If you are looking for some good bedtime reading full of juicy tales of crime and corruption, cliff-hanging episodes, fiendish villains, damsels in distress, besieged heroes, complex threads of action and more, you don't have to look any farther than the recently published Conyers Report: Reining In the Imperial Presidency - Lessons and Recommendations Relating to the Presidency of George W. Bush. It took me a few days (what with doing other things) to get through its over 400 pages (including appendices, references and notes), and I can tell you that it is some seriously page-turning stuff. This is especially interesting considering that it could have been a very dry document, being put together by the House Committee on the Judiciary.

But it isn't dry. Just reciting the plain facts (with notes and references) of the presidency of George W. Bush lays bare the pathology of American politics in a way that no amount of dramatic writing could improve upon. I highly recommend reading it in full!

Actually, I was going to try to condense it for the site here but there was just SO much great, turgid prose that could NOT be left out that, by the time I was done "condensing," I still had over 200 pages of the main text! I kid you not, you will NOT believe some of the stuff that is in this document!

Of course, it's not like we didn't know this stuff already - it's sure been gone over thoroughly on the alternative press (and somewhat, in the mainstream press) for the past 8 years - but the fact that it now exists as an official document produced by the U.S. House of Representatives turns all that "alternative news" into a different kind of data. It's official now. I mean, really REAL.

Reading this report does give one a bit of hope that there ARE individuals in the murky halls of government who can actually see what is going on, have normal human reactions to it (like being appalled, disgusted, shocked, etc) and declare that such behavior is absolutely unacceptable in any way, shape, form or fashion. The problem is, as I mused while reading it, exactly what effect can it possibly have in a conclave of pathological types where the inmates have taken over the asylum? Probably not much.

Among the more interesting parts of the report are the Recommendations. (The "Findings" at the end of each section are pretty good too.) There are 50 separate recommendations that, if followed, would go some way toward putting the US government back on track. It wouldn't fix everything, of course, but it would at least clean out some of the more pathological elements in government. And that is why none of the recommendations are likely to be followed. (I have decided to at least publish the recommendations here on - you can figure out a lot of what the document reveals by reading these terse summations of what's wrong and how to fix it.)

Conyers comes right out and says that Obama ought to "finally begin an independent criminal review of activities of the outgoing Administration." So far, we don't see any sign of that happening! In fact, we see just the converse.

Poking about on the net, all I've seen is more of the same-old, same-old: "Let's put it behind us! Let's make nice and shove our dirty laundry under the rug!"

Conyers recommends to the Attorney General, Eric Holder:
The Attorney General should appoint a Special Counsel to determine whether there were criminal violations committed pursuant to Bush Administration policies that were undertaken under unreviewable war powers, including enhanced interrogation, extraordinary rendition, and warrantless domestic surveillance. ... In this regard, the report firmly rejects the notion that we should move on from these matters."
What we see actually happening is that senior Democrats are definitely shy of a full-scale investigation, whether by a "truth commission" or a special prosecutor, into possible crimes committed under Dubya. The Repugnicans are, of course, adamantly against any inquiry. One wonders just how much stuff Dubya has on the whole gang of 'em as a result of his Illegal Wiretapping? (You don't have to be pathological to have dirty laundry!)

I think that Obama is really missing an opportunity to not only do the right thing, but to assure himself an honorable place in history by immediately launching dozens of independent investigations into a lot of things. (Of course, we suspect that he never had any intention of bringing real "change" to government anyway, I'm just speaking rhetorically here.) More than that, I think that Obama and the gang are really mis-reading the mood of the country. People do not WANT to "just get over it." They don't want to "put it all behind us." The American people - and the rest of the world - want blood! And, based on reports I've been reading, they will have blood one way or another. Not only are people "going bonkers" and killing everybody in sight at an unprecedented rate, Americans are arming themselves to the teeth.

Conyers is, at least, reading this signal accurately. In a statement posted on his website, the chairman writes:
...the administration still has much to do to restore the rule of law to its rightful place. A nonpartisan, independent accounting of what happened must take place, and the new administration must do more to roll back its predecessor's policies on issues ranging from signing statements to the state secrets privilege.
Following that, he notes:
I have noted press reports describing the criminal investigation being carried out by Judge Garzon of Spain. In the apparent absence of any independent criminal investigation of torture allegations being carried out in the U.S., and considering our obligations under the 1984 Convention Against Torture, I understand this step by a serious and respected jurist. In the end, however, it is America's obligation to police its own compliance with U.S. and international law.
The latest news is, of course, that there will be no Spanish prosecution. There are pathological people everywhere, even in Spain.

