Mirror Mirror On The Wall,

Who’s The Most Dishonestly Dangerous Of Them All?

By Carl H. Tannert Jr.


As our society’s downward spiral continues, finger-pointing and lies have become a meaningless pastime. Who is the most dishonest of the all? I would suggest that when we the people look into the mirror of our daily lives, each of us deserves to see our own twisted, Dorian-Gray-like image looking back at us. Sadly, over time, we the people have allowed our government to sucker us all. Republican and Democrat alike have been drawn into a frightening whirlpool of deceit, lies, greed and abuse of power and the destruction of both human and Constitutional rights.

The responsibility for our nation’s wide division of wealth, justice and well-being lies squarely on the shoulders of the average American voter, and the non-voters, who have allowed misguided loyalties, disinformation and apathy to influence them. We the people have condoned the dishonesty of wealth and power. We have allowed our politicians to lie to us, abuse our trust, trample our rights and maim and kill fellow citizens throughout the world. We even cheer on the zealots in Jesus name, amen; and we have okayed the alarming decline in a good education for all. We have shrugged off the needs of 45 millions Americans who have no health insurance. And we ignore the mounting tax burden that is being heavily thrust onto State Budgets, as the feds ignore pleas for help and cut the taxes of the wealthy while taxing those who can afford it the least.

We the people, have allowed our society’s downward spiral to gain the momentum that, today, splits us into two divisive camps and threatens our American way of life that we have held dear for so long. We have allowed, yes even participated in putting vicious minority interests into power. Minorities that have gained control of Main Street America. A street that many of us now tread upon in fear. A street strewn by the bodies of those sacrificed in the name of free enterprise, greed, false patriotism and injustice. Where once we paraded with pride, we now watch a flag-draped minority, shouting their false Christianity, in a despicable attempt to cover up their oppressive actions and beliefs. They play the fear card of 9/11, an event that probably would not have happened if government agencies served the people, not corrupt politicians bought by the big bucks of industry’s amoral lobbyists.

We have allowed the spin doctors and our own pettiness to beat us into submission. Almost, but not quite. Though we have condoned the deceitful lies of our leaders and allowed them to dull our sense of right and wrong, and while we wonder why the dark shadow of fear has fallen over a complacently gutless citizenry, the great American spirit is slowly awakening. Now is the time to join forces, regardless of political persuasion, and take back Main Street American, no matter what it takes.

The dead-even polls leave us helpless as a powerful wealthy minority, fueled by an Administration, Cabinet and Congress ripe with dishonesty and moral bankruptcy has their way with all of us. As a majority, we have looked the other way at those who gained wealth and power through insider trading. We allow our Congressional representative, corrupted by their own sense of power and industry’s lobbyist bagmen, to trash our environment, allow mercury contaminated food to kill children, cause planes to fall from the sky and to kill our workers on the job and in the field. We give our blessing to those who lied our nation into war, who have abused, tortured and killed prisoners and continue to sacrifice American lives in a war that never existed and now that we are in it, one we can never win. And they do it all in the name of patriotism and Jesus, amen!

Right before our unseeing eyes, they parade the flag, masquerade as Christians and mouth patriotic platitudes, smiling confidently while they arrogantly trample our rights as citizens, destroy our Constitution and jeopardize our liberty and, yes, our very lives. We are surrounded by self-promoting politicians on both sides of the aisle, religious zealots in our so-called Justice Department and a Supreme Court who, like our society, is caught in the downward spiral of unethical behavior, dishonesty and abuse of human rights. We the people, united, have the power to stop the abusers and restore sanity to our nation if we can put aside our petty differences and vote our consciences not our petty political party or false ideologies.

The Reality Of September 11th

The real value of 9/11 is the example of courage in action, compassion and heroism that We The People, the average American, projected to the entire world. We certainly were at our best on that day of horror. We put aside ideologies, differences and politics, banded together as a powerful bipartisan force to help each other amid the chaos of the day and tragic aftermath that followed.

First responders, firemen, police and the average guy and gal in the street, teamed up against horrific odds to help others. The efforts and sacrifice of New Yorkers showed the capability of the American people, together. Many New Yorkers gave their lives, helping others as the tragedy unfolded before the eyes and ears of the nation. Their efforts was the true force that was responsible for saving countless thousands of lives, not the myriad of politicians who despicably basked in their own glory during the day and those who sought to gain political advantage in the months and years that followed.

