Thursday, August 7, 2008

HOW I SPENT MY SUMMER VACATION by Nancy Pelosi - grade 2


This summer, I decided to be a big girl and have a vacation all to myself. A lot of my family wanted to stay home and work because of the problems we had at home. Daddy was having trouble digesting everything he was being fed (and mommy said he was also having gas problems. How gross!!!). I also think daddy was having a fight with the dentist, he kept yelling about not drilling, or something like that. Ye gods, I couldn’t take it any more. All the complaining. That’s all I heard after I started the 2nd grade last October. You wouldn't believe how much complaining there was. All I heard was people talking about problems. Like you could do something about them, right? It got so bad that I didn't even listen anymore.I'd just lock myself in my room and listen to Barbra Streisand records. (Don't you just love her?) Finally, I just had to get away. I had to have time to myself. I’m a big girl now.

There’s also another reason. My marks weren’t so very good, average below 10%, and the Principal and some of the School Council wanted me to stay in school until I could show some accomplishment. (I’m not sure what that word means; I’ll ask Mommy when I get back from my vacation.) But, stay in school? – that’s called summer school – ugh! I don’t need summer school. I’m a big girl now.

Anyway, the first day I got to Camp Duck ‘n’ Hide I was happy to find that a lot of my friends from my 2nd grade class were there. The first one I met was Harry. He’s a nice boy, and he’s nice to me but he’s not very handsome. (A lot of people tell me I’m pretty – maybe that’s one of the reasons I was voted class representative. I really wanted to be Student President, but I’ll probably have to wait another four years, when I’ll be in the 6th grade. But that’s not too bad. The girl who was running for Student President lost, so now I guess I’m the top girl.) I’m a big girl now.

I just got a letter from Mommy. She said that the family is still not so good and Daddy’s gas pains are getting worse. Jeez, she never stops bitching. (I told you I was a big girl.) I hope I won’t be like that when I get to be old. She also said something about a lot of people going into the school last week (I thought it was closed) and talking about stuff in the dark. I don’t really understand what she was trying to tell me, but it seems they were mostly talking about daddy’s gas pains and his problems with the dentist, and trying to figure out how to make the pains go away. Oh well, after I get home from camp, I’ll see if I can find some way to make him feel better. He should be able to stand the pain until then. He’s a big boy. And I’m a big girl now.

There was also a nice surprise in Mommy’s letter. There was a $20 bill in the envelope. Mommy said it was a present from someone named Green. Now I can walk into town after our multi-cultural tug-of-war (that’s the last activity on the afternoon schedule) and buy a pizza slice for myself. I might even buy one for Harry. I’m a big girl now.

nancy pelosi

Wednesday, April 9, 2008



I have come to realize that most of the people I’ve admired in my life are unknown to most of the people alive today. When asked about any well-known people that I’ve met or with whom I’ve been friendly, my responses are met usually with blank, uncomprehending stares from anyone born after 1970.

Which is probably the reason that even contemporaries of mine, writers and readers who’ve read my novel THE LION DOMINION (not yet published), are puzzled by my decision to construct it around Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 until his overthrow in 1974. (While he is a character and a central presence throughout the story, he’s not one of the principal characters.)

“Why don’t you use someone who’s known, someone more current, in the news? Who cares about a dead African king? If you’re going to write about someone, why not use Muammar Qaddafi or Saddam Hussein, someone whom more people will know?”

My reasoning is simple. I choose my characters, real and fictional alike, because they interest me. Probably not the smoothest road to publication but, if I’m going to spend several years with these people, walking with them through the physical, philosophical and psychological places they inhabit, I might as well enjoy their company. And I set them in locations I know well and love to revisit: Jamaica – Rome – Mexico City.

All of which to justify why I shamelessly used the Emperor’s visit to Jamaica as the setting and enabling event of THE LION DOMINION and borrowed the title from a Ziggy Marley song. The story was born as follows:

MONTEGO BAY, JAMAICA – April 23, 1966 (Saturday)

There he was - King of Kings, Elect of God, Defender of The Faith, the Conquering Lion of Judah and a direct lineal descendent of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba - Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia since 1930, the living God of the Rastafarians. At his birth in 1892, he was christened Tafari Makonnen and later called Prince, or Ras, Tafari. The Rastafarians, members of a Jamaican religious cult, worshiped him as their Messiah. They believed that Haile Selassie was divine and that salvation would come only to those black people who were repatriated to Africa, specifically to Ethiopia, their spiritual Zion. They referred to the Old Testament where it is held in Revelations (5:5), “Weep not, behold the Lion of Judah, the root of David, hath prevailed to open the book."

