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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye Mr. Bush, and Good Riddance!

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor



The day has finally arrived!

Our last New Years Eve with George W. Bush, warmonger and prince of fools. May he choke on a pretzel on his way out the door.


Bush will be remembered for many things. Nothing good, mind you. This is a president who has driven the country right into the ground. And it won't just be George W. Bush they'll be pointing the finger at. History won’t have anything positive to say about those who defended this intellectual abomination, either. It is neither noble, nor patriotic to guard the door whilst the fox raids the hen-house.

Oh, we will indeed remember George W. Bush. No question about it. How can we ever forget? He was a many of many words, most of which, like everything he touched, he butchered…

"America better beware of a candidate who is willing to stretch reality in order to win points." George W. Bush, aboard his campaign plane, Sept. 18, 2000

"We'll let our friends be the peacekeepers and the great country called America will be the pacemakers." George W. Bush, Houston, Texas, Sept. 6, 2000

"I'm gonna talk about the ideal world, Chris. I've read I understand reality. If you're asking me as the president, would I understand reality, I do." George W. Bush on abortion, MSNBC's "Hardball," May 31, 2000

"Will the highways on the Internet become more few?" George W. Bush, Concord, N.H., Jan. 29, 2000

"I am mindful of the difference between the executive branch and the legislative branch. I assured all four of these leaders that I know the difference, and that difference is they pass the laws and I execute them." George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., Dec. 20, 2000

"If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator." Washington, D.C., Dec. 19, 2000

"If you don't stand for anything, you don't stand for anything! If you don't stand for something, you don't stand for anything!" George W. Bush, Bellevue Community College, Nov. 2, 2000

"I'm not really the type to wander off and sit down and go through deep wrestling with my soul." George W. Bush, as quoted in Vanity Fair, October 2000


Bush Caricature 1b
Days Remaining in Office: 21

"Never again in the halls of Washington, D.C., do I want to have to make explanations that I can't explain." George W. Bush, Portland, Oregon, Oct. 31, 2000

"They said, 'You know, this issue doesn't seem to resignate with the people.' And I said, you know something? Whether it resignates or not doesn't matter to me, because I stand for doing what's the right thing, and what the right thing is hearing the voices of people who work." George W. Bush, Portland, Ore., Oct. 31, 2000


No doubt. History will not soon forget George W. Bush.


B. Thomas Cooper - Editor



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Monday, December 29, 2008

Barack the Magic Negro?

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor





You must be kidding me? This story is offensive on so many levels. How could a high ranking Republican with aspirations within the party possibly arrive at such an abominable conclusion?


Let me bring you up to speed. Chip Saltsman, candidate for Republican National Committee Chairman, has chosen to distribute a satirical CD containing racist material about Barack Obama as a Christmas gift. Not one copy, mind you, sent to a friend, but a rather substantial number of copies, sent to a number of prominent Republicans.

The offending CD is titled: ‘We Hate America, and is obviously the product of an amateur. His name is Paul Shanklin and he is neither clever nor funny on this collection of politically incorrect ditties. This is the kind of trash one might find offered up at a trailer park yard sale for a nickle.

Here’s a quote from the lyrics of the song in question:

“Yeah, the guy from the L.A. paper said,
He made guilty whites feel good,
They’ll vote for him and not for me,
‘Cause he’s not from the hood”


Watch out, Slim Shady. This guy is after your job.

This sort of thing only qualifies as satire in an academic sense. Satire, Spirit and Art, by George A. Test describes Satire in the following manner:

"The emotions that are thought to give rise to satire are generally acknowledged to be the least admirable human emotions-anger, malice, hatred, indignation. The emotions that satire are said to evoke are likewise emotions that make most people uncomfortable- shame, anger, guilt, anxiety. The view of humanity in satire is a negative one- tumultuous, crowded, aggressive, cynical, pessimistic."

Obviously, Shanklin is within his Constitutional rights on this issue, and if he and Mr. Saltsman want to distribute this vile nonsense, it is certainly their prerogative. Still, I am surprised the Republican hopeful would find this CD a useful tool for rehabilitating the GOPs already heavily damaged image. Who knows? Maybe Mr. Saltsman actually finds this stuff funny. How sad.

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor



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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Phoenix Launches Light-Rail Service

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor



After four years of construction, the city of Phoenix has finally begun operation of it’s long anticipated Light Rail service, connecting the central phoenix corridor and the east valley.

Contrary to reports, however, all did not go quite as planned. Although trains were scheduled to arrive at each station every four to six minutes, some folks waited hours in line, as trains already packed with riders arrived every twenty-five minutes or so. Still, the weather was pleasant, and the throngs who came out for the days festivities left satisfied.

Light Rail
Phoenix Metro Light-Rail Train

For residents of the valley, this day has been long in coming. Construction of the project began back in 2004, and as is nearly always the case with projects of this magnitude, an array of problems, most notably with the track, delayed the launch date.

Phoenix mayor Phil Gordon certainly appeared pleased, and with good reason. Gordon, a light-rail advocate, was seeing his vision come to life. The mayor spent his morning riding the new trains and exuberantly shaking hands with riders.

The sleek new trains are quiet and energy efficient, providing a viable alternative for some valley commuters. Not all residents, however, will reap the potential benefits, as service is currently limited to approximately twenty miles of track. The service should have some impact on downtown traffic and airport congestion, but won’t do much to relieve the untenable snarl of vehicles suffocating the surrounding suburbs.

Still, most everyone on hand was optimistic about the new service. Although this high tech new Metro Light-Rail system cannot be the solution to all of the valleys transportation woes, there is little doubt most residents minds. At least the city of Phoenix is finally on the right track.

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor



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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Iconic Little Red Wagon Going High Tech

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor




This is not your typical little red wagon. Radio Flyer, maker of the iconic red wagon coveted by boys and girls alike since 1917, has announced it will soon introduce a new, high tech model wagon for the next generation.

This new wagon, called the ‘Cloud Nine’ comes complete with five-point safety harnesses, cup holders, and padded seats. And if that’s not enough, this nifty little wagon even comes with an optional MP3 player.

It doesn’t stop there. The ‘Cloud Nine’ comes with foot breaks, fold out storage containers, and a digital handle that tracks the current temperature, time, distance and traveling speed. No kidding!

Although the Chicago based company is best known for its ever popular red wagon, Radio Flyer manufactures an array of innovative outdoor childrens products, including tricycles and bicycles.

"We approached this product much like an automotive company might with a concept car," states Mark Johnson, product development manager for Radio Flyer. Tom Schlegel, vice president of product development concurs. "We sit down and observe how moms and kids are using our products," adds Schlegel. "That's where our new ideas come from." "This year has been a difficult year for a lot of companies," Schlegel says, "But Radio Flyer is actually growing. We're actually looking for engineers and designers in our product development group to keep up with the growth of the company."

Not to worry however. Radio Flyer has no intention of ending production of it’s model #18 Classic Red Wagon ant time soon. Products this reliable just don’t roll by every day. As for the high tech new ‘Cloud Nine’ wagon, only time will tell if this new model will fly as high as its lofty predecessor, or will ultimately prove to be just flightless, Red Herring.

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor



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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Franken Confident of Senate Victory as Final Ballots Counted

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor



Things are looking up for former comedian and Saturday Night Live cast member Al Franken. The Senate candidate currently holds a small lead over his rival, incumbent Minnesota Senator, Norm Coleman.

Franken was all smiles Tuesday morning, having claimed the lead over the incumbent by a margin of no greater than fifty votes, out of nearly three million cast during the November election. The counting continues, as both camps haggle over a handful of crucial ballots. Still a confident Franken camp posted the following message on his web site this morning: "We are more confident than ever that Al Franken will be the winner of this election,".

A decision could come at any minute. According to Bloomberg.com, the state canvassing board intends to complete counting votes some time today. The outcome may ultimately come down to a hundred votes the Coleman camp claims may have been double counted. Should the canvassing board decide to throw out those votes, this election could come down to less than a half a dozen votes or so.

Franken has reason to be confident going into the stretch, but a month and a half after voters spoke at the polls, it is still too early for victory celebrations. The Associated Press suggests the race won't likely be decided before the new Congress is sworn in January 6th.

Norm Coleman, Republican, has served in the US Senate since 2003. This is Al Franken's first attempt at national politics. Franken appeared on Saturday Night Live during the eighties, and has written a number of books, including ‘Lies: And the Lying Liars who Tell Them, ‘The Truth (with Jokes) and ‘Rush Limbaugh Is a Big Fat Idiot. Franken is a Democrat.

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor



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Monday, December 22, 2008

New Poll Suggests Cheney Among Worst of the Worst

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor




A newly released national poll suggests nearly a quarter of all Americans surveyed believe Richard Cheney is among the worst Vice Presidents in US history.

Of those who responded, an additional 41 percent rated the Vice Presidents job performance as ‘poor’. On the flip side, only one percent believe Cheney to be the best veep in US history, and little time remains until Cheney’s term expires on the 20th of next month.

Few were surprised by the polls conclusions. The Vice President has been at the center of numerous scandals, ranging in scope from the failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, to shooting a hunting buddy with a shotgun. Questions began as far back as March of 2001, when details about the Cheney Energy Task Force Documents became public. Cheney has faced a steady stream of controversy ever since.

If the Vice President is at all concerned by these new numbers, he certainly doesn’t show it. "I'm very comfortable with where we are and what we achieved substantively. And frankly, I would not want to be one of those guys who spends all his time reading the polls. I think people like that shouldn't serve in these jobs," Cheney stated during an interview on "Fox News Sunday."

Cheney has been making the rounds recently in an attempt to rehabilitate his legacy and that of George W. Bush and other members of the current administration. Cheney joins Dan Quayle and Spiro Agnew among the list of least popular Vice Presidents. The poll was conducted by the CNN/Opinion Research Corporation, Friday through Sunday of this past week.

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor



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Shoe Sales Skyrocket Following Assault On President

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor



The answer: Model 271 Brogues, shoes for men. The question: What is the hot must-have item throughout Arab countries this holiday season?

According to reports, orders for the shoes have skyrocketed since Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi removed his from his feet during a recent press conference, and proceeded to hurl them at US president George W. Bush, along with a few choice epithets.

Al-Zaidi has paid dearly for his actions, suffering a broken tooth and apparent cigarette burns, caused by Iraqi authorities following his arrest. He has a court hearing scheduled for later this month. In the meantime, al-Zaidi cools his heels in an Iraqi jail.

For the maker of the shoes, however, the incident has led to a windfall in sales. Ramazan Baydan, Istanbul shoemaker has had to hire a hundred additional employees to meet market demand, with over 300,000 pair ordered in just under a week. Over 100,000 pair have been ordered in Iraq alone, and upstart shoe distribution companies have been opening throughout the region to help meet buyer demand.

Hurling shoes has long been considered an insult in Arab culture. President Bush was light on his toes however, and managed to dodge the incoming projectiles. The assailant, al-Zaidi was quickly dragged to the floor by security, but was able to unleash yet another traditional Arab insult before being hustled away. “A farewell kiss to a dog” he was heard to exclaim. Indeed, there are still many in Iraq who perceive George W. Bush, not as a liberator, but as an unwelcome invader. George Bush will end his term as the 43rd president of the United States on January 20th, 2009. He will be replaced by incoming president, Barack Obama, who will be sworn in the same day.

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor



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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Warner Music Pulls Plug, Drains YouTube Talent Pool

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor




Negotiations between Warner Music Group and YouTube have hit a snag, sinking what once appeared to be a lucrative agreement for both parties.

Warner Music Group has announced it will no longer allow its artists to be featured on the video site, and ordered YouTube to immediately begin pulling videos, a move that will undoubtedly send ripples throughout the industry. Warner (WMG) controls the licensing for many of the music industries most successful acts, including mainstays, Madonna and Metallica, as well as more recent acts like My Chemical Romance. WMG was also the first major label to pursue an agreement with the internet upstart, which in 2006, led to Googles acquisition of YouTube for a staggering $1.65 billion dollars.

Unfortunately, the entire enterprise straddles on the precipice of becoming just another unsuccessful partnership. Although pay per click profits amount to less than a penny per click, it was believed the shear magnitude of hits would generate huge sums of capital for all parties. Apparently, however, such has not been the case, as WMG reports returns have fallen far short of projections.

The failure of this agreement does not bode well for either party. Although both are expected to survive the rough seas ahead, the future remains uncertain. YouTube is the most popular video site on the web, and prospects are good. Warner, however, stands to lose millions in lost revenue and will be facing increasing difficulty as consumer trends change. What seemed like a marriage made in heaven only two years ago, may have been a harbinger of struggles to come, as the entertainment industry adjusts to a rapidly changing market.

