Tag Archives: mitt romney

A note on this week’s show…

Someone left the backdoor open to the media’s little party, and 900poundgorilla with PermacultTV intends to get into that party and shake things up a bit…

Before this goes too far, let me first say that I am deeply indebted to a good friend, and host of Awakened America, Marshall Stern, on Chicago’s Progressive Talk radio, WCPT am820. He had faith enough to prop that back door open to the media party. The efforts I’m putting into the show are in no small part inspired by him.

On today’s show I interviewed Nick Crow(which is an awesome name if you are  a crime novelist), reporter for the Freeport, Illinois Journal Standard about the Sensata plant closing. to catch up the unfamiliar…because the Left has gone wild about the story and the Right has been conspiratorially silent…Romney’s company, Bain capital, has outsourced the entire factory to China. The loss of the factory will immediately put 170 people out of decent paying/benefit offering jobs. It will also carve $7.5 million annually from this town of 25,000. Sensata was a profitable company. The outsourced workers were not only replaced by Chinese workers making .99 cents and hour, but the Freeport workers were made to train their Chinese replacements.  There, you are caught up.

This story has become a circus, and there is a fair amount of cynicism, confirmed by Mr. Crow(really awesome name), by the outsourced Freeport workers that when the election is over the media attention will disappear as well. More over, there is this narrative being spun by Democrats that Romney will come down from on high with a royal edict to restore the company and the jobs. Maybe 6 months ago in some Republic Windows and Doors SEIU-type occupation and sit-in, but not now. Not with the extremism now characterizing the Right, which Romney panders to, if he isn’t actually beholden to it completely. The Freeport plant will be shuttered before the end of the year. Some workers are already gone. Half the machinery in the factory is in China.

After the show I took  several calls from friends listening in, most of whom were shocked  at how we came to the story. After watching a sudden avalanche of attention to the story in the media I was struck that the media was painting something of an illusion. Were we  cynical in our coverage of the story? Yes. Sometimes there are no happy endings. Sometimes the hero doesn’t make it from the caboose to the engine of the runaway train as always happens in the movies. Sometimes that train goes off the rails and into the canyon. This train is off the rails.

It is time for a shift in paradigms, which is not at all any easy accomplishment. It takes a culture to change a paradigm. For example, are we truly in a recession? Or have you been told by the media so comprehensively and exhaustively, that whether or not it is actually true, the paradigm convinces us of our new reality? It’s a damn near impossible question to tackle from within the paradigm. And who would believe you? 

It has become a paradigm in this culture. We hardly notice this sort of media narco-narrative that reinforces the idyllic illusion of a fully marketed and media constructed American Dream. It is full a means of control and sedation. We expect that Joe Worker will lose his job, get foreclosed on but get a puppy. This is the fiction  built into our culture by the corporate and status quo media, to such an extent that we begin to parrot that fiction as it becomes bedrock to the culture.

The truth is, nothing in this nation, no freedom, right or privilege was given, and none were given lightly. They came after terrible bloodshed and oppression, through great and ultimate sacrifice, beneath boot and truncheon or in prison. But some part of us believes that Mitt Romney, at the 11th hour will fall to his knees beneath a pillar of heavenly light (wearing his magic underwear), and succumb to true self-sacrificing humanity. I’m not saying it can’t happen, but I’m not seeing it here.

So what is the endgame? What is the lesson? The lesson is that we will have to fight these people, and we’ve done a piss-poor job of it up to now. If we’d done a better job, Romney and Bain executives would be in jail for pulling a Freeport on us. We rise up by the hundreds of thousands as part of the 99% only to quit after a few months and in the face of a few arrests or a corrupted and corporate-controlled media. The lesson of Freeport, and those 170 good souls is that it should never have been allowed to happen in a so-called god-fearing nation. But that ship has sailed, and with that the lesson remaining is whether we draw the line at Freeport and finally stand to fight, because the only thing that will prevent this from becoming more rampant than it already is through the force of our bodies and our votes standing together.

There is  a fight here, but it cannot be a call to arms, but rather a time to stand. I can get on the radio and play and agitate and play the spoiler to the media’s private little party, but I cannot make  a decision to act for anyone other than myself. The decision to stand for something, or stand against injustice comes from within. The question then becomes: will you stand?


An Open Letter to Mitt Romney: Defuse, Denounce, Divest

Dear Mister Romney,

You claim to be for the middle class, and asserted unequivocally in the first Presidential Debate against President Obama that you “have no idea” what he was talking about regarding the predatorily greedy practice by your company, Bain Capital, in carving up companies and outsourcing jobs overseas as  a means of reaping profits to the detriment of hardworking Americans. The case of Sensata workers in Freeport Illinois, their jobs and livelihoods outsourced to China, and the workers made to train their Chinese replacements shows that assertion to be either a complete fabrication,  a careless disregard for the American worker and the voter, or a stunning lack of oversight by a man touting his supreme business experience.

Here are the facts in the case of the later: Sensata Technologies was hit hard in the global downturn, but rebounded quickly to show a profit this year. In a misleading letter to Congressman Don Manzullo, the company, bought by Bain Capital, the company you maintain a controlling interest in, claimed two-thirds of the company’s revenue’s are overseas. 37% is in fact in this country, with 32% in Europe. The remaining 31% is in Asia. By those standards, there seems little reason to outsource an otherwise healthy and profitable company except out of pure profit, and with a willful disregard to the lives and families and well-being of those workers.

In a recent reply to Congressman Manzullo from Thomas Wroe, Jr. Chief Executive Officer Sensata Technologies, Wroe stated that “…out of 11,400 employees worldwide… We have approximately 9% of our people and 45% of our global payroll in the U.S… Closing the Freeport facility is the right strategy for our business in order to deliver value to our shareholders and to support our global customers.”

How perverse that this nation accepts the ascension of any candidate that would espouse and support such a cruel and inhuman system. In a proper society not  so thoroughly silenced and discouraged beneath the boot of rampant and corrupt economic pornography such  acts would be illegal and met harshly with the fullest weight of the law. But the very government and legal system that  should uphold and defend the constitution and justice has been so completely co-opted as to be easier trashed than reformed.

You. You have the power to change this. You can begin the transformation towards equal justice, and restoration of faith in law by drawing the moral and ethical line in Freeport. You have the power of stopping the very real destruction and upheaval of lives, and in preventing a blow to an entire community. That ultimate consideration should be the least the American people expect, no, demand from a man who desires the presidency. Any less, and any less consideration should mean immediate exclusion from that office, indeed any office imbued with intimate public trust.

Defuse! Denounce! Divest!

Defuse the time bomb your company Bain, whose policies you have championed to the detriment of conscience, has lit beneath the lives of 170 good and decent people, and beneath a community who will not bear this pain lightly. Defuse the time bomb which will deliver the crippling weight of debt, the loss of benefits, the collapse of dreams and the erasure of the work of whole lives.

Denounce this perversion of economics, and the misguided path of  a company so fully animated by the religion of money and the lust for more that it has abandoned all humanity. Denounce the policies that would rationalize and legitimize the abstract of economy over the reality of human pain and suffering. Choose the better path, and if you cannot see that better path then you must consider it a deficit in your own perspective.

Divest yourself from profiteering and the hundreds of thousands you will personally make from the unnecessary dismantling of a profitable company to the detriment of those 170 workers, their families and their community. Divest yourself from this selfish and self-serving immorality and pray to god, before this goes any further, and whole lives are upended and faith in this nation further eroded for the forgiveness of god and the good and decent people of this nation; both the 47% you referred to and the 99% they belong to. Only then can anyone of true heart and character begin to believe that you do indeed care for this nation and its people.

With ultimate resolve,

A deeply concerned American…


Romney picks boy Sarah Palin as VP choice

Gosh, he sure is pretty. Thank you P-90X.

Mitt Romney has announced former Delta(House) Tau Delta frat boy Paul Ryan as his vice-Presidential running mate in some odd Rightwing hybrid between father-figure issues and gay porn. Over the top? How about a cross between a 1980’s J. Crew catalog and a Viagra commercial? I know. kind of the same thing.

But Paul Ryan (R) Wisconsin, has been cruelly demonized by the Left over his so-called gutting of medicare, in which he would give checks to seniors and allow them to purchase their own insurance. You know, the free market solution. See, so the brilliance of that is not to free up federal money that would go directly to insurance companies through their senior citizen middle men. No, the magic of Ryan’s plan is that seniors, now currently covered under medicare, the ones in extremely high risk groups, with a lifetime of existing conditions, and more than likely current ones, would have no trouble finding affordable and comprehensive insurance with their windfall Social Security income. Tthe SSI Ryan would gut, eliminate or privatize.

But funneling money directly to insurance companies who lobby and contribute mightily to Rebulican politicians would be a crime. Sending vouchers for seniors then give it to insurance companies, that’s not a crime, that’s the Ryan Plan. Because, see, that’s all you could use the vouchers for, without granny and grampie going to jail for, what’s the word? Oh yeah, fraud.

