John Furie Zacharias
having a bad day in a strange place
Thunderstorms Anywhere

Thunderstorms in the Imajica

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Friday, August 06, 2004
Will U.S. Christians overlook obvious Bush sins?

Click for larger image!


Is the Bush Administration so absolutely hypocritical and corrupt, or simply Born-Again-Incompetent?  While Republican politicians in nearly every district in the United States try to get their socially conservative base riled up over the issue of same-sex marriage in an effort to bring them out of their churches and into the voting booth this November so they can help 'protect the family', hardly anyone in christiandom is pointing out the obvious corruption in the Bush White House staring them straight in the face, smiling, and lying through their teeth to them.  Could there be a logical explanation for this?

What is the reason for this lack of oversight?  Almost daily, I am told by my good christian friends that because I haven't 'found (their) Jesus', my fate is to become a flaming human pop tart in Satan's toaster of everlasting fire and brimstone.  These people, so quick to judge me to eternal damnation, seem to have been distracted in their keen judgements against a president and his white house so rife with corruption and scandal that it makes my teeth hurt.*

After many long years of pulpit activism, calling themselves the silent majority and the moral majority, the conservative christian voter has successfully moved the Republican party away from the middle of the political spectrum and closer to their ideal political party.  In 2000, they were 'rewarded' with a self-labelled 'man of faith' becoming president. This year, Republicans are throwing them a bone to chew on in the name of 'traditional family values' with promises of a Federal Marriage Amendment.

In politics and business, one should always thank someone for a generous gift and then politely ask, "What is this going to cost me?"  The very first cost that comes to mind for the american christian voting for George Bush is, "your christian credibility and integrity".
There are some christians that are not distracted by the issue of same-sex marriage and look at George Bush's performance as president and the actions of his administration with clearer, unclouded vision.  Christian Aid is an internationally recognized non-governmental organization (NGO) not distracted by soothing political siren calls in the U.S. by Republican candidates because they are based in the United Kingdom and trying to do their good works for the people of war-torn Iraq.

In late July 2004, Christian Aid published a press release entitled, "Christian Aid's 'Fuelling suspicion' report on target with independent audit results." Their earlier concerns about ongoing corruption in George Bush's Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq were validated by the independent audit that the Bush Administration blocked until after the legal hand-over of sovereignty to the Iraqi Governing Council when L. Paul Bremer could be whisked out of Baghdad on a helicopter.

"As the occupying forces handed over power to a new Iraqi government at the end of June, we released a report saying that the coalition was in breach of a UN resolution for failing to account for how it had spent up to $20 billion of Iraq's oil revenues.  In mid-July the first independent audit of the coalition's spending was finally published. It is highly critical.  Our concerns have proved to be exactly on target."

Wasn't it Saddam Hussein's breach of U.N. resolutions that the Bush Administration used as a reason to invade Iraq in the first place?  If U.N. resolutions are a good enough reason to pre-emptively attack another country then they should be good enough to hold the Bush Administration accountable at the voting booth, at minimum.

"Saddam Hussein is a threat, he has WMDs, Al Qaeda is going to kill you!" While the White House got that message out in TV soundbyte form to us enough times to make it a mantra of our dreams at night, don't think for a nanosecond that oil itself wasn't important to the presidential oil man from Texas, George W. Bush.  Did you know Iraq's oil caused a national emergency?  Read George Bush's own executive order declaring a national emergency and establishing the Development Fund for Iraq (DFI).

Remember this?  Bush Administration's neo-con lackies like Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz testified before Congress and told us all that the actual financial cost of Iraqi Freedom would be paid for by Iraqi oil, saying in testimony, "And my – a rough recollection – well I'm – the oil revenues of that country could bring between 50- and 100-billion dollars over the course of the next two or three years."  He was totally bullshitting everyone.  Iraq oil revenues are, at best, about $10-billion a year.  But, to make us all feel warm and fuzzy inside, we were told that the DFI was created so that the Iraqi people would benefit from the sale of their own oil.  Christian Aid, independent auditors, and some lawmakers within our own government are telling us that nothing could be farther from the truth.

"The auditors are concerned about reconstruction contracts awarded without competitive bidding, particularly to the US company Halliburton which has received up to $1.6 billion in contracts. Despite requests from the UN-mandated oversight board and the auditors, the coalition authorities have failed to provide information on these non-competitive contracts."

To be fair to Halliburton, they did pay $3 million to politicians during the Bush Administration's time in the White House to be given and not earn that $1.6 billion.  That's a pretty slick business deal when you consider that the other oil companies have shelled out $440 million to their pet politicians over the same amount of time, according to the Center for Public Integrity report on July 15th, 2004.

Speaking of integrity, I just wish Born-Again Christian Americans -- continually reminding me of my inevitable date with Satan's Toaster -- would stop being abject, robotic Dubya-defenders and turn their keen judgemental eye on their friend-in-Jesus in the White House.  Last time I looked, stealing and lying were definite sins that at least deserved a time-out in the corner Crawford for George W. Bush.


Other than the included links, you can also thank my old friends and fellow bloggers from the Metro Detroit area, Toulon and Duke, for this particular rant who always make thoughtful comments.  *Happy birthday, Duke!

Other good related reads and definite future rant fodder
Sovereignty: "If they want it that bad, they can have it"
by Tom Engelhardt (July 26, 2004 ZNet)

Christianity, Capitalism, Corporations, and the Myth of Dominion
by Norman Council (Newtopia Magazine Issue 17 - June/July 2004)

Posted at 06:26 pm by John Furie Zacharias

Brandon Starr
August 6, 2004   08:23 PM PDT
In answer to your first question:

Those are not contradictory qualities. The Bush Administration is hypocritical and corrupt, AND incompetent.
August 7, 2004   12:13 AM PDT
hey JfZ I'am glad that you think that stealing and lying are bad. That's great so now let's see Bill and his wife STOLE from the white house LIED 2 all of us! but you stood by his side. He also bombed as you say with out just cause. So why do you go after Bush so bad? Do you know that the People you suport want the UN 2 see over the elections like we are unable 2 wipe our won asses. Or is this just pesonal. Do you own a gun? would you defend yourself? And IF you're up set about GOD HE IS ON ALL OF YOUR MONEY!
August 7, 2004   02:29 AM PDT

WHERE on this entire blog or anywhere else have you read where I am "standing by his (Bill Clinton's) side"? Because I searched everywhere -- I blogged about the Democratic National Convention and said he was the Democrat's Designated Hitter speaker. Is that not true? Also, about the DNC, I said that his wife Hillary sounded like a frantic android or something to that effect. The other time I mentioned Hillary Clinton was in "Tales from the Crypt" where I talked about book authors putting out the idea that if Bush wins this election, Hillary will run next time for sure. I don't think that you could call my sarcasm in that one 'standing by his side' either.

I did find one more reference to Bill Clinton on this blog -- it's where Duke and I were discussing possible Listen to the PiG shirt slogans that could be Clinton related -- Lewinsky style.

So, bottom line -- I don't know where you got what you're talking about concerning Clinton at all.

So, who is it that you think I support actually? What PEOPLE are you talking about? Maybe you're confusing this blog with the web site located here:

Why do I go after Bush? I think that should be obvious. Look, you can hate Clinton all you want to -- I didn't vote for him 8 years ago, but he isn't running for president in 2004 -- Bush is. Dubya has been more of a sorry disappointment in the WH to most republicans than anyone else. But they are some people still love Bush like some innocent puppy, and they can vote for him. I don't think he should be president, it's that simple. Vote for whomever you want to. I'll write in "Not Bush" and you can write "Not Clinton", and we'll both be happy, right?

I mean, honestly, Clinton lied about getting a blow job -- Bush's lies are getting people killed everyday.

Let's see ... what else (re-reading)

Yes, I have a gun and I'd double-tap anyone trying to personally harm me in my home. You can take that to the bank, or morgue.

