Monday, April 30, 2012

How to Know Your Country is Messed Up

You know your country is pretty messed up when the law says that those who don't actually exist--corporations--have essentially more rights than actual people, while the unborn, who actually are people, have no rights at all.

The War on Women?

Some Democrats have been claiming that there has been a "War on Women" waged by the GOP, presumably because of Republican attempts to block the provision of free contraceptives by health insurers.

This makes for a great marketing slogan.  I am sure it will help a great deal in the upcoming elections.  Taking a slogan that makes for a great sound bite is just the sort of mindless, emotional propaganda that works well in the modern farce called our electoral system.

But the truth goes much deeper.  The truth is that Republicans aren't singling out just women.  They don't only hate Sandra Fluke.  What they also dislike are the "special interests."  This would include everyone except white males making six figures and above, along with large corporations.  These represent the "national" interest.  So, for example, in Wisconsin, when public sector workers were trying to protect their collective bargaining rights against mortal attack, even though this represented thousands of workers, this was merely the work of loud, union-backed "special interests."

All you have to do this is think for about 5 seconds to realize that Newt Gingrich can't care about contraception.  After all, he is on his third wife after cheating on the first two.  If adultery isn't high on his list of moral offenses, I highly doubt contraceptives even show up on the radar screen.  And somehow I find it hard to believe that many members of Congress are relying on the rhythm method to avoid having large families.  Instead, the Republicans have grabbed onto the contraception issue to try and water down the health care mandate.  The real issue for them has nothing to do with morality.  It is about ensuring that employers don't have to provide health care to their employees with comprehensive coverage.  That is the real issue.  If you think Mitch McConnell is staying up at night worrying about whether people use contraception or not, then perhaps you should use your mandated coverage to get a much needed head check.  Make sure you do this before the Republicans try and eliminate mental health coverage by insurers as also being against an employer's "religious sensibilities."

The GOP also supports a "War on Privacy," apparently, considering it has consistently shot down attempts by Democrats to prevent employers from demanding employees fork over their Facebook and other social media passwords.  Apparently there should be no separation or privacy for employees.  The corporate masters must have complete control over every aspect of our lives.  Congratulations, guys, you've managed to be wrong on just about every single issue.

What about the GOP's "War on the Poor?"  If Paul Ryan had his way, there would no longer be Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid.  To hell with the old, the disabled, and the poor.  They need to learn "personal responsibility" and be subject to "market discipline."  Why should we be concerned about them?  No sense in burdening the rich, aka "the job creators."  That might interfere with massive corporate profits.  

While the "War on Women" is great marketing, it is much too narrow.  The truth is that the aims of the GOP  are much more sinister, and much more selfish than they appear to be on the surface.  

Monday, April 16, 2012

What's Not On The News

Judging by the recent news headlines, you'd think nothing of real consequence is going on.  After all, we've heard no end about the Colombia Secret Service prostitution scandal and the uproar over Hilary Rosen saying that Ann Romney "has never worked a day in her life."  While controversial, these topics are actually superficial given the real news that has been going on.  Yet the news media doesn't focus on these things at all, not even NPR or PBS.

Even the news that does matter is cloaked in propaganda.  For example, Obama visited a leadership summit with other American, mainly South American, leaders.  He negotiated a "free trade" deal with Colombia that was described as helping to "create American jobs."  It may create jobs, but certainly not for U.S. citizens.  In fact, this type of "free trade" really exists to help American corporations offshore more of their labor to save on costs at the expense of American workers.  Yet the media doesn't even bother to mention or analyze this.  It's just taken for granted that "free trade" is a good thing.  In other circumstances, free trade means that American agribusiness can flood Third World countries with American grain which is subsidized by the government.  This then leads to the local population losing its ability to maintain local farming and economic collapse.  But this is profitable to American business, so if a few people starve, that's not a problem.

Another essentially buried story is that the South American leaders were strongly opposed to the United States demanding that they continue the "War on Drugs" which is causing untold suffering to their populations.    This war has become a means of the U.S. having control over these nations in a futile effort to stamp out drug production.  Mexico is currently being torn apart by drug lords and cartels going to war with one another.  It is like Prohibition only much, much worse.

The other nations on this continent (apart from Canada) are opposed to the continued U.S. embargo on Cuba as well.  While done supposedly to fight communism, this effort reeks of hypocrisy.  We do business with Red China every day.  We do business with Vietnam as well.  So apparently fighting communism has nothing to do with it.  It has already been estimated that thousands of children have died from malnutrition and lack of medication caused by the embargo.

What matters in the news is often all that is not promoted.  The media is too busy worrying about the horse race between Romney and Obama, focusing on superficial qualities while refusing to open up the real issues behind the race.

Maybe we are all just better of mindlessly texting on our iPhones and updating our Facebook pages and letting the world go to hell.  It's certainly easier that way.