Archive for August 9th, 2011
Finally, I’ve discovered a prominent media spokesperson who has the guts to acknowledge that America is faced with a dangerous problem based on mathematical facts, a problem that is fueled by systemic financial industry corruption that thoroughly permeates both major political parties. He argues, loudly, that the first step to deal with this danger is for the President of the United States to take to the bully pulpit and to clearly acknowledge our problem rather than suggesting that the debate is between cutting $2 trillion or $4 trillion, both of which are merely kicking the can a few feet down the road (to 2017).
I literally stood up to applauded to my computer monitor after hearing Dylan Ratigan cut through the bullshit and nail this critical issue.
Finally, someone is out there forcefully saying what needs to be said, with the right idea for a first step. Obama could make up for many of his previous sins if he dared to throw the Hail Mary pass Dylan Ratigan suggests. He needs to tell himself “screw 2017,” and begin a campaign based on getting into the faces of all politicians, Democrats and Republicans. He should shout from the highest pulpit to root out electoral/banking/trade/taxation/media corruption and he shouldn’t stop talking about this issue of monied political corruption, because there will not be any meaningful debate on any other issue until we dare to admit that private money in politics has completely perverted the political process. As Ratigan states, we shouldn’t be talking about $2 or $4 trillion. At least nine trillion, (and see here) and arguably dozens of trillions, as much as $70 trillion, are being siphoned out of the system thanks to the complicity of powerful people and entities that couldn’t care less about the future of the United States.
During his speeches, Obama should hold up traditional grade school civics textbooks and and then set them on fire because they are full of lies. They do not describe how the system works. Not even closely. The predominant political truth is that Congress is bought and paid for by big monied companies that currently control all three branches of government. Consequently, there are two Americas, and you are not part of the America that pulls any meaningful strings. Your vote is severely limited to support only members of the club of which you are not a member. Skip writing emails to your representatives, because those emails just annoy them. They are trying to work in a whirlwind of D.C. money that turns them into functional psychopaths. Good luck getting any federal agency to pay any attention to the needs of ordinary Americans, whether it be the FCC, the FDA or the SEC. The politicians who treasure the somewhat elevated stature of their jobs know deep down that they need to keep voting to further powerful corporations or else they will be swiftly boated from their jobs. We are in the era of Citizens United, where yes, you have a vote, but your choices have both been pre-ordained, pre-approved.
I wish I didn’t believe the things I’ve just written, but I’ve seen far too much evidence establishing that this country is not run by you and me, despite the popular rhetoric to the contrary. Let’s take that first step to force our politicians, especially the President, to admit that we absolutely need to discuss and deal with systemic corruption caused by private money drenching politics. Until then, everything we hear is merely a bunch of hot air dressed up to sound like meaningful conversation.
Perhaps you already know the story about Lt. Dan Choi, a gay man with specialized training in Arabic who, for more than
a decade, served honorably with the U.S. military, including service in Iraq from 2006-2008. After transferring to the New York National Guard, however, he announced that he was gay on Rachel Maddow’s show. He came out very much aware that the law of the land was Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, which he appropriately described as “an immoral law and policy that forces American soldiers to deceive and lie about their sexual orientation.”
After coming out on Maddow’s show, Choi received a discharge letter from the military. Choi publicly stated, “It is a slap in the face to my soldiers, peers and leaders who have demonstrated that an infantry unit can be professional enough to accept diversity, to accept capable leaders, to accept skilled soldiers.”
In 2010, Choi was arrested for demonstrating, as described by Jane Hamsher of Fire Dog Lake:
Choi chained himself to the White House fence on
November 10, 2010 to protest DADT. He and 12 others activists were arrested and charged with violating a federal regulation prohibiting “interfering with agency functions,” in this case refusing to obey an order from the National Park Service.
In the eyes of the Federal government, even a man who has given a great deal of his life for his country should never be allowed to embarrass the government by serving as a reminder that a law on the books is evil. Therefore, the trial is about to commence, despite the fact that the judge is perplexed by the severity of the charges.
In the meantime, Dan Choi is facing ignominy from another front, set forth in a mass mailing I just received from FDL:
Collection agencies are now demanding Dan pay over $3,000 to the Department of Defense to “make up” for the portion of his enlistment he did not serve after he was thrown out of the Army for disclosing his sexual orientation. That includes seizing his veterans disability checks that he depends on to treat his Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from his service in the Iraq War.
Welcome to modern day America. If this prosecution outrages you as much as it does me, sign the petition at FDL.
I’d bet that President Obama, who has severely wavered on his commitment to gay rights, has sufficient political clout to grab a front row seat to Choi’s trial, if he would like to become visibly associated with Choi’s upcoming trial and punishment. After all, isn’t that what Choi deserves for daring to speak out about an injustice? this makes me wonder . . . If Martin Luther King magically returned and was put on trial for civil disobedience in 2011, would Barack Obama stand by in that case too and allow the feds make even more of a mockery of civil liberties?
Note: DADT is scheduled to be deemed unenforceable as of September 20, 2011.
Rolling Stone offers a well-written expose of the corrupt actions of News Corp here in America:
[A]n examination of Murdoch’s corporate history reveals that each of the elements of the scandal in London – hacking, thuggish reporting tactics, unethical entanglements with police, hush-money settlements and efforts to corrupt officials at the highest levels of government – extend far beyond Fleet Street. Over the past decade, News Corp. has systematically employed such tactics in its U.S. operations, exhibiting what a recent lawsuit filed against the firm calls a “culture run amok.” As a former high-ranking News Corp. executive tells Rolling Stone: “It’s the same shit, different day.”