Goodbye, George W. Bush

On Tuesday, Barack Obama will become our 44th president of the United States. At the same time that is happening, George W. Bush will be on his way to his pretend ranch in Crawford or to his new cul-de-sac digs in Preston Hollow, in Dallas. I really don’t care where he is going; I am simply relieved that he will be gone.

Obama will swear to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States. The Preamble to that document is always worth reviewing:

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

It is also a worthwhile thing to remember that when that Preamble was written, persons of African descent were not included in the phrase “we the people.” But that’s another day’s topic. Today, I want to say goodbye to the 43rd President, and urge the 44th President to uphold and and defend the Constitution in all ways– among them, the investigation and possible prosecution of his immediate predecessors for falsely and knowingly leading us into a war that has cost 5000 American lives, and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives.

Scroll down the pages of this blog and you’ll see that I’ve changed my mind on that subject; it was not long ago that I simply hoped Mr. Bush would fade away. But when he spoke, at his final press conference earlier in the week, of one his greatest regrets being the inability of Allied forces to find Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq, I was pushed- hard- from the “compassionate” attitude I had taken toward him. 

His greatest regret; the thing which he regrets the most about his presidency…is that his predication for the war was not vindicated. Forget the thousands of new terrorists which have been ideologically birthed over the last six years; forget the suffering of American, English, Canadian, and Iraqui families who have lost so many sons and daughters while  our armies desperately sought phantom evidence that would- for once and for all- prove Bush was right about at least that one thing; forget about “Brownie” and the administration’s “dress for success” shirtsleeve response to Katrina’s meteorological rape of the Gulf Coast; forget the $12 billion per month which has been landing in the bottomless coffers of everyone with a round round of ammo to sell the federal government, or the wiping out of pensions because Wall Street traders came up with formulas the SEC couldn’t make sense of let alone a commander in chief who seemed to parade with pride his inability to speak (which, in his case, is a pretty good indicator of his inability to think); forget all those things. BECAUSE WHAT’S REALLY IMPORTANT IS THAT THERE WERE NO WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION TO BE FOUND!

I know that increasingly tiny band of Bush supporters and defenders continues to believe that history will be kind and that, in retrospect…whatever and yada, yada, who cares?

I’m done with Bush, on these digital pages anyway. I’ll join in cleaning up the mess that’s been left, although I’m not sure this mess can be entirely or ever cleaned up. We’re all going to be forced to try, however, if we want anything resembling the United States as it was, to be passed on to the generations to come, who will be paying for this mess.

Hello, Barack H. Obama..</

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Still Undecided For Whom to Vote? Obama Or McCain? Here’s A Suggestion..

If you are looking for more information about the candidates’ positions on various issues; if you are waiting to see a copy of Obama’s birth certificate or McCain’s health records before you decide; if you still- STILL!- are among that surprising percentage of adults who don’t yet know who they will vote for for president, then I have a suggestion for you:

Ask your children who they are voting for. Then vote tomorrow at your Early Voting location for whichever candidate they name.

It’s that simple.

Your kids, my kids, the neighbor’s kids, and their children and grandchildren are the ones who will be saddled with the bills we older people have racked up over the last 30 years with our drunken sailor spending and they should be the ones who get the biggest say in who the next president will be.

Don’t try to play the “older and wiser” card, either. We’ve already dug $60,000 deep into the pockets of every man, woman, and child in the country. Babies born today have the albatross of our older generation’s greed around their necks the moment they breathe their first breath of globally warmed air. Drive those newborns home over roads and bridges that are desperately in need of repair, lay them down in cribs bought with plastic I.O.U.’s, turn on the lights whose wicks reach all the way to Venezuela, take videos of their first moments in their first bank-owned ARMed home with cameras hammered together in China, hope they are not awakened later by the sounds of police sirens as War on Drugs suspect #82,987,000 is being chased, lean down, give them a kiss, and whisper, “Get ready to pay.”

