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Monday, January 13, 2003
To begin with, I'd like to answer a brief email received in response to my Dec. 4th piece (on the symmetry of 9/11, Iraq & Pearl Harbor Day; see archives), as it might also apply to this week's. In it, I was asked, "1. Why are you picking on Pres. Bush?; 2. Why don't you pick on the Democrats more?"

I answer: 1. Because he's in office; 2. The Democrats already do a good job of kicking their own asses. They don't need me butting in.

That said, I'm simply chomping at the bit to review the Dem's presidential debates when they're held. I mean, come on, Howard Dean??? In comparison, Al Gore is a dynamic, positively animated public speaker. And with the labor unions no longer wielding the influence and money they once did, a Dick Gephardt candidacy is destined to be little more than a political footnote, one which says: "See, a so-called 'poor man' *can* still run for U.S. president today. He can't win, but he can certainly run." Lieberman and Sharpton? If a Hispanic runs too, we'll have the winning "Unelectable Trifecta". Not my personal opinion, just a sad statement of fact in U.S. presidential politics today.

Yes, its a sad day in donkey land when your best bet in '04 might very well be Gary Hart, who has re-emerged in recent months on 'Nightline' & Sunday morning political talk fests in his new "Elder Statesman" guise. Some suggested campaign slogans: To appeal to the left wing intellectuals, go with "Hart in '04. Campaignus Interruptus No More". For the rest of the country, it should be, "Gary Hart, Bedding Down with America". In other words, play that 'family values' card. The message? We'd be safer at home, whether it be in the country itself or our own beds at night, if we had an experienced older man like Hart watching over us. If nothing else, he'd be the one Democratic candidate to actually *embrace* the Clinton legacy. After all, Hart's '88 antics made Clinton's presidency possible. Clinton's sexcapades while in office makes another Hart run feasible. One hand washes, while the other is jerking us around. Or something like that. Of course, Hart's first campaign decision should be to announce a challenge to the media. "This time, *don't* follow me around 24 hours a day." Why? Because people like candidates who learn from their past mistakes.

In any case, here's my simple plan on...

[ HOW TO MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN ]

If you talk to people around the world, you'll find that some think America is in decline. Even some Americans think that. Or, as I like to call them, "Un-Americans". So, I've devised a simple plan TO MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN.

It is as follows:

1. It's the economy, stupid. Forget window-dressing tax cuts and the elimination of taxes on corporate dividends, which Bush Administration officials contend will result in *all* citizens benefiting "from more confidence in the financial markets." That sounds like voodoo to me.

No, what we need is a brand new economic policy, one that's vast in scope yet simple in execution. I've devised just such a policy, one I call, "Working Against Recession." Or, W.A.R. for short. It is a multi-pronged attack - whoops, I meant "policy" - that is guaranteed to revitalize the sluggish U.S. economy. Oh, wait a minute. I think the Bush Administration is already about to implement my proposed economic policy. Never mind.

2."Operation Vigilance". Recently, all U.S. citizens were encouraged to watch their friends and neighbors, and to report any "suspicious activity" to the proper authorities. I have a better idea. Put twenty-four hour a day web cameras in all homes. That way, everybody can watch everybody on the web, and nobody will have to report what's seen because the government can look in too. Hey, if you're not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about, right? To facilitate this enormous undertaking, the Department of 'Homeland Security' can go into partnership with the technology industry. That way, everybody wins. The government can monitor for "suspicious" activity, while the tech industry gets an economic boost. Yes, the federal agency will purchase these web cams and install one in the home of every good U.S. taxpayer. By doing this we can be a nation of voyeurs, instead of snitches, which is infinitely better.

Now, from what I've read recently, there's some concern that the poor aren't paying their "fair share" of taxes. Add to that, many of them probably don't have Internet access. So no web-cams for the poor, some of who might've only recently become U.S. citizens and, therefore, are probably "terrorist" sleepers anyway.

So, instead of falling under the auspices of "Operation Vigilance", they would become part of "Project Default". In other words, we shoot the whole disenfranchised, suspicious acting lot of them. That way, we kill two birds with one stone. And, as we know, a bird in the hand is worth two in the Bush Administration. No, you're right, once you really think about it, that last sentence made absolutely no sense. But it sure sounded good. Maybe I should go into politics? But I digress...

3. Fix Alaska. I say we cover that state, from end to end, with oil rigs and gas pipelines. Sure, we might have to raze a few mountains and melt a few glaciers to get the job done, but the benefits will outweigh the loss. Besides, we can always build new mountains and there are plenty of other glaciers around. By pumping the whole state dry, we'll be able to provide for less than five-percent of our fuel needs. A right step toward self-sufficiency, if you ask me.

Then, to provide for the Alaskan job market, the state can go into partnership with the Disney Corporation and turn the whole thing into an amusement park to boot. Call it "Petrol Disney". Yes, it'll be fun *and* educational.

4. "The New New Deal". A job-work program for the poor. Of course, by this time "Project Default" will be in full swing, so really it'll be for the lower- and middle- middle classes, who, by default - no pun intended - will have become the "new poor", relatively speaking.

Yes, I know the original "New Deal" was the idea of a Democratic president. However, the Republicans have been co-opting the Democrats' ideas for years now, and using them with better results due to better "spin", so why should this be any different? Also, with the program I have in mind, they can say its part of their plan to fight terrorism. Americans will pretty much accept anything as long as it's to "fight terrorism."

a. Build a wall across the southern border of the U.S. One tall enough, long enough and wide enough to rival the Great Wall of China. We'll do it because we're Americans, dammit, thereby showing those Chinese just who's boss around here.

It'll provide a lot of work for the "new poor", thus improving the economy. Also, it'll keep out *all* the terrorists.

Of course, we don't need to build a wall along the northern border because, as everybody knows, terrorists never, ever, sneak across the Canadian border into the U.S.

b. Pave the entire country over. Let's face it; a majority of the country is already shopping mall parking lots. So, let's just pave the rest with asphalt and be done with it. Mini- and mega- malls coast to coast. Even more so, I mean. More businesses means more business, which equals a stronger economy. Plus, with everything paved over, those terrorists will have nowhere left to hide.

5. Less government bureaucracy. More tax cuts for the lower 99% of taxpayers who won't benefit as greatly from Bush's current "economic stimulus" package. Ha ha. I'm just pulling your leg with the "less government, more tax cuts" bit. After all, we don't want to do anything rash, now do we?

When it comes to America, some might say, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." When I think of the U.S., another saying comes to mind: "In a country of the blind, the one-eyed man is President."

ATTENTION CHALLENGED READER'S VERSION: Desperate times call for desperate measures. *OR* Politics as Unusual.

=

NEXT TUESDAY: "Random Bits", humorous real-life bits that haven't fit in previous entries, or aren't long enough to be full entries in & of themselves. So they get dumped here. A laff-a-minute for the whole family!



posted by Pete 11:35 PM
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