Nov 6, 2005

A Bad Year's Anniversary: A Predictability In Failure

You Break it, You Own it. Care to Guess, Who Actually Pays for it?
It's been a year already since the last presidential election and I have to say that I didn't expect this rapid deterioration of the Bush regime. Unfortunately, under our system of government, Bushco will be around to pester us for another 3 plus years--enough time to make things even worse for our country. No wonder that Dubya is trying to satisfy his political base, that is, the extreme conservatives, the monolithic Republicans, and the theologs. His nominee to SCOTUS, Samuel Alito, an extremely conservative judge, is no surprise in the scheme of things.

On November 3rd, 2004, Bush said that we'd reach to the whole nation in his second term. Of course, this didn't happen as it was never his intension even after losing the election in 2000, and his subsequent appointment to the presidency by SCOTUS. The country was sharply divided, but the Republicans went on to govern with much authoritarianism and little sense, except to satisfy the most extreme element of their base. So, let's see what has happened in the span of a year.

In November, a judge ruled against Bushco in overstepping the Geneva Convention on the treatment of detainees. Still, if you're labeled as "enemy combatant" you have no rights and can be kept in confinement indefinitely. Now we hear that the CIA has secret holding facilities in Europe and elsewhere. Maybe we should apply the Patriot Act against those who expose our covert intelligent officers and have the CIA do a ..rendition on them. Heck, throw in some torture to get to the truth faster.

In December, our troops got the chance to corner and question Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld on whether they would have to keep looking for scrap metal in junk yards in Iraq to use as armor for their vehicles and for their vests. "You go to war with the army you have" was the cryptic answer. Thus, Americans back home started a fund collection and a donation drive for used bullet-proof vests. A Homeland Security top official got fired for whistle-blowing on the mismanagement and security flaws of his department, and was replaced by Dickey's son in-law. The top Army Reserve general warned us that the reserves were being turned into a "broken force." He was properly ignored like all the other experts who publicly or privately all agree that the Iraq war has been a disaster.

In January, the Bush administration quietly, through the undersecretary of the assistant junior staffer of the aide to the deputy officer of the third level of the broken chain of command, announced that the search for WMDs had ended. Surprise, surprise! Oh, I see, we're there to export democracy to a country that's a terrorist heaven and with a theocratic regime in its future. Nice!

In February, Mr. torture-is-OK-and-other-Bushco-enabling-measures-Gonzales is confirmed as the country's top attorney who is in charge of protecting our rights. [note: many conservatives confuse the word "right"... they're all for a right turn, but not for individual civil rights, unless a ..machine gun is involved, as judge Alito reminded us] In the same month, Bush asked for another $80 billion, to bring the total direct spending on the Iraq expedition to $200 billion. But, who's counting? Most of these monies are given to Americans anyway! [Bechtel, Halliburton, & co.]

In March, Bush flew back from vacation (you see, it wasn't a natural disaster to let his hand-picked experts to do "a heck of a job") to D.C. to sign a bill interfering in the Terri Schiavo case. The Reps wanted to turn this tragedy into a cheap political game. Dr. Frist (Senate Majority leader) had made a diagnosis on Schiavo by watching footage on TV assuring us that her eyes were responsive to the stimuli around her.

In April, the US government reported that the terrorist attacks had increased by 300% the previous year. No mention as to who facilitated the opening of the biggest terrorist training with hands-on-experience camp in Iraq. Bush signed the bankruptcy law that was written by the banking industry. Many Dems, including Mr. MBNA, Sen Joe Biden (D-DE), went along with it.

In May, the London Sunday Times leaked the Downing Street Memo which confirmed what we, the open-minded and inquisitive persons already knew, that Bushco was hell-bent on invading Iraq on false pretences. Dickey had already explained to us that "there is no doubt that Saddam has reconstituted the nuclear weapons program," and, "we know where they [WMDs] are." The same month he went on national TV to tell us that the insurgency was at its "last throes!"

In June, Terri Schiavo's autopsy confirmed what the doctors had said before: her brain had atrophied, and she was blind. Dr. Frist got an egg on his face but a bigger one to hit him later.

In July, finally, a majority of Americans woke up to realize that they had been misled into the war in Iraq. On the other hand, the majority of Americans believe in the supernatural and in the literal accuracy of the story of Christmas (especially as depicted by popular culture). Still more people believe in demonic possessions than they now believe in Bush. That's a progress I think. [see addendum]

In August, Bush wrenched a Bolton onto the U.N. when the Senate wasn't looking. Then Katrina struck. What's more to say about this; everybody knows the story by now. It's been a disgraceful performance by an incompetent and uncaring regime.

