Friday, June 28, 2013

Media Hails People's Leaker

 According to a government leak being widely reported in the Beltway media, a whistleblower from the American public has just leaked to the US government the common people's plan to disrupt the Surveillance State by wildly befriending vast networks of random people at home and abroad in a bid to overload the NSA algorithm designed to tease patterns of evil out of mind-boggling amounts of private personal data.

According to reports, the hope was also that one or more supercomputers in Utah might even explode.

The plot is also said to have included the encouraging of Americans with Arab and even Indian surnames to repeatedly speed-dial and otherwise establish a preponderance of damning connections with Senator Dianne Feinstein and other members of the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

Unconfirmed reports suggest that this effort to flood the system with billions upon billions of unexpected data points included the tasking of all regular Americans with no more than five degrees of separation from an American with an Arab or even an Indian surname with the mission of using their social media networks to ensnare in a web of suspicion any and all beltway pundits so personally innocent as to invite Big Brother into every American home and to exhort him to destroy anyone who blows the whistle on him or reports favorably on the blowing of the whistle on him.

Said the unnamed leaker and immediate Beltway media darling from an undisclosed and unspeculated on location, "I couldn't in good conscience allow my fellow regular Americans to waste our tax dollars by leaving so many government-Americans pissing in a whirlwind of misinformation.

"And besides, the new Surveillance State is now one of the nation's most populous. How democratic is it for us in the other 50 to decide all by ourselves that all those in the 51st should go on a wilder, even more costly goose chase than they're already on? These people pay taxes too."

For its part the Establishment Media is taking time out from directly vilifying whistleblower Andrew Snowden to hail the so-called People's Leaker as an American hero.

Said David Gregory, Establishment Media personality and moderator of NBC's Meet the Press, "Thanks to the People's Leaker we now know the full scope of the damage whistleblower Edward Snowden and his putative criminal accomplice Glenn Greenwald are trying to do to the country by subverting the Surveillance State.

"Had the Surveillance State not produced an Edward Snowden to blow the whistle on the Surveillance State there's no way the American people produce a People's Leaker to let us know that now more than ever we need a Surveillance State to foil all the homegrown plotters determined to blow up our government's supercomputers."

Said Chuck Todd, Establishment Media personality and chief White House correspondent, "What the courage of this People's Leaker means for the country is that we can now get to work on engineering a new, more powerful algorithm that filters out any and all phony data points that get pumped into the system by regular Americans.

"And if I might be permitted a little pushing of the journalist's envelope here, the government might even think about inserting into the Pledge of Allegiance a clause that says something like 'I will never under any circumstance whatsoever engage in misleading activities or behavior or make any false or misleading statements while under government surveillance.'

"I have to think the large-scale setting of disloyalty-minded Americans up for perjury charges does nothing but make life easier for all those charged with watching America."

In related news, completely lost in the media circus that has erupted in the aftermath of Booz Allen agent Edward Snowden's blowing the whistle on unconstitutional government surveillance is the news that Booz Allen agent Ramona Diaz has blown the whistle on unconstitutional government surveillance.

Said Ms. Diaz, "I just couldn't sit by and watch America remain oblivious to all the unconstitutional government surveillance that's been concealed by the media circus that erupted when my colleague Edward blew the whistle on all the unconstitutional government surveillance."

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Luntz Tosses Obama Lifeline

In breaking Surveillance State news, the Obama administration has enlisted the services of the GOP’s boyish Orwellian supergenius Frank Luntz in its so far flailing efforts to still the qualms of an American public creeped out by the unbelievable sweep of the government’s eavesdropping.

Mr. Luntz, or Frank as he prefers to be framed, is framing this helping hand he’s giving a Democratic administration as nothing more than the humanitarian tossing of a life ring around the overboard skipper of the American ship of state.

Through an interpreter, Frank told Shining City Gazette in so many Orwellian words that frankly it’s been very hard for him to not feel sorry for the incompetent weasel wordsmiths on the left.