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor



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Friday, December 19, 2008

Polaroid Files for Chapter 11

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor





Take a picture, it lasts longer!


With the Christmas holidays less than a week away, Minnesota based Polaroid Corp. has announced the iconic brand will soon be filing Chapter 11 under the nations bankruptcy protection laws.

The company also recently announced it intends to stop making film for it’s once popular Instamatic cameras at the end of this year.

Polaroid Land Camera
Polaroid Land Camera

With the advent of digital technology, Instamatic cameras have become all but obsolete. Over the decades, the sensational little cameras have attracted legions of fans. As word reached consumers, stores who normally stock the film experienced unusually high demand, as anxious consumers anticipated an end to an era, buying up all available product, leaving store shelves empty.

According to officials within the company, the bankruptcy is intended to allow Polaroid to restructure it’s finances. "We expect to continue our operations as normal during the reorganization and are planning for new product launches in 2009," stated Polaroid chief executive officer, Mary L. Jefferies. "Our operations are strong and during this process Polaroid will ship products to our retail partners, work with our suppliers and contract manufacturers to fulfill retailer demand “

According to records, Polaroid’s parent company, Petters Group Worldwide, is currently under investigation for fraud. Although Polaroid is not the subject of the investigation, it is difficult to predict how the outcome of such an investigation might effect future operations at Polaroid.

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor



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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Another Black Eye For the Bush Administration

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor





President Bush may have dodged an attack by incoming shoes during last weekend’s now infamous Iraq press conference, but it seems White House Press Secretary Dana Perino was somewhat less fortunate. According to reports (hers included) Perino sustained a black eye when a US Secret Service agent (code name ‘Keystone Cop’) toppled a microphone stand during the subsequent melee.

Bush Caricature 1b
What, Me Worry?

As is customary with this president, George Bush just shrugged it all off. What’s another pair of shoes for a man who has cost so many innocent people their legs? What’s another black eye to this once great nation? Bush is without conscience. Why should he care if a stranger tosses their shoes in his direction? Bush did, after all, encourage ‘them’ to “bring it on”. I just don’t think he was anticipating a size 10 wingtip. Nonetheless, the old adage stands… if the shoe fits, wear it.

As for Perino, her physical wounds will heal soon enough. It is the black eye to her own legacy with which she should be most concerned. Her days as mouthpiece for the lamest of all ducks are quickly drawing to a close. When George W. Bush limps out of the Oval Office for the last time on January 20th, Dana Perino will find herself left to the wolves. Just ask Scott McClellan. He could write a book on the subject.

Of course, Perino’s own snide demeanor has undoubtedly left many with reason to envision black circles around her beady little eyes. Irony has not been lost on the fact that it came down to the Secret Service to accomplish the dirty deed. What a long, strange trip it has truly been. I suppose the truth does indeed hurt, or at least in this instance, it smarts a little. My advice to Dana? Just do what you always do… ignore it and it will go away.


B. Thomas Cooper

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor



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The Fall of the Aztec Empire

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor




The fall of Aztec civilization has long been a subject of great interest. The Aztec were an extraordinary people, steeped in myth and mayhem, their impact still felt throughout Mexico. The sudden collapse of the Aztec Empire in 1520-1521 has been compared by scholars to that of ancient Rome.

The Aztec Empire collapsed quickly, lasting no more than a century. Some scholars have blamed the collapse on the arrival of Hernando Cortes and the invading Spaniards but in fact, fatal disease and regional discord also played major roles in their demise.

In the year 1427, the Aztecs under the rule of Itzcoatl, and with the assistance of surrounding communities successfully conquered the Tepanecs, thus gaining control of the Valley of Mexico'. However, unlike other warring nations, the Aztec were primarily interested in occupation of new territory, seeking offerings, human and otherwise, for sacrifice to their unusual Gods.

Existing community temples were burned or destroyed, replaced with Aztec alters. Residents were instructed to worship their new God, Huitzilopochtli. Aztec religion was represented through numerous deities, most which appear on the Aztec calendar. These deities were believed responsible for blessing or cursing Aztec life. Such practices were unacceptable to many regional communities, who often found themselves or their neighbors victims of Aztec atrocities.

Flare CT002

Around 1521, the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan became infected with the small-pox virus. The subsequent epidemic wiped out nearly half the population of the city, leaving it vulnerable to attack from outside forces.

Soon after, Hernando Cortes mobilized nine thousand of his own troops and nearly a hundred-fifty thousand regional troops.

The arrival of Cortes and his army had a profound psychological effect on Montezuma and the Aztec peoples. Many scholars have portrayed Montezuma as weak willed and indecisive, but for years prior to the Spanish conquest, omens had predicted an end to the Aztec empire. Montezuma is said to have played and lost a ritualistic ballgame, another ominous sign.

As Hernando Cortes and his army began approaching from the south, rumors were already reaching Montezuma about the four legged monsters with human bodies traveling northward. Montezuma and his councilors watched the approach strangers with noted apprehension. Feeling his hands were tied by psychological and logistical considerations, Montezuma received Cortes and his troops without resistance.

Bernal Díaz del Castillo, a witness, later wrote of the encounter:

“Montezuma took Cortez by the hand and told him to look at his great city and all the other cities that were standing in the water and the many other towns and the land around the lake… So we stood looking about us, for that huge and cursed temple stood so high that from it one could see over everything very well, and we saw the three causeways which led into Mexico… And we saw the aqueduct of fresh water that comes from Chapultepec, which supplies the city, and we saw the three bridges on the causeways which were built at certain distances apart… And we beheld on the lake a great multitude of canoes, some coming with supplies of food, others returning loaded with cargoes of merchandise, and we saw that from every house of that great city and of all the other cities that were built in the water it was impossible to pass from house to house except by drawbridges, which were made of wood, or in canoes; and we saw in those cities Cues (temples) and oratories like towers and fortresses and all gleaming white, and it was a wonderful thing to behold!”


According to the first hand account of Diaz del Castillo, Montezuma would soon die at the hands of his own people. Diaz and his companions were saddened by the death of the great warrior.

“Cortes and all of us captains and soldiers wept for him”, Diaz wrote. “And there was no one among us that knew him and had dealings with him who did not mourn him as if he were our father, which was not surprising, since he was so good. It was stated that he had reigned for seventeen years, and was the best king they ever had in Mexico, and that he had personally triumphed in three wars against countries he had subjugated. I have spoken of the sorrow we all felt when we saw that Montezuma was dead."

