(MAD magazine) __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ dndmn ...Bush gazed around the diamond-studded $800-a-plate crowd and commented on the wealth on display. "This is an impressive crowd - the haves, and the have-mores," quipped the GOP standard-bearer. "Some people call you the elites; I call you my base." - George W. Bush, October 20, 2000 __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ hfnmdf hfnmdf "... Mammon was not originally a demon, but simply the Syrian term for 'money' or 'riches'. He entered the lists of demons in the words of Christ (Matthew, 6, 24): hfnmdfh "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and Mammon."
hfnmdfh "This is our due." hfn zZmd zZ X
Eerily prophetic 1957 illustration by Lynd Ward for "The Moloch Broadside", by Allen Ginsberg / cz / Mammon hdnfn Lyrics by Todd Rundgren From the album LIARS (2004)
And you rage and fume at the godless ones 'Cause they don't understand how the company runs bnf "GO FUCK YOURSELVES!" bnf And they think it's the money that you care about You pretend to be offended when they figure it out bnf ngfnfxzd Tell me what kind of heaven do you think awaits When your ass is too fat to fit the pearly gates? n fdn It's like the eye of a needle and a limosine Paradise is set aside for the less obscene ngfnfxzd You only care for the power that the lucre brings ngfnfxzd And you have no love for any living thing save Mammon
n vsdv s Beloved infidel / where are you hiding now? Will you return to me once you've been disavowed? n All the many battles you fought on my behalf n Now your memory fades like a photograph nFalse gods they will erect offerings they will burn I am lost in meditation and awaiting your return nn Beloved infidel, do I beseech in vain? Since you departed here, the pendulum swings again nn Now the weak are vilified and the wicked glorified nn And still you hide away inside a fool such as I nnn And it is Money that they worship and Lies are what they sell and Fear is their obsession Ring the liberation bell n Beloved infidel n z zZ - "Beloved Infidel", lyrics by Todd Rundgren (from the album The Individualist, 1995) vsdvsn
"Mankind was my business." - Condemned wraith Jacob Marley ngfnfxzd Which one looks more like Ebenezer Scrooge? U.S. Policies Defy Spirit of Season By Jesse Jackson The Chicago Sun Times Wednesday 21 December 2004
Early returns on Christmas are up modestly, we are told. Are these reports on an increase in church attendance? Or a decline in the numbers of homeless? The spread of peace in the world? No, the reports are about sales, which are better than last year, particularly in the high-end luxury stores. Christmas - the mass celebrating the birth of Christ - is the biggest shopping season of the year.
But, of course, that's not what the Christmas story is about. It's about a couple - Mary and Joseph - forced by an oppressive government to leave their home to travel far to be counted in the census. It's the story of a child born in a barn and placed in a manger - a makeshift crib. He might have died from exposure, but the stars aligned in the night to provide light and warmth. The innkeeper had no room for the strange couple. If he had understood who the baby was, he would have offered them his bed.
The measure of Christmas is not about what is bought and what is sold. It is not about consuming. Yes, Wise Men left their daily ways, followed the star, and brought gifts to the poor child. But their wisdom was not in the value of their gifts - much of what they brought were scents, to mask the smell of the barn, perhaps - but in their ability to see the power in the infant, even though he was lying in a wooden manger. They saw what the innkeeper could not. The Christmas story instructs us to treasure every child, for even the poorest child of a homeless couple has limitless potential.
Unlike the reports on the business page, the reports on the moral page are grim. Poverty is up in this country - more than 30 million now in poverty. Homelessness is up, with mayors reporting record numbers seeking shelter each night. Many of these are families with a working parent, still unable to afford an apartment or a house. More people go without health care for lack of insurance, or do without the prescriptions they need for lack of money. More than 45 million Americans lack health insurance.
Reports from the values page are also pretty bleak. Inequality is at record levels, yet the administration that insists on cutting taxes on the wealthy also opposes any increase in the minimum wage. College tuitions are soaring, but Congress just authorized a cut in college grants to more than 1 million students. Schools and classes are overcrowded, but across the country, teachers are being laid off and needed repairs are put off.
What was Christmas about? It was about an oppressed people who were praying for a Messiah, a mighty warrior who would conquer their oppressors. But when the Messiah came, he came as the prince of peace, not of war. He taught love and hope and charity, not violence and vengeance. He was the greatest liberator of them all, but he carried no arms, and provisioned no army. His army would be the legions of the faithful, struggling to follow in his path.
