What's It Like to Be a Dick?

Sometimes, I wonder what it's like to be Dick Cheney. Is he really that sullen and sour in his personal life? Does he see plots around the corner from his living room as readily as he sees them in the Washington press corps? I've known more than my fair share of difficult and persnickety people, but Dick is at the extreme edge of the envelope.

The Cheney family (they pronounce it Chee-Nee) makes a little more sense.

Wife Lynn can be snippy while she unstintingly supports the Big Guy, but she at least smiles occasionally and intimates there may be an actual human being lurking under the skin. Daughter Mary is the lesbian who's seemingly more sensible than Mom or Dad - perhaps that "gay gene" had a common sense enzyme attached to it. Daughter Elizabeth may be the smartest of the bunch. She's normally remains in the background, just an entry in Dick's Wikipedia entry, thereby avoiding the ill-will of the nation and two-thirds of the world.

The Two Dicks

For me, there are two Dicks. One is the affable, seemingly competent SecDef during Gulf War I. He smiled. He gave interviews. He answered questions rather than telling the questioners their questions were "inappropriate". Then there's the Dick we suffer today. A curmudgeonly semi-hermit, with all the warmth of Batman's Penguin, who crawls out from under his rock to pronounce most of the US population traitors and unpatriotic vermin. Dick's Gulf War smirk has turned into a venial, incessantly pissed-off mug convinced everyone in the world is wrong except him.

There were harbingers of Dick's conversion from his Gulf War self from the beginning of the administration. Tasked with choosing a viable Veep for George W. Pootiehead, he chose - SURPRISE! - himself. Even by Washington standards, that was an impressive display of hubris. I believe he always coveted the top job, but was savvy enough to know he couldn't win, even with Robertson, Falwell, and Dobson rowing his boat. He needed the coattails of someone so completely devoid of common sense, they'd outsource the whole job to him.

By the time Dick and George took the stroll down Pennsylvania Avenue, Dickie had stacked the cabinet and pulled off a silent coup. People accused Junior of being Dick's ventriloquist dummy, but Dick wasn't just pulling the strings, he chose the dummy's outfits, dressed him, emptied the sawdust turds from his shorts, and guided George's hand across whatever paperwork he couldn't sign himself. Dick divided his time between his secret, undisclosed location and showing up at the White House and the occasional Sunday morning talk show to let people know just who was in charge.

Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

One Smart Dick

There were a few dampers at the Cheney Theatre of the Absurd, but mostly he ran amok, undeterred by the guy actually in charge or any of the politicos charged with keeping him on a short leash. Dick was, and is, a force of malevolent nature. Team him up with Rove and they make Katrina look like a breezy day in the spring. They don't believe in a scorched earth policy, but scorching the dirt, digging it up, and firing it into space on the tip of a nuclear warhead.

There's probably little left to fear from George as his administration runs down. He's slow and the scandals are deep. He's already stated his intention to be pigheaded until the last day so we'll get what we expect from him until the next election because quite frankly, there's little left for him to hose. It'll be wall-to-wall scandal and world class ineptness all the way.

But Dick is smart. He may be crazy, but he's mean and single-minded. It's a deadly combination. From all outward appearances, he's a man obsessed and not shy about using his considerable power to make the point that he is right and everyone else is wrong. I don't know what the corrosive substance was that turned him so rabid, but it's still there and hasn't run it's course. I wonder about what the inside of his head looks like and what it all means for the rest of us. I can't even picture Dick with a kid on his knee, so I'm completely in the dark about what he might be like with all restraints lifted.

Dick may go quietly or he may decide to take the rest of us down with him. Nothing is out of the question where Dick is concerned. He has the disposition and cunning of a wolf. Even if I can't see what's inside that angry head, I can see he's still as dangerous as a rabid dog - and just as unpredictable. I just wish I could see what it's like to be Dick Cheney, but one thing's for sure...

I won't like the view.

The Poobah is a featured contributor at Bring It On!

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Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Sunday, April 29, 2007

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A Computer Named Earline

On the rare occasion when my computer turns hours of work into eMulch, my free association isn't "oh shit", but "I never used to have this problem with a pencil and a piece of paper". I'm no Luddite - although I often sympathize with them - but I'm no leading edge technology adapter either. My technology lag has nothing to do with my adaptability to technology, I just don't really see the need for much of it. I've learned to use dozens of applications, worked as a technical writer for hi-tech devices, and can troubleshoot the Omnipotent Dad's frequent computer issues over the phone with 98% success.

Perhaps there's an opening for me in Bangalore.

A Computer Named Earline

My first experience with computers predated the PC revolution by more than a decade. It was a typesetting machine - quaintly named Earline - that stood five feet tall and three feet wide. It read paper tape punched by a separate keyboard, offered no editing capabilities, and produced text on photographic paper that had to be developed, dried, and cut into the desired segments before pasting it to a paper galley with hot beeswax. Earline had less computing power than your average digital watch and a brain comprised of 37 printed circuit boards. I attended an intense month-long school on how to operate, troubleshoot and repair the temperamental bitch.

Today, that sounds like an arcane way to do something a modern word processor can do better in substantially less time. However, it was a quantum leap over the behemoth Linotype that represented a mechanical update to hand set type little unchanged since Gutenberg. Clunky as it was by today's standards, it, at least, served a useful purpose.

Today's technology often isn't.

iPod? No Thanks

I only reluctantly bought a cell phone years after they became fashionable and still only use it when absolutely necessary. My first VCR came years after everyone else had them, my DVD is only two years old, and I have no iPod. There is no TiVo in our house and we also do quite well without an entertainment center or HD television. I still own a turntable and hundreds of albums on old-fashioned plastic rather than on fast-disappearing disks.

Early hi-tech pioneers envisioned a world where computing would benevolently advance civilization beyond comprehension. Of course, such pipe dreams have come and gone before. I'm old enough to remember how chemicals and noo-ku-lar power were to transform the world into an ultra-clean utopia with robot maids and Jetson cars. Instead, computer technology primarily exists to create believable online porn and more efficient ways to blow one another up.

Somewhere along the line, technologists stopped writing software to take mankind to the moon and started creating applications that cause clear-cutting the rain forest to make paper for paperless offices. Today, we can easily access more information that our grandparents could glean in a lifetime. Unfortunately, our ability to use all the data is another problem entirely.

