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We Shall Overcome

Robert Freeman  . . .

For the past 30 years, the rich have been waging war on the middle class. It’s been astonishingly effective, partly because it has been undeclared. But even that pretense is now being abandoned.  The President’s National Debt Commission has effectively declared that the rich will now go after what is left of working and middle class wealth and will take whatever steps are necessary to seize it.  If allowed, their plan will reduce Americans to a state of serfdom.

That’s the agenda of the bankers, it’s the agenda of the courts, it’s the agenda of the corporate media and the politicians in D.C.  

Machiavelli was an idealistic proponent of political virtue and a paragon of integrity compared to the moral debris in two-party suits who “govern” America.  He wouldn’t last 30 seconds inside the Beltway, that crowd of thugs would fold, spindle, mutilate and deep-six him so fast he’d be inhaling mud at the bottom of the Potomac before he even knew what hit him.

That’s what we’ve been up against, a political system of ruthless efficiency masquerading as a partisan circus of flip-flopping acrobats, tax-and-spend trapeze artists, high-wire tightrope-walkers from swing districts, lions and tigers and bears growling about gridlock, and plenty of elephants trumpeting all over the place.  In the opinion of eager ticket buyers like Tweety, it’s the greatest show on earth.

But the politicians seem to be growing weary of the charade . . .    

The Commission’s proposal is the most naked, undisguised declaration of class warfare possible.  It’s agenda is not to reduce the deficit, but rather to reduce what is left of the American middle class and American workers to a condition of servitude, of feudal peerage.  This will make possible the final looting of America by those whose sociopathic greed has brought it so low already.  The battle over this proposal is the last bulwark against the devastation and final destruction of America.

Justice and equality are being taken away everywhere, by politicians and generals, by dictators and ayatollahs, by lawless regimes from Burma to Moscow, from Tehran to Tel Aviv, from Pakistan to America and everywhere in between.  Oppression takes many forms, “leaders” trot out different justifications, they may even believe some of them, but that does not erase their guilt, it does not absolve them of their crimes, it will not wash away the blood on their hands.  

The Bonfire of the Insanities

Bobby Kennedy . . .

Whenever we tear at the fabric of life which another man has painfully and clumsily woven for himself and his children.  Whenever we do this, the whole nation is degraded.  Too often, we honor swagger and bluster and the wielders of force, too often, we excuse those who are willing to build their own lives on the shattered dreams of others.

The degradation is far worse now than it was in the last year of Bobby Kennedy’s life.  Those who build their lives and careers on the shattered dreams of others control everything–the corporations, the banks, the media, the House, the Senate, the Supreme Court, and that presidency Obama has turned into a dream shattering ride into a firestorm.    

Welcome to Dresden.  

Welcome to the slaughterhouse of shattered dreams.

Where the only thing the votes of We the People determine is whether we burn or bleed to death.

The Rule Stands

The intensifying Israel/Palestine crisis has generated the necessity of reexamining Docudharma’s current policy of requiring preapproval for I/P essays.  A range of opinions have been expressed regarding the validity of this policy, most have been stated respectfully, a few have been inflammatory.  The current policy is still being defended by the Admins and CE’s, based upon their view that the content of I/P essays must be preapproved in order to avoid angry words being exchanged in essay threads.

I have a fundamental problem with that policy.  The censorship aspect of it is problematic enough, but even more problematic is what it reveals about progressive weaknesses, weaknesses which have crippled our ability to have any impact on the political, social, and economic systems in this clusterfuck of a country.    

Progressives shouldn’t get so freaked out about angry name-calling in an essay thread. What the fuck? How are we ever going to have any impact on the government or anything else when something as relatively minor and trivial as name-calling and insults in an essay thread freaks everyone out?  The participants exchange increasingly angry words, everyone else curls into a fetal position, and nothing is ever resolved anyway.    

It’s no wonder everyone in D.C. laughs at us and tells us to go fuck ourselves.

We need to get tougher, we need to get a lot tougher and we need to do it in a fucking hurry.

But The Rule Stands.  I’m told The Rule has to stand because . . .  

Discussions of I/P almost always instantly degenerate into knee jerk apologies for unconscionable actions on the one hand and anti semitic hate speech on the other.

So fucking WHAT?  

Progressives haven’t done a damn thing about 8 years of Bush/Cheney war crimes and torture, they haven’t done a damn thing about 30 years of Democratic betrayals, they haven’t done a damn thing to generate change on any major issue, but if angry words are exchanged on a blog, then the hammer comes down.  The mighty admins draw the line at that.   A million people have been killed in Iraq, Wall Street perpetrated the greatest financial crime in all of human history, BP unleashed the worst ecological disaster ever, the list of corporate crimes against humanity is endless, but progressives have done nothing meaningful about any of it, absolutely NOTHING.  

Chickenshits.  Don’t talk to me about enforcing fucking FAQ’s while the world’s going to Hell, don’t tell me your feelings were hurt because of hate speech on an essay thread, not when we’re all in a world of hurt because criminal governments and corporations can inflict massive suffering without ever being held accountable.  Don’t tell me Docudharma will be ruined if we allow I/P essays. Go to Iraq, you’ll see what ruin looks like, go to Gaza, you’ll see what ruin looks like, go to the Gulf of Mexico, you’ll see what ruin looks like, you’ll see ruin like no one’s ever seen before.


In a Mad World of Blood, Death, and Fire

(Cross-posted at Wild Wild Left)

On Memorial Day, remember the fallen victims of every war.  Remember America’s fallen soldiers, remember their names, remember their families, remember the loved ones they left behind.  But above all else, remember how the blood, death, and fire of war are unleashed, remember why they are unleashed, remember who does the unleashing, who glorifies it, and who profits from it.

The process is always the same.  It exploits human weakness, triggers the tribal instincts within us, incites anger, and forges it into hatred.  The politicians claim a dangerous enemy is determined to destroy the homeland, they talk about patriotism, they talk about God, they talk about the greatness of their nation, the glory of their culture, the sanctity of their ideology or religion. They say the enemy is evil and deserves destruction.  The flags are waved and the guns are loaded.  The generals are summoned and given their orders.  And then the killing begins.

When I was a young man I carried me pack,

And I lived the free life of the rover,

From the Murray’s green basin to the dusty outback,

I waltzed my Matilda all over.

Then in 1915 my country said: Son,

It’s time to stop rambling, there’s work to be done,

So they gave me a tin hat and they gave me a gun,

And they sent me away to the war . . .
. . .

There’s work to be done.

That’s what America’s young men were told.  In 1950.  In 1965.  In 1989 and 1991 and 2001.  There was work to be done at the 38th Parallel.  There was work to be done in the Mekong Valley.  There was work to be done in Panama.  There was work to be done in Baghdad and Kabul and Kandahar.  That’s what they were told.

Then the politicians gave them a tin hat, and gave them a gun.

And sent them away to the war.  

Pleased To Meet You, Hope You Guess My Name

America gets everything it wants.   It wants oil, and for its sins, it’s getting oil.  70,000 barrels a day of it, coming ashore on the Gulf Coast with more on the way, flowing like black blood from that gaping wound in the earth, ripped a mile deep by the weapons of greed, held in the hands of stormtroopers of profit, nothing can stop it, no one can staunch it, that black blood will keep spilling all over our shores, through the loop current out into the Gulf Stream, up the East Coast and across the Atlantic, written on the waves like a message from Hell.    

Tell me no more of your plans to control this, tell me no more of your feeble response, the sea will not hear you, the tide will not heed you, the poison is spreading above and below. Our fate has been written in carbon emissions, in ozone depletion and polar cap melting, in black bloodstains of horror on the face of the deep.  

The devastation unleashed by BP/Transocean/Halliburton is already orders of magnitude worse than Katrina and there’s no end in sight.  A billion words have been written about this disaster, but the enormity of it is beyond words, only two words come even close to describing it . . .    

Apocalypse Now Pictures, Images and Photos

Corporate greed and political corruption have triggered this catastrophe in the Gulf, there is endless suffering ahead and no way to avoid it . . .

These are people used to surviving disaster.  It seemed there was nothing they couldn’t handle.  Until this spill.  Oysterman Buck Battle, who lost his house to Katrina, calls the oil spill “the monster of monsters.”

“I’ve never heard so much fear in people’s voices,” says Mike Tidwell, author of “Bayou Farewell,” which chronicled southern Louisiana’s long legacy of environmental problems. “A hurricane is an event with a beginning, a middle and an end.  This is more like a nuclear accident offshore and a radiation cloud is coming in.  There’s a sense of doom.”

Down the Foggy Ruins of Time

Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me.