The subsequent collapse of Aztec culture became inevitable. By August of 1521, the Aztec were all but decimated, and in their wake, began the era of Spanish rule throughout Mexico. Stone had given way to steel.

Descendants of the Aztec continue to live throughout Mexico, and much about Aztec culture remains. Previously unknown ruins have recently been documented and excavated, leading to much new information about these amazing people. Still, like their relatives, the Mayan and the Toltec, the Aztec left behind a curious and troubling legacy, some mysteries of which we shall never fully understand.



B. Thomas Cooper - Editor



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Saturday, November 29, 2008

The War Prayer

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor




"O Lord our Father,
our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle –
be Thou near them! With them – in spirit – we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with hurricanes of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it – for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen."

Mark Twain
1905

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor



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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor




With Thanksgiving upon us
, America is facing crisis on a number of fronts. The troubled economy is first and foremost in the minds of most, but our problems go well beyond our current economic woes. Much like the children’s story about a certain Mr. Dumpty, our nation is experiencing fractures from the impact of a great fall, and we’ll need more than a new king and his henchmen to piece this thing back together.

Of course, I mean no slight to the president elect. Obama has assembled an impressive team of respected minds to lead us out of this mire. Still, they will have many obstacles set before them in coming months. The situation is both dire, and ugly.

On a lighter note…
Here along the home front, the turkey is in the oven, and a fresh pot of coffee is on the way. Earlier this morning, the power was off for an hour or so, which wasn’t so bad, really. We all climbed out of bed, placed lit candles in strategic locations, and proceeded to heat water on our gas stove for the purpose of hot coco. As it turns out, hot coco by candlelight at six in the morning is a wonderful way to start thanksgiving day.

It has been raining for hours, but the sun is beginning to poke through the clouds from time to time. At sixty-eight degrees, we are not discussing global warming today. It’s just too nice out… it wouldn’t seem right. It’s for weather like this, after all, that people move to the valley in the first place.

I haven’t been posting as often as I would like, but hopefully I’ll get a few more posts up in the coming days. There has been much to write about, but my attention has been elsewhere. I just wanted to take a few moments of my time, (and perhaps a few minutes of yours) to count my blessing contemplate the future. Hopefully, I’ll see you there.

Until next time, happy Thanksgiving, and may your turkey (and your thoughts) be tasteful and tender.

Brad


B. Thomas Cooper - Editor



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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

GOP Convention Analisys: Night of the Living Dead

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor




Is it just me, or has the Republican party gone ‘Full Retard’?

I’m mean, honestly folks, how much seemlier and pathetic can they get? Personally, I wasn’t expecting much from the Republican National Convention to begin with, as obviously, McCain was never their choice. John McCain has railroaded the Republican party, and the neo-cons (ultra-cons) are none too happy about it.

B. Thomas Cooper
B. Thomas Cooper

And then there’s the issue of Sara Palin, whose choice as running mate was all too clever by half, if I may say so myself. This lady is one scandal after another, just waiting to blow up. October surprise? Just give it time. I know who the editors at National Inquirer will be pulling the lever for.

Oh, and did you catch the remark by Laura Bush suggesting being governor of Alaska qualifies as foreign policy experience, due to it’s proximity with Russia? Is she really that dumb, or is she just desperate and delusional? Either way, it’s one of those crazy remarks that will stand through the ages.

President Bush himself was relegated to an appearance as scorned puppet-master. (Pay no attention to the man behind the mess.) Boy, was his appearance weird, or what? He could have been calling in from the Prague.

Thompson, who should have been a much stronger orator, struggled throughout his speech, choking, and stuttering and stammering his way through his lines. His rhetoric was filled with the kind of make believe scenarios one associates with the movies... like who would win a fight between Batman and Rocky Balboa. Should we feign surprise?

And then there was the jingoistic, nationalism that sounded much more like Hitler than Thomas Jefferson. The Republicans want you to believe it’s patriotic to feed our young men and women to the war machine. They showed no regret for the needless loss of life and limb.

As for that smarmy little traitor, Benedict Lieberman, he came off as only caring about continued war funding, the staple of the economy in Cunnecticut. The Republicans don’t trust him, and his speech changed nothing. They all know damn well he’d turn on the GOP as quickly as he turned on the Democrats. He has no party loyalty, and no, he is not a patriot… he is a bloodthirsty warmonger of the worst kind. He’d stab his own mother in the back if he thought she’d bleed oil.

And this, all before Republican mouth-pieces Peggy Noonan and Mike Murphy were caught off camera, but with a live microphone, sounding somewhat less than optimistic about the election. (View clip below).


Peggy Noonan and Mike Murphy caught on open mic

So far, the Republican convention has not been a pretty scene, nor has it been well received. At least from my vantage point, it doesn’t appear the Republican base is at all prepared to move forward. Full retard, indeed! Will the last out the door, please turn off the lights as you leave?



B. Thomas Cooper - Editor



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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

If I were President (revisited)

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor





With the Democratic National Convention now upon us and the presidential election only a few weeks away, it is understandable one might ponder the ramifications. What can we expect from president Obama, of 'Commander in Chief' John McCain? For that matter, what if I were president?

A question pondered by many, but one that can only be answered by a select few. What would I do, you ask? Well for starters…

As president of the United States, I’d probably spend much of my time in the White House rose garden, hanging with the gardener. I would undoubtedly seek his advice on a variety of subjects, starting with perennials. I might even appoint him (or her) to the Supreme Court should the opportunity arise. (After all, it almost worked with Harriet Miers).

B. Thomas Cooper

If I were president, I would use my executive powers to insist upon the completion of the Mount Rushmore busts, which have been left unfinished for over a half a century. (Let’s see the Taliban try to destroy these busts).

I would hire an architect to install some corners in the Oval Office. I would fire Richard Cheney, and replace him with a lawn sprinkler. Actually, I don’t think it really matters what I replace Cheney with, just as long as I replace him.

I would take cooking lessons from the White House chef, and demonstrate my exquisite taste to foreign dignitaries. I would have a Taco Bell installed next to the Lincoln Bedroom. I would stay up late at night watching Conan, and fall asleep on the couch with a mouthful of pretzels.

Come to think of it, I probably wouldn’t make the best president. Then again, who would? Some of us were simply never cut out for the roll of President of the United States, and frankly, the current administration is going to be a tough act to follow.

