Thursday, June 28, 2007

Only in Amerika

In the mid-1960s, the forerunner of the Smothers Brothers, Laugh-in, Saturday Night Live and Jon Stewart was a British-import TV satire called, “That Was the Week That Was.” On it, Tom Lehrer unveiled a song called “National Brotherhood Week,” a backhanded tribute to an actual American commemoration. The song noted:

Oh, the poor folks hate the rich folks
And the rich folks hate the poor folks
All of my folks hate all of your folks
It's American as apple pie

This, my friends, was "the week that was" for what we once knew as America.

This land is full of hate, and most of it is generated from the very top level of white Christian America, or, in other words, the Republican Party.

It has come to pass that:

PROOF HAS BEEN OFFERED that the man behind the curtain, the secret wizard of an Amerikan putsch, is, indeed, Dick Cheney. Read here a four-part Washington Post series documenting his status as Bush’s puppeteer – writing secret illegal detention orders, subordinating the statutory authority of various civil servants to his own diktats, counseling and putting into operation wholesale refusals to abide by Acts of Congress, and refusing a presidential order to catalog secret documents for the Archives with the absurd claim he is not part of the executive branch of government while defending the executive branch against Congress’ demand for documents about political and illegal subversion of the Justice Department. We also learned today that one of the fired U.S. attorneys was fired because he objected to the White House requiring him to seek the death penalty in a case in which he didn't have enough proof to warrant it.

Remember that Cheney was the wise old Washington hand whom reporters and even Democrats used to love when Bush put him in charge of selecting a vice presidential candidate in 2000. Lo and behold, Cheney appointed himself! One problem. Both he and Bush were residents of Texas, and the Constitution – back when it had any meaning –prohibited both members of a ticket from being from the same state. So minutes before the deadline, Cheney re-adopted residence in Wyoming. A few months later, he and Bush completed the rape of the Constitution and the Supreme Court by stealing the 2000 election. What a team!

Even to the degree that Cheney is merely carrying out the executive function delegated to him by the president(between them they have been arrested at least four times for misdemeanors, though not yet for high crimes,) he is secretive beyond what the law allows, vengeful, a servant of big business and power crazy, according to interviews, memos and what public documents are available.

THE SUPREME COURT, IN ALICE-IN-WONDERLAND LOGIC, made the worst decision in the history of American jurisprudence in Gore v. Bush, in December 2000. Not a single law professor would hold that up as an example of anything but shameful. This week, the same logic was at work as the “high court” ruled that free speech is okay for special interest groups to slander a candidate right before an election but not okay for a high school student to hold a nonsense sign off school grounds.

The court, if you haven’t heard, after pretty much overturning the basis of legalized abortion a few weeks ago, today pretty much overturned Brown v. Board of Education, telling local schools they may not assign students to schools on the basis of race. Smiling John Roberts, the Catholic who somehow was able to adopt two blonde babies (which usually requires massive tribute to the Church), benignly said, "The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.” As if housing prices and patterns, restrictive covenants and burned crosses had nothing to do with neighborhoods and, thus, schools, which usually reflect predominantly the race of the neighborhood. Brown v. Board of Education, if you recall from your integrated public school, supposedly overturned the notion of “separate but equal.” The Republicans have reinstitutionalized inequality and racism.

AT THE SAME TIME, DESPITE AN OVERWHELMING CONSENSUS among Americans as determined by reputable polling, vicious hate-mongering broadcasters and Republican senators doomed immigration reform. For those on the side of people trying to make a difference in their lives only to be called “illegal,” this is great news, because the status quo will remain.

But fear, hate and racism ruled the Senate today more than at any time since President Pro Tem and ex-Klansman Robert Byrd filibustered against “the Nigra race” in the '50s and '60s.

AND THE HATE EXTENDS TO MY BELOVED WASHINGTON NATIONALS, a baseball team that is going to join some other franchises in holding a special day to celebrate “faith,” or in reality, Christianity. The idea is that of a Christian sports marketing firm. They promise to sell tickets, the team gets extra revenue and the rest of us are exposed to a divisiveness at the ballpark that should be based only on the color of the two different uniforms.

This is a team whose No. 6 hitter, appropriately yclept Ryan Church, two years ago wondered aloud if his Jewish (now ex-) girlfriend was doomed to hell because she didn’t accept Jesus. He should be batting No. 666, if you ask me. But here is the kicker. This team, which like all 29 other teams must play the religious anthem “God Bless America” every Sunday and during the World Series, is owned and operated by people named Lerner, Tanenbaum, Cohen and Kasten.

But business is business and “Faith Night,” which really will be played during the afternoon, should be good for the gate and good for three players on the team – the aforementioned Mr. Church, pitcher Jesus Colome and catcher Jesus Flores.

SPEAKING OF BASEBALL AND RELIGION, there are now more Jews than ever playing Major League baseball. Trouble is they tend not to make themselves apparent, having had parents who named them after the great Jewish prophets Shawn (Green), Ryan (Braun), Kevin (Youkilis), Scott (Schoeneweis and Feldman), John (Grabow) and Ian (Kinsler.) As humorist Harry Golden said after Barry Goldwater was nominated for president in 1964, "I knew if we ever had a Jewish president he would be an Episcopalian."

Only in Amerika!

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