Friday, August 18, 2006
WE'VE BEEN OVERRUN BY THE CLUELESS
My apologies to Alicia Silverstone; she and her friends couldn't possibly be as clueless as Dubya and co.
But don't take my word for it. USA TODAY seems to be in total agreement. The normally moderate editorial board excoriated the Bush administration and Republican leadership in a Wednesday editorial titled Oh, Really?.
After viewing "no one could have expected" statements by Dubya, Condi, and Gen. Calwell, the editorial starts:
As the unfortunate statements above show, President Bush and people who work for him have a disheartening habit of being astonished by the arrival of disasters they didn't see coming but others did.
The editorial goes on to thoroughly debunk the "nobody could have forseen" the levy failures, planes as missles, and secterian violence statements by showing that, indeed, many people had. The editorial continues:
It's true that the shelves of government agencies are stacked with warnings of various calamities that never panned out or weren't widely disseminated. But anticipating risks — whether from terrorists, Mother Nature or Iraqi insurgents — is basic to effective leadership.
The price is yet to be paid for the most flagrant example of ignoring risk, but the bill will start coming due in about a decade when Social Security and Medicare face insolvency because of today's shortsighted policies. Perhaps those in power at that time will attempt to say the crisis couldn't have been anticipated. But they'll be wrong, just as those bemoaning the calamities of 9/11, New Orleans and Iraq are today.
It's time to retire the “no one could have expected it” excuse.
This is an excellent article, and I hope you will take the minute or two it requires to read it in it's entirety!
SPEAKING OF CLUELESS (warning: I am in cynical, angry rant mode. This is likely to offend some or, more likely, all of you. Be forewarned):
I do not understand religious people. People who believe their God is all knowing and all powerful, can bring on floods and devestation and destroy the whole world with the wave of his/her hand. Yet who believe him so weak and impotent that they must fight his battles for him. If he is so damned omnipotent, why does he need YOU to fight his battles for him? And if God really does exist, and really gives a damn as to the specifics of how you worship and how you live, why doesn't he just make himself and his expectations obvious to everyone? He could take over all the TV channels at once and have a giant I AM GOD AND THIS IS WHAT I EXPECT OF YOU infomercial. If he is OMNIPOTENT, he could do that, you know! Or is he just a sick bastard with a sadistice sense of humor who enjoys seeing humans slaughter each other for the honor of being "his children"?
There are 22 major world religions and thousands of subsets of these religions. Each arrogantly believeing that they alone (okay Unitarians, I give you a pass on this one) have a special relationship with God, an the rest of you are God's enemies and will be banished to hell. And each trying to kill the others to make sure they arrive in hell early. Or wherever. You could become a dung beetle in your next life, perhaps a fate even worse than hell. And how does a dung beetle ever live a good enough life to move up the food chain in it's next life? But I digress.
How fucking clueless and arrogant is it to believe in an all powerful, all knowing God, then believe he is limited to dealing with humans in a manner only approved of by you. What arrogance, what hutzpah, what CRAP! If he is truley omnipotent, he doesn't need you to tell him how to deal with me. An omnipotent God and I are perfectly capable of dealing with each other on our terms without help from you, thanks!
Frankly, I am not likely to believe until I see some small fragment of evidence that God exists. So how bout it God, when's that infomercial coming? Make sure you tell NPR to announce the time and date.... I wouldn't want to miss it!
In my brother's argument, god can be for example all knowing and all powerful but cannot possible be all caring because if he (or she, or it...) was, he couldn't possibly let things happen as they are. He could be all caring and all powerful but obviously cannot be all knowing because if he knew what was happing on earth, he'd put an end to it. And thirdly, he could be all knowing and all caring but obviously is not all powerful (and therefore not a god?) because if he knew what was happening and cared, how could he not help us if he had the power to do so. Does that make sense?
With the exception of a year of my childhood where I wanted to be a nun, neither my brother nor I are religious. I say I'll take my chances and face whatever god there may or may not be when my time comes. If he/she/it is as great and supposedely compassionate and loving as most religions make him/her/it out to be, I would like to believe that if he/she/it exists, I'll be welcomed with open arms and offered forgiveness. Its just too bad that people can't offer that to each other before "the end".
karen - Your brother is obviously a thinker... i like that!
ps, after dinner I am gonna go back and correct spelling... posted this in a hurry. And never post when you are angry and ranting!