O.K., the baby may not be able to give you an answer to your inquiry about voting yet. But he/she will wish they’d been able to about 25 years from now! Of course, by then, you’ll have your eyes on retirement and can look forward to that young man or woman keeping the Social Security checks headed your way, all the while also having to pay for the wars your generation fought, the subsidies your generation paid to tobacco farmers, the perks your generation poured out on the congresspersons and Wall Street C.E.O.s 0f 2008, and the all of the interest on top of interest that has been accruing since your country couldn’t afford all that crap even back then, and were borrowing money from everyone to buy it all in the first place!

Really. Ask your teenager, ask your college freshman, ask the sixth grader who lives next door. None of them are as afflicted with the cultural baggage you (we) are. None of them has the economic glory days of the 80’s and 90’s in their memories. Some of them will probably even be facing down the wartime enemy as you (we) have defined that enemy to be. Their vision is a whole lot clearer than yours and mine! That may be hard for some of my fellow middle-agers to swallow, but..it’s true. (Most truth is hard to swallow, come to think about it; maybe that’s why we have swallowed so little of it during most of our tax-paying, tax-spending adult lives.)

Vote for the person the young ones are voting for, or that they would be voting for if they could. You (we) owe it to them. God knows they owe US.

I’ve Changed My Mind About Obama !

After discovering that Obama is the anti-christ, I’ve decided to switch my support.

http://o.bamapost.com/

Turns out that Barrack Hussein Obama even has an inverted pentagram- a symbol of Satan- shaved into the back of head! I know it’s hard to believe, but IT’S ON THE INTERNET! So it must be true!

I know, I know..Obama said he was a Christian in a Chicago Sun Times interview in January of 2007, but read the article closely. He says that being a Christian is “complicated” and that he “didn’t grow up in a particular faith tradition.”  Which gives me reason to doubt his public affirmation, in his 20s,at the Trinity United Church of Christ that he had chosen to make Jesus his Savior. Real Christians KNOW that a public, confessional walk down the aisle at church means nothing compared to saying the right words, going through the right motions, and having the right bumper stickers!

bumper sticker

And real Christians support the president! Real Christians know the right people to vote for, and the right people to shun. Real Christians belong to the Center for Moral Clarity or Focus on the Family or the Chaffey Community Republican Women, Federated, who understand what Obama really stands for:

racist16_400

Real Christians are concerned about witchcraft in Alaska and Africa. Real Christians know that God’s creatures and resources were put here by God himself for humans to exploit, kill, and use in whatever ways they see fit to use them!

So, I apologize to anyone I’ve led astray. I’ve seen the Light! I’m voting for candidates anointed by God this time- people with special insight and vision. No more namby-pamby Sermon on the Mount stuff for me!!

 

We are the Ones!!  🙂

God’s Reputation Is At Stake !!

 

Rev. Arnold Conrad of the Evangelical Free Church, praying Friday at a McCain campaign appearance in Iowa:

“I would also pray, Lord, that your reputation is involved in all that happens between now and November, because there are millions of people around this world praying to their god — whether it is Hindu, Buddha, Allah — that [Obama] wins, for a variety of reasons,”

“And Lord, I pray that you will guard your own reputation, because they’re going to think that their god is bigger than you if that happens. So I pray that you will step forward and honor your own name with all that happens between now and Election Day,” he added.

To their credit, the McCain campaign almost immediately distanced themselves from the pastor’s remarks.

                            ~~

God needs to be made aware that his reputation is at stake?!?

Oh my.

Aside from the profound religious ignorance Rev. Conrad reveals- Hindu and Buddha are not the names of gods- his “prayer” also reveals the blasphemous practice of so many religious people who believe they have God in a box. These are the religionists who believe they know exactly who God is, what God should be doing, and how God should be doing it. They are engaged in the very seductive, easily fallen into psychological practice of projection.

Karl Wolfe, Ph.D., defines the phenomena this way: “Psychological projection is the phenomenon whereby one projects one’s own thoughts, motivations, desires, feelings..onto someone else.” In the negative, for instance, an overweight person might be prone to point out to others the slovenly, bad eating habits of other heavy people. In the case of people like Rev. Conrad, projecting onto God one’s own selfish desires or personal preferences, is the ultimate example of this very human defense mechanism.

