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Rant 5: From Here, Where?

7:26 am in Uncategorized by rosalind

The Moral Rot Of Our Ruling Class: A Rant In Five Parts

(Part 1)   (Part 2)   (Part 3)   (Part 4)

 

RANT 5: From Here, Where?

OK, I confess, I came thisclose to having this post open up to a blank page cause, mother of god, where do we even begin?

In my Rant 1 intro I mentioned it’d been awhile since I’d written a post. Usually I aspire to offer up some course of action or sign of hope but lately I’ve been unable to find either, or the energy to fake it.

Soon

Empty roads to travel

I don’t have a fucking clue how to get out of this mess. I do know we don’t have the luxury of time to await more or better from our elected pols. Events are cascading so fast so far so many holes to plug, the craven/cowering/token good hearted currently in office only adding to the flood.

What we’ve established without doubt:

  • That when people are rewarded for bad actions they will continue with the bad actions.
  • That those who define the narrative win.
  • That 8 years of Republican fear followed by another 8 years of Democratic fear have produced an easily spooked populace willing to parrot back the terror-tropes drilled into our heads.

But.

I believe, truly, that we respond to our better natures when given the chance. That we are resilient, and able to change faster than we’ve been (mis)led to believe.

A notion I detest above all others is that We the People get the government we deserve. Sorry, We the People are struggling to get a job, keep a job, make do with a crappy job. Pay the bills, pay the rent, pay the taxes. Help our parents, help our child, help our kin. Get sick, get treated, go broke. Pay our mortgage, get foreclosed, get fucked.

I have the luxury of time to sit at my keyboard and compose five rants. To read blogs and tweets and news. But the majority of the 297,000,000 don’t. They’re dependent upon the media to provide factual information, even if delivered through an ideological lens. Instead, emotion is being given equal or greater weight to reason, and we’re off into a Wonderland world where “Up” is declared “Down” in off-the-record leaks and the media copies & pastes & hits print.

Psst: when doing a simple fact check and utilizing basic logic would reveal your info as false, but you don’t even bother with this step, you’re doing it wrong.

The total abdication of the press from their role as adversary acts like a gangrene on our democracy. But we have an opportunity like none before to fight this moral rot.

The last few years has unveiled the big-assed Elites as thin-skinned primadonnas who freak out when the lowliest blogger says something mean about them. Their disproportionate responses reveal their achilles heel: they really fucking care what people – even dirty fucking hippies – are saying about them. We have their attention, like a splinter we are under their skin.

And this is where opportunity comes, one already on display with the dialogues springing up all over Twitter between Reporters and Journalists and smarty pants bloggers where factual errors get pointed out and corrected. Theses get challenged, expanded, clarified, disproved. A true spirited debate among peers making new connections that thread out across the world.

Reporters with their email addresses on their stories, cable shows with their own Twitter accounts, We the People can now join the conversation. Local reporter botch a key fact in a story you have personal knowledge of? Send an email correcting the facts. A Cable News Show puts on a Guest with an undisclosed financial stake in the matter he’s opining on? Send a tweet busting them on their b.s.

Even if you get no response you never know what’s going on over on the receiving end. Your email, your tweet, may have been the one that stuck like a splinter in the associate producer’s side, who in the next staff meeting, or the next, finally raised her voice to suggest the fact a guest advocating an outcome he’ll personally profit from should maybe be disclosed to the viewer?

That your email or tweet was the one that led that reporter to talk to her buddy who mentioned it to a Twitter pal who ran it by his government source who accidentally revealed a truth that got forwarded to the reporter who ran a story that got buried on page 12 but got seen by an Obama flunky who showed it to his boss who showed it to her boss who brought it to the attention of The Boss who then spent the next week trying to ignore the splinter until it got infected and had to be removed which drew the attention of a back-row member of the D.C. press who one day raised her hand and the narrative changed.

We the People have our own bully pulpit made up of millions of individual voices. While each solitary action may look futile up close, pull the frame back and we are millions of connections threading our way across our world.

Energy begets energy.

/rant off
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Rant 4: The Awesome Power Of The Bully Pulpit

7:14 pm in Uncategorized by rosalind

The Moral Rot Of Our Ruling Class: A Rant In Five Parts

(Part 1)   (Part 2)   (Part 3)

 

RANT 4: The Awesome Power Of The Bully Pulpit

Pulpit

Pulpit

In May 2012 President Barack Obama announced to the world that his position on gay marriage had evolved into one of support. While I don’t give much weight to opinion polls due to the ability to skew results through the phrasing of questions, or the rigging of sample respondents, the fact that a range of polls throughout the next year showed support for gay marriage growing steadily up and down the demographic dial shows in my completely biased view the awesome power of the bully pulpit in action.

