Fire Hazard

While assembling my late-coming map of the 08 primary season,my apparent utilization of four lightbulbs,refridgerator,coffee maker, television,and computer were too much for my obsolete 15 amp circuit. My landlord desperately loves this little granny cottage I happen to inhabit with more electronics,booze,drugs,art,politics,and presently the Colts game. The poor place isn’t ready to handle my twenty-first century globally-connected,high-amp usage lifestyle. But what the fuck – I wasn’t running the microwave and an air conditioner while pulling 600 watts RMS for my bass amp (which isn’t even here)… And it’s 7:00pm on a Sunday. There’s not a lot to my house when there’s no electricity running through it. The Map is quiet and invisible with its numbers,ratios,notes all useless and dark. VCY America is off somewhere else convincing fine young Americans to put their faith in God and Church instead of Science,but not here. The beer & cheese is getting warm.

In a long run from Ace to Home Depot to Target to the next 5 gas stations I can find,nothing but 20 and 25 amp fuses. In a last effort ditch I stopped in at Bay View Quickie Mart. A favorite afternoon stop of mine for beer & racial slurs. I pick up some 15 amp fuses. Once home,I noticed that in my excitement over the hard-to-find 15 amp fuses,they’re TS’s and not S’s,with a wider base that won’t fit in the box. I go back upstairs and kick the door in spite of my landlord. The fuck he’ll be able to replace this splintered wood he so adores by the time I’m finished with it. I pull out my type S 20 amp orange fuse and my pocket knife. I click on the television,watch some Fox News and start whittling away the 20 amp screw-threads. 15 minutes later,I have a stripped 20 amp fuse that’ll jam nicely into a 15 amp box. A little force,a turn of the wrist,and CLICK. Lights, Television,Politics,and Cold Beer. Fuck you.

For those who feel the need to point out the fire hazard of such a moronic and depraved act,do this in rememberance of me: when my house ignites and turns my soul to carbon,make sure my landlord’s house joins me. I’m not interested in hearing how much he loves this little granny cottage property value tax revenue piece. I’m interested in why there are 15 amp circuits in the year two thousand fucking seven.

But for the Republicans,the Iowa caucus follows (and should not be confused with) the Iowa Straw Poll in August of the preceding year. Out of the five Iowa Straw Pdoll iterations,1987 is the only year in which the winner of the Iowa Straw Poll has not gone on to win the Iowa caucus. This is why McCain and Giuliani skipped the poll,seeing that Mitt had it locked up in the early season of August 2007. Ah,the Colts are getting shut down hard by the fucking Tennesee defense – a crushing near-catch dropped on 4th down spells the end.

Political questions left hanging at this point:
What are the turnouts for Primaries vs. Caucuses,knowing that the Dems prefer the caucus format for low-delegate states?
What of the Virgin Islands,Puerto Rico,and Overseas Democrats’ delegates?
What will the effects of FL and MI being stirpped of their delegates? If the DNC has punished them for their anxious primary dates,will the follow the rules when it comes to the convention? Perhaps they’ll cast their votes for whomever they want…
2/5 is the biggie date. A candidate will be blasted out of that hellish Tuesday night,and we’ll wake up on 2/6 with our two presidential candidates,nevermind the rest of the schedule. Here in WI, we’ll be debating beers vs. votes,and rightly so.
Are the parties betting on the stripped delegates not gaining seats in the conventions when it comes down to the line? Perhaps the DNC/RNC will "lighten up" once the early primaries have already decided a candidate,and they’ll vote in their seats..

Iowa will start to form the shape that will replace the overgrown ego of an 8 year Bush legacy. There are many questions that will follow,even after Feb. 5.

Bhutto,Lidocane,the election goes for serious drugs,and severe bone fracturing.

My mother fell,and fractured her wrist tonight. I’m here in the hospital with her,attempting to keep her mind off the pain. We’re watching the news. She’s on the drugs. Pakistan’s on fire.

