Stephen Colbert at White House Correspondents dinner

Amuse yourself with the truth.

Stephen Colbert (Truthy Man!) gutted everybody last night at the White House Correspondent Dinner Saturday. George and Laura were not amused. I love this guy. It was more than a blood letting. He wielded language with the same deadly precision that a master samurai wields a sword, going right to the gut and heart. Bush & Co. including their Dick-whipped military "professionals", so used to being protected by the media whores, were stunned. Colbert got around to 'em all.

... sorry for the confusion. The Colbert links keep getting removed but for the moment you can see them here:

Entire Correspondence Dinner video.google

Colbert segment video.google

The Google links are not accessible half the time but these links have been good from the start:

Colbert video part 1Colbert video part 2

None of these links are good anymore but the complete transcript is included below:


Here's the complete transcript. I got it from Fredrick at Daily Kos. It's well worth a read. Also, here's a link to the video from Cspan. It includes a little film he made (delightful cameo by Helen Thomas) in case the White House wanted to interview him for the position of Press Secretary. They didn't.

STEPHEN COLBERT: Thank you, ladies and gentlemen. Before I begin, I've been asked to make an announcement. Whoever parked 14 black bulletproof S.U.V.'s out front, could you please move them? They are blocking in 14 other black bulletproof S.U.V.'s and they need to get out.

Wow. Wow, what an honor. The White House correspondents' dinner. To actually sit here, at the same table with my hero, George W. Bush, to be this close to the man. I feel like I'm dreaming. Somebody pinch me. You know what? I'm a pretty sound sleeper -- that may not be enough. Somebody shoot me in the face. Is he really not here tonight? Dammit. The one guy who could have helped.

By the way, before I get started, if anybody needs anything else at their tables, just speak slowly and clearly into your table numbers. Somebody from the NSA will be right over with a cocktail. Mark Smith, ladies and gentlemen of the press corps, Madame First Lady, Mr. President, my name is Stephen Colbert and tonight it's my privilege to celebrate this president. We're not so different, he and I. We get it. We're not brainiacs on the nerd patrol. We're not members of the factinista. We go straight from the gut, right sir? That's where the truth lies, right down here in the gut. Do you know you have more nerve endings in your gut than you have in your head? You can look it up. I know some of you are going to say "I did look it up, and that's not true." That's 'cause you looked it up in a book.

Next time, look it up in your gut. I did. My gut tells me that's how our nervous system works. Every night on my show, the Colbert Report, I speak straight from the gut, OK? I give people the truth, unfiltered by rational argument. I call it the "No Fact Zone." Fox News, I hold a copyright on that term.

I'm a simple man with a simple mind. I hold a simple set of beliefs that I live by. Number one, I believe in America. I believe it exists. My gut tells me I live there. I feel that it extends from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and I strongly believe it has 50 states. And I cannot wait to see how the Washington Post spins that one tomorrow. I believe in democracy. I believe democracy is our greatest export. At least until China figures out a way to stamp it out of plastic for three cents a unit.

In fact, Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong, welcome. Your great country makes our Happy Meals possible. I said it's a celebration. I believe the government that governs best is the government that governs least. And by these standards, we have set up a fabulous government in Iraq.

I believe in pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps. I believe it is possible -- I saw this guy do it once in Cirque du Soleil. It was magical. And though I am a committed Christian, I believe that everyone has the right to their own religion, be you Hindu, Jewish or Muslim. I believe there are infinite paths to accepting Jesus Christ as your personal savior.

Ladies and gentlemen, I believe it's yogurt. But I refuse to believe it's not butter. Most of all, I believe in this president.

Now, I know there are some polls out there saying this man has a 32% approval rating. But guys like us, we don't pay attention to the polls. We know that polls are just a collection of statistics that reflect what people are thinking in "reality." And reality has a well-known liberal bias.

So, Mr. President, please, pay no attention to the people that say the glass is half full. 32% means the glass -- it's important to set up your jokes properly, sir. Sir, pay no attention to the people who say the glass is half empty, because 32% means it's 2/3 empty. There's still some liquid in that glass is my point, but I wouldn't drink it. The last third is usually backwash. Okay, look, folks, my point is that I don't believe this is a low point in this presidency. I believe it is just a lull before a comeback.

I mean, it's like the movie "Rocky." All right. The president in this case is Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed is -- everything else in the world. It's the tenth round. He's bloodied. His corner man, Mick, who in this case I guess would be the vice president, he's yelling, "Cut me, Dick, cut me!," and every time he falls everyone says, "Stay down! Stay down!" Does he stay down? No. Like Rocky, he gets back up, and in the end he -- actually, he loses in the first movie.

OK. Doesn't matter. The point is it is the heart-warming story of a man who was repeatedly punched in the face. So don't pay attention to the approval ratings that say 68% of Americans disapprove of the job this man is doing. I ask you this, does that not also logically mean that 68% approve of the job he's not doing? Think about it. I haven't.

I stand by this man. I stand by this man because he stands for things. Not only for things, he stands on things. Things like aircraft carriers and rubble and recently flooded city squares. And that sends a strong message, that no matter what happens to America, she will always rebound -- with the most powerfully staged photo ops in the world.

