Confessions of a Condor

The Abyss

Judge Mark Plawecki
Chief Judge, 20th District Court

“When there’s a Republican president
I’m a Democrat. When there’s a Democratic
 president I’m out of step.”
— Former U.S. Senator
Thomas Pryor Gore (D-OK)

Henry Adams, our greatest 19th century historian, lived across the street from the White House where grandfather John Quincy had once resided. At a dinner party during World War I, an assistant secretary of the Navy was extolling the virtues of then-President Woodrow Wilson. “Young man,” exclaimed Adams, pointing out the window, “it doesn’t make the slightest difference who lives in that house. History goes on with or without the president.” And so was admonished assistant secretary Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

 FDR notwithstanding, history has generally proved Adams right. Take the 2012 election. Please. Its vapid uselessness, useless because this year’s major two party candidates have not addressed the issues of vital importance to the nation and world, is currently on full display on the U.S. East Coast. Political operatives-charlatans who have raised and spent hundreds of millions of dollars with the singular purpose of dulling the eyes and ears of the American electorate-may now pause and regroup as the latest of this year’s climate change-induced events immobilizes a quarter of the country.

 Anthropogenic global warming is real. The fact that the criminally negligent corporate media (by that I mean all of it) has refused until now to mention the terrifying fact of our era in the same breath as “once in a lifetime” weather related events that now occur as frequently as Hallmark holidays gives hope, one would think, to starving lawyers in need of pursuing defendants with deep pockets. Bought and paid for by the fossil fuel industry, these elite purveyors of information, to keep the public somnolent, provided one-tenth as many climate change stories in 2011 as in 2007, despite the mounting verifying information of the phenomena.

 Sandy, the most aptly named hurricane ever, has wreaked havoc, fueled by a five degree warmer than normal ocean temperature, with but a taste of what’s to come. Sandy is short for Cassandra, the Trojan prophetess in Greek mythology who could foretell the future, though no one believed her. Our modern Cassandras are the world’s scientists who have been warning of this warming for more than two decades; our myopic leaders have chosen to ignore them.

 Barack Obama first gave us a taste of his moral stature in his silent acquiescence of the Israeli massacre of more than 1,400 Palestinians in late 2008-early 2009. It was confirmed by his lunatic capitulation to MICMAC (the Military Industrial Congressional Media Academic Complex) in escalating the Afghanistan debacle, costing thousands of more lives and wasting billions of more dollars. His trifecta was achieved by December 2009, when at the Copenhagen Summit for climate change mitigation, perhaps our last real chance of tackling the issue, he conspired with the leader of fellow giant carbon emitter China to do nothing.

 It should be noted, in fairness, that Mitt Romney was fully supportive of Obama in all three areas, and now of the drones that have killed thousands of Muslims at the push of a land-borne U.S. pilot button. Polls taken inside Mitt’s head are inconclusive as to whether he genuinely believes in Obama’s barbarism, or merely is kowtowing to the most ignorant members of his party (in other words, his base), in order to have a chance at fulfilling his dream of becoming official spokesman for Multinational Corporations United. David Bromwich notes that “the party he (Romney) represents has ceased to be a collective rational agent for working on the problems of the
modern world.”

 In three “debates,” no mention of Obama’s shredding of the Constitution, expanding the U.S. Empire to the precipice of bankruptcy, or climate change, was ever made. This was by design. The Commission on Presidential Debates, formed in 1987 by the Democratic and Republican parties to maintain control over the questions and exclude third parties, runs these charades. The League of Women Voters immediately withdrew, after being given a list of demands by the two parties because giving in to it, in the League’s words, “would perpetrate a fraud on the American voter.”

 The fraud has blossomed nicely for the two parties. The Commission, wholly corporate owned, has seven sponsors, led by Anheuser- Busch, so This Bud’s for You prudently covers both the World Series and Presidential Showdowns. It insists that for a third candidate to qualify he or she must have 15% of popular support in five national polls, while of course the Elite Media makes sure, by virtually never mentioning alternative candidates, that this cannot occur. It’s the perfect Catch-22.
 Bromwich and 12 other liberal stalwarts, including the venerable Garry Wills, gave their views on the election in the current New York Review of Books. None, seeing Obama’s lack of accomplishments in four years, could give an actual reason why the incumbent should be retained- other than that the challenger would be worse. Probably so. But some choice voters are left with in our now completely dysfunctional political system. How long history will go on, Henry Adams didn’t say.


 Mark J. Plawecki is a District Court judge in Dearborn Heights. Confessions of a Condor continues to profess a fondness for the now almost obsolete Constitution.