Prologue, or just see this
There is no right wing. There is no left wing. There is only us.
Republicans, democrats, citizens, left wing, right wing, hippie, war veteran, rush limbaugh listeners, air america fans... patriots - it is time to let go.
Let go of the wedge issues.
Try not to pay too much attention to the comedy shows on TV masquerading as news shows or as serious political discussions.
This is one example on how to deal with them:
One more quick thing before the flood of words commences: this is an issue that we should not forget, Israeli companies spy on Americans at AT&T and Verizon. Take a look at that "non-story" - thank you.
And now without further ado...
Bulk/Verbosity, if you want to delve a bit deeper
I read rapaciously on the web, and off. All kinds of books - fiction and non-fiction, history, war, sci-fi, fantasy, computer books for my work.
In my readings, I have happened upon two blogs, not as major as, say Dailykos or LittleGreenFootballs or some other assorted major blog nonsense, but definitely more important than my little effort and with authors who have much better writing skill than your truly.
The interesting thing about these two blogs is that they represent two positions in American political spectrum, that conventional wisdom states should be diametrically opposed to each other.
You see, one is a right wing, conservative voice of a pretty good writer, Mr. Dennis Perrin, book author and blogger extraordinaire (at the very least to me).
The other is a left wing (I can almost imagine an aging hippie who still sings Flowers in my hair in the shower), who took it upon himself to chronicle the outrages of our Empire and it's close cousin (master?), Israel - Mr. Chris Floyd.
I have written this blog to chronicle the outrage that is AIPAC; the whole idea that there is an organization which serves a foreign power (Israel) and, truthfully, has ALL our politicians by the balls (vote for us or you lose your seat!), is, frankly, at the least unsettling, and to me as a patriot, disgusting.
I believe that I have accomplished the documenting of AIPAC and Israeli influence on this country, especially the role Israeli agents of influence in AIPAC, in the media and other organizations have played to lead America into the current occupation of Iraq.
I never get tired of pointing out this to people - google "Clean Break", then google "PNAC" and you discover the same people, the same political actors, movers and shakers, who first advised Benjamin Netanyahu on how to secure Israel - by destroying Iraq, Iran and Syria, - and then how that plan to make Israel secure was sold to America as PNAC; Project for New American Century (oh, the irony - American century).
End of intermission
But I will now try to develop a second narrative in my blog, hints of which I have already dropped here and there in my articles and in my posts in various blogs.
A new meme, if you will.
If you have followed the modern political process in this country, and you thought about what was happening instead of being told what to think by the propaganda specialists in the media, you would have hit upon the same thing I did.
The two political parties?
They are the same.
Others have said it, not least Noam Chomsky:
In the United States, the political system is a very marginal affair. There are two parties, so-called, but they're really factions of the same party, the Business Party. Both represent some range of business interests. In fact, they can change their positions 180 degrees, and nobody even notices.
It is time for others to see it, because, once you see it, you will see the world in a whole new way. Akin to a certain classic sci-fi movie, the Matrix, if you will.
Lets keep it simple.
Both parties look for wedge issues, things that are really NOT THAT IMPORTANT to this country's future, current or future economy or political situation.
Lets name some "wedgies": gay marriage, bible quotes or ten commandments displayed in prominent places, abortion, immigration.
When these issues are discussed on TV in a circle jerk Sunday political talk show circuit (or rather, circus, starring clowns - and bad ones at that), knives are drawn, spittle is spit, the debaters snarl and seem ready to jump at each other.
The last issue mentioned needs some explaining, as immigration, especially from the Latin American countries (am looking at you, Mexico) does affect this country tremendously - it changes this country's culture, mores, ethnicity and attitude on many an issue.
While republicans publicly oppose illegal immigration, what have they really done, I mean REALLY done to back up their words (yes, yes, build a wall, an exercise in public relations and supporting their cronies with our tax money).
The flood of illegal immigrants was uninterrupted, and nothing had an effect of slowing it down. If you go to Chicago (which is somewhat far from the Mexican border, right?), you will see that almost one in three people (rough estimate here, not based on census but my own eyes) you see on the street or driving is a Latin American (not saying that every Latino is an illegal immigrant, but many are - lets not kid ourselves here).
So, the republicans talked the talk, but, as usual nothing was done and the status quo remained.
Which, if you think about it, is truly amazing - because after an attack like 9/11, any sane, normal nation would close the borders (at least for a while) and sort out its immigration policy (may I mention that the 9/11 terrorists came here legally, on valid visas).
Which leads me to my main point.
The fighting between democrats and republicans, the pundits on TV shows talking their bullshit, the issues they discuss...
It is all theatre - political theatre, or if you prefer, kabuki theatre, staged for our amusement.
