Potpourri

Ernest Cassara


The Mad Bomber

The news reports inform us that U.S. planes have bombed an enclave in Somalia, as if that beleaguered land doesn’t have enough problems.  It was, we were told, an al Quaeda stronghold.  Later reports, however, refute that claim.  So, our beloved U.S. has wiped out Lord knows how many Somalis, who had nothing to do with “terrorism.”  Any wonder that in parts of the world our country is considered a greater threat to world peace than so-called rogue nations?


Blots on the U.S. Escutcheon

We have a birthday anniversary:  The U.S. prison at Guantánamo is five years old.  Does it make you feel proud that our country, which brags that is a “nation under God,” holds hundreds of prisoners without trial?

Like Abu Ghraib in Iraq, this prison in Cuba is a disgrace.

And, what of the secret prisons, said to be in nations formerly of the “Eastern Block”?  The only ray of hope I see in this situation is that an Italian judge is investigating a group of CIA operatives for kidnapping folks on Italian soil.


The Inspiration of George W. Bush

A thoughtful family member, knowing how I hang on every word spoken by our president, presented me at Christmas with a daily calendar of George W. Bush’s sayings, to inspire me during the course of 2007.  You will recall that Jacob Weisberg first came up with the idea of collecting these gems of wisdom.

Being of an unselfish nature, I have decided, from time to time, to share these inspiring words with my readers. 

“If I’m the president, we’re going to have emergency-room care, we’re going to have gag orders.” - St. Louis, MO, 10/18/02.

“We’ve had a great weekend here in the Land of the Enchanted.” - Albuquerque, NM, 5/12/03. [New Mexico’s state nickname is “Land of Enchantment.”]

“We need an energy bill that encourages consumption.” - Trenton, NJ, 9/23/02.

“Whether you’re here by birth, or whether you’re in America by choice, you contribute to the vitality of our life.  And for that, we are grateful.” - Washington, DC, 5/17/02.

“The administration I’ll bring is a group of men and women who are focused on what’s best for America, honest men and women, decent men and women, women who will see service to our country as a great privilege and who will not stain the house.” - Des Moines, IA, 1/15/02.

“Presidents, whether things are good or bad, get the blame.  I understand that.” - Washington, DC, 5/11/01.

“The legislature’s job is to write the law.  It’s the executive branch’s job to interpret the law.” - Austin, TX, 11/22/02.

“Over the long term, the most effective way to conserve energy is by using energy more efficiently.” - Radio address, 5/12/01.

“Columbia carried in its payroll classroom experiments from some of our students in America.” - Bethesda, MD, 2/3//03.

“Nothing he [Saddam Hussein] has done has convinced me - I’m confident the Secretary of Defense - that he is the kind of fellow that is willing to forgo weapons of mass destruction, is willing to be a peaceful neighbor, that is - will honor the people - the Iraqi people of all stripes, will - values human life.  He hasn’t convinced me, nor has he convinced my administration.” - Crawford, TX, 8/21/02.

“And I am an optimistic person.  I guess if you want to try to find something to be pessimistic about, you can find it, no matter how hard you look, you know?” - Washington, DC, 6/15/04.

“It’s important for us to explain to our nation that life is important.  It’s not only life of babies, but it’s life of children living in, you know, the dark dungeons of the Internet.” - Arlington Heights, Ill, 10/24/02.



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Harvard Square Commentary, January 15, 2007