Happy Aniversary, 2006 Asshole of the Year!

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Mission Accomplished, indeed. Four years later, no victory in sight, no plan for an end, no willingness to listen to the country he claims to love.

This and yesterday’s veto only fuel my belief that John Wilkes Booth was 150 years ahead of his time.

Dear Glen Beck,

You’re a prick. I will tell you why.

The other day, Tuesday April 24, I had a few minutes at home before going to my Astronomy final. While Angus was in the backyard doing what dogs do in the backyard, I flipped on the TV, which was still set to CNN, as I had been watching the news in the morning. I immediately heard you screaming like a lunatic. Really, you sounded like Howard Dean, and I immediately wondered what you had had to say about Dean on that day a few years ago.

I forgot about that as I lstened to what you were screaming about. You were screaming about the war funding bill. You were a bit incensed that the Democrats would send a bill to the White House that they know the President would veto. You seemed to feel that they should only be sending him a bill that he would be willing to sign.

It made me wonder how someone gets a job like yours without understanding how our government works. Or is supposed to work, anyway. Well, since I haven’t forgotten high school in a haze of pot smoke, I’ll enlighten you.

You see, we don’t have a king. We have a president. That means that while he does have veto power, he does not have the power to actually dictate the actions of Congress. It also means that he needs to care what the people, and our elected representatives in Congress, want. It isn’t all about us just shutting our mouths and letting him decide ecverything for as long as he’s in office.

You must be confusing us with Cuba. They have a system like that there.

While you may not be up on this particular fact, most of us realise that this Congress is doing exactly what we sent them to Washington to do. Public opinion has turned dramatically against this wasteful, unproductive kill-fest. Now, you conservatives were more than happy, back in 2003 and 2004, to point out every five minutes that the majority of Americans supported the war, and that it was only a “radical fringe” that opposed it. Well, now, the majority wants it ended, so you, being an intellectually honest man, should respect that, right?

Evidently not. The next thing I heard was you calling the Democrats and all their supporters “liberal hippie communists.”

How trite. Trite, trite, trite. Don’t you know that communists aren’t the enemy anymore? In China, as a matter of fact, communists are “Most Favored Trading Partners” despite having an atrocious human rights record. Of course, such abstracts as “human rights” only matter when someone like Sadaam violates them. The fact is, communists are out – Islamic Fundamentalists and Democrats are the boogeymen under the bed that Republicans now use to frighten their children. At least you got it half right.

Buit why indulge in this type of name-calling at all? Because “everyone does it?” Well, if everyone lit a joint while jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge, would you do that, too? The fact is it’s childish, it’s unproductive, and it’s needlessly divisive, and you KNOW it. It is, in fact, why you do it. You want the choir you’re preaching to avoiding even LISTENING to the American Majority, so you’re doing your best to demonise them. You are demonising and insulting your fellow Americans by calling them communists. We should be united enough to be able to discuss our issues and compromise, but you would rather add to the chasm that is separating our country today. Just what kind of American does that make you?

A very, very bad one, I would say. The worst kind. The kind that is willing to do something he knows is wrong for his country just to make a buck.

About this time, I heard you ask America the very same question I was thinking about asking you. “How do you sleep?”

Your idea, and I use that term loosely, was that we had “promised to learn the lesson of Vietnam, which was to let the Generals fight the war, instead of the politicians”, and we aren’t doing that.

Boy, where to start?

First, Generals don’t fight wars in America. Poor and middle class kids do.

Secondly, politicians have always been in charge of the war. Remember, this war was started by a couple of politicians who were kept well away from Vietnam by the silver spoons in their mouths. Every time a General has said anything to the press about things in Iraq not working out as they were supposed to, that General is then replaced by a Bushco lapdog who’ll tell the right lies.

Furthermore, there is, once again, no promise of autonomy for the president. All presidents from Washington on down have been expected to work within a system of checks and balances. It is, in fact, the American way. I know, you’d like blind obedience to authority to be the American way, but once again you’re confusing us with someone else. This country is the one ostensibly of, by, and for THE PEOPLE. We aren’t a detriment to the actions of government. We are the source of its’ power.

Besides, was that the lesson of Vietnam? Some say that the lesson of Vietnam was to support the army, and never question the cause. Of course, that’s palpable, un-American bullshit as well.

Perhaps the lesson of Vietnam is that no one appointed us to be the world’s police force. Perhaps the lesson of Vietnam was to be more careful about letting our “leaders” use boogeymen to scare us into wars that we don’t necessarily need to wage. Perhaps the lesson of Vietnam was that many countries don’t want to be occupied by us any more than they want to be occupied by anyone else, and don’t like their children being killed by anybody. Or perhaps the lesson of Vietnam was to actually take some fucking time to learn about the means, tactics, culture, and motivations of the enemy so our soldiers don’t end up dying with their dicks in their hands while the enemy runs rings around them. Perhaps it also had something to do with outfitting our soldiers properly from the start. Or even going after the proper enemy, instead of creating one more convenient.

