Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Romney Campaign Speech Deconstructed

Based on Mitt Romney's victory speech last night after winning assorted primaries, Romney plans an uplifting message for the campaign this fall: The country's going to hell, and the apocalypse is right around the corner. Communists have taken over Congress. A socialist is in the White House. It's no wonder Mexicans are leaving. And why should I pay 13.9% of my $22,000,000 income last year when people in poverty don't even pay income taxes here. I promise to change that. The problem isn't that we have so many poor people, it's that they don't pay any income tax. And if I lower the tax rates of billionaires, how else am I going to pay for a war in Iran, if I can't tax the poor people. And don't ask me about Afghanistan. I really don't understand it very well. And Romneycare, er, excuse me, I mean Obamacare must be repealed. Well, except for Massachusetts, of course, where it's working pretty well. A special thanks goes to the several billionaires who are financing my campaign.And to my primary opponents, I'd like to take this opportunity to say, and I mean this sincerely --- "Losers." Some things I'll tell you: like we need to abolish Social Security and Medicare. And some things I won't - like what government agencies I'll cripple or eliminate. Hint - anything to do with worker safety or environmental protection or the safety net are pretty likely targets. And let me respond to President Obama's remarks the other day that he wasn't born with a silver spoon in his mouth. "I wasn't either. I was given several as presents shortly after I was born, but that's different. Sure, we had silver spoons, forks, and knives, and silver cutlery and all kinds of nice silver bowls and gravy dishes and serving plates, but we didn't use them all the time--only on special occasions, and holidays, and maybe weekend dinners when we had corporate leaders or Senators over for dinner. In fact, a couple were only silver plated. Then my mother's household staff would polish everything and set out a very nice table for our guests. And we'd drink nice French wine. And my family has only been wealthy for three generations now, so I really resent the class warfare and ad hominem attacks being done by that socialist Kenyan Muslim in the White House."

Monday, April 16, 2012

Monday Morning Thoughts on the Week Gone By

Re. Colombian prostitute scandal - turns out the Secret Service thought it was on spring break. And having House Republicans investigate Colombian hookers and the Secret Service is a good idea......they have a great deal of experience.............. On the North Korean exploding rocket - Five days after rocket launch flew 80 seconds and then blew up and fell into the ocean, North Korea is still celebrating their new flight record. "That's the longest flight we've ever had," said the new North Korean official in charge of rockets. "I only wish my predecessor was still alive to enjoy the parade." "Best fireworks we ever had," said the new director of the North Korean University of 1940's technology. "I only wish my predecessor was still alive to enjoy the parade." I might point out, too, that a North Korean rocket scientist and an Iranian nuclear physicist have about the same life expectancy............... Mitt and Ann Romney continue to revel in the ill-advised words of heretofore unknown Hilary Rosen. "It was an early birthday present," cooed Ann. Mitt had to clarify his various positions on stay-at-home moms, though: "I am strongly in favor of wealthy women, like my Ann, if they want, to stay at home and manage the various estates we have and oversee the staff of housekeepers, yard workers, and nannies without whom she could not have done such a fine job of raising my five sons. But for poor or single moms who need government help, they need to buck up and find a job because we cut their welfare. And don't think we'll be paying for their birth control, either." FOX NEWS is now in its eighth straight day of breathless continuous 24/7 coverage of the Hilary Rosen comment ..................... Regarding his international credentials, Mitt Romney reminds us that although he can't see Russia from his porch, he does have large amounts of money in Swiss banks, the Cayman Islands, and other undisclosed foreign locations, has personally sent thousands of jobs overseas, has fired illegal immigrant yard workers at one of his many houses, and speaks French....In trying to shore up his appeal to women, fundamentalist Christians, and Hispanic voters, Mitt Romney reminds us that his Mormon great grandfather had 5 wives and lived in Mexico............. In Arizona, trying to one-up anti-abortion forces everywhere, the Governor signed a bill prohibiting abortions after 20 weeks, in which women are declared pregnant before they have sex............... About Allen West's claim that 80 Democrats in the US House of Representatives are registered Communists: the Communist Part of the USA denies this accusation and says it is insulted that they would be tarnished in this way. "It's a cheap shot to claim we have members in Congress," said a communist spokesperson. "It's guilt by association." A recent Rasmussen poll appears to corroborate this indignation in that the Communist Party of the USA is polling at an 11% approval rating while the US Congress has a 9% approval rating..................... And finally, a reminder of Republican political strategy developed at the end of the Bush Presidential disaster: "Let's hand the next President an economy in free fall, a corrupt and collapsing financial system, a trillion dollar annual budget deficit, and two failing wars. Then we'll fight everything he does to try to fix the total catastrophe we created, weaken every effort made to fix the shattered economy, attack everything about him and his policies, rewrite history, and just make sh** up. Better yet, we'll create a phony grass roots group organized and paid for by the Koch brothers and their corporations and bus them around and have them wear goofy clothes. No matter what the President wants to do we'll call it 'socialist' or 'liberal' or 'big government' even if it's our idea! That'll confound them. We'll blame him for stuff that Bush did -- like TARP. People won't know the difference. Then when the next campaign comes along, we'll complain that he hasn't done enough. People have such short memories, they might just put us back in office. Okay, that's our plan. We'll promise to do all the things that got us into this mess in the first place - voters won't even notice. And finally, let's supress the vote of all the people who might be expected to vote Democratic: the elderly, all minorities, students. We'll claim the prevalence of voter fraud, gerrymander as many Congressional district lines as we can get away with, and mount a enormous voter disinformation campaign. Let's go do it."

