My Two Cents #6

Here is the latest “my two cents” vlog.

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politics is done in the darkness podcast #6

I’ve decided to continue my political podcasts, but only as podcasts/audio-casts, with no accompanying YouTube video, as the videos for “my two cents” serve as political vlogs as far as video format goes. Here is the latest podcast.

my two cents #4

I’ve decided to merge my two political audio/video series together. So, the “politics is done in the darkness” audio/video will be merged into the “my two cents” political vlog videos. I’ve also decide to use the link to the blog I set up for these videos, rather than to the video itself. Here is the link.

Western Democracy

This is in the form of an ogg file. It is also from a while back, and maybe on this blog in a different form already.This one seems to not be working. That is interesting WordPress. Other files of the exact same type work, but this one doesn’t want to. Hmmm… But I won’t give up yet.And yet now it works. Please stop being mysterious WordPress. Either the html code is accepted or not.

 

What about the Lumpenproletariat?

You know, the truth is Marx’s term, the “Lumpenproletariat,” had gone straight over my head before. I just accepted the common usage, as a disparaging term grouping the nationalistic, militaristic masses into one category. But I think I like the Lumpen as defined by Wikipedia. I though I’d put this here because it has been so long since I last posted here, and strangely enough, this blog gets viewed more than much of the media I actually consistently use. So, I agree with Bakunin on that one.

The World is a Mess

One hundred years on from WWI, and it would seem that the great powers haven’t learned a thing. In fact, some believe there could easily be war in Europe again. And unlike the US led attack on Yugoslavia a few decades ago, this will not be without reprisal. Russia is now quite capable and willing to defend what she sees as her interests.  Currently, the war between the perhaps not so legitimate Ukrainian government and the rebels to the east of that country continues, and worsens.

Many of the original government to take over in Kiev have already resigned, including the infamous “Yats,” of course who was of the choosing of Victoria Nuland herself. One can only wonder about the inside politics that allowed this to take place. Did “Yats” know something divined through tea leaves about the immediate future of the region?

Meanwhile, from the Levant to Iraq, the Middle East (a misnomer of sorts, as there are Asia, Africa, and Europe – but truly no “Middle East” ) is suffering disaster compounded by catastrophe. The so-called IS fighters have swept through much of the region, establishing a “Caliphate” in their wake. There are some, especially in the region, who are quite certain IS are not who they claim to be. Who really is ISIS and how could they take so much territory in so little time? Notice how their fighters drive the same white pick-up trucks seen in Libya during the “uprising” against Qaddafi? Yes, one could easily speculate that this is a CIA (and perhaps other Intelligence Agency) front group. And the whole thing becomes nonsensical when one considers the effort put into backing similar groups to overthrow Assad, while claiming an offshoot of these groups must be stopped in Kurdistan. (Keep in mind that the Washington Post article linked above is actually a whitewash, and the situation is and was much worse than they describe.)  American foreign policy is strange stuff. 

And of course, in the middle of all of the misery, a “war” (more like one-sided imposed destruction) breaks out between Israel and Hamas based in Gaza. One must remember that Hamas was created as a more radical counterweight to the PLO. If Israel was prepared to deal with the PLO in the early 80s along the lines of a two-state solution, then likely a lot of bad history would never have happened. But they weren’t. And they aren’t. It is now more likely, in the long term, that a one-state solution will emerge, something which Israel would probably like even less than the two-state approach.

Yet, none of this current misery could continue without the ignorant support of the American fundamentalist Christian right wing. Their ignorant hatred of Islam, and relentless support of Israel right or wrong, enables the continuation of such policies – which don’t even benefit the US at this point. Something is very wrong when 100 Senators agree on something, and this is what they agree on. Of course, some of the Senators claim this wasn’t a formal vote. This is but a technicality. 

There are various theories as to why these events are converging upon us now. Some believe it is all being done for the sake of Israel. But I have contended on this blog before that the US is in the process of a shift away from Israel, and perhaps even an accommodation with Iran – something Israel may or may not like. (See this post.) So, I don’t fully accept that theory as valid. As well, there are many other theories – too many to go into.

For me, at this moment, the most viable theory is the one that puts oil and gas interests front and center. Of course, at times I’m often more willing to accept theories that seem further out as well. So, I’ll end with a link to an article that explains the oil and gas connection theory better than I could myself.

What Debates?

The political debates happening as of early October, have no bearing on reality at all. Reality is the United States has two imperialist, interventionist parties – and the only question is to what degree do you want to detach yourself from the reality of fading imperial power. The Democratic Party, with Obama as current lead spokesperson, is positioning itself as the lesser of two evils, as we have seen time after time throughout recent political history.

