Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Simple Explanation: Part Three

A Simple Explanation, In Three Parts

Part Three: What to Do?

We’ve seen from the DEBIT MAP who basically runs our government. We understand the dynamics of the Myths of Liberalism and the Cult of Conservatism that keep the corporatocracy in power. It’s a daunting situation facing the Americans who want some real democracy in their government.

The bottom line is hope for real change and progress lies with “we the people”. If we don't do it, no one else will do it for us.

Work needs to be done to elevate the public consciousness and conscience. This can be done. Over the years Americans have slowly become more aware of environmental issues and grew to accept re-cycling, and energy conservation. They are learning more about global climate change. Especially since the Bush Administration’s muzzle on climate science has been removed.

American citizens are becoming less enthused about our endless wars and occupation. We can still have the most powerful military in the world, even with a massive shift of funding to education and health care.

Education must be accompanied by motivation for the people to understand their part in the process of democracy. Along with math and science, Americans need to learn more history and civics. Instead of posting the Ten Commandments in city halls and courthouses, let’s put the Constitution there instead. If conservatives insist on a pledge of allegiance to the flag, maybe we should insist on a pledge to the Bill of Rights, especially from public officials.

The public must be made aware that their vital interest in government lies in their Constitutional rights. They need to know they are entitled to their general welfare clearly stated in the “We the people” introduction. Also, section 8 of the Constitution provides Congress the power to “collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States”. How can there be general welfare without education, employment, and health care, along with the protections of the entire Bill of Rights? Next time you see a tea bagger griping about taxes, ask them if there‘s a Constitutional basis for all that oppressive taxation they suffer. They likely won’t know, of course. Then you can inform them, and ask why they hate the Constitution of the United States of America.

Democracy is not given to us. We need to fight for it, take it and hold it. Americans have been lulled by corporate media and the Cult of Conservatism into an unconsciousness of this need for the maintenance of democracy. Voting for one corporate candidate over another corporate candidate does not make a democracy.

This brings us to a scary word. But there’s no real reason for anyone to fear this word. Due to the Cult’s lies and deception, many Americans tremble in anger and trepidation over the very word socialism. The Cult’s demonization of socialism must be challenged as the propaganda it is.

They freely interchange socialism with communism to the point where the Cultists think they are the same thing. They are not. Remember, communism is a system of single party rule. You know, like we had under Bush. Democrats are too diverse to rule with the lockstep ruthlessness of the Republicans.

Millions of people are living happily in socialistic democracies. Every socialized program in the US is wanted by the public.

We have a socialized military, socialized law enforcement agencies, and socialized fire departments. The V.A. is socialized medicine vital to the well-being of veterans. Medicare is socialized medicine. Our interstate highways and bridges are a socialized transportation infrastructure. The Postal Service is socialized mail delivery. Why should we be afraid of the mailman? Why should we be afraid of Social Security?

In fact, everything run by government is socialistic. That means the public has ownership. Imagine if every government service was privatized, the taxpayers would have zero input and control. Who would be the first to receive police, fire and health care protection? Well, the “free market would decide” on that. And we all know the market decides in favor of the wealthiest, first and foremost and always.

Americans need to understand democracy can exist and even prosper under socialism; it cannot exist under unregulated corporatism.

Democratic socialism allows civil liberties and freedoms intolerable under the fascistic trajectory of a corporatist national security state. The Bush/Cheney Cartel built the foundation of a police state. Their violations of law must face judgment and their deeds undone. To the degree the rule of law does not apply to its leaders, the US Government is a rogue regime.

We must have an educated and active public that participates in the process of democracy. As Thomas Jefferson said, “No country and no people can be free and ignorant at the same time. The price of freedom is eternal vigilance. Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government."

It can’t be made any clearer than what old Tom said. The lessons and consequences of ignorance and apathy, not to mention the antiquated Electoral College, were made quite clear by the Bush years.

We know how to reverse the DEBIT MAP corporate lock on power. Democracy’s requirements are not secrets. Well, not yet, anyway. There are some ways to promote democracy without radical change. Having proportional representation, hard copy ballots, and instant runoff elections would help. And dumping the Electoral Collage would be an improvement to the situation. But, there are deeper issues.

