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Breaking: Glen Beck derides medal of Honor recipients, compares Afghanistan to the Wounded Knee Massacre. Says Obama is giving them out like Pez. Here are the facts.

Just moments ago Radio Host Glen Beck, following an interview with draft dodger, Ted Nugent, in which they mocked child victims of gun violence, accused President Obama of “giving them out like Pez,” the candies dispensed by a small toy. Beck and his on air staff, drew a comparison to the Wounded Knee Massacre of Lakota in South Dakota, december 29th 1890, resulting in the deaths of as many as 300 civilians. The army awarded 20 Medals of Honor. The army still has not withdrawn those medals. Beck attempted to couch his words, but continued with the remarks, as a means of impugning the President. Instead, his words were a direct and complete insult to the service and sacrifice of Afghan veterans as a whole, and medal of honor recipients. And once again, he was completely wrong, or worse, misleading to his audience, which has shown a penchant in the past for accepting his irresponsible and dangerously uninformed opinions without regard to the facts.

Beck and his staff further mocked the bravery of MoH recipients, saying that nearly all of the awards Obama gave were to living veterans, when in the past, according to Beck, they were given posthumously. In fact during the 8 years of conflict in Vietnam, 1965-73, there were 248 awards given, with 156 of those posthumously.

Begun during the Civil War, the nation has honored some 3400 men and women with the highest award given for bravery and sacrifice during war. There have been 7 MoH recipients from the 13 year long conflict in Afghanistan. 2 of those were awarded by President George Bush. There were 4 given in Iraq by Bush, and 2 by President Clinton for the Somalia operation, which lasted less than a year.

Glen Beck is frre to give his opinion to the wind and any street urchin that cares to listen while he pontificates from his filthy soapbox, but the public airwaves are just that. No one will take away that right. He has no constitutional right to be on the radio, particularly with this sort of irresponsible blather and partisanship.

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Occupy My Heart: The radio Show on Best of the Left

The Play that made national headlines, changed hearts and energized a movement is now available on Best of the Left at the link below:

 
Filled with heart and truth, Occupy My Heart: A revolutionary Christmas Carol is not just a story for the holidays, but a tale of our times. You will be touched in this modern retelling of the Dickens classic.

Please share it with your friends, especially those who still think the struggle of our times is not the co-opting of our great nation by corporate and financial greed.


Art, Occupy and the Illusions of the One Percent

Achievers. The one percent. Winners. Those who are so adamant about not raising taxes on corporations the wealthiest in the nation would have us believe that there is some inherent quality, something unique and sacrosanct in this supposed talent. Set aside the responsibility to the nation fostering a nurturing environment for business(political and social stability, laws, courts, infrastructure, an educated and healthy populace) argument. Talents are for the arts, or sports, for positive intellect and in healthy and uplifting relationships. 

No man is an Iland, intire of it selfe;” wrote John Donne in meditations XVII, in 1624, “every man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine; if a Clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe is the lesse, as well as if a Promontorie were, as well as if a Mannor of thy friends or of thine owne were; any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.”

Achiever is in itself an insult hurled at the rest of us by the selfish and greedy. It implies that the jobs we go to daily, the place we’ve arrived at in life is not an achievement. It screams that raising children, running a home, going to school, struggling with poverty, prevailing through an illness is somehow a lesser achievement. It presumes one person’s experience is greater than another’s. It pits one person’s struggle against another’s, which is a fool’s game.

Reverend Billy at the Occupy Chicago General Assembly Wednesday evening spoke about community and the responsibility of the 1%. One is indeed the loneliest number

The way it is used becomes an assertion of power and right and privilege. Their achievement is presumed to have value above all others. It is an assumption of rule and of a ruling class, which is antithetical to the declaration of Independence and of the Constitution.

It also betrays a lie the so-called achievers pretend to themselves. It is the ultimate lie because it ignores the very thing Donne wrote about. Life is impossible alone. A soul alone writing a novel relies upon the history making the computer usable, upon the society nurturing freedom of thought, of the luxury of not having to forage through the day for food, shelter and sustenance, and even of the craftsman who constructed the desk and chair upon which that novelist writes.

A month ago I wrote a play. I am proud of that play, but as such it is little more than a semi-interesting collection of two dimension words upon a page. In the coming weeks a passionate and talented cast will bring those words to life, moving them around in three-dimensional space, adding inflection and history and textures I would never have imagined. We will perform on a radio station, the play expanded and re-envisioned  by a producer who will add sound effects to create a new and as yet unrealized world. We will perform upon a stage built by dreamers who wished for a space that actors might create as yet unimagined works and as yet unwritten words. Those stages are maintained by electricians, lighting experts and others who make each performance possible.

Sadly, what has happened in America is that the one percent has all but convinced us that only the writer matters, and that all the rest should bow before them. The Occupy movement asserts a different reality, one consistent with the constitution, in which all citizens are imbued with a god-given dignity and that all of us have a responsibility to maintaining the greatest measure of human dignity that can be maintained. The limit placed on that dignity is a measure of the cynicism inherent in a heart.

No man is indeed an island, except in his own heart, and upon that island is loneliness and nothing more. There is an old pop song that says one is the loneliest number. If there is salvation from that loneliness, it must be among the 99%.


Halftime at the CNN GOP NSD on TV LOL LMFAO(National Security debate)

Here’s how things break down right now at the CNN National Security debates on CNN, hosted by the same Heritage Foundation that promotes Rush Limbaugh and FOX News. This of course being the 720th Republican debate since August, which some might say amounts to a media saturation to drown out the Obama Administration. Some might say that.  But we are learning some incredibly important things in this paranoid white-guy fest. For example:

1. Ron paul is amazingly lucid at moments, his positions cogent and logical up until the point he drives that car around crazy curve right into nut valley.

2. Try picturing Rick Santorum’s mother spitting on her fingers and slicking back his hair before the debate, and that his underwear is bunched at the top of his pants and he is wearing white athletic socks. “Vladimir Putin, meet the President of the United States, Ricky Santorum.”

3.We also learned from Santorum that Africa, once considered a continent by egg-headed Geographers, is in fact a country.

4. Rick Perry taught us that the Monroe Doctrine which prohibited European powers from interfering in the Americas also applies to that other great European power, Mexico.

5. Iran has lots of mountains. Thanks Herman Cain. Also, Iran has lots of mountains.

6. Amazingly we learned from Michelle Bachman that BARACK OBAMA CHANGED THE COURSE OF HISTORY. Much like superman. She will not change the course of history, but instead will allow it to meander and skip and frolic and, oh, sorry, I thought we were talking about her husband.

7. Iran has lots of mountains. All right Cain, we heard you already!

8. Newt Gingrich is an expert in history, especially the history he rewrites.

9. Mitt believes that amnesty for illegal aliens is a magnet. I agree. Now that American and multi-national corporations have left America, why would anyone want to stay in those poor corporate-raped foreign nations?

10. All of the GOP candidates believe that immigration is a national security issue. Be afraid America of all those dangerous busboys, cooks, cleaning ladies, economic refugees and gardeners.

11. Gingrich stated that “if we were a serious country” we’d drill everywhere in the US for oil. That would collapse the  global price of oil, he said. Wasn’t he  saying the oil companies had a right to their record profits and subsidies a year ago? Now he wants to collapse the industry? How many jobs would that cost?

12, Wolf Blitzer referenced the continuing violence in Cairo’s Tahrir Square. No mention that twice the protesters won, first deposing a brutal dictator, and then forcing an end to military rule in favor of freedom for Egyptians.

13. Apparently no one at the Heritage Foundation or any of the candidates look  at newspapers or anything other than FOX News. If they had, the questionwould have seemed silly regarding a pro-Islamist/Al Qaeda group in Somalia which is now under full-scale military attack from Ethiopia, is hardly a credible threat to anything beyond the sand dunes and ruins of what was once Somalia.

14. And something I never realized before, and that is that China is  a significant threat and enemy to the United States, unless we are talking about cheap Chinese-made Walmart crap, in which case China is good.

And finally, I learned that if Governor Huntsman was a Democrat I might just consider him a second choice to whoever I was actually supporting.

 


Art, Comedy and the Occupy Movement

 It seems like art would be a natural part of the Occupy movement. Certainly the signs can be creative,  as is the resilience of the movement in the face of substantial adversity-from moments with the police, press indifference or outright blackout to the weather and a broad spectrum of society represented that is inherent in any true social assertion of civil rights. Recall it was Martin Luther King jr. who said, and I paraphrase, if there is injustice anywhere there is injustice everywhere. So meeting and prevailing through all this requires no small amount of creativity. That was evident fully at last night’s General Assembly on Michigan Avenue with better than about 200 activists.