Giuliani is on Television talking to wolf about his experience in foreign policy,linking 9/11 to foreign policy knowledge… He’s declined to talk about whether supporting Musharraf is the right policy now,adding in token vague opinions on whether elections should continue on schedule. The promotion of Democracy seems to be all the candidates’ call to arms in light Bhutto’s murder. For a long time now,Pakistan has been the centerpiece of foreign policy ignorance. While the spotlight continues to shine so bright on Iraq,Afghanistan’s fading off in the limelight of a long-passed golden age of the War on Terror with its clear villians,Pakistan’s turmoil has grown steadily. Bush talks about his great ally in the War on Terror and Giuliani repeats his song of Stability,Stability,Stability. Whether he’s talking about a pro-American dictator re-establishing his grip on a country destroying itself is of course left up to us.

"No surprise," Dan Rather tells Wolf. It’s clear that Bhutto knew she walked into her death upon returning from exile. We like to see heroes walk into certain death and watch them overcome. Like heroes,she walked proud and spoke eloquently in a place burdened with military political regime and violent radicalism,stoked by Musharraf’s strong grip and blind eye. But the question now is the same as it was before – how will Pakistan react to this latest thrust in a long series of violence? The obvious answer is in the same way they’ve reacted to all previous crisis – violently. Who could blame them? But how much more will the people of Pakistan take? The centrist-left population wouldn’t accept Musharraf before,and they’re certainly out for blood now. And with no options and no hope left,the various factions of Pakistan are going to come to a head with Musharraf poised to hold strong in his position. He’ll even go so far as to re-establish the necessity of his rule,the requirement of his police state,and the crack-down on moderate opposition in the name of Giuliani’s Stability,Stability,Stability.

How will the moderate people of Pakistan react to the extremist elements inherent in Pakistan? Bhutto’s criticism of Musharraf has always been his focus on military rule over moderates while placating the extremist elements operating in the northern areas. The moderates feel a keen sense of betrayal on the part of Musharraf,with elections likely to be called off and some sort of return to martial law and military rule. And this will certainly push the disillusioned Bhutto supporters and moderates towards that razor-edge of violent political upheaval… Bhutto was looking for a rare sort of peace within a region ravaged by radical internal strife for decades. There’s no doubt that even under a Bhutto presidency,Pakistan would continue to see suicide bombers and assassination attempts. But,I think there is that element of symbolic progress she could have brought. And Pakistan desperately needs that,no matter how impractical and foreign and savage they may seem to us.

John Edwards is talking to Wolf. It’s a regular pageant show. Up next,the swimsuit contest with our hair-flab patriots-for-hire touting sympathy for the devil. In America,image is king. The election is paramount. "Strength,vision,and leadership" Edwards states. Meanwhile,the hollow skeleton of a bus engulfed in flames replaces the image of his face. Again comes the perfect storm of meaningless foriegn policy from a candidate for President of the United States: "Peace,Stability, Democracy are the saviors of humankind." A sky-high ideal built on the powerful vocabulary of meaningless foreign policy. Grand. Simple. Useless. Meanwhile,the White House is empty and quiet. Apparently they don’t want to appear as though they are "meddling" in the election process of Pakistan,if you can choke that statement down.

Obama, now. But the doctor’s in with my mum,talking about her severely fractured wrist. Her pain certainly seems real in the here & now with uncertainty a world away. Obama’s statements fall into the background. A wicked-looking traction machine with metal-mesh Chinese finger traps dangle from a spring counter-weight. "We’ll give you something so that you won’t remember the pain…" With those words,a grimace,as Richardson calls on Bush to tell Musharraf to step aside. Richardson’s got the experience everyone’s talking about,but I doubt the American public can stomach such a potent policy. Much less the nurse working on the traction machine and my mom in searing pain. The question is whether Pakistan would take such a front-and-center media focus in this lonely ER room if the primaries weren’t a week away. I’d be watching something we both can stomach,like Ice Age or some other sweet soma broadcast to millions of Americans who don’t know and don’t care where Pakistan is. Just what an American election needs: the mass of the Dumb.

We’ll see the elections called of in Pakistan. I would be shocked to hear the name "Bhutto" as Iowa’s deadline comes into view next week. It’ll be roused once again when Musharraf officially postpones the elections,as a bit of History and Background for us junkies. The doctor is going to re-set her wrist. There’ll likely be surgery. Epicane,lidocane. There’s a fear. "There’ll be an uncomfortable moment." Not much to do now except wait for the drugs, wait on Musharraf’s election call,and watch the last-minute rhetorical war play out in Iowa,New Hampshire,South Carolina…

Bored in the Hospital…

Our Lady Queen of Peace Bingo is closed due to the weather. All the pretty faces lost behind the cloth curtains across the surgery outpatient ward are chattering about medication times,healing,sickness and confusion. Keep this covered,you can shower,but don’t get the cast wet. Moose Lodge… closed.

