The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

December 16, 2008

Travels with Uncle Chet: Nearing the end of Bush


NORWICH _ ``I'm not ready to close Guantanamo,'' said Uncle Chet as we turned at the light in New Berlin, heading toward Norwich.

``A year ago you were screaming about it,'' I said.

``True, but lately I've been thinking it might be fun to hang onto it.''

``You've got to be kidding,'' I said. ``It's a public relations nightmare: America's concentration camp!''

``That's because of who's in there,'' he said.

``A bunch of Arabs,'' I said.

``And they're not guilty or they would have been tried,'' he said, and shifted into four-wheel drive. The hill was icy and we were climbing slowly, gliding past Mill Brook Pond.

``Doesn't look like they plowed here,'' I noted.

``We're in no hurry; we don't have to be there till nine.'' He took a sip of coffee. I sipped too, contemplating the icy view and our mission, helping a buddy move into an apartment at the end of his marriage.

``I was just thinking that before we close Guantanamo, we ought to round up the Bush Administration, hold em on suspicion of treason,'' said Uncle Chet.

``Bush is going to pardon anyone at risk,'' I said.

``True,'' he said, ``but those pardons won't have any weight outside the United States; will they?''

``I see.''

``So if we keep Guantanamo and put the right people in there, we can use it as a civics lesson.''

``Or start a civil war,'' I said as we curved round the pig farm.

``We could open it up to the media, waterboard Rumsfeld right on TV. Probably lead to a lively discussion about the pros and cons of torture.''

``People would watch it,'' I acknowledged.

``And set the Dobermans on Cheney,'' he said. ``Just for a minute, of course, just so he understands to be the prey, for a change.''

``Now you're being dangerous.''

``As for W., I see they're already throwing boots at him.''

``One man expressing what billions think.''

``And toss in the Illinois governor, too,'' he said. ``Don't let him sleep for a month, then put him on trial, see what he confesses to.''

``You're reaching out for bipartisan support,'' I noted. ``You may be on to something.'' ``Then after a year or so, we could fine everyone their net worth, deport em and return Guantanamo Bay to the Cubans.''

``Do they still want it back?''

``Of course they want it back,'' he said. ``Won't we want the Chesapeake back after the Chinese take it?''

``Let's not pick on the Chinese again.''

``I'm not,'' he said. ``Just using them as an example of someone big and strong.''

`` I hear their economy is as bad as ours, now,'' I said.

``Not as bad. They've been stockpiling dollars, while we've been run like Arbusto Oil for eight years.''

``Into the ground,'' I said as we stopped at the main road.

``Bush has done to the United States what Reagan did to the Soviet Union,'' Uncle Chet said, and turned right. ``He's bled us with a war we can't win and a debt we can't repay. He's made Uncle Sam into an angry pipsqueak.''

``So where is this place?'' I asked, surveying the fine old homes in the area.

``Over there, where those trucks are.'' He pointed to the driveway beside a large Queen Anne, where four men were setting a couch onto a pickup bed.

``Wow, this place is huge,'' I said as we pulled up front, joining the armada.

``I think that was part of the problem,'' he said. ``From here, he's going to a one-bedroom apartment.''

``Downsizing.,'' I said.

``Getting ready to ride out the depression,'' said Uncle Chet. ``And with four trucks, we can probably do that in one trip.''

___

Cooperstown News Bureau Reporter Tom Grace is traveling with his Uncle Chet, who he says is imaginary. Grace's column appears every other week.