Saturday, February 28, 2009

Chomsky - Government for the elite by the elite

Many people still believe that the USA was founded for the purpose of government for the people and by the people. This a true fact - if one understands that the 'people' referred to here are the elite. Nothing much has changed in the past couple hundred years or so as far as this strategy is concerned.

Noam Chomsky addresses this subject below and how this relates to corporate propaganda. If you like this short video, you will love Century of the Self.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Carpe Diem - The bogey man IS under the bed.

Carpe Diem People! The time is right to kick the bums out.- all of them.

Not so slowly anymore, panic is spreading across Europe and the United States as it has been globally for some time now. Being the 'developed' world has given Westerners a stay of execution as far as the effects of its ill-fated capitalistic excesses. The other shoe is about to fall tho as millions realise their jobs, homes, pensions, social benefits, health infrastructue and their lives of Riley are about to kick the bucket.

In Europe there are riots from Romania to Ireland, in Greece and Iceland: now, the people of the USA begin to wake up and realise, 'Hey, these bad things are really happening to us!? Maybe we should do something?' The excesses and abuses of power using citizen's money for private elite agenda's and keeping the people mollified with mass marketing, is finally becoming crystal clear for anyone who is looking.

Ironically, the far left and the far right are both radicalising in their focus on bringing down the current system; tho the ideological underpinnings differ, the issues of revolutionary consciousness and their practical expressions can be quite similar. Survivalists and comrades have in common the loathing of the waste of capitalism and a desire to end the current structure of capitalistic oppressions. This is always the problem with labelling political preferences; sometimes one can't tell one from the other - it seems almost any governmental/economic system or doctrine can apply its principles to the detriment of the citizenry it is designed to serve. To simplify for the 'left' or 'right' semanticists, the term 'revolutionary consciousness' will emcompass both sides.

On one thing everyone agrees, the poor are getting poorer, the rich are getting richer and the middle class is going bye bye. Exactly where and how the losers of the capitalist game decide to act is anyone's guess, but no crystal ball is needed to know it will be soon. Revolutionary consciousness is increasing at an accelerating rate; the people know it, and so do the Masters of the Universe.

What to do? What to do? No one has the answers to the problems we have created but, us, ourselves. Organic action based coalitions are springing up everywhere; to stop forclosures, and to protest savage budget cuts to public services, even in Ireland where the Gardai and pensioners have filled the streets of Dublin and made international news. (Let us not forget for a moment that riots in the 3rd world - which we rarely hear of - have been going on for 6-7 months....albeit for food and basic survival needs.)

The first thing we can do is to remove our blindfolds and take the cotton out of our ears...because this time, the bogeyman
really is under the bed. Hiding under the covers will not make him go away.

The next best idea is to scream for help: the people who live nearest will be the best source of help. If no one comes, you will have to do some quick thinking...jumping out the window, baseball bat, running as fast as you can. Eventually tho, you will have to do something.

Each person who realises this is a tiny pixel in the picture of revolutionary consciousness.
When enough of these pixels come together, left-right, conservative-liberal etc etc, a picture of class warfare will emerge globally; the people taking back their power from those they have trusted who have betrayed them. Here is California's bit of the puzzle and California: Laid-off Spansion employees outraged over execs' pay increases

Carpe Diem - The bogey man IS under the bed.

The California Budget and Class War

By Ann Robertson

February 26, 2009
"Information Clearing House" -- On February 19, the California legislature, after weeks of wrangling, passed a special budget to address the historically high $42 billion deficit. It represents an unadulterated washout for working people who are attacked on almost every front by the Democratic Party, which controls a broad majority in the legislature.
For example, public education’s $58 billion budget for K-12 (kindergarten through high school) will be slashed by $8.4 billion, even though California currently allocates less money than almost all other states to education.

The state college and university systems will be cut $163 million and $115 million respectively, resulting in many faculty and staff layoffs, despite the fact that both systems are currently turning away qualified students, due to lack of funding. Meanwhile, student tuition will be raised.
Regressive taxes will be imposed, meaning that they will represent a heavier burden on working people and the poor than on the rich, including a sales tax increase from 8.5 to 9.5 percent and a vehicle license fee increase.

But while paying more, working people will receive considerably less from the state. Public transportation will be slashed while health and human services will be gouged by a $1.6 billion cut. And state employees will continue to be forced to take two days off per month, with no pay, of course.
But what went unreported by The New York Times and the San Francisco Chronicle is that those on the other side of the class ledger – the corporations – enjoyed a startlingly different fate. According to the Los Angeles Times, “About $1 billion in corporate tax breaks – directed mostly at multi-state and multinational companies – is tucked into the proposal.”

Not only were corporate taxes not raised, they were actually reduced, thereby contributing to the deficit rather than alleviating it. And this corporate welfare comes on the heels of a steady decline in corporate taxes.
In the 1980’s, 9 percent of corporate profits were taxed by the states. In 2001, it dropped to 6 percent, meaning that in that year and every year thereafter, California lost $1.34 billion in revenue (see The New York Times, July 16, 2003). Evidently The New York Times and the San Francisco Chronicle viewed the corporate largess concocted by California politicians in this current budget as nothing new and consequently unworthy of reporting.

The moral of this budget is clear. Corporations are well organized and consequently have successfully pressed for their own narrow interests. Lacking any social conscience, which should surprise no one, they fail to pursue the common good but remain obsessively fixated on ever-greater profits for themselves.

In order to avoid a repeat of this disaster and actually reverse this course of events, working people will need to organize themselves in order collectively to insist that society operate in the interests of the majority. This should begin with a demand that the government tax the rich – who have acquired unprecedented wealth during the past three decades – in order to fund social services. Taxing the rich and transferring wealth to working and poor people makes both sound moral and economic sense.

When inequalities in wealth are allowed to grow unchecked, the moral fabric of society is strained. Members of the same society no longer find themselves sharing common interests or goals, due to their starkly different economic positions. When working and poor people have more money in their pockets, they tend to spend it immediately, thereby stimulating the economy. The rich, with their hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars, have a substantial cushion and hence are not compelled to curtail their consumption when their taxes increase.

And many of the rich are the bankers who triggered this economic disaster. They should be required to pay for it.
When working people are united, they have the power to take history into their own hands. After all, there can be no corporate profits, let alone business as usual, if workers collectively refuse to work. Now is the time to organize!

Ann Robertson is a teacher at San Francisco State University and a writer for Workers Action
( ). She can be reached at

Scientists discover the jealousy lobe

It is a vice that few can avoid but that nobody craves.

Now the area of the brain which controls jealousy has been found, scientists have ­announced.

It is the same part which detects real physical pain – perhaps explaining why feeling envious of your lover's philandering ways hurts so much.

The spot which makes people delight in others' misfortune – called schadenfreude – was also located by the team.

