Tag Archives: propaganda

Barack Obama to attack Syria himself in Air Force One

The way that it’s going, if U.S. President Barack Obama wants to bomb Syria, he’s going to have to drop the bombs himself from Air Force One. But he won’t be lonely on his trip; he’ll have “embedded” “journalists” along with him for the ride. And maybe the French will provide some wine and cheese for the mission.

Seriously: The British Parliament’s very wise decision yesterday not to join the U.S. in another boondoggle in the Middle East is a blow to Obama (as well as to Conservative Party British Prime Minister David Cameron).*

Now all that Obama has, pretty much, is the conspicuous silence of most of his fellow Democrats (in name only), most of whom are party hacks who don’t want to buck the Obama White House but who also know that the majority of Americans don’t want a military attack upon Syria — and, of course, the corporately owned and controlled “news” media.

The New York Times on Monday declared in an editorial:

… [President] Obama put his credibility on the line when he declared last August that [Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad’s] use of chemical weapons would constitute a “red line” that would compel an American response. After the first attacks, earlier this year, killed between 100 and 150 people, the administration promised weapons for the rebels but delayed in delivering them.

This time the use of chemicals was more brazen and the casualties were much greater, suggesting that Mr. Assad did not take Mr. Obama seriously. Presidents should not make a habit of drawing red lines in public, but if they do, they had best follow through. Many countries (including Iran, which Mr. Obama has often said won’t be permitted to have a nuclear weapon) will be watching. …

Wow. The Times widely is considered to be the thinking person’s media organization, and is widely to be considered “liberal.”**

Yet the Times’ central “argument” is that once you threaten to do something, you must go through with it — or risk being deemed “weak.” That’s a wise, high-minded stance? Even if something is a really bad fucking idea, you should go through with it anyway — to save face?

My own city’s main “news” organization, the Sacramento Bee, like the Times, also widely is considered to be center-left, yet in an editorial today the Bee proclaims that “The president has previously said there would be consequences if Syria crossed the ‘red line’ of chemical warfare. His reputation – and U.S. standing in the world – will suffer if that turns out to be an empty threat” (apparently the Bee’s editorial writers read the Times…) and “If it can be convincingly demonstrated that the recent massacre in Syria was the result of chemical weapons, and that Syrian forces were responsible for it, Obama will have to act, hopefully with a few allies.”

I’m guessing that that editorial was penned before the British Parliament yesterday voted against joining the U.S. in its latest boondoggle in the Middle East even if it definitively is demonstrated that the Syrian government used chemical weapons as charged.

AFP notes that “It is believed to be the first time since 1782 that a British government has lost a vote about military action,” which to me is a measure of what an incredibly fucking shitty idea it is to militarily attack Syria right now.***

So why are our corporately owned and operated “news” organizations gung-ho on an attack on Syria?

“Corporately owned and operated” is the key.

Corporations love war and the profiteering that goes along with it. Corporations not only benefit nicely in their war-related contracts (as well as in their ongoing regular military contracts) with the federal government, but the U.S. military often opens up other sovereign nations’ natural resources — like Iraq’s oil — to corporations for their free and unfettered exploitation.

War is bad for individual human beings, but great for corporations.

Also, of course, war is great for “news” “coverage.”

This is not new.

The Spanish-American War of 1898, Wikipedia states, “is considered to be both a turning point in the history of propaganda and the beginning of the practice of yellow journalism. It was the first conflict in which military action was precipitated by media involvement.”

Wikipedia goes on to note that “William [Randolph] Hearst, the owner of the New York Journal, was involved in a circulation war with Joseph Pulitzer of the New York World and saw the conflict as a way to sell papers.”

I remember how the corporately owned and controlled “news” organizations handled the Vietraq War. First, they (including, of course, the New York Times’ infamous Judith Miller) for the most part uncritically repeated the Bush White House’s lies about the “reasons” to invade Iraq. Like the cowards in Congress, these “journalists” cowed to the post-9/11 hysteria and hyper-jingoism and for the most part dared not question the ever-changing “arguments” for war that the members of the Bush regime were spewing.

Then, when the invasion of Iraq that they’d wanted and pushed for actually came, they treated it like a fucking sports event, like the fucking Super Bowl.

It even had its own slogan: Shock and awe! (Actually, now that I think of it further, it probably was much more like a “professional” wrestling event…)

The “journalists” were “embedded!” in Iraq, they couldn’t tell us enough.

“Embedded,” of course, meant in bed with the White House and the Pentagon.

Sure, the Pentagon allowed the corporate media weasel-whores to feel special, rubbing shoulders with high-ranking military officials while they dutifully acted as public-relations stenographers, not as journalists.

The price for remaining “embedded,” of course, was that the “journalist” never reported anything that the Pentagon or the White House didn’t want him or her to report.

So: Our “journalists” gained some “access” but at the price of being censored. So what good was that “access” for which they had to sell themselves out? When the powers that be are tightly controlling and regulating the “access,” how meaningful can that “access” possibly be?

At this point, Barack Obama’s strongest supporters for a military attack upon Syria, apparently, are France and the American corporate media weasel-whores who want to jump into bed with him.

