October 17, 2001

The Black Chopper Crowd and the Somnambulant Left have a Group Hug at the Office of Homeland Security; Meanwhile, Back at Anthrax Central . . .

By Warren Pease

Biological Warfare Finds Fitting Targets
Anthrax struck the editorial offices of supermarket tabloid The Sun last week, killing one staffer and infecting another - a clear case of slime attracting slime. Although if they'd spent less time rubbing up against cow udders and more time investigating alien abductions and Elvis sightings, they'd perhaps be bacteria-free today.

The Globe, another tabloid, is also housed in the American Media Inc. building, but police reported that employees at the sister publication were all wearing their standard-issue aluminum colanders on their heads, a time-honored defense against alien mind melds that also boosts the immune system's ability to fight off bacterial spores like that of anthrax - at least, if they're of the genotype that arrives on the solar winds and picks up energy coming through the Van Allen Radiation Belt.

In a related story, National Enquirer reporters were busy following up rumors that the face of Osama bin Laden had been seen on a freshly baked loaf of pita bread at a bakery in rural Maryland and could not be reached for comment.

And despite an anthrax scare at his D.C. offices, Tom Daschle is still leading Senate Democrats as they fall all over themselves to be better Republicans than Trent Lott, who is reportedly interviewing several great-great-grandchildren of Mississippi slaves in an effort to find reliable people who will taste his food, open his mail, start his car, and warm up his frilly nighties just before Helms and DeLay show up for drinks and consensual group sex.

Right is Left, and Vice Versa
Sometimes in a weird version of Einsteinian space/time intergalactic fabric distortion, the militant American radical right and the mostly-asleep American doofus left share a common point on the great ideological wheel of life.

The right - the Aryan Nations, posse comitatus, Freemen, unregulated militia crowd - has always feared the power of the federal government above all else. This is mainly because they're paranoid braindead globs of fermented bean curd who hide behind an illicit interpretation of the Second Amendment and they're fixated by the idea that the feds will snatch their fully automatic assault rifles and they need to keep at least three loaded guns under their pillows to get it up properly, even with Viagra, and they don't give a rat's ass how many kids have to die each year as a result. But even though the American right's collective IQ probably doesn't the equal the PSI rating on my spare tire, once or twice a millennium they actually get something right, so to speak.

Not that I've joined the black helicopter crowd. In fact, whenever I see a black chopper fly by, I fervently hope it contains a couple dozen little Timmy McVeighs in training and that it's on its way to the Farallons, where it's going to drop them without parachutes from about 5,000 feet. I just hope they don't land on top of something that deserves to live, like a starfish or hermit crab. But I digress. . .

The left - at least the pre-WTC catastrophe, pre-"America's New War" (copyright CNN, 2001), pre-Ashcroft left - has worried far more about the malevolent influence of gigantic, soulless corporations as they co-opt the entire planet with cardboard hamburgers, mall rat culture, sweat-shop shoes, the horrors of post-nasal drip and jock itch, the NFL and Brad Pitt movies.

Government, particularly its regulatory functions, is seen by the left as by far the lesser of two evils, comprising as it does the last remaining bulwark between the individual and the absolute triumph of gigantic gobs of corporate money and power.

Not that government and corporate values are ever that far apart. Our amazing system of legalized bribery masquerading as campaign financing ensures that pols and their corporate employers engage in a continuous, consensual circle jerk.

But those faceless, homogenous bureaucrats at agencies like the EPA, the SEC and OSHA do occasionally labor on the side of the angels - at least until their political appointee bosses get wind of it. Then it's back to drilling in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge, winking at insider trading and stock price manipulation, and screwing the consumer - all in the name of freeing business from the costly and anti-competitive restraints imposed by over-zealous regulators who for some reason seem to care if a few dozen workers get incinerated when a gas storage tank explodes due to chronic lack of maintenance.

Now, however, as the flags ripple and war fever revs up, it's starting to become clear that Our Friend the Fed is moving into position to enforce orthodoxy and declare open season on dissent from either the left or the right. Lefty "peaceniks" are the obvious first targets, but it's pretty likely that armed and dangerous (mainly to themselves) right wingers will be under some pretty close scrutiny as well. After all, who needs white-boy terrorists messing things up when we've finally got such an unambiguous enemy at which to throw such vast sums of military money?

Then again, according to Reuters, God's Little Brownshirts or Jackboots for Jesus or some such band of repressed maniacs has mailed about 170 or so envelopes containing a suspicious powdery substance to Planned Parenthood and National Abortion Federation offices around the country last Monday and we haven't yet seen John Ashcroft frothing about that on national TV.

But then the Justice Department is now headed by a divinely directed zealot with a 100 percent positive rating from anti-choice groups. So it's easy to imagine how vigorously he'll enforce the no-loony zone around family planning clinics; how assiduously he'll prosecute the next pro-lifer who murders a doctor; how diligently he'll defend the continued practice of a medical procedure that, despite constant assault, is still legal in this country - at least until the next Supreme Court vacancy, anyway. Then it's the back alley and the coat hanger, ladies, and keep your knees together if you don't like it.

Meanwhile, the brand spanking new Office of Homeland Security is contemplating all kinds of really interesting stuff under the general excuse of counter-terrorism. Like indiscriminate wiretaps. Like email intercepts. Like covert, warrentless break-ins. Like private property seizures. Like arrest and indefinite detention without having to show cause. Like deportation of alien residents for no reason other than a certain swarthy tinge to the skin.

Thanks to the drug war, most of the mechanisms for dumping the Bill of Rights and running a full-blown police state are already in place. Just needs a little tweaking, and Ashcroft's the right guy in the right place at the right time.

But even though I want to hum a chorus of "Deutschland, Deutschland Uber Alles" every time I hear the words "Office of Homeland Security," I've got to admit those silver lightning bolts on the collars and full-length black leather great coats are one hell of a fashion statement.

# # #

The author is currently drinking heavily in his locked basement, freaked that manic, anthrax-infected tabloid reporters or Senate staffers might find him and force their vile germs into his system. He'll be checking his email until his last rattling breath, however, so be sure to contact him at war_on_peas@yahoo.com Strength failing---- not much time---- must get to Taco Bell.

Copyright SRC, Inc. 2001. All rights reserved.

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