Tag Archives: media

The Burden of Being on the Right: The NRA, Newtown and Michael Medved’s Confused Logic

So this is the narrative from the NRA and the Right: Evil men are poised to bust down your door or attack you every moment of the day. So that’s why you need to pack a bazooka at all times; cooking dinner, taking a dump, making love you…who ever you make love with. You have to have a gun because it is a brutal dangerous world, filled with brigands and marauders constantly stalking you. You my friend are a limping gazelle in a lion’s den. Without an AK-47, body armor and  more ammo than a Marine battalion you’re done for.

And that narrative has worked, at least as far as the gun industry is concerned. They have reaped a fortune pimping fear and distrust, feeding “scripts” to their surrogates in the right-wing media and in the government. Lobbyists spend huge sums to sway public opinion on guns, and to skew debate about reasonable gun legislation. The NRA spent $2.2 million in lobbying and n additional $17.6 million in outside propaganda, that is, to help create the pressure on and in you to buy guns. And make no mistake, the NRA loves the attention from mass shootings, and exploit it to great financial advantagehttp://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-08-07/nra-sought-donations-in-days-after-colorado-shootings.html.

And we’ve bought it fully, despite the fact that the very few incidents of people defending themselves with a gun are so remote as to barely be anecdotal. You are far more likely to be shot with your own gun, by someone you know, like the 7-year-old boy accidentally killed by his father a few weeks ago as the weapon discharged while he was getting in his truck at a local gun store. Last week, following the Connecticut tragedy two Kansas police officers were gunned down last week, responding to a suspicious vehicle report at night http://edition.cnn.com/2012/12/17/justice/kansas-officers-killed/index.html. Both officers were armed. Last August, 9 were wounded in a gun battle between police and  a murder suspect. All 9 were accidentally wounded by the police during the battle http://edition.cnn.com/2012/08/25/justice/new-york-empire-state-shooting/index.html.

On Friday, the NRA, suspiciously silent since the deaths of 27 a week ago, but for their media servants, spit in the proverbial face of the Connecticut shooting victims by saying “the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” The truth of it is, not one “good guy” with a gun has ever stopped any of these mass shootings. To believe they would or could is childish and foolish. The victims’ families, that teases their pain with the cruelty of what-if scenarios after the fact.

So where is the inconsistency? Following the Connecticut shooting  it is unavoidable to draw attention to the dangerously high and frequent numbers of mass shootings in the United States, where gun proliferation far exceeds nations at war. Last week Michael Medved, who frequently has difficulty, like many on the right, remembering their previous B.S. positions on critical issues, revealed the absolute inconsistency in the Right’s gun-culture religion.

Right-wing talk host and history propagandist, Medved is an advocate for the NRA’s irresponsible proliferation ideology,  a champion of fraudulent conceal/carry laws and a defender of ridiculous and demonstrably false and cartoonish public perceptions on gun proliferation. Cornered by logic, or the illogic of his positions, Medved claims that America is not a violent nation, and that violent crime has actually declined. And that is true, but that calls to mind a fundamental flaw in the whole perverse NRA ideology.

On one hand they tell us we need guns because the world is a dangerous place. Then, when confronted by the blood-soaked product of that religion of violence they tell us that crime is declining and the nation isn’t violent and dangerous, which would ultimately mean that we all don’t need a personal array of weaponry. And maybe that means that I can take a dump without being strapped, with a thousand yard stare and a finger on the trigger as I reach for the toilet paper. But then taking a very liberal and large dump on the American people is exactly what the Right and the NRA have been doing from the start.

Romney supporter tries to kill husband for not voting…thank you, Talk Radio

I am new to doing talk radio, but not in listening to it, and certainly not to the arc of inciteful rhetoric, most especially on the Right. It has grown to an out of  control conflagration of hate since Obama’s election. below is an excerpt from a Reuters article by d:

PHOENIX – An Arizona woman, in despair at the re-election of Democratic President Barack Obama, ran down her husband with the family car in suburban Phoenix on Saturday because he failed to vote in the election, police said on Monday.Holly Solomon, 28, was arrested after running over husband Daniel Solomon following a wild chase that left him pinned underneath the vehicle. Daniel Solomon, 36, was in critical condition at a local hospital, but is expected to survive, Gilbert police spokesman Sergeant Jesse Sanger said. Police said Daniel Solomon told them his wife became angry over his “lack of voter participation” in last Tuesday’s presidential election and believed her family would face hardship as a result of Obama winning another term.

 In the months, weeks and days leading up to the election, Limbaugh, Beck, Coulter, Hannity and others pressed listeners to believe their lives, their children’s lives, the nation and Christianity were under direct threat if Obama was re-elected. Lies and innuendo covered the spectrum from Obama being a communist, not  an American citizen, a racist, to having a gay relationship.

When accused or confronted they claim it is all entertainment, confuse to obscure their guilt or outright lie. They know full well they are driving a culture among self-interested and gullible people, or people robbed by corporate media consolidation of balanced information(note: FOX’s Fair and Balanced refers to their perception of fair, and balances truth and facts with their  agenda) based solely upon greed-the greed of the 1%. 

Most of us understand this perversion, and understand that to sell the theft of the economy and government by a few they must swathe that in alarmist rhetoric about job stealing immigrants, collapsing home values caused by irresponsible blacks and a pretend moral degradation of the society. Some, like the misguided woman above, and working class people who voted for the likes of Mitt Romney- a true corporate oligarch took it hook line and sinker. Their hate speech is not political discourse, it isn’t entertainment, it is irresponsible speech.

The airwaves are public, not the private domain of these hosts. To borrow their line, there is nothing in the constitution guaranteeing their right to those public airwaves. They are free to express their views, but not to squat on the air to the exclusion of other viewpoints. The airwaves are publically licensed, and each station’s license can be directly challenged to the FCC by any person.

I am new to talk radio-progressive talk radio. I would not exclude other viewpoints, and I welcome challenges and arguments to my own. I would not prefer a nation in which only progressive ideas predominate on the air and in the media.  Media consolidation has done exactly that. 90% of all news media, television, print and talk radio are now owned by 3 companies.3 companies. THREE COMPANIES. All of them either skew Right or are blatantly Right. Goebbels and the Nazis could have only dreamed of that sort of media control… 

Agree? Disagree? Call in Sunday 8-9am CST to WCPT am820 during the Revolution and Beer segment, or friend us at “rev’n beer” and join the conversation…or the fight

Alert!!! The Chicago Teacher’s Union Crime wave

See if this sounds a bit familiar. This morning, as the first day of the Chicago Teacher’s Union Strike began, Police superintendent McCarthy announced he was canceling time off and pulling police officers off desk duty in anticipation of the coming crime wave brought on  by the strike. Yep, the police department is gearing up to protect the city folk of Chicago from the teenage and adolescent ne’er-do-wells unleashed by these thoughtless commie teachers who have the audacity to demand better working conditions and benefits. In good fashion, the strike by teachers in walking shoes and sandals, surely a dangerous lot, awakened the massive police state apparatus mandated with keeping us all safe from the perils and confusion of freedom. The horses were called out to maintain control over this horde, should their belligerent assertion of constitutionally protected rights provoke the police. and of course we all know what happens when that takes place, and a sudden assault by the police evokes terror. Why, terror by civilians is an assault against the police and the corporate power they protect-the ones that gives us jobs, and obesity, and cheap goods made by children in Indonesia, and diabetes inducing high fructose corn syrup, Bp oil, Goldman Sachs and Chase Bank. You know, the good guys.

Seems as if I’ve seen this before…when was…oh yeah, when citizens with a legitimate interest in petitioning the government over secretive NATO agreements regarding billions in cash, while people were suffering, jobless and poor in their member nations. Without being allowed to utter a single word, even if any news organization would have carried it, the message was crushed and buried in a virtual lockdown of the city. From the police to the news media Chicago was besieged by fear of vast unprecedented violence by Occupy and anti-war protesters.

