Saturday, May 20, 2006

Oh, the painful irony of it all

"My most important job is to defend the homeland, to protect innocent Americans from the deaths of the killers." -- GWB

"First thing that Medicare has done is it says that if you're -- when you join Medicare, you get preventative screenings. Put in Texas terms, in order to solve something, you got to diagnose it." -- GWB

"Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we." -- GWB

"It's in our country's interests to find those who would do harm to us and get them out of harm's way." -- GWB

"And so, in my State of the -- my State of the Union -- or state -- my speech to the -- nation, whatever you wanna call it, speech to the nation -- I asked Americans to give 4,000 years -- 4,000 hours over the next -- of the rest of your life -- of service to America. That's what I asked. I said 2 -- 4,000 hours." -- GWB

"We got an issue in America. Too many good docs are gettin' out of business. Too many OB/GYNs aren't able to practice their -- their love with women all across this country." -- GWB

"There's an old saying in Tennessee -- I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee -- that says, fool me once -- shame on -- shame on you. You fool me, you can't get fooled again." -- GWB



Yesterday George W. Bush expressed his belief that immigrants to the United States ought to speak proper English. "What the president has said all along is that he wants to make sure that people who become American citizens have a command of the English language," Snow said. "It's as simple as that." Bush expressed no opinion on whether there would be an amnesty program for himself.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Absolutely frightening! I have seen a bumper sticker that reads "Somewhere in Texas a village is missing its idiot"...how apropos!
Thanks for a great article on needles.
Mary Lou, a blogless lurker

Jen said...

Not fair to equate verbal ability with intelligence, but ok, you're entitled to your opinion...and that was a pretty funny post. :o)

Laura said...

I don't know, I rather expect the person running our country to be more than a babbling idiot when he looks away from the teleprompter. When someone is one of the world's most powerful leaders, being proficient in his native language should be the least of his requirements. A person can always pinpoint where George loses his place in his speech. Look for the mixed up metaphors and inane comments.

Sue Woo said...

What gets me is, we are really unpopular in the world right now. Just about the only people that love us (besides Tony Blair) are the Mexicans. You'd think we'd want to treat them nice. Oh well. B

Courtney said...

This made me laugh, though living in AZ the language debate has too many racist overtones to be funny.


Got my gorgeous yarn, by the way. :)

Carol said...

Actually, Jen, I couldn't disagree with you more. I have found the content of a person's statements and how articulate they are to be very good indicators of whether they are smart or not. In any event, my original post makes no comment about Mr. Bush's intelligence vel non, instead merely pointing out that it takes a lot of chutzpah for someone who can barely string a coherent sentence together to want to impose a stringent language requirement on immigrants.

Michelene said...

Why isn't it fair to equate verbal ability with intelligence? Each year, millions of American schoolchildren take standardized tests that rate their intelligence (and the schools' merit to receive federal funds) based on verbal ability.

Michelene said...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060520/ap_on_en_ot/people_rose_hilfiger

On a lighter note...in case you all thought I was just some redneck
(ok,I am a redneck) loser.....I went to elementary and jr high(it was still called jr high then; Sunnyside Jr High) with Axl Rose.
However, I prefer AC/DC over Guns n Roses for redneck head-bangin'.

Mindy said...

Thanks for the giggle. Several years ago there was just about a whole shelf of "Bush-isms" in B&N; I may have to check to see how much its grown.

Jen said...

Michelene - because by that standard you'd have to admire some people who were truly unintelligent monsters simply because they had a command of language. Language ability doesn't equal "smart" — it simply means that someone has good communication skills. Useful to a president, yes, but I wouldn't vote for a political leader just because he's a skilled talker. (We have enough professional talkers in Congress.) Though it's fun to make fun of GWB for his lack of skillz, it's a little more effective to disagree with his policies on spending or immigration or even the war because those are meaningful arguments. Though it's funny to hear his verbal mishaps, I feel certain you are not saying you'd happily support him if he'd just learn to talk. :o)

(See what I mean? How skilled was Hitler as an orator? Jesse Jackson? And morally bankrupt.)

Jen said...

And Carol, I agree - you didn't make any statements about his intelligence, and I do agree that your observation was very funny (see above)!

Michelene said...

Jen, just because someone is intelligent (or a good orator) doesn't mean they should be admired. You gave two good examples. Their intelligence didn't make them morally bankrupt, the way they chose to use it made them morally bankrupt.
I don't neccessarily agree that the tests truly measure intelligence (at least not alone), but since Bush is using these test results to award or withold federal funding in public schools he should hold himself to the same standard.
Jimmy Carter was not an especially effective speaker or President, but he is intelligent, and has done more to change the world in a positive way than Bush could ever hope to do.
Carol, I thought chutzpah was a good thing.

Carol said...

