Culture War, Class War, Chapter Nineteen:
Thanks, George Bush
My Reaction – About Dictatorship and
a Legacy From Which America Will Never Recover
There you have it, the “un-retouched pre-Bush perception” from September 21st, 2000.
My reaction, at first, was that of being stunned, then saddened at what it reminded me of—the way things once were, what we had before it was stolen, destroyed.… But having had time to process and review the changes we’ve gone through and are going through, placed in relief against the assumptions of that former mind, something new has arrived.
Those were my fear eleven years ago. Not being Nostradamus, I’m sure my mindset was not unique; it was at least shared, I know, among many of my friends and colleagues at that time…probably even far beyond that. Still, now knowing what I had said and no doubt felt and thought more extensively about than what I actually put on paper, I can only be stunned considering my dire premonition. [Continued below audio]
Message in a Bottle/ Time Capsule, Part Two
an Audio Reading by SillyMickel Adzema
Here is an audio of the author’s impassioned, sometimes, humorous, reading of this part. Though it is of the first, unedited and unpolished version, and it does not contain all the detail of its current form here, it does capture the flavor of it all. I offer it here for your listening pleasure. For the reading of this part, “Message in a Bottle/ Time Capsule, Part Two” click on the link to the audio site above or click the link to the audio player below.
For since Obama took office I have been hearing these comprehensive evaluations and calculations in books by scholars, with enough clout and credibility to be broadcast on the mainstream and from several sources, that, first, the government under George W. Bush was run essentially like a dictatorship, by any definition of that. We are being shown how we lost our democratic rights, among so much else. The only thing that kept us from realizing this was the resistance by the media and the reluctance of the populace to face such a horrific prospect.
Basically, until Bush was out of office, hardly was there anyone with the courage to look squarely at what he was doing and has done and add it up. People who have lived under dictatorships can I’m sure understand that reluctance to point out such an horrific prospect while still under the regime’s thumb!
America May Never Recover
There is a second development that has caused me to be struck by what I said years ago. It is the calculations of a scholar who added up the damage left behind by Bush in America—economically for the most part, but otherwise as well—and concluded there was no way, ever again, that America could expect to have the relative prosperity, opportunities for the majority, not to mention standard of living, and so much more, that it once enjoyed.
Echoing like the fall of Rome
Essentially this person was saying that George W. Bush had managed to so “kneecap” America during his short…though long they seemed…eight years that America would never ever recover. This is an astonishing assessment, echoing like the announcement of the fall of the Roman Empire.
We haven’t always had the best of Presidents. But this person’s thesis, in the midst of the dire things coming out, and they continue to pile up, is being widely considered. While hoping him wrong, people are not discounting that he may be the only one getting it right. For it cannot be denied that few are brave enough or have strong enough stomachs to actually go piece by piece through the wreckage and add it all up and place it alongside the best assessments of America’s needs and responsibilities in the decades coming.
So it is with these things in my mind that I read that statement about Bush leaving a legacy from which America will never recover, which I had written eleven years ago and then forgot. And I am shaken.
But you are not me, and so there is the need for this explication as well as the need to completely leave the document as I found it, incomplete sentences and all. It was reproduced exactly in Part One, without even changing obvious typos or even confusions of grammar. I did not want anything to taint or draw suspicion around what you mostly have to take my word on.
I can only say that I feel no need to puff myself up nor do I care if you don’t see what I think is obviously there. But I still thought I’d give my best case possible to you for my credibility. For if I garner a bit of that, the reader just might see and understand the astonishment that I felt.
The Ignorance Excuse
Our Leaders Prefer We Think Them Dumb Than Culpable
This might seem to be overdoing it, but I’ve noticed that we live in a time where those in power, making these huge “blunders,” like to excuse themselves by claiming ignorance. It is quite clearly that they would prefer us to think them stupid than evil.
“Real funny, Richard”
I noticed one kind of use of the ignorance defense on TV a few years back. Richard Clarke, who had worked in national security in the Bush Administration, was talking about the widely held theory that our government was responsible for 911. He responded laughingly—which by itself is odd. But what he said is the exact way that those in power would prefer we think them stupid than culpable.
