Out of control and beyond reality

By DOUG THOMPSON

Let’s face the sad truth. The United States of America is a nation out of control, spiraling downward at an alarming rate, controlled by a cabal of manipulative political hacks who put their own greed and lust for power above the best interests of a beleaguered country.

At a hearing on Capitol Hill Tuesday, we learned the Federal Reserve, under orders from The White House, loaded 363 tons of cash — $4 billion – on palettes and shipped it by military cargo planes to Baghdad just before we turned control of the government over to a group of political leaders who are just as corrupt as the ruling classes here at home.

Who, in their right mind, ships $4 billion in cash to a war zone? The same idiots who can’t account for at least $8 billion in funds already sent into Iraq for a so-called reconstruction effort that leaves most Iraqis without power, water or other amenities of life.

The Associated Press reports today that the last four months of President George W. Bush’s illegal and immoral war have been the deadliest of the conflict, killing 334. Pentagon planners warn the President that his ill-conceived “troop surge” will cause a surge in American casualties that could lead to 10,000 dead by the end of 2008.

In a federal courtroom in Washington, a tawdry tale of media manipulation by a compulsively-obsessive Presidential administration unfolds through testimony in the perjury trial of former Vice Presidential Chief of Staff Lewis “Scooter” Libby.

We’ve learned how the President and Vice President secretly declassified documents and leaked them selectively to the press to try and perpetuate their lies that were used to justify the invasion of Iraq. Yet this same administration tried to jail others who leaked information.

On Capitol Hill, things aren’t any better. The Senate continues to debate whether or not to have a debate on a “nonbinding” resolution on Bush’s troop surge. And while they jawbone, more and more Americans die.

So far, the mandate that American voters delivered at the polls in last November’s mid-term election has been ignored by politically-timid politicians on both sides of the aisle. The new Democratic leadership of Congress lacks the guts to do what must be done to stop a despotic President and return control of government to the people.

If you look at the pitiful crop of Presidential wannabes from both parties you find the list dominated by eunuchs who lack the balls to deliver on what voters demanded last November.

The leading candidates on both sides voted for the war and refuse to call for a swift end to the conflict. Sen. Barack Obama is the closet thing we have to an anti-war candidate in the top tier but his pop-culture appeal will fade in the long run because although we don’t like to admit it, America is still a racist nation dominated by white bread leaders.

And just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse, the “news story” that dominated Tuesday’s headlines dealt not with Iraq, or Congress, or even the criminal actions of the Bush Administration.

Nah. The top story centered on a lovesick astronaut who drove from Houston to Orlando to kidnap and possibly kill her rival for another astronaut’s affections.

In fact, Lisa Marie Nowak, who has flown into orbit on the Space Shuttle, wore a diaper so she wouldn’t have to stop on the long drive.

This highway leads to the shadowy tip of reality: you’re on a through route to the land of the different, the bizarre, the unexplainable…Go as far as you like on this road. Its limits are only those of mind itself. Ladies and Gentlemen, you’re entering the wondrous dimension of imagination. Next stop….The Twilight Zone.”*

(*This opening to the TV series, The Twilight Zone, was written by Rod Serling for the final season but never used.)

Comments

  1. Blake

    When all the corporate bloodsuckers who claim to be working in our “best interest” have left our country in poverty and ruins and moved on to greener pastures, the question that needs to be asked is; Do you blame the bloodsuckers for taking the money and running? Or do we blame ourselves for not putting a stop to the evil when it became readily apparent? Most of us claim to be busy with our lives and children and are too tired to get involved, but what life are you going to have when you and everyone you love gets the rug pulled out from under them? Not only are we letting these Administration bandits get away with fascism and the robbing of America, but are letting the Democratic Congress act as as enablers for these fools. We need to demand Congress end our involvement in Iraq through the power of the purse, and also put a stop to this “phony war” on terrorism. Both wars were started by an administration that either wanted 9/11 to happen, or maybe even planned it months in advance. The majority of us who are against both disasters need to find a way to write or e-mail our congresspeople and tell them to give the troops enough money to withdraw from Iraq, and pull the plug on any further misadventures by this administration. Otherwise, our “war is peace” administration will mislead our nation into Iran and an even greater disaster.

  2. Wayne K Dolik

    “Hello is this Mr. Serling? Great! Mr. Serling could you please do something in the Twilight Zone to save our Congress Mr. Serling? Great! Thank you Mr. Serling.”

  3. Ray

    Hey Paolo, Don’t fergit to buy some gold if’n you got any money left over.

    I still got some shares for sale.

