Thursday, December 20, 2012

The American Family Gun(s): Why?


The latest mass murder nightmare in America is provoking much needed discussion about a very serious problem. As is often the case, key points will be avoided in that discussion, especially as it is indulged in by national leaders and their corporate stenographers in media.

The usual suspects in this gun lobby vs. gun control debate have valid points to make, but they are similar to those in any national argument of a political or economic nature; they deal with two sides of a coin without daring  to question the existence of the coin. We argue over whether heads are better than tails or vice versa , treating the coin itself as some form of universal deity over which there should be no question, concern or thought. In this fashion, we are provoked (?) to wonder whether taxes should be raised on a minority of wealthy people or government services should be cut for the majority, assuming that the system within which this argument takes place is natural and beyond any concern for citizens of  an alleged democracy.

The subject of fantastic wealth accruing to a tiny minority while poverty expands among a group fast approaching a plurality in the supposedly richest and most democratic society in  history  is left out of the discussion. In the same tradition, Americans will tear each other apart, insult reason and morality and denigrate the very idea of a social debate of substance in the matter of whether there is a constitutional right to own a gun to protect home, body, soul, family pets, jewelry, or stamp collections, and never wonder why there is no constitutional right to a home, a job, health care and other serious necessities of life.

Those of us who find no need to own a gun will trash those who do, and neither side will question their citizenship duties as members of the most violent nation in world history , committing murder and mayhem all over the globe while waving the flag of democracy and freedom. We will insist, under the direction of our consciousness controllers and their servant mind managers, that individuals  are responsible for whatever is wrong with all of us collectively. Of course we are not supposed to be a society or a collective unless we are at war killing foreigners, shopping, or united in grieving  over  crimes committed by individuals.

A case can be made, sometimes strongly, for idiocy and irrationality on the part of gun lovers, but there can also be an easy target for those lovers when they comment on the gun haters' seeming admiration for a system that brings us , or at least many of us, creature comforts not possible without domination of others and  profits trickling down to us from cheap labor and exploitation, however much we individualize it as only certain companies and certain business leaders. Naturally, none among those individually bad companies and people are the ones we rely on for our lives of relative comfort. So it is easy for each side in these debates to feel righteous, correct and beyond criticism. That’s what keeps the system going and what we need to confront and deal with, unless we wish to see the continuing weapons use in other places and in our midst, the destruction of the planet’s ecosystem, and economic downfall which will ultimately include all of us and not just one or another segmented minority forced into mental belief in being different from everyone else.

While our personal obsession with guns has declined over the years, from half the homes in the country  armed now down to only (?) a third, the number of weapons we own has increased. The Gun Market expands every time there is a mass murder as those homemakers rush to buy even more weapons before a supposed ban is instituted. What is important to remember is that these loyal, patriotic and freedom loving citizens are allegedly protecting themselves not from foreign invaders or outer space attack but from other Americans. According to this view ,you never know when some nut case will break down your doors and assault your family, given the wide open, murderous and lawless society we live in. And it isn’t far from the reality experienced by millions of Americans, though they hardly rely on legally purchased weapons to suffer from or participate in the bloodbath that finds more than 1000 people murdered every month via gun violence.

Of course we kill three times that number in our vehicles – as gun lobbyists will point out – but it is rare for a person to consciously wish to die or inflict death on others via driving, however often that is the outcome of a ride to work, shop or school. Nevertheless, despite legends, myths and outright lies about the great saviors of freedom that armed Americans have become, guns are primarily used to commit suicide and murder innocent people, with the few cases of actually interfering with or stopping a crime being broadcast all over the internet, and most of those turning out to be urban legends only believable to those who need – sometimes desperately so – crisis intervention and adult management  in their lives.

Yes, of course, a ninety seven year old woman killed thirteen terrorists who threatened her home, and yes, of course, a three year old boy used his father's gun to kill the monster about to rape his mother. Sure. But these myths and fables only feed into a national disorder which probably follows from historic origins of armed settlers needing to protect themselves from the people on whose land they were settling. But to actually believe we need personal armed protection in the 21st century, with police departments, armies, navies, air forces, drones, rockets, missiles and a  network of eavesdropping spies supposedly protecting us from the menace of evil, should pose the question:

What the hell are we Americans scared of?

Answer: Other Americans.

And that is the problem whose solution will not simply involve refraining from killing one another because we are so fearful of one another, but facing what it is we fear, and why? It is easy to dismiss gun ownership as an aspect of PRS ( Penis Replacement Syndrome) and there may be some cases that involve just that, along with very loud auto engines and other socially induced signs of personal machismo. But women own and practice gun use – the mother of the mass murderer in Connecticut suffered death at the hands of her son using her own weapons – and along with rural customs and honest hobbyists there are target shooters and others whose only purpose in having a gun is for the hunt, sport or collection value. Silly? Then what is ownership of pets, to a non-pet critic? Or wearing cosmetics, to those who find the practice sexist and demeaning? While pet ownership and makeup use hardly seem as  dangerous as weapons, a detractor could make a case for skin, respiratory , hygienic and environmental disorders connected to those socially induced and privately provoked profit making market ventures. The point is not what individuals practice personally  under  socially induced pressure, but the power of that pressure and who or what truly profits most from it, and who or what absorbs the social loss for those private profits.

If we can get a little closer to confronting that problem as a result of the latest atrocity in America, we may get closer to ending the atrocities we commit in other places and arrive at a democratic standard that brings  safety and well being to all of us and not just some of us. That would be a worthwhile public debate.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


The Syrian government announced its recognition of the Tea Party as the true representative of the American people.

"After extensive viewing of Fox TV News and reading the corporate media in the few places in the USA where people are still able to read, it became clear to us that the only real voice of the aspirations, beliefs and thinking in the USA must be the Tea Party ." said a spokesperson for the Syrian government.

Watch Out For the Cliff: Which One?

As America develops newer deadly weapons to threaten more nations with its inspired movement for humanitarian democracy through rape and murder, our economy is supposedly headed for what an ad campaign has branded  “the financial cliff”. We need to either raise private taxes on a tiny minority of the 1% super rich or cut  public spending on the overwhelming 99% majority. Only in a nation run by people who  regularly visit  a proctologist to have their heads examined could this be seen as a crippling dilemma involving tough choices and necessarily shared suffering. But that’s how it’s being played by our consciousness commissars and their servants in mind management.

This while the annual shopping frenzy commemorating the birth of a prince of peace - to the god of war - threatens to sink more of the 99% into greater debt for the benefit of the 1% creators of the alleged cliff over which we are all invited to plunge, on their behalf.

And then we have the soon to be fulfilled Mayan prophecy, accepted by some so terrified of material reality that immaterial fantasy is their only defense. Beseeched souls expect the oceans to rise and the land to sink, not because of capital’s attack on nature in its pursuit of profit, but because of ancient people’s ability to forecast the distant future while they were being evolved out of existence for inability to comprehend their nearby present.

We do have a deadly serious problem, recently avoided by most global representatives at a conference on the dilemmas posed by climate change, and some of the worst case scenarios would seem to fit into Mayan, Christian, Islamic, Judaic, science fiction, schizophrenic or realist patterns of observation and prophecy. The question is how to deal with these  real problems that need a confrontation with global political economics, while our brains are filled with personal, fictional and mythological cases that defy reason and only serve the cause of further increasing profits  for the few, as always, at  even greater losses for the many, as usual.

The incredible claims that Syria is about to use chemical weapons on its own people are (un)balanced by those citing newer and more deadly Iranian plans to nuke the world, especially Israel, despite no evidence other than supposed (un)intelligence  from an anonymous nation – ??? – supplied regularly to its american puppets and then widely reported by those puppets, without blushing, as fact. Having shattered Libya out of nationhood and into an alleged central government that, like Afghanistan’s, has little power outside the capital city limits, the rush to destroy Syria by any means necessary is joined with the long desired crushing of the Iranian regime in pursuit of destroying anything standing in the way of continued domination of the world by a fading if still malevolent empire. As the power of  eastern Islam rises and western Judeo-Christian dominance falls, the Abrahamic religious trio mostly controlled by capital must confront its role in propping up political economic power under the guise of one or another scriptural excuse for inequality, racism and endless war.