But in spite of the fact that the Spanish Initiative has failed, the people of the world - normal people with consciences - represented by civil liberties and human rights organizations and progressive groups, have been agitating for the US Congress to launch a serious, unbiased criminal investigation into the Bush administration. (I would suggest a completely new 9-11 investigation, too!) Much of this pressure has been focused on the fact that Bush and Cheney clearly sanctioned - and may even have directly ordered - torture. But, just in the past few days, Obama has made it pretty clear that he's going to follow the "Let's shove it all under the rug and put it behind us" school of political shenanigans. That, of course, suggests that Obama might just turn into a "Unitary Executive" himself. Maybe he likes what Bush did and plans to follow suit with a few token humanitarian gestures to palliate his worshipful followers? That's not so strange in the world of politics.

What to do?

I don't know if it is any comfort to anyone to know that there are, obviously, some people in Congress who can really see what's going on and know what ought to be done; the Conyers Report is evidence that this is so. Read it yourself, please, before you start ranting back at me! Unfortunately, they don't seem to be aware that what they are describing IS pathology - predators disguised as normal humans.

As to what to do to pressure the present administration to follow the recommendations of the report, I really can't think of anything that will get a bunch of compromised legislators off their black-mailed backsides and cut their own throats by investigating the gang that holds all the aces. Don't hold your breath.

The only thing that can possibly achieve anything at all is if the human population of this planet would become fully and accurately aware of pathology in politics and really join together to simply refuse to support it one instant longer. All our efforts should be focused on that one thing: to expose the Elite for what they mostly are: psychopaths, and expose that fact to the greatest depth possible, in a way that truly convinces people - even the fence-sitters - that if they do NOT do anything, the day will come when it is too late (and that day is fast approaching).

The clear conviction that we are being ruled by madmen should be enough to scare the bejeebies out of anybody - heck, it keeps me awake at night! And that fear of what will come (as it surely will) if nothing is done now, can be a powerful motivator for people to band together, to help one another, to educate one another, and to bear the hardships that will naturally come when everyone stops supporting the Pathocrats (pathological people in power). Remember that the hardships that are chosen are a lot easier to bear than the ones that are imposed upon us.

How to stop supporting them?

There are a number of ways, but none of them will work unless the vast majority of people join in. Only half isn't good enough. And to get the majority activated will require education about the real problem as I just mentioned. But, once people really recognize pathology in power, once they become free of the chains that bind their minds and hearts, then the artificially created barriers between this group and that group, will disappear and we will rediscover our common humanity and desire for a better world for our children.

So, if people could focus on the problem: psychopaths (and other pathologicals in power), here's what really might work.

A massive global strike of all normal human beings against Pathocrats would do the trick. If everyone simply refused to work for anybody who exhibited pathological traits - whether a government, a company or an individual - that would start a chain reaction that would strip the power away from the pathological minority that try to make us think that they - and their ideas - are normal and in the majority. Ever hear of the "Moral Majority"? Well, that was a complete scam; those people were neither moral nor were they a majority. They just were organized and very loud.

Imagine if all the normal people who work for the government (the majority, remember) simply walked out of their offices and refused to be the bureaucratic drones for a corrupt government elite? All the secretaries, administrators, bookkeepers, clerks, and so on? Imagine if all the normal humans working for the power companies decided to just turn off the power that runs the homes and offices and businesses of the pathological elite? Imagine if normal journalists with principles and a realization of what we are really facing would join with citizens on the street to take over the major networks so that the control of news was restored to the people? Imagine if all teachers who understand that government should not be interfering in education just sent their pupils home with letters explaining that parents should keep their children at home until the government is forced to hand over the needed funds for schools and agrees to keep their nose out of telling teachers how to do their job? (Assuming that the teachers are qualified, of course). Imagine what would happen if everyone stopped paying their credit card bills, their mortgages, took all their money out of the big banks and put it in credit unions or created new credit unions? And so on. I'm sure you can imagine many more similar scenarios!

See, there are all kinds of ways to simply pull the plug on pathocrats that are pretty much non-violent and enormously effective! We don't have to wait until there is some sort of "trigger" to violence or revolution. We don't have to wait for the "last straw" which we know, of course, is coming. Why wait until people are so angry that they act in ways that are not well-considered, ways that bring down horrible Weapons of Mass Destruction on their own heads? Because don't think for a moment that the real danger out there is from crazy Islamists that "hate our freedoms." Oh, no! The people who really "hate our freedoms" are pathological and they are in power all over the globe with rare exceptions. No, indeed, if there is going to be any use of WMDs, it will be done to us by our own governments.

In the meantime, how about reading and then printing out copies of the 400+ page Conyers Report and mail it to your Congresspersons with a letter demanding that they back the recommendations. Can you imagine if 200 million U.S. citizens printed that door-stopper and mailed it to Washington???

That actually makes me smile.