Tuesday, December 16, 2008

salting the earth

Salting the earth.

The phrase ‘salting the earth’ is an ancient and overused one. The gist of the concept is that if one spreads salt over formerly productive fields, they won’t be able grow crops anymore. The origins of the term lie in a punishment employed by ancient cultures as a final slap in the face to the losers of a conflict. For instance, the Assyrians are said to have salted the earth surrounding certain cities that refused to pay tribute to them. And one ancient judge in Israel is said to have salted his own capital, Shechem, as punishment for an attempted rebellion against him. The Romans are said to have salted the earth surrounding Carthage as punishment for the prolonged Third Punic War, but scholars dispute this claim, as the Romans relied on North Africa as the ‘granary to the empire’ for centuries after. The Romans always knew which side their bread was buttered on.

Which brings me to my point. What the fuck are the douchebags in the outgoing administration and their myopic handmaidens in congress thinking? In a matter of weeks they have:

- opened up 150,000 new acres in the west to oil and gas drilling leases
- slipped a nice loophole on limiting exec pay into the very public $700 billion it shoveled to its buddies on Wall Street resulting in, you guessed it, no limits on exec pay
- admitted that Al Qaeda did not exist in Iraq prior to the U.S. invasion, responding with ‘So what?’ (No, Bush literally said that on television.)
- decided that Detroit (and likely the rest of the economy) can sit and spin unless they’re willing to gut their union contracts

There’s a certain insane vindictiveness to all this behavior, when you consider that the $5 trillion surplus Bush inherited has already been turned into a $10 trillion deficit, and that despite that insane outlay, most Americans are worse off than they were 8 years ago. It’s almost too much to think that these guys are just so insanely greedy that squeezing more cash out of the taxpayers drives them to these levels of shamelessness.

It's like, you won, fuckers. What more do you want?

You raped the economy, you raped the Middle East, you raped our military, you raped the Constitution, you raped the memory of America's honor, you raped the poor and the middle class, you raped the environment, you raped the truth -- you raped the dignity of our very nation. YOUR nation too. What more could you possibly want?

Do you remember that moment in “The Dark Knight,” when Alfred is musing on The Joker’s possible motivations, and he says to Bruce Wayne, “Some people just like to watch the world burn?”

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