To restore the process of democracy, we need to take four crucial corrective measures:

1. No more legal corporate personhood. A corporation is not a human being.
2. No more "too big to fail" financial institutions. They are toxic to our economy.
3. No more media monopolies. More voices and views, not fewer, are needed.
4. No more corporate money, and no more union money, going to federal election campaigns. We need publicly financed federal elections...NOW.

These four big issues are beginning to get more attention than ever. Here’s one example. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) introduced new legislation in just two pages called the "Too Big to Fail, Too Big to Exist Act". It calls for Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to "submit to Congress a list of all commercial banks, investment banks, hedge funds and insurance companies that the Secretary believes are too big to fail."

It then says, one year after the law is enacted, the Treasury Secretary would be required to "break up entities included on the Too Big To Fail List, so that their failure would no longer cause a catastrophic effect on the United States or global economy without a taxpayer bailout."

This is the beginning of a good idea, and word of this idea needs to be spread.

The Cult of Conservatism has been spreading misinformation and outright lies for a long time. It’s time to join the battle for truth.

The corporate media monoliths can be countered with a reinstituted, corporate-free, truly Public NPR/PBS style journalism. So we don’t have to rely on just the “internets”. The surviving print media needs to hear from us.

Progressive talk radio is finally becoming more established. They should reach out more to find common cause with those conservatives who may agree to some dialog other than dueling sound bites. This can be done. Thom Hartmann often has conservatives on his show.

New legislation on corporate personhood and public finance of federal election campaigns can be accomplished if enough people push the politicians hard enough. The people just need to participate in the process.

It’s time to bring to the public discourse the urgent need for real democracy. It’s time to identify, promote and elect representatives who understand the need for these measures. And it’s time to remove the corporatist politicians.

What can we ordinary citizens do to make a difference?

First of all, vote. We can still vote, and the more of us that do vote the better.

Second, be informed.

Follow the corporate money that buys their politicians’ services at opensecrets.org.

Follow the politicians’ misbehavior and help hold them accountable with the watchdogs at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

There are organizations of free thinkers and real optimists out there who work hard for the cause of democracy. Two important filters of truth and fiction in the swirling media madness are Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting and Media Matters for America.

Besides the more well known Daily Kos and Huffington Post, good sources of vital information and thoughtful progressive views are offered by Buzz Flash, Common Dreams, Democracy Now, TPM (Talking Points Memo), and Truthout.org.

Support them and share their information.

And here’s what I think is very important. As long as I have a nickel to spare I will contribute to the ACLU. Their tireless defense of our Bill of Rights needs all the help we can afford to give. They are doing what is most important. We all owe a debt to the ACLU for bringing to light the torture and warrantless surveillance crimes of the Bush Administration. It would take far more than this Simple Explanation to discuss all they do for us. Please help them. Remember, freedom can’t defend itself.

And third, be active.

We need citizen participation in a strong social and political movement for democracy in America. Don’t tell me there’s nothing progressives can do outside the system. Let’s remember when Beck called Obama a racist. It was not the reaction of his fan base that pulled the advertisers by the dozens out of his hour. Let’s remember Lou Dobbs. He and/or his bosses felt the heat from progressives and now he’s off to spew his anger in radical right wing radio or Fox.

Advertisers listen to the public and corporate media listens to advertisers.

We need to unite and motivate American citizens to call, write, e-mail, call again, and face their politicians. They won’t do anything until we rattle their cages and let them know we’re mad as hell and sick of corporatism. We want our Bill of Rights back. Even educated traditional conservatives do.

I know this may sound futile and even foolish to the more cynical types.

Since third parties cannot gain sufficient access at the federal level, and democracy is not a spectator sport, we need to infiltrate and reclaim the Democratic Party. Ordinary people need to rise to the challenge. There is no other way to gain representation of the public interest. The republican wing of the Democratic Party needs to be purged. We cannot survive with both parties owned entirely by Big Money.

Check out Democracy for America. They are promoting progressive values and politicians who share those values within the Democratic Party.

People can actively work to restore American Democracy. Left to themselves, politicians will, at their best, do nothing to change the status quo; and at their worst, they facilitate more corporatism. We the people need to remind them they are supposed work for us. We pay their salaries. And we need to push them to do their real job and represent the people’s interests.