Perhaps the Luddites Were Right

There's no doubt computers have changed our world. Sometimes our self-imposed slavery to them creates good things, other times...not so much. We see computers do amazing things and seem alarmingly willing to forget they're stupid boxes that can't think. We transfer more and more of our world to their control, creating an environment where no one is really expert at anything. The useless data piles up and the development goes on so rapidly it has outstripped mortals' ability to cope with it. Soon, the dumb boxes will think and our evolution truly will be intelligently designed by a human God creating machines in his image. They'll eventually will self-perpetuate without regard to biological life. Perhaps the Luddites were right.

We never used to have these problems with a pencil and piece of paper.

The Poobah is a featured contributor at Bring It On!

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Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Saturday, April 28, 2007

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Four Inch Squares of Underwear

Thirty years ago today, I reported to the Armed Forces Processing Center in Richmond, VA. I spent the day with several hundred others being poked, prodded, analyzed, weighed, and measured. It was done en masse, impersonally, and followed an assembly line model of efficiency. I raised my right hand and swore to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign or domestic. By virtue of being an old man of 21, I was given "command" of twelve 17 and 18-year olds. I was to make sure these young men - none of whom had ever traveled more than 100 miles from home - made it to Lackland AFB, TX.

It was like herding cats.

Get the Hell Off This M*ther Fu*kin' Bus Pronto!

We arrived at Lackland that night and were herded off our bus - none too gently - by a squad of fire-breathing drill sergeants. We spent the night standing for hours in formation or lying down in our beds only to be rudely roused every few minutes by a series of fire drills that continued until all 50 of us vacated our barracks in less than 30 seconds. Finally, our first 24-hour day ended and we slept...for four hours.

The next day we began the mystical transformation from civilians to airmen. Each of us surrendered all personal items - clothing, jewelry, books - and went to a room for identical buzz cuts. When we finished our 30-second stylings, we walked across great mounds of shorn hair and joined an assembly line.

The place smelled heavily of mothballs.

Stop One: Strip bare. Stop Two: Don an ill-fitting, unmarked uniform. Stop Three: Put on ill-fitting boots. Stop four: Link arms in pairs and walk together through a gauntlet of medics pounding shots into arms with air-powered inoculators. Flinched at the vital moment, and you received not a tiny pinhole, but a small slash. Regardless of the type of hole, they all bled. If your partner passed out, you carried him through the rest of the line.

Trabants Off the Assembly Line

We rolled off the assembly line like identical Trabants from an East German auto factory. Identical hair cuts. Identical uniforms sans name or insignia. Identical hats, folded identically whenever removed. After a 15 minute trip down the assembly line we became, not a gaggle of undisciplined and individual civilians, but a homogeneous organism composed of 50 identical and interchangeable airmen.

For the next six weeks, we acted as one. If one misperformed, we all suffered the consequences. If one couldn't hack the pre-dawn, pre-breakfast 1.5 mile run, those on either side linked arms and carried him - something I did every morning for those six weeks. If one flunked a test, everyone retook it until we all passed. Only when our entire flight suitably impressed the sergeants did we all receive the first coveted perk of individualism - our last name sewn onto a blue and white name tag.

I learned many things over the six weeks. Did you know Right Guard spray deodorant removes shoe scuffs from linoleum without ruining the shine? Or, that a bad sunburn is a violation of Article 108 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (destruction of government property). Prell shampoo leaves no soap scum and I can still fold my underwear in perfect 4 inch wide rectangles, make a bed that can bounce a quarter, and produce a damn good "spit shine".

Hint: It doesn't involve spit, but it does involve flaming shoe polish and nylon hosiery.

Building the Better Airman

Many civilians see these dehumanizing actions as insulting and inane. They see the revocation of all individualism as a bad thing, rather than necessary preparation for the day you might be asked to sacrifice yourself. They quite often miss the point that an undisciplined, individually-focused group would run rather than stand their ground in the service of something greater than themselves without being stripped bare and rebuilt in the military's image.

I was a Cold Warrior. I never went to awful places where people plotted to end my life before I ended theirs, though I got uncomfortably close several times. I never entered combat, but was close enough to those who did and privy to enough hyper-realistic practice warfare that I know something of their sacrifice. I was simply lucky - lucky in more ways than the obvious.

My experience made me the person I am today. I still fold my underwear in 4 inch rectangles and make my bed with hospital corners. I even walk differently - with a measured 18 inch step and perfect click of my heels. But, I also know the value of something larger than myself and see the great strength of individualism supported by homogeneity. Those six weeks taught me more about handling adversity than the many years I spent surviving a chaotic home life. They taught me that sometimes subordinating oneself to a larger goal is a powerful virtue, but also taught me that molding an unfair and chaotic world to my own needs is more powerful still. Those six weeks really did make me who I am today.

And, I wouldn't change a moment of it if I could.

The Poobah is a featured contributor at Bring It On!

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Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Friday, April 27, 2007

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The Elvis Conspiracy

I'm not generally much of a conspiracy theorist. I don't believe Elvis is in Wisconsin working at McDonald's, or the moon landings were staged in a NASA studio, or that somehow the September 11 tragedies were purposely staged by the government. I am, by nature, a skeptic. I like to give people the benefit of the doubt and try as hard as possible to base my decisions on fact.

However, I have a low tolerance for liars and charlatans once I do satisfy myself of their guilt. Nothing chaps me more than someone who tells a lie and then defends it by saying it's to my advantage that they told the lie. I'm also inflamed by the notion that if said liar or charlatan is caught red-handed, telling the lie is somehow my fault. Someone telling a lie doesn't make me a traitor, terrorist, or maniacal morale squasher.

It does, however, make them a liar.

Give Them Enough Rope...

I used to give the Bush administration plenty of leeway. If someone accused them of a lie, I generally countered there was no proof. I tended to explain each mishap as just blundering by a crew of incompetents. Of course, I also believed that no matter the reason we ended up in the soup, it was still inexcusably bad and Bush was still at the helm. I believed the cause of the blundering didn't matter much. Whether you're a ninny or a liar, bad stuff is still bad stuff.

Finally, the house of cards began to collapse. It became more and more difficult to look beyond the daily revelations of arrogant, dishonest behavior. With each oily drip, any benefit I was willing to offer found itself simply a doubt. Information conflicting with the party line was invariably blamed on lower level functionaries, the person who leaked, or the victim of the leaks. Everyone in the administration became overnight Alzheimer's victims. Executive privilege came to mean, "I dare you to come and get the information." The President came to look like a tin pot dictator protected by a squad of political suicide bombers. Eventually, the pretense of honesty or legitimate mistakes was abandoned along with the truth. The administration had gone to the well of distraction far too many times and the public came to trust them about nothing.

