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This Is What Democracy Looks Like

Today's Note From a Madman

Thursday, May 31, 2007


Detour Ahead

The last time the New jersey Turnpike looked like this was September 11, 2001. How fitting that it was George W. Bush 's departure which caused the tie-up this time. After all, one could argue that it was his indifference to the real intelligence before the terror attacks of that day which caused the last tie-up.

The NJ Turnpike, part of what is known as the Northeast Corridor was closed at around 5:00PM - yes, I said PM - to allow the President safe and uninterrupted passage from his GOP fund-raising efforts on behalf of New Jersey Republican candidates. Most of those who the funds were being raised for didn't even bother to show up and have their picture taken with the President. It isn't the company with whom they wish to be seen, but they'll take the money.

So, during New Jersey's Rush Hour, one of the worst and most crowded in the nation, millions of New Jersians had to find other means to bet from Exit 10 to Exit 14 on one of the busiest roads in New Jersey. Of course, that doesn't faze GW any.

The President could have had dinner in the Garden State and had the turnpike closed a little later in the day. Perhaps he could have hunkered down in one of our better hotels (and maybe even save the American taxpayer some dough over the fancy New York City hotel prices). However, President Bush and his planners felt that an extra hour or two in New Jersey would have been too much of a price to pay to allow the people of New Jersey the ability to spend more time with their families, have dinner on time, attend their child's soccer team practice or simply just relax at home.

After all, this is the Administration of Diminished Responsibility so why would they change now?

-Noah Greenberg

Kidnapped by Friends

Five Brits were kidnapped by Shi'ites disguised as policemen. Wait... they may have actually been policemen. Wait... they may be part of Muqtadr al-Sadr's Mahdi Army. But they were Shi'ites.

The kidnapping of an information technology expert and his four bodyguards... that's right, I said four bodyguards... came in retaliation for the killing of a Mahdi army commander by Iraqi army members working with the Brits. The kidnapping took place right in al-Sadr's backyard of Sadr City.

Just who are the good guys over there anyway?

Right now our troops face attacks from insurgent Sunnis who used to control Iraq and are now the minority group left out in the cold; from al-Qaeda in Iraq who isn't even wanted by the Sunnis or the Shi'ites; and the Shi'ites who are supposed to be running the show. As a matter of fact, we're supposed to be training the latter group so that we can get our troops out of there. While we train them, they're attacking us. and, get this, they're being helped by the Iranians and Syrians.
Your tax dollars at work.

"It all happened in seconds. Suddenly a large number of Iraqi police commandos came in shouting 'Where are the foreigners? We are on an official assignment',"
-A witness to the kidnapping

Let's face it, when we can't start telling who is with us or against us, then that is truly the time to leave. How are we going to make things better when we don't know who is on our side.

It's like what we did in Afghanistan during the Soviet war and occupation. We trained the Taliban well enough to become our enemies. There can be no doubt that, in the final analysis, we are, at least, partially responsible for the messes we are put in.

Are we really safer since the Soviet Union has been disbanded? Was it a great idea training the Taliban and the likes of Osama bin-Laden as they faced-off against the Soviet army?

Now we stand as the "trainers" of the Iraqi army, and as we "train" our new "allies", they take our lessons and use them against us.


Always reminded of the proverb, "Those who won't learn from history are destined to repeat it," one has to wonder "How long does a screw up have to last before it becomes history?" The Bush administration refuses to see what is directly in front of them: The deteriorization of anything useful we can do in Iraq. There is no more hope for our troops there other than the hope that all of them return home safely. And the longer we wait to bring them home, more and more of them lose that hope as they lose their lives, limbs or sanity.

The kidnapping of an allied contractor and his bodyguards by either rogues dressed as Iraqi soldiers or Iraqi soldiers dressed as Iraqi soldiers should be that cold slap in the face we have been looking for. We've turned enough cheeks already and I'm not prepared to pull down my pants.

-Noah Greenberg

Why the GOP Hate Women

Hey ladies, I have a question. What has the Bush administration done for you? Well, we know what they tell us they want to do to your right to be the boss over your own body. Now they're following it up with allowing your boss to take full advantage of you at the office without the fear of repercussions. In a 5-4 decision, made possible by the Bush appointees to the Supreme Court, a woman's right (ability?) to sue her employer for unfair waged has been taken away.

Let's say you're offered a job as a supervisor in a factory that makes widgets (which also requires us to think of this fictitious device as only being able to be produced here in the US, or else it would be made in China). You're given the job at an annual salary of $50,000 per year. 181 days later, you find out that a male counterpart is earning $65,000 for performing the same job. You're besides yourself, go in to see the plant manager and ask the simple question, "Why?" After all, your evaluations are on par with the other guy's, with yours being a little higher, as a matter of fact; and you have slightly more seniority than Mr. Supervisor, so "Why?" would be the right question. Your boss hems and haws and finally blurts out "Because he has a wife and kids, that's why!"

Today, thanks to the Bush Supreme Court, you have no recourse. If only you had found out about this little discrepancy on or before day 180, you'd be all set. You see, somehow the Supreme Court deemed it unconstitutional that someone who doesn't have a penis or facial hair should be able to earn the same pay for the same job if they've held that job for over 180 days.

Since most of the companies that this would effect can hire and fire people "at will", what are the chances that an employee should: (A) Find out what another employee earns for doing the same job in a six month period, and; (B) How does an employee with less than six months of history with a company challenge her boss?

I wonder how any woman could vote against her own self-interest and vote for the Party or Diminished Responsibility. After all, they were the ones in power who granted President Bush his pro big business, anti-woman and anti-middle-class Court of Supremacists this majority which will constantly rule against the average American. Is it possible for all of us, male and female, to learn to vote with our best interests in mind or are we going to keep falling for the rhetoric of bad policy that has been the status quo for the past six years.

In her dissenting opinion, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg asked the US Congress to pass law to negate the ruling of her fellow bench-mates. It's time for the House and Senate Democrats to cross the aisle and get their GOP counterparts on the same page,, especially when it comes to fair treatment in the workplace. If the Republicans don't offer their help, then it's time for the Dems to take their case to the people and make these Bushies pay the price as they try to explain themselves to 51 percent of the American electorate.

-Noah Greenberg

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-Noah Greenberg