40 Years Ago Today, Tricky Dick Ran Away from Justice.

And America hasn’t been the same since. We have become cynical, our government and media have been largely taken over by Republicans who are still pissed off that their party’s crimes were uncovered. Really, though, they should be grateful that the GOP as a whole pretty much got away with it.

Shortly thereafter, Ford pardoned Nixon so the crooked bastard wouldn’t have to account for his many crimes, while the Repubs planned a takeover of the public and private sectors so as to ensure that they would never again be held to account for their illegal, immoral, unethical or anti-constitutional actions. With a few exceptions, that takeover has been a great success.

Today, politicos routinely resign rather than face charges, because Nixon set a precedent; and they are rarely prosecuted, because Ford set another precedent. Political crime and corruption have been legitimized to the extent that an illegitimate “President” (Bush II) could steal the Executive Branch, loot the Treasury, allow thousands of us to be killed, lie us into war,  kill thousands more innocent people in other countries…and face not one single consequence for such horrific crimes.

More than one commentator has bemoaned the decline in respect for the rule of law, the lack of trust in government, the rise of hyper-partisanship, and the general corruption and cynicism that plagues our society today. And justly so. But rarely do they trace these naitonal afflictions back to their root cause.

In my humble opinion, the reason our country has turned to shit can be traced back to 1974, when President Nixon shredded the constitution, committed and encouraged manifold crimes, lied to America…and was then allowed to walk away scot-free.

Crimes need to have consequences. Criminals need to be punished. Otherewise, a society will become a lawless, corrupt cesspool of neo-anarchistic social Darwinism. And that is what has happened in the past four decades.

Fuck you, Tricky. And fuck all those who allowed you to run away from justice.

CC

America’s Government Used to Do Great Things. We Can Do It Again.

Forty-five years ago as I write this, three astronauts were preparing to return home from the Moon. In just a few short years, the United States government, private industries, citizens and taxpayers went from never having put so much as a bread roll into orbit to sending men to another globe, through outer space. And we did it again and again.

The government did not go bankrupt. Society did  not collapse. Indeed, we saw an unprecedented wave of technological, economic and societal expansion during the time of the space program. Taking big risks resulted in some tragedy, yes, but it also produced enormous rewards for the entire world.

We did this at the same time we fought wars against poverty, disease, and ignorance. All of these likewise enjoyed a large degree of success. None were won, any more than the drive to explore the cosmos; but a helluva lot of progress got made in a brief period of time. A time, you’ll notice, that saw the United States government acting like it had some guts, some vision, and some kind of purpose.

Now we have a government composed to an increasing degree of wimps. Republican-run states are going broke, their infrastructure is collapsing, their hospitals are closing, and indeed the GOP advocates letting immigrant children die in the desert, all because “government can’t do these things any more”. We’ve gone from can to can’t in Red states (and anywhere controlled by Repubs).

Where America once dared, we cower; where we dreamed, we are afflicted with nightmares; where we once sought to gain, we strive now only to avoid loss. It’s considered trite to say this, but it is true: “if we could put a man on the moon, we could save these kids/build these roads/heal these sick/feed those hungry”. It is a truth that the fearful do not wish to hear, and do not wish for you to hear.

Men used to walk on truly desolate shores, lands with no food, water or even air. They survived and returned. Nowadays, we act as if we can’t do so much as offer the necessities of life to a bunch of traumatized children. Please join me in calling “bullshit” on this way of thinking.

Fear is killing our nation. It is killing children, adults, our economy and everything we built back when we weren’t a load of scaredy-cats. We don’t have to live this way. All we have to do to reverse this horrific trend is take a deep breath, and take a risk or two.

Here’s a song that you really ought to listen to: it’s by a great artist named John Entwistle, and it’s about how it feels when “fear is the key to your soul”. Listen and you’ll hear the heart of Republican America. Listen and then resolve to cast aside fear, embrace risk, and make our country great again. Feed the kids, heal the sick, build the bridges, and explore the unknown.

It’s not that hard, friends. We just have to take that first step away from the fear that has been dinned in our ears by those whose purposes are best served by our being terrorized. That first step, and the ones that follow, will take us to a nation renewed. A nation that says (as it once did): “Yes, we can. And we will”.

CC

John McCain, the most hypocritical POW in history:

John McCain, odious scumbucket that he is, is all in a lather about the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl this week. The US government negotiated with the aid of a neutral country (Qatar) to gain Bergdahl’s freedom from his Taliban captors. And the Senator thinks this is a terrible thing, very terrible indeed.

How quickly we forget: the Paris peace talks were political negotiations with the enemy that secured the release of John McCain from his Viet Cong captors. Just like happened with Bergdahl.

McCain was held for over five years. Bergdahl for just under five years.

McCain’s health was wrecked during his captivity. So was Bergdahl’s.

Lots of people questioned the war that McCain fought in. Just like they did the war Bergdahl fought in.

The similarities are overwhelming, aren’t they? But McCain isn’t decrying his own release from the wartime hellhole he endured; he’s just objecting to somebody else getting the same benefits he got from government negotiations. He’d happily see another soldier die in captivity, now that he’s safe and comfy himself.

Fuck that sick, twisted, hypocritical little gnome. Fuck him with an AK-47 (another similarity: the same gun was used by the Taliban and the Viet Cong).

CC