See that blue sky? If they said it was blue, at least 2/3 of the American public would consider it a hoax.

Blue Sky? What Blue Sky?

I don't like living in a country where I question whether the sky is blue. I don't like living in a country where every explanation from the administration is bound to cause a scandal within the week. I don't hate America. I detest what it has become through dishonesty and incompetence. I also don't like living in a country where I can't give my elected officials the benefit of the doubt.

I'm surprised to find that I - the prototypical skeptic - now find myself constructing conspiracy theories of my own.

I look at the deepening cesspool of scandal and avarice and begin to consider the unthinkable. I see top-down rust throughout my government. From the inner circle to the lowest-level cronies, I see a tower so thoroughly weakened by corrosive bad behavior that I don't see how it continues to stand. My government no longer serves me. A rabble of hubris-bloated hobnobbers have hijacked it for their own gain. Our national prestige and considerable treasure have leaked as readily as the levies in New Orleans and those leaks have eroded my natural resistance against conspiracies. Checks and balances have become a thing of the past. Our government is stacked and every switch and lever is off, allowing the administration and their supporters to stride like giants across the land.

A Real October Surprise

Looking at the facts, I can only conclude the wholesale rejiggering of my government will eventually lead to one thing - a real October surprise. Our next election may be outrageously stolen, or simply just called off. Once, such a thought would have been the worst of the worst conspiracy theories. Now, it seems to take on the patina of truth.

I sincerely hope my conspiracy theory is wrong, but if it isn't, I may find myself heading to Wisconsin in search of Elvis.

The Poobah is a featured contributor at Bring It On!

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Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Thursday, April 26, 2007

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Intelligently Designed Randomness

Another Cell Phone Scourge - Hang up the damn cell phone and fly the plane!

Anal Retentive Workers - There's kissing up and then there's kissing up in a BIG way.

Self-Propelled Rocky - Rocket J. Squirrel goes low-tech on self-propulsion.

She Needs to Get Out More - She be woikin' them feminine ways.

Screeeeeeeeeeeam! - Somehow pedaling takes some of the thrill away.

Hey Karl, You Need One of These - Karl Rove needs one of these. Destroy evidence and stay green. Kudos on reducing that carbon footprint Karl!

That Just Fries My Ass - Japanese crapper technology goes awry! Hundreds injured. Film at 11!

How the Mighty Have Fallen - Another exciting episode on the secret lives of retired Rolling Stones.

That She Blows! - I hate it when that happens.

Who Would Jesus Call - Hey catholics, time for confession? Just call it in.

Dick's Been Giving Shooting Lessons Again - The Gang Who Couldn't Shoot Straight is apparently being guarded by the G-Men Who Couldn't Shoot Straight.

Eye-Kea or E-Kay-Uh? - Somehow, the sale at Ikea when terribly awry.

Which Is Worse? - I don't know what's sadder, that he built it or that he plays it. R.I.P., Don Ho.

Unclear On the Concept - This seems a little counter-intuitive to me. Maybe that's why they discontinued it.

Strangely Compelling - Lay down a funky beat with those funky pits.

There He Goes Again! - And this interview is surprising, how?

A Prohetable Career - That Jesus! He was one damn good capitalist. (Tip of the omnipotent chapeau to Hiromi)

Just Go See - Some of the best photography I've seen in awhile...no joke...just go see it.

The Poobah is a featured contributor at Bring It On!


Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Saturday, April 21, 2007

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The Incompetent's Incompetent

It's no secret the Bush administration prizes political patronage for "loyal Bushies" over anything else. All administrations dole out plum assignments, but Bush has stacked the entire government right down to the Assistant Postmaster in Hooterville, USA.

Bush's nominee vetting is inept. He selects his junior Turd Blossoms based on their belief in God or willingness to walk through fire to protect his craven ass. He has the uncanny ability to select people who don't have the faintest whiff of experience for their feather bed jobs. The result? They dig open pit mine-sized holes from which there is no escape save once again becoming lobbyists and CEOs.

At Least He's Our Turd

Congress, especially the Republicans, only compounds the problem. Their approval rationale goes, "I think he's a turd, but by God, he's our turd and that's good enough for me. Let's vote!"

The dysfunctional selection process guarantees appointees selectively bred for failure. A Presidential staff, who never met a donor they didn't like, submits nominees with no experience beyond the brownest nose and plushest lips ever to graze a Texas backside. Congress holds their nose and approves the nominee even when the nominee can't identify the three branches of government, much less run one. When the nominees stumble into trouble, the Bush/Cheney/Rove troika give them their full, unqualified support...while handing them a bar of pig iron as a floatation device.

With a process like this, it's amazing the country continues to stand. Every nook and cranny of our government is chock-a-block with people having the perception of a tree stump. They are so magnificently incompetent you might refer to them as incompetent's incompetents.

The Incompetent's Incompetent

Alberto Gonzales is the latest one. He, or whoever pulls his strings, stupidly decided to replace Federal prosecutors in a spectacularly ham-fisted way. He could've said, "It's legal, we can hire and fire at will" and shut his mouth. Instead, he started a long slide down the slippery slope of a self-made dung heap. First, he justified the firings by explaining the sacked lawyers were sub par performers - except for that one he canned because Karl's office boy in charge of BJs needed a job. When that didn't fly, he blamed it all on his sub-incompetent consigliari. Shockingly, they balked, resigned, and spilled the beans to a now very interested Congress. Each of their conflicting statements was another shovelful of dirt from Al's giant excavation. The fired prosecutors charged political interference with on-going investigations and records and notes contradicting Al's testimony fell like a blizzard. The White House was involved, and then it wasn't. He took full responsibility even though everyone except him and screwed something up. Al was living a hyped up through the looking glass existence.

Finally Al whimpered, "Hey boss, I need some help here." George replied, "He has my unqualified support...by the way, what was his name again?"

Dick said, "Frankly, he's an Al Qaeda agent and should be waterboarded."

Karl tried out the delete feature on his email and five million keystrokes later said, "Oops, my bad".

He's Passing Through the Earth's Crust

Meanwhile, Gonzo kept digging. He's miles past the Earth's crust now and well on his way to an inevitable meeting with the hot magma of truth.

People expect Bush's cronies to be incompetent, but they expect them to be incompetent in the Dick Cheney, shoot a guy in the face way. It takes real incompetence to rise above such a pathetic field. But Al has done it.