In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come following you.

Republicans have a Tambourine Man.  His name is Limbaugh.  He’s a psychopath, but that doesn’t bother Republicans, they admire psychopaths.   Democrats have a Tambourine Man.  His name is Obama.   He panders to psychopaths every chance he gets, but that doesn’t bother Democrats, pandering to psychopaths is what they do.  They call it Centrism.

I remember Election Night 2008, I remember the hope so many progressives had that evening, but that evening’s empire of hope has turned into sand, vanished from our hands, left us blindly here to stand but still not sleeping.  Who can sleep?  Who can sleep when war crimes won’t be prosecuted, when Gitmo won’t be closed, when there’ll be no withdrawal from Iraq, when the war in Afghanistan will go on and on and on, when we’re all on a one way trip on Wall Street’s magic swirling ship, when our senses have all been stripped, when our hands can’t feel to grip, when our feet are too numb to step, when there’s nothing left to do but watch the boot heels of Karma grind what’s left of this country into dust.    

My weariness amazes me, I’m branded on my feet.  I have no one to meet, and this ancient empty street’s too dead for dreaming . . .

Independence Hall Pictures, Images and Photos

Independence Hall is just a relic from America’s forgotten past.  Democracy is gone, it’s vanished into the foggy ruins of time.

Both Sides of the River

(Cross-posted at Wild Wild Left)

In the aftermath of a tragedy 50 years ago, Woody Guthrie wrote a song about the deaths of migrant workers in a plane crash in Los Gatos Canyon.  They were being deported, and when they died, the newspapers didn’t consider it necessary to mention their names.  They’d been born on the other side of the Rio Grande River, which rendered them inferior to white, church-attending Americans and negated the need for any respect.  

The skyplane caught fire over Los Gatos Canyon,

A fireball of lightning that shook all our hills.

Who were all these friends all scattered like dry leaves?

The radio said they were just deportees . . .

Woody Guthrie didn’t consider them to be just deportees.  They were human beings, their lives mattered, so he honored them with a eulogy, he said goodbye to them.  

He knew a river runs through this land of capitalism.  The wealthiest one-percent of Americans live on one side of that river.  The rest of us live on the other side.  To the wealthiest one-percent, we have no names.  Our lives don’t matter, we’re just migrant workers in their fields, we’re just miners in their mines, we’re just numbers on a balance sheet, and unless we cross that river and scatter them like dry leaves on the wind, workers in their fields and miners in their mines is all our children will ever be.


The Gangster Economy

(Cross-posted at Wild Wild Left)

I’m told that discussing the issues is important.  I’m told it matters.  But what good does discussing the issues do when the politicians in Washington don’t give a damn about the issues?  All they care about is expanding corporate power so the corporate thugs they work for will reward them.  It doesn’t matter what the issue is, they twist and distort it until it can be used as a pretext and justification for maximizing corporate profits and increasing corporate control over everything.

If you’re one of the few Americans who has a dollar left in your pocket, take a look at it . . .  

in greed we trust, gree, economic crisis, economic downturn, economy is down, capitalism, failed capitalism, media, media influence Pictures, Images and Photos

I hope that clarifies the issues for you.  

Story Time Is Over

History is always written by the winners.  Native Americans know it, African Americans know it, Palestinians know it, working class people in every country in this world know it, every gay man or woman who has ever lived knows it.  Everyone who has ever been beaten into submission by the power of armies, by the power of economic might, by the power of entrenched religion, entrenched conformity, entrenched bigotry, entrenched conservative ideology knows it . . .  

History is always written by the winners. When two cultures clash, the loser is obliterated, and the winner writes the history books, books which glorify their own cause and disparage the conquered foe.  As Napoleon once said, ‘What is history, but a fable agreed upon?’

And what is Obama’s healthcare reform bill, but a fable agreed upon?  

By Reid.  By Pelosi.  By the Democrats.  By the reciters of fables at Daily Kos.  Check out the recommended Fable List there and behold all of the happy endings.  Hansel and Gretel follow the trail of crumbs to incremental change and everyone lives happily ever after.  Snow White ate the Poison Option and fell into a purist coma, but Prince Charming kissed her and she awoke in beautiful Healthcare Reform Land, where everyone, even the Three Bears and Three Little Pigs and Rumpelstiltskin and Pinocchio and most of the Seven Dwarfs got to take a first step towards having affordable health insurance.

