An amazing scene in a Frontline episode in the Iraqi parliament while Saddam Hussein ruled Iraq. It was time for a purge. Saddam had decided to execute the whole legislature. I guess they didn't know this, when the doors were locked and they started taking out people one by one and shooting them. Saddam, sadist that he was, videotaped it. So you could see what these guys were doing as they figured out, one by one, what was happening. So what did the condemned legislators do while waiting to be shot? They gave speeches, denouncing each other as the real enemy of the state, and proclaiming their love for Saddam, the best friend he ever had. Didn't work, they were all killed.
Peter Pascale says it's a Frontline documentary on Saddam, and "it is as chilling as you report."
Let's see. Over the last decade we've seen the US start a war based on lies, a crazy war that probably bankrupted the country. A war without hardship, no draft, rationing or higher taxes. To keep the people quiet, we had tax cuts. Unless you watched the news, and the reporting was lame anyway, you wouldn't have known there was a war. We lived high, financing our lifestyle by inflating a bubble around our last asset that was worth anything, our houses. As if that wasn't bad enough, when the bubble burst, we learned that the banking industry had built a house of cards around our homes and when it came down we found out that if we didn't bail them out, we would be left without a financial system. That being unthinkable, we bailed them out. Ouch!
Then there's the Gulf of Mexico. Funny how we don't hear anything about the Gulf of Mexico anymore. Maybe there is no gulf. And don't mention New Orleans, an American city that was abandoned by America.
We're so crazy, what did we do? According to the Republicans, we decided that government was the problem and to get them out of the way of the bankers, until of course they need the taxpayers to bail them out -- then government is the answer and it's time to get out the checkbook and (we) take it up the ass. Really? Did we really do that?
We want to hear that everything is all right. So we can keep believing in the things we believe in, and everything will be as it always was, when we were pre-teens and eating at home, riding bikes, with parents keeping an eye on us, making sure we didn't screw up too badly. That's what we want. Or so it seems.
Dennis Lehane, the American novelist, in an interview with Chris Lydon, told a story about radical radio commentator Glenn Beck. Apparently Beck is in his mid-40s. When he talks about the good old days, as Lehane tells it, Beck is talking about the 70s. Nixon, Kent State, Watergate, Vietnam, spiraling stagflation, the hostage crisis, OPEC, it goes on and on. It's conceivable that Beck doesn't know that the world was totally crazy when he was growing up.
BTW, on a micro level, everything is great. That's because we're in another bubble. We paved over the problems of the last bubble by creating a new one. Not sure how many more times we'll be able to do that.