If lowly little me can see this shit coming, why can't all the high-paid advisors see it?!
It is the only way they could have truly believed we'd be welcomed as heroes in Iraq.
They believe that folks in the middle east are longing for democracy because they think they should be. And then are shocked when the Palestinians elect Hamas.
Bush and Co. have long since taken a Journey To The Center Of The Mind, where fantasy is fact (my apologies to Ted Nugent and Steve Farmer). I feel safe in assuming they are not coming back.
Tasted any new brews of late? It's almost the season for microbrew flavors like "pumpkin."
Question: How did "rob" get on if you have the word verification option on?
Naw, you know us old geezers don't like scenery changes.
I think Rob is an actual person.
Leinenkugel Berry Weis, Murphy's Red, Murphy's Stout, Boddington's Pub Ale the current beers of choice. Along of course with the old stand byes, original Leinenkugel, and Old Milwaukee.
I haven't had an OM in years...no, decades. Wow.
I dig your rants. You and Laura are the visceral little devils on my left shoulder ... JA and CK the logical ones on my right. Sadie's the little angel flitting about above my head. lol
dbdad - the visual of Laura and I on your shouler probably scares HLS more than you could ever imagine!
TJ - I have long ceased to even attempt to find any logic in this whole God thing.
I'd like to answer your question, but it contains some misconceptions that I'd like to clear up. All with the GWB's permission. Or better, I could divert you to my blogsite if my answer will clog up this blogsite. What do you think, Bear?
I will clog, perhaps later. Gotta run!
UL knows what I think about the god business.
How are you GWB? You're looking handsome as ever.
Sam - Excellent idea! I'll drop an email to Burt Reynolds righ tnow!
I am great, been very,very, very busy. But unlike tshsmom, not so busy I am actually looking forward to fall.
TJ says: "If God is so God-like why did he kill his child? Why did he have to forgive my sins by killing his child like a staked out goat/sacrifice! That is rather primative, don't cha think? And sick and sadistic and self centered.
Indeed it is, if what you are describing correctly describes the Christian God. However, if you take a look into Christian doctrine, you'll find your description is not only inadequate, but distorted. If you are interested, I can give you some brief points that expand and clarify what you said. If you want to know more let me know. I don't want to bore you with stuff you have no interest in.
1. God is not a being like you and me. So, God doesn't have children like you and I have where it is sadistic to sacrifice a child.
2. God's forgiveness is based on his mercy and his justice; this is a huge topic in of itself.
3. Jesus wasn't a victim at the hands of his father.
Given what you said, if this is your impression of Christianity, it is no wonder you resist it. Here are a few points that express Christian teaching on the atonement of our sins.
1. God is completely unlike us in that he is not material, or consist in bodily form.
2. The Trinity, is a doctrine and almost incomprehensible mystery where the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are co-equal persons who is God. The Son, who becomes Jesus, a man who is fully human and yet fully divine. He willfully takes upon himself an unjust and terrible death to not only atone for all mankinds sins, but to give them a super-abundant amount of grace, or God' life and power. He does for us because we are incapable to live out the life he requires (one only need watch the news to see this fact), to live a life that is comparible and inspired as Christ's life was inspired. We, through our baptism, become a part of God's family with the ability to develop the traits of Jesus. Sometimes, Christians do not do this, as we are all aware. God gives this grace to those who believe and yet Christians often behave no differently than those without faith. God assists us but never overwhelms our will. We are free to be good, or not.
3. This pain and suffering, or what is called the "Passion" which Christ freely takes upon himself, fulfills the demands of justice that all of us have violated. Since Jesus is both God and man, not only did Jesus the man satisfy the just demands of the law of God, but it is correct to say that GOD Himself satisfied them since we couldn't.