  4. paolo

    Hi Doug, Ray, Sandy, et. al.,

    Doug, I fear your pessimism is well-founded. I don’t think we have any politicians willing to change course. Face it: the war in Iraq will continue to spiral out of control; Bush will probably manufacture a “crisis” as an excuse to bomb and possibly invade Iran and Syria; and American pre-eminence in the world of economics will fade rapidly under the continual onslaught of rising economies in Asia.

    Actually, we’re screwed.

    I think we gotta get over the mythology of “democracy”, also known as a system in which two wolves and a sheep vote on what’s for dinner. Classic, limited-government “democracy” will inevitably be undercut by politicians appealing to the mob’s lowest instincts.

    Well, gotta go buy some canned food and ammunition, folks–see ya later.

  5. Gerald Sutliff

    We should all ask our congress persons whether they’re more interested in getting reelected or saving American soldiers’ lives; not to mention our fiscal health.

  6. gene

    Hey Michael thats good but where would we go on this (gone to hell) planet. I have so enjoyed reading ALL the coments to Doug’s rant and dam…they were good. I thank God for individuals who know the truth and are not affraid to express themselves. My whole family are nothing but idiot morons who are clueless and continue to believe in the american dream. I seriouly wonder just how much longer this insanity can continue…..has got to end soon. I know most of us will pay along with clueless american but it would be worth the shit we face just to see it happen.

  7. talker

    On the topic of Pentagon waste. The Bush administration has acutally eliminated Pentagon auditors. Their solution for criminal theft of taxpayer money is to decriminalize it!

    They seem to have a plan to move the corrupt contracting system to all domestic projects. Reference the Katrina cases. And now to add insult to outrage Virginia is actually considering giving a no-bid contract to Bechtel to build elevated rail in McLean. Can anyone tell me why we are considering a no-bid contract to the company which gave Mass. the “Big Dig”? Another company has offered a bid to build a tunnel for $200 billion less. Bechtel is fighting to keep the bidding process closed so they can suck the blood of taxpayers again. Somebody needs to stop these corporation thieves.

  8. JimZ

    David Williams, most of us on this post can identify with what you’re saying. Well said.

    I live in Kansas City, smack in the center of the country. There are not very many good paying jobs in this city. A high-tech engineer like myself has virtually no opportunity here; I, as others are only here because of a family situation.

    The manufacturing base, probably the largest economic sector here, has been melting away. The local newspaper is totally in bed with the developer lobby, and the local government is controlled by a “shadow” organization of wealthy old-money people called the “Citizens Association”. The city of KCMO is “blue”, for the most part, but the Democratic Party, which has been historically prevalent here, serves as a front for the Republican bankers & developers, which basically loot the place every chance they get. We get served a turd sandwich pretty regularly around here.

    Instead of creating any base for more companies to want to move jobs here, the faceless entity continuously finds new publicly financed projects to serve themselves taxpayer money with. Our streets & infrastructure are falling apart, and the school system is horrible. Yet, somehow, through hook or crook, these people still seem to keep bathing in our money, while the rest of the city just crumbles and the city keeps going farther into the red. The only new jobs being created are temporary jobs for migrant construction workers, and low-paying strip mall jobs for the rest of us.

    How will WE ever get ahead? Does this sound familiar to other cities?

    I believe the case study of what’s going on in KC is a good representation of what is going on at a national level. The priorities are completely reversed. Anyone who hasn’t voted in the last decade needs to crawl out from their shell, and start helping the rest of us vote out the status quo, and get progressive.

    It’s easy to be a cynic these days. I agree that Doug has been getting darker in his columns of late.

  9. Arion

    Four billion dollars in cash went to Iraq? This, at a time when Bush is proposing to slash Medicare and Medicaid and gut domestic programs? Tell me this isn’t an impeachable offense!

  10. Joe Lawrence

    When no bright spinning object is at hand, the media are always, somehow, blessed with a semi-attractive white woman in some sort of trouble that has some connection with sex. Thus are we distracted from thinking about the man behind the curtain.

    Works every time.

    At the March on the Capitol on JAN 27th, there were no bright spinning objects, nor was there a semi-attractive white woman in trouble, so coverage was slight. But, in defense of the media, there were only around 100,000 people there.

    I keep wondering just what has to happen to get the citizenry out – in person – to demand actual change.

  11. gene

    Ecellent Doug. You nailed the shit out of this moronish crap that we now call reality. I don’t think at this point even the twilght zone can compare to what we are wittnessing each day. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagine what has become all to real. Do these people actually believe their bullshit. My God, what in hell do we have to do to stop or slow down this insanity or is it just to dam late? Their I go again, getting pissed. Anyone want a beer?

