Cry America, Cry In Shame

November 21, 2010

(Illustration found here).

The good-ole US of A has gone to shit in a wire basket.
Or have we been in the shitter a long, long time — take the case of the so-called Great American Dream, which in itself was/is a dream, a vapor of whisper-lies going back more than 200 years.
The fable of the American Dream is just that, a fable.
And the whole scheme started early.
Colonial artist Edward Hicks painted Peaceable Kingdom, a portrait of the American lie — Hicks was a Quaker and inspired by William Penn’s ‘Great Treaty’ in 1682 with the Delaware chiefs, “which supposedly established coexistence between the settlers and the Indians. One aspect of the American dream was the idea that America was a Garden of Eden without hatred or war…”
All hokum — how about the next 100 years and the systematic genocide of Native Americans?

James Truslow Adams first coined the words, Great American Dream, via his book, The Epic of America, published in 1933, in which he described the wondering wonderfulness of this land:

… that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for every man, with opportunity for each according to his ability or achievement…. It is not a dream of motor cars and high wages merely, but a dream of a social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable, and be recognized by others for what they are, regardless of the fortuitous circumstances of birth or position.

Adams was full of dream-like shit.
And on a personal aside, the 1950s and early 1960s mega-greatly fueled this illusion, influencing and thus conditioning, millions and millions of baby boomers to an obtainable fact the fantasy was indeed real — US peoples on the lower ranges of the dream (or those just going to sleep) an actual buying-power factoid: Adjusted for inflation, the minimum wage was worth $8.54 per hour in 1968, according to calculations by the Economic Policy Institute. The current minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.
Now well into a new century one can see the reality of that so-called dream — in truth,US peoples have been duped by an illusory mental image which is really made up of greed and a thirst for war.
From Paul B. Farrell and a post at MarketWatch more than two years ago:

Yes, America’s economy is a war economy. Not a “manufacturing” economy. Not an “agricultural” economy. Nor a “service” economy. Not even a “consumer” economy.
Seriously, I looked into your eyes, America, saw deep into your soul. So let’s get honest and officially call it “America’s Outrageous War Economy.”
Admit it: we secretly love our war economy.

There really is only one answer: Deep inside we love war. We want war. Need it. Relish it. Thrive on war. War is in our genes, deep in our DNA.
War excites our economic brain.
War drives our entrepreneurial spirit.
War thrills the American soul.
Oh just admit it, we have a love affair with war.
We love “America’s Outrageous War Economy.”

America may be a ticking time bomb, but we are threatened more by enemies within than external terrorists, by ideological fanatics on the left and the right.
Most of all, we are under attack by our elected leaders who are motivated more by pure greed than ideology.
They terrorize us, brainwashing us into passively letting them steal our money to finance “America’s Outrageous War Economy,” the ultimate “black hole” of corruption and trickle-up economics.

Of course, that was written prior to Lehman Bros. and TARP and the Great Recession — which now makes it even worse, and more potent.
In the near decade since Sept. 11, 2001, whatever dream was left in America’s will-o’-the-wisp flight through it’s short, but dramatic history has created an unattainable wedge between greed and war — making both nearly the same and to its end, the fright of war in the homeland — and has shattered any kind of regular life as it’s now the ‘new normal‘ for whatever comes next.

In the recent midterm elections, the modern, up-to-date US of A displayed its true style and form.
And apparently, it’s nearly always been that way, at least since 1960.
Disillusionment is the word for a BBC special program on Sunday about JFK and the noted actual beginning of the shit-faced, smear political campaigns that we all take for granted nowadays — that election was the first in which I became aware of politics and how this country operated — I saw JFK in person in 1962 (in the eighth grade and let out of school for the president’s visit) and for way-too-many years was drown in the sea-wash of another lie, Camelot.
Andrew Marr presented a short commentary on his JFK/politics special on the BBC Website a couple of days ago.
A bit on the ’60 primary in West Virginia:

