Pandering, Lies, and Wee Johnny the Cat. Raving.

The world moves on.

The U.S. stagnates.

Don't think the rest of the world commits suicide just because America does.

America is being left behind. She only needs to choose what era she wants to stay in. The Salem witch hunting years? The McCarthy era? The Bush Era?

I guess listening to endless political speaches filled with shallow promises and vague expansive soundbytes has finally driven me nuts. Perhaps though, I am more disappointed by the people who listen blindly and find hope in their polititions blatant contradictions and deceipt. Pandering must surely be a waste of energy. Whatever you gain from one bunch of gullibles you lose to another. Telling the truth almost sounds like a good idea. Politics in the U.S. is really just a back scratching excercise between two parties who want power. They are willing to share it between themselves if they agree to keep all third parties at bay.

Most people never see a politition in their lifetimes. You have more chance of seeing a grizzly in the North Cascades. Yet we see their avatars on TV and in newspapers and magazines every day. They project personalities no different than any average television character.

On these pages, I could be anyone I want you to believe me to be. James Higgins: African bush pilot and veteran of the Falklands War. Shot down, captured and tortured by Argentinian Amazons who forced me to watch mexican soap operas for 5 years till I was an addict. Then I escaped into the jungle where I met a record producer down at the crossroads. He taught me the ways of the jungle and how to play Smoke on the Water on one string.

As a kid I believed America was great. Maybe it was. But as I grew older I realised how much self agrandizing propoganda spouts from the U.S. itself. Now I see that the only people who refer to America as great, are American polititions and those who watch too much television. The very people who keep telling us that America is great, are the very people who are bringing it down. Polititions.

Though I say America is not great, it's also not bad. It has its problems like any country but it seems unable to take a step back long enough to repair them. Instead it ploughs ahead as if all is well. Isolationism is a big problem for the U.S. It's easy to be the best dog in your own back yard. And if you stay in your back yard. It's easy to believe too. But go abroad and look at other cultures and you may be surprised to discover that the world is different outside your pop up picture book. The rest of the world is out there too. It's as alive as America. It's bursting with characters, landscapes, religions, and languages. It's not perfect either but I'd guess it has a stronger sense of realism than the States.

Much of America's casual indifference to the world is created by the sense of security that the U.S. government coddles the public with. It's an odd form of propoganda. It's wholesome and nourishing. It's warm and fuzzy, unlike cold war iron curtain propoganda that can cause a person to break out in a nasty Bread Queue.

When election time comes around, the public are given small non lethal dozes of reality scenarios on the home front. Up come the usual never changing issues. Home security, education, health, abortion etc. Up pop the usual lies and the slogans. "We have to work together" and "Freedom", and "change" and "My opponent is a bastard". Then there's a quick vote, a recount and it's back to business as usual.

Referring to polititions, Someone once said, "We don't need them but they need us." Strangely enough, the only folks who keep bringing up subjects like abortion rights and gay marriage are polititions. Are these really political issues? They tend to do this around election time to help divide the people into separate factions. It's always good to have the populace divided over issues as this makes them less likely to all riot at once. Thus making them much easier to control. The people causing wars are generally polititions. Those who tax us blind are polititions. The people who won't fix the health care system are polititions, and those who won't face up to repairing this planet we all live on and depend on are polititions. Can you tell I mistrust soap box heroes. But polititions have found that a lie can always be replaced by another lie. "Yes" and "no" in political language are in fact the same word. they are interchangeable and can be used anywhere and anytime. for example, "No, I won't raise taxes", actually means, "Yes I'll raise taxes". It seems confusing but the best solution to understanding it, is to not believe a word. It's very simple.

I grew up surrounded by chancers who lied and exaggerated routinely every day. They lied to their teachers, parents, to policemen, judges, and each other. Often it was quite entertaining. Everyone just lying at leisure. Very casual. Yet it was still frowned upon. Our parents scolded us for telling fibs. I wonder how did lying become such an acceptable part of politics? I guess that lying for survival and lying for gain are two different categories. It's not hard to spot liars especially when they can't sustain a lie more than once or twice in the telling

. I've met some bold liars and story tellers in my time. A friend of mine, Donal O'Crumb from Belfast (no better man) used to say before his every sentence, "This is true. This is true". Or "Hugh will back me up on this. Won't ye Hugh?" Or, "I swear to God this is true." Then almost defiantly as the drink kicked in, "Would I lie to you. Would …I…lie.. to you?" Back me up on this Hugh. Not a word of a lie". But his best moment by far was his, "James, I love my mother. And she's not dead. Heaven forbid. If I am lying to you now, may she be struck down. That's how much I'm not lying to you now".

