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An Endorsement, a Condemnation and an Election Reflection

by BobHiggins Sat Oct 11th, 2008 at 07:36:53 PM EST

During the 1968 election, one of the keystones of Dick Nixon's campaign was his "plan to end the war in Vietnam." Of course he had no real plan, or, if he did it was a poor one, evidenced by the fact that the war dragged on for seven brutal years after that sad election season.

It has been said in some quarters that the "plan" Nixon alluded to, but never spelled out, was a nutty scheme (nutty schemes seem to abound in the halls of power) to have Kissinger convince the Russians that Tricky Dick was just batshit crazy enough to use nuclear weapons if the North Vietnamese would not come to the table and end the war on his terms.

History has shown that Nixon was nuts enough. So was and is, Henry the K, but the Vietnamese, after fighting a collection of Yankees, French, Japanese and Chinese among others, for uncountable hundreds of years weren't impressed with new and improved threats, from new and unimproved enemies.

They had been hardened over the centuries to leave early for work knowing that they might have to bury their dead or rebuild a bridge or two on the way. They would not be cowed by threats of death and destruction; death and destruction was all around them, forever.

Some might say that their difficult history made the Vietnamese nuttier than Dick Nixon but I'll leave that to the scholars and shrinks of history. After all, most of the witnesses are dead.

The presence of whackos and sociopaths at the highest levels of government is not a new thing, we have seen Caligula, and Stalin, Mussolini and Hitler, the Bushes and Cheneys, Saddam and Kim il Sung, but I believe that "extreme erratic eccentricity" in power is, unfortunately, a growing trend.

There are hundreds of rising stars and starlets of the future of political and religious subjugation and terror waiting in the wings or auditioning on corporate and theocratic casting couches as I write this.

As people, (the voting public,) continue to divorce themselves from the affairs of their own governance, continue to abrogate their fundamental responsibility to maintain a decent awareness of, and control over, their own public affairs, they open the door ever wider to the cold dark winds of tyranny and oppression.

People around here set their deadbolts at night; they make sure the kids put the bikes in the garage. They protect their property, their stuff. They keep their cash in the safe or a bank. (Perhaps not so much this week) The bikes and snowmobiles will be there in the morning but what of their freedoms? What of the rule of law, what of their democracy?

While we were busy obsessively obtaining, and guarding our wealth and its trappings, bigger SUVs, more palatial drywall estates, we left our only truly necessary and sacred possessions, things like liberty, privacy and due process, out on the lawn, discarded it seems as unnecessary abstractions.

Thieves and opportunists, both public and private, came and stole them in broad daylight. They practically rang the doorbell and announced what they were about. We paid no attention. The way they marketed their programs made it sound as if we would profit. I think that they scammed us, I'm afraid that they will be back for the rest, the tangible as well as the abstract; I fear that they want, and will have, it all.

I've listened to John Sidney McCain III for many years. I've lived through several of his ever more pathetic and increasingly panicky runs for the one office that he believes will enable him to prove to his father and grandfather that he is worthy of their respect, in spite of his record. (Does that not sound like a "cover" of a record that we've heard for years?)

John Sidney McCain III says that he knows where Osama bin Laden is. "I can get him," he says with Nixonian certainty, as he continues to insist that we must continue to fight bin Laden where we know that he isn't.

He claims that he knows how to put Americans back to work as he fights against workers rights, the minimum wage, social security and colludes with powerful interests which would deny them health care. He tells us that he has a "plan" to solve the financial crisis, after telling us that it doesn't exist.

Why is he hiding this important information? Does he really have a plan?

He does not, only people who readily believe his opportunistic pandering, the malicious lies being spread by him and his "running Babe," and other cynical surrogates speaking on their behalf, believe that he has a plan for anything broader than the continued aggrandizement of himself, his family and his wealthy friends and cronies.

I think John Sidney McCain III is an exceptional fraud. Had he not been the son and grandson of admirals he probably would not have made it through the Naval Academy, nor would he have been permitted to continue flying after his third crash due to pilot error.

Had he been cashiered (at least grounded) after wrecking that third aircraft he would have been saved a long imprisonment and we would have been protected from the sad spectacle of an embittered old man desperately grasping for a presidency that he has come to believe is his birthright, his "lifetime achievement award."

He claims to be a patron saint of America's veterans. He is not. His record on veteran's issues is shameful. I am a disabled veteran; I pay attention to "patron saints."

No I don't believe that he should have been commissioned a Naval Officer and should never have held an office of public trust. His willing and eager involvement in the Keating five affair, his everlasting closeness with dozens of the most powerful and probably the most destructive lobbyists in Washington, and his gambling habit, (Senators, Presidents rolling dice in casinos?) has shown him incapable of honoring that trust.