'It's interesting the part of the brain which detects physical pain is also associated with mental pain,' said Hidehiko Takahashi, who led the research.
Home of the green-eyed monster: This part of the frontal lobe lights up when you are jealous

Home of the green-eyed monster: This part of the frontal lobe lights up when you are jealous

'Assessing these feelings of jealousy will possibly be helpful in mental care such as counselling.'

'Envy is corrosive and ugly, and it can ruin your life,' Richard Smith, a professor of psychology at the University of Kentucky told the New York Times.

'If you’re an envious person, you have a hard time appreciating a lot of the good things that are out there, because you’re too busy worrying about how they reflect on the self.'

Read entire article....

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Need a laugh? Maybe a smile?

Ok people....time for a laugh. Laughter is good. It heals us. It unites us. It gives us hope. A moment of relief from the relentless battering of reality. Hope you enjoy this.

Kingsford Goes to the Beach

Mother Tiger Adopts Piglets! - Funny bloopers R us

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Heroes - From an ACORN grows the tree.

The news everywhere is beyond dreary. But let us focus on heroes instead, common people who expect no saviours but roll up their sleeves in commitment to help themselves and others steamrolled by the economic system. By spreading the news of these people with courage, we can inspire each other with hope. Together we are stronger.

Roseanne Barr Joins ACORN
Protest Against Foreclosures

Last Thursday, I attended a rally in Watts, a small community in southern Los Angeles, sponsored by ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now). The rally was held to raise awareness about the critical nature of home foreclosures in Los Angeles and to launch ACORN's Home Defender Campaign.

The campaign is designed to keep foreclosed families in their homes. ACORN implements various methods to accomplish their goal. On the one hand, you have ACORN representatives directly communicating with lenders and on the other hand you have civil disobedience - ACORN representatives and volunteers locking arms along the sidewalk to block eviction officials from entering homes slated for auction.

Despite the negative characterization ACORN received last year during the general election, ACORN has been helping moderate and low income families for more than 30 years. ACORN has over 400,000 member families organized in more than 1,200 neighborhood chapters in 110 cities across the country.

Participating at the rally was comic, writer, producer, actress, and, unbeknownst to me, political activist Roseanne Barr. Below is my interview with the ACORN supporter.

Kathleen Wells: Roseanne, how did we get here? How are American citizens, all across this nation, facing unprecedented levels of home foreclosures? Who is at fault and why is this happening?
Roseanne Barr: The people at the top are to blame for their rapacious and unregulated greed. Poor people rot in jail for doing far less damage than corporate criminals at the top who are coddled after committing more far-reaching offenses.

KW: Tell us, how did you get involved with ACORN. What were some specific campaigns that you have been involved with and how do you see your role going forward?
RB: I was introduced to ACORN while I was on the road with Michael Moore during the 2004 presidential campaign.

We met with Acorn chapters in Florida, Iowa and a few other cities. My boyfriend Johnny, me and Michael Moore's whole crew helped to drive old people from the inner city to the polls in Cleveland, Ohio on a snowy, cold election day during the second election that was stolen by Bush and Cheney.

I instantly recognized the women in acorn as being the same kind of women I had been in collectives with in my younger years in Denver, Colorado. I have always been a labor activist, as was my father and his father. Even the Roseanne show was a sit-com about American Labor.

KW:Elaborate on some of the things you've seen working with ACORN?

RB:I have seen that ACORN is the lobby for people who have no lobbyists. I have seen them organize and work with people in the most economically challenged corners of this country, where people are on their last leg and pushed up against the proverbial wall.

I like the people personally because they believe there can be justice and peace, and that those values are American and moral. I helped them to raise the minimum wage across the country. They are unstoppable, because God is on their side.

I also like the way a lot of these women can bake a pie, discuss economics and transform the lives of everyone they come into contact with. Women my age are a force that is getting ready to unleash itself against evil. But, the most impressive thing is that they elected Barack H. Obama through their fantastic organizing skills and knowledge.

KW: As you know the ACORN rally was held at the home of the Beard family. They have already been foreclosed upon, despite living in their home and raising their 3 children in that home, since 1985. For the past 10 years, Mrs. Beard worked as a teacher assistant and Mr. Beard has consistently worked as a cook, for 17 years. They refinanced to make repairs to their home - repairs that had been needed since before 1985. This was their first time refinancing. Their payments shot from 1,700 a month to over 3,200 a month. What does the Beard's story say to you, Roseanne?

RB: That banks and other lenders, advertisers, real estate agents all played fast and loose and made their money up front or along the way, but at the end of the process it's the working people who are out in the cold. Now there's a trend toward blaming buyers for being irresponsible. But, those buyers were often assured that rising home prices and values would always keep them ahead of their debt load. We saw commercials all day long encouraging people to borrow against their home equity. Now the bubble equity has vanished into thin air but the crippling debt remains.

KW: Will you go as far as to participate in ACORN's method of civil disobedience? You know, the part about locking arms with family members, when eviction officials arrive. You run the risk of being arrested - how, does that sit with you?

RB: I told Bon Bon and the other ladies of my age there that if they would watch my back I would watch theirs. One old woman told me in translated Spanish that she had been arrested for political reasons in her seventies (she is in her eighties now) and that the hamburgers were good in jail, and that everyone treated her like a queen, and the jailers told her they thought it was wrong to imprison old weak women. I said I will go anywhere for a good free burger. I think women in jail would like a lot of my jokes.

KW: I'm sure you've heard that California is suffering a budget crisis. I think our deficit is at 42 billion now. However, when the Governor came into office, 6 years ago, the deficit was 4 billion. What are your thoughts about that?

RB: I do not like Arnold because he hangs out with people who steal homes from widows and orphans and then they auction it off for half its value and then turn around and sell it again for a profit on the first profit, and then complain about how unfair the widows and orphans are for wanting health care and schools and hospitals. They are sociopathic pirates like in the Disney movie.

KW: Just last Thursday and ironically, the same day as the ACORN rally, the Governor, signed a package of bills, all aimed to balance the budget by the year 2010. Along with those bills, were two other bills that call on a 90 day moratorium on home foreclosures in the state. However, the Governor hasn't signed these 2 bills yet. Your thoughts?

RB: Pick up the pen punk.

EyesandEars: Home Owner Protests
Foreclosure in Tuscon, AZ

This story was reported and written by Robert Temple. He is one of the HuffPost citizen journalists helping cover the on the ground effects of the foreclosure crisis. Sign up here to participate in HuffPost's new EyesandEars citizen journalism feature.

As you drive south along South Park Avenue in southern Tucson, you pass streets named for U.S. states: Michigan, Ohio, Tennessee and Oklahoma. A symbolic reminder of the national scope of the housing crisis.

Ana Castro lives on Kentucky Street, filled with modest homes and lined with Palm and Palo Verde trees. Located just six miles from the Davis Mountain Air Force Base, the peaceful setting is often temporarily interrupted as pairs of A-10 Thunderbolt (a.k.a. 'Warthog') fighter jets streak by on training missions.

Ana's house isn't filled with expensive frills. A modest, well kept one story, two bedroom house of about 1000 square feet, there is no cable or high speed Internet connection. Ana doesn't own a computer, and the television brings in only local channels using a rabbit ear antenna.

She has lived in this house for fifteen years, easily affording the $430 mortgage payment while making small home improvements like planting a lemon tree and installing landscaping bricks with the help of friends and neighbors.

That began to change three years ago when she refinanced with Wells Fargo. What started out as an affordable $650 per month payment for the first two years started to increase. Her monthly payment is now $1450 at an interest rate of 17.5%. With Ana's job as a Prep cook at the Universal Medical Center bringing in $10.50 per hour, she is unable to keep up with her steadily increasing house payment.

How did Ana find herself in this situation? Ana says that the bank lied to her about the terms of her loan. Before she signed the finance agreement she was insistent about the monthly payments. She wanted to make sure she could afford them. The bank assured her she qualified.

Two years later when Ana noticed her payments rising, she called Wells Fargo asking for an explanation. Each time she called she talked with someone different than the last time. What didn't change was their answer: she agreed to the terms of the loan at the time she signed the papers, and she had no choice but to make the payments.
Story continues below

Soon Ana was unable to afford the monthly payments on her home of 15 years and the bank started foreclosure proceedings. Now when she calls them they tell her she has to make a payment of $4000 before they can even begin to do anything to help her.

In addition, the foreclosure has damaged Ana's credit rating, making it impossible for her to obtain other financing options.

With no where left to turn, Ana called the Tucson ACORN office. They have been a great source of support for Ana, providing financial advice and advocating in her behalf. ACORN also has a support system of volunteers called "Home Defenders", which are a group of volunteers foreclosed families can call at any time for support.

Through it all, Ana is hopeful and determined. Although feeling the stress of her uncertain future, she gives thanks to ACORN, as well as friends and neighbors and for their support and "Prays to God every single day" to let her keep her house.

Today, ACORN is hosting a protest and press conference at Ana's house. Jorge Garza is organizing the event, and is joined by others whose homes are being foreclosed. Madeleine Troyon, Dolores Fair and Maria Jimenes are all members of, and being supported by, ACORN. They each have a unique story to tell.

Madeleine was upbeat about the future, saying "I am so happy we have a president that is helping us." "

Dolores is hoping for broader support, telling the people gathered there "We need our community to stand with us."

Jorge Garza, who works with victims of predatory lenders every day, sums it up this way: "Banks do not deserve 20 years of someone's life just because [the banks] were greedy."

As for Ana, she expects to keep her home, and says "We will fight to the last" to do so.

ACORN sets up eviction 'crisis' teams

February 21, 2009
By Christin Nance Lazerus and John Byrne
Post-Tribune staff writers

Legislative efforts are afoot in Washington, D.C., and in Indianapolis to protect homeowners and renters from foreclosure and eviction as the mortgage crisis gains momentum.

But rather than wait for help, the community group ACORN is set to launch a local eviction rapid-response team to prevent people from being thrown out of their homes.

The "Home Savers" will consist of people who can mobilize on short notice to defend homesteaders against attempts to evict them.

Eric Weathersby, director of Northwest Indiana's chapter of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, said the group will rely on telephone calls from homeowners starting next week to determine who needs help.

As part of a national campaign, ACORN is encouraging people to refuse to move out of their homes or, in some cases, move back in. The civil disobedience campaign aims to pressure federal officials to come up with a solution to the housing crisis.

President Barack Obama announced a plan this week to stem the tide of mortgage foreclosures by earmarking $75 billion to prevent 9 million homeowners from being evicted.

He also announced a plan to double aid to mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to $400 billion to encourage them to refinance home loans.

On the state level, Sen. Karen Tallian, D-Portage, has written a bill to force mortgage lenders to the table to try to negotiate new terms with homeowners on the brink of foreclosure.

Another bill in Indianapolis would give renters a 10-day notice of a pending foreclosure, and give them the power to void their leases if the building in which they live is about to be foreclosed on.

But Weathersby said there is currently "a breach" his group needs to fill.

"We are supportive of the president's plan, and that of Senator Tallian," Weathersby said. "In the meantime, however, we need to do what we can to keep people in their homes."

The "Home Saver" teams might engage in civil disobedience, physically blocking sheriff's police from getting to the front door of a house to serve an eviction notice, Weathersby said.

Lake County Sheriff Roy Dominguez has been at odds with ACORN for months on the eviction issue.

Dominguez says he must carry out court-ordered evictions, and warned ACORN not to try to prevent his officers from doing so.

Comment on this story at

ACORN home page

Monday, February 23, 2009

Obama, Gaza and Chomsky

I am not a particularly eloquent writer but I am rarely lost entirely to express my joy, fear or loathing on any subject matter. Except when it comes to the fetid psychology underlying the alliance between Israel and the USA and the propaganda they condescendingly forcefeed the global media. I will therefore leave the expose of this to those far more talented and informed than I.

For those of you Zionists scanning the net for criticism of Israel's atrocities, I hope you shall meet with consequences of your actions in the same magnitude as your arrogance and savage mindset which has caused so much pain to so many people. I cannot think of words befitting the loathing which I feel toward your atrocities.

So here is Noam Chomsky, who manages to expose your atrocities with the cool clearness of rational rhetoric. The lies of Israel fool noone anymore but its own supporters.

Chomsky: Obama OKed Israel's Gaza war

By Press TV

February 21, 2009
Renowned US intellectual Noam Chomsky says Barack Obama did not comment on Israel's war on Gaza, as it was part of the "premeditated" plan. We have been informed by an Israeli source that the recent invasion of the Gaza Strip was completely premeditated, Chomsky said in an interview with the French Al-Ahram daily.

The plan was to deliver the maximum blow to Gaza before the new US president took office, so that he could put these matters behind him added the famous intellectual, referring to Obama's pledge to resolve the Israeli Palestinian conflict.

According to Chomsky, while Israel was pounding the Gaza Strip -- during which over 1300 Palestinians were killed --, Obama excused his silence by saying that "There's only one president at a time."

This, however, did not prevent the then president-elect from commenting on other leading issues of US domestic and foreign policy, Chomsky argued.

The recognized political analyst also criticized Obama for repeating the notion that defending Israel is a US priority. He predicted that during the Obama presidency US will hold the same policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israel is a Terrorist State by Definition: Chomsky

Following is an excerpt of Professor Chomsky’s interview with Christiana Voniati, who is head of International News Department POLITIS Newspaper, Nicosia, Cyprus.

