The entire State of Washington is abound with joy over the news of Ken Griffey Jr.’s return to the Seattle Mariners for his final season as a professional baseball player. Mr. Griffey Jr. began his career with the ill-fated Mariners in 1989 and stayed there for 10 years racking up 4 home run titles and an M.V.P. award before he realized that Seattle will never be champions no matter what and got himself traded to the Cincinnati Reds for 4 men and a dumptruck full of fresh green money. He spent the next 5 years watching his bank account swell from the sidelines where he was constantly plagued with hamstring injuries and a mean case of the gout.

Meanwhile Seattle whined and cried, but not for long. Soon Ichiro Suzuki showed up and the Emerald City had a new superstar to drool over. Ichiro’s face was plastered all over billboards and busses while bobbleheads danced on dashboards all over Seattle and its suburbs.

But even with Ichiro the Mariners couldn’t win a championship. In their 2001 season when they went 116-46 (that’s winning more than 7 out of 10 games), the best regular season record in the history of Major League Baseball, they still got beaten like junkyard dogs in 5 games by the Yankees in the AL Championship Series.

That’s the same year that 4 commercial jumbo jets crashed into the World Trade Centers and the Pentagon reducing southern Manhattan to a rubble filled war-zone like some surreal excerpt from a Kurt Vonnegut novel and spawned nearly a decade of greed, corruption, and fascism from the swindlers and shysters who stole the federal government out of the noses of the hapless voters only fourteen short months before. That year the New York Yankees won the World Series and the New England Patriots won the Super Bowl which, to me at least, is not at all suspect in any way.

But what do I care if professional sports in America are as fixed and rigged as a 1960s game show? I am a gambler. Fixed outcomes are the best thing in the world for a smart gambler with a keen eye. Any serious professional with their ear to the ground will know well in advance of the starting pistol when the fix is in and it is our duty to take the suckers for everything they are worth.

Hell, that’s what the powers that be have been doing to the American people for 7 straight years. Only now are the chickens coming home to roost and Seattle is living evidence of that. They’ve lost their NBA franchise to a bunch of Oakies. Boeing is laying people off by the tens of thousands. Microsoft is being embarrassed by Google. And Hooverville, their most beloved sports bar that once rested across the street from Qwest Field has burned to the ground.

Yes it’s a fine mess that we find ourselves in. Barack Obama is going to need more than a winning smile and a few catch phrases to save this bloated and decadent Nation from what looks like imminent disaster and an internal collapse on the scale of Rome ca. 476 A.D. Even Mexican Drug Czars are laughing at us as they stroll across the Arizona border and kidnap random Americans that may or may not get them any ransom money. In 2008 370 people were kidnapped in Phoenix alone. That’s 1 kidnapping every single day of the year except during Mardi Gras when it was twice that many.

And the ominous news doesn’t stop there. America is staring down the barrel of a 10+ trillion dollar debt to multiple foreign banks and governments and they are starting to ask where their money is. Our military, which once was the most honorable and respected in the world, has recruited nothing but degenerate high-school dropouts and out-of-work assembly line workers from places like Flint, Michigan and Sandusky, Ohio ever since George Bush dressed like a pilot and proclaimed, “Mission Accomplished” from the deck of one of the Navy’s obsolete Aircraft Carriers.

Perhaps George Bush really did accomplish his mission. We are at perpetual war with two countries that never did anything to us, and his family’s companies have 100% of the Armed Forces’ weapons contracts. Yes sir, he and Dick Cheney will be drinking champagne and eating caviar behind the heavily guarded gates of a mansion while you and I are fighting in the streets over the last drop of clean water for 100 miles in any direction.

But so what? This was all inevitable. This country has spent the last 65 years getting fat and soft and not making anything. We’ve been riding the backs of the rest of the world for more than half a century. Sooner or later they were bound to say “fuck you” and let us fall to the ground and get stomped on like an obese crowd surfer at a hardcore show. We deserve it. Americans cower at the thought of losing power or even driving in the snow. We get so scared by even the notion of any kind of violence that we are willing to give our sacred freedoms away to swine like John Ashcroft and Donald Rumsfeld who tapped our phones, spied on our e-mails, and sent anyone they didn’t like off to Guantanamo Bay to get tortured for the rest of their lives.

But hey, at least Ken Griffey Jr. is coming back to Seattle to swing a bat for the Mariners in 2009, and it’s only costing us two million dollars. Soak it up. It might be the last fun you have for the rest of your life.

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