While Islam is still in opposition to the interest collecting model of the JC west, it also entertains enough symbolic unity with the older members of the triad to only offer short  term relief, if that, from the universal model of democracy in name and hypocrisy in action that has brought the world to its current predicament.

Nowhere can the contradiction of the material and the immaterial find greater gaps than in the USA, where incredible wealth has enabled a standard of living for most that has until recently been beyond the grasp of much of the world. The rising of the present rest at the sinking of the past best has offered a means of bringing the positives and negatives of profit and loss capital markets to more people the world over. As it is shown quite clearly here – to any who will bother to look at the material reality and not simply the economic religious fables that give it psychotic substance – the sector gathering the profits gets smaller in number every day even as its personal wealth expands, while those absorbing the loss expand in number while their personal losses grow . This is happening in China, Russia and anywhere else the model of private profit/social loss enterprise is in command and control.

And nature has begun to call out in a louder voice than even some political demands for democracy and freedom. Deadly storms , floods and eruptions which are clearly the response – except to corporate science and its political shills - to treating the natural environment as a simple profit making commodity are causing breakdowns both physical and mental. Millions succumb to hysterical economics, ignorant superstition and fanatic legends to explain what is kept from their consciousness by the political high priests , rabbis and mullahs speaking from global capital’s banking cathedrals.

Almost daily stories of an economy allegedly recovering and booming once again are contradicted within the same bulletins with conflicting signs of pending doom for that same economy. Whatever figures we are given about employment on the upswing, consumer confidence growing and democracy expanding through warfare, always assume the reality is worse, and usually much worse. Just as corporate capital keeps three sets of books - one for itself, one for investors and one for tax purposes - the corporate government keeps books which are juggled by public accountants as much as private capital’s accountants juggle its profit figures.

When corporate government says the patient is resting comfortably or getting better every day, that could mean the patient is dying, or already  dead. We are nearing the edge of a cliff, but it is hardly this childish nonsense over a national debt which has been incurred almost exclusively for war, the destruction of nature and the murder of millions all for the benefit (?) of a shrinking minority. Humanity does face serious problems over our collective future, but one of those problems is a government owned and operated by private capital, at the expense and loss of just about everyone.

Disregard fairy tales about a financial deficit but regard that real imperial cliff with growing concern and informed democratic action, before fanatic profiteers push us all over the edge.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Coulter and Free Speech

Last month the College Republicans at Fordham University rescinded a speaking invitation to Ann Coulter after strong opposition was voiced to her appearance. Fordham President John McShane applauded their cowardice as mature judgment in accord with the university's educational mission. "Hate speech, name-calling, and incivility are completely at odds with the Jesuit ideals that have always guided and animated Fordham," lectured McShane.

McShane forgot to add that paternalistic intervention by a university president in the free speech decisions taken by members of the student body are completely at odds with the democratic ideals said to have always guided the United States. Since President McShane clearly influences the political atmosphere at Fordham, the decision to rescind the speaking invitation extended to Coulter hardly came as a surprise, though the wimpiness of Fordham's College Republicans certainly did. Their contempt for free speech almost rivals that of the Democrats.

If such an episode had happened at an Iranian university, U.S. liberals and conservatives would have united in heaping scorn on Iran for letting religious values trump unfettered political discussion. But when the United States does it, it's somehow OK, or at most, an expression of errant behavior by individuals, not the systemic rot it in fact is. Let's get it straight, folks: There is only one way to practice free speech - by letting the speech that we hate debate the speech that we favor. Any other position is a fraud and a sham.

By the way, how did our fearless opponents of incivility and "hate speech" react when Iranian Prime Minister Ahmadinejad was openly insulted at length by Columbia University president Lee Bollinger during his visit to that campus four or five years ago? It is not difficult to recall that "liberals" and "conservatives" were united in applauding it. So much for our belief in civility.

As for Coulter, she is exactly the kind of enemy Democrats deserve. Her perpetual hysteria and in-your-face hostility are obviously designed to inflame discussion, not illuminate it, just as the Democrats' habitual dismissal of their opponents as irrational or crazy is designed to prevent debate, not engage it. If the Democrats can caricature and dismiss opposition, why can't Coulter insult them to their faces?

A phony democracy requires phony opposition and phony debate. Hence the two official parties continually insult each other, with the Republicans often gaining the upper hand because of the wimpiness of the Democrats. But the Democrats have no leg to stand on in claiming that they represent free speech, as they continually denounce views they deem unacceptable as "racist," "Holocaust denial," "extremism," "crazy," and so on, rather than participate in substantive debate around points of disagreement, which is supposedly the essence of our democracy. By now there is a very long and diverse list of public figures Democrats refuse to debate with - Ralph Nader, Bradley Smith, Noam Chomsky, Ann Coulter (sometimes), David Duke, Louis Farrakhan etc.

Here's the problem: when rational discussion is banned, all that's left is invective, and after that, violence.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Pearl Harbor - Beyond Selective Remembering

Leaving aside the matter of whether FDR had specific foreknowledge of the Pearl Harbor attack, there is no question that the attack was hardly the "bolt from the blue" it has long been presented to Americans as being. An outgrowth of colonial rivalry, the Pacific side of WWII came in the wake of a long deterioration in U.S.-Japanese relations and was precipitated by FDR’s cutting off of oil shipments to Japan, an act practically guaranteed to lead to war.

In 1932, the Ottawa Conference cut off Japanese trade with the British Commonwealth, including India. Three years later Japan was forced to curtail shipments of cotton textiles to the Philippines while U.S. imports there remained duty free. (At the same time, U.S. tariffs on many Japanese goods surpassed 100%.)

Squeezed out of concessions throughout Asia by better-established rivals, Tokyo complained of American, British, Chinese, and Dutch encirclement strangling its economy and denying it a day in the imperial sun.

Short of revolution at home, Japan’s only way out was direct control of its own trade routes. So in 1937 Tokyo began its conquest of China in earnest, wiping out 140,000 Chinese civilians at Nanking while proclaiming a desire to promote economic development and prevent Communist domination of Asia.

Four years later negotiations between Admiral Nomura and Secretary of State Cordell Hull broke down over the Japanese request for equal trading rights in Latin America in return for allowing U.S. capital penetration of China. Hull was deeply shocked at the insolence of little yellow men demanding equality with their Nordic superiors.

On July 2, 1941 the Japanese decided to move troops into southern Indochina. Washington, having broken Tokyo’s purple code, immediately knew of the decision. On July 21, 1941 Japan signed a preliminary agreement with the Vichy government of Marshal Henri Petain, leading to Japanese occupation of airfields and naval bases in Indochina. Almost immediately, the U.S. and Britain froze all Japanese assets in their countries. Radhabinod Pal, one of the judges in the post-war Tokyo War Crimes Tribunal, later noted that the U.S. embargo presented a “clear and potent threat to Japan’s very existence.”

On July 24, 1941 FDR informed the Japanese Ambassador that if Japan would refrain from putting troops in southern Indochina Roosevelt would use his influence to have Indochina neutralized. But this message failed to reach the Japanese Foreign Ministry until July 27.

On July 26, 1941 Tokyo disclosed its intention to move troops into southern Indochina. The U.S. promptly froze all Japanese assets in the U.S. With Japan importing 90% of its oil, half of that from the United States, Admiral Richmond Turner, Director of the War Plans Division of the Navy Department, stated that it was “generally believed that shutting off the American supply petroleum [to Japan] will lead promptly to an invasion [by Japan] of the Netherlands East Indies.” FDR publicly stated that this reaction would be a justification for war. The New York Times characterized the U.S. move as “the most drastic blow short of war.”

For the Japanese military, it was “now or never.” The Western powers controlled and were choking off access to the raw materials on which Japan's national existence depended. With Washington refusing to lift its embargo unless Tokyo surrendered Chinese territory it had fought for years to conquer (Note: Washington objected to being shut out of the China market, not Tokyo's atrocities there), Japan was left to choose between submitting to U.S. demands or going to war to obtain the oil and other vital raw materials available in the East Indies and Southeast Asia.

