Basque-like Bombings: Get Ready For the Greek Olympics and Your Next NYC Subway Ride

For a long time, while the invasive influences of Christian life surrounded the Basques, the indigenous Euskera-speaking people of their region survived (with their culture intact); they only became Christian during the period of the Reconquista when the infidel Muslims were driven out of Spain.

Cut to ten bombs going off in the Madrid subway system, from Atocha all the way to Santa Eugenia. The big question on everyone’s lips, from Amy Goodman to Reuters to the people getting ready to vote in the upcoming Spanish elections, is whether the minimum of 192 dead and 1200 injured (some of whom, to take a look at their disfigurement and trauma, might as well be dead) are the victims of the ETA, Arabs or both.

Once again, nothing but the kind of superficial analyses that we got post-9/11, post-Lockerbie and post-Shock ‘N Awe. Shucks, just can’t figure out what these people want. We gave ’em the right to pick their own textbooks in the schools…from a list of ours. Apparently, we’re on very shaky ground even trying to pinpoint who « these people » are, delimiting investigations to the A, B or C noted above. Typically, someone blows themselves up on an Israeli bus, and –damn!– we’ve got the whole story in our laptops before you can say « genocide » or « abominations » or « hegemony. » All awful, but nothing so complicated that we can’t draw the parameters overnight.

Our « uncompromising » efforts to crush the so-called Osama-led terrorism –their apparent success– should not fool anyone. Please. Last year the ETA was responsible for the deaths of only three innocent bystanders in Spain, the lowest total in thirty years. And all sorts of claims had been made by Mariano Rajoy, Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar’s would-be successor, respecting the « progress » that his party has made on behalf of national security. Until the previous record of 21 ETA kills (for a single act) was passed, that is. To give you a perspective, that would be like settling into a false sense of security with Bush’s reassurances, and then getting hit with a NYC disaster claiming about 27,000 lives next Wednesday.

Ah! It’s oh so simple. All very comprehensilbe with a sound bite. Let’s let the reprehensibility chew their heads off! Let’s not encourage thinking.

To those who would take this next round of opportunity to address the question of why any of these people hate any of these other people, I ask that we extrapolate on the Basque « Garean gareana legez. » « Let us be what we are. »

On Queues: The Chinese and USers

At the Chinese New Year celebration in San Francisco, Iris Chang spoke to me in a dream.

With noisemakers blaring and dragons writhing serpentinely, she spoke of the memorization and mastery of Chinese classics which served as a safe outlet for the subjugated Han people of the Qing Dynasty. As harmless*, hissing children’s smoke bombs rolled down the steep inclines of Chinatown, Iris whispered to me about the most talented, ambitious young men diverting their youthful energies into activities which would perpetuate the reign of the rulers from Manchuria. Permitted pursuits.

The Han, with their braided queues of humiliation trailing behind their burdened, heavy heads**, could not afford to openly question or challenge the system in any way. Suffocating parameters served as quite the efficacious implement! And, according to Iris, with members of the subjugated part of the population forced to compete against one another, « imperial exams soon became more potent than any military force, as the people themselves embraced this instrument of their own oppression. »

This is really vintage Chomsky, isn’t it? This business of people being set up to control themselves without having to be beaten over the head. For the most part.

Well, just like the crème de la crème of the Han Chinese — people who could have led the masses potentially — became agents of the Dominant Society…for little pieces of the fortune cookie…or relatively sumptuous entitlements, we’ve got our own Sold Out Suckers.

They argue academically. That’s allowed. Gives the impression — to young college students — that something’s being opposed, that seeds are being spread. They research up the kazoo to prove this or that point. Get involved deeply — lifelong pursuits for some sick cases — in research that culminates in Documentation Delirium. Proving over and over again…the same thing, merely changing a face or facade here or there. Or coming up with new terminology, turns of phrases. Tons. That’s allowed.

They teach in alternative schools where they follow officially sanctioned guidelines…and never confront parents about the SUVs which…drop off…and pick up. Allowed? Why, of course! Par for the course.

They score social, monetary and/or other strokes vis-a-vis Exposé Excess. That’s…encouraged. Actually, ALL these endeavors are proactively supported by The Powers.

And all of the individuals playing this game are, in fact, making matters worse by allowing The USers to buy more time…from every angle…in every sense of the phrase. In every corner of the globe.

The only thing within the people’s power to do is to cut off those queues. But we all know*** that almost all of us are too busy forming queues, waiting in line. On cue.

Richard Oxman pays respects here to Iris Chang’s The Chinese in America and invites the dialogue that almost everyone seems to avoid these days.

How Osama Helped George W By Scaring Millions of Un-American Jellyfish

Cry, beloved country, cry! The America of George Washington, Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin is on her death bed giving premature birth to a hideous abortion: the Divided States of Amerika, a neo-nazi-mongrel.

Normal citizens – the REAL Patriots – those who honor and defend the Constitution now have the absolute right, indeed, the sacred duty, to loudly vent their outrage in word and deed.

No more political correctness.

No more diplomatic double-bullshit

Let expletives and clear four letter words resound.

Let REAL patriots organize to remove a treasonous administration.

Let truth be exposed until ignorant fanatics can no longer escape in fundamentalist fairy tales.

Good authors too who once knew better words
Now only use four-letter words
Writing prose.
Anything goes.

-Cole Porter, « Anything Goes »

(Screaming, for all the world to hear) We The People have been fucked again by shameless un-American bastards!

Under the evil direction of Jeb Bush, out of the blue, Florida produced a far-fetched, nonexistent majority of registered Democrats strangely voting Republican ONLY in counties using optical scan machines. WEIRD? The rest of Florida Democrats remained normally progressive and voted like Democrats always do. The chance of something as bizarre as 70% of Democrats voting Republican ONLY where Republican owned machines are used is 1 in 200 million, in other words, as impossible as a pig flying or George Bush telling the truth for a whole day. Of course, with all the crazy Jesus lip servers running around, a miracle must have happened. However, one still wonders why Jesus picked only those counties using Republican owned scan machines. Any thinking American who is not livid with indignation and ready for immediate action after learning that s/he has been disenfranchised again by Jeb Bush is not a real American but a contemptible un-American asshole.

We can draw a breath of relief by realizing that another stolen election is a lesser catastrophe than having the most powerful nation on earth actually elect (we cannot say: « reelect » since W was never elected) a known criminal. His crimes now number in the thousands, starting with his first felony when he brought and paid for a rent-a-riot squads of brown-shirt-like-hoodlums across Florida state lines to stop vote counting in 2000, followed by letting 9/11 happen so he could implement his premeditated aggression and massacres on Iraq along with all his other crimes against humanity.

America’s Heart-land Or ASS-land?
Bush, the butcher of Iraq, lied and young Americans died for oil, for Halliburton, and for the other corporate cannibals. The filthy butcher has the gall to claim God speaks to him. According to this mass murderer, Jesus ordered him to massacre innocents, to steal the assets of weaker nations, and to lie to the American people. Karl Rove, the ruthless brain of the butcher, is the grandson of a Nazi Holocaust camp guard. Rove, using Bush’s « Faith Based Initiative » that violates the separation of Church and State, organized the funding of pseudo-Christian false preachers like Falwell, Robertson, and other church-turds with our tax money de facto recruiting these political sermonizers to drive millions of ignorant, fake-Christian yokels into antidemocratic action by proselytizing them into believing that banning same sex partnerships, forcing women to give birth against their will (even if raped by their Christian fathers), and forbidding stem cell research that can save lives are the issues Jesus Christ’s came to Earth for.

Never mind « do unto others. » Forget caring for the poor and the sick. Stop turning the other cheek. Fuck peace on earth, and all those virtuous things that are the real sine qua non of Christianity. Millions of loony, Kool-aid, rapture-bound featherbrain fanatics are pushing the world into collective suicide by provoking Armageddon. So thanks to the use of our tax money for political religious blackmailing, millions of brainwashed zombies voted for a known criminal, therefore tagging themselves as criminally insane.

This immoral herd of Jesus slobbering pumpkin heads sent a clear message to the world that Americans hate freedom and support neo-Nazi policies of an uncivilized terrorist administration. Therefore, foreign terrorists like Bin Laden and Ad Zarkawi can now reasonably argue for no holds barred since there are no innocent civilians in a « democracy » where people vote for state terrorism, against freedom, and for aggression against nations that never attacked them.

It is extremely urgent that all sane Americans proclaim to rest of the world that a second coup d’etat happened on November 2, 2004 in America and that a clear majority of Americans voted against Bush. Our election has been stolen again by the monstrous insanity of allowing privately owned voting machines without paper trails and scan counters and without accountability to co-opt our election process. We have lost our Democracy to the unconscionable open stratagem of privatization.

Propaganda pundits strumpet that America’s « heartland » (hereinafter « ass-land ») voted for Bush mostly on « moral » grounds and because they believed the Texas AWOL fart was strong on « terror. » Laughing out loud (LOL), we ask: Is this scandalous imposture a national joke or just more FOXNEWS-shit? Even turd-heads can see that Bush was as successful against terror as a dog chasing his own tail.

  • He deliberately failed to prevent 9/11, in spite of clear warnings. 
  • He failed to destroy Al Qaida.
  • He failed to get Bin Laden « dead or alive. »
  • He failed to grab the one-eyed Mullah Omar, fried or parboiled. In fact, Omar slipped out of a Special Forces’ ambush on a motorcycle at night over the Afghan mountains and gave Bush the finger (one more amazing story only the European press covered). Bush failed to pacify Iraq.
  • He even failed to impress the world (in spite of his strutting like a fake-airman asshole on the deck of the aircraft carrier). His spectacular MISSION ACCOMPLISHED bullshit sign in big letters for the photo op made him a laughing stock all over the world.

Any Bush voter with half a brain, if there are any, who went to the polls in 2004 knew that the SOB sent our young to die on the basis of lies and that attacking nations that are no threat to us is the most serious international crime for which we hung quite a few Nazis at Nuremberg.

Mr. « Bring ’em on » dragged our country’s good name into the cesspool of Saddam Hussein torture prisons so now the world can only wonder what kind of deranged people return such a psychotic monster to power.

Bush’s Counsel Gonzales called the Geneva Convention « Quaint! » He then wrote the legal brief that aims to replace all international civilized progress with death camps, medieval torture chambers, secret prisons, screaming victims tortured on prison ships far from land where no one can hear their agony, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and hideous outsourcing of torture. All these unspeakable, premeditated evils were launched in our name by the Bush White House under the guidance of hyenas like Rove, Gonzales, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Ashcroft, and others. We must not rest until we bring these criminals to justice.

Bush has sown the seeds of a terrifying future. To continue to accept this irrational gang of goons is collective insanity. Citizens should demand en-masse an impeachment trial of George Bush. They should warn Congressmembers that supporting this administration will result in being voted out of office or recalled. THIS IS OUR TASK NOW IF WE ARE REAL CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

To Vote For A Known Criminal Is To Be One
This is an irrefutable fact. Americans who voted for Bush in 2004, after knowing what he has done, are aiding and abetting a terrorist criminal.

Let’s face it. We are not a rational country. Most power holders have their heads in the toilet of greed. The bastards cackle about moral standards while letting their corporations rip off workers, clients, and stockholders. The rotten procession of thieves became very visible with the collapse of ENRON, but the parade of corporate burglars seems to be never ending. And what do these criminals feed us? Fear. Their aim is to keep people weak, scared, and dependent.

The rich madmen in power have defrauded us and stolen our government, our airwaves, our land, our minerals, our jobs. They piled trillions in debt on our future. They dishonored America’s treaties and obligations and turned our beautiful Lady Liberty into a dirty old hag, prostituting herself and selling her children for a handout.

The Divided States Of Amnesia Constitution will read: « We the laughing stock of the planet, in order to titillate our greedy oppressors, have dropped our pants and bent over, waving our toy plastic flags-made-in-China where our wise leaders have outsourced our jobs to prison labor. We now proudly spread our legs to let corporate traitors and government pimps screw us again as they did in 2000. We want the whole world to know that we like being screwed so much that we let our masters do it again with their new touch-screw voting machines without a paper trail to wipe our sorry asses and prove we voted. »

Media sycophants trumpet that Bush has made us safer because there have been no more attacks on our « homeland » since 9/11. France can make the same claim of its president, so can Mexico. This flimflam media crap brings to mind the following story, showing how W’s pretzel munching kept terrorists at bay.

A security guard in the White House saw George Bush in the rose garden eating a pretzel and rhythmically snapping his fingers with a vacant look on his face (just like the one he had when he was told about the attack on the towers and continued reading »My Pet Goat »). The guard, worried, asked:  » Mr. President, is there a problem? » George kept on snapping his fingers and without changing expression answered, with his mouth full:  » I am keeping the terrorists away. »

« But Sir, there are no terrorists in the Rose Garden. »

Continuing to snap his fingers and George mumbled: « See! It works!  »

Enter Osama And His October Surprise
The 9/11 massacre masterminded by Osama, son of the same Bin Laden Family that financed the Bush family in oil and other enterprises, turned out to be just what the neo-cons had hoped for and even wrote about in their Project for a New American Century. 9/11 was a gift from Osama to George, a Reichstag Fire present from the son of the Bin Ladens to the son of the Bush Texas Oil Clan. Think about that for a moment.

George immediately paid back the favor from the son of his Father’s partner by allowing the Bin Laden family to fly out of the U.S. days after 9/11, no question’s asked. Then he made sure to obstruct any investigation of of the 9/11 attack for two years before finally allowing a sanitized and carefully controlled « bipartisan » 9/11 commission. He agreed to have himself and Cheney questioned together so there could be no contradictions on three conditions: (1) the questioning had to be behind closed doors; (2) no record keeping would be allowed; and (3) the testimony would not be under oath. For God’s sake! Are We The People so dense, so blind and deaf, so FOXed-up as not to discern the obvious fraud and treason against our country? When are we going to raise hell about this frightening corruption?