But here’s the best part.

“Iraqi children aren’t wetting themselves because American soldiers are there, they’re wetting themselves because there are not enough American soldiers there to protect them!”

Second part first. You don’t think there are enough US soldiers there? And you’re yelling at the Democrats? Did Democrats set troop levels? Or was it Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and now Gates? You know, I think it was the latter set. The same people you say are doing so fucking well that we should all leave them be.

Furthermore, they could be wetting themselves because their bathrooms got blown, ironically enough, all to shit. Or perhaps they’re wetting themselves because they know what you are not at all willing to admit. That while Saddam was certainly no Good King Wenceslaus, they were safer with him than with the country we’ve created for them.

So, in closing, I have to say that you are making your living by purposely misleading, insulting, and dividing your own people. Your job is to do harm to a country you should know more about, and claim to love but don’t.

That’s why you’re a prick. I just thought I’d do you a favor and let you know.

You have a nice day, now.

Yours truly,

Joe the Troll

Monday Peeve: Several Things I’m Sick of Hearing.

1) Democrats are threatening to cut funding for our troops! They WANT America to lose this war!

Well, I haven’t read the bill myself- I guess I’d probably be with the majority of our Congress in that. From what I’ve been hearing, though, there is funding provided for in this bill. It simply comes with some strings attached, strings that Congress is within its’ rights to attach. The blank check for Bush is gone, and if he vetos the bill, then HE is cutting funding, not the Dems.

2) The people elected Bush to run the war as he sees fit.

Ah, yes, that 51% “mandate.” They also, and more recently, elected this Congres to oversee that effort and bring it to an end. Didn’t we just spend two years listening to how the liberals don’t respect the voice of the majority? I guess that’s another thing the liberals and conservatives actually have in common.

The cold, hard fact is this: The people don’t give a rat’s ass about Bush’s legacy or his ego. They want to be able to see that the national interest is being served, and right now, that is not what they see.

3) There is just ONE Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces!

And oversight of that one CiC is part of a governmental system put in place over 200 years ago. Oversight is one of the most crucial differences between an elected President and a king. It’s even more crucial when the majority of the nation doesn’t believe that the CiC is competent to do the job.

4) This is just partisan politics on the part of the Democrats.

I agree absolutely, except for the last word. Republicans complaining about partisanship is like the KKK complaining about bigotry. We didn’t see much bipartisanship between 2001 and this last election, did we? In fact, we saw a lot of sneering because of that 51% “mandate.”

5) Public opinion has swung to the left.

No, it’s just swung away from the current administration. If the Democrats don’t get something worthwhile done, they’ll lose the support they’ve gotten so fast their eyes will bug out.

6) This bill is filled with pork!

As opposed to those no-bid contracts for haliburton? Tell you what, Republicans – You find that missing 7 BILLION, then start whining about “pork.” It wasn’t the war alone that brought us to record deficits. It was the fact that a Republican -controlled Congress rubber-stamped anything that Bush wanted, filled every bill with pet projects, and got a rubber-stamp back. Nothing was vetoed for the first 5 years of this administration! Our memories aren’t quite as pathetic as some pundits would like, eh?

What line of crap are YOU sick of hearing?

Right, this is important.

It’s funny how the shoe is on the other foot now. The Republicans and their media lapdogs seem to have trouble with the idea that they’ve lost their “mandate.” Now that the will of the people is against them, they’re just chomping and frothing.

All I’ve heard about this morning is the fact that Nancy Pelosi, visiting an Arab country, has worn a headscarf. Oh. My. God. She is embarrassing all western womanhood! She is taking a submissive role!  “What message does this send?”, asks phone sex enthusiast Bill O’Reilly.

Well, Bill, what “message” does this photo of Laura Bush send?

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Or this one?

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Or this photo of the President?

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It’s called “understanding and respecting other cultures.” But a bigot like O’Reilly would not understand that. Just remember, these criticisms come from the same people who constantly assured us that this was a war on terrorism, NOT a war on Arabs or on Islam.

Gee, maybe if the people in charge knew who this was a war against, we wouldn’t be in such a clusterfuck now.

Update: Looky what I found here.

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Well, isn’t SHE just the treasonous little bitch?

That funny old middle.

It amuses me how people choose to react sometimes. For instance, my Eternal Nemesis and another fellow who hangs around these parts both tend to react to me as if I’m a card-carrying Democrat, willing to support the “liberal” agenda without stopping to think about it. On the other hand, you may have seen someone that I disagreed with on Iraq recently telling me to stop watching Fox news, because if I disagree with him, I must be one of those blood-thirsty neo-cons.

Well, that makes me proud. It means I’ve avoided being part of the “packs.” I figure that if I piss off people from the far right and the far left as well, I must be doing something right.

Thinking about the issues, perhaps?

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I was a little bit on the fence about this post because it involves the opinions of other people. If I name them, it seems a bit like I’m calling them out from behind their backs, and trying to start a kerfuffle. I’m not. It’s just that their views of me, which do not match each other’s views of me or my own, are good examples of something that has happened over and over. I remember another preson in meatspace who decided I was a liberal Democrat simply because I didn’t agree that Cindy Sheehan was insane.

On the other hand, if I don’t give names, then it comes off as if I’m trying to criticise these people obliquely, so that I don’t have to face them at all. Actually, I’ve already faced them all.

I chose to go the second route because it is the view, not the people, that I’m addressing here, and I don’t want anyone taking anything personally. It’s not about you….. it’s just about some of the dumb assumptions that people make.

Support THIS.

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“….and on the eve of this great victory, I want to say that there is nothing in this world that is too good for our brave troops………….well………….I mean……………………………….except armor………….an’ the proper tools. And health care, I mean……. if they………they want that, they should get a job that offers……… I mean I’m not ol’ Fidel…………I’m no Fidel Castro, y’know, handing out the free “healthcare” to everybody, I………….I………..I don’t think you’d want that…………………………………………”

 

Support Our Troops.

God knows the government won’t.

There are no accidents around here *

I have a friend from my “original” college days that I still hear from via e-mail occasionally. He used to send me a lot of thos “political humor e-mails” that make the rounds, but as his politics are what I would call “Rush O’Reilly Conservatism”, I asked him to give me a pass on those. I was clear that it was only the political stuff I wanted a pass on, because I didn’t appreciate that particular vein. I still get stuff from him several times a year, as opposed to the original several times a week.

Before the Super Bowl this year, I got an e-mail from him that was making the rounds. It is reproduced, in part, below.

In honor of the Chicago Bears going to Super Bowl 41. Here are 41 things
that have changed from the last time the Chicago Bears played in the Super
Bowl (which was Super Bowl 20 in 1986):

1. Brian Urlacher was in 2nd grade. Rex Grossman was in kindergarten.

2. Peyton Manning was 10 years old. Eli Manning was 5 years old.  Their dad,
Archie, had just retired from the NFL two years earlier.

3. Lovie Smith was in his first college coaching job at University of Tulsa.

4. Ronald Reagan was the President, and Harold Washington was the Mayor.
James R. Thompson was the Governor running for re-election and his office
was in the new State of Illinois Center, which is now called the James R.
Thompson Center.

5. George W. Bush was 39 years old and still drinking. His father would run
for President two years later.

6. Rod Blagojevich was just out of law school and was a low-level prosecutor
working for the Cook County State’s Attorney, Richard M. Daley.

7. Barack Obama had just moved to Illinois, and Osama bin Laden was fighting
the Soviets in Afghanistan.

(sound of needle skidding across grooves)

What’s that? Exactly what does Barack Obama moving to Illinois have to do with Osama? What does Afghanistan have to do with Barack?

I wrote to my friend. I asked if he had noticed that, and what he thought of it. He hasn’t answered. He’s probably embarrassed that he sent it to me. He was thinking of me only as a Bears fan at that moment, I’m sure.

I dug it out of my e-mail archives after reading Paula’s post entitled “Stupid Like a Fox”. It talks about the President of Fox (not to be confused with fellow douche President Vincente Fox) making a joke that connected Osama and Obama, and the fallout of that. Of course, Fox is playing the event down considerably. I’m not surprised, because I don’t for one second believe that it was an accident.

This has been happening since the very second it became apparent that Barack Obama could run for President. That first week there were several instances of the Osama/Obama “mistake”, all followed by the requisite blushing “oops”.  It STILL happens, evidently, and isn’t always coming from the news agencies. It is not just an occasional error, or a lapse in judgement. It is a strategy, and it has worked in the past.

Remember the way the supposedly liberal media repeatedly connected the words “Iraq” and “WMD”? It made the case for war, but it also crept into a lot of psyches that won’t let it go. I still talk to people who believe that Sadaam had those nukes, and hid them really really well. Despite a complete lack of evidence to support it, they believe. Remember how Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, every news personality, and every other politician and pundit that could get a little airtime said the words “Sadaam” and “9/11” as close together as they could? Remember that as we went into Iraq about 40% of the nation actually believed that Sadaam helped plan and execute the attack?

Let’s face it, the vast majority of Americans don’t bother with research into current events. They don’t take care to get multiple opinions. They half-listen to whatever is fed them at the moment. If they hear or see the words “Obama” and “Osama” near each other enough times, they will be connected in their minds. The public’s feelings about Osama will become connected to the picture of Obama, if enough people see their names connected enough times in enough different places. It’s Advertising 101. If you see the words “Coke” and “refreshing” next to each other enough times, you just might make that connection  when you’re standing in front of that cooler dripping with sweat.

Of course, it’s protected as free speech. Americans only balk at free speech when someone says something inconvenient of hurtful. We’re much more tolerant of speech that is patently untrue. As long as you leave the name-calling at home, feel free to lie as much as you want.

It’s tempting to take comfort in the feeling that American politics can’t sink much further into the mud. That the tactics cannot possibly become more childish and divisive. Very tempting.

But it just rings untrue.

* thanks to peter gabriel