Lying as a technique of governance
Over at Nurse Ratched's Notebook we find that the Bush Administration conveniently neglected to mention the full extent of the US Budget deficit-
The study was disclosed on Thursday by London's Financial Times, which said the US government shelved the report in the midst of seeking a 10-year, 350-billion dollar tax cut, which was passed by Congress last week.
President George W. Bush's administration chose to keep the findings - commissioned by then-Treasury secretary Paul O'Neill - out of the 2004 annual budget report, published in February, the daily reported.
Senator Bob Graham, a Florida Democrat and presidential hopeful in 2004, called the deficit projection "a staggering figure" and said it was "a great disservice" to withhold the report ahead of last week's vote on tax cuts.
Graham said lawmakers might not have voted the same way if they had seen the figures.
"If people in the Congress were faced with the reality of how serious our financial condition is ... it should have changed minds," Graham said in a conference call.
"It's irresponsible to be adding to a project deficit which ... will exceed 44 trillion dollars."
And the media will let Mr Bush and his administration get away with it.
The study that revealed this fiscal atrocity was done in part by an American Enterprise Institute Economist- gee whiz, haven't they been advocating needlessly for the privatization of Social Security? I guess that rabid rightwing touchstone of government/WallStreet Corporatism will be hitting the news again, but rather than just the usual catchword puffery Mr Bush has irresponsibly taxcut "We the People" into an fiscal hole...
The seduction of war is insidious because so much of what we are told about it is true -- it does create a feeling of comradeship which obliterates our alienation and makes us, for perhaps the only time of our life, feel we belong.
War allows us to rise above our small stations in life; we find nobility in a cause and feelings of selflessness and even bliss. And at a time of soaring deficits and financial scandals and the very deterioration of our domestic fabric, war is a fine diversion. War for those who enter into combat has a dark beauty, filled with the monstrous and the grotesque. The Bible calls it the lust of the eye and warns believers against it. War gives us a distorted sense of self; it gives us meaning.
The danger of the external threat that comes when we have an enemy does not create friendship; it creates comradeship. And those in wartime are deceived about what they are undergoing. And this is why once the threat is over, once war ends, comrades again become strangers to us. This is why after war we fall into despair.
In friendship there is a deepening of our sense of self. We become, through the friend, more aware of who we are and what we are about; we find ourselves in the eyes of the friend. Friends probe and question and challenge each other to make each of us more complete; with comradeship, the kind that comes to us in patriotic fervor, there is a suppression of self-awareness, self-knowledge, and self-possession. Comrades lose their identities in wartime for the collective rush of a common cause -- a common purpose. In comradeship there are no demands on the self. This is part of its appeal and one of the reasons we miss it and seek to recreate it. Comradeship allows us to escape the demands on the self that is part of friendship.
In wartime when we feel threatened, we no longer face death alone but as a group, and this makes death easier to bear. We ennoble self-sacrifice for the other, for the comrade; in short we begin to worship death. And this is what the god of war demands of us.
The above is quoted (text) from a speech Chris Hedges gave at Rockford College.
Listen to just how badly his Commencement address words were recieved. (The audio link offered is an mp3 that took a while to download).
I think that Hedges perspective on the placing of death on a pedestal merits consideration. Death in the service of state is portrayed as a romanticized Good, how many movies have you seen that show with a stylized 'beauty' killing in revenge? We are brought up to see killing this way as a righteous good- and subtly, that is how the attack on Iraq was sold to the American public.
I asked a person who I know is a sincere Christian how killing can be reconcilled with the message of the Prince Of Peace the New Testament offers and got no substantive answer. I'm not looking for a complicated theological answer, just a simple answer to a simple question about the simple philosopy of a simple man, who a great many of us believe was God incarnate, God as Man...
Now Mr Bush has spoken quite often about war and killing while also mentioning God. One could get away with that in the Older Testament where God orders folks to kill and kills people in a variety of manners throughout the Scripture. But Jesus expressly eschews such behavior; it seems as if being in human form has mellowed the Deity, offered him perspective on being that has evolved His Holy Manner
When Mr Bush calls Jesus his favorite Philosopher, if he was sincere and not just filling a vacuum in his reading (for all I know he reads Machiavelli before retiring to dream of world domination each night) he may have given us a clue to his belief system. One can set a philosopher and his message to the side, philosophy offers perspective, nothing more. But the religion one follows is evident from ones' actions "By their fruit you will know them".
If Jesus represents truth and life, what does Mr Bush and by extension, his administration represent?
I'll leave you with the "mantra" of the secretive Skull and Bones Society, a group that Mr Bush is a third generation member of:
THE HANGMAN EQUALS DEATH!
THE DEVIL EQUALS DEATH!
DEATH EQUALS DEATH!’
I will be away from computer access for the most part until June 8th. I am looking into a guest writer though...
My oh my. Lost 3 hours worth of post. Gone. Zip. I didn't save here and there as I always do- see what a two week absence can do... eeesh.
Over at abuddha's memes I picked up this link to Exit Mundi that offers up a variety of scenarios dealing with the blinking out of life as we know it. It also offers some of the slam bang finish prophecies from the worlds 'major' religions. Very interesting.