He's worse than Wolfowitz. Dumber than Rummy. Less stately than Condi and more incindiaryingly ill-fitting than John Bolton.

The Amnesiac Defense

Al has diminished himself with so many misleading statements, white lies, and giant whoppers he couldn't get Barney to follow him to a plate of Snausages. An angry mob is calling for his testicles, his own cronies have turned against him, and he's portrayed himself alternately as a liar and nitwit incapable of doing his job. His remaining defense is as an amnesiac.

"Mr. Gonzales, state your name for the record."

"I'm sorry Senator, but I don't remember my name. I'm afraid I wasn't present at that birth and never read the birth certificate in question."

Oh, if only I could get a case of amnesia. I don't know how much longer I can put up with the present.

The Poobah is a featured contributor at Bring It On!

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Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Friday, April 20, 2007

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I'm Against Abortion

I'm pro-life.

I don't think anyone could reasonably argue that abortions are good - not even the women who have them. They can be risky and sometimes women must deal with severe emotional and physical consequences. Whether you believe that life begins at conception or at any date along the gestation time line, abortions are procedures best avoided.

A Pound of Prevention...

Of course, there are many ways to prevent abortions.

There's the just say no approach. Proponents believe the less said about sex, the better. They rely on a numbing repetition of the "no" mantra, having kids sign pureness pledges, and not mentioning the delicate issue in public or private. If all else fails, cold showers will keep potential fornicators from being seduced by their filthy genetic urges. There's no way these kids will blow their wads in the den while watching Pat Robertson on television.

Proponents of the just say yes approach are the flip side of the just say no crowd. For them, sex is all about procreation. Their counseling centers tell women they can have their cake and eat it too. Have the kid, but place it for adoption. Good advice, unless you happen to be a crack-addicted minority kid or one of the lucky few who live in impoverished Third World countries frequently visited by Madonna or Angelina Jolie.

Some people support the rhythm method. They recognize the magnetic draw of human sexuality and admit just saying no to something that feels so good might not work. They reluctantly allow giving into the urge, but limit themselves to non-impregnating options like mutual masturbation, "pulling out" before the seed spills, or resorting to the quaint Monica Lewinsky method.

A small number frame abortion as a states' rights issue. They ask, "Who does the US Supreme Court think it is to tell (insert Red State name here) what to do?" They'd rather trust a state supreme court to make the decisions because state courts obviously possess critical information that's inaccessible and completely unintelligible to Justice Roberts, et al.

Not Everyone is an Angel

But not everyone is a pro-life angel.

Deadly abortionists believe solid sex education works best. They think people should know about their bodies and proactively prevent "mistakes" that sometimes occur during a little heavy breathing. They shockingly believe condoms help prevent STDs. Heck, some even condone free condoms for kids who fudge their pureness pledges with window-steaming action in the back of Mom's mini van.

Others believe in the power of medication. These folks see birth control pills as the panacea. Perhaps not as safe as condoms, but partial protection is better than no protection at all. Right? Worst of all, these drug pushers believe the morning after pill is an abomination if ever there was one. That's why so many pharmacists refuse to fill valid prescriptions for them.

Yet another group of morally-challenged baby-killers thinks the life of the mother has some bearing on the situation. They actually believe that taking a life that already exists is better than stopping a potential life that doesn't. Many believe this group supports growing babies and killing them for their stem cells.

Pro-Choice and Pro-Life

I'm against abortion, but I'm also for sex education, open communication, abstinence, birth control, adoption, federal standards, stem cell research, and considering the life of the mother (and the baby's if it goes to full term). In fact, I'm for anything that prevents an abortion, so long as it works.

To me, life is a baby with loving parents, enough financial security for shelter and food, safety from physical and emotional abuse, and a healthy Mom and baby at the end of the process. An existence absent any of these things is no life at all and sometimes an abortion is the only way to guarantee a life worth living.

So, I'm pro-life and pro-choice because there is no other sensible way to be.

The Poobah is a featured contributor at Bring It On!

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Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Thursday, April 19, 2007

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Clap for the Wolfman...

Since he took office, the Employer-in-Chief has found any number of jobs for cronies, political hangers on, and incompetent boobs. Brownie, John Bolton, and half the graduates of Pat Robertson's Regent University are just some of his spectacular hiring decisions. Apparently, George is setting himself up for a promising career with Monster.com after stepping down. This guy could put most placement services to shame - he works on commission too I hear. Very cost effective - if you are the hiree and not the hirer.

The success of his uberhires is on display again with another one of his placements under the gun - Paul Wolfowitz. After the neocon acolyte of Donald Rumsfeld showed the world his brilliant strategery for Iraq, the Recruiter-in-Chief found him a new gig as head of the World Bank. Paul spit-combed his hair, donned his best rat-chewed socks, and headed off for the Bank's executive suite.

Wolfie Laughs His Way to the Bank

Unlike many of Bush's appointments, Paul actually made some progress in his overhaul of the bank - proving that even idiots can do something useful once in awhile. He clamped down on the endemic Third World graft so common at the bank and made some inroads in improving morale at the bank. For a few moments it looked like this crony would actually steal victory from the jaws of defeat.

Flush with his dazzling and unexpected success, Paul found a girlfriend with whom he could share his good fortune. However, girlfriends are expensive (and presumably in this case, also blind). She'd need a little something to tide her over and buy a few knick knacks for the elicit love nest. A man with the pull to fund entire nations had the perfect solution - hire the little chippy.

Skimmin' His Career Away

It doesn't appear as though the girlfriend was solid World Bank material. Moderate raises came and went for others, but oddly, the girlfriend sleeping with the boss on his office hide-a-bed got bigger and better ones. She may not have showed much savvy for international finance, but she knew where to scratch Wolfie when he needed a lil' sumpin' sumpin' to keep him banging, er, banking along.

Like a bunch of those damned ungrateful Iraqis, the employees starting throwing bombs instead of flowers at the conquering Wolfie. Paul's response was to pronounce the nepotism no big deal. "Hey, we've got gazillions of dollars here. What's it going to hurt if I skim a little off for my best friend ever? Robert Mugabe does it."

Many of the shortchanged employees didn't buy it and pointed out that fighting corruption with corruption is a like fighting fire with fire. However, with his in-depth knowledge of the arsonary arts, Wolfie didn't buy what they were selling. As always, Wolfie knew best. There was a standoff - employees against boss and boss against employees. You might call it a civil war if not for George's Totally Abridged Civil War Dictionary.

There'll Always be Another Job

So here we sit, with Third World Countries to fund and Paul and Chippy comfortably ensconced in their hermetically-sealed, protective Glad bag. If you listen carefully, you can hear Paul screaming, "I'm Treasurer of the World! I can really stop corruption now that I've had some first had training. Much better training than that horse race fixing gig Brownie had too!"

But, the employees still aren't buying and the bank's board - along with quite a few finance ministers - are jumping on the "Dump Wolfie" bandwagon.

Eventually, Wolfie will grow short of air in his protective bag and he'll need a new job to leap to. I'm sure that as soon as he puts out the call, Bush Placement Services will find him a new job. Perhaps something in the Department of Justice.

I hear there'll be an opening there pretty soon.

The Poobah is a featured contributor at Bring It On!

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Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Wednesday, April 18, 2007

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The Hardest Thing I've Ever Done

Each of us has our share of traumatic events. Some are life-altering, others merely stinging. I've had, perhaps, more than my share. Coping with three schizophrenics, several traumatic deaths, and the loss of our first baby before birth establish my bonafides in this regard. For most people, any one of these would be more than the normal lifetime allotment. For me, time has mostly worn them smooth. They are part of me. They form the background for the personal portrait of my life.

As I grow older - and live a more peaceful life - it becomes difficult for individual memories to clearly stand out, but a few still do. They are the ones that leap back when times are tough or subconscious thoughts trigger nightmares. These insidious ones are terrible enough to rip rationality and creating cuts that never heal. But, even amongst these traumatic events, one stands out as the hardest thing I've ever done.

The Evil Voices

My mother had been institutionalized twice before to drive the evil voices from her head. She'd been given powerful drugs and shock treatments. She palmed the pills and the shock treatments were ineffective. Her ability to appear normal, even in the throes of psychotic events, fooled even the professionals. Neither session lasted more than four months before she was classified as stable and released. And, each time she was released, the voices came out of hiding and she began to talk to the television or have long and tortured conversations with the imaginary people in her head.

My father longed for a more permanent solution. One that would bring the cheerful woman he married back to live in peace. It was time to formally commit Mom to a place where she'd stay until fully and truly stable. In those days, it was much harder to help the mentally ill. He had to shop for a sympathetic judge and hire lawyers to defend us and her. We hatched a plan to cajole Mom into the car for the trip to the hospital.

I was 14 when the day came.

The Ruse

We opened the garage and parked the car close. I lured her outside and grabbed her before she could slip away. I picked her up bodily and put her, screaming and kicking, into the car. Dad held the door closed until I could get in and hold the lock down. The forty mile drive was as long as a trip across the bleak outback. She finally stopped screaming, but began begging instead. She pleaded with me to release her. She tearfully explained she was fine. She mumbled assurances she'd never be "bad" again. In that moment, I had no reason to believe she wouldn't say or do anything to rejoin the voices in her head. I could only devoid myself of emotion and grimly hold the lock down. Forty miles, bent over with my arm painfully extended and turning a deaf ear to her anguish.

The law required she be inside the hospital before orderlies could take control. When we arrived, I pulled her from the car and gently picked her up again. She was strangely quiet and allowed me to hold her in an embrace that would have been a loving hug not so long ago. At the top of a wheelchair ramp I slowly handed her to a massive orderly. As soon as my hug stopped and his strong arms took over, she began screaming and kicking again. She knew what was behind the door - painful shock treatments, long and empty days filled with other psychotics, and an endless round of meds. This was a state of the art hospital of the time, but it was merely a nicer version of the medieval bedlam my grandmother lived in for most of her life.

Court Is In Session

Dad and I entered the hospital director's office. It was a windowless room bathed in dim light and holding dark leather couches. The judge sat at the director's desk and asked the orderly to bring Mom in.

Her restraints were off as she entered. She was disheveled and had the wild eyes of the newly imprisoned. She'd been through commitment hearings with her own mother and knew there would be no release this time.

The judge began taking testimony from Dad and the doctors. She fixed a malevolent stare on Dad. He was no longer the man she'd loved and married, but the font of her misfortune and target of hates.

Then, it was my turn.

How Could You Do This To Me?

As I began to speak, the begging began again. I was her last best hope. "How could you do this to me? You know I'm fine. Tell them I'm fine. I want to go home. I just want to love you. You're my son. You know I love you." She sniffled and cried in anguish.

But I spoke firmly over her protests, eyes focused on a small patch of the dim wall. I explained her behavior. I told of frightening incidents. I explained I had studied schizophrenia in school and offered my diagnosis - paranoid schizophrenia - more like a young intern than a 14 year old son.

He asked Mom for her testimony, but she remained silent and this time glaring at everyone - including me. She knew which way the judge would go. She knew she wasn't going home anytime soon.

The judge approved the commitment order and the orderly reached for Mom. She shrugged him off and drew her hands through her mussed hair. When satisfied with her appearance, she slowly rose and walked out the door with more offended dignity than I've seen before or since. I heard their footsteps retreat down the hall and ending with the clank of a heavy metal door. Mom was remanded to the custody of her inner demons, sentenced to the horrible things that had to happen before she could emerge with her mind cleansed.

The Hardest Thing I've Ever Done

I realized in a forcefully detached way that I helped put her there. I wasn't angry. I wasn't sad. I didn't blame myself nor did I visualize her recovery. I didn't see this as a step toward becoming what she used to be - a loving wife and mother full of life. My head was just filled to bursting with a single thought.

This was the hardest thing I'd ever done.

The Poobah is a featured contributor at Bring It On!

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Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Tuesday, April 17, 2007

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As soon as the wrenching pain of Blacksburg settles into a dull ache, there'll be plenty of hand-wringing over the largest shooting spree in America's history. In a national expression of grief-stricken rubbernecking we'll discuss gun control, security procedures, and the effect of violence in our culture. There'll probably even be a television movie and book by May.

It's not that these discussions aren't important. They're a way to scrub away a bit of the muck splashed upon all of us as we realize humans - despite what we like to think - are a curious, deeply-flawed breed. Despite all our good intentions and attempts to balance the needs and rights of the few against those of the many, someone comes along who simply refuses to be, well, civilized.

