Saturday, February 25, 2006

Working People in the Coyote's Den

Bill Moyer, president of the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy, and who is a founding member of the social activist group known as the Movement for a New Society, is currently on an eight day speaking trip in California. Tom Paine has released the text of his prepared speech entitled, Restoring The Public Trust, which deals with the issue of money and politics.

It is a Dick Cheney world out there – a world where politicians and lobbyists hunt together, dine together, drink together, play together, pray together and prey together, all the while carving up the world according to their own interests.

This is all about power and the ever-widening gap between our law-makers and the common people here in this country. It's about how the two worlds of the affluent and the working people could hardly be any farther separated than they currently are. It's about a privileged few who consistently have the public official's entire attention while the working people are treated as no more than the buzz of a pesky insect around their ears. It's about a colony of mice living within the confines of a coyote's den.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Detention for Dissension?

David Horowitz warned us back in 2003 that the anti-war activists weren't concerned about peace. Horowitz claimed these people hiding behind the peace movement were actually a Fifth Column communist movement intent on defeating America in it's war on Saddam. Horowitz himself, back in the late sixties and early seventies, was an editor of the radical magazine Ramparts, and he was associated with the New Left. He is now one of the major mouthpieces of the neoconservative movement within the government.

On the day after the U.S. military action in Iraq begins, the Fifth Column is preparing to begin its own war at home. The plan is to cause major disruptions – illegal in nature – in cities across the country to disrupt the flow of normal civic life. These actions will tie up Homeland Security forces and create a golden opportunity for domestic terrorists. The Fifth Column left is also planning to invade military bases.

Horowitz now believes and practices in the Straussian philosophy of coercive restraint within our society, and his views and ideas are being picked up by others within the governmental structure of the U.S. Just this month in a Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing, Senator Lindsey Graham stated that the executive administration of Bush and Co. not only has the right, but the duty to pursue Fifth Column movements.

So my friends on the other side, I stand by this president's ability, inherent to being commander in chief, to find out about fifth column movements, and I don't think you need a warrant to do that.

Apparently any concerned citizen who questions the executive branch of our government, no longer is entitled to the Bill of Rights provided them under the Constitution. Our current administration believes a citizen's rights can be ignored as long as the Reich labels them as sympathizing or collaborating with the enemy. It's much easier and beneficial for totalitarians to label a person who sympathizes with the victims of the war as a Fifth Columnist who are no more than domestic terrorists. It seems apparent, at least in part, that the current neoreich's eavesdropping techniques were not initiated only for Al-Qaeda supporters within our country. It's about the Reich's unchained authority to snoop on citizen's e-mails and phone calls under the premise of national security. It's a perfect plan orchestrated by a growing totalitarian regime who are intent on constructing a governmental structure in order to "take us where they want us to go"! Labeling dissidents as Fifth Columnists is an old trick which has been used through by totalitarians throughout history. According to the testimony by Hermann Goering at the Nuremberg Tribunal for war crimes, Hitler proposed the Reich be modeled after the United States.

"The Fuehrer told me then that the simplest thing to do would be to take as example the United States of America, where the head of the state is at the same time also the head of the government. Thus following the example of the United States, we combined the
position of the head of the state with the head of the government, and he called himself Fuehrer of the German people and Reich Chancellor of the German Reich." (Robert E.Conot, "Justice at Nuremberg", Harper &Row, New York, 1983, p. 333)

The similarity between Hitler's idea of ruling and our current administration's increase in executive powers is uncanny and cannot be ignored. The comparison is just too easy. The unitary executive theory makes our president untouchable no matter what he does and the use of the signing statement by our president places him above the law of the land. We can today read from the diary of Hitler's sidekick and head of propaganda Joeseph Goebbels, and overlay his words with what we see in our country today.

"The struggle is a light one now as we are able to employ all the means of the state. Radio and press are at our disposal."

So are our dissenters destined to become enemies of the state, or as they are being called now, Fifth Columnists? This is how power is consolidated within the state. By creating enemies of the state, totalitarians can pool their power within their tight circle of supporters and silence dissent within their regime. By creating enemies of the state, administrations can use border-line legal acts to create a police state. Such was the case in Germany with the use of the Reichstag Fire Decree to place fear within the people concerning terrorists and also with the initiation of the Enabling Acts, in which the reich was granted the right to bypass due process of suspected Fifth Columnists. This Act was used to strip people of their rights, break trade unions, and to make rival parties illegal. All done legally, although questionably, to increase power in the Nazi regime. Like I said before, it's just too easy to link the resemblance of the Bush and Hitler regimes. Perhaps too easy!

Contracts have been awarded to Halliburton's subsidary KBR to build detention camps within the U.S., supposedly as part of a plan for the removal of certain aliens and potential terrorists. According to Peter Dale Scott, these detention camps are part of a longer-term Homeland Security plan titled Operation Endgame. Operation Endgame was authorized in 2003 as an addition to the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798. which has been used through history to silence free speech and to violate human rights. The Patriot Act as written defines terrorism as acts intended “to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion.” With this broad definition, basically anyone who does not adhere to the Reich's views or directions, could be labeled as Fifth Columnists and could see the inside of one of these detention camps.

On Feb. 17 of this year, in a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld spoke of the harm being done to the country's security, not just by the enemy, but also by what he called "news informers" who needed to be combated in "a contest of wills." Two days earlier, citing speeches critical of Bush by Al Gore, John Kerry, and Howard Dean, conservative columnist Ben Shapiro called for "legislation to prosecute such sedition."

All of these plans we now see, along with other related programs, are said to be part of a Continuity of Government Plan which has been in design since Reagan was in office. Among the designers of the COG plan back in the 80's were Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Oliver North. Just a coincidence? Yeah, I'm sure that's all it is. And the plan proposed by Oliver North and his associates back in the 80's entitled Rex 84, which was to test the governments ability to detain large numbers of American citizens in case of massive civil unrest, is also just a coincidence. Under Homeland Security restructuring, civil missions should be based on the Operation Garden Plot model for civil unrest. We have been under the Bush implemented COG ever since the planes crashed into the World Trade Center.

I don't consider myself an honest-to-goodness conspiracy theorist. But when the facts are there for us all to see, and history can be used as a measuring stick of sorts to observe where we currently find ourselves, I cannot help but throw my two cents into the mix. And I suppose writing material such as this could mean that I am an enemy of the state and sometime in the future if the citizens of the U.S. don't wake up, summer camp could begin to have a whole new meaning and may even last throughout the entire year!

Originally published on Uncharted.

Monday, February 13, 2006

This Cowboy Wears a Black Hat

I just couldn't pass up this chance to help spread the word about the trigger-happy Cheney. This quote from The Nation says it all!

Now that the vice president has accidentally shot and wounded a companion on a quail hunt at the elite Texas ranch where rich men play with guns -- spraying his 78-year-old victim, er, friend, in the face and chest with shotgun pellets and sending the man to intensive care unit of a Corpus Christi hospital -- it has become clear that Cheney was doing the country a service when he avoided service.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Outlaw Women

With the death of Betty Friedan on February 4, 2006, Wendy Wasserstein on January 30, 2006, and Coretta Scott King also on January 30, 2006, just before the mark of International Women's Day (IWD), I thought it appropriate to expand on the importance of women's roles in structuring a more just society. The IWD, which is celebrated each year slips by quietly without much fanfare I'm afraid. And it's sad to say that in our media, there isn't near enough literature on the accomplishments of women, not to mention the sacrifices they have endured in the name of justice. We need to take a long, hard look at the importance of the roles women have played in the social issues which have plagued human beings throughout history as well as in our present social dilemma. Some of you may be very surprised at the level of dedication and solidarity shown by the women who have involved themselves in building a better world, and hopefully some of you will have the ability to draw strength from their bravery, honesty, and stick-to-itiveness. Throughout history, women have shown they harbor large amounts of all three of these characterizations.