Former “President” George W. Bush, recall, in the post-9/11 political environment had the majority of Americans, the U.S. Congress, the British government and the corporate media weasel-whores behind him, which allowed him to launch the illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked Vietraq War even against the wishes of the United Nations Security Council.

In this political climate, thank Goddess, I don’t see Obama pulling off any significant military attack on Syria.

If he does so anyway, it will be, I think, a Richard-Nixon-level political mistake that he and his party will regret.

*I heard former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld — a war criminal who already should have been executed for his participation in war crimes and crimes against humanity in Iraq — blathering on news radio this morning that if only Obama had defined the mission in Syria better, and had not “led from behind,” Britain would have jumped right on board.

Never fucking mind that maybe, just maybe, the larger issue is that after the Brits were punk’d big time with the Vietraq War and Iraq’s non-existent weapons of mass destruction, they didn’t feel like being punk’d by the U.S. government again and so soon after the last time, and so this time, they ignored the White House’s cry of “wolf!”

As much as I’m not a fan of Obama and as much as I oppose his sketchy proposal to attack Syria, we can’t blame this, too, on him; the lion’s share of the blame for it rests squarely on the members of the unelected Bush regime, including Rumsfeld, of course, who lost the trust of the British over the bogus Vietraq War.

**Well, since being “liberal” these days mostly means being a Democrat in name only, a center-right sellout who changes his or her stance on important issues based upon the party affiliation of who is supporting and who is opposing those issues today, the Times actually indeed is “liberal.”

***One who is progressive and sane (which, to me, are one and the same) hopes that the majority of the citizens of the Western world finally are turning against military action as a way to resolve international (and intranational) conflicts and see that militarism almost always only benefits our plutocratic overlords, not us commoners.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

HELP MEEE!!! I’m DROWNING in all of this FREEDOM!

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro greets supporters as he arrives for a national assembly in Caracas

NSA whistleblower Snowden, an analyst with a U.S. defence contractor, is interviewed by The Guardian in his hotel room in Hong Kong

Reuters images

To smug Americans for whom freedom is only a word and for whom “freedom” is defined by our corporate and plutocratic overlords, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and American patriot Edward Snowden are easy targets to bash in order to feel better about their small, pathetic selves, so should Venezuela take Snowden in, predictably, the hypocritical rhetoric about how “free” and “good” the United States is and how “unfree” and “bad” Venezuela is will freely flow.

My best guess is that “Public Enemy Number One” Edward Snowden will end up in Venezuela, which, predictably, is going to result in a maelstrom of even more Venezuela bashing here in the United States. (The government of Venezuela, you see, has the audacity to govern the nation as a sovereign nation and not as a satellite of the United States, as a “good” nation “should.”)

Even so-called members of the so-called U.S. left wing mindlessly engage in Venezuela bashing, as though the United States — with its stolen presidential elections, its bloated-beyond-belief military-corporate complex and its bogus wars, its killer drones and its extralegal executions, its Abu Ghraib House of Horrors (and other acts of torture and crimes against humanity), its ridiculous income gap between the rich and the poor, its right-wing Supreme Court that routinely rules against the people and for the plutocrats (gay marriage doesn’t harm anyone’s profits, you see), its bought-and-paid-for-by-the-corporations Congress, and its government’s gargantuan electronic storage of the records of much or most or even almost all of our phone calls, e-mails, Internet activity, and even our snail mail — were the paragon of a truly free and open nation.

Salon.com, for instance, in “seriously” examining Edward Snowden’s options for political asylum, helpfully notes that on a scale of 1 to 7, with 1 being the most free and 7 being the least free, Venezuela ranks only a 5, according to some organization called Freedom House, which conveniently gives the United States a 1 for freedom.

Wow. Especially after I just learned that apparently all of the snail mail that I receive is photographed* and the images of my snail mail are stored by the federal government (along with my phone-call records, e-mails, Internet activity, etc.), I, for one, don’t feel that the U.S. is No. 1 in terms of freedom. (In Freedom House’s defense, maybe they gave the U.S. a 1 for freedom before NSAgate broke, but I am confident that they’d still give the U.S. a 1, regardless.)

I wonder if Salon.com’s writer even bothered to look up Freedom House on Wikipedia, for fuck’s sake. Wikipedia notes of Freedom House (all emphases are mine):

Freedom House is a U.S.-based non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on democracy, political freedom, and human rights. Freedom House was founded in October 1941, and Wendell Willkie and Eleanor Roosevelt served as its first honorary chairpersons. It describes itself as a “clear voice for democracy and freedom around the world.”

The organization’s annual Freedom in the World report, which assesses each country’s degree of political freedoms and civil liberties, is frequently cited by political scientists, journalists, and policy-makers. Freedom of the Press and Freedom of the Net, which monitor censorship, intimidation and violence against journalists, and public access to information, are among its other signature reports.

As of 2010, grants awarded from the U.S. government accounted for most of Freedom House’s funding; the grants were not earmarked by the government but allocated through a competitive process. Freedom House is widely regarded as a reliable source. Nonetheless, some critics have accused Freedom House’s reports of bias or of promoting U.S. government interests abroad.

Well, yeah. Duh. If the U.S. government is funding you, could you give the U.S. government anything but the highest mark possible? I mean, who is going to pay for a report that is unflattering?

