Friday, December 15, 2006

The War on Christmas or Sometimes You Can’t Tell the Enemies from the Good Guys

(originally published by OpEdNews)

The Bible, with its inconsistencies, its violence, the heartless manner in which the God in which most people believe is portrayed is still referred to as the “good book” by many people and they somehow extract a serious meaning of life from its pages.

Even science, when it gets to a point, needs to have faith in hypotheses which lead them to create theories. One thing about the Bible is it stops. The book was written and it stopped. No more miracles, no more burning bushes, no more turning water into wine. It just stopped

This article is not about the Bible per se, but I must share one thought about the Bible before I get to my main point.

During one of the many times that God saw that His experiment was failing, He decided take care of the sinners by flooding the earth.

There were infants and animals not destined for the ark that died horrible deaths because some people were sinning. What sin did these little ones commit to deserve such an awful fate?

I’ve been told that I have a lot of nerve trying to figure out why God does stuff. Who am I to try to second guess God? Do I think that I’m as powerful as He is?

As I don’t believe that a god exists, I can’t rightly answer that question.

However, if there is a God, He has endowed me with a sense of what’s right and what’s wrong. It’s the gift of a sense of what’s right and what’s wrong that God, Himself, embedded within me that gives me the right to question Him. If He exists, He knows that I can read The Bible, which I have several times, and look upon some of the things that He does as horrific and unnecessarily cruel. The sense He gave me tells me so.

Sometimes I think that atheists feel as though they must know The Bible better than Jews or Christians because they must know what it is they don’t accept.

To the point.

Have you heard? There’s a war on Christmas.

That’s right. The right wing is fighting the politically correct left to keep Christmas and its spirit alive and well in The Former United States of America. After all, everyone who lives in The FUSA is Christian, right? And, if they’re not, they should be.

The laws of The FUSA, so they say, come right out of The Bible. More specifically, the laws are based upon the Ten Commandments, are they not?

For example, most people I know follow that all important commandment, “Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother's milk.” (Exodus 34:26).

The so called religious right must someday explain why they don’t refer to the only set of laws in the Bible which is specifically called the “ten commandments” when they speak about displaying The Ten Commandments. If the laws of The FUSA are based upon The Ten Commandments, it would be nice to know which ten commandments they’re based upon.

Many atheists are open minded enough to consider that there may have been a man who lived about 2000 years ago who was not unlike Henry David Thoreau, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Albert Schweitzer and Martin Luther King. If this man did exist, we can celebrate his being here among us as we celebrate Joan Of Arc's being here among us.

However, the people who are on the war path to smite those who would repeal the flaunted celebration of Christmas may, in fact, be the real enemies of that holiday.

This group may consist of, but may not be limited to, Robert Eckert, CEO of Mattel, Alfred J. Verrecchia, CEO of Hasbro and H. Lee Scott, CEO of Wal-Mart.

If someone like Jesus of Nazareth did exist, the above inordinately wealthy people have seen to it that much of our good, Christian population has made a travesty of his existence.

In the FUSA of 2006, as in past years, his existence is about getting the latest, over commercialized toy or electronic gadget. In recent years, “believers” have been known to stand in line, some actually getting into arguments and fist fights to make sure they get the last available golden calf. Corporations in their greedy quest for consumers’ dollars fuel this ferocity.

If one Googles “The Origin of the Christmas Tree”, one will receive lots of hits. Many, if not most of the hits, will talk about how celebrating holidays by decorating trees began long before the advent of Christianity.

However, in today’s FUSA, keeping Christmas “sacred” is about who can kill the largest evergreen and adorn it with more trinkets than their friends can place on their trees. Ornaments such as flying reindeer, a non existent creature, and Santa Claus, also non existent, adorn the kidnapped and relocated trees. Some people place ornaments on their trees that are of a religious nature, but, in truth, what does evergreen mutilation have to do with a man who practiced civil disobedience 2000 years ago?

We mustn’t forget the thoughtless waste of electricity. People risk life and limb climbing on their roofs to make sure they waste more of a precious resource than their neighbors waste. Though some of the trashing of fossil fuel generated energy is done on behalf of religion, most of it celebrates Santa and those freak reindeer.

Maybe on Gandhi’s birthday Hasbro should produce and sell Gandhi dolls which fast when you wind them up.

To friendship
Michael

“When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.'” - Theodore Roosevelt

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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Shock Over Richards's Rant is Curious

(originally published by OpEdNews)

Recently, Michael Richards made some “bad choices” while performing at The Laugh Factory in West Hollywood, California.

After being heckled by some Black people in the audience, Richards lost it, asking that the hecklers be removed and, in the process, called them “niggers”.

The above isn’t something that everyone in the Former United States of America doesn’t know and is probably nothing that most people in the so called western industrialized world don’t know.

However, the shock over the incident is very curious. It’s almost as though people think that racial discrimination is a thing of the past in the FUSA.

One thing that should be very clear in our debate over “illegal immigrants” is the ethnic hatred implied in many of the arguments. The same thing is being said today about Latinos that has been said about Americans of African decent for a long time. They’re lazy. They live “off of the government”, which means that we hard working white Americans have to part with some of our income to support them. You can’t understand what they’re saying. They’re being hired in place of white Americans, causing so called “reverse discrimination”.

I’ve had an experience that I’d like to share. I grew up in a racist household. Those same points were made in my household on a microcosmic level for years. I was the only one of four members of my immediate family that didn’t buy into the hate. This may have been because some of my best friends were African-American. In fact, at one point in my life, my only friends were African-American because we lived in an almost exclusively African-American and West Indian neighborhood.

I wasn’t a half bad football player when I was a kid, but, when we played sandlot football, I was always the last to be chosen. The captain of the last team choosing sides would look around, as if there were others to choose from than me, and finally say, “OK, I’ll take the little white boy.” It didn’t bother me. I had fun anyway.

By the time I left the racist household in 1972, Dr. King and those who followed him had done a great deal of work trying to bridge the divide.

By the time I was hired by a Fortune 500 global corporation at the end of 1972, I was beginning to think that race relations had become more than tolerable for most “normal” people. There were some with whom I worked who still used the “n” word, but I figured them to be ignorant red necks that were never going to change.

I did well as a corporate technician and, as the cliché goes, worked my way up the ladder.

First, I became a Shift Coordinator. This was still an hourly job, but it carried some extra responsibilities with it. It was also a prestigious job among hourly technicians and a stepping stone to further advancement.

I did well in that position and was considered for the position of salaried Operations Supervisor.

The first time I was considered for the job of Operations Supervisor, another person was chosen. I was surprised that I had been considered and grateful for the consideration.

The second time the opportunity arose, I was fortunate enough to be chosen. That was in 1988.

There were three production plants on the corporate plant site and each plant had an Operations Supervisor. The maintenance department also had a supervisory person whose position was equal to production plant Operation Supervisor.

At this particular plant site, the four site Operations Supervisors, along with the Human Resource Manager, served as the hiring team.

My promotion to Operations Supervisor and some staffing modifications led to a chain of vacancies which ultimately resulted in the need to hire more personnel.

This was my first experience with the hiring process.

The first step was for all of the supervisors to meet in a conference room and go over the applications. We did that.

There weren’t many official résumés to review as, for hourly jobs, applications and a mechanical test were all that were required.

After weeding out some of the applicants because of their experience or lack thereof, it was time for the surviving applicants to come in for interviews.

The Human Resources representative informed us that, “They (the company) are telling us we have to hire at least one “nigger”, a “spic” and a “split tail” (that, I imagine, was ignorant slang for female).

I almost fell on the floor. I had no idea that, in 1988, at an official meeting of a Fortune 500 corporation, such disparaging language would be tolerated. I thought that the EEOC (the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) was in place to make sure that, even if a person felt those prejudices, he or she couldn’t make it obvious during an official corporate meeting lest there be disciplinary action taken.

For sure, none of the other supervisors were going to turn in the HR rep. In fact, after he made the statement, they all acted as if they were in elementary school and recess had been cancelled.

The reactions ranged from “shit” to “(fill in the blank) are as useless as tits on a bull.”

I was the new guy on the block. I’d finally “worked my way up” to the first rung of management just to discover that, if it wasn’t for the government, this huge global corporation may never have hired Black people, Latinos or women as hourly technicians.

In truth, while I was an hourly technician, I had two Black male work mates and one woman work mate. They were all dismissed for performance problems. I didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to their personnel problems. I just trusted my management.

In fact, one of the men had a habit of not coming to work. I’d seen white workers fired for attendance problems, so it didn’t appear to be out of line.

However, I never guessed that the kind of dialogue mentioned above took place during the official hiring process. It was incredible to me.

Unfortunately, as the new kid on the block who wanted to keep his job, I never went any further with it. I didn’t go over the HR manager’s head.

First, as I mentioned, I wanted to keep my job.

Secondly, I didn’t know what was over the HR manager’s head. What if his boss was just as prejudiced? How far up would I have to go to get this type of speech removed from the hiring process? What would happen to me if I kept going up the ladder? What would those about whom I was complaining do?

Nonetheless, I’m not proud of the fact that I didn’t at least try.

I remained an Operations Supervisor until 1995 and, as my seniority on the hiring team became more respectable, I had more of a say in what was done or said. Add to that the fact that the social views of new Operations Supervisors were close to my own, by the time I lost my job as an Operations Supervisor, the mentality and language I’d run into in 1988 was no longer an issue.

I realize that 1988 was almost twenty years ago, but it was obvious that getting ahead in life for many Americans was not, as I was told at home, a simple matter of pulling one’s self up by one’s boot straps and getting a job.

Fast forward to 2006.

Within the last month, we hired a contractor to remodel our bathroom. He showed up to review the job. He said he’d bring his plumber with him next time. He told us not to worry because “my plumber’s white.”

Michael Richards represents a whole lot more people in the FUSA than many may realize.

By the way, I lost my Operations Supervisor’s job in 1995 because the Fortune 500 global corporation for whom I worked globally “delayerd” (Orwell was a genius) the Operations Supervisors position – globally.

I worked for the corporation for two more years before I was personally “delayered”, making twenty-five years of my life count for very little. I had three more years before I was eligible for retirement.

To friendship,
Michael


“Trying to determine what is going on in the world by reading newspapers is like trying to tell the time by watching the second hand of a clock.” - Ben Hecht


Monday, November 20, 2006

Some Rights Just Have to be Surrendered

(Originally published at OpEdNews)


“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Benjamin Franklin

Well, maybe.

I’m as liberal, progressive socialist, leftist, pinko, commie as they come.

However, I’m saying that we need to give up some freedoms to protect our basic freedoms. I know, I know, you’ve never read anything so Orwellian in your life.

Let me try to explain.

When the wealthiest people are the only people who can afford to run for important national office, you get a bunch of bored people in leadership positions. What could people who have everything possibly want?

More. Yep, that’s the only thing that they could possibly want. More power, even more money.

Sure, they can be giving and philanthropic at times. Sometimes they share their excess more with their wealthy friends. It gives them a warm, fuzzy feeling inside. As Bush once implied, not only will the “haves” be helped, but the “have mores” won’t be left out.

But, as long as wealthy people are the only people who can afford to run for office, the “barely haves” and the “have nots” will continue to be left out.

So, unfortunately, here are some freedoms that need to be surrendered.

1. Corporations have to surrender their personhood. After all, if you look at them, you can clearly see that they’re not people. I mean, where are the ears, the eyes, the heart? They are definitely missing a heart.

Consequently stopping them from “contributing” millions of dollars to their favorite political candidates will no longer be a violation of their first amendment rights because they’ll no longer have first amendment rights.

2. People have to surrender their right to announce their candidacies any sooner than six months before an election.

If someone does so or, underhandedly, lets his or her intention “leak out” any sooner than six months before an election, that person will just have to wait for the next election to run for office.

3. The Electoral College electors will have to surrender their rights to jockey the real numbers around when they report them to Congress because there won’t be any Electoral College.

4. Candidates have to surrender their right to spend an obscene amount of money to support their candidacies.

What’s an “obscene” amount of money?

We’ve already removed those non person corporations from the picture, so that should help.

Really, though, who are we to dictate what an “obscene” amount of money is?

We’re the people who are going to hire these candidates, so shouldn’t we determine what their “compensation” will be? Paying someone or taking money from someone to have an edge over a competitor for the same job should be unacceptable to us, the employers, and that candidate should be rejected.

Like any good corporation, we should write a Standard Operating Procedure that defines “obscene”. We’re the employers. We have the right to do that. If we consider how much our favorite candidate can afford, maybe we can develop a standard. Maybe the money should originate from we, the people in the form of equally distributed public money. Yep, we give ‘em some money and tell them to go play, but only for six months.

5. During the six month campaigns, one would think that the candidates would want to use the time to allow people to learn about them. However, some candidates may still be tempted to speak about non issues.

Keeping this in mind, the candidates will surrender their right to address non-issues.

These issues include non relevant attacks about their opponent’s personal affairs - and you can take that any way you want.

Candidates may only speak about what they would do to improve social conditions, economic conditions, all domestic and international situations, if appropriate for that particular political race.

A candidate still maintains the right to explain how he or she differs from his or her opponent(s)’ positions concerning issues relevant to the welfare of his or her constituents, whether they’re local people or the entire citizenry of the country.

We should have the right to force a candidate out of the race if she or he veers from political relevancy. In fact, veering from political relevancy is another good candidate for a standard operating procedure.

There may be more rights that should be surrendered in order for the vast majority of us to keep our basic freedoms. In fact, please feel free to add your candidates for surrenderable freedoms.

To friendship,
Michael

“Truth is on the march, and nothing will stop it.” - Emile Zola

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Thursday, November 16, 2006

Why was it necessary for the Administration to get caught torturing some Muslims?

A member of the World Conditions and Action Items mailing list sent this to me. It’s not only pretty enlightening, in my humble opinion, but, if true, magnifies the heinousness of The Regime’s crimes.

I thought that I’d share it with you.

Michael,

My guess is that the short answer to the question, "Why was it necessary for the Administration to get caught torturing some Muslims?" would be, "To keep up appearances". But I've been stewing with this question for some months, now. Here's what it looks like to me.

When a liar knowingly and openly accuses an innocent person of a heinous crime it then becomes necessary for the liar to relate to the accused as if he is a heinous criminal. ....else onlookers will begin to smell a rat.

If we assume that individuals within the US government, including within the Bush Administration, conceived and orchestrated 9/11 then why have these same people been capturing, imprisoning and torturing Muslims whom they know are not terrorists and had nothing to do with 9/11? Is it possible that these torturings are for show, that these individuals are being tortured so as to impress us? The Administration needs the show in order to keep from being investigated, arrested and tried for the mass killings of 9/11. The capture and torture of Muslims is intended as a show of absolute determination on the Administration's part to prevent another 9/11. These, true criminals of 9/11, have decided [as a part of their deception] to blatantly violate constitutional and international law by torturing people. They, better than we, know that such illegal actions have nothing to do with thwarting additional 9/11s, that such extreme, inhumane measures have nothing to do with protecting the US, but that these immoral acts are part of their strategy to reinforce and sustain the illusion that 9/11 was done by Islamic terrorists.

The true murderers here MUST act as if they are over-reacting; they have to play-out an extreme response to 9/11 else they run the risk of being found-out. Anything less than an extreme response....and what could be more extreme than knowingly torturing innocent
individuals...risks exposing the fact that Muslims didn't do 9/11, that the USA isn't threatened from outside, that the USA's most lethal enemies are at the White House, itself. Any grade-school kid who habitually lies to his friends knows that his lies have to be followed-up with behaviours that reinforce the lies.

Some might say, "But the Administration attempted to hide the fact that they've been overseeing the torture of prisoners." Yes, they did. Early on, they denied having any part in torture. In spite of their denials, they were soon found-out. It seems reasonable to assume that from the get-go it was important to them that they be found-out. It seems reasonable to assume that they actually saw to it that the truth of their torturings would be made public. THE WHOLE POINT IN TORTURING THESE CAPTIVES WAS TO GET CAUGHT DOING IT! When they were found-out....something which they made sure would happen....they then argued that they are motivated by an unprecedented and justified, absolute determination to protect the US population from another 9/11 attack. All of this is to support and sustain the illusion that 9/11 was the work of Islamic terrorists.

As long as the government doesn't release to the public surveillance footage of a Boeing airliner crashing into the Pentagon, then it's reasonable to assume that there's a staggering cover-up taking place, here. It's a no-brainer. The king has no cloths.

Until the bulk of a Boeing airliner (Flight 93) is dug-up out of the ground near Shanksville.

PA....with a deligation of independent, international witnesses on hand....then it's reasonable to assume that there's a staggering cover-up taking place here. It's a no-brainer. The king has no cloths.

Until there it is revealed who purchased the put-options in the days prior to 9/11.....

Until it is scientifically explained how WTCs 1, 2 & 7 could collapse in so few seconds.....

The list of "untils" is long.

