Kill, Baby Kill.

June 4, 2010

Oil soaked pelican struggles to lift a wing.

Drill, Baby Drill? Try Kill, Baby Kill.

As an oil-soaked pelican struggles to lift a wing,  I wonder when we’ll lift a finger to solve this problem.

This horrific occasion is only one of many disasters related to our lack of energy independence.  We need to be as interested in fixing this spill as we are in fixing the ongoing problem:  you know, the one that is permanently disfiguring our coastlines, destroying wildlife and dismantling a fragile regional economy.

Rumors have circulated that BP could have done more to mitigate the effects of this disaster, but that they sat on the sidelines,   too concerned that certain spill interventions would disrupt their future ability to drill at Deepwater Horizon.

And everybody’s pointing fingers at policy, at the president.  You’re pointing at everyone but the person you need to be pointing at.  Yourself.  And while you’re at it, point at me, too.   Until you and I are willing to make serious adjustments to the ways in which we buy and utilize natural resources, we’re the problem.

Fuck the politics.  Let’s just fix it.  And then let’s get busy fixing our dependence on a dangerously difficult-to-access substance.   Whether it’s from the hands of  opposing governments who fund terrorist organizations with our cash (who have even weaker environmental restrictions in their drilling processes than we do) or from the dangerously deep mile-down wells on our very own shores, we simply have a problem getting a hold of the stuff.  That should say enough.

There is a narrow-minded myth that we need a replacement (note: singular) for oil.

We never needed a replacement.

We need about a thousand replacements and mitigations.   That means conservation, wind energy, the death of the gas-powered vehicle, and so much more.

Having dinner recently with my spritely 87-year old grandmother who has fought for women’s rights all her life, I was cautioned that among the many dangers of a McCain/ Palin administration, the largest concern is, “He’s very old, he could die, and then she would be President!”

In the spirit of realism, here’s a brief list of the words McCain used to punch himself in the face tonight by illustrating how OLD he really is:

The Tiller – Anyone who has heard that reference more than 5 times before this debate (and isn’t currently on a sailboat) can soon expect their AARP Card and monthly mailer to arrive. We know, we know,  you’re an old navy man.  Aye, aye, old timer.

Jello – As we all know, 99% of the country’s Jello is served in retirement homes.  Old people love it- especially John McCain, who is mad at Barack Obama for attempting to “nail” perfectly good Jello to the walls.

Jello - Easy on the teeth- not so easy to nail to the wall, a favorite activity of the senile.

Jello - Easy on the teeth- not so easy to nail to the wall, a favorite activity of the senile.

Croneyism – aka the old crotchety dudes’ network, of which McCain is the Senate Majority Leader.

My Friend – Sorry Mr. McCain, surely you weren’t addressing Americans, but Mr. Keating of the Savings and Loan Scandal and subsequent bailout which you played a part. I must say you were a bit typecast in “exercising poor judgment.”  You do that a lot.

Telegraph – Hmmm… perhaps he meant “E-MAIL” but telegraph just rolls off the 72 year old tongue a little smoother.  If elected, he’ll be delivering vetoed tax cuts for the middle class via Pony Express.

McCain takes off for the White House - perhaps this is an amendment to a weak energy policy?

McCain takes off for the White House - perhaps this is an amendment to a weak energy policy?

According to the Center for Disease Control, the average life expectancy of a  white male born in 1936 in the U.S.A. is 58.

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/dvs/nvsr52_14t12.pdf

McCain is 14 years past- not his prime- but his actual life expectancy.  If his policies don’t already scare you enough, take a good look at his running mate.

Americans have recently become enamored of Palin’s small-town-mayor approach to the big-bad government.  They like her because “she seems nice” and “like me” and is “pretty.”  Suddenly, half of America has become the lonely kid at the lunch table who dreams of the homecoming queen setting down her tray near them.  Reminder to all those re-living teenage fantasies:  this contest should be about policy, not popularity.

Meanwhile, McCain loves to invoke that “Rough Rider,”  Teddy Roosevelt approach to government- I want to remind him and the American public that Teddy’s reputation for roughness and vitality might have to do with the fact he was the youngest person ever to become president.

A month from the election, McCain and Palin seem more like an old, miserable millionaire and his absentminded trophy wife.

To quote my favorite 87-year old Democrat again regarding a McCain/ Palin administration, “He’s old. She’s stupid.  They’re a dangerous combination.”  Is it just me, or does that seem like an un-steady hand at the tiller?

sarah palin's face carved into corn crop, Toledo, OH

"Sarah America"

Just when you thought this election season couldn’t get any more absurd!