So what is the teacher’s protest about? You’d better find out today or ask a teacher. The media right now is slow to react, but the reaction will soon be only too predictable. The police will manufacture a threat. The media will inflate it beyond proportion into a din of fear and hysterics. it has already started. “We’re preparing for the potential for violence and crime amid the teacher’s strike,” we can hear the chief say. “What violence, who’s committing crimes,” cries the media. “We just want to be prepared for that possible scenario,” says the top cop. “It’s the black and Mexican kids, those gang bangers. They’ll overrun the city won’t they. What should good god-fearing people do?’ the media will screech. “It’s all about safety, that’s all. Rem ain in your homes and only leave when necessary to forage for food, just don’t miss any must-see TV, and if you must go out, only travel in packs of as many white people as possible. Carry flashlights, whistles and energy bars,” says the wise old chief. “And guns. we need guns, and bullets and lots of them,” says the  watchdogs of the media, “remember, guns and the Second Amendment are all we have between us and the First amendment.

Police are describing the White-supremecist gunman at the Sikh temple in Wisconsin as a “frustrated neo-Nazi,” as if there are content and well-adjusted neo-Nazis. There is and will be an attempt in the media to marginalize the race of this terrorist. Call them out. The pro-gun apologists in the media, those who encourage and facilitate this sort of racial, ethnic and gender hatred are as responsible for this terrible tragedy as the man who pulled the trigger. They created the environment and culture that inspired and empowered this person. That media has sickened our culture, politics and national discourse. TAKE BACK YOUR MEDIA AMERICA! OCCUPY YOUR AIRWAVES.

I Really did not want to write this…thoughts on Rightwing reaction to the Colorado Theater shooting

I have strong opinions about guns. Though I believe the 2nd amendment is fairly antiquated-I’m not in favor of repeal, and I do acknowledge the utility of some guns- clearly the supreme obsession for purely political and money reasons by gun zealots, paranoid Righties terrified of every shadow and the national Rifle Association is both perverse and psychotic. I grew up around guns. I know to use them safely and sanely, but responsibility for  a tool capable of quickly and all too easily in the hands of unstable persons dispensing a terrific amount of brutality requires oversight, responsibility and limits. The problem is that the NRA, to maintain gun sales in the nation-supported by Wal-Mart, the largest gun seller in the nation, assails any hint of limitations or oversight regarding guns. Any.

There is no such fervor when it comes to dissent against corporate interference and corruption with our government, or dissent against banks and their abuse of the economy, our money and the avalanche of illegal foreclosures. Those who occupied streets, sidewalks in front of banks, or parks to redress the government, as prescribed by the constitution, from an amendment the founding fathers believed so important they put it first-that’s first-those people were called hippies, smelly, communists. There was no cry from the masturbatory gun crowd or the NRA about unconstitutional ordinances limiting, curtailing or destroying the First Amendment utterly.

The reason…the Right doesn’t dissent, because they reflect the status quo, the force and weight of the nation resistant to change, such as Women’s Right to vote, Labor rights, or Civil Rights, those things that challenge and upset the status quo.

But the reason for this piece is to call attention to the Rightwing talk shows, which dominate almost entirely the media. WIND and WLS, the Rightwing, or better, the sociopathic radio stations in Chicago began assaulting the President even before he spoke on the shooting, accusing and projecting his potential politicizing of the event. They did this in typical, chuckling and smarmy fashion, throwing oblique insults at Muslims.

Mark Stein, in for Rush Limbaugh called the President’s decision not to politicize the tragedy by cancelling campaign events and pulling ads was in itself a political act. Glen Beck was much the same. Constantly the audience was reminded about Muslim terrorists as the Right, in typically nakedly racist fashion, desperately tried to divert insinuations on the violent tendency of white, and how most of these mass public shootings in America are perpetrated mostly by white men.

Maybe its time to start profiling all white men?

I’m not calling for legislation, and certainly not a governmental censorship on speech, no matter how inane, perverse or sociopathic in this nation, which the Right has become completely with their stranglehold on the media. What I am calling for is that good people stand up and tell this destructive and corrosive fools to shut the $#@%up! Call their radio and television stations. Flood and bury their phone lines, clog and overwhelm their emails, accuse and deride them at the mall, the gas station and bank. This isn’t a game they get to play on the radio, by pissing into our nationl discourse. There are consequences to their actions and words, as they constantly remind the Left. Those consequences should be the din of outrage that drives them from their potty pulpit into obscurity and shame.

We the reasonable and moral people of this nation, those on the sane and moderate Right, the Left and the vast majority in the middle need now to stand up, speak up and shut them down!

Call WLS AM890 in Chicago, which carries the Rush Limbaugh show to support MoveOn.org and Media Matters at 312-984-0890 to respectfully and politely tell them you do not approve of the disrespectful way he treats women, and that you will not support advertisers of his program or tolerate sexism and racism. The Last Man and 900poundgorilla stands in solidartiy with Move On and Media Matters and all those who expect and demand civility in political discourse, and not abuse and bully tactics by the Left, Right or Center. Limbaugh and his surrogates on WLS and ABC radio remain unrepentant and continue to obliquely assault the rights of women to choose and to be the captains and owners of their bodies and reproductive rights. It must stop. Good people may disagree and disagree fundamentally, but this crossed a terrible line. Call now.

A Better World not a New World

I am often ask what the Occupy Movement wants. The Movement has clearly made its intentions and demands known, for those who wish to hear or read. For those who do not wish to know, nothing I write here will convince them. Their own realization will come with time, especially for poor, middle class and even upper middle class people who continue voting against their own economic and social interests.  I do not speak for the movement. I support it fully, and believe in it, but I can only speak for myself.

A recent conversation brought up a crucial point, and what I feel is a fundamental misunderstanding with regards to the movement, at least as I see things. The conversation began regarding so-called anarchists, agent provocateurs, and others who might foment violence within the group, and how that might alienate people who are on the fence regarding whether to support or not support the movement. My immediate reaction, was that if they could “go either way,” they didn’t really understand, and were unlikely to understand what the movement is about. These people are reeds of grass, and inclined to blow  where the wind is blowing, which is hardly a character of people who stand by their ideals. I stand by that.

I was then asked how these people “will fit into your new world?” New world? The media has carefully crafted a narrative on how the Occupy movement is violent and out of control. It would have their hostage audiences believe the “Occupiers” hate success, want hand outs from the government which are ultimately stolen from the wealthy, that it wants banks eradicated and corporations dismantled. In that narrative are shades of Pol Pot’s pogroms in Cambodia, or resetting the social and economic clock to year zero as with the French Revolution, and overt comparisons to Stalinist Russia. Nothing, nothing could be further from the truth.

Last night, at a general assembly, I witnessed an intervention between two members that nearly came to blows in a fight. The intervention was carried out in parliamentary fashion, with strict rules of oder. Grievances and views were offered freely and honestly. To the credit of those involved in the actual altercation, their respect for the movement had them willingly compliant with the judgement of the whole body at the GA. Ultimately, both parties were suspended from any Occupy activities and locations for a week.  

No one in the movement that I know whats to outlaw banks, eliminate corporations and confiscate the wealth of the so-called 1%. What I want, and what I hear from many, many in the movement, and which is consistent with the movement’s demands and actions is a vision of a better world.

Funny that too few in this nation question the idea of a draft for the military in a time of war. It is the responsibility of every citizen, we are told, to defend the nation in a national emergency. A few years a go I witnessed a swearing-in ceremony for new citizens to this country. Women, old men and grandmothers, their right hand raise, repeated the oath administered by a judge, that in a time of crisis, they too could be called to serve their nation. Yet, somehow the rich and powerful in this country now assert that when called to do their part, and that they have a responsibility to the nation, they are absolved, and that any mention of their responsibility to the nation and their neighbor is immoral or communist.

I will speak for myself here. I am not against corporations. I am against corporate greed, and power that eclipses, undermine or extinguishes that of individuals. I am for responsible corporations, who pay their fair share and profit and succeed morally and ethically. I am not against banks. I am against the religion of money, and the invention of scams like derivatives and credit default swaps that were just a way of stealing money, without calling it  theft(Explain to me that inventing a scheme to market risk investments of$700trillion based upon barely $23trillion in actual realestate is not theft). http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-700-trillion-elephant-room-theres

I am not for taking money from the wealthy and giving it to the “poor.” I am for a society that does not allow corporations-profitable corporations to siphon money from the treasury that could otherwise benefit fellow citizens in need.  I am for those who are lucky enough or blessed enough to be wealthy, that they also contribute their fair share to sustaining a peaceful, respectful and progressive society equal in the dispensation of justice and opportunity, rather than a stastus quo, wink-and-a-nod defacto caste society. 

I am not anti-media. I am against a media that acts and has become a marketing wing of corporations to the detriment of free discourse, dissent and the unvarnished reporting of wrong doing, wherever it may occur. I am against any media that acts as a mafia lawyer with the intention of allowing, rationalizing or whitewashing the undermining of this republic, and I am against a media that plays to the lowest common denominators in society by describing itself as a business first. We have seen the results of that alibi for at least the last two decades. Free and unbiased factual news is imperative to the survival of this nation and to the world. remember, marketing is nothing more than the controlling the message. If it is necessary to control the perception of something, that implies something needs to be hidden.

I am for human rights. Iam not for picking and choosing human rights, nor do I subscribe to a tiered application of human rights. Whether by god, birth, default or inheritance, human rights  are invioble to each person regardless of gender, orientation, religion, race, age, status or wealth. And I assert to the last breath in my body that corporations are not people, but are entities, made up of autonomous people, for business only, and that they are entitled to profit within the context of human-centered society and within the context of human-centered laws. The rights of the corporation reside in the indiviuals, and not as a collective that unfairly outweighs others.

This is what I believe, and what I find within the movement, which is why I have and many others have sacrificed mightily for the movement. No sane person wishes to tear down the world as it exists. We want a better world not a new world? Do you?

A LIBERAL CALLS OUT MSNBC: Moving the ball forward for the Right on election campaign reform

Generally, I enjoy Chris Hayes weekends on MSNBC, but I constantly must remind myself that Mr. Hayes, Ed Schultz, Rachel Maddow and the rest of their line-up are still part of the problem of corporate and power-elite-status-quo control of the discourse and messaging of critical national issues. While MSNBC is routinely “demonized” by FOX and pundits on the Right as far Left wing, it is not-by a long shot.

To support that, I point to the “buy American” push, particularly by Ed Schultz. Recall, this was a rightwing and nationalist mantra following NAFTA. Just as they did in the lead up to Iraq, MSNBC, for all their Liberal bent has missed the real solution to jobs in America and the necessary equitible trade worldwide, and that is not some pseudo-Ron Paul-esque economic isolationism, but forcing international corporations to adhere to wage and safety and pollution reforms regardless of where they are. If GE-owned MSNBC was truly as Liberal as the Right asserts, they would recognize first that mankind is global, and globalization was the direction of the species from those first steps from an African Valley 2 million years ago.

What prompted this article was a roundtable discussion on Chris Hayes’ Sunday morning show about the 2009 Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling that allows Corporations, and Unions, to spend unlimited amounts of money to promote candidates and policy, effectively erasing the one man one vote cornerstone of our democracy by overwhelming free discourse through propaganda and false messaging.http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/08-205.ZS.html
With a decptively benign name like Citizens United, the group is in fact a filthy little cabal of Republican hacks in the vein of Andrew Breitbart, with a bias towards editing for innuendo over fact and truth. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizens_United_(organization)

That’s the background, but on this morning’s show Mr. Hayes had Jack Abramoff, the convicted lobbyist who was unequivical in saying that overturning Citizens United would never happen, because it is fundamental to Conservatives in this country. The statement went virtually unchallenged. Aside the traitorous acts committed by Mr. Abramoff, which did immeasurable damage to this democracy, why would MSNBC legitimize such a character? Because, at the heart of MSNBC is a large mult-national corporation, with significant interests in issues ner and dear to the true powers in this nation (Hint: It isn’t Right, Left, Libertarian or even American).

The Corporate media is overt and subversive alike in its crafting and molding of cultures and nations. It does so to create markets as to define and secure them.