Contrary to U.S. political folklore, Japan’s subsequent attack was launched on a U.S. naval colony in Polynesia, not U.S. territory. And it cannot properly be described as a surprise. Given the hopeless impasse in negotiations that preceded it, the Roosevelt Administration was well aware disaster was on the way.

Furthermore, the Pacific War was not a contest between democracy and fascism, as Americans have long been taught. Neither the British nor the U.S. had ever entertained democracy for Asian peoples and FDR’s idea of a cure for Japanese imperialism was worthy of Hitler: in hopes of eliminating their presumed congenital “barbarism” he expressed interest in a plan to crossbreed Japanese with “docile” Pacific Islanders. Meanwhile, the notoriously brutal and corrupt Chiang Kai-shek - practically a prototype of fascist leadership - remained a U.S. ally throughout the war. British historian Christopher Thorne has commented that, “if the term ‘fascist’ is to be employed in a non-European context for the 1930s, to no regime is it more appropriate to attach it than that of the Kuomintang in China.”

In spite of the democratic rhetoric employed for strategic reasons, a racist attitude permeated the entire U.S. war effort. U.S. troops committed atrocities in the field similar to those carried out a generation later in Vietnam, and press coverage depicted the Japanese as monkeys, rats, and lice who deserved whatever they got. What they got was succinctly summarized by war correspondent Edgar L. Jones: “We shot prisoners in cold blood, wiped out hospitals, strafed lifeboats, killed or mistreated enemy civilians, finished off enemy wounded, tossed the dying in a hole with the dead, and in the Pacific boiled the flesh off enemy skulls to make table ornaments for sweethearts, or carved their bones into letter openers.”

Such atrocities did not appear in American news reports, which focused laser-like on Japanese brutality. Japanese atrocities garnered more attention in the U.S. than the mass killing of Europe’s Gypsies, Jews, homosexuals, mental patients, and prisoners of war, which received scant attention.

Unfortunately for U.S. nationalist romantics, Washington's atrocities cannot be attributed solely to brutal wartime conditions. In November 1940 - well before Pearl Harbor - FDR was "simply delighted" at air force general Claire Lee Chennault's plan to "burn out the industrial heart of the (Japanese) Empire with fire-bomb attacks on the teeming bamboo ant heaps of Honshu and Kyushu." A year later, U.S. Army Chief of Staff George C. Marshall called on his staff to prepare plans for “general incendiary attacks to burn up the wood and paper structures of the densely populated Japanese cities.” With the war barely underway in January 1942 Admiral William Leahy, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote an internal memo stating that “in fighting with Japanese savages all previously accepted rules of warfare must be abandoned.” Abandoned they were. When the war wound down three years later hundreds of thousands of Japanese were burned, blasted, and irradiated to death in the most devastating air attacks in human history.

"Japan was provoked into attacking Pearl Harbor. It is a travesty on history even to say that America was forced into the war. It is incorrect to say that America ever was truly neutral even before America came into the war on an all-out fighting basis.”
--------British Production Minister Oliver Lyttelton

“We did not go to war because we were attacked at Pearl Harbor, I hold rather that we were attacked at Pearl Harbor because we had gone to war.”
--------Arthur Sulzberger, Publisher, New York Times


Dower, John W., "War Without Mercy - Race & Power in the Pacific War" (Pantheon, 1986)

Chomsky, Noam, "American Power and The New Mandarins - Historical and Political Essays" (Vintage, 1969)

Chomsky, Noam, "Failed States - The Abuse of Power and the Assault on Democracy," (Metropolitan, 2006)

Spritzler, John, "The People As Enemy - The Leaders' Hidden Agenda in World War II" (Black Rose, 2003)

Toland, John, "The Rising Sun - The Decline and Fall of the Japanese Empire, 1936-1945," (Random House, 1970)

Zezima, Mickey, "Saving Private Power," (Soft Skull Press, 2003)

Shalom, Stephen, "V-J Day: Remembering the Pacific War," Z Magazine, July/August 1995

Jones, Edgar L., The Atlantic, February 1946

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The "Fiscal Cliff" Swindle In A Nutshell

The shrill calls for suicidal austerity by those who continually enrich themselves at the public trough have gone well beyond lunacy. While our deficits and national debt are real enough, the attribution of causes for them by our politicians and pundits is a cynical exercise in base propaganda. Perpetually unmentioned in the false debate are the real drivers of debt, prominent among which are the following:

(1) The private medical system, unique in the industrial world, which allows parasitic middle-men to siphon off more than $1 trillion dollars annually to perpetuate hugely redundant HMO bureaucracies. Much of our pension costs are owed to this.

(2) A world-wide network of U.S. military bases that has nothing to do with legitimate national defense needs, but is a gargantuan waste expenditure.

(3) The continual off-shoring of production, which reduces the U.S. tax base, while providing tax havens for large corporations wishing to avoid paying taxes on their operations remaining in the U.S.

None of this is mentioned in the "fiscal cliff" hysteria, which is a phony debate designed to hand over Social Security and Medicare to the folks who have looted our pensions, exported our jobs, and sucked the equity out of our homes. Don't fall for it.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Market Demography, Political Democracy& Capitalism

Market Demography is not Political Democracy:
Capitalism is Anti-Social   

The most expensive election campaign in american history ended with more good than bad results, given the choices allowed. Voters defeated the possibility of cancer, but were unable to cure the polio we still suffer. A reactionary effort to take us further back than we have already gone was mostly unsuccessful. But the advances made were smaller than some wishful thinkers suppose. We need radical change in substance and got nothing more than stylistic moderation in form.

A host of seeming victories result from a system so critically diseased that anything short of terminal condition is seen as positive remission.

While many still claim a healthcare triumph in obamacare they fail to see the program as primarily an aid to profit making private insurers. More access to financial entities who make money from illness is hardly enabling more access to better health. As in every other economic aspect of life , some will certainly profit while others will most assuredly lose.

The rush to lesser evilism provoked by paid fear mongers and amateur hysterics cost the alternative left dearly in that the Green Party was unable to gain a mere 5% of the vote. This would have insured public funding of up to 20 million dollars and an organizing possibility in all 50 states for the future. In an election which saw both corporate parties getting even less votes than last time and more than 90 million citizens totally opting out and not voting at all, shame and disgrace are kind words for the performance of something calling itself a democracy, let alone for an entity calling itself  a “progressive” left . That group did gain a small group of democrats who will at least stand for domestic forms of equality, even while continuing lock step support for Israeli  brutality, imperial global rule and the threatened future slaughter of Iranians. The master race/chosen people/american exceptionalism syndrome embraced by both corporate candidates continues, with might makes right policies in command.

Even some Obama lovers have become skeptical, no longer politically orgasmic over the great half-white hope and demanding that his feet be kept to the fire. Such a liberal inferno might be extinguished by one glob of conservative spit, but there are signs of an awakening public, already being smothered in analysis by demographic dividers. While unions have shown new life and citizen social movements a  new spark, individually oriented, ego centered, identity focused politics induced by market research and advertising maintain dominance over the sales process that passes for electoral democracy in the USA.

Growing inequality is bringing greater changes that showed up electorally but were quickly placed into minority packaging lest people see their similarities, a dangerous tendency toward real democratic action. Our ruling marketeers isolate us by ethnicity, race, sex and any other divisions that can help perpetuate minority rule by the 1% and its servants. They have us laud progress when members of forced-into-minorities are elected to support entrenched political economic relations.

The 1% deities will be happy to have a pot smoking Rastafarian running the Defense Dept, a married gay couple on the Supreme Court, a Transvestite Asian-American heading the Justice Dept and an Arab-American lesbian HIV positive Rosicrucian in the senate, as long as these house servants carry out the dictates of profit and loss excess at cost of public losses which grow greater and more global every day.

The presidential campaigns of the corporadoes never mentioned climate change, poverty and a host of issues critical to the future of our nation and the world in which we occupy a minority position. That was their job and remains so; to keep the public unaware of the failing of a system that threatens most of humanity while it makes a small segment more comfortable and at the very top, wealthy beyond the wildest nightmares of a perverse democracy.

