Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The end of a dynasty

I woke to semi-sad news this morning. Ted Kennedy has died. The death of any person diminishes me, and I said a prayer for his soul.

He’ll need it.

Although I may loathe people in the political arena, I cannot wish any personal ill upon them. I may scream and spit at them because I’m not catching the glow off of their guiding philosophical lights, but I am content to let them go their own way as long as they cause no great harm. I’m sorry Ted Kennedy succumbed to complications from his brain cancer. As a “Big C” survivor, I wouldn’t wish it upon my worst nemesis. When Bill Clinton underwent heart surgery a few years ago, I found myself in the relatively uncomfortable position of praying for him, too.

It is up to God and the Kopechne family to forgive Ted Kennedy for what he did wrong. I’m sure he did some good and right things along the way, but I’m at a loss to name even one. We forgive people for ourselves, not necessarily for their transgressions. Long before I knew the identity of my father’s murderer, God literally tossed him under a truck. His brother was a party to the killing, and if I ever confronted him and got some honest answers to a couple of questions, I’d have to do some soul-searching and maybe—just maybe—back off my eye-for-an-eye stance.

There has been much chatter from the pundits today about “the Kennedy dynasty.” There have been very few dynasties in the American presidency. By definition, John Adams and John Quincy Adams were a dynasty. George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush were a dynasty. Although Theodore and Franklin were only distantly related, I suppose we can define the Roosevelt family as a dynasty.

Ted Kennedy had three brothers, and he was the scrub of the litter.

Joe Jr. was the one his father was grooming for the presidency. Joe Sr. was a shanty-Irish immigrant who made his fortune in America by marrying well and associations with organized crime and the bootlegging boom of Prohibition. Not content with his big bucks, Joe Sr. sought respectability and ultimate power through his children.

Joe Jr. volunteered for a top-secret “flying bomb” project during War II. The idea was to take clapped-out B-17s that were still flyable, pack them with explosives, and equip them with then-state-of-the-art radio controls. This was the forerunner of the cruise missile. The planes would take off from England, piloted by a human who would bail out before the plane crossed the English Channel. Just before jumping, the pilot would set the controls for radio-guidance by the “mother plane”, and hit the silk. The plane would then be flown into a hard-to-hit target like an unmanned Kamikaze.

Joe Jr. took the bomber aloft and prepared to bail out. He was flipping switches, turning control over to the accompanying guidance bomber, when something went wrong. He flipped a toggle switch, and the thousands of pounds of high explosives went off and caused the plane to disintegrate in mid-air. The cause is undetermined to this day.

John F. Kennedy was next in line. His father had pulled some strings as a mover-and-shaker, and gotten him into the PT boat service in the Pacific theater. Anyone who remembers “McHale’s Navy” from TV knows this was an ideal venue for a playboy from Hyannis Port. PT boats were fast, sexy, and mostly out of harm’s way. They were fast-attack craft that didn’t have to hang around for whatever retaliation the Japanese navy might unleash.

On the night he became a war hero, John Kennedy did something that naval analysts have since called incredibly stupid. He cruised into enemy-controlled waters, and with no idea of where the foe might be, he shut his engines down. Dead in the water, PT 109 got run over by a Japanese destroyer. Two crewmen were killed, and the boat destroyed.

To his credit, JFK was heroic in looking after his crew and affecting their rescue. He later parlayed this heroism into a Senate seat, and ultimately the presidency, during the post-War-II reverence for brave leaders. He carried the third brother, Robert, on his coattails, and appointed RFK Attorney General of the United States. Bobby was also successful as a Senator, cashing in on the family’s name and cachet. Both of these men were assassinated; JFK while in office and Bobby when he stepped up to run for the presidency. No matter what their respective ideologies, this is not how we do business in America. The gunshots reverberate to this day.

That left Teddy. Even though he was the runt of the litter and last in line for a public position of any significance, and had been tossed out of Harvard for cheating on exams, he had to step up to the plate and assume the family mantle. Like President Obama, his Senate seat was never viewed as anything more than a stepping–stone to the presidency. Then, in July 1969, a drunken Ted left a party on Chappaquiddick Island, near Martha’s Vineyard off Cape Cod. He missed a turn for a narrow bridge, and the Oldsmobile ended up in the water. There was a woman-not-his-wife in the car, named Mary Jo Kopechne. In an unspeakable act of cowardice, Teddy bailed from the car and swam away, leaving Mary Jo to drown. Compare his actions to those of his brother, JFK, who swam in shark-infested waters for hours to assure the safety of his crewmen.

Massachusetts has been the private fiefdom of the Kennedys since Joe Sr. set up the family compound at Hyannis Port. Teddy suffered no legal ramifications from his cowardly act. He got a slap on the wrist from the authorities and a stern talking-to from his father. His shot at the presidency was forever ruined, and he returned to being the esteemed senior senator from Massachusetts.

