Tuesday, December 06, 2005

I Like the Word Sexy

Confessions of an Indecent Lover of Words

As predicted in the following piece, not one traditional newspaper would print the article referred to. The Editor of one of them, Chris Fletcher of The Daily Herald of Columbia, TN, did consider it and called me for byline information. He sent me an e-mail a half hour later and backed out, saying if it was published elsewhere, he had no interest in it. Each issue of that paper proudly prints the words to the First Amendment guaranteeing my right to a free press, while at the same time denying those rights. None of the other papers even acknowledged reciept of the submission.

I wrote an article recently titled “Sexy Hair, Vulgar Thinking” which was published at http://www.maurynewsnet.com/ and http://www.americanchronicle.com/. I also sent it to several traditional newspapers for consideration of publication in their Opinions and Editorial pages. Unfortunately, I suspect none of the papers I submitted it to will print it. They won’t print it because it points out just how arrogantly ignorant some people in positions of power can be, and the mainstream media avoids controversy. Other reasons they might give for not printing it are because it is too wordy, or because I can’t write.

No, I’m not talking about President Bush again. I’m talking about members of the municipal government of Spring Hill, Tennessee. To make a long story short, the Mayor and Director of Codes and Inspections have more than likely violated a business owner’s First Amendment rights. Even when the blatantly obvious violation was questioned, the wise municipal leaders refused to see their error. In the true spirit of Bush era politics, they are going to stay the course, right, wrong or indifferent. When I asked the Mayor if he was concerned about the possible Constitutional violations, he told me if people have a problem with it, they could sort it out in court.

Now you’re all probably wondering what in the world I’m ranting about, so I’ll cut to the chase. The word “sexy” has been deemed vulgar and sexually obscene by these two members of the small, but growing Middle Tennessee city government. The word sexy has caused them to threaten pulling the plug on an electronic sign that features advertisements for several local businesses, if the word is not removed from an ad for a hair care product. Incidentally, the word sexy is actually in the name of the hair care product advertised.

This example of archaic thinking has got me thinking about how our species is thought to be progressive and more advanced than others. Recent current events in global, national and local venues could be used to debate that train of thought, and quite possibly dispel the silly notion that opposable thumbs make us superior beings.

If the city of Spring Hill, Tennessee were to ban all uses of the word sexy within their city limits, which their Mayor thinks they are entitled to do, their next order of business should be to elect penguins and chipmunks to serve on the city’s legislative body. The following is a glimpse at how life would be in Spring Hill, sans sexy.

GM (formerly Saturn), Spring Hill’s largest employer and taxpayer would not be allowed to use the word sexy to describe any of their new innovations in automotive design. I don’t know exact numbers, but automobile manufacturers have used the word sexy in their ads as long as I can remember. Those days of lewdness would be gone forever.

Most tabloids and magazines would have to be removed from supermarket checkout aisles. This includes the sexually explicit “People” which serves us the 50 sexiest people in the world once or twice a year, “TV Guide” which warns us of the sexy new fall television lineup, and “Star” which usually offers nothing much more than gossip and entertainment news, but can usually squeeze the word sexy onto the cover.

Signal scramblers would have to be placed around the city limits to block out the obscene material broadcast by television and radio stations. It would be nearly impossible to name all of the television shows and songs that include the word sexy in their titles or content.

Men would no longer be permitted to tell their wives they look sexy, even when they don’t, and the city library might as well burn all the books. Spouses and lovers should feel free to verbally abuse one another because it would be illegal for them to feel sexy about themselves anyway. Internet access will need to be terminated immediately for all persons and businesses in the city limits. You’d be amazed at what pops up when you google the word sexy. What a great place this will be!

Personally, I must be quite the pervert. I should be ashamed to say this publicly, but I’m not; I like the word sexy. I’ve been told I have a sexy voice, I’ve told women they have sexy eyes and I’ve even joked with my now deceased grandmother as she’d leave for church on Sundays. I still remember how she would blush and giggle when I’d tease that she must be going to church to find a man, because she looked so sexy.

Sexy can be an exclamation, a compliment or an invitation. Sexy can be cool, wet, sultry or hot. Sexy can be hard and well-defined or soft and blurry around the edges. And I suppose when used in a certain way, sexy could be considered lewd or explicit, but I find that sexy. I may be going to hell for saying it, but I like the word sexy!

At least I won’t be going to Spring Hill. Perhaps we should discuss the word “stupid” next time.

Monday, November 14, 2005

The Evolution of Media, The Supreme Court & Rights

An article addressing many of the same issues as this but in much more detail is currently on http://www.americanchronicle.com. That one is a lot longer, but very interesting to read. It actually reminded me that I can write more than opinion. In it, I actually debate myself.... and didn't do a bad job at it, either!

Media evolution is a remarkably fascinating phenomenon that has been a vital, yet often unappreciated catalyst in the development of the world as we know it. Beginning with the use of hieroglyphics by ancient Egyptian Priests and progressing to present day high speed internet and satellite communications, the fundamental benefits and drawbacks of each age of media progression have had remarkably similar characteristics.

The use of symbols to communicate with the masses was gradually replaced by persons of a region learning to orally interpret the words of others. This development facilitated trade and the spread of information from one location to another. When the first books were authored, most people did not have access to them because the original was used simply to hand scribe copies and then placed into libraries for posterity. This wasn’t a problem because only a select few extremely privileged members of a society were able to read. Consequently, they had the power to reign over all others because they controlled the flow of information.

