Saturday, August 28, 2010

911 And The "Inside Job" Fetish

by Michael K. Smith

David Ray Griffin's latest 911 challenge, entitled "Left-Leaning Despisers of the 911 Truth Movement: Do you Really Believe in Miracles?" is an allegedly scientific argument, from a theologian, acting as a prosecuting attorney, and curiously addressed to, not scientists, but a handful of leftist activists and journalists. Unfortunately, the thesis is not new, but rather, is the same inferential speculation posing as scientific rigor that Griffin has been promoting for years.

The tediously long technical discussion is chock full of guesswork vocabulary like "seemed to indicate," "it would appear that . . .", "probably," "appears to," and most significantly, "if we suppose that explosives were used . . . " Of course, if we assume a conclusion is valid in advance, we can prove anything.

If Griffin were merely content to cast doubt on the "official theory" of the events of 911, his approach might be forgivable, but he is actually promoting the thesis that the Bush-Cheney administration brought down the Twin Towers and WTC-7 with pre-planted explosives, which reduces the hijacked planes to mere decoys. This implies an extravagantly lunatic plot on the part of U.S. leaders, who are, admittedly, nuts, but not sufficiently to risk their political legitimacy on a hare-brained scheme that yielded a pretext for war that could have been had by far simpler means. (Anyone even mildly informed about U.S. history knows that pretexts for war are very easy to come by.)

The evidence Griffin advances to establish that WTC-7 and the Twin Towers were brought down by explosives, not airplanes, is that the buildings came straight down, exactly as buildings do in controlled demolitions. But if this is true, why weren't controlled demolition experts inundating T.V. networks with calls on 911, when the Twin Towers collapse was being repeatedly shown on T.V. as being the result of the airplane crashes? For two days viewers saw nothing else. If the collapses were so obviously the product of controlled-demolition, experts should have been bombarding the networks with protest calls.

Dr. Griffin also overlooks other obvious questions. For example, if the Bush Administration was in control of the 911 plot, why did it choose to implicate so many Saudis, and not a single Iraqi? With so much of the Bush family money tied up with the Royal Family, it had an obvious interest in deflecting attention from Saudi Arabia. And given its intense desire to invade Iraq, it had an obvious interest in implicating Iraqis. Yet what Griffin calls the "official conspiracy theory" gets this backwards. Why?

More seriously, in his talk, "911 and the American Empire," Griffin gives himself a motive to distort the truth that the 911 Truth movement is supposedly all about promoting. In that talk he says that the only serious remaining question about U.S. Empire is whether or not it is "benign." This is in fact not a serious question, given what happens to the victims of the empire, but Griffin is interested in using 911 to convince the unconvinced that empire is very much "not benign," as though there weren't already an abundance of evidence testifying to its massively destructive impact on innocent people around the world.

The idea that the millions of people killed by slavery, the elimination of indigenous nations, and decades of savage imperial interventions abroad is somehow less significant in occasioning moral revulsion than the 3000 killed in Washington and New York on 911 is ridiculous. But Griffin gives the idea credence, or at least suggests that Americans not already aware of the evils of empire can only be persuaded otherwise by proving that 911 was an "inside job."

On the technical issues related to 911, Griffin concedes that there are only a small number of scientists writing about them, but goes on to claim that the 911 Truth movement has "large and continually growing numbers of physical scientists" as adherents of the cause. If the numbers are truly large, why are so few of them motivated to dedicate their productive energies to the relevant scientific discussion, which Griffin himself has no technical expertise to advance?

Finally, Griffin says nothing about the attack on the Pentagon, which in earlier writings he suggested had been the work of a guided missile, leaving unexplained what happened to the airplane that was said to have crashed into the building. Why such extensive preoccupation with technical issues related to WTC-7, where no one was killed, and not a word about the Pentagon, where hundreds died?