In explaining how he came to support gay marriage Obama cited personal interactions, with staff members, with the parents of his daughters’ classmates, interactions where a concept he may have considered only in the abstract now became undeniably real. While youth support for gay marriage was driving up support naturally, to have the President make this public declaration gave cover for those who may have held back their support for any number of reasons.

Energy begets energy. The President of the United States has the largest bully pulpit in the world at his command. When Obama releases his words into the news-stream it has a ripple effect far beyond the initial launch. With gay marriage he jump-started a conversation already in progress, the full effects of which continue to ripple through our social fabric.

Seeing Obama use his power of the bully pulpit for good makes the number of times he uses it for ill so fucking rage inducing.

Every time he gets before a microphone to discuss the mortgage melt-down and speaks first – always first – of “deserving homeowners”, he grants permission to his Banker Buds and the Pols who do their bidding to reassign their blame onto the 297,000,000 who to this day to this very second continue to be fraudulently criminally foreclosed upon.

Every time he sits for an interview and compares the Federal Budget to a Family Budget he spawns a hundred articles citing this contemptible bullshit as fact, paving the way for his favorite Mcfavority b.s. buzzword:

Austerity. The Zombie lie of Government as Incompetent that feeds the furor to cut & slash & tighten & burn with the inevitable result a Government less able to respond to the normal much less the fucking unforseen which circles back in the feedback loop to Government as Incompetent.

AAAAAARRRRRRGGGGHHHH!!!

Jesus, man, can you for once just take Thumper’s Mom’s sage advice: “If you don’t have anything nice to say, SHUT. THE FUCK. UP.”

Nope, the man rode into office atop his chosen narrative and – facts be damned – he will not be denied. His Republican adversaries good men who mean well when the entire goddamn universe is getting showered with the spittle spewed by those treasonous, traitorous fucks.

Obama with his smug-ass smile taking to his pulpit to deliver the same sermon for the 869th time that this time, baby, it’ll be different, just wait and see. And the nation braces itself for whatever punch is coming next.

Energy begets energy. The President of the United States has the largest bully pulpit in the world at his command. When Obama releases his words into the news-stream it has a ripple effect far beyond the initial launch.

The course of the gay marriage debate since Obama’s words one year ago show the good that this Country is capable of. We are capable of so much more, but starved for simple, declarative sentences delivered from a position of strength to lead our way, rooted in a real understanding of the real conditions we the 297,000,000 are surviving in.

My incivil invective on where the fuck from here tomorrow, in:

Rant 5: From Here, Where?

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Rant 3: The Only Thing To Fear Is Fear, Inc.

3:51 pm in Uncategorized by rosalind

The Moral Rot Of Our Ruling Class: A Rant In Five Parts

See also: Part 1Part 2

RANT 3: The Only Thing To Fear Is Fear, Inc.

DHS seal

Fear, Inc.?

The Military Industrial Complex rushed in. And cashed in. And in a blink of an eye we are in a state of forever War, without declare, beyond reproach. Private for-profit global Corps now holding all that makes up our most personal and private Individual lives in their money-grubbing data-base expanding hands.

297,000,000 American Citizen Suspects, sitting in the data-tree, P-A-Y-I-N-G for the indignity.

On one side the Republicans, ruling with iron fists, thundering (stolen) elections have consequences, imposing their agenda at will.

On the other the Democrats, sucker-punching their supposed base while doing everything in their power to make sure they never ever have to use any power they may actually accrue for fear of someone or something or ohmigod FOX NEWS SAID SOMETHING MEAN ABOUT US AGGGHH QUICK WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE (POLITICALLY)!!!!

A Republican Congressman screams out an insult in the middle of a Presidential Address and the Repubs are all “yeah, what’re ya gonna do about it?”

A Dem Congressman dares speak a truth, and the Dems force him prostate before the House Floor and the world.

And the makers and shakers of our Forever War laugh all the way to the bank and their billion-dollar tax shelters. Security State Contractors knowing where the Government bodies are buried – literally – ensure their continued ride aboard the billion-dollar money train. Our fearful leaders clearing their way.

Twelve years of one side ruling by fear, the other reacting in fear, and a populace having no counter to this fear.

As the Institutional checks we rely on, depend on, can’t have a democracy without ‘em, have also been infected by the 24/7 fear-mongering, we are well and truly fucked.

No Institution falling faster or furthest than the Department of Justice, currently meting out a corrupted justice that would make ye old Kings of England proud. Rule of Law? Fuck it! The law is what we say it is at this moment in this case and – psych! – don’t even try to find any rhyme or reason based on the actual law and established precedence cause we’ll come after your ass and your mother’s ass and leak the details all the way.

