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