Thursday, July 31, 2008

If I Play My Cards Right, I'll Have $5 In No Time

I work with a good mix of people--Democrats and Republicans, religious and non-religious, left-brained and right-brained. I don't have a clue what most of them do when they leave the office. Some go home to their families, some go home to their pets, some go home to their fix-it projects. I think there are some that don't actually leave the office, so in that case I don't know what they do when I'm not there.

At least one of them, it would seem, listens to a lot of talk radio while thumbing through the latest interpretation of the Revelation. A friend of mine has it on good authority that someone in our office is convinced that Barack Obama is the antichrist.

(My friend's source is a former co-worker who refused to reveal the name of this deep political thinker--whether to protect him or her from humiliation or just to drive the rest of us nuts, I don't know.)

I've heard some crazy-ass ideas in my time (the concept of an antichrist at all strikes me as pretty goofy), but this one is particularly asinine when you take a close look at the self-professed Christian who's been in the White House for lo these many long years. Would Jesus have cozied up to the rich? Would Jesus have lied to his followers? Would Jesus have invaded a sovereign nation and killed a half a million of its residents? George Bush has done all these things, and he's proud of it.

So now I'm wondering this: If Obama is, as my mysterious co-worker and probably countless other yahoos believe, the antichrist, then what the hell does that make George Bush? What's worse than the antichrist in Christian mythology? Anything?

I finally decided that if Obama is the antichrist, George Bush must be the guy who makes the antichrist seem like an OK fella.

And then I decided that would be the first t-shirt on the virtual t-shirt rack at The Electron Runes Emporium, a shop at Cafe Press. The link is over yonder in the left column, and I figure if every Runes reader buys one of these shirts, I'll have an extra five bucks in my pocket in no time. Hot dang.

I'll add some inventory by and by. Right now this shirt is the only thing available--although it does come in a variety of styles, sleeve lengths, and colors.

Antichrist. Oh, brother.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Bad Day in the Blogosphere

Tonight I was all set to write about my 30-year high school reunion, but I was distracted by a column in the Register called Blogosphere’s Best, the title of which might lead someone to believe that the excerpts therein represented some of the smartest and most insightful writing on the internet.

And maybe normally that’s the case. Maybe today the Blogosphere’s Best editor was up against a hellish deadline.

That’s the only explanation I can find for this blurb, which they found on a website called Rhymes With Right:

You know all that stuff that we’ve been hearing from the Obamabots [about the Iraq war]? Well, they become fair game on January 20, 2009, if Barack Obama wins the election. After all, it will then be President Obama’s war, and by their own logic, it will be his supporters who have a moral obligation to go fight while those who voted against him stay home and engage in a higher form of patriotism—“dissent” designed to undercut the lawfully elected president, demoralize the military, and provide aid and comfort to the enemies of America.

I’m already looking forward to Operation Yellow Donkey, calling out all the college Democrats for not dropping out and signing up in the first 30 days of the Obama administration.

No, I’m serious. That’s what it said.

This is what happens when people dig in their heels and refuse to acknowledge that the invasion and occupation of Iraq was a rather colossal mistake by a rather poor president. It messes up their critical thinking skills. For starters, only the willfully ignorant will be calling the occupation of Iraq “President Obama’s war” after his inauguration. It might well be one of the many piles of poop the Poor Dope leaves for the next president to clean up, but on no account will it become the next president’s war. As the late great George Carlin once said, “Two guys on an elevator and one of them farts, everybody knows who did it.”

No amount of air freshener will ever clean the stench of Iraq away from George W. Bush. And by the way, pardon me for the scatological turn that last paragraph took.

Second, I’m pretty sure that someone has given the writer of Rhymes With Right a joke definition of “chicken hawk.” The word itself isn’t used in this passage, but he’s dancing all around it as if he wants to think he believes he knows what it means. When he says he expects college Democrats to drop out and enlist, he seems to be under the impression that that’s some sort of witty “turnabout is fair play” observation. (And he even attempts to back it up with the phrase “by their own logic,” which is utterly nonsensical.)

Let’s see if we can’t clear it up for this writer. First, it was college-age Republicans who were chided in liberal blogs over the past five years for loudly proclaiming their support for the invasion—as long as they weren’t asked to go take part in the fighting. Like their hero Dick Cheney, they all had better things to do. Second, college-age Democrats who have always supported getting the hell out of Iraq aren’t suddenly going to turn hawkish just because some right-wing blogger wants to call the occupation “President Obama’s war.”

I’m also trying to figure out which “lawfully elected president” this blogger is referring to. It’s been a while since we had one.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Close the Door, You're Letting the Yahoos In

In a recent letter to the Des Moines Register, the former Republican lieutenant governor of Iowa suggests that “the social conservative agenda as a foundation of the party, fortunately, is no longer attractive to a majority of voters.”

Joy Corning was writing in response to the recent election of some social conservatives to the highest levels of state GOP leadership, and according to her:

“[Social conservatives] apparently believe the party’s declines can be reversed by championing anti-abortion, anti-gay, anti-stem- cell research, anti-whatever-they-don’t-like positions as the lead campaign issues. Why? In other parts of the country it has been obvious that Republicans are seeking a leader rooted in more basic, centrist, traditional principles. McCain has triumphed over every candidate who tried to focus debate on abortion, gay marriage, stem-cell research and the rest of the social conservative agenda.”

That’s kind of a breath of fresh air, especially for anyone who remembers the days before the religious right oozed their way into the GOP. Don’t get me wrong: There wasn’t much about the Republican party I would have embraced before Reagan opened the door to these yahoos anyway, but at least it was a legitimate political ethos, based in Constitutional principles.

The religious right couldn’t care less about the Constitution. They’ll only be happy with a theocracy where they can make your choices for you.

So I have a tough time feeling sorry for Ms Corning and the “real” Republicans who now find their party being overrun by short-sighted people with narrow minds. They’ve been pandering to these people for almost 30 years now, using them as the Republican base (because there aren’t enough millionaires to go around), counting on the fact that most of them will vote against their economic self-interest if they can earn heavenly brownie points in the process—and now suddenly they’re surprised that some of them have slithered into positions of leadership?

It might be a little late to tell these people “Oh, sorry, we’re not really the anti-abortion, anti-gay party. We’re sorry you got the wrong impression when we desperately needed all your votes.”