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Posts Tagged ‘bush’

I know that the use of language in today’s mass media is geared toward a fifth-grade (or thereabouts) comprehension level. Surely, though, the folks we elect to serve in the highest offices should be at least a little smarter than a fifth grader. Perhaps we should have Jeff Foxworthy come and test the entire lot of our nation’s politicians for actual fitness to serve.

Jeff Foxworthy
Our nation’s savior?

Allow me to illuminate a few things for all of you in national politics.

1. Bush was not a Nazi. Obama is not a socialist. Labels of ‘fascist’ (which few of you appear able to spell) and ‘communist’ are similarly inapplicable to either of them – though it is inordinately amusing to hear words like these applied to two men of quite different ideology. Less amusingly, I believe anyone who has suffered under the rule of such regimes as those of Hitler and Stalin would be rather offended to hear the comparatively trivial measures taken by these Presidents compared to the savagery they were forced to submit to.

Enough name-calling. If you have an issue with a President’s policies, come up with a reasonable alternative and we can all have a civilized debate. If you can’t do that, then keep your mouth shut.

2. Stop talking about whether there is too much God or too little God in the running of the country. Both of these are meaningless. The country was founded in part to ESCAPE the notion of any kind of state endorsement of religion. I have no problem with people worshipping according to their beliefs and legislating according to their values, but don’t use confuse the two and use religion to justify your political acts. In a nation whose founders specifically tried to avoid mixing religion into the law, such actions are hypocritical and offensive.

3. Related to the above: if you’re a bigot, just man up and be a bigot. If you have a problem with blacks, or Muslims, or the poor, or women, or gays, or conservatives, or any other group, just say so. Don’t get into the “un-American” line of bullshit. They’re just as American as you are. They love freedom just as much as you do. (Not that you even know what ‘freedom’ means, if you’re trying to deny it to anybody else.) Last but by no means least: any right which you would claim for yourself, you should also accord to them, whether it’s specifically spelled out in the Constitution or not.

4. Keep your promises. Don’t tell the public one thing and then do another, unless you also give us a damn good reason for the change. Don’t tell one group something and another group the opposite. We live in the Internet age, and we WILL find out. When it happens, enjoy your retirement money. We won’t vote for you to keep darkening our doorsteps.

5. When you watched movies as a youngster, remember how you cheered when the schoolyard bully got his comeuppance. Look at America’s standing in the international community around, say, 2006-7. If elementary school parable is indeed the limit of your understanding, maybe it can at least be allowed to guide foreign policy in years to come.

6. The national media have provided you with a means of understanding whether you are acting logically – whether you identify with the right or left. His name is Jon Stewart. If your name is mentioned on his show more than twice in any given month, you might wish to take a look at your priorities. Jon Stewart, you see, IS smarter than a fifth grader.

7. Perhaps above all, remember this quote from former President Harry Truman – another individual who was smarter than a fifth grader:

“Don’t piss in the soup, boys – we’ve all got to eat.”

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This is the start of a new temporary (maybe 9 days) feature wherein I make lists of stuff. So yeah. Reasons 2009 won’t suck.

1. New albums from Guster and Carbon Leaf

They’re not the only ones, of course, but two perennial favorites who will be releasing new material for the first time since 2006. Perhaps this will be as good a music year as that was.

2. Radical topiary

By which I of course mean the wholesale removal of the Bushes from the political landscape. I know that Obama has an extraordinarily difficult year ahead of him, and as such I am hesitant to expect a full reversal of the Bush policies I have disagreed with. However, I believe that he is likely to bring a change for the better, and I look forward to seeing it.

3. The return of Jermain Defoe

Tottenham have been woefully short on goals this season, largely due to the previous management’s boneheaded decision to sell off our three most prolific strikers in 2008 without lining up a proven replacement. As such, we were languishing at the foot of the league for a long time. Mercifully, said management has fallen under the proverbial axe, and due to the arrival of the new manager one of those strikers is now returning. Two other existing players are beginning to find their rhythm as well, and we have won more games than we have lost in the last 4-5 weeks. Here’s hoping this continues and we can climb the table again.

4. Going to Florida

On the 23rd, we will be escaping the cold and wet and dreary weather for a week in the sticky-out bit at the bottom right of America. More on that when it happens.

