Home of the Once Free, Land of the Scairdy Cats


Ten Years After

“One does what one is;

one becomes what one does.”

- Robert Musil

Home of the Once Free, Land of the Scairdy Cats


By Mark L. Taylor, Editor

The Daily Call (9/11/11)


Not since the bitter anemic brutality of the 1930’s has America suffered quite so despicable and tawdry a decade. The terrorist attacks ten years ago today launched this nation on a downward spiral that has lifted up the most base national instincts and political characters while leaving our ideals soiled tatters.

Now, ten years on in an endless “War on Terror” the “Homeland” has become a land foreign to the ideals of American democracy. We have turned our back on traditions going back to George Washington, instituting illegal rendition (kidnapping), torture and a global gulag of secret “black sites”. That sewage of illegality has backed up into the domestic scene as beefed up police, security and intelligence forces increasingly turn their attention – and power – on American citizens, some of whom are now held illegally.

The Bill of Rights is scorched and degraded in the name of making us safer. Benjamin Franklin once observed, “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

We have given up one for the other and are, as Franklin warned, well on our way to having neither.


Blood on the ground

Estimates are that over 100,000 Iraqis died in a needless war fueled by official lies promoted by an unquestioning, acquiescent press and paid for with debt. Now the killing has moved on to Afghanistan and remote provinces of Pakistan. Silent drones have kept the blood on the ground but somehow it continues to stain our hands.

Our wars have enriched the contractors and bankrupted the treasury. As a tiny proportion of the population is run through tour after brutal tour in the meat grinder of empire no one in the “homeland” has been asked to contribute anything to the effort.

As the entire economy has been transferred to war and corporate profit our education, health care systems and public infrastructure collapse. The official unemployment rate is a tad over 9% but the unofficial rate is closer to 20% while the two major political parties pretty much walk away from the crisis. As the banquet is reserved for fewer and fewer, Americans turn on each other in sectarian spite and jealous animosity.


The Darkling Prince returns

Now we have Dick Cheney, the Darkling Prince himself, emerging from the dank sub-basement of the national subconscious back into the light as he shamelessly hawks his book of lies; what one reviewer calls “his love letter to himself”. In true sociopathic fashion the Darkling Prince finds fault with everyone but himself.

How appropriate for the golem of American fascism, who launched us headlong into war and “the dark side” of torture and Abu Ghraib, to be striding center stage again on this day for he – and all he represents – has never been far away. He and his Charlie McCarthy of a boss were there at the beginning of the journey into this endless descending labyrinth of shame.

There is much to mourn on this day, not least of which is the fact that Ground Zero has now spread from coast to coast.


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