I'm not 'upset' about God and I have no money.
August 7, 2004   11:54 AM PDT

I just remember at your house talking late in to the night about Bush & Bill Clinton (Bill first 4 yr's)
you did'nt like Bush. You said Bill would be a better. I just see the same thing now you think bush is so bad look at Kerry Do you really think he is better would you put your life on the line for him?
August 7, 2004   12:29 PM PDT
So, you are talking about 1992 now?! Yeah, given my experience of what I did in the military, the last friggin' person I wanted to run our country was an ex-CIA director, like Bush Sr. At least he was smarter than his son in foreign policy and didn't try to own a fucked up country like Iraq.

But ultimately, it was "the economy, stupid" and "read my lips" that killed Bush Sr's chances at re-election. Because of his father's failure Bush Jr won't ever raise taxes, even on the rich ... No, he'll just run the country into the friggin' ground, come hell or high water.

I didn't even like Clinton when he was in office, and Al Gore was a complete moron. Actually, I probably should thank Clinton for me becoming a card-carrying Libertarian during his first term in office. Melicious and I had some real fun with that.

But one thing was different between those 8 Clinton years and the 4+4 Sr+Jr Bush years, more people did have more good paying jobs.

As far as my life ... How about we elect a president that is smarter than Dubya. Then having to put anyone's 'life on the line' for his corrupt corporate agenda and stupidity won't be an issue.

If Kerry is turns out to be the best alternative to Bush, so be it.

Simple enough, here's what I do know - Bush had his chance to win my loyalty. He squandered not only my trust, but the trust of the other leaders of the world on Iraq. He chose. He made his decision.

Come, November, I'm choosing his dumb ass back to Crawford.
August 9, 2004   09:09 PM PDT
aiigght! I read this when you posted it but haven’t had the time to comment until now so here goes. I’m gonna try to stay focused on this and hit it straight down paragraph by paragraph as needed…heh.

You say that almost daily you are told by your good Christian friends that you are going to hell…who is telling you this? I KNOW it isn’t myself, Jim or Joel and I’m quite confident it isn’t Mel either. Whoever is telling you this should really stop…and if whoever is telling you this is now reading this I implore you…STOP IT! Telling people they are going to go to hell is not an effective way to show the Love of Jesus to them. It is quite simply a VERY effective way to alienate them and in turn most likely condemn them. I myself TRY to be very careful with the way I word things so as to not come off as “Holier Than Thou” or condemning. If (Jeff) I have somehow conveyed to you that you are going to hell in any of our debates, know this…that was (is) not my intent…never has been and never will be. You know my beliefs and they do include the fact that if you do not accept Jesus you are condemned to hell but I also believe that showing people through Love, example, prayer and discussion is a much more effective way to help them see the truth. I also strive to NOT be quick to judge an individual since that is for God and God alone to do, although it is very difficult since it is in our nature to do this.

Conservative Christians are the silent/moral majority in this country…polls have been taken that support this. As for being “rewarded” you need to understand something. Yes, we (most Christians) are happy that we have a man in the White House that prays daily and calls on God for insight instead of receiving fellatio in the Oval Office amongst other things…but, this in no way means we think he is perfect, the best President ever or that we even agree with everything he does. I myself wish he would take a stronger stand on many issues such as: abortion – overturn Roe v. Wade; marriage – get an amendment passed to define it as one man and one woman (yes I know, I stated I like the fact that our founding fathers made it difficult to make any amendments but this is an important one and I think if they could have ever in their wildest dreams imagined gay marriage would be an issue they would have included it in the first place); stem cell research – use alternate sources for the cells such as the umbilical cord AFTER the baby is BORN; the judiciary – enforce the fact that judges are not law makers, simply interpreters…and there’s more.

I checked out Christian Aid and am a bit skeptical as to their loyalty to their name. They seem to have good intentions but don’t mention Christ much and for a Christian organization that should be a priority. I am a bit concerned as to the Iraqi oil money and will have to look into that issue further before I make any comments/decisions.

