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Archive for the ‘President George W. Bush’ Category

The nation is more than 5,000 years old. It’s been fought over, pissed on, divided and subdivided. It’s been invaded by more conquerors than any of us can begin to imagine. And America, in its naïveté thought that they we, a nation formed by immigrants from all over the world, with our less than 400 years of experience and only one civil war thought we could bring a lasting democratic form of government to Iraq? What the hell kind of arrogance is that? Better yet, what kinds of stupidity is that?

America is a developed, highly technological, and somewhat futuristic nation. In parts of Iraq, they still stone people to death or cut off a limb. In its worst gangster days, Americans killed members of other gangs. In Iraq, if there is a feud, one kills not only the offending party but the entire family…mother, father, sisters, brothers, children, aunts, uncles, grandparents, nephews, and nieces. Why…Because they want no one left to ever come after members of their family. I don’t know about you, but that to me is just a wee bit obsessive. In America, we can’t remember who our BFF was a year ago. In Iraq, they remember offending remarks or actions that go back thousands of years.

When we went to war to remove the dictator Saddam Hussein, did we honestly believe that we were doing them a favor? If we did, it was even greater naiveté plus stupidity on our part. The pot of humanity is always at the boil in the Middle East. Are we so ignorant that we haven’t seen that during our brief history? Have our ambassadors and various secretaries of state had their collective heads buried so far in the sands of the Middle East that they haven’t understood the mentality that pervades the region? Forget the few civilized members of the population in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India, for while the few are trying to modernize their countries, the many are at war with both the few and with other ‘tribes.’ That’s what they are…tribes. Only in this case, the tribes have access to modern weapons and are not afraid to use them. They are not even afraid to strap explosives to their bodies and kill themselves if it means they can gain an advantage over another tribe or another invader, an infidel if you will.

Being religious is one thing; being a radical religionist is something quite different. The people to whom America and its developed country allies are trying to bring peace and harmony are completely unaware of the meaning of either of those words. When we pull our troops out of Afghanistan, do we believe that radical Muslims won’t attack Kabul, Kandahar, Heart, or Gardez? How stupid can the leadership of America be?

“It is in our national interest to remain in Afghanistan,” says President Obama. “We must invade Iraq because they have weapons of mass destruction that could be used against us,” said President Bush. Both statements were bullshit; pure unadulterated, straight from the butt bullshit! I find it impossible to agree with Fox military analyst, Retired General Dr. Robert Scales, when he insists that we must stay in the area to prevent chaos and to keep an eye on Iran. Why, why must we do this? We have satellites; we should be growing our HUMINT; we should not be sacrificing the lives of young American men and woman simply to support corrupt administrations that we put in place and that are attempting to bleed American dollars from a budget that could be far better spent on home projects.

If we stay in the Middle East for any reason, any reason at all, we are making a mistake. There are enough people in the countries I’ve named who hate America, Americans, and everything for which we stand that the jihadists will never quit. Hell, they’ll never quit anyway. All we have done is to provide them with the weapons they can use to carry on their wars…and we gave ‘em the good stuff, too!

While it is difficult for most civilized people to believe that anyone would choose to live under a code such as that proposed by Shariah Law, particularly females, we should not forget that it wasn’t until 1839 that women in America were allowed to hold property; that their rights were subsumed to their husbands before that time. Today, we talk of equal rights for women in this country when we all know that equal doesn’t mean equal at all. Therefore, if the radical Muslims wish to fight and create a state where the laws of Mesopotamia and Methuselah once reigned supreme, fine, let them have it. Better that they should kill one another and wipe out their entire race of people than to have them continually pissed at American invaders or corrupt government in their own lands.

Am I saying that America should just pull all of their troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan? Sure; why not; I don’t see how things could get any worse. Children won’t get educated in the area; women will be treated like crap; men will get pissed at their neighbor for stealing some goat’s milk and they’ll feud over that until one family or the other is eliminated; there will be chaos that Ayatollah’s won’t be able to control. The nations will be composed of the haves and have not’s – oh, gee, that sounds like today’s America – and the anger will eventually be turned back toward the United States. It’s at that point that we unleash our technological fury in such a manner that not one city, town, village, or person remains alive. Will that start WWIII? I rather doubt it because enough cooler heads will have seen the idiocy of the Iraqi and Afghani immorality and agree that strong action was demanded. “What about the United Nations,” someone will doubtless ask. Certainly the UN has done some wonderful things to help nations that have evidenced a desire to be helped, but there comes a point when nations that demonstrate their unwillingness to follow a peaceful path to development must either be abandoned or destroyed. Both Iraq and Afghanistan have proven so inept in putting honest governments in place; have demonstrated a total inability to control their own people; have sucked so much blood from the young men and women of other UN nations that it’s time the UN cast them aside and let them destroy themselves as part of a natural order.

