In the 40 year old movie Chinatown the crusty evil character (played by the celebrated director John Huston) who robbed and pillaged and murdered his way to fortune — not to mention fathered another daughter by raping his own daughter — snorts at finally, in his aging years, being considered ‘respectable.’
‘Politicians, ugly buildings and whores all get respectable if they get old enough,’ he exhaled.
Indeed. And that brings me to our latest bunch of ugly whores and politicians that got us believing they were respectable.
But, of course!
And I am not just talking about that longest serving Republican Speaker of the House in history, the 73-year-old Dennis Hastert. Nor that bunch of judges and elected state officials who recently got caught in Philadelphia’s sting operation. Nor that white woman in the state of Washington who not only considers herself black, but became president of the NAACP. Nor that Egyptian court this week which confirmed the death sentence of the country’s first democratically elected leader, Mohamed Morsi. Nor…
Hmm… I think you get duh naked picture or our naked world where time is nothing more than infinite naked moments of insanity, stoopidity, madness and gluttony.
It is needless to point out that we are all frauds. We are all liars. We all commit perfidy. We all stick our wee-willy-winkies into any pot of gold. After all, the two most powerful forces in the universe are money and women. For man will do almost anything for them that he wouldn’t do for anything else.
It’s nothing new. Hell, it’s been going on since Cain killed his brother Abel.
I mean, how do you think Russia’s Putin became just about the richest man on duh planet? And just stop and think about that cretin Hastert. He was a former Illinois high school teacher. He catapulted into congress on the terminal illnesses of two politicians. He entered public office with a net worth of some $270,000. And that included his wife’s inherited 104-acre farm. And he left office putatively worth about $17 million – gained mostly on insider land deals. And also, among others, a $35,000 monthly retainer from the Turks for allegedly selling out his vote on Congress’ Armenian genocide resolution.
Perhaps small chump change compared to Putin’s reputed $60 billion dollars. But it was still more than enough to afford to pay-out up to $3.5 million to hush up his putative past indiscretions from his high school wrestling-coach days.
Whatever. Yet here I have to ask you: Does it really matter?
Another bunch of politicians get caught robbing, raping pillaging and stealing. And a lot of sex, sex and more sex. Hell, sex with a man, your neighbor’s ewe, a congressional page boy. What duh hell, what duh heck. In the past few decades we’ve had a president impeached over it, powerful congressional committee chairmen ousted because of it, White House hopefuls derailed over it.
Another one, two or three down – and still16 million to go,,,
So why does it continue… and so blatantly?
Because how can we be disappointed if all we expect from our public officials is disappointment? It’s become the norm. It’s not merely that we’ve become inured to abject larceny of over 200 years of our public officials. Look at the most corrupt administration of Ulysses S. Grant. And the Teapot Dome scandal of Grover Cleveland. And the flimflam TV evangelists like Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker. And Newt Gingrich. And Tom Foley. And… and… It seems we expect it of them.
And they simply perform what is expected.
Once again, it’s become the norm.
Because in similar situations most of us would do just about the same thing. As is proven by history. The only thing that separates most politicians — as well as the rest of us — is that some get caught… and most of us don’t.
So let me be clear, once more, about our politicians, our preacher men, our collegiate athletic programs, and all the rest. Whether they be in Washington, the State House or on City Council. I don’t find any of them respectable – no matter how long they live and prosper on the public dole. Either the laws have got to change. Or we do.
And we ain’t about to change our whistling thru the graveyard.
Man’s basic 3-prong nature from the beginning of our time – no matter whether you piously believe in 6,000 years or scientifically examine 6 million years – is simply to be competitive, territorial and violent. That’s what we are. And always were. That’s our DNA. And undoubtedly that is why the G-d of the Old Testament was a dictatorial SOB. You listen to ME or I will blast your ass!
It was nice that Jesus came along to preach love and all that. But man is still basically the same sumbitch he always was – even if we are the spitting image of our creator.
So why did Hastert almost get me upset? Move me in places my morning coffee doesn’t even investigate. Because no matter what he did, or will deny, the fact is he will no doubt get away with it. Retire with his ‘it-was-all-legal’ immoral millions plus his government pension. Or pensions.
