Archive for September, 2010

FIGHTING GREEDY TYRANTS

September 30, 2010

World War I Recruiting Poster

Ralph Nader to OCAW Union Convention in Denver in 1994. ABSTRACT:

“As large corporations try to control the ideology of the public through their mass media conglomerates and their political action committee domination in Congress and their ability to decide what research is done and not done in our universities, they can no longer say that people are getting better in terms of their income.”

“The second thing they can’t lay claim to any more is even pseudo patriotism.  Their principal business strategy is quitting America.”

“They have often claimed that they were upstanding members of the community.  They belonged to the Red Cross; they were on the boards of churches, Community Chest, [so forth].  They are now the biggest purveyors of pornography in the world.  They are moving with strategic marketing plans to raise our children from what they eat to who takes care of them to how they’re entertained to what they look at as their future. KinderCare raises the kids, McDonald’s feeds them, FOX, Time-Warner entertains them. Then the addictive industries come in, at about pre-teen age.  What they’re telling these children is that violence is a solution to life’s problems.  That they can get further in life by eating junk food and resisting nutrition and that it’s better to watch a screen thirty hours a week than to read or think or spend time with their siblings and family or on their schoolwork.

“Did you ever wonder why important issues in American life aren’t researched, and how to create a new cream whip or dessert is worked on by food technologists at universities?

“Are those the priorities when you think of all the things that should be worked on? What they’re doing is turning our universities into their business agents, and the graduate students are working for the professors, who are consulting or moonlighting several days a month for the corporations.

“Then you wonder what these students are getting in the classroom.  They learn economics, the way Exxon and the Federal Reserve wrote it.  They don’t learn about the history of the populist or progressive movements, from farmer to trade union.  They don’t learn about how to reorganize our economy so that we take all the abundance we have and give people an opportunity to do a lot of other things with their lives except worrying every week how they’re going to make ends meet and whether they’re going to keep their jobs. There are trillions of dollars of capital in this country, owned by a few or owned by the workers but controlled by the few. No country has achieved the level of wealth that we have and managed to concentrate either its ownership or its control in so few hands. $3 trillion of worker pension funds could control corporate America through the Stock Exchange, but it is controlled by corporate America through a few banks and insurance companies, not the workers who own it.

“The law tells us we own the public airwaves. So what are we getting that’s of any substance, that connects citizens with citizens, that rebuilds our neighborhoods, that alerts us to problems coming on the horizon? Television and radio are 90% entertainment and most of that pretty low grade. The rest is redundant news. Yet we own the airwaves. So, how come there isn’t a cable labor channel? Why isn’t there a twenty-four hour channel devoted to working people’s achievements and problems and history?

“There’s no consumer channel. There’s no citizen action channel, so that people in all parts of the country can connect.

“What’s amazing is that we don’t have a piece of the mass media, radio and TV, since we technically and legally own the airwaves. We’re the landlords; the radio and TV stations are the tenants. But we never think about it because we grow up corporate.

“We don’t even make a political issue out of what we own but don’t control. We own one third of America, the public lands where all minerals are, and the mining companies pretty much control it through their friends in Washington. We own the airwaves, we don’t control them. We own $1.5 trillion in mutual insurance money, Prudential, Metropolitan – we’re talking legally now; we’re the legal owners, [but] we don’t have a snip of the corporation’s control.

“When you grow up corporate, you don’t even make it an issue.  You don’t even think about it. You think that’s by accident? We must root our history and culture in a broader framework and insulate this constant hammering and curtailment of the people’s horizons by the corporate commercial standards. In the last twenty years these corporatists and their think tanks have been re-writing history. They have been saying that trade unions ruined our competitiveness in the world. “Competitiveness” means, Hurry up, America, you haven’t reached the level of Malaysia yet. It means Pull down your standards of living. Take away your right to jury trials and injury cases. Freeze your minimum wage and have it eroded by inflation. Bust up the unions. Intimidate the workers who want to form them. Build more gambling casinos, more entertainment palaces, the roman circus. Feed it to them. It’ll numb them from what’s happening, which is, the global corporate world order is to pull down higher standard of living countries like ours. That’s what meeting global competition means to corporatists. And it’s happening. It’s not a prediction.”

