April Fools’ Day is coming up on April 1st, and you’ll want to be prepared. After all, you don’t want to fall victim to any political practical jokes. My Political April Fools Day limerick should help.
A man will be imprisoned in a room with a door that’s unlocked and opens inwards; as long as it does not occur to him to pull rather than push. ~ Wittgenstein
Democracy is the problem the corporate elites need to overcome to ensure their dominance is this information age we live in.
There are more of US. The workers. regular folks- you and me. That ‘special interest group’ I think of as “We the People”. Legislators need us to be elected into office. the corporate elite need us to make the crap they sell us, yes, they need us to consume consume consume, while of course not overly digging into their profits with the money they pay us for our time and our expertise.
There are more of US. Our problem? A predatory system we are inculcated with since birth, Capitalism. Just as a slave growing cotton was not a farmer, we are not Capitalists. We are subject to Capitalists. We may even aspire to become Capitalists.
Free enterprise is not synonymous with Capitalism. Capitalism is about exploitation. Domination. Nor are our best interests in accord with those who seek to dominate our lives, the totality of our being- our short span of time here, the culture we collectively create and live in, our very ‘inner life’ even, is what they seek to control for their ends.
People hear the pundit drivel, hear Palin in her leather coat and hair in a bun- and never it seems examine the meaning of what is being said. Kneejerk reaction keeps us separate and in thrall to the powers that seek to nullify the validity of our time and experience, our loves and the legacy of being we wish to pass down to our children. Or ‘should’ wish. It seems a loud minority has internalized the will of the corporate machine over their inner knowing, that sensible ethical part of us that most people have. The following offers up how ‘they’ nourish this.
Consider how the ethical and decent get lost in the shouts of the larger media herd.
Here is a lengthy bit of food for thought:
Decoding the Language of Social Control
By MANUEL GARCIA, Jr.
“Government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem” — Ronald Reagan, First Inaugural Address, 1981.
“It’s not the government’s money, it’s the people’s money” — George W. Bush, stump speeches, 2000.
“I don’t want to pay for somebody else’s…” “problems” (welfare), “kids” (public schools), “medical” (health care).
The social programming language of capitalist authoritarianism seeks to activate personal greed, intellectual insecurity and visceral racism as motivators of guided popular political reaction. The Pavlovian logic to this scheme of social manipulation is that all human beings are possessive, gullible and fearful.
Don’t think this last generalization too extreme. Rare are the people who are as unconcerned about their survival and possessions as were Diogenes of Sinope, the Greek “cynic” philosopher of the 4th century BC, and Ry?kan Taigu (1758-1831), the hermit Zen monk poet and calligrapher. Similarly, rare are the people, without organic brain disorders, who do not have some fear of being made fools of when matching wits with more polished, more educated, more experienced, more charismatic or simply a luckier class of people. Lastly, we are all racists. As highly evolved monkeys, we instinctively identify with our monkey troop of people with similar appearance, existential outlook, language, culture, place of origin, the economic neighborhood we imagine we deserve a place in, and the socio-political fantasy we have been imprinted with and trained to take as the thread of history that expresses us.
As we become more self-aware, more experienced and better educated, we can see through many of the racist concepts and attitudes of the past. But, it is self-deception to imagine that we have ever individually “gone beyond racism” in our visceral responses to the instants of daily life that erupt before us, or that we will never have a sudden emotion, thought or fear that is completely above the muck of primordial racist reaction. It is intellectual pride, and false, to assume we can consciously will ourselves to transcend the psychological reactions of our paleo-mammalian brains. Instead, it is psychologically much healthier to realize that our common human nature assures that any behavior humanly possible, remains humanly possible for each of us as well. C. G. Jung made this point about Nazism, that those people least likely to act like Nazis and Nazi collaborators were those who knew they had no special immunity to Nazi psychology (not assuming they were too “intellectual”, “moral”, or “religious” to be swayed), but instead actively countered its influences to their behavior. A similar attitude operating out of the cerebral cortex is needed to manage the unthinking motivations arising out of our deeper-set limbic system, our reptilian brain. Racism is a burst of raw emotional energy whose emergence is to be detected and redirected intelligently, while within the individual.
