Terrorism rears its ugly head again


This time it was in a mall in New Jersey state.  We were fortunate no one was killed except the terrorist, but he leaves behind a thousand or more on the scene people who will never be the same and a society that is losing this war of attrition on its collective psyche finds itself unnerved again at how unsafe ordinary activity has become.

shoopA 20 year old young white man using his brother’s firearm decided to terrorize the citizens at Westfield Garden State Plaza because, some say, he wanted to die.  What’s troublesome is the way in which he chose suicide….by scaring, frightening, terrorizing Americans.  He probably didn’t consider himself a terrorist; most white people don’t and that begs the question why don’t they?  I think I found the answer

They (white males) didn’t start out mad. No, they were driven crazy by the sense that the world had spun so far off its axis that there was no hope of righting it. Underneath that sense of victimhood, that sense that the corporations and the government were coconspirators in perpetrating the great fleecing of the American common man, lay a defining despair in making things right. And under that despair lay their tragic flaw, a deep and abiding faith in America, in its institutions and its ideals….. they believed that if they worked hard and lived right, they, too, could share in the American Dream. When it is revealed that no matter what you do, no matter how hard you work, that dreams are for Disneyland, then they morph into a tragic American Everymen, defeated by circumstances instead of rising above them.

In the near–ghost towns of America’s factory cities, white workers seethe into their beers, wondering where it all went wrong—and how it all went to hell so fast. Perhaps more menacingly, some of these obedient men have now been replaced by violent men, who lash out at their spouses, while their sons learn their lessons well, as they drive through suburban neighborhoods looking for immigrants to beat up, and even to kill…..

The white working class and the white middle class have rarely been so close emotionally as they are today; together they have drifted away from unions, from big government, from the Democratic Party, into the further reaches of the right wing. Together they listen to Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh. And together they watched Brad Pitt initiate Ed Norton into “Fight Club,” searching for something— anything—that would feel authentic, that would feel real. Middle-and working-class white men—well, they just are beginning to actually understand each other.

Add to this mix belief by far too many that Democrats, government and America’s first black President are intent on taking away their guns along with their  money and redistributing their wealth to those who don’t deserve….to those who they fear…..to Americans who they consider a threat to their very existence, then you can see why and how America’s white males strike out in ways that are reminiscent of terrorism. Yet because we don’t label these acts of murder and mayhem what they are, there is no need on the part of anyone to denounce them…far from it.  In fact to do so with an emphasis on the method of terrorism has been vehemently opposed by people on the right because it strikes too close to their notions of gun control.  So we are stuck in a cycle of violence, some say it is as American as apple pie, and terrorism and has been the case for most of our existence as a Nation, our biggest threat is ourselves.

 

The tragedy in Aurora


Another tragedy has occurred on our shores where innocent lives were taken by a deranged killer.  No motive has been suggested for why these people lost their lives seated in a movie theater watching the latest Batman movie, but this horrendous crime happened just days after America’s blowhard, Rush Limbaugh made some really asinine comments about the  movie and politics.

A lot of people are going to see the movie, and it’s a lot of brain-dead people, entertaining the pop-culture crowd. And they’re going to hear ‘Bane’ in the movie and they’re going to associate ‘Bain’ and the thought is that when they start paying attention to the campaign later in the year and Obama and the Democrats keep talking about Bain, not Bain Capital, Romney and Bain that these people will think back to the bad man.

 

Very few people have put two and two together and associated Limbaugh’s comments with the Aurora tragedy except Big Dan.

Recall that Rush told his brain-dead, gun-loving audience that this Movie was going to be viewed by millions who would be brainwashed to avoid voting for Romney (therefor leaving Obama in office) because Americans are too stupid to distinguish Bane from Bain. Was Rush giving instructions to his listeners to take it upon themselves to frighten would-be movie-goes from seeing the movie? When Rush tells his audience that a movie can change the election results, his listeners believe it’s true. Rush is in fact the person who promoted this alleged connection of Bane to Bain in the popular media more than any human on earth.

I would wager that this gunman is a loyal Rush listener, and was compelled to take action by Rush’s conspiracy theory rant. This is the danger – when Politics becomes Reality. When these brainwashers have the power to compel their listeners to ACT based on a totally contrived and FALSE REALITY, real world events can and do result. But Rush didn’t actually tell his listeners to take guns into the Batman screening and shoot parents and children – did he?

 

Limbaugh makes inflammatory statements and rarely gets called on them but the timing of this latest criminal act of murder makes Limbaugh’s broadcasts as criminal.

Finally, to the insane right wing of America that wants to attribute all of America’s problems to immigrants, from the President on down to Muslim toting Shariah law Americans there’s this about whodunit

As tragic as a mass shooting is, it’s even worse when it’s done by a Muslim.  Not because the victims are any more dead or because it’s even worse for their families.  No, it’s that if it were a Muslim we’d see heightened public safety alerts, the mobilization of the entire security apparatus, probably some sort of mucking about with drones on the other side of the world, etc.  Especially since the shooter reportedly used some sort of gas, i.e a chemical weapon.  If a Muslim killed more than 14 people with a gun and a chemical weapon, the country would be on some sort of lock-down.

Also, if it were done by a Muslim, we’d see heightened scrutiny of people who happen to be of the same faith, or happen to be from the same part of the world, or even happen to just look like a stereotype of people from that part of the world.  When a non-Muslim shoots somebody, the cops investigate the shooter.  When a Muslim shoots somebody, the FBI wiretaps mosques nationwide.

 

That sums it up for me.

The cry babies of the “Right” OUTED!


Kudos to investigative, now op-ed journalist Robert Parry for nailing what’s behind the Right’s new victimology game being played out during the Obama Administration. Everyone is NOW up and arms about TSA and their behavior at airports around the country. Strange I never heard such outrage when TSA was ransacking through our luggage during the Bush years. Parry

the wallowing in “victimhood,” especially among relatively privileged groups like white American Christian conservatives, can be particularly dangerous because these groups hold substantial political and media power. Thus, they are largely insulated from the consequences when some unstable individual carries out violence in reaction to their angry propaganda.

We saw this in 1995 when right-wing anti-government extremist Timothy McVeigh bombed the Oklahoma City federal building. Though some on the Left linked that terrorist act, which killed 168 people, to the hateful rants of right-wing radio hosts such as Rush Limbaugh, the mainstream Washington press corps quickly rallied to Limbaugh’s defense.

Similarly, within hours of the Tucson shooting, which left Arizona Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in critical condition with a bullet hole through her brain, former Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz was out with a commentary establishing a defensive perimeter around former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who had put Giffords’s district in a rifle’s crosshairs.

Like others on the Right, Palin also has favored violent rhetoric in discussing the need to strike back at Democrats who supported health-care reform during the last session of Congress, as Giffords had done. “Don’t retreat, RELOAD!” Palin urged her followers.
While deeming Palin’s language and imagery “highly unfortunate” and “dumb,” Kurtz absolved Palin and other right-wingers of any responsibility for the Tucson slayings and termed any linkage a “sickening ritual of guilt by association.”

“It’s a long stretch from such excessive language and symbols to holding a public official accountable for a murderer who opens fire on a political gathering and kills a half-dozen people, including a 9-year-old girl,” Kurtz wrote from his new perch at TheDailyBeast.com.

We can only imagine how different the reaction would have been if a Muslim political activist had made inflammatory comments toward members of Congress and one of those targets had been gunned down. The U.S. government would be devising novel legal theories to lock the Muslim up along with many of his friends.

You can find the entire article here and I strongly encourage you to read it!

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I have to keep reminding myself MSNBC is the network that got rid of Phil Donahue.  Keith Olbermann however,  is more than a suitable replacement.  Hat tip to Raw Story.com!

Dick Cheney’s descent into mental illness


dick_cheneyIt’s safe to say Dick Cheney has lost his mind.  There’s so much wrong with this individual and his perception of reality that for the public good he needs to be locked up in a mental facility or jail or one of the two that houses the other.  In fact, Obama should put Cheney out of his misery and prosecute him for torture, but Obama doesn’t seem to have the heart to put the mad dog Cheney away.  Cheney’s attempt on Obama’s life should be all the catalyst the Holder led Justice Department needs to lock him up and throw away the key.  In language that was called treasonous just a few short years ago, Cheney said a sitting President of the United States was endangering the safety of America through his policies which overturned those of the Bush/Cheney era.  Such highly inflammatory comments against such a symbolic president as Obama are enough to get the crazies all hot and bothered.  It’s not enough that one sicko has already been found who felt the same thing as Cheney and sought to act on that belief, now America is faced with the specter that  other wackos duly encouraged by Cheney’s remarks may feel it an obligation to answer the call to protect the Homeland from Obama.

Cheney’s other gaffe was to elevate the status of a draft dodger and entertainer over that of a retired Army  general and civil servant who served his country honorably in both capacities.  Questioning Colin Powell’s commitment to party politics, especially after Powell’s shameful display he made at the UN in defense of the Bush push to war with Iraq is disgusting.  I guess Cheney forgot how Powell made him, Cheney, look good during the first Gulf war when as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Powell decimated Saddam Hussein’s army and country while showcasing a strong and powerful American military to the world under Cheney’s leadership.  Only Cheney, and his selection of neocons are to blame for the lackluster US military that now still sits in Iraq because of bad planning and inept leadership, which Powell on the other hand had nothing to do with.

The only way to legitimately  shut Cheney up is to prosecute him for the crimes of torture, a prosecution that would certainly lead to a conviction with all the evidence so far compiled against him.  Doing so would preoccupy Cheney with his own defense and tone down the  rhetoric and free time he seems to enjoy with nothing else constructive to do than take pot shots at Obama.  I am increasingly amazed at the impotence of the Obama administration at threats from hostile politicians at home and abroad.  As long as he is careless there is a lot more at stake than just his political reputation or reelection.  Cheney is one such threat, and he needs to be put out of his misery for his own sake and for the sake of the country.  Mr. Obama….are you listening?

Time to stop being afraid of Israel


The title above comes from a very well written piece which explores what’s behind the US’ inactivity or paralysis when it has to confront the crimes of the Israeli government.  In it, the author states

Every time Israel doesn’t something mean, cruel or stupid you can almost hear the sound of liberals and progressives rushing for a place to hide. Strip away the rhetoric and the excuses and the problem basically comes down to the fact that people don’t like being called anti-Semitic.

Israel’s attack on Gaza, for example, is not only vicious, inexcusable and a violation of international law, it is a direct attempt to interfere with American politics by making sure Obama’s hands are completely tied.
If, the other hand, one feels that it is far worst to support a cruel and unnecessary war than it is to be labeled an anti-Semite then it may be time to be as brave in the face of right wing Jewish accusations as we are confronting criticism by Ann Coulter or Rush Limbaugh. It is, after all, a partner in illogic – of the sort where unsupportable accusations are used to drown actual facts – such as the constant evocation of the Holocaust in which past victims are shamefully dishonored by using them to justify the creation of still more victims. Once you take the simple liberating step of saying that you don’t give a damn what Abe Foxman says about you, then the whole Mid East issue takes on a new look.

For example, you are suddenly free to wonder whether some sort of boycott against Israel might not be worthwhile. Such a boycott might include all of the following: AOL Time Warner, Coca-Cola, Disney, Estee Lauder, IBM, Johnson & Johnson, L’Oreal, Nokia, Revlon, Sara Lee, Home Depot, Starbucks, Timberland, or McDonald’s. Or it might include just one for ease of organizing.

