The government "shutdown" isn’t really a shutdown: the National Security Agency (NSA) is still functioning at full throttle, spying on Americans and violating the Constitution with impunity. And I doubt those aid packages to the Syrian rebels are being delayed by even a minute: after all, a heart-eating cannibal can’t live on human blood alone. The panda cam may be down, but the parasite class, headquartered in Washington, D.C., is still sucking at the teat of the federal Leviathan, as this knee-slapper of a Washington Post article – an interview with a military contractor – makes all too clear:
"Much of the impact of the shutdown is felt by the 800,000 federal workers who are simply furloughed without pay. But the ripple effects spread far and wide, to all the workers employed indirectly on government contracts. One of them, a software engineer with a large D.C.-area defense contractor who asked to remain anonymous, described Monday night what it’s been like to work under the threat of your sole client suddenly going dark."
The reporter, one Lydia DePillis, asks: "So what’s the atmosphere in the office?" Mr. Anonymous Parasite shrugs his shoulders, adjusts his fat ass so as to fit more comfortably in his cushioned $1000 office chair, and avers:
"Day to day, you don’t notice it in the work we do. I go in tomorrow, and I know I have a bunch of bugs to fix."
Yes, that spying-on-Americans software does indeed have a few bugs, but, hey, who would’ve ever thought that Snowden guy would give up his idyllic life in Hawaii for the cold of the Russian winter? Aside from that, however:
"There is that nagging sensation of, like, should I be looking for a new job soon? What’s going on?"
Is the gravy train about to end? Fat chance of that, but still:
"There’s a lot of chatter in the office. We have employees that work on the bases themselves. So they’ll work on an Air Force or Navy base. They actually don’t go to work tomorrow. They all are being stuffed into our office. So we’ve got to move chairs and tables around, because they can’t go to their normal jobs."
Of course there’s a lot of chatter: that’s because they’re all stuffed together, and they don’t do actual work anyway, even on days when the government isn’t shut down. So what’re they chattering about?
"There’s a lot of frustration, particularly aimed at the Republicans in Congress. People will say, ‘Hey this is bullshit, why can’t they just figure this out. We go to work, why can’t they go to work?’"
Of course they hate the Republicans: after all, wasn’t it those obstructionists who blocked the rush to war in Syria? And just when Mr. Anonymous Parasite’s company had devised a new software program to separate out "moderate" jihadists from the Bad Guys! At this point, Lydia asked if there was "some sort of company-wide meeting" about the shutdown. Parasite sighed and said:
"We have a lot of meetings."
As you might well imagine. But in the end, the shutdown means bupkus to Parasite & Co., because:
"We can basically keep working, because we’re basically already paid. So if we have a year-long contract, it’s still going, and I’m sure the government won’t be shut down before the contract is over. So that money’s already been set aside. So in that sense we’re okay. But for example, there’s a couple of side projects that we’re trying to develop into actual contracts, so those get pushed back, or those get prolonged, someone’s going to lose money. And it’s probably going to be the government, that’s just how it works."
The "company" Parasite works for is going to charge the government for time lost – just like those government employees who got back pay for time lost the last time the government shut down. Of course "that money’s already been set aside" – because it’s all about priorities. I mean, who’s more important: a government contractor with a half-million dollar mortgage and an energetic team of lobbyists, or some WWII vet who wants to visit the Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC? The question answers itself.
Not that the "shutdown" hasn’t created some real problems for Parasite and his fellow lice:
"So for example there’s this one project that we’re trying to start up. And it’s really deep in the development phase. And we have people flying across the country, and we’re meeting, talking, and prototyping stuff. If the people who’re meeting, we can’t contact them tomorrow because they don’t work, do we pull our flights? Does the project get canceled? What do we do now? So projects that aren’t in contract form, written down and ready to go, those are the ones that get hurt. That’s a week or two of our time, and we’re going to charge them for it."
Naturally he’s going to charge "them" for it, because, after all, who is "them"? It’s you and me and all the Little People out here in the cornfields, the people who really do work and feed his sense of entitlement. Them.
Lydia breaks in again, and asks: "Do you get the sense that higher ups are irritated or tense?" Well, sure they are, says Parasite:
"We definitely get e-mails of, ‘we’re not sure what’s happening.’ And it does make people nervous. I know a couple of employees who’re just tired of constant, of the debt ceiling before, and then sequestration, and another debt ceiling, and debt ceiling, and after a while, you get kind of like, ‘what the hell, who wants to work in this environment.’ You’re constantly under threat."
So why doesn’t Parasite and his fellow bloodsuckers just get up and quit? Lydia is more polite, however, and instead asks: "Is that serious enough for you to think about getting another job?" Lying through his teeth, Parasite answers:
"Oh yeah. It’s just annoying. You get frustrated. All day today, we’ve just been watching different news networks, sitting at our computers thinking ‘oh god, what’s going to happen today?’ I definitely do have other places I can go to. Funny enough, I got an e-mail today for a position right in my hometown. So I was like, ha, it’s almost like an out. It’s that nervous laugh of like, ‘things aren’t great, uggggh, I’m going to go update my resume.’"