People whose self-awareness, of the type described, is weak and under-developed can be manipulated more easily. “There’s a sucker born every minute” (pre-1898, attribution uncertain). People who are keenly aware of this psychology, and devoid of moral principles, like the fictional Elmer Gantry and the all-too-real Joseph Goebbels, can manage the herding of a mass of people to give up their power — in every sense of the word — to a driving elite. The few rule the many by persuasion. The levers of direction are the popular flaws of character.
We the People.
In theory, the many governments (federal, state and local) in the United States of America are democracies: assemblies of elected representatives of populations of citizens, and officials appointed by the elected representatives to execute specific tasks in the public interest. In this model, government is the apparatus designed to implement the popular consensus about the management of the shared material existence of the citizenry. Identifying and prioritizing the specifics of the popular will are supposedly accomplished by the concentrating and winnowing effects of competitive electioneering, and parliamentary debate. The regulation of markets and trade, the upkeep of public infrastructure, the provision of emergency services against natural disasters, and the prudent maintenance of defense forces are all examples of publicly shared concerns governments are created to manage. The education of children till they reach adulthood, intellectual maturity and a self-sustaining professional competence, as well as the health care of the citizenry are enduring publicly shared concerns that are ideally suited for management by functionally dedicated government apparatuses.
When Ronald Reagan said “government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem,” he was saying that we the people were the problem, since our government is the democratic abstraction of our shared existence. So, if we are “the problem,” then whose problem is this? Why would “our” President disown the apparatus of our common will, whose implementation he had been entrusted to lead? Certainly, one could understand “our” President saying that there were problems in the government apparatus limiting its responsiveness to our needs, and effectiveness in achieving our goals: “my purpose as your President is solving the problems our government has in meeting all its obligations to the public.” Note however, this last quote is fictional.
On the 20th of January, 1981, the new President of the United States was telling us that “we the people” were in somebody’s way, a somebody who actually was represented by the power and authority he now held, and which he intended to use to destroy the deposed government that was “us.” A coup. In the light of subsequent history, a reasonable characterization. Twenty-nine years and one day after Ronald Reagan came to power, the U.S. Supreme Court made it plain, by issuing its Dred Scott decision of the 21st century, elevating corporate rights above those of individual flesh-and-blood human beings. Now, every legally recognized person — real or corporate — is equally entitled to spend as much as they have, to influence political debate. Clearly, because political access is so precious, it must be metered out on the basis of wealth.
“The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.” (Anatole France: Jacques Anatole Francois Thibault 1844-1924)
“It is true that liberty is precious, so precious that it must be rationed.” (Attributed to Lenin: Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov 1870-1924)
Yes, we the people are certainly in somebody’s way, unless our consumption, labor or demise lards a corporate bottom line. Think of yourself as a unit in a statistical ensemble of metabolic form virtual property, an advanced concept of slavery that transcends the 13th Amendment and the unitary static materialist concept of the lump-of-flesh slave; a human herd whose collective activity in a spectrum of markets exudes profitability like the methane clouds that flatulate up from bovine concentrations. The free market system strikes a match to the gas, charges you for the heat and leaves you with the ashes, if not a scorched rump. We are herded by the owners of the markets we are counted in.
One example is health care; our medical needs are not the prime concern, but instead preserving the profits of the parasitic medical financing business carried on by the insurance industry, which is interposed between medical providers and patients. So, our medical market owners, the insurance industry, must herd us to its best advantage, not ours. When we the people try to fashion a public health care system that does meet our needs, by cutting out the middleman (the essence of good business practice), we immediately find that “government is the problem.” In fact democracy is the problem. If democracy is not strictly rationed, the whole herd might stampede and any number of markets tossed over and sunk, like the bales of tea dropped into Boston Harbor on December 16, 1773.
It’s All About The Money
When George W. Bush said “It’s not the government’s money, it’s the people’s money” during his campaign speeches in 2000, he was broadcasting coded programming language designed to activate resentment over personal inadequacies, and have the resulting shame-based anger projected onto a victim population. The purpose of such social programming is to train the indoctrinated population to maintain its unthinking visceral obedience to the directing ideology, and so provide political support to an oligarchy that simply exploits its trained masses shamelessly.