He certainly should never be trusted to replace the current sociopath in chief. America, what's left of it, cannot afford another decade of wanton abuse of power and privilege, of wanton theft from the public treasury, of wanton waste of the lives of our children and grandchildren.

Like George Bush John Sidney McCain III was a coddled child of privilege, propped up at every turn by family name and money.

In its broad strokes, McCain's life story is oddly similar to that of the current occupant of the White House. John Sidney McCain III and George Walker Bush both represent the third generation of American dynasties. Both were born into positions of privilege against which they rebelled into mediocrity. Both developed an uncanny social intelligence that allowed them to skate by with a minimum of mental exertion. Both struggled with booze and loutish behavior. At each step, with the aid of their fathers' powerful friends, both failed upward. And both shed their skins as Episcopalian members of the Washington elite to build political careers as self-styled, ranch-inhabiting Westerners who pray to Jesus in their wives' evangelical churches.
From "Make-Believe Maverick " By Tim Dickinson at Rolling Stone

John Sidney McCain III is an anti intellectual of the first order. No surprise there, as his party, or the modern version of it, has made anti intellectualism a cornerstone of its appeal to its base, that voter they call "Joe Six Pack."

As an aside, that pisses me off because I am Joe Six Pack as are most of my friends and most of us are Democrats or Independents of varying degrees of liberality who despise what John Sidney McCain III represents.

Thanks for letting me get that off my chest. Gimme a beer.

They hate the "scholarly elite," deride legitimate research, deny climate change, evolution, gravity, and "publicly" despise gerund endings. They build museums with "Barney riding Dino" exhibits and try to sell it as "creation science education?"

Back in 79 or so I took a class at the Chicago Planetarium, titled "New Frontiers in Cosmology." The class was taught by David Schramm, a professor of astrophysics from the University of Chicago. During those few months, Dr. Schramm changed how I viewed the world by successfully inserting into the mind of this untutored layman a delightful stew which he made from a mixture of the fields of astronomy, astrophysics, particle physics, and nuclear physics.

I have enjoyed few things in life as much as I enjoyed his teaching and his company. Dave was a class act, a well respected, inspired, passionate, wild haired man of science. I was overwhelmed with his brilliance and his almost childlike enthusiasm. I think the class cost me $75.00. My guess is that it was presented to the public as part of one of those evil "government grants."

During the last "debate" John Sidney McCain III castigated Barack Hussein Obama (I'm not afraid of him or his name) for the expenditure of three million dollars for a new overhead projector. McCain was, or acted outraged.  

I think John Sidney McCain III equates the word "projector" with Lone Ranger and Tonto movies flickering on the wall of a darkened room of his childhood.

Any time the Chicago Planetarium or any institute of legitimate research and learning wants to spend a few million bucks on an incredible learning tool, to bring scientific knowledge to the public, I say, "buy it." The anti intellectuals of the McPalin camp be damned.

They would rather spend public money on death, destruction or giveaways to already wealthy swindlers.

Trillions to Wall Street flimflam men, hundreds of billions to defense cronies, oil cronies and merchants of death, but declare holy war over a few million for research which might save a species, educate the public or provide health care and education for children, rebuild our infrastructure and move us to renewable fuels.

The only "steady hands on the tiller' in my lifetime have been attached to the wrists of Democrats. Hell, I have a plan too. Get rid of these damn Republicans. Again, thanks, I needed that.

At every whistle stop, (do campaign planes have whistles?) John Sidney McCain III asks, "Who is Barack Obama," do we really know who he is?

I think that I know Barack Obama well, because I know John Sidney McCain III very well and the contrast between these two men is profound in every way.

The recent counterpoint of public appearances, of debate, of Vice Presidential choices, the demeanor of their wives and families, and the conduct of their campaigns has exposed an overwhelming and obvious fact.

There is only one person in this race qualified to be the President of my America. I'm voting for "that one." Barack Obama for President.

Bob Higgins
Worldwide Sawdust

If I could vote, Obama would have had mine at the point where I found out he'd suported that projector, apart from anything else.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Oct 11th, 2008 at 09:14:28 PM EST
Yea, all of this is true but what can you do ? I mean, there is a significant swathe of US public opinion that not only doesn't know this, but would become angry if you tried to tell them.

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Oct 13th, 2008 at 09:50:45 AM EST
Thank you for this inspiring piece, Bob and thank you for posting here.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 10:26:50 AM EST
John Sidney McCain III says that he knows where Osama bin Laden is. "I can get him," he says with Nixonian certainty,

So if he knows where OBL is and hasn't told the government, or got them to do something about it then isn't he guilty, in effect of concealing him, so shouldn't he as a "Fellow traveller" be sitting in Guantanamo? or is there no point in putting hm there as he's an all American hero who will resist his interrogation.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Sat Oct 18th, 2008 at 11:22:25 AM EST

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