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For Garfield, on the Occasion of his Funeral

September 16, 2008

He was a colorful cousin, a good neighbor, and the best damned yodeler in the county.

The Good Lord Made Him

So I Won’t Grade Him…

Garfield yodeled in September

When the beans turned alkaline

And pumpkins fizzled on my porch.

Boiled peanuts and the report of a pistol

Fired just for kicks in the dead dark

Sent Garfield out to squint at harvest moons

And warble like old drunk days

When more people heard him.

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Bennigans slips the surly bonds…

July 29, 2008

Word is that America’s Favorite Sit-Down Chain Restaurant is no more.

Oh! Bennigans.  I haven’t eaten at one of you in a decade, but I remember you as being much superior to your Chilis and Appleby’s of the world.  I miss your be-flair’d wait staff, your green aprons.  I miss staring at the prestigious names of the  “Bennigans 100 Beers Club” members tacked to the cork board above your bar and wondering why I never heard one of my own friends say “hey, Bennigans is a cool place just to hang out.  Let’s join the Bennigans 100 beers club.”

Oh! Bennigans.  I think you were supposed to be Irish.  I can almost taste the honey mustard sauce that came with the disturbingly large Chicken Fingers on your signature Bennigans Chicken Fingers Platter.

You were indeed the home of 100 beers and 1000 welcomes.

TGIF had nothing on you, Bennigans.

I leave you with a bit of poesy from one John Gillespie Magee, Jr., poet and pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force:

High Flight
by John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds…and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of…wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up, the long, delirious burning blue
I’ve topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, nor even eagle flew.
And while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space…
…put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

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Me and Jesus (Got Our Own Thing Going)

July 16, 2008

Irreverence is another person’s disrespect to your god; there isn’t any word that tells what your disrespect to his god is. (Mark Twain)

So, between the spells of Righteous Indignation that come over me every time hucksters like James Dobson or Tom Delay  use the Lord’s name in vain, (i.e., pretty much every time they open their whore mouths) I’ve often thought that for the sake of my own soul’s serenity, I should focus more on GOOD things about Jesus.

It’s not an easy thing to do, considering the ubiquitous chorus of criminals, liars, and sheep who push their own Political Jesus Agenda with the same obnoxious volume as Crazy Joe down at the Car Corral in his craptastic commercials.

Fundamentalists rely on a basic faulty proof to justify their religious and political positions:

1) The Bible in inerrant.

2) We understand the Bible perfectly.

3) We base all of our religious, social, and political opinions on the Bible.

4) Therefore, all of our religious, social, and political opinions are inerrant.

This logic is easy enough to dispute.  Put aside for the moment the fact I’ve never heard anyone come close to offering a sensible rationale for believing the Bible to be inerrant, nor even try to offer a justification for why I should have faith in such a notion.  Even if the bible were all true in the literal sense, we wouldn’t be able to understand it, because we’re not nearly as knowledgeable as God is about things like, you know, GOD.

My point is this:  I don’t believe Jesus gives a damn how you interpret Old Testament scripture or the writings of Saul/Paul.  Unless, that is, you employ those interpretations to elevate yourself in your own mind above people to have the nerve to vote different, think different, live different, or even screw different than you do.  If this is what Jesus does for you, strokes your ego at the expense of your neighbor, then I’m not saying you’re not a Christian.  I’m only saying you’ve missed the point of being a Christian.

Because Jesus has nothing to do with that kind of vanity.  And that, my friends, is one VERY GOOD THING about Jesus.

love

Duck.

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James Dobson on Obama’s bible distortion.

June 24, 2008

“I think he’s deliberately distorting the traditional understanding of the Bible to fit his own worldview.”

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Gitmo Followup

June 16, 2008

McClatchy study says maybe we held HUNDREDS of innocent people at Gitmo and elsewhere:

America’s prison for terrorists often held the wrong men

Why, oh why do they hate us?

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America pushes back! (kind of)

June 12, 2008

I find it encouraging that the US Supreme Court continues to assert that Gitmo detainees are, in fact, human beings, despite the Bush administration’s arguments to the contrary. It’s a good sign that even a conservative court can draw a line in the sand, as it were, against the machinations of our self-proclaimed “war-president.”

Isn’t it scary that we’re at this point, though? That the executive branch of our government decided it was ok to take 500 prisoners from other countries, put them in a prison camp outside of US territory, torture them, and hold them indefinitely without even accusing them of anything? That congress has done nothing about it for 8 years? That only the Supreme Court has the balls to disagree, even in theory?

I was more than willing early on to give GW Bush a chance. When they told us Iraq was building massive stores of WMD and so we had to go in there, I thought, ok, if that’s true, then maybe we should go in there.

But that wasn’t true at all.

So I didn’t trust the bastards after that. Not one bit.

Still, when they told us they had found these awful terrorist types who were so damned awful that we had to keep them locked up at Guantanamo Bay (300 yards away from 4000 Cubans who are trained to kill us, as the line goes), I thought, that sounds reasonable.

Then they told us they were torturing those people.

And you know what struck me as soon as I heard it? That’s bullshit. That’s not what I have always been led to believe that America is about. The people who authorized that stuff are criminals.

So now, the line is that these people are so awful, so bent on our destruction, that after holding them for 2 or 4 or 6 years, our government can’t even say what they’ve done, for fear of jeopardizing our safety.

But then every once in a while, when international pressure is brought to bear, they release one.

Our bad. We thought for 6 years that you were a human dirty bomb and that your freedom posed an imminent threat to the existence of our nation. But then Canada called and told us you were ok after all. So, when we were waterboarding you, and you kept screaming that you had no idea what we were talking about terrorist activities, you were telling the truth!

Isn’t that ironic? You’re not mad, are you?

Would you be?

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Goodbye for now, My Disco Bumpkins!

May 7, 2008

I’m leaving the country. Be back in a couple of weeks.

(By the way, congrats to WSJr for a resounding victory in the Bladen County Board of Education race!  And to my home state for giving Barry a boost last night!)