These are the vastly diminished consequences of the times. Thanks to the venal ,vapid ,vile courts it’s all gotten too damn expensive to try these gluttonous betrayers of public trust. Look at what happened in Philadelphia, for example.
The Philadelphia District Attorney has now secured four guilty pleas in the resurrected sting investigation dropped by the Pennsylvania Attorney General who was the first woman, as well as Democrat, elected to that post. And because of her stupid, solipsistic arrogance will probably be the last.
However, by pleading guilty to pocketing money the four defendants, a now former Traffic Court President Judge and the former lawmakers , didn’t get smacked with any jail time. And they got to keep their annual government pensions, estimated at $54,000 to $85,000.
To say duh least, most folks hereabouts are shrugging: Soooo… what else is new?
But more than a few critics are apoplectic. In other words: BLOODY DAMNED PISSED!
As one member of a reform group declared: “These plea deals are the same as issuing a dividend check to a bank robber. How screwed up is our system when a politician can break the law and receive a monthly dividend check from taxpayers?”
That’s precisely what I was going to utter… That is, after my rant of expletives.
The District Attorney, however, insists the pleas make sense.
“These are people who accepted responsibility and saved taxpayers the expense of lengthy jury trials.” He further stipulated that the probationary sentences also reflected the defendants’ “long careers of public service and otherwise exemplary records.”
Hmm… Somehow I am stuck with the exasperated thought that when you lie down with dogs you get up knowing how to lick your own nuts.
Admittedly I like and respect our DA, and not only because he’s a great dancer and cigar aficionado. But that statement set my trigger finger itching. Any other ‘good family man’ with an ‘otherwise exemplary record’ still gets his ass fried.
Look at me!
For five years I couldn’t t even get my record expunged from when the DA’s office dropped, dismissed and punted the felonious charges my ex-wife leveled. That is long after they found out she was ‘lying… lying… and still lying…’ but not with her latest husband, from whom she is already separated.
Go figure. The bureaucracy not at work. I can’t even get the Bureau of Statistics to provide me my correct day and month of birth on a copy of my birth certificate that they supposedly worked on for 92 days.
And it’s not just me. Think about Frankie who I wrote about two weeks ago. There is a warrant for his arrest for a 21-year-old-parking ticket.
Hmm… And you wonder why I don’t own an elephant gun?
Sooo… Apparently why we can’t find the cure for cancer, or criminal politicians, is that there is simply too much money involved. My money. Your money. Everybody’s money except the politicians who are stealing it. And here I guess I have to apologize for the 90% of the politicians who give the other 10% a bad reputation.
Of course there are no simple answers to cure this plague that has been sweeping the world for millenniums. But I do know that while the answers may be enigmatic, some of the solutions may simply come down to a serious consequence… Or two.
Just because capital punishment doesn’t deter murder doesn’t mean some serious jail time wouldn’t. In places like that maximum-security facility known as “Little Siberia” near Canada in upstate New York — where they’ve been doing just about anything to escape the last week or so – would help set your mind straight.
It would undoubtedly help eliminate the vagary of all our over-priced legalese.
You know, like they have declared they are doing in Egypt. They just upheld the death sentence for deposed President Morsi on charges of conspiring with foreign militants in a prison break during the 2011 revolution that ultimately brought him to power.
Now, does the punishment fit the crime?
To tell you duh truth I don’t understand much about the cryptic laws of Egypt. But I do know that when you betray the public trust — no matter how stooopid we duh public be — you betray the duty and office you swore to uphold. No one forced you into public office.
It’s one thing that JFK and Bill Clinton got laid in the White House. But it’s quite another when you steal from the poor – and especially the unforgiving rich — for self enrichment. You can equivocate until you are red, white and blue in the face… from my hands being wrapped about your throat.
It’s no secret of human nature that we are more likely to cheat if we see others doing so. We tend to conform to accepted norms of reasonable behavior, rather than adhere to strict rules. So if our leaders, public officials and clergy aren’t setting the proper standards, perhaps a death or two by an afternoon firing squad would help focus the little grey cells in all of us.
Let me repeat: Nothing focuses the mind like a good hanging.
It may not be the cure. But it certainly would make me and a lot of other folks feel much better. You might say: Almost respectable. And I’ve lived long enough to earn it — the old fashion way.
And dats yDrewIS on dis penal colony…