Edge of the West
WASHINGTON D.C.—But, editor, I inquire, "I don't do this for my health do I?"
Editor: "Think that through and get back to me."
Thinking through, I know this: I don't do this for my wealth. And that every man does need food, shelter, love and a good obsession to survive, not necessarily in that order. Take the vice president. Please.
Ahab had his killer whale, Cheney has his killer quail. Just how obsessed is he in the quest to hunt down his fine little feathered foe? Obsessed enough to wheel and fire so fast when one flew by that he never even saw his good-Republican-donor-hunting-buddy, Harry Whittington, standing there in the heightened red-alert-terror-zone somewhere between bird and shotgun.
Harry Whittington hobbled out of intensive care, black and blue and read all over, after suffering a heart attack from the blast, just long enough to apologize for getting in the way of Cheney's hair trigger. Shortly thereafter the survivors of Hiroshima came forward to apologize for getting in the way of the A-bomb, then holocaust-surviving Jews apologized for getting in the way of Hitler's gas chambers and that did it. I knew- for health reasons- I could remain silent no longer.
"You bastards work for us," we used to say- at least I used to say- of the people we elect. Mr. Bush, Mr. Cheney, Mr. Rumsfeld, Ms. Rice- it's you now and by god we sign your paycheck so you'd best do the people's will, or else. Remember how fun it was to be so naive as to actually say stuff like that and halfway believe it? It's chilling to the bone just how far from "working-for-us" this current ruling bunch has swerved.
Do you believe the guys we pay to work for us have sacrificed 2500-and-counting loyal-to-the-death American soldiers in the Great Needless War in order to do nothing so much as bring radical fundamentalist Muslim rule to Iraq that bodes far more dangerous than any Saddam regime ever did or could? Believe it. Saddam had sideburns for crissakes.
Do you believe the guys we pay to work for us have squandered hundreds of billions of good American dollars in the Great Needless War in order to bring radical fundamentalist Muslim rule to Iraq while millions of good American human beings sleep on cardboard slats in the shadows of Halliburton and Exxon skyscrapers where blood money made off the Great Needless War lines the walls inside? Believe it.
Do you believe the guys we pay to work for us continue their spoiled-brat, obsessive-compulsive tax-cutting that pads the wallets- in the middle of their own Great Needless War- of Halliburton, Exxon, and all the fattest cats in the litter who clog the streets with faux-chic Hummers fully loaded with more armor than the real ones with GI's in them getting blown away halfway around the world in order to keep the faux-chic Hummers sucking mad gas? Believe it.
I don't. Pinch me, tell me it's only a dream- and not the American one.
Do you believe Abu Ghraib? And that Chinese Water Torture will forevermore be known in Comedy Stores around the globe as American Water Torture in the punchline of bad jokes because the guys we pay to work for us somehow have made it official American policy? Believe it.
Your calls home, your e mails, your library books, your drug store transactions- scrutinized at the whim of the guys we pay to work for us? "This call may be monitored for quality assurance that there is no terrorist under your bed tonight. Sweet dreams." Believe it.
Gouged gas, gouged healthcare, gouged reconstruction of New Orleans and of the country blown away by the Great Needless War? Gorged lobbyists buying gorged congressmen's votes with golf trips to Aruba? Gouged, gorged, good god, America, is this really us? Believe it.
Stupidity is more dangerous than evil. For instance, Limbaugh, Hanity, O'Reilley- bla, bla and bla- and all the rest of the right-radio hate-mongers- evil. Knowing that what you do is destructive, deceptive, dishonest, and divisive, yet flailing away nonetheless for a very large paycheck- evil. But they're not the ones dropping hideous, science-fictional bombs with names like Whiskey Pete and Daisy Cutter on human populations in a Great Needless War. No, that's done by the guys we pay to work for us, guys who seem intellectually incapable of having a nefarious master plan in which to be evil. Do they appear to be just plain stupid, or is it just me?
This just in: Security of major U.S. ports sold off to terrorism hotbed United Arab Emirates. Stupid? Believe it. How stupid can they be? Which only begs the more gruesome question: how stupid can we be- the ones who pay them to work for us- to put up with it?
I'm talking to you now, my g-g-g-generation. Can you hear me now? We coulda been somebody, Charlie. My son looks me in the eye and says: "Where'd you guys go, just when we needed you?" Well, ijo, we folded like a cheap accordion, choked like a dead man hanging. Got our minds right, boss, started writing checks for the faux-chic Hummers. We should be ashamed, are already shamed, by kids- like the one whose posting on a popular internet site called "Youth Power" said in no uncertain terms- "F*%# the elders. Look at the world today."
From the mouths of babes, and who can argue? It's up to them now.
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