Another approach would be a campaign to cut aid to Israel. A modest ten percent – $300 million – would start to make the point.But whatever the approach one prefers, we should all take a New Year’s vow not to be afraid of pro-Israeli extremists anymore. They are bullies and it’s long past time that we started treating them as such.

The Israeli lie machine keeps rumbling on in the absence of the western media’s presence in Gaza.  They are purposely keeping out corporate media from Gaza.  This is the same media that usually passes on every Israeli excuse and propaganda generated by the government’s spin doctors,  so the atrocities being committed in Gaza must be of a magnitude bad enough to keep others from witnessing them. The massacre of Palestinians at the UNRWA school is one example where the Israelis tried to explain away their crime in the absence of media intrusion and presence, by blaming Hamas, but it backfired on them.  Initially the Israelis claimed they were responding to Hamas fire from the school and in the process killed 46 or more Palestinian civilians, but had to back down from the assertion after being pressed hard by the UN to put up or shut up.

What the Israelis and the media are hoping is the initial shock over the mounting death toll will be replaced with indifference and eventually ignored altogether, and in the absence of any attention at all the killing and expulsion of people from their homes can continue.

The Racist Campaign of the Republican Party and its surrogates


There are plenty of people willing to “front” for THE REPUBLICAN PARTY in its fight against the Obama campaign, and none more diligently than the pages of the Drudge Report.  They are still running, as I type this, a story about a McCain volunteer who was robbed and then assaulted after it was discovered she was a John McCain supporter. The woman’s story is apparently so fishy that even those on the right of Drudge don’t support it.

Police planned to administer a polygraph test to Ashley Todd, 20, because her statements about the attack conflict with evidence from the Citizens Bank ATM where she claims the incident occurred, police said.

When it’s debunked, that story of it being a hoax won’t grace the pages of PARTY surrogates like Drudge who will go on to other sleaze.  The image below also appeared on a DrudgeReport page with the caption below: Obama +7.3 There is much more THE REPUBLICAN PARTY has up its sleeve. The late surge of Republican supporters for Jesse Helms who aired a racially charged commercial in his race against African-American Harvey Gantt was produced by some of the same people who have played a part in Party politics up to this point! The art of subliminal advertising in an election as historic as this will be used to the maximum degree to give the advantage to McCain.

But let’s not forget that today’s REPUBLICAN PARTY doesn’t always feel the need to be so subtle in their message.  Colin Powell’s endorsement of Obama has already been attributed to race by many on the Right.  Limbaugh suggests Powell is an “uncle Tom” and should give back his four stars to Ronald Reagan and/or George H.W. Bush because they weren’t black.  But the excuse that Powell’s endorsement is about race ignores the fact that a lot of other people are endorsing Obama that have nothing at all to do with race but with the direction they perceive their candidate is going to take the country.  Kenneth Adelman, Chris Buckley, Scott McClellan, former Republican governor of Massachusetts William Weld all come to mind.  Would Limbaugh et.co say that black supporters of McCain back him because he’s white?  The idiocy of THE PARTY’S surrogates and THE PARTY itself is apparent.  One should expect much more of the same thing in the days remaining.

UPDATE ON THE ASHLEY TODD STORY

It appears her story is already falling apart and all that remains is why she came up with such a really big lie.  It’s not unusual for people to use racism to cover their personal faults.  The man who shot his wife in Boston and blamed it on a non-existent black thug or the teenager who claimed she was kidnapped and raped by white men in upstate New York, or the woman who drowned her children in South Carolina and claimed they were hijacked by a black bandit said these things when elections weren’t at stake. So the fault for why this was tied to an election lies at the feet of a corporate media that likes to sensationalize, and to the political hacks who want to advance their candidate at the expense of the welfare of the society.  Ms. Todd has “issues” and I hope she gets them resolved, but we as a Nation have the same issues that need fixing and unless we get help for them, we’re as likely to continue down the same road of destructive behavior as this young woman.

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