Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Andrew Shirvell, Crusader of the "Doth Protest Too Much!" Community

To The Office of the Attorney General of the State of Michigan:
I'm writing with regard to Andrew Shirvell, an assistant attorney general of Michigan, and his Internet campaign against college student Chris Armstrong, the openly gay student assembly president at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.


I'm a writer and a satirist and Andrew Shirvell is satirical gold!

First off, he makes the Michigan AG's office look like a rodeo clown college. I mean, who would employ a person so lacking in maturity, ethics, dignity or rationality? Apparently the Michigan AG's office, that's who!

Secondly, it is ever SO clear that Andrew Shirvell is all man. I mean, any hint or inference that he, himself, is gay would be utterly inaccurate. Any suggestion that Andrew, himself, may be homosexual and is acting out his repression and conflicting feelings about that would be irresponsible and totally erroneous. Though, he sure does seem to be an expert on the many facets of the gay lifestyle and how vulnerable, confused young men might be seduced by more worldly persons of the same sex.

Moreover, it's one thing for this embarrassment to play out locally, but hurrah for Andrew Shirvell who managed to be interviewed by Anderson Cooper on CNN! And the blogosphere has just lit up with articles recounting Andrew Shirvell's bizarre and obsessive campaign against Chris Armstrong.

As an anti-establishment satirist, I applaud all of this. Anything that makes our ingrained institutions look ridiculous is OK with me.

I mean, Mike Cox comes off as so straight-laced and sanctimonious. Now, picturing Mr. Cox and Mr. Shirvell not only working in the same office, but attending the same AG Christmas party, puts a real hoola skirt on the dry, boring Attorney General of Michigan.

In the meantime, see if you can lighten Mr. Shirvell's workload somewhat to allow him more media interviews. I haven't written about Mr. Shirvell yet. But I will! I will!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Kim Yong Il insists his son was elevated to the rank of general based on his own merits

A shameless example of nepotism was ratified in North Korea today when Kim Yong-Il's son Kim Yong-Un was promoted to the rank of general.

The American State Department was quick to issue a response to the move saying, "This is one of the many reasons why North Korea will never move forward and join the rest of the world in the 21st Century. They don't share Americans' work ethic or respect for those who make their own way in life without the help of powerful friends or family members. Kim Yong-Un was born on third base and thinks he hit a triple."

Kim Yong-Il praised his son and said the promotion was based upon his son's own merits, having slain numerous dragons, defeating several powerful wizards and inventing a cure for cancer (which the West will never see!).

The promotion was celebrated with a rare, open-air performance of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying in Pyong Yang.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

American History X -- Where "X" Doesn't Mark the Spot

I just watched American History X, a 1998 film in which Ed Norton played a skinhead, Nazi white power guy who goes to prison for killing some guys (black) who were trying to steal his car.

He is sent to prison, where he learns to love and finally see life from others' perspectives, aided by a small, sassy-talking black kid with whom he works in the prison laundry. For, in prison, the impossible happens: the white supremacists aren't quite as committed to the cause as Ed Norton's character. He "disses" them because of this. And then horror -- they rape him in the shower to demonstrate that he shouldn't judge them.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Dalton McGuinty of Green Acres, Ontario

Is Dalton McGuinty really the feckless rube he appears to be?

In the wake of his magnum opus, the HST, McGuinty now fancies himself an expert on money-saving tips for Ontarians.

From The Windsor Star: "Premier Dalton McGuinty suggests that Ontarians concerned about rising energy costs should consider doing their laundry on weekends, when electricity rates are lower."

It seems the premier has a ready audience for his pearls of wisdom (and by "pearls of wisdom" I mean utter, inane bullshit). The article in which McGuinty speaks from The Mount regarding Ontarians' laundry practices is 346 words in length. That's fully 300 words too many.

Friday, September 24, 2010

A Picture's Worth 140 Words

This image explains -- more concise than a Twitter feed -- why this show is a piece of shit.

As John Doyle of the Globe & Mail says, "A stream of amusing Tweets diluted into dull TV, a hilarious book boiled down to a formulaic sitcom with added treacle. It’s an instance of how network TV can ruin anything."

C.O.W. vows to fight Burka ban in France

As France votes to ban the burka, covered women everywhere vow to fight on.

