“How skillful to tax the middle class to pay for the relief of the poor, building resentment on top of humiliation! How adroit to bus poor black youngsters into poor white neighborhoods, in a violent exchange of impoverished schools, while the schools of the rich remain untouched and the wealth of the nation, doled out carefully where children need free milk, is drained for billion-dollar aircraft carriers. How ingenious to meet the demands of blacks and women for equality by giving them small special benefits, and setting them in competition with everyone else for jobs made scarce by an irrational, wasteful system. How wise to turn the fear and anger of the majority toward a class of criminals bred-by economic inequity-faster than they can be put away, deflecting attention from the huge thefts of national resources carried out within the law by men in executive offices.”
“Glenn Greenwald has become the conscience of America. I say that because there ar…e people in our society who have remained consistent under Democrats and Republicans, who put principle over partisanship, who have committed to being the same people that they are whether a Democrat is in office or a Republican is in office, and I don’t think there is anyone whose writing has exemplified what principle means more than Glenn Greenwald over the past ten years. We are living in a moment when real journalism is under attack. We are living in a moment where the Constitutional law professor, Nobel Peace Prize winning, Democratic president is in charge of an apparatus that is engaged in the criminalization of real journalism, attacks against whistleblowers, covert drone strikes around the world, escalated night rides in Afghanistan and elsewhere, and a president who is attempting to put a stamp of legitimacy on it and to argue that not only is it legal but that it is the right thing to do. And all of us have a moral obligation to stand in opposition to those declarations and those policies whether it is a Democrat in office or a Republican in office.”
“Which leads to the question, why would [Obama] do all these things? Why would he be afraid for example, to take the drones away from the CIA? Well, I’ve come to the conclusion that he’s afraid. Number one, he’s afraid of what happened to Martin Luther King Jr. And I know from a good friend who was there when it happened, that at a small dinner with progressive supporters – after these progressive supporters were banging on Obama before the election, ‘Why don’t you do the things we thought you stood for?’ Obama turned sharply and said, ‘Don’t you remember what happened to Martin Luther King Jr.?’ That’s a quote, and that’s a very revealing quote.”
(-retired CIA analyst and former presidential adviser, Ray McGovern)
“MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell asserted to viewers that whistleblower Edward Snowden lacked the moral compass to be able to discern right from wrong, due to the fact he didn’t attend college where he would have developed crucial skills of critical thinking. (Apparently, the cannon of critical thinking, as taught by U.S. colleges and universities, does not include acquiring the foresight to avoid becoming a lifelong debt slave due to student loan usury.)
Liberal elites find few things more confounding (to the point of consternation) than a self-taught, auto-didactic, working class intellectual. Why? A working class intellectuals existence is a flaming arrow aimed at the dark heart of societal expectation, thus poses a threat to the Liberal Class’ inexplicable self-regard and their concomitant sense of entitlement.”
“The problem with Volvo Democrats is they don’t realize they are now to the right of Richard Nixon.”
“Don’t come lecturing us about liberty. You need a reality check. Don’t act like a spoiled rude child. Here you will only find dignity and sovereignty. Here we haven’t invaded anyone. Here we don’t torture like in Guantanamo. Here we don’t have drones killing alleged terrorist without any due trial, killing also the women and children of those supposed terrorists. So don’t come lecturing us about life, law, dignity, or liberty. You don’t have the moral right to do so.”
(-Rafael Correa, President of Ecuador)
“The advertising industry is a huge industry, and anyone with their eyes open can see what it’s for. First of all, the existence of the advertising industry is a sign of the unwillingness to let markets function. If you had markets, you wouldn’t have advertising. Like, if somebody has something to sell, they say what it is and you buy it if you want. But when you have oligopolies, they want to stop… price wars. They have to have product differentiation, and you got to turn to deluding people into thinking you should buy this rather than that. Or just getting them to consume – if you can get them to consume, they’re trapped, you know.
