Sunday, October 23, 2005


This piece originally appeared on on November 2, 2002.

A young man wanted to join an elite unit of the Special Forces. The commander had his doubts.

"Son, do you know our motto?"

"No, sir."

"Victory or Death."

"Victory or Death? Victory...or...Death. Victory or Death. I think I will go with the Victory."

An old man who had served his country for many years was asked to save the realm when his career seemed to be near an end. Shortly after the King made him Prime Minister, he said:

I would say to the House, as I said to those who have joined this government: "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat."

We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering. You ask, what is our policy? I can say: It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us.... That is our policy. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.

The Alamo mentality is the ability to fight ferociously against overwhelming odds as the Grim Reaper leads the charge. It is a desire to spit in Death's face and to slit his throat.

The Alamo mentality is not limited to time and place. Instead, it is defined by a toughness of mind nourished by the spirit. Hemingway called it courage--grace under pressure. It is the certain knowledge that some things are more important than life, and it is the willingness to pay the price. For a life without freedom is existence, and nothing more.

There is one issue in this campaign which may be stated in different ways: Are we going to choose freedom or despotism? Will the United States remain a Republic, or will the nation become an Empire? Do we care to uphold the Constitution?

Do not be fooled. Despite all the blarney and bluster, the opposition is in a weak position. Fort Falsehood is ready to collapse.

The Texan thinks he is JOHN Arnold Schwarzenegger Bruce Willis Clint Eastwood Slyvester Stallone Tom Cruise WAYNE. We must disimbue him of that notion and disembowel him with the sword of truth.

Ann Richards said, "George Bush was born on third base and thinks he hit a triple." Well, George W. Bush was born in the owner's box and thinks he hit a home run--and awaits induction into the Hall of Fame. Are delusions of grandeur a family trait?

Let there be no misunderstanding. In my neighborhood, George the Lesser would have been described in one word: Sissy. Why? Has he ever fought his own battles?

Unlike Little Georgie Four Strikes, Paul Wellstone was not one of those "cold and timid souls" whom TR dismissed. When Senator Wellstone was asked the question, he replied, "I think I will go with the Victory."

He was short, but he stood tall when he voted against the war resolution. He grew in stature as the big men shrivelled. That day, as on so many others, conscience and courage were on display in defense of the Constitution. While Wellstone lived, we saw a patriot act.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch. After Ruffles and Flourishes heralds the gentleman from Texas, he enters to the accompaniment of The Great Pretender. Why? He cannot stand Dissent. Yet our country's birth certificate notes Dissent as the father. How can a man who "darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge" stand being an American?

The Texan is wrong. This is the Great Republic, not the Fourth Reich. Here, cowpoke, we sing The Star Spangled Banner, not H_ _ _land Uber Alles. By all means, take your ball and go home.

Thomas Jefferson taught us how to recognize and deal with tyrants:

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.

The Texan heads a gang posing as a government. The corporate press aided and abetted his theft of the Florida election. Both the print and broadcast journalists of the self-styled mainstream press still tell tales and refer to him as the leader of the country, as if we need a good bedtime story before being lulled off to sleep. And too many so-called leaders of the Democratic Party are afraid to sound the alarm. How long must we endure these charades without the saving grace of Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant?

This is intellectual urban warfare. The fighting is house to house. Our objective is regime change. And we have them! The Pretender and the Vice Pretender are flayed alive with facts by our rhetorical Bowie knives.

Alas, we had fallen asleep only to reawaken on Elm Street. But the nightmare can end by answering a single question. And then let us say, "What the enemies of our Constitution have started, we will finish."

(c) 2002 Marvin D. Jones. All rights reserved.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

The End of Excellence

Summertime and the living is easy.

When we were little kids, baseball season began as the school year ended. Sunrise said, "Play ball!" and sunset was the bottom of the ninth.

