Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Fascism in America

           No matter the social circles we run in, and no matter what we choose to read, especially these days, we often hear the word "fascist" bandied about as though it were a term as simple in meaning as "toaster" or "E-mail." This is not the case, and for future warning, beware of people who use "fascist" often in serious conversation. It's one thing to say in jest, but those who often refer to people or groups as fascist are usually pseudo-intellectual charlatans who can scarcely tell shit from applebutter.

            Richard T. Griffiths, author of many books, including "The Economic Development of the European Economic Community" and "Europe's First Constitution," said several years ago that the term, fascism, is "the most misused and over-used word of our times." Indeed, it has become a word every idiot with a 50 cent vocabulary uses when describing something distasteful. The crime here is that it happens to be a serious matter--a proverbial sea of pungent dinosaur feces we're on our way to being mired in waist-deep.

            Confusion regarding the definition of fascism has been a problem at least since our conflict with it during WWII. In 1944, celebrated author George Orwell said this about fascism...

                        "It will be seen that, as used, the word ‘Fascism’ is almost entirely meaningless. In conversation, of course, it is used even more wildly than in print. I have heard it applied to farmers, shopkeepers, Social Credit, corporal punishment, fox-hunting, bull-fighting, the 1922 Committee, the 1941 Committee, Kipling, Gandhi, Chiang Kai-Shek, homosexuality, Priestley's broadcasts, Youth Hostels, astrology, women, dogs and I do not know what else."

            The Axis powers of Germany, Italy and Japan could hardly be lumped into the same class. These are three distinctly different cultures who banded together to take over the world. While more successful than Pinky and the Brain, and poised in the late 1930s to make quite a run at it, they managed to fail nevertheless. We saw to that. But as George Carlin said on Bill Maher's HBO program, Real Time, "Germany lost the second world war, but fascism won it." That's a hell of a statement, and it ties in with warnings given to us by one of the greatest heroes in American history, Dwight D. Eisenhower. Before we get into that, let's look at some official definitions of fascism.

1.) Fas·cism [ fá shìzzəm ] dictatorial movement: any movement, ideology, or attitude that favors dictatorial government, centralized control of private enterprise, repression of all opposition, and extreme nationalism. (MSN Encarta Dictionary)

2.) Fascism, Philosophy of government that stresses the primacy and glory of the state, unquestioning obedience to its leader, subordination of the individual will to the state’s authority, and harsh suppression of dissent.

"Martial virtues are celebrated, while liberal and democratic values are disparaged. Fascism arose during the 1920s and ’30s partly out of fear of the rising power of the working classes; it differed from contemporary communism (as practiced under Joseph Stalin) by its protection of business and landowning elites and its preservation of class systems... (Encyclopedia Britannica)

            From these two examples, some disturbing things arise. Through the Patriot Act, aptly named so as to quell fears over diminished liberties, and through Bush's Expanded War Powers Act, the reach of our government has gone crazy. There seems to be no end to the Hell they can bring down on us, and with no consequence. Obama said he'd do away with Guantanamo, but why would the government willingly close a facility that comes in so handy? All they have to do is declare any one of us an enemy combatant or a terrorist (another word people and governments conveniently apply to almost anyone or anything), and we can be held indefinitely at Guantanamo with no trial. The privacy of Americans has been under attack for a long time, but the hard offensive has taken place since 9/11. People are afraid, and for good reason. The shame is that when good Americans point out that we exacerbate our problems abroad, and the threat at home, with failed, hopelessly misguided foreign policy, they're castigated and called anti-patriotic. People like Ron Paul have said this, and deep down, we know they're right.

            Now, back to Eisenhower. On more than one occasion, he warned against the rise of the military-industrial complex. The military-industrial complex is a very real thing. It's an integrated part of our governmental makeup and it's accepted by society at large. China is the second biggest military spender next to the USA, and we spend six times more. I'm not advocating for a weak military. I'm just toying with the crazy notion that we cut military spending to only twice that of China.
            Don't get me wrong. I like having bunker buster missiles that kill bad guys six stories underground. I like having nuclear powered aircraft carriers and massive naval battle groups. I like having 60 ton M1-A1 Abrams tanks, Super Hornets and F22 Raptors with vectored thrusting and all that other crazy shit that no one nation could hope to defeat. Anyone who says they enjoy being weak is either a liar or an idiot. The idea of a surgical strike that kills a piece of human trash like Osama bin Laden is something we're damned good at. But, what I'm asking folks to do is to think deeper when it comes to full-scale occupations of foreign nations. The only way invading Iraq helped us catch bin Laden was that it gave him one less country in which to hide, but can we invade every country in which a bastard like that could conceivably hide? We're going broke trying it with Iraq and Afghanistan.

