Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Who Needs Terrorists When Our Own Neglect Will Eventually Accomplish The Same Thing?

I was watching the wall-to-wall coverage of the bridge collapse in Minneapolis and one of the constant messages on the crawl was, “Homeland Security doesn’t believe this is terrorist related.” The first thing that came to my mind was, so what? Isn’t the end result the same? The same number of people died, were injured, and the same damage was done to a city and its infrastructure. Who cares if it was terrorist related?

If a power surge overwhelms our electrical grid and plunges the entire country into darkness and chaos, is it any less a national tragedy if it’s due to our failure to invest in critical infrastructure than if it’s the result of a well placed Al Qaeda bomb?

If a nuclear facility, oil refinery, airline or chemical plant cuts corners on safety to save money and something goes horribly wrong, is it somehow worse if it’s “terrorist related” than if it’s caused by deregulation and capitalism run amok?

Not only is this misguided administration creating more terrorists by way of their imperial foreign policy, but they also continue to waste our tax dollars that are desperately needed here at home. We have deteriorating infrastructure that is putting us all in danger, and the threat it poses far exceeds that of a possible terrorist attack.

We have antiquated water and sewer systems. There are roads, bridges, dams and levees all across this country in need of serious attention and we have an electrical grid that needs critical updating not to mention a whole host of other problems. We ignore them at our own peril while fixing them would be good for the flailing (for most of us anyway) economy and would even grow the shrinking middle class.

What we need in this country is a massive public works program that will put Americans to work at decent jobs for family wage pay while simultaneously investing in our critical national infrastructure. This would allow us to make use of new technologies (hell, even create new and innovative industries), make better use of our natural resources and provide better security, both personal and national. Too bad we elected a guy that can’t think his way out of a wet paper bag let alone navigate the maze of problems we face as a nation. To all of the Americans that voted for this man, all I have to say is, I hope that imaginary beer with Bush was worth all the trouble we’re in now.

8 Comments:

Anonymous Dale H. said...

Shit I'd rather have a beer, real or imagined, with Lindsey Lohan....as long as I get to drive!


Long-Awaited Beer With Bush Really Awkward, Voter Reports
http://www.theonion.com/content/node/42590

WARREN, PA—Although respondents to a Pew poll taken prior to the 2004 presidential election characterized Bush as "the candidate they'd most like to sit down and have a beer with," Chris Reinard lived the hypothetical scenario Sunday afternoon, and characterized it as "really uncomfortable and awkward."

Reinard, a father of four who supported Bush in the 2000 and 2004 elections, said sharing a beer with the president at the Switchyard Tap gave him "an uneasy feeling."

"I thought he'd be great," Reinard said. "But when I actually met him, I felt real put off."

The president arrived at the bar via motorcade close to 3 p.m. After a sweep by Secret Service agents, Reinard was asked, for security reasons, to move from his favorite stool. Shortly after he had reseated himself, Reinard said he "was pleased" to welcome the president to the Switchyard.

"Boy, it sure is a good day for a cool one," Bush reportedly told the assembled patrons, who were watching the Dolphins Patriots game.

"When he first walked in, everything seemed fine," bartender Bob Kern said. "He told everyone 'Hi' like he was one of the regulars, then sat next to Chris."

Reinard ordered two Budweisers, but Bush interrupted him, saying he'd prefer an O'Doul's non-alcoholic beer.

"I completely forgot he stopped drinking," Reinard said.

Following the initial gaffe, Bush attempted to smooth things over, asking Reinard to call him "George." Reinard complied, but later said "it felt a little unnatural."

"I guess I was supposed to tell him to call me Chris," Reinard said. "I didn't like him calling me 'Mr. Reinard' the whole time, but I didn't know if it was okay to interrupt him to say 'Call me Chris.' And then also, it felt weird to just say it out of nowhere. Like, 'Call me Chris.'"

Bush asked Reinard if he had any hobbies, and Reinard told the president that he enjoys spending weekends with his children on local lakes in his small aluminum boat.

"Mr. Bush, I mean George, seemed to like that, and I felt that we finally made a connection," Reinard said. "But then he started telling me about this one time he was on a yacht with some Arab prince and they spent four hours landing a sailfish."

"It was a good story, but I just like catching a few bass with my kids is all," Reinard added. "I know he didn't mean to make me feel bad, but still."

Reinard told the president that he has lived most of his life in the Warren area, except for several years he spent in nearby Jamestown, where he attended community college for a year. Bush told Reinard he was born in New Haven, CT, and grew up in Texas before attending Yale University as an undergraduate and earning his MBA from Harvard, all while maintaining membership in many exclusive clubs.

"I asked George how much it costs to be in those social clubs, but he said he didn't remember," Reinard said. "I think he just didn't want to say the amount. He'd change the subject on me a lot, say he did a lot of partying back then, but that was all behind him now, since he found the Lord, or whatever."

Bush asked Reinard what he did for a living, and Reinard said he runs a small carpentry business.

