It All Gets Real

By David Glenn Cox

“Some get stoned, some get strange, sooner or later, it all gets real”
(Neil Young)


live in a cloud with our inputs overloaded, like pool balls bouncing

off the bumpers, looking for a hole. The news media tells us about the

mean old Chinese that are harassing an unarmed US navy vessel. Those

bad old Chinese, how dare they do that to our boys? Except that it is a

US spy ship spying off the Chinese coast, and we want to blame the


Saddam had to prove that he didn’t have weapons of

mass destruction and the Iranians have to prove that they aren’t

building a nuclear bomb. No matter what hoops they jump through, we

just move the bar. The Iranians signed the nuclear non-proliferation

treaty and India did not. We threaten Iran and try to trade nuclear

fuel for mangoes with India.

Hugo Chavez is an evil dictator

because he nationalized oil fields after American oil companies refused

to pay Venezuela the same royalties that they currently pay to Saudi

Arabia and Kuwait. Of course, the Saudis and Kuwaitis are our friends.

After 9-11 Bin Laden’s relatives were allowed to fly home to Saudi

Arabia and requests to interview Saudi intelligence agents were


The CIA, through Cuban nationals, has waged a

fifty-year campaign of bombings, sabotage and even the bombing of a

civilian Cuban airliner. As President Bush called for a war on terror,

the perpetrator of the Cuban airliner bombing walked the streets of

Miami, a free man. The numerous CIA plots to kill Fidel Castro are

famous, but after Hurricane Katrina it was the Cuban government that

offered doctors and aid for the refugees. Those offers were rebuffed.

Those sneaky bastards, Castro is a dictator who holds thousands of

political prisoners on that island in fetid cells; he holds them and

tortures them without trial.

We condemn the Cuban system of

one-party rule as not being Democratic enough. But, of course,

America’s largest trading partner, China, has an identical if not more

odious and authoritarian version of one-party rule. The primary

difference is that Cuba will not trade tropical poverty for sweatshop

prosperity. We want to promote democracy so that Cuba can achieve the

same level of prosperity as democratic El Salvador and Nicaragua. Cuba

spends 9.1% of its GDP on education; El Salvador and Nicaragua spent

3%. Infant mortality is 5.93 per thousand births in Cuba. In El

Salvador it is 22.9 deaths per thousand; in Nicaragua it is 25.9 deaths

per thousand live births.

Americans have the greatest healthcare

system in the world, or so we are told, yet our infant mortality rate

is 6.3 deaths per thousand, and we give the parents a bill to grieve

with. American life expectancy is 78.4 years while the Cuban life

expectancy is only 77.2 years. How dare I compare a brutal communist

dictatorship to the blessings of this capitalist wonderland? I should

consider the things the Cubans miss out on. Like, they will never have

to worry about their pensions being liquidated in a bankruptcy court.

Or their jobs being outsourced somewhere where the workers will work

for less.

They don’t have to worry about saving enough money to

send their children to college, or if they will have enough money when

they get old. They do have to worry about fighting the global war on

terror; they have been fighting it for the past fifty years and their

enemy is powerful and is always just ninety miles from their shores and

even has bases in their homeland.

Democracy is the single-minded

policy of this country; if necessary, we will even impose it by force

of arms. Now you vote! Make your choice, pick a party; we will tell you

who the candidates are later.(Afghanistan) Safety concerns, you know.

Why, this country spends hundreds of millions of dollars promoting

democracy in the third world. And our candidates always win! Almost


During the 2006 Mexican Presidential election the

Republican Party sent advisors to assist conservative candidate Felipe

Calderon. Through statistical anomalies and 900,000 annulled votes,

Calderon was eventually declared the winner replacing Vincente Fox the

former CEO of Coca Cola in Mexico. The will of the people clearly


Senator John McCain is the leader of the

International Republican Institute whose stated goal is to “Advance

freedom and democracy worldwide by developing political parties, civic

institutions, open elections, good governance and the rule of law. The

IRI has been active in Venezuela, and in Iraq, and Afghanistan, and in

Georgia. The IRI was also active in Haiti.

