The country I live in today uses the same civic, patriotic, and historical language to describe itself, the same symbols and iconography, the same national myths, but only the shell remains. The America we celebrate is an illusion. America, the country of my birth, the country that formed and shaped me, the country of my father, my father’s father, and his father’s father, stretching back to the generations of my family that were here for the country’s founding, is so diminished as to be unrecognizable. I do not know if this America will return, even as I pray and work and strive for its return.
==Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle (Chris Hedges)
H. L. Mencken famously said that “every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under.” By now, however, I am no longer ashamed, because I do not identify with the government under which I live. Rather, I view it as a criminal organization that without provocation has chosen to make war on my just rights—not only mine, of course, but everyone’s.
So we Americans may talk or even yell as much as we like—it’s a free country, ain’t it?—but our rulers’ ears are deaf to our cries. Besides, they have more important things to do, for themselves.
====Neither Liberty nor Safety: Fear, Ideology, and the Growth of Government (Robert Higgs)
One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin. He lay on his armour-like back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see his brown belly, slightly domed and divided by arches into stiff sections. The bedding was hardly able to cover it and seemed ready to slide off any moment. His many legs, pitifully thin compared with the size of the rest of him, waved about helplessly as he looked.
==Franz Kafka, Metamorphosis
It is fitting that a government that is rapidly losing all legitimacy has as its leader a clown of a President. Fitting, but sad–for we seem to be dying not in waning glory and pride, but encased within a joke, a caricature of our decay with a buffoon for a leader. However, for a large portion of the truly ignorant sleepwalking herd Obama is the soul food of their youth, the ever present Bozo the Clown. Happy we want to be and happy we will be for the clown of Washington will assure us of this delusion.
President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address will be followed by interviews with three YouTube “stars.” Obama has scheduled sit-down, in-person interviews with the YouTube personalities two days after his annual speech. The political backlash over the decision to do soft interviews with a teen fashionista, a woman who wears green lipstick, and young video blogger was both swift and severe.
Obama will be interviewed after the State of the Union address by Bethany Mota, GloZell, and Hank Green. The live interviews will be shows via YouTube on January 22, according to a White House press release. President Obama will reportedly be discussing issues the YouTube stars “care most about” during the live chat session. The Obama YouTube interviews will be shown via the White House’s YouTube channel.
Bethany Mota, GloZell, and Hank Green will also reportedly be sharing with President Obama the questions and concerns raised by their respective fans. Although the YouTube personalities selected by President Obama do not have to pose questions generated from the Twitter hashtag #YouTubeAsksObama, the general public has been urged to submit tweets using the tag.
Bethany Mota’s YouTube channel describes the teenager who uses a heart with a peace symbol in her photo header, this way: “Hey, I’m Bethany! (You can call me Beth) and I’m a teenage girl from California. I make videos about hair, makeup, fashion, DIY projects, and basically anything that I love. I hope that my channel can put a smile on your face and give you some cool ideas. So join in and be a part of the family!”