Probability, Responsibility, and You
In the couple years since, this ominous topic has spread across less exotic internet websites, from more knowledgeable writers than I, to cynical propagandists who saw the possibilities for poisoning the public against their political enemies. Methinks some haven't been poisoned sufficiently, nor has the public awakened to the savagery that stutters out "that's not my problem."
My essay was triggered by an offhanded remark from an Angolan editorial client one afternoon. He said that poor Angolans sell their little children to rich Arabs as sex slaves -- "sexual delicacies" -- because they can't feed them and they expect the rich Arabs will pay for their education too.
The remark was too striking. I looked into it, and, sure enough, apart from the so-called "conspiracy" writers, the U.S. State Department itself has been quite aware of an international child sex slavery ring for ages. I spoke to a State Department man about it on the phone.
Another article implicated the elder George Bush as a paying customer while president, according to a witness at a child-sex party in Nebraska. The alleged child sex-slaver was named Larry King, a local Republican party honcho. An article in the Washington Times during that Bush's tenure implied that group homosexual parties also went on in the White house in those days.
Recent articles [this was 2005] about the younger Bush now occupying the White House imply and rumor similarly: Press Room "reporter" Jeff Gannon is in fact a homosexual prostitute who spent several hundred nights at the White House, "unaccountably" -- and that he himself is a former child sex-slave. Another article says witnesses to any of this are murdered as deemed necessary.
How true is this stuff? How probable that rich politicians merrily engage in criminal or just plain reprehensible sexual activity? Decades after his deification on the half-dollar, we read that John F. Kennedy had prostitutes brought into the White House as a rule of habit. He availed himself of three at a time, courtesy family connections with the Mafia, kept quiet by the Secret Service.
Back then no such news could have been further from the papers. Even of the existence of the Mafia, much doubt was trumpeted. Flat truth, for many, violates their right to irresponsibility. There was no organized crime. A churchgoing president bringing multiple whores into the White House was not thinkable enough even to deny. Both things were the flat truth.
Even less probable, the Bush presidents availing themselves of homosexual trysts with children or "soldier boys" for sale. These world leaders ponder moral decisions of life and death for thousands and billions of innocent human beings. A morally wrong move could bring the entire world to disaster.
They profess Christian values piously. They pray to God for guidance and speak to throngs of reverent-eyed believers. People love and admire them for it. So say magazines.
THAT, not sexual preference, is what makes these people, literally, criminals. The hypocrisy makes them blackmailable. They're disasters waiting to happen. They can't kill ALL the witnesses and human playtoys.
THAT, not sexual preference, is what makes a gullible see-no-evil American public accomplices to the disaster. There will be no solution until the public begins to accept probability.
Until then, just because the mayor of Johannesburg was caught looking at child pornography on his computer doesn't mean American politicians would ever get caught. Just because a former Australian mayor was beaten to death with hammers through his face for molesting young boys doesn't mean the former Mayor of Knoxville, Tennessee, Victor Ashe, has been lately handed the ambassadorship to Poland to stay safely out of the way on behalf of his alleged longtime lover and frequent White House sleepover mate, George W. Bush.
Ya know? Now stop thinkin'. We gots flags to wave.
Bill Clinton's sexually puerile indiscretion was an historical anomaly, certainly, to those who don't read history. Was Kate Summersby somebody? Naaah. Did Missus Harding in fact poison her husband Warren to death for his sexual transgressions? Huh?
I hardly ever drink -- drinking alone seems unsociable, and "drinking to make others more interesting" has never worked for me. I'll have a nice drunk only with people who are already really interesting. A few years ago, I got drunk with a man who had been a Marine Honor Guard in the White House during Lyndon Johnson's tenure. He said that Johnson liked to strut down the hallway with his zipper down and his penis wagging in front of him, calling "here comes the chief! Here comes the Chief!"
This ex-marine regaled me with a few legends of the licentiousness of the high-and-mighty in the United States Senate, Congress, and presidency, back in those days. "You have no idea what goes on there," he said.
Charles, was his name, who paid for the big bottle of gin and had ice in his fridge, told me that the biggest whorehouse in the world is situated just across the Mexican border. It's for American politicians who've done favors, he said. Was he lying to me? Why? I'm not a reporter.