"He asked me how it was going, what with the economy bouncing back. I said that if things didn't pick up soon, I was going to have to close up shop and work for my uncle in Youngstown," Reinard said. "George was quiet for a while after that. Then he told me about when his second oil company was going under. He suggested using my connections to get some outside investment capital."

"I don't have any connections," Reinard added.

When the conversation reached a dead end, Reinard and Bush were silent once again, their eyes tracking the game.

"We were sitting there watching the game, and some cheerleaders were up there waving their pompoms," Reinard said. "Then George mentioned that he used to be a cheerleader at Yale. I didn't know what to say to that one, so I just drank the rest of my beer real fast."

After nearly a minute of silence, Bush drained the remainder of his O'Doul's and wished Reinard goodbye, saying that he'd stay longer if he could, but had "some business to tend to."

"He shook my hand and smiled, said he had to run," Reinard said. "Something about a conference or a summit. It seemed like he was actually relieved to go."

Reinard and Kern both estimated Bush's stay at the bar as no longer than 15 minutes. This included Kern's attempt to pay for Bush's beer. Bush only smiled and waved at Kern, and a member of his Secret Service escort pulled a $10 bill from his coat pocket and tossed it on the bar.

Reinard likened the encounter with Bush to "being cornered at a company Christmas party by your boss."

"It was like, do you act and drink like normal, or are you on your best behavior?" Reinard said. "Are you up-front with the guy or do you choose your words carefully? What does he want out of you, anyway? Or does he just want to connect with somebody, because it's lonely at the top? You just don't know for sure."

"Overall, it was okay, I suppose," Reinard said. " One thing's for sure, though—I still wouldn't want to have a beer with that stuck-up Kerry."

12:49 PM  
Blogger jae said...

"Too bad we elected a guy that can’t think his way out of a wet paper bag let alone navigate the maze of problems we face as a nation."

I never believed for a second he won either election......

7:12 PM  
Blogger dara said...

I really hope that someday I can watch the news and the tragic story does not include whether or not something is "terrorist related". Leave it to the network news to keep drilling that feeble mantra into the heads of americans. Maybe without a daily dose of fear, the average american might actually question what the hell is going on with this administration. Keep 'em scared and they won't question a thing.

10:40 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Perhaps if we brought the National Guard home and focused on our own problems we would do better as a nation. I think your observations with respect to Minneapolis apply equally to New Orleans, now 2yrs after Katrina. They also apply to the overcrowding of our schools due to our laxity toward illegal immigration. Put those factors (and many others together) and ignore them - and who needs terrorism?! We're destroying our own country and the ideals upon which it was built! And to think some people still honestly believe we're "spreading democracy" to the Middle East. How self righteously arrogant can they be?

It reminds me of the parable in the Bible of the man helping a friend get a splinter out of his eye and being unable to do so because he overlooked the log stuck in his own eye. I think the general populace of the US (and this administration) has a damn redwood tree stuck in their eye.

12:57 PM  
Anonymous kindlingman said...

Welcome back, LGND. I have been checking in regularly to see when you would return. Good to hear from you. I hope you are well.
As always, I object to the defeatist attitude that your posts sometimes adopt and I refuse to believe that America is going to HEdoubleL in a handbasket because the bad Republicans are in charge. (Ok, maybe to HEdoubleL in a motorcycle sidecar with George driving...)

Perhaps you should consider changing the name of the blog to The (Lamenting) Girl Next Door. What has happened to the followers of the Progressive movement that they cannot find the path to raise mankind up above his worst nature? Are there no liberals working for the nobility of man?

Truly, I think the Conservatives have won when the Liberals see no hope within themselves.

Let's all get off our butts and vote for independents in 2008. Give those professional political buggers something to think about.

Which is better for America today: the candidate with no experience but plenty of integrity , or the Republicans and Democrats with plenty of experience and no integrity?

I submit to you that integrity beats experience at this point in time.
The candidate who will do the least in America is the one who will do the most for America.

8:21 PM  
Anonymous biloxi said...

Look to the Columbia "leader" pick for GWB - the plan for a North American Union may not be as simple as the family cartels thought.

8:49 AM  
Anonymous Dale H. said...

Kindlingman said:

"What has happened to the followers of the Progressive movement that they cannot find the path to raise mankind up above his worst nature? Are there no liberals working for the nobility of man?"

What has 'happened' is six years of Repug misrule, incompetent cronyism and scientific illiteracy, all of which are both synonymous with and owned by the
'conservative' wing of the GOP.

I'm all for trying to appeal to the 'nobility' of conservatives, but who are we kidding? I'd sooner apply lipstick to a pig.

Whatever happened to the 'verify in the Reaganesque "trust but verify"?

1:26 PM  
Anonymous kindlingman said...

hmmm... perhaps Republicans are a problem to solve but I think the issue is how to motivate the world towards improvement. LBJ's Great Society has done serious good for so many people. Yet at the same time it has also pointed out that there are things government cannot do and likely ought not to do. Progress among issues like homelessness and both child and senior care has been great but there is still an issue with gangs, drugs and other criminal activity. More to be done but it may not be a government to do it.

8:25 PM  

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