This diary should be unpopular. It might render me unpopular, too, but the end of the year is a good time for this.
If we take stock, we go to our time as merchants, looking through our lives and actions, or as pioneers braving isolation. We can count our goods in missed chances and our taken umbrage and given offense. We have failed at the good and succeeded at the evil under an array of titles, as a nation, but it amounts to the same. Our stockade has within it grinning devils wearing pious vestments.
Exigency -- ever the excuse of the slave driver and blessing of the torturer -- has made the lesser evil hold out for eternal imprisonment without charge as a precondition of the military budget. Amelioration -- a title worn by the amputating doctor -- glosses the armed drone that ignores borders and red crescents. Security -- the most transparent film ever donned by power -- has investigators and dissidents quietly murmuring that the evidence for a kill list must be tinged in holy awe and terror too great for vulgar eyes and that the apocrypha of such things may be trusted only to eyes with votes.
(If you've had enough, that's fine. If you're in the mood for more, there is more, and it gets more personal.)
The choir of necessity, improvement, and security sing with one voice, and the choir's managers point out, over and over again, that there is a shambolic lot of lunatics across the way singing private tunes in dissonant keys. You don't want them, do you?
Our waters are so healthy that they killfish with phosphates, needed or not. Bush-era loyalists were "burrowed" in Interior, and NASA, and other places, but our kindness means not trying to rectify that. Congress won't fund basic agencies, and the news won't report on this, and so we have no shame that will rebound upon them, except as that great, bland, corporate noun, "Congress." I suppose having the little guy really know about the representative would need a TEA party?
Our alternative energy sector is booming, in China. Breakthroughs occur, and our corporations don't want them. Why they're not here is a mystery, if it's not a coincidence. We're fracked already, and we're going to be fracked some more, by a secret sauce of proprietary goo shot into injection wells that are not tracked, not mapped, and not safe. Tar sands are coming, with their billions of jobs, because. . . who really knows why? (I remember them being a debate topic in 1978, and they were a loser then, and we weren't even talking climate change.) Is the goal to lower the price of fossil fuel so much that alternative energy remains impractical, or do we really, really want bison grazing along the northwest passage?
It's nice that Discover Card is offering a new card that won't adjust one's APR for a late payment. We should thank them! We will thank them, too . . . for acting in accordance with the law that they fought and are still fighting. There is no regulation saying that insurance companies can't take credit for no longer disallowing pre-existing conditions, and no law says credit cards can act as if obeying the law isn't an act of beneficence on their part. If we don't publicize our good deeds with "Mission Accomplice" banners, the accomplices will hog the glory.
Real wages are falling, regardless of unemployment, and yet inflation still seems to operate on food. This is not supposed to occur. It is almost as if there is an external force in the form of the corporation that is insulated from labor costs and ignores "supply and demand." Surely supply and demand is the fundamental law of the universe. How else to explain bottled water from tropical islands except an overarching demand for jets to fly it here to replace the undrinkable water of our aquifers?
Nothing is more efficient than the free market. Just let a demand develop, and the market will create a solution! Oh, and if a company is a bad actor, the market will respond to punish it -- unless it changes its name, or sells that unit, or claims that it fixed the problem, or deals in a staple good. Thus, Powerful Ideas counter any attempt at regulation and Profound Truths undergird the path of capital.
We may be shocked now, as we have been every morning, that the status quo can remain captive to such
bankrupt monied lies, but what should shock us is that we can point to Bernie Sanders and some one or two alone who even say what's true, and they don't get on David Gregory's pool party list.
Administration: you were elected by "liberals." The nation did not merely reject a plutocrat, it said that it pretty much wanted the opposite.
Congressional democrats: Your arguments win back home, if you're not a dunderhead. Yes, you have voters who won't listen, but they're voting for the other dude anyway.
2012 has managed the impossible by being as bad as 2011. Maybe eyes are opening. We won't know until someone says "no" to some money infused obscenity and "yes" to the people.