That and we need to define “freedom” and truly examine how much freedom a nation’s citizens actually have.

Freedom of the press, for instance — sure, Americans at least in theory have freedom of the press, but unless you are very wealthy, how can you possibly even remotely compete with the corporate media machine, which pumps out pro-corporate and pro-plutocratic and pro-status-quo messages relentlessly? Sure, at least in theory, you can say whatever you want — but who will ever hear you?

Democracy, too — sure, in theory you could run for political office, even for the U.S. House of Representatives or the U.S. Senate or even for U.S. president, but, regardless of how bright and talented you are, how successful are you actually going to be in your quest for political office without a shitload of money?

About half of the members of the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives are millionaires. The median net worth of the typical American household, by comparison, is not even $70K. (And if you think that the Democrats are on your side, know that the typical Democrat in Congress is even richer than is the typical Repugnican. Really, you’re so fucked. We’re so fucked.)

So — can the average American really run for political office? Or, like freedom of speech is, is it a rich person’s game? Are hundreds of millionaires in D.C. truly representative of the average American’s interests?

What we have in the United States is the veneer of freedom. “Freedom” is defined for us by the plutocrats, and so therefore in the U.S., “freedom” is pretty much synonymous with “capitalism.” We Americans are free (if we have the money) to buy shit that we don’t need. We are free to go into debt (if the all-powerful credit-reporting agencies deem us worthy enough) in order to buy shit that we don’t need. We are free to pick a wage-slave job (McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Taco Bell, etc.). We are free to go to college in order to be in student-loan debt for life while there aren’t any jobs for which we can even use our college degrees for which we can’t afford to pay. We are free to be inundated with corporately produced propaganda telling us how “free” we are, and we are free to vote for pro-corporate candidates, at least around half of whom are millionaires.

So much fucking freedom!

It’s a fucking joke to hear and read Americans boasting about how free and wonderful the United States of America is when there are mountain ranges of evidence to the contrary.

I don’t maintain that other, Latin American nations that even a supposedly left-wing website like Salon.com has bashed recently, including Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Ecuador, are perfect nations, are Utopias, but so smug are we Americans, the planet’s biggest fucking assholes, that we apparently are completely oblivious to our own glaringly obvious flaws while we (even those of us who call ourselves “liberals” or “progressives” or the like) gleefully bash other nations as supposedly being less free than we are (“free” according to our plutocratic overlords, of course).

Sick fucking shit.

Venezuela is looking pretty fucking good to me right about now.

P.S. In case you are wondering, on the so-called Freedom House’s “freedom scale” of 1 to 7, I’d give the U.S. a rating of 3.5, maybe 3.0, at best. And from what I know of Venezuela, I’d give it no worse a rating than the U.S.

*We’re “assured” that our snail mail isn’t ever actually opened without a court order allowing it, but that only the outside of our snail mail is photographed. I, however, don’t trust “my” government at all. Human beings tend to abuse their power whenever and wherever they can get away with doing so, and Edward Snowden’s biggest “crime” is exposing such ubiquitous abuse of power here in the land of the so-called “free.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

You have to be brain-damaged to celebrate what they’ve just done to you

In this image from House Television, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., center, appears on the floor of the House of Representatives Monday, Aug. 1, 2011, in Washington. Giffords was on the floor for the first time since her shooting earlier this year, attending a vote on the debt standoff compromise. (AP Photo/House Television)

Associated Press image

Your future is being dismantled, chunk by chunk, by the partisan duopoly in D.C. — but hey, look! There’s Gabrielle Giffords!

No offense, but what does it say that a literally brain-damaged congressperson voted “yes” on your legislation?

But seriously, apparently the “feel-good” “news” story of the day is that Democratic U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was capped in the head by yet another white male psychopath/sociopath in Tucson in January, returned to the U.S. House of Representatives just in time in order to give her thumbs-up to the Capitulator in Chief’s latest selling out of yet another huge chunk of the store to the plutocratic and pro-plutocratic right wing.

Reports The Associated Press tonight:

Washington, D.C. — Crisis legislation to yank the nation past the threat of a historic financial default sped through the [U.S.] House [of Representatives tonight], breaking weeks of deadlock. The rare moment of cooperation turned celebratory when Rep. Gabrielle Giffords strode in for the first time since she was shot in the head nearly seven months ago.

The vote was 269-161, a scant day ahead of the deadline for action. But all eyes were on Giffords, who drew thunderous applause as she walked into the House chamber unannounced and cast her vote in favor of the bill.

A final Senate sign-off for the measure is virtually assured on Tuesday. Aside from raising the debt limit, the bill would slice federal spending by at least $2.1 trillion, and perhaps much more.

“If the bill were presented to the president, he would sign it,” the White House said, an understatement of enormous proportions.

After months of fierce struggle, the House’s top Republican and Democratic leaders swung behind the bill, ratifying a deal sealed Sunday night with a phone call from House Speaker John Boehner to President Barack Obama.

Many Republicans contended the bill still would cut too little from federal spending; many Democrats said much too much. Still, Republican lawmakers supported the compromise, 174-66, while Democrats split, 95-95.

“The legislation will solve this debt crisis and help get the American people back to work,” Boehner said at a news conference a few hours before the vote.

