Ignorance is bliss (isn't it?): The Bush administration's assault on science, science facts and scientific evidence continues unrestrained. Forget that the human population is living far beyond its means and inflicting damage on the environment that could pass points of no return - rely instead on the truth and reality defined by your government-approved Faux News service or, better yet, on good old folksy wisdom from government officials such as this one: "it is true that many people die from cold-related deaths every winter. And there are studies that say that climate change in certain areas of the world would help those individuals". Yes, this from the same (current) White House Spokeswoman with an active climate change denialism past, for whom trillions of dollars in war expenditure is not worrisome as long as the security of the country is assured, who views refusals to comply to executive orders constitute non-issues, and who is utterly confused about the separate branches of the government, the various levels of checks and balances, and her own country's laws. She even already admitted to speaking out of ignorance. The intellectual sloth-driven ignorance and incompetence - it burns, it burns! With such stellar "informed" and "knowledgeable" government officials, it pretty much explains it all - doesn't it? Incidentally, this brings me to ...
Fear-driven, tortured logic: Authoritarianism is increasingly being accepted while utter injustices are either ignored or complacently dismissed as "par for the course". Hell - dissent is more than ever perceived as a danger to society, especially by those ruled by ignorance and fear. Censorship of dissent is likewise de mise, while pandering to the Bush cult of personality continues on. In these sick and twisted times, where government agencies go as far as to mount fake news conferences in order to propagandize their efficiency, seeking to end a wrongful war of choice is "wasting time" whereas torture is not torture - or rather, it is difficult to say exactly what torture is and, therefore, it is the fault of Congress for having failed to define exactly what torture is ... and isn't. Besides - the U.S. does "not torture" (because "we say so" ) and, if it does, it is only in the hypothetical sense. Furthermore: since torture is legal, then it is not torture, or illegal. Consequently, that is precisely why it must be defended, especially since it yields "great intelligence results" - you know, like this one or these ones. Conclusion: one can justify anything in the name of fear (and if you feel like your head is about to explode, then welcome and join the club). All we have to fear, we must - indeed.
Iraq'ed: Apparently, violence is down in Iraq and, therefore, this constitutes a sign of progress there. But, what progress is this really when said downturn of violence coincides with increased ethnic cleansing and mass refugee displacement? How much progress is there when vital infrastructures such as dams risk of collapsing because of neglect, with the potential of killing hundreds of thousands in the process? Not taking into account the rampant, massive fraud and corruption? Speaking of criminal activities, their perpetrators and their enablers ... the Bush administration is now a de facto "accomplice after the fact" by having granted immunity to those Blackwater guards accused of war crimes in Iraq. This is not surprising, considering all that this utterly incompetent administration has invested in this mercenary company. As a result, the equally incompetent Iraqi government has drafted a bill which would lift immunity to all private mercenary companies operating in Iraq - unless, that is, the Bush administration define them as an extension of the multinational forces in Iraq, rather than private security guards (can you spell "huge-gaping-loophole"?). Such overall mendacity, stupidity and all around incompetence would be hilarious in the context of a zany, goofy comedy movie, if this was not so mind-numbingly tragic and catastrophic. The Iraq quagmire is indeed best summed up by those who are fighting there: "I don't think this place is worth another soldier's life". That is about just right. However, I would slightly amend the sentence thus: I don't think this venture was worth anyone's life, to begin with.
Global War on Terror(TM) - great for business: In addition to the ludicrous acts of fraud perpetrated by private contractors in Iraq (and in Afghanistan as well), the war on terror is proving to be one humongous profitable cash cow for the whole of the industrial-military complex. It has already become obvious that this so-called war has been diverting incalculable resources away from serious efforts to counter terrorism, leaving us with silly, irritating, abusive and utterly inefficient measures such as no-fly lists, airport security checks, and other such nonsense, in order to actually reward corporations that profit from high-tech weaponry that has little usefulness in genuine counter terrorism. Think about it: "With rare exceptions, the war against terrorists cannot be fought with army tank battalions, air force wings, or naval fleets—the large conventional forces that drive the defense budget. The main challenge is not killing the terrorists but finding them, and the capabilities most applicable to this task are intelligence and special operations forces. ... It does not require half a trillion dollars worth of conventional and nuclear forces. That half a trillion only covers the Pentagon budget for expenses beyond the cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars or the Department of Homeland Security. Those last three items total more than $240 billion in Bush’s 2008 budget requests. Add to that the $50 billion spent on intelligence agencies and an equal amount of State Department-directed efforts and you can understand how we manage to spend more fighting a gang of mujahedeen terrorists, once our "freedom fighters" in that earlier Afghan war against the Soviets, than we did at the height of the Cold War (...)". To this effect, the Institute for Policy Studies calculated last year that the top 34 CEOs of the defense industry have pocketed a combined $984 million dollars since 9/11 - enough to cover the entire wage bill for more than a million Iraqis for a year. And while you chew on this bit of trivia, consider the following: "The 'war on terror' is fraudulent. The cruel war and the deceptive vocabulary that protects it are a cover for expanding US and Israeli hegemony in the Middle East and for constructing a functioning police state at home. A country in which people cannot make airline reservations without the government's permission is not a free country". Let it be known: the Global War on Terror(TM) is a fraud (doh!). And once again: as we let the neocons' wet dreams becoming reality (and such wet dreams go as far back as 1992), this is why we are the real problem with terrorism. Hence the question: how long before We The People stops performing as post-9/11 fear-driven dancing puppets to the controlling tune of Operation Enduring Propaganda? In the unlikely event that you would remain unconvinced of all of this, then I suggest that you re-read the previous four items above.
And that, as they say, is that - for now.
Next time around: The horror, the horror ... Canadian-style.
(Oh - and Happy Halloween!)