Stand Up and Clap! Have You Been Serviced?

by David Vest

The president has been talking about "service" again. Urging his audience to "make a culture of service a permanent part of American life," President Bush promised graduates of Ohio State University this week that they "will gain satisfaction that cannot be gained in any other way."

It was not the first promise the assembled students, faculty and family members had heard.

Moments earlier, they had been promised that anyone who demonstrated or heckled the commencement speaker would be subject to expulsion or arrest — and they had been instructed to service the president with a "thunderous" ovation.

Sounds like something an announcer in China might say to a crowd of university students before bringing out President Jiang Zemin to speak to them.

Perhaps the comparison is too harsh. After all, Bush is uniquely qualified to lecture people about service. His entire administration has been about service. He learned a lot (as he would say) about service in his role as a greeter at the Ball Park in Arlington, the only real job he ever had before he met Ken Lay.

Soon after that fateful handshake he was providing service to all kinds of people from his new home in Austin.

He served the petrochemical industry by letting polluters write environmental regulations (for starters).

Now he’s in a position where he can really service a lot of people. He can make Secretariat look like a eunuch now.

Just look at his service to Enron. (You do remember Enron, don’t you? Haven’t heard much about it lately? That just shows how unobtrusive the service has been.)

He’s ready to perform service for anyone who wants to gouge, cut, dig, drill, rape and loot the American landscape. The Afghan landscape, too — don’t forget that pipeline.

Nobody can say he hasn’t done outstanding service for the nuclear industry — providing us all with an opportunity to serve by standing at attention as deadly nuclear waste rolls through our neighborhoods. (Remember not to heckle or demonstrate, ok? Wouldn’t want anyone to get held without trial.)

This president is devoted to serving all manner of special interests. (What makes them so "special"? the service they get, of course!)

Of course, the president is only human. His record of service is not flawless. Vietnam Vets of Alabama, for example, put up a cash reward for anyone who can prove Bush actually performed his military service in the state of Alabama, as he claims to have done (Dubya’s commanding officer says there’s no record he never showed up for duty). As far as I know, the reward is still there for the taking.

No one’s perfect. And lecturing students about service is an improvement for Bush: in Texas he used to lecture the poor about "responsibility."

Like What You’ve Read? Support CounterPunch
September 01, 2015
Mike Whitney
Return to Crisis: Things Keep Getting Worse
Michael Schwalbe
The Moral Hazards of Capitalism
Eric Mann
Inside the Civil Rights Movement: a Conversation With Julian Bond
Pam Martens
How Wall Street Parasites Have Devoured Their Hosts, Your Retirement Plan and the U.S. Economy
Jonathan Latham
Growing Doubt: a Scientist’s Experience of GMOs
Fran Shor
Occupy Wall Street and the Sanders Campaign: a Case of Historical Amnesia?
Joe Paff
The Big Trees: Cockburn, Marx and Shostakovich
Randy Blazak
University Administrators Allow Fraternities to Turn Colleges Into Rape Factories
Robert Hunziker
The IPCC Caught in a Pressure Cooker
George Wuerthner
Myths of the Anthropocene Boosters: Truthout’s Misguided Attack on Wilderness and National Park Ideals
Robert Koehler
Sending Your Children Off to Safe Spaces in College
Jesse Jackson
Season of the Insurgents: From Trump to Sanders
August 31, 2015
Michael Hudson
Whitewashing the IMF’s Destructive Role in Greece
Conn Hallinan
Europe’s New Barbarians
Lawrence Ware
George Bush (Still) Doesn’t Care About Black People
Joseph Natoli
Plutocracy, Gentrification and Racial Violence
Franklin Spinney
One Presidential Debate You Won’t Hear: Why It is Time to Adopt a Sensible Grand Strategy
Dave Lindorff
What’s Wrong with Police in America
Louis Proyect
Jacobin and “The War on Syria”
Lawrence Wittner
Militarism Run Amok: How Russians and Americans are Preparing Their Children for War
Binoy Kampmark
Tales of Darkness: Europe’s Refugee Woes
Ralph Nader
Lo, the Poor Enlightened Billionaire!
Peter Koenig
Greece: a New Beginning? A New Hope?
Dean Baker
America Needs an “Idiot-Proof” Retirement System
Vijay Prashad
Why the Iran Deal is Essential
Tom Clifford
The Marco Polo Bridge Incident: a History That Continues to Resonate
Peter Belmont
The Salaita Affair: a Scandal That Never Should Have Happened
Weekend Edition
August 28-30, 2015
Randy Blazak
Donald Trump is the New Face of White Supremacy
Jeffrey St. Clair
Long Time Coming, Long Time Gone
Mike Whitney
Looting Made Easy: the $2 Trillion Buyback Binge
Alan Nasser
The Myth of the Middle Class: Have Most Americans Always Been Poor?
Rob Urie
Wall Street and the Cycle of Crises
Andrew Levine
Viva Trump?
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
Behind the Congressional Disagreements Over the Iran Nuclear Deal
Lawrence Ware – Marcus T. McCullough
I Won’t Say Amen: Three Black Christian Clichés That Must Go
Evan Jones
Zionism in Britain: a Neglected Chronicle
John Wight
Learning About the Migration Crisis From Ancient Rome
Andre Vltchek
Lebanon – What if it Fell?
Charles Pierson
How the US and the WTO Crushed India’s Subsidies for Solar Energy
Robert Fantina
Hillary Clinton, Palestine and the Long View
Ben Burgis
Gore Vidal Was Right: What Best of Enemies Leaves Out
Suzanne Gordon
How Vets May Suffer From McCain’s Latest Captivity
Robert Sandels - Nelson P. Valdés
The Cuban Adjustment Act: the Other Immigration Mess
Uri Avnery
The Molten Three: Israel’s Aborted Strike on Iran
John Stanton
Israel’s JINSA Earns Return on Investment: 190 Americans Admirals and Generals Oppose Iran Deal