How about you?
Here’s one of my favorites.
A modern classic.
Ha ha ha. I love that story!
Can you imagine a world like that?
Sadly I can’t find any kids that want to sit down and listen to a story any more.
I’m not going to point the finger and accuse people of being inept. Because the simple, disturbing truth is there is a skill that has been largely overlooked by the American educational system.
I refer to the science of connecting the dots. I sure didn’t get it school. Did any of you?
So let’s begin to address this oversight.
I’ve provided a basic exercise below. Let’s start here and we’ll build on it.
Good luck! It’s not as easy as it looks.
Here is an excerpt from the transcript of a conversation between Bill and Hillary Clinton recently culled from the files of the NSA.
Classified (TS-SCI Poly Clearance Required): Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton. Cell phone interception, June 27, 2014, 10:34 pm.
Hillary: “I don’t know. That hope and change thing sure fooled a lot of people.”
Bill: “Yeah, but fool me twice. You know the drill.”
Hillary: “So what should I do?”
Bill: “You know what worked for me. Tell people what they want to hear. Then steal the agenda of the conservatives so you don’t get attacked from the right. Deregulate, bomb, suck up to Wall Street. It’s a sure winner. And you know what else clinched it for me?”
Hillary: “What’s that?”
Bill: “Playing saxophone. People loved that. Especially black people.”
Hillary: “I can’t play saxophone. You know how I hate putting things in my mouth.”
Bill: “That’s for sure . . . Hey! How about guitar?”
Hillary: “As long as I don’t break my nails.”
Bill: “I’ve got it! We’ll put you on a crash course and you can learn Stairway To Heaven. That’s it! It could be your campaign theme song. That would lock up the hippie burnout vote. You know, all those delusional airhead idealists who want peace, love and justice. OMG! I’m a fucking genius!”
Hillary: “Yes, Bill, you really are. Which is why I still love you . . . sort of.”
People ask . . . ‘Is Hillary Clinton a neocon-lite?’
My unequivocal reply? Nope. No way! Not a chance. Actually . . .
Hillary Clinton is a neocon-heavy.
She is a neocon wet dream!
If she’s elected, she’ll make Margaret Thatcher look like Mother Theresa.
Especially, since as the first female president she’ll be determined to show how tough she is, how she can hold her own, bombing, bullying, and bullshitting with the most bestial of the bellicose buckaroos and their bursting ball sacks of belligerence and bombast.
Hey! How many children starved to death under sanctions on Iraq after Operation Desert Storm? Half a million? Ha! Mere child’s play, my friends. And then after we destroy Syria, there’s Iran. That’s just getting warmed up. Then the real fun begins . . . Russia! . . . China! How many nukes have we got ready to lob at them?
Hillary is putting on a good show. She has the best handlers money can buy.
But don’t be fooled. Sweet talk is just that . . . talk.
It’s all on record. At least some pundits are paying attention . . .
Clinton as ‘Poster Child for the Military-Industrial Complex by Jacob Chamberlain
Hillary Clinton, the unrepentant hawk by Steve Chapman
Are Neocons Getting Ready to Ally With Hillary Clinton? by Jacob Heilbrunn
“More Of A Neocon Than The Republican Nominee” by Joe Scarborough
Hillary Clinton Flaunts Her Surveillance State Baggage by Robert Scheer
Good Riddance To Warmonger Hillary Clinton by Bob Dreyfuss
Hillary Clinton’s Militarism Exposed by Stephen Zunes
Hillary Clinton: Warmonger For The Bankster Elite by Charleston Voice
Hillary Clinton 2016: A Recipe For Endless War by Abby Martin
Sure, it would be nice to have our first ever female president. But let’s not have putting a bullet item in the history books override common sense and good judgment.
Yes, we should have a female president but . . . the right female.
Certainly not the Machiavellian Mrs. Clinton.
Maybe this one here.
Let me be clear about something here. When I talk about militarizing the police, I’m not just referring to equipment. I’m talking about a mentality __ a world view.
Militarizing anyone is a tough, convoluted process. As they grow up, even if boys are taught to be boys, they are also taught to love thy neighbor, be respectful of human life, thou shalt not kill, and so on. Then when taken into the military, everything is turned upside down and they are told: Okay, now forget about all of that, at least with respect to some subset of the human race __ the Japs, the Nazis, the Arabs, the Gooks, whoever. They are told that none of those old rules of kindness, even God’s sacred commandments, don’t apply. Those people over there are your enemies. You will show them no respect, no mercy, in fact, you are to destroy them, kill them without hesitation or remorse. And if you do a good job of slaughtering them, you will be lauded, decorated with medals, become a national hero, the object of admiration and praise. Chicks will dig you.