President Obama, please, please, please, get those soldiers, marines, airmen and women, as well as naval personnel out of the area and brought back home. We don’t need any more gold stars in windows. Let’s concentrate on what needs to be done in America for Americans. You have a year and a half left; let this be your legacy…you brought home the troops.

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Having little better to do with my time…I’m not thrilled with the book I’m currently reading, and spending too much time at the gym draws strange stares from both men and women. Anyway, having nothing better to do with my time, I went searching for a word that aptly describes 21st Century politics in the United States of America. It was easily found in the word, ‘parody.’ A parody has been defined as an imitation of something that is meant to make fun of it.

Presidential politics today is nothing more than a parody of presidential politics of the 19th Century.  Think about it for a moment.  According to About.com, “The election of 1800 was one of the most controversial in American history, and was marked with intrigue, betrayals, and a tie in the electoral college.” Yet another source states, “The presidential election results in 2000 will probably go down in history as the most contested results in American history, especially as the final outcome was so close and had to be ultimately decided by the Supreme Court.” Like its counterpart two centuries before, the election of 2000 also had its fair share of intrigue, with the defeated candidate garnering more of the popular vote than the eventual winner. The intrigue began with the State of Florida where the brother of the eventual winner was Governor. It ended with the Supreme Court being accused of party politicking in the manner in which it handled the controversy involving voting in Florida.

There are any number of parallels that can be drawn between the various elections of the 1800s and those occurring in the 2000s. James Madison was reelected in 1812, five months after war had broken out. To this day, no sitting president has been replaced with a war in progress. George Bush had a couple of wars going in 2004, thus pretty much guaranteeing his reelection.

Unlike the 1800s, campaigning today can reach millions of voters through television and radio. In the “old days,” campaigning was largely through writing letters and dependency on various newspaper writers for support. Newspaper distribution, however, was far more difficult than it is today.

It is possible, I suppose, that because the 20th Century was so filled with war, conflict, and other terms all meaning the same thing that we haven’t heard as much about the dirty techniques used by either incumbents or the candidates attempting to unseat them. Oh, sure, much has been written about President Richard Nixon and his foibles but beyond that, the 1900s seemed to be a time of what I have to classify as ‘peaceful presidencies.’

As I watch and listen to what is happening in 2012, I’m disturbed by the lies and distortions from both sides. It brings me back to my old way of thinking; that is, “If a person openly seeks to become President of the United States, he – or she as we are now seeing – is probably not the person we want to be sitting in the Oval Office. And, those who should be sitting there and who would do an outstanding job of running the country are just too damned smart to get themselves involved in the bullshit it takes to become the leader of the free world.”

Don’t get me wrong; I have no trouble with Obama as President. I believe that he is a weak leader at best and at worst, a man who fears he won’t leave a legacy. That’s not to say that given a second term he might prove me wrong. However, I do believe there are other men and women in the country, Black, Brown, Yellow, and White, who are smarter and who are stronger personalities. I do not believe the incumbent has exercised the old adage, “Always hire people who are smarter than you.” Instead, he has been dictated to by his party regarding his political appointments. Forgetting his health care bill for a moment, if Barack Hussein Obama has done nothing else in his first term, he has shown America and the rest of the world that the American Dream lives on. He is a parody of nothing. The system in which he finds himself is most certainly a parody of American politics at its very worst.

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Independence Day 2012 – our 236th year of freedom from the ‘tyranny’ of British rule; what would have been the 55th year of my marriage had cancer not claimed my wife five years ago; the year when the worst fire in the history of the State of Colorado stopped about a mile from my son’s house, but not before destroying the homes of a number of his friends- it’s the day when a lot of people were born and a number of other people died…not only in America, the land of the free and the home of the brave…but in small villages and big cities all around the world.

