Dubai and The Debacle
Following “Current Events” since the end of August has been bad for my stomach lining as well as my few remaining neurons that aren’t chronically misfiring. There’s no way to effectively sum up the steep sharp rapid decline of our country or to know with any certainty if we’ve ceased circling the drain and are now trying to navigate our way out of the “P Trap.” These are Strange & Terrible Times when the familiar becomes normal … and we’re light years away from anything close to “Normal.”
October ends with Halloween but we don’t have to wait until then for Fascist Ghost Stories. So gather around the radio, the moon is full, the wind is in the trees … and as Arch Obler used to say … Turn Your Lights Out!
It all started innocently enough … doesn’t it always … we were taking a Sunday drive through the country when I turned on the radio …
Marketplace Money was on NPR and the story was about Dubai. Nearly 80 percent of the people who live in Dubai are expatriates, including 20,000 American citizens.
The reporter interviewed three people who were very happy with living and working in Dubai. The money is very very good, the shopping is great, and since Dubai is a great hub, traveling to other countries is convenient.
One said “There’s not much to complain about here.”
And another, “How would I rank it on a scale of 1 to 10? About eight and a quarter to eight and a half. I think the only thing that really prevents me from giving it a “9” is the fact that the Internet is censored, and they still open mail, and the media in general is not quite as deregulated as I’d like it to be. That’s the only thing that’s keeping me from giving it a 9.”
As long as these three 30-something ex-pats could go shopping, travel, and rake in the cash, they couldn’t complain. The fact that Dubai, known as the newest great city in the world, was built on the backs of slave labor, was something they didn’t waste their beautiful minds contemplating. Google “Dubai and slave labor” and read a few of the 51,500 articles. Who cares if the Internet is censored, the Thought Police read the mail, or the world’s largest shopping and entertainment center was built by workers living in crowded camps, with eight or more men sharing one small room? The Money Is Great! What the hell … give it a 9 … they’ve got a Bloomingdale’s.
What was depressing about listening to these three empty-headed Americans wasn’t that they were oblivious to the rampant fascism within the emirate they lived … It was these conditions are worse here in America.
They open your mail in Dubai. Small potatoes compared to here. This is the domestic spying operation authorized by George W. Bush as described by Senator Chris Dodd:
“Clear, first-hand whistleblower documentary evidence [states]…that for year on end every e-mail, every text message, and every phone call carried over the massive fiber-optic links of sixteen separate companies routed through AT&T’s Internet hub in San Francisco hundreds of millions of private, domestic communications have been…copied in their entirety by AT&T and knowingly diverted wholesale by means of multiple “splitters” into a secret room controlled exclusively by the NSA.”
Slave labor? As long as the sweatshops that crank out the crap that fill our box stores are located in Burma, Pakistan, The Philippines, or any other third-world nation cursed with globalization, we don’t care that our $200 running shoes are made by someone who makes $65.00 a month.
It’s easy to feel disgust for the American Expatriates in Dubai. Harder still to realize that they are simply typical Americans. The product of The American Way of Life … Privatize the profits … socialize the costs … oh that reminds me.
What The Bailout Really Means:
We all know that in the 30’s Hoover’s bailout was for the banks … not the farmers. The Bush Bailout is for Wall Street … not to help people keep their homes. I see a pattern here … But the scariest aspect of this bailout has been pointed out by Naomi Wolf:
She (Wolf) notes that the bail-out bill, in its original form, contained a provision that gives the President full executive discretion over 100 billions dollars. … If true, those funds would have certainly financed Bush-Cheney’s private army Blackwater for quite a while. Wolf is not sure whether such a provision is in the current 450 page monstrosity but it could easily be buried in the hyperdense fine print.
Well that provision made it in the bill that passed and was signed by Bush.
October 3, 2008
… The bailout plan’s new provisions made $250 billion immediately available to purchase bank assets, leaving $100 billion at the president’s discretion and $350 billion subject to congressional review.
So now Bush has control of 100 billion dollars. And Blackwater. And … The 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team
Brigade homeland tours start Oct. 1
3rd Infantry’s 1st BCT trains for a new dwell-time mission. Helping ‘people at home’ may become a permanent part of the active Army
By Gina Cavallaro – Staff writer
Posted : Tuesday Sep 30, 2008 16:16:12 EDT
The 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team has spent 35 of the last 60 months in Iraq patrolling in full battle rattle, helping restore essential services and escorting supply convoys.
Now they’re training for the same mission – with a twist – at home.
Beginning Oct. 1 for 12 months, the 1st BCT will be under the day-to-day control of U.S. Army North, the Army service component of Northern Command, as an on-call federal response force for natural or manmade emergencies and disasters, including terrorist attacks.
Historically a dictator needs money and an armed militia to seize and maintain power. For the last 4 days … Bush has had both. We’d all breathe a little easier if he’d never said, “If this were a dictatorship, it’d be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I’m the dictator.”
We’re a month away from the election. The moon is full, the wind is in the trees … and that’s enough Fascist Ghost stories for now. If you’re still not scared … according to Naomi Wolf, if John McCain wins/steals the election … Sarah Palin could be president for the next 10 years.
Dubai and The Debacle October 7, 2008