Sunday, September 11, 2011
Tuesday, August 02, 2011
This week, United States Representative Doug Lambourn of Colorado was on a local talk radio show when he referred to working with President Obama as (in a disgusted tone) ugh, a "tar baby". (Hear audio here) As appalling as it is to think that one of our sitting elected representative congressmen is referring to the president (or any black person) as a "tar baby", it didn't really shock me. Well, not in the traditional sense of the word. I'm realistic. I realize that there are people out there that ooze contempt for all kinds of people that are different from them; people they can marginalize, put down or otherwise degrade for their own personal benefit or self-esteem. What I wasn't ready for was the reaction of the radio host that delivered this story.
In Cleveland, there is a local morning show (that is syndicated to other cities) called "Rover's Morning Glory". In general, Rover portrays himself to be the voice of reason, and self-proclaims his even-handedness (which I suppose is about as close to "liberal" as you'll get on the radio these days). Rover's reaction to the news story is actually what jarred me. The talk show host (Rover) brought up the story obviously knowing what he was going to say off the bat and immediately launches into a DEFENSE for this person. Apparently this man is capable of reading and found that the original defintion related to a "situation that is impossible to break away from".
Ok.... let's take a breath. So, the definition for this word actually does exist. I suspect though, that for just about anyone that is reading this, or heard this story, this is a surprise. To me, the only times I have ever heard "tar baby" used in conversation was a derogatory reference to "them blacks".
Of course, this isn't the main issue, is it? I could sit here and try to convince you that Rep. Lambourn, Rover and everyone else knows exactly what is going on here and that it is blatant accepted racism. It'd be a losing fight though, because especially in this day and age, if there is an ounce of doubt (at least for the privileged), blame cannot be cast.
Instead, I'm going to highlight this fact... racism is not only alive, it has launched into version 2.0. It is institutionalized. Rover is on a Clear Channel station (WMMS, sigh). Clear Channel is a media conglomerate that owns over 900 radio stations across the country. That means that they own almost 10% of the TOTAL radio market. But even that isn't the whole story. I'm sure that I don't need to tell you who Clear Channel is because they probably own the radio station that you listened to when you were a kid and the most popular one in your town (regardless of what kind of music they play). In Cleveland alone, they own 5 different stations (CBS Radio owns 4). Purely personal experience, but these 9 stations comprise AT LEAST 90% of the listening audience in Cleveland. In fact, these 9 stations occupy 9 of the top 11 stations in Cleveland.
So where is this going? What is the point?
I've made the point before. Media conglomerations are dangerous. They have the ability to spread mass (dis)information at an incredible speed and spread; but also, they have the ability to inflict minor mental changes over time for the purveyors of their content. It's how culture is shaped. Shows like Rover are given talking points (or "suggestions") of show content by corporate executives in the name of ratings, but what they are really doing is pushing an agenda. Even the afternoon show on the same station (one that I listen to and enjoy, actually), the host calls himself a "liberal faggot" on a regular basis, pushing the idea that his ideas are very liberal when in fact, they are what I would describe as "21st century center" (which is 20th century center-right). This assists in moving the conversation further and further to the right. When those that are sold as "liberal" are pushing conservative ideas (look no further than the president himself), any truly liberal ideas sound completely radical.
Ok, ok but we've heard this all before and most of this is just conjecture and editorializing. What's my point!?
WTAM 1100, the most popular station in Cleveland is a news talk radio station. Since I was a kid, I can remember listening to Indians games on this station. I remember hearing local news on that station. They are now a Clear Channel station. The highlights of their lineup include Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, and Fox News Radio updates every 15 minutes or so. I have no delusions. I understand that Clear Channel is a company that most likely cares about the bottom dollar more than they care about pushing an agenda. However, if you are an objective-thinking person, you have to view anyone that would give liars like Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck and Fox News a place to spread their disinformation as exercising an agenda of some sort.