Millionaires of only a short time ago have suddenly become billionaires, their numbers and intellects shrinking as their fortunes expand at public expense. While fabulous wealth accrues to a smaller and smaller group, poverty in america is growing as the working class dubbed a middle sees increasing hardship. This is true all across the capitalist world, with Europe currently suffering a greater contradiction than the USA between its moneyed and working classes, but with america catching up all to quickly.

The problem of minorities living as royalty based on the work and total lack of power of majorities who support them was not mentioned except by alternative candidates who were barely heard, according to corporate plan. The next election had better be countered by an organized plan and party for the majority of the electorate or the storms of the marketplace and nature will grow more fierce to the point of making us finally equal in our helplessness to withstand what we may help unleash.

We’re about to become the major fossil fuel producers on the planet. Sea levels are rising while thought levels are sinking. We have military bases in hundreds of locations all over the world and an anti-terrorist program spending billions in what is called homeland security, but we cannot protect our people from the ravages of a storm that wreaked havoc, death and destruction in the largest city in the nation. A media inflated alleged war hero slated by some for the presidency is deflated by a sex scandal with no attention paid to his open criticism of the US-Israel relationship as being detrimental to our interest almost at the same moment as Israel resumes killing Palestinians in Gaza and Syria approaches breakdown under inside and mostly outside assault. Austerity is called for with belt tightening not only for the rich but all others in a bi-partisan bargain with feigned equality between billionaires and pensioners, rich people and workers, the affluent and poverty stricken. But let us give thanks for small favors, even if we have to be stoned, drunk or on an induced  messianic high to locate or identify them.

More important than any individual or party we may support is the system we need to change. It is profit and loss capitalism that is the obstacle to peace and humanity, not one or another capitalist servant, whether Romney for Bain or Obama for Goldman Sachs . A wonderful person who owns a bandage business can only profit when people are doing lots of bleeding. Everything we produce, distribute, buy and sell shows a benefit for some, at a loss for others. That’s the problem, not a particular villain on Wall Street, Main Street or in the White House.

So while there is always much to be thankful for, there is even more to be wary and mindful of lest we face the future with a full belly but an empty mind and an increasingly barren planet. Whether you dine on turkey, tacos or tofu, remember that your elite doesn’t care what you eat so long as they profit from its sale, and if it profits them more to feed dogs, cats and the military-prison industrial complex, that’s what they will do. Until and unless we create a better way of organizing society. That calls for system change and the sex, race, religion and political philosophy of those who affect that change is far less important than that they act in unity to transform capitalism into humanism.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012



An idolized hero of the savagery of war was brought to his knees - sort of - by revelations that he did the unthinkable and had sex...with a woman...we can't go any further, this is all too much...

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Change You Can Believe In: No Change

Post-election news bulletin:

"After $6 billion, two dozen presidential primary election days, a pair of national conventions, four general election debates, hundreds of Congressional contests and more television advertisements than anyone would ever want to watch, the two major political parties in America essentially fought to a standstill.

When all the shouting was done, the American people on Tuesday more or less ratified the status quo that existed at the start of the day: they returned President Obama to the White House for another four years, reaffirmed Republican control of the House and kept the Senate in Democratic hands. As of Wednesday morning, the margins in the House and the Senate had each changed by just a seat or two."

And this:

"Majority of Voters See America On Wrong Track"

........NBC News poll, November 6, 2012

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day Bulletins

Shocking Entrance Poll Results:
Ahmadinejad Elected President of USA!

A brand new polling technique that questions possible voters as they enter parking lots, shopping centers, gas stations or public toilets prior to possibly voting has revealed surprising results. When confined to Iranian-Americans, critics of Israel and lovers of Iranian food, the overwhelming choice of possible voters was Ahmadinejad for president of the USA.

“We’ll have to go back to the drawing boards and reconstruct our surveys. This form had worked in animal food and media daytime tv questionnaires but something obviously went wrong here” said a representative of the Center for the Study of Centers, which created the revolutionary new polling technique.

Shocking Vote Suppression Bulletins From All Over America


Voters forced to disrobe, stand in freezing ice and snow before being allowed to vote. Poll watcher who forced them apologized and claimed he was only part-time and had previously worked at airports .


Multi-Billionaires pay homeless Americans to get green cards and pose as legal immigrants in order to vote for Romney. Plan backfires as Ahmadinejad carries state.


Republicans   were accused of beating children, sexually abusing puppies and eating raw cat food in order to sicken, frighten and deny decent citizen  voters who would have chosen Obama had they not been beaten, abused and sickened away from the polls.
Democrats responded with claims that Republican mobs molested Women-Americans, African Americans, Gay-Americans, Latin-Americans, , Jewish-Americans, Irish- Americans , Italian-Americans and Dreamer-Americans who were sleep walking to the polls, interfering with their constitutional right to dream, walk, be hyphenated and vote.

Washington D.C.

Citizens of the nation’s capital who wished to vote were subjected to body searches, forced urine analysis and questioned on the meaning of the Koran in an effort to exclude terrorists, HIV positive people and Muslims from voting. The ACLU was considering a law suit defending the HIV positive people from this kind of harassment.


Voters were asked to show ownership of oil wells or stock in petroleum companies before being allowed into polling places in Tulsa and other major cities.

Early Exit Polls Show Americans Losing…Again…As Usual

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Rash of Suicides Among Undecided Voters Mars Elections

Search For Vote-Worthy Difference Between Candidates Ends In Despair

"I tried; I really tried," reads a suicide note left behind by wanna-be voter Karen DeLeon of Dayton Ohio. "But the more I studied, the more I couldn't distinguish between Rombama and that other guy on war and peace, the 'free market,' education and the environment - the crucial issues. I'm sorry. I guess I'm just not smart enough to vote." The note was dated the same day she was found dead in her home from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Unfortunately, DeLeon's is not an isolated case. In recent days thousands of undecided voters have turned up dead in Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida, in what psychologists are calling an "Electoral Jonestown."

"The phenomenon appears to be similar to induced schizophrenia in dogs," says Dr. J. C. Hertz of Johns Hopkins University, an expert in bipolar depression. "For years we have been developing 'double-bind' studies requiring rational discrimination between two increasingly similar alternatives. Experimental dogs, for example, will be forced to distinguish between an oval shape and a circle, and administered an electric shock when they choose incorrectly. As the oval shape is gradually rounded out to more closely approximate a circle, the dogs experience the canine-equivalent of a nervous breakdown. Something similar appears to be happening to this year's undecided voters."

A particularly tragic case involved a young man in Telluride, Colorado, who was sure that a careful study of U.S. health care, on which the two candidates were said to be sharply divided, would steer him to a rational basis for choosing between them. His anguished last words were, "Obama care is Romney care, created by the Heritage Foundation. Aargh$@%*&@#!!"

Equally distressing is the case of a young Pennsylvania woman who blew her brains out several days after being told that there was a "Grand Canyon of difference" between the candidates on environmental issues. "Oh my God!" reads her suicide note, "Obama retained the Bush appointees calling for 'self-policing' in the oil industry, which culminated in British Petroleum's massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, then went on to promote an expansion of nuclear power during a triple meltdown in Japan!" A bullet-riddled copy of "The Audacity of Hope" was found at her side.

Experts say that "vote or die" extremism is fueling the wave of suicides. "When people are told, over and over, that 'this is the most important election of our lifetimes,' they naturally begin to feel that the casting of their vote has a cosmic significance," says John Croteau of the National Institute For Mental Health. When reality then cruelly disabuses them of this illusion, it's often too much to bear."

Sunday, October 28, 2012

False Savior: Barack Obama (7)


-----Barack Obama, re-election campaign theme.

"How can I go forward when I don't know which way I'm facing?"

-----John Lennon

"You argue that the son of a single-working mom can't be an elitist. But it's not where you start in life; it's where you end up. After a prestigious prep school, Colombia, and Harvard, you've ended up with the values of Cambridge, San Francisco, and Hyde Park. So you're doing badly in Scranton, Youngstown, and Erie, where ordinary Americans live."

