Thursday, December 20, 2007

BGA Fifteen: Junior Got His Oil



I read in the Tacoma News Tribune for August 8, 2004..."The yellow ribbons are faded and fraying outside the neatly appointed house where Jay Briseno lies tethered to a respirator, his nearly motionless, 21-year old body a shrunken shadow of the young man who went marching off to war last year. Shot in the back of the neck on a sweltering afternoon last June in Baghdad, Iraq, Briseno was rushed off with all the speed and efficiency the U.S.Army could muster to one hospital after another, brought back from mulitiple heart attacks and strokes. But after the battle-scarred leave the Army hospitals, they often find themselves on their own in an unfamiliar and difficult to navigate thicket of benefits and services. Since the wars in Afganistan and Iraq began, 6,139 troops have been wounded in action, according to the Pentagon. Ot fhose, 60% have been so severely injured that they are unable to return to duty. This surge of newly disabled veterans represents a challenge of a magnitude not seen since Vietnam."

The image of George W. Bush, Jr., standing on that aircraft carrier a year ago, standing proud in a pilot's outfit, buttoned up smartly, announcing that the objective was achieved, chaffs my butt, like a burr under my saddle blanket. Bush is a liar, a puppet, an idiot, a recovering alcoholic, a bully, a Texan, and the President of these United States. I have friends who flash their BUSH/CHENEY bumper stickers, who wave their flags, and buy the lies wholesale. The whole world has shifted modalities, and has witnessed our fearless leader pushing us into a darkness we will struggle for decades to surface from. We pay more for gasoline every day. We are lied to relative to the Arabs and Opec, and shortages. We have a slim opportunity to oust this strutting demogogue this November. I can only pray that we will manage to pull it off. Otherwise we will end up with zero funds for any level of education, even higher unemployment numbers, and health costs gone through the stratisphere. It is a frightening time. Al Gore won the popular vote. Black voters were not allowed to cast their lot. Brother Jeb insured a victory for "W".

Dr. Lawrence Britt, a political scientist, recently wrote about the fourteen characteristics of Fascism. He based his study on examinations of the regimes of Mussolini, Franco, and Pinochet. This was a summary of his points
1. Powerful and continuing nationalism employing constant use of patriotic slogans, symbols, songs, and flags.
2. Disdain for the recognition of human rights because national security outweighs human rights, which can be ignored.
3. Using enemies as scapegoats for a unifying cause.
4. Supremacy of the Military
5. Rampant sexism including more rigid gender roles and anti-gay legislation.
6. Controlled mass media.
7. Obsession with national security driven by a politics of Fear.
8. Religion and Government are intertwined especially in the rhetoric employed by its leaders.
9. Corporate power is protected-- industrial and business aristocracies put government leaders into power and keep them there creating mutual beneficial business/government relationship and power.
10. Labor power, which represents one of the few threats to Fascism is soundly suppressed.
11. Disdain for all intellectuals and the Arts, and hostility to higher education, along with the censorship of the arts, or refusal to support the arts.
12. Obsession with crime and punishment.
13. Rampant cronyism and corruption.
14. Fraudulent Elections

One does not have to be paranoid to see these elements alive and thriving in the America of 2004. Democracy is in fear of its own muzzlement, imprisonment...even its demise. Most of us are fearful to say what we think, because Big Brother, those denizens of Homeland Security, waving their fascist rights under the "Patriot Act", could break down the door, and send in the FBI to harass us, or the CIA to beat our ass. It is a wonderful day in the neighborhood, as Mister Rogers used to say.

As a federal employee, I belong to the American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO. They have a newsletter called THE GOVERNMENT STANDARD. The President of our union, Mr. John Gage wrote an editorial in support of the Kerry/Edwards ticket. He stated," It is time for a change. It's time for George W. Bush to be held accountable for his incompetence, his lack of curiousity, his insencerity. Fortunately, we have more than an opportuntiy to send George W. Bush to an early and well-deserved retirement on Texas Ranch. We have the opportunity to elect a leader of courage, a leader of vision, a leader dedicated to upholding our rights as citizens, as union members, and as federal employees. That leader is Senator John F. Kerry of Massachusetts.

Every action, every bill, every regulation rammed through by the George Bush White House lines the pockets of big campaign contributors. Take Medicare, which they twisted from a desparately needed drug benefit into a scam tunneling billions of dollars to the HMO's and the drug companies. Or the outsourcing they describe as,"a good thing."
Or their plan to stop paying time-and-a-half to millions of workers-- forcing employees to work longer hours for lower pay. Or the rampant privatization of the War in Iraq and the naked perversion of the procurement process into a patronage system. Or their grand scheme to privatize Social Security, and funnel tens of billions of dollars into Wall Street's already bulging pockets. Or their twisting the tax code to reward wealth and penalize work-- turning a surplus into massive deficits to pay for millionaire's tax cuts.

The ultimate goal of the Bush Administration is to take one institution that is accountable to the American people-- the federal government-- and "drown it in the bathtub." All so the wealthiest individuals and corporate interests can plunder to their heart's content without having to contend with annoyances like Democracy.

And guess who is standing in their way? That's right, it's you and I. It is America's hard working government employees-- and the union that fights for your interests-- AFGE. We are what's standing between the taxpayers and the looters. Between working families and the war profiteers. Between Democracy and plutocracy. Let's face it, between good government and bald-faced unmitigated greed.

