The Infinite Echo

B. Thomas Cooper is a freelance journalist, photographer, blogger and historian. Topics include Political Commentary, Satire and History

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Location: Phoenix, Arizona, United States

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye Mr. Bush, and Good Riddance!

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor

The day has finally arrived!

Our last New Years Eve with George W. Bush, warmonger and prince of fools. May he choke on a pretzel on his way out the door.

Bush will be remembered for many things. Nothing good, mind you. This is a president who has driven the country right into the ground. And it won't just be George W. Bush they'll be pointing the finger at. History won’t have anything positive to say about those who defended this intellectual abomination, either. It is neither noble, nor patriotic to guard the door whilst the fox raids the hen-house.

Oh, we will indeed remember George W. Bush. No question about it. How can we ever forget? He was a many of many words, most of which, like everything he touched, he butchered…

"America better beware of a candidate who is willing to stretch reality in order to win points." George W. Bush, aboard his campaign plane, Sept. 18, 2000

"We'll let our friends be the peacekeepers and the great country called America will be the pacemakers." George W. Bush, Houston, Texas, Sept. 6, 2000

"I'm gonna talk about the ideal world, Chris. I've read I understand reality. If you're asking me as the president, would I understand reality, I do." George W. Bush on abortion, MSNBC's "Hardball," May 31, 2000

"Will the highways on the Internet become more few?" George W. Bush, Concord, N.H., Jan. 29, 2000

"I am mindful of the difference between the executive branch and the legislative branch. I assured all four of these leaders that I know the difference, and that difference is they pass the laws and I execute them." George W. Bush, Washington, D.C., Dec. 20, 2000

"If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator." Washington, D.C., Dec. 19, 2000

"If you don't stand for anything, you don't stand for anything! If you don't stand for something, you don't stand for anything!" George W. Bush, Bellevue Community College, Nov. 2, 2000

"I'm not really the type to wander off and sit down and go through deep wrestling with my soul." George W. Bush, as quoted in Vanity Fair, October 2000

"Never again in the halls of Washington, D.C., do I want to have to make explanations that I can't explain." George W. Bush, Portland, Oregon, Oct. 31, 2000

"They said, 'You know, this issue doesn't seem to resignate with the people.' And I said, you know something? Whether it resignates or not doesn't matter to me, because I stand for doing what's the right thing, and what the right thing is hearing the voices of people who work." George W. Bush, Portland, Ore., Oct. 31, 2000

No doubt. History will not soon forget George W. Bush.

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor

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Monday, December 29, 2008

Barack the Magic Negro?

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor

Barack the Magic Negro?

You must be kidding me? This story is offensive on so many levels. How could a high ranking Republican with aspirations within the party possibly arrive at such an abominable conclusion?

Let me bring you up to speed. Chip Saltsman, candidate for Republican National Committee Chairman, has chosen to distribute a satirical CD containing racist material about Barack Obama as a Christmas gift. Not one copy, mind you, sent to a friend, but a rather substantial number of copies, sent to a number of prominent Republicans.

The offending CD is titled: ‘We Hate America, and is obviously the product of an amateur. His name is Paul Shanklin and he is neither clever nor funny on this collection of politically incorrect ditties. This is the kind of trash one might find offered up at a trailer park yard sale for a nickle.

Here’s a quote from the lyrics of the song in question:

“Yeah, the guy from the L.A. paper said,
He made guilty whites feel good,
They’ll vote for him and not for me,
‘Cause he’s not from the hood”

Watch out, Slim Shady. This guy is after your job.

This sort of thing only qualifies as satire in an academic sense. Satire, Spirit and Art, by George A. Test describes Satire in the following manner:

"The emotions that are thought to give rise to satire are generally acknowledged to be the least admirable human emotions-anger, malice, hatred, indignation. The emotions that satire are said to evoke are likewise emotions that make most people uncomfortable- shame, anger, guilt, anxiety. The view of humanity in satire is a negative one- tumultuous, crowded, aggressive, cynical, pessimistic."

Obviously, Shanklin is within his Constitutional rights on this issue, and if he and Mr. Saltsman want to distribute this vile nonsense, it is certainly their prerogative. Still, I am surprised the Republican hopeful would find this CD a useful tool for rehabilitating the GOPs already heavily damaged image. Who knows? Maybe Mr. Saltsman actually finds this stuff funny. How sad.

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor

Sound Foundation Entertainment - National Newswire - The Infinite Echo - Impeachment Now! - Sound&Recording - Skate the Razor - Skate the Razor Blog - blogment

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Holidays!

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor

The transcendent aroma of hot coco
permeates the air as a plump cat sleeps away the morning in front of the fireplace. Today is winter solstice, and Christmas is only days away. Many presents have yet to be purchased, let alone wrapped and distributed. Thankfully I can always count on Santa to bear the brunt of the load.

Christmas 001
Happy Holidays!

This year we acquired our Christmas tree in the prerequisite manner, and from the usual suspects, dark skinned young men speaking fluent Spanish huddled around a small bonfire in a dimly lit parking lot. This year however, required the assistance of a close friend, one with a truck. Over the summer, my wife and I traded in our aging SUV for a new PT Cruiser convertible. Fortunately, we had the foresight to do the deal back in July when the getting‘ was still good. We certainly couldn’t do that same deal today. Still, I miss that truck, especially on occasions like this.

The smell of fresh cut evergreen hung heavy in the cool night air. We negotiated the keen shadows, shaking branches curiously and horse-trading in our best broken Spanish. We settled on a fine tree. The gentle mannered attendant then proceeded to secure the tree to the roof of our truck with about forty feet of heavy rope, strong enough, I presume, to secure an angry bison to the rooftop. No extra charge.