So, just to make sure that I can't be labelled as a "whiny liberal" who is pissed off that the most popular media in his city is conservative-ideology based... I feel the need to say this:
I don't hate conservative ideas. I don't hate conservative people. I don't hate racists (I actually feel for them). I hate LIARS. I hate MANIPULATORS. And most of all, I hate people or companies that will look the other way while our society is degraded by lies and manipulation in the name of profit. We live in a country where ethics are openly disregarded in the name of capitalism. It's exactly the type of thing that gives capitalism a bad name, and makes many like myself feel so far removed from the notion of free enterprise. I would love to start a business in this country, go after the "American Dream" (you have to be asleep to believe it); but I'm not willing to mortgage my ethics in order to be successful. Why are so many business leaders neo-conservatives? It's because oligopolys, unethical behavior, shady dealings, manipulation and mass corruption that exists in government and business helps their natural inclination toward greed.
Of course, I'm just one guy standing in a crowd yelling "the end is near".
Monday, May 02, 2011
For those of us who remember what it was like living in a pre-911 America however, this only symbolizes the end of the beginning of the end. It is often said that "we can't go back to what the world was like before September 11th, 2001" and unfortunately I agree, though for not the same tired cliche notions that are bandied about by the flag waving mouth-breathers that are the "heart" of this country. This death sentence is a self-imposed one, and there is no appeal.
A decade is a long time. We have had almost an entire generation move from childhood to adulthood in that time being indoctrinated into believing that they need to be afraid of boogeymen in the night that hate us for our "freedom". These people will never know what it was like to live in an environment where dying in a plane crash due to pilot error was (and still is) far more likely (1000s of times more likely, in fact) than dying in a plane crash due to terrorist attack. In talking with the younger generation (and even my cohorts) about their fears regarding terrorism, it is apparent that sensationalism takes the front seat and objectivity takes the back seat (♪Which one should I take?♪) And NOT just on Friday. Facts and statistics get pushed to the side in lieu of pathos-based inclinations, and to be honest, looking at the state of propaganda in this country, it's hard to blame them.
I'm going to be up front about this, I was too young to remember the propaganda of the cold war. I wasn't even born until it was winding down. I imagine that the rhetoric was largely the same. However, with the new boogeyman, the stakes have been raised and I fear, that the infrastructure put in place in the last 10 years using Bin Laden as the justification will never be reversed.
The TSA with their aggressive patdowns moved slowly enough that a frog/hot pot of water reference is certainly suitable here. Immediately after 9/11 the security gates were moved so that anyone that went into the gating area (where you board the plane) needed to be run through security. This, combined with enhanced security screening tactics resulted in long lines and all travelers needing to get to the airport HOURS ahead of time (whereas the status quo prior to this was as little as 15 minutes). While seemingly minor, this small change was the first inconvenience to be thrust upon the traveling public. It is my contention that this small psychological toll applied in a repeated and concerted manner upon the American public has led to us now being RAPE scanned and molested at every airport in the country (and coming soon to a train, bus, and sporting event near you). The TSA is most certainly not going away, even amidst a large backlash against these more recent developments. Videos where children are being molested by known sex offenders in uniform resound only with those that prioritize liberty above security (or the theatre thereof).
The Department of Homeland Security is the umbrella under which the TSA, INS and several other governmental organizations reside. I theorize that though we have not seen much day to day activity from the DHS in the last decade, that they will play a huge role in the next phase of the agenda of political elite. It is well-known in the political underground that FEMA (another part of DHS) has been contracting Halliburton to build mysterious empty prisons around the country for the last decade. In addition to this, the visibility of DHS has been increasing. DHS cars and presence at public events just started becoming commonplace within the last year. I would expect that much like the frog in the boiling water, the heat is going to be turned up on this soon. The term "police state" is used far too often, but it is hard to ignore when the federal government shows up at a midwest city's Christmas tree lighting ceremony.
