that life is not what we thought it was, and we are not what we thought we were. In some of its forms it is what we sometimes call a ‘midlife crisis,’ and sometimes it happens when we’re young. In a way, our whole culture may be passing through that now, in the sense that our modern world has been increasingly motivated to give people what they desire physically, socially, materially. We are waking up to the fact that physical and social satisfaction does not really bring happiness, well-being, or answers to the great questions of life. It never will, it never can.’” I was thinking about the respective paths we’ve taken individually these past few years. Being more true to our authentic self, starting down that road, leaving the “old way” behind, are we any happier? Is there any sense of greater satisfaction? The only thing I can identify is that I’m more genuine. But that’s like saying “I’m not going to wear clothes just to be fashionable.” Where is the sense of happiness or satisfaction? I’d like to hear your thoughts on this. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Hi G---,Sorry for the delay in replying sooner, I have been away again and no accessto email.A big thank you for sharing this very personal moment, your honesty andcandour as, as always, appreciated.So, I guess you have to change your name to Paul now, that's usual for these'on the road to...' experiences, isn't it?Sometimes we do need reminding that there is someone/thing/power/ out there and it is generally benevolent, if we allow it. The correct frame of mindfor acceptance is also important. When I was told I had this brain tumourthing recently I took a dive, for almost .5 of a second. My faith zoomed meskywards again rapidly and as you know all is now well so, I was right notto be concerned!Keep 'em coming, it's always good to hear from you.Ciao for now, awra best!Steven.PS And yes, there are a lot of people out here rooting for you! ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Dear G---, Thank you for sharing that very beautiful ...and way POWERFUL story with me. That shooting star was no accident !!!!......YOU ARE NOT AN ACCIDENT.....but were created wonderfully by Him !!!!! are precious and unique to Him.... there is only 1 G@P !!!!!!!..... keep looking will be seeing more signs, ROCK ON, your friend, Andy

Friday, October 21, 2005

Airline CEOs Know Something You Don't

By Allan Sloan Newsweek Oct. 17, 2005 issue - One reason flying can be such a drag is that sinking feeling you get when you start talking to your seatmate and discover that she paid much less for her ticket than you did. The trick, of course, is to have access to the best information. What's true for airline fares is also true for airline shares. And for airline pension funds, too, given what happens when an airline goes broke. Pension-fund information—and the lack of it—links Northwest Airlines chairman Gary Wilson and 9/11 widow Ellen Saracini, whose husband was a United Airlines pilot. Guess what? Wilson benefited by having access to all of Northwest's pension numbers, while Saracini paid a steep price for not having access to United's pension-fund numbers. Wilson is a frequent seller, unloading more than 85 percent of his Northwest stock this year as the airline spiraled toward bankruptcy. Total proceeds: $19.7 million, according to Thomson Financial. Throughout Northwest's descent, Wilson had access to an important number that wasn't publicly disclosed until Northwest filed for bankruptcy in mid-September and its stock became virtually worthless. To wit: the $5.7 billion shortfall in Northwest's pension fund, as calculated by federal pension insurers. That's half again as large as the $3.8 billion Northwest had reported in its most-recent financial filings. This difference really matters. The U.S. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.'s huge claim in the Northwest bankruptcy virtually ensures that stockholders—including buyers of Wilson's shares—will end up with nothing. It also means that many pension recipients and creditors will get far less than they expected. Northwest's numbers differ from the PBGC's because Northwest is allowed to assume that its pension funds will stay in business for decades. This produces a far lower pension-obligation number than the PBGC, which assumes the pension fund is terminating and finds out what an insurer would charge for annuities to cover its obligations. Northwest, like many other companies, has been filing a pension-termination number with the PBGC for years, as required by the laws covering pensions. Wilson, as a board member, had access to the number, which the PBGC is legally barred from disclosing to the public. Northwest could have disclosed it voluntarily. That would have given the buyers of Wilson's Northwest stock a level playing field and given employees and creditors information vital to their interests. But—like other companies in similar circumstances—Northwest didn't make the number public because it wasn't required to. All Northwest would say was that it and Wilson had done nothing illegal, and that Wilson wouldn't talk to me. Contrast Wilson with Saracini, whose husband was a pilot on doomed United Flight 175, which terrorists crashed into the World Trade Center's south tower. When the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund settled with Saracini, it subtracted the value of her husband's full United pension from her settlement, as its formula required. But Saracini won't get anything like a full pension because the shortfall in United's pension funds was so much greater than the company had disclosed. This wasn't clear until May, when the PBGC terminated United's pension funds and showed a $9.8 billion shortfall. United had been showing only a $6 billion shortfall. I can't tell you how much of a haircut Saracini got on her 9/11 settlement—she declined to tell me, and the fund isn't allowed to disclose it. But trust me, it's major money. Had the 9/11 fund known how much the pensions of Saracini and other United employees' survivors would shrink, they would doubtless have gotten larger settlements. "I've lost my husband's pension twice," Saracini told me. Pension legislation in the Senate would force all companies with below-investment-grade credit ratings, including Northwest, to publicly disclose the pension-termination numbers they send the PBGC. That seems only fair. Everyone should have access to these vital numbers—not just members of the platinum elite. © 2005 Newsweek, Inc.

And Then Everything Changed...

"...but that's not the reason why I'm lookin'... I need a reminder of what I'm doing I need a reminder that I'm still human" --Nada Surf "The Mirror" Something wonderful happened to me as I walked down the Hanover Street hill on my way to the gym. I had several themes, concerns, and preoccupations banging around in my head, clattering around like a set of keys forgotten in the dryer...The existence of God, my reluctance to call it God, the fate of society and humanity in general; my uncertain financial future, my own purpose and direction...And just as those words were being sung through the ear-buds of my minidisc player, I looked up... ...and saw a shooting star. It streaked across the dark early-morning sky for one precious second and then it was gone. I felt a deep sense of gratitude welling up within me, filling my heart. "Thank you," I whispered, my eyes misting up with tears. "Thank you for letting me know that you're THERE." Up there. Or among us. Part of us. Thank you. Even though I don't know what to call you. Or how to define you. But maybe that's whole point. Maybe that's where the trouble starts...when we try to qualify, quantify, or classify you. Some call you God, Jehovah, Yahweh, Allah, Buddha, Kismet, or subdivide you into a prism of pantheonic god for this, one goddess for that... Some call you the Blessed Mother. Most try to pin a name on you in an attempt to comprehend the unknowable, something you can only FEEL, not understand.
And we're not SUPPOSED to understand, are we?
We're not supposed to be your little hall monitor/patrol leader, issuing proclamations on how to live our lives. We're not supposed to issue a power-point list of rules and rituals that will determine our loyalty, personal worth, or moral center.
We're just supposed to know that you're up there(out there, down here, everywhere)and that we are loved. And guided.
And for that, I thank you.
Thank you for reminding me.
And now that I've experienced this bit of grace, I notice that people have been, well, NICE to me. I have a man who loves me with all of his heart, I have a roommate who nearly broke his back helping to clear out this giant desk out of my disaster of a study. I have people at the gym saying that they MISSED me during my absence, they were worried about me because of the airline's financial woes. I've had a casual mailbox buddy say to me..."Hey, we don't want to LOSE you."
Hell, neither do I.
It's nice to be appreciated. Loved. It's a gift and should not be taken for granted. And it should be given back whenever possible. Am I worthy?
"Just give me a reason, some kind of sign;
I'll need a miracle to help me this time,
I heard what you said and I feel the same,
I know in my heart that I'll have to change.
Even the stars look brighter tonight.
Nothing's impossible.
I still believe in love at first sight.
Nothing's impossible.
--Depeche Mode
"Nothing's Impossible"

The Blues Ain't About Feelin' GOOD...

