Archive for the ‘POLITICS’ Category

Syria’s Chemical Attack, and Fake News

April 11, 2017

Every time the drums of war are pounded, young American men and women serving in the U.S. armed forces are marched off to risk life, limb and mind, not for the security of the U.S., but for a multinational corporation to secure a new market and more profits.

 

Now that news of a chemical weapons attack has splattered across the U.S. media, the fake news [1] war is on. Western media is pushing, hard, the story that Assad’s Syrian air force dropped chemical-weapon bombs. The Assad regime and Russia are pushing the story that Syrian air force bombs accidentally detonated a Syrian rebel group’s chemical-weapon stockpile.

And now, CNN is reporting that witnesses “saw chemical bombs dropped from the air.” And these civilian witnesses would know what a chemical bomb looks like, studying it carefully as it hurtled towards them, rather than fleeing for their lives, how?

The truth is not known, but will it be known?

 

Deja vu…

 

…all over again.

 

And the Syrian civil war has been overflowing with fake news from the start, when Syria was targeted for the “democratization” process.

(more…)

Turkey’s Crackdown on a Free Press, Free Speech and Asli Erdogan

March 28, 2017

During the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, a Trump supporter (background here) was photographed wearing a t-shirt that read: “Rope. Tree. Journalist. Some assembly required.”

Perhaps the t-shirt’s message was meant to be tongue-in-cheek, but the message landed with a dull thud. Free speech and a free press are pillars of the U.S. Bill of Rights, even if those freedoms are abused by certain quarters. There is little room to joke about such matters.

And such matters as a free press become more poignant in light of international attacks on a free press, particularly in Turkey.

There, in the wake of a coup attempt to oust President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, mass arrests of journalists have been undertaken, media outlets closed, and many other civil and military purges undertaken.

To humanize the situation in Turkey, simply follow the stories (here and here) of Turkish novelist Asli Erdogan (no relation to the Turkish president).

(more…)

You Didn’t See That Trump Voter Coming.

November 15, 2016

This place has changed for good
Your economic theory said it would
It’s hard for us to understand
We can’t give up our jobs the way we should

“We Work the Black Seam” – Sting

__________

You didn’t see him. He blindsided you. You didn’t catch a glimpse of him out of the corner of your eye. You couldn’t feel his presence every time you traveled past the shadowlands of the Rust Belt, or through those rural counties you had to tolerate while you drove to some place where the sun still shines. You couldn’t hear his heavy breathing, seething at the realities that were descending upon his disintegrating existence.

You didn’t notice that Trump voter, that 50-year-old former tool-and-die maker with 25 years of experience.

That 50-something tool-and-die maker knows how to cut metal to a thousandth of an inch, knows how to set up a job blindfolded. His job was taken over by some kid who is the victim of a dysfunctional education system, willing to take half the salary; little matter his inexperience cut productivity of the position in half.

Or more likely, that tool-and-die maker saw his job shipped overseas, all in the name of free trade and globalization. The tool-and-die makers in Southeast Asia work for a fifth of what that American tool-and-die maker earned. Why should that American keep his job, unless he’s willing to accept a fifth of what he made last year?

You were hoping that tool-and-die maker would simply drop into a deep crevice somewhere, and he was supposed to accept life in that crevice, because that was the way of “free trade,” of “globalization.”

In fact, “free trade” has little to do with the trade of goods, and more to do with American corporations finding overseas sources of the lowest-cost labor. But the tool-and-die maker hears the phrase “free trade,” and his hatred of this misnomer grows, exponentially.

(more…)

The Tyranny of Debt

May 7, 2015

“(T)he United States waged a long war upon the ground, that governments are instituted to secure, and not to bestow, the freedom of property.” John Taylor, Construction Construed and Constitutions Vindicated, (1820), Sec. 1.

“To live securely happily and independently is the end and effect of liberty… All men are animated by the passion of acquiring and defending property, because property is the best support of that independency, so passionately desired by all men… as happiness is the effect of independency, and independency the effect of property; so certain property is the effect of liberty alone, and can only be secured by the laws of liberty; laws which are made by consent, and cannot be repealed without it.” Thomas Gordon, Cato’s Letters, No 68, (1721).

 

Against Exploitation

“Private property is the bulwark protecting the individual against exploitation by others,” Herman E. Daly wrote in Beyond Growth. “A property owner has an independent livelihood and need not accept whatever conditions of employment are offered.”

Indeed, Daly taps into the very essence of private property with these sentiments. If there is one single element of Marxism that presses the hardest against the individual’s freedoms, it is the question of property. While it is true that in a perfect world – wherein everyone’s sincerity of altruism would be above question – a society based on communal property may indeed be a workable framework.

But this is not a perfect world, and as sure as the sun rises in the east, there will always be those individuals who would eye the control of communal property as a means to power. In fact, we find in history that state control of property defines every major establishment of communism in the world. And while contemporary Marxists will contend the communism of the USSR and China does not represent “real” Marxism, it is fair to level these criticisms against Marxism until such time its followers show us a society in possession of a complete sincerity of altruism.

It is for this reason, and others, that the tenant of private property continues to hold in free societies, at least for the foreseeable future. But there is another insidious threat to private property, one that Daly did not recognize in his statement above (but does so elsewhere in his works), and that threat is indebtedness.

The Big Lie

Today, “free” societies everywhere are populated with a large number of home and property owners, but only a small percentage outright own this property lien free. Almost all of it has been purchased with the help of a mortgage. And within this reality rests The Big Lie, that is, we live on the illusion that we are “homeowners.” Yet, unless we hold title to our property lien free, it is very difficult to align this illusion with reality. And so, to tap Daly’s passage again, encumbered homeowners are forced to “accept whatever conditions of employment are offered.” (more…)


%d bloggers like this: