Monday, July 9, 2007

Washington DC: Dante's Ninth Circle?

(from Dante's Inferno, illustrated by Gustav Dore
or, what's the just reward waiting for our elite misleaders in the next life?)

(NOTE: This is Bob, and I do not presume to speak for Jerry or Steve. And this may be offensive to some of our viewers. It's certainly long enough to make people angry I wrote so much, or alternatively, to put them to sleep. Please try to resist that. I make no apologies, and I welcome your comments.)

PS- I had to make some edits because I'm a lousy typist, and still had some vitriol left to aim at a few lowlife culprits I had forgotten...

So now it's even longer...get out the No-Doz! Stop me before I blog AGAIN!

Is Washington DC the Ninth Circle of Hell? It seems that way sometimes- I think Hell's geographic center is somewhere between Thomas Circle and Dupont Circle, and about 10,000 miles SOUTH. You can almost hear the laughter echoing. In the midst of what should be a paradise, they have forged new sins, baser depravities, and greater evils than our forefathers ever dreamed of- right under our noses! The traffic, the pollution, the greed, the hypocrisy, the crime, the unmitigated audacity....and, of course, the politicians. Or is that redundant? Yet here we sit, eyes glazed over as we watch day after day, year after year, chewing our Happy Meals with a double dose of Soma, placidly staring in morbid curiosity while we are talked down to by condescending con men, pushing cheap diversions, fast food, national pride and self-righteousness with the same sincerity one commonly finds in used car salesmen. Actually, they're a step (or two) up on the evolutionary ladder from politicians.

Turned down third term in Congress to make a comparatively honest living

So what do we do about clearing the air, having a real dialogue, and getting away from talking points, spin doctors, hidden agendas, cowardly media, and self-appointed guardians of the public interest fomenting class war and maintaining the inequities of the status quo? How do we fight back and bring this country back to the citizens that live here, fight for our country, and do the work that hasn't yet been outsourced to Calcutta? Bitching about stuff to your neighbor between the cans in the six pack doesn't change anything. Populism can still be meaningful, if you want it to be. Act locally, think globally. But above all, THINK! - and take an interest in your community and what's going on there, and then look at how issues affect YOU and the people around you- here, up the street, in the next county, over in Maryland, or near your Aunt Petunia in Boise. And then imagine, if you can, how our actions might look to some poor shnook living in a hut with a dirt floor, on the receiving end of a daisy cutter, or maybe a transfusion, a new school, or running water...all because of something that started in a little room, a back yard, or a block party half a world away.

So hold people accountable, including each other. Or US (as long as you don't really mistake our show for journalism!). Educate yourselves on the issues that matter to you, whether it's education, civil rights, medical insurance, the right to choice, the war, balancing the budget, curing AIDS, or election reform. Find out WHO voted to support what you believe. WHO kept their promises to you. And you ORGANIZE. You SPREAD THE WORD. And VOTE. Caucuses among the grass roots electorate, voters like you and me, are already beginning. You know them- the people you see every day that want safe neighborhoods for our kids to play in and better pay for cops and teachers. We, the People that can't go to $10,000 a plate fundraisers, that don't have our local Senator or Congressman's number on the speed dial and are on a first name basis with their Executive Secretary. In the schools, churches, and living rooms all over the country, people have begun to deliberate on the course of our country. The primaries are just around the corner. Which candidates represent your aspirations for what this country stands for, and what it should be? Do any of them REALLY speak for you? Can we trust them to honor their promises? I'm still wondering about that, and expect I will for the next 16 months.
I was always told that it wasn't polite to talk about sex, religion, or politics. Sex and religion are front page news. Maybe it's not polite, but we have to live with it. It's part of our collective reality. And they don't go away if we ignore them.

I truly wish that politicians would go away if we ignored them, but if anything, they tend to accumulate instead. The answer is the reverse: watch 'em like hawks. Make them run on (or more typically, away from) their records. Hold their feet to the fire. Vote with your HEADS, not for some calculated dog and pony show meant to tug at your hearts. It's not about who you love or hate reflexively. It's making certain that the most qualified, RATIONAL person is calling the shots, someone intelligent enough to learn from history and our past mistakes, who will look out not just for their buddies, but ALL of us. That's their JOB. That's why we all have a voice in electing those leaders- to make the decisions that are best for OUR COUNTRY, not just the most vocal, most wealthy, those with access to the decision makers who creep in the shadows and control the priorities of our country as its de facto ruling class.

