Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Important Stories You Won't See In Today's News

Former Texas lieutenant governor Ben Barnes admits getting George Bush into the Air National Guard over hundreds on the waiting list. George Bush lied to the American people when he said he received no preferential treatment to get in.

The primary allegations of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth are not supported by documents or actual eye-witnesses to the events in question. It is clear they are conducting a smear campaign that is not being questioned nearly enough by the press.

Swift Boat Veterans for Truth have numerous ties to the Bush administration and Bush family. One of the main accusers recently received a $40 million government contract. Coincidence?

Bush flip-flops on War on Terror. Says we can’t win then says we can. Kerry is portrayed as the flip-flopper when it is actually Bush who has changed his stance on numerous issues.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Some Pre-Republican Convention Thoughts

It feels as though we have all slipped down the rabbit hole into a parallel universe with which Alice (and Orwell) would be very familiar. In this new place, right is wrong, black is white and good is bad. We eat food that is killing us. We watch television and movies filled with violence and human slaughter and call it entertainment. We carry guns in order to feel safe. We pave the earth and call it progress. We wage war in the name of peace. Lies are truth, and the truth is a quaint vestige of a more innocent age resting in a plaque on the fireplace mantle.

In this parallel universe, instead of moving forward toward increased enlightenment, we work hard to turn the clock back to earlier, darker periods of human existence ruled by superstition, paranoia and fear of the unknown. Intolerance is acceptable. Willful ignorance the attitude of the moment. Religious fundamentalism the latest drug of choice. We are losing the battle against the true god of Western Civilization, money, as it lures us farther and farther away from what’s right to what’s Right.

What has happened to us that we let superstition and pre-Enlightenment views of the world sound sensible and draw us farther away from reason and logic? What mass hysteria is on us that so many people view as real stories about events that simply could not have taken place. We laugh knowingly at tales of elves and fairies but swear on our bibles to the reality of angels and talking serpents. There was an “Age of Miracles” according to Christians, a finite period of time when all manner of supernatural evens occurred on earth. Conveniently, it ended a really long time ago. Today, the best we can hope for is a water stain that looks like a bleeding Jesus or a vision of a saint hovering above a field witnessed by a goat herder and his dog. No one parts seas, receives tablets from god or raises people from the dead. Too bad. But in religion, you have the luxury of being able to rationalize anything.

I’m old enough to have lived through 10 presidencies. The baby boom. Camelot. Vietnam. The Great Society. Watergate. Iran hostages. Trickle down economics. No new taxes. Bubba. Each president left his mark, for better or worse, but no head of state, including Richard Nixon, has steered this country farther away from the principles that made it great than George W. Bush. As a direct result of Bush’s policies, we are no longer leaders of the free world as we once were, but instead we are free world bullies, using military might to push our views on others whether they want it or not. Those in the international community who disagree with us or question our motives are seen as enemy sympathizers and disparaged, serving to isolate us even further. The world is not an interdependent community of nations, according to this administration, but a Star Wars-like battlefield of good versus evil, where you’re either with us or against us. We have lost the respect of many countries as we selfishly pursue our national interests at the expense of all other interests. In our own country, our government-induced paranoia is allowing authoritarian ideologists, with the assistance of a compliant media, to strip away basic personal freedoms and turn us into a nation of frightened sheep, hence, easier to control. The economy is manipulated to help those who help political parties, not those who truly need help. Social progress is stunted, public education short-changed and the environment put up for sale to the highest bidder. On the individual level, we’ve capitulated to those who despised an engaged citizenry by substituting robotic slogans for independent thinking, covering our hearts with flag decals and selling our souls for tax cuts.

These are dark times in America as we turn our gaze ever more inward and ever more toward our own perceived self interests. But here’s the thing that so many people either forget or have never learned: Our current situation is not the result of the alignment of the planets or terrorist threats or the French. It is happening because of the inept, backward-looking policies of the Bush Administration. It is happening because ideologically-driven men and women have seen their ascension to power as a sign that they are doing God’s work and he must be pleased to have allowed them to reach such levels of leadership. These are deluded people who would install a theocracy in America if given the chance. The reality is that politics does matter. It matters who is in the White House. It matters who is at the helm of this nation and what course that person is taking. An uninformed, disengaged citizenry is ripe for the picking by opportunists, extremists and con-artists. And with the Bush administration, we’ve hit the tri-fecta. The solution? There are only four alternatives: Vote Bush and his cronies out of office and send them back to Crawford where they can actually do something useful, like clear brush; impeach him if he wins (steals) another election; take to the streets; or watch American democracy suffocate and die.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Baby on Board

I always shake my head in bewilderment when I see one of those yellow “Baby on board” signs in a car window. What does that mean to me as we pass down the road together in close proximity? I’m already distracted reading the sign, which is not a good thing. Maybe in the name of caution I should slow down suddenly, surprising the driver behind me who’s been sitting on my bumper for the past few miles. I could allow for more space as I pass them, thus taking the chance that my tires will get hooked on the shoulder and my car will be thrown into a deadly spin. Possibly they just want me to turn down my radio. At any rate, accidents by their very nature are…well, accidental. No one plans to have an accident (with the exception of insurance cheats), conversely no one can plan not to have an accident with a “Baby on board” car. It might help if the signs were more specific. “Baby on board. No honking.” Or “Baby on board. If you can read this, you’re too close.” Of course, I could be totally wrong and the signs may actually promote more cautious driving. If so, I would recommend a few other window signs be created, such as: “Relatives from New Jersey on board.” “IKEA purchases on board.” “Mother-in-law on board.” In other words, convince me why I shouldn’t have an accident with you…or should.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Hell to Pay

By John Andreini

A full-length play. Dark comedy.

"This is a puzzling world, and Old Harry's got a finger in it."
George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss

Advertising account executive Danny Laws is having a devil of a time. He's on the verge of losing his agency's biggest client, and, as a result, his job and reputation as New York's hottest ad man. When things look bleakest, he's offered a deal that could save his hide, but cost him his soul. What begins as a simple Faustian contractual arrangement ends up becoming the biggest potential deal Danny could ever dream of--an ad campaign for Hell. All he has to do is make a presentation to Old Harry and the deal is in the bag. Problems arise, however, when a second agency gets involved and Danny is pressured into accepting conditions that put his dreams in jeopardy. Damned if he does and damned if he doesn't, Danny and his colleague/lover Lisa prepare the mother of all presentations. But are they actually presenting to the Prince of Darkness and his enigmatic assistant or a couple of devilishly clever con men? Either way, Danny and Lisa use every weapon at their disposal to dispatch the evil duo and rescue their pride, pocketbooks, and perhaps, their souls.

Read more about "Hell to Pay" by going to http://www.playscripts.com

A Day in the Life

Inspired by Daniel Ellsberg’s call to release confidential or secret documents related to the Bush administration, I am publishing a document that just recently came into my possession. It is a page taken directly from George Bush’s personal daily schedule, supplied to him each evening for the next day. Of course, I cannot reveal how I obtained this sensitive document, but I can say without reservation it is the real thing.

6:00 a.m. -- 7:00 a.m.
Wake up, shower, shave, urinate (practice aim and shake well), dress, take medications (DO NOT FORGET)

7:00 a.m. -- 7:45 a.m.
Breakfast (Boo Berries and Gatorade), read comics, practice smirk.

7:45 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
Morning Briefing — We will call you when it is over.

8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Sign a bunch of papers.

9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Meet with President Levy Mwanawasa of Zambia (a country in Africa, that big continent that kind of looks like South America but isn’t). Please remember not to use phrases like “darky” or “pickaninny” while speaking with President Mwanawasa. Ignore or deflect questions from the press.

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 a.m.
Greet paraplegic representative for Human Dignity Now organization (do not grimace or make a “Yuck” face and yes, you have to shake his hand). Sign new Republican sponsored legislation designating March 3 as “I’m helpless, but I don’t need government assistance” Day.

12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Lunch (Grilled cheese, Fritos, milk, Oreos). Watch Days of Our Lives, Oprah. Nap.

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Afternoon briefing. General Hampton will attend. Please, do not ask to play with his revolver again. And under no circumstances are you to ask questions, unless it’s if you can go to the bathroom. Lead closing prayer (God Bless America, blah, blah, blah, Amen)

3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Meet with leaders of Congress regarding Patriot Act II. John will be there to answer most of the questions. Remember DSFFA: Don’t swear, fart or fall asleep. Bring a sketch pad in case you get bored.

