The Democratic Betrayal

 

The Democratic party officially came about with the presidency of Andrew Jackson & I would argue that it has betrayed the American public from the beginning because it has not honored the core values & principles upon which our nation was founded i.e. liberty, equality, justice, truthfulness, & compassion for all American citizens. Moreover, I assert that these values & principles must apply to all of humanity, not only to Americans if we claim to truly honor these morals. Let’s step back & reflect on our history & how we have gotten to this sad state of affairs in today’s America.

The Democratic party was a proponent for farmers across the country, urban workers, and new immigrants. It was especially attractive to Irish immigrants who increasingly controlled the party machinery in the cities. The party was much less attractive to businessmen, plantation owners, Evangelical Protestants, and social reformers. The party advocated westward expansion,Manifest Destiny, greater equality among all white men, and opposition to the national banks. In 1860 the Civil War began between the mostly-Republican North against the mostly-Democratic, slaveholding South.”  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_United_States_Democratic_Party

On the whole, I went through my public education believing that America was the champion of democracy & freedom around the world & that we’ve always proudly sacrificed our lives in the various wars we’ve been in to defend the oppressed of other nations. It wasn’t until the summer of 1974 while I was hitchhiking across the U.S. that I came across a book which would drastically change my world-view. That book was “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” by Dee Brown. It’s the Native American’s viewpoint on our so-called winning of the west & it made me feel ashamed of all that the white men had done to the Native Americans who lived here long before we ever arrived on these shores. A few years later, I was applying for a job & I learned that the guy interviewing me was also president of the local school district from which I had graduated. He seemed fairly open-minded so I asked him, Why is it that they lie to us about our history in our public schools? His answer was startling & frank i.e. “Because most students don’t go on to college & the government wants you to leave school feeling good about America.” And in retrospect, this makes sense when you consider that after graduation from high school is also when most guys join the military & if people knew our true history, they might not fall quite so easily for all the patriotic propaganda the military & the government bombard us with i.e. they might not want to “serve their country.”

In fact, it was probably my experience in the U.S. Army that marked the beginning of my intellectual awakening i.e. I stood a 50% chance of being sent to Vietnam & realized that I should start going AWOL so they couldn’t send me to Vietnam because I’d be tied-up in the court-martial process.

Continuing on, around 1984 I was taking a creative writing class at Cal State Long Beach & the teacher recommended that we listen to a Leftist radio station in L.A. with the call letters of KPFK. And I was enthralled because I heard many great writers, journalists, professors, etc. on it & I was on fire due to the fantastic revelations I learned of there. The election of Ronald Reagan to the presidency truly frightened me because I grew up in L.A. and knew by osmosis i.e. I didn’t really follow politics but life in California under the governorship of Reagan was distasteful to say the least. So when he became president, I really started paying attention to politics & for the next 30 yrs. or so, I probably averaged 30 to 40 hrs. per week in my spare time, reading, listening, watching, collecting articles, books, etc. about not only our national political scene but our foreign policies as well.

More specifically, it was sometime in the mid-80s when I learned that good old Jimmy Carter, the seemingly affable peanut farmer from Georgia who had appeared to truly care about the working class, the immigrants, the environment, etc. wasn’t the great humanitarian that he was suppose to be.

Carter secretly supported the genocidal Pol Pot government ousted by Vietnam in 1979. This secret support was essential to further punishment of Vietnam for having successfully defended her own population against the American invaders. US Indochina strategy also intended to outflank the Vietnamese, who were aligned with the Soviet Union, and to back the Pol Pot forces, aligned with China.

  • Carter declared his support for the Shah of Iran-despite the rampant torture practiced by the Shah’s secret police in close collaboration with the C.I.A.-more emphatically than Richard Nixon had: “There is no leader with whom I have a deeper sense of personal friendship and gratitude.”
  • Following the Indonesians’ 1975 invasion of East Timor, Carter continued to arm Indonesia’s army dictatorship as well as give diplomatic support (vetoing U.N. resolutions to end the atrocities in the former Portuguese colony). This war has killed more than 200,000 East Timorese, making it the worst genocide relative to population since World War II. Carter did nothing to pressure General Suharto (Indonesia’s chief of state) to end the war. He was an ally and major supporter of the Indonesian military’s repression of its own population, as well as the slaughter of the East Timorese people. The army’s murderous stranglehold on East Timor will continue as long as the ruling military clique of Indonesia lets transnational oil companies have a good share of East Timorese oil profits. 
  • During his watch, Carter aided and supported Nicaragua’s then-dictator Anastasio Somoza, who murdered and repressed tens of thousands of his own people. When Somoza’s forces were about to lose control of the main cities, Carter attempted to launch an invasion under the fig leaf of an intervention by the Organization of American States (OAS). The OAS refused and Carter then planned to send the US military to salvage Somoza’s army, which was established by and beholden to the US government-but it was too late. Carter made sure that Somoza was ferried out of the country on a Red Cross-painted US aircraft. The C.I.A. under Carter helped to re-establish Somoza’s army as a terrorist force against the people of Nicaragua. These “contras” assassinated social workers, doctors and civilians, burned crops, and tried to exterminate any possibility of social reform that the Sandinistas created.  http://www.ibiblio.org/prism/Apr97/carter.html

Clearly, just as with our history textbooks, we are lied to & manipulated by our government so we’ll continue to believe that we’re always the good guys & like those proverbial knights in shining armor, we’ll come to the rescue of the downtrodden. Whenever I bring up unpleasant facts like above, many, if not most people think I’m crazy or want to punch me in my face. It’s because the propaganda machine has been steadily indoctrinating us over the decades and only those weirdos like myself who are obsessed with knowledge, discover the inconsistencies and outright lies. And that’s what this essay is all about i.e. the betrayal of all of us who fell for the bullshit the democrats have been spewing for most of our history. I’m just going to focus on the Democratic Party because it’s clear that the Republicans are our enemy i.e. they have a very simple & clear agenda of wiping-out every last government program that helps the poor, the homeless, the working class, the middle class, immigrants, gays, women, etc. and want every last tax dollar to go to them & their cronies always behind the guise of “National Security.” The democratic betrayal is that much more painful because they have given us false hope & misled us throughout our history. 

Undeniably, the American bombings of Hiroshima & Nagasaki were one of the most horrific acts the U.S. government committed in our long, bloody history & the order was given by the Democrat, Harry S. Truman. I don’t buy the usual excuse that it was necessary because if we hadn’t done so, many more American lives would’ve been lost. I believe that we could’ve chosen a deserted island, brought Japanese observers & journalists from around the world and demonstrated their nightmarish destructiveness and that would’ve convinced the Japanese to immediately surrender but here is another perspective from one of America’s greatest living journalists i.e. Robert Scheer: 

A “survivor” of Hiroshima

Just exactly what distinguishes the United States’ use of the ever-so-cutely-named “Fat Man” and “Little Boy” atomic bombs on cities in Japan from the car bombs of Baghdad or the planes that smashed into the World Trade Center? To even raise the question, as was found in one recent university case, can be a career-ending move.

Of course, we had our justifications, as terrorists always do. Truman defended his decision to drop the atomic bombs on civilians over the objection of leading atomic scientists on the grounds that it was a necessary military action to save lives by forcing a quick Japanese surrender. He insisted on that imperative despite the objections of top military figures, including Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, who contended that the war would end quickly without dropping the bomb. 

The subsequent release of formerly secret documents makes a hash of Truman’s rationalization. His White House was fully informed that the Japanese were on the verge of collapse, and their surrender was made all the more likely by the Soviets’ imminent entry into the fight. 

At most, the Japanese were asking for the face-saving gesture of retaining their emperor, and even that modest demand would likely have been abandoned with the shift of massive numbers of Allied troops and firepower from the battlefront of a defeated Germany to a confrontation with its deeply wounded Asian ally. Instead, the U.S. played midwife to the birth of the nuclear monster, the ultimate terrorist weapon that presents a continuing and growing threat to the survival of human life on Earth. 

A “beautiful” sight to only the sub-human amongst us i.e. Goldman Sachs, Trump, etc.

This is a lesson to be pondered at a time when President Bush plays power games with a nuclear-equipped Russia while coddling Pakistan, the main proliferator of nuclear weapons to rogue regimes, and Congress authorizes an expansion of the U.S. nuclear program to better fight the war on terror by “improving” the ultimate weapon of terror, which the U.S. alone stands guilty of using. “  http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/from_the_truthdig_archives_the_terror_america_wrought_20150731

Furthermore, good ol’ Harry gave us the Korean War and was anti-union. I’ll leave it to you to do your own research if you give a shit? I don’t mean to be unnecessarily sarcastic but I’ve found that the more work I do i.e. providing a thorough background, the lazier people are & most people can’t even be bothered to take the time to read what I’ve laid out. Next in our pantheon of duplicitous democratic presidents is John F. Kennedy, the Sir Galahad of Camelot. I don’t mean to disrespect his presidency in toto but again, as I’ve matured, the scales have fallen from my eyes. And I remember exactly where I was & what I was doing when he was assassinated i.e. I was playing ball on the playground and I was in the fourth grade. They announced it over the school’s P.A. system and I sat down & leaned against a wall in shock when I heard the sad news. No other president’s track record has been as sanitized or revised so extensively as JFK’s perhaps because he & his lovely wife, were the perfect couple & so thoroughly charming? I want to share the opinion of my intellectual hero, Noam Chomsky, here and I challenge anyone to refute his perspective because he is truly a scholar’s scholar!

“Kennedy is easy. The invasion of Cuba was outright aggression. Eisenhower planned it, incidentally, so he was involved in a conspiracy to invade another country, which we can add to his score. After the invasion of Cuba, Kennedy launched a huge terrorist campaign against Cuba, which was very serious. No joke; bombardment of industrial installations with killing of plenty of people, bombing hotels, sinking fishing boats, sabotage. Later, under Nixon, it even went as far as poisoning livestock and so on. Big affair; and then came Vietnam; he invaded Vietnam. He invaded South Vietnam in 1962. He sent the US Air Force to start bombing.”

….”Kennedy is not even worth discussing. The invasion in South Vietnam – Kennedy attacked South Vietnam, outright. In 1961-1962 he sent Air Force to start bombing villages, authorized napalm. Also laid the basis for the huge wave of repression that spread over Latin America with the installation of Neo-Nazi gangsters that were always supported directly by the United States. That went on and in fact picked up under Johnson.”  http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/20135-chomsky-weighs-in-on-kennedy-assassination-anniversary-

Since Chomsky mentioned our support of Neo-Nazi gangsters i.e. dictators, I’m going to share a list of friendly dictators the U.S. has supported i.e. helped them in their coups against their democratically elected presidents, trained their secret police, financed, etc. over the decades & I’ll leave it to you to research as to whether it was a democrat or a republican who was president in each instance:

Abacha, General Sani —————————-Nigeria
Amin, Idi ——————————————Uganda

a bit of Idi Amin’s “handiwork”–a friendly dictator to the U.S.


Banzer, Colonel Hugo —————————Bolivia
Batista, Fulgencio ——————————–Cuba
Bolkiah, Sir Hassanal —————————-Brunei
Botha, P.W. —————————————South Africa
Branco, General Humberto ———————Brazil
Cedras, Raoul ————————————-Haiti
Cerezo, Vinicio ———————————–Guatemala
Chiang Kai-Shek ———————————Taiwan
Cordova, Roberto Suazo ————————Honduras
Christiani, Alfredo ——————————-El Salvador
Diem, Ngo Dihn ———————————Vietnam
Doe, General Samuel —————————-Liberia
Duvalier, Francois ——————————–Haiti
Duvalier, Jean Claude—————————–Haiti
Fahd bin’Abdul-‘Aziz, King ———————Saudi Arabia
Franco, General Francisco ———————–Spain
Hitler, Adolf —————————————Germany
Hassan II——————————————-Morocco
Marcos, Ferdinand ——————————-Philippines
Martinez, General Maximiliano Hernandez —El Salvador
Mobutu Sese Seko ——————————-Zaire
Noriega, General Manuel ————————Panama
Ozal, Turgut ————————————–Turkey
Pahlevi, Shah Mohammed Reza —————Iran

Shah of Iran, whom our C.I.A. installed & who terrorized the Iranians from 1941-79 until the Iranians overthrew him–gee, I wonder why they hate us?


Papadopoulos, George ————————–Greece
Park Chung Hee ———————————South Korea
Pinochet, General Augusto ———————Chile
Pol Pot———————————————Cambodia

friend of Jimmy Carter, killed 25% of Cambodian people


Rabuka, General Sitiveni ————————Fiji
Montt, General Efrain Rios ———————Guatemala
Salassie, Halie ————————————Ethiopia
Salazar, Antonio de Oliveira ——————–Portugal
Somoza, Anastasio Jr. ————————–Nicaragua
Somoza, Anastasio, Sr. ————————-Nicaragua
Smith, Ian —————————————-Rhodesia
Stroessner, Alfredo —————————–Paraguay
Suharto, General ———————————Indonesia
Trujillo, Rafael Leonidas ———————–Dominican Republic
Videla, General Jorge Rafael ——————Argentina
Zia Ul-Haq, Mohammed ———————-Pakistan

 

http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/US_ThirdWorld/dictators.html

Perhaps I should point out the obvious here because far too many times in my life I have assumed that the obvious was obvious only to find out that no, some people don’t seem to grasp the obvious. Whether you are a democrat or a republican & whether you are a president of the U.S. or a simple citizen like myself, you haven’t a moral leg to stand on if you support, defend, or make excuses for the crimes of butchers, dictators, & tyrants! Have I made myself clear? The lines between reality, fantasy, truth, & fiction have become so blurred over the past few decades & now especially with this dark clown Trump as president that I am not going to beat around the “Bush” (pun intended) and lay it out as forcefully & clearly as I am able to do. I am reminded of the old adage, If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything and tragically, far too many Americans seem only to willing to complacently go about their daily lives astride the proverbial fence for fear of offending someone. I am also reminded of another adage which I believe is from Puerto Rico but I could be wrong? “It’s better to die standing than to live on your knees.” And it’s in that spirit that I continue to spit in the wind. Okay, onward & upward or maybe I should say, downward?

Although the scholars & “experts” disagree as to how we became embroiled in the Vietnam War, I don’t waver in my contention that the Gulf of Tonkin “incident” was a facade which provided the corporate cockroaches & the grand, military strategists the pretext to invade & occupy South Vietnam. Fast forward to our invasion & occupation of Iraq under the guise of their having “weapons of mass destruction.” We’re told that the fact that Iraq has some of the world’s largest oil reserves & is strategically located next to Iran which is the king in the grand chessboard of global domination because of its strategic location regarding the flow of oil shipping in the Middle East, had nothing to do with our invasion, you decide for yourself! Let’s return to our Vietnam experience, remember, our Congress never officially declared war so I guess the 55,000 or more soldiers who died there weren’t officially defending America?