To friendship,
jwt


To friendship,
Michael

“When they call the roll in the Senate, the Senators do not know whether to answer 'Present' or 'Not guilty.'” - Theodore Roosevelt


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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Bush’s Potential Liberal, Progressive Legacy

(Originally published by OpEdNews)



When asked the question, “Who would you say was the most liberal (progressive) president in the past forty years?”, most people would get the answer wrong. Why? Because, based upon what was accomplished domestically during the administration of Richard Nixon, the only logical answer has to be Richard Nixon.

Nixon was a liar, that’s been proved. He strongly supported, in more ways than one, the overthrow of the democratically elected president of Chile, Salvador Allende. After Allende was removed from office, the United States supported the man who became a tyrannical dictator, Augusto Pinochet. Pinochet is in the twilight of his life and is in custody for the crimes against humanity that were committed while he was leader of the Chilean government.

Nixon OK’d the bombing of Cambodia, escalating the conflict in Southeast Asia rather than following through with the promise of “peace with honor” he made during the 1968 presidential campaign. Not only did we begin invading Cambodia with air strikes, but he tried to keep it from the American people.

Nixon also knew that the Democratic headquarters located in The Watergate Hotel were going to be burglarized to learn the Democratic strategy for the 1972 presidential campaign.

What also happened during Nixon’s administration was that the Occupation Safety and Health Act (OSHA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) were created. Nixon was reluctant to sign these agencies into existence, but did so nonetheless.

Title IX, raising women’s collegiate sports to the level of men’s sports was also implemented during the Nixon years.

Nixon held talks with the Soviet Union which led to agreements to limit strategic arms.

Nixon opened up a dialogue with what is called “communist” China and became the first president to visit that nation since it was overtaken by Mao Zedong. In fact, Nixon met with Mao during his visit to China.

If Nixon had only kept his promise to accomplish “peace with honor” and only hadn’t been overcome with the pursuit of power, especially since the ’72 presidential race was already looking like a Nixon landslide, the Nixon legacy may have been different. Nixon may have retired with tremendous respect from American citizens and the rest of the world.

But, alas, he became the first president to cut his administration short voluntarily, resigning before Watergate and his underhanded attempt to escalate the war in Southeast Asia got him impeached, removed from office and, who knows, litigated right into prison. Good move, Dick.

There is some talk that George W. Bush may take the same road taken by Nixon before the Democrats in the House, ignoring Speaker Pelosi’s pre-election promise, move forward with an investigation. George W. Bush has proved in the past that he’s a quitter and a loser and, if the “heat gets too hot”, he may just walk out of the kitchen.

If he does not quit, however, it’s difficult to see him vetoing a minimum wage increase.

He and many of the Democrats already agree on a moderate solution to immigration.

Democrats may pressure what is actually becoming a real George W. Bush administration to abandon its Iraq policy and bring the troops home.

Diplomacy in the cases of Iran and North Korea may be taken more seriously by the administration due to congressional pressure. We shouldn’t hold our collective breath, but the president may just make a trip to Geneva to meet with Iranian or North Korean leaders. If nothing else, he may send a diplomat to negotiate with high ranking officials from one or both of those countries. Diplomacy may lead to a solution to the problem(s) which is praised and supported not only by Americans but by much of the world.

Global warming rhetoric from the administration may become more open, honest and serious.

The search for alternative fuel sources may take on a whole new sense of urgency.

All of this because Democrats now hold the purse strings and, if Bush wants to be known as a president who got things done, he’ll have to get done many of the things proposed by the Democrats in congress. Being veto happy will not presuppose a positive legacy.

It should be noted that Dick Cheney is still in the picture, but Cheney has lost many of his allies within the administration. If nothing else, he’s lost neocon support within the administration. In fact, Cheney is much more of a lame duck president than is Bush. It is this writer’s opinion that, if Bush is impeached and removed from office or if Bush quits, Cheney will not accept the presidency. He knows that impeachment hearings will recommence to remove him from office. Besides, it would be more emotionally difficult for Cheney to accept Democratic legislation than it would be for Bush.

There may be a temptation to withhold some much needed legislation just to ensure that Bush is known throughout history for almost bringing the United States of America to its knees. Giving in to this temptation, however, wouldn’t be good for Americans and certainly won’t be good for Democrats.

While Bush is, indeed, known to be a quitter and a loser, he’s also paradoxically known for his stubbornness. It will be much more difficult for him to assert such stubbornness in light of the recent message from American voters and the political make up of Congress.

It would, indeed, be a shame if Bush, like Nixon, gains a reputation for implementing progressive programs and/or avoiding conflict, possibly nuclear conflict, with Iran and/or North Korea. However, the alternative is unacceptable.

To friendship,
Michael

“The radical of one century is the conservative of the next. The radical invents the views. When he has worn them out the conservative adopts them.” - Mark Twain

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Sunday, November 05, 2006

Now is the Time

OK, folks, it’s now time to see how observant or how stupid our fellow Americans are. Today, Saddam Hussein, former legitimate, albeit tyrannical leader of Iraq has been sentenced to death.

Today, by the way, happens to be November 5, 2006, two days before elections are to be held in the FUSA (Former United States of America).

Let’s think of possible scenarios.

First, it’s predicted that this decision will intensify the violence in Iraq. What does this mean to The Regime? This means that those of us who know that Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda were enemies are wrong. After all, why would the “Al Qaeda insurgents” intensify the violence if their enemy has been sentenced to death? Would they not take time to celebrate?

Will Americans see that The Resistance is just that, resisting the takeover of their part of the world by The FUSA? The people of that area of the world are just plain tired of being American puppets. They want to benefit from the natural resources of their land. Finally, to them, their land is holy and that should be respected by the rest of the world.

The Regime will take explanations like the above explanation and spin it much differently. Anyone who disagrees that this proves that Al Qaeda and Saddam were on the same page will be accused of being a Saddam supporter and a supporter of his crimes against humanity.

This can only mean that we support Al Qaeda, that we supported the attacks of 9/11, that we support the insurgents who are killing Americans in Iraq.

One of the most asked polling questions since the war in Iraq began has been, “Do you think the war with Iraq has or has not contributed to the long-term security of the United States?”

Americans have been changing their minds over time.

When asked this question in December of 2003, 64% of Americans said that the war was contributing to the security of the United States.

In a more recent poll taken between October 6-8 of 2006, 36% of Americans answered that the war in Iraq is making this country safer while 53% answered that the war is making the FUSA less safe.

Will Americans still see the occupation is this light?

Will the sentencing of Saddam, because it was choreographed by the FUSA’s Regime, be a cue for another catastrophic attack upon the FUSA, the UK or any of the patsies who are still sacrificing their military personnel at the bequest of The Regime?

Maybe a quick poll ought to be taken asking, “Are you more or less afraid of such a catastrophe happening in this country as a result of its interference in the domestic proceedings of Iraq?”

Americans who think clearly will have no choice but to answer, “More afraid.” I know I am.

Any offensive act against the FUSA, if one, indeed, takes place, will have nothing to do with the love or hate that Al Qaeda had or has for Saddam Hussein. This offensive will, again, be in response to the FUSA’s controlling the government in Iraq.

The Regime will not spin it in this way. It will use any offensive against this country to further prove complicity between Saddam and Al Qaeda. Will Americans see this for what it is? Will Americans see this as a political ploy by The Regime?

It’s two days before America goes to the polls. The sentencing of Saddam and the elections are not mutually exclusive. Let’s hope that Americans have become more enlightened since December of 2003.

To friendship,
Michael


“We have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent man.” - George Orwell

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Sunday, October 29, 2006

November 8, 2006

This article is not just meant to be a scary story or the prediction of a nightmare. This was written to generate the question “At what point in this story do the American people revert to some kind of radical next step to stop this from coming to fruition?” and to generate answers to that question.

It’s 10:00 PM, Pacific Time, on the eighth of November, 2006. Many people are either scratching their heads, shaking their heads or both.

On October 29, 2006, polls showed that people favored Democrats over Republicans in yesterday’s mid term election. During yesterday’s elections, exit polls indicated that a vast majority of people voted for the Democratic candidate.

Yet, today, the eighth of November, well after the voting has ended, Democrats lost eight house seats and only won one Senatorial race. How could this be?

Many are convinced that malfeasance and fraud entered the election process and have immediately tried to bring suit to stop the declaration of a winner, only to have the cases thrown out by judges that were ultimately put in place by The Regime. Appeals will probably take place, but like 2000 and 2004, those appeals will be too late. Even if appeals reach the Supreme Court, is there any doubt in whose favor the court will rule?

