Monday, May 04, 2009

The Unbelievable Unworthiness of An Unhinged Dick Cheney

From his undisclosed location an unscrupulous former VP Dick Cheney has been lobbing verbal pot shots at Barrack Obama on his emergency economic moves. The unbelievable Cheney is criticizing Obama for deficit spending, claiming it will wreck the country. It is now widely recognized the present economic mess's chief architects were the Bush administration and Republican political leaders in Congress.

This is the very same unenlightened Dick Cheney who in November, 2002 dismissively told Alan Greenspan, "Reagan showed that deficits don't matter."

This is the same unhonest Dick Cheney who, as CEO of Halliburton Corp., helped Saddam Hussein cheat on the 'Oil for Food' program in Iraq before the gulf war.

This is the same unlawful Dick Cheney who formed an 'Energy Task Force' which held 'at least 40 meetings' with companies involved with natural resource extractive industries and exploiting energy - and then refused to disclose the participants as legally required, even after being ordered to do so by Federal judges.

This is the same untrustworthy Cheney who organized the meetings and met with the participants at those meetings. Some of those involved later went on to establish their own personal notoriety, like Ken Lay of Enron, indicted on eleven counts of fraud, and later convicted on ten of them. Other energy industry leaders who attended later mimicked an untruthful Cheney by lying and denying they had ever attended.

This is the same unchaste Dick Cheney who while on an alcohol-fueled quail hunt in Texas shot an elderly friend Harry Whittington in the face, torso and chest, saying he 'mistook him for a bird'. Incredibly, Whittington later apologized to the unrighteous Cheney saying, "My family and I are deeply sorry for everything Vice President Cheney and his family have had to deal with." Consistent with other acts by the unhonorable Vice president Cheney, the actual facts of the incident were obscured by incompatible statements, and a late reporting of the accident to local authorities,. Incredibly, the Secret Service agents who accompanied the unworthy Cheney barred other authorities from interviewing the unclean Cheney until the next day!

A contemporary high-level Republican and White House intimate was quoted by Time magazine as saying, "This is either a cover-up story or an incompetence story." Et tu, Brute?

So much for this Vice President of the United States of America taking responsibility. That's one reason he left office with an 18% approval rating - even with over 30% of Americans claiming to be members of his own party! And, this corrupt, unqualified, ethically challenged person has the nerve to criticize a leader who accepts full responsibility for everything he does?


Saturday, May 02, 2009

Republican Strategery Meeting

A Soul-Searching Meeting . . .

Michael Steele, chairman of the RNC began the meeting by saying, "I've called this meeting to discuss the direction to take the Republican Party."

"We're really in deep doo - doo." broke in Newt Gingrich quickly, attempting to take charge. "This Arlen Spector defection has really hurt us. If we don't do something fast, the Republican Party is toast."

"Yeah right! That's what you said when you resifned your post as Speaker and bugged out from Congress back in '97." Sneered Congressman John Boehner of Ohio. "I 'member that's when you wanted to train wreck the government 'cause you were pissed at Clinton. That cutesy little move sure didn't win you brownie points anywhere, did it dick shit? What kinda stuff were you sniffing back then anyhow?"

"Kiss my round, pink, well-cared-for sweet and fat ass!" Newt retorted huffily.

"Now, now boys." intoned Michael Steele, . "Remember who you are."

"Who the Hell you callin' 'boy', Boy?" demanded Newt.

Steele smacked him smartly up side the head.

"You wouldn't get away with that crap if we's back down in Kennesaw, GA." sobbed a mortified Newt as he rubbed his pinkened noggin. "Them good ol' boy's down there 'ould straighten out yer black ass for sure!"

Steele smacked him again quite hard, quickly and sharply before he could duck. Newt slunk off into a corner where he pouted darkly and cried, while his friend Eric Cantor tried to console him. "There, there, Newty." said Cantor. "There, there, Baby."