Breaking at one point into plain English, he said, “’Modest Encroachments on Privacy’? Wow. Gosh. What could possibly be the problem with making a populace feeling awkward about being watched think of the word ‘modest’? ‘Encroachments’? Oh yeah. That’s so much better than ‘invasions’ or ‘infringements’ or ‘treading’ or ‘trespassing’.

“Hey I know. Why not have the president defuse the problem everybody has with not being able to trust the president or Congress or the courts ‘to abide by the Constitution with due process and rule of law’ by giving a speech wherein he reminds everybody about the problem of not trusting the president or Congress or the courts ‘to abide by the Constitution with due process and rule of law’?

“And George Orwell probably isn’t rolling over in the aisle in his grave at all over the acronymic downside of the Scrupulous National Ounce of Prevention System these hopeless amateurs I’m sure were ready to unveil but only because they didn’t think of the Protect Everybody’s Environment Program.

“It wouldn’t be quite so sad if spinning this Surveillance State weren’t such child’s play. How hard is it really to figure out that the best way to take the dark and creepy edge off your dirty little underground domestic spy program is maybe not to keep evoking a nest of beady-eyed disaster-prone moles with a word like ‘shaft’ written all over their grime-stained faces by referring to your spooks as ‘data miners’?

“Let there be light, for god sake. The dawn’s early light. Oh say can you see the terrorists by the sea to shining sea of torchlight radiating from the cell phone and computer and iPad screen of each and every self-respecting American lightening the load of our star-spangled shining city’s brave men and women in uniform by rising to the EAST, as in the Enlightened Americans Sharing Transparency project?

“And if simply adjusting the brightness setting on the controlling narrative proves too complicated for these brightness-challenged dimwits, I’m hoping I can at least talk them into going with the simple but effective option of calling the problematic policy in question the exact opposite of what it is—calling the spade of their heartless unconstitutional data stripmining a heart in other words, and then selling the big lie with a FACT, as in the Fourth Amendment Caretaking Team that day and night is ferociously protecting your privacy like nobody’s business.

“And then for god sake resisting the temptation to get carried away and call Russia to mind by swapping the Big Brother metaphor out for a Mother Bear.”

In other Surveillance State news, pundits Thomas Friedman, David Brooks, and Bill Keller are now bitterly complaining about the “insidious” Big Brother who has thanked them for all their support by tricking them into revealing their unbelievable stupidity by launching into such trainwrecks of thought as the argument that if we don’t keep giving away more and more of our civil liberties something might happen that makes us give away more of our civil liberties, or that violating workplace etiquette by blowing the whistle on those violating the US Constitution is far worse than violating the US Constitution, or that the government’s aggressively never letting the American people see the president and Congress and the courts check and balance each other with respect to all the public and private unconstitutional domestic spying we know about only because of whistleblowers is no reason to not trust a government that has so many checks and balances constitutionally built into it.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Operation Possum Is Dead

The nation’s public interest groups were rocked to their foundations today by reports that in the trove of classified information leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden was found the revelation that in early 2003 a government metadata analyst successfully connected the millions and millions of dots on the American public’s decades-long scheme to lure the ruling class into so thorough a false sense of security that they would someday carelessly lay the groundwork for their own long overdue undoing.

Said Chuck Webster, media relations volunteer for a collective of grassroots organizations tasked with keeping up the subterfuge that the American people were not strategically rolling over for the oligarchs, “Oh my god. I can’t believe Operation Possum is really dead. Thirty years of just lifelessly lying there biting the dust down the drain.

“The sad part is we really thought we were getting somewhere. I mean look at how half-heartedly they’ve been going through the motions of maintaining the paper-thin democratic fa├žade they’re building their sprawling plutocracy behind.

“Look at all the blatant crimes they’ve been piling up and the rhetorical safe houses of cards the serial felons have taken up residence in.

“Look at all the nonstop barrages of haymakers they’ve been throwing at us round after round after round while we’ve been patiently waiting for the rope-a-dope to pay off.

“And now it’s not ever going to pay off. Taking all those head and body shots and all the blows below the belt and the rabbit and kidney punches and the eye gouges and head butts has been for nothing.”

Said Operation Possum’s chief architect Debbie Martin, “In hindsight, we may have committed a tactical error by giving the ruling class a blank check when it comes to surveilling us. But who could have known that we’ve been so successful at convincing the plutocrats of our chickenhearted impotence that they would abuse the blank check we gave them so recklessly as to find out that we gave them the blank check by way of teasing a catastrophic hubris out of them?

“In many ways, though, I have to say, we have nothing to hang our heads about. Look how successful we were at truly convincing the enemy that we’re spineless, that they had so beaten the courage out of us that they did not need to keep their guards up.

“We can also be proud of how disciplined we the American people have been in sticking to the plan of allowing the ruling class to keep walking all over us until they took the right wrong step.”

Said Peter “Pete” Peterson, billionaire former US Secretary of Commerce and driving force behind the American austerity movement, “You just have to feel sorry for the masses sometimes. I almost wish I could take each and every one of them aside and give them a few bucks to make up for them losing to us again.

“Of course you also really have to laugh at these people. No populace could possibly be as dumb and gutless as they’ve been making themselves out to be. I mean did they really think we didn’t know something was up when they kept letting us sell them such bills of goods as the ridiculous idea that they have to give up their freedoms to protect their freedoms and that war and corporate criminals are not above the law and that money trickles down and that corporate America can regulate itself and that perpetual war is not about profits and that Obama is not a corporate con man?

“If I didn’t already know how dumb the American people are I’d suspect that the underlining of their unthreatening dumbness by dumbly allowing the ruling class the unchecked surveillance capabilities to find out about their dumb plan to give us enough rope to overconfidently hang ourselves was just more rope for us to hang ourselves with.

“On the other hand, it would be just like these rope-a-dopes to keep feeding us rope when we’ve already got so much of it we’d have to hang ourselves from the moon if not Mars for our feet not to reach the ground.”

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

700 Dwarves Blow Whistles

A band of NSA and Booz Allen data miners calling themselves the 700 Dwarves have reportedly just leaked the highly classified intelligence that the government has just launched a counterintelligence offensive called Operation Snowden White in response to the highly classified intelligence that a band of NSA and Booz Allen data miners calling themselves the 700 Dwarves have launched an offensive to, in their words, “undermine” the government’s all out efforts to undermine the heroic act of whistleblowing by data miner Edward Snowden.

Said White House spokesman Jay Carney, “Now that everything’s criminally out in the open it’s safe to announce publicly that this administration sure hopes these treasonous little data miners took a canary along with them when they decided to go underground because as they obviously already know we’re going to work tirelessly to gas them out of this big dark hole they’re digging for themselves.

“And I don’t think it’s saying too much to say that these 700 little people insensitively calling themselves dwarves represent an infinitesimal fraction of the corps of good people mining America’s private information. What we’ve got here is a classic example of a one bad apple situation.”

Ironically using the thousands of top secret Twitter accounts now known to trace back to the so-called Whistleblowback wing of the Department of Homeland Security’s Division of Citizen Vilification, a dwarf with the code name Mouthy has been repeatedly tweeting “Hi Ho Hi Ho, motherf***er.”

In a series of unprintable tweets, Mouthy has also patched together a rambling “ho” laced rap song featuring the Evil Queen Obama and various unsavory permutations of the word ‘blow’ and also including a presumably fictitious dwarf named Donkey.

In a similar vein, a data miner code named Punsy has been filling the Twittersphere with tweets like “Dwarves going to keep whistleblowing your mind” and “Our boy Snow’s never whistleblowing over.”

For his or her part, a dwarf going by the name of Nosy has reportedly just shared with the Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald a phone conversation he/she personally intercepted between director of US National Intelligence James Clapper and Senator Dianne Feinstein, Chair of the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

In this long, highly jocular private phone conversation periodically broken up by stretches of incapacitating laughter, Mr. Clapper is said to have feigned great concern about how he was going to keep his pants up with all this “lying of his ass off” about not having lied his ass off to Congress about whose private information the government is collecting and on what scale.

