Where We Stand Today

Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends.

Iraq has become the evil love-child of a circus and a bad pulp thriller. Western journalists, those bold enough to remain in the world’s fastest growing terrorist training ground, skulk around in long beards and kaffieye to get their stories. People there die violent deaths every day. It’s mostly Iraqi citizens and the odd foreign suicide bomber, but the number of Americans and other “infidel” interests killed is steadily climbing.

It’s a place most certainly more like America today than it was under Saddam Hussein, and isn’t everyone thankful for that…

In fifty to a hundred years, or more, Iraqis might get a feel for democratic self-governance, but for the time being, a good portion of the people signing on to vanguard an Isaac approach in the land of Ishmael are dying fast.

Whatever it is we Yanks may do, Iraqis will need to put a long line of sacrificial offerings on the altar of Freedom for this democracy idea to catch on.

Here at home, the public’s attention is being deftly averted from the unpleasantness in Arabia to the looming specter of Social Security Collapse. And much like the froth whipped up to mask his bitter approach to securing the oil supply, George W. Bush’s take on Social Security is based upon pure fiction.

There is no looming crisis other than the one sure to attend the popping of the “lockbox” and our collective reliance on the stock market to fill the breach. Forced savings indeed.

The beat goes on. Tides rise and fall. The earth moves. Thirty seven and a half percent of an inaugural budget ought to cover the worst natural disaster in recorded time, eh?

The avid Christian fatalist John Ashcroft is ceding his post as the nation’s Attorney General to a man comfortable as an executioner and eager to defend torture as a legitimate tool of hegemony.

The Invisible Man, Colin Powell, gives way at the State Department to mynah-bird Condoleeza Rice, who never heard a company line she wouldn’t parrot.

Donald Rumsfeld, lauded by his boss for the “super” job he’s done with the long hard slog in Iraq, has decided to avail himself of the “Salvadoran Option,” and American tax dollars are now beginning to support Middle Eastern death squads to do the job of spreading democracy.

The Bush White House also sees fit to spend tax dollars buying favorable coverage for its initiatives and programs in the news media, as exemplified by the sweet deal cut with conservative pundit Armstrong Williams to advocate for the wisdom of the No Child Left Behind Act.

America is awash in a sea of red ink, sporting all-time high marks for the trade deficit, the budget deficit, and business –as well as personal– bankruptcy filings. Workers are accepting deep cuts to their pay and benefits just to keep from having their jobs outsourced to India and China, and the dollars they are paid in are worth less and less with each passing day.

But look on the bright side: the Super Bowl is coming up, it’s a new season for American Idol, and the Academy Awards aren’t far behind.

We have more remedies for erectile dysfunction than ever before, a virtual smorgasbord of new SUV options rolling out of Detroit and Japan, and President Bush, any day now, is gonna put a stop to those damn trial lawyers who’ve been ruining our lives all these years.

Is this a great country, or what?

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