Friday, February 12, 2010

I Know What's Wrong with America

This week's 9-11 lie from George W.'s former speech writer Marc Thiessen is just the latest case. For close to eight full decades, the Right has steadily poured a deathly poison into Americans' eyes and ears. The result is that today we're sickened almost to the killing point.

There's a word for this. It's treachery. That's what a lie is, and take note: Treachery stems from the same root as treason. It means--please take these synonyms slowly, mull them over one by one--betrayal of trust, faith, or allegiance; perfidy, disloyalty, and treason.

Propaganda--let's be frank--lying in politics--is nothing new. What is new is today's lethality, systemization, ubiquity, and respectability. They aren't playing for partisan gain. They're playing for keeps.

And what is new is the credulity, ignorance, and apathy of the American public. Face it. We're a lot less educated and a lot more easily stampeded now than we once were. One such malady would be bad enough, but afflicted with all three? Baby, we just don't stand a chance.

For malicious lethality, I give you "baby killers," "the homosexual agenda," the hyped-up hoardes of "criminal, leprous immigrants," the "death panels." In fact, I give you the far Right's vicious Balkanization of all the American people into just so many expendable parts.

Journalist and blogger David Neiwert has aptly named this phenom "eliminationism." Unarguably, its inevitable consequences are the murders of Dr. Tiller, Matthew Shepard, Stephen T. Johns and thousands of nameless GLBT people, African Americans, immigrants, and desperate poor whose assassinations didn't make the national headlines. Not to mention the chance for millions of uninsured Americans to see a doctor, get a prescription, or have a life-saving surgery. Or prosecution of the Robber Barons of Wall Street. Or indictment of the last Administration for war crimes and theft on a galactic scale.

For systemization and ubiquity, I give you hidden corporate funding and uber-wealthy patrons. I give you Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, the Trinity Broadcasting Network, Clear Channel, and the rest of talk radio, all full- or part-time propaganda arms of the Republican Party, all heirs of the John Birch Society, the Ku Klux Klan, and HUAC.

Add to far Right media the thousands of ultra-conservative nonprofits deputized (and given tax breaks) to incite us to lethal rage by telling lie after lie after lie. Citizens United, for instance. Focus on the Family. Eagle Forum. The 700 Club, and the numerous (tax-exempt) national curriculum coordinators for far Right, Christianist, activist home schooling. Front groups like The Advancement of Sound Science Coalition.

It's not just the far Right media impact or its voter recruitment, registration, and "education" consequences. It's also taxpayer subsidized direct mail avalanches of lies, distortions, and invective unleashed deliberatly for decades to whip up the base (and steal its money).

To these, add the astroturf websites and organizations, the tweets, and even the bumper stickers. Then from the total, subtract competing organizations as media consolidation, deregulation, and the Second Great Depression purge the airwaves and the presses of counterpoint, of fact.

Critical to understanding all this is grasping that there are thousands of heavily funded far Right organizations. If the far Right was once a "fringe," today it is pretty much the center of our culture. Its devotees occupy every sector of government, church, and culture, and just recently occupied even the White House.

Most of these organizations have innocuous or even positive names designed to confer credibility and respectability on ideas that nauseate and repel people of integrity. Americans for Truth, for instance, all about the "homosexual agenda." And FAIR, which the Southern Poverty Law Center long ago unmasked as one of at least ten manufactured virulent propaganda tools created by veteran racist Tom Tanton.

Such groups exist specifically to flood the media, to bury the gullible millions in "talking points" intended to whip up moral outrage, pit the well-off against the desperate, spur voter backlash and ultra-right lawmaking, and meanwhile to distract us all from the orchestrated Republican hosing of the American middle class.

This isn't made up. It's real. You know it to be true if you drew breath at all in the last 10 years.

Daily Media Matters e-alerts attempt to correct the rain of lies, but its circulation pales by contract to Rupert Murdock's reach.

For respectability, I give you United States senators, judges, sherrifs, Members of Congress, state legislators and governors, bishops, clergymen, physicians, heads and staffs of federal departments and agencies, professors, teachers, high school principals, librarians, and pharmacists.

It gets worse. The states are bristling with armed militias and so-called "patriot groups" poised to slaughter anyone they perceive as "not us." It will take only a spark. To provide it, talk show hosts incite murder every day. Murder, rebellion, whatever it takes.

Even so, and fully aware of what's at stake, "respectable" pundits and news anchors let the lies pass. Those who don't actually amplify the treasonous far Right Jihad on America (e.g., Lou Dobbs) either don't bother to get the facts themselves or are silent, baldly complict (e.g., Wolf Blitzer, Andrea Mitchell). Their jobs depend on their playing ball. After all, their corporate masters are heavily invested in a fascist America, because corporatism is a main tenet of fascism.

For eighty years or more, the American people have been systematically goaded by ever more concentrated poisoned prods into a brimming rage--over largely invented actions, omissions, and words attributed to this pro-Constitution, egalitarian Democratic President or that Democratic Justice or just to Lib'ruls in general.

But somehow, nobody's talking about how the heat is mostly over made-up, imaginary affronts to imaginary values (family values), imaginary traditions (the, um, unconstitutional "Judeo-Christian" nation), imaginary heroes (Ronald Reagan,fiscal conservative. George W. Bush, fighter pilot).

The War on Christmas? The "illegal takeover"? "Welfare Cadillacs"? The "Myth" of Global Warming? Liberals Appease the Enemy? See Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Bill O'Reilly, Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, and before them, see Paul Harvey, Joe McCarthy, and that high-toned FDR assassination cabal.

If you want to know what's wrong with America, or why the two parties can't cooperate, start right there.

The Left may not be spotless, but there's NO comparison, either quantitatively or qualitatively, between the Left and Right when it comes to corrupting the American cerebellum. In fact, one of the magic carpets under which this all hides is the lie of equivalence: "They all do it." Well, no. Doubt it? Go on: Name one Left counterpart action, organization, or person for every indictment in this rant. You can't. There is no counterpart to Fox. No counterpart to Limbaugh, or Lou Dobbs, or Pat Robertson.. Sen. Coburn. Sen. Santorum. Alan Keyes. None. Nada.

Again, there's a word for this.

This poison--certainly known in advance to be toxic waste--is both source and foundation of the unprecedented paralysis in Washington, DC that already threatens our capacity as a nation to respond to huge and growing national security, fiscal, environmental, and infrastructural threats.

The same polluted swill is also both source and foundation of the "Birthers," the Tea Partiers, the milititant Christianists, the Sarah Palin groupies, the wanna-be Joe the Plumbers (another hoax). This is the amniotic cesspool in which the whole dim-witted, fact-phobic, fear-drunk, anti-poor, anti-immigrant, anti-woman, anti-pigment, anti-sex, anti-environment, anti-gay, anti-labor, anti-humanist, anti-Constitution American Right has been steeped for 80 years.

Why's nobody talking about how all this is mostly over made-up stuff?

It would be funny except that America held such sacred promise.

It would be funny except that my dad lost his eye defending that promise.

It would be funny except that millions of people have already died, and millions more will follow, because those who perpetrate these hoaxes are who profit most. profits of perpetual war and the swindles of Wall Street. I give you Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, the Neo-Cons all, and Paulson and Greenspan and Rice and pharma lobbyists and Dobbs-Limbaugh lapdogs.

For sure, the redneck hard-hats and the truck drivers who make up their conservative base won't profit. They're every bit as expendable as you or me: Remember W's repeal of the Davis-Bacon Act for Gulf Coast states right after Katrina? Remember what you learned from The Shock Doctrine? Remember for-profit, paid-per-capita prisons stuffed to the rafters through hard-Right propaganda and the not-coincidental suddenly intense war on Mexican immigrants? Remember "privatization," the plan that replaces public control of our infrastructure, water, utilities, hospitals, highways, and energy, and replaces them with with private ownership of water, utilities, the military, energy, hospitals, etc. Can you say ENRON? HCA? Blackwater/Xe? Hello?