  12. I know I’m going to make Doug angry, but this is the reason we MUST find out the truth about 9/11. If this administration, or some of the people in it, engineered the “terrorist” attack and the truth comes out, it will bring down the whole house of cards. Perhaps, when we have recovered, this country can renew itself. I’m at the point of wishing the whole Ceaucescu treatment for the whole lot.

  13. Jennifer

    Ron Kay,

    He retired with all his put options to a ranch in Texas. He wears a tall cowboy hat, and everyone locally, thinks he’s just one of the good old boys!!!!!well, ain’the?

  14. Sandy Price

    Thank you Ray. I spent many lovely summers wandering around in your state. The girls and I would fly into Eugene and spend the weekend enjoying the Bach Fesival and hiking all over the university. I had hopes of someday moving to Oregon but felt my kids would need to be out of the Univerisity and on their own before I did. During those trips to Oregon we would rent a car and drive to Mt. Hood, Crater lake and down to Ashland where we spent 3 days in the land of Shakespeare. We would then head to the coastline and then return to Eugene where we would fly back to the San Francisco area. We were good tourists and picked up after ourselves and spent money in your stores as well as theater tickets.

    All of the west coast is suffering from what you describe. I often wonder if many feel this glorious country of ours is on its last legs. People seem to be running from each other instead of trying to work in teams to improve our lot. Living in Calfornia all my life until 5 years ago I have to admit I love and appreciate the Oregon people. You all seem to thrive in your natural state of beauty.

    I will always return to CHB for a breath of fresh air because under Doug’s leaderhip we will find the solutions to allow us to correct what has happened to America.

    I’ve been a cheer leader for America for more years than you all have been alive. I tend to look to individuals to fix our problems and have found a fabulous group of individuals right here.

    You are right, we must locate a funny bone or two to keep us going and attract others to join us. I’m an old Monty Python freak and maybe can dig up some of their own humor to keep us going.

  15. Jim Arnold

    Imagine this…

    Paul Bremer hands out $8 billion in cold cash, while he dismisses the Iraqi Army and outlaws the Baath Party. Those two groups are now mostly responsible for the embedded violence in the killing fields that used to be called Iraq.

    Bremer comes home as a failure.

    So what does he get? The Presidential Medal of Freedom. Makes lots of sense.

    Here’s another one…

    George Tenet is supposedly responsible for “getting the intelligence wrong about Iraq.” There was no slam dunk on WMD’s in Iraq. Of course, if you add up all of the firepower generated by all the IED’s that have gone off, it might equal one WMD. But who’s counting?

    So what does Tenent get upon retirement? The Presidential Medal of Freedom, of course.

    Is there a pattern setting up here?

    Tommy Franks got the Presidential Medal of Freedom, too. Regardless of what you think about Iraq, he probably is the only one who deserved it. He did the job he was assigned, then promptly quit.

    What we have with the Bush Administration is a regime that has institutionalized criminal and immoral behavior and wrapped it under the banner of religion and the flag of patriotism.

    At this rate, Tom Delay should be getting the Presidential Medal of Freedom any day now.

    Bush and his entire regime must be driven from power. There is no other choice if you believe in the future of the United States.

    Would anyone care to wager that Scooter Libby won’t be pardoned if he is convicted on obstruction of justice? I thought not.

    If anyone in the U.S. Congress is listening, hear this: Do your job. Enforce our laws. Impeach Bush and his entire command structure.

    Do it or run home with your tails between your legs.

  16. Ray

    In a nutshell, David. Good anology. I too see the sadness in Dougs comments, in fact during reading his rant today it really hit me, and I felt a twinge of fear. The kind of fear that reality sometimes gives us when that innermost little voice we trust has no alternate words of encouragement and there is no glimmer or hope that it isn’t as hopeless as it appears.

    I live in Oregon near the border with California. Same town all my life. The same thing that you describe has happened here exactly the same. Manufacturing, Farming, Timber Industry have all but faded out to service jobs for the masses of Californians who exodus here. I am a Home Inspector and 95% of my clients are from the Bay Area and southern Ca. This once laid back, never lock a door community is now overcrowded, smog filled, little LA.

    It is still a great place to live but from watching the change for fifty years, I see what it will be like in the next five years. The folks come here in ever increasing numbers to escape the ills of fast living, but then they immediately work to change our way of life into exactly the things they left. Crazy world and definately in a spiral down. Is it simply the whole attitude of the country has been corrupted by the media propaganda and the sick programming the networks place in our living rooms? Bush is the ultimate example of the ME GENERATION.

    We need some humor on this blog! Check out my comments on the rant Feb. 2. The Truth Vice may be our salvation from liar in the white house. Sometimes a chuckle at grim reality can boost the day.