International Women's Day is marked on the 8th day of March every year. It is a day in which the world celebrates not only the unbelievable struggles of women through our history, but also their economic, political, and social achievements as well. The movement for women's rights arose out of women's sense of alliance with one another and their shared discontents. Women were involved in and welcomed into the American Anti-Slavery Society in 1833. The campaign against slavery saw some prominent women emerge into the political light. Women such as Lucretia Mott, who was the first to sign the women's Declaration of Sentiments. Women such as Anglelina Grimké who delivered the famous speech on slavery at Pennsylvania Hall. And women such as Abby Kelley Foster who devoted her life in the fight for justice. At her funeral Samuel May delivered a eulogy and spoke of Abby's legend

Few Americans can be named...who did so much for the abolition of American slavery as did the woman whose worn-out frame lies before us. She was one of the few whose words startled and aroused the land; who compelled attention; who made the guilty tremble; who forced sleeping consciences to awake; and forbade that they should sleep again until slavery ceased. We all have heard of self-sacrifice. In Mrs.Foster we saw it. From the hour when she left her chosen work of teaching, and through all her life, a period of fifty years, she laid herself a willing offer upon the altar of humanity and truth, of her country's and of mankind's highest and enduring welfare. She took on herself the sorrows, pains, heart-anguish, stripes and wounds of her suffering sisters and brothers."

The National Women's Loyal League was formed by Susan B. Anthony, who traveled extensively across the country lecturing for the women's right to vote, their right to own property, anti-slavery issues, and women labor organizations. Along with Susan Anthony was Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who also was instrumental in the fight for women's rights and she was the primary architect for the women's suffrage movement. And out of the era of slavery and the Civil War, we have the only woman recipient of the nation's highest military decoration, The Congressional Medal of Honor. Mary Walker, whose life as a feminist, abolitionist, prohibitionist, spy, prisoner of war, and as a surgeon is absolutely remarkable to say the least.

It is important to look at the history behind the IWD in order to grasp the growth of the movement because there were so many issues which were intertwined and instrumental leading up to the observance of IWD. On March 8, 1857, women working in the clothing and textile factories in New York City, staged a protest against the inhumane working conditions they were enduring and the low wages they were being paid. The women were met by police who attacked and dispersed them. However, in order to gain some level of basic human rights and for protection, the women formed their first labor union two years later.

It is reported, prior to their infamous strike in the early 1900s, that Samuel Gompers and a few other men, who led Local 25, made some very uninspiring speeches to the women in the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union. In response to the speeches by the officials of Local 25,

Clara Lemlich asked to be heard. Speaking in Yiddish, she declared, I am tired of listening to speakers who talk in general terms. What we are here for is to decide whether we shall or shall not strike. I offer a resolution that a general strike be declared now. Her statement made the crowd roar their approval and the chairman of the meeting rang out, Do you mean faith? Will you take the old Jewish oath? Everyone threw up their hands in approval and in Yiddish, they all took the oath, If I turn traitor to the cause I now pledge, may this hand wither from the arm I now raise! The battle cry of the women garment workers was, We'd rather starve quick than starve slow.

The first observance of IWD in the U.S. was on the 28th day of February in 1909. Another relevant issue which the IWD commemorates is the fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in 1911. Backed by the Socialist Party of America and the Socialist International, the IWD was established and spread throughout a large part of Europe and the demonstrations of the IWD in Russia is said to be the initial stage of the Russian Revolution of 1917. The IWD has roots in the peace movements as far back as World War I and also in the movement for Women's Suffrage. Many have heard about Franklin Roosevelt and his advocacy of the New Deal as a means to recover from the depression, but few have heard of the importance of his wife Eleanor Roosevelt and her involvement in the women's movement. However, the prevalence of the movement dwindled after the depression era but was renewed by the feminist movement of the 60's, and women's continued efforts to gain equality and respect in not only the workplace but within the entire social structure of the people. The feminism of the 60's is often called second-wave feminism.

