Mowing the Sward of Damocles
I Have No Idea Whar I Meant by That
June 14, 2009
I’ve been reading the news again. It’s great fun, like watching an EEG trace as it…slowly…flat-lines. Reading a newspaper increasingly reminds me of watching a leper to see which finger falls off next. You can make bets.
In the news I find more on torture. I’m so proud. Home of the brave, land of the free, though we may pull your fingernails out. What nobody talks about is where we get our torturers. I mean, is it a rating, like Radioman First Class? Do recruiters offer it? What civilian applications do they see when an eager young Torquemada leaves the military? Local police?
The question of recruiting is fascinating. How much would you have to be paid to crush knees with a sledge hammer? Where do they find these guys? The boss at Langley presumably doesn’t just walk through the office saying, “Hey, we need someone TDY for Guantanamo to crush genitals. Sally, you up for it? Bill? You get overseas pay and it looks good on your resume.”
Or does he? The military didn’t have any trouble getting those girl soldiers at Abu Ghreib into it. Ooooh! King-ky!
Sadism is sexual. People don’t do it who don’t like it. We’re not talking fun and games among suburban S&M hobbyists who like to spank each other. Don’t even think about what goes on in Saudi prisons in league with the American military. Do our twisted patriots spend a few hours breaking some poor kid’s mind and then rush into an adjoining room to masturbate? Do they swap techniques?
Next, I see that some guy named Ahmadinnerjacket claims he has been elected Prez of Iran again. It seems that he is being threatened by the Prime Minister of Israel, who for some time I believed to be named Bibi Nut-and-Yahoo. This struck me as unusually candid. Why don’t I care? Sounds like a personal problem. If they nuked each other, the planet would be so much quieter.
Meanwhile North Korea threatens South Korea with nuclear war, and the US pledges noisily to defend the South at all costs. Why? The South has lots more population and industry than does the North. If South Korea wants to defend itself, it can. If it doesn’t want to, I don’t care. I’m not Seoul’s mother.
When you enlist in the military you pledge to defend the Constitution. Is it in Korea? I didn’t pay much attention in high-school civics.
Next, I see that the US has killed thirteen more civilians with drone strikes in Afghanistan. Lovely. What fun. I picture some wet-lipped CIA psychopath goobering at his screen in search of someone to blow up. It’s a cinch they don’t know who they are aiming at. The CIA has never been very good at intelligence, but it doesn’t matter. It’s the spirit of the thing. Besides, Afghans breed like flies. If you splatter one kid with a really neat drone, got buttons, got knobs, they can beget another.
Next, California is broke. Good. They deserve it. It’s not as if bankruptcy were an act of God, like getting hit on the head by a giant meteor. It was deliberate stupidity. Spend more than you make, and you end up on the street. I’m supposed to feel sorry for that? I’ve known roundworms with better sense. As I understand it, the Democrats refuse to cut spending and the Republicans refuse to raise taxes. See? A lobotomy in two-part harmony. Sounds like the whole country.
Next, I see that Precedent O’Bama wants to take on the pharmaceutical companies to lower the price of prescriptions. The subhead alleged that important congressmen have “ties to the industry,” as if this were somehow not right or normal.
OK, a brief excursion into cosmic truth. First, socialism. Hard-line conservatives with little grasp of economics refer to anything they don’t like—Hillary, national health care, regulation of anything if it might cost them money—as “socialist.” It’s a utility pejorative, devoid of meaning, as “racist” and “elitist” are for political south-paws. Socialism is of course a system in which the government owns the means of production. Check your dictionary.
Ah! But in America, the means of production own the government. Inverted socialism it is. Here is a far better thing. If you are a means of production, anyway.
Example: Bausch & Lomb makes ophthalmic salt water, useful in treating corneal edema, under the trade name “Muro.” In the Yankee Capital, it costs $23 for 1.8 ounces; in Wincherster, Va., $19; in Farmacias Guadalajara, about $6. The identical product. The generic here, Hipoton, comes in at about $3.
You could call it price-fixing, but I prefer to think of it as governmental regulation of prices. It is perfectly legal, because Big Pharma owns the government.
I believe that Econ textbooks say that price controls haven’t worked from Diocletian on. Wrong. They work splendidly. Ask Bausch & Lomb. If you could make over twenty-two bucks on a dime’s worth of salt water, wouldn’t you be in favor of governmental interference in the economy?
Let me explain medicine briefly. It’s an unholy scam. Here in Mexico my wife occasionally gets ear infections. At any pharmacy, we pick up Amoxicillin, 250mg three times a day for ten days. Six bucks.
Recently we were staying in Maryland with friends, and she got an ear ache. Amoxicillin is by prescription only in the US, which means that doctors have a monopoly on ear aches. It was Friday evening. It was either agony until Monday or go to one of those mall-based walk-in clinics, which wanted $150 for the appointment and prescribed $78 in medicines.
It’s a scam, pure and simple. Above the level of county government, the US is as corrupt as Mexico could ever be, and it’s mostly legal. Yes, I know all the who-struck-John from doctors about engendering resistant bugs. Funny. Any pharmacist in Thailand will tell you the same thing a US doctor will—Amoxicillin, take all ten days’ worth, etc. Scam.
Finally, I find that Northrop has “unveiled” an unmanned fighter, the X-47 I think. (“Unveiled” is a curious word, suggesting a blushing virgin.) Again, iit’s inverse socialism. America has no military enemies and the country is going broke, but the means of production own the government, and so we’ll get the thing at some huge cost. Northrop is picking the pocket of the corpse as it begins to decompose. Reminds me of Wall Street. Government by looters.