Saturday, June 30, 2007

Impeach them instead--and NOW

You can wait and see how the subpoenas for information and testimony the Bush administration doesn't want to produce, to build cases which republican appointed Federalist judges will probably throw out of court goes, or you can tell Rep. Conyers you want Congress to impeach Bush and Cheney now by signing the petition.

Mcmansions, SUVs, Mega-Churches and the Baghdad Embassy: Life Among Dim and Brutal Giants

by Phil Rockstroh

In microcosmic mimicry of the plight of the besieged middle and laboring classes, my parent's Atlanta neighborhood, as is the case with many others in the vicinity, is being destroyed, in reality -- disappeared -- by a blight of upper-class arrogance. The modest, post-war homes of the area are being "scraped" from the landscape as an infestation of bloated mcmansions rises from the tortured soil. These particleboard and Tyvek-choked monstrosities loom over the remaining smaller houses of the area, as oversized and ugly as mindless bullies, as banal as the dreams of petty tyrants.

In the surrounding suburbs, in a similar manner as mcmansions eclipse sunlight, throwing the adjacent houses into half-light, mega-churches eclipse the light of reason, leaving their congregations in an ignorant half-light of dogma and superstition. Of course, these true believer lunatics are wrong about everything, except, perhaps, for their elliptical apprehension regarding the arrival of proliferate cataclysms in the years to come. Oddly: Although they promulgate dire warnings on the subject, they seem gleeful at the prospect of wide-spread suffering.

How could they not be? They've seized upon a fantasy that allows them to escape from the tyranny of their own life-suffocating belief system. Attempting to subdue the suffocating dread of their corporately circumscribed lives, they wish for the destruction of the entire planet. Hence, their escapist fantasy, by the necessity of narrative, is huge, outrageous -- apocalyptic. The progenitor of their End Time tale is this: The believer's emotional inflexibility begets a form of ontological giantism -- a phenomenon that arises when one's worldview is too small to explain the larger world. Therefore, a story must be created that contains violence and terror on such a massive scale that its unfolding would kill off the entire, problematic world. "That's right world, there's not enough room on this planet for both you and my beliefs. One of us has to go."

Upon the nation's roadways and interstate highways, the overgrown clown cars of the apocalypse, SUVs, Humvees, and oversized pickup trucks also evince hugeness to compensate for the feelings of those folks inside the grotesque vehicles of being crushed by alienation and isolation -- not only while on the road -- but by the realities of an existence within a hapless, oil-dependent empire which is itself powerless against the changing realities of the larger world.

In the ranks of the exploiter class, the fat salaries of CEOs separate them further from the general population of the consumer state (that they take every opportunity to bamboozle) as the American public itself grows fatter and fatter in body mass, vainly attempting to sate an inner emptiness borne of their perceived helplessness before the predation of corporate culture.

Concurrently, in Baghdad, the U.S. embassy, which, when completed, will be the largest "diplomatic" compound on the planet is, in fact, an inadvertent monument to the mindless colossus the U.S.A. has become. The structure is as accurate as the art of architecture can be in its depiction of the spirit of a nation's people. As big and bloated as our national sense of exceptionalism, it stands in the so-called Green Zone of Baghdad, shielding those who will be bunkered down within it -- not only from the murderous madness unfolding outside its highly fortified walls -- but from reality itself. A massive emblem of the arrogance of power, the embassy is a testament to how the noxious vapors of cultural self-deception can be made manifest in reenforced concrete, armed watchtowers and razor wire.

Through it all, like some eternally slumbering Hindu deity, we Americans dream these things into existence. Far from blameless, we continue to allow the elites to exploit us; therefore, we enable and sustain their titanic sense of entitlement. In turn, we accept their paltry bribes and, as a result, our banal, selfish dreams have conjured forth George Bush from the zeitgeist. Ergo, Bush is a man whose impenetrable narcissism is so grotesque and ringed with fortifications, that all on his own he constitutes a walking analog of the American embassy in Baghdad.

In addition, we Americans continue to believe our fables of righteous power: Big is good, goes our John Wayne jack-off fantasy. Our leaders must be large: Only Mcmansion-like men, such as Mitt Romney, are acceptable. We believe: Dennis Kucinich is too diminutive in physical stature to be president -- with the length of his body being roughly the size of Romney's head.

In turn, our national landscape is stretched to the breaking point: Cluttered upon it, gigantic islands of garish light torment the night, scouring away the stars, estranging us from imagination, empathy, and eros, and leaving us only with the insatiable appetites of consumerism. Thus, around the clock, inside enormous, under-inspected, industrial slaughterhouses and meat processing plants, underpaid, benefit-bereft workers ply their gruesome, monstrously cruel trade, then the butchered wares are transported by way of brutal, double and triple-axle trailer, diesel trucks over stygian interstate highways to sepulchral supermarkets and charnel house restaurant chains. Insuring, we flesh-eating zombies are provided with all the water-bloated, steroid-ridden meat and industrially farmed, pesticide-laquered vegetables and starches -- The Cuisines Of The Living Dead -- we could ever crave ... uum, uum, it's the Thanatotic yumminess of empire's end. Try our convenient drive through window. Would you like us to super-size your order of commodified death?

Hyperbolic ravings, you say. America is not a culture in love with death.

Let's see. Drawing upon just one example: The corpses of well over half a million dead Iraqis testify otherwise. Moreover, the continuing Iraqi resistance to our occupation speaks volumes as well. Yet still, most of us cannot hear their elegy of outrage over the din created by the parade of killer clowns that we have mistaken for the pageantry of nationhood.

How does one slow this juggernaut of psychosis and curb these acts of murder/suicide being perpetrated on a global scale? Truth is, we might not be able to stop it, because this is what lies beneath our unlimited sense of entitlement and self-defeating arrogance: a death-wish that manifests itself as exceptionalism and may well destroy the nation by means of imperial overreach -- which is, of course, the time-established method by which empires dispose of themselves.

Further, this state of affairs is exacerbated by the narcissistic insularity of our media elite. At the end of the day, it's their tumescent egos that are distorting our societal discourse; their vanities and attendant self-serving pronouncements are little more than steaming cargos of horseshit, carried and delivered by one-trick-jackasses -- jackasses endowed with the singular skill of being able to read a teleprompter ... Fred Thompson, your agent is calling: You have an important call from Washington, DC.

Notice this: The more permeating the rot becomes within the system's structure the more huge and pervasive the edifice of media imagery will grow – and the more trivial its content will become. The closer we come to systemic collapse the more we will hear about celebrity contretemps. Cretinous heiresses and shit-wit starlets, with shoddy mechanisms of self-restraint, people the public imagination, because they carry our infantilism, embody our collective carelessness, and, in turn, suffer public humiliation, as we desperately attempt to displace, upon them, the humiliation of our own daily existence within the oppressive authoritarianism of the corporate state.

Correspondingly, there is a well-known (by those who care to look) link between fascism and corporatism. To Mussolini, the two terms were interchangeable. According to rumor, we defeated fascism, during the first half of the 20th century. Yet, at present, we spend our days sustaining a liberty-loathing, soul-enervating corpocracy. To live under corporatism is, in ways large and small, to be a fascist-in-training. Everyday, hour by hour, the exploitive, neo-liberal concept of work devours more and more of our lives. As a consequence, the true self within is crushed to dust and what remains rises as cultural squalls of low-level fear, with its concomitant need for constant distraction. As all the while, the psyches of the well-off (financially, that is) become inflated, gaudy and ugly; in short, internally, they become human versions of mcmansions.

Freedom is a microcosm of the forces of evolution engendered by living in the midst of life -- a mode of being that apprehends and is transformed by the beauty, sorrow, and wit of the world. Conversely, authoritarian societies are collectives of accomplished liars and lickspittle ciphers, where one must conceal one's essential self at all costs and the soul falls into atrophy.

To what extent does authoritarian rule diminish both the individual and a nation? Simply, take a look around you and witness the keening wasteland our nation has become. Furthermore, our emptiness cannot be filled by any amount of wealth or power. This is the reason the obscene amounts of mammon acquired by the privileged classes is never -- can never be -- enough to satisfy them, for their inner abyss is boundless. In a similar vein, no amount of killing can sate a psychopath's emptiness. Dick Cheney will scowl all the way to the boneyard, hoping he can ascend to heaven by scaling the mountainous pile of corpses he's responsible for placing there.

In folk stories, when giants are about, drought and famine withers the land and starvation stalks its people. Accordingly, the ruthless giantism inherent to the Corporate/Military/Mass Media state has withered our inner lives, blighted our landscape, and left us powerless before a huge, demeaning system that devours our time, health and humanity.