Of course, which Paul Ryan are we talking about? Is it the Ryan who wants to cut medicare, because big government is socialist, and the Ayn Rand-ian free market is always superior (Adelphia, Exxon, Haliburton, AIG, etcetera, ectera…) but would increase defense spending benefitting large defense contractors(seeing a pattern here?), or the Paul Ryan that cast the deciding vote to massively expand the controversial Mediacre Part D prescription plan, which, not surprisingly, massively benefitted the pharmaceutical industry!

Jeez, one would be an aw shucks sort of deal. Two? Well maybe that’s a coincidence. But three? Funny, but I’m not seeing alot of consideration in any of that for anyone but big business.  

To be fair, politics is about contrasts; Republican and Democrat, Left and Right, good and evil. My sense is that McCain picked Palin because she made him look less hypocritical by contrast. By contrast, Ryan actually makes Romney look moral.

Great pick Mittens. Thank you, from every true liberal, progressive and democrat. We couldn’t have picked better ourselves.


Unspoken Truths: Bain, Romney and the latest Obama Campaign Ad

Don’t bitch. If you backed away from the Occupy movement and threw money  at Democrats ahead of the presidential election out of some pragmatic retreat to make  sure Obama got re-elected, or because it was time to “face reality,” believing that if one side has super PACs then we have to fight fire with fire, or if you threw in the towel about campaign finance reform and the repeal of Citizen’s United, you’ve got nothing to bitch about. If you are a Republican, you can shut up as well. The hyperbolic vitriol that has become and that is the campaign on both sides is exactly what you get when you concede perverse nonsense such as money equals free speech.

This week a super PAC supporting the Obama campaign, Priorities USA Action released an ad placing blame against Romney for the cancer death of a woman who lost her health insurance after Bain, Romney’s company, closed the company where her husband worked. The Kansas City based GST Steel declared bankruptcy and closed in 2001. Romney claims he was not in control of the company at the time, but FCC filings offer a different perspective, clearly showing that he was in control of the company.

In the ad, Joe Soptic, who worked at GST when Bain took control says, “When Mitt Romney and Bain closed the plant, I lost my health care and my family lost their health care. And a short time after that, my wife became ill. “I don’t know how long she was sick, and I think maybe she didn’t say anything because she knew that we couldn’t afford the insurance. And then one day she became ill and I took her up to the Jackson County Hospital and admitted her for pneumonia, and that’s when they found the cancer, and by then it was stage four. It was – there was nothing they could do for her. And she passed away in 22 days.”

The Right reacted with predictable outrage, calling the ad despicable. Rush Limbaugh mocked Soptic on his radio show today. No doubt in the coming days they will attack every aspect of the story, the man and his family. But the argument is a thin one, particularly in light of the veiled re-hashing of the birther issue in the anti-Obama film heavily promoted on  Right-wing radio called “Obama’s America 2016” is little more than a pro-Romney ad parading as journalism by former Reagan Whitehouse functionary and zealot Dinesh D’Souza.

But the ad speaks to a deeper truth, one that the Occupy movement championed and working-class and the poor have known only too painfully. While politics and big business  are a game to the rich and powerful, the true effects of that game, hidden by a complicit or gleefully dumb media are too often written in the lives lost to those policies.

So a factory is closed. Too often it barely merits a mention on the nightly news. If it does, the cold facts report ten, thousand laid off, or twenty thousand jobs outsourced overseas. Missing are the lives of men and women who may not have the capacity, who may be too old, to whom resources  aren’t easily accessible, or  are unable to tear up lifetimes invested in a home. all too often it is the elderly, those of limited means, perhaps invested and over=extended to provide an education for children, or at the age of retirement when their insurance and the pension they worked for their whole lives is suddenly and legally taken from them.

These  are the people, many tens od millions of Americans for whom the loss of a job or insurance is a devastating event that may take years to recover from, may lead to bankruptcy, foreclosure, and choosing a meal over a needed medical checkup, the electric bill over a meal as despair becomes a cruel indignity to honest hardworking people who lost their jobs and livelihoods not to normal or unforseen economic cycles and calamities, but by strategic takeovers, manipulations of the law, greed and uncaring financial gamesmanship.  

When I visited Sarajevo at the height of the Serbian siege, thousands had died of sniper and artillery attacks. Unreported and uncounted were the elderly who froze to death, starved to death in their homes. Untold children died of malnutrition. Hundreds, perhaps thousands died during those 4 long years of disease.  They were not shot or killed by an overt act of war, but were dead just as surely. 

