Tea and Cookies in Turkey

"You ever go in here?" the pilot said to his co-pilot.

"Yeah, it scared the shit out of me. It's waaaaay short and that downslope's wicked," the co-pilot answered. "High pucker factor for sure."

I had to agree. After hundreds of hours of flight time, I'd never been to a loose gravel runway with an upper end on the downslope of a Turkish mountain, the other end wetted by the Black Sea, and so short it was barely long enough to land our airplane. To say the flying was challenging was an understatement. To say it was frightening was too.

Was Food Really Necessary?

The Cold War was on and the Russians were not so far away on their own side of the Black Sea. The Turkish shore sported dozens of listening posts and radar sites and all those listeners and watchers needed food, mail, equipment, and all the other things a modern army needs to wage a tense, non-shooting war. I checked the tie-downs for a few tons of the stuff and wondered whether food really was all that essential.

I finished the checks and climbed up to the flight deck. It was bright and the sun reflected through our greenhouse windows, off the Black Sea. Straight ahead a huge mountain blocked our path. There was a tiny brown slash along the shoreline and I felt a familiar pucker feeling in my butt.

A High Pucker Factor

It really did invoke a high pucker factor.

We began our approach flying up the slope of the mountain and past the runway. The uphill flight produced a slight sense of vertigo as the ground rose to meet us and we climbed to keep it away. Our sense of distance felt odd too. Contrary to the normal physics of sight, the runway seemed smaller as we neared. About a mile past the runway, we made a long, climbing turn and aligned ourselves with the strip.

"OK, just as soon as we touch, we're going to stand on the brakes and go full reverse," the pilot said. "Crew, I want everyone strapped in. It's going to be rough as hell."

The ground that previously rose up to greet us now fell away more like a takeoff than a landing. To my stomach and inner ear, we had entered a climbing descent. That couldn't be right, could it? Was I feeling negative Gs or positive? Only the altimeter and accelerometer could tell for sure.

The pilot flared for his landing before we even reached the runway. His goal was to use every last inch of the loose gravel. Our nose seemed frighteningly high as the loose rocks rained against our belly like buckshot at close range.

"REVERSE! BRAKES!," the pilot yelled.

A Near Dip in the Black Sea

The reversing engines screamed. The airplane bucked and wobbled crazily as gravity threw us into our straps like a devil pushing us toward the lip of a yawning maw. Although the runway was short, it seemed like the noise and tumult went on forever. The Black Sea roared toward us, opening itself for a possibly fatal embrace. Through a side window, I saw a pickup flash by at breakneck speed.

"Shit, that water's coming up fast. Too fast," I thought.

Oddly, there was little sense of slowing. We seemed to go straight from a screaming tear down the runway to a full stop. When the pilot pulled the engines out of reverse, the airplane became shockingly quiet and an unnaturally still. The Black Sea lapped placidly a few feet away from our nose, certainly too close to see the line where land met sea.

"OK," the pilot said, "Let's get this puppy turned around. Chief, hop out here and walk me around. This is a tight fit."

A Very Good Day

I let the door down - only a few feet away from the supersonic propeller tips - and hopped out. Taking up a position on the left wing, I began using hand signals to direct the pilot through a turnaround. It was a tight fit, not unlike parallel parking a 175,000 pound car in a tiny Manhattan parking slot. We had to pull forward and then back up several times. I constantly jockeyed away from the screaming propellers so I wouldn't be blown into an unplanned Black Sea swim.

Once turned, I led the airplane back upslope - like a pooch on a long leash - looking for brush or obstacles the airplane might encounter. With a break to shoo a few lounging goats away, the walk was uneventful. A Navy Commander in civilian clothes met us at the end of the runway. As he and his men loaded their goodies into the pickup truck, an ancient Turkish man and his grandson served the crew sweet Turkish tea and delicate almond cookies. I thought, what a day. The amusement park ride of my life and fine dining - al fresco - on the shores of the Black Sea.

It was a very good day indeed.

The Poobah is a featured contributor at Bring It On!

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Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Friday, March 30, 2007

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A Bible Story

A recent Time magazine cover story raised some interesting questions about the role of the Bible in public education. Although the article wasn't nearly as skeptical as I would have liked, the premise was interesting - the Bible might be a valuable teaching tool offering valuable insight into why our society is the way it is and why understanding those issues is worthwhile for budding adults.

Although teaching the Bible has been adopted by several public school boards across the country, the story largely focuses on an evangelical Oklahoma religion teacher. Comments from the teacher and her students - including some non-Christians - indicate she is relatively neutral, presenting the Bible as a starting point for discussion and open to other points of view, even those she doesn't personally agree with. While I applaud the teacher for her intellectual honesty, using the Bible as an educational tool is still bothersome. Many committed atheists - including me - agree that fostering understanding between the religious and irreligious isn't a bad thing. But, there are many problems with no easy answers.

What About Everyone Else?

While teaching the Bible may indeed foster more discussion and better communications between Christians and non-Christians, it does so in a particularly limited way. The singular focus on Christianity tends to exclude other points of view - Judeo, Islamic, atheistic - no one is presenting their take on the world. If Christianity has much to offer, the same is true for other belief systems. The Bible is a rich work of literature and includes many common sense recommendations for daily living, but so do other religious and irreligious belief systems. The question becomes, what makes the Bible the chosen text?

Many Christians argue that American culture flowed directly from the Christian cultures in Europe. Many of our national trappings - from the Constitution to our money - contain explicit and implicit Christian references and some believe this is what makes the Bible "special". The country didn't start from a base of Jews, Muslims, or Buddhists, but from Christian sects - primarily protestant - that fled Europe to escape persecution. That much is true, but that argument doesn't address the rich native American religions already here, nor the diversification of religion since. We may still be a "Christian" nation, but that's a rapidly changing condition that suggests the Bible may not be the universal religious text needed for the job of fostering religious understanding.

Trust Is An Issue

Quite frankly, there is an issue of trust too. Over the past decade, evangelical Christians have become more vocal in evangelizing the public square. From bogus Wars on Christmas to hanging the Ten Commandments in every courthouse, they believe the country is literally going to hell in a handbasket and God has chosen them to save us all. In the process, they trample the religious views of those who don't believe in hell as well as those who picture a God that happens to be different than theirs. This work isn't done in the spirit of understanding, but as a different - although no less virulent - strain of religious persecution their forefathers fled centuries ago. However, denigrating religion as the universal province of the weak and stupid is every bit as wrong as imposing a personal religious belief system on others and that doesn't help.

