Foreign Substances


Not you overseas readers, but Cheney, Hillary, and the like


Garry Owen Brennan writes tonight from Port Saint Lucie, Florida:

As a “veteran, Commie, pinko, liberal,” I say, great stuff, my man!!!

Put me on your e-mail list!!!

I am also a Vietnam U.S. Air Force veteran — you know, one of those guys Bush, Cheney, Rove et al., like to badmouth and then say they were not!

Those good-for-nothing sacks of shit!

I live in a little “cracker shack” on the edge of the savannas here in south Florida, where the wildlife and rednecks have more integrity, and more balls, than Congress and the Bush babies, combined!

Keep up the good stuff!

Thanks for reading, Garry. I just put you on the list.

Regarding November 23’s “Cheney’s High Dive into Shallow Waters,” Paul writes with a link to quotes from Teddy Roosevelt and picks this one, labeling it “Teddy on Bush administration”:

Any other attitude [other than allowing debate] in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.

Thanks for reading, Paul. Reaching back into TR’s era, I can only add, “Remember the maniacs!”

Regarding my November 20 item, “We’ve Been Had — by Hadley,” Pyeatte writes:

The only dope here is Harkavy.

Thanks for reading, Pyeatte.

Annie wrote late last month:

I noticed that Bill Clinton was quoted as saying Murtha was really terrific and if he said get out of Iraq now, well, Bill would have to think hard about what he was saying.

And that’s when I had a very spiteful thought:

Is this where Bill changes his position, explains himself to Hillary, who is so “impressed” she morphs into a Stop The War Leader, thus managing to be on the other side of the fence from the place she was, just as it got really unpopular?


Fascinated observer of US politics from Belfast, Northern Ireland, the place that gave its Puritans to America

Thanks for reading, Annie. So you’re the one responsible for sending us the Puritans, huh? You should be ashamed, and if you have any Puritan blood in you, it’ll be easy for you to conjure up that feeling.

Your spiteful thought about Hillary Clinton seems right on the mark to me. Having covered her Senate campaign back in 2000 and seen her mediocre performance since then as a senator, I can say that I wish we had a two-party system in the U.S.

And if we don’t get one pretty soon, I’m going to have take the next letter writer’s suggestion.

Leonardo Valvassori writes from Toronto:

I sent you an e-mail last spring with a suggestion: Move to Canada. Your country is lost.

You wrote a very nice, and funny, reply.

There have more disheartening events in the U.S. since then — Katrina, John Roberts, Judith Miller, Wampumgate. The hits just keep on coming.

C’mon, Ward, do yourself (and we Canucks) a favour! Move up here and write for a literate, interested population. It’s got to be disheartening writing about a president that can’t speak properly for a nation that can barely read and doesn’t seem to care for its own future.

I love that look I get from an average American when I tell him that my gov’t (through my taxes) actually provided the treatment that got me through a two-year fight with non-Hogdkins B-cell lymphoma. When telling Americans that universal health care here is gov’t-provided, I get the same look of incredulity that Dubya had on his face after “winning” his first election: “Really?”

The population of the U.S. has become so well trained by the gov’t and media as to expect nothing back from the gov’t for its use of their tax dollars — “You mean I get no health care (insert list of other services), but you can afford to send my children to die ‘off-shore’ protecting Dick Cheney‘s oil? Jeez, thanks, I’ll just be over here looking at pictures of Paris Hilton while I bury my son. By the way can I have a picture of his casket draped with that pretty flag?”

For what it’s worth, you can stay at my place till you’ve settled and have received your first cheque from Macleans magazine.

Thanks for writing, Leonardo. While I’m thinking about your kind offer, could you ask Macleans to send me a check anyway?

Vera Chevrolet-Narishkin writes from Geneva, Switzerland:

Having visited your blog a great many times, I took the liberty of copying some of the excellent links you post in the right-hand column — those with clickable graphics and/or logos — and downloaded said graphics/logos to host them on a free image-hosting service in which I have an account (so as to steal no bandwidth from anyone), and use them just as you have used them: to link to the corresponding website, in my timid bloglet. I apologize most contritely, and I hope you’ll be lenient with me.

Thanks for reading, Vera. Ain’t the Internet great for shrinking the world? Golly!

Nothing to apologize for, by the way. I put those links on there (though I haven’t updated them in a while) to help people find interesting stuff to read. In a few instances, when the art I’ve borrowed for those links is a site’s original work, I’ve contacted the site’s people to ask permission, and there’s been no problem. I can’t imagine that any organization I’ve linked to will mind getting more readers.

Unless it’s the White House, in which case I don’t care.

That’s a government (though not much of one), and governments are fair game for any citizen of this planet, except for artwork or photos that said governments have themselves borrowed or bought from private citizens and which are copyrighted. I don’t knowingly touch those, unless I get permission.