    Peace

    Ray

  17. Levon

    “Idiot wind blowing through the buttons of our coats

    Blowing through the letters that we wrote

    Idiot wind blowing through the dust upon our shelves

    We’re idiots babe

    It’s a wonder we can even feed ourselves.”

    BD

  18. David Williams

    Doug,

    Your last several rants seem to indicate that you are feeling less than optimistic about where we are heading as a nation and as a species.Over and beyond the well placed anger is a current of sorrow and general fatigue and even despair.Maybe it’s a phase of the moon because I feel all these same emotions.

    Politically,I don’t believe this country or this world has ever been closer to the abyss than we now are.The Bush administration;well we all know more than we ever needed to know and none of it is good.Congress is a farce,both sides of the aisle daily enforcing the notion that all politicians are the same.And the general public?We,the people, get exactly the government we deserve.

    I live in the mountains of Western North Carolina.It is a landscape of incredible beauty,an ancient piece of geography billions of years in the making.I’ve lived here about twenty years,and have watched an invasion of wealthy people from Atlanta and Florida storm into this wilderness in search of a place”to get away from it all”.

    When I first moved here,most of the “locals”who didn’t farm for a living were employed by one of a large number of manufacturing plants.Several major textile plants along with a half dozen electronics assembly firms employed a large segment of the workforce.None of the workers were in danger of becoming rich,but people were getting by in relative comfort.After the implementation of NAFTA,things changed in a hurry.

    Ninety percent of the manufacturing jobs are now a memory.Most of the “locals” now work in service jobs flipping burgers,cleaning houses,and catering to the needs of the upscale urbanites who have moved here.

    This place has become a metaphor for what is wrong with America.North Carolina is a decidedly red state.Like most Southern states,there is a great deal of quiet racism.Nearly all the faces you see are white.And of course,evangelical churches rule.

    During the last several election cycles,was there outrage against the loss of jobs?Was there a groundswell of activism toward protecting the fragile environment?Were the virtues of a better school system important?Was health care an issue?NO,no,no, and no.

    The greatest concerns have been the certainty that TERRORISTS will strike and that,God forbid,Gay people will get married and undermine the whole fabric of society.

    Most of the people support the war in Iraq,still support Bush,and don’t think about much beyond who is on American Idol this week.And of course,99% shop at the nearest Super WalMart buying items from China that they,themselves used to make here.

    Our so called leaders have become masters at manipulating the citizenry to vote against their own self intersts.There is always a THEM to point to and blame,someone that looks a little different….

    I have ZERO fear of terrorists in my backyard.As long as you are a consenting adult,I don’t give the slightest shit who you sleep with.And if you want to worship the moon on Tuesdays,that’s fine with me.

    I have always struggled with faith and spirituallity.I guess I want to believe but it always seems just beyond my grasp.The past six years have made it harder.

    I’ve come to think that perhaps the greatest arguement against the existence of God is ,quite simply, the existence of man.

    So Doug,I know where you are coming from.Everyone,have a nice day.

    David Williams

  19. JimZ

    Doug, I’m “wicha”.

    You did forget to mention the trillions of dollars that has disappeared in the Pentagon without a trace over the last decade.

    And we can’t afford national health care and have a deficit?

    Our priorities have to be wrestled away from the mindset cultured into us by the “Defense industrial complex”, as Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us about in his farewell address.

    If you check out a recent DVD release of the movie “Why We Fight”, it explores how this culturing has occurred. A good movie ALL Americans should watch, even if you don’t agree with parts of it. At least become aware so we can change; one or more Americans at at time.

    So until we wake up that last 30% of Americans still in the political dark, and get more of us off our butts, we can just keep voting out all incumbent politicians until they get away from this loot and pillage of the masses.

    And vote 3rd party! Perhaps we can chip away at them until they collapse, just like they did to US!

  20. whatever

    So what do you think of CNN reporting on the depleted uranium that is poisoning the planet? I didn’t see the actual CNN report but have read about it elsewhere – on the internet of course. It seems to me that a military mutiny is in order here.

  21. Ronald F. Dijon writes:

    The trial of Lewis I(Scooter) Libby is taking place in Federal Disrict Court in Washington,DC, Not Alexandria,VA

    That it is. The proofreader shall be flogged. 🙁

  22. Jason Shapiro

    “The Twilight Zone was one of my favorite shows in the sixtys. There was always a twist of fate that came through in the end and we were saved from ourselves.”

    Actually, many of the episodes were the exact opposite – the apparent saviors were illusory, the twists of fate that looked hopeful were irrevocably hopeless. I cannot say that the “Twilight Zone” formed my psyche but even as a young kid there was a logical resonance to foolishness that attended much of peoples’ so-called strivings. As H.L. Mencken said, “The cynics are right nine times out of ten.”