Senator Feinstein, after recovering from a jag of laughter, is said to have asked Mr. Clapper why he would want to keep a pair of pants on that were on fire.

In a quip made difficult to hear by the chortling on both ends of the line, Mr. Clapper is said to have asked Senator Feinstein to please hold while he stopped, dropped and rolled in the aisle while risibly pissing himself.

Toward the end of the conversation Senator Feinstein can reportedly be heard begging Mr. Clapper to stop as he goes on a roll about what a good thing it is that there’s no law against Congress lying about not being lied to by the people they have oversight over.

“You’re killing me, Jim,” the senator can be heard repeating as Mr. Clapper then begins hoping out loud that leaker Edward Snowden doesn’t take a page from his playbook and start claiming with a straight face that the triple negative in the oath he took to not unveil unconstitutionality meant he was supposed to unveil unconstitutionality.”

Unconfirmed reports are also coming in that Nosy has intercepted a Father’s Day bedtime exchange in the White House in which President Obama assures a very disappointed Sasha that he had his fingers crossed when he told America the obvious lie that he welcomes a conversation about the Orwellian Surveillance State he’s creating.

In more bad news for the president, a surveillance camera also reportedly captured the fingers crossed behind his back when he told his youngest daughter that he had his fingers crossed when he lied to the country.

Said Mr. Greenwald from the Guardian, “These geniuses in charge of Intelligence aren’t even intelligent enough to not get themselves tangled up in their own dragnet.

“Right now the only thing protecting the country is the lucky fact that any bunch of hopeless idiots too dumb to see the problem with creating an Orwellian Surveillance State is too dumb to create an Orwellian Surveillance State that doesn’t go the way of the poor nation the Orwellian Surveillance State is so stupidly supposed to be protecting.”

Friday, June 14, 2013

Patriot Acters Raise Stink

The private public relations firm recently hired by Booz Allen Hamilton on behalf of the sequester-strapped public public relations wing of the National Security Agency is now pleading with anti-whistleblower activists across the country to stop flooding the Surveillance State with complaints about all the fallout from the recent leak revealing the unbelievable scope of the Surveillance State.

Said Peter Blalock from the home office of The Corkers Group International, the self-styled worldwide leader in genie bottling, “We’re asking all members of the rapidly growing 527 group known as the Patriot Acters to please go back to doing just their normal amount of complaining on the Internet and on their cell and smart phones and in their face-to-face conversations and in their speeches about the traitors among us.

“For the good of America, the NSA is asking that everybody return to thinking of the vast repository where the Surveillance State’s gathered data goes as a big black box or a black hole as opposed to a bottomless, always-open complaint box.

“It only makes America less safe when Patriot Acters swamp the NSA and all its corporate partners and individual contractors with floods of input, no matter how helpful any individual instance of animated feedback might be by itself.

“The system, in other words, is not really equipped to handle such an explosion of patriot action at this time. There’s actually not an unlimited number of barely high school educated Americans looking for multiple six-figure salaries for moving to Hawaii and gathering data on the private communications of their fellow Americans, and the Obama administration is not prepared to start shipping these highly sensitive surveillance jobs overseas.”

Said Patriot Acter Brenda Udall, “We get that the Surveillance State is undermanned. I mean, duh. It obviously doesn’t even have enough data miners to surveil the data miners. But we think a thorough stress test is exactly what the doctor ordered now that this whistleblower has blown the lid off the holes in the system.

“And I’m going to make this next point nice and slowly so whoever at the NSA or one of its affiliates is listening in can be sure to make a full and complete note of it: we’re not likely anytime soon to stop putting in our two cents worth about what ought to be done to this leaker who’s let the terrorists know that all their communications are being monitored.

