I’ve saved these items that appeared in my mail and doorstop 15 years ago.

For 15 years, the “New Yorker,” with the pages from the “San Francisco Chronicle”, folded not-so-neatly inside, have been near me. On a bookshelf beside my bed. Stuffed into the bottom of a basket by my living room couch.

I can’t throw them away.

Almost at once, I wondered where the fingers would point. First, why would 19 Saudis want to attack us? That was hard to know, as the fact that the men were Saudis didn’t make the headlines. All we knew was that there were several days when no planes flew overhead. Then, three days after the attack, members of the Bin Laden were pulled from where the FBI had hidden them in Texas, and flown home in chartered planes.

The fear was rising. CBSNEWS.COM STAFF CBSNEWS.COM STAFF CBS September 30, 2001, 4:57 PM, ”It’s a tragedy,” Prince Bandar told the Times. “The elders” of the students “came to see me, and one of them was a bright boy from Harvard who like the others had absolutely nothing to do with this and yet we had to tell him to go home and wait until the emotions calmed down. And he told me that he never really appreciated why the Japanese wanted a memorial or an apology for their treatment in World War II.

“The student added, according to the prince, “I understand now that when you are innocent, in the face of emotion, nothing, not even common sense, can help argue your case.”

As to why, the San Francisco Chronicle had a column of “Two Cents Opinion” letters answering a call for readers to address “Whether the president shown strong leadership?”
Six letters were published. Two mentioned Bush’s sorrow, “the way he walked across the White House lawn, straight and determined.” The letter at the bottom of the page, a man named Michael Katz, from Berkeley, is chilling as it foresaw our future, the one that leads to a demonic Republican candidate who might one day stroll across the lawn into the White House. And push a button.

Katz’s letter: “Two generations of Presidents Bush have ‘led’ us toward oblivion. As vice president, the elder Bush presided over the CIA’s creation of the Taliban and the training of Osama bin Laden. As president, Bush was blundered into a needless, devastating – and ultimately failed – war against Saddam Hussein. The resulting US military presence in Saudi Arabia reportedly generation bin Laden’s obsessive hatred of America. Distracted by fantasies of a magical missile defense, the current Preside Bush has presided over an unforgivable failure of basic intelligence and homeland defense.”

This was 20 months before May 2003, when he and Chaney and the rest, would announced that our invasion war would be paid for with the Iraq oil.

History repeats itself, so the saying goes. This time, repeating the inadvertence could be deadly.



When the River of Bile Began to Flow

Four years ago today Barack Obama was nominated for the Presidency of the United States.

For one, brief shining moment, it looked as if America’s march into fascism and oligarchy were to be placed on hold.

Or so we thought. Then, something worse happened: Obama was elected President.

Ever dig a hole by the seashore or a riverbank?  Remember how hard it was to keep the water from oozing up and destroying your hard work?

The bile of hatred that has risen from the bottom cannot be stopped by good intentions, hope, intelligence, or truth. Bigotry has rebounded with a vengeance, fostered by a media that puts the propaganda of Joseph Goebbels to shame.

I say, let the fascists and corporations and “we’ll-be-rich-if-we-vote-for-the-rich” finish what they started. In 2016, those of us who survive the onslaught from the top – oh blessed trickle-down that worked so well from 2001 through 2007 – be heeded.

I doubt it. It will be hard to hear the whispers of “I told you so . . . ” over the cacophony of ignorance, the groans of a dying nation.

August 23, 2008

Too big to fail?
We’ll see about that.

August 23, 2008

Los Angeles Times
“ . . . But, as we are painfully learning, it’s one thing for the economy to lose Pets.com and a few hundred, or thousand, similar start-ups; it’s another thing entirely to watch the market bet on the demise of, say, the nation’s two largest providers of mortgage money.

Detroit pushes for a $50-billion bailout
Ken Bensinger | Times Staff Writer  
August 23, 2008

Los Angeles Times

“Would John McCain or Barack Obama bail out General Motors Corp. or Ford Motor Co. should the shadow of bankruptcy fall upon them?
Detroit isn’t waiting for November to find out. In recent months, the auto industry has been lobbying Congress to back $25 billion in low-interest loans for automakers and suppliers. Now, along with the United Auto Workers union, it’s asking for $25 billion more.”

Other happenings on August 23, 2008
A federal appeals court denied a constitutional challenge to a 2002 anti-fraud law that created a board to oversee the accounting industry after a wave of business scandals.
An attorney for the conservative plaintiffs’ group said it planned to appeal the 2-1 ruling by a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, either to the full appeals court or directly to the Supreme Court.