The problem with Dr. Griffin's body of 911 work is the same problem that afflicts believers in mass homicidal gassing chambers in WWII. Both abandon deductive logic in preference for a "cumulative proof," which advances not a single logical chain of evidence linking premise with conclusion, but multiple strands of evidence merely associated with a conclusion. The multiple strands are said to "jump together" and "converge" on the preferred conclusion, not logically require it. This is a very loose standard of proof, and a favorite with unscrupulous District Attorneys and hanging judges.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Obama Wins No-Balls Prize

Nobel Committee Regrets "Tragic Typo" That Mistakenly Awarded U.S. President 2009 Peace Prize

by Michael K. Smith
Legalienation News, Oslo

In a dramatic announcement that drew gasps of pleasure and cries of "it's about time," President Barack Obama today won the "No-Balls" Prize for "spinelessness above and beyond the call of duty," while retroactively losing the 2009 Nobel Peace prize, which the awards Committee confessed had been mistakenly granted due to a "tragic typographical error." The five-member Norwegian delegation explained that it had never intended to award Obama the Nobel prize, ironically named after Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, but rather, the "No-Balls" prize, named after Nobel's brother-in-law Alfred Noballs, inventor of the white flag.

"President Obama's unparalleled record of evasions, cave-ins, and sell-outs is truly awesome," said Committee-member Erik Wahl. "We have never seen a more immense consistency of cowardice." Obama won handily over second-place finisher Morris "Yellow Belly" Butler, who stole money from orphans and spent it on liquor and prostitutes. Gracefully conceding defeat, Butler pronounced Obama "a champion invertebrate with few peers and no superiors."

Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa reacted with unrestrained delight: "From throwing Reverend Wright under the bus to increasing the slaughter of innocents with pilotless drone attacks, Obama has proven himself a great mass of cowardly energy time and again," he said.

Taliban spokesman Qari Yousef Ahmadi in Afghanistan also applauded the Nobel committee's decision, confirming that Obama was responsible for escalating war and had "the blood of countless innocents on his hands." Few can doubt that this is the stuff of which "No Balls" winners are made.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said,"It's difficult to think of a more deserving recipient than a man who sustains simultaneous wars against defenseless populations in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan."

Orlando Sosa, a recent addition to the Nobel Committee, said the selection was intended to honor not just Obama's swan dive into the lap of Big Business, but also his incredibly multi-faceted cowardice, including: (1) peerless command of euphemism and double-think; (2) outstanding capacity to orate for hours without saying a thing; (3) artful evasion of every moral point; (4) proven ability to see nuance where none exists; (5) a capacity to cave-in faster than an avalanche.

Obama conceded he was "deeply humbled" by the honor, and launched a cruise missile attack on Yemen to celebrate. The No-Balls Laureate promised to "stay the course" in Afghanistan, where he has killed more U.S. troops in 19 months than George W. Bush did in 7 years, and accelerate his extraordinary achievements in torture, environmental catastrophe, bankster bailouts, HMO fascism, and imperial wars from Colombia to Palestine.

As a gesture of good will, he pledged the $2 million cash award that comes with his prize to a deserving death squad that preys on children.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Mythology and Reality In World War II

Americans have been subjected to such a relentless barrage of propaganda about WWII that it might be a good idea to ban all discussion of the topic for several decades until we can listen again with fresh ears.

The idea that the U.S. detested "fascism" and yearned to liberate the world from its brutality has long since reached the status of religious dogma in the U.S., but it is difficult to square this claim with the historical record.

Though Hitler made no secret of his aggressive designs in the East, Washington resolutely refused to fight Nazism for almost nine years after the Nazis came to power. Not until Germany declared war on the United States in the wake of Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor did the U.S. opt for war. It took nearly another year before U.S. troops saw their first action against the Germans in North Africa.

Although this is often attributed to "pacifist" sentiment in the U.S., the U.S. public has never been pacifist, and the more obvious factor contributing to this conspicuously long period of non-confrontation is that U.S. leaders viewed the rise of fascism sympathetically. The extreme nationalism characteristic of fascist regimes welcomed Western economic penetration, while persecuting labor and the political left to the point of eradication, an agenda that U.S. state managers and wealthy American investors saw as a proper antidote to “excessive democracy,” that is, most any democracy at all.

U.S. government and business leaders preferred fascism to any variety of socialism or even social democracy, largely equating these with Bolshevik heresy. They approved Hitler as a “moderate” who represented order, anti-Communism, and a favorable investment climate, claiming that he held the ideological middle ground against extremists of left and right. More importantly, they credited him with blocking all possibility of Bolshevik radicalization of the allegedly unthinking masses. They dismissed his anti-Semitic tirades as mere rhetoric designed to appease his more extreme followers.

Given such a favorable impression, it shouldn't be surprising to learn that U.S. investment shot up in Germany as the Nazis rose to power, despite the Depression and Germany’s default on nearly all of its commercial and government loans. Commerce Department reports indicate that U.S. investment in Germany increased 48.5% between 1929 and 1940, while declining sharply everywhere else on the continent, which can only be realistically interpreted as an endorsement of the Nazi program.

Among the key players in the investment boom were DuPont, Ford, GM, GE, Standard Oil, Texaco, International Harvester, ITT, and IBM, companies only too happy to see Hitler crush leftist unions and Marxist parties. For some of these corporations trade with Germany continued through the war years — with Washington’s support — even when slave labor was involved. Allied pilots were instructed not to bomb factories in Germany owned by U.S. firms, a policy that in at least one case provided a convenient bomb shelter for German civilians. [After the war, I.T.T. collected $27 million from the U.S. government in compensation for damages inflicted on its German plants by Allied bombing raids. General Motors received $33 million and Ford and other companies collected their own sizable indemnifications.]

In the years preceding war U.S. Ambassador William Dodd’s repeated warnings that Hitler’s munitions factories were booming on the strength of U.S. raw materials shipments went unheeded. In fact, American owned factories supplied Germany with tanks, trucks, fighter planes, bombers, oil imports, synthetic fuels, synthetic rubber, and advanced communications technology, greatly enhancing the destructive capability of the Nazi military. These products were used to kill Allied troops, bomb British cities, and sink Allied ships. Be that as it may, Dodd’s loathing of the Third Reich only led to his replacement by Hugh Wilson in 1938, a man much more acceptable to Nazi leaders. Furthermore, both FDR and his close confidant Sumner Welles praised the Munich accords that supposedly represented the height of dastardly "appeasement," with Welles waxing optimistic about the prospects for a just international order that he saw the accords opening up. Finally, official U.S. belief in Hitler’s benign intentions continued even post-Munich. Writing of Sumner Welles’ diplomatic tour of Europe in February 1940, British Permanent Under-Secretary of State Alexander Cadogan said: “We had the distinct impression that Welles had in mind an outline for peace which would not require elimination of Herr Hitler’s Nazi regime.” (At the time, Washington was supporting pro-Nazi Finland with financial and military aid, including pilots, in its war against the U.S.S.R.) The following April George Kennan wrote from his diplomatic post in Berlin that the Nazis had no desire to “see other people suffer under German rule,” and were “most anxious that their new subjects should be happy in their care.” Keep in mind that this comment was made 19 months after the Nazi invasion of Poland.

Meanwhile, U.S. support for Italian fascism was even more enthusiastic. Even before Mussolini took power in 1922 U.S. leaders praised him effusively for imposing an iron hand on the Italian people. While his Blackshirt goons zoomed around Italy in military trucks breaking up strikes, beating up leftist leaders, and burning down socialist and communist headquarters, the U.S. State Department praised the rapidly expanding fascist movement as “a league of all those who stand for law and order . . ." Such a movement was necessary because Italians were allegedly naive simpletons incapable of democracy. “The Italians are like children,” a State Department official commented in 1921, and “must be [led] and assisted more than almost any other nation.”

On the eve of Mussolini's ascension to power, there was no Bolshevik threat and no Fascist revolution, as was later claimed. A military conspiracy between generals, the government, and the northern industrialists simply handed him state authority without a drop of blood being shed. Washington continued to look kindly on his Blackshirt movement, which the New York Times described as “political terrorism.” In a letter to Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes, U.S. Ambassador to Rome Richard Child explained that tastes differ about the desirability of living under bloody dictators, that Italians “hunger for strong leadership and enjoy...being dramatically governed.” In a letter to his father, Child cheerfully relayed news of Mussolini’s destruction of liberal, constitutional government: “We are having a fine young revolution here. No danger. Plenty of enthusiasm and color. We all enjoy it.”

