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The Gantseh Megillah

Joel Wayne Speaks Out

It seems I’ve seen more of our cellmate president in the last month than I’ve seen in the first five years of our mutual incarceration. I guess his Handlers have decided that the recent popularity problems he has been suffering through are due simply to the fact that he has not been explaining himself as well as he might. As a solution they have apparently enjoined him to go on the road to repeat more emphatically the very same vagaries and lies he has spouted in the past.

Fair enough.

I forced myself to listen.

It seems we are at war. Oh, not with any particular state or people, but with a concept. We are fighting not only “terror” but now we are battling “Tyranny Around the World.” This seems sort of like Roosevelt declaring war on sneak attacks.

How convenient a war for our President!

This new genre of conflict can go on just about forever, as long as there are “evildoers” and “tyrants” in the world. We can look forward to the fruits of our labors being used to finance the defense industry, just about the only industry left untouched by the global sellout of the American economy. As a result of this shift, there will be less and less left to devote to those troublesome social programs. Witness the recent budget Bush submitted to his butt-boys in Congress.

As I watched and listened, some truths began to crystallize out of the banal generalities that people a typical Bush speech. I began to “get it!”

What is the primary aim of those right-wing maniacs who are steering the bus? What is the chief institution, or more accurately, philosophy, that robs Neocons of sleep and causes their guts to churn?

The New Deal!

Here’s the way it works: If there is no cash to pay for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Disability, Healthcare, then these commie programs will simply die on the vine! Furthermore, if the lack of cash is due to the need to address other priorities, such as, say, “national defense,” then it is really no one’s fault, is it? Republicans can’t be blamed, can they?

So we now have an amorphous, vague “war that eats up half a trillion a year, tax cuts that reduce our income, and already we are facing record deficits and shortfalls. A few more years (or terms) of this and the aforementioned programs the most vulnerable Americans have come to rely upon will cease to exist. And no one will be to blame! If anyone can suggest another conclusion, I’d dearly love to hear it.

There has been a disturbing trend of late following on the stroke suffered by Israeli Prime Minister Sharon. It seems that his medical difficulties are not the result of a blood clot, cerebral hemorrhage, or other mundane cause. His present difficulties are the direct result of his recent political decisions! In short, they are “the will of God.”

The first and most predictable lunatic to espouse this theory was the always-entertaining Pat Robertson. He suggested that since Sharon caused the pullout from the settlements in the occupied territories, he had defied biblical prophecy and incurred the wrath of the Almighty. I dismissed this idiocy out of hand, as Robertson has a long history of offering stupid and ill-informed opinions. If the nitwit was not so wealthy and influential, he’d be preaching on some street corner in urine-soaked trousers, ignored by passersby.

Another such opinion was offered by an Israeli “man on the street.” He was wearing a yarmulke and full beard. He, like Robertson, seemed privy to the Will of God. He opined that Sharon was merely suffering the consequences of defying His Will (and the will, I suppose, of he, the speaker). Now, this disturbed me a bit more than Pat’s statement; this second guy seemed otherwise sane, and he was seemingly an observant Jew who should have known better.

A recent (and appropriately unanswered) letter to our editor, however, went over the line, in my opinion. While not specifically attributing Sharon’s illness to the Will of God, It did seem to rejoice in the justice of his misery.

“Thinking” such as this sickens me.

Readers of this column know how very much I despise and disagree with our current government. Never once have I wished illness or death on any of them, nor would I be arrogant enough to attribute such a fate to God’s Will. Anyone who engages in such moronic rhetoric should seek professional help.

Sharon had taken a calculated and courageous political risk in the name of peace. Someone had to. I must admit I would be more sanguine about his action had not the Palestinian response consisted of parading through the streets firing assault rifles into the air, as well as electing a government controlled by Hamas. Any rate, let’s pray…

Not for the illness and death of a brave man, but for the actual will of God to be realized.


Thank you, once more, for your indulgence. I welcome any and all comment.


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