John Furie Zacharias
having a bad day in a strange place
Thunderstorms Anywhere

Thunderstorms in the Imajica

 The different ways I don't like you 
 in a list that may never become organized
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Saturday, November 11, 2006
Politics: Iraq and Rumsfeld

 Insert your own comment here

Feel free to insert your own caption to my google-image montage of the Bush White House tossing Rumsfeld over the side as political shark chum.

I can only imagine that Bush/Cheney likely had a cabinet meeting of the principals where Bush's people said things like, "Donald's lived a full life; we thank him for his service to country; we can give him a service medal; Clinton and Pelosi will shut up and think about domestic policy, if we give up Rummy."

If you don't think politics in the United States is a blood sport, you're not paying attention.  It has all the feakish betrayal of reality TV, all the drama of the powerful losing everything (just ask the once 2008 presidential hopeful George Allen), and the sitcom predicability of scripted one-liners.

Bush gave this freakish, five-minute-long, White House Rose Garden dog and pony show and team photo-op of his cabinet's solidarity with the press corps before he met with the newly elected and incoming House and Senate Majority leaders.  Donald Rumsfeld was not there.  Was that public display of team spirit to bolster the morale of his cabinet that they wouldn't meet the fate of Donald Rumsfeld or to calm the fears of millions of fellow Republicans who just drank all that Bush/Cheney campaign-trail Kool-Aid that Armageddon faced us in 2007, if the Democratic party won in the elections?

House Majority Leader-elect Nancy Pelosi once again publicly stated that "impeachment is off the table," but with a large number of old-school Democratic party icons taking up various leadership roles in House and Senate committees, she may have a tough job impeding powerful committee chairmen from calling hearings that expose the executive branch's innumerable impeachable offenses.

I predict that with ex-CIA Director Robert Gates as the incoming Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld could die from natural causes within the next 18 months, before he can testifiy under oath in a Democratic controlled committee hearing, if he opens his mouth.  Look for the old soldier to have a nano-sized micro injection red spot in his left eyeball, before he can tell any death-bed confessions about Bush and Cheney.  Rumsfeld is smart, though.  He will keep his mouth shut, or simply lie under oath.  I wouldn't expect any Robert McNamara Fog of War musings from Rumsfeld concerning Iraq.

Incoming SecDef-elect Robert Gates survived the Reagan/Bush era Iran Contra affair.  In my humble opinion, I think it's quite normal and expected that George Bush is calling in some of his family's political chips for shady talent like Robert Gates, convicted felon John Poindexter, and self-admitted liar to congress and neo-con nutbag, Elliot Abrams.  Look for a spreading war in the Middle East and even more covert action in South America again.

I want the Democratic-controlled House to call an Intelligence, or Armed Services, or Foreign Relations hearing.  Get John Conyers to subpoena Colin Powell to testify under oath for about a month straight.

The next two years will not be boring.

As a related item of interest

This morning, C-Span's Washington Journal was to have a roundtable and call-in discussion about Iraq featuring two Iraq war veterans.  Unfortunately, the spokesman for Iraq Veterans against the War had a medical emergency and could not participate.  C-Span had to air the segment with only the spokesman for a pro-war group called Veterans For Freedom, David Bellavia.  Being a military veteran myself, I thought I would look into this organization.

Surprise! Surprise! Veterans For Freedom is nothing more than a well-funded, Republican 527 front group against anyone who wants to end the occupation in Iraq.  David Bellavia is the vice-chairman of the lobbying "fund" and the entire group is a political propaganda machine, tracing its roots to the infamous Swiftboat Veterans for Truth.

So many liars, so little time.

David Bellavia actually had the temerity to ask an opposition caller, "I'm a vet -- who do you think signs my paycheck?"  Well, now I know.  Until he leaves in January, David Bellavia's paycheck will be signed (or funded) by that NRC chairman and lying weasel, Ken Mehlman.

