Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Bible Editing, Bullets, Wars, Revolution, Changing Realties Set To Rock The Social Order.

Bible Editing, Bullets, Wars, Revolution, Changing Realties Set To Rock The Social Order.

I hate to admit it but age and the constant personal stress of pursuing that which I believe in so deeply is taking its toll. As long as adrenalin and caffeine are surging through these aging veins; I am all right, but when I returned to Alexandria last night and found myself coming down from the ceiling of interactions and began contemplating, sorting through the flood of conversations of the past five days, I found myself unable to do little but policing up work of all that filled may multiple in boxes. The words, the looks, the emotion of voices was haunting …sleep needed was not easy in coming or fitful last night.

The past few days have taken me from: Tiffin and Xavier Universities, Cincinnati, to: The University of Dayton, across route 35 into bible thumping, corn growing and Amish land south of Columbus, up state to Kent State University and Oberlin College, North to Central Michigan College, Mt. Pleasant, The University of Wisconsin, Madison with local stops in-between.

The upshot of student organizing conversations and listening to locals everywhere along the way confirms/cements the view that this nation is polarized to the point of an outbreak of violence. Those who do not want to believe it are only deceiving themselves. Those who participate in the measured political theaters of protest are simply play acting. The stresses are racial, partisan, economic, issue oriented all driven by that most dangerous of elements…failed expectations and a now hatred of an impotent corporate congress. These folks are the true everyday Americans, not those featured in media propaganda sound bites…and what are they saying.

They fear the tide of hate unleashed by Beck, etal. and perceive it leading to violence. They are not ignorant of the ignorant flock being whipped up to new version of a race war that has been incorporated under the umbrella of the culture wars in this land.

If the right believes it somehow has the superiority of maniacal commitment and force of arms at the ready for massive civil unrest; they are mistaken. Those who we would color blue and purple have their stashes of firearms and ammunition and their own thought out scenarios of action.

I talked with one farmer and his family over a wonderful home grown beef feast of a supper, steak, baked potato, a new corn that might as well been labeled sugar, slaw, fresh green bean salad, homemade garlic bread topped off with a huge Pineapple upside down cake with homemade ice cream and two pots of my coffee blend that I carry with me always. The meal was exquisite. In the DC area you still have to use a knife to cut a $50 steak, they had none on the table…and none was necessary.

The conversation from folks one might assume to be conservative on some basic issues was not. They are convinced, and I agree, that any violent act aimed at Obama will see America’s cities burn and the blood bath killing will be select and specific. This from Southern Ohio Red Neck working class folks. They have their weapons; they have deck plate steel for reinforcement of their vehicles, and do their neighbors! Are you listening; are you paying attention?

I like the Amish and I have always gotten along with them. I enjoy them. OK, I don’t agree with everything in their culture, but that is their business. I’m not inclined to argue with them over their beliefs; they are theirs and personal and that is fine with me. I had fascinating conversations with a number on this trip, but one with the gentleman who owns the horse I photographed. The horse resting with head down as is normal would not respond to the photo I wanted until I asked of it: “Are you a good boy?” and pop up and ready to go…followed by a gentle hand on my shoulder, laughter and a “you dun Gut.” We sat for awhile at a picnic table outside of the Amish Market store and shared real conversation.

The most telling observation of Herman’s part was that: “America is so filled with hate right now that is only a matter of time before people start killing each other in some sort of Civil War.” Chilling come from an Amish man. With a bone crushing hand shake we parted with promise to mail him the photo, which I will do, and his kind words: “you are a good man.”

In the conversations with students and professors, common folk along the way the word “REVOLUTION” surfaced again and again and again. Yet, all the would be saviors of America, all the self-proclaimed advocates of change and justice content themselves with theatrical successes and diminutive sporadic arrests without resistance. Folks we just don’t have a handle on the reality that is brewing, belated as it is and fomented by a right that believes the ultimate clash will enable them in the back lash to institute the next level of Fascist control they so “wet dream” desire. They are determined to prove that “If it ain’t white; it ain’t right” at any cost.

The conflict brewing is racial; it is economic, it is ideological and or the first time the very existence of validity and place of religion in this nation is on the table. That is a potent and noxious mixture of discontent…race, money, guns, control, God or no God!

Bibles and bullets are nothing new but we have added to the brew. The economic crisis, the managed depression, we are struggling to emerge from is being painted by a corporate paint by the numbers balance sheet canvas being force fed by the media to the American public. But what has really happened thus far? The bill of goods that we are all in this together is a load of farmland droppings that Americans are not buying unless you are well financially endowed have the expectations that further financial manipulation will return all the paper losses you have incurred to date.

Americans can sometime be extremely ignorant and pliable, malleable as putty until it comes to their wallets and pocket books…you know…that…”it’s the economy stupid” Carvilleism. We are, worldwide, building a new economic structure that is going to require massive regulation that will be resisted with a massive corporate warfare of K Street Money, slander and demonization. There will be not only charges of Socialism but Communism and Dictatorship as the rhetoric that smoke screens the all out assault to control absolutely the new economic order. Corporations and financial institutions are already in full gear to immunize themselves from that which will emanate from Chris Dodd’s Committee.

We wee folk are trying our damnedest to manage all the balls in the air, the economy, outrageous wars that can only lead to failure and/or reinstatement of the draft. If we continue to keep our eyes of this juggling exercise we will never be able to see the big picture or what is going on behind our backs…distracted, overwhelmed we are defeated.

There must come, rapidly, a point where we seize this nation in an action of restoration and reconstruction.

The palette being utilized to politically/media paint the new America is both limited and tragic. It is red, white and black; the white and black of polarization, the black a hideous mixture of division and hate, the divisions of hate and racism, be they anti-black, anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim, anti-Immigrant, anti-Hispanic, all vestiges of Xenophobia, insecurity, guilt and fear determined to crank back the hands of time and demographic change even if it means burning down half of this nation.

The red is the red of the right, blood red to be shed anywhere at home and abroad to preserve that which is deemed essential to their vision of the world. Believing firmly in the words that “God fashioned man in his own image” so they hold that in new “Doctrine Of Manifest Destiny” that it is destiny, our duty fashion the rest of the world in our own American White Evangelical Christian Right Wing Flock following image!

I hold it to be true that a nation is the sum total of all of its people, their beliefs, attitudes, hopes, dreams and aspirations including the darkest components of their humanity. That being said; this nation must be perceived as very ill nation, irrational, schizophrenic, hypocritical and driven by pride greed and the belief that we are the agents of God on Earth. We mouth justice and democracy while we really relish domination and dictation. All the altruism to which we pay lip service cannot disguise the hypocrisy and base desires we have to control the world.

