Oh, heck, I got taken to the woodshed, a bit, by a friend, on my rant around Paul Craig Roberts’ words in the Gary Corseri article-interview. Or what Paul says is a change in this country’s morality — “Whatever Became of Morality?”
All of it, words, the rumble and rhythm of a freed mind – mine – under the weight of economic siege, forced upon me because I chose anarcho-syndicalism, or some form of arts culture socialism, of Walden Two sort of ethos, or the poet’s eye, or some youthful bravado thinking my agent would actually sell my work in the Madison Avenue dens of soulless folk still galvanized to a 57 year old in the trenches believer in education for all and it takes a community-culture-clan-city to raise a child/nurture a kid/protect the innocent and weak/ develop a strategy for genuine growth. I don’t know, but to hear Paul Craig Roberts talk about a better day, days of Jefferson and Washington and Hamilton, or even back a few nanoseconds, to George “Elder CIA” Bush, something in his waxing struck/strikes me, as it has since I was 8 years old.
Of course, his latest here at DV is spot on –
It occurred to me that World War II was so long ago that few are alive who remember it, and by now even these few probably remember the propaganda version that they have heard at every Memorial Day and July 4th occasion since 1945. Little wonder that neither Obama nor Cameron or their pitiful speech writers knew nothing about the war that they were commemorating.
Propaganda has always been with us. The difference is that in the 21st century Americans have nothing but propaganda. Nothing else at all. Just lies. Lies are the American experience. The actual world as it exists is foreign to most Americans.
At the 70th annual Normandy landing celebration in France, Obama informed his French vassal, President Hollande, that he, Obama, the ruler of the Exceptional Country, would not sit down to dinner with the Russian Putin. Americans are too good to eat dinner with Russians. So Hollande had to have two dinners. One for Obama, and then one for Putin. As food is still good in France thanks to the banning of GMOs, probably Holland didn’t mind. I myself would have enjoyed being at both dinners for the food alone.
Like all news that is important, the dinner for Putin, and its meaning, escaped the attention of the American presstitute media, the world’s greatest collection of whores. If memory serves, normally the Russians are left out of the Normandy commemoration celebrations. If the war was won in the West, what did the Russians have to do with it? Nothing, of course. “Our boys” did it all, just as JD informed me. Russians? What Russians?
But this time France invited Putin to the Normandy celebration, and Putin was not too proud to come. Putin spoke with European politicians in the off moments, and these politicians saw a real person, unlike Obama, a total fake.
This idea of “it was better before you were born. . . the good old days were when real things happened . . .the days of wine and roses . . . those were the days when men were men and women women . . . when we were on the same page, working as a nation to build, to expand . . . read: to make the corporate world king and the ecosystem, well, ours to burn, or seed with poisons” has always stck in my crow. I have heard it from almost every sector of society, from doctors ripping us off, executives ripping us off, even prisoners in prison for ripping someone off.
I grew up in the Azores, then Maryland, then Paris, France, and traveled other places, because my old man was enlisted US Air Force and then Army officer, all for 32 years total. I was around his historian friends, since my old man went for undergraduate and graduate degrees while I was a kid. I went to his BA ceremony in Heidelberg, and then to one of his MA ceremonies in Tucson at the U of Arizona. I’ve been with men and women who do not question or did not question American exceptionalism.
I ended up at Fort Huachuca, then in Tucson, tearing down billboards, dropping bags of sugar into bulldozer fuel tanks, and other stuff that I know in this Homeland Insecurity World has no statute of limitations. I mean A LOT of stuff I did against empire, against Madison Avenue, against the entire mess of white humanty.
Been fighting the white Christian and Zionist man/woman all of my life, and the racism, sexism, marketing, lock-step, stiff arm, bullshit of America has rotted millions of brains. I understand shifting baseline syndrome, tragedy of the commons, agnotology, revisionism, relative thinking, and fear of the democracy-capitalism-consumerism-Military/Media/Prison/ Education/Energy/Pharma/Ag mob. We have 57 years of wisdom and fractured living under my belt.
