I watched this program on CNN tonight for the second time. But this time I watched it more closely, and he really revealed himself to me.
Of course, since this was a program filmed to advertise the man and his life, it was not meant to concentrate on peripheral figures, but it brought to the fore his most loathesome characteristics.
He was, and is, a spoiled brat who is consumed with his own courage and nobility. He wasn’t the only one to suffer in a war, and surely others have suffered more. But he manages to smile his little courageous smile every time his exploits, whether noble or ignoble, are discussed. All of us have made mistakes of varying degrees, for which most of us carry a commensurate amount of guilt thereafter.
But the thing that really cooked it for me was when he was asked about the breakup of his first marriage. He expressed no regret for his betrayal of his first wife, simply said “I take full responsibility,” and smiled his little smile of courage and nobility.
Despite that I am and will remain an Obama voter, there are not enough superlatives to heap upon the Clintons, both of them. There was absolutely no sign of rancor or clenched jaws in either one of them, just graciousness and total support of Obama. Try doing what they did at the convention if you had been as intelligent and qualified as each of them is for the office of President, and what a disappointment it has to be to both of them that Hillary lost by a hair.
Add to that that their speeches the past two nights could not have covered more important things to think about with more depth or understanding. Both will go down in history.
This wonderful pair still has much to do for this country, and the country will continue to need them.
Best. Speech. Ever!
According to reports I saw on CNN yesterday, many people were impressed with Sen. McCain’s rapid, fairly short answers to questions asked of him, saying that he seemed to be right on top of the topics discussed, especially as to right-to-life values. At the same time, they felt that Obama was unsure of himself and rather fumbling for his answers.
I urge anyone who found McCain well grounded and Obama unprepared to find the interviews on the computer and look at them again. My reactions were the exact opposite. McCain had obviously been prepared by his handlers to give his answers in a machine gun manner, hurling them off the tip of his tongue and enumerating each with
unalterable, non-inclusive certainty.
Sen. Obama, on the other hand, spoke to his questioner in measured tones, considering the topic from all angles, without haste to impress his audience with curt replies, but as a compliment to the public by including our many views in his answers.
With regard to war and the threat of war, McCain, like Bush before him, is a little ahead of himself with his proclamation of victory in the present war, as well as American and world support for future wars. Also re the war in Iraq, no matter how many more people are killed on both sides, down to the death of the last Iraqi, and the total destruction of their land by our superior forces, according to my personal beliefs as an atheist, the United States can never achieve a victory which was plotted and carried out by this country under the leadership of George Bush and Dick Cheney against an innocent country without just cause.
. . . . as in my post yesterday, I want to explain why I keep getting off on that subject. As you know, there has been a great deal of back-and-forthing regarding religion with the upcoming election in mind.
There is always established religion discussed in the ether on all available channels, especially on television in the form of Sunday programs, but there is nothing to my knowledge on a regular basis about atheism except as it is denounced by religious groups.
We nonbelievers are pretty well considered without any positive value systems, which is not true, except for those I would call “nonthinkers.”
What has me so upset—and, yes, frightened—is that various Christian groups, especially evangelicals, are determined to control those who think differently on subjects such as abortion, birth control, and same-sex marriage by engraving only Christian views in our Constitution and national laws. Atheists and other nonbelievers are not attempting to control the beliefs of others on those subjects because we can understand that there are other equally plausible ways of looking at them (although many of us feel that unfettered overpopulation of the world can lead only to disaster, if not in our time, certainly in the future).
Because we live in what is supposed to be a democracy, we do not attempt to control the lives of those who believe that life is sacred, but we also believe that we should have the same rights regarding our lives and those of our progeny.
I do not know enough about other religions, but I do know enough about the Christian faith in all its permutations to realize that it is and will be the major force in the death of the human race. Following are some of its major means at hand for suicide, unbeknownst to its most loyal followers.
First, and most unalterable, all life forms on Earth will eventually die. You can argue that there is life after death, but that is not what I am most interested in. I am thinking about life, including incipient life on this earth and how human beings control what happens to it on this earth.
