The Costs of Empire: Ten Reminders

By: Bill Whaley
27 October, 2013

1. Apparently, the United States of America recently incurred the ill will of its allies in Europe, South America, and Asia, due to NSA spying, drone attacks, and torture. The latest UN report on Human Rights suggests America violated the Nuremberg doctrine and Geneva Accords. (Obama says he’ll appoint a committee of experts to look into the matter, etc.)

2. In the interests of empire and national security, the American economy has been hijacked by its wealthy owners and managers. The corporate state—for the sake of excessive profits— is destroying the middle class, once a stabilizing factor and path to upward mobility and hope.

3. Congress and corporate education institutions have transformed generations of college students into indentured servants by upping the ante for tuition and refusing to allow impoverished students a chance at either jobs or bankruptcy. The demise of labor unions means slavery, once outlawed, is on the horizon.

4. As the human-caused carbon footprint expands, the planet becomes less stable and more vulnerable to the extremes of weather. Yet, the Corporate State resists the voices of moderate environmentalists and is fracking the earth to death with carbon.

5. Despite receiving the best of educations at American institutions, Presidents Bush and Obama, like a majority of the Supreme Court justices and other elected and appointed leaders, have ignored the U.S. Constitution, the founding document of laws. The government makes war, assassinates Americans without due process, and attacks representatives of the First Amendment. The Obama Administration indicts reporters, whistle blowers, and casts a cloud on the attorney-client privilege. Both major parties and reactionary members of Congress have engaged in in a coup d’etat: magical thinking has turned a paper construct—a corporation—into a person! No means yes and yes means no.

6. By destroying the homegrown American economy, exporting jobs, and ignoring law enforcement, the Corporate—Government coup is destroying its own economic base. Average Americans are becoming like resort workers, who can’t afford to live in the place they work.

7. The metaphysical Gun and God culture has so intimidated elected officials that politicians cannot understand how juveniles or young people, subject to hormones and anger, transform guns into violent attacks on teachers, neighbors, and family. Deadly arms are sold under the protection of the Christian Right and the NRA, neither of which are Christian or right. Jesus did not carry a gun but spoke softly of love, the peacemakers, and little children.

8. Despite American technological expertise—think Silicon Valley and NSA Spying—the Obama Administration can’t build a web site for health care that carries one-tenth the daily traffic of Amazon. You can kill the guilty and innocent in Afghanistan with a drone flown by a techie in a Nevada desert or listen to everyone’s phone conversations but you can’t nurture and recognize your citizens at the doctor’s door on the world wide web.

9. A dwindling numbers of middle and working class taxpayers are expected to support welfare subsidies for workers, due to the low wages paid by hugely profitable corporations like Walmart and McDonald’s et al.

10.  We Americans are living through a bad science fiction movie and somebody needs to pull the plug. If the taxman or utility bill doesn’t get you, the NSA spies, robots, and absurd lies will. As Emily Dickinson said, “I heard a fly buzz—when I died.”

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