April 29, 2004

Muqtada al-Sadr warns of suicide bombers

As a 21st Century American, I personally can’t imagine why any human being would want to take his/her life in order to kill other human beings, much less order others to do so. So, I conducted an informal survey here at The Big Needle (Pine Needle Retirement Home). I asked residents these two questions.
1. Does it seem normal to you that one person would be willing to kill himself or herself in order that others he or she does not like would also be killed?
2. Would you be able to do such a thing?
Some residents refused to answer the questions. One even said, “You’re crazy! What kind of idiotic questions are these? Why would I want to consider answering them? Go away!”

But, the resident was right. I am, at this point in time, willing to concede that a fundamental difference between our Christian religious practice and culture and Islamic religious practice and culture is that the Muslim religion finds a place for such an ignominious exercise. In the West, suicide is considered sinful. On the other hand, though a fundamental Christian would find a suicide bombing to be unacceptable, our invasion of Iraq and the subsequent deaths of 10,000 women and children is acceptable. In some indirect and barely discernible way this last translates into the lack of forethought on the part of Mr. Bush, his cabinet, congress, and many of us ordinary citizens in the USA concerning the invasion of Iraq. Religious enthusiasm prevents rational thought, and our invasion of Iraq is the proof of the statement. Additionally the over 700 deaths of American armed forces personnel, the standoff at Najaf, Karbala, Falluga, and other cities in Iraq, and al-Sadr’s threat of suicide bombers is the direct result of our lack of forethought.

Should we be able to prevent a second term in office for Mr. Bush, Senator Kerry’s first point of order will be how to resolve the question of Iraq? For the rest of us, we must resolve the following quandaries. What if any lessons did we learn in Vietnam? Have we gained new wisdom in Iraq? Finally, how do we prevent such arrogance on our part in the future since we have failed to do so two times within the past half century?

"Iraqi Cleric Warns US Against Attacking Najaf"AOL News,4/22/04, 5:22 AM EDT (viewed 5/22/04, 10:32 A.M. EDT)

* “Today’s News Photos,” Al-Jazeerah, http://aljazeerah.com, July 24-26, 2003 (visited on April 28, 2004, 10:02 P.M.)

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April 26, 2004

Terrorists Will Try to Get Rid of Bush

Not by assassination. Rather, they will try to kill ordinary Americans in order to persuade us not to reelect Mr. Bush to a second term in office. It would seem that they are smarter than we are. And, I am not being unpatriotic. Condoleezza Rice suggested as much back on April 18th when she said the following.

''I think that we do have to take very seriously the thought that the terrorists might have learned, we hope, the wrong lesson from Spain,'' Rice told ''Fox News Sunday.''

''I think we also have to take seriously that they might try during the cycle leading up to the election to do something,'' she said.


The disturbing part of Dr. Rice’s statement is the strange and ominous interjection of “we hope” in the first sentence above. I can’t help but wonder what she meant. Did she mean we want them to learn the wrong lesson? Why would we want them to learn the wrong lesson? Does she hope that such an terrorist act would backfire and Mr. Bush would be reelected? If so, the desire to see Americans killed by terrorists in order that her team might remain in office is “beyond belief creepy and horrific.”

* “Government bracing for Terrorist Attacks Before Election,” AOL News at “http://aolsvc.news.aol.com/news/article.adp?id=20040418151009990001&_ccc=1,” (visited on April 19, 2004, 6:10 A.M. EDT)

*2 Caricatures by Steve Graham-Smith, The Portfolio of Steve
Graham-Smith, http://sgsartwork.ca (viewed April 26, 2004, 6:19 A.M. EDT)

April 24, 2004

Free to Be

I was too depressed today to go to my bridge group at 10:00 AM. And, I normally help with the arts and crafts group that meets at 2:00 in the afternoon. I called in sick today. I just have to think my way out of this funk.

As I look back, I am pleased with what I have done with my life. So, I will continue to talk about that past life from time to time dear journal. The past is terribly important to me because I don’t yet know what my future holds. I could still write a new volume to the Varnastrama Journals, and/or do silver man performances, as I’ve said, but they would not be part of the official archive of my life as an artist. It would kill Ruth if I’m Discovered walking around WallMart as the silver man. Do you think I could get headlines in the Intelligencer Journal (local daily newspaper)? I may even release my own line of cosmetics and fragrances. “Eue d’ Reflection, the cologne for the man or woman who really isn’t there” might be good. My French is terrible, so I’d have to check on the correct spelling of reflection. I could put out a few hundred bottles for a couple of hundred dollars. It would be worth it to have those bottles with a picture of the foil man in drag on shelves in local boutiques. Ruth would (bleep)!