The core issue - as is usually true - is not whether the Bible contains useful knowledge or fosters open discussion (it obviously does), it's about people believing their way is the only way and being too pigheaded to back down. If our society was as truly inclusive as we like to think, bringing a Bible into class for a rational, sociological discussion would be a no-brainer. So would a discussion on the merits of Islam. So would enlightening others on the benefits of atheism. But, we don't live in that society. We live in one where distrust, anger, and stubborn pride rules. In many ways, it's no more advanced than in the days Christians believed Jesus walked the earth. All religions - and atheists too - have much to learn and change. As things stand now, using the Bible as a teaching tool has some promise, but until these thorny problems are addressed, it's just promise, not reality. Regardless of what you believe, we're just not ready yet.

Unfortunately, that's part of what makes us human.

The Poobah is a featured contributor at Bring It On!

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Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Thursday, March 29, 2007

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The Ponytail

There are many mysteries in life. Large and small, they appear to us all the time, misty dawns of recognition that our experience is tilted a degree or two out of true. Some of us are lucky enough to unravel a few, but most of us travel to our grave with a heaping portion that we never figured out.

I often ponder the big ones. What's my purpose in life? Why are some people so cruel? What does it feel like to take your last breath? Who reads this blog, and more puzzling, why do they? However, the most intriguing mysteries are the small, inexplicable things. I like the ones beginning with a queer observation and leading to the luscious meat of a story - unknowable, yet pregnant with possibilities. The suddenness of these mysteries are delicious and the answers not nearly as important as the mental journeys that breath life into them.

The Weirdness Begins

One very early morning I stopped at an ATM. It was drizzling and the streets reflected tail lights and street lights with their asphalt sheen. The windshield wipers tapped a womblike heartbeat and I could just make out my breath in the cool, moist air. My mind was on other things.

I navigated the ATM's boops and beeps of technology and the robot inside spit some cash into my hand. I began to wonder about the money machine. What did it look like inside? How much cash did it hold? What did its ever-vigilant camera see each day?

I stuffed the cash into my wallet and returned to my car. Along the way, I looked down and saw something straight out of the Twilight Zone. A short, 12-foot walk gave my stock of mysteries a new one I still remember, with pleasure, to this day.

On the sidewalk, next to a deco-urban tree, lay a long, brunette pony tail with a red rubber band still attached. Next to the hair was a gleaming fresh pair of scissors alongside its torn packaging.

I don't know about you, but this seemed a rather odd occurrence. The discovery slipped my moorings to the mundane mysteries and made me wonder.

What's Up With That?

The stuff lay directly in the ATM camera's view. Did someone routinely view the tape and discover the explanation for the emergency barbering? Had it been a robber slicing off his hair as a quick identity change after a bank heist? Perhaps a girlfriend on her way home from the close-by bar, was infuriated with a boyfriend who'd always loved the pony tail - maybe a little too much? Maybe the answer was a Britneyesque breakdown just one step short of a fully shaved head.

My mind struggled to grasp the possible explanations. I thought about the find for several more days, playing out each plot line and thinking to myself that a ponytail laid out on the sidewalk would make a great start for a novel or short story, even if the story went no farther than the ponytail itself.

Taking It to the Grave

So, it remains one of those mysteries I'll take to my grave. I suppose it's possible the find had a plausible and reasonable explanation, though I could never think of one. But the oddest thing about the Day of the Ponytail is that I've never told it to anyone until now.

I didn't hide it, at least not in the way people hide UFO reports for fear of ridicule. I just decided to keep it to myself and pull it out occasionally to play with like an old, familiar toy. I've often thought about a short story centering on it, but I've never written one. It has remained just a personal mystery for nearly 12 years, a landmark on the road to my last breath. I find myself wondering if it will come to me in that split second before I depart this earth, but knowing that even if it does, it'll remain a mystery I will never have the pleasure of solving.

So, I bequeath this mystery to you. Use it wisely. Take it out in moments of boredom and think of all the possibilities.

Personally, I think it's a mystery worth knowing, but not ripe for solving.

The Poobah is a featured contributor at Bring It On!


Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Thursday, March 29, 2007

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Did Katie Bar the Civility?

Until she was anointed America's first solo female network news anchor (how's that for a string of qualifiers), Katie Couric was mostly known for her freakish 10,000 watt smile and hosting cooking sessions on the Today show. CBS executives changed all that when they chose her to replace the disgraced Dan Rather. In hindsight, that wasn't such a good move, not because a woman is incapable of filling Dan's wingtips, but because Couric is a bad fit for the job. The result? CBS currently dwells in the dank basement of TV news ratings - an appropriate punishment for the "crime".

Earlier this week, Katie interviewed John and Elizabeth Edwards about Liz's reconstituted cancer. By most accounts, America overwhelmingly backs the Edwardses' decision to keep running, so the interview forecast called for a light-weight interview designed to trade on the Edwardses' courageous decision. Instead, things went awry and instantly, sweet little Katie became known as a snarling tiger of an interviewer with the morals of Matt Drudge.

"Some People Say..."

Smilin' Kate made the mistake of questioning the Edwardses' judgment to continue their White House run, frequently beginning questions with, "some people say...". Detractors lit up like a Christmas tree (no offense to those who are differently religioned) and accused Katie of moral hypocrisy, especially since she hadn't quit her job during her late husband's terminal fight against cancer.

The detractors' central argument seemed to be that Katie's questions were out of bounds and needlessly invasive to the Edwardses' privacy and scruples. To them, "some people say..." was code for, "you contemptible publicity hounds...". To many talking heads, Couric's use of the vague "some people..." was a cop out that imposed her own moral criteria.

One could reasonably argue the questions were poorly phrased. One could also reasonably argue there may have been too many of them. One could even argue that using the vague "some people" attribution was not as proper as citing actual names. But, none of those shortcomings make the questions inappropriate.

Reporters Ask, You Decide

Reporters ask questions about events of interest. Sometimes the questions are not pretty or are invasive, but those in the public eye voluntarily put themselves in a different category than Joe Schmo - rightly or wrongly. When a reporter asks a question, it's a proxy for Joe Schmo, who doesn't have the opportunity to ask for himself. Clearly, there's interest in this case - as evidenced by the Edwardses' calling a press conference to announce it - and also clearly, "some people" are asking if it was the right decision, even if only privately.

