America: The World’s “Dictator”

At the Nigerian stop of his gringo-bashing tour, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said the following before a packed house at the Iranian embassy in Ajuba,

They [America] are the self-proclaimed leaders and everybody should know that self-proclaimed leadership is dictatorship

In other words, America, I’m assuming he’s talking about the government not the people, is the world’s dictator due to the influence she has over vast swathes of the planet. Whether this influence/power translates into a dictatorship I can’t say, but I know that in Latin America most people would agree with the world’s most controversial engineer (below).


Curse the West and their decadent haircuts


Fact: Historically speaking, the U.S. has ill treated her neighbors to the south.

This has led to many of my fellow Spanish-speakers to view the U.S.A as a bully (justifiably so) who doesn’t let ethics/common decency get in the way of getting what she wants. That my countrymen and distant cousins further south elect individuals such as this election cycle after election cycle is another story.

It is important to note that nation-states don’t act based on altruism but rather on what’s best for them or the people in power of the nation-state. In a nation such as America, it is supposed to be “We the People” who, through the voting booth, hold the power.

As we all know, that is an illusion for elected officials here in this great nation are as corrupt and egotistical as anywhere else in the world. Most of the time, they don’t really give a rip about “We the People” but when they do it is for the express purpose of getting re-elected to posts that remind one of the lords of the manors of old. American elected officials are just better at mollifying the narod and through the press hoodwinking them into thinking that they enact laws that are in the best interest of the common good.

All that said, if there is going to be a World Wide Leader not named ESPN, and there has to be given human nature, John Lennon’s idealistic drivel notwithstanding, who would you rather have in that position than the United States of America?

The Soviets certainly weren’t up to the task, the Chinese might just bump America from the throne, but do we really want that, given China’s atrocious record in dealing with dissent?

For all of her past and present flaws, America has been a force for stability in this fallen world. Yes, she has acted in self-interest, but more often than not her self-preserving actions have been for the betterment of the world, her rescue of Western Europe during World War II might have been her finest moment. For all of Western Europe’s anti-Americanism, I wonder if they stop to think that a Nazi regime would be more favorable?

Ironically enough, many confuse the current American system to that of the Nazis. Such historical shortsightedness merits little or no commentary.

America has a form of government (totalitarian democracy), which is far from perfect, seems to be the best practical form of government under our fallen circumstances.

The inadequacies of the system just go to show how fallen this world really is.

Totalitarian Democracy

I became fascinated by the small island nation of Iceland in large part to Tom Clancy’s Red Storm Rising. A tome which probably doesn’t resonate with people who didn’t live during the Cold War, but which is a captivating and thrilling read.

I hope to visit the country at some point in my life, at least to see how they do Mexican food there…


Tabasco’s, a Mexican restaurant in Reykjavik (Photo Credit: Funofthefair)

One of Clancy’s subplots focuses on Iceland, it’s takeover by a Soviet Air Guards division and inevitable (Clancy is American after all) liberation by NATO forces led by U.S. Marines aided by a scrawny Air Force weatherman and his merry band.

So naturally, when I ran across the following article, Is Iceland a Totalitarian State?, I decided to check it out,

  1. Because it’s about Iceland
  2. Totalitarian __________ and Iceland seem incongruous

Needless to say, the article was eye-opening for it’s description of how a seemingly free, liberal even and democratic society can be anything but. And also for its relevancy to the way America is governed.

An excerpt,

Totalitarianism is a political system in which the state recognizes no limits to its authority and strives to regulate every aspect of public and private life. J.L. Talmon used the term “totalitarian democracy” to refer to a system of government in which lawfully elected representatives maintain the integrity of a nation state whose citizens, while granted the right to vote, have little or no participation in the decision-making process of the government.

It has a certain ring of familiarity to it, no?

Government isn’t the Answer

I’m currently listening to Mark Driscoll’s sermon series on the enigmatic book of Ecclesiastes, a book which he claims is his favorite in the Bible. The book is brutally honest and shamelessly realistic.

Before the following post is seen as a screed against the “Change” movement that so defined the last Presidential election, let the record show that Driscoll preached this series back in 2003 when Dubya was allegedly telling Halliburton to back the Brinks truck (below) up to the White House loading dock.

Brinks

[Photo credit:http://www.flickr.com/photos/fadedgenes/1387623486/%5D

Let the record also show that I’m not one of these folks who hole themselves up in some log cabin in Big Sky country hoarding an untold amount of automatic rifles and an even more untold amount of boxes of 7.62mm rounds. All the while waiting for U.N. paratroopers to descend from the spacious skies unto the amber waves of grain of these United States.

The relevant text is Ecclesiastes 5:8-9.

Here’s Driscoll’s take on it,

If you’re looking for change in the world, if you’re looking at reformation, if you’re looking at things getting better don’t put all your hope in goverment.

Vote, get involved, be active yes, but until God changes human hearts, all you’re going to be doing is rotating sinners through seats of authority, power and influence.

The change doesn’t come until people meet God so don’t be surprised when crooked people do crooked things.

Will Rogers on the Income Tax

Today, April 15th, many Americans will rush to the nearest post office to drop of their completed tax returns, which detail just how much is owed to Uncle Sam. That at some of these government offices they will be greeted by a cadre of local TV reporters along with their satellite vans is almost a given.

I say owed because typically those who receive a refund have long ago filed and hopefully received their money, funny how that works.

Thought it would be fitting to post a relevant quote from Oklahoma’s favorite son Will Rogers:

The income tax has made more liars out of the American people than golf has.

So AT&T allegedly gave the Feds a Peek…

And perhaps that should be a cause for concern for some of us who live in this here land of the free and home of the brave, and perhaps some among us whose ISP is AT&T.

Check out this story from the Seattle Times, “AT&T gave feds access to all Web, phone traffic, ex-tech says”.

The law which was allegedly violated by AT&T is actually listed in the above story,

The 1986 Stored Communications Act forbids telephone companies and computer-service providers from giving the government records showing who customers had dialed or e-mailed without a warrant or court order. Because the law allows consumers to recover a minimum of $1,000 for each violation, AT&T and a handful of other companies could be on the hook for billions of dollars in civil liability, some experts in telecommunications law have said.
Seattle Times archives

If what the ex-AT&T tech in the story says is true, then yeah his former company might have broken the law.

Of course this brings up certain questions: If you have nothing to hide then what’s the big deal if NSA takes a look at your surfing habits? The Apostle’s words come to mind,

For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; –Romans 13:3

What is the big deal when such procedures may help the government nab a few folks who are in the business of killing Americans? (Of course you can believe that these folks don’t exist)

I know, I know this land is a land of laws and all that, but wouldn’t you folks who cling to this like it’s the end all be all, would your fears be smoothed over if the Feds revealed the surfing habits of some pastors so then you can revel in Christian hypocrisy?