Kerryman... Actually, I'm not a fan of "The Blues"...Too tired as a genre. I prefer my mope-music to be a bit more... erudite if I can sound like a rock/music snob. Just spent a week in Scotland and I have to say that I enjoyed it...but the lustre has faded a bit. Nothing to do with that beautiful country or the salt-of-the-earth folk who call it home. It's me. I've become so burned out on travel and the human race that GETTING to and from sucks ass, you know? I've got THREE AMS in a row coming up(Shit, that's like a regular pilot trip). I'm sure I'll run into you... Be on the edge, my friend...and Batman Returns has come out and I fucking OWN it, bitch! Yeah! -- Kerry wrote: > G---, It's been awhile dude. Thanks for the Blues> email, it hit the nail on the head. I am stuck in> MSP for Oct but have multiple layovers in AMS in> Oct. Hope to see you there and knock down a few. > Hope all is well with you these days. Take care.> > Kerry> If you are new to Blues music, or like it but never> really understood> the whys and wherefores, here are some very> fundamental rules:> > 1. Most Blues begin with: "Woke up this morning...."> > 2. "I got a good woman" is a bad way to begin the> Blues,> unless you stick something nasty in the next line> like,> "I got a good woman, with the meanest face in town."> > 3. The Blues is simple. After you get the first line> right, repeat it.> Then find something that rhymes - sort of:> "Got a good woman with the meanest face in town.> Yes, I got a good woman with the meanest face in> town.> Got teeth like Margaret Thatcher, and she weigh 500> pound."> > 4. The Blues is not about choice. You stuck in a> ditch, you stuck in a> ditch...ain't no way out.> > 5. Blues cars: Chevys, Fords, Cadillacs and> broken-down trucks.> Blues don't travel in Volvos, BMWs, or Sport Utility> Vehicles.> Most Blues transportation is a Greyhound bus or a> southbound train.> Jet aircraft and state-sponsored motor pools ain't> even in the running.> Walkin' plays a major part in the Blues lifestyle. > So does fixin' to> die.> > 6. Teenagers can't sing the Blues. They ain't fixin'> to die yet.> Adults sing the Blues. In Blues, "adulthood" means> being old enough> to get the electric chair if you shoot a man in> Memphis.> > 7. Blues can take place in New York City but not in> Hawaii or Canada.> Hard times in Minneapolis or Seattle is probably> just clinical> depression. Chicago, St. Louis and Kansas City are> still the best places> to have the Blues. You cannot have the Blues in any> place that> don't get no rain.> > 8. A man with male pattern baldness ain't the Blues.> A woman with male pattern baldness is.> Breaking your leg 'cause you were skiing is not the> Blues.> Breaking your leg 'cause a alligator be chomping on> it is.> > 9. You can't have no Blues in an office or a> shopping mall.> The lighting is wrong. Go outside to the parking lot> or sit by the> dumpster.> > 10. Good places for the Blues:> A. highway> B. jailhouse> C. empty bed> D. bottom of a whiskey glass> > 11. Bad places for the Blues:> A. Nordstrom> B. gallery openings> C. Ivy League institutions> D. golf courses> > 12. No one will believe it's the Blues if you wear a> suit,> unless you happen to be an old person, and you slept> in it.> > 13. Do you have the right to sing the Blues?> Yes, if:> A. you're older than dirt> B. you're blind> C. you shot a man in Memphis> D. you can't be satisfied> > No, if:> A. you have all your teeth> B. you were once blind but now can see> C. the man in Memphis lived> D. you have a 401K or trust fund> > 14. Blues is not a matter of color. It's a matter of> bad luck.> Tiger Woods cannot sing the Blues. Sonny Liston> could have.> Ugly white people also got a leg up on the Blues.> > 15. If you ask for water and your darlin' gives you> gasoline, it's the> Blues. Other acceptable Blues beverages are:> A. cheap wine> B. whiskey or bourbon> C. muddy water> D. black coffee> > The following are NOT Blues beverages:> A. Perrier> B. Merlot> C. Snapple> D. Slim Fast> > 16. If death occurs in a cheap motel or a shotgun> shack, it's a Blues> death. Stabbed in the back by a jealous lover is> another Blues way to die.> So are the electric chair, substance abuse and dying> lonely on a> broken-down cot. You can't have a Blues death if you> die during a tennis> match or while getting liposuction.> > 17. Some Blues names for women:> A. Sadie> B. Big Mama> C. Bessie> D. Fat River Dumpling> > 18. Some Blues names for men:> A. Joe> B. Willie> C. Little Willie> D. Big Willie> > 19. Persons with names like Michelle, Amber,> Jennifer, Debbie, and> Heather cannot sing the Blues no matter how many men> they shoot in> Memphis. Kevin, Archibald and Trevor cannot have the> Blues, any> more than Eufracio, Sven, Heinrich or Guglielmo.> > 20. Blues Name Starter Kit:> A. name of physical infirmity (Blind, Mute, Lame,> etc.)> B. first name (see above) plus name of fruit (Lemon,> Lime, Kiwi, etc.)> C. last name of President (Jefferson, Johnson,> Fillmore, Clinton, etc.)> For example: Blind Watermelon Jefferson, Pegleg> Lemon Johnson or Lame> Kiwi Clinton, etc. (Well, maybe not "Kiwi.")> > 21. Ain't no mind how tragic your life is, if you> own a computer, you> cannot sing the blues. Period. Sorry.> >

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Travel Thoughts

Hello, Russ... Just came back from Scotland yesterday...I hate to say it but the place has lost some lustre for me. The Bonnie Land and it's friendly salt-of-the-earth folk are still the same...but my priorities have shifted. I'm the on who's changed. Travel burnout, age, and jaded cynicism have made the whole plane-travel, waiting-in-line-for-check-in-security-boarding-and-baggage-claim experience something to be tolerated with deep breaths and a blank stare. And I really have nothing to complain about as the whole journey went smooth as swiss clockwork overall. Even had another ride in Executive Class...But getting from point A-to-B sucks bawls... Would I be the first person to step into a teleport booth? MMMMMMmmmmm, no. But it would be nice to have some sort of personal unit I found on some crashed starship or something... Back to reality... How's the move going? How are accomodations shaping up? I sent a postcard from Scotland to you...I hope it gets to you before you move...Again, consider the P.O. BOX option... Hope you are well, my friend...GaP