The whole point of a unified Rule of Law is to ensure fairness in face of unfairness. To strip out emotion, retribution, the ability of the Institution to misuse its own powers to cover up its own crimes or incompetence or simple sheer fucking embarrassment.

I’m not an idiot Pollyanna and know justice has always been delivered unfairly since our Country’s founding, but never has there been such a security state apparatus tilting the scales so far down over to one side, the moral vacuum that is our Country’s leadership tossing ‘em more dead weight by the day.

Bushco fears for their gross pre-911 lapses and raise their shield to hide, the shell-shocked Pols and managed media rushing to help hold it up. Start a war, then another. Not enough body armor and armored trucks? Gonna be a cakewalk, baby, fuck it! The Generals ride in on their purple-prosed plans that get blown into dust, when they stand up we will stand down just don’t do the math. The torture begins and the bodies break and Cheney pulls the strings.

And the D.C. Press swoons, with a ‘tut tut’ here, a ‘tsk tsk’ there, here a ‘tut’, there a ‘tut’, everywhere a ‘boo hoo’ those liberal bloggers are just so mean.

Obama takes charge and marches forward on absolving all who came before cause accountability will screw his Grand Plan, and damn if these war powers don’t fit fine but in 4-8 years it’s his butt on the line so touch that whistle and blow his cover the Justice Department’s gonna bring the thunder.

And the torture continues and the innocent break and Obama hides the strings. Dozens of cleared men rotting in Gitmo-Penitentiary, C-R-Y-I-N-G for a shred of humanity.

And the makers and shakers of our Forever War laugh all the way to the bank.

Tanks in Mayberry. Guns in our schools. When all you have is a hammer every problem looks like a nail. When all you have is every fucking gun, taser, laser, sonic cannon, kettle cage, pepper spray, smoke bombs, flash bang grenades, license plate readers, surveillance cameras, armored clothes, armored cars, medical records, bank records, private prisons, x-ray scanners, facial recognition, fingerprints, DNA, iris readers, wiretaps, GPS, phone calls, e-mails, and tweets, every problem looks like 297,000,000 American Citizen Suspects sinking into cowed apathy.

My intemperate musings on why We the People have increasingly accepted the fear tomorrow, in:

Rant 4: The Awesome Power Of The Bully Pulpit

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Rant 2: The Loss Of Meaning

1:18 pm in Uncategorized by rosalind

The Moral Rot Of Our Ruling Class: A Rant In Five Parts

(Part 1)

 

RANT 2: The Loss Of Meaning

Byam Shaw 'The blind folding of truth. An allegory' 1909

Byam Shaw 'The blind folding of truth. An allegory' 1909

Once upon a time words had meaning. A fact was truth, justice was blind and torture a crime against conventions. Then September 11, 2001 and our Country collectively lost the plot. Our leaders fanned fear. The People struggled with “why”. Then we were off to the desert races, invading this, liberating that, the carnage at a safe remove.

Days became months became years and still – “War”. For what cause? At what price?  The particulars never dwelled on, simply a given until Election eve when rhetoric rose until the favored outcome secured then back to business as usual, the blood and bodies safely contained off-stage.

Bushco’s chief accomplishment was shaping the public discourse, dictating what was allowed and what was most definitely not, the consolidated news media happy to play their part. Word finally breaks that our Military has been torturing men who’ve been captured, Bushco spins it as “enhanced interrogation” with the Good Guys vs. the Bad, and the consolidated media makes it so. As acts of torture got redefined in the press they began to get redefined in our psyche.

Gloves come off. A little dunk of water. Ticking timebomb. Kill ‘em over there before they kill us over here. Worst of the worst.

As Bushco cowed the Congress and managed the Media, the reality of what any of the above actually meant went unexplored and unexplained, and the loudest (Executive) voice won out.

Twelve years on this pattern has repeated ad nauseam, degrading our discourse.

  • “oversight”
  • “trade secrets”
  • “bipartisan”
  • “austerity”

Words we hear over and over, yet never what the fuck is meant by any of them. Governance by buzz words – no peeking under the surface allowed!

The problem is we now have a generation of politicians, soldiers, reporters, citizens, who know this now degraded state as the new status quo, the institutional memory of what came before fading fast. If we want to reclaim our way, will there be anyone left who knows fucking how?

  • Who in Congress knows how to affect real oversight of the Executive Branch?
  • Who in the Military knows why being the ones who don’t torture enhances our security?
  • Who in the Traditional Media knows counteracting Corporate efforts to stymie public knowledge is their actual job?

Add in the Tyranny of the False Equivalency, where fifty Tea Party Protesters are given greater coverage than thousands of Occupy Protesters, or 1 Conserva-Dem Senator given greater voice than 150,000,000 women over what health care we’re allowed, and the road to right our Country’s course is getting longer by the day.

We’re living in a Bizarro-World where words look the same but are the opposite. I confess to not knowing the exact meaning the writers of our Constitution imbued in the following that sit atop the doc:

  • Establish Justice
  • Insure Domestic Tranquility
  • Provide For The Common Defence
  • Promote The General Welfare
  • Secure The Blessings Of Liberty To Ourselves And Our Posterity

But I’m certain it wasn’t: whatever the fuck the out-of-control Executive Branch says so, in secret.

For me there’s been no greater loss of meaning than that of the words our leaders swear upon taking office:

I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same…”

The words – our very Constitution – now a mere prop for their family photo op, paving way for the meaningless words they will proclaim on the stump and on the floor, while the real meaningful activities take place off-stage and out of sight of the 297,000,000. From the degradation of this solemn oath very bad things flow.

My churlish view of how meaning in our discourse has fallen so far so fast tomorrow, in:

Rant 3: The Only Thing To Fear Is Fear, Inc.
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Rant 1: Greed Is Good (For Absolutely Nothing)

11:55 am in Uncategorized by rosalind

The Moral Rot Of Our Ruling Class: A Rant In Five Parts

I haven’t written a diary in ages. I – among many others I suspect – have been feeling crushed by the enormity of how far off course our Country has veered, overwhelmed at where to even start. Unwilling to let the bastards keep me down, I’ve written a Rant in Five Parts to vent. It is not polite. It is severely lacking in comity. I use copious amounts of profanity.

RANT 1: Greed Is Good (For Absolutely Nothing)

Once upon a time our current, sustained unemployment rate would’ve resulted in hair-on-fire round-the-clock action to get the economy back on track and people back to work. No more. We the People have become nothing more than inanimate numbers on a chart, the reality of our ongoing struggles removed from what masquerades as policy debate among our ruling class who content themselves with predetermined kabuki while always, always, keeping the riff-raff (us) at a safe remove, in the abstract.

Our current sorry state a natural and predictable consequence of the removal of the human us from the economic decisions made by our human deciderers, who’ve stripped from us piece by piece the most basic dignities the title American citizen once bestowed.

Look at the language behind the numbers of unemployed: “involuntary part-time”, “marginally attached”, “discouraged workers”. Open a newspaper, a blog, and another chart showing the 1% rising while the rest of us fall.

Team America, Fuck Yeah!!

We are things, assets, votes, dopes, to be hired, fired, reduced, re-used, milked, soaked, squeezed, downsized, outsourced, jailed. No voice, no say, be happy you have a fucking job there’re a thousand people lined up outside to take your place.

Once upon a time some small shred of our Ruling Class possessed the power of empathy, and understood the health of the Country was measured by the health of its people and our infrastructure. Decades of Corporate Greed grinding the Social Compact to dust has sown what we now reap. Never-ending, ever-changing financial games rigged to goose corporate profits and the personal enrichment of a chosen few while we the 297,000,000 fight for the scraps and pay their bills.

Alan Greenspan the poster boy for our Government Pols shocked – shocked! – that greed triumphs o’er all:

Those not so shocked? Every sentient fucking being who watched as Corporate Executives raised share price above all from which all their bonus money poured down leading to short-term and short-sighted actions that left a trail of destruction in their wake. Our Randian altar-boy Greenspan rending his thousand-buck threads wailing “whocouldanode??!!”

What do we know? That, when given the opportunity, a distressing number of we shall choose the course that results in more money in our pocket ignoring the particulars of how that money came to be.

  • DEA lets City Police Forces seize assets suspected of being illegal drug-derived, sell them and keep the money? Cities start seizing citizen assets (i.e. private property) whether illegal drug involvement can be definitely proved or not, cause – cash!!
  • Education Overlords tie School Bonus money to test scores? A sudden epidemic of School Administrators and Teachers faking test scores cause – cash!!
  • Credit Rating Agencies gonna lose Big Bank Biz if they don’t rate garbage as A? Straight A’s baby cause – cash!!

Ream America, Fuck Yeah!!

Once upon a time we had a social fabric that, while frayed, held our most base instincts mostly in check. But there’s been a steady degradation in our code of conduct, too many of us losing sight of the value of doing right in face of rewarded wrongs. My impolite thoughts on how this has come to be tomorrow, in:

Rant 2: The Loss of Meaning