It is designed to capture our attention, to mesmerize us, to bedevil us - and to prevent us from examining what is really going on.
What is Mrs. Obama wearing?
Did bush get dissed?
Is that baseball player really worth that much?
Oh my god, atheists want to take away christmas (lets call it 'War on christmas' and make it seem like it is real news)!
Wedge issues are designed to divide, to rally Americans either pro or against an issue. They do not have to be totally without consequence - for example, bush's XIV Century style of looking at science, and specifically obstructing stem cell research, did and does affect people to whom the cure is not coming any time soon.
But wedge issues are set up to have a minimal impact on the American Empire, how it is run, its economy, politics, the top 1% elite who pull the strings.
So, yes, even stem cells research (stopped by bush to placate his religious nuts base) which arguably can affect the well being of millions worldwide, is a wedge issue, an unimportant issue to the elite.
But what about important stuff, the issues that matter, that shape this nation and affect ALL of us?
Things like FISA, the Patriot Act, Iraq War 2, the Bailout?
Surprisingly, if you look at the truly important issues, both parties are in complete agreement.
They march in lockstep, as if advised from on-high - 'on this issue, we vote this way, everybody!'.
Oh sure, for the political theatre's sake, during the so called bailout debate, the Congressional republicans fought tooth and nail, protesting half heartedly against the bailout, because they received threatennig phone calls and letters and emails (tens of thousands of them) from their districts back home (districts which they never, ever, ever visit if they can help it - it takes them away from the Washington pig trough).
But then an amazing thing happened. It was a tremendous, open your eyes moment in American modern history.
A 'what the fuck' moment, if you will.
The whip was cracked. the masters spoke, and the republicans fell in line as one (OK, a few may have voted no to keep up appearances of democracy).
What about FISA (government computers process ALL your communications, using Israeli software) and the Patriot Act (which should be called the anti-patriot act, if we were honest)?
A very few democrats made some noises, but were immediately ostracized, called unpatriotic, and just like republicans they were told how to vote from on high, directions given quickly by the so called party leaders and lobbyists - and they obeyed.
Pick an issue that the parties disagree on, and you will see that it is totally unimportant, it is a waste of time, it is a wedge issue, that affects at the least 1% of the US population.
Or, perhaps taking immigration into account, an issue that is discussed and play-acted on TV, in newspaper articles and on radio - but on which nothing concrete is or will be done.
Short explanation on immigration:
Immigrants are good for big business. The main goal of immigration, especially illegal immigration, is to lower the wages of citizen Americans to make the business here more competitive with other countries, which pay pennies per work hour.
Even the high end, work visa immigration (specifically, Indians who come into this country with tremendous resumes but actual lack of programming, business communication and general business skills) are admitted here to lower wages of the high tech sector workers.
End of explanation
Pick an issue that both parties (despite their rhetoric - look at the actions, the voting patterns, and not what they say!) agree on, and you will discover issues that shape this nation and the world at large.
So, getting back to the two blogs I profiled (yes, I am a verbose mother fucker!)...
Lets compare them, the conservative, traditional right wing (not neocon, which is a parody of conservatism!) versus the hippie, left wing aging activist:
Dennis Perrin on the inauguration of the annointed one, in his The HOPE Haze:
There are days when I feel so out of it, so alienated, that I wonder if I've gone insane or suffer some deep personality disorder. After yesterday's drool fest, where countless adults behaved like sugar-crazed children, I certainly hope that I'm nuts. Because if I'm not, if what I perceive is actually true, then we are so beyond fucked that the glimmer of fucked is a fuzzy speck on the horizon.
Now, I don't want to feel this way; I have enough negative emotions as it is. But after watching the $150 million imperial saturnalia, augmented by the siren songs of fawners, spin doctors, and state mouthpieces, despair and anxiety rage inside my battered brain. Even worse, average people loved it. Simply fucking loved it. Everywhere I went online, it was the same maypole dance, the same sighing, the same crying. "Free at last!" was the collective chant, as though Bush and Cheney were run out of Washington by revolutionary forces. If only.
Chris Floyd on Obama's programs. in his article Enduring Priorities in an Age of Change: War and Profits Over People:
If you want a glimpse of the fundamental moral obscenity that underlies our bold new era of hope and change, look no further than Barack Obama's Barack Obama's promise this week to "overhaul" Social Security and Medicare. This effort to cut back on support for the sick, the old, the weak, the unfortunate and the abandoned will be a "central part" of the new administration's economic program, a linchpin of its struggle to curb federal spending, Obama declared.Wow, what is it I see?