No, it wasn’t Saddam’s breach of U.N. resolutions that the BA used as a reason to invade Iraq. It was (amongst other things) the U.N.’s lack of action on the 17 resolutions in 12 years that prompted them (and our allies) to take matters into their own hands. If the U.N. would have stopped sitting on their hands, spending OUR money and slapping Saddam on the wrist saying “bad dictator! play nice now, ok?” then perhaps we wouldn’t be where we are now but thanks (in part) to their inaction here we are. (and let’s not forget; the democrats stated the need to take Saddam out before Bush was even in the running but they didn’t have the backbone to do anything about it)

Oil is important to every nation on this planet and always will be until an alternate fuel is discovered/invented. So yes, it was/is a factor for war and it always will be until the aforementioned occurs…deal with it. Why do you think France, Germany and Russia didn’t want us to take Saddam out? Simple, they had (and there is evidence to back this up) clandestine deals with Saddam to help him develop the northern oil fields in Iraq in exchange for exclusive rights to it. So, we took out a violent, murderous dictator and liberated a country…does none of this matter simply because oil was ONE of many factors for us to go to war?

I am not an abject, robotic Dubya-defender. Do I defend him? Yes, when I see the need to. I do have my reasons to be skeptical of his faith at times but I think he is trying to be earnest but is still a bit naïve about it. I am disappointed in him for many reasons as I mentioned above and I don’t take a stand on anything unless I’ve done at least some research on it.

Oh yea, you never did give me your definition of a “neo-con” and if you’ve included me in this group.

...and thanks for the birthday wishes…I miss the Bri2 bashes :(
August 9, 2004   09:33 PM PDT
<I>Speaking of integrity, I just wish Born-Again Christian Americans -- continually reminding me of my inevitable date with Satan's Toaster -- would stop being abject, robotic Dubya-defenders and turn their keen judgemental eye on their friend-in-Jesus in the White House. Last time I looked, stealing and lying were definite sins that at least deserved a time-out in the corner Crawford for George W. Bush.</I>

Wow. Well to sum it all up for you JfZ, Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and give to God what is God's. No one, not even Duke is saying that Dubya is the finest president that this country has ever seen. Plus, last I checked, all have sinned and gone astray, I'm sure that the Bush's have, just like the rest of us. The thing is, as a believer in Christ, we don't worship money as our god, but Him. His will is our driving desire. It's not His will that the unborn be slaughtered or that things like same sex marriage be legalized by man. Bush is for defining these things in accordance with morality. If George Bush went to war for oil, so be it. Personally, from the facts I've seen, that's not the case. Perhaps that was a small point to be obtained in the war effort, but not the major reason. Also, I think that Saddam being removed from power and called to answer for his crimes against humanity is totally necessary. Don't you? Do you think that as practically the only super power left in the world (USA) should idly stand by and watch a blood crazed maniac massacre hundreds of thousands of his own people? I don't. I'm glad he's gone. Whatever the cost. Maybe, just maybe George W. Bush shares in that sentiment to some degree as well. Who knows.

As for his competitor. John Kerry, he's the one that's getting the publicity from his own comrade's about what a liar he is. Not only do I see John Kerry unfit for any leadership role in this country, but the stuff that I've learned about him he's an out and out traitor. Kerry is scary! (new bumper sticker) Kerry is SCARY! -heh-

[witnessing somewhat]
Anyhow, no one is saying that you are going to hell. You're still alive and God has still given you mercies that he let's you live every day. He gives you a chance each and every day, patiently, to come to Him. It's up to you. You don't have to. You can live your life out here any way you want, but... When you die, and you will, just like ALL of us, what then? What do you really think is going to happen? That's why any of us talk to you about it. We care for you and pray for you. We don't judge you, it's exactly the opposite. We cannot afford to judge you. We all are sinners, that's the whole reason we need Jesus. He paid the price already for us. Doesn't make us self-righteous or holier than thou, and if I have ever come off that way, my most abject apologies. Not that way at all. JfZ, I pray for you all the time, for you to be healed of your wounds, cared for by the loving. I also pray for your salvation. (don't take any of that the wrong way though, as most do. You've studied in seminary, you should know the good intentions in prayer at least)
[/witnessing somewhat]

(I stole your warning and ending labels -hehehe-)

That's my take on it.
I hope that your teeth are not hurting (as mine still are, but from the dentist -heh-)

August 10, 2004   02:46 AM PDT
I put the [rant] tags on it so I could get a little forceful with it. I think Toulon understands the meaning of that geekish convention. It looks like I'll likely have to make several replies since both of you seemed to have tag-teamed me again. LOL.

