Friday, August 31, 2007
Senator Craig is a bible thumping right wing demagogue, married with three adopted children and nine grandchildren. His five term career in the House of Representatives and three term career in the U.S. Senate could be best described as an ultra conservative, family values, anti-gay crusader right out of the morally superior handbook. He has consistently voted against homosexual marriages, homosexual civil unions and openly homosexual recruits in the military. Even those willing to go to Iraq and die for their country can't be OPENLY gay.
Craig has basically skated through his nearly 27 year career of public service in a thoroughly anonymous fashion. He is probably best known for his appearance on Meet the Press on January 24, 1999 when responding to host Tim Russert's question of "Larry Craig, would you want the last word from the Senate be an acquittal of the president and no censure?" Craig replied with this bizarre answer, "Well, I don't know where the Senate's going to be on that issue of an up or down vote on impeachment, but I will tell you that the Senate certainly can bring about a censure resolution and it's a slap on the wrist. It's a, "Bad boy, Bill Clinton. You're a naughty boy." The American people already know that Bill Clinton is a bad boy, a naughty boy. I'm going to speak out for the citizens of my state, who in the majority think that Bill Clinton is probably even a nasty, bad, naughty boy. The question issue now is simply this: Did he lie under oath? Did he perjure himself and did he obstruct justice? And that's where we're trying to go now in this truth-seeking process. Wow!!!
Craig then immediately crawled back into his hole of anonymity only surfacing earlier this week in his new role as the man who liked to moan on a public throne. Craig then plead guilty as charged and then, and only when, Roll Call Newspaper make the story public, did Craig strut out before the cameras and microphones with his poor wife in tow to proclaim what a morally superior heterosexual he is. Yeah right, Craig is better suited to be the Queen of England than the King of the High Road.
Larry Craig, LA Senator David Vitter, former FL Congressman Mark Foley, FL State Senator Bob Allen, along with the Duke Cunninghams, Tom DeLays and Newt Gingriches of this world, all like to thump their chests and then kneel at the feet of the morally superior right wing, family values crowd and thank Jesus for showing them the light and making them such good, upstanding men of high moral fiber. What they should have done was apologize before the American people for being such lying, hypocritical, immoral weasels.
I have a specific two word response to those specific sacks of manure and anybody else for that matter who feels they are morally superior to anybody. No, not those two words this time, but these two words. SHUT UP. No political party, religious sect, organization or any specific individual is morally superior to anybody. Learn to live your life the best you can and then mind your own business and allow everyone else to do the same. I pride myself on not using religion or personal pomposity to feel morally superior to anybody. I have to assume Jesus didn't preach moral superiority prior to propositioning other men in public bathrooms or soliciting sex from underage boys. I would have to think neither should his followers......
Thursday, August 30, 2007
You may not remember exactly what you were doing two years ago today, but I can assure you that everybody who was in New Orleans that fateful day certainly does. It was on August 29, 2005, that the city of New Orleans was forced to helplessly stand by as they were devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Most experts theorize the causes of such mass destruction, along with many of the dead and injured residents were a direct result of the disgraceful policies of the George W. Bush administration.
An excellent case can be made that President Bush was directly responsible for diverting funds away from the people of New Orleans to use in his deceitful war in Iraq. The Bush Administration did this with full knowledge of the impending danger lying ahead. The highest government agency in charge of dealing with disasters, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, (FEMA) warned of the potential for a calamitous disaster as early as 2001.
In the almost immediate aftermath of the storm, network and local news crews from all over this country, and soon the world, would descend on New Orleans to provide video tape and photographic evidence of the near total destruction and incapacitation of the famous city. Desperately poor and often dying people futilely attempting to find drinking water and anything edible for their children or for the elderly, was flashed around the world. There seemed to be just one player missing. Let me refresh your memory of who that might be. This, of course, would be the very same commander-in-chief who went AWOL, missing in action, immediately following the infamous plane crashes into Lower Manhattan's Twin Towers on 9/11, nearly four years earlier. This time our "Fearful" Leader wasn't hiding underground, wetting and soiling himself in a Nebraska hole, he had other priorities. He was busy doing what he does best, VACATIONING for a change on his stump and brush challenged Crawford, Texas ranch.
On August 30th, more than 24 hours after the massive storm nearly swamped all of New Orleans, aides were dreading over who should tell the Dullard-in-Chief that he should cut his vacation short, and address the devastation that was being broadcast non-stop every place across the world that Katrina didn't destroy. So finally on September 1st, more than 72 hours after Katrina left New Orleans in its wake, the decision was made that former Bush aide, Dan Bartlett, would show Bush a video tape put together by White House staffers, showing just how horrific the situation in New Orleans was. Subsequently, it was decided after the tape had been viewed, that Bush should finally get off his presidential ass and fly into the Gulf Coast region on September 2nd. Finally, approximately 100 hours after a major U.S. city was destroyed, tens of thousands of citizens were either dead, injured, starving and/or displaced from their homes, the real Worst Disaster to ever hit the United States was coming to "eyeball" it for himself.
To make a long, sad story short, Bush signed an aid check for the city, then went on to make one of his stunningly simplistic speeches that are long on hyperbole and short on substance, and promised the full support of the Federal Government in rebuilding the city. We fast forward two years later and here is Bush once again. It was like déjà vu, he was interrupting yet another vacation. He was also busy touring America's VFW posts, lying through his teeth, about how well the Iraq War is going. He once again told the residents of New Orleans of his "all talk/no action" commitment to rebuilding their city. To date, more than $456 Billion has been spent to destroy Iraq and kill our soldiers. $116 Billion (or 25% of the Iraq money) has been spent on New Orleans. Of that money, nearly $80 Billion alone, was spent on debris removal and Coast Guard protection. The rest of that money is uh, um uh, well quite frankly, nobody is really sure. There's only one thing we can all be sure of. George W. Bush has done ENOUGH! He shouldn't make any more decisions, he shouldn't give any more speeches, he shouldn't be allowed to touch anything and most of all, he really, really needs an extended vacation until his term ends. We the people, need one thing too, a New President...
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Brokeback Senator is not exactly new to charges of lewd and/or homosexual acts based on past reports. In 1982 when the then youthful Craig was in his first of five terms as an Idaho Congressman, he was forced to go on network news to deny rumors involving cocaine and sex with male congressional pages. Hmmmm, is this story starting to remind anybody of a "Foleyesque" type episode from just last year? Speaking of 2006, in October of that year, gay activist blogger Mike Rogers published allegations on his blog that Craig was homosexual; Craig called the allegation "completely ridiculous." This makes you kind of wonder why no libel lawsuit was filed. I'm just trying to decipher why that expression if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and walks like a duck, it's probably a duck, is dancing through my brain at present?
Perhaps, the time has come for us all to acknowledge that not all our elected officials are honest, ethical and moral pillars of the community. We don't elect them so they can tell us how honorable they are, we actually expect them to show it to us through their actions. It's really true you know, that "a fish stinks from the head down." That adage seems so apt when you examine our political landscape today. President Bush and Vice President Cheney have set the bar so high when it comes to the rotting, stinking stench of corruption from the head down. Next, you have to look no further than down Pennsylvania Avenue to Capitol Hill. Highly principled hot air balloons like David Vitter, Duke Cunningham, Mark Foley, Newt Gingrich, Tom DeLay and now Larry Craig, just to name a few, are using the Capitol as everything from their own personal swiss bank to a public toilet. Besides being corrupt hypocrites, they're actually the antithesis of everything they claim to stand for in order to get elected.
Craig voted against anything and everything that would allow homosexuals the same basic rights afforded to heterosexuals. I'm now waiting for the Lavatory Lothario to follow the lead of other dishonorable right wing scumbags and enter counseling and/or rehab. Perhaps Craig should follow men of the cloth such as of Jimmy Swaggart, Jim Bakker, Michael Vick and Ted Haggard and ask Jesus for help. Just thinking about these guys makes me want to go a bathroom and throw up. However, the last thing I need at a particularly unpleasant moment like that, would be for Larry Craig or some similar type hypocrite to be lurking nearby, propositioning me for sex.....
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
I sometimes wonder how coaches and managers of professional sports teams can sit in such a composed state as they watch guys do the most ridiculous things on and sometimes off the field. I get no joy out of paying $30 - $100 for a ticket to a sporting contest to watch professional athletes making millions of dollars per year, make bonehead plays that a twelve year old would know enough not to make. Normally those mistakes don't result in the death of innocent animals for other's amusement or for their love of gambling. They just cause the loss of games and the eventual firing of coaches and managers who have to fall on their swords for failure to reach the intellectual level of the athletes they're paid to teach. That low they apparently can't go.
If you think Michael Vick is getting out of the dog house unscathed, think again. It's true he may have to spend a year or so in a federal prison, but at what cost? For starters, Michael Vick will not receive his $6 million salary for the 2007 NFL season. The Atlanta Falcons will probably be able to recoup $22 million in bonuses already paid out. Nike Athletic Apparel has terminated its $50 million endorsement deal with Vick. For accepting a plea arrangement, Vick can expect to pay approximately $350,000 in fines for the dog fighting operation. Vick has also lost other monies in lesser endorsement deals. Suffice it to say, because of his love of dog fighting, Vick will lose more money than the overwhelming majority of people would earn in ten lifetimes. In the next seven years, Vick will lose approximately $71 million dollars in salary, $50 million in endorsement deals, $22 million in bonus money, $350,000 in fines and $250,000 in legal fees. Dog fighting is an expensive proposition to bankroll.
Look at the bright side, Michael Vick found religion as a result of being caught murdering dogs.
He wants his young fans to do what he says, not what he does. He won't be able to afford expensive, felonious endeavors in the future. He won't get injured from a vicious hit on the football field. He will be a convicted felon. He won't be in demand to endorse products. I do hope the former signal barker learns some new hobbies once he gets out prison. How about the idyllic game of golf? Vick can maybe get together with another former NFL star named OJ Simpson whom he may be able to relate to on some level. They can play hours upon hours of golf together. If that's not meant to be, maybe they could fight to the death. That's something a lot of people would pay to watch and perhaps, wager a few dollars on as well......
Posted by Veritas at 12:05 AM
Monday, August 27, 2007
Alberto R. Gonzales, the 52 year old cartoon like Attorney General of the United States since February 3, 2005 has been fired/resigned effective September 17, 2007. Gonzales came into a perverse prominence primarily due to his role, or more likely lack thereof, in the firings of eight U.S. State Attorneys in December of last year. In the subsequent months to follow, Gonzales mostly through his own painful attempts to explain his actions, became a national laughingstock. He personally was relegated to a punchline for bad jokes, but in a serious vein, brought great shame to the position of chief law enforcement officer of the United States of America.