I can respect people who disagree with my opinion about Iraq, but when someone -- anyone -- gets on a national broadcast like C-Span, or Fox News, and espouses a foreign policy stance under the guise of credibility, it really irritates me.


Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Americans Vote For Regime Change

 American Regime Change by JfZ
In a stunning public referendum against the Bush government, Americans stoically braved Republican fear-mongering TV propanganda, electronic vote hacking, illegal and deceptive telephone robo calls, numerous state voter list purges, and other Nixonian dirty tricks brought into the twenty-first century in order to patriotically vote for regime change in the legislative branch yesterday.  2007 will usher in a government for Americans whose legislative branch can put some constitutional checks and balances upon the monarchial, or corporate, or unitary executive branch's practices of the last six years.  Whether the last two years of the Bush regime are marked by political moderation by both sides, legislative gridlock, or calls for executive impeachment remains to be seen.  I think we may see a little of everything.

The structure of the U.S. government has three equal branches: the executive, legislative and the judicial.  The legislative branch changed control and leadership from the executive branch political party of Bush's loyal (policy rubber-stamping)Republicans to the popular opposition, the Democratic party candidates.

The legislative (law-making and appropriations) branch of the U.S. government has two main bodies: the House of Representatives and the Senate. The Senate is comprised of two elected officials from each of the 50 states, or 100 lawmakers. The House of Respresentatives is based upon population, so each state has a varied number of lawmakers.

In total, there are 436 members of the House of Representatives. Both the Senate and the House are commonly referred to as the U.S. Congress.  The U.S. Congress is one of the three equal branches of the U.S. government and is the legislative branch.

Yesterday's vote was a big deal in American politics.  In comparison, the executive branch election held in 2004, which put this president in power, was very much like a vote for American Idol.  Some people apparently voted for Bush/Cheney in 2004 and had no idea what government he might actually create with his neocon cabinet -- although some of us jumped and down screaming not to validate his misguided agenda since the Iraq war.


Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Blog the vote!

Today is your day to vote and help change the world.

In addition to federal level elections for your legislators, remember all the state and local level candidates, and various initiatives need your vote, too.  Ballot initiatives have to be decided in almost all the states, and those initiatives range from minimum wage, to gay marriage, to stem cells, to even marijuana decriminalization.

One of the most useful websites I've seen is run by the League of Women Voters. If you don't know where your local polling place is, you can look it up with a few clicks.

Check out this handy web page to find out exactly where to cast your vote.  Enter in some information and *poof* -- it's listed and they even display a local map, so you know how to get there to vote.

If for some reason you have trouble voting at your local polling site today, call toll-free 1-866-OUR-VOTE for information (1-866-687-8683).  This is a national hotline manned by the people at Election Protection.

If you are interested in Amercian politics, but don't live in the U.S. to see any TV coverage, check out C-Span this evening for Election 2006 coverage.  Two useful sites are also here and here.

Go vote.  Tomorrow is a new day.


Sunday, November 05, 2006
Politics: Why vote?

Had enough? I haven't blogged about the many things political that have interested me this year. It's been such a debacle that even the casual observer knows. I've said it repeatedly in other posts over the last several years concerning foreign policy -- your vote on November 7th counts -- please go vote.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Halloween and Morphine Dreams

JfZ having Morphine Dreams

Happy Halloween!

I found this photo of me, just the other day, while I was searching through some digital archives for something else.  I thought, what better way to frighten small children and adults alike on Halloween than to put a scary photo of myself on the blog?

I think the barely undead look on my face is very appropriate.  Despite the pain and drugs, it says, "Thanks for taking this photo of me!"  Is it only a man's instinctive reflex to cover his crotch when he faces an assault?

It's very appropriate for Trick-or-Treat, too.  It shows me only a few hours after some reconstructive surgery to try to repair my shattered leg bones.  All the titanium and screws was some trick of orthopedic surgery.  The treat is that little, bright blue box hanging on the IV pole on the left side.  That little treat was a morphine drip pump, and it was very best friend until they kicked me out of the hospital.

Morphine Dream or Halloween Haunting?

I just woke up from a nap I had taken after dinner, this Halloween night.  I know I don't normally do this on Thunderstorms, but bear with me and I'll promise not to be too tedious about it.  I had a very unusual dream while asleep on Halloween night.

It was night time. I was in the car with my mom. We had just left from visiting my grandma who lived in some gated community. The car headlights shone on the guard shack. The guard looked at his watch, made a note, and lifted the gate. As we travelled along, I was lying down in the backseat. I watched buildings and sky pass by my view, from that odd angle of lying in the backseat. I thought maybe it was a childhood memory. Having my mom and grandma in the same place mostly happened only during my childhood.

 I watched the buildings. I saw a set of barge cranes. It made me believe I was in New Orleans, where you can look at a row of buildings and there will be a water canal just a block or two behind them. We passed a very tall set of commercial buildings. I thought to myself, "Wow, I hadn't seen those buildings on this route before."

I thought it was fun travelling around through the city and seeing new things. It's fun, even when someone else drives. As a child, you don't really have much control over where you might be travelling in the car when your mom drives, but you can just enjoy the ride and the discovery of new scenery. But, then I said, "I wish I could drive again. It's so god-damned depressing." This put my dream in the present, or at least not in my childhood. We were driving in the pre-dusk evening.

After some time, I sat up in the middle of the back seat. I could look ahead through the windshield. I saw there was a man in the front passenger seat. He looked to be about my mom's age. I didn't know who he was, but I wasn't concerned or alarmed by that.

At some point, I asked the man about something. He showed me a photo, or something with a photo on it. He passed it back to me to look at. I can remember struggling to see what was on the card sized envelope, at first. I tilted it one way and then another trying to get some light on it.

He spoke, but only half of the words were understandable. I kept asking, "What?" It was like having a conversation with someone who has limited english-speaking skills. I don't know if it is some strange kind of lucid dreaming skills that happen, but I remembering trying to see what was on the card and trying to understand what he saying. But, it was difficult.

The card had a photo on it, depicting the man sitting casually outside, wearing some funky-looking jeans with a deliberate pattern of bleach spots, or something. He explained to me that someone had given the jeans to him as a parting gift from a workplace. So, after some amount of time had passed, he took a photo of himself in the jeans, printed the image onto a card, and planned to mail it to his past co-workers. I don't remember if he actually explained this verbally to me, or if it was just one of those dream explanations, where you just understand something.

The image was weird though -- like it was a micro-thin LCD screen, or hologram image. I thought to myself, "this guy must have a very cool printer, if it can print out holograms for him."

At some point, my mom got nervous driving. It was now afternoon. There were storm clouds visible outside to the side of the car. I think it started raining lightly. She turned on the headlights and windshield wipers for a short time. I remember telling her not to be nervous, and reassuring her. I did a lot of reassuring and calming my mom in real life, when I moved in with her to take care of her.

We arrived somewhere pleasant. It had stopped raining, and the sun was shining. It was daytime. I don't know if it was her house, or the man's house, or even my house.

Then, I abruptly woke up.

So now, sitting here awake, trying to remember WTF happened in my dream and typing this, I have some questions.  It is strange to me that the dream seemed to progress backwards in time -- going from night, to evening, then afternoon, and then mid-morning daylight.

Other strange things: I very rarely dream about my mom or grandma.  They're both quite dead.  Who was the man in the front passenger seat?  Could he have been my father?  Did I have trouble understanding him because I never met him in real life?  Was my dream a dreadful omen -- or is my life in danger -- having travelled along on this road trip with dead people, backwards in time? While I didn't see any Sixth Sense red doorknobs, my dream was a little bit unnerving.

Do spirits visit you in your dreams?

Was my dream just a Halloween trick-or-treat of my mind?


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