The Kennedy family has been plagued by scandal and tragedy. Infidelity seems to be almost a way of life, putting me in mind of what Henry Kissinger said about power being the ultimate aphrodisiac. Various Kennedy cousins have been accused of rape and convicted of murder. Even unto Caroline and John Jr.—the children of JFK—the allegations continue. John and Bobby’s smarmy frat-boy sharing of Marilyn Monroe’s sexual favors is well established. Looking at the fraud of “Camelot” and today’s lionization of Ted Kennedy as some sort of superb statesman, I can only sigh and think of John and Yoko Lennon’s catchy tune about “Instant Karma.”

At the end, Ted Kennedy epitomized everything about Democrats. His final, unremarked-upon legacy is a cheap, tacky piece of political maneuvering.

During the 2004 election season—when he called Senator Obama “Osama Who?” before he got hip—and there was an offhand chance that professional Vietnam veteran John Kerry—the junior senator from Massachusetts—might get elected president and have to vacate his Senate seat, senior Senator Kennedy ramrodded some rule changes through the government of Massachusetts. Like many other states—Rod Blagoevich’s auctioning of Obama’s senate seat immediately jumps out—the governor of Massachusetts was authorized to appoint a replacement to a vacated senate seat.

At the time, Republican Mitt Romney was governor of Massachusetts. Fearing that a Republican governor would appoint a Republican to fill Kerry’s senate seat on the sketchy chance Kerry would be elected president, Ted Kennedy flexed his family’s power in the home state and got the law changed to require time-specific “special elections” that would hopefully take place after the presidency had been decided.

A few weeks ago, sensing his time on earth might be about up, Ted Kennedy sought to change the Massachusetts state law back to allowing the governor—currently a Democrat—to appoint a successor to his [Kennedy’s] office. This was cloaked in language about “how important it is to maintain two Democrat seats in the senate during the current…crisis”, but it was a blatant political ploy. I wonder if this was what The Manchurian Candidate meant by “transparency in government.”

Ted Kennedy, in this last grasping, was the perfect example of what liberals stand for. “If the game isn’t playing out your way, change the rules.” His brother Joe may have been the only hero in the family for boarding and flying that explosives-laden bomber. JFK was heroic after the fact, because he didn’t want to explain to daddy why he got his whole boat crew killed or captured. Bobby was an anal-retentive whiner. Ted murdered a woman through an act of inexcusable cowardice.

I hope this is the swan song of the Kennedy dynasty. JFK’s Caroline has too much personal baggage to replace Hillary Clinton in New York’s national Senate seat. John Jr. is dead in a plane crash. Bobby Jr. is a passionate tree-hugger with a whiny voice that is like fingernails on a blackboard.

I have empathy for this family’s travails, but Joe Sr. died years ago, and the pressure is no longer applicable. They need to retire and live in elitist comfort off the money the old bootlegger provided. They have nothing to prove with some faux sympathy for “the common people.”

Say goodnight, Ted. I’m sure you’ll be missed…somewhere.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Hitler Analogy (The lessons of history)

Okay, let’s start with an e-mail that inspired this latest rant. I often find my best focus in personal replies to one “stimulus” or another, but this one is going to be tough to articulate.

First, the e-mail—slightly edited for content and personal references—regarding Osama Bamalama’s interjection into a police matter involving a friend of his:

“I abide by what I call Robert's Rule of Order: ‘Don't wave at the cops, and don't shoot at the Army.’ I find I have a lot more tranquility in my life this way.

“On those—not so rare—occasions when I've had to deal with law enforcement personnel in an official capacity—usually for those pesky speeding tickets—I am always courteous and let them get on with their duties. It may be 0400 and the highway's empty, but they caught me fair and square at 110. I always remember what my friend Manny Morales told me about his four brothers on the LAPD: They'll be as polite to you as you allow them to be. The one time I tried a smart-assed play—asking the trooper to write the ticket for 130, 'cause I was trying to sell the car—he was not amused…much. (He did ask if I was serious.)

“I know a lot of different cops from many departments, and some are close friends. I don't even have to take a poll to know what they'd tell me about [Professor] Gates. If they saw anyone shouldering a door, including me, they'd swing to the curb and check out their story. This whole racial aspect is getting close to an essential flaw in Osama Bamalama's character: he really did listen to ‘Reverend’ Wright all those years, and he hates this country as a result. Coulter's right; liberals always run to blacks when they're in trouble formulating a rational argument for their actions. It would be too obvious for a black liberal to embrace himself [as a victim], so this angry, bitter black educator is tailor-made for a diversion from the true socialist agenda.

“I am already pegging The Manchurian Candidate as a Hitlerian megalomaniac. That diagnosis is being confirmed by some sinister rumblings from pundits far wiser than me, who are suggesting that the failed "stimulus", the job-killing minimum wage hike, and the move to destroy private insurance and health plans is all part of a larger goal: to drive more people to the government for nanny-state care. I'm planning a blog post around this idea, with focus on AmeriCorps, the Hitler-Youth-like scheme to indoctrinate the young. History is an avocation at The Possum Den, and I'm constantly refreshing my memory with different takes on trends and incidents that I have already wasted way too many brain cells memorizing.