I promised Duke that I'd bring up the christianity/faith topic soon enough, so I chose to bring it up this way. I figure if I'm going to ignore polite conversational manners and blog about politics anyway, why not throw religion in there to get people even more riled up, too. (Remember Mike Kuthy, Toulon? Heh. I did business with him for more than 10 years ... Whew! That guy knew how to rant about the .gov - I thought he was going to have a stroke some mornings )

Bush's self-labelled faith is an appeal to the conservative base - I personally think it's all show business and politix -- and that alone offends me because even if I don't share your specific beliefs, I respect you and them enough not to use them to deceive you and take advantage of you.

There are people like that in BAC land -- not all of them are as outrageously corrupt as say, the PTL, Bakers, etc. It can be as simple as a used car salesman bouncing from church to church on different Sundays to take advantage of the typical BAC's desire to be helpful, good examples of Christ. Bush has used this BAC vulnerability everyday of his adult life. It's obviously worked.
August 10, 2004   03:23 AM PDT
I think Toulon started off with the right idea -- giving Caesar what is due Caesar and to God what is due god (more or less) -- but then slipped immediately down the slope of your own individual biblical interpretation of 'what God's will is'. Luckily, these things were indeed a concern of the founding fathers of our country and they were not so quick to sell out those ideals to be re-elected, as politicians are today:

"Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man & his god, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state."

--Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to the Danbury Baptists Association, 1802, (trying nicely to remind them of the establishment clause of the First Amendment of the constitution ratified in 1791)
August 10, 2004   03:00 PM PDT
Oh yea, you never did give me your definition of a “neo-con” and if you’ve included me in this group.

...and thanks for the birthday wishes…I miss the Bri2 bashes :(

Yeah, I miss those parties at my house, too. Here's a link I just found this morning that might answer your neo-con question, though. Hehe. You decide.
August 10, 2004   09:27 PM PDT
hey JFZ,
Have you found any of the photos that we took on the cruiz or at the partys
Yes we all had good times around the fire some even slept in the rain ;) let me know if you have
as for DOOM3 I need a faster computer. I saw hackers that movie is so old. you cant for get the Quake party, I still remember John geting mad when I fraged his ass
August 11, 2004   07:15 PM PDT
Quick note: Toulon and I did not tag-team you, he started reading the comments and making his just before I made my comment so it didn't appear in his nea!
August 11, 2004   09:48 PM PDT
oh yea...and as usual (or so it seems to me) my comments got pretty much ignored...hey, it's almost as if we're all talking face to face again and I can't get a word in edgewise! I'm not whining but it just seems that whenever Toulon has a comment you seem to ignore mine...IMHO.
August 11, 2004   10:44 PM PDT
Sorry, Duke ... I tried to more or less reply to both of your comments at the same time.

Specifically, whenever I bring up Bush's Iraq -- I've finally decided to call that country what it is -- the reasons to go to war with Iraq always seem to be a moving target. It's a fucking roulette wheel spinning around with a dozen reasons and justifications for Dubya and some people just pray the fucking thing will stop on a valid one that will make the death of someone's son, or brother, or father seem worth a damn.
August 11, 2004   10:46 PM PDT
Wow. Fascinating read.
August 11, 2004   10:50 PM PDT
Do you know how many countries are with us in Iraq fighting?
August 11, 2004   11:27 PM PDT
You tried but alas you's ok, I'm used to it.
August 12, 2004   11:26 AM PDT
jfz would you say the same for WW2 that it was a roulette wheel to make the death of some one son, brother, father seem worth a damn. I have family that have fought in every war to help make this world better!
we are their for a good reason
August 13, 2004   05:45 AM PDT
If Bush's Iraq was just about seciruty, saving the world for democracy and overthrowing fascist tyranny like WW2, then why don't we attack North Korea? I sincerely believe Bush attacked Iraq because he thought he could get away with it. We had forces in the area (Afghanistan), Bush had a personal vendetta to settle with Hussein over the his threats to Bush Sr, and then there's that big puddle of oil that Iraq is floating atop. America has never fought in wars of choice in the past. That all changed when the Bush administration came into office, before 9/11.

