Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Artificial, Superficial, Immitations

One year after Katrina and we look back and see the blogswarm. It's so obvious that our elite have forgotten about the people it's absolutely pathetic! They just don't allow No Short People around here! If you are short and you don't agree with them, then there is no doubt that you are a nazi lover.

There's no doubt in my mind at least that we live in a political world and within this world there is no room for real people, only artificially constructed, superficially inspired immitations of human beings! It's your watch...are you awake??

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Corporate Political Hogs

"I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war. God grant that my suspicions may prove groundless."
- Abraham Lincoln -

Throughout our history, the trend in our democratic state has been that money and power be pooled into a small elite group. This has always been a problem within our political/corporate system and during my lifetime, it hasn't showed signs of changing or even slowing. Our machine politics have helped create this plutocracy over the years. It can be seen, in what George Plunkitt called "honest graft". This powerful corporate/political machine has gained it's power through what is called political patronage.

Today we see privatization and it's transference of power from the public sector of our government into the hands of the corporate sector, with it's insatiable hunger for more. The deregulation and removal of business restrictions has been very detrimental to consumer rights and has created within our country what is known as regulatory capture. As the corporations gain more and more power within our governmental agencies, we the people are being forgotten. As this illiberal democracy takes hold here in the U.S., the people are slowly beginning to wake up and see this as the American dream which has turned into an American nightmare!

As the lack of accountability and transparency continues and the corporate interests continue to gain power within our political system, we see human rights deteriorate. As our politicians become corporate pawns, we see an increase in their political protection and the war machine seemingly is growing into an indestructable leviathan which is supported by profiteering. We have allowed them to weave this web of corporate welfare and it's up to us to change this self-destructive path we have allowed our country to travel upon.

We the people, have to tear down these good 'ol boy networks and take the power out of the corporation's boardroom and put it where it belongs... back into the people's hands. In a place where honor and integrity are rarely seen, corporate law will take precedence over civil law. And as corporate law reigns, we will continue to watch the list of scandals grow as we watch the people's rights continue to wane. The alarm has gone off people...please stop hitting the snooze!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The War of Civility: Part 2

Although the South definitely stands out when we look at the stats or simply drive through the countryside, the situation isn't much better throughout the entire U.S. We live in the world's richest and most technologically advanced country. But that doesn't mean that our citizens are better off than the rest of the third world countries. In the U.S., we have a child being born into poverty every 40 seconds! That is over 2000 babies born into poverty each and every day! Or over three quarter of a million each year! And the percentage of poor children who live in working family's households is 70%.

When we compare the U.S. to the rest of the industrialized world in regard to health technology, we find they rank first! But although the U.S. ranks first, there is an estimated nine million children living within the U.S. who don't have any form of health insurance. Child welfare authorities state that it would only take $2,000 a year to provide health coverage for one child per calendar year, but somehow our country, in all it's infinite wisdom, can't work childcare into the national budget. Currently, out of 50 states, there are only 15 which provide free vaccines to children regardless of their insurance status.

And hunger goes hand in hand with the poverty and healthcare atrocities. An estimated 13 million children living within the U.S. are not getting enough to eat, and the inadequate diets of millions of others doesn't provide the nutrition needed for a healthy childhood. This is absolutely sickening! It's so difficult to believe that this corporate empire is so calloused and uncaring about their citizens and their children. While they continue to refuse aid to our own people, our leaders preach altruisms day in and day out while spreading corporate-democracy to poor countries throughout the world. Absolutely unbelievable! And yet it continues and I hate to say it but there is no change in sight!

And what of education within this great empire? Well, to start with, the Society of Civil Engineers gave a grade of D- to the condition and quality of U.S. public education school buildings. And the physical condition of the buildings gives us a clue as to the educational system itself. There is an estimated 70% of fourth graders within the U.S. who can't read or do math at grade level.