The first was the steady progress towards putting on a play within the protest. The play “Occupy My Heart: A revolutionary Christmas carol,” an Occupy take on the classic Dickens tale met with great excitement. dozens stepped forward as the effort moves towards a full outdoor reading of the play Thanksgiving weekend, with hopes to put on a full production Christmas week.

For those unfamiliar, the General Assemblies are critical to getting the message out to all the activists and supporters, but also in maintaining the spirit and morale of those involved. Interesting that the movement is becoming ever more tightly knit and focused with all the other Occupy efforts around the nation and the world. The meetings are structured with well-defined rules of order, allowing and encouraging the views of all involved, from the leadership down to the first time arrivals to the movement.

This creates one problem for the movement, but one of victimization more than a flaw in the movement itself. Critics can easily exploit that for charged audio and selective video. You see, everyone has a right to express their view at the GAs, provided they adhere to the rules of order. No one is shouted down, which can seem, in skewed video and audio to appear as acceptence. In fact, the rules dictate members show agreement or displeasure silently. Open hands up is agreement, down is disagreement.

There  are rappers, musicians and other entertainers adding their dimension and spirit to the movement. Most have now heard of The Hawaiian folk singer Makana who sang an Occupy song, “Occupy with Aloha” at a summit supper before President Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao. http://www.metatube.com/es/videos/cid4/Musica/86644/Singer-crashes-Obama-summit-with-Occupy-song/

Last night Occupy comedian Lee Camp performed in Chiacgo, part of a tour to entertain and fire up all of the national efforts. “We learned,” said Camp, “that we’re fighting both sides in Afghanistan. We are paying the Taliban millions to let out supply trucks through in Pakistan so we can keep fighting…the Taliban. We are losing a game of solitaire!”

Occupy comedian Lee Camp entertains the Chicago group Saturday night

He stoked the crowd, a mix of  young, old, professional, students and the unemployed with “the revolution will not be televised. It will be digitized!” The line, no doubt a reference to the virtual blackout, but for negative press, by the media, and the digital and alternative media that has overcome that blackout.

Referring to the pepperspray incident against the UC Berkley activists this week, camp drew laughs and cheers with, “Pepper spray to Occupy people is like pouring watter on gremlins. Spray us and we multiply!” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_t2weBucMY


Who speaks for the average man on the Right? Sarah Palin $12 Million last year. Rush Limbaugh, $28 million. Michael Savage, $18 million. Megyn Kelley, $5 million. Michael Medved, $35 million. Neal Boortz, $800 thousand plus. Bill O’Reilly, $20 million. Glenn Beck, $32 million. Sean Hannity, $25 million. Michael Savage, $18 million net worth. Ann Coulter, $8.5 million net worth.

How do they warrant such salaries? Because of their immense popularity? Because they are better than the rest?

In 1949 the Fairness Doctrine was established. Diversity in broadcast communications and media was encouraged and valued through the 1970s. In 1970 the Radio & TV cross ownership rule prevented large media organizations from owning a TV and radio station in the same market, again to promote and protect media diversification and a broad spectrum of views. In 1975, the rule was added preventing the ownership of TV and newspaper in the same market.

In 1980, President Reagan began a push, complicit with his corporate patrons, to reverse this legislation. Under the first President Bush that effort was continued. The court case Meridith Corp vs. the FCC ruled the FCC had no power to regulate and enforce the fairness doctrine. Bill Clinton was no friend of media diversification. The effort continued until most FCC rules were eliminated through the Telecommunications Act of 1996, thanks to a Republican Congress, Clinton and their corporate donors.

America instantly saw a 1/3 decline in  diversification. Corporations continued that theft of public ownership of the airwaves.  7 corporations now own 75% of all radio and TV. the purpose from the start was to eliminate dissent, the free flow of information and unbiased discourse. Evidence the fact that no one in any corporate media in the lead up to the Iraq Invasion ever posed adequate dissent to questions over weapons of mass destruction, and criminality to trick the American public into war. Evidence the complete fabrication that poor people with bad home loans caused the financial crisis of 2008-07, without telling the true story of credit default swaps and speculation on those bad debts far in excess of the actual value of the entire US housing market. Evidence the lack of credible questions and accountability over the 9-11 atrocity. Evidence the assult against Global Warming, the effects of which, through drought and floods and severe climate anomalies we are only just beginning to suffer. Evidence the echo chamber continuation of  Obama’s birth certificate foolishness. evidence that Sarah Palin is not a diner waitress at a truck stop in Alaska. Evidence the slanted reporting on the  tiny Tea party illusion against the massive  anti-war and now Occupy movements. Evidence…


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