In September, Senate Majority leader Bill Frist learned that he was being investigated because his "blind trust" [he's got a ..vision thingy haunting him] was eagle-eyed, responding to the senator's directives. It wasn't enough that he passed laws in Congress benefitting one of the biggest hospital chains he owned, but like Martha got too greedy and foolishly unloaded stock just before their value fell. In a related story, his buddy in the House, Republican Majority leader Tom Delay got indicted the same month. The stench would soon get stronger.

In October, Dickey's chief of staff and protector of the known cabal, "Scooter" Libby got indicted too. The investigation into the vindictiveness, pettiness, and law-breaking Republican leadership continues today. Unfortunately, last month we passed a somber mark: 2,000 American soldiers killed in Iraq. Worse, the figure is much, much higher as the Pentagon doesn't include in this count those soldiers who die en route to the hospitals or soon after as a direct result of their injuries in Iraq.

As I frequently say, elections have consequences, and electing our leaders should be a task of utmost importance. We all share responsibility. The people we elect act in our name, and their decisions have lasting effects on us, our children and much of the rest of the world. This has not been a good year. We have a year until November 7th, 2006, to start taking back our federal government. Meanwhile, we can't be complacent. Not only we progressives must maintain our resolve and engagement, but we must intensified it. Every effort counts; let's do our part whenever the opportunity arises.

And, we have to keep on fighting the good battles even if we lose some. In this light we have to urge the progressive forces in the Congress and everywhere else to fight the Alito nomination to SCOTUS, and to try to avert further disasters as engineered by the incompetent and near-sighted conservatives of Bushco.

Addendum
Americans hold all sorts of unsubstantiated beliefs, and too many of us are either not interested in leading an examined life or can't handle the truth. That's why when all the facts were out and clearly visible to anyone who bothered to check, many Americans believed Bushco in regard to "the war on terror," Iraq, etc.

For those who may question my comment on the story of Christmas, I have to tell you that Christmas was not celebrated by the early Church; it wasn't until centuries after Christ's birth (no one really knows for sure when he was born) that the church decided to take over the pagan festivities, known as Saturnalia, in December. Much of the myths and practices today were created in the 18th & 19th centuries.

There is a new exhibit to open, Nov. 19th, at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City that focuses on Darwin's life & ideas. Unfortunately, what seemed to be settled 80 years ago in the Scopes trial, is revisited today. Ignorance and prejudice seem to run in cycles, especially when a lot of ignorant people are present. If this doesn't depress you, let me cite a recent CBS News poll (Oct. '05) that showed, 51% of Americans reject the theory of evolution, saying that God created humans in their present form. Some 38% believe that creationism should be taught instead of evolution (Pew Reseach Center, Aug. '05).

23 comments:

Greshom said...

What a crazy year; stay tuned, folks. There is much more to come. Oh, and brace for impact...

Anonymous said...

Bush has to satisfy his political base--the coots. Because there isn't anybody else who still believes the idiot.

Burke said...

You guys are pathetic... you only bitch because you lost...

Haven't you figured out yet that your ideas are old and outdated....

Get a clue: We control the presidency, Congress, and soon the Supreme Court.

Now, stew in your own juices

Robert said...

hey, you cretin, being in the majority doesn't make you right...(read: correct), 'cause you're a rightie and a shameless one... I mean, if you had any sense you'd be embarrassed by Shrub and what he's done for our country

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Burn in hell, you hedonists, sinners and sodomites

Anonymous said...

Bush will be remembered as the worst president.....

wait, Americans have no memory and no knowledge of their history...

ah, well... he may be for ever associated with the war mongers and definitely the most incompetent prez ever...

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Alanis said...

Scalito must be opposed, even if we lose. The Dems in the Senate must become more aggressive. The REpubs were always on the attack, like pitbulls, when they were in the minority. This didn't hurt them, but helped them actually. They showed strenght, and in conjuction with lots of B.S., they convinced gullible Americans to vote for them.

If we don't fight for a centrist court then what the hell are we doing? SCOTUS's decisions will last several generations. Com'on, move on!

Anderson said...

How do you explain the fact that so many Americans fall for crazy stuff? Every reasonable person knew that Bush had lied to get us to war!

Of course, it doesn't mean that Kerry would automatically have gotten their votes, but we all agree today that if the election were held today, Bush would have been a goner.

Andros said...

