Mountebanks: they’re everywhere


— Bumper sticker of the week: Fear breeds homeland insecurity.

— Quotes of the week: “We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home.”

“No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices.” Edward R. Murrow

— Positive peeverism of the week: In spite of a terrible economic environment, in the U.S. as a whole and Galesburg specifically, businesses continue to open. I am amazed, but glad to see people willing to give it a go. Try to patronize them as much as you can. And thank them for taking the risk.

— The President’s approval rating is down to 39 percent. Just how low will this number go? I’m betting 27 percent by June 1, 2006.

— How to spot a right-winger across the room:

• Look for glowing eyes.

• It’s the damn smirk.

• They’ll be talking about family values while they’re hitting on your wife.

• They may have on a white sheet disguised as a white shirt.

• Their phone plays “Onward, Christian Soldier.”

• They won’t be getting along very well with others. Remember, they didn’t evolve.

— Harriet Miers is said to have written a birthday note to George W. Bush stating, “You are the best governor ever.” That alone should disqualify her from holding any position requiring an IQ over 35.

The Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court was recently seen on TV giving a testimonial for Harriet Miers: Another reason to disqualify her.

— Rove, Libby, Cheney, Delay, Frist, all set to go down: Damn the luck.

— You can bet that if our government was involved with the election in Iraq, it wasn’t fair. Hell, we ain’t had a fair election in this country the last two times. Either that, or we got an awful lot of dumb people.

— Rumsfeld is back to questioning the military intent of China. It’s about time he started questioning the military intent of America.

— The U.S. auto industry goes bottom up: GMC, once the darling of American industry, struggles to stay out of bankruptcy court. Their solution: fire 25,000 workers and cut health-care benefits. Welcome to the wonderful world of capitalism, where labor is always to blame.

— Another Rocky movie is on the drawing board: I can hardly wait.

— Inflation is headed up. Interest rates are headed up: It seems the government has been growing money on trees as of late. A couple hundred billion here, a couple hundred billion there. Pretty soon, you got to grow more of those money trees. In reality, the money tree is thee. And thee has just about had it.

— Speaking of movies: “Good Night, and Good Luck,” directed by George Clooney, is about to be released. (A pre-release screening was held in Galesburg not long ago.) It is sort of a docudrama on the lives of Edward R. Murrow and Joe McCarthy, a newsman and a fear mongering Senator. A timely movie. Demonstrates not much has changed in the world of politics over the last 65 years. The boys at the top want to continue to scare and intimidate us into submission, while the underdogs try to expose them for the mountebanks they really are.