As the disastrous eight years of the Bush/Cheney mis-administration winds to a close, you can review the Bush Years in Onion Headlines via BoingBoing. It links to a much fuller list found on Theresa Nielsen Hayden’s blog Making Light: The true history of the Bush years.
Here are some of my favorite headlines:
January 17, 2001: Bush: ‘Our Long National Nightmare Of Peace And Prosperity Is Finally Over’.
March 17, 2004: Rumsfeld Hosts No-Holds-Barred Martial Arts Tournament At Remote Island Fortress.
September 14, 2005: Halliburton Gets Contract To Pry Gold Fillings From New Orleans Corpses’ Teeth.
July 2, 2008: Bush Tours America To Survey Damage Caused By His Disastrous Presidency.
January 13, 2009: Vice Presidential Handlers Lure Cheney Into Traveling Crate.
I laughed out loud when I read that last one. Yeah, the last eight years wasn’t as bad as when Stalin collectivized the farms in the Soviet Union or as bad as the Spanish Civil War. At least not in the US. What happened in Iraq and Afghanistan was pretty bad. And though we may have hopefully good leadership for the next four to eight years, it won’t be easy digging our selves out of the hole the Bush-Cheney cabal has put us in.
On the one hand I have to pinch myself, that we actually elected Obama. On the other hand I know we have a rough road ahead thanks to outgoing administration. Hopefully the last act we get to witness are Bush’s pardons. They’ll be the turd icing on the shit cake that was their administration.
We are at the beginning of a severe recession, depending on what we do as a people and what our government does, it could become another Great Depression. So far the government is not putting the brakes on the recession. In fact they are making things worse. Whether this is by accident or design, I don’t know, but I’m leaning towards the latter, especially what led up to the current situation.
I watched Kevin Phillips on BookTV this morning. He’s the author of Bad Money and this evening I just learned that the bailout oversight people have a website. I’m not sure they have offices yet. I’ll start with my rough notes on one of the oversight people, Elizabeth Warren.
When I heard Elizabeth Warren, a Harvard law professor and author of the Two Income Trap, was appointed to the $700 billion oversight board I was very excited. She is quite capable of doing the job, but the real question is will she be really allowed to do her job. Elizabeth is honest enough and we’ll know whether or not she’ll be able to give real oversight with her cohorts.
Anyway, the oversight website is up, and she has a video report on Youtube. I learned she was from Tulsa when I read 2IT.
I saw Kevin Phillips on BookTV this morning. It was very depressing. He described Bernanke doing what is equivalent to what the French did after WWI, build the Maginot Line. We saw how well that stopped WWII. He was pimping his new article the Numbers racket over at Harper’s. He did not have kind words for the Democrats nor the Clintons. They were the ones who helped pass Phil Gramm’s deregulation of the futures markets. He had harsher words for the Republicans and that they deserved to be kicked off the bus, but he had the harshest words for the Bushes. Neither father nor son should have been President and that W. had done more damage to this country in his eight years than any other President.
He also said the unemployment numbers are really higher than reported. The reported number is over 6%. The real number is over 12%. In the 90’s the gov’t switched to a what is known as U3 criteria. They used to use U6 criteria. If they counted the number of unemployed by using 70’s standards we’d know the true number. They do not count those who’ve given up looking for work. Also, inflation is much higher than reported. It’s about 7%.
I’d highly recommend paying attention to both of these people and what they have to say.
I saw this powerful adaptation of Percy Bysshe Shelley’s Ozymandias on DailyKos yesterday. Today someone else was so moved by it, they turned it into a slideshow and posted it on YouTube.
People have notoriously short political memories and if it does not affect them they forget about it.
Showing an image becomes a political act when someone else doesn’t want you to see that image. Should we show pictures of the flag draped coffins of our fallen soldiers returning home? Both sides know that images such as those have power. One could show them, say yes war is brutal, and we must not forget those who make the ultimate sacrifice for us. One could show them, and say say our soldiers are dying for oil. It matters not to the dead how they got that way or why the pictures are shown. Does context matter?
No. Free speech is guaranteed by the US Constitution. It makes no judgment on why an image is shown, only that we can. If the military disallows the taking of such images for security reasons, that is understandable. Not having the enemy know how many of our soldiers killed is a valid reason. If the politicians don’t allow it for political reasons then support for a war isn’t that strong and may not be justifiable.
It is not a black & white issue. Pictures are powerful. Words are powerful. We live in a relatively free country. The only way to keep it that way is for us to know the real reasons what our soldiers are dying for and not to flinch from showing the fallen. Because if the cause is just we will mourn them and honor their memories. If it is not, our anger should not be contained.