"We've got work to do guys." Steele went on, ignoring Newt. "We don't have time for the good-ol-boy stuff. Newt and all his bullshit and nonsense is old news We've got to work on saving the party George W. Bush and his bunch destroyed. Hell, they have the whole country believing Republicans are nothing but incompetent, corrupt, brain-dead religious fanatics out to destroy everyone's civil rights."

A chorus of general agreement ran round the table, until Senator Mitch McConnell bobbed his head turtle-like and got hurriedly to his feet.

"Hey now, let's not be so quick to throw out the baby with the bath water." Mitch insisted sonorously. "We owe those good-ol-boy bible thumpers and snake handlers a lot. If it wasn't for them, I never would have been elected in the first place. I'm not talking about the ones on welfare of course. I'm talking about the 20% or so of American dumb clucks who still believe in us and cling to the fantasy we're on their side."

Rush Limbaugh, attending as the uncrowned, and unofficial king of conservatives, now aggressively pounded the table and spoke for the first time: "Damned right! We won't ever lose those dummies who still think we're right - we've got those bozos for life. Hell, I even call 'em'Dittoheads' and they just eat that shit up. Would you believe they even call themselves that? Go figure!"

"But, speaking as the real head of the party, I've gotta insist we get rid any damned RINO's - 'Republicans In Name Only' - left around who might decide to defect too. I'm talking right now about people like Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins and that God-damned maverick McCain!"

"Now, just hold on a gosh-damned minute!" shouted an angry John McCain from the back of the room, but few heard him beyond a few feet and he was otherwise ignored. Neither Snowe nor Collins were in attendance.

Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, recently recognized by many Republicans as their newest young up and comer, now put in his two cents' worth: "From where I sit, it's really pretty simple: We either need to find something else good to scare the hell out of everyone with, or find some WMD's in Iraq to prove we had it right over there. Since it looks like both of those are out, and as much as I hate to admit it, we might have to rebrand ourselves.. How's about 'Vote For Change'?"

"That's been done you ninny." retorted Steele sharply. "Obama did that."

"I can see Russia from my house!" shouted Sarah Palin over the general din, but everyone studiously ignored her, including Orrin Hatch who snored softly in his corner.

Steele continued, "We're in trouble guys. Newt was right about one thing. We ARE in deep doo-doo. We're out of money for one thing, and contributions are way down. Our corporate sugar daddies are bailing out by the hundreds and going to the other side."

"Speaking of bailing out, can't we qualify for bailout money from the Stimulus Bill?" demanded Palin. "We can call ourselves the 'Republican National Bank' or something."

"Go on back over to Nordstrom or Neiman-Marcus, Sarah." said Steele. "You're qualified there, but way out of your pay grade here."

"Well, I never!" snorted Palin indignantly.

"Oh, hell yes you did!" cried a suddenly re-energized John McCain. "For one thing you damned sure train wrecked my run for president, you bitch! And another thing, everybody knows all your bullshit 'abstinence' talk is just so much horse puckey after your daughter got knocked up - and on your watch too as governor. What kind of damned mother are you anyway?"

Palin retorted angrily, "Well by God at least I don't need a shot of oxygen just to wake up each day! And if your damned people had listened to me, you'd be president right this minute, and I'd be half a heartbeat away myself. I'm still mad as hell about all that. Listen numbskull, you want to be real careful about making this pig bull, er, ah, er, I mean a pit bull in lipstick mad at you. I could go off like a pit bull with PMS!"

"Yeah, right! You might be real dangerous if you'd stop shooting yourself and everybody around you in the foot too." said a quick thinking McCain as he ducked the shoe Palin threw at him.

"Meeting's adjourned!" shouted an exasperated Michael Steele.

