Thursday, December 04, 2008

A Very Merry Christmas and a Happy No Bush!

No Bush Dog T-Shirt
No Bush Dog T-Shirt

There are many reasons to celebrate this coming US Inaugural, many of them truly transcendent; the first Black President - and the first male president to come within a whisker and a prayer of losing to a female candidate. Glass ceilings shattering in all directions!

On the other side, there was the Ron Paul Revolution - and it's a whole new political movement. Indeed "paultards" are probably going to form the core of the next legitimate Right of Center party in the US. As far as the Republicans - well, they are the party of foolish candidates, false promises and faulty premises. I think the Whigs were in better shape when they circled the drain.

So part of Bush's Legacy may well be the end of the Republican party and all that it became in the name of St. Regan of Trickle-down. That is a good thing, because conservatism is about economics, and economics is based on numbers and those numbers have to add up at the bottom of the balance sheet. If they do not, you are not a conservative, you are a fraud, a fool or a Social Conservative."

The problem with Social Conservatives is that they aren't interested in conserving anything worth having, and are willing to impose endless costs and pain upon third parties in order to benefit their own conservative religious dogmas.

Well, I think I speak for a lot of folks when I say - get your grubby paws off my junk, stop leering at my daughter's tits and get the HELL of my property.

Indeed, that might just be the explanation for Obama's "Mystifying" victory that still has the professional right-wing bloviators talking in circles.

Then there was the amazing sea change in the election process itself; after two elections in a row being slimed and stolen, the american people rose up on their hind legs and took the process back to themselves, with a combination of grassroots activism and Internet-driven fund-raising. One of the major tools used by activists of all stripes is the one I'm linking to here. Cafepress emerged in this election as the political print on demand community, and the go-to place for the hottest political trends expressed on shirts, nearly instantaneously.

I think I speak for all Cafepress shopkeepers when I say - what the hell do I do now?

My Cafepressing started in 2001 and it's been all anti-bush, all the time. Who do I pick on now? Must I start drawing puppies and kittens? My wife suggests fairies and landscapes. I will try, but it feels so... cynical. Even a little depraved.

I was thinking on this as I was cleaning and rearranging my shop, looking at old designs, some that sold well, some that never sold at all. I was about to toss my "no bush" out along with them when I realized that until bush is officially out of office it still has meaning.

Indeed, if I had tickets to the inaugural and any intention of crossing the border any time in the near future - I'd wear one of these designs.

All hope and change aside, that's the most important thing to celebrate.

The final, formal end to eight years of the worst misrule ever suffered by the people of the United States. And let's remember, he may be laying low, but he still ain't gone and he still has that red button. Let's not get all complacent here.

Still, I think it's worth hanging on your tree if you can afford one this year. Indeed, I think it's an important heirloom of the future; a tangible reminder of an "interesting time" we cannot afford to leave unmarked. I speak for millions when I say I have paid far too high a price for the promises and the failures of George W. Bush, due to the actions of the Bush administration, it's economic, health and education policies; all of the things things that led to our personal financial meltdown and run for the border.

So I'm gonna celebrate. I'm gonna celebrate the fact that I escaped with my wife and my life; I'm going to celebrate what is a huge victory in a war that is not yet complete, but no longer one I'm so personally invested in. Those are my personal joys, but there are many more globally good things just around the corner that could not and would not happen if we had allowed four more years of "Like Bush, but older."

Let us celebrate the humilition of the corporate greed mongers coming to us with caps in hand (well, at least to congress) begging for help and forgiveness.

Personally, my answer is no; why throw good money after bad?

Let us celebrate the confluence of technology and need to fix our energy deficit once and for all, while making the world a greener and better place to live. Let's start on that new vision by getting rid of those who can't see the point to a new approach to our core economic ventures even when they are forced to sit on it and squirm.

And if there are a lot of auto workers out of work and parts makers looking for cars to make parts for - well, that's an opportunity, not a problem. We need money and capacity to fix these problems and they must be made available to those who have a better plan than "well, help us stay afloat while we think of something."

Instead of congress funding a bailout of the bad old companies, let us invest heavily in something worth having - a line of cars built well, in north america that are as safe, as green and as efficient as possible, that run on electricity, natural gas and other alternate fuels and which are every bit as fun to own and drive as anything ever made by Detroit. There ARE such companies. I wonder what we might see if they were to take over the capacity and workforce so badly misused by the fatass idiots who brought us the Hummer.

The big three are not the solution. They are the problem. They don't deserve forgiveness, much less a handout. And if you are an economic conservative - such as myself - you don't believe that those who invested blindly in such an obviously short-sighted corporate plan (if one may use the word very loosely indeed) deserve any more consideration. We need to preserve the workforce and the skills, so if anyone needs a bailout it's the auto workers themselves. So, unemployment, so they stay in detroit. Investment in retraining programs - so they can learn new skills important to new, green products. Laying up cabon fiber. Working on Cad/Cam lines that are essentially "assemble on demand" propositions.

And let's not forget the idea that we need lots more mass transit. Ideally mass transit that will take you AND your personal vehicle from here to there.

Detroit set itself up in competition with mass transit, it went to WAR with mass transit. Well, we can't afford that attitude any more. And besides, we deserve the best of both instead of what we ended up with, the worst expression of each.

These businesses made choices that contributed a great deal to the energy crisis we are living with now. WE have to take a great deal of responsibility too, but part of that is to give up our preference for the big Detroit penis and to stop flinching at the idea of "appropriate technology." Appropriate technology doesn't mean "settling for less," it means "using the right tool for the job." Big, petrolium fueled cars and livable cities are uncomforable bedfellows at best.

That's not to say that we should have to give up powerful vehicles. It means not wasting their operational life on going to the corner for a carton of milk. We need to demand cars that work for the things we actually do most often, and do those things as well and economically as possible.

That doesn't mean settling for less - it means having more options and more money. The best and cheapest way to save money, fuel, anything at all is to not waste it in the first place.

All these changes will come because they have to. It's time. It's like when the railroads came, all at once, all around the world. It's not a question of whether, all we have to say about it is how.

But the symbol of all this change is a man; a man who did all he could to delay, deny, defeat and discredit truth and common sense, and who came to symbolize all that that was wrong about American values; the greed, the pettiness, the lies, the spite, the xenophobia, the willful stupidity, the abysmal ignorance, the distrust of the intellectual heavy lifters that are going to have to fix things.

He came to symbolize a great many things and ideas that need change if the United States, and indeed, rather large chunks of the rest of the world are to survive to the middle of the century without a major war or seven. Fortunately, he's SUCH a good example of all that is stupid and so consitant in picking the single worst expression possible of his economic, social and political philosophies that he can be credited (if this can be called a credit) for making the Great Failure obvious.

So let's celebrate the excremental abyss we have begun to climb out of and seize upon the first best thing of a shiny new era. All politics aside... we can join in celebrating the most important change of all: NO BUSH!!!

It's a special gift from Santa; a plasma HD for the soul. And if it's all that some of us can look toward getting under the tree we will not erect - it's still a damn fine thing.

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