The entire nation seems to be suspicious this time, although the mainstream media reports some disappointment in some corners concerning closely fought contests. They of course, begin a discussion about how the surprising results will affect policy in Bush’s last two years as president. The only mention they make about the anomalous difference between exit polls and the final results is to say that, with today’s technology, exit polls have become antiquated and almost useless. They fail, however, to explain how that is.

Many of us say, “OK, now it’s even more important to become active for the 2008 elections.” That statement is followed by the directive to start making calls and pounding the pavement.

Groups like MoveOn and Common Cause tell us that the election was stolen and strongly suggest that we write to our Senators and Representatives, demanding recounts for many of the elections. Of course, where there are no paper trails there can be no recounts. Besides, with Republicans picking up eight house seats and maintaining control of congress, who are these Senators and Representatives to whom we should write?

Articles on Common Dreams, TruthOut, TruthDig and many on line news sources quote experts who say that the voting machines were probably hacked or set up illegally.

Investigative reporters like Greg Palast write articles about the disenfranchisement of black voters, the long lines in strategic voting areas or early closings of polls in some areas. Other articles in the alternative media point out other subtle or even outright evidence of criminal conduct surrounding the elections.

Right wing pundits and other Regime supporters tell us to “stop whining. You lost again. Get over it.”

Bush goes before the cameras and assures the American people that he personally saw to it that all elections were fair. He assures the minority that he will have their well being in mind when he “invents” policy (we are unsure if this is a Freudian slip or just a Bushism).

It’s late January and the 110th Congress has been sworn in. People are all but trembling as they wait for this congress to tackle the tough issues facing it.

Almost the entire country is hoping that the new congress won’t extend the war in Iraq or vote to attack Iran. That’s not the first issue to be brought up and voted on.

NARAL, NOW and many other Americans fear that Roe v Wade will be overturned immediately, but their fears are calmed as that, also, is not the first issue for debate and a vote.

There are those who had some hope but have lost it all because they know that the other shoe will soon drop on the gay marriage issue. They have to wait a little longer, though, as that is not the first issue addressed either.

The first bill which is simultaneously brought before the House and the Senate begins with the following words:

“JOINT RESOLUTION

Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to repeal the twenty-second article of amendment, thereby removing the limitation on the number of terms an individual may serve as President.

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled (two-thirds of each House concurring therein), That the following article is proposed as an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several States within seven years after the date of its submission for ratification:


`Article—

`The twenty-second article of amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.'.”


It is quickly passed and all state legislatures vote in favor of it.

On an evening in July of 2007, George W. Bush appears on television, stating that he will seek his party’s nomination for president for the upcoming 2008 election.

In his speech, the president says, “I can not in good conscience relinquish leadership of the great and blessed United States of America until the complex and dangerous war on terror is won.”

This article is not just meant to be a scary story or the prediction of a nightmare. This was written to generate the question, “At what point in this story do the American people revert to some kind of radical next step to stop this from coming to fruition?” and to generate answers to that question.

To friendship,
Michael

“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” – Aristotle


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Friday, October 20, 2006

Fighting for Their Country?

(originally published by OpEdNews)

Dictionary.com defines country as:
  1. a state or nation: What European countries have you visited?
  2. the territory of a nation.
  3. the people of a district, state, or nation: The whole country backed the president in his decision.
  4. the land of one's birth or citizenship.
  5. rural districts, including farmland, parkland, and other sparsely populated areas, as opposed to cities or towns: Many city dwellers like to spend their vacations in the country.
  6. any considerable territory demarcated by topographical conditions, by a distinctive population, etc.: mountainous country; the Amish country of Pennsylvania.
  7. a tract of land considered apart from any geographical or political limits; region; district.
  8. the public.
  9. Law. the public at large, as represented by a jury.

The Tenth Edition of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, an admittedly old edition, nonetheless defines "country" in almost the exact same way.

As there is no such thing as an older version of Dictionary.com on the internet at any given time, one should conclude that Merriam-Webster's definition has remained consistent.

For purposes of this essay, definitions #5, #6 and possibly #7 can be removed.

The States of America, once much more united than divided, now almost completely divided by The Regime's declaration of the death of relativity, is a country. Before the selection of The Regime in 2000, the convenient tragedy in 2001 and the bogus wars based upon the convenient tragedy, this country was known as The United States of America.

This country may become known again as The United States of America. There was another time, between 1965 and 1975, during which it would have been difficult to call this country "united". We had just emerged from the misguided McCarthy hearings and the word "communist" stood for evil. Most Americans, too ignorant or too lazy to research the word as it pertains to a proposed form of governance, began referring to The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and The People's Republic of China as communist countries. Communists were, first and foremost, evil people who wanted to take over the world. Nikita Khrushchev's 1956 "We will bury you" UN rant didn't help the perception.

Consequently, when populist movements started in Korea and in Vietnam, it wasn't difficult to convince the American public that we needed to stop the "spread of communism". Of course, since no nation state has ever experienced "communism" as a form of self governance, there was no communism to spread and/or stop.

Americans believed their government when it told them that "communist" North Vietnamese gunboats had attacked two American destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin in 1964. America supported its government's calls for retaliation.

The "retaliation" lasted from 1965 to 1975. However, retaliating for the Gulf of Tonkin incident grew further and further away from the minds of Americans as time marched on. Most Americans ultimately learned that their government had scammed them and caused the deaths of 58,000 American military personnel, not to mention over between three million and seven million Vietnamese soldiers and civilians.

We need a military to be willing to defend this country. We should be grateful for a military that will defend its fellow American citizens (people) and the land upon which they live.

In accordance with what the above definitions don't contain, the phrase, "a nation's interests", is not synonymous with the word "country". America's interests, for example, could include corporate manufacturing plants owned by Americans. Those corporations are not America. If corporations choose to do business outside of The Former United States of America, they have to accept the risks involved. American military personnel can not be expected to go to war and risk their lives if citizens of a host nation decide to harm American corporate interests located within the borders of that host nation.

Gambling that a nation may someday do harm to America is not an acceptable reason for The FUSA to go to war with that nation. American military personnel would not be fighting for their country if the war in which they were engaged was based upon what The Regime assumes a nation may do in the future or even based upon what The Regime thinks a nation like Iran, for example, is preparing today to do internally.

One is only fighting for one's country if the inhabitants of that country and/or the land upon which those inhabitants live are in immediate and definitive danger or if the inhabitants and/or the land have already been attacked.

Interestingly enough, however, we who opposed invading Iraq before the invasion took place and who still oppose our military presence in Iraq are told that we wouldn't be able to oppose the war if the soldiers weren't in Iraq fighting for their country. This rebuttal was used by those who supported the Vietnam War as well. The soldiers then, too, were fighting for their country.

I am not grateful to the soldiers in Iraq for my freedom of speech and I was not grateful to those who fought in Vietnam for my freedom of speech. I'm grateful to the US Constitution and those who composed it for my freedom of speech.

How many of us lost our freedom of speech after the North Vietnamese took over all of Vietnam?

To friendship,
Michael

“Question with boldness even the existence of God; because, if there is one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded faith.” - Thomas Jefferson

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Sunday, October 01, 2006

Here Are Some Crazy Theories for You

(Originally published by OpEdNews.com)

It’s been over five years since the World Trade Center and The Pentagon were hit.

Since that time, we’ve been told that a terrorist group named Al Qaeda, led by a Saudi named Osama bin Laden, was responsible for what happened on September 11, 2001. In fact, Osama bin Laden has admitted to being behind what happened on 9/11/01 and he’s said this on video.

Osama bin Laden is to 9/11 what Emmanuel Goldstein was to members of The Party in George Orwell’s “1984”.

Just as Goldstein aroused fear and anger in members of The Party, Osama bin Laden has aroused fear and anger in many who live in the FUSA (Former United States of America).

In our search for vacation accommodations this past summer, my wife and I were able to learn a great deal using satellite imaging technology. From our computer screen, we were able to actually see the expressions on the faces of people who happened to be standing near the hotels we looked at.

What do my family’s vacation plans have to do with this essay?

On occasion, it’s been revealed that Osama bin Laden is somewhere in the mountainous regions of Afghanistan or Pakistan.

The Regime has access to satellite imaging and can obtain real time satellite images from anywhere on earth, including Afghanistan.

It’s important here to remember that the FUSA invaded Iraq and now occupies that country. We’ve been spun through numerous reasons why this was done.

First, “Saddam” had weapons of mass destruction. Our Secretary of Defense claimed to know exactly where they were before we invaded Iraq. We’ve long since learned that there were no such weapons. There are people that say “Saddam” moved them before the invasion or hid them. This is strange behavior for a man whose life depended upon his actually having them and using them.

