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.The Eternal American Battle - Humans V Money

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Monday, October 29, 2007

MAKE LOVE, NOT POINTS

I think everybody knows we live in a dangerous world, but did you realize just how much safer George and Dick are making it for us? It was announced last week that things are going so well in Iraq that the U.S. State Department has decided to give its employees a choice. They can either “volunteer” to work at the new American “Uuber Embassy” in Bagdad, or be fired. It seems there are 250 unfilled positions at what is supposed to be the largest U.S. embassy in the world, but only 50 applications have been made by department employees. So qualified State Department personnel will receive a letter giving them until Thanksgiving to “volunteer, after which date they will be assigned at random, at which point they can either join the “Bushies” in hell or be fired. There, don’t you feel safer? As you may have heard, the employees sure as hell don't.
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The State Department has also been extending the popular "War On Terror” by signing treaties with an “Allegiance of the Willing” to be boarded; those nations who are willing to have their merchant ships stopped by US Naval and Coast Guard vessels, ever searching for “Weapons of Mass Destruction”. So far they have signed up Panama, Liberia, Malta, Cypress, The Marshall Islands, and the latest signatory, Mongolia, which doesn’t actually have either a seacoast or a port. Feel safer, yet? No? Well, maybe you're just not concentrating hard enough, buddy.
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Well, residents of Lagrangeville, New York are concentrating and they remain concerned because ‘ole Dead-Eye-Dick Cheney is planning on “Goin’ Huntin’” at the Clove Valley Rod and Gun Club just outside of town. Viva Ttanata, the farmer whose back yard adjoins the Cheney “zone-of-death-hunt-site” told the New York Daily News, “I don’t want him in my backyard. He scares me. I’ll be keeping my dog inside while he’s there.” Another neighbor, Fred Boehmer, said simply, “I’m getting out of town.” Good thought, Fred. But what the hell do the rest of us clay pigeons do to avoid Dick's pacemaker inhanced glare?
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It may seem a little unfair to make fun of “Dead-Eye” Dick’s proclivity for gunning down his hunting partners since he’s only gunned down one little old man. But, honestly, how many little old men hunting partners do you have to gun down before you earn a reputation for doing gunning down little old men hunting partners? I say one. But all kidding aside, I still wouldn’t let my dog out side while Dead-eye is carrying a gun, either.
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I wish Dick would just shut the hell up. This time old dead-eye has announced that “We will not allow Iran to have nuclear weapons….Our country and the entire international community cannot stand by as a terror-supporting state fulfills its most aggressive ambitions.” And Boom! Gas jumps from $2.59 a gallon to $2.89, and beyond. That sure as hell is shock and awe. It’s like Dick wants his buddies in the oil companies to get even richer, or something. And there was Hillary, voting to give Dick the justification to start WWIII, which George has also prophesied recently. I so wanted to vote for her, but she’s starting to make me as nervous as Dick Cheney, suicide bomber.

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Meanwhile, another little upstate New York town has become the focus of Republican Senator John McCain’s struggling presidential campaign. The citizens of Bethel Woods were hoping to build a museum to commemorate the seminal event which occurred outside their little town some 37 years ago, Woodstock, which McCain has described as “…a cultural and pharmaceutical event”. It is a description which caused his conservative audiences to smirk and applaud, and which, 35 years ago, would have produced the exact same reaction (for different reasons) from those who actually attended or wished they had attended Woodstock, (never in human history have so many wished they had been so loaded, so cold, so wet, so muddy, so hungry and standing in line for so long to use a port-a-potty.) Woodstock hasn’t been a political issue for almost 40 years. Thank goodness John McCain's Republican Party is still the party of ideas; forty year old ideas, but then these are the same people who are still trying to punish the Democrats for electing FDR four times. And then there was the whole Tom Dewey frustration.
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The argument about the Bethel Woods earmark is mirrored in Sparta, South Carolina, where that tiny community is trying to spend a million federal and state earmark dollars to build a 30,000 square foot Sparta Tea Pot Museum, but things are not going so well in Sparta, either. The owners of the largest private collection of Tea Pots in America, Gloria and Sonny Kamm, are unhappy because the latest design for the museum the developers are backing won’t allow room for their entire 7,000 tea pots, short and stout, practical and utilitarian and some created by painters Roy Lichtenstein and David Hockney, sculpture Michael Lucera and ceramist Beatrice Wood. A traveling exhibition of just a part of the Kamm tea pot exhibit has just finished breaking attendance records at museums in Napa, California, Montgomery, Alabama, and Toronto, Canada. They had such high hopes in the Republican dominated Carolina legislature.

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This could almost make up for the Tea Pot dome scandal that so injured the G.O.P in the last century. Except, of course, the Democrats have resisted attacking the struggling working class of Sparta. Which is why the Republicans have been on such a winning streak, their willingness to throw anybody from Terry Shivo to the children of America under their campaign bus, be it the Bush Veto juggernaut or the McCain Straight Talk Express.
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Because art, as they say, is in the eye of the beholder, and so are pork barrel earmarks. Sparta has lost over 1,500 well paying factory jobs. And the population of 25 to 34 year olds in upstate New York has dropped by from 30 to 42 percent. These communities are each struggling to find an anchor upon which to build their future, and both think they have found a unique local solution. And who should show up to criticize them but a bunch of ideologues trashing these locally inspired attempts at self preservation. Doesn’t America believe in its people anymore? Don’t we believe in investing in our communities anymore?
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And who would have ever thought that John McCain, war hero, really wanted to grow up to be George W. Bush, draft dodger. Feel safer, yet?
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