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor



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Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Moon Landing Conspiracy Continues

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor




Could NASA have faked the moon landings?

Might what we have witnessed over a quarter century ago actually been nothing more than an elaborate hoax? Preposterous, you quip. After all, why would the US government propagate such lies? Moreover, what could be the possible motive?

Well comrades, if you're old enough to read this article, you're undoubtedly aware of the boundless conspiracy theories rolling around the ether. Some have merit, others border on the ridiculous. Predictably, for every conspiracy there are countless theorists, each expounding upon a variation of a theme.

The moon landings are a prime example, having become the stuff of modern folklore. As is clearly highlighted by the growing interest in the subject, many are now willing to risk their reputation in pursuit of the truth. At the very least, it makes for an entertaining read.

So then, my friends, what is this elusive truth? We really don't know, do we.

We know for certain however, that the US government is plenty capable of gross acts of deception. Yep folks, round these parts, we propagate lies the way some folks grow corn… by the bushel. And it goes way back. We here in the states are long accustomed to the concept of accepting preposterous lies.

Take Santa, for example. Curse the rotten scoundrel who dares tell my grand-daughter the truth. We happen to be quite comfortable propagating that lie, so if you please, could I bother you for some grape Kool-aid? I hear there's plenty to go around.

Of course, the entire Alamo story was contrived by liars. We just prefer happy endings, which the real story was lacking. And then there's the whopper we tell our children to impress upon them the importance of telling the truth. I'm sure you know the one to which I refer. It involves a young future president owning up to chopping down a Cherry tree, which in fact, is not indigenous to the region, having been brought into the country by the Chinese over a hundred years after George Washington crossed the Potomac. It's a lie, and a rather dumb one at that. Teach your children well.

In retrospect we all know now that George W. Bush and his cronies lied to us about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, but over ninety percent of us eagerly bought into those lies. Another Kool-aid, if you please. And then there's the ridiculous single bullet theory' which quite frankly, one would have to be unusually stupid to believe. No chance, no way, do not pass go. Talk about implausible explanations, this has got to be the granddaddy of them all. It relates to the assassination of US president John Kennedy. I'll leave it to you to read the report and do the math. One needn't use a calculator to realize it doesn't add up. Never did, never will.

So could the moon shots have been a lie as well? The accepted legal dictum refers to the establishment of reasonable doubt'. Having personally conducted a dauntingly thorough investigation into the matter, I can honestly say I have reasonable doubt. There are far too many questions and far too few plausible explanations to discount the possibility out of hand. If this were a trial, I could not in good conscience conclude the US had indeed landed on the moon. The evidence supporting such claims are becoming increasingly suspect, and NASA has done little to answer the tough questions.

Of course, the government stands by their story, but is it in fact, nothing more? How could NASA have orchestrated such an outlandish hoax? Perhaps only a handful of people know what actually did or did not happen. Perhaps the rest of us will never know. It has long been standard operational procedure for the US government to ridicule or marginalize dissenting opinion. Challenge the status quo and rest assured, you'll soon find yourself relegated to the ranks of the lunatic fringe.

So then, the answer my comrades, is simple. Just quietly drink your Kool-aid like good little boys and girls. All the world needs now is yet another crazed conspiracy nut. Oh, pardon me. I resemble that fella.

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor



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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Tim Russert Dies at Age 58

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor





NBC News Washington Bureau Chief Tim Russert passed away suddenly, after suffering an apparent heart attack in Washington D.C. Mr. Russert, was indeed quite special. He will be greatly missed by many.

A journalist and a gentleman, the consummate professional, and an inspiration to his peers, Tim will be remembered most of all for being a family man. Tim was a venerable figure in the journalism profession. He loved his country, and he loved his job. His integrity can be matched by few.

Dr. Michael Neumann, an assistant to Mr. Russert reports that Russert collapsed while preparing for ‘Meet the Press’ which he moderated and has hosted since 1991. Resuscitation began immediately, but to no avail. Russert was taken to Sibley hospital, where he was pronounced dead. An autopsy later confirmed the cause of death.

Tim Russert had recently returned from vacationing in Italy with his family, following the graduation of his son Luke from Boston College. Russert, born in 1950, was raised in Buffalo, N.Y. where the flags were lowered to half mast in his honor. Russert had a unique gift for gleaning and retaining information, and clearly loved his work. He was driven by a yearning for the truth, a quest that set the tone throughout his life.

“If you could pass the Tim Russert test, you could do something in this field,” opined Howard Fineman, senior Washington correspondent for Newsweek magazine. Brian Williams, managing editor and anchor of “NBC Nightly News,” called Russert’s death a “staggering, overpowering and sudden loss.”

“Tim Russert was a friend to millions, respected, admired and loved” said an obviously shaken Barbara Walters, who stuttered as she struggled to rise above her grief. Russert was a tireless champion of journalism, and indeed, there are those who believe it was his ceaseless work ethic that brought about his early demise. He died in his element.

During ‘Meet the Press’ this last Sunday, an empty chair was placed at the moderators table. It was a sad, defining moment for the program that won’t be soon forgotten.

Tim’s love for politics has been described as infectious. He excelled at life and at his work. My heartfelt sympathy goes to his family and loved one’s. God bless you, Tim Russert, and Godspeed. May you look down upon us and be as pleased with us as we are with all the gifts you have left behind for others to enjoy.





B. Thomas Cooper - Editor



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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

When Cotton Was King

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor





White blossomed, white bolled, short staple cotton. It is the stuff of which dreams are made, and wars are fought. If you think the US Civil War was about the abolition of slavery, perhaps you may wish to reconsider.

Cotton Field
White Bolled, Short Staple Cotton

During the late 1850’s and right up through the US Civil War, Cotton was indeed an economic powerhouse, not just in the southern United States, but throughout the world. “Dare not make war on cotton,” presaged Senator James Henry Hammond in 1858. “No power on earth dares make war upon it. Cotton is King."

Economists agreed with the Senator from South Carolina. Cotton was the driving force behind a period of great prosperity in the south, creating an elitist upper class dependant on the success of the crop. Slavery in the US was on the wane until Eli Whitney patented the cotton gin in 1779. Unfortunately, the success of his invention brought new demand for slave labor. By 1804, the cotton crop was eight times greater than in the previous decade, and the demand for slaves was rising.

