Tag Archives: George Bush

Poseur, pretender: the patrician “cowboy”

Poseur: n.  a person who pretends to be what he or she is not : an affected or insincere person. From the French, poser.

Pretender: n. one who lays claim to something ; specifically, a claimant to a throne who has no just title; one who makes a false or hypocritical show.

Patrician: n. a person of high birth, an aristocrat;a person of breeding and cultivation

Did you really think that the Current Occupant was a cowboy? Did you ever wonder how a man who was raised in Connecticut (tony New England, for my international readers) – son of a President, grandson of a Senator from Connecticut, graduate of Yale (in Connecticut) and Harvard Business School (New England), rich boy who summered on the Maine Coast (New England) who is afraid of horses – could be a Texas cowboy?

I really don’t even like to mention this person, but it has to be said that he bought his Texas ranch in 1999 when he decided to run for president, and is now getting rid of it since it was only a political prop. I bet he’s throwing in the drawl as well.

He’ll be moving to a tony neighborhood in Dallas.

Cent Ugyur has a whole post about this over at DailyKos – and about the shameful way the press let him get away with this charade.

The Pillage and Plunder President

Pillage: v. to loot, take booty

Plunder: v. to take wrongfully or by force

From a powerful post by DailyKos blogger ToqueDeville:

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I always like to say our health care system is not broken, it’s working perfectly. Just not for us. And it is true. The American health care system is doing exactly what it was designed to do – make a fortune for a few people.

You can apply this same principle to every major part of the American experience – our media is working flawlessly at keeping the vast majority of Americans misinformed. And even our government is working flawlessly at preserving its own power and protecting the interests of those it serves. It is from within this framework that we must assess George Bush’s presidency.

I have repeatedly heard people refer to Bush as a failed president. Indeed, that is probably how he will go down in history. But to be accurate, we must separate our failure, and that of our country’s, from those of the Bush administration, those who enabled him, and those whose interest he serves.

For it is from their perspective, we must admit, George Bush’s presidency was a raging success. With the help of a complicit and feckless Democratic congress, and a compliant media, George Bush got almost everything he wanted.

Here’s a very brief and incomplete list of Bushco’s successes:

In eight years, almost completely unimpeded by Democrats, and in many cases, he couldn’t have done it without them, Bush dramatically changed this country to the benefit of the parasite class. From gutting environmental policy, to ridiculous tax cuts, to numerous bills that only benefited the monied interests, Bush helped corporate America make more profit than in human history. And I’m not even including the oil, gas, and coal industry. From bankruptcy reform, the energy bill, to the the medicare bill, Bush pushed through major legislation that eliminated oversight, hurt consumers, and weakened our democracy. Then, throw in two Supremes who love corporate power and God, and all I can say is, good job George.

Probably his greatest success, however, was letting 911 happen. I don’t know how they did it, but, despite a plethora of warnings, they actually managed to let 4 planes get hijacked at once, and fly unimpeded into three major sites including the World Trade Towers. Excellent.

From that single act, Bush was able to conquer two countries, seize about 45 trillion dollars in Iraqi oil, depending on the ppb this week, and turn the country into a war mongering, war profiteering, national security police state. Oh Mr Bush, you will always be VIP at the Petroleum Club.

Yes, Bush’s base has made trillions of dollars from his actions and policies. Kudos. A very successful presidency indeed.

Who has failed on the other hand, is us.

He goes on to list OUR failures – progressives, our Democratic electeds, liberal bloggers… and of course the American people who slept on.  It’s pretty chilling. Read the whole thing.

Privilege: presidential prerequisite?

Privilege: n. A special advantage, immunity right or benefit granted to or enjoyed by an individual or class of people. Such a right or advantage held as a prerogative of status or rank, and exercised to the exclusion or detriment of others.

Prerequisite: n. Required as a special condition of something

For the past 8 years we’ve suffered under a president from a profoundly privileged family. George W. Bush is so out of touch with the experience of the ordinary citizen I often wonder if it’s a pathological problem with him.