As the Depression provoked massive civil and political unrest in Europe, Mussolini became a hero in the U.S. for straitjacketing class conflict with armed Blackshirt terrorism while erecting a highly authoritarian investor’s paradise. With loans pouring in from the House of Morgan, the Italian dictator increased public debt, slashed social welfare spending, abolished unions, strikes, and the 8-hour day, boosted unemployment and bankruptcy, weakened the lira, and kept Italian wages among the lowest in Europe. As these policies were being carried out, Thomas Lamont, senior partner for the House of Morgan, who originally characterized Mussolini as a "very upstanding chap," declared he was “something like a missionary” for Italian Fascism. FDR seemed to be under a similar spell, praising Mussolini (in a letter to a friend) as “that admirable Italian gentleman.”

U.S. Ambassador to Italy William Phillips (1936-1941) joined the fascist fan club, finding himself “greatly impressed by the efforts of Mussolini to improve the condition of the masses.” He also found “much evidence” to support the Fascist conviction that “they represent a true democracy in as much as the welfare of the people is their principal objective.” Phillips regarded Mussolini’s achievements as “astounding...a source of constant amazement,” and sang hosannas to his “great human qualities.” The State Department agreed, hailing his “magnificent” attainments in conquering Ethiopia with clouds of mustard gas, and praising Fascism for having “brought order out of chaos, discipline out of license, and solvency out of bankruptcy.” As late as 1939 FDR rated Italian fascism “of great importance to the world [although] still in the experimental stage.”

In the Pacific, it was Japan's closing the U.S. out of private markets, not its human rights crimes in Asia that ruined relations with Washington. In 1932 the Ottawa Conference cut off Japanese trade with the British Commonwealth, including India. Three years later Japan was forced to curtail shipments of cotton textiles to the Philippines while U.S. imports remained duty free. Meanwhile, U.S. tariffs on many Japanese goods surpassed 100%.

Squeezed out of concessions throughout Asia by better-established rivals, Tokyo complained of American, British, Chinese, and Dutch encirclement strangling its economy and denying it a day in the imperial sun.

Short of revolution at home, Japan’s only way to economic freedom was through direct control of its own trade routes. So in 1937 Tokyo began its conquest of China in earnest, wiping out some 140,000 Chinese civilians at Nanking while proclaiming a desire to promote economic development and prevent Communist domination of Asia. Washington objected to the exclusive trade zones, not the atrocities.

Prior to Pearl Harbor much of the American business community and many government officials frankly rejected the idea that Japan was an aggressive power in the Pacific. U.S. Ambassador Joseph Grew explained in a 1939 Tokyo speech that the U.S. objected not to Japan’s human rights policy but rather to its imposition of “a system of closed economy...[which] depriv[ed] Americans of their long-established rights in China.” Grew declined even to mention incidental matters like Manchuria, Nanking, and the Japanese occupation of China, which ultimately caused the death of millions of people by starvation and disease.

See also post for April 15, 2009, "False Saviors: FDR" for more information on U.S. relations with fascism.

The Sources:

Schmitz, David F., Thank God They're On Our Side - The United States and Right-Wing Dictatorships, (University of North Carolina, 1999)

Schmitz, David F., The United States and Fascist Italy, 1922-1940, (University of North Carolina, 1988)

Kolko, Gabriel, The Politics of War - The World and United States Foreign Policy, 1943-1945, (Random House, 1968)

Parenti, Michael, Real History - The Origins of World War II, Alternative Radio, November 11, 1990

Parenti, Michael - Blackshirts and Reds - Rational Fascism and the Overthrow of Communism, (City Lights, 1997)

Parenti, Michael, The Sword And The Dollar - Imperialism, Revolution, And The Arms Race, (St. Martin's, 1989)

Seldes, George, Sawdust Caesar, (Harper and Brothers, 1935)

Higham, George, Trading With The Enemy - An Expose of the Nazi-American Money Plot, 1933-1949 (Delacorte, 1983)

Spritzler, John, The People As Enemy - The Leaders' Hidden Agenda in World War II - (Black Rose, 2003)

Chomsky, Noam, American Power and the New Mandarins, - Historical and Political Essays, (Vintage, 1967)

Chomsky, Noam - Hegemony or Survival - America's Quest For Global Dominance, (Metropolitan Books, 2003)

Sevostyanov, Pavel, Before the Nazi Invasion, (Progress Publishers, 1984)

Wiesen-Cook, Blanche, Eleanor Roosevelt, The Defining Years 1933-1938, (Penguin, 1999)