Let’s turn the focus from the corporate tea bagging shills and stooges. If they get all the attention, we deserve to be shut out. There are plenty of Americans other than the Foxsuckers cheering republican obstructionism. In fact, we are a larger group than they are. We just don’t get the corporate money to bus in the masses to a rally. The Anti-war rallies in 2003 were far larger than any Tea Parties, but they were ignored because they were not corporate sponsored and media fed.

We are not helpless and doomed to slide into the subclass of corporate servitude. We have the numbers to support our cause. What we lack is organization, communication and coordination of purpose.

As I said we need a vast shift of consciousness. This is happening. Even conservatives are starting to think something is wrong. Their problem is they are listening to Republicans. Liberals have voted Democrats into a majority. Yet, they know something is still wrong. Their problem is they are listening to Democrats.

Liberals need to talk with conservatives and reach the realization that this is not about Left versus Right. This is not capitalism versus socialism. This is corporatism versus democracy. Some conservatives are waking up to the fact that the Republican Party is not working in their interests. Liberals are waking up to the fact that the Democratic Party is not working in their interests.

Remember, there are traditional conservatives out there who want the Bill of Rights to stand. There are conservatives who opposed the Neocons’ war agenda and the Bush/Cheney surveillance state. Not all conservatives are of the Cult.

Just recently some of these conservatives addressed the trial of Gitmo detainees in New York City. The Cult is screaming as if a bloody Armageddon of terror will sweep over us if we dare bring the terrorists into our country for trial. Former congressman and presidential candidate Bob Barr, American Conservative Union chairman David Keen, and Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist are actually supporting the administration's decision to try and imprison terrorists in the U.S., and even wrote, "The scaremongering about these issues should stop."

We liberals need to tell these non-Cult conservatives we are with them on some important issues. This will require civil and diplomatic relations between camps. Someone has to be the first to advance this alliance. It may as well be us. We need them to understand we are on THEIR side, not Limbaugh’s, Hannity’s, and Beck’s. The multi-millionaire media Cult leaders are proven liars. We have the truth on our side and the truth can set them free from their Cult.

It’s time working class conservatives and liberals realize they have many common concerns and agree that both parties work for Big Money. If liberals and enough non-indoctrinated conservatives come to understand they have both been betrayed by the two parties’ corporatist ways, maybe they can cooperate in efforts toward democracy.

Where there’s unity for democracy there’s real hope.

Yes, this notion can be called nothing more than a dream. It may always be just a dream. But, it’s not just my dream. Some dreams come true. Some dreams grow into greater human consciousness and eventually into a movement.

Think of democracy as a supply and demand commodity. There will be no supply unless we demand it.

If enough of us work together and educate and motivate enough of the public, we can still nurture the American Dream. And just what is the American Dream? Is it about acquiring as much wealth and power as we possibly can? I don’t think so. That would be corporatism.

One of the few great Republicans told us what the American Dream is. “That this nation shall have a new birth of freedom; and that this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Now this sounds like the American Dream our founders fought and died for. This is what we must struggle for in our time, and in our lives. It’s the American thing to do. It’s the patriotic thing to do if we love freedom.

We have to believe it’s not too late to accomplish these things without a civil war and reconstruction; without systemic collapse and restructuring. It could very well be past the point of no return for American Democracy if we fail to actively participate in revitalizing what’s left of our democratic process. Democracy won’t happen on its own accord. It is up to we the people.

While it is true much of America’s struggle for freedom has been through armed conflict, America’s greatness cannot be measured only by victories in wars.

It is measured by how we preserve and protect freedom and democracy. War should be only the last resort for this purpose. Much is also done through the determination and commitment of citizens to follow the moral imperative that our cause of liberty demands here at home.

It is for all freedom loving Americans to rise to the struggle, and devote our efforts to advance, preserve and protect freedom and democracy.

Our history has been a long fight for freedom. We are a part of this history. And we are part of the future. We carry on the fight for freedom, for ourselves, for our families, for our communities, for our nation, and for our future.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Simple Explanation: Part Two

A Simple Explanation, In Three Parts

Part Two: Myths and a Cult

We now see the main problem with the US Government is clearly the overpowering of American Democracy by corporatocracy.

Just last Sunday, a New York Times article featured a classic story of corporatism at work. This was something straight off the DEBIT MAP. In the “debate” on health care, 42 representatives entered statements into the Congressional Record directly from talking points handed to them by lobbyists working for Genentech, a subsidiary of the Swiss drug giant Roche. 22 Republicans and 20 Democrats submitted similarly worded claptrap about research and jobs and a provision that would give the Food and Drug Administration the authority to approve generic versions of expensive “biosimilar” biotechnology drugs.

And then there were the insults added to the injury. A lobbyist close to Genentech said: “This happens all the time. There was nothing nefarious about it.”

Right, there’s nothing nefarious about corporations writing our Congressional Record, just big business as usual.

Indeed, there certainly couldn’t be bribery here from the corporate campaign donors. Evan L. Morris, head of Genentech’s Washington office, said, “There was no connection between the contributions and the statements.”

Yes, how could anyone possibly imagine such a connection?

Who’s responsible for this ongoing calamity? What is sustaining this mess?

This brings us to the Myth of Liberalism and Cult of Conservatism.

“Wait a minute”, you may be saying. “I know a lot of liberals and a lot of conservatives. I have liberal neighbors who are quite real. And my parents are conservative, but they are not Moonies.”

That’s true. In fact most people are not totally liberal or totally conservative. Almost all of us share opinions and views from both perspectives. Almost all of us want public safety, public education, and yes, public health. We all want jobs, prosperity and security.

And it’s true both liberals and conservatives are opposed to government abuse of power. Liberals, and a few conservatives, see abuse of power in warrantless surveillance, indefinite detention without charges, torture, and war based on falsehood.

Conservatives, and a few liberals, see abuse of power in bureaucracy, the Department of Education, “unfair” taxes of wealth, Medicare, Social Security, and other public services they call entitlements.

As long as inflexible ideology is not in the mix, there can be common ground with most Americans.

Real liberalism exists as much as conservatism in the public. It’s another story with government. Liberalism has been not only institutionally discouraged in government by the entrenched power of Big Money, it has been actively libeled and slandered by the radical Right. The Right has unilaterally defined the terms and the issues, and framed the debate to their advantage over the past few decades.

The real struggle, of course, is not between liberals and conservatives. It is between corporatocracy and democracy.

The Myth of Liberalism becomes clear when we look at how few liberals there actually are in government. Beyond Sanders, Feingold, and Franken in the Senate, I have a hard time seeing many more. I’m sure there are more than three liberals in the House. Let’s be generous and say about ten percent of the Senate and House of Representatives are liberal. What are they going to do against the ninety percent who do the bidding of their corporate masters?

Contrary to the Right Wing media circus, liberals have not been in charge in decades. And they still are not in charge.

Look at the financial collapse. If liberals were in charge we’d never have de-regulated Wall Street. Clinton was a company man working with the Republicans. It was not liberalism when Obama joined the Bush Administration in the TARP bailout for the banksters.

Look at the health care debacle. If liberals were in charge we’d have a single payer system of health care in this country. Instead we see endless haggle over a so-called public option that still channels money into insurance company pockets. It was not liberalism we saw when Obama met with big Pharma and let them set terms for their participation in the health care debacle.

Look at foreign policy. If liberals were in charge we’d have fewer dead soldiers, or none, returning to our shores. It was not liberalism we saw when Obama sent more troops to Afghanistan. Instead we’ve seen an escalation of troops in Afghanistan and pressure for more.

Look at our state of justice. If liberals were in charge we’d see Dick Cheney on trial for war crimes. Instead we see him fear mongering and undermining democracy at Fox.

It’s plain to see the influence of liberalism at the federal level has been reduced to non-existent.

The Cult of Conservatism, on the other hand, is thriving. And no wonder, it has all the money of corporate America behind it. With that financial leverage, the Cult of Conservatism has enormous access to corporate media. As we all know, money talks. And it talks incessantly in the mainstream corporate media and the Right Wing media of talk radio and Fox.

The Cult of Conservatism does not include all conservative people. I’m not necessarily referring to the fiscally prudent or socially reserved common folk. Many people live a conservative personal life style that doesn’t have much to do with politics.