In The Tank

Published, Oct. 19, 2005, Baltimore's Indy Media Center, at: <>. America's Middle Class: In the Tank! by William Hughes Here's the opening scene: Two lobsters are found sitting in a restaurant tank trading philosophical observations. One pretends to be dead in order to avoid becoming a dinner entrée on that night's pricey menu. The other prods, "If you spend all your time playing dead, what’s the point of being alive?" That line speaks volumes of truth about our mostly mesmerized America and its refusal to face its grim reality, which includes our state of perpetual war hatched by the deranged Bush-Cheney Gang; (1) a national economy going straight to hell on a runaway train called "Free Trade;" (2) and a fossil-fuel energy crisis that unless resolved will send us spiraling into another Dark Age! (3) The lobster bit comes from a one-act comedy, entitled, "In the Tank," which has been staged in NYC, Los Angeles and in Maryland, too. Baltimore's Rosemary Frisino Toohey's play sounds like the present and dreadful state of Middle America. She told me on the set of the film, "Music High," where we were both working as extra actors, that her drama does have relevance to "the existential conditions" of the country in 2005, and that it owes much of its theme to the insightful works, along the same philosophical lines, of the celebrated Irish playwright - Samuel Beckett. In any event, you simply can't pick up a newspaper in the U.S. on any given day without reading distressing news about our failing economy, and the ongoing, horrific consequences of the unjust and costly Iraqi War, and not feel fearful for the future of our Republic. (4) Take Oct. 18, 2005, for example. The "Baltimore Sun" carried a front page story, "Gathering in Sorrow," which told of the recent tragic deaths of three Maryland National Guard members in that Neocon-inspired conflict. Also, beginning on the front page of the "Sun," was an article about General Motors (GM) slashing health care benefits for hundreds of thousands of its United Automobile Workers (UAW) employees, and for retirees, too, of the company. This is the same GM which just closed its massive Broening Highway plant in Baltimore City. Meanwhile, Delphi, the largest U.S. auto parts supplier, has filed for bankruptcy protection and slashed jobs and wages. It operates 44 plants in the U.S. and is expected to close or shift 11 of them. Actually, there is nothing in the U.S. Constitution that mandates that our nation must subscribe to these so-called "Free Trade" policies. If the Republic is for the benefit of all, why can't the economic system we adopt do the same? The "Free Trade" schemes, hatched by cunning agents of today's Plutocrats, (5) have devastated our once-vaunted manufacturing base, (6) sourced out some of our best paying jobs, created a huge national debt in the trillions of dollars for future generations to pay down, and are literally bringing our country to its knees. America is more vulnerable now to a take over by alien-based financial predators than at any time since its founding. What kind of national security is that?The U.S., under the reign of the corrupt Bush-Cheney Gang, must depend on foreign loans to stay afloat. (2) This is a prescription for national suicide! It is an axiomatic principle that if you don't have a Middle Class, you can't have a genuine democracy! The Middle Class, like the fractious U.S. Labor Movement, (7) is fading fast from the scene, thanks to our insane "Free Trade" policies, which only benefit a select and greedy few. (3) These elitist-oriented policies have created economic and social havoc in our cities, towns and states (think "Rust Belt"). What the German and Japanese War Lords couldn't do us during all of WWII, these nation-destroying policies are now doing, with impunity. They must be ended! (6) Take Manhattan Island for another visible example of what is happening to our America. In order to live there today, you mostly have to be either very rich or very poor, there doesn't seem to be any in between. Other areas of the country are starting to look the same as the ultra-affluent Manhattan, with the growth of gated communities in and around our major cities and the mushrooming of private police forces patrolling the tony neighborhoods. This gives way to a "Them vs. Us" paradigm, that is difficult to miss and if you aren't alarmed about that phenomena, then maybe you should be. A decade or two ago, working class families from Baltimore City would regularly vacation for a week or two down at Ocean City, MD, a resort town, during the steamy summer months; or, up at Deep Creek Lake, in Western Maryland during the fall and winter season. Today, the cost of doing so has become too prohibitive for the vast majority of them to continue that kind of activity. And, who do you personally know that can afford to take their family to a Major League baseball game more than once or twice a year? A few of the extra actors, that I talked with on the "Music High" film set, which was being shot in Baltimore City and environs last week, told me that they have to work a number of part time jobs simply to make ends meets. And, health insurance, or its lack, is another horror story. What a predicament! And, I'm afraid, these anecdotal examples that I've witnessed are becoming more and more the economic norm in the U.S., and not the rare exception. As for the energy crisis, even before the damaging effects of Hurricane Katrina on the oil and gas industries, author James H. Kunstler, who penned the seminal book, "The Long Emergency," was predicting a "rough ride through uncharted territory" for us. (3) The average price at the pump for a gallon of gas this week is hovering around the $2.73 mark, 69 cents higher than a year ago. Kunstler, however, sees a day coming, not that far off either, when the fossil-fuel era will come to an end with disastrous results for America and its oil-sourced economy. He quoted Carl Jung, the famed psychologist, who said, "People cannot stand too much reality." Well, whether they can stand it or not, their "sleepwalking into the future," has a major nightmare or two in store for them; just as it does for that hapless lobster in the restaurant tank, who's pretending to be dozing off! Notes: 1. 2. 3. 4. Also, the cost of the Iraqi war is now at $202 billion, and rising, at the rate of about $7 billion a month. In addition, l,979 American military personnel have died in the bloody conflict and over 100,000 innocent Iraqi civilians have perished. Nevertheless, two Maryland-based liberals, Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD) and Rep. Ben Cardin (D-3rd MD), have shamelessly continued to vote to fund the war. In my opinion, this illegal and tragic war would have been impossible to start and to maintain without the conscious complicity of the gravediggers of our Republic, the members of the U.S. Congress! There are a few notable exceptions in that group. See, for the names of members of the U.S. Congress, who have been working hard to bring out the truth about how America was lied into the Iraqi War. 5. "Conspirators' Hierarchy: The Story of the Committee of 300," by Dr. John Coleman. 6. 7. © William Hughes 2005. William Hughes is the author of “Saying ‘’No’ to the War Party” (IUniverse, Inc.). He can be reached at

There's No Place Like It...

G.. Just after 10:00 PM and woke up to go to bed LOL! Thought I would check to see if you got home okay. Talked with Ray earlier comparing notes to see if you called either of us for a ride up the slope then I fell asleep on the sofa. I think the case of Scotland loosing it's charm is what you said. You have different priorities now. Different visions of the future with being a homeowner and settling in and settling down so to speak. Welcome home. Home being the key word here. As we get older it's nice to go away for a visit, but it's also oh so nice to come home. And having your own home to come home to makes it special.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

If It's Tuesday Then It Must Be Jet-Lag

Christ, I hate travel. I hate my fellow humans WHILE traveling. I have no cause to complain about the voyage home. Except for the occasional delay from ignorant or brusque fellow humans---you know the type---the ones you have to muster extra reserves of patience for---everything went very smoothly and on time. I even got another seat in executive class. I just HATE being in transit anymore. Impatience wells up and I have to push it aside. I internalize it. I don't open up to anyone because I feel that most people are bland, conventional, and easily-led sheep MOST of the time, never mind during travel. And most people are self-absorbed anyway. So I keep to myself...and become part of the problem. In regards to Scotland, I DID enjoy my time there. But the magic is gone, I think. Kenny's a good friend but I don't think it's worth hopping an ocean and a channel to put in personal appearances or explore the land. The sense of wonder has been rubbed out of me by age, travel-burnout, and jaded cynicism... Maintaining my part in the empty facade of society and custom seems to become more difficult. Something's dying inside. Unrealized potential is rotting on the vine. When do I start to care again? If ever?

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Aberdeen, Scotland. 3:42 am

Coming home today, God willing...A friend of mine who works at Aberdeen Airport has offered me a ride there so that means I have to be at the door at 0430 Greenwich. I woke up an hour ago so because I couldn't sleep so here I am at my friend's computer checking my notes...and I still have an hour to pick up. Still, better to be too early than too late... Yesterday, I went to a nearby town called Stonehaven where I did the walk to Dunnotar Castle and then visited this pub where one of the locals bought me a drink and we had a chat. She was...not a dwarf but her hands were. Weird. And when I came in, there was this one gent blabbing to the whole crowd about his adventures in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Apparently, he was the town mental patient and he was chatting to this Canadian couple...and the crowd around him. An auspicious start but it ended up being a decent bit of the "craich". Got the train back to Aberdeen at 1830 and got a bus up to Kenny's place. Getting good at the transport-system here. Imagine buses that run up until about midnight? Now THAT'S civilized...

Monday, October 17, 2005

Is This What My Mom Felt?

