Oct 8, 2005

God's Gift to Kansas & Bush's Gift to America

It was three years ago this time when the Bush regime began to sell the war in Iraq on a pack of lies and deceptions. [click on the link to refresh your memory on what grounds the war was sold] There’s a buyer’s remorse in the country today, but back then, the national corporate media, the US Congress, and many Americans failed in their duty to question the rulers and check up on the facts before agreeing to commit our precious resources of blood, sweat, tears, and tons of money. What have we learned from this experience and how have we changed our ways? It’s hard to say really. A year ago, the depth of Bush’s failures, domestically and internationally, was quite evident. Yet, the majority of Americans opted to re-elect him. When it clearly matters—like national elections-- too many of our fellow citizens don’t take the proper care in making those crucial decisions. It’s one thing to vote for someone because you agree with most of his agenda and another thing to be fooled by him, especially when only some minimal critical skills and some reasonable effort is all that’s required for someone to be an active and informed citizen.

As the philosopher Immanuel Kant observed, laziness, cowardice and inability to employ one’s intelligence leads many grown people to happily remain immature throughout their lives! However, this political immaturity is dangerous, not only because unchecked rulers may lead the country to disaster but also because of the kind of people this prolonged immaturity produces!

Bush’s approval rating is extremely low for a US president, currently hovering in the mid 30s! He’s getting negative numbers on all important issues except the so-called war on terror, where it’s an even split. Can you see a repeat of the color-coded alert scheme next year before the elections? I don’t know if NYC mayor Bloomberg borrowed a page from Homeland Security’s book a month before the election in NYC, but the fact we have to question the motives shows that they tried to fool us before! [Tom Ridge, former head of the Dept. of Homeland has admitted that many times the federal government elevated the risk just for political gain--and it worked!] Fear is a great motivator, and the politicos aren’t shy in engaging the politics of fear. As a matter of fact this is the only card Bush and his Republican cohorts can still play. Look at the indictments of House majority leader Tom Delay, the looming criminal investigations of Senate Majority leader Bill Frist, the treasonous conduct of high White House officials—in both offices of the President and Vice President.

It’s no wonder that Bush chose Harriet Miers for the Supreme Court. Perhaps he couldn’t stomach another fight, though it seems that he wasn’t prepared to hear grumblings from his most conservative and trusted base, but he has. Not that Ms. Miers is a great find, mind you. She has said that Bush was “the most brilliant man” she had ever met! To me this alone is a disqualifier, unless Bush was the only man she had ever met when she made that statement. I do hope there has been some evolution in her thought since.

Bush continues to talk to us as best as he can: in a childlike manner. The problem is that not all of us are children. We want to be treated as responsible adults. Many of us are able to think critically, evaluate the facts and the arguments and happily take the responsibility of making the decisions that affect our lives. Bush’s trite statements like, “I’ve looked into her eyes,” and, “she’s got a great soul,” and, “she’s a fine woman,” don’t satisfy our inquiries into her judicial and political philosophy. And, the absence of any judicial trail makes the matter more urgent.

Thanks to David Sirota who dug up this gem in Federalist Paper #76 regarding the obligation of the Senate to closely scrutinize the president's appointments, as Alexander Hamilton writes, "It would be an excellent check upon a spirit of favoritism in the President, and would tend greatly to prevent the appointment of unfit characters from State prejudice, from family connection, from personal attachment..." This must be a indigestable nugget for the cons and the Repubs.

The only fancy word Bush has ever used, “strict constructionist,” as a desired quality for a conservative judge, is almost never elaborated upon. The cons argue that judges shouldn’t make law from the bench and that the Constitution should be interpreted literally. This is a bag of hot air. The cons do want conservative judges on the federal bench actively pushing their ideology on the rest of us. As for the literal interpretation, and of relying on the ..intentions of the founding fathers (emphasis on the male gender), this is another distraction. The brilliant minds that forged the United States of America had their limitations. The same group of people responsible for the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution wrote about the “rights of men” while they owned slaves! If Ms. Miers believes in the original intent of the Founders and the strict interpretation of the Constitution, I would like to ask her, “is it your opinion that when the Founding Fathers wrote the provision in the Constitution of the establishment of the Supreme Court really believed that a woman should sit on that bench?” ...