The song and dance after this astounding betrayal is to be « united! » How can sane people want to be united with the evil and sick criminals? How dare they ask us to mix the clean milk and honey of the American dream with the sewage of their theocratic nightmare? Have we gone totally bananas?

The other patriotic song and dance they throw at us is: « Support the troops! » What they really mean is « support our war of aggression. » The only honest and truly patriotic way to support the troops is to stop an unjust war and bring our soldiers home NOW. Only then will the world community move with us and help Iraq with its recovery.

The neo-cons are getting scared because more and more people are wise to their con-games. So, to delay their day of reckoning, they are promoting war without end with Iran, Syria, North Korea, and China in the lineup. It is no exaggeration to state that the very life of the planet is at stake. A new Nuremberg trial is urgently needed as is a strengthening of international resolve to restore justice so that we can all be protected from a nuclear holocaust. Is public lethargy caused by a gross lack of free media or are we being collectively drugged? Maybe there is something to the contrail conspiracy theory. Wait a minute, now comes the October surprise!

On October 30, 2004, just three days before the national election, Osama, the « evil one » appeared on our television screens, looking healthy, poised, and kingly in his golden robe to deliver a long speech directed to the American People. Most of his speech was censored by our controlled propaganda machine, allegedly to deny Osama too big a slice of prime time. Had that motive been legitimate, the BushNazi minister of propaganda would have postponed airing Osama entirely until after the election.

In Safire’s November 1, 2004, Media Matters column titled: « Osama Casts His Vote, » he suggested that Osama bin Laden was hoping for the defeat of President George W. Bush, echoing the oft-repeated and unsupported speculation that terrorists preferred Senator John Kerry over Bush. In fact, as Media Matters pointed out, the evidence suggests that bin Laden and Al Qaida were hoping for a Bush victory, since he is their best recruiter.

U.S. media brothels showed the same segments of Osama’s speech, making certain that his appearance would help elect their whoremaster. In fact, Osama intended for his appearance to assist Bush by scaring yellow Christianoids (hypocrites cast in the shape of Christians) into crapping their pants and seeking refuge in the lap of media-fabricated « fearless » W, the dimestore Texas Ranger who immediately rushed around re-nailing up his « Get Osama DEAD OR ALIVE » posters.

Osama’s message on October 20th 2004 where he reveals that WMD he will continue to use to destroy the U.S. is George W. Bush.

(Arab grandiloquence edited out. Comments in italics are for dense Christianoids.)

« Praise be to Allah (Allah is Arabic for ‘The God’) who created the world for his worship and commanded humans to be just and permitted those who have been wronged to retaliate against oppressors in kind.  (Both George and Osama believe in revenge. Osama saw his people hit by American bombs in Lebanon so, seeking an eye for an eye, he attacked Americans. George saw Americans hit by Osama, so seeking oil for an eye, he let Osama get away and attacked Iraq.)

People of America, I speak now about the only way to prevent another 9/11, and about the war causes and effects.

Security is indispensable for human life and free men do not forfeit security. Bush’s claims we attacked you because we hate freedom, that is untrue. Were it so, then let him explain why we don’t strike for example – Sweden? Freedom-haters don’t have defiant spirits in their ranks like the 19 martyrs that attacked the towers – may Allah have mercy on them. (Those terrorists were fanatics, but hardly cowards as our Texan-deserter-in-chief called them after himself hiding scared shitless for hours during the attack.)

No, we fight because we are free men who don’t sleep under oppression. We want freedom for our nation. Therefore just as you attacked our nation, so we attack yours.  (Will Rogers told the Japanese before WWII: « If you don’t jump on us we will not jump on you. »)

Only a dumb thief plays with the security of others and then expects to be secure. Thinking people, when disaster strikes, look for its causes to prevent it happening again.  (Here Osama clearly shows that George is unable to think as a statesman.)

I am amazed. Four years after 9/11 and Bush is still lying and hiding the real causes from you. Thus, the reasons for a repeated attack are still there.  (Is this a peace proposal or a threat from one terrorist to another? The threat of more attacks is implied only as consequence of further U.S. attacks in Arab lands. Is this a truce offer? Is revenge more important to Christians than making peace as Jesus teaches?)

So I shall tell you the truth of how and why I decided to attack your country so you may reflect.

After oppression and tyranny by the American/Israeli coalition against our people became unbearable, the idea of attacking your own land came to my mind.  (We attacked first, so to Osama Americans are terrorists and his actions, he feels, are legitimate reprisals, just as we feel about attacking Afghanistan after 9/11.)

America permitted Israel to invade Lebanon and the American Sixth Fleet helped in that aggression. Bombardment began. Many were killed and injured. Others terrorized and displaced. I could never forget the blood and severed limbs of women and children lying dead everywhere. Houses destroyed, high rises demolished over their residents, rockets raining down on our homes without mercy.  (That was American terrorism against a people who could not defend themselves with F-16s and B-52s. Lip service Christians might reflect on the words of their Lord: « As you sow, so shall you reap. »)

America was like a crocodile attacking a helpless screaming child. Can a crocodile understand anything but weapons? The whole world saw but did nothing. (The so-called civilized world is a pathetic collection of immoral and amoral materialists as we witness every day, from Bosnia, to Rwanda, to Sudan, to Ecuador, to the Congo — do only American lives have value?)

An immense pain was in my soul, an intense hatred of tyranny, and a strong resolve to punish the oppressors. As I looked at those demolished towers in Lebanon, I knew we should punish the evil doers (the concept of « evil doers » was not coined by Bush in Texas) in kind and destroy towers in America so the aggressors might taste what we tasted and be deterred from killing our women and children. That day, I realized that intentional killing of innocent women and children is a deliberate American policy.  (On the day Osama spoke, 30 October 2004, the genocidal massive attack on Fallujah was underway.)Americans insist their acts of destruction are freedom and democracy and see our resistance as terrorism and intolerance.

Oppressing and causing the death of millions with an embargo as Bush Sr. did in Iraq was the greatest mass slaughter of children mankind has ever known. To Bush Jr. dropping millions of pounds of bombs and explosives on millions of children in Iraq is freedom marching on to remove an old tyrant and replace him with a new puppet that will help the Bushes pilfer Iraq’s oil wealth and other outrages.  (Note that the excuse of liberating Iraq after Saddam was captured no longer exists and the destruction of a city and its population as a liberation from a dictator is a lie. The Iraqi resistance are patriots fighting for their country’s independence.)

The events of September 11th came as retribution for great wrongs. Should a man be blamed for defending his home? Is punishing aggressors in self defense terrorism? You may call it terrorism but it is unavoidable once you attack us. I tried to communicate this, repeatedly, for years before September 11th. You can go back and read, if you wish, in my interview with Scott in Time Magazine in 1996, or with Peter Arnett on CNN in 1997, or my meeting with John Weiner in 1998.

Consider the warning strikes I gave you, in Kenya and Tanzania and in Aden. And you can read my interview with Abdul Bari Atwan, as well as interviews with Robert Fisk.
The latter is one of your compatriots and co-religionists and I consider him to be neutral. So the pretenders of freedom in the White House and the TV channels controlled by them could offer you an interview with him? So that he may explain the reasons for our fight against you? 
 (Media hustlers have been derelict in informing the American people. To know what the enemy said is smart, especially for a country with smart bombs and dumb leaders.) 

If you wanted to avoid further provocations, you would be taking the just path that will lead America to security as it was before September 11th.  (Maybe the path of peace might, after all, be cheaper than another 500 billion dollars sent and many more thousands of our young people’s lives. Let the American people decide.)

You know the causes now so let us look at the effects. By all standards the effects exceeded all expectations. The Bush administration resembles the regimes in our countries, half of which are ruled by the military and the other by the sons of kings and presidents characterized by pride, arrogance, greed, and misappropriation of wealth. This resemblance was obvious after the visits of Bush Sr. to our region. He was impressed by those monarchies and military regimes, and envious of their holding to power for decades, able to embezzle public wealth without accounting.

So Bush the Elder took dictatorship and suppression of freedom as examples to his son who later created the Patriot Act, under the pretext of fighting terrorism. Bush Sr., like a king, installed his sons as state governors and imported election fraud expertise from our region’s presidents to Florida and made successful use of it. (The facts of the 2000 coup and the 2004 election render this statement true.)

All of this made it easy for us to provoke and bait this administration. So we are continuing this policy of bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy, Allah willing.  (Bush is blindly helping Osama accomplish this devastating goal. That’s why Bush is Osama’s very effective weapon of mass destruction.)

Those who say that al-Qaida has won against the White House have not been precise, because al-Qaida is not the sole factor in achieving those spectacular accomplishments.  (The accomplishments of a few thousands angry Arabs against the world’s sole superpower are by any measure spectacular.)

Rather, the policy of the White House that demands the opening of war fronts to keep their various corporations busy – whether they be working in the field of arms, oil, or reconstruction – has helped al-Qaida to achieve enormous results.

Some analysts and diplomats say that the White House and us are playing as one team towards the economic goals of the United States, even if our intentions differ. (Clearly the economic collapse of the U.S. is the goal of both Bush and Osama. Bush’s insane intention is to outsource jobs, cut taxes for the rich and big corporations, and create a new world order where millions of poor people will provide cheap labor and where an elite of pseudo-Christian « elect » will live in luxury in a theocratic Empire until the « rapture » when Jesus will bring them all to paradise. No matter how many crimes they commit, as long as the maniacs declare Jesus to be their personal Savior they expect to get a ticket for the rapture-bandwagon to heaven. Osama, on the other hand, also wants to collapse the modern world to install a Moslem civilization and get rid of Western influence in Islam. Same goal, different intentions. Both the fanatic Muslim and Christianoid Taliban are dangerous lunatics.)

This is what a British diplomat and others were saying in their lectures at the Royal Institute of International Affairs(i.e., that the U.S. and Al Qaida are playing as a single team for the same goal). They pointed out, for example, that al-Qaida spent $500,000 on the 9/11 attack while America paid a price – according to the lowest estimate – of more than $500 billion. That means that every dollar of al-Qaida cost America a million dollars, besides the loss of a huge number of jobs.

America’s economic deficit has reached astronomical numbers. And even more dangerous for America is that our fighters recently forced Bush to seek emergency funds to continue the fight in Afghanistan and Iraq, which is evidence of the success of our bleed-America-until-bankruptcy plan – with Allah’s permission.

This shows that al-Qaida has gained. But on the other hand just look at the size of contracts acquired by the shady Bush-linked mega-corporations, like Halliburton and its kind. All this reveals that the real losers are…the American people and their economy.  (Clearly Osama has more info than a guy running between caves dragging a kidney machine could possibly have. Where is he? Ask yourself. Perhaps in Saudi Arabia with his family? Perhaps hiding in Crawford, Texas? You never know these days.)

We had planned the 9/11 operations to be carried out within 20 minutes. It never occurred to us that the commander-in-chief of America’s armed forces would abandon 50,000 of his citizens in the twin towers to face those great horrors alone.

He felt that talking to a little girl about a goat butting was more important than planes butting skyscrapers, so we were given more time to execute our operations – praise be to Allah.

And it’s no secret that thinkers and perceptive Americans warned Bush before the war that what he needed for securing America and removing weapons of mass destruction – assuming they existed – was already available to him. The nations of the world were with you in the inspections and it was in the interest of America not to be thrust into an unjust war with an unknown outcome » (which shows that Osama has a better grasp of world conditions than our Texas midnight cowboy-in-chief).

But the darkness of the black gold blurred his vision and he gave priority to private interests over American public interests. So the war went ahead, the death toll rose, the American economy bled, and Bush became embroiled in the quagmire of Iraq (the facts confirm these observations).

Bush’s hands are stained with the blood of all those killed from both sides, all for the sake of oil and keeping their private companies in business.  (Just like fanatic Christianoid Bush, who sees fanatic Muslim Osama as a terrorist evildoer, so Osama sees only the blood Bush spilled as evil but justifies his 9/11 massacre as retribution. The U.S. has been doing the same, rationalizing about bombing civilians everywhere as retribution and defense of U.S. interests — a tit-for-tat.)

Finally, reflect on the last thoughts of the thousands who left you on 9/11 as they gestured in despair. They are important testaments. In their gestures before the collapse, they said: « How mistaken we were to have allowed White House’s aggressive foreign policies against the weak. »  (Here Osama is pulling at collective guilt. We American turned a blind eye to our Government attacking innocents in other countries for a long time and we reaped the fruits of our indifference.)

It is as if when they died they were telling you: « Hold to account those who have caused us to be killed. » So know that: « It is better to return to the truth than persist in error. » And that wise Americans do not want to squander security, wealth, and children for the sake of the liar in the White House.  (Here he’s calling for the people to move for peace and reconciliation.)

I tell you in truth, that your security is not in the hands of Kerry, nor Bush, nor al-Qaida. No. Your security is in your own hands. And every state that doesn’t attack us has automatically guaranteed its own security.  (Peace alone, a permanent end to hostilities brings security. Israel has proven over half a century that continued retaliation brings continued bloodshed. Security is to remove our support from the warmongers and seek peace everywhere based on justice.)

All peace be upon he who follows Allah’s Guidance. [End of speech.]

Unless We Destroy Them First, Unverifiable Voting Machines Will Erode Our Democracy
We must stop corporations from handling and contaminating our vote and end the secret, invisible method in which our votes are counted.

Companies in the voting business are owned, among others, by (1) a family that believes the Bible should replace the Constitution, (2) a top Republican in the state of Ohio, and (3) Saudi investors (the latter underlines the collaboration between Osama and Bush in destroying America).

Of all of the crimes against the People and Democracy stealing our vote is the ultimate.

