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Posted by Rick · October 11th, 2003 · 1 Comment

I’ve been rather deliberately quiet of late while I reassess priorities. As I noted in other posts — and I’m too tired to hunt them down and link them right now, but if you’re interested a perusal of my site will probably turn them up — I work a full-time non-legal job (Director of Information Systems for a medium-to-large (somewhere between $125-140 million/year in revenue) company, attend law school full-time in the evenings and do a variety of other things in addition to maintaining this blog. And, I’m a lazy S.O.B. Lately, I’ve been playing golf almost every weekend and lying on the living room floor at late at night listening to CDs on topics ranging from Criminal Law to Property Law to Carnegie’s classic book to recordings about neurolinguistic programming and communication skills. Among other things, I need to learn how to get my message across here, on this blog.

After all, recently, Californians — as I sadly anticipated, but nevertheless labored against — succumbed to the mythos of our times. “We’re tired of politicians who’ve never done anything but govern. We’re sick of those who make a career out of understanding how municipalities, states and complex federal systems work. It’s time to throw the bums out and replace them with actors, shysters and corporate lackies.” (You can tell the communications CDs are working, nu?) Nowhere else can I imagine such an approach not being laughed right out of existence, but in politics, it’s de rigueur of late.

Seriously, could you imagine the following situations?

A patient, about to go in for a gallbladder operation says, “The health care system is a mess. I don’t want one of those namby-pamby college-educated doctors working on me. A friend of mine is an actor. His last three roles involved cutting up people. Why, in his last picture, he got in a fight over the bar tab with some guy, cut him in half with a circular saw and said, ‘I’ll split it with you.’ He’s offered to do the job for half what that Harvard-educated schmuck you’ve got wants to charge me.”

A man and his wife arrive at the airport for a trip to the Carribean. The ticket agent informs them that due to a strike by the pilots’ union, their flight is cancelled. “No problem,” says the husband. “I read a brochure on pilot training in the military before I went AWOL. Besides, I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night.” The crowd cheers. No one is concerned when, upon entering the plane, he looks toward the front, then towards the back and finally asks the stewardess, “Which way to the pilot-flying-area?” (Note that he does not call it “the cockpit.”)

As absurd as this sounds, we think nothing of turning over the world’s fifth largest economy to an actor who seldom even voted until his name was on the ballot, let alone actually had any experience governing. Heck, he didn’t even play a politician on TV!

We don’t even care that “64 percent of voters said Schwarzenegger did NOT address the issues in enough detail during his campaign, and 31 percent thought he did.” As CBS News noted, “This did not derail his effort to reach Sacramento, though, and among those who said he did NOT give enough detail on the issues, 25 percent still voted for him nonetheless.” (Emphases in the original.)

We had no problem turning over the reins of America to a man who said, “There ought to be limits to freedom” when someone insulted him on a website. And he won serious points with the public when he referred to a journalist who insulted him as “a major-league asshole.” Then, after such commentary on those who would dare to insult him failed to stop criticism, his administration leaked information, exposing a CIA agent, ruining her career and even risking her life. (By the way, why has this story suddenly fallen off the radar? Why, instead, are we being constantly fed pap or else White House spin doctors trying to convince us that war is good instead?)

And although Americans are slowly becoming concerned about the costs and justification for waging war in Iraq, CNN’s Rudi Bakhtiar unabashedly reported that “regime change” must come to Cuba, while reporting about a Rose Garden address from George Bush. Ms. Bakhtiar has apparently experienced no qualms in the past providing a right-wing commentary on stories that cross her desk, but did not even flinch over these code words for imperialism which so far have always contained a not-so-veiled threat of military action. (You know, I’ve also never understood this sort of thing: Ms. Bakhtiar bluntly stated that Bush was doing this to garner a greater share of votes in Florida. If, in fact, “regime change” in Cuba were a good thing, shouldn’t the impact on votes be irrelevant? Don’t people feel manipulated when they hear that some major policy initiative is being put forth on television just to win votes?)

Of course, besides the Florida vote, Cuba is a large potential market for American businesses. And if Bush has shown anything, he’s shown a willingness to stretch our military to the limit for the benefit of his business partners.

Meanwhile, Vice-President Cheney reminds us that pre-emptive strikes against governments that might one day possibly threaten us are okay. It doesn’t matter, he says, that we don’t find actual evidence for the charges he and his oil partners levied against the Iraqis. We know they hate us. I mean, they won’t give us their oil! And we know if we wait for evidence that they maybe kinda-sorta intend to possibly attack us one day in the distant future with their invisible weapons of mass destruction, they’re gonna get us. Forgive me if I think this smacks just a little bit too much of “Minority Report” gone international. In fact, it’s worse. At least in Minority Report they had some evidence on future crimes.

Personally, I think it’s the fact that you’ve all been brainwashed. You actually believe myths like “the media is controlled by liberals.” (If this is so, how do you explain stories like this one?) You believe Bush wants to help you in spite of the fact that all he’s done so far is take a budget surplus to a budget deficit and start or threaten wars around the world. You believe Democrats “spend, spend, spend” in spite of this massive funneling of the surplus into $9000-per-telephone contracts in Iraq being awarded to Worldcom or no-bid contracts to Bush’s friends for oil — the real reason we took over Iraq. You think we’re fighting for freedom while we’re imposing some of the most restrictive laws on freedom in North America since before the War of Independence fought by our Founding Fathers. And you believe you’ve improved things in California by installing an actor as governor because he’s an “outsider”; you believe this despite the fact that this man who isn’t really a cyborg, but played one on TV is controlled by the same group that previously screwed up California.

And so, for now, anyway, I return to quiescence. Maybe I’ll start posting entertainment articles.

Who knows? If I do a good enough job at it, I may become governor one day.

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Categories: Personal Life


1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Erik // Oct 15, 2003 at 4:28 pm

    Are we at war with France yet?

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