August 11, 2012

Paul Ryan and Ayn Rand: Cognitive Dissonance Gone Wild


October 27, 2011

The Corporate Nightmare On Occupy Wall Street (Updated)


October 23, 2011

Fight Back with Bank Transfer Day, Nov. 5, 2011


October 17, 2011

Gandhi Won and So Will the OWS Protestors


July 2, 2011

The corporatists vs. you & me: Why Palestine is important

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Jane Stillwater @ 4:31 pm

In America today, wealthy corporatists and oligarchs currently pretty much own our government. Wealthy corporatists and oligarchs also pretty much own our media. And wealthy corporatists and oligarchs also own our justice system, our banks, our educational systems and our voting machines. “Okay, okay, Jane. We get the picture!” Do you?

Obviously not.

I was just reading Al Gore’s latest article in Rolling Stone magazine, regarding the extreme emergencies created by climate change — and how climate-change deniers have blinded most of us to these immediate dangers. By 2090, within my own granddaughter’s lifetime, both most of Europe and most of America will be deserts, hard-hit by extreme droughts. Yet wealthy corporatists and oligarchs have deliberately covered up these extreme dangers — to you and to me as well as to our children and grandchildren.

According to Gore, “They are financing pseudo-scientists whose job is to manufacture doubt about what is true and what is false; buying elected officials wholesale with bribes that the politicians themselves have made ‘legal’ and can now be made in secret; spending hundreds of millions of dollars each year on misleading advertisements in the mass media; hiring four anti-climate change lobbyists for every member of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. (Question: Would Michael Jordan have been as star if he was covered by four defensive players every step he took on the basketball court?)”

But it isn’t just climate change that the Big Boys want us to doubt. They also want us to swallow the myth that we live in a democracy. You and I may think that we do. But wealthy corporatists and oligarchs all know that we don’t.

American corporatists have carefully taught us to doubt the fact that there is voting machine fraud. We’ve learned to doubt the fact that elections are bought and paid for by Citizens United. We’ve been taught to doubt that there have been major FBI wiretaps. We are told to doubt all the facts that keep pouring out at us from WikiLeaks. We doubt the patriotism of poor Bradley Manning.

We learn to doubt that habeas corpus is becoming a thing of the past. We even doubt that corporatist media tells us exactly what to think and when to think it. We are instructed to doubt that there is union-busting. We learn to doubt that women’s rights have been eroded. We are told to doubt that Mexicans, African-Americans, Gays, Muslims and Asians are being hounded and jailed. We also come to doubt that banks are illegally foreclosing on our homes. We now doubt that torture is un-American. And we’ve already been carefully taught to doubt that wiretapping and torture and false imprisonment and lord knows what all else could ever happen here in the USA, the Land of the Free.

Until it does.

We have been systematically taught to doubt all this stuff — until, like the heat waves in New England and the devastating floods on the Mississippi and the winters-from-hell in the Midwest, the reality that our democracy and civil rights no longer exist becomes real to us personally.

In the same way that we have been carefully taught to become climate-deniers by the corporatists who make a profit from pollution, we are also being carefully taught that Democracy still exists in America and that Justice is still available to all of us at any time. Yeah right. Like the Supreme Court represents us and not them? Like the corporatists who have sold us their infamous Bush-Obama-Bush sandwich can’t yank us out of our beds and water-board us any time that they please.

We have been carefully taught to hold onto this myth, this myth of freedom. Flag-waving. The Fourth of July. And hold on to it we do — until it may be too late and all the civil-rights trashing that wealthy corporatists and oligarchs have more obviously done to lesser, more third-world countries starts to become more and more obvious here too.

A few weeks ago, I attended a Netroots Nation convention in Minneapolis, where all kinds of progressive topics were discussed — except one. The Palestinian third rail. None of the major speeches or the panels even mentioned the Palestine question, even in passing. There were approximately 120 seminars at NN 2011 and only one of them even mentioned the freaking Arab Spring.

What a shame.

“But why is Palestine so important?” you might ask. Here’s why. Today in America, a whole bunch of progressives are trying to initiate another American Spring of freedom and democracy here too. But that’s not the image of the future of America that the small band of wealthy corporatists and oligarchs who currently run this country have in mind. Their particular vision seems to run more along the lines of America’s new Palestinian Winter.

Think about it. High unemployment in America? Palestinians have up to 70% unemployment. Cheap labor? Palestine has set the bar really high here. But with a little bit of luck, corporatists can establish that high unemployment rate here too.

Intentional disintegration of the educational system? Palestine already has that too. And now American teachers are being dissed regularly. Why? Because an educated population wants democracy — while corporatists just wants the population to be servile (and dumb).

Rape of the environment? Palestine already leads the way. Corporatists in Israel already steal Palestine’s natural resources and pollute its air and its streams. And mountaintop removal is already huge in Palestine. Is West Virginia fast becoming the new West Bank? It certainly looks that way.

And what about freedom and personal rights? We’re fast becoming the new Palestine in this area too. Non-violent protesters are being shot at, beaten and jailed in Palestine. It’s basically a police state. Can America become an obvious police state like that too? I betcha anything that the corporatists certainly hope so. Just think of all that cheap prison labor! It’s already making our American oligarchs drool.

Palestinians are protesting their occupation, of course — but they are also protesting their corporatist abuse. And they are being vilified in the media for doing it. And vilification by the media of anyone who does not agree with the corporatist agenda happens here too. Wanna know what corporatists have in store for American journalists? Just go talk to a Palestinian journalist. That is, if you are even allowed into Palestine — or are given permission to go visit one in jail (or in the graveyard).