Our vote is the most sacred foundation of freedom and too important to be manipulated by greedy private corporations.

It’s time that the USA – like most of the rest of the world – return to paper ballots, counted by hand by civil servants (our employees) under the watchful eye of the party faithful and other people-appointed representatives. Even if it takes two weeks to count the vote.

This method has worked for nearly 200 years and it can work again.

And if we must have machines, let’s have them owned by local governments, maintained and programmed by civil servants answerable to the people, using open-source code and disconnected from modems. Let them produce a voter-verified printed ballot, with all results published on a precinct-by-precinct basis and with an unidentifiable verification poll number that can be tracked and reconfirmed with the counting station by each voter.

Thomas Paine wrote: « The right of voting for representatives is the primary right by which all other rights are protected. To take away this right is to reduce a man to slavery. »

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It really isn’t that difficult to meet a mechanic and my first run in with this class of workman was fairly typical. Our car broke down. One minute we were chugging along (I say « chugging » because, contrary to the vehement arguments of my dad, that car was a piece of junk) and then BLAM!!! something broke. Being absolutely illiterate when it came to cars I could only watch and wait as the tow truck dragged poor « Old Faithful » (an antonym of the reality) away.

We lived in Descanso at the time, a few wee miles away from Alpine. These names probably mean nothing to you, but to me they mean home. Forty miles east of San Diego, in a tiny nook of the Cleveland Forest, a couple of brave souls had made their dwelling in the « wilderness. » Alpine, the neighboring town, was steadily growing, and just showing signs of civilization’s advance, marked by the latest edition to modern architecture: a Carl’s Jr’s. Descanso had one store, one gas pump, a miniscule library (proudly the second smallest nationwide), and a post office.

Like most small towns, Descanso’s main charm was its delightful community politics. Please understand that I am being highly sarcastic. An eccentric guru who stereotypically claimed to « understand it all » was at the peak of his reign when we moved into our new cozy neighborhood. His group of followers were as devoted to him as any zealots, which made our skepticism of his ideas completely out of place, but despite a few confrontations we lived relatively peacefully.

Well, back to the story: so our car broke down. I was completely disgusted, after spending the entire morning standing in an overcrowded church. I wanted to go home! But no such luck. The manager of the Texaco station we had been pulled into came out to the car as my dad walked to meet him. He was only twenty five or so.

« Sorry about your car, sir, » he said, shrugging apologetically, « but we have no room here. We’re backed up for days. The best I can offer is for you to leave your car here and we’ll look at it when we have time. »

Dad cast Mom a weary look. It had been a long day.

« And when do you think I could get it back? » Dad asked (he was very emotionally attached to his car).

« At the least several days. »

« Several days?! I need to go to work tomorrow!! »

The manager, obviously embarrassed with his present predicament, shifted his feet.

« That’s the absolute best I can do, » he replied, reluctantly.

Frustrated, my Dad turned away. Great! This was just great! We had completely blown the next couple of days.

Dad turned back to the manager, « Is there anywhere else we can take it? »

« Yeah! » (a way out!) « About five miles from here in Flinn Springs there’s a mechanic. His name’s Bob Rowsell. He mostly does classics, but I’m sure he could help you out. »

« Fantastic! If you give me his address we’ll give him a try. »

So back into the tow truck we hopped and followed the gracious manager’s directions into Flinn Springs. As we drove closer to Bob Rowsell’s shop, I couldn’t help but notice that this was a residential district. There were no gas stations, restaurants, or such–just houses. I wondered how you could drop a mechanic’s shop in the middle of this.

« OK, this should be it, » my dad said. The tow truck driver obliged by pulling into the long driveway.

We drove past a big house with a huge back lawn, and turned into a gravel lot. The change from a living residence to a place of work was startling. Cars littered the edges of the lot, old rusty cars (which, I joked, looked like our car in its glory days). Big busses and RVs were lined up along a chain link fence, and in the middle of it all was a towering mechanic’s shop. It was a sight to behold. If you have any notions that this remotely resembled the Sears Auto Center, toss ’em. This structure was a virtually pokka-dotted with car parts. They were on the walls, the floor, the ceiling, everywhere!

A bit awed at the strangeness of the structure, I jumped out of the tow truck, following Dad’s lead. Stepping back to get a more panoramic view of the shop, I wondered at this infinitely fascinating edifice. The interior boasted every tool, contraption, and part I had ever thought existed, and on top of it all this shop was genuinely filthy. Iron filling, grease, gasoline, and paint dust were far and wide, but that didn’t take away from the charm of the place. Its unique quality was captivating. Oldies blared out of two ancient speakers messed with wire to the walls.

As Dad started towards the little office adjacent the building, the shop’s owner rolled out from underneath one of the decrepit automobiles he was working on and came over to meet us. He was relatively short, with streaky gray hair. Like most mechanics, grease and oil were the most common decorations on his navy blue work clothes. I couldn’t help wondering if any belt would support that paunch.

« How ya’ all doin’ today? My name’s Bob. How can I help ya? » he asked, in a clear Massachusetts accent.

« Our car just broke down and the Texaco station back in Alpine is backed up for days. A guy up there sent us here, » my dad added with a grin. « They said you guys are the best! »

The old mechanic smiled, « We try our best. »

We mozied over to the car, which the tow truck had gracelessly dumped in the middle of the lot, and Bob opened the hood. By the look on his face what he saw was not good. Shaking his head he put the hood back in place and turned back to his customers.

« Well, this car has a few problems, to state the obvious. You’ll have to wait until I can get it on the lift for me to tell you what’s really wrong with it. At best you’re looking two days for me to identify the problem and fix it. »

« It doesn’t sound like we have much of a choice, » my dad said with a sigh, « I’ll leave it in your hands. »

I knew this caused a lot of emotional strain on him. He loved his car. For him this was like leaving one of his children unattended. To me, I secretly hoped that that piece of junk was done for good, and we could get a real car! As I would find out later, Bob had a way of breathing life into any piece of machinery.

The days passed slowly as Dad anxiously paced the floor in wait of his beloved Old Faithful. Finally we got a call that our « member of the family » was still breathing and could be picked up that afternoon. I cursed my luck, but about twenty minutes later Dad was blissfully chugging back home in that cursed pile of junk, except that now it didn’t chug quite as badly.

Several months passed before we were in need of Bob’s services again. This time it was our Isuzu Trooper. After ten years any car has problems, but we had the unique experience of having lived on a dirt road was so full of potholes that the pumps literally bounced loose every nut and bolt in the whole car. So in one six month period everything started to come apart and we were frequent visitors to Bob’s shop. We got to know both Bob and his charming wife, Alice, who had a little hair salon in her house, much to my mother’s delight.d

Bob and Alice had been part of the whole Harley movement, owning one themselves, and loved any biker rally or get together. They had several at their house to which we were invited. Unlike all those movies with the bikers in black spiked leather, shaved heads, and chains, these were just a bunch of forty to sixty year old guys who loved beer and a good time. They sat around and told stories of their biker tours around the country or their work on cars, meanwhile downing coffee and beer in rounds. The wives all sat together and chattered about this or that (I really didn’t care to find out).

But anyway, I’m drifting again. About a year after we had first met Bob, my dad decided it would be a great idea if I got a job. I, on the other hand, being the lazy, self indulgent teenager, would rather have played Playstation for seven hours straight. So one day Dad and I dropped by the shop to pay a visit and during the conversation my name and the word « work » were linked, something that was a hated subject for me. Bob replied that he could use a little help around the shop, you know, like sweeping (which I hated), weed whacking (which I hated more), and other odd jobs.

« Sure! » my dad replied, much to my dismay, « He’ll be here…How about Tuesday afternoon? »

« Sounds great, » he replied, then turning to me: « See ya then, guy. »

What was I supposed to say? No? I don’t want to work here? I managed a stiff smile and then crawled off to the car in despair. Work! What a horrible word! Why God? Why? I pleaded to the heavens to make it a dream! Meanwhile my dad was happily telling me how great it was that I would finally get some real work done. I gazed out the window, and let out a long, suffering sigh.

I have to be honest: I was an absolute amateur at mechanics. Just recently I tried connecting the transmission to the stick shift. It was the first time I’d ever attempted such a feat, but, hey, you gotta start somewhere!

Anyway, after spending about twenty minutes collecting the proper tools from around the shop I got to work. Luis, my adopted teacher, was overseeing the whole mess. He’d demonstrate by finishing the work himself! It was very frustrating for me, especially with his broken down English. I was constantly imploring him to « let me try. » The thing was, once I had my try I usually got it wrong and then he’d show me how to do it right. Such incidents were not isolated, and because he didn’t speak the King’s English he couldn’t walk me through it. We repaired the clutch, but in the process I hadn’t learned half of what I wanted to learn.

Irritated, I was forced to ask Junior what I had unwittingly done to the car. The childlike mechanic was in one of his « happy » moods, which meant he was extra punchy with his jokes and singing at the top of his lungs, completely off key, to the radio. He knew that I hated his singing with a vengeance. Doubly annoyed already, I was really p.o.’d when he intentionally gave me the answer in technical-mechanical terms. Without further ado I grabbed a hammer, marched out back, and started smacking piles of sheet metal. (Let me tell you, that cacophony sounded better than Junior’s oldie arias!)

My anger slightly appeased, I mozied back into the shop only to find that Luis had vanished (all in the name of « good-natured » fun), leaving me the job that he didn’t want to do. I had to drill two holes through a sheet metal brace at impossible angles. Once this was done, Luis just « happened » to appear. He and Junior were having a splendid time. Angrily, I snarled that if they said one word — ONE WORD! — the next thing they’d be seeing would be the head of a sledge hammer.x

Disgruntled, I started making a brace that would keep the radiator in place, but we were completely out of 1×1/8 flat bar, which meant I had to cut a piece out of the thicker stuff with the plasma cutter. Now, if you have never seen a plasma cutter in action, let me tell you, that baby cuts through inch thick metal as if it were butter. This thing is the mother of all cutting machines. There is one set back. You cannot, and I mean cannot, make a straight cut. It took me six tries to finally cut the stupid piece!!!

Oh, this was a day from hell! So help me God, if there is ever a day like that again Junior is going to lose his vocal cords and I’m going to take down the shop like Samson taking out the temple!

One morning I arrived and was stunned by the sudden change in the shop’s atmosphere. It felt dark and morose. There wasn’t any laughter or idle chatter, just a sullen stillness. The workers were doing their jobs mechanically, as if their minds were elsewhere. Since no one was barking orders at me I started cleaning up, like I always did, putting away tools, rolling up wires, and sweeping the floors.

Usually after doing this I would be ordered to do the lawn mowing or to sand a car frame, but not this time. I asked Junior what he wanted me to do and he said: « Just do the usual, kid. » Just do the usual? Now, at that stage of my shop work I was still trying to figure out what « the usual » was since I never followed a set schedule–I just did what I was told. Completely lost, I spent the day doing odd jobs that popped up. I organized the little parts attic that was above the office, straightened out the metal racks in the back, and cleaned off the tables in the shop.

When I finally left, I still hadn’t figured out what was wrong. Junior and Luis were strangely introverted and Bob wasn’t there most of the time. I discussed the puzzling situation with Mom and she immediately dispensed her eyes and ears, calling the required people and squeezing them for info. About an hour later she came to the dinner table with a grave look on her face. She had just gotten off the phone with Alice, Bob’s wife.

« Bob has cancer, » she said straight out. « I just found out from Alice. She’s sick with worry. »

« You’re kidding, » my dad said, unbelieving.

Shaking her head Mom answered, « He went in for a check up and they found a tumor in his kidney. »

I was stunned. Bob, the full of life, always-in-control mechanic-salesman had cancer. That explained why the shop had been so dismal.

The next time I went to the shop I could sense what a profound effect Bob’s situation had had on everyone. Nicholas, Luis, and Junior were all there, doing this or that, but the expressions on their faces said it all: deep concern. It must have been especially hard on Junior. After all, he had worked for Bob for nearly thirty years. Bob was once again absent. I managed to find out that he would be operated on within a month. We all geared up for the worst.

Bob, for the most part, was depressed. He didn’t even yell at me when I nearly totalled the lawnmower. With only a week pending before the operation, the stress was getting to him. Apparently, he had had cancer before, that time in his throat. They removed a tumor and the surgery had left him scared of doctors. Bob kept his stirring emotions to himself and forced himself to talk casually about the subject.

The day came and went. We called the hospital and found out that the surgery had gone well. Bob would be off his feet for about a month, which would leave the shop short-handed. I offered to come twice a week and Junior thought it was a good idea. Still, for the next couple of weeks the shop was not up to its regular efficiency. I began to realize how much each member of the shop depended on the other. This was like a car without a steering column. Bob, who usually had the final word on how, when, where, and why something was done, wasn’t there, so the burden fell to Junior. Junior was a worker, not an organizer, so for the next few weeks things got done in haphazard fashion.

Then one day, as I was being dropped off, I noticed a familiar figure striding around the shop. Bob was back! Instantly he yelled at me: « What the hell are you doing?! Hurry up! You’ve got work to do! »

Yep, it was the same old Bob. Regardless of what everyone said, his traumatic experience didn’t seem to have affected him in the least; he was right back into the swing of things. However, I do think that he saw life in a far brighter light now.

So far I’ve recounted only several of the myriad events which have occurred in my one year at Honest Bob’s Mechanics Shop. Truly it has been a wonderful experience.

I learned to work and have fun doing it. As I wrote at the beginning of this narrative, I hated work when I first started. Now the two days a week I work there are some of the best of the month.

This has to do with a change in my perception. If you’d ask someone: « Hey, would you like to come down to a run-down, oil-slickened, dust-coated structure, get covered with grease and brake fluid, and work on some rusty cars? » the person would surely answer: « Are you kidding, man?! » In reality, the shop isn’t run-down and is only moderately grease and dust covered, but that misses the point. The point is that one man’s hell is another man’s heaven.