POP QUIZ

Let’s just say for the moment you’re a farmer in Whitehouse, Ohio, and you’ve got some extra time on your hands.

Do you:

  • a.) Take up a new hobby
  • b.) Visit the folks
  • c.) Spend your days carving a far larger than life image of Sarah Palin into a field of corn, and title it:  “Sarah America”.

If you chose answer C,  Congratulations!!  You’ve won…

A plate of vanilla yogurt where I carved in John McCain’s image with my pinkie finger!  (I even captured the evil smirk on his face!)

Just when you think the majority of Americans are concerned about the real issues, you come across a gem like this that undeniably speaks to the vast group of people who actually don’t give a damn.  And you can’t help but be fascinated by it.

Are there people out there who worship this woman?  Are there people who are somehow unable to tell that she is a merely a well-polished pawn in a big game of chess which Americans lose every day in the form of bailouts, inadequate health care and unaffordable housing?

This photo brought to mind three words:

Bread and Circuses.

The Roman satirist Juvenal, who lived in the late 1st and early 2nd century AD used this phrase to characterize the imperial leadership’s way of placating the masses in his work Iuvenalis Saturae.

“…The public has long since cast off its cares; the people that once bestowed commands, consulships, legions and all else, now meddles no more and longs eagerly for just two things — bread and circuses.”

Essentially, this was a commentary on the role of the Roman Senate in keeping the people and their opinions at bay.  If their bellies were full, and there were games and sports around, they wouldn’t notice their freedoms being exorcised. Hence, Bread and Circuses!!  Or, as Obama accidentally (and more accurately for our times) called them, “Guns and Religion!!”

It is my sense that people who are excited about Palin being on the ticket have been downing a serious amount of Wonder bread.  I have taken steps to determine the mental faculties of folks who plan to vote for McCain with the following poll:

What percentage of people who plan to vote for the McCain campaign:

Watch 25+ hours of reality television per week?
85%
Can distinguish between there, their and they’re?
7%
Can identify Iraq on a (clearly labeled) map?
3.2%

Scary numbers*!  But why the hell would you bother to deal with issues facing your family if you could stuff your face full of bread and take a ride on the tilt-a-whirl?   Besides, you can always blame those damn Democrats when you hurl.

*Of course, I didn’t do a poll.  Those are just rough estimates.  Probably pretty close though.

Tomorrow:  Vetting John McCain’s voting record (with respect to Veterans).   We take a look at whether or not he actually “takes care” of the Vets, as he so proudly claims to do.

It seems Senator McCain has been busy counting chickens that hath not hatched.  See the screenshot below:

In this ad his campaign (accidentally) released, McCain smiles triumphantly amidst a swath of red, white, and blue, with the words “McCain Wins Debate” proudly in the foreground.  Obviously, the ad has since been pulled, and at least one person in the McCain camp is putting his resume on Craigslist.

Another ad which was spotted this morning on the online edition of the Wall Street Journal showed Rick Davis, McCain’s campaign manager asserting, “McCain won the debate- Hands down.”

Am I the only one who thinks it is strange to win a contest that has not yet taken place?  Perhaps he has a time machine?  Or maybe Palin has gotten God so far on his side, that he decided to put his money where his holy mouth was in the form of an ad… .  Whether this is Holy work or high technology, I’d like to be the first to congratulate him on a well deserved victory!

Of course, time machine or no, McCain has demonstrated his ability to manipulate time and space more than once this week.  He previously suspended his campaign, and then apparently suspended the suspension for an interview with Katie Couric.

I guess I don’t need to watch the debate after all.  It would be like starting a book when you already know the ending.  I guess we should thank the soothsayers in the McCain campaign for saving the 85 million Americans who planned to gather round the television tonight from four hours of political pandering.

Whatever the cause (perhaps he just saw The Secret and is summoning victory), the effect is clear.  His hairbrained campaign just flubbed over whether he would even attend the debate, and now he’s won it.

The problem with the McCain campaign’s ad scheme is akin to the problem on Wall Street.  An outdated rich, white dude looking at a basket full of eggs (subprime mortgages, elections, debates), but seeing cash and chicken caesar salad.   It’s the same problem we saw when that clueless, reckless conservative who is already in the White House stood beneath a Mission Accomplished banner in Iraq in 2003.

It all seems a little too familiar…

“It’s the longest Hail Mary pass in the history of either football or Marys.”   – Rep. Barney Frank

Two days to go, and McCain seems a little shaky in his boots.  Requesting to cancel the debate in order to resolve the financial crisis? It would be one thing if he were actively participating in all phases of the negotiations, but as stated by chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York:

“We haven’t heard hide nor hair of Sen. McCain in these negotiations. He has not been involved except for an occasional, unhelpful statement, sort of thrown from far away, and the last thing we need in these delicate negotiations is an injection of presidential politics.”

