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I was chatting over drinks last week with a degenerate from way back who I love and respect but I won't name because this isn’t in response to him in specific but for others like him – normally intelligent, sane people who are planning on voting for Bush.
"I just don't like Kerry. Sure, they both lie, but when Kerry does it… he's just kind of a whiner. Plus there's the business issues..."
(I'm paraphrasing here, since I can't recall it word for word, but you get the gist.)
Yes, they are politicians. In America, that implies liars for anyone in pursuit of high office (or at least anyone that stands a chance of winning.) So if you accept that anyone who can be elected to the office of President is a liar, it's time to forget what they say and look at what they've done, what their motives are, and who they serve.
I don't like Kerry either. He lacks the decisive charisma a leader and figurehead needs to inspire a less than intellectual populace. He just doesn't have it. On the other hand, he does seem genuinely intelligent, open to debate and discussion, and has seen war from all sides - combat, protester, and politician.
So let's say Kerry's likeability, for me, is a null sum. He’s a career politician, so zero is probably about as good as he’s going to get. (I don't even know that much about him, but I'm hearing a little more every day.)
(Oddly enough, I’ve finally heard the Kerry camp hammering on some of these points so now I sound like I’m parroting the party line but I wrote this last week so don’t jump on me for unoriginality.)
I'll start with the big one - 9/11. No matter how they try to slide the blame to Clinton and no matter how we, as a people, would like to say the only people responsible were the terrorists and that nobody in America could possibly be accountable for such an atrocity (dramatic pause) - it happened on Bush's watch.
Even what little evidence we know about says he was warned. The guy was on vacation half the time he was "in office" leading up to 9/11. Yet somehow we're supposed to think he's the strong man who's going to prevent this from happening again? Shit, he was asleep at the wheel (or on the ranch?) the first time.
Let’s call that -50 points on my spontaneous, subjective Degenerate Press Likeability Scale (DPLS.)
And then they didn't even get the guy responsible for it. Sure, we took down the Taliban in Afghanistan, but the Bush administration didn’t dedicate themselves to the task of what they said they were doing – fighting terrorism and hunting down those responsible for 9/11. The proof is in the results. Osama slipped away. The administration stopped even mentioning him.
It is a difficult area, geographically and sociologically speaking, to patrol, so I’ll give him only -10 for that.
Instead, they charged into Iraq. Sure, it was all lies, we all knew it. But some of us, like myself, hoped that removing a brutal dictator would lead to a better country for the Iraqi people and perhaps send a message to the rest of the Middle East – that democracy is possible.
No weapons of mass destruction, no ties to Al Qaeda, but still I had hopes.
Now they’re creating the very type of country that birthed the Taliban and fostered Al Qaeda. They’re not fighting terrorism, they’re encouraging it. They’ve created a power vacuum in which religious extremists will thrive. They’ve inspired the people they liberated all right – just not in the way they promised us. The situation grows worse day by day, both in terms of American casualties and in the living conditions for Iraqis. And yet again more and more evidence is piling up that the administration was warned, yet too incompetent and/or overzealous to actually listen. Over 1000 American soldiers have paid for it, on top of the thousands lost on 9/11. And that’s not even taking into account how many thousands they’ve killed in this quest to make us feel safer. Yet we’re actually LESS safe.
I’ll give him another -50 for that, as bad as 9/11, not only for the immediate loss of life and miserable results, but for the future loss of life and disasters that Iraq will spawn.
So if it wasn’t actually WMD, or Saddams’s ties to Al Qeada, or even the safety of America and the world that lead us to war in Iraq, what the hell was it for?
If, like my anonymous friend, you gave up on the truth long ago, you have to guess at the motives. Oil is an obvious one. Sure, we need it – as long as we want to maintain our current lifestyle without a single change. We opted for change to fight WWII, but apparently this administration thinks to fight the war on terror – a war on an idea, not even a war against an individual country – we shouldn’t have to sacrifice anything other than a few thousand of our soldiers and tens of thousands of enemy combatants, the occasional innocent bystander, rock throwing child, or anyone who happens to be in the vicinity. This administration has not asked anyone at home to change or sacrifice anything, other than our personal freedoms and liberties. (We’ll give those up at the drop of a hat, but when gas prices go up a nickel it’s headline news.) So let’s go to war to keep it flowing, right?
But the oil never stopped flowing. We were still buying it from Saddam. I’ve heard several people who didn’t buy the WMD argument parrot the “Well, we need oil” argument. Well, we were getting oil. In fact, we were getting more before the war than we are after since now the terrorists we’ve incubated have sabotaged the system and the security forces designed to prevent it were all killed or fired when we took control. At worst it’s just another lie for those who didn’t believe the first couple of layers. At best it’s (another) outright failure on the part of the administration.