In the old days, American values were taught in fields, sandlots, and in the streets. Hard work, fair play, and consistency were admired--in an individual and in a team.
In the big leagues, they played 154 games, later increased to 162. Every team had its good days, bad days, and in between days. Humility was the lesson taught on the diamond, wherever it may have been, and was reinforced by a proverb not found in the Bible: "You are not as good as you look when you win, nor as bad as you look when you lose." In a straight league, at a time when that had nothing to do with sexual preference, the standard as to what made one the best was simple--first place or no place.

Gary loved baseball and the underdog. How could we help being friends? We would go to watch the Washington Senators play. We were disappointed the year Yaz and the Red Sox lost the World Series to the Cardinals. We were elated when the Miracle Mets beat the mighty Baltimore Orioles. It was back to disappointment when Carlton Fisk's Game 6 homer only turned out to mean the Red Sox would lose Game 7 to the Big Red Machine. But we were devastated the year Bill Buckner had fielding problems against the Mets.

     Sunrise, sunset
     Sunrise, sunset
     Swiftly go the days

Things change. The Senators were deputized as Texas Rangers. There was talk of a National League team for Washington. After careful consideration of all pertinent issues in tough negotiations, which used mediation and arbitration, it was decided that Gary would get season tickets for the Baltimore Orioles. As the party of one of the parts, Groucho said, the new Senators were my responsibility. But things change.

The failure to take a swing in labor-management relations resulted in a called strike. Thanks to the dispute, there was no World Series. When the dust settled, the owners had turned the double play. They got rid of Fay Vincent, and they changed the nature of the game.

The owners' concoction is like the witches' brew in Macbeth. Eye of newt goes well with three divisions per league, wild cards, and, as an added bonus--gratuitous interleague play.

Gary was concerned when Major League Baseball went to two divisions in each league and there was talk of playoffs. He was relieved to learn that what the sportscasters meant was there would be a League Championship Series in the senior and the junior circuit. He did not live to see what would come next. First place has become meaningless. First place is no place.

Thanks to the owners, the American pastime has passed its prime. The unique drama is over. The last pennant race occurred when Atlanta finished one game ahead of San Francisco. The Braves went to the National League Championship Series, and the Giants went home.

      Double, double; toil and trouble;
     Fire, burn; and cauldron bubble.

The bag men gave us a bag full of gimmicks. Beyond the luxury tax, there is the first place penalty or the performance tax. The team that does well during the regular season is subject to pay the price, because the extended exhibition is about maneuvering for position, which befits a nation of lawyers instead of ballplayers--the type of people who applauded and embraced when the United States Supreme Court stopped the counting of votes in Florida. Yes, a head to head matchup against a particular team matters more than how one does overall. "What difference does it make?"--they say--"Our guys won." Ladies and gentlemen, handicapped parking is one thing and a free postseason gift certificate is another. How long before computers replace umpires? Diebold, Sequoia, and ES&S are ready to make the calls as they see them. They could also run the scoreboard.

All the former Commissioner wanted to do was to have strict geographical realignment of the Eastern and Western Divisions in each league. With his departure, an opportunity was lost to create distinctive play within them. Just imagine the Yankees and the Red Sox in the same division battling to the death every season. Instead, there is another Black Sox scandal.

TV money is the ultimate tail wagging a shaggy dog, and, because appearances matter more than substance, the game has been debased. Major League Baseball should be called Mislabelled Businessball.

In the depths of the Great Depression, FDR spoke of "the forgotten man"; and MDJ, in the depths of his depression, feels like the forgotten fan. Where have you gone, Dinah Washington? Baseball left me. Oh, what am I to do?

From sunrise to mourning, from line drives to teary eyes.

     But now the days are short
     I'm in the autumn of the year
     And now I think of my life as vintage wine
     From fine old kegs
     From the brim to the dregs
     It poured sweet and clear
     It was a very good year

Once, the World Series showcased the hitting and fielding of Mantle, Mays, Jackson, and Robinson and featured the pitching of Ford, Larsen, Koufax, and Gibson. But the Fall Classic has become a garage sale. For sustenance, we have gone from breakfast at Tiffany's to burritos at Taco Bell. And, in the evening, do not give me tuna and tell me it is caviar.