"Nothing has changed," said Elkima Dotminder, spokesperson for Covered Women of the World (C.O.W.). "We still believe in the freedom of the individual and that these are our bodies, and if we want to keep them covered, we have the right to do so!"

Jacques V. of Oglers Anonymous, Marseille, France chapter, had this to say, "If they're going to wear the burkas, could these woman at least taper them to be a little more form-fitting? I'm sure I've spotted some nice asses, but have such a difficult time verifying my first leer."

Colbert at Capitol -- All seriousness breaks loose!

Colbert Made a Mockery Out of Congress screams the headline on

The Drudge Report intones in its usual understated way: "Shock: Even DC reporters declare Colbert to be out of line..."

As though D.C. reporters have even the faintest idea of what's funny. These are the same self-important stiffs who panned Stephen Colbert's searing, lacerating, brilliant performance at the White House Correspondents Dinner in 2006.

Journalist after journalist who attended that event droned about how dull and inappropriate Colbert was. Bullshit! Those lame-asses were the brunt of Colbert's satire -- as well as George W. Bush, whom I'm sure didn't understand a thing that was said by the comic.

Of course those D.C. reporters with their lofty impressions of themselves didn't find him funny.

And didn't today.

My point -- who cares what they say? I don't.

Given the fact that Al Franken is one of the most articulate and effective politicians in Washington, I think more comedians should have input in how the U.S. government works.

Since conservatives do not possess the gene needed to laugh, there are, obviously, no conservative comedians.

Should Stephen Colbert have been invited to testify in character at Congress? I don't think so. He was invited to do so, and so he did. But given how deeply irony-impaired much of America is, the true meaning of his satire would be lost on most.

Poor, dotty, brain-injured John Conyers asked Colbert to excuse himself and submit his testimony in writing. There's a real man of the people, Conyers -- married to the Joan of Arc of Detroit who's 36 years his junior and about to serve 36 months in prison for corruption.

I think most people will come away with the same thought after seeing Stephen Colbert testify in character on Capitol Hill:

Congress is a mockery of Congress.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The commercials in between the commercials

There was a time when late night television was actually interesting. Johnny Carson would have on John Lennon or Peter Sellers, Jane Fonda or gawd forbid a writer like Norman Mailer or Gore Vidal. And they talked about things; conversed.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

History-impaired Missouri zealot bans books unaware that suppression of arts often bolsters interest in them

In Missouri, Banned Books Week Starts Early

It takes a special, toxic mixture of arrogance and ignorance to come out against books as one Wesley Scroggins has in the great state of Missouri.

I'm sure Mr. Scroggins has forgotten his youth, and even if he does recall snatches of it, I'm sure it was a scarring and disfiguring time; one in which the gnarled spiritual spine of a misguided zealot grew into the knotted, rotted mess it is today.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

If anyone was serious about turning America around, there'd be a march on Wall Street

Nothing signifies the lack of seriousness in public discourse about the highway robbery perpetrated by the Bush administration, with its $700 billion bail out of the "free market system" -- which President Platitude in the Oblong Office is now being tarred with -- than these bogus Tea Party events, candidates, and worse, demagogues like Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin hijacking the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream Speech" with a rally about "restoring honor."

What does Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin know about honor? Nothing. If they really wanted to restore honor to America, they would have jumped into the Potomac River.

And if there was any seriousness about reforming our Thug-based economy, the Rape and Pillage economics that governs our "free" markets, there would be a march on Wall Street.

Wall Street is where the criminals who tanked the economy earn their ill-gotten gains.

Wall Street is Ground Zero of the American Economic Collapse of 2008.

Wall Street bankers should be designated enemy combatants, economic terrorists and hurled into Guantanamo Bay, Cuba -- which President Platitude hasn't yet closed. Something along that line would happen if there was any real justice in the country where 46 of the 50 states are on the verge of bankruptcy.

From The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street:
[The economic crash of 2008] was a giant hustle that served the richest of the rich and left the rest of us holding the bag, a life-altering game of musical chairs in which the American public was the one forced out. Worst of all, legislators from both political parties we elect and pay to protect our interests from the pirates who assaulted us instead changed our laws to enable them.
If this is the case, then why has no one called for a march on Wall Street?

Back when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was alive, I've read that among all of his speeches and events, none caused his enemies -- J. Edgar Hoover and most of the encrusted, white, robber baron establishment -- more anxiety than his proposed "Poor Peoples' March on Washington."