Why, then, when both parties urgently need to know where he stands on the issue of the bailout, is he- well, bailing out?  Obviously the McCain campaign focus groups are still trying to figure out what he should say, as opposed to having an actual opinion or platform.  Or, this is a total attempt to “psyche-out” Obama, whose rejection to the request was spot on:

“It’s my belief that this is exactly the time when the American people need to hear from the person who, in approximately 40 days, will be responsible for dealing with this mess. It’s going to be part of the president’s job to deal with more than one thing at once.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself.  But, I’ll try:

Senator McCain needs to learn to McMultitask, or forget his presidential bid entirely.

Hold onto your Bibles, Palinites- for ye may be shocked:   “God’s will” is not a foreign or domestic policy.

For two decades, Sarah Palin was a member of a church known as “Assemblies of God.”  Currently one of the fastest growing denominations in the U.S.,  the church espouses a belief in a literal and inerrant Bible, and its members are often seen being “Baptized in the Holy Spirit.”

This is no traditional Baptism, however.  This is a Baptism of words- well, sort of.  Glossolalia is the practice of “speaking in tongues” whereby one becomes “united” with the Holy Spirit.  The source of this generally accepted mental illness- I mean, habit is found in several verses from the (inerrant!) King James Bible:

“And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.”

But weren’t Pentecostals the snake handlers?  The folks who danced with serpents per the instructions of the Gospel According to Mark:

“And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”

As for that last bit about how “they shall recover,” well, almost.  The founder of the snake handling movement, George Went Hensley died of a snake bite in 1955.  But one bad apple didn’t spoil the whole bunch: Pentecostal followers are still imbibing poisonous liquids, handling snakes, and speaking in tongues all over the country.

Well, as for diplomacy, “God’s will” isn’t actually a policy.  It is the equivalent of walking into a restaurant, reviewing the menu and telling the server, “God will decide between the cobb salad and the grilled panini.”  And the likely result of the decision to abandon preferential judgment?   You’ll be hungry, because the kitchen will not get your order.

While we’re on the Palin-Pentecostal subject, the above cartoon has caused a stir in the evangelical community.  For your entertainment, there’s a link at the bottom of this post to the Christian Broadcasting Network’s official complaint on the Washington Post cartoon. He asks, “Why are people allowed to get away with making fun of the Christian faith?”

My answer: Ummm, is that a serious question?

If you weren’t busy calling sloppily written books “inerrant,” speaking jibberish, and handling deadly snakes, you might notice how collectively idiotic you all sound.  And in the meantime, in the spirit of taking the Bible literally,  I’ll consecrate your complaint with the Holy Spirit in the sacred form of Glossolalia:

Perflippity alibabababa bippity boppity BOO-HOO.

Translation:  If you can read this, please stay home on election day.

Further Reading:

The First Pentecostal Snake Charmer (May he rest…)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Went_Hensley

The Christians complain about being persecuted (by humor)

http://www.cbn.com/CBNnews/446540.aspx

As Francis Bacon observed, idols of the marketplace are, among other things, errors due to the misuse of language. 

After reading about the many ways in which Senator McCain is attempting to reinterpret his simple statement about being “fundamentally a deregulator,” I had to stop and consider why it was that the idea of redefining the word fundamental seemed so fresh?!   Likely because of his recent erroneous assertion that “fundamentals of our economy are still strong.”  Fundamentals of the economy have traditionally been unemployment, growth, and inflation, but are now, according to McCain, hard-working American citizens.  (I can see us editing the aged script of essential documents already:  We, the Fundamentals…”)

The last week has made it painfully apparent that all confusion regarding the McCain campaign is due to one of two things:

1)  McCain has no idea what he’s talking about in terms of the economy, which is the majority of Americans’ primary concern in the coming election, or

2)  McCain’s FUNDAMENTAL misunderstanding of the word FUNDAMENTAL.   And to remedy his missteps, he has twice taken to attempting to redefine a word which, prior to his statements, has never necessitated redefinition in the public sphere.

Communication between two human beings can be difficult on so many levels, which is why we tend to resort to “shared” meanings, which are then recorded in dictionaries, which may be accessed in person at libraries and such, or online.  I suggest McCain sell one of his apparently innumerable houses and invest the proceeds in a series of such reference books, and study the definitions and common usage of words before employing them to his (dis)advantage.

Come on, McCain!  Join the millions of Fundamentals who believe life is so much easier when words have, what’s the phrase I’m looking for– FUNDAMENTAL MEANING.