Johannes Gutenburg invented the first movable type printing process in 1450, which marked the beginning of mass media. With Gutenberg’s invention he mass produced copies of The Holy Bible, and more people began to have access to the written word and realize the importance of the information that accompanied it. This advance eventually led to society understanding and discussing events that affected them and eventually gave rise to an affordable and effective way to question authority.

During the reign of Charles I of England, pamphlets were mass produced and used to inform great numbers of people of dissenting opinions regarding the way the crown was being worn. This eventually led to the English Revolution followed by the onset of an industrial revolution. Societies became an increasingly knowledgeable and opinionated force to be reckoned with. In an attempt to quiet the voices, censorship and selective taxation were born. Throughout history, the use of these tactics will prove to be ineffective in quieting the voices of dissention.

Pamphlets were once again used in early America to communicate political and theological ideologies to the masses and were met with the same attempts at censorship, but to no avail. Printing presses were few and far between in the Colonies, but the masses did have a medium to inform them.

As America grew, railroads ventured into the west and along with them went the telegraph line. By this time, there was no stopping the information snowball that was avalanching into political reform and accountability. This was followed by the invention of the telephone, soon to be followed by the transmission of radio waves, and once again, a government that didn’t appreciate the public having a voice.

Federal regulations were enacted that gave the Government an upper hand in controlling what could be and what couldn’t be done with this technology. Although the First Amendment had been in place for nearly 130 years, the Sedition Act in 1918 stomped all over the rights of the public to speak freely and the press to print what they deemed worthy. Society was threatened with prosecution if they publicly opined negatively about the powers that were. With the onset of television, this was once again repeated in the form of Senator Joseph McCarthy.

Today we live in a world with high speed internet access, satellite imagery and fiber optic networks spanning the globe. These advances allow the world to see the world as it is happening. If the people in power could be trusted to be honest and sensible to the people they are responsible to, the media and society would flourish. To society, much of this technology has contributed to living a life of increasing ease. Unfortunately, this same technology contributes greatly to what many would refer to as the social degradation of American culture. Americans are lazier and fatter than ever and expect instant gratification of their wants and needs. The ethical standards of journalists and political figures are constantly challenged by the ease with which they can manipulate the public view of the worlds’ situation. And where will it all end?

The media has evolved into a potential bridge to a future filled with promise, or an instrument of propaganda that could be wielded by the arms of politics and corporate America to benefit the few. History has shown us that the words of the constitution have often been slanted to benefit the people of influence and power. The public must be the element that propels advances in technology toward a respectable future rooted in integrity. They need to cut through the rhetoric and decide what is acceptable and what is not in media development and behavior. If society doesn’t demand their rights as written in The U.S. Constitution and insist on total honesty and integrity from governing bodies, I fear that all of this magnificent progress in the media will have been irrelevant.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

What's the Problem?

Some days, it's just tougher to get going!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Technical Incompetence Leads to Crucial Reminder about President Bush

I crashed my computer about three days ago because I was doing things I shouldn’t have, trying to repair a problem. The more I tried to fix my problem, the deeper in the hole I went. I know that I don’t know anything about computer programming and I had no business trying to diagnose and repair a problem. When the customer service person asked me to describe the problem, all I could muster was, “Okay, I started by trying to figure out why I couldn’t hear anything from my speakers…….” That sounds simple enough. Unless you had to spend the next 20 minutes listening to me try to sound like I knew what I was talking about and then concluding with……, “So then I decided to try a complete system recovery.”

Needless to say, the last few days have been stressful. I have grown quite dependent on my PC and all the marvels associated with it. Although the event has been traumatic, it has also been enlightening and educational; Thinking I was going to lose all the content I had stored on about 300 gigabytes of hard drive, caused me to realize that technology is a cruel friend. I had nearly 4 years worth of college work on it, many records of correspondence and receipts between myself and my family, friends and even enemies. My PC held my resumes, my manuscript and all kinds of digital memories displayed in photographs and videos. I was ready to call Dr. Kevorkian and ask him to put me out of my terminal excruciating misery.

But tonight, I began getting everything back. Just as I was ready to surrender to the cyber gods, I started locating my files that I thought were gone forever. And I found some things that I forgot I even had. The only problem now is that nothing is where it used to be, so I’m still going to be able to enjoy my lesson in humility for days, weeks and months to come, as I try to locate everything.

One satisfying aspect of my misery was unexpected, but welcome at the same time. I’m finding things that I forgot existed. One of these items is a piece I wrote the day after the 2nd Inauguration of our current president, George W. Bush. I was extremely bewildered by the fact that Americans wanted him to continue being our leader. I was afraid for our future as a democracy and I was angry! And I tried to make sense of it all by writing, but as is evidenced by the article, I only grew angrier as I linked word to word.

Well it was kind of like opening a time capsule, except the words I wrote are still felt today, only I think more American’s are agreeing with me now, 9 months later. So look over my shoulder here and see if you agree.

