Hope For The Best: Expect The Worst
By Frank Scott

The new year begins as the old year ended. The global economic system is further damaging the people and their governments. Under the assault of ever more fossil fuel burning and deforestation, climate is changing, pollution expands at a deadly rate, and poverty even more quickly. The focus on a financial bottom line is destroying our agricultural top soil. Much of this is beyond public conception, as the dirty drama continues to dominate media.

While the struggle to protect or destroy the meaningless president goes on, the future of millions of Americans and billions of global citizens is being gambled away in the casino of capitalism. The earth's resources are being wagered for short term profits, at long term loss to humanity. The climate of nature and society is growing warmer and dirtier on the one hand, colder and nastier on the other.

The day before impeachment votes were to be cast, the chief liar attacked Iraq, telling the nation it posed a "clear and present danger." His twisting of language and morality has no limit. The only danger posed by Iraq is that the U.S. created odor of dead bodies and rancid water might contaminate the air of neighboring countries. But it is the stench emanating from Washington that is fouling the moral and intellectual atmosphere in America.

The biblical battle between two wings of the corporate party continues, with one insisting Clinton is a sinner because of his generational origins, while the other accepts the Genesis myth that women are the cause of all problems. Just as innocent Adam was used by Eve, poor Bill succumbed to the evil temptress. And anyway, lying under oath is no big thing.

It is embarrassing to hear alleged feminists make excuses for a man who has his goon squads dismiss certain women as bimbos, trash, gold diggers or nuts. He supports abortion rights and is therefore sanctified by a segment of the upper class that should know better. Whether female, black or white, members of that class excuse anything as long as their interests are maintained.

This president has been better for women and blacks than any other, but in the way that polio is better than cancer. What is the choice? He has also been better for Wall Street and rich people. Are issues of sexual and racial equality simply aspects of free market domination? If some women and non-whites make a few bucks more than usual, is everything else okay?

When the bombing began, both acolytes and enemies stampeded to drape themselves around the flag, if not the chief liar. Previously hyperventilating about a constitutional right to lie, or America being a Christian nation, suddenly they were as one, lauding the bombing of innocent people. If there were a god, they might have choked on their holiday dinners, but divine intervention is unlikely. That task is left to the people in a democracy that is under severe stress, and must show promise for the future.

We are the richest nation in the world, but we also have appalling poverty, not limited to the spiritual and psychological realm. An American baby can die because its mother didn't have the fee for service at an emergency room. Millions have no health coverage, and costs skyrocket for those who are insured . Instead of offering a democratic balance to the forces of the market, government has simply become a tool of commerce. It is a product of corporate capital, performing the needs of the private financial powers of the nation . No wonder people show it little faith and rely instead on supernatural forces.

We adhere to a variety of religions, but our real deity is capital, though our ministry of superstition hallows the invisible while denying the material. A system with institutions which charge people for the use of their own money should not be sneered at, and it is no wonder that banking and finance assume such a godly role in American reality. They gamble trillions of dollars a day in global market schemes that have little to do with production of anything useful to humans. They create profits for an investor class that will simply move such electronic capital into faster profiting and even less useful schemes, to the detriment of most of humanity. And what does our politics do about this?

Instead of raising people's awareness, the political process lowers it. In this, it matches much of the character of society, with equality often meaning that minorities can descend to the level of majorities. A perverse sense of equality makes it possible for non-whites to be as ignorant as whites, for women to be as obnoxious as men, and for morality to sink lower for everyone. Everybody is dishonest, according to legend, because it is natural, and even godly.

Reagan proved a president without brains could be wildly popular; Clinton has proved it can be done without character. But comparing him to past presidents makes it easy for him to excel in a field of mediocrities. It's like shopping the mall and buying shoddy merchandise on time payment plans that approach usury, and thinking you're getting a great deal.

We start 1999 with a raw deal for the American people. Their government, like their economy, performs against their better interests and clouds minds with fiction to hide the truth. A lame duck congress impeached a lame duck president, but both represent minorities. Perhaps when both are gone, there will be some glimmer of hope for the majority. Happy New Year .