Report from the Badlands

Your Tax Dollars at Work, Again

Bob Dillon, we hardly knew you. Actually, I have no doubt that former Gilroy Councilman Dillon will be back in the limelight of local politics – a little bit wiser for the wear. Bob, one of the Gang of Four council Blockheads who came close to illegal quorums at a Gilroy diner, lost re-election on the seven-seat council in early November for an ill-fated error. He chose not to place a campaign statement on the ballot because he didn’t want the taxpayers to fork out for the “campaign spending.”

Bob, Bob, Bob. The Libertarian in me embraces this noble sentiment. But I figured you to be more politically astute than that. Withholding a campaign statement from the ballot, which will be printed in any case, does not save the people money. Moreover, we all know that 99 percent of the voters rely on those blurbs to make their last-minute decisions, no matter how hard we reporters toil to give readers in-depth pre-election profiles on the candidates. Bob, despite his many fans and local fame, came out as a big blank on Election Day and lost.

Dear Bob, let me enlighten you and others as to what real tax dollar waste is. Let’s start with the latest revelation exposed by the L.A. Times. The Bush Administration now has the U.S. military secretly paying Iraqi newspapers to publish stories written by American “information operations” troops in an effort to burnish the image of the U.S. mission in Iraq. The articles bleat headlines like “Iraqis Insist on Living Despite Terrorism” and are translated into Arabic and placed in Baghdad newspapers with the help of a defense contractor, according to U.S. military officials and documents.

Your taxes are paying for this. Did you know that propaganda is illegal, according to that hilarious “quaint” document, the U.S. Constitution? OK, now couple the news about the taxpayer fueled U.S. propaganda in Baghdad with the story that came out in the Washington Post last week about how Bush, like a spoiled mean bully, told his pet poodle Tony Blair that he wanted to bomb the Arabic news agency Aljazeera, but Blair had to talk him out of it. It was another Downing Street Memo that leaked and was all over the Internet before it hit the mainstream media. Then Blair ordered all the British newspapers not to write about it.

Hurray for Freedom!

Bush’s handlers must feel like they’re charged with trying to humor a screaming, out-of-control 2-year-old who’s dragging around a huge load in his diapers.

Tax dollar waste is that gazillion-dollar deficit the Bush Administration has plunged the nation into. Since they rose to power, BushCo has spent money we don’t have like drunken sailors. Four-hundred billion here, 300 billion there, for their holocaust in Iraq. To call the regressive Republicans the conservative party has become a national joke. While this country heads for bankruptcy, Bush and Cheney’s stock portfolios are bursting at the seams for the sky-rocketing investments they’ve made in the industrial military complex.

Ike Eisenhower warned us about this. Why didn’t we listen?

Why don’t we just arm Halliburton workers so they can fight their own dirty imperialistic oil grab and get the HELL out of there? Now that would save taxpayer money.

Tax dollar waste is when a congressman in San Diego named Duke Cunningham takes $2.4 million in bribe money. It’s also a waste of news film video when he cries crocodile tears about it on camera.

Tax dollar waste is when Republican beltway lobbyist Jack Abramoff plucks $82 million from Indian gaming interests and starts bribing the bejezus out of willing elected officials. (I think we can all count on a “Republican Removal Program” in 2006 – not just because the American people are sick of these corrupt knuckle-draggers but because all these regressive morons are going to be indicted or in jail.)

Tax dollar waste is when the Bush Administration sets up secret “ghost prisons” throughout Europe in order to torture people without charging them with crimes, since they can’t do it in the U.S. The European Union demanded answers about this on Wednesday. At the press conference a White House spokesman (in typical murky fashion) did not deny the existence of these “black sites” but gave no other clues about the horrid practice.

It’s your tax money. And on it goes. Every day there’s a new insult to the American people – not to mention all the people around the planet.

But wait! There’s more! Morgan Hill-Gilroy Rep. Richard Pombo (chair of the all-powerful House Resources Committee) has come up with a capital plan to replace all that taxpayer money bilked from the national treasury. Pombo, the same guy who wants to harpoon the Endangered Species Act, has suggested we sell off western federal public-held land, to mining interests and corporate speculators at fire-sale prices.

He’s selling the farm. No, Jim. It really is not a good idea.

And what do you think the Regressive Party would do with all that money? Why, they’d spend it just as wisely as they have spent the money we haven’t had for the past five years.

San Carlos Creek Update: Last weekend, I was orange watering our latest crop of foxtails (that’s the only thing that grows in the Acid Mine Drainage Capital of the World), when I heard a commotion on upper level. It was my brother Kemp and our esteemed Mayor, Orange the Cat. They were holding an auction and a group of leather-clad dirt bikers were swarming around them.

“What in blazes are you doing?” I asked them.

“Selling off all the BLM land in Clear Creek*,” Kemp replied.

“You can’t DO that! It’s not yours to sell!” I whined.

“It’s just as much mine as it is Pombo’s,” he said. Orange was grabbing BLM parcel deeds and stamping them with the official New Idrian National Seal: his paw print, using the orange mercury goo from the creek.

I couldn’t rightly argue with them.

*Dear BLM guys, we aren’t really selling BLM land. I made that up.

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