Hopefully, there is an evolution in thought and political practice taking into account contemporary realities and a more educated and responsible citizenry. For example, the reality of the frontier and the War of Independence dictated that every man should have the right to keep arms—like a musket and a knife. Today, most of us recognize that this doesn’t include the right to a bazooka, an F-16 fighter plane, or a nuclear device. But, of course, since the lunatic fringe got access to power via Bushco, we can’t hold a reasonable national dialogue about the important matters. When the other advanced countries have settled on the scientific method, tolerance, civil and human rights, we are still debating them here. Why? Because too many of us are afraid of terrorism and of burning in hell. And, when we surrender our minds to anything else other than love, we become a ship of fools skippered by charlatans full of incompetence and personal greed. Shedding our responsibilities only leads to perpetual immaturity, an unexamined life, and a mother load of troubles.

As Richard Dawkins recently said of those who oppose enlightenment, “bring us your mysteries for we can use them...don’t squander precious ignorance by researching it away… Ignorance is God’s gift to Kansas.” Sadly, it's not only Kansas that's looking for the gift of ignorance.

Where do you fit in this scheme?


16 comments:

Geeshus said...

Powerful stuff Andros... I guess you're not running for public office 'cause criticising the voters is a n0-n0! (great cartoon too)

Anne, NY said...

You put your finger on the spot, and in the eye of the Repugs. Keep jabbing them, and keep scolding those Americans who are lazy and surrender their critical thinking to wishful thinking and to anyone who tells them what they want to hear regardless of reality....

Anonymous said...

i'm not a hard core conservative so i can see that Bush is the worst president in recent memory... i'm pissed off because we've failed to put forward someone capable to promote the true conservative values.... and i'm afraid that although we got some temporary gains, in the end Bush's failures will set us back decades...

Anonymous said...

hell, yeah, Bush is a neo-con... true conservatives and open-minded Republicans should have revolted long time ago.... even just on the economic issues...

unfortunately the REpub party is owned by the extremists who have terrorized the moderate voices

Anonymous said...

Your question to Miers is very interesting... I see that the strict constructionist argument is a bunch of bs...

times have changed...

Anderson said...

Where did you get the Richard Dawkins statement?

Andros said...

I subscribe to Free Inquiry, published by the Council for Secular Humanism, click here

Richard wrote an op-ed piece in the Aug/Sept.05 issue. Great read.

Anonymous said...

Bush said that he has a certain philosophy that Miers espouses and that he wants her not to change in the next 20 years...

The usual Bush incoherence...

Anonymous said...

I have to confess, I am suspicious of anyone who "is born again"... Especially anyone over 30...

Rumbux said...

what do you mean by being afraid of "burning in hell"?

Andros said...

On the night of the 2004 election I was asked by an Austrian tv crew covering the events in Clevelad Ohio [I was working for the Kerry campaign there] what went wrong... I began to give a long explanation when it struck me... I said, if you want a sound bite, here it is, "we lost because too many Americans are afraid of terrorism, and of burning in hell!"

The terrorism was easily understood ("war on terror" politics of fear, etc). But the most brilliant thing the Republicans did was to put the anti-gay measures on the ballot in battleground states, including Ohio. This resulted in bringing out every fundamentalist, conservative Christian. I still believe that if those referenda weren't on the ballot last year, Kerry would have carried Ohio and a couple more states, and thus the election.

Anonymous said...

Miers is a born-again xtian, part of a cultish mentality. They believe that abortion is murder!

Texan said...

Yeah, Bush made another stupid choice... one of many. This guy isn't qualified to be in any position of authority!

Gothamite said...

Even today the feds are saying that the source had "little or no credibility"...regarding the NYC terrorist threat!

We are suspicious of Bloomie's motives.. what better way to remind Nuyokers about his experience as mayor? Like you said, politics of fear has some value in scaring voters and steer them a certain way.

Chertoff said today that although his sources about this threat were worthless, the NYC mayor's response was "absolutely appropriate"!!!!!!

I may still vote for Bloomie but I'm not gullible. This is b.s.

Anonymous said...

can you come and join Experts Talk - expertstalk.org. you can give review about various topics

Anonymous said...

I don't get it. Why God wants Kansas to be ignorant?

Well, who am I to question his divine plan?....