Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Good Riddance Bush. Or, a trip to my bank makes it all personal

The times we live in! Man, what a mess.
Pakistan and India are on the verge of a shooting war, Israel has launched the largest military assault on the Gaza Strip in 40 years and people want Obama to say something about it all even though he is not the President.
With three weeks left on the job where is Bush?
That’s right! With only three weeks left to go he is on yet another vacation. Don’t you want a government job like that?
While the world falls deeper into destruction, Bush is sleep walking to the finish line. Where is his staff during all this?
Making the Sunday morning talk show rounds where they give interviews proclaiming Bushes legacy will be remembered in part for his peace making.
The world burns but they would rather rewrite history than deal with anything like reality.
Maybe we should just let Bush know he is free to leave any time.
Any time.

Laura Bush, not amused by the shoe-throwing incident, has said publicly that it was an assault. Actually, the shoes never hit him so it is an attempted assault. More importantly though, I wonder what she calls what we did to Iraq? Those weren’t shoes we were dropping from planes Laura. Maybe she doesn’t understand.

I was standing in line at the bank yesterday. As if there isn’t enough anxiety about banks these days, the branch I go to has a giant plasma screen TV behind the tellers so you can watch in line. Great. They always have it on CNN. I’m worried about my account because of a mistake they made and now I get to watch another war and more children with blood on their faces as I wait to speak with a representative. Please pump all the fear and loathing you can into an otherwise normal trip to the bank, Wells Fargo!
I did something very San Francisco. I interrupted a conversation to let someone know I had been offended by a comment I overheard. That’s what I did, but I didn’t clear my throat next to a smoker or lecture someone with a pet to get their balls cut. It was a father and son who were speaking. The father said, “People want to make fun of Bush as a failure, they forget that there hasn’t been another 9/11 on his watch.”
I love this argument! It’s a fool’s refuge.
“Excuse me, I couldn’t help but hear your last comment. Your right, under Bush there was only one 9/11. An event he allowed to happen when he ignored several warnings from foreign intelligence services and of course the CIA briefing titled, Bin Laden determined to strike with in the U.S. To be fair though, he did get that briefing while on vacation at his ranch in Texas and who really wants to do anything when they’re on vacation? Right? I mean, thats where he was when Katrina hit New Orleans, too”
You can imagine how that went over.
I thought this guy was going to have a melt down! His eyes bulged, a vein appeared to throb at his temple and his son just looked at me in a way that suggested, I have to put up with this now for the rest of the day, ass hole!
His reply? Nothing. Just his eyes aimed at me with a cold resolve to come up with the right thing to say. Eventually, he came up with something. It took a few minuets but you could tell he thought he had me! But oh what a familiar Conservative talk show programed response it was!
“What did Bill Clinton do to keep us safe?”
“Well, I can tell you this much. The people who attempted to bring down the world trade center on his watch were all found, put on trial and the mastermind now sits in prison. Under Bush, the mastermind of 9/11 has never been found yet everyone seems to know where he is. When Clinton did send cruise missiles to kill Bin Laden at a suspected terrorist training facility, he was criticized for doing so. Everyone thought it was to distract us from the infamous blowjob scandal. Man I miss hearing about Blowjobs and cum stains as serious news. Now days its Torture, Spying and Billions of dollars lost along with human lives. The music might have been more depressing, but I miss the 90’s”
A few bank employees laughed, the security guard grew more uncomfortable and the son just shook his head before getting his dad out of there.

Look, its not productive to get bogged down in what one President did over another. It’s not productive to start any sentence with Democrats did this or Conservatives did that. But if you can’t look at the shape of the world right now and see that virtually the entire Neo-conservative platform has almost destroyed the economy with unchecked deregulation, left Iraq and Afghanistan more open to terrorist take over than before we showed up to free them and cost America its reputation all around the world as the Good Guys, then your simply not paying enough attention. This whole idea that Bush has been a success because we didn’t have another 9/11 on his watch is complete bullshit.
We had THE 9/11 on his watch!

In fact, the reason I was at the bank had to do with 9/11. To make sure you are not a front for terrorist operations like a charity distributing money to bomb makers, any large deposit has to be verified. They do this by sending the depositor a form. I was sent one because a few months ago I opened a modest CD with them. Did the whole thing on line. A month and a half later, this form shows up. A month and a half later. With lightening speed reaction times like that, how could a suspected enemy ever get money out of the bank in time? Now keep in mind, this is a legal form that will be reviewed by the Department of Homeland Security and was prepared by Wells Fargo.
There were two typos in the document.
I could overlook these typos. After all, don’t most of us make the simple mistake of spelling health club, hezth club?

In a fit of conspiracy overindulgence, a friend pointed out to me that changing a single letter like that gives the appearance that it is an Arabic word. Maybe not to you and me, but to a computer whose job it is to look at all this information coming in and flag items that appear foreign or suspicious, it might. Think of it as the digital equivalent of racial profiling.

Maybe. I am not willing to go all the way on that one yet. Course, people have ended up on the Governments secret no fly list for easier to explain reasons than that. Sen. Ted Kennedy was on the no fly list. So was a 5-year-old boy. Since the government won’t tell anyone just what the criteria for getting on the damn thing is and there is no official way to confront them if its wrong, maybe my friend has a point. Will see the next time I fly.

I do know that the other typo wasn’t a letter in a word. It was a number. According to Wells Fargo, who was going to pass this information on to an agency that has the police powers of the CIA and the FBI combined, I suddenly opened a CD for $100K!
That’s how they wrote it. $100K.
I wish!
I opened a CD for $10K. Now maybe its just a zero, but at a time when the American public has lost any respect for the banking industry, shouldn’t you be on your best behavior? I mean do you really want to shake any customers faith in you, Wells Fargo? Couldn’t I just simply close my account and walk across the street to another bank? The other thing to consider is that these forms are also sent to my old friend and Nemesis, the IRS. Like every comic I know, I have my issues with those guys. In the last few years I have finally been able to start paying off what I owed them from those years of driving around the country doing stand-up, drunk and ignorant to tax law. If the IRS got an official Government document stating that I had $100,000 in the bank and haven’t finished paying off my debt to them, what do you think would happen to that CD? They would take it in a heartbeat. That’s the law. In my head I could see a series of Kafka like mistakes resulting in my own personal disaster all because some teller at Wells Fargo was having delusions of grandeur while carrying ones.
No thanks.
To me, this brings the decadence, disease of greed, incompetence and ignorance of the last eight years down to a very personal level. Course, anyone with a mortgage payment due, a soldier returning from combat with no VA benefits, a scientist with a good idea or an Iraqi kid missing arms but free to wave an American flag as we drive by in fighting vehicles that aren't properly armoured, also has had the Bush legacy made very very personal for them.

Good riddance Bush; you might have believed in God but it felt like you worked for the Devil.
I do wonder what will happen to Darth Cheney when he leaves.

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