jazzoLOG - Category: Thoughts    
 Exactly How Bush Spends Your Money35 comments
picture1 Sep 2007 @ 12:48
As a man is, so he sees.

---William Blake

There is only one great adventure and that is inwards toward the self.

---Henry Miller

The bluebird carries the sky on his back.

---Henry David Thoreau

President Bush speaks at a meeting of the Associated General Contractors of America on May 2, 2007 in Washington, DC.
Photo: Wong/Getty

In America we believe in the marketplace, and we expect bang for our buck. The educated consumer is more highly valued than an educated voter. The wise shopper researches the available products before making a major purchase. Sometimes we complain we have too MANY product choices---like when you need to buy some cough syrup.

We detest socialism, and the mere mention of it can get you a punch in the nose. We think it's probably wasteful, and we can't stand being told what to do. Freedom means I choose the car I drive...and whether or not I throw trash out the window.

So how is it George Bush gets away with 7 years of no-bid contracts clearly to companies that support the Republican Party with lots of cash? What is a no-bid contract anyway and where did it come from? Does no one ask this? Is presidential war powers the answer to every inquiry?

I've spent the morning with 3 articles that have appeared online during the past week, and I feel the need to share them. The first is in the current issue of Rolling Stone (#1034) with How Bush's Cronies Swindled Billions blazing across the cover. May I repeat that word again, since so many seem to blank out at high numbers? BILLIONS. Its author is Matt Taibbi, to whom I referred you last April in a piece called Oil's Final Trickle [link] . If this journalist, still in his 30s, doesn't get a Pulitzer someday, I'll be surprised.

The next is Paul Krugman's commemorating the 2nd Anniversary last week of Hurricane Katrina's devastation of New Orleans. TruthOut kindly put up the premium column yesterday. And finally there's an essay by Nat Hentoff on CIA torture. Well, this is Labor Day weekend reading to get you stirred up admittedly. It did me, and probably will give me more to talk about at the picnic than sale prices at the big boxes.  More >

 The US: One Big Drug Store40 comments
picture5 Jun 2007 @ 10:03
In a single cry
the pheasant has swallowed
the fields of spring.

---Yamei

The real miracle is not to walk on water or thin air but to walk on the earth!

---Thich Nhat Hanh

Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out your horn.

---Charlie Parker

The family that protests together...: Richard, Dana, Ilona demonstrating against a nuclear dump they want to build down the road apiece. (Photo by Loraine McCosker)

I went to my dentist for the semi-annual checkup yesterday, and noticed a new product in the little bag of stuff they give you afterwards. I wisecracked to the receptionist that Listerine must be sending my doctor and his family on a cruise somewhere. She was quick to reply he never takes anything from companies except the free samples. I was happy to hear that.

Whereupon I gave her an earful about my family doctor's office. I said I hadn't been in there even once in the past 2 years (and I go maybe 3 times a year---they want to get all they can out of my insurance company) when there wasn't a drug salesperson pushing pills. These people are particularly sickening, as they try to get from the reception window into the back area to unload their suitcases full of drugs and bribe the doctors. The payoffs are free dinners, trips, and various toys to be strewn all over the place with big long names of pills on them. Undoubtedly they hope some patients will steal the toys to take home and spread the word. Free advertising. The dinners are gigantic feasts, and receptionists are encouraged to have to doctor invite all their friends if they want to. This is done in brazen broad daylight in front of a room of patients, waiting hour after hour to get that prescription.

I was in there last week, for a sprained foot I wanted X-rayed, and the drug lady was suggesting perhaps the doctors would like a new restaurant this time. Maybe one in Columbus or Parkersburg, a finer one, a richer one. The receptionist said she'd ask. "And oh!" the pusher said, "did you notice my new outfit?" She did a little swirl in front of the window. "It's color coordinated with our featured capsule!" I couldn't believe my ears. "See? The same colors as (she named the drug). Even the waistband is the color of the little separating line." I felt nauseated, and nearly stood up and let her have it. This is our health system in action, and I'm about to go in an office for treatment that will pay for this woman's salary, costume, and a doctor's free vacation courtesy of pharmaceuticals.

Maybe 20 years ago or more doctors started giving us free samples of drugs they were prescribing. I appreciated that because sometimes I was sick with flu or something, and just felt like going back to bed rather than a drug store to get medication. But since then, the practice has become obscene. Is this the free market the people in power tell us is a new religion solving the world's problems? If so, I want out! I'll gather roots and herbs in the woods before I'll take any more of this horror show. Have a look at TruthOut's article on the mess from yesterday afternoon~~~  More >

 Pardoning Libby8 comments
picture11 Mar 2007 @ 09:16
Cheney might be saying, "But I was aiming at something else!" [link]

It's not what you think it is. And neither is it otherwise.

---Zen saying

The moment between before and after is called Truth.

---Katagiri Roshi

The love of the heart is the candle flame that carries us through the road of darkness.

---St. John of the Cross

The New York Times Sunday edition hits the streets in the City by mid evening. It used to get up to The Bronx by about 11:00, and it was fun to have it in the apartment, ready to go, with coffee first thing next morning. When I heard from RawStory.com that Frank Rich's column today predicts Bush will pardon Libby without blinking an eye, I wanted to read it immediately. The Times doesn't get to Athens until about noon later today, and I knew my online subscription wouldn't show me the column unless I pay for the premium service...or sign up for the free trial. What to do?

Well, there's always the wild west of the blogging world, which may be an even match for the boys playing cowboy in the White House. And sure enough, our friend in Texas who gets it all up and posted every time had the whole Rich column online by 8:00. Rozius excuses his outlaw ways with this quotation from Thomas Carlyle: "I do not believe in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance." OK buddy, desperate measures for desperate times.

Before we read the column, let's consider some options not mentioned there. If the pardon happens, is it the end of truth's road? Two things still would be going. First is Representative Henry Waxman's hearings in the House Oversight Committee beginning this coming week. Waxman said in interview with Ed Schultz on Friday that he is committed to carrying these hearings through no matter what happens. (You can hear the interview here [link] .) Valerie Plame, the CIA agent Libby lied about outing, definitely will be testifying---and take a look at the mood she's in in this AP photo [link] ---and special prosecutor Fitzgerald has been "invited." Waxman does have subpoena power. Hopefully at least it will be made clear that Valerie Plame did not "send" her husband, Ambassador Joe Wilson, to Niger and did not have the authority to do so, but mentioned him as knowledgeable about the area to the guy who did.

The second option is the lawsuit the Wilsons have filed against Cheney, Armitage, Rove, and Libby, claiming violation of civil rights. Apparently that suit will come before a judge in May, and the conspirators' attorneys will be claiming immunity. [link] I must say the courage of Joe and Valerie is some of the greatest inspiration for true liberty I've ever seen. Now thanks to Rozius Unbound here's Frank Rich on the theatre of the Libby pardon~~~  More >

 How's Your Computer?17 comments
picture26 Dec 2006 @ 11:29
Jump into salvation while you are alive. What you call "salvation" belongs to the time before death.

---Kabir

To be enlightened is to be intimate with all things.

---Dogen

God whose love and joy are everywhere can't come to visit unless you aren't there.

---Angelus Silesius

The image accompanying is from a 2004 calendar entitled A Year Of Agony, which was put out by Sourcefire, a network security company. [link] The caption reads "I've locked down my host to the point where it's unusable."

Our computer is the same one we had in 2004 (we're window-shopping eagerly for a new one) but in the meantime has developed so many knots in its processing that I feel we're losing this war almost as badly as the invasion of Iraq. For indeed what other appliance do you buy for your household that comes under actual attack from parties known and unknown the moment you connect it up to use? Say what you will about the malicious geeks out there, they're brought planned obsolescence to an art form. Of course neocons preach the consumer needs no help battling this army all by yourself in your tilty deskchair.

I spend at least a half hour a day doing routine maintenance on this thing. We have dialup but I can't blame all the weirdness in the machine on that. I've been struggling for 2 months to get my Norton scan to work properly again. I suspect a Microsoft Priority Update as the culprit...but maybe it's an undetectable worm picked up at MySpace. I seem to be spending more time worrying about what's infecting our computer than my own bodily health! But like that organism, it seems the more I try to do about it, the worse everything gets. Thus the illustration here.  More >

 Tortured Over The Election?19 comments
picture29 Oct 2006 @ 12:00
If you do not get it from yourself, where will you go for it?

---Alan Watts

My advice to you is not to inquire why or whither, but just enjoy your ice cream while it's on your plate---that's my philosophy.

---Thornton Wilder

No more words. Hear only the voice within.

---Jalal Ad-Din Rumi

What to say as we enter the final week of preparation for America's 2006 election? Can anyone remember or reference a midterm election so momentous? I think it's safe to say they're usually so uninteresting many people forget to vote at all. But not this one. There's a sense of desperation in the attack ads of one politician against another. FactCheck.org, run by the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, said Friday the quality of mud being slung is industrial scale...and gives incredible examples from around the country. [link]

I have a category for a certain kind of voter that I call the Quiet Conservative. These people tend to rise above all controversy and dispute. They often are or have been administrators or managers of some kind. They've trained themselves simply to observe the currents of power and opinion in their surroundings and make their decisions accordingly. Usually I can't tell which political party they tend to favor...and probably they don't favor any at all, making contributions as the flow of the polls and markets indicate. They follow the money, be it funding or profit. But this year the QC's in my acquaintance have gotten tense and irritable in recent days. One guy came up to me last week, shook my hand as usual, and said, also as usual, "Here's my good friend whose stuff I love to read, but don't always agree with"...and then uncharacteristically punched me in the arm. It hurt a bit. Maybe there's an edgy mood now. Beware the Quiet Conservative.  More >



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