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Gary Corseri: America Is the Most Corrupt Nation. ABCs of the US Empire: Asininity, Belligerence, Cupidity

Gary Corseri

10 Signs That America Is the Most Corrupt Nation

15 February 2016, TRANSCEND Media Service


A poem based o­n an article by Juan Cole:



1. Wealth Disparities


Trickle down economics

Is an excuse

For the rich to piss o­n the poor.

So, look up, ye wretched of the Earth!

Were happy to piss o­n your faces

While you cry out for more!


2. Human Carbon Emissions


I deny with a straight face

That Ive anything to do

With the CO2 I haphazardly spew

From my Lotus, or my factory

Bringing to you

The latest baubles Ive convinced you

You cant live without.


3. Endless Political Campaigns


Ridiculous to think they last a year or two

When, in fact, theyve been going o­n

Since Washington chopped down the cherry tree

In quasi-actuality,

Then dressed in military garb

Impressing all the delegates

He was best-suited to make us free.


4. Lobbyists, Bankers, Bribes


Excuse me for being

Apolitically correct,

But wasnt that the very thing

The self-radicalized, reforming Jew

Got so upset about when he threw

all those money-changers out

Of the Temple?


5. Not Prosecuting the Villains of the Meltdown


What else is new?

When Polk invaded Mexico

And our legislators cheered him o­n,

Did anyone besides Thoreau

Cry foul, lets end this now

Once and for all?


6. Bloated Military Budgets


Forget the nitpicking, if you please!

Its not easy to maintain

A thousand military bases around the world,

dedicated to the proposition

That were the exceptional people

And God loves us best!

Whats a couple of trillion bucks mislaid

Got to do with bad guys slayed?


7. Our Prison-Industrial Complex


3 Strikes and youre out

Works in baseball, why not crime?

Were a sporting people, and besides,

Better to pay the minimum-minimum-minimum wage

To polish belt buckles for the troops

Then deal with marchers in the streets

Squawking about fairness.


8. Domestic Spying


How else control a restive group

Of malcontents out-of-the-loop

Of what the country stands for?

When everyone fears everyone

Everyone will get a gun.

Fears the friend of governments

Seeking to steer malcontents

Against each other.


9. Insider Trading & Revolving Doors


If Im spying, why wouldnt I

Occasionally lapse,

Profit from some Great Collapse

I see coming down the gilded pike?

If prices of a stock should spike

and my foreknowledge tells me when

why shouldnt I collect a million,

put the kid through the Ivy League,

take my seat o­n the Corporate Board?


10. Asset Forfeiture


Why shouldnt our cops seize what they can?

Could anything be more American?

Forget your Citizens Rights complaints!

Theyre neither paid nor trained for being saints!






Gary Corseri has published his works in countless venues around the world, including TRANSCEND Media Service, Op Ed News, Counter Punch, Common Dreams, Dissident Voice, L.A. (and Hollywood) Progressive, Village Voice, and The New York Times. He has published two novels and two collections of poetry, edited Manifestations, a literary anthology, and his dramas have been produced o­n PBS-Atlanta and elsewhere. He has taught at US public schools and prisons and at US and Japanese universities. He has performed his work at the Carter Presidential Library. gary_corseri@comcast.net.



Gary Corseri:

ABCs of the US Empire

15 February 2016, TRANSCEND Media Service


A Is for Asininity


Thats a particular kind of stupidity.

All of us can be stupid at times. (Ever see that picture of Einstein with his tongue hanging out like an aardvarks, clowningone supposesfor the camera?)

Its in our genes to be stupid at times. Looking back o­n the Vietnam Warwhich ultimately took his own sons lifeSecretary of Defense McNamara attributed his own stupidity to the fog of war.


I would rather call it asininity.

Asininity is stupidity that is stubborn as a jackass; stupidity that insists o­n itself in spite of all contrary evidence.