Ah,action.

The nurse is verifying sanity by asking the same series of questions for the hundredth time. Internal reduction radius fracture. I couldn’t work in a hospital with all its clockwork motion and careful procedures and tape, tubes,blues and whites and nakedness. The anesthetiologist is here,by I’m not interested in the same ongoing series of questions. Verification of the left arm. The markings there,and there,indicating the wrist. 2 Adversed. Anti-nausea. The room is setup quick,and some tweaks to anastesia to prevent the wretching upon waking from surgery.

Embasis, it’s called. The nasea caused by the large dose of narcotics. I remember projectile vomiting hard into the back of the toilet about an hour after snorting the Oxycontin. I had taken it before,in pill form, and drifting into a subtle nod along with the help of whisky & beer. It’s snowing hard now. Big flakes building up into thick piles and drifts across major roadways. The car slides and the tires spin aimlessly as I drive down the street looking for a hamburger or taco. Apparently visiting outpatient surgery makes me hungry.

What was wrong with the Bush Presidency? What defined this age of War and Terrorism? 9/11 tore back our eyelids and blasted our brains with the blowback of years of smart foreign policy. We had lived so long with our Russian Threat that once it collapsed with a wave of optimism and hubris and excitement,we went right back to war in the Middle East. We hadn’t been ignored during our struggle against the blight of communism – Afgahnistan was a key component against the Soviets. And Reagan was no stranger to radical Islamic Terrorism,coining the "War on Terror." But when Bush came into the Presidency riding the wave of Christians who felt on one hand slighted and marginalized,and on the other looking forward to the soon-coming apocolypse,he was looking for a fight. An economic fight wouldn’t do. This wouldn’t be diplomatic isolation nor a passing of sanctions. This was a bare-knuckle fight,broken glass and nails,all the blood that could be spilled and he could taste it. His God could taste it. His constituents,high off the rush from Saddam’s smoldering oil fields,felt confident in their rightous leader.

In some ways,it went all wrong. In others,it went like precision clockwork.

Now,it’s the end of this foul year of our Lord two-thousand and seven,and America is struggling through ignorance in Pakistan,uncaring in Afghanistan,and bloodshed in Iraq. In short,the Mideast is the most violent it’s been since it was cut-out haphazardly out of the foiled Ottoman empire after the old,great wars. And this has been Bush’s legacy to this nation. Two wars that continue to drag down our civilized mantle. Two failed nations left to rot in our own repercussions. Even Kissinger couldn’t bring a country down to its fundamental extremes like the Bush Administration.

Americans just don’t give one fuck about the lessons of history unless it’s a means to prop up their bruised egos. The high & mighty rhetoric on the discussions of our Nation’s Fathers is kept around to fuel the fire of patriotism,but no further. Few Americans would sit still for a discussion of Madisonian vs. Jeffersonian ideals in our country’s formation,and its application and relevancy today. The only thing that matters seems to be the constant belief that somehow the soldiers dying in Iraq are protecting our Freedom,a concept so vague to your neighbor as it is useful to a Palestinian dying in the West Bank.

In late 2002,Saddam Hussein was the tyrrant du jour. Colin Powel was leading the diplomatic and state department push for war. He was on the short leash of Rumsfeld and Bush who had their war plans front and center. Tommy Franks was working on the details,assembling the small force Rumsfeld allotted him to drive a spike into Baghdad and capture the momentum and firepower Bush Sr. had. Rumsfeld and Bush were confident. They didn’t care what Franks said about numbers and tactics and ground troops. They saw the light,and they knew what needed to be done. It was the hayday of Idealism. The coming of power for the neo-conservatives,the people who felt our foreign policy for too long had placated our enemies at our expense,and were ready to pull the trigger when faced with anything that stood in that idealism of the pure American Way. They took the drug hard and uncut and never looked back. They mainlined patriotism and the American right loved it.