Secondly, Iraq had ties with Al Qaeda, according to Bush and Cheney. No he didn’t, according to Rice, Powell, Rumsfeld and, yes, Bush. Yes he did according to Cheney. No he didn’t… The truth? Saddam Hussein and the members of Al Qaeda were adversaries. Sorry, Dick. Rice, Powell, Rumsfeld, and, sometimes, Bush, are all correct.

Then, it suddenly became urgent that we free Iraq. We needed to hurry, invade Iraq, topple Saddam Hussein and force feed Iraqis something that The Regime calls “democracy”.

That’s even stranger than Saddam hiding or moving his means of defense. We were attacked by terrorists from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Lebanon. They were guided by the words of Osama bin Laden and the ideology of Al Qaeda. Yet, instead of hunting down Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda, it suddenly became our top priority to bring down the Iraqi government and begin building a “democratic” Iraq.

It’s been suggested that we invaded Iraq so that all of the radical Islamic terrorists would gather in one place so we could rid the world of them. This means that we’re supposed to believe that radical Islamic terrorists are clever enough to beat American defenses and carry out a well planned, well timed attack on 9/11, but they’re so dumb that they’d fall for a “mousetrap” ploy that would ensure their extinction. And why gather them in Iraq? Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. Why chance killing Iraqi civilians to trap these dummies who beat American defenses?

To review, 9/11 happened and, if you’re so inclined, you can believe The Regime’s fairy tale about how it happened.

The Regime has the most technologically advanced satellite imaging in the world.

Osama bin Laden has admitted to being involved in 9/11, but has not been captured.

Instead of responding en masse to the 9/11 attack, The Regime invaded Iraq.

In addition to all of the other fallacious reasons we were given for invading Iraq, some have said that we invaded Iraq to cleverly trap, kill and/or capture the members of the organization which carried out 9/11.

Since our invasion, The Regime has used torture to gain “important information about the enemy” and has gotten permission from Congress to continue to use torture.

In five years, we have not captured the person we claim was most responsible for what happened on 9/11/01, despite the advanced satellite imaging and tracking technologies possessed by The Regime.

We invaded Iraq, drew in what The Regime claims are “Islamic radicals”, captured, imprisoned and tortured them. It’s quite obvious that we have not yet tortured the right person, the person who can tell us where Osama bin Laden is so that we can capture him and bring him to justice. After all, The Regime reminds us on occasion that Osama bin Laden is the enemy about whom our torture processes are supposed to help us gain information.

Those who believe in an alternate explanation of what happened on September 11, 2001 are called names, much like kids in second or third grade call one another names.

Yet, those who do the name calling seem to believe that our military and covert operations haven’t been competent enough to capture Osama bin Laden by using satellite imaging which can focus in on a dime lying on a sidewalk.

Many seem also to believe that torture is necessary in order to gain important information about the enemy who should, by all accounts, be Osama bin Laden. Yet, in three years time, torture has not netted us Osama bin Laden or his whereabouts. Have we just not tortured the right person yet, have we tortured incompetently or could it be that torture just doesn’t have the results that its advocates claim it has? Could it be that torture doesn’t work?

During Watergate, Deep Throat told Woodward to “follow the money”. That should be done in the case of what happened on September 11, 2001 as well.

In addition, it might be advisable to follow the logic. There is no logic in what, according to the train of thought used above, we’re supposed to believe. Yet, this is what the people who are too “stable” to believe “crazy conspiracy theories” choose to believe.


To friendship,
Michael

“At this stage, therefore, the proletarians do not fight their enemies, but the enemies of their enemies, the remnants of absolute monarchy, the landowners, the non-industrial bourgeois, the petty bourgeois. Thus, the whole historical movement is concentrated in the hands of the bourgeoisie; every victory so obtained is a victory for the bourgeoisie.” – Karl Marx

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Thursday, September 28, 2006

Threat Against Olbermann Exposed

Rob Kall is the Executive Editor and Publisher of possibly the internet’s most “fair and balanced” source of news and commentary, OpEdNews.com.

Any side of any story is accepted at OpEdNews. It may be an imagination’s figment, but it seems that the more truly open a news source is, the more it attracts progressives. This is the case with OpEdNews.com.

OpEdNews sends out several editions during the course of a day. In today’s early edition, Kall writes a commentary entitled “Keith Olbermann Terrorized and Gov Tries to Hide It”.

As most people know, Olbermann has been the strongest, if not the only voice in the mainstream media to expose and comment on The Regime’s less than ethical behavior. Kall’s commentary goes a long way in explaining why members of the mainstream media aren’t anxious to take the courageous path that Olbermann has dared to take.

I urge you to read Kall’s commentary, follow through on the action items which he proposes and, finally, write words of encouragement in the comment section on his exposé of this horrific threat to freedom and democracy.

To friendship,
Michael

“War is the tool of small-minded scoundrels who worship the death of others on the altar of their greed.”


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Monday, September 25, 2006

We Need A Paradigm

I wrote this essay a few years ago, but never published it. Some of the less important specifics have changed, but the message is still the same, if not worse.

I am angry. Recently, a company which is in the top 20% of Fortune 500 corporations laid me off after 25 years of service. If they waited three years, I would have been old enough, 50, to take "early retirement." I did get a severance package.

Now, this same company is going to lay off 900 information services employees globally. One of those employees is a friend of mine. He is in his thirtieth year of loyal service. He is 49. He will not be eligible for an "early retirement" either.

However, the company is not giving these people a severance package. Their rationale is that they have outsourced the work these people do. They have "provided" these people an "opportunity" to sign on with the contract company for far less than what they make now and to stay put where they are and do the same work.

The CEO of this company "raked in" almost $13 million in salary last year and cashed out $672,624 in stock options. He's sitting on another $2,399,807 of unexercised company stock.

I'm not linking the specific numbers because people close to me still work for this private sector government director. After all, this corporation still pays its American workers, of which there are becoming fewer all time, above average salaries. However, I can tell you that I retrieved the information from The Executive Paywatch Database web site.

The fact is that The US has the most unbalanced CEO to worker income ratio in the world. The ratio is 475 to 1. In Hong Kong, it is 38 to 1 and in Britain it's 25 to 1.

Have we gone too far? Is this still just plain old free enterprise, fair capitalism or is it becoming more like Bourgeoisie vs. Proletariat.

Despite the euphemisms we've used in reference to the former USSR, China, Cuba and some other nations, Communism, in its true form, has never been in place and never will be. The reason isn't because giving what you can and taking what you need is a terrible idea. The reason-people! People will always think it's fair to own far more than they'll ever need and give far less than they're able to give. It's their right, they say. They've earned it. What they don't say is that putting people who are far less fortunate out on the street and giving their jobs to people who live in squalor in third world countries is one of the ways in which they've "earned it".

What perpetuates this situation is that we "elect" presidents, Clinton, Bush, Gore, Kerry, McCain (yes, McCain) it doesn't matter, who owe The Corporacracy big time for the $$$$ they receive during so called election campaigns. So, our vote doesn't count because we are not voting for the liar who is running, we are voting for the special interests to which they are bound.

But, I digress. My question is have we gone too far? Can you still call what is happening free enterprise/capitalism or is it just plain greed? Are we shooting ourselves in the foot for a select few? And, if so, how do we get the word to the American people that the Democratic and Republican parties are owned by The Corporacracy? And, if we get them to understand that, how do we the people, the working class, change it?

The only way that I can come up with at this time is to totally ignore the Democrats and Republicans in 2008, if not sooner.

I'm open to suggestions.

Ultimately, CEO compensation has to be reigned in, those CEOs have to rehire American workers and share some of that obscene salary with those American workers.

To friendship,
Michael

“Who knows why the hell we do it,
but we always get right to it.
No one knows or even wants to see.” – Michael Bonanno

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Sunday, September 24, 2006

Joke?

Somehow, this eerily seems not as humorous as the originator, whoever he or she is, intended it to be.

George Bush goes to a primary school to talk to the kids, to get a
little boost in his PR. After his talk he offers question time. One
little boy puts up his hand and George asks him his name.

"Stanley," responds the little boy.

"And what is your question, Stanley?"

"I have 4 questions: First, why did the USA invade Iraq without the
support of the UN? Second, why are you President when Al Gore got more
votes? Third, whatever happened to Osama Bin Laden?" Fourth, why are we so
worried about gay-marriage when 1/2 of all Americans don't even have
health insurance?

Just then, the bell rings for recess. George Bush informs the kiddies
that they will continue after recess.

When they resume George says, "OK, where were we? Oh, that's right:
question time. Who has a question?"

Another little boy puts up his hand. George points him out and asks him
his name.

"Steve," he responds.

"And what is your question, Steve?"

"Actually, I have 6 questions.
First, why did the USA invade Iraq without the support of the UN?
Second, why are you President when Al Gore got more votes?
Third, whatever happened to Osama Bin Laden?
Fourth, why are we so worried about gay marriage when 1/2 of all
Americans don't have health insurance?
Fifth, why did the recess bell go off 20 minutes early?
And sixth, what the hell happened to Stanley?"


To friendship,
Michael

“The real problem is not whether machines think but whether men do.” - B. F. Skinner


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Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Downside of the Growing Popularity of Alternate 9/11 Theories

Originally published at OpEdNews

As of late, possibilities of what might have happened on September 11, 2001 that I’ve presented on this blog have been presented in articles published elsewhere.

For example, the fact that there’s an alliance between The Regime and Osama bin Laden shouldn’t be so shocking. The very large bin Laden family and the Bush family have been friends for years. I think this is why The Regime chose W to front for them in the 2000 presidential selection.

In his article “Interrogating 9/11: No Theory, Just Facts”, Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed gives more good reasons why Osama bin Laden may have worked with The Regime in carrying out the 9/11 attacks.

As of late, it’s clear that alternate 9/11 theories have been becoming more popular and taken more seriously.

An example of this is the guest appearance of Dave vonKleist, the producer of “In Plane Site”, on CNN Headline News with Glenn Beck. Although Beck tried his best to present vonKleist as a loon, vonKleist held his ground admirably and, at times, Glenn appeared to be lost for proof.

Members of The Left, some of my favorite people in the world, have taken to trying to debunk the “crazy conspiracy theories”.

Ed Schultz, whose radio show I listen to almost every weekday, claims to have watched a group which calls itself 9/11 Scholars for Truth on C-Span, but could only watch “two minutes” of it because of what Schultz thought was a spurious reference to flying. I express disappointment in Schultz’s close mindedness in my article “The 9/11 Two Minute Study”.

“How the 9/11 Truth Movement Ignores Reality” by Joshua Frank, an article attempting to refute the “conspiracy theorists”, was recently published at OpEdNews. This article received a number of comments, none of which Mr. Frank has answered to date. Mr. Frank didn’t use a great deal of factual information in his article.

It’s not so bothersome that members of The Left are writing articles disputing alternate 9/11 theories. What is bothersome, however, is when Left leaning writers not only try to dispute those theories, but tell those of us who put stock in them to basically stop talking and writing about them. It’s obvious that Matthew Rothschild wants to silence us in his article “Enough of the 9/11 Conspiracies, Already” published by The Progressive.

One of the first points which Rothschild makes is that “Osama bin Laden has already claimed responsibility for the attack several times”. Rothschild asks us to take Osama bin Laden at his word.

That may be easy to do for those who don’t entertain the possibility that bin Laden worked with The Regime to perpetrate the acts of 9/11. There’s been so much deception about and since 9/11 that anyone who is believed to have been involved could never be taken at his or her word.

Rothschild calls David Ray Griffin “the guru of the 9/11 conspiracy movement” and reminds us that Griffith is “an emeritus professor not of engineering but of philosophy and theology at the Claremont School of Theology.”

Griffin was not the first to look at what happened on 9/11 and note that The Regime’s explanation was full of holes. Others “peddled” these alternate theories before Griffin wrote his books. In fact, in his books, Griffin uses the research and explanations of those who had already “peddled” the theories. I’m not sure if Mr. Rothschild has a degree in structural engineering or any other kind of engineering for that matter. If he does not, he does exactly what Griffin does. He uses the research and explanations of others to back up his argument. Rothschild sites his own experts to prove that the alternate theories about 9/11 are “outlandish”.

The lowest point of Rothschild’s article is when he references Griffin’s allegation that World Trade Center landlord Larry Silverstein purposely allowed World Trade Center building #7 to collapse. Rothschild makes the repugnant statement that Griffin’s allegation could be called “The Jew Cashed In”. Rothschild can believe that the theories are over the top, but it is insulting and irrelevant to the debate to imply that those of us who place credence in those theories are anti-Semitic.

Rothschild closes by stating that “It is more than passing strange that progressives, who so revere science on such issues as tobacco, stem cells, evolution, and global warming, are so willing to abandon science and give in to fantasy on the subject of 9/11.”

It is equally strange, and rather disturbing, that progressives such as Schultz, Frank and, above all, Rothschild should mirror the right wing tactic of claiming to believe in the first amendment but not in this case.

What I believe we "conspiracy theorists" want more than anything else, as should Schultz, Frank and Rothschild, is to have an investigation during which the anomalies put forth by people like David Ray Griffith could be answered, in which the investigators are truly non biased and have never had a relationship, professional or otherwise, with any member of The Regime, every and any member of The Regime must testify if subpoenaed and testify under oath and that no part of the questioning can be suppressed because of "national security" reasons.

Unlike the two bogus investigations that have taken place, we want an investigation which begins with the most obvious question, “Who did it?”


To friendship
Michael

“Truth exists, only falsehood has to be invented.” - Georges Braque

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Monday, September 11, 2006

“The Power of Nightmares” – A Real Documentary

As time has passed since the horrors of September 11, 2001, we have learned, little by little, about the inner workings of the neoconservatives and also the mindset and inner workings of Islamic fundamentalists.

I have, through the suggestion of a friend, begun watching the BBC limited series “The Power of Nightmares”. This documentary has removed the “little by little” from my own learning curve. It can be watched at YouTube.

“The Power of Nightmares” exposes the almost eerie parallel growth of the neoconservatives and radical Islamists.

Probably the most shocking evidence in this series of half hour presentations is the parallel goals of each group. The neoconservatives and radical Islam were born at about the same time, went through similar metamorphoses and actually share the same goals.

If you haven’t seen “The Power of Nightmares”, I urge you to begin watching it. For me, at least, it’s like the proverbial book that can’t be put down.

To friendship,
Michael

“Our ‘neoconservatives’ are neither new nor conservative, but old as Bablyon and evil as Hell.” – Edward Abbey


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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Why do They do It?

Most Americans want a living wage, a comfortable life gained through fair employment. This is becoming less the case as un-American “free trade” agreements have moved middle class jobs to third world countries. Many middle class Americans say they understand this. It’s capitalism, they say, and the goal of capitalism is to make a profit. They may see opponents of the Iraq occupation as unpatriotic, but they don’t see the American CEOs who are sentencing the American middle class worker to an employment death penalty, as unpatriotic.

Why do the police and The National Guard, when asked, agree to interfere with the efforts of people who share the same, modest status in life when they try to improve their working conditions? Why would policemen who, themselves, often take steps like “the blue flu” to accomplish the same goals as strikers confront strikers? One can’t help thinking that those in uniform who confront union strikers more than likely want the very things for which the union is striking.

One must wonder how those who are not part of the elite agree to stop fellow middle class workers from publicly protesting their working conditions.

Toward the end of the Vietnam War, Americans began to become weary and tired of lower and middle class Americans dying. They began to take to the streets to force the government to end the war.

On many occasions, policemen and National Guardsmen were asked to stop the protestors and obeyed.

Some confrontations were violent. On May 4, 1970, four middle class students were killed by Guardsmen on the campus of Kent State University.

Policemen and Guardsmen are not members of the American elite. Yet, they stopped other middle class people from protesting a war that took the lives of over 50,000 American soldiers, many from poor homes, but many from middle class homes as well.

It’s happening again today. As Derrick Jackson points out in his article “Soldiers Die, CEOs Prosper” which is posted on the Common Dreams News Center, American soldiers, many of whom earn as little as $25,000 a year, are dying while CEOs of large defense industry corporations are raking in close to $1 billion dollars a year thanks to the occupation of Iraq and the death of the soldiers.

Yet, the soldiers go to Iraq and stay there after their tour is supposed to have been over because they’ve been told that they’re fighting for their country, for freedom and for democracy in Iraq, all noble causes, none of them true. 30% of the people back home still support their sacrifices and the “good fortune” of the defense industry CEOs, although they don’t see it that way. 30% is a minority, but it’s still far too many people who are wearing blinders or otherwise in the dark.

One must wonder how soldiers don’t see that their wages, when sent home, don’t pay the bills while those that put them in that position have no idea what those kinds of bills are.

U. S. Army First Lieutenant Ehren Watada, the first commissioned officer to refuse duty in Iraq, says that, “The idea is this: that to stop an illegal and unjust war, the soldiers can choose to stop fighting it.”

Soldiers have a free will. The horribly unbalanced recompense from the Iraq occupation should be enough to inspire the soldiers to lay down their arms and stop fighting.

Again, these troops are told that their mission is something it’s not. They volunteered and feel obligated to see the phantom mission through. If the awareness of the troops could be raised without interference from The Regime, many just might “quit”. No soldiers, no war.

Why do middle class people support wars like Vietnam and Iraq when those wars take their loved ones away from them, sometimes permanently? Why do they not see who fights and dies and who benefits? Why are they so influenced by the deceitful words of The Regime and its propagandists? Don’t they watch press conferences during which, when asked what Iraq had to do with 9/11, The Front Man said “nothing”? When he then connects the occupation of Iraq with 9/11 by placing the two events in the same sentence, why do they not remember the word “nothing”?

One can’t help thinking that those who support The Regime’s using the lower and middle classes as sacrificial lambs would not be so supportive if they took the time to “follow the money” as Deep Throat instructed Bob Woodward to do back in the 1970s. It would become very clear if they took that time.

The Regime is slick and uses words like left, right, liberal, conservative, coward and patriot to muddy the waters and compel the middle class, the class that’s taking the beating in each of these scenarios, to support them. The middle class must be made aware that The Regime is made up of people with whom they’d never have anything in common and with whom they’d not even be allowed to socialize or to share a relationship.

The stage must be cleared of The Regime’s debris so that we all can see the actors more clearly.

To friendship,
Michael

“Change starts when someone sees the next step.” - William Drayton


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Sunday, August 27, 2006

When “Socialism” Helps the Corporation

There’s no doubt in many of our minds that Karl Rove’s offensives have fooled the middle class into voting against its own interests. It’s done this in the last three national elections, but, hopefully, it’s learned and won’t do it in 2006. Rove and his ilk are cunning, however, and one can expect lies and misinformation to frighten and compel the disappearing middle class into voting against its own interest yet again.

However, I don’t believe that many of us have thought that, by fighting some of the social changes that are supported by progressives, corporations are actually acting against their own interests.

Here’s an article which explains this phenomenon in greater detail and makes tons of sense.

To friendship,
Michael

“The time not to become a father is eighteen years before a war.” - E. B. White


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Friday, August 11, 2006

Savages and Terrorists, Who Are They and Why?

Hezbollah, Hamas, Al Qaeda are all terrorist groups.

Hezbollah kidnapped Israeli soldiers and “indiscriminately” lobbed rockets into Israel.

Does that mean that Israel responded by “discriminately” bombing Lebanese civilians with precision fired missiles? Who leads in the dead civilian competition? Lebanon, if I’m not mistaken.

Yet, according to our media, Israel is the victim. I suggest that the Middle East is the victim.

We transplanted Western Europeans have been looking at things this way for a very long time.

We discovered this continent, slaughtered the people who were inhabiting it and called them savages. Who were the savages, the people who were living on the land they called home for hundreds of years or the more technologically advanced people who slaughtered the indigenous people in order to steal their land?

We wanted Mexico. Just as Hezbollah kidnapped a couple of Israeli soldiers, Mexicans murdered an American soldier, one American soldier, “spilled American blood”, as Polk put it, and he used that incident to justify an invasion of Mexico, slaughter Mexicans and steal Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and much of California. Polk embellished the reason for invading Mexico, if he didn’t outright lie.

The Maine was sunk by what probably was an onboard incident. Yet, McKinley, with the help of the Hearst Dynasty, told the American people that Spain had sunk the ship and justified an invasion of Cuba to remove the Spanish. If there was any doubt about the Maine, the American people were also told that we were bringing Democracy to Cuba (sound familiar?). President McKinley lied to the American people. We proceeded to buy up Cuba, work with its corrupt governments and exploit the Cuban people for the better part of 60 years.

There’s still controversy as to what started World War I in Europe, but the US entered because German ships were interfering with US weapons sales to England and France. The US could have stayed out of the war. Even if the Kaiser controlled a good portion of Europe, a German victory may not have given rise to the hero Germans needed. Adolf Hitler may have remained a little known German politician.

Nonetheless, the reasons given to Americans for the US entrance into World War I were misleading. German U-Boats sank American vessels, but Americans weren’t aware where the vessels were going and what they were delivering. President Wilson mislead the American people.

Stopping the spread of communism and a phantom attack on American vessels killed 112,414 American military personnel in Korea and Vietnam.

There have since been numerous protests by South Koreans against their various governments and their electoral process and we are conducting business with Vietnam. What did we stop? 112,414 hearts. We kept our economy strong, albeit a military/industrial economy. Presidents Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon lied to or mislead the American people.

The lies and secrets of the Reagan Regime, which included dealing with a corrupt government to support a corrupt uprising, are almost too numerous to mention here.

George H. W. Bush lied to us when he told us that we were repelling Iraq’s march into Kuwait for the sake of the wonderful people of Kuwait. Kuwait’s oppressive regime played nicely with the Former United States of America while the Iraqi government didn’t know whether the FUSA was friend or foe. I guess it was one once and is the other now. In addition, the American people were not told that Kuwait was slant drilling to tap into Iraq’s oil supply.

It continues:

9/11 was not engineered and carried out by outsiders.

There were no WMD in Iraq, ready to fire within 45 minutes.

Iraq and its arch enemy, Al Qaeda, were not working together to carry out the atrocities of 9/11.

The FUSA is not in Iraq to bring it freedom, democracy or any other benefits.

Only in Iraq do we take jobs from third world workers and give them to Americans!

More possibilities, events to strengthen the stronghold of fear that The Regime has on its followers:

Muslims had nothing to do with blowing up railways in Spain or England.

All of the reports of aborted terrorist plans, including the report from the UK on 8/10/06, were announced at convenient times, pre-English or pre-American political elections. Color coded terror warning systems seem to kick in at those very same times as well. What have these “stopped at the last minute” terrorist plans consisted of – if anything?

Lies can only be effective if people believe them.

To friendship,
Michael

“Political language ... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.” – George Orwell

The Mind Of Michael
“Flameland”

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Addicted to "The Number"

This article can be called “How They Lie to Remain Wealthy – The Sequel”. It’s a wonderful follow up to “Who Killed the Electric Car?” . That’s because the roadster shown in this article is a follow up to all of the cars shredded back in 1996 as exposed in “Who Killed the Electric Car?”.

With the crime committed in “Who Killed the Electric Car?” exposed to God and everybody, will this model, and those more modestly priced for the rest of us, which may well follow, be “recalled” and shredded or will the exposure convince anyone who takes the time and/or trouble to see “Who Killed the Electric Car?” realize that large, multinational corporations are run by greedheads. What makes these CEOs and top executives greedheads more than anything else is “the number”.

The compensation that these greedheads receive has nothing to do with their worth to the company. It certainly has nothing to do with compensation that allows one to live comfortably in the home of the brave and the land of the free.

Greedheads look at competitors’ “numbers” and say, “My number has to be larger than his/her number.” Today’s greedheads are concerned with “the number”.

While greedheads suck up a corporation’s profits to enlarge their personal “numbers”, American workers, who were compensated with $15, $16 or even $20 an hour, are laid off and products like the vehicle in this article, which disgustingly stuff greedheads with “numbers”, are produced by citizens of China, India, Mexico, South and Central America and other depressed areas. Members of this new workforce are paid $1.50 an hour, give or take.

An example of such a greedhead is the Ford Motor Company’s CEO William Clay Ford, who could probably chisel off a bit of his total compensation package worth $15,944,333 to help pay American workers, as truly patriotic American CEOs would do. He could also begin to mass produce vehicles like the one in this article to make life more tolerable for his less fortunate fellow Americans. By mass producing such vehicles, he may even help save some American lives by working towards eliminating the reason for sending American soldiers to their deaths in oil producing nations.

However, we can count on Regime apologists to write commentaries citing how this article and others like it are skewed, biased, misleading and oversimplified, written solely to promote the “liberal agenda” (whatever that is). A Regime disciple will no doubt inform us that there are hoards of scientists, probably the same scientists that claim that human created global warming doesn’t exist, that say the technology needed to produce a vehicle such as the one shown in this article is decades away or just plain impossible or that it would cost as much to produce such a vehicle as it does to pump oil out of the earth or that such a vehicle is unsafe or some other “grown up, rational” reason why this is just propaganda and can’t happen. Finally, The Regime’s minions will start to call those who support this technology “electrofascists” or “electronazis”.

We aren’t addicted to oil. CEOs, leaders of The Corporacracy, which is the American government, The Corporacracy, are addicted to numbers.

