Notes: George W. Bush, pictured in front above, is flanked by [left to right] Condoleeza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney in a cartoon remake of the famous bandit scene from the "Treasure of the Sierra Madre." The Dubya-Cheney-Condi-Rummy gang is talking tough about going after Iraq. They've beat the war drums so hard that they seem to have reached that primordial pre-battle trance that football teams enter right before a game where guttural chants emit and pounding on surfaces occur to exclusion of reason. In sum they've been saying that it's un-American to disagree with them while what's un-American is to not have a healthy debate about the course of the nation. Nobody said democracy is the least messy form of government -- it's simply the best form of government. Let's get the debate going.

The lines above in the comic strip were spoken in the 1948 movie the "Treasure of the Sierra Madre" by "El Bandido" played by Alfonso Bedoya. I found it of passing interest that the writer used the double negative twice and then reverted to correct grammar in the last line. Thus, the popular saying you see on T-shirts -- "We don't need no stinking badges" -- isn't a quote.

The opinion page editor of the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, Murphy Givens, told me the book on which the movie was based is one of several novels set in Mexico by B. Traven (a pseudonym). Murph recommended "Rebellion of the Hanged." He said Traven was an advocate for the powerless in Mexico and disliked the government
. Click here to listen or read Murphy's columns about the Texas gulf coast. 09.29.02