Back in 2000, when the courts decided in Dubya's favor, I guarantee you that Saddam Hussein started looking for spiderholes in good neighborhoods to hide in. When I say that it's a roulette wheel -- I mean that the Bush administration just came up with a new justification for invading Iraq every time the wheel stopped on his last excuse that turned out to be totally wrong, or an outright fabrication, a lie. And each time, they just came up with something new to say us -- the citizens -- and to the world at large and then spun the wheel to see if it would make any sense to anyone. That's no way for a super power, like the U.S, to act in the world. We're so much better than that.
August 13, 2004   05:22 PM PDT
NO it,s not a personal vendetta. The fact that the UN was on saddam
for his WMDs, that he gassed five thousand people, that he shot missels at us that he sould have not had,for the ammo & every thing he put in a hole or stuck in someone,s frig, for paying anyone 25 thousand for thier acts We & about 21 other counties decided to end it.
if you can look at what saddam did & say it,s Bush,s personal vendetta then leave dont stay here I don't think that the people that died so you cuold be free would be happy but thats me
August 17, 2004   04:55 PM PDT
Look, Tazz, just so there's no confusion: I totally support the people in our U.S. Military. I respect and honor all the sacrifices made now by the hard-working, sincere, and capable people unfortunate enough to find themselves in Bush's Iraq. I honor and respect the veterans of past wars.

On a personal note, I have had a sturdy plastic lawn sign outside my house down here in Florida that displays the red-white-and-blue for 3 years now. I bought it from a local VFW when I first arrived here, very shortly after 9/11 and display it proudly.

I put that outside to publicly display my personal feelings of patriotism instead of a cloth U.S. flag because I respect the U.S. flag enough not to subject it to the daily thunderstorms here, during which time, most flag waving households down here don't bother to run outside and take their own flags down in the rain.

I was in U.S. Army. I don't leave a flag in the rain. I don't cram it on the side of my house to wave in the dark without a light on it. If you remember where my U.S. flag was constantly displayed on my house in FH, *before* 9/11, it was under my industrial-grade spot light.

As far as supporting vets -- the friggin' flags I had I got a gift from the local Paralyzed Veterans of America charity because I donated money to them every year. I always called them and gave away kitchen appliances: microwaves, stoves and refridgerators, and other durable goods.

When I became sick -- could I go to a VA hospital? No. Bush's Iraq has so totally burdened the system, the VA is not even allowing some veterans like me to enroll in any VA medical programs.

-= and =-

I don't plan on leaving the country anytime soon. I've lived and worked in other countries. I like it here in the U.S.A. I'm just going to make sure the country once again becomes a promising, great place to live.

After Bush is sent packing back to Crawford, the hard work begins in 2005. It may take decades to repair the damage that self-righteous dumbass has done here, domestically, and in Iraq. At least with Dubya gone, we can meet the challenges of the world without the feeling of pissing in the wind.
August 17, 2004   09:51 PM PDT
We're living in sad times when disagreement with the policies of our government causes people to declare you treasonous. It's almost as bad when people suggest you leave the country, as if the country's strength had nothing to do with disagreeing (hello 2-party system? hello 3-branch government?).
August 18, 2004   06:52 PM PDT
Let's not forget that the state the military is in (ie: your inability to enroll for any VA programs) is thanks to the one and only Slick Willie. He's the one that sliced the funding for the military which is why they are having so many problems right now with VA programs and even paying personnel on time. Stop blaming George W. for EVERYTHING and forgetting the crap the previous administration left behind for him to clean up!

As for Scott's comment: It's not the disagreement with the policies of our government that causes people to be declared treasonous, (at least not on my part or Tazz's for that matter, he's just not always great at properly expressing his thoughts whilst typing) it's the inability or unwillingness to recognize our true heritage and why we were ever able to become the nation we are today. One word...GOD!
August 18, 2004   09:25 PM PDT
thank you Duke well done.
But don't for get Kerry will cut it more if he gets in

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