It's no secret that I'm none too fond of our corrupt corporate overlords and their congressional minions. You used to have to be a 'radical' to see things the way I do. Now you just have to face facts.
The facade has crumbled. There is no longer any reason for the American people to believe that their government has their best interests at heart. Any statement to that effect would be patently absurd in light of recent history. The only ones you'd likely hear it from are politicians or 'journalists'...and we all know how those bastards lie (no offense intended to honest old-school journalists...all three or four of you).
The hope we had post Vietnam that we'd learned our lesson re: the futility and horror of war is but a fond memory. War has not only been rehabbed, it has become de riguere. To question it is un-American.
“In America, we expect everyone to support our military, and if they can't do that, to SHUT UP!”
Militarism as quasi-religion, false patriotism, war porn, flag worship, fake heroes, shiny medals and big fancy marches: it's enough to make a sane person cry.
The Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman stories are the stuff of modern heroism – and they are sad stories indeed. Stories of alleged heroism spun out of the whole-cloth of shameless government lies.
While our so-called government is servicing the top 1% by lavishing our treasure on all of these insane wars, great and small (count 'em, they're multiplying), they are stiffing the rest of us with 'austerity measures' and the rapid deconstruction of our social safety net – so as to better control and exploit us.
To anyone paying the least bit of attention, our corporate/political/military masters have revealed themselves as the rapacious sociopathic wolves that they are. The only question is when will enough of us be paying attention to stop them?
Our government has become a cult of secrecy, persecuting whistle-blowers and acting with great hostility towards some of our most well-intentioned citizens. We should all be wondering why.
"If the people knew what we had done, they would chase us down the street and lynch us."
George H.W. Bush to journalist Sarah McClendon
All the great war crimes of the Vietnam era that so many of my generation still rant about are as nothing to what has become routine American foreign policy. Daniel Ellsberg of Pentagon Papers fame says that all of Nixon's crimes against him are now legal. In addition to invading any country we damn well please at the drop of a hat, we also do not hesitate to assassinate, murder, torture or frame anyone who displeases our government, a government that spies on us all as if we, the American people, were al Qaeda. The government views us as the enemy. Again, we should all be wondering why. They have illegally given themselves carte blanche in domestic spying upending over 200 years of constitutional guarantees against such fascistic bullshit. They have pissed on the Constitution for decades. They piss on it still.
There’s a Secret Patriot Act, Senator Says
You think you understand how the Patriot Act allows the government to spy on its citizens. Sen. Ron Wyden says it’s worse than you know.
Congress is set to reauthorize three controversial provisions of the surveillance law as early as Thursday. Wyden (D-Oregon) says that powers they grant the government on their face, the government applies a far broader legal interpretation — an interpretation that the government has conveniently classified, so it cannot be publicly assessed or challenged. But one prominent Patriot-watcher asserts that the secret interpretation empowers the government to deploy ”dragnets” for massive amounts of information on private citizens; the government portrays its data-collection efforts much differently.
“We’re getting to a gap between what the public thinks the law says and what the American government secretly thinks the law says,” Wyden told Danger Room in an interview in his Senate office. “When you’ve got that kind of a gap, you’re going to have a problem on your hands.”
What could be more un-American than this Orwellian piece of crap called 'the Patriot Act'? What could be less patriotic than this aggressive encroachment on our constitutional rights? Of course our 'leaders' think the damned thing is just ducky. They passed a four-year extension with barely a whimper.
With prodding from the Obama White House—which has been working for months to secure a long-term extension of the Patriot Act—and Senate majority leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, and House speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, there will be a full-court press in coming days to win Congressional approval for the extension of Patriot Act provisions that are set to expire May 27. But there will be opposition from both sides of the aisle to this bad bipartisanship. The toughest test will come in the House, where a coalition of Tea Party conservatives and united Democratic caucus could upset the rush to approve the extension.
It will be tough to block a lobbying push by key congressional leaders, especially in the Senate, where Reid and McConnell are co-sponsoring the extension proposal. But there is no question that there will be significant opposition to this assault on basic constitutional values.
As Shahid Buttar, executive director of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, says: “This agreement reeks of all the worst things about Washington: secrecy, back-room dealing, institutional co-optation, and bipartisan collusion to undermine constitutional rights. The death of Osama bin Laden offered the hope that our nation’s leaders might finally restore sanity to the national security establishment in the wake of mounting documented abuses. Instead, they insulated it from debate and rammed the Patriot Act down the throats of hundreds of millions of law-abiding Americans. I am, quite frankly, disgusted.”
Let's face it. We've crossed way over into the twilight zone, tumbled miles down the rabbit hole and flown through the looking glass at the speed of sound. Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachman are being seriously discussed as presidential candidates and it hasn't been a minute since Donald 'Know Nothing' Trump led the field in the G.O.P. Race for the White House. Meanwhile, all the 'serious' democrats are talking about how to take the tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires out of the hides of the poor and middle class, and the writing is on the wall for the short and ugly future of our social safety net. Our corporate masters have decreed that there will be no such thing, and their minions, our 'leaders', are busy making it so.