“I'm praying that Osama B. will be a one-trick pony, but he already makes Carter's statesmanship look Reaganesque in comparison. I started the year thinking Obama was Carter Lite, but at this point I'm thinking Mr. Peanut was only a dress rehearsal for Obama.

“I'm familiar with the term ‘Bush Derangement Syndrome’, where liberals let their hatred of GWB override any common sense they may have accidentally accrued. I am given pause when I have to occasionally ask myself if I'm suffering from ODS [Obama Derangement Syndrome]. Here I spent half my childhood and all of my adult life refuting the cultural programming that could have made me a racist redneck, and the payoff is I end up loathing a black man.

“Nah, maybe not. I dislike Obama for all the right reasons. I still judge people by their merit. He has none.

“Hey, with a little editing, this may be the next post at UPI. Don't be surprised. Thanks for a mental jump-start on a weekend when I usually only watch the financial news and then go shopping for incense and toilet paper.


"BTW, remember Charlie holding up that LA Times banner headline to the jury: Nixon Says Manson Is Gulity? As a recovering hippie, I have my own pet conspiracy theory about that.”

So, it turns out it is the jumping-off point for a blog post. A lot is hanging out here; true feelings and all that. (We’ll get to the “pet conspiracy theory” some other time. It’s a doozy, though; a microcosm of ‘70s paranoia and disaffection.)

Every time the subject of race comes up, even as a peripheral issue, I am seized by some compulsive desire to apologize for stating an opinion on the issue at hand, and pre-emptively explain that I am not a racist. This is, perhaps, an over-compensation for growing up in The Old South, where the mantra “Impeach Earl Warren” fell off adults’ lips as easily as the “N-word”.

If Constant Readers don’t know by now where I stand on color-blindness, then they are not reading closely enough. I don’t give a good damn what color you are; I care about the content of your soul. Racial hatred is not endemic to my DNA, and much as Henry Alford took offense to being fronted by liberal Barbara Boxer’s playing of a race card, I am weary of having to preface any disagreement with the policies of Barak Obama with an assertion that I am not a racist. The very fact that he has risen to the highest position of power in this country should preclude any bomb-throwing by those who disagree with me. The playing field, as they say, is now level, and if I disagree with cultural or political mores, I am disagreeing with human beings, not with someone I regard as inferior to me because of their racial derivation. I don’t think I can say it any more clearly than that, and I will not continue to say it, as it diverts what’s left of my mind from more cogent points.

To specifics:

This “Gates-gate” thing—as it’s being called—is as cut-and-dried as I spelled out in my letter. The police officer was doing his job. Watch any given episode of “Cops”, and you can see truly stupid people talking their way into jail. Most of them are under-educated, under the influence of something, and have enough negative cultural conditioning in their backgrounds that they feel a strange sense of self-righteousness in venting their frustrations on the nearest authority figure at hand, i.e. the uniformed cop requesting an i.d. check and an explanation as to why you were battering that door down. I am as pale white as the driven snow, and have lost my house keys on the alcohol-fogged walk from my car to the front door. Not to imply that professor Gates was under the influence, but you get my point. [To put the personal edge on it, on the particular night I am thinking about, I had to pass a rock through the window of my front door. When I reached in to release the lock, I gashed my arm. At the time I was in the middle of my first (really ugly) divorce—and the blood and pain was the last straw. Once I was in the house, a lot of furniture went flying out of other windows, with much loud vocal accompaniment. The next morning, the house looked like a mortar-shelled husk in Kosovo. This is why I live in rural areas; the only reason I didn’t get arrested was that there was no cop passing by to hose me off and restrain me.]

When someone says “behaved stupidly”, I take it for granted they are talking about me. When the most powerful man in the world says it about a sworn police officer doing his duty, I ain’t buying into it.

The entire affair currently garnering so much air time is a red herring. Just as Bill Clinton lobbed missiles into Afghanistan on the day Congress voted to impeach him, so has President Obama played the always-volatile race card because his approval ratings are tanking and his health “care” gambit is being exposed for the socialist fraud it is. I may have to add “Red Herring” to my pantheon of affectionate nicknames for Barak Obama, along with “Osama Bamalama”—thank you, Ted Kennedy, for that one!—and “The Manchurian Candidate”—thank you, Richard Condon, for the literary prototype.

No one in “Gates-gate” is guilty of any serious wrongdoing. Officer Crowley was doing his duty, checking out a suspicious-looking circumstance. Professor Gates was breaking into his own home, which, last time I checked, is still legal. Sometimes we have to do stupidly embarrassing things just to reach the haven of our warm beds.

