Truth, Justice, and the American Way

Superman would be sad

I was reminded of this old catch-phrase a few weeks back when I saw the movie "HollywoodLand," about the investigation of the death of TV Superman George Reeves.

Truth, Justice and the American Way meant a lot back in the 1950s and 1960s. Now I think it's become its own cartoon.

We start here this week with Republican Representative Mark Foley. It's always the pious, sacrosanct and indignant that are the worst hypocrites. Of course, Foley was the sponsor of a few bills to protect children from sex offenders and online predators. Turns out Foley has been hitting on young male congressional pages for years. Can you say hypocrite? Can you say lying sack of manure? Oh, no, not that politician. Not his fault. He's an alcoholic. He's gay. Oh, and he was molested by a clergy member. I'm sure he's got repressed memories of alien abduction as well. You know, from time to time, I have a bit too much to drink, perhaps. Somehow, in that drunken state, it never occurs to me to write seductive emails to young boys. Turns out the Republican leadership knew about his behavior for at least three years, too. They probably just felt it was in the public's best interest to hide that little scandal under the mousepad.

This week crack journalist Bob Woodward released his well-researched book "State of Denial." Another scoop for Woodward. The Bush administration is lying about the war in Iraq. Good job Bob. Way ahead of the curve. Other reports this week have revealed that the government is deliberately shielding the truth about the current situation in Iraq...withholding death and casualty numbers. Blah blah blah. If you look at the polls, a good part of America does not trust our elected representatives in Congress. So much for truth. It's pretty much a given anymore that any politician says what he needs to say to get or stay elected.

Oh, and one interesting thing about Bernstein's book, it alleges that Henry Kissinger has advised the Bush administration on Iraq. Something I have maintained for years: This current Bush administration does not date back to the Reagan era. It dates back to Nixon--now there's a truth-teller. That includes Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Powell and Armitage. Don't believe me? Listen to PBS. Oh, I forgot, they're a leftist organization.

In the post 911 climate, "justice" has become misplaced revenge and blind paranoia. Congress and the Supreme Court are rubber-stamping the administration's efforts to circumvent our own principles of Habeas Corpus, privacy, and our adherence to the Geneva convention. This week a court maintained (though temporarily) the administration's policy to wiretap international phone calls and intercept personal emails without warrants. The Congress has re-defined how long "enemy combatants" can be held, has allowed the executive branch to define what an enemy combatant is (Can it be you? Remember, if you're not with us, you're against us.), and to supersede Congress itself, the court system, and the international justice system to define torture in any way the President feels like it. The only scales of justice I see are reptilian.

The American Way
Well, here's one we win. We don't need to worry about our troop strength, our strategic weapons, even our waning international influence. We just have to peddle our lifestyle. That has been an American approach for perhaps half a century now. We just assume that when the rest of the world gets a taste of American materialism, it will have no desire for socialist or communist governments. The walls will fall, as Reagan proclaimed. I know I'm mixing capitalism with democracy here, but in our country, it is the wealthy who determine the direction of everything. There was a revealing story from Guantanamo Bay camp this week.

The "American" diet that we are feeding detainees (people held for an indefinite time--some up to four years--against their will and without any rights) is making those once athletic prisoners obese. Well, that and the fact we don't allow them to exercise. According to the story, one prisoner, who entered the prison camp at 215 pounds, now weighs in at 410 pounds! Those damned terrorists won't be scaling fences and breaking into flight cabins for much longer. Soon they'll be on their knees, out of breath, begging for Lipitor, gloucophage and baby aspirins. (And thus supporting our drug industry, as well as our fast food industries.) We don't need to worry about a jihad run by the morbidly obese.

Only one problem about spreading the American way, as in economics. It doesn't really seem to work all that well, and it may very well be that the rest of the world catches on quicker than we do. The rich get immensely richer and the poor--and the middle class--have a harder and harder time making ends meet. More Americans living in poverty, without healthcare, having a near-impossible time staying afloat. Marx you say? Nope, that other liberal-communist dogmatic: Lou Dobbs. Former cheerleader for the American way.

I don't know if George Reeves was murdered or killed himself. But I suspect that if he looked around today, the latter would have been more likely.

Posted: Wed - October 4, 2006 at 05:43 PM