"Money is the barometer of a society's virtue. When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion - when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing - when you see that money is flowing to those that deal, not in goods, but in favors - when you see that men get richer by graft and pull tan by work, and your laws don't protect you against them, but protect them against you - when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming self-sacrifice - you may know that your society is doomed."
-- Ayn Rand (from "Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal")
For some reason - perhaps it's just the passing of time - it has now become somewhat fashionable - or at least permissable - to criticize the utterly insane, totally criminal and horrifically inhuman performance by what is known colloquially in Washington these days as the Bush Administration.
Yet because of the eager cheering of the television networks covering up bestial carnage by U.S. troops upon hapless citizens of defenseless countries, and the continuing lawless behavior of those in charge of our nation's laws, nothing significant has yet been accomplished by those throwbacks like you and me still clinging to the faded, prostituted dream of liberty and justice for all upon which our country was ostensibly founded.
True, there has been some tongue-wagging about how America dropped its radioactive torture on Afghanistan and Iraq after telling whoppers of lies that never would have gone unchallenged in an eighth-grade debate class, but nevertheless managed to hold spellbound the entire American populace while these evil massacres took place.
But the identification of the nub of the problem that has turned America from a promising melting pot of financial and social opportunity into a grim gulag of greed and graft is still very far from happening.
And it may never happen. It never has yet. All those famous crimes we all talk about have never been solved. At least no actual perpetrator has ever been charged, though a few convenient patsies have been executed.
The intense flag waving and hyped-up security measures - accompanied by the flaunted but bogus claims of less liberty means more safety - continue to inhibit public debate on these matters, as is evidenced by the focus on irrelevant issues by the current pack of Democratic presidential panderers, who like the rest of the country, are simply too insincere to admit that behind the red, white and blue bunting lies a bloodthirsty beast which is now cannibalizing even its own citizens in its desperate effort to sate the infinite appetites of the trillionaires who run the war machine.
Sure, questions are being asked about the lies used to justify the wars, but the men who do the lying continue to victimize the folks who do the dying, both at home and abroad. No one of any social consequence in the entire world has yet seriously questioned the single, suspicious event that enabled - by the patriotic mobilization of public opinion - America to come out of the closet as a worldwide murder-for-hire operation.
And amid talk of treasonous illegal procedure in the outing of an ambassador's wife who may have been a CIA operative, there still is no discussion of the core issues that have catapulted this relatively trivial matter to the top of the the newscasts. The criminals have yet to be caught, because, unfortunately for everyone, they are the ones who are running the police and the army, not to mention the TV networks and major newspapers.
But foremost among the silently complicit are the brainwashed American people, who accept their watered down news like the prisoners they are, eating pathetic bioengineered gruel from cardboard boxes in their sad towns with abandoned department stores, no decent jobs, and starving senior citizens.
How is it that wide-eyed young journalists can graduate from America's finest colleges (not Harvard; that's an Israeli school now) and know about U.S. troops laughing during target practice on unarmed Iraqi civilians and simply turn their heads away and not write those stories because they accept the perverted propaganda of national security justifying the massacre of innocent civilians?
How is it that churchgoing American parents can let their beloved children put on their proud uniforms when they know - or should know! - that those kids are going to be cursed with lifelong diseases caused by the vaccines they are forced to take and the poisonous ammunition they are commanded to handle?
How is that our most respected statesmen and religious leaders can remain silent when they know that the evidence of the biggest, most horrendous crime in American history was deliberately destroyed without a thorough forensic examination which could have revealed how that crime was committed, can remain silent when their government tells millions of people that their air is safe to breathe when it wasn't, can remain silent when the big pharmaceutical companies give court-ordered vaccinations to children that turn many of them into vegetables, and the grieving parents can't even sue the makers of the poison?
How is it that the American people can have available to them infrared footage of the Waco massacre that shows federal agents putting bullets into the heads of little children, that they can have documented evidence of respected generals explaining how multiple bombs were attached to the stanchions of that building in Oklahoma City, that they can see convincing photographs that prove that none of the three planes that took off full of happy people on that sunny morning of September 11, 2001 were the same planes that hit their bloody targets ... how is it the American people can turn away from these things and not go ... ?
Those well-meaning people around the world who carefully stipulate that it's not the behavior of the American people they object to, but the behavior of the American government that upsets them so ... those people are wrong.
Something has curdled in the American bloodstream.