Advertising creates ideals, standards and affirms stereotypes on one hand, while the media carries and promotes those messages. The recent purchase of The Weather Channel by NBC Universal, Bain Capital and The Blackstone Group highlights the effort of Multi-national Corporations and firms to devour media outlets and control what Americans sees, hears, discusses and votes upon. Blackstone bought Neilsen-the rating people in 2006 along with other partners like the Carlyle Group. Bain, by the way is owned by Mitt Romney, and owns Clear Channel, the largest owner of radio stations in the country. Its “news” talk format is 90% rightwing, with Beck, Savage, Limbaugh and Hannity leading that charge, despite that 90% of the country does not vote Republican. Bain also owns or invests in AMC Entertainment and Warner Music group.

So there is real pressure, and undeniable evidence that Liberal MSNBC is hardly a Liberal thinktank, but instead has slipped into a market not served blatantly by FOX as a means, not to promote Progressive ideals, but as a means, as prescribed by their corporate owners, to nudge the message forward far more subtley that FOX can do. But the effort is the same, and in the end it comes down to control-not politics.

The strategy is to create paradigms not cultures, as paradigms become absolute realities that are much harder to find alternatives to or see beyond. Imagine what it would be to breath fire, or breathe watter as a means of survival, and that air and wind could be as deadly as we find those others. Those are other paradigms. That is what corporations are evolving to in a greater and greater consolidation of power and influence. Think back over the last 50 or 100 years about where corporations were and where they are today, with interlocking partnerships and boards, and their ascent to controlling almost fully govenments worldwide.

Now imagine this paradigm. With all that power to control the message and assert culture, a group of people have challenged that by Occupy parks have the power elite absolutely terrified. Now that is a message!

Video of Marines Urinating on Taliban Dead…and here is why it is wrong.

I have a history with this, having witnessed the Mock execution of a Serbian POW in the mountains above Sarajevo in October 1994. The incident is detailed in my book, Everything for Love. I am certain the young man from the neighboring town of Trnovo was spared because of my presence. I also have no doubt he was taken elsewhere and executed. Without doubt the would-be executioner, an average sort in his mid to late thirties could recite chapter and verse about Serbian atrocities, and likely had one or more family, friends or neighbors killed, wounded or otherwise terrible affected at the hand of Serbs, whether intentionally and cruelly or as a consequence of the war. I could recite those acts as well, and had personally witnessed enough to justify reprisals against those “inhuman” Serbs.

Those would be judgements of the human heart, however, a tinderbox fully at the mercy of vengeance and our selfish soul. It is our intellect and reason, and a moral standard that upholds human dignity, selfless mercy and the standards of human rights-one that is bolstered by laws and ideals that sanction those who violate those laws and ideals.

It has been a point of study into the psychology of war atrocities. Organizing relief, I was fascinated by the utter inhumanity that Hutu neighbors, friends and even family turned on their Tutsi kin in Rwanda. I had looked into the eyes of an elderly man who was so friendly and hospitable to me and others, only to smile gleefully and draw a finger across his throat at the blindfolded young Serb. Study the faces of men and women captured on film at executions and other atrocious acts, and you will find mostly complacent stoicism, but enjoyment and satisfaction in others. Other times there is a tribal, animal sort of orgiastic frenzy akin to videos of great apes and chimpanzees brutalizing others of their species.

The filming and ritual of degrading enemy dead-civilian and soldier alike- is hardly new. There seems to be an impetus to document such deeds, like posing with an animal after a hunt. It is tribal and perverse, apart from the illegalities. Worse it is shameful and wrong for some very fundamental reasons.

Preeminent among those reasons is the very assertion of many in this nation that America is the greatest nation on the earth, the “shining city on the hill,” and “the last best hope for mankind.” How does an act such as this further than notion, or convince our enemies otherwise? And if we discount enemies and other nations, how does this act strengthen those notions for ourselves?

If we truly believe we are the righteous in this conflict, is this how the righteous act? Where does is say in the Bible that in war it is alright to desecrate the enemy’s dead? It is an immoral statement to justify such acts by pointing to the enemy, if not for the reason above, then on the premise that it lowers us to the level of an “immoral” enemy. We demand that police abide by laws, and must adhere to the constitution and civil liberties in those duties. No one reasonably argues that the police can act lawlessly when dealing with lawless criminals, i.e., summary street executions, bombings, lootings of suspect houses or the wholesale beating of say a shoplifter or car thief.