Sunday, April 08, 2012

A Meditation on Easter - 2009

A Meditation on Easter - 2009
I wrote this in 2009 and it still works for me........ I have painted 12 banners for my church sanctuary which are now hanging high above from the rafters. I painted both sides, so there are 24 images - each one is 3' x 8'. These banners are an exploration of my thoughts and feelings about our celebration of Easter. What is it all about, this death and resurrection thing? What really happened anyway? What is the significance of this Easter day? Unlike Christmas, December 25 each year, Easter is a moveable celebration. Easter is observed on the Sunday after the first full moon on or after the day of the vernal equinox. This can occur between March 22 and April 25. Complex negotiations over many centuries arrived at this rather odd compromise. So we’ve got this “moveable feast.” Is the story of the Resurrection true? Is it Truth? I don’t know. I’m an artist, not a theologian. I think that many Biblical stories tell truths without being true. A friend said that a former pastor once told a girl who asked if a story was true, “Honey, that story’s so true, that even if it’s not true, it’s true.” That works for me. Heresy? In some circles for sure. But whenever I hear that Jesus died for our sins, I think that it is more accurate to say that Jesus died because of the sins of his contemporaries. I don’t believe Jesus committed crucifixion suicide. He was put to death deliberately. The politics of the day, and pride, arrogance, bigotry, hatred, and jealousy killed Jesus. I think that’s true. That Easter is a moveable celebration appeals to me somehow. It moves around like the spirit can move around. And it needs to move around. Somebody kills Jesus everyday somewhere, it seems to me –genocide in Darfur or Kosovo, or innocents in the Holocaust or Guernica or New York City or Dresden, a landmine in Afghanistan or Africa, or an explosion in a town market in Iraq or the Holy Land, or a suicide bomber, or killing sprees with automatic weapons, or where a child is abused or hungry. “Broken-ness” kills Jesus. And Jesus lives and moves wherever goodness and kindness and caring prevail. I think that’s Truth. So we are fortunate that Easter is a “moveable feast”– we desperately need the redemptive power of this celebration to move around. There are far too many places and times where this “moveable feast” is needed. One of my favorite songs is Leonard Cohen’s, “Hallelujah.” He says the following about his song: "This world is full of conflicts and full of things that cannot be reconciled but there are moments when we can transcend …and reconcile and embrace the whole mess and that's what I mean by 'Hallelujah'. That regardless of what the impossibility of the situation is, there is a moment when you open your mouth and you throw open your arms and you embrace the thing and you just say 'Hallelujah! Blessed is the name.' And you can't reconcile it in any other way except in that position of total surrender, total affirmation.” So my color blasts, dancing figures, doves and flowers, Hallelujahs, Jesus on the Cross, and other abstracted offerings are a way to celebrate this day and this “affirmation,” as are the beautiful music we hear and joyous songs we sing and words of wisdom that come our way as we attempt to reconcile the irreconcilable. I will celebrate the death and life of Easter and hope the miracles will move from place to place, time to time, and person to person. I want these images to be part of the celebration of the contradictions of the rational and the miraculous, of the implications of metaphors and metaphysics, and of the contemplations of the true and the Truth, and I will “embrace the thing” with surrender and affirmation. The Easter story is so true, that even if it’s not true, it’s true. Hallelujah! Bud Cassiday

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Mitt Romney's new battlecry - "Down with Medicare"

Lessons from Mitt Romney's three primary wins last night: fewer and fewer voters in a smaller and smaller percent of the Republican base don't want Mitt Romney as their candidate. More and more voters of that same smaller and smaller number of the Republican base don't want Rick Santorum, or Newt Gingrich, or Ron Paul as their anything, too. As the crowd shouted "Down with Medicare," "War with Iran," and "Corporations are People, too," Mr. Romney spoke, "A shrinking number of Republican voters don't want me far less than they don't want those other guys. And they keep not wanting me less and less." Mr. Romney again told the funny Michigan story about a high school marching band playing the Wisconsin Fight Song after his dad closed an auto factory in Michigan years ago and moved it to Wisconsin. "He's not that stiff," his wife said in an interview on a Christian radio station. "You just need to unzip him so everyone can see."