The office of the Attorney General is a presidential appointee. Unlike other appointees however, the AG must walk a fine line in dividing his/her loyalty to the president and enforcing US Justice Department policies. It seemed to most observers, Gonzales was unable to articulate and clearly explain his policies because they weren't his policies at all. Gonzales came across as a patsy, a fall guy for the more sinister puppet masters pulling his strings deep within the bowels of the White House.
Let's look at just a few of Gonzales' highlights since his appointment. In early December of 2006, the White House announced that eight US Attorneys were asked to resign. In other words, they were FIRED. It's been well documented that these attorneys are political appointees and serve at the pleasure of the president. Nobody is suggesting for one second that Gonzales actually sat down and carefully reviewed the work of all 93 US Attorneys before selecting 8 to be terminated. However, Gonzales in his role of AG, was the man held responsible. Ironically, at least six of the eight fired attorneys had positive internal Justice Department performance reports. This White House loathes telling the truth, but the simple truth is that these US Attorneys were fired for not "playing ball" the way they were expected to. The pleasure of the president in this case was for these attorneys to be puppets of the White House via Gonzales, the same way Gonzales was a puppet of the White House. Eight of ninety-three US Attorneys refused to capitulate, eight were fired.
Next, the warrantless domestic eavesdropping program. According to May 15, 2007 testimony by the former deputy attorney general, James B. Comey, to the Senate Judiciary Committee as reported in the New York Times on the evening of March 10, 2004, Mr. Gonzales and Andrew H. Card, former Bush chief of staff, tried to usurp his authority by secretly visiting Mr. Ashcroft in the ICU section of a Washington, DC hospital. Mr. Ashcroft had transferred his powers of AG to Mr Comey prior to his emergency gall bladder surgery. The sole purpose of this clandestine, middle of the night visit was to reauthorize the secret wiretapping program, which Comey, the acting AG, had refused to reauthorize. Mr. Ashcroft was extremely ill and disoriented, according to Mr. Comey. In fact, Ashcroft was so physically and mentally incapacitated, his wife had strictly forbidden any visitors.
Alberto Gonzales is basically a harmless puppet. He made no decisions of his own. He was the perfect mild mannered, manipulated dupe on 24 hour call to perform his master's biddings. I doubt Gonzales was even capable anymore of being able to ad lib gas at a bean eating contest . The AG was there to do what he was told, not to be a thinker. He was told basically to sign your name right here without even reading what he was signing. As always, these scenarios eventually blow up in the administration's face. When the smoke cleared, there was Alberto Gonzales holding the match. The powers that be told him what to sign, what to say and what to deny. However, they never told him what to do. They told him to lie before Congress, to not recall whatever he was asked and keep Bush, et al out of it. However they never told the attorney how to defend himself. When you allow yourself to be treated like a dope, let's face it, you're a dope. To quote NY Senator Charles Schumer, "let's hope the next Attorney General is the best person and not the best friend."
Posted by Veritas at 12:22 PM
Once upon a time, celebrities were thought of as accomplished, talented human beings, who were regarded for their extraordinary contributions to their chosen field of the arts. Not anymore, Sparky. Now your talent merely need consist of the ability to draw attention to yourself, as you flit in and out rehab facilities, as well as in between discoveries of porn videos you made while under the influence of Vicodin and/or cocaine. Let's take a VERY BRIEF look at four of America's shining contributors to the betterment of the world.
Paris Hilton - What an immensely talented young celebrity this is. I think all of us will forever remember with crystal clarity exactly where we were and what we were doing when the official word came down that Paris would be thrown in jail like a common violator of probation for an alcohol related reckless driving case. If you're anything like me, you asked yourself the following: My goodness gracious, Veritas, will this ugly blemish forever stain her flourishing career as an international star of stage, cinema, television, musical recording, home pornography videos and paid product endorser for some of the country's premier fortune 500 companies? We came together as a nation as we watched her triumphantly leave the LA county lockup with her handcuffs off and her pants on. Thank God our national treasure went on television to relive her darkest hour with CNN's hard hitting Larry King. I will never forget the pain and anguish I went through, convinced the world would explode at any second, as these two Nutty Buddy's relived the incarceration of the 21st century version of Alfred Dreyfus.
Lindsay Lohan - Accomplished actress, model, recording star, illegal narcotic abuser, habitual rehab participant and alcoholic. This is even more impressive when you take into consideration, La Lohan just recently turned 21 years of age. In all fairness to Lohan, she may actually have some talent, but her most obvious talent is her ability to use her "celebrity" status to make her fanciful excuses more entertaining than anything else she may have done in her magnificent career. I admired her most recent public excuse the best. You know the one where the cocaine in her pants pocket couldn't have possibly been hers, because they weren't even her pants! The Celebrity Code forces these top shelf performers to remove their pants whenever they grace a party. Then, after they ingest massive amounts of alcohol and illegal narcotics, they are required by the aforementioned code to slip into another party guest's pants, (coincidently, those pants ALWAYS have cocaine in the pockets) as they leap into a car, and excessively and recklessly speed after their former publicists. Mmmmm, those pants sure smell like Oscar to me.
Nicole Ritchie - Wait just one second, I need to stop hysterically laughing before I can continue this celebrity expose. This multi-talented performer best known for her role as the on again, off again, Paris Hilton sidekick, recently got out of jail too. For an agonizing 82 minutes, which according to unconfirmed reports, is the same amount of time it takes the wrong way automobile driving specialist and drug inhaling sidekick to watch the long running CBS smash hit, 60 Minutes. Poor Ms. Ritchie was actually jailed for an entire 82 minutes before her triumphant release back into her public's adoring arms. I have to admit, that of all the talentless people on this planet to be referred to as a celebrity, The "Nicolinator" may embody that title more so than anyone else today. She is singularly known for playing the updated Ethel Mertz, to Paris' 2000 version of Lucy Ricardo for a couple of nondescript years on television. She then resuscitated her nearly dead career as an anorexic, narcotic abusing user of illegal drugs and alcohol. Driving the wrong way on a major street into oncoming traffic was a pure stroke of genius. Let us also not forget, she's the adopted daughter of a famous singer from the 70's. C'mon now, can't we form some type of emergency committee to strip her of her celebrity title immediately?
Britney Spears - America's Sweetheart and perhaps the only living person on Planet Earth that can make Kevin Federline look like Ward Cleaver, the old television dad from the 50's sitcom, Leave it to Beaver. The once cute pop tart has reinvented herself in just a few short years as a classless, belching drug abusing, alcoholic, bald, trailer trashcan mom as well as any celebrity has in the history of celebrities. Spears has completely transformed her career from that of a harmless, little, cutesy pop singer with a certain appeal to 10 year old girls and 50 year old men, into an overweight, oversexed, over drugged alcohol abusing momma of two soon to be in desperate need of therapy, children. Britney's recent contributions to the arts have mostly consisted of cavorting in and out of rehab facilities, shaving her head to allegedly prevent her hair from being tested for drug abuse, alienating herself from her family and fueling rumors she's now into lesbianism. That revelation may appear to be a few years too late, but let's all keep an open mind here, and give this some time to manifest itself into a full length video. I mean, who knows if this isn't a giant thrust forward in her evolving development as a human being? After all, Britney is still considered a celebrity.
I kept my promise, four brief looks at our 2007 Annual Salute to Celebrities. So is there a lesson to be learned from all this? Yeah, I think there is. Only the true suckers will study acting, take voice lessons and act in a mature, responsible manner. The celebrities, on the other hand, will party like rock stars, get wicked messed up and enjoy glamorous rehab sessions. If they're particularly diligent, they will serve jail sentences measured in minutes and get to meet cool other celebrities like Larry King. What to do? Perhaps they might wanna wash 22 vicodin down with some vodka, and call me in the morning. That is, of course, if they don't call Larry, first....
Posted by Veritas at 12:20 AM
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Score yet another public relations coup for George W. Bush and his parasitic band of sycophants. This time it was in the form of a play book titled the "Presidential Advance Manual." This top secret, clandestine memorandum dated October 2002, has the phrase “Sensitive — Do Not Copy” clearly written on the cover. Its basic purpose was to prevent the "Decider" from seeing or becoming aware of any United States citizens wishing to express their constitutionally protected rights, to peacefully protest policies they're not in agreement with.
Per an article published in the August 22, 2007 edition of the Washington Post, "this manual was released under subpoena to the American Civil Liberties Union as part of a lawsuit filed on behalf of two people arrested for refusing to cover their anti-Bush T-shirts at a Fourth of July speech at the West Virginia State Capitol in 2004. The techniques described have become familiar over the 6 1/2 years of Bush’s presidency, but the manual makes it clear how organized the anti-protest policy really is."
"The lawsuit was filed by Jeffery and Nicole Rank, who attended the Charleston event wearing shirts with the word “Bush” crossed out on the front; the back of his shirt said “Regime Change Starts at Home,” while hers said “Love America, Hate Bush.” Members of the White House event staff told them to cover their shirts or leave, according to the lawsuit. They refused and were arrested, handcuffed and briefly jailed before local authorities dropped the charges and apologized. The federal government settled the First Amendment case last week for $80,000, but with no admission of wrongdoing."
"The manual offers advance staffers and volunteers who help set up presidential events guidelines for assembling crowds. Those invited into a VIP section on or near the stage, for instance, must be 'extremely supportive of the Administration,' it says. While the Secret Service screens audiences only for possible threats, the manual says, volunteers should examine people before they reach security checkpoints and look out for signs. Make sure to look for 'folded cloth signs,' it advises."
"To counter any demonstrators who do get in, advance teams are told to create “rally squads” of volunteers with large hand-held signs, placards or banners with “favorable messages.” Squads should be placed in strategic locations and “at least one squad should be ‘roaming’ throughout the perimeter of the event to look for potential problems,” the manual says."
“These squads should be instructed always to look for demonstrators,” it says. “The rally squad’s task is to use their signs and banners as shields between the demonstrators and the main press platform. If the demonstrators are yelling, rally squads can begin and lead supportive chants to drown out the protesters (USA!, USA!, USA!). As a last resort, security should remove the demonstrators from the event site.”
Nobody should find this type of dictatorial method of quelling dissent surprising. These are all proven methods of control that have temporarily worked for totalitarian regimes throughout history. I sometimes think Karl Rove is the reincarnation of Joseph Goebbels. This administration only allows positive images to be seen by us, the unwashed masses. We hear of every success ten fold, but anything remotely negative, such as free citizens protesting policies we don't agree with, the real horrors taking place in Iraq, the sorry state of the economy, lack of affordable medical insurance or flag draped coffins of dead soldiers being shipped home like cargo is verboten.
