Friday, October 28, 2005


By Sheila Samples

Remember the "Hey, Mikey" TV commercial with two brothers refusing to eat Quaker Oats' new Life cereal until their little brother, Mikey, who supposedly "hates everything" tried it first? Well, I'm not saying I get up every morning and yell, "Hey, Harkavy!" to see what's really happening in the news without all the commercial spin -- but I'm not saying I don't either...

Either way, there's no better place to start your morning than with the peerless Ward Harkavy and his Village Voice blog, the "Bush Beat." In his "Morning Report" on Tuesday, Harkavy said, "It's kind of a horse race: Will Harriet Miers withdraw before Patrick Fitzgerald draws on her bosses? The White House needs to clear the decks for possible Plamegate indictments, and Miers will be needed to shuffle papers for George W. Bush's handlers. My money is on the nag to pull out before Fitzgerald pulls up in front of the White House, because everyone knows she can't make the weight."

And yesterday, Harkavy wrote..."George W. Bush's handlers have finally put Harriet Miers out of our misery. She just now withdrew her name as a nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court."

Harkavy's right. Not necessarily about Miers being a "nag," but with the Fitzgerald storm clouds gathering on the dashboard of Bush's White House, the "cabal" -- as this bunch laughingly dubbed themselves early in this misadministration -- will need every lawyer it can hog-tie and drag into service.

What attorney in his or her right mind would take on the mission of defending a gaggle of treasonous liars and warmongering murderers against the clearly stated, time-tested legal boundaries of the United States Constitution? Is there an attorney so ignorant of Constitutional law or so loyal to George W. Bush that covering his sorry ass trumps all reason, dignity, democratic principles or truth? Does that attorney still have the capacity to walk upright?

Oh, yeah. I forgot. That attorney is Harriet Miers who, in my humble opinion, disqualified herself the instant she said George Bush is "the most brilliant man I have ever known..."

The Miers' nomination lasted 24 agonizing days. It was a stroke of genius on the part of Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid to convince Bush that Miers was the perfect Supreme Court candidate. In one fell swoop, Reid knocked the White House off its axis, threw radical right-wing Republicans into total disarray; forcing them to come screeching out of the shadows, and insured at least a delay in packing the high court with Scalias and Thomases...

A brilliant move. Bush, confident that his rabid "base" could be pacified with code phrases like, "I know her heart...I chose her because she is a Christian and a strict constructionist," and flush with success at getting John Roberts' confirmed as Chief Justice while refusing to answer a single ideological question, immediately painted himself into a corner with Harriet Miers. And it was there he ran out of political capital.

I doubt that Bush will ever know what hit him as he was unceremoniously jerked back into line. Having a crony in place to bail him out of possible impeachment action, or of legal problems arising from his bloody illegal war had to have been one reason -- perhaps the reason -- Bush selected Miers, his personal attorney, for the Supreme Court. Unfortunately for Bush, the ultraconservatives who control his party -- who control the government -- are interested in just one thing, and that is to move the Supreme Court so far to the right they can reshape the Constitution to their ideology. Once Bush achieves that goal, he will be of no further use to them.

Like Senator Sam Brownback (Neocon-Kan), who was all over the media today, said, "This is not a one-person party." Brownback said the president needs to realize that he "made a mistake," and move on to do something about it. If Brownback and his Christo-fascist co-horts in this country have their way, we will soon be under the rule of the "higher source of all law -- God -- and will have no need for any court, let alone a Supreme one.

Believe it. Brownback is a co-sponsor of Senate Bill S520, which proposes an addition to Sec.1260 of Title 28, Chapter 81 of the U.S. Code. It is called the "Constitution Restoration Act of 2005." Read it and weep.

"Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the Supreme Court shall not have jurisdiction to review, by appeal, writ of certiorari, or otherwise, any matter to the extent that relief is sought against an element of Federal, State, or local government, or against an officer of Federal, State, or local government (whether or not acting in official personal capacity), by reason of that element's or officer's acknowledgement of God as the sovereign source of law, liberty, or government."