When you hear people say “I don’t want to pay for somebody else’s…” “problems” (welfare), “kids” (public schools), “medical” (health care), you hear the internalized programming. With blissful obliviousness these political automatons will allow their economy to wither, and dispatch their tax dollars to fund the gold-plated war-waste of the Pentagon system and the many outrageous corporate subsidies (“bonuses”) that remain protected by the “tax cuts” that are so liberal to corporate wealth, so measly for the suckers, but do bump those “welfare cheats” off the dole most satisfactorily to both the duped and the malevolent.
The great con-job here is in training a large population into accepting that property has more rights than people. Since under democracy there is always the threat that popular consensus could place some restrictions on “property” (the “right” of money to do as it pleases), then property — as it is understood today: wealth protected by the legalistic über-persona of corporate structure — must destroy democracy. Democracy is communism.
A History Of Social Control
How did the corporate ideology social programmers manage to peel back a million years of human evolution to produce the “Tea Party” sideshows where people act at their limbic level, like monkey troops howling over the invasion of their banana groves? Let’s skip through history to piece together an answer.
The European white man used a divide-and-rule strategy to control the native populations of the many countries he colonized in the Western Hemisphere, Asia, Africa, the Pacific and the Middle East. Tribal rivalries stoked by the white overlords could keep the natives distracted from coordinating a united opposition to colonialism. Selected native groups and individuals could be educated and trained to become the local managers and enforcers of the white man’s rule. They internalized the white man’s culture up to a point, sufficient they hoped to “elevate” them out of native society and into some respectable place in the white man’s social hierarchy, and along with that add to their wealth and prestige. These were the compradors, native-born agents of colonial interests in Asia, and the native troops deployed by white colonial management to control the native masses. Successors in the role of native collaborators with white social control are the racial and ethnic tokens deployed by U.S. corporate and political management today; some are quite polished, prominent, and well-paid.
The management of today’s masses in the United States evolved out of the mechanisms for managing the natives that began with Christopher Columbus and the European Conquest of the Americas. Native and slave management in early colonial times evolved into race management after the Civil War, and then to the economic and social class management of the present day. The entire mentality of social control is that of colonialism.
The most significant Civil Rights legislation since the end of the Civil War was enacted during the presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson (Democratic Party):
— The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (extended voting rights and outlawed racial segregation in schools, at the workplace and by facilities that served the general public),
— The National Voting Rights Act of 1965 (outlawed discriminatory voting practices that had caused the widespread disenfranchisement of African Americans),
— The Civil Rights Act of 1968 (the “Fair Housing Act” prohibited discrimination concerning the sale, rental, and financing of housing).
The combined tensions of desperation by white racists at losing overt social control, and the pent up rage of blacks over the slow pace of authentic relief of oppression and the opening of economic opportunities, erupted into many urban riots during the 1960s. Very prominent ones were: the Watts Riots of 1965 in Los Angeles; the 1967 riots in Newark and Detroit; and the 125 cities that erupted into riot during April and May of 1968 in response to the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., on April 4th.
In 1968, Richard M. Nixon (Republican Party) used a “Southern Strategy”, a “law and order” play on Southern white racist resentment, to win the presidential election. Johnson likely assumed that Civil Rights legislation would bring a flood of black votes to the Democrats nationally, and perhaps compensate somewhat for the certain loss of Southern white racist votes; but, blacks are only about 12% of the population, and Nixon counted on there being more than 12% white racist resentment within the 75% white population — both in the South and nationally. He won by a landslide.
In the 1980s, Ronald Reagan tapped into the submerged bigotry that exists coast-to-coast, to call forth the resentful inner white Southerner (the inner Confederate) within much of the national electorate, and win the presidency. Reagan’s managers had learned from Nixon, and devised an expanded form of the Southern Strategy.
During George W. Bush’s 2000 presidential campaign (as well as his two terms in office) economic class and “race” codewords were euphemisms for each other. The decoded programming message was: poor and unworthy people, like wasteful and lazy blacks, and dirty and ignorant Mexican (Latino) immigrants are taking “your” (deserving inner whites’) money by creating social welfare burdens that “your” government is now forced to pay, because of bad “give-away” legislation foisted on it by wrongheaded liberals (white snobs and non-white agitators). Your undeserved (because of your inner whiteness) increasing poverty is directly attributable to the drain on taxes by these unworthy, non-white-centered, strange-language populations. In voting for George W. Bush (and obeying his managing oligarchy), you put money “back” into the pockets of people like you, who deserve it.
All the language publicly broadcast by “conservatives” is pure lying to induce visceral obedience to the corporatist oligarchy’s political control, and allow it to continue bleeding the public like a swarm of elephant-sized ticks. Following are generalized decodings of the core instructions and their imprinted reflection.
The Hypnotic Message (“watch the watch…”):
You lack… stuff (money, brains, looks, youth, education, a nice location, a desirable mate, successful children), so you resent paying for others who get it free; others who are inferior, threatening, strange, unclean, unwholesome, wasteful, disrespectful of your importance (as a real American), and of your precedence in “our” traditional system of social rank. You resent these others polluting and degrading the system you expect to provide for you, to profit you, to honor you, to hold still and not progress beyond your capacity to understand, and to preserve the order of social rewards so no unworthy others pass you by and push you back. You must fight back, don’t let them have free things which your work has paid for, don’t let them have advantages that makes it easier for them to advance ahead of you, and makes it harder for you to maintain your superiority without learning anything new, without becoming smarter or richer on your own. Don’t let these others have advantages that crowd the places you expect to occupy as you move on in life; crowd them with more unwholesome unworthy competitors, whose increasing number threaten to diminish your standing, and end your way of life.
The Internalized Message:
I lack stuff, and it is these unclean others who have degraded the system that previously would have moved me up faster and more comfortably. So, I want to exclude these others, keep them from crossing “our” borders, and taking our advantages without paying as much as I did; even worse, creating problems my tax dollars have to pay for and which wouldn’t even happen if those people weren’t here, so I would have more of my own wealth. I have to stand up for the people like me who run for office and are willing to get the government to take care of the real Americans, who deserve the benefits that they paid for, and their parents and grandparents paid for; that will push out the unclean ones and ensure there are no extra moochers sapping our wealth, and bringing me down. Because I lack stuff, I don’t want to pay for other people to have stuff, and because I don’t want the government to take more of my money, I’m voting for the people who want to cut down the government, and cut down taxes. I’m voting to stop the give-aways, because the politicians who will do that care about me, a real American who makes a real contribution to the country, and deserves not to have it pissed away on wasteful others.
And so are fools serenaded into the abattoir.
You didn’t get mad when the Supreme Court stopped a legal recount and appointed a President.
You didn’t get mad when Cheney allowed Energy company officials to dictate
You didn’t get mad when a covert CIA operative got outed.
You didn’t get mad when the Patriot Act got passed.
You didn’t get mad when we illegally invaded a country that posed no threat to us.
You didn’t get mad when we spent over 600 billion(and counting) on said illegal war.
You didn’t get mad when over 10 billion dollars just disappeared in Iraq.
You didn’t get mad when you found out we were torturing people.
You didn’t get mad when the government was illegally wiretapping Americans.
You didn’t get mad when we didn’t catch Bin Laden.
You didn’t get mad when you saw the horrible conditions at Walter Reed.
You didn’t get mad when we let a major US city, New Orleans, drown.
You didn’t get mad when we gave a 900 billion tax break to the rich.
You didn’t get mad when the deficit hit the trillion dollar mark.
You finally got mad when the government decided that people in America deserved the right to see a doctor if they are sick. Yes, illegal wars, lies, corruption, torture, stealing your tax dollars to make the rich richer, are all okay with you, but helping other Americans…oh hell no.
“The American corporate media does not serve the truth. It serves the government and the interest groups that empower the government.
America’s fate was sealed when the public and the anti-war movement bought the government’s 9/11 conspiracy theory. The government’s account of 9/11 is contradicted by much evidence. Nevertheless, this defining event of our time, which has launched the US on interminable wars of aggression and a domestic police state, is a taboo topic for investigation in the media.