The Cult of Conservatism is the right wing propaganda arm of corporatism. It is the authoritarian voice of a system of indoctrination. The purpose of the Cult of Conservatism is to sell a belief system. They need people to accept without question the idea that conservatism is good and everything else is evil.

The conservatism they promote is based on emotion, not on reason, logic, or fact. Their conservatism is devoid of compassion, love, and concern for the health and well-being of everyone outside their Cult, who is not a fetus. The emotional component of this conservatism is based on manipulation of ignorance, resentment, racism, fear and anger.

The only love exhibited in their world is for wealth and power. They embrace a system of authoritarian social control, through unrestricted surveillance by law enforcement and harsh punishment for those convicted of crimes. Of course this does not include corporate criminals and Republican politicians like Scooter Libby.

Their belief system embraces militarism and war over diplomacy and peace. Patriotism (to the flag, not the Constitution) is their primary virtue, along with obedience and loyalty to the Cult leaders. Above everything else is blind devotion to the bottom line of corporate profit. If more money was made through peace than war, they would be pacifists. Their god is Mammon, cloaked in a superficial facade of pseudo-Christianity. They do not love their neighbor and they do not love their fellow man.

They need the common folk to embrace an ideology that is openly hostile to their economic interests. For the corporatists to prevail, their politicians need the support of those people that would not share the benefits of their agenda.

Thus we were constantly deluged with their messages. For years the Cult worked to undermine, subvert, and destroy the very idea of liberalism. It cast liberals as unpatriotic for not blindly adhering to nationalism, militarism, and corporatism. Liberals were called treasonous for questioning the Bush/Cheney warrantless surveillance and torture crimes.

The Cult worked endlessly to demonize liberalism as ungodly satanic legions of secular humanists out to slaughter babies and burn the flag. The indoctrination is hammered in endlessly. Government can’t do anything right. Government is always the problem. Big Government is bad. Taxes are bad. Tax and spend Democrats are bad. Government regulation of business is very bad. Regulation and public services are socialism. And socialism is very, very bad.

This propaganda is crucial to the success of the corporatocracy behind the Cult. They run a thriving propaganda operation that has successfully redefined important terms through which to push their agenda. The Cult has been quite adept at manufacturing its own myths to confuse the people.

Perhaps the most famous myth from the Cult of Conservatism is the “liberal media”. You see, all the Cult had to do was substitute the inaccurate word “liberal” for the accurate word “corporate” to create their myth. Everyone has now heard the myth of liberal media. This lie has been repeated so often by so many that it has become accepted by at least half the American public.

The Cult has redefined the Estate Tax on inherited wealth as a “Death Tax”. Most Americans would rightly not be overly concerned with how much poor little rich kids scoop up when the wealthy Old Man who was never home finally croaks. Notice how falsely calling it a Death Tax not only gets attention, it throws in a little fear mongering as well. Death scares everybody, right? Now the Death Tax myth frightens those poor people who would otherwise never have heard of an Estate Tax.

This worked so well, the Cult decided to call health care counseling a “death panel’. See the pattern here?

The Cult claims to represent freedom. And they do in a limited sense. According to Cicero, “Freedom is participation in power.” The Cult of Conservatism has a great deal of power. But their freedom and power is not democracy and freedom for America. It is freedom for the power of wealth.

The Cult must be exposed and its victims need de-programming. This will not be easy. The indoctrinated believers have had their senses of fear, anger, frustration and confusion manipulated and aggravated for a long time. They are suspicious of ideas not fed to them by the Cult.

This indoctrination is so powerful the followers can’t even see the obvious fact that the interests of private and corporate wealth are always held over the interests of the public welfare. The cultists are enraged over health care to the poor and oblivious to the vastly larger corporate welfare handouts to Big Money.

Remember the Cult of Conservatism plays the God card to these frightened souls. As with the Divine Right of Kings, God’s will is invoked as the guiding force behind the Cult. This Cult is as medieval as witch burning and inquisitions. They are proponents of execution and torture. Humanity is not so far removed from the Dark Ages.

The Cult frightens people with horror stories of a non-existent myth of gun control. It promotes imaginary myths of threats from different sexual orientation. Fortunately the God, gays, and guns fabrications and hysteria are losing their hold on folks. I can see some hope in these strange and cruel times.