We are in the throes of constructing a new nation, not refurbishing a damaged older one and that requires a very different orientation than that currently being spun off by a political system that should be euthanized.

From the purely financial side of things; the stimulus actions must be viewed as little more than initial, and flawed, pump priming. We are being fed a media diet of “all is working slowly” when in reality there are several financial building blocks that could still collapse at any moment and Wall Street being little more than a confidence game where the players demand daily that their asses be protected from their own mediocrity by our life sacrifices. I will be damned if I am going to accept the proposition that we should be required to sacrifice our entire lives of hopes, dreams and financial planning to becoming paupers and homeless as the price for the corporate piranha’s unbridled schemes as the price we pay for having given in our toil to their perks, salaries and fortunes in return for the their “benevolence” to letting us have a job until they screw up and consume everything we have worked for our entire adult lives.

They are all; we are expendable; slaves had it better.

The knee jerk conservatives, right wing fundamentalists, do gooder progressives and myopic centrists are nothing more and nothing less than pawns that are being played for all they are worth and then slapped off the board as expendable pieces.

We have fallen into the manipulative trap of diversity of actions and the divisive nature of a multitude of issues that have diluted our effectiveness. We as the nation as a whole have not been able to establish a set of priorities and an approach, and the commitment to work down the list. We have to have it all. That takes a shotgun hardly the approach to hit the target with real impact.

What would happen if this nation became galvanized in a national uprising and shut down until: healthcare was settled in a manner that benefits the people and reins in the corporate bandits, a sane Middle East Foreign Policy were put into place and withdrawal from the current war fronts were accomplished, far reaching financial regulations were adopted and national stimulus efforts were ear marked at the major infra structure failings of America coupled with coupled with no funding for Detroit that does not produce a true on board electrical recharging system requiring no fuel and no plug-in burn coal for electric recharging? (A short priority list that would go a long way in the reinvigoration of America.)

Then we could get at election financing and driving the K Street Lobbyists money carriers from our politics in totally public financed campaigns without sneak around loop holes.

If you listen, as I have, to the growing unrest of students in this nation you find that they are approaching the 1960s level of discontent and spring may well find a nation surprised by upheavals that seem to come without symptoms and warning. The dynamic that is growing is different. Fear and patience have damped down what we saw in the Vietnam era and the dammed up energy will unleash quickly. They see in continued warfare the resurrection of the draft. They see in a “recovery without jobs and reemployment” an education without reward without opportunity upon graduation.

There is much that can be done to refashion this nation, to refurbish this nation, to rebuild this nation, much that can be done to resolve the ills and ailments of our species and nation without dependence upon killing around the world as that glue that binds this nation together in a quivering mass prepared to become unglued.

I have heard nothing these past few days that does not point in the direction of this nation waking up one morning to the most violent social shock we have ever known, and there will be those who will simply say as they observe the clash of arms and rising smoke on the horizon: “I didn’t think it would happen!”

They’ll probably circulate a cyber petition asking for peace in the streets, but few will be home to sign on, if they have power to turn their computers on at all.

Revolution? Or The Realization Of Orwell's Vision?

By Jon Faulkner (about the author) opednews.com Permalink

For OpEdNews: Jon Faulkner - Writer

Corporations, as they endlessly scheme for absolute control over the planet's finite resources, will order the planet's social order into whatever structure is necessary to insure corporate dominance over the individual. Orwell recognized the corporate entities driven ambition to abolish representative government in favor of corporate oligarchy. For anyone who isn't blind it's easy to recognize that representative democracy in the U.S. has been abandoned. The government, and the politicians who pretend to represent ordinary Americans, are a wholly owned and operated subsidiary of the corporate state. At this point, only revolution will re-establish the democratic state. But revolution is extremely unlikely. Many Americans are so ignorant, uninformed and timid, they can't bring themselves to vote their criminal representatives out of office.

The U.S. Congress, has demonstrated time and time again, its submissive, fawning allegiance to its corporate masters. The men and women who comprise Congress are weak and grotesquely inadequate parodies of the nation's founders who put their lives, and the lives of their families, on the line to show the world that men could govern themselves, and neither needed nor wanted the old, worn model of the powerful, monied few, condemning them to lives of servitude. Try to imagine your Congressional Representative standing up to the British Army. Try to see him. Try, if you will, to see him as ready to die for a fledgling democracy that has yet to take root.

The dignity and respect that came with the offices of those who would devote their lives to the public good has given way to cheap theatre, and pretentious assumption, upon a public that is so jaded and removed from Congressional antics that those who regard the penultimate fortunes of the free republic are withdrawn and disinterested in any further pursuit of regaining that which has been so hopelessly lost. The Congressional jokers, led by a man who lacks the will to bring change to a profoundly troubled democracy, wag their senseless tongues to hasten the destruction of a once proud, and vibrant nation.

If there's any doubt of whose interests are served by Congress consider Obama, with a filibuster proof Congressional majority. He postures presidentially, but hasn't the will or courage to lead. His fantasy of health care for all Americans is a case in point. He stands meekly aside as five democrats, on the Senate Finance Committee, join ten republicans to discard a meaningful health care plan. This after a NYT survey revealed that 65% of the public favor an expansion of Medicare to include all Americans. Obama‘s allegiance to his corporate masters was promised along with the corporate campaign donations he so eagerly sought and accepted.

Corporate dominance over humanity, and the finite resources of the planet, are simply another religion expressed in the short term. The corporation is served in direct proportion to the extent an individual is, in immediacy, willing to surrender identity in the interests of the corporate good. Thus it is that corporate profit and growth are determined through maximum efficiency at the cost of individual identity. Orwell's classic 1984 drew a stark picture of the corporate state in its Big Brother role. The corporate/God entity rewards by the same criteria that religious orthodoxy promises Heaven. Heaven is the ultimate retirement community without sickness, pain, sorrow or need. The corporation mirrors the same precept with the only exception being that it promises its adherents immediate gratification in terms of a paycheck, health benefits, vacations and retirement while the other gives its reward or punishment only after death. “Mankind is not likely to salvage civilization unless he can evolve a system of good and evil which is independent of heaven and hell.” --- George Orwell

A system of increasingly diminished reward is the natural progression of the corporate as it seeks to maximize profit and control over its human elements. Employee benefits, as the corporation strengthens, are easily withdrawn after its employees are indebted to the company store. The store is of course the mortgage industry, the banks that loan to those willing to conform, the health care industry and the various other corporate entities that promise futures to those who toe the line. The corporate state is a many headed hydra that gives nothing, and takes everything.

The corporate monster has been successful in the U.S, but the rest of the world sees that it has allowed its greed and ambition to overtake it. U.S. estimation has fallen prodigiously among the world community as it recognizes there will be no political solution that addresses the unregulated and reckless corporate state.

The Right Wing, U.S. Supreme Court, is now considering arguments that would reverse the restrictions on corporations during elections, and also reverse a century of law that forbid any corporation from contributing to political campaigns. The venue under which these questions have come before the court are “corporate personhood.” That corporations are immortal, and have as their sole purpose the accumulation of ever more material does not enter into the considerations of the Roberts Court. Neither does the fact that the word “corporation” does not appear anywhere in the U.S. Constitution. Corporations have absolutely no loyalty to anything or one, with the exception of their shareholders. Americans, their eyes riveted on Beck, Limbaugh et al, take not so much as a passing interest in such corporate control of their most revered institutions of government.

Human destiny must be determined by its own active involvement. The extent to which humanity is willing to surrender its identity to an inhuman entity, whose single purpose is in controlling completely the human and the finite material resources of the planet, is the same extent to which humanity will influence its ultimate destination. All religious orthodoxy recognizes the earthbound authority of one ruling authority or another. Thus the common thread, “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and unto God the things that are God's” binds together orthodox religion with the secular.

That separation was an article of the Constitution before Bush Junior's appointment by a court so corrupt it was necessary for its highly partisan justices to invoke new law to install an immoral half-wit to the presidency. The imbecile Bush, just as in Orwell's perpetual war between Eurasia and Oceana, warned Americans that the war in Iraq would be without end.

The corporate state, in the interests of cheaper labor, has exported the U.S. manufacturing base out of the country. American workers are no longer able to produce the products the rest of the world recognizes as valuable. The collapse of the housing industry will be shortly followed by the collapse of the health care industry. The U.S. Congress, a corporate entity in its own right, intends doing nothing whatsoever towards controlling the ever spiraling costs of corporative health care. The appointment of Bush Junior to the presidency vastly escalated the diminishment of the U.S. as a responsible member of the world community. Today the government, fronting for the corporate state, must borrow ever increasing sums from foreign lenders as the government's money machine runs 24/7 printing dollars - all in a futile effort to sustain an unsustainable economy.

Bush Junior's wars were necessary Americans are told endlessly, just as Obama's continuation of them are. They have primarily served as another nail the United State's economic coffin. The wars are needed to keep the corporate defense department working while the U.S. dollar loses its status as the world's fiat currency. Even Zimbabwe, that tiny South African Nation, has replaced the dollar with the South African Rand. Russia, China, India and many other nations have taken steps to distance themselves from the U.S. dollar, and are increasingly refusing to acknowledge it as the world's reserve currency.

Back at the loony bin, media clowns distort the meaning of the Constitution, and lie with complete impunity for the express purpose of exciting the crowd. It is not possible to argue with Beck, Limbaugh, O'Reilly, or their devoted audiences. Their language is couched in the simple cadences of emotional hysteria. No reasoned, thoughtful appeal can hope to penetrate the crowd's mind that would only see such appeal as a tedious trial upon its extremely limited attention. The crowd desires, needs, the copious outpouring of extremity in the form of hate, slander and abuse. They need a tangible victim for their pain, and liberals serve admirably in that capacity. Their intransient ignorance permits them to believe that a liberal media dominates, and all the abundant evidence to the contrary will not sway them from believing it.

This is corporate crowd control at its best. It not only isolates the corporate detractors, but serves a further purpose - the erosion of language as a communication tool that has the power to sway and influence with logical and thoughtful debate. Newt Gingrich introduced a studied incivility to Congress during his climb to power. He developed a list of code words with which to slander his opponents. "betray, corrupt, shame, sick, steal, liar, thief and traitor” were a few such words that Gingrich urged his republican colleagues to surreptitiously use against democrats. Ironically, those words applied very specifically to Newt himself when he was charged, as House Speaker, of no less than 84 ethics violations. Any tyrant knows that an attack against a nation's language must be one of the first steps to absolute control.

The president is a man who wants to please the powerful to the extent he will abandon his base to do so. Obama caught the progressive community in a weak moment. After Bush, anyone at all who wasn't a Washington fixture, seemed an ideal candidate. Hillary Clinton, in retrospect, would have been a far more assertive and effective president. If she comes back in 2012 she'll win the election going away. As the corporations continue consolidating power the common men and women will find themselves increasingly helpless. They can't fight back because they have little money, and forcing change onto the corporate structure is a very expensive proposition. Lacking the dollars is exacerbated by the millions of Americans who consider any government program that benefits Americans as socialist, even though it was socialism that saved the capitalist banks from themselves. The corporations, with their network media, make certain that a large number of Americans are kept believing such nonsense. Orwell's insight into the future was uncannily accurate.

The polarization of the two major U.S. political parties has resulted, as it was meant to, in an angry and resentful south and mid-west. Progressives in the northeast and far west futilely attempt bringing some kind of sanity to a nation gone mad. For their efforts they are rewarded with cries of derision and hate by the conservatives. The end result, if nothing changes, will most likely be the realization of Orwell's dystopian vision.

The corporate monsters, who are directly responsible for destroying so much that Americans once held dear, will go undetected and unpunished. In fact they will very likely continue stealing America's minerals, forest products and other natural resources. Glenn Beck, Limbaugh, O'Reilly and the many other hate radio and television loonies have done their work well. Americans are polarized into two camps, and the corporate monster is giddy over its success. Giving personhood to the corporate entity was the nation's undoing. It was only a matter of time until Congress was bought, and Americans lost their representative government. When the banks helped themselves to multiple trillions of the public's money, all argument that government is still representative became superfluous even for those who still clung to the illusion they were living in a representative democracy. “The very concept of objective truth is fading out of the world. Lies will pass into history.” --- George Orwell

Unleashing A Race War On President Barack Obama
Times Online – UK

It is as if the party's super-ego was removed by Dick Cheney, its ego left town with Bush, and its id is all that remains: full of sound and racial fury ...

By The Project on Race in Political Communication
White Friends, Black Friends: The Personal Nature of Racial Politics
Charlton provides his unique perspective on interracial friendships in this era of heightened awareness of race and racism.

Just after the release of the ex-CIA directors’ letter condemning Attorney General Eric Holder’s torture inquiry, here comes this statement from Justice Department spokesman Matthew Miller:

The Attorney General works closely with the men and the women of intelligence community to keep the American people safe and he does not believe their commitment to conduct that important work will waver in any way.

Given the recommendation from the Office of Professional Responsibility as well as other available information, he believed the appropriate course of action was to ask John Durham to conduct a preliminary review. That review will be narrowly-focused and will be conducted by a career prosecutor who has shown an ability to handle cases involving classified information. Durham has not been appointed as a special prosecutor; he will be supervised by senior managers at the Department.

The Attorney General’s decision to order a preliminary review into this matter was made in line with his duty to examine the facts and to follow the law. As he has made clear, the Department of Justice will not prosecute anyone who acted in good faith and within the scope of the legal guidance given by the Office of Legal Counsel regarding the interrogation of detainees.

By Mary Shaw
Of Course It's About Race

A few days ago, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter noted that racism is likely responsible for much of the anti-Obama sentiment that has monopolized the media in recent weeks. That seems pretty clear to me, too.

But the right-wing mouthpieces are denying that race has anything to do with it. Racism, you see, is not something most Americans would want to publicly admit to these days.

According to the New York Times, Rush Limbaugh mockingly responded, "Today, it's all based in racism - the criticism of Obama's health care plan or whatever." This was quickly backed up by Newt Gingrich, who added, "I think it's very destructive for America to suggest that we can't criticize a president without it being a racial act."

But that's not what anyone is suggesting, Newt. The giveaway is not in whetheryou criticize the president, it's in how you criticize him.

As Media Matters for America recently pointed out, the Rush Limbaugh who is trying to deny accusations of racism is the same Rush Limbaugh who has said things like:

"[I]n Obama's America, the white kids now get beat up with the black kids cheering."


"How do you get promoted in a Barack Obama administration? By hating white people or even saying you do."


"[T]hey're finally hearing me. 'He's an angry black guy.' I do believe that about the president. I do believe he's angry. I think his wife is angry."

And, of course, this is the same Rush Limbaugh who has entertained his radio listeners with a tune called "Barack The Magic Negro".

Then there are the signs spotted at various "tea party" protests around the country:

"Obama's Plan: White Slavery"


"Save White America!"

Then, when they run out of anti-black slogans, they go back to emphasizing the president's Middle Eastern middle name: Barack HUSSEIN Obama

And these loud and rowdy critics are inspired by the likes of Glenn Beck of Fox News, who has publicly accused President Obama of being a reverse racist with "a deep-seated hatred for white people."

But it's not about race, they tell us.


Who lies?

Mary Shaw is a Philadelphia-based writer and activist, with a focus on politics, human rights, and social justice. She is a former Philadelphia Area Coordinator for the Nobel-Prize-winning human rights group Amnesty International, and her views appear regularly in a variety of newspapers, magazines, and websites. Note that the ideas expressed here are the author's own, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Amnesty International or any other organization with which she may be associated.


In the non-existent, National Health Care debate, Bill Clinton, speaking to a group of health care activists, encourages them, "I want us to be mindful we may need to take less than a full loaf." Less than half a loaf. Not an even half, no, less than half. This is the mindset which has delivered the American people to their current state of subservient helplessness, and who better to express it than the less than half a democrat himself, Bill Clinton. Van Jones, White House Special Adviser for Green Jobs, offended the republicans and was asked to resign. Better the Right Wing loonies are assuaged rather than risk their ire Obama reasoned, clearly showing himself as more than half a coward.

Republican Hypocrisy Is Breathtaking.

They have taken their cue from Limbaugh, Beck and Fox News, until today lying has become their primary talent. The contempt they hold for the American people is immeasurable. For any liar who can strain credulity as they do must necessarily be contemptuous of the recipients of those lies. Without the slightest care they tear the nation asunder as they invoke their self congratulatory righteousness. The fact that millions of Americans tolerate them, and indeed, admire them for their directed hatreds, tells the entire story of the United State's fall. For fallen it is. A large portion of the billions of taxpayer dollars delivered to Goldman Sachs will later this year pay some 30,000 of its employees bonuses averaging $700,000 each. This outrage is successfully veiled as the republican media machine accuses Obama of various criminal activities ranging from a conspiracy to kill off Grandma and Grandpa, to arranging for a socialist takeover of the U.S. which wouldn't be such a bad idea considering how well the banks have done with socialism.

Obama is attached to his wait and see strategy. As the republican lunatics beat him bloody with their town hall death care lunacy, Obama lays back and watches as the health care debate is framed for him, and the famous public option becomes a fleeting shadow that's represents all that is left of the prospects for National Health Care. But Obama makes fine speeches. His lofty words evoke memories of Teddy R, and his brother, FDR. Obama recently addressed the Wall Street Thieves. Regarding their penchant for once again stealing trillions of the taxpayer's money, Obama announced, “that's exactly what they are doing.”

Tearing down the structure that made the U.S. the envy of the world is the primary goal of the republicans. Today the republicans are singularly, down to the last one of them, opposed to voting for a working health care system paid for with the public's money. My God, Obama must be thinking. What if the banks need more billions, and the taxpayer's dollars have been squandered on health care! The president thinks groveling demonstrates bipartisanship. Bush claimed a mandate he never had, but Obama, with a clear mandate and a Democratic Congress, prefers groveling, and disguising his cowardice with grand, eloquent oratory.

Obama's ongoing and unapologetic betrayal of his once enthusiastic supporters rival Bush Junior's contemptuous disregard of the American people's wishes and needs. But any anger directed at Obama may as well be vented on the sun for rising in the east, and setting in the west. It is as disappointing as it is obvious that Obama had been bought and sold before Americans trooped off to the polls. Was he offered as a consolation prize after Bush broke the nation's economic back, and for good measure, undermined the credibility and honor of a great nation? However Obama won the White House, he continues in the finest tradition of Bush Junior. The only major difference between them is that Bush seemed to possess some small measure of courage, while it can be safely said that Obama is at, the very least unassertive. Bush, as evil and despicable character as he is, could at least commit himself. The same cannot be said of the first legitimately elected president in eight years.

The corporate world angers and disgusts any American who gives a damn about honesty. Enter a new Democratic President, and a black one to boot. How to explain, after his thrilling campaign speeches, and his promises to get tough with Wall Street and corporate greed, that he's plainly and painfully responsible for losing control of the health care debate? The betrayals came fast after his election. The appointment of Wall Street con artists, Geithner and Summers, to two of the nation's top economic posts. And what better choice could Obama have made other than the Bush Administrations Fed Chief, Ben Bernanke, who watched over the economic disaster in waiting that came to fruition just as Obama took office? And the coup de grace when Obama delivered trainloads of taxpayer cash to the bankers who are primed to deliver another economic catastrophe that will make the first one look like a raid on the milk and egg money in Granny's cookie jar.

Now he's losing control as Commander in Chief as his top generals publically question his judgment. Obama gives a fearful bow and escalates the war in Afghanistan. It's easier to imagine Obama keeping the Titanic afloat by bailing with a coffee can, than it is to imagine him repairing the economy, or that matter, his presidency. Obama is martyr to a cause he's unaware of. His election was an unfortunate fluke brought about by desperate Americans who were ready to vote for anyone who wasn't Bush and republican. That particular alignment of the stars and planets is not likely to come again soon. Such a terrible waste. Squandering such opportunity on a man who hasn't the courage to lead.

He knows that Americans suffer from many misconceptions. Many of them regard the basic right of free health care for every citizen as another bleeding heart liberal giveaway of their hard earned dollars. Indeed, the bleeding hearts have cause to bleed, or perhaps, at least, shed a tear. The highly regarded and prestigious Institute of Medicine says that today's health insurance industry, by denying crucial heath care, is murdering in excess of 22,000 Americans per year.

Quite the system, but no one wants DEATH CARE. Certainly not Obama. A socialistic system of universal health care would betray the very ideals on which this great nation was founded. Particularly when such a system would devastate corporate profit. The red, white and blue is blinding when the republicans are frantically waving Old Glory. The health care debate has never been about bringing health care to Americans. It's about kicking those who are insured by Medicare and Medicaid off the roles.

Obama's footnote in history will be significant if not extensive. He will be chiefly remembered for leading the political suicide of the Democratic Party, and paving the final approach for Corporate, Right Wing, fascism. Even after Bush succeeded in breaking the nation's economic back, McCain, who would have cheerfully continued and even exacerbated the same folly, did not suffer a crushing defeat as he should have. Fox, Beck, Limbaugh and all the other Right Wing droolers will continue destroying Obama, and Obama will roll onto his back, kick his legs, and lap the nearest republican ass that presents itself.

Obama's Cunning Co-Op Plan | Guardian.Co.Uk

Other than his brilliant healthcare speech in early September, Obama has mostly seemed content to lay low while the Senate thrashes out the details. ...See all stories on this topic

Obama's Remarks To Doctors On Revamping American Healthcare [Complete Text] | Los Angeles Times

Instead, the reason these doctors are here is because they have seen firsthand what's broken about ourhealth care system. They've seen what happens when ...See all stories on this topic

By Kevin Gosztola
UPDATE: 82 Arrested Outside White House, Hundreds Show Up To Protest War In Afghanistan

When a major protest event happens, you can count on your friendly mainstream media to be M.I.A. unless the protest involves a band of angry thuggish teabaggers sporting posters comparing Obama to Hitler or Stalin.

By Press Release
Robert Greenwald Presents World Premiere of "Rethink Afghanistan" in Washington, D.C. Documentary Phenomenon Mobilizes

The echo chambers in Washington have long argued that Afghanistan is the war of necessity. This reasoning excluded any opposing viewpoints and has mired us in what is now perceived as the endless war. With well over 500,000 viewers and growing, we are pleased that Rethink Afghanistan is now at center of the movement to end the war." Robert Greenwald, Director, Rethink Afghanistan

Greenwald Film on Afghanistan Destroys the Logic of the War, Leading the New York Times to Whine

Readers of the Times, therefore, should take with a huge grain of weaponized salt the paper's “review” of Robert Greenwald's new documentary, Rethink Afghanistan. With no sense of the painful irony of writing such jibberish in the Times, reviewer Andy Webster declares that the film could "use balance, something in short supply here:"

[Conservative Bible Project Cuts Out Liberal Passages]

Lo and behold, the Bible has gotten too liberal, according to a group of conservatives. And it needs a little editing.

That's the inspiration behind the Conservative Bible Project, which seeks to take the text back to its supposed right-wing roots.

Yes, even scripture is not orthodox enough for the modern conservative. Not that it's the fault of the author(s), exactly. The group cites a few reasons why the Bible is too progressive: "Lack of precision in the original language ... lack of precision in modern language" and "translation bias in converting the original language to the modern one."

So how can the Bible be conservatized? The group has proposed a Wikipedia-like group editing project. Some of the ideas would only bring the translation closer to the original. But others would fundamentally change the text.

1. Framework against Liberal Bias: providing a strong framework that enables a thought-for-thought translation without corruption by liberal bias

2. Not Emasculated: avoiding unisex, "gender inclusive" language, and other modern emasculation of Christianity

3. Not Dumbed Down: not dumbing down the reading level, or diluting the intellectual force and logic of Christianity; the NIV is written at only the 7th grade level[3]

4. Utilize Powerful Conservative Terms: using powerful new conservative terms as they develop;[4] defective translations use the word "comrade" three times as often as "volunteer"; similarly, updating words which have a change in meaning, such as "word", "peace", and "miracle".

5. Combat Harmful Addiction: combating addiction by using modern terms for it, such as "gamble" rather than "cast lots";[5] using modern political terms, such as "register" rather than "enroll" for the census

6. Accept the Logic of Hell: applying logic with its full force and effect, as in not denying or downplaying the very real existence of Hell or the Devil.

7. Express Free Market Parables; explaining the numerous economic parables with their full free-market meaning

8. Exclude Later-Inserted Liberal Passages: excluding the later-inserted liberal passages that are not authentic, such as the adulteress story

9. Credit Open-Mindedness of Disciples: crediting open-mindedness, often found in youngsters like the eyewitnesses Mark and John, the authors of two of the Gospels

10. Prefer Conciseness over Liberal Wordiness: preferring conciseness to the liberal style of high word-to-substance ratio; avoid compound negatives and unnecessary ambiguities; prefer concise, consistent use of the word "Lord" rather than "Jehovah" or "Yahweh" or "Lord God."

Among the words to be eliminated: "government." A conservative columnist at Beliefnet described the effort as "just crazy ... like what you'd get if you crossed the Jesus Seminar with the College Republican chapter at a rural institution of Bible learnin'."


Chris Hedges

Celebrating Slaughter: War and Collective Amnesia
Memorials, while they pay homage to those who made “the ultimate sacrifice,” dignify slaughter. They perpetuate the old lie of honor and glory. They set the ground for the next inferno. The myth of war manufactures a collective memory that ennobles the next war.

'Is God Great?' – Christopher Hitchens & John Lennox debate ...
By doctore0
Christopher Hitchens & John Lennox debate (preview). Posted by doctore0 on September 17, 2009. There is no god, only greedy,selfish idiots who think he/it exists & program people to follow them, give them power and $… end of story. ...
DoctorE - http://doctore0.wordpress.com/

Frank Schaeffer: The GOP's Evangelical Subculture is a Fifth ...
By Heather
... Seattle resident and son of Pres. Ronald Reagan, will headline the Freedom From Religion Foundation's 32nd annual national convention in Seattle on the weekend of Nov. 6-8, 2009. Christopher Hitchens debates Iraq with Reagan Jr. ...
Crooks and Liars - http://crooksandliars.com/

New Zealand Conservative: Festival of Dangerous Ideas
By MrTips
One really interesting square-off will be
Christopher Hitchens and Archbishop George Pell providing counterpoint talks about whether "Religion Poisons Everything" or "Without God We are Nothing", respectively. ...
New Zealand Conservative - http://nzconservative.blogspot.com/

My Case Against God: Why I Am Not a Christian
By The Jolly Nihilist
Christopher Hitchens asks, can Genesis be proven the mundane work of ignorant humans in merely a paragraph? “Because,” he writes, “man is given 'dominion' over all beasts, fowl and fish. But no dinosaurs or plesiosaurs or ...
My Case Against God - http://mycaseagainstgod.blogspot.com/

Debate On Existence Of God Draws 6000 To UCF Arena
Orlando Sentinel
By Nicole Gauzens Special to the Sentinel Christian apologist Dinesh D'Souza challenged atheist author
Christopher Hitchens to consider both God and science ...
See all stories on this topic

By Allen L Roland
Leader Of Upcoming World Spiritual Revolution is Chavez / Not Obama

Brazil winning the 2016 Olympics and ousting Obama ( Chicago ) in the first round is a shot across the bow that there is a moral and spiritual revolution of the people occurring in South America and its leader is Venezuela's Hugo Chavez: Allen L Roland

Aclu Asks Court To Order Government To Reveal Transcripts Of Prisoner Abuse

NLG Urges Holder To Ignore Obama And Investigage Cheney On Torture ...
By wilderside
They urge Holder to “hold firm against any attempts by former Vice President Dick
Cheney, the CIA directors, and the media to silence those who demand that the United States hold accountable those who have committed and authorized ...
OntheWilderSide - http://wilderside.wordpress.com/

Government Admits Filming Torture Of Gitmo Inmate, Alleged 9/11 ...
By Stephen C. Webster
Cheney, the majority of Bushe's administration and many of the soldiers and CIA agents involved in this torture should be in the Hauge waiting trial for war crimes. But americans don't consider themselves bad people. ...
Raw Story - http://rawstory.com/2009/

Outlook: 'Is Conservatism Brain-Dead?'

Washington Post

I would love to see talk radio and TV guys (and Rush is familiar with Hayek by the way) simply tell stories that illustrate this analysis in action. ...See all stories on this topic

The Rightwing Is Now Thinking About A Military Coup Against President Obama

September 30, 9:00 PMMilwaukee Progressive ExaminerJerome McCollom

Sooo, it has come to this. If you disagree with the rightwing not only are you a traitor and unamerican but if you are a president then there should be a coup against you. John Perry, a columnist and "patriot" and "real American" at a "real patriot" website stated that if there is a miitary coup against President Obama to "restore the Constitution" it will be really Obama's fault that he forced those poor military officers to engage in a coup against the elected leader of the US.

Perry states, "If a military coup does occur here it will be civilized." Yes, I agree, if we are going to have a military coup in the US, at least let's have one that abides by standard rules of etiquette. Let's not have one of those uncouth ones they have in a bananna republic (that Mr. Perry probably has supported) but one where the president is not shot but just have all power taken away.

It is amazing how one year ago we were told that it was unAmerican to disagree with the president, now there is talk of a military coup against him! When the rightwing was talking about "taking back America" I guess they werent kidding around! I mean, what's the point of winning elections when all you have to do is remove the president by the barrel of an M-16? Mr. Perry if of course totally opposed to the idea of a military coup against President Obama as evidenced by this statement, "Unthinkable? Then think up an alternative, non-violent solution to the Obama problem. Just don’t shrug and say, “We can always worry about that later.” Gee, I don't know Mr. Perry, how about winning an election? Well, to be fair Obama's talk about a public option is commie speak for make us all work on stalinist farms and say comrad to each other.

Amazingly according to Perry's short bio he is a prize winning columnist. Hmmm, was it thePinochet or Franco award that he won? I just love how the rightwing are "real Americans" and now there is talk about a military coup. Look, I know that all rightwingers aren't nuts like Perry and his website is far, far, fringe, nutty, rightwing territory but if we have to worry about a military coup against President Obama can we admit that the right has come totally unhinged?

Second, here is an earlier column on Michelle Malkin

Michelle Malkin (something of a less bomb throwing Ann Coulter) wrote a book supportive of the internment of Japanese Americans in WWII and for internment in the modern war on terror. Now, when WWII was going on we had just been attacked so members of both parties can be understood to some degree for their hysteria over Japanese spies in their midst. Frankly there were some Japanese spies, including some who worked to help the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. How this though justified the internment of 4th generation Japanese Americans, I have no idea. While organizations such as the ACLU opposed internment (and probably was labeled unamerican and traitors at the time) it was not a politically correct position to stand up not only for Japanese in the US or American citizens of Japanese descents (even those born in the US).

Well Malkin has no benefit of being alive in WWII and feeling such hysteria. She grew up in the 70s. But Malkin has stated her support of imprisonment of Arabs in the US after the 9/11 attacks. (Ok, I will grant her then that she was hysteria about 9/11.) Indeed, she stated that then Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta should be removed because of his internment in WWII as a young Japanese American. No word yet on whether Malkin believes anyone who gives a darn about liberty, freedom, civil rights and due process should be removed from public office.

So, I ask Ms.Malkin since you are so supportive of internment and since your ancestry is of parents from the Philippines would you then support yourself being interned if there are terrorists attacks by terrorists from the Philippines? This is by no means out of question since the Philippines is in some regions of that nation, a hotbed of Islamic extremism. So, if it is ok for a loyal American citizen of Japanese descent born in the US to be interned why would it not be ok for a loyal American of Philippines descent to be interned? Michelle, you better hope we never go to war with the Philippines. Maybe someone will write a book in 60 years justifying your imprisonment.

Geraldo Riveria stated of Malkin, "Michelle Malkin is the most vile, hateful commentator I've ever met in my life. She actually believes that neighbors should start snitching out neighbors, and we should be deporting people." But then again, Geraldo Riveria does have one weird looking mustache.

Finally Malkin has connections to a website that is a white racist supremacist group. Though she is no supremacist why does she have these connections? The website is named after Virginia Dare, which the organization proudly says is the first white person born in the English colonies. The Huffington Post writes in detail:

" site has been named by the anti-racist Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group. And for good reason: as I noted in a previous column over at Dragonfire, the site is dedicated to pushing the kind of pseudo-science the Nazis could have only dreamed of using to support their racial fantasies. Forget phrenology: VDARE spends its time floggingbooks that purport to prove that the average IQ of sub-Saharan Africans is 67 -- below the accepted standard criteria for a diagnosis of mental retardation. (The Anti-Defamation League notes that the author of the linked review, J. Philippe Rushton, has been less than subtle about his racism. "During [a] 1996 conference... Rushton lectured at length about the sexual differences among various races, arguing that blacks, while possessing smaller brains, reproduce at a faster rate due to the larger size of their sex organs. 'Not to reinforce stereotypes,' he has said elsewhere, 'but it's a trade-off: more brain or more penis, you can't have everything.' ... He has also stated that Nazi Germany's military prowess was due in part to the purity of their gene pool.")

Malkin's ties to the site are legion: it regularly prints her column, while she employs one of its writers, Juan Mann, as the principal writer of her "Immigration Blog" and lists the site on her blogroll. And it's not as if Malkin isn't well aware of the criticism, both of the site and her ties to it -- in a post on her blog in September 2004, she noted that "my friend Peter Brimelow [the founder of VDARE] observes that some people apparently think linking to VDARE is tantamount to a hate crime."

I don't believe that Michelle Malkin is a white supremacist but it is strange how she has not qualms in building connecctions with the fringe right in order to further her own far right agenda. Hey Michelle, maybe you are just as tough a bomb thrower as Coulter and not just a sidekick!

Conference Recap: Far Right Leaders Vow to 'Take Back America ...
By Peter
The gathering was an expanded version of the annual conference held by Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle Forum, co-hosted this year by radio personality and far-
right activist Janet Folger Porter and promoted by other right-wing bloggers and ...
Right Wing Watch - http://www.rightwingwatch.org/

The Powell Memo And The Teaching Machines Of Right-Wing Extremists

by: Henry A. Giroux, t r u t h o u t | Perspective

Paul Krugman, the Nobel Prize-winning economist, echoing the feelings of many progressives, recently wrote in The New York Times about how dismayed he was over the success right-wing ideologues have had not only in undercutting Obama's health care bill, but also in mobilizing enormous public support against almost any reform aimed at rolling back the economic, political, and social conditions that have created the economic recession and the legacy of enormous suffering and hardship for millions of Americans over the last 30 years.[1]Krugman is somewhat astonished that after almost three decades the political scene is still under the sway of what he calls the "zombie doctrine of Reaganism," - the notion that any action by government is bad, except when it benefits corporations and the rich.

Clearly, for Krugman, zombie Reaganism appears once again to be shaping policies under the Obama regime. And yet, not only did Reaganism with its hatred of the social state, celebration of unbridled self-interest, its endless quest to privatize everything, and support for deregulation of the economic system eventually bring the country to near economic collapse, it also produced enormous suffering for those who never benefited from the excesses of the second Gilded Age, especially workers, the poor, disadvantaged minorities and eventually large segments of the middle class.

And yet, zombie market politics is back rejecting the public option in Obama's health plan, fighting efforts to strengthen bank regulations, resisting caps on CEO bonuses, preventing climate-control legislation, and refusing to limit military spending. Unlike other pundits, Krugman does not merely puzzle over how zombie politics can keep turning up on the political scene - a return not unlike the endless corpses who keep coming back to life in George Romero's 1968 classic film, "Night of the Living Dead" (think of Bill Kristol who seems to be wrong about everything but just keeps coming back).

For Krugman, a wacky and discredited right-wing politics is far from dead and, in fact, one of the great challenges of the current moment is to try to understand the conditions that allow it to once again shape American politics and culture, given the enormous problems it has produced at all levels of American society, including the current recession.

Part of the answer to the enduring quality of such a destructive politics can be found in the lethal combination of money, power and education that the right wing has had a stranglehold on since the early 1970's and how it has used its influence to develop an institutional infrastructure and ideological apparatus to produce its own intellectuals, disseminate ideas, and eventually control most of the commanding heights and institutions in which knowledge is produced, circulated and legitimated. This is not simply a story about the rise of mean-spirited buffoons such as Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly and Michael Savage.

Nor is it simply a story about the loss of language, a growing anti-intellectualism in the larger culture, or the spread of what some have called a new illiteracy endlessly being produced in popular culture. As important as these tendencies are, there is something more at stake here which points to a combination of power, money and education in the service of creating an almost lethal restriction of what can be heard, said, learned and debated in the public sphere. And one starting point for understanding this problem is what has been called the Powell Memo, released on August 23, 1971, and written by Lewis F. Powell, who would later be appointed as a member of the Supreme Court of the United States. Powell sent the memo to the US Chamber of Commerce with the title "Attack on the American Free Enterprise System."

The memo is important because it reveals the power that conservatives attributed to the political nature of education and the significance this view had in shaping the long-term strategy they put into place in the 1960's and 1970's to win an ideological war against liberal intellectuals, who argued for holding government and corporate power accountable as a precondition for extending and expanding the promise of an inclusive democracy. The current concerted assault on government and any other institutions not dominated by free-market principles represents the high point of a fifty-year strategy that was first put into place by conservative ideologues such as Frank Chodorov, founder of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute; publisher and author William F. Buckley; former Nixon Treasury Secretary William Simon, and Michael Joyce, the former head of both the Olin Foundation and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation.

The Powell Memo is important because it is the most succinct statement, if not the founding document, for establishing a theoretical framework and political blueprint for the current assault on any vestige of democratic public life that does not subordinate itself to the logic of the alleged free market.

Initially, Powell identified the American college campus "as the single most dynamic source" for producing and housing intellectuals "who are unsympathetic to the [free] enterprise system."[2] He was particularly concerned about the lack of conservatives on social sciences faculties and urged his supporters to use an appeal to academic freedom as an opportunity to argue for "political balance" on university campuses. Powell recognized that one crucial strategy in changing the political composition of higher education was to convince university administrators and boards of trustees that the most fundamental problem facing universities was "the imbalance of many faculties."[3] Powell insisted that "the basic concepts of balance, fairness and truth are difficult to resist, if properly presented to boards of trustees, by writing and speaking, and by appeals to alumni associations and groups."[4]

But Powell was not merely concerned about what he perceived as the need to enlist higher education as a bastion of conservative, free market ideology. The Powell Memo was designed to develop a broad-based strategy not only to counter dissent, but also to develop a material and ideological infrastructure with the capability to transform the American public consciousness through a conservative pedagogical commitment to reproduce the knowledge, values, ideology and social relations of the corporate state. For Powell, the war against liberalism and a substantive democracy was primarily a pedagogical and political struggle designed both to win the hearts and minds of the general public and to build a power base capable of eliminating those public spaces, spheres and institutions that nourish and sustain what Samuel Huntington would later call (in a 1975 study on the "governability of democracies" by the Trilateral Commission) an "excess of democracy."[5]

Central to such efforts was Powell's insistence that conservatives nourish a new generation of scholars who would inhabit the university and function as public intellectuals actively shaping the direction of policy issues. He also advocated the creation of a conservative speakers bureau, staffed by scholars capable of evaluating "textbooks, especially in economics, political science and sociology."[6] In addition, he advocated organizing a corps of conservative public intellectuals who would monitor the dominant media, publish their own scholarly journals, books and pamphlets, and invest in advertising campaigns to enlighten the American people on conservative issues and policies.

The Powell Memo, while not the only influence, played an important role in convincing a "cadre of ultraconservative and self-mythologizing millionaires bent on rescuing the country from the hideous grasp of Satanic liberalism"[7] to match their ideological fervor with their pocketbooks by "disbursing the collective sum of roughly $3 billion over a period of thirty years in order to build a network of public intellectuals, think tanks, advocacy groups, foundations, media outlets, and powerful lobbying interests."[8] As Dave Johnson points out, the initial effort was slow but effective:

In 1973, in response to the Powell Memo, Joseph Coors and Christian-right leader Paul Weyrich founded the Heritage Foundation. Coors told Lee Edwards, historian of the Heritage Foundation, that the Powell Memo persuaded him that American business was "ignoring a crisis." In response, Coors decided to help provide the seed funding for the creation of what was to become the Heritage Foundation, giving $250,000. Subsequently, the Olin Foundation, under the direction of its president, former Treasury Secretary William Simon (author of the influential 1979 book "A Time for Truth"), began funding similar organizations in concert with "the Four Sisters" - Richard Mellon Scaife's various foundations, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, the Olin Foundation and the Smith Richardson Foundation - along with Coors's foundations, foundations associated with the Koch oil family, and a group of large corporations[9].

The most powerful members of this group were Joseph Coors in Denver, Richard Mellon Scaife in Pittsburgh, John Olin in New York City, David and Charles Koch in Wichita, the Smith Richardson family in North Carolina, and Harry Bradley in Milwaukee - all of whom agreed to finance a number of right-wing think tanks, which over the past thirty years have come to include the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, the Koch Foundation, the Castle Rock Foundation and the Sarah Scaife Foundation. This formidable alliance of far-right-wing foundations deployed their resources in building and strategically linking "an impressive array of almost 500 think tanks, centers, institutes and concerned citizens groups both within and outside of the academy.... A small sampling of these entities includes the Cato Institute, the Heritage Foundation, the American Enterprise Institute, the Manhattan Institute, the Hoover Institution, the Claremont Institute, the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, [the] Middle East Forum, Accuracy in Media, and the National Association of Scholars, as well as [David] Horowitz's Center for the Study of Popular Culture."[10]

For several decades, right-wing extremists have labored to put into place an ultra-conservative re-education machine - an apparatus for producing and disseminating a public pedagogy in which everything tainted with the stamp of liberal origin and the word "public" would be contested and destroyed. Commenting on the rise of this vast right-wing propaganda machine organized to promote the ideal that democracy needs less critical thought and more citizens whose only role is to consume, well-known author Lewis Lapham writes:

The quickening construction of Santa's workshops outside the walls of government and the academy resulted in the increased production of pamphlets, histories, monographs and background briefings intended to bring about the ruin of the liberal idea in all its institutionalized forms - the demonization of the liberal press, the disparagement of liberal sentiment, the destruction of liberal education - and by the time Ronald Reagan arrived in triumph at the White House in 1980 the assembly lines were operating at full capacity.[11]

Any attempt to understand and engage the current right-wing assault on all vestiges of the social contract, the social state and democracy itself will have to begin with challenging this massive infrastructure, which functions as one of the most powerful teaching machines we have seen in the United States, a teaching machine that produces a culture that is increasingly poisonous and detrimental not just to liberalism, but to the formative culture that makes an aspiring democracy possible. This presence of this ideological infrastructure extending from the media to other sites of popular education suggests the need for a new kind of debate, one that is not limited to isolated issues such as health care, but is more broad-based and fundamental, a debate about how power, inequality and money constrict the educational, economic and political conditions that make democracy possible.

The screaming harpies and mindless public relations "intellectuals" that dominate the media today are not the problem; it is the conditions that give rise to the institutions that put them in place, finance them and drown out other voices. What must be clear is that this threat to creating a critically informed citizenry is not merely a crisis of communication and language, but about the ways in which money and power create the educational conditions that make a mockery out of debate while hijacking any vestige of democracy.


[1] Paul Krugman, "All the President's Zombies," The New York Times (August 24, 2009), p. A17.

[2] Lewis F. Powell Jr., "The Powell Memo," ReclaimDemocracy.org (August 23, 1971), available online at http://reclaimdemocracy.org/corporate_accountability/powell_memo_lewis.html.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Ibid.

[5] See Michael P. Crozier, Samuel. J. Huntington and J. Watanuki, "The Crisis of Democracy: Report on the Governability of Democracies to the Trilateral Commission" (New York: New York University Press, 1975).

[6] Powell, "The Powell Memo."

[7] Lewis H. Lapham, "Tentacles of Rage - The Republican Propaganda Mill, a Brief History," Harper's Magazine (September 2004), p. 32.

[8] Dave Johnson, "Who's Behind the Attack on Liberal Professors?" History News Network, (February 10, 2005), available online at http://hnn.us/articles/printfriendly/1244.html.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Alan Jones, "Connecting the Dots," Inside Higher Ed (June 16, 2006), available online at http://insidehighered.com/views/2006/06/16/jones.

[11] Lapham, "Tentacles of Rage," p. 38.

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