I know it’s always easy to play Monday morning quarterback, when dealing with someone like Gary interviewing someone like Paul Craig Roberts, so my intent was not attack the man but to rebuff that credo that morphs into various forms – “We know best, your elders know best, authorities know best, money talks, power is not in the hands of the outsider, exceptionalism and America, the world be damned, we are the best, we deserve whatever our national fiber and national presence of mind demands . . .”
Okay, not very articulate, I agree. But this dog-eat-dog world of American empire, from its very early tangled roots, is no picture of forbearance and righteousness. Something sinister about how we got to 2014 and the world of Google-NSA-Amazon-Walmart military-IT-CCTV-Citizens United. But we have always feen paranoid genocide leaders.
I was led to Solzhenistsyn by a friend who took issue with my attack on Paul Craig Roberts belief in an older, greater American morality . . . to an essay, “Repentance and Self-Limitation in the Life of Nations,” as an antidote or anecdote to my berating words. Just not believing the exceptionalism or good nature of greater beings in any of this country’s generation of politicians, patriarchs, kleptocrats. The grounding for Alexandr is of course his devotion to god with a big “G” and the higher good of a higher plan.
“The profoundest similarity between the individual and the nation lies in the mystical nature of their givenness.( – Alexandr Solzhenitsyn, “Repentance and Self-Limitation in the Life of Nations” an essay in “From under the Rubble,” 1972). This is the peculiar feature of integrated organisms – that all their parts benefit and suffer alike from the activity of each organ. Even when the majority of the population is quite powerless to obstruct its political leaders, it is fated to answer for their sins and their mistakes. Even in the most totalitarian states, whose subjects have no rights at all, we all bear responsibility – not only for the quality of our governments, but also for the campaigns of our military leaders, for the deeds of our soldiers in the line of duty, for the shots fired by our frontier guards, for the songs of our young people.
” It has lately been fashionable to speak of the leveling of nations, of the disappearance of individual peoples in the melting pot of modern civilization. I disagree, but a discussion of this problem would be a theme in itself. It is here appropriate to say only that the disappearance of nations would impoverish us not less than if all men should become alike, with one personality and one face. Nations are the wealth of mankind, its generalized personalities; the least among them has its own unique coloration and harbors within itself a unique facet of God’s design.”
God’s design. Whew. Free will. Submitting to the commandments. Here, a fascinating look at Solzhenitsyn – I understand some of the duality and multiple contexts people attribute to Solzhenitsyn as relayed by Daniel J. Mahoney:
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn is one of the great souls of the age. He is also among its most maligned and misunderstood figures. It is hard to think of another prominent writer whose thought and character have been subjected to as many willful distortions and vilifications over the past thirty years.
Things were not always so. Until the early 1970s Solzhenitsyn was widely admired in the West as a dissident and as a critic of Communist totalitarianism. On the left he was appreciated as a defender of human rights against an undeniably illiberal and autocratic regime. But with the publication of works such as August1914 (1972), the Letter to the Soviet Leaders, and the cultural-spiritual anthology From Under the Rubble (both published in the West in 1974), it became impossible to claim Solzhenitsyn as a champion of left-liberal secularism. He continued to be, of course, a ferocious critic of the ideological “lie” and a tenacious defender of fundamental human liberties. But this antitotalitarian writer clearly did not believe that a free Russia should become a slavish imitator of the secular, postmodern West. It became increasingly clear that he was both an old-fashioned patriot and a committed Christian”but here also he was perplexing to some, because he adamantly rejected “blood and soil” nationalism, expressed no desire to return to the Tsarist past, and asked for no special privileges for Christianity in a post-totalitarian Russia.