If you think verbal ability doesn't correlate at all with intelligence, you might want to have a word with the makers of all intelligence tests and the SATs. Verbal ability is a substantial portion of those measures of intelligence.

But in an interesting squirm, you are now switching to policy (perhaps recognizing how difficult a position it is to defend Dubya's mediocre intellect). I think Jesse Jackson and Hitler and other "smooth talkers" probably were/are intelligent; that statement is not the same as agreeing with their policies.

If we are talking about the distinction between smooth talking and actual policy, the party of Dubya is a prime offender. (Or perhaps the greatest manipulator.) How else is a "death tax" that benefits only the wealthy made to sound appealing to middle-class Americans who won't benefit from it? Talk to Michelene -- or about anyone in the public school system -- about "No Child Left Behind." Or how about the Clean Air initiative, or whatever it was called, that allowed more pollution?! The "budget" that passes additional tax cuts for the wealthy while our deficit grows at a staggering pace?

Please don't suggest that my pointing out the painful irony of him selecting "English as the official language" when he barely has a command of English himself means I am unable to articulate cogent arguments as to why he is a crappy President on policy. In any event, his hypocrisy on this, and other policy-related issues, is itself a valid criticism of his presidency.

Jen said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jen said...

You know what? Feel free to email me if you want to discuss further - I'm up for it if you want. :o)

soo said...

Carol, I couldn't agree with you more, on all your arguments. Here in Quebec, French was made the official language because the Quebecois felt it was threatened, and i believe with good reason (Canada as a whole thus has two official languages in order to be inclusive.) From the point of view of an outsider to American domestic affairs, i don't even discern the beginning of a threat to the English language in the US. It just seems like a very reactionary policy drive by Republicans to shore up fear, and support, from a intangible and unarticulated threat, and is indicative of the increase in xenophobia, bigotry and arrogance of the current administration. My shallow analyses may mislead me, but that is how i feel.

Michelene said...

One of the greatest problems with NCLB? By the time many American children start school they are already behind. The politicians and parties who want to blame educators and school personnel for all the problems with American education are pandering for votes.
A child's first teacher, a child's most important teacher, is a parent. Shifting the blame for stupid parenting onto the education system is irresponsible.
I spend 5 1/2 hours a day for 176 days with a child (I'm a teacher's assistant). A parent spends eons more time with their child. With few exceptions (a motivated child with an amazing teacher) nothing I do can counteract lazy, irresponsible parents who treat their children like Kleenex or a meal ticket.
I pray most parents want their child to succeed. I hope most parents who perhaps didn't take their own education seriously expect more, demand more from their child--but I've spent many nights over the last 164 days weeping and exhausted because some parents just don't care.
Any politician who thinks demanding higher test scores without parental accountability will never get my vote. No matter what their party.

Barb B. said...

Very good points Soo, and as a Canadian who has never made it to Quebec (yet) I can say having two official languages is good for everyone.
As far as people being able to speak the language of the country they are moving to, I guess my grandparents would have had to stay where they were. It makes me wonder if all in GWB's background spoke English when they arrived?

I enjoyed today's post. It gave me a good chuckle, and was also a heads up to listen to my own analogies a little better.
Barb B.

soo said...

never been to Quebec? Gasp! if you come to Montreal, i'll give you the heads up on all the great yarn shops...
Same for you Carol.

(that's ok, i've never been to the Prairies - yet).

Stacey said...

Ha ha ha!!!!!! Too true....

Michelene said...

Schools in many other countries require their students to learn a foreign language. Sadly, many of our middle schools, and some of our high schools, no longer offer any foreign language classes at all. The schools that do offer classes have a limited selection, usually French and Spanish. French and Spanish are fine languages; but if we want our children to compete in a global economy, Chinese(yes, I know there are many variations), Japanese, and Russian wouldn't be asking for too much.
Kids need to start learning in elementary school, and not wait until high school.

Barb B. said...

Soo, (or anyone else) if you make it to Edmonton, we'll do lunch and go to Wool Revival.
Michelene: my kids grew up in a multi cultural neighbourhood (though very small) Playing with their friends they learned "Jagdeep talk", "Kevin talk", etc. The kids they played with learned "Canada talk." By the time they were 6 they knew who couldn't eat beef, or who couldn't eat pork, or who ate no meat. These again were "Jagdeep rules" etc. All the kids took the different languages and "rules" to be something normal, kind of like they could jump on the chesterfield at Joe's but not at my house. In the best of world's that's the way to learn language and culture. Barring that, learning at least one languague at school, no matter which one, opens your mind to the possibilty of learning, and, for me at least, made it easier to learn the next language (all of which I've mostly forgotten with having no chance to use them)
Barb B.

mb said...

pirit

mb said...

Ooops sorry about the previous post -
I WAS going to say Bush is such a DINGUS
But then look at what I just went and did

:)