By Jack Larrison
© Copyright 2015-2019, Jack Larrison & The DICTION AERIE.™ All rights reserved.
You've come a long way, baby. Still I've got to say, "Caveat Emptor" all ye Carly-philes...
Though she's certainly a smart and stylish woman, don't follow her too closely, folks; you might get a migraine from this gal. Now, "the Federal Government can surely destroy the American Dream," she pontificates out on the trial-balloon-festooned campaign trail. So, do you mean "destroy" in the same way you obliterated the dreams of thousands at Hewlett-Packard, Ms. Fiorina?
Look, I love a good horse race, especially when there are candidates of character and grit and original glow on both sides. But Carly? Sure, she does have guts and even some intellectual charm... But way deep down, Miz Fiorina is all blow and no show; probably one of the worst tech CEOs of all time. During her 6-year stint as chief exec of H.P., their stock tanked and lost 50% of its value; while she laid off 30,000 workers. She was forced to resign and she wafted away into anonymity, where she found few political friends and little respite from fierce media fallout apres' the layoffs.
Later on, Ms Fiorina worked as a key advisor to John McCain's disastrous 2008 presidential bid. Yes, she is Stanford-educated, smart and alluring to some, but so what? So were wives of a couple Third World dictators...
In absolute sincerity, I believe America needs more good women in high office, to offset the huffing and puffing of all the gasbag males who've nearly run Washington DC into a cesspool of gridlock and rancor since the Great Recession. I would love to see another woman of substance (maybe Liz Warren or Tulsi Gabbard?) toss her hat into the ring and go toe-to-toe with the Dem's Wicked Witch of the East, as well as her nemeses -- the Blowhard Good Ol' Boys Network of the GOP. But let's get real for just a sec'.... Carly Fiorina is a failed CEO with virtually nothing new to offer. Zip, nada.
She's little more than a smarter more articulate reinvention of Sarah Palin, who's starting early -- running straight for Veep and catching the Republican Party's early media flak. Carly Fiorina is just another well-heeled huckster in heels and Prada, this time her sophistry and platitudes flowing from the dark side of the One Percent. Dark because it's hiding diabolically in plain sight, pretending to care...
Ergo, it'd be wise to invest your own energy and caring elsewhere, sunseekers. Maybe consider a write-in candidate like Donald.... (Duck). After reading daily news reports that favor one side or the other, I feel dazed by this gaggle of dunces the Right is trotting out, and by the ominous vacuum of challengers to Bellowing Billary on the Left. Ergo, I'm seriously thinking of Ol' Mr. Duck about now. Thus far, as a viable write-in option, The Donald seems to have a statistical edge... for a while.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
MOVING from CARLY to the U.S POLITICAL CLIMATE at LARGE:
Meanwhile, in a related political arena, just wondering, is our 2-party system really as doomed as it seems? Is this following verse the anthem of the New Dems (sans huevos to challenge Hillary) and also the prattling pariahs in this Vast New GOP Herd -- "Oh beautiful for specious guys, for somber waves of pain..." ?
When will we ever again see a truly serious and inspiring candidate who moves the heart and soul of America the way Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, FDR and Reagan did? No matter whether Dem or Repub, a lawmaker is a leader, when he/she LEADS by example, courage, vision and sacrifice. Where, oh Lordy Mama, where are our leaders?
Now then, moving stiffly onward -- what's that, you might ask, what's that rank new aroma wafting off the Potomac these days? Here's the answer... Choosing Rep's and Sen's in post-modern America is now a matter of holding one's nose and deciding who is "least worst". This MUST be changed if our cherished democracy, the greatest experiment in egalitarian order of all time, is to survive. We do NOT need another Bush, another Clinton, another prep-school son or daughter of oligarchs to lead this great nation.
As my buddies in Argentina would say, we need a true "Caudillo" -- a charismatic truth-speaking leader who arises from the common ranks, bursting spontaneously onto the scene, propelled by the grit and agony of his or her own people. NOT propelled by billionaires terrified of taxes draining even a small part of their obscene fortunes, which they are so reluctant to share with the tax man. Does anybody really think Carly Fiorina (or Ted Cruz or Hillary Clinton) fit this bill of selfless Caudillo?? Really ??
First things first -- truth in advertising. We need to balance out and level off the reams of hot air billowing out of the Ultra-Progressive camp as well as the rock-ribbed Right Wing. That's what makes our democracy a free-for-all and a fascinating mess. The dignity and power of our system -- in this Post-Modern era -- always somehow seeps out of the malignant mashup of UltraLibs vs. NeoCons, pruning each other's excesses and vanity.