-----Karl Rove, letter to Obama, May 2008

Among Obama's myriad false claims are that the killing of Osama bin Laden took place during a "fire fight," when in fact he had ordered the shooting of an unarmed man, a cowardly feat of which he is greatly proud. The killing and sodomization of Libyan leader Moamar Qaddafi is also an Obama "triumph," one that has predictably left Libya at the mercy of brutal Islamic factions, as well as U.S. diplomatic personnel, recently murdered in Benghazi. For the record, Defense Secretary Robert Gates admitted in advance that a "no-fly zone over Libya would be an 'act of war.'" So the war was yet another act of U.S. aggression, not the "humanitarian intervention" it was sold to the U.S. public as being.

Meanwhile, Obama did not condemn the repression and government killings of protesters in Bahrain using U.S.-made tanks and weapons, because that is where the U.S. Fifth Fleet is stationed. Nor did he issue a critical word about Yemen, a close U.S. ally that kills and wounds protesters while the U.S. president looks on impotently.

When the "Arab Spring" emerged, offering hope of a sliver of democracy for long-suffering peoples in North Africa and the Middle East, the Obama administration moved to strangle it. President Obama never criticized the 30 years of U.S. support for Hosni Mubarak, nor Mubarak's collaboration with Israel, which was strongly opposed by the majority of Egyptians. This collaboration was sustained by dictatorship and attendant state terror, including torture, both given economic support courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer. Somehow, this did not qualify as an occasion for delivering "change you can believe in."

Economist Edward S. Herman aptly summarizes Obama's continuation of George W. Bush's "war on terror": "Obama has extended and deepened the wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan, greatly enlarged the use of drones for use in war and to fight terror (i.e., terrorize) across the globe, and he has fought, and continues to fight, de facto wars in Yemen, Somalia, and Libya. . . . Obama has enlarged AFRICOM and advanced the U.S. military penetration into Africa. He regularly assails and threatens Iran and he continues the encircling and threatening of Russia and China . . ."

Perhaps Obama looks better on domestic policy? Not really. Obama's deficit commission was what initially established the suicidal dogma that a minimum of $4 trillion must be cut from the U.S. federal debt, (but not by eliminating empire-building and the grotesquely wasteful private medical system, the twin drivers of deficit spending). This was the number proposed by Obama last February 2011 in his annual budget. Huge cuts from Medicare-Medicaid were later agreed to in the August 2011 budget deal, and more cuts are on the way. Obama and Biden have consistently offered hundred of billions of dollars in cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, without asking for a single Republican concession in return. This severe austerity can't help but wreak havoc on ordinary Americans, and Obama well knows it. But he has made a career of sticking it to ordinary people in order to help wealthy people who already have more money than they are willing to productively invest. Meanwhile, U.S. annual spending on war is between $900 billion and one trillion dollars, every penny allegedly helping to "keep the American people safe." Sure.

For the record, the causes of U.S. deficits and cumulative debt are (1) wars and runaway military spending; (2) the Bush tax cuts, extended by Obama (80 percent of which benefited wealthy investors at a cost to the federal government of $200 to $270 billion a year); (3) the bailouts of banks and corporations; (4) the fiscal stimulus packages of both Bush and Obama - neither of which produced economic recovery; (4) the four years of keeping 25 million American workers unemployed; (5) price gouging by health insurance and service providers.

Meanwhile, profit margins are at an 80-year high, while real earnings continue to fall for 90 million workers and middle class households.

Obama's January 2011 State of the Union address promised a five year freeze in domestic spending (federal), which is flatly incompatible with his promises to improve education and help rebuild a decaying infrastructure. His support for massive military spending and permanent war prevents resources from being delivered to a crisis-ridden civil society, even as he talks hypocritically of "solidarity." He has repeatedly failed to address the massive unemployment, housing, and insecurity problems of millions of Americans, the growth of inequality, and the further consolidation of the "too big to fail" banks. He expressed great pride in keeping the U.S. "competitive," which means cheap labor, no benefits, and increasing privatization of education. He has praised his accomplishments in extending "free trade" agreements to Latin America and South Korea, with their attendant exploitation of the poor.

Meanwhile the big business critique of Obama is that he has gone "too far," straying from the proven principles of free enterprise with major tax increases, massive deficits, and "job-destroying regulation." The solution for them is capital flight to force down workers' wages still further and eliminate all social democratic protections. Obama is their stealth agent, not the lesser evil, but the more effective evil than Mitt Romney, who will have liberals on guard against budget austerity if he wins the elections, whereas Obama gets a free pass on the issue.

But surely Obama is good for the environment? Not hardly. Six months before the BP oil disaster in the Gulf, Obama and his secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar colluded with the oil behemoths to permit exactly the kind of drilling that produced the catastrophe. And when Japan's triple-meltdown occurred at Fukushima, Obama went off to Chile to promote an expansion of nuclear power.

Chile is one of the most earthquake-prone countries in the world and had recently suffered a massive earthquake, 8.8 on the Richter scale.

Forget Obama. Vote for the Green Party.

Sources: (Note: these sources have been drawn on to complete all the "False Savior" blog posts related to President Obama).

Grossman, Jerome, "Over There, Over There," Z Magazine, January, 2010

Burbach, Roger, "Honduran Coup Tries to Halt Advance of Latin American Left," Z Magazine, September 2009

Chomsky, Noam, "Turning Point? - Analyzing the Obama-Netanyahu-Abbas meetings in May 2009," Z Magazine, July/August 2009

Conteris, Andres Thomas, "From Coup-lite to Truth-lite: U.S. Policy in Honduras," Z Magazine, February 2010

Petras, James, "The Obama Doctrine," Z Magazine, January 2012

Davies, Nicholas, "The Victory of Popular Resistance In Occupied Iraq," Z Magazine, January 2012

Davies, Nicholas, "Investing In Weapons, War, and Obama," Z Magazine, May 2012

South, Dennis, "Barack Obama: The Murderer-in-chief," Mathaba News, February 11, 2012

McClellan, Phillip, "The Obama Syndrome - Surrender at Home, War Abroad," Z Magazine book review, January 2011

Ramzy Baroud, "Iraq War Declared Over, but War Party Persists, Z Magazine, December 2011

Larson, Rob, "Obama's Ironic Public," Z Magazine, April 2010

Donohoe, Martin, "Combating Corporate Control," Z Magazine, September 2009

Strauss, George H. "Bamboozled Nation and the Power Elite," Z Magazine, July/August 2009

Quigley, Bill, "Criminalization of Dissent and Militarization of the Police," Z Magazine, January 2012

Rasmus, Jack, "Economis Crisis in 2010 and Beyond," Z Magazine, January 2010

Rasmus, Jack, "The Real Causes of Deficits and the Debt," Z Magazine, December 2011

Rasmus, Jack, "Obama's Jobs Proposal," October 2011, Z Magazine

Rasmus, Jack, "Epic Recession: Prelude to Global Depression?" Z Magazine, March 2010

Rasmus, Jack, "Emerging Labor Responses to the Economic Crisis," Z Magazine, September 2011

Rasmus, Jack, "Double Dip Recession On the Horizon," Z Magazine, July/August 2011

Rasmus, Jack, "Obama's Horns Predictions 2011," Z Magazine, January 2011

Rasmus, Jack, "Obama's Failing Recovery," Z Magazine, November 2010

Rasmus, Jack, "Financial Fragility, One Year Later," Z Magazine November 2009

Rasmus, Jack, "An Economic Crisis Balance Sheet," Z Magazine, July/August 2010

Rasmus, Jack, "The Greek Debt Crisis As Harbinger of Things to Come," Z Magazine, April 2012

Rasmus, Jack, "Obama's Busted Bank Bailout," Z Magazine, April 2009

Herman, Edward S., "Internal Refugees and the War System," December 2011, Z Magazine

Herman, Edward S. "Toward a Homeland 'Favorable Climate of Investment'" Z Magazine, March 2011

Herman, Edward S., "Bailouts and Sellouts," Z Magazine, January 2009

Herman, Edward S., "Obama and the Steady Drift to the Right," Z Magazine, March 2010

Herman, Edward S. "Bombing for Ethnic Cleansing and Hegemony Rights," Z Magazine, April 2012

Dimaggio, Anthony, "The Neo-Cons Never Left: Obama War Crimes in Afghanistan and Around the World," ZNET, January 14, 2012

Petras, James "Multi-Billion-Dollar Terrorists and the Disappearing Middle Class," Z Magazine, September 2011

Fantina, Robert, "What Could Have Been: Lost Opportunities of Barack Obama," Counterpunch, September 22, 2011

Lindorff, Dave "Same Crimes, Same Misdemeanors: The Case For Impeachment of Barack Obama," Counterpunch Weekend Edition, April 2-4, 2010

McCloskey, Stephen, "Palestine at the Crossroads," Z Magazine, March 2010

Street, Paul, "The End of the Road - Obama Should Quit," Counterpunch Weekend Edition, September 23-25, 2011

Street, Paul, "Obama's Violin," Z Magazine, May 2009

Street, Paul, "The Enemy At Home," Z Magazine, March 2010

Street, Paul, "Corporate-Managed Democracy," Z Magazine, September 2009

Street, Paul, "The Great Obama Auto Bailout," Z Magazine, April 2012.

Bond-Graham, Darwin, "Succeeding Where Bush Failed - The Obama Administration's Nuclear Weapon Surge," Counterpunch Newsletter, March 29, 2012

Macaray, David, "Obama and Labor: Friends Without Benefits," Counterpunch Newsletter, Vol. 18, November 16-November 30, 2011

Valentine, Douglas, "Provincial Reconstruction Teams," Z Magazine, February 2010

Bybee, Roger, "The Jobs Crisis & the Wall Street Occupation," Z Magazine, November 2011

Bybee, Roger, "Apocalypse Now in the Industrial Midwest," Z Magazine, December 2009

Bybee, Roger, "Affordable Care?"; Z Magazine November 2009

Bybee, Roger, "Lessons from the Big Auto Bailout," Z Magazine, April 2009

Bybee, Roger, "Obama Discovers Inequality," Z Magazine, March 2012

Zeese, Kevin, "Health Care: What Did We Get? Where Do We Go From Here?" Z Magazine, May 2010

Nagel, Fred, "The Long Term Assault on Civil Liberties in America," Z Magazine, June 2011

Deutsch, Michael "Ominous Expansion of 'Anti-Terrorism' Law," Z Magazine, February 2011

Riley, Rebecca, "Barack Obama's Nuclear Rhetoric," Z Magazine, June 2020.

Flowers, Margaret, "Misguided Plans for Medicare and Medicaid," Z Magazine, June 2011

Bix, Herbert P., "What the Past Teaches About U.S. Democracy," Z Magazine, July/August 2010

Nall, Jeff, "Obama's Betrayal of Peace," Z Magazine, January 2010

Brunwasser, Joan, "Single Payer/Medicare For All - An interview with Margaret Flowers," Z Magazine, March 2011

St. Clair, Jeffrey, "The Politics of Make Believe - Barack Obama Changeling," Counterpunch, July 27, 2011

Cockburn, Alexander, Counterpunch Diary, Weekend Edition, April 6-8, 2012

Shapiro, Peter, "Mew Bill Does Not Fix the Health Care System," Z Magazine, June 2010

Shoup, Laurence H., "The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Responds To The Crisis of Capitalism," Z Magazine, March 2011

Shoup, Laurence H., "Finance Capitalists, the CFR, and the Obama Administration," Z Magazine January 2010


Chomsky, Noam, "Hopes and Prospects," (Haymarket, 2010)

Chomsky, Noam, "Making the Future - Occupations, Interventions, Empire and Resistance," (City Lights, 2012)

Parenti, Michael, "The Face of Imperialism," (Paradigm, 2011)

Street, Paul, "Barack Obama and the Future of American Politics," (Paradigm, 2009)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Ravages Of Legalized Pot?

"Consumers are feeling wealthier, so they are still out there spending."
JOSHUA DENNERLEIN, an economist with Bank of America Merrill Lynch, on recent gains in the American economy.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Vote The Greater Good, Not The Lesser Evil

“…ever more elections , and ever less democracy…”
                                 Michael K. Smith 

We are nearing the end of the billion dollar assault on consciousness that protects corporate power from the threat of democracy. It’s called the presidential race, or – in hysterical-get-out-the-vote fashion – the most important election since The Creation, or 911, or the last election. If we don’t support the corporate Republican, radical Muslims, socialists , gay illegal immigrants and godless abortion  fiends will destroy us all. On the other hand, if we do not re-elect the  corporate Democrat, Christian fanatics will murder women, children, gays, blacks, Latinos, and all other minorities except evangelical whites, while invading other nations not already under American attack.

Of course, both corporate flunkies  will bipartisanly continue passionately sucking up to Israel and threatening mass murder of Iranians.

All but totally obliterated in the advertising blitz are alternative candidates offering programs that are pro-democracy by being anti-corporate. The electoral system makes it incredibly difficult for so-called minority parties and candidates to ever reach the national ballot, let alone national consciousness. But voters able to break through the plastic curtain and find people like Jill Stein and Rocky Anderson will be delighted to hear and see reflections of themselves and real hope of a better future for America.

In fact, a 5% vote for Jill Stein and the Green party would assure millions of dollars in public funds to help create a real alternative electoral voice for the future. That’s why she was locked out of national debates and even locked up by the police  to assure her silence. If that had happened in Iran, shrieks of horror would reverberate across the land. Here, it got less attention than soccer scores from Tibet.

No matter which corporado wins a minority vote , things will get worse for some and better for others because that is the nature of the system. It is bringing even greater profits to less and less people while inflicting greater loss on more and more people. That’s the way it has always worked and will continue to work until we change it, hopefully before it destroys us all in a final cataclysmic achievement of full, negative equality.

Everything that happens in this economy is to create profit for a minority private sector first and benefit a majority public second, if at all. Birth, death and all the stuff in between are unnaturally treated as commodities , purchased, rented and leased as units of marketable goods. Nature works in a non-profit fashion but capital has had our earth mother locked in a polluted senior facility for generations. She seems to be growing angrier at her treatment and might lash out in a fury we can’t anticipate if we don’t soon change our behavior towards her  family - humanity - and end worshipping a patriarchal dictatorship posing as democracy and destroying our world with its profit and loss perversion.

A form of paternalistic capitalism has  had enough crumbs slipping off the table of wealth to afford many among what were once working people to become middle class and buy lots of consumer goods. With identity individualism we’ve also established the right for some members of alleged minorities to act as complicit in all of this as any other group. This irrational equality sees to it that certain privileged women can profit and be as successful, obnoxious and murderous as men, that  certain privileged “people of color” can profit and enjoy the benefits of abuse of less privileged people of color, or no color , and married homosexual couples can profit and join with married heterosexual couples to invest in the same corporate markets that all other people - with enough money – are free to invest in and make even more money. Until the next bubble bursts and the market crashes and all become members of  the “loss” majority.

Some have missed out on getting privileged members of their groups to rise in the  profit system food chain and feed on other losers rather than being fed to them. For example, not one Arab-American Lesbian HIV-positive Rosicrucian can be found on any corporate board, or managing a professional sport, or fire bombing a suspected drug house in america or a terrorist house in a foreign country. But as long as corporate propaganda works, we may soon have a token member of that group “affirmed” to assure that another reduced segment of humans is appeased and doesn’t notice the collective destruction of our race by this forced division into lesser minorities.

Bringing a few of us onto the profit side of our consumer ghetto while leaving most confined to the loss neighborhood has worked so far, from the extremes of gated-to-keep-people-out communities to gated-to-keep-people-in prisons. All remain divided minorities with relatively little to absolutely no power so that the rich minority with almost  all the power can keep it, and thereby maintain the process that shows signs of a global breakdown menacing all humanity.

A system close to collapse back in the 1930s was saved by introducing a measure of social democracy called the New Deal. This got profiteer’s at the top to give up a little bit of their wealth to trickle down on the great mass of working people so that they might enjoy a better material condition and not rebel against capital. It worked for a generation which saw workers transformed into a middle class in a culture that introduced consumption and wanton waste for the masses in order to create incredible wealth for the few. That began to change in the 1970s when capital reverted to its traditional need to accumulate more by giving people less. Its royal divinity still masquerades as  democracy for people who might as well watch tv as bother to vote, since they have far more choice on their multi-channel remotes than on their bi-partisan ballots.