George Bush wants to end civil service as we know it and turn the White House into Tammany Hall, where the entire federal workforce can either be contracted out or systematically replaced with party hacks. Boss Tweed is W's poster boy. But we are not going to stand for it-- and neither will the American people ! "

And this diatribe against the insane abuses by George W. Bush is from the National President of the largest civil service union in the country. While I was up in the mountains last week, I was talking to Native American brothers, and one of them began talking intensily about the "shadow government" and conspiracy theories. God knows that the men in power have always bent the rules, and assassinated our real leaders whenever it pleased them; holding down civil rights, equal education, decent health services, alternative fuel sources, and choked the life out of every extremity of liberty that they could. Christ, it is the old story. The rich get richer, and we get lied to, and bent over like a three dollar whore whenever they pleased. The Lakota Sioux gentleman I was talking to talked a lot about the "Mormon Boys" who have managed to take the reins of control for the Bureau of Indian Affairs; giving all the best jobs to fellow Mormons, skimming off the top. The federal budget for last year was 3.5 billion dollars, but about ten cents of it filtered down to the reservations and to the individual Indians. The most shocking thing he said was," You do know that the shadow government manipulated 9/11? They had already grounded the three airliners that the terrorists had hijacked. All those passengers and hijackers were neutralized. Then they used dummy airliners that had radio controls, and they flew them into the Towers. Did you notice just before impact on both planes, there was this tremendous flash under the nose. Those were the guidance JATO missles firing to insure hitting the targets. " Quite a theory...Bush and the boys, realizing that Junior had spent 8 months of his first year in office vacationing on his Texas ranch, created this elaborate hoax, insuring that the American people, in the midst of their grief and anger, would be led like lemming into holy war on the Nation of Islam. How insane. This planet teems with billions of folks who believe in the Koran. We are the Infidels to them. We are the invaders, the empire builders. And so after sitting in our comfortable living rooms for 50 years and looking at the Arab jahad against Isreal, seeing it ebb and flow, but always returning to more bombs, more death, more we are plopped right in the midst of it. Those are our sons and daughters in harms way. Thousands are dead, Many more thousands are wounded and maimed. And for what? For capitalism, for Imperialism, for greed, for Oil. If Bush was serous about pursuing Ossama Ben Laden, why is it that he has only deployed less troops to Afganistan than we have police officers in New York City? I feel like sometime in the next month, Junior will pull some rabbits out of his ass. He will, miraculously, lower gas prices [after he has secured the right to plunder all of Alaska, and build oil rigs 100 deep up and down both coasts], and he will either produce the dead body of Ben Laden, or the living personage, that he has captured months ago, and held in secret for just this occasion.

I will retire within 6 years. There will be a shred of Social Security left for me, but what about for our children? I hear flat statements all the time about Social Security will be bankrupt in 2054. Christ, that is just around the corner. In the movie FAHRENHEIT 9/11, there is a scene where Bush is a speaker at a Republican fund raiser. He is wearing a white tuxedo. He leers into the camera, like a bully, like a coward, and he said,
"Welcome to the World of the HAVES and the HAVE MORES." There is thunderous applause. Bush winks and says," You are MY people !" There is a scene where he is campaigning for President, the first time. He is on a plane with his brother, Jeb Bush, the governor of Florida. Junior smiles that shit-eating smug grin of his, and he looks into the camera, and he said," I'll tell you what...I guarantee that we take Florida." Jeb is smiling so hard he looks like he just crapped his britches and he wants everyone to enjoy it.

Most intelligent citizens know that Democrats and Republicans are apples and oranges, both fruits, that there is not a radical difference between them. Generally, the Democrats have started seed programs in health and education that are always quelled by the Republicans when they take back the White House. John Kerry is a wealthy man. His family has never been hungry. He has never stood in an unemployment line. He and George W. Bush are both members of the Skull and Bones. They are holding hands behind the scenes. But Kerry is not a member of the elder Bush's posse, the oil barons and the war mongers. So the logical choice would be Kerry. But could he fix the deficit, could he pull us out of Iraq, could he win in Afganistan? If you buy a car that has a faulty engine, can you drive it immediately across the country? Hell, no. But you could rebuild that engine. And what about the raving screaming Nation of Islam? Well, within a few short months, we will have our answers.

Butch August 31, 2004

1 comment:

Glenn Buttkus said...

Damn, here it is the 4th day of 2008, and Junior is still getting his oil, gas is still more than three bucks a gallon, our young people are still dying in Iraq, and the Republicians have stonewalled the majority Democratic Congress for years.

But the Presidential Elections are going full speed, and Iowa was over yesterday. Obama came out on top for the Democrats, followed close by John Edwards, followed at a distance by Hillary Clinton. New Hampshire is next. Clinton needs to place higher for sure. Is America ready for a change? So inquires Barak Obama, and so do I. I thought we were ready for a change 4 years ago, but somehow, with rigged elections, the electorial college, smoke and mirrors, Junior got back in, and rode it hard for three more years. Lame duck, or otherwise, he sill scoops off the top of the graft and oil profits; he and the other cronies in the Oil Business. There are rumors that in 2012, Jeb Bush will run for the oval office. God help us.