Dr. King never got to lead that march. He was shot down in Memphis before it could become a reality.

It was one thing for people of color to seek equality in America. That was a bitter pill the establishment knew it would one day have to swallow -- grudgingly, halting and fighting it every step of the way -- but poor people? Even Jesus Christ said, "The poor will be with you always."

No way any movement for the poor would get off the ground in any meaningful way.

Hence, the egregious bonuses continue unabated to the criminals on Wall Street.

If there was any seriousness about rectifying the damage to the economy wreaked by the criminal corporate class, those bonuses would have been replaced with subpoenas and criminal charges and court dates and frog marches and prison time.

Instead, we have multi-millionaires ranting about President Platitude on Fox News and EIB. Sean Hannity is worth an estimated $30 million. Glenn Beck is worth approximately $22 million. A couple of years ago Rush Limbaugh signed a 10 year contract for his radio show valued at $400 million. Sarah Palin has earned a reported $13 million since she quit her job as governor of Alaska. These multi-millionaire "voices of the people" are nothing but shysters who sell you the snake oil that makes you sick, and then turn around and sell you the cure.

Not content with that, Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity have respective scams ongoing to continue to pull in the dollars.

I'm glad Stephen Colbert and John Stewart are going to have their marches. I just wish they'd go "off book" for one day and march on Wall Street rather than safe, predictable, photogenic, ready-for-the-crowds Washington, D.C.

Friday, September 17, 2010

"Don't Tell Me We're Not in a Religious War!"

I recently received an email with the image shown above with the following:
In 2009 a store in Houston, Texas had this sign posted in the store window commemorating the martyrdom of Imam Ali. Imam Ali flew one of the planes into the twin towers in New York.
And the note ended with the statement "Don't Tell Me We're Not in a Religious War!"

So, two minutes of Googling revealed to me:
(a) none of the 9/11 hijackers was named Imam Ali

(b) Imam Ali was, in fact, a Muslim figure who died in 661 A.D.
Now, I don't trust the FBI list entirely. At least 7 people named on it have been found alive and had nothing to do with 9/11.

Don't tell me we're in a religious war!

Friday, September 10, 2010

The more things change, the more they remain asinine

Honestly? This still goes on? The hollow, always wrong predictions from the Department of Homeland Security are still being released?

“[W]e can’t guarantee there won’t be another successful terrorist attack,” Napolitano will tell first responders and emergency workers.

Fuck off. Honest to gawd, fuck off.

At least the color-code alert system hasn't been in the news of late, though it's still a standby in airport communications play-list.

Orange alert. Were those fucking people kidding about that? "Remain vigilant." "Keep shopping."

The only upheavals and attacks that have affected most of our lives are those for which we received no warning, for which there should have been plenty of warning, but still overtook like flash floods: the housing market bubble bursting, the pirates of Wall Street getting bailed out, the auto industry running into a tree, Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, AIG.

There are no cells at Guantanamo Bay for economic terrorists.

But luckily, there's Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to mark the anniversary of 9/11 with empty bureaucratic bilge.

She's another pickle on the shit sandwich of President Platitude's incredibly ineffectual administration.

Well, everyone here at Inside the Hotdog Factory will remain vigilant, will continue shopping and will report any and all suspicious activity to the authority, as the corpse of 9/11 is once against hoisted high and worshiped as though it were nailed to a cross.

All the news that fits

The recently, targeted fallout over the Robert Rodriguez movie Machete, reminded me why conservatives hate news outlets that are not Fox News or Rush Limbaugh, or any of a number of appendages to the radicalized right in America:

Without the constant, breathless Limbaugh/O'Reilly-esque commentary constantly smoothing the barbed edges and continually blowing ever more smoke through passages comprised of ever more mirrors, conservative politics appear as what they are: childish, reprehensible, untenable, delusional, life-denying, greed-enabling, corporate-handjobbing beliefs.

Conservatives constantly need these echolalic voices to massage their indefensible beliefs into the soil of themselves.

Hence conservatives' violent hatred of news on National Public Radio or any outlet not in lock step with their Ministry of Truth. Because those outlets do not provide the same oiled cacophony to smooth the way for the unswallowable beliefs of conservatives to be swallowed.

