Randy's Corner Deli Library

24 September 2008

Bush's Speech: Honor US Mr. President

Dear Mr. Bush:

I did not need to sit through a 14 minute speech for me to understand the lecture in macroeconomics that you gave just now to understand that this country, if you described it accurately, is fucked. And you and your so-called "administration" fucked it up. Now you are appointing Commissars who want unlimited power with NO review by ANYONE? This is what you support? Perhaps it was a sick joke by Commissar Paulson to come up with a three page "plan" whose contents contained little in the way of specifics, with the exception of section eight of the document, which of course is that very large paragraph in which Mr. Paulson presumably with your knowledge and consent, included in this document. Sir, I am hoping that that was a joke by your inner ruling circle, because you wanted to pass it off to Congress and let the next guy worry about it. Like YOU give a shit? You're all set. I'm sitting here uncertain about everything, including my health, and you get to retire back to Texas and Connecticut for a life of ease. Or maybe not. Perhaps the stench of your Presidence will haunt you forever. It would me, and I will never forget having to write the words I am writing here.

My knowledge of the Japanese culture stems in large measure as a consequence of a friend that I had in high school, Ronald Nakai, who was Nisei - second generation Japanese and with whom I stayed in touch until about 14 years ago for no particular reason. Whenever I would go to his house, I was treated with dignity, respect and honor, even though I was only a 12 0r 16 year old punk kid. Theirs, like mine, is a system of reverence for the past. Ron and I were famous fishing buddies, having the good fortune to be living in Chicago in the 1970s atttending Sullivan High School and when not in school or weekends, when the weather was nice, of course, fishing. But I especially remember a time when we went to his house, and they shared an ancient Japanese ritual that celebrated the rice harvest, as I recall. We each had a big mallet, which we used to strike a big, big ball of rice-dough, that we would smash into a pancake that would appear on the log-like thing that we were hitting. They took it very seriously and I was more than happy to participate. I remember the feeling of "hey, this is cool" when I was doing it, even though I only now realize the grander significance of the act. They were giving thanks to God for rice. Reverentially. Because they and I realize that the path to true holiness is through honor of the past and honor for the future as well. Wiithout honor, one cannot be truly holy.

The other part of Japanese culture that I only now see the grander significance of is the concept of hari-kiri, which is the most famous form of seppuku. Here is the Wikipedia definition of Seppuku:

(切腹? "stomach-cutting") is a form of Japanese ritual suicide by disembowelment. Seppuku was originally reserved only for samurai. Part of the samurai honor code, seppuku has been used voluntarily by samurai to die with honor rather than fall into the hands of their enemies, as a form of capital punishment for samurai who have committed serious offenses, and for reasons that shamed them. Seppuku is performed by plunging a sword into the abdomen and moving the sword left to right in a slicing motion. The practice of committing seppuku at the death of one's master, known as oibara (追腹 or 追い腹, the kun'yomi or Japanese reading) or tsuifuku (追腹, the on'yomi or Chinese reading), follows a similar ritual.

I would contend that if you are half the soldier you crowed about in 2000 and again in 2004, you would want, I would hope, to be able to call yourself a samurai and proceed forthwith to commit seppuku. Between all the calamities that you have caused this country in the name of politics and money, you should be so ashamed of yourself that I at least hope you are man enough to have considered that this would be a perfectly legitemate way out of this life.

Then again, sir, I am sure that you have rationalized the whole thing as somehow being perhaps beyond even your office's power to affect. I am sorry, but your presidency has been marked by a string of failures so long that it can only mean one thing: the management of it is and has been utterly and completely disfunctional at its core. And in the job of this country's highest office, you simply failed to heed too many warnings, time and time again. About so many things. And you blindly insisted that things were OK, even though those of us in the hinterlands of the West Coast could already feel, via "for sale" signs in too many front lawns reading "bank foreclosure, that things were going to get this bad. There were those of us who knew things were bad, but I ascribed those more to personal failings of my own, some within my control, but many not. But this has been coming on for some time and still you persisted in denying the severity of the program that you laid out before the country tonight as necessary.

More like, I had to laugh in your face, sir. Because you were giving me a rationale for a socialist solution to capitalism's inherent woes. Sir, I hope you can laugh with me, (since seppuku is really out of the question in reality, I know) because if this isn't the most absurd situation you have ever seen, I don't know what is. But I can tell you this with some sincerity: Nelson Rockefeller is spinning in his grave and so are all the rest of the dead (and those alive) Wall Street barons rolling over in their graves and homes, because you have gone against everything they stood for in order to maintain the status quo. I suggest that you familiarize yourself with this article in Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_socialism_in_Great_Britain#Socialism_and_nationalism

The History of Socialism in Great Britain is essential reading for anyone wanting to know what to expect next, I predict, to the present economy. It cannot help but take this route, because, as some politican or other said this week, borrowing from "we've gone down the rabbit hole", borrowing of course from Alice in Wonderland And if there is one law that everyone, furtive socialists and fervent capitalists alike have to obey, regardless, is that of gravity. And once we are down the rabbit hole, we can only go, accordingly, down.

Well done. Messrs. Jefferson, Hamilton, Adams and Washington salute you, of course, I am sure. What a horrible day in history, not necessarily because socialism is all that bad, I hope, but it puts a question mark after the American Dream. The American dream is to "make it to the top" or at least not legally let anyone stand in your way but, essentially, you. This shatters that conception, because the government that you were President of that supported the American Dream as it previously existed, had a failure of leadership. I'm sorry the dreams of the American Forefathers had to end so ignominiously. They would have died in vain.


Randy Shiner

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