In the social turmoils of the civil rights movement of the 60's, the emergence of a stronger solidarity among women was seen. When the Bitch Manifesto was published in 1968, a new era began and women's voices began to be heard once more in unison and the fight for equality, justice, and respect was back in society's face! The strength of the feminists in the 60's shook the predominately male structures in place and shocked a public which had turned a blind eye to the injustices wrought on women throughout history.

And Bitches must form together in a movement to deal with their problems in a political manner. They must organize for their own liberation as all women must organize for theirs. We must be strong, we must be militant, we must be dangerous. We must realize that Bitch is Beautiful and that we have nothing to lose. Nothing whatsoever.

When Joreen Freeman published her manifesto, it raised many eyebrows but not near as much as the extremely anti-male militant publication of the S.C.U.M. Manifesto (Society for Cutting Up Men). Now Valerie Solanas really got people's attention (especially the male of our species), and Valerie is best known for the shooting of Andy Warhol! Valerie scared the hell out of the testosterone poisoned male order who had been taught and believed nothing existed outside of Masculism.

To call a man an animal is to flatter him; he’s a machine, a walking dildo.Valerie Solanas, Authoress of the SCUM Manifesto

The women's movement of the 60's was an awakening for everyone and the feminist movement changed the face of society forever. Today the women's movement not only continues to fight for equal rights, but has moved into other controversial territories such as reproductive rights, military enrollment, clergy, affirmative action, pornography, sexual harassment, and even surrogate motherhood. All important and controversial issues which much be addressed and debated. Many within the feminist movement today proudly call themselves third-wave feminists who concentrate on expanding the common definitions of gender and sexuality. The fight continues today as women's salaries all too often remain lower than those of their male counterparts, and barriers against women's rights are continually being challenged. The remaining injustices are being tackled daily in the courts and conference rooms, the homes and organizations, workplaces and playing fields of America.

There are many organizations of feminist activists who continue to work on eliminating discrimination and harassment in the workplace, schools, and the justice systems here in the U.S. The National Organization for Women (NOW) is the largest organization here in the states and they have been instrumental in bringing about change in ending all forms of violence against women, eradicating racism, sexism and homophobia, and they continue to promote equality and justice within our society. The Association for Women's Rights in Development is an international organization devoted to connecting, informing, and mobilizing people and organizations in the fight for gender equality, sustainable development, and women's human rights.

Hopefully this March 8th, we don't let the International Women's Day slip away once more without giving it the full recognition it deserves. Perhaps we will share a little of the history of the women activists of the past who have been so instrumental in bringing about so many important aspects of social justice. And maybe we can recognize our current women activists who sacrifice daily so that all of us, regardless of our gender, can live in a more just and equal society. Though Friedan, Wasserstein, and King are no longer around to be icons of the women's struggle, the feminists will continue to move forward through the work of younger women. Women who may not ascribe to the exact ideals or work of their predecessors, but who are just as dedicated to the spirit of the movement, which hasn't really changed. Coretta Scott King once said, Struggle is a never ending process. Freedom is never really won; you earn it and win it in every generation.

This story was originally published on Uncharted

Monday, February 06, 2006

The Predator and the Prey

The phrase, "survival of the fittest", has been used throughout history by capitalists in describing how the free market system works. This rhetoric has been instrumental in turning our society into a "predator vs. prey" structure which places the corporation in the role of the predator and the working people in the role of it's prey. Forget the two class system of "rich vs. poor". It doesn't do justice to the dilema we now find ourselves within. The working people and their families are literally being eaten alive by the stalking corporate predators. Their appetite is insatiable and they have been devouring anything and everything that happens to cross their paths. Almost 80% of our population is preyed upon by the wealthy minority and they do practically nothing about the situation. Some even welcome the snarling predator with submissive smiles and they never pull against the chains the predators have placed around their necks to keep them restrained. The corporate predator is nothing more than a slave master and you can guess who are the slaves!