By Christiana Voniati
February 21, 2009 "Countercurrents"

Voniati: The international public opinion and especially the Muslim world seem to have great expectations from the historic election of Obama. Can we, in your opinion, expect any real change regarding the US approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

Chomsky: Not much. Quite the contrary: it may be harsher than before. In the case of Gaza, Obama maintained silence, he didn’t say a word. He said well there’s only one president so I can’t talk about it. Of course he was talking about a lot of other things but he chose not to talk about this. His campaign did repeat a statement that he had made while visiting Israel six months earlier –he had visited Sderot where the rockets hit- and he said “if this where happening to my daughters, I wouldn’t think of any reaction as legitimate”, but he couldn’t say anything about Palestinian children. Now, the attack on Gaza was at time so that it ended right before the inauguration, which is what I expected.

I presume that the point was so that they could make sure that Obama didn’t have to say something, so he didn’t. And then he gave his first foreign policy declaration, it was a couple of days later when he appointed George Mitchell as his emissary, and he said nothing about Gaza except that “our paramount interest is preserving the security of Israel”. Palestine apparently doesn’t have any requirement of security. And then in his declaration he said of course we are not going to deal with Hamas -the elected government the US immediately, as soon as the government was elected in a free election the US and Israel with the help of European Union immediately started severely punishing the Palestinian population for voting in the “wrong way” in a free election and that’s what we mean by democracy.

The only substantive comment he made in the declaration was to say that the arab peace plan had constructive elements, because it called for a normalization of relations with Israel and he urged the arab states to proceed with the normalization of relations. Now, he is an intelligent person, he knows that that was not what the arab peace plan said. The arab peace plan called for a two state settlement on the international border that is in accord with the long standing international consensus that the US has blocked for over 30 years and in that context of the two state settlement we should even proceed further and move towards a normalization of relations with Israel.

Well, Obama carefully excluded the main content about the two state settlement and just talked about the corollary, for which a two state settlement is a precondition. Now that’s not an oversight, it can’t be. That’s a careful wording, sending the message that we are not going to change their (Israel’s) rejectionist policy. We ‘ll continue to be opposed to the international consensus on this issue, and everything else he said accords with it. We will continue in other words to support Israel’s settlement policies- those policies are undermining any possible opportunity or hope for a viable Palestinian entity of some kind. And it’s a continued reliance on force in both parts of occupied Palestine. That’s the only conclusion you could draw.

Voniati: Let us talk about the timing of the assault on the Gaza Strip. Was it accidental or did it purposefully happen in a vacuum of power? To explain myself, the global financial crisis has challenged the almost absolute US global hegemony. Furthermore, the attack on Gaza was launched during the presidential change of guard. So, did this vacuum of power benefit the Israeli assault on Gaza?

Chomsky: Well, the timing was certainly convenient since attention was focused elsewhere. There was no strong pressure on the president or other high officials of the US to say anything about it. I mean Bush was on his way out, and Obama could hide behind the pretext that he’s not yet in. And pretty much the same was in Europe, so that they could just say, well we can’t talk about it now, it’s too difficult a time.

The assault was well chosen in that respect. It was well chosen in other respects too: the bombing began shortly after Hamas had offered a return to the 2005 agreement, which in fact was supported by the US. They said, ok, let’s go back to the 2005 agreement that was before Hamas was elected. That means no violence and open the borders. Closing the borders is a siege, it’s an act of war……… not very harmful but it’s an act of war. Israel of all countries insists on that.

I mean Israel went to war twice in 1956 and 1967 on the grounds, it claimed, that its access to the outside world was being hampered. It wasn’t a siege, its access through the Gulf of Aqaba was being hampered. Well if that is an act of war then certainly a siege is, and so it’s understood.

So Khaled Mashaal asked for an end of the state of the war, which would include opening the borders. Well, a couple of days later, when Israel didn’t react to that, Israel attacked. The attack was timed for Saturday morning – the Sabbath day in Israel – at about 11:30, which happens to be the moment when children are leaving school and crowds are miling in the streets of this very heavily crowded city… The explicit target was police cadets… Now, there are civilians, in fact we now know that for several months the legal department of the Israeli army had been arguing against this plan because it said it was a direct attack against civilians. And of course, plenty civilians will be killed if you bomb a crowded city, especially at a time like that. But finally the legal department was sort of bludgeoned into silence by the military so they said alright. So that’s when they opened –on a Sabbath morning. Now two weeks later, Israel – on Saturday as well- blocked the humanitarian aid because they didn’t want to disgrace Sabbath. Well, that’s interesting too. But the main point about the timing was that there was an effort to undercut the efforts for a peaceful settlement and it was terminated just in time to prevent pressure on Obama to say something about it. It’s hard to believe that this isn’t conscious. We know that it was very meticulously planned for many months beforehand.

Voniati: In a recent interview with LBC, you said that the policies of Hamas are more conducive to peace than the US’s or Israel’s.

Chomsky: Oh yes, that’s clear.

Voniati: Also, that the policies of Hamas are closer to international consensus on a political peaceful settlement than those of Israel and the US. Can you explain your stance?

Chomsky: Well for several years Hamas has been very clear and explicit, repeatedly, that they favor a two state settlement on the international border. They said they would not recognize Israel but they would accept a two state settlement and a prolonged truce, maybe decades, maybe 50 years.

Now, that’s not exactly the international consensus but it’s pretty close to it. On the other hand, the United States and Israel flatly reject it. They reject it in deeds, that’s why they are building all the construction development activities in the West Bank, not only in violation of international laws, US and Israel know that the illegal constructions are designed explicitly to convert the West Bank into what the architect of the policy, Arial Sharon, called bantustan.

Israel takes over what it wants, break up Palestine into unviable fragments. That’s undermining a political settlement. So in deeds, yes of course they are undermining it, but also in words: that goes back to 1976 when the US vetoed the Security Council resolution put forward by

the arab states which called for a two state settlement and it goes around until today. In December, last December, at the meetings of the UN’s General Assembly there were many resolutions passed. One of them was a resolution calling for recognition of the right of self-determination of the Palestinian people. It didn’t call for a state, just the right of self-determination. It passed with 173 to 5. The 5 were the US, Israel and a few small pacific islands. Of course that can’t be reported in the US. So they are rejecting it even in words, as well as –more significantly- in acts. On the other hand, Hamas comes pretty close to accepting it. Now, the demand which Obama repeated on Hamas is that they must meet three conditions: they must recognize Israel’s right to exist, they must renounce violence and they must accept past agreements, and in particular the Road Map. Well, what about the US and Israel? I mean, obviously they don’t renounce violence, they reject the Road Map – technically they accepted it but Israel immediately entered 14 reservations (which weren’t reported here) which completely eliminated its content, and the US went along. So the US and Israel completely violate those two conditions, and of course they violate the first, they don’t recognize Palestine. So sure, there’s a lot to criticize about Hamas, but on these matters they seem to be much closer to –not only international opinion- but even to a just settlement than the US and Israel are.