The bone-grinding giants of the American corporate and political classes have shot the Golden Goose full of growth hormones, enclosed her in an industrial coop, and hoarded her voluminous output of eggs. Yet, nothing satisfies them.

Meanwhile, online, we struggle in a Jack in the Beanstalk Insurgency, hoping that from things as tiny and seemingly trivial as mere beans -- our postings, exchanges and periodic meet-ups -- the fall of tyrannical giants might begin.

Phil Rockstroh, a self-described, auto-didactic, gasbag monologist, is a poet, lyricist and philosopher bard living in New York City. He may be contacted at: Rockstroh is a contributing editor to Cyrano's Journal Online.

Paul Hawken: How to Stop Our Political and Economic Systems From Stealing Our Future

"It will be the stroke of midnight for the rest of our lives. It is too late for heroes. We need an accelerated intertwining of the over 1 million nonprofits and 100 million people who daily work for the preservation and restoration of life on earth.... The language of sustainability is about ideas that never end: growth without inequality, wealth without plunder, work without exploitation, a future without fear. A green movement fails unless there's a black-, brown-, and copper-colored movement, and that can only exist if the movement to change the world touches the needs and suffering of every single person on earth." - 12/26/06

Long, and worth it.

Happy subpoena week

Thank God it's Friday. The Senate Judiciary Committee subpoenaed the White House, the office of the vice president and various individuals this week regarding warrantless wiretapping and the dismissal of nine U.S. attorneys. White House counsel and spokespersons, who were well advised to say nothing in my opinion, instead offered voluminous comic relief:

Tony Fratto, White House spokesperson, on NSA subpoenas:

"It's unfortunate that congressional Democrats continue to choose the route of confrontation." [...]

Fratto defended the surveillance program as "lawful" and "limited."

"It's specifically designed to be effective without infringing Americans' civil liberties," Fratto said. "The program is classified for a reason its purpose is to track down and stop terrorist planning. We remain steadfast in our commitment to keeping Americans safe from an enemy determined to use any means possible including the latest in technology to attack us."

Fred Fielding, White House counsel:

In a June 28 letter to Conyers and Leahy, White House counsel Fred Fielding argued that both the documents and witness testimony would not be provided because they are protected by executive privilege.

"With respect, it is with much regret that we are forced down this unfortunate path which we sought to avoid by finding grounds for mutual accommodation," Fielding wrote. "We had hoped this matter could conclude with your Committees receiving information in lieu of having to invoke Executive Privilege. Instead, we are at this conclusion." [...]

In his letter to Democrats, Fielding argued that "fear of being commanded to Capitol Hill to testify or having their documents produced to Congress" would prevent top presidential advisers from communicating "openly and honestly" with the president in making decisions.

He also asserted that the confidentiality protection was "especially strong" in this case because the president has the sole constitutional authority to appoint and remove federal prosecutors.

"Furthermore, it remains unclear precisely how and why your Committees are unable to fulfill your legislative and oversight interests without the unfettered requests you have made in the subpoenas," Fielding wrote.

"Put differently, there is no demonstration that the documents and information you seek by subpoena are critically important to any legislative initiatives that you may be pursuing or intending to pursue."

Fielding reminded lawmakers that the president had proposed a compromise on the U.S. attorneys issue that involved releasing communications between the White House and Justice Department, and the White House and third parties, but not internal White House communications. Fielding also had offered to allow top aides to testify, but in private, not under oath and without a transcript. He said that offer still stands. [...]

Fielding's letter was accompanied by another letter to President Bush from Justice Department Solicitor General Paul Clement buttressing Fielding's arguments.

Clement states that in all cases, it was appropriate for Fielding to claim executive privilege.

Clement argues that "Congress's interests in the documents and related testimony would not be sufficient to override an executive privilege claim."

As far as internal White House deliberations, Clement contends that while the president routinely consults with Congress over the nomination of U.S. attorneys, that is a "courtesy" that does not give Congress the right to "inquire into the deliberations of the President" and his appointment authority.

"Consequently, there is reason to question whether Congress has oversight authority to investigate deliberations by White House officials concerning proposals to dismiss and replace U.S. attorneys, because such deliberations necessarily relate to the potential exercise by the President of an authority assigned to him alone," Clement wrote.