Many on the Right heralded and praised the act with the patently immoral and thoughtless lament that “it is war.” They would not have considered that excuse for Nazi death camp guards or Japanese soldiers during the Second World War. Those criminals were held to account, often at the cost of their lives. War is not a frat party with license for abandon. It is not a right of passage, and even if it was, a soul does not switch off the tribal act of desecrating enemy dead in such a way when they return to “peaceful” society.

I have seen firsthand how acts of violence in war-whether justified or not, resonate terribly well beyond war. These men crossed a terrible line, not just in the act, but in their soul, and by the witness of thousands, and perhaps millions, have pulled us across that terrible line with them.  War is not a time for boys to be boys. It should be an aberration from rational human interaction and conflist resolution. It is a terrible and evil necessity, one that a nation should align itself on the side of righteousness and the weak.

I fully comprehend the moral entanlgements and confusion in combat. I have been there. I also understand revenge. I understand the emotions in a battle that would compel one to desire the ultimate fate upon an enemy. That is the specter of vengeance and the unhinged human heart. i confess to those emtions(watching Serb s purposely fire antiaircraft rounds at a mother and two children). I also understand that the world is a harsher and far more dangerous place when we give ourselves fully to that unbridled hate.

In the end, for these three Taliban fighters, who espouse a world and belief system I am very much opposed to, and who I believe must be defeated, the fight was over when the life left their bodies. What those soldiers then did is the worst side of all Americans and was a filthy and unnecessary act that can only be defended by those who have never been to war, or those who are too filled with innate anger and hate to see past the storms of their own heart.

Big government? Damn right. The biggest! Just fix it.

So the mantra from the right these days is that government is too big, and we must shrink it, not to make it more efficient, but so it can get out of the way of business.In the age of the highest corporate profits in human history that rhetoric is obscene. Fundamentally, that is an anti-American, anti-Constituional idea. Let’s set aside the argument that government exists because it has the power to do things individuals simply can’t do, like build a road, fight a war, enforce health and safety codes, maintain a justice system and get toilets to flush safely from coast to coast.

This nation is being duped into buying the perverse and dangerous idea that corporations are virtuous and wise, while government is corrupt, inept and out of control. Are they saying they’d happily trade corporate control for the United States government? Have they never seen a corporation go bankrupt? Go out of business? End pensions? Break the law?

Name me a single corporation that has existed as long as the US government? Name me a single one that acts as a democracy? Name one that voluntarily protects the interests of individual workers rights without those rules being imposed by government. Name one. That corporation doesn’t exist.

Without government, corporations would pollute the environment, abuse employees, and even murder labor activists http://www.nytimes.com/2001/07/26/international/26COLO.html?searchpv=day04&pagewanted=print . They would be free to pay employees the lowest possible or barely survivable wages with no benefits in dangerous environments. Get hurt on the job due to their negligence and you’re history, and so is your family’s future.

The problem with government is that the Democrats and especially the Republicans have allowed and facilitated the corporate stranglehold on government,  a crime promoted and repackaged in the pseudo-Press suppositories of FOX, CNN, MSNBC and talk radio, all of which are owned by significant corporations with huge interest in the outcome of this quiet coup.

The people can take it back, but they have to get smart, get organized, and defend a government large enough to defend a Constitution that was written for people not corporations.

What you really what, whether you realize now or later, is a government big enough not to get bullied by terrorists, rogue nations, competing nations, and least of all self-interested corporations. But it has to be a government humble enough to protect the homeless guy on the corner from being run off because he fell on hard times, or the millions of families faced with foreclosure

The Bush tax cuts for the rich (still in effect) have failed to generate the jobs Republicans and the rich promised would happen if those tax cuts continued. The government should be big enough to conclude a war and recognize the rights of minorities and the wrongly accused.

Big government? Damn right. The biggest! just fix it.

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