In The Land Of The Free

Our politicians are always, no matter the party, telling us to take back our democracy from one party or the other…..but let’s be honest there are not telling you the truth……most of what they taunt is myths and lies…..

Myth No. 8—We have a democracy.

If you think we still have a democracy or a democratic republic, ask yourself this: When was the last time Congress did something that the people of America supported that did not align with corporate interests? … You probably can’t do it. It’s like trying to think of something that rhymes with “orange.” You feel like an answer exists but then slowly realize it doesn’t. Even the Carter Center and former President Jimmy Carter believe that America has been transformed into an oligarchy: A small, corrupt elite control the country with almost no input from the people. The rulers need the myth that we’re a democracy to give us the illusion of control.

Myth No. 7—We have an accountable and legitimate voting system.

Gerrymandering, voter purging, data mining, broken exit polling, push polling, superdelegates, electoral votes, black-box machines, voter ID suppression, provisional ballots, super PACs, dark money, third parties banished from the debates and two corporate parties that stand for the same goddamn pile of fetid crap!

Myth No. 6—We have an independent media that keeps the rulers accountable.

Our media outlets are funded by weapons contractors, big pharma, big banks, big oil and big, fat hard-on pills. (Sorry to go hard on hard-on pills, but we can’t get anything resembling hard news because it’s funded by dicks.) The corporate media’s jobs are to rally for war, cheer for Wall Street and froth at the mouth for consumerism. It’s their mission to actually fortify belief in the myths I’m telling you about right now. Anybody who steps outside that paradigm is treated like they’re standing on a playground wearing nothing but a trench coat.

Myth No. 5—We have an independent judiciary.

The criminal justice system has become a weapon wielded by the corporate state. This is how bankers can foreclose on millions of homes illegally and see no jail time, but activists often serve jail time for nonviolent civil disobedience. Chris Hedges recently noted, “The most basic constitutional rights … have been erased for many. … Our judicial system, as Ralph Nader has pointed out, has legalized secret law, secret courts, secret evidence, secret budgets and secret prisons in the name of national security.”

Myth No. 4—The police are here to protect you. They’re your friends.

That’s funny. I don’t recall my friend pressuring me into sex to get out of a speeding ticket. (Which is essentially still legal in 32 states.)

The police in our country are primarily designed to do two things: protect the property of the rich and perpetrate the completely immoral war on drugs—which by definition is a war on our own people.

We lock up more people than any other country on earth. Meaning the land of the free is the largest prison state in the world. So all these droopy-faced politicians and rabid-talking heads telling you how awful China is on human rights or Iran or North Korea—none of them match the numbers of people locked up right here under Lady Liberty’s skirt.

Myth No. 3—Buying will make you happy.

This myth is put forward mainly by the floods of advertising we take in but also by our social engineering. Most of us feel a tenacious emptiness, an alienation deep down behind our surface emotions (for a while I thought it was gas). That uneasiness is because most of us are flushing away our lives at jobs we hate before going home to seclusion boxes called houses or apartments. We then flip on the TV to watch reality shows about people who have it worse than we do (which we all find hilarious).

Myth No. 2—If you work hard, things will get better.

According to Deloitte’s Shift Index survey: “80% of people are dissatisfied with their jobs” and “[t]he average person spends 90,000 hours at work over their lifetime.” That’s about one-seventh of your life—and most of it is during your most productive years.

Myth No. 1—You are free.

And I’m not talking about the millions locked up in our prisons. I’m talking about you and me. If you think you’re free, try running around with your nipples out, ladies. Guys, take a dump on the street and see how free you are.

I understand there are certain restrictions on freedom we actually desire to have in our society—maybe you’re not crazy about everyone leaving a Stanley Steamer in the middle of your walk to work. But a lot of our lack of freedom is not something you would vote for if given the chance.

 
Read!  These observations are accurate and if you ask yourself questions after reading then you will agree.
 