The Constitution is very clear that declaring war is the job of Congress, and that no act of war shall be committed without their consent. It is nothing new that the powers that be have disregarded this important premise. With the advent of the CIA, American leaders were able to exert their will throughout the world in a covert manner; overthrowing foreign leaders, inciting civil unrest and rebellion, assassinating world leaders and running drugs are just a few of the things that the CIA has been doing for the last 60 years. However, as bold as these actions are, they were all carried out within the shadows. Any agent caught carrying out these violations of international law were disavowed and left to face their own consequences if caught so as to preserve the (supposed) integrity of the United States. In the late 90s, actions taken in Somalia, Yugoslavia and Iraq all constituted as psued0-acts of war and were sanctioned (unofficially) by congress. Frog again. By the start of the new millenium, limited actions in Afghanistan (in response to 9/11) were authorized by congress. 10 years later, we are still in a war there. In 2003, in the face of governmental lies presented to the American public regarding a dire need to attack Iraq lest we be attacked first, Congress was once again coerced into approving an emergency measure to allow limited action in Iraq. 10 years later, though we are now allegedly pulling our troops out, we have army bases that are bigger than some cities strewn throughout the country, with no intention of emptying them. Actions in Pakistan, Yemen, and Libya without congressional authorization have all taken place in the ensuing years under Bush and Obama. The American public now accepts our role as world police, lest the "terrorists" get a foothold.
These actions and organizations cost the American taxpayer trillions of dollars over the last decade. Worse yet, they cost America its soul. We can no longer say we are land of the free and home of the brave. What is so free about a government official in uniform feeling up children? What is so brave about attacking someone because we're afraid they will attack us if we don't? We have reverted back to the playground and we are the ugly, overweight bully that if he didn't pick on other people, he'd get picked on.
Osama Bin Laden is dead. Forgive me if I don't jump for joy.
Wednesday, December 08, 2010
Yeah, I know, technically the decade ended last year at the end of 2009, but isn't it nice to end with a nice round number? Also, as far as relevancy to our everyday life, I would say that 2001 was a game changer... we had a new president, it ends with the number "1", and that other... thing. I think for all these reasons above, for all intents and purposes, we can call 2000 the end of the 90's and 2010 as the end of whatever the fuck you would call this abortion of a decade.
I haven't weighed in on things in quite a while and to be honest, it was just because I was absolutely sick of it all. After the 2008 elections, I found it difficult to care anymore. I had put so much time and effort into hoping that the world would become a better place under new leadership that I thought that I deserved a break.
I was wrong.
Today, with the collusion of the mass media markets becoming ever more evident, no actions prove that we are being told what "THEY" want us to be told than the witch hunt being conducted against Wikileaks on behalf of the Obama/Bush crime family. It's not completely without surprise that the government finds it necessary to protect state secrets; I mean, we're not totally gullible are we? We know that our government does things to protect interests that we would rather not know about and that they would rather not have us know about. However, what I find most distasteful is the lack of support for Wikileaks head, Julian Assange in the corporate media. With the destruction of all newspapers that don't fall under the "Tribune" or "Newscorp" umbrella, independent media is a thing of the past. Television news used to give us some hard hitting stories from gritty reporters that would take chances and hunt a story to get to the truth. Now, we get Katie Couric and Brian Williams "sticking it" to politicians that we already know are full of shit, and that is the most notable thing they are doing, you betcha.
I've spoken about the media conglomeration that owns the spread of information in this country before, but as I said, at no time has the depth of corruption, complicity and general laziness been more evident than now. Wikileaks is a media organization that is unearthing unprecedented amounts of government (not just US) coverups and lies, and what is the response they get from their media bretheren? Jeers. And cheers for the prosecution and railroad job that Assange is sure to get now that he is in police custody. It's almost as though they are no longer attempting to hide their allegiance with corporate government or attempting to act like they have any journalistic integrity. I realize that the information that Wikileaks is releasing spawns a bit of a political hulabaloo, but ignore that for a moment. The sole job of the media is to get the facts and report them. It is not their job to keep state secrets. That is the government's job. If the mainstream media do not applaud and astound at the dirt that Wikileaks is uncovering on its journalistic merit alone, it is painfully obvious that we have reached an incredible low point in this country with the information that we receive, and we can see the media giants for what they are.
