The American Renaissance

Baja Canada del Sur: Comedy and Comment in the Age of Occupation

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Location: Little Rock, Arkansas

found done in needlepoint on Mel's Front Porch: I Pledge Alligence to the Constitution of the United States of America. And to the Republic for which it guarantees, One Nation, Undeniable, with Liberty, Truth, and Justice for All.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Colorado Subdivision Okays Christmas Wreath



None of the three members of the board in the scenic town 270 miles southwest of Denver was available for comment late Monday. Kearns and colleague Jeff Heitz both had their phone numbers changed to unlisted numbers Monday.

Jensen, a past association president, said she was overwhelmed with hundreds of calls of support.

"It seems whenever someone tries to say 'Peace on Earth' it is met with so much resistance," she said. "The incredible amount of support we have received over the last couple of days really is proof to us of how many people believe in peace and in our right to say it."

Monday, November 27, 2006


I want to say thank you to NBC. Matt Lauer announced this morning on the Today show that "after careful consideration, NBC News has decided that a change in terminology is warranted, that the situation in Iraq with armed militarized factions fighting for their own political agendas can now be characterized as civil war."

The pundits will continue to argue, of course, but this move by NBC, while certainly belated, is nonetheless welcome. Many of us have realized the Iraqi people have been embroiled in a civil war for a long time now. I knew bad was going to worse when the ancient Al-Askari Mosque in Samarra was destroyed back in February, but things were already dire before the Golden Dome was bombed. It would not be wrong to say that the very stage was set for civil war with the beginning of the US invasion three years prior; cooler heads, among them it is rumored even the president's own father, had warned of just that outcome before the bombing of Baghdad began. I won't be part of the "I told you so" crowd; after hearing of people being doused in kerosene and burned alive after prayers last week outside a mosque, I am simply too horrified and heartbroken to be smug.

Even the president has been moved out of his fantasy bubble enough to finally scramble a bit to exercise some diplomatic excursions. I wish I could believe the man finally understands he has another chance to begin to solve the mess he played such a large role in bringing about, but I fear that is too much to hope for. I have long argued the case for bringing the man up for impeachment on Constitutional violations, but it is becoming clearer day by day that by further destablizing an already troubled region, far more here is at stake than our own beloved rule of law.

Not just Iraq is in civil war; Lebanon as well is in danger of falling into sectarian anarchy, while in Israel there are tenative signs of sanity on the part of Tel Aviv towards negotiations with the Palestinian radicals holding an Israeli soldier. Right or wrongly, many worldwide blame the policies of the US, particularly the current administration, with aggravating these hotspots; certainly we've been less than attentive to the needs of many peoples, especially if they happen to live on top of "our" oil.

Last December we experienced an evangelical call in this country bemoaning some sort of secular "war on Christmas". I think we might have just witnessed the first salvo back on November 7th of a backlash against the more subtle, but far more devastating War on Reality. America is quite correctly disgusted with all the scandals, all the ugly attacks on other Americans' patriotism, and sick to death of being lied to. Many evangelical folks, if not their leaders, feel blessed enough by the Lord to recognize if you believe He created the world, his children have done a lousy job being stewards of it, and feel called upon to show respect. How long before cynicism can set in and ruin all of this remains to be seen; but in the season of traditional Good Will, there is hope.

If public outcry can kill a publicity stunt like the recent OJ flap, and NBC can finally get on with telling the truth, there is a great hope for real change. People, the Berlin Wall finally fell. I learned to believe in miracles.

Please take a few minutes to read this great article from the Katrinacrat:
An excellent piece of work to remind us of how priviledged we are, and why we should pay attention.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Classic Thanksgiving Memories

Johnny: (in outro from music) All right, fellow babies, and now it's time to go to our live man-on-the-scene at the Pinedale Shopping Mall for the big WKRP Turkey Giveaway. So take it away, Les Nessman!

(cut to outside shot at Pinedale Shopping Mall)
Les: This is Les Nessman, your man-on-the-scene at the Pinedale Shopping Mall, where the excitement is mounting. We're here to witness the big WKRP Turkey Giveaway...
Shopowner: Hey...hey you got permission to be out here?
Les: What?
Shopowner: You're blocking my store here, buddy.
Les: Don't you know who I am?
Shopowner: Eh?
Les: I'm Les Nessman. I won the Buckeye Newshawk Award last year.
Shopowner: Good for you, Buckeye. Now get outta my doorway.
Les: I'm sorry. (moves away)
Shopowner: (going back inside) Freak.

