Nov 11 2010
This essay got not nearly enough attention. Do you agree with me? It practically says it all:
A Recipe for Fascism
By Chris Hedges
American politics, as the midterm elections demonstrated, have descended into the irrational. On one side stands a corrupt liberal class, bereft of ideas and unable to respond coherently to the collapse of the global economy, the dismantling of our manufacturing sector and the deadly assault on the ecosystem. On the other side stands a mass of increasingly bitter people whose alienation, desperation and rage fuel emotionally driven and incoherent political agendas. It is a recipe for fascism.
More than half of those identified in a poll by the Republican-leaning Rasmussen Reports as “mainstream Americans” now view the tea party favorably. The other half, still grounded in a reality-based world, is passive and apathetic. The liberal class wastes its energy imploring Barack Obama and the Democrats to promote sane measures including job creation programs, regulation as well as criminal proceedings against the financial industry, and an end to our permanent war economy. Those who view the tea party favorably want to tear the governmental edifice down, with the odd exception of the military and the security state, accelerating our plunge into a nation of masters and serfs. The corporate state, unchallenged, continues to turn everything, including human beings and the natural world, into commodities to exploit until exhaustion or collapse.
All sides of the political equation are lackeys for Wall Street. They sanction, through continued deregulation, massive corporate profits and the obscene compensation and bonuses for corporate managers. Most of that money-hundreds of billions of dollars-is funneled upward from the U.S. Treasury. The Sarah Palins and the Glenn Becks use hatred as a mobilizing passion to get the masses, fearful and angry, to call for their own enslavement as well as to deny uncomfortable truths, including global warming. Our dispossessed working class and beleaguered middle class are vulnerable to this manipulation because they can no longer bear the chaos and uncertainty that come with impoverishment, hopelessness and loss of control. They have retreated into a world of illusion, one peddled by right-wing demagogues, which offers a reassuring emotional consistency. This consistency appears to protect them from the turmoil in which they have been forced to live. The propaganda of a Palin or a Beck may insult common sense, but, for a growing number of Americans, common sense has lost its validity.
The liberal class, which remains rooted in a world of fact, rationalizes placating corporate power as the only practical response. It understands the systems of corporate power. It knows the limitations and parameters. And it works within them. The result, however, is the same. The entire spectrum of the political landscape collaborates in the strangulation of our disenfranchised working class, the eroding of state power, the criminal activity of the financial class and the paralysis of our political process.
Commerce cannot be the sole guide of human behavior. This utopian fantasy, embraced by the tea party as well as the liberal elite, defies 3,000 years of economic history. It is a chimera. This ideology has been used to justify the disempowerment of the working class, destroy our manufacturing capacity, and ruthlessly gut social programs that once protected and educated the working and middle class. It has obliterated the traditional liberal notion that societies should be configured around the common good. All social and cultural values are now sacrificed before the altar of the marketplace.
May 19 2010
Yes, this is Congressman Mark Souder discussing abstinence. The women who is interviewing him is the one who he was having an affair with. Can’t be blamed. Abstinence and hypocrisy makes me horny too:
Jan 16 2009
Did you ever hear National Lampoon’s “Missing Basement Tapes”?
It contained a swearing out ceremony for Dick Nixon. It was Rev. Billy Graham:
“Gawd Damn you Richard Nixon! Richard Nixon, you Son-of-a-bitch, you lied your ass off to the American People. Now f**k off!”
We need to organize a Bush Swearing-Out Ceremony for GW, Cheney and the whole gang posthaste.
Hell, we could do it right here. I know I need the opportunity to vent. What say you?
Alternatively, we could take a no pants subway ride:
Jan 16 2009
I was looking for some history and got some ideas:
: Where does the expression “to ride some one out on a rail” come from?
: Thanks for any information.
TARRED AND FEATHERED – “At Salem, on September 7, 1768, an informer named Robert Wood ‘was stripped, tarred and feathered and placed on a hogshead under the Tree of Liberty on the Common.’ This is the first record of the term ‘tarred and feathered’ in America. Tarring and feathering was a cruel punishment where hot pine tar was applied from head to toe on a person and goose feathers were stuck into the tar. The person was then ignited and ridden out of town on a rail (tied to a splintery rail), beaten with sticks and stoned all the while. A man’s skin often came off when he removed the tar. It was a common practice to tar and feather Tories who refused to join the revolutionary cause, one much associated with the Liberty Boys, but the practice was known here long before the Revolution. In fact, it dates back even before the first English record of tarring and feathering, an 1189 statute made under Richard the Lionhearted directing that any thief voyaging with the Crusaders ‘shal have his head shorne and boyling pitch powred upon his head, and feathers or downe strewn upon the same, whereby he may be known, and so at the first landing place they shal come to, there to be cast up.’ Though few have been tarred and feathered or ridden out of town on a rail in recent years, the expression remains to describe anyone subjected to indignity and infamy.” From “Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins” by Robert Hendrickson (Facts on File, New York, 1997).
Dec 24 2008
Yahoo News/AFP reports that the Elie Wiesel Foundation lost nearly everything in the Madoff scheme. I’m sure you are all aware of Holocaust survivor Wiesel and his work. Lest we think these Wall Street schemes only effect the rich and the rich wannabees.
“We are writing to inform you that the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity had 15.2 million dollars under management with Bernard Madoff Investment Securities,” said the foundation, which aims to combat anti-Semitism, on its website. “This represented substantially all of the Foundation’s assets,” it said. “We are deeply saddened and distressed that we, along with many others, have been the victims of what may be one of the largest investment frauds in history.”
Wiesel, 80, a Nobel laureate and prolific author who survived the Holocaust, created the foundation some 20 years ago to foster international dialogue and youth programs to teach tolerance.
I suspect we will see, in time, that the machinations of Wall Street and the big banks will begin to effect everyday people more and more everyday. Madoff is the tip of a very big iceberg.
Yet, I have heard shockingly little from O and the Congressional democrats on new regulation, much less holding these scumbags accountable, other than the ridiculous bail out schemes we have seen to date. Instead, the people at the center of these ridiculous financial instruments and schemes (e.g., Lawrence Summers, Robert Rubin) have been systematically invited in to advise O. It is time to call these people out for what they are, scumbags, and assure they have nothing to do with government, the banking industry or Wall Street anytime in the future.