I have been so miserable for weeks now, but as I write this, I see that I have been given something extremely special. Ruth gave my past away which means that now I am free to be and do anything I want. So, I guess, I’m free to be an honest to goodness a nasty old fart when I want to be! What else am I free to be? Well, I’m free to flee this flea bag “Pine Needle Manor” soon as I can find a Gay and Lesbian Retirement Community I like. Ruth and the farm were the only reason I was staying. The boys are in New Jersey. My other Amish relatives (the few that are left) don’t want to know I exist. They’ve been “shunning” me since 1938. So, I’m free to leave Lancaster County, though I know I would miss the beautiful rolling hills and farms. The entire county is being paved over anyway. How pathetic is that? One of the 10 best soils in the world and we’re covering it up with solid asphalt, malls, and suburbs. (And we have the guts to tell other countries not to destroy their natural resources.)

So, I just have to decide what an 84 year old artist x-Amish gay is free to do with his life. What a quandary!


My Hero Died

Ralph Nader was special. He stood for the well being of the common man and the safe keeping of the environment. But, as I’ve said before, today he is on an ego trip of such mania that I am stupefied. It is so necessary to relieve Mr. Bush of office that any impediment, including Mr. Nader is not only superfluous, but dangerous. Check out my channeled man, Stephen Gulliver from an alternate reality, where Mr. Bush is elected for a second term in office and see what our world will be like after 8 years of GW and the oil oligarchy.

*Alcaraz, Lalo,L.A. Cucaracha, L A Weekly, nationally in Hispanic Magazine, in MSN, Ralph Nader by all the top artoonists, http://cagle.slate.msn.com/2000/nader/nader6.asp (viewed 4/24/04, 10:41 A.M. EDT)

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April 22, 2004

A Friend Trys to Cheer Me Up

My friend Dr. Carla Mary Rineer gave me this information. Try "God Hates Shrimp" for a web site that parodies the fundamentalist propensity to project personal prejudices on God.

4 Billion Dollar Shortfall In Iraq


General Richard Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that thge recent decision to extend the stay of some 20,000 troops will cost roughly 700 million more over three months. And the White House kept open the possibility that it will seek additional funds before the end of this election year.

He stated that the shortfall will become apparent by the end of August and that additional funding will be needed for September.

What about October through December?

Additionally, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz was quoted as saying that its doubtful that foreign countries will contribute troops to Iraq.

Mr. Bush’s Popularity Seems to be Holding!

Republican Party Attacks Senator Kerry’s War Record

How rediculous! But, people will believe his incredible record is tarnished if the Republican Party says it loud and often enough. Is the collective American Mind brain dead?

Wake up America!

Senator Kerry has a Silver Star, Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts!

*”Pauline Jelinek, AP “Congress Wrestles With Iraq Budget Crunch,” AOL News, http://aolsvc.news.aol.com/news/article.adp?id=20040421091309990004, April 22, 2004, updated 3:51 A.M. EDT (viewed April 22, 2004, 6:14 A.M. EDT)

*2 Morgan Crew Mystery Series byArthur Lee, http://www.morgancrew.com/, created August 6, 2001(visited April 2004, 6:37 A.M. EDT)

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April 20, 2004

I’ve Been to the Doctor

He said that under the circumstances he would be surprised if I wasn’t depressed. He said he would give me something for the depression if I want it, but that he would prefer to wait a little longer. He asked me if I wasn’t angry with Ruth?

“Of course I am,” I said.

“Good, you should be. I’m not a psychiatrist, Isaac, but I do understand some basic things about grieving.”

“Grieving! Nobody died.”

“Oh, but they did, or the next thing. Your Silver Man has been taken from you. All the photographs and drawings of him with Rebecca and the family, including Ruth are gone. He might as well be dead. The entire set of the Varnastrama Journals is gone. How many years have you been writing those? And, your maps and drawings of Varnastrama, they’re all gone too. All the people you write about in Varnastrama, they're gone. It’s as though the most important part of your adult life, your work, has been taken from you.”

“They’re not gone. They’re in Pittsburgh.”

“In a gallery basement. Can you go get something and bring it home with you if you have a new idea for your work?”

