Thursday, June 30, 2005

 

Let 'Em Rot

The Republican leadership has finally disclosed a more than $1 billion shortfall in budget support for returning veterans, despite having known about it since April. Scrambling as usual to assign blame somewhere else, they're calling it an accounting error, or something. The fact is, the Republican leadership rubber-stamps every request for money (repeat after Carl Sagan: "billions and billions") for waging war, but can't pinch off the needed dough to take care of maimed veterans once they're back home.

They're also acting like this enormous shortfall in veterans' benefits comes as a shock. Don't be fooled. They have known that the situation existed for months. They were warned repeatedly by Democrats. And not only by Democrats. One person whose business it was to sound the alarm was Congressman Christopher Smith of New Jersey--Republican Rep. Smith, that would be--who was Chairman of the Veterans Affairs Committee. The response of House leadership? Smith was punished for breaking ranks by having his chairmanship taken away.

Hey, get with the program, Smith, or pay the price. Never mind the facts.

Again: don't be surprised. This is all totally consistent with the entire focus of this Administration and its lapdog Congress, as they have demonstrated again and again and again. They will lavish the corporate military industrial establishment with endless public funds, but they just don't care about average Americans...even young Americans who have given their health and the soundness of their bodies for the rest of their lives at the nation's call.

To say this is shameful is beside the point. They don't care about that, either.



The Quotidian Meander

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

 

"Stay the Course"

Bush: Stay the course!

Public: WHAT'S THE COURSE?!?




The Quotidian Meander
 

Saying It Don't Make It So

The late Carl Sagan, astronomer, popularizer of science, author, and stalwart of the U.S. space program, argued in his book The Demon-Haunted World that all U.S. high school students should be required to take a course in skeptical thinking. It is evidently a quality that is sorely lacking in the American public.

George Bush himself has admitted that there is no connection between 9/11 and the war in Iraq. Bush himself said some time ago that Osama bin Laden is irrelevant and that he doesn't care about him. And yet, last night, in his speech to 750 U.S. soldiers who'd been instructed to keep quiet, Bush tried again and again--five times, to be exact--to link his Iraq adventure to 9/11 and the hunt for bin Laden. It's the same strategy that got us into this mess in the first place--imply a connection again and again, and hope enough people just don't bother to look into the matter closely enough to discover that it just isn't true.



The Quotidian Meander

Monday, June 27, 2005

 

Can't Nuke the Liberals

While it's true that radical Republicans would like to do away with all political liberals, unfortunately you can't use nuclear weapons to do so. The reason is that the weapons are too broad-brush. They tend to kill everything in and around the locations on which they are dropped. Liberals, of course, are cunningly interspersed in our communities amidst regular conservatives and Christians who have already been born again once and don't want to have to be born yet another time after being nuked.

The reason I bring this up is that the United States currently has 10,000+ nuclear warheads, along with a shortage of enemies to use them against. The old Soviet Union is no more, and Red China is now Wal-Mart's largest trading partner (or is that the other way around?). It's true we could nuke Iran or North Korea, but there really isn't enough in both of those countries put together to require anything like 10,000 nuclear weapons. (Defeating Japan only required two. Small ones, by today's standards.) Should our last European enemy, Germany, rise up against us again, we could completely obliterate every city above the hamlet level and still have some left over.

And the reason I bring this up is that last year, the Bush administration asked Congress for money to fund more nuclear weapons. That's right, more. Here's how the Senate voted then:

A few Senators: Oh, okay, George, anything you want.
Most Senators: Are you nuts, George?

In other words, the funding initiative was turned down.

So why bring this up?

Because George and his crew just asked again. That's right, the Bush administration is AGAIN asking Congress to fund new (as in more, as in additional) nuclear weapons. Even some of the very worst hawks in Washington can't see why.

Perhaps they think they can nuke 'em some liberals. I tell you, it can't be done.



The Quotidian Meander

Friday, June 24, 2005

 

Our Great Leaders

How to do a wonderful job as President, and earn the trust and devotion of decent people nationwide:


Clearly, to continue our fantastic progress, we must find someone with the character, values, patriotism, and high moral fiber of the late Senator Joe McCarthy to be our next President.



The Quotidian Meander

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