Take my wife, please
Expanded from the 1-29-2006 Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune

Chalk up another victory for Bush administration traditional family values: wifenapping.

Our Iraqi occupation forces have gone urban police departments one better. A decade or so ago, big city cops and occasionally the feds would come up with a ruse to convince people with outstanding warrants to gather in one place, then hold a mass arrest party. Some announcements promised lottery winnings, others touted Super Bowl tickets. Booby prizes for the booby trapped worked well here, so we've apparently exported the technology with a family-oriented twist.

Last week came reports that our taxpayer-funded jackboots are kidnapping wives of insurgents. Any Iraqi would be crazy to surrender. In the lawless environment we've created, would you believe that Americans will free your wife if you step forward for torture and imprisonment? For a little togetherness, we'd probably put both on the rack at Abu Grabass Prison.

Now that Dubya's storm troopers are test-marketing the confiscation of females on the sands of Araby, how long before they move the program back home?

To justify any depredation, His Accidency The President employs the cruelty of his discredited predecessors. Like Lyndon Johnson during Vietnam, Bush has justified sending more people to their deaths by asserting that to stop the killing would dishonor those who have already been fed into the meat grinder. The reason to keep killing is to keep killing.

Like Richard Nixon, Bush the Lesser believes that anything a president does is legal: Torture. Kidnapping. Secret prisons in Transylvania. Mass murder of civilians in the hope of fragging an al Qaeda leader. Just part of the cost of doing business for the greater glory of the empire.

If the president is a law unto himself, as defined by his kissups and courtesans, then we are all in jeopardy. Your wife, your husband, your mom, your son, your daughter. Kidnapped and removed to God knows where until you talk. If you don't know anything, you'd better turn in somebody anyway.

In 1987, ABC aired a 12-hour miniseries entitled "Amerika" starring Kris Kristofferson, Sam Neil, Robert Urich and Mariel Hemingway. The ultimate in Cold War scare plots, it projected the former United States in its tenth year under Soviet rule.

The country had been turned into the dismal gray world which we were convinced was the actual existence of Asia under Russian domination. Horror of horrors, there were no more electric appliances. One critic rightly called the series claptrap.

After all these years, one question from that piece of apocalyptic trash fiction remains unanswered: How did them dirty Commies force the formerly mighty USofA to surrender? Viewers were never informed, but the elements of the answer to seem to be forming all around us today.

With our sheepish eyes wide open, we put in place an outlaw government that knew what was best for us better than we did. Like the rebel barnyard critters in George Orwell's "Animal Farm," we have started doing business with our natural enemies like China, which now owns us via Wal-Mart. Like North Korea's Kim Il Sung and his idiot kid, our leaders put the nation on a permanent war scare alert, the better to suppress dissent with charges of treason. (A smart demagogue can always find barbarians at the gate, even if he has to employ them himself.)

Such corruption soon erodes the standard of living. Back to boiling coffee over a wood stove.

We were warned in 1987. Life imitates bad art.

BARBARIANS AT THE GATE, PART DEUX. Time was that any talk of consolidating Sparks government with the comedy of Reno would start Rail City residents boiling tar and slitting feather pillows. Where's the outrage with the latest retread of that worn tire rolling out of the Black Tower on the Truckee?

TALE OF TWO TERRIS. Former Sparks finance director Terri Thomas has alleged discrimination as the unstated reason for her firing by city manager Shaun Carey. The city council has pulled a Pontius Pilate. All I know is what I read in the papers, but this bears all the earmarks of another potential Terri Keyser-Cooper legal action. The noted civil rights attorney has beaten hell out Sparks in court for years over just such issues. These days, the minute she enters a case, the city attorney's office starts whispering S-words like "shush" and "settlement." I can't wait for other shoe to drop.

PANDA STEAKS FOR THE POOR. Last week, the Tribune fell victim to the Safari Club International convention's ghastly "feed wild critters to the poor" PR stunt. The less fortunate were fed critter meats at the Salvation Army dining hall. For those who wanted to see examples of the trouble the conventioners had gone thru to score the vittles, they could visit a trailer full of taxidermy right outside. No one raised the question as to the underlying purpose of the stunt: to legitimize the expensive slaughter of dwindling wild animals by rich white guys with heavy artillery.

Look out. When they run out of critters, they may start hunting you – after you surrender in place of your kidnapped wife.

SAM THE SHAD AND THE PHAROAHS. Tune in Nevada Newsmakers this Wednesday for a little high profile follytix. The show airs at 12:30 p.m. on KRNV TV-4 with a rerun on Charter cable 12 at 9:30 p.m. and statewide thereafter. Sam Shad will interview U.S. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. I'll participate in post-Harry punditry with Paul Enos of the big truck lobby, university regent Howard Rosenberg and state school board member John Gwaltney. (The above lineup assumes that none of our relatives get kidnapped before the show.)

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Copyright © 2006 Andrew Barbano

Andrew Barbano is a 37-year Nevadan and editor of Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Daily Sparks (Nev.) Tribune since 1988.


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