The mystery of how teams from the American and National Leagues would do against each other because of the differing styles of play has been replaced by the wheel of fortune and wondering whether, as one colleague put it, "some team can luck up at the end." Now, with the Joker in the deck, a psychic Columbo is apropos.

Because the Bronx Bombers supposedly "collapsed" or "choked," some speak of the end of the Yankee mystique. But was it their shortcomings, or was it inevitable? And should the men in pinstripes be second guessing themselves, or should we?

The Yankees are an anachronism; they dared to be great. Every pennant, every World Series championship--all twenty-six of them, even when they won five in a row--was the result of their having finished in first place. They set the standard; they defined what it meant to be the best. For, as Howard Cosell said, "The real test of greatness is in the consistency of excellence." Yet anyone longing for the old ways and lamenting the end of excellence is "an elitist," "an old timer," or "a purist."

Will bizball return to the days of first place or no place? Yank on your hanky. It is not in the Cards.

(c) 2005 Marvin D. Jones. All rights reserved.

Monday, August 29, 2005


This piece originally appeared on on December 21, 2002. It is reposted as a reminder of the significance of what happened nearly five years ago and the consequences thereof, which should be apparent to all. (

It was long ago and in private that everything had been decided. The time to take a stand and show himself a man had come and gone, washed away like a name in the sand as the waves splash in and out, or as the wind blows. But, of course, he could not act.

Two years ago, when his brother's and Katherine Harris's purge of the Florida voter rolls, primarily of blacks, was not enough, the Governor of Texas went to court to stop the count. Ultimately, he took what can, out of generosity, be called a case to the nation's highest tribunal.

On December 12, 2000, five Justices of the United States Supreme Court stopped the counting of votes, again primarily those of blacks, which would have shown George W. Bush to be a loser. Instead, he was the Pretender-select or, as Kevin Phillips prefers, His Fraudulency the Second. (

On December 12, 2002, a new insult was added to an old injury. The Pretender rode into action and attempted to lance a Lott.

Any suggestion that the segregated past was acceptable or positive is offensive, and it is wrong. Recent remarks by Senator Lott do not reflect the spirit of our country. He has apologized, and rightly so.

Every day our nation was segregated was a day that America was unfaithful to our founding ideals. And the founding ideals of our nation and, in fact, the founding ideals of the political party I represent was, (sic) and remains today, the equal dignity and equal rights of every American.

Senator Lott, in what The New York Times called Apology No. 4, agreed. "...(H)is words were wrong and he is sorry," said a spokesman. "He repudiates segregation because it is immoral."

On Friday the thirteenth, as was appropriate, Senator Lott made Apology No. 5.

Segregation is a stain on our nation's soul. There is no other way to describe it. It represents one of the lowest moments in our nation's history. And we can never forget that. Not only have I seen the destruction by those immoral policies of the past, I have tried to and will continue to do everything in my power to insure that we never go back to that type of country again.

If true, Senator, a good place to start would be with a denunciation of the biggest impostor in American history. Do you dare?

In this new role of slaying dragons and saving damsels in distress, Saint George might want his squire to awaken him sooner. If not, many villages will be burned and many ladies ravished. A week is a terrible thing to waste.

When George Bush the Elder ran the Willie Horton ads, George the Younger did not say, "Dad, that is divisive." When President Bush appointed Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court, his son did not say, "Dad, that is divisive, and Elliot Richardson is far more qualified." And when George W. Bush ran in the South Carolina primary, he did not say, "The Confederate flag is as offensive to blacks as the swastika is to Jews. It is a symbol of hate, not of heritage. And that is divisive." Oh no, no not George, he did it his way.

The Pretender denounced Lott for doing what he had done himself. The Senator simply does not know how to play Jim Crow--off stage with secrecy, subtlety, and a smile. By posing as the good knight, the Pretender has revealed all the vices of Arthur's betrayer and none of the virtues. Indeed, George W. Bush denouncing Trent Lott is like Lucifer defining loyalty.

Try as they might, the Pretender and the Senator will not make us forget Burns and Allen. Neither will they become regulars on Saturday Night Live. Their repeated attempts to win Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor in an Outrageous Role is annoying the audience and the academy.

On the same day the Pretender faulted Senator Lott, he violated separation of church and state in the city where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were signed, in the place that was the capital of the United States when the Bill of Rights was ratified. Was that the hypocrite's daily double, or was it tic tac toe for the clueless? After such a performance, one wonders if Mae West's co-star in My Little Chickadee would still want his tombstone to read: "Here lies W.C. Fields. I would rather be living in Philadelphia." For it was acts like The George and Trent Show that killed vaudeville.

Had George Wallace been the Democratic candidate in 2000, George W. Bush would have used the same tactics in Florida. Yes, the votes of John and Mary Q. Public would have been ignored even though they look like the folks from central casting--Colin Powell and Condolezza Rice. But Wallace would have found the "pussyfooting" intolerable.

Mark Twain was right: "Truth is stranger than fiction." To wit, if Shakespeare will forgive me:

The time is out of joint, O cursed spite,
That ever I was born to set it right.
The Pretender's in the White House, 'tis true;
And the President hosts Saturday Night.

(c) 2002 Marvin D. Jones. All rights reserved.

Thursday, June 16, 2005


This piece originally appeared on under Hot Topics on September 19, 2002.

In his recent remarks before the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the gentleman from Wyoming made the case for attacking Iraq and overthrowing Saddam Hussein. But too much doubt still hangs over the subject to admit of the unqualified adoption of the gentleman's ingenious conjectures, to paraphrase John H. Barry. For with changes in just a few words, the former head at Halliburton makes the case for fact attacks on his duplicity, and that of his principal, followed by a full-scale truth assault leading to regime change in the United States.

Falsehood is never overcome on the defensive. We must take the battle to the enemy. We will take every step necessary to make sure our Constitution is secure, and we will prevail.

The case of Richard Cheney, a sworn enemy of our Constitution, demands a candid appraisal of the facts. Many of us are convinced that Richard Cheney will acquire new veil weapons fairly soon. Just how soon, we cannot really gauge. Intelligence is an uncertain business, even in the best circumstances. This is especially the case when you are dealing with an illegitmate regime that has made a science out of deceiving the international community.

Simply stated, there is no doubt that Richard Cheney now has weapons of mass deception; there is no doubt that he is amassing them to use against our friends, against our allies, and against us. And there is no doubt that his aggressive global ambitions will lead him into future confrontations with his neighbors, confrontations that will involve both the weapons he has today and the ones he will develop with his oil wealth.

What we must not do in the face of a mortal threat is to give in to wishful thinking or willful blindness. We will not simply look away, hope for the best, and leave the matter for our posterity to resolve.

Cheney has perfected the game of scoot and retreat, and is very skilled in the art of denial and deception. A return of oversight would provide no assurance whatsoever of his compliance with the Constitution.

If the other States could have preempted Florida 2000, they would have. No question. Should we be able to prevent another much more devastating attack, we will. No question. This nation will not live at the mercy of fascists or fascist regimes.

Our goal would be an America true to its great and inspring ideals, a government that is constitutional and pluralistic, a nation where the human rights of every ethnic group are recognized and protected.

In this troubled land, all who seek justice and dignity and the chance to live their own lives ought to know they have a friend and ally somewhere in the United States of America.

It is galling to see someone trotted out as Mr. National Security who never served in the Armed Forces, the Intelligence Community, or the Diplomatic Corps. The objection is not simply because he failed to answer his country's call. Once, when asked about his numerous deferments during the Vietnam War, he replied, "I had other priorities in the Sixties than military service." And that is why some of us served, so that others might exercise their rights under the law to get deferments or be conscientious objectors. But why, when President Clinton was called a draft dodger by members of his party, did he not challenge such statements?

Although the gentleman from Wyoming did not stand up to be counted when it mattered, hopefully he will not condemn others for speaking out and asking questions when it does: Are your children in the Armed Forces, the Intelligence Community, or the Diplomatic Corps? Are your boss's and his brother's children going to serve? Will any of them see action other than getting drunk, writing their own prescriptions, driving on other people's lawns, or exposing one's self in a public parking lot?

George Washington was truly Commander in Chief of the Continental Forces. He was in the thick of the fight. Bullets whizzed by him and even tore his clothing.

Abraham Lincoln was an officer in the Black Hawk War. He did not see action. But he had volunteered and was prepared to go.

John Kennedy used his father's connections to get into the Navy when he could have easily gotten a deferment on genuine medical grounds. He could have been a desk jockey, but he chose to be a PT boat skipper. The Navy and Marine Corps Medal and the Purple Heart attest to his courage and leadership.

During the Whiskey Rebellion, President Washington's first instinct was to wonder where was his faithful steed. He mounted up and personally reviewed the troops. But what is the first instinct of the gentleman from Wyoming? To run off to his secure, undisclosed location and wonder who brought the scotch?

During the Civil War, as General McClellan dallied, President Lincoln asked him if he might borrow the Army for a while. Last year, as the gentleman from Texas dallied during a national crisis, some wondered what it would be like to have a leader for a while.

During the Cuban missile crisis, President Kennedy ruled out preemptive air strikes even though there was a direct threat to the United States. The Commander in Chief decided upon a naval blockade in order to give Krushchev time to think. He called it a quarantine so as not to be provocative.

Washington, Lincoln, Kennedy. Each possessed the humility that comes from knowing hostilities are more than hypothetical and one's imminent demise is a definite possibility.

Yes, the Texan was in the Air National Guard during the Vietnam War. But he was a ticket punching pilot and a sunshine patriot. Meanwhile, the gentleman from Wyoming procured five draft deferments. Like Tarzan swinging from tree to tree to tree, he grabbed one student deferment after another. When the vines ran out, he ran into Jane's arms and got a marriage deferment. And when the Selective Service said married men who were not fathers would have to go, he promptly got her pregnant. For someone so bellicose, the former lord of the jungle gives new meaning to chicken a la king. But should the lives of our troops be in the hands of a man who went AWOL? Or should their fate be left to a vicarious veteran? Is it surprising that so many senior officers of the national security establishment are opposed to Operation Chicken Hawk?

The present threat is another diversion. Instead of an independent investigation of last year's tragedy, we are offered a Department of H_ _ _land Security. Never mind the fact that the Framers did not use such a word--they preferred continental--the purpose of the present office and the proposed department is to provide cover for incompetence or callousness or both. And that is the best one can say. The gang that cannot play the game straight does not want any investigations, whether the Florida election of 2000, the energy papers, or Halliburton's problems. They prefer invasion to revelation, because they do not understand that this is a country--not a country club. So they sip their martinis--gently stirred, not shaken--and gather up their bottle or drug-induced courage and plan a war. They fancy themselves Caesar and Augustus. But we have seen their nakedness. An invasion of Iraq would allow the evasion of the truth to continue.

The Framers saw the President of the United States as tribunus plebis. Does anyone, other than those suffering from willful blindness, see either the former Governor of Texas or his partner as a tribune of the people after they ignored vox populi in the Florida election?

The Founding Fathers made certain that our country showed "a decent respect to the opinions of mankind" in an internal affair, a dispute between the mother country and the provinces. "And for the support of this Declaration," they said, "with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."

Some of us, who have family and friends in danger of losing life and limb, wonder about a Declaration of Independence written by Little Georgie Four Strikes and Clubhouse Cheney: "A decided contempt for the opinions of mankind requires that we declare our intention to do whatsoever we please.... And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance upon the protection of corporate profits, we mutually pledge to each other your lives, your fortunes, and your sacred honor." After all, their greatest care is Chablis and caviar.

(c) 2002 Marvin D. Jones. All rights reserved.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Exit Polls






(Pages 72-78 deal with exit polls.)













Tuesday, January 11, 2005


Thank you for your efforts in getting a Representative and a Senator to object to the Ohio Electors. It would not have happened without you.

We have already been thanked by Representative John Conyers, the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, who led and continues to lead the investigation of election irregularities. What we did is appreciated. (

Please take a moment to thank the members of Congress who voted to sustain the objection to the Ohio Electors. They are the ones to whom we shall turn first in the future. (