And of course, the duality of man sorts out the rest. Just like "they" have pitted us against one another with two men of the same cloth (dems. vs. republicans, bush vs. obama), they pit us against one another with a fake representation of both sides in the media (fox news vs. msnbc). They're both a piece of shit. When was the last time you really got some hard hitting news from one of these sources? Usually, what you get is some jerkoff's opinion in an overhanded (or sometimes latent) fashion because he is able to convince you that he knows how to feel about a situation more than you do. This is demonstrable time and time again.
Back to my original point.
So far this decade, we have seen the curtailing of the first amendment with so called "free speech zones". You can't protest inside a public building (why call it "public" then?), but perhaps much more damaging is the cooling effect that certain "hot topics" have had on the way that we communicate and view each other.
Allow me a slight interlude to play you a clip.
Ok, now that we are all shitting our pants looking around to see which one of each other are terrorists, let's talk about the motivations and effect of something like this.
GET SCARED. You're easier to control when you're scared. Stop being so fucking brave. Well, except you poor motherfuckers that serve in the military, be brave and go die. But the rest of you... be very scaaaaared. The powers that be are determined to make 21st century America a place where we have to look over our shoulder for invisible and nonexistent boogeymen that are going to come and "rape errbody".
From my perspective, there are two examples of infractions that are overreported, overstated and saturate the market in the interest of getting you scared and justification for greater infringements on your civil liberties in the name of "safety" and "security". These would be terrorism and pedophilia. We've already talked about terrorists, so let's talk about the pedos.
Now, I know; no one wants to defend a pedophile, and I'm not going to. But I think it's important to talk about what is going on with pedophiles, faux pedophiles and the way that we view them.
First and foremost; Fuck pedophiles. Perhaps a poor choice of words, but I have no love lost for someone who abuses a child. But it's important to remember that these are the people we are talking about when we are talking about pedophiles. We're not talking about the perfectly natural inclination that every man in the history of mankind has to want to fuck 17 year old women. The lines have been so twisted and confused in recent years with different enforcement of different crimes that we have lost all semblence of sanity regarding this issue. It's really a funny issue because at the heart of all of these so called "statutory rape" cases are some deep cross-societal psychological issues that the therapist keeps telling us we need to deal with, but just keep ignoring.
1.) Middle-aged ugly-ass housewives don't want their husbands fucking 17 year old girls. (jealousy)
2.) Dads don't want to acknowledge that their daughters are growing up and are sexual beings. (denial)
3.) The guys that AREN'T fucking 17 year olds, are jealous of the guys that do. (jealousy, again)
My original point with all of this is that scare tactics regarding pedophiles are everywhere, and in the cases that I highlighted above where 2 grown people are conducting in sexual activity, but particularly if the girl is under 18, against all common sense, they throw the book at the "offender" with the velocity of the Freak on a good night. They throw around bullshit statistics and the same ones always crop up... "20% of girls in this room will be raped in their lifetime", "rape is the most underreported crime"... blah blah blah. If it's the most underreported, then are you including what you think is not being reported in your 20% statistic? Let me bring this around to get to the point of all of this, because I have a feeling that I am starting to sound like Gary Busey at the end of a 4-day bender. (by the way, I couldn't think of Gary's last name at first... one of those tip of the tongue things so I typed "crazy Gary" into google and these were the results)
Well, we're a mighty jealous culture, that's for sure. I mean, don't get me wrong... I'm not saying that I wouldn't fuck a 17 year old, but it's not my cup of tea. Call me a fag, but I need to have some sort of mental connection and I just don't think I would get that from someone who wasn't alive when Super Mario World came out. But I digress...
I bet crazy gary's mobile disco is a kickass time.
Anyway, long story long, my point is that these things, terrorism and pedophilia evoke such a visceral reaction from us that we will do anything to avoid them or not enable them that it gives the government a lot of latitude to what is carried out in its name. They're giving us a fucking hernia check at the airport for Christ's sake.