But back to perception. I really like working on cars, getting covered with grease, straining to pry out some rogue bolt. A year ago the idea would have revolted me. Now I relish tearing apart an old Mercury, and I bask in the satisfaction of finally figuring out how to weld. The work itself hasn’t changed, but my perception of it has. It’s no longer drudgery, it’s a grand opportunity.


School ends tomorrow and I’ll be leaving for an excursion to Italy in a couple weeks. College starts in August, so I don’t know how much time I’ll have to work at the shop. I asked Junior and Luis if they’d help me build a car for myself and they said they’d be happy to, so consider this an intermission instead of an ending. I’m sure that the next time I write about the ‘Grand Old Shop’ there’ll be plenty more tales to tell!

Having resigned myself to my fate, I awaited the dreaded day. Work?! What did I know about work? Sure, I was great at school and a terror at computer games, but manual labor was not on my list of abilities. My idea of physical work was doing the dishes! So now I was stuck with a completely alien task awaiting me and I’d be working with a bunch of biker mechanics.

Regardless of my desperation, Tuesday arrived right on schedule and at promptly twelve o’clock I was requested to attire myself in the worst rags we had about the house and march out to the car. I must have looked really comical, but that wasn’t the thought on my mind. Clothed in an old pair of my dad’s pants, which were about twice my size, in essence resembling a pair of potato sacks that had been laced together, and an old T-shirt, I felt like an idiot (looked like one too, I may add).

Anyway, we drove to the shop and I was dropped off. Now, like a complete imbecile, I waited there for a few minutes just staring at the chaos, until Bob strode over and demanded what I was doing taking up space in his driveway. I replied that I had no idea what to do. Reproachfully, he tossed me a broom and told me in no pretty words to « get my ass in gear and do some work. »

« I don’t care what you do! » he yelled, « As long as it resembles work. Sweep, clean, pick stuff up, put tools away, break something, whatever! Just work! »

Slightly taken aback, I began idly sweeping my way through a pile of metal shaving, along the way nearly colliding with Luis, the Mexican mechanic. The fact that I was taller than he didn’t say much. The guy was about as wide as I was tall, but he wasn’t fat.

« You the new boy? » he asked in broken English.

« Yeah, » I replied uneasily, « I have no idea what I’m supposed to do, though. Does the boss man always yell like that? »

« Who, Bob? Oh, yes. All the time. I started working for Bob just like you and I didn’t know anything about cars. He used to yell at me all the time. »

I would have chatted with Luis some more, but Bob screamed at me to get back to work and I had no choice but to comply.

That first day was a total disaster. Every five minutes I’d look at the clock, hoping that it was time for me to leave, only to discover that exactly two minutes had passed since I had looked at it the time last. I was miserable. Having no idea where any of the tools or parts went, and being too intimidated to ask, I tossed the forespoken items haphazardly in any place they would go.


The third mechanic was Junior (above), or at least that’s what everyone called him. According to Luis, the jovial biker had been working for Bob for more than thirty years. Junior sported a mustache and a pony tail that didn’t seem quite right next to his glasses. He was always smiling and laughing at the jokes he would crack (most often he was the only one who laughed). That first day, though, he had a blast picking on me. It was all in good humor, but it was really annoying. He’d give me a part to put away, knowing full well that I had no idea where I was supposed to put it, and when I’d ask him, he gave a vague gesture that would throw me off course completely.

What I just described was the first hour and a half. Then Junior actually went and did some real work, but, of course, I had no idea what anyone was doing due to utter illiteracy in the world of automobiles. Now the boredom set in. I was terrified of the Boss Man and his yelling sprees (if I was caught doing something other than work), but the problem was, I still didn’t know what to do. I even began taking out tools, putting them different places in the shop, and then putting them back so it looked as if I had done something.

The hours ticked by and after seeming ages of Bob-dodging (not to mention work-dodging) Mom’s car rolled into the driveway. The relief of finally being able to go home was like nothing I had ever experienced in my life. It took me a while to restrain the urge to break into a dead run for the car.

« Ok, kid, thanks for your work today. I’ll pay ya’. » I had forgotten that I was being paid. The afternoon wasn’t looking so dark after all. Bob scrounged around in his pockets and brought out a wad of bills. « Here’s twenty five bucks. I’ll see you next week. »

That hellish prospect was dulled by my new acquisition: money. If there is one thing that will make me work, it’s the mulla, also known as cash, greenbacks, denaro, etc. I stuffed the bills in my pocket and turned back to Mom.

« So how was work today? » she inquired as we walked to the car.

« It was all right, I guess, » I replied, half-heartedly.

« Well, you better get used to it, because you’ll be working the rest of your life. »

Those first few weeks were hell, literally. I hated my work. I hated working on menial jobs, I hated the long periods of boredom when there was nothing for me to do, I hated being covered with grease, oil, gasoline, and all other sorts of slime. I was absolutely miserable at that stupid shop. The only, mind you, the absolute only thing that kept me going back was the money. It was kind of cool having my own cash and not having to borrow any or having to wash the car or mow the lawn for a buck or two (which, in essence, I was doing at Bob’s anyway; it just paid better there).

A general work day was as follows: I’d arrive at the shop. Junior and I would call each other names until Bob yelled at us to « get our sorry asses to work. » Next I’d screw around with a few tools, eventually break something, get yelled at some more, help Luis (who took pity on my pathetic work ethic), wander around doing virtually nothing until it was five-thirty, and then set a record for the twenty-yard-dash-to-the-getaway-car that would make any master bank robber proud.


The change didn’t really come until one freezing day that kept everyone holed up inside the shop. We had a couple of old cars (I had no idea what they were) that were getting new engines or something installed that had to be finished « today! » That meant that everyone had to help. The shop was suddenly filled with sound: the welder was going, the grinder screeched as it shredded metal, the electric wire brush was buzzing, drills, saws, cutters, paint guns, were all running. The place became alive with sounds and lights, sparks flying everywhere in a cascade of orange glare. The blue welder flame cast a strange glow on the walls.

We were working as a team, together conquering both time and the project at hand. I was running everywhere as Bob yelled instructions:

« Wire brush those engine parts! Need them now! »

« Sand that rust off!

« There needs to be a clean contact surface for the welder! »

« Grind that metal smooth! »

« Grab me a gasket that’ll fit this carburetor! »

I finally felt as if I were doing something. Time flew by and before I knew it, it was dark outside. The glow from the shop cast long shadows into the lot, covering the old car skeletons outside with a flickering reddish gleam. Time to leave. Dazed, I got paid as usual and stumbled to the car.

« Did you have a good time at work today? » Mom asked, as we pulled out of the driveway.

Still stunned I replied, »Yeah, I did. » The funny thing was that, unlike all the other times I had answered that exact question, this time I really meant it.

From that time forth, everything changed. I started to appreciate the work experience much more. The boredom slowly disappeared as I learned my way around the shop and started to find projects to do without asking. My manual skills must have improved, too, because soon I was working with grinders and sanders, cutter and drills, doing odd jobs, and finally working on cars. I had the sensation that I had at long last earned my place. Tuesdays didn’t seem so dreary anymore, and (this is always a good sign) I even started bragging about my « awesome job » to friends.

Now that my mind wasn’t clouded with self pity and I wasn’t so preoccupied with looking at the clock, I got to know the people. Aside from Bob, Junior, and Luis, other common faces around the shop were those of Nicholas and Pinky. Obviously, the most outstanding name in this list is the last one. His name was not the only strange thing about the guy. In fact, I’m not even sure if that is his real name.

Pinky was the paint man. He would come now and again and paint cars for Bob. A tall, forty-fiveish dude, Pinky had hair resembling a stark white Afro mop. He always had a yellow Afro pick in his pocket which he made constant use of while mumbling to himself, with a cigarette butt between his teeth, that his hair never stayed in place. You couldn’t understand a word he said. I asked Junior what this odd habit was all about and Junior, laughing and shaking his head, replied that the old fart had fried his brains on LSD in the Sixties.

Junior and Pinky got along pretty well, though I have no idea how Junior could understand the other’s rambling. Apparently, they had known each other for years, been biker buddies or something. When I asked Luis about Pinky, he only chuckled and said, « Pinky’s a great painter. »

Nicholas was the other worker who frequented the shop. He was an older Mexican whom Bob called in when he needed some puzzle figured out. Nicholas, a mechanical genius who also dabbled in electrical, possessed an eery knack for solving any problem. One time, he set his mind to fixing a steering column. Ordinarily one would just toss the column and pay a few hundred dollars for a new one. Nicholas spent six hours dismantling and reassembling it. He ended up saving the customer nearly $180.

Nicholas also worked at Bill’s shop. Now Bill was Bob’s friend, and kind of a rival as well. They both loved and owned classic cars, they ran their own shops, and popped in on each other to not only see how the other was doing, but also to get a glimpse of the other’s financial gains. Nicholas, though, didn’t care who he worked for, having been in the business of fixing things for more than twenty five years. Apparently he had jumped back and forth from Mexico to America, riding his Green Card to its limit.


On the whole, everyone who hung around the shop had lived a colorful life. I looked upon the customers as your basic, hardcore Americans. They loved cars, bikes, beer, « girly magazines, » and each had his own personal rivalry with the other, but the interesting thing was that they all got along perfectly. I guess when you have so much in common it’s easy, but it was refreshing for me to finally see it. The business atmosphere was laid back. There was no pressure if you did your work. Pinky would come in and chat with Junior for about 15 minutes before starting work and that was no big deal. Neither was Nicholas’ joking around with Luis in Spanish for a while.

Bob was the one who planned everything, advertised, organized, and led the shop to success. One might think that a little backcountry mechanic’s facility wouldn’t make much money, but let me tell you, there was more mulla there than one would imagine. The busses Bob fixed up must have sold for well over $75,000, and rebuilds of older model cars were not cheap. This all fit Bob’s character. Unlike Junior, he was a salesman. If there was one thing Bob loved it was showing his wares and selling them at a solid profit.

The standing relationships with everyone in the shop were also something that interested me. According to Luis, Junior had worked for Bob for over 30 years. 30 years! I was complaining about 5 hours! Luis (above) himself had been Bob’s everyday worker for 7 years. In fact, Junior had taught Luis everything about mechanics. One of the reassurances Luis gave me was that when he had first taken up mechanics he hadn’t known squat either. That made me feel better.

I first thought that I would upset the shop’s balance. After all, everyone knew each other pretty well and I was sort of an intruder, but that idea wore off, as did my fear of work. I discovered that work drowns out thought, and after a while you just accept things as they are and live with them. I was not thinking about the merits of physical labor at the time because I had just been introduced to the bane of my work life: the lawnmower.

I look back at that one moment with the bitter taste of disgust and dread in my mouth. EEWW! The lawnmower. What a timid sounding word, but one that inspires fear and hatred in me. It brings to life the single most horrific creation of all mankind!


One day Bob said he had a « special » job for me. Like some gullible twerp set to walk into a perfectly visible bear trap, I was delighted. Wow! A special job! That must mean that I had finally broken the barrier between the-kid-who-comes-around-to-pick-up-a-few-tools and a full-fledged mechanic! I beamed with pride. Oh, the naivete of youth!

As we walked around the side of the shop something just didn’t seem right, and there it stood in all its glory. The lawnmower was an ancient John Deere ride-a-mower (you know, the ones you sit on and drive), caked with rust and what looked like pale green lichen. Anyway, I knew at that moment I was done in. Bob smiled expansively, put a hand on my shoulder and then gestured toward the immense lawn. Inwardly I groaned.

« Alice likes it all nice and cut in rows, no little circles, » and as if that wasn’t bad enough, he added: « Then you can weed-wack all around the edges. »

EEWW! The lawn was absolutely huge, like a field in the middle of Kansas! To weed-wack around the entire lawn would take me the remainder of the year. If I started running around the lawn I wouldn’t reach the starting place for two weeks! (Of course, you understand, this is a gross overstatement, a play of words designed to reveal my absolute despair at the fate that awaited me.)

I tried to be optimistic: at least it wasn’t a push mower! I sat down, gunned the engine, and promptly heard a very familiar « putt, putt, gurgle, gurgle » from the engine.

« Great, just freaking great! » I screamed in rage and kicked the stupid machine, which rewarded me with a bruised toe and extra « chug. »

Now, thoroughly enraged, I started around the green expanse. Two and a half hours later as I putt-putted back to the shop I suddenly realized to my dismay that the lawnmower had more than one speed setting!

But my pain was far from over; now there was weed-whacking to do. So after several more hours slaving away on that ghastly machine, I was finally done.

The episode of the lawnmower, however, lived on. Every other week I was required to cut the lawn down to size. Being in its advanced state of decomposition, each time I used the lawnmower something would break: a tire would pop, the carburetor would rust, the blade would freeze — but no matter what, we’d breathe life back into it. And though I hoped to be saved by some odd lawnmower screw up, Bob or Luis would be more than obliged to fix it — just in time for me to mow the lawn, of course! 



The best defense is an unexpected and overwhelming offensive.  

Vicious Republican attacks against democracy can be defeated by a sudden surprise, vigorous, and unrelenting offensive on all points and issues they want Americans to forget. Democrats must strike the soft underbelly of the GOP elephant.

Republicans do not expect the opposition they cowed with accusation of lack of patriotism to dare raise serious issues against their TEXAS Führer. Puppet power has gone to their heads.

To win, Democrats must first recover their self confidence and stop beating around the Bush (pun intended). They must close ranks behind Al Gore and launch a massive aggressive campaign with all the Gore-proven populist flags flying and cut down, eradicate, and bulldoze the poisonous shrub by pulling its evil roots out of the phony Napoleonic ground which the corporate military industrial complex is financing in order to establish a military dictatorship in the USA.

The multi-pronged Democratic attack must demolish the GOP’s imperial pretext of protecting America from terrorism by abrogating civil rights and lawlessly amending the Constitution of the United States. 

To win, Democrats must show no hesitation in loudly proclaiming and factually demonstrating that the war on terrorism has been an abject failure – Bin Laden was not caught « dead or alive »- Al Qaida leadership not destroyed, and there was no real American military success other than 6000 civilian casualties caused by haphazardly dropping thousands of bombs which destroyed villages, camels, goats, children, old people, and wedding parties, and brought uninformed Americans serious economic loss, a near collapse of international law, and a loss of respect for America’s leadership.  

Democratic victory will surely be secured when it is shown by Democrats that the war on terrorism can only be a civilized police action like the 18th century hunt for pirates and buccaneers. The appointed « commander in thief » does not even know who is supposed to wave the white flag of surrender. Therefore, Generalissimo Bush — if openly ridiculed by strong-voiced Democrats for the incompetent and dishonest buffoon he is — will watch his approval ratings fall in the toilet, regardless of what lies CNN and FOX may concoct.

The moment voters realize there is no legal or logical support for a fake « war time » economy and for suspension of human and civil rights, they will vote the banana coup artists and their travesty of Gestapo tactics smokescreened as « homeland defense » out of office and back to Texas.

To win, a landslide majority of Democrats must dare defend America’s government of, for, and by the people and show that there can never be a suspension of those laws intended to protect all citizens from tyranny. Democrats must proclaim that (1) any law failing to respect the constitutional limits to governmental power is null and void on its face and (2) real patriots react with civil disobedience against such laws.

Democrats must relearn the principle that to tell a truth again and again causes people over time to wake up and wonder why they did not see so plain a fact sooner. Republicans have been shrewder than Democrats in using this principle, for they have proven that even lies can be made to appear as truth in the minds of the public by media repetition.

To win a a mandate Democrats must remember and be energized by what shameless Republicans did against the LEGITIMATELY elected Democratic President, and fight fire with fire.

So, my Fellow Liberals, hit right wing fanatics bigots hard on all fronts, day and night. Stab them in all their weak spots. Resurrect in the mind of the abused American people the evils of all regressive Republican administrations. They must be exposed as the party of repression, recession, depression, oppression. Their leaders are ugly people who do ugly things and their followers are fools in denial. It is the duty of all Progressives to unite and send these neo-fascists packing, tarred and feathered.

To win show the people the following irrefragable realities: 

W drools that he doesn’t need Congress to approve his wars of aggression.

W babbles that he does not need Senate approval to undo treaties that took years to negotiate and made the world safer.  

W prattles that he doesn’t need fair and open trials to dispose of people he deems guilty without a shred of proof.  

W rattles that he doesn’t need to answer questions about his own ties to corrupt corporations or about his own crooked business and double-dealings.   

Therefore, Democrats must sharply point out to the world that George W Bush badly needed to be elected before taking office, otherwise he would not have drawn these psychotic bizarre, absurd, conclusions about American principles and our national spirit of fair play.  

To win, Democrats must repeatedly show that Bush is the destroyer of the Constitution — which the perjurer swore to protect — and that he pocketed bribes and paid back his fat cat friends by stealing our national surplus and our future incomes. Democrats must accuse him of perjury and bribery, which are impeachable offenses. 

To win, Democrats must recover use of their brains, hearts, and spines, and set up a powerful preamble leading eventually to impeachment trials for crimes against our nation, perhaps even for treason. A new democratic Congress could investigate ENRON and HARKEN with the same intensity the Republican lynch mob displayed when they tried relentlessly to character assassinate a legitimate Democratic President. Give them hell, Al.   

The stealing in full daylight of Election 2000 has been the most heinous and evil crime against our country in all American history and the sweeping of it under the rug by corporate media, GOP, and cowed Democrats has been equally monstrous, scandalous, and shocking.

To win, Democrats must remind voters of the immensity of the crime and the need for redress. They must do so constantly until this hideous wrong will be so deeply carved in the consciousness of all, that future generations of Americas will see it as as something so evil and dangerous that we must never again allow it to happen. Draconian laws making attempted coups capital crimes should be enacted.

Only Christ’s crucifixion surpasses in evil the attempted destruction of the divine gift of freedom and justice which Providence bestowed on the American people as a beacon of hope for the whole world.

The deliberate destruction of the greatest human dream consecrated by the precious words of our Constitution is being broken and abandoned by a corrupt right wing administration bent on establishing a pseudo-religious christianoid tyranny. 

The Republicans must be stopped before it is too late. Freedom-loving Americans must be coaxed to demand investigations and trials. Laws must be enacted forbidding any business financing of elections or bribery by secret lobbying. All lobbying must be openly done through a specially devised procedure under a department of petitions open to citizens to see what any person or organization wants. A government window should be established where citizens can bring requests and complaints to be processed fairly and favoring capital over labor.

To win, Democrats must demand that the military-industrial complex be quickly and tightly controlled. Voter must be educated to see that a cabinet Department of Peace is needed for our economy to be prosperous again and for humanity to survive this century. Warmongering must be derailed and the environment must become clearly identified with health and economic prosperity.

Therefore, Democrats, to win, must demand that every penny of the people’s money the Pentagon transacts be accounted for.  Eisenhower warned us about the military industrial complex, as he was a rare Republican who woke up to the danger of right wing greed and powerlust for he could see from the White House even better what he had seen as a general fighting the last just war against right wing fascist tyrants.

Democrats must seek a strong congressional censure and reprimand of the the Supreme Court five who abused the Constitution by stopping vote counting in 2000 to appoint their political protégé to White House pResident. More then 700 constitutional experts have condemned the illicit appointment of the present administration. This must be made exceedingly clear by a Democratic Congress and by unleashing the outraged demand of the people for the five rogue justices to resign. 

Democrats must point out that Bush&Co. desperately wants Americans to forget the infamous coup and « move on, » but such irresponsible forgetting would be rewarding crimes that are destroying the liberty, security, and wealth of our nation.   To forget this evil would be to accept the cancer of treason and to let it destroy our way of life forever.

Republicans hypocrites who rant and rave about the burning of the flag are destroying the very meaning of the flag which is: « one nation, indivisible, with freedom and justice for all » — as long as when we honor and obey the Constitution.

Al Gore will be irresistible by riding to victory propelled by the mighty wind of the pent-up outrage of 50 million voters whose voice was stilled and ballots stolen by a corrupt GOP plot. Al Gore must remind the nation every day until November 2004 that the economic lives of millions of Americans have been devastated by the fraud and corruption of ENRON and other evils financed by GOP sponsors in the shadows behind corporate veils.

Republicans have been hiding Kenny Boy Lay and Bush’s « blue dresses » from being laundered in public while billions stolen from the 401K retirement accounts of working families have been stashed in anonymous accounts in foreign banks by the slimy friends of « W, » the White House squatter. 

History is being rewritten by corporate scoundrels. 

Al Gore won election 2000 and has been maliciously ridiculed as a loser by dark right wing media distortions. His person has been attacked by deliberately damaging misinformation and calumny.

Meanwhile, W, the degenerate who hijacked the election (thanks to his brother in Florida who disenfranchised thousands of voters), is being glorified as a winner by a fake »free » press.

Al Gore must take on this dark propaganda machine by vigorously attacking it with the sword of truth, challenging its honor and credibility by forcing it to face past proven lies and by making it to be accountable to the people, for « no one can fool all the people all the time. »

Al Gore must encourage people to use alternate media sources and to challenge false, petulant television talking heads to vigorous debates without imposed controls. This will result in making Bush and his minions squirm and exposing them for the human vermin they are. Let America watch the right wing low life crawl back into the woodwork where they belong. Give the scoundrels no quarter; do not let them come up for air; take no prisoners; leave no stone unturned to embarrass them again and again. Lift the skirts of their preachers and expose their devil’s tails.

Al Gore will win the most astounding of victories by continuing his charge on the new strong justice path he has chosen and by being evermore starkly outspoken about the evils protected by the absence of a truly free media.

Al Gore must bring to light all the evidence of wrong against our country, expose the destruction of the environment, economic fraud, health care and education neglect, but, above all, Al Gore must must devastate Bush’s facade of « War on Terror » by showing how Bush’s incompetent and dangerous foreign policies are a colossal failure in Afghanistan and Palestine and how they have only increased the risk of terrorism growing world wide, while destroying the rule of law and turning the U.S. into the ultimate rogue state no longer trusted by our allies.

All faithful Democrats must stand behind Al Gore and join in this battle to save our republic by accusing the GOP of treason against the most fundamental of American principles. This must be done every day, just like France’s Emile Zola « J’accuse » which eventually brought justice. Democrats must create an efficient people’s electronic grapevine by using the Internet under the smart directives of Al Gore.   Let Gore show the world of media monopolies how far ahead of the pack he was not only 20 years ago and but also today. He is the top statesman in global environmental planning, a sustainable economy, communications, and in many other fields. In the hands of a Gore presidency,the foundations of a great society can be established. 

To be absolutely sure to win, Democrats must launch a fierce legal attack against those Republicans who, during Election 2000, criminally conspired, organized, and caused Republican rioters to come across state lines, all expenses paid, to violently stop the counting of votes in Florida. The voters must learn that those Republican thugs were rewarded with jobs in government instead of prison sentences.  Democrats must demand the investigation and arrest of these felons since their crimes are clearly evidenced in IRS files showing the payoffs which the Republicans declared as an expense for this illegal operation.

One of the most powerful weapons to ensure a Democratic victory is to show that Bush has concealed previous knowledge of the coming 9/11 attack and that he is showing his guilt by blocking all independent investigations. Insisting on this point is powerful campaign ammunition to reveal to the world what a dangerous phony W is.  The families of the thousands who died in the attack must be able to trust a Democratic Congress to open full and independent investigations to help their cause for justice. This powerful issue must become a neutralizing mantra instilling in the voters the conviction that the Bush Cabal is not interested in protecting Americans but in stealing the people’s wealth and usurping the citizens’ power. Democrats must decry the blindfolding of America by a criminal double standard that would destroy our right to privacy while demanding the shield of absolute government secrecy.  

Let the voters demand an answer to why on September 12, Bush allowed the Bin Laden family to fly a private plane from the US to Saudi Arabia when all other US flights were grounded. This question must be hammered endlessly until it opens a major independent inquiry against the Texas cabal and its ties to the treacherous Saudis.

Democrats will scatter Republicans into retreat by asking the public to consider the astounding fact that the Bin Laden family financed Bush’s Harken Corporation and that W defrauded its stockholders just as ENRON did. These powerful tools serve the political necessity of Democrats performing drastic surgery on the body politic to remove the extreme right-wing cancer that has afflicted American life for too long.  

ENRON and all corporate scandals must be again and again brought out into the spotlight until all injuries to people, stockholders, and communities are redressed and the slippery Bush cronies are divested of stolen goods and punished with exemplary severity.   

Most of all, Democrats must dare a frontal attack on the horrors and deceits of the Afghanistan oil war — with deep investigations of our military’s irresponsible war crimes. Democrats must cause all people to remember that fascism’s strongest escape is in asking free people to forget past wrongs and neglect redress, just as they are now doing by asking us to forget Deception 2000. The same is also being done on Afghanistan questions. After killing 6000 innocents, Bush failed to catch Bin Laden and the terrorist leadership. The GOP wants Americans to forget those costly failures and to turn our attention to Iraq and who knows what other target on the weird multi-pronged Bush « axis-of-evil. »

To win, Democrats must smash Karl Rove’s T-war-strategy by questioning these fact every day, relentlessly. W now is pushing wars of aggression so Americans will forget about investigating 9/11 or asking about Osama « dead or alive » or asking why no one has indicted Kenny Boy Lay and frozen his money. Even if W succeeds in starting more wars of aggression he must nevertheless be accused of his crimes, just as the American people dared attack the foul imperialist motives and deceits behind the Vietnam War that caused 50,000 American young men to come home in a plastic body bags.  

Real Democrats and real Americans are mad as hell and loudly condemn Coup 2000 again and again so that this crime will never be repeated. Other Americans, including those Republicans who value freedom and justice more than money, are stirring in shock.  

Thousands of disenfranchised voters must know that they have not been forgotten by Al Gore, as he promised. That is why Al Gore is duty bound to champion liberty and justice again against the usurper. He must speak to all those who voted for him and elected him and in doing so he will speak to all fair minded Americans who cannot forget the incredible betrayal of America that Election 2000 turned out to be. The frightening takeover of America by a neo-fascist mob must be stopped at all costs.

A Democratic Congress alone can restore separation of powers and save our country from the rocks of corporate tyranny. We are in the greatest danger today since the time our country was founded. Democrats must endeavor to wake up the nation by making a mighty noise now.  Tomorrow could be too late


You have heard the political mantram: « I support our troops! » from all the wimpy traitors in Congress who voted to abdicate the Constitutional separation of powers and surrender their congressional power to declare war into the dirty hands of an untrustworthy, unelected corporate crook. These « representatives » of their money lenders have turned themselves into contemptible puppets. The minority that opposed is the first line of defense and represents the true American hero.

Our men and women in uniform, like our representatives, are sworn to defend the Constitution and our country. Most of them are honorable and must be supported by the people in their real function: to defend our nation, but not by criminally attacking any nation that has not attacked us.

The key word is defend. Our Department of DEFENSE, however, has been transformed into a department of OFFENSE by an administration bent on turning our peace-loving American Democracy into an aggressive empire bullying all other countries in the world.