Let’s compare the results of the latest efforts by the Cult of Conservatism to the efforts of its opposition.

We’ve seen the Fox/Republican Tea Parties, and the angry True Believers carrying ridiculous signs of the fictional “Death Panels”, “We Come Unarmed: This Time”, and “National Socialism Death Camps”. There was nothing positive or constructive or helpful to any person accomplished by these rallies.

Now contrast this image with the reality of a “Life Panel” in Louisiana. There was a free health clinic for the uninsured in the convention center in New Orleans. Over a thousand people without insurance were treated. Some had life-threatening diseases like hypertension and diabetes diagnosed. They surely would have eventually been among the thousands of Americans to die without health coverage. Now they at least have a start towards treatment. This was made possible by donations from compassionate Americans in response to Keith Olbermann’s Special Comment on Health Care.

Some real and tangible good is being done. My friends, there are grounds for optimism.

The True Believers are finally becoming more marginalized. We can be thankful for the Tea Parties, where the Hannity insanity-afflicted, Beckerheaded Foxsuckers expose the rampant raging lunacy within their group.

The Cult of Conservatism is finally being challenged by some voices, albeit relatively few, in commercial media. Air America radio and the three evening hours of MSNBC are still dwarfed by the machinery of talk radio and 24/7 right wing propaganda from Fox. But there are others out there doing their part in the struggle for democracy.

What can we do to make a difference? We’ll discuss this in part three of A Simple Explanation.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Simple Explanation: Part One

A Simple Explanation, In Three Parts

Part One: What’s the Problem?

Here we are now, over a year since the historic election of America’s first non-white male president. And coincidently, today marks the tenth anniversary of the Financial Services Modernization Act, also known as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999. We’ll get back to this later.

So here we are, living in the bright new era of hope and change and transparency of government, right? No more of the senselessly cruel and illegal Bush/Cheney wars. And the time has come for those war criminals to face justice, right? No more abuses of our Constitutional rights from the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act, the Warner Defense Authorization Act, and Bush’s FISA Amendment. No more warrantless surveillance of citizens and extraordinary renditions to other countries for “special treatment”. And thank goodness we have no more shrouding and obstructing of justice with claims of state secrecy for national security, right?

No? Well then at least we have Americans finally getting something back from the government through greatly expanded, affordable health care, uh, right? At least the American public is happy about something these days, aren’t they?

They’re NOT? There’s a mass of dense-minded citizens who are duped into believing that anything to expand health care coverage beyond the clutches of insurance companies is socialism...communism.....fascism??

Oh, dear.

You mean to tell me things STILL really suck? We need some answers here, don’t we?

All right, I’m a simple-minded guy who wants to see these huge problems with some clarity. I’d like to understand the collapse of America’s social, political, and economic stability in a simple way that I can comprehend. Let’s see if we can sort out some way to explain this mess.

So, just what is the major malfunction of the US Government? Does it do anything right? Does it accomplish anything? What does it do? Who does it work for? Or maybe it’s performing exactly as it has been designed to function.

Most of us can agree on this much of the problem. It’s the politicians, stupid. Yes, if we narrow it down, we find the two primary flaws of our government are the Republican and Democratic Parties.

There’s plenty to be disgusted and furious about with these people. If there’s incompetence, sleaze and corruption anywhere, we find plenty throughout our esteemed two party system. What difference is there between them anyway?

The Republican Party claims to work for the people. Most of us know this is laughably absurd, but it’s true. They do make that claim. And they certainly work to get votes from a lot of the people. They pander to the fundamentalists and other conservative religious types. They developed the “Southern Strategy” to exploit racial tensions surrounding the civil rights movement in the South. The Republican Party has naturally done very little in the way of legislation, apart from occasional efforts to fuse church and state, for the benefit of lower income white voters. But they’ve mastered the manipulation of their grievances and resentments well enough to maintain huge voter support from average, middle to low income Americans.

To see who the Republican Party really works for, all we need to do is follow the money. The campaign contributions and lobbies all point to Big Money.

So, who then, you may ask, does the Democratic Party work for?

The Democratic Party also claims that it works for the people. They boast of representing the middle class, unions, the working people, the unemployed and the poor. Well, maybe the minority of democrats, that don’t feed at the same corporate trough as the Republicans suck from, give enough a damn about them to court their votes.