As we pulled away from the unpaved parking area adjoining the unlit tree lot, we were greeted by the most unusual sign. 'NO REFUNDS OR RETURNS' the sign portended. They must be on to us, we mused, as we drove away, singing carols in our best broken Spanish.

Happy Holidays,

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor

Sound Foundation Entertainment - National Newswire - The Infinite Echo - Impeachment Now! - Sound&Recording - Skate the Razor - Skate the Razor Blog - blogment

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Book Review - Illusions, the Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah by Richard Bach

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor

Illusions, the Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah, written by Richard Bach (not to be confused with Richard Bachman) who is perhaps best known for having penned the now classic Jonathan Livingston Seagull. Illusions, the follow-up, almost seems to pick up where it's predecessor left off. Just where exactly that might be, is somewhat up in the air.

The bulk of this story is about the lighthearted adventures of two barnstormers during the heyday who meet by chance in the fields of America's heartland. The hero of the story, or the reluctant messiah, as the title suggests, is flier, Donald Shimoda, and his aerial accomplishments. Shimoda, is a barnstormer.

For those unfamiliar with the term, barnstorming refers to a form of aerial acrobatics performed by pilots primarily during the wildly exciting 1920's. Often a pilot would land his aircraft in a farm field or pasture where heart stopping rides were then pitched to the brave, usually for around two bits. Stunt aircraft of the period were able to perform breathtaking maneuvers at very low altitude, sometimes only inches above the crowds. Wing-walking was also a popular event with spectators. America was mesmerized, and barnstorming soon took the Midwest by, well, by storm, of course.

Illusions is a classic, feel-good adventure story, and at just under one hundred-fifty pages, it reads very quickly. For myself, I was most intrigued by the story within the story, written on an apparent note pad with a bad felt tip pen, found prefaced at the beginning. It's a short fantasy, touching on the simplicity of our basic survival instincts, based on the every day existence of tiny creatures clinging to a rock on the bottom of a river. Here's a brief passage:

"Each creature in it's own manner clung tightly to the twigs and rocks of the river bottom, for clinging was their way of life, and resisting the current what each had learned from birth."

I think you get where Bach is going with this, but it is well worth the read. The book's title portends a sense of impending dork factor, but fear not, it's really all good, comforting fun. I would highly recommend this book to older children and adults of all ages.

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor

Sound Foundation Entertainment - National Newswire - The Infinite Echo - Impeachment Now! - Sound&Recording - Skate the Razor - Skate the Razor Blog - blogment

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Another Black Eye For the Bush Administration

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor

President Bush may have dodged an attack by incoming shoes during last weekend’s now infamous Iraq press conference, but it seems White House Press Secretary Dana Perino was somewhat less fortunate. According to reports (hers included) Perino sustained a black eye when a US Secret Service agent (code named ‘Keystone Cop’) toppled a microphone stand during the subsequent melee.

Bush Caricature 1b
What, Me Worry?

As is customary with this president, George Bush just shrugged it all off. What’s another pair of shoes for a man who has cost so many innocent people their legs? What’s another black eye? Bush is without conscience. Why should he care if a stranger tosses their shoes in his direction? He did, after all, encourage ‘them’ to “bring it on”, didn’t he? I just don’t think he was anticipating a size 10 wingtip. Nonetheless, the old adage stands… if the shoe fits, wear it.

As for Perino, her physical wounds will heal soon enough. It is the black eye to her own legacy with which she should be most concerned. Her days as mouthpiece for the lamest of all ducks are quickly drawing to a close. When that chump of a duck limps out of the Oval Office for the last time on January 20th, Dana Perino will find herself left to the wolves. Just ask Scott McClellan. He could write a book on the subject.

Of course, Perino’s own snide demeanor has undoubtedly left many with reason to dream of knocking black circles around her beady little eyes. Irony has not been lost on the fact that it came down to the Secret Service to accomplish the dirty deed. What a long, strange trip it has truly been. The truth hurts, I guess, or at least in this instance, it smarts a little. My advice to Dana? Just do what you always do… ignore it and it will go away.

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor

Sound Foundation Entertainment - National Newswire - The Infinite Echo - Impeachment Now! - Sound&Recording - Skate the Razor - Skate the Razor Blog - blogment

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Infinite Echo Lists the Top Twenty Best Novels of All Time

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor

As the year draws to an end, it seems an appropriate time to present our current list of the top twenty novels of all time. I’m certain many readers will feel we have left out books that belong in the list and included some that don’t. You are welcome, and in fact, encouraged to compile your own list and send it to us. We will post all lists submitted, providing of course, the content of your list is appropriate for posting. Enjoy.

Moby Dick
Herman Melville -1851

The Fountainhead

Ayn Rand -1943

The Iliad

Homer -800 BCE

War and Peace

Tolstoy -1865

The Cider House Rules
John Irving -1985

Light in August
William Faulkner -1932


A Tale of Two Cities
Charles Dickens -1859

True at First Light

Ernest Hemingway -1953

The Grapes of Wrath
John Steinbeck -1939

Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Harriet Beecher Stowe -1852

The Catcher in the Rye
J.D. Salinger -1951

Atlas Shrugged
Ayn Rand -1957

Slaughterhouse Five

Kurt Vonnegut -1969

Something Wicked This Way Comes
Ray Bradbury -1962

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Mark Twain -1876

The Sun Also Rises
Ernest Hemingway -1926

A Prayer For Owen Meany

John Erving -1989

Wuthering Heights

Emily Bronte -1847

George Orwell -1949

The Sound and the Fury
William Faulkner -1929

B. Thomas Cooper - Editor

Sound Foundation Entertainment - National Newswire - The Infinite Echo - Impeachment Now! - Sound&Recording - Skate the Razor - Skate the Razor Blog - blogment

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