The Democratic leader, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, was far less effusive. “I’m not happy with it, but I’m proud of some of the accomplishments in it. That’s why I’m voting for it.”

So, too, many of the first-term Republicans whose election in 2010 handed the GOP control of the House and set the federal government on a new, more conservative course.

“It’s about time that Congress come together and figure out a way to live within our means,” said one of them, Sean Duffy of Wisconsin. “This bill is going to start that process although it doesn’t go far enough.”

The measure would cut federal spending by at least $2.1 trillion over a decade — and possibly considerably moreand would not require tax increases. [Emphasis mine.] The U.S. debt limit would rise by at least $2.1 trillion, tiding the Treasury over through the 2012 elections. …

I’m happy that Giffords is doing better these days, but does that fucking erase the fact that, chunk by chunk, my future as a forty-something, as a member of the crew that has to follow with shovels the elephants in the parade that are the fucking baby boomers, is being destroyed by the overwhelmingly self-serving, legacy-ignoring baby-boomer “leaders” in Washington? And that Capitulator in Chief Barack Obama is happily helping them in the name of “bipartisanship”?

Oh, we’re seeing a lot of “change,” all right — the decimation of Social Security and Medicare, which I’ve been paying into since I was a teenager, and other public benefits sure the fuck is a change, just not the change that I’d hoped for, and certainly not the change that President Hopey-Changey Obama had promised us.

But I suppose that I’m a heartless ogre if I am not mindlessly distracted by the “feel-good” fact that Gabrielle Giffords was there to vote “yes” on the further destruction of my nation, to endorse the further widening of the gulf between the rich and the poor in the rapidly crumbling United States of America.

I haven’t blogged on the “debt ceiling crisis” until now for many reasons:

One, I’ve come to expect Barack Obama to sell us out. He consistently and predictably sells us out. He is committed to selling us out. (He always has wanted to be the next Ronald Reagan, remember. He is succeeding spectacularly.)

Two, I’ve always figured that “at the last minute” they (the Coke Party and the Pepsi Party — and if you can’t tell the difference between the two, well, don’t feel badly, because most of the rest of us can’t, either) would announce some “breakthrough” “deal,” thus “miraculously” averting “economic Armageddon!”

Three, I’ve always figured that this has been bullshit all along, that this always has been just an elephant-and-donkey show, that the Democrats and the Repugnicans are in bed together and that a “last-minute deal” always was in the script, that the fear-mongering was meant to create the illusion among the masses that there’s actually some struggle for the soul of the nation going on in D.C. — and not, say, the collusion of, for and by two duopolistic parties that don’t give a flying fuck about you or me that’s actually going on.*

Fuck, they even threw The Return of Gabrielle Giffords into the script.

If I wasn’t a conspiracy theorist before (and I wasn’t), I think that I am now.

*No, this statement is not an endorsement of “Americans Elect.” “Americans Elect” is evil. The Wall Street weasels who have caused our economic collapse are not the ones to turn to for solutions.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

(Revised:) Mike Huckabee wins the White House!

Repugnican Tea Party douchebag Mike Huckabee announced last night that he isn’t running for president in 2012, but since he’s busy helping to rewrite U.S. history in order to indoctrinate the youngins, hell, he can just write right now that he won the 2012 presidential election and that he was the nation’s Best! President! Ever!

Many others have covered Huckabee’s participation in the selling of really bad cartoons on “American history” for home-schooled kids (such as here and here, and Rachel Maddow has covered it too). The cartoons are so fucking bad that they appear to be parodies by the creators of “South Park,” but oh, they’re not parodies…

The episode that predictably deifies Ronald Reagan (which notes, among other things, that “he worked against Communism in Hollywood” [not that he was a McCarthyite]) has this nice little image:

051211huck.jpg

Yes, that appears to me to be a knife-wielding, menacing mulatto. In the video he apparently commands the good little white kids (who have access to a time machine, but of course as long as we’re still anti-science we’ll never get to that point): “Give me your money!” Subtle!

(If I had written the little video, I might have had the good little white kids retort: “First show us your birth certificate!”)

The Orwellian right-wing attempt to rewrite U.S. history is nothing new. Glenn Beck has the online “Beck University,” and its home page proclaims, “LEARN REAL AMERICAN HISTORY.” (Also on the home page is a link to a nice little video of Glenn titled “Presidents You Should Hate,” because Glenn’s a good little Mormon boy and God wants him to hate and to tell you whom to hate [you have to subscribe to the website to get Glenn’s God-given insight, though…]).

One of “Beck U”’s “professors” — and all of his “professors” appear to be middle-aged to old white men, shockingly — is David Barton, a white wingnut who has thought himself qualified enough to write on rewrite black American history:

I’m thinking that maybe Anita Bryant should write a book on gay and lesbian American history. Perhaps Maggie Gallagher could take some time out of her crusade against marriage between any two consenting adults to be a co-author of the enlightening, setting-the-record-straight (wink wink) historical account.

The radical-right-wing attempt to rewrite U.S. history is chilling, but while I don’t want to underestimate the radical right’s harm to the nation and to the world, I can’t see a day when their “history” ever becomes mainstream. True, our mainstream U.S. history taught to public schoolchildren is whitewashed as it is, more or less teaches our children that the U.S. never can do any wrong (even the many, many episodes of the oppression of minorities are portrayed as just little potholes in the Road to Freedom, you see), but Huckabee’s and Beck’s brand of U.S. “history” is highly unlikely to make it very far outside of its apparent target audience of home-schooling parents.

