Q113: Qualifications = Old and Bored?

This ad I spotted Sunday scares the piss out of me. I have a picture in my mind’s eye of a lot of bored old white men with serious attitudes of hate, fueled by fear and propaganda. Hey, I qualify and would no doubt create a stir if I showed up. If I were a tad braver I’d have QUESTION AUTHORITY tattooed on my forehead. Yes, I realize this is hyperbole.

I believe that we are on a fast tract to a police state. Did you notice that the POL was dropped for the new moniker for Federal Immigration cops? ICE! I think it is to make one’s blood turn cold in fear. Quiver and quake – the name of the game in what is euphemistically called ‘Security’ in the new Orwellian fantasy land of America. Who’s security? Despite the evidence of swaggering police becoming more aggressive with fewer consequences, as with the acquittal of the NYC police officers who gunned down Sean Bell, we are asked to believe that “to serve and protect” is the guiding force. I can’t reconcile old and bored with serve and protect.

Naomi Klein has written a brilliant book, The Shock Doctrine, The Rise of Disaster Capitalism and countless articles. You all know how to Google, but I will start you off with this from the Nation . . .

I have this on the brain this morning because I found out that Blackwater is trying to sneak into South San Diego after having been thwarted by the community of Potrero they have gone to some lengths to conceal their intent to build a training facility anyway. The information is here via the Courage Campaign of California, an incredible Activist Group.

You see, Naomi Klein speaks about Blackwater in the following excerpt:


As we have seen time and time again in the Bush Administration, virtually every possible government function is outsourced to corporate contractors, often with no bidding for those contracts. The middle-class and poor get stomped on and squeezed, but the corporate behemoths and multinationals — the Bechtels and Halliburtons and Blackwaters and KPMGs — make out like bandits. Graft and corruption are built into the system, with billions simply disappearing into corporate black holes, with the Administration conveniently looking the other way. And the general public, of course, winds up paying for all this transfer of wealth and is left holding the bag in the form of lack of spending on public needs and infrastructure upkeep and a huge debt burdening future generations.

"A more accurate term for a system that erases the boundaries between Big Government and Big Business is not liberal, conservative or capitalist but corporatist," writes Klein. (p. 87) (Mussolini described this amalgam of government and business as fascism.)

"Its main characteristics are huge transfers of public wealth to private hands, often accompanied by exploding debt, an ever-widening chasm between the dazzling rich and the disposable poor, and an aggressive nationalism that justifies bottomless spending on security. ... Other features of the corporatist state tend to include aggressive surveillance (once again, with government and large corporations trading favors and contracts), mass incarceration, shrinking civil liberties and often, though not always, torture." (p. 15)

At times, Klein seems to be suggesting that such behaviors are but unfortunate and accidental by-products of over-zealous free-marketeers, but mostly she leans in the direction of a conscious conspiracy on the part of the corporatist manipulators of the economy and body politic. For example, she says, "the extreme tactics on display in Iraq and New Orleans are often mistaken for the unique incompetence or cronyism of the Bush White House. In fact, Bush's exploits merely represent the monstrously violent and creative culmination of a fifty-year campaign for total corporate liberation." (p.19)

Add to the mix the horror that is the US prison system where we have the largest ratio of prisoners to population in the world at 1 in every 100 in this country is in jail. And it is big business, run by corporatists as a new kind of slavery, according to human rights groups. No surprise to thinking, reading people that the prison population is disproportionatly people of color. Update: This link is what I had in mind. "KBR-Halliburton Get $385 million contract to build detention centers just in case they are needed."

Alright, already - I am not a journalist and this just creeps me out. I can read, absorb, take an action or sign a petition. I can’t seem to write an essay that does anything more than hint at this police state issue. I lack any kind of courage except to 'encourage'. I will encourage you to see these primary sources for the ‘real’ stories. Enough? No, not nearly while it is much better than to deny the reality or refuse to acknowledge the dangers.

I just want to say that Blackwater is too damn close. Just as I feared the miserable qualifications of 'old and bored.' This company is built on the intimidation factor of armed men who are 'young and angry.' The following video from the Courage Campaign speaks to the quality of life that is the exact opposite of this secret army of assassins and intimidation forces.

A Potrero, CA farmer speaks about the quiet of his community. It is rural, small and water dependent . . . This company doesn't belong here.

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