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Posted by Veritas at 9:34 AM
Friday, August 24, 2007
President George W. Bush. The very name itself has become synonymous with incompetency. Some of past presidents have been accused of being out of touch, corrupt, devious, clueless, an alcoholic, arrogant, lazy and delusional just to name a few. However, none of our former presidents have been so strongly associated with all of those negative traits. Of course, none of those former presidents were George W. Bush, either.
If you hark back to November of 2000, warning flares were launched high into the air the very night the presidential election took place. Florida, The Sunshine State, The Early Bird Dinner State, The Hurricane State, The Your Grandparents Probably Live Here State, and The Voting in an Election is Far Too Complex for Me State, turned out to be the deciding factor in the outcome of that election. I think back in 2000, it would have been safe to say that nearly ALL Americans felt confident our elections were the model for the free world, and everything would be dealt with legally, above board and properly. The United States of America seemingly overnight became the Land of the Free and The Home of the Corrupt Presidential Election.
George W. Bush's baby brother, Jeb, was the then Governor of Florida. What possible unethical interest could the pudgy governor/brother of the possible future president possibly have? The other prominent player in this sorry farce would be Katherine Harris. In her capacity as the Secretary of State of Florida, Harris would preside over the contested 2000 US presidential election in Florida. There were allegations of conflicts of interest and partisan, unethical behavior by Ms. Harris during the 2000 campaign. Harris had been named as George W. Bush's Florida campaign co-chair the year before. Candidate Bush's brother was the governor. He was the head of the state government of Florida, and the co-chairman of his campaign election were the two people most responsible for making sure the final results were dispensed in a 100% impartial and unbiased manner. WTF?????
Would we allow a hungry mouse to guard the cheese? Of course we wouldn't. In hindsight, I would have much preferred losing some cheese, than gaining a Bush. Look at all that's happened since the Bush Administration took up residence in the White House. It's the undeniable proof that any moron can be the president. As we now attempt to digest the daily spinnings from the endless cavalcade of presidential candidates, I have one suggestion. Why not get Regis Philbin or Alec Trebek to a host a game show called Which Candidate is Least Like Bush. The winner will be named our next president. We shouldn't limit our list of candidates to just the current slate, we should look everywhere and anywhere to find this gem of a person. The Anti-Bush winner would make a great president by simply asking himself or herself, what would Bush do in this situation, and then do the exact polar opposite.
Mr. Mencken was proved right in 2000 and 2004. Let's all make a pact that we'll do our part to insure he's proved wrong in 2008.......
Posted by Veritas at 12:24 PM
Thursday, August 23, 2007
We've all seen something exactly like the scenario above. The specific catastrophic disaster may change, but the response is always the same. "I thank God it wasn't worse." I'm trying my best to understand exactly what that means. You just lost your family, along with every possession and keepsake you ever owned. So the best you you can come up with is "I thank God it wasn't worse?" I can admire your determination to carry on, your inspiring resilience to keep your chin up, your mature and gracious acceptance of what just took place, but the first thing out of your mouth is "I thank God it wasn't worse?" Is your barometer to measure what could have been worse, the fact YOU survived? Or perhaps has religion so thoroughly brainwashed and numbed our society, we're willing to offer our heartfelt appreciation for seeing utter destruction and our world in complete shambles without even blinking an eye?
Natural disasters are commonly referred to as Acts of God. So does that mean when a hurricane makes landfall on Point A instead of Point B, that God is sticking it to the Point A folks with impunity? Did Point A people owe the Holy Father money? Is God's retribution defined as a hurricane, tornado, flood, drought, deep freeze, or locusts? Does God collectively break a communities' knees for failing to settle their debt in a timely manner with one of his so called ACTS? Why don't we spend more time and money educating and enlightening people to reference science a little more and religious fairy tales a little less. You can have all the faith you want, but you should counterbalance that faith with irrefutable scientific knowledge as well. This hopefully allows human beings the ability to seek better ways to lessen the magnitudes of these disasters in the future.
Does anybody truly believe God decided to exercise his power to smite New Orleans two years ago, by propelling Hurricane Katrina right into its most vulnerable location? The impact of that storm affected so many hard working people, who worked multiple jobs most of their lives, got married and raised their families, and probably went to church every Sunday. They saw their lives virtually destroyed on August 29, 2005. I'm sure many of those survivors thanked God things weren't worse. Perhaps instead, they should have asked why the very government they elected and paid taxes to allowed the levees to be so poorly constructed, so that they would be breeched so easily. They should also ask why the government ignored them for so long after the storm departed. They have every right to ask why their compassionate government hasn't provided the same monies and effort to helping them rebuild their neighborhoods, as they have provided other monies and effort into systematically dismantling Iraqi neighborhoods and creating an atmosphere where so very many Iraqis are blown up on a daily basis.
If you wish to have, or feel you need to have, God in your life, by all means go ahead. Just pause occasionally, particularly during great times of strife, and ask how you could be better prepared for life's inevitable kicks in the ass next time. Learn what questions to ask beforehand and then hold elected officials accountable afterward for man made problems that exacerbate natural atmospheric phenomenon. Nobody need ever feel threatened by knowledge, only by the lack of it. The more you learn, the better prepared you will be to offer realistic thanks, once the aftermath of said event occurs. Should a catastrophe ever strike you again, you'll be so much better prepared when the reporter sidles up to you and asks you how you feel. You should now feel that sense of genuine thanks, and be able to look that reporter in his or her eye and explain exactly what happened and what specific steps you followed that enabled you, Earl, the kids, the dogs, the cats and Earl Jr., the blue ribbon winning pot bellied pig, to all SURVIVE. Who knows, this time you may even be wearing a pair of stylish slacks and a beautiful blouse made in the U.S.A. as well.....
