Gun's don't kill people. People with guns kill people.


"No body could have done a better job than Obama, with the economy he was handed —including me!" —Bill Clinton—

Monday, March 30, 2009

Time For Bloody Revolution: What Jefferson Didn't Say.

Michelle "if I only had a brain" Bachmann, the perennial embarrassment to Minnesota, has once again shown her stupidity by misquoting Thomas Jefferson and using that misquote as a call for a "bloody" revolution.

Bachmann is treading on dangerous ground and this is the second time she has used her platform, as a, nationally elected official to call for armed insurrection against the United states.

The people of the United States including the people of the State of Minnesota, in overwhelming majorities elected Barack Obama as their President and choose Hope over Fear in the last election. This was done in accordance with the mechanics of the Constitution of the United States of America, set forth by the founding fathers, that allowed for a peaceful transfer of power and, therefore, precluded the need for a "bloody" revolution.

Her utter lack of understanding of that disqualifies her from holding office. How can you defend and protect the Constitution if you are willing to ignore it and bend it to your own personal views? The people rejected Michelle Bachmann's views and the views of her Party and voted for change in the last election cycle.

Unlike, Michelle Bachmann, who is a moron—and frequently attacks intellectuals as elitists—Thomas Jefferson was a massive intellect and who knew that men's natural rights to freedom needed to be protected, he was considering how that could be accomplished short of a bloody revolution every twenty years. Which was a major concern at the time. Jefferson's "musings" about the nature of "bloody" revolution were not included in the Constitution, because, his expression of that thought, prior to the actual writing of the Constitution, led to the construction and mechanics of a Constitution that allowed for an ongoing peaceful revolution and how that peaceful transfer of power should take place—by voting and limiting the length of terms in office.

The fact Bachmann misunderstood the context of the quote and has used it to call for an armed insurrection against the Constitution, she claims to, "love", disqualifies her as a Representative, and is a breech of her oath of office, "to protect and defend" the Constitution.

How can you protect and defend what you don't understand? She is a radical reactionary, and dangerous to the peace and stability this country, and should be recalled, and if she incites the violence she is advocating she should be tried for sedition.

Michelle, If bloody revolution were ever to be considered I have Two Words: PATRIOT ACT. Where were you then?

That's when; YOU and your fascist regime signed away OUR rights to private phone calls, OUR right against unreasonable search and in many cases OUR freedom of speech.

That's when; YOU and your fascist regime were, kidnapping American citizens and holding them without trial or legal counsel.

That's when; YOU and your fascist regime were, torturing prisoners of war in my name.

That's when; YOU and your fascist regime, approved Special Forces Death Squads.

That's when; according to YOU, true American Patriots could no longer hold political beliefs (opposed to yours) and they should be considered, "Un-American" and investigated.

That's when; YOU and your fascist regime, authorized, and sent, private mercenary paramilitary, armed with automatic weapons, to prowl the streets of a floundering New Orleans, instead of sending them the help they desperately needed.

If anything is apparent, it is that the views YOU hold, ARE definitely Un-American. You don't have the first clue what this country is about or what its founders were talking about, and which, YOU and your fascist regime tried to destroy.

Sign the petition to recall Michelle Bachmann at:

Sunday, March 29, 2009

America: The ADHD Nation And How It Will Survive With A Terminally Short Attention Span

As a nation we are so distractible that it makes a coherent national dialogue nearly impossible. And so it's a major advantage to the Republican's Party to change subjects frequently and the more inane the subject the better.

Consider the recent—attempt to change the subject—John Boehner, Mike Pence, Eric Cantor and company called a press conference to announce the NEW and AMAZING "Republican Budget Hail Mary Budget Proposal".

What was this information packed document?

Exactly, 19 pages, including a front and back cover, of complaints that the Democratic Budget wouldn't work, and the Republicans were offering an alternative—well sort of an outline of a rough idea of some core Republican principles, announcing that, a Republican budget was in the works and would be ready on Wednesday, the day that the Democratic budget would come up for a vote, and just in time to say that they were locked out of the budget discussion and the Democrats ignored their Plan.

Are you distracted yet? It gets even better. I actually downloaded "the disloyal oppositions" Budget Alternative and read it. I'll spare you the gory details, because there were none. NADA ZIP, so I'll just give you some of the highlights—which is exactly what they presented. Highlights.

I actually getting dizzy just thinking about this incredibly shallow subterfuge, presented by the Republicans current best and brightest leadershit. (that's not a typo) It almost makes you long for a return of the Master Machiavellian Mind Melter, dare I say, Karl, "the turd-blossom", Rove.

Here is their budget, in black italics, as I read between their lies—I mean the lines—nah—I do mean their lies. (As always my commentary is in red) (I intentionally left out their bitching about the Democrats budget and concentrated on their "ideas", which made for a pretty short read.)

(The Title Page reads)
The Republican Road to Recovery
(from the Republican Road to Disaster!)