And our great country ranks 14th in efforts to raise our chlidren out of poverty as compared to the rest of the world and it ranks 18th in the percentage of children living in poverty! And how does the U.S. rank in providing healthcare for our children as compared with the entire rest of the world countries?... DEAD LAST! That's right, the bottom of the heap! Isn't that enlightening?

The U.S. does rank 1st in a couple of expenditures...The U.S. ranks 1st in nuclear defense capabilities... and 1st in nuclear defense expenditures among industrialized countries...The United States spends nearly $30 billion annually on nuclear deterrence, including strategic and tactical nuclear weapons and missile defense systems. That's about the same amount we spent, on average, during the Cold War that ended sixteen years ago. Want a video demonstration on America's nuclear stockpile? The U.S. stockpile is eqivalent to 150,000 Hiroshima-sized bombs.

If the religious fundamentalists (any of you, any religion) want to truly do something to better society, I would urge you to focus your efforts where they would do the most good. If our world religions truly want to help...then they need to get off their lazy pious asses and start helping! For once, look farther than your own livelihood and your own worldly or heavenly concerns, and do something that matters and really begin helping society. Forget about the hopeless humanists and heathens... just help the children!

Monday, August 21, 2006

The War of Civility

Being born and bred below the Mason-Dixon line, I've been witness to a great deal of civil unrest over the last 55 years. This part of the country has made some remarkable strides in civil rights, however it has been very slow and painful. And we've got so far to go! The slavery the South witnessed at the hands of the powerful landowners has disappeared only to be replaced with a slavery of the corporations and their supporters. From the view I have, there is no difference other than this corporate slavery doesn't discriminate. There is much more equality in this corporate slavery. It doesn't care what race you are; it doesn't care which ethnic group you belong to; it doesn't care which religion you choose; it doesn't care which sex you happen to be; and it doesn't care what age you are. Yes, corporate slavery doesn't discriminate like the slavery of the old days prior to the "civil war". This new post-war slavery has grown to encompass all the people of the South.

Of all the poorest counties within the entire United States, 82% of them are located in the southern states. The poor of the South are primarily rural people who don't live in an urban environment with access to public transportation. Therefore our people normally live too far away to walk to required facilities so they must own a vehicle in order to reach libraries, community centers, grocery stores, or even hospitals. The rural poor are being overlooked in our nation, although they make up over eighty percent of the poor in our country. Why is that?

The South is the only region of the country where families are experiencing a drop in median wealth. Between 2001-2004, southern families incomes dropped 18.8%. And the South accounts for half of the ten worst states when we talk about foreclosures and it's bankruptcy rates are among the highest in the nation.

According to the Kids Count Survey, the South receives the worst rankings in child well-being. If we look at the ten worst states as far as child well-being is concerned, we see that nine of them are located in the South. The only southern state to rank in the top 25 is Virginia. I suppose it's because so many of our politician's families live up that way. Or perhaps I'm wrong and entirely off base? I don't think so!

There are counties in Mississippi who have infant mortality rates higher than the average third world countries. Hurricane Katrina did a lot of damage to our gulf coast and it's people, but just look at the stats and see where the real tragedy lies.

President Roosevelt declared the South to be the nation's top economic problem in our country. That was back in 1938 and his declaration is still true today! Our education and social welfare has been sacrificed to maintain privileges and profit for an elite few. This has been accomplished by politicians and the laws they helped enact. The South has been and it remains, as our country's cheap labor factory. The huge corporate factories and the majority of the Fortune 500 companies have made expensive moves to the South. Why would these corporations be willing to spend so much capital to relocate to the southern region of our country? Why? Because it's cost effective and the South's elite few who are oiled parts within our political machine have offered we the people as an incentive for the move. Our politician's have even guaranteed that organized labor will not bother the corporation's profits because they have put in place laws which make it virtually impossible to organize people into a collective of any kind.

The people are the southern elite's bargaining chip to entice corporate America into our regions. They keep us as bargaining chips by keeping the poverty level high, and the education level low! It's a wonderful world we live in down here. Some of the most beautiful people and country that you can imagine. But the beauty becomes difficult to see when you live in the dark disastrous shadow of American greed!

There was absolutely nothing civil about the war which ended in 1865 and there is absolutely nothing civil about my South now except the people themselves. This is where the power of change lies; in the people. It's our responsibility to break the chains of corporate slavery with it's unending repetitious death by greed. The foot feels heavy on the back of my neck and the dirt within my mouth is choking the very life out of me. There has to be an end to all this injustice. I have seen it in my Brother's eyes. I know it's possible and I know the people are reaching the point of change. We are all choking on the corporatist profits!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Revolution and Cultural Hegemony

"Too many so-called leaders of the movement have been made into celebrities and their revolutionary fervor destroyed by mass media. They become Hollywood objects and lose identification with the real issues. The task is to transform society; only the people can do that—not heroes, not celebrities, not stars. The revolutionary’s place is in the community with the people."
- Huey Newton -

It was Antonio Gramsci who expanded on the theory of hegemony to explain why the working people hadn't revolted against capitalism. In his theory, Gramsci suggested that control was maintained not only by violence and political and economic coercion, but through a hegemonic culture built around the values of an elite few. The ideologies of the elite few become the values of all within society. In Gramsci's definition of hegemony, the working people within society come to identify their own good with the good of the elite few and therefore help maintain the status quo.

I don't really remember when I awoke, as it seems it has been more of a gradual awakening. Something like a dream-sleep where I couldn't tell if I was still asleep and merely dreaming what I imagined as my reality or if I was actually awake and wishing I were dreaming as a way of escaping the reality I was living! I apologize for that example, but after all, I come from the days of Wavy Gravy and the Hog Farm. A different time when the youth of our nation actually developed their own political party and the awakening of the people was guiding them into lifestyles which practiced much simpler living. A time when the people were inspired by an underground press. A time when the people were actively involved in a counterculture. A time when the people had their very own revolutionary music which was the art form that brought the movement together. The time had all this and yet it disappeared and the movement died. Well, for the most part anyway. There are still a few of us eternal revolutionaries around! The disappearence of the movement was most likely through the hegemony of which Gramsci spoke.

The power was there, and it can be again. We learn from sharing our experiences and our stories become our history. And history is a powerful teacher. We all wake at different times, different speeds, and in different ways. We all have talents which can be used to once again breathe life into a social justice awakening that will surpass anything of the past. The people need revolutionary music with songs that produce power within our communities. People need revolutionary art with graphics that incite and excite. People need revolutionary writing filled with personal stories. Stories that tell of the wins and the losses, in the fight for a more just society. But the most important thing we absolutely need; the one thing which is required for a social awakening; the most important part of the puzzle needed for our world to evolve into a more sustainable society is quite simply...each other!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Pace Setting Pension Protection

I urge everyone, if you haven't already, fight to bring transparency into our government. One good way is to utilize GovTrack and stay abreast of federal legislation, voting records, and contributions. As an example, look at the available information on H.R. 4, the Pension Protection Act of 2006.

And while we are on the PPA, just how much transparency was allowed in the formation and the passage of H.R. 4? According to the Pension Rights Center, the lack of transparency surrounding H.R. 4 is unconscionable!

H.R. 4 was sponsored by John Boehner, who lives in a two-bedroom Capitol Hill apartment owned by a Washington lobbyist. Here is a little background on Boehner:
Some background . . . The "K Street Project" was formally established in 1995 by Grover Norquist, Newt Gingrich’s chief political operative, and long-time friend of former lobbyist Jack Abramoff. The ongoing project is a high-stakes patronage scheme led initially by Rep. Tom DeLay and now Sen. Rick Santorium. When interest groups hire Republicans, they gain access and influence. When they hire Democrats, they get punished. Even before the K Street project emerged, John Boehner established his "Thursday Group," which gave an elite circle of corporate lobbyists direct access to House GOP leadership.

Today, at least 24 former aides to Boehner have registered as federal lobbyists or proceeded to work in corporate public affairs and advocacy.

Boehner's former chief of staff, Barry Jackson, is now Karl Rove's White House Deputy. Jackson is also mentioned frequently as a crony of discredited lobbyist and confessed felon Jack Abramoff.

Another sponsor of H.R. 4 is John Kline. Kline is said to have received $30,000 in contributions from former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's political action committee ARMPAC, which is tied up with money laundering charges.

Another sponsor of H.R. 4 is Bill Thomas. Thomas made a name for himself when he summoned the Capitol Hill Police to evict Democrats from a Ways and Means Committee room. Thomas later apologized for the outrageous actions.

I'm certainly glad we have the best politicians that our money can buy! It leaves me with a warm, fuzzy feeling deep inside just knowing they are watching out for my future interests as well as my children's future and that of their children. We are really blessed that our lawmakers were concerned enough about the future of America's pensions, that they were willing to rush H.R. 4 straight to the desk of "Dubya"! The House and the Senate set a record pace for ushering a bill to the oval office! The vacuum produced from the whirlwind of this bill is still sucking the wind from our lungs and making us dizzy! Gotta be a new record!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Katrina Anniversary

We are quickly coming up on the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Have we learned anything from this tragedy? I think the victims of the storm continue to be on a learning curve, especially when it comes to corporate greed and malpractice.

Vice President Cheney has profited from the Hurricane Katrina Tax Relief Act. I suppose Cheney's supporters would argue that his acts show his benevolence and his good business tactics. But from my peon viewpoint, it looks more like the same old corporate ideal of 'profits at any cost' rather than a true concern for his Brothers and Sisters!

A Government Reform Committee has already stated the government has wasted millions of dollars in post Katrina contracts and my guess is we've only seen a small portion of the abuses and the amount of wasted dollars will continue to rise. The Transportation Department inspector general has already said the government had overpaid $32 million for a Katrina evacuation contract. It's also been reported that the Corps of Engineers overpaid Akima Site Operations for portable classrooms in Mississippi.

To add insult to all the injury the gulf coast people have endured, the insurance companies are refusing to pay claims to homeowners who lost so much from the hurricane. Thousands of policyhoders have filed suits against insurers, including Allstate Insurance, Metropolitan Life Insurance, State Farm Insurance and United Services Automobile Association. The first lawsuit began back in July. More good business practices, or is this just an example of rent seeking by these insurance behemoths?

Corpwatch has compiled a very indepth report on the disaster profiteering and atrocities in the wake of hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The report is entitled BIG, EASY MONEY: Disaster Profiteering on the American Gulf Coast.

Corpwatch is also conducting a live news conference on the abuses by the "politically wired" corporations who continue to reap huge un-earned profits from the political machine while the residents of the gulf coast continue to suffer injustices and the American tax payers foot the bill!

TO PARTICIPATE: You can join this live, phone-based news conference (with full, two-way Q&A) at 11 a.m. ET/8 a.m. PT on August 17, 2006 by dialing 1 (800) 860-2442. Ask for the “Katrina Reconstruction and Labor Report" news event.

CAN’T PARTICIPATE?: A streaming audio replay of the news event will be available on our site as of 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. ET on August 17, 2006.

CONTACT: Patrick Mitchell, (703) 276-3266 or pmitchell[at]

Thursday, August 10, 2006

An American Insurgency

I come to you today to proclaim my death as a regular "run-a-the-mill" American and my rebirth as an "insurgent"! Seems that if you oppose the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, you are part of a legitimate insurgency here within our very own borders! The Newt has finally labeled us who advocate peace and diplomacy as members of an insurgency. Only instead of using a rpg, we challenge the established authority with something much more lethal to their cause. What is this debilitating weapon us insurgents use? These American guerrilla weapons are our minds and our hearts! We don't have to pack these weapons on our backs; we don't have to worry about how to transport ammunition; and we don't have to kill any human beings. But our targets are dumbass political/corporate ideals that some elite human beings happen to support!

