FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Clockwork Orange America

by SAUL LANDAU

The Tucson massacre yielded the media and politicians weeks of fodder for their nattering mills. Yes, Americans hate violence and love guns, just as we stand for peace and practice non-stop war.  It’s not hypocrisy. We are two nations – at least – living under one crowded flag.

Does anyone think Americans have a gene that produces more mass killers than other nations? When was the last time Portugal, Norway or New Zealand had a gun-driven massacre? In this country we have yearly mass killings – with guns.

Hours after Congresswoman Gifford took a bullet, some Tea Partiers began blaming the victim for “lax security.” Sarah Palin’s speech writers turned the former Alaska governor into the victim: the media had practiced “blood libel” on her. (The media as Jews using her blood – well, words – to conduct a ritual before making matzo?)

Why did no reporter ask her: “How’s that locky loady thing workin’ fer ya now?”

In US politics aspirants’ ambitions often surpasses – by many points – their intellect. Politics is less about issues than name-recognition, or symbolism. “She can’t speak a correct English sentence just like me so I kinda feel she sorta represents me.”

Republicans have built their Party on such pablum and finding candidates with name recognition who can pass the new patriotic tests: love guns, hate taxes on the rich and espouse Christian principles: “Abortion is a sin. So is welfare.”

What did Jesus teach that relates to American reality?

“Screw your neighbor after he gets foreclosed and thrown into the street; don’t share any of your hard-earned (or inherited or stolen) money with him.”

The “good” Republican dismisses talk about high unemployment as liberal myth. The lazy bums should find jobs instead of waiting for the government to give him hard earned tax money to pay his bills.” That’s what the Bible teaches or should teach.

Listening to angry rhetoric about government pissing away our money on welfare cheats who should be working to pay their mortgages, one might forget that in the killing fields of Arizona, “one in every 17 households got a foreclosure filing last year” compared to the national average of  “one in every 45 U.S. households.”

In 2010, almost 3 million Americans got eviction notices, “up 1.67 percent from 2009.” In 2010 banks reclaimed about 1 million homes. Many more  are in litigation. (Janna Herron, AP Jan 13, 2011)

The Tucson shooting served as temporary cover for more important issues and nastier villains  – like bankers who have assumed again their Scrooge positions, preparing to repossess a record number of homes in 2011. Maybe this knowledge would provoke American gun owners to rally against banks: to protect their homesteads? Am I dreaming?

Some 5 million “home-owners” have fallen two or more months behind on mortgage payments. Unemployed people pay the monthlies, and the assessed value of homes has dropped — often below the size of the loan.

Last September, the bankers got exposed for the true perverts they are.  Lawyers hired by those targeted for eviction showed courts the flaws in the banks’ “legal” papers. But bank lawyers “remedied” those legal failings. Bankers have now returned to their foreclosure stampede.

Residents of states where bankers promoted housing booms will suffer most. Over half the foreclosures occurred in Arizona, Florida and California — some 1.5 million households received “get out” papers  — along with Michigan and Illinois, hit hardest by the recession.

In 2010, one in every 11 Nevada households “received a foreclosure filing last year.” And that was lower than the 2009 rate of repossessions. (Herron )

The media doesn’t chin wag on possible relationships between growing poverty, misery and homicidal madness. Instead, the media speculates about events in Tucson, not foreclosures, rising unemployment or rapidly dwindling public services. A barely reported story indicates some US cities are quickly falling into anarchy.

Congress allocates hundreds of billions for futile wars with little result while Camden New Jersey (population 80,000) “one of the nation’s most impoverished and crime-ridden cities,” had to lay off half its cops and a third of its fire fighters.

In 2009, CQ Press used FBI figures to rate Camden, “the nation’s second-most dangerous” city with, “ 2,380 violent crimes — more than five times the national average.” The police union warned in a full-page ad that the lay- offs would make Camden a “living hell.” (Geoff Mulvihill AP January 18, 2011) Does Camden loom as a future scenario for other former industrial cities?