(cut back to station, in the booth)
Andy: So far so good, huh?
Les: (broadcasting) I'm here with hundreds of people who have gathered to witness what has been described as perhaps the greatest turkey event in Thanksgiving Day history. All we know for sure is that in a very few moments, there are going to be a lot of happy people out here.

(cuts back to live Les outside)
Les: Now the crowd is...the crowd is...(reacting to people staring at him and brushing by) the crowd is curious, but well-behaved. Oh! I think I hear something now. Uh, the crowd is moving out into the parking area, and...oh yes, I can see it now. It's's a helicopter, and it's coming this way.

(cut back to Andy in the booth)
Andy: A helicopter?

(cut back to Les, on scene)
It's flying something behind it...I can't quite make it out. It's a large banner and it says, uh - Happy... Thaaaaanksss... giving! ... From... W.... ... K... ... R... ... P!!

(as Les spells the station call letters, cut back to booth, with everyone making hand gestures as if pulling the letters out of Les; then, back to Les, on-scene)

Les: What a sight, ladies and gentlemen, what a sight! The copter seems to be circling the parking lot now, perhaps looking for a place to, something just came out of the back of the helicopter! it's a...a dark object, uh...perhaps a skydiver, plummeting to the earth from only 2000 feet in the air...and a second, and a third! ...No parachutes yet.

(cut back to the booth)
Les: Those can't be skydivers... I can't tell just yet what they are, but-Oh my God, they're turkeys!!! Oh, no, Johnny, can you get this? Oh, they're crashing to the earth right in front of our eyes! One just went through the windshield of a parked car! Oh, this is terrible.

(cut back to Les on-scene) The mob is running around pushing each other...oh my goodness. Oh, the humanity! People are running about...the turkeys are hitting the ground like sacks of wet cement! Folks...I don't know how much longer they're...the crowd is running for their lives. I think I'm going to step inside...I can't stay out here and watch this any longer...(stops short of going into the shopkeeper's store), I can't go in there.

(cut back to booth) Children are searching for their mothers, and...oh, not since the Hindenberg tragedy has there been anything like this! I don't know how much longer I can hold my position here, Johnny. The crowd...
Johnny: Les? Les? Les, are you there? (pause) Les isn't there. (composing himself) Thanks for that on-the-spot report, Les. And for those of you who just tuned in, the Pinedale Shopping Mall has just been bombed with live turkeys. Film at eleven.

And then, the denouement...

Venus: Les! Are you okay?
Les: (with a vacant, haunted look) I don't know. A man and his two children tried to kill me. After the turkeys hit the pavement, the crowd kind of scattered, but some of them tried to attack me! I had to jam myself into a phone booth! Then Mr. Carlson had the helicopter land in the middle of the parking lot. I guess he thought he could save the day by turning the rest of the turkeys gets pretty strange after that.
Andy: Aw, Les, c'mon now, tell us the rest.
Les: I really don't know how to describe it. It the turkeys mounted a counterattack! It was almost as if they were ...organized!!
(Mr. Carlson enters with Herb, both bedraggled and covered in turkey feathers)
Mr. Carlson: As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

A Timely Plan for Iraq -- or, Another Modest Proposal

Ah, yes. The holidays are upon us once again. I refuse to acknowledge such a thing until a few days right before Thanksgiving, not in this Land of the Annual Spending Orgy. And I find myself every year agreeing with strange bedfellows. This time around, I think maybe the folks who got all het up last year over the demise of Christmas are on to something. Not so much with their passionate battles over Nativity scenes on the courthouse lawn as with the concept that the reason for the season is to celebrate the birth of a prophet of good will to all. Watching Ozzy Osbourne a few years back lament on how he hated the whole season hit home, too. "When I was a kid, you got a dirty sock with a pencil, an apple, and a penny in it, and that was it." Maybe it's just the latent Andy Rooney in me coming out, but the first thing that runs across my mind when I hear Carol of the Bells before I've even had a chance to carve the Jack o'Lantern is "Bah $#@%&$*###$%@&%$! humbug." I mean, geez!

But I guarantee you I have much to be thankful for this week. I have a roof over my head, food to eat, a loving family and many wonderful friends. This November bought us at least the hope for some change in our country, and a pretty good indication it's not just me and my friends that realize we have a bunch our folks stranded in a sandbox on the other side of the planet. Somehow, however, it doesn't seem fair that our troops, the good people who VOLUNTEERED to put their lives on the line, should have to spend another holiday season so far from their families in such a mess for no good reason. Word around the campfire is the eventual departure from Iraq may be heralded by a massive offensive face-saving show; considering what we already know about the planning and management of George and Dick's Excellent Adventure, I think it's high time Shrub proved he's listening to the commanders on the ground by being there with them while he's decidering.