I have mentioned before that you should not attempt to outrun, outshoot, or out-cuss the cops. They have faster cars, bigger guns, and a better vocabulary. “Manny Morales” in the above-cited e-mail is a real person, and really has four brothers who work on the LAPD. He used to tease me about being from Georgia. He admitted that he was scared of the police powers his brothers wielded, and advised me that if I was ever pulled over in Los Angeles, I should go out of my way to be polite and cooperative. I already know that copping an attitude with a cop is a quick path to an orange jumpsuit and a baloney sandwich with a cellmate who will take both away from you and demand more. Perhaps professor Gates should have peeked down from his ivory tower and saved his pseudo-street rhetoric for safer forums, like his classroom or here on the Internet.

That is absolutely my last word on Osama Bamalama and “acted stupidly”. The entire affair is detracting from my thoughts on a larger issue, which is what the “progressives” who cannot formulate rational arguments intend. My reasonably coherent notions about “Hitlerian megalomania” have become scattered in a preface about racial politics concerning a minor, meaningless kafuffle between a cop and an angry black man.

This will doubtless be misinterpreted, but I am a big fan of Hitler. Not in any sense of admiration, but because he was so wrong in everything he did, he serves as a timeless example of evil. He set the standard by which every failed, egregious, disingenuous, murderous tyrant must be assessed. He hoodwinked 84,000,000,000 people. He started the deadliest war mankind has ever known. He nearly exterminated a race of God-fearing people. He was too incompetent to make a normal living as an architect or a water-color artist. He fancied himself a great general, a superb diplomat, and the savior of all that is noble in mankind…if only everyone did what he said. Failing to impose his warped vision upon mankind, shortly before he committed suicide he said those 84 million Germans—many of whom had already perished in his name—deserved to die because they had “betrayed his will”, or some such rubbish. Believing the sun rises and sets on your ass is a simplistic definition of what I have called “megalomania.” My American Heritage pocket dictionary defines “megalomania” as “a mental disorder characterized by feelings of great personal power or omnipotence.” (AHD © 1983; you don’t throw these things away.)

During his ascendancy, Hitler centralized governmental power in himself. He didn’t invent the “cult of personality”—Al Gore did that the day after he invented the Internet—but he expanded it to an unprecedented degree.

Along the way, he came up with a nifty idea for something called the Hitler Jugend. (Pronounced “you-gend”.) That’s “Hitler Youth” to those of you who only speak Americanese. What he proposed was what any ghetto drug-dealer will explain about the economic policies of dealing: hook ‘em young, and use ‘em up before they die from an overdose. During the fall of Berlin, 14-year-olds took to the streets with Panzerfaust anti-tank weapons on suicide missions against Allied armor because they were steeped in the glorious myth of the man who had promised so much “change” to post-World-War-I Germany.

Where have we heard that “change” mantra before?

Never mind!

I am educated way beyond my intelligence, but far wiser people than me are beginning to mention an alarming trend:

(a) There is liberal chatter about a “jobless” economic recovery.
(b) There are veiled admissions that “true recovery” will require additional tax burdens for everyone, not just the “filthy rich” who are so often vilified when the class-warfare card is played for the media. The president has openly admitted “we’re out of money.”
(c) The so-called “stimulus” has failed.
(d) Having taken over the means of production in the fields of investments in capitalism, the banking industry, half of the insurance industry, and the automotive industry, the government is now expanding into a general destruction of personal insurance via the much-vaunted “health care reform” packages being floated before a lap-dog Congress.
(e) The so-called “compassionate” hike of the minimum wage to over $7.00 per hour will in fact destroy 300,000 more jobs in a time when families are living in tents in public campgrounds. History records “Hoovervilles” from the Crash of 1929; will we call these new tent cites “Obamavilles”?
(f) Teenage unemployment is now at 34%, versus a national average of 9.5%
(g) No new jobs are being created, despite the exhortations of the presidential candidate who promised “change you can count on!”

The alarming trend that is beginning to be noticed by a few bright lights is that all of this failure and malaise has a long-term purpose: to drive more and more Americans to such a point of despair that they will abandon all hope and reflexively come to depend on the federal government to nurture and care for them. (Strike what I said in (g) above. New jobs are being created. You can go to work for the federal government, and have a sinecure for life, cradle to the grave, with all the perks. Not all Germans in the 1920s-30s agreed with Hitler’s maniacal obsessions, but those who joined the Nazi party had it made in the shade. So what if you ended up on the steppes somewhere shooting a few untermensche? Your family still lived in a chalet instead of a gypsy tent, and all you had to do was smile, nod, and proclaim that the Fearless Leader was the greatest thing since sliced bread.)

The rules of warfare, such as they are, have changed. Mankind no longer makes war for the sole purpose of territorial expansion, except for tin-pot dictators. We have ours, and everyone else has theirs, as concerns geography. Modern conflict is about ideology; one side seeking to impose its philosophical will over the other. Whereas Hitler sought to impose some warped notion of “Aryan superiority” over others, the current leader of the most powerful nation in the history of mankind seeks to prostrate this nation before the failed ideologies of weaker utopian governments. At the same time, he has established a cult of personality based upon a megalomaniacal obsession that he alone can cure the ills of mankind through weakness and negotiation with evil.

