James Alexander Thom

October 24, 2007

We know by now that our troops have been fighting and dying in Iraq longer than they fought in World War II.

Might as well mention also that we’ve been fighting and dying in Iraq’s civil war as long as we did in our own Civil War (1861-65).

George W. Bush has put David Petraeus, surge-in general of the United States, out front pitching his case for making it last longer. What U.S. military officer ever had a harder mission assigned to him: trying to convince Congress and the American people that Bush is telling the truth about something he’s lied about for five years? About his reason for starting it; about “Mission Accomplished” when it was just beginning; about its costs; about its progress, etc., etc.

August 1, 2007

We've done everything else to Baghdad in these last four years. Maybe it's time to verbify it.

Yes, Baghdad could go into the dictionary as a verb now. By its constant usage, almost everybody would know what it means:

"Baghdad (v): To create vast ruin and chaos, usu. under false pretenses or by lack of forethought..."

July 18, 2007

If America could quit pretending that George W. Bush was ever legitimately elected to the presidency, then we could deny that all the sorry disasters of the last six years were done under authority of an American president.

That is, we could lapse into blissful denial - which is the place to go when everything is too awful and shameful to face.

At last we seem to have reached that place, where even those who insisted that he got elected wish they could say it wasn't so.

After all, what country that calls itself a democracy wants to admit that it placidly let schemers get away with a coup d'etat?

What country wants to admit that it acquiesced while its leaders committed war crimes, like the unprovoked invasion and destruction of someone else's country, or condoned torture?

May 23, 2007

Goodness, what a stubborn little poop that George W. Bush is!

He won't listen to Congress, the American voters, the Iraqis, his Daddy, his own Iraq Study Group, Cindy Sheehan, me, you, anybody who wants his war to stop. Won't say when the soldiers can come home. Pretends we're winning. Warns Democrats in Congress they'll "put the troops in danger" if they impose deadlines or cut funding for the war (never mind it's he who started that war and put them in all that danger).

April 25, 2007

I say! Whatever happened to the old stiff upper lip, the Colonel Bogey March, the ramrod spine, the code of honour, and all that jolly rot so dear to the British heart?

How embarrassing that maritime capture incident in the Persian Gulf turned out to be! First, Her Majesty’s sailors and Marines gave up their wee patrol boat to the Iranians without firing a shot, and Horatio Nelson turned over in his grave, don’t you imagine? Gave up without a fight. You’d almost think they were Frenchies, what?

March 11, 2007

In this age of astounding blunders, it is our responsibility as intelligent citizens to educate ourselves in the field of fiascoes, FUBARs and flubs. If nothing else, we owe it to Molly Ivins.

Blunders come in many forms, but some of the most serious are listed and defined here:

  • The Blunderblunder, done by failing to look both ways before crossing the Rubicon.
  • The Thunderblunder. This is characterized by loud threats, war drums, bombast and bomb blasts. It is similar to:

December 3, 2006

This administration has got me scared of just about everything: terror cells and stem cells, home-wrecking homos, Islamofascists and Godless liberals, dirty bombs and shoe bombs, WMDs, box cutters and shampoo bottles, and on and on...

But the scariest thing I've heard of is that phrase they use, "the ticking baby boomer time bomb." That gives me chills!

We began to hear warnings about it when the administration was trying to privatize Social Security. "When all the baby boomers suddenly retire" became the most ominous phrase.

September 24, 2006

A passel-of us respectably unwealthy Owen County Democrats gathered in a rural home recently to meet our district's new congressional candidate, eat finger food with him, size him up, hear whether he makes sense and give him a little money to run his campaign. He's a lawman named Ellsworth.

He made a fair impression. He's tall and well-groomed. He doesn't chew with his mouth open or cuss with his mouth full, as, say George W. Bush does.

He gave a short, decent, intelligent talk. Even better, he spent the evening listening to what we hope for and expect and answering hard questions.

I offered to double my $25 campaign contribution if he'd support impeachment when he got in. He didn't promise, so I didn't double it.

August 13, 2006

When I got to be one of the readers in the Bloomington performance of Anthony Arnove's Voices of a People's History last April, I was eager, because Howard Zinn's book on which it was based is my favorite American history — the wisest one.

I was even more pleased with what was selected for me to read: words of my favorite living novelist, Kurt Vonnegut, beginning with the question I've been asking myself the last five years: "Where are Mark Twain and Abraham Lincoln now when we need them?"

The selection couldn't have been more to my liking if I'd compiled it myself. And in it I found the answer to Vonnegut's question: Where are Twain and Lincoln? Right there in Vonnegut himself.

July 2, 2006

It's more than half a century since I wore the green fatigues, but once a Marine, always a Marine.

Or, Semper Fi.

What's a faithful old Marine to think about the news that a squad of Marines will be tried for the massacre of two dozen innocent Iraqis in a town called Haditha?

What I think about it is that I'm heartsick that it happened, and I'm mad as hell at the scheming fools who put those Marines and the Iraqi victims in that crazy situation.

"Crazy," in French, is "fou." In Scottish, "fou" means drunk."

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