My anonymous friend suspects vengeance as W’s motive. “That man tried to kill my daddy,” he quotes the prez. I didn’t believe it at the time, but the more I observe the current administration the more I think there might be something to it. The neocons were chomping at the bit to invade Iraq before 9/11, so how hard could it be to use the president as a puppet when his father was Saddam’s arch-nemisis? It’s almost Shakespearean.
But I believe many presidents have been puppets, either of their own administration or of the dark lords they serve. So I give him no points either way for motives, in part because I can’t figure them out and in part because motive is inconsequential, all the matters are the results which I’ve already covered above.
We’re at -110 on the DPLS.
Which brings me to the “Who does he serve?”
Bush Inc. is definitely not serving the American citizen through the smaller government that conservatives tout. The deficit grows, the government grows (though it’s all security and soldiers, at the expense of social services), yet this administration warns us that Kerry is a friend of big government?
I could give Bush a point for every dollar deficit that they’ve run up, but that’s unfair. The U.S. government has run at a deficit for so long it’s numbing. We knew the war on terror would be expensive, though it’s been so poorly run that I give the commander in chief another -25. The campaign in Iraq was a waste of resources and the deficit is yet another indicator of that.
Bush Inc. is not serving the American citizen through what’s left of the non-security-related government either. No Child Left Behind is destroying our educational system. Healthy Forests Initiative is destroying our forests. Cheney won’t even tell us which big energy corporations helped him write the energy policy for the administration and I won’t bother to research what it’s done to the environmental laws and enforcement since I’m sure any educated man can guess. On Tuesday I was in a meeting at the CDC and heard this: "We have all sorts of data and resources on teen pregnancy, contraception, STD's… But we can't post any of it in the…,” she paused for a moment, choosing her words carefully, “current political climate. We get public inquiries for this stuff all the time and we can't give it out." This is from a woman in the division of reproductive health. (You might be thinking, “They’re all the same. The only thing that matters is if I like them or not.” Think again. You can change the channel when they’re on TV, but you have to live under their policies, laws, enforcement, i.e. government while they’re in charge.)
Another -25 for steering this country closer and closer to a fascist state where the only things that matter are fear, hate, and war.
So if it’s not Joe Sixpack that Bush serves (ironically) who is it?
I think my anonymous friend is right about Bush in one regard, “Then there’s the business thing…”
Unfortunately, my friend isn’t the CEO of an Enron-sized company. My anonymous friend doesn’t benefit by hiring hundreds of illegal immigrants to keep his labor costs, and the U.S. wages as a result, down. My friend doesn’t work for a pharmaceutical firm in the U.S. where drug costs outpace inflation hundreds of times over. He doesn’t work for an insurance company reaping record high profits while more and more people go without insurance. Nor does my friend work for a Saudi oil cartel enjoying the friendship and protection of the current administration, while supporting terrorists who attack us. Heck, my friend doesn’t even have a no-bid contract like Haliburton’s reconstruction efforts in Iraq. Should I go on?
Neither I nor my friend work for any of the businesses that Bush serves. He gets no points in the positive side for his dedication to business. I’d stick him with some negative points for pandering to his big-money friends but we all know that’s part of the deal you have to make with Satan to get into the highest office in this land.
So what about the man himself? I don’t mind someone that speaks his mind, carries a big stick and isn’t afraid to use it. But I do mind when someone speaks their mind then uses a big stick before listening to any other discussion. ---ANY--- idiot could’ve been in charge when 9/11 happened and the country would’ve stood behind him. The rest of the world even stood behind us. I was in Italy a couple of weeks later and there were American flags everywhere. Citizens from all over the globe asked us how we were coping and not only empathized, but genuinely sympathized. Only a complete asshole squanders that. Yet this administration has alienated us from the rest of the world and seems to have no diplomatic tools at its disposal. Even once-respected Colin Powell made a fool of himself, showing false evidence to the UN of the immanent danger Saddam posed to the world.
It’s great to have an inspirational leader at the helm, but W has only inspired robber barons, militant extremists and religious zealots and frankly I’ve had enough of those motherfuckers, both American and otherwise.
So another -25 points for George II’s leadership abilities, both internally and abroad, for too much use of the big stick and not enough use of those fleshy things that stick out of the side of his head, you know, ears, and that gooey gray stuff that’s supposed to be between them.