John McCain is privileged by marriage. Very privileged. So privileged that he has more homes than he can count! “I’ll have my staff get back to you on that,” he said, when asked how many he owned.  Could be he’s too embarrassed to answer, could be it’s soooo many he can’t keep track, or it could be his memory is worse than we already feared.

I’ll help him out here: he owns seven homes – for a total value of $13 million.

Obama hit him on it with a great new video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpmFd25tRqo.

Public Speaking – a Progressive’s parable

Public speaking: the art or process of making speeches before an audience.

Progressive: one that is interested in new ideas, findings, or opportunities, one believing in moderate political change and improvement in the common good thru governmental action

Parable: a simple story illustrating a moral or religious lesson.

Toastmasters: a non-profit educational organization that has been teaching public speaking and leadership skills since 1924, with 11,500 clubs in 92 countries. Toast is not involved. Nor is toasting, though I could get into that!

Once upon a time there were a few people in my community who were so upset about the election, and re-election (inconceivable!) of the Current Occupant of the Oval Office that we decided something had to be done. We believed that our own people had had their asses handed to them on a platter because the Republicans had figured out how to talk to voters much more effectively than we did.

(We strongly suspected it was all a pack of lies concocted by Orwellian geniuses like Karl Rove and Frank Luntz, but still, the voters fell for it.).

We had read a book by linguist George Lakoff, Don’t Think of an Elephant, which for the first time explained what had happened, and what progressives like us had to do to get back in the game (and it did NOT involve lying or Orwellian machinations).

We got together about 50 like-minded souls and explored these new ideas in a series of workshops. But we still didn’t feel confident at speaking out.

So 25 of us created a new Toastmasters club where we could practice public speaking about such touchy subjects as politics and moral values (from a progressive perspective) on a weekly basis.

Our club just celebrated its 3rd anniversary, and we’ve learned how to speak effectively about difficult topics. We’ve graduated many competent communicators, gotten members elected to public office, made deep friendships. Now we’re floundering a bit – a victim of our success, even.

Suddenly the worm has turned. Republicans are on the run everywhere! It’s not just that progressives all across the country are better at communicating what we stand for; it’s that the conservative agenda imploded because it was ill-conceived to begin with and Americans are finally realizing it.

The fight to restore our democracy and save the planet has just begun, though. We need fresh foot soldiers to carry the message, share action plans, and make sure the good guys get elected.

If you’d like to be able to communicate your values more effectively in this crucial election season, consider joining a Toastmasters club near you.

Paul Hawken in Portland

Paul Hawken spoke here a couple of nights ago about the ideas in his book Blessed Unrest – which is about the hundreds of thousands of social and environmental justice groups he found around the world who are each in their own way trying to make the world a better place. His latest project/organization, Wiser Earth, catalogs them with aim of helping groups find each other.

He was joined at this event by the writers Barry Lopez and Rebecca Solnit.

Solnit made the point that perhaps we should thank George Bush for totally breaking the system – he’s wrecked the economy, the military, our reputation, our environmental controls, our constitution…. For starters.

“It’s time for the grownups to take over,” she said. People who care about each other and the world are waking up and starting to do positive things to fill the void. Unfortunately we (in the little groups) suffer from low self-esteem and don’t recognize our power and potential.

She has a broad definition of what constitutes an activist. A kindergarten teacher, a person who brings soup to a sick neighbor. The most interesting politics is not happening at the federal level, she says, but in the cities and towns and states who are taking issues into their own hands. The more functional a government (like Sweden) the less people are inclined to pay attention to the outside world.

Lopez said we’re in deep water (I’d have called it deep shit), living in a world of bandaids, a world where we’ve sacrificed community for avaricious gain. How can we rebuild community when we live in 4000 sq ft homes with fitness and entertainment centers built in? How can you create relationships if you never leave home?

Hawken said the planet is a giant organism with a life of its own, like our bodies. Just because there’s no big boss in charge of these groups doesn’t mean they’re not doing good work. “Do we have to tell our lungs to breathe? Our blood to flow? Our lymphocytes to attack a bacteria?”

Final Points: Commerce is not a bad thing; trading is a human enterprise since the dawn of time. Corporate immunity is the issue. There’s no such thing as “alternative” energy. All energy comes from the sun.