"Most people" supported the Edwardses' decision. They saw it as courageous and didn't take kindly to questions they perceived as antagonistic. In fact, that's a bit of a double standard. In this case, most people applauded the Edwardses', but what about the questions the Big Dick routinely fields about his serious bouts with heart disease. That behavior is acceptable because Cheney has a generally reviled face, unlike the sympathetic one of Elizabeth Edwards. People don't mind joking about Dick's health because he's - the charitable word here - "unsympathetic" in general. The diseases both carry a death sentence eventually, both Edwardses and Cheney are integral players in public life, and both have to deal with the trauma on the public and private levels. Both also had an opportunity to reinforce their courage or shoot themselves in the foot with it. The Edwardses truthfully seem better at it just as Dick seems to suck at it.

Rubbed the Wrong Way

Katie's questions weren't out of bounds, they rubbed people the wrong way. The proof lies in the classy approach the Edwardses took when the dustup unfolded. They thanked Couric for the opportunity to get their story out, not only keep John's bid on track, but also to allow some of that sympathy to rub off on the millions of other Joe and Josephine Schmos who battle cancer anonymously. The Edwardses are courageous to battle towards the White House for dozens of perfectly valid reasons and a few questions from an unskilled interviewer won't change that. They embrace the hand life deals them - both the good and the bad - and cope with it in the way their public and private lives require. Katie didn't take one shred of that dignity away. She asked legitimate questions and the Edwardses answered them.

And, that is how it should be.

The Poobah is a featured contributor at Bring It On!

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Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Tuesday, March 27, 2007

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I Just Don't Get It

I'm honest. I'll cop to sometimes not being the sharpest tool in the shed. I'm sure some wing nut will chirp in here and back me up on that - and come to think of it, probably a moon bat or two as well. On a good day I have trouble finding my ass with a Klieg light and compass, but I'm still ahead of the chuckleheads who apparently never have a good day.

They constantly amaze me with their overwhelming blindness to their own words. They often defend themselves with the perfect counter-argument without a pinch of irony. They prattle on as if the physics of the real world is nothing more than a cruel joke they've decided to ignore - "sticks and stones may break my bones, but reality always evades me".

Some cases in point:

Gonzo's Big Adventure

Does anyone find it strange the Barrister-in-Chief doesn't want his minions testifying before Congress because he fears the precedent will deprive him of the best advice available? I mean come on! If the advice he's been getting for the past six years is the good advice, what the hell is the bad stuff like?

I'm also a little fuzzy on why it's a bad precedent for the Dubya-serfs to talk without a transcript, but it's OK to drop by for a little informal chit-chat that isn't written down. Does he really think that not writing down what they say is going to stop committee members from telling the media herd, "Gonzo said it was all Harriet's fault!"?

Oh, and Tony, Congress does have oversight. Oversight just like the executive has for the Justice department. You know, those guys you keep telling everyone to go talk to as if you didn't have control over them. Although strangely, you keep reminding everyone they serve at the pleasure of your boss.

Fighting Them Over There

Despite repeated bludgeonings with proof that there were no terrorists in Iraq (at least before we created some) Mr. Bush still says, "we need to fight them over there so we don't have to fight them over here."

Respectfully Mr. President, I'd say that tens of thousands of casualties coming back over here in gurneys and body bags constitutes having the war "over here".

And I don't understand the Vice-Idiot-Savant either. He may be the only man in the known universe more out of touch with reality than his boss. He doesn't seem to understand that cackling like the Penguin, denying the situation as it beats him about the head and neck, and pissing off every country from Britain to Botswana doesn't constitute sound foreign policy. He prefers to characterize anyone who disagrees with him as a traitorous vermin hell-bent on, "not supporting the troops".

Excuse me Dick, but other than drawing fire into Bagram during your recent jaunt to Afghanistan, what have you done to support the troops? I believe you best showed your support when you answered your first media question about what the bombing was like by replying, "Actually, breakfast was quite good."

You're doin' a heckuva job Dickie. So's Halliburton.

And All the Rest

I didn't understand why Bill Clinton was stupid enough to get a BJ in the Oval Office. I didn't understand how completely he and Hillary botched health care reform and gays in the military. I didn't understand how Carter could have been such a bump on a log, Johnson could have been such an utter failure in Vietnam, or how Kennedy could be so stupid as to launch the Bay of Pigs.

I also don't understand how a man who ran on a platform of "uniting, not dividing", a loathing of nation-building, and as compassionate conservative can keep a straight face with all those lies blinking in his rear view mirror. I don't understand how a man with soldiers and wounded vets shadowing every photo op can accuse others of politicizing the war. I don't understand how he can praise cabinet members and underlings as they turn entire countries into pockmarked crapholes. However, the biggest thing I don't understand is how he can stand at the podium for each scandal du jour or each incompetent accomplishment and say, "Trust me, I'm your President."

I guess I'm just a fool.

The Poobah is a featured contributor at Bring It On!

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Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Monday, March 26, 2007

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Randomness Homo Devil Machine Style

Piratical Plunderin' - "See what happens when swashbuckling pirates crash Beach Blanket Bingo." (Any interest there Cap'n?)

Just Call Him Yahoo-Fed - He's out on his own now and it's tough out there for a pimp. A dude gotta be makin' some cash any which way he can. Yo!

Eeeeew! - Now this is just gross and so is this.

Where's the Beef? ® - "That stung like a Banshee Bitchslap." Huh?

Hmmmm - "It goes down good."

How Embarrassing - To pee or not to pee, that is the urination.

And In Other Urination News... - I wonder what Madonna would think of this or this. (Tip o'The Omnipotent Birdcage to Peacechick)

Everyone Needs a Hobby - Folding paper for fun and profit (NSFW).

Mahalo Maui Rose - And now we break for a little taste of the island life.

Those Crazy Rooskies! - They say Russia has a big drinking problem. Here's PROOF! (NSFW) (Tip o'The Omnipotent Chapeau to Grad Student Madness)

Shake, Rattle, & Roll - I love this thing. Grab hold, spin it all around, and give those billionaires in first class the scare of their lives.

Imagine the Frats on Saturday Night - The secret alma mater of George W. Bush.

Average American Voter - With voters like this, who needs elections?

Go Daddy Shatters Mirrored Ceiling - You have to hand it to Go Daddy. They're a progressive bunch who really want to elevate a woman's place in society. BTW, could someone tell me who wins?

Beauty is Only Bowel Deep - Clean the windshield, slap some lipstick and mascara on her, and lube up her innards while you're at it. Oh, and check on that pollution control gear too.

MY EYES! MY EYES! OMIGOD! - Can Spongebob Cruise Lines be far behind?

Advertising on the Go - This gives a whole new meaning to the term, "double parked".

Fashion Advice for the Ruling Class - Who's gonna tell Commander Codpiece that his "piece" is so last year?

The Poobah is a featured contributor at Bring It On!

