Saturday, September 09, 2006


We've been lamenting the loss of Integrity Matters, the blog that described itself a politically moderate and went belly-up largely, we're told, because of us and out incessant questioning of its political position. But here's the thing: Right now, there is no room for moderation in political perspective in this country. During the past five years our elected officials have taken this country so far off the national path mandated by the U.S. Constitution and historical policy that a moderate course correction would still not put us back on the road.
Look, if your teenage son is driving you down a county road that runs between two big corn fields and you look up to find yourself 100 yards into the right-hand field, you don't tell the him to make a course correction that will put you only 50 yards off the road. Instead, you yank his inattentive and reckless ass out of the driver's seat, make a hard left turn and get the vehicle back on the pavement.
And so it is with the Republican Party. The party is being led by an irresponsible, inattentive and reckless driver who has taken us far off the road of American democracy and disregarded the rules which govern that road. So we now need to take a hard left turn.
But make no mistake, this does not suggest that we hold elected Democatic leaders harmless for the position in which we now find ourselves. They too had the responsibility to help steer this nation, and they abrogated that responsibility out of fear, criticism and an utterly twisted sense of patriotism. What both parties billed as patriotism was in fact nothing moret than fear and jingoistic fervor in search of revenge. Instead being the leaders they said they were, they became scared sheep who allowed themselves to be guided by a dimwitted shepard.
For those who hold themselves out as political leaders, and for anyone else who slept through school; to be patriotic means to support and stand up for the ideals that make this great. And many of those ideals are enumerated in the Bill of Rights... you know: the right of free speech, the right to redress of grievances by government officials; the right to defend and protect constitutionally-guaranteed liberties at gun-point if necessary; the right to be free of cruel and inhumane punishment; the right to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures of your person, papers and effects; the right to public trials and a presumption of innocence until proven otherwise... C'mon, you guys remember these, don't you? Say them with me. Loudly, so those who seek to deprive us of those protections and liberties in the name of "national security" can hear you. That's patriotism. Voting is patriotism. Seizing control from fascists is patriotism.


"Naturally the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country. "
-- Hermann Goering (off the record, at the Nuremberg trials)

Friday, September 08, 2006


We were mostly asleep when we staggered down the stairs at 5:30 this morning and flipped on the Tv to catch the news out of the center of the universe. So we forgot that the Hee Haw network had hijacked channel 5 out of DC and replaced their own programming. So what did we find? Ag Day, a syndicated show for and about farmers. And we can't deny the show has value-- particulary if you raise chickens and cows and grain and such. But how big is that audience compared to those of us who are not farmers? But we left it on, thinking perhaps they might air a news program at the top of the hour.....Nope. From 6 a.m. until we were able to quell our dry-heaves long enough to turn off the TV at 8:30 it was infomercials. Now there's a public service for you.
Presumably, the station's owners made this switch to capture a larger market share by locking out the DC station. If so, they failed in a spectacular fashion. What's next? Reruns of Hee Haw, Green Acres, Lassie, Petticoat Junction and Beverly Hillbillies?


Don't flash your headlights at passing cars, because the driver and occupants of that car could be gang members that will kill you as part of an intitiation ritual.
That's the word that Worcester Sheriff's deputies were whispering among themselves recently. We heard that from straight from the mouth of high-ranking official at the Pocomoke Fair a couple weeks ago. Geez, that's enough to strike fear into the hearts of Mr and Mrs Whitebread America, who will gladly pay whatever it costs to put more cops on the street to protect us from real and imaginary bogeymen....or is it bogiepersons.
Well, file this Police Alert under "imaginary bogeyman." It's an urban myth that's been around for at least 10 years. We tried to tell the Sheriff's official he had nothing to worry about, but he would have none of it. This information apparently came from the most trusted law-enforcement intelligence sources, and so was unimpeachable.
Yikes. We first read about this myth in Cecil Adams' book "The Straight Dope" about 10 years ago. You can probably still find the column online. You can also find it on, a website dedicated to debunking myths.
But this story still raises a couple of troubling questions. Among them are: Shouldn't the people charged with ensuring the safety of the public know what's happening on the street? And shouldn't they know that this myth has run like a wildfire through the law-enforcement community several times before now? And if they do, why would they continue to propagate it? Is it perhaps to ratchet up fear among civilians and get them to relinquish even more civil liberties?
Come on, Boys in Blue, (I would call you Boys in Brown Shirts, but it sounds a little too 1939 Germany and it would make my stomach roll) you should know bullshit when you hear it. We certainly do.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Gird up your loins Come-Heres, because beginning Friday local cable television will cease carrying Channel 5 out of Washington. In its place will be Fox 21, sister station to the laughable WBOC. This hurts my heart - not because I'm a fan of Fox News but because I loathe what passes for local news broadcasting. Anyone who watches Fox 5 News out of DC in the mornings can immediately see the difference between the professional newspeople in DC and the Hee Haw imitation here. Even more, given the tight-assed conservative perspective already inflicted on viewers by Steve Whats-His-Name on WBOC, the prospect that the new channel will be unabashedly right wing increases the bile in me so much that I think I'm going to Ralph. This is just great, gone will be the last daily vestige of news from the center of the political universe and in its place will be .... what? Repiglican spin doctors?