I try to keep these ravings to about 1,000 words per serving, and this one has already quadrupled that into something resembling a book chapter. I have a bit more on the unease AmeriCorps is causing. I don’t feel I’ve made my points coherently here; I feel like some loon calling Art Bell on talk radio to complain about UFOs putting tracking devices in my tin-foil hat.

Maybe the e-mail that opened this article said it more succinctly. I am frightened, depressed, and angry with the course this country has taken. Going subjective, I have too much empirical experience with the efficacy of government. What we have here is not the “normal” expansion of bureaucracy to fill a vacuum, but the creation of a full-blown dictatorship of apocalyptic proportions.

I lost my right to vote for a while, owing to enforcement of the law regarding “those pesky speeding tickets.” Having had that right restored, I feel like an Eastern European immigrant from the Soviet bloc; I treasure my vote. It may not count for much in a lot of people’s estimation, but it’s my one tiny voice in affecting the future. It counts for a hell of a lot more than all my bloviating on this blog.

“Change that counts” starts next year, when you can cast your precious vote to throw these malign rascals out of Congress. We’ll be stuck with The Manchurian Candidate and his smoke-and-mirrors for a couple of more years, but the real laws are made in Congress, not by some race-baiting, power-grabbing squirrel who thinks he was elected King of America. If you still have some gasoline in your tank, and you haven’t been nuked by Iran, go out in 2010 and make a real difference!

The comments above brought a slight bearing onto what I was driving at.

There is this nifty new concept for a way for Youth-To-Serve-America…and the world that our Fearless Leader, the Red Herring, is so eager to please. (If you’re a high-school dropout, as I am, and wonder about the definition of “red herring”, look it up. A succinct definition is found in The American Heritage Dictionary; Second College Edition, © 1983, or any edition more current. My copy has sat upon various desks beside typewriters and computers for a quarter-century. Its pages are yellow with age, and the binding has split along the seam, but the words are timeless, and still matter. For those of you who think an MP-3 player is mankind’s greatest achievement, never mind.)

On the surface, this fantastic new concept is an amalgam of the Peace Corps, the World Health Organization, and the Save the Whales Fund in a glorious new Five-Year-Plan titled AmeriCorps. It is designed to ameliorate every wrongdoing perpetrated by the evil, corporately-driven George W. Bush administration. It will provide young Americans with college tuition, job security, cradle-to-the-grave health care for them and their descendants, and prove for all time to come that any innate superiority of the American way of life is subordinate to Third World concepts of oppression, victimology, and repression based on 17th century theocratic ideologies.

Were those enough empty promises and big words for one paragraph? Did that make any more sense to you than it did to me…and I just wrote that claptrap.

Nevertheless, there is something just over the event horizon called AmeriCorps. [That’s pronounced “Ameri-core” to those of you who have suffered through state schooling in the last ten years. Not “Ameri-corpse”. Not yet.]

Channeling the great misanthrope W.C. Fields, I’m too old to worry about the fate of children. I’m too old to worry about the fate of America. I seem to recall that back in the late 1950s, when I was barely out of diapers, there was some notion that America was a great country. These days, aside from the media-perpetrated legends about “McCarthyism”, the only thing anyone seems to remember about the ‘50s is the invention of rock & roll, big cars with big fins, and some guy named Elvis.

I recall one of my high school teachers in the ‘60s telling me that a “generation” comes along on an average of every 20 years. Never a math whiz, I still managed to do the arithmetic, and realized that my parents belonged to what is now nostalgically called The Greatest Generation. That was my first clue, and I became hooked on the chimera we sometimes refer to as history.

History used to be substantial fact; now it is the intellectual property of whoever won the last war or election, and is subject to convenient rewrites. If you don’t believe me, watch six hours of TV during an average day, like the average American goofball, or audit an average American college class taught by one of my friends left over from the Fabulous ‘70s.

Somewhere along the line—I can’t name an exact point—I became enamored of history. There were all these groovy dead people who did these outstanding things, while I was mired in the present. Perhaps my fascination with past lessons was forged somewhere between family reunions, where I learned there were serious adults researching my family heritage, and my subsequent involvement with Civil War re-enacting at age 14, when I was four years too young to play with black-powder guns and had to settle for being a drummer-boy.

Ah, another digression!

I cannot for the life of me think who originally said “Those who do not remember the lessons of history are doomed to repeat it.” I know it as printed on a sign above Jim Jones’s throne when he led the greatest mass suicide since Masada. (Look it up, kids!)

Back in the 1930s, years before I was born, there was this feller named Adolph. His country was impoverished. His people had just lost a huge war. He fought in that war and he got hurt for his troubles. Ol’ Adolph knew if folks would just listen to him, and do what he said, they could improve their lot in life. Why, if they listened to him long enough, and believed enough of what he knew to be true, they could convince the rest of the world that he was the way, the truth, and the light. His folks could run everything, and all would be the way God intended it. There would be no more poverty, disease, or starvation. Money would be worth the paper it was printed on, and everyone would have a job. Ol’ Adolph had to do some semi-serious jail time for putting his ideas out here too soon, but then, all progressive ideas are suppressed at birth.

