Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Face That Cannot Be Saved

My blogging partner, Terry McKenna, and I were trading emails this morning about the Comey testimony. I mentioned that it was astonishing to see how Ashcroft comes off as a hero of liberty in all this. Terry replied: the ethical desert that is the Bush administration, Ashcroft's momentary lapse into moral courage stands out, like a single blooming flower in the Sahara.

The Wine Messenger

Of the Face that Cannot--and Should Not--Be Saved

There are more big layoffs coming where I work. They have started already, in fact. They will go for the old ones first, because here we believe that to pass 50 is to enter into senescence. Unless, of course, you're on executive row. The less you need the money, the more surely does it flow to you.

I am safe for the moment, because the corporation targets the full-timers. More bang for the buck, or blood for the axe. We consultants cover fewer lines on the ledger sheet: no insurance, no pension, no vacation, no sick pay, no strings of attachment. Get rid of one of us and you've just cleared a desk and a single line, the hourly rate. Far better to remove that servant who has sat at the same desk for a generation, wearing the same path in the carpet each day. What could he possibly have left to offer the modern company? He is a relic, let him have his pension and go to where relics belong. If he has a family to support, well, that's what Social Security and unemployment insurance are for. The company must go forward.

But if you have started a war that no one seems able or willing to end, and then been discovered in your next job pulling the strings of power to secure your main squeeze a comfortable office with a six-figure salary, you must be allowed your dignity, even as you face the axe. You must be allowed to save face.

But the face of power cannot, and should not, be saved. It must be killed, for this is how we recover the reality behind the face; the truth beneath the image. Wolfowitz, for example, has far greater problems than the loss of a title or a position of power—this loss, in fact, is his only good fortune. He has blood on his hands, flowing up his arms and drowning his heart. It is the blood of tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of innocents.

Yet there is another sacrifice he made when he gave up his true self to a tyranny of connivance. He delivered himself to inner death—the only kind worth fearing. Nothing can bring him back from that death except his own choice to retreat from power.

So it goes for all who choose the delusion of authority or the power to dominate other peoples, other creatures, through violence and oppression. The following links come from today's email.

  • It is true of Gonzales and Cheney, who have turned America into a police state.

  • It is true of Bush, who ordered and arranged this tyrannical assault on human liberty.

  • It is true of our mass media kingpins, who chose to ignore the latest of a long line of impeachable offenses.

  • It is true of al-Bashir and the Janjaweed, who continue their depredations against humanity.

  • It is true of those who torture and kill any creature of the Earth.

  • To fire such people, to say No to their enslavement to death, is to do them the greatest favor. It is to offer these living dead their only chance at recovery. A demon can only be expunged by a forceful removal from his self-made hell. To insist on the impeachment, the disenfranchisement, and the impoverishment of these walking dead is to deliver them their last chance at life. Today and every day that follows, do all you can to give them that chance.

    Footnote: Whether he is fired or resigns, Wolfowitz will receive a severance package of at least $375,000. Now I consider myself a fairly well-paid contractor--and I am far more fortunate than most workers in this nation--but it would take me four and a half years of continuous work to equal that.

    Compare it with your own salary; if you think it's a little less than fair that this guy not only gets to negotiate his firing, but receives a fat payout at the end, let the World Bank know.

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