Uber- lobbyist Jack Abramoff: I hear that horizontal stripes will be all the rage this year

We need to level the playing field, and the best way to do that is with HARD FACTS and INFORMATION. Verifiable information, not anecdotal tales that spin some myth and make heroes out of heels. TRUTH- that which we can all agree on is REAL and can be PROVEN by our senses, not rumors, innuendo, slurs, spin, advertising, and mudslinging. Not the nonsense you see on TV or hear on talk (hate) radio. I mean like from the Library of Congress, or the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal. There aren't many objective sources left, but there's so much mis- information out there, we have to fight back. Blogs have become another form of spreading information, whether true or bullshit. I invite you to use this blog. Share your ideas. But don't just bullshit- have some integrity! I promise we won't shoot you down if we disagree, as long as you can back it up with FACTS! Not just "I hate" (name that candidate) "because I heard they stab unborn baby squirrels in the heart with screwdrivers and bathe in their saliva." 'Cause then I'm gonna ask for a picture, or a signed confession from said candidate and witnesses that they did. Or we won't let you post again when you can't back it up.

And DON'T just take it as true because it was in Newsweek or the Post or the Trib or on NBC or the Heritage Foundation, a political action committee, or (God forbid) Fox, who would lie about who won the Bud Bowl, if they thought they could get something out of it! DON'T GET SUCKERED! MAKE THEM GIVE SOURCES FOR THEIR CLAIMS! These guys write stories for 1) whoever pays them, and 2) whatever distortion of the truth will sell the most papers...or detergent...or used cars... Don't let them hide between the lines and insinuate- that's how we got into this war!!! If they say it or print it, they should be able to back it up with something more than false arguments and bigoted doctrines that have had no responsible place in the last two centuries. Something REAL. Something they can "hang their hats on," not just the rumors and lies that are repeated ad nauseum about one party, or one person, that are untrue and distract from the real culprits, and the things that make a difference in the world.

The hacks of the mainstream media squander their forum on the things that divide us, and marginal (or incredibly emotional and inflammatory issues) issues like illegal aliens, flag burning, and amending the Constitution to ban gay marriage. No offense intended, I know these are legitimate issues that affect peoples' interests and pursuit of happiness. But these are narrowly focused, intended to inflame passions whether pro or con, take up time, allocations of money for investigations and studies, and distract everyone from issues that touch everyone in the country, and even the world- such as the war in Iraq, the growing abyss between the wealthy and the rest of the people in this country, a floundering housing market, expensive oil and energy, and (lest we forget) the dismantling of the Constitution. The Ann Coulters, Sean Hannitys and Bill O'Reillys spreading disinformation and posing sophistic arguments where anyone not taking their side can be cast as either a fool or a traitor. And we've wasted waaaaaay too much time on these charlatans, the ignorant, conniving hate-mongers, hypocrites, and inbreds already. Ignore all irresponsible, sensationalist attention junkies: they can't do anything but hurt us, or our country. We're stronger than they are, and they know it.

Hypocrisy: A Washington Family Value?

And they know that there's a lot of us out there that don't buy it, and that deserve (and now DEMAND) to be heard. So they shut us up, take away our right to dissent. Refuse to answer questions. Stonewall. Obfuscate. Ignore. Pretend. Spin. Blame. That's why so many politicians constantly talk down to us, keep us living in fear and paranoid (to lean on the government to protect us from our "enemies") like frightened children. They're afraid of us, and rightly so. Afraid of what we might do if we ever see through the facade, and rise up to thwart them. They want us divided, uninformed, and at war with one another- black vs. white, Christian vs. Muslim, immigrant vs. working poor- while they steal us blind and then blame us for not being more frugal with our savings- like a guy making minimum wage can afford rent and utilities, much less investing in a stock portfolio. Let's make him think about how rough Paris Hilton's got it- or give him a first person shooter game so he can vent his frustrations...until he decides he needs the real thing...and then you'll get a lecture on the Second Amendment, the only part of the Bill of Rights apparently still recognized.

Et tu, Omega Man? From your cold dead hands, you say? Go ahead-make my day!

Don't let them kid you one minute- they don't give a DAMN about the majority of the people in this country. We're statistics. We're a "demographic." Among the 99% of the people in this country that do not make millions of dollars each year, casualties will always be "acceptable." And they want it this way, because bickering, poor and divided people will never stand up to their oppressors. So don't let 'em Tony Snow ya!

(Tony- In the name of God, for once, just tell the truth: it's opposite day)

BTW, thanks to our twisted friends at Beer and Meat, a highly recommended blog conveniently located at sharing this handsome image! Wotta maroon! What an imbecile! Oh, brudder- you slay me!!!