The day after inauguration – 2005
Originally written January 20th, 2005

Robert Barr of the Associated Press reported that Philippine anti-Bush protesters accused George W. Bush of “being a war monger who violates human rights.” From London, Barr reported that many around the world refer to the President as a man who is “cocky, shallow and dangerous.” In fact, a BBC World Service opinion poll documented majorities in seven important countries think less of Americans because of the man who is our “leader.” Those countries included Turkey, France, Brazil and Germany. Many of those who were once our European allies have begun to take offense to what they term a “unilateralist approach – carried out with a perceived cowboy swagger and accompanied by an overt religious fervor.” A Croatian commentator for the newspaper Novi List quipped that as Bush was being sworn in with the words “So Help Me God,” the rest of the world might “look up in the sky and say: ‘God help us.’” As George W. Bush begins his second attempt at destroying global harmony, I felt the headline over Barr’s article described a way that we shouldn’t have to endure. “World looks toward new Bush term with anxiety.” Is that the way the World should see us?

I am humbly forced to ask myself, “How can Americans allow one man to do so much damage to a world, without being disgusted with ourselves. There are currently 150,000 men and women deployed to Iraq at the cost of $1 billion a week. To add to that cost, over 1,360 Americans (now well over 2,000) have been killed since President Bush decided we should go on a wild weapons of mass destruction chase that turned into pulling one gopher out of a hole.

The chase then became a commitment to stop terrorism, followed by helping to rebuild the infrastructure we destroyed, to assisting Iraqis in making a smooth transition to a democratic form of Government. Now it has come down to, as Mr. Bush said in his inaugural speech, “Our country has accepted obligations that are difficult to fulfill and would be dishonorable to abandon.” “Our objective as a country is now to pursue the great objective of ending tyranny.”

Well I must take offense to his words and his actions. We are a country that was formed on the basis of brave men and women who wanted the freedom to worship and speak out as they pleased. Where do we now get off on telling other countries, other societies and other cultures that our way is right and we’re going to insist that the whole world adapts to our rules. They have the freedom to do it our way, or by the powers bestowed upon George W. Bush, we will bomb them into submission.

In the recent election held to select the President of the United States of America, it’s been widely reported that 52 percent of American’s are pleased with the direction George W. Bush is taking our country. As a cynic, I submit that approximately 10 percent of those votes were cast based on name recognition alone and another 5 percent of those votes were cast based on fear that has been so masterfully instilled by propaganda into the American psyche. There’s no poll backing my suspicions, or scientifically conducted surveys to concur with my hypotheses. If each American would just consider the possibility that those numbers are accurate for one minute… and then ask me what I based them on, I’m going to share with them my feelings of angst. Perhaps someone will agree with my thoughts and validate my sanity.

I don’t believe for a minute that over half of American voters are stupid enough to re-elect a man with a marginal level of intelligence, less than excellent reading abilities, and an inability to pronounce many common words. I don’t think my fellow countrymen are apathetic enough to not care that the person acting as Commander in Chief of our armed forces has not accounted for a significant period of time he supposedly served in the Air National Guard… and evidence has been submitted that he was AWOL, and that his records had been tampered with.

I pray to my higher power, that we are not going to leave this nation to the next generation without electing a President who is mature enough to mend the world wide gash gouged into the torso of global relations by George W. Bush. It has recently occurred to me that under his lack of leadership abilities and sophomoric need to prove his is bigger, he has put our nation on the brink of WW III, simply because he’s too immature and childish to admit fault. The S.O.B. has directly lied to the American public to justify a war that increasingly resembles one fought in South East Asia about 40 years ago. Even today, nobody can say it wasn’t our own damn fault that we traumatized an era. Viet Nam was a battle we had no business being involved in, no one really knew why we were there, and we suffered three Presidential Administrations that wouldn’t say we screwed up and deceived our fellow Americans. They lied to us as more of our children died.

Having no partisan loyalty whatsoever, I can’t begin to understand how even a staunch Republican from Texas could re-elect this miserable excuse for a leader. As always, I admit that I could be wrong about these observations. The ignorant believers in this form of political flamboyance would surely have me labeled an unpatriotic traitor in the world of yes men that must surround this idiot.

Contrarily, I love my country and I would love to see it flourish in eternity. I may be more of a Patriot than that beady eyed moron that some people insist 52 percent of Americans voted for. And because of the laws that protect my rights as an American, I have the Constitutional privilege of calling the guy that everyone else calls President… a jackass!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

My Horoscope -- Cruel Dose of Reality -The Onion

My Horoscope -- Cruel Dose of Reality -
Courtesy of: The Onion

Scorpio: You've felt for weeks as if they were on the verge of figuring out your secret shame, which is ridiculous, as no one even knows who you are.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

"The DeYoung Code: Finding Free Press"

As a person who is inordinately interested in what's going on around the world, I admit to spending way too much time reading papers and surfing various web sites and blogs. Times when I should be studying, (so I can actually get that degree this Fall), are often misappropriated trying to find out if anyone is going to step up to the plate to save the rest of us from Bush and his band of crooks, who have made Nixon's little Watergate incident seem like a parking ticket.

The reason I feel the need to examine news from a variety of sources is so that I am exposed to several differing positions and arguments regarding the issues. I am then able to analyze the information, cut through the propaganda and rhetoric and then develop an informed opinion regarding each issue.

Fortunately for people like myself, this has become a less daunting task recently as more people are recognizing there are several areas where most Americans agree. Even staunch conservatives from Bush's base camp are beginning to sneak away from his excellent adventure. Then there are several that the President has relied on for guidance, his sherpa's if you will, who instead of sneaking away, are waiting to be consumed by an avalanche of deceipt as they face possible federal indictment in the Plame scandal. Also, I think everyone in the country agrees that the nomination of Harriet Miers for Supreme Court Justice was just plain stupid. (Personal hint for George: Usually when your own supporters contest your decision and the opposing side celebrates it, it's not going to end well. Just like the thing in Iraq.)

