The Pencil Today:

HotAirLogoFinal Monday


“Who would have ever thought blacks would get out and support the first black president? Who would have ever thought women would shy away from the party of transvaginal probes? Who would have ever thought gays would work against a party that treated them as immoral and subhuman? Who would have ever thought young people would desert a party that ignored science and hectored on social issues? Who would have ever thought Latinos would scorn a party that expected them to finish up their chores and self-deport?” — Maureen Dowd



Comic and politico Aaron Freeman has put out a call for anyone who can honestly say she or he was not taken in by the Bush Administration’s rationalizations for the Iraq War in late 2002 and early 2003.


Aaron Freeman

You remember, don’t you? Georgey-boy, Dick Cheney, Condoleeza Rice, and even Colin Powell stood on their heads to implant the images of bloodthirsty brown people, mushroom clouds, and general panic in our imaginations in order to snow us into attacking the Saddam Hussein regime.

Perhaps the saddest moment of the buildup to war was Secretary of State Powell half-heartedly trying to sell the United Nations General Assembly on “evidence” that Hussein and his wild-eyed pals were thisclose to launching a big one against this holy land.

The funnyman — Freeman, not Bush — wonders why anyone would have doubted the word of the Bushies, considering the fact that most highly intelligent people he knew at the time bought the casus belli hook, line, and sinker.

9/11 Panic

So, take yourself back some ten years to those glory days of yore. Try to remember what you were thinking at the time. And don’t forget we were only a little more than a year past the 9/11 attacks. Be honest and tell us, in the poll below, if you bought the Bush line or you thought, even as we were gassing up our B-2 Stealth Bombers, that he and his gang were full of shit.

Oh, and leave a comment in the box labeled “Other” explaining why you thought one way or the other.

Thanks in advance.




That’s all for today, kiddies. I been working my fingertips to the bone, trying to get the new Ryder magazine and film series website off the ground, along with publisher Peter LoPilato and developer Boice Tomlin. As a result, I feel lazy today.

Remember to stop in at The Book Corner. A few words of advice, though. Do not buy either of Bill O’Reilly’s bestsellers, “Killing Lincoln” and “Killing Kennedy.” Do not buy “50 Shades of Chicken.” And do not buy any of those I-died-and-went-to-heaven books.

Book Cover

Don’t You Dare!

Reading should improve your mind, not shrink it.

Otherwise, buy anything you want.


2 thoughts on “The Pencil Today:

  1. bill says:

    I wrote this to a group of writers and reprobates with whom I’ve been virtual friends with since I got my first comm program and acoustic modem (c. 1987)

    I’ve been trying to follow. I’m glad Dave was able to rejoin us and carry
    the ball. I appreciate that Zach, as usual, is lending a voice of reason. Lucia
    and Louise bringing compassion, David’s input of “intelligence” from outside
    our sandbox, is greatly appreciated. Kent? What can I say… Every platoon needs
    a Kent. The diversity of our alliance strikes me as similar to what is hopefully
    transpiring in situation rooms around the U.S.. But at some point action is
    necessary, lest the iron grow cold. Fortunately, for us and our planet, we are
    not the ones who will formulate a response.

    I’ve watched, I’ve listened, I’ve read and I’m processing information like
    everyone else. I sought out BBC coverage in an attempt to balance the inherent
    cheerleading of American news. What I heard and saw wasn’t completely different,
    but there were striking contradictions. The BBC reported widespread chaos and
    panic surrounding the tragedy, U.S. sources showed Rudy praising New Yorkers’
    calm and poise under extreme circumstance. As the days have evolved, the “world
    news” has returned to covering other events and realities while our news has
    become understandably obsessed.

    While we scan the middle east for an enemy, any enemy, at which to strike, we
    slowly come to see that America once again finds itself unprepared for war.
    Despite our best intentions, mixed in with some purely self-serving and
    mercenary ones, we must try to use a hammer to turn a set screw.

    When threats made a sharp turn, we plodded forward. Some, working in the
    industry, took notice and advised we re-evaluate. SFAICS, their warnings were
    dismissed in favor of plans and contingencies that had either a more traditional
    feel or resembled something from Dreamworks. I fear that strategists will seek
    an arena that favors our current configurations and resources. Such a move would
    risk far more than it would provide. In order to most properly respond we must
    deliberately re-evaluate and re-tool. That we must do so quickly should not
    prove a major obstacle given the proper commitments.

    Somewhere within the bureaucracy, (more likely, in many places) there are
    studies and recommendations that conceive of our commercial airlines being used
    as ballistic missiles against us. It is inconceivable that nobody, anywhere,
    pondered this possibility. Initially, some news outlets were providing “expert”
    insights that included people who were branded “Chicken Little”. As the
    horror unfolded, they were removed. Nobody wanted to hear anybody saying “I told
    you so!”. The reality is slowly sinking in. The incessant images are molding us
    into an angry mob, shaping our reaction, urging us forward, telling us that it’s
    allright to feel these emotions and okay to project them into our “measured

    The image of Palestinians in spontaneous celebration were shown, then withheld,
    then shown again, when people demanded them be shown. (The one of particular
    impact to me was the one clearly showing a Chicago Bears jersey on one of the
    children) I must wonder of other, unshown, images gathered from satellite feeds
    from around the globe. When news of the U.S. being under attack spread it is
    sure that other spontaneous celebrations erupted. Those feeds are collected
    somewhere and should be used to evaluate official responses from nations
    pledging alliances in this new war.

    We are being told that our way of life has been forever changed. If true then
    the terrorists scored a major victory. If we adopt the kind of security measures
    currently employed in Israel, for example, and agree to a military presence on
    our streets, routine searches, lessened mobility, controlled release of
    information, checkpoints and limited access to public facilities. They will have
    largely defeated us. Such a response would foment the kind of mentality that
    created Waco, Ruby Ridge and Oklahoma City.

    If we truly intend to punish those who have sheltered, aided, funded or trained
    terrorists, we should begin in America. The American people have the right to
    know that terrorist cells around the world contain American educated, trained
    and equipped, engineers, soldiers, geo-political strategists, chemists
    andonandon… Pledging allegiance to our flag requires that we understand the
    actions our country takes beyond our borders. We must understand that the kind
    of capitalism we practice is blind to the motivations of those paying for a
    particular product or service. That the prosperity and creature comforts we
    enjoy, and largely attribute to this capitalism, are in large part subsidized by
    the many socialized aspects of our culture. That resentment of our prosperity
    goes beyond petty jealousy to real pain and suffering by people exploited to
    provide products and materials for our consumption. Being in this for “the long
    haul” will require us to accept the ways in which we impact others and adjust
    our thinking. Simple excision of surface blemishes will not provide a cure, but
    it would certainly provide temporary relief while a cure is sought and found.

    A great opportunity has presented itself with this act of terrorism. Those who
    died can be forever remembered by changing this into a world where such things
    are unthinkable anywhere, not just in the U.S.A..

    -bill, still thinkin’

  2. Susan Sandberg says:

    I remember hearing the drum beat to war and thinking it was inevitable. Someone had to pay for 9/11, and the Bushies were itching for “bring it”. I was in no position to disbelieve the “facts” leading up to the war on Iraq, but I do remember the healthy skepticism that clouded all things Bush and Company. Never trusted the guy, never will. Nice quote from Maureen Dowd, and as always, thanks for the book warnings! Your recommendations have been on target for me and my Loved Ones!

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