You’re Surprised

Hell and destruction are never full, so the eyes of man are never satisfied. – Proverbs 27:5

I find it amazing the degree of surprise so many people are feeling while witnessing the level vitriol being spewed at President Barack Obama the first non-white president in our nation’s history. Who thought that a country who only less than 50 years ago allowed black folks the right to participate in our democracy and still have not fully integrated non-whites into our society would quietly accept this change with open arms. It never fails to amaze me how dumbfounded white folks are when they have to face the racism of their fellow citizenry. I remember the horror of my white friends as they watched the dogs, water hoses, and bombings televised on their television sets as they were forced to accept the hatred that has permeated America for centuries.

The thing that surprises me is that racism is now being used to make a profit for those who are willing to traffic in it. At least in the old days the leaders were true believers and not hucksters marketing gold, books, and other trinkets. Unfortunately, today there are plenty of folks who are willing to exploit the true believers hatred for short-term political and personal gain. Not only do we have individuals willing to profit from the spewing of hatred but also major media outlets in which to disseminate it. My question is how do you win national elections if you continue to alienate persons of color? The demographics of this country do not lie. The days of white majorities controlling elections on a national scale are over and no matter how much the tea-party protests they are not coming back.

My guess is that the only way this strategy can work is by marginalizing the non-whites while you play up the fears of whites to the point that it becomes an us versus them scenario. This strategy may have worked 50 years ago, but today even the white population is too diverse to accept this obvious ploy. How many times have white supremists attempted to start the dreaded race war by providing provocative acts to rally whites only to not be able to find enough takers to materialize. It is difficult to find revolutionaries when you have all the money, systems and power. Despite the claims of the tea party and their ilk that white folks are being discriminated against in this country by this black president and his extremist white sidekicks there appears to be few outside the movement who are taking these claims seriously. And who could argue with the numbers. Nearly twice as many whites as non-whites graduate from college, 91% of the richest 1% of the population is white, and the average net worth of white families is 10 times higher than black families.

There is fear in this country today among whites that they are losing their wealth and it is not completely unfounded. The problem is not that non-whites are stealing wealth from whites. The problem is that rich whites have stolen wealth from middle-class whites. We have witnessed the greatest transfer of wealth in our nation’s history and that wealth has moved from the middle income brackets to the top income brackets. The wealth that middle-class families once had in their homes, stocks, and retirement plans has evaporated. The wealth was not taken by non-white home invasion robbers; no it was taken by greedy white men in suits. You have to admit though that they are good, they have turned attention away from their pillaging of the national treasury by putting the focus on folks who are barely making a living in this country.

Whether it is Arizona or Washington, DC the game is the same. Despite many volumes being written by white authors about the corporate and individual thefts of our economy by their white brethren we still have the racist rants of the tea-partiers and their corporate overlords distracting the debate from the real culprits to some “bogeymen” who are not like us. If we as a nation following this corporate theft of historic proportions cannot recognize once and for all that we are not each other’s enemy but are all at risk from the rich and powerful then we will surely deserve our fate.

The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate, contrived and dishonest -- but the myth -- persistent, persuasive and unrealistic - John F. Kennedy

The Disputed Truth

You’re Surprised

Hell and destruction are never full, so the eyes of man are never satisfied. – Proverbs 27:5

I find it amazing the degree of surprise so many people are feeling while witnessing the level vitriol being spewed at President Barack Obama the first non-white president in our nation’s history. Who thought that a country who only less than 50 years ago allowed black folks the right to participate in our democracy and still have not fully integrated non-whites into our society would quietly accept this change with open arms. It never fails to amaze me how dumbfounded white folks are when they have to face the racism of their fellow citizenry. I remember the horror of my white friends as they watched the dogs, water hoses, and bombings televised on their television sets as they were forced to accept the hatred that has permeated America for centuries.

The thing that surprises me is that racism is now being used to make a profit for those who are willing to traffic in it. At least in the old days the leaders were true believers and not hucksters marketing gold, books, and other trinkets. Unfortunately, today there are plenty of folks who are willing to exploit the true believers hatred for short-term political and personal gain. Not only do we have individuals willing to profit from the spewing of hatred but also major media outlets in which to disseminate it. My question is how do you win national elections if you continue to alienate persons of color? The demographics of this country do not lie. The days of white majorities controlling elections on a national scale are over and no matter how much the tea-party protests they are not coming back.

My guess is that the only way this strategy can work is by marginalizing the non-whites while you play up the fears of whites to the point that it becomes an us versus them scenario. This strategy may have worked 50 years ago, but today even the white population is too diverse to accept this obvious ploy. How many times have white supremists attempted to start the dreaded race war by providing provocative acts to rally whites only to not be able to find enough takers to materialize. It is difficult to find revolutionaries when you have all the money, systems and power. Despite the claims of the tea party and their ilk that white folks are being discriminated against in this country by this black president and his extremist white sidekicks there appears to be few outside the movement who are taking these claims seriously. And who could argue with the numbers. Nearly twice as many whites as non-whites graduate from college, 91% of the richest 1% of the population is white, and the average net worth of white families is 10 times higher than black families.