Nevertheless enough Democrats enable the Republicans to continue a corporatist agenda in the US Government. Behind the facade of a representative democratic republic stands a corporatocracy. “Corporatocracy” is a word we never hear from the corporate media. In fact, I still can’t find the word in a dictionary.

But, we can find these two words in the dictionary:

Corporatism. noun - the principles, doctrine, or system of corporative organization of a political unit, as a city or state.

Corporatist. adj. - Of, relating to, or being a corporative state or system.

A massive corporatist agenda has now emplaced corporatism as the controlling influence in our government.

I have drawn up a simple map of the corporatocracy. In order to have a handy easy term I use a little acronym I call a DEBIT MAP.

Here is the DEBIT MAP of the Corporatist Empire that has dismantled the vestiges of democracy in the US.

DEBIT: Defense, Energy, Banking, Insurance, and Telecom industries
MAP: Media, Agri-business, and Pharmaceutical industries

This is a far from complete list of the Big Money interests that corrupt our government, but it is probably the bulk of it. There are others. The mining industry, surveillance and security businesses, and the private corporate prison complex are a few of the others who contribute to the lack of accountability of the government to the people.

The DEBIT MAP Corporate Empire will continue unless there is massive social, political, or financial upheaval.

Upheaval need not be violence. Violent change would be avoided if the government would recognize and restore our rights, if the government worked for the public good.

The public good is measured in its education, employment, and health. If the government worked for the people, it would provide an environment of education, employment, and health care.

So, how do we get the government to see this? There seems to be little choice in our corrupt system. As George Carlin said, “You don’t have choices. You have owners.”

We’ve seen ample proof that Wall Street owns most of the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government. This did not happen overnight.

Here are five pivotal points leading to the dominance of our system by corporatocracy. They were abetted by the Judicial, Legislative and Executive branches of the federal government.

1. The Supreme Court case of Santa Clara County vs. The Union Pacific
Railroad in 1886 was used to grant corporate personhood. Although this
personhood was not specifically worded in the decision. It was added by a
clerk. J. C. Bancroft Davis wrote that the Chief Justice had said all the
Justices had agreed that corporations are persons. Chief Justice Waite
specifically disavowed this later in writing. Davis happened to be a former
president of a small railroad, and was thus the man to endow corporations
with all the rights of living person.

2. The Supreme Court case Buckley v. Valeo in 1976 was the fateful decision
that turned corporate money donated to political campaigns into protected
“Free Speech”. De facto bribery was now legalized.

3. The repeal of the Glass/Steagall Act (1933-1999) through the passage of
the Financial Services Modernization Act, also known as the Gramm-Leach-
Bliley Act of 1999 allowed investment banks to merge with commercial banks. It also allowed financial institutions to merge with insurance companies. This opened the door to unchecked banking and insurance company abuses from Wall Street.

4. The Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000 is famous for creating the “Enron Loophole” and the resulting swindles. It also granted free license to the mortgage backed securities, credit default swaps, derivatives and other Wall Street shell games.

5. These insidious insertions of corporate leverage into government needed only the dark years of the Bush Administration’s total lack of its oversight and regulatory obligation. What followed was the near collapse of our economy. Then the banksters pulled off the greatest extortion of American taxpayer money in history, known as the monstrosity called TARP, the Troubled Asset Recovery Program.

The media watch dogs had turned into lapdogs of the government, and the government watchdogs turned into lapdogs of Wall Street.

Both Republican and Democratic Parties became subsidiaries of Wall Street, leaving third parties and independents out in the fringes and irrelevant.

Since the corporate media is embedded in the two corporate parties of the US government, there is little access for third or fourth parties to have a voice.

Democracy in the US was not killed by the conservative Supreme Court’s selection of Bush/Cheney over the will of the majority of voters. I would say that was more like the burial of democracy. It was dying and they needed to it put out of sight.

We see the US Government has become a vast right wing engine of empire and corporate profiteering. It is nearly completely unresponsive to the public interest. Why is this, and how can this be happening? We’ll examine this in part two of my Simple Explanation.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Foxsuckers Thwarted

Today the tea bagging agitators were sent out by Fox News and other corporate interests to harass politicians and stage photo ops in DC. But they ran into some competition for attention. They found their wide-eyed crusade against health care was overshadowed by the horrible shootings at Fort Hood. The Hannity insanity would have to take a back seat on the media wagon to the insanity of mass murder.

