Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Two places to go till the Mansel Report returns

visit jazzmancronicles.blogspot.com for more of my writing,


jazzmanchronicles.blogspot.com

and listen to the Bob Kincaid show which is archived at

whiterosesociety.org

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Monday, October 09, 2006

Kissinger Dairies

Kissinger Dairies 3


Henry Kissinger: Dick, I heard about your call with Woodward…bullshit, was that the best you could do?

Dick Cheney: I simply don’t want to discuss it Henry, this little lap dog who we had on a leash has turned on us when he smelled the change in power in the wind.

Henry Kissinger: You should know better than to tell anything to a lap dog Dick. They rub it on their paw and rub it on their ass and pretty soon every other dog in the neighborhood will come get a whiff. Why do you think President Johnson kept such a tight rein on the media coming out of Vietnam? Just because you have a handle on Fox, ABC doesn’t mean you are controlling the message.

Dick Cheney: The media is a thorn in the side of any administration.

Henry Kissinger: But bullshit? Have you been talking to Novak again?

Dick Cheney: He does help in coordinating the message.


- Chris Mansel

Sunday, October 08, 2006

The Kissinger Dairies

The Kissinger Dairies 1


Henry Kissinger: Mr. President, a few instant messages are nothing to be concerned about. During Vietnam we didn’t have personal computers, the Vietnamese were there for the taking. But this was of course a time when we had sandals on the ground. (laughs)

President Bush: Shit Henry, sandals. (laughs) Is that why McNamara made so many trips over there back then?

Henry Kissinger: McNamara had a taste for the darker flesh of the service help in the Carville Hotel Mr. President; it wasn’t too far from the embassy. A page’s throw if you will.


- Chris Mansel




The Kissinger Dairies 2



Henry Kissinger: As I told you on the phone Karl these are the glass shards President Nixon used to threaten John Dean into going along to get along.

Karl Rove: Is the price the same as before, two hundred thousand?

Henry Kissinger: Yes, the same as when I sold you the drunken scrabbling of a man who contemplated selling weapon secrets to Mao for a visit to a work camp in the north of China.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

I'm Afraid To Leave The House

Checked my email the other day
Newt was asking if I swung his way
Went to take my garbage out
Trent Lott was calling me out
Robert Novak hid on my lawn
He sang a limerick and carried on
I called the cops and he stumbled on

I’m afraid to leave the house
What if Sean Hannity is hiding out?
What if Rush Limbaugh spikes my drink?
Oliver North gives me a wink

Pat Robertson via satellite calls for prayers
While children drink Ovaltine and stare
What if Bill O’Reilly kneads his dough?
On a pay per view Nickelodeon show
What if Ann Coulter Tricks or Treats
Can the Patriot Act keep her at arm’s length?

I’m afraid to leave the house
What if Sean Hannity is hiding out?
What if Rush Limbaugh spikes my drink?
Oliver North gives me a wink

- Chris Mansel

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Honesty In American Politics?

What would America do with an honest to god politician? One that would admit in front of his or her voting public that they actually use speech writers and would take them up on the platform with them.

My fellow citizens of (fill in state here) I am here today to talk to you about the pressing problem of (fill in pressing problem here) that is crippling our state. Now these speech writers of mine and with some help from myself have come up with a speech I think you will find helpful. We’re going to present some ideas here today to try and open a dialogue. What does that mean? Well, we’re going to give the newspapers something to write about and the television news something to fill their airtime with. What does this mean to you? You’ll vote whichever way you were going to already, oh maybe we’ll change a few minds but really most of you have made your minds up already.
Now we’ve picked Roy here out of the speechwriters because Roy looks the best on camera. I didn’t write very much of this speech so I am not going to stand up here and take the credit for these ideas. But being an outside event Roy and I will take off our jackets, these expensive suit jackets here and roll up our sleeves because we want to look sympathetic to all of you hardworking voters out there.

Roy begins the speech but not one newspaper writes about the speech or television station includes a sound bite of the speech just the remarks of the candidate. Now, would this kind of candor make it in American politics, probably not? You can’t be completely honest in politics, not and get away with it.


- Chris Mansel

Wal-Mart To Shrink Options For New Hires Health Care

By Ylan Q. Mui and Amy JoyceWashington Post Staff WritersWednesday, September 27, 2006; D03

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is scaling back the health-care plans available to new employees, sparking fresh criticism over whether the giant retailer is providing adequate coverage to its workers.
As of Jan. 1, the company will offer new hires only two health benefits packages in which the monthly premium can be as low as $11 but the deductible can reach $6,000, according to documents provided to The Washington Post by Wake-Up Wal-Mart, a union-backed group.
The company's two other benefit plans, which have lower deductibles, will no longer be offered to new employees. However, the plans will remain available to current employees who choose to renew their coverage.
Wal-Mart spokesman Dan Fogleman said yesterday that he expected the change to save most employees money. He said a review of the company's health-benefits plans showed most had opted for a package with a monthly premiums between $70 and $100, and a $350 deductible, but that more than half never paid that much.
That drove the decision to require new hires to sign up for Wal-Mart's new plans that have lower monthly payments but higher deductibles. The option known as the "value plan" starts at $11 per month for employee coverage in some markets and has a $1,000 deductible. The "freedom plan" starts at about $17 per month for employee coverage but has a deductible of $3,000 and the option to create a health savings account. The cheapest monthly cost for an employee and his or her spouse is $38 with a deductible of $6,000.
"We've done the math on this, and we have a pretty good understanding of what this is going to mean," Fogleman said. "Most associates are going to come out better on this."
Wake-Up Wal-Mart disagrees. It has accused the company of depressing wages and benefits, forcing many of its workers to seek public health care.
"Wal-Mart is cruelly hurting its employees, cutting health-care options and shifting costs on to the American taxpayer," said Paul Blank, campaign director for Wake-Up Wal-Mart.
Paul Fronstin, director of health research and education at the Employee Benefit Research Institute, said the new Wal-Mart changes look "pretty standard." But he noted that a biweekly increase in a surcharge from $50 to $75 for spouses who have access to other medical coverage seemed high.
"There is always shifting going on, and it tends to be modest at best. It might be that way here as well," he said.
Fogleman said that about 615,000 employees are covered by the company, about 47 percent of its workforce, and Wal-Mart is working to expand that number.

© 2006 The Washington Post Company

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

White House Bars Hurricane Report

White House said to bar hurricane report

By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID, AP Science Writer
45 minutes ago

The Bush administration has blocked release of a report that suggests global warming is contributing to the frequency and strength of hurricanes, the journal Nature reported Tuesday. The possibility that warming conditions may cause storms to become stronger has generated debate among climate and weather experts, particularly in the wake of the Hurricane Katrina disaster.
In the new case, Nature said weather experts at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration — part of the Commerce Department — in February set up a seven-member panel to prepare a consensus report on the views of agency scientists about global warming and hurricanes.
According to Nature, a draft of the statement said that warming may be having an effect.
In May, when the report was expected to be released, panel chair Ants Leetmaa received an e-mail from a Commerce official saying the report needed to be made less technical and was not to be released, Nature reported.
Leetmaa, head of NOAA's Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory in New Jersey, did not immediately respond to calls seeking comment.
NOAA spokesman Jordan St. John said he had no details of the report.
NOAA Administrator Conrad Lautenbacher is currently out of the country, but Nature quoted him as saying the report was merely an internal document and could not be released because the agency could not take an official position on the issue.
However, the journal said in its online report that the study was merely a discussion of the current state of hurricane science and did not contain any policy or position statements.
A series of studies over the past year or so have shown an increase in the power of hurricanes in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, a strengthening that many storm experts say is tied to rising sea-surface temperatures.
Just two weeks ago, researchers said that most of the increase in ocean temperature that feeds more intense hurricanes is a result of human-induced global warming, a study one researcher said "closes the loop" between climate change and powerful storms like Katrina.
Not all agree, however, with opponents arguing that many other factors affect storms, which can increase and decrease in cycles.
The possibility of global warming affecting hurricanes is politically sensitive because the administration has resisted proposals to restrict release of gases that can cause warming conditions.
In February, a NASA political appointee who worked in the space agency's public relations department resigned after reportedly trying to restrict access to Jim Hansen, a NASA climate scientist who has been active in global warming research.
___
On the Net
News@Nature.com: http://www.nature.com/news
Copyright © 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Noam Chomsky Eager To Meet Venezuela's Chavez

Author Chomsky eager to meet Venezuela's Chavez
Fri Sep 22, 6:50 PM ET


Author Noam Chomsky, whose three-year-old book shot to the top of the Amazon.com bestseller list after Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez touted it at the United Nations, reportedly said he would like to meet Chavez.
"I would be happy to meet him," said Chomsky according to the New York Times.
The American author told the Times he received "10,000 e-mails" after Chavez recommended his 2003 book "Hegemony or Survival" in remarks before the United Nations General Assembly.
Chavez made headlines this week for railing against US "imperialism" in the eyebrow-raising speech.
Chomsky, 77, told the newspaper he would not use the same words -- "alcoholic," "sick man" and "tyrant" -- that Chavez used to describe President George W. Bush.
But he said he understood where the Venezuelan president was coming from.
"The Bush administration backed a coup to overthrow his government," Chomsky said. "Suppose Venezuela supported a military coup that overthrew the government of the United States? Would we think it was a joke?"
The leftist author, a linguistics scholar and longtime critic of US foreign policy, told the Times he is "quite interested" in Chavez's policies and finds many of them "quite constructive."