(Page 1 begins)
To the American People: Many of our fellow citizens are hurting. (No kidding, and since when did that bother you?) Our economy continues to weather the worst since the 1970s (Take that Jimmy Carter. I notice they didn't refer to Bill Clinton. Oh yea, he left office with a budget surplus and high employment, but, we almost impeach his ass anyway.)

Far too many spend their work days worried that the next phone call will bring an end to a job only to go home and check the mail for further evidence that years of retirement savings or a children's college savings has dissipated. Such a financial strain threatens to split many families and communities and force even more to postpone the American dream. (Gee I wonder how that happened? Oh yea! Never mind. That happened on our watch. Opps! Sorry! Please just trust us again because this time we have your best interests at heart. No really we're serious.)

The President (known to us as that "trash" in the White House) calls for "A New Era of Responsibility" (unlike the Republican era, of total irresponsibility) as the title of his budget states. But a closer look at the Democrat budget reveals something far different—it spends too much, taxes too much, and borrows too much. (emphasis is theirs and repeats their favorite talking point—THEY, TAX TOO MUCH—THEY, SPEND TOO MUCH—THEY, BORROW TOO MUCH—AND FROM CHINA NO LESS—WHICH IS UN-AMERICAN—WHICH WE KNOW SOMETHING ABOUT—HOW DO YOU THINK WE FINANCED THE IRAQ WAR?—AND NOW THOSE THOSE DAMN DEMOCRATS WANT TO—sorry what was I saying?)

(And here are some of their stunning new ideas:)


CURBS SPENDING (Republican spending GOOD Democratic spending BAD)
• Limits the Federal Budget from growing Faster than Family Budgets
Instead of spending money on wasteful programs (like Star Wars and other military boonedoogles) under the guise of "stimulus" (like educating your children for the future, because under our plan they will be flipping hamburgers or doing something useful like shining our shoes) and "investments," (like building bridges that won't fall down and kill you on the on your way to work, because we shipped your job overseas, so you won't need that nasty old bridge anyway, right?) Republicans seek to ensure that the federal budget cannot grow faster (than it did under Bush and) than families' ability to pay the bill. (How about the rich guys aren't they going to chip in just a little?)(By the way, didn't American wages stagnate under you guys for the last eight years? So what growth are you talking about here?)

• Provide Universal Access to Health Care and Secure Entitlements "by using Common Sense Reforms"
Instead of accelerating (our drive to accomplish) the demise of our nation's large entitlement programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid, and creating new unsustainable entitlements, Republicans seek to provide (witch doctors for you whinny bastards which we will bring in from under developed nations on our nifty H-1B visa program) universal access to affordable health care (with savings accounts tied to the stock Markets that we deregulated so they could run amok and crash like your 401 Ks did) and to address our entitlements' trillion dollar unfunded liabilities with common-sense (who knew all it took was common sense) reforms that ensure our children and grandchildren can secure future benefits. (the same witch doctors for your whinny bastards)

(Page 2 begins)

• Lowers Taxes
Instead of raising taxes on all Americans in the midst of a recession, Republicans seek to reduce the tax burden on working families and small businesses, in order to create jobs and unlock private (it's trickling down, don't worry its coming already) capital. (There's a twist that will make your head spin or is it a spin that will make your head twist? Is this a variation on the trickle down where the rich get all the tax breaks and the "average American gets screwed or are they stealing Obama's 95 percent of American idea? I am so confused! Just kidding, I know their blowing smoke up my ass, how about you?)

• Keeps Energy and Fuel Costs Low (Remember that 4.00 a gallon gas you got, while we gave the oil companies tax subsidies and they raked in billions in profits? Cheap right? Am I right?)
Instead of taxing all energy users (like the oil companies, they get the subsidies and you get the shaft) with a new national energy tax that will cost up to $3,128 per household, Republicans want energy independence (sorry, I think Obama already said that first guys) with increased development of all (drill ANWAR baby drill!) our natural resources, including renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar. (Before you know it they'll be hugging trees)

• Ends the Bailouts (which we started) and Reforms the Financial System
Instead of nationalizing our financial system (which will traumatize the rich) and heaping trillions of dollars of debt on future generations, (by the way how do we pay this debt if nobody is going to pay taxes?) Republicans want to protect taxpayers (remember the rich are people too!) and provide a transparent recovery process (by not stamping everything Top Secret and destroying any incriminating evidence like we have been forced to do in the past) that does not favor those that have made unsound business decisions. We will ensure that this financial crisis can never occur again. (and re-regulate the Financial industry that we have been deregulating for the past 24 years, which started under the capable leadership of Ronald Reagan and Phil Graham)

• Keeps the Cost of Living Low
Instead of returning to double digit levels of inflation (we'll return to Allan Greenspan blowing smoke up your ass and go back to quadruple inflation levels you fucking morons) and the failed economic policies of the 1970s, (Damn that Jimmy Carter! Is he still alive?) Republicans support maintaining the cost of living (by exporting your job and importing billions of cheap imported products, which you can buy at WAL-MART, made by 37 cent an hour workers who now have your job in China? Why didn't I think of that?) after witnessing the booms and busts triggered by (our Republican) loose monetary policy. (and by our deregulation of the entire Financial Sector?)

(This is followed by the signatures of the ten Senior Republicans)

(end page two)

Suffice to say there are 16 more pages of this absolute dribble, including a back cover but, I'll stop here because I believe in the American ideal of no torture and the Constitutional precept of no cruel or unusual punishment unlike, the Dick, Cheney.

So, now let's refocus on the plain FACTS.

FACT: The Republicans spent in excess of three trillion dollars "off the books" on their trumped up War in Iraq that enriched their friends and impoverished the American people.

FACT: The Republicans controlled the House, Senate and White House for the better part of the last 24 years and during that time spent more money than all the previous administrations in American history combined, including their favorite Democratic whipping boy, FDR.

FACT: The Republicans deregulated the American Financial Sector to the point of a meltdown and greed ran rampant.

FACT: The Republicans never once cared about sustainable energy, your job, or the middle class.

FACT: The Republicans gave tax breaks to American Corporations that were outsourcing American jobs while American's wages stagnated.

FACT: The Republicans enslaved the "average American" by cutting taxes on the rich and running red ink into the foreseeable future while telling us, "the fundamentals of our economy were sound".

FACT: The Republicans lost millions of American jobs by signing us up for bad trade policies. NAFTA, CAFTA, and SHAFTA.

FACT: The Republicans sat by while the Puppet-in-Command and his puppeteer, the Dick, Cheney, et al, gutted the Constitution.

FACT: The Republicans used fear mongering to misdirect patriotic American's into supporting their twisted agenda.

FACT: The Republicans conjured up a nonexistent Iraqi threat and ran it real costs "off the books" so that it was never part of the budget.

FACT: The Republicans had Allan Greenspan telling the American people that inflation was under control, but not, because The Republicans changed the way inflation was calculated for, when everyone knew that in their world inflation was out of control.

(However, given a second chance I'm sure they'll get it right.)

Now where did I put my Ritalin?

If you want to read the full Plan here's the link: www.gop.gov/solutions/budget/road-to-recovery-final

Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Danger Of Becoming Good Americans

By the time I was born on August 12, 1944 the largest military amphibious landing in the history of the world had already taken place in Normandy, France on June 6th. It was the beginning of the end of the fascist Nazi tyranny.

Looking back now it seems like my entire childhood stood in the shadow of that war. There were the hometown boys that were killed, one of my earliest memories was a military funeral for Darcy Isman the son of the local grocer who had been killed, but, his body had only been found and shipped home six months after the war had ended. I remember the three salvos from the rifles of the honor guard. They hurt my ears and scared me, as I cringed in my mother's arms when they rang out in rapid succession.

I remember sometime later when I was six or seven looking through a Life Magazine pictorial that showed some of the dead bodies of the millions of victims of Hitler's madness. The images had a profound effect on me. The dead bodies in the concentration camps, stacked on top of each other without dignity like they had been thrown on a heap of garbage, in my child's brain I couldn't figure out why anyone would do something so monstrous and I cried.

It had such an impact on me that in my adult years I have became a student of that era. One of the most troubling aspects of that time was how the German people could have allowed that lunatic, Hitler, persuade them to become a nation of mass murderers.

Of course many claimed they didn't know, even when the evidence of the exterminations were literally a stench in their noses, most crematories were within walking distance of the towns after which they were named.

How could they not have seen, heard or smelled it or not done anything to stop it. Of course there were those that did know and resisted, but that was an extremely small number. Most said they were good Germans and were not responsible in anyway for the atrocities. In fact, a good German, became a term of derision for anyone who claimed to have heard nothing, or saw nothing.

This was widely noted by Allied occupation troops, who were amazed and appalled by the widespread disavowal of responsibility for Nazi crimes among the German populace.

And became a widespread saying among our troops, "that there are no real Nazis in Germany, only “good Germans.” Every crime Germany committed against humanity seems to have been done by someone else.

The term has come to be used to refer more generically to people in any country who observe reprehensible things taking place — whether done by a government or by another powerful institution — but remain silent, neither raising objections nor taking steps to change the course of events.

The Germans had become sheep blindly following a twisted shepherd and a cadre of fanatical sycophants, that committed atrocities in the name of racial superiority and a return to a pure Aryan ethos that was a fantastic myth at best. At their roots they were fascists, which is an unholy alliance of militarism and industrial corporatism bent on world domination.

In his farewell address President Dwight Eisenhower the architect of Germanys defeat warned that “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military‐industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

While Hitler's Germany became a icon of murderous debauchery, nothing that extreme has happened in this country, but there are dark tendencies in this nation that tend towards a theocratic fascist oligarchy.

I see every effort in this country to deny the rights of others as a descent towards the inevitable outcome of tyranny and oppression that was prevalent in Germany. The suspension of habeus corpus by using semantics, i.e. enemy combatants, rendition, water-boarding. Marginalizing intended victims by hateful speech, i.e. faggots, queers, liberals, elitist intellectuals. The suspension of constitutional guarantees by manipulating the publics fear of terrorism, and calling it the "Patriot Act", i.e. warrant-less wiretaps.

When we fail to react as a nation to this erosion of the Constitution my fear is that we are becoming a nation of "good Americans."

"Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country." —Herman Goering—
Nuremburg Trials, April 14, 1946

"When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross." —Sinclair Lewis—

"All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing".
—Edmund Burke—

Fascism Is Alive In America

Robert Freeman for permission to

The US Is Facing a Weimar Moment

by Robert Freeman

In early 1919, Germany put in place a new government to begin rebuilding the country after its crushing defeat in World War I. But the right-wing forces that had led the country into the War and lost the War conspired even before it was over to destroy the new government, the "Weimar Republic." They succeeded.

The U.S. faces a similar "Weimar Moment." The devastating collapse of the economy after eight years of Republican rule has left the leadership, policies, and ideology of the right utterly discredited. But, as was the case with Germany in 1919, Republicans do not intend to allow the new government to succeed. They will do everything they can to undermine it. If they are successful, the U.S. may yet go the way of Weimar Germany.

World War I left Germany utterly devastated. The landed aristocrats, industrial magnates, wealthy financiers, weapons makers, and the officer corps of the military that formed the locus of right wing power were completely discredited. Their failure in provoking and prosecuting the War was catastrophic, undeniable, and complete.

The economy was destroyed. Prices were at 800% of pre-war levels and rising quickly. Agriculture, pillaged for the War, lay in ruins. Social insurance payments for the War's injured, to widows and orphans, and newly unemployed soldiers were astronomical. And all this was before the cost of rebuilding was even begun.

At the same time, Germany faced massive reparations payments to the Allied victors, France and England. But Germany's foreign properties had been confiscated and its colonies turned over to the victors. The combination of these conditions, both domestic and international, made it extraordinarily difficult for the German economy to recover.

As a result of the failure of the right, the German people elected a moderately leftist government to lead the nation's rebuilding. It was named the Weimar Republic for the city in which the new post-imperial constitution was written. The new government was led by Friedrich Ebert, head of the German Socialist Party.

But the country's new parliamentary system had allowed dozens of parties to run, making it impossible for any one party to win an outright majority. Ebert's party had achieved the highest portion of votes, 38%, in the first post-War elections, held in January 1919. Ebert would have to govern by coalition.

It was at this time that the right wing made its crucial decision. Despite its shocking, naked failure over the prior decade, despite the horrific devastation it had wrought on the German people, despite the discrediting of everything they had purported to stand for, they would fight Ebert, his new government, and its plans for recovery. They would do everything they could to make sure that the new government failed.

Their strategy was two-fold: first, stoke the resentment of the population about the calamitous state of its living conditions-no matter that those conditions had been created by the very right-wing oligarchs who now pretended to befriend the little guy. Rage is rage. It is glandular and unseeing. Once catalyzed it is easy to turn on any subject.

And stoking resentment was easy to do. Just before the War ended, the military concocted its most sensational lie: the German army hadn't actually been defeated. It had been "stabbed in the back" by communists, traitors, and Jews. It was an easy lie to sell. It entwined an attack on an alien political ideology - liberalism- with the latent, pervasive myth of German racial superiority.

The second strategy of the right was to prevent the new government from succeeding. To begin with, success of the left would conspicuously advertise the failure of the right. Moreover, success by the left would legitimize republican government, so hated by the oligarchs of the right. Much better for the people to be ruled by the self-aggrandizing right-wing autocracy that had governed Germany for centuries.

So the rightists set out to do everything they could to make it impossible for the leftists to govern. They would use parliamentary maneuver, shifting coalitions, domination of the new mass media, legislative obstruction, staged public relations spectacles, relentless pressure by narrow but powerful interests, judicial intimidation and, eventually, outright murder of their political opponents.

Contrition for their abject failure, humility for their destructive hubris, compassion for their crippled country-those had nothing to do with it. All they possessed was a blinding, visceral hatred of the left and a masturbatory lust for the return to power.

Eventually, they succeeded. Every setback in recovery - and there would inevitably be many - was met with hysterical demonizing of the left wing government. The lie was repeated relentlessly that the government was run by communists, traitors, and Jews-the same furtive cabal that had purportedly stabbed the country in the back at the end of the War. They steadily chipped away at the efficacy and, thereby, the legitimacy of successive republican governments.

By the time of the Great Depression, Adolph Hitler's ironically named National Socialist Party had become the biggest vote getter in the nation. The Nazis had once been derided as the lunatic fringe of the far right. But the "respectable" right-wing power brokers who had started and lost the Great War anointed Hitler Chancellor in January, 1933.

He immediately suspended the constitution, abolishing most civil liberties. He outlawed opposition parties, began a massive military build-up and a relentless propaganda campaign, and set Germany and the world onto the path of the greatest destruction it would ever know.

America now faces its own "Weimar moment."

The failure of right wing policy and leadership over the past eight years, especially in matters economic, is comparable to Germany's right-wing failure in World War I. It is catastrophic, undeniable, and complete.


According to the World Economic Forum, forty percent of the entire world's wealth has been destroyed in the recent financial collapse. In the U.S. alone, between housing and the stock market, more than $18 trillion in wealth has already been destroyed.

The private mega-banks that anchor the financial systems of the western world are bankrupt. This makes it all but impossible to jump-start the western world's economies which are heavily dependent on bank-system credit to operate.

More than 10,000 homes go into foreclosure every day. More than 20,000 people lose their job every day. And the collapse is accelerating, developing its own self-reinforcing dynamic. Job losses breed foreclosures, reducing demand, leading to more job losses and further degradation of the financial system. None of the stopgaps designed to stanch the bleeding have yet worked. There is no bottom in sight.

Meanwhile, debt has risen to astronomical levels. Reagan and Bush I quadrupled the national debt in only twelve years. Bush II doubled it again in only eight. It is now ten times higher than it was in 1980 when Reagan was elected. Total public and private debt exceeds 300% of GDP, half again higher than it was in 1929.

The government's unfunded liabilities, promises it has made to the American people but for which no payment source can be identified, now exceed $60 trillion, a literally inconceivable sum that can never, will never, be paid. Federal Reserve economist Lawrence Kotlikoff has suggested that the U.S. government is "actuarially bankrupt."

The full measure of the nation's plight is revealed in Hillary Clinton's first trip as Secretary of State. It was to China, to beg them to fund Obama's new fiscal deficits. Without loans from China, the U.S. economy cannot be revived. The significance of this cannot be overstated: the U.S. no longer exercises sovereignty over its own economic affairs. That sovereignty now resides in the hands of China, the U.S.'s greatest long-term rival.

Thanks to Republican policies of massive debt and shipping jobs abroad, the U.S. has technically become a colony of China. It exports raw materials and imports finished goods, together with the capital to make up the difference. Should the Chinese decide not to lend the trillions of dollars the U.S. is begging for, the U.S. economy will implode, plummeting onto itself in a World Trade Center-like collapse that will leave dust clouds circling the planet for decades.

Notwithstanding the destruction inflicted on the economy by Republican policies, the most devastating breakdown is in the intellectual foundation on which right wing economic ideology itself is premised. Free market doctrine, the secular religion of right-wing America, is in utter, irretrievable shambles.

One of the most lofty tenets on which free markets are premised is their claim for themselves that they are "efficient," that is, that market prices always reflect "fundamental values" of assets. But if that's true, how could the world's largest insurance company, AIG, have lost 99.5% of its market value in only 18 months? How could the world's largest bank, Citibank, have lost 98% of its value over the same period?

How could the world's largest brokerage company, Merrill Lynch, have gone bankrupt and need to be bought by Bank of America? How could the world's largest car company, General Motors, have lost 95% of its value and stand on the threshold of extinction? How could the world's largest industrial conglomerate, General Electric, have lost 85% of its value in only 18 months?

If the largest companies in the world, those at the very heart of the capitalist system itself, can lose virtually all of their value in only 18 months, what is the possible meaning of the phrases "efficient markets" and "fundamental value"?

The other core tenets of free market ideology are equally compromised. Major actors are clearly not rational - a breakdown of theological proportions admitted by no less an avatar of the cult than its pope himself, Alan Greenspan. Free markets clearly cannot, will not, regulate themselves. It is precisely their innate, irrepressible propensity for sociopathic greed and predatory fraud that has brought the whole of the world's economy to the precipice of collapse.

Free markets clearly do not align risk and reward, allocating capital to its most productive uses, as its promoters advertise. They clearly do not automatically return to equilibrium, but must be bailed out with trillions of dollars of injections from the shrinking coffers of the public to the ever-bulging coffers of a private priesthood of pillage and plunder.

And in perhaps the greatest indictment of all, one going back to its primeval roots in Adam Smith's eighteenth century opus, The Wealth of Nations, the unrestrained behavior of self-interested individuals clearly, manifestly, does not "coalesce as if by an Invisible Hand to the greatest good for the greatest number."

These are not peripheral premises that have failed. They are not tangential tenets. Efficient markets. Rational actors. Market equilibrium. Risk and reward. Self interest. These are the essential sacraments on which the entire free market system is founded. They are in tatters. And it isn't that any one of them has been discredited by the glaring, merciless force of events. All of them have been. All of them together. And all of them at the same time.

Free markets have long been the basis for a legitimate - though rightly debated - economic policy framework. But they have become little more than a robotically-recited cultural catechism, a mindless mantra mumbled to mask the looting of the nation's resources that is the true purpose of Republican economic policy as demonstrated by the staggering upward transfers of wealth that inevitably occur under Republican regimes. A more complete, conspicuous, catastrophic, and irrefutable repudiation of right wing leaders, right wing policies, and right wing ideology could not possibly be contrived.

So what is the right wing response?

They have adopted the strategy and tactics of the failed right wing plotters in Weimar Germany. First, stoke the resentment of the population about the increasingly dire state of its living conditions-no matter that those conditions were created by the very right-wing oligarchs who now pretend to befriend the little guy. Rage is rage. It is glandular and unseeing. Once catalyzed it is easy to turn on any subject.

Second, prevent the new government from succeeding in any meaningful endeavor. The Republicans have set all their efforts to doing everything they can to make sure the Obama administration fails. Rush Limbaugh's infamous, "I hope he fails" pronouncement is only the beginning of the fomenting of hatred from the right. As Limbaugh said, "Let's be honest. Every Republican in America is hoping for Obama's failure."

The same malignant hope oozes unadulterated from all the other Dogpatch Demagogues that rent themselves out to the Republican party to foment resentment against anything liberal: Joe the "Plumber," Rick Santelli, Glenn Beck, Michael Savage, Ann Coulter, and virtually every other wing-nut operative whose intellectual stock in trade has been vaporized by the collision of right-wing policies with objective reality.

Equally so for the "respectable" members of the party, the all-but-three Republican members of Congress who refused to sign on to Obama's first stimulus package and continue to grandstand against every effort toward any form of progress. Contrition for their own abject failure, humility for their destructive hubris, compassion for their crippled country-those have nothing to do with it. All they possess is a blinding, visceral hatred of the left and a masturbatory lust for the return to power.

And what else can they do? Bereft of ideas, bankrupt in ideology, architects of collapse, obstruction is all they have. If Obama is successful, it will not only advertise the full extent of their failure, it will provide a model of liberal governance that would render Republicans irrelevant for decades, much as FDR's success left them out in the political cold for an entire generation. Liberal failure is a matter of life and death for Republicans.

And it's not at all clear that the liberals won't fail. No one should underestimate the task at hand. Never before - not even during the Great Depression - has the country inherited such a daunting, intractable set of economic problems: a debt burden so crushing; inequality so vast; a loss of financial sovereignty so constricting; an intellectual edifice so bankrupt; a private economy so uncompetitive; or an opposition so callously self interested in its own recovery and so cavalierly disinterested in the nation's.

The economy has been so damaged, successful rescue requires threading a series of policy needles, each of them so complex in their own right that none could be solved by any administration of the past 50 years. This includes rehabilitating and re-regulating the nation's banking system, restructuring health care, reducing national dependence on oil, reviving manufacturing so as to reduce the trade deficit, rebuilding the nation's crumbling infrastructure, dealing with a soaring national debt, trying to resuscitate a collapsing housing market, and all the while maintaining the safety net under 77 million baby boomers entering retirement with a net worth 60% what it was only 18 months ago.

Success will require much more than luck, hard work, brilliant policy, or soaring rhetoric. It will require cooperation and contribution from every American. It is those two offerings, cooperation and contribution, that Republicans are intent on withholding, the better to ensure Obama's failure. Simply put, the Republicans hate Democrats more than they love America.

If they succeed in derailing Obama's efforts, the cost will be incalculable.

After World War I, one of the consequences of the liberal government's failure was Adolph Hitler. Hitler had a genius for exploiting the resentment of the German people for their condition. More than 80% of the Nazi party's members were unemployed. It was these legions of idle thugs who made up the ranks of Hitler's brownshirt militia, the SA. The right wing oligarchy that had set out from the beginning to destroy the Weimar Republic recognized the potency of resentment and Hitler's genius at exploiting it. It was they who sponsored Hitler's ascension to Chancellor in 1933.

Resentment and obstruction are all the right wing in America have to peddle. Their policies are utterly discredited. Their ideology - even by its own standards - is a sham. They are so bereft of leaders, their de facto leader is a former drug addicted, thrice-divorced radio talk show host. That is literally the best they can muster. But they have built a national franchise inciting the downwardly mobile to blame the government, not the right, for their problems, exactly as Hitler did in the 1920s.

The , Republican propensity for fascism must not be underestimated. Witness their phony justifications for the war in Iraq, fanning the flames of nationalistic aggression, just as Hitler did with Austria, the Sudetenland, Czechoslovakia, and Poland in the 1930s. Consider their symbiotic embrace of corporate interests in the oil, weapons, telecommunications, pharmaceutical, finance, and other industries-the same type of corporate interests that sponsored Hitler's ascent to power. Look at their efforts to dismantle civil liberties with the Patriot Act and the Military Commissions Act. Or their relentless, pervasive propaganda laundered through their corporate-owned right-wing media machine.

These are the classic hallmarks of fascism. The strategy is to obstruct recovery, facilitate collapse, and then incite the faux-populism of public resentment to re-install a corporatist oligarchy which has failed, but which will not abide a reduction of its privileges or a diminution of its control. It is a fetid, seditious agenda, awaiting only its own latter day mustachioed messiah for its final fulfillment.

World War I was a once-in-a-millennium upset in the architecture of global power. In four years, it shifted the center of that power from Europe to the United States. But failure now by the U.S. will shift that center once again, from the United States to China, out of the western world where it has resided for the past 500 years. The psychic shock to the billion-odd people living in western civilization, with its liberal democracies, capitalist economies, and Enlightenment ideals, will be incalculable, irretrievable.

This shift may be inevitable and only a matter of time. It is quite possible that the damage inflicted on the western world's economy by rapacious Republicans is already beyond repair. But it will be tragedy beyond measure if such a shift is consummated by the very wrecking crew that took us down the road to ruin, all the while so unctuously proclaiming "patriotism" as its crowning ideal. They are not patriots and their goal is not the revival of American power. It is the revival of their own power, even at the expense of America's. They represent a very dangerous threat to the nation's future.

Robert Freeman writes on history, economics and education. He can be reached at robertfreeman10@yahoo.com

Friday, March 6, 2009

What's in a word?

INalienable or UNalienable?

Does it matter?

I suggest that understanding the difference makes all the difference.

The context of language at any point in history is of primary importance when trying to understand the ramification of a word.

There was a debate about the two words, as originally written by Jefferson, who at first used the word inalienable to describe the rights that naturally flow from a humans' mere existence. His choice was based on his personal beliefs, which while not atheistic, precluded a belief in a personal creator from whom natural rights flowed. Today he'd be called agnostic. Some would argue that Jefferson original word should be used, but that is sophistry, and a moot point, the truth is the word unalienable was a definite choice that was ratified unanimously at the time and not subject to revision without a Constitutional amendment.

The fact is that, Jefferson and John Adams both understood that there is a distinct difference between what Jefferson was saying and the intent of the Declaration of Independence. INalienable rights come from the government and pertain to civil rights. UNalienable rights come from a higher source of life that cannot be given or taken away. To be clear Adams viewpoint won the day and UNalienable was used and unanimously adopted by the Framers.

Why is that important? It establishes intent. It tells us that the framers looked at every word that went into the Declaration and the meaning of every word held significant ramifications (consequences) and carried great weight.

They did not say anything they did not intend and they were precise to a fault. That is why its important—they were writing this document for us, their progeny.

As understood by the framers at that time.

INalienable is a right that can be given or taken away it can be bought or sold, in those times, it literally meant, property that could be placed in (a) lien (offered as security). It was transitory. It was the argument used by pro slavery advocates, to buy and sell African-Americans, who were considered property, sub-human, a class apart from the protection, set forth in the Declaration and therefore not subject to the Human Rights.

UNalienable is a right that cannot be taken away. It was a right that was and is un (a) lien able (it was fixed and unassailable). It was irrevocable, never to be taken away.

Given the fact that this Declaration was a condemnation of the monarchy's right to grant or not grant rights to his subjects the framers wanted to make sure that it was crystal clear that they rejected that presumption outright and choose UNalienable to ensure that distinction.

Today we act as though the two words are synonymous but within the context of history these two words had significant and different ramifications. To be sure there is a deliberate attempt by the far right to obscure the difference, which makes it even more important to preserve the Declaration as it was written.

UNalienable rights refers to individual human rights that cannot be abridged.

Human rights are universal rights, or status, regardless of legal jurisdiction or other localizing factors, such as ethnicity, nationality, and sex—that by their nature cannot be taken away, violated, or transferred from one person to another. They are considered more fundamental than INalienable rights, such as rights in a specific piece of property.

The debate over Prop 8 is about that very distinction.

Is the right to marry who you please, a human right (unalienable) guaranteed by the Declaration—or—as the proponents of Prop 8 argue, is it a civil right (inalienable) like issuing a drivers license to be regulated by the state?

The Declaration says: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain UNalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men."

It cannot be argued too strongly that, marriage is certainly, a basic part of life that promotes individual happiness, and we are at liberty to pursue and marry anyone that makes us happy. What heterosexual would tolerate being told, you cannot marry at all, or you cannot marry that person.

The states sole function in any marriage union is to witness the legal contractual aspects of the marriage for the purpose of real property that becomes part of that contract. Their only other restrictions apply the to age, and familial ties (cousins, siblings etc.) Which could also easily apply to homosexual unions. (period) They cannot bar the human rights of an entire class of citizens. It is true that we have both inalienable and unalienable rights which is confusing to us today, but what is not confusing is that the government is instituted to secure our human rights and not to abridge them.

It is indeed ironic that the radical, religious, far right are using—Thomas Jefferson's, an avowed agnostics', original word—INalienable, to prove their point. And once again shines the bright light of hypocrisy on their very UNchristian viewpoints. Ken Starr cannot be allowed to confuse this issue of fundamental Constitutional Human Rights with Civil Rights, and the difference between UNalienable and INalienable.

What's in a word?

The difference between—Life, Liberty, the pursuit of happiness and the repression of a whole class of citizens.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Let Them Eat Cake!

"The media are outraged at the "class warfare" supposedly present in President Obama's budget plans. In the past few days alone, Michelle Bernard said Barack Obama "was almost declaring class warfare" in his speech to Congress; CNBC's Carlos Quintanilla said, "I don't want to call it class warfare, although that's what it may end up being in the end, this debate over wealth redistribution"; the AP's Jennifer Loven asked White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, "Are you all worried at all that that kind of argument, that 'class warfare' argument could sink the ability to get some of these big priorities through?"
Politico ran a Jeanne Cummings article headlined "Class warfare returns to D.C."
Glenn Beck, has said, that we are on the verge of Civil War.
The angry white-man of the Clinton era is being resurrected.
And this afternoon, MSNBC joined the pile-on, with a segment asking:
"Is there a war against the wealthy?
Do we have a class war developing?"

The Main Stream Media, Declares Class Warfare Has Returned?

My question is—When did the class warfare end? The rich have always exploited the poor! Always! It has never been different.

Of course that depends on who's definition and interpretation of class warfare you are using. When you are rich, being taxed, on even the most obsence profits, is considered a form terrorism, an attack by the seething rabble, that threatens the Rich's arrogant presumption of privilege—in Roman times, the poor were dismissed and referred to to as "the mob". Today the rich have devised other words to describe any hint of an upswing in circumstances, that would unseat them from their priviledged thrones of power. They demonize the poor as "socialist'', and have twisted the original meaning of the word "liberal" into something that frightens even the poor. They have cast anyone that calls for "fairness" as communists.

I watched with a fascinated contempt, as Rush Limbaugh rewrote history and relabeled the Obama administration as "authoritarian" at the CPAC convention in washington D.C. Authoritarian? Excuse me? This is a misnomer of staggering proportions considering the long history associated with plutocracies and fascist authoritarianism. I guess he just assumes that his uneducated "dittoheads," will not question this elaborate misdirection and redefinition of truth. He is right, they are for the most part "deadheads" from the neck up.

For the last 18 out of twenty four years the rich have held sway, partying at the expense of the average American citizen. They have deregulated and globalized and free traded our nation into bankruptcy.

Consider that California has a 42 billion dollar shortfall and that over the last six years its share of the needless Iraq war cost it 83 billion in state revenues. Who made the money that California lost? Haliburton, KRB, General Dynamics, Blackwater, and a thousand other rich multinational companies that feed off the murder of human beings. War profiteers like Dick cheney et al.

Where did trillions of dollars go in American wealth? To greedy oil companies that have gouged the American public by buying up green technology so they can squeeze every last nickel out of the American economy. At the same time they pay next to nothing for the control and exploitation of America's resources and the privilege of desecrating the earth with their, "drill baby, drill mentality".

Why have the multinationals made union busting a top priority in every industrialized nation in the world and have shipped those jobs to foreign countries that pay less than a living wage to its third world citizens? Japan's once prosperous middle class, is being devastated by the wealthy who have established a right wing conservative government, who have rewritten labor laws that have thrown millions of Japanese into poverty and homelessness.

Contrary to the recent screeds on FOX and the other, bought and paid for, MSM propaganda outlets, that accuse Obama of declaring "Class Warfare," I say that Obama declared a cease fire, in the wealthy classes unrelenting attack on America and the middle class. He has said enough, to the plutocracy of military industrial multinationals, that have fed, unchecked, on the blood of the worlds children, for the last decade, and that their orgy of unbridled greed is over.

Unfortunately, they are drunk with their delusion that they are better than everyone else and deserve to live in decadent opulence while the rest of society live, "lives of quite desperation". The story of class warfare is as old as the story of humankind, when powerful warlords declared themselves, kings ordained by god, to rule over others. Everywhere we look in history—when and where a right wing plutocracy, (rich fat bastards that want to rule the world by subjecting the poor to servitude), has taken power, e.g. Hitler—millions have died and suffered for the benefit of a rich powerful few.

Glenn Beck was talking about a new Civil War the other night on mainstream television. He is a dolt, or a "tool," I don't really care which, the point is that, that declaration, had it been uttered by "liberals" would have been branded as rabble rousers, stirring the cauldron of hate. Or of playing the "race card" or being guilty of the "mentality of victimization"

This is not the first time the right wing has stirred their cauldron of politically driven ideological hate. During the Clinton years with no other purpose than to bring the Clinton administration to a grinding halt, they said damn the country, we want Clinton to fail, just like Rush Limbaugh recently declared he wants Obama to fail, regardless of the consequences to the country and the American people—once again they are cranking up their Mass Media Propaganda Machine, to crank out the same rhetoric of hate, that produce the Timothy McVeigh's of the world.

The reality is "the Plutocracy" have always waged war on the poor and uneducated for their own benefit, by keeping them poor and uneducated. And by pitting them against each other. Not the other way around. To hear the rich speak of being taxed for their fair share, you'd think that "we" were taking the last crust of bread from their, caviar and Dom Perignon stained mouths. It is that kind of arrogance that produced, Marie Antoinette's, infamous statement, "let them eat cake" and that sparked the French Revolution.

Commentary: Vive la révolution!