But if you blindly follow then you deserve to lose the rights that you have one at a time until there is NOTHING left.
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Closing Thought–06Mar19

We Americans are proud of our rights….especially our freedom of the press thing……but where does the US fall in the grand scheme of freedom of the press?

There is a World Press Index…..

Freedom of the press. 1. Norway 2. Sweden 3. Netherlands 4. Finland 5. Switzerland 6. Jamaica 7. Belgium 8. NZ 9. Denmark 10. Costa Rica 11. Austria 12. Estonia 13. Iceland 14. Portugal 15. Germany ……40. United States……140. China……..(World Press Freedom Index)

Those “socialist” countries of Scandinavia lead the way in freedom of the press……but don’t tell conservatives and the GOP for it will screw up their rhetoric and narrative for decades.

All this is Making America Great Again, Mr. Trump……and you make it great again by attacking one of our best freedoms?

You people, Trump supporters, are a bunch of deluded slugs if you believe a word of the Trump Lie Machine.

So I have said…so I have written!

Turn The Page!

It’s “Antisemitism” Again

OMG! The House is about to try and bring”charges” up on a member that they accuse of antisemitic words….Rep. Ilhan Omar is once again in hot water with the d/bags that are bought and paid for by AIPAC…..

It’s easy to name the newest member of Congress making the most headlines: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. But another freshman lawmaker continues to generate controversy of her own, and it’s about to intensify this week. Rep. Ilhan Omar, a Muslim Somali-American, is again under fire for statements seen as anti-Semitic. And while the Minnesota representative has apologized previously for similar controversies, this time she is doubling down while denying the anti-Semitic allegations. The details of what’s going on:

  • What she said: Speaking last week in reference to Israel and its supporters in the US, Omar said, “I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK to push for allegiance to a foreign country,” reports NPR.
  • The backlash: Critics pounced on that statement as anti-Semitic, including Jonathan Greenblatt of the Anti-Defamation League. “Accusing Jews of having allegiance to a foreign government has long been a vile anti-Semitic slur that has been used to harass, marginalize, and persecute the Jewish people for centuries,” wrote Greenblatt to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
  • From colleagues: Democratic Rep. Eliot Engel, chair of the House Foreign Affairs panel, also called it a “vile anti-Semitic slur.” Another Democrat, Rep. Nita Lowey, chair of the Appropriations Committee, called on Omar to apologize, saying she “continues to mischaracterize support for Israel.” Rep. Josh Gottheimer, also a Democrat, likened this to when “John F. Kennedy’s loyalty was called into question simply because he was Roman Catholic,” per the Washington Post.
    Doubling down: Omar is not apologizing. “Our democracy is built on debate, Congresswoman!” she responded to Lowey. “I should not be expected to have allegiance/pledge support to a foreign country in order to serve my country in Congress or serve on committee.” She adds that opposing Benjamin Netanyahu “and the occupation is not the same as being anti-Semitic.”
    Possible rebuke: The House is expected to vote Wednesday on a measure that doesn’t mention Omar (at least in its current draft form) but is seen as an “unprecedented public rebuke” of her, per Politico. The resolution condemns anti-Semitism and the “myth of dual loyalty.” Republicans are pushing for more, however, including having Omar removed from the Foreign Affairs panel.
  • AOC defends: Ocasio-Cortez is backing up Omar. “One of the things that is hurtful about the extent to which reprimand is sought of Ilhan is that no one seeks this level of reprimand when members make statements about Latinx + other communities (during the shutdown, a GOP member yelled “Go back to Puerto Rico!” on the floor),” she tweeted, one of several on the topic.
    Trump weighs in: Omar “is again under fire for her terrible comments concerning Israel,” he tweeted. “Jewish groups have just sent a petition to Speaker Pelosi asking her to remove Omar from Foreign Relations Committee. A dark day for Israel!”
    Past controversy: Omar apologized earlier this year after asserting that support for Israel was “all about the Benjamins” and again for a 2012 tweet asserting that Israel had “hypnotized the world.” The “Benjamins” comment led to formal criticism in the House for perpetuating “anti-Semitic tropes.”

All this is so much bullsh*t and a waste of time and energy that should be focused on important issues…I am with Rep. Omar……time for the old farts in the House to admit they are agents of a foreign government…they want to investigate Trump when they may be just as guilty as he.

 

The Golden Age Of Free Speech

We all know about the First Amendment ….the right to freedom of speech…..just how does that equate in this age of information with the access to the internet and all that goes with it?

For most of modern history, the easiest way to block the spread of an idea was to keep it from being mechanically disseminated. Shutter the news­paper, pressure the broad­cast chief, install an official censor at the publishing house. Or, if push came to shove, hold a loaded gun to the announcer’s head.

 

This actually happened once in Turkey. It was the spring of 1960, and a group of military officers had just seized control of the government and the national media, imposing an information blackout to suppress the coordination of any threats to their coup. But inconveniently for the conspirators, a highly anticipated soccer game between Turkey and Scotland was scheduled to take place in the capital two weeks after their takeover. Matches like this were broadcast live on national radio, with an announcer calling the game, play by play. People all across Turkey would huddle around their sets, cheering on the national team.

https://www.wired.com/story/free-speech-issue-tech-turmoil-new-censorship/

The prevalence of “fake news” accusations have expanded in recent years once it was shown just how influential the “news” could be.

Now just the hint of “fake news” can send any conversation off the course and onto the rocks of stupid.

Since we have been thumping our chests about “fake News” I have written about this on several occasions…..https://lobotero.com/2016/12/20/the-curious-debate-over-fake-news/

“Fake News” is just a modern use of Goebbels’s theory of propaganda and as usual I had thoughts on this as well….. https://lobotero.com/2013/01/11/what-is-propaganda/

Calling something “Fake News” does not make it so……and wrapping around the First Amendment does not make it a “true” statement…..and because something fits your limited view of the issue does not make it a factual statement nor does it make it a false statement.

The individual needs to the work to find the truth…….I wish I could state that I have ever confidence that the American people will search for the truth……but as usual I would be deluding myself for most Americans are too lazy to look beyond their little limited view.

And the beat goes on!

Turn The Page!

This Is Why I Dislike The GOP

To me the GOP and the people under the banner are total hypocrites more so than the religious d/bags of the “Religious Right”.

Why do I say this?

A couple of weeks back the GOP came out hard and full throated about the comments Rep, Ilhan Omar made about AIPAC….calling her a racist and demanded she resign……unlike some in the GOP she apologized (I was against her doing so for she spoke truth to power and need not apologize for the truth)

GOP has many members that make racist, yes racist, comments and seldom apologize mental midgets like Iowa’s Steven King (the d/bag not the author) and he seems to be proud of his hateful self……

Firebrand congressman Steve King has no plans to give up his job, despite a recent rebuke from his own peers. The GOP representative from Iowa said Thursday that he plans to run for a 10th term next year, reports the Des Moines Register. “I have nothing to apologize for,” said King. Earlier this year, King added to his history of controversial statements by telling the New York Times: “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization—how did that language become offensive?”

King reiterated Thursday that he misspoke, or was perhaps misquoted, and said he does not in any way support white nationalism. Still, the original comments earned a rare rebuke from Republican and Democratic members of Congress alike, along with a punishment: King was stripped of all committee assignments, per Politico. King shrugged off the latter on Thursday: “If there’s ever going to be a time not to have committee assignments, this time with Nancy Pelosi as the speaker of the House is the time,” he said. One potential problem for him down the road: King already faces three primary challengers.

King is a old white racist and should be called out for what he is…..the GOP will not do that and as long as they allow this type of hate to stay in their party they will always bear the brunt of all criticism…..

