by Peter Freyne
Leaf-peepers are everywhere and clear skies are in the forecast!
Hey, did you see the moonrise last night? It’ll be full tonight.
I was downtown, crossing Main Street near Nectar’s about 6:40 p.m. when I looked east up the Main Street hill. Bumper-to-bumper cars heading down the hill. It’s Parents Weekend in this fine college town and the restaurants in the People’s Republic of Burlington were going to be packed last night. And then, all of sudden, there it was - a huge ball of white light right at the top of Main Street over UVM.
Nice. And a few of you may remember firsthand that night of July 20 back in 1969: “One small step for man. One giant leap for mankind.”
I was 19 years old. Just finished three years in Maryknoll’s college seminary outside Chicago and was transferring downtown to Loyola in the fall to finish up on the sociology degree.
Spent the summer of 1969 caddying at Scarsdale Golf Club ($14 for a double) and drinking beer with the gang at Foley’s in White Plains. The Vietnam War was dividing the country as it damn well should have. The White House had lied to us about the reasons we needed to protect America and freedom and democracy by fighting the North Vietnamese. The "domino theory" was considered real by our leaders. It warned that the Commies would spread like falling dominoes and conquer the world for the Karl Marx lovers. It was absolute, complete propaganda/bullshit!
The Gulf of Tonkin “incident” that our government used to justify racheting up military action was, as we later learned, a total fabrication. A lie. And it was a lie with enormous consequences. More than 58,000 Americans of my generation died young as a direct result. And more than 1 million North Vietnamese and Viet Cong did as well. Plus innocent civilian casualties. War is hell.
Why do the “best and the brightest” get third-rate leaders?
Back in 1969, the German-accented Henry Kissinger was President Richard Nixon's National Security Adviser.
Some things never change, eh?
Word has come out in the last week that Kissinger has been advising President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney on the Iraq War.
That’s right. Dubya - who ducked the Vietnam War draft and the Vietnam War by using his inside connections to get to the top of the Texas National Guard list - gets advice on the Iraq War from Henry Kissinger!!!
A perfect fit! Incompetence and dishonesty are their strong suits. No wonder it's turned into an absolute disaster.
How does this happen?
Maybe it’s because the only two requirements to become President of the United States of America are:
1. being over 35, and
2. getting the most electoral votes.
As we know all too well, getting the most votes isn’t enough. They have to be electoral. Ask Al Gore. And what a price we’ve paid, eh?
In lives and limbs. In racking up the greatest debt in American history. In ignoring the global-warming crisis. In destroying our country's reputation in the world as the champion of freedom and democracy. And on and on and on....
Thanks to the good folks in the blogoshpere who have forwarded me this funny little ditty from Daily Kos. It’s subject matter is the embarrassing campaign of Vermont Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rich Tarrant, the guy who is happilly throwing millions from his own private stash down the toilet. In the print column, I got into Tarrant last year. His Florida residences. His shaky behavior on the Fletcher Allen hospital board, his public attack on those who criticized the deceitful hospital management (CEO Bill Boettcher's now in federal prison), his shady sale of IDX software to Fletcher Allen in small $1.5 million packages to avoid state oversight etc. and so forth. It's not a pretty record.
Now thanks to his multi-million dollar TV ad campaign everyone knows Richie Tarrant - and most, quite frankly, are quite sick of him. The only question left on the Senate race is whether or not Tarrant will break 30 percent. His per-vote cost may well set an all-time national spending record.
One thing is certain: Rich Tarrant will not be missed when the election's over and he joins his lovely second-wife at his true residence, one he purchased for a measly $9 million. The address is 1131 Hillsboro Mile, Pompano Beach, FL 33062.
Want a peek?
Just cut and paste the above Florida address into Google maps. See for yourself. Meanwhile, Tarrant pretends his $460,000 summer home in Colchester is his true principal residence. Unbelievable!
And here's the Daily Kos ditty about Richie Rich's savvy campaigning skills:
I am in Vermont now for a week and I went to alovely church supper yesterday. Who should walk in but Rich Tarrant, Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate, facing Bernie Sanders, who is officially an independent, but in practice a Democrat. Tarrant works the room, shaking hands with about 80 people and making small talk with all of them. I was one of the last. So I said to him: "You realize that everyone in this room except for the little kids who are serving and half a dozen cooks is from out of state?" He looked like somebody had just punched him in the stomach. Here is a guy from Vermont who doesn't know the state is overrun by leaf peepers from all over the country the first week of October? He also didn't realize that the supper had been organized by one of the local churches to be neighborly to the tourists and maybe make a little bit of money for the church (they charged $8.50 a head but members of the congregation donated the food). I guess Tarrant is not a member of the reality-based community.