The seventy-five suicides over the past six years at the US Army base were now augmented by at least a dozen murder victims. As the old song goes, military madness is killing our country; not to mention the widespread slaughter in the Af-Pak-Iraq quagmires.

Before the Fort Hood Massacre erupted, one of the radical Right’s favorite bleach-blonde mouthpieces put on an interesting display this morning. The brilliant English actor Ian McKellen was a guest on the View. The not-so-brilliant Elisabeth Hasselbeck was set to pounce. She mentioned the swine flu and asked him if he was vaccinated.

Mr. McKellen answered, “No, I’ve not been vaccinated. I was advised I didn’t need it, but it is available to me free on the National Health Service in the United Kingdom.”

Applause came from the studio audience.

Undeterred, our Palin pal hostess pressed on.

“We look at Goldman Sachs, ok? Private industry has the shots.”

The notion of private industry CALLING the shots would probably never occur to her.

“You give it over to the government. You don’t know the order in which they’re going to administer it.”

Well, maybe we know a little. They distribute the vaccine first to those most at risk of fatality from the flu, and those who request it.

Then she went on a bit of a schizo-tangent. “And also I do think we need to rely on government for emergency situations. This is an emergency situation.”

What’s that emergency again? Could it be just the flu, or would it be the fact that thousands die in this country every year without health coverage? She seems slightly reasonable so far. You don’t suppose she’s about to twist her spiel into something convoluted and contradictory, do you?

Now she pours the kool-ade. “Giving the government our health care is not the answer here.”

So, what is the answer, miss know-it-all? She doesn’t say. They never say, do they?

Mr. McKellen tries to reason with her. “The government doesn’t run the National Health Service. It’s run by the doctors and the hospitals.”

“That’s what they’d like you to believe, I’m sure,” zings back our Fox-indoctrinated bimbo. Then catching herself, she adds, “Over here in the United States it would not be the case.”

Here was her big chance to explain just who would be managing health care in the US. Would it be politicians tapping your knee for reflexes in the examination room? Perhaps those meddling Washington DC bureaucrats will be jabbing the tongue depressor down your throat, demanding you say, “Ahh”, while they ponder sending you off to a Death Panel.

I’m afraid we’ll never know. We’re just supposed to be afraid. That’s what’s important.

Sir Ian McKellen, like the average factory worker in Britain, didn’t have to worry about facing bankruptcy as a result of his treatment for prostate cancer. He could have explained a lot to little Lizzie about the National Health Service, but I’m sure he knew she wouldn’t listen anyway.

Instead he simply said, “It’s been going an awfully long time and I wouldn’t be as healthy as I was now if I hadn’t had the National Health Service.”

Once again applause came from the studio audience.

“I’m glad you’re very healthy,” Lizzie conceded. “It is my personal belief, and the belief of many others, I do not want the government running our health care.”

Little Lizzie couldn’t even get one pair of hands to clap in agreement with her belief.

Whoopi Goldberg then asked about Mr. McKellen’s new movie. My goodness. It looked like that evil old socialism scored a point against our brave defender of the insurance industry.

Liz must have been certain her beliefs would be validated by the next guest. It was none other than Fox anchorman Shepard Smith.

Our fairly unbalanced reality game show celebrity offered Mr, Smith her biggest question of the day. “Do you think it was an unfair thing that the Obama Administration did then, by trying to single out Fox, say not MSNBC?”

Liz must have thought Shep had been drugged by some of McKellen’s socialized medicine in the green room when he replied, “Oh, it’s not a new thing. Administrations have been fighting with news organizations since time began.”

This was supposed to be a big day for Liz and her fellow teabaggers. Once again reality stepped in to thwart them.

Lizzie couldn’t cope with someone who was actually helped by national health care. Shepard Smith didn’t buy into her Fox persecution fantasy.

The Beckerheads’ media assault was upstaged by someone even crazier than most of their group.

Now watch the Foxsuckers try to blame this Fort Hood incident on liberals. You know they will.