Adolph had some “issues” with his parents, but, gosh, who doesn’t? When he grew up, he tried his best to be either an architect or a water-colorist, but that was boring work that required mental application, so he became a politician instead. Once he got out of jail, he got to become the Supreme Leader of his country. He got to ride shotgun seat in the fanciest cars, and fly on state-of-the-art airplanes.

He also got to speak for “the folks”. He promised to unify the government. He said he’d do this for the folks, under his sole leadership. In their language, his people had a catchy slogan for this concept: “Ein Volk, Ein Reich, Ein Fuehrer”. [“One People, One Government, One Leader”. Look it up, kids! I’m tellin’ ya!]

After he’d been in charge for a little while, Adolph got bored with the Mercedes cars and the fancy planes, and after a few minutes’ pondering came up with an idea that has been a cornerstone of existence to every drug dealer hanging out in every schoolyard ever since: “Let’s get ‘em hooked young, and we’ll have a captive constituency that will live longer and offer us more support in the long term.”

So, Adolph and his progressive cronies concocted the idea of a “youth corps.” This was quite a hot idea in his country. Economically, things were hard. The whole world was in a financial depression. If businesses—the means of production—couldn’t provide jobs, then the government would take over those businesses. By golly, the government would make them work, or else! If the businesses didn’t prove to be a bottomless fountain of revenue for the government, then the government would create jobs out of thin air. And those jobs would be…working for the government, of course!

Adolph decided that some people didn’t deserve to live. He decided that faggots, cripples, retards, niggers, commies and homeless gypsies were inferior human specimens who interfered with his progressive health plans. Later on, he decided that anyone who disagreed with his policies were also interfering with “progress”, and added them to his little list.

And, of course, there were the official “enemies of the state.” In Adolph’s case, these were people who wore funny caps, had big hooked noses, ran pawn shops, and always seemed to have money to lend when politically-correct people of good breeding were going hungry.These people ran everything, and everything was going to hell, so the logical solution was to get rid of them.

But, that brought up another problem. Some of those kids might object on moral grounds! Ever since Socrates remarked on youthful rebellion, there has been a problem with questioning authority.

No problem. No-brainer. Give the kids uniforms, and a sense of greater purpose. Pluck them from the malaise of their daily lives as humans, imbue them with the power of the state, and convince them they’re superhuman. If they don’t want to do it, make them do it! It’s all for the greater good, and Ol’ Adolph knew for a certainty what the greater good was!

If we can make them depend on the state for everything, the more beholden they will be to us. Trust The State—Trust Me!—and I will return your trust a thousandfold with goodies, video games, and Caribbean cruises for the parents of those you haven’t snitched on for disagreeing with our policies. All we have to do is convince them that things are hopeless, it’s someone else’s fault—like those greedy rich people who don’t agree with us—and that turning to the state is their only hope. They’ll come around, when they’re starving, homeless, persecuted, and on the edge of extinction. The more people who come to depend on the state to care for them, the greater our power will become.

Ol’ Adolph said this principle would prevail for a thousand years. It lasted from about 1929 until the spring of 1945. Ol’ Adolph said “Give me four years, and you will not recognize Germany.”

It took a little longer, but he was right. The Germans who survived World War II crawled through hellish rubble that was not “change you can count on.”

Shortly before he committed suicide, hiding in what was essentially a Bin-Laden type cave, Hitler said that Germany deserved to die with him for their lack of will and “betrayal” of his visions.

Unemployment in America today is 9.5%. Among teenagers, that figure rises to 30-34%. Ted Kennedy, the adulterous, murderous alcoholic from Massachusetts, is already suggesting that service in AmeriCorps be mandatory. Get ‘em young, make ‘em dependent and use ‘em up before they die of an overdose.

I have known a couple of members of the Hitler Jugend in my life. They were unrepentant, and offered only steely-eyed apologies for Hitler’s horrors. (And by “apologies”, I don’t mean to say they expressed regret. An apologist is also someone who attempts to explain a concept; in the case of Hitler Jugend; think Holocaust deniers.) They were hooked young on the ideal of a totalitarian state that would nurture them cradle-to-grave. Instead, many were sent to early graves via suicide missions against Allied forces in the final throes of the Reich’s death agonies.

Everything I have mentioned herein is written in various books, in much more somber and profound tones. What I didn’t learn in school, I spent the past 30 years assimilating on my own by opening my eyes, reading, thinking about it, and understanding what I took in.

Oh, I forgot! My bad, as they say today! Nobody reads books any longer! That’s so…’70s! Nobody goes to libraries any more, except to avail themselves of the free computers and surf porn while their home PC downloads a trash movie. Those archaic shelves and all those books certainly clog up the aisles. We ought to burn them, the way Ol’ Adolph did. Coffee-shop computers where you can hook up are so much cooler, anyhow!

