Wonderful Wacky Words

  1. Bamboozled
  2. Flabbergasted
  3. Discombobulated
  4. Shenanigans
  5. Cattywumpus
  6. Lollygag
  7. Malarkey
  8. Kerfuffle
  9. Brouhaha
  10. Nincompoop
  11. Skedaddle
  12. Pumpernickel
  13. Gobsmacked
  14. Dillydally
  15. Smithereens
  16. Gobbets
  17. Dooflinkey
  18. Widget
  19. Gizmo

No Hugs for Doug

There was a boy
his name was Doug
and all he wanted
was a hug

When he asked
they’d always shrug
and so there were
no hugs for Doug

When he asked them
in the hall
there he got
no hugs at all

When he asked them
during lunch
they shook their heads
all in a bunch

When he asked
out in the rain
they all thought
he’d gone insane

He asked them late
he asked them early
and all they thought
was: ‘Damn, he’s squirrelly!”

And so he goes
with grin on mug
hoping for
a hug for Doug

To all those who refused.
MDW 4/15/00

Classic Insults

    Lice-infested. From Latin pediculus (louse).
    Yellow-toothed. From Greek xanthos (yellow) and odont- (a combining form for tooth).
    Gasbag. From Latin ructus (belch) and abundus (abundant).
    Thoroughly wicked, villainous. From Latin flagitium (shameful act).
    Worthless, consisting of trash. From Latin quisquiliae (waste matter, rubbish).
    Fork-tongued. From Latin fissus (split) and lingua (tongue).
    Busybody, gossip-monger. From Latin quid nunc? (what now?).
    Brainless. From Latin ex (out, without) and cerebrum (brain).
    Flaky, dandruff-covered. From Latin furfur (bran, chaff).
    Bug-eyed. From Greek ex (out) and ophthalmos (eye).
    A learned fool. From Greek moros (stupid) and sophos (wise).

Merry Christmas 2012


As the year draws to a close
and families gather together,
we offer our warmest greetings
and best wishes for a
Merry Christmas
Happy New Year!

Doug, Tammi and Kylie

Sugar, Kona, Dozer and Kinkles too!

Our Christmas photo albums

Absolutely no trees were harmed to produce this card
although a lot of electrons were seriously inconvenienced.

1st haircut

7:45am this morning I was bound for Niwot with my pal Dozer – going to his first grooming.

I think I have a faint grasp now of what that first haircut day must be like for a parent. One difference, your single-digit aged child can’t rip someone’s arm off if they panic and go bonkers.

It takes a really special groomer to be able to deal with a dog like this compassionately – I’m thrilled to say that Debbie Yarrusso is that degree of groomer – artist. (Full disclosure, Debbie and I traded services – I built her website ‘Puppy Paws Pet Spa’ for her Niwot-based dog grooming buisness. I used one of my photos of Dozer in it.)

We got to the shop and there were no distractions, just a gentle pleasant greeting from Debbie and her office-manager mom. Dozer was no more apprehensive than he usually is and in short order we had him in the tub washing. He dealt with that part pretty well – pulled hard on the tether but Debbie was all business and very soothing so he sat still for the rinse/soap/rinse and scrubbing. Afterwards some hand-drying with a hose dryer (Doze hates blow-driers at home) which went ok, then the big test, the cabinet dryer. I should have taken a photo – he looked so pathetic. An hour later he was dry but I’d spent the whole time with him so he’d at least realize it was me imprisoning him.

He complained.

A lot.

Then toenails and deshedding/brushing and ears cleaned. A final touch of scented spray (not just any fragrance, something specifically soothing to dogs).

As you can see from the lead photo he looks grand.

Here’s a close up:

Dozer - November 2011

God really blessed me, first with Tammi and her family, now with this lovely dog. Marilyn simply couldn’t handle dogs, I’d gotten her to give in about cats (and it was good for all concerned) but she would not bend when it came to dogs. It was a sad thing for me. So now that I’ve lost Marilyn I get to have this wonderful boy in my life. Blessings come wrapped in tragedy sometimes I guess. It was hell ‘unwrapping’ this one but it’s so sweet in the end.