Maybe I'm just feeling a draft. However, he can leave the fake turkey at home this time. I'm not talking about a photo op. The photo op I've always wanted to see was him on that mountain bike negotiating the Baghdad Airport road IEDs instead of mesquite and armadillo turds in Crawford. But no, I'm talking about partaking personally in some old fashioned ground ops. We know he's got the military training, and Lord knows he's in primo physical shape. Hell, he can take Cheney along for back-up. I hear Unca Dick's pretty handy with a scattergun. Just watch out for that friendly fire.

There's plenty of folks, from the White House neocons that pushed us into the wrong war to the talking heads and their little dweeb online enablers that marketed it to Mom and Pop America, who should be eager to put their ass where their mouth is and jine up. Why, smart as he is, O'Reilly can have his own platoon from the 101st Fighting Keyboardists to flush out those pesky insurgents. Ann Coulter can ship out too. She should be on permanent latrine duty, as experienced as she is shoveling shit. Maybe being a lone female soldier stationed in a foreign country might help her understand the word "terror". Shoot, let Michele Malkin go with her on the buddy system. Magic in the sand, my friends.

I would think these patriots would relish the chance to shore up the troops' morale through the holiday season. I'm pretty sure a three-month deployment should do it. And we could have all troops back stateside by spring.

Hey! Bush finally made it to 'Nam; anything's possible. A girl can dream, can't she?

Friday, November 17, 2006

Sugar, Honey, Ice Tea an old-fashioned Texas girl's way of cussin'.

I was going to write about the irony of Shrub finally making it to Viet Nam, but I've some sad news today on a personal front, and instead of rehashing the obvious jokes already covered by Letterman, Stewart, et cetera, I think I’d rather pay a little bit of honor to someone I’ve know personally.

Patsy Ann was my ex-partner’s stepmother. She passed on of pancreatic cancer Thursday, November 16, 2006. There’s never a good time to die of cancer, but I’m glad to report she had a great night out with her sons and had a big steak dinner over the weekend, and then went fairly quickly through her stages by today. Knowing Mama Pat, it’s how she would have chose. Full steam ahead.

She was the absolute epitomy of a southern mama…abundant love, common sense, and not afraid to tell you what she thought. And unafraid of telling one of her kids, or their spouses, legal or live-in, when you were out of line. This was a lady who believed in tough love. A devout Lutheran, she never let her Christian beliefs sway her from practical matters, and embodied for me the ability to understand the actual Word of the Gospel in a changing World. I was made so rich in my soul by knowing her, and I will always miss her voice.

I’m about to hunt up the home video I have of the Christmas back in the 90’s when all us kids clubbed in to buy her a Breadmaker…I happened to have a borrowed camcorder for the one time I ever saw this tough lady shed a tear. I just wish I had an online pic to share. What a lady, and what a life.

Anybody interested in doing something Pats would appreciate? USO or VFW support would be it; she was an active member of the Duncanville (Dallas) Ladies Auxillary. If it weren’t for cancer, she’d still be organizing the weekly grub at the local post.

You go, Mama Pat. And hug Dad, and the girls. We miss you.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Go, Dogs, Go!

I happened to tune into a marvelously interesting documentary on Theodore Geisel last night on PBS. It was titled "The Political Dr. Seuss", and covered Geisel's early work as well as the childrens' books many of us grew up on.

One lovely anecdote was the time Art Buchwald challenged Ted by accusing him of never having written a political book. Geisel promptly picked up a copy of his book "Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now!", drew a line through every mention of Marvin's name and replaced it with Richard M. Nixon. This, of course, drew gales of laughter from Art. He talked Geisel into letting him publish the resulting text in his syndicated column.

Nine days after it appeared, Richard Nixon resigned.

Ted told Art they should have done it years before.

And in that vein, let's hope we can get a similar result; the sooner the better.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Just in time for the Holidays!

It is so hard not to gloat.

Screw it; we deserve to celebrate. As Deke would say, "in de Howwwse!"

AND the Senate. And Rummy, he's outta there. Now if we could only get the same deal on Unca Ebenezer Sneer, and even Shrub himself, the Grinch Who Stole My Country.

