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Modern George and Martha
|by Gaurang Bhatt, MD|
Good old George, when asked who chopped down the cherry tree replied, 'I cannot tell a lie'. Martha on the other hand, while never sweating in the kitchen to bake cakes, cookies or brownies, at least stuck to one good habit of not telling lies. How the times have changed and how we miss the old days! Our current fondling fathers and exploiting mothers have serious vocabulary and semantic problems and find it difficult to define the meaning of 'is' and 'sex'. This is because Bill can't read and is lethally allergic to truth.
From Chappaquidick, Checkers to Watergate, truth and justice are the casualties, while convicted felons like Rostenkowski and Trafficante enjoy munificent pensions. These dregs of humanity are hired as consultants and shamelessly haunt our media. Some write bestsellers and receive the undying idiotic adulation of a moronic public. No wonder MarkTwain is said to have remarked that the good thing about America is the lack of a native criminal class, with the single exception of the Congress. His statement was incomplete. He should have included the executive and judiciary branches as well.
A habitual shoplifter or pickpocket in California can get life imprisonment but Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, UBS, NASD, Merrill Lynch etc can plead 'nolo contendre' and without admitting guilt escape by paying billions of dollars in fines. They don't mind it as it is only a small portion of their loot and they get to keep the rest. A present Martha gets away with five months in prison and five months in a mansion for lying and another habitual liar, the modern George gets four to eight years confinement in the White House and Camp David with unbelievable perks. Clearly, his insider sale of Harken Energy stock after knowing that the company would report disastrous financial results is a worse travesty of ethics than Martha's. If your father is the President and a family friend the SEC chairman, you needn't worry. It is not what you know and what you do that matters, but whom you know and what they can do for you is what matters. You can lie about how you evaded going to Vietnam, got into the Texas Air National Guard, Yale or Harvard despite having the IQ and test results of a pickled vegetable, and still aspire to be the Chief Executive of a state or the nation. Is it a great country or what? You can continue lying about the reasons for the illegal and immoral wars you wage, the collateral damage of innocent civilian adults and children, the tax cuts for the rich, the decimation of our environment and label corrupt crony capitalism as compassionate conservatism and the de-cerebrate flock will chant in unison, 'Hallelujah! I believe, Ah believe!' Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.
Another George holding a diplomatic passport and on an official visit has to tolerate the humiliation of being strip searched twice. Why he didn't refuse and return to India or create a ruckus, I cannot comprehend. When Hussein Haqqani, a Pakistani Journalist and ex-diplomat was handcuffed and locked up for not registering he called the State Department and Brookings Institute and was released and apologized to. No wonder the writer and journalist Fonseca in her book about the gypsies, our fellow Indian compatriots of a millennium ago, quotes a gypsy leader, 'Bury me standing, for I have lived my life on my knees'. Compare that with the Anglo-Saxon adage 'It is better to die on one's feet than to live on one's knees'. Indians through much of history have lived on their knees unlike their similarly named natives of America who chose decimation to slavery.
'Khud diwaane ne apni janzir banai hai,
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