Happy Holidays Everyone! Look, i've brought you a present:
For your consideration, it's ... "YOUR Major American Scandals in Chronological AND Alphabetical Order [the Wikileaks-style edit]!"
OK, it's not really in perfect alphabetical, or chronological, order for that matter, but it does go from A--
--American Revolutionary Soldiers' Pay, Shay's Rebellion, the 3/5th Compromise, Sally Hemming, the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798, the Election of 1824, the Spoils System, the Trail of Tears, the Panic of 1837, Manifest Destiny, "54 Forty or Fight," that "Little Texas Border Dispute" 1846-1848, the Glanton Gang, the Know Nothings, Slave Codes, Dred Scott, James Buchanan's complete political career, Bleeding Kansas, CSA, Martial Law at the Maryland Statehouse, Andersonville Prison, the Conspiracy Behind John Wilkes Booth, the Johnson Impeachment, Credit Mobilier, the Whiskey Ring, the KKK, Black Codes, the Election of 1876, Boss Tweed, Union-Pacific, Standard Oil Trust, Haymarket Square, Sand Creek, Wounded Knee, the entire military career of Phillip Sheridan, or William Tecumseh Sherman, Indian Schools, the Oregon Land Fraud Scheme, Open Range, the Oklahoma Land Theft more genteelly laughed off as "those Silly Sooners-guffaw," the Chinese Exclusion Act, Plessey V Ferguson, the "Annexation" of Hawaii, the USS Maine, our Philippines "Stewardship," Food Poisoning of Army Rations in Spanish-American War, the Leadville Strike, the Tacoma Massacre, Joe Hill, Eugene V. Debs, the Sedition Act of 1918, Prohibition, the Red Scare, Warren G Harding, Teapot Dome, Sacco & Vanzetti, Prescott Bush, "The Crash," the Bonus Army Riots, the Tuskegee Experiment and its Guatemalan cousin, our overall Guatemalan/Central American "policies" in general, Executive Order 9066, the Dresden Bombing, the Nazi NASA, Arbenz, Mosaddegh, the Bracero Program, Strange Fruit, Downwinders, George Wallace, Joe McCarthy, Lunch Counter Strike (or just name your major southern city in any time in any century), the Election of 1960, JFK-RFK-MLK, Gulf of Tokin, every breathing moment of Richard Nixon, Agent Orange, Ear-Necklaces, Cambodia, Laos, Air America, Co-Intel-Pro, Operation Northwoods, Watergate, Salvador Allende, Chappaquiddick, SOA, Karen Silkwood, S&Ls, Iran-Contra, David Dukes, Ab-Scam, Diablo Canyon, the Lockheed Bribery "Deal of the Century," White Water, Mina, Arkansas Airport, the Run-Up to Iraq I, DU, Gulf War Syndrome Cover-up, the Keating Five, Hinckley, CA, George Ryan's Trucker's License Bribery Deal, Election of 2000, Enron, WTC7, the Run-Up to Iraq II, Scott Ritter and Hans Blix, WMDs, the various times missing billions of dollars have been "lost" in Iraq, Katrina & the Army Corps of Engineers cover-ups, Karzai the Opium merchant, Pat Tillman, Terri Schiavo, Patriot Act, Bridge to Nowhere, all the way from A (Abu Ghraib) --
-- to Xe.
There you go. You like your present? I really could just go on and on, couldn't i? All this annoying, not-nice history. And that's just the list i could think of. Bring out your own dead. The closer you look, the more there is to see. Our government has often betrayed us and ignored the people's attempts to make it behave. In fact, it's happened so often it IS the routine. How icky, how unpleasant. It is easier to simply dream of an "America that is always right and just and good," without all that ugly history stuff getting in the way. What's a slacker to do?
Luckily, the Millionaire's Club is here to help. You poor peons shouldn't have to think about this kind of thing. Just go sit in your boxes made of ticky-tacky, turn on the Idiocracy Channel, "stare at 'Funbags' there and enjoy your Brawndo. It's got the electrolytes that your body craves!"
Don't worry, be happy. Ignorance is Bliss. And Strength too, for that matter.
And, of course, once they have killed Julian Assange, that wicked Wikileaker, you will never have to hear of these unpleasant, icky, downright Un-American American historical embarrassments again. That whole Orwell thing about "who controls the past, controls the future, who controls the present now, controls the past"? It wasn't just a cool line co-opted for a Rage Against the Machine song; it was very much a notice of the kind of universal memory a public can be willing to sacrifice in favor of the comfort of illusions and how rapidly that public can sell that memory for a pitiful portion of porridge when they think they need to, to keep the Millionaires' Club happy.
As we, the people, consider joining in the public burning of the heretic Assange, and contributing our anger to the international war on the very inconvenient truths Wikileaks exposes, let's take a second to consider who and what it is we are actually destroying.
WWJC, indeed? ("Who Would Jesus Crucify?")
That's right, that's what it's come down to dear readers, members among the powers-that-be are calling for you to call for the death and destruction of the kind of people who remind us of our leaders' failures to live up to the same ideals they force us to espouse ad nauseam. The 21st Century Pharisees and Sadducees are calling for us all to stone the prophet, sacrifice him to protect our ignorance, and on cue we blindly fling our fistful of gravel at the straw-man Assange, and join in the call to silence the truth.
The truth is, folks, America-as-we-know-it depends on and defends some ugly, ugly secrets. And until we change that, we can't possibly achieve America-as-we-dream-it. Don't get me wrong. I love America, but, like any other lover of any self-destructive sometimes suicidal sweetheart, I accept that sometimes, even the love of your life, sometimes, does the wrong thing, sometimes mistakenly and sometimes on purpose and, when you realize it, that love, be it spouse, or child, or country, that love has to be snapped back to its senses. You have to work to change it, and that work is your show of your love.
I admire the American Spirit. We are a people and a mythos of amazing accomplishment and it has led to the fantasy of universal great wealth. Oh there is great wealth all right. There's supposedly something like fourteen trillion dollars in GDP. But it's not for us consumers; we actually owe something on the scale of sixteen trillion in personal debt. Who do we owe it to? Well, the richest 5% own like 90% of everything, so we probably owe it right back to them.
How did that happen? We let them set it up this way. See our government, our rich, and our racists, usually in the same room, have done crooked things to us and been inhumane to the rest of the world for forever, and they've never really wanted us to pay too much attention to their follies. In the meantime, our citizens have done shameful things to each other since Day One as well. This is our history, a room littered with corpses, one wonders why we allow the facade that each new outrage is to be treated as an anomaly.