It starts with the infant, but now there’s a huge part of the advertising industry which is designed to capture children. And it’s destroying childhood. Anyone who has any experience with children can see this. It’s literally destroying childhood. Kids don’t know how to play. They can’t go out and, you know, like when you were a kid or when I was a kid, you have a Saturday afternoon free. You go out to a field and you’re finding a bunch of other kids and play ball or something. You can’t do anything like that. It’s got to be organized by adults, or else you’re at home with your gadgets, your video games.
But the idea of going out just to play with all the creative challenge, those insights: that’s gone. And it’s done consciously to trap children from infancy and then to turn them into consumer addicts.”
“Privacy is a sacred word to many Americans, as demonstrated by the recent uproar over the brazen invasion of it by the Patriot Act-enabled National Security Agency (NSA). The information about dragnet data-collecting of telephone and internet records leaked by Edward Snowden has opened the door to another pressing conversation—one about privatization, or corporatization of this governmental function.
In addition to potentially having access to the private electronic correspondence of American citizens, what does it mean that Mr. Snowden—a low-level contractor—had access to critical national security information not available to the general public? Author James Bamford, an expert on intelligence agencies, recently wrote: ‘The Snowden case demonstrates the potential risks involved when the nation turns its spying and eavesdropping over to companies with lax security and inadequate personnel policies. The risks increase exponentially when those same people must make critical decisions involving choices that may lead to war, cyber or otherwise.’
This is a stark example of the blurring of the line between corporate and governmental functions. Booz Allen Hamilton, the company that employed Mr. Snowden, earned over $5 billion in revenues in the last fiscal year, according to The Washington Post. The Carlyle Group, the majority owner of Booz Allen Hamilton, has made nearly $2 billion on its $910 million investment in ‘government consulting.’ It is clear that “national security” is big business.
Given the value and importance of privacy to American ideals, it is disturbing how the terms “privatization” and “private sector” are deceptively used. Many Americans have been led to believe that corporations can and will do a better job handling certain vital tasks than the government can. Such is the ideology of privatization. But in practice, there is very little evidence to prove this notion. Instead, the term “privatization” has become a clever euphemism to draw attention away from a harsh truth. Public functions are being handed over to corporations in sweetheart deals while publicly owned assets such as minerals on public lands and research development breakthroughs are being given away at bargain basement prices.
These functions and assets—which belong to or are the responsibility of the taxpayers—are being used to make an increasingly small pool of top corporate executives very wealthy. And taxpayers are left footing the cleanup bill when corporate greed does not align with the public need.
With this in mind, let us not mince words. ‘Privatization’ is a soft term. Let us call the practice what it really is—corporatization.
There’s big money to be made in moving government-owned functions and assets into corporate hands. Public highways, prisons, drinking water systems, school management, trash collection, libraries, the military and now even national security matters are all being outsourced to corporations. But what happens when such vital government functions are performed for big profit rather than the public good?
Look to the many reports of waste, fraud, and abuse that arose out of the over-use of corporate contractors in Iraq. At one point, there were more contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan than U.S. soldiers. Look to the private prisons, which make their money by incarcerating as many people as they can for as long as they can. Look to privatized water systems, the majority of which deliver poorer service at higher costs than public utility alternatives. Visit privatizationwatch.org for many more examples of the perils, pitfalls and excesses of rampant, unaccountable corporatization.
In short, corporatizing public functions does not work well for the public, consumers and taxpayers who are paying through the nose.
Some right-wing critics might view government providing essential public services as ‘socialism,’ but as it now stands, we live in a nation increasingly comprised of corporate socialism. There is great value in having public assets and functions that are already owned by the people, to be performed for the public benefit, and not at high profit margins and prices for big corporations. By allowing corporate entities to assume control of such functions, it makes profiteering the central determinant in what, how, and why vital services are rendered.
Just look at the price of medicines given to drug companies by taxpayer-funded government agencies that discovered them.”
“In the United States today, the phrase `conspiracy theory’ functions as a sort of giant cudgel, used to scare us out of talking openly about a broad (and ever-growing) range of scandals that the powerful cannot afford to let the people comprehend.”