Seeing/hearing their beliefs in their naked, unvarnished form, conservatives rebel. They criticize the media outlet when they should, in fact, look at themselves and examine their their hopelessly incongruous tenets without the psychedelic enhancement of their mega-million dollar commentators.

It's like the old Bucket Beauty Test. You want to know if a woman is beautiful, let her apply whatever makeup and hair products she pleases in order to look her "best." Sit her on a milking stool and then throw a bucket of water in her face. If she still looks good, she's truly goodlooking.

Conservatives need to throw a bucket of water on their belief system and give it an honest look. Being foot soldiers for corporations and politicians who hate them is really no way to live a life.

Sidebar: The news referred to in the image on this post, where Fox News, inexplicably, reported news was this story EXCLUSIVE: Pentagon Attempts to Block Book on Afghan War.

Will wonders never cease?

Franken and Olbermann supported the war in Iraq at the start? Fuckers!

I read it, but couldn't believe it.

During an interview with Democracy Now, Michael Moore said that both Keith Olbermann and Al Franken, at first, supported George W. Bush's war in Iraq.

It seems impossible, yet that's what Michael Moore said:
MICHAEL MOORE: . . . For those of you in your own communities, at work, at school, when you were against the war, especially once it started, you were in a very small minority. I remember Keith Olbermann attacking me on his show. That’s right, since apologized. I remember Al Franken—

AMY GOODMAN: How were you attacked? Why did he attack you?


AMY GOODMAN: What did he say?

MICHAEL MOORE: Because he was in favor of the war. I remember Al Franken attacking me, because he was for the war. That’s right. . . .
How could anyone be so stupid?

In early 2003, when Canada made it known that it would not join the US in invading Iraq, then-American ambassador to Canada, Paul Cellucci, made not-so-veiled threats against Canada, saying there would be repercussions for its lack of support.

Here's a letter I wrote to Paul Cellucci in March 2003, mere days after the War in Iraq began:
Dear Mr. Cellucci,

This letter is occasioned by your speech this week at the Economic Club of Canada, where you expressed America’s disappointment that Canada has not supported its war with Iraq.

The United States of America is in the midst of a public relations disaster. As you know, following the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania, much of the world rallied in support of America. In less than two years, that international unity has been soured and swallowed by the blackhole of George W. Bush’s foreign policy.

The hard fact is this: America has not made a case for war with Iraq.

Sure, Colin Powell made his February presentation to the U.N., and the anti-climax of his empty “evidence” cannot be understated. Particularly when it was later revealed the intelligence given to him by Britain was plagiarized from a graduate student’s thesis available on the Web, reproduced with the original spelling and grammar errors -- and pertained to the first Gulf War. Hardly inspiring.

Maybe I can delineate the heart of America’s credibility problem: The premise of the Bush administration is deceit, subterfuge, and corporate greed. Although it was not widely reported in America, the world press has published innumerable news stories about “purge lists” created for Florida voting rolls by a GOP-friendly company called ChoicePoint in the months leading to the 2000 election. As a consequence, tens of thousands of legitimate Florida voters were stripped of their right to vote, the vast majority of them were African American, and most importantly, Democrats. This was a deliberate act to influence the outcome of the 2000 election. And it worked. The administration is now filled with former CEOs; some of them oilmen. I understand that Kellogg, Brown & Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton, the oil-services firm that Vice President Dick Cheney used to run stands to profit handsomely from this war. Talk of Iraq’s reconstruction at war’s end being led by American corporations, not the U.N. makes it difficult not being cynical about the whole situation.

So, here’s a president who comes to power under dubious circumstances. Following the September 11, 2001 attacks, when Osama Bin Laden proved too elusive, the administration concocted a false theory that Saddam Hussein was partially to blame for the 9/11 attacks. In a recent poll, more than 50% of Americans said they not only believed Iraq was directly behind the 9/11 attacks, they believed that Saddam orchestrated them, and the highjackers were all Iraqi citizens. Such is the power of the anesthetized media, which acts as an uncritical conduit for the Bush administration. Even the CIA admits there is no link between Saddam Hussein and Al Quaeda.

The call for war with Iraq first centered on disarming Saddam -- disarming him of weapons America provided him during the Iran/Iraq war in the 1980’s. When the U.N. weapons inspectors found neither biological or chemical weapons, nor weapons of mass destruction, suddenly the war was billed as a move to “liberate” the Iraqi people -- in much the same way a pick-pocket “liberates” a person from his wallet, I suspect.

