People Get Ready

[ make levees, not war ]

Archive for February, 2005

Blue states secede

Posted by schroeder915 on February 28, 2005

Dear President Bush:

Congratulations on your victory over all us non-evangelicals.

Actually, we’re a bit ticked off here in California, so we’re leaving.

California will now be its own country. And we’re taking all the Blue States wih us.

In case you are not aware, that includes Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, and all of the Northeast.

We spoke to God, and He/She agrees that this split will be beneficial to almost everybody, and especially to us in the new country of California. In fact, God is so excited about it, He/She’s going to shift the whole country at 4:30 PM EST this Friday. Therefore, please let everyone know they need to be back in their states by then.

So you get Texas and all the former slave states. We get the Governator, stem cell research and the best beaches.

We get Elliot Spitzer. You get Ken Lay. (Okay, we have to keep Martha Stewart, we can live with that.)

We get the Statue of Liberty. You get OpryLand. We get Intel and Microsoft. You get WorldCom.

We get Harvard and Stanford. You get Ole Miss.

We get 85% of America’s venture capital and entrepreneurs. You get all the technological innovation in Alabama.

We get about two-thirds of the tax revenue, and you get to make the red states pay their fair share.

Since our divorce rate is 22% lower than the Christian coalition’s, we get a bunch of happy families. You get a bunch of single parents to support, and we know how much you like that.

Did I mention we produce about 70% of the nation’s veggies? But heck, the only greens the red staters eat are the pickles on their Big Macs.

Oh yeah, another thing, don’t plan on serving California wine at your state dinners. From now on it’s imported French wine for you. Ouch, bet that hurts.

Just so we’re clear, the country of California will be pro-choice and antiwar. Speaking of war, we’re going to want all Blue States citizens back from Iraq. If you need people to fight, just ask your evangelicals.

Anyway, we wish you all the best in the next four years and we hope, really hope, you find those missing weapons of mass destruction. Seriously.


On a related note, Becca gets mad at me for bashing the evangelical south. She’s right, they are part of this country whether we like it or not. And the south is considerably poorer than the north. So can’t we find it in our bleeding hearts to be the bigger people and stop the ridicule and just help them out a little?

Not until they take down the confederate flags.

A letter posted on Mattie’s Blogger.

By the way–for those who don’t have a sense of humor–I will clarify that I share the frustration expressed in the letter at the people who voted for Bush, against their own interests (as did my mother). I don’t, however, share the broad sweep of animosity toward southern states, because contained within those states are urban areas vehemently opposed to Bush and his neocon cabal, and other areas where tough, independent-thinking people aren’t afraid to speak their minds against Bush’s policies. Urban areas everywhere around the country voted against Bush in 2004, just as they did in 2000. Despite the ludicrously simple-minded portrayal of red states/blue states by the media, the battle lines are urban/suburban/rural with particular demographic variations.


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Jesus was a liberal

Posted by schroeder915 on February 28, 2005

Posted by Hello

The cartoon was featured on Mattie’s Blogger.

I’ve seen “Jesus was a liberal” on a bumper sticker. I won’t recommend any place in particular where you can get one. Just do a Google search and you’ll find all sorts of bumper stickers and interesting discussion.

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The great tragedy of war

Posted by schroeder915 on February 28, 2005

I am profoundly troubled by the deaths of American soldiers in Iraq. I look into the faces of the fallen, and wonder how their lives might have been different–how their families might have been saved from the pain and difficulty of moving on without a brother or sister, son or daughter, father or mother, and in the worst of cases, without a husband or wife, especially when they leave behind children.

I don’t accept the casual statement that a soldier “died for a good cause,” or worse, that a soldier “went out the way he’d want to.” What a lucky guy (or gal). We should all be so lucky as to be cut down in our primes, leaving behind loved ones and dependants to fend for themselves.

Of course, then there’s the classic phrase that “freedom isn’t free.” Well, you know what, a lot of the freedoms we enjoy have nothing to do with picking up a gun and kicking around a third world country. A lot of freedoms were earned the hard way, by marching in the streets with a sign, or riding freedom buses, or re-taking control of our neighborhoods from drug dealers. In fact, we earn our freedom every time we go to the ballot box, and yet, tens of millions of Americans neglect that critical freedom, without which our democracy cannot function as it should.

We have to apply our diplomatic resources better. I mean, Iraq is not Nazi Germany, or Hirohito’s Japan. Those were good causes, because the stakes were global, and the free world was positively threatened. Terrorists do not threaten our freedoms. They threaten us in comparatively miniscule ways. I don’t mean to diminish the tragedy of September 11th. I just question the Bush Administration approach to winning this struggle by invading Iraq.

