Hear I Rant Jamaica

Bush, a shoe-in

George Bush’s legacy is certainly formed practically in concrete right now, or perhaps leather would be a more appropriate material. He is certainly a ‘shoe-in’ as the worst American president ever, made even more so by an Iraqi journalist throwing both his shoes at the president during his visit to Iraq.

Bush, obviously tired that Barack Obama was getting all the headlines, went to Iraq to garner some press, “I’ll shoe them that I’m still in charge”, he probably said. But when he shoe-ed up to a press conference, the shoes came flying in his direction.

In Iraq, hitting someone with your shoe, or throwing it in their direction is regarded as a major insult. Now why didn’t someone tell us before. While America and the world want to give him the boot, it took an Iraqi to put the right shoe forward… followed by the left shoe.

The man said that the ‘shoes were a goodbye present to a dog’. I know many rank things have been said about ‘Dubya’, but that is certainly by far, #1. In response Condi Rice said that the incident ‘… is a kind of sign of the freedom that people feel in Iraq’. Is everyone in the white House as delusional as their boss?

So the Bush legacy pockmarked by failure, now has its enduring symbol… a flying shoe.

Bush is the first president in United States history to have shoes flung at him.
In a related story, Rice said that Iran has toned down their interference in Iraq due to American pressure. Why must these people always make it about them. Iran, probably like al qaeda, has achieved what it has set out to do… no need to overplay it, no need to showboat… that’s the American way. Except for a few of Bush and Cheney’s friends, America is much worse off now than before it entered Iraq. It lost in Iraq, it lost against Iran.

Ms Rice, y’all just shut up and leave. And don’t bother turning off the lights. The new boss is already working.
Gas prices have inched up a bit and this might signal the rapid return to insanity. The price rise is to reflect a meeting where it is expected that OPEC will ok production cuts. Mind you the cuts haven’t yet happened but the price is rising. So much for demand and supply.

This wasn’t unexpected as I warned of this in my last blog. Prices couldn’t fall much further, and wouldn’t have been allowed to. So all you who had been breathing just a little easier, will have to stop breathing, again.
While on the subject of oil, in a new book ‘The King’s Messenger’, author David Ottoway accuses father Bush (around 1990) of asking Saudi Arabia’s Prince Bandar bin Sultan to lobby OPEC to raise oil prices. This was successfully accomplished. The reason, because Bush’s friends in the oil industry were hurting.

I remember this well, because it was right after Michael Manley returned to Jamaica’s leadership in 1989. Manley was in power when OPEC was formed in the mid-1970’s, and the oil rise helped destroy Jamaica’s economy.

The book traces the relationship between various American presidents and Prince Bandar, and the influence he was able to exert on America’s mid-east policies. Bandar was brought into the American sphere of politics by the president Jimmy Carter.

Bob Woodward in his book ‘Plan of Attack’, confirms such a relationship between the present ex-president to be and Bandar, accusing Bandar of lowering oil prices to assist getting Bush back in power in 2004 (what goes around cones around. First he raises oil prices for a Bush, then he lowers them for the son). Bandar’s nickname in Washington was ‘Bandar Bush’.

Woodward also claims that Bandar was privy to invasion plans of Iraq even before Colin Powell knew a decision was taken. Niiiice.

This relationship illustrates several things. Firstly, that we here at the bottom of the dung-heap know nothing of the political machinations, the wheeling and dealing that goes on above us.

It also underscores that we are foolish to believe much of what is told to us, particularly the refrain, “We serve the American people”. Perhaps it should be “We dish the American people”.
Which moves me to this point. Last week, in negotiating over the auto bailout, the republicans tried to break the UAW, the most powerful union in America. When they failed to do so, in a peeve, they scuttled the negotiations.

Let me say this to the working-man. The republicans are anti-worker and has been for the longest of while. Most policies of the Reagan through Bush era, are anti-worker, anti-populace. The republicans are no champions of the working-class and it just demonstrates how dumb many voters are in not recognizing that a vote for the republicans is a vote against themselves.

Not that I’m saying that the democrats offer all that much different in action, but their philosophies do channel them to be a bit more worker- friendly.
Oh, yes. I’ve kinda found out how America keeps its unemployment figures so low. It’s all in the definition. There’s unemployment and there is underutilization.

One of the quirks about calculating unemployment is that when you apply and are on unemployment benefits, then you become part of the statistics. But when those benefits end, irrespective of whether or not you find a job, then you fall off the statistics.

Underutilization is when you don’t have a job but are earning a ‘small’s every now and again. Statistically, I’m not sure how ‘every now and again’, and how a ‘smalls’, are defined.

Thus I, who very infrequently gets a freelance job writing or photography, or perhaps selling a piece of work, am not unemployed but underutilized. Granted my earnings cannot do much, but at least for a few days in a year, I’m earning a money. But guess what, it certainly feels like unemployment to me, and million others in the same boat.

And oh, those people… are just guesswork since there is no way to actually count the ‘underutilised’.
George Bush put the ‘ducking’ in lame duck.
The shoe incident obviously rattled Bush. In an interview a few minutes later, Bush said that al qaeda was making their stand in Iraq. The reporter said, yes, but they were there only after you invaded. Bush admitted that, contrary to what the top echelons of his regime has been claiming all along. Very significant admission.

But worse, as you can only expect from George Bush, he continued with a dismissive, “So what?”. I will leave that for you dear readers, to mull over.

About the author


Writer, photographer, artist. Have been doing all three for some time. More about myself and my art can be found at http://www.louisdavisart.com, and http://www.broward.org/arts/publications/cq/2008/winter08/cq_winter08.htm