Richard Clarke’s response was a takeoff on the notion that, ha ha, government cannot do anything right. Government is the great scapegoat in this convenient societal defense mechanism; the US Postal Service is the prime example of how it is used. We ask things of mail service and those who forecast the weather that we would not expect in any other area. It is unreasonable, but society must have scapegoats, I suppose.
Social niceties are not profound political theory.
People need something to blame for their frustration when they are unknowing and denied information of the real factors affecting them. So we have these societal punching bags to collectively complain about which allows us to share our irritation, receive knowing support on it from others, bond with others in a shared laugh about it, and go on to other more understood matters.
But these things are not based on reason. They are in the category of those “obvious truths” I have been talking about—true sounding, but not true. Rationally speaking the postal service is about as reliable as a thing can get and much more reliable than what the private sector can do, and weather forecasters are far more on the mark than pure guesswork or the feelings in one’s joints would turn up. Still, both are remembered for their rare, but irritating occasional screw-ups than for all the times they are right on the money. It is just a social way of talking and bonding that we do in complaining about them.
Convenient-for-the-rich common nonsense inspired Reagan.
Yet, Ronal Reagan brought this common-nonsense to the level of a grand theory of government. He declared, “Government is not the solution to the problem, it is the problem.” Jumping ahead, we see how idiotic that was currently in 2011 as we see government being stripped down to the bones and people suffering ever more because of it. Reagan based his government on this convenient-for-the-rich, irrational but widely held social ritual of complaining about things and using the government as an example of ultimate foolhardiness.
Clinton, to his discredit among all the creditable things he did, continued Reagan’s contrivance in declaring “The era of big government is over.” This is an example of the “triangulation” he was noted for—co-opting and holding the territory of his opponents and using the additional sway that move gave him to make gains in areas his opponents did not approve of.
Clinton gave sacrifice to the dragon of nonsense to get some good things done.
Unfortunately the drawback of that move was, first, that Clinton had to make tradeoffs to get his gains; he had to actually take action in areas no progressive would desire. So, Clinton “reformed” welfare, which is something that may cause suffering in our country forever. He did this so he could create the illusion of ending big government.
The second negative from this triangulation is that it gave credibility to these common nonsensicals about the foolhardiness of government effectiveness. It is nonsensical, as is done these days, to think that big government is a threat to one’s precious Medicare and Social Security! But this is the legacy of Reagan, and then Clinton’s, pandering to the irrationality of the masses brought on by decades of immersion in “obvious truths.”
So getting back to Richard Clarke. He laughingly brushed off the 9-11 conspiracy theories by saying that would entail a high degree of government coordination, which is hardly possible for our government (ha, ha, ha). This is a pristine example of the powerful preferring we think them dumb than what they really are…guilty.
The Ignorance Defense Is No Excuse
Another kind of use of the stupidity defense may have another culpable official saying “Well, no one, before the fact, had ever considered for a moment that people would take planes and crash them into buildings,” for example.
“No one beforehand would ever have thought…”
For that one, former Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice. It’s a statement she has made since 9-11, and even had repeated it in her last days in office. Never mind the well-known, and widely reported Intelligence that was released after 9-11 that had concluded that bin Laden had determined to strike in America using planes to crash into buildings, statements given to the American government many months before the catastrophe and which Rice herself is known to have been aware of months before the crashes, and which journalists record her having little interest in, despite several attempts at briefing her on it.
And she is only one of those who make the same claim, denying the warnings. The Intelligence on this was most damning, in that it was specific, in pointing to a lack of vigilance, and an apparent narrow ideological view which made them, apparently, not see all the evidence required to make valid assessments. But rather they were predisposed to certain conclusions and so scanned for the pieces that supported that.
We know in retrospect that is what happened, and we know how disastrous that view was. Which is why I am writing this. It is simply high time for people who knew better to stop letting these ideologues, whose very ideological bent was arguably the reason they failed so horribly, get away with the ignorance defense.
“Ignorance” means literally “to ignore.”
It is one thing to say that one did not oneself consider certain outcomes or possibilities, but to claim that “no one at all” ever thought these things…. Well, it is ignorance, literally, “to ignore,” that caused so many in power, ideologically bent, to simply see only what they wanted to see.
To know, yet to continue to assert ignorance, is defined as “lying.”
