…while the 99% slept…

…well, not quite – for some, that thing about ‘the unexamined life…’…

[And to overkill that title of JFK’s book.]

But before we get there, a glance at something to lift the spirits but for later perusing. You can blame student debt for America’s inequality and shrinking middle class. Nothing like deteriorating standard of living to sharpen one’s focus.

In any case, if we remember Gil Scott-Heron and his, with some updating,  famous observation, we can move to this paragraph from a blog post, Read the rest of this entry »

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…mlk and that utter disaster among his solid achievements…

…the final granting of a national holiday for Martin Luther King, Jr. did serve to sedate the restless US ‘natives’, not the real ones, and appeared to calm a world bemused by the constant prattle about the the uniqueness of democracy that is the US…

Chris Hedges uses the occasion of the US holiday to frame the ‘lecture’ of the US President to his citizens on the surveillance practices of the US corporate surveillance state. But before getting to Hedges, couple quick glances elsewhere.

For starters, when even the NYT declares the reforms proposed by the President, ‘…were frustratingly short on specifics and vague on implementation...’ we know that the jig is basically up, though most would observe that the NYT phrase has long been applicable to most of the President’s pronouncements. In any case the thing has just started, for along comes the BBC, which is strictly establishment conformist. One of its reports, Obama’s NSA speech leaves more questions than answers. And here the BBC frames the speech with the US President framed within the frame of his teleprompter. Would that that were all to it, when comes another post from the ‘Beeb’, Obama’s NSA speech reflects American apathy. And from that, we have this critical observation,  Read the rest of this entry »


…articles of note for a monday…

In the first, ‘Gaius Publius’, in his post over at naked capitalism, examines that very revealing and widely read post of Chris Hedges of 20 October, and elaborates further on this new Gilded Age.

We understand better the ingrained contempt of our ‘betters’ toward us. From this there is for all, the 99%, understanding and docile acceptance (?) of the failure of the corporate media to focus on the steadily declining fortunes of the ‘disposables’. As many in such regions would recount, there is always that calm, that eerie calm, before the storm, an unsettling calm that even other animals detect – except the ‘exceptionals’. Gauis Publius: The Rich – ”A Class of People for Whom Humans are Disposable”

That the fabrication of reality from images created, holograms (?),  by an increasingly unimaginative PR machinery is finally coming apart is no more evident than from the peregrinations of the ‘First Diplomat’ of the US. Over at common dreams is a post from Peter Van Buren that shows US diplomacy as well-directed as a blown-up balloon that escapes before being tied. And the ‘gravitas’ of demeanour is shown to be only in demeanour, as the lack of substance and sincerity shines through on any utterance – so much for those university degrees and what they should suggest. One positive, those frequent flier miles. The negative for the world and US citizens in particular, private deals made under the aegis of diplomacy. Ramblin’ Man: John Kerry is a Figure of His Times (and That’s Not a Good Thing) 

How refreshing, that increasing trend toward alternative sources of news, any source other than corporate MSM and glossy cable news in particular, allows for individual analysis that can immediately identify cliché-ridden rhetoric as not the same as performance and results – the Modern Goebbels Model has finally run its course.

And for further evidence, if any more were needed, that the need for more responsibility in leadership or non-intrusiveness in other countries’ affairs, such as would be expected from BRICS, comes this report from The Guardian, CIA made doctors torture suspected terrorists after 9/11, taskforce finds  We should recall that most of these tortured were victims of the generous bounty offered for any ‘terris’, and how better to get rid of personal or family enemy. And when you have a vengeful, lawless and destructive régime…

With the inevitable BRICS we should be able to build a better world, a safer world, a more peaceful world, even if too late for the innocent millions whose lives have been destroyed. And a world in which justice will be served in well-deserved portions. Of course, in the process we see a clearly diminished role for the Multi-National Corporations (MNCs) also known as Trans-National Corporations (TNCs), and an increased role for citizen participation with corporatocracy banished to history. The sooner, the better. And facilitating the inevitable process is an unchastened, undiminished US hubris.


…chris hedges, the folly of empire…

Worthwhile reading from Chris Hedges over at common dreams. Compelling. The Folly of Empire

A particularly apt paragraph.

The last days of empire are carnivals of folly. We are in the midst of our own, plunging forward as our leaders court willful economic and environmental self-destruction. Sumer and Rome went down like this. So did the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires. Men and women of stunning mediocrity and depravity led the monarchies of Europe and Russia on the eve of World War I. And America has, in its own decline, offered up its share of weaklings, dolts and morons to steer it to destruction.

Men and women of stunning mediocrity and depravity’, not unlike those of pre-WW I Europe and Russia, today foisted on their populace, induced into inattentiveness by their complicit corporate MSM. Yet it will be the blogs and alternative media that increasingly ensure that the substance of that phrase (and article) is widely recognised and understood.

But for the timely and judicious intervention of President Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov of Russia, the farce of a decrepit US ‘democracy’ dealing with the farce of the ‘debt ceiling’ would have imploded even faster. Moreover, the fortuitous revelations on the costly paranoia of the powerful US to dominate every country and its citizens in everything and to deny any citizen of the basic right to privacy are now leading to the inevitable. Clearly, sheer hubris would explain the decision of US ICT corporations to collude in such perilous ventures – not a thought given to the US capitalist model.

And for all its power, the US, a country utterly defenseless against incessant ridicule.

The winds of change continue to blow…