Monday, February 26, 2018

Atomic Bombs and the NRA

Rationale for allowing citizens to possess nuclear weapons:

Atomic bombs don't kill people;
People kill people.

Friday, February 23, 2018

On the 15th Anniversary of the Invasion of Iraq

In 2003, the Bush Administration, under the pretense of ridding the world of a dangerous dictator who possessed “weapons of mass destruction,” invaded a nation that had not attacked the U.S. during its entire history. The invasion and subsequent occupation led to the deaths of as many as a million Iraqis, a large proportion of them children. This was in addition to the million or more Iraqis that died as the result of sanctions imposed by the U.S. after Desert Storm in 1993.

The Bush Administration invaded Iraq mainly to enrich the military/industrial complex that has driven so much of our foreign policy since the end of World War II. During the mobilization, the government even conducted classes for businesspersons who wished to profit from the procurement bonanza. It was all transparent. Very little was hidden from anyone who took the trouble to look.
No good came out of the invasion or occupation to anyone but defense contractors, who are still gorging themselves at the public trough. Attacking a nation that has never threatened you is a war crime, pure and simple. George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and the other neoconservatives in the administration all have blood on their hands that will never be washed out.
Watching the CIA testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee several days ago reminded me of the talk leading up to the invasions of Vietnam and Iraq. Dan Coats, Director of National Intelligence told Congress that “[t]he risk of inter-state conflict is higher than any time since the Cold War.” CIA Director Mike Pompeo, FBI Director Christopher Wray and National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike Rogers, as well as the heads of the Defense Intelligence Agency and National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley and Robert Cardillo, answered questions by the committee members.
As you might guess, the picture they presented was bleak. That the most powerful nation in the world, whose military expenditures exceeds those of the rest of the world combined, should be worried about enemies is ridiculous. It appears as though the defense industry is getting hungry and needs another war to restock their coffers.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Obama, Objective Journalism, and Manufacturing Consent

Never forget that people the mass media won’t tell you about have been deemed by the power elite to be unworthy of our concern. To focus on the vast amount of suffering in the world, much of which has been the direct result of U.S. foreign policy, would be an inconvenience to the power elite who profit from many of these activities. A recent opinion piece by John Christiansen, Jr. in Medium, analyzes Obama’s rationalization of military intervention and concludes that he was no better than his predecessors. He also cites a book I have long regarded as the bible of state propaganda, Manufacturing Consent by Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Dr. Richard Wolff On the Reaganomics Scam and How it is Still Impoverishing All But the Very Rich

Thom Hartmann interviews Economist Richard Wolff on the RT network, explaining Reaganomics and how it has affected the U.S. since 1980. Some of us haved lived long enough to remember the post-WWII era, the Reagan years, and the Clinton-Bush-Obama era, and are in a position to know what it was like to live then and to observe how things have changed. Things have not changed for the better, I can assure you, unless you are in the top 10% in income.

I was born in 1945, just days before WWII ended. My parents lived in a small apartment in Jackson, Mississippi, but moved two years later to a modest three-bedroom home in what was known as the G.I. Subdivision. The houses were small, but the lots were large, which was perfect for kids, of which there were many.

These neighborhoods were about as egalitarian as you could get unless you were filthy rich, in which case you lived in a posh subdivision reserved for the wealthy. The rest of us, from lower middle class to the top of the managerial class, lived together in a fairly harmonious manner. Many of our neighbors had college degrees they earned under the G.I. Bill, which paid college tuition and living expenses for veterans of the war.

We expected to achieve the American Dream when we grew up: a suburban home, two automobiles, children who could attend good public schools and the resources to send them to college[1].

Most Americans are absymally ignorant of modern history, that is, of the 20th Century. It is not their fault; most governments prefer that their citizens remain ignorant of recent events, because if people knew how their present conditions came about they would in all likelihood grab their pitchforks and go after the power elite. Instead, history has been made into a dull irrevelant study that kills any interest a high school student may have in the subject. If they don’t know history, they will not be able to comprehend the lessons of history.

If Americans had possessed a decent knowledge of the Great Depression (1932–1942) and a modicum of economic understanding, they would have quickly seen through Ronald Reagan and his economic proposals as a scheme to enrich the upper classes by destroying the very institutions that were established during the ’30s to prevent future depressions. Dr. Wolff discusses all of this in detail in the above YouTube recording, which I strongly urge you to watch.
Don’t bother commenting until you have watched the interview with Dr. Wolff above.

  1. Most states funded their college and universities generously and kept tuition and expenses down to a level that almost anyone who wished could earn a degree. For those who could not afford to pay for college, there were plentiful grants-in-aid and scholarships available. Since 1980, state support for education has declined to the extent that students are expected to assume debt burdens that would have been unthinkable and outrageous before 1970. This gradual strangulation of public education was not the result of uncontrollable economic events; it was quite deliberate.  ↩