Had this dream last night and it seemed to last forever. It began with comic-book panels and very slipshod-trying-to-pass-for-stylized art. Plots and images didn't make sense. They gradually lost their coherence...and eventually I find myself in the psuedo-real world. Everything I tried to do or accomplish seemed insurmountable...something as easy and natural as writing a letter, never mind addressing it and stamping it...Everything seemed disorganized, cluttered, chaotic, like a puzzle gradually crumbling back into it's pieces...Confusion, inablity to focus nor communicate with anyone without sounding like an utter loon. Is this what my mom went through every winter? She couldn't seem to count money, she was listless, moody, and went back to bed every morning after she sent me off to school...Her reality was broken and without a warranty... I'll tell you, it shook me so much that waking up was barely a relief. I helped myself to an extra dose of medication in the night. I hope this isn't a foreshadowing of things to come...GaP

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Another Round A' Golf

Hello, Danny... Well it had to happen...G-- accompanying Kenny on the Hazlehead, Aberdeen golf course...Four players...Himself, Oggie(Named after Angus Og, apparently), a gent named Ian and Postman Bob...I had the digital camera in tow as Kenny played what he considered to be a suck game. 18 holes just melted away for me because of two ciders and occasional hits of rum and coke from Oggie's makeshift flask bottle. I was their official photographer with the digital camera. Like the game itself, the pictures were of patchwork quality...had a hard time getting the players in mid-swing but I got some decent shots here and there...Kenny learned what he was doing WRONG by seeing some of his own poses... As you can imagine, I've hit Virgin and HMV Record stores at least twice and I visited a record fair down on Market Street today. Tonight, I'll be hanging with the Hendersons and tomorrow, The Fergusons. R-- Strachan down in Dundee was busy with his sister from Australia so I didn't have to look at a bus or a train ONCE! Better go hang up the laundry...Rock on...GaP

Steeland's Comments Completely Inappropriate

Some groovy news from within the airline industry... Please share this information with one and all.... Today, October 14, 2005, in MSP in an address to pilots at the NATCO building, NWA CEO Doug Steenland referred to Flight Attendants as "overpaid vending machines." Now I am not sure about you, but I truly find this to be one of the most offensive things he has publicly said. His total lack of respect for his own employees rivals that of his own recognition of how valuable Flight Attendants are to safe and secure air travel. Imagine the May incident where two of our own aircraft collided in MSP. Flight Attendants, even though injured, helped safely evacuate every passenger in 90 seconds with no reported passenger injuries. Our Flight Attendants did it again in August when a 747's landing gear failed on landing in Guam. Air France Flight Attendants heroically saved every passenger's life in a fiery crash in Toronto in July. That's three incidents/accidents this year alone in which Flight Attendants made headlines for their bravery in ensuring the safety of passengers. Now what has this overpaid talentless executive done for NWA? He's collected millions in salary and bonues while simultaneously running our beloved company into bankruptcy. He has failed in developing a business plan to make NWA succeed. He wasted more than a hundred million dollars on a union-busting contingency plan that included breaking AMFA and callously recalling Flight Attendants furloughed back as far as 9/11 just to re-furlough them again two months later. He failed to hedge fuel calling it too risky yet refused to raise fares in hopes of ridding competition. He has called fuel hedging "stupid", "risky" and "a gamble." Yet he has gambled our company and our futures away. Instead of focusing on employees and running a great airline, he has looked for ways to break our spirits and bust our union. If we're "overpaid vending machines" according to him, what does that make Steenland?

Friday, October 14, 2005

Airline Industry...RIP

Read this down to the bottom. It is humorous and creative and certainly sad. This tells the story of a failing industry. Delta Air Line Captain Pilot Uniform Authentic Original Delta Captain Uniform Item number: 7717075998 Seller of this item? Sign in for your status Watch this item in My eBay Email to a friend Larger Picture Starting bid: US $1.00 Time left: 9 days 22 hours 10-day listing, Ends Oct-15-05 06:02:00 PDT Start time: Oct-05-05 06:02:00 PDT History: 0 bids Item location: Duluth, Georgia United States Ships to: United States Shipping costs: Check item description and payment instructions or contact seller for details Shipping, payment details and return policy Seller information b777md11 ( 17) Feedback Score: 17 Positive Feedback: 100% Member since Dec-05-02 in United States Read feedback comments Add to Favorite Sellers Ask seller a question View seller's other items Safe Buying Tips Description (revised) Item Specifics - Men's Suits & Sportcoats Jacket Size: 44 Style: Double Breasted Waist Size: 36 Material: Wool Inseam: 31 Condition: Used but Clean AUTHENTIC Delta Air Lines Captain Pilot Uniform This uniform was worn by a dedicated Delta Pilot for many years. Now retired and robbed of part, or all, of promised pension, uniform is now offered for sale to supplement income. Suit is worn and empty but filled with memories and honor. Suit has been across many miles and many experiences. Suit was once filled with pride and service getting thousands of passengers to their destination safely. Suit has been through rain, snow, ice, and wind without a single tear or scratch. Suit once controlled multi-million dollar assets, flown throughout the world, with billions of dollars of liability to the company. Suit has never cost company one (1) cent in accident or injury. Although the suit is worn and has been discarded by the company, it can be yours. Suit is clean but used. Coat may be soiled from hydraulic fluid or grease as plane was inspected. Shirt may be soiled from mad dashes through the airport in a rush to the next plane in an effort to get back on schedule. Tie may have stains from fast food meals that were hurriedly eaten while at the controls. Tie comes with you choice of pins, Air Line Pilots Association, Air Force, or Airplane. Pants may show signs of wear from may hours spent strapped into a seat, hip shows some signs of wear from firearm used to protect you and your passengers from harm. Shoes are shiny but worn. Suit comes with choice of Old Delta or New Delta emblems. Many prefer the Old Delta. Suit is thought by many to have APHRODISIAC qualities, although this cannot be confirmed or denied. BEWARE putting on this suit can have adverse effects on you life. It can cause you to miss your childrens' birth. It can cause you to miss holiday reunions, family times, and weekends. You may miss your Daughters prom and your Sons graduation. Your family may think Christmas is not always on December 25th. Your wife will have to learn to be a single parent when you are gone for days. The suit can cause you to miss entire nights of sleep or get up at 3 AM to meet your next schedule. Your neighbors may be jealous of you and think you do not deserve to wear the uniform or be compensated for your work. Originally suit required a four year college degree and an internship of 5-10 years in the military, and another 10-15 years for the fourth stripe. Suit comes with a promise of a pension if you provide years of dedication and service. THE PROMISE MAY BE AS EMPTY AS THE SUIT. Now it can be had for the highest bid. Good Luck bidding.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Cordiality Response

The Brits are currently working on regaining the civility for which they've been long known. Recently, however, the country has come under the grip of grunge and rudeness (just like ours!). I wonder if the show you saw is associated with the "national politeness program." There is a difference when we apply the grease of manners. I always stand when I meet someone. When I brief the crew I wear my coat (in season). It is a mark of respect for them; I know they'll appreciate my consideration of them as professionals (it also sets a good tone for whatever portion of the trip we might fly together). Standing up when ladies come and go from the table; saying "please" and "thank you;" wearing the full uniform when saying goodbye to passengers ... hell, man! This stuff really works! My son, now 19, says that he's really grateful his mother taught him how to be polite. He recognizes that it is society's oil. Have a great trip, my friend! I'm home for two days between trips, packing and getting ready to move out at the end of the month. I still don't know what I'm going to do about living arrangements ... but something will come up. I've got a storage unit and a bunch of invitations for lodging here in Virginia. I was thinking the other day how freeing it would be if I didn't have the major financial responsibility associated with my estranged spouse. The worries about salary cuts, pension theft and job security would be greatly reduced. I could chuck it all and go fly DC-3's in Africa! I could buy the boat and just take off! Wow! But this is not what lies upon my path. I do have responsibilities. In a way I'm happy to have them. It's kind of like a Zen koan for me. Talk to you soon! Russ