Yes, guns don’t kill people, only criminals with guns do that  – as well as fanatics, trigger happy “property defenders,” large corporations that make poisonous products and the US military and drones … yawn!

Welcome to Clockwork Orange America – two nations living in fear, the small rich one, the large poor and suffering one, and both in some stage of denial.

SAUL LANDAU’s new film WILL THE REAL TERRORIST PLEASE STAND UP premiered in December at the Havana Film Festival. Counterpunch published his BUSH AND BOTOX WORLD.

 

 

SAUL LANDAU’s A BUSH AND BOTOX WORLD was published by CounterPunch / AK Press.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

March 22, 2017
Paul Street
Russiagate and the Democratic Party are for Chumps
Russell Mokhiber
Single-Payer, the Progressive Caucus and the Cuban Revolution
Gavin Lewis
McCarthyite Anti-Semitism Smears and Racism at the Guardian/Observer
Kathy Kelly
Reality and the U.S.-Made Famine in Yemen
Kim C. Domenico
Ending Our Secret Alliance with Victimhood: Toward an Adult Politics
L. Ali Khan
Profiling Islamophobes
Calvin Priest
May Day: Seattle Educators Moving Closer to Strike
David Swanson
Jimmy Breslin on How to Impeach Trump
Dave Lindorff
There Won’t Be Another Jimmy Breslin
Jonathan Latham
The Meaning of Life
Robert Fisk
Martin McGuinness: From “Super-Terrorist” to Super Statesman
Steve Horn
Architect of Federal Fracking Loophole May Head Trump Environmental Council
Binoy Kampmark
Grief, Loss and Losing a Father
Jim Tull
Will the Poor Always Be With Us?
Jesse Jackson
Trump’s “March Massacre” Budget
Joe Emersberger
Rafael Correa and the Future of Ecuador: a Response to James McEnteer
March 21, 2017
Reshmi Dutt-Ballerstadt
On Being the “Right Kind of Brown”
Kenneth Surin
God, Guns, Gays, Gummint: the Career of Rep. Bad Bob Goodlatte
David Rosen
Popular Insurgencies: Reshaping the Political Landscape
Ryan LaMothe
The Totalitarian Strain in American Democracy
Eric Sommer
The House Intelligence Committee: Evidence Not Required
Mike Hastie
My Lai Massacre, 49 Years Later
James McEnteer
An Era Ends in Ecuador: Forward or Back?
Evan Jones
Beyond the Pale
Stansfield Smith
First Two Months in Power: Hitler vs. Trump
Dulce Morales
A Movement for ‘Sanctuary Campuses’ Takes Shape
Pepe Escobar
Could Great Wall of Iron become New Silk Roadblock?
Olivia Alperstein
Trump Could Start a Nuclear War, Right Now
David Macaray
Norwegians Are the Happiest People on Earth
March 20, 2017
Michael Schwalbe
Tears of Solidarity
Patrick Cockburn
Brexit, Nationalism and the Damage Done
Peter Stone Brown
Chuck Berry: the First Poet of Rock and Roll
Paul J. Ramsey
What Trump’s Travel Ban Reveals About His Long-Term Educational Policy
Norman Pollack
Two Nations: Skid Rows vs. Mar-a-Lago
Michael Brenner
The Great Game: Power Politics or Free Play?
Sam Gordon
Falling Rate of Profit, What about Some Alienation?
Jack Random
Sidetracked: Trump Diaries, Week 8
Julian Vigo
The Limits of Citizenship
James Graham
French Elections: a Guide for the Perplexed
Jeff Mackler
The Extraordinary Lynne Stewart
Lee Ballinger
Chuck Berry: “Up in the Morning and Off to School!”
Binoy Kampmark
Romancing Coal: The Adani Obsession
Nyla Ali Khan
Cultural Syncretism in Kashmir
Chad Nelson
The Politics of Animal Liberation: I Can’t Quit You Gary Francione
Weekend Edition
March 17, 2017
Friday - Sunday
John Reynolds
Israel and the A-Word
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail