Saturday, September 29, 2007

Pez Politics 101

Americans from all walks of life, from all backgrounds and of all ages are sharing a common experience. It's called, "Waking up to the ugly reality that things aren't what we thought they were". It's a confusing place for people who have gone their whole lifetime without giving a single thought to politics, or who don't even know what it says in the Constitution.

Many Americans have never even read the Constitution and yet these self same people are often quite vocal with their uninformed political opinions. Precisely because so many uninformed Americans believe they are in the know about how things work, they don't pay any attention at all to what goes on in the hallowed halls of government. They simply assume that all involved are honest, decent, upright people who love American freedom and would never do us wrong.

What we're seeing now is the phenomenon of people being shocked into awareness when a single crumb of reality works its way into their sleeping American mind. That little crumb of reality quickly sets about turning hard held erroneous beliefs upside down and inside out.

When people compare reality with what they think they know and don't find a match, it produces an uncomfortable confusion. At first, it's common for people to just dismiss the mismatch. But when they finally get enough reality crumbs to make a Twinkie, they are forced to wake up, and when they do they will always ask the same primary question, "What the hell is going on around here?"

They will say, "There are all these republicans who are filthy despicable jerks, and all these democrats who are spineless boot lickers and no matter how much anyone talks, everything is still all messed up and getting worse every day. I just want to know, what should I do? Tell me, who should I vote for? Who will fix this mess so I can go back to sleep?"

I understand your pain. Unfortunately there is no simple solution to the problems you're barely aware of. As much as you've seen that has upset you and convinced you there's something seriously wrong around here, I assure you, you haven't even scraped the surface. It's far worse than you think. I hope knowing that helps in some small way.

You stopped voting long ago because you said the one time you did vote, what you voted for didn't happen. So you said, "Well, screw this. Why bother? It's a sham, a scam, a stupid waste of time. I'll never get what I want or need so I refuse to participate."

Without having any insider information, you, dear citizen, intuitively hit on the truth of our political system, something I call The Pez principle. In order for you to grasp the big picture, you must see more deeply into the reasons for your disappointing voting experience, and why you will always be disappointed. Allow me to expound a bit to put things in realistic perspective, to enable you to be well armed and in the know before you go back to the polls to make, or perhaps this time avoid, your next big pointless mistake.

First, let's define political Pez. It's not sugary, it's not even edible, but you can be sure it's made of the same ingredients no matter where you find it. The basic recipe for political Pez is this: you pay for everything and get nothing in return. You don't get to refuse to pay for anything, even if you really hate it. If you do refuse they will come and take your house away and throw you in jail at gunpoint. This is called freedom.

Political Pez is a nugget of heinous reality, wrapped in a pretty disguise. It will have pleasant pictures on the package, it will have noble sounding words written on the label, but when you tear open the box all you'll ever find is the same thing: a way for the rich and powerful to prevail and succeed while you continue to lose. A way for them to keep getting richer by taking your money away from you without having to lift a finger themselves or ever do an honest day's work. They just hate that. A way to increase and ensure their power over everyone by taking your share of power away from you. The rich corporations will get billions of your tax dollars in free welfare while really hungry homeless people will be vilified in the halls of government where vicious lies about welfare moms driving Cadillacs are spun by millionaires.

Political Pez is the crappy deal of you paying for the rich to get richer, and enabling them to pass laws to make it impossible for you to extricate yourself from their parasitic feeding on you and control over you. That's political Pez.

Our political system is a Pez dispenser. The only thing that changes from time to time is the head at the top. No matter what head it is, when you bend it back, all that will ever come out is Pez. If you watch the political scene play out, you will see republicans and democrats and politicians posturing. They will talk and squawk and pose. They will rant about democracy and freedom and they will vote on legislation. But no matter how much they rant and squawk, no matter how much legislation they pass, all you'll ever get is more Pez.

You see, the man in the White House is really nothing more than a Pez head. It doesn't much matter if it's Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck, or Scooby Doo, or Ronald Reagan, or Ronald McDonald for that matter. It doesn't matter if he says he's a conservative or a liberal, a republican or a democrat. He's always going to be a Pez head. And no matter what, whenever you pull back the head, you'll get a Pez. Period. You will never get anything else.