“There is also a global corporate strategy to lay an autocratic bureaucracy that’s secretive over our modest democracy [World Trade Organization (WTO), which adjudicates international trade disputes through corporate lawyers, without press, citizens, union allowed] and expose our laws to declarations by secret tribunals that they’re invalid, and we either obey or pay. This is the ultimate grand design for the Global Corporate Order. If the people of this country knew what the WTO is all about, they would knock it down.

“[If our leaders] don’t drop their fatalism and resignation and constant saying, ‘There’s no way to stop it, why try?’ then I submit that it’s time for about 15,000 people to surround [each leader] in a demonstration. Thank you very much.” – Ralph Nader.

International Workers of the World

ONE NATION WORKING TOGETHER by Peter Rothberg Tuesday, September 21, 2010 by The Nation

The sobering new data on poverty has given new impetus to the One Nation Working Together movement, a coalition of union members, community activists, students, entertainers, civil and human rights leaders and progressive politicians coming together on October 2 to demand jobs, justice and education.

The figures recently released by the US Census Bureau show that one in seven Americans – that’s 45.6 million people – lives in poverty in the United States. This is the third consecutive year of increases. African-Americans saw an increase from 24.7 percent to 25.8 percent, while poor Hispanics jumped from 23.2 percent to 25.3 percent. Shockingly, the number of Americans living fifty percent below poverty level is at an all-time high of 6.3 percent of the country. That’s a total of 19 million people trying to get by on $10,977 annual income for a family of four.

Organizers are hoping the events on October 2 will herald the emergence of a new political force that can fill the void in representing the growing needs of larger and larger segments of the populace and wrest the fake populist mantle away from the Tea Partiers and Glenn Beck.

These words from Campus Progress’ Sara Haile-Mariam eloquently explain what the October 2 march represents.

VIDEO: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/09/21-10

And this video with AFL-CIO Executive Vice President Arlene Holt Baker lucidly details the goals of the new movement.

VIDEO: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/09/21-10

Initiated largely by the AFL-CIO and the NAACP, One Nation has scores of sponsoring organizations

[O]rganizers have laid out some concrete policy goals including extension of the federal unemployment program, COBRA, mortgage assistance, and other targeted initiatives to those currently unemployed; legislation to ensure that all workers earn a living family wage; the expansion of anti-discrimination law; the reform of bankruptcy laws to the benefit of families, working people, seniors, and students; the completion of the promise of universal healthcare, and increased federal support to institutions of higher education that provide opportunities for underserved communities, including community colleges and Historically Black Colleges.

The DC march is expected to draw hundreds of thousands of Americans from across the country, who will gather at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC at the same time as hundreds of smaller, local events are staged coast to coast.

Find out more info about the DC march, including how you can arrange a trip, volunteer and spread the word, or check out what local events are taking place near you.

If you can’t make it to an [event]…, you can still watch the proceedings live on Free Speech TV (FSTV) with hosts Thom Hartmann and Laura Flanders. The TV broadcast will feature main stage speeches, interviews with organizers and analysts and reporting from the crowd. The special program will air nationally from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm Eastern Time on DISH Network channel 9415, DIRECTV channel 348 and numerous cable stations across the country. — Peter Rothberg writes the ActNow column for the The Nation. READ MORE: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/09/21-10

Faith, Hope, charity, Fidelity

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DENIAL NO LONGER AN OPTION

September 24, 2010

Arctic Ice Death Spiral

UPDATE POSTED February 15.  Scientists Confirm: Arctic Sea Ice ‘Collapse’ at Our Door. Warming planet and new evidence portends future of ice-free Arctic. Arctic sea ice volume in 1000s of cubic kilometers. The Arctic Sea is experiencing rapid ice loss at a pace so fast that the area will soon be ice-free in warmer months — showing a collapse in total sea ice volume to one fifth of its level in 1980.
http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/02/15-6

ARCTIC ICE IN DEATH SPIRAL by Stephen Leahy September 20, 2010 by Inter Press ServiceUXBRIDGE, Canada – Carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels have now melted the Arctic sea ice to its lowest volume since before the rise of human civilisation and dangerously upset the energy balance of the entire planet, climate scientists report.

Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center in the U.S. City of Boulder, Colorado told IPS. “I stand by my previous statements that the Arctic summer sea ice cover is in a death spiral. It’s not going to recover.”

There can be no recovery because tremendous amounts of extra heat are added every summer to the region as more than 2.5 million square kilometres of the Arctic Ocean have been opened up to the heat of the 24-hour summer sun. A warmer Arctic Ocean not only takes much longer to re-freeze, it emits huge volumes of additional heat energy into the atmosphere, disrupting the weather patterns of the northern hemisphere. Trapping all that additional heat has impacts and those will grow in the future.