Posted by Veritas at 11:17 AM
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
We're well into the summer of 2007. It's hot outside, schools are getting ready to start back up, hurricanes are starting to churn in the tropics, there's a wildly unpopular war raging far away on the Asian continent, there's tremendous political unrest in this country and the current inhabitant of the White House is an extremely unpopular and clueless bumpkin from Texas. Wait a second, did I say this is 2007 or should I have said 1967? I mean, after all, it's still a crime to smoke marijuana, parents loathe their kids' music and the Red Sox are giving the faithful at Fenway hope of another series appearance. If that should turn out to be the case, the old park will be rocking well into October. So, is this just another stale, summer rerun, or is this just an updated version of glaring mistakes from our past. Let's take a closer look.
In 1967, gasoline prices were quite a bit lower. The average cost of a gallon of gasoline back then, was $.33 per gallon. A few months ago, the average cost of a gallon of gasoline was ten times more expensive than it was then. How many people can recall, or even fathom, you could actually fill your car's gas tank to the top with a $5 bill and have enough change left over to buy a large coke and a candy bar, if you so wished. Speaking of gasoline prices, what about the automobiles the service station attendant pumped that gas into? The average price of a brand spanking new automobile back then was $3,200. If you want to pay $3,200 for your ride today, you might want to look into at a late 1980's, less than fully loaded, Toyota Corolla. In 1967, when you drove that brand new $3,200 luxury vehicle with that $5 full tank of gas back home, you would have expected to pay on average $25,000 - $30,000 for that four or five bedroom, two story house on a 1/3 acre lot. Before rising credit markets caused the real estate market bubble to burst early this year, the only house you could have bought in the $25,000 - $30,000 range, might have been a swanky, deluxe dog house.
There's so many differences in pricing over the past forty years on virtually everything from simple everyday items, to luxury extravagances. However, that's destined to happen in any forty year span throughout history. What's really disturbing though, is how little we as a people have changed and learned from our past mistakes. What is it about people, that allows us to be so much more critical of others, than we are of ourselves. Why are so many people apoplectic at the thought of two gay men or women, who love each other, from being permitted to legally marry. More importantly, why do non-affected people even care? Does it cost them money or dramatically impact the quality of their own lives? It's 2007, and police are still arresting consenting adults for lighting a joint. Why is that, I wonder? Why do a certain percentage of Americans think sparking a joint will turn your neighbor across the street into a psychotic terrorist, who wants to eat your children and more importantly, clean out your bologna stash? You're just too uptight to realize he's probably already smoking pot, and wants nothing to do with your kids, but perhaps, your Oscar Meyer bologna may be in jeopardy, should his munchies reach a point of critical mass.
Six years after 1967 bid the world farewell, The Supreme Court made perhaps its most memorable and controversial ruling of all time, by affirming the landmark Roe v. Wade case. The court, in effect, decided a woman had the constitutionally protected right to an elective abortion up until the point a fetus becomes viable, or in other words, capable of sustaining life outside the womb. Well mother of God, moral people everywhere came out from under their collective rocks to voice their very public displeasure about the very private matters of others. So many American people honestly feel strongly, that if they don't like something, it should in no way exist, case closed, it's BANNED! I, myself, happen to loathe asparagus. Therefore I declare, effective immediately, the United States Government must ban farmers from planting, growing and harvesting of said asparagus for the purpose of widespread distribution to supermarkets everywhere. I realize South American and Asian "asparagus growing" Vegetable War Lords, will plow under their cocaine and heroin fields, and replace them, with that damned potent asparagus, and initiate high tech methods of smuggling their evil veggie into this country, via unmarked shipping containers, through our unsecured ports, all along our unsecured borders. That's because all the evil asparagus lords and terrorists are joining forces to fight us over there, so they can't get into here. Wherever the hell there and here even is?
The bottom line is that Americans have to learn to think issues through as individuals, rather than as insignificant members of assorted, organized religious cults. How many more millions of dollars will the Catholic Church be forced to pay out in class action pedophilia lawsuits instead of allowing their priests to marry. What would Jesus do? I have to assume he was smart enough to prefer his parish priest be teaching his kids to live happy lives, as well adjusted independent thinkers, rather than living their lives as unhappy victims of repeated sex abuse by sexually pent up and frustrated male virgins. It really is 2007 now. It's not 1987, 1977 or 1967. Those days are forever gone. It's time we all pause, and take a moment to look back, at all the things we wish we could take back, and be thankful we still have the ability to move forward. We don't get to make the exact decision how much longer we'll be able to physically or mentally be capable of doing so on this earth. So why should any of us waste another day? We need to begin this transformation immediately. Life is so much better with exciting new episodes, instead of stale old reruns we've seen before. Maybe I should take my own advice, and try some delicious asparagus for dinner tonight? Nah, I'm an American, maybe tomorrow..........
