Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Bill Moyers Tells US "Democracy On the Ropes!" (Will Obama's Good-bye Remind US of Bush's?)


Remember the changing of the guard in 2009? We may have another in 2013. Granted, Obama cuts a much better figure intellectually, but when measuring political results you might notice that he's actually achieved much more than George Dubya ever dreamed of. And not for "us" particularly (unless you're in that top .01%). It's almost cute to watch his dismay when the Rethugs won't even let him have a few crumbs to offer to "us." You'd almost think he wasn't in on the joke. Almost. Until you remember the fundraising dinner prices.

I sometimes think about what must have been a rather slow demise of the Roman civilization and how its citizens probably felt more and more worried as they stumbled to their end. (And I doubt they had an OccupyRome Movement then.)

Listen to Bill Moyers give us/US a final warning about doing nothing. (Oh, and I believe Dubya had the dots connected pretty well. Witness the dumbfounded look on his usually blank countenance  the morning of 9/11/01.)



[Contributions to this blog's continuance are humbly accepted wholeheartedly.]

The Humiliation of America


Paul Craig Roberts
January 14, 2009

“Early Friday morning the secretary of state was considering bringing the cease-fire resolution to a UNSC vote and we didn’t want her to vote for it,” Olmert said. “I said ‘get President Bush on the phone.’ They tried and told me he was in the middle of a lecture in Philadelphia. I said ‘I’m not interested, I need to speak to him now.’ He got down from the podium, went out and took the phone call.”
"Let me see if I understand this,” wrote a friend in response to news reports that Israeli Prime Minister Olmert ordered President Bush from the podium where he was giving a speech to receive Israel’s instructions about how the United States had to vote on the UN resolution. “On September 11th, President Bush is interrupted while reading a story to school children and told the World Trade Center had been hit – and he went on reading. Now, Olmert calls about a UN resolution when Bush is giving a speech and Bush leaves the stage to take the call. There exists no greater example of a master-servant relationship.”
Olmert gloated as he told Israelis how he had shamed US Secretary of State Condi Rice by preventing the American Secretary of State from supporting a resolution that she had helped to craft. Olmert proudly related how he had interrupted President Bush’s speech in order to give Bush his marching orders on the UN vote.
Israeli politicians have been bragging for decades about the control they exercise over the US government. In his final press conference, President Bush, deluded to the very end, said that the whole world respects America. In fact, when the world looks at America, what it sees is an Israeli colony.
Responding to mounting reports from the Red Cross and human rights organizations of Israel’s massive war crimes in Gaza, the United Nations Human Rights Council voted 33-1 on January 12 to condemn Israel for grave offenses against human rights.

On January 13, the London Times reported that Israelis have gathered on a hillside overlooking Gaza to enjoy the slaughter of Palestinians in what the Times calls “the ultimate spectator sport.”

It is American supplied F-16 fighter jets, helicopter gunships, missiles, and bombs that are destroying the civilian infrastructure of Gaza and murdering the Palestinians who have been packed into the tiny strip of land. What is happening to the Palestinians herded into the Gaza Ghetto is happening because of American money and weapons. It is just as much an attack by the United States as an attack by Israel. The US government is complicit in the war crimes.

Yet in his farewell press conference on January 12, Bush said that the world respects America for its compassion.
The compassion of bombing a UN school for girls?
The compassion of herding 100 Palestinians into one house and then shelling it?
The compassion of bombing hospitals and mosques?
The compassion of depriving 1.5 million Palestinians of food, medicine, and energy?
The compassion of violently overthrowing the democratically elected Hamas government?
The compassion of blowing up the infrastructure of one of the poorest and most deprived people on earth?
The compassion of abstaining from a Security Council vote condemning these actions?
And this is a repeat of what the Israelis and Americans did to Lebanon in 2006, what the Americans did to Iraqis for six years and are continuing to do to Afghans after seven years. And still hope to do to the Iranians and Syrians.
In 2002 I designated George W. Bush “the White House Moron.” If there ever was any doubt about this designation, Bush’s final press conference dispelled it.