Okay . . .
What happens when the police start seeing themselves as an extension of the military, here not to protect and serve, issue the occasional traffic violation, give talks to kids in school about being good citizens, but to PROTECT THE HOMELAND against THEM?
And then what happens, when the average American citizen comes under suspicion? Suspicion of being a misfit, a troublemaker, a dissident, a traitor? Of not being “with us” but “against us”? Of being a commie-sympathizer, a towelhead, a jihadist? What happens when databases are being kept of potential threats, of people who allegedly fit some profile of being a terrorist, lists of citizens who allegedly fail to fall in line, and may well be trying to undermine our great country, sabotage the government, destroy the land of the brave, home of the free? What happens when the public is now seen as the potential enemy?
That’s the kind of militarization of the police we most have to fear. Because here’s what you get . . .
Enough said. I don’t want to be accused of being a fear monger or some wild-eyed Chicken Little paranoid. There’s more than enough of that going on already. But we’ve all been put on notice. The signs are there and we’ve been given fair warning.
Given how far along I believe the militarization of the police has already progressed, what is the government __ both the law enforcement branches and many agencies who provide non-security related services like the Social Security Administration and postal service __ preparing for?
Social order breaks down when people become desperate or angry. When they are both desperate and angry, the doors for massive insurrection swing wide open. What could precipitate such catastrophic and violent breakdown of our society?
In my view, there are a number of scenarios which are not entirely out of the question __ some say they are likely __ which could drive desperation and anger. These are, I might note, what the government think tanks themselves say they’re worried about.
The U.S. dollar as the reserve currency is already under assault. We have become grossly irresponsible and abused the enormous privileges we enjoyed for decades. Now the BRICS and several other nations are trying to get out from under the oppressive thumb of the U.S. banking cartels.
The supply chains for food and other necessities are long and fragile. It has been claimed, for example, that if the trucks, boats, planes and trains supplying the supermarket were to somehow be compromised, the shelves would be completely empty in just a few day. Then what? Hunger is a virulent and uncompromising enemy of social order.
The government has created such a vast pool of fear and paranoia, people have armed themselves to the teeth. Back in the 90s, the police beating of Rodney King set off huge riots across the country. Those were much calmer days than we have now post-911. With the grotesque polarization of the population on a vast array of issues, the U.S. has become a tinderbox. It’s hard to predict what the spark might be that will set it all off. But it sure doesn’t take a Nostradamus to see what’s coming.
With Syria, Iran, the Ukraine, the encirclement of Russia and China by the U.S. military, it is obvious to anyone looking that there’s a psychotic rogue element within the architecture of the U.S. government that is itching for a war. When it happens, with economies across the landscape on the brink of collapse and the fragile balance of peace in the world ready to shatter, this will mean conflagration and chaos like never before in history. If America in the midst of this insanity, were to go nuclear __ and yes, my friends, there are plans for it __ even if there’s no sizable retaliation and we survive, the U.S. will become a leprous pariah in the international community. However you stack it up, if we continue on our present course and are the instigator of a major war, America will end up bankrupt, scorned, isolated __ a pathetic shell of a once glorious nation.
Though you wouldn’t know it, with all of the “exceptionalist” blather and chest-beating jingoism that passes for patriotism in the media and spews from the pulpits of political power, America is widely resented, feared, despised. When the rest of the world can’t handle any more of our belligerence and turns on us, it won’t end well. We’ll go down kicking, screaming, throwing an epic tantrum.
That’s how federal agencies responsible now for civil order see things.
That’s what the local police are being militarized for.
That’s what they are preparing for.
With a few welcome exceptions, The ‘H’ Word and When Hope Becomes Hype have largely been judged as vicious attacks on President Obama, as in personal condemnation of the man. His administration is certainly fingered, because the specific lessons to be taken away are definitely germane and unquestionable timely. While there’s value in never repeating the mistakes of history, what’s the point of looking at Eisenhower or Coolidge when there are hard lessons to be learned right now? And how irresponsible it would be to not single out and identify those directly responsible for the destructive policies and evident treachery unfolding before our eyes in real time?
Let me candid about something: Fairly recently I concluded the President never intended to deliver on his promises. However, during his first campaign and the first few months of his presidency, I very much believed in Mr. Obama and took the man at his word, whereas many others, including Glen Ford of the Black Agenda Report, said he was not at all what he appeared to be. This was before the 2008 election.