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Posted by Veritas at 11:58 AM
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
I've always been of the opinion that the tougher you talk, the less likely you are to back it up with a plan of action. I'm noticing that total lack of character more and more nowadays, in our current climate of so many people willing to shoot off their mouths, with absolutely zero substantive intentions of backing it up.
For the last few years, the most striking example of my point is this breathtakingly stupid Iraq War. The United States involvement in this debacle is a classic example of cowardly leaders wanting to rewrite their own shameful pasts. They falsely acquire their new found courage by duping and influencing other men and women into doing things they could not. They in effect force them to display the courage they, themselves clearly lacked. George W. Bush, the male cheerleader who put the dessert in deserter, and Dick Cheney, the man with other priorities, such as a five deferment cyst, are the most obvious abusers of courage without convictions, but they're far from alone in this sniveling lifestyle they have chosen to exist in.
I'm sure that every single one of us who is sickened by this war, in part due to the staggering cost in human lives, the tolls placed on millions of families on both sides, the resources that would be so much better allocated to help rather than kill people, want desperately for this war to end immediately. It seems the only people who want this war to continue, are the most despicable cowards imaginable, those who chose to demonstrate their courage through only words. They rally others who share their rhetoric with hatred and false bravado, so as to have others spill their blood and thereby satiating their own brand of behind the scenes courage. Let's be 100% real here. When the Japanese Navy attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941, young men and women expressed their outrage by racing to induction centers all across the country to enlist and fight. They spoke through their actions, not their words. They didn't pontificate about how tough they were, they just shut up and proved it.
Now we fast forward sixty years ahead. The USA was attacked much in the same manner Pearl Harbor was. Our political leaders seized upon this fact to implement their own misguided plans of grandeur to recreate the world in their own image, one country at a time. They convinced the people who shared this vision, that Iraq was the Satan responsible for the carnage that took place on 9/11 and felt certain, they would answer the bell and rally to the cause ala 1941. An interesting thing happened though. Their lemmings didn't rush to the sea with nearly the same numbers that rushed to their couches, computers and radios. They chose to fight this war with chat rooms, right wing radio call in shows, and chicken hawk bravado. They're cheerleaders, not fighters. They fervently support this war with words of encouragement, but without courage of convictions. So here they sit, nearly 4 1/2 years later, still talking about how courageous they are, as they sit on the couch rather than in inadequate body armor on the field of battle.
Unfortunately, this new brand of clucking courage has infiltrated other areas of life as well. One example that is currently in the news comes from the coal mines of Utah. Any human being can feel empathy for the families of the six miners trapped in the cave-in a few weeks ago. Three courageous people, who actually got off their collective couches, and put their fortitude where many others only put their words, died whilst attempting to rescue the trapped miners. There is absolutely no indication these six miners even survived the initial cave-in, but still, the heroic rescuers gave their own lives to try and save the original six, nonetheless. Because of these rescuers dying and the universal agreement it's far too dangerous to risk anybody else's life, along with the almost 100% certitude that the original six miners could not possibly still be alive, the rescue/recovery mission was suspended.
The families of the missing miners were understandably saddened by the lack of a successful rescue, and being reunited with their loved ones. To me, the sadder part was their anger about the rescue being called off. Their resentment was so apparent, when describing how they felt betrayed by the rescue termination. They never once, even begrudgingly, acknowledged that under the circumstances, they were disappointed, but certainly understood the decision to cease rescue operations. They never even offered to get off their couches and take part in the extremely dangerous mission to enter that crippled mine.They certainly did not do so in the same public manner in which the criticism was leveled, if at all. If we feel so strongly and impassioned by something, we owe it to the cause and to ourselves to rise up and do rather than sit and talk. Fortunately, past generations realized this. If they hadn't, we would most likely be speaking English with a British accent, German or maybe even Japanese.
I think we should talk in order to exchange ideas, come up with better ways of doing things, and preventing idiots from leading us down a path to ruin. However, when all else fails and we find ourselves supporting a futile war or a disaster that requires action, more so than talk, it's then time to put the courage of our convictions into actions, as opposed to sitting back whining with only empty words........
Posted by Veritas at 10:59 AM
Monday, August 20, 2007
The 22nd Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified in 1951, partially states the following: No person shall be elected to the office of the President more than twice. This, of course, came on the heels of the wildly popular Franklin Delano Roosevelt being elected to the office of president a record four (4) times, beginning in 1932, and continuing to his final election victory in 1944. One is left to wonder if Roosevelt would have gone on to win a 5th or even 6th term had he not died shortly into his 4th and final term in 1945. Our very first president, George Washington, could have been elected to a third term but declined it, suggesting two (2) terms of four (4) years were enough for any president. In 1797, he quietly returned to Mount Vernon. His two-term example became an unwritten rule in the realm of presidential politics until FDR dramatically altered that notion in the first half of the 20th century.
I believe the time has finally come for a similar term limitation policy to be adopted by the US Senate and US House of Representatives. The nature of politics has evolved into this blatant power struggle between us against them, or them against us. Everything in congress is now an epic battle for establishing and maintaining power for your party and castigating the opposition party into a completely subservient role. This would be a fine strategy if you were participating in a monopoly tournament or a Super Bowl Championship. However, events such as those, hopefully, don't have any long range dramatic impact on peoples' lives. Clearly the purpose of our elected 535 member legislative branch of government should be to work for us instead of working to screw each other over. I would hope the most powerful legislative branch of government in the world is more concerned with working for the interests of the American people, than plotting and scheming against the opposition party while solidifying their own personal interests.
