The Populist Press Weblog

Orlando's Underground Media

Posts Tagged ‘Conservative

Spotlight on the Mainstream Maniac Machine

leave a comment »

-Comrade Jack

Today’s enlightened rant is sponsored by Paul Krguman of the New York Times, as seen here. This observer has noticed this trend of madness that has become more and more acceptable in the ever more homogenized American infotainment/media/news(?)/crap sector. However, what this observer missed was how the recent right-wing lunatic murderers of abortion doctor George Tiller and the white supremacist shooting up the holocaust museum, show how right the Department of Homeland security was in a recent report. Jack did notice the report, and at the time and without much attention, believed it to be an over-exaggeration made by a department Jack never liked in the first place (mostly because of its connections with America’s dumbest president). It seems that all the critics of this report have some explaining to do. Jack feel a little humbled, and I’m sure the offended teabaggers and RNC flaks would if they weren’t so deluded by our media’s maniac machine.

Jack doesn’t blame the right wing for being upset by Obama winning the election, he would feel more than a little peeved if old man McCain had won. What he is bothered by is how more than a few folks on the right end of the American political spectrum have given in to what appears to be a media feed madness/temper tantrum. Obama is not the Antichrist, and no one should have to argue against that. A 3% tax hike is not “oppression”, and makes anyone who would claim it look like a douche (as in, try explaining to a Chinese factory worker that you’re being oppressed by a minor tax increase).

Perhaps most disturbing to Jack, is the idea that Obama is a Marxist. To anyone who will, (and they will) claim that Obama is a Marxist, please be prepared to defend your point based on Marxist principle (site actual Marxist theorists or you will be ignored). If you don’t think you can do that, it explains why you are not qualified to offer an opinion on who is or is not a Marxist. Let me clue you in on a basic fact ignored by almost every single person in North America. Government control is not socialism, per se. Socialism is direct democratic control of the economy. As the decisions of the Fed are not democratic, it is not a socialist body. Obama is a social democrat, a capitalist who believes in a social safety net and Keynesian economic theory. End point.

To return from Jack’s ideological rant tangent, what Krugman has shown us is that there is a serious problem in the lunatic right today. Unlike the American lunatic left, which today is mostly pacifistic and narcissistic (see Jack’s last rant), there is a tiny fragment of the right that is not only fanatically crazy, but homicidal at that. It is receiving serious ideological support from a large segment of the media that seems to have completely lost its mind. Jack would like to take this moment to speak to all Americans and ask for people to calm the f*ck down.

Bush nor Obama is the END OF THE WORLD. Put your guns back in their lockers, and try not to treat your fellow Americans like something you just scraped of your shoe.

Advertisements

Jack Fears that American Democracy is Eating Itself

leave a comment »

It is posts like this one that have me worried about the state of American democracy. Over thirty years of anti-government hysteria seems to have made Americans forget the point of us rebelling from the crown. What started out as a somewhat justified argument against a government too reliant on Keynesian economic tactics, has become an argument against democratic governance itself.

What was developed as a means to combat tyranny by affording a measure of control to citizens is now seen as the enemy of the citizenry. Cynical Americans rightly angry by abuses of power have reacted not by attempting to right American democratic institutions, but by eliminating them at every turn. Becoming less active in government and actively supporting measures and candidates who designs place more of the responsibility for the common welfare to business interests, who without evidence, are sighted as being more efficient in the tasks of the people. Never mind that businesses are, by the very nature, not in any way beholden to the public good. In practice, it has been shown again and again, that businesses pursue business interests, not public ones.

This belief is not necessarily partisan, and is shared by political gradations between the left and right. The major difference between the two sides lies in where they will accept some government control. Anarchists on the left are tolerant of government intervention in the form of a social safety net and domestic concerns such as labor and the environment, where the rightward libertarians will eschew government involvement except in defense, and imperial military escapades. However, this is not so much a support of democratic governance, but rather a placid support for government policies that they appreciate. When it comes to civic participation both sides are too often focused on their own narrow interests and personal politics.

The last point is of vital importance. Despite their often political leanings, both groups are more involved in a narcissistic individualism that is hostile to the idea of democratic governance. Anarchists abandon society and form walled off collectives, and libertarians only involve themselves in politics to advance policies that limit and de-legitimize the very idea of democracy. The former, although often compassionate at least in theory, do not realize that they do a disservice to their democratic principles by isolating themselves (even when they believe they are being inclusive). The latter, although they have an almost religious interest in the founding fathers, are openly hostile to the civic element of democracy, that they savage whenever possible.

Libertarians, who are viciously capitalist to a point of compassion-less zeal, seem to look past the many, of what they would decry today as needless government interventions, that their beloved forefathers pioneered. America did not just pioneer the modern democratic state, but “big government” interventions such as the police, firefighters, libraries, schools, hospitals, roads, prisons, etc. They also are unable to understand that the modern world is very different than the one the founders lived in. What other political movement would chose Ron Paul as their public face, a man who has not put forward a single political policy that hasn’t already been implemented before the 1830’s.

It is important to understand that the America of the founding fathers was one that was only beginning to experience the birth of capitalism and the industrial revolution. The model of society that existed 200 years ago is hardly an exact model for the present. The industrial revolution has dramatically changed the family unit, and increased specialization to the point where individuals are not able to exist in modern society without relying on others to a much greater degree. The idea of the self-dependent family may have been possible when industry was nearly non-existent, but in the era of hi-tech information systems, and complex manufacturing processes it is no longer possible for families to exist as such autarkic units. Unless anarchists and libertarians wish to return to a pre-industrial society (and some do), then they will have to accept the fact that we are all reliant on each other, and democratic governance is the only instrument that is capable of sustaining such a society without economic ruin and drastic inequality.

It is still surprising to this observer how the arguments in defense of elite’s interests have become the arguments of the vox popli. Mass participation in democratic governance is the only weapon the people have against elite interests. By abandoning civic instruments for privatized control the overwhelming majority of Americans unintentionally surrender power to the very elements of government they claim to despise. Whether it is the corporations despised by anarchists or the political elites despised by libertarians.

In terms of healthcare there is no greater example of what happens when democratic governance is forsaken. Corporations make money hand over fist and secure their dominance by paying off the political elites who keep the system private. In a business of life and death, leaving such affairs to the private sector has shown that they neither care about the public interest or that they have even necessarily secured efficiency. America stands alone as one of the most inefficient and least pluralistic healthcare systems in the developed world. Americans may have the choices between healthcare providers, but this turns out to be anything but freedom, for ultimately their care is dictated by the bottom line of their provider, not in anyway by their health.

The other developed nations have realized that a public good such as health is something that must be handled collectively. The interconnected nature of modern society does not afford us the possibility to ignore our neighbors, no longer is the argument strictly moral. True, issues arising through bad personal choices such as obesity, drug use, and promiscuous sexual activity should not be born by the public, but these are precisely the issues that should be decided by the public, not the oligarchy of private wealth. The other democracies have done this, and while deciding between what should be treated and what shouldn’t has proven difficult, it has been a decision made by their respective populations. They have proven that democratic governance can not only be fair, but efficient as well. It truly is a sad day when Americans have to be instructed in why democratic governance is a good thing.

Written by jackofspades83

June 12, 2009 at 2:11 pm

Debunking the McCain Myth

leave a comment »

Jack O’Spades

Hello dear readers, there is something I feel that I need to discuss with you. Many people hold misconceptions about Senator McCain. He is widely seen as being more of a maverick and more progressive than he actually is. These distortions are not held by one segment of society, but are nearly universal, affecting everyone from the lunatic right to even moderately progressive individuals. Most recently we have seen this erupt from the right wing luna-pundits, who seemed to believe that McCain was horribly progressive because he appeared on The Daily Show to often, and *gasp*, actually questioned the Republican line. He also did the unthinkable for a conservative politician by calling the amazingly dickish pastor Jerry Falwell one of the political “agents of intolerance”.

Granted for a progressive these things are amazingly refreshing to see in conservative leaders, but it certainly isn’t enough. Going on the Daily Show isn’t going to make you more progressive, just as appearing on Fox News doesn’t turn you into a complete duchebag, and everyone knows Jerry Falwell was a jackass. However, for all his maverick posturing it simply hasn’t been enough to win him the White House for the last two times he has ran. So in short order our friend McCain has completely ditched whatever claim he had to being a maverick to become what he is now, a neocon boot licker. Going so far as to prostrating himself before religious conservatives by giving the commencement address at Falwell’s Liberty University back in 2006.

McCain’s voting record eliminates any doubt as to his conservative credentials. He has consistently low ratings from unions and womens’ groups (rough average of about 20%), often low rankings from environmental groups, dismal ratings from peace minded organizations, and nearly consistent 0% ratings from the ACLU, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and Planned Parenthood. While he supports the neo-liberal (as in “Free Trade”, not to be interpreted as, in any way, liberal) CATO-Institute about 80% of the time, is fast friends with tax cut groups and big business lobbies (although he has made enemies among government contractors), and has a life time rating with the American Conservative Union at 83.2%. All of this information was obtained from Project Vote Smart (www.votesmart.org), an organization that is ironically supported by John Sidney McCain III himself.