Brownback is just one of many who are poised to take over this country. They won this battle. They must not be allowed to win the war.

So, with a grin and a wave, Harriet Miers returned to her office in the White House at the same time Harry Reid stood on the Senate floor and solemnly chided conservatives for publicly stoning her.

“The radical right wing of the Republican Party killed the Harriet Miers nomination. Apparently, Ms. Miers did not satisfy those who want to pack the Supreme Court with rigid ideologues," Reid said, before making yet another helpful suggestion to Bush...“In choosing a replacement for Ms. Miers, President Bush should not reward the bad behavior of his right wing base. He should reject the demands of a few extremists and choose a justice who will protect the constitutional rights of all Americans.”

But like Harkavy says, that ain't gonna happen. Reid fooled him once and, although Bush is dumb as dirt, his handlers will not let him "get fooled again." Harkavy reminds us that the Bush Law, as enunciated by Bush himself, is alive and well...

"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. they never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we."

Harkavy says we can count on the next Supreme Court nominee being "much more scary than Miers."

Hey Harkavy! Do de name Alberto Gonzales ring a bell?

Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer. She is a regular contributor for a variety of Internet sites. Contact her at: © 2005 Sheila Samples

Saturday, October 22, 2005


One person who has remained ominously silent throughout the administration's campaign to destroy Joseph Wilson by outing his CIA wife is Valerie Plame herself.

But you can be sure that Plame has all the information on the people who worked undercover in various parts of the world who were also exposed and put in danger, many of them possibly eliminated. And all because Joe Wilson dared to warn the White House that the lie it was formulating to take this nation to war had no credence.

UPI is reporting that, once special prosecutor Patick Fitzgerald has completed his investigation, Wilson and Plame are planning to file a civil lawsuit against several administration officials.

That's one thing for which we can thank the Republicans --they were so eager to bring Bill Clinton down that they got their Supreme buddies to rule that Paula Jones could sue Clinton while he was still president.

The next week or so ought to be interesting. Fitzgerald has until 28 Oct to bring indictments if he's going to. Right now, I'm just happy to have "almost" made it through Saturday night without Bush pulling a Nixonesque "Saturday Night Massacre..."But there's still five minutes to go...

Sunday, October 16, 2005


The one thing -- the only thing -- that George Bush has ever done successfully is campaign. That boy sure loves to play dress-up. He's in his element strutting around in various costumes, while smirking and blinking before carefully vetted audiences whose members sign loyalty pledges and are conditioned to cheer and wave their flags as he gives the same smoke-'em-out-and-kill-'em-all stump speech over and over. And over again.

Bush loves to talk about his bold vision and to brag about the options piled on the table, and his disciples love to hear it. Like their counterparts in 1930s Germany, these vacuous, grinning, paper-mache masses are loyal, patriotic and obedient.

They are the "Good Americans." And they also like to play dress-up. Some don robes of self-righteousness and arrogantly tout religion over christianity. Their wrathful God is back in the driver's seat, and they make no effort to conceal their disdain for His wimpy Son, Jesus, whose liberal teachings are good for nothing but making government larger, creating an expanding population of welfare bottom feeders, and cutting into the profits of hard-working entrepreneurs.

They believe that Bush is their ticket to taking over the country. Gary Potter, the scary president of Catholics for Christian Political Action says when the Christian Majority is in charge, "there will be no satanic churches, no more free distribution of pornography, no more talk of rights for homosexuals." Potter promises that "pluralism will be seen as immoral and evil and the state will not permit anybody the right to practice evil."

Good Americans come in all shapes and sizes. Some dress up in military uniforms and wear stars on their shoulders, like Lt.Gen. William G. Boykin, who firmly believes that God personally lifted Bush up and set him down in the Oval Office. God's will, like Bush's will, is immovable, unshakable; therefore, according to Boykin, we might as well just relax and enjoy whatever Bush dishes up. "You must recognize that we as Americans saw a miracle unfold with the election of George W. Bush," Boykin said in a speech after we attacked Iraq. "Whether you voted for him or not is irrelevant. The fact is he is there today, not only to lead America, but to lead the world, and that is what he is doing..."

