Monday, October 06, 2008
As you know: In the face of public outrage over -- and House rejection of -- the Bush administration's attempt at a $700 billion extortion -- a "gift" of your money to the very same people who have caused a global financial crisis -- administration hacks reacted in predictable fashion, throwing in another $100 billion worth of bribes in a shameless bid to get the bill passed.
Then the Senate approved, by a 3-1 margin, a thrown-together 450-page bill that few of them could have had time to read, much less consider.
Consider? No other options were considered at all, or even deemed worthy of consideration. And suddenly all the pressure was on the House.
The phones were ringing off the hook in the offices of "our" "Representatives", with public sentiment more or less equally divided between "NO!" and "HELL, NO!"
But the House passed the bill anyway.
This tells you all you need to know.
They don't care what you think. They don't have to. You're only a voter. There's a good chance that they can control the way you think, and thus the way you vote. And even if they can't do that, they can still control the way your vote is counted. Ever since they learned how to do these two things -- perception management and election rigging -- they haven't had to care about you one way or the other. Not that they ever did. They never cared about you -- not a bit. The difference now is that they don't even have to pretend anymore.
Meanwhile, very quietly, Congress allocated another $615 billion of your money to keep the Pentagon going for another year of death and destruction -- anywhere, anytime, and preferably by remote control, if the monsters-in-control have their way.
We don't want this. Some of us have never wanted this; others have recently realized that they've had enough! But they don't care. They don't have to.
We have no money for health care. We have no money for education. We have no money to fix our roads and bridges, and we especially have no money for the people who have lost everything they owned, to hurricanes or predatory lending schemes or medical bills. And yet we have hundreds of billions every year for killing foreigners, and hundreds of billions more for ... for what, exactly?
Except that we don't have the money; we'll be borrowing that money to give it away, and paying interest on it forever. It's an enormous "gift" from us and our children and their children, a gift we have been (or will be) forced to "give".
And the rich will get richer, and the poor will get slaughtered, and if you are an American taxpayer, you will pay for it. That's the New American Deal -- the economic setup for the New American Century.
Comparisons have been made between this "financial crisis" and the "terrorist attacks" of 9/11 -- and rightly so, in some cases. But 9/11 was simply the opening move of the GWOT, and this "crisis" is more like 9/11 than like the GWOT itself. In other words, the fallout from this "rescue" will almost certainly make the crisis itself look like just another drop in the ocean -- an ocean of blood and pain and death.
The point is: both were inside jobs, perpetrated with full assistance of the national media by people who know exactly what they're doing, and how to exploit all the ignorance and fear that they were creating, and how to do it again -- whenever they want to.
As far as I can tell, we have three choices: get rid of it, get used to it, or get out.
Getting rid of it would require forces which do not currently exist, aligning themselves in ways that would never be permitted. This option is theoretical at this point, and getting more so all the time -- unless I am very wrong, which I once dared to hope I might be.
Getting used to it ... well, people can adapt to a remarkable variety of conditions, if they want to, or if they are forced to.
Getting out: When I was a kid, the people protesting against the war in Vietnam were always taunted with the chant "Love It Or Leave It!" I thought that was pretty good advice at the time, and I still do.
Just coincidentally [?] I've been re-reading "The Selling of the President 1968", by Joe McGinniss. It's an inside look at the advertising campaign that got Richard Nixon elected president, and I will probably write more about it soon. But for now I want to leave you with a conversation between McGinniss and Eugene Jones, the film-maker who was hired to make Nixon look like the answer to America's troubles 40 years ago.
One night, toward the end of the campaign, as he sat in his office, Gene Jones said, "Look, I get it from my friends, too. I go to a party and the first thing everybody wants to know is, how can you work for that fascist bastard."
"I'm a professional. This is a professional job. I was neutral towards Nixon when I started. Now I happen to be for him. But that's not the point. The point is, for the money I'd do it for almost anybody."
"My one qualm about Nixon," Gene Jones said, "is that I'm not sure he's got the sensitivity he should. To Appalachia, to the slums, to the poverty and destitution that reside there. I don't know whether as a human being he's actually got that sensitivity.
"I hope he has, because it's really awful, when you think of all the things wrong inside this country now. The hatred, the violence, the cities gone to hell. And the war. All our kids getting killed in that goddamned war."
He stood, ready to go upstairs, to the third-floor production room, to touch up one of the final spots.
"What are you going to do when this is all over?" I said.
"Yes, I know you're leaving this studio, but I mean where are you going to work next, what are you going to do?"
"No, I didn't mean move out of the studio," he said. "I mean move out of the country. I'm not going to live here anymore."
"I've bought myself some land in the Caribbean -- on the island of Montsarrat -- and that's where I'm going as soon as this is over."
"Yes, permanently," he said. And then he talked about the direct plane service from Montsarrat to New York, Toronto, and London, and how America was no place to bring up kids anymore. And all this against the background of the commercials he had made: with the laughing, playing children and the green green grass and the sunsets and Richard Nixon saying over and over again what wonderful people we all were and what a wonderful place we lived in.
"... I really don't see any choice," Gene Jones said. "I mean, I don't want my kids growing up in an atmosphere like this."
Then he excused himself and went upstairs.