The West Wing of the Mind
Expanded from the 1-16-2005
Daily Sparks Tribune
1-21-2005 Comstock Chronicle
Pity the poor Demolitioncrats. Their dream of regaining political power is given hope only in the ultimate fantasyland of Hollywood.
For one hour on most Wednesday evenings, with reruns on various cable channels, a liberal New England Democrat holds the White House and his heir apparent is a committed, principled, brilliant and hunkingly handsome Texas Latino.
In the West Wing of the imagination, the little people still have advocates and the good guys have a chance of winning against corporate and military power.
The Donkeyites share a very human flaw with Republican zealots. People want to believe fantasy, that their president and government would never intentionally do wrong, that we are still the good guys in the white hats of ancient John Wayne movies.
The hard, cold facts of our government's long history of dereliction and depredation are readily available to anyone. A majority of Americans simply choose to ignore them.
Life has a very brutal way of punishing those who live in their own little worlds like foolish little girls. As Ben Franklin once said, "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
Whistleblowers in both Nevada and Washington get ostracized and lose their jobs. The corrupt and inept get promoted. Woe to the descendants of Princess Cassandra who warn of hollow wooden horses carrying danger in the belly. The FBI dumped its foremost expert on Al Qaeda. Former special agent John O'Neill died at the World Trade Center. CBS News may have published fake documents, but the underlying story of the president's draft dodging and desertion has been on the public record for many years. In both cases, people in a position to act opted for fantasy. Millions chose to believe the concoctions of the Smear Boat Veterans because it played to their prejudices. The Fox News and al Jazeera networks are peas from the same pod, pills of the same poison.
Princess Cassandra still cries her lonely wails from the walls of Troy.
Has anyone ever listened?
INTELLIGENCE REPORT. The state's legal grapevine is rife with stories that lawyers representing impeached and convicted state controller Kathy Augustine got bonuses up to $500,000 each for getting her off with a kiss on the forehead and a promise to go and sin no more. Conviction after impeachment apparently means automatic removal from office for everyone but Nevada Republicans.
GOP heavyweights engineered an extra-legal salvation for the former sky stew. (The only qualification she could cite for becoming state controller in 1998 was having made change while serving drinks as an airline cabin attendant.) Were the space cadet a Democrat, she'd be in jail.
This type of blind support is an underlying reason for several prominent Democrats having switched parties over the years. Washoe County Public Administrator Don Cavallo and County Clerk Amy Harvey both defected after first having been elected as Donkeyites. Cavallo lost his seat to a perennial and inept candidate in the Year of the Newt. By 1998, he had not only switched but produced campaign signs which presented him as a candidate for "Republican Administrator." (I guess the county has somebody else in charge of handling estates of deceased Democrats, Libertarians, Greens, Whigs and neo-Nazis.)
Republicans, to their credit, always fill out the ticket, rarely allowing Democrats a free ride. The party supports its candidates where Democrats are frequently flaccid and self-destructive. Republicans are much more likely to vote a straight party line, which is how Cavallo lost to a GOP jerk in 1994.
Tell His Accidency the President that you don't want Torture Man confirmed as U.S. attorney general
Principle be damned, we're talking careers here.
PATRIOT GAMES. This week, Nevadans will have plenty of opportunity to wave the flag both rightside up, upside down and leftside forward. On Tuesday, local patriots are organizing a forum on the grotesquely unpatriotic Patriot Act. "Balancing Security & Individual Freedom: A Community Forum on the USA Patriot Act" is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on Jan. 18 at the Brewery Arts Center Performance Hall, 519 W. King Street in Carson City. The program includes a short film entitled "No Check, No Balance." Principal speakers will be Sara Jones, Administrator of the Nevada State Library and Archives, and Matt Bowles, National 9/11 Field Organizer for the American Civil Liberties Union. Admission is free. For more information call Bob Tregilus, (775) 826-4514. (Relevant websites: http://www.ncdpa.org http://www.ACLU.org http://www.bordc.org)
On Wednesday, Jan. 19, the Reno Anti-War Coalition will hold a peace vigil from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on the steps of the Bruce R. Thompson Federal Building at Liberty and S. Virginia in downtown Reno. For more info, call Chris Good at (775) 843-8026, on the web at RenoPeace.org.
A press release announcing the event stated that "the global and local peace community will continue to pressure our government to stop the war on Iraq and to work toward peaceful solutions to conflicts around the globe. Please join us in this effort on the night before Bush's second inauguration."
Which brings me to my own inaugural activities. Dubya gets sworn in to his first term as an apparently elected president this Thursday. Sam Shad will host a special live edition of Nevada Newsmakers right after the DC festivities at about 1:30 p.m. on KRNV TV-4. He will interview Sen. Bill Raggio, R-Reno, a principal player in the Bush Nevada campaign and documented fan of Kathy Augustine. The program's pundit panel will include Harry York, Executive Director of the Reno-Sparks Chamber of Commerce, Wayne Frediani of the Nevada Franchised Auto Dealers Association and little ole me. I promise a jolly good show. (Click here for a complete statewide rerun schedule.)
Tune in, turn on and tell a friend.
Be well. Raise hell.
ORDER "Taking the Risk Out of Democracy"
Corporate Propaganda versus Freedom and Liberty
By Alex Carey
Edited by Andrew Lohrey
Foreword by Noam Chomsky
University of Illinois Press
Copyright © 1982-2005 Andrew Barbano
Andrew Barbano is a 36-year Nevadan, a member Communications Workers of America Local 9413 and editor of NevadaLabor.com. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune since 1988.
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