“However, Joseph C. Goulden, in Truth is the First Casualty, strongly supports the idea that Johnson deceived Congress and manipulated the situation to his advantage. He believes that the reports of the August incidents in the Gulf of Tonkin were poorly investigated in an attempt to force Congress into signing the resolution. McNamara, in Goulden’s estimation, is not a reliable witness regarding the passage of the Tonkin Gulf Resolution because he denies that he and Johnson consciously misled Congress in their encouragement of the resolution by shielding their desires to expand the war well before the resolution.

First of all, plans for a more expansive war in Vietnam, including a large bombing program, were formed in early 1964. Furthermore, a contingency draft of the resolution was written and proposed months before the August incidents. And lastly, Johnson and McNamara, among others, explained the resolution ambiguously, which disguised their true intentions and encouraged differing interpretations among Congressmen.”  http://roundtable.menloschool.org/issue12/4_Taylor_MS_Roundtable12_Spring_2012.pdf

Next in line of our double-dealing democratic presidents is Billy Bob Clinton who clearly loved bobbing for boobs & butts in his spare time as president. A little background first though. Long before he became president, when he first ran for governor of Arkansas, he ran on a platform of going after the corporate cockroaches of Arkansas & most notably, Tyson Chicken which was responsible for the pollution of over half the rivers in the state. Well, Arkansas’ “businessmen” didn’t take too kindly to this assault on their business practices so they united their ill-gotten fortunes & stomped Billy Boy’s attempt at a second term as governor. Billy Bob was clearly no dummy & in fact, he is a Rhodes Scholar and he learned his lesson i.e. don’t fuck with the corporate cockroaches. Therefore, on his next run for the governorship of Arkansas, he became a good, little brown-noser to its corporate cockroaches & they backed him like he’d been a good ol’ boy forever. And lo & behold, the next thing we knew, he became president? By the way, Clinton’s ascension to the top of the political food-chain marked the most egregious example of betrayal by a president of the democratic party in my lifetime! 

Billy Bob Clinton’s financial backer, Tyson Foods

Billy Bob, the butt-boy of the business bastards, presented himself as the champion of the working class, a progressive who would bring progress, change, & hope to the 99% of America who hadn’t been born with a silver spoon in their mouths, just as Obama did in 2008. Yet, his record testifies as to what a brazen liar & cop-out he was. In short, Clinton’s reign of terror could more accurately be described as a War on the Poor! Again, I defer to my Magister Ludi, Noam Chomsky;

1. Clinton’s Bottom Line

November 17 was a grand day in the career of Bill Clinton, the day when he proved that he is a man of firm principle, and that his “vision” — the term has become a journalistic reflex — has real substance. “President Emerges As a Tough Fighter,” the New York Times announced on the front page the next day. Washington correspondent R.W. Apple wrote that Clinton had now silenced his detractors, who had scorned him for his apparent willingness to back down on everything he claimed to stand for:

“Mr. Clinton retreated early on Bosnia, on Haiti, on homosexuals in the military, on important elements of his economic plan [namely, the minuscule stimulative package]; he seemed ready to compromise on all but the most basic elements of his health-care reforms. Critics asked whether he had a bottom line on anything.

On NAFTA, he did, and that question won’t be asked much for a while.”1

In short, on unimportant matters, involving nothing more than millions of lives, Clinton is a “pragmatist,” ready to retreat. But when it comes to responding to the calls of the big money, our hero showed that he has backbone after all.

The importance that the corporate world saw in the NAFTA issue was revealed with some clarity in the final stages. Usually, both the President and the media try to keep their class loyalties somewhat in the background. This time, all bars were down. Particularly striking was the bitter attack on labor for daring to interfere in the political process, understood to be the domain of business power in a well-ordered democracy.

The logic is familiar. When ordinary people enter the political arena, we have a “crisis of democracy”; things are OK, however, when the President is able to “govern the country with the cooperation of a relatively small number of Wall Street lawyers and bankers,” as the Eaton Professor of the Science of Government at Harvard (Samuel Huntington) has explained, articulating the vision of democracy propounded by elite opinion for hundreds of years.

Accordingly, corporate lobbying was considered unworthy of mention — a reasonable decision; one also doesn’t report the air we breathe.

President Clinton denounced the “naked pressure” and “real roughshod, muscle-bound tactics” of organized labor, “the raw muscle, the sort of naked pressure that the labor forces have put on.” They even resorted to “pleading…based on friendship” and “threatening…based on money and work in the campaign” when they approached their elected representatives. Never would a corporate lobbyist sink that low; those who believe otherwise merely reveal themselves to be “Marxists” or “conspiracy theorists,” terms that are the cultivated equivalent of four-letter words or a punch in the nose, a last resort when you can’t think of an argument. Front-page stories featured the President’s call to Congress “to resist the hardball politics” of the “powerful labor interests.” Business was reeling from the onslaught, unable to face the terror of the mob. At the outer limits of dissent, Anthony Lewis berated the “backward, unenlightened” labor movement for the “crude threatening tactics” it employed to influence Congress, motivated by “fear of change and fear of foreigners.” https://chomsky.info/199401__/

Well, what say you my imaginary reader? And I’m not being facetious because I rarely find a person who has the superhuman attention span or willingness to actually make it through one of my essays. In case the above wasn’t enough to convince you of just how seriously Clinton betrayed us, here’s some more good news;

“The threat became more severe when the Clinton administration repealed

the Glass-Steagall act of 1933, thus freeing financial institutions ‘to

innovate in the new economy,’ in Clinton’s words — and also ‘to

self-destruct, taking down with them the general economy and

international confidence in the U.S. banking system,’ financial analyst 

Nomi Prins worked at Goldman Sachs & says a crash bigger than 2008 is coming soon

Nomi Prins adds. The unprecedented intervention of the Fed may be

justified or not in narrow terms, but it reveals, once again, the

profoundly undemocratic character of state capitalist institutions,

designed in large measure to socialize cost and risk and privatize

profit, without a public voice. That is, of course, not limited to

financial markets. The advanced economy as a whole relies heavily on

the dynamic state sector, with much the same consequences with regard

to risk, cost, profit, and decisions, crucial features of the economy

and political system.”  https://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2008/09/22/behind-bailout-0

For those of you old enough to remember the Gomer Pyle show, “Surprise! Surprise! Surprise!” Nomi Prins’ comment above “but it reveals, once again, the

profoundly undemocratic character of state capitalist institutions,

designed in large measure to socialize cost and risk and privatize

profit, without a public voice,” is almost verbatim Noam Chomsky. And let me enlighten you as to Ms. Prins’ bonafides;

Nomi Prins is an American author, journalist, and public speaker. She has worked as a managing director at Goldman-Sachs for 2 years and as a Senior Managing Director at Bear Stearns for 7 years, as well as having worked as a senior strategist at Lehman Brothers and analyst at the Chase Manhattan Bank. Prins is known for her book All the Presidents’ Bankers in which she explores over a century of close relationships between the 19 Presidents from Teddy Roosevelt through Barack Obama and the key bankers of their day based on original archival documents. Prins also received recognition for her whistleblowerbook, It Takes a Pillage: Behind the Bonuses, Bailouts, and Backroom Deals from Washington to Wall Street, for her views on the U.S. economy,[1][2][3] for her published spending figures on federal programs and initiatives related to the2008 bailout,[4] and for her advocacy for the reinstatement of the Glass–Steagall Act and regulatory reform of the financial industry. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nomi_Prins

Again I shouldn’t assume anything so here it is i.e. the Great Depression that our parents & grandparents suffered through was basically the result of the corporate cockroaches of that time and specifically because the government, you know, that all evil govt. that the GOP wants to completely dismantle except for the funding of the military which is their never-ending teat of nurturance. I know, I’m beginning to ramble and it’s no excuse but yeah, I have been drinking beer as I write this. It may be the only way I can make my way through this fucking Alice in Wonderland world we call America? Well, thanks to Clinton’s repeal of Glass-Steagall Act, which by the way, played a  not insignificant role in the world-wide economic crash of 2008, we continue to suffer. Oh yeah, some of you may not know the reasoning behind the Glass-Steagall Act that FDR enacted?

Before the Great Depression, commercial banks (ordinary banks that most of the working class deposit their paychecks in) and investment banks (the elite banks that the rich put their money in to speculate i.e. gamble on the stock market, etc.) for risky, speculative investments, weren’t separated i.e. forbidden from intermingling ordinary citizens’ deposits from rich, speculative depositors’ gambles. And yeah, this is a very simplistic version of the situation but again, how many of you will pursue the story further? By the way, another perhaps insignificant point is that the world-wide economic collapse can clearly be traced to a cornerstone fact i.e. it was due to a massive disregard & lack of enforcement of even the most basic of regulatory laws on the books regarding the financial industry. And what do we have now? May 2017? We have a government totally devoid of conscience or fairness. We have a govt. with one simple agenda i.e. destroy the federal agency they are suppose to defend. So, tell me how I am suppose to be cheerful and encouraging?

As a final point regarding deregulation & the financial “services” sector of our economy, reflect on these facts if you will? After the Savings & Loan Scandal under Reagan’s reign of error—he deregulated every industry he could get his talons on—hundreds of thousands of Americans had their life savings stolen, do you see why he’s such a darling of the 1%? But approximately 5,000 of the white collar crooks were prosecuted & many were sent to prison. But after the world-wide economic crash of 2008 mostly due to the example that America’s financial elite set, not a single top executive was sent to prison & only a handful of executives in the mid-level range were prosecuted. And now we have this braggart of a buffoon, Trump, in charge & you mark my words, he’s in the process of deregulating everything just as Ronnie the Rodent Reagan did but the consequences of what’s to come under Trump very likely will be the death  knell of the world’s economy & there will be no “recovery.”

Moreover, as we go down this path of self-destruction, the Democratic party is cooperating with the Republicans who are kicking the poor, the working class, the middle class, the immigrants, etc. in the teeth with their neoliberal assault that’s been going on since the 1970s as Noam Chomsky has laid out for us so succinctly. When I heard this pronouncement by Chomsky, I was immediately intrigued & quite frankly at a loss as to examples of how the democratic party is colluding with the G.O.P. In fact, I wrote to Noam and asked him about his statement. He replied that he hadn’t really written about it yet but the info is out there. I think I couldn’t see the forest for the trees as the old adage goes but now that I’ve done some research & have stepped back to see the big picture, it’s clear to me now that the democratic party’s embrace of neoliberalism along with the republicans is the most blatant example of how the democrats have betrayed us.

To resume Clinton’s betrayal of the American people, note that he ran as a “New Democrat” while campaigning for the presidency. Yeah, they love changing their labels in the hope of suckering the general public once again. And neoliberalism is the same i.e. the old liberalism failed us e.g. the Great Depression which had such a dramatic impact on not only the U.S. economy but the entire world’s economy so hey, let’s call it New Liberalism & the yokels will lap it up. The word “new” is one of the most abused words in the English language, just watch T.V. commercials if you need to be persuaded. Okay, back to Billy Bob, the blow-job boss from Arkansas. Clinton signed & passed the “Personal Responsibility & Work Opportunity Act” which more accurately should’ve been called the War on the Poor Act because it threw millions of our poorest off of welfare assistance & hit single mothers harder than any other segment of our population. With the stroke of a pen, this country boy from Arkansas drove single moms who were already struggling desperately to make ends meet, to becoming homeless moms living with their children in their cars or into homeless shelters. You tell me how a woman with a child or a couple of children is suppose to make ends meet when she is now forced to work (almost always at minimum wage), with no health benefits for herself or her kids because that was cut severely, hire a babysitter, pay for a car & insurance, and pay rents that just keep escalating? By-the-way, I’ve been to state employment offices many times in my life in search of work & I’ve noticed over the last 15 years or better that half of the jobs posted are now through temp job agencies. Yep, and every goddamn temp agency I’ve ever applied at does the same shit i.e. asks you how much money you are seeking (minimum amount per hr. you’ll accept) and no matter how low I set my desire, they told me, sorry, the jobs we have start at min. wage. It didn’t mean shit that I was an educator for over 20 yrs., have a B.A. in English literature, & a notebook full of glowing references. It struck me one day that there should be a law against a state agency i.e. employment offices which we pay for with our taxes colluding with private employment agencies to screw us! So again, please explain to me how a single mom is suppose to survive. And 20 yrs. later, Hillary had the audacity to claim that her hubby’s policies actually helped the poor? And don’t forget her calling young black men “super predators.”

Moreover, the final nail in the coffin for America’s poor was Clinton’s omnibus crime bill of 1994 which opened the door for the privatization of our prisons, a growth industry for the corporate cockroaches & therefore a steady increase in our prison population i.e. three strikes and you’re out! And even though violent crimes have steadily declined, the incarceration rate continues to climb & surprise, surprise, the majority of people locked-up are people of color. Whites who use cocaine receive much lighter sentences even the quantity of their cocaine often is greater than the quantity of crack, the poor person’s cocaine. In fact, many whites see no jail time & receive probation. As Chomsky, Gore Vidal & others have pointed out over the years, the “War on Drugs,” is code for “Get the Blacks!”

Moving right along on the road to our destruction, Billy Bob Clinton really socked it to the poor as well as the middle class with his gifts to Wall St. under the tutelage of Robert Rubin, Alan Greenspan, & Larry Summers. Clinton signed & passed into law the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act which repealed the portion of the Glass-Steagall Act passed by Franklin D. Roosevelt & disallowed investment banks (casino capitalism i.e. risky investments) from combining with commercial banks (typical banks workers use for checking & savings). This was akin to the democrats opening the door to the chicken coop (the federal treasury) to the Wall St. Wolves & saying, have at it & do what you want, we trust you! FDR signed into law the Glass-Steagall Act which was part of a larger banking bill to help restore confidence in banks because so many had failed during the Great Depression.

Joseph E. Stiglitz, winner of a Nobel Prize in economics and a professor at Columbia University, wrote in a 2009 opinion piece:

 

“Commercial banks are not supposed to be high-risk ventures; they are supposed to manage other people’s money very conservatively. It is with this understanding that the government agrees to pick up the tab should they fail. Investment banks, on the other hand, have traditionally managed rich people’s money — people who can take bigger risks in order to get bigger returns.”

Glass-Steagall made commercial banks lower-risk and made it safer for the government to back those banks with deposit insurance, which would, in turn, prevent another Depression.”  https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/banking/glass-steagall-act-explained/

Pursuing this further, Rubin was Clinton’s Secretary of the Treasury & before that position, he worked at Goldman Sachs for 26 years, becoming a general partner in 1971 & rising up through the ranks over the upcoming years. For those of you who may not be aware of it, Goldman Sachs because of the remarkably large number of its former employees who work in the U.S. Treasury Dept. & often go back to working at Goldman Sachs after leaving positions in the federal government, is often jokingly referred to as “Government Sachs.” 