Others, many of them Democrats, skitter fearfully through the halls of Congress, pretending to represent the people who elected them, yet -- also like their 1930s German counterparts -- they try to get along by going along. In a pathetic attempt at self-preservation, they try to gain attention and power by cooperating with Bush rather than by opposing him.

They have worked hard to earn the right to be called Good Americans. After 9-11, all it took was a couple of anthrax letters and they fell over each other in their haste to sign the un-American Patriot Act without bothering to read it. The Patriot Act mirrored its 1933 German counterpart -- A Decree of the Reich President for the Protection of the People and State -- and stripped Constitutional protections from the people such as:

Free expression of opinion. . .Freedom of the press. . .Right of assembly and association. . .Right to privacy of postal and electronic communicatiions. . .Protection against unlawful searches and seizures. . .Individual property rights. . . and States' right of self-government.

In the Bush either-or, black or white world, it makes sense that those who are not Good Americans are Bad Americans. They're the ones who watched in horror as Bush and his Good American Congress stripped the safety net from under our poor, our homeless and needy; deprived our elderly of proper health care, utilities and nutrition; withheld education opportunities from middle- and lower-class children; lifted virtually all restrictions on this nation's safe food supply and safe medicines; trashed the environment, turned our wetlands and virgin areas into pig sties; and blocked all avenues of recourse for citizens to receive justice through the courts, to include the relief of bankruptcy.

Bad Americans can't keep their mouths shut, especially about the vicious lies Bush told to create global chaos that has resulted in tens of thousands of innocent Afghan and Iraqi citizens -- mostly women and children -- and in the maiming and slaughter of thousands of American men and women.

Good Americans agree with Tennessee Republican State Senator Tim Burchett that Bad Americans who oppose anything Bush does, especially the Iraq war, should shut the hell up or get the hell out. Burchett believes -- like his 1930s German Schutzstaffel counterpart -- that Bad Americans are treasonous, not patriotic. He says, "They ought to be run out of our country and not allowed back."

Like his 1930s German counterpart, Bush is back out on the campaign trail in his signature powder-blue, rolled-up-sleeves shirt, stumping in front of cheering crowds of Good Americans for an outbreak of bird flu, or for martial law and enforced detention should the flu bird fly over the US -- anything that will cause Americans to "freak out" and thus allow him to, as he says, "effect a quarantine."

Bush has done nothing with more treasonous malice and less forethought than dismantling and dishonoring the US Constitution and its attendant Bill of Rights. He is hell-bent on "effecting" far more than a quarantine. He will not stop until the United States is a full-blown police state and he's the high-sheriff. We will soon discover, too late, that inalienable rights no longer exist, and both Good and Bad Americans who think Bush's bold "vision" of being a dictator is too fantastic, too unrealistic, to be taken seriously will soon find themselves in free-fall into one of the hundreds of concentration camps scattered throughout the nation. Staffed. Guarded. Ready and waiting.

Sadly, the Good Americans aren't blind. They are not in denial, nor are they deluded. They know about US prison camps during World War II, when Japanese American citizens were rounded up and detained for the duration of the war. Perhaps they even know how easily German detention camps become concentration camps and, ultimately, extermination camps. They may remember that extermination began with ill and handicapped German citizens and, when Good Germans who witnessed the atrocities said nothing, it then moved on to the Jews. But they don't care. Because they don't believe it can happen to them.

Good Americans, like their 1930s German counterparts, have already racked up a legacy of despair, misery and unbearable shame their children -- and ours -- must ultimately bear. It does not matter if Good Americans sit on the high court, if they are members of Congress, if they are propaganda conduits in the media, or if they are military ordered to turn on the very people they are sworn to protect, they are gravediggers of freedom and democracy.

They will be the death of us all.

Friday, October 07, 2005


In a sordid slime, harmonious Greed was born in yonder ditch,
With a longing in his bosom--and for others' goods an itch.
As Christ died to make men holy, let men die to make us rich--
Our god is marching on. ~Mark Twai

While recently watching George Bush's carefully orchestrated performance from New Orleans' French Quarter a week late and a billion dollars short, I was struck by the confused desperation in his eyes, and I was overcome with sympathy. Not at the spectacle of an out-of-touch derelict engineer racing to catch the presidential train as it careened crazily out of the station, but for the vulnerable and abandoned Americans whose very survival depends upon his empty platitudes and promises.

In Bush's multiple photo-op visits to the hurricane-ravaged Gulf area -- including one released of him with his nose pressed to the window on his initial "flyover" visit -- he's been ludicrously stage-managed -- soaring nonsensical speeches, floodlights, cathedrals shimmering in the background, hugging female black victims brought to him for a camera shot, jouncing around in the back of a truck, rigidly sandwiched between a mayor and a governor and refusing to speak to either...This is Karl Rove's idea of a "hands-on" kind of guy, sleeves rolled up, hard at work. Bush doing his job. Protecting the American people. 'Cause that's, like, you know, his job. Protecting the American people. Did I mention his sleeves were rolled up?

That does it. No more flowery prose. No more screaming into the wind for Americans to wake up before it's too late. No more succumbing to an attack of the vapours while daubing my eyes with a scented handkerchief and plaintively wailing, "when is enough -- enough?" The reality is the panting war profiteers who control Bush will never have enough. Their greed is ravenous, insatiable; it devours everything in its path. They have no intention of giving up the power and profits for which they have worked so hard -- waited so long -- to achieve. Not now. Not ever. They plan to take it with them when they go. The war machine Dwight Eisenhower warned us about is cranked up and running, but it is not freedom they're spreading. It is fascism.

The reality is they are well on their way to attaining a rigid, one-party international dictatorship; a New World Order wherein the world and all its wealth and resources belong to a chosen few -- them. If their plan works, the vulgar lumpen, the underclass, the "people," will crumple under a cruel nationalism, blatant racism and heartless militarism. Like Thomas Jefferson warned -- if left unchecked, the greed of private banks and corporations will ultimately "deprive the people of their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered."

The miserly response to Katrina should serve as a wake-up call to those Americans who can still think. Fascism is on the march and, when this administration threw down the gauntlet in New Orleans, it declared open war on this nation's poorer citizens, most of whom were Black.

White Americans swallowed the spin that FEMA's disaster brigades, widely heralded for their immediate response to even a spring shower blowing over the Florida coast, suddenly became so incompetent when Katrina hit Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, they couldn't even figure out how to use the telephone or deliver a bag of ice.

Black Americans know better.

The reality is that FEMA worked perfectly -- a planned exercise of bureacratic incompetency in order to expand Bush's powers to declare martial law in the next disaster. It was a well-oiled machine that thwarted every attempt to get help to those who were too old, too ill or too poor to leave. Looking back at FEMA's success in orchestrating "Operation Ethnic Cleansing," I have to agree with Bush -- Brownie did, indeed, do a heckuva job... For example:

FEMA refused the addition of hundreds of assistance personnel and dozens of vehicles, as well as food and water offered by Chicago's Mayor Daley. It also refused to let the Red Cross deliver food; in fact told the agency to leave and not come back. Renita Hosler, Red Cross spokesperson, said they were "at the table every single day" asking for access, but were kept out by the uniformed military.

FEMA refused to use the facilities of the USS Bataan, a 600-bed hospital ship that just happened to be in the Gulf of Mexico when Katrina made landfall. The USS Bataan is an 844-foot ship, complete with helicopters, doctors, hospital beds, food and water. It has the capacity to make its own water -- up to 100,000 gallons a day -- but this service was also refused. Another state-of-the-art mobile hospital from the University of North Carolina -- a convoy that included two 53-foot trailers, 100 surgeons and paramedics, food, water and medicines -- was forced to park in a gravel lot 70 miles north of New Orleans. They were marrooned there for several days, frustrated by news that people were dying and that disease was becoming more widespread because of contaminated water.