Corporate interests think by labeling their free market agendas in some kind of "natural selective theory", it will make their system seem believable and somehow a natural part of society. But the fact is, their "survival of the fittest" rhetoric only uses wealth as a leverage to impose greater economic risk upon the working class. All the while they consume our lives, they remain insulated from risk because they have already devoured the political and justice systems that should be protecting the common people. What few meaningless protections we once thought we had, have been digested, and what remains is the corporate feces or what is better known as an "empirical shit"! Our governments mirror corporate interests due in large part to our failure to remain vigil. We are all guilty of placing more value on ease and convenience over self-education and sacrifice. And our pursuit of truth has taken the backseat to comfort. We are guilty of accepting what we are told by authority without questioning or even requesting evidence. We can no longer afford comfort! We have reached the point we have to bear the burden of truth and it's assault on our conscience. We are now forced to think differently about who we are personally and how we fit into the global awakening of the common people.

I suppose these predators haven't heard about the extinctinon of the dinosaurs due to adverse climatic and enviromental changes which altered the survival rate of one of the best examples of the earth's fittest. Once giants, they died out and the smaller ones adapted to a new world. One thing is for certain in this world we are passing through, and that is the innevitable "change"! Change exists as a creator and change means life. Without change, there is no growth, and without growth, life ceases to exist. Just as a plant, an animal, or our very earth would die without change, so to will a society. If the corporate giants think they will live forever, they are living in a fantasy world. Their time as the predator on this earth is limited and the change in the social enviroment is taking place as we speak. The perfect enviroment the corporate interests have built for themselves is being overcome by changes in social climates throughout the globe. They will be on the endangered structures list before too much longer. The more we discuss the inequalities within our societies and the injustice of the corporate system, the more people learn the truth. Take for example the story about Exxon/Mobil and Chevron/Texaco reaping record breaking profits at the world's expense. While we are paying record prices for gas and oil, these corporations are breaking profit records. Now just what is wrong with this picture and how much longer do you think the common people are going to be willing to accept this practice?

I talk with people daily about the upcoming transition where the corporate predator starves for lack of food. The question always comes up about how the change will take place if we don't have some type of charismatic leader to glue us all together into a more focused entity. I have been in the structured life we live for over fifty years now and I don't believe there is anyone who has been more institutionalized as myself. Yet, I don't see the need for the same type of structures we have seen come and go forever, and I believe it's time for an alternative. I for one don't think waiting for a certain type leader which fits a certain definition is a good idea. But there are a lot of people who seem content to wait for a leader or a group of leaders they can follow. We have been institutionalized to the point we are afraid to think for ourselves and that we can't accomplish anything without some sort of structure in place of which we are familiar. I believe Eugene Debs was way ahead of his time when he said,

“Too long have the workers of the world waited for some Moses to lead them out of bondage. I would not lead you out if I could; for if you could be lead out, you could be led back again. I would have you make up your minds there is nothing that you cannot do for yourselves.”

The reign of corporate power was engineered by sinister minds who had an uncontrollable lust for unlimited wealth which bought unrestrained power. The mass media was the corporate world's illegitimate child and it aided and abetted it's injust parent every step of the way. We are not without guilt, as we fell asleep while we should have been guarding our rights. We have become the ground that has allowed this corporate fascism to sprout and grow, and the harvest is a poisonous weed which is choking the common working people. When will we say "enough"? When will enough of us have the conviction to rise, fight, and kill the weed which is killing us? The system seems completely out of control and almost impossible to change from within due to the fact the corporatists own the system.

