Archive for April, 2016
Read this: The linked article below from Salon.com, by Ben Norton sheds light on a common activity of the Global & US corporate elite. Around the world, but particularly in South America, they consistently, quickly and quietly encourage the replacement of thriving democracies with oligarchy. Stories abound and too often the US government appears to be supporting if not directly involved in these actions.
Norton quotes The Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald as saying “Brazilian financial and media elites are pretending that corruption is the reason for removing the twice-elected president of the country as they conspire to install and empower the country’s most corrupted political figures.” Read the rest of this entry »
Read this: Most people living in a deep seeded misconception that democracy and capitalism are harmonious if not mutually required. The Bernie Sanders bid for the presidency has caused us to questioned one of these while trying to strengthen the other. Regardless of what his presidency might accomplish, “for the first time since the end of the Cold — and perhaps since the beginning of the Cold War — large numbers of Americans have begun to ask questions about capitalism.” This economic concept that we have been taught is “not questionable” is beginning to be examined. All I can say is please don’t stop regardless whether Bernie should fail in his bid.
The article in the link below from Salon.com by Andrew O’Hehir examines this in much more detail. Sanders focus on the overwhelming issue of inequality has inevitably lead us to the very foundation of our economy, capitalism itself. Finally, as O’Hehir says “the neoliberal policy prescriptions of tax cuts, deregulation, privatization and fiscal austerity ha(ving) been understood as the natural order of things — and as the oxygen necessary to nourish democracy around the world — the Western world’s entire leadership caste has been startled to encounter a resurgence of systematic nonbelief.” As I read, I can’t help but feel an “ABOUT TIME” audibly slipping from my mouth. A lot has been written about this, for years, but until Bernie, the media avoided it as if it were mere myth. Even now it continues to be hard to find real unbiased discussion of where capitalism fits with democracy. The media and political powers don’t want that conversation to become center stage. O’Hehir says it well “To the bankers and politicians, it feels almost as if a crusty old Vermonter had come close to stealing a major-party presidential nomination on a platform of Flat-Earthism, or by professing that the moon landing was a fake.”
With the Republican Party representing the 1% and the Democratic Party focusing on the top 10%, protecting the economic status quo is priority number 1 and they seldom get to any others. There is no hoping for the Republican Party, but the Democrats used to be the party of the working man or the family man. The party of the people, unions, etc. Obviously that has changed, “the Democratic Party has spent the last few decades prostrating itself before the temple of Big Money — a process greatly accelerated under the husband of its current frontrunner — and renouncing any semblance of class-based politics or egalitarian economics.” Bernie frequently says it is not about him, but he has been the catalyst for discussions most of us never thought would take place. Again O’Hehir accurately says ” The Sanders campaign was an attempt to seize power in the Democratic Party, largely from outside, and renounce its allegiance to capitalism and its subservience to the entire package of economic, ideological and military imperialism sometimes called the ‘Washington consensus.’ The true danger that campaign presented to the American political establishment lay not so much in Bernie Sanders himself — an unlikely candidate, and a less likely nominee — as in the heretical ideas it embodied, which may now prove difficult to contain.”
There is a lot in this article. Read it in entirety and you will probably be thinking, as I am, we must keep the discussion front and center until everyone begins to question the role, definition and limits for what we call “capitalism”.
Read this: Bernie Sanders has been a fantastic influence on the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton , but as he appears to be losing his presidential bid it is becoming clear that both Clinton and the party elites (establishment) will not “try to match Bernie Sanders’ left-wing politics” much longer. This has been one of the positive things as the Sanders candidacy has infused progressive policies and conversation to the front, forcing Clinton to appear more progressive and making it difficult for her to backpedal going forward. Because of this, it is essential that Bernie stay in the race till the bitter end, because when he is gone, both the Democratic Party and Clinton will quietly “etch a sketch” their policy positions back to the middle/right, preparing for inevitable moves farther right. On any fight starting positions are important and with Bernie, a lifelong progressive, you know he would strive for the best position. Without Sanders there will be no strong voice for the left and the media will no longer pay it any real attention.
The link below to a Salon.com article by Ben Norton explores some basic differences between Sanders and Clinton. As his subtitle says “Sanders has exposed just how reactionary and corrupt the Democratic Party is—while Clinton wants things to carry on”. Read the rest of this entry »
Read this: As a Bernie Sanders advocate, I confess, I am biased. I feel he is so often right on whatever message he is delivering, of course I usually agree with him. Beyond that, I am also impressed that he delivers his messages in a pretty concise packages, which works better considering our steadily diminishing attention spans. I came across his latest speech, which sadly few Americans will probably hear, in an article in The Nation Magazine, by John Nichols. I must say it is one of his best if not the best.
Taking a couple days off of a rather important New York primary, he flew to Italy and after meeting privately with Pope Francis for a “brief encounter at the papal residence, which both the pope and the senator said should not be seen as any kind of political intervention or endorsement”, Sanders took advantage of an opportunity to speak at a Vatican conference that fit perfectly with his message of inequality that is the foundation of his presidential campaign. Read the rest of this entry »
Read this: The need of any viable democracy to have a strong, functioning, independent media has been stressed since Thomas Jefferson and yet, today, we find ourselves with a media, that although strong and functioning, is anything but independent. The number of key players continues to shrink as they gobble up more and more of the smaller players, consolidating the messages and limiting alternative opinions. Of course, this is seldom discussed, much less described, as the virus it has truly become on the very existence of any meaningful democracy.
In the link below, to a Moyers & Company article (originally appearing at Truthout), Michael Corcoran looks at the problem as “the media has become controlled by a handful of corporations thanks to the Telecommunications Act of 1996.” Read the rest of this entry »
The Problem With Hillary Clinton Isn’t Just Her Corporate Cash. It’s Her Corporate Worldview. | The Nation
Once again she nails it. This article from Naomi Klein via The Nation Magazine needs no summarization by me. It needs reading, by everyone. Please do and then act accordingly and spread the word.
Read this: Blindly relying on our media (owned largely by a few giant corporations) for most of our information and correspondingly what and how we think and act is dumb, but then again we are only human. Even when not directly watching or listening to the main media we are subtly, if not overtly affected. As the progressive movement has gained attention (because of the Sanders campaign) it increasingly finds itself in the focus of media manipulation, if not outright lies.
What actually happens is very slick but definitely has an agenda and often confuses our perceptions of who and what to believe. “Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) sent out a recent email blast that raises concerns. Read the rest of this entry »
Watch this: In the video link below The Zero Hour with Richard “RJ” Eskow interviews Thomas Frank about his new book Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People? In the interview Eskrow mentions Frank’s thesis book (The Conquest of Cool) which depicted how “the cultural revolution of the 60’s was co-oped by Madison Avenue”. That made my ears perk up, as I remember being appalled as a recent hippie/college graduate watching as stores began selling mass produced tie dyed tee shirts. I thought “it is over”. One of the most basic symbols back to Woodstock has been turned into a tool to use against us. It was as if the infiltration was complete or maybe we simply no longer cared. We had definitely lost our focus. The discussion between Eskow and Frank takes this loss of focus forward to today. Read the rest of this entry »