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Saturday, Aug 27th

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Editorial

Basking in Halliburton's Glow Once Again

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Thank goodness it was a mammoth, well-connected corporation like Halliburton that lost a radioactive device on September 11.

After all, if a small company or a few individuals had been involved, there would have been a need to crank up the manure-blizzard machines, and make sure everyone was socked and clobbered with terrorism charges aplenty, for starters, following such mindless behavior.

As it is, only the -- let's see now -- the NRC, the FBI, the Texas Department of Transportation, the Texas Department of State Health Services, local law enforcement, and a special National Guard team has so far had their bells rung with this news and been forced to chime in.

Officials say the 7- or 8-inch long stainless steel rod, which is about an inch around and is stamped with the radiation symbol and the words "do not handle," doesn't produce radiation that's "extremely dangerous" -- although, they add, if the device is spotted, it's best to stay back 20 or 25 feet.

Good to know it's not dangerous.  Much.

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Happy Belated Everyday

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Happy belated New Year, even though everything is the same as it ever was, year in and year out:  corporations trump human life; Republicans can't be bothered with truth, facts, or logic;  labor and the middle class have been cold-cocked and are down for the count.  Money still shrieks out the rules.

Happy belated Earth Day, while we're at it, even though nothing's changed over here either, even after 40-plus years.  Oh, sure, there have always been engaging science fairs, well-meaning bazaars,  contests using various arts and crafts, and nice ideas we try on as if playing dress-up for an hour or so.

Wish we could take credit for altruism being a standard part of human nature.  It's just not so. Instead, we all get back into our fossil-fuel eaters after the Earth Day show, and go roaring away somewhere else.

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Rationing Logic at the Rationale Centers

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Given Willard Romney's constant taste-testing of his own feet, he must have athlete's tongue by now -- unless he has a protecting coating in there from enzymes produced in perpetual flip-flopping and the steady mouth-and-truth-stretching exercises from his incessant lying.

At least Paul Ryan adds some balance to the ticket:  When Willard is prevaricating, Paul can pick up the mantle of flat-out lying;  when Paul is dissembling, Willard can maintain his forked tongue.

The two men must also be pro golfers, based on all the great lies they regularly produce with all their balls.  And, as each man has at least one hole in his head, it appears they will be content to be scored as a hole in two.

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We Are Already Where We Were Afraid We Would Be

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Before I got started I wanted to define just one word: Fascism. I spent hours wandering in the vastness of the Google and by the time I called it quits I had thousands of words mined from scholars, historians, and politicians. I then boiled them all down to these 109 words:

Benito Mussolini said, “Fascism should rightly be called Corporatism, as it is the merger of corporate and government power.

Leon Trotsky, “The historic function of fascism is to smash the working class, destroy its organizations, and stifle political liberties when the capitalists find themselves unable to govern and dominate with the help of democratic machinery.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, “The first truth is that the liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism — ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power.

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Can't Hear the Good News with All This Screaming

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The count of breathtakingly insane religions, cults, and allied wackos on the scene on any given day is limited only by your ability to use higher numbers.  Members always profess goodness and light, then commit dark and damaging acts.  The claims are high-minded, the deeds are low down.

Religion is an ancient subject and it gets older all the time.  Very old.

Sample just one nutball, a so-called pastor, by name of Terry Jones -- yes, the same one who burned Korans last year, instigating days of intensive rioting in Afghanistan.  This year, he's out to best his record, and has succeeded:  He backed a film providing insults aplenty for Muslims, who say it defames Islam and its holiest figure, Mohammad.

Once again, rioting and death follow this pastor's so-called good works.

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Getting All Up in Someone's Faith

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It's Sunday, and Elvis's Bible just brought $94,000 at auction.

We are left in the pews wondering what Jesus might have made of that, in light of so many clear instructions and concise admonitions that the wealthy are to give their riches and material possessions to the poor.

There are likely no specific passages in the Bible providing a loophole to hoard wealth in order to buy a spendy celebrity Bible, but the ironies are still striking.

Not to get into a scripture-shootin' war here, but you'd think Matthew 19:21, Luke 12:33, and Proverbs 22:16 -- among many others -- would have had plenty to say to the devout, and have guided and coaxed much better behavior by now from all well-heeled Bible-thumpers.

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Dancing as Fast as We Can, and Then Some

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Every time we seem to make any progress as a species, we tend to immediately slump back from the effort, exhausted.  Then, we invent something to take care of the new problem we've created from our initial efforts, and go on with our lives -- satisfied with a job well done.

In other places and times, this might have been called playing to a draw, but in our country, it's usually called Progress.

One of the most hair-raising and intriguing dances is life itself, of course -- although global climate change, religious conflicts and wars of all kinds are spine-chilling, too.  Those dances are all still in continuous motion, as is the case with the most intricate, hypnotic motions.

Here are some steps I've fallen over lately, ( just call me Dances with Gooney Birds ), and which have yielded curious results on examination:

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