Social changes have to be instituted by the people through unity, organization, and struggle. It's not easy for any of us to question authority or reject the mainstream idealism, especially when our family, friends, and the majority of our society are satisfied in their complacency and continue to offer themselves as a sacrifice to the corporate predator. Once we do step outside the norm, attacks are innevitable and our livelihoods can be threatened and at times even bodily harm to the outsiders can be expected. But all social change has required sacrifice and struggle. So what does that leave us? I'd say it's going to take filling the streets with massive protests. Millions of people marching in the streets with an unrelenting resolve to change the system. I believe this may be the only way we can dislodge the corporate tentacles that are choking us because mass rebellion is practically the only thing the predator has left to fear and this predator hasn't developed a taste for the bile flavor of rebellion!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The Media and War

As far back as the Revolutionary War here in the U.S., the media has played a huge role in the structuring of war and has been an integral part of the strategies associated with wars. Swaying public opinion and attempting to alter their opinions so as to support and reinforce a certain belief has always been a tool of leadership in practically all of our societies. And the art of propaganda was very much alive even during revolutionary times. War was beginning to be fought with words as well as gunpowder. The printing press allowed dissemination of information via pamphlets and zines and this contributed greatly to the continued loyalty of the frontiersmen towards the revolution against Great Britain.

I found this letter from an American farmer, Distresses of a Frontier Man, to be very interesting and found myself alive in his place and I could feel and understand his confusion and anguish as he finds himself and his family in the midst of a war he doesn't really understand. He speaks of both parties and their claims of righteousness and truths. What one party calls meritorious, the other denominates flagitious. These opinions vary, contract, or expand, like the events of the war on which they are founded. What can an insignificant man do in the midst of these jarring contradictory parties, equally hostile to persons situated as I am? It's always the millions of common people who have to suffer and endure the most, due to the decisions of a handful of leaders who must convince these same millions of the righteousness of their actions.

The innocent class are always the victim of the few; they are in all countries and at all times the inferior agents, on which the popular phantom is erected; they clamour, and must toil, and bleed, and are always sure of meeting with oppression and rebuke. It is for the sake of the great leaders on both sides, that so much blood must be spilled; that of the people is counted as nothing. Great events are not achieved for us, though it is by us that they are principally accomplished; by the arms, the sweat, the lives of the people.

Propaganda has become so woven within the context of war that the two are inseparable. The people who have been thrust into these wars have always relied on letters from home to hold on to a level of sanity. News passed by word of mouth from other soldiers back during the revolutionary and civil war times was about the only way of gaining at least some thread of truth as to what was happening and how the war was going. And soldiers have always had a desire to express their feelings and have written and sang their feelings about the wars of which they have found themselves immersed. I suppose this allowed them a little bit of civilization in the midst of the destruction and horror. Back in these early days of war, propaganda had a tendency to take a backseat to the basic need to survive. But as the world began industrializing and technology began to grow, we see the art of propaganda increased as well and soldiers in the field were more exposed to the structure of propaganda.

World War I marked a turning point in how the media could be used more proficiently in spreading the agendas of the war machines. With the formation of the Committee on Public Information (CPI), along with the Office of War Information (OWI), we see a new coordinated effort by institutionalized national programs aimed at promoting the agendas of war. Walter Lippman was a well known contributor in the formation of the CPI. And from this new art of "engineering consent" and "mis-information" grew the new industry called Public Realtions.

the [First] World War led to the discovery of propaganda by both the man in the street and the man in the study. The discovery was far more startling to the former than the latter, because the man in the study had predecessors who had laid firm foundations for his efforts to understand propaganda. The layman had previously lived in a world where there was no common name for the deliberate forming of attitudes by the manipulation of words. - Harold Lasswell -

Then came World War II, and another milestone was reached in the growth of propaganda. The world now had radios and broadcasts in practically everyone's home was possible. On top of that, we now had newsreels, documentaries, and Hollywood! The government organized it's efforts to influence radio programming, censoring dissident voices, and even produced it's own programs. According to Gerd Horten in his book, Radio Goes to War, Washington actually created a master schedule, dubbed the National Allocation Plan, for advancing it's messages in radio comedies, soap operas, and other series. And Hollywood, and it's ability as a dream factory, began to implant emotions within the people and fostered an increased identification between the people and the righteousness of the war. World War II also saw the appearance of the American Forces Network and the entrance of the military into actually broadcasting to the troops in the battlefield. AFN has continued to broadcast since it's inception and has been heard in Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Of course the AFN has always been accused of censoring and editing programs to fit the military needs.

Then along comes the longest war in American history. The Vietnam War was here, and the world had their first "Television War", and this is when the propaganda machine begins to fall apart. I kind of like thinking about Vietnam as the Rock and Roll War myself, but that's just me. As I was in the middle of this one, I naturally know a little more about the propaganda and the reasons why the old ways of spreading it began to fail during this war. By bringing scenes from the battlefield right into the people's homes, something different began taking shape. People no longer could view war as they had in the past, and the heroics associated with past wars didn't mean the same thing anymore. People began to "see" for themselves the truth of war, the horrors of war! Robert Morecook, maintains a site dedicated to the American Forces Vietnam Network, which has many exceptional links to the historical significance of how the media was used and how it was transformed by the troops themselves. The Rock and Roll Report has an article on the AFVN as well.

War is a tragic and brutal thing that Hollywood often glamorizes for the sake of a good story. Nothing will change that fact. The men and women behind AFVN were not there to glamorize or trivialize the Vietnam War, far from it. They attempted to humanize a very inhuman act with as much humor and honesty as they could muster. What they did on the airwaves through AFVN was create an oasis of humanity in a dessert of destruction and one can only admire them for that. They also were responsible for some damn good radio and that is still cool no matter where they broadcasted from. The fact that it was from a war zone on the other side of the world makes this a fascinating story indeed.

Underground radio or Bullshit Net as it was known, began to appear in Vietnam and for the first time, soldiers were using the media to express "their" views and opinions. And they were playing the music which was banned by the AFVN and the military. Radio First Termer was broadcasting out of Saigon and words couldn't do it's popularity justice. Right on Rabbit!

Now we have Afghanistan and Iraq, and we have GIs with Internet access! And with this infotool comes nightmares for the military structure and the functionality of the propaganda machine, but the soldiers haven't backed up from getting their messages out and the GIs over there have and will continue to publish some really fascinating material via their blogs. Great work guys! These blogs have faced much military scrutiny and NPR has some great information concerning the "new age" war in the Middle East and an extensive list of GI bloggers. The Internet is to disinformation as Raid is to bugs! But throughout last year there was an increase in the military clamping down on blogs created by their personnel. Jason Hartley was demoted and fined for security violations on his blog.

Nowadays, milbloggers "get shut down almost as fast as they're set up," said New York Army National Guard Spc. Jason Christopher Hartley, 31, of upstate New Paltz, who believes something is lost as the grunt's-eye take on Tikrit or Kabul is silenced or sanitized.

Now the propaganda machine is in it's decline, but that doesn't mean it is going to roll over and submit to the public. Oh no, by no means will that happen. These guys in the Middle East are some real people, and they understand too well how important the truth is to our world. And they have witnessed how the truth can get twisted and re-wrote to fit within an institution's structured agendas. Just a few days ago a secret Pentagon paper was released concerning the current war propaganda machine. This "roadmap" on war propaganda calls for boundaries between information operations abroad and the news media at home, while providing no such limits. The released paper states that as long as the American public is not targeted, then leakage of PSYOP to the public really doesn't matter. PSYOP in case you haven't heard of it, is Psychological Operations. Check out Rumsfeld's Roadmap to Propaganda. Yeah, propaganda is still alive, but it's no longer doing well thanks to you. And you and the world are becoming more aware and the recognition of propaganda is much easier now. It's dying and I for one don't have any plans on going to it's funeral!

And while you're at it, you may want to check out the use of music in PSYOP. Propaganda, propaganda, propaganda, follow me, follow me, follow me, look this way, look this way, look this way, I swear it's the truth, I swear it's the truth, I swear it's the truth! If it's repeated enough times, at the appropriate times, and in a credible format, they'll begin to believe it! "If you'll just listen to me for a minute, I think I can make you understand the Big Picture, and it's importance in regard to the survival of our social structure!"
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