This new Southern aristocracy resulted from the ownership of land and slaves and the surest way to obtain both was to grow cotton. Its impact was long reaching. New roads were constructed and businesses sprang up along endless processions of wagons hauling the crop to various ports. Cotton’s new kingdom extended well into Texas and north another six hundred miles up the Mississippi River valley. Rest assured, where there was cotton, there was money to be made. Even smaller farms, who generally planted only for sustenance, often set aside a few acres of cotton for trading.

Caught in diplomacy.

By 1860, the South was annually exporting two-thirds of the worlds cotton, generating hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. During the Antebellum Period, cotton was indeed king, dominating international relations with the Confederacy, a policy referred to by many as “cotton diplomacy.” This period would see the South in a new light. However, James Henry Hammond was far from accurate in his assessment. Cotton would rule under a pall of darkness, perhaps the darkest period in American history. Still, it was not cotton that was to blame for the folly of man, but man himself, who was to blame for the rise and fall of a mighty king, King Cotton.

References:

King Cotton, the Fiber of Slavery. Author or authors unknown.
Bleeding Kansas and the Enduring Struggle for Freedom, National Heritage Area Feasibility Study. Author or authors unknown.

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor



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Sunday, June 01, 2008

Condoleezza Rice - A Trail of Failure

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor





For Condoleezza Rice, her years as Secretary of State have been nothing if not catastrophic. The once rising star of the Bush administration has proven herself inept at a multitude of levels, unable to cope, let alone demonstrate even a modicum of palpable intellect or diplomacy. She has been an embarrassment to herself and the Bush administration.

Since Rice assumed the position January of 2005, the White House agenda to promote freedom and democracy worldwide has resulted in monumental failure. Under her watch the crisis in the Middle East has been severely exacerbated. The US has already suffered the loss of over 4500 lives fighting an un-winnable war against an un-definable enemy.

As for Condoleezza, her demeanor has gone from swagger to stammer. She has lost her confidence. She has lost her nerve. She has lost her credibility.

It must be painful to watch helplessly as one's reputation implodes under scrutiny. Her jingoistic prediction of pending mushroom clouds were accepted as fact by millions of good Americans and right about now many of those same Americans feel deceived. True to form, Condi has never publicly expressed remorse for the lies.

Condoleezza's trail of failure runs long. Victories have been few and insignificant at best.In nearly every notable instance, her style has led to a deterioration in diplomatic relations.

North Korea, Iran, Syria, Lebanon; take your pick. All have seen their relationship with the US languish under the Bush administration. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has taken an ugly turn for the worse, while the ongoing genocide in Darfur has been all but ignored. The situation is grim.

Still, don't expect any real shift in administration policy as long as Bush remains in the White House. George W. Bush chose to be a war president. Indeed, war will be his legacy and failure his longest shadow. As Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice has contributed in no small way to the undoing of this administration. Hers is a trail of failure, a trail that can only lead to a dead end.

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor



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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Sex and the Sordid Details

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor





C’mon guys,
Is this really necessary?

Another day, another scandal. Forget the new 'Sex in the City' movie. Leave the yet to be released 'Brittany Sex Tapes’ for another day. This is the week polygamist sect leader Warren Jeffs takes center stage. How does this happen in America? Gosh, I hope to hell I’m being rhetorical, cause it’s a question to which I’d rather not learn the answer.

According to CNN, Jeffs, age 52, is in a Utah prison, serving two consecutive terms of five years to life, following conviction on two charges of being an accomplice to rape in connection with a marriage he performed in 2001. He also faces trial in Arizona on eight additional charges, including sexual conduct with a minor, incest and conspiracy.

It’s not the kind of story this grown man even cares to read about, but I must admit, I was caught off guard by the photos of Jeffs making kissy-mouth with little girls. I certainly would not associate with a man who conducted himself in such a manner around children. Shouldn’t there have been flyers up in the post office warning parents Jeffs lived in the neighborhood?

In the real world, Warren Jeffs is considered by most to be a pedophile, not a prophet. He may see it differently, but then, it is the intent of the pathological mind to overlook the obvious. Mission accomplished, I suppose.

So now the media is awash with these outrageous photos, and for once, Brittany will get a few days out of the headlines, whether she likes it or not.

My real concern, of course, is for the children. Most of us more or less start off on the right track, but it’s a difficult road ahead. I can only imagine what these kids are going through. I would like to believe the majority of them will pull through just fine, but this is far from my line of expertise, and thus the source of my anxiety.

Children of the future, unite. In doing so, please rest assured not all adults are bad. Some of us however, may be more than just a tad confused. It is not always easy to tell the good guys from the bad guys, either. You just sort of learn as you go along. Don't worry though, little one's... us adults will be keeping an eye on you, and hopefully, with any luck at all, none of us will be leering.


B. Thomas Cooper - Editor



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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

An Era of Steel and Steam

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor





Rainbow Train Arriving It was an age of steel and steam. It was a time of great power and wealth. Soon the world would be forever changed by this new mechanical marvel, the steam locomotive, the driving force behind the industrial revolution.

For centuries, man had understood the potential of steam as an energy source, but it took until 1803 before Samuel Homfray was able to successfully harness that energy with his invention of the steam engine. The first successful railway followed soon after, when on March 25th, 1807, England began passenger service between Swansea and Mumbles.

Across the pond, America was developing it’s own railway, and by 1869, eighteen hundred miles of track connected Omaha, Nebraska with Sacramento, California. The resulting improvement of trade routes was felt throughout the world. Within a decade, the industrial revolution was on a roll.

Steam Engine

By 1893, the U.S. had completed five transcontinental trunk lines and no less than 260,000 miles of track. Monopolies flourished. A brilliant engineer named Theodore Judah successfully persuaded Washington to pony up ten to twenty square miles of land and at least $48,000 for every mile of track completed. The track was laid by armies of imported Chinese ’coolies’, laborers who toiled relentlessly while rail barons were popping champagne corks and charging glasses in celebration.

Enter, Andrew Carnegie, philosopher and opportunist, and in later years, philanthropist. At age 18, Carnegie caught the eye of Pennsylvania rail baron Tom Scott, becoming his personal secretary and telegraph operator. Carnegie however, had great plans for the future. The unbreakable grip of the iron industry was about to give way to steel.

By the turn of the century, William McKinley was president, and in 1903, New York State enacted legislation prohibiting the operation of steam locomotives south of the Harlem river, thus ushering in the era electrified tracks. The first use of internal combustion engines began in 1913, and was quickly superseded by the invention of the diesel locomotive, which proved more effective. The times, they were a changing.