5. Getting our own place

2009 will in all likelihood see us moving into a house of our own, away from the mental depredations inflicted upon us throughout the years by noisy neighbors and flaky landlords. 

6. Baby steps

L is very close to taking his first steps, and will almost certainly do so either this month or next. It’s something that is second nature to any of us, but an extremely important milestone for him, and I can’t wait to be the proud daddy when he manages it.

7. Commemorative coinage

2009 sees the extension of the State Quarters program for one more year, four new Presidential dollar coins and four commemorative pennies. OK, so it’s only 14 coins and thus about 1.2% of my collection, but there are new coins coming out and I’m a coin nerd and that therefore makes me squee like a 7-year-old seeing the newest line of Hannah Montana merchandise.

8. More interesting work

Ever since I started at Xerox, I’ve been working on one big behemoth of a project, now mercifully complete. This means that I get to do a wider variety of things.

9. Steve Jobs is still not dead

Notwithstanding the rumours that keep screwing with Apple’s stock price, one of the computer industry’s titans is still alive and kicking, and thus there will be more pretty shiny toys released this year.

So yeah. Should be a good year.

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… it’s probably just another part of the giant government conspiracy.

I was reminded this morning of the theory that the Apollo moon landings were faked. My inner conspiracy theorist loves this one, because there’s so much you can do with it.

See, in the early 1960s, the Western World was stunned when Yuri Gagarin successfully went into orbit. The United States in particular went a little batshit over this news, largely because the nascent NASA had had a great deal of money pumped into it, and here the Russians were launching a machine which surely had to be predominantly made of duct tape – and there was a cosmonaut IN it. Kennedy, in his optimistic fashion, called for the United States to put a man on the surface of the moon by the end of the decade.

Shouldn’t have been difficult, one would think. After all, we had access to the technology salvaged at Roswell, NM, back in 1947, and had been having dialogue with several different races of alien life for some time. Trouble was, a great deal of that technology was under the control of the CIA. Kennedy and the CIA didn’t get along too well, as evidenced by the fact that he planned to dissolve the Agency entirely.

Lo and behold, in November ’63, a magic bullet came from three different locations at once, entered Kennedy’s head at the wrong angle for any of said locations, and the alchemical ritual killing of the Divine King was completed.

CIA-trained operative Lee Harvey Oswald, observing this while still trying to get a good visual through his Mannlicher-Carcano rifle, is reported to have said “OMG WTF?” Meanwhile, CIA-trained operative James Files calmly left the scene, his own gun still in hand, and the mission was accomplished.

Future Agency Director George Scherf Jr., during the course of the investigation, requested that all pertinent documents be turned over to him, a request which was duly honored. It should be noted that George Scherf Jr. was no longer under that name at this time, hence the record showing that the documents were provided to ‘George Bush of the CIA’. This individual, it should be noted, went on to become the nation’s 41st President.

The furore over Kennedy’s assassination allowed the CIA to continue its operations without hindrance, especially since the views of one Lyndon Baines Johnson were rather more friendly to the CIA. Nonetheless, in order to continue deflecting attention from the perpetrators of perhaps the single greatest con of all time, Kennedy’s memory needed to be kept alive. And so it was that a TV studio of sorts was set up at a base in Nevada, not far from Groom Lake.

It should also be noted at this point that there are few better ways for a shaky administration to get the public firmly behind them than by providing a common enemy. A military action was quickly contrived and the United States entered Vietnam.

A growing counterculture movement, featuring the likes of LSD pioneer Timothy Leary, protested vociferously against the war, never realizing that they were simply being distracted from the assimilation of the entire country by the New World Order, with the help of the CIA as well as high-standing politicians from both sides of the partisan divide.

Though the enduring popularity of the Beatles threatened their Machiavellian machinations, the NWO quickly devised counter-strategies. The assassination of Paul McCartney and his replacement with their own lookalike (William Campbell) kept the Beatles from getting too outspoken, although Mark Chapman would eventually need to be deployed also once the Beatles had broken up.

What about the Moon landings? We’re coming back to that.

The public was beginning to embrace the counterculture more strongly than anticipated, and the Russians were starting to get their act together. Something needed to happen at this point to re-establish American superiority. And so it was that a little movie was made. A gentleman named Kubrick was drafted to make the landing look as realistic as possible, and a great script was put together.

Getting up onto a stage was one small step for a man. Getting that movie out was a giant leap for the NWO.

NOTE: The above is a work of fiction and is provided for entertainment purposes only. Allegedly.

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On the first anniversary of the American incursion into Vietnam, a handful of college professors and radical beatniks started to make a little noise, but were dismissed as nuts.

At two years a few more had joined the movement, largely still members of the same “nut” crowd.

At three years, with the introduction of the hippies into the fray, thousands started to show up to demonstrate.

At four years, there were hundreds of thousands.

On the fifth anniversary, millions of protesters took to the streets! The resounding voice of the American public spoke, and the United States withdrew from a quagmire in which there was no hope of victory.

Flash forward.

Prior to the start of the Iraq invasion, millions marched in protest worldwide; half a million in Florence, Italy, 1.5 million in Rome, 1 million in London, half a million in New York City, 200,000 in San Francisco. Almost every large community had some form of protest. Entire cities were shut down.

Marking the one year anniversary the numbers of demonstrators were large (still in the hundreds of thousands) but probably half that prior to the invasion.

Two years after, the numbers were down to tens of thousands.

Three years after, a few hundred showed up.

This year, four years after the invasion, more people were killed in one week in car bombs in Iraq than showed up to protest. And the quagmire continues.

Have we given up? Have we all been cowed into submission by the Evil Empire?

Many of us are posting in blogs, or talking about how terrible it all is while we drink our Starbucks. Some of us sit and seethe while watching the TV news, then flick over to American Idol. A lot of people are counting down the last 18 months of Bush’s presidency in the mindset that it can’t possibly get any worse.

It can get worse, and probably will.

Bush’s Attorney General, Alberto Gonzalez, testifying under oath, claimed 73 times not to be able to recall crucial details of conversations with other senior-level administration officials. He also claimed that the Constitution did not automatically grant the right of habeas corpus, which is completely incorrect.

Gonzalez is either incompetent to perform the duties of his office or perjuring himself and obstructing justice, both of which are grounds for removal from office. In either case, the Bush administration have been protected by his actions.

The declarations of executive privilege, under which the Bush administration have ducked a vast number of Congressional subpoenas, have undermined Congressional process entirely.

The assertion that Vice-President Cheney is not required to comply with regulations on the executive or legislative branches of Government, citing allegiance to whichever branch allows him to evade regulations, has undermined process in all three branches of Government.

The Bush administration, under the most recent version of their Continuity Of Government plan, has the option to declare martial law when there is a catastrophic event. The power to define a catastrophic event, for these purposes, lies with… the Bush administration.

This gives the administration the power to suspend elections and prolong Bush’s presidency indefinitely. A terrifying prospect, if ever I heard one.

The mountains of evidence are overwhelming. The violations of the once-sacrosanct Constitution and other American laws abound, and the Bush administration lurch in their ineptitude from the disastrous to the catastrophic with nary a thought for G.I. Joe, never mind Average Joe.

The calls for impeachment grow ever louder outside the hallowed halls of Congress, a veritable sea of noise which threatens to drown out any voice calling for more moderate approaches or bipartisan cooperation.

Why is it, then, that impeachment has been off the table for so long? Why is the very notion considered anathema?

It is hardly that there have been no high crimes or misdemeanors. It is not even a simple case of the Democratic Party being “chicken”.

Bush, Cheney and their assorted friends and minions, however, do still have substantial “pull” in this country. Impeachment proceedings would effectively turn Bush and Cheney into martyrs, taking a hit for taking a stand in the name of their party, their country and their God. These men would become a rallying point around which the Republican base could mobilize. Anyone with any dislike for or unease about the Democrats would finally have somewhere to take a stand, despite the relative weakness of the current crop of Republican candidates.

In short, impeaching Bush might result in a moral victory for the Democrats but would place them at huge risk for an electoral defeat.

Any senior Democrat involved in the proceedings would also see a probable end to their chances of assuming higher office themselves further down the line, since they could easily be challenged over the impeachment issue by their opponents.

Allowing the Bush crowd to run out their final year and a half in power, however, gives the Democrats further opportunities to point at the ongoing shambles, strengthening their own relative virtues in the public perception.