Well, that was funny. A year or so before our famous drunk, I'd had a music client who was a chauffer. One day he told me that he often drove American bigwigs across the Mexican border to the biggest whorehouse in America. It was illegal to do that, but nine bucks an hour is nine bucks an hour. The chauffer was an alcoholic. No drinking partner there.
A couple of years later another story of Johnson's famous "johnson" circulated the internet: he once bared this same penis to a group of reporters as he made his way to a helicopter. "Go ahead, take a picture, I dare you," he was supposed to have said. They were afraid to.
This was another of some myriad of unbecoming anecdotes told 40 years later. It's probable because in view of later items published without fear of institutional revenge, Johnson, the Great Man, was a Great Hick. He often had dignitaries watch as he talked political issues at them while sitting on the toilet. This behavior, then hidden from the public, was no different from the jolly hayseed of yore who ran the local gas station, messing around his buddies... no different from Ken Lay giving George "Dubya" a wedgie. Everybody gets to be a silly boy now and then.
King Louis XV of France also gave audiences seated on his bedpan in the morning, but Western social manners are thought to have changed since then. American ideals, especially, meant to move away from such humiliations as to have to stand in the odor of some potentate's private stink to have to deal with him for any reason.
Are these people, "our leaders," also involved in the buying and selling of little children for sexual sport? Even to torture and murder? Is Tom Flocco telling the truth? Cathy O'Brien? Webster Tarpley? Sherman Skolnik? And a host of others?
How probable all this is? Nobody comes to me or you with first hand witness of this depravity. How do you know any of it's real, then? What difference does it make to you, personally?
And so I wrote "Hometown Pedophilia, Slavery, Treason." I counted up the all-but forgotten incidents I'd noticed since my own childhood. There were quite a few, and mine was a pretty ordinary upbringing. Nearly all my correspondents wrote back with stories of their own, having been molested by uncles and strangers and who-have-you... not to mention Cathy O'Brien, of course. ( http://www.trance-formation.com )
Look around you, I wrote. If you're a grownup and never heard of occasions of adults consorting sexually, or trying to, with children in your home town, you've likely refused to look. Maybe you're afraid to know. You might feel responsible for it somehow. You might fear turning into a screaming, sleepless hysteric.
We recall occasions of pedophilia around our home towns, but don't wonder aloud how "high up" the behavior goes; perhaps we'd prefer to be surprised.
So what to do about it instead?
Amateur Night Veri-tey
One evening I thought I'd try out my "pedophilia" news test on a group of people at a friendly coffee shop where I was a regular. Would they look into it for themselves? Write a congressman? Even say "huh! I'll be darned"? I gave an impromptu talk to the regulars at a local coffee shop. It was "open mic" night. One could get up and say or sing or do anything for 5 minutes or so.
Fewer than a dozen people lounged in the haphazard chairs around the counter. I began to give a little recital of some of what I'd read. After about two minutes I was interrupted by a queer old geezer seated on a thrift-store divan whose white beard was dyed a festive purple. He felt compelled to take over the proceeding.
"I don't think that's an appropriate subject to bring up here," he ambled, homey and pompous. "This is a time for uplifting things, for poetry, for songs..." The woman he'd brought with him nodded religiously.
A young man who'd brought a guitar chimed in. "Yeah. We come here to get uplifted, to cool out our souls, y'know? When we want bad news we can watch teevee. But I come here every week for like the spiritual upliftment."
I listened to these two specimens of apathy with interest as they both argued their way out of hearing anything about it -- not even the pedophile ring out Fort Huachuca. I remembered how difficult it was to get the cattle out of the barn when it had caught fire, years ago. The cattle, too, preferred to bask in the volition of their cozy habits, barn burning down around them or not. They lowed in protest while my older brothers tugged at them, and came away with burns from the fiery globs of the tarpaper roof on their arms.
The two finished their objecting, so I finished my thumbnail speech of the fiery implications of all this information and bought an espresso. No applause for me.