And the Israeli corporatists teach their young soldiers to become cold-blooded killers of “collateral” women and children in order to “defend” corporatist interests. Sound familiar? That’s already happening here.

Jails and torture in Palestine? They are a common part of Palestinian life. Will they become common and familiar parts of our lives too? These things are definitely on the American corporatist agenda already — as is control of American courts.

And the settlements in Palestine? You think there will never be “settlements” here in America too? Gated communities for the rich while the rest of us live in hovels and can have our houses taken away from us at any time? Settlements, gated communities and foreclosures appear to be occupying American corporatists’ wet dreams too.

Palestinians have been getting thrown out of their homes for over 63 years now. Americans are just now catching up.

This is why I fight so hard for justice in Palestine — a small place that is over on the other side of the world. Because if Israel corporatists, using American money for backing, can do all these horrible things to Palestinians and blithely get away with it, then what’s to stop American corporatists from continuing to do these things to you and me too?

The only thing that will stop corporatists is if we too, like Palestinians, fight back and say “No”. We too must also learn to say no.

On December 2, 1964, on the steps of UC Berkeley’s Sproul Hall, a brave young student leader, Mario Savio, stated that, “There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part; you can’t even passively take part, and you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!”

How much more relevant is Savio’s statement today, both in Palestine — and here.

PS: On the Forth of July, me and my family are going to go down to the Berkeley marina and watch the fireworks from the balcony of the Doubletree Hotel and contemplate the first American Spring — in 1776. And also barbecue hot dogs and eat olallieberry pie and celebrate my birthday (again).

June 25, 2011

A Brief History of Nazi Fascism


February 13, 2011

Billy and the Panic in Teabagtown


February 12, 2011

The Tattlesnake – “Finally We Are Free!” Edition

Title quote via MSNBC from a pro-democracy demonstrator celebrating in Cairo’s Tahrir (Liberation) Square following the resignation of Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak, Feb. 11, 2011.

The US media reported yesterday that Hosni Mubarak had finally resigned, the message conveyed to the world by his Vice President and Torturer-in-Chief, Omar Suleiman. Of course, the pro-democracy demonstrators wildly celebrated Mubarak’s resignation – think of it: in 18 days they had toppled a tyrant without resorting to violence, even in the face of provocation from Mubarak’s street thugs and vicious secret police — but I also thought it was interesting that Hosni is now ensconced in his estate on the Red Sea, surrounded by razor wire and heavily guarded. Some may interpret this arrangement as protecting Mubarak’s corrupt hide, but it could also be seen as a prison from which he could be quickly transferred to a jet bound out of the country, forced into exile by the praetorian guard now ‘protecting’ him from his own people. Then again, perhaps they are merely holding the deposed dictator for trial – the people have demanded Hosni be held responsible for his brutal reign, and they want to know where all the money went. In the wake of the news that Swiss banks have frozen Mubarak’s bank accounts purportedly containing billions in purloined US dollars, they just might find out.

While we celebrate with the Egyptian people emerging from 30 years of darkness under Mubarak, it must be said that, now that Mubarak’s gone, only a part of Egypt’s journey to a free democracy is complete; next, the pro-democracy forces will have the hard work of purging the government of Mubarak’s corrupt cronies, if they won’t leave willingly, and pressuring the military, which has dissolved parliament and taken control, to allow a democratically-elected civilian government to flourish. On the latter score, it’s heartening to note that while the top officers are Mubarak appointees, the rank-and-file in the military are conscripts closer to the demonstrators than the generals, and the scenes of peaceful protestors happily riding on the tanks US foreign aid purchased should have brought that point home to the brass hats. Without the lower ranks solidly behind them, there can be no military coup d’etat.

Meanwhile, public crackpot Glenn Beck has been regurgitating bizarre conspiracy theories alleging that the overthrow of the vile Mubarak is part of some kind of dingbat Marxist-Muslim ‘New World Order’ plot with US progressives to bring about an Islamic Caliphate that will rule the Middle East and Europe. Fox News’ squirrel-bait embarrassment apparently believes freedom and democracy are fine for white Americans, but should be off-limits to darker-skinned Egyptians. (Perhaps this is why his TV audience has dropped by half in the past year – most of us, whatever our political leanings, think democracy, individual rights and liberty are good things for the world.) However, Beck is almost right – there does seem to be a New World Order brewing, but not the evil Commie Caliphate he imagines. Instead, all across Africa and the Middle East, from Tunisia to Iran, the citizenry is yearning for secular government of, by and for the people, dedicated to equality and justice, with the same rights and freedoms Americans are supposed to enjoy. Of course, to corporate scambots like Rupert Murdoch’s rodeo clown, the idea of self-rule and freedom from foreign exploitation is anathema, and the events in Tunisia and Egypt should be sending a chill up spines in the other corporate suites of the world; these non-violent revolutions were also about economic justice as well as getting rid of tyranny, an economic justice the corporate autocrats despise and fear. Whatever meaningless label the Becksters want to hang on it, it is not religious in nature and neither is it some silly strain of Islamic Communism – it is the same thing Americans fought for over two centuries ago: freedom from distant powers and homegrown despots taking your money and deciding your fate without your consent.

© 2011 RS Janes.

February 5, 2011

Egypt’s Revolution is ‘Déjà Vu All Over Again’


February 3, 2011

It’s Definitely ‘Game Over’ Time for Egyptian Dictator Mubarak

Filed under: Opinion,Toon — Tags: , , , , , , — RS Janes @ 5:58 pm


Powered by WordPress