* (Disclaimer: This is an imaginary account of a strategy session among today's Republican leadership)

The Word of God and the Flat Earthers

'God works in mysterious ways' is a phrase used to show God's 'works', though seemingly onerous at one particular time, might, or could turn out well in the long run . And indeed, on the 'mysterious' point at least, I must agree, for if there really is a god, he (or she, or it) certainly does work mysteriously, and most convincingly for some people. So convincingly in fact, there is no arguing with them. Facts and realities are simply ignored or 'explained' away.

Many fundamental Christians, who interpret the Bible literally, and as fact, sincerely believe for example:
  • The Earth is a mere 6012 years old, and will turn 6013 at 9:00 AM, October 26, 2009 - as calculated & determined by Archbishop Usher in Ireland in 1654;
  • There is no such thing as evolution, but that everything on Earth today, was created in it's present form, by God, (By God!) 'in the beginning';
  • And, perhaps most incredibly, there are even some today who still seriously argue the Earth is flat! Members of the 'International Flat Earth Research Society' state a part of their mission is to 'Replace the science religion . . . with SANITY'.
These folks also believe the Moon is 32 miles in diameter, the Sun only a bit larger, and both circle the Earth less than 3,000 miles away. They believe there is no heliocentric universe and say, 'Just look up! It's obvious the Sun, Moon and stars are all circling us while we remain in one place!'

They go to great lengths to 'prove' the earth is flat, and that space travel is a hoax, that the notion of a spherical Earth is a huge plot by governments and the media. But, the premier proof is, hold on, wait for it, wait for it . . . . Surprise! The Holy Bible! First Chronicles, 16:30 is cited: "He has fixed the earth firm, immovable," Also, Psalms 93:1" "Thou [God] hast fixed the earth immovable and firm."

There are other scriptures quoted too, but you get the drift. When the Holy Bible is quoted, that's all the proof anyone needs! Ipso, facto, done deal! (Flat Earthers even refer to themselves as 'FE's'. Honest. You just can't make this kind of stuff up!)

On the other hand, many, perhaps more rational Christians, faced with, and obviously disturbed by FACTS, go to great lengths to 'prove' the Flat Earthers CAN NOT base their proofs on the Bible. Go figure!

And, inevitably, there are those who poke some seriously fun ridicule at the FE's too!

What is even more surprising, at least to me, is to find that the Flat Earthers have been around only about 200 years or so, and prior to that, the ancients had believed the Earth to be spherical since the fifth century BC. The Flat Earth 'Theory' turns out to be a notion spread by more recent Biblical literalists.

Biblical literalists simply cannot be bothered by facts. A great example of this occured in 1897, when a man by the name of Joshua Slocum - a self-described Christian himself - sailed a small boat, the 'Spray', around the world. He published a book ('Sailing Alone Around The World') in 1900, which is now a classic in nautical literature. In chapter XVII Slocum describes his experience in meeting three representatives sent by Paulus Krüger, then president of the South African Republic (Transvaal), and for whom the present day gold 'Krügerand' is named. Krüger was a strong believer in a flat earth, and went to great lengths to prove it.

Here is Slocum's account:

"It sounds odd to hear scholars and statesmen say the world is flat; but it is a fact that three Boers favored by the opinion of President Krüger prepared a work to support that contention. While I was at Durban they came from Pretoria to obtain data from me, and they seemed annoyed when I told them that they could not prove it by my experience."

"I went ashore and left these three wise men poring over the Spray's track on a chart of the world, which, however, proved nothing to them, for it was on Mercator's projection, and behold, it was "flat. The next morning I met one of the party in a clergyman's garb, carrying a large Bible, not different from the one I had read. He tackled me, saying, 'If you respect the Word of God, you must admit that the world is flat.' "

"'If the Word of
God stands on a flat world - ' I began." '

"What!' cried he, losing himself in a passion, and making as if he would run me through with a assagai. 'What!' he shouted in astonishment and rage, while I jumped aside to dodge the imaginary weapon. had this good but, misguided fanatic been armed with a real weapon, the crew of the Spray would have died a martyr there and then."
"A pamphlet by these Transvaal geographers, made up of arguments from sources high and low to prove their theory, was mailed to me before I sailed from Africa . . ."

