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21
Nov
14

Barack Obama: Moral Courage in the face of Hatred

by @zizii2

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience,

but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Truer words were never spoken.

President Obama, ONCE AGAIN showed last night in his Immigration Executive Order speech, that he is guided by deep moral convictions that do not bend like a willow to breeze or choppy storms. Not even when lightening strikes, will you find this steeled man flinching an iota from his true North Star. He’s real. He’s Sui Generis. He follows the teachings of the leader of his faith. “Love thy neighbor as thyself”, and “I am My brother’s (and sister’s) keeper”

Obama Immigration

Time and again, this President of ours demonstrates that the core of his moral fiber is never perturbed by fame, glitz, nor rancid hate. Yet time and again observers and the bobbleheads are Shocked! Shocked that President Obama does not sway to the beltway religion or its airheaded acolytes. He’s called no drama Obama for a reason. He neither gets carried away when things are rosy. And neither does he sink into despair when things are rough.

We here on TOD know that he’s always focused on the long road. He’s always guided by the circuitous path that our forebears have trodden to gain their freedom, be they slaves, or Native Americans, or immigrants aboard ships into the unknown West, or women, or gays, or refugees fleeing war or economic peril. He’s learned the lesson of their tenacity over loooooooooong stretches of time.

Continue reading ‘Barack Obama: Moral Courage in the face of Hatred’

20
Nov
14

Ebola: Victims, Heroes and a cynical Western Media

Ebola: Victims, Heroes and a Cynical Western Media

by @zizii2

US mid-term elections are over. The GOP and corporate media allies’ Willie-Horton-like exploitation of the Ebola disease to gin up stratospheric fear has suddenly vanished from our airwaves.

h/t Eric Bohlert

h/t Eric Bohlert

Over in Europe, rightwing xenophobic politicians are copying the GOP playbook.

Picture1

Bvs8LRzIYAACJDK

West African travelers and immigrants to Europe and the US are facing the full brunt of media-sanctioned hysteria, as the ugly stench of racism wafts in the air disguised as “health and safety protocols.”

Continue reading ‘Ebola: Victims, Heroes and a cynical Western Media’

10
Nov
14

A Different Take On The Election

A different take on the election

by @zizii2

Much handwringing over the Democratic party’s electoral fortunes has taken place this past week. Teabaggers are ecstatic. The most loathesome wingnuts are going to make our lives even more miserable than we have already endured. Some young people justify young voter apathy by saying Democrats did not give them what they wanted, as shown below in the Carl Gibson piece titled:

Open Letter to Democrats From a Disillusioned Young Voter

letter

And Democratic Party leaders will probably learn the wrong lessons and move further repub-lite.

I think differently about what happened. I believe what we are seeing is the brick wall that Coalition Politics slams into when the regular institutions of Democracy have been irreparably subverted and perverted by oligarchs and their political minions who have convinced many Americans that nihilism is their birthright. What do I mean?

***

Normally, in a democracy, aspiring politicians and party platforms woo voters with promises of what they will DO for said voters, and the campaigns go full steam ahead in competition. And whoever wins tries to maintain voter approval and possible reelection based on their ability to account to the voter. Otherwise how do you win power again, right?

Wrong. Voters? What voters? GOP-Oligarchs’ answer to electoral imperatives and demographic change, is to shrink the electorate till they could “drown it in a bathtub”!

Continue reading ‘A Different Take On The Election’

14
Sep
14

Shame on ABC and CNN for exploiting Foley tragedy

This past week saw American corporate media at one of its criminally shameful worst. And there is gross competition for how low they can go. Brian Ross of ABC news led the pack in exploiting the grief of James Foley’s family to push utterly offensive nonsense that the White House was derelict in pursuing efforts to rescue James Foley from the grip of the Islamic State in Syria and the Levant (ISIS/ISIL/IS). At the heart of this spurious attack is the media’s sensational headline that Foley’s mother claims that the Obama administration threatened them with prosecution if they paid ransom money to the militants to secure their son’s release.

****

Bam! That framing was all that was needed to shift focus away from the heinous actions of the militants, to the virulent and cynically profitable blame-Obama-for-any-and-all-horror-that-happens-in-the-world syndrome in our political zeitgeist. And like clockwork, the rest of the media, politicians, and many commentators were baited and hooked by this media scam, including, I’m sorry to say, the Foley family itself.

Brian Ross

Continue reading ‘Shame on ABC and CNN for exploiting Foley tragedy’

31
Aug
14

Dianne Feinstein! Go Fight In Iraq Yourself!!!!