Clement further contends that any oversight interest is "sharply reduced" by the plethora of documents already provided to Congress by the Justice Department on the matter. Clement claims the 8,500 pages of documents turned over by Justice to Congress constitute an "extraordinary - and indeed, unprecedented" insight into the matter. [...]

The Congressional investigation into the president's appointment authority "falls outside its core constitutional responsibilities" and that it would be "very difficult, if not impossible" for White House aides to "separate in their minds" knowledge from protected and unprotected deliberations, Clement wrote.

Tony Snow, White House press secretary, on wiretapping subpoenas:

"It's an outrageous request," White House press secretary Tony Snow said.

"It's pretty clear that again members of Congress are engaged in an attempt ... to try to do what they can to make life more difficult for the White House," Snow said. "It also explains why this is the least popular Congress in decades, because you do have what appears to be a strategy of destruction rather than cooperation."

They could bag that fluff and make a fortune stuffing pillows. What these crybabies don't understand, and neglect to mention, is that Congress is investigating the commission of crimes. Just ask Paul K. Charlton:

Paul K. Charlton, one of nine U.S. attorneys fired last year, told members of Congress yesterday that Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales has been overzealous in ordering federal prosecutors to seek the death penalty, including in an Arizona murder case in which no body had been recovered.

Justice Department officials had branded Charlton, the former U.S. attorney in Phoenix, disloyal because he opposed the death penalty in that case. But Charlton testified yesterday that Gonzales has been so eager to expand the use of capital punishment that the attorney general has been inattentive to the quality of evidence in some cases - or the views of the prosecutors most familiar with them.

"No decision is more important for a prosecutor than whether or not to . . . deliberately and methodically take a life," Charlton said. "And that holds true for the attorney general." [...]

Justice Department data presented at the hearing demonstrated that the administration's death penalty dispute with Charlton was not unique. The Bush administration has so far overruled prosecutors' recommendations against its use more frequently than the Clinton administration did. The pace of overrulings picked up under Gonzales's predecessor, Attorney General John D. Ashcroft, and spiked in 2006, when the number of times Gonzales ordered prosecutors to seek the death penalty against their advice jumped to 21, from three in 2005.

Barry M. Sabin, deputy assistant attorney general for the department's criminal division, testified, "I don't know and haven't evaluated the circumstances of the numbers." He added: "There should be great respect for those who are most familiar with the facts of the case, the co-defendants and the local community." But by law, the attorney general has final say over whether capital charges are filed.

According to Charlton, the case on which he clashed with Gonzales involved a methamphetamine dealer named Jose Rios Rico, who was charged with slaying his drug supplier. Charlton said he believed the case, which has not yet gone to trial, did not warrant the death penalty because police and prosecutors lacked forensic evidence - including a gun, DNA or the victim's body. He said that the body was evidently buried in a landfill and that he asked Justice Department officials to pay $500,000 to $1 million for its exhumation.

The department refused, Charlton said. And without such evidence, he testified, the risk of putting the wrong person to death was too high.

Charlton said that in prior cases, Ashcroft's aides had given him the chance to discuss his recommendations against the death penalty, but that Gonzales's staff did not offer that opportunity. He instead received a letter, dated May 31, 2006, from Gonzales, simply directing him to seek the death penalty.

Charlton testified that he asked Justice officials to reconsider and had what he called a "memorable" conversation with Deputy Attorney General Paul J. McNulty. Michael J. Elston, then McNulty's chief of staff, called Charlton to relay that the deputy had spent "a significant amount of time on this issue with the attorney general, perhaps as much as five to 10 minutes," and that Gonzales had not changed his mind. Charlton said he then asked to speak directly with Gonzales and was denied.

Last August, D. Kyle Sampson, then Gonzales's chief of staff, sent Elston a dismissive e-mail about the episode that said: "In the 'you won't believe this category,' Paul Charlton would like a few minutes of the AG's time." The next month, Charlton's name appeared on a list of prosecutors who should be fired, which Sampson sent to the White House. [...]

James B. Comey, deputy attorney general under Ashcroft, testified last month that Charlton once had persuaded him not to pursue the death penalty. "Paul Charlton was a very experienced - still is very smart, very honest and able person," Comey told lawmakers. "And I respected him a great deal and would always listen to what he had to say."

