Interesting Times

     “May you live in interesting times” is supposed to be an ancient Chinese proverb – though no one has ever proved that, and Westerners don’t know whether it’s supposed to be a blessing or a curse.
     We live in interesting times, but am I the only one who feels that the rest of the world is missing the point?
     Take Wikileaks and Julian Assange.
     I, for one, do not care how Julian Assange has sex, nor with whom he has it. Nor do I see what Julian Assange’s sex life has to do with the 251,287 diplomatic cables from U.S. Embassies around the world that have embarrassed O so many people, and may have contributed to the revolution in Egypt.
     What I wonder is why the U.S. Army allowed a private, first class, to get his hands on a quarter of a million classified cables, so he could slip them to Mr. Assange.
     Doesn’t that seem a more interesting question, for U.S. national security and all, than what Julian Assange did with the condom?
     Why isn’t our O so free press asking that question as often, and as repetitively, as it is asking the question about Mr. Assange’s penis?
     Here are some other interesting things I do not understand:
     – Why is the FBI’s national headquarters named after a gangster?
     – Why does anyone, including Congressman Christopher Lee (R-Gomorrah, Ret.) still believe that anything sent by email through the Internet will remain secret?
     – Why has no Wall Street banker or mortgage bundler been sent to prison – or even prosecuted – for causing the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression?
     Bankers who caused the savings and loan scandal in the 1980s were sent to prison – and that was under the Reagan and King Bush The First Administrations, for Pete’s sake.
     Doesn’t the Obama Justice Department have the cojones of the Reagan Justice Department?
     Are campaign contributions from criminals really that important? For the Future of the Free World, and all?
     – Why won’t the Pentagon tell the U.S. Senate how many defense contractors have been prosecuted, how many times, for fraud in Iraq and Afghanistan?
     My senator, Bernie Sanders, said on Thursday that the Defense Department will tell him which companies it has prosecuted, or is investigating, for contract fraud, but won’t tell him how many cases it is investigating for each company, nor for how many billions.
     Aren’t Congress and the U.S. people – that’s you and me – supposed to be in charge of the Defense Department – and not the other way round?
     Another thing I don’t understand is why rap groups sell gajillions of CDs and can retire to snort blow and rape women and kill one another, but some of the greatest jazz artists in the world have to work day jobs to pay their bills, and can’t sell a CD to save their life.
     These are interesting times.
     I believe that a lot of these interesting things – these obscenities, these crimes done in broad daylight – are done with the blessing of Congress, with the hope that we will all get sick of it and just stop voting.
     Unless we have a big enough stake in it, and so will send in those campaign contributions, over and over again.
     Well, it’s working – for Congress, anyway.
     I care about this stuff, but I no longer hope or expect it to change.
     What’s interesting, to me, is that though the only stake I have, really, is in this country, my country, I no longer want to read about what’s happening here, and am more interested in what’s happening in Egypt.

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