Friday, January 25, 2013

Chris Hedges: This Is What a Patriot Looks Like

Hedges Traces History of Corporate Takeover of Democracy to Peace and Justice Group, while Awaiting His Day in Court vs. President Obama Over Unconstitutional "Disappearing Act"

Only days before his suit of President Obama and the U.S. Department of Defense is heard in federal appeals court, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Chris Hedges spoke at the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center banquet held Jan. 19, 2013, in Memphis. 

Hedges, Noam Chomsky, Daniel Ellsberg and others have sued to squash the unconstitutional National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which permits the government to pick up anybody they wish at any time and hold him however long they want---without charging the alleged offender with a crime and without notifying family members of his or her whereabouts. 

I simply call it the "Disappearing Act" or the "National Disappearing of Anyone Act."  The federal court agreed the law was unconstitutional, which threw Pentagon attorneys into a panic, and they got an emergency hearing before the appellate court.  The appeals court stayed the law (left it in force) and set a Feb. 6 hearing date. 

In his remarks, Hedges retraced the history of the corporate takeover of democracy and the U.S. government, and he said the only remedy is massive civil disobedience.  Hedges' latest book is Days of Destruction; Days of Revolt.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Let's Accurately Define Who Wants these Breaks for the Super-Rich

This quote (below) from Richard Rockefeller (yes, of THE Rockefellers) in the Citizens for Tax Justice web site punctures the idea that the most wealthy Americans all support a fascist political agenda:

We hear that the bought-and-paid-for politicians are serving the best interets of the super-rich, who (so the story goes) naturally put their personal greed above everything else.  They want low to no taxes at all costs, want to play by no rules that apply to the little people, want to crush workers and de-fund education and the arts, want to contribute nothing to the larger society, and have a morality of "It's all about me and my wealth."

While that generalization drives the narrative, I personally do not believe that characterization applies to most of the top 1% or the top .01%.   

Here is how I define this composite super-rich man whom politicians worship along with his campaign donations:  He does not have any family, or if he does, he does not care what future awaits his children, grandchildren, generations of ancestors, etc.  He does not care about the crime and social unrest that these Far Right policies will bring, because he can hire guards to protect him from the riff-raff.  He does not care if we  have arts and access to literature, parks, libraries, museums, music, reading and any of the higher pursuits of life, because they will just suck tax money for the sake of the larger good of the community and the world.  He can buy all the art and music he wants.  But the result will be life of a wealthy person living in a terrible, frightened, hostile, crime-ridden, impoverished world. 

Want to live like that, or would you rather simply have a home, family, job, education for kids, comfortable retirement and live in a more enriching, nourishing, peaceful world?   You know, that American Dream thing you heard about? 

See where I am going with this?  I have heard it said, "Watch out what you wish for; you might just get it."  If this describes the world we are racing toward, where we have very wealthy and very poor and no middle, we will all be worse off---no matter how much money we have. 

How Many Slaves Work for You?

Today, Jan. 1, 2013, is the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. However, do we still support a slave system?