Wednesday 26 January 2005


In light of the name of my blog, I just couldn't resist re-posting this -- from today's "Borowitz Report" !




Revised Inaugural Address Offers Clarification, President Hopes Concerned that some in the global community may have been confused by his inaugural address last week, President George W. Bush delivered a simplified version of the speech today, asking the world, "Who's your daddy?"

Advance copies of the revised speech, totaling three words in length, were distributed to the press an hour before Mr. Bush delivered it.

The new speech, which surprised many observers with both its bluntness and its brevity, was "what the president wanted his inaugural address to be in the first place," said a White House aide.

"The president was very concerned that the way the original speech was written, his message about spreading freedom around the world might be misconstrued," the aide said. "For one thing, he was worried that countries might think they had a choice."

For additional clarification, the White House issued the following addendum to Mr. Bush's pledge to spread freedom: "Offer not available in Saudi Arabia, Egypt or China; see repressive regime for details."

Mr. Bush had argued last week for discarding the text of his twenty-minute inaugural address in favor of the simpler, more streamlined "Who's your daddy?", but was overruled because "you can't spend $40 million on an inauguration and just say three words," the aide said.

Response to the president's revised speech was muted in world capitals today, with only British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Afghan President Hamid Karzai confirming that Mr. Bush was, in fact, their daddy....

1 comment:

  1. Jane here:

    At the risk of repeating myself, nobody is pro-abortion.

    As to the dreadful state of affairs in Mississippi, I refer readers to Anna Quindlen's column on that very subject, published by the Buffalo News on January 23. Here is the link.

    And a quote:

    The Institute for Women's Policy Research is a nonprofit, nonpartisan group supported by foundation and government grants. In its most recent assessment of the overall condition of American women, it named Mississippi the worst state in the country. It was also named the worst state for women in 1998, 2000 and 2002. It ranked 49th in terms of women in elected office, and at the bottom of the list for health and well-being, including the incidence of diabetes and deaths from cancer and heart disease. The institute ranked Mississippi worst in the nation for reproductive rights. Protesters have vowed to shut down the state's sole remaining abortion clinic, which is in Jackson.

    Sometimes you don't even have to state an opinion. You just have to state the facts.

    Jane Lehman, N. Tonawanda, NY


    Bob Zehr wrote:

    I hurriedly read the material about the terrible conditions in Mississippi. The material seems to be implying that all this misery is tied to the fact that Mississippians want to outlaw abortion. Abortion is only a small piece of the pie. Black Mississppi has been the victim of rape for many, many years. It is only in recent years that African Americans in MS are beginning to share in the "good life".

    I am pastor of Open Door Mennonite Church located in the area between Jackson and Clinton, MS . Our church is located just about 7 or 8 miles from the State Capital building. Our racial ratio is 1/3 white, 2/3 black. Our music director is a supporter of the anti abortion group here in Jackson. As I said before, Mississippi's problems far out weigh the abortion issue. Having said that bear in mind that as things improve in Mississippi so do things improve in other states as well. To become number one from the bottom of the pile is tough. And as we work to better the fate of women, men. both Black and white we still may be 51st in the nation. but that does not say by any stretch of the imagination that Mississippi is where it was 40 years ago. Just minutes ago I reread Guy Hershberger's paper, Mennonites and the Current Race Issue, written in 1963. I was researching another topic. If Hershberger were to make his trip through the South in 2005 he would find a far different world. Things aren't like they used to be. Praise God. But they certainly aren't perfect yet.

    I have a deep respect for the Black women of Mississippi and other places in our world. Their struggle for acceptance and respect is real. We talk openly at Open Door about the wrongs inflicted on them and as one 70 year old grandmother said, "It wasn't right then and it ain't right now. But at least we are not hiding it. "

    It doesnt feel good to be constantly reminded that one is 51st on a list. Mississippi may be on the bottom but look out, we're gaining on you all!

    Come visit us. Open Door will be hosting the Spring Inspirational Meeting of Gulf States Mennonite Conference in late April early May. I guarantee that your view of Mississippi will be changed.

    Robert O. Zehr ( Bob)


    Clair replying here:

    Thanks so much for your heartfelt response, Bob. I'm glad to hear your perspective on this, and was hoping you would be one of the people to respond to my post. I've been assuming all along that the systemic problems of race and poverty, and the prevalence of inappropriate and culturally-entrenched power (often resulting in rape) overshadow and exacerbate everything. And not just in Mississippi. I also recognize that abortion occurs in all strata of society -- not just among the poor -- so it can not be only the direct result of, nor the only indicator or measurement of the level of poverty that exists. But poverty does seem to be a key contributing factor.

    I hope I made it clear, however, that my main concern is to get people thinking about how to best protect the "sanctity of life" in its larger sense; that a challenge needs to be issued to anyone who naively assumes the "other side" is simply evil and "pro-abortion." (That is a misnomer because, as Jane alluded to, you can't find anyone who says they are pro-abortion -- i.e. while being pro-choice, no one seems to be holding forth abortion as the first and only choice.) The biggest challenge is to inspire people to work together, to do the hard work of changing policies and creating practical opportunities -- to help improve the conditions around beleaguered moms and dads in our own communities that engender moral, spiritual, and social progress.

    I believe changing those conditions will certainly help reduce the pressure for oppressed women (for whatver reasons, often economic) to have abortions. To honor all of life as sacred, and for me that includes ruling out warmaking as well, this is all a very tall order, indeed, given our current political climate. Why is it not more apparent that there is a gross ethical inconstency in our society? We'll do anything to protect a baby's rights to life to the nth degree before its born, but not protect his/her right to a decent and safe life after its born!

    So, people from all sides of this question need to be working together to address these entrenched societal (and familial) forces of inequity, distorted power relationships, spiritual poverty, and economic devastation, etc, -- forces which often conspire against families, thus narrowing down awareness of realistic options when a new baby is coming. From what you're saying, Bob, it sounds like good people have been working together, for a while now, to address some of these systemic problems and to improve the quality of life for average Mississippians bit by bit -- all the while recognizing a huge task still lies ahead.

    I think its worth trying to ascertain the truth of the current situation in Ole' Miss from a variety of sources and then to share it -- and it's heartening to gain your perspective on your corner of truth, Bob, which can be added to our overall picture. Matter of fact, I do not doubt the aspects of reality you have indicated. I imagine that since most of the states in the south have offered evidence of improvement along the lines you have lifted up -- everything is relative in terms of progress. So Mississippi stays near the bottom, even though, apparently, strides have been made, especially in terms of race relations.

    I personally will plan to take you up on your offer to visit and gain some first hand exposure to the Mississippi culture, Bob, but it will need to be a few days later than the dates you mention for the Gulf States Spring inspirational conference, since I'm driving down from Indiana to attend my daughter Megan's graduation from the Ringling School of Art and Design in Sarasota on May 6. After that, on that weekend and following, Carole Anne and I have been planning for a swing up through your area to visit New Orleans for a few days -- one area of this country that I have never visited before. (And to contact friends in Mississippi along the way -- you among them, I hope!)