So it turns out that the garbage we've been forcefed all these years isn't just false. It's also a boondoggle. Turns out that all this Rightwing raving isn't about (the bogus) "homosexual agenda" or the (made-up) illegal takeover, or the "emasculation" of the 'Merkun male at all.

It's about corporatism and privatization. It's about perpetual war for perpetual profit, and a "free market" stripped of regulation and stripped down for plunder. I give you Halliburton, KBR, Xe, Pepsico, Monsanto, the Carlyle Group, and the Wall Street con men. Even our far Right state legislatures, like Arizona's, and avowed racist lawmakers like Russell Pearce are penny-ante demagogues, pawns in a way bigger chess match and too stupid to know it.

There's a word for this. It's called treason. Yet the Legislative and Executive branches are either immobilized or co-conspirators, and our highest Court--that tool of the Right responsible for empowering W and Dick and legitimizing their Reign of Plunder--just took it over the top. When the US Supreme Court ruled recently that restricting corporate funding of political candidates is unconstitutional, they unleashed a corporatist muck tsunami that very well may choke us all to death.

For 30 pieces of silver, a platform, and a megaphone, men and women like Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia, John Roberts, Sarah Palin, John McCain, Jon Kyl, Mitch McConnell, Rush Limbaugh, John Boehner, Glenn Beck, Ann Coulter, Sean Hannity, Michelle Malkin, Tom Tancredo, Karl Rove, and a host of lesser infidels have sold their mortal souls.

They've sold ours, too, and any hope our children ever had for the American Dream.

There's a word for this. It's treason.

Behold the City on a Hill. Or, I Can't Make This Stuff Up

If you secretly want to know what a far-Right Republican regime looks like, visit Arizona.

From my favorite AZ blogger about a pending AZ House bill: "HB 2650 would increase the waiting time for a divorce by 4 months, to give couples a chance to reconcile their differences."

Like they hadn't thought about that already? This is like handing your mom a cork after she's poured the champagne down the drain.

HB 2650 was written by the Center for Arizona Policy. This is the same outfit that used the proposition option to ban gay marriage in AZ. I just can't wait to find out how good, white, upscale, Republican, straight Arizonans will feel about having their good, white, upscale, Republican, straight private lives managed by the gov'mint. But wait. I forgot. Those people never get divorced, do they?

And then there's AZ state Sen. Frank Antenori's inspiration, SB 2770. That's Antenori there in the photo, proving still yet again that pictures DO speak louder than words. Antenori wants to set up a 1-800 number so you can report anybody you see using food stamps to buy smokes or booze or a cell phone. FANtastic!

What's next?

Any day now, watch for a bill from the Center for Arizona Policy that will set up a call line so you can report single people who buy condoms. I'm so LOVIN' this.

Honey, if you think it's right to ban a poor man from using food stamps to buy booze or cigarettes, can you spell DEMAGOGUERY? This is where fascism meets Mao Tse Tung.

Sure. Nobody, including moi, likes to see waste of federal or state aid, or a display of really bad judgment. But like many another morally superior Republican, Antenori makes his laws out of 3 parts ignorance, 2 parts hypocrisy, and 1 part frustration.

Think about it. It's a curiously anti-market approach for a Republican. The bill requires the state to interefere in personal choice. It interferes in free market transactions, and it punishes poor people for believing all they need for the Good Life is a six-pack and a Camel cigarette.

It's not just stupid. It's brutal. It's demagoguery that pits folks lucky enough not to have bought an overpriced house right before Bush's market collapse against those who weren't so lucky. Or well connnected. Or educated.

But I guess it's better we should criminalize poor people than go after the bankers and insurors who've brought us the Second Great Depression, the Iraq Occupation, Blackwater and Halliburton frauds on the Treasury, and no health care. It's the Republican way.