During the great depression, the railroad became symbolic of the American struggle. Today we look back on these amazing machines as products of a bygone era. The mighty iron horse has been put to pasture. Or has it?

The steam engine may be a thing of the past, but today, light rail tracks and monorails are springing up in greater numbers. Perhaps these are not the romantic machines made famous by daring engineers like Casey Jones, but they provide safer, if not more efficient service. Meanwhile, thousands of miles of railway still grace the countryside, as modern locomotives pull seemingly endless processions of freight cars, hauling lumber, cattle, and virtually everything in between.

Away in the distance, a lonesome whistle blows. Tonight, perhaps further in the distance than in recent memory. The age of steel and steam has passed, but the dreams of those who dared make it happen, remain. An era, vanishes in a puff of smoke. A new era begins.

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor



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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The San Francisco Earthquake of 1906

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor




"The further you are from the last big earthquake, the nearer you are to the next". - Perry Byerly, Department of Seismology, University of California.

Everyone knew it was coming. Still, no-one could be certain when the next great earthquake would arrive. It did arrive. At precisely 5:12 a.m. on the morning of April 18th, 1906.

The city of San Francisco was devastated by the massive quake. The Earth ripped and buckled. It bucked and swayed. Throughout the city, church bells clanged with unbridled urgency, as damaged structures collapsed in a tempest. From Russian Hill to the Mission district, destruction reigned, unstoppable, as man and beast alike searched for sanctuary among the ruins.

Then came the fires.

Enrico Caruso was awakened from his sleep by the violence of the quake, which shook his room at the Saint Francis Hotel like a rag-doll in the jaws of a bulldog. The legendary tenor had performed brilliantly only the night before. The Opera House, by morning, now a victim of the destructive forces of nature. In the hours ahead, Caruso's life would change forever, as would the city of San Francisco.

Perhaps the subsequent fires could have been prevented, but such was not the case. What began as the Ham and Eggs Fire' soon spread, touching off other fires, quickly engulfing the city in flames. Backfires were set and entire neighborhoods dynamited in an effort to slow the advancing inferno, resulting in greater and greater devastation.

Looters and law-breakers were often shot on sight. The military, more ruthless than precise, demonstrated little compassion for the citizens they were sworn to protect. With every hour, the city was increasingly becoming bedlam. Streets were strewn with the living and the dead alike. Rats, formerly stealth in nature, now gathered in great numbers, bringing with them fears of plague.

And still, the fires burned.

Earthquakes unleash a certain type of destruction. Fires another. When the two happen together, in succession, the results are nearly indescribable. Photographs from the disaster reveal a beaten but resolute society, scraping the soot from their shoes, as they set about the task of rebuilding their city.
Even the very shape of the San Francisco was different now. The shoreline had changed as well, whipped mercilessly by a sudden shift in a fault-line hundreds of miles in length.

Market Street was reduced to rubble. Kearney Street, also lie in ruin, the Hall of Justice, a monument to the destruction. Within hours, much of what did not fall, would burn. Even the Palace Hotel, in all it's splendor, could not be saved. Total loss of life has been estimated at between seven hundred and two thousand lives.

Today, the city of San Francisco waits, as yet another devastating earthquake approaches. When it arrives is anyone's guess, but it will arrive, and with equally devastating results. Is this great city on the coast ready for such a cataclysmic event? Can San Francisco survive another monumental quake like the one that struck in April of 1906? One can only wait and wonder.

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor



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Monday, March 10, 2008

Bush Vetoes Ban On Torture

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor




"Many years ago, I was so innocent I still considered it possible that we could become the humane and reasonable America so many members of my generation used to dream of. We dreamed of such an America during the Great Depression, when there were no jobs. And then we fought and often died for that dream during the Second World War, when there was no peace.

But I know now that there is not a chance in hell of America's becoming humane and reasonable. Because power corrupts us, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Human beings are chimpanzees who get crazy drunk on power. By saying that our leaders are power-drunk chimpanzees, am I in danger of wrecking the morale of our soldiers fighting and dying in the Middle East? Their morale, like so many bodies, is already shot to pieces. They are being treated, as I never was, like toys a rich kid got for Christmas".

Kurt Vonnegut
1922 - 2007

And so it goes.

George W. Bush has become the first president in the history of the United States to veto a bill banning torture. It’s a dark day for America. A dark day indeed!

Bush Caricature 1b
George W. Bush

One of my readers recently commented on how thankful he was that George W. Bush had responded responsibly in reaction to 9/11. I guess the reader is comfortable with the war costing Americans three billion dollars a week. I am not.

In fact, I have been asked to reprint my remarks made in reference to this comment, and I do so with conviction.

“Personally, I won't be thanking Bush for breaking US and international law by invading Iraq. I won't be thanking him for urging the insurgency to "bring it on". I won't be thanking him for taking liberties with our young soldiers who owe it to their loved ones to come home in one piece. I won't thank him for burdening our children with horrific national debt. I won't be thanking him for the damage he has done to Americas reputation throughout the world.

I won't thank him for violating our constitution, and I won't thank him for torturing our enemies. I won't thank him for spying on my neighbors, and I won't thank him for stoking the fires of fear.

I'm just not that kind of thankful.”


Obviously, I stand by my word. It is a very sad day for America.

Brad

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor



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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The John and Bill Show, Starring Barack Hussein Obama

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor




For the second time in less than a month I find myself compelled to defend John McCain against one of his fellow so called 'conservative’ Republicans.

John McCain - Reagan Republican

This morning McCain finds himself in a row with conservative talk show host, Bill( something-something ) Cunningham over Cunningham’s repeated use of Barack Obama’s middle name ( Hussein ) while stumping on behalf of McCain during a campaign event. For many, including Mr. McCain, it appeared Cunningham’s remarks were inappropriate at best, leading the Republican presidential hopeful to publicly repudiate Cunningham.

Cunningham, who’s own middle name I don’t know, defended his actions in an interview with CNN’s John Roberts, suggesting he commonly refers to people by their full names, but then only produces two names; William Jefferson Clinton, and that of his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Cunningham goes on to say that the name ‘Hussein’ is a proud Muslim name, and then repeats the remark for added emphasis. CNN correspondent John Roberts, who’s middle name I do not know, wasn’t buying it for a moment. Neither do I.

For beginners, ‘Rodham’ is not Hillary’s middle name. It is her maiden name. As I recall, she dropped the name a few months back. Whatever.