There he was, the man who had addressed the League of Nations in 1935, castigating the assembly of world leaders who had stood still and silent as the Italian fascist Benito Mussolini invaded his country. This was the man who led his army (from the front, on horseback) against the Italian invaders and who eventually regained his throne after World War II. This was the man who presided over the oldest Christian nation in the world and the nation with the longest history (3,100 years) of independence and unbroken leadership succession.

And indeed, there he was, a few minutes past noon on Saturday April 23, 1966, standing regally in the open rear half of a Mercedes limousine, as his motorcade swept up the entryway to The Montego Beach Hotel, only yards away from where I stood with my 8mm movie camera following him up the driveway.

As his limousine drew to a stop under the portico and the Emperor stepped down to meet the welcoming party, I found my attention being drawn away from him. I began to use my zoom lens to scan the faces of the male members of his entourage, especially those in uniform, on the off-chance that I might recognize a face from my past. I was looking for the Ethiopian Patrol Sergeant I had met and befriended during the fighting in Korea, Bekele Kebede.

Not surprisingly, he wasn't there. However, that remembrance of my Ethiopian comrade in arms, coupled with the proximity of his Emperor during one of my frequent visits to Jamaica, sowed a seed in my subconscious which did not take root until years later when I decided to write my story, THE LION DOMINION.

Now, a few years and 110,000 words later, I have completed that journey and am searching for someone to publish my story. At the same time, I have begun two more journeys (Rome: THE POPES APOTHECARY and Mexico City: THE POWER AND THE PRICE) while I continue my search.

The Prologue to THE LION DOMINION will be available for viewing at my website (FOR YOUR EYES ONLY) and I would be delighted to receive your comments.

LYRICS OF A LOWBROW (with apologies to Robert W. Service)


Twinkle, twinkle, little tart
At the White House, played her part.
Made the master moan and groan
While they played with each his own,
Just a weekend matinee.
But, ere Sunday morn gave way
She’d have to go 'cause he
Must go to church with Hillary.

With trousers up and zipper done
He went to fetch his Number One.
Clutching fast their holy books,
Upon their pusses pious looks
Our king and queen to God's house went
(A summit meeting their intent?)
Only now and then they'd stop
For each self-righteous photo-op.

The TV cameras caught each stride
The Lord and Lady sanctified.
He'd wave to subjects left and right
Exuding Messianic light.
While she, who made her devil's pact,
Made outward show, denied the fact
That she had chosen to forsake
Honor, truth for power's sake.

And lo, in Monday's New York Times,
The word rings forth like steeple chimes,
"Our leader's grand, our hopes endure:
He feels our pain, of that we're sure.
No matter what they say he's done
(What the hell, don't everyone?).
The market's up, what if he lied
Saint Hillary stays by his side".

Who but Slick Willie could convince
The feminists that he's their prince?
He's pro-abortion, so that means
That he's allowed to drop his jeans.
Who promised all, delivered none.
Convinced the Blacks that he’s the one.
Became the first Black President
A living saint, a blest event.

And now that several years have flown
Saint Hillary would claim her own.
It’s now her due, her Faustian right,
To move back to the house that’s white.
(She certainly wants no repeat -
Eight years without the catbird seat.)
If she succeeds, it’s less than sure
That she’ll bring back the furniture.

In Arkansas they had their way
He taxed, he groped, she looked away.
The Little Rock to D.C. swing
Let them grab the golden ring.
The White House was their bag of tricks,
The Lincoln Bedroom - Motel Six,
The Oval Office private honey,
The Chinese laundering their money.

Bush 1 left them an upward trend,
They blew the Gipper’s dividend
They cut our military forces back
Then willed Bush 2 a downward track.
Claimed success and off they rode
To their Chappaqua abode.
Tossing pardons left and right
To terrorists and crooks in flight.

She’d like to go where Bubba went
And win two terms as President.
(He won two times, but well to note,
That he got less than half the vote.)
He also got impeached and more,
He lied. And recently she swore,
That as a Senator she’d stay
A full six years. Well, who’s to say?

Now that Clinton cash has mounted
(One hundred mill last time we counted),
More power is their only goal.
The Super Delegates must roll!
Damn the Party! Damn the day!
If they don’t win, there’s hell to pay.
Obama better watch his back
And Bill may even get the sack.

UNOFFICIALLY SPEAKING (with apologies to no one)

The following screed was originally published in September 2004, shortly before George W. Bush won his second term by defeating John F. Kerry in the Presidential election.



