Friday Cat Blogging
Well, if all those other blogs can do it, I should hop on the bandwagon. Here's the selection for the end of 2004 - Dec 31.
When told that the people were hungry, Marie Antoinette is said to have remarked "Let them eat cake!" When asked about concerns over the American trade deficit, George Bush remarked "Let them buy American products!"
This, of course, comes from a president who has already suggested that the best way for us to survive flu season is to avoid getting sick. Four more years? We can hardly wait.
The President-elect, George W. Bush, has pledged to reach out to Kerry supporters, saying "So today I want to speak to every person who voted for my opponent. To make this nation stronger and better, I will need your support, and I will work to earn it.”
What are the odds of this happening? Let's look at the record. Back in 2002, after the Republicans gained a clear majority in the Senate and strengthened their majority in the House, Vice President Dick Cheney was talking to Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill. The two had this exchange:
"O'Neill said he tried to warn Vice President Dick Cheney that growing budget deficits-expected to top $500 billion this fiscal year alone-posed a threat to the economy. Cheney cut him off. "You know, Paul, Reagan proved deficits don't matter," he said, according to excerpts. Cheney continued: "We won the midterms (congressional elections). This is our due."
My advice: don't hold your breath waiting for Bush to toss you any crumbs. This isn't a charitable guy, and it's certainly not a charitable administration for anyone outside the base.
I was traveling around the blogosphere yesterday, looking for reactions to the ongoing election, when I came across a post by someone named Maximos on RedState.org. The early exit polls looked good for Kerry and bad for Bush. Confronted with the possibility of a Bush loss, this blogger wrote "But while I certainly won't regard Kerry as my president (no commonality of beliefs whatsoever, hence, no basis for respect), we'd all do well to accustom ourselves to the dissonant clash of the phrase, "President Kerry". He then added "My harp is turned to mourning, and my organ shall speak with the voice of them that weep. Spare me, O Lord, for my days are truly as nothing."
Interestingly enough, the exit polls turned out to be premature. Kerry lost, Bush won, in an election that once again demonstrated the deep divisions in America. While not nearly as close as the election of 2000, Bush was still opposed by nearly half of the voting electorate -- 48%. Furthermore, this is a President who has shown little interest in opposing viewpoints. When confronted with someone who politely presented his disagreement with the President, Mr. Bush replied "Well, who cares what you think."
The irony is that folks like Maximos will expect -- no, demand -- that the country unite behind Bush. And that unity will take place not on common terms, but strictly on the terms Mr. Bush dictates. Anyone who opposes Mr. Bush will be branded a traitor by the likes of Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh. In Mr. Bush's democracy, dissent is not tolerated; opposing viewpoints may not be presented. During the runup to the election, you were required to present proof of your allegiance to Mr. Bush if you wanted to attend a campaign rally. During his second term, you may be required to present more.
Mr. Bush had no mandate during his first term, no plurality of the popular vote, yet he governed as if he did. Might we expect any less from his second term? And what would happen if some poor soul were to echo the words of Maxmos and declare, of Bush, that he's "not my President." What then?
In a stunning admission, administration officials declared the American public to be the enemy. Regarding the disclosure of the theft of more than 754,000 pounds of high explosives (some of the most powerful explosives known), a "senior administration official" said that the news was not made public sooner because standard intelligence practive is "not to let the enemy know such information."
This begs the question: Who's the enemy? Surely, the people who stole the explosives -- the iraqi insurgents -- knew about the theft, as did the provisional Iraqi government, the American administration, the UN officials who repeatedly warned the Bush administration to secure the storage site, and probably the average Iraqi on the street.
In fact, the only large group of people to be kept in the dark about the missing explosives was the American public.
Comments, Mr. Bush?
CNN.com - IAEA: Tons of Iraq explosives missing - Oct 25, 2004: "IAEA: Tons of Iraq explosives missing"
Hesiod puts it all into proper perspective:
One surprising development arising from the recent Presidential Debates has been the near-universal decision of American programmers to forsake the use of global variables. This follows a statement by John Kerry that any decision to engage in preemptive war must pass a global test "where your countrymen, your people understand fully why you're doing what you're doing and you can prove to the world that you did it for legitimate reasons."
Despite the apparent soundness of this argument, President Bush denounced the very idea of a global test, calling it a "dangerous outsourcing of our security." Because global variables are so ubiquitous in the coding world, the very notion that their use could lead to a weakening of American security struck a note of terror for many programmers. Others, of course -- most notably programmers working in India, China, and Russia, thanks to oursourced work -- were ambivalent.
Norman Sundergood, a free-lance programmer working from his home in Sioux City, Iowa, swore off global variables for good, saying "I guess I just won't use them any more. I mean, I used to think that 'global' meant 'not restricted in outlook or applicability,' like it could be used anywhere in my program. But, like, he's the President, man! Dude! So, I mean, like whoa! No way I can run the risk of the French hijaaking my code. The Japanese, maybe, but the French? I mean, have you ever smelled brie cheese?" French programmers and cheesemakers were unavailable for comment.
White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan did not say whether there were any plans to purchase a dictionary for the President, nor did he say whether the President had been simply making up definitions or had been consulting with third-graders.
The Bush Administration, faced with unrelenting bad news from Iraq, applied all of its brain power, know-how, cunning, resolve, and strategery, and came up with the ultimate solution: It banned the release of the bad news! Read the story here: Concord Monitor Online and remember: What you don't know can't hurt you!
Guess who's opposed to the war in Iraq? Dick Cheney! Joel Connelly, of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, dug up a speech that Cheney gave in 1992. (Cheney was the Secretary of Defense during the first Gulf War, and was integral to the decision to end the war without going to Baghdad to get Saddam Hussein.) Read the article for yourself:
"...the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."
Here we see a splendid example of the care with which Fine Upstanding Republicans treat those with whom they disagree. Note how the gentleman carefully anchors one hand on the young woman's back, for maximum leverage, while sharply pulling her hair with his other hand.
Here's the statement (thanks to http://www.democrats.org) wherein Scott McClellan suggests that we can best avenge September 11 by going out and killing lots of people who had nothing to do with it:
So... What kind of person kicks a person -- especially a young woman -- while she's being held on the ground by three burly security people?
A Brave Young Republican Lad, that's who.
Here's a link to WABC-TV's video of this fine human being demonstrating good ol' Republican Family Values.