Cathy Garger says we merely have to look in the mirror to find this new American insurgency.
Newt Gingrich is calling for some new terminology for my friends and I who are non-appreciative of the current US wars. Seems that we will all be labeled as either "enemies" or part of the "insurgency." Clever way to start the civil war that divides us all quite neatly into two distinct camps, huh? That's what fascist governments have done throughout history in order to keep the people from uniting against the beast ... that is, those in control of their government.

This so-called "War on Terror" will eventually morph into a "War on Corporatism". Wasn't it Tom Paine, with the use of the pamphlet Common Sense, who galvanized the American insurgency and turned their hearts and minds toward the cause of the Revolution against another authoritative Empire? that I think about it, perhaps being labeled as an insurgent isn't a bad thing after all! Maybe we should be thanking Newt for the label?

In Insurgency,

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Fascism, Democratic Style

Tyranny comes on gentle cat's paws. The fiery Spirit of Freedom must wither away within a once free people before it can be "transcended" by the opportunistic demands for "Security." All tyrannical regimes begin their encroachments upon the liberties of the people in darkest secrecy and one small step at a time. Free people will not be stampeded into forsaking their precious freedoms, but they can be lured and coaxed and lied into drifting one fatal step at a time into the iron cage of tyranny, especially when they are terrorized in times of warfare or other calamities.- Jack D. Douglas -

I'm sure we are all aware of the meaning of the word fascism and it's generic use, which is normally used to define Mussolini's reign. But the definition and understanding of fascism has morphed to include a number of types of authoritarianisms. And some believe the new form of fascism is hidden under what is now being called corporatism. New clothes, same old black heart underneath!

In Bertram Gross' book, Friendly Fascism: The New Face of Power in America, he describes how even democracy can be subverted to support this friendly fascism as he calls it. Are we losing our freedom gently; very quietly; and with our own approval? Perhaps this new form of fascism, this elephant in the bathtub, has already established itself and is slowly but meticulously eating away at our freedom.

Where are the days of Charles A. Reich, and are we witnessing a rejuvination, via the interweb, of the revolution he mentioned? I want to believe we are! And if we aren't, I can only hope that we will!

There is a revolution coming. It will not be like revolutions of the past. It will originate with the individual and with culture, and it will change the political structure only as its final act. It will not require violence to succeed, and it cannot be successfully resisted by violence. It is now spreading with amazing rapidity, and already our laws, institutions and social structure are changing in consequence. It promises a higher reason, a more human community, and a new and liberated individual. Its ultimate creation will be a new and enduring wholeness and beauty -- a renewed relationship of man to himself, to other men, to society, to nature, and to
the land...

The extraordinary thing about this new consciousness is that it has emerged out of the wasteland of the Corporate State, like flowers pushing up through the concrete pavement...

Monday, August 07, 2006

America: Freedom to Fascism

How have we as a people allowed the state to, not just perceive of a new world order, but to actually begin the initialization of such a controlled social order? Are we that naive, that self-destructive, that we are willing to allow an elite few to force us into a state of new world fascism? Are we so blinded by the constant drumming on the fear of terrorism issue, that we will allow our government to actually enact laws which will force us to use a National Identification Card? And if we allow this, how far fetched is it to believe we will eventually allow the state to implant us with a Radio Frequency Identification chip?