In 2004 US ambassador

to Haiti, Brian Dean Curran, accused the IRI of subverting his efforts

to bring peace to Haiti during the contested elections of 2000. The IRI

can be found operating anywhere there is trouble to be had or to be

made. Afghanistan, Angola, Bolivia, Bosnia, Belarus, Burma, Colombia,

Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, East Timor, Egypt, Estonia, Guatemala,

Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, Liberia, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan,

Peru, Poland, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Serbia, Uganda, Ukraine. And, of

course, the West Bank and Gaza; how could they possibly be forgotten?


conflict in Georgia began when Georgian troops launched a large-scale

ground-and air-based military attack on South Ossetia’s capital and

began firing on Russian peacekeeping troops. Georgia claims that it was

responding to Russian troop movements. It ‘s the same “they’re

harassing my spy ship” argument. Since when does the movement of

peacekeeping troops constitute grounds for a full-scale offensive? The

American media, as would be expected, excoriated the Russian troops for

returning fire when fired upon.

The aggressors are crowned with

laurels for bravely attacking and standing up to peacekeeping troops.

Russian officers complained of American advisors on the scene assisting

the Georgians and of the great deal of radio traffic in English. It was

probably just the IRI again, advancing freedom and democracy worldwide

by developing political parties, civic institutions, open elections,

good governance and the rule of law.

Some say the conflict was

based on the encouragement of the US to enlist former Soviet bloc

countries into NATO. The Russians pointed out that if NATO was formed

to counter the Warsaw Pact and the Warsaw Pact no longer exists, what

then is the need to expand NATO? Isn’t it obvious? To aid young

democracies, like Afghanistan and Georgia and Belarus. The prior

administration’s plans were to put missile batteries in Poland and the

Czech Republic to defend the United States and Europe from Iranian and

North Korean missiles that don’t even exist and might never exist. The

Russians were just expected to take our word that these missiles are

only pointed towards them but not at them. We’ve spent billions of

dollars to develop a missile defense shield against countries that

don’t have missiles of that caliber and they don’t trust us.

Why don’t they trust us? Why do they harass our spy ships? Why do they resist when we attack?


there is the recent Seymour Hersh story about an “executive

assassination squad” which reported directly to Dick Cheney. Oh, I’m so

surprised, how could it be? The new President is going to close

Guantanamo but retain other facilities. He’s promised to no longer

torture but still retains the privilege. He is going to get us out of

Iraq but keep half the troops there. He is going to fight in

Afghanistan by sending in half the troops removed from Iraq. He is

going to fix the budget by taxing the rich, then gives out more tax

cuts to the rich in the stimulus package. He’s going to fight global

warming with cap and trade, then admits he’s open to negotiation on cap

and trade and on cutting the corporate tax rate, as well.


Wednesday a troubled man in South Alabama opened fire and killed ten

people. Mass shootings have become almost commonplace in America, or

freedom as a disguise for license to abandon our people, neglect their

needs and their futures. We hold more prisoners per capita than any

other country in the world including Communist China, Iran, Venezuela

and Cuba. Are Americans just more criminally bent? Or is it a

collective madness brought on by a society that talks one way and acts

another. A society that holds out promises it has no intention of


That man in Alabama was reported to his supervisor by a

co-worker for not wearing his earplugs at work. Maybe that was all it

took. Freedom can be a heavy burden when you’ve got nothing but

promises to carry it in.

“As soon as you’re born they make you feel small,
By giving you no time instead of it all,
Till the pain is so big you feel nothing at all,
A working class hero is something to be,
A working class hero is something to be.
They hurt you at home and they hit you at school,
They hate you if you’re clever and they despise a fool,
Till you’re so fucking crazy you can’t follow their rules,
A working class hero is something to be,
A working class hero is something to be.
When they’ve tortured and scared you for twenty odd years,
Then they expect you to pick a career,
When you can’t really function you’re so full of fear,
A working class hero is something to be,
A working class hero is something to be.
Keep you doped with religion and sex and TV,
And you think you’re so clever and classless and free,
But you’re still fucking peasants as far as I can see,
A working class hero is something to be,
A working class hero is something to be.
There’s room at the top they are telling you still,
But first you must learn how to smile as you kill,
If you want to be like the folks on the hill,
A working class hero is something to be.
A working class hero is something to be.
If you want to be a hero well just follow me,
If you want to be a hero well just follow me.”
(John Lennon)

What is surprising is that there aren’t ten or twenty shootings a day.

photo by hz536n

Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.