One child who is home-schooled in wingnuttery is a tragic loss — not only will the successfully brainwashed child be unable to function in a world in which his or her backasswards beliefs are in the minority, but the world will have lost a fully functional human being — but the percentage of parents who would expose their children to stupid white male propaganda thankfully remains small. Most parents want their children to be well-adjusted, functional, productive adults.

Anyway, Huckabee, former Arkansas governor and a former Southern Baptist pastor, has indicated that God doesn’t want him to run for president, but I think that even Huckabee, as off of his rocker as he is, knows that his ilk is a dying breed and that he can’t win the White House. White people who hate non-whites, non-“Christians,” non-heterosexuals and non-Americans and who believe that women should be subservient to men are finding it increasingly difficult to succeed on a national political stage because their numbers are decreasing.

The Internet, too, while it contains a lot of garbage, also has made it increasingly difficult for stupid white men and their supporters to keep the masses ignorant by keeping information unavailable to them. The wingnuts no longer can stem the flow of information as easily as they have in the past.

The wingnuts can put all of the revisionist books and videos out there that they want. I wish them luck in “protecting” their offspring from being exposed to what the saner members of the much larger world believe. This is exactly what they want to do, of course, and thus, home-schooling.

This is, of course, the largest logical weakness of such oppressively closed systems: If the system is so accurate, so true, so right, then why must it shut out the rest of the world? Why must it be so encapsulated?

Anticipating this question from the home-schooled kiddies, apparently, one of Huckabee’s “history” cartoons has one of the kiddie characters declaring (at the triumphant end of a cartoon on World War II): “What we see in here [in their time-machine travels] isn’t always the same as what we read in books or see on TV. So what? We know the truth, and that’s good enough for us!”

Wow. That says so much more than I could continue to say right now.

But I will say good fucking riddance to Mike Huckabee, who never will be president of the United States of America* — except perhaps in his really bad propagandistic cartoons for the kiddies.

*The Associated Press notes:

Ed Rollins, who chaired Huckabee’s 2008 [presidential] campaign and had been talking with fundraisers about a 2012 Huckabee bid, said it would be difficult [for Huckabee] to find another opportunity like this.

“It was all there for him,” Rollins said.

About to leave a comment? Comments are a courtesy, not a right, and as such are subject to rejection or deletion. (You can always man up and post a blog piece of your own on your own blog; I’m not required to help you get your opinions out there.) General guidelines for leaving comments are here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Red scare redux

 

The Cold War still rages on for some (namely, those who are still living in the 1950s).

This book, a must-have for any home-schooling parent or parent thinking about home schooling, actually is in amazon.com’s top-100-selling books as I type this sentence.

Wow.

It’s interesting. When the wingnuts can’t find any other argument against or criticism of Barack Obama, they resort to racism. When they can’t find any other argument against or criticism of the left, they resort to red-baiting.

Yup. For the treasonous troglodytes among us, the Cold War still rages on, and when they can’t win an argument against a left-winger, they resort to visceral denunciations such as “Communist” or “Socialist” or one of their variations. It’s the adult playground equivalent of calling your opponent a doodoo head.

For all of their blather of “freedom” and “liberty,” the members of the treasonous Repugnican Tea Party don’t want our children taught that any other socioeconomic system outside of capitalism is even a remote possibility. Didn’t the actual Communists absolutely forbid that any other socioeconomic system be taught to their children? Didn’t they also wish to brainwash their children, to shackle their minds? So the actual Communists and the Repugnican Tea Party traitors are different how?

(Similarly, the members of the Taliban and other “Islamofascists” and the “Christo”fascists here at home have an awful lot in common. The content of their delusional belief systems differ, but their hypocrisy, self-righteousness and their ignorance and evil are the same.)  

Capitalism is a key method of keeping peoples in bondage, so of course the members of the radical right defend it. Especially as the excesses of capitalism have pushed the American empire to collapse, and Americans just might be considering other socioeconomic systems right about now, those who benefit from capitalism on crack want to preserve the status quo that benefits them but harms the majority of the American people.

Capitalism is based upon the idea that when thievery and virtual slavery are committed in the name of capitalism (or one of its variations, such as business), they are good. Indeed, the nexus between capitalism and “Christo”fascism, which also teaches that evil is “good” when “Christians” commit it, is so strong that the two virtually are interchangeable (along with militarism, because God and Jesus love it when we slaughter us some more Muslims!).

Capitalism is based upon the idea that getting filthy rich by paying your employees as little as you can get away — by stealing the lion’s share of the actual value of their labor from them — and by charging your customers as much as you can get away with — by stealing as much from them as you can, too — is good. The key belief of capitalism is that screwing over your fellow Americans (and others) is good. That’s an awfully weak premise for a socioeconomic system, and the capitalists know it.

This blatantly greedy, selfish thievery that is capitalism isn’t called thievery or exploitation or slavery or even wage slavery or the like. It’s called “initiative” or “hard work” or the like, even though most of the rich and super-rich among us don’t actually do much work. (I don’t count protecting and expanding one’s own personal empire as work. I count as work as doing something that is productive, that benefits others.)