But, proven wrong, and shown and pointed out that there had been plenty of evidence to have led one to do things differently and to get it right, and to still claim that no one else knew, is defined as lying.
It may be human nature to lie after one has screwed up so badly, but it is not required of humans. And others have many times admitted they were wrong and humbly admitted their failings in not considering the very evidence in front of them. Bush’s Scott McClellan is one such person. He was the Communications Director under Bush, and wrote a confessional book admitting that he should have known better and done differently.
If so susceptible to “human nature,” there are others who would not be.
No, it is too damn easy to say “human nature.” People in such positions should, let us say, we would hope, have a tad more of the noble in them, a bit more integrity not less, or they shouldn’t be allowed to take such positions, which require at least the integrity and nobility to be working for the betterment, protections, and the increase of all of Americans, over against one’s own interests; and need I say over against one’s egotistical desire to try out on the world stage some ideological theory. Else, hell, there’s lots of folks—many are Democrats—who would have tried a lot harder under the same circumstances.
So, it strikes me as more than arrogant for people who created these situations out of their own ignorance, greed, and so on, to excuse themselves by basically painting everyone else with the same brush.
Guess what, Cheney-Bush-Rice, others would not have come to the same conclusion.
No, Rice and Bush and Cheney, who all engage regularly in this, “No one could have known” excuse, do not have the right, after being given (or after having taken) the reins of the most powerful governmental forces, to place themselves as innocent and humanly unknowing just like everyone else, as they perpetrated the kinds of deeds of evil that they were so ready to decry, and put down, in others, and now to escape their mistakes and their ideologically driven lapses of such consequence, to be making themselves feel superior and safe by saying, essentially, anyone in the same situation would have come to the same conclusion.
Ignorance not an excuse when you make every effort to not know.
Well, the facts are, as I will be pointing out again and again, that when you make the conscious decision to eliminate contrary points of view, even when there are more of them than support your bent, and having ignored reports, stifled opposition, and insulated one within a group of monolithic true-believers; all while that entire America and the world is requiring you to get it right; NO, when you basically set it up so that, after hearing things you don’t want to hear, you make damn sure that the only people that are around or will even be allowed in (Bush took it so far as to never allow anyone even in one of his town hall meetings to attend if they were not fully on his side), it seems to me, to be more than arrogance, I don’t know, to say that, having drawn one’s circle so small, and against the better interests of the American people that you would at least, having been given the job, to do it as well as any small businessperson and simply find out everything one can before making a decision.
We know you didn’t do your homework, but this is hardly grade school.
But now, why would it be? Why this need to go so far in denying the facts? Why the need, which as pointed out existed during that long period where it became increasingly clear that the Administration had gotten so many things wrong for lack of “doing one’s homework” that so many of the Bushies, like Rice, also felt this ignoble need to excuse themselves of their mistakes not saying they’d done wrong but, amazingly, adopting and engaging in the same kinds of excuses of common criminals, even a mass murderer to explain one’s failings.
Bushies using same excuse as a mass murderer—how does that strike you?
For as Charles Manson used to like to say, “how do you know what you would have done if you’d been in my shoes? How do you know that you’d not come to the same conclusions and actions after experiencing and learning what I did?” And adding, “What I’m saying is that all you smug people, thinking you’re so above the rest of us and so incapable of evil continually assert how good you are and to exaggerate with fake loathing and revulsion how different you are from these others? Why, except that you are aware of having some of these things inside yourself, a little bit of Manson, or Bundy, or whatever? You are aware of these tugs and pulls and so your protestations aren’t they mainly to try to fight back those things?”
And here he would laugh, “You see, what you people don’t want to admit is that we are all alike on the inside; and that includes the evil. That also includes the good, which you would deny that I have. In fact, you do not want to know that you could as easily done this as I did, under the correct circumstances.”
While, there may be some truth in what Manson and criminals like him have claimed, psychologically speaking, and his pointing to hypocrisy is certainly often merited, still he is talking about the human psychology and the imperfections of them. One can easily grant that humans are not perfect, but that does not mean that we’d all become killers in the same circumstances. That is something one cannot know. But what we do know is that different people can be in a particular situation and react completely differently: one may act nobly, even heroically; another may act cowardly, finding excuses, blaming others.