Rubin, Greenspan, & Summers at the top of their game & just before the Crash of 2008

Personnel “revolving-door” with US government[edit]

During 2008 Goldman Sachs received criticism for an apparent revolving door relationship, in which its employees and consultants have moved in and out of high level U.S. Government positions, creating the potential for conflicts of interest. The large number of former Goldman Sachs employees in the US government has been jokingly referred to “Government Sachs”.[118] Former Treasury Secretary Paulson is a former CEO of Goldman Sachs. Additional controversy attended the selection of former Goldman Sachs lobbyist Mark A. Patterson as chief of staff to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, despite President Barack Obama‘s campaign promise that he would limit the influence of lobbyists in his administration.[146] In February 2011, the Washington Examiner reported that Goldman Sachs was “the company from which Obama raised the most money in 2008” and that its “CEO Lloyd Blankfein has visited the White House 10 times.”[147]  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goldman_Sachs#Personnel_.22revolving-door.22_with_US_government

Yes indeed, how amusing that this financial powerhouse that played such a significant role, along with JP Morgan & several other financial corporate cockroaches in the world-wide economic collapse & subsequent Depression has such a huge presence in the highest positions of power in our government & economy. Moreover, it’s a real knee-slapper that so many illiterates fell for Trump’s racism, fear-mongering, & hate-mongering and pulled-off a classic bait & switch on them with his rhetoric that he was going to go after Wall St. wolves but before he even took office & since he’s taken office, here is a list of former Goldman Sachs executives he has chosen for important roles in his administration: Steve Bannon, Steven Mnuchin, Gary Cohn, Anthony Scaramucci, & Dina Habib Powell. So much for draining that swamp wherein the evil power elite that Trump railed against reside.

Returning to Billy Bob’s buddy & butt-boy, Robert Rubin, who so selflessly did his part in tanking our economy, here are a few pertinent highlights of his illustrious career:

“Upon Rubin’s retirement, Clinton called him the “greatest secretary of the Treasury since Alexander Hamilton“. On April 18, 2010, in an interview on ABC’s This Week program, Clinton said Rubin was wrong in the advice he gave him not to regulate derivatives.[15] Following the interview, Clinton’s assistant Doug Band reaffirmed those statements saying Clinton still wished he had pursued legislation to regulate derivatives while confirming that he still believed he had received excellent advice on the economy and the financial system from Rubin and others during his presidency.[16]

….” In 1997, Rubin and Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan strongly opposed giving the Commodity Futures Trading Commission oversight of over-the-counter credit derivatives when this was proposed by Brooksley Born, the head of the CFTC. Rubin’s role was highlighted in a Public Broadcasting Service Frontline report, “The Warning”.[18] Over-the-counter credit derivatives were eventually excluded from regulation by the CFTC by the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000. According to the Frontline documentary, they played a key role in the 2008 financial crisis.”

….”Rubin and his deputy Lawrence Summers also steered through the 1999 repeal of the Glass–Steagall Act (1933), which had separated investment banking from the retail side. It allowed the banks to develop and sell the mortgage-backed instruments that became a principal factor in the financial collapse. In September 2011, the UK Independent Commission on Banking released a report in which it recommended a separation of investment and retail banking to prevent a repeat of the 2008 crisis.[21]

….”In a December 2009 Newsweek article, Rubin described the extraordinary combination of circumstances that led to the global financial crisis, including market and credit excesses, low interest rates, massive increase in the use of complex derivatives, misguided AAA ratings, stagnant median real wages, abusive mortgage practices, and the over-leveraging of financial institutions, among many other factors. In the article, Rubin advocates for the reform of the financial system in order to better protect against systemic risk and devastating crises in the future. Rubin says “the market-based model must be combined with strong and effective government, nationally and transnationally, to deal with critical challenges that markets won’t adequately address.”[22]

On January 9, 2009, Citigroup announced that Rubin had resigned as a senior adviser and would not seek re-election as a director of the corporation.[23] Press reports noted that Rubin had drawn criticism for his role in the bank’s recent problems that drove it to seek U.S. Government assistance after he received significant personal compensation.[24]” 

….”When Brooksley Born, head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, circulated a letter urging increased regulation of derivatives in line with a 1994 General Accounting Office report, Rubin took the unusual step (for a Secretary of the Treasury) of going public in June 1998 to denounce Born and her proposal, eventually urging that the CFTC be stripped of its regulatory authority.[39]

Rubin sparked controversy in 2001 when he contacted an acquaintance at the U.S. Treasury Department and asked if the department could convince bond-rating agencies not to downgrade the corporate debt of Enron, a debtor of Citigroup. The Treasury official refused. A subsequent congressional staff investigation cleared Rubin of having done anything illegal.[40]  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Rubin 

“Kenny boy,” Georgie, the Coward from Crawford’s good, ol’ buddy

I know, you probably think I’m being too harsh & unfairly critical of Bob? He was just making a living, right? We should just overlook the millions of Americans, not to mention the billions of people around the globe whose governments & financial services industries jumped on the gold rush led by America’s financial elite. Well I’m not writing this because I want to win a popularity contest, no, I’m writing this because the overwhelming majority of Americans & citizens of the world are still reeling & struggling to keep their heads above water thanks to the universal collusion of the 1% in their raping, pillaging, & plundering of our planet, our well-being, & our future. We are on a precipice overlooking the abyss but we’ve allowed ourselves to become transformed into the walking dead with our noses glued to our “Smart” phones, the trivial “social media,” & the machinations of the stupidest & most self-serving president in American history. I have no sympathy for those who willingly cooperate with the status quo but I do feel tremendous compassion & empathy for the countless millions who through no fault of their own, have been beaten down by the heartless & the insatiably greedy. 

The smiling Wolves of Wall St. with the Change-meister

Continuing on our stroll down the yellow-brick road in this Wizard of Oz land we are so proud of, it’s time to pay Obama a visit. Of course you can choose to believe me or not, no matter, but I voted for Obama the first go round yet within a few weeks after he took office & he appointed Summers, Geithner, & Bernanke to some of the highest positions of power & influence in his cabinet, I realized that I too had been duped with his ad nauseam campaign slogan of “Change.” Throughout his eight years as president, he never went after the top financial elite who crashed our economy. If he had any backbone, he would’ve given his attorney general, Eric Holder, a mandate to prosecute the Wall St. wolves to the fullest letter of the law but he chose instead to play nice with them & he did likewise with every confrontation with the G.O.P. So it didn’t come as any great surprise that his terms in office resulted in a legacy of compromise & milk-toast achievements. If he had any balls, he would’ve started from day one in office by kicking asses & taking names, no prisoners taken or given quarter! Again, you may think me unfair? Well reflect on these few facts if you will?

Jamie Dimon was once the silver-haired hero of Wall Street, scooping up failing banks during the worst of the financial crisis and avoiding the kind of toxic mortgage bonds that sent competitors into bankruptcy and pushed the American economy to the brink. 

Jamie Dimon, the Super Banker I’d most like to pimp-slap

He was also one of President Barack Obama’s most prominent Wall Street friends, a rare high-profile Democrat in an industry dominated by low-tax, free-market Republicans. Dimon spent several years in Obama’s hometown of Chicago, where he ran Bank One after a nasty breakup with his one-time mentor. He got to know Rahm Emanuel. He hired Bill Daley as a top executive before Daley became Obama’s second chief of staff. He gave hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions to Democrats….

The president’s interview with “The View” taped Monday reflects that struggle. JPMorgan “is one of the best-managed banks there is” and Dimon “is one of the smartest bankers we’ve got,” Obama said in the interview that aired Tuesday — the same day Dimon faced shareholders at JPMorgan’s annual meeting in Florida and hung onto his chairman of the board title during the biggest challenge of his tenure….

Initially, the White House set itself up as a friend to the industry through the continuation of a $700 billion bank bailout with few strings attached. The administration cast itself to deep-pocketed supporters in New York as a bulwark against pitchfork-wielding reformers demanding a dramatic public accounting, re-regulation of the nation’s largest banks and tougher new rules on hedge funds and private equity groups. http://www.politico.com/story/2012/05/the-dimon-obama-saga-076304 

The Super Bankers testifying before Congress–reminds me of the tobacco CEOs testifying

Is it beginning to add-up i.e. are you starting to connect the dots and see the big picture of just how insidious & incestuous the collusion between the democratic party & the republican party is? Of the several CEOs of the “Super Banks,” who it was proclaimed were just “Too big to fail,” or as some wits have added, “Are too big to jail,” Jamie Dimon in particular makes me almost nauseous every time I see that smug smile on his face implying that he’s too clever to ever be held accountable for all his moral turpitude (depravity, wickedness). And in case you aren’t already aware of it, Jamie, the Cheshire Cat, Dimon is/was;

He is chairman, president and chief executive officer ofJPMorgan Chase, largest of the Big Four American banks, and previously served on the Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.[5][6]Dimon was named to Time magazine’s 2006, 2008, 2009, and 2011 lists of the world’s 100 most influential people. He was also named to Institutional Investor‘sBest CEOs list in the All-America Executive Team Survey from 2008 through 2011.[7]

….In the case of the 2012 JPMorgan Chase trading loss, according to a US Senate report published in March 2013 after 9 months of investigation,[48] Dimon misled investors and regulators in April as losses rose dangerously to $6.2 billion on a “monstrous” derivatives bet made by the so-called “London Whale” Bruno Iksil. According to Carl Levin, Chairman of this panel, JP Morgan had “a trading operation that piled on risk, ignored limits on risk taking, hid losses, dodged oversight and misinformed the public”. Dimon dismissed press accounts of possible losses in Iksil’s book as a “tempest in a teapot” on April 13, 2012 when he knew that Iksil had already lost $1 billion, which led Levin to say “None of those statements made on April 13 to the public, to investors, to analysts were true,” and “The bank also neglected to disclose on that day that the portfolio had massive positions that were hard to exit, that they were violating in massive numbers key risk limits.”[49][50]  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jamie_Dimon

Is it just me that finds it very unhealthy for a single person to occupy three positions, especially in a bank that is ranked among the top four banks in our economy, simultaneously? To put it another way, this is like allowing one person to be the president of the U.S., the Secretary of State, & Speaker of the House at the same time. Talk about conflicts of interest? President of the bank, CEO of the bank, & chairman of the board. I know my analogy is absurd but is it any wonder that these super bankers bankrupted our economy given the out of this world amount of power & control over the institutions upon which our economy depends? And does it come as a surprise that their egos grew so large that they literally thought of themselves as “Masters of the Universe?” Clearly this laissez-faire, forerunner of neoliberalism, ideology is a prescription for disaster & the 2008 world-wide economic collapse is prima facie or de facto proof of this. And finally re: the subject of Jamie Dimon, it was rumored that Obama was seriously considering appointing Dimon as Secretary of the Treasury but there was such an uproar that he backed-down.

Continuing on with the laundry list of Obama’s betrayals in particular, Obama, whom so many democrats now look back on as such a classy president, curtailed more of our civil liberties than Georgie, the Bushwhacker from Texas did & that’s saying something. He also prosecuted more whistleblowers than all our presidents combined since the Espionage Act was passed in 1917. Do I have to spell it out for you? He felt it vital to prosecute Chelsea Manning who revealed our war crimes, our State Dept.’s dirty dealings, etc. and Edward Snowden who disclosed the massive & illegal surveillance programs of the NSA which are collecting all of our personal metadata which they can use any time they want to “create” a case against any one of us if they so choose to do so. Yeah, our government is so concerned about whistleblowers but when Richard Armitage, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State outted Valerie Plame as an undercover C.I.A. agent, he wasn’t charged? 

Armitage did Karl Rove’s dirty work against Joe Wilson

In any case, this may sound like a conspiracy theory but I feel it deserves mentioning i.e. we know that Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Apple, You Tube, etc. are being mined to collect every bit of personal data that we share including our web searches, websites we’ve visited, etc. and I’ve personally shared way too much of my personal history especially on Facebook. In fact, once in awhile I’ll post something on Facebook when I’ve been drinking and am feeling sarcastic i.e. Fuck all you government spies and you should be ashamed of yourselves for spying on your fellow citizens.

Pursuing this further, in the documentary “Citizen Four” which is about how Edward Snowden arranged his meeting with the filmmaker, Laura Poitras & the Constitutional lawyer/journalist Glenn Greenwald in Hong Kong so that he could give them a huge amount of the NSA files which proved their illegal spying on all Americans, Snowden made a simple statement which I believe is the central, scary revelation i.e. it’s about control. Of course the word “control” is an ambiguous or nebulous word but why would the government want all our information from our personal conversations to our medical, financial, internet searches, etc. if not to be able to wield a hammer to beat us into submission at will? Of course if you believe it’s all to protect us from terrorists, you have drunk the Kool-Aid and probably wouldn’t even be reading this essay?

Now combine the fact that “our” government is conducting this massive & clearly unconstitutional surveillance of us with the recent revelations of what’s termed “brain-hacking.” This is a combination of psychological techniques that Google, Facebook, etc. have developed to keep our attention focused for longer & longer periods of time on the social media so that they can command ever greater revenues from the advertisers. Billions of people around the planet are addicted to Facebook for example & with the use of algorithms, they shape/decide which posts you will see on your “news feed.”

No one outside Facebook knows for sure how it does this, and no one inside the company will tell you. And yet the results of this automated ranking process shape the social lives and reading habits of more than 1 billion daily active users—one-fifth of the world’s adult population. The algorithm’s viral power has turned the media industry upside down, propelling startups like BuzzFeed andVox to national prominence while 100-year-old newspapers wither and die.” http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/cover_story/2016/01/how_facebook_s_news_feed_algorithm_w

Naturally, Mark Zuckerberg wants us all to believe that he started Facebook to help people connect socially, and here’s his original mission statement; “Facebook helps you connect and share with the people in your life.” Yeah, Markey-Mark really cares about helping people connect. But he cares more about connecting with the $50 billion dollars he has connected with his bank thanks to all us suckers who use Facebook. I was late in joining the Facebook frenzy & use to say, it’s for teenage girls. Yet I too got sucked into it because a cousin told me it was how I could connect with relatives I didn’t know. I soon started using it as a platform from which I could share my knowledge of political matters, etc. and it was very intoxicating for awhile but over time I began to realize just how shallow the whole experience is and with the introduction of “emoticons,” I began to rant & rave that Facebook was dumbing us down. And even more nauseating was the gradual rise of ever more advertising posts. Bottom-line, why bother using Facebook? It is a tool the government uses to spy on us, it’s overwhelming silly cat videos, vegetarians preaching, New Age nonsense, & a deluge of advertising ads. Well, I’ve digressed as usual but getting back to my original possible conspiracy, the spying of the NSA in combination with the dumbing down of Facebook & the other “social media,” just coincidentally makes us ever more manageable i.e. easier to control. And the election of Trump taught us one important lesson if nothing else i.e. tens, if not hundreds of millions of Americans are pissed-off and sick & tired of being screwed-over by the government & the corporate cockroaches. Moreover, it wasn’t just the Duck Dynasty Klan members that voted for Trump, it was also all the disillusioned who wanted Bernie Sanders but were undermined by the dirty tricks of the Democratic party who were determined that Hillary would be the candidate. Think about Trump’s simplistic language, his war on the media, and his constant incitement of racism & violence as you watch this next video clip re: Orwell’s book/movie, “1984.” And substitute for Orwell’s one world ideology, Neo-liberalism!

Take a moment if you will & reflect on just how angry we as Americans & all the billions of people around the world are. We’re in a never-ending or perpetual state of war. American soldiers are put in harm’s way under the pretense of fighting for freedom & democracy but they know it’s a crock of shit. They’ve been fighting & dying in Afghanistan for 17 years now and for what? How many of you are aware of the significance of the Caspian Sea because of its vast oil reserves? What did we accomplish in Iraq? And why do we still have U.S. Marines there guarding the oil fields of Iraq along with the world’s largest U.S. embassy? Outside of the simpletons who must check their friend status on Facebook dozens of times per day, there are a significant and rising number of Americans who take to the streets in protest & the power elite are growing ever more alarmed. So is it really so hard to imagine that the NSA’s spying & the corporate cockroaches collusion (Facebook, Yahoo, Google, etc.) isn’t merely a fortuitous set of circumstances?

Returning to the subject of America’s perpetual state of war, Gore Vidal told us in “Dreaming War: Blood for Oil and the Cheney-Bush Junta;”

“The number of military strikes we have made unprovoked, against other countries, since 1947-48 is more than 250.” (pg. 185) and note that this was the total as of 2002, before we invaded & occupied Iraq and only one year into our war in Afghanistan which is still going on, the longest war in U.S. history. And note also Obama, the Nobel “Peace” prize winner’s wars or “police actions” or “military operations,” in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia, & Pakistan which just coincidentally happen to be the seven countries which Trump wants to ban their refugees from coming to America in search of some relief from the horrors of the bombings done by us with our drone strikes, which by-the-way are illegal & immoral. This is the self-perpetuating, manufacture of terrorists which ensures that the nebulous, amorphous “War on Terror,” that Bush & Cheney initiated with their actions & will keep the federal tax dollars flowing to themselves & their cronies until Armageddon. Lest you think I’m exaggerating, Gore Vidal lists all the wars, police actions, military operations, etc. from the end of WWII until 2002 when he published “Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace: How we got to be so Hated.” And in this short book, he includes a roughly 20 page list of every police action, military operation, etc. the U.S. has been in since the end of WWII. You’re going to have to do your own research here because I’m tired of doing all the work i.e. research, notes, citations, etc. for those who won’t bother to do any of for themselves. Furthermore, speaking of war, I recently had a rather rude awakening while watching a segment of Oliver Stone’s video series, “The Untold History of the United States,” i.e. America didn’t win WWII, it was Russia who won that war for the Allies. Boy do I feel stupid after all the years I’ve been following politics, history, etc. and thinking I was so well-informed. Just shows the power of American myths & propaganda.

I’m well-aware that some of you who may read this essay will see red—pun intended—and declare that Oliver Stone is a red i.e. a communist but this is absurd;

Stone enlisted in the United States Army in 1967 and served in the 25th Infantry Division and later in the 1st Calvary Division during the Vietnam War. He was wounded twice and was awarded a Bronze Star for Gallantry and a Purple Heart.”

Those who choose to automatically label anyone who dares to criticize our government a red, a bleeding-heart liberal, a traitor, etc. just shows their ignorance & how shallow their idea of patriotism is. I rarely go to movie theatres but when there’s a movie I’m really interested in, I make an exception and Stone’s movie, “Platoon,” was definitely one of those. I heard at the time that many Vietnam vets really liked the movie & felt that it came far closer to their experiences in Vietnam than any other movie had. And speaking of myths, let’s return to the Obama myth not unlike the Clinton myth.

One of the main reasons why I recently deactivated my Facebook account besides the ad nauseam advertising & the shallowness of the people was the fact that whenever I dared to criticize Obama for the things he did while president, my so-called “friends” & many self-proclaimed liberals, would ask me to stop “tagging” them in posts that I wanted them to see about Obama’s hypocrisies. One glaring example of Obama’s perpetuation of Georgie, the Coward from Crawford’s policies was his deportation of “illegals,” which inspired many true liberals to dub him the “Deporter in Chief.”

America is expelling illegal immigrants at nine times the rate of 20 years ago (see article); nearly 2m so far under Barack Obama, easily outpacing any previous president. Border patrol agents no longer just patrol the border; they scour the country for illegals to eject. The deportation machine costs more than all other areas of federal criminal law-enforcement combined. It tears families apart and impoverishes America.” http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21595902-expelling-record-numbers-immigrants-costly-way-

Yep, the magazine “The Economist,” is clearly a publication not to be trusted (sarcasm intended). And still, most of the self-professed liberals refuse to acknowledge Obama’s contradictions & hypocrisies just as they did with Clinton because the economy prospered during his tenure. Yeah, the 1% did great while the rest of us continued our long, slow slide into poverty. I would strongly encourage any of you who still possess an open mind to read Chris Hedges’ book, “The Death of the Liberal Class.” This is another book which grabbed me so significantly that I basically dissected it i.e. made copious notes for future reference.

The media, the church, the university, the Democratic Party, the arts, and labor unions—the pillars of the liberal class—have been bought off with corporate money and promises of scraps tossed to them by the narrow circles of power. Journalists, who prize access to the powerful more than they prize truth, report lies and propaganda to propel us into a war in Iraq. Many of these same journalists assured us it was prudent to entrust our life savings to a financial system run by speculators and thieves. Those life savings were gutted. The media, catering to corporate advertisers and sponsors, at the same time renders invisible whole sections of the population whose misery, poverty, and grievances should be the principal focus of journalism.”  https://www.truthdig.com/arts_culture/item/the_death_of_the_liberal_class_20101029 

Welcome to Wally-World, the Triumph of Capitalism

That’s quite a mouthful isn’t it? I’ll leave you to ruminate on this powerful paragraph for yourself because as usual, I’m running far too long. I’d like to return to the betrayals of Billy Bob & Hillary the Hun Clinton. While her hubby who couldn’t keep his dick in his pants husband was busy kissing the asses of Arkansas’s corporate cockroaches, Hillary was sucking up to Sam Walton & served on the board of Walmart—the only woman on the board—and also served as Sam’s lawyer whom he affectionately referred to as his “little lady.” Well Hillary, like her philandering husband knew that you don’t bite the hand that feeds you & she didn’t do a thing or even ever speak out against the misogynistic practices, the anti-union tactics, or the oppressive treatment of Walmart’s employees.

Yep, a true democrat & woman of integrity.

 Well, Walmart has now risen to the apex of the corporate cockroach hierarchy in that it’s considered the world’s most successful retailer. And if fucking over your employees doesn’t count as a betrayal of not only America’s working class but of the world’s working class, you might be a Donald Trump, “Walking Dead” card-carrying member? I came across a fantastic, because it’s almost too hard to believe it’s true, documentary by Robert Greenwald called “Walmart: The High Cost of Low Price,” which is not only very depressing but is also infuriating because this obscenity is allowed to continue! And it dawned on me as I was watching it that Walmart is the perfect example of neoliberalism’s rape, pillage, & plunder of not only America’s workforce & resources but the world’s. I was going to include here a comprehensive list of the illegal & immoral business practices of Walmart including their destruction of communities & their affects on the physical environments in which their stores are located but I’ve already gotten too long-winded so I’ll save that for another essay. Simply watching the free You Tube video by Robert Greenwald will shock you but this is what is allowed in the United States of Corporate Cockroaches.

It’s probably way past time to bring my ramblings to a close so I thought I’d share a bit of an essay by Robert Reich who was Secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration—a fitting note considering Clinton’s signing of NAFTA.

Democrats have occupied the White House for sixteen of the last 24 years, and in that time scored some important victories for working families – the Affordable Care Act, an expanded Earned Income Tax Credit, and the Family and Medical Leave Act, for example.

But they’ve done nothing to change the vicious cycle of wealth and power that has rigged the economy for the benefit of those at the top, and undermined the working class. In some respects, Democrats have been complicit in it. 

Both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama ardently pushed for free trade agreements, for example, without providing the millions of blue-collar workers who thereby lost their jobs any means of getting new ones that paid at least as well.

They also stood by as corporations hammered trade unions, the backbone of the white working class. Clinton and Obama failed to reform labor laws to impose meaningful penalties on companies that violated them, or enable workers to form unions with a simple up-or-down votes.

I was there. In 1992, Bill Clinton promised such reform but once elected didn’t want to spend political capital on it. In 2008, Barack Obama made the same promise (remember the Employee Free Choice Act?) but never acted on it.

Partly as a result, union membership sank from 22 percent [3] of all workers when Bill Clinton was elected president to fewer than 12 percent [3] today, and the working class lost bargaining leverage to get a share of the economy’s gains.

In addition, the Obama administration protected Wall Street from the consequences of the Street’s gambling addiction through a giant taxpayer-funded bailout, but let millions of underwater homeowners drown.

Both Clinton and Obama also allowed antitrust enforcement to ossify – with the result that large corporations have grown farlarger [4], and major industries more concentrated.

Finally, they turned their backs on campaign finance reform [5]. In 2008, Obama was the first presidential nominee since Richard Nixon to reject public financing in his primary and general-election campaigns. And he never followed up on his reelection campaign promise to pursue a constitutional amendment overturning “Citizens United v. FEC,” the 2010 Supreme Court opinion opening the floodgates to big money in politics. 

What happens when you combine freer trade, shrinking unions, Wall Street bailouts, growing corporate market power, and the abandonment of campaign finance reform?

You shift political and economic power to the wealthy, and you shaft the working class.  

Why haven’t Democrats sought to reverse this power shift? True, they faced increasingly hostile Republican congresses. But they controlled both houses of Congress in the first two years of both Clinton’s and Obama’s administrations.

In part, it’s because Democrats bought the snake oil of the “suburban swing voter” – so-called “soccer moms” in the 1990s and affluent politically-independent professionals in the 2000s – who supposedly determine electoral outcomes.

Meanwhile, as early as the 1980s they began drinking from the same campaign funding trough as the Republicans – big corporations, Wall Street, and the very wealthy.”

http://www.alternet.org/economy/robert-reich-why-white-working-class-abandoned-democratic-party

I want to recap the major points I’ve attempted to make in this essay. The democratic party should no longer be allowed to call themselves democrats because they are de facto, Republican light i.e. only slightly less corporate lackeys than the republicans. And the very term, “neoliberal,” boils down to simply another clever, Madison Ave. advertising/propaganda sleight of hand because there is nothing liberal about it. The democratic party has been masquerading as liberal for decades but again, it’s all a part of the grand sham, a facade for fascism, a charade to mask their embrace their neoconservatism. Walmart and Goldman Sachs are exemplars of not only the democratic but also the republican betrayal of everything that America is suppose to stand for i.e. liberty, equality, justice, truthfulness, & compassion. Abraham Lincoln was a republican, ask yourself if he’d be ashamed if he could see what that party has devolved into. As for the democratic party, here’s a bit from Wikipedia but first this expose on insider trading.

The Democrats’ dominant worldview was once social conservativism and economic liberalism, while, especially in the rural South, populism was its leading characteristic. In 1912, Theodore Roosevelt ran as a third-party candidate in the Progressive (“Bull Moose”) Party, leading to a switch of political platforms between the Democratic and Republican Party and Woodrow Wilson being elected as the first fiscally progressive Democrat. Since Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal coalition in the 1930s, the Democratic Party has also promoted a social-liberal platform,[1] supporting social justice.[12]

Today, the House Democratic caucus is composed mostly of progressives and centrists,[4] with a smaller minority of conservative Democrats. The party’s philosophy of modern liberalism advocates social and economic equality, along with the welfare state.[13] It seeks to provide government intervention and regulation in the economy.[14] These interventions, such as the introduction of social programs, support for labor unions, affordable college tuitions, moves toward universal health care and equal opportunity, consumer protection, and environmental protection form the core of the party’s economic policy.”

I believe that I’ve been pretty clear regarding my views of the democratic party’s hypocrisies so I’ll leave it to you to reflect on the matter for yourself. But, I want to emphasize & remind you of what neoliberalism is & ask that you bear it in mind while thinking about Walmart’s draconian business practices.

Neoliberalism (neo-liberalism)[1] refers primarily to the 20th-century resurgence of 19th-century ideas associated with laissez-faire economic liberalism.[2]:7 These include extensive economic liberalization policies such as privatization, fiscal austerity, deregulation, free trade, and reductions in government spending in order to increase the role of the private sector in the economy and society”

In a nutshell, this is in fact a slick & deceptive public relations i.e. propaganda campaign designed to dupe the American public into believing this is a “progressive” step forward in the betterment of our social, physical, & economic state of affairs. Yet, if you’ll take the time & dare to pull back the curtain behind which the Wizard of Oz is hiding, you’ll realize that we’ve all been fooled & it’s actually a return to the horrors of those “Dark Satanic Mills,” a phrase that originated in a William Blake poem;

“The original text is found in the preface Blake wrote for inclusion with Milton, a Poem, following the lines beginning “The Stolen and Perverted Writings of Homer & Ovid: of Plato & Cicero, which all Men ought to contemn: …”[6]

The preface to Milton, as it appeared in Blake’s own illuminated version

Blake’s poem

  And did those feet in ancient time,
Walk upon Englands[b] mountains green:
And was the holy Lamb of God,
On Englands pleasant pastures seen!

And did the Countenance Divine,
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here,
Among these dark Satanic Mills?

Bring me my Bow of burning gold;
Bring me my Arrows of desire:
Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold!
Bring me my Chariot of fire!

I will not cease from Mental Fight,
Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand:
Till we have built Jerusalem,
In Englands green & pleasant Land.

Beneath the poem Blake inscribed a quotation from the Bible:[7]

“Would to God that all the Lords people were Prophets”
Numbers XI.ch 29.v[6]

I am sharing this poem by Blake because it brings back a powerful, personal memory. My wife, Jeri, and I took a two month honeymoon traveling around Europe & after landing in England, we went to visit a friend who lived in Manchester. My friend asked us if we’d like to go see an old, woolen mill from the beginning of the industrial revolution & we said yes. But first we stopped at a corner in what I presume was downtown Manchester? Anyway, he pointed out a plaque on the wall of a building that was dedicated to Friedrich Engels & I again felt like the typical, ignorant American because I didn’t know of Engels role in the life of Karl Marx & the relevance to the Industrial Revolution.

My friend was not only gracious but was also sensitive & subtle. We then went to visit an ancient, cotton mill & during the tour given by a guide, I felt a haunting presence of the poor children who had been forced to work in these unholy places.

“A cotton mill is a factory housing powered spinning or weaving machinery for the production of yarn or cloth from cotton,[1] an important product during the Industrial Revolution when the early mills were important in the development of the factory system.[2]

Once the first rural textile mills were built (1769) and child apprentices were hired as primary workers, the connotation of “child labor” began to change. Charles Dickens called these places of work the “dark satanic mills” and E. P. Thompson described them as “places of sexual license, foul language, cruelty, violent accidents, and alien manners” (1966, 307). Although long hours had been the custom for agricultural and domestic workers for generations, the factory system was criticized for strict discipline, harsh punishment, unhealthy working conditions, low wages, and inflexible work hours. The factory depersonalized the employer-employee relationship and was attacked for stripping the worker’s freedom, dignity and creativity. These child apprentices were paupers taken from orphanages and workhouses and were housed, clothed and fed but received no wages for their long day of work in the mill. A conservative estimate is that around 1784 one-third of the total workers in country mills were apprentices and that their numbers reached 80 to 90% in some individual mills (Collier, 1964). Despite the First Factory Act of 1802 (which attempted to improve the conditions of parish apprentices), several mill owners were in the same situation as Sir Robert Peel and Samuel Greg who solved their labor shortage by employing parish apprentices.” https://eh.net/encyclopedia/child-labor-during-the-british-industrial-revolution/

I tried to find corroboration of what I learned on that depressing tour of that ancient woolen mill but found next to nothing. So, I guess you’re going to have to take my word for it when that tour guide told us that the owners of these mills specifically used children who had been orphaned because of their physical size i.e. they could dart amongst the moving parts of the massive looms to fix problems, but tragically, many of these de facto slave laborers were physically maimed & sometimes killed as a result. All I can say is that I’ve always been a skeptic when it comes to tales of ghosts, spirits, etc. but on that tour, I felt a haunting presence of those poor, lost souls, those children who were sacrificed to the greed & inhumanity of the factory owners.

In the overall analysis, this is what neoliberalism is about, a return to the dark, satanic mills. Are you okay with this? Because this is what Trump & all the other vile creatures in control of our government & our corporations are pushing us towards. I know, you’re probably thinking “this guy is off his rocker!” Am I? Noam Chomsky, only the most quoted man alive, has shown us that corporations are de facto “private tyrannies.” And this is what Walmart is, a private tyranny, a gestapo state in which if you, as an employee, dare to protest, you are marginalized, targeted, & finally forced to quit. 

the hog in charge

Donald of the Duck Dynasty Klan, has proclaimed that he’ll bring back the industries that abandoned what we call the Rust belt but this is so patently absurd & such a grand lie that it’s hard for me to believe there are any who could actually believe it possible. The writing is on the wall my friends and if you can’t see it, you are truly among the Walking Dead! Yeah, you can save yourself any semblance of mental strain & dismiss me as a commie or whatever but that will give you little comfort as they, the power elite, kick you out of your home, cancel your health insurance, steal your pension, & force you to invest your Social Security into the casino capitalist Wall St. mafia program from which Trump arose. My conscience is clear because I have very conservatively spent at least 49,000 hours of my life informing myself of what is going on. So, if you can’t even be bothered to spend even one hour a day in informing & thereby empowering yourself, I have no pity for you when the wall comes crashing down on you & your loved ones. Noam Chomsky has spent his entire life informing himself & sharing what he has learned in such a tireless & herculean effort all for the sake of humanity, that I can’t find the words to truly honor such a person! Here is another snippet of Chomsky’s brilliance which is relevant to the subject at hand:

There were corporations as far back as the 18th century, and beyond. In the United States, corporations were public bodies. Basically, they were associations. A bunch of people could get together and say we want to build a bridge over this river, and could get a state charter which allowed them to do that, precisely that and nothing more. The corporation had no rights of individual persons. The model for the corporation back at the time of the framing of the Constitution was a municipality. Through the 19th century, that began to change.

It’s important to remember that the constitutional system was not designed in the first place to defend the rights of people. Rather, the rights of people had to be balanced, as Madison put it, against what he called “the rights of property.” Well of course, property has no rights: my pen has no rights. Maybe I have a right to it, but the pen has no rights. So, this is just a code phrase for the rights of people with property. The constitutional system was founded on the principle that the rights of people with property have to be privileged; they have rights because they’re people, but they also have special rights because they have property. As Madison put it in the constitutional debates, the goal of government must be “to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority.” That’s the way the system was set up.

In the United States, around the turn of the century, through radical judicial activism, the courts changed crucially the concept of the corporation. They simply redefined them so as to grant not only privileges to property owners, but also to what legal historians call “collectivist legal entities.” Corporations, in other words, were granted early in this century the rights of persons, in fact, immortal persons, and persons of immense power. And they were freed from the need to restrict themselves to the grants of state charters.

That’s a very big change. It’s essentially establishing major private tyrannies, which are furthermore unaccountable, because they’re protected by First Amendment rights, freedom from search and seizure and so on, so you can’t figure out what they’re doing.

After the Second World War, it was well understood in the business world that they were going to have to have state coordination, subsidy, and a kind of socialization of costs and risks. The only question was how to do that. The method that was hit upon pretty quickly was the “Pentagon system” (including the DOE, AEC, NASA). These publicly-subsidized systems have been the core of the dynamic sectors of the American economy ever since (much the same is true of biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, etc., relying on different public sources). And that certainly leads right to Microsoft.

So how does Microsoft achieve its enormous profits? Well, Bill Gates is pretty frank about it. He says they do it by “embracing and extending” the ideas of others. They’re based on computers, for example. Computers were created at public expense and public initiative. In the 1950s when they were being developed, it was about 100% public expense. The same is true of the Internet. The ideas, the initiatives, the software, the hardware — these were created for about 30 years at public initiative and expense, and it’s just now being handed over to guys like Bill Gates.” http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=1408

Okay, yeah, I said I was going to wind-down this essay but hey, if you can’t stand the heat or if your attention span is too challenged, that’s your fault, your loss. The other end of the spectrum from Walmart & it’s crass exploitation of millions of Americans who work for it is Goldman Sachs. Common sense tells us that a business or a corporation must make a profit or it’ll go out of business, right? Well, when profit becomes the sole motivating factor or goal of a business & that corporation begins to destroy the lives of its workers & the local environment, I say it’s time to shut that corporation down. The “financial services” sector of the American economy began an ascent around 1980 (Reagan’s America) and today it makes up over 40% of our economy which is twice what our manufacturing sector is. General Electric is a prime example i.e. manufacturing things like light bulbs, nuclear plants, etc. use to be the majority of its business but today, its financial services is where the majority of its profits come from. Financial services are banking, hedge funds, mutual funds, insurance, etc. Well here is a glimpse of what a horrific monster the financial services industry has been allowed to become:

This is the story of how some of the richest people in the world – Goldman, Deutsche Bank, the traders at Merrill Lynch, and more – have caused the starvation of some of the poorest people in the world.

It starts with an apparent mystery. At the end of 2006, food prices across the world started to rise, suddenly and stratospherically. Within a year, the price of wheat had shot up by 80 per cent, maize by 90 per cent, rice by 320 per cent. In a global jolt of hunger, 200 million people – mostly children – couldn’t afford to get food any more, and sank into malnutrition or starvation. There were riots in more than 30 countries, and at least one government was violently overthrown. Then, in spring 2008, prices just as mysteriously fell back to their previous level….

…. Most of the explanations we were given at the time have turned out to be false. It didn’t happen because supply fell: the International Grain Council says global production of wheat actually increased during that period, for example. It isn’t because demand grew either: as Professor Jayati Ghosh of the Centre for Economic Studies in New Delhi has shown, demand actually fell by 3 per cent….

….Then, through the 1990s, Goldman Sachs and others lobbied hard and the regulations were abolished. Suddenly, these contracts were turned into “derivatives” that could be bought and sold among traders who had nothing to do with agriculture. A market in “food speculation” was born.

So Farmer Giles still agrees to sell his crop in advance to a trader for £10,000. But now, that contract can be sold on to speculators, who treat the contract itself as an object of potential wealth. Goldman Sachs can buy it and sell it on for £20,000 to Deutsche Bank, who sell it on for £30,000 to Merrill Lynch – and on and on until it seems to bear almost no relationship to Farmer Giles’s crop at all.

If this seems mystifying, it is. John Lanchester, in his superb guide to the world of finance, Whoops! Why Everybody Owes Everyone and No One Can Pay, explains: “Finance, like other forms of human behaviour, underwent a change in the 20th century, a shift equivalent to the emergence of modernism in the arts – a break with common sense, a turn towards self-referentiality and abstraction and notions that couldn’t be explained in workaday English.” Poetry found its break with realism when T S Eliot wrote “The Wasteland”. Finance found its Wasteland moment in the 1970s, when it began to be dominated by complex financial instruments that even the people selling them didn’t fully understand.

Until deregulation, the price for food was set by the forces of supply and demand for food itself. (This was already deeply imperfect: it left a billion people hungry.) But after deregulation, it was no longer just a market in food. It became, at the same time, a market in food contracts based on theoretical future crops – and the speculators drove the price through the roof.

Here’s how it happened. In 2006, financial speculators like Goldmans pulled out of the collapsing US real estate market. They reckoned food prices would stay steady or rise while the rest of the economy tanked, so they switched their funds there. Suddenly, the world’s frightened investors stampeded on to this ground. http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/commentators/johann-hari/johann-hari-how-goldman-gambled-

Undeniably, we have allowed the worst of Capitalism’s aspects to run amok and the worst of the worst i.e. those individuals with little to no compassion or sense of human empathy have risen to the top of the pyramid. I am so filled with grief & anger at what has become the norm & is only rarely even mentioned in corporate America. It’s as if we’re morphing into crass caricatures of what used to be considered human & what’s worse is that many Americans idolize this obscene worship of wealth i.e. the movie, “The Wolf of Wall St.” with Leonardo DeCaprio being a prime example. A constant state of war to keep the “Defense” industry thriving & never mind the theft from the American public due to the absurd levels of waste on weapon systems that malfunction & aren’t necessary while we’re told that there’s no money for health care, education, welfare, our crumbling infrastructure, etc. If this isn’t all representative of a colossal betrayal of everything that Democracy is suppose to represent & that our soldiers are supposedly defending, then tell me what is?

Very few Americans are willing to admit or acknowledge that we are a de facto empire even though we officially have close to 800 military bases circling the globe & who knows how many “black op sites.” What will it take for us to wake-up & take to the streets in such massive protest & dissent that the politicians will run from the halls of congress like cockroaches when you turn on the light? Will we have to see the kind of mass starvation in America like the countless millions are suffering in the third world countries as a result of corporations like Goldman Sachs? If so, it’ll be too late and the entire planet will become a science fiction nightmare like the series, “The Walking Dead.” (which I can’t stand to watch)

Perhaps you’ve heard of what’s known as the “Rust Belt?”

The Rust Belt is a term for the region of theUnited States from the Great Lakes to the upperMidwest States, referring to economic decline,population loss, and urban decay due to the shrinking of its once-powerful industrial sector, also known as deindustrialization. The term gained popularity in the U.S. in the 1980s.[1]

The Rust Belt begins in western New York and traverses west through Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, and the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, ending in northern Illinois, easternIowa, and southeastern Wisconsin. Previously known as the industrial heartland of America,

Well, have you heard of what Chris Hedges calls “Sacrifice Zones?”

A sacrifice zone or sacrifice area (often termed a national sacrifice zone or national sacrifice area) is a geographic area that has been permanently impaired by environmental damage or economic disinvestment. These zones are most commonly found in low-income and minority communities.[1] Commentators including Chris Hedges, Joe Sacco, and Stephen Lernerhave argued that corporate business practices contribute to producing sacrifice zones.[2][3][4]

Chris Hedges & Joe Sacco spent two years visiting these “Sacrifice Zones,” and interviewing the poor souls forced to live (exist) in them. Places like Camden, New Jersey where the only businesses are the open-air, drug dealing on every street corner, the coal fields of West Virginia where the coal companies just blow off the top 400 ft. of mountains because it’s cheaper & they pollute the air, water, & land. Places like the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota where unemployment & alcoholism reign supreme. Farm worker colonies in California where the undocumented immigrants are de facto slaves forced to work in brutal conditions while being sprayed with chemicals from crop dusting planes & live in shacks in unsanitary conditions. All this is going on right under our noses & all around us but we turn our eyes away & pretend it doesn’t exist just as the Beverly Hills millionaires in their gated communities. Mr. Hedges describes how our apathy & ignorance have allowed this all to come about; 

Tent City residents of Camden, New Jersey, prepare something to eat on one of the coldest days of winter.
© Kevin Downs / Cosmos / LUZ

These armies of bureaucrats serve a corporate system that will quite literally kill us. They are as cold and disconnected as Mengele. They carry out minute tasks. They are docile. Compliant. They obey. They find their self-worth in the prestige and power of the corporation, in the status of their positions and in their career promotions. They assure themselves of their own goodness through their private acts as husbands, wives, mothers and fathers. They sit on school boards. They go to Rotary. They attend church. It is moral schizophrenia. They erect walls to create an isolated consciousness. They make the lethal goals of ExxonMobil or Goldman Sachs or Raytheon or insurance companies possible. They destroy the ecosystem, the economy and the body politic and turn workingmen and -women into impoverished serfs. They feel nothing.”  http://www.nationinstitute.org/blog/nationbooks/2822/america%27s_sacrifice_zones/

What a wonderful coincidence as I was searching for something to watch on You Tube while I ate my breakfast this morning i.e. in the “suggested videos” section that changes several times a day on the front page of You Tube, I clicked on a Bill Moyers video called “Anatomy of the Deep State.” I watched it and was amazed because the guest & the writer of the essay, Mike Lofgren, highlighted & connected several of the main issues that I’ve brought up in this essay. And what’s more, Lofgren used to be a republican….

But Mike Lofgren’s no intelligence agent, although he had a top secret security clearance. He’s a numbers man, a Congressional staff member for 28 years with the powerful House and Senate Budget Committees. Over the years, as he crunched those numbers, he realized they didn’t add up. Instead, they led him to America’s own Deep State, where elected and unelected figures collude to protect and serve powerful vested interests.

Mike Lofgren was so disgusted, he not only left Capitol Hill, he left the Republican Party and wrote this book, “The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless and the Middle Class Got Shafted.”

And for those of you who may be more inclined to a conservative viewpoint i.e. where it’s okay for Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, etc. to spout their wild, “liberal” conspiracy theories almost daily but refuse to validate the occassional conspiracy theories that “liberals” or progressives posit re: Right-wing conspiracies;

My analysis of this phenomenon is not an exposé of a secret, conspiratorial cabal; the state within a state is hiding mostly in plain sight, and its operators mainly act in the light of day. Nor can this other government be accurately termed an “establishment.”

Yes indeed, this essay by Mike Lofgren & the interview he did with Bill Moyers was/is a real treasure because it’s so tiring to spend all the time that I do on political & social analysis only to be dismissed by the unthinking majority of people I’ve come into contact with. In fact, I don’t know when I’ve come across a piece like this, outside of the universally acknowledged master, Noam Chomsky, who ties it all together so seamlessly.