To friendship,
Michael

“The people should not fear the government, the government should fear the people.” - From the movie “V for Vendetta”


The Mind Of Michael
"Flameland"

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Some Recommended Reading About Truth

It is imperative that Americans, liberal, conservative or anything in between, read Howard Zinn’s “A People's History Of The United States”. However, that’s a 688 page book and who has time to read 688 pages of truth about how the Former United States of America (the FUSA) was founded and developed?

There is good news, though. Zinn has encapsulated his “People’s History” in an article he calls “America’s Blinders”. This article is a one pager published on The Progressive Media Report web site. Surely, we can take the time to read a one page synopsis of the kinds of truth we ignore when we believe “our presidents’” claims that Americans must go to war, must kill and die in order to basically save the world, if not a portion of the world.

This message and the recommended reading may be preaching to the choir, although I think that the choir must rehearse if it is to stay sharp.

I urge you to read “America’s Blinders” and, then, after you’ve had a taste of truth, read “A People’s History Of The United States”.

Pseudo patriotism is like a religion. Priests, preachers, mullas, elders, whomever, tell you what is evil and warn you to stay away from it. This is why so many right wing individuals were able to criticize “Fahrenheit 911” in great detail without ever seeing it. They were told it’s evil and they believed it.

So, such people will most likely think that they already know that “America’s Blinders” or “A People’s History Of The United States” are evil and will stay away from them. Sadly, these are the people who need to read them the most.

To friendship,
Michael

“It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of nonviolence to cover impotence.” – Mahatma Gandhi

The Mind Of Michael
Speak Your Mind And Read Mine
“Flameland”

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

A Letter Sent to Bill Moyers

The following is a letter which I wrote to former PBS reporter and Johnson White House staffer Bill Moyers. The letter was inspired by an article written by Molly Ivins entitled “Run Bill Moyers For President, Seriously”. I read the article on the CommonDreams.org web site.

I’d like to preface the letter by doing something that George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and at least one other man I know personally would never think of doing. I admit that I made a mistake.

Senator Barbara Boxer was the only senator to stand with the Congressional Black Caucus in questioning the integrity of the voting in Ohio after the 2004 presidential election. She has also been a strong opponent of our actions in Iraq and, up until recently, didn’t hold back in expressing her opposition.

Why, then, did Senator Boxer travel to Connecticut to support Joe Lieberman, an avid supporter of The Regime’s murderous activities in Iraq? As I write in my letter to Moyers, it is obviously more important for Boxer to “play politician” than it is to legislate honestly.

As troubled as my belief in our Corporacracy run, one party, two division electoral system has been, Boxer has weakened that belief even further.

I’ve removed links to any “Boxer For President” sites. Some sites, I notice, have already been removed.

Finally, as I’ve changed my mind about Senator Boxer, I may very well change my mind about Mr. Moyers. In fact, assuming that my mind is made up may even be a stretch. However, I can say that I will vote in November, but, in cases where there is no “third party” or independent candidate that I trust, I will either be writing in a name or not voting in that contest. As of now, and anything can change, unless Moyers becomes the Democratic candidate for president in 2008, and I truly don’t see that happening, I have no intention of voting for a Democrat or Republican in November of this year or in November of 2008.

I would urge all of you to join me in boycotting the professional politicians, but I know that there are those of you who still believe the process that’s presented to us.

My letter to Bill Moyers:

Dear Mr. Moyers,

My name is Michael Bonanno. I worked for a Fortune 500 multinational chemical manufacturing company for 25 years. I was within three years of being able to retire with full benefits when my employer “delayered” me (Orwell was a genius).

I’ve just read a column written by Molly Ivins. The column is entitled “Run Bill Moyers For President, Seriously”. Although I’m sure that this column appears elsewhere, as Ms Ivins’s columns are syndicated, I happened to read it on the CommonDreams.org web site. I’ve read many columns you’ve written on the CommonDreams.org web site as well.

In her column, Ms. Ivins suggests, “seriously”, that we encourage you to seek the Democratic Party’s 2008 nomination for president. I’ve never thought of that possibility prior to reading Ms Ivins’s column.

As I’m quite sure that every Democrat and every Republican serving in the Senate and most Democrats and Republicans, if not all, serving in the House are far too beholden to multinational corporations, I’ve been racking my brain to think of potential candidates who probably aren’t beholden to corporations.

Aside from being a man of impeccable integrity, you are articulate, composed, lucid and patient. If I knew what the word “brilliant” really meant in describing a human being, I’d probably write that you are brilliant as well.

You, Mr. Moyers, have a Kennedyesque sense of humor. In my 56 years, I’ve never heard a politician deliver a humorous line in a way that was one of the trademarks of both John and Bobby Kennedy. You can easily gain the attention of an audience with that kind of easy going humor and then, with your propensity for convincingly presenting logic that is undeniable, you can enlighten that very same audience.

While you don’t intentionally target the emotions of your listeners/readers, the points that you present and the manner in which you present them do arouse appropriate and constructive passion in the members of your audiences. You’re obviously not a supporter of “wedge issues”.

I disagree with Ms Ivins on one point, however.

I am strongly opposed to The Electoral College. I believe that The Electoral College has a “trickle down” affect. If there were four candidates running for local dog catcher, a Libertarian, a Green, a Democrat and a Republican, the Democrat or the Republican would most likely win. Americans are conditioned to look at so called “third parties” as one would look at someone with a third eye.

When looking at the history of The Electoral College, one would see that either a Republican or a Democrat received the majority of electoral votes in any given presidential election with the exception of the first few elections held in The United States.

One looks at a map shown on any commercial television network on the evening of a presidential election and sees red dots and blue dots. I suggest that red and blue are not the only colors in the spectrum. However, it reinforces the conditioning about which I refer above.

In 1992, Ross Perot garnered 19% of the vote. He was running against a virtual unknown in Bill Clinton and an insider’s insider whose lack of leadership was one of the main reasons for the economic troubles of the time, President George H. W. Bush.

Perot’s speech was entertaining but not particularly articulate. He warned about the adverse consequences of NAFTA. I believe people were too busy “getting a laugh out of” listening to him speak and failed to zone in to his message. Form certainly outweighed substance in the case of Ross Perot.

I have no trust in the Democratic or Republican party.

Dennis Kucinich, who is supposed to be a “maverick”, supported John Kerry in 2004 although Kerry opposed many issues which Kucinich supported and supported many issues, especially the escalation of the war in Iraq, which Kucinich opposed.

If I read the Congressional Record correctly, and, for me, it’s sometimes difficult to understand it clearly, Kucinich recently voted for HR2830 which is the “Pension Reform Bill”. This bill was introduced by John Boehner (R-OH) and can do nothing but hurt retired Americans, present and future. Representative George Miller (D-CA), a so called “liberal”, gave an impassioned speech on the floor of the House opposing HR2830.

One of the two senators from the state in which I live, Senator Barbara Boxer, is another so called “maverick”. She was the only senator to stand with The Congressional Black Caucus in questioning the integrity of the voting process in Ohio in 2004.

She has come out in no uncertain terms as opposing our actions in Iraq. At one point, I supported the idea of her pursuing the presidency in 2008.

Yet, she made it clear that
“playing politician” is more important than legislating honestly when she traveled to Connecticut to support pro war Democrat Joe Lieberman. Her campaigning for Lieberman shocked the support for her potential run for the presidency clear out of me.

Consequently, Ms Ivins may be right in suggesting that you pursue the Democratic Party’s nomination. What Ms Ivins doesn’t suggest and what I do suggest is that, if you aren’t nominated, you should run for the presidency as an independent.

You may not be nominated, Mr. Moyers, because I hope that you’ll make it clear that you won’t play the kind of games that Representative Kucinich or Senator Boxer play.

Mr. Moyers, you are absolutely resplendent when you speak to an issue and, considering the fact that most of the issues facing us today deal with life and death and even deal with the use of “the ultimate force”, the American people need leadership that is strong yet extremely clear in what its plans are and why it believes that those actions are best for The United States. Our president needs to be honest with the American people.

The rest of the world needs to know that The United States of America is a rational nation that reacts rationally because its president is a rational human being.

Mr. Moyers, you are that human being.

Thank you.

Sincerely,
Michael Bonanno

If you’re interested in writing to Mr. Moyers and you didn’t happen to catch the Ivins article, the address she gives is P.O. Box 309, Bernardsville, NJ 07924.

To friendship,
Michael

“Science may set limits to knowledge, but should not set limits to imagination.” - Bertrand Russell

The Mind Of Michael
“Flameland”