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The Rant



Jimmy Carter in the Middle East pissing off Bush and Company, Part Two: So Jimmy Carter has so far managed to travel to Israel, Syria, and Saudi Arabia on his study mission for peace in the region and met with Hamas leaders and has not been assassinated by the CIA or the FBI or the U.S. military yet, and that's a good thing.

Of course, the White House is still outraged by this, as are many in the Israeli government, both of which have accused him of "negotiating with terrorists" while refusing to acknowledge the fact that he condemned the use of rocket fire and suicide bombings and has been working to get an Israeli soldier released. And now that Hamas has indicated that it might reach a peaceful solution to all the violence if Israel will sit down at a table and talk with them, the White House has condemned even that.

Maybe this is all because Carter is not a PAID ex-military "commentator" or "expert analyst" who takes money from the Pentagon to spin stories the way officials there want them spun, as they are doing with dozens of former military generals, plenty of whom have interests in companies that are making billions of dollars on the war through Department of Defense contracts.

In case you missed it, there was a very long and detailed article in The New York Times this past Sunday by David Barstow that outlined how all of this has been done since that first fake visit by former military officials to Guantanamo Bay, after which they came back and lied on numerous television and radio programs, as well as in major newspaper articles, about how humane the conditions there were.

No, wait, it goes back much further than that, back to the days just after 9/11, when George W. Bush finally put down that goat book he was reading to those kids in Florida and started the campaign of meeting with his precious Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld so they could tell the ex-military higher-ups what to say, how to say it, when to say it, and where to say it (and how much money they would get for it) to help sell the general public on the "need" to invade Iraq — and in the process make some extra cash through garnering defense contracts for the companies in which they had financial interests.

I guess they are angry at Carter for trying to broker a peace deal instead of spewing the kind of rhetoric they have gotten away with all this time. And while it comes as no real surprise that the Bush administration was doing this (because EVERYTHING they do is shady, if not illegal), maybe this Times article will finally spark enough anger and debate among decent people that we will finally have a revolution on our hands.

And it's about time. It's time that someone does something that jolts this lemming-like country into waking up and doing SOMETHING to hold these assholes accountable not only to the law but also to some kind of moral status that is a little bit higher than that of a gang of mass murderers. And this includes the oil company executives who are raking in billions of dollars while the rest of us can't afford to drive to work and back, the independent "war" firms that are raking in billions of dollars while Bush's "kids" are getting killed and maimed and coming home to pathetic hospital conditions and with no real benefits, and the mortgage companies that are willing to do nothing to help people avoid home foreclosure. Let's not forget what they have done in the past, but let's find a way to get a movement started to stop them in their tracks NOW.

I wish I could be president for just one week to enact a few laws. First, every single person in the United States would make exactly the same amount of money every year — with a few exceptions, teachers and social workers being two. Yes, the ExxonMobil CEO who is driving up the price of gasoline with his exorbitant salary and bonuses would make exactly the same amount of money as the person who serves him his $10 cup of coffee. There would be a freeze on all food costs, and farmers would make the same amount of money as the CEO of the firm that holds the mortgage on his farm.

There would be no more Hummers. No more 30,000-square-foot houses with five gated entrances. No more all-white country clubs that allow African-Americans to enter their doors as workers, because those workers would be in the exact same income bracket as the clubs' members. No more energy company executives making millions while others can't afford to heat their homes. Everyone would be on an equal playing field for once.

But then I guess that would make me a communist and I would never get a great-paying gig to go on Fox News with Britt Hume and talk about how much progress we have made in Iraq and how the torture that went on at Abu Ghraib was really just overblown by the liberal media.

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