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Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Sunday, March 25, 2007

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Ma Barker's Apple Pie

When Democrats won new congressional seats in the midterms, they did it with promises to break the culture of corruption. It was a powerful message, resonating with voters impatient with a long string of convictions, indictments, and suspicious deals that didn't pass the smell test. As expected, aggressive oversight is uncovering additional details and whiffs of new scandals are seeping like methane to the surface.

The Circle is Unbroken

The circle, apparently, remains unbroken.

Anyone, other than the most vehement party dittohead, sees the culture of corruption as an equal opportunity Graftapalooza. It has plenty of room for charlatans and cheats of any stripe. Democrat stacks of cash in freezers are every bit as egregious as Republican yachts furnished with expensive antiques. In a political culture greased by money, it's no wonder so many politicians line up at the lard bucket for a good slathering.

However, the Democrats are falling far short on their campaign promises. A depressing tidbit on NPR's Marketplace shows one reason why - Nancy Pelosi charges $28,500 per couple for a private howdy-do. It's distressing that lobbyists apparently travel in couples, but even more distressing that 28-large is a new record for political papal payola. Other Democratic leaders are following suit. It's true the open-pocketed Dems claim nobody is buying special favors with the 28K rubber chicken dinners, but that was lame when Denny Hastert and Tom Delay said it and lame when Bubba Bill used to sell "no special favor sleepovers" in the Lincoln Bedroom too.

All Bull, No Pulpit

Both sides complain about the need for lobbyist money to run campaigns. Okay, they have a valid point. Three years of endless primary campaigns, an endless sting of attack ads, and Straight Talk Express bus rentals ain't cheap. The days of a poli-loon standing on a free soap box preaching his screed in the public square is long gone. It might be a good thing if the bully pulpit was equipped with an actual bull. The speeches would be shorter, producing a much more attractive cost/benefit ratio for all.

Clearly, we're all locked into the same vicious cycle. The lobbyists lay out the cash ("But heavens, only through the goodness of my heart. I'd never ask a favor of you Congressman"). The pols gladly accept the palm-greasing and a golf trip to St. Andrews for listening to the lobbyist so patiently ("Policy wonks are soooo boring! My head kept pitching into the caviar"). And the electorate decries the shakedowns inevitably funded by their tax money ("Damn crapweasel politicians!). The lobbyists never seem to consider just proposing good ideas that don't require graft for enactment. The pols never seem to grasp that attack ads and rock-star tour buses aren't really essential parts of the democratic process. And the electorate? They figure it's someone else's responsibility to take back their recalcitrant parties and force the crapweasels' feet to the fire of campaign finance reform.

It's the American Way

Our way of voting simply reflects the values of our country. As capitalists, we believe in the power of money, especially when we get a little sumpn', sumpn' for ourselves. Our political process simply shows the power of an unfettered, unregulated market. The market trickles the graft at the top down to the lower levels of society in the form of higher orders for business jets and titanium golf clubs that generate jobs which a consultant will propose outsourcing to India, which pays more graft to keep the whole shebang humming along smoothly.

It's a system as American as apple-pie and motherhood....provided your mother was Ma Barker.

The Poobah is a featured contributor at Bring It On!


Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Thursday, March 22, 2007

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The Perfect Metaphor for Peace

There's a question that arises in nearly all marriages or long-term relationships. The answer to that question has caused divorces, violence - and occasionally - murder. Clearly, it's a subject that arouses passionate responses.

On the surface, it's a simple question. A cursory look suggests the answer lies in an either/or response - either voluntarily perform one action or its opposite. The response is so simple it can be accomplished in less than a second. It's a trifling question that, absent the emotion it carries, shouldn't rise any higher than the most minor of annoyances in the pecking order of mundane travail.

However, the question often marks the boundaries of a relationship and since it does, takes on an importance far beyond it's simple exterior. It's a magnet that attracts all manner of slights - real and imagined. It touches on issues of respect, fairness, and sacrifice. It not only defines who you are, but also how you demand that others be.

A Trait to Which Humans are Ill-Adapted

Unfortunately, a successful resolution requires the ability to view the same situation from both sides - a trait humans are ill-adapted to. It requires you let go of a trivial argument for the sake of peace and harmony. To answer the question you must resist the impulse to pump it up beyond recognition by making it about far more than the simple, original issue. It requires the ability to see your own actions as critically as the person you oppose in order to stop internecine warfare before it begins. It requires one of the combatants to offer the tiniest olive branch for the sake of something far larger than the question.

The question is all of these things - simple, amazingly complex, easy, and difficult - all at the same time. But it also represents one more thing that carries civilization-altering importance - it is a perfect metaphor for why the world is the way it is. One simple act. One simple demonstration of respect. One tiny inch of ground given. One easy resolution offered. Any of these address the root cause of so much of the tumult in our relationships and our world - and yet mankind invariably overlooks the solution exactly because of its simplicity. It's an attitude that prizes the complex over the simplistic and becomes much the worse for all of us.

Plumbing for Peace

What is this question that is so simple and universal all at once?

If the prevailing view is that a man should lower the toilet seat, why is there no room for the premise that a woman should leave it up?

The Poobah is a featured contributor at Bring It On!

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Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Tuesday, March 20, 2007

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Dumber Than Dumbya?

Alberto "Gonzo" Gonzales
Possibly the Only Man on Planet Earth
Who's Dumber Than George Bush

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Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Monday, March 19, 2007

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In the Beginning...

"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth"...and then quarrelsome humans created religion. Death and pestilence then did descend upon the earth.
-- Omnipotent Poobah

The briefest of CNN glimpses or shortest of WaPo articles shows the awesome power of religion. Even before the Romans tried to ethnically cleanse the Jews, religious wars had already riven mankind for centuries. Today, the deeply religious continue that inglorious tradition as Shia fight Sunni or a hundred other pairings pit religion against religion or sect against sect.

Oddly, many of these wars aren't even about who's God is most divine, but about who's mortal prophet preached the most charismatic dogma. So strong is the urge to fight that even progressive religions bog down under the crowns of thorns and heavy crosses of Wars on Christmas or whether "faggots" should be stoned.

The Meek and the Zealous

One could rightfully argue that religions have bestowed much compassion and comfort throughout history. Even amongst the wars wrought by their fellow sectarians, most rise above the hate and show the true light of their beliefs. There are many more adherents to these tenets than the tenets of their violent brethren, but the violent are better armed and infinitely and bloodily more persistent than the meek. It may be true that the meek shall inherit the earth, but that inheritance is a long time in coming and coupled with a horrific cost.

