The author has been sent on the road to discover a lost country formerly known as America. He is reporting from a town called "Little Valley" (which is actually a little valley) in New York, totally sane, sober, and unfamiliar with rain after a lovely summer in Bend, on assignment for Or-Bust.com and The Source Weekly.
A New Bar for Bad Behavior
Phillip Garrido liked building in his backyard - storage sheds covered with camouflage and other extremities that his neighbors questioned. And authorities overlooked, despite the fact Garrido was a registered sex offender in Antioch, California, and visited on several occasions by police and parole agents. Oops! He was hiding and raping Jaycee Dugard on-site for 18 years, since kidnapping her at the age of 11 and fathering two children with the now-29-year-old woman. Authorities are presently digging in that same backyard for the remains of several unsolved murders and missing persons. Let's hope they have better luck and look a little harder this time.
Speaking of Suspected Murderers
Darth Dick Cheney can't shut up, which is good news for future prosecutors hoping to convict the former vice president for myriad high crimes and misdemeanors. "I am" was Cheney's response when questioned if he was "okay" with the CIA's heavy petting and other courting rituals used while interrogating suspected terrorists, known to include waterboarding, scaring suspects with guns and drills, as well as threatening to murder their family members. Concerning the Obama admin's intent to investigate the CIA's actions, Cheney countered, "It's clearly a political move. There's no other rationale for why they're doing this." Hmmm. Political moves? Like outing CIA agents, invading countries with oil reserves, and firing U.S. attorneys who won't prosecute political enemies? Interesting, Dick, let us not forget that you were the one who asked for these same files to be declassified; the FBI walked out of CIA interrogations due to their blatant illegality; and you are no longer in office. Anyone can use a "Citizen's Arrest" to drag this douche into any local jail for ruining our country's standing in the world.
Oh How Citizens Have Their Say
For 50 years, Japan has been led by the Liberal Democratic Party. No more; the Democratic Party of Japan won a 3-to-1 landslide victory this weekend, mostly due to the awful economy and the threat of ninja attacks. Yukio Hatoyama, the new Prime Minister of Japan, molded his campaign after Obama's, including pledges to raise the minimum wage and pay women up to $250 per month to have children to counter the rapidly aging population of the country. Whether Hatoyama takes on Obama's other instincts, such as blinking when anyone questions his major initiatives (single-pay health care, hello?) or forcing Toyota to make a bad vehicle (just one Gremlin or gas-guzzler, GM is begging you!) has yet to be seen.
Dead Kennedys, Dominick Dunne, and California on Fire
Due to mass coverage, Teddy Kennedy's death at the age of 77 won't get much space here. Not that the Massachusetts Senator doesn't deserve it - his drinking, cavorting, swimming away from sinking cars, and overall impressive record of achievements in health care, civil rights, and covering-up for inbred cousins' kids is heroic. Let's just say that Teddy had few peers, and that the entire Kennedy clan shouldn't be allowed in politics ever again - not that they're bad for America. Rather, America is a democracy, and we haven't needed a royal family since 1776. Related news: Someone who thrived on celebrity scandals died within hours of Teddy. Novelist and journalist Dominick Dunne, RIP at 83. The man who told us all we needed to know about O.J. and Claus von Bulow was immediately replaced at Vanity Fair by a teenage blogger working in his/her PJs from home, and innumerable a-holes clicking iPhone cameras outside restaurants that they could never afford. Speaking of over-priced places (remember Bend, Oregon, anyone?) California is totally on fire; thousands have been evacuated, the "Station Fire" has grown to more than 100,000 acres, and residents are standing on their decks spraying the shrubbery beneath, as if that will help. What this will help is new construction, as all of those burned homes will be rebuilt immediately only to burn again this same time next year.
America Or Bust
Having spent the past week or so on the road, trying to get back to New York to make love to my new editor and annoy my parents, the following notes on America were taken: There are no cops or tolls until you reach Illinois (all praise our new president and his fine state's leaders) then you are taxed every three miles to follow decrepit roads, avoiding cops eager to fine you for swerving to miss the many potholes. The Crazy Horse Monument in South Dakota is simply awe-inspiring; however, the $10 entry fee ($27 per carload) plus $4.50 bus ride to see this emerging masterpiece is a total shakedown. Still, three Mount Rushmores will fit in the eye of the horse that Crazy Horse sits astride, so go and see it in 2050, when it's finally done - If ever... And, finally, "shovel-ready" projects are indeed underway across America - new bridges, highways, ditches being dug then refilled - so I felt much better about our country's pending bankruptcy. Except upon reach New York State, which has obviously forgotten to apply for funding, or has already been given to China as collateral for our country's "stimulus."