“The point is to create chaos and on that front the U.S. is winning.”
In the US, we often talk about “victory,” but almost never discuss what we mean by this word; what we imagine “victory” looks like.
” Indeed, our most senior officers have even misstated their oaths, suggesting they are sworn to obey the president rather than to defend the Constitution.”
Considering that in the past dozen years the executive branch has effectively established itself as a supreme authority that is both the Law as well as above the law, then for these senior officers to owe their highest allegiance to the President is, for all practical purposes, quite true and legitimate.
What is the evidence that would support an assumption that the US wants to win these wars?
If victory and peace were actual goals, why didn’t the US shut down the Military Industrial Complex following the collapse of the USSR and cash in the “peace dividend”?
If perpetual war–and the political and economic advantages of crises and fear-mongering–is the goal and the means under which US institutions are designed to function best, then victory would be counterproductive. Or, how is an empire, especially one that has begun the decline from manufacturing-based to financed-based, to maintain its position without constant war, with or without victory? How is 5% of the world’s population expected to continue to consume 30-40% of the world’s resources without constant war in the regions from which it extracts these resources?
If failing to achieve victory helps guarantee that the US military needs to remain in these Third World nations from which it extracts resources, then wouldn’t failure be more advantageous?
“[T]he true nationalization of our federal politics” is a fascinating idea–and well phrased. Walker, could you expand on the hows and whys of this development?
“Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” Psalms 2:8-9
“Then ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten images, and quite pluck down all their high places: And ye shall dispossess the inhabitants of the land, and dwell therein: for I have given you the land to possess it. But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell. Moreover it shall come to pass, that I shall do unto you, as I thought to do unto them.” Numbers 33:52-56
“And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them: Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. For they will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the LORD be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly. But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire.” Deuteronomy 7:2-5
So sayeth the Christian god.
I don’t know who might be excited about this. I don’t know that the immigrants potentially affected vote.
I do draw this tentative conclusion: If Obama’s past actions are any indication, then his announcement about immigration reform will be so many pretty, empty words and that the reform will have fuck all to do with social justice and helping out people desperate enough to risk their lives and imprisonment crossing the Sonoran Desert. He does not give a fuck about these people except as they might benefit the wealthy and his political career.
“Since taking the oath of office, Obama has deported immigrants at a faster rate than any other president in US history, nearly a record 2 million people. On a typical day, there are over 30,000 immigrants imprisoned in the world’s largest immigration detention system. Most deportees never see an attorney or have a hearing before a judge before they are expelled from the country.”
Indeed. There are many other things at play, although corporate personhood is a big one–but perhaps more symptom than cause. Loss of community and the public space of the commons is at the root. But why was this loss come to pass?
The dislocation, mobility and destructiveness inherent to Capitalism is a significant part of the equation. This inherent dynamic helps explain the atomization of the US public. (Did we think Capitalism was all progress, profit and technological advancement?) Fear is a big one, too. And we US citizens seem to be shit-scared of everything from common germs to imagined terrorists to each other–well, 75 years of perpetual war has its social costs. The worship of money and compulsion to turn everything into a dollar sign, the desire to exploit and get something for nothing, the privatization of damn near everything (especially including the actual physical space of the commons), and the founding idea that paying taxes (i.e. public funds for public good) is at best a necessary evil if not immoral are all in the mix, too.
If you haven’t read them, you might like Marvin Harris’s “Why Nothing Works: The Anthropology of Daily Life,” and Marshall Berman’s “All that Is Solid Melts into Air: The Experience of Modernity.” Both help explain the loss of commons and community.
” Incredible it is that Barack Obama is not being pilloried ”
The Obama supporters that I know are still relying on the Lesser of Two Evils framing to explain away all this. They are now, of course, adding that because of the mid-term elections, Reps will now go about wrecking all the wonderful things that their Dear Leader has wrought. They believed the bullshit promise of meaningful reform, were given the shaft, were even called “fucking retard” and “stupid” in the process, and still they applaud. That, friends and neighbors, is how authoritarianism works.
On Obama’s website for the 2008 election one of the “health care” reforms he promised in writing was to get rid of emergency room insurance (the kind that allows them to cover the costs of anyone who walks in for emergency care) as a way to reduce industry costs. If Obama was interested in some kind of single payer/universal health care, then the problem of emergency rooms having to cover the uninsured would not exist and there would be no reason for him to want to get rid of such insurance. This promise–among many other things–made it clear from the very beginning that he would be serving the interests of corporations not citizens.
“we have to understand and communicate the difference between public funding of public programs that serve the public good, and public funding for private corporations . . .”
Where it must start: Undo the horrible nonsense that corporations are people. This expression of the erroneous conflation of public with private good is where the whole thing began. To make this all worse, we now have a situation where corporations enjoy more rights than ordinary citizens along with a thoroughgoing fusion of corporations and the state (even more so that it has always been in the US).
Another thing that could be done is to sever property taxes from police budgets, as this source is how most are funded. When cops are paid via property taxes, they end up serving and protecting those with serious amounts of real property, which of course explains why cops beat Occupy protestors and not the bona fide Wall Street criminals. Having cops work for corporations instead of citizens makes promoting the common good next to impossible.
“How exactly do you get from repeal to single-payer?”
Pro: Repeal would get rid of the forced consumption of a for-profit product (a genuinely fascist development).
Con: Repeal would increase the popular notion that government can’t provide basic services, safety nets, etc.
Either way, repeal or reform, nothing is going to materialize that doesn’t work to maximize profits for those with serious power and money–not until something crashes and burns, anyway. We simply don’t have a system that is engineered to promote the common good as its primary mission. And when we have the highest interpreter of law in the land decide that Obamacare does not violate the 14th Amendment, and that corporate bribes throw trump against the votes of citizens . . . well, you know.
Republican politicians are against Obamacare in precisely the same way that Democratic politicians are against torture and the GWOT. I suspect that Reps will spout bullshit to their base while working to maximize the profit to the health care industry started under Obamacare. The entities who pay the bribe money don’t give a shit whether there is a D or an R after their names. And the lot of them certainly don’t give a flying fuck about the health of the citizenry, which term, of course, was replaced by the word “consumer” years ago, and for a very good reason.
ottogrendel commented on the blog post Undercover Supreme Court Police Deployed Outside Courthouse to Spy on Protests
The US has become the Soviet Union.
Excellently put, TD! And no, there was nothing eleventy-dimensional at all. It was straight up graft and exploitation. And on-the-record graft: Nobody got more cash from the health care industry during the process than Baucus. One would think that such a glaringly obvious bit of evidence such as that would have tipped off a critical mass of citizens. But no.
Exactly. The logic of our economic system demands that the extraction of excess profit and the accruing of that profit upward continue until there is nothing left to squeeze.
Hillary is a joke candidate, in the same way that Romney was. It’s time to change the public face of corporate interests. A Republican will be President in 2016.
Independent doctors–and ESPECIALLY those serving the poor–have been getting squeezed by HMOs, et. al. for over a generation. Obamacare is simply the continuation of that trend.
The unconstitutional, forced consumption of a product–and all the imbalance of power that such things accrue–is unpopular? Did Our Dear Eleventy-Dimensional Leader miscalculate? It must have been this, because he would never lie or lead us astray.
As long as this horrible mandate under penalty of law exists, it can’t be made “significantly better.” Obamacare was only ever about maximizing profits. Period. Nothing explains this shitsickle better than that understanding. None of Obamacare makes a damn bit of sense if one assumes it was about actually providing health care for citizens.
I doubt that Democrats ever thought it would get popular. All such talk was most likely bullshit to sell it and then push the turd down the road. I’m not sure what popularity has to do with it anyway?
If Obama, the Democrats, the Republicans and all the rest of those who are in the employ of big business ever once, for a second, gave a shit about the affordable health care of citizens, then none of this bullshit would have transpired.
The point of Obama’s Presidency is this: Make the increased extraction of profit (whether by Wall Street or the health care industry), the continuation of the GWOT, and the dismantling of SS all OK. He might not be the actor that his (supposed) hero, Reagan, was. But he has been a helluva salesman and a stellar “good cop.” Go brand D!
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