Is there any difference when a company like Bain takes over a factory with the express purpose of carving it up purely for the financial gain of a few. And when a town is decimated by that closing, when someone like Joe Soptic’s wife dies for what amounts fully to greed, who is responsible for that death? If a couple must choose between heat and food because their retirement has been stolen and they succumb to pneumonia or the effects of cold or malnutrition, who is responsible for that, when the act of ending their retirement was a fully unnecessary and wholly self-serving act? If a mother and  child cannot properly afford pre or post-natal care because her healthcare was discontinued so that a few  stockholders could afford a bigger house, a fancier car or another European vacation, and the child dies, or suffers, who is responsible for that?

Interestingly, and sadly, there will be American’s who are unsympathetic to the pain of men like Joe Soptic, and maybe America needs to confront that darker side of itself to understand the stakes, and those who would lead us down a wholly inhumane and unrighteous path. Perhaps that’s the tactic; to draw out the extremist Right and push Romney into the corner with them, clinging to nakedly cruel, short-sighted and unAmerican positions from which they cannot escape to hide behind the lies, confusion and innuendo they have cloaked themselves in up to now.


Ya know what bugs me?

A few things have been bugging me lately. See if you can relate…

People who congregate in the middle of busy sidewalks. I work in a part of the city where tourists abound. It’s understood that they are out of their normal element, but for those fully initiated into the pace and purpose of downtown life, please pull your head out of your ass, or loosen your belt enough to see from your bellybutton enough that these sidewalks are frantic at best, and a hair’s breadth from complete chaos. Don’t walk out of your hotel with colleagues, all towing luggage and convene a conference in the middle of the damned sidewalk. Be it known, I am not stepping out into traffic, but going straight up the middle. And while I’m at it, love that you feel the need to proclaim loudly in this ad hoc meeting that you are the biggest thing in widget accounting, or heel support marketing. Expecting someone will overhear and beg you for an autograph, relate their brush with your greatness to friends and family, or throw themselves passionately into your arms?

And what is with people who have to shake the kernels of popcorn at the bottom of their paper tub at the movies. News flash, movies already come with a soundtrack, so your pop and shake rhythm section, not so necessary. So what is the deal anyway? Meds not working on that latent anxiety, or are you panning for gold down there?  Feel the need to shake something? Perhaps try grasping your head with both hands and shaking some sense into it.

People do not “go missing.” No one “went missing.” This is one sort of illiterate affectation one numb-headed TV reporter spewed, and now they all do, even getting us to repeat those ridiculous words. A person who is missing to the rest of us, knows where he or she is. You are either missing or your not. Next time someone utters the phrase, “they went missing,” reply, “perhaps they went to the same place your brain went to!”

And finally, this whole deal with the so-called Dream Act, and Obama’s supposed end runaround an intransigent Republican-dominated Congress underscores the Right’s irresponsibility in making humane decisions. People cannot be illegal. People may do illegal things, but they are not illegal. And a child, frightened, trusting fully in parents who they hope will do anything to give them a better, safer, healthier life is not committing an illegal act by crossing a border with their family. They are innocent, and they do not suddenly become guilty by virtue of growing up-like a ripening fruit. When I was young it was still common to call children born out of wedlock, illegitimate. Wow, you are born, not a person, not an individual, but illegitimate?

il·le·git·i·mate  

/adj., n. ˌɪlɪˈdʒɪtəmɪt; v. ˌɪlɪˈdʒɪtəˌmeɪt/ [adj., n. il-i-jit-uh-mit; v. il-i-jit-uh-meyt]  adjective, noun, verb, il·le·git·i·mat·ed, il·le·git·i·mat·ing.

adjective

1.born of parents who are not married to each other; born out of wedlock: an illegitimate child.
2.not legitimate; not sanctioned by law or custom.
3.unlawful; illegal: an illegitimate action.
4.irregular; not in good usage.
5. Obsolete
 
Say, I think number 5 might describe the Right, or at least their views on people.
 

Legacy

I was a child in the 1960s and early 70s, but even at an early age it was impossible not to be affected by those tumultuous years. Even in the suburbs, far from the so-called Grant Park riots, the anti-war movement, Civil Rights, the vitriolic assaults  against those questioning the status (white) quo and Vietnam, the historic scope of those years was inescapable. And that was perhaps the most dramatic period of American History since the civil war. Before that change was far more incremental, and still favored the status quo. White power and supremacy was not assailed or significantly challenged for more than two centuries. That changed in the 1960s.