Invade Afghanistan to destroy Al Qaeda training camps and dismantle the Taliban regime? Yes. Invade Iraq to find WMD, using cherry-picked intelligence that was questioned even before the war, and to privatize Iraqi industries for the benefit of U.S. corporations? No! I think a lot of Americans would use car bombs against occupiers too if we were invaded by–oh, let’s just pick France for the sake of argument–and the French military proclaimed that all our businesses were now going to be run by French companies…and, by the way, we were all fired because contractors were taking our jobs.

The fight against terrorism can’t be won by pissing off the entire Islamic world. We need to offer a better relationship–a relationship not tainted by the sense that we want control over a country’s natural resources. As Pat Buchanan says–and he’s certainly no friend of the left–invading countries like Iraq is not the solution. Invading countries is the problem, and that’s the cause of terrorism.

Osama bin Laden doesn’t hate our freedoms, he hates that the United States supports dictatorial regimes that suppress freedom. Now, Osama bin Laden may not want freedom for everyone–he wants freedom to install fundamentalist authoritarian regimes which would disallow everyone else’s freedoms. Nevertheless, we should not delude ourselves about what our mission is in the world, and how we should peacefully fulfill that mission. We need to drain the swamp that breeds terrorism, not create a swamp that bogs down our soldiers in an unwinnable quaqmire.

Yeah, I know, some people say we have to “finish the job” in Iraq. Really? I’m not so sure about that. There were no weapons of mass destruction. I repeat, there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The United Nations succeeded in destroying Saddam Hussein’s weapons ambitions. Of course, we knew that before the invasion. I get the sense that we only have to finish the job so that U.S. corporations can make their money. Is that what American soldiers are dying for now?

The great tragedy of war is that those who don’t survive never have the opportunity to see how their lives and families would have turned out. They never have the opportunity to say whether it truly was a cause worth dying for, after the fact of their deaths, although the living sure feel free to speak for them.

If you feel as I do, you should see the photo essay, Death of a Responsible Man. Oh hell, you should see it especially if you don’t agree with me.

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Shallow understanding

Posted by schroeder915 on February 27, 2005

Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.

Martin Luther King Jr.
Letter from a Birmingham jail
April 16, 1963

Thanks Shenaaz for the reminder of the special poignancy of King’s words today.

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How many Bush neocons can say this?

Posted by schroeder915 on February 26, 2005

I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

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Right back atchya Dubya!

Posted by schroeder915 on February 26, 2005

Johnny Cash gave a concert in 1969 right after singing a tribute to the men who died at the Alamo:

Everywhere we go these days, it seems like, all of a sudden, reporters and people will ask us questions — ask us questions about things that they didn’t use to ask. It seems like everyone’s concerned about our national problems, about the war in Vietnam — as we have long been. And they say things like, “How do you feel about the Vietnam situation, the war in Vietnam?”

I’ll tell you exactly how I feel about it. This past January we took our entire show, along with my wife June, we went to Long Bien Air Force Base near Saigon. And–

(loud cheering from the crowd)

And a reporter friend of mine asked, said, “That makes you a hawk, doesn’t it?” And I said, “No, that don’t make me a hawk. No. No, that don’t make me a hawk.”

(more cheering, not as loud)

But I said, “If you watch the helicopters bring in the wounded boys, then you go into the wards and sing for ’em and try to do your best to cheer them up so that they can get back home, it might make you a dove with claws.”

(wild cheering)

And then he sings a peacenik folk song, “Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream.”

Later, Cash remarked:

As far as the war in Vietnam is concerned, that war just made me sick. I’m not supporting that war or any other war… Maybe Vietnam has taught us a hard lesson to not be involved in foreign wars. Maybe that’s the lesson we’ve learned. I hope we have.

Hats off to Mark T. for playing Johnny’s remarks on WTUL’s Folk Show.

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Remind me again…how is this moron restoring dignity to the White House?

Posted by schroeder915 on February 25, 2005

This is most likely from Bush’s days campaigning as governor. I had trouble with the link, but you can find the video here.

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Remind me again…how is this moron restoring dignity to the White House?

Posted by schroeder915 on February 25, 2005

This is most likely from Bush’s days campaigning as governor. I had trouble with the link, but you can find the video here.

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Stupid, lazy people

Posted by schroeder915 on February 25, 2005

I’m all for taking the dangerous weapons away from the stupid people. Let’s start with typewriters.

Frank Lloyd Wright

Bush is not Hitler. He would be if he applied himself, but he’s just lazy.

Margaret Cho, from her “State of Emergency” tour

Thanks to Ji-Taek for finding these quotes.

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Spare the kittens

Posted by schroeder915 on February 19, 2005

Please think of the kittens

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