Dennis Rahkonen: 'George Bush goes to Heaven'
Thursday, January 26
Aggressive, unprovoked wars of despicable choice.
Gestapo-style government spying on innocent citizens.
Torture in secret prisons where thousands are held without charge.
Mass layoffs and plant closings across our heartland.
Disgusting scams, shams, and scandals at all societal levels.
Persecution of homosexuals by bigots for whom "liberty and justice for all" means nothing.
Desperate, date-raped teenagers termed "irresponsible" and "selfish" for "murdering" fetuses through abortion while the guys who got them pregnant move on to impregnate again.
Urban minorities still as severely second-class as they were before the Watts rebellion in 1964.
"Christians" who wouldn't know Jesus if He panhandled them for quarters on First Street.
Coffee cans with signs pleading for donations at supermarket checkouts because yet another person who couldn't afford medical insurance got seriously sick.
Companies pulling pensions that were promised to workers whose years of underpaid toil made their bosses rich.
Crucial FEMA and mine safety money cut by a president who's obscenely devoted to providing tax breaks, subsidies and other socialism-for-the-wealthy handouts from the federal treasury.
Mom and Dad both having to work, and always running fearfully short of money at month's end.
U.S. conservatism is doing so much damage to America that al Qaeda can just sit back and leisurely watch!
No one can legitimately profess to believe in democracy unless they're graciously willing to accept democratic defeat.
International hatred of America stems largely from US foreign policy violating that truism.
There would have been no Vietnam War had Washington accepted the reality Dwight Eisenhower acknowledged in his memoirs, namely that Ho Chi Minh would have gotten 80 percent of the Vietnamese vote if the U.S. hadn't forcefully prevented elections.
In Chile, socialist Salvodor Allende won in free and fair balloting, only to have his government overthrown with U.S. culpability, on another 9/11, in 1973.
[b]Presently, the Bush administration is trying to depose president Hugo Chavez, whose popular mandate grows each time Venezuelans vote.
Now Palestinians have given Hamas a stunning electoral victory, through exercise of exactly the democracy that Bush claims we seek to establish in the Middle East.
Yes, Hamas is a militant opponent of both Israel and the US, but it would be hypocritically wrong, and hugely counterproductive, for either Washington or Tel Aviv to use force to "negate" that vote.
We can't make the world over in our increasingly compromised, corrupt image.
We'll eliminate extremism and terrorism by consistently respecting everyone's fundamental right to independent choice, and by becoming a true benefactor and friend to humanity.
No more the bullying world cop, Christian/capitalist supremacist, and Wall Street-enriching resource thief.
St. Peter had been having a day much worse than most.
So many innocents -- women, children, and the elderly -- had passed through Heaven's gate at a record pace.
Peter knew it was because of the environmental disasters and wild wars raging back on Earth. The planet had been driven to wholesale catastrophe by private-profit greed that had gotten completely out of hand, savaging public welfare and the common good.
"Anything for a buck" meant ordinary people were being sacrificed so that extraordinarily selfish capitalists could wallow in obscenely ill-gotten wealth.
Weary and dejected, he reluctantly went on with his sorry task of recording vital statistics from those queued in an interminably long waiting line.
A heavy-set man in a flamboyant shirt and ridiculous shorts stood before him.
"Name, please," Peter said perfunctorily, checking his watch to determine the nearness to quitting time.
"George W. Bush," the man replied.
"Very funny. C'mon, fella, I'm in no mood for jokes..."
"No, seriously. I'm George Waldo Bush, from Marquette, Michigan. I drowned in my den when Lake Superior rose. It was the darndest thing. I was in there retrieving some family heirlooms when I slipped on a cat toy and knocked myself out on the coffee table's sharp edge. I didn't come to in time, and Gitchee Gumme filled my lungs."
"Dammit! Quit messin' with me, man! I've been here since 7:30 this morning dealing with one stiff after another. I should be in bed with an angel, but no!"
"Wait...honest. It happened just like I said. And I am George W. Bush. I know, I know. It upsets everyone. But I'm not that cretin ex-president. I mean, jeez, how could he ever get even close to Heaven?"
"Yeah, that's true. He was a lair, an invader, a torturer, a thief, a spy and who knows what else. He died from smirking too hard, while addressing a barracks full of Marines in about the tenth year of his dictatorship, as I recall."
"Something like that. I'll bet he's steamin' his feet in the River Styx right now. Ditto for tomorrow. And eternity."
"For sure," St. Peter mused, grinning for the first time in weeks. "George W. Bush, you're not so bad. In fact, you're all right. How'd you like to score points with the Big Guy?"
"Well, yeah! What do I have to do?"
"Just stand here with this clipboard. Write down the name, age, sex, and circumstance of death of everyone who wants to get in. It's not the worst thing in Creation. If anyone asks, just say you're subbing for St. Peter."
"But don't tell them you're a saint, or George W. Bush. Don't let yourself get upset by the children with missing limbs, or the old folks with horror in their eyes. Send the kids too small to talk directly over to that big white tent over there. Jesus will attend to them personally. Jake, my usher here, will gently guide them along," said Peter, motioning toward a strange little fellow resembling C.W. Moss from the movie Bonnie and Clyde, who smiled goofily and wiggled his pudgy fingers in greeting.
"Gotcha. But where are you going?"
"I have a good friend, Trixie. She gives great...er, backrubs. I need to relax, man. You'll do just fine."
St. Peter wheeled around, ambled off into the distance, vanishing behind a swirling cloud. George W. Bush turned to begin his new job as Temporary Substitute Keeper of Heaven's Gate.
The line before him meandered through the mist. It must have contained ten thousand souls.
Mr. Bush looked into the pallid, haggard face of the gentleman right at its front.
"Okay. Howdy, pardner. What's your name, and how did you die?"
"John Q. Citizen. I couldn't afford to continue living..."[/b]
Dennis Rahkonen, from Superior, Wisconsin has been writing progressive commentary for various outlets since the Sixties. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org