Saturday, September 23, 2006


Osama bin Laden may be dead. That's the word from CNN this morning, as wire reports out of France say a regional French paper is reporting that Osama died last month of typhoid in Afghanastan. While the major news organizations are being carefull to avoid reporting this as a fact, if it does turn out to be true, it will just be another nail in the Bush administration's political coffin and probably will not have an appreciable impact on the ability of Al Qeada to continue operations.

Friday, September 22, 2006


Congressional Republicans this week beat back a wild-eyed attempt by the Whitehouse rules prohibiting torture in both the UCMJ and Common Article III of the Geneva Conventions. But those congressional leaders were firm and stood by the Godly and Christian moral convictions they tout so loudly on the stump. There simply must be a law prohibiting torture of detainees in American hands, they said. After all, we are good God-fearing Americans and we shouldn't allow that. And in the end, the "devil" George Bush backed down. The end result is that at last the president and his party are on the same page. So now the rule is, officially no torture of detainees is permitted. For the purposes to this new law, torture is defined as " intentional maiming that leaves permanent injuries, breaking bones, murder and rape." Not included in the definition is waterboarding, electric shocks to the genitals, beatings, being stripped naked and hung by chains in extremely hot or cold environments for days at a time, denial of food and psychological torture.
I know it may seem that the definition leaves a lot more methods out than in, but those Republican really fought hard for what they knew was right. And They're probably holding their heads high tonight. But I wonder how loudly they'll thump their chests and proclaim their righteousness when the rest of the nation finds out the punishment for those brave Americans who engage in torture.... In fact, there is none. CIA and employees of other national security agencies are immune from prosecution under the new law.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


"They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
- Benjamin Franklin 1759


There is a conventional wisdom among the so-called "come-heres" that the average IQ plummets 15 points as soon as you cross the bay bridge. ... It's a joke, an attempt to explain the often scary lack of thinking that so many of the locals exhibit. But not really.
Two recent stories bring this issue to point.
The first is a flippant comment regarding a possible candidacy for mayor of Ocean City uttered by Billy Don in the wake of his failed attempt to get re-elected as state comptroller. Barely had those words settled before locals began a diatribe against that possibility. That the local hoy-paloy took the bait is bad enough, but the local TV news ( and here I use the term jokingly) even pranced over to OC to query elected officials there about the possibility. But had anyone bothered to actually watch the videotape in which Billy-Don made the comment, they might have realized the comment was humor.
The second incident comes to us out of Graysonville and concerns a 911 call from a woman there seeking help in delivering a baby. Seems her pregnancy was a complete surprise to her and her SO until delivery time. Wait, there's more: This was the second such surprise for the couple. According to news reports, she didn't know she was preggers when she delivered her last child, either.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


A plan by Norm Conway and Jim Mathias to gather Worcester and Wicomico County Democratic Central Committees together for a planning breakfast hit a snag last week with the re-election of Eddie Lee to a seat on Worcester County's central committee.
That re-election is no small matter, as Lee has spent time marshalling his forces from the weak and crazy on the committee, and is now expected to use those forces to crown himself king. But even if he fails in that endeavor, he still may have the muscle to advance his own agenda, taking the committee far afield from the focus of both local party-members and the state central committee.
Lee's reputation for disruption and violence is well known among rank and file Democrats, as well as local and state party leaders, and some think his re-election and possible grab for power could further disintegrate the Worcester committee. There is already talk among committee members that many will resign their seats if Lee is named chairman. But even if he is, don't look for the remaining members to shuffle off quietly into the political night, as even now some are honing their broadswords in anticipation of a battle to rid the committee of Lee's divisive presence.
Mathias and Conway are keenly aware that the air around the Worcester Committee could shortly be filled with slings and arrows and burning spears, and given their high-profiles in the upcoming election, they know better than to enter that meeting without some serious intelligence-gathering beforehand. And that brings up Lanny Hickman (code name: arc light) ... He may not know it yet, but he's been named as the scout/point man for Saturday's post-primary meeting. His job, should he decide to accept it, will be to report back to the Conway/Mathias cabal on the emotional state of the committee. If it is close to sane, the candidates will propose a breakfast meeting with the members. If not, or if Hickman goes MIA, the Secretary and the cabal will disavow any knowledge of the committee and any surviving operatives will proceed to rendezvoux point BRAVO where they will meet with elements of SEAL Team Two for extraction and later re-insertion with the Wicomico committee and mercenary members of the Worcester party for further action..... What? Did I say that? .... ignore it, I just got carried away.... a twisted flashback from the old days.

Sunday, September 17, 2006


If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever. George Orwell

So five years into the global war, and it it slowly dawns on the current administration that it's not coming off like the savior of freedom and liberty it pretends to be. Maybe, our fearless leader ponders, part of the reason for the bad PR is because of the brouhaha over secret prisons, forced renditions to nations that employ torture and that unfortunate thing with the pictures at Abu Ghraib prison.
Yes.... that must be it. America can't claim the moral high ground if it is violating international treaties, not to mention its own UCMJ. But what to do......So in recent days the administration has pulled together it's policy wonks and spin doctors to come up with a plan to capture the hearts and minds of not the combatants, but the rest of the world. I mean, let's face it, our enemies will say anything to turn the tide of public opinion against the forces of Goodness and Justice, so they can' t be believed. But it's a different matter when the Forces of Goodness and Justice provide the evidence against themselves. Indeed, what to do..... Ooooo. But what if we change the meaning of the words? Yeah... What if insurgents weren't really soldiers or combatants? What if they were terrorists, instead? What if AlQueda wasn't a militaristic organization, but was really just a huge criminal enterprise comprised of unaffiliated criminal gangs worldwide? Well, that would mean they were not entitles to the protection of the UCMJ or the Geneva Conventions. And even if they were, we'll just pass a law redefining the meaning of torture. That way we could still use the interrogation tactics we've been using, but it wouldn't be torture anymore. ..... Hmmmm. We could call it putting stress on suspects. Yeah, the spin doctors could sell that to the Public. After all, no Real American wants to believe they are supporting a program of unlawful detentions, secret prisons and torture. So, the administration can get back on the straight and narrow by relieving us of that burden. Yes, yes, of course we're still employing the same interrogation tactics, but look at the law. It defines torture like this, and we're not doing that. We're not torturing enemy combatants. We're engaging in stressful interrogations of criminals. You don't want to be soft on crime, do you. No, of course not.
Hey, just wait until next week when we redefine "war." We're still working out the logical and moralistic kinks, but basically it goes like this: We're only at war to maintain the peace. And since this nation has not been attacked since we went to war five years ago, we are really at peace. So even though we are at war, we're really at peace.... Cool, huh?