While the United States staggers through the hangover from our national orgy set off by the birthday of Johann Sebastian Bach, and prepares for the bacchanalia that will celebrate the birth of William Shakespeare, I thought I’d slip in a few sober words.
     Ha ha!
     Just kidding, America!
     I know you have greater concerns!
     Like golf!
     And the Republican primaries!
     In that order – if you have any brains left at all!
     Which I am coming to doubt!
     For 30 years I’ve been what I once proudly called an investigative journalist.
     My first book of investigations, about U.S. immigration prisons, was published in 1996.
     My latest investigative book, about Beethoven, was published two years ago.
     There is a reason I have receded into the past – and it’s not because I’m an old guy.
     It’s because I do not need to investigate my country anymore. I know what we have become: a bunch of goddam whiners.
     Vile Republican liars. Pathetic Democratic cowards. A few delusional Libertarians.
     No one needs to investigate that. It’s plain as the chancrous nose falling off our national face.
     I love my country. I’ve been in all the Lower 48 states, and worked and paid taxes in 10 of them.
     I don’t mind paying taxes. But I hate what our government has become.
     The entire Republican primary campaign this year has been based upon religious fatwas. They call it morality, family values, Christianity. In our statehouses, Republicans yammer on and on about what must be done with vaginas.
     They call all this nonsense our national religion. Maybe it is.
     Lest you think I am a paid propagandist (I wish someone would pay me for it), I admit that Democrats for more than a decade have based their campaigns upon the unspoken slogan: “We’re Neo-Fascists too! Or Proto-Fascists! Whatever you like! But not as much as the other guys!”
     Great slogan, Democrat Guys and Gals! See you in November! Or maybe not!
     Meanwhile, the Libertarians claim – this is not a joke – that the federal government should not have a “monopoly” on printing money.
     Our pathetic national Third Party says this despite the vile, and easily accessible, history of factory scrip, by which U.S. workers were turned into indentured servants, paid with “money” that could be spent only in the Company Store.
     Thanks, Libertarians! See you in the galleys!
     Ignorance of history has become our defining national trait.
     Wonder how Iran became what it is? Look up “1954, CIA, coup.” Try Wikipedia. Or try “England, Anglo-Persian War.”
     But we can’t blame Congress for our problems, or Julian Assange, or the White House.
     All 300 million of us stood and watched while our three branches of government built the money-sucking, vote-sucking machines. We gave our enemies – foreign and domestic – their guns, and we trusted them to aim them wherever they like.
     Didn’t we?
     And where will they – where will we? – aim all the guns we bought? Where have we aimed them, in Tucson, in Sanford, Fla., from New York City to San Francisco?
     Tell us one time, in simple English, Mmes. and Messrs. 535 Members of Congress: What have you done for us lately?

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