Copyright © 2006 Agence France Presse. All rights reserved. The information contained in the AFP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Agence France Presse.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Mexico Is Haven For U.S. Pedophile Priests

Mexico is haven for U.S. pedophile priests: group
Wed Sep 20, 5:52 PM ET


Weak law enforcement and compliant Church authorities make Mexico a haven for U.S. pedophile priests fleeing justice, a victims' group said on Wednesday.
The Survivors' Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, which helped bring a lawsuit this week against two of North America's top cardinals, said it knows of 46 mostly U.S. priests hiding out south of the border.
"Mexico has really become a secure place because here judicial authorities don't track them down and nothing happens," said group spokesman Eric Barragan.
The U.S. Catholic Church has been tarnished by a pedophile priest scandal that erupted in Boston in 2002 and spread to almost every diocese in the nation.
Several U.S. Catholic priests have been prosecuted, multimillion dollar payouts have been made to scores of pedophile victims and church files revealed that some bishops repeatedly transferred priests accused of abusing minors to other parishes rather than reporting them to police.
Barragan said Mexican pedophile priests, to a lesser degree, often flee to the United States.
His U.S.-based group helped filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles on Tuesday that accused Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles and Mexico City's Cardinal Norberto Rivera of allowing a priest wanted for multiple sex abuse to flee California for Mexico.
Rivera is Mexico's most senior Catholic clergyman and was mentioned as an outsider candidate last year to succeed Pope John Paul II.
The suit was brought by Mexican former altar boy Joaquin Aguilar, 25, who says he was raped by Catholic priest Nicolas Aguilar in Mexico in 1994.
It claims that Mahony facilitated Father Aguilar's flight to Mexico in 1988, when a U.S. warrant was issued for his arrest, without notifying law enforcement in Los Angeles.
Prosecutors were investigating allegations that he had abused more than 20 boys in the Los Angeles archdiocese.
Mahony's spokesman, Tod Tamberg, said the conspiracy charge was "preposterous and without foundation" and the Mexico City archdiocese said Rivera "feels at ease because there was no cover up."
SNAP said it had hired private investigators who tracked down Aguilar to rural southern Mexico where he has been saying Mass at a convent and three different parishes and living out of his car with no fixed address.

Copyright © 2006 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Supporting The Worker, Their Life Is Yours

I think this country is paying a desperate price to continually side with Israel in every decision in the Middle East. To do so seems to suggest that that the people of Palestine are second-class citizens, and we know something about bigotry in this country. We didn’t invent it but we have done our best to export it in un-search containers.
The fence built between Israel and Palestine mirrors the fence being demanded on the floor of the Congress between the U.S. and Mexico. Palestinians cross over into Israel to work everyday and without that work force Israel would be desperate for help. Without the help of illegal labor the U.S. would be crippled except the U.S. is too ignorant to realize this.
To side with labor does not make you a Socialist or a Communist. To side with labor makes you a realist and a realist more often than not understands the importance of a living wage. Union jobs in this country were torn from locked doors by blood and skin. Sweat is what makes the grass grow not blood as the old saying goes. If Jesus was a carpenter like the stories suggest I don’t imagine he would let his customers set the price. Jesus would have been a union carpenter, he would have walked a picket line and he would have prayed for those refusing to care for the worker.
Where is the union in the Holy land? A land so set upon its religious belief, a land so rigid in its procedure, a land so stiff in its process of retribution. Does a Palestinian receive the same pay of that of an Israeli worker? You’ll never hear any mention of that fact in the American media, ever. Can you imagine a Palestinian Tom Joad sleeping in the shadow of the fence separating these two lands as rockets crisscross over head, his small fire to keep warm drawing automatic fire, his companions using the fence as a wailing wall because they cannot cross over until daylight. Sticking their prayers into the barbed wire wondering if their scarred hands will become infected, wondering if their job will become obsolete with tonight’s bombing.
If you want to truly understand unemployment and what it is like to be homeless try to do it in a war zone. Refugee status is sometimes preferred to suddenly being awakened in your home and having to run off into the darkness as in the case of a writer I heard from once through a website I write for. The writer lived in Rwanda and one night during the genocide that took place there he was awakened by screams and he and his family got up and ran out of their house and ran off literally into the darkness. I don’t know if he survived or not. To the best of my knowledge we never heard from him again. This would have been different if he were in a refugee camp? No, not really? In Darfur the y are firing into refugee camps. There are no jobs, there are no unions, and there are barely any relief workers. Are refugees illegal aliens? Should we build a fence around them?
To be on the side of the workers of the world is to support life itself it is just that simple.

- Chris Mansel

Friday, September 15, 2006

When Speculation Grows Hoarse

Screeching at the top of a hypodermic is where any decent writer should be, in a hospital bed overlooking a battlefield where swans have been de-flowered by Mexican mice. Where the august storms have blown dust into the military tribunal parking spaces that have just been crushed under the tracks of tanks. The body of three star generals nailed in full uniform to gurneys awaiting cross-examination.

- Chris Mansel

Ann Richards Passes




Former Governor of Texas Ann Richards has passed. A vocal opponet of the Bush family she served her state well. In another time she would have been described as, “a broad” and it would have been a term of endearment. She was tough and she did not back down from a fight, ever. She will be missed.

- Chris Mansel

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Rwandan sentenced to 25 years for role in 1994 genocide

ARUSHA, Tanzania (AP) -- A U.N. tribunal Tuesday convicted a former Rwandan military commander of genocide and crimes against humanity for his role in the 1994 genocide and sentenced him to 25 years in prison.
Lt. Col. Tharcisse Muvunyi's troops were behind the "systematic killing" of at least 140 students and Red Cross workers, Judge Asoka de Silva told the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda.
"We have no reason to doubt that Muvunyi had no knowledge of these killings," the judge said. He added that Muvunyi incited hatred and oversaw roadblocks set up by his troops where Tutsis were separated from Hutus before being executed.
Some 500,000 minority Tutsis and politically moderate Hutus were slaughtered in the genocide.
Muvunyi, whose six years in detention while awaiting trial will be counted against his sentence, showed no emotion as the sentence was read. His lawyer, Taylor Williams, said he would appeal.
Muvunyi was chief of military operations in Butare province at the height of the genocide. Some 100,000 people were killed in Butare alone during the 100-day slaughter, chief prosecutor Hassan Jallow had told the court based in Arusha, Tanzania.
Earlier Tuesday, a former Rwandan mayor, Jean Mpambara, was acquitted by the court of having any role in the genocide.
Mpambara, who was arrested in 2001 living in a Tanzanian refugee camp, was accused of having led massacres in Rusumo, in southeastern Kibungo province, on the border with Tanzania, where more than 5,000 Tutsi civilians were killed.
Judge Jai Ram Redyy told the tribunal the prosecution had failed to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that Mpambara was involved in the 1994 genocide.
Prosecutor Hassan Jallow said prosecutors would study the ruling before deciding to appeal.
Mpambara is the fourth person to be set free by the tribunal since its establishment 12 years ago by the U.N. Security Council.
The tribunal has so far rendered 29 judgments, and trials are on going for another 27 suspects. The U.N. has set a deadline of 2008 to complete all the cases before the tribunal.

Copyright 2006 Reuters. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Two New Rumors

Everybody is talking about impeaching the president, why don’t we cumquat him or give him the banana? Impeach sounds a little too nice.

Bush and Paris Hilton in a new poll were the only two people in the country who thought that a standing O stood for being entered from behind.


- Chris Mansel

Friday, September 08, 2006

Southwest Virginia family and A&G Coal settle in 3-year-old's death

A judge's notes indicate a $3 million settlement in the case of a boy killed below a strip mine.
By Tim Thornton


APPALACHIA -- The second anniversary of Jeremy Davidson's death passed without clamor last month. So did the conclusion of a lawsuit against the people Jeremy's family blames for the toddler's death.
Local activists didn't mark the anniversary because they didn't get the family's blessing. Judge Tammy McElyea ordered the lawsuit's settlement agreement sealed, but her handwritten notes in the case file say the Davidsons got $3 million to compensate for their son's death. They had asked for $26.5 million.
The 3-year-old died in an Aug. 20, 2004, incident that attracted international news coverage. He was asleep in his bedroom while Kelly Robinson and Jimmy Ray Vanover widened a haul road on A&G Coal's strip mine above his house. Vanover was operating a front-end loader. Robinson, who was running a bulldozer, told Virginia Division of Mines, Minerals and Energy investigators that no one told him there were houses below where he was working.
The road they were working on wasn't meant to be a haul road. It was built in 1983 as part of a mined land reclamation project. Robinson and Vanover were making the road wider, so it could accommodate the 18-wheeled trucks that haul loads of coal from the site.
When the original road was built, a rock rolled off the site and crashed through the back of the Freewill Baptist Church. Now it's called the Looney Creek Memorial Baptist Church. It sits next door to the Davidson place.
Two years ago, about 2:30 a.m. during Robinson and Vanover's shift, another rock rolled off the site and into the Davidson house 649 feet below.
The half-ton boulder crashed through the back wall of the Davidsons' double-wide, through two interior walls and came to rest at 7-year-old Zachary Davidson's bed.
But first it rolled though Jeremy's room. The toddler's parents and brother found him on the floor -- Arvil Cross, a neighbor, said he had been knocked through the floor -- with his head wedged in his bed frame. He had a broken arm, a broken leg and a broken neck. There was a wound on his head where it had slammed into the floor.
His parents tried to revive the boy until rescue workers arrived. It didn't do any good.
"They never spent another night there," Cross said. "I don't reckon they've ever been back up in this holler."
Cross, who fills his retirement by running a lawn-care business, was mowing his own yard Wednesday. He said people don't talk about the tragedy much anymore.
"It's died down a whole lot," he said.
The lot next to the Looney Creek Memorial Baptist Church is virtually empty now. Scraps of a foundation mark where the Davidsons' house used to stand. A work crew hauled it away about six weeks ago, Cross said. Weeds are already reclaiming the bare dirt that used to be under the house.
"We heard A&G Coal bought it out and was going to turn it into offices or something," Cross said. "But you hear anything."
Larry Bush, a former miner and mine inspector, is a member of Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards, the local anti-mountaintop removal mining group. On Wednesday evening, Bush met with representatives of Mountain Justice Summer, a group that's battling mountaintop removal across the southeastern coalfields.
They met at Mountain Links, a resource center Mountain Justice Summer is setting up on Appalachia's Main Street. The group is setting up a nonprofit organization that will rent three offices from United Mine Workers of America Local 1607, with permission to use the union's meeting room when they need to.
It's a dingy space with vintage office furniture and ceiling tiles stained varying yellowish, grayish shades of drab. But it gives the group a presence downtown.
Mountain Justice Summer came to the town of Appalachia shortly after Jeremy's death to march in protest. They marched again on the first anniversary.
The family didn't have anything to do with the first two marches. The would-be organizers of this year's aborted march couldn't find the Davidsons to ask them about it.
"Just out of respect for the family we didn't do anything," he said about plans to commemorate the anniversary.
Like Cross, Bush said talk about the Davidsons' tragedy has quieted.
"It's probably still on people's minds but they're not saying anything," said Bush, who was surprised to hear the lawsuit has been settled and disturbed that it took so long. "It was drawn out, I think, to let public sentiment die down."
It took nearly two years, three judges and two trial dates to resolve the case. It went through an unsuccessful mediation and competed for time with the General Assembly and the flood of gambling cases coming out of Appalachia. Terry Kilgore, one of the Davidsons' attorneys, represents the area in the House of Delegates. McElyea expects to hear at least some of the gambling cases.
The original list of defendants included A&G Coal, the company operating the mine; Matt Mining, which holds the permit to mine; Penn Virginia Operating Co. and Penn Virginia Resource Partners, which own the land and the mining rights; and eight A&G Coal employees. By the end, Matt Mining and the Penn Virginia companies had been dismissed.
The Davidsons' original aim for $26.5 million was reduced by the shrinking defendants' list and by Virginia law. Their attorneys had asked for $350,000 in punitive damages from each defendant. Virginia law limits punitive damages to $350,000 in total.
The prospect of criminal charges in the case disappeared long ago. The civil case has been settled.
But there's at least one hearing left. Virginia's Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy fined A&G Coal $15,000 for what the DMME called "gross negligence" related to the incident. That was the legal limit at the time, but the case moved the General Assembly to toughen the law. A similar event now could cost a company $210,000.
But A&G officials argued the $15,000 fine was too steep. They appealed the fine and now that the civil case is settled, the process of scheduling that hearing can begin.
Mike Abbott, spokesman for the mine department, said Thursday that he didn't know when that hearing will be scheduled.
The road that leads past the former Davidson home site, past A&G's mine and over Black Mountain into Kentucky is a Virginia Byway. According to the Virginia Department of Transportation Web site, those byways reveal "a side of the Commonwealth that is uncommon and enlightening. Each byway leads to scenes of natural beauty and places of historical and social significance."
From a switchback curve on Black Mountain Wednesday night, the A&G mine was marked by small groupings of lights, flickering like campfires as haze settled into the hollows and a full moon hung overhead.
The steady hum of machinery, punctuated by backup warning beepers, mingled with the night insects' sounds as crews continued to mine coal on the diminishing ridge above where Jeremy Davidson used to live.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Army Unleashes Military Offensive in Darfur UN

Integrated Regional Information Networks NEWS

September 1, 2006
El Fasher


Sudanese government forces have recaptured the rebel-held town of Um Sidir near El Fasher, capital of North Darfur State, raising fears that a major new offensive has started in the region, observers said on Friday.
The rebels, who have held the town for some months, have vowed to try to take back the town, an important stronghold, which the government forces overran on Thursday afternoon.
"Six days ago, a bombing campaign started in the area north of El Fasher that lasted a couple of days," a rebel source in Darfur said. "It seems to have been an attempt to soften up resistance in the area and to allow government troops to move in."
The offensive is unfolding despite Thursday's United Nations Security Council resolution authorising the deployment of UN peacekeepers in the western Sudanese region.
Large swathes of territory in North Darfur are under the control of the National Redemption Front (NRF), a new alliance of rebels who did not sign the 5 May Darfur Peace Agreement. In Darfur, local observers have confirmed that a string of villages, including Abu Sakin, Kulkul, Sayah and Turra, approximately 35 km northwest of El Fasher, had been attacked from the air on Monday.
On the same day, 30 vehicles of the Sudanese armed forces entered Abu Sakin and another 40 vehicles took Kulkul, pushing rebel forces out of the area. Government troops then moved further northwards, towards Um Sidir.
"The Sudanese army is creating a buffer zone north of El Fasher to prevent direct attacks on the capital," the observer said. "It seems that the Sudanese forces met relatively little rebel resistance; they simply moved away."
Unconfirmed reports indicated that the rebel NRF was moving southwards with as many as 50 vehicles into the area of Korma and Tawilla, west of El Fasher.
On Thursday this week, the United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution that calls for a gradual transition from the under-funded and under-equipped African Union (AU) mission in Darfur to a stronger UN protection force. The AU force has been unable to prevent widespread abuses against civilians.
But the deployment of a UN force of 17,500 troops and 3,300 civilian police depends on consent from the Sudanese government, which has rejected calls for a UN force in Darfur. It has instead proposed its own protection plan, which involves deploying another 10,500 Sudanese government troops to "consolidate the security situation". Military cargo planes have been arriving every night in El Fasher with troop reinforcements.
"This [UN] resolution will be meaningless unless member states get Sudan to agree to a UN force," Peter Takirambudde, Africa director of Human Rights Watch, said in a statement. "While the Security Council was debating this resolution on Monday, the Sudanese military was dropping bombs on rebel-held villages, with predictable consequences for civilians."
Since the government and one of the three main rebel factions signed the 5 May agreement, fighting has escalated between signatories and the rebel groups that refused to sign. As many as 50,000 more people have been displaced across the region since May, while nine humanitarian aid workers were killed and 20 vehicles hijacked in July.
"Insecurity is at its highest level since 2004, access at its lowest levels since that date and we may well be on the brink of a return to all-out war," the Emergency Relief Coordinator and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Jan Egeland, warned the UN Security Council on Monday.
The World Health Organization has reported that 40 percent of the population in North Darfur State are not receiving health care, while vaccinations have dropped from 90 percent in 2005 to a mere 20 percent in 2006. According to the World Food Programme, 470,000 people across Darfur did not receive their monthly rations in July.


[ This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations ]

Saturday, September 02, 2006

How We Leave The Beaten In The Well

How We Leave The Beaten In The Well

A vengeful act born out of necessity, a scholar’s translation born of prejudice and ending in legislation. The vengeful act originating from the ancient text those that are parasitic and agitated who have enjoyed and profited from these acts can and will suffer the growth of this industry. No matter your belief system, the margin to discredit has been abscessed. If you have grown to accept death in front of you, on television, death by the hundreds, by the thousands, by the millions then you are as guilty as the text, as guilty as the translator? The act of killing was easy to learn and easy to teach and so history has been translated into every language known to man and woman. Now, every man and woman not only knows how to kill but accept it.
We leave the body in the well and wait for it to rain? We leave the body in the well because we want someone to find it? The body was already dead? Pre-destined? In terms of political reality it really doesn’t matter. How many wars have been started in your lifetime and what was the body count? But wait, you’re not dead yet. So while you await your death you’ll have to keep a steady count, concentrate now.

- Chris Mansel

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Busted Windshield of American Politics

Paranoid behavior is the root of a collapsing ego. At one time all you had to do was the word communist and everyone knew where the conversation was going but then came the McCarthy hearings and suddenly there was a line in the sand. But these days the native response is to acquaint any conversation in terms of religious doctrine. So as it says in the Koran, “…your lord is not heedless of what you do.” So as you drive whatever metal implement into whom ever you are arguing with know that your actions have consequences like legislation but karma for want of a better word can not be amended.


- Chris Mansel

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Reports From The Bunker

I’ve heard that Condi Rice’s per Diem includes a small plastic baggie of salted fruit and a dispenser of face lotion easily allowed on Air Force One.

The Secret Service agents say her thrust is all-wrong but she pays for the room. They really can’t keep the earpieces in when she is going on the downbeat but it’s a good duty.

George Bush is upset that Cindy Sheehan bought some property adjacent to his in Crawford, Texas. What he is upset about the most is that she used the money from the insurance policy from her dead son to buy something. Now the Washington press core is in shock that the President now wants to enlist his daughters into military service because he has his eye on some property in Havana.

The FBI has set up a scenario in case there is a problem with John Mark Karr. A crime scene negotiator has been placed on call. The negotiator is none other than Clay Aiken.

The armed suspect arrested yesterday at the University of Virginia campus it has been discovered was asking passersby if they knew the home address of Don Blankenship because he was running low on ready cash.

After hearing of the dinner John Mark Karr enjoyed on his flight the focus will now be off fava beans and will now be on Prawns?

Prawns?

After hearing of the dinner John Mark Karr enjoyed on his flight the focus will now be off fava beans and will now be on Prawns?

- Chris Mansel

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

The Bob Kincaid Speaking Tour

The Liberal Sandbox comes to Harvard University!

Soldiers From 2 Koreas Exchange Fire - Associated Press

Soldiers from North Korea and South Korea exchanged fire along their border overnight, but no one was hurt, a South Korean military official said Tuesday.

The shooting happened shortly before sunset when North Korean soldiers fired two bullets toward a South Korean guard post in the eastern part of the Demilitarized Zone, said Maj. Kim Tae-hoon of the Joint Chiefs of Staff office.

South Korean soldiers immediately fired back six rounds, Kim said.

The motive for the initial shots from the North was unclear, and the communist country has made no comment about them, Kim said.

The U.N. Military Armistice Commission, which supervises the cease-fire that ended the 1950-53 Korean War, will ask the North for an explanation of the incident, Kim said. The war did not end with a peace treaty, meaning the two Koreas are still technically in a state of conflict.
The two sides occasionally exchange fire across their land border and at sea.

Last October, North Korean soldiers fired a tracer bullet toward South Korean soldiers along the eastern part of the border and South Korea fired back, according to the South Korean military.
Navies of the two Koreas fought deadly skirmishes off their west coast in 1999 and 2002.
The latest incident came amid tensions over the North's recent missile launches, which prompted the U.N. Security Council to pass a resolution barring U.N. member states from missile-related dealings with the North.

The communist regime has been in a protracted standoff with the U.S. and other countries over its nuclear weapons program. It has boycotted six-way talks on its nuclear program because of U.S. financial sanctions over the North's alleged counterfeiting and money laundering.
North Korea agreed in September to abandon its nuclear program in return for security guarantees and aid, but no progress has been made to implement that accord.

Friday, July 28, 2006

More Rumors

When I recently saw Bill Clinton speaking on behalf of Joe Lieberman it hit me, the only way Lieberman can win the nomination is if every pedophile pollster in Connecticut starts driving a Hybrid.

Condi Rice is going to perform in Japan at the piano. The press entourage has taken to calling this Condi trip the Bukkate Express. You’ll never see Madeline Albright pulling up her double hemmed skirt up on a crowded bus for some drunken day laborers.

President Bush in his high school yearbook was voted most likely to go down on something that might choke him, but no one had any idea it would be a pretzel.

- Chris Mansel

Friday, July 21, 2006

Rumors

There is a rumor going around Washington that Karen Hughes has trained a miniature toy poodle to feed her raw liver. The story suggests an elaborate process aboard Air Force One particularly during campaign stops in rural areas.

Ann Coulter now shrugging off the plagiarism scandal has developed a Nicole Brown Simpson fixation and is chasing around every ex-jock politician she can find who can handle a knife despite crippling arthritis.

George Bush it is said is dismissing the label of Cowboy Politics and has set his sights on the exploits of John Voight in Midnight Cowboy and is remaking himself into a stud with the help of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and several of Condi Rice’s chatty girlfriends. A cover photo for Vanity Fair has been scheduled for the first of November.

House Speaker Dennis Hastert is in Bethesda Naval Hospital with cellulites. Apparently all that intense research into stem cells has taken their toll on Hastert. Reportedly the cellulites have been located ironically in his navel and amongst the dellulitis there has been found an embedded microphone with a serial number traced back to Joe Lieberman.

George Bush Sr., the first lord of the skulls was present at the funeral of Ken Lay. Recent reports have suggested that Ken Lay has faked his death but that rumor was put to rest when Bush Sr. dove into the coffin with lay for a photo opportunity as Barbara Bush while wearing a pin that said you can’t bury my beautiful mind took the flowers from the casket and shoved what she could into her pockets.

Katie Couric has sent out a decree saying she will not go into war zones. The head leaning, calf-exposing, morning after pill saleswoman Couric has come under the radar of Internet candor. Exposing her breasts to illegal Mexican workers who were mending the catacombs at Blackrock, otherwise known as CBS headquarters, the workers were inhabited by anecdotes Couric has yet to publish under the ghostwritten book entitled, “Let Your Thighs Be Your Guide.”


- Chris Mansel

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Tales More Sinister

(Dedicated to Bob Kincaid, my political mentor)


The Inquisition was more than a hearing on the hill, more than an evening beating pollsters stupid with fuel bills and credit card receipts. No, it was the preset for the rule of law we now enjoy and watch its prejudicial heresay construct a means of governing that could have leveled the Vatican back when the rape of young boys was seen as a means to an end.
Brutality then and now is where we are, the glory of terrorizing civilians on a par with the cardinals undressing in pools of smoldering steel to garner the praise of attrition. Property or the names of those willing to engage in the vilest of activities as to shame the Marquis De Sade himself into retiring to Venice and taking up yachting. Heretics they called those who sought the truth whether it be religion or political truth. These days however we have the Patriot Act and we have that gnarled up bunny rabbit of the Down Syndrome George W. Bush. A man who would have donned a robe before the Yale society even existed. He would have marched around more than the figure of an owl set aflame among the likes of Ronald Reagan and Walter Cronkite.
These days the Inquisition is carried out on the Internet where a priest in Wisconsin can email a pedophile in the roofing business about a certain public toilet on a local highway. The internet provider complicit but not served papers under the right orderly law of freewill and crude public scrutiny, the same kind of thinking that allows the profit motive of corporations to disallow knowledge of information in their own quarterly stock report if they have taken the time to lobby and grovel in an office twice the size of your living room.
The Patriot Act owes as much to brief orders of martial law as it does the Thousand Year Reich and its view of emblems in storefront windows. It’s a cruel and dumb world we live in they would have you to believe but the same ignorance that will drive dedicated television viewers to the polls will also draw and tenderize their hindquarters to the fire and lose the ability to criticize the coals.


- Chris Mansel

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Ape Your Own Skin

Sad is the day when Ken Lay is laid away or so Vice President Dick Cheney led reporters to believe. Once in the vice president’s residence he began to crush his scrotum in a top desk drawer. Screaming at the top of his lungs, “Soft on crime, soft on crime!” His wife swigging from a bottle of rare moonshine sent to her by a man in Malaysia who had sent a raving review of her soft-core porn novel in old English text demurrers, “ Dick, slap that old cock all you want it won’t bring back your little bitch. Maybe if you screwed me once in a while rather than humping the American dream with your whore Rove.” She turns to walk back up the stairs by the front entrance and added, “Karl called earlier and said Gitmo was going to turn into a turkey shoot.”


- Chris Mansel

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Truth

"If we really cared about human rights we would have gone into Rwanda and not Iraq."


- Robert Baer

Monday, May 29, 2006

Mansel Report / Closed

I believe that truth has only one face: that of a violent contradiction.

- Georges Bataille


The caution tape covering the end of the tunnel has been burned away. The throat of American politics is gushing blood and television elects and impeaches. The political landscape is riddled with land mines that could erupt without warning. All it would take for these mines to erupt is one simple admission of the truth.
I’m disgusted and I am tired. The smell of death that is written all over the nation is only getting worse and I feel in the next year and a half will see some horrific changes. So as far as the Mansel Report is concerned the shotgun is taped to the door handle so any rattling of the door will ensure a last breath.



- Chris Mansel

Monday, May 22, 2006

The Merciless Grenades of the Far Right

If anything you can give a bit of praise to the victor when they have outfoxed the bloody smear on the nose of the hound who has been treed by the fox. The far right has established a new and convenient way of throwing the country off track as to enable them to out flank democracy and goodness. You may not have noticed it but recently the far right has announced that the only way to fix the mess that they are in is to lose the house and allow the democrats to be in charge. Oh how the charge of the light brigade has been inducted into the Iraqi war tent of oil fires.
The tactic and it was a masterful one is this. Throw as many scandals, wrong doings, and general law breaking as you can at the press and general public and as the ramparts are cleaned and sorted deposit in your war chest the scorn of your attackers and reap the rewards when the attackers come to power. Misinformation has reached the level of assassination, break-in’s, and bloody war fronts all rolled into one.
The evidence is clear. The architect of this horrific but successful ploy is Karl Rove. His second in this duel is Rupert Murdoch. Murdoch is currently courting Sen. Hillary Clinton. Who does the far right enjoy bashing more than the Clintons? Once Sen. Clinton is in office they will begin the offensive. Their plan I am sure is for Hillary to be in office for one term, after that term has expired they no doubt plan to install a candidate for another eight-year stay in the oval office.
When fear comes in at you hard and swift, stand tall and grace despair with strength and darkness. Now you know their ploy, so get to work.


- Chris Mansel

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Flashing The Hash at the Watergate (part six)

Once Karl Rove had hit a stopping point in his mind he shoved the two women into the wet grass and began taking photographs of them. As they writhed in some kind of illicit blessing of Ronald Reagan, Rove began kicking at them in his sock feet. Agents had circled the area and had re-directed tourists away. As we tried to inch closer and closer we noticed a startled Juan Williams, the regular Fox news contributor getting out of a SUV. One thing was unusual however the SUV had diplomatic plates.
Jack and I at seeing Juan Williams stood up and walked gingerly towards the scene. We had had several conversations in secret with Williams and whenever he saw us around town he would begin trembling, as he had been a bit too honest for his parties good. He had detailed one night how the party had during the 2000 election attempted to impregnate several Gore staffers by force.
We knew that if we could get a photo of Williams alongside Karl Rove kicking two half undressed women in Arlington National Cemetery we could get Williams to open up about the tree house in the White House as he has been long rumored to be the one with the apple in his mouth.
Rove was in ecstasy. He didn’t get the warning that Williams was approaching as agents had told him. As the women were beginning to scream now, the agents didn’t notice us either. As we got closer we could hear Rove’s ranting, “We’ll call this HR 666! Yea, take that Bay Buchanan betrayer of the chair!” The harder Rove kicked the women the louder they would chant, “Four more years, four more years!”

- Chris Mansel

I Am A Witness. What can I do?

This article is from the (RED) edition of The Independent, guest-edited for 16 May 2006 by Bono. Half the revenue from the edition will be donated to the Global Fund to Fight Aids.

May I say without guile, I am as sick of messianic rock stars as the next man, woman and child. I am also tired of average work being given extra weight because it's attached to something with real gravitas, like the Aids emergency. So I truly try to tread carefully as I walk over the dreams of dignity under my feet in our work for the terrible beauty that is the continent of Africa. I'm used to the custard pies. I've even learnt to like the taste of them. But before you are tempted to let fly with your understandable invective, allow me to contextualise. Not for the sake of my vanity, but for the sake of people who are depending on you - the reader - to respond to the precariousness of their lives.
Picture this: a village where the disappearance of a whole generation has left children to bring up children (the Lord of the Flies syndrome).
I'm a witness to this. What can I do?
Or this: my new friend Prudence, who even if she had access to anti-retroviral therapies would not have shared them with her now dead sister or best friend Janny, because her fellow activists were more important to keep alive.
Why? Because picture this: most activists and trained nurses cannot afford the drugs available to us in any corner chemist.
I am a witness to this. I have watched these brave and beautiful souls who are fighting a forest fire of a pandemic with watering cans, knowing they will not see the light of a day when their work will be honoured. I have been a witness to their conversations around canteen tables, deciding who will live or die, because they do not have enough pills to go round. I've seen Zackie Achmat refuse his medications until he won his action against the South African government, forcing their hand on universal access. What a witness he was. And so I testify.
These firefighters deserve fire engines with sirens and low-flying aircraft with bellies full of of rain. At the very least, they deserve their situation to merit the classification of an emergency. Code Red, like Hurricane Katrina or the tsunami in south Asia, which swept away a hundred and fifty thousand lives. These were natural catastrophes. Africa loses a hundred and fifty thousand men, women, and children every month to Aids, a wholly avoidable disaster, a preventable, treatable disease.
Colin Powell describes the tiny little virus HIV as the most lethal weapon of mass destruction on the planet. So forgive us if we expand our strategy to reach the high street, where so many of you live and work.
We need to meet you where you are as you shop, as you phone, as you lead your busy, businessy lives. Those of us who campaign on these issues feel we have made a dent on the pop consciousness with Live Aid and 8, Red Nose Day, Comic Relief and Make Poverty History. But we are still losing the battle: 9,000 new infections every day across the developing world.
There will be those that think that RED is the worst idea they've ever heard.
On the far right, we will hear the usual carping about it being Africa's own fault (the same warped logic that would pass by a drunk driver's car accident). This despite the fact that the largest increasing group of HIV-positive people are monogamous married women. We'll hear the "Africans can't take pills because they don't have watches to tell the time" line. Even though Africans have the best record of us all at sticking to their drug regimens.
On the far left, we will meet "better dead than RED", a reaction to big business that is not wholly unjustified. But given the emergency that is Aids, I don't see this as selling out. I see this as ganging up on the problem. This emergency demands a radical centre, as well as a radical edge. Creeping up on the everyday. Making the difficult easy.
Product RED cannot replace activism. For anyone who thinks this means I'm going to retire to the boardroom and stop banging my fist on the door of No. 10, I'm sorry to disappoint you. We have to keep our marching boots on and hold our leaders to account for the promises they have made to Africa - and get them to promise more. The incredible movement we saw gathering around last year's G8 is what will, in the end, win the day. But for too many people, that day will be too late. Right now, people you will never meet, who will never be able to thank you, are depending on you for the life-saving drugs which buying this paper will buy. For those people, my motivation or our (RED) motivation is irrelevant.
May I say without guile, I am as sick of messianic rock stars as the next man, woman and child. I am also tired of average work being given extra weight because it's attached to something with real gravitas, like the Aids emergency. So I truly try to tread carefully as I walk over the dreams of dignity under my feet in our work for the terrible beauty that is the continent of Africa. I'm used to the custard pies. I've even learnt to like the taste of them. But before you are tempted to let fly with your understandable invective, allow me to contextualise. Not for the sake of my vanity, but for the sake of people who are depending on you - the reader - to respond to the precariousness of their lives.
Picture this: a village where the disappearance of a whole generation has left children to bring up children (the Lord of the Flies syndrome).
I'm a witness to this. What can I do?
Or this: my new friend Prudence, who even if she had access to anti-retroviral therapies would not have shared them with her now dead sister or best friend Janny, because her fellow activists were more important to keep alive.
Why? Because picture this: most activists and trained nurses cannot afford the drugs available to us in any corner chemist.
I am a witness to this. I have watched these brave and beautiful souls who are fighting a forest fire of a pandemic with watering cans, knowing they will not see the light of a day when their work will be honoured. I have been a witness to their conversations around canteen tables, deciding who will live or die, because they do not have enough pills to go round. I've seen Zackie Achmat refuse his medications until he won his action against the South African government, forcing their hand on universal access. What a witness he was. And so I testify.
These firefighters deserve fire engines with sirens and low-flying aircraft with bellies full of of rain. At the very least, they deserve their situation to merit the classification of an emergency. Code Red, like Hurricane Katrina or the tsunami in south Asia, which swept away a hundred and fifty thousand lives. These were natural catastrophes. Africa loses a hundred and fifty thousand men, women, and children every month to Aids, a wholly avoidable disaster, a preventable, treatable disease.
Colin Powell describes the tiny little virus HIV as the most lethal weapon of mass destruction on the planet. So forgive us if we expand our strategy to reach the high street, where so many of you live and work.
We need to meet you where you are as you shop, as you phone, as you lead your busy, businessy lives. Those of us who campaign on these issues feel we have made a dent on the pop consciousness with Live Aid and 8, Red Nose Day, Comic Relief and Make Poverty History. But we are still losing the battle: 9,000 new infections every day across the developing world.
There will be those that think that RED is the worst idea they've ever heard.
On the far right, we will hear the usual carping about it being Africa's own fault (the same warped logic that would pass by a drunk driver's car accident). This despite the fact that the largest increasing group of HIV-positive people are monogamous married women. We'll hear the "Africans can't take pills because they don't have watches to tell the time" line. Even though Africans have the best record of us all at sticking to their drug regimens.
On the far left, we will meet "better dead than RED", a reaction to big business that is not wholly unjustified. But given the emergency that is Aids, I don't see this as selling out. I see this as ganging up on the problem. This emergency demands a radical centre, as well as a radical edge. Creeping up on the everyday. Making the difficult easy.
Product RED cannot replace activism. For anyone who thinks this means I'm going to retire to the boardroom and stop banging my fist on the door of No. 10, I'm sorry to disappoint you. We have to keep our marching boots on and hold our leaders to account for the promises they have made to Africa - and get them to promise more. The incredible movement we saw gathering around last year's G8 is what will, in the end, win the day. But for too many people, that day will be too late. Right now, people you will never meet, who will never be able to thank you, are depending on you for the life-saving drugs which buying this paper will buy. For those people, my motivation or our (RED) motivation is irrelevant.


BONO

Flashing The Hash at the Watergate (part five)

Any member of the press core will tell you that if you shove the head of a baby into an airsickness bag and pop the bag immediately you will completely unsettle anyone near you. The mother will confess immediately every cock she had ever sucked and whether or not she saw what she had seen and testified what she had testified to in a case against a politician. This has been done in the case against the Bush administration. We saw the tale and we were there to report it.
Jack Random and I armed with cameras, starkly open and brutal honesty, we traveled to the tomb of the unknown soldier where we had been told Karl Rove held private conversations as tourists watched two guys in dress uniform flip around rifles in peace time and during war. Rove would appear we had learned with a hat pulled down over his misshapen ears. So there we sat waiting for Rove to appear when we noticed a representative from the Fox network we had photographed once on the balcony of a hotel in Maryland. He watched as he exposed him self to a group of Catholic priests. The Priests stood motionless in the tourist bus windows.
Waiting for Karl Rove had gotten to be a favorite pastime for Jack and I. We would sometimes pay someone to tip off the Secret Service that he had seen a photograph of one of them transporting illegal aliens into the streets of San Antonio and watch as the agent shoved the tipster against the wall. We didn’t do it too often as it usually cost us a couple thousand dollars and once it took the promise of an introduction to a certain celebrity who enjoyed urine in more than a relieving manner.
As Jack listened again to the tape from the hotel I saw a couple of tourists taking a few steps backwards. I watched closely as two agents opened one of the men’s shirts to reveal a listening device. I grabbed the camera from around Jack’s neck as he cussed me loudly. The agent took notice of Rove arriving in a sedan flanked by two women.
The man with the listening device made an attempt to punch the agent in the face and the agent was beating him senseless immediately. Every tourist eyes’ went right away to the noise. Rove and the two women made their way past the tomb to section thirteen of Arlington National Cemetery. As they walked we strolled quietly by the violent outburst of several agents now subduing the individual. By the time we were in the wet grass of the cemetery they had the man down to his underwear.

- Chris Mansel

Monday, May 15, 2006

Ashes In A Pan

Dried and deposited the past holds a vacancy in any knowledgeable portion of truth. If Ambrose Bierce were around today is revised edition of The Devil’s Dictionary would have to include a special pop-up section dedicated to the way the Bush administration processes information. Maggots could pull bodies from burning wreckage better than the truth can leak out of this gestalt collection of butchered body parts lounging in the west wing.
Weapons of mass destruction, invasion of privacy, male penis envy just pick a topic for this hinterland. The doors were hardly nailed open from Scott McClellan’s exit before new Fox contributor Tony Snow hoofed in on a sow’s ear to determine the cameras position in the press briefing (outside if you are wondering.)

- Chris Mansel

Sunday, May 14, 2006

The Bizarre But True Love Between Lou Dobbs and Bill O’Reilly




The full figured, mainlined, arm banded, soft serve full fuck beast that is television news has finally struck its final blow against censorship and has allowed the likes of Lou Dobbs to rant away nightly on the pleasure of racism, border control, and the right of every wealthy American to own dogs worthy of gutting stock market analysts within an inch of Rupert Murdoch’s door. Secretly its known that Dobbs receives daily phone calls from the offices of Bill O’Reilly that are so obscene as to riddle the minds of the inhabitants of Echelon listening station the world over. It’s aid that O’Reilly spent his last raise in pay on his own satellite to relay the calls to Dobbs. On the cover of Lou Dobbs new book he is standing with his crotch in full view sources say so as to enable O’Reilly to view the full cardboard standup while he is on the air so he may manipulate him self in torrid ways.


- Chris Mansel

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Flashing The Hash at the Watergate (part four)

As we left the bar we saw a group of Secret Service running to the salon located in the Watergate. We followed behind them to see a drunken Scooter Libby rubbing mud on his face and screaming about a free facial. Karl Rove was standing across the room from Libby talking into his cell phone. The Secret Service stormed into the room and Libby twirled the chair around at them and grabbing the terrified makeup attendant he started spitting on her neck and rubbing it in and screaming in a voice reminiscent of Truman Capote, “Isn’t it pretty, isn’t it pretty!”
The agents tackled the lady and Libby and began kicking them both. Rove sat down at the front desk and began flipping through the call caddy and copying down the names. One agent turned to secure the area and noticed us photographing the scene. The agent grimaced and started toward us but he slipped in the blood pouring from the woman’s forehead.
We ran down the hallway and were almost out of the hotel when Jack suggested we head for the conference room Rove had just left. We ran across the lobby and through the door. Down the stairs we met by a cleaning crew. We flashed our I.D.’s and took the garbage bag from them for inspection. They could have cared less why we needed it or for our identifications.
Back in the car I eased into traffic as Jack fished through the bag. He began laughing hysterically when he found a list of congressmen who had participated in the Duke Cunningham hooker scandal. Rove had the names circled and beside several of the names were amounts of money and personal phone numbers. One name in particular hit us more than others, Matt Drudge.


- Chris Mansel

Friday, May 12, 2006

Footage

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Thursday, May 11, 2006

Flashing The Hash at the Watergate (part three)

In the bar we met up with a photographer who had been staying at the Watergate at the behest of the manager of the hotel in order to photograph the renovation. For his pay he was paid a flat fee and given a room at the end of a hallway on the first floor. He explained to us that more than once he had been accosted by the Secret Service for what they describe as “loitering with intent.” He explained that he had overheard some of the recording and with a smile added that maybe we might be interested in some of the photographs he had taken around the hotel. Something in the way he said this made us believe that there was something a bit more to these photos. He opened the satchel in front of him and we joined him in his booth.
The photographs were amazing. Some were of the hospital staff in compromising situations, photos of the restoration included the construction workers smoking pot and generally laying around on the job out of sight of the hotel surveillance system. As we looked Jack asked if he had anything more official, and with that question he lit up and turned towards the back of the collection to reveal covert photos of the Secret Service removing stuff from hotel rooms. In one of the photos a Secret Service agent carries a life-size sex doll made into an exact replica of G. Gordon Liddy. In another, an agent was holding a drunken Scooter Libby against the wall while he awaited the elevator. Jack leapt to his feet and stormed over to the bar and grabbed at the phone to make a call. The bartender came down the bar and said something to Jack that I didn’t hear and Jack screamed, “If you’re mother was in this kind of situation you’d be on this side of the bar asshole!” The bartender who had seen many crazed looks like the one in Jack’s eyes, many from politicians sulked back down to his newspaper.
“News desk! Hey. Mike! What would you do for a photograph of Scooter Libby being sodomized by an agent?”
The photographer looked at Jack and back down at the photograph and then to me.
“Well, you know the darkroom can do many things but these days a fraud can be spotted right away.”
I told him that it didn’t matter if the story was true or the photograph genuine. As long as it existed and was leaked in the right way it would show up on the news and get picked up by the wires.
I added, “If bullshit was the ration card of power the entirety of Washington would be bent over backwards digging corn.”


- Chris Mansel

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Flashing The Hash at the Watergate (part two)

Fear looks like hope in the tall grass and that’s where we were, two inches of steel surrounded by a hard durable casing, the smell of cordite, and the kind of smell you recognize that the weapon has been recently fired. Secret Service who when they surround someone they began chattering on their communication devices and slamming themselves in place. They took a few minutes to analyze the fake identifications we showed them and slowly there was a look of recognition in the lead agents face if I didn’t know better I thought the cocksuckers was going to drop to the street and begin his prostrations. I noticed a scar behind his right ear and Jack saw it too. It was the mark of a true believer, West Pointer. Somewhere along the line he had been burned by something, he had known the smell of human flesh being singed into an emblem.
A huge crowd had gathered around us, a crowd of civilians. The agents knew he had to save face so he immediately started ordering his agents to make way for us and reducing the citizenry to a mass of insecurities. Their violent wand of intimidation about no cameras or questions led those around us to believe we were important. I could sense the onlookers squinting their eyes and trying to remember what we looked like so as to be able to identify us if we ever showed up on the news.
After the melee Jack retrieved the recorder from the car and we quickly made our way into the Watergate. Slamming into a booth in the bar we began to listen back to the tape.
We knew we had to try and hunt up Libby but first we wanted to hire what we had managed to capture on tape. The following is what we were able to transcribe.

Two or three agents will be enough
The word is out on the limos and Duke (Cunningham) has fucked that for us.
Hell we could get some pickup for that matter. If anyone can operate a shifter on the column it’s a hooker.
How much you think it would take to get the old Arab to squat over Durbin and piss?

- Chris Mansel

Monday, May 08, 2006

Flashing The Hash at the Watergate

Television news crews surround the steps of the courthouse as Scooter Libby begins his slow walk to his car after another day of testimony. Down the street looking like a moth eaten turtle in a helmet of burnt hair sits Karl Rove slipping rounds into an eighteen shot clip. Cursing quietly under his breath Karl Rove ponders erratically the choice of taking out the cause of the spotlight on him or to empty the clip into his face.
Jack Random and I were strolling by having recently relocated to Virginia to research a book on terror warnings, bank defaults and their ties to the white supremacist movement. I noticed Rove slamming his weapon into the dash of the car and jus as I level the camera lens Rove hit the accelerator and sped down the street in reverse. The press up the street hardly took notice having heard the sounds of violence in the streets of Washington before.
Then Scooter Libby made his way out of the courthouse and to his car. The press following and asking questions but not expecting any response. Like prison guards watching the monotony of inmates coming and going they hardly notice when a guard is attacked and the alarm doesn’t sound but the alarm will sound for Karl Rove soon enough.
We tracked Rove to the Watergate Hotel and down the stairs into a conference room. Jack stood by the door with a high-powered microphone to ease drop on whatever would go on. I questioned the hotel staff tipping those on the lowest rungs of the pay scale and threatening with expulsion those who never got their hands dirty. Jack captured the goods and came back out to the car to play back the tape and as he hit rewind secret service agents surrounded the car. We showed our hands and they drew their weapons. Exiting the vehicle we were ask for identification. Some time ago we had made two press I.D.’s that showed we worked for the Washington Times that is owned by the Rev. Sun Yung Moon, a name that would open any door in the city of Washington, certainly the beltway. As we were held against the car we noticed Scooter Libby driving by in a taxi and exiting into the Watergate.

- Chris Mansel

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Maggots For The Prosecution (for Bob Kincaid)

At long last the bloody scared hand of seething animal skin inhibition has finally escaped the last or more current beast that is America. Marchers of illegal aliens, the discussion to remove the all-seeing eye of the live feed, the camera from the White House press room and the first indecision and false start attempt to reap blood from the tragedy of September 11 have all come into view.
Pennies over the eyes of trauma victims and the incoming devastation in New Orleans this hurricane season, the requests for former FEMA manager Michael Brown for interviews, face time, leads the citizen of the world to strike back with words but not votes. It is no longer enough to kill a mockingbird; today you must define that act of violence by downed power lines and residue from discharging the weapon.
Like the German army in the Russian snow we have become the bodies thrown across ox carts like Napoleon except these bodies travel in first class with unseen American flags falling from the skies, the thread of fabric catching on every wire service radar. Bats hang in desolation waiting for darkness to jump out like political consultants, precinct captains in the mid-term elections to label the war as high gas prices and not body bags. The winning of Iraqi hearts and minds left to postmortem explanations.


- Chris Mansel

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Bad Boys, Bad Boys....What you gonna do....

"That sounds like the kind of deal that could only be worked out in Palm Beach County."

- Wolf Blitzer, CNN
April 29, 2006

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Scatter The Market For Bloody Cattle

“In no world but a fallen one could such lands exist.”

The Encantadas


There’s an epidemic in vending machines across the country. Chemically laced bacteria are being transferred through all that search the coin return for change. The certain deaths of many citizens have gone unnoticed. The first death in the nation’s capital however sent Wolf Blitzer himself running to the situation room. Blitzer fell to his knees and began pulling at and turning knobs that were not there. At Fox studios the situation was worse. A call came in from the limousine of Rupert Murdoch. Murdoch was on fifth avenue and said for a camera crew to quickly get to where he was and he would pay cheaply dressed New Yorkers to search vending machines for change then the y could dump the bodies into the subway stop nearby.
I was at home in Alabama searching the internet for the board of directors for a large chemical company when a call came in from an unnamed source that identified his information as classified. He spoke of the return of the rare three-sided coin and the true source of the bacteria. He said he would catch a flight to Virginia where a hotel room that had been reserved for the families of the victim’s to assemble and be interviewed by the pool by the Fox news affiliate.


- Chris Mansel

Monday, April 24, 2006

Bodies of Coincidence

What we have in this war on terrorism is a conflict between drug dealers being hunted by a government guilty of drug trafficking. Like a rancid piece of clothing hurtling from a clothesline toward a wall of debris you might make the comparison that this war is just another rock thrown in the most obscene presidential crime in the last one hundred years.
Somewhere in the earth the cadaver of John Wilkes Booth now turned to dust eats away at the insect that crawls by with a twisted memory. How historians of Abraham Lincoln can explain to their readers as if they were a gnat on the wall and why and how the motivations existed for the murder. To define the thoughts of Booth in their own words and for those who read their work to believe them is to believe the official story of any government and its actions.



- Chris Mansel

Bodies of Coincidence

What we have in this war on terrorism is a conflict between drug dealers being hunted by a government guilty of drug trafficking. Like a rancid piece of clothing hurtling from a clothesline toward a wall of debris you might make the comparison that this war is just another rock thrown in the most obscene presidential crime in the last one hundred years.
Somewhere in the earth the cadaver of John Wilkes Booth now turned to dust eats away at the insect that crawls by with a twisted memory. How historians of Abraham Lincoln can explain to their readers as if they were a gnat on the wall and why and how the motivations existed for the murder. To define the thoughts of Booth in their own words and for those who read their work to believe them is to believe the official story of any government and its actions.



- Chris Mansel

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Ravaged and Bruised At Sea Level

The great suede back split vein shiny headed fiend that is Scott McClellan left the White House the other day and strode off into the private sector as the U.S. press core gathered to cover him in spit and to urinate on the tires of his four door tan sedan as it wheeled through the traffic of Washington. A few blocks down the street away from the barricades he had enjoyed for so long and into the crime riddled streets that even the press core shies away from and he was instantly recognized as the man who had crouched in the alley behind a YMCA basement window six weeks before.
My partner and I Jack Random scuttled towards the gates of hell known as Camp David and awaited the roar of the presidential helicopter to thrush at the bending trees that scatter the garbage cans of the locals into the streets. We interviewed the locals until we were escorted to a narrow passageway through the governmental hedgerow and were exposed to the latest installments of hi-tech weaponry being used to combat the unwanted advances of the president’s cabinet upon those senate and congressional pages who could not find more honest work in the Washington subways.


- Chris Mansel

EMMA

In meetings the audience is distracted by a thousand non-essentials. The speaker, though ever so eloquent, cannot escape the restlessness of the crowd, with the inevitable result that he will fail to strike root. In all probability he will not even do justice to himself.


- Emma Goldman

Friday, April 21, 2006

Opinion Dynamics




As I stated the opinion poll will be called by another name, and that name according to Fox is opinion dynamics. Two definitions of the word dynamic from the American Heritage Dictionary are:

1. Characterized by continuous change, activity, or progress: a dynamic market.
2. Marked by intensity and vigor; forceful.

Neither one accurately describes the plummeting account of this administration. There is continuous change however, the change is negative, there is no progress and the activity is again, negative. There is no intensity or vigor but the negative spiral is forceful. But whenever did you expect the Fox Network to understand what they were talking about?



- Chris Mansel

Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Filth That Produced Skin

For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not.


- First Samuel Chapter1, verse 13



As the rats have left the rotted and sinking ship of the Bush administration so therefore goes the wrath of the true believers upon those who would seek to undo the work laid out by the evildoers. The shouts of four more years silent now, faced with an approval rating that may soon be known by another name, the legacy of Rumsfeld, the gray area of the vice president, the donning of masks by Delay, Card, and Powell.
Looking toward the campaign season, past the midterms. There are names on the horizon but those names were placed there by the media and have no validity outside of the bitter rivalries between print and media.
In the news today 500 students are to be trained and shipped to Iraq. The only problem is that these 500 students are from the war-ravaged nation of Uganda. This poor nation who needs every able bodied citizen for work in their own country are to be trained to go fight in Mr. Bush’s War. The Bush machine has deviled the world, their iniquity congratulated by the electorate. George Bush is the filth that produced a cancerous skin so pocked it will level the immune system of our now fabled democracy for years, decades to come.

- Chris Mansel

A Day In The Life

(Based on Lennon/McCartney’s A Day In The Life)

I was the news today oh boy
I was tortured at Abu Ghraid
and even though I was a west point grad
and I was left to laugh
You saw the photographs
they blew my leg off in the war
even though the armor I arranged
a group of pundits sat and stared
they’d seen faces like mine before
they we’re all quite sure
That my death was an administration score

my death was in a film today oh boy
the president had just won the war
a nation voted and turned away
but I hadn’t even looked
I was hung on the hook
I’d love to tell you why

woke up got out of bed
twin towers fell on my head
found my way outside to a cloud of smoke
And looking up I felt the earth quake
saw my wife jump and hit the ground flat
made the news just like that
ran into cameras and cops and mayors
Somebody spoke and somebody screamed

I read the news today oh boy
ten churches burned in the old new south
although the churches were small
the media had to film them all
now they know how it looked not to long ago
I’d love to tell you why

- Chris Mansel

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The Perjury of Dissent

If you follow the current pattern of dissent you’ll see a tinge of red muddying the carpet of right and wrong. Activists will explain to you that the Bush administration has lied and is acting criminally. Very few will admit that the greatest threat to the Democratic Party is the Democratic Party. It has been labeled the party with no ideas because no one in the leadership can agree on a strategy. This is common knowledge, but where to begin?
First, you cannot govern by arguing who gets face time on television. You cannot govern while there are more divisions in the party than one. You will never overcome the disability of chaos unless the rule of chaos actually achieves its intent and several random acts actually converge and act as one. Finally, you cannot hope to achieve the office of the presidency without a dynamic candidate.
An extreme deterrent in the success of the Democratic Party is the lack of action in the voters, the so-called true believers. One strong believer can achieve quite a bit but one who recruits many to do as he or she does wins an election. Howard Dean mobilized the Internet and made history with a digital grassroots movement never seen before. His campaign had incredible momentum until a sound byte sent his campaign spiraling, but that isn’t the whole truth. His campaign fell apart because his campaign allowed it to. If Howard Dean would have appeared on television, on every major network and said, “I am not ashamed of that scream. In fact I plan on screaming all across this country until Election Day” the situation might have been different. The fault? Allowing the media to tell you that your message doesn’t matter, what matters is one scream.

- Chris Mansel

Witnessing The Burning of the Last Refuge (for Bob Kincaid aka “The Voice of Reason”)

Disturbing incursions, wars over ghosts in the administration, immigration all of these things combine to install a national irrationality that has spewed over its edges, spilling across an already open border we find ourselves as a nation squealing about the smallest of events and discussing television when faced with the realities of our time.

Backgrounds becoming public, war supplies going public, entourages touring bases in war zones. This is a time in which the enemy has custody of the situation room. A time when prisons across the world, conditions in a prison run by a government that enacted the death penalty as a rule of law, when conditions in American prisons grow like dangerous chemicals under the lens, when AIDS almost guarantees a twenty-year sentence in a maximum security institution a life sentence. After the events of Sept. 11, 2001 sales of American flags soared to new heights while attacks on Arab civilians by flag owners became rampant.

Elections have now become suspect; campaigns have begun endorsing religion over law, religion over policy, and religion against the first amendment. Lobbyists have finally been targets of scrutiny while any real change will come about slowly by politicians who vote themselves raises on a regular basis while cutting spending for education. The Patriot Act ensures the now defunct act of censorship, when speaking your mind becomes the airing of the charges against you, and the nine hundred pound elephant in the room has had his benefits cut while serving in a war zone.

- Chris Mansel

Thursday, April 06, 2006

World Bank Cuts Grant To Uganda

The East African (Nairobi) NEWS

March 28, 2006 Posted to the web March 28, 2006 By David Kaiza, Special CorrespondentNairobi

The World Bank has cut Uganda's fifth Poverty Reduction Support Operation fund by 10 per cent.
The World Bank Country Manager for Uganda Grace Yabrudy, told Finance Minister Ezra Suruma that the bank directors decided to reduce the $150 million grant to $135 million because of its concerns over increased public sector expenditure.
Out of the $135 million, $22.5 million is not a grant, but as credit, thereby reducing the substantial grant to $113.5 million.
The World Bank's concern is that Uganda is putting more money into public administration expenditure at the expense of poverty eradication.
Despite the reduction in the grant, it looks unlikely that government will act on the caution, following the creation of nearly 16 new districts, 13 of which are already operational with an additional 14 new Members of Parliament. Equally, the government has promised to pay the salaries of local government councillors, whose numbers run into the thousands.
For five years now, the Bank has, under the Poverty Reduction Support Programme automatically been unequivocally extending grants to the Uganda government. This grant is therefore the first indication that the Bank was becoming uncomfortable with the government's reluctance to act on matters affecting how money is used in the country. In her remarks to the minister, Ms Yabrudy said, the Bank wanted to see reduced annual budget allocation for public administration. "Once again, we request the government to pay close attention to this critical issue and to ensure that this trend is reversed in the coming fiscal year," she said.
A semi-annual budget performance report for 2005/06 shows that State House spent an additional 14.6 per cent on its wage budget and overshot its non-wage recurrent budget by 52.4 per cent.
The Public Service spent an additional 18.7 per cent of its budget, coming mostly from non-wage recurrent and development expenditures, which spent additional 39.8 per cent and 60.3 per cent respectively. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs overspent on wages by 12.7 per cent.
The Bank also said it wanted Uganda to show seriousness in fighting corruption - the most recent prominent case being that of the theft of funds from the Global Fund Against Malaria, Aids and Tuberculosis which led to a suspension of the grant to Uganda.
The Bank also wants the government to be stringent in public finance management to reduce corruption. It also asked the government to work towards reducing development disparities between northern Uganda and the rest of the country by bringing the Kony war to an end.
The Bank sounded an alarm on the runaway population growth in the country. It urged the country to, "adopt measures to address its exceptionally high population growth rate which impedes progress toward the Millennium Development Goals."
The Bank chose the occasion of the grant agreement, which for the first time was signed in Kampala as opposed to the traditional Washington DC, site to issue an uncharacteristically strong worded advice to Uganda.

Copyright © 2006 The East African. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com).

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Tuesday Follies for April 4, 2006

Katherine Harris’ campaign staff having been fired has gathered in a nearby motel to be debriefed by an experienced group of trauma specialists. One heart attack was reported and three of the former staffers returned to the fray by reporting to work for John McCain.
Harris was recently lunching with soon to be anchor for CBS Katie Couric. Couric tilted her head to one side in her mock serious look accompanied by the requisite black horn rimmed glasses while Harris thrust her chest into the face of every waiter or porter that got anywhere near their table. Two waiters quit in protest.

It will be announced that Joe Pesci may play Tom Delay in the movie version of his life. Tom Delay announced through a press spokesperson that he appreciated Pesci’s performance in Casino and hoped to have a few dream sequences where Pesci could kick and stab several of his former opponents on the hill.


- Chris Mansel

1968, April 4

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Next Century (for Woody)

The boss man comes to tell the man
You’ve got to plow the field
I’ll feed you on dirt and grime
And day old onion peels
The worker raised his hatchet
He raised up his scared hand
He tied that the boss to the plow
And headed for the promise land

You can call me clever
You can call me rain
But when I pull down that lever
I pull a union name


- Chris Mansel

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Beltway Hostels

As Tucker Carlson loosens his tie, as Bill O’Reilly in his dressing room hovers over the hot plate cooking up a new batch of falafel’s, as Paula Zahn spreads her make-up across the mirror in her car while performing an unnatural act and television crews the world over open the first of what will be several cold beers the President of the United States curses loudly and stumbles over to the television to change the channel having lost the remote for the third time that day.
Earlier in the day the President remarked to a crowd of onlookers who were touring the White House, the president having wandered into their group, the president remarked, “Why in the hell are there so many Mexicans protesting in France?” The White House tour guide attempts some apologies to the group as aides pull the president back into a narrow hallway and the day continues as before.


- Chris Mansel

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Warlord Charles Taylor Arrested

At 3:59 am the Associated Press International is reporting that Charles Taylor has been found and arrested in Nigeria. It was reported today that President Bush would not meet with the Nigerian President unless Taylor was found so you can surmise that the meeting will take place and that oil will be discussed and that the violence and death will be brushed aside at least in private.

- Chris Mansel

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Andrew Card's resignation

The real reason for Andrew Card’s resignation is a complicated story. It involves a paternity lawsuit between Ken Mehlman and Ann Coulter, the fact that Andrew Card was having an affair with Ken Mehlman according to phone records. The ever controversial Ann Coulter’s sexuality can be tied to the 27th anniversary today of the incident at Three Mile Island. Karl Rove upon learning the truth headed back up to the situation room to watch online several webcams of the devastation in New Orleans while swilling a beer.

- Chris Mansel

Tuesday Follies, March 28, 2006

In a week that saw Supreme Court justice made an obscene gesture in Boston, a week that saw Lou Dobbs condemning protestors for protesting on Caesar Chavez day. Pat Robertson may soon announce that he has tried to hire snipers to take random shots at protestors in Los Angeles.

It is released that the parents of former Iraqi hostage hid that their Christian son was gay. This item hit the wires from Planetout Network and is not being discussed in the mainstream media. Parents ashamed of their son by not discussing his sexual preference while boasting of his religious beliefs.

On a day, which saw, protests around the country and even in Boston, Massachusetts it is interesting to note that the U.S. Immigration office in Boston was closed today to be re-painted, it is interesting to note also that while you are protesting if you change your mind to enter the country legally or to request to apply for citizenship you must wait until the paint dries.


- Chris Mansel

Monday, March 27, 2006

The Tracks Are To The Train as The Hole Is To The Shovel

“Most maggots will bury themselves in the soil.”

- Jessica Snyder Sachs

“We all fat creatures else to fat us, and we fat ourselves for maggots. Your fat king and your lean beggar is but variable service- two dishes, but to one table. That’s the end.”

- Hamlet (Act 4, Scene 3)


An unspoken about facet in the putrefaction process is the ability of the republican candidate to speak to a crowd of onlookers and to shrivel the truth down to its most incessant form of decay. Take a photograph of a victim in Kabul and hold it up to the mirror and what do you see? The candidate may see peace on the upswing, but I see a father or a son, a soldier or an activist.
I would like to think that the republican candidate truly believes he sees peace in the photograph but deep down I think he knows the honesty in the image. Politics is a game of one up man’s ship to a degree of causalities, hearings, photo ops and the kind of hatred that will level a village on the other side of the earth to prove an individuals place at the fictional table.
A supposed conversation:

Citizen/Aide: Congressman you must not elevate the level of discourse that now exists in the House.

Congressman: You think I shouldn’t comment on the item in the news that says that bodies won’t be stacked up in the streets of Iraq if we stay in Iraq, but if we pull out anarchy will break out?

Citizen/Aide: Yes sir.

Congressman: You don’t think anarchy has already broken out in Baghdad?

Citizen/Aide: With all due respect sir of course it has.

Congressman: I know it has. We captured a ruthless dictator that was hand delivered to us by his own troops and since then we have managed to drain an entire oil rich country of its natural resources, we have fueled and or created a need for terrorists in a country that hate the very existence of suicide bombers.

Citizen/Aide: But sir…

Congressman: This democracy of ours is set up to fail, without our failure the rest of the world cannot remind us constantly of our worth.”


And so the business of a country, an economy, a judicial system and the contents of a congressman’s heart are due to the fact that the glass is not half empty or half full, the glass is not a glass. Who is the formidable adversary in the room? Greed.


- Chris Mansel

Saturday, March 25, 2006

The Medici Having Strung the Bow With the Intestines of the Weak...

If you stretch humor to its very end you will find sorrow staring back at you with an unnerving glare that will find you ashamed and alone in the room. To take the affairs of the government with a nudge and a grin is to take your life and the lives of those around you with neglect and scorn. Take Hurricane Katrina for example. The water has receded but the tragedy continues.
Our government has found it prudent to extend reimbursement and waivers and guidance on where to stay. Here is the link. But before you go to the link keep in mind that the victims of Hurricane Katrina had to wait, wait for what seemed an eternity for any help at all. But let’s celebrate that those who work for the government can be reimbursed. God bless America, let’s all sing.


http://www.gsa.gov/Portal/gsa/ep/contentView.do?programId=9704&channelId=-15943&ooid=16365&contentId=17943&pageTypeId=8203&contentType=GSA_BASIC&programPage=%252Fep%252Fprogram%252FgsaBasic.jsp&P=MTT

A quote to look for:


“As a result of the catastrophic destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina, agencies should consider delaying all non-essential TDY and relocation to the affected locations for a period of 90 days. This is especially important with relocation travel because the 120-day maximum for TQSE cannot be extended due to statutory restrictions.”


I wonder how the victims of Hurricane Katrina would feel to know that the government employees who visit the area could spend how they wish because they will be reimbursed. Meanwhile the victims having depleted the meager funds allowed to them are scraping together whatever they can to survive. We are going to tear down your house so please fill in the right forms and get them into us by the end of business Friday? The teeth of the nation are embroiled in the regurgitation of an uncaring and unfeeling seat of power.


- Chris Mansel

Thursday, March 23, 2006

A Tribute To The Late Comic Mitch Hedberg

I went to a press conference the other day. At least I think it was a press conference cause there were a lot of people standing around. I was in the White House after all so I figured what the hell…ask some questions.
Here are some of the questions I asked.

Why do they call it a pressroom when everybody sits in different chairs?

Does it bother anyone that you all went to college to ask questions of people with the name Bush and Dick?

If the President choked on a pretzel does that mean he could deep throat a Scooby snack? Everybody knows that Scooby snacks are smaller. Bush has had us all in the mystery machine for years…now it makes sense.

Why are all of you in the press reporting that Bush’s approval ratings are low? Why don’t you look on the bright side? His disapproval ratings are going through the roof. Be positive.

- Chris Mansel

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

A Historic Win In Florence, Alabama

A Historic Win In Florence, Alabama
www.TammyIrons.com

An historic win in District One in Florence, Alabama for the Democratic Party, Tammy Irons unofficially carried sixty-one percent of the vote. A message from Tammy Irons from her site, www.TammyIrons.com,

"Twice now Republicans outside of our area have come into Florence for the purpose of attempting to influence the outcome of the special election to be held this Tuesday for State Representative, District 1. Several months ago, the Montgomery Republicans attempted to get other Republicans to run against my opponent, William Smith, and ultimately against me in the general election. This attempt failed. Now, this week, at the 11th hour, the Republican Party of Birmingham (as authorized by my opponent) bankrolled a negative mass mail out to voters in District 1 falsely stating my position on certain issues. The truth is that the Republicans of Birmingham have no clue as to my position on the issues."

Appearing on WHNT tonight, a local news channel, Irons responded, "I am proud of the positive campaign I ran. I am glad I won this election on my merits and not someone else's demerit." Visiting the political headquarters of Tammy Irons with my daughter I was glad to see the smiling faces of many I grew up knowing. I saw Tammy's parents smiling and hopeful, I saw Mayor Bobby Irons and his wife arrive. Tammy who was very busy welcoming and thanking those present for their support to take a few minutes to greet my young daughter and to encourage her to think politically about the world around her.
It's a great day for the Democratic Party and for Alabama women in politics.
Irons is the first woman to win the position of State Representative in District One.

- Chris Mansel

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