Cockburn, Claud, The Devil's Decade - The Thirties (Mason Lipscomb, 1973)

Hearden, Patrick J. Roosevelt Confronts Hitler - America's Entry into World War II (Northern Illinois University, 1987)

Offner, Frank, The Origins of the Second World War - American Foreign Policy and World Politics 1917-1941, (Praeger, 1975)

Offner, Frank, American Appeasement - United States Foreign Policy and Germany
, (Harvard, 1969)

Billstein, Reinhold, et al, Working For The Enemy: Ford, General Motors and Forced Labor During the Second World War (Bergahn, 2000)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Judge Restores Gay Marriage, Bans Capitalism

Shocking Split Decision Cites State Interest in Equal Rights and "Stable Families"

by Michael K. Smith
Legalienation News Bureau

In a stunning judicial decision that has left California reeling, Vaughan R. Walker struck down the state's ban on gay marriage while simultaneously outlawing capitalism, prompting ecstatic rejoicing among workers, especially gays, and despair among rich people of all sexual orientations. The ruling was the first in history to both support gay marriage and ban capitalism on federal constitutional grounds.

Walker ruled that a California referendum known as Proposition 8, which declared marriage legal only between men and women, violates the Equal Protection Clause of the US Constitution because it discriminates against gay men and lesbians by denying them a right to marry the person of their choice, whereas heterosexual men and women may do so freely.

In a stunning parallel ruling Walker stated that private corporate power also violates the Equal Protection Clause, discriminating against the wage dependent, denying them the right to pursue happiness for the vast majority of their waking hours, whereas the independently wealthy do so around the clock without impediment.

Legal experts say Walker has established a sound factual basis against the curious practice of workers prostituting themselves to planet-spanning conglomerates. Most of the arguments for the legitimacy of capitalism, Walker noted, are about as convincing as proofs of God's existence by those who already believe in Him. These "proofs" boil down to “nothing more than a fear or unarticulated dislike of workers. The evidence shows that, by every available metric, the owners of capital are not better than their working class counterparts, and to some extent are worse. As romantic partners and parents, workers and owners are equal; as citizens, owners are decidedly inferior, owing to their pervasive 'what's in it for me?' cynicism.”

In justifying his ban on wage slavery Judge Walker cited emotionally absent couples, soaring child poverty, and an ever-weakening parent-child bond that has effectively reduced children to orphans of the corporate state. "The policy of requiring both parents to abandon the home for 12 hours a day to sell their labor on the open market, leaving their 'latchkey children' in the hands of economic refugees from the Third World, is an intolerable affront to human dignity," the judge wrote, "and an open invitation to Al Qaeda to migrate to the U.S. where babysitting jobs afford them the opportunity to indoctrinate the next generation of Americans."

Judge Walker went on to point out that no healthy family would ever operate on capitalist principles. "The mother and father don't steal their children's dinner because they are physically stronger and can get away with it," he wrote. "They freely share what they have and experience satisfaction in making the sacrifices that maturity demands, so that household resources can meet the needs of every family member to the maximum extent possible."

Panicked that the California court's decision spells doom for President Obama's "Race to the Top" education initiative, the White House maintained a discreet silence for several hours after the news was announced. In a hastily called press conference, Obama declared that while he unequivocally supports equal rights for gays, he "only believes in marriage between finance capital and the national security state." Meanwhile, in the California race to succeed Arnold Schwarzenegger as governor, the Republican, former Ebay CEO Meg Whitman, was moved to declare her family policy, stating that her religious beliefs compel her to demand a complete divorce between workers and unions. The Democratic candidate, Jerry Brown, quickly twittered that he "categorically" supports more gay prison guards.

Perhaps most surprisingly, Judge Walker used anti-gay arguments stressing the importance of family stability as a platform from which to deliver a knockout blow to the crude apologetics that masquerade as rational argument in support of capitalism. "It is a virtual axiom of capitalist thought that the moral flaws of slavery no longer exist," wrote Walker, "since today's workers, unlike their slave predecessors, are free people making voluntary wage contracts." However, the judge observed, the "denial of rights is merely less extreme under capitalism," where workers "freely" rent their labor to the highest bidder on pain of starvation, while retaining a residual legal personality as "commodity-owners" of their own labor, which awards them the vital freedom to starve at home or follow their employers overseas to compete against the Chinese for entry level jobs. "We need to recognize," wrote Judge Walker, "that American workers freely choose to hand over their jobs to teeming masses in Third World free trade zones the same way robbery victims freely choose to hand over their wallets to their assailants; and the consequences for American families are simply catastrophic."