In the midst of all this dangerous, rhetoric-heavy waffling, America has bullied and insulted its allies. It’s frightening and disheartening seeing dissent labelled “unpatriotic” within America, but witnessing the McCarthyistic stifling of debate jump American borders has been downright frightening. The Bush administration has addressed its allies like CEOs berating disobedient managers. All the while, America has not produced a single shred of credible evidence that Iraq is an imminent threat to it, or any other nation.

I have no sympathy for Saddam Hussein. He’s a tyrant and a madman, and he’s no saner or more civilized now than when he was America’s “fair-haired boy” in the region. Given America’s history of favoring tyrants (the Shaw of Iran, General Pinochet, Ferdinand Marcos, Manuel Noriega, Saddam Hussein), I have no doubt America will someday go to war with the dictator it next installs in Iraq.

Time to be candid: America is at war with Iraq to take control of its oil reserves.

In the past few months, there’s been an interesting conflation of two news events dominating the media: America’s war-march toward Iraq, and the documentary Living with Michael Jackson. One is a microcosm of the other -- Michael Jackson is America: fabulously rich and famous throughout the world, existing in a rarefied stratosphere completely of his own creation (that bares fleeting resemblance to reality), he accepts no criticism, and is incapable of self-reflection. Michael Jackson and America look in the mirror and see seamless sanity -- it’s the world that’s crazy. Michael Jackson dangles his infant son out of a hotel window in Berlin, and cannot imagine why anyone would question his abilities as a father. America launches a wrong-headed, pre-emptive war, yet wants the world to believe it remains a beacon of democracy and fair-minded peace.

This is not America-bashing -- this is the perception exuded by its current administration, compounded by veiled threats such as yours at the Economic Club of Canada. There is much good in America, and much good has come out of America. I hope American troops come home tomorrow.
I have never worked for the CIA. I get my news like anyone else -- a little from TV, a lot from the Web; from all over the place. Even I could see that George W. Bush was a lying, nefarious sack of shit when he first seized the Oblong Office in America. Clearly, any plans he brought with him or formulated within his illegitimate presidency would also be illegitimate.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Machete: The Hispanic "Passion of the Christ"

Machete producers lied about racist bloodbath.

It seems that onscreen carnage is only acceptable when perpetrated by time-honored bad guys, played by blacks, Hispanics, Asians and English actors.

After seeing Machete on opening night, I did remark to a friend, "This Rodriguez fellow -- he seems to have a bit of a bias toward the Mexican perspective."

The true villains of Machete are racism, corruption, greed and ignorance. Since the story involved Mexicans illegally immigrating to America -- creating the paradox that's been conspicuously missing from the "immigration debate": that illegal immigrants are vilified publicly while at the same time vital to the American economy -- the natural enemies onscreen enemies are going to be of the Fox News variety, who do tend to fit into a pretty narrow demographic: Caucasian.

Robert DeNiro plays a particularly reprehensible character, Senator McLaughlin, who runs TV ads showing maggots and cockroaches, while a voice over speaks of illegal immigrants as parasites. He's a lot less extreme than many of the Teabag candidates rising to prominence. And at least he's marginally articulate: Yeah, I'm looking at you Jan . . . uh . . . umm . . . sigh . . . ahhh . . . cough . . . Brewer.

The terrible thing about those faux political ads in the film is that they could easily play on TV in Arizona, Texas and New Mexico without raising much outrage among 'Mericans, as George W. Bush once so eloquently called them.

So, the true villains of the film are racism, corruption, greed and ignorance, the characters in Machete that possess this ignoble traits do tend to be Caucasian actors.

So it goes.

How many decades and in how many thousands of films have blacks and Hispanics portrayed one-dimensional hoodlums, thugs and murderers?

As for white outrage over the behavior of the pale-faced characters in Machete, it was not President Johnson's all black Cabinet and Joint Chiefs of Staff that gave the world the Vietnam War. Robert McNamara wasn't a native American.

The Iran/Contra scandal wasn't perpetrated by a batch of displaced Mexican strawberry and lettuce pickers who secretly infiltrated Washington during the Reagan years. Oliver North wasn't from Guatemala. He and the rest of the American government sanctioned drug smugglers needed Coppertone 35 if they planned on spending prolonged periods of time in the sun.

The Central Intelligence Agency, the leading arm of jingoistic violence the world over has never been run by Chinese immigrants or blacks or Hispanics. Sure, Leon Panetta now heads the agency and I would be surprised if he even knows where the bathroom is located by this point in his intelligence career. The CIA chiefs who overthrew democratically elected governments, had heads of state assassinated (including their own in 1963) and smuggled drugs into the U.S. were white. Tough shit, it's the truth.

BushCo of the 2000s had the tiniest hint of diversity amid its egregious corruption, but still, the lion's share of evil emanated from all the old white men in that gargoyle pit.

So, the cries of racism -- or my favorite: "reverse racism" -- are illegitimate and rise from the mouths of those, whom, in my neighborhood would have been categorized as "you can dish it out, but you can't take it."

Suck it up, white people.

Machete is a kickass action movie and if you're more preoccupied with the racial carnage score than you are with where that naked chick in the first scene stores her cell phone, then you are the racist.


The link at the top of this post goes to a page not only criticizing Machete, but it also has links and addresses at the bottom of the article encouraging people to write to the Texas Film Commission, presumably to complain about funding or tax breaks the filmmakers received to make Machete.

After I wrote an email in support of Machete to the Texas Film Commission, I received the following reply:
Thank you for your comments.

The film MACHETE has received no funding from the State of Texas. The production company has made a preliminary application for the Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program, but their final application has not been received. Upon receipt the final application this office will consider it for approval or disapproval using the criteria we use for all applications.

Bob Hudgins

Texas Film Commission

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Palin Porn - the immodesty of exploitative modesty

Bristol Palin: I Will Have The 'Most Modest Outfits' On 'Dancing With The Stars'

When a sex tape of Bristol Palin finally comes out in a year or so, she'll be in the news promising, "It's the most tame sex tape anyone's ever seen. He only came in my face twice."

When Bristol Palin becomes the CEO of a Wall Street bank, it's a sure bet she'll describe her egregious bonuses as, "You could hardly call it a 'bonus.' It was the most modest . . . It was really more a tip, than a bonus."

When she enters rehab for a future drug problem, Bristol Palin will be quoted in the press saying, "My drug use was so modest, it couldn't even be called a 'problem' or even really 'use.' I was around drugs. They somehow got into my body and now I'm here."

When Bristol Palin becomes president of the United States in 2028, she will announce, "Mine will be a very modest presidency -- sort of like my mother's before me. Actually, I won't even really be a president, more of the nation's babysitter and spiritual guide. You won't even notice I'm here."

Mission Accomplished 2.0

Evil and insanity of the type that swallows whole nations is like a weather system that hovers around the world.

In the first decade of the 20th Century, it enveloped Germany, and did again in the 1930s. It's enveloped Russian, China and numerous African nations.

The terrible thing about this malevolent weather system is that it can overtake multiple countries at once.

Since the end of World War II, it parked its mordant ass over top of America and it hasn't moved since.

The war in Iraq -- in which American combat operations have supposedly ended -- was a debacle of proportions that were, if not biblical, very much Shakespearean. The orgy of violence, greed, bloodlust, corruption, Christofascist crusading, pillaging, torture all wrapped in the funeral shroud of lie upon lie upon lie upon lie.

The war was a mistake. Veterans of the war have been sorely mistreated by the very government that sent them, needlessly, into harm's way.

America threatened and bullied its friends and neighbors and allies to get involved with this war. Some did, many did not.

It'll take more than a nation-sized straitjacket or penalty box to check the flailing arms of America.

If the country was the least bit serious about being a civilized society, it would have put the architects and enablers of the Iraq war on trial. But President Platitude chose to "look forward, not back" keeping the national pass time of not knowing the past and thus making it inevitable to repeat it, completely intact.

Hence Vietnam 2.0 in Iraq.

America must get out of the business of attempting to pluck the speck out of its neighbor's eye and attend to the log in its own -- to paraphrase one of the country's favorite comic book heroes, Jesus Christ.

The country can have all the "Restoring Honor" rallies it wants. There's nothing to restore. The mask fell off completely when George W. Bush seized office in 2001. It's time the Phantom of the Opera was dragged into the light and his ugliness and wretchedness beheld and acknowledged by all.

The Iraq war should never have happened.