It was Weapons of Mass Destruction – that key notion – that hooked Bush’s speechwriters. It was the banner they flew,our feathers raised high and scowling. The idea,fresh from 9/11,of extremists detonating a nuclear bomb in New York. That great specter of fear that tied in so nicely with our longing for a unifying threat. Something that took the comfortable place of our tangible Soviet enemy for so many years. It was the handle Bush could swing and we’d all follow. But it was spurious. Not everyone was so easily convinced of Bush’s perfect American enemy. Maybe it was the fact that the evidence went against common sense. Maybe it was the fact that our intelligence agency had been fataly abused by political pressures throughout the 80’s by the same idealistic neocons – people who felt we shouldn’t be spying on our allies like Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Maybe it was the way Bush always had of speaking to the blind-dumb Texan boy-king within him,of convincing himself that Saddam had tried to assassinate his father and that justified a lot… But it ultimately didn’t matter. We had our war,whether anyone was on board or not. Diplomatic and economic pressure ensured we’d have a handful of token members who traded in IOUs and favors to be returned once this Iraq business was over with. Begrudgingly,the world tolerated the American aggressor against Saddam Hussien’s stable yet deranged regime.

Mission Accomplished flew high above Bush on the carrier,surrounded by joyful faces that reminded everyone of those old great wars. That great national nostalgia for doing something Right and Winning. Bush wanted that,too. He could taste that,too. He ignored the bitter aftertaste of soldiers still fighting for peace in Iraq – the poison residue that he didn’t count on once he had his military victory over Saddam Hussein and his "feared" Republican Guard. The riots,the looting – what were these lunatic Muslims doing to their new-found Freedom we had so graciously given? Then the mounting insurgency.

Amidst this chaos,no one had found those stockpiled Weapons of Mass Destruction. That key that tied us and our war to Righteousness wasn’t there in Baghdad,nor in Saddam’s home,nor in the mobile facilities or in the weapons factories Powell had eloquently and precisely pointed to those months – and now years – before. It was harder to choke down,but Americans are resolute, and the right swallowed the news by arguing fiercly on the connections of Iraq to al Queda. But then this too proved hard to work out in detail. Sure,there were al Queda in Iraq,but there were al Queda all over the Middle East. It was America’s war with Iraq that drove them there,just as it had been what drove them to Afghanistan in the war against the Soviets. They were armed with our guns,of course,and we knew it. We kept swallowing those pills till we couldn’t feel the pain of our mistakes anymore,and until we couldn’t see the flags draped on the caskets of our dead soldiers,or see our blood on the streets of Fajula and Basra.

All the cards had been dealt. Bush didn’t have a full house or a straight to lay down. One by one,the cards were dealt with a harsh reality that he couldn’t bluff his way out of. No matter how tough his rhetoric,the following years would see him decline and falter. He played the only card he had left – the one we all knew we had to begin with. And he played it the only way he could – with all the Bush-bravado he could muster. "Saddam is a bad man." And that was it. That was justification for thousands of Americans dead. Chaos and instability within Iraq – sectarian violence and civil war that tore Shiite brother from Sunni neighbor. Iran only needed to watch as American ignorance built Amnenijad (sp?) into a Muslim icon of stability. Israel left the West Bank for dead. It looked like no one in America could understand the depth of Arab identity across the Middle East. America couldn’t see the invisible connections that ran from the ghettos of the West Bank across to Syria and into Iran,even into moderate Muslims who could see opportunity in a war-torn Iraq. Here, now,is that consequence of a Bush Administration. Is al Queda weakened by our failure to stabilize Iraq? Or did we just fuel the rational for jihad and religious extremism for generations to come? By separating and identifying religious rationalization in a Christian war,how could we assume Muslims would simply accept the losses of their bretheren and turn towards Westerners with open arms? We see democratic elections of Hammas in Palestine – a statement of Arab identity against Western principles – and Bush cuts off aid to Arab families who voted Wrong. We tolerate the House of Saud and its massive oil revenues riding along their corruption that keeps extremism at bay in Saudi oil fields. Meanwhile,radical militant Islam is very much alive and well and strengthening in the hidden lands of our Saudi and Pakistan allies.