            We don't have to give up our toys. We just need to amend the way we play with them. We've spent $1.5 trillion in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan (that we know of) over 10 years on senseless ignorance, and that's the spending that has to go. Of course, it's not cutting strictly for the sake of spending cuts, but because it's wrong in the first place. That's all we have to do! If we brought everyone home and stopped staking out the entire world, along with policing it on four real warfronts with three others looming on the horizon of possibility, we'd be talking about real budget cuts that wouldn't hurt anyone. Believe me, when the war comes that we must fight, with no other alternative because the world hangs in the balance, we're going to know it. In short, sometimes force is needed, and we need to be a lot more judicious with the use of it instead of going balls out and guns blazing whenever it feels good.  

            In that equation, it's the foreign occupation that presents an evil we don't need. The endless militarism and world-policing is the disposable part of the spending. That's what we're doing that fits neatly into the concept of fascism. We glorify the state, we believe in the concept of might-makes-right and we denounce anyone who speaks out against it. Thankfully we're not to the point of imprisoning or exterminating those people... yet.

            Aside from rampant militarism, we have the element of fascism from our definitions above that involve the suppression of working classes while allowing the elite to flourish. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer.

            In 1965, CEOs were making 24 times the salary of ground level employees. Today, that multiple has grown to more than 300, in some cases far more. I'm not advocating a socialist exercise of wealth-sharing, the very mention of which is enough to send old people into stroke-inducing apoplectic shock. I don't believe doctors and garbage collectors should make the same salary. I simply have a rational, logical belief that CEOs and other corporate executives shouldn't make enough money to own private islands and leer jets while forcing their employees to choose between food and healthcare. Politicians, mostly republicans, want to protect the interests of these rich people and corporations because it benefits their personal wealth through kickbacks and back-alley bonus deals. Everyone knows it's happening but no one seems to be able to do anything about it. It has reached the ridiculous point that republicans have brainwashed the dumber of their voting constituencies to believe these wealthy corporations and individuals shouldn't be taxed.

            We have a serious situation here with the power lobbyists wield in Washington. They're the bridge between corporations and the state. Benito Mussolini, the well-known fascist leader of Italy during WWII, said, "The first stage of fascism should more properly be called Corporatism, because it is the merger of State and corporate power." This is pretty damned insightful, considering what we have going on these days. One has to wonder how this shit could ever be rectified aside from bloody revolution. I'd rather not have to go down that road, but we have to end the stratification of classes, the endless militarism and the attack on the rights and privacy of Americans. Corporate slavery will seem like a trip to the day spa once we let it slip into state sponsored slavery. If we don't turn this shit around, we'll see the day when they grind up poor folks to feed the rich people's dogs.

            So, I suppose now would be the perfect time to announce my candidacy for President of the United States. If elected, my first act as president will be to make corporate lobbying punishable by a mandatory sentence of 50 years in a federal penitentiary. The rest of my crazy plan is a secret, but everyone is going to love it. Campaign contributions are welcome immediately.