This need for term limits is not an indictment against one political party over another, but for both. It's true that absolute power corrupts absolutely. Let's first look at some irrefutable facts. Over the course of the past 100 years, the Congress has developed into an institution that fosters long careers. "Careerists" (legislators serving ten or more terms) have become all too common on Capitol Hill. Since 1950, over 90 percent of House incumbents have run for reelection and well over 90 percent of them have won. Incumbency success rates rose to an all-time high in the 1984-1990 period, when Representatives won 97 percent of their bids for reelection. The same trend is true for the Senate. Since 1982, Senate incumbents have won more than 86 percent of their races, including a staggering 95 percent in the 1996 election. It seems the only exceptions to these rules occur in times of great strife in the country, such as when intellectually challenged brush clearers from rural Texas manage to ascend to the White House via some cruel, twist of fate. This leads to catastrophic events, such as the Iraq War, that infuriates the voting public to such a state, they actually rise up and take on a "throw the incumbents out mentality" as we witnessed last November.
Right now, the news headlines literally report on a daily basis about soldiers dying or suffering life altering injuries in the Iraqi Civil War. Rarely a day goes by, as well, we don't hear about unimaginable corruption in the highest offices of our so called leaders; perjury, deception, manipulation, prostitution and in simplest terms, good old fashioned incompetence at the highest levels. The new Democratic majority in the Senate and the House refuse to cut off the funding to this dreadful mistake of a war because they fear their new found power may be compromised by a slick Republican counter offensive, making the Democrats appear less than patriotic by NOT supporting "our troops." The Republicans won't join the Democrats in virtually any endeavor now, for fear of the Democrats getting more credit, therefore eliminating any chance of the Republican Party regaining control in both houses of Congress in 2008. The bottom line is that the Congress has no real motivation to do the right thing if it would remotely impact their aforementioned Careerist ambitions and insatiable thirst for power.
It would seem the ONLY hope of stopping the petty, intramural battles Congress wages towards one another, and more importantly the American people, would be to apply similar conditions to them, as we do towards the President, as stipulated in the 22nd Amendment. Somebody please demonstrate to me why a US Senator needs to serve more than two (2) six (6) year terms thereby providing a 12 year "cap" in office.. Then immediately afterwards, show me why House members should serve more than six (6) two (2) year terms, thereby being held to the same 12 year cap of the Senate.. If these so called legislators devoted their time to actually serving the people that elected them, rather than devoting their time to remaining in office until senility replaced ego as their dominant trait, then perhaps the American people would be proud they voted their Senator or Representative into office in the first place. Senators and Representatives should remember their election campaign promises, therefore making the American people their primary concern. This would allow John and Mary American along with their kids to live better lives by reaping the benefits of their elected officials' service, rather than the elected official reaping the benefit of their own service at the expense of the American people.......
Posted by Veritas at 12:05 PM
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Cialis hardly stops advertising either. When will the moment finally be right to stop advertising on every single news and sports program shown on broadcast television? We get it, Cialis. Your magic "little bullet" is spreading joy to the world of every erectile dysfunctional man on the planet. But what about the women. I'm worried about how the women are coping with the paradox of the hard times brought on by the very senior studmuffins they have a soft spot for.
Every time I now see these charming seniors driving 45 mph in the left lane of major interstates, or driving the same 45 mph in parking lots so they're not late for the "Early Bird" dinners at 4:30pm, hobbling around pharmacies carrying around new and improved extra strength laxatives in one hand and new and improved extra strength anti-diarrheal medications in the other, I now wonder are they too (paraphrasing Dylan Thomas), refusing to go softly into that good night.
Cialis boasts incessantly that once the hardy older man has ingested the soft gel pill, the 30 minute countdown begins, until the massive effects of the pill can be noticed. I imagine the man softly stomping around the grounds of his fortress of solitude. Now there's 24 minutes left. What should he do I wonder. Take a shower, brush his hair, (that usually literally involves one hair) brush his teeth or perhaps more accurately, remove his teeth from a glass of water, do one singular push-up, and then kill 15 minutes attempting to get erect on his feet, so to speak. Now we're down to just 11 minutes. You can cut the tension with a butter knife. Now Superman is in the final moments of preparation. T- minus 3 minutes and counting. Time to set the mood. Pop a Montovani 8 track in, turn the lights down low, real, real low. So low in fact, you can't see two feet in front of you. You puff out your chest in pride, you've thought of everything. But wait, you're missing one little but key piece to the puzzle. Where is your queen? The lucky lady you're doing all this for. There she is in the parlor out cold asleep watching her soap operas.
You decide the time is right and make your move. For gosh sakes, it's been well over 31 minutes since the tablet of love was swallowed. You begin your final approach. You kiss her, caress her and gently run your fingers through her wig and tell her the travel agent aka the pharmacist has booked passage for two on the "Orient Love Express". She returns your loving gaze and informs you seductively, the time isn't right. She has a headache, and besides her shows are on. You cast your eyes downward and then into hers wondering what you will do in this state. She acknowledges you've got one helluva problem and you just might need to take more of a hands on approach. Oh well, still nearly 35 1/2 hours of long lasting action to go and who knows, maybe you can hit the jackpot and come down with an elevated case of priapism during that stretch.
Whew, I am so in need of taking a shower and lying down now.......
Posted by Veritas at 11:35 AM