Web prayer

Our root,
Who art in UNIX
Hallowed be thy Shell.

Thy kernal come,
Thy commands be run.
@localhost as they are in iNet.

Give us this day our daily updates
And forgive us our four-oh-threes
As we forgive those who 403 against us.

And lead us not into segfaults
but deliver us from /dev/null

For thine is the Kernal, access and 1337ness

Forever and ever


Transcribed from here.

You may also enjoy this…

Others declare me a guru

This is truly funny and sweet. Just recently someone using a pseudonymous sockpuppet to mock me said I was a self-proclaimed guru. It was a direct slam against the text on my about page. I ignored it because it was clear they simply didn’t read the whole page.

Then, today, one of my students and a local journalist, Bob Wells writes an article about two other WordPress experts and I!

WordPress gurus speak

Thanks Bob! You da man.

Go give the Boulder Reporter a lookee see!

You may live in Canada…

Stolen wholeheartedly directly from Malcha’s Sound Visions:

If your local Dairy Queen is closed from
September through May,
You may live in Canada .

If someone in a Home Depot store
Offers you assistance and they don’t work there,
You may live in Canada .

If you’ve worn shorts and a parka at the same time,
You may live in Canada .

If you’ve had a lengthy telephone conversation
With someone who dialed a wrong number,
You may live in Canada .

If ‘Vacation’ means going anywhere
South of Detroit for the weekend,
You may live in Canada .

If you measure distance in hours,
You may live in Canada .

If you know several people
Who have hit a deer more than once,
You may live in Canada .

If you have switched from ‘heat’ to ‘A/C’
In the same day and back again,
You may live in Canada .

If you can drive 90 km/hr through 2 feet of snow
During a raging blizzard without flinching,
You may live in Canada .

If you install security lights on your house and garage,
But leave both unlocked,
You may live in Canada .

If you carry jumper cables in your car
And your wife knows how to use them,
You may live in Canada .

If you design your kid’s Halloween costume
To fit over a snowsuit,
You may live in Canada .

If the speed limit on the highway is 80 km –
You’re going 95 and everybody is passing you,
You may live in Canada .

If driving is better in the winter
Because the potholes are filled with snow,
You may live in Canada .

If you know all 4 seasons:
Almost winter, winter, still winter,
and road construction,
You may live in Canada .

(this is my favourite, because how true)

If you have more miles
On your snow blower than your car,
You may live in Canada .

If you find -2 degrees ‘a little chilly’,
You may live in Canada .

If you actually understand these jokes,
you definitely are Canadian and proud to be.

Wild at Heart

(see video here)

Down a back road
Long, hot summer
A couple kids runnin’ loose and wild
He kissed her
She said mister,
Take an inch and I’ll give you a mile

I ain’t here to do anything half-way
Don’t give a damn what anyone might say
I just wanna free fall for a while

That rebel moon is shinin’
Those stars burn like diamonds
Hell bent on chasin’ down that crazy slide
I’ll follow you where you’re leading
To the first sweet taste of freedom
You got me runnin’ baby,
Wild at heart

About midnight, he tells her
I ain’t got no come-on lines
Well I’ll love you, or I’ll try to
We got nothing to lose but time

Stick your hand into my back pocket
Light me up like a bottle rocket
I just wanna free fall for a while

That rebel moon is shinin’
Those stars burn like diamonds
Hell bent on chasin’ down that crazy slide
I’ll follow you where you’re leadin’
To the first sweet taste of freedom
You got me runnin’ baby,
Wild at heart

O-oh, alright
Tonight is tellin’ us we’re way too young

O-oh, that’s alright
I’ve forever on the tip of my tongue

That rebel moon is shinin’
Those stars burn like diamonds
Hell bent on chasin’ down that crazy slide
I’ll follow you where you’re leading
To the first sweet taste of freedom
You got me runnin’ baby,
Wild at heart

That rebel moon is shinin’
Those stars burn like diamonds
Hell bent on chasin’ down that crazy slide
I’ll follow you where you’re leading
To the first sweet taste of freedom
You got me runnin’ baby,
You got me runnin’ baby,
Wild at heart

O-oh, alright…


Thanks to Tammi

San Fran – Day 4

Another whirlwind day with DJ as wheelman. This time his wife Martha came along, trooper that she is. Eight hours and 266 photos later we crash-landed at their house in Fremont. Martha made us a lovely dinner of meatloaf and twice-baked taters. Oh my.