Well, it's extremely rare to have such a wide swing in the public opinion in less than a year after the last presidential election. To me, this shows that many Americans only took a cursory look at the candidates and then voted.

Their perceptions weren't based on solid evidence or even a well-thought out process. This explains why there is such a flip in a relatively short time.
Of course, you have a WAY TOO HIGH percentage that is not affected by reason and the facts. They'll always vote on misconceptions, crude feelings, prejudice, and a perverse conception of reality.

Anne said...

It's totally frustrating to have so many Americans not believing in SCIENCE! Science is the reasons they live longer and have a happier life filled with goods, and an opportunity to satisfy one's thirst for knowledge.

Andros said...

I'm going to have an addendum to the post to show that too many among us have no proximity to reality

samantha said...

you have a way to tell things.... i thoroughly enjoy your posts....

from across the pond...

Geeshus said...

what???!!! those figures can't be true? are they?!!!

you're kidding us!

if 51% rejects the theory of evolution... then the apocalypse is truly upon us...

where's this end of times index?


ah, here it is:

Rapture Index

rumbux said...

hey, geeshus, having that many fundies and ignoramuses proves that there's no intelligent design...

although,it also shows that natural selection has a problem....

Mackenzie said...

no, stupidity is part of the game... it's like a dead-end evolution track.... something like the Neaderthals!

don't you people worry, in evolution time scale the ignorant and the stupid have been around only for a relatively short time... soon (maybe not soon enough for us) they'll go by the way side!

have faith, lads!

Andros said...

well, you missed the following point:

those people may go into extinction first, UNLESS they're given enough time (and matches) to destroy the world....

we can't rely on evolution and natural selection to do their work for us... the times are critical and we have to act in any way we can...

we have to take away the matches from the pyromaniacs

J said...

ah, you got me depressed man... I was hopping for a nice relaxed evening...


seriously though, you are right: people don't go looking for stuff; they are not inquisitive or curious...... and, thinking is hard work

Nelly said...

You've touched upon something I've been saying all along, that many persons are uncomfortable with the truth and they choose to ignore it.

Anonymous said...

We do not torture... Bush said. Why can't you disbelievers take him on his word?

Tuli said...

Andros:

Magical thinking seems to be the human lot. As you point out a very large percentage of our fellow citizens are unable to connect the dots and it appears to me they have no desire to connect the dots.

I am involved in Thoroughbred Racing and I am quite good at handicapping. Now, I know many folks that buy lottery tickets and they are astounded that I would never buy one. I try to explain to them that I have a much better chance of winning (maybe not a million dollars) a return on my investment at the track than they do at the Lotto window, hence, my disinclination to buy lottery tickets (and my disinclination to bet that often). Their excuse is that handicapping is too hard and too much work and picking “lucky numbers” is easier. Well, it maybe easier, but then you are more likely to suffer from buyer’s remorse.

That is what is going on now. There is a reason that the average IQ is said to be 100. Not that IQ is everything, but sometimes it is a start.

American’s are suffering from buyer’s remorse. They didn’t do the work of looking their choice up in “Consumer Reports” and now that they have the product and it doesn’t work, they are pissed.

Well, so am I, as their procurement of the product affects all of our lives. And because they failed to do the work before buying the advertisement BS this country is going down the toilet and those lazy and ill-informed fellow citizens did the flushing.

JMHO and Rant.

I hate not being an optimist.

Tuli said...

Dear Andros:

I noticed that you didn't mention the Abramoff scandal in your roundup. I think that this and the Niger forgeries are what is really making the Ruling Party insane.

Both of these scandals have the potential of taking down a whole lot of folks at the top.

You have to love it when the Republicans are mentioned in the same paragraph with “gangland-style murder.” Not to mention the obvious money laundering, fraud, FBI and Congressional investigations.

It reaches into the White House. Safavian has already been led off in cuffs. And then the Maryland Governor’s Chief of Staff is also implicated. Then of course is the tie-in with the Ohio scandals. And of course the DeLay connection and the Subpoenas to Rep. Ney must be troubling to the leadership of the Ruling Party, as well.

Yes, to my mind the Abramoff scandal is the one that keeps on giving and connecting all the dots.

Then of course is that pesky forgery from Niger and the connection to Douglas, dumbest f**k ever, Fieth, DOD and the VP’s Office. Recent Italian revelations have to be giving some of these folks sleepless nights. One can only hope.

Yes, you are right this has been a most astounding year. Who would have thunk it?

Well, actually, many of us knew it. It is just that the unraveling has occurred so quickly. That is what is astounding.