In 2008, a liberal Democrat was elected president. Landslide votes gave Democrats huge congressional majorities. Eight years of war and scandal and George W. Bush had stigmatized the Republican Party almost beyond redemption. A global financial crisis had discredited the disciples of free-market fundamentalism, and Americans were ready for serious change.
Or so it seemed. But two years later, Wall Street is back to earning record profits, and conservatives are triumphant. To understand why this happened, it's not enough to examine polls and tea parties and the makeup of Barack Obama's economic team. You have to understand how we fell so short, and what we rightfully should have expected from Obama's election. And you have to understand two crucial things about American politics.
Second, American politicians don't care much about voters with moderate incomes. Princeton political scientist Larry Bartels studied the voting behavior of US senators in the early '90s and discovered that they respond far more to the desires of high-income groups than to anyone else. By itself, that's not a surprise. He also found that Republicans don't respond at all to the desires of voters with modest incomes. Maybe that's not a surprise, either. But this should be: Bartels found that Democratic senators don't respond to the desires of these voters, either. At all.
Neither do they care, Republicans nor Democrats, how we feel about these insane and costly wars. No matter how badly we don't want them, they continue to shove them down our unwilling throats.
According to Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, we will, for all practical purposes, never leave Afghanistan.
They pour billions and trillions of taxpayer dollars down these black holes of war while ignoring global climate change, the renewable energy imperative and the critical needs of the teeming masses of people around the world.
These shameless bastards are making asses of humanity and paupers of us all.
1. Post-9/11 Defense Hikes Equal Five Times the “Medicare Gap”
Economist Dean Baker notes that “the projections in the Medicare Trustees report, as well as the CBO baseline budget, show that the program faces a relatively modest long-term shortfall.” The amount of money needed to balance the program's finances over its 75-year horizon, he adds, “is less than 0.3 percent of GDP, approximately one-fifth of the increase in the rate annual defense spending between 2000 and 2011.”
2. Afghanistan Costs Alone Could Pay for 15.6 Years of Head Start
Head Start provides education, health, nutrition, and parenting services to low-income children and their families. It's an incredibly successful, effective and popular program, but there are only 900,000 places in the program for more than 2.5 million eligible kids. According to the National Priorities Project, what we've spent on the Afghanistan war so far could fund Head Start for all eligible children for the next 15.6 years.
3. Covering the Uninsured
A 2007 study conducted by researchers at Harvard University estimated that 45,000 people die every year in the United States from problems associated with lack of coverage. The study found that “uninsured, working-age Americans have a 40 percent higher risk of death than their privately insured counterparts,” even “after taking into account socioeconomics, health behaviors, and baseline health.”
According to NPP's analysis, the costs of the Afghanistan conflict alone could cover every uninsured American for 1.7 years.
4. Closing State Budget Gaps
Forty-six states face budget shortfalls in this fiscal year, totaling $130 billion nationwide. The supplemental requests for fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan this year add up to $170 billion – that doesn't include the Pentagon's base budget, nukes or Homeland Security.
5. Iraq, Just in 2011
Iraq is still a bloody mess, with an insurgency still underway. But our politicians have declared victory and the media have largely moved on. That doesn't mean we won't spend almost $50 billion on those "non-combat troops" which remain, however. What else could we do with that kind of scratch if we just brought them home? NPP tells us it would buy:
24.3 million children receiving low-income health care for one year, OR
726,044 elementary school teachers for one year, OR
829,946 firefighters for one year, OR
6.2 million Head Start slots for children for one year, OR
10.7 million households with renewable electricity -- solar photovoltaic for one year, OR
28.6 million households with renewable electricity-wind power for one year, OR
6.1 million military veterans receiving VA medical care for one year, OR
9.8 million people receiving low-income health care for one year, OR
718,208 police or sheriff's patrol officers for one year, OR
6.0 million scholarships for university students for one year, OR
8.5 million students receiving Pell grants of $5,550
Just to be clear, I'm not anti-government. I advocate for good, competent, responsible, benign and honest government. It's bad government I hate: corruption, waste, special interests, secrecy, baldfaced fucking lies and etcetera. And of course these days that's mostly what we've got.
IMHO, anyone not ashamed of our nation, not appalled at our government or who thinks more and better democrats will fix any of this shit, is either not paying attention, has bought into the mass delusion or both.
Daniel Ellsberg says that all of Nixon's crimes against him are now 'legal'. This so-called 'national security' cult of thieves that our government has become is a total fucking disgrace!
Never forget who we're up against. The only way our government has changed since the Nixon days is that it has gotten much worse. Don't let the chimera of politics blind you to that fact.
That old war criminal, Henry Kissinger, called Daniel Ellsberg the most dangerous man in America. That SOB has always had a penchant for speaking the opposite of the truth.