Over on the other side, Mr/Ms Truth In Action has posted a link to a CBS News editorial in which Morgan Spurlock, author of "Supersize Me," tells viewers to ignore the newsmen, pitchmen and other assorted media-whores who tell you Americans are increasingly polarized over political issues. "The truth is," he says, "the majority of us are camped out somewhere in the middle."
And that's true enough, as far as it goes. But the rest of that truth is the vast majority of us don't vote, particularly during mid-term elections. We wonder whether that means most voters are too lazy to vote , or just too ignorant to cast an intelligent ballot.During the 2004 midterms, only 37 percent of eligible voters got off their lazy butts and went to the polls. In 1998, the number was even smaller - just 36.8 percent voted. That's a pitiful number, considering all the American flags and "support or troops" decals we see pasted on car windows, and all the so-called "patriotic" bumper-stickers on huge, fuel-sucking cars. If you want to be patriotic, then vote. It's the most patriotic thing American's can do.
And contrary to what Mr/Ms Truth and Mr. Spurlock tell you, we think you should listen to the loudmouths pitching their candidates and issues. They are the ones framing the issues and questions you should consider before waltzing into the polls to cast your vote. They are the ones framng the issues that candidates will address when they are elected. Make no mistake; what you hear and see in the political arena is propaganda, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's not true. It simply means it's information cobbled together to present a position or argument in its best light. So listen to that information and combine it with the information you already know, and then decide which candidate best serves your needs, the interests of your community and the interests of America in the world arena. These are the people who will make decisions on planning your town's future, which in turn, will determine the value of your home, of if you can or should continue farming, or if you'll be able to afford to send your kids to college, or of you're going to be able to afford medical care now or in the future, or if you sons and daughters should be sacrificed in order to win the war on terrorism, or if the government should continue to secretly have access to your financial information.
Voting is perhaps the most important duty we have as Americans. Who we elect impacts our job security, our financial, retirement and medical futures, our children's future ability have a fruitful career, own a home and be sheltered from those who would suspend our constitutional freedoms liberties in the name of "national security." The future... Your future, and your family's future depends upon how you do or do not vote. And in order to pick the candidate of your choice, you need to know and understand the issues that are important you and to elected officials. Don't let anyone tell you not to listen, read or learn about the issues, because a vote cast in ignorance or blind faith is as bad as no vote at all.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


Hey y’all. Gimme a second to catch my breath…. I just come back from the Home Despot. I had to run up there and buy a new toilet. And then I had to drag it into the trailer all by myself. Momma wouldn’t help me none, says she too old and week to be draggin’ around no toilet….. Well, what are we talkin’ about today… oh yeah, the Sheriff. To tell ya the truth, I ain’t got much use for them fellas, no how. Not since they drug my daddy off to the workhouse back in 19 and…. Hold on… I gotta ask momma when that was…. 51. It was 19 and 51 they sent him to prison cuzza that still explosion…. Y’all remember that. Blew up the garage, sent flamin’ moonshine everywhere… burnt down our house and the neighbor’s house and then the grass fire got over near the propane tank the diner uses, and well that went up and blew out the wall of the diner and the 400 frozen muskrats that was in the freezer waitin’ for the annual muskrat dinner thawed real fast…..made a terrible stink in the middle of town for a few days…so the upshot of it all was that everybody in town was real mad at daddy, bein’ as he had the only still in town, and folks knew the 58th annual muskrat dinner was a goner. So daddy lit out for down below and hid for a couple days, but by and by the sheriff found him down were we live now and carried him on up to Princess Anne to stand trial. And he was convicted. But momma says it weren’t a fair trial ‘cause everyone on the jury lived in our town, and like I say, pretty much everyone was mad at him about not havin’ no ‘shine and no muskrat dinner that winter. Momma says they was able to get a few muskrats caught for the dinner, but it weren’t no where near enough, and they had to supplement with ‘possum and coon… and it wasn’t the same.
And when daddy came home from the workhouse, he wasn’t really the same neither. He stayed a around for a little bit and after while he moved on down to Northampton County and we lost track of him for a long time, until two years ago when they sent word to his family that he died… He’s buried in the Baptist Cemetery down there…. Anyway, that’s why I ain’t got no use for the sheriff or any other of them po-lice….Now I know Chuck Martin… I sell him some hardwood lumber once in while. He’s a pretty fair woodworker. … But I don’t know nothin’ about that Haslam fella. I think he’s probably one of them foreigners from the other side of the bay, and ya can’t trust them.
Well, I gotta get to work fixin’ this toilet before momma comes back. She says she ain’t hangin’ her butt off’n no board out back of the trailer while me and Alvin—you remember Alvin, he’s my older brother – scrap over who payin’ for the new toilet. … I think he should pay for it since he shot it. But him and momma think I should because I got him so riled up. … But I was just havin’ some fun with him.
See, he was too drunk to drive all the way home last night and he had to stop here because he run his truck into a ditch and we couldn’t pull it out ‘til today. So this morning, I was watchin’ the TV and Alvin was sleepin’ on the sofa. Now, you know Alvin’s a big boy and sometimes his pants don’t fit him just right… so I’m lookin’ at the TV and Momma wakes up and wants her beer, but it weren’t in the icebox. She thought I took it and cusses me. Well, I didn’t take and told her that. Then she looks over at Alvin sleeping on the sofa with most of his hairy butt hangin’ out of his pants. She gets this look on her face like she’s just tasted some turtle meat gone past its prime. She points at him and says “say no to crack.” That just tickled us both and we started laughin, but tryin’ to keep quiet ‘cause we didn’t want to wake up Alvin… He can be right cranky when he’s woke up from a drunk sleep. And I asked Momma if she ever tried any of that crack stuff and she said she didn’t rightly know but that one time after the war, Daddy took her to this roadhouse to hear some colored man singin’ blues music, and two women gave her some cocaine to sniff. But she said she didn’t recall that it really did anything to her. She asked me if I ever done any of that and I told her I hadn’t but wondered what it was like. She laughed and waved toward Alvin’s butt, “Ya wanna try smoking crack, there it is, boy. Go to it.”
Well, I don’t know what come over me, but I tore a piece of newspaper off, rolled it up like a rat tail and eased into the crack of Alvin’s butt. Then I lit it. At first, it burned real slow and I thought it was gonna go out. But then it started goin’ and Momma backed into the kitchen. After it smoldered for a little bit, it caught and then we saw the hair on Alvin’s lower back go up real fast, kinda like gunpowder. And before ya knowed it, his butt hair went too. . That‘s when Alvin woke up and commenced to jumpin’ around and gruntin’ like a bronco. All’s I remember after that was Momma in the kitchen laughin’ so hard she couldn’t hardly get no breath, and Alvin bein’ real mad. He punched me on the eye and I fell backwards into the TV, and it fell over. I tried to explain to Alvin we was just havin’ some fun, but he was real mad, like I said, and grabbed up the 20-guage that was leanin’ against the wall next to the sofa. and let go a shot that went through the wall and hit the toilet. Well, it broke and spilled water everywhere. And after Alvin come to his senses and sees he wasn’t hurt none, we all go into an argument about who should clean up the mess and buy a new toilet. It was two against one and I lost. Momma made me spend all the money I was savin’ up to get a new tattoo on a toilet instead. But later on, she felt sorry for me and said she’s give me the money for my tattoo, because she thinks I learned my lesson about not smokin’ crack.

Sunday, September 03, 2006


Don't you just love the Grapevine column in The Daily Crime? ... I mean, on one hand it's a little scary seeing how ignorant the readership is, but on the other hand it's kind of fun watching the Great Unwashed to proudly parade their ignorance in front of God and everybody... Today's parade included a comment about a scholl principal who suspended 128 students on the first day of classes for what he called "inappropriate clothing." The genius who referenced the story suggested Wicomico County educators take a lesson from that event.... For those of short memory, this was a reference to an incident in Wicomico County last year, when two boys were suspended from school for wearing shirts showing the Confederate Battle Flag. In the days after the story broke, the Daily Crime, stalwart of the First Amendment that it is, supported the suspensions saying, in part, that school is a training ground for business and as such, has a duty to restrict and teach their charges about what is appropriate in a business environment.
Of course, I took issue with that argument and sent the following letter to the editor. But, for their own reasons, they elected no to publish it:
I find it curious that a newspaper, whose very survival depends upon the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech, would suggest that some members of American society should not have the same guarantee. But that is exactly what the Daily Times did in its October 18 editorial when the editors suggested that “school is, in effect, a training ground for future employees,” and as such, students should “be required to wear clothing that is at least minimally suitable for the workplace.” This, in a move to silence words and remove symbols that some find offensive.
The Daily Times notwithstanding, I suggest that the primary job of public schools is not to train children to become good little worker bees, but to train young minds to think clearly and independently, and to teach children to become happy and productive members of American society. In order to do that, students must be encouraged to explore and study the entire social and political landscape and be allowed to express their thoughts and opinions.
If school boards were to adopt the use of uniforms as a way to end the possibility of offending anyone by the discussion or display of controversial political of social subject matters , it would effectively be a curtailment to student’s First Amendment rights. And if we silent students’ political speech, isn’t fair and right that we silence everyone’s?
Without free and open discussion of those subjects, it seems as if the only resolution to issues facing this nation, like racism, poverty or equal access to justice would have to come from the government. But before we leap aboard that bandwagon, we need to stop and remember – not the best leaders this nation has ever produced, but the worst. Because without discussion and dissent, our leaders would no longer need to be thinking men who put the nation’s needs before their own, they would only have to be megalomaniacs who thirst for power.
I suspect it was no accident the framers of the Constitution listed freedom of speech as first among the rights of Americans, as it seems the lynchpin upon which all our other rights are predicated. When the freedom to discuss controversial issues is taken away, why then would Americans need a right to cast a vote in a ballot box. And why would we need a right to assemble, or a right to redress of grievances from government officials, or public trials of those accused of crimes, or even freedom of the press?
It’s easy to call for the silencing of a voice whose words we find objectionable in the name of political correctness, but before you abandon your duty to speak in support of the powerless and disenfranchised, ask yourselves who will speak for you when others complain the news you disseminate is offensive and should be silenced.


testing.... testing... is this the right-wing fascist blog?.... Geez, I'm glad I found you guys. ...HEY!! How ya doin' TruthInAction?!! I ain't seen you since we got locked up in jail for stealing that old woman's underwear off the clothesline. Now, I know you're probably still mad at me for sellin' you to them black muslim boys when we was locked up, but hail, we was in jail and I really needed that chewin' tobacco and Hershey bar.
Anyway, where was I?... Oh yeah...I been searching for days for others who think like me... the RIGHT way!!! Yeah... I'm with you; let's silence everyone who isn't a good old-fashion bible-toting, gun-slinging dumbass redneck white boy with a third-grade education and a mullet haircut.... say, any y'all got a chaw ya kin spare me... I like Redman, myself..... So, what was we talking about, again? Oh yeah, that Hillary gal..... Well ya know, if the VICE PRESIDENT says she's helping the terrorists.... well, ya just couldn't get the truth from a much higher source than that. I say we form up a posse, ride on up to New York and get rid of her... I mean, she ain't that bad lookin' but everybody say she's one of them lizabethans and all, so you know she ain't gonna give us none.... well, I gotta be goin' pretty soon. It's almost supper-time.... Momma's fixin' pork chops and she promised to let me use her store-bought teeth. Besides, I'm startin' to get a headache from all this intull… intilluct….. thinkin’.
... But I got just one question before I go..... What is it with them a-rab terrorist guys, anyway? Why are they mad at us? Hail, we didn't tell them they had to live in the desert, so far away from water and 7-11s and such.... But I think I know what the problem is.... they ain't really bad guys. They're probably just like us. I mean, look at them. ... They got beards, all of us on this blog got beards. They got machineguns, we all got machineguns.... I tell ya, I think the difference is they ain't got a proper god. I mean, Islam.... now what kind of name is Islam for a god. Why he ain't even got a last name, like our American god. And our god ain't in no far away place neither. Hail, you can drive to his house in a day.... and he's got a name that people all over the world know - Pat Robertson. Now there’s a proper name, and it’s easy to remember too.
After supper, I think I'm gonna call ol' Pat Robertson on the telephone and see if I can get him to go over there and work things out. .... But there are a lot of them a-rabs.... so maybe he should wait a little bit then take that other fella, Jerry Falwell, over to Mecca for the next big Islam party and just walk through the crowds, tell everybody who they are and set them a-rabs straight... That’d solve a lot of our problems, right there. Boy, that was easy....That’s why I love living on the Eastern Shore... everything is just so simple here.