Thursday, August 04, 2005

The News Inspires an Odd Ramble on Wilfred Brimley, The Global War on Extremism and Bacon

It has been a depressing week for me in the news. ( a pre-apology to all my republican friends)

First of all, 20 Marines from 1 company were killed fighting a "global struggle with extremism," or whatever the White House and Pentagon are now calling this ridiculous exercise in democracy building, while most of the supporters of the troops continue their love affair with oil, tax cuts and yellow ribbon magnets, all the while praising the virtue of the poor and uneducated souls fighting for our freedom. Of course, supporters can make sure they do not have to sacrifice anything more than the $2 it cost for the afore-mentioned yellow magnet.

-Shout out to my buddy Dave, the only well-educated, upper middle class Bush supporting war-monger I know that was willing to walk into a recruiters office and offer his services to kill and die for his country (they said no- too old) after 9/11-
Brimley/ Bolton
Secondly, the president does not "abuse" his power as some Liberals said. He just arrogantly snubs his nose at many within his own party, the Senate in general and the will of many Americans, by wussing out and waiting until the Senate was adjourned to bypass the "up or down" vote he said he wanted (because he was scared of what the secret documents about Bolton said) and appoint Wilford Brimley (the Wilford Brimley from The Firm, not the Brimley from the Quaker Oats commercials) to be Ambassador to the UN.

If you or I act like Brimley at work, we get fired. If you act like this guy in the Bush administration you get promoted. As James quoted last week, Bolton is to diplomacy what Jack the Ripper was to surgery.

Don't get me wrong, Bush can do whatever he wants with an appointee within the letter of the constitution (but not the spirit, which this deconstructs on the same level the Democratic filibuster did- where is the outrage from Fox on this?). But what Bush needs to understand (and most of us red-blooded patriotic Americans need to remember) is the just because you can do something, does not mean you should.

Just when Bush shows savvy and true deftness as a politician in his appointment of John Roberts (freakin' brilliant maneuver, as Hoffman says to Robin Williams in Hook, "Good Form, old man."), he reverts to his Texas Cowboy "I can do whatever I want, I'm the President" persona with a bone-headed move like this.
Energy Bill
And lastly, just before its "recess,"- what a great term for the playtime the preschoolers in congress get- Congress passes its energy bill, which does nothing to alleviate our dependence upon foreign oil (remember when war meant sacrifice), but instead, in the guise of free-market capitalism, it offers a form of socialistic welfare to the least needy among us, the tax dodging, off-shore account holding, environment destroying, money grubbing, consumer raping, racketeering oil companies, such as ExxonMobil, which made billions of dollars last year (like 30 billion- pure profit, from extortionist gas prices) and we gave them TAX BREAKS for sending its money offshore. Can any of my republican friends justify this behavior?
However, just as I began to think that all hope was lost, I received my latest issue of Oxford American (a Southern literary magazine that promotes the southern life of my dreams but not reality- you know the south of Flannery O'Connor and Walker Percy- more sweet tea, catfish, quaint beach towns, friendly shop owners, quirky democratic politicians, good writing and bluegrass with less NASCAR, golf courses, suburban hell, highrises, chain restaurants, Britney Spears, Rich Yankee Politicians passing themselves off as blue collar Southerners and SUVS) which featured Southern Food this month.

As I read odes to boiled peanuts, chicken-fried steak, okra and chicken 'n dumplins, I came across the greatest club in the world, and a truly wonderful reminder of why Christianity is superior to Islam and Judaism- yeah, strong words (besides the whole grace, cross, redemption, Jesus, discipleship, heaven-thing).

Behold the wonders of The Bacon of the Month Club. To quote its founder, "I have a dream that one day bacon will replace gold as the basis of our currency. BTV will be a television network, and Bacon Center will be a hit show. Bacon will replace sex in tabloids. We will become the United States of Bacon."

Ahhh, bacon, glorious bacon- sweet manna from heaven. My week is suddenly good again and order reigns supreme.


g13 said...

i am so glad that the OA is still publishing. can you bring a couple of back issues with you when you head this way?

pete said...

THAT LOOKS AMAZING! I am, without question, joining that group--I share your love for the sweet sweet pork products...

Dave S said...

About that energy bill...

Please be careful to distinguish between the giving of tax dollars (welfare and subsidies) and the cessation of taking them (tax breaks). The first requires that the government take money from those who are capable enough to earn more than they need. The second requires nothing and actually gives some freedom back to some group of people.

DJ Word said...

Thanks for the distinction. However, in reality the tax breaks to many of the corporations act in tandem with the subsidies they recieve to benefit them greatly when they have the financial resources to give back just a little.

It gives them too much freedom with no accountability.

From a taxpayer website

"Subsidies for oil and natural gas began in 1916 with the federal government creating its first tax breaks for oil and gas production. After almost 90 years of taxpayer-funded subsidies, the oil and gas industries are flourishing but taxpayers still continue to contribute billions annually to the energy sector.

Instead of requiring energy companies to stand on their own feet, the government has set up a perpetual subsidy system. Large energy companies act as if they cannot survive without taxpayer handouts, perpetuating an endless cycle of subsidies. The government should stop giving taxpayers' dollars to powerful energy companies."

This is, too me, corporate welfare and it does the same for the rich that welfare did for the poor, except one actually needed some help (maybe not from the gov't, but needed help).

Many on welfare in the former system were unable to live in a sustainable fashion. It is still the same. Unskilled workers and those working minimum wage jobs are very far below the poverty line and unable to make it. Since the gov't does not help, the churhc must step up, but we must never assume they could "get a job and everything would be okay."

I work directly with this population and hear stories which break my heart. Many are victims of the same system which hurts them and benefits the richest among us (some of which pay almost no taxes- while the poor pay an inordinate amount).

All I call for is equality for everyone from the government, not help for the rich through subsidies.

Alex F said...

And I was excited to think that you might blog about the REAL Wilford Brimley... maybe next time.