Against them, Hubert Humphrey had a classic old-fashioned campaign. He had been too ill to fight in the war. His finances were meagre.
His wife was homely and old-fashioned.
He had no private plane, but a bus — with a broken heater — instead.
He was one of the most intelligent, compassionate and literate politicians in modern American history, who had taken on Communists, organised crime and racialism when these were very dangerous fights to pick, and who understood middle America far better than Kennedy.
But he was about to be crushed.
The Kennedy team dealt with their Catholic problem above all by smearing Humphrey as a draft-dodger.
They saturated the state with advertising, money and helpers.
By the end, a stunned Humphrey, who had compared his fight to that of a corner store against a supermarket chain, was reduced to using the few hundred dollars he and his wife had saved for their daughter’s education to pay for a final campaign ad.
Having smeared Humphrey and trashed his reputation, the Kennedys washed their hands and denied it all.

And that leads, I guess, to a near-ultimate pinnacle of political irony of Sarah Palin and the current circus of the Republican/wingnuttery horror-freak show.
This so-called ‘war economy’ has put US peoples in a shit-house of a mess — a non-functioning government with a military that’s completely run amok has created a real Great American Nightmare as fear seems to dominate every waking moment.
According to all the bullshit coming of out of the NATO conference this week the US will be in Afghansitan full steam at least another five years with at least an additional $125 billion being sunk into that mud-flat quagmire, not counting the uncountable lives on both sides of a rifle barrel.

And WTF about torture?
The US of A does have a violent, ugly past, but at least on the surface we have not allowed torture and usually prosecuted those who have indulged in the fairy-tale moniker of ‘enhanced interrogation techniques‘ even if those same tactics don’t work, and the information gained is near-worthless at best.
George Jr. has admitted to ordering torture — and there’s been calls to put the little shit in the docks to be tried as a war criminal, but not likely.
Torture is against international law, immoral and the US of A has openly admitted it has used torture, period.
All those involved in any way with torture are criminals: “Torture is always prohibited under any circumstances,” said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. “U.S. officials who take part in torture, authorize it, or even close their eyes to it, can be prosecuted by courts anywhere in the world.”
But a broken, totally-fucked government and its prosecutors will do nothing, and would most-likely halt or hinder other countries from going after ‘our guys.’
Torture and US-induced war has also instigated a fervent and heightened increase in terror and terrorists — all of George Jr.’s warmongering has created the very US landscape we now inhabit: On a global scale: terrorist activity and violence has grown worse, not better since 11 September 2001.
And with all the US hardware and billions and billions of dollars, al-Qaida has boasted the cost return on its attacks is enormous — bleeding US peoples to death with a thousand cuts — and a bottom-line price per incident is just only $4,200 to carry out.
As a manager of a retail outlet (liquor store), this return-on-investment is a near-fantastic financial outcome!

What’s torture?
Seemingly, Osama and his boys have performed a tiny, but effective twist-plot in the use of those enhanced interrogation techniques.
The latest scream of US peoples concerns the neurotic, nearly-immoral security system now employed by the US Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at homeland airports.
Scenes of real ugly are appearing like maggots on dead flesh from US peoples on boarding flights.
From msnbc and the case of Thomas D. “Tom” Sawyer, 61, of Lansing, Mich., who says he was left humiliated, crying and covered with his own urine after an enhanced pat-down by TSA officers recently at Detroit Metropolitan Airport.
Sawyer is a bladder cancer survivor who now wears an urostomy bag, which collects his urine from a stoma, or opening in his stomach, and in spite the fact he told TSA gropers about it, the dip shits went ahead and broke the seal on the device.
After the deed was done, Sawyer says: “He told me I could go. They never apologized. They never offered to help. They acted like they hadn’t seen what happened. But I know they saw it because I had a wet mark.”
Tom Sawyer also noted: “I am a good American and I want safety for all passengers as much as the next person…But if this country is going to sacrifice treating people like human beings in the name of safety, then we have already lost the war.”
And that was two weeks ago (Nov. 7), and from one who really persues the news, this item didn’t appear until yesterday — and we’re talking a real more-than-ugly incident which if reported, should have bounced big time among the Internets.

