Monthly Archives: April 2013

2013 Tour De Rook – Leg 1

Yes indeed! It is that time of year for the world famous Tour De Rook. Today’s leg was to and from Willow River. Anyway, to the stats!

  1. Miles: 8.88Tour_Rook
  2. Time: 00.33.41
  3. Max Speed: 20.4 mph
  4. Average Speed: 14.4
  5. iPod: Mumford & Sons – Sigh No More
  6. Temperature: 69° F
  7. Wind: SSW 8 mph
  8. Humidity: 25%

I have to admit, it was easier than I expected. I suspect part of why it went better than I thought is the weight I have lost since the end of last fall. I am down 10 pounds. I hope that with the start of this year’s Tour De Rook, I will lose even more weight.

 

Why Paul Is My Role Model

Because he knows how to call it:

I’ve been focused on economic policy lately, so I sort of missed the big push to rehabilitate Bush’s image; also, as a premature anti-Bushist who pointed out how terrible a president he was back when everyone else was praising him as a Great Leader, I’m kind of worn out on the subject.

But it does need to be said: he was a terrible president, arguably the worst ever, and not just for the reasons many others are pointing out.

From what I’ve read, most of the pushback against revisionism focuses on just how bad Bush’s policies were, from the disaster in Iraq to the way he destroyed FEMA, from the way he squandered a budget surplus to the way he drove up Medicare’s costs. And all of that is fair.

But I think there was something even bigger, in some ways, than his policy failures: Bush brought an unprecedented level of systematic dishonesty to American political life, and we may never recover.

Think about his two main “achievements”, if you want to call them that: the tax cuts and the Iraq war, both of which continue to cast long shadows over our nation’s destiny. The key thing to remember is that both were sold with lies.

I suppose one could make an argument for the kind of tax cuts Bush rammed through — tax cuts that strongly favored the wealthy and significantly increased inequality. But we shouldn’t forget that Bush never admitted that his tax cuts did, in fact, favor the wealthy. Instead, his administration canceled the practice of making assessments of the distributional effects of tax changes, and in their selling of the cuts offered what amounted to an expert class in how to lie with statistics. Basically, every time the Bushies came out with a report, you knew that it was going to involve some kind of fraud, and the only question was which kind and where.

And no, this wasn’t standard practice before. Politics ain’t beanbag and all that, but the president as con man was a new character in American life.

Even more important, Bush lied us into war. Let’s repeat that: he lied us into war. I know, the apologists will say that “everyone” believed Saddam had WMD, but the truth is that even the category “WMD” was a con game, lumping together chemical weapons with nukes in an illegitimate way. And any appearance of an intelligence consensus before the invasion was manufactured: dissenting voices were suppressed, as anyone who was reading Knight-Ridder (now McClatchy) knew at the time.

Why did the Bush administration want war? There probably wasn’t a single reason, but can we really doubt at this point that it was in part about wagging the dog? And right there you have something that should block Bush from redemption of any kind, ever: he misled us into a war that probably killed hundreds of thousands of people, and he did it in part for political reasons.

There was a time when Americans expected their leaders to be more or less truthful. Nobody expected them to be saints, but we thought we could trust them not to lie about fundamental matters. That time is now behind us — and it was Bush who did it.

Do Not Speak Ill Of The Dead

But thankfully only his two terms as President are dead; he’s still alive. So……..

Fuck You George W. Bush.

Thousands died because of your failure early in your first term and hundreds of thousands (if not more) died because of you incompetence after September 11th, 2001. Innocent men, women, and children in Iraq died because of your lies. Brave American service members sacrificed their lives because of your lies.

You will never be anything more than a Miserable Failure.

Emotional

I am feeling emotional this morning. But not a bad emotional. Not a regretful, fatalistic, and depressed emotional. Instead, I find I am moved close to tears by various postings and pictures on facebook and other sites that reaffirm my beliefs and values – that show I am on the right path for me and my life.

I am experiencing gratitude at an emotional level. It feels good. I like that I can now experience this type of emotion. When I was using drugs and alcohol I could not experience an honest emotional feeling if my life depended on it – and it did. Because by not experiencing my God-given emotions I was dying by way of an emotional neuropathy.

This emotional gratitude is a reminder to me that, like all pleasant emotions and emotional states, it is not constant and ever-present, but earned through actions – the next right behaviors – the application of structure and discipline with a large dose of faith.

Today it is brought to my attention that gratitude is not just an intellectual understanding of the benefits of my life, but also an emotional understanding. It is one of those rare concepts that can be both irrational and logical.

And yes, this fails in every way to adequately describe what I am truly experiencing. Sigh. The trails and tribulations of being a writer.