It is pointless to complain of war and a police state when one accepts the premise upon which they are based.”
March 25, 2010, 8:00 a.m. EDT · Recommend · Post:
Secretary Michael Chertoff Joins BAE Systems, Inc. Board of Directors
ARLINGTON, Va., Mar 25, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) — The Honorable Michael Chertoff has joined the BAE Systems, Inc. Board of Directors. As a member of the Board, Secretary Chertoff will provide oversight and strategic counsel, further ensuring that BAE Systems, Inc. is well positioned to meet current and future customer requirements in the defense and security markets.
“We are delighted to have Secretary Chertoff join our Board,” said General Tony Zinni (USMC ret.), Chairman of the BAE Systems, Inc. Board of Directors. “Secretary Chertoff is uniquely well positioned to support the Company as it continues to grow in the global security market. His years of experience in the security domain will be of tremendous value to our businesses as we help our government and private sector customers develop cyber security solutions, combat terrorism and organized crime, and strengthen border and transportation security.”
“I am honored to be joining General Zinni and the other outstanding members of the Board in supporting BAE Systems, Inc.’s strategic efforts to address 21st century security challenges,” Secretary Chertoff said.
Michael Chertoff served as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security from 2005 to 2009, where he led efforts to advance our cyber security and to block would-be terrorists from crossing U.S. borders, working closely with global allies. Previously, Secretary Chertoff served as a federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third District.
Secretary Chertoff is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. From 1979-1980, he served as a clerk to Supreme Court Justice William Brennan, Jr.
Secretary Chertoff joins a distinguished group of outside directors of BAE Systems, Inc. They are:
— General Anthony C. Zinni (USMC, ret.) Chairman of the Board Former Commander of U.S. Central Command
— Chairman Lee H. Hamilton Former Member of Congress, Chairman of the House Intelligence and Foreign Relations Committees, and Co-Chair of the 9/11 Commission
— Richard J. Kerr Former Deputy Director of Central Intelligence
— Lt. General Kenneth A. Minihan (USAF, ret.) Former Director National Security Agency
— Admiral Robert Natter (USN, ret.) Former Commander of Fleet Forces & Atlantic Command
— General J.H. Binford Peay, III (USA, ret.) Former Vice Chief of Staff U.S. Army and Commander of U.S. Central Command
— Dr. William Schneider, Jr. Former Undersecretary of State for Security, Science & Technology
The company’s Inside Directors are:
— Ian King, Chief Executive, BAE Systems plc
— George Rose, Group Finance Director, BAE Systems plc
The company’s Officers/Directors are:
— Linda Hudson, President and CEO, BAE Systems, Inc.
— Sheila Cheston, Executive Vice President, BAE Systems, Inc.
— Robert J. Fitch, Senior Vice President Government Relations, BAE Systems, Inc.
About BAE Systems
BAE Systems is a global defense, security and aerospace company with approximately 107,000 employees worldwide. The Company delivers a full range of products and services for air, land and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, security, information technology solutions and customer support services. In 2009 BAE Systems reported sales of GBP 22.4 billion (US $36.2 billion).
SOURCE: BAE Systems
John Pilger 25 Mar 2010
In his latest column for the New Statesman, John Pilger describes the increasing American war front across the world: from Afghanistan to Africa and Latin America. This is the Third World War in all but name, waged by the only aggressive “ism” that denies it is an ideology and threatened not by introverted tribesmen in faraway places but by the anti-war instincts of its own citizens.
Here is news of the Third World War. The United States has invaded Africa. US troops have entered Somalia, extending their war front from Afghanistan and Pakistan to Yemen and now the Horn of Africa. In preparation for an attack on Iran, American missiles have been placed in four Persian Gulf states, and “bunker-buster” bombs are said to be arriving at the US base on the British island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean.
In Gaza, the sick and abandoned population, mostly children, is being entombed behind underground American-supplied walls in order to reinforce a criminal siege. In Latin America, the Obama administration has secured seven bases in Colombia, from which to wage a war of attrition against the popular democracies in Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Paraguay. Meanwhile, the secretary of “defence” Robert Gates complains that “the general [European] public and the political class” are so opposed to war they are an “impediment” to peace. Remember this is the month of the March Hare.