Show them up for the transparent con artists they are!!! Stop rubbernecking over distractions and get on with the job of getting the reins of power back in the hands of its citizens. Instead of repeating the rumors that pass for news on TV, and the statistics manufactured and manipulated by a paid think-tank, do your homework. Expect more. Demand accountability, like they do from our schools and teachers. Don't let them graduate to another term if they keep miserably failing at every test given to them! Don't believe in some lazy snake oil salesmen who'll use their power to bully and connive solely to perpetuate their own power, and make money for their cronies! Don't elect the people that promise you the world now, and take their orders from lobbyists, big business, and other sordid pondscum that take advantage of us every day!

If a candidate resorts to to mudslinging, to making false claims and smearing their opponent, or appealing to your emotions to inspire hate and fear of people that are different than you, WHAT DO YOU THINK THEY'LL DO ONCE THEY'RE ELECTED AND AREN'T ANSWERABLE TO ANYONE FOR 2, 4, OR 6 YEARS?!?! Our best defense against getting the wool pulled over our eyes is to keep them both OPEN.

And FUCK APATHY- YOU CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE! And don't let anybody stop you from speaking up and voting your conscience. It's your RIGHT, and your HERITAGE! Challenge, demand answers, don't go along with the crowd, be skeptical- and most importantly, QUESTION AUTHORITY! That's the premise this country was founded upon! And WE THE PEOPLE should be proud of that.

The powers that be have been telling us all this time, "If you don't have anything to hide, why are you so afraid of having warrantless wiretaps or other invasions of your personal privacy?" Well, maybe it's because we're ENTITLED to some privacy, to believe and worship and act as we see fit, within the framework of the laws that AMERICANS have fought and died to establish, uphold, and agreed to be governed by for the last 220 years. Unless, of course, you work for the Government itself, and have low friends in high places, with money and clout. Ask Scooter about that.

Why is this man smiling? Didn't he just get sentenced to 2 1/2 years?

But it's supposed to apply to them too- and every time people avoid giving information, resist testifying in public, under oath, and refuse to give their side of the story that would show them to be blameless, I have to think: What is it that they don't want us to know? And why should we trust them to do the right thing when they have to spend weeks "practicing" to simply tell the truth to investigating Congressmen and Senators? The principle of transparent government must apply to the leaders we elect, whose salaries WE pay- not to be persuaded to do what's in the best interest of their campaign contributors and the influence peddlers. And not to cloak their sleazy side deals in the all-encompassing shrouds of "the war on terror" or "national security."

It's maddening. But we, collectively, have the power to stop this charade, and it's time we exercise it. Or as John Lennon put it, Gimme Some Truth!!!! Please? (There! Finally a musical tie-in!)

Talk about irony: the FBI kept a file on this guy as thick as his accent!

OK, I'll stop ranting for now. And I promise that my next blog will actually be about music. But I also guarantee that someone will disagree with that too. And I welcome the opportunity to have my mind changed. It wouldn't be the first time.

The ball's in your court now.

Your pal,


1 comment:

Gregory said...

Yo. You know I agree with you on most,if not all, of these points. I vacillate between feeling like its possible to make a difference and utter hopelessness.

I've come to the conclusion that the system is fundamentally broken and cannot be fixed. It's time to scrap our so-called government and start over- I favor a parliamentary type system where it would be impossible for one party to have a stranglehold on the government and would reduce the executive branch to a largely ceremonial post. Because, let's face it, the difference between the Democratic Party and the Republican Party is that there is no difference. They both represent Big Business and
all the he said-she said shit in the media is just a dog-and-pony show for the masses.

There was much happy wanking off in the so-called liberal circles when the Democrats won control of the Congress-but not on my part. Because I knew they would not have the balls to stand up and do anything. Can't bite the hand that feeds...

We'll see what happens when the Dems win the White House- if the Repugnant-cans don't fix their third election in a row. My prediction is nothing will really change. Don't forget, the PATRIOT
Act(a misnomer if there ever was one) was largely already written
before 9/11, they just took it off the shelf and added a few modifications.

And I agree with Jerry-fuck moderation. If the ignorant idiot Republicans/conservatives out there
can't take it(which would be no surprise)that's just too damn bad. Thats what they get for being wrong about EVERYTHING!

If I'm elected President my first
action will be an executive order
mandating mandatory sterilization
for all conservatives/Republicans . Just imagine the near Utopia the world would's easy if you try.