My Two Cents on “Consistent Messaging”

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Many people decry what is seen as “inconsistent messaging” with people who are left of the Hitleresque radical right, pointing out how they don’t think, speak, and vote as a block and aren’t as rigidly inflexible on what is called “principles.”  Firstly, let me point out that to my way of thinking, self-interest, greed, and meanspiritedness towards anyone less wealthy or powerful is not “principled,” it is naked, unmasked aggression with the goal of complete domination and willingness to annihilate anything or anyone in the way.  Principles, on the other hand, are values like kindness, compassion, truthfulness, and generosity of spirit, all incredibly lacking in the fanatics in Congress who will not bend the tiniest bit on the fiscal showdown, claiming “principles” as the ‘reason,’ for their intransigence.

My problem with “consistent messaging” is how close this is to actual brainwashing, a coercive technique, something the advertising industry, as well as the CIA, Fox News, Karl Rove, the Koch Bros., and the Republican Right know a lot about.  The 2008 Obama campaign, as well, did a great job at this; in fact the simplistic message of “hope and change” coupled with his odd, halted delivery had what is known as a hypnogogic effect by creating a kind of repetitive “patter,” and lured a glazed-eyed, ardently loyalist following who still cannot acknowledge what a neocon he is, despite his continuing all of the Bush Administration’s illegal wiretapping and torture, instituting a “kill” list, attacking civil liberties, and persecuting whistleblowers.

While a few simple, consistent messages (if they’re based on truth!) are fine, inducing hypnosis and perpetrating brainwashing create the opposite of what we want in a democratic society where no one is ruled or turned into an unthinking robot, repeating the same lines over and over, but who can think and speak freely and engage in thoughtful reflection and debate.  People on the left don’t speak alike because they still can think! The fact that the radical right acts and thinks as a block is nothing new, and is reminiscent of every fascist group, ruled by an authoritarian elite, and is nothing to emulate.  Just my two cents . . . .

Obama and the Democrats: Selling us Out Again

After being elected on a tide of disgust fueled by the Tea Party Republicans’ austerity war on the poor and the middle class, and Obama/Biden promising during the election that, “Social Security is off the table,” the White House is once again turning out to be a pack of liars.  Some of us could see this coming.

I did NOT vote for Obama and spoke up about what I saw as wishful thinking on the part of a number of Democrats I know who thought he would be better the second term, that he would protect the social safety net (instead of being the one to put it on the table as a bargaining chip), who made excuses for his signing the first NDAA bill that stripped us of our 5th amendment rights (even though he was the one insisting on Section 1021 and 1022 as he is now).  I warned that there was no rational basis for the idea that he would be “better” and that he likely would be at least as bad as he wouldn’t be worried about re-election; now it pains me to say he is doing the very things some of us predicted he would do.  Though I didn’t believe it, I was hoping I would be wrong.

We so desperately need better choices, and there were those choices this election cycle, it’s just that no one seriously considered them.  I’ll tell you why.  The Democratic Party and the Republican Party both fight any third party candidates participating in the debates, make up impossible rules for ballot qualification for third party and independent candidates, have allowed the hostile takeover of the debate moderation by the corporate Commission on Presidential Debates, who wrested control from the League of Women Voters who were fair and impartial, and continue to field candidates nearly indistinguishable from one another.  Surveys have shown that 70% of people surveyed would vote third party if they thought the candidate could win,  and we need to level the playing field so that third party candidates have a chance to get heard so that they are seen as viable so they CAN win!

As an example of the kind of fascist control the two-party tyranny exerts, Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala, the Green Party presidential candidates, were ARRESTED AND HELD in a special facility where they were bound for hours with no one knowing where they were at first,when they tried to attend the presidential debate in New York, even though they were on over 80% of the ballots nationwide??!! What an outrageous hypocrisy in a country always touting its freedom! There is a serious need for some actual democracy and plurality in this country, not this two-party rule, and my question to you Democrats is, when are you going to demand better from your party and stop enabling this kind of inequality?!

Now you can “rather have” Obama sell us down the river by cutting Social Security, rather than Romney.  What’s the difference?!  This “deal” is coming from the White House, just like the demand that our 5th amendment rights in the NDAA bill be thrown out.  I would have rather had someone way better than Obama, like the P & F, Green, or Justice Party candidates that ran—wouldn’t you??!!  We need to change this system that stomps all over the chances of everyone but the Democrat and Republican “choices.” This is especially true for President; there are much better Democrats in Congress (the House AND the Senate) but since “their guy” in the W. H. is selling us out, they are going to go along with it, whereas if a Republican were in the White House, they would be putting up more of a fight, because party politics always win out, not standing up for the citizens of this country.  This is why I say we need to do away with parties altogether, so that we can deal with the issues rather than play out endless partisan struggles for power, but in the meantime, we could at least have a plurality, so that there would be more choices and more voices, some of whom are bound to be better than this continuing charade!

ALERT: Call Congress, White House re NDAA 2013!

The House has passed an even more extreme version of the National Defense Authorization Act which again strips us of our constitutional rights, allowing for indefinite detention of U. S. citizens on U. S. soil without charge or trial, despite the last one, the NDAA 2012, being ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge.  We must speak up and voice our outrage to our representatives and the White House before it is passed by the Senate and Obama signs it into law!  When you call, remind them that the billions spent on endless wars and Pentagon pork authorized by this bill can be applied to the deficit and budget instead of cutting Social Security with the outrageous and cruel chained CPI!

To learn more and act, go to:  https://secure.downsizedc.org/etp/detention/

http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/498/p/dia/action/public/index.sjs?action_KEY=8895

  • Call White House:  202-456-1111
  • Call Senator Boxer:  202-224-3553
  • Call Senator Feinstein: 202-224-3841

Also see:

NDAA 2013 – Even Worse than 2012!!

Well here we go again.  Just when you think it can’t get worse, Congress passes an even more Orwellian version of the National Defense Authorization Act.  The Senate has again approved the NDAA 2013 with the indefinite detention provisions intact, which allowed for the indefinite detention of U. S. citizens on U. S. soil without charge or trial, strips us of habeas corpus, and expands the sanctions against Iran, which is no serious threat to the U. S., as well as “counter-terrorism” activities, code for illegal drone wars, wiretapping, and other invasive tactics.  But the House version, which passed on Friday, December 21, replaced weak guarantees with even more nebulous language.

The NDAA 2012 was successfully challenged in court and ruled unconstitutional, but the Obama administration filed an appeal claiming these provisions were necessary for “national security,” the buzz phrase that prevents many unconstitutional laws from being overturned, so a stay was placed on the injunction that would have prevented the law from taking effect.

Like its predecessor,the NDAA 2013 is UNCONSTITUTIONAL and we must speak out before it is again signed into law over the holidays while everyone is distracted, like the 2012 version was, on New Year’s Eve!

For more information, go to:

http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/congress/item/12393-senate-soon-to-vote-on-ndaa-for-2013

http://www.thedailysheeple.com/house-passes-ndaa-2013-with-indefinite-detention-intact_122012

http://rt.com/usa/news/ndaa-veto-guantanamo-detention-993/

To act, go to:

https://secure.downsizedc.org/etp/detention/

Is Obama Dangling us Over the Cliff?!

Obama &  the Social Safety Net

I am very concerned that the White House is going to cave in to pressure from the hostage-taking Republicans with regard to the phony “fiscal cliff” despite the fact that it is a huge betrayal of the middle class and the poor to continue to allow the ultra-rich 1% to evade paying their fair share of taxes off the backs of the rest of us.  We also are not fooled by the phony “fiscal cliff” nonsense, nor are we taken in by the attempt to gut Social Security and Medicare, programs to which we the people are ENTITLED because people have paid into them their entire adult lives!  Social Security and Medicare do not add ONE PENNY to the deficit so this is a total red herring and the budget crisis is one of their own making.  But we the people, per usual, are the ones who stand to lose from the political posturing because these threats have real financial consequences in the real world to real people and Obama is not grounded in terra firma if he risks the well-being of the American people in this game of chicken.  Will he throw us over the cliff or throw us a lifeline and keep the social safety net intact?