But why?

There is a powerful truth that you're perfectly well aware of in the back of your conscious mind. You've even heard it mentioned in the main stream news. Secret Government. A power behind the power that really pulls the strings. You've thought it too ridiculous to believe but in fact, it's true. It's not the President who makes the Pez, he just dispenses it. The Pez comes from the behind the scenes Pez factory.

The Pez factory is in fact a very secret place. They'd really rather that you not notice that all you ever get is Pez. They don't want you to put that fact together with the reality of it. So they take great pains to try to distract you from noticing this single underlying, defining truth and they can do it in a lot of sneaky ways that work incredibly well.

The first trick is to make you think that you're getting something different instead of just more Pez. It's called a bluff and they do it with nothing more than words, expertly crafted Pez Tank word games to try to psyche you out. They will send out all kinds of guys in suits and uniforms and gals in business pumps who say they are your representatives and they care about and work for the American people. In fact, all they ever do is hand huge wads of your money to rich corporations and Pez-co Preferred organizations and individuals, and hand you more Pez.

It's hard to believe that this could have worked for as long as it has, but it has. Simply being told "I am your representative and care about our country" is all most people need to hear. It makes them smile and nod and then go right back to sleep. But the truth of the matter is that these highly paid politicians are lying. They are Pez dealers, pushers of the Pez, who's main job it is to convince you that all their talk will produce a different result than Pez. It never does. How can it? It's all a great big Pez dispenser.

Now they will try many things. They will say, but this Pez has fur on it! Or this Pez is strawberry flavored and this one is Christianity flavored, and this one is democracy flavored, and this one is support the troops flavored. And they hope in saying these things that you will be so delighted with the variation that you'll forget that in the end, it's still just Pez. Always and only Pez. And worse, it's always and only the Pez that THEY want to push down your throat.

They make it look like it's something you asked for by staging the game show called Congress and the Judiciary. They say, look, these are law makers and these are the Justice people, and they are all here to bring you good laws and good justice. And for most, this will be believed. But in fact, all you'll get is more Pez. It's the only thing they know how to make. They can turn it different colors, they can label it any name you like, they can flavor it, freeze it, scramble it and cover it with cheese, or just classify it, but it's still Pez. All Pez, all the time.

So you see, it really doesn't matter what head you vote for to place on top of the Pez dispenser next time around. It really doesn't matter who you're paying to push Pez down your throat. It doesn't matter what side you're on or what team you think you're affiliated with. As long as you're supporting any part of the process, you yourself are nothing more than a Pez pusher.

What needs to be done is to expose the Pez factory and then, obviously, we must close it down. We have to know who makes the Pez, who loads the Pez into the dispenser, and who the hell it is that wants that Pez pushed so bad that they'll kill anyone who refuses to dispense it. Just look what happened to JFK. He didn't want to just be a Pez head, he actually thought he'd go ahead and be the President, since he was there anyway. But the Pez makers have to push Pez, or they'll go down.

It's literally life or death for them. And as far as they're concerned, if anyone's going to die, it won't be them. It can be anyone or everyone, but never them. This is their primary law. That and not being found out. Unfortunately for them, they are being found out. And Americans are really sick of their Pez.

If you really want to see change, you have to demand the facts about the Pez makers. You have to refuse to play the games of the Pez dispensers and Pez pushers. You have to refuse to settle for the next round of Kiwi flavored Pez, or National Health Care Pez, or fabulous and funky Hate Crimes Pez. You flat have to refuse any more Pez.

You have to point and shout, "No more Pez!" when you see it, and then say what you DO want. And whenever you see more Pez you have to stand up right away and say, "Pez! That's just more Pez and I said, no more Pez!" and get in their faces. We have to get rid of the whole Pez machine. Unless and until we do that, I guarantee you, we'll have nothing to look forward to but more Pez.

In the aim of offering more than just pretty words I'd like to suggest a solution, an enlargement of your very own theme: refusing to participate. It's not enough to just opt not to participate in voting because as you now know, not voting is the same as supporting the Pez makers. If you're not saying, "NO!", to them it means you're saying, "Yes". So vote you must and when you vote you must send the message that's deep in your heart. And that message is, "NO". No more Pez!

"NO!" more enabling the rich to suck me dry. "NO!" more wrapping high ideals like peace and freedom in fancy packaging with pictures on the box that don't match what's inside. "NO!" more money for anything that comes from the Pez makers. "NO!" more money for anything the Pez Pushers want.

Don't they have enough money already? If they can go around losing 2 trillion dollars and just shrug and come back with their hands out for more, wouldn't you say they have too much money to keep track of as it is? You bet you would.

Your "NO!" vote on literally everything that comes up on your next ballot, will go a long way. It will kick them right in the Pez spewing crotch. It will say, "I refuse to fund your lying cheating ways anymore!"

Don't be fooled when they start to cry, it's all a game. They will act shocked and insulted. If that doesn't work they will shock and insult you. They will say, "You don't care about babies without health care! "You don't care about our veterans! You don't care about our infrastructure! You are flat unAmerican!"

Knowing they will say things like that will help you be ready. You can stand calm and firm as you reply, "Oh but I do care about all of those things. It is YOU who don't care. It is YOU who pockets all the money we give you for those things and it is YOU who spends it on bombs and rich people and rich corporations swimming in more profits than anyone has ever made in the history of the world. It is YOU who feels you can toss 2 trillion dollars into the bank accounts of friends and terrorists and war mongers and fat greasy bankers and it is YOU who has consistently failed to do anything we expect of you, or anything you have promised to do. It is YOU who says they are trimming the budget by always and only cutting away at what little of our own money is being used to benefit us. So we say "NO!" to all of your new ideas because they are not new, they are the same old Pez! "NO!" to money for more highways, "NO!" to money for more war, "NO!" to money for schools and education because YOU never use the money for those things! It is time for YOU to spend more wisely, spend more generously to benefit we the people, and less generously on things that are Pez! Do better with the trillions we already give you or quit your jobs, because we don't need any more of the same old Pez!"

Vote "NO!" to absolutely everything on your next ballot and watch them stop and pay attention to you, for the first time in your entire American life. When you shut off the bottomless lavish well of wealth they have come to take for granted, they will stop the lying and start listening. It may not solve every problem the first time around, but it sure will get their attention if we all do it, and do it consistently. As long as we remember that no matter how good what they're pushing sounds, it can only be Pez, we will prevail. Pez is all they know, it's all they want, it's all they shoot for. If the items on our next ballot did NOT come from the people, they could only have come from the Pez Factory, and could only amount to more Pez. It is time for us to prosper and for the Pez makers to do the paying for a change.

Refuse to fund the Pez factory first, then elect people to office that WE choose. If we don't do that, no future election of even an honest candiate will bring us solutions to the terrible problems threatening all of us today. The Pez makers will remain in total control. If we don't oust the Pez makers we must face the fact that all we'll ever get for all those tax dollars they take from us at gunpoint will bring us nothing but more of the same old Pez.

You are hereby graduated with honors from Pez Politics 101. It is finally your turn to go forth and prosper. Good luck and spread the word.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Cast In Stone

As we grow up, we are eventually told of war, and we listen as it is explained to us that there are certain facts of war.

War is terrible. It is awful. A lot of people die. But, it is necessary, it is an unpleasant reality that cannot be avoided. War always has been and it always will be. There's no escaping it.

But why? we ask. Why is there war when it is so terrible?

Because, we are told, there are evil people in the world. People in far away places who would harm us if we couldn't defend ourselves. They would pour into our country and kill everyone. They would try to take over our country and destroy us, or enslave us, and we cannot allow that to happen.

No, of course not, we say. But why are there such people? What is wrong with them that they are so hateful and mean?

Well, there is no way to understand the enemy. They are just different, too different to be able to see eye to eye with us, or to live and let live.

What is different about them?

