Better this and better that.
Certainly, I deserve better, now don't I? Surely, what has happened to date is not my responsibility. It was not I who mismanaged the macroeconomy so magnificently that we are now plunging into what might very well be a second Great Depression! In fact, just to show how not responsible I am for this fiasco, I can wave years of literature I have written warning about the inevitability of this very mess. I can show years of lecture notes and podcasts from the economics classes I've taught wherein I veritably roared that the economic policies of the Bush Administration were going to lead to disaster.
No, this whole economic mess is not my fault at all.
Neither is the catastrophe in Iraq. It's not like I invaded that country on a pack of wholesale lies. In fact, I was right there condemning the outrage of it all. Yes, I was. I even used my Photoshop skills to create and publish really harsh visual critiques of George W. Bush and his pack of neo-conservative enablers. Not to be outdone by any other critics, I even coined the term "neoconnies" to degrade those nasty cowards who would never, themselves, go to war but who would send tens of thousands of American troops right into the teeth of crazed jihadists and assorted other malcontents, "freedom fighters," and religiously excitable folks.
No, that whole Iraq thing is most definitely not my fault.
And while I'm at it, don't blame me for Afghanistan, either. I've had my say about how we dealt with the Taliban until the Taliban didn't want to play on our terms with oil pipelines, which made the Taliban our sworn enemy that needed a good old American-style regime change on the pretext of an outrage that was committed against us.
Ah, and that brings me to the whole "Attacks of September 11, 2001, upon the United States" thing. It's not like I didn't do my part to point out all the wildly improbable coincidences surrounding that awful series of events, like how Vice President Dick Cheney was in charge of NORAD that morning, the very morning NORAD could not muster fighter jets from its huge inventory to knock out a handful of lumbering sky boats that had been hijacked. My goodness, but I stuck my neck out to be called a "conspiracy theorist," and that really hurt my academically high-and-mighty sense of myself!
Oh, I almost forgot: I'm not responsible for the torturing of people by the United States government. I think I even posted a picture of one of those Iraqis being horribly mistreated at Abu Ghraib, and I'm pretty sure I was glad when the trailer trash that did those things was thrown in prison to rot. How else was the United States going to make people feel okay about themselves, and how else was the Pentagon going to get seriously professional and secretive about enhanced interrogation? Boy, did I have some harsh things to say about all that stuff.
And let me not forget to mention that I'm on record in writing, no less! as being firmly opposed to all the snooping and spying our government is doing. I've even gone out on a limb and written about how awful it is that the Transportation Security Administration brutes use technology to look at naked people by the hundreds of thousands, day after day, at airports. I've condemned how our very own law enforcement community is a huge deployer of Websites and online content to attract everything from wannabe terrorists to losers trying to find unlawful pornography. I've surely stood my ground on those matters, and I've even been labeled some kind of "civil libertarian" in the process.
Furthermore, I've made it abundantly clear that I know U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald whitewashed the investigation of the outing of CIA NOC operative Valerie Plame, and I've been more than adequate in connecting that outrageously inadequate investigation to the collapse of the rule of law in this country. Talk about putting my butt on the line! I've damned judges, law enforcement personnel, and even a U.S. Attorney, and these are the kinds of thugs who could turn me into a convicted felon on false charges and media hype without even so much as breaking a sweat before lunch.
No, none of what has become of this country is my fault. I'm just a citizen of Empire, a hapless, not-responsible victim who's done more than his share to stop the madness; and no one can hold me to account.
It's not like there was anything more I could have done. I mean, come on: yeah, sure, I could have taken up arms in open rebellion; but, God! that's a bit over-the-top, now isn't it? Give my life for the cause of liberty? Die for what I believe in?! Do things that might get me thrown in prison where I'd get gang-raped to the gleeful cheers of all those people who think that's part of just punishment of criminals?! End up being reviled forever by just about everyone because all the newspapers and TV news shows would portray me as a real live terrorist?! Good God! I'm not a terrorist, and I surely don't want everyone calling me one for the rest of eternity, for goodness sake! Get real.
I've DONE my part.
That's why I deserve a really good year. First, I want one of those tax cuts our new President is promising. I deserve it: the rich got theirs during the Bush years, so now it's my turn, by God. I don't care if the Republicans' tax cuts drove our federal deficits into mind-numbing territory. I want mine, now, and so what if the federal budget deficits are going to explode into heretofore unimaginable ranges nearing a trillion dollars a year?
I get mine, and then we'll talk about that fiscal responsibility the Bush incompetents never exhibited.
And I want federal spending, too, and I want it to go to my priorities this time. The war-makers, war-mongers, and all their pork-barrel beneficiaries got theirs during the Bush years; now, it's time I got mine. After all, no one can argue that I don't deserve it.
As far as paying for all this stuff, we'll just print more money! Hell, the Federal Reserve was doing that for the rich by rocketing the growth rate of M3 out of control, so now the Fed can do the same for M1, the kind of money I use. Hyperinflation? Who cares? Besides, the "laws of economics" are all dead, anyway: that's how the Bush people saw it, and now liberals and Leftists are openly making the same claim!
Of course, what the Fed can't print we'll just borrow from the Chinese. They're the ones who pegged their currency for years at a ridiculously low value to the dollar, which made their crap ridiculously cheap here, thereby sucking trillions of American greenbacks and millions of American jobs into their pockets, so they have all that U.S. money to lend back to us so we can keep living way beyond our means. And all we have to do in return is let them be our lender, meaning they have claims on future cash flows from America's treasure for generations to come. And when those foreigners holding all those greenbacks have lent us all the money we need, they can go on a shopping spree, buying up our land, our companies, and our financial securities (which are really great bargains, right now, by the way, for those nice foreigners).
I'm on a roll, here, so let me announce the rest of the stuff I deserve. I want health care coverage, and I want the best money can buy. I want everyone to pay for moi. It's not like I'm to blame for my illnesses. Sure, I smoke, and I want everyone who doesn't to make me all better. Sure, I've let my body go to Hell, but it's not like everyone else should get off the hook for that. I want my meds: I want chemicals hawked by massive pharmaceutical companies that make me think my life should go on and on and on because hey! I deserve to live because I contribute so very, very much to this world.
Here's something else I expect: I want this government of ours to bail out all the huge companies that are going under; in fact, I want the government to take equity stakes in all those companies so it can both regulate and own American business. Big failed, so let's get as big as big can get by turning the federal government into a giant holding company. Now that's gotta be too big to fail, right?
Now for the moment of clarity.
I am a citizen of Empire, and this is an empire that always had its dark side, even as it truly did, at least sometimes, make the world better for its policies and actions, especially when they were expressions of the best in all of us as decent, humane people. Those policies and actions, however, turned thoroughly and pervasively ugly during the presidency of George W. Bush.
I knew early on that this was no ordinary turn of Empire. These men and women who had become our public expression of collective will were relentless in a way I had seen only in the awfullest of circumstances in my life. Reason, rhetoric, law, logic: none of these ephemeral and obtusely frail pieces of the high civilization would have any effect whatsoever. Like the policeman who will not be talked down from the firearm he is pointing at me, like the savage dog mauling me, this Administration was immune to words, to pictures, to outrage, to chants, to thought. I knew that, and I knew it early on.
Yet, what did I do?
I wrote. I reasoned. I petitioned, I expressed outrage. I protested.
I did the very things I knew very well would not work, but I did nothing else.
I am every bit, by blood and by soil, a citizen of Empire.
And somehow, despite that, I think I deserve better than to end my days in the long, bleak night of that Empire?
The Dark Wraith has spoken.
Wrote Minstrel Boy:
Wrote Dark Wraith:
Wrote Moody Blue:
Wrote Dark Wraith:
Wrote Moody Blue:
Wrote Progressive Traditionalist:
Wrote Progressive Traditionalist:
Wrote kelley b:
Wrote Wild Clover:
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