So, in light of recent events, Real Patriots must send our troops this truthful message: to obey a dictator who is using you as expendable cannon fodder to serve and advance the greed of BIG OIL and other mega corporations is to betray the interests and the defense of the American People. By obeying George Bush, you would NOT be defending America, you would be helping a traitor illicitly appointed to the White House — a coward who went AWOL and now wants to destroy the Constitution of the United States to make himself absolute dictator.

Saddam Hussein is a very bad man– one among many — but he has not attacked our country and only the UN has the authority to enforce its own resolutions. If Bush acts alone he is breaking international law and turning the world into a criminal lawless jungle. If Saddam ever attacks us, which is as likely as Uruguay attacking Russia, we know all of you, brave American soldiers, can defend your homeland, but Iraq has not the least intention of attacking us, as even the CIA has confirmed.

Only mad-George is ranting and raving about attacks. Meanwhile he and his Department of Justice cannot even handle one terrorist running lose around Washington D.C.

Any American soldier taking part in aggression against a country that has not attacked us violates international law and is not defending our homeland, his family, or his fellow citizens. If you attack countries who have not attacked us, you could be guilty of war crimes.

Also, be alert and beware of false provocations like the fake attack in the Gulf of Tonkin that sent 58,000 American boys to their death. It is quite likely that Bush will create an incident to have his war. Bush moving into Iraq will be an aggressor no different than Adolf Hitler when he crossed the border of France in 1939 launching his Blitzkrieg with his Panzer divisions. Hitler thought that his army was the most powerful in the world and that no one could stop him. Then came 1944 and Germany lay in ruins. In an age of weapons of mass destruction such a policy is sheer clinical psychosis. George is actually as insane an Emperor Nero was.

Attacking a foreign nation to take the second largest oil reserve in the world for greedy oil companies and to dispossess another people of their wealth will only make this world far more dangerous than it already has become since January 2001. It will give rise to a multitude of terrorists all seeking revenge against Americans everywhere. It will cause many new international alliances hostile to a U.S. and perceiving America to be as a dangerous and arrogant ROGUE nation.

Instead of making your loved ones more secure, you will have made your family less secure, especially if the evil oil cabal sends you home in a body bag with a letter from a mindless drugstore cowboy in chief telling your loved one what a hero you have been to die for Halliburton, Enron, Carlyle, and British Petroleum.

Be a real defender of Justice and Freedom – RESIST the BUSH MADNESS. Resist, soldier. Be faithful to your country and to the Constitution. Do not fight for evil corporations. We your fellow citizens release you from this task because it is NOT your duty. Your duty is to defend your country against the internal traitors that have taken over our government.

Be an objector of conscience. Refuse to fight for the unholy alliance of state terrorists, the Israel-Texas axis of criminal insanity. America will praise you as a real hero and be in your debt forever.

No Holds barred

America started the new millennium with a coup that violated the most sacred prerogative of a free people: the right to have every vote counted when they elect their President.

More that 700 constitutional law experts from nearly every law school in the nation, historians, political scientists, Supreme Court litigators, all across the political spectrum condemned the majority decision of the highest court as « unconstitutional, » « lawless, » « illegitimate, » « unprincipled, » « partisan, » « fraudulent. » Vincent Bugliosi, the renown California prosecutor, courageously called the decision « treason » and declared that the five Justices who stopped the counting of votes are « criminals that belong behind bars. »

On November 12, a consortium of major US media, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, CNN, the Associated Press, The Tribune Co. (owner of the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, and Orlando Sentinel), the St. Petersburg Times, and the Palm Beach Post, released their interpretation of alleged results of a recount of votes cast in Florida in the 2000 presidential election. The media report is a blatant fabrication to legitimize Bush and cover up the fascist coup that installed an oil industry puppet in the White House.

UNECO wrote to the National Opinion Research Center (NORC), the nonprofit survey firm affiliated with the University of Chicago, hired by the media for the recount on October 14, 2001, nearly a month before the November 12, 2001 media report publication. UNECO complained of the delay in releasing the truth with the following letter:

We have been informed by your website that you will not release the final Florida vote count because of the Sept 11 terrorist attacks. We are unable to understand how telling the truth to the American people has anything to do with the New York tragedy. If the final vote count shows an Al Gore victory by many thousands of votes, as reliable information has been leaking to many, then you are hiding the results to prevent public confirmation that our « President » has no legitimate right to be in the White House. This means that you are helping the terrorists by contributing to the abuse of the public trust and proving to the world that America’s democracy is quite as arbitrary as the Taliban.

If, on the other hand, Mr. Bush has been proven a winner by your count, delaying release of such proof again plays in favor of terrorists by denying proof that America’s Commander in Chief was legitimately elected, after all.

One more important point. Please, no doctoring results after the fact (emphasis added). It is too late for anyone to believe you after your adopting so far-fetched an excuse for denying the American People their right to know about the true results of their own vote count in an election that quite clearly was stolen from every American who went to the polls. Doctoring or falsifying the count after your astounding announcement would forever compromise your credibility as an objective venue.

Finally, we understand your omission of public duty has been forced on you by the very newspapers that commissioned the count. This further proves that the American people are being defrauded of their most basic democratic right for the third time. First by the Florida Republican machine. Second by a Republican majority of five members of the Supreme Court, and now by corporate media power preventing your university from performing its honorable task.

This letter will be circulated to thousands of people, and if you have any honest response to offer, the same will be also so circulated. If you remain silent then your silence will speak loud and clear to the American People who are not as gullible as corporate media would like to believe.


Aldo Vidali

On October 16, 2001, the following response was sent to UNECO by NORC:

Date: Tue, 16 Oct 2001 11:31:14 -0500
To: <>

Your message is misdirected. NORC was hired by the media group to examine the uncertified ballots and to compile a data set to be delivered to the group members, each of whom would analyze the data and report the results. As of this writing, the media group has not received the data set. NO ONE has analyzed it, and NO ONE knows what the data will show. We are assured that the media group members will begin their part of the project when they have the resources to allocate to it. Perhaps you should raise your concerns with the members of the group.

Julie Antelman
NORC Public Information

October 19, 2001, UNECO responded and forwarded this document to all previous recipients and to the newspapers to make this betrayal of trust by the media known to many homes in the United States:

Dear Ms. Antelman,

Thank you for your response of Oct 16, 2001.

We found the following on your NORC website:

« …Consortium members will have access to the raw data for a brief period before public release of the database, from which they will develop their own analyses and stories about what the uncounted ballots reveal. »

PLEASE ADVISE: How brief is the period of waiting for the release of the data to the public? Since American freedom is being illegally curtailed by an administration which, as NORC now knows irrefragably, is illegitimate, the American people have an URGENT need to know, for it is the TRUTH that makes us FREE and not the other way around. Most certainly deceit and concealment play into the hands of America’s enemies whose aim, as Mr. Bush proclaimed in his war speech, is to destroy us because « they hate our freedom. » Perhaps the American media and the Republican Taliban have come to believe that if they help Bin Laden destroy America’s liberty, there will no longer be any envy of America and therefore no more terrorism.

We urge the media consortium and NORC to be real patriots: release the undiluted truth to your fellow Americans, who have a right to know.

In the spirit of Patrick Henry who said: « I know not what others may say, but as for me, give me Liberty or give me Death. »

This first column for GOODWRITERS.NET touches on an urgent national priority and must begin with a scathing protest on the most serious crime against the American people since the signing of the U.S. Constitution.

When writers expose evil and corruption uncompromisingly – no holds barred – unveiling stark facts just as they are, more often than not they get no support from « powerholders » whose interests are threatened by the truth. Many of them are immediately assaulted and showered with calumnies by expert calumniators. Their perseverance to write in spite of attacks on their person and professionalism is unmistakable evidence of their courage, good faith, and principle.

To achieve effective national significance, GOODWRITERS.NETneeds authors able to set standards of integrity and willing to offer examples even when truth may be very painful. Finding support for piercing truths has always been as difficult as growing mangos in the Arctic while opposition is as plentiful as wheat on America’s Great Plains.

We are not going to let this irrefragable obstacle stop us,
so here we go. No holds barred!

As the first contributor to this column I feel duty-bound to denounce, indeed accuse, the Republican Party, the Bush Mob and five Supreme Court « Justices » of treason against America’s fundamental principles of Freedom and Liberty under Law.

The United States, the most powerful nation in world history, entered the third millennium like a ridiculous banana republic taken over by a treacherous gang of swindlers criminally aided by five members of what what was once the most respected institution in the country.

The grotesque junta of five corrupt justices fraudulently, like cheap shysters, expropriated the Presidency of the United States and illegally crowned a scoundrel with the cranial capacity of an artichoke as Resident Squatter in the White House. Lady Liberty was thereby raped by one dim- witted alcoholic druggie and gang banged by five traitors. This flagrant crime was swept under the rug of corporate festivities and media hullabaloo.

The stunning enormity of event was matched only by the incredible and shameful silence of our so-called « free » press and by the scandalous weakness of Democrats reacting like milk toast pussy cats in the face of this atrocious abuse of Democracy and dastardly violation of the Constitution.

The public is constantly being sedated by a sold out-media. Less coverage and broadcast time by a factor of 10,000 to 1 was given to the most important story of the century while a minor sexual indiscretions in the Oval Office produced 20 months of continuous press and media attention and comments. Our cheap, unprofessional pseudo-free press, like a bunch of scandal tabloids good for fish wrapping, dedicated all their talent to titillating the prurient public curiosity night and day while a salivating Republican Congress of schemers, ignoring their duties to perform for the people, spent 50 million dollars of tax money to find out exactly where and just how and with what Bill touched Monica behind closed doors. Irresponsible conspiring Republican bigots inflated the private sexual encounter of a man and a woman into a ludicrous Washington exhibitionist strip tease that spawned billions of dollars of network time turning America into the laughing stock of the world!

Meanwhile poor children were kept starving and their parents denied help while Middle Class children were watching Republican Peeping Tom shows on TV networks and nearly one million men and women were made prisoners by the absurd « war on drugs » for the non-violent crime of marijuana use. The whole country knows marijuana never killed a soul but persecution makes money for the likes of the Texas mob.

Back on the Texas ranches and in the Eastern mansions hundreds of corporate criminals who kill and poison a multitude of Americans annually with tobacco, bad tires, chemicals, and a plethora of dangerous products go on getting unnoticed billions in corporate welfare and using their wealth to bribe our representatives into a perennial government of « quid pro quo » while Gorging-George pays them back with 1.3 trillion dollar tax break.

Want proof of all this?
Now that there is a monumental world shattering story
about the betrayal of America in broad daylight,
where are our brave investigative reporters?
What are newspapers working on?

Not a dime has been spent to investigate the evil intrigues behind a most frightening coup that has affected every citizens in this country and threatens our way of life and the very security of the global family. Five black robed criminals committed an infamous coup d’etat to install the puppet of multinational financial powers bent on controlling our Nation.

Feel free to copy this column and give it to others. Let us use this site as a place where the pursuit of truth is real. We must give public voice to that growing number of Americans who are becoming aware of the psychotic conditions of most of our « elected » officials whose madcap behavior leaves no room for doubt.

America is being driven by a drunken, cocaine head speeding on a frightening downhill twisting road on the edge of a precipice. The most powerful country on earth is now governed by an administration composed of ignorant zealots who are clinically insane in the exact and literal sense of the word. The proof that makes such a strong statement irrefutable is all around us and is documented in the lies and headlines of the daily press.

What can you do? Read, speak out, and protest, protest, protest! Call your friends, organize, make the evil bastards in power now fear your indignation and vote. Get informed – and inform others of facts. Your and everyone’s economic future is at stake. Freedom is at stake. Our health is at stake and national security is at stake. Join the opposition on this site if you are a good writer. Beat them at the polls and support organizations now fighting back. Do all you can to remind people of the great crime against America every day until November 2004.

To those who will inevitably attack us and spuriously challenge these deliberately offensive (but not enough) statements and those demanding extensive analysis of the facts, we use we suggest a visit

They need to find out that we Americans can and will strike back at traitors of our country. If winning is important to you, then act and support the production of the film titled: THE TRIAL to expose the facts in America’s theatre and video screens. Check: 

The letter was sent after having learned from reliable sources involved in the recounting of 175,010 contested ballots (that prefer to remain anonymous considering the criminal neo-fascist tyranny rising in our country) that a result showing several thousands of votes majority was the smallest possible total recount version favoring Al Gore in Florida. In fact, one of the more liberal counts nearly matches an early figure by the Miami Herald showing a Gore Florida win by 47,000 votes. The first ludicrous claim that the media did not think the recount results important enough news after the 9/11 tragedy was only surpassed by the claim that the media did not have the resources to handle the story.

Finally, in November, the same media that had spent billions to scandalize the world over a White House indiscretion found the resources to fabricate the lie that Bush would have won the election – by 493 votes – even if the U.S. Supreme Court had not intervened.

The press consortium was above all contriving to « prove » that the Supreme Court ruling did not appoint the « pResident » and squirming to hatch up a facade of legitimacy for naked emperor Bush, the Global Village Idiot. The fabricated report sought also to revive High Court’s credibility, badly desecrated by its rotten betrayal of the Constitution and double crossing of the American People to aid and abet a sordid Republican neo-fascist coup.

The New York Times untruthfully headlined: « Study of Disputed Florida Ballots Finds Justices Did Not Cast the Deciding Vote. » The nauseating Wall Street Journal pooped and farted its usual uppity stench thus: « [T]he findings indicate that the Supreme Court didn’t steal the presidential election from Mr. Gore. »

Corporate media dishonesty is no surprise to anyone. During the 2000 campaign and after the Florida fascist-coup, the media hot air inflated and ballyhooed Bush’s non existent political legitimacy and gingerly dismissed the most iniquitous, most vicious, most evil crime in American history as mere irregularities and partisan bickering. For the first time since the Declaration of Independence a national election was fixed by a court-ordered suppression of votes. Bush, the Republican Taliban, and the Banana Republic Junta of five criminal Justices, with billions in bribery and complicity of corporate mass media, trampled the will of the American people and crowned and enthroned in the White House the Texas fair haired puppet of the most reactionary and nauseating oil conglomerates and megacorporate elite.