He pointed to a looming federal deficit of $1.2 trillion this year, with more to follow, as urgent reasons to deal with "entitlement spending." Given the hundreds of billions of dollars that the Bush Regime has already given away in its no-strings bailout of selected corporate cronies, and the hundreds of billions that Obama plans to spend on "economic stimulus" (a large portion of which is going to "tax breaks" that will give, at most, a few hundred dollars to people losing their jobs and homes and medical insurance), it is imperative to get government spending under control, said the president-elect. The New York Times described Obama's remarks as an effort to offer "some soothing words to Republicans and the financial markets" – two groups who certainly need special comforting in these trying times.
The Times goes on to tell us helpfully that there is a threat that these "entitlement programs" might "grow so large as to be unsustainable in the long run." This is of course the same argument that George W. Bush made after the 2004 election, when he sought to sell off Social Security to those same "financial markets" that Obama is now trying so assiduously to soothe. No doubt, we will soon see the old scare stories that filled the media then trotted out once again, this time in "progressive" garb.
When the left wing and the right wing think through the issues, and ignore the clowns on TV, they tend to... agree.
They comment and point out the whole sham, this, so called, democracy (gurgle, clean throat, spit).
Just like the democrats and republicans agree to do the bidding of their money masters, the lobbyists, the AIPAC's of this world, the REAL left wing and the REAL right wing agree to lift a middle finger to this whole sham.
Amazing, ain't it?
(I betcha this is NOT the kind of bi-partisan cooperation that the messiah Obama was talking about - you will get an end to partisan bickering, Mr. Obama, and sooner than you and your handlers would like, thanks to the economy's house of cards).
Lets give the mic to em-cee Floyd, to really nail it down for us:
This is not to say that our elites don't tell themselves any number of flattering, self-justifying fairy tales about the boundless nobility and righteousness of their intentions. They can do this because they identify the interests of the system of elite rule (and the comfort, power and privilege they personally receive from the system) with the common good of the nation, or the world, as a whole. This allows them to pursue truly monstrous policies without regarding themselves as monsters. This allows them to order actions, such as the escalation of the destructive, destablizing conflict in Afghanistan, which they know, with absolute certainty, will needlessly murder innocent women, children and men -- and still talk earnestly and sincerely about their hopes for peace, their concern for humanity, their deep, abiding faith in a loving God. But again, as we have said over and over here, what matters are not the rhetorical justifications of power or the stated intentions of power -- or the charisma, likeability or compelling story of the wielders of power; what matters are the operations of power, its actual effects on the human beings on the receiving end of its machinations. Like love, power is what it does, not what it says.'Don't drink the cool-aid!' - Bonus Material, shamelessly stolen
So what does the old school conservative and the old school left winger think of what just happened in Gaza?
Dennis Perrin, Resistance Is Not Futile:
Maybe it's me, but the more I read about Israel's assault on Gaza, the more I'm convinced that the Zionist enterprise is in serious trouble. With each fresh round of bombing, Israel's reputation gets worse, allowing growing numbers of people who might never have said a critical word about that country to finally speak up, if only to friends and family.
To someone who first became aware of Israeli aggression in 1982, during the IAF's blitzkrieg of Beirut, such a shift has been a long time coming. Back in those days, championing Palestinian rights was considered by many to be fascistic. Seemingly reasonable people became irate and poisonous at the mere suggestion of Palestinian equality, peddling well-worn excuses for the occupation and ongoing violence. I suppose it was a measure of my masochism that I dove head first into this fray, studying the topic, reading the history, arguing and debating the issue in restaurants, cramped apartments, on radio and at podiums on college campuses. The venom I faced was palpable, and there were a few instances when the arguments nearly came to blows. That I'm not Jewish fed some of my opponents' anger, as they were convinced that I would've made a fine concentration camp guard.Some things never change... the arguments of the pro-Israel agitators in America seem to be immutable - simple, idiotic ad hominem attacks and the ever present smear of "anti semite" and "nazi!".
This doesn't mean that elite opinion will radically change overnight, especially on the cable nets, where Israeli aggression is routinely hailed. But it does show a new awareness stirring from below. That doesn't bode well for the warmongers and their apologists. They may control us militarily and economically, but their propaganda is fooling less and less people. Resistance is steadily building. Let's put our HOPE in that, rather than project it on politicians who serve the propagandists.
My, my, my, if I didn't know any better I would say that the stodgy, old fashioned right winger is advocating some sort of a revolution (of the non-violent kind).
Because, in fact, that's what it is - a call to action.
A call for real change.
A call to ignore the false hope, the PR show, the casting of Obama as the new messiah, and to look behind the curtain, to expose, to discuss without fear and to speak the truth - to our friends, on our blogs, on TV, on the radio.