Second, Christians have usurped the rights of nonbelievers and are working hard in this country and around the world to see that we will all, including those of other beliefs, as well as nonbelievers, be ruled by their religious canons. They are working at this very time to establish as constitutional law their belief (regardless of the harm it can do) that “all life is sacred and must be preserved regardless of any consequences.” There can be no abortion for any reason, because that is against God’s will. There cannot even be birth control according to many believers. And most egregiously, there cannot even be a right to die. (Oddly, it’s alright to kill others or be killed in battle.)
Many babies are born with terrible physical malformations that they will suffer from all their lives. And untold millions are born into a world of misery and want. (Many of the faithful believe that God wanted them that way because He is testing them for noble service in heaven. I doubt that many of those born into misery look upon such luck as good fortune rather than as a punishment which they do not deserve.) And it often seems that true believers who serve the unfortunate may also be looking for personal approvement by God.
There is uncontrovertable evidence that the world is now changing rapidly. (To think that George W. Bush has had eight years in which he could have done much to try to save the Earth, and instead, he has done the most to ruin it!) We are faced with catastrophic climate change, the food is running out, oil and its uses have blinded the people who use it most to any thought of the future. What is the world going to do on the day the last barrel of oil runs out? Most of those who are more fortunate than we need to be are unwilling to change our lifestyles. We are not making any serious attempts to prepare for that eventuality. Why should we, we won’t be here anyway?
And why do you suppose that there are so many wars and coming wars ahead of us? You don’t have to be very bright to figure that out. Like all other animals and creatures, we will either fight each other for what is left of food and shelter or die of want.
News for the Iraqis!
First, because both Sen. Edwards and Pres. Bush have said similar spiritual things, I want to bring both into this missive. Sen Edwards’ present predicament led to his recent pronouncement that he has spoken to God about his sins and God has forgiven him. Whew! I am so glad to hear that, as for a while there I thought God might say that what he had done to his family, and what he could almost have done to his country were inexcusable. I do hope, and predict however, that he will seek no future political office.
In a similar vein, one of Bush’s least prescient remarks, made early in his presidency, was that he had looked into Putin’s eyes, and that he had seen his soul. Today, however, Bush, speaking to Putin and to the American people, told Putin that, “nations don’t invade other nations in the twenty-first century, and commit aggression.” This statement was repeated later today by Condoleeza Rice.
This was followed shortly after by a speech on the subject by John McCain, of all people!, with similar dire warnings to Russia on behalf of Georgia. When he was asked about his reaction to Obama’s statement about the current dangerous situation in Georgia, McCain refused to answer the question, saying that this was no time for politics. He then launched into a long description of his own antipathy to Putin, followed by strangely political-sounding comments to the effect that the next president is going to have to have both courage and experience in martial matters in order to cope with the very dangerous future ahead of us.
I am beginning to think that a nation, such as ours, with a mixture of peoples from other national backgrounds, other values, other dreams, and especially other religions cannot succeed as democracies. In fact, just the growing blanket of human beings over the face of the earth begins to smother any possibility of successful governance by humans from now into the future.
Religions, and other forms of belief cannot find common ground, because they are the most important aspects of what makes human beings human, and they, therefore, cannot mix except on some values attributable to all of us. Established religion with its belief in a god or gods is probably the most motivating value of all. It is also the least malleable to force or change.
Those of us nonbelievers, who are called by various titles, such as atheists, heathens, God-haters, and other unsavory names, on the other hand, have values of our own, many, with the exception of the belief in a god, similar to many of those who are devout worshipers.
Religion and philosophy are too important to human beings to be governed, one over the others, in a mixed society where leaders can be chosen on the basis of religion sheerly by the numbers of one group over another. In a democracy, therefore, religion just cannot have a role in government anymore than can atheism.
As a result of a president who has used religion in the most venal manner to accomplish his designs, we have become, not a democracy, but a continent full of people who cannot and will not accept the beliefs of others. Rather than voting for conversion or exclusion, the votes of those who have done well, would do better by directing our votes toward the needs of those who have not.
Dana Milbank has been canned from Keith Olbermann's Kountdown program on MSNBC. Milbank's offense has to write that,
Barack Obama has long been his party's presumptive nominee. Now he's becoming its presumptuous nominee.A mere suggestion that Obama's world victory tour is a little premature and possibly might feed into the Republican mantra that Barack might be a meglomaniac gets someone 86-ed from a liberal news program. No wonder Milbanks referred to Olbermann as a "whiner"! He obviously found Kountdown more confining than CNN!