Perhaps in February 2009, a newly-minted Democratic President will have the opportunity to arraign many members of the current administration on charges of war crimes, falsification of intelligence, obstruction of justice, leaking classified information and a host of other infractions. The people responsible for these illegal acts can be tried and convicted with much less of the political circus which would otherwise be inherent in the process, thus allowing the new administration to get on with running the country and salvaging its reputation as a bastion of real freedom and democracy.

Despite some efforts, the Constitution has yet to be dealt a killing blow. Another eighteen months of Bushism may be a small price to pay for restoring it to its former glory in years to come.

But then… once martial law is imposed, impeachment proceedings can be shut down as quickly as they can be initiated. Maybe there wouldn’t BE a Democratic President in 2009. It would hardly be sensible for an administration to issue decrees which protect their own power at the expense of the Constitution and then willingly hand over the reins to someone who would use those decrees against them.

Some have suggested that later this year Cheney will step down, citing health concerns, and a more moderate (supposedly) Vice-President appointed, to boost the GOP’s chances of winning in 2008 and keeping the tyrannical, totalitarian streak alive.

Others have suggested that there will be another attack on a U.S. target, probably blamed on Iran, to fire up the public so that they won’t rebel when martial law is declared.

Who can say what further rabbits are to be pulled from the Bush hat?

So… to impeach, or not to impeach? That is the question. If we’re lucky, we have 18 months to answer it.

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WASHINGTON – In a controversial but not entirely unexpected decision, President Bush decided today that his good buddy and former vice-presidential chief of staff I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby didn’t need to serve jail time after all. ***

Sources close to the Bush camp say that the president was “extremely concerned” at the idea of Mr. Libby serving time, due to the extreme measures likely to be inflicted upon him by other inmates at the federal penitentiary.

“After all,” said one source, who wished to remain anonymous since this is a fictitious statement, “nobody could survive thirty months in a federal pen with the nickname ‘Scooter’.”

In related news, an inmate in a Texas jail who was facing a death sentence has been given a stay of execution by the Supreme Court after being judged mentally incompetent to understand his punishment. Having subpoenaed the late president John F. Kennedy and the well-known spiritual leader Jesus Christ as witnesses to his appeal, the defendant was allowed to live. ***

President Bush praised the decision and welcomed the legal precedent, calling it a victory for mentally retarded Texan criminals everywhere.

*** These bits are actually true.

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Since I’m sure you’ve all been breathlessly awaiting my views on things… 😉

When I first looked at my screen this morning, my thought was that Kerry still had a chance at the presidency. As I checked the state-by-state numbers, I instead grew increasingly convinced that we had another Bush presidency to look forward to.

Hearing at 11 that Kerry had called the president to concede threw me into something of a despondent mood. Overly dramatic statements about moving to Canada or even about the world coming to an end came unbidden to my lips, yet they died there.

The world is NOT coming to an end. I am not moving to Canada. (Probably. Yet.)

It occurred to me about an hour ago that a significant number of great moments in my life have occurred during the last four years. During Bush’s presidency, I went from being a frequently-depressed, heavy-drinking youth to being a happily married man with a great deal more self-respect. In that time, friendships have begun that I would not trade for anything.

The fact of Bush being president didn’t stop me getting my green card. It didn’t block me from studying in the States. It didn’t keep me from living my life like it was worth living, and that’s the sort of thing we need to remember.

We all have temporary setbacks, things that don’t go our way. We lose jobs, we spend more money on gas. For all we know, all the same crap might have happened during a Gore presidency, or even a Nader presidency.

I won’t claim that I’m not disappointed.

I’m disappointed in the American people for being taken in by a lot of religious talk rather than focusing on the actual issues at hand.

I’m disappointed in the youth of the nation for not turning out any more in this election than in the last one.

I’m disappointed in both candidates for running such negative campaigns.

I’m disappointed in John Kerry’s apparent inability to convince… well, anybody very much.

I’m disappointed in George Bush for disregarding anything that doesn’t ultimately come down to oil and/or religion.

I’m disappointed in Ralph Nader… really just for running. At this point, I don’t think it’s even a matter of principle, it’s just an ego trip. Not that Nader dropping out would have helped Kerry any, because, well, see above.

I’m disappointed in the states that opted to ban same-sex marriages. Perhaps one day I’ll understand how two people wanting to marry affects anyone other than those two people themselves, and thus why anyone should have the right to tell them that they can’t.

So it’s over, and now we get to go back to our regular lives. Which would have been true regardless. From the cradle to the grave, our lives are filled with hopes and fears. Had Kerry become President, it would have been a different set of hopes and fears, that’s all. I liked the idea of a Kerry presidency because I fear a regime based on religious principles that not all Americans hold. On the other hand, I was not particularly looking forward to watching Kerry try to make the nation’s most important decisions, since the man would likely get chapped fingers from trying to figure out which way the wind was blowing on any given day, and thus nothing worthwhile would be likely to get accomplished.

Bush is not trying to fuck up the entire world here. If a US President wanted to fuck up the entire world, he wouldn’t need four years. He might need four minutes, and that’s a generous estimate. It could and would have been done if it were on the cards.

I believe that Bush wants stability in the Middle East. Stability wherein all parties provide abundant cheap oil to the US perhaps, but stability nonetheless.

I believe that Bush wants to see an end to large-scale terrorism worldwide. I do not agree with his methods for achieving this, but I believe that he’s trying to get there.

I don’t think Bush is fundamentally evil. I think he’s a man capable of getting himself elected to an office more powerful than I trust him with, but I do not believe that his agenda is actually malicious toward Americans.

I don’t like him; I’ve made no secret of that. However, I think we’ll survive a second term of his presidency.

Kerry’s concession speech, though, I applaud heartily. The United States of America is a divided nation, with a wound that can only be healed with time and due care. Perhaps now politicians on both sides will begin to act as themselves again instead of as representatives of their party. Maybe they’ll even remember that, now that their jobs are secure again, they owe a debt to the people, one repaid by serving the people’s interests to the best of their ability.

Or maybe the Northeast and the West Coast will secede, or become provinces of Canada or something.

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Dear Senator,

During the course of your campaign for the presidency I have come to believe that you are in fact what you purport to be: the right man to lead America through the next four years. Despite the mud-slinging and smoke-blowing of Republicans and Democrats alike, as well as several supposedly independent groups, I believe that your vision of the coming years is infinitely preferable to that of the current president.

There is, however, one major problem with your efforts, and I should like to offer some words of advice, if I may be so bold.

Let us use professional sports as a metaphor. You are currently playing football against the Dallas Cowboys, on their home turf. This is not your preferred arena nor even your chosen sport, and despite any brilliant plays on your part, the spectators are more interested in the home team and the cheerleaders. What you must do is drag your opponents, kicking and screaming, onto the field at Fenway Park. There, you can play your own game in front of your own crowd. If you are to win this election, you need to do this soon, and do it quickly, such that your opponents are still trying to figure out what’s going on when you step up to the plate for your grand slam.

Senator, the World Series is tied at three games apiece. It’s 4-4 in the seventh game, and here’s the ninth inning. You are the designated hitter. America is watching breathlessly for your swing. America is a young fan in the bleachers whose father just bought him his first Red Sox cap. America is a traveling businessman keeping up with the game on the Internet from his hotel room. America is a librarian, a construction worker, a high school valedictorian, a cashier, a CEO, a mother, all stopped in their tracks, wanting to know – needing to know – whether you can make the hit that really counts. We need to know that you can swing that bat as though the fate of the world rested upon it – because it may. Today, we stand closer to a third episode of global warfare than we have at any time since the Cuban missile crisis of ’62, but with fewer prospective allies.

You’ve showed us glimpses of where you stand and what you stand for, a little piece at a time. Unfortunately, a group in Iowa and a group in Florida will hear different things. A group of executives and a group of steel workers will see a different man addressing them. Most of the electorate does not know John Kerry. There is no “big picture” in the nation’s eyes, nowhere to fit the small things we have heard. As such, you address different groups on different subjects, and it becomes easy for your opponents to label you a waffler and a flip-flopper, because you have not showed us a broader reason to believe otherwise.

Every American who stands before you, tunes in at the right time, is concerned with fundamental things. His or her health, safety and financial security. That of their families. Education for their children, and their children’s children. The comfortable knowledge that Americans will not be drafted into a war not of their making or design. The feeling that apple pie, baseball, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness will always be available.

We need a John Kerry who can assure us of these things. Not all Americans have read your website, not everyone knows whether you can provide this reassurance. Many Americans will be considering voting for you because you are “not George W. Bush”, but how many are truly voting for you because you are “John Kerry”?

Senator Kerry, America needs to know who you are. Before it’s too late.

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