He may look like an idiot, and talk like an idiot, but don't let that fool you. He really is an idiot.
- Rufus T. Firefly

To email, click on:



After consulting the muse and musing on things I was pleased to receive an analysis of the reasons for the warmongers' actions as perceived by the writer David Brin in his book, Kiln People:

"Each of us remains convinced that our own subjective viewpoint is more urgent than anyone else's -- indeed, even more valid than the objective matrix that underlies so-called reality. After all, the subjective view is a grand theater. To be the hero of an ongoing drama. It's why ideologies and bigotries survive against all evidence or logic.

photo by skypilotclubber Tim

"Subject obstinacy had advantages when we were busy evolving into nature's champion egotists. It led to human mastery over the planet . . . and to our species nearly wiping itself out."


Yas indeed. And now we wish for enlightenment, particularly in those who are running the show. As an aid to their enlightenment, others are putting their bodies on the line. To see them in action click on:





Now comes from Wendell Berry, his take on things, as printed in Orion:

Wendell Berry

T HE NEW NATIONAL SECURITY STRATEGY published by the White House in September 2002, if carried out, would amount to a radical revision of the political character of our nation. Its central and most significant statement is this:

While the United States will constantly strive to enlist the support of the international community, we will not hesitate to act alone, if necessary, to exercise our right of self defense by acting preemptively against such terrorists... (p. 6)

A democratic citizen must deal here first of all with the question, Who is this "we"? It is not the "we" of the Declaration of Independence, which referred to a small group of signatories bound by the conviction that "governments [derive] their just powers from the consent of the governed." And it is not the "we" of theConstitution, which refers to "the people [my emphasis] of the United States."

This "we" of the new strategy can refer only to the president. It is a royal "we". A head of state, preparing to act alone in starting a preemptive war, will need to justify his intention by secret information, and will need to plan in secret and execute his plan without forewarning. The idea of a government acting alone in preemptive war is inherently undemocratic, for it does not require or even permit the president to obtain the consent of the governed.

As a policy, this new strategy depends on the acquiescence of a public kept fearful and ignorant, subject to manipulation by the executive power, and on the compliance of an intimidated and office dependent legislature. To the extent that a government is secret, it cannot be democratic or its people free. By this new doctrine, the president alone may start a war against any nation at any time, and with no more forewarning than preceded the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

For the remainder of Wendell's essay click on:



John Barlow always has a good take on events and their causes and effects. Here's his latest ballistic missive on the current situation:

I've been in outrage overload for weeks. I'm finding it hard to express myself these days with anything more articulate than gesticulations and sputterings. Lately I've been mute as Congress.

(Actually, not everyone in Congress has lost his voice. Senator Robert Byrd recently gave a speech too historic to earn notice in any mass medium but which has been so widely circulated on the Internet that I'll spare you the receipt of yet another copy.

It contains this utterly true line: "I truly must question the judgment of any President who can say that a massive unprovoked military attack on a nation which is over 50% children is 'in the highest moral traditions of our country'".


An estimated eleven million people marched all over the planet this weekend. (Check them out: outpouring.) While this out-pouring, unprecedented in the history of civilization, managed for the first time to draw acknowledgements from Bush and Blair, they were dismissive at best. (Blair elevated non sequitur to surreal art form when he said that the million plus protestors in London were fewer in number than people killed over the years by Saddam Hussein.)

I have been dumb-struck by the Administration's sublime arrogance, their mythic hubris, their utterly un-entitled entitlement. What could I say that might detail their brutal expedience more boldly than their own actions? Mouth open, jawing thin air, eyes wide and staring, I've kept quiet.

Meanwhile, under conditions of "Orange" Alert, our streets now contain more machine gun-toting heavies per capita than I ever saw in East Germany, the wildly arbitrary TSA is randomly searching cars without probable cause as they enter airports, the Justice Department is introducing an even more unconstitutional addendum to the USA PATRIOT Act, and the predictions I made to you on the afternoon of September 11, 2001 are being realized more dreadfully than even I believed they could be.

Still. It is morally useful to remember that, no matter how certain, one might be wrong. If I am to condemn the Emperor's smug certitude, I must be mindful of my own. Thus, I've been attempting, in the back of my mind, to make a case for the Administration's behavior.