My question is, did Gonzales, et al., commit a crime? I'd say yes, absolutely: abuse of power at least, attempted murder at most.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Putting in the fix

I come from a rich heritage of reading about the Bush administration's many sins, treason, bribery, high crimes and misdemeanors. The news stories and editorials have become longer, longer and longer. I'm reading more words and fewer stories. I've written a little, receiving no response or scathing attacks on my character, manners and moral failings. Sinclair Lewis would be proud. I was the first person I saw suggest Bush and Cheney belong on death row, not the White House. I broke precedent again when I used the words "hanging" and "hang them."

When Congressional democrats approved the recent war funding bill, I felt a rare kind of irritation. On a blog I won't name I commented under an article about impeachment that Congress seemed much too far away from it for any realistic expectation, and that if they were serious about firing our White House occupants, they might want to consider assassination--although I couldn't recommend using politicians for target practice. Certainly the site administrator thought that went too far, and immediately removed my comment. The point, however, is that if Plan A is impeachment, it is beyond time to give Plans B, C and D priority.

I don't want them to die. I don't want anyone to die. I just want them to stop. And, as I predicted that day, I've seen others use the Big A Word since, but they weren't first. Those comments got jerked, too. I believe if the ten biggest papers in the country said it in banner headlines, Bush and Pals wouldn't fret at all: while they enjoy inspiring fear and anxiety, and might send their minions out for a visit, they'd be reluctant to carry it further. They are sure of their security, and are certain they're bulletproof.

It occurred to me that if someone had a pushbutton labeled "Fire Bush And Cheney Now," and pushed it, and their employment was terminated, it wouldn't cure what ails us anyway. The rot is too systemic. There is little doubt and growing certainty that it would be a step in the right direction, however. And, I began thinking about opening my own site. It isn't that I am married to the notion that it shouldn't be considered poor conduct to write the incumbent executives must be removed by any effective means, considering the wholesale damage to our systems of laws and justice, the environment, the economy and all the needless killing which bears their bloody fingerprints. For simply threatening the kind of war they've planned with Iran, they should have a bounty on their heads. That won't happen, and such words skate on the thin ice of lawbreaking, especially in today's repressive environment which despises and attempts to end freedom of expression. And, like I said, it won't cure what ails us.

I've been arguing with myself about some simple, practical measures that anyone and everyone can put to work to straighten out not just public servants who have not held their duty duly before them, but repair and heal a world which has gone so sadly and regrettably wrong. And guess what--I think I'm finally starting to get somewhere!

Here is an example by Bernard Weiner of The Crisis Papers. He offers three suggestions, the last of which is that Congressional democrats should receive in their offices writs of mandamus July 16, compelling them to do their constitutionally prescribed duty to uphold the law and commence the procedure to remove Bush, Cheney and others from office for reasons already demonstrated.

That's a practical suggestion, but a better, more appropriate plan would be to file writs of quo warranto on Bush and Cheney themselves, asking them to demonstrate to a court why they believe they have authority to hold office, wage preemptive war and engage in their many egregious violations of law and the Bill of Rights. What a hoot that would be! I'll bet even George Bush doesn't know a lawyer who can lie that much. Such writs aren't used against government officials these days as they had been historically. But, it doesn't mean it couldn't happen--and imagine the happy day you'd have if a judge ruled against Bush and Cheney. It could render null each and every thing they've done, and remove them from office. All we need is an attorney with courage of Biblical proportions.

That's the kind of thing I hope to explore. I'm no longer satisfied to keep reading endless lists of the Bush administration's mischief. We desperately need real life answers. Some of them are very simple things. That's the new ground I hope to turn, and to succeed in the smallest way is the victory I pursue.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

SCOTUS: Speech freer for some

Because I opened this site primarily as a meeting place for refugees of WotIsItGood4, and I'm not Lukery, I won't try to be your one-stop news shop. But there are some stories that get my dander up.

This is one. The republican conservative majority on the court opened a loophole on the restrictions of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, then turned around and said no to an Alaska high school student's test of freedom of expression.

I won't excerpt the article, you can read it yourself and draw your own conclusions. It isn't long. The first case was brought by a group against legal abortion wanting to buy TV time before an election. The court said they should be able to do that. Both sides of that argument have valid concerns, and while the law didn't address what really ails elections, in theory, the judges decided to err on the side of freedom of expression, which sounds good. But now, you'll have those confusing, abusive "issue" ads before elections with partisan goals, clear or obscure, which is an open invitation to the world's Swift Boaters. We haven't heard the last of campaign reform.