Throughout the nation, stunned Americans, watched and listened as the 9/11 horror unfolded. They, like the New Yorkers, reacted, swiftly and surely, with an outpouring of unparalleled selflessness. Many with special skills, came to New York City to help. Others poured money into the organizations set up to help the families and survivors. We the people of America contributed hundreds of millions of dollars to the cause; everything from the pennies of school children, the dollars of seniors, to contributions from middle class and the more affluent. A great bipartisan effort reflecting the true heart and compassion of our great country.

Where Did The Money Go?

That’s a question no one seems to ask as time dims memory. Our tabloid-minded, politically shackled press and so-called journalists have never been as interested in the well being of the families of we the people, Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike, who suffered on 9/11, as they are about sex scandals. On TV we see staged shouting matches between Republican and Democratic actors and we take their stupidity as gospel. We watch flag-draped candidates and politicians in church-like ads that solemnly degrade the other side. Some go so far as to point to 9/11 as their own shining hour, a sad commentary on themselves, our media and our government. And an even sadder commentary on we the people.

We The People Are Responsible For 9/11.

We must equally share the burden of responsibility for the huge waste of life that fateful day foisted upon us. We let others do our job for us and while we slumbered in our lives of petty selfishness and ideological complacency, we allowed a minority to take over and threaten the very foundation of our Democracy. Our apathy allowed wealthy individuals, big business interests and religious fanatics, utilizing cash-fat lobbyists, slick dirty tricksters and a media corps controlled by the wealthy, to corrupt the Congress, now a contaminated body of self-serving individuals who have lost the meaning of honesty, ethics and morals, with an arrogant majority refusing to pass meaningful campaign funding control legislation or, for that matter, any meaningful health, education, prescription-drug, entitlement, human rights and other legislation that really benefits we the people who put them in power in the first place.

The Damage Is Done.

But it is not too late for us to come together to end the environmental, economic human and religious abuses that have so grievously tarnished the American image in the eyes of the World, eroded our personal liberties, jeopardized our health and caused the death of countless thousands at home and abroad.

Instead of heaping praise on unworthy politicians and searching for someone to blame, we can begin holding our elected officials accountable on a term-by-term basis, starting this coming November. We should no longer allow them to achieve god-like status while most are steeped in self interest, petty politics and corruption. Trusting politicians to automatically do the right thing, especially those who invoke the Almighty’s help to justify bad decisions and improper acts that border on criminality, is dumb. Trusting ourselves, with rights assured by our Constitution and with informed, bipartisan vigilance, is smart.

If we look closely at Ex-Mayor Rudolph Giuliani’s appearance before a 9/11 Commission whose members, awed by his presence, actually allowed him to gloss over the city administration’s responsibility for the problems that plagued the response to the 9/11 attack, we find the awful truth of failure and corruption. The reason that not one city firefighter was invited to testify at the hearing becomes obvious once you understand that NYC’s firefighters, warn that New York City is, today, even less prepared to confront a similar 9/11 catastrophe than it was three-and-a-half years ago. The city’s newest Mayor, billionaire Michael Bloomberg has closed down fire companies and fire houses in an attempt to balance the city’s budget.

Similarly, our nation’s President and his administration’s 2005 budget cuts funding for first responders by $800 million and slashes an additional $250 million from a program designed to aid local communities in purchasing fire equipment and training firefighters. Giving firefighters a chance to speak about the real situation would have allowed them to puncture the myths about heightened Homeland Security that have served as the window dressing for the Iraq debacle and the blatant attacks on our democratic rights and citizen-abuse at home.

Giuliani’s arrogant performance before a non-aggressive commission brought family members of firefighter families, more familiar with the details of 9/11 than most of the commission members themselves, out of their seats in the audience, with shouts of Liar, Let us ask the questions. One woman, whose firefighter son was killed in the tragedy, cried out to Guiliani, My son was murdered because of your incompetence. The bitterness of family members on that day, points up the ever-widening social chasm between America’s working population and the corporate and political elite, perhaps more obvious in the financial center of American capitalism, than anywhere else. The social and political interests being defended by the 9/11 panel are diametrically opposed to the demands not only of family members but to the American public as a whole, as well. Both want a truthful explanation of how these terrorist attacks were prepared and why the US national security establishment allowed them to take place.


Carl Tannert is a graduate of New York University. He has been an editor for Prentice-Hall and written many articles for national trade journals and many business plans for corporations. He has also worked in advertising and public relations in New York City, Boston and Chicago and been a business development consultant for large corporations like Uniroyal, Ford, Kodak and others. A management executive, he retired from one of the nation’s top Construction Management firms in 1998 and has since been serving as a consultant, advisor and board member for non-profit community-oriented organizations in Galesburg and Rochester, NY. He now lives in Galesburg. You may contact him at ctannert2000@yahoo.com