But do not let the media machines bought and sold by these oligarchs like Fiorina, nor the Bushes, the Clintons, the Kennedys, fool you for even one second. Re' Carly's old stomping ground, H.P., the tech industry tanked, in part, due to the same malevolent manipulations on Wall Street, by a very tightly-knit clique, that eventually brought our entire economy to the brink of ruin. I believe that Gnarly Carly was and IS a part of that semi-cynical cabal of aristocrats -- Dems and Repubs alike -- who believe that wealth entitles one to rule. And they will do anything to protect their turf, including manipulating markets, media and emotions.
Contrary to the classical NorthAm proto-fascists (Rockefeller, JP Morgan, Vanderbilt, Carnegie) who ushered in Manifest Destiny -- when pristine ecosystems and indigenous American innocence were steamrolled by the Industrial Revolution -- wealth for many of its nouveau holders only means more efficient, and less conscience-driven, greed. Gordon Gecko was wrong, sistah Carly. Greed is NOT good. Not good at all for the working majority. Only for the ultra-few, the Clique of Gated Souls.
Now, I must concede I do have dear friends and cherished clients, quite a few actually, who belong steadfastly to the One Percent. They simply can't help it. Their CPAs assure them this is true. But like most of us, I vet my friends with time and TLC. So they've all long ago passed the litmus test of sincere social conscience, community building and living for others rather than self. Or they would not be my friends. Some are progressive liberals who rally passionately behind gay marriage, Obama-care and total immigration amnesty. Others are ultra-conservatives who might applaud the 2nd Amendment and Rand Paul on Monday, then Tuesday write whopping big checks to Sierra Club, Wilderness Society and Greenpeace, then spend their Friday evening at a band boosters meetings in their kids' high school -- and not the racetrack or the opera.
Sadly, people of that conscience-driven ilk are an exponentially dwindling minority among the very wealthy. And whether they lead lives of altruism or not, most of them would no sooner vote for Carly Fiorina than for Humpty Dumpty. Let's just get real about that, please.
Ms. Fiorina was an also-ran before she even left the gate.
And frankly, polls and pols aside -- looking at basic human emotions -- most middle-Americans would not trust Carly Fiorina, or anyone like her, any further than they can frisbee a manhole cover. She is neither of their blood nor breed.
That does not make her a viper nor any clear and present danger to democracy -- only a stiletto-heeled symbol of what's wrong with the entire political system today.
While we're on the topic of political ciphers... What goes for Carly, also goes for Teddy Boy Cruz, who is little more than an early-in-the-campaign hitman, a dancing monkey funded by the right-wing backroom organ grinders (fund-raising czars who grind away in cable-company-ruled media at these organs mostly -- huevos, hearts and brains). Ted "Liver Lips" Cruz will have his time in the spotlight for a brief few months, at the vanguard of attack on the Dems, to soften up Hillary and her challengers, to galvanize the super-conservative base. Then once Cruz's temp job is done, and the media have beaten him senseless, and the party czars are through with him, they will toss him on the ash-heap of electoral history like all the other dancing monkeys -- from Ross Perot on the right, to Gene McCarthy on the left.
Remember amigos, contrary to the Manifest Destinarians ;) wealth does NOT morally entitle one to rule in a true democracy. Money only makes it much easier to buy influence and to broker hardcore deals -- compromises to shelter the very aristocracy upon which both parties depend entirely for their daily bread.
Bottom line: that means Carly Fiorina is no threat to Western Civilization, only a darling du jour in designer duds. And her rival Ted Cruz is a daffy demagogue who's so blithely unaware of how funny he sounds, that it makes for genuine rib-tickling entertainment. Mr. Cruz also has no more chance of being nominated by the GOP than Sponge Bob or PeeWee Herman.
So, where do we go from here?... Let's gather as a nation to find, draft and elect a man or woman of character, substance, integrity, passion and vision -- who truly cares about working families -- you know, the "fictional politician," the Gregory Peck / Atticus Finch kind of guy, who apparently has yet to be born.
El Caudillo Clasico...
Speaking of the dearth of which... British poet William Butler Yeats said it best about the future of Western leadership at large -- "And what rough beast / Its hour come round at last / Slouches toward Bethlehem to be born?"
And, like the wide-eyed kid in Poltergeist warns -- "They're heeere!"
Election time draws nearer by the day. Oh man...
CAVEAT EMPTOR, baby!
© Copyright Jack Larrison & The DICTION AERIE.™ All rights reserved.