Voniati: On the other hand, Hamas has been accused of using human shields to hide and protect itself. Israel insists that the war was a matter of defense. Is Hamas a terrorist organization, as it is accused to be? Is Israel a terrorist state?

Chomsky: Well, Hamas is accused of using human shields, rightly or wrongly. But we know that Israel does it all the time. Is Israel a terrorist state? Well yes according to official definitions. I mean, one of the main things holding up cease fire right now is that Israel insists that it will not allow a cease fire until Hamas returns a captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit - he’s very famous in the West everybody knows he was captured. Well, one day before Gilad Shalit was captured, Israeli forces went into Gaza City and kidnapped two Palestinian civilians (the Muamar Brothers) and brought them across the border to Israel in violation of international law and hid them somewhere in the huge Israeli prisons. Nobody knows what happened to them since. I mean, kidnapping civilians is a much worse crime than capturing a soldier of an attacking army. And furthermore this has been regular Israeli practice for decades. They’ve been kidnapping civilians in Lebanon or on the high seas…They take them to Israel, put them into prisons, sometimes keeping them as hostages for long periods. So you know, if the capturing of Gilad Shalit is a terrorist act, well, then israel’s regular practice supported by the US is incomparably worse. And that’s quite apart from repeated aggression and other crimes. I don’t like Hamas by any means, there is plenty to criticize about them, but if you compare their actions with US and Israel, they are minor criminals.

Voniati: Though of Jewish decent, you have been repeatedly accused of anti-Semitism. How do you respond?

Chomsky: The most important comment about that was made by the distinguished statesman Abba Eban, maybe 35 years ago, in an address to the American people. He said that there are two kinds of criticism of Zionism (by Zionism I mean the policies of the state of Israel). One is criticism by anti-Semites and the other is criticism by neurotic self-hating Jews. That eliminates 100% of possible criticism. The neurotic self-hating Jews, he actually mentioned two, I was one and I.F. Stone, a well-known writer was another). I mean that’s the kind of thing that would come out of a communist party in its worst days. But you see, I can’t really be called anti-semite because I’m jewish so I must be a neurotic self-hating Jew, by definition. The assumption is that the policies of the state of Israel are perfect, so therefore any kind of criticism must be illegitimate. And that’s from Abba Eban, one of the most distinguished figures in Israel, the most westernised … praised, considered a dove.

Voniati: How do you comment on the Davos incident concerning Erdogan’s verbal attack against Peres?

Chomsky: It was impolite. You are not supposed to behave like that at Davos. But the idea that Peres was given 25 minutes to justify major atrocities and aggression, that’s what’s shocking. Why have that at Davos? I mean, do you allow Saddam Husein in such a gathering to justify the invasion of Kuwait? So Erdogan reacted, in my view, not in accord with the gentile atmosphere of the collection of the people who but basically appropriate under the circumstances.

Voniati: Have you, by any chance, been informed about the Cypriot-flagged vessel "Monchegorsk" that is docked in Limassol and seems to have been carrying weapons to the Hamas-run Gaza Strip? Israel and the United States requested that the vessel be stopped...

Chomsky: I don’t know about the Iranian vessel but I do know that right in the middle of the Gaza attack, Dignity was blocked in international waters and attacked by the Israeli navy and almost sunk. Now, that’s a major crime. That’s much worse than piracy off the coast of Somalia for example. If the Iranian vessel was stopped in international waters, that’s completely illegitimate. Israel has no authority to do anything in international waters. And the talk about not sending arms to Gaza …I mean, do they stop sending arms to Israel? I mean right in the middle of the Gaza war, the pentagon announced that it was sending a huge shipman of armaments to Israel. Did anybody stop that? They should say that those armaments are not intended for use by the Israeli army. The pentagon also announced that they are being prepositioned, that is, that they re being placed in Israel for the use of the US army In other words what they re saying is –and it’s been true for a long time- is that the US regards Israel as an offshore military base of its own, which they can use for their aggressive acts throughout the region.

Avram Noam Chomsky, 80, is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, political activist, author, and lecturer. He is an Institute Professor emeritus and professor emeritus of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Chomsky is well known in the academic and scientific community as the father of modern linguistics. Since the 1960s, he has become known more widely as a political dissident, and a libertarian socialist intellectual. Christiana Voniati is head of International News Department POLITIS Newspaper, Nicosia, Cyprus. E-mail: - Blogspot:

Saturday, February 21, 2009

How are you?.... Oh just fine........Really?!!!!!!!

Former chief economist for the world bank says
“you have to be in fantasy land to say that everything is fine”

Nobel Prize Winning Economist:
Crisis As Bad As Great Depression Or Worse
Steve Watson
Wednesday, Sept 17, 2008

Two time Nobel-prize winner and former chief economist of the World Bank, Joseph Stiglitz has warned that the current financial crisis will continue for at least another eighteen months and in many ways represents a worse situation than the one faced by Americans during the great depression of the 1930s.

“You can paper things over for a while but eventually you have to face reality.” Stiglitz told the nationally syndicated Alex Jones show yesterday.

“This is clearly the most serious problem since the great depression and in some ways worse in terms of the financial institutions.” Stiglitz commented, referring to the fact that lenders are unwilling to take risks to finance each other because they no longer have complete access to their own undertakings let alone those of other institutions.

“The reason, in part, is that while some of the same problems that occurred during the great depression and have occurred since, such as excessive leverage, pyramid schemes, bubbles, have happened before, the so called innovation of Wall Street, the financial innovations, that were supposed to manage risk, created a kind of non transparency that is now so great that no one knows exactly the magnitude of the risk they face.”

“It is particularly bad because our financial institutions are based on trust, you put the money in the bank and you trust that you can get your money out, so trust is absolutely essential for the functioning of our financial markets and the functioning of our economy.” he continued.

“The problem is that much of the news on what is going on in the financial markets comes from those who are making money out of the financial markets. So if you were one of the people involved with Lehman Brothers or AIG, you’re going to be talking up the economy. The head of Lehman Brothers was quoted last April as saying we have turned the corner, the economy is on the uptick. And the same thing goes for the president and the secretary of treasury.”

“The fact is that they are involved in salesmanship.”

Describing the current situation as a “top down crisis”, Stiglitz also cited the $3 trillion cost of the Iraq war as a key factor in the economic downturn, saying it has increased the budget deficit and consumed resources that would otherwise promote growth.

“This is the first war in American history that has been totally financed on the credit card… For the last five years as the war has gone on we have been a debt economy. It is the first war since the revolutionary war that we have had to turn to foreigners to finance, 40% of our national debt is now being financed by foreigners… Even as we went into the war we had a big deficit, and yet the president called for tax cuts for upper middle class Americans.” he said.

