Thursday, March 18, 2004


Thank goodness I am not underweight because I don’t know what to eat anymore.

It’s not what you’re thinking: the health thing. It’s not the warnings about the poisons and carcinogens that lurk in our food that bother me; it’s the nationality thing.

I understood when the government got mad at the French for being, well, French, and therefore a little contrary. The Frenchies didn’t think we ought to go over and bomb the Iraqis without a good reason. They disagreed with our notion that the folks in the Middle East ought to be democratic and that a few well-aimed bombs would inspire democracy. Since the French thought we were wrong and said so, some of the big political players on the national and county scene thought we should boycott French goods. A lot of people thought they were right. Remember Freedom Fries.

Now, the politicos are ticked off with the Spanish. What the Spanish did that annoys them was to vote. They did democracy without any prodding from us and we don’t like the outcome.
The Spanish voted out their old government that had dispatched some of their soldiers to Iraq even though most of the Spanish people were opposed to the deployment. Playing along with us Americans in Iraq has brought catastrophe to Spain in the form of horrendous train explosions, many Spanish citizens believe.

So now, I not only have to give up my Camembert and coq au vin, but I expect to get the word that the new list of un-free food and drink includes Spanish sherry, paella Valenciana and, I guess, café con leche.

It’s hard for me to separate the restaurants that are genuinely Spanish from those that serve the cuisine of Spanish-speaking countries. I suppose it’s all right for me to go to restaurants from countries that have long subscribed to democratic principles – like Colombia, Argentina and Chile.

What’s next? Well, I promise you that the Germans are sure to disappoint our government again soon, so I am abandoning Wiener Schnitzel before I get the order from Washington or the county commission.

When I want exotic food, I will stick with whatever the Poles and the Latvians eat. They’ve sent soldiers to the Middle East, so we like them and that means their food must be good.

I just want to do my part.

... kenmatthews@yahoo.com

Monday, March 15, 2004

Voodoo Vote ...

Message to young people who are eligible to vote for the first time in a national election next November:

You may think politics are remote from your everyday life, but they’re not. The behavior of the government affects how you live.
The President says he is the war president and he may make war the cornerstone of his reelection campaign, but there’s more to it than that.
My guess is that the President wants us to choose him again based on the following issues:

- Gay marriage
- Gun control
- Flag burning
- Pledge of Allegiance
- Abortion
- School prayer
- Family values
- Cloning
- Fidel Castro
- God

He will not ask you to think much about:
- The economy as it affects your life
- The war dead as they affect your life
- The cost of the Iraq war as it affects your life
- The national debt as it affects your life
- The national budget as it affects your life
- The trade imbalance as it affects your life.
- Tax cuts as they affect your life unless you are rich
- Jobs – or the lack of – as they affect your life
- Healthcare – or the ack of – as it affects your life.
- Election campaign- finance reform as it affects your life
- The balance of trade as it affects your life
- Medicare and Social Security – or the lack of – as they affect your life.
- Public education as it affects your life
- Workplace safety as it affects your life
- Clean air and water as they affect your life
- Energy policy as it affects your life

So how will it all come out? you may ask. I don’t know, but consider that people often base their votes on a single issue that is imporant to them. So think about this:
- Just about all Americans believe that America and its symbols are the greatest in history.
- Most Americans believe that marriage can only involve a man and a woman.
- Millions of Americans want to pack heat.
- About as many Americans believe in creationism as they do in evolution.
- Millions of Americans praise God and hate Castro, but they also believe in astrology, ghosts, evil spirits, voodoo, out-of-body experiences, reincarnation, racial segregation, incest, marijuana and true love.
Take it from me, kids, it’s going to be a close election, but you should vote anyway.

... kenmatthews@yahoo.com

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Can you see the evil? ...

"The evil is in plain sight. The danger only increases with denial."
–George W. Bush

Well, yes, and it worries me.

George Bush is so intent on winning the next presidential election that, in my opinion, he will do anything it takes to win.

I think he and his minders might do things that increase the dangers to all of us – if they haven’t already.

They have the power to bring about events of great magnitude and then persuade us of the rightness of their cause. They will make it clear that we would be foolish to do anything short of giving the president another term.

Call me Chicken Little, but it is the magnitude of the deed that I think they are willing to do that scares me.

I think anything is possible if lesser stunts don’t seem to be working. I think they will hold nothing back.

The trouble is that in societies that are comfortable – like ours – the citizens can’t believe that a revolution is going on until it’s too late to do anything about it.
I think the bunch in power now is engaged in a revolution. They want to undo Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal and Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society and much of the rest of the social legislation passed in the last 70 years.

I have no doubt that they want to get rid of taxes on capital income, but keep taxes on wages.

Like good soldiers, they will not stop until their objective has been taken.
There are no halfway measures in a revolution.

When you hear that the administration wants to modify Social Security, you should understand what they are really saying: Scrap the Social Security system entirely.
They are not worried about the millions of Baby Boomers who are scheduled to start collecting from the Social Security system soon. The White House thinkers don’t expect the system to be there much longer. End of problem.

When you hear that they want to modify Medicare, you should hear: Scrap Medicare entirely. Old-timers can get their own medical insurance on the market will be the solution.
When you hear the words "tax cut," don’t believe that it applies to you unless you are rich. When you hear "balanced budget," believe the opposite is the goal.

If you believe that truth will emerge from the repetition of untruth, the Bush bunch is for you.

Political truth can be the opposite of reality, but reality is easy to deny. Through repetition, great untruths can take form as a presumed reality. And evil and danger are apt to follow, as the president says.

... kenmatthews@yahoo.com

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Simple sanctity?

The President worries about the sanctity of marriage.

Since when are matters of sanctity the job of the head of an American government?

Sanctity means holiness. The head of a modern state is not charged with taking care of the holy business; holiness is not his job.

If faith – a word that may be synonymous with hunch – is to guide our leadership, where’s it going to stop? Whose hunch is best in the government business?

If the President wants to be in the faith business, let him run for pope the next time. The job should be open soon.

Why can’t all people regardless of gender, race, national origin and religion get married in a manner prescribed by equally applied law and then do whatever they like to get some sanctity?

Equal legal status is what America is supposed to offer and it is what all people want and expect.

I know we’re supposed to be annoyed with the French, but sometimes, they make a lot of sense, if you ask me.

French law recognizes only a civil marriage. This must be performed by a French Civil Authority (officier de l'état civil), which includes the mayor (maire), his legally authorized replacement - the deputy mayor (adjoint) or a city councilor (conseiller municipal).

Religious ceremonies are optional, have no legal status and may only be held after the civil ceremony has taken place (which can be, on the same day or some other day after the civil ceremony.)

This way couples could have a union backed by the law that applies to all. Anybody who wants sanctity can get some at the religious institution of his or her choice.

Another thing that should worry us in the sanctity department is that statistically, there seems to be a sanctity problem in different-sex relationships. If it’s marital sanctity the President’s worried about, let him propose a Constitutional amendment banning divorce.

About half the people in America who get married, go on to get divorced. Many of those married-and-divorced people go on to get married again to somebody else. Where’s the sanctity in that? Maybe, what we have here is or a cultural hiccup of major proportions.

The sanctity problem as it relates to marriage doesn’t seem to have anything to do with homosexuals wanting to do it. It seems to me that it has a lot to do with the heterosexuals who do it already and do it so badly that it is a catastrophe with broken dreams, economic losses and children who feel abandoned, afraid, ticked-off and screwed-up.

Talk about you sanctity. Jeez.


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?