While I’ve come to this same conclusion belatedly __ and that and that alone is the thrust of my two controversial postings __ I am not interested so much in berating Mr. Obama, as preventing the same mistake from happening again.
The same mistake would be Hillary Clinton. Or Jeb Bush. Or Rand Paul. Or any of the other duopoly pretenders to the throne who are already in the limelight in anticipation of the 2016 election.
What’s the difference between butterscotch and butter rum candy ? Sometimes I can tell. Usually they taste pretty much the same. Frankly it’s such a close call, it’s not worth any hand-wringing or long, involved debate about it.
That’s the choice we are faced with in our current political system. The truth is, Democrat and Republican are in the long view pretty much the same flavor.
They are two sides of the same 1% oligarchic corporate-owned coin.
Heads or tails?
It’s still a quarter. And it won’t buy you a cup of coffee.
So what in my view is the lesson we take from travesty of the last few elections? What can we learn from the play-for-pay politics of big money, epitomized by Obama’s currying the favor of corporations at the expense of 99% of the American public? What can we do about the stranglehold of Citizens United and McCutcheon? What is the alternative to the the Democrat vs. Republican dog-and-pony show which has made meaningful voting a fatuous exercise in futility? How can you and I as citizens of our democracy-in-exile make our voice heard above the din of cronyism and Beltway banditry? It’s really quite simple . . .
Just say ‘no’ to this sham. Just say ‘no’ to the fraud of Tweedledee-Tweedledum voting.
Just say ‘no’ to the duopoly which has as much relevance to real democracy as Monopoly has to the real economy.
Just say ‘no’ to the “lesser-of-two-evils” non-choice choice.
Vote your conscience, vote your principles. Do the right thing. Not the brought-to-you-by Monsanto or Morgan Chase or big pharma or big fossil fuel or media monopoly thing.
Here’s one really great thing that Obama has repeated over and over:
Yes, we can!
Yes, we can . . . say ‘no’ to the duopoly and start having real choice.
Support Bernie Sanders.
Support Jill Stein.
Support any “non-partisan” candidate.
Support those individuals who answer to you on election day . . .
Not Wall Street.
Not too-big-to-jail banks.
Not transnational corporations.
Not play-for-pay lobbyists and SuperPACS.
Not the Koch brothers and other sociopathic oligarchs.
Certainly not the corporate owned Democratic and Republican puppet parties.
Make your vote actually count for something.
Just say ‘no’ to duopoly.
The most visible and virulent, of course, are the sour puss Democrats. I understand how they feel. Which is why I have no respect for them anymore.
Disclosure: I was raised working class in Detroit, when unions were strong. I don’t think I even met a Republican for my first eighteen years. Certainly my parents, their friends, and everyone within 50 miles of the trailer park we lived in was Democrat. Until 1996, I voted as a knee-jerk Democrat.
So let’s get down to the nitty-gritty.
The presidential election of 2000 was decided in Florida. Almost 6,000,000 people voted. Al Gore lost to George W. by 537 votes. There were massive irregularities in the election, including 54,000 alleged felons who were disenfranchised of the right to vote. Most turned out to not be felons at all, and 54% of them were African-American, a demographic highly likely to have voted for Al Gore. Also, there were all sorts of problems with chads and double-voting, usually attributable to weirdness with vote tallying and the ballots themselves.
Having said that . . .
97,421 people voted for Ralph Nader. It is assumed that had these 97,421 people not voted for Nader, they would have voted for Al Gore and he would have swept the election.
But even before I get into that, why don’t they rail against the 538 registered Democrats who were too lazy, too drunk, too preoccupied, too busy shacking up with some honey, too hooked on some soap opera or sitcom, or maybe too stoned, to get off their lard asses and vote for Al? Why pick on people who made a considered, deeply principled decision to take a stand against the rabid conservatism of the right __ aka the Republicans __ AND against the sell-out and betrayal of the progressive left by the Democrats?
It’s no secret. Bill Clinton and Al Gore were responsible for tilting so far to the political right they gutted the Democratic Party of its core values. True progressives __ the kind of people who responded to Nader’s message __ comprising the 97,421 and voted for him in Florida, were finally fed up with the Democratic Party, its pandering to big business, its pathetic cowering to bubble heads like Newt Gingrich.
If Ralph Nader had not been on the ticket, most of those 97,421 would have stayed home. Because they __ like yours truly __ had had it up to their widow’s peak with the Beltway’s business-as-usual, resented Clinton’s pivot to the right, and were stunned if not horrified by the corporate takeover of the Democratic Party.
I admit I was charmed by Clinton. I loved his humor, his persona, his sax playing. He was __ and still is __ a brilliant speaker, a real charmer. But remember, this is the man who led the charge for deregulating Wall Street and the abolition of Glass-Steagall, initiated the subversion of the social safety net with his aggressive attack on welfare, and foisted on a gullible nation the horrible trade agreement known as NAFTA .
Yes … NAFTA!
I remember watching the debate between Al Gore __ who by then I found both articulate and in his robotic way extremely mesmerizing __ and Ross Perot. I recall my reflexive and now embarrassing rooting for Al, wanting him to put that ugly little jerk in his place. But guess what? Al was wrong! I was wrong! Ross Perot was dead on the money. NAFTA has turned out to be, just as Mr. Perot predicted, a very bad deal for America.
That was just the tip of the iceberg. Much of the Clinton-Gore agenda __ Mr. Gore’s commitment to the environment being the commendable exception __ turned this country completely around. But in the wrong direction!
When the 2000 campaign got underway, many of us were getting wise to this. Growing numbers of voters were becoming restless, disenchanted. I sat in the huge coliseum in Portland, Oregon where 10,000 people paid to hear Ralph Nader speak. That’s right, we paid for tickets like we were going to a Sting concert. That’s how desperate people were becoming for a presidential candidate who talked straight and made sense.
So let me take this a step further. Instead of blaming principled voters who used the ballot to make a genuine cry for real change, why not blame the Democratic Party for making a challenge from Mr. Nader a necessity? Why not blame all of the knee-jerk Democrats who maintained their steadfast, unprincipled and unthinking loyalty, despite the fact that the party was moving further and further to the right, abandoning the unions, abandoning their core working and middle class constituencies? The country then deserved and still deserves a real alternative, a choice which aligns with the vast majority of the voting public on most key issues. The Nader phenomenon was created by the gaping void left when the Democratic Party become the Republican Party Lite.
So Democrats, blame yourselves for Al Gore losing the 2000 election! Don’t scapegoat a man who has given forty years of his life to unselfish public service, has been a model of integrity, has always been open and honest about his views, never sold out, and has been rewarded with ridicule, mockery and every vile form of abuse our shallow and snide media clowns could whip up between games of Foosball and sniffing celebrity panties.
At the beginning of this article, I said there were two “they” factions who propagate the Spoiler Nader myth. The second set of “theys” is a little more stealthy. Please pay close attention, folks.
I’ll tell you who else benefits from this false narrative. The conservatives! The right wing! Because if the public can be convinced that the choice is only between Tweedledee and Tweedledum __ as Nader characterized the Democrat-Republican option __ there will never be a credible threat to their agenda.
The only occasion Democratic candidates __ generally fairly privileged and connected individuals who live more in the stratospheric upper reaches of society __ give notice to the needs of the working and middle classes are when they are challenged from the left. That’s why the New Deal became the agenda of the Democratic Party. The country was in turmoil and socialists and even communists were viewed as a legitimate threat at the polls. Same thing at the end of the 19th Century with the rise of the Progressives. When there is what is perceived as a real alternative to oligarchic, monopolistic, and corporate control, the Democratic Party must embrace progressive policies or get their butts kicked at election time. It’s pure politics.
But . . . if everyone can be convinced that voting for a third party is throwing away their votes, voila! No threat from the left. The Democratic Party makes its gradual but certain migration to the comfort and safety of Daddy Warbucks. Big money talks and politicians walk. But with their backs to ordinary citizens like us. With Citizens United and the recent McCutcheon decision by the Supreme Court, that is truer than ever before in our history.
So the other they __ the right wing of this country __ also want you to think there has never been or never will be a progressive option. “See what happens. You vote for those kooks and you end up throwing the election!”
I’d really like to think we’re smarter than this. But it’s not encouraging. Third-party voting is a tough way to go. I voted Green the last three presidential elections. As a result I suffer the constant taunts about throwing my vote away and being an air-headed chump. But I don’t for one second believe that I in any way furthered the evil juggernaut of the right wing in this country. I like to think __ perhaps too idealistically __ I’m just part of an awakening, a vanguard for what will turn politics in America around and restore something resembling the ideal of democracy to our nation.
There’s one other benefit . . .
I can sleep at night.