..... Some say the supremely confident Obama -- nearly 100 days from the election ..... has become a president-in-waiting. But in truth, he doesn't need to wait: He has already amassed the trappings of the office, without those pesky decisions.
And almost everyone is furious! I may be all alone here, because I understand that even my beloved Democrats are mad.
What they’re so mad about is that they think Iraq should be paying for its own rehabilitation, instead of leaving so much of the cost to the United States.
Well, the way I see it, their war (at least at first) was OUR war. We invaded and bombed the hell out of them, using lies concocted by our highest governmental officers as the excuse, destroying much of their archeological treasure, killing thousands upon thousands of their citizens of all ages, and reducing much of their property and territory to ruins, as well as leaving thousands of our own men and women either dead or maimed. Considering the amount of money they are presently raking in from their oil fields, it seems highly likely that what our government, in particular, is so mad about, is that they were hoping to rake alot of that money in for themselves.
But it was OUR war, for our purposes (to spread democracy as we presently refer to it, and Christianity) and to get rich quick. So now, the U. S. thinks that Iraq should be paying for the war that WE started?! True, the war has spread from our original fake rescue, which had not even been sought by the Iraqis, to a myriad of battles between other factions who live in that part of the world.
We deserve to be paying reparations for redevelopment of the area we have desecrated. We don’t deserve to leave like heroes from a land in which our leaders, driven by their own enormous ambition, have mired our courageous and deceived armed forces.
They don’t want us there anymore. If we no longer feel the obligation to at least help to pay for the morass we have made of that part of the world, THEN NOW IS THE TIME TO JUST GET THE HELL OUT!
If there had been a different president during the past eight years, would it have made any difference, or will George W. Bush take credit for the final stages of the earth? He was a heavy drinking, not-very-bright playboy who found salvation through his extremely religious wife, a combination that is fraught with possibilities, both positive and negative. In this case, what we got was blooey!!!
Bush, as you can tell, is now working his a-- head off trying to do the things he should have done before, and fixing things it’s too late to fix now so that they will be left for the next president to take the blame for. The things he is most interested in saving are those things like offshore and Anwar drilling, which will make rich people richer and satisfy those who don’t know any better and don’t realize or care that using more oil now will only use more of it at the expense of those who will come after we are gone.
What are our descendants supposed to do without the treasure which we have wantonly raped from the earth? And where will they go to worship their God or gods, to the treeless masses of land which used to be home to millions of animals, birds, fish, and insects? And what, if any, creatures who used to be human will survive? Will they go to the open pits and useless mountains of what used to be fertile earth, from which we have sucked the last minerals?
If you believe in a god, will he be proud of what humans have done with what they originally found and achieved, and will you believe that your god did a really good job when he created us?
Greed and Poverty, the inseparable partners, have the earth almost totally in their hands. Their mottos are, respectively, What the Hell Do I Care? I Won’t Be Here Anyway, and Oh God, I Wish I Was Dead and in Heaven.
Well, in one way, we are living in a very exciting time, possibly Mankind’s last chance, or possibly the birth of another dead planet, to be seen from afar by another distant astronaut.
If you still believe in the loving God we were taught about in church, try to remember that we were taught to care for each other and do good deeds. Oddly, that lesson has become the motto of most of us nonbelievers.
Our courageous hero, Lou, has announced that it was only through his valiant efforts that the blame for the salmonella outbreak did indeed originate in Mexico. It turns out that the source was dirty water transmitted to a couple of varieties of peppers. Oh, good for him!
Of course, he didn’t mention the peppers until the source was scientifically announced just a few days ago. But he did lay his entire reputation and career on the line over a long period of time, which very few people have the courage to do. The only slight error he made was in saying the whole thing was in the tomatoes.
Outside of the fact that he ruined the crops, reputations, and incomes, for thousands of farmers and grocers on both sides of the border, he at least did not ruin the crops, reputations, and incomes for those who raised peppers, at least until now, for which we can be equally glad.
And as for the suffering people of Mexico, who cares?!
Right on, Lou, and I’m so glad you were the first to let us know.