Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Democracy Dies in America, But Few Seem to Really Care


"We want this city to re-emerge. As I said, I can't imagine America without a vibrant New Orleans. It's just a matter of timing. We're cautious about encouraging people to return at this moment of history."
- Has Dick Cheney already landed there and declared New Orleans a parking lot for Halliburton? Washington, D.C., September 19, 2005

"Listen, I, I, I wanna to thank, uhh, leaders of the -- in the faith, and uhh -- faith-based and community-based community for being here, we've got people who represent thousands of volunteers who are in the midst of helping save lives.
- Not sure if we really need a definition for "community-based community", White House, September 6, 2005

"Here's what I believe. I believe that the great city of New Orleans will rise again and be a greater city of New Orleans. I believe the town where I used to come -- from Houston, Texas, to enjoy myself, occasionally too much -- will be that very same town, that it will be a better place to come to."
- Dubya pledges to make New Orleans a frat boy party town once again, New Orleans, Louisiana, September 2, 2005

"Well, I could be wrong, but I believe - uh - diversity is an old wooden ship that was used during the Civil War era."
- Ron Burgundy, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy

Hector Straussman, my Paraguayan press agent, called me collect from Washington last night and told me that I was seriously wrong and mistaken about Our Child Preznut. "I know you won't believe this shit," he said, "but Dubya is a very different person than the way they make him out to be on television - and everything you've been saying about him is all wrong. I just figured that you oughta know ... "

I reminded Hector that his grandparents were escaped Nazi's and told him I would call back after the Cowboys-Redskins tilt, which was suddenly getting interesting. I was getting three points, and Dallas had just missed a field goal ... Dubya could have been Jimmy the Greek at that moment: He was dead to me. The whole fallout from the FEMA chinese fire drill was like the sound of a dripping faucet in the darkness, even though ESPN was getting all Jerry Lewis-like with its telethon.

But Hector ignored me, persistent with his line of thought ... He sounded very creepy and eerily drained, like he had spent the entire weekend hardwired with little electrodes attached to his brain beaming only FOX News. He babbled something about Dubya not being what anyone thought he was - that deep within him, beyond the cameras, lurked the shadow of genuine poet-warrior and part-time philosopher laureate.

"He is more intelligent than Ben Franklin," Hector said. "When it's all said and done, he will be bigger than FDR and will stand in history larger than Abraham Lincoln on his best day."

I almost choked on my tongue. "You lying bastard," I shot back. "I knew that your Nazi genes would infect you someday. Are you on the payroll now? Christ, you sound like Armstrong Williams."

"You, of all people, need to know the truth," he said. "I'm just trying to clue you in before the march of history spells doom on your work. And it's really good work ... by the way." ... His cellphone started ringing and I could hear passing cars in the distance, then Hector returned back to the payphone receiver speaking all kinds of twisted mumbo jumbo.

"Buddy, the president - Dubya - has read your work," he was stammering, almost incoherently. "They had me up at the Big House last night, all alone with the man. We drank Wild Turkey in front of the fireplace and ate some of the tastiest chicken fingers I ever had and listened to the his Coldplay collection and Dubya got a little emotional about things in New Orleans, then he went on and told me he was the last great social engineer left in the American political landscape, in the time honored tradition of B.F. Skinner and LBJ's Great Society."

"Never!" I shouted. "And don't ever try drinking with me again. The concept of drinking with somebody who once drank with Dubya is too much to handle. Don't you know it's the two minute warning?"

I sighed heavily. He finally lost his way, just like Christopher Hitchens did after 9/11. But here was Hector Straussman - one of the meanest and deadliest sharks in the publicist game - telling me how he had spent an entire night debating with Dubya about the relationship between the Greek and Roman cultures and how they influenced Alighieri's concept of Hell in Dante's Inferno and how the Romans stole almost their entire civilization from the Greeks except the notion of sin ... smoking Gauloises Blondes cigarettes and shedding tears at times while the preznut kept playing and replaying All Along the Watchtower by Jimi Hendrix on his 60GB iPod, belting out the familiar guitar riffs which felt more like a wall of feedback and distortion careening out of control by way of an alabaster-colored Bose SoundDock.

"Awesome rig," Hector said, "he must have 5,000 illegally downloaded songs on that thing, but Dubya swears it's his personal stash and he never makes CD copies ... The man really appreciates music, especially classic rock-and-roll and heavy metal. He even has Metallica and U2 bootlegs on his backup harddrive, which he got from the bands themselves."

Better get my phone lines swept for bugs, I thought. They finally flipped someone close to me, just like John Gotti felt when he learned that Sammy the Bull reached out for the Federal Witness Protection program; Hector jumped ship and he's landed in their camp.

"You treacherous freak! Don't ever call this number anymore!" I shouted at him. "I'm leaving for Mazatlan tomorrow, uh, for an extended vacation. I don't know where you got my number, but lose it! For the hundredth time, stay away from me!"

"Moron!" he shouted. "You know with these connections I could get you on Air Force One for the next trip to New Orleans? It would be me, you, Dubya and the Neville Brothers. We could survey the damage and discuss the events of the day with the president, eat some gumbo, get a leg up with the locals. We would be on the A-list, partner." ... and then he stated telling me how the preznut - half-crazed on absinthe and curious intentions, with yet another powerful hurricane bearing down on the Gulf Coast - would be arriving in the Crescent City this weekend with no Secret Service protection and a red Lamborghini Diablo Roadster Momo with a 10-pack CD changer and its original Italian license plates.

It was a difficult thing to swallow. Hector was a true professional, at one time - and Dubya's daddy was a former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. This was a curious and uncanny coincidence; and especially unusual, given Hector's strange fixation on Dubya, which made me uncomfortable and extremely suspicious.

"You know why he likes you?" Hector said. "He likes you because you butcher Scripture just like he does. Dubya loves a little Scripture. He can recite The Book of Revelations from top to bottom with no breaks." Right about there, Hector's voice became shallow and seemed more distant than before:

"And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen ... " Hector paused for a long moment, then he continued with a solitary yet ceremonial tone, which disturbed me even further. "And has become the haunt of devils and a lodging for every foul spirit and dirty loathsome fowl. Now heaven, celebrate her downfall, and all you saints, apostles and prophets: God has given judgement for you against her - "

The September 11 allegory, right out of the wingnut playbook. I laughed, more like a discordant caterwaul, but Hector failed to notice it.

"Behind him, dressed in linen of dazzling white", he rambled on, "rode the armies of heaven on white horses. From his mouth came a sharp sword to strike the pagans with; He is the one who will rule them with an iron sceptre and tread out the wine of Almighty God's fierce anger."

"Okay, stop right there," I said. "The idea of Dubya cruising around in a federal disaster zone in the perfect Italian sportscar and paraphrasing the Book of Revelations is too bizarre - even for me."

I was getting sick, and said nothing more. Hector babbled on, drifting from one unhinged story to another, like he was the Dennis Hopper character in Apocalyse Now and Dubya was his personal Colonel Kurtz or a spiritual svengali or America's Dalai Lama of the damned. It defied logic and it made no sense.

None of his ramblings did, for that matter. Dubya was a pansexual Pandora's Box of treachery and freakishness, born deep in the bowels of Nowhereville, Texas. Nobody really liked him and very few people in Washington wanted to be seen in the same picture frame unless it was tossed into a lit fireplace or raging bonfire. There was something disturbing about him, the quiet voices said - a sense of a deadly organic being that was morphing upon itself, like a corpse bloating in the New Orleans sun. It was inconceivable that a petty thief and unhinged frat boy could be leader of the free world and speeding around the bayou at night, squealing like a demented pig about alternative rock and the kings of the East joining the forces of the North and turning against world civilization, burning it to the ground.

Welcome to the Garden of Agony, Sparky, and watch yourself. We may be a smart, free-thinking kind of nation and the boys packing it tight in the White House Press Room are getting antsy ... the New World Order that Dubya's pappy talked about is now ruled by crooked evangelists and tinpot theologians that seem more Trojan Horse than divine inspiration. Did the real Jesus freaks put one of their own in the Big House - twice - only to have God's secret agenda run a naked reverse on the Truth as defined in the eyes of Crazy Pat Robertson and Radical Racist Cleric Jerry Fallwell - King Mullah and Grand Ayatollah to the panoramic and pervasive view of American Taliban, also known as "the red states" on pundit TV, the same region for whom God can't quite seem to cut some slack in this apocalyptic hurricane season of the witch.

There was something very wrong about Hector, deeply deeply wrong, even strange ... Yet Hector appeared to believe in these things about Dubya, just as American Taliban wants us to believe in them.

It was like hearing the $250.00 Neiman-Marcus cookie recipe and the Great Kidney Harvest Caper urban myths, but this time with religious props and bad haircuts and rapturous exaltations.

I slammed down the phone and felt betrayed for a while, watching the Redskins make the spread. Then, I made the journey back to pagan-like bliss - the kind of rational peace that requires neither a preacher nor a shrink - with five hundred more in my pocket and minus one Paraguayan press agent gone batshit and insane.

Stay classy, San Diego.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

The End of An Era: Orgy of the Dumb


Dubya the Liberal and Semi-Merciful ... The Chimperor has gone so far to the Right that he can now be called a French Socialist ... Chimpy takes center stage in the Gulf while Cheney is turning the screws with a Halliburton bullhorn ... They came to Washington to decrease the size of government, and little did the wingnuts and fundies know at the time - the Rethugs meant decrease our emergency services and say goodbye to the safety net ... And by the way, where is Osama Bin Laden and should we now call him Keyser Soze?

"Katrina exposed serious problems in our response capability at all levels of government. And to the extent that the federal government didn't fully do its job right, I take responsibility. I want to know what went right and what went wrong. I want to know how to better cooperate with state and local government."
- If you're searching for any degree of remorse from Dubya, this is about it, White House, September 13, 2005

REPORTER: Did they misinform you when you said that no one anticipated the breach of the levees?
DUBYA: No, what I was referring to is this. When that storm came by, a lot of people said we dodged a bullet. When that storm came through at first, people said, whew. There was a sense of relaxation, and that's what I was referring to. And I, myself, thought we had dodged a bullet. You know why? Because I was listening to people, probably over the airways, say, the bullet has been dodged. And that was what I was referring to. Of course, there were plans in case the levee had been breached. There was a sense of relaxation in the moment, a critical moment. And thank you for giving me a chance to clarify that.
- Like Team Gonzography, you're probably wondering if he would clarify who constituted the "lot of people", or what became of the plans for the levee breach, or perhaps just explain the "sense of relaxation"? New Orleans, Louisiana, September 12, 2005

ROGER "VERBAL" KINT: "And like that he was gone. Underground. Nobody has ever seen him since. He becomes a myth, a spook story that criminals tell their kids at night. 'Rat on your pop, and Keyser Soze will get you.' And no-one ever really believes."
DAVE KUJAN: "Do you believe in him, Verbal?"
ROGER "VERBAL" KINT: "Keaton always said, 'I don't believe in God, but I'm afraid of him.' Well I believe in God, and the only thing that scares me is Keyser Soze."
- "The Usual Suspects" 1995

A man can convince anyone he's somebody else, but never himself.

For a while I was content to return to my quiet life away from all the commentary and outrage, living in a distant place where any sudden sound at night means that something is about to happen. When you hear it you jump up, alarmed - considering all the ruthless alternatives for a moment, what the hell just happened out there.

More times than I care to recall, it is nothing. But there are times ... it's so very hard to keep quiet when the world is sinking into level upon level of shit and swamp water, while most of us sit back with Cable TV beaming the days, hours and minutes until it slips into a comfortable routine. Bodies, national guardsmen, helicopters ... this is no time to relax; and while the message machine tries to drown out the failures of our disaster relief efforts with the most salacious methods of assessing blame - not seen since Donald Segretti used a faked letter on Democratic presidential candidate Edmund Muskie's letterhead, which falsely alleged that U.S. Senator Henry "Scoop" Jackson, a fellow Democrat, had an illegitimate child with a 17-year-old and issued a bogus letter containing offensive comments about African Americans.

Segretti called these frathouse pranks ratfucking. Just another terminal whackjob who bypassed the Peace Movement and Love Generation altogether, he was nothing more than a tormented mutation who never developed a human conscience or an atom of regret. Segretti reportedly checked into the Benson Hotel in Portland, Oregon in September 1971 carrying $500,000 in cash with a plan to hire prostitutes to seduce Senator Jackson. A former military prosecutor and civil lawyer, Segretti operated a ruthless campaign of political sabotage against the Democrats in Nixon's 1972 re-election effort. In 1974, he served 4 1/2 months in prison after pleading guilty to three misdemeanor counts of distributing illegal campaign literature. Segretti, never long in the shame department, briefly threw his hat into the ring as a candidate for Superior Court judge in Orange County in 1995, but was forced to withdraw after only a week, stating that the shadow of Watergate hung over the campaign.

The old gang of ratfuckers is scattered in the wind today, blown into many directions and only resurface when the office of Preznut is in the balance. But the old standard still flies in the Big House - or at least in the West Wing where the newest ratfucker on the dance card is Ubermensch Karl Rove, who never missed an opportunity to burn an intelligence estimate or covert agent. Since the salad days of 9/11, when Dubya first discovered the power of bullhorns, his administration has been extremely successful at blowing off its citizens and misleading the country and treating the press like a serial rapist with a multi-colored mohawk haircut. All of his campaigns and all the meaningless rhetoric he used throughout his political existence were based on the simple and tired impression that Dubya was a high plains tough guy who went to Yale and stumbled repeatedly in life until he reached middle age, when he discovered that Laura had a vagina and then he found God, which transformed him into a studied world leader and he fooled roughly 51 percent of the nation that he could fix all of our problems by creating utopia in the Middle East. To question him on the facts and rationale was un-American, because Dubya could spell "noo-klear" and Cheney had control of the little red button.

And the preznut won re-election by terrifying soccer moms and by selling the God-fearing red states on the idea that the war in Iraq and the Homeland Security infrastructure would keep us safe from all the bogeymen around the globe.

How does that vote last November feel now, Sparky?

How could it be possible that these unfortunate Iraqis would bite the Democratic hand that feeds them? Didn't they realize that good old fashioned American Democracy requires a lengthy period of ethnic cleansing - just like we did with our Native Americans - while denying its women the right to vote for about a hundred years?

Believe me, even Ahmad Chalabi took copious notes from our history books.

How is it conceivable that an administration can sit back and watch an entire region (that lined up in lock step and voted for them ten months ago) wilt in the heat and humidity without so much as a drink of water or a bag of ice?

Well, these are the same deviants who transformed their incompetence into WMD, Iraqis greeting our soldiers with flowers, and "fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them here."

How is it possible that a dangerous terrorist who lives in the caves of Afghanistan, while tugging along a portable dialysis kit, can get a hold of four commerical airliners and ram them into buildings? And then get away with it while being elevated to the mythical status of Keyser Soze?

Please, somebody, explain these things to me. Somebody?

Or, as Maureen Dowd recently pointed out in the New York Times Op/Ed section, "when you combine limited gubment with incompetent gubment," as Dubya would pronounce it, "lethal stuff happens." All kinds of lethal shit, Sparky, and we are just beginning to see the light at the end of the idelogical tunnel - although the rest of us have been mortgaged right alongside Our Child Preznut's view of the world as Him versus His tinpot view of Satan.

In all of the dimwitted and tragic calamity, buried deep within the heart and soul of Dubya, runs a poisoned artery feeding a demented brain that despises nitpicky "liberals" and a cultural elite who want to examine the fine print before endorsing his bizarre plan, high-brow East Coast intellectuals who want to ask a few clarfifying questions at the risk of being called "non-patriotic" and those of us who just can't - or won't - jump aboard the co-dependent revival tent that has become America the Megalomaniac in the new millenium. Absent and mindless worker-ant hyper-consumers who jump in line at first sight of another ignorant mob, filled with a hyperbolic sense of self-love played out at a dizzying rate of narcissistic emptiness ... while choking on a hearty gulp of that toxic elixir known as Dubya's "culture of life" and "compassionate conservatism," as long as you reside in a tax bracket worth insulating.

But this time ... the bodies are decaying in plain view of NewsChopper Six - and not tucked neatly away in formations of flag-draped coffins that this Administration has turned into a corner game of three card monty. Now you see them, and now you can't.

"Who is Keyser Soze? He is supposed to be Turkish. Some say his father was German. Nobody believed he was real. Nobody ever saw him or knew anybody that ever worked directly for him, but to hear Kobayashi tell it, anybody could have worked for Soze. You never knew. That was his power. The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist."
- Roger "Verbal" Kint, The Usual Suspects

For reasons that will never be clear to anyone - and certainly not to the people who gladly voted twice for an abject buffoon and all the others who packed into the kiddie cars for Dubya's E-ticket ride to rapture - the national audience at home is operating once again with a few important questions, but the shelf-life for open thought in this age rivals the expiration warning label on a pack of seedless grapes. Average working people, the kind who watched Dubya and Ah-nuld and Rudi and McCain swagger around Madison Garden a year ago like New York City was the Alamo, are beginning to come to an even fresher conclusion on what really happened when we jumped before we looked at the Post 9/11 world. Certainly the comparisons between September 11 and Hurricane Katrina are erroneous - mostly because the latter can be predicted, and always more destructive and devastating - but the Rethugs still march on ratfucking free thinkers and those of us with questions while minimizing their own sheepish reactions in the face of actual forecasts.

But they missed, seriously, on both occassions - ignoring the Preznut's Daily Briefing - Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in US on August 6, 2001 and then again with Hurricane Katrina which wasn't exactly a secret to the American public or Our Child Preznut himself, who was ostensibly warned also in 2001 by a report that landed on the front steps of FEMA.

The parallels to the movie, The Usual Suspects, serve as a prescient allegory to the retarded "how could we have known" explanations that have been served up on a daily basis - from Rove's mouth to the Right Wing talking points on ideology TV. Like Dubya's reign of terror, the movie begins with a terrible explosion which sets of a chain of tragic events. After a waterfront blast, Verbal Kint, a small time con artist who happens to be the sole eyewitness and participant, explains the story leading up to the explosion to a customs agent played by Chazz Palminteri. It begins when five men are rounded up for a line-up, and grilled about a truck hijacking - who are, essentially, the usual suspects for any metropolitan crime. The interrogation goes tolerably well until the influence of the legendary, seemingly omnipotent "Keyser Soze" is mentioned, a criminal bogeyman if there ever was one.

But the story is just that - a piece of fiction offered up by the master criminal himself, and he barely escapes by using his wit and pathological banter in a game of cat and mouse with facts that are more figment of his imagination, just like it went down with the intelligence estimates leading us into Iraq.

Verbal Kint is either Keyser Soze, the master criminal himself, or he created the image of the bogeyman in an elaborate con game designed to keep the rest of us distracted. And to that end, Dubya and his party hacks transformed Osama Bin Laden into his own version of Keyser Soze because either he is the master criminal hellbent on our complete destruction or Dubya's inner sanctum of party pimps and carpetbaggers needed him for an Administration that emptied the US Treasury through its own back doors.

There are not many senior political correspondents in Washington who could handle a scenario like that. Their minds would just refuse to accept the Nixonian potential ... for the same reason they still can't accept the patent and fearful truth that Our Dubya is as incompetent as the tinfoil hat crowd already believes he is - and that his handlers reach for any rationale lying about or make up the excuses as they go along. That clear and that simple.

This is the one vanilla fact, right now, in a story that will become so heinously apparent in the next several weeks that every reporter assigned to it will need both a smart constitutional lawyer and a fearless economist right alongside him when the TV cameras turn on.

There is no question at all - even now, in these last few days of calm before the fallout from both disasters mushroom into a cloud of regret - that this "Dubya incompetence" epic is going to destroy some of the best minds in political punditry before it's done. And that reality will just have to linger there for the time being; I reject any opportunity to explain it further. We have a ton of time to explore the alternatives, Sparky; and hundreds and thousands of hours of congressional testimony will expose the top players and the federal bench should remmand the rest. And Dubya will be left stammering and drooling at the gates when the end finally appears, and not even his family will be waiting for him at the end of that last helicopter ride to average citizenry.

For the rest of us, Hurricane Katrina has finally broken the "post 9/11 world" spell that used to hang over everything and our addiction to terrorism and terrorism alone as the significant menace in our time, just like the Red Menace of the 1950s. The post 9/11 shin-ding is over, my friends, the end of a dark and ignorant era in American Politics, Inc. - and whatever the final body count is from the disaster zone, it will be harder and harder for the WMD propaganda machine to invoke the memory of bull horns and twisted rubble from the World Trade Center and the 3,000 dead. Just like those seedless grapes, they, too, have found their expiration date for political arm twisting and gutter ball exploitation and swollen military budgeting.

Osama Bin Laden still runs free - probably morphing his limp into a fully crisp stampede for the exit, just like Verbal Kint at the end - Iraq is another Beirut in the making and our people and resources are stretched so thin that we couldn't get to the business of saving our people until - roughly ten - days after the tragedy.

Here's what I know, after all is said and done tonight, hoping that another sound doesn't pique my attention. Osama Bin Laden is not Keyser Soze, because Dubya and his Circle of Doom has been explaining the story with concepts that were handpicked and conjured out of nothingness - and his people controlled both the facts and the intelligence all along. Because if either him or his people learned anything from 9/11 it was that we were not prepared for that terrorist attack and it only took four years to discover that we didn't learn a thing from it. Keyser Soze does exist and it's not Osama Bin Laden.

It's Dubya himself, who tried convincing the rest of the world that the devil did exist.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

High Gear Scrambling and Death to The Weird


The Crescent City Sinks like Atlantis ... Wingnuts Run Amok Declaring that God Sent Katrina because of Interior Decorators in the Big Easy ... Oops, Did Someone Really Brief the White House? ... FEMA is More Chinese Fire Drill Than a Helping Hand and Homeland Security is a Mirage ... Fat Timmy Tightens the Vice Grips ... A Retarded Nero Speaks and a Shroud of Insanity has been Lifted, My Friends

"The good news is - and it's hard for some to see it now - that out of this chaos is going to come a fantastic Gulf Coast, like it was before. Out of the rubbles of Trent Lott's house - he's lost his entire house - there's going to be a fantastic house. And I'm looking forward to sitting on the porch."
- Dubya pep talks the residents of the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast with a heavy dose of denial tossed in for good measure, Mobile, Alabama, September 2, 2005

"Steps we're taking will help address the problem of availability, but it's not going to solve it. Americans should be prudent in their use of energy during the course of the next few weeks. Don't buy gas if you don't need it."
- Dubya proposes that Americans don't buy gas at $3-$4/gallon just because he says so, Washington, D.C., September 1, 2005

"Today's enemies do not mass armies on borders, or navies on high seas. They blend in with the civilian population. They emerge to strike, and then they retreat back into the shadows. And that's why there are thousands of our fellow citizens running down every single piece of intelligence we can find, doing everything we can to disrupt folks that might be here in America trying to hurt you."
- Kinda like the level of disregard shown the American people by FEMA, Nampa, Idaho, August 24, 2005

There is desperation and exasperation in the air tonight. Not even Wolf Blitzer could handle it. Levees belched toxic waste in the streets of New Orleans and the entire Gulf Coast slipped another mile toward Venezuela. Dubya was struck about the face and neck with the dope stick yet again, the U.S. Government failed to act when it knew that its own people would be massacred by a raging storm, and young children and elderly people died in the heat and humidity without so much as a drink of water.

If Dubya had a personal delivery half as articulate as Crazy Horse, he would have been able to get past this one - instead of being labelled a closet racist while he races around the country looking all perplexed and destined for another $1000.00 chicken dinner fundraiser. But words always seem to confuse Our Child Preznut - and the very homespun diatribes that had once served him well inside red state revival tents and redneck bake-offs with Mable and Bess and Clara now make him seem like he's rolling in a trench filled with shit. Little Big Horn was settled about 130 years ago, but the ferocious warrior - also known as Tashunca-uitco - earned his reputation among the Lakota not only by his skill and daring in battle but also by his fiery determination to preserve his people's traditional way of life. The horrid fallout from this disaster in the Gulf has been building for years before the first gusts ripped into the shoreline, right about that time when Dubya and his party pimps first hijacked the vote count in Florida - and the only difference today, with Cable TV news broadcasting the catastrophe 24-hours a day, is that we finally seem to be on the verge of looking at the scoreboard for once while wondering how much of our traditions have been eroded away like the old Bayou itself.

Crazy Horse made no distinctions when it cames to his people - they could have been Democrats or Republicans for all he knew, not that it mattered much in 1876, or in any other year, when the skies became terminal and the land succumbed to Mother Nature - but it's also very true that Crazy Horse never understood the concept of American Government, Inc. beyond its threat to the people it was built to protect, nor would he have appreciated the vile pleasure of dealing with our current administration; he would have missed the venemous wonder known as Karl Rove, Dubya's prince of bile, and he never would have met little Scottie McClellan, who can turn ignorance into an artform, but he would have had much to discuss with Michael D. Brown, Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response, whose only qualification for the post is that he knew a thing or two about Arabian horses.

If the legendary Lakota warrior was alive today, I sense - given his fierce contempt for the U.S. Government and every thing it stood for - he'd have looted a WalMart gun rack himself and taken matters into his own hands. For Crazy Horse it was about survival ... for his people, for his land, for his way of life.

* * *

Today, the Warriors of the Plains have been replaced by the Lunatic Fringe of the Religious Right. Instead of horses and bows and arrows, they have taken to the Internet to file complaints with the FCC or write threatening emails to yours truly, and I have seen my share of these in these past two months. They are almost always from places where the hurricanes first meet the beaches, from the wingnuts and Jesus freaks and closet Nazis - and on some days they all seem eerily connected to Fred Phelps or the Westboro Baptist Church or even Crazy Pat Robertson himself, a dedicated Gulf Coast weather junkie who once warned Orlando that they were "right in the way of some serious hurricanes and I don't think I'd be waving those [Gay Pride] flags in God's face," about 15 years before he called for the head of Hugo Chavez during an August broadcast.

Once awarded with the Christian Broadcaster of the Year by an organization called the National Religious Broadcasters, Crazy Pat and his prime-time berserk commentaries on the hidden agendas of God's natural disasters have been the best thing to hit the Bible Belt since Orson Welles took to the airwaves with War of The Worlds, just one short year before Hitler unleashed the blitzkrieg on Poland. Welles drove people batshit and crazy, to verge of a Jim Jones-like mass suicide, even without access to mescaline or blotter acid or poison Kool Aid.

Robertson is also - according to a malcontent named Scooter, from Jacksonville - a religious visionary of some kind whose evangelical work only rivals the work of Jesus himself. This kind of commentary may be indicative of Robertson's maniacal following in the Florida panhandle, where his rapture-like admonitions about coming hurricanes "with the destructive force of two or three Hiroshimas" has elevated his television network to a spiritual version of the Weather Channel, a true and literal Messenger of God who can quote scripture as fast as he analyzes meterology and low pressure systems. More Jesus freaks have evacuated their trailers and shacks and scurried fast to the hills on the Good Word of the Reverend than ever marched through the Red Sea with Moses.

When you get right down to it, all Pat Robertson ever does is scare people half to death by telling them to escape God's Wrath by making a love offering to his network. But the actual truth is that any ignorant hillbilly with a basic working knowledge of a barometer and enough sense with a teleprompter and his own broadcasting center could do what the crazy Reverend does, and the same panic-striken morons would happily oblige.

A very angry married couple who go by the name of I.M and Fredericka Kaput of Huntsville, Alabama countered - in a very short email response - "You are a heathen bastard who doesn't deserve the right to criticize Pat Robertson with your liberal and elitist and demonic ways. We pray for you."

"Only God can forgive your sins now, if only you ask him seriously," said another message from an email account with the alias aroused@great.length.com, which Team Gonzography traced to the outskirts of Tupelo. "No sin will go unpunished by the Lord, except if you turn your back on Jesus and don't accept him as your personal savior. May the Lord have mercy on your soul."

Then another person named Claude Balls from the Christian Debt Guidance Service of Tampa called me a hyena with the brain of pea soup, then added that I was just jealous of Pat Robertson. "Jump back into that cave where they found you," he wrote. "Your kind, we christian people can do without."

But then again, at last recollection, every one of these states voted for Dubya during the last election cycle. And if Our Child Preznut was God's candidate, as the argument went back then, why has he forsaken them?