I know there are probably many holes in my explanation, but bottom line, the Christian gospel is God fulfills the just demands of His law because we couldn't, and then gives us the ability, if we freely cooperate with him, to live our lives in the power of his life that he gives to us by faith. Jesus wasn't some hapless victim at the hands of a terrible god. Jesus, as the second person of the Trinity, as God the Son, did for us what we couldn't do for ourselves. It was a supremely loving act.
I could clog on, but I will stop for now. This is as simple an explanation, not knowing what info. you may need or even want.
I have to agree on all counts, except that I make a destinction between religious and spiritual. Religion, to me, involves the institutionalized rules of conduct and worship created by human beings (often for political reasons, but I won't go there no). Spirituality is one person's connection with something greater than themselves.
It often astounds me the number of people I run into who say they belong to some religion, but then flout all the rules. That's what religion is to me - rules. If you don't buy into those, you don't buy into the religion. But then they turn around and try to tell everyone else what rules to follow. A bunch of hypocrites really.
I agree that humans can botch things up good. Human history has scores of examples. That being the case, the Christian religion, primarily Catholicism, offers more than just rules, but deep spiritual guidelines and teaching that help us in the journey. Rules, if just legal, like some fundamentalists have, dry up the human spirit because they hogtie and make a person less human. In Catholic teaching, the Christian life is moral yes, but a participation in the very life of the Trinity. You can't get any more spiritual than that.
Having said that, I still believe the Trinity doctrine is just a conveluted attempt to avoid the charge of polytheism. However, the Catholic doctrine sure makes more sense than the evangelical version.
Laura - I don't consider myself spiritual, but i do get that certain "sense" when I am out doors. Perhaps it's why I spend so much time on the river.
As to the Trinity being an attempt to ward off the charge of polytheism, I don't think the average Catholic comprehends the concept well enough to explain it. So the outsider "scratches his head" and shrugs his shoulders and says, "Yup, sounds like three gods to me!"
St. Augustine tackled this very difficult subject back in the fifth century which does require some mental effort. It requires a lazor sharp understanding of God's essential nature, which is incorporeal and eternal existence; meaning: he doesn't occupy space and time like we do. This is not light stuff, but as long as we conceive of God as truly having some kind of body or possessing and containing space or time, even if it is infinite space, will automatically draw false conclusions contrary to Catholic doctrines of God's nature.
I don't want to clog too much, but, don't write off the doctrine of the Trinity to quickly. It's fascinating and opens the eyes to the entire doctrine of salvation that all too often is oversimplified and distorted by fundamentalist Christians, who though good-willed, turn a lot of people off.
Thanks for opening your blog to this topic. I'll stop for now. If anyone wishes to converse with me, go to my blog and email me. We can discuss these things out from under the blog microscope.
Thanks again, Bear. You are a wonderful host. And, if you find a copy of "Man Law" on the internet, post a link! I need some beer drinking guidance on a camping trip on Labor Day weekend! Viva la canoe trips!
My can't go wrong camping beer formula:
Leinenkugel by day.
OM after the volleyball game or while fishing. Murphy's Red or Stout with dinner.
Any combination of Leinie dark, Leinie Berry Weis, Molsons Canadian, or Boddington's Pub ale at the campfire.
If you must break it down to one or two beers, go with the Leinie and Murphy's red
Totally unfair. GWB's gonna pay big time for that one. Later on.
There is that free will thing that sets us apart.
I don't know/understand everything about God, but do know he/she/whomever is there. Have seen/experienced too much to not believe in him/her/whoever. Including two near death thingies of my own.
As to what's going on in the world, we are doing that to ourselves. It's up to us to fix it. We can ask for whatever we need to help us fix it, but it's up to us to do the fixing. Otherwise we're just cosmic toys on a blue marble.
At least that's my take on it.
Faith/Spirituality I see as the fundamental elements of religion. Beliefs, grace, the pure elements and relationship between human hearts, minds, souls and God with no mechanics (religions) in the way. That I think is what GWB's feeling when he's outdoors.
OK OK I"ll be quiet now.
In my second comment GWB the B was BEAR.
YIKES didn't mean to confuse everyone.
As for clueless, there has to be a better word. How about they have the mentality of a common garden slug.