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America, Wake Up!

Dec 25, 2009
America, wake up!

It is way past time to put your invective away, disown the cynical manipulators who stir you up to such passionate intensity, and focus on the facts: Your economic situation hasn't improved in 40 years; you've got a miserable standard of health care which no European or Canadian would tolerate for five minutes and for which you pay through the nose; your kids are fat and stupid from playing video games and eating nothing but sugar, salt, and fat all day; their schools are little better than prisons; one in six of you is under- or unemployed; the debt you have so massively and eagerly incurred has made billionaires out of a handful of the most evil bastards you could ever hope to imagine; and your world is melting faster than the Wicked Witch of the West.

Obama has delivered nothing but a measly stimulus package and a handful of cash for clunkers, while strapping your children and grandchildren with over $13 trillion in debt and Wall Street guarantees. It has become impossible to imagine a life for them free of endless domestic and international conflict, a 19th century standard of living, and an environment that will produce pandemics and mass starvation.

You are being played for a sucker by the likes of Glenn Beck and Barack Obama both. Go back to the Federalist Papers, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution. Remember what this country is about. It is about opportunity and freedom, it is about the individual, it is about all the people, not the tiny few who have bought off the government, enslaving the people and robbing us of both opportunity and freedom.

And once you come to your senses, don’t get mad, get even. It’s easy: Elect representatives who represent us, not them.
tags: New Political Party | Governance | ATN

Nation of Sheep

Dec 24, 2009
It would have taken but one brave senator to scuttle a health care “reform” bill that, as Howard Dean and others have concluded, will do more harm than good. Besides delivering us all for perpetuity into the kindly hands of the health insurance industry—or face a fine for trying to opt out—it will still, apparently, leave at least 17 million Americans uninsured. It purports to close two loopholes—pre-existing conditions and dropped coverage—that insurance companies have heretofore enjoyed in denying coverage. We shall see to what extent those loopholes really are closed.

One brave senator might have sent—may still send—a resounding message through the corridors of power in Washington, D.C., that the people will not be held hostage to the corporatocracy. I thought that that senator may have been from my own state of Vermont; however, Bernie Sanders voted for the Senate bill along with the other 58 democrats and one other “independent”—Joe Lieberman. He explains himself in a great interview on MSNBC’s Morning Joe show1, where he claims that the provision of a $10 billion program to institute community health centers partly persuaded him to support the bill. We all know what a drop in the bucket $10 billion is, and I was disappointed to hear him grasp on to this straw as a reason to keep from withholding his support.

The most telling comment in the interview comes about halfway through (4:30), when Sanders states outright a truth that should have us all in the streets howling for blood: “Big money interests control the United States Congress.” Others have said the same thing recently. And if that is not a sufficiently sad and infuriating fact to bring the American people to their feet in an outpouring of activism and protest, then what is?

In his just-published novel, Ralph Nader has concluded that a popular social movement is now impossible to mount and that “Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!” His utopian novel has the likes of Warren Buffet and George Soros joining forces to wrest our nation from runaway capitalism and restore it to the people. After Nader’s dismal showing in a third run for president in 2008, it is not surprising to see one of America’s true heroes reaching for a desperate solution. Fiction is fiction, however, and a far likelier scenario for the future may be a cheery comment Kurt Vonnegut made a few years before his death: “Things are going to get worse and worse, and they’re never going to get better again.”
1 Sanders’ Honest Assessment of the Health Reform Bill—MSNBC’s Morning Joe
2 Only the Super-Rich Can Save Us!
tags: Governance | Health

Noted With Interest, December 2009

Dec 02, 2009

Insurgents Hack U.S. Drones
By Siobhan Gorman, et al. Iranian-backed militants have been hacking into our deadly drones’ video feeds with a $25 piece of software for the last year. Our favorite quotation: “U.S. officials say there is no evidence that militants were able to take control of the drones or otherwise interfere with their flights.” So what’s the fuss? From The Wall Street Journal, Dec 17, 2009. Accessed Dec 17, 2009.

Our Murderers in the Sky
By Scott Ritter. “...the Afghan problem has never been a military problem....” From Truthdig.com, Dec 10, 2009. Accessed Dec 11, 2009.

Building a case for the survival of the kindest
What?! Could Ayn Rand have been wrong? Is altruism a survival mechanism after all? (We feel vindicated.) From R&D Magazine, Dec 9, 2009. Accessed Dec 10, 2009.

Liberals Are Useless
By Chris Hedges. Can you see yourself in this portrait? From Truthdig.com, Dec 7, 2009. Accessed Dec 9, 2009.

Addicted to Nonsense
By Chris Hedges. Are we all become Eloi, grist for the Morlocks? From Truthdig,com, Nov 30, 2009. Accessed Dec 5, 2009.

The Afghanistan Parenthesis
By David Bromwich. From the Huffington Post, Dec 2, 2009. Accessed Dec 2, 2009.

tags: Militarism | Obama

Right Is Right

Dec 01, 2009
We have no rights but those we declare for ourselves. We have no right to food, clothing, or shelter, the necessities for sustaining life. People go hungry every day, are dressed in rags, and sleep every night on the cold hard streets. Even here in the promised land.

We have no right to health care, as the thousands who die needlessly every year will attest, or would if they could.

We have no right even to work, as nearly one in five of our working-age population will tell you.

The one right we have declared for ourselves is the right to an education, and we have made provision for underwriting the delivery of that right through the public coffers. All adults pay, that all children may learn.

If we can do that, why can we not, in the richest country in the history of the world, declare for all our citizens the right to the basic necessities of life, including the right to health care and the right to work, and make provision for underwriting the delivery of those rights through the public coffers? Of course, we could, were we not so busy pouring our wealth into mindless, endless, meaningless wars, and were the fat cats of the military-political-industrial-academic complex not so in command of a world they are fast destroying to fill their bulging pockets even fuller.

Well, the times they are a’changin’ and do not for a moment think they are not. Voices everywhere are raised in indignation and in anger. Thus far, our collective response has been inchoate. But it will not be for long. Regrettably, we seem to need a leader, a flint upon which to strike the spark of action. Soon, someone will step out of the shadows and assume that role. They will speak to the need for justice and for equity, and the decent American people will rise together and take their country back from the thieves and their toadies.

The American Idea is the hope of the world, and that Idea—subdued now under an avalanche of greed and governmental corruption—must prevail, or the world is lost.

tags: New Political Party | Politics | Economics

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