Vice President Dick Cheney directed officials at the Southern Pines Electric Power Association, not once but twice, to restore gasoline and diesel fuel pipelines before restoring much needed power to rural hospitals. Amtrak's offer to help evacuate the sick and elderly from hospitals and the detention center was rebuffed, and three trailer trucks loaded with water from WalMart were turned away. Aaron Broussard, president of Jefferson Parish, south of New Orleans, told Tim Russert on "Meet the Press" that FEMA officials also prevented the Coast Guard from delivering 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel, and they cut the parish's emergency communications line, which was restored, but Broussard said the Parish sheriff was forced to post armed guards to protect it from FEMA.

On its own website, FEMA ordered First Responders not to respond "unless dispatched" because "self-dispatching volunteer assistance could significantly complicate the response and recovery effort." To emphasize the order, FEMA blocked a 500-boat citizen flotilla loaded with aid, and slapped Germany in the face by turning back a German government plane loaded with 15 tons of food.

All things considered, it looks like FEMA's response to Katrina was a catastrophic success. The only thing Bush and his racist cohorts didn't take into account was the universal shock that met his unconcerned efforts to flush poverty and crime down the toilet -- the outrage at remarks of Baton Rouge Republican Richard Baker, who chortled that God had finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans, and of House Speaker Dennis Hastert, who suggested we could save money by just bulldozing the area and moving on...

The looting going on in New Orleans is being done by Halliburton's Kellogg Brown and Root and the Shaw Group, both clients of lobbyist and former FEMA head Joe Allbaugh, and by Bechtel, whose CEO is on Bush's Export Council. Bush immediately rescended the 1931 Davis-Bacon Act which requires federal contractors to pay workers at least the prevailing wages in the area. The body snatching is being done by the same funeral-gate firm that Bush was involved with in Texas -- Kenyon -- a subsidiary of Service Corporation International (SCI), a scandal-ridden Texas-based company operated by a friend of the Bush family. Recently, SCI subsidiaries have been implicated in illegally discarding and desecrating corpses.

Hurricane Katrina ripped the mask from the Bush administration and, for a brief moment, exposed the sheer evil, and the bigotry, racism and greed that lies just beneath the surface. Those who dared to look upon the face of Bush's god cannot go home again. They know that the reality these greedy monsters create for us is one of relentless, non-stop chaos.

Being sucked up into Bush's reality is like stepping out of the shower, soap in your eyes and, as you fumble for a towel, the phone jangles. Someone rings the front doorbell while simultaneously beating on the door -- someone else is pounding on the back door, shouting incoherently. It is the witching hour and you are home alone. The dog is barking wildly, the cat is yowling while scratching frantically on the screen. In a panic, you race to the window, and fall back in shock. The entire landscape is exploding in a massive fireworks display. You can see shadowy figures moving furtively across your lawn, and you wonder briefly what they are doing, but they disappear into the flashing lights and noise.

Because of world opinion and media coverage, we lucked out on this one, but the next "national emergency" -- possibly a flu pandemic -- could be democracy's last hurrah. Bush is already boasting of using the military to "quarantine" those affected. And it won't be in our homes -- this isn't the measles with the school nurse tacking a "quarantined" sign on our front doors. Last year, Bush authorized preliminary studies for the rapid construction of a National Detention Center Program, complete with a series of detention centers, to be added to the existing 600 units now in place. Also, The Department of Homeland Security is consulting with an Israeli company, Israeli Prison Systems, Ltd., for the expedited construction of modular internment camps to be located in rural areas throughout the continental US and Alaska.

Sound like a conspiracy? I would hope so, because to survive, we must come to grips with the fact that we are victims of a vast, insidious conspiracy fueled by the vociferous greed of those who have no intention of relinquishing their power. Political author Frank Kent once said, "The evils of government are directly proportional to the tolerance of the people."

We must become a bit more intolerant of those who would control us, or we will soon be forced to fight for our very lives in the horrid reality of the New World Order.