Image is King in America. We somehow think that doesn’t apply to us in the Middle East. Have our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have brought Peace and Stability to the Middle East? Do you think an Arab child who has witnessed the death of his family at the hands of Westerners will grow to accept a Christian-dominated war-happy society? Or perhaps we’ve hit the right targets with the right laser-guided tactical weaponry and struck fear in the hearts of the fearless? Nope. Nada. We’re faced with a perplexity of failures across the vast Arab-Christian divide. Just like that crumbled divide that cuts Lebanon in two. Our matrix of fear, doubt,violence,and terrorism we have bred in Iraq and Palestine by ignoring the calls for help and instead aiming our guns against an insurgent enemy. We just pulled the trigger and hoped we got the right guy. But we asked the wrong questions. We had the wrong premise. Bush wanted to be a War President. Now he is. Selah.

The here & now inside America is no less filled with memorabelia of our War President. Like every time in war previous,we’ve sacrificed our personal Freedom for the War Effort. The bumper stickers shine a beacon of pride that my son is fighting for your freedom in Iraq. That privileged freedom young soldiers are dying for is being rewritten in confidential executive orders for wiretapping of American citizens. The suspension of habeas corpus. Torture. That’s your freedom,which is all fine and good say the right. As long as you are yourself privileged and safe,and trust the Government,your freedom is intact. Just like the question of the freedom of choice in a religion with an omniscient God, as long as we stay willfully ignorant we’re as safe as we were before. Unfortunately the price way pay for this conditional ignorant freedom is the sacrifice of the weird and dangerous,the estranged Muslims who are American citizens with families overseas. College students studying overseas. Vacations.

Iowa’s Six-Guns mark ’08 as Doom hangs on the horizon for all good-looking Political Candidates

Breeding apathy for the the holidays… Northcountry mormon blues… Master criminals tearing up witless campaign trails. Burning traditions, worship the Bankrupt Gods,American Morality.

Mitt’s come out with the highlight of incompetency on the 08 trail so far. But the real sad theme in the story isn’t Mitt’s moronism,but the return of the apathetic press core abiding by some blind-dumb rule of conduct. Instead,the hacks on CNN are making horrible puns with cold tempuratures and Christmas carols,hoping to connect to the American Joe. But American Joe cares little for bad puns & politics. American Joe wants ham & God & potatoes tonight. Beer and his trustworthy handgun,Spot. These things seem easy for the Republican candidates to connect with. Yet Mitt & Rudy seem to fall flat, generating little national excitement. It’s easy to see why Huckabee’s campaign is seeing an upward swing as serious politics starts to enter American Joe’s mind. And why not? Citigroup has far to fall,and Merril Lynch is posting greater-than-expected losses,their first losses in years. Terrorism is still a mighty King in places like Iraq,Palestine, and Pakistan – of course only as a tool to judge American Joe’s choices for President. Giuliani can’t help but ram 9/11 into every home and every good citizen he can reach. It’s the one thing he’s got that connects him to American Joe,and American Joe can’t help but listen. His brains were blown out of the 89th floor of the WTC that Tuesday morning along with everyone else. Hard to forget such a thing.

But we’re healing,I think. The last week saw Tom Tancredo drop out of the GOP race,taking with him his Final Solution of Immigration Policy and seriously awesome fear-campaign tactics. I’ll miss him.

The candidates are coming around that last bend of a wild and rich pre-primary race. It’s name was money and the wrecks were minimal – Tancredo,Clinton’s loss of a 20-point lead 18 months out from even the conventions,the handful of outsiders whom knew they’d spin out in turn one – their wheels made of wood and brass,cheap construction,looking for a Name. But the gas is full-on now,and the wrecks will come fast & hard. Giulian’s already burning out of control and screaming. He and Mitt certainly seem like the first ones that might just hit that first caucus and burts into flames,hemmoraging money and campaign staff at low poll numbers. I see the GOP field burning out hard,leaving a grass-roots candidate like Huckabee as the only truly conservative candidate,no matter how unlikely they’d be to win a fight with a Clinton,Obama,or Edwards.