Anyway, Cunningham, who’s middle name I do not know, never mentions John McCain’s middle name. In fact, Cunningham conjures up a host of names during the interview, but never uses anyone else’s middle name. How telling.

Now I suppose it is always possible CNN edited the interview to make Mr. Cunningham look especially bad, but it didn’t seem necessary. Mr. Cunningham came out of that interview smelling like a shit bomb. None of his rhetoric held up under even the most superficial scrutiny. It was all bad science, all smoke and mirrors.

By the way, perhaps you conservative Christians might have missed it, but Bill ( something-something Cunningham also strongly stated, with emphasis, I might add, that he “worships” the name ‘Hussein’. How truly odd. How truly odd indeed. I don’t listen to this guys radio show, so I wouldn’t know, but I’m curious… does Bill Cunningham always say such stupid things?

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor


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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Inside the 9/11 Report

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor





I've been reading through the 9/11 Commission Report, and it really doesn't do much to address some of the hard questions. It seems almost unconscionable to suggest the Bush administration could have been complicit in the events of 9/11, and yet, a great many Americans believe it to be true. Then again, one need not be a physicist to realize the official version of the story simply doesn't stack up.

Much like a house of cards, both towers tumbled to the ground in a matter of minutes, defying the laws of physics. The impact of the aircraft, and the subsequent explosion of jet fuel has been blamed for compromising the integrity of the structures, but leaves us with more questions than answers. If indeed, the towers fell due to structural failure, why then would building seven also fail? It was not struck by aircraft, nor was it built in the same manner as the towers. How does a building three blocks long collapse from a localized debris fire? Obviously, it doesn't.

Perhaps you are not familiar with the World Trade Center complex prior to 9/11. As such, it would be easy to overlook the obvious contradictions concerning the event. Throughout history, no other buildings have failed in a similar manner and yet, we are expected to believe that this fluke of physics occurred not once, but three times, in a single location.

Could the Bush administration have somehow been involved in orchestrating these events? Frankly, the jury is out. We know for a fact, however, that the administration of Dwight Eisenhower drew up plans for similar attacks on US soil to bolster support for invasions of the USSR and Cuba. The covert operation, known as Operation Northwoods' was wholly rejected by subsequent administrations, but a precedent had been set. The US government had proven beyond doubt, a capability to kill innocent Americans.

911 Report
911 Report

Could 9/11 be another Operation Northwoods'? Unfortunately, it appears entirely possible. Just as the North tower was beginning to list to one side, a series of explosions occurred at street level, causing the building to buckle from beneath, bringing it straight down. These explosions could not have been the result of exploding fuel, as heat rises. Furthermore, we watched in terror as the jet fuel erupted into flames. What then, could have caused the explosions at street level?

We may never know the truth about 9/11, but we certainly know the official explanation is flawed and unacceptable. Could George W. Bush and his administration have knowingly murdered thousands of Americans? One can only wonder.

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor


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Friday, February 08, 2008

John McCain, Ronald Reagan and Other Disturbing Thoughts

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor




This shouldn’t surprise any of you, but I grew up in Arizona. As such, I know crashing your fighter jet onto the deck of an aircraft carrier does not make you a hero. That’s just what John McCain did. I can still recall the images of the carnage there on the deck of the Intrepid. McCain was unable to match the damage done previously by Japanese Kamikaze pilots, but he certainly gave it the ol’ college try. Just a little straight talk.

If that wasn’t disturbing enough, he then managed to get “shot down”. I wasn’t there when it happened, so I won’t dispute the details, but if I were looking for someone to pilot something as important as our country, I certainly wouldn’t turn to John McCain based on his flight record. The man was an iffy pilot. Oh, and by the way… he hasn’t been much of a senator either.

John McCain - Reagan Republican

However, in defense of McCain, I understand why he is on the outs with the neo- conservatives. You see, John McCain sometimes lives in Arizona. Not nearly as much as most residents, but he has spent some time in the valley. In fact, his office is just up the street from mine.

That’s 16th Street, a major artery running through downtown Phoenix. It is one of the oldest roads in the valley. When I was a kid, 16th was lined with large ditches, dug by Mexican laborers over a century ago. The ditches are gone now. The Mexicans are not. Oh, this may be a big deal to some idiot jackass racist Republican, but to me, they are my neighbors.

As you may know, I attended an appearance by Bill Clinton at Grady Gammage Auditorium on the ASU campus in downtown Tempe last week. What you probably don’t know is that the auditorium was built above the ruins of an old Mexican village called San Pablo.

In simple words, this was all part of Mexico not too many years ago. When some fool pops off about “sending them home” I can’t stop laughing. I ‘d be willing to bet any of you idiots my neighbors bloodline goes back further than yours does. This is home for these people, and has been for centuries. Your relatives picked up and left home. They’re relatives did not. Now you want them to leave? Kiss my ass!

And such is the rub for John McCain. He has lived in Arizona long enough, and represented these people long enough to know that every word I’ve written is true.

The problem is further compounded when Ronald Reagan is brought into the picture. You see, the neo- cons love the ‘Gipper, but isn’t he most heralded for urging the so called ‘bad guys to “tear down that wall”? How can a good ‘Reagan republican’ support the building of another Iron Curtain, this one in our own back yard? No really, I kid you not… right through back yards. Right through gardens and neighborhoods. Right through towns. Just like the Iron Curtain in Russia, with one distinct difference. Like the dicks we are, ours will be bigger.

As predicted, the Mexicans are beginning to pack up and "go home". The apartments, once full of Mexicans, lay vacant. No more tenants, no more tamale lady, no more customers buying cerveza and lottery tickets from the bodega on the corner. The local economy has bellied up, thank you very much! And this is just the beginning, mi amigos. If the Republicans have it their way, it won’t be long until Phoenix can’t afford a bano to piss in.

But what does some dork who flunked geography care? He thinks the Mexicans are taking away jobs. He thinks he should have the option to pick onions for a living. Now he does. Flunky has no concept. Flunky has never even been to a border town. He just hates Mexicans. In fact, I’ve met plenty of people like Flunky. Most have little if any understanding. They are ignorant trash.

So what is John McCain to do? Supplicate the neo- cons who already despise him? A real war hero would stick to his guns, and McCain may have the ammo to take on his detractors. Still, it’s apt to get downright nasty, if it hasn’t already. John McCain is in the fight of his life… against his fellow republicans.

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor


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