The ham with the guitar got up and played his particular spiritual upliftment. It was an amateurish song he'd written himself about racial discrimination against him. Strange for a white man. Maybe a girlfriend had triggered it. Polite applause.
Finally the old coot with the purple-dyed beard set up, complete with a portable lectern. Tonight, through the amateur songs and poems he'd written, we would hear all about a miner's strike initiated by the Wobblies in Bisbee, Arizona, in 1911. Somehow, generations later, he seemed to be taking credit for it. They got beat up and hurt by thugs hired by the owners. Maybe killed, I don't remember; it was ninety-odd years ago. Quite picturesque.
The old man was making a point through art: capitalism is still a bad thing and 1911 socialism is still a good thing. At the final, final close of his wobbling presentation, in theatrical disgust, he intoned "There's got to be a better system than capitalism," and left his portable podium with a dramatic flourish. The same polite applause as everybody else got.
The purple beard hadn't awakened anybody's social consciences either. A White Aryan Supremacist later explained the purple beard for me: "Socialists are idiots who'll do anything to get attention."
Finally, a fellow named George approached me, timidly. "I think that's something to worry about when voting time comes," he said. "I always vote on the issues... and when something like that comes up I'll vote against it."
Okeeeeeee... luckily for George, the issue of whether we should support an international child-sex-slavery ring in our country probably won't come up, even it if IS an unthinkable violation of the Constitution. We socially conscientious types, screaming and sleepless in the night, are apparently on our own in our hometowns.
Tucson, Arizona, has various posters put up around town by anguished parents pleading for information as to what has happened to their kids, missing for months or even years. I've heard dark rumors from local know-it-alls that some have been kidnapped for the child sex slave market, but these are rumors. They don't seem to warrant any more attention than did my speech about it at the 4th Avenue coffee shop.
There may be a few overworked bureaus who have stacked these flyers on a desk, but those parents are on their own; they have discovered how isolated and powerless they feel against organized criminal activity, real or imagined. The difference between them and everyone else is only that it hasn't happened to everyone else. Everyone else has ignored the probability.
The question of probability, and your responsibility as a citizen, does not stop at rumors of criminal sexual behavior in your hometown and among the high and mighty. It doesn't even begin there. A genuinely democratic society requires that we deal personally in some way with every issue that comes our way -- or go back to worshipping kings and high priests, this time with computerized "mind control." In a democracy even our thoughts count. Our thoughts about the probability of things count. We must take responsibility for ourselves that way.
It is probable that creatures like this do infest the buildings and offices of the United States Government. What's done in secret "for fun" may be enormously irresponsible; but we do not recognize well enough the same character of irresponsibility in public affairs, particularily war.
High political leaders must unanimously condemn the murder of children, naturally. So a routine mass killing of little children (on orders, according to an Ithaca soldier returned from Afghanistan) in the "war on terror" demands a euphemism like "collateral damage." It is not considered a sport, at least, in any public forum.
An important American government or political officer knows that children will be killed when destroying villages, but he must seem to mean it less, so as to continue to be taken for a moral Christian. "Collateral damage," so I learned from a lengthy correspondence with a Christian fundamentalist minister and scholar, can be good for the cause of Christianity. God apparently likes the favor of not having another child grow up to be a Muslim. The commandment "Thou Shalt Not Kill" is more like a corporate guideline, he said.
His are the words of a misguided moral idealist. Literal-minded interpretations of books and life leave him, as many, with feelings of helplessness to such an emotional degree that he looks forward to the destruction of a world for which he feels no responsibility -- even though he creates his part of it exactly as everyone else does. He hopes for, literally, a fairy-tale end to it. "God's good" triumphs over "Satan's evil" at the expense of the lives of every single human being on the planet.
He was echoing and repeating the public statements of his mentor, Reverend Jerry Falwell. These nationwide cultists have allowed their fanaticisms to delude them. Like John Ashcroft and other religious hysterics who have unelected, positions in a "secular humanist" government, they quietly imagine God is prompting them to help bring about world destruction -- perhaps like apprentice "destroying angels."
Although there is sufficient "rumor" to implicate the White House in a secret scheme of organized sexual depravity where a truly pious religionist may either warily distance himself or bravely ask questions, Bush may be approved by way of silent fanatical nod -- he is seen as a divine tool of destruction by some. After all, goes the reprehensibly twisted prophecy, in the last days, "God will pour out a madness upon the people."
(To be fair about "religion-bashing," there is a far better number of American Christians who live responsibly enough to see through this manic sensation. One wonders why they are not being heard more loudly.)
Let's say our high government official, outwardly a "God-fearing Christian," secretly enjoys the luxury of indulged depravity, supplied by a criminal organization which also supplies child-targets or their photographs to the disturbingly bored. Films and photos of children being tortured and murdered for sport certainly do exist, and they certainly have been purchased. Someone privy to this much international secrecy would know from whom he is buying his perverse gratification.
Could this high government official really care less whether his furtive service includes the most inhuman of human murder? Would he really feel any responsibility for any of it? Or could the "collateral damage" feigning to normalize the murder of children somehow soothe a thoroughly guilty conscience... or offer a perverse reassurance to a twisted mind that its "evidence" is destroyable? And so the evidence compiled by our State Department, and maybe its implication of High Treason, and all else, sits in some stack, perhaps owing to apathy.
We see instances of greed and crackpotism and short-sightedness, and so on, in our daily lives far more commonly. Say rural County Supervisor Bubba has a cousin who's got some worthless land. By sudden coincidence, this county visionary sees that we need a jet airport! By even suddener coincidence, Cousin Bubba's land would be exactly suitable for it! Non-insiders, namely unassuming taxpayers, will be sold all sorts of nonsense about the unprovable benefits of the latest white elephant scheme. Who cares if county taxes must go up again? Bubba and cousins get a sweet chunk of it and the trickling of the trickle-down theory trickles on the local taxpayer a wee bit more.
Or say years of the arrogant mistakes of a local social services department finally antagonize an unbalanced man into bringing a shotgun into the office and killing 5 or 6 people who had nothing to do with it.
I'm referring to just two events in my own small-town experience over the course of a couple years. Another was that it took 7 years for the school board to "uncover" the reported fact that one of their elementary school teachers was wanted for child molestation in another state. Nobody listened to the two sixth graders who kept complaining (except me). Yes he was a Cousin Bubba. Another Cousin Bubba was known for stealing school gasoline to hand out to his friends, before he was imported to Watkins Glen school district and appointed superintendent at a 6 figure annual income. I smacked him down verbally in public, twice. Lord I ached to get my fist on those shiny new false teeth.
Neither does this kind of behavior stop because the buildings have marble floors and the shoes that tread them are expensive. We see unwanted surprises every day that shouldn't be surprises at all.
Which president has ever said "we're gonna start a war any minute now, folks! Don't you worry! It's coming!"
Which president has said "we don't want a war," and then, surprise surprise, we didn't have one?
Ever read Lincoln's speech scorning and mocking speakers who correctly stated the War Between the States was shortly on the way? Guess who ordered the provocation? Otherwise I can think only of John F. Kennedy, who with his bold shining claims of world peace, deliberately brought the world to what turned out to be 56 seconds from total nuclear destruction -- and that was a little accident that occurred unbeknownst to the spear-rattlers grunting in full rhetorical bloom in the heat of ceremonial pomp. All that windy garbage people transfix on would have been rendered meaningless in a flash of detonations too loud to hear, if not for a lowly Russian grunt. But that's another story.
Supposing this essay reaches many people, nearly everyone who reads will be aware to a fair extent of the current unprecedented level of corruption in the United States Government. We are in a "wartime" that is conveniently unofficial and the enemy is not specifically identifiable. "Terrists who hate our freedoms" must be rooted out and destroyed by any means. These are "extraordinary times," he says, and by that means that he is president and quite enjoys his little piece of civilization. He will sacrifice teenagers to preserve it, or his feelings about it. The president, supposedly, is acting for You and Me: We the People.
So We the People have to get tough, take off the gloves, and put a few of our hated freedoms back in the cupboard to " git 'er done." Meaning bomb the living daylights out of people we never heard of. We Americans have too much freedom in the first place, this president has said. Our enemy is coincidentally much like the biblical Satan: he is invisible, he could be anywhere, and he is second in power and cunning only to the United States Military and God Almighty. God Almighty, the president says, has told him to send our military on the attack.