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Fuck the Middle East. Let's take Ron Paul's advice and go home. I'll get to Ron Paul soon enough, but first I want to mention something else.
            As many of you have probably read, heard or seen, Oscar-nominated British film-maker, battlefield photographer and journalist, Tim Hetherington, and American photo-journalist, Chris Hondros, died in the western Libya city of Misrata from mortar attacks. Their deaths come with injuries to other journalists and the deaths of many Gaddafi-opposed Libyans.
            Men and women die in this line of service somewhat frequently so that people around the world will know what evils persist in places of conflict. They bring us images and words with the weight of first-hand experience that tear at our hearts and cut through political rhetoric and the bullshit foreign policy our government forces on us, despite its unpopularity among many of its people. Though we have this information, and the answers seem so clear, people still don't expect to have sensible decisions made in Washington, and we're used to it.
            It has been estimated that every Al-Quaida militant in Afghanistan costs $3 billion per year to pursue, and there is said to be about 50 of these guys left there. That's a cost of $150 billion a year to chase 50 guys hiding in rock piles in a place so backward that few homes have plumbing or electricity. Most agree that it will take no more than a couple of years for Afghanistan to revert to its original state, regardless of our level of success there--and all this while most in the media, military and intelligence services concede that the real problem lies in Pakistan.
            A March 13 Washington Post-ABC News poll showed 73 percent of Americans want out of Afghanistan immediately. Of the remaining 27 percent who opted to stay, half are tax-dodging republicans who no doubt want to stay and prove a point on behalf of Jesus, probably for the same reason they ignore unemployment and the destruction of the middle class in favor of attacking wages, abortion and healthcare to poor men, women (especially women) and children.
            Their fucked up, Jesus-based social agenda tells me Jesus must have hated poor people and wished they would all die like dirty maggot shit, and that he hated clean air and water too. The rest are split between hopelessly misguided democrats and independents who probably suffer from clinical depression, paranoia and the gripping, schizophrenic fear that some mad Muslim will blow himself up next to them on the city bus. I'm not saying that can't happen, because those Islamic militant bastards are completely nuts,  but holy shit, is it worth sending all these boys and girls to the other side of the world to get blown up for 10 years at a cost of a trillion dollars? The same shit can still happen to us here, but imagine how much better we'd be protected if we brought everyone home.
            These journalists who died, and many like them, have given their lives so that people like me can sit here in solid comfort and bitch about all the things that piss us off about the current state of things. So, you see how integral a part of free speech they are. If not for them, we'd be guessing, and if you can imagine such a thing being possible, we'd be taken advantage of even more egregiously by the criminals in government.
            And numbering much higher are the thousands of servicemen and women who have died, and the tens of thousands injured in these conflicts that began with the ridiculous bullshit lie perpetrated on America by the Dick Cheney administration. You know the one--it was where we unilaterally invaded Iraq based on false CIA "intelligence reports," because they were such a big bad nemesis with nuclear bombs and VX nerve gas, among other terrible things we never found. They were so damned dangerous with their 12 crop dusters and a few Russian tanks made in the 1950s.
            What a ridiculous joke, and we fell for it under the guise of revenge for an attack on us that we still don't fully understand, which a large group claim has never been properly investigated, and I am inclined to agree with some of their points. "They're helping the terrorists! Let's get em!" The war was a scam. It cannot logically be denied, and people are still dying every day because of our government's unwillingness to leave it behind.
            Ron Paul has been ostracized from media coverage, though he is a fan-favorite across the country among a broad group of republicans, democrats and independents, especially young people. The reason for his exclusion is his foreign policy stance that we have brought some of this on ourselves by doing ridiculous, short-sighted, irresponsible things in the Middle East. He believes some of what has happened has been blowback from these foreign policy mistakes. Paul believes 9/11 happened partially because of our policing in the world, namely in 1991 when we placed our military in Saudi Arabia, the holiest place in Islam, as it contains the cities of Mecca and Medina, Mohammad's old stomping grounds. Bush Sr. wanted to oust Saddam Hussein from Kuwait so we'd keep getting Kuwait's cheap oil, and to stabilize the region.
            This dysfunctional relationship we have with Saudi Arabia, who we laughingly call allies, is also at the heart of our foreign policy idiocy. More terrorists are trained and sponsored by the Saudis than any other county, yet we pour billions of dollars into their economy buying oil, thereby enabling the destabilization of the region, and adding to terrorists' ability to strike us here at home. Osama Bin Laden is Saudi, along with many of his top people. Ron Paul is aware of all this, he sees how wrong it is, and he wants to stop it. That would keep a few ultra-rich billionaires from continuing us on a path to global slavery, so he is kept out of the conversation. Donald Trump and Sarah Palin's illegitimate monkey baby has a better chance of being nominated on the republican ticket.
            While being interviewed (verbally assaulted) by Bill O'Reilly, one of the biggest douchebag charlatan conservative demagogues in the history of the world, Ron Paul was asked if he saw Iran as a danger to the United States. He said no. He went on to say Iran couldn't put together a nuclear weapon for 10 years, and a lot can be done between now and then. That was when O'Reilly shat his pants as tears welled up in his Irish eyes, the screams of riot-inciting panic spewing forth. And Ron Paul asked him a question. He asked how we would have felt, during the Cold War, if the USSR had invaded Mexico. Fucking brilliant! O'Reilly just spewed ignorance, having nothing credible or sensible to add to the conversation.
            These are all things to think about as another two years of hard campaigning for your hearts and minds ensues. For crying out loud, whatever you do, don't vote for any of these limp-dick republicans other than Ron Paul. They will land the final blows to the middle class, create more poverty and let the poor die in the streets while cutting another trillion dollars from the taxes of the rich. That's not the country I want to live in, and no one with a soul would admit differently.

Monday, April 4, 2011


     Damn that crazy African-born Obummer and his blackness! Damn his disregard for the U.S. Constitution that he shits upon daily just by being president! We need an old white guy who loves rich people and who allows wage killing! We need someone who taxes the last remnants of the middle-class into abject poverty in order to finance tax breaks for corporations and the richest one percent! We need someone who will create poverty through irresponsible policy bought and paid for by lobbyists, then ignore that poverty and cut social services put in place by "bleeding hearts" in favor of cutting taxes all the way to zero for companies in need of government charity, like Exxon Mobile, General Electric, Bank of America and Citigroup, who all recorded record profits but can't pay taxes this year because it could cut into executive bonuses! We need someone who will preach education for new jobs that don't exist, ignore the death of American industry, then cut funding for that education so the government can give billions of dollars to the biggest, wealthiest corporations, subsidizing their research and development, even though we know that money will be spent on caviar and hookers! Besides, Planned Parenthood is just a bunch of liberals promoting premarital sex and the abortion of innocent fetuses! And let's not forget we need to talk about Jesus, preach Christian values and then exhibit seething intolerance toward gays, other religions, differing political ideologies and anyone else who doesn't see things the way we do--the right way! This guy we have now is a black, socialist foreigner who wants to kill Jesus and bring Hitler back to life so he can rape babies and take away rich folks' money and use it to pay poor folks' heating bills!
     This is the underlying message that comes across through the course of a typical day on FOX News, a cable news network owned by Rupert Murdoch (Australian) and ran by Roger Ailes, a one-time media consultant for presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. FOX News has received criticism, predictably, from former Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairman, Howard Dean, when he called the network a "right-wing propaganda machine," and less predictably, from the children of Murdoch himself, who have reportedly aired their distaste for Ailes and the network's brand of what some call conservative, Republican-serving audio-visual swill.

     Still, it's difficult to discount what you see with your own eyes. I'd like for the folks at FOX News to explain why it was sacrilege for anyone to utter a single negative word about Bush II, slamming such remarks as "un-American" and "unpatriotic," while Obama has been trash-talked and treated as though he's Karl Marx reincarnated. His policies and decisions in situations created by 12 years of Republican control have been criticized to no end. It was often stated on FOX News that it's improper to criticize the president while soldiers are on the ground because such talk was unsupportive to the troops and disrespectful to the armed services in general. We have soldiers on the ground in two hostile countries and military action in a third, but it hasn't stopped FOX News from slanting coverage to the right, against the president, and aligning its laundry list of talking monkey opinion people against him as well.

     When Bill O'Reilly opined on Obama's decision to avert a humanitarian tragedy in Libya, he agreed with almost everything that had been done, but with a twist. It wasn't difficult to discern that Bill-O was probably under orders to find something bad to say about Obama when he finally said he didn't act quickly enough, once again attacking his leadership, which is typical of FOX News. Sean Hannity is just a jackass piece of shit hardly worthy of mention, so I'll leave it there on his score. While Glenn Beck is no better, his pious, sobbing demonstrations of ignorance are worthy of a lot of laughs. One of my favorite episodes involved Beck, with a rabbi on hand to lend credence to his nonsensical ramblings, making convoluted parallels between the biblical Tower of Babel and the new European Union parliament building in Brussels, Belgium. I think that was the point at which I muttered, "fucking moron," and changed the channel. Yeah Glenn, the EU is trying to build a tower that reaches heaven. His dumbass antics are sometimes funny to a point, but it often doesn't take long for him to reach the point of nauseating.