Obama was re-elected to stand up to these right-wing lapdogs to the ultra-rich, not give in to their rigid, grossly unfair, preposterous demands, but if history is any indicator, he will forget who elected him, become the weak, spineless (or worse) non-leader he has been, and cave in once again.  Worse, Obama has been the one who has opened the door to cutting Social Security and Medicare, decrying his not “getting credit” to negotiate away our most basic programs upon which millions of Americans depend.  As these cuts would especially harm women who are the poorest of the poor, I here reiterate what the National Organization of Women stated, that specifically he should NOT:

  • back down from allowing the full amount of the Bush-era tax cuts for the top 2% of income earners to expire
  •  agree to the “chained CPI,” a cruel and immediate cut in Social Security benefits
  • agree to raising the Medicare eligibility age
  • agree to means-testing Medicare
  • agree to cutting Medicaid funding in any way

All of this current discussion in Washington is a distraction.  If cuts were applied where they need to be–wars and the Pentagon–and the richest 1% and multinational corporations were paying their fair share in taxes and generating the jobs they supposedly create, there would be no deficit and no budget shortfall.  John Boehner, Paul Ryan, and the rest of the austerity fascists and their enablers like Obama need to fall off their fictional fiscal cliff, not mercilessly shove the middle class and the poor over it by destroying the social safety net while allowing their billionaire paymasters to continue to evade responsibility for their actions and live as fiscal predators and parasites off the backs of the 99%.  We would be far better off to have tax increases across the board go into effect than trade away these vital lifelines.  In a world where the interests of the people were actually considered, Congress could then draw up a sensible budget strengthening Social Security and streamlining Medicare, and eliminate the deficit by increasing taxes on the ultra-rich, ending all the wars, and drastically reducing the bloated Pentagon budget.

Is a Cure Coming? Marijuana Compound Stops Aggressive Cancers | Care2 Causes

One of the biggest reasons legalization of cannabis continues to be fought so hard is because Big Pharma wants to synthesize, monopolize, and capitalize on it and its use.  But from what I understand, it is the full complement of natural cannabinoids that are especially effective; just as in all synthesized and rarefied drugs, something vital is lost in the process.  If we had access to pure, natural food, spices, and herbs (like cannabis) instead of the irradiated, pesticide, hormone, preservative-laden GMO Frankenfood the corporate world wants to foist on us, there would be little need for all of these drugs, because our immune systems would be healthy and capable of warding off disease.  But then, how would a poor pharmaceutical CEO and his 1% employers, the drug cartels, and their corrupt governmental enablers survive  if they weren’t profiting off of the ill health of the 99%?!

Is a Cure Coming? Marijuana Compound Stops Aggressive Cancers | Care2 Causes

Obama: Don’t appoint SOPA architect as next Secretary of State!

Howard Berman, unrepentant architect and supporter of the infamous SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act), legislation that would have granted ISP’s enormous unchecked power to restrict Internet freedom and allowed big companies to elbow out competitors, is among the people apparently being considered by Obama to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State.  The appointment of Berman, who is so known for his protectionism of the entertainment industry and copyright interests that he has earned the moniker as the “representative from Hollywood,” though his congressional district (26) included cities along the San Gabriel foothills from La Canada Flintridge to as far East as Rancho Cucamonga when he served in Congress should be opposed.

In addition, another huge concern is his record on trade, which, though not uniform, has been mostly supportive of “free trade” agreements, voting for NAFTA and for supporting the World Trade Organization and would indicate that he may likely push for the passage of the nefarious Trans-Pacific Partnership, an agreement that would enable corporate interests to subvert governments on a global scale.  He also voted for the FISA Amendments Act of 2008 and sponsored the Anti-Boycott Act in the House, which would have prohibited Americans from boycotting Israeli goods in order to protest the occupation of Palestine.  There is a theme here that causes us to conclude that he would not be a good pick for Secretary of State as he has favored government control over civil liberties and protecting corporate interests over the freedom of citizens.

If you agree, sign the letter from Demand Progress at: http://act.demandprogress.org/letter/sos_berman/

Global Warming: the Real, “Physical” Cliff

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While representatives in Washington debate the  “fiscal cliff” of their own invention, we are edging ever closer to a real, physical cliff:  extreme weather due to carbon emissions.  After almost entirely avoiding the issue of climate change and the need for pursuing alternatives to fossil fuels during the presidential debates, Hurricane Sandy hit with a vengeance to drive the point home how critical the situation is and I credit it with playing a role in defeating Republicans this November, particularly Romney.

Despite Sandy and the increasing urgency for action, the naysayers and dimwitted demagogues in Washington pretend that their made-up budget deadline is more important than attending the Climate Summit in Doha, Qatar.  Sen. Inhofe, true to form,  is reportedly questioning why anyone should attend the conference as the White House and Congress are embroiled in budget so-called “negotiations” (going nowhere as usual) and are conspicuously absent. Though the developing nations of India and China now are producing huge amounts of CO2, the U. S. remains the most flagrantly unrelenting in its refusal to ratify carbon reduction agreements, even though it has had the worst historical record of carbon emissions, and its inattendance severely thwarts worldwide efforts to change course.

I wonder if the moronic Inhofe is still declaring climate change a “hoax” in the wake of Sandy.  His state of Oklahoma has been experiencing record drought, like the rest of the Great Plains states: North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Montana, Wyoming, New Mexico, and Colorado, but this hasn’t previously phased him.  It is curious to note that all these same states, with the exception of New Mexico and Colorado, voted for Romney, a climate denier, in the last election.  Perhaps the residents of these states, along with the disinformation-pushing Koch Bros., need to take a tour of the eastern seaboard, and witness the destruction firsthand so that they might be shaken awake, as every coastal state, from Maine to Florida, was affected, along with other northeastern states like Michigan and Wisconsin, as the storm traveled clear across the Appalachians.

Corporate agriculture, enabled by global-warming scoffing Republicans like Inhofe, will increasingly be attempting to profiteer off tragic disasters like megastorm Sandy, as Naomi Klein outlines in her book, “Shock Doctrine:  The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.”  You can bet that they will be pushing more and more GMO crops, hormones, and pesticides in order to try to circumvent nature rather than correcting the problem of burning fossil fuels.  This is equivalent to what the pharmaceutical industry does in pushing drugs that fool your body into thinking its ok rather than going after the cause of the illness and curing it.

We cannot look to our plutocratic government to lead nor can we hope for any solutions from the greed-driven corporate world.  As always, we the people are the ones who will effect real change by direct action and demanding that our government do what is needed, e. g.  institute serious emissions reduction, pursue clean alternatives to dirty energy,  and preserve tropical rainforests.  We must also end corporate “personhood” and money as speech, and stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership as they figure into this largely:  corporate “personhood” is the root problem behind all the others and the TPP would institute global corporate government and permanently hamper efforts to slow global warming or protect the environment.

Bill McKibben, who heads up 350.org, has been doing a “Do the Math” tour to help raise awareness regarding heating of the planet because of CO2 emissions and resulting climate change.  He has been encouraging students to pressure their college boards to divest themselves of big polluters, which has expanded into an effort at schools across the country.  This is how we get things done!  For more information on these issues, check out these links:

http://www.politico.com/story/2012/12/fiscal-cliff-worries-overshadow-qatar-climate-talks-84588.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jerry-cope/president-obama-to-attend_b_2114201.html?utm_hp_ref=climate-change

http://news.yahoo.com/climate-change-threatens-long-term-sustainability-great-plains-130100922.html

To Fight Climate Change, College Students Take Aim at the Endowment Portfolio – NYTimes.com

http://www.350.org/nyt?akid=2535.725965.OzWAg4&rd=1&t=4

http://gofossilfree.org/companies/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtqSIplGXOA&feature=youtu.be