That’s one small step for the Three Bears and their friends, one giant leap for the health insurance industry.

Triangulation Base here, the Vulture has landed.

But I digress . . .

It doesn’t matter when you check that place out, they’re always off to see the Wizard. Everyone is dancing down the Yellow Brick Road to the Emerald City of More and Better Democrats, where Steny the Tin Man will get a heart, Harry the Cowardly Lion will get courage, and Barack the Scarecrow will finally get a fucking brain. Whatever you do, don’t tell them they’re on a Yellow Brick Road to nowhere, the big bad wolves of Kos Communications Inc. will huff and puff and blow your house down, clean slate or not.            

Happy endings at Daily Fables are only for the true and faithful believers in Humpty Dumpty.   I’m not sure what they’ll do when Humpty falls off that Wall of Centrism, and all of Rahm’s horses and all of Rahm’s men can’t put him back together again, but if their past attitudes are any indication, far left fringe Naderites, Docudharma deadenders, radical Teabagger empowering firedogging firedoggers, Cindy Sheehan worshipping attention whore purists, and instant gratification political neophytes like us will get the blame.

The Light That’s Lost Within Us

(Cross-posted at Wild Wild Left)

Some progressives are dreamers.  Some progressives are fools.  I could provide you with more links to prove that than Wellpoint has policyholders hostages, but links aren’t required to confirm that reality, the healthcare reform fiasco has confirmed it beyond any doubt.  We have to remember though, that the Progressive Movement is still young, enduring broken dreams and indulging in foolish rationalizing are part of the process of growing and maturing.

A few Friedman Units ago, when one BushCo thunderstorm after another was deluging the nation, progressives decided something had to be done.  So on the brave and crazy wings of youth, we went flying around in the rain.  Acid rain.  A rain of blood.  A rain of corporate crime.  A rain of lies and deceit and corruption.  Our wings were torn and tattered, but there was still a light within us.  It was flickering, it was almost extinguished, it was almost lost, but it was still there . . .

Progressives were angry back then, we’re still angry at the way the earth is abused, by men who’ve learned how to forge her beauty into power.  We’re angry at the way humanity is abused, by men who’ve learned how to forge illness into profit, how to forge torture into patriotism, justice into injustice, law into lawlessness, and capitalism into a global death march into oblivion.

They’re good at that.

They’ve had plenty of practice.            

We’re struggling to protect ourselves from them, but we’re losing that struggle.  The sand is slipping through the opening.  We’re running out of time.  

Democrats Have Joined the Choir Invisible

“Hello, DNC, I wish to register a complaint.”

“Sorry, we’re closing for lunch.”

“Never mind that.  I wish to complain about this Party you sold me.”  

“Oh yes . . . the . . . uh, the Democratic Party.  Uh . . . what’s wrong with it?”

“I’ll tell you what’s wrong with it.  It’s dead, that’s what’s wrong with it.”

“No, no, it’s . . .  uh . . . it’s resting.”

“Look, I know a dead Party when I see one, and I’m looking at one right now.”

“No, no, it’s not dead, it’s . . . it’s resting.  Remarkable Party, the Democratic Party, isn’t it?  Beautiful plumage!”

Obama: Change We Can Believe In Pictures, Images and Photos

“The plumage don’t enter into it.  It’s stone dead.”

“No, no, no.  It’s just resting.”

“All right then, if it’s resting, I’ll wake it up.   Hello, Democrats!  Hello!  I’ve got a lovely contribution for you if you–”

“There!  It moved!”

“No, it didn’t move.  That was Obamabots hitting the cage.”

A New Language To Describe It

The Founding Fathers gave us democracy.  We have the moral responsibility to restore what was given to us, to take back what has been taken away by corrupt politicians of both major parties.  There is no longer any doubt that the two-party system has been used to Establish, Maintain, and Expand corporate Tyranny.  It has been used to divide and conquer, to prevent We the People from uniting in defense of our rights as citizens.  

The false paradigm of We the Left against We the Right must be rejected.  Americans must embrace a new ideology of Citizen Empowerment, they must speak a new language of Political, Social, and Economic Activism, they most forge a new movement, a local, state, and nationwide alliance encompassing the values and goals they share in common.  They must cast aside the dead language of We the Left and We the Right, for among the victims of corporate Tyranny, there is no We the Left nor We the Right anymore, there is only We the Powerless.

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