But to try to keep us serfs from going after them with pitchforks and torches, the plutocrats repeat this narrative that the rich and the super-rich are rich and super-rich because they are hard workers, and those of us who aren’t rich (the vast majority of us) aren’t rich because we are lazy. And the plutocrats have billions and billions of dollars with which to reinforce this propagandistic bullshit. It’s a good bet that their money is behind the book that is pictured above.

It is critical for those of us who oppose the right-wing traitors’ Orwellian attempt to snuff out Americans’ ability to even think that a better, more just and more equitable socioeconomic system is available to us to counter their red-baiting bullshit when we see it.

If I had a nickel for every time some right-wing fucktard threw the epithets “Commie” or “Socialist” at me, I’d be as rich as the Koch brothers.

But I don’t shrink away from the mindless red-baiting, which is meant to intimidate and to thus shut down the debate.

Yes, I am a socialist. I believe that the best socioeconomic system for the United States of America would be democratic socialism. It’s pretty fucking clear what runaway capitalism has done to the nation (and to the planet, with its melting ice caps), yet the treasonous, selfish individuals who are guilty of economic malpractice (and treason, because they have harmed their own nation) are the same ones who are crowing that what we need now is even more of their brand of capitalism.*

Capitalism is eating itself alive, like a serpent swallowing its own tail. Capitalism is dying because it’s a dysfunctional, defunct socioeconomic model. It brings misery for the masses and excesses for the few.

This isn’t opinion. This is just fucking fact. It’s quite measurable and observable. And it’s not just evident, but is fucking obvious, all around you.

Our children need to be taught facts and reality, not right-wing bullshit. Our duty to our children is to give them the knowledge and the tools that they need in order to make their lives and the world better. Trying to perpetuate the ignorance of the past — such as “creationism”; whitewashed versions of American history that make the conservative, “Christian,” presumably heterosexual white man the triumphant victor and keep women, non-whites, non-heterosexuals, non-“Christians” and other historically oppressed groups down; Bible-based homophobia (and other Bible-based hogwash); anti-science, pro-business/pro-profiteering stances such as that climate change isn’t real; and the assertion that any discussion of a socioeconomic system outside of capitalism is “Commie” (which we can’t even define correctly but just “know” is something really, really bad) — is to cripple our children, is to diminish their chances for success in a rapidly evolving world, a world that continues to evolve around us whether we want to evolve with it or not, whether we want to reach for the stars or whether we want to retreat into our caves (you know, to go back to the “good old days,” such as the 1950s, when women, non-whites, non-heterosexuals and non-“Christians” knew their place!).

And I feel sorry for our public-school teachers, who routinely come under fire from ignorant, backasswards, wingnutty parents for not passing down those parents’ abject ignorance and backasswardsness to all of our children.

The effect of this political pressure and oppression from the treasonous fucktards on the right is that all of our public-school children get, at best, a watered-down education that instead of teaching them to strive for solutions to our problems only teaches them to perpetuate our problems, which only ensures the collapse of an American empire that cannot remain competitive in an increasingly globalizing world.

*Amazon.com notes that Joe Kernan “is the co-anchor of CNBC’s longest-running program, the top-rated morning show ‘Squawk Box.’ Before television, he was a successful stockbroker with top firms such as Merrill Lynch and Smith Barney.” So a former Wall Street weasel sings the praises of capitalism. Oh, what a shock! And amazon.com notes that Blake Kernan is “a fifth-grade student” and apparently is the girl who is pictured on the book cover.

 Hey, why have children if you can’t infect and cripple them with your own sick belief system and use them to make a profit for you?

About to leave a comment? Comments are a courtesy, not a right, and as such are subject to rejection or deletion. (You can always man up and post a blog piece of your own on your own blog; I’m not required to help you get your opinions out there.) General guidelines for leaving comments are here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The (Jessica) Lynching of Osama bin Laden

Wow. You expected this kind of shit from the unelected Bush regime, with its lies about and cover-ups regarding the Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman sagas, but you (or at least I) expected more from the Obama administration.

Until now I have held off on repeating any of the details that have been released regarding Osama bin Laden’s actual moment of death because I was skeptical of them – and for good cause, because now, they are reporting, apparently bin Laden was unarmed when he was shot dead in the head and did not use one of his wives as a “human shield.”

The “human shield” charge especially was repeated all over the corporately owned and controlled mass media, because it fit in nicely with the pre-existing jingoistic narrative of bin Laden as actually being a “coward” instead of a bad-ass — a charge that is probably more false than true and that says a lot more about Americans’ actual collective level of courage than it does about bin Laden’s. (Americans, after all, kill with high-tech weaponry and they usually kill from a distance. [Which makes American killing “civilized,” you see, while the less technologically advantaged “terrorists” often if not usually kill others more closely and personally, which makes them “terrorists,” as does the fact that they’re not Americans.])

Anyway, so now the latest word is that bin Laden was unarmed and that the woman who was shot dead along with him was not his wife, but was another woman, and that his wife was injured in the firefight, but was not used by bin Laden as a “human shield.”  