If the global average temperature increases from the present 0.8 C to two degrees C, as seems likely, the entire Arctic region will warm at least four to six degrees and possibly eight degrees due to a series of processes and feedbacks called Arctic amplification. “I hate to say it but I think we are committed to a four- to six-degree warmer Arctic,” Serreze said.

If the Arctic becomes six degrees warmer, half the world’s permafrost will likely thaw, probably to a depth of a few metres, releasing most of the carbon and methane accumulated there over thousands of years, said Vladimir Romanovsky of the University of Alaska in Fairbanks and a world expert on permafrost. Methane is a global warming gas approximately 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide (CO2).

There are no good estimates of how much CO2 and methane is being released. “Methane is always there anywhere you drill through the permafrost,” Romanovsky noted.

Much of the permafrost thaw would happen at the beginning of a massive 50-year meltdown because of rapid feedbacks. Emissions of CO2 and methane from thawing permafrost are not factored into the global climate models and it will be several years before this can be done.

Present pledges by governments to reduce emissions will still result in a global average temperature increase of 3.5 to 3.9 C by 2100, according to the latest analysis. That would result in an Arctic that’s 10 to 16 degrees C warmer, releasing most of the permafrost carbon and methane and unknown quantities of methane hydrates.

This why some climate scientists are calling for a rapid phaseout of fossil fuels, recommending that fossil fuel emissions peak by 2015 and decline three per cent per year. But even then there’s still a 50-percent probability of exceeding two degrees C current studies show. If the emissions peak is delayed until 2025, then global temperatures will rise to three degrees C, the Arctic will be eight to 10 degrees warmer and the world will lose most its permafrost.

Meanwhile, a new generation of low-cost, thin-film solar roof and outside wall coverings being made today has the potential to eliminate burning coal and oil to generate electricity, energy experts believe – if governments have the political will to fully embrace green technologies. Read more: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/09/20-2

 

The Selling of America

 

ELIZABETH WARREN IN OFFICE – BUT NOT IN POWER Banksters Cheer Tepid Rules on Anniversary of Lehman’s Fall by Danny Schechter September 20, 2010 by CommonDreams.org

“This sounds so bleak when I say it, but we need some delusions to keep us going.”
— Woody Allen in the New York Times

“The former chairman of Lazard in London who is now chairman of Barclays, once said that the only two things that would survive a nuclear war were cockroaches and Lazard.  On the evidence of the past few years, he underestimated the tenacity of the rest of the investment banking industry” — William Wright, Editor, Financial News, London

Hooray, Elizabeth Warren is to become a Special Assistant to President Obama in charge of setting up the Consumer Protection Bureau that she conceived. Alas, it is not to be the independent agency she wanted but a bureau within the Federal Reserve Bank, a branch of government that is really run by big banks which did virtually nothing to protect consumers when they needed help the most.

She is not in the job she deserves but a post in the Executive Branch under Obama’s control and with oversight by Tim Geithner, Larry Summers, and Rahm Emanuel et al. (The White House worries that they could not win a protracted confirmation battle.)

So she’s in, but hardly in charge, or able to be an independent force.

Economics analyst Yves Smith warns, don’t believe the hype: “It is now official that Warren is at best a placeholder; she cannot have much impact. She can’t make much in the way of policy or personnel choices; that would encroach on the authority of an incoming director. And even her ability to influence the choice of a nominee is questionable. Her taking the advisory role now assures that the nomination of the permanent director will come after the midterm Congressional elections. Given the virtual certainty of Democratic losses, the odds are high that Team Obama will settle on a “conservative” meaning “won’t ruffle the banking industry” choice, and argue its hands were tied.

Most Americans don’t realize the global dimensions of the crisis and the fact that many in the world are suffering more than we are because of unchecked speculation on Wall Street. There is nothing in place that will stop a recurrence of the Lehman collapse two years ago this week. There is no real debate about whether more institutions will fail, only when.

Many of the top CEOS responsible for the loss of Trillions have landed on their feet, and are now in jobs/sinecures in new firms, and live free of any fear of prosecution. So called “conservatives” in the US are promoting austerity policies including tax cuts for the rich. Meanwhile, there is push back as 300 economists and analysts warn that the “deficit hawks” who appear to be gaining the upper hand in our economic debates are threatening to turn an already deeply painful recession into a full-blown depression.