What has really changed in America since 1776? Technologically, we’re rather advanced from “back then.” We’d like to believe that we’re more civilized…which is fallacious; there are still Blacks who hate Whites and who believe that they are still oppressed…which many of them are. There are still Whites who hate Blacks, particularly those who have been robbed, mugged, or raped by some asshole who is unwilling to take social responsibility seriously. There are yellow people who trust no one in this country and brown people who cannot stand other brown people who try to enter this nation illegally. In other words, yes, we have come a long way in 236 years but man, oh man, do we still have a distance to travel!

We have, I will admit, broken the mold of electing only White males to hold the highest office in the land. However, that has proven to me, personally, just how much racism still exists in this country. We have given women – that chattel of years past – the right to vote, although many people – too goddamned many people – don’t take their intelligence and commitment seriously, probably because the vast majority of males are living in fear of the more intelligent females. Just as an aside, one of my former bosses once said, “Always hire people who are smarter than you; they’ll make you look better than you are and their egos will be gratified by knowing that deep in their hearts.” I guess I’d say that about choosing a partner. Gay or straight, always find someone wiser than you; it will allow you to learn from their strengths and demonstrate from them that they love you in spite of yourself! As I say, that’s an aside and you may take it for what it’s worth or tell me where to go.

As a people, I find us to be quite small in our thinking. We have been ‘niched’ by our parents; by our teachers; by our bosses; by society. “You’ll never amount to anything so you may as well get a full-time job in the A&P.” I fought those words all of my life; they had been muttered by a high school English teacher in my senior year. By some standards, perhaps I did “never amount to anything,” but I did what I did to make my life the best I knew how. I did it without stepping on people the way she had attempted to step on me. That was the other lesson I learned from that humiliating statement; you don’t climb the ladder of ‘success’ – whatever the hell that word means – by stepping on the hands of others. Berry Gordy, the founder of MoTown, said once, “I fought like hell to get to the top, but I remembered that the people I met on the way up would be the same people I would meet on the way back down.” Treating other people decently doesn’t hold you back; it gives you greater confidence and builds friendships. It was Malcolm Forbes senior who was quoted as saying, “The way to take the measure of a man is to see how he treats someone who can do absolutely nothing for him.” There are too many people, I find, who don’t believe in that simple statement, and this is why I say that we are small in our thinking. We still have too many Americans, of all colors, shapes, and sizes, who believe that the ‘other guy’ owes them and that they shouldn’t have to do anything to collect…and that is wrong!

We live in what I consider to be the greatest country in the world. We are free to pursue almost any dream we wish. Where else, I ask you, can you say that and mean it? Put your thinking caps on folks; remember, we may have a quiz later. We may never achieve our dream but that doesn’t mean we cannot try…we just can’t let our egos get in the way.

I am so sick and tired of hearing people bitch how bad things are today. “Bush screwed up our economy and sent us into two wars.” Obama has done nothing to revitalize the economy and he’s put us further in debt.” Reagan put us over the trillion dollar debt mark with his economic policies.” Clinton couldn’t keep ‘it’ in his pocket and therefore was a bad President.” Christ, what bullshit! I am so sick and tired of hearing complaints from my fellow Americans, I just want to puke.

Recently, I did something I have never done in my life…and probably shouldn’t have done so this time. I made what for me was a significant contribution to a political campaign. I gave it because I believe in the candidate. I gave it, and I know it’s going to come back and bite me in the ass because I’ll have to tighten my belt down the line. I gave it because it made me feel good to do it. I can’t go out and stump for any candidate; my heart, lungs, and legs won’t allow me to do that, so this was my alternative. I did not do it just for the candidate; I did it because I believe my candidate can do more for this country than his opponent. That’s my game; my country. President Kennedy said it best: “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” And he followed this with, “”My fellow citizens of the world ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.”

We have done a great deal; we have come a long way; we have helped other countries and other peoples to raise themselves up to new and better standards. We have accomplished great things. Today, however, we find ourselves at another crossroads. Our problems are such as we have not seen in decades. Our economy is still in shambles; there are too many people in the country who are unable to put food on the table; our national debt is beyond our ken; our young men and women are dying daily on battlefields in other nations, often not even realizing why they had to die…but we are Americans. We are as determined a group of people as ever existed. The Republic is not going to decline and fall. However, it will take the effort of every single one of us. “Joe,” whoever the hell he is, is not going to take care of things. It’s up to you and it’s up to me to help rebuild this nation into, not what it was, but into something even greater than it has ever been. I’m 77 years old; there is little I can personally do other than what I am doing, i.e., giving a bit of my resources and writing to people like you.

