Yes, that's the way I feel. Shame.
I humbly bow to the international community in acknowledged embarassment at the latest actions of my government.
There is no other way to put it. The continuing slide of sleeze exhibited by my elected representatives inspires me to make this proclamation.
All of you American's who are reading this may, or may not, feel the same way. As I generally urge readers to think with their heads before their hearts in matters of politics, I won't make an exception, here. And, of course, there are numerous touchstones of shame in the political arena, these days...the new Abu Ghraib photo's, Katrina, wiretapping, our President's stalwart defence of freedom (by attempting to detain, forever, prisoners of Gitmo, as the world increasingly calls for their removal), Abramoff, the war that we're winning, over in Iraq, et al, ad nauseum...
These things cause me shame, as well. But, typing a post on aikiweb is not atonement enough, for those crimes which my tax-dollars are committing. No, I think that the only way I'll cleanse myself of THOSE specific humiliations is the day I see the people responsible held to charges in the Hague.
So, what am I talking about? American's, read on at your peril. An immediate shower might be needed (or, not).
At issue is a new investigation, launched by Congressman Joe Barton.
He's investigating a recent program announced by Citgo, a Venezualan-owned oil company. Citgo (and Chavez) have announced a program to sell oil 40% below cost (or free, to homeless shelters)
in several states.
So, at a time when economic disparities have skyrocketed, when gas-prices are hitting the roof, and when oil companies are recording record profits and the government offers giveaways to them, hand over fist...
Joe Barton starts an investigation, into a company that wants to give away oil, to the American poor. His reasoning?
JUAN GONZALEZ: Well, I called Congressman Joe Barton's office earlier this week to ask what prompted this, and the response of the Chief of Staff of the House Energy Committee was that Hugo Chavez was interfering in U.S. -- in the United States government oil policy, and that therefore they wanted to investigate whether there was actually some antitrust violations occurring. Your response?
REP. JOSE SERRANO: Well, I think the only thing he is interfering in in Citgo is in the usual rip-off of the poor and the working class by the oil companies in this country. As you know, their profits have been outrageous, and no one is looking at that. They were asked by members of the Senate to do something. They totally ignored it. Citgo was the only one that stepped up.
And so, I come back to that word...not as an expression of feeling: but an indictment, an accusation, to Joe Barton, and all the other members of the Congressional Oiligarchy: shame!
And here's my form of atonement, for my complicity. As much as possible, I am going to join the BUY-cott.
Buy Your Gas at Citgo: Join the BUY-cott!
Yeah, it's a small thing, but just as I was telling my students yesterday (just before their thudding, clumping attempts at shikko transformed into knee-strolls across the mat): the most important step is the first...and that's always the smallest. Who knows? In five years, I might be driving a bio-diesel
You can find the nearest Citgo gas-station, here.