Dangerously Unhinged

They might be dangerously psychotic or wound a bit too tight to cope with a marriage breakup or personal slight. Despite the fact I'm not a religious man, I'd say some are just pure evil. Shootings like the one at Virginia Tech are in a league of their own. The perpetrator wasn't some young, stupid punk who shot a clerk while holding up a Seven-Eleven. The perpetrators of shooting sprees are dangerously unhinged.

I've had plenty of experience dealing with the deeply psychotic and I have news for you - you can't stop them from doing what they're determined to do. Gun registration might slow a young punk down because he's not that determined anyway. If he was, he wouldn't be out robbing Seven-Elevens for $23 and a pack of Marlboro Lights. A waiting period might cool off a cuckolded spouse, but if he crosses the line from merely scorned spouse to psychotic killer, quick access to a gun matters little.

He's Not Just Your Bus Stop Raver

Psychotic people aren't always like the raving homeless guy at the bus stop. Sometimes, they're very difficult to detect. One moment they appear perfectly in control. The next, they're behind closed doors and alone with inner monsters who start making bloody plans and videotaping bizarre farewell speeches. Shooting spree psychotics are cunning and more determined than a Baghdad suicide bomber and that lethal combination makes them virtually unstoppable.

Strict gun control - even outright gun bans - won't slow them down. They can easily make bombs out of household chemicals or mow down people with their PT Cruiser. They're not choosy about method, only cunning about their opportunities. You can install metal detectors and they'll sneak in through a window. You can ban all violence on television, but they aren't swayed a bit by it. Their inner demons are calling the shots and it doesn't matter is the psychotic watches CSI or Sesame Street - the demons live by their rules alone.


Soon it'll be time for the pundits to crawl onto the talk shows, each convinced their idea is the end all, be all. There'll be more screaming than a Baghdad funeral, but the only change will be the hardening of us all as we try to escape the incessant 24x7 blather. There'll be little real change because there is little we can really do about it.

Except talk.

Or, be confused about why humans - however damaged - can do such things.

The Poobah is a featured contributor at Bring It On!

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Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Monday, April 16, 2007

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News in Review

Rove Emails Deleted - According to the White House, nearly four years worth of emails sought by the Senate Judiciary Committee were accidentally deleted by President Bush's political advisor Karl Rove. White House spokesperson Dana Perino said, "The President believes the emails were deleted by Al Qaeda operatives. He is quite disturbed by this action and has vowed to get to the bottom of it."

"Anyone found guilty of this crime will be sentenced to a position as a federal prosecutor and summarily fired for never having graduated from law school," Bush is quoted as saying. "I believe it is important for the public to appreciate the high levels of trust and honesty continuously displayed by my administration."

When asked about the four year gap, Rove explained, "It was just a minor error. I leaned over to answer the phone and my foot hit the delete key," Rove said. "It could have happened to anyone. The keyboard was only 12 feet away in the next office. Those democrats are just a bunch of nappy-headed hoes bent on the politics of personal destruction"

Iraq Surge - In response to continued criticism of his Iraq policy, President Bush announced this week that he would withdraw all but 12 soldiers from Iraq. The National Guard members are expected to have their tours extended by at least six years to help stabilize the country.

At the same time, Bush requested Congress approve a three-fold increase in the pending emergency funding allocation. "I plan to show my continued support for the Iraqi government by issuing a no-bid contract to Halliburton for the construction of 16,000 cardboard cutouts of soldiers," Bush said. "These cutouts will stand as a proud testament to all the progress we've made in Iraq."

Unnamed sources said Bush also plans to revitalize Iraq's destroyed infrastructure by deploying 60 papier mache power plants, 160 miles of Christmas ribbon printed to look like superhighways, and thousands of hospitals and schools constructed of shoe boxes. Those sources say Bush's plan will ultimately succeed because the faux products are all made from recycled materials. "Let the dems and their global warming compadres suck on that one," one source said. "That Al Gore thinks he's just so smart. He's not the only one who can be a tree hugger you know."

Romney Adopts Pro NRA Stance - Presidential candidate Mitt Romney announced last week that he was a longtime hunter and had recently joined the National Rifle Association (NRA) for their low-cost, term life insurance plan.

"I've hunted my entire life, although mostly within the last two years when I participated in unlicensed bunny shoots," Romney said. "I'm no big game hunter. I shot the occasional squirrel, small varmint, or snofibgulos on the planet Bangdor."

After his prepared statement, Romney was asked, "Governor Romney are you on drugs or do you really believe you've visited Bangdor?"

Romney replied, "No, I'm not on drugs. I'm a Mormon dammit - we can't even drink coffee! Bangdor is a wonderful planet. I especially like the anal probes they offer there. Quite refreshing," Romney said while smiling vacantly.

Romney's campaign manager said of the comment, "Damn! He's done it again. The tricky bastard is off-message. Jenny, go hunt him down and get him back here. He needs the anal probe again."

Lieberman in Line for War Czar Job? - The President announced this week that his administration is hiring a special "czar" to lead the War on Terror. According to Senator Joe Lieberman, the czar would report directly to the President so that he is ensured, "clear and unambiguous advice not offered by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, or the National Director of Astrology. Clearly, the President can't mastermind the entire endeavor himself," Lieberman said.

After three rebuffed attempts to offer the job to retired generals, Lieberman put his own name in contention. "I think I can build on my abortive quest for the Vice Presidency and vast experience as a Senator from one of the smallest states in the Union, to lose the war more quickly, thereby ensuring victory," Lieberman said.

Vice President Dick Cheney, pausing during a snofibgulous hunt on the planet Bangdor, said he doesn't think Lieberman is the best choice at this time. "I'm the Decider around here. The War on Terror is the centerpiece of this administration and I'm the one running the show. Now excuse me while I return to the hunt. Festus, hand me a No. 3 Furlburfel Blaster. Those pesky snofibgulous are damn fast."

The Poobah is a featured contributor at Bring It On!

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Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Sunday, April 15, 2007

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The Inevitable Imus Post

Omnipotent Mea Culpa: There were some problems with the information I supplied in Sunday's post about energy policy. To get the lowdown and my apologies, stop by this post at Bring It On. Now, on to today's post.

Don Imus is another in a long line of knot headed celebrities who've put their own well-paid backsides in a sling. They exercised their First Amendment rights, while completely ignoring the accompanying responsibility to refrain from saying something terminally stupid.

Critics of the I-Man - where "I" apparently stands for "Idiot" - have every right to be incensed and call for his head. What he said was rude and boorish and there is no excuse for a national radio personality not to know that, especially when he's said similarly distasteful things before.