Furthermore, I may have finally found a web site that offers a look at the news from a position that appears to be equal to all political disciplines and ideologies. It's tradition for covering the hard hitting news of the day, without prejudice and bias brought tears to my eyes. I recommend readers check out the headlines at http://theonion.com They are equally hard on everyone and everything public, yet bring a flavorful perspective not found in the corporate owned mainstream media today. According to their media kit web page, they have been around for 15 years and offer "fearless reporting and scathing commentary on world events, human behavior and journalistic convention." As an added bonus, "The Onion" is free to its subscribers.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

Freedom and most of its derivatives are important words to me. I really hate it when I receive something that proclaims in bold letters that I'm "entitled to" "been selected for" or "have already won" a great prize "No purchase Required" and "Absolutely Free" are words also used immediately before someone asks you to buy something you don't want or need.

A month or so ago, The New York Times online, possibly in a move to help defray legal costs, started charging a fee to read their articles. I was already signed up to receive the news each day and had been for months. Imagine grabbing your paper at home with the front page consisting of headlines and leads to the top stories of the day, and when you turn the page for the rest of the story. The pages were blank except for ads extorting money if you want to know what their reporters allege is happening in the world. I dropped my subscription in disgust!

"The Onion" seems to agree with my belief that advertisers, not concerned Americans, should pay for the newspaper, and that a free press as guaranteed in the Constitution, should be..., free! Well okay, maybe that's not what the authors of the Constitution meant, but everyone else is throwing their interpretation around, so I figured I'd jump on the train.

I'll probably continue to spend inordinate amounts of time reading the news to ensure I'm fairly representing issues when I write, but I think from now on, if I can't decide which way the wind is blowing public sentiment, I'll be able to defer to "The Onion." There are other web sights out there not hobbled by corporations dictating what they publish. Because they are independent they are not afraid to offer journalism that is capable of making us laugh or angering everyone. I recommend you find them and then decide for your self what the constitutional reference to free speech is all about.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Somedays, I Sure Miss Hunter S. Thompson

When I was a 16-year-old, cocky, little bastard thinking I had the world by the nuts because I was talking on the radio for a living and having my way with every girl that I met in the late 70's, a fellow DJ turned me on to "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" and the wonderfully twisted view of the world expressed so eloquently perverse by Hunter S. Thompson. It wasn't until January of this year that I was able to identify and appreciate that single event as the one significant ingredient that created the complicated being I am today. For a man of some degree of remaining mental facilities, I'm somewhat embarrassed that I didn't recognize it sooner.

As I've lived my life the last 25 years or so, many of the people that I've gotten close to have driven themselves to the brink of madness trying to figure out what the fuck was wrong with me. Myself, I didn't think there was anything short circuiting, and if there was I didn't give a shit! I was being who I wanted to be, doing what I wanted to do and wringing every drop of experience I could out of life. I am a person that will do something just because nobody thinks it can or should be done. I'm addicted to causing people to laugh, or gasp in utter disbelief or shock. I write words just as I see them. Whatever it is that keeps most people from speaking without thinking of the repercussions of their words, I don't have, and if I did I'd have it removed. I've never been one to kiss ass because it was politically correct or the smart thing to do, and for that I am grateful, albeit often unemployed. My theory is that if everyone says what they think, there'd be a lot fewer misunderstandings.

It took me 25 years to realize the impact that Hunter S. Thompson had on my personal evolution. A month after I experienced that epiphany, that crazy, drunken, dope fiend impacted me again. In the past his impact has caused many unpleasant situations on my road trip through life, but none of them have stung like this final birdie he flipped the world. All the others have merely been part of an on-going education in humanity.

I am now however, feeling lost and alone, surrounded by a society that is blindly lost in the status quo. A society that has become too lazy to think for themselves, too needy of external validation to question what's wrong directly in front of them. This society is rapidly dissolving into what HST called "part of the downward spiral of dumbness" that if not reversed, will result in "a disaster of unthinkable proportions" negatively affecting democracy, civil liberties, human rights and global harmony. I was always sure that no matter how unconventional or radical I got, HST would have agreed with me, or at least defend my right to express my disgust!

Hunter S. Thompson was the person who let me know it was not only okay to question authority, but it was a responsibility as a patriot to ask the tough questions and share the ugly answers. His fear and loathing of the blatant abuse of power showed me that the pen is mightier than the sword, and he instilled in me a love of words and writing. He proved to the world that excessive amounts of drugs and/or alcohol did not always land a person in the gutter, or silence ones creative voice. Most importantly, I learned from his character, his direct and brutal honesty and the example he set, showing the world that a person can be exactly who they are meant to be, say what they truly believe, piss their adversaries off and still be loved, respected, admired, feared and loathed.

Although I'm usually a fairly competent writer, the words I'd usually express myself with have been missing since February 20th, 2005. While I've always thought of death as an experience to celebrate, the ultimate acid trip if you will, this caused an unfamiliar reaction. I feel sorry for myself because I lost the closest thing to an idol I've ever had. I'm pissed at the Godfather of Gonzo, but understand that he departed from this big blue marble the same way he lived on it... by his rules and no others. I hope that by putting these thoughts into cyberspace, I can begin to deal with his departure, and find my words again.

While I'm certain my thoughts are not totally unique to me, I'd like to think they partly are. I sure would have liked it if Hunter S. Thompson would have known the effect he had on me and that everything my future consists of will also be somehow affected by his influence. But how could he have ever known? I didn't figure it out until 10 months ago, 25 years after the fact. Thanks for the ride, Duke.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Open Letter to President Bush; Plea for Mercy

I wrote this letter in September and still haven't received a reply. Kinda rude, if you ask me. Nonetheless, I'm in danger of losing my roomates, who seem to think the secret service will be visiting soon. I like visitors. I wonder if they'll call first, or just stop by.

Dear President Bush,

You don’t and probably never will know me, but I’m an American who would like to discuss a few things with you. Since you avoid anyone who disagrees with you, don’t read the newspapers and don’t really understand other forms of communication made possible by recent technology, I’m hopeful that someone who has access to you will read this and translate it into words and pictures that you might understand.

I suspect that look on your face that many in the media have identified as a cocky grin, or something to that effect, is in reality, the look that you were taught to display when you were utterly confused, mystified, dumb-founded, ignorant or indifferent to the events taking place around you. I’ve got news for you. Millions of other American’s know it too, and more are figuring it out every day.

As each moment passes, it is becoming increasingly obvious that this joke you’ve been playing on we, the people, and the rest of the world, is no longer amusing. With the hope that this message will be easier to comprehend, I’ll use some sports metaphors that you may be able to relate to.

It’s time you wake up to the reality that you got the chance to be starting quarterback in the Big Blue Marble Bowl and you fumbled one too many times. It’s early in the third quarter and your teammates, even your cheerleaders, are beginning to wonder if it’s too late to save the game Don’t you think you should just admit you didn’t study the play book, make your apologies to those you’ve disappointed, and then head to the showers. Your game is over!

Even though I never would have chosen you to lead the game, I’m willing to go over the tapes with you to point out where things went wrong. Some of the problems weren’t directly caused by your ineptitude, but escalated as a result of your incompetence, indecision and poor leadership.

Your first mistake, in my opinion, was when you fixed the game by knee-capping your opponent. I’m not sure Al Gore would have done a better job, but he should have had a fair chance to try.

You gained some momentum in the first quarter when the opposition went on the offensive, but that was only because of the assists given by people like Rudy Giuliani and Colin Powell. Shortly after that, the entire game plan started to unravel as it became apparent that you were making all the calls and refused to listen to the coaches and trainers.

When others in the league that played the same position as you hesitated with their support and encouragement, you fabricated plays to justify a radical defense. Sure you caused a few injuries to your opponents, but your stubborn and immature actions caused greater injury to your team and even more to the innocent people watching from the stands.
Instead of admitting mistakes and changing the game plan that you were making up as you went along, you stayed the course. You started using your backup players and borrowing money to recruit new teammates and replace damaged equipment. You were so busy trying to save face, you didn’t even notice that your loyal defensive line were beginning to distance themselves from you and making excuses to leave the field as soon as the first half was over.

The beginning of the second half brought more of the same damage to players, equipment and fans. You altered the rules of the game as you saw fit, without the benefit of advice offered by the rest of the team. By breaking the traditional rules and inventing new ones simply to prove that you could, assigning your friends to play positions they had no experience in, and treating the fans and even sponsors like they were stupid and insignificant, you alienated your supporters and further tarnished the reputation of the entire organization.

Then something practically unheard of happened about halfway through the third quarter. The ball that you brought from Texas, which you could squeeze into any shape you wanted and had been playing the entire game with, was replaced by a ball of a different color, shape and size than the one you were accustomed to. This ball was fast, hard and wet and you couldn’t hold on to it. You watched from a distance as the new ball bounced into your teammates, the people working the concessions, the ushers and the field maintenance staff. Each person the ball hit was knocked to their knees, out of breath and partially paralyzed. The officials fled the field and headed for whatever degree of order and safety they could afford, leaving the masses to fend for themselves..

As everyone that could do so ran for cover, the news media ran toward the fatalistic projectile that by now had the fans from the handicapped section of the bleachers cornered. The media observed and reported to the world as the ball repeatedly raped and beat the defenseless for hours, and then days.

Nearly as swiftly as it had arrived, the ball grew bored and began to dissolve into nothing. It was then that the media turned their cameras toward the man responsible for controlling the ball. The man that was charged with keeping the ball from spiraling into the cheap seats was standing at the 50-yard-line with his dampened pants down around his ankles, quivering and assigning blame. Do the events of the game seem familiar? In case there is need for clarity, that man was you, Mr. President.

As denials, accusations and excuses for the strange little ball incident scattered like confetti, you were no doubt being brought up to date on the popularity of accepting responsibility for things that don’t go right. Your approval ratings were at their lowest level ever and when you found out that John F. Kennedy’s popularity soared following his admission of error regarding the Bay of Pigs, you figured you’d give accountability a try. Colin Powell was just on TV accepting responsibility for talking the country into going to war, citing intelligence based on lies as justification, and it looked credible. What the hell? When you have nothing left to lose, go all in.

So there you stood, President Bush. With storm ravaged New Orleans as your backdrop, you spoke words that many of your harshest critics couldn’t have anticipated. You actually said you accepted responsibility for the federal government’s slow response to the disaster that has taken more than 1,000 lives, most of them poor, elderly or disabled. Then you got back on Air Force One and waited for your ratings to rise faster than Katrina’s storm surge had.

And you watched and waited. But your approval ratings remained in the toilet. You got back on your plane and returned to the gulf coast, not once, but two more times for photo opportunities that showed you care. You spoke powerful, determined words to convince America you’re back in the game, but gave vague, hollow answers when asked for specifics.

We are not convinced. Your political adversaries are not convinced. Your loyal cronies are not convinced. Your Republican controlled government is not convinced. Your administration is not convinced. Your low approval rating is comparable to your credibility, leadership and decision making ability. It should tell you it’s too little, too late. The game’s over. Throw in the towel. The legacy you want so badly is not to be.

The following instances and events abbreviate your incompetence:

Questionable elections.

Military documentation of service missing; suspect AWOL.

Misinformation to America and U.N. to justify poorly planned war.

Tax cuts for the wealthy, hikes for the poor.

Record deficit and unemployment.

No plan to end war.

Lack of social services, healthcare for the needy.

Mismanagement of emergency and human resources

Unacceptable reaction to natural disasters

No accountability or admissions of errors

Erosion of Bill of Rights

Questionable Social Security reform

Global alienation of America

Relationship with big oil and business

Unqualified cronies assigned vital cabinet positions

Indifference to the needy

And the list goes on….

This past weekend Mr, President, although you were in a bunker in Colorado, preparing for a disaster that didn’t require your attention in your home state of Texas, more than 100,000 marched in our nation’s Capitol in an attempt to show you that there are a lot of American voters willing to sacrifice their time, money and comfort to get a message to you. They want to urge you to stop this war and bring Americans back home to their families. One participant commented that although there was no infringement on their right to assemble and speak their minds, it was a huge disappointment, but not overly surprising that you chose not to hear their words or acknowledge their presence.

In reaction to the antiwar protest, pro war individuals decided they would counter the marchers with their own campaign comprised of approximately 400 people. If my math is correct, there are 99,600 more people contesting war than supporting it. Most people would be able to add up what Americans really want. Why can’t you? Furthermore anti-war groups are spending $1,000,000 to advertise in national newspapers and network television programs in attempts to get you to see what the people you serve are insisting on.

In closing, I submit that the authority and leadership enjoyed by the President of the United States of America, come with responsibility to the people you should be leading. The person in your office should practice wisdom, humility, compassion and fairness to all Americans. You have not exhibited those qualities. Most importantly, you are sworn to defend the Constitution, not contort it to suit your personal desires and strip American’s of the rights it ensures.

When you led this nation down the road to war, debt and global shame, you should have been leading us into a future of prosperity, happiness and peace. It’s time to admit you have failed. Even if you don’t have the guts to admit your errors and resign for the sake of the future could you at least try to not do any additional damage? Your grandchildren will have to live in this world too, and despite the privilege and entitlement available to those in your social arena, the damage you have done will undoubtedly penetrate even those social dividers.

Respect to the Office,

Ron DeYoung


The following two pieces were published October 16, 2005 at http://americanchronicle.com and have been recieving a few hits. Why do you suppose that is?

Government Asks America: How Stupid Are You?

By Ron DeYoung

Most of the years of my life, I’ve been a pretty carefree, happy individual; just taking things one day at a time. My mother ensures me that I was a happy baby, a rambunctious toddler, a “smart-assed” pre-teen and an ambitious, friendly teenager, who managed to get into my share of trouble. She’s also commented that while my brother and sister were angry as young adults, I never disrespected her and usually listened to her as she tried to tell me what I was doing wrong in my life. I appeared to be listening but to be truthful, I was drunk those years. I don’t remember much, but even police reports say I was a happy, fun, drunk as I was hauled to jail.

Well, I’m probably in the second half of that life now, and although I’m often happy, try to look at things with a comical eye and enjoy making others laugh; to be honest with you I’m madder than hell! It is extremely difficult for me to look at the world today and find humor in what I see. Even my dear mother asks me how I ever got to be so opinionated.

My mental status has spanned the emotional spectrum. There are probably many in the psychological community that would say I repressed my anger until recently, but I don’t believe that. I didn’t start noticing real anger issues with myself until I started paying attention to what was happening in the world around me. This period of time just happens to coincide with when George Bush allegedly had his brother, Florida Governor Jeb and his Secretary of State Katherine Harris, cook the 2002 Presidential election results in Florida. That made me mad!

When Harris was elected to the House of Representatives in 2002, I assumed the people of Florida had blindly forgiven her for whatever role she played getting George into office, and that’s their right. Recently, someone tried to run her down with his car, so some Floridian’s may have changed their minds. He missed, but I chuckled.

When George Bush lied to the American people and the World about WMD’s and then sent our men and women to die for oil and to make Bush’s friends wealthier… that upset me! When a little more than half the voters in America actually re-elected Bush and his administration lined with good ol’ boys and girls, I was a little more than half angry at American voters.

But in spite of the anger and fear for the future that I experienced, I had to shake my head in a convoluted mixture of pity, shame, disgust and disbelief. “Can’t anyone else see the problems,” I repeatedly asked myself? Is everybody that blind…. or have they been effective in dumbing down the masses to the point we quit asking why? It’s even crossed my mind that the average American citizen is just plain stupid! Numerous recent and current events indicate that Bush, his advisors, his cabinet and anyone who benefits from his policies and actions (read cronies), all think the people he’s been elected by are STUPID! That’s what they think of us! We are the ignorant, apathetic, stupid taxpayer!

Lately, I’ve watched with perverted glee as this corrupted and amoral administration has begun to crumble. I thought it was terrific when Colin Powel jumped ship as Secretary of State. I’m utterly amazed every time Haliburton is awarded another no bid contract to repair what Bush has destroyed. I snickered when Michael Brown was revealed as an incompetent baboon that did Bush a favor once so was given the responsibility of managing national emergencies. I can’t wait to see what becomes of Harriet Miers’ nomination to the Supreme Court. She’s been quoted saying he’s the most intelligent man she knows. Should we have a blatant liar sitting on the highest bench in the land? I think she likes him. Nonetheless, even George’s strong base of conservative thugs and corporate crooks are unable to support his choice. That leaves the Democratic people bumping into walls wondering what’s going to come out of this Trojan horse. I sure wish those democrats would get a plan and take advantage of the situation,

Those are just a few examples of where I’ve found my amusement lately. I didn’t mention Delay, Rove, Frist or even Katrina. I also skipped social security, poverty, health care, fuel prices, the eternal wars, the eternal search for Osama bin laden, the rape of the U.S. Constitution, corporate corruption, etc., etc. The internet is only so long and I don’t want to run out of space.

Another question that I have, is if a patriotic, U.S. Navy veteran, red-blooded American is laughing at the stumbling, fumbling, backward steps of the Bush crew, how would you imagine enemies see us? They think we’re all stupid too, and who can blame them?

Although I’ve found plenty to be furious about lately, my rage is giving in to maniacal laughter. Instead of being angry I’ve become deliriously astounded at what the government is getting away with. And they have no shame! Instead of laying low for the next three years, George has to go public and rub our noses in his illusions of grandeur. He’s in New Orleans every week for no apparent reason other than to fly around in his big airplane and to get on the news. And when we see him on TV we don’t pay attention to what he says. No, we’ve got analysts documenting how many times he blinks his eyes, taps his foot or picks his nose when answering a question. Still, his popularity among the people he represents continues to plummet.

President Bush leaves me with very few emotional options. The anger’s gone the way of the humor and is being replaced by pity. It’s not even enjoyable picking on the President and all the President’s men and women anymore. When I do it leaves me feeling about the same way I’d feel if I were challenging the kid in a wheelchair to a foot race. The only thing left for me to do today, is plead with my fellow Americans for their understanding and compassion. We can’t place all the blame on George for treating us like a pack of stupid morons. We elected him….TWICE!

The history books will tell the story of how he failed in his attempt to be king of the world. Hopefully those books won’t say how we let him destroy democracy in the process. Keeping that from happening is our responsibility, and if we don’t stop the government and corporate America from continuing to abuse us, I guess we are as stupid as they think, and probably shouldn’t be allowed the freedom to think for ourselves.

D'OH! Sure, I'll Believe That!

How Stupid Are We?

The other day President George W. Bush got to thinking how he could possibly make it look like he cares about the nearly 2,000 American’s he’s killed and the hundreds of thousand that he’s placed in harms way in Iraq. Since his support base is falling apart at home and it’s been quite some time since the Administration has done anything to receive positive press, George is apparently shopping outside the nation for support. In yet another display of brilliance, he set up a teleconference with the troops to ask how it’s going

It seems that the President can’t rely on reports from the Pentagon and his military commanders in the Middle East to let him know how things are failing to progress over there. As the PR people work over time trying to find different ways they can wag the dog, White House press secretary Scott McClellan reported on MSNBC.com the president wanted to talk with the ground troops that have first hand knowledge of the situation. He also tells us that the soldiers on the call were expressing their own thoughts and any coaching that was done was to avoid technological difficulties. It's also been reported at least two of the soldiers were public relations specialists.

Sure, I’m going to believe that! It’s been over 20 years since I was stationed aboard the U.S.S. Constellation and was privileged enough to have dinner with President Ronald Reagan and his Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger. Things must have changed quite a bit since then because at that time, nothing happened by accident. Every sailor present at those meals was pre-selected and instructed as to what they could do and couldn’t do; what they could and couldn’t say to the visiting dignitaries. But I’ll believe that the five U.S. Officers and five U.S. enlisted men from the Army’s 42nd Infantry Division, along with one Iraqi soldier were just randomly selected and asked if they wouldn’t mind thinking of something to say to their Commander in Chief if he calls. I’ll believe that because I’m a stupid American.

Well, I would if I didn’t know that Allison Barber, deputy assistant defense secretary, had choreographed it down to what questions would be asked and by whom. She was kind enough to pare the direction of conversation down to just three topics. She told the troops that the President was only interested in the overall security, security for the elections and efforts to train the Iraq military.

While I can’t prove it, I’d bet the soldiers on the call to the president were selected largely in part because they won’t make any noise by asking for answers to what they really want to know. Questions like “when do we get to go home, or what’s your plan for ending all this, or why have you killed 2,000 of my brothers and sisters in arms?” Instead they responded to questions like how often do you train with the Iraqi military and how are the Iraqi’s handling the political process in Tikrit. I’m certain that’s what was on the soldiers minds.

The President must have been feeling pretty special when he started the conversation ensuring the soldiers that the United States wouldn’t pull out of Iraq until the mission is complete. That’s probably just the assurance they were looking for. It may have ruined their day if he said, “Men! I screwed up and I’m sorry! Now let’s get out of here!

“I think all they were doing was talking to the troops and letting them know what to expect,” McClellan said referring to the rehearsal. They stopped short of saying all the Iraqi’s and all the American’s really admire President Bush and love risking their lives for reasons known only to him. The one Iraqi soldier present for the spontaneous call did offer Bush some praise. According to MSNBC.com he gushed, “Thank you very much for everything.” “I like you.”

That sounds unrehearsed to me, but I’m just a stupid American who’ll believe whatever they tell me.

Monday, October 17, 2005

What's a Pickumber? Attempting to Explain Myself

As I recklessly stumble through what some people refer to as life, I constantly am adding to my awareness of myself and what's going on around me. I think of this life as an ongoing series of events, actions and revelations that could be collectively categorized as education. I also think that if you're not learning something, it's because your mind is closed and therefore, you're wasting valuable natural resources. With that being said, I'm currently experiencing several educational events that might explain why it often seems like I'm under the influence of mind altering substances.

I'm finishing the required course work for that ever elusive degree in Public Relations. I'm hoping that portion of my education will be over with in December. For several reasons I'm doing that exclusively online, which has inadvertently led to many other areas of my "life" or education. Much of my formal education studies require significant research, which thanks to this wonderful place called cyberspace, is easy to do. Unfortunately, this internet thing has given us access to everywhere, which complicates things.

For instance, a year or so ago, I took a course on media effects and another on communication law. Both courses required some degree of analysis on sex and how it affects society. Forced by my classroom requirements mind you, I was obligated to research sexual issues and in the course of doing so, I became entwined in a world wide web that became a tangled web of pop ups and invitations from some very lovely naked people doing some very interesting things with body parts, vegetables, hand tools, power tools and sporting goods!

Although I've always been open-minded, well okay, a bit perverse when it comes to my adult oriented appetite and activities, I was able to learn that I could experience shock, disgust, wonder, pity and guilt at the exact same time I felt pleasure, excitement, hope, intrigue, horniness, wildly arousal and total absolution. I really enjoyed this aspect of my education, but it made it difficult to find the desire to keep learning about media effects and communication law.

Another aspect of my education is the awareness of the unaware members of our society when it comes to computers and the internet. By all means, I'm no expert but am usually able to get around and accomplish what I need. If I need to accomplish something I don't know how to do, I have the resources at my fingertips to find out how. Granted, it's usually a tough way to learn, but as with all of life's lessons, it's the difficult ones you learn the most from. I do understand that these resources are not readily available to everyone. I also know people who have acquired the technology but are too damn stubborn or afraid to apply it for anything but playing solitaire or video poker. I started with a used PC I got for $50 for it's word processing capabilities. I've now got a PC that I can talk to and it does my typing for me, I can talk to and see people anywhere in the country in real time and it's free, I can and do produce videos (see above paragraph) for school, business and personal purposes and can put together a Power Point slide presentation and add my own narrative and background music. The fact that my sister, whose kids are now adults, doesn't know how to turn a PC on, for no reason other than she refuses to try, disgusts me. I'm getting a little off track, which happens sometimes.... or a lot.

Back to my education. Since I am of the belief that communications technology will be the biggest contributor to the future of this world and perhaps others, and I hope the words I'm capable of writing can be used to help ensure we have a future, I have become an internet columnist and am trying to learn the fine art of the blog. I learned last week what HTML code is, and how it can screw up the formatting to your first blog http://www.usthepeople.blogspot.com so I am starting this one. During my blog studies, I've surfed thousands of them and am formulating an idea of what I want this one to be. I'll begin posting items I feel are relevant from my first blog soon, and encourage anyone who comes this way to feel free to contribute. In fact I would really appreciate input from others regarding the direction the blog is heading. I'm going to attempt to learn enough about HTML, so I can make functional changes.

While I'm pretty naive as far as protocol goes, I intend to also provide links to blogs that I find to be insightful, innovative, fun, or just nice to look at. I'll also be posting articles that I write and may have been published elsewhere on sites such as http://www.americanchronicle.com or http://www.axisoflogic.com and if I find something that I really enjoy elsewhere in cyberspace, I'll share it and provide credit to where I got it.

While the general direction I intend to move in will be towards news analysis, promotion of political and corporate reform and preserving constitutional rights and civil liberties, primarily the First Amendment to the Bill of Rights. If I can talk someone into posing, we might even have scantily clad, or even naked pictures sometimes.

Stay tuned, give me a link if you want, and please, offer suggestions and comments.

Getting Naked and Relating Publicly

Although public relations has historically been considered a practice used to fool more of the people than your competition does, I propose it can be used to promote ethical reform in media, business, government and society, as well as protecting our Constitutional rights from being whored out by the turn of a phrase. I got my degree in public relations to use the power and practices to promote a return to honesty in communication. Whether between spouses or nations is irrelevant. My ideas and methods are unique, creative and usually radical. sometimes they work and sometimes they don't. I encourage input from anyone who has ideas, expertise or resources that will facillitate this crusade. I'd like to show the many who tell me nothing can be done, that they are dead f***ing wrong.