July 23, 2002

I used to love thunderstorms: the energy in the air, the way everything seemed to turn green, the sound of the thunder. Nobody told us when we bought our house that we were moving into Lightning Lane. Last year our wellhead was hit and it took out most of the power/appliances in the house. A few weeks ago something in the yard was struck and we lost the furnace. Last week one of the neighbors got hit and he's had all sorts of repair vans in his driveway. The guy next door was hit two years ago. We're supposed to get strong thunderstorms this evening, and my twitch is back.

Our previous house was in Tornado Alley. Before we moved in a twister had taken out most of the trees in what would be our yard - a fluke, you figure, right? Puh. We had three tornados in the nine years we were there, all during thunderstorms in the middle of the night. We'd wake up to the sound of freight trains barrelling through and trees cracking. Except for a few locust trees that had been trimmed like show poodles by the earlier tornado, our yard was pretty empty, but people around us lost some real beauts. This is NJ, for petessake - you just don't expect tornados to become a habit around here!

Egon is still giving me hickeys. I woke up last night to find him draped across my head and latched onto my neck like a remora, suckling and doing that kneading thing with his paws. I'd pry him off me, only to have him return, like the Terminator. At least he's leaving my eyelids alone now - it took almost a week for the swellings to go down.

"To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, 'Journalists who would give up some credibility for a little government access deserve neither.' Too many members of the Washington press corps have become nothing more than toadies for the current administration. While every administration can be expected to have its fair share of loyalists penning favorable pieces on the news, editorial, and op-ed pages, what is amazing in the current environment is the lemming-like rush by a number of heretofore liberal and progressive reporters to support the Bush II administration's extreme right-wing policies. These modern day quislings in the media even provide the White House with helpful cover from investigations by more independent-minded journalists.

"Such has certainly been the case with the recent publication in English of "Forbidden Truth: U.S.-Taliban, Secret Oil Diplomacy, Saudi Arabia, and the Failed Search for Bin Laden." Written by French journalists Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquie, the book's first French language publication in Europe caused a major furor. Brisard and Dasquie provide concrete evidence how this same self-serving approach to business permitted the Taliban to negotiate with senior members of the Bush administration on a lucrative pipeline deal just weeks prior to the al Qaeda terrorists slamming commercial jetliners into the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon.

"....once again, the Bushes are up to their asses with corruption and questionable business partners and acquaintances. "Forbidden Truth" highlights some of these. But it is only a start. But the Washington-based sell outs in the Fourth Estate cannot be counted on to expose the rest of the Bush dirty business deals. And they extend far and wide: The Caryle Group and Barrick Gold, on whose boards Daddy Bush serves -- the first company does business with the Bin Laden Group while the second is involved with questionable CIA-backed regimes in Africa; Scowcroft Associates, headed by Daddy Bush's National Security Adviser and Dubya's Chairman of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board -- it is involved with shady deals from the privatization of South Africa's state-owned telecommunications company to the CentGas deal; JNB International, an oil firm that along with Enron used Bush influence to get oil and gas contracts in Argentina; M&W Pump and its partner Bush-El, Florida firms that used Jeb Bush to intercede with it in military-ruled Nigeria in 1989; and the list goes on and on." - Snipped from Wayne Madsen's column, reprinted here.

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