5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Dinner meeting with select lower-level cabinet members. Two of them are under investigation by Justice, one is under criminal investigation by DC police, three are facing ethics violations, one is a level 3 sex offender, so you’ll notice the tracking device on his wrist. Great bunch of guys you can be yourself with.

7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Fundraiser at the Watergate. You know the ground rules: Don’t hit on the staff. Keep to the topics of sports and weather. Don’t grab Laura’s breasts or rear. Don’t double-dip and use a napkin.

9:00 p.m. – 9:05 p.m.
Personal time with Laura.

9:05 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Fall asleep in front of TV. Have SS agents carry you to bed and tuck you in with Pookers.

Election Radar: October Surprise

Buildup to the October Surprise

Many Americans are anticipating some sort of catastrophic event prior to the November elections. Some say it is inevitable based on terrorist "chatter." Others are more skeptical, looking askance at an administration with a record of dirty tricks that is bent on winning at any cost. Predictions abound on the Web, so, being of unsound mind, I am more than willing to spread my own conspiracy theories. I really do love a good conspiracy theory. So here is what I see unfolding over the next few months leading up to election day, and beyond.

August 29 — The Terror Alert jumps to red based on information discovered during an archeological dig in an ancient Sumarian cave. The message, carved into limestone tablets predating Moses, predicts massive plagues and firestorms from heaven in a “Western Land.” “No question this is the work of Al-Qaida,” said Director of Homeland Security Tom Ridge. “It matches their profile to a ‘T’.”

August 30 — Paul Wolfowitz quietly resigns to start a beauty solon franchise called “Spit & Polish.”

September 1 — Kerry/Edwards team dealt a blow when John Edwards is lured into a motel room by a Pamela Andersen look-alike feigning distress over her malfunctioning vibrating bed. An hour later, Republican operatives with cameras burst into the room catching Edwards and faux-Pamela doing the hokey-pokey dressed like TeleTubbies.

September 2 — Rumsfeld leaves government service after being offered a starring role in the upcoming movie, “Grumpy Old Men 3”

September 5 — Bush returns to the White House after a three-week vacation in Texas only to discover his approval rating at a rock bottom 30%. “So I’m supposed to let the ranch go to hell just because I’m running for reelection,” mused Bush. Then, pointing to a reporter, he asked, “Are you going to clear the brush for me?” To which the now missing reporter responded, “You’re a nut case, Mr. President.”

September 8 — Bill O’Reilly hospitalized after attempting to strangle an Iranian diplomat in a New York City hotel elevator. From his hospital bed, O’Reilly argued his case. “The way he looked at me, those eyes…. It all said, ‘I have a bomb in my briefcase and we’re all going to die.’ So I did what any red blooded American would do. I kicked his ass.” Witnesses say it was O’Reilly who got the worst of it, having to be carried out of the hotel on a stretcher. The diplomat suffered only minor bruising to his neck, and is demanding a formal apology.

September 11 — Bush spends the day golfing with brother Jeb in Orlando.

September 20 — Tom Ridge issues “Super-Duper Red” terror alert, a new category created that day. Sales of duct tape and ascension robes skyrocket.

October 9 — Osama Bin Laden captured in Las Vegas casino working as a Black Jack dealer. William Bennett credited with ID.

October 12 — In the only major presidential debate Bush would participate in, Kerry agrees to be sedated, gagged and dressed in a Girl Scout uniform. Bush still manages only a tie, according to pundits.

October 23 — On “Meet the Press,” Dick Cheney says that anyone who doesn’t vote for Bush is a “F**** G***** S********* traitor.” Expletives were not deleted, with network censors claiming, “It all happened so fast.”

October 26 — As Bush poll numbers continue to plummet, terrorist chatter increases. Seven Al-Qaida members arrested while working at Bush reelection campaign offices in New York, Los Angeles and Topeka.

November 1 — Bush declares Marshall law, cancels elections, and goes on vacation to Crawford.

November 2 — Tony Blair outs himself and Bush, declares undying love for his “Brave Little Cowpoke”

November 3 — Democratic party dissolved.