“And I just wish this genius leaker was still sitting in his palatial cubicle so he could hear me explain to him in nice, simple words that thanks to his little Constitution-saving crusade in his greatest role as a domino, the Surveillance State now has to take even more drastic measures to keep us safe until the next copy-cat domino comes along and blows the whistle to kick off the next wave of more drastic measures taken to keep us safe until along comes the next domino and so on until before you know it the Surveillance State is beginning to infringe on our constitutional rights.

“Hey all you data miners out there, do me a favor. Ask your buddy Ed this: Can you say ‘self-fulfilling prophesy?’

“Or better yet, tell him this for me: I guess the 3-page GED unit on American history didn’t quite cover the simple well-known fact that America’s always a better place when Americans don’t question America.”

In other breaking Surveillance State news, various sources are reporting that in the nation’s bedrooms, at its keyboards and workplaces, on its sidewalks, and in its bathroom and boudoir mirrors Americans are experiencing an epidemic of performance anxiety and other near-crippling issues in the wake of revelations that their every move is being watched.

Said one citizen who just laughed when Shining City Gazette offered her anonymity, “My poor husband can’t begin to get it up with Big Brother watching. You might as well call it Big Mother.

“And now I’ve got this great big immovable writer’s block between me and my social network. Have you seen how smart this whistleblower is? Do I really want a bunch of guys like him sitting around laughing behind my back at my grammar and spelling?

“And don’t get me started on my perfect record of fails when it comes to making myself presentable in the morning with a frat-house load of little twenty-something Big Brothers looking over my shoulder. I can hardly hear myself thinking I’m not good enough with all this stomping of my crow’s feet all over my self-esteem thanks to all the high definition surveillance cameras I now know are keeping a sharp eye on this fish bowl this Glenn Greenwald guy tossed us all into.

“If you’ve got his address in your reporter’s Rolodex I’d love to have it so I can send him my therapy bills.” 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Big Brother Takes Beating

In a mass show of contempt reportedly straining the media’s image fuzz-out capabilities, members of anti-government groups across the country are flipping a collective bird at the hidden cameras of the nation’s Surveillance State over new revelations that the government has been trying its hand at achieving all-seeing and all-knowing status.

Said anti-tax activist Vern Murphy at a so-called “Survaill (sic) This” rally in Wichita, Kansas, “I feel kinda dumb up here delivering this speech for the government’s benefit when they most likely knew everything I was going to write in it before I did, but here goes.

“Isn’t it just like Big Government to grow itself even bigger on our tax dollars so it can take and stake out every nook and cranny in the nation when the private sector could do the job twice as good all by itself at half the cost.

“Let me ask you something. When a government of and for and by the people starts using all the people’s money to spy on the people, doesn’t that mean the people are paying the tab on keeping tabs on themselves? Now how much sense does that make?

“I don’t know about you all, but it just busts my ass to think of myself paying the wages plus benefits and a pension of some Big Government affirmative action sponge out there sitting around secretly listening to me gripe about paying the wages plus benefits and a pension of some Big Government affirmative action sponge out there sitting around with nothing better to do than secretly listen to me gripe about him or her but probably her.”

“Of course we’re seeing all the fingers,” a visibly irritated Jay Carney told a reporter at a morning White House press conference. “What part of Surveillance State are you not getting?

“And we’re picking up the raspberries too and the Bronx cheers and nose thumbings and crotch grabbings and bare asses and that aggressive Italian gesture that looks like something out of Nazi Germany and some other ethnic gestures we’re still trying to decipher. And yes we’re getting some bare breasts. And people’s kids are sticking their tongues out as us and making faces and giving us the evil eye. Ha ha ha.

“What the American people and their children really ought to be spending their time doing, though, is trying to wake up to the realities of this post 9/11 world.”

Said Sandy Taylor, spokesperson for the Little Brothers and Sisters, a pro Big Brother group devoted to putting Americans’ civil liberties in the care of their benevolent oldest brother figure, “Just when those of us who woke up immediately to the realities of a post 9/11 world can start getting a little sleep again, we find out our Big Brother can’t even find out by himself who leaked information about the so-called complete and total scope of our Big Brother’s oversight over us.