The US has been guilty of asininity for a couple of centuries now. We insist o­n telling ourselves and the world that we are a democracy, that We the People are running the show. (Its in our sacred documentour Constitution, consulted about as often as Donald Trump consults his Bible. We pick out phrases like life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness the way Mr. Trump picks out a phrase from 2 Cornthians, and we insist that weve gleaned the wholeall 1291 pages of my Gideon Bible, with all its contradictions, amassed over centuries by men (and probably some women who snuck into the writers den) of varying capabilities with often divergent viewpoints.


But, our leaders assure us that they know Truthwith all the asinine surety of George W. Bush standing o­n a pile of rubble after 9/11, proclaiming that we know who did this, and Big Sheriff is coming after them!


(But how could that fool know anything, when all that rubble and forensic evidence was about to be shipped to China for burial (talk about outsourcing!).

With murderous fools like Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Madeleine Allbright we went after our former ally, Saddam Hussein, and destroyed what was probably the most progressive country in the Middle Eastcertainly, in terms of the way women lived and worked there, far better than Saudi Arabia!


A few years down the bombed-out road, and were destroying Libyaprobably the most progressive nation in Africano real threat to us except that Quadaffi wants to institute a new kind of currency throughout Africa, pay for goods with gold, not dollars, and besides that, he has rather outlandish tastes in mens clothing! Caught between rehearsed speeches during a TV interview, informed that the former leader has just been sodomized with a sword, asinine Hillary Clinton chortles, We came, we saw, he died.


B Is for Belligerence


For most of my school yearsfrom 1st grade through Grad School, I heard that the US was a peaceful nation whose God-fearing citizens o­nly fought when attacked.


Somehow, Jeffersons epithet of savages for the Original Peoples of this land sailed over my highschool boys head. There it is in our Declaration of Independence, a few paragraphs after life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It seems befuddled King George had supported the savages when the Colonists tried to expand into their land!

In fact, our Revolution had much to do with our not-so-peaceful pilgrims and the newcomers wanting to migrate beyond our borders.


Our little cities had become fairly crowded with newcomers/immigrants. Between the end of our French and Indian War and the beginning of our Revolution, a scant 13 years or so, the population of the colonies pretty much doubled. There has never been so great a period of growth in North American history! This was pre-Industrial Revolution, of course, so there wasnt much for all these farmhand-migrants to do except look Westward lustfully to the lands of the undeserving red-skin savages. The migrants couldnt subsist o­n already subsisting farms, increasingly crowded with post-war kids and babies. (Our first baby boomers!) o­ne way the Revolutionists convinced the excess feeders (as asinine Kissinger might have it) to enlist was to promise new land in the West. The fact that this new land was already occupied by old tribes really did not matter.


Four-score and seven years later, were still lusting Westwardespecially after the discovery of gold in California and our annexation of Texas from recently independent Mexico! Our Civil War is mostly fought over who would control the new territories gained from Mexicoabout 1/2 of their country becoming about 1/3 of our continental land mass! Who would master our expansionism? Would it be the slave-holding plantation barons of the South or the Corporate barons of the Industrialized North?


During the Vietnam War, I heard news anchor David Brinkley wonder that we seemed to have a major war every 20 years. It has actually been much more often than that, and if o­ne considers our racist wars o­n non-whites, our drug wars, Nixons War o­n Cancer, etc. our hotheads have been at war perennially.


C Is for Cupidity


Cupidity rhymes with stupidity, but like Asininity, its speciala special kind of greed!

Youll find the word Cupid therethe Roman god of Love!


But, this is not soul-love, or hearts-and-flowers-Valentine love.

This is love of things; materialism; love of lucrebillions and billions of dollars.

Donald Trump epitomizes such love, and he has convinced a fair number of the asinine among us (which is a pretty fair number anyway) that more and more will make us great again.

It doesnt matter that we are poisoning our o­nce pristine skies and well all soon be drinking Flint water!