McCain’s the only one who seems likely to be that candidate,but for some reason American Joe just isn’t listening. Maybe it was the perfect storm for The Straight Talker. An old man at 71. The devastating and horrific gorging he took at the hands of George W. Bush’s campaign in 2000 – a vile and despickable thing only capable by a true villian that is Our President and His Staff. His fundraising probably took too long to build momentum. The vicious cycle of Presidential money-looting meant that without money,he lacked the image of a rich Giuliani or Mitt,which meant more slow gains in his bank account. I like to think his early pandering to the religious right really hurt his Straight-Talk Express. It did for me. But that seems the sort of thing American Joe would look for. But it didn’t matter. McCain,here and now,is pushing his Iowa tour,and he’ll do better than he polls.

The Democratic field is full of bright,solid political minds and won’t suffer the same fate as the GOP. A lot of people are choosing Democratic candidates with second-choices and third-choices already in mind. It probably seems like a win-win scenario for a lot of liberals: An Obama win would symbolize a return to liberal ideals and an arguable racial barometer for a young black America. A Clinton win would symbolize women’s role in America,and a belief in Democratic foreign policy strength and experience. Edwards wouldn’t necesarily be a long-shot win either,it seems – perhaps a return to a labor-sensitive Democratic party. We’ll see a good hard look at Bill Richardson as VP – after,of course,Al Gore says "no" in private phone calls. American Joe is pretty satisfied with that. Relaxing with the knowledge that the Democratic party has the upper hand after the tumultuous Dubya years.

But that’s for American Joe. Not me. Iowa will be fierce,with numbers looking like Florida circa Novermber, 2000. And it will impact the almighty Momentum all candidates hope for in an early win. When American Joe wakes up after Iowa on the 3rd,he’ll see a new race for president. Someone will win by a narrow margin,and the rest will fight tooth & nail to mimimize Clinton’s poll numbers in New Hampshire. And Edwards’ in South Carolina. Yes,an Obama win is important in Iowa,as he has big gaps to overcome in terms of Money and Polls in the early primaries. An Edwards loss is acceptable – he’s still considered an underdog (Image is King,remember) and it won’t affect that Momentum of the Early Win. He will struggle on – he’s done it before and knows what it’s like. Clinton less so. An Iowa loss will be a token of susceptability and weakness,a dire consequence of falling poll numbers. In reality,it won’t ruin her campaign. She’ll have New Hampshire and others. Obama is a question mark in terms of what an early loss will do. He’s got less scars and a pretty face,for good or ill. But what a voice.

Hopefully,and lucky for us,the Democratic field will likely struggle longer than Kerry in 2004. We’ll see trends and movements and witness speeches and gaffs and failures equally. American Joe talks of the Dean factor,but the Dean’s was due to financial screwball,early-state electability,and a general sense that no one really saw him as a serious potential candidate. Obama,Clinton, and Edwards do not suffer those same ills. Such an awesome fireball of destruction may befall one of them… and it will be even more stupendous than national televisions blasting Dean screaming out YEEAAARRRGH! And American Joe hitting rewind with a good laugh at the spectacle of the thing.

Giuliani: Waterboarding may be acceptable

What the fuck do the fucking Republicans of all fucking people not fucking understand about the "Just Trust Us" form of fucking Government?! Holy Fuck,JEBUS is on board with this,and don’t I feel fucking White,Christian,Heterosexual,and Safe!

Thank you, small-government privacy-concerned conservatives for fucking your own ideals of America right in Her ass for God. I’m sure she appreciates that self-righteous bleeding asshole as much as the next Clinton-voting women’s lib bitch,eh buddies? Get me Bud!

Acceptable!

"I don’t think you can write this out as a procedure that should be write out for all situations," Giuliani said. "I think the president and the appropriate officials should have some discretion here."

The switch is either in the "ON" position,or it’s in the "OFF" position, you derelict fuck. That’s like saying "it’s okay for the government to listen to domestic phone calls,because they sometimes need it." Which, of course,is just a nice way of saying "It’s okay to have freedoms,but only if you aren’t being suspected of terrorism. Then you get Shit." And,since everyone feels so fashionably fucking afraid of Islam,we’re all just stomaching the fact that when you remove habeas corpus for some, you no longer have Land of the Free. You get Land of the Free for Some.

Tell me that’s what your precious fucking forefathers were thinking of when they formed a country free from tyranny.

Maybe this is what I’m really saying:

You chicken-shit right-wing Republican fucks. Grow a pair and show some adaptability.

"the confusion of rhetoric with reality and propaganda with policy.."