THOLOS OF ATHENA

Friday, May 02, 2008

RANDOM THOUGHTS

ANOTHER SWIFT BOATED

Ever the cockeyed optimist, I had almost begun to think perhaps we were on the threshhold of a new and brighter America with our Democratic candidates competing to replace the outlaw regime in Washington. Then came the madcap blowup over Obama's pastor, with Hillary gutter-sniping alongside the scumbags at Fox News and all the other quacks posing as journalists, from George Stephanopoulos to Tim Russert.

It must have slipped Hillary's mind that the same Reverend Wright she was now piously condemning had been summoned to council the Clintons at the White House during the Monica scandal. At some point, the girl came up for air, noticed a familiar taste in her mouth--blood. Feeling thus invigorated, she beat her chest and threatened to obliterate Iran, thus signaling her full-throated embrace of the thug mentality of John McCain and the Bush Administration.

So now that Barack is getting his craw full of what it really means to run for President of America, the question is whether it is already proving too much for him. Based on his lackluster responses to Chris Mathews' inane questions on Fox News, it almost looks like he's down for the count.

The real shame and disgrace is the spectacle of our man withering like a frail violet amid the swarming flies. So this is how he faces down Hillary? What will he do when it's McCain, who hasn't even started in on him, yet? I'm expecting at least an apology per week. Suddenly, we're back in the John Kerry campaign, swift boated to smithereens.

The hatchet job on Kerry's stellar war record was so thoroughly done that he seemed to go into a kind of paralysis that prevented him from offering a proper and righteous response. There he was in a nationally televised debate with W.--the real shirker and fraud--yes, had him in his sights!--and let slip the golden opportunity of asking the cud-chewing frat boy point blank where he was when he apparently went AWOL during his Air National Guard service.

This caving in that "liberals" seem to have developed into a fine art--I almost wonder if at the bottom of it lies some deep-seated self-loathing, a desperate need to lose, peculiar only to Democrats.

I watched Reverend Wright's sermons, the ones in question, and his subsequent performance at the National Press Club. Apart from having an ego the size of Montana and seeming to positively relish the sudden notoriety heaped upon him, I am struggling to figure out what in blazes all the noise is about. As far as I can tell, here is a man who is telling the history of his people, a man who has been to school, whose intelligence is far-ranging and deep, who also has the temerity to speak the truth about why this country is so reviled in the world that it might cause someone to want to fly planes into our buildings.

Instead of distancing himself and repudiating his pastor Barack should have come out swinging as Kerry should have done: "Yes, my pastor is irreverent. He says controversial things--which is his right to do! Get over it, America. Grow up! My pastor is not me. I am not him. Sometimes I agree with him and sometimes I don't. Now, let's talk about health care. Let's talk about ending this illegal war."

But no, we liberals are just too nice for that.

ON MICHAEL MOORE'S FILM, SICKO

The film exposes the brutality of this country. Ambulances cruising seedy neighborhoods in search of places to dump the uninsureds like so much garbage. It's amazing. You can drive around any modern city and see huge medical complexes, hospitals, clinics of every size and specialty; and I always think to myself, "Now, there's everything you need right there if ever you're sick or injured. . .if. . . .IF--you can pay for it."

In this country, those fine shining citadels are off-limits to around fifty-million Americans. And really more than that, probably far more, if you count the numbers who naively think that just because they're "insured," that their policies will actually cover them for any procedure, when, in reality, they may not be covered at all. The whole insurance industry is a flim-flam.

Europeans would not put up with this insanity for five minutes. The only reason we do so here is because the majority of the population appear to be rather easy pickins for just about every charlatan and scam artist on the planet, beginning with our own government, which, starting with Ronald Reagan (himself an overgrown child), and continuing right through the current regime, quickly caught on to the extent to which the average American is the most simple-minded gullible pushover imaginable. You can tell them just about anything and they will buy it hook, line and sinker. Behold how easy it was to sell them the Iraq War.

Americans so believe the myths of their country that they can brook no criticism or even the suggestion that something sinister and rotten might underlie the shiny exterior; hence, we have three weeks of near-hysteria, verging on foaming at the mouth, over Obama's learned pastor, instead of reasoned discourse about education or health care or how to get us out of this insane war.

The real malady, I fear, is bone-deep and probably can't be repaired by normal, rational means. Reason and facts have been thrown overboard, replaced with fables and magical thinking. The economy, the country itself, will collapse. It is already in a free-fall. The oil companies--mega-flim-flam war profiteers--are reporting record high profits. Bear-Stearns gets bailed out while hundreds of thousands lose their homes; the people, having bought into their own bullshit, have been duped and fleeced as predictably as a yokel in a game of three-card monte. By the time they figure out what hit them, the rats will have stuffed their carpetbags full of boodle and moved on to the next place.

But no, they won't figure it out, after all. What is more apt is they will stand there with their twittering cellphones, jaws flapping in surprise, while the apes at Fox News pin it all on Tom Hayden and the Sixties; and the wars for freedom will grind on because that's the way we drink our health and good order. . . .
And after noon the well-dressed creatures come
To sniff among the dead
And have their lunch

And all the many well-dressed creatures pluck
The swollen avocados from the dust
And stir the minestrone with stray bones

And after lunch
They loll and lounge about
Decanting claret in convenient skulls*

*After Lunch, by Harold Pinter








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