Now, there may be an energy crisis. This president has a very forward-thinking energy policy. Why do you think he's down on the ranch cutting that brush all the time? He's trying to create an alternative energy source. By 2008 we will have a mesquite-powered car!

And I just like the guy. He's a good joe. Obviously loves his wife, calls her his better half. And polls show America agrees. She's a true lady and a wonderful woman. But I just have one beef, ma'am.

I'm sorry, but this reading initiative. I'm sorry, I've never been a fan of books. I don't trust them. They're all fact, no heart. I mean, they're elitist, telling us what is or isn't true, or what did or didn't happen. Who's Britannica to tell me the Panama Canal was built in 1914? If I want to say it was built in 1941, that's my right as an American! I'm with the president, let history decide what did or did not happen.

The greatest thing about this man is he's steady. You know where he stands. He believes the same thing Wednesday that he believed on Monday, no matter what happened Tuesday. Events can change; this man's beliefs never will. As excited as I am to be here with the president, I am appalled to be surrounded by the liberal media that is destroying America, with the exception of Fox News. Fox News gives you both sides of every story: the president's side, and the vice president's side.

But the rest of you, what are you thinking, reporting on NSA wiretapping or secret prisons in eastern Europe? Those things are secret for a very important reason: they're super-depressing. And if that's your goal, well, misery accomplished. Over the last five years you people were so good -- over tax cuts, WMD intelligence, the effect of global warming. We Americans didn't want to know, and you had the courtesy not to try to find out. Those were good times, as far as we knew.

But, listen, let's review the rules. Here's how it works: the president makes decisions. He's the decider. The press secretary announces those decisions, and you people of the press type those decisions down. Make, announce, type. Just put 'em through a spell check and go home. Get to know your family again. Make love to your wife. Write that novel you got kicking around in your head. You know, the one about the intrepid Washington reporter with the courage to stand up to the administration. You know - fiction!

Because really, what incentive do these people have to answer your questions, after all? I mean, nothing satisfies you. Everybody asks for personnel changes. So the White House has personnel changes. Then you write, "Oh, they're just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic." First of all, that is a terrible metaphor. This administration is not sinking. This administration is soaring. If anything, they are rearranging the deck chairs on the Hindenburg!

Now, it's not all bad guys out there. Some are heroes: Christopher Buckley, Jeff Sacks, Ken Burns, Bob Schieffer. They've all been on my show. By the way, Mr. President, thank you for agreeing to be on my show. I was just as shocked as everyone here is, I promise you. How's Tuesday for you? I've got Frank Rich, but we can bump him. And I mean bump him. I know a guy. Say the word.

See who we've got here tonight. General Moseley, Air Force Chief of Staff. General Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. They still support Rumsfeld. Right, you guys aren't retired yet, right? Right, they still support Rumsfeld.

Look, by the way, I've got a theory about how to handle these retired generals causing all this trouble: don't let them retire! Come on, we've got a stop-loss program; let's use it on these guys. I've seen Zinni and that crowd on Wolf Blitzer. If you're strong enough to go on one of those pundit shows, you can stand on a bank of computers and order men into battle. Come on.

Jesse Jackson is here, the Reverend. Haven't heard from the Reverend in a little while. I had him on the show. Very interesting and challenging interview. You can ask him anything, but he's going to say what he wants, at the pace that he wants. It's like boxing a glacier. Enjoy that metaphor, by the way, because your grandchildren will have no idea what a glacier is.

Justice Scalia is here. Welcome, sir. May I be the first to say, you look fantastic. How are you? [After each sentence, Colbert makes a hand gesture, an allusion to Scalia's recent use of an obscene Sicilian hand gesture in speaking to a reporter about Scalia's critics. Scalia is seen laughing hysterically.] Just talking some Sicilian with my paisan.

John McCain is here. John McCain, John McCain, what a maverick! Somebody find out what fork he used on his salad, because I guarantee you it wasn't a salad fork. This guy could have used a spoon! There's no predicting him. By the way, Senator McCain, it's so wonderful to see you coming back into the Republican fold. I have a summer house in South Carolina; look me up when you go to speak at Bob Jones University. So glad you've seen the light, sir.

Mayor Nagin! Mayor Nagin is here from New Orleans, the chocolate city! Yeah, give it up. Mayor Nagin, I'd like to welcome you to Washington, D.C., the chocolate city with a marshmallow center. And a graham cracker crust of corruption. It's a Mallomar, I guess is what I'm describing, a seasonal cookie.

Joe Wilson is here, Joe Wilson right down here in front, the most famous husband since Desi Arnaz. And of course he brought along his lovely wife Valerie Plame. Oh, my god! Oh, what have I said? [looks horrified] I am sorry, Mr. President, I meant to say he brought along his lovely wife Joe Wilson's wife. Patrick Fitzgerald is not here tonight? OK. Dodged a bullet.

And, of course, we can't forget the man of the hour, new press secretary, Tony Snow. Secret Service name, "Snow Job." Toughest job. What a hero! Took the second toughest job in government, next to, of course, the ambassador to Iraq.

Got some big shoes to fill, Tony. Big shoes to fill. Scott McClellan could say nothing like nobody else. McClellan, of course, eager to retire. Really felt like he needed to spend more time with Andrew Card's children. Mr. President, I wish you hadn't made the decision so quickly, sir.

