Benjamin Franklin on Despotism

Never Forget

So today we get TWO quotes o’ the day, but when presented with a bounty one must simply accept it and share it with one’s friends. Really, this one is a stunner. I’d add my own thoughts, but what Benjamin Franklin and Gore Vidal have said really cannot be improved upon by my words. It would be like painting the Lincoln Memorial or something.

From We Are the Patriots, by Gore Vidal, here is what Benjamin Franklin had to say about the future and the implications of the newly-written Constitution of the United States of America:

“There is no form of government but what may be a blessing to the people if well administered, and I believe farther that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in Despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic Government, being incapable of any other.”

And here is what Gore Vidal has to say in his opening paragraphs:

I belong to a minority that is now one of the smallest in the country and, with every day, grows smaller. I am a veteran of World War II. And I can recall thinking, when I got out of the Army in 1946, Well, that’s that. We won. And those who come after us will never need do this again. Then came the two mad wars of imperial vanity—Korea and Vietnam. They were bitter for us, not to mention for the so-called enemy. Next we were enrolled in a perpetual war against what seemed to be the enemy-of-the-month club. This war kept major revenues going to military procurement and secret police, while withholding money from us, the taxpayers, with our petty concerns for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

But no matter how corrupt our system became over the last century—and I lived through three-quarters of it—we still held on to the Constitution and, above all, to the Bill of Rights. No matter how bad things got, I never once believed that I would see a great part of the nation—of we the people, unconsulted and unrepresented in a matter of war and peace-demonstrating in such numbers against an arbitrary and secret government, preparing and conducting wars for us, or at least for an army recruited from the unemployed to fight in. Sensibly, they now leave much of the fighting to the uneducated, to the excluded.

During Vietnam Bush fled to the Texas Air National Guard. Cheney, when asked why he avoided service in Vietnam, replied, “I had other priorities.” Well, so did 12 million of us sixty years ago. Priorities that 290,000 were never able to fulfill.

Blackwater, Blackhearts


from the always-reliable Get Your War On, via Can’t See the Forest

Fundraiser for Trevor Greene tonight!

Cross-posted from runningthroughrain

Trevor Greene Save the date for No Turning Back – A Fundraiser For Trevor Greene

Date: Wednesday September 26

Time: Doors open: 8pm,

Show starts: 9pm – 12am

MC: Todd Battis CTV News Reporter

Band: So Tight Band & Brickhouse the Band

Place: The Yale Hotel – 1300 Granville Street

Price: $20

On September 26 we are gathering together at The Yale Hotel for a

fundraiser to assist Trevor, Debbie and Grace on their miraculous

healing journey. Captain Greene was attacked from behind and struck with

a taliban axe on March 4, 2006 while sitting in a peaceful Shura

discussing how to bring clean drinking water and basic medical care and

education to the women and children of Afghanistan. His survival has

been called a miracle in the medical profession as he presently

undergoes extensive rehabilitation to speak and to reconnect his brain

and muscles in order to regain function over his entire body. Hosted by

Master of Ceremonies and CTV West Coast News Reporter Todd Battis, the

entertainment line up will feature the infectious sounds of the SoTight

Band ( and Brickhouse

( Tickets to No Turning Back – A Fundraiser

for Captain Trevor Greene are $20 in advance or at the door. Doors open

at 8pm. Show time begins at 9pm. Price of admission includes a silent

auction, 50/50 draws and raffle items. Proceeds from this fundraiser

will go to the Captain Trevor Greene Trust Fund.

Items for door prize, raffle draw and silent auction include two flights

tickets and accommodation to La Penita Mexico, wellness gift package,

one room night in an executive suite and dinner for two, dinner for

four, dinner for two, brunch for two, wine gift basket, chocolate gift

basket and much much more.

Companies that have generously donated are: Casita de la Penita,

Signature Vacations, Foundation for Integrated Health, Fairmont Hotel

Vancouver, Fairmont Waterfront Hotel, Sylvia Hotel, Century Plaza,

Brockmann’s Chocolate, Safeway, The Yale Hotel, In Motion Lotion, Cactus

Club, T tea room and merchant, Terra Bread, Liberty Wine Merchants, The

Atlantic Trap & Gill and Tamsen Ogden Photography.

If you can’t make it to the fundraiser but would still like to

participate following is the trust fund information: Captain Trevor

Greene Trust Fund, CIBC Account #39-31137 (Bank 010,Transit 00500).

You can conveniently purchase a ticket using your credit card through

paypal: . If you do your

tickets will be kept at the door the night of the event.

For more information you can contact Valerie Gibbs by phone at

604.992.4697 or via email at vcg at

For more information on Trevor here is a few links:

The Globe and Mail’s story

Hazel’s story

My story

Osama bin Makeover

Osama bin Makeover

Is it October already? Quel suprise!

Much attention has been paid to the “latest” video which purports to be from Osama bin Laden. Less attention, unfortunately, has been paid to the remarkable differences in his appearance between this video and the “last” video, which was released back in July and shows bin Laden as he appeared back in, say, 2002 or so. In fact, there are no pictures up until this past week which have been identified as bin Laden post-2002.
Naturally, if you’ve been rocking the same look that long, it’s high time for a makeover. From the looks of this “latest” vid, he got one: why, the transformation is positively Swan-worthy. It’s like he’s a different man! Note in particular the Osama bin Rhinoplasty‘d, the Osama bin Browplucked, and the Osama bin Restylaned mouth and nasal folds, the whole region of which appears to be so changed that it is almost as if it belonged to another person.

Almost, eh?

The great fashion blogger (and, not coincidentally my boss) The Manolo has fisked Osama‘s new look over on Pajamas Media, and for once we at the deeply Red ol’ raincoaster blog will encourage you to click over to a site owned by the Great Right Wing Conspiracy to get some good old-fashioned belly laughs. If only Stacy and Clinton could get their hands on this boy!

In the simple phrase, we now have witnessed the arrival of “Osama bin Metrosexual”.

With the freshly dyed beard, it is obvious that here is yet another sorry example of the aging man who has resorted to the Grecian Formula SPF50 in order to stave off the ravages of time; the man for whom the grey beard is not the mark of honor and of the life well lived, but of the irretrievable loss of youth.

Trust the Manolo, Osama, this look is not working for you.

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Osama bin Laden’s latest video message

Here is the latest video from Osama bin Laden, apparently released a few hours ago (Sunday, July 15th) although there is no way of knowing when it was actually recorded. There is some background from

He himself said ‘By Him in Whose Hands my life is!
I would love to attack and be martyred,
then attack again and be martyred,
then attack again and be martyred.’

Those are the words of Osama Bin Laden in a short clip from a longer As Sahab video.

According to CNN, however, the original video was 40 minutes long instead of the 50 seconds of bin Laden which made it to YouTube. The rest was, essentially, a motivational tape encouraging viewers to think positively of martyrdom as a career choice.

Bin Laden glorified those who die in the name of jihad, or holy war, saying even the Prophet Muhammad “had been wishing to be a martyr.”

“The happy (man) is the one that God has chosen him to be a martyr,” added bin Laden, who was shown outdoors wearing army fatigues and looking tired.

The authenticity of the video could not be verified, but it appeared on a Web site commonly used by Islamic militants and carried the logo of as-Sahab, al-Qaida‘s media production wing. It was not immediately clear when the video of bin Laden was filmed.

Bin Laden was last heard from in a July 1, 2006 audio tape in which he voiced support for the new leader of al-Qaida in Iraq and warned nations not to send troops to fight a hardline Islamic regime that had recently seized power in Somalia.

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