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Status Quo Sideshow '08

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Some people are pleased with our country’s direction, even really enjoying the sideshow that is "Presidential Race ‘08". Sideshow here, by definition means: "an incidental diversion or spectacle"...or perhaps more apropos: "a minor show offered in addition to a main exhibition (as of a circus)". At any rate, as far as Sideshow ‘08 altering the status quo—at least in any direction willed by voters...expect such sea change as the last mid-term election delivered. It’s a solid bet with Diebold already unleashing computerized will-of-voter reversals of the kind that have left us without a voters’ president for seven years. Consider the quandary of pollsters caught in between, holding out raw truth in a realm of processed lies.

For those still thinking independently, global warming offers a glimpse of the very essence of Sideshow ‘08. This is an issue with the power to trivialize virtually every other issue, a global catastrophe in the making, and it’s being all but ignored—to what lengths? In 2007, out of 2,938 questions asked of the candidates in major debates and interviews, global warming was mentioned in 6. You might say global warming has been ignored 99.8% of the time. Chris Wallace, Tim Russert and Wolf Blitzer have each brought up the topic twice, while Bob Schieffer and George Stephanopoulos have zeroed out. By comparison, UFOs have been brought up 3 times, Bill Clinton 15. Could this mean that nature has decided to back off on the climate change thing?

Many Americans are profoundly ignorant of science, a condition patiently nurtured by CorpoGov via CorpoMedia, so there remains a solid base who do not "believe in" global warming. Have we really dumbed so low as to think science is something to choose aspects of (dark meat, or white?) while disregarding other aspects (white only, please)? Also, the concept of "belief" in this context is irrelevant; who might be likely to say they "believe in" the cell phone in their hand? The science/technology giving us cell phones is precisely the same as that confirming the threat of man-caused rapid global warming (see Only One Kind of Science [1]). Unless tapping in on the millions paid to foment denial, or "disbelief", a rational person denying global warming—rejecting the work of climate scientists...doesn’t that seem tantamount to denying the cell phone, or even denying science altogether? Science is one great fruit of simple application of the Scientific Method (2). And now, in contrast to the disbelievers, travel agencies are tapping global warming in terms of: "Hurry and see the arctic while there’s still plenty of ice, and polar bears, walruses, penguins and...."

No wonder why, when asked what he thought of Western civilization, Gandhi replied, "I think it would be a good idea." Though after seeing contemporary effluence of Western civilization, Gandhi might change his mind.

We have a fighting chance to see W flushed from the White House in about a year (citizens, man the plungers!) But neocon stain is the hardest kind to get out, especially when obscured by a sideshow that has so little to do with the actual well-being of most Americans it would be hilarious if not so sick. Pomp and posturing, trampled sheep and moral vacuum, lies, neocons and reptilian aggression—should we expect anything better? After all, a plurality of Americans are swallowing the same old bull yet again, acting like this time, somehow, things might be different (even though the machinery has not changed). As CorpoGov keeps cooing, "trust us", the bull keeps happening; and though it seems there must be a point, eventually, where Americans will wise up en masse, the signs are not good. And there’s a huge difference between "wising" and "rising".

How much deeper has the bull gotten since voters voted Al Gore into the White House? How is our trust paying off? Roughly and just for starters, evidence accounted for, the 43rd President of the United States was installed by in-your-face! fraud. The consequent assault on the nation’s moral, intellectual, environmental, legal and fiscal integrity promises to leave few American positives unsullied.

On 9-11-01, the United States government attacked us, murdering about 3,000 citizens. This false flag terror cracked the gates of hell, and the ensuing flood of amorality and righteous hypocrisy, war profiteering and aggressive supremacy threaten to mortally wound our collective conscience while promising permanent war—the immaculately phoney "Global War on Terror". Then to maximize confusion and fear, and teach primarily Democratic politicos a lesson, CorpoGov quickly attacked us again. Operation "Amerithrax". The two men most capable of blocking the "Patriot Act", Democrats Tom Daschle, Senate Majority Leader, and Patrick Leahy, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman—they received USA (Uncle Sam Anthrax) in the mail. In all, 5 people were killed and 17 infected with our own very special, patented, anthrax spores, greasing the skids of the Patriot Act while spreading a blanket warning against any challenge of the BushCo/neocon death and destruction juggernaut. After being passed mostly unread in 2001, then fine tuned when, on March 9, 2006, President Bush Signed The USA PATRIOT Improvement And Reauthorization Act Of 2005, the Patriot Act persists as a blueprint for American tyranny. Also, a certain booster shot in the strategy to cow Democrats was the assassination of Paul Wellstone. (3) A main reason Democrats are spineless might be that they prefer obeisance over mysterious accidents, and "suicides".

On to probably the greatest strategic blunder in our history, the destruction of Iraq based originally and perpetually on lies. Totally evil war crimes—we’ve murdered over a million Iraqis, displaced millions more, and permanently poisoned their environment with "depleted" uranium munitions (DU), the ultimate "dirty bombs". Add obscenely downplayed American casualties, war profiteering, fiscal catastrophe, global hatred of the US, on and on and for what? The Official "Reason", that official Doublespeak euphemism for whatever the invasion and occupation are currently tagged remains hard to define even in Doublespeak, though control of Iraqi oil is obviously high on the list; so too are establishment of Iraq as a permanent forward operating base in the oil heart of the world, and facilitation of American and Israeli hegemony where the only state currently free of puppet strings is Iran....

Fool us once, shame on you; fool us always, shame on...okay, forget our shame—what we need above all is progress, genuine and positive change. And that’s where the Status Quo Sideshow comes in, a perpetual motion infomercial focused on presenting an illusion of progress, an illusion of hope, while effectively preserving the status quo. The sheer busyness of the whole charade suggests accomplishment of something that must include benefits for The People since it’s all so much to endure—pain = gain...? However, the psychopathology of the moneypower elite, as exemplified by BushCo/neocons, and the religious right, war profiteers, et al—it’s metastasizing all but without fetters now that our crucial system of checks and balances lay so meticulously dismantled. Any changes we are likely to see will simply involve altering of the scope of changes we’ve seen since 9-11; concentration of CorpoGov power, increase of corporate profits, and erosion of peoples’ rights will no doubt remain the focus.

A sobering development is that candidates hardly even bother to lie anymore about changes that would most benefit The People, such as restoring the Constitution—including an Article V Convention, taking the "permanent" out of war, restoring our manufacturing base, repairing our this "New American Century" the list has stretched into quite the python. Instead, candidates are simply recycling lies about "Islamofascists" and terrorism, immigration, abortion, taxation and spending, healthcare, stem cell research, religion, Social Security, reducing government...while hoping that people keep believing that changing faces at the White House might change how the shots are actually called. Seems the big transition is maturing—transition from a government with at least marginal concern for well being of The People, into a government whose foremost concern regarding The People is simply what lies they can be fooled into swallowing.

What might we see if by some miracle CorpoGov were suddenly transformed into Government Of The People, By The People, For The People—or at least turned 180 degrees into demonstrating that those hallowed words are not completely hollow? Certainly, investigation of the crimes of 9-11 would be a priority. 9-11 looks like the beginning of the end for America, yet it’s become the ultimate taboo subject—if ever mentioned, only in terms reinforcing the idea of "evil muslims", maintaining fear, and sacrificing rights for "safety". Most Americans today are likely unaware of Benjamin Franklin’s slice of wisdom: "Those who would sacrifice essential liberties for a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." But every day, more Americans realize that until the perpetrators of 9-11 within our government face justice, America’s future will continue to darken.

The other issue we should see skyrocketing in priority: A New National Energy Policy aimed at employing technology and capabilities we mostly possess already, as well as resources now hogged by "war". A national top priority of replacing fossil fuels with domestic biofuels could have fantastic benefits across the board for The People. The main problems holding us back are political. Major obstacles to biofuels specifically are "we just can’t do it" kinds of disinformation propagated by supporters of the status quo. Bullshit like the super-loser corn ethanol, and ridiculous new oxymorons such as, clean coal, and clean nuclear keep getting shoveled at us. Ever heard of clear mud, or healthful death? Volumes are spoken by the simple fact that one of the greatest things we could do as a nation is being impeded, even blocked by status quo politics. If we throw the bums out we just get status quo bums with different faces.

A most interesting link between global warming, and 9-11, is in reactions to truth—as in jumping from denial, straight to despair, bypassing action. For years global warming has been denied in spite of evidence and science; but as denial is overwhelmed by evidence confirming our science, a push to leapfrog sacrifice and reason lures us clear toward despair: "It is happening, and doing anything about it this late will be so ‘expensive’ we might as well try to live with it". The same pathetic insanity is stirring in regards to 9-11; denial of the truth is getting overwhelmed by too many people actually looking at what happened, actually considering the evidence, leading to: "We can’t have full exposure of the truth because it could lead to a dangerous collapse of faith in government".

Yes, CorpoGov offers such twisted logic, and CorpoMedia is always there to screw it all the way into the "Mind of America". The Status Quo Sideshow is shielding us from realities that might overload our busy, tender minds, protecting us—but from what? Freedom? Liberty and justice for all?

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Rand Clifford lives in Spokane, Washington. His novels and earlier essays can be found at
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