I was vying for the job myself. I think I would have made a fabulous press secretary. I have nothing but contempt for these people. I know how to handle these clowns. In fact, sir, I brought along an audition tape and with your indulgence, I'd like to at least give it a shot. So, ladies and gentlemen, my press conference.


STEPHEN COLBERT: Helen Thomas, ladies and gentlemen. Mr. Smith, members of the White House Correspondents Association, Madame First Lady, Mr. President, it's been a true honor. Thank you very much. Good night!


Colbert shows a video of a mock press conference. It opens with him at a podium, addressing the assembled Washington press corps.

COLBERT: I have a brief statement: the press is destroying America. OK, let's see who we've got here today.

COLBERT (acknowledging various reporters): Stretch! (David Gregory nods)

Sir Nerdlington! (reporter nods)

Sloppy Joe! (reporter nods)

Terry Lemon Moran Pie! (Terry Moran nods)

Oh, Doubting Thomas, always a pleasure. (Helen Thomas smiles)

And Suzanne Mal -- hello!!

(Suzanne Malveaux stares at Colbert, looking unhappy. Colbert mimics putting a phone to his ear and mouths "call me.")

REPORTER: Will the Vice President be available soon to answer all questions himself?

COLBERT: I've already addressed that question. You (pointing to another reporter).

REPORTER: Walter Cronkite, the noted CBS anchor, . . .

COLBERT (interrupting): Ah, no, he's the former CBS anchor. Katie Couric is the new anchor of the CBS Evening News. Well, well, how do you guys feel about that?

You, tousle-haired guy in the back. Are you happy about Katie Couric taking over the CBS Evening News?

DAN RATHER: No, sir, Mr. Colbert. Are you? (Laughter)

COLBERT: Boom! Oh, look, we woke David Gregory up. Question?

DAVID GREGORY: Did Karl Rove commit a crime?

COLBERT: I don't know. I'll ask him.

(Colbert turns to Rove) Karl, pay attention please! (Rove is seen drawing a heart with "Karl + Stephen" written on it.)

GREGORY: Do you stand by your statement from the fall of 2003 when you were asked specifically about Karl, and Elliott Abrams, and Scooter Libby, and you said "I've gone to each of those gentlemen, and they have told me that they are not involved in this." Do you stand by that statement?

COLBERT: Nah, I was just kidding!

GREGORY: No, you're not finishing. You're not saying anything! You stood at that podium and said . . .

COLBERT (interrupting): Ah, that's where you're wrong. New podium! Just had it delivered today. Get your facts straight, David.

GREGORY: This is ridiculous. The notion that you're going to stand before us after having commented with that level of detail and tell the people watching this that somehow you've decided not to talk. You've got to . . .

(Colbert is seen looking at three buttons on the podium, labeled "EJECT," "GANNON" and "VOLUME." He selects the "VOLUME" button and turns it. We see Gregory's lips continue moving, but can't hear any sound coming out.)

COLBERT: If I can't hear you, I can't answer your question. I'm sorry! I have to move on. Terry.

TERRY MORAN: After the investigation began, after the criminal investigation was underway, you said . . .

(Colbert presses a button on the podium and fast-forwards through most of Moran's question.)

MORAN (continuing): All of a sudden, you have respect for the sanctity of a criminal investigation?

COLBERT (seen playing with rubber ball, which he is bouncing off attached paddle): No, I never had any respect for the sanctity of a criminal investigation. Activist judges! Yes, Helen.

HELEN THOMAS: You're going to be sorry. (Laughter)

COLBERT (looking vastly amused, mockingly): What are you going to do, Helen, ask me for a recipe?

THOMAS: Your decision to invade Iraq has caused the deaths of thousands (Colbert's smile fades) of Americans and Iraqis, wounds of Americans and Iraqis for a lifetime.

COLBERT (interrupting): OK, hold on Helen, look . . .

THOMAS (continuing): Every reason given, publicly at least, has turned out not to be true. My question is why did you really want to go to war?

COLBERT (again interrupting): Helen, I'm going to stop you right there. (Thomas keeps talking.) That's enough! No! Sorry, Helen, I'm moving on. (Colbert tries to turn her volume off, but the knob falls off his controls.)

(Various reporters start shouting questions at Colbert.)

COLBERT (agitated): Guys, guys, please don't let Helen do this to what was a lovely day.

(Reporters keep shouting at him.)

COLBERT (putting his fingers over his ears and shouting in a high-pitched voice): Bllrrtt! No, no, no, no, no. I'm not listening to you!

Look what you did, Helen! I hate you!

(Helen Thomas glowers at Colbert.)

COLBERT (frantic): I'm out of here!

(Colbert pulls back the curtain behind him, desperately trying to flee. He says, "There is a wall here!" The press corps laughs. Colbert has difficulty finding a door from which to exit the room, echoing Bush's experience in China. He finally finds the door and hurries through it.)

COLBERT: It reeks in there! Ridiculous! I've never been so insulted in my life! Stupid job.

(Colbert continues walking away. We hear sinister-sounding music playing. We see Helen Thomas walking behind Colbert.)

(Colbert looks behind him, sees Thomas, and starts running.)