Hopefully, more citizens will tire of being fooled by a voting process which reduces us to acting like a nation of  voting fools. This election can be a turning point but only if we reject the lesser evil choice and vote for what we want, need and deserve: A future of real hope based on a political voice that will ultimately represent far more of the 99% along with those in the lower 1% who reject their masters and join with their fellow citizens.

Vote for Jill Stein and The Green Party and give yourself, and everyone else, a chance for that future.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Good News Cheers Americans

The Economy
As millions of unemployed Americans gave up looking for jobs that don't exist, the U.S. unemployment rate (counting only those "actively seeking jobs") dipped below eight percent in September, according to the latest objective survey by J. Paul Greedy and Associates, a highly respected polling agency. "It's a reminder we're moving forward," commented President Obama. "Who really needs income, anyway?" added unemployed welder Steve Pipes, now out of work for three years. "I'm thinking of becoming a politician, so I can tell everyone 'there's no free lunch,' while I get a lavish lifestyle for free."

Electoral Politics
After two high profile debates, the Democratic and Republican challengers will change formats in the final two contests, which will be conducted wordlessly. Questions will be posed by victims of severe brain damage, a requirement that is not expected to disqualify leading American journalists, but the candidates will not be allowed to respond verbally. Instead of words, the candidates will exchange "body language" - grimaces, laughs, frowns, wagging fingers, stuck-out tongues, spit, guffaws, and farts. "It's the best way to avoid gaffes, said Emily Toast of the League of Clueless Voters. "It's the highest form of politics," said Vice-President Joe Biden.

Foreign Policy
(1) U.S. sanctions on Iran's oil exports and banking industry are reducing the Iranian people to starvation. President Obama embraced the news as "encouraging," though cautioned against over-optimism in the humanitarian campaign to "starve them into regime change." Meanwhile, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney lashed out at Obama's "hostility to Israel," asking why the Jewish state still lacked U.S. authorization to start World War III. "Giving carte-blanche to Israel is the highest national security interest the U.S. has," said Romney. "As a constitutional law scholar, the president ought to know that."

(2) Controversy continued over the deadly assault on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, which killed Ambassador Christopher Stephens and three other Americans. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton characterized the murderous assault as "completely unforeseeable," adding that "we put our Al Qaeda allies in power to do good, not evil." U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice claimed that the U.S. was not at liberty to send troops to protect its diplomats, because "conquered countries deserve to have their sovereignty respected."

"Mitt Romney is not a soulless ideologue, but a warm, cuddly man who really cares about people," said GOP spokesperson Dee Storshun. "He gives to charity every time he goes to the bathroom or offshores another thousand American jobs, whichever occurs more frequently."

For the first time ever, dogs will be allowed to vote in this year's elections. The election date will be moved forward a week to coincide with Halloween, so pets can be seen at the polls in their annual Halloween costumes. Americans are slated to spend $50 billion outfitting their pets for this year's festivities, which is expected to enhance the carnival-like atmosphere so essential to democracy. Dogs are said to be leaning towards voting for Romney in view of his pro-canine stance on the economy, which he insists "is going to the dogs."

Brain Dead Politics Continues on Illegal Immigration

"They come to be part of the American Dream." This liberal "analysis" about the presence of millions of illegal immigrants in our midst is an irritating way to defend such immigrants against the constant assaults on their human rights carried out by self-righteous American nationalists who are clearly clueless about the roots of the problem. Rather than provide clarifying context, liberals prefer to call their opponents "racist" (which they sometimes are, but usually not), which leaves the social and economic roots of illegal immigration unexplained.

In any event, legitimizing appeals to the American Dream are particularly foolish, as it is now fading very quickly. For the last two generations it has been sustained by easy credit and vast expansion of female labor in the paid labor market, both of which have reached their limit. Meanwhile, the increased wealth from productivity gains are channeled almost exclusively to the top of the economic pyramid, to the kind of people whose cynical speculation crashed the economy into disaster in 2008, and from which we still have not recovered four years later. So as Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker told us 33 years ago, "The standard of living of the average American has to decline." Given that this is so, how cheerfully can we be expected to greet the news that millions of desperate immigrants are here to illegally enjoy the dream that has been increasingly placed beyond the reach of millions of legal American citizens?

Fortunately, another world is possible, and that premise is now giving rise to a Latin American Dream that seeks to put an economic floor beneath the poor that will make it unnecessary for them to uproot themselves and seek employment thousands of miles away in the United States. It is quite revealing that the people who are most vociferous in condemning "illegal aliens" do nothing to support this movement to the South, so intent are they on punishing the victims of savage economic austerity rather than solving the problem they say they want solved. Sheer hypocrisy.

But the liberals don't offer anything much better. They prefer to exploit our emotions in relation to the admittedly tragic consequences of ripping families apart to deport "illegals," rather than challenge the enormous concentrations of private wealth that induce millions of people to migrate to the developed countries in the first place. This leaves them open to the charge of opposing legality itself, an obviously untenable position.

Until we challenge capital, especially its grotesquely lopsided distribution and supposed right to deny hundreds of millions of people access to a dignified existence, mass illegal immigration will continue all over the world.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Legalienate Poll Results

Legalienate’s polling division conducted a nation wide phone survey after both corporate party debates and arrived at some surprising results. While several people were experiencing multiple orgasms every time their favorite spoke, the great majority seemed to feel that all four candidates would have done better on American Idol or So You Think You Can Dance, which were seen as having intellectually superior judges and juries. Following are some thoughts from the poll responders.

Julius of Detroit:
 I thought the white guy with the Vaseline head was ignorant and the other white guy with the tan was sleeping most of the time. I’d vote for Malcolm if he was alive.

Mary of Hollywood:
 I think Bernie Madoff had more economic knowledge than either the presidential or vice presidential candidates. I like the job Biden’s dentist did. His teeth looked great whenever he shut up and just smiled.

Delma of Schenectady:
 Obama is the son of god. I believe he was sent to redeem us. Will I be paid for this call?

Waldo of Somewhere in Idaho:
 If they try to take away my guns I will kill all four of them. Is this being taped?

Samantha of Palm Springs:
 Can you get me a drink? I love Obama. He is such a great speaker. Can you send me a drink?

Tony of Trenton:
 I thought the guy with the suit was pretty good but the other guys sounded stupid. They don’t know nuthin about nuthin. Obama is a communist and the other one is a moron. This country went down the tubes after Reagan left.

Wilford of Cambridge:
There was a certain tone of condescension I detected on the part of the president who seemed to take naps while Romney spoke and the vice president was very rude to Ryan, often looking at him as though he were a nut case. I love our democratic system and believe implicitly in the wisdom of the rich people who own it. Will there be snacks after this?

Willa of Boston:
I didn’t watch any of the debates. I have more important things to do. Have to feed the dog, pick my nose, watch some good tv, you know stuff like that. I will probably vote since I consider it a civic duty. This is a democracy and we all are responsible for acting like good citizens. But that doesn’t mean I have to watch stupid debates. I’ll just enter the voting booth, pick my nose, and then pick a candidate the way I always do. If the booger sticks, that’s my vote. God bless america

Leopold of Chicago:
All the candidates looked and sounded really good to me. It’s difficult to make a choice among such well versed and articulate men, all of them so bright and so willing to serve the people. I’ll have a hard time. Almost like shopping for clothes, cars, pet foods or shampoo but with less choices, so maybe it will be easier than I think.

Elizabeth of Santa Monica:
I was insulted by all of them. Their egoism and ignorance was embarrassing. Just thinking about them makes me want to puke. I’d vote for the Three Stooges before any of these clowns. And I mean no disrespect to the Three Stooges, who were very talented men.

Legalienate interviewed Professor Dingus McNobel of the Center for the Study of Centers, a well known expert on polling and frequent analyst of what people really mean when they say what they think they mean until someone who really understands the meaning of meaning can interpret what they really say.

He had this to say about what all this meant. Or might mean. Or could mean.

