Saturday, November 20, 2004
Sometimes You Just Have to Say, "What The..."
In the words of that great philosopher J. Durante, "Did you ever get the feeling that you wanted to go? And still get the feeling that you wanted to stay?"
Your Angry Buddhist has been off these past few days contemplating where we go from here, what routes we take and what snacks we should bring. At the same time I am also asking, is this trip really necessary?
STAND AND FIGHT?
It's true, I've been titillated at the thought of standing and fighting - battling Bush and his deserve-ative cabal tooth and nail, mano a mano down in the muddy, dirty trenches. Knowing how few on the Bush side have ever fought in a war, I like my chances. Sure they're mean and vicious, but they still underestimate our anger. And from my elitist point of view - if they're stupid enough to be conned by the Neocons then I'll make mincemeat out of them.
Like I've said before, there's never been a better opportunity for fresh blood to get in there and make a difference. And the radical religious right is going to overplay their hand like only someone empowered by eternal self righteousness can do. Iraq will not work out well and you can go ahead and script the inaugural address for whichever Ayatollah they elect whenever they do have what passes for elections there.
And since Bush has never had to personally pay for anything out of his own pocket in his whole damn life and has never actually had to do any real work warranting a salary, there's no reason to think he's going to get hit with a lighting bolt of fiscal sanity. That means he'll keep pumping up the deficit and just keep printing up more money when he's got to pay the military. He's not going to be able to fix Social Security. He's not going to do anything about health insurance. He's not going to have any money to do anything for education.
SAME SONG, DIFFERENT ARRANGEMENT
But you know, the fight doesn't stop with Bush and company, it just begins there. Because truth be told - and really, isn't that why I'm here - we've got to stage a mutiny in the Democratic party too. We've got to blow it into smithereens and rebuild it with fresh brains and a new organization. John Kerry is never going to give me or the rest of the progressive people a woody. Neither are any of the other democrats that ran in the primaries. Neither is Hillary.
I do not see a single Democrat anywhere in the country worth getting excited about or who I think can make a real difference.
WHO CARES? MAYBE NOT THIS BUDDHIST
And then I start to think "Why bother?"
I wonder if the United States of America is even worth keeping together. I think maybe not.
I ponder just what I have in common with the born agains who are so confident I'm going to hell for being an unbeliever they'd swear to god about it.
I start to ask myself "What the fuck do I care about what happens to all those stupid selfish bastards all across this country who really believe no new taxes is one of the keys to life? Who are happy to shop at Wal-Mart for rock bottom prices while they watch all the local stores close down and the local emergency ward at the hospital become the doctor's waiting room for all those low wage low benefit Wal-Mart workers." How exuberant their celebrations are when they're able to score that new plasma screen for only $4,000 at Costco! Praise Jesus for high definition 700 Club.
PAST THE POINT OF NO RETURN?
I mean lets ask the hard question - isn't it already hopeless?
Hasn't America already gone too far past the point of no return? Isn't big money, corruption and influence peddling rampant not just at the federal level, not just at the state level, but at the local town, city and village level? At the condo association level, the PTA level, and at the school council level?
Yes it has.
There's never going to be any meaningful election reform and you know it. They may pass some more windowdressing laws, but they're never going to get the money out of politics and if you don't the money out then you don't get the influence out. You're never going to put the lobbiests out of business.
Ralph Nader was pretty much right-on regarding all the key issues and he has never stood a snowball's chance in hell of getting elected President of this country. America's will vote for a former body builder and action movie star as their President before they'd even consider a nerdy, skinny hawk-faced dude who has no celebrity appeal.
GEORGE CARLIN AGREES
Is it any wonder that even George Carlin himself has thrown in the towel and given up on any hope for humanity itself? [LINK]:
"I try not have an emotional stake" in the world, said Carlin, dressed in all-black clothing. "I've turned off the feeling part because I refuse to be voluntarily heartbroken by what we're doing to ourselves and each other. So I'd rather divorce myself from it and wash my hands of it, which isn't very responsible, but that's the way I feel."
George Carlin has made more sense for a longer time than any other American I can think of. When George bails, it's time to look for lifeboat options.