(Colbert trips over a roller skate, and yells "Condi!" We see a close-up of Helen Thomas' face, looking determined and angry. Colbert, increasingly panicked, gets up and continues running, running into a parking garage. He reaches an emergency call box, and yells into it.)

COLBERT: Oh, thank God. Help me!

ATTENDANT: What seems to be the problem, sir?

COLBERT: She won't stop asking why we invaded Iraq!

ATTENDANT: Hey, why did we invade Iraq?

COLBERT: NO!!! (runs toward his car)

(We see Helen Thomas, still walking toward him.)

(Colbert reaches his car, and fumblingly attempts to open it with his key. He is in such a desperate hurry that he fumbles with the keys and drops them. When he picks them up, he looks back and Helen is even closer. In his frantic rush, Colbert just can't get the keys into the lock.)

(Just as his anxiety is getting completely out of control he suddenly remembers that he has a keyless remote -- so he just pushes the button on the keychain and the car unlocks immediately with the usual double squeak noise. Colbert jumps in and locks the door, and continues to fumble trying to get the car started. He finally succeeds, and looks up to see Helen standing in front of the car, notepad in hand.)


(Colbert puts the car into reverse and drives off, tires squealing. Thomas smiles.)

(Colbert is shown taking the shuttle from Washington, D.C. to New York. A car and driver are waiting for him at Penn Station. The uniformed man standing alongside the car opens the door and lets Colbert in.)

COLBERT: What a terrible trip, Danny. Take me home.

(The driver locks the doors, turns around, and says, "Buckle up, hon." IT'S HELEN THOMAS!!!)

COLBERT (horrified face pressed against car window): NO!!!

7 o'clock magpie

WARNING: This video is hard core Bird Park. So far, none of my friends like it ... no action ... so ordinary ...etc. etc. They're right but I like it anyway. Just a note: I didn't dub the music in later. I just happened to be listening to LOW while recording this unevent. They go together very well so I think of it as a happy synchronicity.

A young magpie happened by the Bird Park one evening and found the French fries I'd put out at the end of the day. She was delighted. Now she often shows up at dusk hoping for more. This particular evening she and her friend were not disappointed.

One more note: In case you're wondering ... that golden pile is not all french fries, just the tiny pile in front. The stuff in the background is straw I put out for nests. It is a bird park after all and it's spring.


Junkyard Bunny

Life for the junkyard bunny on HWY 395 isn't all that luxurious
but it's a life. After all, gotta live somewhere.

The seagulls, on the other hand, have some choices.


Invisible event

I am having a bitch of a time uploading the Bird Park video.
I'm sure this is devastating news but keep checking back. The show will go on....


AJR 39

"At both the state and national levels, we will be paying for the Bush Administration's illegal actions and terrible lack of judgment and competence for decades‚—not only in the billions of dollars wasted on the war and welfare for the rich, but in the worldwide loss of respect for America and Americans. Bush and Cheney must be impeached and removed from office before they undertake even deadlier misdeeds, such as the use of nuclear weapons. There are no bounds to their willingness to ignore the Constitution and world opinion‚—we can't afford to wait for the next disaster and hope that we can survive it."
That paragraph is what California Assemblyman Paul Koretz of Los Angeles added to Assembly Joint Resolution No. 39 turning it into a bill to impeach Bush and Cheney. Thank the gods somebody's got some guts! Later Koretz's told the press this bill,
"bases the call for impeachment upon the Bush Administration intentionally misleading the Congress and the American people regarding the threat from Iraq in order to justify an unnecessary war that has cost billions of dollars and thousands of lives and casualties; exceeding constitutional authority to wage war by invading Iraq; exceeding constitutional authority by Federalizing the National Guard; conspiring to torture prisoners in violation of the 'Federal Torture Act' and indicating intent to continue such actions; spying on American citizens in violation of the 1978 Foreign Agency Surveillance Act; leaking and covering up the leak of the identity of Valerie Plame Wilson, and holding American citizens without charge or trial."

Thank you Mr. Koretz and the other intelligent people who made my day. It had taken a very bizarre turn for the worse late this afternoon. I was back at that church run thrift store where the fat, amped-up old lady works and browsing for books when a guy with one of those oily personalities was suddenly standing in the middle of the aisle completely blocking it. I excused myself and wedged by but he struck up a sticky conversation anyway. On the surface it was ordinary but it gave me the creeps anyway. Some indefinable something about the guy was really unsavory. A few minutes later the whole store could hear him blabbering to the cashier that he thought "we" should nuke Iran because gas prices are too high then, "after everything has been turned to glass, send the Marines in to paint red and white stripes all over everything."


Holy shit! A real, live Bushite! No compassion. No logic. Not even a sense of consequences. Stark raving insane and, as if that wasn't enough, immersed in a bitter irony. He had the audacity ... the hubris ... no ... he was so deranged that he added, in a quieter tone meant to reassure us that dropping nuclear bombs on people is okay if he thinks so because he is a "Christian and a man of peace."

I gotten to the point that I even recoil from "nice" church folks and this is exactly why. They harbor and legitimize these maniacs. This fellow was a member of the Methodist church that runs this particular thrift store so the cashier, who is also a member, nodded and smiled and commiserated with him. Protecting herself from a raving lunatic is one thing. Although I wish I had, I didn't confront him either but when I asked her what she thought she simpered, "Well, gas prices are too high". I blasted her and she grew ever more ambiguous and friendly even throwing in the grimy little notebook I wanted a price on for free.

So they are out there, the Jesus freaks who have their heads so far up their asses they look down their noses at the world. They believe Bush in spite of the fact that he is a blatantly corrupt, scatterbrain dolt, dope, dunce, idiot, halfwit nitwit, numskull fool, criminal liar, evil traitor, pinhead, nincompoop.

Impeach the whole lot.

Okay. Okay. I'm done. For now.

On the brighter side:

Coming soon ...
The 7 o'clock Magpie
Another thrilling adventure
from the Bird Park!


Delicata and Fatty Leland

Now that Fatty Leland has moved to the river the house is a lot quieter, not that he made noise. Not him. He was one smooth operator. Delicata though, lately she has been doing a lot of cursing. She's been upset for the last couple of weeks, sometimes hissing us right out of the front room. She didn't want anyone around. At the time I thought maybe she was feeling protective about her recent ootheca. That may have been part of it but the other day M. Lee suggested that perhaps Fatty Leland had been bothering her. After all, he freaked us out a couple of times scooting around in plain sight. There are always tasty treats on Delicata's little, black dishes. Fatty may have fussed and fiddled with the screen on the terrarium trying to get at them. I wouldn't put it past him. Anyway, for whatever reason, Delicata is a lot more peaceful since he left.


Net neutrality

Next week corporate juggernauts like AOL and AT&T are fully expecting Congress to gut Network Neutrality, the Internet's First Amendment which protects free and equal access to all, and replace it with bottleneck legislation permitting them to divert, limit, control and tax web traffic. As usual, the corporate barons feel entitled to "special advantages" but it's simply extortion. Nothing more. UPS and FedX cannot dictate the flow of packages. Telephone companies cannot tell consumers who they can call. No one can dictate who, what or where we visit along the highway or what we do in our travels. In the same way network operators should NOT dictate what people can do online. Congress MUST protect the freedom and democracy of the Internet. To do otherwise would be an unforgivable betrayal of public trust.

Understanding net neutrality
Video URL Permalink

Also watch Leo Laporte and friends at TWiT discuss net neutrality.

Video URL Permalink

In the fight against these freewheeling corporations that are wealthier and more powerful than whole countries combined, the odds are definitely stacked against us. The Corporatocracy is the guiding philosophy behind the retrogressive Republican Party and the Bush Administration. These bastards watch each other's back and they all refuse to be accountable to the world around them. They act like they are invulnerable but they have to be stopped.

Let them know you are watching and keeping score.

Sign this petition at MoveOn.org and pass the link along to as many people as you can. It's one thing among many small things we can do. Yes it is a seemingly pointless act, but ... individually against these guys we are truly nothing. Corporations are collectives. We must be a volunteer, free form collective and speak for ourselves.


My favorite new song:


The Decider? God help us!

George Bush reminded us all the other day that he's IN CHARGE! Not only is he a madman, the guy's a boob.

"I hear the voices, and I read the front page, and I know the speculation. But I'm the decider, and I decide what is best. And what's best is for Don Rumsfeld to remain as the secretary of defense."

"I read the front page"!?!? I realize that for Bubble Boy, even reading the front page is a big deal. Sadly, I don't believe he even does that.

I am fully convinced that Bush is fully capable and, as The Decider, almost certainly secretly planning a nuclear attack on Iran. Just as fundamentalist Muslims devote themselves to their Jihad, Bush is devoted to his Apocalypse and has proven himself to be a liar and traitor willing to do anything to achieve his ends. He is a truly dangerous fool but if we let him continue bulldozing the way for this insane fundamentalist crusade we have only ourselves to blame.

"There's an old saying in Tennessee ... I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee ... that says, fool me once, shame on ... shame on you. Fool me ...you can't get fooled again."

~—President George W. Bush, Nashville, Tenn., Sept. 17, 2002 (Listen to audio or watch the video)

Unfortunately, we have proven again and again that we are willing to be fooled again and again.

Come on. At least sign the petitions:

Oppose attack on Iran

True Majority Petition against invading Iran


Puppet's revolt

There's an excellent, short article about newspeak and framing at the Project for the OLD American Century, well worth a read if you're a conscious person, and especially if you're a writer.

Puppet theater - Mexico

George Lakoff wrote about framing in his book Don't Think of an Elephant. This is information the regressives have been using against us for a long time. If we want to get out from under their influence, it would help to look at how they pull the strings.

The Revolt Of The Puppets
Dedicated to C. J. Lovik "The Master Puppeteer"

Looked down upon my marionettes
with slumber in their eyes.
Saw them resting, lying still,
their silence no surprise,
Awaiting but my touch to bring
their footsteps to tomorrow,
Wanting for my hands to mold
the script they've got to follow.

Dressed in costumes finery,
jesters, queens and more,
I thought that they reminded me
of something seen before -
All the different sizes, shapes,
the colors, noses, smiles,
The capes, the cloaks and funny shirts
the peasants, princes, styles.

All so different, all the same,
singular in thought.
Belonging to that wooden thing
yes, fashioned by a block.
Ah! I stared, I looked at them,
I watched for quite some time
Thinking 'bout these wooden heads,
these marionettes of mine.
Then moving as by habit,
I picked up the wooden sticks
Held them in my well trained hands
a smile about my lips.
Pulled one string to another,
saw their footsteps fall.
Their rags, their robes a whirling
each and every, all.

I had now, awakened them,
awakened them from sleep.
Set the stage, the scenery
I made them laugh and weep.
I wrote my script, they gave it voice.
They made my words their home,
And you see they followed it
for they had none of their own.

And at home in sweet contentment
from the peasant to the queen.
They had nothing but their costumes,
their wood, their strings, the scene.
And tears fell for these little folks,
these tiny blocks of wood
Who acted out the parts they played
but never understood.
Never knew just why they spoke
the words that tumbled out,
never knew what made them do
the things they acted out.

And I the Puppeteer could see
and see too plainly still,
That these my precious little ones
would never get their fill.
Their fill of dancing and delight,
never tire of the string
Never tire of the theater,
me, or pretending everything.

It seemed they always would be mine
to control at will,
Destined to be the actors
of the master scriptor's skill.
Their wooden heads just pine blocks
to bend and bow for me,
And any other Puppeteer
who happened just like me.

And putting down the strings awhile
I fell into a sleep,
A sleep that seemed eternal,
fanciful and deep.
And it was while at slumber
wrapped in her throws, her calm
That I suddenly awakened,
to some witchcraft, some charm,
That left me dazed and wondering,
at the sight that lay ahead,
Left me somewhat puzzling
the things that time had said.

And looking 'bout the tiny room,
the theater, stage room floor,
I saw my puppets rising up
on their own unlike before.
They were moving unattended.
Their strings were held by someone
or something unseen by me,
Who didn't have to pull them
the puppets seemed to see,
As they played flute and drummer
and moved about the stage
Doing all the actions
of the dreamer and the age.
Following the measures
of a vision held within,
That at last had come to tell them
of their selves, their songs therein.

And playing their own music,
dancing their own step,
They filled me with a wonder,
enchanted me and yet -
The Puppeteer had fallen,
had lost his place in time.
Replaced by something breathing,
the living and their rhyme.

They were thinking, feeling
living entities, these folks
Turning in eternity
their sea, the words they spoke.
And they were they and I was I,
a puppeteer no more
Nothing like the prophet, prince,
that I had been before.
Perhaps self righteous, sometimes fool,
maybe one more than the other
An overseeing, puppet being,
wooden, plastered mother.

Enchantment came, a joy, a peace,
a beautiful new scene,
That had taken away sorrow
and made the real a dream.
And then all too soon it ended.
I awoke and looked once more,
Upon the marionettes, those tiny babes
asleep on the stage floor.

Indeed, they had revolted
either then or sometime when
But I can't ponder over it
I am what I have been
A Puppeteer, A Puppeteer,
to control their land.
To control their lives and paths
with but my touch, my hand.

~ Linda A. Copp

Generals vs. Rumsfeld

Rumsfeld and Bush must go!
Cheney too!

So what if Bush endorses Rumsfeld and Cheney backs Bush? Naturally these bastards defend each other. It's their dirty daisy chain. Hitler backed Himmler. So what? They were equally evil.

Even Bush, who lives in a bubble, knows that if Rumsfeld goes down he himself is much more in danger of being held accountable for his crimes. Of course he's wants Rummy is on the stump, waving his hands around.

Naturally the mercenary Senate and Congress doesn't challenge the scum in the White House. Abramoff may be in jail but they are all still humping for a piece of the corporate war profiteer's pie.

Second hand salvation

The Christians are celebrating their bloody, vampire "salvation" with special pomp again this Easter weekend. The old lady who runs the thrift store was completely nuts over it. She's always hopped up on who knows what anyway but today she was so jacked she was bellowing hello and Happy Easter in every direction like a crazed minister ejaculating blessings upon his flock. At one point she raved at the top of her voice to everyone and no one about the pure white robe she's wearing in the Easter pageant tomorrow. Now I'm all for freedom of and more importantly from religion but am always annoyed by this woman and her intrusive, fat-faced, presumptuous, evangelical, amphetamine smile, plus the prices there are way too high, sometimes more than new, but she can rock till she pops as far as I'm concerned. I found the 1990 "Paris Review Anthology" today for a buck, perfect condition.


Fatty Leland's moving day

When Mr. Lee checked in the kitchen this morning, there was (not so) Fatty Leland looking up at him. The Smart Mouse trap worked the first night. I bought it through the PETA website (search for "humane mouse trap). That is one big easy green door! As it turned out, Fatty Leland wasn't fat at all or afraid. He was tiny and curious. And cute. I have to admit it did briefly occur to me that perhaps it would be nice to keep him as a pet but only for a moment. So, though there may still be a fat Fatty Leland around somewhere, the news of the day is that Fatty Leland has joined the other Lelands out at the willow grove.

Whenever I take new mice to the river they scatter in a second, the only exception being one little fellow who jumped head first into the tiny water cup inside the trap. He butted it 3 or 4 times before realizing what the problem was. Fatty Leland on the other hand did not instantly flee when I opened the trap "Door of Freedom". He ambled out and explored his new world, after all ... mouse genius.

I always bring a pile of goodies when I leave off new mice, a little send-off feast. I suppose by now, given how many trips I've made, the Lelands must think I do a mouse Meals on Wheels.

If you watch carefully you can follow Fatty Leland at the end hopping away through the grass.


Tonight Fatty Leland

The smart mouse house Mr. Lee found at PETA arrived today, just what we need to catch Fatty Leland the mouse genius who, it seems, is too fat to squeeze into Tin Mouse Buffet.


Mouse report

I've taken 6 more mice out to the river in the last few days but Fatty Leland still runs free. Last night I caught him trying to open a box of ginger cake mix in the pantry. Our fingers/paws actually touched when I picked up the box but he got away. One of these days, Fatty Leland. One of these days!

Anyway, I took some photos when I was at the river. Goldie the dog was along. Her humans run a wedding chapel up at Lake Tahoe and all 3 of them are very genteel. Scrubbing around on the rocks and wading in the river with me was a wild adventure for her.


It's movie time

...but quickly...

here's a great, fun link Fall Down Six Times, get up seven. Hilarious worst case scenario, ridiculous best case scenario and 4 more wacky but oddly compelling points of view. Well worth a read.

Also a little reminder...with summer coming on don't forget your sun block.

Sun lover on Venice beach


95% moon

I just went to bed a few minutes ago then remembered that the small dish of peanuts I put out at twilight for the lovely young magpie was still sitting on the ground. I had to go out and put it away. I don't want to encourage the early birds. They are too noisy, too early. This particular magpie, on the other hand, came by in the evening a couple of days ago and happened upon a plate of French fries I'd put out late in the day. She managed to eat nearly all of them before night settled in. So she came back this evening. I was delighted and put the peanuts out after she left in hopes she'd make a second swoop but no. Perhaps she'll be back and next time I hope to have a treat waiting.

When I was out I noticed the 95% moon or so it looks from earth tonight. The bird park is bathed in its cool light. That word "bathed" gets used a lot by people describing Moon's effect. Sorry for the cliche but it is very accurate and at the moment I'm grateful for the obvious. Momentarily washed by it. Cleansed. Relieved of the world's stain. It's how I felt when I was outside and how I still feel back here, inside, looking at this blazing monitor, writing these words. Through the bare window at my left the light is currently obliterated but the 95% moon is out there. When I turn off the machine and my eyes grow accustom to the night again, I shall again see the world sleeping in that pale sliver glow. I need the night.


Leaks, lies and the body count

US Iraq body count to date

The Bush legacy is like a bad, Hollywood movie. Too bad for us it's real.

They lied us into war.
Then they exposed and destroyed
US undercover operations
in the Middle East
just to protect their dirty secret.


The Leaking Bush

US Casualties to date: 2047
US Wounded to date: 17469
US National Debt as of Friday, April 7th at 19:08:51 hours GMT: $8,394,278,717,242.32

Forget about pointing the National Debt. It increases $27,067. 49 per second or $2.44 billion dollars a day. Before Bush, our budget was balanced.

When asked about US undercover agent Valerie Plame's identity being leaked to the press in a press conference on October 6, 2003, President Bush replied: "And, you know, there's a lot of leaking in Washington, D.C. It's a town famous for it.

And if this helps stop leaks, this investigation in finding the truth, it'll not only hold someone to account who should not have leaked -- and this is a serious charge, by the way. We're talking about a criminal action. But also hopefully we'll help send a clear signal we expect other leaks to stop as well."

So now that we know Bush is the "leaker", people are splitting the hairs of his latest lies. Does he or doesn't he have the right to lie, spy and absolve himself? In 2003 he signed a presidential mandate in which he conveniently gave himself special permission to do just that. Big surprise. But it's irrelevant. "Legal" or not, Bush ordered the outing of a US spy, an act of treason punishable by death during a time of war. And why, you might ask, did the President of the United States betray his own country? Money and power. His Administration perverted the panic of 911 to sell their long cherished, pre-911 desire to invade Iraq, grab its oil and resell it to us at an astronomical profit.

Bush lied about WMDs. He lied when he said Saddam Hussein had connections to Osama bin Laden and Al Queda. Remember Osama bin Laden, the chap behind the 911 attacks? He's the guy we should have gone after but, in a criminal abuse of power, Bush used the 911 panic to help the rich get richer selling war, murder and mayhem in the name of national security. And now, how ironic. Bush is the leaker he said he'd fire if he ever found out who leaked! It would appear Mr. Bush is having an identity crisis.

Anyway, these facts alone should be enough to impeach and imprison the bastard and his crooked cronies but once again our US Senators and Representatives, who we elected to protect our Constitution, will roll over and play dead. Talk about spin! It is beyond mind boggling. Bush and Company never change their strategy. Why should they? It works. They deny their crimes until they can't deny them any more, then they proudly flaunt them. Celebrate them. Turn them into virtues. Publicly anoint themselves with their lies as though they are God's own words and, above all else, these lying sacks of shit....never, never, never back down. Their pride is breath taking. It is interesting with this latest twist in Plamegate, to see Cheney turn on Bush doggie style, but it's just more political theatre static. Anyway, everybody knows that Cheney really runs the White House. Bush is just the pretty face, the down home, dyslexic, trust fund billionaire. He's stupid but cute so people cut him slack. Cheney, on the other hand, is brilliant but he's a drunken, ugly asshole. No big deal for him. He prefers the shadows.

