Marc Estrin : Acromegaly

Art from the ACLU.


By Marc Estrin / The Rag Blog / February 15, 2011

Acronyms, I think, bring out the worst in people. For example, the USAPATRIOT act is not an act for American Patriots as it would appear, but rather the U.S.A.P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act — Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and
Obstruct Terrorists Act.

Imagine the wordsmithing over that one. Imagine how many taxpayer dollars went into the choice of those acronymic wonders. And the marvellous mendacities therein — “uniting,” “strengthening,” “appropriate,” “required” — all hidden behind the mask. Truly a work of the devil. There are masks that hide, like that one, and masks that reveal. It’s important to distinguish them.

Acromegaly is a disease resulting from a pituitary tumor overproducing growth hormone. In children it produces giants, and in adults, overgrown jaws, thick skulls, and thick skin. You can see an acromegalic giant in action in Kurosawa’s great film, Yojimbo. He wields a mean sledge hammer against his enemies.

Big jaw, thick skull, thick skin. Could this syndrome describe the US approach to the world?

Our president is about to pull a Joshua (10:8-14), to try to stop the sun from setting. During one campaign in an early Operation Cast Lead, while the children of Israel were smiting the Amorites, man, woman, and child, Joshua, in a fit of chutzpah, bade the sun stand still so smiting time might be longer and smiting more complete.

And behold,
the sun stood still,
and the moon stayed,
until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies.
The sun stood still in the midst of heaven,
and hasted not to go down about a whole day.
And there was no day that like that before it or after it,
that the LORD hearkened unto the voice of a man:
for the LORD fought for Israel.

The 342-page USA PATRIOT ACT — clearly already prepared and lying in wait — was passed by Congress (357-66 in the House, and 98-1 in the Senate), and signed by George W. Bush on October 26, 2001. Many legislators admitted to not having read it through before voting. Most of the bill’s provisions were due to sunset after December 31, 2005, four years after passage, and safely after the 2004 election. But by March 2006 Congress had voted to reauthorize the bill so as not to tie the president’s hands in his Global War on Terror.

Sunset now six years late.

Though having campaigned for greater oversight, the White House is now out-republicaning the Republicans by asking to further delay its sunset until December 2013, giving the new Republican majority, and perhaps a new Republican president plenty of time to authorize permanent status.

The Children of Israel no doubt approve.

And it’s not as if the abuses of the bill have disappeared as GWOT has aged and mellowed.

Rather, the jawbone and skin continue to thicken, and the skull grows ever more dense as we resist and punish those on the side of freedom.

[Marc Estrin is a writer, activist, and cellist, living in Burlington, Vermont. His novels, Insect Dreams, The Half Life of Gregor Samsa, The Education of Arnold Hitler, Golem Song, and The Lamentations of Julius Marantz have won critical acclaim. His memoir, Rehearsing With Gods: Photographs and Essays on the Bread & Puppet Theater (with Ron Simon, photographer) won a 2004 theater book of the year award. He is currently working on a novel about the dead Tchaikovsky.]

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2 Responses to Marc Estrin : Acromegaly

  1. They seem to have been doing a lot more concealing than revealing, and their recent escapades handing John Baptist’s errr Julian Assages head to Ms Hillary (or trying to) over certain leaks, like…
    Confirmation that the Taliban did, indeed, offer in good faith to turn Osama bin Laden over to an international court…
    Just, you know, not to an American Secret Tribunal Lynch mob, but to a REAL Court like at the Hague… where the evidence wouldn’t involve confessions extracted from Torture Victims, or bin Laden being shot in the back of the head while handcuffed errr “committing suicide to avoid justice” like the pigs always say about their victims.
    That and a Hague trial would be public…

    So what other lies were kept secret, or not as well as the DHS hoped, under the auspices of the U.S.A. P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act?
    Hillary, like George Bush, is heavily vested in the Oil Industry, the only industry benefiting from the war on “terror” (aside from the Corporate Warfare Corporate Welfare recipients like Halliburton, coffin manufacturers, etc…)
    Perhaps that’s one reason the DHS is so well shielded from view by the U.S.A. P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act? Private contractors who make a lot of bread off Americans being “Terror”fied by the bin Laden Boogieman?

    There’s a private firm which iirc is based right here in Colorado, does “age progression” pictures for the Freakin’ Bureaucratic Idiots… did one for the “Ten Most Wanted List” of Osama bin Laden… only, it wasn’t. It was a Spanish Member of Parliament, whose picture was doctored.

    How wonderful that the homeland security apparatus, so very efficient and effective they get their funding extended TWICE, hiding behind the conveniently secret U.S.A. P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act provisions, also didn’t ever have to tell us unlike the Oil Corporations actual TAXPAYERS who have to foot the bill for such generous Corporate Welfare, that they haven’t had a verified picture of Osama bin Laden since December of 2001.

    You know, the guy who’s the poster child for the U.S.A. P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act?

  2. Brother Jonah says:

    Osama is supposedly, according to the DHS profile of him, a pure publicity whore.
    According to some, an extremist megalomaniac who believes his own bullshit and would actually commit suicide to advance his cause.

    Why would somebody like that suddenly get all camera shy and not take or create opportunities to get VERIFIABLE pictures of himself into the hands of the press? He would probably have called in to FOX News and had a live-feed interview with Bill O’Reilly just to get publicity.
    But, NADA. as in nada damn peep out of him for the better part of a decade.

    And, speculation about that aspect being downplayed, at public expense, by another agency, part of StratCom and headquartered at Lackland AFB to “refute” any such speculation, according to provisions of the U.S.A. P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act, to the point of actually having military propaganda experts LIE to the American people.

    Rumsfeld defended the creation of such an agency in 2002, then backtracked on it less than two weeks later, saying something that to my trained ear, sounded like “we were just kidding”.

    “you must believe every word I say, for I am lying to you” is another classic way of putting it.

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