Friday, May 13, 2005

The New America "or else"

The New America in which we now live is an either/or kind of place. The classic example of this being the President's post 9/11 edict that "You're either with us or against us in the fight against terror."

This "us versus them" mentality is part of the "Grandiose Sense of Self," one of the 15 characteristics of the sociopathic personality that now leads the nation. (For the entire list, see

Examples of this black & white mentality now abound under the present administration. If a reporter and you ask a tough question, you can lose your press pass. If you don't support your President, you don't sit in his audience. If you demonstrate outside a designated "free speech" zone, you break the law.

Another incredible example of this was posted by Nona earlier this month. That of a North Carolina minister who chided his congregation to either support the President or resign from the church. Nine members did just that and left. (Encouraging in this example, however, is news the minister initiating this policy has, himself, since resigned!)

Well, I was reminded of all of this by yet another instance of the New America "or else" yesterday. Later this month, the Army will suspend for one day, May 20th, it's recruiting efforts to re-educate its recruiters. Apparently recruiters are falling short of manpower goals necessary for empire building. As a result there are numerous incidents coming to light where recruitment methods have fallen to new lows. Consider the following from Amy Goodman's "Democracy Now!" on Thurs., May 12.

"....some recruiters have resorted to threatening recruits. In late April in Houston recruiter, Sgt. Thomas Kelt, threatened to have a prospect arrested if he resisted recruiting efforts. Kelt left a voice mail message on the cell phone of 20 year old Christopher Monarch ordering him to show up for an appointment -- under the false pretense that Monarch would be violating the law if he didn't. This is a recording of that voicemail obtained by Houston TV station KHOU:

"Hey Chris, this is Sgt. Kelt with the Army man. I think we got disconnected. Okay, I know you were on your cell probably and just had a bad connection or something like that. I know you didn't hang up on me. Anyway, by federal law you got an appointment with me at 2 o'clock this afternoon at Greenspoint Mall, okay? That's the Greenspoint Mall Army Recruiting Station at 2 o'clock. You fail to appear and we'll have a warrant. Okay? So give me a call back."

"That was army recruiter Sgt. Thomas Kelt leaving a voicemail on a prospective recruit's voicemail. Kelt reportedly said that threatening to issue an arrest warrant was a 'marketing technique.' "

There's little room for a middle ground of other possibilities in the New America we now inhabit. Intolerance thrives while tolerance shrivels. And while "either/or" makes things simpler, it can also makes things a lot more dangerous. It's these very kinds of simplistic delineations that can impugn your reputation, social standing, cost you your job, your freedom--or worse!

From Sgt. Kelt's warning left on his answering machine, young recruit, Christopher Monarch, better show up for his appointment of The New America..........."or else!"