“The experts warn that the American economy now stands at a crucial juncture. They acknowledge that public debt is mounting, and present a choice of two different ways to right the ship: impose fiscal “austerity” today, in the midst of the most serious downturn since the Great Depression, or invest in the American economy — with public spending over the short term — in order to grow our way out of the red ink.”

The alternatives are clear. Which side are you on? Denial is no longer an option.

A group called One Nation is mobilizing a march on Washington for jobs and justice on October 2. Will it be big enough and noisy enough to make a difference?

Mediachannel’s News Dissector Danny Schechter investigates the origins of the economic crisis in his new book Plunder: Investigating Our Economic Calamity and the Subprime Scandal (Cosimo Books via Amazon). Comments to dissector@mediachannel.org READ MORE: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2010/09/20-5

 

World Powers Tackle Climate

 

WORLD POWERS TO TACKLE CLIMATE AMID SKEPTICISM Monday, September 20, 2010 by Agence France Presse

NEW YORK – The 17 nations responsible for 80 percent of carbon emissions blamed for global warming will seek to unblock stalled climate negotiations this week but analysts expect little progress.

“I don’t think anyone is expecting any major announcement,” said Michael Levi, an analyst with the Council on Foreign Relations, acknowledging the Cancun meeting would likely be another stalemate.

Levi warned that a period of uncertainty could follow the November mid-term legislative elections in which Republicans are poised to retake control of the House of Representatives from Obama’s Democrats and to increase their numbers in the Senate. Last June, the House approved a bill that would launch the country’s first nationwide “cap-and-trade” system restricting carbon emissions. The Senate has yet to offer companion legislation, amid opposition from Republicans and Democrats dependent on the coal and hydrocarbon industries.

“Real change contradicts the business model of the fossil fuel industry,” environmentalist Bill McKibben said, “…the industry [is] too powerful for Congress to effectively tackle reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. He urged more global action to create a “mass movement” in support of cutting emissions.

READ MORE: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/09/20

RELATED READS:

CRUSHING AMERICA

September 18, 2010

"Play it again, Sam!"

[Click image for MORE]

PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS:

PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS:
Speaking about the Repuglicon “fear” factor, why don’t they cooperate, et al?  The neocon bottom line is outrageous: they really wish the United States to fail.
Their GOAL is to preserve, protect and defend special privilege from the democratic rule of law and the American nation.
Over half a century ago, in the early 1950’s, what I call a CTPPD (a Consensus To Preserve Plausible Deniability), including oil and energy millionaires, bankers, big-ticket real estate developers, medical insurance providers, investment firms, wholesale raw materials providers, and so forth, began a concerted and integrated campaign in part coordinated by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to discredit, loot and crush the American government. It included inserting “under God” into the Pledge of Allegiance, blatantly breaking the separation of church and state, and their first effort through President Eisenhower to drag Social Security and the Tennessee Valley Power Authority into private ownership.  They also passed a two-term limit on the office of president.  My father called it, “Stomping on Franklin Roosevelt’s Grave.”

I was told by Congressman Barbur Conable (R I-forget) in ’73 that compulsory public education was unconstitutional and undemocratic and vouchers and home schooling would be introduced forthwith – it would be “most helpful in educating children with the right understanding for when they become adults.”  Keep the little nippers clear of all that subversive democratic crap and real history.  The John Birch Society injunction to its members in the early 1960’s was, “Join your local PTA, and take it over!”

I stood witness to the shenanigans surrounding local government’s share in the Savings and Loan Scandal (watched Orrin Hatch and the Mormons spirit Jake Gaarn, Mormon hero astronaut-senator who led the S&L thieves on the Senate side, away to Salt Lake City and out of the public eye before the “s” hit the fan, while the Congressman sponsor on the House side took the fall – I think this was their rehearsal for George W. Bush’s Great American Mortgage Collapse – it has the same modus operandi.  We should never elect Mitt Romney to anything).

Reagan assaulted government itself – “The ten most dreaded words…’I’m from the government and I’m here to help.'” Reagan went after the Air Traffic Controllers and made the first significant breach in federal protection for unions. The list goes on, as if subject to a consistent and integrated general game plan worthy of the best hostile takeover experts.  Clue.

