"The wealthy, not only by private fraud but also by common laws, do every day pluck and snatch away from the people some part of their daily living. Therefore, when I consider and weigh in my mind these commonwealths which nowadays do flourish, I perceive nothing but a certain conspiracy of rich men in procuring their own commodities under the name and authority of the commonwealth.

They invent and devise all means and crafts, first how to keep safely without fear of losing that which they have unjustly gathered together, and next how to hire and abuse the work and labor of the people for as little money and effort as possible."

Thomas More, Utopia

Monday, December 29, 2008

The MSM, where the truth comes to die

Have you tired yet of the bullshit spin in the US MSM regarding Israel's ongoing war crimes in Gaza? I thought so. So without further ado let's get a peek at the straight dope from (as usual) Chris Floyd. Bare in mind that much of what you read in Floyd's piece is available from mainstream sources within Israel itself such as the leading daily Ha'aretz but not in the US. Another critical source of analysis on the wholly US-sponsored atrocity is from the Angry Arab.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Mere weeks to bliss

The inauguration is but a few short weeks away and all will be well again in the land of milk and honey. President Barack Obama will make it so, just you wait and see. American Leftist offers a brief refresher course for those who weren't following along closely as Team Obama worked their magic this past spring in this repost from July 10th of this year:

Thursday, July 10, 2008
Election Ennui

Nothing is more enervating for people that actually care about the substance of political and social issues than a presidential campaign year. During the primaries, the candidates, like circus magicians, purvey the illusion that the campaign is really about issues of importance, that we face electoral decisions of grave importance, even as they creatively repackage predictable positions.

Once the nominees become apparent, however, the dialogue, such as it was, is even more circumscribed. Recognizing the power of the corporate media in regard to framing the issues and defining the candidates for a credulous public, any pretense of engaging the public about fundamental questions that affect our lives is abandoned. After all, a presidential campaign is primarily a media driven exercise in mythology. It is more important to present oneself to the media as innocuous, as yet another in a line of safe, conformist political figures, so that the media can, paradoxically, present the candidate as larger than life, capable of forging a profound emotional bound with the public so that he can comfortably assumes powers of near omnipotence.

This is what we observe transpiring on a daily basis with Barack Obama. He's getting tougher on Iran, he's signalling a willingness to be flexible about how he will withdraw US troops from Iraq, he's now for the death penalty even in instances without the loss of life and he wasn't willing to fight to prevent Congress from granting immunity to telecommunications companies that illegally wiretapped US citizens at the direction of the White House. It's all about showing how reasonable he is, you see. It's a long way from working as a community organizer in Chicago, but Obama probably draws upon similar skills to effectively disarm his media critics.

Obama closed the deal as they say when he willingly played the game of stigmatizing black men for social dysfunctionality found across the racial spectrum. Whites are allowed to have children out of wedlock without comment, but blacks are not, and Obama displayed his knowledge of this double standard, and the essential role that it plays in justifying racial bias towards African Americans. Tim Russert and his mentor, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, would have been proud.

For a brief period, there was an opening that suggested that this stale politics could be shattered, but Obama's defeat in Texas and Ohio, primarily at the hand of working class whites, closed it. It did not deny him the nomination, as I thought it would, but it did force him to abandon any radical notions that he may have had about transforming the US political system. Since then, Obama has scrupulously followed the rules, as he will do when he enters the White House. Obama recognizes that he cannot pursue even a palled progressive agenda of demilitarization, an agenda that is an unavoidable precondition to confronting the declining standard of living for middle income, lower middle income and poor Americans, if it is opposed by the proletarian base of the Democratic Party.

As for the rest of us, it means millions of more American foreclosed out of their houses, driven to the unemployment lines and pushed to the margins of this credit dependent economy, with an increasing likelihood that Obama will be just as willing to attack Iran as McCain to divert attention from this catastrophe. Because, having left the forces within this country dictating these interrelated outcomes unexposed and untouched, Obama will soon discover that he is just as much a prisoner of them as you and I. Like Bush, he will govern symbolically instead of realistically, because the alternative is politically suicidal in the absence of a social movement to support it.

-Richard Estes (American Leftist)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Feeling Like It

Just got through a rather busy stretch of my life that's taken me away from the blog as you may have noticed. On top of that the kids have both been under the weather a bit lately but I'm finally noticing shades of light at the other end of the tunnel so there'll be some interesting posts around here soon. Happy Holidays.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008