Bush talked about connecting the dots, but Bush has failed to connect any dots for eight solid years.
“Our” president was a puppet for a cabal led by Dick Cheney and a handful of Jewish neoconservatives, who took control of the Pentagon, the State Department, the National Security Council, the CIA, and “Homeland Security.” From these power positions, the neocon cabal used lies and deception to invade Afghanistan and Iraq, pointless wars that have cost Americans $3 trillion, while millions of Americans lose their jobs, their pensions, and their access to health care.
“These obviously very difficult economic times,” Bush said in his press conference, “started before my presidency.”
Bush has plenty of liberal company in failing to connect a $3 trillion dollar war with hard times. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities blames Bush’s tax cut, not the wars, for “the fiscal deterioration.”
Bush told the White House Press Corps, a useless collection of non-journalists, that the two mistakes of his invasion of Iraq were: (1) Putting up the “mission accomplished” banner on the aircraft carrier, which, he said, “sent the wrong message,” and (2) the absence of the alleged weapons of mass destruction that he used to justify the invasion.
Although Bush now admits that there were not any such weapons in Iraq, Bush said that the invasion was still the right thing to do.
The deaths of 1.25 million Iraqis, the displacement of 4 million Iraqis, and the destruction of a country’s infrastructure and economy are merely the collateral damage associated with “bringing freedom and democracy” to the Middle East.
Unless George W. Bush is the best actor in human history, he truly believes what he told the White House Press Corps.
What Bush did not explain is how America is respected when its people put a moron in charge for eight years.
(PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions. He can be reached at: PaulCraigRoberts@yahoo.com.)

Just for fun, I'd like to mention that Charles Pierce in Esquire has taken David F. Brooks apart again. Enjoy! (What a prig!) (H/T to Driftglass who has made this type of DFB exposé an industry.)

I don't think it's too strident to demand at this point that David Brooks be hauled up before a jury consisting of everyone else in America and forced to defend himself against several million counts of being an insufferable twat in a public place. In today's episode of Missing the Point So I Don't Miss a Meal, Our Mr. Brooks informs us that he once again has placed us all under close inspection beneath his monocle and discovered that some of us are very angry, not because some thieves in nice suits pillaged the national economy and then held the scraps for ransom. Oh, no, that isn't it at all, and he's got some wholly arbitrary ad hoc sociological categories to prove it.
Here's one:
If you live in these big cities, you see people similar to yourself, who may have gone to the same college, who are earning much more while benefiting from low tax rates, wielding disproportionate political power, gaining in prestige and contributing seemingly little to the social good. That is the experience of Blue Inequality.
Here's the other:
Then there is what you might call Red Inequality. This is the kind experienced in Scranton, Des Moines, Naperville, Macon, Fresno, and almost everywhere else. In these places, the crucial inequality is not between the top 1 percent and the bottom 99 percent. It’s between those with a college degree and those without. Over the past several decades, the economic benefits of education have steadily risen. In 1979, the average college graduate made 38 percent more than the average high school graduate, according to the Fed chairman, Ben Bernanke. Now the average college graduate makes more than 75 percent more.
Ah, you might say, this is all my balls. Shouldn't we at least mention here that many people do not go to college because they can't afford it? Shouldn't we mention that the reason they can't afford it is that nobody has any fking money anymore? Shouldn't we also mention that the reason nobody has any fking money anymore is because of economic policy that enabled unbridled corporate avarice, whereby all the jobs got shipped out of Scranton and Des Moines and off to Shandong and Inner Mongolia? This left us with a Potemkin national economy within which our primary products are new financial instruments through which the 1 percent can steal what's left, thereby further guaranteeing, again, that nobody has any fking money anymore.
Ah, but you would be wrong. The real problem is that all those undereducated poor people are humping themselves into bankruptcy and an early coronary:

In fact, the income differentials understate the chasm between college and high school grads. In the 1970s, high school and college grads had very similar family structures. Today, college grads are much more likely to get married, they are much less likely to get divorced and they are much, much less likely to have a child out of wedlock.
Yes, and college grads are far more likely to have expensive lawnmowers and the ability to hit a two-iron. What in the hell is your point here? The life of an unemployed mechanic in Macon is not unequal to that of an unemployed recent graduate of the University of Georgia, where no unapproved fornicating occurs. That kid is going to come home with his degree and talk to his old high-school football tight end, the mechanic, and they're both going to be angry because there is no work because, and I know I'm repeating myself here, nobody has any fking money anymore.
But, ah, you might say, what we have here is a great argument for vastly increasing and simplifying federal student loans, and for forgiving student debt, because what passes for data in this column clearly indicates that a college degree is critical to avoiding certain social pathologies that are at the root of our genuine inequality, and not the fact that nobody has any fking money anymore.
No, you probably guessed by now, Your Honor, it's values again. And, of course, not those values that we hoped our financial barons would have that would make them realize that stealing everything that isn't nailed down is not good for America.
Nope, it's all those poor people humping again:
That's because the protesters and media people who cover them tend to live in or near the big cities, where the top 1 percent is so evident. That's because the liberal arts majors like to express their disdain for the shallow business and finance majors who make all the money. That’s because it is easier to talk about the inequality of stock options than it is to talk about inequalities of family structure, child rearing patterns and educational attainment. That's because many people are wedded to the notion that our problems are caused by an oppressive privileged class that perpetually keeps its boot stomped on the neck of the common man.
But the fact is that Red Inequality is much more important. The zooming wealth of the top 1 percent is a problem, but it's not nearly as big a problem as the tens of millions of Americans who have dropped out of high school or college. It's not nearly as big a problem as the 40 percent of children who are born out of wedlock. It's not nearly as big a problem as the nation's stagnant human capital, its stagnant social mobility and the disorganized social fabric for the bottom 50 percent.
Those two paragraphs alone, Your Honor, represent the rest of the American people's prima facie against Our Mr. Books on the charges before the bar. There's the sneering at "liberal arts majors" from a guy with a degree in History from the University of Chicago. There's the usual wheedling nonsense about family structure and "stagnant human capital," as Brooks tosses out tinpot sociology like a dime to a beggar on a steam grate. We do have an oppressive privileged class. (Brooks should look around his dinner table some time.) For three decades, as the Congressional Budget Office reported last week, most of the wealth of this country flowed upwards into it. Over the past decade, that privileged class, without a peep from people like David Brooks, turned the American economy into a dog track, and it didn't matter a damn whether you went to college or didn't go to college, or whether you were having babies "out of wedlock" (Jesus, what a priss) or not. That privileged class enriched itself and to hell with the rest of us.
"Disorganized social fabric"? Holy hell, people are just trying to keep from getting tossed out into the street and all he's got by way of an explanation is that too many people are getting knocked up and too few are going to college, even though we all woke up sometime in the autumn of 2008 and discovered that nobody had any fking money anymore.

Your Honor, the prosecution rests.

4 comments:

Bret “Ginx” Alan said...

You really think Romney will beat Obama in 2012?

Suzan said...

It won't be Romney.

He's dead meat already.

They just haven't announced it yet.

Love ya,

S

Beach Bum said...

Unless George W. Bush is the best actor in human history, he truly believes what he told the White House Press Corps.

I have been amazed to discover that most conservatives I am around do believe the crap that the invasion of Iraq was worth it. Now the United States can have road and bridges falling apart with homeless families in the streets but dammit, but they believe we brought democracy to Iraq and that makes us number one.

Its insane.

Suzan said...

Welcome to an insane country, huh, BB?

And the whole world knows it.

Love ya,

S