“No.” I’m allowed to go and look at my stuff, that’s all.”

“Isaac, I don’t like to say something like this, but at the very least Ruth should be in jail. She has stolen your life. She has taken your adult life as an artist and dreamer and she has had it locked in a basement in Pittsburgh. Get over the grieving, please. Instead, be angry with Ruth!

“How will that help?”

“You’ll be able to move on to something else.”

“Henry, I’m 84. What do I move on to.”

“Isaac, you are a remarkably healthy 84. I have patients in their 50’s in worse shape than you are. You could live to be 94, even 100. Do you want to sit in Pine Needle Manor feeling sorry for yourself for the next 10 years?”

John Ashcroft Says He Never Heard About or Was Informed of the August 6, 2001 PDB


So much for the information in that brief having been widely circulated in the government as both Dr. Rice and President Bush stated.

However, the August 7th PDB has no mention of bin Laden’s imminent threat against the USA and that is the information that was circulated.


Bush Visits Pennsylvania


And, surprise, surprise - he pushes for the renewal of the Homeland Security Act.

Big Daddy wants to watch over us.

Did you know that the act allows for the government to arrest citizens based on the books we read. The damned thing needs to be taken apart piece by piece and closely examined before it is renewed!

*Image acquired from - Timothy Lynch, “More surveillance equals less liberty:
Patriot Act reduces privacy, undercuts judicial review,” The Hill, Sunday April 18, 2004, http://www.hillnews.com/news/091003/ss_lynch.aspx (visited Sunday, April 18, 2004, 10:11 A.M., EDT)

*2 Image acquired from Scott Lindlaw, “Bush Calls For Renewal of Patriot Act,” AFP/Getty, AOL News, Elections 2004, updated April 20, 12:31 A.M. EDT. (viewed April 20, 6:23 AM EDT)

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April 18, 2004

"Good Morning"

April 16, 2004

I sound like a broken record...

and that’s why I haven’t been writing much about my life, dear journal. It seems that the loss of all my life’s work has blown me out of the proverbial water, and I’ve been staying in bed till the middle of the day. I can’t make myself go to any of my usual activities here at THE MANOR. Instead, all I do is channel Stephen Gulliver’s world. I haven’t been taking any meals in our dining room, nor have I been cooking in my apartment. I do drink water because I don’t want to become dehydrated, and I did have a bowl of cereal and some coffee this afternoon.

I know that I could fight Ruth and the professor on this because my work has been taken away from Orchard Hill Farm without my permission. I certainly could take them to court and probably wipe the floor with them, but what a complicated and destructive mess that would be!

I’ve been playing Mendelssohn’s Elijah, “If with all your heart you truly seek me, ye shall ever surely find me” over and over again. I know God, Jesus, and the holy ghost are available to us all no matter our sexual orientation. The music is so beautiful that I hoped it would help, but to no avail. I’ve just gotten sick of this magnificent representation of supplication and I shan’t ever be able to listen to it again.

I know this isn’t good, and if I don’t soon come out of it, I shall call my doctor and ask about mood elevators.

*image located at “Mendelssohn:Lobgesang,” http://personal.telefonica.terra.es/web/coralcarmina/ (viewed: Friday, April 16, 2004, 6:17 A.M. EDT)

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April 14, 2004

Mr. Bush's Speech a Disappointment

There was nothing new. The extreme right political ideology that we have the opportunity and the right to impose our will on Arab speaking countries was present and clear. The war that is not a war is not going well. He denied comparisons to Vietnam. And he denied that he has made any misjudgments, much less done anything wrong. The man is an ideologue.

His popularity continues to drop.

This is my favorite image of Mr. Bush.


*”From Gym Bar to George Bush:MU grad, a Navy flier, shares cockpit, controls with commander in chief,” Jason on Line, http://www.jsonline.com/news/metro/may03/137897.asp (viewed April 14, 2004, 6:38 A.M., EDT)

April 12, 2004

How specific must we be in order to act?

I'm trying to remain calm here, but the August PDB memo everyone is discussing included the following information.

1. CIA and the FBI are investigating a call to our Embassy in UAE in May saying that a group of Bin Ladin supporters was in the US planning attacks with explosives.

2. ...FBI information since that time indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York.

3. Al-Qa'ida members - including some who are US citizens - have resided in or traveled to the US for years, and the group apparently maintains a support structure that could aid attacks. Two al-Qa'ida members found guilty in the conspiracy to bomb our Embassies in East Africa were US citizens, and a senior EIJ member lived in California in the mid-1990s.

4. The millennium plotting in Canada in 1999 may have been part of Bin Ladin's first serious attempt to implement a terrorist strike in the US. Convicted plotter Ahmed Ressam has told the FBI that he conceived the idea to attack Los Angeles International Airport himself, but that Bin Ladin lieutenant Abu Zubaydah encouraged him and helped facilitate the operation. Ressam also said that in 1998 Abu Zubaydah was planning his own US attack.

5. Ressam says Bin Ladin was aware of the Los Angeles operation.

6. Clandestine, foreign government, and media reports indicate Bin Ladin since 1997 has wanted to conduct terrorist attacks in the U.S. Bin Ladin implied in US television interviews in 1997 and 1998 that his followers would follow the example of World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef and ''bring the fighting to America.''

I'm not trying to be a smart "bleep," but why do we need exact dates and place names on our intelligence reports to know that we should be trying to find exact dates and place names in order to track terrorist threats. Did I say "place names?" The "World Trade Center" was mentioned specifically by bin Laden as early as 1997. So, the question is, what specific measures might have been taken, and by whom should they have been taken to track terrorist activities before the September 11th tragedy?

I would say that a great many people have a great deal to contribute to an understanding of what might have been done in order to prevent 9/11/2001. We do not need to alienate any of them. Let us allow Chairman Kean and the 9/11 Commission to complete their inquiry.

I shall remain calm.

*image located at “President Bush Names Kean to Chair 9/11 Commission,” Drew University News, http://www.depts.drew.edu/media/news/2002/20021216_kean/ (visited; April 11, 2004, 10:05 P.M. EDT)

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April 11, 2004

Stephen Gulliver's 2024 Journal

Stephen Gulliver's Journal, is appearing at "Straight World". All his entries on my journal will be removed once transfered.

April 10, 2004

August 6, 2001 Terror Meeting


The President was informed at that PDB (Presidential Daily Briefing) meeting that Federal Agents had been investigating the possibility of terrorist attacks within the borders of the United States for three months. That’s all we know about a memo that has not been declassified by The White House. We can speculate until the cows come home and it won’t do any good. However, the following is an e-mail sent to AOL concerning the speculation that has developed around an article about the memo. I find the misplaced anger expressed in this letter frightening, and it sets my dentures to rattling. I pray and hope that the person who wrote it is only 8 years old. I include it here with mistakes.

You are an antiAmerican liar, and a traitor ! alquaidacrats (fka democrats) like you are what makes normal people look brilliant ! clinton caused 911 and so did the idiots that voted for him ! Why aren't you mad that clinton could have had him IN JAIL you disgustingly stupid moron ? It's because you choose to ignore the TRUTH ! osama bin kerry would be the worst thing that could happen to American freedom, if that lying pig were ever elected ! Thank GOD ALMIGHTY osama bin kerry is going to loose in a landslide !!!!!!!

I’m Still Depressed...

and I don’t want to talk about my personal life, dear Journal.

*image acquired from “Company Related Sites,” The United Steel Workers Union, “http://www.uswa329.org/Default.htm,” at “http://www.uswa329.org/1999/company.htm (Viewed Saturday, April 10, 2004, 9:12 A.M. EST)

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April 07, 2004

Why Am I Still Depressed?
The Weather

Inside and out
It’s cold.
Rain, rain, and Cold!
Fits this old
Fart's mold
Mouldy, wet mood
You sad old dude

Rain, rain, and Cold!
You can’t control the cold.
But, you can fix the mood.
Banish the cold in your old head, Dude

It’s Old News Now, but Eight More American Soldiers Were Killed in Iraq Sunday Past

Hundreds of Iraqis were killed or wounded in the worst rioting since the war ended. Eight American troops lost their lives. This time the Shiites were involved. The Shiites are the largest religious sect in Iraq and were persecuted by the Sunis during Saddam Hussain’s regime. They are composed of many small groups fighting for suppremacy over one another. In Kufa a group of Shiites took over the police station. The riots seem to have been sparked by the arrest of an aid to anti-American cleric Mugtada-al Sadr. The aid is one of many arrested as suspects in the assassination of another Shiite cleric. Al-Sadr is quoted as saying “strike terror in the heart of your enemy.” * Turns out he's the leader of this rebellion!


I saw in the news Monday that a decision to increase troops in Iraq is to be made within 48 hours.

Rebellion is Contagious

12 more marines were killed and 66 Iraqis in fighting during the past 24 hours. The American death count must be around 630.

Why isn’t it obvious that we are seen by Iraqis as having repladced Saddam with a worse tyrany, the tyrany of the infidel. Whatever made the oil Oligarchy and Mr. Bush think this was something they could do easily? What is it that keeps over 50 percent of Americans marching calmly, leming-like behind him in this Twenty-First Century Vietnam? It’s obvious Mr. Bush doesn’t care about Americans. He cares about OIL!.

Yesterday Ted Kennedy said “Iraq is President George W. Bush’s Vietnam.”

* image acquired from Blood for Oil, “http://www.bloodforoil.org/dubyah/” (Viewed Wednesday, April 7, 2004, 6:09 A. M. EST)

*Mohammed, Khalid, “Riots Kill at least 50 Iraqis, Eigth Troops,” AP on AOL News at “thttp://aolsvc.news.aol.com/news/article.adp?id=2004040406300999000”, posted 05/05/04 03:35 EDT (viewed 6:28 A.M. EST)

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April 06, 2004

April 04, 2004

45 Years of My Work is Gone!

I am so depressed, and I have been too depressed to write the past several days. Sorry dear journal.

So, Ruth has won. She has effectively cut me off from all my work. She has had it all boxed and removed hundreds of miles. No more embarrassment for her. No more worry about the neighbors seeing and/or talking about her crazy old man dressed in silver foil. If she set out to hurt me she couldn’t have done a better job of it. This feels as though she and the professor have decided that my life is over, that I am too old to produce anything else of substance.

Of course, I can always do more of the “Silver Man Performances.” And I can create a new Varnastrama Journal, but these would not even be official since they would not be part of the archived collection of my work. I have been photographed, alphabetized, boxed, and terminated!

And, how many years do I have left? I guess it’s time to start thinking about what’s the most important thing to me in these last years. Contrary to Ruth’s belief, I still have my wits, and a fair amount of mobility, though arthritis is gradually making every joint less functional. And, once decided, I must do and be that ”it” because I do feel the end rattling around in these old bones.

My friend Anji says that the professor makes me “sound like an onion or something.” Perhaps I have to be like an onion. I should peal away all the layers, because there would be “no thing” at the center. Neither would I be there, and I would not need any of these things I’ve made.

Beyond the Onion Skin

Mr. Bush Gaining in the Polls

He keeps coming back, like the damned battery bunny. Now people are all hopped up about the economy improving, that is 318,000 new jobs last month. What kind of jobs; technology, manufacturing, service, and at what levels? I also want to know if this is a sustained increase of jobs over the next 6 months or so. I do wish the best for people, so I hope it is sustained and we can find jobs for all those who have lost jobs in the manufacturing sector.

However, jobs are not the issue for me. The president lied to me, to all of us, and he mislead us. No one seems to care that we invaded a foreign country without provocation. No one cares that there is no tie between Iraq and Al Quada as we were told by Mr Bush and the “Oil Oligarchy.” No one cares that there are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Americans don’t care that we invaded Iraq and killed 10,000 women and children in this crusade / war that is not a war. No one cares that over 600 Americans are dead!

Now,we are about to embark on another major venture in Fallujah because of the incident the other day in which 4 Americans were killed and mutilated.*2 How many more will die? All because our president took us into a war that never should have happened in the first place. For this alone George W. Bush does not deserve to be reelected president of the United States of America. But, for some strange reason, Americans want this evil war that is not a war to continue, and they want this evil man for their president.

* image acquired from Blood for Oil, “http://www.bloodforoil.org/assets/lot-of-death-poster-tn.gif” (Viewed Saturday, April 3, 2004, 9:57 A. M. EST)

*2 Sanders, Edmund, and Perry, Tony, “U.S. Prepares for Forceful Return to Fallujah,” http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2001894733_iraq03.html, Los Angeles Times, Saturday, April 30, 2004.

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April 01, 2004

American Death Count in Iraq Passes 600


How many Bin Ladins have we created with this war that’s over but keeps killing people?


Ruth has won! I am cut off from my past! I’m too dispirited to write about my life.

*image acquired from “Blood for Oil, “http://www.bloodforoil.org/,” September 27, 2002 (viewed Thursday, March 18, 2004, 6:30 A.M. EST).

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