“And there is another level of trust, those in other countries have to have trust that the American economy is working well, they have to trust that when the president says everything is going well, it is. This administration has really burned that trust, the president said there is no problem, there’s just a few too many houses been built. Well if that is the level of analysis the Untied States is giving about the nature of its economic problems, no wonder everybody around the world is losing confidence. “

Stiglitz is no stranger to positioning himself in opposition to the establishment on the economic front. In October 2001 he caused controversy when he exposed rampant corruption within the IMF and blew the whistle on their nefarious methods of inducing countries to fall under their debt before stripping them of sovereignty and hollowing out their economies.

“It is clear that the Bush administration is not responding to these problems, partly because the problems are of their own making.” Stiglitz asserted.

Over the next twelve months, Stiglitz predicts that house prices will continue to fall, more mortgages will go into foreclosure and more financial firms will be put into crisis.

“I am particularly worried about what I call the ‘real economy’. Basically when the financial system starts getting weak, it is not in a position to provide credit, to provide loans, to provide mortgages and that means in turn that housing prices are going to fall further, businesses are going to contract, unemployment is going to grow and it is a downward vicious cycle… I don’t want to be obsessively pessimistic but you have to be in fantasy land to say that everything is fine, and even to say that we have turned the corner. We’re still in the downward phase of this economic cycle. We should not anticipate emerging from this for a year and a half or longer.”

In a long term prediction 22 months ago, Stiglitz told listeners of the Alex Jones show that he believed a global economic crash would occur within 2 years. With major financial institutions now folding every week, others touting mergers just to stay afloat and stocks continually plummeting on a daily basis it seems that prediction is coming to pass.

Stiglitz stressed that in order to emerge from the crisis, the economy needs a stimulus, that really works, consisting of increased aid for local government, stronger unemployment insurance and more investment in infrastructure.

“I would take advantage of this particular time in order to stimulate our economy in ways that provide the basis of our longer term economic growth. If our economy is growing then we will be better able to manage some of this financial turmoil.” he concluded.

Listen to the interview below:

Volcker: Crisis May be Even Worse than Depression

Whitehead sees slump worse than depression

God bless Texas

I never thought I would ever post a blog with this title (and eleu this one's for you). But it seems Texas is the leader now in standing up to the oppressive federal laws passed behind citizens' backs. Have to give credit where credit is due. And I am thankful that somewhere at least, Americans have decided to stand up to the ravenous monster in D.C. that has gobbled up the constitutional rights so many have for so long taken for granted.

Texas Representatives
Introduce Resolution Asserting Sovereignty
Under Tenth Amendment

Posted by sakerfa
February 19, 2009

Texas has joined the states’ right and Tenth Amendment movement by introducing House Concurrent Resolution No. 50, filed earlier this week by Republican state representatives Leo Berman, Brandon Creighton, and Bryan Hughes. H.C.R. 50 cites Section 4, Article IV, of the Constitution, the Tenth Amendment, and the Ninth Amendment.

“The Tenth Amendment assures that we, the people of the United States of America and each sovereign state in the Union of States, now have, and have always had, rights the federal government may not usurp,” the resolution declares, while “Section 4, Article IV, of the Constitution says, ‘The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government,’ and the Ninth Amendment states that ‘The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.’”

A number of proposals from previous administrations and some now pending from the present administration and from congress may further violate the Constitution of the United States; now, therefore, be it RESOLVED, That the 81st Legislature of the State of Texas hereby claim sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over all powers not otherwise enumerated and granted to the federal government by the Constitution of the United States…

H.C.R. 50 serves “as notice and demand to the federal government, as our agent, to cease and desist, effective immediately, mandates that are beyond the scope of these constitutionally delegated powers” and that “all compulsory federal legislation that directs states to comply under threat of civil or criminal penalties or sanctions or that requires states to pass legislation or lose federal funding be prohibited or repealed.”

Finally, the resolution directs the Texas secretary of state to forward official copies of the resolution to president Obama, Speaker of the House Pelosi, the president of the Senate, Joe Biden, and all members of the Texas delegation to the Congress. In addition, there is an official request that the resolution be entered in the Congressional Record as a “memorial to the Congress of the United States of America.”

Texas joins Washington, New Hampshire, Arizona, Montana, Michigan, Missouri, Oklahoma, California, and Georgia, states that have all introduced bills and resolutions declaring sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment. Colorado, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Alaska, Kansas, Alabama, Nevada, Maine, and Illinois are also considering such measures.

“While the ramifications of these resolutions are still uncertain, one thing is clear,” writes Barbara Minton. “People are sick and tired of the federal government’s usurpation of power not granted to it by the Constitution. They have had enough of fear based economic terrorism and underhanded promotion of policies and procedures that bypass public scrutiny and the will of the people.”

It should be noted that a resolution is a statement and not law and does not necessarily represent a consensus of a state legislature. “Still, the fact that two states, California and Georgia, have already passed their versions of state sovereignty may be setting the stage for secession down the road if the federal government continues to show its scorn for the Constitution. The Oklahoma resolution has already passed in the House and is awaiting vote in the state Senate to be codified,” writes Minton.

For more information on the Tenth Amendment and states’s right movement, see this Infowars resource page on the subject.

As should be expected, the corporate media has all but ignored H.C.R. 50, while Vince Leibowitz of Dallas-based Pegasus News calls the resolution “bizarre” and intimates that Berman, Creighton, and Hughes are insane. Leibowitz’s comments are a sad testament on how out of touch many Americans are when it comes to the Constitution and the increasing encroachments of the federal government.

On Friday, February 20, Rep. Leo Berman of District 6 will be on the Alex Jones Show to talk about the resolution and states’ rights.


Related links here and here.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The truth about central bankers and the Feds

It has taken me years to figure out exactly what a central bank is. And it hasn't been easy to understand. As a matter of fact, it tooks years just to figure out that I that I didn't understand the entire concept of the Feds, and how this establishment was actually detrimental to the people it claims to 'serve'.

Probably the best examination of central banking I have seen lately was presented in the movie
Zeitgeist - the Addendum. I highly recommend viewing at least the first half of this movie for those who wish a crystal clear idea of what the Feds (and other central banks) do in plain no-nonsense language. The dangers of the concept of the Feds are expressed very well in the article below - exactly how do the people lose?

Truth, By George

By Rand Clifford

Truth in our time has become so muddied, the first thing we need in any search for fundamental, unambiguous truth is a good working definition. Something to clutch as a certain cruciform against vampires…a touchstone to help us better navigate lies.

truth \’trüth\ n. : That which is true

Hhmmm….so precisely what is “true”?

Truth. Truth is true.
That Möbius strip leads nowhere. Could a better understanding of truth as an aide to our search for it be found by examining the opposite of truth—by examining untruth?

American life floods us with one particular very tried and true untruth: Everything our federal government tells us, either officially, or through mainstream corporate media. So, a reliable working definition of truth here could be: “Exactly what government does not tell”. Certainly they tell occasional superficial truths, but those always have tendrils merging into the massive and nearby body of deceit.