Well, they eat strange food and wear strange clothing and their language is impossible to understand. They are uncivilized and brutal. They are inhuman. Cruel to their wives and children. They don't love their children like we do. They don't respect life like we do. They don't love God like we do. They don't have values like we do, like honesty or reason, fairness or caring or kindness. All they know is hate and war and conquering. They are always watching, listening, waiting for any opportunity to catch us off guard, then they would attack.

The enemy, we are told, is always bad. And we are always good.
There is no other way than this.

It is a fact cast in stone.

How many foreign countries are we at war with today? In how many countries at this very moment are people dying at our hands or at the hands of others we have trained and armed and paid and sent to do our killing?

We wouldn't be there if it wasn't necessary to protect our freedom.

How many years have we been at war in Iraq? What's it like there now?

Five whole years this time around; and a decade ago we were there doing war. And then there were the sanctions.

A million of them died the last time, half of them children. A million more have died this time, over half of them children under 14. At least a million are homeless.

Finding a safe place to be must be hard when you have nothing.

The unemployment rate is over 80% in Baghdad alone, money is hard to come by, even for the barest necessities.

Millions are displaced, their homes and schools and neighborhoods bombed and destroyed, dangerous if they're even left standing.

They have little to no electricity, maybe an hour or two a day.

It's so hot there.

They have no clean running water and are dying from the expected unavoidable diseases of drinking unclean water. They have no toilet paper.

What would you do without water or toilet paper?

Their babies are dying of illnesses that are easy to treat, if they had the simple things needed to treat them, but they don't. Many are dying from all of the things people need treatment for because there are no supplies.

They have no medical supplies for the wounded and cannot treat the sick, the cancer patients, children who's lives could be saved with a simple IV. Hospitals are bombed or closed, doctors are few and far between, and food is hard to come by. They are forced to beg for a few pennies for some food or medicine, living in tents or abandoned chicken coops, anywhere they can find to huddle and hide away from the bombing. It is quite hopeless for tens of thousands of them. Their suffering is great.

Entire sections of their cities have been turned to dust and rubble and ashes. Their history, their heritage, their memories, their loves and hopes, decimated.

Because they are the enemy? Weren't we told only terrorists are the enemy? Are they all terrorists? All of them? Even their babies?

They are not all terrorists, but many of them are insurgents, and that's just as bad. It cannot be tolerated. They are dangerous to our troops, and to each other under these conditions.

The enemy has not come to my city, where I live. He has not prevented anyone from receiving their paycheck. He has not stopped the flow of food to our stores, or products of any kind that meet our needs and wants. He has not blocked the flow of medical supplies, and our children are not dying of rampant illnesses.

My house is still standing, and so is everyone else's house. Our hospitals are open and stocked and are serving people getting boob jobs and having broken legs fixed and getting their gall bladders removed, it's business as usual, albeit expensive, but that's not the enemy's doing.

The enemy is not raining down bombs on my neighborhood, or on my parents neighborhood, or anyone's neighborhood here. He is not armed to the teeth while I am helpless, pointing his guns at my head. He is not blowing up our nursery schools or places of employment. He is not riding down our streets in tanks at any hour he chooses, blasting away at anything that moves. He has not cut off my water supply, or tainted it.

He is not going house to house and barging in, forcing women to dress or undress as he watches, or shooting the men just because they are men. He is not taking away our brothers and fathers and uncles and grandfathers and throwing them into prison camps where they are tortured every day for hours and hours, given horrible food, horrible treatment, and are defiled. They are not sexually humiliating anyone here, or locking them up without cause, or forcing them at gunpoint to defile themselves and each other while they look on, enjoying their misbegotten power.

The enemy has not built 14 sprawling permanent military bases in my country. He has not razed our biggest city to build the world's largest embassy in the middle of a war zone, for some reason known only to him. He has not interfered with our governance, or our elections, or our religious leaders, or our politicians. He has not caused rampant unemployment or homelessness.

But we have done all of those things to him. And more.

The enemy is not hurting me. He has never hurt me. I've never even met him. I've never been to where he lives, and he's never been here. We are perfect strangers. He is suffering and dying, and I am fine.

Because he is bad and I am good.

And that is cast in stone.