Mummorial Daze 2007
Expanded from the 5-27-2007 Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune
Updated 5-28, 5-31, 6-1-2007, 10-24-2010
Mothers, don't let your babies grow up to be soldiers. There is no reason to endanger life, limb, family and future for somebody's megalomaniacal power trip.
As military historian Gwynn Dyer noted in War, his PBS documentary series, "the purpose of a soldier is not to fight. The purpose of a soldier is to die."
As usual, the jesters get it best. Last week, libertarian comedian Bill Maher opined "leave it to Bush to go to war over oil and end up getting no oil."
When I was a lonely teenage broncking buck, I seriously considered volunteering for hazardous duty in hope of ending it all. Burned out from school and work, I didn't see much purpose or direction to my life.
Fortunately, a friend intervened. Dr. John is now a dentist in Fresno. Our families had been friends long before we were born. We went through high school together. One night after we both got off work, we discussed the great issues well into the morning hours. (Other than Denny's and Sambo's, there weren't a lot of late night coffee shops in the central valley farm town. But I had the keys to my parents' café.)
Dr. John whipped my ass in every argument, from criticisms of the Catholic Church to my Vietnam death wish. His hardest hit about the latter: "What's it going to prove? How is your dying in that jungle going to make the world a better place?"
On this weekend, we certainly should remember those who have fallen in America's chronic wars. The best way to memorialize them is by preventing future carnage.
Wisdom from the candidate with arguably the best presidential credentials
Richardson Officially Enters '08 Democratic Presidential Race
by Leslie Wayne
The New York Times
Breaking with some of his fellow candidates, including Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, on the war, Mr. Richardson pledged to "leave no troop behind in Iraq."
"No airbases," he said. "No security patrols. No embedded soldiers training Iraqi forces."
...One of Mr. Richardson's big political frustrations is that he has perhaps the strongest résumé but is one of the least-known candidates.
Alas and alack, the mummers stand all too mum. To borrow from warmongering Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., most congressional Democrats have waved the white flag to the rape and pillage profiteers.
Gov. Bill Richardson, D-N Mex., rightly kicked their butts for it last week.
On this weekend of regret and remembrance, I hope that every foolish young product of our movie-based shoot-em-up culture can find a Dr. John to prevent wasting lives by playing cowboys for the drugstore cowboy in the Whited Sepulchre House.
As legendary Rep. Jeannette Rankin, R-Mont., once said, "you can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake."
READ MORE ABOUT IT
Phillips' prediction may come true
Brass and crystal balls: GOP implosion looms closer and closer
Maverick Republican historian Kevin Phillips (The Cousins' Wars) warned in 2000 that restorations of previous dynasties have resulted in the extinction of that dynasty not long thereafter.
He noted that a Bush comeback could mean the end of the Republican Party.
"It doesn't take much to predict that George II will soon risk American lives in some foolish war," I warned on Jan. 21, 2001.
With Democrats ineffective and Republicans rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic, where is the peaceloving bullmoose to lead us forward?
Mothers, please don't let your babies grow up to be soldiers.
SOFT SHOES AND HOBNAILS. Almost two decades ago, my Tribune colleague in columny Travus T. Hipp warned that softshoe fascism was loose in the land. Well, the corporate storm troops have kept their boots polished and are close to bringing them out of the closet.
Read Naomi Wolfe's Fascist America in 10 easy lessons linked to the web edition of this column at Barbwire.US.
"There are some things common to every state that's made the transition to fascism. Wolf argues that all of them are present in America today," states the promo from Alternet. You need to read the whole thing, especially on this flag-waving weekend.
OUR MAN FLINT IS BACK. Michael Moore's Sicko, his new celluloid indictment of the health "insurance" industry, opens nationally on June 29 and even the FOX Noise Network has praised the film. Tally ho!
SLICK SUBJECTS. I retch at mainstream media parroting of oil company press releases about why gasoline is so high. Read the Barbwire Oilogopoly Archive for a brief history of BigOil's successful strategy to eliminate competition and pick your pocket.
Local lobbyists launch anti-telco site
"The groups asserted that moving video franchising from local governments to state or federal levels will cost local government up to $8 billion in revenue annually. Local agreements mean city officials can quickly act on consumer complaints, can seek compensation for the use of public rights-of-way and can assure that roads opened by providers as they install plant are properly repaired, according to opinions expressed on the new site."
I THANK LEGISLATORS who responded to last week's warnings about the telecommunications industry's emulating BigOil by developing an oligopoly where a few big sellers control prices.
Here's additional nightstand reading: "Basic-cable rates have not declined in any of the Texas communities where there are competitive providers, according to a survey done by the Texas chapter of the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors.
"Rates for the (basic) tier including off-air signals and public, educational and government channels have actually increased over the past two years, according to the study posted May 22 at NATOA.org" reported consumer bible Multichannel News.
Bills juicing their way thru our ledge stand to make Nevada just like Texas.
A majority were suckered into re-electing Dubya after Karl Rove ordered the Dept. of Homeland Security to distribute that bogus press release about Gomorrah South being "under threat of imminent terrorist attack" a few days before the 2004 election.
So Mississippi West is becoming Tejas Occidente in both follytix and telecom.
How's that for sinking to a new low?
KroSlicki sticks the public purse again
The very day after this column ran, the Reno Gazette-Journal published a paid, full-color 12-page tabloid insert for the Nevada Commission on Economic Development, which Krolicki chairs. Page two of Connecting (emphasis added) Nevada Companies consisted entirely of a self-serving message from Krolicki complete with a color campaign photo. All it lacked were his children who appeared with him on his scholarship money-wasting statewide TV campaign of a couple of years back.
Someone so shameless and unscrupulous should have a bright future in Nevada follytix.
SPEAKING OF NEW LOWS. Sen. Maurice Washington, R-Sparks, would probably be in jail today if he were a Democrat. As has been amply documented in the Tribune and elsewhere over the past five years, Rev. Washington enjoys the protection of the local Republican power structure.
Washoe D.A. Dick Gammick, a GOP stalwart, refused to indict "Who, Me?" Maurice on felony fraud charges despite smoking gun knowledge that a crime had been committed.
Rubbing Sparks voters' noses into it, Gammick last year appeared on TV spots praising Washington as a "law and order" guy.
I've done my best personally and professionally to remove this burr under the saddle of government, but the GOP gerrymander of the district has just been too strong.
Last week, Sen. Washington came to the defense of another crooked pol, Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki, who shunted a million dollars, which should have gone to educate Nevada college students, into a TV campaign promoting himself. (See Krolicki investigation broadens, at right.)
"Somebody is after him for some reason, and I don't know why," Washington told the Reno paper.
I predicted this kind of an environment in that same 2001 column about Dubya: "To anyone who criticized Bill Clinton for breaking his promise to clean up government, remember the words of the Gipper: You ain't seen nothin' yet."
Sometimes, it really hurts to be right.
Be well. Raise hell.
UPDATE (6-1-2007) AB 518, fortunately modified to delay deregulation until 2012, has been signed into law by Gov. Jim the Dim. But the proverbial camel's nose is now under the tent. The state-level franchise bill, AB 526, also awaits executive signature. At the signing, Gibbons issued a sinful self-serving press release, complete with a photo of Gimme Jimmy and industry lobbyists. The PR flak commits gross sins of omission, ignoring key areas of consumer concern.
If you haven't seen the May 30 New York Times piece about our esteemed CEO, you've missed another public relations coup for Nevada.
Hey any publicity is good publicity, right?
Barbwire cable war room
AT&T CEO sloughs off question on oligopoly
BARBWIRE/Sparks Tribune 4-8-2007
Embarq exec promises brave new world of competition
as anti-competitive bills steamroll thru Nevada legislature
Embarq serves Gomorrah South and was formerly known as Sprint and Centel
Las Vegas Review-Journal 5-18-2007
Legislative attempt at consolidation of power
by phone and cable companies
Including a 10-year timeline of anti-consumer legislation
Daily Sparks Tribune 4-1-2007, 4-8-2007, UPDATED 5-10, 5-20, 5-28-2007
Read MoveOn.org's case for petitioning the Federal Communications Commission not to allow the emerging telecom oligopoly to control a huge chunk of telecast spectrum. If you agree, sign it and spread the word. Fast.
Be well. Raise hell. AB
BARBWIRE: Labor Day '94: People vs. corporate con job, 9-4-94
Chilling forecasts from Alex Carey
Nevada: Right to Work for Less
Those who ignore history are condemned to repeat it
Barbwire Nevada Corporate Welfare Archive
Learn about the goodies the gambling industry gets at the public trough
Barbwire Oilogopoly Archive
I've been telling you so for more than 10 freakin' years
NAOMI WOLF: Fascist America in 10 Easy Steps
There are some things common to every state that's made the transition to fascism. Author Naomi Wolf argues that all of them are present in America today.
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Copyright © 1982-2007, 2010 Andrew Barbano
Andrew Barbano is a 38-year Nevadan, editor of NevadaLabor.com and a member of Communications Workers of America Local 9413/AFL-CIO. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune since 1988.
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