Friday, July 7

Those who do not learn from history will not notice when it goes into reruns

Sure I've got a problem--a big problem--with the Administration dragging a terror alert across their trail whenever they think it suits them. "Gee! what an amazing coincidence that this story should break today!"

But frankly, I'm idealist enough to hope that 230 years of (relative) democracy have created a national bullshit detector. Crying wolf is so manifestly short-sighted that its reward is inevitable. Isn't it? Please?

Nevertheless, I have a MUCH BIGGER PROBLEM with the Administration fleshing out their press releases with actual flesh. Look at the Miami thing: I've seen little serious reporting on it, but it certainly seems likely that the guys in the mugshots (if they've even released mugshots) are simply, as Jon Stewart so pungently observed, "a bunch of dipshits living in a warehouse".

The "press conference" announcing arrests admitted no weapons or equipment were seized, despite a months-long investigation; it's hard to believe these guys flew their WMD's into Syria before the hammer came down. I can't recall where I heard this, but apparently this little "cell" supported themselves in between bull sessions about the evils of America by selling cut-rate hair-care products on the street. In short: the Protectors of Our Homeland rounded up the only organization in the country more obviously ill-equipped for effective action than the Department of Homeland Security itself.

Even if the Miami Cell are basically incompetent ne'er-do-wells attached to a con artist with a personality disorder, they are under prosecution by an Administration which derives its sole authority (AOTW) from the Constitution. And no one seems to have any evidence of any wrongdoing beyond shit-talking. And no one I've seen so far has had a response stronger than eye-rolling. Okay, fine, so it's a comical turn. I've laughed, I admit it.

But who's the butt of the joke? I'm sure those pasty-faced intellectual rootless cosmopolitans in the 50's looked pretty funny from a sofa in Levittown--and I'm sure those shifty-eyed firebrand immigrants looked pretty foolish in their day, too ("Look at that moustache! It's so totally 1913!").

At least in the 20th century America's scapegoats were railroaded the old-fashioned way--on trumped-up evidence of actually doing something. Here in the Information Age, deeds seem to be irrelevant. How advanced.

If you've ever wondered whether the wisdom of Karl Marx can still be vindicated, here's your proof.

(& in unintentional comedy: Blogger's spellchecker wondered if I would like to replace "Levittown", above, with "leviathan" or "lobotomy". Having that rarest of all things, a perfectly balanced mind, I couldn't pick which to use; so I'm sticking with "Levittown".)


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