Here’s the evidence, errr photos! (via Flickr)

My favorite shot of the day?


Of course.

I’m wearing a shirt from – to emphasize the ‘Infinite Loop’-ishness of the scene.

It was like being at Mecca. My invisible propeller-beanie was going so fast I felt light on my feet.

All Is One


This post is dedicated to Diana Forest, who keeps reminding me that we’re all part of the same thing. ‘Drops in the ocean’

I saw this storefront and immediately thought of you.

All is one.

Burn brightly my loved ones.

I’m off to another day of sightseeing and fun.

Pictures from day 1 are loaded up and I’ll be pushing day two’s imagery while I’m out and about today.

Games: “a year from irrelevance”

From A Tree Falling in the Forest:

Long and thoughtful article about the electronic games industry. The closing paragraph:

I don’t believe either of these examples provide a roadmap for sustaining our industry. However, they do provide effective warnings about complacency and fetishistic attachment to existing consumers. We have to start taking risks again. We are not at the point of drastic Cadillac-like measures, but there should be a risk component in publisher portfolios. The gap between the sub USD one million XBL/PSN downloadable and USD 20 million console game is to great to have nothing in between. Traditional publishers’ relevance and the premier creators of interactive entertainment is under attack by movie studios, Miniclips type sites, DVD games, Facebook apps and other social network games and a ton of others. They are using the same game mechanics and the same hooks we abandoned years ago in favor of the pursuit of “advanced technology.” The audience is being conditioned to pricing models that don’t demand up front investments of USD 60 or monthly subscription fees. It is not just a question of a simple interface change. The Wii mote led the horse to water, but so far they are not drinking. We need end to end revisions. Changes in production, release timing, marketing and pricing. We can continue to believe EA, Actard, Microsoft and Sony will always dominate the market operating business as usual – kind of like MGM and Cadillac – or we can look to new audience segments and determine how we can make the changes needed to remain relevant. If we don’t I am afraid my son’s generation will view today’s games as the new polyester shirt.

The rest is well worth reading.

Folk Song

I’m a geek. No apologies. Weird stuff gets stuck in my head.

The StarTrek: The Next Generation episode “Family” featured Picard and his brother singing a French song together after fighting and then reconciling / drinking. The refrain was all I could remember:

Auprès de ma blonde, qu’il fait bon, fait bon, fait bon…

SO… a few Googlicious moments later I’ve got the tune:

[quicktime width=”250″ height=”40″][/quicktime]

and the lyrics:

Auprès de ma blonde (next to my girlfriend)

Au jardin de mon père les lilas sont fleuris
Au jardin de mon père les lilas sont fleuris
Tous les oiseaux du monde y viennent faire leurs nids.

Auprès de ma blonde, qu’il fait bon, fait bon, fait bon,
Auprès de ma blonde, qu’il fait bon dormir.

La caille, la turturelle, et la jolie perdris
La caille, la turturelle, et la jolie perdris
Et la jolie colombe qui chante jour et nuit.

Qui chante pour les filles qui n’ont pas de maris
Qui chante pour les filles qui n’ont pas de maris
Pour moi, je chante guère car j’en ais un joli.

Que donneriez-vous, belle, pour avoir un mari?
Que donneriez-vous, belle, pour avoir un mari?
Je donnerai Versailles, Paris et St. Denis.

Les tours de Notre Dame et les cloches de mon pays
Les tours de Notre Dame et les cloches de mon pays
Et ma jolie colombe qui chante jour et nuit.

Cross references from Wikipedia

and this history taken from Everything2:

Auprès de ma Blonde

This well-known French folk-song (also known as The Prisoner in Holland) seems to date from the reign of Louis XIV, when France was at war with the United Provinces – the present-day Netherlands. The Netherlands were ruled by William III of Orange, who also became King of Great Britain. The wars were bloody and largely inconclusive, but form the backdrop to various songs and stories. Some refer to the Duke of Marlborough, who rose to prominence under King William and became one of the main allied generals under Queen Anne, as the War of the Spanish Succession unfolded. Alexandre Dumas (père) used the siege of Maastricht for the final scene of The Man in the Iron Mask. This song has a mournful tone, especially in the verses, as you will see. I’ve liked this song since before I understood the words, hearing my mother singing it as she worked. Knowing the words, and their themes of love, separation, and loss, has only increased that liking.

In each verse, the last couplet of the previous verse is sung twice, and then a new couplet sung once, and then the chorus. The first verse is written out in full, and after that, I’ve just added the new couplet. The English translation is not intended to be at all poetic, but it is intended to fit the tune, more or less, and to be an accurate reflection of the French meaning. I have not been able to replicate the rhyme-scheme, which is somewhat irregular in any case. In sung French, terminal ‘e’s which are silent in speech are often pronounced to improve scansion, and this is the case here.

Dans les jardins de mon père
Les lilas sont fleuris;
Dans les jardins de mon père
Les lilas sont fleuris;
Tous les oiseaux du monde
Vient y faire leurs nids.

Auprès de ma blonde
Qu’il fait bon, fait bon, fait bon –
Auprès de ma blonde
Qu’il fait bon dormi.

O, in my father’s garden
The lilies are in bloom;
O, in my father’s garden
The lilies are in bloom;
The birds of all creation1
Come there to build their nests.

Ah, near to my blonde lass,
It’s so good to sleep, to sleep –
Ah, near to my blonde lass
It’s so good to sleep.2

La caille, la touterelle,
Et le joli perdrix;

The turtle-doves and quails,
And bonny partridges;3

Et ma jolie colombe,
Qui chante jour et nuit.

And my own pretty stock-dove
Which sings both night and day.

Qui chante pour les filles
Qui n’ont pas de mari.

Which sings for all the lassies
Who haven’t got a lad4.

Pour moi ne chante guère,
Car j’en ai un joli.

It scarcely sings for me now,
For I’ve a handsome lad5.

Dites-nous donc la belle,
Ou donc est votr’ mari.

So tell us then, O beauty,
Where your fine husband is.

Il est dans la Hollande –
Les Hollandais l’ont pris.

He’s gone into the Netherlands
The Dutch have taken him.

‘Que donneriez-vous belle
Pour avoir votre ami?’

‘And what fair thing would you give
To have your husband back?’6

Je donnerai Versailles
Paris, et Saint-Denis;

O, I would give Versailles
Paris, and Saint-Denis;

Les tours de Notre Dame
Et le clocher de mon pays;

The towers of the cathedral
And the belfry of my land;

Et ma jolie colombe
Qui chante jour et nuit.

And my own pretty stock-dove
Which sings both night and day.

Notes on the translation:

  1. Literally, ‘All the birds of the world’.
  2. The chorus is the refrain of the prisoner, while the verses are for his wife and her companions.
  3. The French has singular birds here; in English, the plurals scan better
  4. Literally, ‘Which sings for all the girls (or daughters) / who have no husband’
  5. This verse doesn’t have a noun in the French. ‘J’en ai un’ literally means ‘I have one (of them)’.
  6. ‘Ami’ means ‘(boy)friend’, not ‘husband’. It’s not clear whether ‘belle’=’beautiful’ refers to the prisoner’s wife, or to the things she mentions next.


from: Laughing Squid 1/3/09 1:15 PM Scott Beale Television Video

MAKE magazine, Twin Cities Public Television and American Public Television have just launched the wonderful new weekly series Make: Television featuring half hour HD episodes profiling “Makers”. Make: Television can be viewed on public television (broadcast and cable), online (YouTube & Vimeo) or downloaded DRM-free.

