Daily Archives: January 16, 2009

Curious George Says Goodbye

Did you watch President Bush’s speech last night? I couldn’t stop myself. I wanted to, desperately, but I reminded myself that history was being made. I was watching the end of the worst presidency in the history of our country. If for no other reason than to tell my children and grand children that I was there and was witness…I watched.

As I watched, something amazing happened. My outrage which has been worn down with many abuses lo, these past eight years, re-ignited. The man actually thinks he did a good job! Against all evidence to the contrary and mounting proof of misapplied policy and economic and societal disaster… the man still thinks he was right. My jaw hung open. The darling man shook his head and said he couldn’t believe we were actually sitting still for 15 minutes of such unmitigated tripe.

“Tonight I am filled with gratitude — to Vice President Cheney and members of my administration;…”

(“For buying the election for me and covering up all my mistakes…” “You’re incredibly sexy when you’re cynical, y’know?”)

“to Laura, who brought joy to this house and love to my life;..”

(“And never says a word in public that we don’t write for her…”)

“to our wonderful daughters, Barbara and Jenna;…”

(“For carrying on the proud family tradition of boozing their way through college and never actually using their brains…”)

“to my parents, whose examples have provided strength for a lifetime.”

(“Like how to be an uninvolved father and a petty, superstitious obnoxious self involved jerk, just like mom.” “Hey. Barbara’s not superstitious.” “OK, my mistake.”)

“You may not agree with some tough decisions I have made, but I hope you can agree that I was willing to make tough decisions.”

“WHAT?!” I screamed at the television. “What in hell are you TALKING about?! Of COURSE you were willing to make them; that’s the job! That doesn’t change the fact that they were WRONG decisions!” At this point I had to hold the remote over my head and wave it about to keep the darling man from changing the channel. “He’s on all the other channels too,” I said, pushing him away with the other hand. He finally backed off and let me get back to gaping at the monkey in a $5,000 suit pretending to be sincere.

“This evening, my thoughts return to the first night I addressed you from this house — September the 11th, 2001. That morning, terrorists took nearly 3,000 lives in the worst attack on America since Pearl Harbor.”

(“See!” the SO smirked, “Less than three minutes in and we’re already invoking 9/11. I should’ve run that farewell address bingo game, I woulda cleaned up!” “shut UP, I can’t hear…”)

“The battles waged by our troops are part of a broader struggle between two dramatically different systems. Under one, a small band of fanatics demands total obedience to an oppressive ideology, condemns women to subservience, and marks unbelievers for murder. The other system is based on the conviction that freedom is the universal gift of Almighty God, and that liberty and justice light the path to peace…..”

(“Which are we again?” “The freedom lovers, of course.” “But, they believe God’s on their side, too, I mean, jus…” “SHUTUP! This is history, dammit!”)

“This is the belief that gave birth to our nation. And in the long run, advancing this belief is the only practical way to protect our citizens. When people live in freedom, they do not willingly choose leaders who pursue campaigns of terror.”

(“I thought Hamas was elected democratically.” “Well, obviously, those people were tricked into doing that. What they should’ve done is had the ballot say ‘people the US and Israel approve of, and this other candidate here who’ll get your ass blown up.’ “)

“President Thomas Jefferson once wrote, “I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.” As I leave the house he occupied two centuries ago, I share that optimism. America is a young country, full of vitality, constantly growing and renewing itself. And even in the toughest times, we lift our eyes to the broad horizon ahead.”

(“Honey? Yer gonna smack your head on the ceiling fan. Stop standing on the bed. And stop screaming, he can’t hear you.” “I DON’T CARE! How DARE he quote Thomas Jefferson?” “Well, if it’s any consolation, he did it completely out of context.”)

“OMG! Honey! Check out BOB DOLE! Even HE doesn’t buy the shit Bush is shovelling!”

Bob Dole is aghast

Bob Dole is aghast

“Yeah, he looks like he’s about to burst out laughing…but he can always blame it on dementia.” “God, you’re such a bitch sometimes…” “Thanks. Now hush, I wanna hear the rest…”

“It has been the privilege of a lifetime to serve as your President. There have been good days and tough days. But every day I have been inspired by the greatness of our country, and uplifted by the goodness of our people. I have been blessed to represent this nation we love. And I will always be honored to carry a title that means more to me than any other – citizen of the United States of America. And so, my fellow Americans, for the final time: Good night. May God bless this house and our next President. And may God bless you and our wonderful country. Thank you.”

“Wow. He even got through it without stuttering.” “Yes, well, there had to be at least ONCE in his presidency that he managed to get all the way through a speech.” “NOW can we have sex?”

In reading* the address that moved me to spew half of my cherry Pepsi across the bedspread last night, I’m still amazed. He did everything but physically pat himself on the back. Not that I actually expected him to say anything, y’know, RELEVANT to anyone but himself…but it would have been good if he’d actually acknowledged the things this nation is facing as a direct result of his “leadership.”

At this point, I suppose all we can do is be grateful that it’s over and start rebuilding. Like New Orleans after Katrina, it will take our nation many, many years to rebound from Hurricane Curious George.

*You can find the transcript here.

Measles and Autism and Tb, Oh My.

So here I sat in front of my monitor reading through this month’s edition of Scientific American when I spied a link: “Measles is back, and it’s because your kids aren’t vaccinated.” I groaned. Measles was declared eliminated in the U.S. back in 2000. Then again…so was Tuberculosis, and Tb is now believed to be responsible for 25% of avoidable deaths for young adults world wide. While HIV related cases of Tb are at the forefront of the resurgence, the instances of the disease in children in the first world, just as with the resurgence of measles, comes down to one thing: parents are not immunizing their children. Of the 131 cases documented in children from January to July of 2008, 91% were not vaccinated. This presents a frightening trend, and it is this nurse’s opinion that the fear and anti-science and anti-vaccine rhetoric surrounding the increase in Autism cases is a key contributing factor.

It was believed (and still is by some knee jerk reactionaries) that Thimerosal was responsible for the rise in diagnosed cases of Autism, but Thimerosal has not been used in vaccines since 1999. Yet Autism is still rising; in my home state of California, it has jumped 700% since 1996. 3000 new cases were reported in 2006. Most of the younger siblings of autistic children have not been vaccinated because of the misinformation regarding childhood disease vaccines.

People, I don’t know how to be any clearer about this: GET YOUR KIDS THEIR SHOTS! No, they will NOT develop Autism. No, it is NOT a scam by the marketing departments of the AMA and the eeeevil drug companies. No, it will NOT make them stronger if they have to develop their own immunity to the disease. The vaccine IS their immunity to the disease. What it will do is make them vulnerable to a disease that may very well kill them. As a parent, your primary responsibility is to protect your child. Letting them get diseases like Tb and measles when they’re easily preventable is about as far from protecting them as it’s possible to get.