9-11? WHO GIVES A DAMN?
Not Bush and not the Republican party.
While the rest of us were heartened when people from both sides of the aisle made up the 9-11 Commission and worked together to study what happened and then make the recommendations of what needs to change. It seemed remarkably non-political. It seemed like they were working for the good of America.
But that's not the way the morally bankrupt phonies in power saw it.
Bush could have championed the commission's report and campaigned on it. But he did not. He couldn't. He didn't believe in the commission to begin with and he wasn't about to do anything they recommended. (Not like that kind of truth matters to Bush supporters, they never let facts get in the way of their beliefs.)
Yesterday Duncan Hunter, a knuckle-dragging Congressman from El Cajon California, who previously made news when he didn't like the media attention given the Abu Garib prison abuse scandal, made sure the bill wouldn't pass the house. [LINK]
"Congressional officials said that Mr. Bush had telephoned a leading Republican critic of the bill, Representative F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. of Wisconsin, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, from Air Force One on Friday en route to a economic summit meeting in Chile to urge him to compromise.
They said a similar call was made Saturday morning by Mr. Cheney to the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Duncan Hunter of California, who has long warned that the creation of a national intelligence director could interfere with the military chain of command as American troops continue to fight in Iraq."
Personally I think both phone calls by the President and Vice President were actually to thank the two GOP terrorists for doing what Bush wanted all along. It's complete bullshit to think that Bush couldn't use some of the "political character" he bragged on to make this happen. There's only one reason there was no vote and it is because opposes the 9-11 reforms. He and his pals just don't have the balls to admit it.
But it's true and only suckers will deny it.
Nobody publically gives Bush and his Christian Crusaders the finger and gets away with it. We've all seen what happens to people who dissent from the administration party line.
Nope, this went down the way the President wanted because he never did give a shit about a bunch of dead New Yorkers. New York didn't vote for Bush in 2000 and it's no surprise that he'd say "fuck you" to making changes that would really make them safer. This was never about the 9-11 victims, this was about seizing the moment for political purposes.
And since all the major terrorist targets in this country are in states that voted against Bush in the 2004 election it should be no surprise to anyone that Republicans now turn their back on a bill that would help protect the people in those states from another terrorist attacks.
You can call that cynical or you can review the record. Or at least the record they haven't kept classified.
But it doesn't matter what you think.
And it never will.
Those days are over.
Just ask George Carlin [LINK]:
"While describing himself as left of center and someone who would have preferred to see Sen. John F. Kerry elected, he said it all didn't really matter anyway.
"They" American corporations control events. Oh, yes, "they" would back off slightly, said Carlin, if pushed hard enough as during the civil rights movement or the Vietnam War, but the idea of the people determining events is naïve.
Even the environment is a lost cause at this point, he said. Polluted and destroyed beyond hope. In fact, the human record on Earth should argue against any colonization attempts on other planets like Mars.
"Let's keep this infection local," he said."
I GOT NO FRIEND IN JESUS
There's now a real disconnect for those of us who are NOT born again, those of us who do not believe that Jesus Christ is the son of god or part of any holy trinity. There's a real problem in America now for those of us who do not believe that only people from certain religions who pledge their allegiance to Jesus in a certain way will be allowed into heaven.
Frankly, there is never any equal footing in talking to people who believe that they have been saved and that you are going to hell. There is no common ground with people like that. There is nothing in our American history or woven into the fabric of this nation that trumps that. We have so much more that divides us than we do that unites us.
It might be different if the majority of those people were Christians in anything but name only. But they're not. There are at least as many evil, ruthless assholes wearing a cross and going to church as there are otherwise. Maybe more.
For The Angry Buddhist, there is zero difference between those who believe that aliens regularly visit our planet and abduct humans for experiments and those who claim to have been born again and firmly believe that they will be whisked straight up to heaven when the rapture comes.
It's time to define "faith" as what it really is - somebody's decision to believe something supernatural that they just have a feeling about but cannot prove. There's no reason to respect faith in Jesus Christ any more than we respect people who believe in leprechauns, fairies or the Chicago Cubs ability to win the world series.