Of course, the spotlight quickly glared on TSA from John Tyner’s don’t touch “my junk” incident last weekend, which in a near-instant, launched a super-catchy, naughty catch-phrase profiling an entire set of circumstances –the situation has caused the Business Travel Coalition to really blow its stack: “The deployment of full-body scanners without a formal public comment process and sufficient medical and scientific vetting is one of the worst TSA abuses of authority since its creation,” stated BTC Chairman Kevin Mitchell. “The overly aggressive pat-downs represent citizen-mistreatment in the extreme, especially if used as ‘punishment’ when passengers opt out of full-body scans,” he added.
The malice and disregard is the kicker — TSA honcho John Pistoles said Sunday the current screening scenario will continue and proclaimed TSA handlers are there for safety: TSA screeners, he said, are “the last line of defense” in protecting air travelers.
If that’s fact, US peoples are up the old shit creek — anyone with any walking-around knowledge of terror knows security intelligence is key to stopping heinous events and beyond that layers and layers of checkpoints, all kinds of security devices and above all, intelligence, intelligence, intelligence.
Case in point explaining the set-up: The now well-known “ink cartridge” bombs tucked away in a cargo plane.
From a blog at World Policy Journal:

Security checks failed to detect either of the bombs.
Under Annex 9 of the Chicago Convention governing international aviation, it is the responsibility of the originating state — in this case Yemen — to ensure the security of cargo.

The subsequent decision of several Western countries, including the United States, Britain, Germany and the Netherlands, to close their doors to air freight originating in Yemen, reflects lack of faith in the screening processes that were applied.
Both devices were only discovered after specific intelligence warned of the threat of an Al Qaeda attack. The information reportedly originated with former senior AQAP member Jabr al-Faifi, who surrendered to the Saudi authorities two weeks ago.
Saudi intelligence subsequently advised their British, American and UAE counterparts of the details of the plan.

The real and human pisser in all this: People in power won’t have to be disturbed.
Despite lovely-while-crying John Boehner insisting he’ll fly commercial back to Ohio, the guy won’t be getting his junk patted upon — from the New York Times (via RawStory): But that does not mean that he will be subjected to the hassles of ordinary passengers, including the controversial security pat-downs. As he left Washington on Friday, Mr. Boehner headed across the Potomac River to Reagan National Airport, which was bustling with afternoon travelers. But there was no waiting in line for Mr. Boehner, who was escorted around the metal detectors and body scanners, and taken directly to the gate.
A spokesman for the Boner, however, had the gall to proclaim the soon-to-be-speaker-of-the-House was not receiving special treatment.
And Hillary Clinton, on CBS’ Face the Nation Sunday morning, when asked whether she’d undergo a touchy-feely prior to boarding: “Not if I could avoid it. No, I mean, who would?”

Rank-and-file, regular US peoples.

Fear mongering (or scaremongering) keeps the warmongering fires buring really, really bright.
And to keep ’em docile, once a traveler agrees to the screening they can’t change their mind, or if they do, could face a possible $11,000 fine and immediate arrest.
From Jason Ditz at The TSA genital “patdowns” have led to threats from some local prosecutors to charge them with sexual assault, but the TSA has shrugged off public outcry over the measures and seems more intent than ever on cowing the public into submission.

In all this stupid, real-dumb-ass shit and hysteria, the US should look to Israel, a country that’s been doing this kind of thing for decades and have done it so good, terrorist plots most-commonly stay away from airports.
Although Israelis use the condemned tactic of profiling (Israel is nowhere the racially-diversified country as the US and thus profiling seems not the horror as is here), their airport security operations makes a shit-load more sense than TSA’s groping attitude.
From the Boston Globe earlier this month:

Routine security procedures start far away from the terminal.
Before even entering the airport, all cars are stopped for a security check by armed guards.
Cameras scan license plates to match them with a database of suspicious vehicles.
Security officials said it’s one of the many security filters passengers pass before boarding flights, some of them unknown to the passengers and many others still kept secret.
The Israeli airport’s spokesman’s unit said the main terminal is equipped with 700 closed-circuit cameras and is fortified against explosions.
The large glass wall at the front and even the trash cans inside are bombproof, they said.

Cry, the beloved country.

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