Posts Tagged ‘rightwing’

CAPITALISM MUST GO

January 2, 2011

"Play it again, Sam!"

2011: Calling Time on Capitalism: Recent decades have seen a massive redistribution of wealth, imposing the cost of successive crises on the poorest. Enough! by Richard Wolff January 1, 2011 by the Guardian/UK

"We want a bonus!"

New Fabris factory employee in France in 2009, walks by a fire in front of the plant after 366 laid-off workers occupied the factory and threatened to blow it up unless they receive a bigger pay-off. ‘We want a bonus’ is written on the wall. (Alain Jocard/AFP)

 The end of 2010 brought renewed Washington, media and academic hype about the US economy “recovering”. It’s wrong. Recovery noises help Republicans who claim that government should do less, or with many centrist Democrats that income redistribution policies are no longer needed because recovery means growth, which means everyone gets pie. Recovery hype also helps Obama claim that his policies work.

It’s fantasy. Nearly 20% of the US labor force that became unemployed or underemployed in 2009 remains so. A quarter found only temp jobs without benefits. Foreclosure by big bailout-fat banks is throwing millions into the street.

Last month the Federal Reserve decided to make another $600bn of new money, and Congress and the president agreed on additional fiscal stimulus (extending Bush’s tax cuts, reducing social security withholding for 2011, etc). They did it because all previous bailouts, monetary easing, tax cuts and government fiscal stimulus failed to end this crisis. Those immune to hype recognize that more of same will fail again. 

Manfred Max-Neef writes “We still favor the economic efficiency of greed and political dynamics of paranoia in a global system in which poverty keeps increasing and major scientific and technological effort is directly or indirectly aimed at destroying the human species.” Enthusiasm for unlimited economic growth and expansion faces real social and ecological collapse. [Our goals are dangerously]] “incoherent with our historical reality.

Recovery noise hides fundamental instability in our economic system. “Downturns” private or government actions never prevent, impose huge social costs, plunging millions of effective, productive workers into unemployment, personal, family and community disasters. Governments chiefly tap their nations purses to rescue the private capitalists who [caused] the crisis and whose wealth protects them from its worst effects.

Then, governments turn on their people to impose austerities (cutbacks in social programs, social security, etc) needed to restore government budgets busted by the rescue’s huge costs. Corporate America’s demands for conservative government and austerity on the grounds of excessive budget deficits is like someone convicted of murdering his parents demanding leniency as an orphan. Mainstream media and politicians take those corporate demands seriously, reminding us who controls them.

Since the early 1970s, workers’ wage increases ended, benefits and job security shrank and government supports for average people were attacked by conservatives. These increasing burdens were justified as absolutely necessary to permit more investment and, therefore, greater economic growth. In fact, growth in the US and Europe slowed over those years (see graph below by University of Rome Professor Pasquale Tridico):

 

Average growth of GDP per capita in US and Europe, 1961-2009. Source: Eurostat

 As workers’ conditions deteriorated, capitalist surpluses and profits soared, stock markets boomed, and poor and middle income and wealth were redistributed to the rich. Promised results did not appear: no more investment, growth slowed, the system imploded.

Today’s recovery noises are for more bailouts, monetary easing and fiscal stimuli that have already failed. No one questions or addresses how capitalism created the crisis.

The recovery aims at return to the US economy pre-crash. But capitalism was hurtling toward a stone wall. To return to it heads for the same wall.

Politicians are afraid to link the crisis to the economic system that creates regular “downturns” costing millions of jobs, wasted resources, lost outputs and injured lives. For them, the economic system is beyond question; [don’t bite the hand that feeds you.].

Thus, this crisis will continue until capitalists see sufficiently attractive opportunities for profit to resume investing and hiring people in the US as well as elsewhere. The freedoms of US capitalists to gain immense government supports as needed, and yet to invest only when, where and how they can maximize their private profits are paramount: the first obligations of government. The freedoms from want and insecurity for the US people remain a distant second priority – until mass political action changes that.

Capitalism puts a small minority with one set of goals (profits, disproportionally high incomes, dominant political power, etc) in position to receive and distribute enormous wealth. They use it to achieve their goals and make the government secure their positions.

No Keynesian monetary or fiscal policies address, or change, how capitalism works and who uses its wealth to what ends. No reforms or regulations are even proposed under Obama to do that. To avoid the instability of capitalism and its huge social costs requires changing the system. That is the basic issue for a new year and new generation. [Can we] break today’s version of a dangerous old taboo: never question the system?

For more information about Richard Wolff’s work, visit his website

No Giant Corporatists Allowed

We really don’t need giant corporations and giant corporatists. They greedily demand, consume or despoil resources far in excess of their fair share. The greedy bastards want all of the earth’s resources. Those resources are humanity’s trust. Any attempt to privatize and unfairly profit from their sale and exploitation is criminal, anti-life, anti-social and less than human behavior.