However, the truth is the Democrats are just more covert in their methods. They really share the same goals, and even the same mindset as the Republicans. We saw this when Hillary Clinton was perplexed by the fact that the Libyans would turn against the US “in a country we helped to liberate.” That is a pretty astounding degree of detachment from the actual reality of events on the ground in Libya, considering above all, the Libyans never asked us to liberate them. It has become quite apparent, perhaps more so with the horrible events in Syria, that only those from the outside of Libya, as well as a small minority of collaborationist elements within Libya, wanted “liberation” as the masters of US empire put it. Most were quite happy living in the African country with a high standard of living, including free medical care and free electricity. Before the NATO bombardment, Libya enjoyed a huge social welfare safety net. Perhaps, this would have to be no longer so, as the country has been devastated by war.

At home, the situation is bleak, as the Democrats offer minor reforms such as the healthcare bill, which they then backpedal on, and turn the system further into one dominated by health insurance companies. Rhetoric aside, Obama and the majority of Democrats have backed down on every occasion. First, we were to have a Canadian style system. Then, there was the public option. And so forth, until we are left with pretty much what Romney gave to his home state. Some would say the bill is modeled after the Massachusetts system. Is this an improvement really? We will find out soon, but I think many are going to be very disappointed at the results delivered compared to the rhetoric about the healthcare “reform.”

And the people are left poor, kept ignorant by a system of public education mind control, coupled with TV news that is mindless entertainment at best, vapid propaganda at worst. Yet, many seem to sense something is very wrong, and as Gore Vidal pointed out long ago – it is always the one running against the system that seems to win, the fact that that one is often just the other side of the greedy corrupt elite not withstanding.

How much longer will we have to eat GMO food? How much longer will the many be able to afford to eat at all? We see all around us those unfortunate ones living without homes, perhaps headed towards hunger and an early grave. Will Obama address their needs? I don’t think so.

In the meantime, what is left of the more affluent middle class sips cafe lattes and bemoans the situation, intent on voting Democrat once again. And to what end? It is really just asocial thing for them. They are well fed and clothed. They have nice homes, bordering on excess in many cases. They have the latest gadget that brings happiness to them, whatever the controllers deem necessary for a happy consumerist society. But they are not true leftists, or even true liberals, and their grandparents would probably be ashamed to claim them. These are the ones who can afford to buy the best organic food and shield themselves from harmful GMOs, not because they know anything, but because it is trendy. They have no right to claim the legacy of  FDR, or even Johnson’s Great Society.

Yes, Johnson, who was horrible with his war in Asia, but was certainly the last of our great leaders to care about the poor. And look at where we have come since, partly out of necessity, as the rich refuse to suffer the loss of the American Empire, and therefore must transfer the wealth from closer to the bottom of the pyramid in order to maintain their opulent and decadent way of life.  Although, this isn’t quite fair, because I’m certain that some of them feel quite horrible about it. Yet, what could be done as the US lost a privileged place in the world, and Nixon was forced to tear apart the Bretton Woods system that functioned in some ways as a check on the worst excesses of our wealthy investor class.

And then came the Bushes, with the elder declaring our uni-polar moment, which faded as soon as China was able to gain a better position as a leader in Asia, and Putin came into challenge the oligarchs out of Russia. Certainly, one would think less fuzzy minds would prevail after the war between Russia and Georgia concluded. But no, first the younger Bush brazenly astounds the world with his militant imperialism, glaringly on display in Iraq. Nest, we get the great one, the Obama, who was supposed to usher in a new age of love or something. So much for that. Just ask the people of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria how much love they feel from the US elite these days. I’m sure our drones are intended to bring peace and harmony to the region. Right.

What is most astounding is the open dealings with the very hard line fighters, people who could be labeled as actual Al Qaeda, in order to overthrow governments in Libya and Syria. Had nothing changed since the US used similar forces against the Soviets in Afghanistan? I say this rhetorically, because I believe the answer to be no, and that leaves a whole other discussion open around separate issues, like 911 for instance.

So, no I won’t be watching the debates and I won’t be voting. George Carlin put it best, and if one looks hard enough, one might still find the video on YouTube, and perhaps elsewhere. He explained exactly why he doesn’t vote, and the implication being you shouldn’t either.

Please, tell me more about a third party that will never, ever win, too. No,  I don’t think so.  In fact, there is an article floating around out there by W.E.B. Dubois from Eisenhower’s time that describes the problem better then anybody else ever could. And we (arguably?) have gotten much worse since then in many ways.

So, have fun with your debates. Enjoy the circus. Go to the polls and think you can vote yourself out of these circumstances. Do it in another four years too. This country has to find a way to be redeemed for all the harm caused to the world, and the world isn’t going to let us down easy. Voting for these same rich people over and over is not the solution.