The Idyossey
Chapter 3: Empyre


The Bushiad
Chapter 1- The Rage of George
Chapter 2- Rattling of Sabres
Chapter 3- Entreaties Rejected
Chapter 4- Osama Speaks
Chapter 5- The Underworld
Chapter 6- Fatherly Advice
Chapter 7- The Gods of War
Chapter 8- Juggernaut
Chapter 9- The Prisoners
Chapter 10- Interrogation
Chapter 11- George Dreams
Chapter 12- In the Clouds
Chapter 13- D
Chapter 14- Secret Agent
Chapter 15- The Tyrant Flees
Chapter 16- Out of Order
Chapter 17- George Descends
Chapter 18- Master Kim
Chapter 19- Uncurious George
Chapter 20- Asana
Chapter 21- Doing the Patriot Act
Chapter 22- Immaculate Reception
Chapter 23- The Little Prince
Chapter 24- Mission Accomplished

The Idyossey
Chapter 1- Ichor of the Gods
Chapter 2- The Price of Peace
Chapter 3- Empyre
Chapter 4- Woeful Warrior
Chapter 5- Mitzvah
Chapter 6- News Analysis
Chapter 7- Strategic Planner
Chapter 8- Aristea
Chapter 9- Last Supper
Chapter 10- Skullduggery
Chapter 11: Family Reunion
Chapter 12- Black Goddess
Chapter 13- Saboteur
Chapter 14- Glossolalia
Chapter 15- Visitation
Chapter 16- Dead or Alive
Chapter 17- Across the Border
Chapter 18- The Unraveling
Chapter 19- Summer in the City
Chapter 20- Wolf and Jackal
Chapter 21- George Gloats
Chapter 22- Surreality
Chapter 23- Kidnapped
Chapter 24- Denouement

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The gods of war want more
And make their needs well known,
Elected officials courted and seduced.
If the lure of filthy lucre fails, threats follow.
Ambition’s not in short supply, elections loom,
Few politicians will accept the loss of station.

Halliburton and Bechtel secure no-bid contracts,
Despite knowledge in D.C. that both
Overcharge for food, supplies and labor.
Iraqis yearn for clean water while
U.S. troops drink ice-cold Cokes
In air-conditioned comfort.

The President pimps for the corporate gods,
Proposes to eliminate the income tax
On dividends, chants “Tax reform” and
“It’s the people’s money” like Biblical verses.
It's people like Enron’s "Kenny Boy" Lay
Prince George has in mind.

For those aligned well with the gods,
Or who through luck, good fortune,
Race or class enjoy advantage,
Times are good. Inheritance of wealth
Provides protection. If things get tough,
Or times are tight, they will be fine.

For others, born of color or lower class, the
Economic downturn’s catastrophic. Increased
Tribute to the gods leaves less for others,
And government, resources insufficient, imposes
Taxes on those who can afford it least. For the rich,
Profits are privatized, the poor absorb the losses.

The corporate gods enforce their will,
Simple George does what he’s told:
Comply or lose their support. Denied
Such favor, they will offer it to another.
George is simple, not stupid, he knows how
Political fortune changes to misfortune.

Having cowed the world with Shock and Awe
The gods are hard to refuse. Faced with
Technology that sees through walls, the
Computing power to monitor all conversations,
Unlimited resources of global capital,
Few of position speak out against them.

The U.S. economy stalls, jobs go overseas.
Laid off, pensions gone, people work more for less.
John Rodgers, 63, puts in 16-hour days. Two jobs
Earn him less than he used to make at one.
No vacations, no insurance, no overtime;
There’s more than just low prices at WalMart.

Elroy Burton, 25 is unemployed. Has
Never worked, unless one counts street hustling.
Strung out on speed, living off tricks
He spreads AIDS to new clients every day.
The outreach program in Newark’s under-funded,
For the cost of one Hellfire, 100 people could be treated.

Maria Reyes, 55, suffers from glaucoma.
Illegal, she crossed from Mexico at 28.
She scrubs floors, cleans toilets, washes walls
In the newly rebuilt Biltmore in Seattle.
Never missed a day of work. She’s going blind,
At $6.25 an hour.

The hungry ghosts take no notice,
Eyes on the prize, the corporations
Pursue their profits, while millions
Starve for want of life’s mere basics:
Shelter, clothing, clean air,
Pure water, enough to eat.

Empires, unlike gods, are not immortal,
History documents the signs of their decline.
The pattern is persistent, like the cycle of life itself;
First youth filled with vigor and energy,
Followed by productive middle years, and
An end that’s dissolution and decay.

Sign one: Accelerating social and economic inequality –
As earning power drops and regressive taxes rise,
The middle class progressively disappears,
Becomes poor, while the lower class
Robbed of any opportunity at all
Hits rock bottom.

Sign two: Declining investment
To solve socioeconomic problems -
Hard work and self-reliance the capitalist mantra,
Work-to-welfare programs create minimum wage slaves,
Lack of health insurance wrecks families,
Social security is privatized for the wealthy.

Sign three: Dropping literacy, critical thinking and intellect -
School becomes a training ground to instill compliance,
Reading levels drop, tests replace understanding,
Computer games and violent entertainment surge,
Forebrain higher thinking centers atrophy,
While primitive hind-brain reflexes improve.

Sign four: Spiritual emptiness - morality and ethics
Are replaced with lesser values. Greed
For goods increases, addiction skyrockets.
The good life is a trip to to the mall,
To turn another cheek seems quaint,
Community is replaced by the TV.

Finally, exhausted, worn down
By ceaseless struggle against all odds, ordinary
People give up. And of gods, the hungry ghosts
Who aid and abet this tragic condition?
They clutch their fortunes ever tighter
In desperate hope to outlast Empyre.
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The Bushiad and The Idyossey - Copyright 2004 by Victor Littlebear - All rights reserved