     Cable news is all accountable for this kind of thing. I would be remiss if I didn't mention that MSNBC has opinion people who lean, for the most part, as hard left as FOX News leans right. Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz and Keith Olbermann hang low and to the left, but I insist that their regular news coverage is much more balanced, and they have a couple of opinion people there who are on the ball, namely Dylan Ratigan (Dylan Ratigan Show, MSNBC Weekdays at 4 p.m.). He's a guy with a background in business and a history of calling out greedy megabanks and corrupt elected officials tied to Wall Street fat cats. He puts the crimes committed by the government, megabanks and the Federal Reserve into perspective that lets everyone see what's really going on. He doesn't protect anyone. He doesn't get political. He just attacks the human feces that preys on the American people with what appears to be virtual impunity. He's also a strong advocate for green, renewable energy to replace oil and coal. Those who live on the ideological right aren't noted for their interest in green energy, which is just another reason why some of them need to build time machines and go back to the '50s where they belong. Those of us in the present have to deal with what's going on now, and we have to worry about the real future, not the fuzzy furry bunny fairy tale future where climate change doesn't exist, there's plenty of oil and Jesus will come back and save us before anything bad happens anyway.

     I have friends who are Republicans. They're not all boy-buggering priests, KKK members and ex-Nixon staffers. I don't hate religious people. I just think Jesus should be left out of legislators' intolerant social agenda and public policy, or at least not shoved down the throats of those of us with different beliefs. I have no beef with Republicans wanting to institute some fiscal sense through cutting spending, but I am enraged to my boiling point at finding that some of the largest corporations paid no taxes this year and Republicans hate Obama so much that they're willing to allow these gross injustices, then threaten to shut down the government if they aren't allowed to have their way and cut programs like Pell grants and Planned Parenthood. I have an idea. How about the rich share some of the burden of the shitty economy their greed has created!

     The point is, we should all be very careful about what kind of news we consume, because all of it is paid for by people with an agenda, save NPR, and most news out there is inconsequential bullshit about flag burning and gay marriage or the like. It's there to keep you from noticing what's really going on behind the curtain. Any way you slice it, FOX News is openly right-winged and there are plenty of ex-employees on record stating they were fired or they left because they weren't willing to espouse hardcore Neo-con bullshit. MSNBC may love the left, but it's a lot more attuned to the truth than FOX News will ever be, because I believe they still have that little voice in the back of their minds some folks call a conscience. FOX News better get all their ratings now, because in a few years, when all the oldest, meanest, conservative Bible-thumping assholes kick the bucket, they're going to see those ratings go another way.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Democrat and Republican Missiles Both Taste Like Chicken:

Well, I'm going to try to make a post every week on this blog. Sometimes the subject matter will be political in nature, it may involve social commentary, it may be ridiculous stories of things that occur in my pathetic excuse for an existence and sometimes it will simply be the lunatic ramblings of a vile miscreant known best as a local musician.
            The president said we're having chicken at 7 p.m., but who the Hell decided we're having chicken? Sure, I've equated a whole universe of conspiracy theory to dinner, but the parallel is there. We know we're eating, and we know what time, but who wrote the menu and who cooked the dinner? Unless one is a bonafide member of the Illuminati, it's all conjecture and opinion, although people with sense in their heads know what makes sense and what doesn't.
            Those of us who paid close attention to the 2008 presidential election and the euphoric, anti-republican Obama love in the air, would never have dreamt he'd be the guy to throw U.S. weight around in the Arab world. Obama doesn't seem the type to start slinging missiles, yet it's happening. Of course, he also made himself out to be the guy who was going to straighten out this banking problem, but he's kept all the same former Goldman & Sachs executives in his cabinet and in charge of the Fed. Even G.W. Bush said, before being elected in 2000, that he wanted to pursue a humble foreign policy. People believed that from the little Texas Jesus lover who hid from war during Vietnam and did all his big talking in his much younger days, without Jesus, and through a haze of cocaine and liquor.
            The American public is rather like a man infatuated with fast, fun-loving women. Like any candidate worth his salt, there is a 100 percent certainty that she will talk a good game, and perhaps even feel real affection for the idiot--but in the end, she'll clear his bank account, steal his car, then leave him with a mountain of debt and a fierce addiction to narcotics.
            Who the Hell decided we're going into Libya? I'm not a member of the Illuminati, so this is just my opinion, but I think it was the same folks who seem to control everything else--big business--namely the oil industry. Gas prices have gone crazy, and it has been largely blamed on an unstable Middle East. When Libya's army threatened to quash the rebellion and stabilize the regime, with Yemen prepared to follow suit, the oil industry probably didn't like the outlook on oil prices if everything were allowed to go back to normal. They wanted to shake up the pot and keep things boiling over for a while, because that translates into dollars.
            Just as Bush II was the reluctant patsy left to explain everything when we invaded Iraq, Obama had to go on TV and tell America we were about to go into Libya. After all, he had his dinner orders... from whoever decided what goes on the menu.