Make: is the DIY series for a new generation! It celebrates “Makers” – the inventors, artists, geeks and just plain everyday folks who mix new and old technology to create new-fangled marvels. The series encourages everyone to invent, revent, recycle, upcycle, and act up. Based on the popular Make magazine, each half-hour episode inspires millions to think, create, and, well, make.

A segment from the debut episode of Make: Television features Cyclecide Bike Rodeo.

This is a blog post from Laughing Squid For more content like this, subscribe to the RSS feed, Twitter & FriendFeed.

The Peter Principle Playoffs

By Sheila Samples

We have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men~~George Orwell

So here we sit, our heads jerking back and forth so rapidly most of us are suffering severe whiplash. Will the US attack Iran? Will Israel attack Iran? Or will the two war-mongering bullies join forces and “bomb, bomb, bomb” that belligerent twit-nation into subservience?

It’s a great game. A deadly game. The momentum to attack Iran has been building for so long that we’re conditioned to watching it like some grotesque international tennis competition. It’s the Peter Principle Playoffs, with neoconsters and ziomonsters out on the court milling around, working at their highest “levels of incompetence,” feverishly plotting Iran’s destruction. Foul lines mean nothing to them. There are no rules, no officials, no scores, no accountability.

Bolton’s Law

Immediately before Bush invaded Iraq, the criminally insane John Bolton, then Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security, made a personal trip to Israel to assure Prime Minister Ariel Sharon that as soon as we destroyed Iraq, we’d “deal with threats” from Syria, Iran and North Korea. However, it’s obvious Iran has always been at the top of the list.

Since 2003, both US and Israeli governments, the corporate media, especially Fox News, and the US Congress have been unrelenting in their campaign to convince the world that Iran is an immediate nuclear threat, although Iran insists it is seeking nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. In August 2003, the UK Guardian‘s Simon Tisdall wrote, “They call it a trap. But we call it Bolton’s first law of international power politics; keep the other guy guessing; wear him down. When he gives a little, demand a whole lot more. Then zap him anyway.”

Bolton’s Law: Make wild accusations. Escalate terror and confusion. Kill. Repeat.

It’s no laughing matter, but the sight of this tousle-headed, “got milk?” maniac running in circles, warning of—demanding—a nuclear holocaust is good for a grin, albeit a grim one. Even as he was being forced onto the United Nations over national and international objections, Bolton was hot on Iran’s trail. He insisted that Iran is the most dangerous critter out there—harboring terrorists, arming terrorists, training terrorists—sending bombs, IEDs, weapons to Iraq to kill Americans. If it weren’t for Iran, there would have been no 9-11 attack because Iran provided safe haven for the box-cutting killers headed our way. Bolton warned if Iran managed to produce a single nuclear weapon, Israel, the United States—the world—was toast. He promised that Iran will come after us. “That’s the threat,” Bolton barked, “that’s the reality whether you like it or not. And it will be just like Sept. 11, only with nuclear weapons this time.”

Bolton keeps showing up for work even though his paycheck is now signed by the second most powerful Israeli Lobby, the American Enterprise Institute . He’s determined that Iran is going down and, if he can’t goad the US into action, he will whip Israel into a frenzy. Like the Batman’s Joker, Bolton leaps from the pages of the Wall Street Journal in catastrophic convulsions on a regular basis. On July 15, Bolton insisted “we should be intensively considering what cooperation the U.S. will extend to Israel before, during and after a strike on Iran. We will be blamed for the strike anyway,” Bolton reasoned, “…so there is compelling logic to make it as successful as possible. At a minimum, we should place no obstacles in Israel’s path, and facilitate its efforts where we can.”

Who’s On First?

Bolton is surrounded by fellow psychopaths like Norman Podhoretz who insists our only choice is to bomb Iran before Iran gets the bomb and bombs us. Podhoretz is a key figure in the Playoffs with his constant drumbeat that Iran is the “leading sponsor of terrorism in the world,” and once it achieves nuclear technology, we’re all gonna die!

And National Review‘s Larry Kudlow, who swooned ecstatically when Israel cluster-bombed Lebanon two years ago. Israel was “doing the Lord’s work,” defending freedom against the “Iranian cat’s-paw” of terrorism. Kudlow says Israel must not stop, but furiously attack “all the terrorist sanctuaries, training camps, weapons caches, and missile systems it can find.” Scary Larry enthusiastically supports at least half of Bolton’s Law—the last half.

Others joining Bolton for whom the destruction of Iran is a political game include Bill Kristol, virtuous “bookie” Bill Bennett, Joe Lieberman, and Daniel Pipes, whose harsh and raucous predictions center around whether Bush will attack Iran before or after the upcoming election. If McCain wins, most say that Bush will pass the nuclear baton to him while sprinting to the finish line to pardon his fellow war criminals. However, if McCain should lose, they agree that Bush will get his war on and leave the mess for Obama to clean up.

Those who continue to beat the drums of war trust that we will believe what they say without considering the obvious. Just last week, to coincide with President Ahmadi-Nejad’s visit to the UN, former UN ambassador Richard Holbrooke, former CIA director James Woolsey, former Clinton Middle East coordinator Dennis Ross, and former UN representative for management and reform Mark Wallace wrote an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal regurgitating rigid neoconservative talking points.

Channeling Cheney, they wrote that we shouldn’t believe Iran when it says it “needs nuclear energy and is enriching nuclear materials for strictly peaceful purposes.” Hey, Iran has “vast supplies of inexpensive oil and natural gas,” so there’s no “legitimate economic reason for Iran to pursue nuclear energy.”

Then, unable to resist an unsubstantiated “Bushism” or two, these heavy hitters warned that “Iran is a deadly and irresponsible world actor,” and should it get the bomb, Iran would “sponsor terror, threaten our allies, and support the most deadly elements of the Iraqi insurgency.”

Finally, they whipped out Bolton’s Law with the wild—and discredited—accusation that “President Ahmadinejad specifically calls for Israel to be ‘wiped from the map,’ while seeking the weapons to do so.”

The constant discordant barrage of accusations and demands is so outrageous we attempt to shrug it off as mostly ideological clatter-babble, yet we sit paralyzed with fear. We are unable to recognize the real danger that looms just beyond the shadows.

But we know he’s there. When Dick Cheney emerges, we are bewitched by the horror he evokes as he piles lie upon bloody lie about Iran’s nuclear activities—in spite of international findings and US intelligence lack of evidence. He accuses Iran of smuggling weapons of mass destruction into Iraq to kill Americans. Iran is training insurgents, is joined at the hip with Al-Qaeda, is the world’s most dangerous sponsor of terrorism, and if it can get its hands on just one nuclear weapon, it will immediately lob it in Israel’s direction.

In 2005, Cheney instructed the Pentagon to draw up a plan for a nuclear attack on Iran should another 9-11-type terrorist attack on the U.S. occur, even if Iran had nothing to do with it. To provoke a war, Cheney suggested dressing up Navy Seals as Iranians, putting them on fake Iranian speedboats, and shooting at them. Murdering Americans in cold blood, exterminating 60-70 million innocent Iranians and contaminating millions more throughout the region is a small price for Cheney to pay. Iran must face the consequences for having the audacity to possess two-thirds of the world’s oil.

Bad, Bad Ahmadi-Nejad

Since being elected in June 2005 as Iran’s President, Mahmoud Ahmadi-Nejad has rhetorically stepped in it and tracked it all over the Persian rug. Scarcely in office four months, he gave a speech in which he quoted the Ayatollah Khomeini who had said years earlier—”This regime occupying Jerusalem (een rezhim-e ishghalgar-e qods) must [vanish from] from the page of time (bayad az safheh-ye ruzgar mahv shavad).” That comment was transcribed as Ahmadi-Nejad threatening to wipe Israel off the map, and despite repeated efforts to get the correct translation out, the world’s media went into a shrieking frenzy that has yet to abate.