C is also for Corporatismthat system of government that replaced our shaky Republic about 200 years ago when our less-than-Supreme Court declared that corporations were persons. (Okay, they didnt say that outright.Crimes, especially corporate and government, crimes are seldom committed in an outright manner. The culprits and plotters hate conspiracy theories, but love to conspire! They fashion laws and amendments that are open to interpretation. You have a Republic, wily Ben Franklin told the charwomanif you can keep it.


C is also for all-embrace Culture and ours is sinking rapidly.


Last weekend, I watched Saturday Night Live because I heard Bernie Sanders might appear. I like Sanders almost as much as I liked Rand PaulPaul for his anti-war/fiscal responsibility stance and Sanders for his egalitarianism. (I wish he had called it that from the beginning!) At this point in this belligerent nations history, it is probably too much to expect a candidate to be both anti-war and a democratic Socialist. (Emphasizing is our L.S.)


I turned the TV off soon after Larry Davids opening monologue. David said that he used to be a poor schmuck, but now he was a rich prick. It seemed he liked that vocabulary because he kept repeating himself like a bad can of beans.

No subtlety, no wit, no greater connections. (Oh George Carlin of the Big Electronso sorely missed!)


I thought: Whatever happened to Ozzie and Harriet, or The Waltons or even Saturday Night Live of the days of Gilda Radner or John Belushi? I thought of the time decades ago, when I was in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco and a park-ranger was talking about the bison and some pre-teen kids were climbing trees dangerously and the adults were chattering among themselves until the ranger called loudly: Whos watching the kids? And attention was paid!

What about the kids? Surely there are prepubescent and young kids gorging o­n this TV junk-food and concluding: anything goes now; you can say anythingits o­n TV and the adults are saying it!


You can say that we can now torture our enemies in ISnever mind due process, of coursejust as long as you really-really suspect them!


You can be Bill Clinton who accoutered his young and foolish aide with Presidential knee-pads in the Oval Office, and now declares that voters who shun his wife must be sexist!

You can be a repetitive Rubio-bot or an earnest Bridgegate critic like Christie because nobodys checking the facts, history is an agreed-upon myth (as Napoleon had it), and truth and beauty (which Keats equated) are disappearing in our chem-trailed skies.


Lector, si monumentum requiris, circumspice! Reader, if you seek our monumentslook around!








Gary Steven Corseri.BIO


I grew up in Brooklyn and Queens in New York City.(Roots: Sicilian-Catholic and Ukrainian-Jewish, raised in a secular home!).My family moved to Miami Beach when I was 16; I started at the U. of Florida at 17.I've lived in Atlanta, Georgia; Boston; Gainesville, Florida; San Francisco; Washington, D.C.; Sydney, Australia; Tokyo and Sapporo, Japan.Ive traveled in 33 countries and 40 US states.


I started writing when I was 8 years old.I've performed my work at the Carter Presidential Library and Museum in Atlanta, and at scores of universities and coffee houses and pubs/taverns/bars around the world.My dramas have been performed at universities and public schools in the US; a movie version of the libretto I wrote for the opera, "Reverend Everyman," was broadcast over PBS-Atlanta.I have written articles, fiction, non-fiction, dramas and poetry, with such work appearing at "The New York Times," "Village Voice," "Global Research," Counterpunch.org," The Japan Times, Outlook India, and hundreds of periodicals and websites around the world.


I hold a B.A. cum laude (Phi Beta Kappa) from the University of Florida; I attended Harvard o­n a scholarship, have an M.A.T. degree from there; I attended Florida State University o­n a fellowship, and hold a Ph.D. in Literature and Creative Writing from there. I have taught in US public schools and prisons and have been a professor in US and Japanese universities.I have been a freelance editor for decades.


My poems, fiction and articles have been anthologized.I have published two novels: A Fine Excess: An Australian Odyssey and, Holy Grail, Holy Grail: Quest East, Quest West.My first collection of poems, Random Descent, was published by Anhinga Press.



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