Here were three, probably well-paid people, sent to dispute the empirical FACT that someone had actually sailed AROUND a spherical world! And, that only because that FACT was in conflict with the words of their Bible. Such is the danger presented by those who sincerely believe, and act upon the following canon I've seen on bumper stickers:


Always remember: 'Ignorance may sometimes be cured by education, but Stupidity is now and forevermore!'

Friday, May 01, 2009

Beating The Hell Out of Very Dead Horses

Back in August, 2007 I posted in this blog an open letter to Alaska's senators at the time, Ted Stevens, and Lisa Murkowski. In that letter I used the analogy of 'Beating a Dead Horse.' The phrase has come to mean insisting on re-doing something that has not worked.

No matter how many times you point errors out to people, some will stubbornly remain hell bound on doing things their way. Some simply will not allow realities to intrude. Such is the state the 'conservative' wing of the Republican Party finds itself today. It is in fact, in a state of denial.

Conservative Republicans today implacably insist on their 'bed rock basics' which they claim as their 'core values'. To wit:
  • Anti-abortion, & denying individuals the right to choose;
  • Lower taxation - especially for the already rich;
  • 'Social conservatism' which translates into denying civil rights for homosexuals;
But unfortunately for today's Republicans, here are the stark realities:
  • On abortion: Poll after poll show that a majority of Americans identify themselves as 'pro-choice' or support an individual's right to choose;
  • On Christianity in government: A large majority of Americans defend separation of church and state, despite a majority who claim to be Christians;
  • On Taxation: No one likes to pay taxes, but every rational person recognizes the need for taxation 'for the common good'. Polls show people are split about even on the current level of taxation:
  • On civil rights for homosexuals: A hefty majority of Americans support full civil rights for homosexuals, including marriage. Several states have recently passed laws permitting marriage between homosexuals;
  • On the ownership of assault weapons: A majority of polls show a majority of Americans support stricter regulation on gun ownership, and registration of guns.

Where does this leave conservative Republicans and their insistence on their 'core values'? Well, ahem. Solidly to the right of the majority of Americans. Leave aside for the moment the Republicans' generic demonization of anyone who disagrees with them as 'un-American' or even traitorous. Leave aside their insistence on the wholesale use of fear tactics to the disgust of most Americans. And, even leave aside their asinine and implacable policy of refusing to even talk with anyone perceived as an 'enemy' (read, 'anyone of opposite or different political persuasions').

How can you expect to come to terms with someone like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran, Fidel Castro of Cuba or Hugo Chávez of Venezuela if you refuse to even talk to them for Heavens sakes? Such attitudes leave few options short of blockades, economic sanctions or war, none of which promote amicable relationships. Sometimes I am bound to wonder just what planet these kinds of Republicans are from anyhow?

After losing two straight elections, Republicans are said to be in disarray today, as Barack Obama and Democrats in general ride on waves of approval, optimism and hope. I see this as the inevitable result of the recent Republican 'head-in-the-sand' positions on nearly everything, and their denial of political realities. They have in truth, moved very, very far from the Party of Lincoln. It is even conceivable we might see the total disintegration of the Republican Party as we know it.

But, I don't think so. Sure, the capture of the party by the radical southern and western factions, allied with evangelical Christians, has moved the party far to the right of everyone else. Yet, there remains a core of decent, moderate people at the heart of the party who can still see the realities. Though pushed to the side at the moment, I believe clearer, saner heads will eventually prevail to bring the party back towards the center. Otherwise they are finished. Americans in general do not want radical fanatics running our country. We simply will not permit it for long.

After eight years of right-wing excess, Americans are now solidly pulling the reins back towards the center. The Republicans have little choice but to rejoin the majority of Americans if they hope to retain any credibility as a party. I sincerely hope they may do so.

And beating long-dead horses just won't cut it.