These are just basic facts of what the fuck happened. You would think that the “transparent” Obama administration would have done a much better job of getting out accurate information about such a momentous news event.

And the fact (well, the fact du jour, anyway…) that bin Laden was unarmed raises the legal, moral and ethical question of whether or not he should have been captured and brought to trial instead of executed on the spot. Does a “civilized” nation of “laws” and “order” and “human rights” execute someone who is unarmed, even someone like Osama bin Laden, on the spot?

I recognize the huge problems, including, of course, security issues, that putting bin Laden on trial would have presented. But do we have principles or not? Do we mean what we say in our Constitution about human rights — including the right to a fair trial and the right not to be summarily executed, no matter what it is believed that you have done – or don’t we?

All of this — the initial misinformation about bin Laden’s summary execution, the apparent fact that bin Laden could have been taken alive — makes Barack Obama way too much like George W. (“W” for “Wanted Dead or Alive”) Bush for my sense of right and wrong, and I have to wonder how much of bin Laden’s execution was calculated to benefit Barack Obama’s re-election campaign.

I mean, fuck: In January, Team Obama did indeed roll out, as part of Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, the lame meme of “We do big things” in the State of the Union Address. Yesterday, Obama said of bin Laden’s execution, “Today we are reminded that as a nation there is nothing we can’t do.”

I mean, that looks like a link to me. It’s fairly apparent that Team Obama sat around and pondered: Hmmm… How can we fit Osama bin Laden’s death into our re-election campaign narrative?

Even in this great age of cynicism, that’s some sick shit, in my book.

Again, I’m not crying that Osama bin Laden is dead, but we cannot claim to be a “civilized” nation that respects human rights and laws and at the same time do shit like summarily execute the “bad guys.” (As far as body counts of innocents go, we Americans actually are the biggest global bad guys, but because we’re Americans, we’re fucking saints.)  

And to watch Barack Obama act as though he went over to Pakistan and got bin Laden himself – when that long, hard work was done by other people, including some who apparently put themselves at the potential risk of great injury or death – is nauseating, especially when Obama apparently plans to use bin Laden’s scalp for political gain.

But that is the history of the slimy political opportunist Obama: taking credit for others’ work, such as how he only rode, all the way to the White House, the wave that Howard Dean had created with the left-leaning “netroots.”

Now, it appears, it is the execution of Osama bin Laden that is going to keep Obama in the Oval Office for another four years.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Manufacturing labor-union ‘thuggery’

In its losing battle to destroy labor unions (right after it promised the nation to get the jobs back), the Repugnican Tea Party is using the same old tattered page from its playbook: Play the victim (while being the victimizer).

Drunkard Repugnican Tea Party leader John Boehner proclaimed yesterday in typical Repugnican Tea Party rhetoric, “We’ve given them [unionized public employees] a machine gun and put it right at the heads of the local officials, and they [the local officials] really have their hands tied.” (I am a unionized public employee and don’t own a machine gun, nor am I into bondage. Just sayin’.)

The wingnuts employ the term “thug” (as in “union thug”) and its derivatives and synonyms ad nauseum in their current campaign of union-bashing.

Of course, it helps if you provoke the members of the pro-labor side. You know, to “prove” what “thugs” they (we) inherently are. Which is what I watched a bunch of “Tea Party” traitors do here in Sacramento at the California state Capitol on Saturday (on which there were pro-labor gatherings of various sizes in all of the states’ capitals in solidarity with the workers of Wisconsin).

I estimate that on Saturday there were at least 1,000 pro-labor protesters at the California Capitol in the second pro-labor rally there within the same week, and about 100 “Tea Party” traitors who also were there, across the street, for no other apparent reason than to provoke the pro-labor side.

(Anticipating the presence of the “Tea Party” antagonists, I brought a sign with me that on one side read: “‘Tea Party’ Traitors’ ‘Founding Father’ is BENEDICT ARNOLD!” with a portrait of the infamous traitor below, and on the other side was featured a graphic of a coiled rattlesnake under which were the words: “DON’T TREAD ON THE WORKING CLASS!”)

From across the street, the “Tea Party” traitors, one of them in a three-cornered hat with a tea bag hanging from it, and at least two of them with bullhorns, heckled us pro-labor protesters for more than an hour and a half. Among many things, they repeatedly played that song with the lyric, “Na na na na hey hey hey good-bye!” (you know, in celebration of their anticipated destruction of the labor unions), rubbed their eyes in order to call us crybabies, and in general acted like the right-wing fucktards that they are.

We on the pro-labor side, among other things, chanted at the “Tea Party” traitors that they are “fascists!” (because they are), chanted “Shame on you!” (for their treason against the working class), and, when the “Tea Party” traitors quite stupidly chanted, “The party is over!”, those of us on the right side of the debate chantingly responded: “The Tea Party is over!”

(At one point, one of the “Tea Party” traitors with a bullhorn actually informed us that we “are living in the past.” Which is pretty fucking funny coming from a “Tea Party” dipshit whose cohort is wearing a three-cornered hat and who [by definition] wants to drag us back to the Dark Ages.)

I don’t assert that the “Tea Party” traitors don’t have the First Amendment right to attend pro-labor gatherings. They do.