But this year, the reports from the peace page are also grim. Our soldiers are in armed occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. Our cities are girded against the threat of terrorist attack. We possess the mightiest military, but we are more insecure than ever. We're losing young men and women each day in a war of choice, while generating more hatred against us every week.
War is not a present Jesus would seek. Nor tax breaks for the wealthy, nor a spread of hunger and homelessness.
A mass for Christ would not be about shopping. It would celebrate family and community. Measure yourself, taught the Messiah, by how you treat the "least of these." Today in America, millions of poor children head to school not ready to learn. They suffer from malnutrition, from inadequate health care, from broken homes. One of five children in wealthy America is raised in poverty. We are failing the standard he taught us.
Let us all remember the true spirit of Christmas this year. Protect the babies in the dawn of life. Care for the elderly in the dusk of life. Nurture the sick; shelter the homeless. Stop for the stranger on the Jericho Road. Work for the promise of peace. Surely that is what Jesus would want under his tree.
Merry Christmas, everyone.
Asked during an early Republican debate in Iowa to name the "philosopher-thinker" he most identified with, Bush replied, "Christ, because he changed my heart." In office, he often talks about the power of prayer and calls freedom a "gift from the Almighty." He appointed Attorney General John Ashcroft (who has proudly said that in America "we have no king but Jesus") and surrounded himself with a more quietly devout circle that includes the likes of Condoleezza Rice and Karen Hughes. "What is most important," says a Christian activist, "is that he is one of us."
But for those who don't share his religiosity-or those who do, but think it has no place in government-this quality has hardened their views of him. A 53% majority of voters either strongly or somewhat agree that Bush has been too quick to interject his own moral and religious beliefs into politics. "There are so many people who are tired of the arrogance of George Bush," says Susan Post, the owner of a feminist bookstore near the Texas state capitol in Austin. "They are tired of someone who believes he is leading via a higher power, that he has all the answers and that he is right."
At the 1988 Republican Convention, Hartford Courant associate editor David Fink struck up a conversation with George W. Bush.
"When you're not talking politics," Fink asked the vice president's son, "what do you and [your father] talk about?" vfd vfdv "Pussy," George W. replied.
-- From"Prodigal son" by Jake Tapper, Salon.com, April 9, 1999 http://www.salon.com/news/feature/1999/04/09/bush/
That 1988 conversation with the Courant editor took place two years after Billy Graham helped you recommit your life to Christ. ("Christ, because he changed my heart.")
Would Jesus approve of two devout Christian married men -- a vice president and his son, no less -- talking about "pussy"?
· What exactly do you mean
by "pussy"? Do you and your dad actually talk about
female genitalia? Or do you talk about women, who
by definition are equipped with female genitalia?
· If the latter is the case, does your definition of "pussy" incorporate all women?
· If it doesn't incorporate all women, what makes some of them "pussy" and others not? Appearance? Attitude? Marital status? Do soccer moms qualify? How about female members of your family?
"...Finally, the ritual supplications adjure our well-rested Crusader chieftains to "recognize their divine appointment" and rule according to holy scripture--perhaps by following the postwar policy of the Lord Himself (Numbers, Chapter 31:17), after His troops routed the Midianite army: "Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man."
Even as the sleek techno-wizardry of "Shock and Awe" gives way to the old-fashioned slog of "Blood and Guts" on the battlefields of Iraq, the Bush Regime's postwar plans continue apace. It's now clear that the Bushists aim to turn Iraq into an American protectorate--a supine dependency like Guam, Puerto Rico or Britain--by controlling every aspect of life in the conquered land.
The blueprint for colonial rule, being drawn up by Project for the New American Century alum Paul Wolfowitz (without any input from those silly-billy Brits or--it goes without saying--that discarded hunk of junk, the UN), will install an American arms merchant, former general Jay Garner, as civilian supremo, the Guardian reports. Garner--who has publicly declared his admiration for Israel's highly successful methods of administrating occupied Arab territories--will oversee a coterie of American proconsuls and Iraqi factotums, including the self-proclaimed, Washington-paid "leader" of the Iraqi opposition, Ahmed Chalabi, a convicted bank fraudster who has not lived in his native land since 1956.