Let’s test drive the definition—not conventionally as one would with perhaps a list of lies, specific lies, that’d set us on another Möbius strip since ultimately it’s all the same, or has only one side, lies. No, let’s take a spin through authority, some entrenched establishment symbolism.

The Fed
What might evoke more bedrock images of federal government than the Federal Reserve (Fed), our central bank (which is not actually a bank, and has no reserves)? Simmering in its deep heritage of untruth…the Fed is in no way a part of the federal government, but is instead a private corporation. The Fed’s ultimate agenda orbits profit for a mostly foreign banking cartel. It is a private money making machine disguised as a part of “Government of the People, by the People and for the People”, creating “money” by simple data entry, then bleeding the people by loaning it to the government at interest. How in the name of government, in disgusting violation of the Constitution, did this happen? Rep. Ron Paul tells us. He introduced the Federal Reserve Board Abolition Act (HR 2755), in June 2007.

The Great Depression is a sinister example of the Fed’s untruth. One of their “duties” is to stabilize the money supply, but Sirens of personal accumulation dictate their “mission”. Leaked documents and defector testimony reveals their zeal over how many thousands of banks and farms they hoped to acquire for pennies on the dollar…. The Great Depression was a coup by the financial elite to seize more wealth for themselves at the expense of the working class—one of history’s more hideous refrains. Please note that before their coup of ‘29, these elite controlled only a majority of banks in the Northeast; afterward they dominated American capital from coast to coast. Ben Bernanke, the Fed’s current head, even admitted when squeezed: “Regarding the Great Depression. We did it. We’re sorry. We won’t do it again.”

Considering the Fed’s seamless legacy of untruth…one might suspect that they actually are doing it again—note how much of the current “bailout” money is being used for acquisition…banks swallowing other banks, trillions in debt passed to future taxpayers. Try explaining something like this to your child.

The Bushes
Shaking the Bushes is an unlikely way to flush out truth, but it seems a blue moon can make both Georges spontaneously stray into actual truth.. Is it a ploy to further confuse us, or merely a wrinkle in perception management?

One of George II’s most germane chucking of beans: “Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.”

George I once told reporter Sarah McClendon that, “If the American people really knew what we had done, we would be chased down the streets and lynched.”

Then in 1992, when asked what Iran-Contra was really all about, George I replied that it was done for “…the continuous consolidation of money and power into higher, tighter and righter hands.”

Talk about hitting pay dirt! In that simple nonchalance of George I, the fundamental truth underlying the foundational untruth of not only the Fed, but the federal government, corporate mainstream media—and owners of all of the above—the financial elite, is revealed.

Yes, the government is owned by our nemesis, the financial elite. They own our free press, they own you…they own the world. The common good is as irrelevant to our owners as the future of humanity, and what they want is all they’ve ever wanted: more. Will we simply keep swallowing their effluent until the Republic is dead?

All we really need to know, something we’ve had our noses rubbed in a very long time, is that the government deals exclusively in untruth. If it ever mattered even a little, truth has been absolutely and permanently supplanted by perception management, which, when it comes to the people, is the government’s only genuine concern (in Bush jargon, one American = OFU, or “one fodder unit”). The people have been so incredibly dumbed-down chemically and socially and every possible way in between that in the breadlines and soup kitchens, major-league baseball will probably be the hottest topic…or the Superbowl, or Brittney and Brad and Jen or the latest Superhero movie….

Perpetual Sheep, Perpetual Slaughter
A very wise woman said, “You can lead sheep to enlightenment, but you can’t make them think.”

Evolution has given women special insight to survive in a world where men dominate physically, do most of the slaughtering, and blaze where humanity would be better off not going. So what has a majority of the slaughter throughout history been motivated by? “…the continuous consolidation of money and power into higher, tighter and righter hands.” If George I spoke only two truths in his whole wretched infliction upon us, that one rules.

“…the continuous consolidation of money and power into higher, tighter and righter hands” drove the fraudulent presidential installation of George II, twice. Same thing for 9/11…for the absolutely mind-defying War on Terror! Oil wars, shock-and-awe, wanton slaughter of millions. War on the Biosphere, Great Depression redux, American concentration camps for Americans, American troops deployed against Americans on American streets, false flag terror, martial law. Suspension of the Constitution, death of the Republic…. Inhumanity American “leadership” has inflicted on the rest of the world for over half a century is now coming home.

“…the continuous consolidation of money and power into higher, tighter and righter hands.”

That’s the foundational truth everything can be distilled down to, the bottom-line truth we’ve been looking for—and what an unlikely place to find it…what eerie irony. From the forked tongue of George I.

“…the continuous consolidation of money and power into higher, tighter and righter hands.”

It’s the driving force behind everything in Planning Central, the only thing that matters. And with the face of the beast exposed…if we still have time, will we ever muster the will—and especially find the leadership—to turn back toward the humane?

Rand Clifford is a writer living in Spokane, Washington, with his wife Mary Ann, and their Chesapeake Bay retriever, Mink.. Rand’s novels CASTLING, TIMING, VOICES OF VIRES, and PRIEST LAKE CATHEDRAL are published by StarChief Press:

Posted by thomaspainescorner on February 15, 2009

For the opposing point of view click here.

Monday, February 16, 2009

40 acres and a mule

We didn't quite know what the plan was for 'irregular warfare'
when Secretary of Defense Robert Gates called for a different strategy for the Obama presidency.
But slowly and surely, I am sure it will be 'explained' to the people in a way copascetic to their view of American history.

At a time when jobs are scarce, why is the military enlisting illegal immigrants into service? It is not only happening in the US, but in every country where the US has some sort of proxy war waged for its imperial interests. I do not not begrudge anyone a job, but doesn't this remind us of a practice from the Civil War?

U.S. to open military to temporary immigrants: report

Sat Feb 14, 2009

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. military will begin recruiting immigrants with special skills who are in the United States on temporary visas, offering a chance to become citizens in as little as six months, The New York Times reported.

A report on the newspaper's website on Saturday said it would be the first time since the Vietnam War that the armed forces would be open to temporary immigrants, provided they have lived in the United States for at least two years.

Immigrants with permanent resident status, or "green cards," are eligible to enlist in the U.S. military.

A Pentagon spokesman said he knew of the program but had no details.

The Times said the program could help the military fill shortages in medical care, language interpretation and field intelligence analysis. It will be limited to 1,000 enlistees in its first year, most for the Army and some for other services.

Temporary immigrants who want to enlist would have to prove they had lived in the United States for two years and had not been out of the country for more than 90 days during that time. They would also have to pass an English test.

(Reporting by Glenn Somerville; Editing by Peter Cooney)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Scorpian of Corporate Capitalism

This article will be difficult to read if one is from the United States mainstream culture. Perhaps it has too much truth for those whom it describes. The rest of the world will mostly agree with most of this poet's description of the system which destroys even those who would not read his poem. My own experiences verify the impressions of this poet for the vast majority of those I meet on the net from the States, but certainly not all.