Corporatists and their minions and admirers are nothing more than grazing, killing, baby-making, eating, pooping machines; their single purpose is to proselytize consumers and consumption. They are animals, not humans. Their spiritual life is practiced, preached rote; an imitation of sense, sensibility and spirituality. Many “talk” to an imaginary god, which asks, to whom are they really praying? If the outcome of their chosen path is misery and deprivation for most of humanity, how can they possibly argue for a conscience, a god’s blessing, or any other claim of compassion or even simple human sympathy? It’s because they are not human; they are poor dumb animals: fodder is all.

We humans need to parent and act as stewards for these poor dumb brutes. We need social and economic laws, rules, regulations and enforcement to rebalance power and money in this country. We left the barn door wide open and we need to put these animals back in their pens and corrals so that they will not run around willy-nilly and needlessly and destructively detract from the harmony of the farm.

We really need the immediate suppression and re-education of all Big Guy other-directed creatures, and re-distribution of all their property and money. Old banks to be required to hand over all of their assets and accounts to new community banks and credit unions; old bankers to fold their tents and look for honest and modest human employment. The entire Health Insurance Industry should be closed down and put out to pasture – some nice place such as Angola State Prison.

The fact that we enjoy civil and human rights now doesn’t mean that we will have them in the future. It’s up to each person, each generation, to protect, defend and cherish his/her rights and block or defeat any impending assault. We must fight to keep our rights. We must resist the tyrant (who is any would-be or actual dictator of whatever title or costume). Don’t let the bastards get started; keep them chained and humbled, unable to wreak their evil oppression, prejudices and destruction on not only people, but nature herself. What mad ego, what blind selfishness.

In the mid-1960’s a book entitled Thunder on the Right urgently identified and warned against the anti-democratic, fundamental religionist, bigoted fanatics of the political reactionary right. Among the American Nazis, KKK hoods and militia toughs was the John Burch Society, which ran Patrick Henry bookstores filled with scurrilous lying polemics attacking and undermining and diminishing government and advocating a treasonous program of subversion and sabotage. The John Burch Society harnessed Cold War fears into hate against progressives, warning that President Kennedy, Civil Rights activists, and organized labor were in league with communists. One JBS newsletter civically advised members to “join your local P.T.A. and take it over [emphasis mine].”

Billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch are the wealthiest, and perhaps most effective, opponents of a progressive agenda today. Ranked as the 9th richest men in America, the Koch brothers sit at the helm of Koch Industries, a massive privately owned conglomerate of manufacturing, oil, gas, and timber interests. David and Charles are also responsible for a vicious attack campaign aimed directly at obstructing and killing progressive reform. Their opposition is a long family tradition of trying to shift the country to the far right. Their father, Fred Koch, helped to found the John Burch Society in the late 1950s. His sons continue to galvanize hundreds of thousands of middle class people into supporting the Kochs’ narrow agenda of cutting corporate taxes and avoiding consumer regulations to the ruin of our equality and democracy.

David Koch presents himself as a champion of science. Nevertheless, Koch has done more to undermine the public’s understanding of climate change science than any other person in America. Koch Industries has spent nearly $9 million dollars so far to misinform the public on climate change legislation. Much of the fierce opposition to health reform can be credited to the Kochs. Their opposition is a long family tradition of trying to shift the country to the far right.

RELATED ARTICLE: PUBLIC ENEMIES 1 and 2

KOCHTOPUS Koch: Even More Powerful and Well-Connected Than You Thought

Billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch don’t just underwrite a huge right-wing infrastructure of front groups, think tanks and political campaigns, reports Think Progress; they also work with corporate “investors” who oppose health, energy, financial and other reforms. Details on their symbiotic relationship with moneyed interests from Glenn Beck and the Chamber to oil and insurance companies here; more on those connections from CounterPunch here. –Abby Zimet More…

READ MORE: http://www.alternet.org/politics/144455/meet_the_billionaire_brothers_funding_the_right-wing_war_on_obama 

Reagan Puppet

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HONEY, I’M HOME!

September 11, 2009

Iraq debate – personal historical view

Date: Wednesday, February 14, 2007 8:25 PM

Colin Powell said, “Don’t get into war unless it’s absolutely necessary, and when we do, go to win, no half measures,” but it doesn’t apply very much in real life.