The American people have been brutally robbed and deprived of their constitutional right after Jeb Bush’s violent Republican mobsters in Florida intimidated and disenfranchised thousands of Gore voters.

These inconceivable crimes, gingerly ignored by the controlled mainstream media, mark an irrevocable break with democratic principles and traditions and are a dastardly stab in the back of American freedom. They are catastrophic acts of treason, the kind of political lawlessness employed by Adolph Hitler, Lenin ,Stalin, Saddam Hossein, and the Taliban to establish totalitarian power. They destroy democracy and ultimately devastate a nation with greater destructive power than a thousand terrorist acts could ever achieve. Dresden, Berlin, the Soviet gulags, Dachau, the killing fields of Cambodia were all consequent from such vicious power takeovers. Do we want this kind of carnage and destruction in America because an ambitious Little Texas Nero in cowboy boots is promising to destroy all evil in the world with « infinite justice » and a perennial war dedicated to his grotesque brand of « enduring freedom » where kangaroo courts are set up for secret trials, torture and execution? Does he think we are all crazy and so cowed that we’ll accept a total fool for our evil emperor?

The fabricated media report about the election is a typical fascist manipulation of public opinion. A preview of coming attractions that make those of us who have lived in fascist states cringe in horror.

The news organizations involved knew that the vast majority of the people have never experienced the abominations of fascism and do not know how to read between the lines or research to protect their future, beyond listening to the evening news pabulum or phony headlines vindicating Bush’s evil usurpation of the White House and lunatic Napoleonic exploits.

It makes no difference that the actual findings of NORC totally destroy Bush’s legitimacy and that hundreds of legal experts lowered the Supreme Court to such a despicable level that if any of the five scoundrels had a speck of integrity left he or she would quietly resign and disappear.

NORC found thousands of legal votes for Gore that had not been counted. These fell into two categories. They included undervotes that, upon examination, were found to be valid under Florida law, i.e., the ballots showing a « clear indication of the intent of the voter. » The other category was so-called « overvotes » – ballots that were wrongly rejected because a voter punched or marked a ballot for Gore and also wrote in the Democratic candidate’s name, circled it, or made some other mark around or near the candidate’s name or party. According to Florida law these votes were also legal and should have been counted.

The study acknowledged that if all of the undervotes and overvotes in Florida had been examined fairly and objectively and the legal ballots in these categories had been added to the final tally, Gore would have won the election by a large margin of thousands of votes. The Wall Street Journal, to cover its behind, was forced to admit, for example, that the study « provides strong evidence » that a « clear plurality of voters went to the polls on Nov. 7, 2000, intending to vote for Mr. Gore. » The New York Times stated that the study found « Mr. Gore might have won if the courts had ordered a full statewide recount of all the rejected ballots. »

If the media were truly free and not a corporate neo-fascist instruments run by carpet baggers, the headlines might have read: « Recount Confirms Supreme Court Injustice in 2000 Election, » or « Florida Voters Overwhelmingly Elected Gore. » The media report is classic example of fascist propaganda in the well known forked tongue Goebbels style.

Additionally, the Florida state apparatus, headed by Governor Jeb Bush, the corrupt brother of the Republican candidate, suppressed thousands of pro-Gore votes. Republican officials in 16 counties illegally refused to carry out automatic machine recounts on November 8, the day after the election. This clear violation of state election laws, which require such machine retabulations whenever the initial vote count produces a margin of victory of 0.5 percent or smaller, was encouraged by agents of the Secretary of State. NORC study shows that had these counties observed the law and carried out machine recounts on November 8 and the valid votes were included, Gore would have immediately and decisively taken the lead. Jeb Bush should be thrown in prison for treason against democratic principles and violation of the Constitutional rights of the American people.

Jeffrey Toobin, a legal analyst for ABC News, reports that a total of 18 counties – accounting for 1.58 million votes, or more than a quarter of all votes cast in Florida – did not carry out the legally mandated machine recount. This was done, Toobin writes, with the full knowledge of Secretary of State Katherine Harris, an appointee of Jeb Bush who also served as co-chair of Florida’s George W. Bush campaign committee. Katherine Harris should be thrown in prison in a nation under just law.

This facts alone – veiled by the media – are sufficient to prove that the Bush campaign and the Republican Party used illegal means and committed treason to steal the election.

By November 9, as a result of machine recounts that were carried out, Bush’s official lead had fallen by 80 percent – from 1,784 votes to 327 votes. Republican officials, panicked that Gore would take the lead, whispered orders to forego required machine recounts in a number of counties.

The study suggests further evidence of election fraud, including the disappearance of hundreds of contested ballots in the possession of corrupt Republican county officials. On November 8, Florida officials announced there were more than 176,000 rejected ballots. However, the NORC was able to obtain only 175,010 uncounted ballots, 1,427 fewer overvoted ballots than counties reported on November 8, and nine fewer undervotes.

The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, CNN and the other right wing press stooges all have a vested interest in concealing the 2000 election fraud because they were confederates in the assault on democratic civil rights.

After September 11, 2001, Bush and the Republican cohorts used our national tragedy to loot the surplus out of the treasury for their rich ilk, and took advantage of a stunned and grieving nation to bulldoze a House controlled by Republican corporate neo-fascists and a Senate controlled by cowardly unfaithful Democrats (with few exceptions) to illegally change our sacrosanct Constitution and suppress our democratic freedom and justice in exchange for the dubious protection from a security apparatus that had totally failed the American people on 9/11.

Congress neglected to oppose police state secrecy that puts the American people in the dark and at the mercy of any evil machinations. The treasonous « Patriot Act » imposes on all blind trust in an administration that has shown itself to be openly criminal from the start. To these scoundrels and traitors a suicidal Congress handed unlimited power to wage military aggression anywhere without any limits or accountability.

This lethal disintegration of legality and freedom has been executed under the transparent disguise of protecting us from terrorism. But who is going to protect us from a criminal Government terrorism if we are unlawfully forced to be deaf and blind? Only fools would vote to have security against crime by accepting to be put either in jail without recourse to the protection of law or in chains. The corporate neo-fascists are legislating to themselves the freedom to destroy our freedom. Any precedent of this kind of uncivilized brutality has no constitutional validity. WE MUST STOP THIS DEMONIC EVIL NOW BEFORE WE ARE ALL IN CHAINS!

Real patriots choose LIBERTY and are duty bound to defend the Constitution even with their lives if need be. Benjamin Franklin said: « Those who give up freedom for security deserve neither freedom nor security. » We must network a grassroots education and resistance to this illegitimate administration’s political crimes and send messages to all Democrats who have failed to protect our Constitution.

If we allow Bush and his mob to dismantle our Constitution, terrorists everywhere will see that with only pocket knives they can achieve a bigger victory for corporate neo-fascism then America’s victory in World War II against the Nazi and Fascist War Machine with the largest military invasion in history and thousands of American dead.

An America pushed by media-sponsored hysteria to exchange freedom for fascist chains will suffer the same destiny as Imperial Rome. Barbarian hordes were never able to destroy a law-based Republic of free Romans, but the evil empire of arrogant decadent emperors collapsed in a sea of blood. In our time Hitler’s Third Reich brought destruction to Germany and the evil Red Empire folded like a paper tiger in a carnival tent.

Let us not be next driven by cowardice in the face of the greed, hypocrisy, and decadence of our present administration

I’m no Michael Moore, but…Racism, Arrogance, and the 9/11-Pearl Harbor Connection

When Sander Hicks asked me to consider reading and/or reviewing Daniel Hopsicker’s new 9/11 book, « Welcome to Terrorland, » I wondered: How does one discuss September 11, 2001 without sounding naïve, paranoid, or complicit?

If you’re Michael Moore, well, you film a 116-minute John Kerry ad.

I’m no Michael Moore, but I think a little historical context might be helpful. So, until I find time to read Hopsicker’s book, here is my take on the December 7/September 11 parallel…as featured in my own book, « The Seven Deadly Spins »: The Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 is the mother of all sleeping giant spins. The day after the attack, Franklin Delano Roosevelt addressed Congress. The U.S. was « at peace » with Japan, he stated, yet had been « suddenly and deliberately attacked. » Yet, as historian Thomas A. Bailey wrote: « Franklin Roosevelt repeatedly deceived the American people during the period before Pearl Harbor… He was like the physician who must tell the patient lies for the patient’s own good. »

The diplomatic record reveals some of what Dr. Roosevelt neglected to include in that now-mythical « Date of Infamy » speech:

•Dec. 14, 1940: Joseph Grew, US Ambassador to Japan, sends a letter to FDR, announcing that, « It seems to me increasingly clear that we are bound to have a showdown [with Japan] some day. »

•Dec. 30, 1940: Pearl Harbor is considered so likely a target of Japanese attack that Rear Admiral Claude C. Bloch, commander of the Fourteenth Naval District, authors a memorandum entitled, « Situation Concerning the Security of the Fleet and the Present Ability of the Local Defense Forces to Meet Surprise Attacks. »

•Jan. 27, 1941: Grew (in Tokyo) sends a dispatch to the State Department: « My Peruvian Colleague told a member of my staff that the Japanese military forces planned, in the event of trouble with the United States, to attempt a surprise mass attack on Pearl Harbor using all of their military facilities. »

•Feb. 5, 1941: Bloch’s December 30, 1940 memorandum leads to much discussion and eventually a letter from Rear Admiral Richmond Kelly Turner to Secretary of War Henry Stimson in which Turner warns, « The security of the US Pacific Fleet while in Pearl Harbor, and of the Pearl Harbor Naval Base itself, has been under renewed study by the Navy Department and forces afloat for the past several weeks… If war eventuates with Japan, it is believed easily possible that hostilities would be initiated by a surprise attack upon the Fleet or the Naval Base at Pearl Harbor… In my opinion, the inherent possibilities of a major disaster to the fleet or naval base warrant taking every step, as rapidly as can be done, that will increase the joint readiness of the Army and Navy to withstand a raid of the character mentioned above. »

•Feb. 18, 1941: Commander in Chief, Admiral Husband E. Kimmel says, « I feel that a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor is a possibility. »

•Nov. 25, 1941: Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson writes in his diary that, « The President…brought up entirely the relations with the Japanese. He brought up the event that we’re likely to be attacked [as soon as] next Monday for the Japanese are notorious for making an attack without warning. »

•Nov. 27, 1941: US Army Chief of Staff George C. Marshall issues a memorandum cautioning that « Japanese future action unpredictable but hostile action possible at any moment. If hostilities cannot…be avoided, the United States desires that Japan commit the first overt action. »

•Nov 29, 1941: Secretary of State Cordell Hull, responding to a speech by Japanese General Hideki Tojo one week before the attack, phones FDR at Warm Springs, GA to warn of « the imminent danger of a Japanese attack, » and urge him to return to Washington sooner than planned.

If it wasn’t a total surprise, why did Japan attack Pearl Harbor?

The events of December 7, 1941 were roughly two decades in the making. In 1922, the US and Britain imposed upon Japan an agreement that the Japanese navy would not be allowed more than 60 percent of the capital ship tonnage of the other two powers. That same year, the US Supreme Court declared Japanese immigrants ineligible for American citizenship, and a year later the Supreme Court upheld a California and Washington ruling denying Japanese the right to own property. The year 1924 saw the passage of the Exclusion Act-which virtually banned all Asian immigration.

On the economic front, when Japan textiles began out-producing Lancashire mills, the British Empire (including India, Australia, Burma, etc.) raised the tariff on Japanese exports by 25 percent. Within a few years, the Dutch followed suit in Indonesia and the West Indies, with the US (in Cuba and the Philippines) not far behind. Such moves, combined with Japan’s expanding colonial designs, brought the US and Japan closer and closer to conflict.

When France fell to Germany, the Japanese moved quickly to take military control of French colonies in Indochina (the primary source for most US tin and rubber). On July 21, 1941, Japan signed a preliminary agreement with the Nazi-sympathizing Vichy government leading to Japanese occupation of airfields and naval bases in Indochina. Almost immediately, the US, Britain, and the Netherlands instituted a total embargo on oil and scrap metal to Japan…tantamount to a declaration of war. This was followed soon after by the US and UK freezing all Japanese assets in their respective countries.

Radhabinod Pal, one of the judges in the postwar Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal, later argued that the US had clearly provoked the war with Japan, calling the embargoes a « clear and potent threat to Japan’s very existence. »

If it wasn’t a total surprise, why were the Americans caught with their pants down on December 7? Never underestimate the collective power of arrogance and racism.

Racists within the US military and government never imagined that Japan could orchestrate such a successful offensive. Few Westerners took the Japanese seriously, with journalists regularly referring to them as « apes in khaki » during the early months of their conquest of Southeast Asia. « Many Americans, including Roosevelt, dismissed the Japanese as combat pilots because they were all presumed to be ‘nearsighted’, » Davis writes. « There was also a sense that any attack on Pearl Harbor would be easily repulsed. »

Which brings me smoothly back to 9/11. For a moment, let’s put aside theories about remote-controlled planes or devices planted in the WTC. Let’s also shelve Moore’s decision to focus on Republicans and Saudis while absolving Democrats and Israelis.

It’s easy to imagine that Clinton and/or Bush had more than an inkling that Osama and Co. were plotting something big. Why not? As in the decades leading up to Pearl Harbor, the US was acting as « a clear and potent threat. » It’s equally as palatable to assume that either administration would gladly exploit any attack on the homeland for their benefit and that of their corporate benefactors. Finally, and here’s where the December 7 angle really comes into play, what reasonably objective observer would be shocked to learn that both US regimes never believed that a group of cave-swelling nomads could pull off anything approaching the success of 9/11?

