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Barry Crimmins

words to live near



CrimQuips 9/9/03 Tuesday, September 9, 2003

Commentary by Barry Crimmins

And now in response to Mr. Bush's speech, the United Nations, joined by the Surviving Iraqi Children's Chorale, will sing "Positively Fourth Street."

" ...and for just one moment, you could be in my lack of shoes"

"The terrorists thrive on the support of tyrants and the resentments of oppressed peoples. When tyrants fall, and resentment gives way to hope, men and women in every culture reject the ideologies of terror, and turn to the pursuits of peace. Everywhere that freedom takes hold, terror will retreat." -- George W. Bush, altruistically making the case against himself in next year's presidential election

"We have learned that terrorist attacks are not caused by the use of strength — they are invited by the perception of weakness." -- George W. Bush - Admitting that his occupation of Iraq is perceivably weak.

"From the outset, I have expressed confidence in the ability of the Iraqi people to govern themselves." George. W. Bush -- Oh yeah, we're supposed to believe Bush spends all his spare time just respecting the hell out of the Iraqi people.

The $87 billion W has demanded for continuing the occupation/war in Iraq (not to mention the $72 billion already spent and many, many billions more in bribes disguised as "foreign aid" that won't be counted) proves Bush is a disciple of the "you broke it, you bought it" school of thought.

Bush will really have to cut taxes to finance this one.

By one count, Bush used the word "terror" 26 times in his 15-minute speech. The only thing he does more often than that is lie.

Bush says he needs $87 billion to continue the quagmire in Iraq. To give you an idea of how much money $87 billion is: that's nearly 1/4 the amount in Dick Cheney's Secret Energy Buddies Slush Fund.

$87 billion is almost half of what Karl Rove plans to spend on attack ads next year.

$87 billion may seem like a lot of dough but in "quagmire dollars," it will evaporate more quickly than Bush's rationales for attacking Iraq.

The entire Vietnam War cost about $57 billion but that was back when a quagmire dollar was really worth something.

Now Bush is making preemptive strikes on the Treasury.

Judging by the reaction to his speech, the militaristic Bush outdid himself by dropping the biggest bomb ever.

In the speech, Bush characterized his war/occupation that has killed, maimed and injured thousands -- his war/occupation that drastically reduced the availability of vital commodities like electricity, food and water to millions of innocent people -- as "One of the most humane military campaigns in history." Oh yeah, you're killing them with kindness, Georgie.

What Bush really meant: They want us to leave but we won't leave until our job is done and every penny of this $87 billion, and then some, has been funneled to my political cronies.

The French ambassador to the UN should respond to the Bush request for occupation assistance by simply saying, "Let them eat Freedom Fries."

Alternative title for Bush speech: Retrofitting rationales for a failed war.

Apparently Bush thinks he will have an easy time bamboozling the UN into working as his auxiliary Nationalist Guard now that the UN officials who were most knowledgeable about the true situation in Iraq have been blown to smithereens, thanks to US provocation and incompetence. Donald Rumsfeld disappointed millions when he went to a mass grave in Iraq for what turned out to only be a visit.

*** Rumsfeld's visit was part of an appearance he was making on the new game show for despots: Fill That Mass Grave!

"After a long absence, our first contestant has returned to the American political scene like an outbreak of herpes. Comfortable in quagmires in deserts, jungles or executive offices, please welcome Donald Rumsfeld! OK, Mr. Rumsfeld take a look at this freshly dug mass grave and tell us what we need to know."

"Thanks, Zip! I can fill that mass grave with one impatient lie at a press conference!"

" Ok, Donald Rumsfeld. Fill that mass grave!"


American officials should visit the mass graves they filled throughout Central America during the Reagan/ (elected)Bush years. But then again, the officials who promoted Death Squad Diplomacy are too busy in their work for W as terrorism- decrying hypocrites for them to return to their earlier foreign policy initiatives.

Rumsfeld also toured a torture chamber in Iraq, which he said gave him a lot of good Christmas-gift ideas for John Ashcroft.

Rumsfeld ordered the torture chamber disassembled and sent to Guantanamo Bay for "safekeeping."

According to the Pentagon, attacks on US troops in Iraq now average 15 per day-- up from 10 per day in July. But you've them right where you want him, eh, GW? It's amazing how many people have drowned in Bush's "shallow recession."

Will someone, once and for all, please explain to the corporate media that there is no mystery about how the stock market can zoom while unemployment also accelerates? "Expert" after "expert" takes to the air absolutely befuddled because they subscribe to a superstition that states "if the stock market does well, we all do well." In fact the stock market is, if anything, a measure of how easy it is to screw workers. A corporation lays off workers and its stock goes up in value. If a corporation lowers wages and reduces benefits for workers, Wall St rewards those nefarious actions, as well. Although we are told spikes in the market mean we are all doing better they are often indicators that the real economy -- the economy that working people struggle to live in-- has just gotten worse. The more we kowtow to the bloodless, heartless demands of a market that wants to further enrich over-engorged stock manipulators by impoverishing workers (and former workers), the worse the real economy becomes. Until Lou Dobbs learns that, he is no expert.

The common good and common shares have nothing in common.

Next week California will hold our nation's first Steel-cage gubernatorial debate.

There are ten commandments that should be carved in stone at every courthouse in America. They are called the "Bill of Rights."

How about that road map to peace! Just another success story from the court-appointed Bush administration.

Would someone please take Sen.John Kyl (Babbit- Arizona) camping, and leave him there.

When he arrives at the 2004 Republican Convention in New York City, George W. Bush will be cheered loudly, throughout the Bronx.

The upside of the RNC coming to NY in 2004: it means that the area's air will probably be safe to breath again by then.

A sentence you'll never see (but should) in upcoming reports: It wasn't terrorism that caused the August blackout, it was capitalism.

A commission of inquiry has found that Israeli police used excessive force on Palestinians during an insurrection three years ago. This is the most startling development since a panel revealed that there were some security breakdowns on 9/11.

The White House recently announced the creation of a new post: assistant secretary of commerce for manufacturing, which is the first manufacturing job Bush has created since (literally) taking office.

Of course assistant secretary of commerce for manufacturing is only a temp position until Bush can find a way to outsource the post to either the Dominican Republic or China.

Give Bush credit, his policies have put one group back to work that was hit hard after 9/11-- the Taliban.

For the good of the nation, South Dakota Congressman Bill "the Wheelman" Janklow should resign from the House and go to work as W's chauffeur.

Then again, Janklow has just the kind of qualifications that would tempt Bush to offer him the Secretary of Transportation job.

Donald Rumsfeld has asked that we be patient with the continuing military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. Rumsfeld urging patience is like Dom Deluise endorsing fasting.

But Doomsday Don is right - you can't develop a good quagmire without patience. Quagmires take time.

On 9/8, under the headline "Older Workers are Thriving," the New York Times informed us that "A higher percentage of workers aged 55 to 64 hold jobs today than when the economy plunged into hard times in early 2001." This is because a lower percentage of Americans now have pension plans that provide for anything more than a greeter's job at Wal*Mart.

Kaiser Ashcroft is touring the country demanding that we continue to renounce our civil liberties by supporting the odious Patriot Act. He is receiving a warm response from hand-picked audiences of cops and soldiers. It the equivalent of speaking out against gravy at a dishwasher's convention.

The Patriot Act: with new and improved freedom! Now with fewer police restraints!

It's funny how the resignation of Abbas as Palestinian PM is supposedly the end of the "Roadmap to peace" but Sharon's announcement that he plans to KILL EVERYONE in Hamas is a piddling matter.


Acknowledgment- Today's quips are dedicated to the memory of Warren Zevon. Warren generously introduced me to his New England audiences by allowing me to open shows for him on numerous occasions, way back when. Warren offered this kindness matter-of-factly. When I tried to thank him, he simply suggested that I was deserving and there was nothing more to it. To this day, it's a rare New England appearance when some audience member doesn't inform me that they first began to follow my work because they'd seen me at a Warren Zevon show.

Zevon tackled both life and death with verve and genius. His witty courage during this past year made mortality a little less scary for the rest of us. He was a brilliant, hilarious and boundlessly talented person. His effervescent body of work is the cornerstone of a legacy that will guarantee that his incisive wit and wisdom will continue to incite and inform those left behind. Warren will always be missed but he will always be with us. -- Barry Crimmins *** Today's quote from a sane person: Tyranny has always advertised itself as a form of freedom: it's no different today.- Al Giordano Narco News

2003 Barry Crimmins