(-Mark Crispin Miller, Professor of Culture and Communication, New York University)
“The moral order is inverted. The criminal class is in power. We are the prey. Manning, in a just society, would be a prosecution witness against war criminals. Those who committed these crimes should be facing prison.”
“Here is my final point…About drugs, about alcohol, about pornography…What business is it of yours what I do, read, buy, see, or take into my body as long as I do not harm another human being on this planet? And for those who are having…
a little moral dilemma in your head about how to answer that question, I’ll answer it for you. NONE of your fucking business. Take that to the bank, cash it, and go fucking on a vacation out of my life.”
“There is no more ‘personal liberties’, America as we knew it is done and finished. It is corrupt beyond repair. Sooner or later they will wipe us out. Face the facts.”
“If you’re getting bored of people posting political stuff about the continual onslaught of oppression, by stealth or otherwise (country dependent), it’s not half as bored as you’ll be when because of your apathy, you are a virtual automata in serfdom to the elite. ”
(-noted philosopher, Ray Gange)
“It’s about the money. They spend 8+ years training to become a doctor and in that time rack up tons of debt in our education system. Upon reaching their goal, they have to realize that the pills are not a prevention or a cure, but a suppressor. To keep their lives they spent so much time trying to build, they remain in the mental shackles created by money. It applies to most careers/walks of life that involve money: Once a person begins that walk, they invest so much of themselves and time that the next option is just to believe its necessary to continue the cycle.”
“Why do so many rely on a smug self-satisfaction that says if any conspiracy were true someone on the inside would have talked and an enterprising young reporter looking to get a Pulitzer would have written the story and their editor would have said, ‘Yes, this is what we need to get our circulation numbers back up. Run that baby!’? Why?
No matter how many examples of unreported absolutely vital info you provide– if the idiot box doesn’t say it, it can’t be true.
Thus, we drift toward unprecedented catastrophe… ”
“Governments should not have this capacity. But governments will use whatever technology is available to them to combat their primary enemy – which is their own population… Governments are not representative. They have their own power, serving segments of the population that are dominant and rich…”
COPS KICKING GYPSIES ON THE PAVEMENT….
You are no one until Katy Perry says you’re someone. If the evil, totalitarian establishment makes me eat shit for fifty years, (so far, so good) and then, determines my work might be somehow profitable or exploitable, and they wanna give me an honorary diploma, please remind me not to lash-out at my full-time fans, or lifelong supporters, who don’t specifically appreciate any institution telling them that my work only matters if Madonna says it does, or because I am drunk on insincere compliments and somebody finally blew my photo up, or stuffed some dollar bills for dog food down my garter-belt. Even pigeons shit on statues. I would hate it if my legacy was redefined as artifacts under glass, or some vegetable dye in Ivana Trump’s hair. Indoctrinated fools, hangers-on and glory whores, vicious bitches and horribly mean scenery chewers ready for another red carpet close-up, Kim Kardashian ain’t no legacy. Genre purists and subculture partisans have always been a bit prissy, pretentious, even; especially when it comes to publicity, appearances, image-control, and mandatory lifestyle swag. I remember auditioning for punk bands back in the day, and being told I could not be considered, because I would not get a military haircut and lacked the correct Stray Cats vintage wardrobe ensemble-wrong tattoos, wrong hair and shoes. The odd part was how I always dug those leopard print jackets and fifties rockabilly duds as much as anybody, but just never had an adequate disposable income to purchase the obligatory twenty pairs of imported shoes, 1953 Triumph motorcycle, hot rod and vintage suitjackets and ruffled shirts and Elvis pink pegged pants during the post-punk and college radio heyday, when everything became so by the book, compulsory, and paint by numbers. That shit always got under my skin, because apparently, I never received my handbook in the mail with all the punk rock uniform dresscodes and shit. Hanoi Rocks dressed like the Stray Cats and the Clash, they just happened to prefer the pre Heartbreakers Thunders hairdo. So what? When every band being celebrated in the punk mags were Clash clones who felt like they were expected to obediently copycat every detail from the first Clash LP, I was already tiring of tribute bands. One million faux Ramones, faux Pistols, faux Clash punks made me wanna listen to more Judas Priest. Kids today call Screeching Weasel and NOFX “old school bands”. The 70’s dino-punks are being celebrated with a movie and a fashion show at the musuem. Are any of them worried about police state wire taps, the Democrats war on whistle blowers and secret kill-list, geoengineering, or fracking, fluoride in the water, Monsanto appointments to the regulatory agency? Nahhh, they are worried about feuding with kids who resent their subculture being co-opted by corporate mainstream celebutards. Rightwing faux Dem, Rahm Emanuel is closing 50 public schools in poor neighborhoods while dumping $200 million on a private university stadium. Philadelphia just fired 4,000 public school employees while building a $400 million prison to house the undereducated in the near future. The American education system is a big pyramid scheme. Paralyzes, burdens, and immobilizes the enforcer class with lifelong debt.
Aside from Lou Reed mumbling about the corrupt NSA domestic spying, Tom Morello offering to pay Edward Snowden’s ticket to Ecuador, and the great Bro Wayne Kramer fighting for prisoner’s human rights in this for profit prison nation with the racist drug war; where are the real punks, where are the rebels? Most everyone with insurance is on the government pills and it makes ya wonder. Supposedly, there’s a drug war, with all the minorities and poor folks being locked up in private prisons for non violent reefer violations, while all the rich folk are strung out on the government pills, or their fame whoring and power tripping. Rush Limbaugh and yo mama pop Oxycotin all day long, while the poor are scrutinized, piss tested, frisked, fondled, and penalized like Palestinians. As Pot-Land hardcore hero, Jerry A. once sang, “I hate the rich!” I loved it when Poison Idea released an LP called, “Record Collectors Are Pretentious Assholes”, ’cause growing up, I kept running into suburban-consumer subculture zombies who insisted that punk was either about beating people up, weightlifting, and being in a gang (Hardcore, skinheads) or about acquiring the most lavish collection of properly displayed memorabilia. (Cramps fans, rockabillies, etc….) Or about being a nerd. (Fugazi, Sonic Youth, pre grunge novelty jokester punk bands). 25 years later, in the digital age, multiple on-line boutique companies are THRIVING by selling imported leather, Creepers, studded belts and spiked wrist gear, and paraphernalia related to the little underground scene me and my dozen or so friends based our tiny fanzines and dead end kid bands on, way back in our brutal youth. I still can’t afford any of it. T shirts are $30. Pass me the sharpie.
So it’s almost the Fourth Of July, (what good is the Fourth Of July without the Fourth Amendment?) which is one of our many nationalist, American, pro-military, pro-fascist holidays, celebrating imperialism, but I gotta wonder how much freedom any of us have left without the Bill Of Rights. I know all the football rowdy, television-dumb, yay-hoos will still go crowd themselves into parks and dutifully salute flags and watch fireworks, but when cops can get a search warrant and hold you down and take your blood without your consent, if government agents can grope your body at the airport, if you have no right to a fair trial by a jury of your peers, if you have no right to privacy, or to peacefully protest, and corporate flack, Brian Williams says on NBC it is likely all citizens will be chipped by 2017, what freedoms are you still goin’ on about, cable-watchers? Alright…so all this is on my mind, and I finally discovered a band that gives a shit, and naturally, they’re from another country. They are a cool throwback to bands with both melody and a message, like Chumbawumba, Billy Bragg, Crass, the Jam, Manic Street Preachers, and the Clash. They are called THEE FACTION, they have a whizbang sense of pop punch and melody and dig this, the most important part: their music actually means something!!! I have not been as personally moved by a contemporary band’s songwriting since the Street Sweeper Social Club’s “Revolution Is The New Fuck You”. I urge everyone who digs music with defiant and rebellious truth and soul to play this loudly and support this band. My new D.I.Y. homemade t shirt reads THEE FACTION!
R.I.P. Ray Manzarek & Trevor Bolder & James Gandolfini & Paul Wellstone & Michael Hastings.
“DESTROYING SCHOOLS & BUILDING PRISONS: