The author has been sent on the road to discover a lost country formerly known as America. He is reporting from a breakfast table, eating Jimmy Dean and drinking Tea Party, watching grown men chase a ball around a field on TV, for Or-Bust.com and The Source Weekly.
Kicking the MuleAs President Obama spends several days on camera in the Gulf and addresses the nation about BP's big mess, the behind-the-scenes maneuvering is of real import: BP has won permission to burn-off rather than collect oil, and pledged to triple the amount it stops spewing (so it can burn it) hoping to trap 2.2 million gallons daily. Daily! What started as a supposed drip (5,000 barrels) is really much bigger. So too is the pain BP shareholders are feeling, the stock losing $90 billion in value in two months and hitting a 14-year low, forcing new British Prime Minister David Cameron to ask Obama to back-off his tough stance. Last week, Obama said he wants to know "whose ass to kick" - then had a "warm and constructive" phone call with Cameron about their "special relationship," despite the Anglo-European petroleum monster continuing to befoul North America. If you haven't forgotten, BP's Texas City refinery explosion in 2005 killed 15 and injured 170, with the company forced to pay millions and plead guilty to criminal charges, then two major spills in Alaska's Prudhoe Bay in 2006 dumped 200,000 gallons onto the North Slope, with even the oil-friendly Bush-Cheney junta filing civil suits against BP. Now Obama wants BP to create a $20 billion fund to cover its latest disaster, promising that the Gulf will be in "better shape than it was before." Please wear those steel-toed boots you've been sporting on camera when you finally find "whose ass to kick" Mr. President.
Shenanigans in South Carolina
Given the worst education, health care, and overall governance (slavery still exists there), is it any wonder why South Carolinians would vote against the norm? Especially to oust Senator Jim DeMint, GOP jackass who blamed unions for the failed underwear bombing on Christmas and stonewalled all of Obama's important nominations, including funding for the TSA. Enter Alvin Greene, an unknown 32-year old "involuntarily" dismissed from the Army who lives with his dad, charged with showing porn to an underage girl. Yet Greene somehow had the $10,400 required to register for his run, eking out a win in the Democratic primary with no campaign, stupid lawn signs or even a website last week. It is a mystery, and lifelong politician Vic Rawls (who lost to Greene) is protesting, with many claiming Greene is a plant by the Republican Party to keep DeMint in office. Interesting, huh? South Carolina can't even oust Mark Sanford, the disgraced yet still-swinging governor; maybe Greene is a plant (hear him talk and azalea comes to mind) or maybe disgusted voters (28 percent of whom are African-American, including Alvin Greene) at last said yes to anyone other than another incumbent - and white guy.
More Solemn News
Oklahoma City is pulling a Nashville and is underwater with 136 injured, yet remarkably, no fatalities. Campers in Arkansas weren't so lucky when pre-dawn flash flooding along the Caddo and Little Missouri rivers killed 20 at a remote campground where waters rose more than 20 feet in a matter of hours. Among the dead were six children under the age of seven. At least 100 people have died in Kyrgyzstan from ethnic violence, with over 700 hospitalized; a critical country for both the U.S. and Russia (our military base supplies troops in Afghanistan while Russia's protects gas pipelines). This ongoing slaughter is as curious as it is sickening. Why can't two major superpowers stop the killing? And why is a single city, Osh, reporting 500 killed, more than five times the total "official" report?
Has IT Been That Long?
Congrats! Our "war" in Afghanistan is now the longest in U.S. history - exceeding the 103-month Vietnam "War." Yay! Begun when Dick Cheney let his brethren hijack and crash planes into NYC and a Pennsylvania field (nothing hit the Pentagon but one of our own surface-to-air missiles, the truth must be known), a brief detour into Iraq let the Taliban regroup and continue to cause more trouble than a celebrity seeking a reality show. Officials are now reporting the obvious: Pakistani intelligence agencies are funding the Taliban, despite Obama issuing more predator drone attacks in 16 months than Bush-Cheney bothered to do in eight years. The costs are steep: We've eclipsed 1,000 Americans killed in Afghanistan (58,000 died in Vietnam), and the number of Afghans dying daily just keeps rising. Last Wednesday, a wedding ceremony literally exploded, killing 39 and wounding 73 in the village of Nagaan. There may be an upside: A recent report shows Afghanistan has over $1 trillion in minerals, oil and other valuable natural resources. Our fine mining and oil industries simply must be allowed access. One last optimistic note: Gary Brooks Faulkner (no known relation to inebriated writer William) was detained this week on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border carrying a pistol, sword, night-vision equipment and Christian literature; at least 52-year-old Faulker is doing what should have been done 103 months ago: Searching for and trying to capture Osama bin Laden.
Wow, This is Why We Need Drugs
If you're going to overdose, do it in Washington, where the "911 Good Samaritan" law just went into effect, saying that if someone overdoses in your apartment, and you and your apartment are both full of drugs, calling 911 won't be a crime and get you arrested; the law does allow investigators to arrest suppliers and distributors, but not you if your buddy starts foaming at the mouth and needs emergency help. Having drugs and getting treatment is harder in Mexico, where 30 armed men stormed the Faith and Life drug-treatment center in Chihuahua last week, marched 23 people outside, lined them up and shot them, killing 19 patients. Hiding drugs is equally hard in the West Africa nation of Gambia, where authorities seized 4,630 pounds of pure cocaine intended for Europe with 12 suspects arrested, including a citizen of the Netherlands and Venezuelans. Said Neil Giles of the Serious Organized Crime Agency (SOCA), "Taking this cocaine, and the profits that it would have generated, out of the hands of criminals is a major blow to their operations." Gee, ya think?
Finally, an Ode to Jimmy Dean and John Wooden
We lost two greats in the past week: Jimmy Dean, a country singer more famous for his sausage, and John Wooden, the greatest coach ever. Dead at 81 of natural causes (surely his product hardened a few arteries), Jimmy Dean became famous for the 1961 #1 hit "Big Bad John," then parlayed his success into spreading delicious ready-to-cook swine rolls across America. Wooden's legacy is far more healthy: Living until 99 after retiring on top, John Wooden coached the UCLA basketball team to 10 national championships, including seven in a row from 1967-1973, winning 620 games over a 27 year career.