All complex societies have an establishment, a social network committed to its own enrichment and perpetuation. In terms of its scope, financial resources and sheer global reach, the American hybrid state, the Deep State, is in a class by itself. That said, it is neither omniscient nor invincible. The institution is not so much sinister (although it has highly sinister aspects) as it is relentlessly well entrenched. Far from being invincible, its failures, such as those in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, are routine enough that it is only the Deep State’s protectiveness towards its higher-ranking personnel that allows them to escape the consequences of their frequent ineptitude. [2]

And speaking of these failures in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, etc. have you noticed how we just declare victory & quietly move on to the next quagmire & rarely acknowledge that after we de facto had our asses kicked, we leave soldiers behind to continue fighting in the never-ending battles our military are engaged in around the globe? No, that’s not good for morale for the soldiers or the American public. I just tried looking up how many “Public relations officers” the Pentagon employs but just kept on running into one glorifying history of the Pentagon after another but I saw somewhere, some time back that it was phenomenal i.e. a couple thousand I believe. And their job is to keep selling America & the world on our benevolent mission to protect the world. By the way, you may also care to note that yet again we witness the magical “free market” which means that if you’re organization/institution is large enough, the rules of the market don’t apply i.e. you can fail as often and as big as you like but if you’re a small business or an individual who has fallen on a bit of bad luck, tough shit! Okay, here’s a breakdown of the Deep State provided by Mr. Lofgren:

The Deep State does not consist of the entire government. It is a hybrid of national security and law enforcement agencies: the Department of Defense, the Department of State, the Department of Homeland Security, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Justice Department. I also include the Department of the Treasury because of its jurisdiction over financial flows, its enforcement of international sanctions and its organic symbiosis with Wall Street. All these agencies are coordinated by the Executive Office of the President via the National Security Council. Certain key areas of the judiciary belong to the Deep State, such as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, whose actions are mysterious even to most members of Congress. Also included are a handful of vital federal trial courts, such as the Eastern District of Virginia and the Southern District of Manhattan, where sensitive proceedings in national security cases are conducted. The final government component (and possibly last in precedence among the formal branches of government established by the Constitution) is a kind of rump Congress consisting of the congressional leadership and some (but not all) of the members of the defense and intelligence committees.”

Of course the NSA is included though not specifically mentioned here. Mike mentioned it in the interview with Bill Moyers and the revelations about its illegal activities by Edward Snowden. And speaking of the NSA,

Since 2007, two bridges carrying interstate highways have collapsed due to inadequate maintenance of infrastructure, one killing 13 people. During that same period of time, the government spent $1.7 billion constructing a building in Utah that is the size of 17 football fields. This mammoth structure is intended to allow the National Security Agency to store a yottabyte of information, the largest numerical designator computer scientists have coined. A yottabyte is equal to 500 quintillion pages of text. They need that much storage to archive every single trace of your electronic life.”

Do you recall my earlier remarks about how they always seem to be able to find money for the military but not Health, Education, Welfare or our public infrastructure? Well obviously I’m not the only one who has noted these glaring contradictions & hypocrisies. So excuse me for not showing the requisite blind patriotism for our endless state of war because my empathy is for the 99% like myself, who are suffering endlessly & needlessly thanks to the insatiable warmongers & war profiteers. In the interview with Bill Moyers, Mr. Lofgren pointed out several times that this system is not sustainable i.e. sooner or later the entire system will collapse and I’ll leave it to your imagination as to what life will become when that day arrives. Furthermore, a yottabyte of data on us? That beggars the imagination. Yeah, just keep on believing in that friendly old, Uncle Sam who just wishes us the best & is looking out for us. Mr. Lofgren said it in the interview, “It’s about control.” By the way, that’s what Edward Snowden told Glenn Greenwald & Laura Poitras when they interviewed him in Hong Kong while he was on the run from the NSA. Resuming the central thesis of this essay i.e. how the Democratic party has betrayed those of us who were foolish enough to fall for their rhetoric, here’s some more tidbits for you. Let it never be said that I’m nothing if not thorough and yeah, I do beat a dead horse.

I saw this submissiveness on many occasions. One memorable incident was passage of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Amendments Act of 2008. This legislation retroactively legalized the Bush administration’s illegal and unconstitutional surveillance first revealed by The New York Times in 2005 and indemnified the telecommunications companies for their cooperation in these acts. The bill passed easily: All that was required was the invocation of the word “terrorism” and most members of Congress responded like iron filings obeying a magnet. One who responded in that fashion was Senator Barack Obama, soon to be coronated as the presidential nominee at the Democratic National Convention in Denver.”

The submissiveness that Mr. Lofgren is referring to is “groupthink” and this is a serious factor in our demise so here’s a brief definition of the term;

Groupthink is a psychological phenomenon that occurs within a group of peoplein which the desire for harmony or conformity in the group results in an irrational or dysfunctional decision-making outcome. Group members try to minimize conflict and reach a consensus decision without critical evaluation of alternative viewpoints by actively suppressing dissenting viewpoints, and by isolating themselves from outside influences.

Groupthink requires individuals to avoid raising controversial issues or alternative solutions, and there is loss of individual creativity, uniqueness and independent thinking. The dysfunctional group dynamics of the “ingroup” produces an “illusion of invulnerability” (an inflated certainty that the right decision has been made). Thus the “ingroup” significantly overrates its own abilities in decision-making and significantly underrates the abilities of its opponents (the “outgroup“). Furthermore, groupthink can produce dehumanizing actions against the “outgroup”.

I guess you could say that in some respects, I was blessed due to my isolation as a young boy? Because of my lazy eye, when I played sports in elementary school, my right eye would turn inward & kids were very cruel in their teasing & mocking me. This forced me to turn inward & that’s why books became my best friends & I became such a good reader. I bring this up to support my belief that because of my sense of isolation & feeling like a loner for most of my life, it’s always been easier for me to stand up & disagree with the groupthink of friends, etc. over the years. Obviously when it comes to such major decisions which impact not only all of America but the entire world thanks to our being the world’s most powerful & scary bully, groupthink is clearly a very dangerous phenomenon & unfortunately, the world is far too short on Chelsea Mannings, Edward Snowdens, Thomas Drakes, Daniel Ellsbergs, etc. and those that due muster the moral courage to stand up, pay a heavy price indeed. It’s vital to bear in mind that Obama persecuted & prosecuted more Whistleblowers than all the other U.S. presidents since the inception of the Espionage Act. How’s that for betrayal of the American public & the champion of the Democratic Walking Dead? Well, onward & upward, eh?

There are now 854,000 contract personnel with top-secret clearances — a number greater than that of top-secret-cleared civilian employees of the government. While they work throughout the country and the world, their heavy concentration in and around the Washington suburbs is unmistakable: Since 9/11, 33 facilities for top-secret intelligence have been built or are under construction. Combined, they occupy the floor space of almost three Pentagons — about 17 million square feet. Seventy percent of the intelligence community’s budget goes to paying contracts. And the membrane between government and industry is highly permeable:”

Yep! The glories of “privatization” which has brought us outsourcing of intelligence gathering like with the corporation Booz-Allen that Snowden worked for or the outsourcing of many jobs in the military i.e. everything from laundry services, to food services, to you name it. I heard that there were/are often more “private contractors” in our war zones than official U.S. military personnel. And Mr. Lofgren brought up a damn good example of how utterly absurd this has become i.e. in Iraq, it costs U.S. tax payers $400 for every gallon of gas that “contractors” ship into Iraq. Gee! I wonder why we “can’t afford” Medicare for all Americans or a single payer system of medical coverage which would actually drastically drive down the cost of medical care because it’d eliminate the ridiculous costs charged by bureaucratic administration of all the private medical insurance providers? Isn’t democracy & capitalism the best of all possible worlds? Please note, 70% of all the intelligence community’s budget goes to paying contracts. By the way, this is a de facto oxymoron sort of like “military intelligence.” Yes my imaginary friend, my reader, Justice or fairness is an ancient & quaint memory which still serves a useful function i.e. to keep the rabble in line. I’ve wondered for example if all those t.v. series about “Law & Order” don’t in fact serve as a propaganda tool to keep the herd believing?

Should the politicians forget their lines and threaten the status quo, Wall Street floods the town with cash and lawyers to help the hired hands remember their own best interests. The executives of the financial giants even have de facto criminal immunity. On March 6, 2013, testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Attorney General Eric Holder stated the following: “I am concerned that the size of some of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult for us to prosecute them when we are hit with indications that if you do prosecute, if you do bring a criminal charge, it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy.” This, from the chief law enforcement officer of a justice system that has practically abolished the constitutional right to trial for poorer defendants charged with certain crimes. It is not too much to say that Wall Street may be the ultimate owner of the Deep State and its strategies, if for no other reason than that it has the money to reward government operatives with a second career that is lucrative beyond the dreams of avarice — certainly beyond the dreams of a salaried government employee. [3]

And again, you may think me full of shit but I called it a few weeks, maybe a month or two at the most after Obama won his first term as president i.e. we’d been duped. Why? His appointment of Summers, Geithner, Bernanke just to name a few. This was tantamount to putting the Wall St. wolves (foxes) in charge of the hen house i.e. the federal treasury and after they had just destroyed our economy & by extension the world economy. Absolutely mind-boggling & heartbreaking because Obama not only raised the hope of the overwhelming majority of Americans but also the poor & oppressed around the world. Yeah, we all thought or wanted to believe that surely a black man, because of their ingrained sense of injustice, would be our champion. It’s no wonder that the first rays of light in years, called itself “Occupy Wall St.” Yeah, a banker steals billions & illegally forecloses on peoples’ homes & he not only doesn’t go to prison, he gets a bonus in the millions. But, if you or I write some bad checks because we’re totally broke & desperate, we’re sent to jail and it’s on our record & our credit report which in turn makes it nearly impossible to get a job or rent an apt. but the rich don’t even have to plead guilty & their “mistakes,” aren’t on their records nor are they held against them. Gee! I wonder why there is so much anger, hate, & violence in America?

The corridor between Manhattan and Washington is a well trodden highway for the personalities we have all gotten to know in the period since the massive deregulation of Wall Street: Robert Rubin, Lawrence Summers, Henry Paulson, Timothy Geithner and many others.”

When I first started paying attention to politics, back in the early 80s when Reagan the Rodent was the Ruler, I came across a powerful little paperback titled, “Greed is Not Enough: Reaganomics,” which is a clear & basic indictment of Reagan’s continuation of Jimmy Carter’s deregulation of industries & an escalation of this destructive force. Deregulation is a very simple concept that any elementary school student could comprehend i.e. the business owners don’t want to have to abide by any regulations or rules, they want a free hand to make profits anyway they can and the hell with employee rights, safe working conditions, environmental concerns, etc. It’s that laissez-faire throwback that neoliberalism champions and in a word, it’s the primary cause of much of our self-destruction. Ever since FDR passed the New Deal, the so-called conservatives have been waging a non-stop war against the provisions in it and they hate regulations with a passion. And their propaganda campaign has steadily proclaimed, “Just trust us, we’re loyal & patriotic Americans too, and we’ll look out for you America.” Sorry but no, I’m not done with you yet.

Petraeus and most of the avatars of the Deep State — the White House advisers who urged Obama not to impose compensation limits on Wall Street CEOs, the contractor-connected think tank experts who besought us to “stay the course” in Iraq, the economic gurus who perpetually demonstrate that globalization and deregulation are a blessing that makes us all better off in the long run — are careful to pretend that they have no ideology. Their preferred pose is that of the politically neutral technocrat offering well considered advice based on profound expertise. That is nonsense. They are deeply dyed in the hue of the official ideology of the governing class, an ideology that is neither specifically Democrat nor Republican.”

Evidently, if you’re a four star general, the violation of the Espionage Act doesn’t apply to you, no, it’s only used against those low-life’s like Manning & Snowden who tipped us off to the war crimes & Constitutional violations of the powers that be. How unpatriotic of them! But hey, I’m just a tree-hugging hippie who refused to allow the U.S. Army to send me to Vietnam so why listen to anything I have to say?

Donald Trump said Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server for classified State Department emails made her unfit for high office. But that isn’t stopping him from considering David Petraeus, who pleaded guilty to knowingly leaking secret government files — and lying to the feds about it — for secretary of state.” http://www.politico.com/story/2016/11/donald-trump-david-petraeus-231909

The deeper you delve into this intricate, behind the scenes state of affairs, the more you will begin to understand just how pernicious the conjunction of these forces or factors is. Yes, informing & thereby empowering yourself is not easy work but when you realize how serious the consequences of not doing so is, you will begin to accept your responsibility in the fight for humanity & our Mother Earth.

Domestically, whatever they might privately believe about essentially diversionary social issues such as abortion or gay marriage, they almost invariably believe in the “Washington Consensus”: financialization, outsourcing, privatization, deregulation and the commodifying of labor. Internationally, they espouse 21st-century “American Exceptionalism”: the right and duty of the United States to meddle in every region of the world with coercive diplomacy and boots on the ground and to ignore painfully won international norms of civilized behavior.”

Ah! “American Exceptionalism,” who doesn’t like the ring of that phrase? But if you open your mind a bit, you will begin to see that it’s just code for “Do as we say, not as we do,” or All Hail the Mighty American Empire! But as Mr. Lofgren points out, just as in Ancient Rome, their empire began to decay because near the end, they were just importing goods from around their empire & were no longer exporting anything. Greed & Hubris is a deadly combination and it always brings down even the mightiest. Chalmers Johnson was a great historian & he wrote a trilogy on the American Empire which I heartily recommend. He pointed out that our “military budget” is actually far greater than the figures they give us because for example, nuclear weapons are classified under the energy dept. rather than the “Defense” dept. and he said that our actual expenditures for military related projects is closer to a trillion dollars a year. Chew that figure over for awhile & then reflect on the G.O.P.’s call for a reduction in the national deficit which oddly, they only seem to care about when a democrat is president? Care for more intrigue?

After Edward Snowden’s revelations about the extent and depth of surveillance by the National Security Agency, it has become publicly evident that Silicon Valley is a vital node of the Deep State as well. Unlike military and intelligence contractors, Silicon Valley overwhelmingly sells to the private market, but its business is so important to the government that a strange relationship has emerged.”

Do you remember back near the beginning of this essay when I shared what Snowden revealed about Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Apple, etc.? Yep! Silicon Valley has been illegally collecting all our data for decades & has been a willing accomplice with Big Brother in their Machiavellian agenda of absolute control over us. And recall the practice of “brain-hacking” that Silicon Valley employs to keep us addicted to the new soma i.e. Smart phones, Facebook, et al? Tell me that George Orwell & Aldous Huxley were merely science fiction writers with no relevance to our reality. And again let me remind you that no, this isn’t a grand conspiracy theory but it is a set of facts that are obvious to all but the willfully ignorant & you disregard them at your own peril. For example, Orwell’s “Ministry of Truth” in his classic “1984” portrayed a government dept. whose job was the rewriting of history & current events to support/validate the totalitarian government in this dystopian world of the future. Well, how far away from this are we when you reflect on Trump’s war on the media & his attempts to silence and/or muzzle the press? In this bizarre state where “alternative facts” are offered up as substitutes for truth? You see, there is no public or private anymore, the line is being blurred daily but we, the 99% are still being forced to pay for all the subsidies, tax breaks, etc. for the private corporations which take all the profits but give nothing back i.e. many of the largest corporations “in America” not only pay no taxes, many get tax refunds in the millions & billions and are allowed the free use of our infrastructure i.e. roads, highways, bridges, airports, harbors, etc. that we pay for & that they use for the limited amount of business they still conduct here in America. Try not paying your taxes and see what happens to you if you doubt the veracity of my claims. A bit earlier I was commenting on Chris Hedges’ revelations about our “Sacrifice Zones,” and the “Rust Belt” states, here’s Mr. Lofgren’s perspective;

The results of this contradiction are not abstract, as a tour of the rotting, decaying, bankrupt cities of the American Midwest will attest. It is not even confined to those parts of the country left behind by a Washington Consensus that decreed the financialization and deindustrialization of the economy in the interests of efficiency and shareholder value. This paradox is evident even within the Beltway itself, the richest metropolitan area in the nation. Although demographers and urban researchers invariably count Washington as a “world city,” that is not always evident to those who live there. Virtually every time there is a severe summer thunderstorm, tens — or even hundreds — of thousands of residents lose power, often for many days. There are occasional water restrictions over wide areas because water mains, poorly constructed and inadequately maintained, have burst. [6] The Washington metropolitan area considers it a Herculean task just to build a rail link to its international airport — with luck it may be completed by 2018.”

