The other day my honorary daughter called me up and said, "I have to be at court early tomorrow to help present a motion so I was wondering if I could spend the night at your house tonight in order to cut down on travel time tomorrow." Sure. And that's the true story of how I got forced into watching the final episode of "Dancing with the Stars".
As we were settling in for the evening with our jammies and bunny slippers and a big bowl of strawberries, my H.D. confessed. "I just LOVE 'Dancing with the Stars'. We gotta watch it. I'm voting for Joey."
Okay, okay. I'll grit my teeth and watch it. Anything to keep peace in the family. And then Leila Ali came out and danced and totally won my heart. Good grief she was good! And then she LOST! Rigged vote! I demand a recount! Of course the judges were wrong! Plus we never got to see what the call-in vote totals were either. Who did their vote-counting? Diebold?
But then I got to thinking, "Just because America's presidential elections are so totally rigged, do I gotta start suspecting that EVERYTHING in America is corrupt and crooked and rigged? Even 'Dancing with the Stars'?"
Okay, okay. So maybe Apolo DID dance up a storm. Maybe Leila Ali DID lose the call-in vote. And maybe the Bush legacy of corruption hasn't tainted America to that deep of an extent.
America may be more corrupt than Hong Kong, according to www.transparency.org, but we are still less corrupt than Barbados! That's a positive thought.
But the Bush legacy of corruption has tainted Iraq and Afghanistan to such an extent that American-occupied Iraq has been voted the third most corrupt nation in the world -- second only to Myanmar and Haiti. And in Afghanistan? American contractors and U.S. economic hit-men are like pigs at the trough over there. And as for the Afghans themselves, I have heard from many reliable sources that you can't hardly do anything over there without having to slip someone a bribe -- not even to get your appendix taken out. According to Dr. Mohammed Daud Miraki, "[Even] doctors – the last people in the world you would expect -- want to take bribes and perform surgery and at the end of surgery you will hear 'Where's my gift?'"
America! Beware! Bush's legacy of bribery, extortion and corruption is heading our way. And we must rally and fight corruption now! Or else who knows where it will spread! And the next thing we know, even "Dancing with the Stars" won't be safe from its evil grasp -- let alone "American Idol".
PS: Leila, I was cheering for you!
PPS: Our election system has already been thoroughly corrupted. So. What kind of fancy footwork are they gonna use on us during the 2008 election in order to once again stick America with yet another bunch of suave crooks who are fast on their feet? According to Jan Brunwasser, Greg Palast, an expert on the American voting system, "casts his eyes ahead to 2008, where he predicts more of the same, but on an even larger scale. He calculates that there were around two million votes in 2000 that were cast but never counted. That number jumped to over 3.6 million in 2004, and he anticipates five million 'spoiled' votes in 2008."
Note: I'm still waiting for my application to re-embed in Iraq this June to get processed. And waiting. Maybe if I gave up on all my naive illusions regarding that quaint little out-of-date concept called "Freedom of the Press" and stopped trying to put Bush and Cheney in jail where they belong, I'd probably get embedded in Iraq much faster -- but it wouldn't be as much fun (or as patriotic).