Thursday, May 05, 2011

Abandon all Hope...

Dubai woman sues ex-husband
for 12.5 million for not having sex
with her, causing her mental anguish.

Abandon all hope Ye who might wish to know the truth, or even a rough approximation of truth, about anything, anything at all. Truth no longer exists in our supposed democracy. I believe the death of truth probably began with Saint Ronnie’s absolutely idiotic proclamation, “Government is the problem.” I assume he must have received this revelation from Nancy, who in turn must have learned it from her Astrologer. In any case, after hearing this marvelous piece of utter nonsense the Republican Party has been on an obsessive course to try to prove it true. Thinking back on things, I do not remember people distrusting their government anywhere near the extent to which they do now. It is true there were always disagreements about policies and priorities, but by and large we assumed and believed we were being told the truth. I’m pretty certain that most people knew there were occasional government secrets but they did not think secrecy was a major characteristic of government or political life.

We have now reached a point where virtually no one trusts the government or the media to tell the truth about anything. Facts are no longer considered to be different from fictions, even science has been losing its credibility, and people seem to believe anything they wish, even things of such monumental importance they could actually destroy our lives. The denial of global warming is perhaps the best example of this, but there are other claims equally as potentially dangerous, “clean” coal or nuclear energy, for example, or the benefits of privatization and unregulated capitalism. Even things of much lesser importance are grist for the fantasy mills that seem never to stop grinding these days. Even now there are many who still believe President Obama is not truly a citizen of the U.S. and should not be President. Huge segments of our population deny the theory of evolution in favor of outright fairy tales about the age of the earth or people being swallowed by whales, or living with dinosaurs. Some 61% of us at the moment appear to believe that Osama bin Laden is already in hell, a destination known only to those who believe in angels and the happy hunting ground.

The Bush/Cheney administration shares greatly (even more than that) in our present distrust of our government. I cannot remember when they, or members of their administration, ever told the truth about anything. They lied about weapons of mass destruction, the potential cost of the “war” in Iraq, how easy and quickly it would be over, the benefits that would derive from tax breaks to the wealthy, the “spreading of democracy,“ the outing of Valerie Plame, the benefit s of torture that was not torture at all, but merely “enhanced interrogation,”and on and on and on, all lies piled upon further lies upon even further lies. Is it any wonder government no longer has credibility? The case of bin Laden’s death demonstrates just how far our distrust has lead us, as the Obama administration has elected to continue this reign of lies, misinformation, and secrecy. Virtually no one, as far as I can tell, believes what they have been told about bin Laden’s death. And why should they? First he was killed in a firefight, later he was unarmed. He was shot once in the head, then once in the head and chest, then twice in the left eye. He resisted although he was unarmed and not in very good health and was facing our absolutely crack heavily armed troops. He was to be killed, but not if he offered to surrender, he was hiding behind his wife, no another woman, no not hiding at all. His twelve year-old daughter says he was captured and then shot ten minutes later. His burial was rushed to be dropped in the ocean, ostensibly to meet Muslim burial traditions (that do not include burial at sea). Now we are not even allowed to see pictures of his corpse. We are never going to know what truly happened, and our distrust of government will be intensified. It is so bad it is even being acknowledged that people wouldn’t believe it even if they did see pictures of the corpse. Now many are demanding we remove our troops from Afghanistan because Osama bin Laden is dead and al Qaida pretty much destroyed. There is little sign so far that we are about to withdraw troops from that troubled land, most probably because those are not the real reasons we are there, but no one has ever explained clearly why we are there. I’m pretty sure that by this point, even if the government deigned to tell us the truth about something, no one would believe it. If, however, someone told us we were about to be attacked by “Mole people” from Nowhereistan, and therefore needed to double the Pentagon budget, many would believe it. I once heard it claimed that a man, on a busy payday, successfully cashed a check made out to U.R. Stuck from a bank in Nowhere, Alaska. This pretty much sums up where we are now.

How did this come about? Why and how did we arrive at this point where truth (and beauty) no longer exist? Saint Ronnie had something to do with it, as did Bush/Cheney. But so does the (mysterious, I believe) survival of so many Evangelical Christians (that for the most part do not exist in other modern, industrialized societies). This, in turn, is related to our contempt for education and our anti-intellectualism. And this is related to the corporate takeover of virtually all means of communication, radio, television, newspapers, and what have you, by a very small number of huge corporations that prefer to keep us in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant (so to speak). The powers that be do not want us thinking about how it is they are destroying our planet in their mad desire for short-term profits, or how our wealth is stealthily being transformed from the middle class and the poor to the obscenely wealthy. Is this partly, at least, our own fault? When did you last hear of an uprising or revolution of sheep?

Facts are stupid things.
Ronald Reagan

"And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.''
-Mark 16:18, the King James Bible

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