A Fit Punishment

Although he's apologized profusely, the offended haven't accepted. In response, MSNBC cast him adrift altogether and CBS radio suspended him for two weeks. Pressure on advertisers may soon cause CBS to revisit that decision and Imus might find himself back on his ranch without a place to hang his ridiculous cowboy hat (Bush reference not intended).

Does the punishment fit the crime?

That's a subjective call based on how offended you are, Imus's recidivism problems, and how you view race issues. There is no single "right" punishment, only one the protesters, his advertisers, and employers hash out in the national arena. If it's clear the market will shun him, CBS will make the hard call. At a certain level, it's like a racial dispute incident at any company. Only the stakes are higher. Do you fire a nimrod over their indiscretions or work out some sort of monitoring process to evaluate the sincerity of their apologies? At the end of the day the question is, "is it more expensive to give them another chance, or less expensive to cut them loose."

Al and Jesse Leading the Charge

Imus ultimately deserves what he gets. He was monumentally stupid and I can't fault those offended. However, I'd prefer that someone other than Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson lead the charge.

Sharpton burst onto the national scene by vociferously calling for white heads over the claims of Tawana Brawley - a 15-year old black woman who charged she was raped by six white men. After months of framing it as a race issue, a Grand Jury found no evidence of the crime. In view of his current righteousness, Sharpton was conspicuously silent about the erroneous shit-storm he stirred up. His apology wasn't accepted, because he never offered one.

Sharpton and Jackson both jumped on the Duke lacrosse player bandwagon, convicting the accused white men in public before the court did it's job. Again, after months of jawing about racism, the case was dropped Wednesday after large holes appeared in the accuser's story. However, the Duke boys shouldn't expect a mea culpa from either of them any time soon.

Jesse had a moment of racial insensitivity too - one arguably worse than the one Imus brought on himself. In 1984, he referred to Jews as "hymies" and New York as "hymietown" - slurs every bit as repugnant as "nappy-headed hoes". He - like Imus - apologized profusely, but only after claiming it never happened, accusing Jews of being out to get him, and refusing to denounce his ally Louis Farrakhan after he threatened Jews with, "If you harm this brother [Jackson], it will be the last one you harm."

Imus Doesn't Deserve a Pass

To say Imus should get a pass because Sharpton and Jackson displayed similarly oafish behavior isn't right. It also isn't right that whites commit racially charged acts and try to prevaricate themselves free. Nor is it right that people of all colors look away sheepishly when events like these occur.

There will be no lasting progress in healing the country's racial wounds until those throwing the stones look at their own glass houses. Sharpton and Jackson should know that.

After all, they still have jobs preaching what they don't practice and I believe God might have a bone to pick on that score.

The Poobah is a featured contributor at Bring It On!

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Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Wednesday, April 11, 2007

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Randomness Wolfie Style

Stinky Cheeseman Has a Girlfriend - Paul Wolfowitz is in deep doo doo over allegations he's been giving his girlfriend big pay raises. I know I'd need some payola to stay with a dude who wears holey socks, combs his hair with spit, picks his nose in public, and destroys entire countries by email. Obviously, that woman has a terminal case of low self-esteem.

Was It Good for You? - The Big Lie turned on it's head. Maybe they should use this service next time. Or, if it doesn't work out, this service. (NSFW and a tip of the omnipotent miter to Tits McGee)

But What About Ken? - Apparently Barbie is so much more than a astrophysicist brain surgeon with big boobs. She's quite the little plastic minx too.

How Much for a Lap Dance? - Hubba, hubba. (NSFW)

Horndogs-in-Chief - Clearly Dubya is not part of this crowd, but if they were doing the 10 Imbeciles-in-Chief survey, he'd be golden.

A Barack Obama for the Next Generation - Finally, a candidate I can really get behind. At the very least, she'll garner more votes than this guy. At least he didn't lose to a dead man like John Ashcroft. "Let the eeeeeeeagles soar..."

Run Ladies, Run! - Cap'n, run like the wind. The old geezer is after you and he really likes the ladies' ladies!

Would You Buy a Car From This Man? - Dubya must have been a car dealer in a previous life. The proof? It's here.

On the Catwalk - "I'm too commie for my shirt, so sexy it hurts." Those Ukrainians sure know how to make the fashion statement, eh? (NSFW)

Hair Today, Photoshopped Tomorrow - It's funny, but I always pictured them this way.

Wanna a Little Jesus With That? -First, you see images of the holy dude on toast, now he's in the peanut butter. Man, that guy is hella omniscient.

I Liked the Creme Filled Ones Myself - Yeah, but what do you dunk them in?

Angst Filled Fergie - Bumpin' to the humps with Alanis.

Get a Job! - Dad always told me to learn a good trade.

Barb Speaks the Truth - "Clinton lied. A man might forget where he parks or where he lives, but he never forgets oral sex, no matter how bad it is." - Babs Bush. Kinda like this.

From Microsoft Advanced R&D - Behold! The secret of Windows Vista.

Just Another Day at the Office - I'm suing these guys. They've obviously ripped off the idea for this game from my life at the office. Even if I don't win, I'll get back at them! Mwaahahahaha!

Yo Quiero Masterpiece - The talent some will show with their food, but can they make Mickey Mouse pancakes with chocolate chip eyes?

Made in Japan - They can invent a toilet that automatically blow dries your ass and yet they can't even master surfing for porn. Rank amateurs!

The Poobah is a featured contributor at Bring It On!

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Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Monday, April 09, 2007

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Time for an Energy Thingamajig

Over the past 30 years, administrations of both parties have squandered golden chances to forge a coherent energy policy. Though the problem had built for years, it reached a big juicy zit in 1973 when OPEC closed the taps and Americans started buying over-priced gasoline on odd or even days. As the sheiks ordered up another round of couscous, Americans got the rude awakening.

"Gee, maybe trusting the Middle Eastern despots isn't such a good idea."

Ya think?

Oil or Borax?

Reagan did little about energy independence. He was too busy trying to outgun the commies and do a little gun running on the side. He believed the US was the bee's knees and, 23-skidoo, he forgot the world's sole remaining superpower got around in a fleet of 2 gal. per mile Lincolns. Perhaps he couldn't tell the difference between borax and oil. After all, they both came out of the ground.

