Scanlyze

The Online Journal of Insight, Satire, Desire, Wit and Observation

The US is like ancient Rome

The US is like ancient Rome. It merely wants the world to ‘voluntarily’ bow before it. Any country that defies it is made an example of, its leaders publicly humiliated and summarily executed, its countryside and cities and economy devastated, the people, kidnapped, tortured, and raped, its culture and religion challenged by MacDonalds and MacChrist, its fields sown with Agent Orange and mines and cluster bombs and depleted uranium. That is why the US makes a point of attacking small countries like Grenada which are no threat to it. It is, “pour encourager les autres” as Voltaire would have it.

‘They have pillaged the world: when the land has nothing left for men who ravage everything, they scour the sea. If an enemy is rich, they are greedy, if he is poor, they crave glory. Neither East nor West can sate their appetite. They are the only people on earth to covet wealth and poverty with equal craving. They plunder, they butcher, they rape, and call it by the lying name of ‘empire’. They make a desert and call it ‘peace’.’

–speech attributed to Prince Calgacus of Britain
in P. Corn. Tacitus
Agricola
98 AD

Copyright © 2014 Henry Edward Hardy

9 May, 2014 Posted by | imperialism, peace, politics, Roman Republic, Rome, scanlyze, Tacitus, US, USA, war | , , , , | Leave a comment

WTF happened to the land of the free and the home of the brave?

The greatest ideological weapon the US used to have is that we could point to the material and ethical benefits of our free, liberal society.

*We* had freedom of speech. *We* had a free press. *We* had full employment. *We* had the right to public education, including affordable or free college education. *We* did not spy on our citizens. *We* did not engage in torture. *We* obeyed and enforced the laws of war. *We* founded the United Nations. *We* had a democratic, pluralistic society in which everyone had a voice. *We* had separation of church and state. *We* had the right to organize and form unions, to bargain collectively, and to strike. *We* had the right to peaceably organize and protest against our government. *We* had free enterprise, where monopolies and cartels were neither tolerated nor legal. *We* had banks which were regulated in the public interest to prevent another economic crash. *We* had an open form of government where the people were in charge and the government did neither fear the people nor did the people fear the government. We had so much leisure time people didn’t always know what to do.

Our people were the wealthiest, freeest, healthiest and happiest in the world.

I am not talking about some never-neverland utopia. I remember this time in America. So does anyone my age if they think back.

What the fuck happened to us?

Copyright © 2013 Henry Edward Hardy

27 September, 2013 Posted by | freedom, liberty, media, peace, politics, scanlyze, US, USA, war | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

American Dark Ages, year 41

The United States wasn’t defeated by communism. The United States has been defeated by capitalism.

I count the American Dark Ages as starting December 7, 1972 with the last moon landing.

I have been looking at old ads and propaganda films and I am struck by the ringing tone of confidence that Americans effused back then. There was nothing that Americans couldn’t do. And corporations competed to see who could provide a higher standard of living to the working class.

But now, it wasn’t a communist invasion which ruined and depopulated New Orleans. It isn’t a Russian occupation ruling Detroit and keeping the people in penury. Though it might as well be.

At some point, the predatory element of American capitalism overcame the good sense of the ruling class and the United States started consuming itself. We neo-colonialized our own people. The US now is a hollowed-out caricature of what it once was. In reaction to the introduction of basic environmental and labor protection laws US corporations began to move production, and the jobs and income associated with them, overseas.

The productive effort and scientific and technological genius of the US was squandered on ten million million dollars of military spending. Not a typo, ten trillion dollars.

How can the US afford to bail out AIG for 182 billion but not Detroit for 18 billion? And since AIG was a giant re-insurance firm, why did banks insured by AIG still get bailed out too? And if banks got bailed out, how did AIG lose 182 billion overnight?

Instead of the patriarchal way of the Rockefellers and Carnagies and Mellons, who sought to improve the society through industrialization and philanthropy, albeit for uncertain motives, we now have the Kochs and Scaifes who appear to seek actively to destroy the Republic from within. And a Republican Party that would actually contemplate bankrupting the US in order to try to deny people the chance to *pay for* reasonably fair healthcare.

I am quite sorry to see that dystopian writers like Zamiatin, Huxley, Orwell, John Shirley, Phillip K Dick, Norman Spinrad, John Brunner, William Gibson, and Rudy Rucker, have been largely proven right. Though I am deeply impressed by their insights.

American Dark Ages, year 41. What fun.

Copyright © 2013 Henry Edward Hardy

15 August, 2013 Posted by | bad idea, bailout, capitalism, communism, democracy, Detroit, military-industrial complex, scanlyze, science fiction, too big to fail | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

On Freedom

On Freedom

The year after Kent State (which was about 40 miles from my house) I was in 6th grade and a group of us refused to rise for or say the Pledge of Allegience on the basis that the US did not have “liberty and justice for all” and that we would not pledge allegiance to a rogue nation state which itself did not obey the laws of war or tell the truth to its people.

It was agreed with the school officials that we would stand respectfully and silently but would not have to say anything or make any worshipful gesture. And so it was for the rest of 6th grade. I wore black or white with red speckles arm bands to school most days that year (which my Mom helped me to make and safety-pinned onto my shirt). But I was also a safety patrol kid and put up and took down the flag and folded it properly and treated it with respect.

Americans each have a complex relationship with the flag and other national symbols. They have every right to express, or not to express their sentiments, without being accused of being unpatriotic or disloyal. We have the right to salute the flag, and we have the right to burn it. That is what freedom is.

Copyright © 2012 Henry Edward Hardy

14 August, 2012 Posted by | politics, scanlyze | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

To: His Lordship, the Right Honorable Richard John Carew Chartres, Bishop of London Re: Occupy London

To: His Lordship, the Right Honorable Richard John Carew Chartres,
Bishop of London
Re: Occupy London

Your Lordship,

I read with concern in today’s New York Times* that you were quoted
regarding the Occupy London camp outside St. Paul’s, “the time has
come for the protesters to leave, before the camp’s presence threatens
to eclipse entirely the issues that it was set up to address.”

I respectfully assert that this is a morally and ethically incorrect
approach to this issue.

You are not behaving as a follower of Jesus; rather, you speak like a
Pharisee. Are you more concerned with making money than with serving
and advocating for the needs of the poor and oppressed?

If Jesus is among us today, he is outside on the lawn at St. Paul’s,
where you have shut the doors of the church against him.

3 Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.
4 Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.

Psalms 82:3-4 KJV

sincerely,

Henry Edward Hardy
Somerville, MA USA

* http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2011/10/26/business/AP-Occupy-Glance.html?hp

Copyright © 2011 Henry Edward Hardy

26 October, 2011 Posted by | media, news, politics, scanlyze | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment