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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

"No Way Through"--Or Getting Around--America's Complicity In Today's Destruction Of A People

Stop and think for a moment:  What if this were taking place in your own neighborhood?

Your child, terrified, hauled away like an animal by brutal storm troopers.  Not to be seen again for weeks or months, locked up in some Israeli dungeon and subjected to torture and sexual abuse.

All because your child was a "suspect."  No charges need apply, however, to keep him there.  And when finally released, he's shattered.  And so are you.

Or just maybe your oldest daughter has had an accident and desperately needs medical care.  Here's a chilling scenario that happens every day in the American-supported illegal occupation of the West Bank.  The setting here is London.  But just imagine it's somewhere in Baltimore or Chicago or Denver or Los Angeles.

Could you live every day with this?

If you couldn't deal with it, American people, then WHY do you sit passively and allow $10 million of our tax dollars, daily, to fund Israel's ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestinians?

Stop subsidizing this!

Support the Boycott/Divestment/Sanction Movement on Israel.  Put an end to the savagery.

Or do you prefer to just shrug and run off to purchase an Israeli commodity at the nearest day-after-Thanksgiving sale?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Israel: Palestinians Are "Like Drugged Cockroaches In A Bottle"

Political cartoons offer up the most potent commentary on corrupt,  evil phenomena in our world.  This particular one really sums up the attitude of our current president, which is a sordid continuation of all the AIPAC Oval Office puppets that have preceded him.

Utterly disgraceful would be an understatement to describe the American government's policy supporting Israeli war crimes.  The latest is that Obama & Congress are going to reward Tel Aviv's serial killing ethnic cleansers even more advanced weaponry, so that the war crimes may continue unabated.

I've asked this rhetorical question a thousand times and I'll go on asking it:


Crusading journalist Chris Hedges provides a devastating commentary on the current status of the might-makes-right blood-letting.  If you have a conscience, you'll be simmering by the end of the video.

"When we have settled the land, all the Arabs will be able to do about it will be to scurry around like drugged cockroaches in a bottle." 
--Raphael Eitan
   Chief of Staff, Israeli Military
   New York Times, April 14, 1983

 Why do these Zionist gangsters continue not only getting away with this behavior but openly brag about it?

How about another one of those choice cartoons to address that problem:

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Verdict: "Real Populists Fight Corporate Power -- They Don't Hug It!"

"This is our moment!" the voice-over proudly snarls in a video reminiscent of the exact same Republican claptrap that's been shoveled up before, during, and after elections.

Few, however, can match the same cartoonish punch as Mama Grizzly Sarah. 

Just listen to that populist roaring now that GOP, Inc. has overrun our House of Representatives!

Hold on a second.  There appears to be something less than a complete consensus about all this.  Famed populist activist and commentator Jim Hightower has a strikingly different perspective from Tea Queen Palin.

It seems he finds all this hooey, ehhm, unbearable:

"The tea party spoke! Loudly, powerfully and proudly.

But besides, "Throw the bums out," what did it say? And now that the party part is over and the nasty business of governing begins, what does it all add up to? What's its governing agenda? How does it make anything positive out of the disparate mish-mash of issue positions within its own rank and file?

And then there's the big one -- the huge, grotesque, democracy-choking monster that the party invited into the center of its own movement: corporate money. Throughout the election, tea partiers demurely averted their eyes from this ugly dude, for the monster was lavishing millions of corporate dollars on their candidates. But now, whether they meant to or not, they've ensconced it as the unrivaled, controlling power in the new Congress. What will they do as it asserts its selfish interests over theirs, devouring their ideals and their pretension that they are in control?

The media establishment insists on referring to the tea party as a "populist" movement -- but real populists fight corporate power, they don't hug it! The party certainly is a popular uprising, and a successful one, but there's nothing populist about it. Indeed, its leaders and candidates have vociferously opposed the populist ideals of egalitarianism, social justice, cooperative action and the common good.

"Shrink the Government" sounds good as a campaign cry, but its substance, as expressed by many of the most prominent teabag nominees and electees, is to kill Social Security, privatize Medicare and Medicaid, eliminate unemployment compensation, strip away the regulatory reforms on Wall Street's big banks, undo the EPA and the Education Department, extend the privileged tax breaks of super-wealthy hedge fund speculators, cut food stamps, do away with minimum wage, cripple unions, take away the pensions of public employees ... etc., etc.

This reduced the election to a massive, despicable blitz of TV ads consisting of lies, shameless pandering and silliness. It was America's first $4 billion election, with the likes of the Koch brothers, Rupert Murdoch, the Chamber of Commerce, Karl Rove, Dick Armey and other designers of corporate rule secretively channeling unprecedented, unconscionable (and, I believe, unconstitutional) sums of cash directly from corporate coffers to create a House majority obligated and dedicated to them."

Sounds pretty compelling.  "Rupert Murdoch....and other designers of corporate rule......"  Of course, one wouldn't see any of that in Palin's little fairy tale sound bite.  She's one of Murdoch's employees, after all.

We as a nation have weathered a lot worse than this.  Extremists and opportunists on both sides of the aisle have run amok before.  We'll survive, though, somehow, some way.

Just speak out, walk the walk, stand tough.

If you think the middle class is up against it, shudder to imagine Tea Party/GOP, Inc's attack plan against the working poor.  The images in this video are riveting.

Still, like the Trouble Man, "Ain't gon' let it sweat me, baby....."


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Around Us, Always, A Universe Of Stuff That These Are Made Of......

Dreams.  Magical wonders with manifold meaning.

They might be images passing through the mind during sleep.  Possibly visions willingly indulged in while awake.  Or simply people & places of surreal beauty and excellence.

Like love, though nowhere near the number, there's an abundance of songs, old and new, revolving on this theme.  And often enough, songs commingle the two.  For obvious reasons.

I'll bet you could call up the names of at least three or more dream ballads right now.  You've sung, swayed, hummed, or perhaps shared them with an intimate someone.

One of the most sublime is the 1994 song "Dreams" by The Cranberries.  The Irish band's lead vocalist Dolores O'Riordan has a stunning, ethereal voice, making this song all the more, shall we say, dreamy.

"Oh my life is changing everyday
Every possible way
Though my dreams, it’s never quite as it seems
Never quite as it seems

I know I felt like this before

But now I’m feeling it even more
Because it came from you

Then I open up and see

The person fumbling here is me
A different way to be

I want more, impossible to ignore

Impossible to ignore
They’ll come true, impossible not to do
Impossible not to do.....

.....Now I tell you openly
You have my heart so don’t hurt me
For what I couldn’t find

Talk to me amazing mind

So understanding and so kind
You’re everything to me

Oh my life is changing everyday

Every possible way
Though my dreams, it’s never quite as it seems
’cause you’re a dream to me
Dream to me"

Monday, November 1, 2010

America The Schizophrenic -- Sane Saturday, Twisted Tuesday

Let us pray, people:

May tomorrow's election day bring out enough Americans--no matter how angry, scared, and fed up they are--who won't lose the sanity we restored last Saturday in Washington.

Make them realize that while the Democrats' frying pan sizzles, the Republicans' flame will incinerate us as it always has.

Open the eyes of this incensed electorate so they'll realize they've been poisoned by the GOP mouth organ all along to hand over the keys to our city to marauding Huns.  Don't hand 'em over, please.  There's just too much at stake.   
Fear.  Just say no.  Again and again, loud as you can.  Narrow-minded, hate-spewing bigots masquerading about in tricorn hats want you to surrender to their insanity.  Transcend it.   


Someone asked recently what was on my backside--of my "Restore Sanity Rally" shirt.  It was a message I delivered in the company of the 200,000 plus people flood in our nation's capital.  Something strident enough to show my disgust with right-wing demagogues who try to pervert the American Dream.  That  includes the one voiced at the Lincoln Memorial, not by some crazed Christian Reich boss, but by an Atlanta preacher in 1963 .

There were so many, many stinging, uproarious slogans flying in all directions that day.  I thought carefully and wrote one I could wear for years to come.  Wanted to be sure from this day forward any and all star spangled yahoos swaggering across my path will be served notice.

There were some detractors, notably, from the far left side of the aisle.  Journalist & socialist Chris Hedges was clearly not impressed and had this scathing, acid cynical take on the Big Rally:

"Politics in America has become spectacle. It is another form of show business. The crowd in Washington, well trained by television, was conditioned to play its role before the cameras. The signs —'The Rant is Too Damn High,' 'Real Patriots Can Handle a Difference of Opinion' or 'I Masturbate and I Vote'—reflected the hollowness of current political discourse and television’s perverse epistemology.

The rally spoke exclusively in the impoverished iconography and language of television. It was filled with meaningless political pieties, music and jokes. It was like any television variety program. Personalities were being sold, not political platforms. And this is what the society of spectacle is about.

The modern spectacle, as the theorist Guy Debord pointed out, is a potent tool for pacification and depoliticization. It is a “permanent opium war” which stupefies its viewers and disconnects them from the forces that control their lives. The spectacle diverts anger toward phantoms and away from the perpetrators of exploitation and injustice. It manufactures feelings of euphoria. It allows participants to confuse the spectacle itself with political action.

The celebrities from Comedy Central and the trash talk show hosts on Fox are in the same business. They are entertainers. They provide the empty, emotionally laden material that propels endless chatter back and forth on supposed left- and right-wing television programs. It is a national Punch and Judy show. But don’t be fooled. It is not politics. It is entertainment. It is spectacle.

All national debate on the airwaves is driven by the same empty gossip, the same absurd trivia, the same celebrity meltdowns and the same ridiculous posturing. It is presented with a different spin. But none of it is about ideas or truth. None of it is about being informed. It caters to emotions. It makes us confuse how we are made to feel with knowledge.

And in the end, for those who serve up this drivel, the game is about money in the form of ratings and advertising.  Beck, Colbert and Stewart all serve the same masters. And it is not us."

No question about it, Mr. Hedges was decidedly unimpressed with our noble attempt at sanity.  And maybe all the theatrics just made him go ape.
His points, however, are well-taken and many quite valid.  The grand corporate octopus has itself wrapped neatly around all of us in just about the same iron grip as a hundred years ago.  It's just that the stranglehold is so much more subtle, thanks to the sophistication of high tech thought control---ahhmm, I mean mass media.

No matter, really, which party rules, since the overall status quo remains the same.  But then it still always seems to turn out so much worse for civil liberties and working class conditions whenever the "smaller government/bigger business" Republicans call the shots.

Pollsters have already called it for tomorrow and the rage over the Bush-generated misery index is gonna get us tossed from fryer to the fire.  

We gave it our best, however, and got in the last word.  Stewart summed it up nicely at the finish Saturday.