The real truth of George Bush's "ownership society" is that if you don't own, you ain't shit. That's the kind of Christianity the Jesus Jihad crowd really believe.
Homeless? Who cares? You don't own nothing, you don't count. Hungry? Too damn bad. If you owned some food and a kitchen you wouldn't be such a burden on our faith-based safety net.
Need a ride somewhere? Buy a damn car and help our economy.
And if you don't own nothing in today's America then today's America owns you and you just better do as you're told - boy!
MAYBE IT JUST DOESN'T MATTER
So you can see why I now contemplate whether there's a reason to waste any time trying to change things or if it's time to cut my losses and just resign myself to the fact that we're on the down slope of this civilization and there's nothing left to do but party on and do only what's best for me, mine and those we care about.
You know... just look at it like Republicans do - 100% in my own self interest.
I don't have any kids so why care about what happens to public education? I don't even like kids. Why don't we just put them to work in American factories so we can compete with China and the third world? Public parks, after school programs, the arts? Screw the little tykes they should be in bible study or home schooling anyway.
Social Security? Keep it, I don't care. I won't be counting on government money in my retirement. I hope all the instant gratification types who financed their lifestyles on credit cards all wind up in the poor house with no medical insurance.
The environment? Drill, dig and exploit every acre of it. I've already seen plenty of beauty and I took tons of photos and video. I could care less what happens after I'm gone. Why fight to protect the wilderness for all the generations coming from Christians who are breeding like rabbits as you're reading this?
Abortion? Why the hell should I care? I have a vascetomy. I've been married 23 years. No one I know is getting any abortions. Nobody I know is getting anyone pregnant that doesn't want to be.
You can see where all this leads... Why even bother wasting my time writing this when I could be out playing?
You're finally speaking my language!
We should cease caring for people who don't care that we care. Heck, they don't even care about themselves. Americans are too busy watching TV, buying expensive gadgetry on credit and munching processed snack crackers to worry about paying the bill for a growing society -- a society growing by leaps and bounds at every damn border, I might add.
I say fuck it. Just look out for No. 1 and No. 2, especially if you don't have kids. Everybody else is doing it, so why can't we?
As for Jesus, be careful. I don't think the crazy, Earth-dwelling holy rollers speak for Jesus of Nazareth with all their crazy rules and exclusionary b.s. and scare tactics and power grabbing, but let's face it: none of know for sure about the afterlife, so, it might be in your best interest to keep an open mind about the whole thing. I mean, we should all just admit that anything it possible, aside from the constructed fabrications the roly hollers come up with to bully us into submission. All I'm saying is, keep the G capital. That's all.
I believe that things politically and societally have gone too far, corruption is too entrenched and meaningful reform in energy, campaigning and foreign policy just ain't gonna happen. So, stay local, affect what you can and have a good time, because when it's over, it's over.
Or maybe not.
P.S. Doesn't Obama give you even half a woody?
Did they ever leave? NO!
Did they go on vacation? NO!
Did they go out into the streets every day without masses of armed guards surrounding them to bring succour and comfort to those bombed out of their homes, who had lost loved ones, etc.? YES!
Bush and his gang:
Can't even bother to take a day away from his ranch to go and see for himself.
Make speeches about Medicare and other "stuff" when the people are starving and dying in the streets.
Never been anywhere near the devastation - best Bush could do was fly over New Orleans and peek out of a window.
The Third World did a far better job after the tsunami than this administration is doing or, by the looks of it, will ever do.
Am I impressed? No I am not.
This is not about politics - it is about people and those people in DC quite obviously just haven't a clue. It's the old big business thingy: "We've gotta have a meeting about this" instead of actually getting off their butts and DOING something.
We were talking about this last night and the consensus was that Bush is a disgrace and an embarrassment to the American people whom he has let down in the worst imaginable way.
That's what I think about this - I, like probably most people, am very angry that the richest country in the world, with more resources than any other country, cannot get their act together.
To "not realize" that people might have fled to the Convention Center boggles the mind. A mile long building with a huge amount of space would be an obvious place of refuge and the powers that be hadn't thought about that?