The people’s government is the one force that is able to withstand and force these self-interested robbers to change. Therefore, the people’s representatives had to be bought, or as many as necessary, depending upon the moment’s tactical need, to shill for and protect corporate interests. The Republican Party (as the easiest – smallest, most uniform, least principled – simplest to corrupt and manipulate had to become ascendant for a short time to gain control of the government appointment process and “fix” institutional areas that were most intrusive on the corporatist ability to do pretty much as pleased, including “enslave” people (wage-wise), or “waterboard” them (use any pressure or torture to force compliance and contribution to the corporate will).  They had a lot of practice at it in Chile and Peru, Argentina and Nicaragua, and simply needed to apply it to us.

They stole the people’s treasury – carried it out under the glad hand of their born-again rich president Geo. W. Bush.  If we’re broke we can’t afford to fight them, right? Dick Cheney is not an accident, but a premier product and instrument of a rapacious piratical, and practically pathological, corporate elite: profit before honor.  These are generationally all pretty much the same guys playing the same ugly way, administration after administration.  They are a scary bunch and they are not American patriots.

The neocon corporatist tactic is to wave the weak hand – the Republican Party cum Tea Party – to obfuscate, delay and confuse, while the real work goes on with the anti-change Rubin clones and lobbyists surrounding Obama and the Congress. It is a real mistake to think that we can continue by reconstructing the past – our environmental jeopardy and social crisis require innovations and new directions that cannot include corporate capitalism – but while we must develop lower economic expectations, we don’t have to give up on a compassionate civilization.

The continued private dismantling, bankrupting and removal of America’s manufacturing capabilities to foreign climes is still in hemorrhage. Leading the list of outsourcers are well-known American companies, including the Xerox Corporation, the Oracle Corporation, The Hewlett-Packard Company, Accenture Limited, International Business Machines Corporation and Perot Systems (old Ross warned against NAFTA that there would be “a great sucking sound as business went south.” His firm went with them).

The neocon corporatists are not trying to fix the broken Republican Party – it is in the game plan to eventually destroy the two-party system and run with one party: “cheaper, more efficient, less wasteful” (ha!). Steele, Limbaugh, Beck, Cantor, Boehner, all the rest, are handy decoys, making a lot of noise all around the edges so that public attention is diverted from the corruption still proceeding.  Corporatists like the wingnut Tea Bag Republicans because they are obediently silly followers – ignorant and superstitious; the Big-Tent Democrats are apparently programmed to self-destruct, which would leave us with a permanently dysfunctional and therefore easier to manage wingnut government?  Garbage in, garbage out.  The dog-eat-dog social consequences are devastating to consider.  The cynicism is appalling.

The Republican circus masks the real working level where the boodle bags are still being packed. They are not working with us, because the neocon corporatists are still using and stealing from us. They don’t expect any retribution or punishment for it; it is the culture. They are so highly placed that they expect to tiptoe through the tulips while the rest of us fry in the ozone hole. They believe the “highest and best use” of any piece of land is how much money you can make off it, not the future it may provide if unmolested for all life as we know it.  They seemingly don’t care about life at all.  Chaos and disorder are the diversions necessary for on-going thievery and murder.

In 1991, a senior assistant from President Bush Sr.’s office met National Association of Counties (NACo) President Michael Stewart (R – Salt Lake Co.) at a cocktail party at the Annual Conference in Salt Lake City. I overheard them discussing the “best” form of government, ever. They agreed that it was Medieval England. Its benefits?

  •  The king is the sole authority, secures obedience, neutralizes all possible challengers; gains the monopoly of force; and, maintains law and order.
  • Patriotism is focused on the nation, not on the localities that comprise it, transferring identity from the local to the national level, putting it at the disposal of the king.
  • The state dominates or controls the religious life of society, or at least allies itself with the representatives of a single authoritarian religion to more easily manage the mob to the king’s totalitarian advantage.
  • The state exerts control over economic life to facilitate circulation and exchange of goods, and to grasp as much as possible of the national wealth for the king and his allies.

In the medieval model stability is created through divine hierarchy. The king rules all, the church prays for the soul and calms the mass, the military fights to protect the bodies and property of the “community”, and the peasants work to feed everybody. It’s a simple model, which allowed it to last for several hundred incredibly stultifying and repressive years in which the majority of humankind subsisted on the level of cattle, or swine, and wars were fought at personal whim of a vainglorious, and occasionally religiously demented elite. Does this ring bells, or what?