The Frog and the Scorpian

Image by TinyPic
By Vi Ransel

A frog and a scorpion met on a stream bank. The scorpion asked the frog to carry him across on its back. The frog asked, “How do I know you won’t sting me?” “Because if I do, I’ll drown, too” answered the scorpion. So they set out across the stream. Halfway across, the scorpion stung the frog. As the frog started to sink, he knew they’d both die. With his last breath, he gasped to the scorpion, “Why?!” “It is my nature. And you knew I was a scorpion.”

Americans do not want the facts.
They do not want to hear how many countries
we’ve invaded for power and money
nor the number of proxy wars
financed in our name for the same.

Americans do not want to talk
about slavery, the Native Americans
or our rape of “Third World” nations
for necessities like bananas or coltan for cell phones
via the IMF, the World Bank and “free” trade.

Americans do not want to see
that compliant puppet governments
and dictators are America’s best friend,
that anywhere real democracy rears its unwelcome head
it’s put down by demonizing it and its leaders and/or killing them.
(See Mossadegh, Hamas, Allende and Hugo Chavez .)

Americans do not want to admit
that terrorism is not caused by hatred
or envy of our “freedoms”, but by our invasions,
torture, exploitation and slaughter,
or that the US sends three billion taxpayer dollars
to Israel yearly to test white phosphorus,
on the captive population of Gaza.

Americans will not even try
to understand that depressions and recessions,
repetitive bubbles and Wall Street’s speculative gambling
are planned in advance by the shameless fat cats
of the plutocracy and the “Federal” banksters.

Americans will not entertain the idea
that American business uses human shields it calls “illegals”
to stave of the threat of paying a living wage
and if they ask for one the boss just calls la migra.

Americans do not want to know
that Main Street was murdered by Wal-Mart and Wall Street,
or that prisons are plantations where the process of manufacturing
is just business carried on by other means.

Americans do not want to hear
that health insurance is a middle man
designed to bleed them into medical bankruptcy,
or that credit is just debt with a fancy name
created to rob them of their homes and their property.

Americans do not want to believe
that plastic is strangling the ocean,
that petro-agriculture is poisoning their food,
that the rain forest’s been razed for cheeseburgers,
and that climate change, misnamed “global warming”,
warms the “heart” of Big Energy’s shareholders.

Americans do not want to be reminded
of the animal holocaust in “farms” that are factories,
which in addition to terror and agony
causes stroke, heart disease and obesity,
or that the runoff makes drinking water a toxic cocktail
of hormones, antibiotics and feces,
that most of the ocean’s big fish have been fished
and commercial trawlers scrape the ocean bottom lifeless,
that continual solitary driving of their personal vehicles
helps strand polar bears on the remnants of ice flows.

Americans don’t want to look at the fact
that sex, fear and envy persuade them
to buy products that kill them for profit -
alcohol, tobacco, meat and dairy, food additives,
prescription drugs, corn syrup and plastics.

Americans do not want to admit
that love, family, friendship and sexuality
are now no more than profitable commodities,
that wars, sports, TV, shopping and celebrities
are designed to keep their minds off the rape of democracy.
Americans cannot be bothered to discover the political priorities
of people they vote for in the electoral extravaganza,
to look for alternative info though newspapers, TV “news” and talk radio
are talking points and sheer propaganda,
or to acknowledge that the people who “represent” them
have not the people’s, but their own, interest in mind,
due to campaign funding’s lucrative bonanza.

Americans refuse to see
that schools don’t educate for a reason.
An educated public is 300 million dangerous threats
and schools are used to defuse these

by a pre-emptive indoctrination of children
with the wisdom of dog-eat-dog competition
which creates the divide-and-conquer infrastructure
that allows oppressors to blame their own victims.

And since kids might stumble into cooperation and empathy,
those in social programs are deemed weak and pathetic
in an effort to get the victims to agree and accept
that they’re the primary cause of the system’s effect.

The plutocracy exercises increasing dominion
via consolidation of capital at the people’s expense
concentrates it periodically, ratcheting up its intensity,
during engineered crises like wars and depressions.

The United States is no longer the home of the free and the brave
where life, liberty and happiness are pursued,
but of people living in fear of financial and physical terrorism
and co-opted by the carnival of consumerism.

It’s a cauldron of inequality, poverty and misery
where lives are lived in quiet desperation,
in free(dom of) speech zones and the pursuit of stuff
in a marked down and militarized nation.

Americans refuse to believe that they’ve accepted to live
under a system that subjugates, denigrates and infantilizes them,
and that the many creating the wealth at the bottom
are engineered as ignorant, obedient and defensive.

And as the money is funneled up to the few
the many are bought off with shiny oil-based objects -
I-pods, X boxes, PCs, plasma TVs, SUVs,
McMansions, Mickey D’s, boob jobs and botox -

strung on a charm bracelet/slave chain
of the non-negotiable American lifestyle
constructed on the ashes our foreign trade policies
have made of other people’s rights and their lives.

Americans seem not to notice
that nature has been reduced from The Source
to a package of exploitable resources,
and that citizens are relegated to being consumers
who, in turn, are eaten up by their choices

or that a not-so-invisible hand signs the legislation
that makes foreign and domestic American policy
and turns what started as participatory democracy
into a Donner Party version of economics.

Americans don’t want
to hear, to see, to speak, or to feel
about what’s actually happening to them
or being done in their name,
but most of all they don’t want to
because thinking leads to
cognitive dissonance and confronting the pain
of knowing how the American lifestyle
is, and has been, maintained.

But the aversion therapy administered in schools
and cultural reinforcement thereafter
keeps them safely away from
the truth,
imprisoned like dogs
with electronic shock collars.

And besides, they’re so busy with their shopping,
which is Americans’ ultimate function,
that they don’t have the time to tune into
what that “little voice” has been trying to tell them

that this system relentlessly perpetuates itself
by means of infinite, unlimited growth,
which it carries on by any means necessary
like a parasite that strangles its host.

It has to kill the goose (that’s us)
who lays the Gross Domestic Product Golden Egg
because it’s a no-holds-barred, winner-take-all,
every man on his own for himself free-for-all
until there are no eggs left to take.

It’s not ’til they’re drowning in hubris and debt
and the system turns around and stings them
that Americans are willing to hear what they already knew -
the scorpion is corporate capitalism.

Vi Ransel is an anti-capitalist poet of exceptional caliber.


All blogs are really just small snapshots of a person's mind, heart and soul as they evolve together through life....

Small bits of the thread of life we weave together into the fabric of ourselves, in the hope we will make sense of our existence, individual and collective.

On this page, is the cloak I have fashioned from my fabric to warm myself in a universe which often makes little sense.

Inside my cloak, it is warm enough to face the blistering cold winds of the insane world in which I find myself.

If you find some a bit of 'the good stuff' here, it has been my pleasure.