To read Barlow's Case, click on:


yo ho capn thanks for posting a link to John Barlow's case for the administration's actions, though it sounds to me like he's giving the VP a pass. He acknowledges that he could be completely wrong about the administration's
motives/strategy, and my sense is that he's probably right about being completely wrong.

take air.



And if the Iraq Attack weren't bad enough our stalwart DEA and Ashcroft aren't sitting on their thumbs. They've busted the bong makers who sell their products on the internet.

"Not taking MY bong . . ."

Ashcroft said. "The drug paraphernalia business is now accessible in anyone's home with a computer and Internet access. And in homes across America we know that children and young adults are the fastest growing Internet users."

"People selling drug paraphernalia are in essence no different than drug dealers," said Acting Administrator Brown. "They are as much a part of drug trafficking as silencers are a part of criminal homicide."

"So don't be silenced . . . "

What no one would say is that this whole thing is attacking pot smokers, probably the least criminal element around. As Mark Twain said, "I always thought the known criminal element in American was in congress."

It's a pressure cooker, building up, ready to blow, everyone waiting, wondering when. Some offices have betting pools, pick the day out of a hat, everyone puts in a hundred bucks, one winner, we all lose. Samples of writings on the subject are pouring in, piling on top of the pressure cooker, hoping to cap the explosion before it blows.

There was once a red-haired man who had no eyes or ears. He had no hair, so he was called red-haired only in a manner of speaking.
He couldn't speak, since he didn't have a mouth. He had no nose, either.
He didn't even have any arms or legs. He also didn't have a stomach, and he didn't have a back, and he didn't have a spine, and he also didn't have any other insides.   He didn't have anything. So its hard to understand whom we are talking about.  
So we better not talk about him anymore.

-- Daniil Kharms

Yes, I know him. He is a skypilotclub member in no standing. He can't stand. His song is on the radio by the Gnarly Boys: if you don't stand for something you'll fall for anything. Yep, that's me, I think you've read my book: Gullible's Travels.

-- capn skyp

The sentiment about the Attack Iraq plan seems to be pretty much the same. More pics are coming in of the protests around the world on February 15th.


****************Jakarta*********************New Delhi


***Halifax, Nova Scotia******************London


For more pics from around the world go to:


from Monterey County Coast Weekly

Kurt Vonnegut at 80 2/13/03

PPs know full well the suffering their actions may cause others, but they do not care. They cannot care because they are nuts.

By Joel Bleifuss (interviewing Kurt Vonnegut)

Kurt, you have lived through World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Reagan wars, Desert Storm, the Balkan wars and now this coming war in Iraq. What has changed, and what has remained the same?

(For Vonnegut's answer to this question and others, click on):


Skypilotclub member CPJ El Bon Recer sent some pics of the anti war march in his hometown, Barcelona:


Check out CPJ El Bon Recer's website by clicking on:


This message from Duke Robinson:

At the January and February 2003 massive peace demonstrations in San Francisco against the Administration's rush to war, most marchers carried a sign of some sort. Barbara and I found ourselves fascinated by the signs.

Many marchers had secondary agendas, and some signs expressed points of view that you and I may not share. But everyone was there to object to the Administration's commitment to a potentially horrific nightmare and to call for a change in plans. In the best of American traditions, they were exercising their Freedom of Speech. 

By enlarging my digital pictures I've developed a list of the texts of many signs, which you'll find below. I've not included such old standbys as Peace Now, War is Not good For Children and other Living things, Give Peace a Chance, etc., or group signs.  There were, of course, plenty of those.  

The widespread ridicule of President Bush you'll find in some signs, by the way, paradoxically testifies, it seems to me, to the marchers' anxiety and rage over the point to which he has brought us as a nation and to their celebratory spirit. (They seemed to realize we must make some kind of humor in the face of what makes us cry.)

These are the more creative signs we saw:

Stop Mad Cowboy Disease
The Asses of Evil (Pictures of Bush, Rice and Rumsfeld)
What Bombs Would Jesus Drop?
Thank you France, Thank You Germany
Blondes Against Dumb Wars (4 men in drag wearing long blond wigs)
Buck Fush (and, Duck Fubya)
Empty Warhead (Over picture of Bush)
WAR! What is it good for? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! Ugh.
A Village in Texas is Missing its Idiot, and we know where he is.
What if I lived in Iraq? (Tee-shirt of four year old girl we saw on BART)
Read My Lips:  No More Bush-it
Bad plan, dude

(For more signs and Duke's wrapup of the march click on):


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