The important men at the 1991 cocktail party didn’t intend to install a king or a single church in America, but in variation, updated and recycled form, they favored state identification and alliance with a majority religion and a CEO working with a board of directors (perhaps preserving a faint hint of representative government – old habits, even bad ones such as participative management, die hard). Call king and court president and cabinet, or rose and garden, they envisioned a tyrant working with an oligarchy of the privileged elite that they believe is, of course, best suited to govern, operating above government and for the privileged elite.  They think they’re nobility.

They were deadly serious and not at all amused when I asked if they had ever heard of Robin Hood or the Magna Carta.  They looked at me as if I’d pooped their shoes, then ignored me.

“Americans deserve the government they elect,” my father used to say, but we didn’t elect Bush. Kings, as I recall, are divinely chosen – in our case, by fat cats and the Supreme Court. Kings and aristocracy represent the elite status quo, which presently resides in Wall Street. Wall Street wants to govern everything by itself, without any interference from the rest of us.  Father knows best.  [The ultra rightwing Koch Brothers are Pappies Nr. 1 and 2 – PUBLIC ENEMIES 1 and 2 ].

In Conclusion, there’s a Fuse on All this

Our species probably won’t be around long enough to figure out how to change from consumerist overpopulating inattentive polluters into minimalist birth-controlling aware conservationists.  We’ll overgraze our range soon.  One can see our rapidly escalating devastation of the planet.  Corporatists and their idiotic and/or greedy followers accelerate it even more; they “rationalize” irrational actions with fantastic myths to justify unreasonable behaviors.  They lie like freaking rugs. There are only a few values in their make-believe world that are any good, and they are, of course, common and obvious to all humankind: love, mercy, truth, honor, and justice – those sorts of universal things, echoed by every other life philosophy ever conceived, that is, invented by man; hypocritically enshrined by corporatist Republican and Tea Bag spin meisters who speak of, but don’t live up to them.

They have created and are attempting to retain dominance in an amoral, or consciously immoral world of corruption, thievery, and violence, instead of trying to eliminate or improve conditions that would remedy or heal it.  They are in fact, the enemy of humankind and non-human creation, and clear-thinking people who treasure compassion and cooperation must vigorously oppose them.  If a beast is contrary to the health and safety of the world, it should be contained and defanged.

The world is a dangerous place.  The fact that so many choose – even, hysterically – to resist change, do so at their peril, and endanger the rest of us.  Keeping silent about abuse, perversion, injustice, greed, vandalism, or prejudice is self-defeating, irresponsible, and destructive.  Self-willed ignorance is a socially and spiritually criminal act.  Pericles was right (in democratic ancient Athens, or the U.S.), “People who say they have no business here with government have no business here at all.”

Final words:  Keep on keepin’ on. We, the people, need each other.  We can win this fight against the self-styled elite.  We outnumber them.  Vote Progressive as if your life depended upon it – it very well may, and cliché or not, every election is truly the most important election since our Constitution was ratified.  Best regards to us all,  j

Just Say, "Yes!"

HAPPY LABOR DAY!

September 4, 2010

The United States used to build things.

You must help to preserve it.

"Play it again, Sam!"

Republican Plutocrats Create Bank Failures.

True Progressives

Unite at the Ballot box.

Impeach the Supreme Court Five.

“We have it in our power to make the world over again!” – Thomas Paine, American author-patriot-founder.

Lest we forget:

INDEPENDENCE DAY

GULF DISASTER Breaking News

BECK’S CROCODILE TEARS

FOX NEWS, HOLY LAND, SUPERMAN

September 3, 2010

Canon Fodder

“Canon Fodder”

FOX NEWS IS PORNOGRAPHIC:

We don’t have to take pornographic mail, why should we have to take FOX?  I don’t want to pay for pornography.  All that phony-baloney religious programming and shopping channels are offensive, too.  I want the freedom to choose.  Why do I have to watch commercials when I pay for the satellite/cable?  I don’t want to pay to watch ads.  Give me “a la carte” television.    Let me pay only for the shows I want.  Why are television shows sold like blood diamonds?  They use the same scam DeBeers Diamonds invented – “take the crappy diamonds to get the one good one – no exceptions – this is a monopoly.”  I want a la carte television.   A useless boatload of shows will disappear from public notice if they aren’t packaged with the Top Ten and have to stand on their own merits – no more slopover prosyletizing, or monopoly broadcasting.  I want some person of legislative importance and influence to reform the broadcast rules and reinforce the fairness doctrine.  I want to turn off Fox Noise.