American masters will determine Iraq's domestic government, foreign policy, economic system, even the education of its children. (The ones who haven't been killed by their liberation, that is.) Reconstruction contracts will be awarded to favored American companies, and the Bushists will seize control of the UN's "food-for-oil" program to finance this ladling of prime political pork. As imperial architect Wolfowitz himself puts it: "There's a lot of money out there. To assume we're going to pay for this war is just wrong."
But you mustn't think that all this moolah-mongering means Iraq' spiritual needs are being ignored. As always with your classic Anglo-American imperial conquest, sword, flame, bullet and bomb will be accompanied by the maniacal whacking of Biblical leather. Just this week, Bush of Arabia's favorite preacher announced he was mustering an evangelical army to Christianize the defeated heathen hordes, Newhouse News Service reports.
Of course, Christianity has existed in Iraq for two thousand years--rather longer than in, say, Texas--but such nuances are lost on the Bushist Party's much-coddled "core supporters" in the hardline Christian Right. And so the Reverend (sic) Franklin Graham, son of famed evangelist Billy Graham, declared that his relief group, Samaritan's Purse, will follow the Anglo-American invaders with blankets, food--and Jesus on tap. He was quickly joined by America's largest--and most Bushist--Protestant sect, the Southern Baptists, who proclaimed their plans to launch a second front of their own in the bread-for-souls campaign.
As we all know, Daddy Graham sealed his place in history about 15 years ago by convincing the booze-guzzling, nostril-burning--but eminently well-connected--George W. Bush to trade Jack Daniels for Jesus Christ. Graham also schooled his acolyte in the inherent damnability of perfidious Jewry--a lesson little Georgie was a bit too apt to repeat in mixed company, until his handlers finally got him under control.
[Yes, we know about the influence of the small group of Likud -leaning, war-whooping Jewish "neo-conservatives"--Wolfowitz, the disgraced Richard Perle, the convicted perjurer Elliot Abrams, etc.--whom Bush has brought into power. But these figures--representing a tiny, extremist sliver of the vast and variegated glory of Jewish thought--are merely useful tools for the "Dominion Christians" who serve as the fedayeen of the Bushist Party. For believers of Bush's primitivist ilk, Israel's only importance is its role as the staging ground for the universal genocide of Armageddon--a feast of carnage and obliteration for which the Dominionites yearn with a deep, erotic fervor. Come the Rapture, they will joyfully ship the Jews to Hell.]
Now, with Billy ailing, son Franklin has taken over the pastoring of Bush's soul (or the "Jack Daniels watch," as it's sometimes called). He even gave the invocation at Bush's inauguration (or the "Loser Takes All Ball," as it's sometimes called). We're sure that Franklin's deep and sensitive understanding of Islam--which he calls "a very wicked and evil religion"--will serve him well as, with the president's blessing, he spreads the good news of Christ Militant amongst the smoldering ruins and uranium-choked dust of Basra and Baghdad.
But of course, the war is not yet won. Young American men and women are still in the field, caught in a vortex of fear, death, rage and atrocity. And so another group of busy Bushist beavers is helping these war-battered troops stay focused on the most important thing of all: praying for George W. Bush.
Leather-whacking televangelist Charles Stanley has supplied thousands of U.S. soldiers with a list of daily prayers for the Dear Leader--and his holy family too. There's even a tear-out card to mail the pledge directly to the White House: "I have committed to pray for you, your family, your staff and our troops." (Note the careful ordering here--gotta get your priorities straight!) Soldiers are directed to ask that God keep the precious Bushist leaders "safe, healthy, well-rested and free from fear" (unlike the poor suckers praying for them).
Finally, the ritual supplications adjure our well-rested Crusader chieftains to "recognize their divine appointment" and rule according to holy scripture--perhaps by following the postwar policy of the Lord Himself (Numbers, Chapter 31) after His troops routed the Midianite army: "Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man."
Yep, that old whacked leather is just chockfull of handy wartime hints.
Chris Floyd is a columnist for the Moscow Times and a regular contributor to CounterPunch. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
WHAT WOULD JESUS DO? rjsjs
"Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me." - Matt 25:32-46
"Do not return evil for evil. Avenge not yourselves, but rather give way to wrath; for it is written, vengeance is mine; I will repay, says the Lord. Therefore if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsts, give him drink: for in so doing you shall heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." - Romans 12:17-21
"See that none render evil for evil to any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men." - I Thessalonians 5:15
"Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." - Mark 12:3
"Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them." (Do unto others as you would have them do unto you) - Matt 7:12
"But I say to you that hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you". - Luke 6:27-30
Then Jesus said to him, "Put your sword back into its place; for those who live by the sword, die by the sword." - Matt 26:52.
"You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I say to you, Do not resist one who is evil. But if any one strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also; and if any one would sue you and take your coat, let him have your cloak as well; and if any one forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to him who begs from you, and do not refuse him who would borrow from you. You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust." -Matthew 5:38:45
Then Peter came up and said to him, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?" Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven..." (i.e., always) - Matt 18:21-22".
"Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth... Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy... Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God." - Matt 5:5-9.
"...Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us" - The Lord's Prayer " THOU SHALT NOT KILL. " - Dad "...War without end, Amen." - Donald Rumsfeld
"Go forth and smite, my Chosen One. Forget all that other stuff I said before. Allah's been asking for this for a long time."
N O T I N H I S N A M E
"In These Times" Q & A
With Kurt Vonnegut
What genuinely motivates al-Qaeda to kill and self-destruct? The
president says, "They hate our freedoms-our freedom
of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble
and disagree with each other," which surely is not what has
been learned from the captives being held in Guantanamo, or what
he is told in his briefings. Why do the communications industry
and our elected politicians allow Bush to get away with such nonsense?
how can there ever be peace, and even trust in our leaders, if
the American people aren't told the truth?
VONNEGUT: One wishes that those who have taken over our federal government, and hence the world, by means of a Mickey Mouse coup d'etat, and who have disconnected all the burglar alarms prescribed by the Constitution, which is to say the House and Senate and the Supreme Court and We the People, were truly Christian. But as William Shakespeare told us long ago, "The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose."
And what remains the best-kept secret from the Second World War, because it is so embarrassing, is that Hitler was a Christian, and that his swastika was a Christian cross made of axes, an apt symbol of a political party for Christians of the working class. And there were simpler, unambiguous crosses on all Hitler's tanks and planes.
Again: One wishes, for the sake of the whole planet, that the people in and around the White House nowadays truly mean it when they say, "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us," and that they respect as children of God the losers, the nobodies so loved by Jesus in the Beatitudes, in His Sermon on the Mount: the poor in spirit, they that mourn, the meek, the merciful, the peacemakers and so on.
But such is obviously not the case. George W. Bush smirks and gloats unmercifully as he boasts of his readiness to loose more than a hundred cruise missiles, what I call "Timothy McVeighs," into the midst of the general population of Iraq, nearly half of whom are children, little boys and girls under the age of 15.
His domestic policies, whose viciousness is peewee in comparison with what he is so eager to do to foreigners who don't look like him and talk like him, who don't have names like his, nonetheless inflict pain on those Americans of the sort enumerated in the Beatitudes, by depriving them of decent health care and educations, and of food, shelter and clothing when times are bad. It seems quite possible that his opinion of the American people has been formed while watching the Jerry Springer Show, which is Republican propaganda of the most pernicious kind.
But America was certainly hated all around the world long before this coup d'etat. And we weren't hated, as George W. Bush would have it, because of our liberty and justice for all. We are hated because our corporations have been the principal deliverers and imposers of new technologies and economic schemes that have wrecked the self-respect, the cultures of men, women and children in so many other societies.
It's that simple.
What are we to do when confronted by such hatred? Respond to Code Red and run around like chickens with their heads cut off.
Keep in touch,
/ Talking with Mark Crispin Miller, Author of Cruel and Unusual: Bush/Cheney's New World Order
" Once we put it all together, we can see quite clearly that "George sees this as a religious war," as reported by a close relation of the president's in The Bushes: Portrait of a Dynasty, by Peter and Rochelle Schweizer.
So this is not just a geo-political game, or just a bid to hog the global oil supply. It is fundamentally a religious war. The guy who's now in charge of counter-terrorism efforts in the theater of war is William "Jerry" Boykin, who used to go to fundamentalist churches in his full dress uniform and talk about the enemy being a guy named Satan, and claim that Bush was chosen by the Lord to be our president. The guy is a fanatic. And far from urging him to curb his zealous outbursts, his bosses at the Pentagon promoted him after that controversy. Now he is one of the most influential people giving orders in Iraq and thereabouts. You may also recall that our troops were given pamphlets urging them to pray for Bush, and to pray that he stand tough against all criticism."
_________________ nrfnnfnf QUOTES from SMART people on our dire situation
King George (the madness of) eege George the Lionheart and the New Crusades
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