Then there is another reason why I cannot see the use of the GOP……their members cannot see what poor people go through….no more evident than something the idiot Grassley said…..

As for Grassley, the irascible Republican penned an op-ed with House Ways and Means ranking member Kevin Brady (R-TX), that attempted to explain to angry voters that smaller refunds are the direct result of not overpaying.

“The size of your tax refund has nothing to do with your overall tax bill,” the two wrote in USA Today on Wednesday. “It merely reflects what you overpaid the IRS in your paychecks last year.”

According to Politico, Grassley was less conciliatory when previously asked about taxpayer discontent.

“Isn’t it kind of stupid to look at a refund, what your refund is?” he blurted. “That doesn’t tell you what taxes you pay.”

Clueless!

You can read more about GOP efforts to get past voter anger here.

I cannot support anyone that is a member of this party…the party of Trump and the party of HATE…..a clueless pack of old angry white guys…..clueless being the operative word.

 

 

The Death Of Malcolm X

On 21Feb1965 Black leader Malcolm X was assassinated in NYC……..

In New York City, Malcolm X, an African American nationalist and religious leader, is assassinated by rival Black Muslims while addressing his Organization of Afro-American Unity at the Audubon Ballroom in Washington Heights.

https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/142725

The question still remains……why was he killed?

Malcolm X (El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, born Malcolm Little) was an influential and inspirational figure to the Afro-Americans in the United States.  A powerful orator, excellent debater and willing to preach “The price of freedom is death,” led for his personality and teachings to be printed across the U.S. and the world.

There are three possible answers.  Three—because each on its own isn’t satisfactory.  Examining the motives behind the killing inevitably leads for more questions to be asked and before you know it, you’re in too deep.

https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/142725

Many people do not like Malcolm X because of his supposed hate for white people….some of that is warranted but after he returned from the Hajj his tone changed for the better to include all people…….

I offer a few videos for those interested…..

This video is a long piece but should be seen to understand the man and the movement he inspired……

This one is a short video that was made for children to acquaint them with the man…..

Malcolm X was more than the negativity that is always bought up when his name is mentioned…….he should be required for any history of America.

Black Face–Another Sad Chapter

We are still hearing about the use of black face by white people to depict a black person…..why?

Virginia is in the news and black face is also…..but what of black face?  It is the 21st century and we are still talking about this act of bigotry.

Yes, there is a long disgusting history of its use in the US…..

Once called the “king of performers,” Al Jolson was famous in the 1920s for his portrayal of blackface.

It’s ironic on the first day of Black History Month a raging controversy erupted in America that recalls one of the more demeaning chapters, that of ‘blackface’, of American Black History.

The controversy prevailed after pages from the 1984 year-book of Virginia Governor Ralph Norton’s tenure at medical school was made public showing individuals dressed in blackface, and a Ku Klux Klan (KKK) uniform, hood and all.

The gravity of the situation not recognized

As the controversy rage, with calls for Northam to resign over his association with the blatant racist images, which he denies involves him, some people within the Caribbean American community failed to recognize the gravity of the situation. Some wondered why should the government pay a price for behavior as a young man of 25, some 35 years ago?

It’s not surprising this question would be asked. As has been seen in the past, several Caribbean Americans, although they are of the black race don’t fully comprehend, or appreciate some of the significance, especially the more negative aspects, of American Black history.

https://caribbeantimesnyc.com/2019/02/blackface-a-sorry-aspect-of-black-history/

I think it is sad that since this situation is a dire need of a solution that I had to find this article in the Caribbean Times…..

Now I ask….are we truly having a conversation on this situation or we just throwing diatribes at it?

I grew up in the racist South of the 50s and 60s and I do not see this as something that we should avoid….we need to air all the

Further Reading……..arguments and not the platitudes.

https://www.black-face.com/

https://www.vox.com/2014/10/29/7089591/why-is-blackface-offensive-halloween-costume