NOTHING IS HOLY IN THE “HOLY” LAND:

Any claim to “holiness” in ownership of the “Holy” Land, by any constituent of any side, is preposterous.  People of every persuasion have been killing each other over this crap hunk of real estate for thousands of years, to no apparent resolution, pretty much to malign purpose, and to the point of certifiable mental disease.

Their feuds are mindlessly generational, and they routinely dishonor their prophets and messiahsPeace is an illusion, reason is a poor orphan; “right” is confused with “rite;” and “hope” is just a word.

The people of the “Holy” Land are primarily useful to International Capitalists as trade route and pipeline handlers – since ancient times.  Their demographic division is a matter of greed supported by superstition.  Their migratory waves have pushed each other back and forth from Baghdad to Cairo for six thousand years.  Don’t let ‘em kid you, the protagonists have been a blood thirsty bunch for a mighty long time – no foolin’.  The “Holy” Land has always been incredibly harsh and savage; and its peoples have never been any different.  This is a piece of earth that people kill and die over repeatedly.

In practice, “god” – whatever Her, His, or Its name is – is a “get out of jail free” card for murder, and a justification for crimes against humanity and the planet.  Most cultures condone and/or pardon violence done to the “Alien Other.”  Fathers teach sons, who teach sons, who teach sons how to hate.  In that sense, the peoples of the “Holy” Land are not unique – just amazingly obsessive about that little crap hunk of real estate.

Who’d be so damned stupid as to stick his big old idiot foot into that “holy muck?”  Perhaps, a megalomaniac, a psychopath, a sectarian nut, or a greedy sucking oil baron.  In the “holy” land, believers sing about morality, peace and love in mind-numbing chorus.  In the Sixties, the Beatles sang, “Give peace a chance.”  In the Seventies, John Lennon added, “All you need is love.”  Of course, nobody listened to any of those do-gooders, and we now sing, “Waist deep in the Big Muddy, and the Big Fool says to Push On!”

It’s very hard to believe that any respectable or self-respecting god might have any interest and/or want to claim any responsibility for the disastrous generational holocaust in the so-called “Holy” Land.  Self-deception is, indeed, the fundamental core value of the human race.  It enables us to do so many terrible ungodly self-interested things that a conscience and compassion might prevent.

“RIGHTEOUS” SWORD?

“Some Christians pretend that Christianity was not established by the sword; but of what period of time do they speak?  It was impossible that twelve men could begin with the sword; they had not the power; but no sooner were the professors of Christianity sufficiently powerful to employ the sword, than they did so, and the stake and fagot, too; and Mahomet could not do it sooner.  By the same spirit that Peter cut off the ear of the high priest’s servant (if the story be true), he would have cut off his head, and the head of his master, had he been able.  Besides this, Christianity grounds itself originally on the Bible, and the Bible was established altogether by the sword, and that in the worst use of it – not to terrify, but to extirpate.  The Jews made no converts; they butchered all.  The Bible is the sire of the Testament, and both are called the word of God.  The Christians read both books; the ministers preach from both books; and this thing called Christianity is made up of both.  It is then false to say that Christianity was not established by the sword.” – Thomas Paine, Age of Reason, p180

PEOPLE LIKE GOD LIKE SUPERMAN:

People like god for the same reason they like Superman.  They’re looking for a he-man hero savior who will kill all the bad guys and make the world safe for puny mortals.  People like a quick fix and noble selfless gods and superheroes can, at least imaginatively, give them one.

A child may dream, “If I was god/superman, oh, the changes I would make!”  An adult knows this will never happen, and if it did, they probably couldn’t handle it.  However, adults can and do choose to believe in an all-powerful, all-knowing god/superhero who will (eventually) “make everything better.”  The child says, “Close your eyes real tight and make believe with all your might.”  Adults pray for deliverance.

Many people apparently don’t want to work for deliverance.  They want it delivered; in fact, expect to receive it by hand from their imagined, and of course invisible, giant god/superhero in the sky (by and by).  It requires determined ignorance and dogged superstition to resist reason and responsibilityScience has to be suppressed and rejected so that it won’t threaten the house of cards.  Regular, preferably daily instruction in ignorance and superstition is mandatory; indoctrinate the youth early – always a good ideological strategy.

One may wean from Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy to embrace an even grander imaginary friend and benefactor with whom one may never share a single real word or thought, either.  Too many accept the secondhand word of a person declaring him/herself to be expert in a book of largely anonymous secondhand anecdotes written by largely superstitious ignorant men.  The book was gathered from a multitude of completely unverified sources over several thousand years of political, social and philosophic revolution, weeded, edited, and reissued as a certified collection of largely anonymous secondhand anecdotes now purported to be directly inspired by an imagined invisible cloud being, god, superhero by a secular monarch who wanted to use it for political control of his polyglot fractious empire. Believe it, or not.  Constantine’s Sword: The Church and the Jews — A History by James Carroll

Ignorance and superstition are encouraged by the bland, if fanatic, reassurance that “all’s right in god’s world, or will be made so” (sometime).  The self-interested and often greedy people who deliver this message may actually believe the claptrap that they preach.  However, they cannot deny their venal interest in resisting any and all freethinking, diversity, or dissent.

A venal leadership inevitably yields vengeance and oppression.  Throughout history, such leaders have been the instigators of hatred, prejudice, bigotry and violence on a worldwide scale.  As for dead, dead’s dead – even a dog knows it when it sees it – and you can’t get much more empirical than that.

Thomas Paine taught us that reason, no matter how resisted or reviled, is the only path to truth.

RINGADINGDING:

Okay, I don’t like Star Wars.  I can’t accept George Lucas as my personal lord and savior, and parts I-III, and V-VI suck.  Retitle the series: Cliché Bores.  I do like Lord of the Rings, Tolkein didn’t pretend to wisdom.  However, I take issue with Peter Jackson’s film version: it didn’t matter in the books, but on gigantic screen, the military ineptness of all the principals is strikingly awful.  Consider:

  •  No moats, and obviously no drawbridges, on any of the castle-fortressesAttackers walk right up to the walls and the front door without effort.
  • The major fortresses back against cliffs, inviting attack from above.  The attackers display their ineptitude by not discovering and using such major weakness; the defenders by not noticing when they built the stupid joints.
  • No gauntlet or enfilade towers.  Attackers rush to the front door, bust it open and they’re in.  Very stupid.  Even primitive motte and bailey castle approaches were through narrow gate passages with arrow loops to shoot invaders in them, and flanked by towers to fire at enemies from all sides.
  • No horse or anti-personnel traps in the perimeter, not even sharpened stakes or concealed pits with spikes in the bottom.  The whole horde is on your doorstep at once.  “Oh, god, we only have stew for five!”
  • No ship obstacles or defense nets in the harborslanding parties always welcome, bring your own beverages.
  • No dock defenses, not even a guy with a hammer; just hop off the boat and waltz right in, without so much as a teamster organizer in your way.
  • No battle formations!  The armies line up in impressive scowling mobs and then run at one another, crashing into an every man-woman-thing for him-her-itself melee.  Subtlety, thy other name is idiot chaos.
  • No security screens, no spies out gathering information of any kind – not even, “How’s the weather down there, Gimli?” when Gimli the Dwarf complains of not being able to see the enemy; he should be so special?
  • No guerilla sorties – no harassment tactics.  No attacks on supply lines.  No need for supplies?   Orcs carry everything needed for one big overwhelming it’s a done deal battle?  That’s self-confidence, or more evidence of how militarily (at least) dumb they are; echoes of George W. Bush, Halliburton and the Republicans in Iraq.
  • No boiling oil/water/Greek fire.  I’ll give them the Greek fire since Middle Earth is theoretically before that, but it’s clear to see why M.E. didn’t survive long enough to benefit from Greek inventiveness.  No one exercises much imagination in stopping the bad guys, not even starting an avalanche when the baddies are walking at the bottom of a big honking mountain talus slope that’s ready to slide at a wisp of wind or the touch of a hairy little Hobbit foot.

Well, I could think of more, but this appeared the most obvious, so there it is.  A friend once said, “If the communist menace [so-called] was as monolithic and efficient as described by our leaders, we’d be dead; fortunately they turned out to be as screwed up as we are.”  So, root for Frodo, and pray his fellowship survives its own ineptitude.  Given the collapse of communism and Bush’s record in Iraq, I guess it’s realistic after all. – 6-22-05 Off the banks of Goldman Sachs.

   

Off the Banks of Goldman Sachs.

LAST WORDS: 

Whenever we come to the Book of Revelations we must always ask the same question, “Who wrote this crap?”

Resurrection Machines