But what they do is intentionally provoke the pro-labor side with the hope of getting photos and/or videorecorded footage of someone on the pro-labor side getting physical — and then they post this on the Internet as “proof” of “unprovoked” “union thuggery.”

Which is exactly what they did on Saturday.

Again, I watched the “Tea Party” traitors bait those of us on the pro-labor side for more than an hour and a half, and apparently at one point a member of the Teamsters got into a very brief shoving match with a “Tea Party” traitor.

One of the “Tea Party” traitors captured video of this and put the video clip on YouTube, and the shoving match happens so quickly that if you blink, you’ll miss it.

Of course the “Tea Party” traitor who posted the brief altercation on YouTube posted it without any fucking context whatsofuckingever. You don’t see any footage of the “Tea Party” traitors there relentlessly baiting the pro-labor side. You see only the altercation itself, as though it had occurred in a fucking vacuum. Because if you saw the context within which the altercation happened, the right-wing claim about those “union thugs” would lose its strength.

The mainstream media, too, though, love conflict.

A photographer for the Sacramento Bee managed to get this dramatic photo just before the aforementioned brief shoving match began:

Protest photo.jpg

The guy on the left is the Teamster and the guy on the right is the “Tea Party” traitor. Their brief shoving match happened in my vicinity, and I didn’t even witness it, that’s how brief it was; I didn’t even learn of it until after I went home and saw the photo on the Bee’s website (and then the wingnut’s short videorecording of it on YouTube).

While admittedly it’s a great news photo, it certainly isn’t representative of the events on Saturday. I never witnessed anything like this in the more than an hour and a half that I was there.

I don’t know the Teamster who is photographed above, but I do remember seeing him at the pro-labor gathering on Saturday. He did strike me as somewhat of a little pit bull whom you wouldn’t want to mess with, but I have no clear idea of what happened between him and the “Tea Party” provocateur.

And to be fair and balanced, I will report that some on the pro-labor side shouted some things at the “Tea Party” traitors that they (probably) shouldn’t have, such as “cocksuckers!” and (via a bullhorn) an unfunny empty threat that the “Tea Party” traitors had five minutes to clear out (a thinly veiled threat of violence, even though no reasonable person would have taken it seriously).

But as much fun as it might be, you cannot, in fairness, paint all of the members of a group as the same based upon the actions of a few members of that group. Every group of size has its outliers.

Further, when someone’s livelihood is threatened (or he perceives it to be threatened), and you then heckle him about this fact, oh, guess what? He just might respond physically — especially if he is prone to physically acting out when he is angry.

But you don’t get to intentionally provoke someone and then, when he finally snaps and gets physical, claim that he inherently is violent or unhinged or the like and that you are as innocent and pure as the driven snow! Which is what the “Tea Party” traitors have done in this case.**

Frankly, the “Tea Party” traitors who did their best for more than an hour and a half to enrage the pro-labor side were lucky that all that happened was a brief shoving match that they then got to post on YouTube wholly out of context. At one point on Saturday, I truly wondered whether or not the pro-labor side might actually surge across the street and attack the “Tea Party” traitors who were baiting them/us, but alas, they/we did not, and overall, those on the pro-labor side showed remarkable restraint (to the disappointment of the camera-wielding “Tea Party” traitors [real “warriors” for their “cause”], I’m sure).

Tip: If you have a videorecording device (I don’t), it wouldn’t hurt to bring it with you if you anticipate a contingent of “Tea Party” traitors showing up at your event (and if your event is about promoting the public good, then you probably will see some “Tea Party” traitors there to promote their agenda). You at least could show that the “Tea Party” traitors do their damnedest to try to get a violent response to their venom and bile from their opponents.

Many if not most of the “Tea Party” traitors I saw on Saturday were taking photos or video, primarily in order to intimidate us, from what I could tell (it didn’t work), but also they probably hoped to be able to post any photo or video footage of a “Tea Party” traitor being attacked/“attacked” by a “union thug” — you know, like obtaining a scalp.

In a court of law, however, I don’t know how you could claim to be an innocent victim after you first had provoked your attacker relentlessly in the hope that he would attack you. (Judge Judy would slap you upside the head for that kind of shit, methinks.)

And in the court of public opinion, the members of the jury need to know that the “Tea Party” traitors are doing their best to capture photographic “evidence” of all of that supposed unprovoked “union thuggery” out there in order to support the Repugnican Tea Party’s national propaganda campaign that unprovoked “union thuggery” is rampant — very apparently in order to turn the undecideds against members of labor unions.

Just don’t expect to see any of this “evidence” of “union thuggery” presented within its context of the relentless baiting by “Tea Party” traitors that precedes it.

Because that would fuck up the fairy tales that the treasonous wingnuts are trying to sell.

*The Bee’s crappy “reportage” of Saturday’s event undercounted the pro-labor side at only 400 people and overcounted the “Tea Party” traitors at 150. No way was the actual ratio anything like 400:150. It was much more like 10:1. (As I noted recently, it seems to me that the mainstream media don’t hesitate to undercount the center-left, anticipating no real backlash, but probably are terrified to undercount the center-right, and thus inflate their numbers in order to be safe from right-wing backlash.)

**And in others. See Salon.com’s Alex Pareene’s recent reportage on this phenomenon here and here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized