Category Archives: Looter Capitalism
Wake up, will ya pal? If you’re not inside, you’re outside, OK? And I’m not talking a $400,000 a year working Wall Street stiff flying first class and being comfortable, I’m talking about liquid. Rich enough to have your own jet. Rich enough not to waste time. Fifty, a hundred million dollars buddy. A player, or nothing.
In the movie that would serve as a blueprint for the future lives of young turks shat out of the womb of 1980s Reagan eat the poor capitalism a young broker named Bud Fox (played by Charlie Sheen) engages in a bit of trickery to manipulate stock prices by invoking the magic words “Blue Horeshoe loves Anacot Steel” over the phone to players and media hacks. The movie was Oliver Stone’s Wall Street and the young Fox was in the process of selling his soul to the canny devil in suspenders who would become an iconic cultural figure. The seducer was big time corporate raider Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas) whose amorality and worldview rooted in the dogma that “greed is good” would serve as the role model for the very large scale looters, charlatans, thugs, hedge fund hyenas and money grubbing sociopaths who are responsible for the global financial collapse. Through their avarice, their blood-sucking vampirism and their relentless pursuit of zero sum game, fuck you capitalism they have killed the goose that laid the golden egg, beggared millions and first built and then destroyed trillions of dollars in fairy tale wealth that never existed in the first place other than in numbers in a computer. The smart ones cashed out and put their money into real assets, gold, real estate, commodities, off-shore bank accounts that would allow the chiselers to evade taxes on their ill-gotten gains.
The reason that I invoke “Blue Horseshoe Loves Anacot Steel” is largely inspired by a very interesting and provocative website that I was informed of called Deep Capture which examines a concerted and widespread effort by Wall Street parasites and their many accomplices in the media to influence the markets by spreading disinformation and engaging in short selling to create nonexistent stock and making money by driving down share prices from which they would profit. To put it in pop culture terms that are more easily understandable to the layman than all of that four-flushing Wall Street bullshit jargon, short selling is what Billy Ray Valentine and Louis Winthorpe did to bring down Randolph and Mortimer Duke by busting their racket to corner the orange juice market at the end of the movie Trading Places. The story put forth on Deep Capture is an exposure of a grand theft perpetrated against legitimate businesses, non-connected investors and America itself by a fiendish cadre of jackals working together to suck the marrow from the bones of not only the USA but the entire interconnected global economy that is currently on the precipice of ruination and the cause of widespread unrest that will soon be coming home to roost.
Now I am certainly no expert when it comes to the high-flying world of financial chicanery which is deliberately confusing and opaque so as to discourage close scrutiny and I am not even going to attempt to get into trying to explain this crap but even to a working shmoe like myself this sets off the alarms for fraud and criminality, the effects of which actually do trickle down (unlike the horseshit ‘free market’ deregulated predatory environment) and affect the lives of millions of victims. These are the poor people who lose their homes after being duped into taking out adjustable rate mortgages by the pimps peddling the mythical America dream, they slyly and misleadingly call it the ownership society (they own your ass) and then having those mortgages sliced, diced and packaged into complex financial instruments that are derivatives. The derivatives – the one word that is taboo in discussing the entire economic fiasco (kudos to Keith Olbermann who in his March 9th show invoked the D-word close to twenty times) for the simple reason is that it would be the accelerator to the smoldering anger and resentment already working its way through the populace and threatening civil unrest over the ongoing efforts by our wonderful government to continue to pump taxpayer money into a corrupt, rotting and diseased system to just keep the game going a bit longer to let the well connected high rollers cash out.
Note the failure of the Obama administration to do what is necessary and nationalize the banks, wipe out the gamblers and fire the management to pull these leeches off of our backs, that is rooted in an ongoing occupation of Washington by insiders. The key with any sort of real rescue of the financial system is with the devil in the details, it is imperative that the bad bank or whatever other Orwellian name that is assigned to the clearinghouse where the poisonous paper of the treacherous banksters be set up so that they can launder their money and saddle the next three generations with the bill. The rush is on too because the looming cataclysm of a tidal wave of mass commercial property defaults is near and the moneychangers know this.
Now at midnight all the agents
And the superhuman crew
Come out and round up everyone
That knows more than they do…
Then they bring them to the factory
Where the heart-attack machine
Is strapped across their shoulders..
…and then the kerosene
Is brought down from the castles
By insurance men who go
Check to see that nobody is escaping
To Desolation Row
-Bob Dylan: Desolation Row
The victims of the plague of foreclosures wrought by the Ponzi schemes of mortgage backed securitization (DERIVATIVES) are despite the best efforts of the shills and payroll propaganda parrots like the usual right-wing scum along with useful idiots such as CNBC’s Rick Santelli to paint them as losers and resort to the bread and butter tactic of ‘blaming the niggers’ are growing by the day in number. The courts are clogged, there are millions being forced out of the homes that they were tricked into buying by con men and carpetbaggers bearing ‘exotic’ mortgage schemes to game the system, falsely inflate real estate prices (now dropping like a rock subject to Newton’s law of gravity) and then book their commissions and fees fully knowing that when the music stopped they would ensure that there would be a chair under their mangy asses. The music did stop when the systemic rot could no longer be spackled over and the grossly overinflated markets began to crash under the weight of their own toxic bullshit like the houses of cards that they always have been. The economic diaspora cast adrift in a sea of hopelessness filled with ravenous sharks grows in number by the day. The best efforts of the Barack Obama administration to mediate the fiasco are hamstrung from their inception since he is as his predecessors were surrounded by same gaggle of financial wizards from Goldman Sachs and the Federal Reserve who will always be first and foremost interested in self-preservation and protecting their cronies.
But I digress…
Tuesday’s massive stock rally (the Dow was up nearly 400 pts) was largely the result of the buzz that the besieged monstrosity Citigroup was according to inside info sent into the media spin machine by CEO Vikram Pandit having it’s best quarter since 2007. Now considering that Citigroup is on bailout number fucking THREE I would certainly hope that they are having improved results but the news of this was disseminated early and the desired effect, to give another shot in the arm to the crack ho markets was a rousing success. Now it should be no hidden secret that Wall Street’s interests are diametrically opposed to those of the majority of Americans, those who are generally referred to by the talking heads and political whores of the oligarchy as “Main Street” As the financial sector has risen to a level of dominance in this country opposed only by the military-security industrial complex and to these powerful interests, everyone and everything else is simply collateral damage. By the way, this week’s Citigroup inspired sucker rally is now in the third day as the get rich quick rubes are ready to roll over and pay to grab a mouthful of pillow for the inevitable ass-fucking that they will be getting after this latest pump and dumb scam plays out. The seal of approval of the latest laying of poison bait was given by judas goat Cramer on Mad Money on Thurday – This Rally is Real!
The influencing of the markets and the complicity of certain media figures in pushing the lies of Wall Street thieves has gotten some rare attention as of late with the brilliant and ongoing attack on CNBC’s Jim ‘Mad Money’ Cramer by Jon Stewart on the Daily Show. CNBC is nothing other than a FOX News style propaganda network that works for the voracious Wall Street piranhas instead of the neoNazi, fascist Republican party. Both are nothing but disinformation factories that churn out public relations pieces like link sausage made with tainted skunk meat. Cramer is a big player in the collapse and the massive fraud, he is not just some bug-eyed babbling baboon on crystal meth as he appears, the preening court jester of looter capitalism. No, what Jim Cramer is is a Harvard educated connected man, a former hedge fund manager and business associate of vitriolic neocon Marty Peretz, formerly of the DLC democrat rag The New Republic and an Israel Lobby kahuna still hung over from the orgy of blood drinking that resulted in the brutal takedown of Charles Freeman this week.
Mad Money Cramer has had increased visibility this week due to the Stewart videos that have gone viral on YouTube and appeared on websites and blogs aplenty (including this one) and his admitted complicity in rigging the markets back in 2006. Now even a former Republican congressman, Tom Davis is suggesting that Cramer be made to testify on his knowledge of the hedge fund manipulation. It is also of my personal opinion that Cramer should be hauled into court and forced to spill his guts on his role in manipulation of the markets. He is an arrogant and volatile ass clown, a fucking sociopath and a a flim flam man without peer. Dig this little nugget from the Deep Capture website entitled: Jim Cramer is a Complicated Man.
In 1994 Cramer hired Nicholas Maier as a favor to Marty Peretz, who was close with the Maier family. Maier worked for Cramer until 1998, then left and wrote a tell-all book about his years with Cramer: Trading with the Enemy: Seduction and Betrayal on Jim Cramer’s Wall Street (New York: HarperCollins, 2002) It contained detailed description of Cramer’s manic and abusive style. For example, Maier recounted the following scene after a trader at Cramer’s firm, Mark Kantor, executed a buy order at a price one-quarter point higher than what Cramer had expected, a total difference of $625:
“‘The broker fucked us, big time!’
“‘The eighth offering was fading when we called,’ Mark explained.
“Jim bit down on his lower lip as his hands clench into fists. He leaned forward to get closer to Mark, and started banging on the top of his monitors. The crown of his balding skull reddened as he yelled at the top of his lungs in a high-pitched whine.
“‘I told you they fucked us! Fucked us, fucked us, fucked us!’
“‘Listen to me.’ With piercing eyes Jim scanned our sober faces. ‘This is not some fucking joke!’ he screamed, spit flying from his mouth. ‘We are at war. We are in a foxhole.’ He flung out his hands. ‘Everyone out there is the enemy!’
“Mark nodded to show Jim that he understood. That wasn’t what Jim wanted. He started smashing his phone over and over on the desk in front of him. He lifted a monitor and heaved it like a shot put. After flying several feet, it shattered on the floor.”
Maier also described Cramer’s questionable trading ethics. One passage noted a brush with naked short selling:
Jim turns toward his head trader. “Mark, sell ten thousand Bristol Myers.”
“We never bought any Bristol Myers,” Mark replies.
“We own the calls,” Jim corrects Mark impatiently, aggravated by the delay.
“So sell it short?” Mark asks for clarification. Mark knows that according to the SEC rule book, selling stock you don’t already own (even if you do own the call options) must be marked and executed as a short sale.
“You are confusing me with someone who gives a shit. Just sell it! I said hit the fucking bid!” adds Jim, not interested in wasting time over petty semantics. Skirting the “plus tick” rule in this case won’t necessarily make us a lot of extra money, but in Jim’s eyes, the rule is still an unenforceable annoyance. “And don’t ever ask me that again!”
Even more hilarious is that Cramer claimed to be the inspiration for Charlie Sheen’s Bud Fox character, I shit you not. It’s like that other egotistical horses ass NFL agent Drew Rosenhaus claiming that he was the inspiration for Jerry Maguire. These guys have no fucking shame at all.
In the coming days Cramer willl be a source of much amusement, that much is as certain. In his much hyped Godzilla vs. King Kong steel cage death match with Jon Stewart last night the consensus is that Cramer got his ass handed to him, and justifiably so. Hey, what this guy is a part of is racketeering and should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, the man is a con artist and the only real difference between him and those predators who fleece grandma and grandpa out of their retirement money by high pressure selling them to buy into shitty time share scams on the Okeefenokee Swamp is that he has a propaganda network behind him. He belongs on some late night cable television infomercial selling the newest version of the juicemaster or hawking penis enlargement devices.
Since his career as some kind of oracle of instant wealth is now on the downside he had best avoid the latter gig…..his future cellmate may be a customer.
Let’s get one thing straight right out of the gates – Wall Street is the enemy of America. These financial terrorists continue to ravage the country, yesterday’s announcement of February job losses of nearly 700,000 brought a spike in stock prices, another mainline hit to the crack ho economy. With the misery mounting the Obama administration and the entrenched Goldman Sachs and Federal Reserve bandits who really run the system are mounting a withering counter attack on any plans to dismantle the existing system of avarice by watering down the stimulus (an ass fucking with a reacharound) package and calling in the markers with all of their whores in Congress and the media to preserve the existing spoils system. When the sock puppet occupant of the White House, our shining new Jesus even emerges as a shill for Wall Street you can rest assured that the fix is in and the only change that you will be getting is chump change.
It now appears that the naysayers were right. While the new frontman and his gaggle of recycled Clintonistas and Goldman Sachs and Federal Reserve moneychangers are asking for austerity from everyone else but the pigs on Wall Street continue to have their piggie troughs filled with more and more stolen loot. I have heard a lot of stuff on how this is just another opportunity for the oligarchy to bust everyone else and then consolidate. This sadly seems to be the case and once the entire middle class has been butt-fucked into bankruptcy the malefactors of great wealth are going to swoop in to buy up everything for pennies on the dollar.
Some people are saying that this is only another step towards the ‘one world government’ that has always been discussed by the paranoid elements of the far right as a communist or socialist takeover. They are wrong though, the driving force behind this would be financial kingpins of capitalism and the one world system would be corporate fascism.
The Obama administration is not going to reign in either the bankers (who really run this system) or to stop the wars of imperialism, the population will be beggared and the police state brought in to put down the rabble so that the big con goes on.
I don’t know if anyone has ever ever heard of Carroll Quigley but you need to check out what he says on finance capitalism and global banker control – it’s too complex to go into at lenght right now but is worthwhile background information. A good read is a post by blogger Tocque Deville entitled History: How the U.S. Government Was Overthrown in Three Easy Steps.
There is no intention of providing Americans with anything even remotely resembling real choices in their political system, ‘leaders’ and government and this was stated by Professor Quigley in his outstanding and largely obscure book Tragedy and Hope which revealed the way that the system really worked in regards to the financial elite and the secretive round table groups who represent the puppeteers for the easily blackmailed, controlled and greedheaded arrogant buffoons who are the political actors who are trotted out for public consumption. Quigley in the extensive research that he did on the global elite states:
There does exist, and has existed for a generation, an international Anglophile network which operates, to some extent, in the way the radical Right believes the Communists act. In fact, this network, which we may identify as the Round Table Groups, has no aversion to cooperating with the Communists, or any other groups, and frequently does so. I know of the operations of this network because I have studied it for twenty years and was permitted for two years, in the early 1960’s, to examine its papers and secret records. I have no aversion to it or to most of its aims and have, for much of my life, been close to it and to many of its instruments. I have objected, both in the past and recently, to a few of its policies (notably to its belief that England was an Atlantic rather than a European Power and must be allied, or even federated, with the United States and must remain isolated from Europe), but in general my chief difference of opinion is that it wishes to remain unknown, and I believe its role in history is significant enough to be known.
The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies, one, perhaps, of the Right and the other of the Left, is a foolish idea acceptable only to the doctrinaire and academic thinkers. Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can “throw the rascals out” at any election without leading to any profound or extreme shifts in policy.
The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent private meetings and conferences. The apex of the system was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world’s central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world.
So the game is rigged already, it is supposed to be rigged and the only question is whether this financial catastrophe was set up or was being set up and was then triggered prematurely through greed, incompetence and the entire monstrosity just becoming unsustainable.
And the one-eyed idiot, Gordon Brown has just appeared before Congress to continue to push for the globalist dominination, the shock doctrine writ large, the grandest robbery in history. His editorial for the London Times on March 1st shows that the future is global consolidation and a new feudalism.
When fascism comes to America it will goosestep out to the fifty yard line in full dress regalia for the coin flip at the Super Bowl.
I strongly suspected that it was going to be trouble when they were cheering the flyover, an awesome display of a sky full of screaming state of the art weaponry (wasted tax dollars that could have been spent on schools, infrastructure or health care) that was brought large into the mecca of an American living room on a 64 inch high definition television with digitally enhanced sound that rattled the taco bar bowls and sent a chill up my spine, but I had no idea of the epic intensity of the three and a half hours of earthly hell that was to come.
Then when that ass-kissing little chickenshit General David Petraeus goose-stepped out to the giant red, white and blue NFL logo painted onto the midfield grass at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa for the ceremonial coin toss and they marveled at his greatness, patriotism and valor any doubt of a relaxing evening went right down the shitter. General Betray-us by the way is already barking at the President’s policies to withdraw from Iraq, according to this story by Gareth Porter, the great front man for the even greater bait and switch public relations campaign known as The Surge. Gen P, according to Porter, left the Oval Office meeting with Obama “visibly unhappy” and is said to be… get this, plotting to resist orders:
A network of senior military officers is also reported to be preparing to support Petraeus and Odierno by mobilising public opinion against Obama’s decision.
What we seem to have here is a real life version to General James Mattoon Scott, a reference to the Burt Lancaster character in the classic 1962 movie Seven Days in May who led a cabal of renegade brass in an abortive coup against a president who was perceived to be weak on that great phantom menace and predecessor of current national dread terrorism that was the scourge of communism. Petraeus crony General Ray Odierno who is also bucking the president was said in a New York Times story to have a different plan than Obama’s in Iraq withdrawal. I would seriously consider this a firing offense and if B.O. had any balls he would bust both of those intransigent assholes down to buck private and send them both off to the nearest stockade. I seem to recall such disagreement being referred to as treason when the royal ass of King George W. Bush was still parked upon the throne.
But I digress…..
I had allowed myself to be coerced by the spouse into attending a Super Bowl party over the weekend at a home of a good friend of hers who also happened to be a (gasp) Republican and a true one at that. Hoping that the big game would at least be able to hypnotize the vipers for a few hours was futile, the pit was teeming with animosity from practically the minute we walked through the door. I had been under savage pressure for months to meet the extended family and finally caved figuring the attention would be on the Super Bowl and not the painfully obvious ideological differences. Myself, I have no qualms in saying that I would rather eat with a pig than with a Republican because the pig after all can’t help being what it is so I just avoid them as if they were lepers. It’s quite obvious that they feel the same way because I was about as out of place as Gaylord Focker in Meet the Parents.
The game might have been the ‘official’ reason for the gathering but the thing that really jazzed up the hosts and their troglodyte friends were the commercials, not that this is an uncommon phenomenon in Dumbmerica, there is a reason that NBC charged $3 million for 30 seconds of ad time this year. The added joy that a large amount of said commercials were of an animated variety for ridiculous infantile dross that passes for entertainment was even more enjoyable to the gathering assembled in a large circle around the monster TV with their chips, beer and drool buckets. At first it went reasonably well but as the alcohol kicked in the banter about Governor Palin started intruding during the rather dull first half (but they shut right the fuck up during the commercials like the good little murkans that they were) and the racist Obama jokes were making the rounds during the second quarter. Things began to deteriorate after that and when the dipshit lord of the manor was fiddling around with his high tech entertainment command center (he had more gadgets on that thing than fucking NORAD) trying to record the amazing halftime epic 3D preview of Monsters vs. Aliens (since it never occured to numbnuts to pick up an extra set of those silly glasses for his better half) and crashed the entire system, with only minutes left in the second quarter. Fortunately for everybody there for the game he was able to get the entertainment industrial complex wall of electronics back up and running just as James Harrison was 20 yards or so from the goal line on what would be the longest play in the history of the big game. Score a touchdown for the Steelers and another triumph for the forces of stupidity. Jesus Fucking Christ!!!!
The animosity in the room was palpable as Bruce Springsteen (you know, that goddamned New York librul who campaigned for the darkie) delivered a spirited but lame halftime show (lame because other than Born to Run the setlist sucked but as even the Rolling Stones learned a few years back noone is going to float a turd in punchbowl at the NFL’s showcase by being allowed to sing anything even remotely controversial. They were the typical American Republican family, clueless, overfed, boring, mean-spirited but nice in eerie way that must have horrified many Jews in 1930’s Germany as they witnessed what were once thought to be normal people into malignant, blood thirsty automatons with an internal override ready to be triggered by any piss reeking miscreant demagogue with a big enough soapbox. Even their dog was ugly, a wretchedly whiny little rat terrier that was named after a fucking athletic shoe – it was like I had been teleported into Idiocracy: The Reality Show.
The youngest brother was the real piece of work though. You know the type, a smack talking, penciled necked, dough-faced geek in his mid-twenties endlessly fuddling with his Blackberry like a jacked up on caffeine version of Steve Buscemi and spewing the anti-Obama talking points as though they were being texted to him from Rush fucking Limbaugh himself. He was a one-man show, a legend in his own mind and he took particular delight in targeting Mrs. Encho who had once come out and admitted to being a GASP – librul. Now that ‘Sonny’ had no idea that directly behind the spouse sat one of the most vitriolic leftist bloggers on the internet was especially amusing in that I could have in a matter of minutes verbally stripped him naked and sent him wandering off into the desert of shame riding a donkey and wearing a giant Glenn Beck head like Mad Max in Beyond Thunderdome. But though inwardly seething as I was, I just let her continue to catch the flak, after all, she was the one who dragged me into this menagerie of mentally challenged masturbating monkeys in the first place.
His mother sat beside this progeny of Reagan’s generation of shit, sipping wine in a rocking chair and chiding sonny to not talk politics during the Super Bowl, little did she know that in true Bizarro world Republican fashion that her little boy through his very existence was the strongest argument in favor of abortion that I had personally seen. She should long ago have been cited by the EPA for dumping toxic waste and here’s the kicker, the craven little punk has aspirations to one day be a member of the CIA. Ladies and gentlemen, we have our newest death squad commander, it made me want to bolt from my chair like a jack in the box from hell, physically drag the pigfucker outside and go to work on him with a tire iron like Jack Bauer would do.
Were I not an agnostic I would be thanking God for giving me the strength to restrain myself.
As for the Super Bowl itself, it was what it always is, an over-hyped football game wedged in between millions of dollars of advertising directed at chumps, I found the obligatory E-Trade spot to be especially revealing of the innate nature of modern American stupidity, the vampire scum on Wall Street is still trolling for suckers to keep their Ponzi scheme going for just that little bit longer. When taken as a whole the commercials were the same vile potful of swill of smutty juvenille sexual jokes, random acts of violence only in a funny sort of way, enticements to buy more shit that you don’t need, high dollar attempts by Hollywood studios to hype the miserable failures that typically get dumped out right about now before the summer blockbuster season and the inevitable plugs for even more dumbed down sitcoms and new series (a strange new focus on the police state has all too often been materializing so as to subliminally enforce the concept of servility and snitching) which the host network enjoys the biggest viewing audience of the year to peddle their garbage.
From watching the commercials alone it is apparent that high fructose corn syrup is good for you, that T.V. does not rot your mind and anyone who dares to suggest otherwise has just been tagged as a paranoid lunatic courtesy of Alec Baldwin’s great turn in the Hulu spot that comes right out and equates such a heresy with a belief in an alien takeover (who the fuck would even want us?), there are still jobs to be had (the CareerBuilder ad was actually quite amusing to a corporate slave like myself) and there is money to be made in the stock market (according to E-Trade)….welcome to chumpland!! Time to go back to sleep now.
Other than the company and the mind melting barrage of commercials the game actually turned out to be quite a thriller in the fourth quarter with the Steelers cutting through the tissue paper thin Cardinal defense as though it were the Republican minority marching on Harry Reid’s Senate to pull off a 27-23 victory in which Arizona managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Fortunately it was over and I was able to go home and away from those people and may I never darken their doorstep again. I always prefer my own digs where the distractions are at a minimum and despite my paltry 25 inch RCA I can actually relax, enjoy the game and make the best use of the multi-million dollars of commercial time to do the really important things, like go take a leak and grab another beer.
This was a watershed day for American capitalism in that it provides a perfect snapshot of the foul degradation, the vile selfishness, the rampant consumerist impulses (one imagines that it is similar to that which drives pederasts) so meticulously nurtured by Madison Avenue and Wall Street and delivered like a mainline spike of smack through the televison set and directly into the already over-ripened and putty soft gourds of a decadent and doomed society. The carnage at the Valley Stream Wal-Mart in Long Island should provide definitive proof to even those who still skip down their white picket fence lined primrose paths to perdition that we have devolved into nothing more than savages, it may have been in a high tech big box emporium of debt slavery but it could have been something right out of Braveheart. The Pollyana’s can no longer deny it with their silly-assed American optimism, the ‘grab the tiger by the tail’ spirit of good ole made in the USA can-do-ism, the insipid little litmus test of ‘the glass is half empty or half full’ or any of that other fetid, rotten and oversimplistic horseshit but we are in the final stages of a total systemic breakdown, devolution and a pathological perversion of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in which food and shelter have been replaced by such baubles as $69 10.2 megapixel digital cameras, $97 GPS systems, $698 42-inch plasma portals throug which god speaks, $2 DVDs (a nice form of bread and circuses in these horrid times), Madden 09 for the X Box 360 for the paltry sum of $30, $28 Bissell upright vacuums and the granddaddy of all glorious prizes – the $199 X Box 360 arcade counsel with a free Guitar Hero III along with a wireless gittar. These are but a few of the items featured in my special Thanksgiving Day newspaper insert from Wal-Mart – subtitled – and I shit you not – “Save money. Live better”.
That is unless your name happened to be Jdimytai Damour who was crushed to death by an out of control mob that was incited by hooligans behind a handmade “Blitz Line Starts Here” sign as the term ‘door busters’ took on a whole new meaning. The 34 year old Damour, a temporary worker for the holiday season was crushed like an anti-government protester in Tiananmen Square under megatons of corn chip fed American beef on the hoof, a stampede of sinners and losers whose motive for murder could be reduced to any number of the bargains from that little “Save money. Live better” advertising insert. It was a horrific scene according to eyewitness accounts: “rabble”, “savages”, “out of control” and “utter chaos” were among some of the descriptive terms used by shoppers. The truly heinous thing was that when the local police and management team tried to shut the store down the rampaging hordes would have nothing to do with it and just kept on loading their gray plastic buggies with $128 Blu-ray players, $9 Incredible Hulk DVDs and the aforementioned bullshit along with wine, beer and cold medicine. As legend has it the band played on the as the good ship RMS Titanic went down and the authorities were as helpless as those poor doomed bitches and bastards who slowly froze to death in those icy North Atlantic waters. You know, as much of a critic of the looming police state here in Der Heimat that I have been I wouldn’t have hesitated one second in pumping that store full of tear gas canisters and turning the firehoses on the scum as they crawled retching into the parking lots – what happened in that store was inhuman, pathetic and cruel beyond every acceptable definition of civilized human behavior.
The Wal-Mart stomp was an ominous sign for a country already plagued with economic angst, a spoiled and gluttonous populace who don’t know the meaning of the word ‘NO’ and have never been made to experience any sort of frugality, privation or austerity as their grandparents and great grandparents had during the era of the Great Depression and are on the brink of a new global mega-depression. They are already angry, paranoid and driven by a free floating fear that is once again being jacked up by the military industrial complex and their crackerjack pocket media that provides 24/7 propaganda that has served America turkey dinner with a nice big side helping of terror courtesy of the unfortunate but serendipitous Mumbai massacres ( a few Americans and Jews got most of the press when it came to the body count because nobody else really is fucking human anyway but that is a story for another time) despite the huge toll of non-Christian brown people whose greatest sin was wanting to be like Americans in their lifestyle of plenty in a country of largely third world squalor with the exception of offshoring Meccas like Mumbai and Bangalore. It all makes for a toxic mix with looming food shortages, rising crime rates. a teeming homeless population and no job prospects other than that of minimum wage matador at your local Wal-Mart superstore.
And when things really do get ugly, which they inevitably will given the sad state of Murka in the post-Bush years you can count on the underclass, the lumpen proleterian, the Sarah Palin true Americans to take their traveling freak shows on the road and rest assured that Valley Stream can be viewed through those star spangled, god is on our side Kawasaki 704 lenses as a training film for when the turds really hit the whirring blades and the stakes are one fuck of a lot higher than bagging the latest fucking version of Guitar Hero on Blu-ray. Honorable mention for the most emblematic Murkan incident of Black Friday were the filthy little freaks who got into a shooting war at a Palm Desert, California Toys R Us store.
In a little coda to this piece, the first that I have done in awhile I feel it necessary to confess that on this very day, Saturday 11/29/08 one day after Black Friday that I was compelled to visit my local shopping mall as well as a chain store or two. I don’t make it a habit of going to the mall, quite frankly it disgusts me and gives me the creeps, if the devil himself was out laying poison bait then it would be in America’s shopping malls where he could bag his limit of wayward souls. But then again, the soul hunt would provide slim pickings though in this sordid and rotting post 9/11 wasteland for there is little left to be had as far as souls go, they have already been sucked out by the machine. We are a nation of fearful sheep, hateful lemmings, good Germans, television lobotomized zombies and ‘me firsters’ seeking to consume, consume and then sprint to the vomitories so as to return to consume more. Husks of human beings shuffle about in huge air conditioned shopping malls trying to fill their god shaped holes with cheap sweatshop produced clothing and Chinese made consumer electronics, compact discs and those wonderful new Blu-ray movies that will have the trendy scrambling to replace their hundreds of DVDs with the newer and more expensive versions. As Mencken once said “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public” and every mall in this country should have that chiseled in stone on the façade an updated spin on “Arbeit macht frei” for the American Heimat. The shuffling, overweight throng a large percentage gibbering into cell phones about trivialities will shamble from chain store to food court to chain store shopping like the good little patriotic monkeys that they are. They will rack up all of this shit on their burgeoning ledgers of debt, purchased with plastic, the magnetic strips recording the usurious borrowing and ensuring that the passage to perdition has been booked. It is our national destiny.
I noticed an uneasy tension among the clerks and in my truly unique sense of humor I made it a point to jokingly invoke the Wal-Mart mob stomping just to elicit their reactions and to observe. As a whole they seemed burned out, toasted and fried from their own long hours over the past two days – none of our local malls here in the Tampa-St. Pete metropolitan area enjoyed quite the infamy (which is a welcome change considering that Florida regularly leads the nation in freakish and violent incidents) as Long Island or Palm Desert so just an endless parade of idiots, viciously cruel maxed-out consumers (god how inhuman that term is) and screaming, caterwauling little brats whose parents have never once whipped out the rod in the process of raising their spoiled fruits. Most clerks just shook their head, clucking their disbelief at the primal savagery become national news today. The best response was some gal at Yankee Candle who admitted at being tempted to go to the Best Buy door buster sale but didn’t want to suffer the ugly throngs who showed up before the turkey gravy had even begun to turn to gelatin and were hellbent on scoring Guitar Hero III, an X Box, the new Guns and Roses CD Chinese Democracy (which has put one hell of a burr up the chinks asses over in goonland) or some other bullshit. She just shook her head and lamented the previous day’s carnage, classically commenting – “I already have Guitar Hero II and it’s pretty good.”
I made a stop by Target, the red plastic buggies were darting around like some sort of NASCAR event but they had The Incredible Hulk on DVD for 8.99 – which beat Wal-Mart’s killer deal and nobody got killed either. I must say that I wouldn’t waste the money, the Ang Lee version is tough to beat and underrated, far superior on an intellectual basis but pearls before swine, Americans love their brainless entertainment and the more shit that blows up or is smashed to bits by a green mutant goliath with an attitude (but still looking like shit despite the millions spent on special effects) the better. I snagged a copy of the Sex In The City movie on DVD for 8.98 for my wife for Jesus’ fake birthday (I also purchased for $3.98 everyman Will Smith’s takeoff on Charlton Heston’s classic 70’s sci-fi flick The Omega Man -at least it used the original’s title “I Am Legend”) and headed directly for checkouts. I stopped momentarily, transfixed and somewhat hypnotized by the wall of televisions, all playing the exact same fucking action movie in the electronics department but broke free and made a detour towards the grocery section where I also threw a twelve pack of Samuel Adams fine Cherry Wheat beer into my red plastic cart. I am slightly halfway through that beer now and finishing up this plaintive wail of a melancholy blog posting against the inhabitants of planet shit and the rapid deterioration of the land that I knew in my younger days. I suppose I’ll drink the rest and stumble into the kitchen for some leftover turkey, jellied cranberry sauce, pickles, deviled eggs, jumbo black olives and a nice slab of pecan pie ala mode….then I’ll drag my fat ass to my sofa and lie there watching reruns of The Sopranos or whatever shitty NHL game happens to be on tonight until I pass out…
Good Night, and Good Luck…at least there are real NFL games on tomorrow.
In the great 1980’s Bruce Willis movie Die Hard an international group of thugs invade and take over Nakatomi Plaza, holding hostages and all under the pretense of terrorism. The real truth is that the terrorist ploy was designed to provide cover for a massive robbery and in the end all the hostages would be marched up to the roof of the building which mined with C4 explosives would be blown up, killing all of the hostages and allowing the perps to escape to their beaches of choice where they could bask in the sun collecting interest on their plundered loot.
The criminal Bush administration, Goldman Sachs stooge Hank Paulson, the feckless Pelosi Reid Hoyer Judas Congress and the every incompetent Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke are now blowing the roof with the greatest swindle of the American taxpayer in history. The mother of all bailouts which is the end result of looter capitalism taken to its logical end may have been temporarily halted by mass outrage along with a cadre of crybaby Republicans whose poor feelings were hurt by the whore Pelosi’s stinging speech and then threw a hissy fit (allegedly engineered by one neocon snake that goes by the name Newt Gingrich who already has his eye on the 2012 election) that derailed what the hated Michael Moore referred to as the rich staging a coup. The Dow then demonstrated that Newton’s law of gravity was still in effect by dropping a whopping 777 points (likely staged by the Plunge Protection Team failing to contribute their daily manipulation to send a message) sending shockwaves through the global casino of the great Ponzi scheme. Not to worry though, a bill WILL pass this week, it will be WORSE than the last one and Paulson and all of his Wall Street cronies will be given total AMNESTY for blowing up the system for their own greed. I don’t have much else to say right now but these comments by a die hard Marxist friend of mine pretty much sums it all up in this epic rant:
The Financial Crisis
He certainly has a right to have his say now that the entire fucking capitalist system is exploding before our eyes, while not a Marxist myself perhaps Marxism bears a more serious look for what to do as we are sorting through the mess left behind by the economic terrorists of Wall Street.
1. The financial crisis was not “caused” by Bush’s regime.
2. It was, however, “triggered” by the Bush regime. There’s a difference here between the word, “caused,” and the word, “triggered.”
3. The financial crisis was not “caused” by the economic philosophy of the Bush regime alone, but, rather, it was “facilitated” by the economic philosophy followed and pursued from the time of the last years of the Jimmy Carter administration through the years of the Reagan administration, the Bush One administration, the Clinton administration, and the Bush Two administration.
4. It is most certainly correct that the economic philosophy that “facilitated” the financial meltdown is the “no regulations” economic philosophy, and it is most certainly correct that the more “libertarian-minded” Republicans of the far right in economics — so-called “free market fundamentalists,” or “free market extremists” — are responsible for pushing that for the past 3 decades since the 1970s.
5. But it is also equally correct to say the Democratic Party have just as much pandered to and adapted to this economic philosophy in practice, and that they, too, have lessened government regulations of financial markets, investment banks, other banks.
6. But underlying the economic philosophy and what has happened to the financial markets are material causes. Being determines consciousness and ideas, not the other way around.
7. It’s correct to say the financial institutions of this country “lack liquidity,” which is simply another way of saying, “they’re insolvent,” or more bluntly, “they’re bankrupt.”
8. But it’s also correct to say, “their owners did that to themselves.”
9. It’s correct to say, “Bailing them out in a private and for-profit capitalistic-system-based framework equals making the masses of working people, who are also taxpayers and also consumers, pay for it,” because so long as operating in the private for-profit capitalistic-system-based framework is the framework in which one decides to operate, there’s no alternative to making the masses of working (taxpaying and consuming) people pay for this enormous financial bankruptcy.
10. The reason why continuing to operate in a private-for-profit-capitalistic-economic framework with government regulations and government intervention means, making the masses pay, is because the kind of “socialism,” to use the word the right-wing Republican “free market extremists” or right-wing Republican “free market fundamentalists” call the Republican Paulson-Republican Bernanke-Republican Bush-Democratic Senatorial/Congressional-Partially Republican Senatorial-Partially Republican House plan, is because this kind of “socialism” accepts the given and existing economic class division of existing society into capitalist employers (bosses, owners), and, on the other side, workers (employees), the basic class division of existing society.
11. This is, therefore, exactly as those both on the extreme “free market fundamentalist extremist” right, and those on the liberal “progressive” pro-Democratic Party reformist fake “left” say, “socializing the losses of the mega-rich, mega-bosses, mega-owners of the mega-banks and mega-corporations” at the expense of the masses of the people of America.
12. McCain sees this, and is — cynically, as Democrats suspect, deceitfully, again as Democrats suspect, but certainly quite masterfully, if one approaches how to win an election or profit politically from a set of circumstances from the standpoint of the suggestions made by the great Italian political philosopher, Machiavelli, in his most masterful explanation of how politics works, The Prince, and certainly masterfully in the short run if one appreciates just how vilely and corruptly, but masterfully deceitful and masterfully cynically Hitler operated — poised in his view to successfully mobilize a very large social base of quite justified hate, resentment, and opposition to this Paulson-Bernanke-Bush-Democratic-Partial Republican joint bipartisan capitalist bailout plan calling for the masses to pay for the losses incurred by risky financial decisions made by the big financial capitalists on Wall Street.
13. The fact financial 24/7 cable news channels like Bloomberg focus in on the right-wing Republicans’ opposition to this bailout plan and call McCain’s opposition to it “risky” illustrates that their constituency is most limited to a very small population — the mega-rich owners whom the bailout plan would serve. Therefore, from a purely electoralist political standpoint, they are missing the Machiavellian and, in a certain sense, Hitlerian-cynical, calculations of the McCain camp.
14. McCain is also banking on Barack Obama’s defense of some version of the bailout plan, particularly the version supported by the Senatorial and Congressional Democrats which is calling for some very tepid “protections” for what these people call “middle class” Americans. McCain, too, is having no difficulty aligning himself with notions of “protecting” what he, too, calls “middle class Americans.” But he is deliberately refraining from taking a hard and fast stance until the end of the decision-making process on the bailout plan so he can then position himself afterward for maximum political electoralist advantage, and destroy the Democrats in the upcoming election. He knows from his advisors exactly what he is doing.
15. The Democrats mistakenly think they can isolate McCain, and they also make the mistake of thinking that the general business opinion of people whose only constituency is a very numerically small constituency, the mega-rich whom the bailout plan will serve, equals the opinion of the masses of the American voters. In a sense, McCain knows this, too, and he is banking on the Democrats aligning themselves with a bailout which is, generally, enormously unpopular with the voters, to destroy the Democrats in the election and win him the presidency in the November 2008 election.
16. But, of course, the Democrats themselves helped create this situation over decades of pandering to the far extreme right-wing on economic policies in this country. Organizations like the right-wing Democratic “Democratic Leadership Council,” for instance, helped create it. The semi-de-regulation in some financial areas in the latter years of conservative Democrat Jimmy Carter’s administration in the later 1970s helped intensify and exacerbate the bipartisanly-supported right-wing free market fundamentalist extremist Republican Ronald Reagan policies of the 1981-1988 period. Ironically, the Republican presidency of George H. W. Bush the First with the bringing into existence of the Resolution Trust Corporation (a government-sponsored entity) to address the failure of savings and loans operated in a more bourgeois centrist bipartisan Demopublican-Republicrat fashion, recognizing the dangers of the savings and loans failures to the mega-rich (bourgeoisie). But, of course, it didn’t destroy the rule of the ruling class (bourgeoisie), because it was never designed to do that. Nor was the support it got from the Democrats designed to do that.
17. But there is no way out of the financial crisis and its repercussions, which will, indeed, result in the biggest economic collapse since the Great Depression of the 1930s, exactly as Bush warned, that does not result in the destruction of the incomes and economic well-being of the American working (also consuming and taxpaying) masses so long as the kind of “bailout” “plan” still accepts the continued existence of the bourgeoisie as a class — that is, the continued existence of the class division in society between capitalist employers (bosses, the bourgeoisie, the mega-rich bosses and owners who brought on this whole crisis themselves under the unregulated or semi-regulated benevolence of multiple bipartisan Demopublican-Republicrat administrations), and workers (a/k/a employees a/k/a the great mass of consumers a/k/a the great mass of taxpayers a/k/a the masses of the American people a/k/a the vast majority of the American people).
18. The only way out, in short, is the only kind of “bailout” that will work for the majority: a working class socialist revolution from below that expropriates, without compensation, the entire capitalist system, by the action of constituted, from below, by the masses, and elected, from below, by the masses, councils of delegates of the working people from every part of this country, and turns over all the wealth of the country that was originally produced by the working people to the working people. Nothing short of this kind of “bailout” will avoid the destruction of the economic and financial position of the enormous majority of the American people, and certainly neither voting for McCain nor voting for Obama nor, for that matter, voting for McKinney, Nader, Barr, or even reformist-minded “socialists” of small fake “socialist” parties, will do it, either.
19. In short, what is needed is, a socialist policy for the enormous masses and majority, not a fake “socialist” policy that continues serving the bourgeoisie (bosses, super-rich, mega-rich).
20. Some short-hand ideas for what a revolutionary socialist addressing of the financial crisis would do would include:
a. expropriate the banks and corporations and all major industry, finance, transportation, distribution, means of production, from below, and operate them all by the operation of elected councils of the working people;
b. cancel the debts owed by the enormous mass of the people to all the banks;
c. raise the minimum wage to maybe $75 dollars per hour;
d. radically shorten the work week to 30 hours at no loss in pay, thereby immediately resulting in more available work to be immediately spread to the unemployed;
e. labor, unionize all non-unionized workers 100 percent, but kick the cops, security guards, prison guards out of the labor movement–for class struggle tactics to organize all labor, not begging the bosses, not begging the Democratic and Republican Parties of the bosses, not begging the bourgeoisie, not fighting on the turf and terms of the bosses, but fighting on the turf and terms of the working class to unionize all non-union workers 100 percent–bring back such militant class struggle tactics as the labor “flying squads” of the 1930s, the mass workers’ occupations of struck plants, factories, workshops, offices, department stores, the mass workers’ picket lines in front of struck plants to defend the workers inside against the scabs, the scab-herding and strikebreaking cops, the bosses’ private militias and bosses’ private security guards, the bosses’ fascists, bosses’ neo-Nazis, bosses’ Ku Klux Klanners, and other bosses’ tools — bring back the workers’ defense guards to defend striking workers and defend those plants, factories, workshops, stores, offices occupied by striking workers, kicking out the management and owners and making the plants, workshops, factories, stores, offices where the workers and employees work controlled by the workers as a negotiating tactic in the class struggle against the bosses–no subordination of the objective needs of the workers’ class struggle and workers’ class war to the fake and fraudulent “need” to get “lesser evil” capitalist politicians, either Democrats or Republicans, elected to office–labor must rely strictly on labor’s own needs and own interests, not on the bourgeois (bosses’) needs and interests, not on the turf and terms of the bosses (bourgeoisie) and their labor-hating, racist, sexist, bigoted, violent, imperialist, colonialist, capitalist government;
f. workers need a government of workers’ councils, a government of the multiracial, multicultural, multiethnic, racially integrated working class, a government strictly of the armed workers, a dictatorship of the working class that is dictatorial against the enemies of the working class and is democratic where the interests of the working class and toiling and exploited people, workers, employees, the poor, unemployed, the mass of the old and pensioners, oppressed and exploited minorities, women, gays, immigrants, are concerned–we need a proletarian dictatorship against the violence of the old exploiting and oppressing classes that is a proletarian democracy for the working, toiling, and oppressed peoples;
g. expropriate all unused condo buildings, office buildings, the multi-roomed mansions of the mega-rich, and turn them all over to the homeless as an emergency measure to smash homelessness and give homeless people a place to live; end all mortgage debts on poor homeowners, working class homeowners, lower middle class homeowners and lower petit-bourgeois homeowners, cancel those debts, and expropriate the banks to which they owe their mortgage debts so they can own their homes outright; expropriate the multi-roomed mansions of the fat cats, super-rich, mega-rich bourgeoisie or bosses, and turn them over to the homeless;
h. radically raise the social security and retirement pension of the enormous majority of the old people to a genuinely livable wage, say a minimum wage of $75 dollars per hour, so finally the great majority of old people receiving social security have something to actually live on that can give them some kind of quality of life;
i. immediately create free quality health care accessible immediately to all and free to all;
j. immediately create free kindergarten-through-Ph.D./Doctorate education available and accessible free to all by expropriating the private colleges and universities, entirely abolishing their boards of trustees (which are entirely capitalist or pro-capitalist boards), and putting all colleges under the control of elected councils of the working people, teachers, students, and abolishing entirely all tuition payments for students; make all remedial adult education programs free and accessible and available to all; smash the non-union nature of employment and organize all workers into labor unions; implement in all workplaces ongoing remedial education and training and upgrading programs; bring into workplaces affirmative action for minorities, and women, controlled by the workers’ organizations, workers’ councils, democratic organizations of the working people;
k. workers in all unsafe workplaces, industries, factories, plants, workshops, offices, stores, construction sites, must have the immediate and unconditional right to strike and receive full wages while on strike while the unsafe working conditions are immediately addressed and repaired–no more collapsing coal mines, no more workers killed from collapsing cranes at construction sites and from workers falling from worksites due to shoddy and private-profit-based badly made “safety” equipment, no more unsafe airplanes killing crew and passengers because such planes are flying firetraps and are not made safe because of private profit greed of the owners, no more unsafe trains colliding into each other killing crew and passengers, no more collapsing bridges built on the basis of the lowest and most profitable bid, no more exploding steam pipes built on the lowest and most profitable bid, no more overthrown and overturned and destroyed levees built on the lowest and most profitable bid that let entire cities drown–expropriate all the capitalists, smash outsourcing by militant labor action to unionize 100 percent all workers and by class struggle tactics to smash outsourcing to private contractors, expropriate all sleazebag private contractors who shortchange safety conditions for profit, and jail the sleazebags who do this–rebuild everything on the basis of a series of 5-year plans based on the precept of socialist re-industrialization and socialist re-modernization of the country from below run and operated by a socialist plan administered from below democratically and controlled from below democratically by the elected workers’ councils from below, with the full right of all within the workers’ councils who as the genuine precondition to having their ability to participate defend the elected and armed workers’ councils as the core form of government of a proletarian dictatorship against the old exploiters and oppressors and a proletarian workers’ councils-based democracy for the working, exploited, oppressed, and toiling peoples, and the precept of a proletarian government-socialist planned economy as the core form of economy of society–within that context, for the full and unconditional and unfettered right of any and all workers’ factions, caucuses, parties to form in such workers’ councils to make and debate alternative policy alternatives for the furtherance and progress of the workers’ society;
l. organize the enormous majority of the workers at their workplaces into armed and racially integrated labor organizations and mobilizations to root out the nests of Ku Klux Klan filth, neo-Nazi filth, right-wing anti-abortion clinic-bombing filth, right-wing anti-abortion anthrax-sending filth, anti-gay and anti-women’s equality rifle-toating murderers of Unitarian, liberal, and other equality supporters, racist murderers of black and other nonwhite people, bigoted terrorist murderers of gay people, racist and bigoted murderers of immigrants — for the right of the racially integrated working people, black, brown, red, yellow, white, male, female, men, women, “gay,” “straight,” immigrant, native-born, mobilized by a revolutionary workers’ party, to keep and bear arms — no guns for the bosses’ (bourgeoisie’s) labor-hating, racist and anti-black, strike-breaking, civil and human rights-crushing cops, no guns for the sadistic racist and poor people-hating prison guards, no guns for the armed militias of the labor-hating and strike-breaking bosses, no guns for the armed labor-hating and union-busting private security guards of the bosses, who bust labor strikes, beat up labor strikers, shoot down black people in the inner city black ghettos without accountability, shoot down immigrants without accountability — repel and repulse the white racist bigoted anti-immigrant thugs on the Southern borders by racially integrated, ethnically integrated mass mobilizations of black, brown, yellow, red, white, immigrant, and native-born workers, level-headed, but armed — for joint campaigns of labor and unions to organize workers on both sides of the border into fighting class struggle-based labor unions and labor organizations to upgrade labor on both sides of the border in wages, working conditions, job conditions, safety conditions, democratic rights, human rights — smash every kind of fascism through mass mobilizations of labor and minorities;
m. down with the racist, class-biased death penalty–free immediately and unconditionally Mumia Abu-Jamal, an innocent man who’s rotted on death row since 1982 because of a joint and bipartisan Democratic-Republican frame-up murder machine of death — jail the persecutors and sleazebag scum who framed up Mumia Abu-Jamal, including the corrupt prosecutors, corrupt cops, corrupt judges, the entire sleazebag operation that framed him up — free Troy Anthony Davis, an innocent man — jail the entire corrupt sleazebag and scumbag operation that framed him up, including the corrupt, coercing, violent racist cops, corrupt prosecutors, corrupt judges, corrupt Georgia board of pardons and paroles — smash the prisons — rehabilitate the enormous majority capable of being rehabilitated in the prisons; those incapable of being rehabilitated, provide whatever available remedial and palliative help is possible to provide — most in prison are there because crime is caused by capitalism, an inhuman, rotting, decaying, putrefying putrescent, decadent system based on private profit-greed, racist oppression, sexist and bigoted oppression, nationalist and imperialist oppression, colonialist oppression, and the sucking of profits out of the working class by the capitalist class, and the jails and the cops are the state, the violent instrument of class violence and class terrorism against the working class by the capitalist class and its government — they were often destroyed as humans by an inhuman and bestial capitalist society; make sure the hardest of the hardcore psychopaths are kept isolated from the masses, but the principle that must operate in keeping them so is not retribution and vengeance, but simple social expediency, and so, what must operate is not the principle of vengeance and retribution, but the principle of some sort of humane isolation from the majority of society for the hardcore psychos and ongoing rehabilitative efforts in that context; for the vast majority, however, who are not hardcore psychos, there must be ongoing rehabilitative efforts and full social re-integration back into society and efforts to make that happen that are part and parcel of a humane, compassionate system that recognizes ex-cons are human beings — for the rights right now of prisoners for form labor unions, to strike for higher wages, to engage in collective bargaining with prison administrations — again, disarm the sadistic prison guards and labor, kick them the hell out of the unions — no more slave wages for prisoners, which simultaneously hurt prison labor and bring down the wages of all labor — for full union labor wages for all prisoners, and make the minimum wage throughout society in all industries, including prison industries, about $75 dollars per hour — for the immediate restoration of civil, voting, and related rights to ex-cons at the moment of their release, for remedial, job-training, skills, and similar sorts of education for ex-cons, for upgrading, and for employment for all ex-cons at wages no less than the wages of the minimum wage of a workers’ society, which should be approximately $75 dollars per hour, so they can live like human beings and become fully re-integrated back into society again — no more sadistic discrimination against ex-cons in areas like refusing them driver’s licenses, social and health care benefits, housing–smash all discrimination; labor, labor organizations: kick cops, security guards, prison guards, the hell out of your labor organizations, for they are a knife pointed at your own throats;
n. down with the war on drugs; legalize/decriminalize drugs–for massive investment in drug rehab programs and similar sorts of programs, not only in conventional physical and physiological health care programs, but mental health care programs;
o. U.S. Imperialism: get your bloody, filthy, stinking hands off the rest of the planet — U.S. out of Iraq now, out of Afghanistan now, out of the 130 countries where U.S. troops are stationed now, no “conditions,” no “compromises,” no delays, but OUT NOW, PERIOD; disarm the pentagon, CIA, FBI, Secret Service, NSA, federal cops, state cops, local cops — for the right of the racially integrated working people to keep and bear arms; U.S. hands off Iran, hands off Syria, hands off North Korea, hands off Russia — U.S. Imperialism, no support to right-wing nationalist nutjob head of country of Georgia, Saakishvili, as all that is is an ongoing provocation of Russia — Russia, hands off Georgia — for the democratic and national rights of the peoples of Abkhazia and South Ossetia to make their own decision as to whom they wish to affiliate with or not affiliate with — for a joint revolutionary internationalist egalitarian communist proletarian party of the workers of Georgia, the workers of Abkhazia, the workers of both South and North Ossetia, and the workers of Russia fighting for a Russian Socialist Federation of Fully Independent and Equal Workers’ (Proletarians’) Socialist States; U.S. Imperialism, get your bloody provocational hands out of Poland — no U.S. “anti-missile” shield in Poland, which is nothing but a provocation against Russia; for the equal national rights of both the Palestinians and the Hebrew-speaking people in the context of a Socialist Federation of the Near East–for joint mass mobilizations of Palestinian working class people and Hebrew-speaking working class people to drive the Zionist, clerical-fascist settlers out of the West Bank–all Israeli troops, tanks, soldiers, out of the West Bank, out of the Gaza Strip, out of the Golan Heights, out of all the Occupied Territories–for a joint Arab-Hebrew revolutionary internationalist, egalitarian, proletarian communist party in the Near East fighting for an Egalitarian Socialist Near Eastern Federation and the unity of all working classes throughout the Near East–for the strict separation of religion and government throughout the Near East, including the liberation of women, gays, transgender people, and the smashing of every kind of religious fundamentalist-inspired bigoted terrorism, from clerical Zionist through Muslim fundamentalist– for the freedom of conscience of all and for no government support for any religion anywhere in the Near East–for proletarian socialist revolutions against every rotting and reactionary regime in the Near East, from that of Saudi Arabia through Syria, through Lebanon, through Egypt, through Jordan, through the Zionist regime of Israel — for revolutionary proletarian Marxist secularism and egalitarian socialist internationalism — for full equality for women, gays and homosexuals in a Near Eastern Socialist Federation and for separation of religion and government;
p. for free abortion on demand–no to forced sterilization–defend Roe v. Wade–keep abortion legal–for women’s liberation through socialist revolution–for the right of abortion clinic personnel, family planning clinic personnel to arm and train in self-defense of abortion clinics and family planning clinics in self-defense against the right-wing terrorist filth seeking to shut the clinics down–for mass mobilizations of labor, minorities, women, to defend the clinics and drive the right-wing garbage away from in front of the clinics; bring back and pass the Equal Rights Amendment for women;
q. for full democratic and equal rights for gay, homosexual, lesbian, transgender people–for gay and transgender liberation through socialist revolution–for the right of gay, homosexual, lesbian, and transgender people to self-defense, up through and including the right of armed self-defense, against bigoted terrorism; defeat Amendment 2, the “marriage amendment,” in Florida on November 4, 2008 — for the equal right of gay, homosexual, lesbian, transgender people to marry, and divorce, and to secure, equally with non-same-sex and non-transgender people, all economic, social, and related security and benefits accruing therefrom;
r. for the strict and uncompromised separation of religion and government — no funding of religious schools by the federal government, state governments, local governments — no funding of “faith-based” education programs — instead, for billions of dollars in investments into the public school system and for free, quality, racially integrated public education for all — bring back and defend busing to buttress and support quality and racially integrated schools most particularly for black kids, other nonwhite kids;
s. time to finish the Civil War–for black liberation through socialist revolution — smash racial segregation by proletarian socialist revolution — for the establishment of racially integrated armed workers’ self-defense guards, drawn from responsible and level-headed labor union men and women, to defend school buses busing black kids into lily-white bourgeois neighborhood-based schools, and to bus white bourgeois kids into impoverished hellhole inner city black ghetto city schools — as the revolutionary communist, Karl Marx said, when the rich start getting sick, they start finding cures for diseases which the poor typically suffer — but to smash educational inequality, it’s necessary to smash capitalism by proletarian socialist revolution.
21. In my view, nothing short of a revolutionary socialist — an authentically Marxist communist — “bailout” plan carried out by the enormous working class majority of the people can resolve the financial crisis in a way that does not destroy the economic and financial position of the enormous majority of Americans
Rarely a column (especially one in an establishment shitrag like the Washington Post) is able to completely sum up a decades running American tragedy that has led to 2008’s march of the lemmings into the abyss like Harold Meyerson’s Why Were We In Vietnam? This piece in and of itself should be an essential part of the arsenal when it comes to the inevitable re-fighting of the Vietnam war that is going to go live soon as a key part of the upcoming presidential campaign. The Vietnam war, always just below the surface of the American subconscious (although a good amount of the population hadn’t even been fucking born when the choppers lifted of that embassy roof for the last time) like a trailside booby trap just waiting to be tripped anew by a ruthless post-Nixon political party of perverts, jackals, thieves, looters and thugs and their billion dollar propaganda machine. This piece is stunning in pointing out that ugly elephant in the middle of the room that is the pursuit of Vietnam as the latest destination in the off-shoring exodus, it seems like the availability of ever cheaper labor, the crack cocaine to Wall Street parasites and traitors is very alluring in the former Indochina.
From Meyerson and at length because I can’t do it justice otherwise:
Why Were We In Vietnam?
Doing business in China is beginning to cost real money. Not that Chinese workers are buying second homes or anything like that: Their average wage is still a little short of a dollar an hour. But so many Chinese have now left their villages for the factories that the once bottomless pool of new young workers is beginning to run dry, and the wages of assembly-line employees are rising 10 percent a year.
Worse yet, new labor laws are making it harder for employers to cheat their workers out of their wages and benefits. Many American businesses that do their manufacturing in China had warned against those laws; the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai had flatly opposed them. But the good old days of Maoist labor discipline, when the government could send tens of millions of skilled workers down to the farms to be toughened up and periodically tortured, are gone. Mao’s heirs, though not above a touch of torture here and there just to keep the system humming along, are concerned, as he was not, with achieving social harmony, even if that means compelling employers to sign, and honor, contracts with their employees.
Confronted with such appalling squishiness, what’s a good, cost-cutting American business to do? Many are fleeing south of the border — not our border (Mexico costs way too much) but China’s.
They’re bound for Vietnam.
According to a report by Keith Bradsher in the New York Times last month, such multinational companies as Canon (the printer and copier maker) and Hanesbrands (the North Carolina-based underwear empire) are expanding or building factories in Hanoi, where they churn out products for Wal-Mart and other American retailers. Foreign direct investment in Vietnam increased 136 percent between 2006 and 2007, while it increased just 14 percent in China.
The reason for the move south is straightforward: Vietnamese factory workers make about a quarter of what their Chinese counterparts earn.
But why Vietnam and not, say, Thailand, where labor is similarly cheap?
Vietnam’s edge, it seems, is political. “Communism means more stability,” Laurence Shu, the chief financial officer of Shanghai-based Texhong, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of cotton fabrics, told Bradsher. This view, Bradsher reports, is common among Asian executives and some American executives, too, though they have the presence of mind never to say so on the record. After all, Vietnam, like China, outlaws independent unions. Absent free speech and free elections, no radical shifts in the government’s economic policies are likely to be sprung upon unsuspecting American businesses.
Now, far be it from me to begrudge the Vietnamese their moment in the sun before global capital finds them too costly and moves on to Bangladesh and Somalia. But didn’t we fight a war to keep Vietnam from going communist? Something like 58,000 American deaths, right? And now American business actually prefers investing in communist Vietnam over, say, the more or less democratic Philippines? In all likelihood, it would prefer investing in communist Vietnam to investing in a more chaotic, less disciplined democratic Vietnam, if such existed.
Let’s imagine, just as an exercise, that we’re trying to explain this to those 58,000 Americans and their loved ones. We could argue that by investing in communist countries, we’re pushing them toward democracy. But everything we know about China suggests that, in reality, such investments merely make authoritarian regimes stronger. We could argue that what we’re really doing is bringing communist nations into the world capitalist system. Then again, the effect of bringing into the global labor pool hundreds of millions of low-wage workers — people whose wages are held in check by both capital mobility and communist repression — is to hold down wages in democratic nations with advanced economies and with no national strategy to preserve and expand good jobs at home (i.e., in the United States).
Or we could argue that our onetime opposition to communism was noble and all that but that, unburdened by the illusions of the past, American business, backed by the American government, has realized that the problem with communism wasn’t that it was undemocratic but that it was anti-capitalist. And that once communism was integrated into a world capitalist system, its antipathy toward democracy not only wouldn’t be a bad thing but would actually be good. That is clearly the political logic that underpins our involvement with China. It’s a little dicier to say this about our growing involvement with Vietnam, since all those Americans whose names are on that wall on the Mall probably didn’t realize how compatible with global American enterprise Vietnamese communism would turn out to be or how the cause of democracy would turn out to have been of no real importance at all.
I guess a note from the American establishment to those men and women with their names on the Wall would be in order. Something like: Say, guys — sorry ’bout that!
Maybe the Vietnamese can now start manufacturing those crappy little flag pins that have so cheapened the concept of patriotism, they are nothing but merkins (a pubic wig, originally worn by prostitutes after shaving their genitalia to eliminate lice or disguise the marks of syphilis) anyway, displayed upon increasingly empty vessels who shamble about in a fog of fear and jingoism even as they are herded towards the network of fences that end at the shoot where the pneumatic air hammer stuns them in preparation of the slaughter. The ‘gooks’ can even take away the American flag business from China now that it is no longer a cost effective destination for labor arbitrage.
With ‘free trade’ that the flip-flopping charlatan John Sidney McCain III has just spent the better part of a week sliming his way through Latin America promoting as a shill for the rapacious, anti-American strain of virulent looter capitalism (how could you ever expect anything less from an elitist who owns EIGHT houses) that has cut a swath of economic destruction through Der Homeland it would seem that the issue of using Vietnam as the latest destination for exported American jobs while cloaking himself in the immunity of some sort of phony war hero is more than a tad hypocritical.
When and if those ludicrous public relations gimmicks used by McCain actually allow anyone other than another adoring sycophantic war freak to ask questions the ‘maverick’ should be called out on this but it of course he won’t be, it is just too dangerous to the entire bogus Vietnam storyline that has been constructed around the self-admitted war criminal. For all of his paeans to the moneychangers to even acknowledge that America has now sought out Nam as the latest and greatest Mecca for labor arbitrage would be as if he himself were to walk up to that black granite wall, whip out his dick and piss all over those names that are carved into it.
Not only are we prepared to export jobs en-masse to Vietnam but the ongoing cynical invocation of that goddamned fucking war has been used as a cudgel to brutally beat into submission those who were suckered into accepting all of that hogwash about the American Dream at face value only to see their pockets picked and their bank accounts sucked dry by those who cashed in on the four decade tragedy of fighting and re-fighting it, like some acid and viscera drenched version of the movie Groundhog Day. Manchurian McCain and the fascist Republican party will escalate the fighting in Vietnam in the next few months, count on it! The carpet bombing runs are already being planned, the napalm pods polished with loving care, the effigies of Hanoi Jane to be burned slowly stitched together.
The Republican Tet Offensive is coming and coming soon and their pimping of the ongoing revisionist history of the war that the hippies and liberals didn’t let us win, the horseshit of spitting on the troops and the media blame game are all going to spring this bouncing betty one more time for their war criminal candidate and free trader McCain, a man whose only ‘qualification’ for the job is his phony Vietnam narrative.
And once again the Democrats will be true to form, they will capitulate, dissemble, plant big wet, sloppy kisses on McCain’s mangy ass, triangulate, cower and likely even in some cases even contemplate fleeing to Canada to avoid the war rather than fight in what to them has been a lost cause ever since they allowed themselves to be labeled as the party of “acid, amnesty and abortion” and allowed George McGovern to be defined as some sort of anti-American pinko even though history has proven that he was right..
As no less an authority on Nam than Captain Willard once: “Saigon…shit, I’m still only in Saigon”
In order to understand anything regarding the post World War Two world and the place of the United States in it you must understand the role of the Central Intelligence Agency which was created by the elite for the elite and is their defacto Gestapo for predatory capitalism. I am going to post this long essay from the late Steve Kangas which is something that anybody who seeks an education into the way that things really work must understand before attempting to get out and fight for any of the necessary changes that must be made in order to save the republic. As the predatory capitalist system and Wall Street which it serves has now turned its oppressive and anti-democratic tactics inward through proxies, fronts, cut outs and against its charter it is imperative for it to be reigned in before the death squads are sent out within our own borders.
The Origins of the Overclass
By Steve Kangas
The wealthy have always used many methods to accumulate wealth, but it was not until the mid-1970s that these methods coalesced into a superbly organized, cohesive and efficient machine. After 1975, it became greater than the sum of its parts, a smooth flowing organization of advocacy groups, lobbyists, think tanks, conservative foundations, and PR firms that hurtled the richest 1 percent into the stratosphere.
The origins of this machine, interestingly enough, can be traced back to the CIA. This is not to say the machine is a formal CIA operation, complete with code name and signed documents. (Although such evidence may yet surface — and previously unthinkable domestic operations such as MK-ULTRA, CHAOS and MOCKINGBIRD show this to be a distinct possibility.) But what we do know already indicts the CIA strongly enough. Its principle creators were Irving Kristol, Paul Weyrich, William Simon, Richard Mellon Scaife, Frank Shakespeare, William F. Buckley, Jr., the Rockefeller family, and more. Almost all the machine’s creators had CIA backgrounds.
During the 1970s, these men would take the propaganda and operational techniques they had learned in the Cold War and apply them to the Class War. Therefore it is no surprise that the American version of the machine bears an uncanny resemblance to the foreign versions designed to fight communism. The CIA’s expert and comprehensive organization of the business class would succeed beyond their wildest dreams. In 1975, the richest 1 percent owned 22 percent of America’s wealth. By 1992, they would nearly double that, to 42 percent — the highest level of inequality in the 20th century.
How did this alliance start? The CIA has always recruited the nation’s elite: millionaire businessmen, Wall Street brokers, members of the national news media, and Ivy League scholars. During World War II, General “Wild Bill” Donovan became chief of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the forerunner of the CIA. Donovan recruited so exclusively from the nation’s rich and powerful that members eventually came to joke that “OSS” stood for “Oh, so social!”
Another early elite was Allen Dulles, who served as Director of the CIA from 1953 to 1961. Dulles was a senior partner at the Wall Street firm of Sullivan and Cromwell, which represented the Rockefeller empire and other mammoth trusts, corporations and cartels. He was also a board member of the J. Henry Schroeder Bank, with offices in Wall Street, London, Zurich and Hamburg. His financial interests across the world would become a conflict of interest when he became head of the CIA. Like Donavan, he would recruit exclusively from society’s elite.
By the 1950s, the CIA had riddled the nation’s businesses, media and universities with tens of thousands of part-time, on-call operatives. Their employment with the agency took a variety of forms, which included:
Leaving one’s profession to work for the CIA in a formal, official capacity.
Staying in one’s profession, using the job as cover for CIA activity. This undercover activity could be full-time, part-time, or on-call.
Staying in one’s profession, occasionally passing along information useful to the CIA.
Passing through the revolving door that has always existed between the agency and the business world.
Historically, the CIA and society’s elite have been one and the same people. This means that their interests and goals are one and the same as well. Perhaps the most frequent description of the intelligence community is the “old boy network,” where members socialize, talk shop, conduct business and tap each other for favors well outside the formal halls of government.
Many common traits made it inevitable that the CIA and Corporate America would become allies. Both share an intense dislike of democracy, and feel they should be liberated from democratic regulations and oversight. Both share a culture of secrecy, either hiding their actions from the American public or lying about them to present the best public image. And both are in a perfect position to help each other.
How? International businesses give CIA agents cover, secret funding, top-quality resources and important contacts in foreign lands. In return, the CIA gives corporations billion-dollar federal contracts (for spy planes, satellites and other hi-tech spycraft). Businessmen also enjoy the romantic thrill of participating in spy operations. The CIA also gives businesses a certain amount of protection and privacy from the media and government watchdogs, under the guise of “national security.” Finally, the CIA helps American corporations remain dominant in foreign markets, by overthrowing governments hostile to unregulated capitalism and installing puppet regimes whose policies favor American corporations at the expense of their people.
The CIA’s alliance with the elite turned out to be an unholy one. Each enabled the other to rise above the law. Indeed, a review of the CIA’s history is one of such crime and atrocity that no one can reasonably defend it, even in the name of anticommunism. Before reviewing this alliance in detail, it is useful to know the CIA’s history of atrocity first.
The Crimes of the CIA
During World War II, the OSS actively engaged in propaganda, sabotage and countless other dirty tricks. After the war, and even after the CIA was created in 1947, the American intelligence community reverted to harmless information gathering and analysis, thinking that the danger to national security had passed. That changed in 1948 with the emergence of the Cold War. In that year, the CIA recreated its covert action wing, innocuously called the Office of Policy Coordination. Its first director was Wall Street lawyer Frank Wisner. According to its secret charter, its responsibilities included
propaganda, economic warfare, preventive direct action, including sabotage, antisabotage, demolition and evacuation procedures; subversion against hostile states, including assistance to underground resistance groups, and support of indigenous anti-communist elements in threatened countries of the free world.
By 1953, the dirty tricks department of the CIA had grown to 7,200 personnel and commanded 74 percent of the CIA’s total budget. The following quotes describe the culture of lawlessness that pervaded the CIA:
Stanley Lovell, a CIA recruiter for “Wild Bill” Donovan: “What I have to do is to stimulate the Peck’s Bad Boy beneath the surface of every American scientist and say to him, ‘Throw all your normal law-abiding concepts out the window. Here’s a chance to raise merry hell. Come help me raise it.'” (1)
George Hunter White, writing of his CIA escapades: “I toiled wholeheartedly in the vineyards because it was fun, fun, fun… Where else could a red-blooded American boy lie, kill, cheat, steal, rape and pillage with the sanction and blessing of the all-highest?” (2)
A retired CIA agency caseworker with twenty years experience: “I never gave a thought to legality or morality. Frankly, I did what worked.”
Blessed with secrecy and lack of congressional oversight, CIA operations became corrupt almost immediately. Using propaganda stations like Voice of America and Radio Free Europe, the CIA felt justified in manipulating the public for its own good. The broadcasts were so patently false that for a time it was illegal to publish transcripts of them in the U.S. This was a classic case of a powerful organization deciding what was best for the people, and then abusing the powers it had helped itself to.
During the 40s and 50s, most of the public was unaware of what the CIA was doing. Those who knew thought they were fighting the good fight against communism, like James Bond. However, they could not keep their actions secret forever, and by the 60s and 70s, Americans began learning about the agency’s crimes and atrocities. (3) It turns out the CIA has:
Corrupted democratic elections in Greece, Italy and dozens of other nations;
Been involved to varying degrees in at least 35 assassination plots against foreign heads of state or prominent political leaders. Successful assassinations include democratically elected leaders like Salvador Allende (Chile) and Patrice Lumumba (Belgian Congo); also CIA-created dictators like Rafael Trujillo (Dominican Republic) and Ngo Dinh Diem (South Vietnam); and popular political leaders like Che Guevara. Unsuccessful attempts range from Fidel Castro to Charles De Gaulle.
Helped launch military coups that toppled democratic governments, replacing them with brutal dictatorships or juntas. The list of overthrown democratic leaders includes Mossadegh (Iran, 1953), Arbenz (Guatemala, 1954), Velasco and Arosemena (Ecuador, 1961, 1963), Bosch (Dominican Republic, 1963), Goulart (Brazil, 1964), Sukarno (Indonesia, 1965), Papandreou (Greece, 1965-67), Allende (Chile, 1973), and dozens of others.
Undermined the governments of Australia, Guyana, Cambodia, Jamaica and more;
Supported murderous dictators like General Pinochet (Chile), the Shah of Iran, Ferdinand Marcos (Phillipines), “Papa Doc” and “Baby Doc” Duvalier (Haiti), General Noriega (Panama), Mobutu Sese Seko (Ziare), the “reign of the colonels” (Greece), and more;
Created, trained and supported death squads and secret police forces that tortured and murdered hundreds of thousands of civilians, leftists and political opponents, in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Haiti, Bolivia, Cuba, Mexico, Uruguay, Brazil, Chile, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Iran, Turkey, Angola and others;
Helped run the “School of the Americas” at Fort Benning, Georgia, which trains Latin American military officers how to overthrow democratic governments. Subjects include the use of torture, interrogation and murder;
Used Michigan State “professors” to train Diem’s secret police in torture;
Conducted economic sabotage, including ruining crops, disrupting industry, sinking ships and creating food shortages;
Paved the way for the massacre of 200,000 in East Timor, 500,000 in Indonesia and one to two million in Cambodia;
Launched secret or illegal military actions or wars in Nicaragua, Angola, Cuba, Laos and Indochina;
Planted false stories in the local media;
Framed political opponents for crimes, atrocities, political statements and embarrassments that they did not commit;
Spied on thousands of American citizens, in defiance of Congressional law;
Smuggled Nazi war criminals and weapon scientists into the U.S., unpunished, for their use in the Cold War;
Created organizations like the World Anti-Communist League, which became filled with ex-Nazis, Nazi sympathizers, Italian terrorists, Japanese fascists, racist Afrikaaners, Latin American death squad leaders, CIA agents and other extreme right-wing militants;
Conducted Operation MK-ULTRA, a mind-control experiment that gave LSD and other drugs to Americans against their will or without their knowledge, causing some to commit suicide;
Penetrated and disrupted student antiwar organizations;
Kept friendly and extensive working relations with the Mafia;
Actively traded in drugs around the world since the 1950s to fund its operations. The Contra/crack scandal is only the tip of the iceberg –- other notorious examples include Southeast Asia’s Golden Triangle and Noreiga’s Panama.
Had their fingerprints all over the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcom X. Even if the CIA is not responsible for these killings, the sheer amount of CIA involvement in these cases demands answers;
And then routinely lied to Congress about all of the above.
The Association for Responsible Dissent estimates that by 1987, 6 million people had died as a result of CIA covert operations. (4) Former State Department official William Blum correctly calls this an “American Holocaust.”
We should note that the CIA gets away with this because it is not accountable to democratic government. Former CIA officer Philip Agee put it best: “The CIA is the President’s secret army.” Prior to 1975, the agency answered only to the President (creating all the usual problems of authoritarianism). And because the CIA’s activities were secret, the President rarely had to worry about public criticism and pressure. After the 1975 Church hearings, Congress tried to create congressional oversight of the CIA, but this has failed miserably. One reason is that the congressional oversight committee is a sham, filled with Cold Warriors, conservatives, businessmen, and even ex-CIA personnel.
The Business Origins of CIA Crimes
Although many people think that the CIA’s primary mission during the Cold War was to “deter communism,” Noam Chomksy correctly points out that its real mission was “deterring democracy.” From corrupting elections to overthrowing democratic governments, from assassinating elected leaders to installing murderous dictators, the CIA has virtually always replaced democracy with dictatorship. It didn’t help that the CIA was run by businessmen, whose hostility towards democracy is legendary. The reason they overthrew so many democracies is because the people usually voted for policies that multi-national corporations didn’t like: land reform, strong labor unions, nationalization of their industries, and greater regulation protecting workers, consumers and the environment.
So the CIA’s greatest “successes” were usually more pro-corporate than anti-communist. Citing a communist threat, the CIA helped overthrow the democratically elected Mohammed Mussadegh government in Iran in 1953. But there was no communist threat — the Soviets stood back and watched the coup from afar. What really happened was that Mussadegh threatened to nationalize British and American oil companies in Iran. Consequently, the CIA and MI6 toppled Mussadegh and replaced him with a puppet government, headed by the Shah of Iran and his murderous secret police, SAVAK. The reason why the Ayatollah Khomeini and his revolutionaries took 52 Americans hostage in Tehran in 1979 was because the CIA had helped SAVAK torture and murder their people.
Another “success” was the CIA’s overthrow of the democratically elected government of Jacabo Arbenz in Guatemala in 1954. Again, there was no communist threat. The real threat was to Guatemala’s United Fruit Company, a Rockefeller-owned firm whose stockholders included CIA Director Allen Dulles. Arbenz threatened to nationalize the company, albeit with generous compensation. In response, the CIA initiated a coup that overthrew Arbenz and installed the murderous dictator Castillo Armas. For four decades, CIA-backed dicatators would torture and murder hundreds of thousands of leftists, union members and others who would fight for a more equitable distribution of the country’s resources.
Another “success” story was Chile. In 1973, the country’s democratically elected leader, Salvadore Allende, nationalized foreign-owned interests, like Chile’s lucrative copper mines and telephone system. International Telephone & Telegraph (ITT) offered the CIA $1 million to overthrow Allende — which the CIA allegedly refused — but paid $350,000 to his political opponents. The CIA responded with a coup that murdered Allende and replaced him with a brutal tyrant, General Augusto Pinochet. Pinochet tortured and murdered thousands of leftists, union members and political opponents as economists trained at the University of Chicago under Milton Friedman installed a “free market” economy. Since then, income inequality has soared higher in Chile than anywhere else in Latin America.
Even when the communist threat was real, the CIA first and foremost took care of the elite. In testimony before Congress in the early 50s, it artificially inflated Soviet military capabilities. A notorious example was the “bomber gap” that later turned out to be grossly exaggerated. Another was “Team B,” a group of hawkish CIA analysts who seriously distorted Soviet military data. These scare tactics worked. Congress awarded giant defense contracts to the U.S. military-industrial complex.
And not even the fall of the Soviet Union and the demise of American defense contracts have stopped the CIA from serving the elite. Journalist Robert Dreyfuss writes:
Since the end of the Cold War, Washington has been abuzz with talk about using the CIA for economic espionage. Stripped of euphemism, economic espionage simply means that American spies would target foreign companies, such as Toyota, Nissan and Honda, and then covertly pass stolen trade secrets and technology to U.S. corporate executives. (5)
If this isn’t bad enough, a worse problem arises in that the CIA doesn’t hand over this technology to every American auto-related company, but only the Big Three: Ford, Chrysler and General Motors.
In a 1975 interview, Ex-CIA agent Philip Agee summed up his personal observations of the agency:
To the people who work for it, the CIA is known as The Company. The Big Business mentality pervades everything. Agents, for instance, are called assets. The man in charge of the United Kingdom desk is said to have the “U.K. account”…
American multinational corporations have built up colossal interests all over the world, and you can bet your ass that wherever you find U. S. business interests, you also find the CIA… The multinational corporations want a peaceful status quo in countries where they have investments, because that gives them undisturbed access to cheap raw materials, cheap labor and stable markets for their finished goods. The status quo suits bankers, because their money remains secure and multiplies. And, of course, the status quo suits the small ruling groups the CIA supports abroad, because all they want is to keep themselves on top of the socioeconomic pyramid and the majority of their people on the bottom. But do you realize what being on the bottom means in most parts of the world? Ignorance, poverty, often early death by starvation or disease…
Remember, the CIA is an instrument of the President; it only carries out policy. And, like everyone else, the President has to respond to forces in the society he’s trying to lead, right? In America, the most powerful force is Big Business, and American Big Business has a vested interest in the Cold War. (6)
The CIA had no trouble recruiting elites who sought a more exciting life. Between 1948 and 1959, more than 40,000 American individuals and companies acted as sources for the U.S. intelligence community. (7) Let’s look at each area of recruitment, and see how they enabled the CIA to conduct its crimes:
The CIA co-opted big business right from the start, beginning with the most famous billionaire of the time: Howard Hughes. Hughes had inherited his father’s million-dollar tool and die company at age 19. Anxious to expand his fortune, he made a conscientious decision “to go where the money is” — namely, government. With a few well-placed bribes, Hughes secured defense contracts to build military planes. The result was the Hughes Aircraft company. By 1940, he had also acquired a controlling interest in Trans World Airlines. His government connections and international airline soon caught the attention of the CIA, and the two began a lifelong relationship. Hughes, whom the CIA dubbed “The Stockbroker,” became the agency’s largest contractor. Not only did he let the CIA use his business firms as fronts, but he also funded countless CIA operations. Perhaps the most notorious was Operation Jennifer, an allegedly failed attempt to recover nuclear codes from a sunken Soviet submarine. Hughes’ right-hand security man, Robert Maheu, was a CIA agent who at one time represented the CIA in negotiations with the Mafia to assassinate Fidel Castro.
The CIA’s contacts with big business quickly spread. The agency showed a preference for international companies, public relations firms, media companies, law offices, banks, financiers and stockbrokers. The CIA didn’t limit its activities to recruiting businessmen; sometimes the CIA bought or created entire companies outright. One benefit of co-opting big business was that the CIA was able to create a secret source of funds other than from government. With stock portfolios multiplying their profits, it’s impossible now to say how flush the CIA really is. If Congress ever cut off funds for a mission, the business fraternity could easily replace them, either by donations or even setting up profitable businesses in the target country. In fact, this is precisely what happened during the Iran/Contra scandal.
By allying itself with the business community, the CIA received the funds and ability it needed to remove itself from democratic control.
Journalism is a perfect cover for CIA agents. People talk freely to journalists, and few think suspiciously of a journalist aggressively searching for information. Journalists also have power, influence and clout. Not surprisingly, the CIA began a mission in the late 1940s to recruit American journalists on a wide scale, a mission it dubbed Operation MOCKINGBIRD. The agency wanted these journalists not only to relay any sensitive information they discovered, but also to write anti-communist, pro-capitalist propaganda when needed.
The instigators of MOCKINGBIRD were Frank Wisner, Allan Dulles, Richard Helms and Philip Graham. Graham was the husband of Katherine Graham, today’s publisher of the Washington Post. In fact, it was the Post’s ties to the CIA that allowed it to grow so quickly after the war, both in readership and influence. (8)
MOCKINGBIRD was extraordinarily successful. In no time, the agency had recruited at least 25 media organizations to disseminate CIA propaganda. At least 400 journalists would eventually join the CIA payroll, according to the CIA’s testimony before a stunned Church Committee in 1975. (The committee felt the true number was considerably higher.) The names of those recruited reads like a Who’s Who of journalism:
Philip and Katharine Graham (Publishers, Washington Post)
William Paley (President, CBS)
Henry Luce (Publisher, Time and Life magazine)
Arthur Hays Sulzberger (Publisher, N.Y. Times)
Jerry O’Leary (Washington Star)
Hal Hendrix (Pulitzer Prize winner, Miami News)
Barry Bingham Sr., (Louisville Courier-Journal)
James Copley (Copley News Services)
Joseph Harrison (Editor, Christian Science Monitor)
C.D. Jackson (Fortune)
Walter Pincus (Reporter, Washington Post)
United Press International
Mutual Broadcasting System
Old Saturday Evening Post
New York Herald-Tribune
Perhaps no newspaper is more important to the CIA than the Washington Post, one of the nation’s most right-wing dailies. Its location in the nation’s capitol enables the paper to maintain valuable personal contacts with leading intelligence, political and business figures. Unlike other newspapers, the Post operates its own bureaus around the world, rather than relying on AP wire services. Owner Philip Graham was a military intelligence officer in World War II, and later became close friends with CIA figures like Frank Wisner, Allen Dulles, Desmond FitzGerald and Richard Helms. He inherited the Post by marrying Katherine Graham, whose father owned it.
After Philip’s suicide in 1963, Katharine Graham took over the Post. Seduced by her husband’s world of government and espionage, she expanded her newspaper’s relationship with the CIA. In a 1988 speech before CIA officials at Langley, Virginia, she stated:
We live in a dirty and dangerous world. There are some things that the general public does not need to know and shouldn’t. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows.
This quote has since become a classic among CIA critics for its belittlement of democracy and its admission that there is a political agenda behind the Post’s headlines.
Ben Bradlee was the Post’s managing editor during most of the Cold War. He worked in the U.S. Paris embassy from 1951 to 1953, where he followed orders by the CIA station chief to place propaganda in the European press. (9) Most Americans incorrectly believe that Bradlee personifies the liberal slant of the Post, given his role in publishing the Pentagon Papers and the Watergate investigations. But neither of these two incidents are what they seem. The Post merely published the Pentagon Papers after The New York Times already had, because it wanted to appear competitive. As for Watergate, we’ll examine the CIA’s reasons for wanting to bring down Nixon in a moment. Someone once asked Bradlee: “Does it irk you when The Washington Post is made out to be a bastion of slanted liberal thinkers instead of champion journalists just because of Watergate?” Bradlee responded: “Damn right it does!” (10)
It would be impossible to elaborate in this short space even the most important examples of the CIA/media alliance. Sig Mickelson was a CIA asset the entire time he was president of CBS News from 1954 to 1961. Later he went on to become president of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty, two major outlets of CIA propaganda.
The CIA also secretly bought or created its own media companies. It owned 40 percent of the Rome Daily American at a time when communists were threatening to win the Italian elections. Worse, the CIA has bought many domestic media companies. A prime example is Capital Cities, created in 1954 by CIA businessman William Casey (who would later become Reagan’s CIA director). Another founder was Lowell Thomas, a close friend and business contact with CIA Director Allen Dulles. Another founder was CIA businessman Thomas Dewey. By 1985, Capital Cities had grown so powerful that it was able to buy an entire TV network: ABC.
For those who believe in “separation of press and state,” the very idea that the CIA has secret propaganda outlets throughout the media is appalling. The reason why America was so oblivious to CIA crimes in the 40s and 50s was because the media willingly complied with the agency. Even today, when the immorality of the CIA should be an open-and-shut case, “debate” about the issue rages in the media. Here is but one example:
In 1996, The San Jose Mercury News published an investigative report suggesting that the CIA had sold crack in Los Angeles to fund the Contra war in Central America. A month later, three of the CIA’s most important media allies — The Washington Post, The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times — immediately leveled their guns at the Mercury report and blasted away in an attempt to discredit it. Who wrote the Post article? Walter Pincus, longtime CIA journalist. The dangers here are obvious.
By the early 50s, CIA Director Allen Dulles had staffed the CIA almost exclusively with Ivy League graduates, especially from Yale. (A disproportionate number of CIA figures, like George Bush, come from Yale’s “Skull and Crossbones” Society.) CIA recruiters also approached thousands of other professors to work in place at their universities on a part-time, contract basis. Not stopping at recruiting scholars, the agency would go on to create several departments at elite universities, including Harvard’s Russian Research Center and the Center for International Studies at MIT.
Although most academics were supportive of the CIA in the 50s, most were unaware of its abuses. In the 60s, academia would become outraged to learn that anti-communist organizations like the National Student Association were actually creations of the CIA. The most audacious CIA front was the Congress for Cultural Freedom, an organization that attracted liberal, freethinking artists and intellectuals who nonetheless deplored communism.
By the late 60s and 70s, growing reports of CIA crimes and atrocities had deeply alienated academia. Scholars were further troubled to learn that the CIA had penetrated and disrupted student antiwar groups. Unlike business and the media, academia overwhelmingly denounced the CIA after the Vietnam era. This eventually forced the CIA to turn to new places to find their analysts and scholars. The most important source was the conservative think-tank movement, which it helped to create. More on this later.
The Roman Catholic Church
Although the CIA began as a mostly Protestant organization, Roman Catholics quickly came to dominate the new covert-action wing in 1948. All were staunchly conservative, fiercely anti-communist and socially elite. Just a few of the many Catholic operatives included future CIA directors William Colby, William Casey, and John McCone. Another well-known personality from this period was William F. Buckley, Jr., editor of the National Review and gadfly host of TV’s Firing Line. Buckley, it turns out, served as a CIA agent in Mexico City, and his experiences there served as fodder for his Blackford Oakes spy novels.
There were several reasons for this influx of Catholic elites. First, Wisner (himself a Wall Street lawyer) had an extensive and glamorous circle of friends to recruit from. Second, Italy was in constant crisis in the 1940s, both during World War II and after. Throughout this troubled period, the American intelligence community’s greatest ally in Italy was the Roman Catholic Church.
The Roman Catholic Church, of course, is one of the most anti-communist organizations in the world. The Marxist doctrine of atheism threatens Catholic theology, and its equality threatens the Church’s strict tradition of hierarchy and authoritarianism. When Hitler invaded Communist Russia, the Vatican openly approved. Jesuit Michael Serafian wrote: “It cannot be denied that [Pope] Pius XII’s closest advisors for some time regarded Hitler’s armoured divisions as the right hand of God.” (11)
But Hitler persecuted Catholics as well, and ultimately drove the Church to the Americans. In 1943, the Vatican reached a secret agreement with OSS Chief Donovan — himself a devout Catholic — to let the Holy See become the center of Allied spy operations in Italy. Donovan considered the Church to be one of his prize intelligence assets, given its global power, membership and contacts. He cultivated this alliance by sending America’s most prestigious Catholics to the Vatican to establish rapport and forge an alliance.
After the war, half of Europe lay under Communist control, and the Italian communist party threatened to win the 1948 elections. The prospect of communism ruling over the heart of Catholicism terrified the Vatican. Once again, American intelligence gathered their most prestigious Catholics to strengthen ties with the Vatican. Because this was the first mission of the new covert action division, the American Catholic agents acquired positions of power early on, and would dominate covert operations for the rest of the Cold War.
At a public level, the U.S. government sunk $350 million in social and military aid into Italy to sway the vote. On a secret level, Wisner spent $10 million in black budget funds to steal the elections. This included disseminating propaganda, beating up left-wing politicians, intimidating voters and disrupting leftist parties. The dirty tricks worked — the Communists lost, and the Catholic Americans’ success permanently secured their power within the CIA.
The Knights of Malta (12)
The Roman Catholic Church did not forget the American agents who had saved them from both Nazism and Communism. It rewarded them by making them Knights of Malta, or members of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (SMOM).
SMOM is one of the oldest and most elite religious orders in the Catholic Church. Until recently, it limited its membership to Italians and foreign heads of state. In 1927, however, an exception was made for the United States, given its emerging status as a world power. SMOM opened an American branch, awarding knighthood or damehood to several American Catholic business tycoons. This group was so conservative that one, John Raskob, the Chairman of General Motors, actually became involved in an aborted military plot to remove Franklin Roosevelt from the White House. SMOM has also been embarrassed by knighting or giving awards to countless people who later turned out to be Nazi war criminals. This is the sort of culture that thrives within the leadership of SMOM.
Officially, the Knights of Malta are a global charity organization. But beginning in the 1940s, knighthood was granted to countless CIA agents, and the organization has become a front for intelligence operations. SMOM is ideal for this kind of activity, because it is recognized as the world’s only landless sovereignty, and members enjoy diplomatic immunity. This allows agents and supplies to pass through customs without interference from the host country. Such privileges enabled the Knights of Malta to become a major supplier of “humanitarian aid” to the Contras during their war in the 1980s.
A partial list of the Knights and Dames of Malta reads like a Who’s Who of American Catholicism:
William Casey – CIA Director.
John McCone – CIA Director.
William Colby – CIA Director.
William Donovan – OSS Director. Donovan was given an especially prestigious form of knighthood that has only been given to a hundred other men in history.
Frank Shakespeare – Director of such propaganda organizations as the U.S. Information Agency, Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty. Also executive vice-president of CBS-TV and vice-chairman of RKO General Inc. He is currently chairman of the board of trustees at the Heritage Foundation, a right-wing think tank.
William Simon – Treasury Secretary under President Nixon. In the private sector, he has become one of America’s 400 richest individuals by working in international finance. Today he is the President of the John M. Olin Foundation, a major funder of right-wing think tanks.
William F. Buckley, Jr. – CIA agent, conservative pundit and mass media personality.
James Buckley – William’s brother, head of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty.
Clare Boothe Luce – The grand dame of the Cold War was also a Dame of Malta. She was a popular playwright and the wife
of the publishing tycoon Henry Luce, who cofounded Time magazine.
Francis X Stankard – CEO of the international division of Chase Manhattan Bank, a Rockefeller institution. (Nelson Rockefeller was also a major CIA figure.)
John Farrell – President, U.S. Steel
Lee Iacocca – Chairman, General Motors
William S. Schreyer – Chairman, Merrill Lynch.
Richard R. Shinn – Chairman, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company.
Joseph Kennedy – Founder of the Kennedy empire.
Baron Hilton – Owner, Hilton Hotel chain.
Patrick J. Frawley Jr. – Heir, Schick razor fortune. Frawley is a famous funder of right-wing Catholic causes, such as the Christian Anti-Communist Crusade.
Ralph Abplanalp – Aerosol magnate.
Martin F. Shea – Executive vice president of Morgan Guaranty Trust.
Joseph Brennan – Chairman of the executive committee of the Emigrant Savings Bank of New York.
J. Peter Grace – President, W.R. Grace Company. He
was a key figure in Operation Paperclip, which brought Nazi scientists and spies to the U.S. Many were war criminals whose atrocities were excused in their service to the CIA.
Thomas Bolan – Of Saxe, Bacon and Bolan, the law firm of Senator McCarthy’s deceased aide Roy Cohn.
Bowie Kuhn – Baseball Comissioner
Cardinal John O’Connor – Extreme right-wing leader among American Catholics, and fervent abortion opponent.
Cardinal Francis Spellman – The “American Pope” was at one time the most powerful Catholic in America, an arch-conservative and a rabid anti-communist.
Cardinal Bernard Law – One of the highest-ranking conservatives in the American church.
Alexander Haig – Secretary of State under President Reagan.
Admiral James D. Watkins – Hard-line chief of naval operations under President Reagan.
Jeremy Denton – Senator (R–Al).
Pete Domenici – Senator (R-New Mexico).
Walter J. Hickel – Governor of Alaska and secretary of the interior.
When this group gets together, obviously, the topics are spying, business and politics.
The CIA has also used other religious and charity organizations as fronts. For example, John F. Kennedy — another anticommunist Roman Catholic who greatly expanded covert operations — created the U.S. Peace Corps to serve as cover for CIA operatives. The CIA has also made extensive use of missionaries, with the blessings of many right-wing, anticommunist Christian denominations.
But the World Grows Wise…
It was only a matter of time before other nations caught on to these fronts. They learned that when the CIA comes to their countries to commit their crimes and atrocities, they come disguised as American journalists, businessmen, missionaries and charity volunteers. Unfortunately, foreigners are now targeting these professions as hostile. In Lebanon, terrorists held U.S. journalist Terry Anderson hostage for nearly seven years, on the not unreasonable assumption that he was a spy. Whether or not this was true is beside the point. The CIA has put all Americans abroad at risk, whether they are CIA agents or not. In hearings before the Senate in 1996, many organizations urged Congress to stop using their professions as CIA cover. Don Argue of the National Association of Evangelicals testified: “Such use of missionary agents for covert activities by the CIA would be unethical and immoral.” (13)
From the Cold War to the Class War
As noted above, academia was the first major institution to denounce the crimes of the CIA. Why? One reason is that scholars conduct their own extensive research into world affairs, so naturally they were the first to learn the truth. This is the main reason why protest against the Vietnam War and the CIA erupted first among students on the nation’s campuses. By the end of the Vietnam War, the CIA had suffered a “brain drain” as its academic allies became its most articulate, passionate and eloquent critics.
The social revolutions of the 60s terrified the CIA. James Jesus Angleton, chief of counter-intelligence and a truly paranoid man, was convinced the Soviets had masterminded the entire antiwar movement. FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover shared his conviction. The CIA had always spied on student groups throughout the 60s, but in 1968 President Johnson dramatically stepped up the effort with Operation CHAOS. This initially called for 50 CIA agents to go undercover as student radicals, penetrate their antiwar organizations and root out the Russian spies who were causing the rebellion. Tellingly, they never found a single spy. The agents also began a campaign of wire-tapping, mail-opening, burglary, deception, intimidation and disruption against thousands of protesting American civilians.
By the time Operation CHAOS wound down in 1973, the CIA had spied on 7,000 Americans, 1,000 organizations and traded information on more than 300,000 persons with various law agencies. (14) When academia learned of this, its outrage grew.
The loss of academia was only the first blow for the CIA. Other disasters quickly followed; in the early 70s, the CIA was trying desperately to stave off a growing number of scandals. The first was Watergate.
The CIA’s fingerprints were all over Watergate. First, we should note the CIA had clear motives for helping oust Nixon. He was the ultimate “outsider,” a poor California Quaker who grew up feeling bitter resentment towards the elite “Eastern establishment.” Nixon, for all his arch-conservatism, was surprisingly liberal on economic issues, enfuriating businessmen with statements like “We are all Keynesians now.” He created a whole host of new agencies to regulate business, like the FDA, EPA and OSHA. He signed the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, which forced businesses to clean up their toxic emissions. He imposed price controls to fight inflation, and took the nation fully off the gold standard. Nixon also strengthened affirmative action. Even his staffers were famously anti-elitist, like Kevin Philips, who would eventually write the bible on inequality during the 1980s, The Politics of Rich and Poor. Add to this Nixon’s withdrawal from Vietnam and Détente with China and the Soviet Union. Nixon and his Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, had not only tried to remove control of foreign policy from the CIA, but had also taken measures to bring the CIA itself under control. Not surprisingly, Nixon and his CIA Director, Richard Helms, couldn’t stand each other. (Nixon fired him for failing to cover up for Watergate.) Clearly, Nixon was fighting at cross-purposes with the CIA and the nation’s elite.
As it turns out, the CIA had inside knowledge of Nixon’s dirty work. Nixon had created his own covert action team, “The Committee to Reelect the President,” more amusingly known by its acronym, CREEP. The team consisted of two CIA agents — E. Howard Hunt and James McCord — as well as former FBI agent G. Gordon Liddy. They also employed four Cubans with long CIA histories. In fact, a CIA front called the Mullen Company funded their activities, which ranged from disrupting Democratic campaigns to laundering Nixon’s illegal campaign contributions.
The CIA not only had intimate knowledge of Nixon’s crimes, but it also acted as though it wanted the world to know them. When the FBI began investigating Watergate, Nixon tried using the CIA to cover up for him. At first the CIA half-heartedly complied, telling the FBI that the investigation would endanger CIA operations in Mexico. But a few weeks later it gave the FBI a green light again to proceed again with their investigation.
Furthermore, Watergate was exposed by the CIA’s main newspaper in America, The Washington Post. One of the two journalists who investigated the scandal, Robert Woodward, had only recently become a journalist. Previously Woodward had worked as a Naval intelligence liaison to the White House, privy to some of the nation’s highest secrets. He would later write a sympathetic portrait of CIA Director Bill Casey in a book entitled Veil: The Secret Wars of the CIA. It was Woodward who personally knew and interviewed “Deep Throat,” the unnamed source who revealed inside information on Nixon’s activities. Many Watergate researchers consider one of Woodward’s old intelligence contacts to be a prime candidate for Deep Throat. (15)
Despite all the facts of CIA involvement, Woodward and Bernstein made virtually no mention of the CIA in their Watergate reporting. Even during Senate hearings on Watergate, the CIA somehow managed to stay out of the spotlight. In 1974, the House would clear the CIA of any involvement in Watergate.
The CIA was not as lucky in 1974, when the Senate held hearings on James Jesus Angleton’s illegal surveillance of American citizens. These disclosures resulted in his firing. But that was nothing compared to the 1975 Church Committee. This Senate investigation looked into virtually every type of CIA crime, from assassination to secret war to manipulating the domestic media. The “reforms” that resulted from these hearings were mostly cosmetic, but the details that emerged shattered the CIA’s reputation forever. Interestingly enough, the two Senators who held these hearings — Frank Church and Otis Pike — were both defeated for reelection, despite a 98 percent reelection rate for incumbents.
The CIA wasn’t the only conservative institution that found itself embattled in the early 70s. This was a bad time for conservatives everywhere. America had lost the war in Vietnam. U.S. corporations had to cope with the rise of OPEC. The anti-poverty programs of Roosevelt’s New Deal and Johnson’s Great Society were causing a major redistribution of wealth. And Nixon was making things worse with his own anti-poverty and regulatory programs. Between 1960 and 1973, these efforts cut poverty in half, from 22 to 11 percent. Meanwhile, between 1965 and 1976, the richest 1 percent had gone from owning 37 percent of America’s wealth to only 22 percent. (16)
At a 1973 Conference Board meeting of top American business leaders, executives declared: “We are fighting for our lives,” “We are fighting a delaying action,” and “If we don’t take action now, we will see our own demise. We will evolve into another social democracy.” (17)
The CIA to the rescue
In the mid-1970s, at this historic low point in American conservatism, the CIA began a major campaign to turn corporate fortunes around.
They did this in several ways. First, they helped create numerous foundations to finance their domestic operations. Even before 1973, the CIA had co-opted the most famous ones, like the Ford, Rockefeller and Carnegie Foundations. But after 1973, they created more. One of their most notorious recruits was billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife. During World War II, Scaife’s father served in the OSS, the forerunner of the CIA. By his mid-twenties, both of Scaife’s parents had died, and he inherited a fortune under four foundations: the Carthage Foundation, the Sarah Scaife Foundation, the Scaife Family Foundations and the Allegheny Foundation. In the early 1970s, Scaife was encouraged by CIA agent Frank Barnett to begin investing his fortune to fight the “Soviet menace.” (18) From 1973 to 1975, Scaife ran Forum World Features, a foreign news service used as a front to disseminate CIA propaganda around the world. Shortly afterwards he began donating millions to fund the New Right.
Scaife’s CIA roots are typical of those who head the new conservative foundations. By 1994 the most active were:
Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation
Charles G. Koch
David H. Koch
Claude R. Lambe
Philip M. McKenna
John M. Olin Foundation
Henry Salvatori Foundation
Sarah Scaife Foundation
Smith Richardson Foundation
Between 1992 and 1994, these foundations gave $210 million to conservative causes. Here is the breakdown of their donations:
$88.9 million for conservative scholarships;
$79.2 million to enhance a national infrastructure of think tanks and advocacy groups;
$16.3 million for alternative media outlets and watchdog groups;
$10.5 million for conservative pro-market law firms;
$9.3 million for regional and state think tanks and advocacy groups;
$5.4 million to “organizations working to transform the nations social views and giving practices of the nation’s religious and philanthropic leaders.” (19)
The political machine they built is broad and comprehensive, covering every aspect of the political fight. It includes right-wing departments and chairs in the nation’s top universities, think tanks, public relations firms, media companies, fake grassroots organizations that pressure Congress (irreverently known as “Astroturf” movements), “Roll-out-the-vote” machines, pollsters, fax networks, lobbyist organizations, economic seminars for the nation’s judges, and more. And because corporations are the richest sector of society, their greater financing overwhelms similar efforts by Democrats.
Besides creating foundations, the CIA helped organize the business community. There have always been special interest groups representing business, like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers, and the CIA has long been involved with them. However, after 1973, a spate of powerful new groups would come into existence, like the Business Roundtable and the Trilateral Commission. These organizations quickly became powerhouses in promoting the business agenda.
Their efforts clearly succeeded. With the 1975 SUN-PAC decision, corporations persuaded government to legalize corporate Political Action Committees (the lobbyist organizations that bribe our government). By 1992, corporations formed 67 percent of all PACs, and they donated 79 percent of all campaign contributions to political parties. (20) In two landmark elections — 1980 and 1994 — corporations gave heavily and one-sidedly to Republicans, turning one or both houses of Congress over to the GOP. Democratic incumbents were shocked by the threat of being rolled completely out of power, so they quietly shifted to the right on economic issues, even though they continued a public façade of liberalism. Corporations went ahead and donated to Democratic incumbents in all other elections, but only as long as they abandoned the interests of workers, consumers, minorities and the poor. As expected, the new pro-corporate Congress passed laws favoring the rich: between 1975 and 1992, the amount of national household wealth owned by the richest 1 percent soared from 22 to 42 percent. (21)
The CIA also helped create the conservative think tank movement. Prior to the 70s, think tanks spanned the political spectrum, with moderate think tanks receiving three times as much funding as conservative ones. At these early think tanks, scholars typically brainstormed for creative solutions to policy problems. This would all change after the rise of conservative foundations in the early 70s. The Heritage Foundation opened its doors in 1973, the recipient of $250,000 in seed money from the Coors Foundation. A flood of conservative think tanks followed shortly thereafter, and by 1980 they overwhelmed the scene. The new think tanks turned out to be little more than propaganda mills, rigging studies to “prove” that their corporate sponsors needed tax breaks, deregulation and other favors from government.
Of course, think-tank studies are useless without publicity, and here the CIA proved especially valuable. Using propaganda techniques it had perfected at the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe, the CIA and its allies turned American AM radio into a haven for conservative talk show hosts. Yes — Rush Limbaugh uses the same propaganda techniques that Muscovites once heard from Voice of America. The CIA has also developed countless other media outlets, like Capital Cities (which eventually bought ABC), major PR firms like Hill & Knowlton, and of course, all the Agency’s connections in the national news media. (22)
The following is a typical example of how the “New Media” operates. As most political observers know, the Republicans suffer from a “gender gap,” in which women prefer Democrats by huge majorities. This is, in fact, why Clinton has twice won the presidency. But, curiously enough, as the 90s progressed, conservative female pundits began popping up everywhere in the media. Hard-right pundits like Ann Coulter, Kellyanne Fitzpatrick, Laura Ingraham, Barbara Olson, Melinda Sidak, Anita Blair and Whitney Adams conditioned us to the idea of the conservative woman. This phenomenon was no accident. It turns out that Richard Mellon Scaife donated $450,000 over three years to the Independent Women’s Forum, a booking agency that heavily seeds such female conservative pundits into the media. (23)
The most obvious criticism of the New Overclass is that their political machine is undemocratic. Using subversive techniques once aimed at communists, and with all the money they ever need to succeed, the Overclass undemocratically controls our government, our media, and even a growing part of academia. These institutions in turn allow the Overclass to control the supposedly “free” market. It doesn’t win all the time, of course — witness Bill Clinton’s impeachment trial — but it does score an endless string of other victories elsewhere, all to the detriment of workers, consumers, women, minorities and the poor. We need to fight it with everything we’ve got.
1. Mind Manipulators, Scheflin and Opton. p.241.
2. Captain George White in a letter to Dr. Sidney Gottlieb.
3. All history concerning CIA intervention in foreign countries is summarized from William Blum’s encyclopedic work, Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions since World War II (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1995). Sources for domestic CIA operations come from Jonathan Vankin and John Whalen’s The 60 Greatest Conspiracies of All Time (Secaucus, N.J.: Citadel Press, 1997). Information about CIA drug running can be found at http://www.magnet.ch/serendipity/cia/blum1.html and http://speech.csun.edu/ben/news/cia/index.html.
4. Coleman McCarthy, “The Consequences of Covert Tactics” Washington Post, December 13, 1987.
5. Robert Dreyfuss, “Company Spies,” Mother Jones. Website: http://www.mojones.com/mother_jones/MJ94/dreyfuss.html
6. Philip Agee: The Playboy Interview. Website: http://www.connix.com/~harry/agee.htm
7. Lara Shohet, “Intelligence, Academia and Industry,” The Final Report of the Snyder
Commission, Edward Cheng and Diane C. Snyder, eds., (Princeton Unversity: The Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, January 1997). Website: http://www.fas.org/irp/eprint/snyder/academia.htm.
8. Website: http://www.europa.com/~johnlf/cn/cn9-35.
9. Deborah Davis, Katharine the Great and the Washington Post, 2nd ed. (Bethesda MD: National Press, 1987)
10. “Forum for Ben Bradlee,” Watergate 25. Website: http://discuss.washingtonpost.com/zforum/97/bradlee.htm.
11. Lewy, Guenter, The Catholic Church and Nazi Germany (London and New York, 1964), pp. 249-250.
12. National Catholic Reporter, Jan 89, Mar 89, Apr 89, May 89, “Nazis, the Vatican and the CIA,” Covert Action Information Bulletin, Winter 1986, Number 25 Website: http://www.mosquitonet.com/~prewett/knightsofmaltalist.html.
13. Anthony Collings, “Journalists tell Senate they want no CIA ties,” CNN, July 18, 1996. Website: http://www.cnn.com/US/9607/18/spies.journalists/.
14. Morton Halperin, et al, eds., The Lawless State (New York: Penguin, 1976), p. 153.
15. Jim Hougan, Secret Agenda: Watergate, Deep Throat and the CIA.
16. Edward N. Wolff, “How the Pie is Sliced” The American Prospect no. 22 (Summer 1995), pp. 58-64. Website: http://epn.org/prospect/22/22wolf.html.
17. Quoted in Leonard Silk and David Vogel, Ethics and Profits (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1976), pp. 44-47.
18. Karen Rothmyer, “The man behind the mask,” Salon, April 7, 1998.
19. Study conducted by National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, July 1997, as reported by the National Education Association. Website: http://www.nea.org/publiced/paycheck/paychkf.html.
20. Center for Responsive Politics, Washington D.C., 1993.
22. For CIA involvement in Capital Cities/ABC, see Dennis Mazzocco, Networks of Power (Boston: South End Press, 1994). For CIA involvement in the PR industry, see John Stauber and Sheldon Rampton, Toxic Sludge is Good for You! (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1995), pp. 49-51,153,157,160-63.
23. Jonathon Broder and Murray Waas, [Untitled] Salon, April 20, 1998. Website: http://www.salonmag.com/news/1998/04/20news.html
In the early evening spilling over into prime time of the first Sunday in February tens of millions of Americans will be glued to their beloved televisions for the annual celebration of the crowning achievement of the post-industrial age of unfettered capitalism run amok that is the forty second edition of the Super Bowl. A more often than not bad football game will be stuffed, chunked and wedged in between million dollar commercials that in a sad indictment of our gross consumerist culture are often discussed more enthusiastically at water coolers and over coffee than the game itself. The hype goes on for two solid weeks over the run up to this American bacchanal and the Super Bowl is normally the most watched program of the year therefore making it the premier vehicle to reach the largest marketing audience. The commercials have come to have a hallucinogenic quality with the advent of computer generated special affects. They are like the most garish imagery of nightmares or the distorted visions of bad acid trips. Imagine a hookah smoking caterpillar hawking beer, soft drinks loaded with high fructose corn syrup or snack chips with enough trans fatty acids to juice the sales of the latest cholesterol drugs that are also pimped to the masses of asses.
Far more attention will be paid to this game and the ridiculous reality television shows that the host network mentally bludgeons viewers with than such trivialities as the ongoing and increasing bloody and immoral war ostensibly being waged for Americans to enjoy their precious freedoms to prostate themselves in front of their beloved high definition, big screen televisions and gorge themselves on the very foods and beverages to which they are a captive audience. While Iraq continues to burn, the blood of our young soldiers running in the streets the indolent and blissfully ignorant serfs in the kingdom of Bush will sit upon their plush sofas and drag tortilla chips through bowls of salsa dip even as the charred, limbless remains of bombing victims are dragged off of Baghdad streets, screaming in agony and probably cursing General Petraeus, the nation’s homeless and uninsured children are freezing and starving in our own streets and the looming CDO catastrophe threatens to make the subprime crises losses look like chump change. So just fuck it all, praise Jesus and pass the chips and the remote, it’s time for the Super Bowl!
What is it with the goofballs in the media who are so goddamned fucking lazy that they have to attach “GATE” to the end of anything where there is even a remote controversy? If there is one thing that keeps me blogging other than my burning hatred for hypocrisy, dumbness and corruption then it is the hope that one day even I may be able to collect a consistent paycheck from writing on a regular basis if the competition for gigs is that unimaginative, lazy, trite and inept. And in a sure sign that the Super Bowl is upon us official joining in milking the entire goddamned incident is none other than Senator Arlen Specter who has taken a break from his normal gig as a foot stool for the Bush administration to haughtily hector the the NFL about why the infamous Belichick tapes were destroyed. I mean give me a motherfucking break! What about the CIA destroying the Gitmo torture tapes, or those millions of missing archived emails from the White House that were allegedly ‘accidentally’ taped over? Specter is notorious as a stooge for the system and is invaluable as a reliable drama queen whenever mock outrage and no follow up is required to put up a smokescreen for the latest travesty of a tyrannical regime running up the score against the American people.
Anyway, back to that hype thing now…
Think of the Kurt Warner era St. Louis Rams, “The Greatest Show On Turf” and the near masturbatory frenzy over that team that was in the end as soft as your average Freeper or Dittohead when it came to playing defense. Sure the Warner story was made for television canonization with a rabid Jesus freak gone from chucking cans of creamed corn at his local supermarket to heaving touchdowns to an ultra speedy corps of fleet footed receivers that nobody could figure out how to stop until it became clear that they developed serious cases of alligator arms when faced with a physical defense but the Rams were largely a creation of the media. They won exactly one Super Bowl with that sensationalized and prolific offense and that one was only by the grace of God as time ran out with the Titans inches away from the goal line and Eddie George and Steve McNair having worn down the Ram ‘D’. Of course they only got to the big game after a mysterious review call from the replay booth overruled a Tampa Bay Buccaneer catch by the lamentable Bert Emanuel that would have given Tony Dungy’s team a first down on the way to a game winning score that would have had network and league execs flooding their local suicide hot lines and even had iconic football diety John Madden practically screaming “What the FUCK?” but I am rambling.
The point that I am making is that the national establishment sports media can always be counted on to ride whatever bandwagon offers the most luxurious ride and is the easiest to drive, they sell us our sports champions the same way that they sell us our politicians, our junk food, our investment plans and our boner pills.
But I digress….
A Patriots loss may be phenomenal and the story of the century to the media but to even the casual, serious NFL fan it really wouldn’t be a surprise at all. Hell, it’s not like New England has been playing dominant ball the last month or so and were given all that they could handle by a hobbled San Diego Charger team coached by Norv fucking Turner for Christ’s sake to even get to the Super Bowl this year. The 2007 version of the “Greatest Show on Turf” has been downright ordinary since rolling the hapless Buffalo Bills by 46 points back in November. The unbeaten streak may be nice (and I am actually hoping that they cap it off just for the sake of shutting up all of those classless motherfuckers on the 72 Dolphins once and for all) but it is only intact because A.J. Feely finally remembered who he was and the Baltimore Ravens punk mentality combined with the refs for an assisted suicide that was worthy of Dr. Jack Kervorkian so all of that bullshit about the 18-0 juggernaut is just that – bullshit. As the maxim goes in regards to the NFL on any given Sunday…
The Patriots are definitely beatable what remains to be seen is whether the New York Giants are the team to finally put the spear through the dream season. The Giants DID manage to nearly upset the Pats back in week 17 and appear to match up well in addition to being on a king hell roll after having overcome the elements, a kicker who will never be confused with Adam Vinatieri (let alone Scott Norwood) when it comes to making the clutch kicks, the foaming at the mouth Colonel Nathan Jessup style dictatorial tyranny of coach Tom Couglin and the odds to even be in this game. Practically the entire country was pulling for the Green Bay Packers and a fairy tale end to the Brett Favre story until the clock struck twelve and Favre was once again transformed into an inconsistent, interception chucking geriatric in the NFC title game.
Truthfully though the Giants tenacious play against the Pats in week 17 is an illusion and in all likelihood they are going to be rolled in McCain country come Sunday evening. I watched that game too and the one thing that I really came away with was that the Pats were utterly bewildered that New York played what should for all intents and purposes been a meaningless game as though it were the fucking Super Bowl. It was 28-13 before New England actually started playing as though it were a real game and in the end they prevailed 38-35 in what was one of the season’s best games despite looking like one of those typical week 17 dogs where teams choose to rest their starters. The Giants then used the momentum of the game, trumpeting a loss like I have never really quite seen a team do to knock off the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and their megalomaniac leader Jon Gruden who had the best rested team to get knocked out of the playoffs in round one and a Dallas Cowboy squad embarrassed by their pussy whipped quarterback’s Mexico fuck safari with Jessica Simpson before feasting on Favre to get to Phoenix.
I wouldn’t count on the Pats taking the Giants lightly again and coming off of an easier than what logic would dictate path to the big one given the regular post-season Peyton Manning choke job they are healthy and motivated this time. I wouldn’t count on a repeat of week 17 and given the additional fuel provided by loudmouthed Giant’s receiver Plaxico Burress’ prediction I would definitely take the over on this one if I were a betting man. Despite my wishes to see a competitive game this one has the smell of one of those big time ass whippings of yore. I may be going out on a limb here but I say that Patriots put up at least 17 points in the first quarter on the way to a huge margin of victory along the lines of the stompings administered by those great 49er teams led by Joe Montana. I would predict somewhere along the lines of 48-17 or so although I really hope I’m wrong because I just want so see a good game so I can tune out the fucking commercials.
Now that I have done my sports analysis I need to at least comment on the societal aspects of sports in modern day society. Americans are totally fucking obsessed with games, trivialities and minutiae which serve the purpose of the system by acting as necessary distractions in much the same manner as the Roman empire’s panem et circenses or bread and circuses to those unfamiliar with the Latin tongue. While the American empire continues the long, slow slouch towards mass dumbness, despotism, bankruptcy and historical infamy it is imperatives that the frogs sitting in the pot are kept largely oblivious until dinnertime and our degraded celebrity saturated culture is only going to be able to suck in so many so therefore there is a need for games, contests and other amazing feats to enthrall the others. We have fighting contests, shows were people eat worms, talent shows for the talent deprived, fuckover fests that encourage the same deviant psychopathic behavior that is conducive to climbing the corporate ladder like Survivor and culinary contests like Iron Chef and the more peasant oriented eating contests that are occasionally featured on ESPN2 where consumption, gluttony and the vein bulging trench match collision of gastro goliaths are the freak shows that pass for competitive exhibitions are a sure sign of a rotting empire.
I may yet live to be 100 and will undoubtedly have seen a shitload of truly abominable things by then but I am reasonably certain that nothing will ever surpass the Philly Wing Bowl for a sheer and unpolished look at the spirit of America circa The Clinton-Bush years. You can take this one and seal it in a fucking time capsule! One night quite awhile back while channel surfing through the tsunami of cable television bullshit that is routinely foisted off as filler to the public I happened to stumble upon a show on some third rate network such as Food TV and was transfixed by the utterly unbelievable festival that was unfolding on the screen of my 27 inch Zenith. The show contained footage from something called the Philly Wing Bowl that was a surreal melding of arena football, heavy metal rock and roll, pop culture, sleazy sexuality and good ole all American gluttony. The purely primal competition that was on display was an exhibition of endurance and sexual bravado that was utterly oozing with raw prehistoric male machismo unseen since the days of Neanderthal fertility rituals or at least since the unstoppable duo of Flintstone and Rubble were still urling the rock around.
It was an astounding thing to behold. I was of course mesmerized by this glimpse into the strange netherworld of Philly fan distilled down to his purest form and unleashed in the circus maximus setting of a drunken mob of hooligans and borderline degenerates. This hoodlum swarm had gathered en masse at the Wachovia Center for a freak festival extraordinaire that had been sponsored by a local sports radio station and were likely strict adherents to the normal pattern of binge drinking that occurs prior to any Eagles home game where hooligans gather the day before to get liquored up and spend the time getting liquored up and rowdy on the eve of the great battle of the week. Of course it has never been quite the same in Philly since the days when Veteran’s Memorial Stadium was still standing.
The rodent infested house of steel and concrete hell known simply as The Vet was best known for the actual jail that was present in the bowels of the stadium and on game days was open for business as a judge conducted business on whatever member of the inebriated and ill mannered herd happened to be swept up by police who roamed the stands seeking to set examples to quell disorder. The Vet was a dank, stinking old remant of those cookie cutter stadiums where the defective plumbing pipes leaked beer and urine on the heads of passers by and where only the most evil of rodent vermin lurked like street gangstas defending their turf against that were the mortal enemy stray cats who also called the stadium home with the same vigor that possessed gangs of rowdy, drunken Philly Phanatics who prowled the 700 level during blowouts looking for hapless Cowboy, Giant and Redskin fans to mercilessly bludgeon or mirthfully sodomize just for the sheer hell of it.
In kind of a perverse way it was sad to see The Vet go, it was a time honored local tradition seeing pick up teams of rowdy, uncouth drunks playing ‘hockey’ on a rink of ice and frozen urine by using their feet as sticks to kick a frozen egg mcmuffin that someone had found in the trunk of their car along as a puck at 7:15 on the Sunday morning before a late winter Iggles game. Cheap thrills for the masses that went by the wayside after most of the contestants were forced out due to the increased costs of a new state of the art stadium, where seat licenses are peddled like Bolivian flake cocaine to those who can afford it. For the others, there was the cheap crack high of continuing to gather sans tickets in order to watch the home team’s contests on mini TVs in the parking lots and still participating in their tailgate parties on a frozen blacktop tundra where their unique little tribe cedes more of it’s former territory as the price of football goes up, being continually pushed farther and farther out towards the outskirts of the RV parking lots. But always they are loyalists and always faithful to their chronically underachieving but beloved Iggles.
But again I digress…
The Wing Bowl bacchanalia featured horrifying scenes of intense, pagan festivity that should never be seen by women or children or any other member of a civilized society the vignettes of this horror included a man who was wearing a studded black leather jacket and an actual pig’s head that was hollowed out to fit on his face like a mask strutted his stuff. Another contestant was wheeled in strapped to an upright gurney wearing a straitjacket and mask ala Hannibal Lecter. It is a searing indictment of the declining quality of American culture as well as symptomatic of an incurably sick society when a diabolical serial killer who also happens to a cannibal is glorified and elevated to heroic status but this is a topic for another time. The pre-contest ‘entertainment’ featured an amazing individual whose apparent greatest talent in life was bashing cans of beer open against his bloody forehead and then spraying the contents into the roaring crowd. Nice but this type of etiquette is fairly commonplace at Eagles tailgate parties. His demonstration was accompanied by 80’s hair metal band Quiet Riot’s teen angst anthem Bang Your Head over the arena loud speakers and which was met by thunderous applause.
If I personally was horrified after only ten minutes or so of such graphic imagery on Food TV it is damned near impossible to conceive of the outrage of actually having to attend this pagan ritual of gluttony in person or to imagine the stench. The air had to have been thick with the musky aroma of testosterone, stale tobacco, rotgut alcohol, congealed grease, rancid sweat and the spicy vinegar based red pepper sauce that the chicken wings had been dipped in prior to being laid out (in plates of 20) upon the altar of gluttony that was the bunting and banner draped banquet table row in front of the chosen fearless gladiators who would be vying for the dubious honor of being named KING WING!
Sluttishly garbed hoochie mamas called Wingettes strutted their stuff, parading around in G-strings, their shaved pubic areas and silicone enhanced breasts attracted and aroused the males in their immediate vicinity like pieces of raw meat thrown down in front of a horde of starving wild animals. The very presence of these women and their imitators only served to further crank up the testosterone level among the miscreant hordes that at best were a parade of utterly abominable, knuckle dragging, hairy fatsos who looked like they had collectively crawled out of the sensory deprivation tank in Altered States. They were mankind reduced to its knuckle dragging primal basic instincts, carnivores seeking to feed on the prized meat and then return to the cave to slobber over subservient female flesh in the aftermath of the hunt. A morbidly obese bare chested, bearded dude who looked a bit like Jerry Garcia only fatter, was wearing an Eagles baseball cap backwards and who had bigger tits than Pamela Anderson only much hairier grasped his set of gobdobblers and squeezed them together to further enhance their enormity…then he wiggled that hot sauce spattered pair of pink nosed puppies directly into the camera eye and straight into the living rooms of America!
You could practically hear the sound of hot rendered deep fryer fat sluicing through arteries as the arena horn sounded and the contestants dived into their plates discarding drummette bones as they ravenously pillaged. When the plates were clear of all but bits of coating swimming in hot sauce a wingette would shake her booty to the fore in order to replace it with another platter. The gallantry and gluttony were as unrelenting they were intense and the ten minutes or so of actual competition was heated indeed, ambulances circled the arena hoping to cash in on chokers or heart attack victims. By the time that the champion was crowned the floors were slick with vomited remnants of undigested, half chewed bits of fowl meat, grease, fried coating and hot sauce, it resembled an abattoir or the scene of some bloody atrocity. The real atrocity however is the fact that most of these losers were proud of themselves, they actually enjoy being grimy, inebriated, belligerent, miscreants who couldn’t get laid in a women’s prison if they had a pocketful of pardons. The definition of a hot date for the majority of them consists of a twelve pack of cheap swill and a copy of the latest issue of Penthouse.
In the aftermath of the carnage, the triumphant victor was borne forth on a wheeled cart pulled by four scantily clad ‘Wingettes’ to the lusty, full throated cheers of the crowd who paid homage to their victorious gladiator, the winner of this great contest of olympic proportions threw his head back and loosed a horrifying belch that not only rose above the din but rattled the plexi-glass boards that encircled the ice on which the mighty hometown Flyers soundly defeated their hated rivals the New York Rangers only two nights prior. The decibel level of that great discharge of pent up gastric fumes was so loud that it was as if King Kong himself had roared in primal, chest thumping rage. The champion was El Wingador whose triumphant and epic display of gluttony for the ages was immortalized by his ravenous consumption of 154 wings! 77 chickens paid the ultimate price so that this fat, drooling, slob could be anointed with the deified title of KING WING. The runners up, men with the nicknames of Kid Meatball, Winga the Hut, Kid Diesel, Doughboy, Lord of the Wings, Sir Wingalot, The Inhaleionator, Kid Knish, Massive Mike and yes, even Jesus himself were left to seek refuge from their disappointment in gallons of beer and then to slowly gather it back together for another run at the hallowed title next year, kind of like a white trash version of the Buffalo Bills. Maybe they can even line up Arlen Specter as a judge since it is his turf and he has so much fucking time on his hands.
I guess that I just had to get that off of my chest, so severe the nightmares have been over the years as does the Wing Bowl and if we have anything to truly be grateful for this weekend it is that el fascisto Americano Rudolph Giuliani has officially dropped out of the race for the White House. Now we can take some solace in knowing that the parallel reality of what Giuliani presidency would have meant for the first Super Bowl to be held in New York City with Il Duce himself crooning the national anthem in a Tony Bennett falsetto and the references to 9/11 would dominate the weeks of hype. There would have been the inevitable 9/11 tie ins including a state of the art reenactment of the devastation of the twin towers during a halftime show that will feature ‘patriotic’ music by country western stars like Toby Keith and Lee Greenwood among others. There would have been military marching bands, honor guards, flyovers, gospel choirs and the new mass reality television sensation of summary executions of several prominent liberals and other enemies of the state ad midfield. It would have been our very own Nuremburg rally only swaddled in stars and stripes instead of swastikas.
So Happy Fucking Super Bowl weekend! Fuck the wars, fuck the stock market, fuck the repression, fuck the futility and just fuck it all for four hours or so – let’s all just relish in that one hallowed thing that makes us all proud to be Americans.
By Ed Encho
I have decided to resume this series on influential figures who foretold the rise of flag wrapped fascism and looter capitalism after for some unexplainable reason leaving it to wither on the vine for awhile despite it’s popularity. The first three installments featured the legendary (and largely ignored other than when the corporatist Hillary Clinton invokes to prove her bogus left wing bonafides – he was the subject of her thesis) organizer and activist Saul Alinsky, former FDR Vice President Henry A. Wallace who wrote about what an American fascist would do in a now classic 1944 New York Times piece entitled The Danger of American Fascism and was eliminated withe extreme prejudice from the political scene for his anti-fascism as a result and General Smedley D. Butler who dared to call a spade a spade in his classic tract aptly entitled War Is A Racketas well as blew the whistle on a coup plotted by then captains of industry and banking against President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. This will be an ongoing if irregular series, typically I have no set thing that I want to write about and it is usually decided by whatever mood that I am in on any given day.
For this belated fourth installment in my little series I want to take a different tack by looking at the actions of a very influential albeit unmentioned figure and a leader in the corporatist war on America. Judge Lewis F. Powell Jr. was a Richard M. Nixon appointee to the Supreme Court and can be looked at in a historical perspective as the architect of the right wing infrastructure and father of the think tanks. Powell may not have fired the first shot in the class war that has gutted the middle class, redistributed wealth upwards and turned the mythical American dream into a nightmare of Darwinist debt slavery but his at the time secret 1971 memo to the Chamber of Commerce laid the groundwork for the looting spree and the rapacious piranha capitalism that was to come. The Powell Memorandumwas the manifesto of a malignant and cruel form of monopolist ‘fuck you’ capitalism that has now with the culmination of the looting spree and selling off of America for pennies on the dollar to sovereign wealth funds is beginning to feed off of itself kind of like that dude in the old Stephen King story Survivor Type in which a man stranded on a deserted island has to start hacking off pieces of his own body to eat in order to stay alive, or like a python consuming it’s own tail. I am going excerpt a few pieces of this very important historical battle plan against the working class here and there through this posting but you need to read the whole thing at the links that I have provided to get a real grasp of it’s raw monstrous magnitude.
The Powell Memorandum minced no words in laying out the threat to the abilities of huge corporations to anally rape the public with their toxic products and at one point essentially identified then consumer advocate Ralph Nader as public enemy number one (kind of like the uninformed did when he became a scapegoat for providing cover for Bush to steal the 2000 election in Florida but that is a story for another time). Notice the identification of the media and the college campuses as enemies of the system, in this document lay the seeds of the undeclared war against the middle class that has brought us to the brink of economic apocalypse brought on by a percolating deterioration of global stock markets that could blow at any time:
Dimensions of the Attack: No thoughtful person can question that the American economic system is under broad attack. This varies in scope, intensity, in the techniques employed, and in the level of visibility.
There always have been some who opposed the American system, and preferred socialism or some form of statism (communism or fascism). Also, there always have been critics of the system, whose criticism has been wholesome and constructive so long as the objective was to improve rather than to subvert or destroy.
But what now concerns us is quite new in the history of America. We are not dealing with sporadic or isolated attacks from a relatively few extremists or even from the minority socialist cadre. Rather, the assault on the enterprise system is broadly based and consistently pursued. It is gaining momentum and converts.
Sources of the Attack: The sources are varied and diffused. They include, not unexpectedly, the Communists, New Leftists and other revolutionaries who would destroy the entire system, both political and economic. These extremists of the left are far more numerous, better financed, and increasingly are more welcomed and encouraged by other elements of society, than ever before in our history. But they remain a small minority, and are not yet the principal cause for concern.
The most disquieting voices joining the chorus of criticism come from perfectly respectable elements of society: from the college campus, the pulpit, the media, the intellectual and literary journals, the arts and sciences, and from politicians. In most of these groups the movement against the system is participated in only by minorities. Yet, these often are the most articulate, the most vocal, the most prolific in their writing and speaking.
Moreover, much of the media-for varying motives and in varying degrees-either voluntarily accords unique publicity to these “attackers,” or at least allows them to exploit the media for their purposes. This is especially true of television, which now plays such a predominant role in shaping the thinking, attitudes and emotions of our people.
One of the bewildering paradoxes of our time is the extent to which the enterprise system tolerates, if not participates in, its own destruction.
The campuses from which much of the criticism emanates are supported by (i) tax funds generated largely from American business, and (ii) contributions from capital funds controlled or generated by American business. The boards of trustees of our universities overwhelmingly are composed of men and women who are leaders in the system.
Most of the media, including the national TV systems, are owned and theoretically controlled by corporations which depend upon profits, and the enterprise system to survive.
The Powell Memorandum goes on to lay the specific groundwork for an agressive, extremely well funded and highly organized counterattack that would shift the discourse through the creation of the think tank infrastructure that would grow to the point where it could saturate the media with pro-corporate propaganda, bully and intimidate critics, cultivate activists, pack the courts and do everything possible to stack the deck in favor of those to whom avarice is a religious dogma. A good resource for some of this is former GOP operative (now with the great watchdog Media Matters) David Brock’s excellent book The Republican Noise Machine which provides much detail on the rise of the neofascist corporate state that used the Republican party as a tool for domination and the furthering of corporatist interests. There is also a long essay by Steve Kangas out there which addresses the think tanks and potential CIA involvement that I would recommend checking out called The Origins Of The Overclass that fully examines the sordid history of the CIA which is nothing more than Wall Steet’s Gestapo having risen out of that bastion of the elite Yale University but that is something I will take a look at at some future point in this series. The parts that I am going excerpt briefly below about the quashing of campus freedoms, the review of textbooks and the intimidation tactics subtly proposed are something straight out of Nazi Germany and the plan to saturate the media with propaganda are on a level with Herr Goebbels himself:
Powell On Higher Education:
The assault on the enterprise system was not mounted in a few months. It has gradually evolved over the past two decades, barely perceptible in its origins and benefiting (sic) from a gradualism that provoked little awareness much less any real reaction.
Although origins, sources and causes are complex and interrelated, and obviously difficult to identify without careful qualification, there is reason to believe that the campus is the single most dynamic source. The social science faculties usually include members who are unsympathetic to the enterprise system.
What Can Be Done About the Campus
The ultimate responsibility for intellectual integrity on the campus must remain on the administrations and faculties of our colleges and universities. But organizations such as the Chamber can assist and activate constructive change in many ways, including the following:
Staff of Scholars
The Chamber should consider establishing a staff of highly qualified scholars in the social sciences who do believe in the system. It should include several of national reputation whose authorship would be widely respected — even when disagreed with.
Staff of Speakers
There also should be a staff of speakers of the highest competency. These might include the scholars, and certainly those who speak for the Chamber would have to articulate the product of the scholars. (Like Ann Coulter?)
In addition to full-time staff personnel, the Chamber should have a Speaker’s Bureau which should include the ablest and most effective advocates from the top echelons of American business.
Evaluation of Textbooks
The staff of scholars (or preferably a panel of independent scholars) should evaluate social science textbooks, especially in economics, political science and sociology. This should be a continuing program.
The objective of such evaluation should be oriented toward restoring the balance essential to genuine academic freedom. This would include assurance of fair and factual treatment of our system of government and our enterprise system, its accomplishments, its basic relationship to individual rights and freedoms, and comparisons with the systems of socialism, fascism and communism. Most of the existing textbooks have some sort of comparisons, but many are superficial, biased and unfair.
We have seen the civil rights movement insist on re-writing many of the textbooks in our universities and schools. The labor unions likewise insist that textbooks be fair to the viewpoints of organized labor. Other interested citizens groups have not hesitated to review, analyze and criticize textbooks and teaching materials. In a democratic society, this can be a constructive process and should be regarded as an aid to genuine academic freedom and not as an intrusion upon it.
If the authors, publishers and users of textbooks know that they will be subjected — honestly, fairly and thoroughly — to review and critique by eminent scholars who believe in the American system, a return to a more rational balance can be expected.
Equal Time on the Campus
The Chamber should insist upon equal time on the college speaking circuit. The FBI publishes each year a list of speeches made on college campuses by avowed Communists. The number in 1970 exceeded 100. There were, of course, many hundreds of appearances by leftists and ultra liberals who urge the types of viewpoints indicated earlier in this memorandum. There was no corresponding representation of American business, or indeed by individuals or organizations who appeared in support of the American system of government and business.
Powell On The Manipulation of Media
The national television networks should be monitored in the same way that textbooks should be kept under constant surveillance. This applies not merely to so-called educational programs (such as “Selling of the Pentagon”), but to the daily “news analysis” which so often includes the most insidious type of criticism of the enterprise system.12 Whether this criticism results from hostility or economic ignorance, the result is the gradual erosion of confidence in “business” and free enterprise.
This monitoring, to be effective, would require constant examination of the texts of adequate samples of programs. Complaints — to the media and to the Federal Communications Commission — should be made promptly and strongly when programs are unfair or inaccurate.
Equal time should be demanded when appropriate. Effort should be made to see that the forum-type programs (the Today Show, Meet the Press, etc.) afford at least as much opportunity for supporters of the American system to participate as these programs do for those who attack it.
Radio and the press are also important, and every available means should be employed to challenge and refute unfair attacks, as well as to present the affirmative case through these media.
The Scholarly Journals
It is especially important for the Chamber’s “faculty of scholars” to publish. One of the keys to the success of the liberal and leftist faculty members has been their passion for “publication” and “lecturing.” A similar passion must exist among the Chamber’s scholars. Incentives might be devised to induce more “publishing” by independent scholars who do believe in the system.
There should be a fairly steady flow of scholarly articles presented to a broad spectrum of magazines and periodicals — ranging from the popular magazines (Life, Look, Reader’s Digest, etc.) to the more intellectual ones (Atlantic, Harper’s, Saturday Review, New York, etc.)13 and to the various professional journals.
Books, Paperbacks and Pamphlets
The news stands — at airports, drugstores, and elsewhere — are filled with paperbacks and pamphlets advocating everything from revolution to erotic free love. One finds almost no attractive, well-written paperbacks or pamphlets on “our side.” It will be difficult to compete with an Eldridge Cleaver or even a Charles Reich for reader attention, but unless the effort is made — on a large enough scale and with appropriate imagination to assure some success — this opportunity for educating the public will be irretrievably lost.
Business pays hundreds of millions of dollars to the media for advertisements. Most of this supports specific products; much of it supports institutional image making; and some fraction of it does support the system. But the latter has been more or less tangential, and rarely part of a sustained, major effort to inform and enlighten the American people. If American business devoted only 10% of its total annual advertising budget to this overall purpose, it would be a statesman-like expenditure.
And Powell Lays Sums It Up…..
A More Aggressive Attitude
Business interests — especially big business and their national trade organizations — have tried to maintain low profiles, especially with respect to political action. As suggested in the Wall Street Journal article, it has been fairly characteristic of the average business executive to be tolerant — at least in public — of those who attack his corporation and the system. Very few businessmen or business organizations respond in kind. There has been a disposition to appease; to regard the opposition as willing to compromise, or as likely to fade away in due time.
Business has shunted confrontation politics. Business, quite understandably, has been repelled by the multiplicity of non-negotiable “demands” made constantly by self-interest groups of all kinds.
While neither responsible business interests, nor the United States Chamber of Commerce, would engage in the irresponsible tactics of some pressure groups, it is essential that spokesmen for the enterprise system — at all levels and at every opportunity — be far more aggressive than in the past.
There should be no hesitation to attack the Naders, the Marcuses and others who openly seek destruction of the system. There should not be the slightest hesitation to press vigorously in all political arenas for support of the enterprise system. Nor should there be reluctance to penalize politically those who oppose it.
Lessons can be learned from organized labor in this respect. The head of the AFL-CIO may not appeal to businessmen as the most endearing or public-minded of citizens. Yet, over many years the heads of national labor organizations have done what they were paid to do very effectively. They may not have been beloved, but they have been respected — where it counts the most — by politicians, on the campus, and among the media.
It is time for American business — which has demonstrated the greatest capacity in all history to produce and to influence consumer decisions — to apply their great talents vigorously to the preservation of the system itself.
I rest my case….
With the economy now on the brink of the abyss, the pocket Supreme Court once again having stripped the people of their rights to sue the bastard looters of Wall Street with their ruling that once again put another brick in the firewall to protect the oligarchy. With Justice Anthony Kennedy providing the swing vote to the Federalist Society fascist foursome of Scalia, Thomas, Alito and apple cheeked Johnny Roberts (their crowning moment was the effective nullification of Brown vs. Board of Education last summer) the interests of such grand scale purveyors of toxic snake oil packaged as ‘securities’ like Enron and those precious ivory tower investment banking houses the right of shareholders to seek damages against fraudsters and practitioners of financial chicanery has been rendered invalid. Of course you won’t see anything about this in the corporatist media that prefers to feature drooling, foaming at the mouth, wide-eyed Judas goats and barkers like the ridiculous Jim Cramer of “Mad Money” fame and ludicrously insulting sideshows like the Congressional hearings into the misuse of steroids in baseball (never mind the contradiction in not cracking down on the global narcotics rings that are largely overlooked by the CIA precisely because of the big bucks that the mega-banks book as profit due to ‘laundering’ drug money but that too is a story for another time) on their first day in session for 2008. The failure of the pocket media to give any credibility at all to the reformist John Edwards, suffocating him and his anti-corporate message in order to preserve the status quo by throwing in with the Clintons along with the aforementioned ruling are a testament as to the long-term effectiveness of Powell’s manifesto.
The huge influence of Powell’s manifesto on big business cannot be underestimated and it was implemented with maximum efficiency to change the nature of the discourse in America and to set the tone for the pollution of the media, the ongoing harassment of college professors by hate mongering clowns like David Horowitz and calculating monsters like Lynne Cheney and Joseph Lieberman and their front groups. The demonizing of the non-existent “liberal media” and the ludicrous concept of offering equal time to public relations hacks to rebut the truth is also a result of Powell’s blueprint. I would strongly recommend not only reading the actual document in it’s entirety but in getting it out to as many people as possible. With the system currently in it’s death throes it is of the utmost of importance to ensure that people know the truth about the forces that have ruined their lives. More importantly when the wheels do finally come off and the Wall Street house of cards collapses the same corporatists will be looking for scapegoats and with thugs like Rush Limbaugh (the latter day Father Coughlin) and his ilk there will be no shortage of those who will be blamed for a failed system built on greed and outright thievery.
May we live to see the day when the looter capitalism of Powell and his ilk will soon be taking it’s rightful place on history’s scrapheap of failed ideologies right alongside the equally oppressive and anti-human system of totalitarian communism.
-Rush Hudson Limbaugh III
A while back at my local grocery store I noticed that there was a big sign with red letters taped to the front of the service desk that emphatically stated: WE NO LONGER ACCEPT ROLLED CHANGE. Sad to think that things are now so bad inflation wise that people are having to pay for food using scavenged rolls of pennies but some enterprising genius is going around down here in Florida putting in machines that convert such coinage to an easy to debit card – for a fee of course. Of course the official government line is that inflation is not a problem but most lies are of course comprised of half-truths mixed with outright lies and and one of the great lies is that core inflation doesn’t include either food or energy costs, it’s right up there with capitalism and democracy being interchangable.
Howard W. Campbell Jr. from Kurt Vonnegut’s classic Slaughterhouse Five:
And just who are our national role models and heroes? Who is there that Americans should hold in the highest of esteem? Brittney and Lindsay and Tomkat and the Donald and Paris don’t do it. Our history has been scrubbed and sanitized by the economic royalists and the fascists to eliminate any mention of true heroes of the working class and of a real democratic society. The vast majority of those compliant little consumers that have for too long been churned out by a starved for funds and battered into submission school public school system that has been turned into a nationwide network of drone factories (one of the only things that we mass produce in America anymore) have never heard of those who sacrificed for those things that came to be taken to granted to the point where they are now being taken away.
Where is there any mention given of Eugene Debs or of Joe Hill or of Saul Alinsky or of Mother Jones? What about General Smedley D . Butler who called out the blood barters with his tract War Is A Racket and his exposure of the Business Plot where wealthy traitors schemed about a coup against FDR? What is taught about Huey Long? I mean other than the widely accepted narrative of a power mad, corrupt tyrant instead of the man who scared the living shit out of the elitist establishment with his “share our wealth” program that ade the New Deal look like Reaganomics. Long stood up to entrenched interests and the moral rottenness of looter capitalism, he built roads, bridges, hospitals and schools as well as provided free textbooks and he even dared to take on the almighty Rockefellers and Standard Oil. Long railed against institutionalized corruption with his “every man a king” type of populism and he was making dangerous noises about running for president. The ending of the Huey Long story is all too predictable and familiar: he was of course assassinated.
America is the wealthiest nation on Earth, but its people are mainly poor, and poor Americans are urged to hate themselves. To quote the American journalist Kin Hubbard “It ain’t no disgrace to be poor, but it might as well be.” It is in fact a crime for an American to be poor, even though America is a nation of poor. Every other nation has folk traditions of men who were poor but extremely wise and virtuous, and therefore more estimable than anyone with power and gold. No such tales are told by the American poor. They mock themselves and glorify their betters. The meanest eating or drinking establishment, owned by a man who is himself poor, is very likely to have a sign on its wall asking this cruel question: “If you’re so smart, why ain’t you rich?” There will also be an American flag no larger than a child’s hand glued to a lollipop stick and flying fom the cash register.
Americans, like human beings everywhere believe that many things are obviously untrue. Their most destructive untruth is that it is very easy for any American to make money. They will not acknowledge how in fact hard money is to come by, and therefore those who have no money blame and blame and blame themselves. This inward blame has been a treasure for the rich and powerful, who have had to do less for their poor, publicly and privately, than any other ruling class since, say Napoleanic times. Many novelties have come from America. The most startling of these, a thing without precedent, is a mass of undignified poor. They do not love one another because they do not love themselves.
And there are others, there are many others who risked all to end child labor, to fight for equality and the forty-hour work week and unemployment protection and workers rights, workplace safety and a right to basic human decency but they go largely unheard of. A good and easy to read book about the working class American labor movements that I recommend is Sharon Smith’s Subterranean Fire because let’s face it, it is a hell of a rock that has to be rolled up that hill and education is necessary in order for the necessary deprogramming to occur. Official history is always written by the victors rather than the vanquished and because most of lying is through omission the banishment of American progressives from our history is a calculated and cynical effort to distort and distract until the final goal of a massive redistribution of wealth upwards and offshore has been completed and the country has been bankrupted and beggared by the economic royalists. Then the looters will either retreat behind the walls of their gated communities, hire private security firms for protection from the unwashed masses or flee this goddamned husk of a once great economic power altogether, their loyalty has always been to green and gold rather than red, white and blue.
AMY GOODMAN: Paul Krugman, can you talk — I mean, in your book, The Conscience of a Liberal, you’re talking about the growth of the whole neoconservative movement over the years. Give us some historical context here and in parallel with the growth of the economic disparity between rich and poor.
PAUL KRUGMAN: Yeah. A big discovery I made in doing the research for Conscience of a Liberal is that politics has actually led the economics. It’s not that we evolved into a new Gilded Age and we developed a right wing to support that. It’s that we developed a right wing that wanted a new Gilded Age, and they got it. Really, you know, a lot of this goes back — there was always a back — there were always people who hated FDR, who hated the New Deal, hated Social Security, but in the ’50s, they couldn’t get anywhere. Eisenhower once wrote a letter to his brother saying that this is a tiny minority and they are stupid.
But in the ’60s, they found their feet. Goldwater is actually less of a — I mean, he seized the Republican nomination, but much more important is first Reagan is the first central figure, because he found a way to exploit, found a rhetoric to exploit the white backlash against civil rights without actually being explicitly racist. So he talked about welfare queens driving Cadillacs. He talked about welfare cheats. He talked about — but he became governor of California largely by campaigning against the fair housing law. Nixon found the tactics. Nixon — you know, the dirty tricks, and it’s amazing how many, not just the sort of legacy, but actually the people of the Bush administration are coming from the Nixon years. I mean, Roger Ailes of Fox News was Nixon’s media adviser, right? They found these tactics. They found the moneyed interests wanted — supported the takeover of the Republican Party by people who really wanted to roll back as much of the New Deal as they could, but they were able to win elections by exploiting other issues, primarily race. And they were able to achieve about twenty-five years of political dominance in this country, largely by flipping the South and, to a certain extent, winning over, you know, the sort of Reagan Democrats in the North who were really upset about what amounts to the backlash against the Civil Rights Movement. It’s an extraordinary story.
And they were able to transform the way — look, my favorite example is just how much politics has mattered. We think of the decline of the union movement, which has all kinds of consequences, as being something — well, you know, the world economy changed and unions just didn’t have a place anymore. But that’s actually not true. Every place else in the advanced world, unions are still a powerful force. In the 1960s, Canada and the United States had the same rate of unionization. Canada still has about the same rate of unionization that it had in the 1960s. In the United States, the movement has been — you know, is a shadow of its former self, and that’s because of union busting, which was made possible by a permissive political environment, Ronal Reagan firing the air traffic controllers. The National Labor Relations Board turning hostile toward union organizers creates the possibility for massive union busting, and that, not the global economy, is why we are what we are.
A Time For Heroes
But heroes aren’t limited to only those who achieved or paid the most, they include all who took a stand against injustice. They are largely anonymous but they numbered in the thousands if not millions. Their mettle is lacking in an America gone fascist and populated by fearful sheeple and hateful lemmings. While the economic diaspora of the looting spree and the ravages of globalization number in the millions there is no unity, no organization and until there is quite frankly there is little hope. It is up to us all to be heroes even if as David Bowie once sang “just for one day” and to educate, inform, prop up and instill some self-esteem in others. We must all work together in order to cast off the hairshirt and to take back that which has been stolen from us.
What can they do
to you? Whatever they want.
They can set you up, they can
bust you, they can break
your fingers, they can
burn your brain with electricity,
blur you with drugs till you
can’t walk, can’t remember, they can
take your child, wall up
your lover. They can do anything
you can’t stop them
from doing. How can you stop
them? Alone, you can fight,
you can refuse, you can
take what revenge you can
but they roll over you.
But two people fighting
back to back can cut through
a mob, a snake-dancing file
can break a cordon, an army
can meet an army.
Two people can keep each other
sane, can give support, conviction,
love, massage, hope, sex.
Three people are a delegation,
a committee, a wedge. With four
you can play bridge and start
an organization. With six
you can rent a whole house,
eat pie for dinner with no
seconds, and hold a fund raising party.
A dozen make a demonstration.
A hundred fill a hall.
A thousand have solidarity and your own newsletter;
ten thousand, power and your own paper;
a hundred thousand, your own media;
ten million, your own country.
It goes on one at a time,
it starts when you care
to act, it starts when you do
it again after they said no,
it starts when you say We
and know who you mean, and each
day you mean one more.