The other case riles me. It should have never gone to any court, let alone the Supreme Court. It involves a student who was punished for putting up a banner that said "bong hits for Jesus." The court said the principal has the right to punish a student for language that endorses drug use.

Aside from the whole "protecting children" thing that couldn't be more annoying, think of what the ruling teaches young people. You can't say whatever you want. You will be censored and punished without due process. Didn't we all learn enough bad science, bad law and bad manners in school without an attack on freedom of expression? A better response to the banner would have been, "amen to that." I dislike the first decision and hate the second.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Welcome to SayItSayItSayIt

Welcome to SayItSayItSayIt. You can read the news in at least a million different places. Wouldn't it be nice if you could still get news on television so you could lie on the sofa and not have to sit in a chair, reading a computer monitor? Don't give up the dream!

I've been so thoroughly amused with the way that just when I thought the Bush administration had gone as far afield as I thought it could go, yet another ridiculous extreme emerges. Did they grow up with the ambition of going down in history as the worst people who ever lived? No, they had and still have the idea they can own and rule the world.

If the planned attack on Iran is any indication, they still believe it's realistic. And, they're willing to kill as many people as it takes, including everyone in the United States. I've talked about this at great length. It's been an interesting experience. For the most part, people tell me: (1) they don't believe it will happen; (2) if we attack Iran, the biggest threat to the U.S. will be terrorist blowback; (3) the war will unleash political turmoil among socio-politico-religious factions in Iran; (4) we won't use nuclear weapons; (5) Iran has been thumbing its nose at us for years and we should kill as many of them as we can; (6) Iran is the biggest threat facing the United States today; (7) that I'm irresponsible, impolite, incorrect, breaking the law or crazy. They tell me a lot of other things, and imply things that go unsaid, mainly the suggestion nuclear weapons are clean, and all you get with a nuclear device is an explosion.

None of these perceptions is correct. I'm amazed that people are as uninformed as that, and lacking in curiosity. And where is Congress? Only concerned with their re-electability, and unwilling to make a strong statement of opposition, that's where, and may I add, unable to extrapolate. Their fates are in it, too.

We don't hear much about the state of war preparedness these days, but the last we heard, three aircraft carrier groups are planned for the operation. It emphasizes air strikes. There are approximately 80 fighter planes on each carrier, for a total of 240. Striking 1,500 targets and hitting them with ballistic missiles armed with five megaton nuclear warheads in a maneuver called "over the shoulder bombing" is planned. That's six or seven targets per plane, assuming none are shot down. Unlike Iraq and Afghanistan, Iran possesses a world-class air defense system, so the attack force should expect heavy losses. I expect Iran is able to sink aircraft carriers, although it's just my opinion.

But, assuming we are able to hit all those targets, or more, what will happen? Each warhead contains firepower equal to approximately 335 times the yield of the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima. Times 1,500, you can expect the initial attack to kill almost everyone in Iran. Then, about a billion people to the east and southeast of the attack will be showered with radioactive fallout, and a lot of it. Those in Iran who aren't killed in the initial attack will succomb to the residual gamma radiation. The infrastructure will be completely destroyed. Iran's oil will be radiated and rendered unusable. Nothing like this has been done before, so we can't really know how the world will react.

But you can expect that Russia and China, countries which have in recent years invested hundreds of billions of dollars in energy deals with Iran, won't sit back and let bygones be bygones. In fact, if ever there were a good reason to launch a nuclear strike on a country, they will have one and will launch tactical nuclear warheads yielding 20-50 megatons against the United States, as too very likely will India, the recipient of so much of the fallout from the attack on Iran. We won't stand still for that, and our submarines will retaliate. By the time two or three dozen major cities have been destroyed, enough radiated dust will be injected into the atmosphere that the sky will be nothing but dense, black soot which will blot out the sun for years and poison every living thing on the surface, except perhaps for a few hearty weeds and some species of cockroaches.

The Bush administration knows all of this, yet still believes it's the thing to do, and that the destruction of the earth and the deaths of billions and most likely the entire biosphere is not too large a price to pay for American global hegemony and a permanent, republican lock on power!

These people need to be fired. Further, they belong in a state hospital or prison. They may be willing to commit suicide for the sake of their loyalty to George W. Bush, but I am not.