Friday, December 11, 2009

Chomsky: Government In the Future

The Real Enemy of the People

N oam Chomsky makes one grateful that we have access through, to his far ranging political insight and strenuous logic. Somehow, for me at least, the image and the sound of the voice combine to make for quicker absorption and comprehension of big ideas, although books are a good tool for preservation of thought in low-tech mode. Here is Chomsky recalling a ditty composed by a Canadian Economist on the subject of Globalization:
The poor complain, they always do,
But that's just idle chatter,
The system works for most of us,
At least for those who matter
Be sure to watch the alternative videos parts 2 and 3 of the Government in the Future, which will show themselves after this one is done.

Once you've established yourself in the basics of political theory by viewing the above series of 3 videos, then it is time to go to the issues which define the present moment in American history: namely, that America is not a Democracy.

So what is it?

Good Question!

America is something now called, technically: A Polyarchy.

A polyarchy is a type of government system put forward by none other than James Madison, (great American that James was, he said with his tongue way into his cheek)) which purports that the people don't really count for anything except as unknowing pawns who through propaganda are persuaded that it is their mission to protect and uphold the handful of the wealth and power elite.

How is this done?

Through the ownership and absolute control of the Main Stream Media. The most blatant example of this tactic is Rupert Murdoch's buying of the Wall Street Journal. And then eliminating whatever integrity of honest journalism the WSJ might have had. Another example which comes to mind because my local newspaper, The Statesman Journal, is run by the huge right-wing conglomerate, Gannett. So? What's the big deal. Try writing a letter to the editor which espouses a liberal point of view. See if they publish your letter. Based on my own experience, I'd say chances are not good. But they will fall all over themselves to publish a letter to the editor, from a tea-bagger, upholding the most extreme kind of Fox News propagandistic thinking.

And here is a short video which speaks to the Republican purview which says that the earth is an infinite garbage can. It also addresses the view that "the private gain is the public good." This is a gloss of the ideas about the so-called Free Market as put forth by Adam Smith in his book, The Wealth of Nations, which Crony Capitalists point to and quote till you want to puke. But the problem is that these Republican idiots did not really read the whole book. Had they read the entire book they would have seen that even Smith qualifies his theories with a warning that the Free Market must be equally available to the smallest citizen or none of it will work. Indeed Smith goes even futher and says that, "A nation is only as wealthy as it's poorest citizen!"

The private gain is the Public good theory was best encapsulated in automaker GM's dictum that "what is good for GM is good for the country." As we have seen, that view wrought immense destruction of our precious infrastructure. And indeed, in this speech, Chomsky adds that
it has long been understood that this view has consistently led to the utter destruction of the very culture which fostered such a notion.
The idea has been massaged by conservatives until it has been so corrupted that George Bush, who remarked that the Constitution was merely a piece of paper, and indeed, one that got in his way, could have so twisted the meaning to become perhaps the most appalling treasonous and downright criminal expression of an entire rogue administration, in American history. (Why is he not in Jail?) If the ideas of Freedom and Democracy are not infinitely valuable to each human being, and not just the mouthing of the words by brainwashed stooges who parrot what the power elite tells them to say, we are lost not only as a culture but as a species and as citizens in the Universe.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Deep Space Is Now Deeper

I Am The Universe and So Are You

A new view of the heavens. Scientists pointed the Hubble Telescope at nothing at all, they thought, and found that they had now photographed the deepest image of space ever photographed. They now had a picture of more than 3,000 galaxies which they hadn't known existed. This is a beautifully produced video with narration and an animated view of what they had got.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Global Economy Since 9/11

The End of Capitalism and Communism

T he old systems of both Capitalism and Communism have failed humanity. Both systems have been thoroughly discredited by their own shortcomings. Not by their enemies. Greed has afflicted so many in the first world as if it were a fatal disease like the plague. Greed has corrupted both the corporate system and government. We have seen the ways in which corporatism gives rise to corruption:
  • Built-in Obsolescense: product is designed to last until the warranty is done--- then it fails. Frequently a day later.
  • Then there is the issue of corporations buying out the United States Congress, both houses, to pass bills favorable to the corporations but unfair to consumers. We are watching this happen right now with the Health Care reform bill, now being debated in the United States Senate.
  • Government acts as the big umbrella corporation as if it were set up for the protection of the corporations; to insure greater corporate profit--- against the will and welfare of the American people. Thomas Jefferson, himself, began to rage against the corporations, and the banks, before the end of his presidential term. And Woodrow Wilson, though, in the beginning of his term, he was a corporate patsy, he later recanted, and before the dust had settled he accused the corporations and the banksters of crime and racketeering. John Fitsgerald Kennedy spoke out against secret organizations which sought to control American finance.
  • One feature of Crony Corporate Capitalism which is particularly onerous is Corporate Welfare, also known as Pigs at the Trough. This is a system where big corporations are given huge handouts of cash often in the billions, as gifts from Congress. At the same time, the same people castigate the poor for their slovenly ways and the right wingers make sure to cut their welfare payments, degrading the single mothers, calling them "Welfare Queens" who demand their entitlements!"

Make no mistake! These are not small crimes. These are the very crimes which lead eventually to the disintegration of civilization itself! Basically what has happened is that by becoming multi-national in their ever expanding quest for profit, many corporations have become treasonous national entities unto themselves.

This is a medieval construct.

If humanity is to survive, the greed must be reined in and tossed out. Otherwise, it all breaks down.

The Global Economy which is based either on Capitalism, or, in fewer cases, Communism, is collapsing. Both systems tend toward corruption. Consider The Socialist Nation of Viet Nam: Without an inspired leader such as Ho Chi Minh, the communist system has become totally corrupt. There is a reason unforeseen by Marx and by Adam Smith, a reason which cannot ever be denied or avoided. Namely, the human being, locked into an inflexible ideology (and all ideologies, by their nature, are inflexible) tends inevitably toward corruption of the rules.

When my wife and I were in Viet Nam, we learned from our Vietnamese guide, that, in Socialist Viet Nam, as in Capitalist countries, there is now an upper crust: A ruling elite class who have installed themselves, whether legitimately or not, as an unmoveable fixture of their culture. And through new laws and cronyism, they seek to prevent the rise of anybody else into their midst.

The Global economy is not merely on the verge of collapse! "The verge of collapse" has been the case for several decades now. Right now we are seeing the Global Economy in the process of collapse.

Here is another great documentary from Google. Commanding Heights, Part 3 of 3. It gives you an idea of the kind of profound educational experience of political and economic overview to be found by viewing a great many of these extremely well produced videos, such as this one and the 2 previous 2 hour installments. Even if you studied economics in College, everything has changed, now. But fear not, some of these videos can bring you up to date. Most were prepared originally as series for either PBS or the BBC.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

   Why we are at war again        

Who Wants War?

By Ron Paul

If anyone still doubted that this administration's foreign policy would bring any kind of change, this week's debate on Afghanistan should remove all doubt. The President's stated justifications for sending more troops to Afghanistan and escalating war amount to little more than recycling all the false reasons we began the conflict. It is so discouraging to see this coming from our new leadership, when the people were hoping for peace. New polls show that 49% of the people favor minding our own business on the world stage, up from 30% in 2002. Perpetual war is not solving anything. Indeed continually seeking out monsters to destroy abroad only threatens our security here at home as international resentment against us builds. The people understand this and are becoming increasingly frustrated at not being heard by the decision-makers. The leaders say some things the people want to hear, but change never comes.

One has to ask, if the people who elected these leaders so obviously do not want these wars, who does? Eisenhower warned of the increasing power and influence of the military industrial complex and it seems his worst fears have come true. He believed in a strong national defense, as do I, but warned that the building up of permanent military and weapons industries could prove dangerous if their influence got out of hand. After all, if you make your money on war, peace does you no good. With trillions of dollars at stake, there is tremendous incentive to keep the decision makers fearful of every threat in the world, real or imagined, present or future, no matter how ridiculous and far-fetched. The Bush Doctrine demonstrates how very successful the war lobby was philosophically with the last administration. And they are succeeding just as well with this one, in spite of having the so-called "peace candidate" in office.

We now find ourselves in another foreign policy quagmire with little hope of victory, and not even a definition of victory. Eisenhower said that only an alert and informed electorate could keep these war racketeering pressures at bay. He was right, and the key is for the people to ensure that their elected leaders follow the Constitution. The Constitution requires a declaration of war by Congress in order to legitimately go to war. Bypassing this critical step makes it far too easy to waste resources on nebulous and never-ending conflicts. Without clear goals, the conflicts last forever and drain the country of blood and treasure. The drafters of the Constitution gave Congress the power to declare war precisely because they feared allowing the executive unfettered discretion in military affairs. They understood that making it easy for leaders to wage foreign wars would threaten domestic liberties.

Responses to attacks on our soil should be swift and brief. Wars we fight should always be defensive, clearly defined and Constitutional. The Bush Doctrine of targeting potential enemies before they do anything to us is dangerously vague and easily abused. There is nothing left to win in Afghanistan and everything to lose. Today's military actions are yet another futile exercise in nation building and have nothing to do with our nation's security, or with 9/11. Most experts agree that Bin Laden and anyone remotely connected to 9/11 left Afghanistan long ago, but our troops remain. The pressures of the war racketeers need to be put in check before we are brought to our knees by them. Unfortunately, it will require a mighty effort by the people to get the leadership to finally listen.

Ron Paul is a Republican congressman from Texas.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Excellent video if I could only remember what it is. The embed code doesn't give me a clue. I want to try out this beautiful new drop cap from the Daily drop Cap by Jessica something. This drop cap code in html business is really very trying. If you miss even a single dot or a space or if you don't say your prayers or drink the wrong brand of coffee, whatever, the code will not work. Don't know why this is so skittish but there we are.