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


Just finished a two-day Providence domestic thing. I conducted a small experiment. On the AMSterdam layover preceding this one, I saw this piece on manners and etiquette on BBC Breakfast. The news presenter Simon McCoy rose to feet and shook the hands of the two experts to greet them. The mark of a true gentleman. So I put this into a practice a few days later. My crew and I were waiting for boarding to begin in Detroit. The new pilot crew stepped on and we were all sitting there, relaxing. I knew the Captain would be making his when he extended his hand in greeting, I rose to my feet and extended my own in response. He didn't say anything but there was a look in his eyes, an aknowledgement..a certain respect? I just got the sense that it made a favorable first impression. And it was such a simple thing to do. Took and extra second and I actually passed myself off as a civilized human being. At the end of three segments, I said goodbye to both of the pilots. Despite the fact that they were on their cellphones, I made it a point to shake hands with both them...I got the respectful nod again. A simple thing to spread a bit of warmth and civility. I'll have to put this into practice... Off to Amsterdam tonight and then to Scotland. Let's try it AGAIN!


Heading off to Scotland, today. Hopefully, I can take my mind off of the Paint-By-Numbers Big Picture of the End Times that seems to be emerging... Let's see...Hurricanes Katrina/Rita, the almost imminent bird-flu pandemic(if you want to believe the sensationalism of the news media), Hurricane Stan drop-kicking Nicaragua, the earthquake on the Pakistan/India border, and the general socio-political-economic vibe being created by the free-market, Wal-mart world-economy...time for a few pints in a few ancient pubs... GaP

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

The Pipe of Peace and Friendship

Russ...Thanks for the kind words. I am very fortunate to have a friend like you. I trust you'll keep me updated with current mailing addresses once you move? Also, I'm sure you'll be stopping in the Boston orPortsmouth, NH region when you have your boat. And I better be on that thing getting shmammered and talking philosophy with you. You have been a very positive influence in my life inthe last five years, my good friend. And all this based on two personal meetings and a mind-expanding series of e-mails over the years...Now THAT'S awesome...I'll be in touch...Warmest regards, my good friend...G-- ---------------------------------------------------- Yes, G--, I agree that this friendship is awesome. I appreciate the thoughts and caring we share through written words. It's a way to express ideas in a considered manner. Many times, in a "real time" friendship, the deeper subjects become lost in casual banter. And of course ... when the boat's anchor is set we'll issue the grog and smoke the philosophy pipe. That is one aspect of sailing I look forward to very much. Let me know what you think about the research and the ideas outlined in the book coming your way. Take care, good friend. Russ

Trimming The Fat

Hi G--! Yes, I've seen one episode of "Deadwood." The one show did not give me a real feeling for the series, but I was taken by the writing and what seems to be "period dialog." I never thought, when I watched "Rawhide" and "Gunsmoke" years ago that the lingo really used by 19th century cowboys would be closer to George the Second rather than our own George the Second, Son of Bush. I'm doing rather okay with the bankruptcy news and fallout. I'm preparing for 80K less than I was a year ago. It's kind of like I'm doing my own Chapter 11 Reorganization outside of the courts. In one, albeit perverse, way, I'm enjoying the process of rationalizing expenses and trimming fat. I thought I was already pretty lean, but I'm finding there's more lard that can go. Hey! It's all part of the adventure and the process. And like I've said, even if the adventure brings death (which it will at some uncertain time), I'm in for the thrill of the journey ... let's just see what happens. I can say this after careful analysis. I am not wearing rose-colored-glasses or living in denial. Even the shitty stuff happens for a reason. And people are built to be problem solvers. While I may not welcome the challenge of economic turbulence I can accept that it's part of the system. I can choose to either ball up in the fetal position or take a look at the realities and deal with them. So I've started the process of refinancing the Big House, I'm starting to pare cable service, DSL lines and the like, I've sold my townhouse and will, unless I do something in the next month, be homeless by November 1st. I've paid my daughter's last semester tuition (now just the #1 son will need education funding) so that'll add to the cash savings. I'm thinking about buying a boat and doing a lot of living on it. In that case I'll just need an efficiency apartment here in town. So the next five weeks will see some changes ... practical matters, most of which bore me to tears. I'm heading out to B.C. next week for a little R&R. I've got almost two weeks off ... I'm going to read your blog next. Stand by for more replies! Take care, brother! Russ

Ferris Bueller As A Fictional Boyfriend?

Allison...Ferris in FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF. If you haven't seen it, rent it out. It's one of my favorite flicks of all time. I downloaded somepictures of him(played by Matthew Broderick). That misunderstanding arose when Ray said to my dad:"That's ---'s favorite guy."I think my dad pretty much suspects but would never say it out loud. I think the light-bulb went off two summers ago when, under the influence, my hand motions were getting a bit too effeminate. SINCE then, I've gotten these little clues that my dad suspects. Like the time one winter when my dad was sleeping in hischair(like YOUR dad) charging up for his late-nighthockey game viewing. Suddenly, he snorts awake,obviously from a dream and asked: "Hey, G---...Howcome you don't have no girlfriends, you?" I was gobsmacked. (Hard to imagine, I know.) I simply asked: "What?"Then he conveniently forgot the question. I don't know why I should worry. My relationship with my dad has only improved since my mother's death. But it would be nice if that little puzzle-piece would just slip into place and have done with it. But he has to accept this in his own way and on his own terms without being forced. I've considered writing him aletter...but I have a hunch this will be revealed one way or the other. Be nice if he just ASKED me. Butwhatever...Enclosed are some pics to jog your memory. By the way, REVENGE OF THE SITH is among the best of the StarWars films. Tell Scott to e-mail me his take on it...Rock on...GaP

Is He Or Is He NOT?

Hello, Mark... Oftentimes the BEST humor...or humour is "black as the devil's cock", as my dad would like to say. And speaking of paw...when my dad was over here, he saw my Ferris Bueller wallpaper on the computer and Ray says to him: "That's Gary's favorite guy." And suddenly the dots began to connect in my dad's head. You could see the wheels turning. And Ray quickly told him who Ferris WAS...MUCH to his relief. But paw IMMEDIATELY jumped to that if it had been on his mind for quite awhile. This is like some daft sitcom where EVERYONE in the audience knows the truth and so does my DAD but no one actually comes out and says it. I almost want to put him out of his misery so he can get on with business of ACCEPTANCE... Or is that selfish? Hm.

Musical Musings

Hello, Paul Just a note to say hello. When I stepped into the weight-room yesterday and was assaulted with the BEE GEE's "STAYING ALIVE" , I wasn't quite PREPARED...I can tolerate almost anything but a transition period usually helps. When I got in there, I realize that the Seventies had this definite aural texture because of the various musical styles...funk, disco, soft-rock ballads, and some hard-rock...But for the most part, I can see why punk-rock was invented. MUCH of seventies music was pretty bland and vapid. (But then how does one explain the HAVE A NICE DECADE 70'S BOX SET from Rhino Records in Gary's Collection? the Guilty-Music Fairy Asks...) Once upon a time, I saw you in Barnes and Noble perusing the Classical Music section. Is that your general preference? What sort of music colors your world? I have a good friend...I bring over a STACK of cd's so he can load them into his computer via his i-Tunes software. As a result, he has quite the eclectic jukebox. DAVID BOWIE features quite prominently, for example...Nothing like sharing good music. Anwyay, Paul...It's always a pleasure to see you at the gym. You're a beacon of warmth and light down there. Thanks for being YOU, Padre...G-- -------------------------------------- Dear G-- Thanks for your note. As far as music goes, I enjoy pop, rock, and classical. I especially like classical because I can put a CD on and read at the same time! Do you have any long trips coming up soon? I know you mentioned my seeing your new place. Perhaps we could do that some time in the next few weeks. Just let me know what would be good for you. Take care, G---.

A Word On Bow-Ties

George...Warmest thanks for the ride home...Wasn't a very goodflight...The fact that a friend would wait for me togive me a ride home is nothing short of humbling. Especially a friend of your stature...Take care, Ambassador. I will be in touch. No turningback now...You're stuck with me. Bowtie lessons willbe in my future. Speaking of which...earlier pics of yourlegal/political career show you favoring a longtie...then the bowtie showed up in the 80's/90's. Why the change? Just curious...All The Best, my friend...G------ --------------------- G---, it is a pleasure to help - you do so much for me. Plus you looked haggered. I have worn bow ties intermitantly since law school. But it was mixed, depending on the mood of the day. In the mid 80s, I threw out my straight ties and went exclustive bow. Even now, I am having some old ties converted. It always struck me as odd that the concept of business dress was a piece of cloth hanging from your neck to your waist. A bow around the neck seems much more natural. Sort of like of finished package. I'm on the internet in the 80s? That's a surprise. Watch out for those old novels. George

The Third World In The First Person

Hi G---, Indeed, let the chips fall where they may! I agree! But … if we choose to ignore the detrimental effects of official multilingualism we must also realize it is possible to ignore things like Iraq, global warming and re-electing George Bush. People do some incredibly stupid things! (By the way, I think it’s a good idea to personally be a polyglot; speak several languages with fluency and celebrate our familial heritage with food, dance and other traditions. It’s just a lousy idea to try to accommodate all the differences officially … a nation needs to have national unity … a single voice, a common economic basis.) A short read of history does show that an “officially” multi-lingual nation grows weaker over time. In our country, instead of looking at how “the melting pot” worked at the beginning of the last century, we are being “tolerant” by accommodating a selected, large group of immigrants’ language. This segregates them rather than incorporating them. As long as they are speaking Spanish only, they will be marginalized and remain a kind of “subclass.” And they will be exploited. They will be our society’s latest “niggers” and “gypsies.” It will also hurt the rest of us by providing a class that will work for lower wages and substandard conditions. And this is what the new business mind works. Instead of raising the standards of the “Third World” it is easier to lower the standards of the First. In this way a level global market will be achieved. It’s a lot better to have 6 billion fairly poor potential customers rather than 280 million fairly affluent ones. And just maybe that’s okay. America is an arrogant, bloated empire. Maybe it should fall. After all, it won’t go away. The Roman Empire fell and Italy still remains a really nice place to visit. But what troubles me most, is that the present course is taking us toward a return to Feudalism. The rich are getting richer. Their power is increasing. What will the current crop of Lays, Wilsons and their ilk care about the well being of future generations? They’ll “have theirs.” They and their immediate heirs will be sitting in the castle quaffing great wine while the rest of us mire in the much. “They have no bread? Let them eat cake.” Let the chips fall! But I’m going to participate in the game! One of the keys to life is learning to be unattached and still not become isolated. “Put me in, Coach! I want to play!” I recently considered the word “tolerant.” We have to be “tolerant” of other people and cultures. Wait a minute! When I “tolerate” somebody that means I’m barely putting up with them! Perhaps it would be better to start using the word “celebrate” in the place we now use “tolerant.” We can celebrate others; truly take joy in having them with us, without trying to insinuate all aspects of their traditions into our national life. In the same way we celebrate Christmas, Chanukah, Ramadan and the Central Elementary PTA Spring Festival, we can celebrate other languages, food, dance … all of it. But that doesn’t mean I want Christmas decorations in my bank year round, just as I don’t want to see only Spanish language signs in my local Bank of America branch (I had to go outside to find the English version of the current offered interest rates). On to the movies! I haven’t yet seen “Return of the Sith.” My daughter and I are trying to set a date to see it together. And I haven’t seen any of the Kevin Smith flicks you mention. What should I look for when I see them? I see that Aimee Mann is in town tonight! I’m going to wander down and see if there are any tickets available. She’s performing in the recently reopened, beautifully restored Paramount Theater on the Downtown Mall (our walking street). I wished I’d known she was coming so I could get advance tickets (I did secure some Rolling Stones tickets for their October gig here … imagine, the Stones in little Charlottesville! … their tour manager lives here). Russ

The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul

Hi G---! A little bit of catch-up here: First, thank you very much for the book Sorry, Everybody and the, continued, subscription to “The Sun.” The book is a reminder that half the voters did indeed try to topple the regime; we are dealing here with the turbulence from a butterfly wing making a huge difference. “The Sun” magazine has become part of my life; my thanks, friend. In an effort to “pay you forward,” I give gift subscriptions to a couple of people, thereby spreading the words and your kindness. The first thing I read are the “Sunbeams;” there hasn’t been a time yet that I haven’t found something worthwhile; either poignant, quotable or pithy. Today I dropped off something at “The Big House” and found a poem from “The Sun” tacked to my son’s wall. It was, I think, called “The Price of Grief.” I don’t know what meaning or emotion the poem evokes in my boy, but isn’t it something that he has been moved enough to take the page from the magazine and make it a part of his wall decoration? Your note from 18 April speaks of “the 4th dimensional space-time construct” and its possible plans for you. This is recurring wonder of mine. It is indeed those flaps of the unnoticed butterflies that seem to guide us toward our destiny; much more so, it seems, than the grand plans and schemes we fashion for ourselves. The idea that we are masters of our own course is a hallucination of self grandeur. I do believe, however, that we can have an intention of our course. In keeping with my fascination for sailing ships, our life is like the voyage of a square rigger: We set off with an intention of sailing to a particular place; let’s say we intend to go from Boston to Cape Town. Due to the vagaries of wind, tide and current we may wander all over the map, going far off a direct course, making wide deviations from the route we’d “planned” to take. But, if we keep to our original intention, we most often wind up, at some time that may be far off our “schedule,” sailing right into the harbor we’d intended. This is, of course, unless we’ve changed our intention, our mind, and voyaged off to Pitcairn instead; chucking “real life” for yet another fantasy among the bare-breasted savages. I liked the line you used, “… how many subtle trajectory shifts took place to get me to this point.” As you said, the connections getting you to the “here and now” may stretch back forever. Thanks for the book suggestion. I’ll make a note to take a look at Best Destiny. Take care, my friend. Even though my own words may be a little sparse or there may be lengthy gaps in delivery, I do value your continued correspondence. Russ

Spiritual Questions

Greg... Your observations about the Pope leads me to make the assumption that you're a Christian. (These days, that subject is as loaded last November's election results...) I've had my own tug-of-war with this subject on and off for several years...But regardless of faith(or denominations thereof) I've come to the conclusion that we humans seemed to be wired for spiritual concepts, some intuitive knowledge of the workings of the universe that transcends the material. It is a strange dichotomy isn't it? On the one hand, our culture spews out the money/power/possessions message constantly...but how do you weigh that up against what the soul HUNGERS for? Where do the twain meet? What is THE ANSWER? Maybe there ISN'T one. Maybe it can be found in the piles of religious texts and oral stories purporting the story of creation and humanity. Maybe it's a deeply personal thing. Regardless, we all find out the answer when we breathe our last breath. I hope it's LESS like PEGGY LEE'S "IS THAT ALL THERE IS?"(A great song but magnificently depressing...) and more like a pub where all of your good friends are gathered and there IS no closing time... Who knows? And the Pope was a human representative of all that was good in humanity. I can buy that. But being a lapsed Catholic, I feel confident in saying that the Church he headed up was in need of a serious Posse-drag into the 20th Century, never MIND the 21st. I know some good, devout, men of the cloth, one right here in M-----, the other down in India. Both are gentlemen in the literal sense of the word and they have taught me that practioners of faith are individuals also. (I have to smile when Father F----- sends me an Easter Card from Gujarat, India after a long postal silence flagellating himself for being so lax. "I have sinned against you, for that I'm deeply sorry, please Forgive me..." Guess the Catholic guilt is part of his charm. Such a kindly soul, the last person who should be berating himself so...Remind me to tell you HIS story one day...) Anyway, thanks for letting me ramble. Hope all is well with you...G--

The Love Generation

Nat... Thanks for the note. Like the essay stated...I don't feel all that much different mentally from my teenage years...Emotionally, I would have to say that I'm like yourself: Somewhat more jaded and cynical...but what are the alternatives. The only thing you can do is be the best person you can be... If the mind isn't ageing, the BODY certainly is. My OWN back is getting all fucked up and I'm sure it has to do with work-related luggage handling. Argh. Only ten more years minimum until I can retire with a pension. Yep, it was INDEED Black Tuesday. It amazes the SHIT out of me that a majority percentage of Americans believe in Creationism versus Evolution Theory. This religion shit has gotten WAY out of hand. I'm sure that movie is an eye-opener but after FARENHEIT 911 and the resultant depression, I'll give it a pass. It's not that I DOUBT the cover-up angle, it's that it throws a cold-wet blanket of futility over me. I feel even MORE ineffectual. I'm sticking with National Public Radio and the BBC World Service for news without the spin. I thought of you the other day. Ordering up myself some PETER, PAUL, AND MARY because, well, they're just GOOD. And relevant even now. Right up there with Pete Seeger. The Sixties, rather than the iconography that history tends to regale us with...(Tune In, Turn On, Drop Out; Peace and Love, Psychedelic Freakouts) seem to yield up many other facets when you look at without the media-historical sheen. Understated Folk Protest Songs, A Cuban Missile Crisis, Civil Rights...I guess for a while there, the times were INDEED a-changin' Too bad it wasn't for the better. Human nature just drags it all down sometimes...That lust for money and power seems right up there with the need for food, water, and oxygen. But then there's YOU, Nat, and folks LIKE you: Those who have only accepted The System as much as needed instead of swinging around 180 degrees and becoming uberRepublican like MANY of the former love-bead-wearing Baby Boomers. Man, that alone gives me hope... Thanks again, Nat...I will be in touch...G--

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Let The Bush-Bashing Continue!

Published on Tuesday, September 27, 2005 by CommonDreams.orgGeorge Bush in Hell by David Michael Green You would not want to be George W. Bush right now.Not that you ever would anyhow, but especially not now. Indeed, there are indications that not even George W. Bush wants to be George W. Bush right now.That second term in office, the one that just a year or two ago seemed so precious that he was willing to launch a war just to obtain it, now feels like a life sentence. Plans for four years spending political capital now look a lot more like endless months of capital punishment.The Bush Administration has nowhere to go but down, and that is precisely where it is headed. Poll data show that even members of his solid-to-the-point-of-twelve-step-eligibility base are now deserting him as his job approval ratings plunge like so much Enron stock, lately crashing southward through the forty percent threshold. With almost his entire second term still in front of him, Bush is poised to set new records for presidential unpopularity. That scraping noise you hear? It's the sound of sheepish voters creeping out to the garage late at night, furtively removing "Bush-Cheney 2004" bumperstickers from the back of their SUVs when no one is looking.Meanwhile, as the scales fall from the eyes of the hoi polloi, even the one constituency which could plausibly make the claim that Bush has been good for America (read: their wallets), is speaking the unspeakable as well. Robert Novak, of all people, wrote a column last week chronicling his experience watching rich Republicans at an Aspen retreat bash the idiocy of Bush administration policies on Iraq, Hurricane Katrina, stem-cell research and more. Perhaps these folks realized when they saw Trent Lott's house go under that Mother Nature doesn't care whether you're rich and well-connected any more than does al Qaeda. You may be on Karl Rove's Rolodex, but now Bush is taking you down and your yacht too, not just forgotten kids from the ghetto who enlisted in the Army as the only alternative to a life of poverty.Even conservative columnists like David Brooks (though not Novak) are writing articles nowadays accurately describing the changed mood of the American public. Where those powerful currents are heading is unclear, but given the radical right experiment of the present as their point of departure, there would seem to be only two choices. We can either go completely off the deep-end and finally constitute the Fascist Republic of Cheney, or we can turn to the left, toward some semblance of rational policymaking. The latter seems far more likely, especially as America increasingly regains its senses after a long bout of temporary insanity. These are bad bits of news for poor George, but worse yet is that they are only the first signs of the coming apocalypse. The real fun stuff is just around the corner. I'll confess to more than a little schadenfreude as I contemplate the ugly situation staring Republicans officeholders in the face right now. They are tethered to a sinking ship, and have only two lousy options to choose from as November 2006 approaches. One is to stay the course and drown. The other is to start renouncing Bush and his policies, appear to voters as the complete hypocrites and political whores many will prove to be, and then still drown anyhow. Nobody could be more deserving of such a fate, with the possible exception of Democrats like Hillary Clinton and John Kerry who have been even more hypocritical yet in facilitating many of the president's disastrous policies.Watching these GOP opportunists jump ship will certainly be fun, but the greatest fun awaits the president himself. Bush has now lost everything that once sustained him. That includes 9/11, now safely in the rearview mirror for most Americans. That includes his wartime rally-around-the-flag free pass, as he has failed to capture America's real enemy, while lying about bogus ones to justify an invasion pinning our defense forces down in an endless quagmire. That includes, post-Katrina, the ridiculous frame of Bush as competent leader, and the former reality of the press as frightened presidential waterboys.And that's the good news for W. The bad news is all the chickens coming home to roost. The economy is anemic and fragile, and yet Bush has played the one card in his deck ostensibly (but never really) intended to remedy the country's economic woes. (Remember during the 2000 campaign when times were flush and tax cuts were the prescription? Remember in 2001 when the economy was in a recession and tax cuts were still the prescription?). In any case, Bush's one-note economic symphony has succeeded in producing precisely the cacophony of disaster that progressive commentators have predicted all along: massive deficits, little or no economic boost, a hemorrhaging of jobs overseas, and a vastly more polarized America of rich, poor and a disappearing middle class.Another angry chicken, of course, is coming home in the form of devastating storms and a grossly incompetent administration to deal with them. Bush is not entirely responsible for Hurricanes Katrina or Rita, of course, but he is partially responsible for them by his willful ignorance of the global warming issue. And he is more than a little responsible for the carnage and damage done, because of his budget-slashing on preventative structural projects, because of his deployment of needed-at-home Guard forces to Iraq, because of his staffing of the government with completely incompetent crony hacks, and because of his and their astonishingly lame performance in responding to a known crisis. Where I come from, a president who remains on vacation during possibly the worst natural disaster to hit this country, praises his FEMA chief for doing a "heckuva job" when the guy doesn't know what any American with a TV set has known for 24 hours about New Orleans, and then later fires him for poor performance, is a president who should be impeached for those reasons alone.The other demons awaiting George W. Bush just around the bend are multiple and grim. One of these days (right?), Patrick Fitzgerald is actually going to move on the Treasongate story, and signs suggest that multiple heads will roll within the White House. The political damage will be even worse than the legal, though, as Bush's clean and patriotic image will be smashed beyond repair, as no one will believe that he himself didn't know all along who committed treason by outing an American spy, and as he will likely lose the key magicians who have kept him afloat for five years and more. Oh well. W's loss will be Leavenworth's gain.And there is more. The Jack Abramoff investigation has now been tied to the White House. There are also presumably an infinite number of other scandals waiting to explode (can you say 'Halliburton'?) should the Democrats capture either branch of Congress next year, not least of which being those concerning the Downing Street Memo revelations. Gas prices are off the charts and home heating bills are supposed to soar this winter. Jobs are disappearing, along with pensions and healthcare coverage, inflation is likely to rise, and voters are surly already.But, of course, the biggest cross for Bush to bear is the one he built for himself, and thus the most richly deserved. In Iraq, simply put, there are no good options. None for America, that is, but even fewer for George W. Bush.What can he do?He can't win. America (or, more accurately, America's oligarchy) is clearly losing the war as it is. It is a fantasy to imagine that, at this late date, more troops could pacify the resistance. But even if that were so the political consequences to Bush, especially given his promise of no draft on his watch, would be devastating and rapid. American public opinion has already turned decisively against the war. Imagine if there were a draft and all the bumper-sticker patriots across the land had to actually make a sacrifice for their president's transparent lies. All hell would break loose, and the Republican Party would be dead for a generation.He can't lose. The major downside to wrapping yourself in the flag, landing on aircraft carriers, labeling yourself a "war president", and being marketed in an election campaign as the reliable national security choice is that you had better deliver. Egged on by the likes of Cheney, Wolfowitz and Perle, Bush no doubt thought Iraq would be a fine little walk in the park from which he would benefit politically for the rest of his presidency. (Nor, assuming this president possesses anything resembling a conscience, need he have concerned himself with resulting deaths, since he told Pat Robertson "we're not going to have any casualties", and he may have even believed it.) Unfortunately for all concerned - most especially the Iraqis and American soldiers - Bush's presidency would be one very real casualty indeed should he decide to pick up his marbles and leave the arena, and so he will not, no matter the carnage or the futility. Doing so would be effectively admitting that there was no legitimate reason for the war in the first place. Everyone now knows that, of course, but were Bush ever to even hint at it, he would be committing instant political suicide. He can't draw. One option is to find some - any - kind of stability, declare victory and go home, saying we got Saddam, we brought democracy, yada, yada, yada. But how many Americans are now going to be fooled by calling an Iraq ruled by militants of one stripe or another a victory, after all the hooey about fighting for democracy in the Middle East? How many think replacing Saddam with a brutal dictator of another name is worth the price of 2,000 American troops and two or three hundred billion dollars? How many will be convinced that Iraqi women having fewer rights than they did under Saddam Hussein, of all regimes, represents a win for the home team? How many will still be unschooled enough to look at a Iranian-dominated theocracy in Iraq and call that a triumph? Moreover, even these total disasters presume a stability of some sort which may be little short of fantasy at this point. When the Saudi foreign minister goes public with his concerns that Iraq is careening toward civil war, you know you're in deep, and no amount inanities sanctimoniously uttered by Scotty McClellan can keep the truth at bay.He can't get help. Now there's a good one. Maybe the French have finally seen the light and realized what a mistake they made by not bringing something to the party in 2003, eh? No doubt there's a long queue of countries behind them wanting to commit forces to the farces that are decomposing in the Cradle of Civilization. Luckily for George Bush you can still thumb your nose at the rest of the world and have them come to your rescue afterwards. Just think of what a pickle he would be in if that weren't the case...He can't divert attention. Time was, a government in trouble at home could throw a little war in some hell-hole abroad and divert public attention away from their domestic or other foreign failures. Kinda like Reagan in Grenada, or the Argentinians in the Malvinas, or Thatcher in the Falklands. Yet, while the American public has managed to massively and repeatedly disappoint still sane observers in recent years, it doesn't appear to be in any mood for more of Mr. Bush's Fun With Foreign Policy antics. Not that the country any longer has the available military force to pull it off anyhow, but it hardly seems that an invasion of Iran right now would have much effect diverting attention from Iraq, even if it could somehow successfully be done, another fantasy in its own right.In short, George W. Bush is toast, as is the whole regressive conservative movement of which he is but the most egregious exemplar. Not even another 9/11 would be likely to help him, as the security president who fails to provide security is the nothing (but simply failed) president. The demise of the right is now likely be true even if Democrats continue hurtling down their current path toward breaking all world records for political cowardice by a major party. Indeed, the worst of the Democrats may now also be in trouble amongst the base - as well they should be - for their cozy associations with the right, enabling its destructive march to the sea these last years.It is thus too bad, as we emerge from the nightmare of the last quarter-century, that so many of us lefties are atheists, agnostics or otherwise debauched secular humanists. Not only have we had to suffer the reign of Bad King George here on Earth, we can't even have the satisfaction of knowing that he'll be spending the rest of eternity rotting in Hell.The good news, though, is that he's already there, and the flames are only beginning to warm him up. Perhaps that is why Time describes the dry heaves of a young staffer who had to breach the fantasy bubble and tell this "cold and snappish" president the unhappy truth about an issue, or the National Enquirer's report that Bush, who according to a family member is "falling apart", is back to drinking.Thus does a new possible ending to the Bush administration suddenly emerge as a real possibility. Previously, I had assumed that our long national nightmare would be over in one of three ways, either with Bush somehow managing to finish his term, with him being impeached, convicted and run out of Washington, or with him being impeached, convicted and then refusing to leave, precipitating a constitutional crisis and even, possibly, a civil war. Now I see a fourth very real possibility.It was all fun and games when everybody loved him. When the guy who had failed at everything in life except having the right last name all of a sudden was showing those elitist snobs who was tops after all. When the man with a Texas size inferiority complex got to be adored by millions as if he were some kind of religious icon.But what if that all changes? What if Diminutive George, just like LBJ before him, can't leave the completely scripted bubble his staff manufactures, just as such set-pieces become increasingly difficult to sustain? What if the Peevish President can't escape - even by going to Crawford or Camp David - the mothers of dead children, the baby-killer taunts, the stinging-because-they're-so-accurate chickenhawk accusations, the calls for his own daughters to go to Iraq, the possibility that everyone was right about him all along when they dismissed him as the family clown? What if all of a sudden, it sucks being president? Why bother, then?It is clear now that one way the Bush administration might end would be with the president's resignation, in order for him to duck into more tranquil quarters. Who knows, maybe he could spend his days getting tanked in Crawford, not writing another book, or going into exile, perhaps in the south of France.Of course, a pardon deal would have to be prearranged with Cheney, if they haven't convicted him yet, or with Hastert if they have. And, equally certainly, the resignation would be put down to "the president wanting to spend more time with his family", or some such ludicrous McClellanism, no more or less plausible than the rest of his daily fare. But the truth would be plain for all to see. The frat-boy party-time president who condemns kids less than half his age to the hell of futile battle in support of his lies would himself be deserting as commander-in-chief when the fun part ended. Kinda like he did last time he wore a uniform.History, it would seem, all too rarely delivers justice. The privileged few go out of this life richer than they came into it, while the poor often leave even poorer, not to mention sooner. Those who commit unspeakable crimes sometimes become presidents or prime ministers, while those who dare speak truthfully of those deeds are crushed owing to the threat posed by their honesty.Even more rare yet are the cases in which history delivers justice with a deliciously deserved irony. But George Bush has provided us with just such a case. And the very delicious irony is that he is now being undone by a cynical choice he himself made to go to war in Iraq with other people's blood and other people's treasure, for the purpose of enhancing his tenuous self-esteem and the power of his presidency.Goodbye, George. May you know precisely the rest and precisely the peace someone who would do such a thing deserves. David Michael Green is a professor of political science at Hofstra University in New York. Email: