Thursday, June 30, 2005

Bush's "Facts" Can't Sway Americans

Age Of Reason Never Existed In Bush's World

Listening to George Bush Tuesday night reminded me of a parent referring to Santa Claus as real to their 16-year-old child.

Finally, everybody knows and sees the entire Iraq adventure was a pure ruse. Unfortunately, this reality failed to hit a majority of Americans back in November.

Bush offered nothing new in the form of foreign policy or news, at all. For a man who contends to never peek at polls, this primetime chat with America seemed concocted to quell astonishingly low approval ratings for the President and the war in Iraq.

Wednesday's USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll on whether Americans support the war in Iraq (that's some major corporate synergy going on) revealed some odd, but clear numbers. While left-leaning and educated American have been steadfast in their opposition they now have some interesting bedfellows. The poll, which was compared to similar polls in February and March, show large swings in opposition among young, uneducated, conservative males. These are the bedrock of Bush's country boy, NASCAR, Joe Sixpack set.

Do you favor the war in Iraq?
Men 52% +9 pct chg from Feb/Mar
18-29 56% +13
No college 58% +12
Conservative 32% +9

What is becoming clear is that more Americans have seen the light and, possibly, have dropped their nationalistic fervor that was so evident after 9/11 and so masterfully stoked by the Bush administration.

One after another: the (delayed) finding from the CIA that weapons of mass destruction did not exist in Saddam Hussein's Iraq, the Downing Street Memo that revealed that the decision to go to war was made months before Bush claimed, even while duping the public into believing he was favoring a more diplomatic route. And to top it off, despite Bush's proclamations, Iraq was not a training ground for terrorists until well after the invasion.

With all of this well known to the public, why did he repeatedly pull out the 9/11 card and presupposition that Iraq was a threat to America and a direct cause of the attack, Tuesday?

Bush is a leader, despite his protestations, devoid of hubris and unfettered in his blind loyalty to the will of God. By bidding their loyalty to a deity rather than the country, Bush has left the success of his presidency and military action up to the whims of probability rather than sound logic and reason.

By their logic, a plan without a plan will suffice because it is God will, unfortunately, both muslims and christians pray to the same God.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Jesus Loves What? Oh, Lordie!

The Brazilian national soccer team proved today why their recent success is due to the selling of their souls to the devil.

After defeating Argentina in the FIFA Confederations Cup in Frankfurt, several of Brazil's players celebrated on the field wearing t-shirts that read "Jesus loves You" and "Jesus loves Toi".

Brazil's Lucio

Lucio (left), a defender for the German club, Bayer Leverkusen, was seen on television wearing a shirt that either said "Jesus loves Dich" or, unexplicably, "Jesus loves Dick".

This is further proof that God, indeed, has more to do than watch sports. Brazil pummelled Argentina, 4-1.

Beware The Handicapped

Some wiseguy in a wheelchair must have rolled up
on me and tacked this sign behind me.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Sheffield Goes Deep!

Love is in the air
Originally uploaded by wonderbread74.
The Yankees had an awkward way of celebrating their "come from behind" 20-13 win versus Tampa Bay Tuesday. This comes a week after Chicago White Sox outfielder, Carl Everett, claimed he has played with two homosexual ballplayers and found their lifestyle "unnatural".

Let's see, Everett has never played with Derek Jeter, Gary Sheffield or the San Francisco 49ers.

Here's a little New York-style mood music while reading this posting. Frank Sinatra's "The Way You Look Tonight".
this is an audio post - click to play

Honest Stats Overshadowing Steroid Fakery

Lanky Cubbie Thriving In Post-Steroid Majors
The Chicago Cubs firstbaseman, Sacramento raised, Derrek Lee, has been this season's relevation. Lee has never hit for an average higher than .282 in six seasons, never hit more than 32 homers or knocked in 100 RBI's in a single season, yet, as of today, he's on a pace to be the first Triple Crown winner in the majors since Carl Yastzremski in 1967.

Lee's statistics through today:
AVG: .389
HR: 20 (he did hit a homer today vs. Milwaukee)
RBI: 61

Sure sounds like numbers that would make steroid watchdogs salivate with accusastions. Except in this new era of conspicuously slimmed down sluggers like, and particularly, Sammy Sosa; there may be an alternative theory.

With the demise of artificially produced numbers truly talented and athletic baseball players like the tall and thin Lee are being allowed to shine. We're are seeing the return of the baseball player this season. In addition to Lee, who, by the way, was already a solid firstbasemen, the American League's version is sweet fielding Baltimore Oriole, Brian Roberts, who leads the league in many categories, but fails to make a mockery of the game with video game-like power numbers.

Most likely, Lee's stellar performance is a half-season anomaly that will even out to a very good season for the Cubbie firstbaseman, but it should allow for more likely statistics to occur rather than the unbelievable 73 homers that emanated from Baroid Bonds in 2001.

Terry Francona, the manager of the Red Sox and American League skipper for next month's All-Star Game choose his former boss, A's manager, Ken Macha as one of his coaches.

That kind of like your do-nothing, know-nothing, dithering boss being named Employee of the Month.

Did somebody in the A's advertising department say, "We need to come up for a promotion to promote our promotions."

I'm not one of those marketing geniuses, but I understood a baseball promotion like bobbleheads or fireworks was meant to entice you to buy a ticket to the game.

The A's are advertising mini-season ticket package that includes bobblehead games and fireworks nights.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Family Blamed For Increasing Regional Pot Stats

A new government study on marijuana use in the United States revealed a possible correlation between high pot use and the proximity to college campuses.

In the study Boston and Boulder, CO, the home of the University of Colorado had the highest percentage of use.
Marijuana use is highest (red) in Washington,
Northern California, Boston, MA, and
Eastern Georgia--all places inhabitated by
the Tavares family.

While I haven't read the study, I would like to offer an alternative theory. In nearly every region where pot use was measured at five percent or more, a Tavares family member resides. Except for the state of Colorado, a relative lives in Western Washington, Northern and Central Valley of California, Massachusetts and Georgia where use registered moderately.

Keep your eyes open for these guys:
Ganja Portugal
Rasta Herbie and Easy Eddie

Cruise Fails Comedy 101

Cruise gets doused
Originally uploaded by wonderbread74.
Amidst the shock of being squirted with a fake microphone Sunday, Tom Cruise said, "What's so funny about [squirting me]"

Here are a couple reasons:

(1) You didn't expect it.
(2) We didn't expect it.
(3) The astonished look on your face was priceless.
(4) Your assistants were busting up inside.
(4) It illustrated your vanity
(5) The stark comparison of reality and your Hollywood world came crashing together.
(6) It was better than listening to you dodge a real question about your newest movie which you were attempting before being doused, "Uh, structurally it's the same." Whatever that means?
(7) A microphone, squirting, a face--get it--you're gay!

Monday, June 20, 2005

LFR Exclusive Interview: Saddam Hussein

All Tyrants are Yankee fans
Originally uploaded by wonderbread74.
Dictator Loves Doritos

Deposed dictator, Saddam Hussein, loves Doritos and Raisin Bran, among other things according to two guards appearing on the "Today" show.

The LFR caught up with the "Butcher of Baghdad" today to discuss these revelations and other topics on his mind:

SH: Come on in, my friend. Sit. Sit. Let me clear some of my Maxim magazines. Really funny, you know. Who cares about the pretty girls? I buy them for the funny stories. Good camel dung!

LFR: I suppose, by now, you've heard that your former guards, Jonathan Reese and Sean O'Shea has been detailing your life in jail to the press.

SH: Ah, yes, Johnny and Irish Sean. Good kids. We had some good times together. Yeah. Yep, Yep, Yep, Yep, Yep. Good times.

LFR: Is it true?

SH: Of course not, I did not have weapons of mass destruction. Never. It was a lie perpetrated by the Bush family! I am still the legal president of Iraq.

LFR: No, no, no. Wait. Could you really devour a large bag of Doritos in 10 minutes?

SH: Oh! Of course, my friend, I love those chips, especially the nacho cheese flavor. The bag says they changed the flavor, but I don't taste such a difference.

LFR: I agree.

SH: As far as chips, as you know, I also had an affinity for Cheetos.

LFR: I'm wondering, which kind of cheetos did you enjoy?

SH: Oh, of course, the puffs. I just love the texture of the puffs.

LFR: Me too!

SH: You see, you've got good taste, my friend.

LFR: What about snack cakes?

SH: Oh, I adore them! Twinkies, Ho-Ho's and Hostess Cupcakes. They are truly to die for Allah!

LFR: Amazing! Me too! Listen, how do you eat your Hostess cupcakes?

SH: I split them in half and burrow my tongue in the delicious cream inside. Of course, is there another way, c'mon!

LFR: I heard you're a little picky with your morning cereal?

SH: Yes, I can't stand Froot Loops! I mean, I'm an adult. I don't want to eat candy for breakfast.

LFR: Exactly. The guards said you preferred Raisin Bran instead. Do you have any favorite brands?

SH: Oh, yes. Post Raisin Bran all the way, my friend. It's hard to describe, but the raisins are just so much more plump and plentiful in the Post brand.

LFR: Fascinating. Mini-Tacos? Any thoughts?

SH: Okay! Cut the crap, my friend! Have you ever spent time in the pokey? They call it the pokey for a reason as in what will happen to you if you don't make friends.

LFR: I'm not following.

SH: I'm 68 years old for Allah's sake. Do you really think I enjoy eating this junk food? I'm just trying to, like the kids say, hang. Do you know how a large bag of Doritos goes through a 68-year-old dictator? It's like pooping jagged shards of glass everyday!. You know, you're leaving a lot out, my friend. These kids aren't even talking about all other salty snacks like beef jerky we eat around here and, let me tell you, kids these days, they don't just drink regular beer. No. They drink Guinness. Have a couple of those. It's like sweet crude oil gushing out your ass. I could sell the stuff to the Saudis--easy.

LFR: Well, I'm truly sorry.

SH: No you're not. You Americans are never sorry. If you were, you'd bring me a few packets of Metamucil. No joke, bro.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

A Corporate Crook Finally Pays

Look at this son of a bitch
Originally uploaded by wonderbread74.
Tyco CEO Found Guilty


This was the constant refrain from a court official today in New York at the trial for corporate scoudrel, Dennis Kozlowski.

Kozlowski was convicted on 31 counts of stealing over $600 million dollars from the Tyco corporation, infamously paying $6,000 for a simple shower curtain and living lavishly on the company's dime.

The poster boy of corporate crookedness, Kozlowski celebrated his wife's birthday in Sardinia, Italy in a bash that featured Roman clad servants and an ice sculpture that spewed expensive Russian vodka, again, with money stolen from Tyco and its stock holders.

Kozlowski's conviction should be a reminder that bad people actually pay for their indiscretions with jail time rather than skip away like recent entertainers like Robert Blake and just this week, Michael Jackson.

In reality, cases like Blake's and Jackson's pale in comparison to criminal activities like Kozlowski, WorldCom's Bernard Ebbers and the impending trial of Enron's Kenneth "Kenny Boy" Lay because while a person was murdered and a young boy allegedly molested, the victims of these executives raiding their company's vault is a crime that reaches a large swath of people from employees and their families to stock holders to the confidence of investors all over the country.

Unfortunately, we live in a time when these sort of shenanigans are condone by an administration that plays by the same game.

A second helicopter crashed without incident in New York City, Friday.

On a day when justice prevailed regarding corporate gluttony, a chopper filled with high-ranking executves from the credit card company, MBNA, crashed into the East River.

Eyewitnesses say they saw men in business suits bobbing in the river. One executive reportedly yelled, "HELP!"

Beautiful. A credit card suit yelling "help". Imagine how many of his customers have yelled, "Help! I'm drowning in debt!"

Friday, June 17, 2005

Nader Says He's A N-Word

"What's up, my niggah"
Originally uploaded by wonderbread74.
Speaking on Wednesday night, former presidential candidate and consumer activist, Ralph Nader, shocked a party he was hosting to retire debt from his fateful run for the White House by equating his alleged inability to be allowed on several southern states' ballot with Jim Crow laws in the 50s and 60s.

"I felt like a [n-word]," remarked the 70-year-old white multimillionaire graduate of Princeton University and Harvard Law School.

Washington gadfly Evan Gahr reported Nader's comments on his Web site.

"If Ed Koch had said what Ralph Nader said, we'd be marching," Sharpton noted. "This [scolding] doesn't rise to the level of a march. It rises to the level of a wrist slap."

Yesterday, Nader told me he was using the word in the same spirit as the Black Panthers of the 1960s - "as a word of defiance."

But Sharpton retorted: "He's not a Black Panther."

The peculiar aspect of Nader's unfortunate comments is that he's of Lebanese decent, meaning a person could ignorantly call him an A-rab or possibly a sand [n-word]

Monday, June 13, 2005

Exclusive: Michael Speaks To The Fans

"You Are Not Alone" says Jacko

this is an audio post - click to play

Portugal Loves Michael Jackson

Viva Michael Jackson!
Originally uploaded by wonderbread74.
The LFR, by no means, condones Michael Jackson's purported (possible?) criminal actions, the court case or the complete waste of media airtime and column space.

But watching television coverage of Michael Jackson supporters mingling outside of the courthouse, I've noticed fans backing the pop star by waving flags of their native countries or holding signs like, "Uzbekistan loves you, Michael".

I feel left out. Never have I seen a Portuguese flag, well, here's one.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Local Newspaper Gets Dirty

Shopping with Mom?
Originally uploaded by wonderbread74.
Here are two blurbs from the current San Leandro Times' "Police Reports" section:

Go ahead opened it, there's a surprise inside!
A clerk at Longs Drugs on Washington Avenue received a call from a customer last Wedsnesday evening, inquiring about phots he had sent in to be processed.
When the clerk found the customer's photos, the customer asked the clerk to open the envelope to make sure they were the correct ones. When the clerk opened the envelope, she found, that they were phots of a naked man with a dildo in his hand.

Another incident involved some fishy burglars.
A loss prevention agent at the FoodMaxx on Lewelling Boulevard saw two suspects entering the meat department last Saturday morning. The suspects each took a bag of frozen shrimp and stuffed it down their pants as the walked around the aisles.

They were stopped by security as they tried to leave the store and arrested for petty theft

Is there any chance that these guys were on their way to Longs to pick up pictures of themselves holding their shrimp?

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Bariod Bonds Hates White People

Poor Barry. He's getting it from all directions. This week, The New York Post reported an excerpt from the book of former Chicago White Sox slugger, Ron Kittle. Entitled, "Tales from the White Sox Dugout", Kittle writes of a confrontation with Bonds in the 1990s. To raise money for a charity caring for children with cancer, the awnry Bonds protested and said claimed he doesn't help white people."
I walked up to Bonds at his locker in the Wrigley Field visitors' clubhouse, introduced myself and said, "Barry, if you sign these, they'll bring in a lot of money for kids who need help."

Bonds stood up, looked me in the eye and said, "I don't sign for white people." If lightning hits me today, I will swear those were his exact words. Matt Williams and other Giants were in the room and they heard what Bonds said.

I stood there for a minute, and the veins in my neck were popping. I've only been that mad a few times in my life. I was going to beat the (heck) out of him, really kick his (butt), but Williams saw what was happening, so he came over and got between us. Matt said, "Ron, that's just the way he is."

I said, "White guys aren't the only ones who get cancer"

Everyone seems to have their own Bonds story. Could this story be true?

It's very likely that Bonds would say something to that effect since he has shown a propensity to lashing out against the anglo-Americans, somehow making his rage for caucasians shorthand for the press. This is ironic since he was born a child of privilage in San Mateo and attended some of the best private schools in the Bay Area. For him to imply a common bond with the plight of poor African-Americans is laughable, if not, disingenous.

This man is only 41 years old. How will he act when he's a cranky old man of 60?

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

I Think The Neighbor Is Dead, Part IV

The strip of grass near the street is easily neglected. Because it isn't near the sprinklers, it needs more personal attention than the main lawn.

I pulled the hose across the driveway. The hose caddy spun its wheels as I tugged. I dialed the nozzle to its customary gentle shower mode. The sidewalk grass is a mixture of grassy weeds and turf. Years of neglect have allowed the intruding grasses to gain a stranglehold of the area. The week before I broadcasted weed-killing fertilizer and it seemed to have cleared some of the grasses. Unfortunately, the war for the turf has been stymied because of the asbence of consistent water.

I pulled the trigger on the hose and drenched the right side of the grass. In the distance, I heard a car screech around the street corner. A silver convertible Mustang with its top down was ambling down the road. The stereo was blaring a type music not blared from an automobile since the late 1970s. Maybe it was Styx or even Air Supply. A-ha! Only one person on this street blasts Air Supply--it was, our boy, Geoff!

He was his regular unhealthy, gaunt self with overly large sunglasses in the vein of Sophia Loren. I stopped my watering and held the hose at my side and enthusiastically waved him down with the other. He abruptly stopped at my patch of dying sod.

"What's up, dude?"

"Hey," I said, "We thought you were d-d-d-d, You're alive! What happened to you the other night?"

Geoff turned down the music and toned down his flamboyant mood for a second.

He said that he had been feeling depressed over his illness and felt like he had hit rock bottom. On that Saturday night while there was a party across the street from his home, Geoff nearly took his life.

He mentioned that he washed down a handfull of sleeping pills with vodka that night and nearly killed himself. The sheriff, paramedics and fire department were dispatched around two in the morning. One part of the mystery was still unclear, though.

If Geoff wasn't dead then why were his friends rummaging around his house and hauling artifacts away? A few days later, Geoff returned to invite us to a party he was throwing. Evidently, his friends, while he was in the hospital, were cleaning up the place for him. Seems suspicious. Within a week of nearly kicking the bucket, he's planning a soiree of expensive sushis and boos?

Regardless, the case is closed. Geoff the Rocker is alive and kicking.

An Idea McDonald's Turned Down

Donkey Burgers
Most probably wouldn't mind it tasting like ass as long as it was big.

Monday, June 06, 2005

To The Ghetto, Alice!

Former Cheaters Host Hopes To Return

Burt Reynolds once topped the marquee of "The Longest Yard". "Batman Begins" is a popular comic book that less than a generation ago received the Hollywood treatment. "Bewitched" was a nomally successful sitcom. Even H.G. Wells' "The War of the Worlds" was famously remade as a hoax by Orson Welles in the 1930s.

Does Hollywood have any new ideas? Whether it's a lack of courage from movie executives or a true dearth of talented writers, it's no wonder movie receipts have been down for the last 15 weeks.

One upcoming movie seems to be the oddest of the bunch. The Honeymooners have been remade with Cedric The Entertainer and Mike Epps in the roles made famous by Jackie Gleason and Art Carney.

Nothing racial is meant by my critique, in fact, I find the transposition of the downtrodden and struggling white Ralph Kramden of the 1950s reworked as a movie with African-American actors portraying, presumably, below middle class characters, downright prejudicial. Is Hollywood saying black people are the only poor class in America?

How about "Dynasty" with black people, "Hogan's Heroes" with Iraqi prisoners, "A Raisin in the Sun" with white folks or even "Mary Poppins" with Chinese people?

I'll admit I'm a "Cheaters" junkie, but what happened to the former host, Tommy Grand?

Grand, aka Tommy Habeeb, created the show with producer, Bobby Goldstein. In 2003, Habeeb was ousted from the show by Goldstein. Habeeb has a pending lawsuit filed against Goldstein. According to Habeeb's website, he hopes to make a prodigal return to the tawdry latenight program. There is also an online petition calling for the manly host to return to stalking unfaithful lotharios.

The show was in the news last month for ambushing an on-duty Corpus Christi police officer during a romantic tryst. The policeman was driving an unmarked car at the time. Local authorities are investigating the potential misuse of public funds.

There is some question whether "Cheaters", primarily based in Texas, will enjoy the same leniency from the police department. There is no word when, if ever, the episode will air. As Tommy would say, "I think we need some closure. You should be ashamed of yourself."

Watching Simon Cowell on "American Idol" and chef Gordon Ramsey of "Hell's Kitchen", both on Fox, reminds me why our founding fathers felf it necessary to revolt against the snobby British crown.

While Cowell has toned down his "bloody" barbs, Gordon Ramsey's in-your-face style reminds me what implored the citizens of Boston to tar and feather the British stamp sellers.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Mexican Machismo On Display in MLS

Thiago Martins scores
Originally uploaded by wonderbread74.
Testosterone-filled Mexican Owners New to American Sports scene

Chivas USA, the expansion Major League Soccer team affiliated with the world famous Mexican club of the same name, is anything but ordinary when it comes to male bravado.

The club's owners Jorge Vergera and Antonio Cue have exhibited a taste of Mexican machismo very rare in American sports. Mind you, that Chivas USA is currently in last place with a 1-8-2 record.

Nevermind that!

Vergera told the L.A. Times magazine that it was Chivas USA versus the gringos and the Mexican squad would come away victorious. Some divisive comments.

Could you imagine George Steinbrenner, the closest thing to a ballsy owner in American sports, challenging Canada and the Toronto Blue Jays. "We're going to demolish those dirty Canucks!"

The false cojones that Vergera and Cue are spouting are completely without any grounds for optimism.

The press has been hearing for some weeks talk of "reinforcement" as if this was some sort of war. In actually, the replacements for Chivas USA are non-existent. There are few suitable players under the radar of other MLS teams and next to none who could help with its league low 10 goals this season.

Who are these jugadores?

Despite the calls of reinforcements, which are really meant to tease their loyal base with fantasies of the Mexican Chivas sending some of their stars to the states. This would be a plausible solution, except that FIFA's tranfer window does not open until August 31st, by then, Chivas USA will be long down the drain.

Instead of bearing their chest hairs to all without a clue that their team is, by far, the worst in Major League Soccer. Chivas USA's ownership should cool its rhetoric before they stunt the growth of their infant club.

Friday, June 03, 2005

End Of The Dotel "Era"

Macha Reads LFR

Good riddance to the now former A's reliever, Octavio Dotel.

Dotel, battling arm tendinitis and eyeing ahead to next year's free agent market, abruptly shutdown his rehabilitation effectively ending his tenure in Oakland.

Ironically, on the same day of Dotel's announcement rookie reliever Huston Street notched his first Major League save. The shadow of the rookie righthander was clearly felt by Dotel a few weeks ago when he openly said the A's would not resign him the off-season.

It goes further than a player in a dead-end situation looking out for himself with the report that four doctors recommended he continue rehabilitation rather than season-ending surgery. Ever since he arrived in Oakland from Houston, he's been known to be stand-offish to his teammates and inspired few by his closing abilities. Let the Street era begin.

Was it just a figment of many imaginations or was A's announcer, Ray Fosse, on to something when he said Street's delivery had taken some cues from the great A's fireman, Dennis Eckersley.

Sure, he has a completely different demeanor and begins his windup with an exaggerated step towards first, but when he takes that first step towards home, Streets arm angle is definitely Eckersley-like. Unfortunately, he still has about 395 saves to catch up with Eck.

There may be some doubt as to whether Street's slight build and throwing motion might lead to a few arm injuries, but there is little doubt that he has above average Major League stuff. One thing I've learned watching baseball is that commentators will often use the term "great stuff" referring to a pitcher's effectiveness, but rarely can a person at home literally see it.

Street has some of the most wicked movement on every single pitch he throws. The proof is the box score. Street routinely makes everyone from rookies to seasoned veterans look bad on a daily basis.

A New York Post writer noticed that the steroid-laced slugger, Jason Giambi, is now wearing Mizuno shoes that belonged to teammate Hideki Matsui. Nike confirmed that Giambi's association with the shoe company was terminated. The fall of Giambi continues the steep arch of a classic Greek tragedy. Now, if only Speed Stick would relieve us of those stupid commercials of Giambi in a tuxedo swinging a bat.

Why didn't the A's include Braves' righthander Kyle Davies in the Tim Hudson trade instead of the sore-armed Dan Meyer. Meyer, a former #1 pick and lefthanded was shutdown after the A's found his range of movement in his shoulder to be alarmingly nonexistent. Meanwhile, Davies jumped from AAA to more than cover the injuries to Mike Hampton and John Thomson. Nevermind that he's 2-1 with a 1.15 ERA, but Davies has the look and physique of a more mature hurler. I've watched two of Davies' three starts versus Boston and Washington and while he did make some mistakes late in the game, you could see a toughness and confidence that may long endure that of Meyer.

I have a lenghty yet-to-be posted blog demanding the firing of A's manager Ken Macha in favor of thirdbase coach Ron Washington. Just as soon as I saved it the A's ran off four straight wins and Macha finally made a change with the struggling Eric Chavez by moving down in the order. Either Macha reads the LFR or its just the nature of this game--anything can and will happen.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

American Hero

W. Mark Felt
Originally uploaded by wonderbread74.
The famous Watergate journalists Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein said they wouldn't reveal Deep Throat until he or she passed.

W. Mark Felt, the former second-in-command at the White House, would have been content dying without ever experiencing the acclaim and attention of being the world's most infamous anonymous source. In the end, this American hero at 91 was encouraged by his family, who thought, with his failing health, his cherished gift to the Republic should be finally recognized.

Mark Felt seemed to be the creation of a problematic anonymous source. In 1972, President Nixon passed him over for the #1 spot at the FBI to replace J. Edgar Hoover. Two years later, embittered by the snub and the dead end to his career he retired.

Felt had an axe to grind. Angered by Nixon's decision, he took what he know and slowly spoon-fed Woodward and Bernstein. Was he a snitch? Is it possible what he did was criminal? Sure, but his selfless character led him to act on behalf of his country.

It's quite ironic that Deep Throat was unmasked in the weeks following the Newsweek scandal and assuredly timed by these ideological heroes to combat the admistration incessant attacks on the media.

Mark Felt is undeniably one of the greatest Americans of the 20th century. America, today, needs many more Mark Felts. In a time of unprecedented secrecy in government can you imagine the criminal activities that are currently happenning in the Bush White House?

To this administration, the anonymous source has taken a full-brunt assault. They can easily paint it as a misused tool and shorthand for poor reporting. In fact, the clarity that Bush tries to extend to the Newsweek scandal is far more murky and because the media, in general, is staggering from too many blows, a retraction was issued but the end result was still the same.

Newsweek changed its story because the anonymous source pulled back from his statement that U.S. interrogators flushed the Koran down the toilet ('s Sidney Blumenthal reported that inmates at Guantanamo did not have flushing toilets, instead, had buckets that the Koran was inserted into). He didn't say he concocted the story or that it was false. It was followed by more reports of systematic abuse at Guantanamo Bay contained in hundreds of lawsuits by former detainees. Amnesty International followed with a report calling Guantanamo Bay "the gulag of our time".

The stark criminality of the Bush White House and sustained attacks on the media has upped the ante for people like Mark Felt and whistleblowers all over government and business. Hopefully those people will find encouragement in the deeds of Mark Felt, who quite possibly saved our nation from catastrophic damage during Watergate. Felt alerted us to the dictatorial president who overstepped his authority and broke criminal laws

We must dearly believe that the role of the media in America is the weapon of the people and is still, despite what Bush says, healthy and vibrant. Without the power of the pen we cannot enjoy freedom.