“ Clearly there is a serious lack of clarity among debate viewers, as among Americans in general. The widespread notion and belief in our democratic system is balanced by an equally widespread notion that we are all morons, but I believe such a sweeping generalization merely simplifies a deep and penetrating social problem that can assure employment to analysts, if few others, for quite some time to come.

In short, or long as the case may be, the nation is confused and misdirected into accepting widely disparate perspectives on what denotes politics, democracy and good entertainment, as can be seen by the curious comments of the person who thought the candidate should be on Americans Idle, a clear reference to our unemployment problem but also, and conversely, a view of the physical as opposed to mental attributes of these candidates. And when we consider the framing of these debates…”

At this point our communication satellites signal was lost.


Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Supremely Political Court

Chief Justice John Roberts's surprise decision to support "Obamacare" has occasioned much ridiculous prattle about its supposed underlying motive: to preserve the Supreme Court's credibility as a nonpartisan body. As though it had ever had such a thing. In point of fact, what political scientist Michael Parenti appropriately refers to as "The Supremely Political Court" (see his superb, "Democracy For The Few," now in its ninth edition), has always been highly partisan on behalf of the wealthy and against the working class.

Many of the early Supreme Court justices, for example, including John Marshall, were slaveholders, and repeatedly went along with the legal fiction that black people were simply farm animals. Right up until the Civil War they reasoned that, whether slave or free, blacks were a "subordinate and inferior class of beings" without constitutional rights, and that Congress had no power to exclude slave masters and their chattel from the territories. Meanwhile, the Court did not challenge the Constitution in defining slaves as three-fifths human for the purpose of enhancing their masters' voting power. For sheer cynicism, it's difficult to improve on that.

The "non-partisan" Court has also seen fit to give away huge portions of the country to private speculators, subsidize private industry in direct violation of supposed "free market" requirements, set up commissions that fixed prices and interest rates for banks and manufacturers, dispatch the Marines to secure corporate interests abroad, imprison dissenters who denounced war and capitalism, deport immigrant political organizers without a trial, and use the United States Army to shoot down workers in the streets. Ideological differences between Democrats and Republicans did nothing to prevent any of this.

On the other hand, when dissenting popular movements got strong enough to make the federal or state governments limit the length of the working day, establish a minimum wage and workplace safety standards, guarantee the safety of consumer products, protect and preserve collective bargaining rights, then the Supreme Court did an about face and said the U.S. is a government of limited powers that has no constitutional authority to tamper with property rights and the "free market" by denying "substantive due process" and "freedom of contract." "Substantive due process" is a highly partisan invention that exists nowhere in the Constitution. It has permitted the court to declare laws unconstitutional if and when they interfere with the "right" of corporations and wealthy investors to accumulate capital and wield the power that comes with it. This effectively nullifies democracy, since any effort to promote the general welfare on behalf of the large majority of the population that works for a living can and is construed as an illegitimate denial of property rights and substantive due process. [And the Court regularly overlooks the fact that rights inhere in persons, not property.]

Incredibly, the Court has interpreted the 14th Amendment, passed to establish citizenship for ex-slaves, as giving the rights of personhood to corporations, as though the immense, decades-long struggle of abolitionists to rid the country of the detested practice of slavery had been motivated by a "humanitarian" desire to guarantee business conglomerates the freedom to re-invent slavery by other means. In any event, by 1920, the legal fiction of corporate personhood had struck down hundreds of labor laws that had been approved by state legislatures to ease the brutal conditions workers of that era were forced to endure. Between 1880 and 1931 the courts issued more than 1800 injunctions against labor strikes. Partisan? You bet.

When Congress banned child labor, the Court ruled it an unconstitutional usurpation of states rights under the Tenth Amendment, which says: "The Powers not delegated to the United States by this Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively or to the people." On the other hand, when the states passed social welfare laws, the Court found them a violation of "substantive due process" under the 14th Amendment. In short, the Tenth Amendment has been used to suppress efforts to promote the general welfare initiated under the Fourteenth Amendment, and the Fourteenth Amendment has been used to stop progressive reform under the Tenth Amendment.

It's hard to get more partisan than that.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Democracy = People, Not Money

“For at the very delivery of their money, they immediately ask it back, taking it up at the same moment they lay it down; and they let out that again to interest which they take for the use of what they have before lent.”

He was  describing the money lenders of his day, which was about 100 A.D. Some scams have been going on even longer than we might imagine . Slowly but surely we seem to be catching on, but we really need to pick up the pace.

The two major parties of capital, debt and credit are busy, as usual, arguing over whether to let  their market deity rule with minimal or maximal human manipulation on behalf of the rich. Republicans favor overt control by royal wealth and let the common folk be damned, while Democrats favor a more covert style which offers some props for the peasants in order to prevent revolution. Republican party servants to wealth are so out of touch they might bring on total collapse or worse, open rebellion. So Democratic party servants to wealth protect capital by showing some concern for the majority whose losses are the actual substance of all profits, thereby avoiding rebellion if not collapse. But even with this slight difference, the presidential election is simply an ad campaign for human detergents arguing over which party is newer, bluer, softer, and even whiter, but with affirmative action highlights in its servant class.

Unmentioned by the two major corporadoes of capital is a global economic crisis  threatening more wars, environmental destruction, financial collapse and even survival of the race. That is, the human race and not one of the fractured sectors separated by induced theories of superiority or inferiority to make it seem that master race/chosen people mental disorders represent sanity. In essence we are all equal, but capitalism and the profit-loss system have little to do with essence.  When the Titanic sank, poor people in the lower decks may have died first, but many of the rich people also went down to a wet grave. In keeping with class bigotry and social division, a newspaper of the time headlined :

Col John Jacob Astor Drowns:
Millionaire Among Hundreds Of Others Who Lost Their Lives In Catastrophe “

That one millionaire among hundreds of “others” matches present reality, considering how many of us are among the “others” and how many of us are “millionaires”. Of the hundreds of millions of dollars already paid to the campaigns , how much has come from honest and gulled “others” financing those who will take their money and charge them interest for it, and how much from the  minority rich? And  the wealthy minority  get  exactly what they pay for:

Continued ownership and control of a system which is making less people much  more rich, while giving more people much less democracy . And simultaneously destroying the natural  and social environments .

Still, in the tradition of electoral shams offering capital’s servants as alleged people’s tribunes, we will be implored to please, please, please not vote for the greater evil and choose the lesser evil. Or we will all die. Many of us will follow custom but even if we don’t – the vote against either servant combined with those who don’t bother to vote is always the majority of the electorate – the day after the election we will face a declining global environment no matter which lesser evil is chosen by the minority of voters who will obey the panic and conscientiously vote for polio instead of cancer.

Voters are being told – as usual – that this is the most important election in history, and the supreme court selections, if any – as usual – will assure a millennia of  change or reaction, depending on which side of the coin we are shown and forgetting that is only  an either/or choice between heads or tails and hardly anything really different, which is what we need.

Past historic court decisions have been very good for some of us, but always at the expense of others. What else is new? Those who profit are always balanced by others showing a loss and the loser group is growing in numbers - and losses - while the other side shrinks in numbers as its profits expand. All of the courts – supreme, subservient, activist , passivist, strict constructionist or even controlled demolitionist, represent the laws of a failing system, not the people it is failing.

Given the choice between cancer and polio, many good people will choose potentially  crippling polio, since potentially terminal cancer would be so much worse. But the malignant social disease will continue and become terminal unless those good people demand , work for,  vote for  and finally get real change beyond putting  an allegedly multi-cultural minority-divided individualistic warrior smiley-face on a social body suffering a disaster.

There is a way for the vote to actually mean something and that is to select Jill Stein of the Green Party. She not only represents a party and perspective beneficial to all and not just a tiny minority at the top, but a vote for the immediate future that can help greatly in the next election. A 5% vote for the Greens will mean millions of dollars in public funds –  our money – to make it possible to not only mount  an even greater campaign in four years but to establish a party presence in every one of the fifty states  to act as a potential core for all the activists operating outside electoral politics because they find it so repulsive in its present form.

Until we reject the dualistic trap of voting for either bad or worse, a more recent quote from only a century or two back will still describe our electoral reality :

"In politics, as on the sickbed, people toss from one side to the other, thinking they will be more comfortable."