“Those who do not remember the lessons of history are bound to repeat it.”—George Santayana—

Sunday, August 09, 2009

The Conspiracy Theory

A couple of posts back—in “Gates-gate? Gimme a break!” [content now available as the first half of "The Hitler Analogy" above]—I mentioned a conspiracy theory that I am especially fond of. It has no basis in fact that I can discern. I gathered most of the data in my misspent, drug-addled youth, and have no desire to research any inaccuracies or inconsistencies. I don’t think I’m alone in clinging to a totally unrealistic pet theory about an historical incident, no matter how absurd it may be. I just like the way this one plays out.

There is a certain amount of morbid hoopla attached to this month being the 40th anniversary of the murder spree of the so-called “Manson Family.” I read prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi’s book Helter-Skelter in the late 1970s; halfway through I decided it was either an incisive piece of legal exposition, or the largest pile of BS I had ever encountered in my young life. [Bugliosi also authored the 1996 book Outrage: The Five Reasons O.J. Simpson Got Away With Murder, which I consider to be the definitive work on that misadventure in American jurisprudence. I have the utmost respect for Mr. Bugliosi, and believe he’s an honest man.]

I also cannot understand the warped celebrity status accorded to Charles Manson. Constant Readers know I have zero-tolerance for murder, or those who commit them. If, for whatever reason, you offed someone, you don’t want me on your jury. Manson was on his way to sniff the gas in California, and he will never breathe free air again. He was saved by a “kinder, gentler” California Supreme Court that decided the Old Testament’s Angry God’s declaration of “an eye for an eye” was politically incorrect. [People vs. Anderson, 1972] So, he and the hippie chicks got life with only nominal consideration for parole, which adds up to 40 years and counting by now.

But, I digress yet again. Let’s get to the heart of the conspiracy, which has provided me with vast amusement ever since the jury brought in a “guilty” verdict four decades ago.

In the late 1960s, hippies—long-haired, pot-smoking, tuned-in, tripped-out, turned-on young people—were the darlings of the media, and something of a phenomenon. It was the walk in the sun for the “Woodstock Nation.” There was a lot in play, from moral indignation about a seemingly endless, unviable war in Southeast Asia, to an inherent belief by rebellious youth that we could somehow change the world through “peace and love.”

Enter Richard M. Nixon, the 37th president of the United States. That pesky war in Southeast Asia belonged to him, after Democrat John Kennedy began American involvement in it, and Democrat Lyndon Johnson couldn’t find a workable “exit strategy.” Things were going to hell on the domestic front, and the prime instigators seemed to be those damn hippies.

John Edgar Hoover—the notorious homosexual transvestite and blackmailer of numerous presidents—was still in charge of the Federal Bureau of Incompetence [FBI]. He hated hippies, too.

Tricky Dick—as the president was called—was prohibited by law and Congressional fiat from sending intelligence agents out to photograph or gather information about those stoned-out “dissenters.” Likewise, he was forbidden to urge “right-thinking” Americans to turn in anyone they suspected of deviation from the party line. (If this sounds familiar, it’s only because “Blackshirts” are beating up protesters to the current leadership’s policies, and The White House is urging “right thinking” Americans to report “fishy” political deviations. But, this is America; it can’t happen here! Frank Zappa said in 1967.)

So, one day Tricky Dick goes for a power walk on the beach at San Clemente with J. Edgar. They discuss the various crises of the time, and the difficulties inherent to Republican leadership; mostly the legislation of morality. They discuss the unprecedented popularity of those dope-smoking, fist-waving young know-nothings, and then it gets down to the nut-cutting.

“John, what can we do about these freaks running around disrupting everything?” Tricky Dick asks. “I can’t reopen the camps FDR used for the Japs in ’41. The Houston plan has failed. The media loves these little gits. Their popularity rating tops mine in the polls. Isn’t there anything we can do to discredit these animals?”

J. Edgar pauses for a moment to adjust his paisley bikini, then he proposes an audacious plan to Nixon. It will involve sacrifice, but the eggs being broken will justify the omelet that will sustain the nation. The nod is given and the plan proceeds.

I am disappointed that my cursory research—which I hate doing—does not bear out the next part of the cabal scenario. According to the legend, Charles “Tex” Watson was a minor clerk in Naval Intelligence. Never an overachiever, he could nonetheless keep a secret. He was approached by his superiors for a special mission, and he readily agreed.

“Tex” left Naval Intelligence, and moved to Los Angeles, where he began profiling prospective members of the hippie community. One who immediately caught his attention was an ex-convict named “Charlie”. Charlie was a career criminal, a wimpy born loser who nevertheless had an exotic attraction to others. Older than the average hippie, Charlie was spellbinding with his ex-con lines that he spun out to every abused, disaffected runaway who came within earshot.