Although the Gulf War was nominally about Iraq invading Kuwait, it was also a prelude to what happens when the whole Middle East goes up in flames. Unlike his lunkhead son, 41 waged a popular war. He emerged with record high polls and had - again unlike his idiot child - real political capital to spend. With the despots beholden to him and the populace ready to do his bidding, it was the perfect time for a coherent policy. However, his dismal departing poll numbers and loss of the election tells the story of just how shallow the Ewing, er, Bush gene pool really is. Golden Opportunity No. 1 came - and went.

No "Oil" for the Blue Dress

Then, Slick Willy came to town. He talked a good game, but made no real progress. It was clear the old what's good for GM is good for the country maxim was alive and well and living in Little Rock. The only change on his watch was to loop the gas waster manufacturers and gas suppliers together to share the cost of lobbyists. Bill pissed away his golden chance for a BJ under the desk.

Damn, that little minx Monica must have been good. Too bad it wasn't oil that stained the infamous blue dress.

Smilin' George's Hummerland

Now comes George the Stupider. From atop the smoldering rubble he brought it to those dangerous, cave-dwelling, video-taping, Islamofacists. But, George's missing weekends with the National Guard didn't prepare him to wage war nearly as well as his Dad. Shrub, Rummy, and the Coalition of the Inept sat down at the 'ol campfire, pulled out their mess kits, and promptly shat in them - repeatedly. When those mess kits filled, they ordered up another 110,000 and ate more beans. Meanwhile, the oil gushed so fast it threatened to pucker up the entire Middle East as it flowed into Smilin' George's Hummerland dealership where the motto is, "I'd give 'em away, but my wife won't let me!"

Oil Can George turned his energy policy over to Big Dick Vader. Dick asked the oil lobby to write the policy while he got a change of batteries for his pacemaker. Then, he howled about ANWAR as if it was the last untapped field on the planet. He followed with an encore of propping up Ken Lay and telling the country, "There's no possible way you can conserve your way out of an oil crisis"...and Osama was too shacked up with Saddam you traitorous vermin!

Oil greases the US's skids. It ties into defense policy, environmental policy, and foreign policy. Almost nothing in this country is untouched by the availability of oil. We're in a race between holes burned into ozone layer by oil or an energy crisis of gigantic proportions.

The Perfect Metaphor

But, leave it to George. He took a vacation from the War of Error last week to unwittingly craft the perfect metaphor for his energy policy.

During a demonstration for a hybrid hydrogen/electric Ford, George raced to a live charging cord, picked it up, and promptly began to shove it into the hydrogen tank. Ford CEO, Alan Mulally - he of the four-month $39.1 million payoff - leapt into action and saved the leader of the free world from self-immolation, proving that what's good for GM must be good for Ford too.

About $39.1 million good for him. Not so much for the country.

The Poobah is a featured contributor at Bring It On!

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Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Sunday, April 08, 2007

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Theocratic Street Gangs

Today's post is in support of the Blogs Against Theocracy blogswarm. Let your voice be heard. Visit First Freedom First for more on this important topic.

One of the many reasons Europeans came to the New World was for freedom of religion. They fled a theocratic world for one that didn't clash with their own beliefs. Facing a dangerous new world, rather than succumb to another religion, was a brave statement and their example is a cautionary tale of what can happen when religion and government merge.

History is full of theocracies. In nearly all of them, a single sect emerged and consolidated their power to the exclusion of non-believers. This consolidation often resulted in decidedly undivine acts. Non-believers where often enslaved or killed. The luckiest were merely subsumed into a belief system they did not share - a familiar story to the pilgrims of the New World.

Theocracies as Perpetrators of Wrong

Theocracies perpetrated the wrongs and justified them as a divine right bestowed by their God whom they exalted above all others. For centuries, persecutors and the persecutees looked at this behavior as solely a religious divide. But, there's a sociological reason as well - people like belonging to a group. They may lack self-confidence and seek inner strength to help them navigate a cold world. They may join to avoid persecution at the hands of another group. Some seek group wisdom as a way to explain the vagaries of an unknowable universe. And some just have a vague feeling of wanting to belong - after all, everyone needs a little fellowship.

But, if we strip away the theological trappings for a moment, there is a modern-day parallel from an unlikely place - street gangs.

Bloods and Crips

Gangs offer protection from non-believers, the psychological comfort and inner strength of belonging, and a belief system that helps them deal with the vagaries of their often violent and capricious world. Gangs attack each other in the firm belief they have the right to kill or enslave others before others kill or enslave them. Like a religion, they work tirelessly to fatten up their membership - a sort of mid-growth power grab they hope leaves them the ultimate masters of their dysfunctional block of the universe.

Many religious people in favor of theocracies will find this insulting. They cling tightly to their concept of right makes might because they believe in a supreme God. However, even that argument is on shaky ground. People choose to follow a belief system - even if they believe the "choice" emanates from their God. That's why there are so many competing religions. In this way, Christians and Muslims aren't much different than Bloods and Crips. One serves a particular God, while others worship at the gangsta rap altar of inner city violence.

I choose to be an atheist, but I have no interest in banishing religion. If I did, I'd favor a belief system just as dangerous as a theocracy. I believe in an openness that is anathema to the core values of a theocracy. I choose to view holy books as good literature with handy rules for living a good life. My belief system allows me to follow the moral principles of a Bible or a Koran without the slightest tinge of hypocrisy. My moral values are basically the same as the religious, I just believe they emanate from man rather than God. I don't need a theocracy to tell me which book to read and how I should feel about it.

Theocracies Run Amok Threaten Everyone

Theocracies are a human construct. At their most benevolent, they offer the chance for people of the same beliefs to harness their combined power and do the good will of their chosen God. But the dividing line between benevolent and evil is a fuzzy, subjective one. So fuzzy, in fact, that even devout practitioners can be blind to stepping over to the dark side. Left to their own devices, theocracies can easily spin out of control - as can unchecked atheism.

Humans are at the top of the food chain. We are smarter, more adaptable, and more powerful than any other species on the planet. However, we're all fallible. If there is a God, I believe that He/She/It would be against theocracy. If God did create the basic, shared tenets of most religions, I believe He'd prefer followers who chose to follow them rather than those compelled by a human construct to buckle under the weight of a monotheistic theocracy.

I'd advise theocratic proponents to give their God more credit. If He is as an all-seeing and knowing good guy, He should be able to create an organizing principle much more elegant and inclusive than a myopic theocracy led by a few people with pretensions to the divine and a thirst for banishing all those who disagree.

I think your God demands it.

The Poobah is a featured contributor at Bring It On!

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Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Saturday, April 07, 2007

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