Racism and arrogance…a potent combination. And here’s one more parallel to ponder: Shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor, with the image of a uniquely treacherous enemy spread throughout America, US Admiral William Halsey, soon to become commander of the South Pacific Force, vowed that by the end of the war, « Japanese would be spoken only in hell. » His favorite slogan « Kill Japs, kill Japs, kill more Japs » echoed the sentiments of Admiral William D. Leahy, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who wrote that « in fighting with Japanese savages, all previously accepted rules of warfare must be abandoned. »

Change the word « Japanese » to « Muslim » and-voila-you have Ronald Dumsfeld. No one yet has discerned all the answers about the events surrounding 9/11 but, in this history-challenged society, it never hurts to examine what has come before.

Get On The Bus: 150 Years After Elizabeth Jennings / 100 Years Before Rosa Parks

On the mornings I board the Q101 bus from Queens to Manhattan, it’s not uncommon for the majority of my fellow riders to be people of color. This is an unremarkable observation in 2004 New York where integrated buses are hardly news…thanks to Rosa Parks and her spontaneous act of bravery.

Well, that’s what we’re taught, aren’t we? However, to buy into the Rosa Parks mythology* not only involves ignoring some crucial history about 1955, it erases the name of Elizabeth « Lizzie » Jennings from Big Apple lore.

It was 150 years ago last week that Jennings, a 24-year-old schoolteacher setting out to fulfill her duties as organist at the First Colored Congregational Church on Sixth Street and Second Avenue, fatefully waited for the bus on the corner of Pearl and Chatham. Getting around 1854 New York City often involved paying a fare to board a large horse drawn carriage…the forerunner to today’s behemoth motorized buses. For black New Yorkers like Jennings, it wasn’t that simple.

Pre-Civil War Manhattan may have been home to the nation’s largest African-American population and New York’s black residents may have paid taxes and owned property, but riding the bus with whites, well, that was a different story. Some buses bore large « Colored Persons Allowed » signs, while all other buses-those without the sign-were governed by a rather arbitrary system of passenger choice.

« Drivers determined who could ride, » journalist Jasmin K. Williams explains, adding that NYC bus drivers « carried whips to keep undesirable passengers off. » This unfortunate arrangement was the focus of a burgeoning movement for public transportation equality with Rev. J.W.C. Pennington of the First Colored Congregational Church (where Jennings just so happened to play the organ) playing a major role.

Against such a volatile backdrop, Lizzie Jennings opted for a bus *without* the « Colored Persons Allowed » sign on July 16, 1854. The New York Tribune described what happened next: « She got upon one of the Company’s cars…on the Sabbath, to ride to church. The conductor undertook to get her off, first alleging the car was full; when that was shown to be false, he pretended the other passengers were displeased at her presence; but (when) she insisted on her rights, he took hold of her by force to expel her. She resisted. »

The outraged Jennings told the conductor she was « a respectable person, born and raised in this city, » calling him « a good-for-nothing, impudent fellow for insulting decent persons while on their way to church. »

The Tribune picks up the story from there: « The conductor got her down on the platform, jammed her bonnet, soiled her dress and injured her person. Quite a crowd gathered, but she effectually resisted. Finally, after the car had gone on further, with the aid of a policeman they succeeded in removing her. »

This would not be the end of it for, like Rosa Parks, Jennings’ behavior was no impetuous act of resistance. « Jennings was well connected, » says Williams. « Her father was an important businessman and community leader with ties to the two major black churches in the city. » Not satisfied with the massive rally that took place the following day at her church, Elizabeth Jennings hired the law firm of Culver, Parker & Arthur and took the Third Avenue Railway Company to court.

In a classic « who knew? » situation, Jennings was represented by a 24-year-old lawyer named Chester A. Arthur…yes, he who would go on to become the 21st president upon the death of James A. Garfield in 1881. The trial took place in the bus company’s home base of Brooklyn-then a separate city-where, in early 1855, Judge William Rockwell of the Brooklyn Circuit Court ruled in the black schoolteacher’s favor…in that 1855 sort of way: « Colored persons if sober, well behaved and free from disease, had the same rights as others and could neither be excluded by any rules of the Company, nor by force or violence, » Rockwell declared.

Jennings claimed $500 worth of damages but as the Tribune put it, « Some jury members had peculiar notions as to colored people’s rights, » and she ended up with $225, plus another $22.50 for court costs. Regardless, just one day after the verdict, the Third Avenue Railway Company issued an order to admit African-Americans onto their buses.

By 1860, all of the city’s street and rail cars were desegregated…and Elizabeth Jennings had married Charles Graham. She was still teaching in New York’s African-American schools. Her struggles, however, were far from over.

Thanks to a July 1863 resolution called the Union Conscription Act, any New Yorker with a spare $300 was able to buy his way out of the Civil War draft. Resentment over such favoritism soon turned into rioting by poor whites. « The crowd’s anger (had) two sources, » explains historian Kenneth C. Davis, « the idea of fighting to free the slaves, and the unfairness of the ability of the wealthy to avoid conscription. » The ensuing « Draft Riots » saw over 70 African-Americans lynched. There were other, lesser-known victims…like Thomas J. Graham, one-year-old son of Elizabeth and Charles. Circumstances surrounded the child’s death remain unclear but author John Hewitt, who has researched Jennings’s life, believes young Thomas died of « convulsions » as the rioting and violence played out on the streets outside his home.

Although calm had yet to be restored to her city, Elizabeth Graham boldly solicited the help of a white undertaker and managed to get her son’s body to Brooklyn’s Greenwood Cemetery for a proper burial.

Elizabeth Jennings-Graham died in 1901…and I seriously doubt many of my co-commuters on the Q101 have ever heard of her.

*Elizabeth Jennings’ spiritual progeny was also « well-connected, » having spent twelve years leading her local NAACP chapter. The summer before she refused to give up her bus seat to a white passenger, Parks « attended a ten-day training session at Tennessee’s labor and civil rights organizing school, the Highlander Center, where she’d met an older generation of civil rights activists and discussed the recent Supreme Court decision banning ‘separate-but-equal’ schools, » writes journalist Paul Loeb. « In short, » he says, « Parks didn’t make a spur-of-the-moment decision. » In her 1991 book, « My Story, » Parks writes: « People always say that I didn’t give up my seat because I was tired, but that isn’t true. I was not tired physically, or no more tired than I usually was at the end of a working day. I was not old, although some people have an image of me as being old then. I was 42. No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in. »

D(isinformation) Day: 60 Years is Enough

June 6, 2004 marks 60 years since the fabled Allied invasion known as « D-Day. » Lost amid the self-congratulatory orgy is the minor detail that by the time of the D-day invasion, the Soviets were engaging 80 percent of the German Army on the Eastern Front. Oops…

Alexander Cockburn has called D-day a « sideshow, » explaining that W.W.II had already been won « by the Russians at Stalingrad and then, a year before D-day, at the Kursk Salient, where 100 German divisions were mangled. Compared with those epic struggles, D-day was a skirmish…Hitler’s generals knew the war was lost, and the task was to keep the meeting point between the invading Russians and Western armies as far east as possible. »

Of course, this doesn’t fit the « good war » myth (more than just a good war, NBC newsman Tom Brokaw has deemed W.W.II « the greatest war the world has seen »), so it’s down the memory hole.

To borrow from the World Bank protesters, I say 60 years is enough.

Faced with a perpetual war against evil and presidential election pitting one Yale war criminal against another, the time has never been better to challenge the « greatest generation » hype. The next time someone you know speaks of W.W.II in hallowed tones, remind them that:

•The U.S. fought that war against racism with a segregated army. It fought that war to end atrocities by participating in the shooting of surrendering soldiers, the starvation of POWs, the deliberate bombing of civilians, wiping out hospitals, strafing lifeboats, and in the Pacific boiling flesh off enemy skulls to make table ornaments for sweethearts.

•FDR, the leader of this anti-racist, anti-atrocity force, signed Executive Order 9066, interning over 100,000 Japanese-Americans without due process…thus, in the name of taking on the architects of German prison camps became the architect of American prison camps.

•Before, during, and after the Good War, the American business class traded with the enemy. Among the US corporations that invested in the Nazis were Ford, GE, Standard Oil, Texaco, ITT, IBM, and GM (top man William Knudsen called Nazi Germany « the miracle of the 20th century »).

•While the US regularly turned away Jewish refugees to face certain death in Europe, another group of refugees was welcomed with open arms after the war: fleeing Nazi war criminals who were used to help create the CIA and advance America’s nuclear program.

The enduring Good War fable goes well beyond Memorial Day barbecues and flickering black-and-white movies on late night TV. W.W.II is America’s most popular war. According to accepted history, it was an inevitable war forced upon a peaceful people thanks to a surprise attack by a sneaky enemy. This war, then and now, has been carefully and consciously sold to us as a life-and-death battle against pure evil. For most Americans, W.W.II was nothing less than good and bad going toe-to-toe in khaki fatigues.

But, Hollywood aside, John Wayne never set foot on Iwo Jima. Despite the former president’s dim recollections, Ronald Reagan did not liberate any concentration camps. And, contrary to popular belief, FDR never actually got around to sending our boys « over there » to take on Hitler’s Germany until after the Nazis had already declared war on the US first.

American lives weren’t sacrificed in a holy war to avenge Pearl Harbor nor to end the Nazi Holocaust. W.W.II was about territory, power, control, money, and imperialism. What we’re taught about the years leading up to the Good War involves the alleged appeasement of the Third Reich. If only the Allies were stronger in their resolve, the fascists could have been stopped. Having made that mistake once, the mantra goes, we can’t make it again.

Comparing modern-day tyrants like Saddam Hussein to Adolf Hitler and invoking the A Word (appeasement) activates the following historical façade: After whipping the original axis of evil in a noble and popular war, the US and its allies can now wave the banner of humanitarianism and intervene with impunity across the globe without their motivations being severely questioned…especially when every enemy is likened to Hitler.

But it wasn’t appeasement that took place prior to W.W.II. It was, at best, indifference; at worst it was collaboration…based on economic greed and more than a little shared ideology.

U.S. investment in Germany accelerated by more than 48% between 1929 and 1940, while declining sharply everywhere else in Europe. For many US companies, operations in Germany continued during the war (even if it meant the use of concentration-camp slave labor) with overt US government support. For example, American pilots were given instructions not to hit factories in Germany that were owned by US firms. As a result, German civilians began using the Ford plant in Cologne as an air raid shelter.

The pursuit of profit long ago transcended national borders and loyalty. Doing business with Hitler’s Germany or Mussolini’s Italy proved no more unsavory to the captains of industry than, say, selling military hardware to Indonesia does today. What’s a little repression when there’s money to be made?

This is where the most relevant similarities between Hussein and Hitler exist. Despite committing atrocities, both murderers received overt and covert support from the U.S…in the name of profit and capitalism. Make no mistake: The US, with its stockpile of lethal weapons and no shortage of bipartisan leaders dying to use them, has never been in the business of appeasement.

When President (sic) Bush says, « You are either with us or against us, » he’s merely selling old wine in a new bottle.

The first step toward smashing that bottle is to « just say no » to the myth. The 20th century has been called the century of genocide, but it was also a century of propaganda (partially to justify the genocide). Little has changed in the way foreign interventions are aggressively packaged and sold to a wary public…except the technology by which the lies are disseminated.

More than 100 years ago, anarchist Emma Goldman described the national mood at the beginning of the Spanish-American War: « America had declared war with Spain. The news was not unexpected. For several months preceding, press and pulpit were filled with the call to arms in defense of the victims of Spanish atrocities in Cuba. It did not require much political wisdom to see that America’s concern was a matter of sugar and had nothing to do with humanitarian feelings. Of course there were plenty of credulous people, not only in the country at large, but even in the liberal ranks, who believed in America’s claim. »

If the working class is kept unaware of what is being done in their name, rebellion is unlikely. If the average citizen in inundated with images designed to demonstrate that the US government has always acted in a benevolent manner, rebellion appears unnecessary. As a result, justification is crucial for those in power.

Films like Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan are popular attempts at such justification. Even if war is hell and the good guys sometimes lose their way, these vehicles teach us that there is still no reason to question either the morality of the mission or the stature of that particular generation.

Tom Brokaw’s best seller informs those who came of age during the era of Reagan and Rambo that those who came of age during the Depression and W.W.II were indeed « the greatest generation any society has ever produced. »

Thanks to the seductive power of myth, millionaire celebrities like Brokaw, Spielberg, Tom Hanks, and others gain further wealth and prestige by playing the role of corporate/military propagandist to an audience deceived and pacified by jingoistic hysteria and the solace it often provides.

Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels said, « It is not enough to reconcile people more or less to our regime, to move them towards a position of neutrality towards us, we want rather to work on people until they are addicted to us. »

Thus, it is our moral obligation to see through our own propaganda and kick the addictive habit of lazy thinking. We must address the many uncomfortable truths about W.W.II by recognizing on the public relations and media propaganda used by Western corporate states to transform a conflict between capitalist nations into a holy crusade.

In 1941, revolutionary pacifist A.J. Muste declared, « The problem after war is with the victor. He thinks he has just proved that war and violence pay.

Who will now teach him a lesson? » Precisely how and when such a lesson will be taught is not known, but it can be safely assumed that this lesson will never be learned from a standard college textbook, an insipid bestseller, or a manipulative box office smash. The past 60 years have also shown that without such a lesson, there will be many more wars and many more lies told to obscure the truth about them.

Ending this cycle begins with each of us deciding we will no longer buy what’s being sold. Debunk the « Good War » myth and the tenets behind the « War on Terror » will crumble. As Bob Marley sang, « Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery; none but ourselves can free our minds.