I consider these arguments this morning because my daughter - the child of an atheist and an agnostic - is going to church. We've always treated her with respect in matters of religion. From a very young age, we've answered her religious questions as truthfully as we could, absent as much bias as we could manage. Our parental belief is that she should chose her own path, armed with the best knowledge we can provide.

Off to Church

So, she's off this morning to the neighborhood mega-church accompanied by several friends. It's the cool church, the one with a band and gleeful singing and a minimum of sermonizing and prayer - light on the fire and brimstone, heavy on the fun. It's where many of her suburban friends go - a safe place where they socialize and escape their tumultuous teenage years for a few hours in relative comfort.

Despite her recent interest in religion, I suspect it's more curiosity than a religious awakening. She asks intelligent questions and weighs the responses with a maturity far beyond her 17 years. In the end, I'm not sure she'll be convinced of God or absorbed into a religion, but if she is, that's OK with me. She's a young adult and free to make her own choices - just as I did after spending years in the church before embracing atheism.

My only hope is that whatever path she chooses, she'll retain the calm rationality we've tried to teach. It serves no one if she falls into the trap of warring over theocratic technicalities. If she does, I'll feel as though I've lost the war. I'll still love her. I'll still support her. But, I'll feel like any parent sending a child off to war - anxious and worried for her safety. It doesn't much matter to me if she's in the military or becomes a militant. What will matter is how I failed to enlist her in one of the types of wars I can readily get behind - the war of rationality over ignorance and tolerance over intolerance.

And, that's just too important a war to lose.

The Poobah is a featured contributor at Bring It On!

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Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Sunday, March 18, 2007

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Pre-Written Randomness

I'm the Omnipotent Top GunThe Omnipotent One has been sick for the past few days, so I leave you with this pre-written post for today:

Grinning and Bearing the Teddy Bear - They're so innocuous. How scary can they be? Well apparently, pretty damn scary sometimes.

In Other Cute Costume News - Support the Pooches!

I'm Pressing Charges - The nerve of this guy trying to cash a bogus check against MY account!

The Age Old Question - Just say, "no dear" and move along. Nothing to see here, really, nothing.

Squirelly - And now under the Big Top...rodents on a rampage!

Because You Can Never Keep Too Much Around - Special order for Miss Hiromi! Austin is once again safe!

That's Gotta Hurt - Hell hath no fury like an arsonist scorned. (Tip of the flaming baton to Tits McGee)

That's Gotta Be Messy - Coffee, tea, or UUUUUUUH!

Damn You Kim Jong Il! - You can't trust those commie bastards alone for a minute!

Jenna Makes Call To Action - And that call would be...end AIDS research!

Desperate House Husbands - Now this is just gross.

George Gets Jiggy Wid It - George W. Bush, just keeping it mad phresh for democracy.

Vomit Rocket Launched - ...and on tonight's episode of Futureweapons!

Coitus Rejectus - Which was laid first, the chicken or the virgin? A lay of the omnipotent egg to AAG)

Zoolicious - You just gotta love an elephant playing the harmonica and dancing.

Trend Alert! - Will they stop at nothing in the pursuit of glossy perfection?

Rock the Fed! - Alan Greenspan, eat your heart out.

Because It's There - Sir Edmund Shortypants to tackle Everest. Film at 11.

Stick 'Em Up, Hand 'Em Down - It seems Darby O'Gill and the Little Latex Bustier People are on the prowl. (Tip of the Omnipotent Shamrock to Coyote).

The Poobah is a featured contributor at Bring It On!

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Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Friday, March 16, 2007

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Have No Fear, the Decider's Here!

Have no fear, the Decider's Here!

Attorney Lieutenant Gonzo McJusticepants is on thin ice these days as a bipartisan rabble screeches for his head like Frenchmen outside the Bastille. When asked if he would resign, Gonzo deferred the decision to the Decider to decide - and we all know what the Decider always decides - Gonzo will be imitating Jacob Marley's ghost by this time next week.

While it isn't clear he's specifically broken any laws, one certainly could make the point that he's one of the duller tools in a shed full of broken shovels. After all, this is a man who took suggestions from that immanently qualified jurist and would-be Supreme, Harriett Meyers.

So far, Gonzo's defense is of the, "I can't be expected to know everything that happens" type - not withstanding an email blizzard swirling the air like a mid-winter day in Minnesota. On the plus side, this is a better defense than Scooter's, "I forgot" explanation. Of course Gonzo takes "full responsibility" for what happened, which so far seems to be limited to saying "Sorry about that, I swear I'll never do it again...cross my heart, hope to die, I'll even spit in my staff's glaucomic eye."

To be fair, it's not unusual for Presidents to replace US attorneys, but they usually do it at the beginning of a term in wholesale, less dubious fashion. However, many people on both ends of the political spectrum say this time it's different.

First, these Attorneys-in-Dutch were cherry-picked (Damn those guys love cherries!) and replaced based on "poor performance", a stance not justified by their heretofore stellar performance appraisals and further undermined by internal communications that specifically dealt with political considerations.

Then, there was the legal beagle consigned to the doghouse to make way for a Karl Rove protege. Props to Karl for fessing up - even if it was an arrogant reason that smacked of cronyism at its worst - but I fear the Earth may reverse rotation from the admission that Karl (partially) did the right thing for once.

Leaks have flowed through the shredded screen door at the White House and we learned that a couple of legislators had called to check on the "progress" of pending litigation. Of course, this wasn't an attempt to influence the investigations - merely a coincidence that at least two of the excommunicated prosecutors happened to be working on cases embarrassing to Republicans.

And in a final irony, the loudest defense of the uniformly Republican lawyers comes from Democrats. As they say, politics makes strange bedfellows - and they don't come any stranger than Gonzo dressed in a barrister's wig and carrying a constitutional cat-o-nine tails.

So it's time for the Decider to throw on his magic cape and leap into action. He'll head over to the AG's office faster than a speeding bullet, hand Gonzo an unregistered revolver, and leave the room for a few moments so Gonzo can pray to James Dobson and John Ashcroft and do the "right thing". After the bang, the Decider will tenderly carry off the body for a Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony, and appoint Jenna and Not-Jenna as the new co-AGs.

Thanks, Mr. Decider, for standing up for truth, justice, and the American way - or your interpretation of it anyway.

The Poobah is a featured contributor at Bring It On!

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Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Wednesday, March 14, 2007

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George the Fireman

I've never voted for Bush and it's fair to say I've never been fond of him or his policies. Pre-911, I viewed him as a bumbling fool who, at worst, was a harmless fellow who didn't have grand designs about changing the world. Until that gruesome day, his biggest policy decision was over stem cell research, an important decision to be sure, but probably not the greatest issue of the times.

