The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


No time for jokes

 No time for jokes
No time for jokes

No time for jokes


Someone who reads my columns regularly told me this week that I needed to re-inject humor into my writing. He argued that in past columns I had occasionally used levity to make my columns more entertaining and approachable.

Someone else this week asked me why I was so angry.  “Because there’s a lot to be angry about, or haven’t you been paying attention?” I responded.

Try as I might, I can’t think of anything funny to say about what’s happening to our country. And, honestly, I am angry – very angry. Our country is being ripped apart and raped by a criminal enterprise that makes Jesse James look like Barney Fife. (Does that qualify as a joke?)

In the meantime, diehard Bush supporters (who would eat crap on a cracker if Bush told them it was caviar) ignore the $8 billion dollar elephant in the room: The Dubai Ports World deal is being pushed through because it’s good for the Bush family and everyone associated with it. 

Maybe the handful of Americans who still trust Bush (the most recent poll has his overall approval rating at a record-low 34 percent) haven’t read that the UAE invested billions of dollars in the Carlyle Group, a global private equity investment firm from whom Bush Sr. earns millions of dollars in consulting fees.

They also ignore the fact that our own intelligence suggests the UAE may be infiltrated by al-Qaeda, just as they ignore the dangerous irony that the UAE is incapable of stopping nuclear components from being smuggled through their own ports to Iran.

I could go on, but I’m not sure how much anyone cares.

I suppose that’s another reason I’m angry: I just can’t understand how so many Americans allowed themselves to be duped into voting against their own interest – not once, but twice.

Not only are Bush’s poll numbers in the toilet, but 70 percent of Americans oppose the UAE-port deal. Still Bush has threatened to veto any bill that might stop the deal.

Sixty-five percent of Americans disapprove of the way Bush is handling Iraq, while 63 percent do not believe the president’s objectives in Iraq are worth the loss of American lives. Sixty-two percent of Americans think things are going badly or very badly in Iraq. Only 29 percent of Americans now believe Saddam Hussein had anything to do with 9/11. 

Most troubling, however, is last week’s Zogby poll, which shows that 72 percent of troops in Iraq approve of a withdrawal within the next six months to a year. Still Bush promises to keep troops in Iraq – in spite of civil war that threatens to break out – until he’s decided it’s in his interest to bring them home.

Of course, we all know that Bush doesn’t pay attention to polls. He doesn’t pay attention to anything.

We now know he didn’t pay attention to intelligence reports that refuted claims that the high-strength aluminum tubes his administration touted as proof that Iraq was trying to produce nuclear weapons were actually for non-weapons use. 

We now know, contrary to the lie he told us on a nationally televised interview four days after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, that he was present during a video conference prior to Katrina’s landfall in which the country’s chief hurricane scientist warned that the levees were vulnerable and could be breached. 

We know, in fact, that he ignored every warning he received about Katrina. We know that he sat through an entire briefing and did not ask a single question. Why? Because he’s the most incurious person to ever sit in the White House. Because there was no financial incentive to do anything, except handout more contracts to Halliburton for work that, six months later, has still not been done.

We know that he lied in order to lead us into a war of choice. And, while the reason may not be clear, there’s no reason to give him the benefit of the doubt any longer. But, we do know that Halliburton has made hundreds of millions of dollars on war-related no-bid contracts.

We know that, while he can’t pronounce nuclear (it’s ‘nü-klE-ur, Mr. President), he can look into any camera, tell us he cares then ask us to trust him – without blinking.

Do I sound angry?  I hope so. It’s time for more people to get angry. It’s time for everyone who thinks our economy is being bankrupted, that our future is being mortgaged and that our national interests are being betrayed, to get angry. 

It’s time to stop letting Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity – and the rest of the bloviating idiots who pollute our airwaves with toxic rhetoric – define public debate and characterize anyone who disagrees with this administration as unpatriotic.

It’s time for those who have been lulled to sleep or into a false sense of security by this administration’s propaganda arm or lapsed into a coma of political indifference to wake up and take part in the democracy that is eroding under their noses.

The 18th-century Anglo-Irish political philosopher Edmund Burke is attributed with having said, “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” That aphorism should serve as a trumpet call for everyone who’s worried about the direction in which our country is headed.

Burke also said, “They defend their errors as if they were defending their inheritance.” If you’re worried about the country your children will inherit, don’t you think it’s time to stop defending Bush’s errors?

Yes, I’m angry. And there’s not anything funny I can think of to say about it.


George Henson is a lecturer of Spanish. He may be reached at [email protected].

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