“Here we are now in the year 11½ PNE and Big Brother’s supposedly big bad dragnet can’t even catch the snake in the grass ironically squawking about Big Brother’s big bad dragnet--to an outfit calling itself the Guardian no less.”

For their part, a consortium of the nation’s government watchdog groups told Shining City Gazette through a visibly shaken spokesperson, “This new insight into the government’s quite scary watching capabilities is really kind of freaking us out. Frankly it’s a little hard to keep watching them watch us watch them watch us and so on sort of into infinity.”

In related news, pro Obama groups are hailing Obama himself as the source of the leaked information about all the new constitutional ground the Surveillance State is breaking.

Said a spokesperson, “It’s him, working through Edward Snowden. He’s not only letting us know he’s got our backs but also letting us know he’s given us the 24/7 opportunity to let him know how he’s doing with regard to giving us the 24/7 opportunity to hold his feet to the fire of all his promises to make his feet unprecedentedly available to us for holding to the fire of all his promises.

“To a degree I would not have thought possible so shortly after the Bush era, this president has the government really listening to We the People.”

Friday, June 7, 2013

Austerity Dead and Well

In a paper out today in the Journal of Die Hard Ideology, longevity experts in the Wrongheadedness Studies department at the Academy of Political Science has delivered some very bad news to all the nation’s victims of the nation’s austerity pushers.

Said team co-leader Dr. Ivy Phillips, “The data’s in and it all indicates that the thoroughly destroyed notion that it’s time for America’s economic victims to fix the debt will not be paying its own debt to nature anytime soon. The zombie quotient on this austerity nonsense is absolutely through the roof. I’m afraid its victims will just have to get used to the idea that this idea will still be walking dead among us no matter what happens, up to and including the national debt hitting zero.

Said Dr. Phillips’ team co-leader Dr. Elias Hart, “Perhaps the best way to wrap one’s brain around this bad news is to think of a dying star not only not going away but actually growing ever larger as it keeps feeding on the next best elements once the hydrogen runs out.

“In the case of the hot ball of gas known as austerity, when, for example, it can no longer keep feeding on the flamed out work and reputations of Harvard’s Ken Rogoff and Carmen Reinhart, it feeds by turns on the hurt feelings and then the indignation and then the outright outrage over the uncivil behavior of those like Paul Krugman who point out all the uncivil harm caused when austerity fattens on academic nonsense.

“And then it feeds on the hurt feelings and the indignation and the outright outrage over the sheer meanness of those like Paul Krugman who don’t back down when it’s pointed out to them that they’re behaving with gross incivility.

“And in a process whose mechanisms we don’t yet completely understand, unbelievably wrong ideas like the notion that austerity is called for can actually extend their lives indefinitely by feeding on the very hard, cold facts and trains of thought that killed them.”

Added Dr. Phillips, “While the dying star analogy has great illumination value so to speak, it must be said that it breaks down when one considers that the austerity movement is mostly fueled by the almost inexhaustible windfalls that got sucked upward in recent decades in a top of the line Hoover storm of wealth redistribution that made nonsensical calls for austerity possible in the first place.

“I think perhaps a better visual aid would be the emaciated lab rat or fruit fly whose life expectancy breaks more and more new ground the less and less sustenance it has to live on. In essence, in the political and social ecosystem in which they exist, ideas live much longer the less substance they have.

“Between you and me, I’m guessing austerity will be put to rest about the same time our descendents are closing the lid on the laugher that President Obama’s not a full-blown plutocrat with strong autocratic tendencies.

“Nothing we know of dies harder than the stubborn brainchildren of the wrongheaded. Look at trickle down economics. Look at just about every idea surrounding the school reform movement. Look at the idea that the terrorists hate us for our freedoms, that to protect our freedoms against the terrorists we have to give up our freedoms, that we are not being terrorists ourselves.

“The bottom line is this. America can keep crushing the cockroach of austerity if it wants to, but it’s just going to keep picking itself back up off the pavement well after the rest of us are dead and gone, many of us, of course, because of austerity itself.”