Thus,we hear militant Muslims speaking for Allah as they defend their support for terroristic activities: “Blessings upon he who acts for the sake of Allah and went on raids for His sake.” (Dr. Ibraham Maadi, here). We also hear with great frequency, such pontifications from Rev. Pat Robertson, like this one, spoken after the school board in Dover, PA, was voted out of office for mandating the teaching of Intelligent Design: “I’d like to say to the good citizens of Dover: If there is a disaster in your area, don’t turn to God, you just rejected him from your city. And don’t wonder why he hasn’t helped you when problems begin, if they begin. I’m not saying they will, but if they do, just remember, you just voted God out of your city. And if that’s the case, don’t ask for his help because he might not be there.”

These, unfortunately, are not isolated quotes. Most of us tend, unthinkingly, to project our own desires,wants,needs, and definitions onto others, including God. But to do so, without sometimes painful self-examination, is wrong. We lessen God by doing so; we make God conform to our own political, cultural, and social biases. And, in the case of religious leaders, such personal projections are easily mistaken by those who trust such leaders for spiritual guidance, as actual pronouncements of God.

I wonder if Rev. Conrad (or Dr. Maadi, or Rev. Robertson) would be willing to pray as Jesus did, “..nonetheless, not my will, but yours be done.” Actually, I think I already know the answer, at least in Rev. Conrad’s case: if Obama wins the presidential election, he will probably blame Satan. Satan is every unthinking projectionist’s fall guy for things that happen outside the boundaries that have been constructed for God to operate within. Unlike Jesus, they are unable to accept God’s will as such, when it goes against their projected hopes.

Today’s Scariest Headline

 

Ban on Political Endorsements by Pastors Targeted

By Peter Slevin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, September 8, 2008; A03

CHICAGO — Declaring that clergy have a constitutional right to endorse political candidates from their pulpits, the socially conservative Alliance Defense Fund is recruiting several dozen pastors to do just that on Sept. 28, in defiance of Internal Revenue Service rules.

The effort by the Arizona-based legal consortium is designed to trigger an IRS investigation that ADF lawyers would then challenge in federal court. The ultimate goal is to persuade the U.S. Supreme Court to throw out a 54-year-old ban on political endorsements by tax-exempt houses of worship.

“For so long, there has been this cloud of intimidation over the church,” ADF attorney Erik Stanley said. “It is the job of the pastors of America to debate the proper role of church in society. It’s not for the government to mandate the role of church in society.”

If you read The First Morning with any regularity at all, you know I endorse and support Barak Obama for president. I do that as an individual who believes with deep conviction that the U.S. will find itself in desperate straits if we do not change our attitudes toward a number of important issues. Those issues include our lack of planning for energy independence, our enslavement by Washington lobbyists and corporations, and our increasing and collective resignation to Fear as the primary reason for so many of our military, political, and cultural decisions.

(FYI: I am still a registered Republican. I voted for George W. Bush for president twice! I personally consider those votes among my greatest mistakes.)

But my opinions are my opinions. I will write about them as an individual, and anyone can ask me (as an individual) at anytime about those political opinions and I will tell them. But don’t ask me about them in church. Don’t expect me to endorse anyone from the pulpit. You’ll hear lots of personal opinions from me in that role, and I will identify them as such. But I have no right- NONE- to formally confuse my voting preferences with the gospel of Jesus Christ.  

There is a (huge) strata in Christendom that hears their church’s leadership as if Jesus himself were speaking to them. Each year I receive a package of material from some “Christian Voter’s Education” outfit that attempts to show why voting for the most conservative Republicans on a given ticket will help make America a Christian nation, again (as if it once was, in their fantasies). And for years, even when I was voting in agreement with many of their positions, I would trash the whole pile of to-be-distributed materials.

I would do exactly the same thing if someone wanted me to distribute any “Obama=Jesus” handouts.  

The inherent problem is that many many churches understand their Pastor as “speaking for God.” They truly believe that opposing gay marriage, or laissez-faire healthcare, or more oil drilling, or less oil drilling- if the pastor endorses it- is tantamount to taking another step toward heaven. Many of the pastors who use the blind obedience of their congregants, are the same ones who drive luxury cars, have private jets, and dress in Armani suits because of the gravy-train which tax-exemption makes possible for them.  

And now they want it both ways. I’m sorry that the movement to have it both ways is originating in Arizona, too; that makes me suspicious. But even if the move is being made independently of any political influence, I believe it is a dangerous precedent. Churches are a place where hearts and minds can be changed, and I am very concerned about what a coordinated, intentional movement from within the churches could lead to logically over time.

We must not have anyone forcing their version of Jesus down the throats of anyone! When Jesus said “Follow me” he did not add, “to the downtown Republican or Democratic party offices.” He walked toward lepers, prostitutes, demoniacs, and people who were hungry, lonely, and left out of life’s mainstreams. And then he touched them, loved them, and gave them a model of hope.

I will never be a part of making Jesus any less than that. I will never pretend that he endorsed anything I might think or believe. I will always allow people to see him, to the best of my ability to help them do so, and let them decide the better way for themselves.

The Sarah Palin Family Rumors

If you spend more than five minutes a day browsing the news or blogs on-line, you’ve seen them. They prove one thing to me:

The PUMAs and the right wing politicos and religionists do not have an exclusive hold on using innuendo and conjecture as political weapons. The fervor of some of the anti-Obama bulls**t being spread in blogs and by email is now being equaled by much of the anti-Palin/McCain vitriol.

This kind of ugliness- from whatever quarter it emanates- says much less about its object of scorn than it does about the persons who are so anxious to pick such stuff up in the first place and spread it.

To quote special counsel Joseph Welch during the Army-McCarthy Senate hearings in 1954:

“You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”

Obama: "Be Afraid! Be Very Afraid!"

obama

(From pictures sent to snopes.com by an American officer in Afghanistan, with the comment, “He was very warm and cordial.”)

Here’s part of email forwarded to me yesterday:

“I personally do not know this soldier but what he writes
speaks mountains. BE AFRAID, BE VERY, VERY AFRAID!!

Hello everyone,
As you know I am not a very political person. I just wanted
to pass along that Senator Obama came to Bagram Afghanistan
for about an hour on his visit to ‘The War Zone’. I
wanted to share with you what happened.
He got off the plane and got into a bullet proof vehicle,
got to the area to meet with the Major General (2 Star) who
is the commander here at Bagram.
As the Soldiers where lined up to shake his hand he blew
them off and didn’t say a word as he went into the
conference room to meet the General. As he finished, the
vehicles took him to the ClamShell (pretty much a big top
tent that military personnel can play basketball or work
out in with weights) so he could take his publicity
pictures playing basketball. He again shunned the
opportunity to talk to Soldiers to thank them for their
service.

I swear we got more thanks from the NBA Basketball Players
or the Dallas Cowboy Cheer leaders than from one of the
Senators, who wants to be the President of the United
States . I just don’t understand how anyone would want
him to be our Commander-and-Chief. It was almost that he
was scared to be around those that provide the freedom for
him and our great country.
If this is blunt and to the point I
am sorry but I wanted you all to know what kind of caliber
of person he really is. What you see in the news is all
fake.
In service,
CPT Jeffrey S. Porter
Battle Captain
TF Wasatch
I went to snopes.com (it took me all of 5 seconds) and saw- as I suspected- that the letter was fake. An Army spokesperson, in fact, stated that the tour was delayed because Obama took so much time meeting the troops.

And, after realizing he violated regulations about troops making political statements, Capt. Porter is asking that his email be deleted, and not forwarded. He is saying that “information put into his hands was untrue.”

Truth seems to matter less and less. It is what “I believe” that is important, and facts seem to be secondary to that sacredly-spoken tenet. We all need to call each other out when we use “I believe” as a preface to personal opinion to which we demand capitulation by others. “I believe” does not always precede a truthful, logical, or even a civil statement. It is jargon which we use in expectation that others will not, cannot, dare not argue with us.

Nonsense, I say! “I believe” should not be a free pass into obfuscation or the perpetuation of lovingly held personal opinions based on whims and culture.

Needless to say, I’m going to be writing some more about Credo statements. Because it’s time for some of them to knocked down.

(it’s easier to swallow than it is to chew..which makes it easy to HATE Obama or HATE McCain if your sources of info are whatever like-minded, non-critical thinkers are forwarding to you. But such a shortcut, in the end, almost always end in choking..)