As a Vietnam era veteran, I know Johnson’s phony Gulf of Tonkin Incident fished us into war (I was drafted).  He bought into the radical right’s communist containment scare.  The Committee of Concerned Asian Scholars wrote:

      “In part, the process of deception has also been unintentional.  Much of the rhetoric and many of the actions that have accompanied our… involvement have been ad hoc responses to situations of stress: a cumulative series of reflex moves and lunges produced by deepening executive anxiety, defensiveness, alarm, desperation, and even a sensed state of siege.  Similarly in rhetoric, our ‘national honor,’ ‘[enemies] with nuclear weapons,’ and the goal of ‘peace with honor’ – all have misled the public.  At the root of executive deception is a vast amount of executive self-deception – or, .to put it bluntly, stupidity.”

America blithely ignores offers of friendship and makes enemies as fast as we can throw the first sucker punch.  This is not military sense; it’s a bad case of ideology and invention over reason and fact.  But, Americans don’t run out when the fight’s tough – see: Khe San.  We stood nearly twenty years while our military-industrial complex ruined Vietnam.  Our prolonged stay, and side invasions of Cambodia and Laos, generationally disrupted and destabilized Southeast Asia, distorted America’s rule of law, and led directly to the Bush neoconservative leadership miasma.

We are now fighting a war for the health and life of the republic.  Look at how the radical right Republicans have warped the nation they want us to fight for, die for, and honor.  The self-destructive insanity of the radical right Republican way of war makes it looks as if the bad guys have already won.

These are politically motivated wars, fought to extremes because of ill-informed egos and profit.  Bush’s indefensible “give war a chance” was disgusting; so is Obama’s current pursuit of it.  End the war now, no matter how wimpy it looks to arrested-adolescent bullyboys.  We’ve got a lot of positive work to do, and one dollar spent on peace really is worth ten wasted in war!

NEWS LINKS: 

How 9/11 Should Be Remembered.  The Extraordinary Achievements of Ordinary People by Rebecca Solnit.  Eight years ago, 2,600 people lost their lives in Manhattan, and then several million people lost their story. The al-Qaeda attack on the Twin Towers did not defeat New Yorkers. It destroyed the buildings, contaminated the region, killed thousands, and disrupted the global economy, but it most assuredly did not conquer the citizenry. They were only defeated when their resilience was stolen from them by clichés, by the invisibility of what they accomplished that extraordinary morning, and by the very word “terrorism,” which suggests that they, or we, were all terrified. The distortion, even obliteration, of what actually happened was a necessary precursor to launching the obscene response that culminated in a war on Iraq, a war we lost (even if some of us don’t know that yet), and the loss of civil liberties and democratic principles that went with it. Only We Can Terrorize Ourselves

Afghanistan and the Wages of Empire by John NicholsIt is amusing, if remarkable, that there are still some players in Washington who try to maintain the fantasy that Afghan President Hamid Karzai governs with anything akin to legitimacy. Karzai, an alleged oil-industry fixer awarded control of his country by occupying powers, has always served with strings attached.

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2009/09/11-8

Posted September 11, 2009.

Obama’s Quagmire Looks a Lot like Vietnam by Robert Scheer, Truthdig.

The way he’s headed on Afghanistan, Barack Obama is threatened with a quagmire that could bog down his presidency.  True, he doesn’t seem a bit like Lyndon Johnson, but the way he’s headed on Afghanistan, Barack Obama is threatened with a quagmire that could bog down his presidency. LBJ also had a progressive agenda in mind, beginning with his war on poverty, but it was soon overwhelmed by the cost and divisiveness engendered by a meaningless, and seemingly endless, war in Vietnam.

http://www.alternet.org/world/142565/obama%27s_quagmire_looks_a_lot_like_vietnam/

Victory is a state of mind.

Victory is a state of mind.

Don’t Ask Polar Bears and Fools About Free Speech

July 2, 2009
Five in the Stones

Five in the Stones

DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL

When I was in active military service, 1966-70, I did not care about the sexuality of the person beside me, I cared about his professionalism.

 The military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy is discrimination pure and simple. It is an unnecessary, non-job related issue, and a blatant labor and civil rights disgrace. 

 It not only destroys the lives of the men and women directly affected, but also the military’s organizational unity.  It is a morale downer, a Salem Witch Hunt mentality introduced into the ranks. 

 The largely fundamentalist religiously inspired objection to gays is based upon misinformation (an actual and purposeful misreading of their own texts), a scapegoat us vs. them mindset, and an absolutist morality used generally as one more self-terrorizing control over the fearful toiling faithful. 

 If America is to ever achieve equality, freedom, and justice, we must strike down “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”  Strike a blow for human rights and humanity.  We are either all Americans working in defense of our country and its ideals, or we are a nation of strangers, fighting for the barest survival. 7-02-09

POLAR BEARS AND CUB SCOUTS

 Woe is me!  Everything is going to hell in a hand basket!  We can’t do anything about it!  Wring hands!  Cry despair!  Weep!  Moan!  Thrash!  Have you gotten out of your SUVs?  Moved closer to work?  Convinced others of the need to ACT and quit bitching?  Is it the price of gas that bothers you, or the lack of it?  Would you quit hitting yourself over the head with the hammer, or go get another one if someone took yours away?  The time to ACT is now, and to hell with the system.  Do you need a leader to tell you not to put your damned finger in the light socket?  Too bad revelation comes so late to this benighted species.  Is it the wall of water rushing at you that scares you, or the fact that you were too dumb to notice it until the rising tide was at your doorstep?  Our over-consuming must stop at once.  Each of us has a part in that, regardless of what leadership, or the imbecile next door is doing.  Get off your butts and MOVE.  Or, don’t.  The future belongs – collectively – to all of us, if we all work for it.  It doesn’t exist for polar bears, or cub scouts, if we don’t. 6-22-08

FOOLS AND CORPORATIONS

 Today’s privately monopolized television serves rightwing corporatists by dumbing down the American people.  There is no choice, just program packages arranged like blood diamonds.  In television, the garbage includes:

  •  Religious programming – Christians only need apply.  They’re getting ready for Armageddon, 24-7.  Why do we have to pay to watch them?
  • “Ain’t corporations great?” propaganda, not one cloud on the big rig’s sky.  Not one word about how they changed the weather.
  • “Reality” shows, which are evidently scripted.  One can get just as excited at a professional wrestling match or roller derby – for as little cause.
  • “Beauty and fitness” programming – Americans care so very much about hair and blemishes.  Coach looks fifty years younger, hey?  Just a dab.
  • Right wing filtered news, commentary and opinion, which screams down the truth in favor of dogma and self-interest.  To hell with integrity.
  • Sports, improbably including auto/truck/motorcycle noise-making and gas-fuming circle-go-rounds – another loophole in EPA emission standards?  For those of us who left games at adolescence, it’s a real drag.
  • Shopping channels and infomercials feeding the callous over-consuming malaise destroying our planet.  There are addicts of all kinds.
  • Commercials – non-stop and multiplying.  Why do we have to pay for these?  The damned television people should be paying us to watch them!

Real history, especially recent U.S. history, is slighted, under-reported, and often misrepresented, or ideologically slanted.  We discuss firefights on entering Baghdad, but not the illegal policy and the criminal lies that drove them.  We see Troy and Rome, and incessant searches for objects of pseudo-history and outright myth – lost arks (boat-sized and box), spears of Longinus, grails and virgins, “true” crosses, and “god-ravaged” city ruins.  We don’t see labor history, women’s history, or civil and human rights history.  We don’t review Iran-Contra and the early days of the present administration’s emergence from the Reaganite distortion of our national progress.  Everything from Carter to Bush Jr., except for Clinton’s tacky sex life, is a black hole of non-accountability.

 This is all part of the Great Privatization of America.  “Do good and be rewarded” is Christian and Rightist hypocrisy.  They don’t do the right thing selflessly, but for a substantial bribe.  We are fools to allow corporations to determine our national information policy, control our public airways, own our means of communications.  We are fools to allow them to continue to distort our national consciousness, or to interfere with our right to meet and discuss and decide as a unified national community.  We are fools to allow them to keep us ignorant and apart.  3-09-08

FREE SCHOOLS, FREE LIBRARIES, FREE SPEECH

  Radio and television station owners should be held accountable in their charge to serve the public interest.  Instead, the right wing has been systematic in its suppression of the progressive voice and we ignore their censorship at our peril.

 The right wing has overwhelmed any residual of the “Fairness Doctrine.”  They have done so with free licenses granted by the American government on behalf of the American public that are worth millions of dollars to licensees.  The only requirement imposed upon them is to serve the public interest.

 A free and democratic society cannot survive without a free and fair flow of information.  All ideas should take their chances in the sea of democratic pluralistic debate.  It is an abomination to a free and equal society to tolerate any, most definitely including private, abridgement, censorship, or exclusion of fair and balanced opposing views.

 Right-wingers have taken over radio and television resources and foreclosed progressive voices on a systematic and pervasive level throughout the United States.  No progressive voices can now be heard in Boston, Baltimore, Atlanta, Washington D.C., or Philadelphia – in the heart of revolutionary America the cracked pots have replaced the cracked bell.  It is a deliberate creeping plague designed to manipulate American public opinion to undemocratic ends; it must be treated or it will kill free speech.

 President Obama’s inspired effort to reinvigorate American democracy will amount to a pimple on the butt of national history if the right wing is allowed to continue its assault on our democratic institutions. We can bear no more “fixed” news, no more right wing press dominance!  Let progressives fairly compete for the public interest. 

 There is no more important infrastructure repair for us to make than to preserve, defend and advance the democratic institutions that make America great: free schools, free libraries, free press, and freedom of speech.  3-08-09

 More PROGRESSIVE THOUGHT: sidebar links