Dennis Perrin, Gazing at Gaza's Destruction: Israelis Sip Pepsi, US Progressives See 'Silver Lining':
Here we see Israelis in Sderot – the chief target of the homemade bombs which we are told are the cause of the current ravaging of Gaza. These Hamas "terror bombs" are so frighteningly powerful and destructive that no response against them can be "disproportionate," we are told by Israeli and American leaders; everything is justified in "retaliation," including the complete destruction of the social, civic and physical infrastructure of an entire human community, and the killing and terrorizing of innocent people. It's those homemade bombs falling on Sderot, you see; they are such an overwhelming, ever-present, inescapable threat.
So threatening, in fact, that some of the Israelis in this picture drove down to Sderot from Jerusalem to sit out in the open air – on a hilltop – in plain sight of the Gaza village from which many of the rockets have been launched, and calmly sip Pepsi as they watch the military action taking place not two miles away. Shouldn't "terror" be made of sterner stuff? Especially terror which merits the widespread slaughter and suffering of innocent people? Could there possibly be some – how to put it? – disconnection between the stated cause of the military action and its true purpose?
"Please get up. I am your dad and I need you." [Palestinian father speaking to his dead child at his feet -AG] Oh yes, that child's death -- and many, many, many, many more -- are worth it to keep the open-air, comfy-chaired Pepsi drinkers from feeling so threatened that they can, er, sit out in the open air in comfy chairs and drink Pepsi in the face of the, uh, overwhelming threat that terrorizes them beyond all reckoning. Yes, yes, yes, worth every drop of blood.
And yes, of course, it is wonderfully wise of Barack Obama to remain steadfastly silent in the face of this suffering. Our progressives tell us that he is being so marvelously cagey and politic, that he is hoarding his political capital now in order to bring real hope and change to the Mid-East as soon as he dons the imperial purple.
Over at Huffington Post, that hotbed of steely-eyed progressive realism, human rights lawyer Lisa Gans assures us that Obama's silence at the mass murder of children in Gaza is actually maybe probably an implicit criticism of Bush's support for the invasion. And in fact, the whole invasion itself could well be due to Israel's "sophisticated" understanding of U.S. politics: they knew that Obama would never ever let them get away with a stunt like this, so they pulled the trigger while Bush was still in office.
Mission accomplished! For this attitude actually represents a clear-cut victory for the makers of Terror War. The more radical the targeted people become, the easier it is to maintain the vast military-security complexes in their wonted (and profitable) ascendancy. It also simplifies diplomacy too. No more messing around with long, protracted negotiations with the legitimate representatives of your targets (such as the democratically elected administration of Hamas); no, all you have left are "extremists" full of "pure evil" who can be attacked and killed as your own political and financial agendas require.
Amazing (or not, actually).
Both a true conservative and the truly left winger see through the propaganda and have the same views on Obama, on Israeli perpetrated massacre in Gaza (it was not a war, just like the liquidation of the Jewish ghetto in Poland by heavily armed SS-men opposed by a rag tag force armed with very few arms cannot be called a war).
What about others?
In the past 24 hours, specifically beginning with the moment Barack Obama announced that he now supports the Cheney/Rockefeller/Hoyer House bill, there have magically arisen -- in places where one would never have expected to find them -- all sorts of claims about why this FISA "compromise" isn't really so bad after all. People who spent the week railing against Steny Hoyer as an evil, craven enabler of the Bush administration -- or who spent the last several months identically railing against Jay Rockefeller -- suddenly changed their minds completely when Barack Obama announced that he would do the same thing as they did.
What had been a vicious assault on our Constitution, and corrupt complicity to conceal Bush lawbreaking, magically and instantaneously transformed into a perfectly understandable position, even a shrewd and commendable decision, that we should not only accept, but be grateful for as undertaken by Obama for our Own Good.
Ron Paul on FISA, by way of lewrockwell:
The main reason I oppose this latest version is that it still clearly violates the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution by allowing the federal government to engage in the bulk collection of American citizens’ communications without a search warrant. That US citizens can have their private communication intercepted by the government without a search warrant is anti-American, deeply disturbing, and completely unacceptable.
In addition to gutting the fourth amendment, this measure will deprive Americans who have had their rights violated by telecommunication companies involved in the Administration’s illegal wiretapping program the right to seek redress in the courts for the wrongs committed against them. Worse, this measure provides for retroactive immunity, whereby individuals or organizations that broke the law as it existed are granted immunity for prior illegal actions once the law has been changed. Ex post facto laws have long been considered anathema in free societies under rule of law.
It is OK to speak up now.
Republicans, democrats, third party, green party, Reaganites, Carterites, hippies, VFW members, Air America fans, fans of rush limbaugh, Californians, New Yorkers, Ohioans, heck, Hawai'i residents - it is time now.
We are all patriots.
We are One.