Osama bin Laden Says: Vote For Bush!

Osama bin Laden wants you to vote for his best buddy, George Bush.

Because bin Laden made George Bush – and visa versa. Truly, neither would have been anything at all without the other.
Think about it:
Prior to the September 11 attacks, the Bush Administration was a presidency in trouble: Bush had no agenda other than giving his rich friends tax breaks, no plan for the country, except to send all our jobs overseas. His approval ratings were in the dumper; he was going nowhere fast.
Then came the attacks.
And where Bush himself is almost certainly a moron, his handlers are not. They saw the golden opportunity for what it was.
They had Bush announce a “war” on terrorism, in retaliation for the attacks; they had Bush re-invent himself as a “wartime” president.
Then, all of a sudden, his approval ratings went through the roof as the nation pulled together, as we set aside our differences in light of the national tragedy.
Isn’t this just grand?
But there’s something George Bush doesn’t want you to know. What?
The big secret, is that there is no “war on terror,” other than what Bush has contrived. It’s all a sham.
Where there may have been some basis for our invasion of Afghanistan, where we were trying to capture Osama bin Laden, all our actions since, particularly including the invasion of Iraq have been completely without foundation – and have no bearing whatsoever on this “war on terror.”
Seriously, if Bush had really intended to capture bin Laden, common sense dictates he would have kept our troops in Afghanistan and not rested until bin Laden was found.
What happened instead? He withdrew the greater majority of US forces to invade Iraq and left the hunt for bin Laden to the corrupt Afghan warlords – as if that was ever a strategy designed for success.
So why did Bush slack off in the hunt for bin laden? Has he misplaced his priorities here, perhaps?
No. Not if his main priority is getting re-elected.
Because bin Laden is much more effective for Bush if he’s still on the run, inciting the Muslim world against us. He’s a cause celebre, a rallying point for the American invective. He’s the absolute personification of terrorism and ultimately, of evil – as defined by George W. Bush. And most of that would be lost if he were actually captured.
Bush and bin Laden enjoy a most wonderful, enriching, symbiotic relationship.
Every American soldier in Iraq, and every casualty they produce, drives just one more recruit to bin Laden; gives him just one more argument on why the US is evil; and one more argument why every good Muslim must pick up a rifle and make Jihad against the “crusaders” from the United States.
Conversely, every American casualty in Iraq, every terrorist attack anywhere in the world by any group, gives credence to Bush’s claims that we’re “at war.”
And war is very good for Bush.
Because Bush plays on our fears of war, using those fears to keep us subjugated.
A good example would be the terror alerts. Condition Yellow; Condition Orange; Condition Red. We’re at war! Be vigilant! Report any suspicious activities! Look out for possible attacks on schools, today! Buy duct tape and plastic in case of biological attacks; on and on and on…
Those fears keep the public off balance. The mindset is something like, “Everyone knows you must endure some deprivations during war-time – they had rationing during WW II, what we have now is no different. If we’re at ‘war’ now, then we’ll just have to grin and bear it.” And thus, people become inured to the fear; the paranoia becomes a natural state. Which is exactly what Bush wants.
We’re kept fearful to blind us from what’s really happening; it keeps us from remembering how bad the economy is; it keeps us from remembering how many civil liberties we’ve lost in the name of freedom; and how everything has really gone to hell under the watch of George W. Bush.
If they weren’t fearful, Americans might just notice that the rich are getting richer and the poor and the middle-class are just plain getting screwed.
But think for a minute:
Where would we be if we withdrew our forces from Iraq and just let them govern themselves? And where would we be if Osama bin Laden if George Bush lost the election?
Quite possibly, we’d be in a peaceful world where everyone could coexist.
If the United States withdrew its forces from Iraq, then bin Laden would lose a major argument for opposing the US. His funding and source of recruits would likely dry up. It’d be hard times for the al Qaeda.
Being really fanciful, you could top that off with some sort of imposed solution for Israel and the Palestinians, and more than likely, terrorism as we know it would be a thing of the past. Osama would have to find some other occupation.
But George Bush doesn’t want that. He wants terrorism to be the number one issue for Americans. He wants us frightened, and off-balance – and unable to focus on the real problems we face.
So should we vote for Bush? Osama says Y E S!

Charter Schools are a Bad Idea

Washington state voters are getting ready to go the polls over an issue they’ve voted down twice in recent years: the issue of charter schools.
The legislature, in their infinite wisdom – and entirely against the will of the people – voted in a bill last session that would authorize charter schools (ESSHB 2295).
Alarmed at this sneaky circumvention, charter school foes circulated petitions collecting over 150,000 signatures and were able to get Initiative 55 certified and on the ballot. Now Washington voters have what will hopefully be the final time to reject charter schools.
So why are charter schools bad?
Because basically, they don’t work. Recent studies by the US Department of Education found charter school students lagging in reading and math scores.
Another example is that in 1999-2000, 80% of the children in Texas public schools passed the Texas academic achievement tests while only 37% of charter school students passed the same test. In a 2002 study by the Texas Education Agency, it also found the dropout rate for charter schools was significantly higher – 17.7% compared to 6.2% for all other public schools.
Then in another study recently released by Duke University, they found that students in North Carolina’s charter schools would have been better off if they had stayed in their traditional public school. http://www.dukenews.duke.edu/news/charter_0804.html
There’s been a lot of speculation over the causes of the charter school’s poor performance.
Many attribute the lower test scores to the fact that charter schools operate with less oversight and supervision than traditional public schools – they’re not held accountable like public schools. And then financial problems and mismanagement have been big issues for charter schools and may well have probably played a part in the poor performance.
As far as I’m concerned, that’s more than enough evidence to turn me off from charter schools.
But even so, there are several other provisions in the proposed Washington law that give me different, more pressing problems.
The first is that from the way the proposed law is set up, it strongly appears that the hidden agenda for charter schools is to circumvent unions.
One provision makes it illegal for a charter school bargaining unit to be part of a local school district bargaining unit for five years – even if the employees were to vote unanimously in favor of that representation.
Another provision states that in “conversion” charter schools – a former public school that is proposed to be converted to a charter school – the new charter school board may request “variances” from the old school district collective bargaining agreement to address “needs that are specific to the charter school.”
Combine that with the fact that there’s a provision that would allow the charter schools to use non-certificated teachers – as long as they’re generally supervised by a certificated person.
So what’s this all add up to?
I don’t know about you, but this tells me that the plan is for schools that use lower-paid, non-union, and quite possibly unqualified teachers – probably as a means to cut costs and “more effectively use your tax dollars.” I find this very disturbing.
It’s hard enough to find qualified teachers right now – the starting salary in Washington state for teachers fresh out of college is only a little over $30,000 a year. Spend that same four years in college studying for a computer science degree, and your average starting pay jumps up to $49,000. Or for a chemical engineering degree, $52,000. Or accounting $42,000 a year. Or for another example, with nursing it jumps to $38,000 a year.
Teacher’s pay is already at the bottom.
If you cut their pay more – which would almost certainly happen as a result of limiting the charter teachers bargaining rights – then the situation would become almost impossible.
What kind of “cut-rate” teachers would work for less money than they’re already getting? Perhaps the charters figure to hire illegal aliens as aides, janitors and secretaries to save even more dollars? Hey, it works for Wal-Mart. Maybe they’ll trim a few dollars out of the school lunch budgets, too?
It’s no wonder the test scores are down!
Clearly, charter schools are a very bad idea.
Our children are our future. Let’s not cut corners on their education.
I hope everyone votes to reject referendum 55.