Imagine going to "work" and spending your day "watching different news networks." What a grind! So the poor thing is going to spend the day staring blank-eyed at Anderson Cooper, playing video games, and updating his resume: oh, the agony!
We get real insight into the parasitical psychology, however, with this question from Lydia: "Did you figure coming out of college that government contracting would be a reliable career?" Parasite’s illuminating answer:
"Absolutely, that’s what I thought! Stupid me. I thought that ‘hey, government will always be here.’ I mean, I’m not that naive, but you think it’s pretty stable. You take the job because you think it’s stable. I’m not worried that tomorrow I’ll show up and my computer’s gone, but it’s just frustrating, and it makes me feel like I should go do something else. Especially because we have so many meetings because of the Snowden incident. So that is irritating."
When I was a teenager on the brink of adulthood my father advised me to go work for the Post Office – because, after all, the Post Office will always be there! I don’t fault him for that: who knew email was coming? But that’s the point: we didn’t know and couldn’t know because "reliable" is a fantasy: in an economic context, it doesn’t – and shouldn’t – exist. Not unless we’re ants going through the same age-old routine, day after day and century after century. "Stupid me" is right!
"You take the job because you think it’s stable." Not because you enjoy it, or because you think it’s contributing something to the sum of human knowledge, or even because of the money – just because it’s "stable." You know, like mud at the bottom of a pond. This is the breed of Americans our militarized statist society is causing to proliferate like dung beetles on a pile of shit, and that can’t be good for the gene pool.
The icing on the cake is the Snowden reference, and what that whistleblower’s earthshaking revelations apparently mean to this leech – a reason for more boring meetings. Oh, it’s all so irritating! Mr. Parasite is so visibly nonplussed by this time that Lydia asks him if "it’s been especially fraught to be a security contractor these days." His answer:
"Yeah it sucks! On the way home today, I stupidly turned on the radio, and listened to talk radio, which was a horrible mistake. I turned on Sean Hannity, dear God, and to hear people that are like, ‘yay, the government’s shutting down, screw them,’ I think he’s playing Disco Inferno. What the hell? I know people who aren’t going to go to work tomorrow. And to hear people that are celebrating? We’re just like, what the hell?"
Yes, turning on the radio these days can be a traumatic experience if you’re part of the parasite class – because the hosts are getting antsy. These people live in a government-created-and-subsidized bubble, and when they hear that popping sound they’re incredulous: "What the hell?" indeed!
After listening to this spoiled jerk complain for a good fifteen minutes, Lydia was no doubt a bit irritated herself, and she – very politely – let him have it: "Do you understand the antipathy toward the huge amounts of money we spend on defense contractors?" You can hear the defensiveness rising in his voice as he answers:
"I understand people who are not happy with bloat. There are definitely things where I’m like hey, what the hell, this is a lot of money to be spending. I’m aware that there is waste. I’m not stupid. You get big enough, waste starts building up. There’s a lot of ways you could cut it down. But to just flat out not have people not show up, break development cycles and push projects back, that’s really not the way to go about it. You’re just making things more expensive, you’re not making things cheaper."
Oh, but we can’t "break development cycles"! We can’t "push projects back," let alone abolish them! Because "that’s really not the way to go about it." What does "it" refer to in this context? What he means is that the National Security State is here to stay, it’s the given, an immutable fact of reality like the law of gravity – and "you’re just making things more expensive" because, don’tcha know, he’s going to be charging "them" for overtime!
The US military budget is greater than the defense budgets of the top ten spenders combined. That’s not "bloat." That’s not "waste." That’s just flat out crazy. It’s crazy because it has nothing to do with defending the country: it’s about dominating the world. And, as Edward Snowden has revealed, a good part of that enormous sum is spent spying on Washington’s number one enemy – the American people. That’s why Mr. Parasite and his fellow leeches are wondering "What the hell?" these days – because Americans are waking up to the scam, and calling his perks and privileges into question.
No, Mr. Parasite doesn’t understand the antipathy toward the huge amounts of money we spend on defense contractors – and he wouldn’t care even if he did. After all, he is a perfect specimen of 21st century Boobus Americanus, as inured to reality as he is just plain stupid. When the National Security State comes crashing down around his head, like the old USSR did around the heads of Soviet apparatchiks, he’ll wind up in the same place they landed – in the dustbin of history.
And the gene pool will be better for it.
NOTES IN THE MARGIN
You can check out my Twitter feed by going here. But please note that my tweets are sometimes deliberately provocative, often made in jest, and largely consist of me thinking out loud.
I’ve written a couple of books, which you might want to peruse. Here is the link for buying the second edition of my 1993 book, Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement, with an Introduction by Prof. George W. Carey, a Foreword by Patrick J. Buchanan, and critical essays by Scott Richert and David Gordon (ISI Books, 2008).