Dianne Feinstein, Go fight in Iraq yourself!

by @zizii2

****

I, and many Americans, have had it up to our eyeballs with greedy Military Industrial Complex shills like Dianne Feinstein!! What the hell is wrong with these MIC stooges, regardless of party affiliation? And Dianne Feinstein’s incessant disrespect towards the leader of her own party and President of this country is all the more unforgivable! Did she stop to look in the mirror to examine that her own shortsighted votes in Congress metastasized the deep canker tearing the Middle East apart? Or worse that her greedy actions to shovel taxpayer $$$ to defense contractors like her husband have nasty consequences?

feinstein 2

****

How many Americans does she want DEAD and MAIMED just when President Obama has toiled to clean up the mess of the last blunder of a war under George Bush, that she voted for? It is bad enough that we have war snake oil salesmen McCain, Graham and Mike Rogers preening daily in front of cameras without being held accountable for their dangerous and always inconsistent warmongering statements. They wanted us arming ISIS to the teeth in Syria last year. Now they turn around and Chicken Little about ISIS in Iraq means the Caliphate is at America’s doorstep!! Sheesh!!

****

How about we get a buy-in from the many factions inside the strained powder keg that is Iraq, especially Sunnis who are vital to any strategy to root out ISIS? They must be assured that their interests are better served in a national coalition with Shia and Kurds AGAINST ISIS precisely because ISIS is claiming to act on their behalf having been shut out of power by Al Maliki’s government. That delicate cultivation of a NATIONAL front against the terrorists is EXACTLY what President Obama is working on in order to neutralize the potential for BLOWBACK that sustained military action against ISIS could generate. But NO!!! Dianne Feinstein finds cheap thrill in playing to the cameras of our moribund media. The conniving media then latches onto her words like they did Hillary’s 3 weeks ago to malign President Obama.

Continue reading ‘Dianne Feinstein! Go Fight In Iraq Yourself!!!!’

16
Aug
14

Free in America? Bundy Ranch Militias, Open-Carry Ammosexuals, or Ferguson Black Residents?

Free in America? Bundy ranch militias, Open-carry ammosexuals, or Ferguson black residents?

 

by @zizii2

Militias at Bundy ranch,NV

Open-Carry advocates in Austin, TX

Open-carry advocates in Target store, TX

Protesters of Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, MO

Riot police descend on Black protesters in Ferguson, MO

Riot police descend on Black protesters in Ferguson, MO

~~~~~

Consider the  photographs above of events that happened this year less than six months apart? There is no comparison. That is the point. They all involve American citizens in protest over perceived affront to their rights. But can the people in those photographs be interchanged with the same outcomes? Can the Ferguson MO black residents stage their protest armed like the Bundy-ranch militias or the open-carry ammosexuals flaunting their AR-15s in stores in public? Would they be covered by the media with fawning deference as we saw during the standoff in Nevada or in the narratives spun about open-carry advocates?

~~~~

Of course no. It is not hyperbole to say the streets there would already have been littered with many more black bodies being gunned down by platoons of SWAT teams pouring in to maintain “law and order.” They would not be retreating like the BLM and law enforcement did outside the Bundy ranch in Nevada in order to safeguard “public peace” and NOT escalating the potential for violence. The media would have whipped up the fear factor to the rafters, not the love-in we saw when the Bundy ranch militias had federal officials locked in their gunsights and bragged they were ready to “water the tree of liberty”.

~~~~

Likewise, the language of inherent criminality being used now to describe Ferguson’s black residents’ protests would not be invoked in similar actions by white protestors. It is like clockwork, the types of thesauri with stock phrasing that get whipped out to describe public behavior of American citizens depending on their race and class. White Militias are “patriots” defending the “constitution”, not “lawbreakers, or thugs, or looters.” White youths’ public misbehavior and even serious felonies are given benefit of the doubt as “feisty pranks” or aberrant “lone wolves” or “mentally challenged” individuals.

~~~~

Blacks and Latinos are described as criminals-in-the-making and bearers of regressive group cultural traits who should be “feared” and removed from civilized society. There is an insistence that their citizenship can only rest on approval of their morality, something that is not required of any other groups. The statistics from our criminal justice system glaringly show the disparities in who gets convicted for similar crimes and who gets slapped on the wrist.

~~~~

Therein lies the dirty underbelly of American creed of “Freedom” and “justice”. It was always a lie, from the nation’s founding. But it was a powerful lie that sewed together a nation populated by peoples of disparate backgrounds ever re-making themselves anew with infinite optimism in this vast land. City on a Hill, it was. Even if built on the blood of shackled slaves. Frederick Douglass described this foundational hypocrisy so astutely in his famous speech “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?”

~~~~

Question is why the lie? Other societies don’t bother to broadcast “Freedom” for all. Don’t pretend to want equality for all. For a nation that prided itself on throwing off the yoke of calcified monarchies, and hewing to the creed — “all men are created equal”, why does this country keep insisting on universal “freedom”? I argue that “freedom” is a useful cover that keeps a tight lid on fissures cracking apart a deeply unequal society. It is a release valve in the same way that maintaining an underclass that can be scapegoated for society’s ills. That way we don’t have to deal with crushing class inequality.

~~~~

And what the wielders of power bet on is that the eruptions be it in Ferguson or Nevada, will inure to their benefit. The Fearful buy more weapons, and disenfranchised minorities get slaughtered in the street, or fill profit-making private prisons!

~~~~

Freedom!

05
Jul
14

Douglass Redux: What, to Women, is the 4th of July?

Douglass Redux: What, to Women, is the 4th of July?

 

by @zizii2

****

On that sweltering July 5th 1852, exactly 162 years ago today, Frederick Douglass delivered his famous speech “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July”, a speech uncensored in its brutal rebuke of the hypocrisy of America celebrating independence, while its black population remained shackled in slavery. I wonder what he would say today if he were here in our time. No doubt the brutality of slavery in his time can never be compared to anything going on today.

Yet in view of the determined aggression of America’s conservative forces in our time, to derail every single gain made in the last century to advance Democracy and make this country “a more perfect union,” one wonders what he’d say. In the lifework of Frederick Douglass in which he combined his abolitionist cause with the fight for Women’s Rights, he always saw the struggles of enslaved African Americans as intertwined with the struggles of ALL disenfranchised Americans.

**** Continue reading ‘Douglass Redux: What, to Women, is the 4th of July?’

12
Jun
14

John McCain, do you think we are dumb?

John McCain do you think we are dumb?

by @zizii2

I am very angry! Just what do you take us for, John McCain? Fools? You think we are the rubes in your base whom you’ve whipped up over the decades into backing all your sponsors’, the Military Industrial Complex’s, greedy siphoning of taxpayer $$$ in the name of “keeping America safe”? Or you think we are the fawning media that laps up every turd you have dropped in your public life, even if every prescription you have ever uttered has been deadly and wrong? No you cannot hoodwink the rest of us. Ah ah!!! Naw!

****

Barely a few months ago you and your comrade in wingnuttery, Lindsay Graham, pranced in front of every damn camera in the land to deride President Obama for not jumping in to arm the anti-Assad factions in Syria. Those factions happen to heavily comprise the SAME damn al Qaeda insurgents (the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria/ Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant — ISIS/ISIL) whom you now want us to go fight in Iraq!!! Before that you had called for airstrikes, and before that you called for the US to enter the Syrian war. Never a dustup anywhere in the world where you didn’t get your bomb bomb bomb war-gasm on. Just what is it that feeds this bloodlust and gunpowder-lust in you so much?

mccainSource: Time

~~~

Source: BBC

****

Let me REPEAT what I just said. John McCain & ilk in 2013 vilified President Obama for not going into Syria to arm the mostly Sunni insurgents to fight against Assad’s regime, and also for not bombing up Syrian military & strategic installations. The free-Syrian rebels who may have had a noble cause against Assad’s brutal regime had already been heavily infiltrated by Sunni insurgents pouring in from Saudi Arabia, Iraq and every damn rabbit hole in the Middle East. Yet McCain wanted us turning into the Jihadists’ airforce and arming this unsavory dangerous band of religious fanatics.

interventonistsSource: Andrew Sullivan

****

So it is especially galling that McCain should think we wouldn’t notice now that it is this same al Qaeda group ISIS/ISIL that he wants us to go back into Iraq to fight against. Even the 3 stooges wouldn’t do anything this stupid, that is, arm the very villains who would turn us into targets! But stupid is what McCain thinks we are. That’s because this disingenuous practice of profiting off all sides of global conflicts is what McCain’s paymasters, the Military Industrial Complex, is well practiced in. They have gotten the American people over the decades to become googly-eyed anytime the con-men feed them pabulum about “sacrifice for our freedoms”, string yellow ribbons and “Support our Troops” bumper stickers, while turning coddled military brass into media celebrities & “analysts” whose word is to be taken as “gospel” by all of us, but most especially the president who must never challenge the word of these gods. When all the while the real intent was to profit off our soldiers backs and taxpayers’s purse.

****
The misadventure in Iraq saddled us with more than one trillion dollars in debt, more than 4,500 dead soldiers, and more than 30,000 physically wounded, and God knows how many have been PTSD. But Dick Cheney and co made out like bandits, and siphoned $39 billion to his former employers, Halliburton. Thirty-nine billion US dollars plus fat civilian contractor gigs, not to mention the money creamed off the expansion of the national security apparatus, and phony intelligence contracting shell companies set up to extend the milking of our government.

halliburton

****

And you John McCain have the nerve to tell us to go back into Iraq to fight the ISIS? Why, your campaign coffers dried up? Or you want a war-on so you can retire to a cushy job as head lobbying honcho of your paymasters when your terms is up in 2 years? Oh no we see your nakedness.
Just you look at this diagram and tell me you can make some damn sense of the Gordian Knot that is the Middle East. Whom and what will we be fighting, yet punching our own faces in the process?

****

Now sit your ass down and git your hands out of our pockets. Adults are deliberating!




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