The ant, the grasshopper and the word of the day: ‘canard’ |

The ant, the grasshopper and the word of the day: ‘canard’

A review of my political beliefs is in order for the benefit of those who took issue with my last column, especially the one gentleman who deserves the utmost respect for being the only one who had the courage and confidence to attach his name to his response, which, by the way, was the only one that had any substance to it.

In the May 5, 2003 Grasshopper Soup that appeared in the Tahoe World, the word of the day was “canard”, which is a political hoax set afloat to delude the public. I more than suggested that Americans allowed themselves to be duped. I then went on to make the point that, in my view, every American citizen is just as complicit in the war in Iraq as George W. Bush is, including those of us who, with good reason, claim we invaded Iraq just for the oil.

Here are some quotes from that column: “I want to be able to criticize George W. and Dick Cheney for going to war in Iraq just to get the oil to make the things I can’t do without, like golf clubs, cell phones, skis and snowboards, all of which are made from petroleum byproducts”; “Every time I pack an ice chest full of beer I give us a reason to go to war”; “Every time I take out the garbage I reap the profits of the most corrupt and ruthless businesses and governments in the world”; “I expect the right to 75 percent of the Earth’s resources to produce plastic dolls of all my favorite cartoon and movie characters”.

This, of course, is justifiable satire. The point is that, in my view, there would be no Wolfowitz “neo-con” plot to dominate the world and its oil if it weren’t for the fact that there is an almost worldwide demand for the capitalistic system that consumes it. It could be argued, too simplistically perhaps, that the so-called “neo-cons” are doing us all a big favor.

Like everyone else, I can interpret the chronology of events leading to the invasion of Iraq anyway I want to, which is what I did in my last column, though too superficially.

The ball is rolling. If we can push it back uphill we still have to deal with reality as it is, not how we think it should have gone five years ago. It ain’t going to stop any time soon as far as I can tell, unless, of course, Kim Jung Ill has something to say about it.

The forces that steer the train, and the motives of the major players, are defined in different ways by carefully selected facts that support the policies of each particular belief system. The rest of the facts are usually ignored.

Both political parties in America are more or less in the pockets of the military-energy conglomerates, according to William Clark in his Jan. 3 essay titled “A Macroeconomic and Geostrategic Analysis of the Unspoken Truth”, (whatever the heck that means), and maybe they should be.

If I were a neo-con, I would not be living paycheck to paycheck with no stock portfolio. I wouldn’t be driving a beat-up, old 1984 Subaru, renting a little studio and working three jobs just to make ends meet. If I were a neo-con I would be buying a second home on Lake Tahoe and polluting it with a humongous power boat.

I am convinced that the world will only change as individual people change from within. I am not going to sit around and wait for politicians or the government to make everything right. (I think the UN is made up mostly of crooks or puppets of crooks.)

I am a minimalist. I generate about as much garbage as a low-life local church mouse. I am not a liberal or a conservative. I am not sexist or hateful. I am just a guy who enjoys creative writing, legitimate political and social satire and sharing ideas, especially with people who have the ability to differentiate between emotions and opinions, real thought and the party line, rattlesnakes and beautiful gym partners.

Bob Sweigert is a Sierra Sun columnist, published poet, experienced ski instructor and commercial driver. He’s lived on the North Shore of Tahoe for 25 years.

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