Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Bunker Mentality

I’ve been in the bunker, keeping my head low, and listening to the old Merle Haggard holiday season dirge, “If We Make It Through December.”

“I got laid off down at the factory,
And their timing’s not the greatest in the world.
Heaven knows I been workin' hard,
I wanted Christmas to be right for daddy's girl….

“If we make it through December.
I got plans of bein' in a warmer town come summer time,
Maybe even California.
If we make it through December we'll be fine.”


The stock market crash, bank failures, mortgage foreclosures, credit collapse, Detroit auto industry bankruptcy. Now the Israelis have invaded Gaza. I am afraid to come out of the bunker until Jan. 20.

The diplomatic achievements of the Obama era may begin with a cease fire of the Israeli offensive in Gaza, one of the most densely populated strips of land on the planet, little more than a Palestinian refugee camp, forsaken by everyone but the terrorists Hamas. I expect the Israeli cease fire will begin around 12:00 noon Jan. 20, the way Iran released the American Embassy hostages in 1981. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will still be touring her new offices, and all President Obama will have to do is raise his right hand and solemnly swear. Indeed the Israelis are not the first to take opportunity where it presents, and the Black Hole of American leadership between election day and inauguration has only made the final daze of the Bush administration worse.

Left to ponder for another time: how does Israel defend itself against women and children suicide bombers and rockets launched from the courtyards of schools and mosques? And what will I do for fun when I don’t have George Bush to kick around anymore?

Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman writes that problem is Bigger Than Bush. “Forty years ago the G.O.P. decided, in effect, to make itself the party of racial backlash. And everything that has happened in recent years, from the choice of Mr. Bush as the party’s champion, to the Bush administration’s pervasive incompetence, to the party’s shrinking base, is a consequence of that decision,” said Krugman in his New Year’s Day column for the New York Times. “Today, Republicans have taken away almost all those Southern votes — and lost the rest of the country.” The hypocrisy of fiscal conservatism has been discredited by the economic crises and exposed as pure code. According to Krugman, “Government is the problem,” means, “it takes your money and gives it to Those People.” Republicans “need to get in touch with the real “real America,” a country that is more diverse, more tolerant, and more demanding of effective government than is dreamt of in their political philosophy.”

Copyright 2009 by William C. Cotter

4 comments:

Heidi said...

Personally, I can't wait for 'that one' to be giving our money to 'those people.' Cant do it fast enough.

As well as re-installing our infrastructure, cleaning up our dirty energy, and even, possibly, tossing a dime or two into our broken school systems. I'm still very proud of my country for demonstrating who the 'real america' REALLY is, and what sortof things we REALLY believe in. The world does not have time for racism any longer; let's hope this last election will help get some people wise.

Paw Paw Bill said...

Thank you for the intelligent and sensitive comment. It reminds me of the card you sent on Father's Day.

annette cotter said...

also left to ponder for another time and another time and another time: what are palestinians whose ancestral lands were given to form the state of israel, whose citizens have grown up in refugee camps and/or are occupied by soldiers and who have forever lived with substandard housing, food, medical care and education...what are these people supposed to do while being shelled with artillery much of which is made in america, while america blocks a u.n. cease fire...what are they supposed to do? the score right now is about 5 to 500 in favor of israel. maybe we should carve them a homeland in the ruhr valley. then they wouldn't be trying to attract so much attention.

Paw Paw Bill said...

Women and Things

By Hanan Mikha'd'Ashwari

Women make things grow:
Sometimes like the crocus,
surprised by rain, emerging fully
grown from the belly of earth;
Others like the palm tree with
it's promise postponed
rising in a slow
deliberate
spiral to the sky.

Women make things light
afloat
like the breathless
flight of soap bubbles
shimmering in the eyes of a lone
child in a forbidden schoolyard;
And heavy
with the scent of
an overripe fruit
exploding at the
knowledge of summer hardened
soil on days of siege.

Women make things smooth
to the touch
like the kneading of
leavened bread at the dawn of hunger;
And coarse
like the brush of a
homespun coat on
careworn shoulders and bare
arms barely touching on the night of deportation.

Women make things cold
sharp and hard
like a legal argument thrust
before the threat of search and detention;
Or warm
and gentile like
justice in a poem,
like the suggestion of
the image of freedom
as a warm bath and
a long soak, in an undemolished home.

Women make things
And as we, in separate
worlds, braid
our daughter's hair
in the morning, you and
I, each
humming to herself, suddenly
stops
and hears the
tune of the other.

 

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