If we're not careful and add some balance into our lives and realize that the giant pedophilic terrorism monster is NOT going to come and get us, then we are liable to turn our entire lives and liberty over to a bloated government that only cares about one thing:
"Get fucking scared, you putrid little citizen"
Friday, October 16, 2009
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Ok, disclaimer out of the way.
I wonder from time to time if this is what adult life is all about; watching the people around you and society at large make decisions that you disagree with and trying to come up with some way for you to personally cope with the consequences of those decisions.
I think most Americans have a vague understanding of the plight of the financial situation of this country right now, but for historical value (and perspective resolution) I will lay out what I have noticed in the past few weeks.
Ok, first there was Bear-Stearns, which was ready to fold earlier this year before the government bailed them out, then allowed Chase to buy up the dirt cheap stock and absorb the remainder of their company; leaving the taxpayer responsible for the mismanagement and benefitting Chase with a cheap aquisition.
Then it was quiet before the shitstorm hit.
For several months we didn't hear too too much, but in August, it all hit the fan. Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac (whom I believe were somehow affiliated with the government to begin with), appeared to be in big trouble. To my understanding, the government absorbed 80% of the companies in exchange for a loan from the federal government in the value of billions. Then there was Lieman brothers, Meryl Lynch, then AIG, then etc...
My problem with all of this is multi-faceted.
First of all, I have a problem that we are here to begin with. All of this was set into motion by coporate greed, government ambivilence (and accomplice), and finally population gullibility and greed. Back in 2001, GW Bush and his accomplices in Congress removed all of the protections against this exact circumstance happening. Laws and regulations that have been on the books since the great depression regarding lending and the housing market were repealed en masse. Now, although I do believe that there are sinister motivations within our own government, I don't think that the desire of doing any of this was to create our current situation, but I do believe that it was all of greed and cronyism, which is just as bad.
Second of all, I have a problem with how we are progressing through all of this. And it doesn't just apply to this, but to a lot of challenges we are currently facing. The world is on notice... The United States of America is willing to mortgage it's values if times are tough. We are weak, we are pathetic and it doesn't take much to make us weak and pathetic. If you would have asked any capitalist a year ago if we should be providing welfare to people (or companies) that are not doing well, they would have thought you were ridiculous. We are making it policy to take taxpayer money from individuals and give them to companies. To make matters worse, we get absolutely no return on our investment, because that money is just gone. We pay for their mistakes, but they get to keep their profits when they make it.... what gives?
As I mentioned before though, this isn't the only thing that Americans are willing to mortgage their souls over. Since September 11th, I have heard an alarming number of people cry for genocide, nuclear war, torture, and illegal detainment. This is America, we do not kill people indiscriminately. We are better than that. We are not Germany, we are not China, we are not Russia, and we are not Sudan. We are supposed to respect individual sovereignty as well as national sovereignty. I guess when your president doesn't know what the word sovereignty means, this is the result you get. Honestly, I don't think he has a grade-school level understanding of the document we call the constitution that he shits on regularly, so I guess he shares that with most Americans. We need to decide what we believe in America, because right now it doesn't look like much... besides an invisible man in the sky and our government of course.
Finally, I feel that due to the complex nature of all of this, the American people are being bilked out of their hard-earned money by big corporations and their own government simply because those entities know that people are either too stupid or too lazy to figure out exactly how they are getting fucked.
I believe in the Bill of Rights. I believe in rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (no matter how you find that happiness, as long as your happiness doesn't reasonably infringe on anyone else's happiness). I believe in the good of the American people, because no matter how ignorant or stupid we may be regarding the world around us, we are generally good, hard-working and friendly people that all deserve respect and individual sovereignty. I believe in an unobtrusive government which does not play favorites and maintains consistancy in policy. (If you are going to have a welfare society where you are bailing out Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac, you also have to bail out Lieman brothers, the small business owner that took a risk and failed, and even the single mother that is about to lose her house because she lost her job).
I'm not asking for much, just a little consistancy. The double-standards are enough to make you throw up.