In the days immediately after 911, I thought Dub did a reasonable job. He rallied the country, showed righteous indignation, and vowed to bring those responsible to justice. Sure, he loved the camera a little too much (who could forget him on the pile of rubble, megaphone in hand and arm thrown over a fireman's shoulder), but it was the rare time when photo ops were actually useful.
Like a majority of the country, I didn't balk much at the invasion of Afghanistan. After all, one could make a reasonable argument that the lawless country was a certified terrorist breeding ground. Besides, I figured the military could handle it and despite Dub's speechifying against nation-building, we'd probably clean the place up and be able to walk away rather handily.

Then Came Iraq

But then came Iraq.

From the beginning, I thought the administration would go to war come hell or high water. I a steady stream of news accounts discussed cherry-picked intelligence and neo-con advisors pushing the reasonable out of the way. Dub's transparent talk about imposing deadlines became more bellicose by the day, so it didn't surprise me when shock and awe appeared right on schedule.

Although I thought the war was stupid even then, I wasn't particularly worried. Sure, there were a handful of military analysts who took pot shots at Dub and his generals, but I figured the military would respond well enough to carry the day. I mean, how incompetent could the Crawford Wonder be?

Boy, did I misjudge.

The first signs of real trouble came when the looting started. It was readily apparent RummCo had no plan to win the peace - a peace they believed was assured by simply dismissing the massive looting as a mere blip. After that, it was downhill all the way. The slight slack I'd been willing to give him rapidly faded as civil rights eroded and stories of gross incompetence emerged with distressing frequency. In response, Team Bush began rapidly smearing their opponents like they were cleaning windshields with a Hershey bar on a hot day.

From Tepid Tolerance to Full-Blown Alarm

By the time we reached the second election, my view of him and his cabal had changed from tepid intolerance to full-blown alarm. The sidetrack I thought we'd embarked on after the first election now appeared to be shuttling us onto the mainline at full speed pointed directly toward a washed out bridge. I was distressed by the country's willingness to return him to office again. How could people be so blind, I wondered?

Indignation piled on affront until the Katrina debacle. By then, I believed Dub was dangerously stupid, but even I was unprepared for watching people drown in the wreckage of the Gulf Coast. I found it appalling that he took several days to rouse himself from vacation and photo op his way past the flood - proving photo ops aren't always helpful. By the time he proclaimed Brownie doing "a heck of a job", it was clear the wheels were well and truly off the Presidential limo.

Since then, nearly every day brings a scandal, screw-up, or pronouncement so loony I wait for the man in a white suit wielding the butterfly net. King Dub's popularity has steadily eroded to numbers so low that, if they were temperatures, would induce frostbite. Today, Dubya doesn't even bother to make believable excuses. He just stands at the podium, reads the Teleprompter (poorly), and waves bye bye to the audience and his shredded credibility.

Fireman George

And yet, there are still true believers, those who believe this is all a huge, left-wing political putsch aiming to punish their virtuous man for all his good works. Although I'm greatly troubled by many from my own side of the political spectrum, I'm truly baffled by these believers. When it comes to their President, they don't believe in three strikes you're out, they believe in 3,000 strikes and you still get a walk. They defiantly stand in a straw house, surrounded by smoke and flame, waiting for Fireman George to come rescue them.

I fear it'll be a long wait. Fireman George is still on vacation, the fireplugs are on the fritz, and fire truck crapped out long ago.

Sometimes it's a virtue to doggedly stick to a single-minded quest, even if it does seem futile. But sometimes, that firm belief only leads you deeper into the burning building where you can rest assured Fireman George will abandon you.

If this is you, I advise you run - don't walk - to the nearest exit.

The Poobah is a featured contributor at Bring It On!


Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Wednesday, March 14, 2007

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Creationism v. Evolution, You're Both Right

Hi kids, this is God again.

I know some of you expect me to speak through priests or Pat Robertson, but I don't trust those guys. They're always cooking up some kookie shit to make a buck. I know some of you expect me to communicate a little more formally - a little more fire and brimstonish, if you will - than via blogging. But, I try to keep up with the new technology (I even have an iPod loaded with Gregorian chants and gangsta rap...illegal downloads if you must know, but that's between you and me) and I like the personal touch of blogging.

With all this bickering over Creationism and Darwinism I thought it might be useful for me to explain a few things - after all, I am the one who got the ball rolling.

I hate to break it to you Darwinists out there, but the earth really is 10,000 years old - 10,227 years old for those craving exactness. I made it one day when I was bored and needed a hobby. And boy, it's been a real hoot over the years - except for that war thing. That one got a little out of hand. My bad. But, the cat's out of the bag now, so I suppose I'll just let it run it's course.

However, all you fish people (what's up with that? I HATE fish!) don't break out the champagne quite yet. You guessed right about the age thing, but see, I played a little trick on you. That Adam dude? Pure bunk. There was no Garden of Eden, only a small flat in the Castro and the first guy was named Chuck, Chuck Darwin.

Chuck was a pretty smart fella. He ate an apple - the tasty kind, plucked from a tree and not given to him by a snake - I can't BELIEVE you fell for that, snakes don't even have thumbs - and was immediately able to figure out that whole evolution thing. He got it right the first time. You should see this dude rip up a Rubik's CubeTM or do a little sudoku. Ab-so-frickin' brilliant.

Some of you might ask, "what about those dinosaur bones, aren't they more than 10,000 years old?" That's true enough, but I borrowed the bones from a planet called Rigel 9 and salted a couple of places as a red herring to throw Chuck off the scent. Damn guy figured it out though, so we had a talk and he agreed to keep it a secret and make up a plausible cover story.

Oh, and what about Eve? Well frankly, there was no Eve. Chuck was gay and married to some trash-talking dude by the name of Haggard. Not one of Chuck's best moves. He was brilliant about the sciences, but the poor bastard never could find the right guy. You know what they say about looking for love in all the wrong places. No, women came a little later. The first one was named Marjorie. She was a cute little chippy, but kind of an airhead. I improved the models later. I never could teach them to read a map, but at least they stop and ask directions, so I guess it isn't so bad.

So there you have it. You're both right. If you want to know more, you can contact Ann Landers and ask for my pamphlet, "The Earth and You - An Owner's Guide". Just include a stamped, self addressed envelope and $3.95. You'll receive your pamphlet within seven days and if you act now, I'll throw in a set of cheap knives and spray on hair (that Ron Popeil is one crazy dude too).

OK, now will all of you just hug and make up (and Dobson, let go off that chick's ass!)? Having you guys bicker all the time is a real buzz kill. If you keep it up, you'll ruin a perfectly good hobby. And, I'm not a happy camper when I don't get my way.

Ecumenically Yours,

The Poobah is a featured contributor at Bring It On!

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Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Sunday, March 11, 2007

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An Extended Metaphor

Humans see the world in one of two ways. The low fidelity view is pure black and white - even gray is missing. The high fidelity world is a place of infinite colors and variations too numerous and small for any one person to see in toto. The difference between the two is the difference between a clear, unambiguous place and the very definition of chaos.

Despite it's awe-inspiring beauty, the hi-fi world is an unattainable utopia. Everyone feels free to interpret the colors and textures in the way they personally see fit. Their brushes dabs in the "right" colors, just so. They arrange the subject and scale. Frequently, the power of the brush reshapes the world independent from convention - and in some cases - common sense. It's a totally subjective world of simultaneous extreme beauty and awful ugliness. It can be a frightening place, but it's the world where mankind's most original thinking is born.

The lo-fi world can be beautiful in its own way, but it's every bit an unattainable utopia as hi-fi. It's a place of unchecked geometrical perfection, where perfectly clear black lines mark clean unambiguous boundaries. As long as everyone chooses to see the beauty in those clear and perfect lines, the lo-fi world is the place to be. It's a place we all crave in one way or another, but when an idea from the hi-fi world starts to impose color, both worlds - and every painter in them - are plunged into chaos.

The chaos can't be helped. Humans are a tinkering breed, never content with their world and always trying to capture a perfect beauty. It's impossible for us not to paint in color with the left hand while the right paints a study in perfect black and white harmony. It is our yin and yang. It is our feng shui. It's always - to one degree or other - a constant battle of balance between our two worlds.

Although humans will never strike perfect harmony, it doesn't mean we shouldn't try. Master hi-fi painters need to respect their lo-fi brethren. They know that lo-fi painters prefer a slow, deliberate path to recognizing the same things hi-fi painters see clearly. In fairness, lo-fi painters would be well-served to harness the emotion and experimentation of their hi-fi counterparts. Ignoring that boundless dynamism can damage the vision of their own world and make it a clear, but creative dead zone where nothing evolves and there is no life.

Theoretical discussions about the two worlds always abound, but sometimes they go into hyperdrive. The inevitable disagreements between hi-fi and lo-fi proponents devolve into paintball fights where every canvas is ruined - and that serves neither well. So, the most masterful painters learn from others. That's how it should be, but frequently isn't. Our communal fate hinges on masters' ability to strike the delicate balance that keeps the engine of the world functioning properly. However, some painters are too egotistical, too vain to work with others.

Perhaps expecting them to is also to have an unrealistic view of utopia. Who knows?

The Poobah is a featured contributor at Bring It On!


Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Friday, March 09, 2007

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Marriage Market Plummets, Gays Fingered

Our national debate over gay marriage rages on. I'm a live and let give kinda guy, so my position is that I don't see what all the hubbub is about. I think it's pretty clear why the gay community wants it. They view themselves as full citizens of this country and believe they should have the same rights and responsibilities everyone else. They aren't asking people to like them, they're just asking they be allowed to do what heterosexuals do every day.

I've listened to the counter-arguments. I fully accept that many people find homosexuality wrong and don't want to associate with gays. That's their right, although they're probably missing out on some bitchin' home decorating tips and mouthwatering umbrella drinks. Like I said, I'm a live and let live kinda guy...who just happens to love umbrella drinks.

Bibles Under Lesbian Noses

As far as I know, we aren't a theocracy yet, so at least - in theory - shaking a Bible under a lesbian's nose and screaming repent ye sinner doesn't seem very rational. Our society is supposed to be built on the idea of equality and fairness and part of that compact includes rationally determining which parts of a given situation are unfair.

Perhaps I missed it amongst all the Anna Nicole Smith coverage, but I don't believe I've heard a rational discussion of how making gay marriage legal deprives anyone of their rights. The oft-repeated chestnut goes something like, "gay marriage devalues heterosexual marriage".

I guess my question is, "how much is marriage per pound"? If someone buys a pound and you have no part in the transaction, how does your pound lose value? Is your marriage account somehow overdrawn by this transaction? Does someone come and take your pound of marriage away and give it to someone else? If one of your neighbors divorces several times (i.e., they bought waaaay more pounds of marriage than they could use), should you ban them from commodity trading on the marriage market?

Lesbian Cat on Transsexual Dog Marriage

Rick Santorum's answer seems a bit far-fetched - unless Rick really is in the closet and lusting after Barney Bush. He's apparently a closeted PETA member because he suggested that if we allow gays to marry, the floodgates will open to donkey on man marriage or lesbian cat on transsexual dog marriage. Those pets need to be protected I'm sure and I love the doggies as much as the next guy, but I don't recall a picket line of pooches camped out at the state house howling for marriage rights.

I also don't recall campaigns to ban marriage for sinful, crackhead, reformed gay preachers named Ted Haggard. There aren't any bans against Jew/gentile, democrat/republican, or conservative/neocon marriage (although I might be persuaded to support that last one).

What is it about gay marriage that's more egregious than any other paring of two human beings? I mean, I don't like republicans marrying republicans. All that dirty, pent up lust results in a plethora of mini-republicans and that can surely lead to no good. But, I'm not yelping for a constitutional amendment to ban it. The thought of Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh en flagrante delicto gives me the heebie-jeebies, but I defend their right to form an unholy union - I just need a long shower and a stiff drink before I can take that on.

Some argue that current law doesn't provide for it so we must automatically reject it. Well, there are stupid and offensive asshats in society too, but I'm not agitating to outlaw them - though, again, I'm open to discussions.

Asshats for Dummies

Really, I don't get this one. Perhaps one of my conservative brethren could bring me the light. Raise me up from the depths of sin. Make me a true believer that somehow gay marriage is so hurtful to me that I'd join their good fight and try to smite the Godless bastards. Hallelujah!

At this point I should say, "so help me God", but I don't believe in him either and swearing on my Right Wing Asshats for Dummies book somehow devalues swearing on books altogether.

I'm just really moral that way.

The Poobah is a featured contributor at Bring It On!

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Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Thursday, March 08, 2007

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Stop the Celebrations

The left's post-Scootergate fist pumping has begun. They see this is a case of the elusive rule of law triumphant. However, comments by some trial participants intimate that while Scooter may be guilty, bigger fish wiggled free. That tantalizing observation is probably true - but like Fitz said - the investigation is over and unless Scooter decides to flip, that's where things will end. Many will cry foul, but that's how the law works, you're innocent until proven guilty no matter how much smoke seems to be coming from your kitchen. That's how it should be.

Although the fireworks and champagne are understandable, they miss an important point - we all lost.

The investigators presented charges not about the original crime, but for lying about it. These are surely serious felonies, but they pale in comparison to the alleged outing. Fitzgerald himself opined that the outcome leaves a cloud over the administration - unfortunately, only one of many in the Katrina-like swirl battering it - but this cloud is an especially dark one.

Gathering Clouds

The unanswered questions about the outing have some nasty blowback. They validate the idea that the politics of personal destruction is alive, well, and living large in Washington. As the saying goes, "absolute power corrupts absolutely". In the Paris Hilton style, the powerful and famous often begin to believe their own propaganda. In the Big Dick's case the me uber alles thinking goes a something like this: "I'm the good guy, so whatever I do to retain my power is completely justified. Might makes right." Crushing your opponent with dubious charges to prove your personal and ideological superiority isn't always illegal, but it is unfair.

Although I'm sure he'd rather become a democrat than admit it, Cheney's behavior is not unlike Bill Clinton's. Bill smeared several women to hide his inability to keep his dick in his pants. It happened so often his handlers had a name for it - "bimbo eruptions". Bill would kiss, the victim would tell, and the smearing would begin. Bill repeated this cycle over and over, arrogantly believing his chickens would never come home to roost.

But then they did.

Bill's Humidor Honey

Bill's humidor honey - Monica Lewinsky - started doling out BJs like a politician hands out favors to cronies. As far as I know, BJs in the Oval Office are stupid, but not illegal. However, lying to grand juries is illegal and that's clearly what Bill did. When caught in the lie, he accused his accusers of the politics of personal destruction - a pretty bold claim from one of the world's top practitioners of that black art.

He didn't go to trial because, as lies go, his were fairly small and didn't much harm the nation except for a few jokes on late night TV and a cold shoulder from Hill. He did pay a price though - a pretty heavy one. He was impeached for his offenses, leaving a black stain on his administration for all time. I'd say that was a pretty fair punishment for a stupid crime even the prosecutors admitted would almost never go to trial in "the real world".

Cheney hasn't gone on trial at all, even though the prosecutor and a fair amount of evidence indicates he may have done more damage than any perky mouthful of Presidential penis. Just as Bill threw Monica under the bus with his, "I did not have sex with that woman" it looks like the Big Dick tossed Scooter out as his roadkill proxy. Let's not quibble with Fitzgerald's decision to forgo charges to Cheney. It was his decision to make, although he thought other forces may have been at work. However, in both the Clinton and Cheney cases, the stench of hubris hangs heavy in the air.

The Biggest Loss of All

Many will argue the damage in one of the cases far outweighs being relegated to the couch in the Presidential living quarters. In Cheney's case, the damage may quite literally be incalculable. It would appear from the known evidence that Dick's transgressions were far worse than Scooter's, yet he lives to do battle another day. His hubris not only remains unchecked, but the trial has reinforced his belief in Vice Presidential infallibility. He figures that if some poor bastard has to take the fall for him, it's all in the service of his - or the greater - good, whichever rationale fits.

The problem is, dear Dick, that isn't true. And that sad fact is the biggest loss of all.

The Poobah is a featured contributor at Bring It On!


Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Wednesday, March 07, 2007

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The Cats Are Out of the Bag

It looks like the cats are out of the bag again. Nancy's 100 Hour Honeymoon went well enough, but there hasn't been much cat wrangling since. The dems are mewing for more committees and testimony, but they're little more than extended photo ops. George has abandoned his lip service to bipartisanship and gone back to the Big Dick's favorite phrase, "Go f**k yourself." Meanwhile the republicans - including those brave few who were for the war, then against the war before they were for the Surge - have gone back to acting as if they own the place.

Can't Swing a Dead Cat Without Hitting a "Fresh Idea"

The republicans' major rap on the dems is that they never offer plans. The dems have now apparently seen the light. They have as many plans as members of Congress and each tabby scratches their putrid litter box for more "fresh ideas".

Let's see, there are threats to remove funding altogether. Threats to yank funding only for certain items. Some think a non-binding resolution is just the thing to teach that mean old George a thing or two. Others call for setting timetables (or not), imposing metrics on the Iraqis, opening the discussion for floor debate, or filibustering any debate. The administration has iced the cake - and strongly signalled where they are headed - by admitting there is no Plan C if Plan B goes the way of Plan A.

Can you say, "Where are we going and why are we in this handbasket?"

Unlike George's fictional mandates, the people recently gave Congress a clear and unambiguous one, "Stop them before they invade again." Basking in the glory of a renewed majority, the dems said - as George once did - "We've got some political capital and we're going to spend it." Unfortunately, they spent it on Whiskers cat food and a dented tin of sardines. So far, they have nothing to show for their mandate but an empty dinner dish and water bowl. In a scenario where the bipartisan are merely bi-curious, it's time for someone to stand up and take the problem on.

Listen Up, ALL of You

To the Dems: You're in charge now, act like it. If the loyal opposition frets that they're point of view isn't being heard, remind them that they've had four years of bloviating and steamroll them. Take a page from the Marquis of Rovesbury Rules - if you aren't on the bus, you're under the wheels. Kick ass, take names, and get a plan - a single plan - together. At this point, applying a little brake pressure is better than none at all. Your grade in driver's ed depends on it.

To the republicans: Instead of standing over there giggling like third graders and flipping spitballs at the dems, get on the bus. The voters have already flung you under the wheels once. The next time, they'll tie you to a manhole cover to make sure you won't wiggle away again. There is no victory at the end of your road, only political roadkill and more wasted soldiers and civilians.

Author's Note: That's right, wasted. This position takes absolutely nothing away from the soldiers who died for their country. They did their duty valiantly and we should revere them for it. That reverence should prevent more of them from coming home to a moldy hospital bed or ending up under the lush grass of a national cemetery. Orderly rows of crosses may look peaceful, but they hide the awful truth beneath.

Here Kitty, Kitty

This is not anti-American, it's pro-decision making. Don't be ashamed to be an American, but be damned ashamed that we were stupid enough to elect a bunch of craven cowards who have all the spine of jellyfish.

Yes, the cats are out of the bag and roaming free. They're acting like a bunch of brain-damaged Siamese rather than the pride of lions we so desperately need. It's time for them to jump down off the neighbor's fence and stop the midnight caterwauling. If they refuse to be herded, we need to do it for them.

Here kitty, kitty.

The Poobah is a featured contributor at Bring It On!

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Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Tuesday, March 06, 2007

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