Ahmadi-Nejad has made numerous public and private diplomatic overtures to the United States in the last three years, and all have been rejected—with insults, sneers, and threats. It is critical to the outcome of the Playoffs that spectators see Ahmadi-Nejad as a criminally insane killer who is a threat to the entire world. He is sort of cocky, and his arrogance at insisting that Iran has the same rights and privileges under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty as the other members, that Iran has the right to pursue nuclear power for peaceful purposes, and that George Bush is not Iran’s “Decider” is driving guys like Bolton over the edge.

Which—when you think about it—is not necessarily a bad thing…

So, who is this guy? Few know that Ahmadi-Nejad is an Engineer with a Ph.D on transportation engineering, a university professor, a working member on the Iran Civil Engineering Society, and the Islamic Association of Students in the Science and Technology University, as well as others. He is an accomplished journalist and former managing director of the Hamshahri newspaper. He was the mayor of Tehran before running for president. Even fewer know that, in reality, he wields no power other than that allotted to him by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader. He’s deeply religious, stubborn and reckless. He’s unpredictable and, at times, dangerous. Ohmigod —Ahmadi-Nejad is “Bush with Brains!”

Should We Fear Iran?

Iran’s nuclear ambitions for other than peaceful purposes are as elusive as Iraq’s WMD, which defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld said were “in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.” Yet we are in danger of being swept up in the propaganda catapulted by the Bush administration and the corporate media once again. Perhaps we should take a deep breath and apply a bit of logic here, pay close attention to the obvious. If Iran is truly a threat to the entire world, then we should be afraid. However, demanding that Iran either prove a negative or face extermination of millions of its citizens does not, and should not, pass the terror smell test.

It is obvious that, in this unstable era, we should be aware of, and even fear, those countries bristling with nukes. For starters, the United States has more nuclear weapons than any other nation. Then there’s Russia, China, France, Britain, India, Pakistan, North Korea and…shhhhh…Israel. Currently, Pakistan is in turmoil and threatening to shoot down US planes that fly across the Afghanistan-Pakistan border and kill civilians, Russia refuses to back off from its Georgia stance no matter how vigorously Condi Rice wags her finger in its face, China has abruptly cut off financial deals with the US because of the plummeting dollar, and North Korea is restarting its Yongbyon nuclear reactor because Bush broke his promise to remove it from Washington’s list of state sponsors of terror.

Yet, amidst all this fury and instability, we are obsessed with destroying Iran—a nation that, in modern history, has never attacked another country —and which has repeatedly maintained it seeks nuclear power primarily for generating electricity for its growing population. In 2005, Ayatollah Khamenei issued a Fatwa that “the production, stockpiling and use of nuclear weapons are forbidden under Islam and that Iran shall never acquire these weapons.”

What is obvious to anyone familiar with the timeline of Iran’s nuclear program from the 1950s is that Iran has never sought nuclear energy for anything other than peaceful purposes. In 1957, the Shah opened the American Atoms for Peace in Tehran, and signed an agreement with the US for cooperation in research on peaceful uses of nuclear technology. And, in 1968, Iran signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty on the first day it opened for signature. In the late 70’s, the US supplied Iran with two nuclear power reactors and enriched uranium fuel, and granted Iran the “most favored nation” status so it would not be discriminated against when seeking permission to reprocess US-origin fuel.

To restate the obvious—if we are to fear Iran, it is not because, as Bush said in June—”They refuse to abandon their desires to develop the know-how which could lead to a nuclear weapon“—it is because Iran threatens to defend itself if attacked. It is because other nations, such as Russia, refuse to stand idly by as Iran is “wiped off the map.”

We need to get our minds around who is the aggressor here. Because if we continue to passively watch the evil unfold; if Dick Cheney wins the behind-the-scenes, off-court power struggle, the Peter Principle Playoffs will be over and the entire Middle East will explode in nuclear flames.

Sheila Samples is an Oklahoma writer and a former civilian US Army Public Information Officer. She is a regular contributor for a variety of Internet sites. Contact her at