Former Fed Chairman Alan Greedspan, testifying on behalf of capitalism, denounced Judge Walker as a communist and stated that wage labor was a sacred gift of private capital, the primary purpose of which is to "support rising average incomes." This, he said, "benefits everyone," since "every time Bill Gates makes another billion dollars average incomes rise for all Americans." Under cross examination Greedspan conceded that, “others hold to an alternative and conflicting definition of economic success: ‘a public commitment’ to the principle of, 'from each according to his ability, to each according to his need,' otherwise known as 'Gulag economics,' a perverse ideal which can only eventuate in mass murder."

In the wake of his path-breaking decision marriage proposals poured in to Judge Walker from around the state. Wrote Theodore Killebrew, a construction worker from Glendale, "Now that I'll actually have time to be with the kid, I want to have your baby!" Margaret Anderson of Ukiah sent flowers and a card inscribed with the message, "For firing the bosses - I love you." Jerry Flanders of Redding said simply, "Capitalism makes bloodsuckers of us all."

News of the California decision spread rapidly around the country, prompting caravans of horn-tooting workers to hit the freeways bound for the Golden State. "Vampire economics truly sucks," said a Wall Street hedge fund trader who quit his job to seek a better future as a window washer in California. "When a window breaks, you sweep up the glass; when a speculative bubble bursts, you sweep up people's lives. There's got to be something better than this crabs-in-a-bucket, race-to-the-top nightmare," he added.

Michael K. Smith is the author of "Portraits of Empire" and "The Madness of King George," from Common Courage Press. He co-blogs with Frank Scott at He can be reached at

Friday, August 6, 2010

Democracy's Not For Dummies

Under the guise of fighting  terrorism a paranoid and secretive U.S. government  has several hundred thousand employees  working with Top Secret clearance. How can anyone but an idiot  expect to keep secrets when hundreds of thousands of people have access to them?  And with so many  top secretly watching one another watch one another, how did billions of dollars  suddenly vanish from an  Iraqi slush fund ?
When facts about the Afghanistan war that should have been common knowledge had we a truly free media were finally revealed to the public, the  heroic revealer was arrested while the  cowardly  concealers charged that  he was  endangering our military. These traitorous jackals clamor for more troops  in Afghanistan while denying jobs  here at home where the only stimulus program  sends workers  to invade foreign countries for alleged defense of our “homeland” . This costs thousands of lives, billions of dollars , makes more enemies for us  and increases the threat of terrorist attacks .
Our industrial infrastructure is in dangerous disrepair , our financial infrastructure is propped up by taxpayers who get nothing but  personal debt for their public investment , millions are unemployed and descending into poverty, the  upper  middle class is being lowered to  middle while the  middle sinks into  permanent debt . And government spending is criticized for everything but  foreign wars that cost trillions, profit a small minority and cause  deadly loss for the great majority .
The venal idiots and sanctimonious dolts in charge of this disaster  have enough  weapons to destroy the world as they claim to  preserve democracy here - where it hasn’t existed since the original western settlers arrived   - while creating it in other nations - where it hasn’t a chance to exist until western military settlers depart . If we were citizens instead of merely consumers we might  see that we  make an insane asylum look like a center for the pursuit of reason and morality . 
After the supreme court  made it even easier  to market politicians , corporate money  is flooding the financial cesspool  mind management calls our democracy. The wealthiest not only indirectly purchase their political servants but in the further privatization of government decide to take direct political power themselves. The billionaire  who bought the mayor’s office in New York has set a trend and now another billionaire is  attempting to purchase the governor’s office in California .  How long before another billionaire puts a down payment on the presidency?
Media dutifully reports who has the most campaign money and is therefore a sure winner when the people  - in their usual minorities - go to the polls and select either a billionaire or the tool of billionaires. Calling this a democracy would only make sense to patients at the world’s busiest  mental health crisis center.
In the midst of what we’re told is an economic recovery that hasn’t yet  reached tens of millions who don't own banks , the armed menace not only continues but has more billions shoveled into the Pentagon psycho ward , with more ominous threats made to Iran on behalf of Israel, and saber rattling directed at North Korea, Venezuela and Somalia, among others. It is imperative for the public to take  action that will  turn this monstrous if enfeebled state vehicle around before it goes over a cliff. But not if we continue to be divided by political ploys that set minorities against  minorities  and  prevent identification of the problems affecting the majority . Those cannot be solved by  ghettoized  groups of Americans, but only by a united democratic nation.
The  color coded insurrections we create in foreign countries that are falsely called democratic revolutions may be ironically balanced by color coded red and blue states rising against the government here. Manipulated by focus groups and polling , voters are reduced to market research clusters and subjected to advertising campaigns that sell politicians as so many consumer goods. But there may be a backlash  and recent actions in Arizona and Missouri are signs of hope even as they are criticized as  misguided  over reactions. Both states attempt to confront real problems which bring great private profit to  owners of the federal structure but social loss to them. While their analysis of capitalism may be naive, so is their opponent’s unquestioning acceptance of immigration and health care policies that benefit minority capital at the expense of a majority of the people.
Reducing these problems to the typical  good  vs evil political thought paralysis  is exactly what rulers want. It keeps people  battling over issues that should bring them together. Meanwhile, we move closer to  economic and environmental  breakdown through more wars, more mindless fossil fuel consumption , and more actual and dangerous bigotry towards American muslims  than  toward any immigrants, legal or illegal, from anywhere  in the world.
Calling for unity among America’s disunited can only seem hopeless to those with no real desire for survival . None of us will be safer and most of us will be in great danger if the fanatic Israeli lobby gets a lunatic American government to go along with an attack on Iran. The suffering we would inflict on innocent Iranian people might be greater than what we would experience, initially, but at some point all of us will feel the deadly results of such an insanely immoral act. And we will feel it whether we are straight, gay, single, married, white , black, native or immigrant. Hopefully  we will not need such a tragedy to bring us to our national senses, but we could strive towards democracy by thinking in terms of avoiding such a further calamity by beginning to act like the most important identity group with the most common interest; American members of a tragically, pointlessly, economically divided human race.

Copyright (c) 2010 by Frank Scott. All rights reserved.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Mafia Hired To Finish Afghan Work

 Headline from  the nytimes:

Targeted Killing Is New U.S. Focus in Afghanistan

The Obama administration is starting to count more heavily
on hunting down insurgents and less on winning over

It will employ the Mafia to carry out the task.

"We have far more experience at whacking individuals, while the U.S.  is better at bombing, invading and killing thousands" said   Vito Gavoona, Mafia Minister of Foreign Policy. "And we like Obama. His name sounds italian."

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Beyond Capitalist Mythology

by Michael K. Smith

As back-to-school time approaches amidst talk of deepening recession, it's well worth considering a classic anti-capitalist textbook that should be required reading not just for political science students but for business and marketing majors, in fact, for everyone indoctrinated to believe that "there is no alternative" to the capitalist system that has brought the human race to the edge of extinction.

"Democracy For The Few" by Michael Parenti is an outstanding scholarly review of capitalism as not just an economic model but as an entire social system. It brilliantly treats the contradiction between democratic and elitist values, relentlessly exposing the realities of class power and powerlessness. The author doesn't simply make assertions; he carefully considers the arguments underpinning capitalist legitimacy and finds them sorely wanting on rational grounds. He covers all the major themes of capitalism vs. democracy: the grotesquely lopsided distribution of wealth; corporate propaganda masquerading as objective journalism; self-serving mythology about the U.S. Founding Fathers; the subjugation of labor; the amelioration of capitalist exploitation with social democratic advances (the New Deal); the socialization of risk and the privatization of profit; military intervention abroad and the maintenance of a global system of power; ecological catastrophe and the attack on social programs; institutionalized injustice masquerading as law; political repression and incipient police state tactics; the international dimension of class struggle; elections as public relations extravaganzas; the buying of the Congress; the president as Commander in Chief of world empire; the partisan courts, and suggestions about how to transcend this system with real democracy.

Well researched, elegantly written, soundly argued. Buy it, use it, tell others about it.