What I’m saying it that is unseemly to an nth degree to hear those who have taken over our government through their claims to be better, be smarter and more able, and to be more ethical—and would that include a little integrity, even nobility of character. So for these people, who have driven this country into the ground, after claiming higher ethics, character, morality, all the rest, than their opponents, indeed, so high as to warrant their receiving the job of most responsibility and requiring the most integrity than any other one in the world.
If you’re so common, why put yourself up to lead?
So then, after all that sales pitch at the beginning their excuse for screwing up is essentially that they were just the average Joe, the C—student, who didn’t like homework, and it being “so hard,” that they made common mistakes—one’s that anyone would make.
Well, 1) EVERYONE DID NOT MAKE THESE MISTAKES! And you showed yourself too incompetent in not even listening to them, and 2) if you’re so common, then how dare you place yourself above everyone else and lie about your character and so on.
If you were lying about all that as a political ploy just to win. .. so that you could, what? Have power? Help your friends and yourself become enriched, or whatever? Well the lives of all humans on this planet are affected by the decisions of that office. And if your intent was a selfish one, then the whole world suffered, for it was a job for them that you were hired to do.
It’s more than unethical.
Not doing your job, and lying to the American public to get the job, is more than unethical. It becomes treason when the office is used to extort from the American taxpayers, huge amounts of money to give to their rich friends and to corporations with ties to the administration like Halliburton, who made money hand-over-fist with no-bid contracts.
No, that kind of stuff is not the stuff of mistakes but is intentional. It is using the highest office of the land, and taking the hopes of us all, from the little girl who wants to see her Daddy again, the many languishing in hospitals for lack of health care …. The list is endless … it is assuming to be their hero, while spending one’s time dismantling the government and the benefits it provides for us all, which for several hundred years have been worked out.
To plunder government for selfish ends is more than a mistake of foresight.
And for one administration to trash and plunder that government for its own selfish ends is not a matter of “I didn’t think of that before.” No, it sounds like the excuses of criminals because that is what this recent bunch actually were.
So that’s an example of what I’m getting at, which is that, despite so many denials, especially by the people in power and their lackeys in the media—all claiming that they could not foresee this, could not foresee that, that this was truly unprecedented, and that nobody could ever have seen such and such coming.
Not a lack of astute people, it was a lack of intention.
What I’m proposing is that in fact many did see many things coming, not just unheard of and powerless me (although isn’t it significant that even I could pick up on certain things), that it was not a lack of astute people, but let us say an intentional leaving out of the conversation of policy,any and all minds who could have and would have advised more correctly and would have prevented much if not all that has transpired and which now leaves America in a crisis to top all crises, at the worst possible time when so many other things of global significance are on the line.
So, hey! Thanks a Lot, George Bush!
You might want to step back and enjoy the humor in this as I did. This is my little, oh, “thank you note” to George W. Bush. It is a satirical piece. A supposed admirer-fan-chum of George W. Bush encourages thank-you’s for Bush’s “accomplishments,” which, described glowingly by the fan, sound quite the opposite to the listener. The fan has the most admiration for the great caper Bush “pulled off” at the end.
A Comedic Monologue
This comedic monologue combines the actual facts of recent history with a simple, unspun speculation of them, coming from the mouth of a fawning admirer who, for that reason, is allowed to elaborate on the shady dealings. So Bush, it is intimated, basks in the glory of having his ideas for illegal dealings praised as clever and awesome, or even cute.
This is political satire that will have you laughing from the total incongruity and irony of the monologue, but it will also leave you more informed and thinking. This is provocative, funny stuff.
And the audio only version of the above:
About the audio and video above.
[From February 2, 2010] Yesterday the airwaves were abuzz re: the CEO of Goldman Sachs taking $100 million in bonuses and thumbing his nose at Obama in doing so. Other reports this week are confirming the sleight-of-hand and shadiness surrounding the TARP bailout of the banks: Specifically, that TARP money handed out by Paulson was not recorded, let alone accounted for or monitored; and therefore it cannot be traced or even determined whether it went to benefit American corporations, let alone Americans, and not foreign corporations or even private interests or parties.