Some of his critics soon reasoned that if Solzhenitsyn was not a conventional liberal, then he must be an enemy of liberty. The legend grew that he was, at best, a “Slavophile” and a romantic critic of decadent Western political institutions, and that he was, at worst, an authoritarian and even, perhaps, an anti-Semite and a theocrat. Even those Western critics who admired Solzhenitsyn’s courage in confronting the Communist behemoth and who drew upon his dissections of ideological tyranny tended to slight his contribution to the renewal of the spiritual foundations of human liberty in a post-totalitarian world. In a memorable article published in Commentary in 1985 (“The Terrible Question of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn”), Norman Podhoretz praised Solzhenitsyn as an anti-Communist and as the author of The Gulag Archipelago, while largely taking for granted the accuracy of the caricature about him that had taken shape over the previous decade and a half. Podhoretz simply assumed that Solzhenitsyn was an authoritarian or anti-democratic thinker, though he did acquit Solzhenitsyn, a strong supporter of the state of Israel, of the charge of anti-Semitism. He also cavalierly dismissed as a literary failure The Red Wheel, Solzhenitsyn’s magnum opus that explores the events leading up to the Bolshevik revolution. (Podhoretz was in no position to do so at the time since he did not have access to any of the finished volumes of that great work.) The anti-Communist Podhoretz, however, never denied Solzhenitsyn’s greatness or his enduring commitment to human dignity.
I apologize for any ad hominem leveled against Paul Craig Roberts, but I believe that I am voicing frustrations and realities many in my ranks and outside have voiced for decades. Under-reported, under-privileged, under-represented, under-the-radar, under-mined, we are not believers in the Star Chamber style of this country. Not believers in the good and might of our first days and our moving into the 19th century days.
I’ve taught full-force special forces dudes and dudettes, and I’ve even been with a few in other countries. They are hard-bitten with a reality that is America – everything in the world is for, about, because of US, the American. It’s played out so many ways, and it isn’t one tough Great Depression or slide into constant decline that can be contrasted. We have always been a nation predicated on theft, on magical thinking, on money and a sucker born every minute ethos.
I really think the conversations I have with people 40-ish or fifty-ish that allude to being really lucky to have this job or career, and then telling me the disruptive qualities of the new technologies will produce greatness, well, also that young people have to be fluid, flexible, not so readily convinced that they will have a liveable wage in one field, that cobbling together work is the way, and, shoot, you betcha, I am going to stay working until I drop, those people are part of the problems we face today.
I’m doing this story for a paying gig, on the state of news-newspapers in the Pacific Northwest. The people I talk to are honorable, but again, there is something missing from the people of this society. Americans for the most part are business-minded, not very passionate, not revolutionary, not ready to be outside the box. They say an industry like journalism or media is changing because of technology, that youth better learn how to code and use multi-media platforms to get into journalism, but really, they are hobbled by the same mythology of capitalism and the higher grace of disruption, change.
They are limited, and the sheer numbers of us in communities, the sheer volume of consumption and the huge gap between the very one percent’s power and stranglehold on us, the 80 percent, well, I still think they don’t get it, or don’t know how to rally against it, or, they do not believe they should be against it. That is America, the poor, destitute and flagging masses thinking that it’s just fine that college presidents make $4 million a year, baseball players make $12 million a year, CEOs make $30 million.
A society that puts all its eggs in the basket of profits and capitalism and then the other eggs in “ I want what’s good for my family” is more than just hobbled. It’s destructive, tied to the exceptionalism of this society that seeded blankets with cholera, that burned villages, that shot down miners and executed returning soldiers of World War One who demanded wages.
So many tell me they can’t function, go about their day focused if they concentrate on all that’s wrong and bad and in need of fixing. That is the society we have created, no? People with power and some form or ability to shape or change things just caving. We have given up at birth, and education, many times, teaches us to belly up to the buying and consumption trough, and give up and give in.
There is something sad and emblematic about petitions to help a hunger-striking adjunct faculty? It’s up my alley, in my purview of living, as an adjunct, organizer, revolutionary, anti-capitalist.
We now have two websites to collect funds for homeless adjunct Mary-Faith Cerasoli. Both contain background on Mary-Faith and how she became homeless.
“NCC Adjuncts United” has already had over 240 unique visitors: “Mary-Faith is Fighting for Adjunct Rights” has a wealth of information and a donation link too: here. The Precarious Faculty blog also contains information about the Nassau Community College Adjunct Faculty Association (AFA), which has had a $400,000 fine imposed on it for a strike last September. The leaders of this independent union are still facing the possibility of the loss of their jobs from a retaliatory President and Board of Trustees. See: here.
At great risk to her teaching career, Mary-Faith went to Albany, the New York state capital, to protest the treatment of adjuncts. She demanded that the New York Secretary of Education meet with her. He refused.
At great risk to her health, she began the age old progressive tactic of a hunger strike to call attention to our plights. She demanded that the Governor or one of his aides meet with her. While one of his aides did call her, he refused to meet with her.
Not wishing to endanger her health any further in a fruitless quest, she wisely called off her strike and saw a doctor to make sure she was well. She wrote an op-ed for the Albany Times-Union daily newspaper, “All Faculty Deserve Fair Treatment.”
Under the current system, adjunct faculty are disposable people. When they don’t get a class, when they have a class cancelled, when there are no more classes for them, no one worries about them, and no one takes responsibility. It’s just the way it is for those off the tenure track.
If an adjunct should dare apply for unemployment, she will be hassled for sure, and most likely denied. If she speaks up against this unjust two-track system, she will surely be hassled and she may never teach again. We know all of this in the abstract. Some of us know it from personal experience. But thanks to Mary Faith’s courageous acts, the public now knows it in the concrete. She has put a face to the plight of impoverished adjuncts throughout this country.
Let’s not treat Mary-Faith as though she were disposable. If 1,000 of us would contribute as little as $10, we could raise $10,000 to give her enough money for a stable living environment for a year. She could then turn to devoting full-time to finding employment.
One of the most iconic cartoons in the history of the labor movement comes from the progressive union The Industrial Workers of the World, nicknamed the Wobblies (see above). It has a picture of a man in jail behind bars, with the caption: “Fellow Workers: We are in here for you, you are out there for us.”
Mary Faith has been out there on the streets of New York fighting for us. Can we be inside our homes and campuses fighting for her? I urge all of you to go to one of the two websites: NCC or GoFundMe. Please make a donation of at least $10 (more if you can). Please post this email appeal to lists, websites, groups, listservs, forums, personal web pages, blogs, and social media, including Facebook, Twitter and G+, unions or other organizations.
Cordially, Keith Hoeller, Editor, Equality for Contingent Faculty: Overcoming the Two-Tier System; Co-founder, Washington Part-Time Faculty Association
There is so much work to do, no? These Zionists and Corporatists shilling and stealing and maneuvering their ways into our communities, into the brains of children, into the DNA of precarious workers, adjunct faculty, entire millions of faculty and students who fear to quit, to speak out, to resist openly. This is not an exceptional place, and never had, and Western Civilization is a very interesting concept that has not come to pass, as in CIVILIZED.
The people’s history of United Destruction is a telling one, rife with the killing fields of the workers, the soldiers, miners, indigenous and first peoples, mountains of buffalo skulls, and three stories high wolf pelt history. Are we evolved? We can’t even keep the few remaining wolves alive, even after spending hundreds of millions in wolf conservation.
We have these sickening hip hipsters delivering the NPR-style news, telling us to watch out, those cougars are on the loose this time of year, as puma parents let the year old guys and gals hit the countryside and look for food, learn how to fend for themselves.
But, watch out for those neighborhood watch folks, those ranchers on the welfare take who might end up killing a cougar that ended with a ewe or calf as lunch.
What an unholy allegiance with Judea-Christian mumbo-jumbo-Capitalism, money at all cost, the holy grail of money money. Tobacco politicians and scientists with MDs and PhDs and lawyers and Madison Avenue Chosen People marketers and the US government, think about all of that, those decades of cancer delivery via big tobacco! Free packs of PallMalls in the GI’s weekly rations!
So I have a difficult time seeing the shadows of history and the light of mankind. Really, and once a huckster, once a thief, once a nation of genocide, well, maybe we need reparations, reconciliation, ethics, some golden rule, some Sufi prayer, something from the Talmud or Koran, something that speaks of treating people as humane souls, something about amassing people against the razing and rapine of entire civilizations, both human and non-human.
Really, think hard about those GM executives, or this rah-rah female boss of the welfare car company. You think her head should also roll: Socialist Worker
IF GM were a human being, it could be charged with murder–though treating corporations like human beings only seems to apply when the subject is campaign finance. And if GM is guilty of murder, then the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is an accomplice–since the federal agency failed to act at every step of the way.
FIFTY-SEVEN cents. That’s what it would have cost General Motors (GM) to change a faulty part to blame for crashes that have killed at least 13 people. The calculation comes from a 2005 internal company document obtained by congressional investigators, who provided the evidence for an April 1 congressional hearing on GM.
The automaker has been forced to announce a recall of some 2.6 million cars with faulty ignition switches that could turn off the engine–as well as disable the air bags, power steering and power brakes–at any moment. But company records also show that GM knew about the problem much earlier, and did nothing about it–choosing to gamble with the lives of car owners, rather than the company’s bottom line.
These vanguards and bureaucrats and big-time billionaire Zionists like the Google Gang are predators, welfare kings, NSA and CIA snoops, educational immolating neoliberal-neocons. Check out the continuing criminal enterprise story in our nation’s cities. Something that isn’t new, and this is way way before the age of American enlightenment that Paul Craig Roberts writes about. Socialist Worker.
I WORK for the state of California in the Employment Development Department in San Francisco. Our department handles unemployment insurance and disability insurance as well as services to help individuals who are unemployed find work.
The current economic climate has hit the workers hard. The official unemployment rate for California is 7.8 percent, the fourth highest in the United States (fifth if you include Puerto Rico) Our department plays a vital role in helping workers with unemployment and disability issues pay their rent and bills, and feed themselves and their families.
The state has decided, without any notice to or input from the employees who will be affected, that our parking lots are “surplus state property,” and that they will be sold and the money put into the General Fund. This is being done with no regard for how this will affect our safety and our ability to get to work, or how it will impact on our standard of living. We are fighting back.
The extremely high cost of living in San Francisco means that many of my coworkers already cannot afford to live here because our pay has not kept up. If our parking lots are sold, employee parking expenses will increase by $3,000 to $6,000 per year. That means that my coworkers who have to drive to get to work will essentially be faced with a pay cut of $3,000 to $6,000 per year. This attack on our standard of living cannot be allowed to move forward.
California like Washington like you-name-it-USA-City is gentrifying and caught with its proverbial pants down, fearful of corporations, fearful of making CEOs work, fearing their own shadows in the urinals of their political whore houses. Taxing these Googles or Boeings or Walmarts, it’s not going to happen in this sick world of white male Zionist-Christo economic brown shirts: From Counterpunch — the continuing criminal enterprise system of spying on us via G-men and Corporate Men.
Though Microsoft stridently claims that it does not insert back doors for the NSA there is evidence to the contrary. For instance, it’s been revealed that Microsoft provides the NSA with early access to zero-day exploits (unpatched bugs) that arise in products like Windows. After all, Microsoft recently signed a $617 million contract with the Department of Defense. Don’t think that this sort of gift comes without strings.
Never Mind The Corporate Spying…
Another subtle manipulation that’s being employed is to frame the narrative so that focus is placed entirely on government surveillance. This is the same caveat that haunts surveillance reform efforts like “Reset the Net.” Pando Daily’s Yasha Levine spells it out: “Reset the Net is deeply flawed. The reason: the campaign is not against online surveillance, just government surveillance. It has nothing to say or critique about the massive for-profit dragnet operations run by telecoms and Silicon Valley megacorps that target every woman, man and child in the United States and beyond.”
In contrast to the inflated fanfare about disrupting terrorist plots the global surveillance apparatus is essentially being driven by powerful corporate interests. This is the elephant standing in the corner that no one (especially hi-tech companies like Google) wants to talk about. Roughly 70 percent of the intelligence budget,” which is in the neighborhood of 70 billion dollars, goes to the private sector.
So most of what we think of as government surveillance actually transpires in the private sector. How, exactly, do you think a Booz Allen Hamilton consultant named Ed Snowden got all of those classified documents? The NSA is a mere appendage of a much larger private sector data aggregation panopticon that rakes in $200 billion every year.
In contrast to the inflated fanfare about disrupting terrorist plots the global surveillance apparatus is essentially being driven by powerful corporate interests. This is the elephant standing in the corner that no one (especially hi-tech companies like Google) wants to talk about. Though Eric Schmidt has railed against government surveillance in public, Google has extensive long-standing connections with the defense industry. Not to mention that WikiLeaks has released cables that describe some rather odd dealings between Google, the State Department, and the U.S. Military. Trips to the border of Iran and signal intelligence in Afghanistan.
Google and the government are far more tightly linked than most people suspect. Is it any wonder that Google now spends more than Lockheed Martin and Boeing to lobby for influence in D.C.? Something on the order of $16 million in 2013.
We’ve not yet figured out that this country is a giant slide into snitching, backstabbing, rotten CEOs, from the days of the railroad and cattle tycoons, to the war profiteers, the mining company thugs, the entire mess of madness tied to the incursions into Latin America, United Fruit, Somoza, Pinochet, the tireless invasions into Nicaragua. Note that there were plenty of folk against this madness, this America Exceptionalism Terrorism. REALLY. Not many, but enough to put it all into perspective.
We have homeless people, plenty of houseless, this mad mad mad mad world of sickos calling for the returned prisoner’s execution, sick legislators calling for cutting regulations on keeping on the road truckers from driving way too many hours, FDA approval of the soy and corn Franken-crops, ready to take on tons of more pesticides – from Panna:
Dow Chemical Company is asking USDA to approve its new “2,4-D resistant” corn and soy seed, two in the pipeline of next generation herbicide-tolerant crops that pesticide/biotech corporations are planning to bring to market in the coming years.
Simply put, 2,4-D resistant crops are a very bad idea. They will drive a massive increase in pesticide use that threatens to destroy vulnerable crops, while placing the burden of both increased costs and health risks on farmers and rural communities.
The big winners will be the Big 6 corporations — Dow among them — that control the pesticide and seed economy. 2,4-D is a dangerous and antiquated herbicide that shouldn’t be on the market, and approving genetically modified seeds that will dramatically drive up its use just doesn’t make sense.
High stakes for farmers & communities Just as with Monsanto’s RoundUp Ready corn and soy lines, Dow’s new 2,4-D ready seed line will increase use of the herbicide. And this time, the fallout will be even worse. Here’s why: 2,4-D is a very toxic herbicide. It is a suspected endocrine disruptor and has been linked to cancer and reproductive harm.
Children are particularly susceptible to its effects. 2,4-D is much more harmful to plant life than RoundUp (glyphosate). Specialty crops (like grapes, tomatoes, beans and sweet corn) and non-GE soy and cotton are extremely sensitive to 2,4-D. 2,4-D does and will drift off of target crops. Both spray drift and volatilization drift can devastate adjacent ecosystems and entire landscapes.
Such damage poses a very real threat to rural economies and farmers growing non-2,4-D-resistant crops. Conventional farmers will lose crops, while organic farmers will lose both crops and certification, resulting in an economic unraveling of already-stressed rural communities. 2,4-D-resistant “superweeds” will arise and spread.
RoundUp-resistant “superweeds” have taken over farms and countryside in the Midwest and Southeast, and widespread use of 2,4-D will spur more of the same. Genetic material from 2,4-D corn will contaminate non-GE corn. Corn is wind-pollinated which means contamination is inevitable. You cannot put a GE genie back in the bottle.
So, the angels of our better selves, uh? This has always been the case – the chemical-fossil fuel-armament-Ag-mining-economic thugs of America, from DAY one. This is what we have in our quivers? Really, when the white men (and women) set the stage of our own economic destructions. Petition for a few pesos for an ailing 52-year-old adjunct? Scary, really, scary.
The stories bleed into our veins, the sickness a giant transfusion of confusion and collusion. The end times, well, not near, not near, but these folk that Paul Craig Roberts sees as just the evil individuals, that there is not a conspiracy or plotters of Ivy League trained, secret society loving creeps plotting against us, the 80 percent, they are making out like bandits. Setting the stage for our own demise. Helping feed the confusion, the media misdirection, scrubbed history, distorted truths, lies and lies stacked upon each other, until we see the country we call home, US of A, is built upon almost three and a half centuries of deceit.