But the effort begun during those years was surrendered as that generation grew older. Many, though not all, abandoned the ideal of love, peace and egalitarianism they fought, bled, and in the case of Kent State or Martin Luther King, or Malcolm X and many others, died for. To be fair, their dreams were not completely abandoned. Important steps forward in peace, human and civil rights were made, but too many of that generation believed they had won the fight, or had won it enough. In the last several decades a purposeful effort was made to discredit their work and to roll it back as much as possible. As much as civil order would tolerate. But many from that generation abandoned their ideals, or followed the mantra of ideological cowards, a phrase repeated endlessly by the Right:

When I was a young man I was a liberal, when I grew up I was a conservative.

Where is the evidence for the charge that the 60s generation quit, conceded or defected to the enemies of peace and tolerance? First of all, they are the ones mostly in charge now, because succeeding generations have not yet acquired enough money, power and influence. Here are but a few examples. 

Racists have honed their message, and made their craft slicker and less apparent, even seductive. So-called “men” like Limbaugh and Savage and Beck tease the humors of their closeted and bigoted followers in carefully couched language. Human Rights were thrown back pre-Second World War over lawyerly justifications and obfuscations about torture. Vietnam was  a war over money, markets(oil and rubber) and influence filtered through extreme national ego, with just the right amount of racism to sell it to middle America. The perverse invasion of Iraq, the “strategic” picking and choosing of which human rights issues we will interfere in makes American foreign policy in Indochina and the 1960s-world seem naive and innocent by comparison.

And please don’t think this is a generational thing. My generation gave itself to an “Alex B. Keaton” style of morality and conscience, compromising comfort with ethics. We were on watch when the Twin Towers were struck, and when war threatened in Iraq, carried on propaganda and demonstrable lies, we acquiesced. A million of us marched, but it wasn’t enough, because we didn’t understand the powers arrayed against us, nor how to  turn the message to our favor. We stood in the street and then conceded when the war began, disillusioned that a wholly owned media would impune our patriotism, and that a bought and paid for government wouldn’t simply ignore us, it laughed in our faces as pathetic for believing our voice actually held value in this nation.

And now comes the Occupy Movement. they stand for equality. They stand for freedom. And they stand for a government that must work for human beings, rather than corporate and banking interests. And for those simple assertions they are treated like peddlers of porn or worse. Safe from the comfort of their homes, too many in older generations ignore their efforts or dismiss them as kids, communists-and even worse-not serious. They will inherit the world the rest of us failed to improve enough. They are in the fight to reverse the damage the out of control influence corporations have had on the nation and the world. It is a just fight. It is the correct fight, because in each of our hearts we know the alternative should this movement fail.

And they have created their own media. The mainstream media is obsolete and never even a consideration any longer. The revolutions will not be televised, I have heard, it has been digitized. And it works through the amazing  ascension of social networking, instantly and around the world. They control their own message, and underground message, if you will, growing and strengthening as the old media kills itself off with its corrupted and co-opted corporate parentage. Occupy will succeed or build its own society based upon principles often quoted from the Constitution…and Bible…documents too many now wipe their ass with to use as a weapon against others. 

But what if it succeeds? What if a world in which the individual is paramount is forged. What if the government works to further human rights, fight wars only in defense or in defense of the helpless rather than as the enforcement wing of multi-nationals, or the marketing wing of those companies, siphoning taxpayer dollars to subsidize corporate profits? what if we lived in a world in which political candidates were chosen by the people, without the money influence, and that we could be sure they were beholden to us, and if not faced dismissal or prosecution? What if our choice for president was  3 or 5 or a dozen viable candidates, rather than two media chosen automatons shoe-horned into the ballot box? Now what if none of that came to pass?

And so one question remains, one that calls us back to our purer, less cynical, less damaged,more loving and accepting selves? When is it time for change? When do we decide to make that change. Where does a road begin, and when is it time to take the first step on that road. No one can make that decision for another. They must make it on their own. But that decision begins change in the world, every decision makes change in the world, and that is each person’s legacy.  

In my younger days I was a liberal…and I never stopped fighting or believing.

That is my legacy.


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!


If you are not one of the 1% then you are one of the 99%, whether or not you admit to it and vote for politicians that value slogans over substance, corporations over people and confuse unrestrained capitalism over citizen democracy.Occupy is fighting for you, and to keep the nation from collapsing around the 1% too. No charge. You’re welcome. Sleep tight

When you see an Occupier say thank you for being a real citizen and and activist for the constitution. They’ll probably just say, hey, its what we do.


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.


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.


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