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Think Tanks Face Closure

According to sources inside the nation’s growing think tank reform movement, junior and senior and even emeritus fellows at the vast system of brain trusts dotting the American landscape and consciousness are having trouble wrapping their brains around a startling new report issued by the almost forgotten National Association of Think Tank Accreditors.

Most perplexing to the nation’s best and brightest appears to be the Association’s strongly worded recommendation that 49 of the lowest performing think tanks be closed down immediately. Also reportedly striking the country’s intelligentsia dumb was the accreditors’ insistence that the governance of the remaining hundreds of America’s think tanks be taken over by an unelected public entity.

Said Dr. Condoleezza Rice, off the hook war criminal and senior fellow on public policy at the Hoover Institution, one of the think tanks slated for closure, “Please don’t tell me the sequester has left NATTA without ink pads for their rubber stamps. And didn’t we mothball those guys in the 90’s?

“And who’s the genius over there who thinks the best use of the nation’s best and brightest is to have us scratch our heads over how anyone could be so dumb as to question the wisdom of the nation’s best and brightest?”

The genius referred to by Senior Fellow Rice is Roger Dixon, newly promoted director of NATTA and former casualty in the reform war on the Washington, DC public school district, where he was a middle school civics teacher before being pink slipped.

Said Mr. Dixon, “In a new campaign we’re calling Race to the Light, we’re holding the feet of the nation’s illuminati to the fire of a higher standard of cogitation. For starters, we think it’s a no-brainer that an entity calling itself a think tank really ought to have the mental wherewithal to figure out it’s tanking in the thinking department.

“I mean, these professional brain cudgellers are performing so abysmally they don’t even know how abysmally they’re performing as they weigh in on the nation’s problems. We’re this close to revoking their right to even use the word ‘think’ in their title.

“Even we middle-of-the-pack thinkers on the government payroll can see they’re completely missing the story, which has never been simpler. My publicly educated seventh graders from back in the day could tell you that all we’ve done is reach another one of those ugly junctures in human history where the rich and powerful start ruining everything for everybody else.

“It’s not rocket science. It’s not even sudoku. The ruling class has gone bad once again and everything else is just pissing in the wind until they’re taken down all the notches they’ve been allowed to put between them and the rest of us.”

Said Lena Nguyen from the Division of Accountability Enforcement at NATTA, “When the think tank fellows up and down the political spectrum look at 30-plus years of money and power being madly redistributed upwards and come to the conclusion when America predictably goes to hell that it’s the folks on the lower end who need to pay the reckoning, it’s maybe time for some good old fashioned high stakes testing.

“If all these deep thinkers at Brookings and Cato and the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute want to hold on to their honorary thinking caps, let them prove they can tell up from down, left from right, torture from a hole in the ground, their ass from fascism, shit from Shinola maybe.

“Let them pass a simple true/false test like this one. When a capitalist society divides a nation’s public school students into haves and have-nots, it is the teachers and their unions that are the problem. When a capitalist society divides a nation’s public school students into haves and have-nots, the answer to the problem is to privatize the schools.

“Or this one. Blindness when it comes to justice means turning a blind eye to the injustice of the rich and powerful being above justice. The best kind of door between an unbelievably crime-prone financial industry and the agencies a nation’s people are counting on to regulate this industry is a revolving door.

“Or this one. It is moral for a nation’s fearless all-powerful leader to kill innocent people with drones. It is legal for a nation’s fearless all-powerful leader to kill innocent people with drones. It is wise military policy to have a nation’s fearless all-powerful leader kill innocent people with drones. It is good for a nation’s soul when its fearless all-powerful leader starts killing innocent people with drones.

“If true/false tests are too hard, we could ask questions like this one. If people who become obscenely wealthy and/or powerful largely by illegal and/or sociopathic means know they will not ever face justice, the chances they will correct their behavior are: great, good, pretty good, not so good, hardly good at all, not good at all.”