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Saturday, August 28, 2004

The Price We Pay 

Most adult Americans recognize the truism "a mind is a terrible thing to waste" as the United Negro College Fund's tagline. The thing that makes it memorable, aside from being concise and undeniably true, is that it frames the intellect's value in emotional terms. In other words, it's an appeal to the heart on behalf of the brain. To its credit, the UNCF has used its tagline effectively to make people aware of what is arguably the most tragic consequence of a society that promotes unmediated self-interest above its own well-being.

America burns the minds of its poor like it does gasoline. And the poor are forced to appeal for charity - just to give their kids a fighting chance to escape the poverty engine.

But the poor aren't the only victims of wasted potential. In a society that promotes unmediated self-interest above its own well being, everyone suffers to one degree or other from wasted potential. Without the security that mediation provides, people burn more energy competing than they do learning, creating, discovering, and enjoying.

Gradually and by increasing amounts, such a society consumes its wealth. In this manner, America is currently cannibalizing itself. The probable consequences of that behavior aren't difficult to predict.

With an increasing scarcity of resources, competition between people becomes more intense. And one by one, human qualities are shed - revealing the savage underneath. When competition becomes too intense and humanity fails to persist, the result is chaos.

The astounding fact about America's predicament is that a group of powerful people - using the instrument of the Republican Party - are deliberately exacerbating it. Their intention is to push their country to the edge of chaos - where conditions will be favorable for the ultimate coup: a radical restructuring of society on their terms.

Along the way, they cynically reap the benefits of the madness they promote. As Americans peel off their humanity, the rich get richer and everyone else fights for shrinking scraps.

Perhaps all of this would still be invisible to me had our Czarbusto and his neoconservative Rasputins not made it abundantly clear in their writing - and in their actions. I won't go into detail here about neoconservative ideology, nor will I recount the criminal disasters resulting from its application; much has been written about these topics already. Instead, my focus here is on the promoters and their propaganda - and on the victims.

Case in point: Charles Krauthammer - master neoconservative pusher, and recent addition to the Right's rabid bulldog brigade. I've already taken him to task for being a disingenuous, hypocritical crybaby. Now it's time to take him to task for being a shameless liar, incorrigible hypocrite, virtuoso crybaby, and topnotch mind squanderer.

The mind of a poor child is unquestionably a terrible thing to waste, and with his latest steaming pile of perversions for the Washington Post, Krauthammer demonstrates that the mind of an educated man is the most terrible thing of all to waste. History reserves a special cage for the schemers and peddlers that deal in misery.

The Pressure-Cooker Theory
By Charles Krauthammer

Krauthammer begins his rant by framing Democrats as vainglorious soresports. Using chess as a metaphor for politics, he recounts two stories - selected to convince us that Democrats have been behaving like his favorite vainglorious soresport chess masters since the time of Ike.

There's an obvious problem with his metaphor though. Do you think he notices? I think he does, but let's point it out to him anyway.

Señor Krauthammer, the problem with your metaphor is that chess doesn't tolerate cheating.

Imagine that Alekhine had won at Baden-Baden by moving pieces when "Democrat soul" Nimzowitsch wasn't looking. Or imagine that Alekhine had technically lost, but somehow managed to convince the judges that he had won. Better yet, imagine that the rules of chess allowed for the wealthier man to purchase the right to control his opponent's pieces.

If scenarios like that were possible, the game of Chess would be worthless. Don't you think it's perverse that we don't tolerate cheating in games, yet we reward it in politics? I think it is, and "masters" like you - who actively work to undermine the rules, appall me in particular.

By the way, don't be confused by all the talk about "playing chess" that's coming from the Democrats. Unlike Republicans, Democrats tend to hesitate before using more appropriate analogies - like warfare - for a civilized "game" whose rules have been thoroughly undermined by unscrupulous people like you, Señor Krauthammer.

Now that we've pointed that out to Señor Krauthammer, it's fair to dismiss the rest of his half-cooked victim-blaming tripe for what it is: the vicious, desperate projections of his own demons. Get a load of this quote:

"Democrats feel a mixture of horror and contempt for the huddled masses..."

Amazing... and he says it with a straight, sweaty face. I think he's starting to lose his marbles.

He says that Democrats will need therapy if Bush wins. What he really means is, "I'll need therapy if Bush loses." He may even be thinking, "I'll need a new job if Bush loses." Or perhaps, "I'll need a lawyer if Bush loses."

If Czarbusto triumphs again, America will have dysfunctions that psychotherapy can't cure.

With that wonderful thought, dear reader, I leave you for now. If you don't mind, I'd like to chat with Señor Krauthammer. If you wish, you may stay and listen.

How long does it take you to write an article, Señor Krauthammer? I bet you can crank one out in 30 minutes.

For me, it's not that easy. You can probably tell that I'm not a trained writer. As of this moment, I've devoted more than 12 hours of my life to this message. I shouldn't be doing this, Señor Krauthammer.

Do you mind if I call you "Charlie?" Thanks.

That's right, Charlie; a decent, capable, and creative person like me shouldn't be squandering their energy this way. Would you like to know why I'm doing it despite that? I know that you already know why, but let me tell you anyway.

I'm writing so that people like you will know that others can see exactly what you're doing. Your "neoconservative" ideology is contemptible, and the policy you promote is proving to be disastrous to the world I love. I can't sit by and watch you get away with it. My writing is my personal protest.

What you may not realize, Charlie, is that my protest is evidence of a phenomenon that your beloved neoconservatism unleashed. All the honest, courageous, and creative people are pointed at people like you now. Congratulations. If things keep going the way they are, eventually your people will have to do something about this pheonomenon. Will they attempt to imprison it? Will they exile it to Mexico? What do you think, Charlie? Should we use history as a guide?

I know you can't wait to ask me, so let me tell you what I'll do if Bush triumphs in November. I'll keep watching, and writing. And my writing will gradually improve. Will your propaganda improve in the next four years, Charlie? I have a feeling that it's going to become increasingly difficult for you to justify what your associates have in store for America. There's your personal little pressure-cooker.

You are correct that I feel hostility, resentment, and disdain toward the Republican Party for what it has done to this country. But envy? Excuse me before I pee myself laughing.

Oh, by the way, Charlie - go fuck yourself. ;)

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