There is fear in this country today among whites that they are losing their wealth and it is not completely unfounded. The problem is not that non-whites are stealing wealth from whites. The problem is that rich whites have stolen wealth from middle-class whites. We have witnessed the greatest transfer of wealth in our nation’s history and that wealth has moved from the middle income brackets to the top income brackets. The wealth that middle-class families once had in their homes, stocks, and retirement plans has evaporated. The wealth was not taken by non-white home invasion robbers; no it was taken by greedy white men in suits. You have to admit though that they are good, they have turned attention away from their pillaging of the national treasury by putting the focus on folks who are barely making a living in this country.

Whether it is Arizona or Washington, DC the game is the same. Despite many volumes being written by white authors about the corporate and individual thefts of our economy by their white brethren we still have the racist rants of the tea-partiers and their corporate overlords distracting the debate from the real culprits to some “bogeymen” who are not like us. If we as a nation following this corporate theft of historic proportions cannot recognize once and for all that we are not each other’s enemy but are all at risk from the rich and powerful then we will surely deserve our fate.

The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate, contrived and dishonest -- but the myth -- persistent, persuasive and unrealistic - John F. Kennedy

The Disputed Truth

A Modest Proposal: Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission

(Note: This post is a satire.)

A number of outlets have criticized the recent Supreme Court decision Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which struck down restrictions on corporate spending during elections.

I also disagree with the decision: it does not go far enough.

As every conservative knows, the Second Amendment is by far the most important part of the Constitution. It reads that:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

It is high time to extend the Second Amendment to corporations.

After all, the Supreme Court argues that corporations constitute human beings with feelings and rights, such as the freedom of speech. If speaking freely is fundamental to a corporation’s human dignity, so is bearing arms.

It may be slightly difficult for a company to own a gun, but there is a solution. Remember that the Second Amendment talks about “A well regulated Militia.” If corporations “bear Arms” by hiring private militias, they can then exercise their Second Amendment rights.

Think about it. Corporations need to be protected from the government. What happens if the government tries to take away their rights? The fact is, if corporations don’t protest when they take one right, they’ll take them all. It’s about having the ability to resist the government if it ever gets to corrupt.

So if the government decides to fight Goldman Sachs, Goldman Sachs and its privately owned militia is going to fight back – thanks to the Supreme Court’s logic and the Second Amendment.

--Inoljt, http://mypolitikal.com/


The Republicans, the Supreme Court, & the Corporations

I use to think that what has occurred over the last few years has just been a random series of political events and while they were devastating they were still unrelated. As I see more of our democracy breaking down I am becoming more skeptical concerning the randomness of these events. I have still yet to figure out how you lose two election cycles in a row and yet claim victory for your ideas that were soundly rejected and proven to be bankrupt. The thing about the Republican PR machine is that they have been allowed to create an alternate reality.

This alternate reality resembles our reality in many ways albeit one. In both realities the facts are the same but how they are interpreted are very different. It is a fact that the Republicans were decisively defeated in the election of 2008, no one can dispute that. Yet according to this alternative reality the election was not a repudiation of Republican ideas it was a repudiation of George W. Bush as if he were acting single-handedly to bring down the government and the country. It didn’t take long for them to throw George W. under the “straight talk” express bus. The sad part of all this is how Democrats have allowed this re-writing of history to continue unabated. It is one thing for Dick Cheney to come out from under his rock to defend his torturous record, but to allow these other clowns to distance themselves from the impending collapse that the Dems inherited is unconscionable. There have been more Dick Cheney sightings since he left office than the entire eight years he was in office. I don’t recall him being this accessible when he was authorizing torture.

But let’s take a moment to see if we can connect the dots. First the Republicans work to cripple the government and make it appear incapable of solving the problems of average Americans. These average Americans become disillusioned with their government and accept the Republican meme that the government cannot be trusted to do anything and therefore all government intervention is anti-American and anti-founding fathers. Yet the government has a record when allowed to perform of successfully running programs like Medicare and Medicaid which these same average Americans count on every day. Add to this mix that you prevent any Democratic legislation from being enacted not because it is bad for the country but merely because it is politically expedient and you now have a dysfunctional legislative process. So you have a government that is not trusted to correctly sell postage stamps and a legislative process that is being obstructed to the point of a standstill.

The next dot is in the event that the federal government no longer functions to solve average American’s problems who then fills the void? Who then is able to advance policy and get legislation through? Well, thanks to the recent ruling of the Supreme Court that void will now be filled by the corporations. Let’s be clear it is not that the corporations were not instrumental in our body politic prior to this ruling. Corporations have continued to circumvent our democracy through campaign cash and lobbying efforts. Corporations have historically influenced public opinion and policy through the media by using advertising; they have used campaign cash and lobbying efforts, and the threat of extortion through plant closures and higher prices. What the Supreme Court has done is allowed the corporation’s unfettered access and influence in our political system at a time when the system is perceived as broken. What they did was the equivalent of giving Halliburton a no-bid contract to America to provide arms and materiel during war time.

The final dot is the corporations themselves who have historically shown that they have little regard for democracy or the will of the people. It is common wisdom in the world that the capitalists of America will sell you the rope to hang them with and this decision by the Supreme Court may bring this gem of wisdom to fruition. Once the will of the people has been stymied by corrupt politicians and obstructionists the only coherent voice from the chaos will be the benevolent corporations who will ride in and rescue the American public from its impending doom at the hand of government mismanagement. These of course would be the same corporations who took this economy to the brink of Armageddon and continue to provide each other with immoral compensation for these failures. I guess the Republicans are not the only ones living in this alternative reality. You now get giant bonuses for running your company into the ground by gambling with its assets and why not your company will not be liable for it anyway.

There is a foundation being laid in America and I am afraid that we are so busy concentrating on the minutiae of the 24 hour news cycle that we are missing the larger picture. As Pink Floyd so aptly stated you build a wall one brick at a time and these are just more bricks in the wall.

I find rebellion packaged by a major corporation a little hard to take seriously. – David Byrne

The Disputed Truth

The Republicans, the Supreme Court, & the Corporations

I use to think that what has occurred over the last few years has just been a random series of political events and while they were devastating they were still unrelated. As I see more of our democracy breaking down I am becoming more skeptical concerning the randomness of these events. I have still yet to figure out how you lose two election cycles in a row and yet claim victory for your ideas that were soundly rejected and proven to be bankrupt. The thing about the Republican PR machine is that they have been allowed to create an alternate reality.

This alternate reality resembles our reality in many ways albeit one. In both realities the facts are the same but how they are interpreted are very different. It is a fact that the Republicans were decisively defeated in the election of 2008, no one can dispute that. Yet according to this alternative reality the election was not a repudiation of Republican ideas it was a repudiation of George W. Bush as if he were acting single-handedly to bring down the government and the country. It didn’t take long for them to throw George W. under the “straight talk” express bus. The sad part of all this is how Democrats have allowed this re-writing of history to continue unabated. It is one thing for Dick Cheney to come out from under his rock to defend his torturous record, but to allow these other clowns to distance themselves from the impending collapse that the Dems inherited is unconscionable. There have been more Dick Cheney sightings since he left office than the entire eight years he was in office. I don’t recall him being this accessible when he was authorizing torture.

But let’s take a moment to see if we can connect the dots. First the Republicans work to cripple the government and make it appear incapable of solving the problems of average Americans. These average Americans become disillusioned with their government and accept the Republican meme that the government cannot be trusted to do anything and therefore all government intervention is anti-American and anti-founding fathers. Yet the government has a record when allowed to perform of successfully running programs like Medicare and Medicaid which these same average Americans count on every day. Add to this mix that you prevent any Democratic legislation from being enacted not because it is bad for the country but merely because it is politically expedient and you now have a dysfunctional legislative process. So you have a government that is not trusted to correctly sell postage stamps and a legislative process that is being obstructed to the point of a standstill.

The next dot is in the event that the federal government no longer functions to solve average American’s problems who then fills the void? Who then is able to advance policy and get legislation through? Well, thanks to the recent ruling of the Supreme Court that void will now be filled by the corporations. Let’s be clear it is not that the corporations were not instrumental in our body politic prior to this ruling. Corporations have continued to circumvent our democracy through campaign cash and lobbying efforts. Corporations have historically influenced public opinion and policy through the media by using advertising; they have used campaign cash and lobbying efforts, and the threat of extortion through plant closures and higher prices. What the Supreme Court has done is allowed the corporation’s unfettered access and influence in our political system at a time when the system is perceived as broken. What they did was the equivalent of giving Halliburton a no-bid contract to America to provide arms and materiel during war time.

The final dot is the corporations themselves who have historically shown that they have little regard for democracy or the will of the people. It is common wisdom in the world that the capitalists of America will sell you the rope to hang them with and this decision by the Supreme Court may bring this gem of wisdom to fruition. Once the will of the people has been stymied by corrupt politicians and obstructionists the only coherent voice from the chaos will be the benevolent corporations who will ride in and rescue the American public from its impending doom at the hand of government mismanagement. These of course would be the same corporations who took this economy to the brink of Armageddon and continue to provide each other with immoral compensation for these failures. I guess the Republicans are not the only ones living in this alternative reality. You now get giant bonuses for running your company into the ground by gambling with its assets and why not your company will not be liable for it anyway.

There is a foundation being laid in America and I am afraid that we are so busy concentrating on the minutiae of the 24 hour news cycle that we are missing the larger picture. As Pink Floyd so aptly stated you build a wall one brick at a time and these are just more bricks in the wall.

I find rebellion packaged by a major corporation a little hard to take seriously. – David Byrne

The Disputed Truth

Diaries

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