I hope you find this trailer of America: Freedom to Fascism enlightening, informative, and frightening! If you do, please think about contributing to aid in the distribution and promotion of this eye-opening work! At least try to attend a screening of this important documentary.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

The Pod People

American strategists have calculated the proportion of civilians killed in this century's major wars. In the First World War 5 per cent of those killed were civilians, in the Second World War 48 per cent, while in a Third World War 90-95 per cent would be civilians.
- Colin Ward -

The data of this war is readily available to anyone. We can view the Iraqi mortality rate before and after the invasion. The coalition casualty count is available and the National Priorities Project even breaks down the social cost by state, city, and community! Of course we have to care enough about human life to take a realistic look at the costs of this war! It's so easy to pretend we are not responsible for the atrocities being done in our name.

But we are responsible! The people consent to these crimes against humanity. It is us who allow the destruction to continue. It is you and I who through our silence, give our approval for the deaths of thousands of men, women, and children! Why do we turn a blind eye and a deaf ear toward the machine of war?

Is it because we place consumerism and comfort above humanity? Are we so comfortable in our little shells that it becomes easy to ignore what the cost of our comfort is? Perhaps part of the problem lies in the religious doomsday predictions of Armageddon which seem to be very prevalent within our politics as of late. Is the church taking over the state? Are we supposed to place God and Country above civility or humanity? What the hell are we becoming and who is stealing our hearts and minds while we are asleep? It's almost like a scene from the classic movie, "The Invasion of the Body Snatchers"!

The townspeople really are being replaced by simulations grown from plantlike pods, perfect physical duplicates who kill and dispose of their human victims. The "pod people" are indistinguishable from normal people except for their utter lack of emotion... In my practice, I've seen how people have allowed their humanity to drain away. Only it happened slowly instead of all at once. They didn't seem to mind...All of us--a little bit--we harden our hearts, grow callous. Only when we have to fight to stay human do we realize how precious it is to us, how dear.

Just how precious is humanity? Apparently not as precious as petroleum, profits, or power! At what point do the people of this planet awaken and proclaim "enough"? How much are we willing to overlook? How long will we remain hypnotically lost in the mass-entertainment-media and replace the scenes of these atrocities with those of American Idol? We continually talk about how Simon is such a dick rather than discuss the fact another 60 children died yesterday. It's such a consumeristic-self hypnosis!

I wonder how much different our views would be if we had been born in Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq, Iran, Korea, Africa? When politics and religion harden our hearts and poison our minds, it's time to refute the lies and doctrines of them both. For they both seem to bring more death and destruction rather than life and peace! Both institutions seem to have been taken over by the Pod People. Perhaps it's not too late and now is the time for all of us to check in our closets, under our beds, in our gardens, or in our governmental offices and make certain there are no pods there just waiting to steal our hearts and our humanity!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Constitutional Crisis

Just what is a constitutional crisis, and how do we know when we are in the midst of such a crisis? Well, back in 2005, a report was written by the House Judiciary Committee Democratic Staff entitled The Constitution in Crisis.

That document alone should have been enough to wake the people up to the decomposition of our constitution! But apparently it was ignored or effectively hidden by the continuous media onslaught about the "War on Terror". Now I understand an update to the 2005 report will be released later this week. According to this update, the Bush administration may have broken over two dozen federal laws and regulations. Some of these infractions are said to have occured multiple times.

The laws implicated by the Administration’s actions include federal laws against making false statements to congress [sic]; federal laws and international treaties prohibiting torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment; federal laws concerning retaliating against witnesses and other government employees; Executive Orders concerning leaking and other misuse of intelligence; federal regulations and ethical requirements governing conflicts of interest; the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act; communications privacy laws; the National Security Act; and the Fourth Amendment.

Perhaps it's time to pay particular attention to House Resolution 635. Accountability is such an important aspect to a democratic way of life. Absolutely nobody should be above the law. There has to be equality in our justice system or we no longer have a democracy, but merely a plutocracy!

And standing on the soap box and preaching about how the desecration of the American flag must be stopped, while wiping your ass with the constitution is abhorrently moronic in my humble opinion! Damn, how stupid do they think the people are? Don't they realize we are no longer snoozing?
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