What I CAN tell you for 100% sure is that there are going to be a lot of people that lose a lot of money in all of this, but the overwhelming majority of them are not going to the be the fabled upper 1%... they're going to be people like you and I. We are going to pay for their mistakes. There other thing I can tell you is that there are going to be some people that MAKE a lot of money off of this.. .and they will be the 1%ers.
A redistribution of wealth... reverse communism if you will. Reverse communism doesn't sound menacing enough though.... how about "Fuck you, you insignificant little American citizen -Love, Your Government"
Thursday, July 10, 2008
I have to say... it is a damn shame that the last safeguard to protect the constitution, the courts, has to be used to often. It is a FACT that officially the 4th and 5th amendments of the bill of rights now cease to exist in this country.
Thanks to the Military Commissions Act, which states that prisoners may be detained without charges, tried without knowing their charges and convicted by a secret court, we no longer have the protection of due process in this country.
Thanks to the new FISA bill that has passed, we no longer have protections against unreasonable search and seizure as specified for in the 4th amendment. The FISA bill also has the added bonus of giving retroactive immunity (yes, this IS unprecedented) to the phone companies that have spied on YOU without a warrant for the past 8 years; simply because the sitting president asked them to. Not because they went to court and proved that you were probably breaking the law, but beacuse of your political ideals or what you do in your free time.
Mark my words, these abhorrations will be overturned in time, but the question is, how long are we going to allow our friends and countrymen to have their LIVES ruined by this bloated and overreaching government.
I want you to think about that for a second, the ramifications of having your life ruined. That means that everything you know is gone. You have no job, you can't see your family every day (if you can see them at all), and you have no future except sitting in a cell, and having the helpless situation of being tried for something that has not even been divulged to you, and the evidence (which you won't get to see either) was obtained through a secret wiretap that was never authorized by the courts.
We are a prison society. We have a higher incarceration rate than anywhere else in the world (see an earlier post for more details on that), and this is undoubtedly going to make it worse.
Things are going to get a whole lot worse before they get better. How many amendments of the bill of rights are we going to allow to be nullified before we stand up and say "that's enough"?
Status of the Bill of Rights
Amendment 1 -
Freedom of Speech (On life support)
Freedom of Religion (OK)
Freedom of Press (corrupt)
Freedom of Assembly (Curtailed)
Freedom to Petition the government (OK)
Amendment 2 - Right to Bear Arms (Alive and well*)
Amendment 3 - Quartering of Troops (Antiquated and irrelevant)
Amendment 4 - Protection Against Unreasonable Search and Seizure (Dead**)
Amendment 5 -
Protection from Double Jeopardy (OK)
Protection from Self Incrimination (Alive and Well***)
Assurance of Due Process (Dead)
Eminant Domain (Perverted and Abused by the corrupt US government)
Amendment 6 - Right to a Speedy and Public Trial (Dead)
Amendment 7 - Right to trial by jury in civil matters (OK)
Amendment 8 -
Protection Against Excessive Bail (Broken)
Protection Against Cruel and Unusual Punishment (Dead****)
Amendment 9 - Rights Retained By the People (Dead*****)
Amendment 10 - Rights Retained By the States (Dead - and has been for a long time)
* - Although there was a recent victory for the second amendment with the overturning of the DC handgun ban, I would argue that the intent of the 2nd amendment is to protect the populace from an overreaching government. Until the people have no restrictions on privately held weapnory (including nuclear weapons), this is an impossibility.
** - See FISA bill
*** - But Abused by the rich and powerful
**** - See: Military Commissions Act - The definition of torture is left to the discretion of the president
***** - While not formally null, the rights retained by the people is largely gone. Most Americans could not even tell you what the ninth amendment IS, and the ones that can, most likely don't know what it means. Basically, what it means is that whatever is not specifically prohibited by law, is therefore legal (see: abortion).
So that is my Bill of Rights overview. As you can see, our rights specifically granted to us are going away, one by one; And you can forget about the ones that are retained by the people.