One afternoon we went for a walk round Regensburg town with a bagful of German beer. We ended up in a little park by the river and started drinking. He starts telling me about his cat.

"Have ye met wee Johnny my cat? "

"No. I haven't"

"Ah wee Johnny. He's a wee darling so he is. I love wee Johnny. He's all trained and everything. And I didn't even hit him. Well actually, there was this one time when he tried to get out the window. See we live on the second floor and wee Johnny's an indoor cat. Can't go out. I tapped him on the nose like, as ye do, and said No Johnny. Bad Johnny. But that was it. I'd never hit him proper like".

Two beers later.

"So I comes home one night and comes in the door and there he is on the kitchen counter I'd had a few jars and I swear he was pissed off at me 'cause I'd forgot to feed him. He looks at me and he knows what's coming. He knows he shouldn't be up there. So I swipes him off and I threw a kitchen knife at him, as ye do, but he ran away under the bed. The wee bastard".

Two beers later.

"So I come in the door late one night, as ye do, and the wee F****r is on the kitchen counter again. I swear. And this is true. The wee bastard looks up at me and starts pissing on the dishes in the sink. Right ya wee f****r I says and I throws a plate at his head but he jumped off the counter and tried to get away. I booted him right up his arse and he went flying across the room and hit the bedroom door. Then I grabbed him in a strangle hold and a punched his head in and threw him against the window, as ye do. He was all dizzy and panicking then he just lay there. But it was his fault. He was messing with me James. You'd have done the same. See I love animals. Just ask my mother. She'll tell ye. It's true. My mother is not dead. Heaven forbid. I love my mother, as ye do, ye know yersel'. If I'm lying to you now then may she fall over dead. That's how much I'm not lying. Ah Wee Johnny. I love wee Johnny. And that's true. Would I lie to you? Seriously James. Would....I you?"

The bag of beers was empty. We stood up from the bench. "So will we go to the Harp go for a pint?"

But U.S. polititions aren't even good liars. They are embarrassing in fact. You have to respect a good liar. It is an art. But these guys can't lie any better than they can tell a joke. I guess I'm generalising. There must be an honest politition out there somewhere. or at least a good respectable liar. Would that be like looking for a vegetarian cannibal. (Only eats vegetarians).

 Right now in America, the election is coming up. The Republican Party are lying like crazy. They seem to lie more and more, as election day draws nearer. Their lies are harmful calculated lies that gather momentum till it's a lying frenzy. Speak no truth. Answer no question directly. Deny everything and condone all mistakes. Mistakes? what mistakes? "Vote for change", is their latest motto. What do republican corporations want to change? They're living the dream. Certainly they may make alterations but you can be sure they won't be positive for the common man.

Meanwhile, I'm sure the democrats are not saints either. They do their share of truth twisting but the republicans are way out there. Lying about anything that moves. History has shown that political lies carry no long term consequences for polititions. Armed with this knowledge, polititions let loose with more flying fibs than gratuitous bullets in an action movie.

What is it about the president job that people can lie and cheat their way into power and get away with it. Imagine lying to get a brain surgeon job when you'd never held a scalpel in your life. Suddenly you find yourself in the operating room with a patient on the table. Do you just continue as if you know what you're doing? Or do you end your lie right there and admit your incompetence. Surgeons study for years but why isn't there a President School? The most powerful job in the world is literally for sale to the best liar backed by the richest silent partner. I don't enjoy lies as political tactics. Playground name callers shouldn't be running for president. If they're already lying to us pre-election, what will they be up to after it? Perhaps they are afraid to face the truth. If wannabee presidents have to lie in their campaigns, then I guess the truth can't be good enough.