Today is your day; it’s your time to help make America better than ever before. Ask yourself what it is you bring to the table, and then bring it with all of the fervor; all of the commitment; all of the gusto that’s within you!

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I love polls. Of course, I also love Germans, Danes, Finns, and Czechs…especially Czechs.  Anyway, a recent Gallup poll noted that more people blame former President Bush for our economic troubles than those blaming President Obama. The percentage figures are interesting because it’s 68 percent blaming dear old George and 52 percent blaming “that whippersnapper” Obama.  When you think about it, there’s certain logic to the figures. After all, it took President Bush eight years to get us into this mess and it took President Obama one year to figure out just how badly things were screwed up; and another two to try and turn things around…oh, wait a minute, that’s three years; okay, I wasn’t a math major, but you get the point.

Something I do not understand is that if it took us eight years to get into this mess, why do we believe that Obama had a damned thing to do with it. Seems to me that he inherited a disaster and has, in a small way, I freely admit, has managed to turn things around. Yes, unemployment continued to rise under the first couple of years of his watch but things do appear to be improving. Yes, he did inherit two wars and managed to bring the troops home a bit later than he had promised, but he did bring them home. Oh, wait, that just adds, in many cases, to the unemployment rolls…do ya think he should have left the troops over there so the statistics would look more favorable? Personally, I think the guy would prefer to save lives and take the hit on the unemployment.

In a way, it’s too bad that the comparisons that are made are between George Bush and Barack Obama. The President of the United States may well have his own economic goals, but when Wall Street, the automotive, pharmaceutical, and tobacco industries have their own economic agenda, the President of America can’t really do a damned thing about it.  I believe that the last president we had who would brook no outside interference in how the country would be run was Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Polls didn’t influence Americans back then. We were an unsophisticated, smaller, and more naïve group of voters who viewed our president as nearly God-like. Like Obama, he inherited a mess created by another Republican leader.  When Roosevelt took office in 1932, there were thirteen million unemployed in a population of nearly 125 million. According to CNN Money, when Obama took office in 2009, “The hemorrhaging of American jobs accelerated at a record pace at the end of 2008, bringing the year’s total job losses to 2.6 million or the highest level in more than six decades.” This was out of a population of approximately 305 million. It seems to me that turning things around in 1932 would have been a bit less complex than in today’s world. In addition, and this is very sad to say, FDR had a world war come along that reduced the unemployment rate by building up the armed forces and by beefing up war production. There are those who believe in a Keynesian sort of way that war is good for the economy.  Jeff Madrick, director of policy research at The New School, notes that, “In the last year of Bill Clinton’s administration, defense spending fell to 3.0 percent of GDP. But productivity grew rapidly, capital spending returned to former high levels, and wages grew for all income levels. Less defense spending seemed to benefit the economy.” Therefore, who is to say which benefits the economy more, war or peace?

I don’t believe in polls. Every single one of them can be skewed in favor of the “unbiased” numbers-takers. Every poll in the country said in 1948 that Thomas E. Dewey would pound Harry Truman into the ground. Someone forgot to tell the Truman supporters and old Harry himself. I’m willing to bet that if you polled people in North Carolina about the harm cigarettes do to the human body, your numbers would be far different than if the poll was taken in nearly every other state in the Union. Most polls include a ‘standard deviation’ which is a polite way of covering their backsides. “Our poll is plus or minus ‘x’ percent.” That’s sort of the, “We really don’t know what the hell this means but we have our out by talking in terms you, the average reader won’t understand.”

When you think about this latest Gallup poll that assesses economic disaster and lays it at the door of only two U.S. Presidents, you might be wise to ask yourself, “What did Bush inherit and what did he do about it? What did Clinton inherit and what did he do about it. What did….etc, etc, etc.” Our problems began a long time ago when government allowed itself to become the puppet of American big business. And by allowing big business to dictate to the Legislative and Executive Branches of our government, the average American has been forced to pay a horrible price.

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