According to an American general, the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan is not so much a real war as a “war of perception”. Thus, the recent “liberation of the city of Marja” from the Taliban’s “command and control structure” was pure Hollywood. Marja is not a city; there was no Taliban command and control. The heroic liberators killed the usual civilians, poorest of the poor. Otherwise, it was fake. A war of perception is meant to provide fake news for the folks back home, to make a failed colonial adventure seem worthwhile and patriotic, as if The Hurt Locker were real and parades of flag-wrapped coffins through the Wiltshire town of Wooten Basset were not a cynical propaganda exercise.
“War is fun”, the helmets in Vietnam used to say with bleakest irony, meaning that if a war is revealed as having no purpose other than to justify voracious power in the cause of lucrative fanaticisms such as the weapons industry, the danger of truth beckons. This danger can be illustrated by the liberal perception of Tony Blair in 1997 as one “who wants to create a world [where] ideology has surrendered entirely to values” (Hugo Young, the Guardian) compared with today’s public reckoning of a liar and war criminal.
Western war-states such as the US and Britain are not threatened by the Taliban or any other introverted tribesmen in faraway places, but by the anti-war instincts of their own citizens. Consider the draconian sentences handed down in London to scores of young people who protested Israel’s assault on Gaza in January last year. Following demonstrations in which paramilitary police “kettled” (corralled) thousands, first-offenders have received two and a half years in prison for minor offences that would not normally carry custodial sentences. On both sides of the Atlantic, serious dissent exposing illegal war has become a serious crime.
Silence in other high places allows this moral travesty. Across the arts, literature, journalism and the law, liberal elites, having hurried away from the debris of Blair and now Obama, continue to fudge their indifference to the barbarism and aims of western state crimes by promoting retrospectively the evils of their convenient demons, like Saddam Hussein. With Harold Pinter gone, try compiling a list of famous writers, artists and advocates whose principles are not consumed by the “market” or neutered by their celebrity. Who among them have spoken out about the holocaust in Iraq during almost 20 years of lethal blockade and assault? And all of it has been deliberate. On 22 January 1991, the US Defence Intelligence Agency predicted in impressive detail how a blockade would systematically destroy Iraq’s clean water system and lead to “increased incidences, if not epidemics of disease”. So the US set about eliminating clean water for the Iraqi population: one of the causes, noted Unicef, of the deaths of half a million Iraqi infants under the age of five. But this extremism apparently has no name.
Norman Mailer once said he believed the United States, in its endless pursuit of war and domination, had entered a “pre-fascist era”. Mailer seemed tentative, as if trying to warn about something even he could not quite define. “Fascism” is not right, for it invokes lazy historical precedents, conjuring yet again the iconography of German and Italian repression. On the other hand, American authoritarianism, as the cultural critic Henry Giroux pointed out recently, is “more nuance, less theatrical, more cunning, less concerned with repressive modes of control than with manipulative modes of consent.”
This is Americanism, the only predatory ideology to deny that it is an ideology. The rise of tentacular corporations that are dictatorships in their own right and of a military that is now a state with the state, set behind the façade of the best democracy 35,000 Washington lobbyists can buy, and a popular culture programmed to divert and stultify, is without precedent. More nuanced perhaps, but the results are both unambiguous and familiar. Denis Halliday and Hans von Sponeck, the senior United Nations officials in Iraq during the American and British-led blockade, are in no doubt they witnessed genocide. They saw no gas chambers. Insidious, undeclared, even presented wittily as enlightenment on the march, the Third World War and its genocide proceeded, human being by human being.
In the coming election campaign in Britain, the candidates will refer to this war only to laud “our boys”. The candidates are almost identical political mummies shrouded in the Union Jack and the Stars and Stripes. As Blair demonstrated a mite too eagerly, the British elite loves America because America allows it to barrack and bomb the natives and call itself a “partner”. We should interrupt their fun.
Oh yea, and be sure to catch her wacky adventures on TLC.
I was just the other day thinking I was happy to not have seen this fucker’s face for a while, then he pops up, doing this. A satirist really couldn’t do better painting a portrayal of an out of touch, rich asshole.