Here’s A Stick With Those Things On It

This week, President Bush took the time to travel throughout Europe, begrudgingly I’m sure. Well, they have weird food and they have funny, different accents everywhere when they do speak English. What’s an American president to do?

One of his stops, after falling ill before his meeting with the new conservative-leaning President of France, Nicolas Sarkozy, was the Vatican. I’m not sure how a meeting between Pope Benedict XVI and President Bush is supposed to turn out, but I’m guessing it didn’t go very well on either side. They both seemed like school yard bullies that were feeling each other out before locking horns. Wait. Seemed? They are bullies. Excuse my error.

President Bush, rather informally, discussed the problematic world with the Pope. Of course, the Pope cited the Iraq war as the atrocity that it is, but I think President Bush might have just brushed that under the carpet somewhat. Most of the time, you can be guaranteed that any violence perpetrated on the scale of this war will be condemned by the Vatican, whether they approve or not. This is a given, I think. The problem (aside from seeming to adore playing a fun game of chess – without actually knowing the rules – with American troops) is that President Bush harbors a certain resentment toward Catholics and the Vatican. It comes from that non-denominational Christian view that Catholicism is antithetical to what Christ taught. While I would tend to agree on some points, of course, what it boils down to is a very apparent deep disrespect toward the Pope. This was evidenced plainly by Bush’s overt casual nature during the meeting. My wife, Kim, said it best yesterday when she stated that President Bush’s sitting back, crossing his legs, speaking in his adopted Texas drawl, and his outright utter irreverence for a major religious leader was not unintentional, but absolutely intentional. That’s the way he does things – like a petty, disrespectful twelve year-old.

Of course, as these meetings go, nothing was changed. No one knew any more than they did prior to the meeting. It’s a photo op. Everyone knows that. It’s a chance for both leaders to display formalities and then move on with their day. Personally, I really liked it when Pope John Paul II shook his finger at W. That was old school and so very awesome. Benedict and Bush probably had a few words about abortion, stem-cell research, “the gays” – y’know, all those things that don’t really matter so much in the course of most people’s lives. But, as was reported, the direness of Africa’s AIDS epidemic and the war seemed to be on the forefront of the Pope’s mind, and not so much on Bush’s.

However, they did exchange gifts, as is usually proper. The gifts seemed genuine except for a strange stick given to Pope Benedict that had the Ten Commandments inscribed. Seems nice enough, especially because it was made by a homeless man. But then, maybe it was a hearty hello from American evangelical Christianity and a subtle hint to emphasize the Ten Commandments as opposed to those troublesome Beatitudes.

Loose Cannon

Joseph Lieberman has gone from not-so-good, to bad, to nutso:

“I think we’ve got to be prepared to take aggressive military action against the Iranians to stop them from killing Americans in Iraq,” Lieberman said. “And to me, that would include a strike over the border into Iran, where we have good evidence that they have a base at which they are training these people coming back into Iraq to kill our soldiers.”

Ah, yes, evidence. He sounds like Senator McCain.

I’m Tired Already

There is well over a year left until we find ourselves marching to the polling centers to cast our vote for president. I’m tired of this crap already. Yeah, everyone is excited at the prospect of getting rid of the impotent emperor, but at the same time it’s pretty tiring having to hear about poll numbers already. It’s like trying to figure out names for a baby before you’re even pregnant. By the time said baby makes a showing, it’ll be named Michael or Sarah. When time is stretched, patience and attention are worn thin. This is ridiculous.

All the debates have proven so far is that everyone sort of sounds the same. The Republicans all lick Reagan’s balls and all the Democrats lick Clinton’s. Yeah, I’m not even going to touch the Hilary joke there. All this is going to do is burn everyone out so that when the time does come to watch reports of voting poll frauds, we won’t care. We will just want it over with and move on to another shitty administration.

Of course there are mavericks, like Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich, but, ultimately, they won’t do anything because they don’t hold our attention enough as a whole. They may inject issues that the others won’t touch, but in the long run we’ll all just make out with someone who kneels at the altar of the status quo.

Reasonable

If you’re like me, you don’t go to the theaters much. Therefore, you most likely missed An Unreasonable Man, a documentary film about Ralph Nader. Well, lucky for us, the DVD is being released this Tuesday. Rent it. Netflix it. Buy it. Whatever.

We’ll discuss over a cup of mocha and a croissant.

Pacific Northwest, You Have My Heart

My wife spent last weekend in Portland and Seattle courtesy of some very good friends. She returned to San Diego regaling us with tales of fine foods, bicycles actually used for transportation, green vehicles, and the prevalent lefty-ness of everything.

No Bush
Oh, Portland, you are one in a million. I miss you so.

Read: Mastication and Regurgitation