{ INSERT— again lest you think I exaggerate, just stumbled upon a French documentary called “Goldman Sachs: The Bank that Runs the World” and here is a snippet; “Goldman Sachs, the New York-based investment bank may have run the world but its inner workings have always been veiled in secrecy. Today, many of those secrets have come to light and Goldman Sachs stands accused of a myriad of charges, such as playing a key role in the subprime loan fiascos, pushing several of its competitors into bankruptcy, helping countries like Greece hide their deficits before speculating on their downfall, and even precipitating the fall of the euro. Lives and economies around the world have been deeply affected. Yet, Goldman Sachs has emerged richer and more powerful than ever.}

I inserted the paragraph above because I don’t want to forget about it & will return to it later. To return to the subject I mentioned just before the last paragraph from Mike Lofgren i.e. corporate taxes, I assume that many of you will doubt my assertion so here’s a bit for you:

10 Corporate Tax Dodgers You Should Know About

May 29, 2014

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Recently Bill spoke with Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz, who argues that we must reform the tax code and stop subsidizing tax dodgers. Arecent report by Americans for Tax Fairness suggests that corporate taxes are near a 60-year low — and that’s partially because corporations have become adept at not paying their share.

Here’s a list of 10 tax-dodging corporations excerpted from the Americans for Tax Fairness report.

Bank of America runs its business through more than 300 offshore tax-haven subsidiaries. It reported $17.2 billion in accumulated offshore profits in 2012. It would owe $4.3 billion in US taxes if these funds were brought back to the US.

 

Citigroup had $42.6 billion in foreign profits parked offshore in 2012 on which it paid no US taxes. It reported that it would owe $11.5 billion if it brings these funds back to the US. A significant chunk is being held in tax-haven countries.

 

ExxonMobil had a three-year federal income tax rate of just 15 percent. This gave the company a tax subsidy worth $6.2 billion from 2010-2012. It had $43 billion in offshore profits at the end of 2012, on which it paid no US taxes.

 

FedEx made $6 billion over the last three years and didn’t pay a dime in federal income taxes, in part because the tax code subsidized its purchase of new planes. This gave FedEx a huge tax subsidy worth $2.1 billion.

 

General Electric received a tax subsidy of nearly $29 billion over the last 11 years. While dodging paying its fair share of federal income taxes, GE pocketed $21.8 billion in taxpayer-funded contracts from Uncle Sam between 2006 and 2012.

 

Honeywell had profits of $5 billion from 2009 to 2012. Yet it paid only $50 million in federal income taxes for the period. Its tax rate was just 1 percent over the last four years. This gave it a huge tax subsidy worth $1.7 billion.

 

Merck had profits of $13.6 billion and paid $2.5 billion in federal income taxes from 2009 to 2012. While dodging its fair share of federal income taxes, it pocketed $8.7 billion in taxpayer-funded contracts from Uncle Sam between 2006 and 2012.

 

Microsoft saved $4.5 billion in federal income taxes from 2009 to 2011 by transferring profits to a subsidiary in the tax haven of Puerto Rico. It had $60.8 billion in profits stashed offshore in 2012 on which it paid no US taxes.

 

Pfizer paid no US income taxes from 2010 to 2012 while earning $43 billion worldwide. It did this in part by performing accounting acrobatics to shift its US profits offshore. It received $2.2 billion in federal tax refunds.

 

Verizon made $19.3 billion in US pretax profits from 2008 to 2012, yet didn’t pay any federal income taxes during the period. Instead, it got $535 million in tax rebates. Verizon’s effective federal income tax rate was negative 2.8 percent from 2008 to 2012.” http://billmoyers.com/2014/05/29/10-companies-that-dodge-corporate-taxes/

Furthermore, I’m sure that there are many of you who are doubting Thomases because like me, you’ve grown up in America & have been subjected to indoctrination your entire lives & most likely, you’ve never doubted the truth of what you’ve been told & taught and haven’t spent any considerable time researching & questioning this common knowledge? So, this is my job i.e. to hopefully wake-you up or at least stir your curiosity a bit?

Report Calls Out 15 Fortune 500 Companies for Paying No Taxes

By Dan Weil   |   Wednesday, 15 Apr 2015 06:20 AM

 

As corporate earnings season begins in earnest, the advocacy groupCitizens for Tax Justice has released a report detailing 15 Fortune 500 companies that don’t pay any taxes.

The list includes CBS, General Electric, Interpublic Group, JetBlue Airways, Mattel, Owens Corning, PG&E, Pepco Holdings, Priceline.com, Prudential Financial, Qualcomm, Ryder System, Time Warner, Weyerhaeuser and Xerox.

As a whole, the 15 companies paid no federal income tax on $23 billion in profits in 2014, and they paid almost no federal income tax on $107 billion in profits during the past five years. All but two received federal tax rebates in 2014, and almost all paid exceedingly low rates over five years.” http://www.newsmax.com/Finance/StreetTalk/Fortune-tax-corporate-GE/2015/04/14/id/638367/

Yet, all I hear from the G.O.P. (Greedy Old Pigs) is a non-stop whining that corporate America is unfairly taxed & is the most highly taxed country in the world? Again, like Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda knew only too well, Joseph Goebels, the bigger the lie, the more gullible the public is and as long as you keep repeating the lie ad nauseam, it will eventually become accepted as truth or fact. Of course, we now have the grand master of lying, Donald Trump, in the White House and the rest of the world is looking at us & laughing because we have appointed Pinnochio as President & he’s just as empty-headed as a puppet but he has illusion of grandeur. And who is pulling Pinnochio’s strings? Take a wild guess. 

El Dulce Duck!

“Corporate Taxpayers & Corporate Tax Dodgers 2008-10”

The analyses are based on financial data from SEC filings.

The variation in tax payments did not correspond with profits: In some cases comparable companies with comparable U.S. pretax profits made wildly different tax payments. General Dynamics, on 3-year profits of $9.147 billion, paid an effective tax rate of 27 percent, while Boeing, on profits of $9.735 billion, paid -1.8 percent tax.”

….”TOTAL: On $160.341 billion in profits, they paid $ -10.742 billion in taxes, for an average effective tax rate of -6.7%.

In some cases corporations may realize tax benefits for past years through rebates, or may win disputes with the IRS for previous tax periods, thereby accruing tax benefits not recorded in earlier financial reports.

Of the companies receiving what the report terms “tax subsidies” – the difference between what they would have paid for their profits at the 35 percent rate and what they actually paid during the 2008-10 period – the largest subsidies went toWells Fargo ($17.960 billion); AT&T ($14.491 billion); Verizon ($12.332 billion); General Electric ($8.398 billion); IBM ($8.265 billion); ExxonMobil($4.096 billion); Boeing ($3.585 billion); PNC Financial Services ($3.354 billion); Goldman Sachs ($3.178 billion); and Procter & Gamble ($3.158 billion).

More than half (56 percent) of tax subsidies were gained by four industries: Financial; utilities; telecommunications; and oil, gas & pipelines.” http://www.cbsnews.com/news/study-many-fortune-500-cos-paid-0-taxes/

Yeah, it depresses the fuck out of me that while we, the 99% are being collectively fucked & the corporate cockroaches aren’t even courteous enough to bring the Vaseline, we still follow in lockstep like good, little automatons, and accept the daily propaganda shoveled most loyally by the likes of FOX “News,” i.e. we’re all a bunch of whiners, lazy, freeloaders who expect the government to take care of us & those who blame the corporations are deniers of “reality” just expressing sour grapes because they’re either not intelligent enough or are simply too lazy to become a successful businessman. Thomas Frank is a writer whom I greatly admire because I dissected his book, “What’s the Matter With Kansas,” and I found it very enlightening in terms of his insights & connection of the dots in the big, national picture. Here’s a bit from an article re: “Pity the Billionaire: The Hard Times Swindle and the Unlikely Comeback of the Right.”

“Thomas Frank’s earlier book What’s the Matter with Kansas? asked how the progressive politics of the American “heartland” turned right in the late 20th century. It was a study of false consciousness, except that there is no such thing as false consciousness. Point out to a conservative that his hatred of liberalism is based on wrong information and he will find another reason to hate liberals. It is possible to love one’s prejudices more than one’s interest. Or maybe it is truer to say that prejudice is a main ingredient of interest.

Pity the Billionaire tells of the rebirth of right-wing populism after its submergence in 1996. The Tea Party movement in America today is driven by a vision of utopian capitalism, Frank observes, “at the precise moment when free-market theory has proven itself to be a philosophy of ruination and fraud”. The bailouts that Bush began, Obama continued as if no change of plan were necessary with a change of administration and mandate; but “the bailouts were one of those moments that crushes the faith of a nation”. The new populism that Frank describes is a feverish reassertion of faith.

There were available remedies for the collapse besides charging the losses to taxpayers. One solution would have been to put the zombie banks into receivership. Another was to bring the financial industry under regulation again (as suggested by Paul Volcker, Obama’s leading economic adviser until he became president). The explanation for such steps could have been simple; but instead, Obama in 2009 spoke vaguely of “fundamental change” even as he became the guardian of the financial status quo. Either of those moves alone would have been risky. Their combination was toxic. By using big government to protect the firms that were deemed too big to fail, Obama supplied new grounds for every suspicion that government could not be relied on to help ordinary people.” https://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/jan/13/pity-the-billionaire-thomas-frank-review

Yeah, my stomach sickens at the extent of the corruption & injustice in this country and the fact that the overwhelming majority of Americans seem to have no clue as to just how rotten to the core our system is, let alone give a fuck! What keeps us going is beyond my comprehension? Yet we become so self-righteously indignant each time a terrorist dares to target us. American ignorance is killing the planet & we sit on our asses transfixed by our smart phones, the Kardashians, vampire t.v. series, and sports spectacles. I don’t know why I keep writing because the overwhelming majority of you are too damn lazy to even read a paragraph. And as a result of this pathetic state of affairs, my compassion & empathy for my fellow citizens is shrinking. No, Americans have had it too easy for far too long & as I hear the daily reports of the poor souls that are bombed & whose lives are destroyed thanks to our warmongering & profit-driven corporate cockroaches, I hang my head in shame and feel far more compassion for them than I do for Americans who are killed once in awhile. Yeah, call me a traitor, call me anti-American because I don’t give a fuck, you are the traitors because you sit idly by while it’s being done in your names & you can’t even bother to question let alone speak out. The rich, the power elite, the status quo whatever you want to call it, has clearly taken over America & they’re laughing their asses off at your willing cooperation in not only your own demise but the destruction of our planet which gives us life & beauty which makes life worthwhile. Who knows how much time we have left before we either blow ourselves into cosmic dust or we have allowed our ecosystem to totally collapse & this world resembles the worst case science fiction scenarios that so many of you revel in watching? But I know one thing for sure, all of you who sat there like turkeys with your mouths open as it was raining, will have to answer to your loved ones for your role in helping it come to pass. I tried to find a list of the corporate cockroach giants who not only didn’t pay any taxes but got millions & billions in tax refunds but had no luck but again, who amongst you gives a fuck? I guess that I’m in fact writing this, like all my other work, for some future species who may wonder how we could’ve done this to ourselves, a sort of time capsule if you will. Perhaps this is a good point at which to recap the perversion of what we call justice & equality in America?

The wealthiest pay little to no taxes while being subsidized by us who can’t even pay our rent or go to a hospital when we’re dying of diseases, many of which are caused by the rich in their callous pursuit of profits. Every breath we take may be our last because the totally insane military/industrial complex is in a perpetual game of chicken with other nuclear powers & millions of people around the globe are more than happy to blow themselves up as long as they can kill as many Americans as possible in the process. We are living on the razor’s edge & sooner or later, one of these suicide bombers is going to strap a nuclear bomb to his or her back and it’s going to make 9/11 look like a schoolboy’s prank.

I sit here a fat, old, gray fart of 64 years and my health is failing rapidly. My only hope is that I go quickly and relatively painlessly. My spirit is almost extinquished ever since my dear wife, Jeri passed away. I’m kinda glad that she doesn’t have to witness what we’ve devolved to i.e. Trump as president & the violence, racism, & hatred that his becoming president has unleashed. Everything that I am or that I have accomplished, I credit to Jeri and whatever good things may be said of me after I am gone, are a testament to her love for me because she grounded me with her love for me & her belief in me. So, I was blessed at least for awhile in knowing such a beautiful soul as hers. I just wish that I had the words that could truly convey how deeply she touched my soul & my spirit. I think of her & miss her every hour of my life & in my dreams. We had a son together but he is a piece of shit that I wish had never been born because of his callous indifference & insensitivity the last month of his mom’s life and especially her last four days as she lay dying in the hospital. I only hope that karma is real & that he suffers the worst that Dante described in his picture of the Inferno or Hell! I apologize to you my imaginary reader for my emotional diatribe but hey, I am human after all. Back to the fun of games of describing how fucked we are.

The Deep State is the big story of our time. It is the red thread that runs through the war on terrorism, the financialization and deindustrialization of the American economy, the rise of a plutocratic social structure and political dysfunction. Washington is the headquarters of the Deep State, and its time in the sun as a rival to Rome, Constantinople or London may be term-limited by its overweening sense of self-importance and its habit, as Winwood Reade said of Rome, to “live upon its principal till ruin stared it in the face.” “Living upon its principal,” in this case, means that the Deep State has been extracting value from the American people in vampire-like fashion.”

Well, at least I’m not alone in my doom & gloom but I know only too well that America has become a nation in which our national bird should no longer be the eagle but rather, the ostrich. We prefer to bury our heads in the sand & repeat the mantra, Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil, as if it’ll somehow protect us in this massive cesspool we’ve created. I believe that I’ve already commented enough on the factors of financialization & deindustrialization i.e. Wall St. taking over & NAFTA, etc. outsourcing the jobs that once allowed a working man to hold his head up and feel like a man because he could own a home & afford to send his kids to college and not have to worry that if any of his loved ones got sick, it might cost him their roof over their heads. By-the-way, isn’t it appropriate that Mr. Lofgren used the vampire metaphor when you consider that Americans seem to have a love-affair with vampires & zombies? America & for that matter, the world has indeed become a horror movie in which the corporate cockroaches are sucking the blood out of us & the people of this planet are walking around like the living dead. Reflect upon it for a few seconds if your attention span allows it i.e. financialization (the take over of our economy by Wall St. wolves who don’t create anything physically useful but make billions by buying companies & stealing their pensions, selling off their equipment, & firing all the employees), deindustrialization (outsourcing every possible job that once used to employ Americans at a decent salary so that now we’re forced to work for minimum-wage—which Congress blocks at every turn—and we’re forced to work two or three of these minimum-wage jobs and 80 or 90 hours per week in the struggle to pay the outrageous rents that the landlords charge with no health insurance & in a constant state of fear. And last but certainly not least, the “War on Terrorism,” that Georgie, the Coward from Crawford who never held a job until he was 40 thanks to his dad, former head of the C.I.A. and former president of the U.S. and his Cheshire Cat who actually ran the White House, Cheney the Dick-head who came up with this nifty term which guaranteed in perpetuity that the “Defense Industry” would never be stopped in their draining of our federal treasury. Isn’t it fortunate for the powers that be that the majority of high school students hate history? Wait! Perhaps there is a glimmer of light at the end of our long, dark tunnel?

The final factor is Silicon Valley. Owing to secrecy and obfuscation, it is hard to know how much of the NSA’s relationship with the Valley is based on voluntary cooperation, how much is legal compulsion through FISA warrants and how much is a matter of the NSA surreptitiously breaking into technology companies’ systems. Given the Valley’s public relations requirement to mollify its customers who have privacy concerns, it is difficult to take the tech firms’ libertarian protestations about government compromise of their systems at face value, especially since they engage in similar activity against their own customers for commercial purposes. That said, evidence is accumulating that Silicon Valley is losing billions in overseas business from companies, individuals and governments that want to maintain privacy. For high tech entrepreneurs, the cash nexus is ultimately more compelling than the Deep State’s demand for patriotic cooperation.”

Obviously as throughout human history, it always comes back to money. Those high-tech wizards of Silicon Valley are finally catching on that people don’t like being spied upon 24/7 and are withdrawing by boycotting their products. So while we definitely shouldn’t be singing their praises, we should definitely keep the pressure on Silicon Valley & demand that they stop cooperating with our oppressors i.e. the Deep State. I for one will never trust Silicon Valley nor the government because their betrayal has been so deep & consistent and all for the sake of the almighty buck. Those who call Edward Snowden a traitor are obviously members of the corporate cockroach & government tyranny who want us all submissive & silent. Ed has done not only us but the entire world, a fantastic service in exposing the bastards! I hope that you have enough savvy by now to know not to be duped by the protestations of the yuppie class of Silicon Valley that they were against the government surveillance programs from the beginning. In the next bit that I’m going to share with you from Mr. Lofgren’s brilliant essay, he posits a bit of hope yet the cynic in me doubts that there is much chance of it coming to fruition but I haven’t given up completely or I wouldn’t continue writing.

The outcome of all these developments is uncertain. The Deep State, based on the twin pillars of national security imperative and corporate hegemony, has until recently seemed unshakable and the latest events may only be a temporary perturbation in its trajectory. But history has a way of toppling the altars of the mighty. While the two great materialist and determinist ideologies of the twentieth century, Marxism and the Washington Consensus, successively decreed that the dictatorship of the proletariat and the dictatorship of the market were inevitable, the future is actually indeterminate. It may be that deep economic and social currents create the framework of history, but those currents can be channeled, eddied, or even reversed by circumstance, chance and human agency. We have only to reflect upon defunct glacial despotisms such as the USSR or East Germany to realize that nothing is forever.”

Yes, “nothing is forever,” but then again, the world is clearly a different place than it was when the USSR officially collapsed in 1991. Many—of the ass-kissers—claim that Russia crumbled because of the superiority of Capitalism over Communism but I say bullshit! Personally, I feel that it was more due to the fact that the Russians had bankrupted their economy in their mutually insane competition with us in the arms race but I too could be mistaken & that’s why I want to share with you a different perspective from a publicly acknowledged American communist. I’m trying to find Mr. Everest’s opinion on the subject but while searching, I found these tidbits that might stir your brain-cells?

War And
Intrigue In The Gulf


The U.S. attempted to deal
with the new, more nationalist and anti-U.S. Islamic regime in Tehran with both
carrots and sticks. It was even revealed that while U.S. personnel were being
held in the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, representatives of soon-to-be President
Ronald Reagan were negotiating with the Khomeini regime to delay the release of
the U.S. “hostages” to better Reagan’s chances in the 1980 election.

But the main U.S.
gambit was to encourage Iraq to launch its 1980 invasion into southern Iran,
which turned into a bloody eight-year war. Henry Kissinger summed up the
cold-blooded attitude: “too bad they can’t both lose.” Over 1 million people
were killed in the war, but it served U.S. purposes: it weakened both Iran and
Iraq, and prevented them from causing the U.S. trouble elsewhere, especially in
the nearby Gulf states.

The U.S. opposed
UN action against the invasion, removed Iraq from its list of nations supporting
terrorism, allowed U.S. arms to be transferred to Iraq, provided Iraq with
intelligence aid, economic aid, and political support (the U.S. restored
diplomatic relations in the late 1980s), encouraged its Gulf allies to lend Iraq
over $30 billion for its war effort then, and looked the other way as Hussein
gassed the Kurds at Halabja and other towns. All the better to weaken Iran’s
Islamic Republic, as well as draw Iraq away from the Soviet Union and closer to
the U.S.

But for the U.S.,
Iran remained the bigger “strategic prize,” so privately the Reagan government
encouraged Israel to provide arms to Iran and then in 1985 secretly began
shipping missiles to Iran itself. The missiles were supposedly a trade for U.S.
hostages in Lebanon, but the bigger trade was for increased U.S. leverage in
Iran. This secret plot collapsed when it was publicly revealed during the
“Iran-Contra” scandal of the mid-1980s.” https://zcomm.org/zmagazine/consequences-of-empire-by-larry-everest/

Of course we can never believe anything a communist says, right? I mean after all, we won WWII and the fact that the Russians lost over 20 million of their soldiers in that war while we lost 291,557 American lives just reflects that we’re superior soldiers, right? And we credit ourselves with winning that World War? I know that it’s going to be a knee-jerk response on most of your parts i.e. those of you who may read this, but if you can sit your personal biases aside for a moment or two and reflect on what I’m saying, you may change your mind? Americans, like Russians, have been lied to, manipulated, dis-informed, misinformed, & indoctrinated our entire lives and if you can’t accept or believe this, you are part of the willfully ignorant and I don’t have one ounce of sympathy for all your present or future troubles. I am in no way praising the Communist system of government over the supposed Democratic system of government we have in America but I am trying to wake you from your Fourth of July stupor that whatever America does is right, but have you ever dared to ask yourself why or how it was that Russia was our ally in the fight against the Nazis but shortly after the war ended, they became our most dangerous enemy? Was there a light-switch that was suddenly turned off? I often feel that I’m teaching a History 101 class to a high school body of students i.e. does it surprise you to know that Russia was also our ally in World War I?

The Allies of World War I, or Entente Powers, were the countries that opposed the Central Powers in the First World War.

The members of the original Triple Entente of 1907 were the French Republic, the British Empire and the Russian Empire. Italy ended its alliance with the Central Powers, arguing that Germany and Austria-Hungary started the war and that the alliance was only defensive in nature; it entered the war on the side of the Entente in 1915. Japan was another important member.Belgium, Serbia, Greece, Montenegro, and Romania[1] were affiliated members of the Entente.[2]

  Or would it be news to you that;

The United States declared war on Germany on April 6, 1917, during World War I. The U.S. was an independent power and did not officially join the Allies. It closely cooperated with the Allies militarily but acted alone in diplomacy. The U.S. made its major contributions in terms of supplies, raw material and money, starting in 1917. American soldiers under General John Pershing, Commander-in-Chief (C-in-C) of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF), arrived in large numbers on the Western Front in the summer of 1918. They played a major role until victory was achieved on November 11, 1918 at 11:00am. Before entering the war, the U.S. had remained neutral, though it had been an important supplier to Great Britain and the other Allied powers. During the war, the U.S. mobilized over 4 million military personnel and suffered 110,000 deaths, including 43,000 due to the influenza pandemic.[1]

Well, there’s obviously a major discrepancy here because another source I found said that America’s casualty rates (deaths) numbered 53,400 while Russia lost 1,700,000. Oh, the U.S. death rate included the 43,000 deaths due to influenza which brings the figures closer to the actual number of deaths due to combat. Is my point clear? How can it be that our greatest enemy i.e. that I’ve been indoctrinated into believing my whole life (Russia) has been on our side in both World War I and World War II has lost such vastly greater numbers of its citizens but we are told that they are our enemies & the de facto anti-Christ? Is this the history that you were taught to believe in or that you still believe? If so, then you will remain a helpless victim of the powers that be & as each crisis in your life slaps you down, you will be totally bewildered. Is it not gradually dawning on you my imaginary friend? The rulers of this world are not the governments but the moneyed interests i.e. the multi-national or transnational corporate cockroaches who give about as much thought about you or I as they would an annoying fly buzzing around their study while they were enjoying drinks with their fellow miscreants. And yes, my writing is a sort of therapy for me because it allows me to vent some of my anger towards the sub-humans who are making us all so miserable so unnecessarily. I’ve probably said it already but it bears repetition i.e. my life has been one long battle against the bullies who not only repress us but humiliate us & rob us of our natural rights & dignity as human beings. So, let’s return to Mr. Lofgren’s perspective on these matters at hand.

“Throughout history, state systems with outsized pretensions to power have reacted to their environments in two ways. The first strategy, reflecting the ossification of its ruling elites, consists of repeating that nothing is wrong, that the status quo reflects the nation’s unique good fortune in being favored by God and that those calling for change are merely subversive troublemakers. As the French ancien régime, the Romanov dynasty and the Habsburg emperors discovered, the strategy works splendidly for a while, particularly if one has a talent for dismissing unpleasant facts. The final results, however, are likely to be thoroughly disappointing.”

Yes, I clearly revel in whenever & wherever the powers that be get slapped-down a bit and as Mr. Lofgren insinuates above, the French Revolution is a beautiful reminder of justice coming to fruition after a long suffering by the poor of France i.e. the king of France, not unlike our self-proclaimed emperor, Donald of the Duck Dynasty Klan, who has proclaimed to the world that he is the world’s smartest businessman & can fix America, it’s become patently obvious that he is the Emperor who wears no clothes (transparent as the toxic water that runs down the drains of the Flint, Michigan residents) and I cling to the hope that like France’s ruling elite who were beheaded on the guillotine, Trump and all his allies i.e. Mitch McConnel, Paul Ryan, et al will meet a similar fate. And speaking of being “favored by God,” Trump’s president of vice, Mike Pence, is yet another perfect example of corruption, vice, & hypocrisy. My first book was an in-depth look at the phenomenon known as the “Christian-Right” and their intrusion into national politics. I will suffice it to say that they represent a truly dangerous & pernicious force. (I hope it’s clear that all the above quotes I used are from Mike Lofgren and his essay, “Anatomy of the Deep State,” at http://billmoyers.com/2014/02/21/anatomy-of-the-deep-state/

Well, I could clearly keep going on and on and on but I’m feeling generous & thought it was time to show you some mercy, Ha! Ha! so here is my conclusion;

What Can Be Done?

  1. Read—yes, the simple act of reading is a precursor to action
  2. Reflect upon what you read & discuss your thoughts with others
  3. write to others in your circle of friends & dare to broach these subjects
  4. write to your political representatives & don’t be afraid to be passionate in your opinions
  5. listen & watch the alternative media e.g. Democracy Now! and Background Briefing with Ian Masters
  6. read & reflect upon everything Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn, & Michael Parenti have ever written, spoken, or televised
  7. boycott every corporation that supports i.e. is invested in the corporate cockroach empire
  8. talk to your neighbors
  9. write your own essays & share them
  10. speak out when your friends repeat the same, stupid misinformation
  11. read the alternative press & support it however you can
  12. believe & know that we are the true power, not the government or the corporations
  13. believe in yourself and your common sense
  14. encourage your children to think for themselves
  15. work on developing your critical & analytical thinking skills
  16. visit & engage with people who are oppressed i.e. the poor, the immigrants, the LGBT community, Muslims, the disabled, etc.
  17. at the risk of coming across as an arrogant, self-aggrandizing asshole, read my essays because I have learned a thing or two in the conservative estimate of having spent at least 49,000 hours reading about politics, history, philosophy, classical literature, etc., as well as watching political/social documentaries, listening to political programs, writing & researching these disciplines, discussing these issues, traveling around the U.S. & Europe, and earning a B.A. in English literature which was just the tip of the iceberg in terms of my formal education because I have read hundreds if not thousands of books on these subjects which I annotated with copious notes for future reference. And I have written over 2,000 pages of my Magnum Opus as well as over 150 essays and a work of fiction of which I’ am not finished. Oh yeah, it took me 14 yrs. to earn that B.A. & I dropped-out many times half way or even three quarters of the way through a semester but even though I didn’t always get the official credit for the courses, do you think I didn’t learn while I was there? I studied business, oceanography, liberal arts, philosophy, and finally settled on English literature figuring that even if I got lousy professors, I could at least enjoy the reading.
  18. if you live in a fairly large city, check Craig’s list for political activities
  19. write letters to the editor of your local paper
  20. explore the world of alternative media i.e. magazines, weeklies, radio stations, cable stations, etc.
  21. start a blog & read & comment on other people’s blogs
  22. start a podcast
  23. hang out at your local coffee shop & start conversations with others
  24. take some courses in political science
  25. develop a relationship with your local & state political representatives
  26. start a discussion group in your home
  27. write essays
  28. write a book
  29. visit a mosque if you live near one
  30. call the White House
  31. call and/or send e-mails to Congress
  32. hold protests at the corporate cockroaches who may be in your area i.e. Walmart, AT&T, Verizon, etc.
  33. defy the taboo and talk about politics at your local tavern
  34. write letters to your relatives expressing your views

Well, I could go on and on but I’ll leave it up to you to use your imagination as to more ways we can all participate in the taking back of our political system. As Einstein said, nothing is more important than imagination so tag, you’re it!

Addendum re: the Goldman Sachs insert

In retrospect, by allowing the so-called top corporations in America like Goldman Sachs to avoid paying the full amount of taxes that they should be honored to pay because they supposedly —or at least they proclaim—they’re proud to be American corporations, we are in effect allowing them to screw us over twice. Goldman Sachs has not only taken over our federal treasury i.e. the running of our economy, they have enriched themselves to an obscene & absurd level at the expense (the bankrupting of the 99% of us who have lost our homes, pensions, decent paying jobs, health care, etc.). Bottom-line, they profit while we perish & they have the gall to bet against our succeeding with their fancy “financial instruments” i.e. credit default swaps, etc. It’s way past time we call ourselves a democracy or a republic and face the ugly reality, we’ve become an oligarchy & we’re ruled by the likes of Hank Paulson & the “Super Banks” whom it is proclaimed “Are Too Big to Fail, & Too Big to Jail!” They clearly don’t only not give a damn about us, they have no loyalty to America, & are probably laughing their asses off at how they’ve fooled countries like Greece, Iceland, etc. into falling for their financial scams. Therefore, each & everyone of us has to decide for ourselves if we’re going to do something or passively sit by & watch the world slide into Dante’s Inferno?

 

 

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