Did you guys see the Monkeyboy's midday press conference? Fucker starts an address to the nation with "Why all the glum faces?" That ill-advised attempt at humor was received with deafening silence from the assembled press corps; I swear I could almost hear crickets chirping.

Then he launches into his obligatory public eating of the crow, delivered in a repetitive, petulant singsong that got very tiresome by about the third stanza. Not that anybody's ever accused Shrub of dignity in stress, but this was a new pinnacle.

It didn't get much better in the question and answer portion. And I quote: "Somehow it seeped in their [the American people's] conscious that my attitude was just simply 'stay the course.'" I can't imagine why we'd be so foolish as to think that. Bush himself only used the phrase several hundred times in public.

The other highlight to the conference, other than the surprise announcement of Rumsfeld's impending departure, was watching the President skewer the man largely responsible for putting his butt in office in the first place, that slimeball poofter Karl Rove. As you can probably tell, Mr. Rove is not one of my favorite people. But watching this President, who values loyalty above anything in his administration, publicly embarrass the man almost made me feel sorry for Karl.


Let's hope we can get our new Congress back on course in January; I'm already composing letters in my head to Speaker Pelosi, Senator Conyers, and others. It is time for change, investigation, and justice. We can't let the Democrats slide back into politics as usual.

In the meantime, savor the win. As stressed as we've all been waiting for this election, we deserve it. This is a good time to be a progressive. And this is a real Morning in America.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Proud to be a Yellow Dawg Democrat

HELL yeah I'm lovin' it!

A Democrat is back in the Govenor's Mansion in Arkansas. South Dakota folks threw out that draconian total abortion ban their Ledge foisted on them. Rick "Frothy Mix" Santorum's already conceded, praise Jesus. The House (and supoena power) is in the hands of the Democrats, the Senate's not out of reach, and 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is not going to have a Merry Christmas at our expense this year.

I'm waiting to call my mom until tomorrow -- just a side note here, but I predicted to her two months ago gas would be down to two bucks a gallon by today. I checked local prices in Little Rock; 1.96 to 2.08 today. Bet we hear about OPEC squeezing supplies by the weekend to explain the increases. And if you've been paying attention, OPEC dropped production two weeks ago because our election was costing them money. Bullshit this White House isn't manipulating prices at the pump.

Nothing's graven in stone yet, but the fat lady is waiting in the wings, tuning up. mi mi mi, do ray mi...

We've waited a long time for this.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Evangelical Leader Didn't Inhale

Folks, you can't write comedy to compare with this. Apparently Foley's not the only one on the other side of the spectrum with some cognitive dissonance between what he says and what he does -- although catching a preacher in some voe-dee-oh-doe is nothing new.
Merle's Distant, Naughty Cousin, Kneel Haggard

You would think, by this point, that we'd have all these theocrats on their knees begging for forgiveness by now. Not from God, but from the very people they leech their lavish lifestyles from. Not to mention the rest of us who have to put up with them polluting the public discourse with their rants demanding we install a Puritan Sharia law to replace our Only Constitution. Of course, some of these fellas are dropping to their knees for more prurient purposes.
I'm not even bother to point out the continuing hypocrisy these scandals underline; suffice it to say it's obvious. Here's an idea: Before we get all high and mighty and decide to "partition Iraq", a suggestion I'm starting to hear bandied about in political circles (as if it's a decision we have any business arbitrarily making on behalf of the Iraqis anyhow -- and like they're not already doing it for themselves, in a very bloody, disorganized, and tragic way), I got some partitions to propose. Let the foot-washing Baptists have the western half of Oklahoma, the evangelicals can have Nebraska, and various other Christian extremists can divvy up Kansas as they see fit. Utah, of course, will remain as is.

Any current residents of these areas who chose not to live in a theocracy (not a teeming hoard by anybody's estimate) can be compensated at a rate five times the worth of their homes and properties, and ably assisted in relocating to a state of their choice by utilizing federal monies currently going to maintain roads, social programs, et cetera; many fundies oppose taxes and federal programs anyway; so let them live without the sweat of our brows.

Radical? Oh, yes...but I might support putting a fence on that border. Pretty sure the fundies would, too -- to keep all the pinkofaggotcommiebullshit out of their Paradise. Meanwhile the rest of American Christians can continue to work in peace in a secular manner with the political leaders of a soon-to-be resurrected land under the rule of law.

I know it's not going to happen, but a girl can dream, can't she?

A sincere apology is offered to Merle Haggard for using his name to even remotely suggest a connection a Dick-Smokie not from offence was intended to him or his fans, several of whom I've been known to tip a beer with.