It was a time when social compacts were sealed with the assertion “It’s cool, man. I can dig it.” Charlie had an eye for the ladies, and was already picking up a following among the runaways-turned-hookers along Hollywood Boulevard. A commune of sorts coalesced around Charlie, with Tex on the fringe, and they moved to a derelict movie ranch near Death Valley.

While “The Family” lived on the Spahn ranch, they indulged in drug-driven orgies. Charlie’s drug of choice was the relatively new LSD. “Tex” preferred methamphetamines, which kept him awake and percolating for days at a time. During those wide-awake interludes, “Tex” took long walks in the desert with Charlie, who was jacked up on acid. They had long conversations about everything from The Beatles to impending race war, with Charlie always seeming to have the superior outlook and grasp of “The Big Picture” as to how these disparate subjects tied into the weirdness of the times.

Eventually, Charlie’s egomaniacal psychopathy overcame him, and he decided he would become the catalyst for a race war. To this end, he ordered several of his submissive hippie chicks to go out and “off some pigs.” [Here I catch up with Bugliosi’s postulation, and the legal case that was established by factual evidence.]

Charlie didn’t go along the night of the first murders. “Tex” led the girls up the driveway from the street to the Tate residence, and “Tex” committed the first murder, shooting 17-year-old Stephen Parent as he departed from visiting a friend, the caretaker of the estate.

The rest of what happened that night is legal and historical fact. It was vicious beyond belief, even in today’s jaded world.

The following night, the killers struck again, butchering Leno and Rosemary LaBianca in their Los Feliz home in the suburbs of LA. Charlie was there, but the tough ex-con is alleged to have split the scene when the blood started flowing. Like a Pathfinder, “Tex” seems to have led the way.

The cult was eventually found out and arrested for the crimes. [See Bugliosi’s Helter-Skelter for the stunning details.] During the trial, crazy Charlie displayed an LA Times headline proclaiming “Nixon Says Manson Is Guilty!” It seems the president—despite being a lawyer—had made some intemperate remarks to a reporter the day before. He did this for a reason.

Eventually, all the murderers were convicted, and thanks to the California Supreme Court’s ruling, they have spent the last forty years navel-gazing and masturbating in prison cells.

Once the verdicts were in, hostility towards hippies spiked to an all-time high. No longer were the youthful “peace and love” kids on the cover of Time magazine. A Special Forces doctor—Jeffrey McDonald—tried to alibi murdering his family on “hippie cult killers” shortly thereafter. Any male with long hair was instantly identified as a potential killer. The moral indignation of youth no longer held the high ground. Anyone identifying themselves as “hip” was automatically discredited as degenerate, or worse. John Edgar’s plan had come to full fruition.

The payoff for “Tex” Watson’s loyal—if covert—service was that he should receive a full pardon from President Nixon upon the latter’s leaving office. However, the Watergate thing came along, and Nixon wasn’t in a position to grant tacit amnesties to mass murderers when he left office. Tex has been turned down for parole 13 times, and the rest of “the family” is running apace.

As a factual presentation of anything remotely resembling reality, everything of what I’ve just proposed is rubbish. Nixon hated Hoover; if anything, there’s the convenient conspiracy theory Tricky Dick hastened Hoover’s death during the Watergate crisis because the head honcho of the FBI was blackmailing him as he had every president since Herbert Hoover. The best job Charles Denton “Tex” Watson ever had was as a baggage handler for Braniff Airways. Charlie Manson is a psychopathic loser who doubtless enjoys the opportunity to talk trash at every mandatory parole board hearing. I got most of this conspiracy theory from Leftist-loon author Ed Sanders, who, back in the day, could publish entire books of unsubstantiated trash.

I cling to this absurd myth because I came of age in the ‘70s, when heroin and Quaaludes replaced pot and LSD as the drugs of choice because malaise and despair were the watchwords. It seemed like the perfect answer to a lot of questions. My homeboy, Jimmy Carter, promised “change we can count on,” and we all know how that shook out. Turns out he was just a dress rehearsal for The Red Herring. If there has been a recent “bipartisan effort” in America, it’s the wholesale proffering of despair and malaise by both Republicans and Democrats. I got really hot on the home front the other day when my Significant Other accused me of being a Republican. I actually raised my voice to explain that I don’t believe in either the legislation of morality or the collectivization of society, which sums up both major political parties succinctly.

I like the way this old conspiracy theory played out and fit the tenor of the times. What with the advent of Black Panthers appointing themselves “poll bosses” with truncheons in hand, the Hitlerian urging of The White House for people to snitch on those “fishy” dissidents, and SEIU “blackshirts” beating down people at town hall meetings, I hope to write the next conspiracy-theory script before a “medical advisory board” declares me unfit and prescribes euthanasia as the only cost-effective solution to my obvious mental illness and physical disability. I seem to recall that a number of less-than-perfect human specimens had “end-of-life” conversations with Dr. Mengele’s advisory boards and eugenics councils.

But that’s just me, and I’m old and in the way. “Progressivism uber alles!”