State of the World
When will it all end?
President Bush turns on the power in New Orleans long enough to do his impersonation of leadership then flicks off the switch as soon as the proclamation is complete. Billions of dollars are going to be spent, necessarily, to rebuild the Gulf Coast. Amid grave concerns over the federal government's response to Katrina Bush appoints none other than his political advisor, Karl Rove, to oversee the effort. Let me repeat: Bush's ruthless, diabolical, utterly bereft of ethics political strategist, the man who re-elected someone who never, ever, should have been president of the United States, is going to be in charge of billions of taxpayer dollars to rebuild an area of the country that the administration could care less about. Rove must feel like a kid in a candy store. The corruption, cronyism, incompetance, nepotism, scheming is going to be unprecedented. Well, it would be unprecedented if it had not all already happened in Iraq. That country is still being rebuilt, after the CPA tried to graft a libertarian wet-dream of think tank hack ideologues onto a country that has not yet produced a stable social and economic infrastructure. Poor, displaced and hopeless of Iraq, meet the poor, displaced and hopeless of Louisiana.
When will it all end?
I am outraged every day when I read the news. Well, to clarify, I have to read analysis of the news because god forbid the mass news media actually does their fucking job. Where is the outrage in the news? Karl Rove is under criminal investigation--repeat, criminal--for a breach of national security. He has been profiled as the ringleader of a national party of corruption hell-bent on acquiring and maintaining power indefinetly. Show me one fucking news source that expresses even the slightest bit of reservation at the president making Karl Rove in charge of the Gulf Coast reconstruction effort. The media, in a democracy, are the intermediary between the people and those in power. They are the conduit through which information flows, and are a necessary component of a healthy democracy. Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons--mostly having to do with power, class and celebrity, and the concentration thereof--the mass news media no longer function as a conduit between the people and the powerful. And when you have an administration and a party that controls all the levers of power, and is interested in nothing less than total rule, then I'm afriad our experiment with democracy is finally over.
When will it all end?
When there is this much corruption, negligence, indifference and abuse of authority, some entity has to defend the defenseless against the powerful. After all, 49% of this country rejected the Republicans last fall. Yet the would-be opposition party has been silent. Oh, occasionally they will huff and puff but they have failed to consistently challenge the Republican power machine. The Democratic party seems content to hang onto what little power they have left for...what reason? If they are uninterested in behaving like an opposition party then I will immediately retract my support for them. I was willing to throw all my support behind the Democrats because I thought they might be capable of reforming themselves, getting some new blood in the party and mustering a unifying vision to challenge the hegemony of conservatism. They have failed. The Democrats should be attacking the president and his administration every day without regard for being viewed as "partisan". You know what? An opposition party is supposed to be partisan. They are supposed to say, "Look! These guys in power, they have failed you. They have bankrupted the government, favored the rich over the poor, started an unnecessary and endless war, attacked reason, science, and intelligence, profited the well-connected off taxpayer money and have gotten away scott-free. It's time for a change, America, and we are it". The responsible opposition party would then lay out a comprehensive plan for saving America from that destructive force, the GOP. But what fighters the Democrats have left are too old to fight anymore, too tied to money and power, or simply ineffectual at challenging power. In other words, they do not deserve the office they hold.
When will it all end?
The world is careening towards several catastrophes, all of which, in my view, are based on the consumption and depletion of oil. No public figure with any power or authority has the cajones to stand up and say, "Look! Do the math. The oil is not going to last forever. We are at or fast approaching peak oil production. This is when demand exceeds supply. And it will only get worse. This is a global problem and requires a global solution. We have no replacement for oil. Our very way of life, at least amongst the affluent, is at stake. Saudi Arabia, give us a frank accounting of how many barrels you have. Oil companies, tell us the naked truth about how long we have. We need a panel of geologists, physicists, economists and world leaders to get together and solve this problem for the world, because it will affect everyone in the world within a generation". What do you, my reader, think the chances are of that happening? It's too depressing to think about the odds. So what will happen instead? The supply will get more scarce and the world will get more desperate. Japan needs oil. China needs oil. India needs oil. Europe needs oil. The United States needs oil. And those are the players who are going to be fighting for it in the near future. It could be a fight with words and sabre-rattling or it could be a fight with thermonuclear weapons. Sadly, the fight could be avoided, but my confidence in humanity's collective ability to solve problems is getting weaker by the day. This problem requires leadership and honesty. These are qualities that George W. Bush has never possessed. Just because the man stood at the wreckage of the World Trade Center with a bullhorn doesn't make him a leader. Leadership requires conviction to lead. He is only interested in power, that is to rule his subjects. And as the president of the most powerful nation the world has ever seen, he could set an example the rest of the world could follow. Don't hold your breath. There's cronys to reward and brush to clear. Not to mention the homosexuals. They're tearing us apart, after all...
When will it all end? Me, I'm not making any long term plans. I'm not sure the world will be here for me to enjoy them.