© Copyright 2016-2018, Jack Larrison and The DICTION AERIE.™ All Rights Reserved.
Bloody hell, I hate them... I detest smart phones with a passion that is visceral and beyond. So much, in fact, that I've enjoyed a recurring dream of late that brings me to wakening, many mornings, with a glorious grin and a feeling of rested joy.
I'm at a party in some cavernous club, a noisy holiday bash, and suddenly a gorgeous young blonde -- she's tall, slim with perfect breasts, elegant cheek bones and alabaster skin, emerald green eyes and a bountiful she-horse pony tail that goes "fwap-fwap" across her shoulder blades as she runs -- bounds into view like an irresistible wood sprite, clad in a clinging forest-green unitard that leaves little to the imagination. She motions for me to follow her and scampers away, rounding corner after corner -- wham, swoop -- turning to make electrifying eye contact several times with a look that gives me butterflies. Then in a whoosh, I stumble after her and trip over some chair leg, landing on a huge foam pad in a dim room lit with pink and orange lamps. This wanton wood nymph slams the door shut and we're alone, prone on this foam and laughing like school kids who spiked the prom punch. Then we spring to our feet, smiling happily. She hands me a long-handled hoe, and grabs one for herself, and we begin swinging wildly at thousands of cell phones -- a staggering fortune in iPhones and Androids in jeweled cases -- stacked on tables and shelves anywhere we turn. We are utterly drunk with delight as we batter and smash millions upon millions of dollars in high-tech mobile phones that each emit a meaty satisfying sigh -- like a "tchoof!" -- when mortally wounded. (Okay, dream done. Back to irksome reality.)
Yes I do hate smart phones, especially when I need to pry them off the noses of humans, after exchanging only two sentences, when a conversation with full eye contact is necessary. So, to keep my business partners and best friends from melting down, I only use a smart phone when I'm on the road for work. Or heading to meet them. Therefore my hyperbolic outrage on this topic is barely warranted, and based only on a desire to alert my fellow Americans to a gathering infection that could cripple our Bill of Rights. Recent news accounts from Washington DC -- where the Obama Drama Queens are recommending we all just chuck the Fourth Amendment into a rubbish bin -- are raising serious hackles once again.
Our Lame-Ducky President Barack Hussein Obama is waddling into the thicket of civil liberties once more, and leaving his usual wake of ducky detritus, as he gnaws determinedly with ducky bill at the American Bill of Rights. But since "he's Da Man" and he's leaving office soon, his bevy of cuticle-chewing spin doctors is chilling now in Who-Gives-a-Rip Mode, utterly unworried whether he wanders wantonly from the platform his party promised us both times he ran for the highest elective office in the Free World.
"We need to find a way forward to make sure that we can stop terrorists while protecting the privacy, and liberty, of innocent Americans," Mr. Obama pontificated as a U.S. Senator in 2006, when he voted to nix Michael Hayden’s confirmation for CIA director. "As a nation we have to find the right balance between privacy and security, between executive authority to face threats and uncontrolled power. What protects us, and what distinguishes us, are the procedures we put in place to protect that balance, namely judicial warrants and congressional review.... These are concrete safeguards to make sure surveillance hasn’t gone too far."
During both his presidential campaigns Mr. Obama flapped eloquent gums, pledging to "strengthen privacy protections for the digital age and … harness the power of technology to hold government and business accountable for violations of personal privacy."
Now fast forward to March 11, 2016, when Mr. Obama argued passionately for mobile operating systems to allow security agents to gain access to any personal data -- any time they need it -- to prevent a terrorist attack or enforce tax laws. At the South by Southwest festival in Austin Texas, Mr. Obama refused to comment on the legal case now pending in which the FBI is pushing to force Apple Inc. to allow access to an iPhone linked to San Bernardino terrorist/gunman Rizwan Farook. But the Prez said his "commitment to Americans' right to privacy and civil liberties" was not absolute, because he believes "a balance was needed to allow some intrusion when needed."
What ho, me hearties? Could this be yet another freshly steaming heap of spin, custom-crafted for the evening news cycle? Balance? You mean bald-faced unlimited access to any mobile device, any time, anywhere in America -- is balance? Perhaps 7 years as U.S. president have so altered Mr. Obama's sense of equilibrium that he's not unlike the teeter-totter titan back in kindergarten, so massive that once he sits on his end you're marooned aloft, dangling up near the leafline until the fat kid jumps -- and you come crashing to the pavement.
This whole spin charade is like asking Mr. Obama, most powerful office-holder on the planet, a simple question, " Do you still after 7 years give a hoot about American civil liberties, sir?" -- to which he replies "now that's a definite maybe."
Hang it on your beak, Mr. President. You are daft, and we reject your dangerous idea entirely. For all time. Sure, we all want to protect our homeland from terrorists and organized crime, but let's not steer America closer to some New Nazi Ethic of Extreme Intrusion, in dubious exchange for a digital leg up on the bad guys, from ISIS to tax cheats to child-porn moguls. But your plan, Mr. Obama, lifts a dog leg on our U.S. Constitution. In short, what Apple is so wisely resisting – this “back door” to all cell phone OS code -- is too damn sweeping for any true democracy to sustain and still be faithful to its founding ideals of freedom, due process and individual privacy.
Let's harness those young tech minds you're so avidly courting, Mr. Obama, to find novel ways to zero in with deadly surgical precision -- just like you do with cruise missiles -- on the malevolent bastards who truly mean our country harm; without all of us surrendering to some sick Big Brother evil eye embedded in every doorjamb in our private homes, our offices, our churches and our nurseries. These are a few places our mobiles go every day, eh?!
Barack Hussein Obama's case is bogus, baloney, the yammering of a moral wimp; and only being released now because his 2nd term is hurtling to a close. It's like, "hey, I'm almost done with my 8 years; I've got a lifetime pension now suckers, so to hell with this nation I took an oath to protect and defend." This makes me sick to my soul to see. Such situation ethics are reminiscent of brown shirts and black flags. Not the red, white and blue.
So Mr. President, 'fess up -- have you been reading Prince Machiavelli and Vladimir Lenin lately or what? Ladies and gents of the electorate, take note. See through this sly strategy. Mr. Obama would not have dared release such un-American Orwellian prattle before his 2nd term, during the 2012 campaign when he was pretending to be a conscientious progressive. To cloak what his crony Mrs Clinton would likely agree to, to get her dirty work done for her as a parting lame-duck shot, the president is pushing for this Back Door Spy-on-Everybody software while the whole nation is distracted by some liver-lipped Manhattan madman with a frontier varmint pelt for a wig.
Can you imagine the gall? Mr. Obama chides us everyday citizens for caring so much about our cherished American right to privacy, for worrying about this sacred pillar of American life that distinguishes us from most of the government-infested planet. This so-called progressive prez is dismissing our concern as some foolish "fetish for your phone." Fetish? FETISH??
It's the U.S. Constitution we are talking about here, Mr. President. The bloody Bill of RIGHTS, not The Bill of Sorta Helpful Suggestions. These are foundational rights of the greatest democracy this world has ever known, flawed but noble and well worth protecting with a keen-eyed green-eyed jealously.
Google “Bill of Rights,” dear friends. Read the whole thing from start to finish. It's quick; go on... This is the bedrock document that anchored our great nation, the moral and constructive backbone of our entire way of life. Go on, READ IT! Here it is, word for word, our precious Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution...
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Dear ladies and gents of the Great Electorate, while primaries are still pending across the USA, start READING, pay attention folks! Democracy is the province of the involved. It's the meat of the day not casual dessert for spoon-fed pantywaists. Before you vote, before you commit to the most vital electoral / existential choice you may ever make, first check Hillary and Bernie, then check Trump and Cruz -- learn what they actually believe. Ask them, or their handlers...
Is it acceptable to give your government, to give the bodies elected to SERVE the people not enslave them, to give them permanent unbridled access to all personal mobile messages for all time? Do you truly want Big Brother listening in on anything you say, whenever they please? If you answer yes, then hop into Sherman’s Way-Back Machine, guys, and slither back to 1936 Berlin. Don't even bother to call your Congress reps.
What are you thinking, Mr. Obama? Since when did the 4th Amendment -- a cornerstone of our Bill of Rights -- become the moral equivalent of a handiwipe to you? How dare you even suggest this idea? You are more dangerous to our American way of life than any sand-lashed Shariah-worshiping fundamentalist. You seek to snare our cherished privacy in a giant steel cage, then douse it with the gas of Group Think, then burn it alive in full view of the brain-dead rabble.
Just wait until November, guys. The clock of what rock goddess Chrissie Hynde calls "Time the Avenger" is ticking away. Can you also hear the gathering roar, listen, there it is, just over the horizon? Oh yes, distinctly there, just put an ear to the good hard ground of your Homeland, folks...
Mark my words: come November 2016, it ain't “all heaven” about to bust loose across America, from sea to shining sea.
Editor's Note: Man. Now in retrospect, seems ol' Jack was a pre-cog. Eerie stuff...
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