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Barry Crimmins

words to live near



CrimQuips 8/15/03 Friday, August 15, 2003

Commentary by Barry Crimmins

Well there I was, quips ready to go, website repaired (thanks to a certain saint from Santa Cruz: when the screen flickered and you know the rest. So here is the amended version, including some remarks about powerlessness.

It wasn't even two hours into the blackout of the Northeast before politicians began blathering about how citizens were handling the inconvenience "as only Americans can." I wonder how Americans would feel if their power had been knocked out LAST MARCH by violent foreign invaders who then occupied our nation and took forever to restore basic services. I wonder how Americans would handle it after months, rather than just hours.

And if you think being stuck at an airport during a power outage is bad, try getting pinned down at one by M-16 fire.

You're right, Governor Pataki, we ARE the greatest people in the world because can lose use of our blenders and hairdryers for an entire evening without anarchy engulfing New York! I am so proud of my state and its wonderful people!

Several million people were without power and the little emergency juice that was available was immediately diverted to politicians so they could circulate hot air. How's that for priorities?

At the center of the blackout is the Niagara-Mohawk power grid in upstate New York. NiMo is the outfit that had a spill of highly irradiated water in a control room at its Lake Ontario Nine Mile Point nuclear waste production facility -aka/ power plant. They dealt with the crisis by padlocking the room's door and ignoring the problem for the next several years. So it's not hard to believe that NiMo caused this fiasco.

God knows radiation can't elude the stopping power of a padlock!

I had the batteries in the transistor radio for less than five minutes before I heard the first call for more nuclear power plants. So although there was almost no looting or petty crime reported during the blackout, the nuke lobby had no qualms about exploiting the powerless at their most vulnerable moment.

Tough break for Bush -- the entire Northeast was plunged into he murky shadows in which he most effectively operates, right when he was out in sunny California.

Bush was in the Golden State using overpriced power to help cast artificial murky shadows on yet another Republican effort to reverse the electoral will of the people.

If you played a Republican in one-on-one basketball and beat him, he'd protest, "Wait a minute, we didn't say 'first one to 5 baskets,' we said 'first one to 10'." As you continued to win, 10 would become 15, 15 would become 20 and so on.

Republicans don't understand that "You just can't win with some people" is only a figure of speech. They want to fix it so that anyone who isn't an R literally cannot win.

Once Gov. Mike Leavitt demonstrated the ability to toxify a state the size of Utah, he became the natural (if you'll forgive the term) choice to head Bush's EPA.

No questions asked-- Leavitt vastly improved Utah's environment-- for corporate polluters.

Leavitt's appointment is great news to Big Pharma -- in particular the manufacturers of cancer drugs.

How about how that Court-appointed Bush administration! Without its vigilance, we'd be in danger of crackpots purchasing fictional weapons from some non-governmental sting.

Arms distribution facilitators like Kissinger and Associates have helped spread shoulder-mounted missiles as if they were party favors. The Bushists highly publicized bust of some poor dupe didn't remove even one of those lethal devices from the seedy worldwide arms market.

While they were at it, why didn't they just sell the guy some fictional weapons of mass destruction? Then they'd have had a bust Bush really could have used!

It's a horrible, horrible thing that Laci Peterson was murdered. It is even worse that the corporate media will ignore thousands of other lethal injustices as it spends vast amounts of time and energy on macabre over-analysis of her case.

Those wondering how much longer the troubles in Iraq might persist should consider Afghanistan, a country Bush claimed to have liberated nearly two years ago. On just one day this week over 50 people died in Afghan violence. The Afghan heroin trade is thriving. Contrary to published and broadcast reports, the Taliban has been anything but eradicated. When contrasting Afghanistan with Iraq, we should consider that the early days of US troops in Afghanistan were a picnic compared to what has transpired in the first few months in Iraq. Despite Bush's pronouncement that his Afghan military effort was victorious, indigenous Middle Eastern concerns hunkered down for a long and very nasty battle of attrition. It has just begun and now a similar catastrophe is unfolding in Iraq. Although it seems impossible, Bush's aircraft carrier stunt will become even stupider in retrospect than it was at the time.

California seems likely to get itself a new, extremely unqualified leader, who communicates in trite bumper-sticker lingo and who has a history of questionable business dealings. His ascendancy will be the result of an "election" in which he will not be the choice of the majority of voters. Trends used to start in California but in this case it's nearly three years behind the rest of the nation.

This may be the first statewide election with more candidates than voters.

The Bushist regime is now hassling many Americans of conscience who went to Iraq in an attempt to stop (and eventually observe) a war that was unnecessary and insane. Many of these people risked their lives as human shields. We all must rise up and vehemently protest the McCarthyistic harassment of these brave souls. What we really need is a government prosecution of those who shielded Bush for the lies he told to promote the war that those courageous activists knew was senseless long before it began.

FUN FACT ABOUT THE DANGEROUS LEFTIST MEDIA: In the past week the dirty liberals at the New York Times have run op-ed pieces promoting the reintroduction of DDT and the resurgence of nuclear power.

John Osterlind, a reactionary blabmeister on Boston's WRKO AM, has been suspended for two weeks (reportedly WITH pay) for saying on the air that the Palestinian people should be "eradicated." So the rule for on-air personnel at WRKO is simple -- so long as your calls for genocide are aimed at a group that reactionaries enjoy denigrating, you get a paid two-week August vacation out of it.

John Osterlind should be fired for advocating genocide. Until he goes, no self-respecting Bostonian should listen to anything on WRKO.

First they came for the Palestinians, but I said nothing because I wanted WRKO to put my call on the air....

John Ashcroft is now blacklisting federal judges who shorten mandatory sentences. But since he is such a great Christian, he has asked Pat Robertson to scrunch up his eyes and pray his special death prayer for the wayward jurists.

According to the New York Times: "Officials denied that Prime Minister Tony Blair's government knowingly used false information to create a sense of imminent threat from Iraq." Willfully maybe, but not knowingly, after all, how could anyone who knows anything have advocated that war?

Kaiser Ashcroft was disappointed to learn that a copy of the Bill of Rights is about to be returned to North Carolina after a 138-year absence. Ashcroft feels that any state that has survived without the Bill of Rights for that long has corroborated his view that the document is unnecessary.

The new Bush action figure is very realistic-- at the first whiff of danger it heads directly for Nebraska.

Pull its string and Karl Rove talks.

OK, to be precise: pull its string and Karl Rove lies.

I've received numerous requests to endorse Howard Dean for president. I'm told we all have to get behind him now or risk losing next year. Unfortunately, I am not sold on Dean in a number of areas. How is he on unions? Why did he support the Yucca Mountain nuke dump? How can he tell us that there is no way to cut the military budget? (Even if he is only fiddling with semantics-- we need leaders to unequivocally challenge runaway militarism rather than slither about with plausibly deniable doublespeak) Next year we will have no choice but to support the Democratic candidate. However, during the primaries, beggars can and should be choosers. At this point, this beggar is far from choosing Howard Dean.

2003 Barry Crimmins