Saturday, February 10, 2007

The fix is in

I don't know whether it's the kids being sick this past couple of weeks, the aches and pains that come with middle age, or the unusually gloomy weather that has plagued us this February, but I am finding it damned difficult to summon the usual powers of optimism lately. Yeah, I'm pretty cynical by nature but usually I can find a silver lining. Not today.

As we enter the waning years of the first decade of what was once billed as "The New American Century" it is becoming increasingly clear that such pronouncements were, shall we say, a tad premature. This was supposed to be a banner century for Pax Americana as envisioned by the neoconmen who, when released from their asylums (e.g., PNAC & similar think tanks) promptly hijacked the White House and sent what was in truth an already crumbling superpower into a collision course with disaster.

Hence, here we are, perhaps a few weeks away from opening yet another front on the War on Terra, while simultaneously continuing losing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq (with Somalia never too far behind). Mark my words: the carnage from a war against Iran will make what's going on in Iraq look like a street fight in the 'burbs.

The powers that be in the White House have the psychological make-up of rabid hyenas on crack - vicious creatures who think nothing of cannibalism or of survival for that matter. These are not individuals to be reasoned with. A weak Congressional opposition has periodically attempted to do so, only to have its members quickly retreat to their bunkers or to catch the disease ("No, Iraq wasn't a threat. But those Iranians have got the fucking bomb, and we need to nuke those bitches now"). Hell, you can't run for President on either the Democrat or Republican brand name without becoming one of the rabid hyenas - crack optional, but it helps. Edwards, H. Clinton, & Obama will prove as up to the task at hand of Empire - grab as much resources and spill as much blood as possible - as the current gang of thieves. Look at what they've said and done in the past, and what each has promised for the future. It won't be pretty. A $700 billion dollar military budget will look like pocket change come 2012. With the mercenary biz being one of the few growth industries left in this country, the War Party will have plenty of meat to toss into the grinder, even if the official military can't get the bullet stoppers it requires.

So it goes.

Those most addicted to the power that comes with empire are binging like there is no tomorrow. They will not be stopped easily. So much as hint at cutting off the supply will merely elicit a vicious reaction. Seen this before with alcoholics and gambling addicts, and pretty much know the drill by now. Expect ugly personal attacks and lots of denial. Personally I'd rather take my chances with alcoholics than those addicted to the power of empire. The destructiveness of the former is usually fairly small-scale, and more often than not forgivable once back on the wagon. The latter though are a different animal - one hell-bent on destroying all who appear to stand between them and global domination.

Protests these days seem to be exercises in futility - though I'm still all for attending them and supporting those who protest against these wars, if for no other reason than each of us will have a day of reckoning for the sins of this decade, and having done nothing will lead to a far more unpleasant set of queries from the kids and grandkids who are sentenced to cleaning up our mess.

As I said, I'm not terribly optimistic these days. Soon winter will end, a new baseball season will begin, and longer sunny days will offer the promising signs of new grass and new life. In the meantime, onward through the freezing fog.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Another "Guns and Butter" (For the Greedy) Budget

Well, let's get this all straight: Junior Caligula's taste for blood is proposed to cost upwards of $623 billion (with the possibility that more will be extorted from the treasury later). If nothing else, the über-rich will make out like bandits, what with Bu$hCo's first term tax cuts set in concrete. It's all smiles for CEOs, I suppose. However, if you're poor, disabled, depending on Medicare or Medicaid etc., expect to get hosed.

Of course, if there were an actual opposition party in the US, this budget would not be a done deal. Oh wait - we have the Democrats. They've done a heck of a job in opposing the escalation of the Iraq War debacle. Surely they'll equal their successes on the budget front as well.