Thirty plus years ago, John Kerry was part of a clutch of malcontents, ultra-liberals, socialists, outright communists, pacifists and America-haters, waging a dishonest campaign to convince the U.S. public that our involvement in Vietnam was evil. This group was able to use lies, exaggerations and false witnesses to influence popular opinion against the war and anybody that had anything to do with it. They were successful in dividing this country and debasing the deeds and reputations of the American military, and in doing so, consigned a whole generation of American citizens and veterans to an undeserved purgatory. The success of this 'anti-everything' crowd' eviscerated the will of the U.S. and emboldened its enemies, causing countless additional casualties on both sides. Additionally, in forcing the U.S. to back off a war that it was actually winning, the 'antis' also abetted the destruction of millions of lives of innocent citizens in the Indo-China Peninsula of Southeast Asia.

Their success in eviscerating the U.S. mission in Vietnam has emboldened them again to believe they can do the same with the war in Iraq. Using the same tactics, the same cohort is now saying and doing anything to undermine the efforts of the U.S. government, its fighting men and women and its allies. In doing so, it is hampering our efforts to defeat an enemy, an enemy who has been using the same barbarous tactics since the middle of the 7th century, and is giving aid and comfort to our enemies in a time of war (a classical description of treason). I do not say that honest disagreement constitutes treason. What is going on now is decidedly different from sincere and reasoned opposition. It is, rather, shrill and mean-spirited, focused on one objective, regaining power at any cost, demeaning the words and deeds of the President of the United States and, by extension, debasing many of the country's institutions. You cannot listen to the vitriolic rant of Kennedy, Gore, Dean,, without cringing in disgust and disbelief. Worse, the country is completely polarized and the overall tenor of political discourse has lost all civility and it is virtually impossible to engage in a reasoned and mutually respectful political dialogue. Just watch the talking heads on television trying to out-shout and out-smirk each other. Oh, for the good old days, Whigs vs. Tories.

Make no mistake, we are in a religious war and it is suicidal folly not to admit it. However, this war must be fought as the World (including classical Islam) vs. militant, radical Islamo-facism. It must not be fought as a crusade, pitting all of Islam against the Judeo-Christian world, but rather as a to-the-death struggle between humanity and inhumanity.

So, we need a wartime leader. I say we already have one (if not two) in the current administration. Kerry says that only a combat veteran would be qualified to be Commander-in-Chief. Further, that his few months on a riverboat qualify him for that position while George Bush's 45 months of on-the-job performance mean nothing. By that measure, I might qualify by virtue of the Combat Infantryman's Badge I earned for a short stint of combat in Korea. The only problem was that, as I had not plotted to use my service as a springboard into a political career, I did not bring my cameraman with me. Nor was there anywhere in our combat zone for me to go shopping for the campaign ribbons I had earned (let alone the actual underlying medals) to be worn for the photographs I might later use in my political campaigns. Obviously, Kerry was differently inclined and did not have these problems, as his photos testify.

Also, by the same measure, George Patton, Douglas MacArthur, Audie Murphy and, possibly, Shane would most certainly qualify as Commander-in-Chief. Abraham Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson, FDR and Ronald Reagan need not apply. The proposition that actual combat experience is the primary qualification for political leadership might have had some validity in the days of Alexander the Great, Charlemagne, Atilla the Hun or even (dare I say) Genghis Khan, but certainly not today.

The civilized world can only hope and pray that several things happen quickly.

1. That the current U.S. Administration, along with its military and humanitarian operations and those of its allies, prevails and that the American electorate soundly rejects one of the leaders of the anti-Iraq, anti-Vietnam cabal, the elitist snob John Kerry (The Mandarin Candidate).

2. That the real representatives of Islam raise their voices in indignation at the savagery that is being inflicted on Muslims and non-Muslims alike, in their names.

3. That Europe wake up to the threats that have already manifested themselves on that Continent, take a realistic view of its position in the 21st Century, and join and support the efforts of those leading this fight before it's too late.

4. And finally, that the Democratic Party regain its senses and become, once more, a reasonable and powerful factor in U.S. politics.

If I were to evaluate the chances of the above 4 items happening, I would have to say "absolutely" to the 1st, "probably, in time" to the 2nd, "possibly" to the 3rd and "maybe, in a generation" to the 4th. I am distressed at the last item for, at 72 years of age, I don't think I'll live to see the return of the day when I am able to have rational and respectful dialogues with my Democratic friends and acquaintances. Does this make me a pessimist? I think not. More likely a realist with optimistic leanings or, to my way of thinking, a conservative Republican.

Jack Deeney
September 28, 2004

PS: After his defeat, Kerry reportedly shouted, “I can’t believe I lost to this f***ing idiot!” It should be noted that the “f***ing idiot” to whom Kerry referred has his undergraduate degree from Yale, a Harvard MBA and a higher GPA than Kerry.

Jack Deeney
April 9, 2008