So We the People have openly attacked and annihilated villages and whole cities of innocent men, women, and children in foreign countries -- two countries that we know about, others that may come as an unwanted surprise later on.
We the People have given any and all opponents enough moral martyrdom to set a world population against us for generations to come. We are outnumbered twenty-to-one.
As we are outnumbered, should "We the People" continue this self-righteous course of blind cruelty, profiteering and crackpotism, our only defense would be to bring the world to total nuclear destruction. Only a hopeless religious fanatic, or a severely "clinically depressed" psychotic, could cheer for world destruction. These would be Americans who have given up a sense of personal responsibility for the conduct of their lives.
As to giving into these self-created enemies: remember that the United States of America is the biggest Cash Cow in history. We are aphids in an ant farm. Our behavior leaves us economically like a cow dumped in a pool of piranhas, fueled by the ill will We the People have created, seemingly in our sleep, while the government handles our affairs among the world. America has encountered destitution before now, more than once, through the irresponsible behavior of the wealthy. Even Franklin D. Roosevelt, another rich fella, made speeches about that.
[Added in 2013: so? How's the economy been doing lately? Was I right or was I right? We're being milked several different ways and given lots of different cover stories for it. We the people are being milked, however. "Git 'er done!"]
It so happens that "Cousin Bubba" is among the piranhas himself. It is easy enough to learn that Bush's family, relatives, and generations of business partners have been in the business of weapons and oil sales since at least 1917, to name a date. They've sold to any buyer, including the Nazis, and of course, to Saddam Hussein (about whom, apparently, they felt double-crossed). We the People are buying weapons and fuel and logistics for this aimless crusade of "democracy" from Bush's friends and relatives. The falsely conceived "war on terror" is making these immensely wealthy people even wealthier.
Provisions of the "Patriot Act," besides now allowing for the arbitrary abduction of We the People into undisclosed jails -- which has happened -- seem also to guarantee the continued flow of taxpayer dollars to this group of wealthy autocrats. Beefed-up security, manpower, law-enforcement technology, costs lots of money. Bush's family is also in that business.
But will this help anyway? Not while We the People cannot even properly face an issue as rudimentary to moral behavior as a child sex-slavery industry, and all its implications.
No congressman read the 250-page "Patriot Act" before hastily voting it into law. We are told that the printed volume of Constitution-canceling rules was passed to congress at three a.m. and a yea/nay vote was expected of them at that morning's session. Could it be that none of them had any clue beforehand as to what particulars were in it? Was there money to be had from voting in this additional juggernaut of tax expenditure? Has anyone thought to inquire what financial interests it may serve any congressman or his ilk?
It is highly probable that We the People are being had in unprecedented volume; that we are part of a longstanding cacophony of schemes to put the free-born energies of every person on the planet under closer control for those who profit from it, for one cracked ideological reason or another.
It is highly probable that the volition of the errors We the People have already allowed will bear out the predictions of many gloomy visionaries of one field or another, to one extent or another, from bad to worse to worst?
How probable is it that We the People will put a stop to it, or at least, to the worst of it?
This too is highly probable.
I've presented a picture of a seamy underside of the human events our tax dollars are paying for, all of which comes from reading. We seem to be a captive audience subsidizing a drama of government affairs which has grown out of our control and far from our better individual judgments. The actors presenting us this drama seem to be playing out the roles of all the possible errors of human behavior. The life and death consequences are real.
There is still another underside to all this, however, which is not seamy, yet, it seems to be just as "hidden" among the miles and miles of typeface currently spelling out disastrous forebodings for this country and the world. That underside is found in your individual perception; you are responsible for it, and you can use it.
Continued next time. E-mail me to make sure I don't forget you. I'm not a news machine. Nobody's paying me anything for this.
(Tom Dark is a freelance editor, music producer, and runs a small world wide dream experiment group. Write me for an album of satirical songs... for people with IQs of above 101. Al Yankovic it certainly ain't. firstname.lastname@example.org )