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Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2009 07:40 pm

Trash talk

Internet exchange: What’s really important here?

This picture has become a popular e-mail, with the caption “Gathering of the Obama Faithful” and a short text saying the cleanup cost taxpayers $21 million and criticizing the attendees. “They can now just trash everything, because someone else will take

Tom, before you read my response to your e-mail, I want you to keep in mind that I am not a fan of the Democratic Party or especially of the Republican Party; I hold both in contempt for the sorry state of affairs that our country finds itself in. But since I received this e-mail, and since politics is my second favorite sport, I had to respond.

First off, your title, “Gathering of the Obama Faithful” leaves me with the impression that you are not a supporter of the new President. In fact, there is something subtly racist about your e-mail. Are you unhappy that upwards of 2 million Americans converged upon our Capitol to celebrate “regime change”? Or are you experiencing sour grapes over the fact that a black American is now your leader?

If you really are a concerned taxpayer, ponder this: 156 million Americans filed taxes last year. Dividing that $21 million by the number of (then) working taxpayers equals 13 cents per person going towards cleaning up after maybe one of the most priceless events in our history. Did I miss your e-mail decrying the $12 billion per month we’re wasting on the black hole called Iraq? That amounts to about $77 per month per taxpayer so that we could ace the Chinese out of their legally negotiated oil contract with Saddam Hussein scheduled to kick in after the United Nations oil embargo upon Iraq would come to an end.

And now, six years later, that is about $5,500 per taxpayer. That’s less than a buck apiece from all of us for the lost lives of the 4,247 American service men, women and the thousands of “contractors” (did you notice that we have never been given the real numbers of contractor deaths?) that have given their lives as proxies for our five major oil corporations while we tell the world that what we were really after was the “democratic freedom” of the Iraqi people. Where is your conscience and outrage about that?

Now we are ensconced in so many other messes that will cost each of us so much more than the inaugural cleanup that I wouldn’t know where to begin. But Tom, as the concerned patriotic taxpayer that you are, I am sure you are busy composing e-mails for each individual issue, so I’ll just wait until I receive them.

Perhaps by now you get my point: you can hardly hide your disdain for the new president or his supporters by claiming to be a concerned taxpayer having to spend some do-re-mi to clean up after the inauguration. And if, as I suspect, you are just trying to ding Mr. Obama and his supporters by claiming to be a “concerned American,” might I enlighten you that those who really are in charge of this country are not you, or me, or even the president.

Basically I find Mr. Obama to be highly intelligent, well intentioned, and a good and decent chap. But he should have known better than to think that our government is going to allow any real change to occur. Our government as currently composed thrives on crisis — the more of it, the more dependent upon it the people will be. The only way to solve that will be to send the Dems and the GOP on a one-way trip out of Washington, D.C.

I will give you my solution to your faux garbage crisis. At the event I would have handed out trash bags and stationed an army of dumpsters at each exit point. Then I would have made arrangements for a final sweep of the grounds along with the necessary turf replacement and seeding. Total cost? About $5 to $7 million. Unfortunately, thinking like this is nonexistent in D.C. And more unfortunately, thinking like yours is existent all over our country.

I offer this opinion to you, Tom, in good spirit, without malice or profanity. That’s what we need more of. Not sarcasm, hate or division. Like him or not, we should all hope that Mr. Obama is successful in addressing our real serious issues.

Our only hope is to distance ourselves from the maniacal two-party system that shuts independents out of the process, strangles intelligent debate, and rams expensive, politically-compromised solutions down our throats. Maintaining a standing army to enforce global and corporate domination combined with the corruption of our financial systems (without prosecution) will be our downfall. There is your real “garbage” crisis.

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