I hate the world a lot

by Ike Hettit, an honest liberal


I don't understand why we can't all just get along and hold hands and sing songs. If we treat everyone with respect and share everything, everything should be fine. What's the problem here?

Friday, November 17, 2006

Looking at 2008: Slim Pickin’s

Sorry I haven’t been writing much. I’ve been busy organizing war protests at military funerals so that, at the most sensitive and desperate time in their lives, the families of the fallen know just how much we hate the choice their lost loved-ones made. Rubbing it in is an important part of the anti-war movement.

So it’s time to gear up for the 2008 presidential election. I think we all know Hillary’s going to take the Democrat nomination pretty easily. Obama has a chance, but he’s an Uncle Tom and a little green. And they’re both way too conservative, but these are the best chances we’ve got at taking back the White House from the Nazis.

As it stands right now, Hillary will likely be taking on John McCain or Rudi Giuliani. This brings up an interesting choice for the Republicans, and a brutal choice for the rest of us: If Hillary can’t win a general election, who would be better between McCain and Giuliani?

On the one hand, you’ve got McCain, who’s a fascist for going to war and because of his extreme right-wing voting record. He seems like a good choice for the Nazis, but for some reason conservatives don’t trust him. This could be because he tries to bypass partisan bickering to work with traitor Democrats to get things done. It could also be that he has repeatedly butted heads with Bush, most recently over the immoral “liberation” of Iraq. McCain wants more troops — more troops! — over there to, I suppose, lower the violence and kill more terrorists. If there’s a more immoral stance than Bush’s “stay the course”, it’s putting more troops in Iraq — this might actually help our troops succeed, which would be a total disaster. So as far as I’m concerned, McCain would be an evil president.

On the other hand, there’s Giuliani, who will always have a lot of support because of his “leadership” during 9/11. What a joke. Bush most likely planned 9/11. I’m sure he warned Giuliani about what was going to happen. So, being prepared, of course both leaders acted with courage and poise. (Michael Moore’s a fool for thinking that Bush’s 7-minute inaction after finding out about the attacks was real — it’s so obviously fake. And horrible acting, I might add.) The charade worked well, because their “leadership” impressed the world who now looked at America and was duped into thinking, “Wow, they have great leaders over there!” There was so much good will that America was unobstructed — helped, even — in immorally deposing the Taliban and “liberating” Afghanistan.

Then there’s Giuliani’s governing record. And that, my friends, is as fascist as it gets. Any mayor who was able to turn New York around from the dump that it was to the city it is now must have been an immoral tyrant. A good, fair mayor would have never succeeded like that. Needless to say, I think Giuliani would be an evil president too.

If I had to choose between the two, I guess I’d go with McCain because of his age. He’s old enough that he could pass away while still president. This would be a “tragic” event, which we need more of in America.

Labels: , , , , ,

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Barely a Victory

I held off writing about the midterm elections until we knew everything for sure. Now that we know the Dems have control of the House and Senate, let’s admit one thing to ourselves before we get too excited: This was a very small victory.

First, the Dems’ majority in the Senate is tiny. This means that they could need Republicans to vote with them on bills. This isn’t good. Any bill a Republican would vote for isn’t a good bill. After all, let’s not forget that it was the Republicans who abolished slavery, and it’s widely known that blacks had it worse after slavery than they did while it existed. This is an early example of Republicans, just as they have in Iraq, immorally thinking ahead instead of bowing to the immediate hardships of the present.

Second, an unfortunately large number of the newly elected Democrats are relatively moderate or even conservative. From Bush’s perspective, if Democrats were going to take Congress, these were some of the best candidates. And let’s not forgot that we still have to deal with Mr. Triple Threat (traitor, fascist, and thief of what should have been a Democrat seat), Joe Lieberman. Basically, Congress went from being Republican to Republican Light.

Third, and most dishearteningly, last night on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, Howard Dean said that the Dems will not impeach Bush. This means that Nancy Pelosi sold us out. I really had faith that she would initiate impeachment proceedings. Now we see her at the White House making nice with Bush and saying they’re going to work together. That’s disgusting and it makes her just as bad as he is.

I just don’t understand. It’s obvious that for the good of the country the Dems should investigate and vilify our path to war, and make public all our immoral national security strategies so that the world (including jihadists, because we need to treat everyone equally) knows exactly how we're protecting ourselves. As I’ve written before, the very best way to undermine this war would be to impeach Bush and then Cheney once he took over. Nancy Pelosi, being the Speaker of the House, would then become our president. But today Nancy has proven that she’s a coward. She doesn’t deserve to lead us. She's become a tool of the right wing.

One last thought. While discontent about the war was an issue, Dems otherwise won this battle largely for superficial reasons. Would it surprise anyone if, in two years’ time, Americans were resentful that Republicans lost as much national power as they did because Mark Foley made a pass at a male page and George Allen called someone “macaca”? This could be a shot in the arm for Republicans who, in 2008, could easily exploit the fact that the Dems still don’t really have an organized platform about … anything.

For now, yes, we can celebrate a small victory. But don’t hold your breath for a much-needed redistribution of wealth, let alone a nation-wide hippie commune.

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Double Standards: The Price of Being “Great”

In theory, Saddam Hussein should be punished for the murder of 148 Shiite Muslims in the city of Dujail. But not in practice, because the practice is immoral.

First, Saddam should go free on technicalities. Consider what would happen to a criminal in America if he were caught and brought to trial by illegal means. Even if the criminal had raped every little girl in the country, the case would be thrown out of court. And even if it weren’t, all the evidence would be inadmissible. Given that the war to depose Saddam was strictly immoral and illegal, he should not have to face a trial, let alone be punished. Making him take responsibility for his oppression and mass murders is unfair from a legal standpoint.

Second, Saddam should go free on moral grounds. We seem to be forgetting something that should be glaringly obvious. Even a child should be able to recognize that the massacre was justified. After all, the Dujail villagers tried to assassinate Saddam to end his tyranny. Hello? Saddam was a dictator! We have to put ourselves in his shoes! What do we expect him to do when faced with a group who wants to end his reign? He had no choice but to massacre everyone he suspected to be associated with the plot, including a few others for effect. If he’d simply killed only those few who were actually involved, he would have looked weak in front of other dictators who might doubt his psychopathy.

Some conservatives might want to argue that, because Saddam tried to assassinate the Elder Bush, by my logic he deserved to be reprimanded like the Dujail villagers. I’d like to remind them that the situations are completely different. Younger Bush, like his father did, pretends he’s not a dictator. And if you’re “not a dictator”, you can’t use force.

If Bush were open about being a dictator, maybe he would have been justified in retaliating against Saddam by invading Iraq and building an elected representative government. But you can’t have it both ways. As long as you pretend to be the “elected” head of a free society, diplomacy is the only acceptable course of action. This is just another reason why the invasion of Iraq and Saddam’s trial were immoral — they were carried out by a democracy and not a despotic regime. The only thing that should ever be killed by a responsible, moral society is an unwanted unborn child.

These kinds of double standards are essential. They effectively ensure that America is judged by a separate set of rules from most of the world. They guarantee that when a jihadist saws off an innocent civilian’s head on the internet, we apathetically wonder how someone could do that, but when an American soldier flushes a Koran down the toilet, there is violent worldwide outrage.

America made its bed. Now it’s gotta lie in it (yes, pun intended). That’s the price of being “great”.

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

War is Bad (But Tony Blair Has Confused the Issue)

Conventional political wisdom considers the war on terror to be an issue mostly characterized by the Left vs. the Right. The Right is fascist, so they want to capture or kill terrorists, while we on the Left know that if we’re nice to jihadists they’ll drop their jihad faster than they can say “allahu akbar”.

And yet Tony Blair, supposedly a good-hearted Lefty, is the number-two gangster — Vader to Bush’s Emperor, Starscream to Bush’s Megatron, Destro to Bush’s Cobra Commander — in this atrocity of a war. Obviously, those to the left of Blair support the freedom fighters and know the war is immoral. This goes without saying. What’s confusing is that Blair’s war critics also include the opposition Conservative Party.

Granted, politics in Britain is different from here. But not that different. And yet in Britain we have an immoral global war on terror being waged by a sitting pro-war Leftist government (in name only, mind you) that’s being resisted and criticized by a right-wing anti-war opposition. It seems that, at least from an American perspective, Britain is bizarro world.

What does this mean? Does it mean that the war’s not about Left vs. Right? Is the war more about simple right vs. wrong? Alone, each of these analyses is overly simplistic. I hate simplistic explanations for things. There is truth in both. Yes, of course the debate over the war is very clearly right vs. wrong. But it’s also Left vs. Right, because the Left is always right. Only in Blair’s messed-up Britain, and only on this issue, is it the other way around.

By supporting Bush’s war, Tony Blair has confused the issue into something more complicated than simply “war is bad”. This is unforgivable. We need “war is bad”. The beauty of “war is bad” is that it absolves you from thinking too hard. It shelters you from getting confused enough to think that it’s wrong to abandon those who want democracy.

If it weren’t for Tony Blair, his party would be against the war, and the conservatives would be for it. For conclusive evidence of this, we need only look at the way Britain’s conservatives oppose the war. They don’t argue that the war’s immoral, as they should — as we all should. They simply point out that the reasons for invading Iraq weren’t truthful enough. (Duh! Even a moron knows that the WMD materials we have recovered in Iraq don’t prove that Iraq ever had any WMDs.)

In other words, British conservatives’ opposition to the war is purely half-hearted. They know they need to distance themselves from Blair if they’re going to have any chance of being elected, so they opportunistically oppose the war. You’re a fool if you were duped into thinking British conservatives are any less immoral than conservatives here and everywhere else.

At this point, it seems Blair’s with Bush until the bitter end. All we can hope for is that he goes one step further in being like Vader, Starscream, and Destro: Hopefully, for whatever reason — selfishness, jealousy, or to save his son from destruction by the blue lightning Bush is firing from his fingertips — Blair eventually decides to sell out the number-one gangster, just like he sold out the British Left by confusing the war issue.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Friday, November 03, 2006

The Truth About Terrorism, Part II: X-ray-ted

I was watching The Daily Show With Jon Stewart the other night when he and his guest were discussing a very good point: Republicans and the pro-Republican media are making too much of an issue about the threat of terrorism. I’ve touched on this before. After all, as Stewart and his guest pointed out, the chances of the average American being killed in a terrorist attack are very slim.

The reason for this is simple to even the dimmest observer: We only have conclusive evidence that terrorism can kill Americans and that terrorists want to kill Americans. But that’s not what’s important. What’s important here is that the evidence we do have is only one very serious terrorist attack on American soil. Just fewer than 3,000 of us were killed. So there’s only a modest statistical likelihood that the average American will be killed in a terrorist attack, as compared with, say, the likelihood of dying from a stroke.

As humans, we naturally try to be proactive about threats to our safety. We have doctors to help us lower the risks of a stroke and other medical dangers. We have parents to teach us not to bring the radio into the bath with us. And we have common sense to teach us not to drive into oncoming traffic.

However, the unique thing about the threat of terrorism is that we don’t have such control over it. Unless we dismantle the entire Western world, there will always be terrorists who want to kill us. For this reason, we not only shouldn’t make a big deal out of the threat of terrorism, but we should just drop the issue altogether. All we’re doing is stressing everyone out about a threat we can’t alleviate. And even if there were something we could do to protect ourselves, like wiretapping known jihadist militants, we shouldn’t do it, because, again, the evidence we have for this threat is only one major attack on our soil.

To put this in perspective, consider car accidents. Right after America’s very first fatal car collision, there was very little chance for the average American to die in a traffic accident — most didn’t have cars, because cars were relatively new. So there wasn’t much point in worrying about another fatal accident. It would have been a waste of time to refine traffic rules, improve road signs, and encourage people to drive carefully. The same goes for the aftermath of the first fatal plane crash. Most people weren’t regularly flying on planes, so what would have been the point in taking a look at what went wrong and trying to prevent it from happening again?

Likewise with terrorism, until we allow a few more attacks on American civilians, there isn’t enough direct evidence to worry. In fact, there might never be, because there’s little reason to think there will ever be another attack on American soil.

For these reasons, it’s outrageous that the threat of terrorism is such a big issue with the media and with politicians, especially Republicans, who pretend that they want the country to be safe. Why haven’t we been warned about other dangers like, say, smoking or AIDS or drugs or E. coli or drunk driving or killer bees or Ebola or guns or the flesh-eating disease or Walmart or obesity or the bird flu or Y2K or McDonald’s?

If you ask me, the terrorism card is played so that Republicans can avoid addressing the greatest danger to us: man-made greenhouse gasses. Those who point out that there is no conclusive evidence that it is man-made greenhouse gasses that are warming the climate should remember something: The conclusive evidence we have of the threat of terrorism (one major attack) is only slightly more than the conclusive evidence we have of man-made greenhouse gasses being the major cause of global warming (nothing). One and none, or something and nothing, aren’t very different.

But Stewart’s guest had a different and very interesting view on why terrorism might be such a prominent issue. It’s not because jihadists want to destroy the Western world. And it’s not because, as Stewart regularly points out, we’ve made them even angrier than they already were, by “liberating” Iraq and Afghanistan. According to Stewart’s guest, terrorism is a leading issue because of the puppetry of the X-ray industry.

With all of our unnecessary security these days, particularly in airports, X-ray machines are in higher demand than in previous years. The X-ray industry decided that it enjoyed the extra profits and set out to bully Republicans and every outlet of all major media across the country into constantly reminding us that there are determined people who would kill us if they had the chance. As Tim Robbins in Team America: World Police would say, the X-ray Mafia scaring us is just another case of the corporations being “corporationy”.

I don’t know how the X-ray Mafia was able to rise to such power, and I don’t think I want to know. But if anyone offers you an alternative argument about why terrorism is such an important issue, I trust that you won’t need an X-ray machine to see through it.

Labels: , , , , ,

Thursday, November 02, 2006

John Kerry, Reporting for Fatuity

Let me just point out that I don’t like John Kerry, because his politics are way too right-wing for me, and because he volunteered to be a fascist in Vietnam. That said, contrary to everyone else, what bothers me about this fiasco isn’t what Kerry actually said. Everyone makes mistakes like that. President Bush has made about 4,566,765,346,899,996,898 since taking office. (Have we forgotten the “fool me once” delight?)

What is embarrassing about this incident is what Kerry meant to say — that if you don’t study hard and do well in school, you’ll get the country stuck in Iraq like Bush has. Apparently Kerry's advisors don’t realize that all it takes is about a minute on a search engine to find out that at Yale, the university that Kerry and Bush attended, our president (the first with an MBA, no less) had a higher grade point average than Kerry. In the interest of keeping alive the notion that he’s smarter than Bush, maybe it was for the best that Kerry made the gaffe and kept everyone's attention away from his academic ineptness…

So John Kerry embarrasses us liberals yet again. Can’t Howard Dean put a leash on him already?

Labels: , , , , , ,