Sadly, Americans are stupid with fear. This works for the sellouts in Washington because, so gripped, people refuse to recognize the fact that the President is not only leaking, but our glorious, titanic "Ship of State" is on the rocks.

Alice in Hinterland

Alice Stuart is in town to do a concert at Comma Coffee in Carson City.. She was one of myfirst friends after leaving home and school. We happened to have the same landlord, the owner of a tiny, neighborhood grocery near the University of Washington. His store was on the corner and our minuscule apartments, opening directly onto the sidewalk, were on either side. We would have met eventually anyway as we knew a lot of the same people but being neighbors sped everything up.

Travus T. Hipp, Pat Arone, Alice Stuart
So much has happened since then. It would take a book to fill in the details so fast forward a few life times. Alice and I reconnected a few years ago at the Red Dog Reunion and then recently it occurred to me that she would fit right into Comma Coffee's Blues Concert Series so I passed her name along and tonight, finally, she's here.

Taj Mahal
once said, "Alice cut the road that Bonnie Raitt traveled." She was briefly part of Frank Zappa's blues band when he was forming the Mothers of Invention and toured the US and Europe with Van Morrison, recorded with Jerry Garcia, Asleep at the Wheel, John Hammond, Dave Mason, Sonny Terry, Tower of Power, Bread, and played with Blues guys such as Lightning Hopkins, Jesse Fuller, Mississippi John Hurt, Albert King, and others.

Silver City, Nevada Cemetery
Yesterday Alice, her friend Pat Arone and I went up to Silver City and Virginia City to visit some old friends, including Travus T. Hipp and one of Alice's ex husbands, an excellent stain glass artist. On any summer day, Virginia City especially is a dreadful tourist trap but there the outlaw dream lives on in its own dusty time warp, lost in plain sight.


Fatty Leland, update 2

If you have been following the adventures of Fatty Leland, you may remember that a few days ago I laid out a scrumptious feast for him at the Hotel Nevada's Tin Mouse Buffet. Unfortunately either he's too fat, too smart or both. He nibbled the cheese polking through the windows but wouldn't or couldn't go in. A couple of days ago my daughter saw him dash out from under the stove and skidder across the floor, his big ass jack knifing behind him as he aimed himself for the pantry and slid into its darkness. He was later seen coming out of Jim Gavin's bar with one of the town drunks. As I hear it, they were hell bent on a joy ride but luckily the car was out of gas.

Last night, Mr. Lee saw Fatty running down the hall, headed either for our bedroom or the garage. Well, waddling down the hall. After Fatty started ransacking the kitchen my daughter and I put all the pantry food into containers that he can't gnaw through so he's on the move. No sightings yet today.


Spring breaks

My daughter visited this week just long enough for one Nevada buffet, some good heart to heart talks and a couple of days of snow boarding at Kirkwood, famous for its "steeps and deeps". I just took up skiing again this season after a long break so until her visit I've stayed on the intermediate and quasi black diamond runs. This was her first time on the slopes in a couple of years because of school but by day two we decided to try a real black diamond (black and double black being the most difficult regular terrain). Blue squares indicate intermediate runs and green circles are for the bunnies but Kirkwood also offers extreme skiing once a year in the Cirque. If you look on the map, it's the area hashed out by red lines. It's an insane mix of cliffs, rock out-croppings, powder fields and iced-over billy-goat lines. This weekend just happens to be the annual North American Freeskiing Championships so the Cirque was open and people were in it qualifying for the event.

It wasn't pretty but I made it down Zachary twice without falling and was then very willing to admit that I had no business being there. It is steep. Asia, on the other hand, was just fine so we decided that before going over to the backside for easier terrain and a chance to watch the qualifications, I would video her doing one last run down Zachary. I waited. No Asia. Then I noticed a dark figure sliding slowly towards me along the edge of the run .

I couldn't tell if it was her but started recording anyway. As the person drew closer I saw I was being waved off and quit recording. It was Asia. That fluky thing happened. She caught an edge at the top of the run, fell and halfway through her head over heels tumble, heard a loud snap. (X marks the spot on the map)

It was her wrist. She was very shaken and pale but too impatient to wait for help and rode her board down the hill, even managing to carve a few turns before falling a second time at the bottom. The medical team was fantastic, especially Chris, the on duty nurse. He's one of those wonderfully savvy guys who jokes, is light-hearted and puts people at ease while seemingly, effortlessly managing an emergency.

Her hand is so badly swollen, I swear the finger prints have disappeared. She can't work. She's been studying to be a sign language interpreter for the last 2 years and her practicum was supposed to begin on Monday. That's on hold. Plus it will cost thousands of dollars before the whole thing is over. I might be tempted to think this was incredibly bad luck but while she was in the medical unit they brought a young guy in who was unconscious, having difficulty breathing and had to be medevaced to a trauma unit. Very sobering and very sad. I hope he'll be okay but will probably never know. It certainly puts things in perspective though. Asia's tucked in, back home in Portland tonight, not quite in one piece but bones heal. They just need time.