-185 on the DPLS.
But don’t get me wrong. He has some likeable qualities. As mentioned, he speaks his mind in plain language and can do it well, sometimes, when it’s scripted for him by the spinsters he employs. I’ll give him +10 for charisma. He’d score higher if he could speak English properly, but he misspeaks too much and uses the smug smile at inappropriate times.
Unfortunately, I can’t think of anything else positive about the guy. I’ve tried. If you can, let me know. We’ll compare notes and re-score.
So let’s get the current final score:
(I think the only person who’d score lower is Cheney. That toad doesn’t even have the boyish, ignorant charms of Bush. At least Kerry has Edwards. Sure, Edwards is a lawyer, but he has the charm Kerry lacks and is a Southerner who earned his wealth and used his job and position to fight for common people.)
Yeah, Kerry is unlikable. But at least I don’t -dislike- him. My anonymous friend predicts a Bush win. “You know why? I’ll bother to get out and vote.” He points to his wife and says she won’t even bother to counteract his vote. Kerry is just that uninspiring.
But Hell, would you have let Nixon stay in office just because Ford was a bore? Sometimes you’ve got to cull the mad dogs from the pack before giving attention to the ones able to pull the sled in the right direction. Kerry may not be the dog you want in the lead, but at least he’s not foaming at the mouth. So to those who aren’t inspired enough by Kerry to get out and vote, maybe you should be inspired by Bush to get out and vote against the current administration. Sure, it’s an exercise in negativity and not the beacon of hope we’d like. But pacifists get their asses handed to them so don’t be a pussy and get out there and fight for your right not to let the assholes turn this country into hell on earth.
To those who aren’t inspired enough to vote for Kerry, therefore think you have to vote for Bush – what the fuck?!? Can’t you waste your vote on some third party candidate? There are candidates from the Greens and Nader on the left to Libertarians on the right. Do them, and the rest of the country, a favor and send a message to those vying for power that they’re not inspiring you, much less representing.
In a related thought, degenerate JDP sent us this:
At the Miami War Crimes Trials of 2016, they won't be able to say no one told them so...
Hukilau preview party at Trader Vic's with Tongo Hiti, Dames Aflame and more:
We got this from degenerate KG:
“Have you heard about this new club opening in Underground? It's called Alley Cat Alley. I hear that it's supposed to be like the Playboy clubs of yesteryear, with girls dressed up in itty-bitty cat outfits bringing you drinks.”
I ain’t heard a thing. Anyone got the scoop?
And here’s more on last episode:
“L5P a week early for Halloween..why you ask?….well, I’m guessing – it builds out a busy shopping time for these stores that participate….it’s their busiest season at JMD, so I’m guessing retailers had a huge input on setting dates! But then again, I’m only guessing.”
"Russ Meyer, who helped spawn the "skin flick" with such films as "Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!" and "Vixen," has died. He was 82."
The feature of the week at Starlight Drive In was Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. I had high expectations for this film from the previews I'd been seeing for months now but I was a little let down. Too often the scenes were torn from other films. Every few seconds I found myself thinking "Oh, that's exactly like that scene in Empire Strikes Back." The old art deco Superman cartoons of the 40's supplied the look of the whole thing, while each scene is pulled straight from Star Wars, Terminator, Indiana Jones, War of the Worlds, James Bond, Godzilla, Flash Gordon, just about any 40's noir film - the entire film gives you a sense of déjà vu. Maybe I'm just too jaded. I've seen thousands of films so it's difficult for something to avoid a reference to something in my memory, but unfortunately many of the films Sky Captain borrows from are iconic films and/or personal favorites. Things just felt too familiar and too predictable.
The CGI sets are nice, but just a bit too cartoonish for me. Combined with the predictable action you don't get many thrills. It's pretty, but not gripping. If you're not jaded like I am you might enjoy it. Otherwise, wait for the DVD. There's nothing here that has to be experienced on the big screen, or even the chilly drive in screen.
If you’re like me you’ve been wondering why you can’t pick up 89.3 WRFG worth a damn lately. Apparently in the rash of storms we’ve had lately they suffered a couple of lightening strikes that have damaged their transmitter and they’re only at something like 35% of their power. They’re entirely listener supported and volunteer staffed so it’s not like they have a lot of money rolling in to fix such problems. To make matters worse, they’re having to move their transmitter from the current location and that’s gonna cost ‘em too. So whip out that credit card and give ‘em a call, 404.523.8989 or log on to www.wrfg.org and give ‘em a helping hand. Screw Clear Channel.
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