With these recent developments coming to light, along with the tea-baggers and Republicans continued blaming of Obama for everything from being born, daring to take the oath of office with unpresidential skin pigmentation, to daring to reverse the direction of the country from the cliff that Bush had so clearly left us heading for, it seems it’s time to revisit those days of yore, those nostalgic last glimmerings of a time when we had a government solidly on the side of the people, that is, helping them in keeping them comfortably distracted from the sight of the truckloads of loot being removed from the Treasury to the coffers of the filthy rich and the huge, oftentimes, foreign or international corporations.
Let us return, then, to December, 2009, and President Bush’s last couple months in office, and recalling those halcyon days, render our gratitude anew:
And the text of the “Oh, Thank You..” audio and video:
A Big “Thank You” to George W. Bush,
with Admiration for
“The Great Bush-Paulson-’Filthy Rich’ Caper”
C’MON EVERYONE, JOIN IN NOW!: “Why, Thank you, George Bush!”
…………….This is my little, let us say, oh, “thank you note” to George Bush for all his “hard work.”
Also, in appreciation of the “Paulsie Scam,” which we will be dealing with forever….
luckily it’s been arranged that won’t be too long.
“Thanks George W. Bush for all your efforts and “hard work” which have led,
your decisions and your Administration solely to blame—
thank you for being “THE DECIDER!” by the way —
to leave us in the midst of so many dire and rapidly expanding problems, so that many people are not just wondering if they will have a job or money, but that even if this planet will make it through another fifty years.
So, hey, thanks for all the hard work and for relieving us and all our grandchildren of any money, and….
oh, I see, there probably won’t be any planet for the little dears to live on.
And everyone dead and all….
Why, gosh, Mr. W., you’re so smart, you probably knew that!
So that’s why you and your cronies went so far as to commit grand larceny even at the end, scraping out the last of any money in the Treasury—wasn’t much left for Obama to do with anyway, after your eight years of partying on high with your Halliburton and your god-only-knows faceless “filthy rich,” gang.
Must’ve felt like the ol’ times, eh, except for the cocaine. . .
Er, I mean, I didn’t mean to presume, I mean, you can have cocaine, who am I…
Oh! What a relief, glad to hear you did not partake like the others. It’s just that….
I mean George, friend, my Man here, c’mon there were some pretty weird dancing and stuff and things—right at the end there—that had me wondering and worrying….
Oh, I get it, no cocaine, but wink, wink, you’ve got your ways you say? Hmmm? Finding things better than cocaine and getting away with it?
Well, he he, I’m not about to judge. I mean if we can have Rush Limbaugh asking for drug users to be hung up by their finger nails, even as he’s got a constant drip for a codeine fix, and he gets away scot free, why shouldn’t you have your fun? You always said it was haaaard work.
But I gotta get back to that stunt with the Treasury at the very end. I mean many, many a lesser, “criminal,” shall we say, mind would never go back again and again, let alone in broad daylight and in front of the entire world! Gad!
Was this all your idea to totally take everything while you could? Somebody else’s?
Anyway, it was brilliant. First, you enlist the support of that guy Paulson. Er, now that I know more about him, being worth $700 million, like and, getting bonuses of $37 million in 2005 and then 16.4 million the next year before he came into office with you…..
Why, could it actually be that he was the one that talked you into it!!! Naaaaaaw?
Certainly, he’d have to be characterized as one of them “filthy rich” that you helped to create, making people wonder who’s really calling the shots in Washington. …
But, never mind, even if it was his good idea—and now I understand he’s had plenty of experience—being involved with the folks who did Watergate and all…way back in his early days… with Ehrlichman and all—so that—no doubt he’s got lots of good ideas, ya gotta give him that.
But, hell, don’t want to take any shine off your apples. No, it was you who chose him. And despite his background, managed to get him on your side and portrayed as one of the most well-respected men on Wall Street, at the time… I remember that well…. I’d never know about his background, and I was most respect…everybody said it was a big…a good pick for you? ‘Course that was the old Wall Street; ‘cuz we now know those bonuses and stuff aren’t too popular right now.
Anyhow, brilliant move, you put this man of yours on task for the high-pressured auto trading that you knew would be required to pull off such a heist.
So you had your guy Paulson, former head of Goldman Sachs…coming to take this position of Secretary of Treasury for you. And now we find out that none of that money went where it was intended to go and it did not change the situation but rather exacerbated it! Brilliant! More on that later, but…
more on that later, but, Jesus! I gotta say though…pretty incredible!!? I mean, Paulson himself, gets like, uh, what was it…50 some billion to a German bank? That then owes…Goldman Sachs 16 billion, and so he makes off with 16 billion on top, is that like…
What a crackup this guy is being! I mean he had everyone fooled, and, in fact, there is nothing at all being said about his involvement or his possible effects on what happened, even to this day.
That’s smoothness even you and I could learn from , y’know, Mr. W and……..stay away from him, man…. He’s just tooo smart for all of us, ok, I think he’ll have……. He, he, I think he’s already had his hands in all of our pockets, he, he, I figure… (I’m sorry bout that)… But anyway…
Naw, c’mon, let’s, let’s…we wanta go over your accomplishments tonight, Mr. President, I mean…. I mean..the whole thing…y’know, going to Congress, there….
Getting them to tally up that un-be-leiv-able sev-en hun-dred bill-ion dollars! …like almost a trillion dollars…. I mean they could not get that high, I mean….
Anyway…so we heard how you guys gathered these guys together in Congress…I mean how it was done, y’know, it was like…well musta been like one of those movies….like Ocean’s elev…. Like an Ocean’s 33, yeah! And. Anyway, so you gathered those suckers, those guys, in Congress together, who had the money, huh?
And, he, he, he, y’know, like, we heard afterwards how you guys gathered, Congressional Leaders… and… without explaining exactly how it would happen—of course
Congressmen could not be expected to understand the workings of economics and high finance like a Paulson could. So, kindly Paulson and his deputies explained using analogies, how nice of them to bring it down to their level, so sweet of them….
Y’know analogies…like this is like this, this is like this, y’know, and…yea, like that….
I just want to say how cute you are, W.. I mean, it was just, soooooo you….
Anyway, the analogy they used was that if Congress didn’t cough up the dough pronto—perhaps those weren’t the exact words, my bad. But anyway, that the consequences—and tell me W. this was all you, right?—The consequences would be that of a “GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN” (tell me, that part was you, right?) a terminal global economic meltdown that would… (wait, I’m getting an inkling here… was this next part, Cheney’s?) “End modern civilization as we know it for the foreseeable future.”
Wow! It gives me shivers just hearing it. I mean there ain’t no auto salesman in his wildest fantasies that could come up with something so absolutely, well, disabling.
You guys really took those suckers in Congress “out by the knees”! How could they have had a chance!
And, boy, there’s that implied nuclear thing again…”the meltdown”; yea. Doesn’t have to make any sense; I mean economics melting, but hey close enough. How clever! I mean that whole image of mushroom cloud, why it just worked stupendously to get us into a war. And now, this being economics…
Oh, my God, I see it; it’s like a fifties movie—”Oh, please help, we’re meeee-ee-llll-tiiinggg.” Yea, super scary. Heck, anything like that from fifties horror flicks…just good stuff.
Heck, you know that most people believe that stuff anyway.
So, I see, you feed them what they always feared anyway.
But that’s my George, the W. himself, going with what he knows. And, hey, why bother coming up with anything else, that card’s a winner for you, my man….
And c’mon, level with me, I just gotta know, won’t tell anyone else… Was that Cheney with the “end of civilization” part?
C’mon, he’s already living the Wild West out there in Wyoming, he’s probably thinkin Mad Maxin it and everything… I mean, c’mon…. C’mon, it’s got to be him, that’s just sooo Darth Vader, who else could think like that?
Please tell me I’m right…I feel like I know this guy and that is….well, that is just sooooo him!…
Copyright © 2009, 2011 by Michael Derzak Adzema
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Culture War, Class War, Chapter Twenty:
Message in a Bottle, Part Two
an Audio Reading by SillyMickel Adzema
Here is an audio of the author’s impassioned, sometimes, humorous, reading of this part. Though it is of the first, unedited and unpolished version, and it does not contain all the detail of its current form in this and surrounding chapters, it does capture the flavor of it all. I offer it here for your listening pleasure. For the reading of this part, “Message in a Bottle/ Time Capsule, Part Two” click on the link to the audio site above or click the link to the audio player below.
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