Although this refreshingly available voting record has already hit the blogosphere, many on the right hemisphere of it are still choking on the “maverick” image of John McCain. Their claim, in a nutshell, is that 82.3% isn’t really that much, and that he is one of the most progressive republicans. First off, I’d challenge anyone to argue that being 82.3% dead, or 82.3% paralyzed, is not really that bad. For those of you who really don’t think that’s too bad, you may want to talk to some of our Iraq war wounded, although they’re probably still over there. If you can’t get a hold of them, you could always try it yourself, although from a moral standpoint I should probably tell you not to.

As for being one of the most progressive Republicans in the Senate today, thats not exactly a big deal. We are perhaps the most conservative nation of the advanced industrial democracies, and being the most progressive of the most conservative party in our country, in one of the (or just the) most conservative eras in our history, is that really saying anything? Uh, probably not.

McCain has accepted virtually all of Bush’s policies verbatim. If anything he is even more dangerous than Bush, who’s own effectiveness has been limited by his obvious cronyism and incompetence. McCain is replaying the same Republican political maneuvers of 2000 and 2004, which seem to be still effective. Employing his “outsider” status, the oldest, perhaps most effective American political tactic, of which issues such as being a longtime Senator never seem to offer much of a damper to. In addition, he holds the Republican ideological trump card, “stability” which is achieved both through martial action abroad and prisons at home.

It is perhaps the former where McCain is the most dangerous. He has accepted the ideological framework of “Islamo-facisim” to a tee, the basic concept of which is that Islamic militants are going to take over the world unless we bomb all Islamic countries into a fine slurry of rock an bone. The ones that we don’t bomb must have a pro-western government, regardless of how undemocratic it will be.

McCain has a multitude of ideas which will help to further strain our military and diplomatic capacity to the breaking point. In addition to wanting to bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran (to which he has been quoted singing to the Beach Boys’ “Barbara Ann”) he also seems bent on re-starting the Cold War, because James Bond movies are so much better when you have those rascally Russians with their funny accents and furry hats. He has openly advocated expanding NATO to the Ukraine and Georgia, and placing missile defenses there. Such a move would infuriate Russia, and place it on the defensive, not a move that you want to make with a nuclear superpower.

In addition, McCain has also called for Russia to be removed from the Group of Eight, a relatively informal meeting of some of the world’s leading industrial and military powers. Although this is mostly a petty gesture, it is the diplomatic equivalent of the bitch slap. Considering his already threatening stance towards Russia, this will only exacerbate diplomatic problems of his own making. Granted, Russia has problems with democracy and civil liberties, but confronting them in a martial fashion will only give Russia more of an excuse to continue such practices. Furthermore, it should be remembered that Russia’s potent nuclear arsenal puts it in a powerful position, and it will not be frightened into negotiations from a military standpoint, particularly when it knows that we are already overstretched in our military capacity. We’re not even in a position to start a good ol’ fashioned proxy war.

Further “brilliant” foreign policy ideas by Mr. McCain include developing a “League of Democracies” and reviving the Office of Special Services. The first of which sounds like a brilliant plan, reminiscent of President Wilson’s League of Nations or perhaps the UN. The big difference is that the League of Democracies is not an inclusive body, it is essentially to be a forum for nations that the US believes to be democracies. Considering our track record of what we will be willing to accept as a “democracy”, such as nations ruled by one time American allies Mobutu Sese Soku and Saddam Hussein, I’m not terribly enthusiastic. It will essentially be a UN in the model of the “Coalition of the Willing”, ie. anyone willing to get on board with American hegemony. More than likely it will be used to provide the fig leaf of international support that the UN was unwilling to grant the Bush administration back in 2003, when Saddam had his magical, vanishing, anthrax warheads.

The idea of reviving the OSS, is yet another foreign policy idea from hell. The Office of Special Services was the precursor to the modern CIA. It has been considered, if it can be at all possible, even more reckless than the CIA has been. This comment has been made due to the more lax regulation that was afforded to the OSS and also to the early CIA. McCain believes that the CIA is over regulated, and that we need a “can do” intelligence organization. While I certainly do not dismiss off hand the necessity of an intelligence organization, I would argue that having yet another one would simply add to the alleged problem McCain is trying to solve. We already have the FBI, the Homeland Security Administration (AKA FBI II), the National Security Administration, and Dick Cheney, adding yet another voice to the cacophony doesn’t seem prudent. If anything it will only provide a greater ability to tailor military intelligence to fit whatever mold you want it to. CIA not being agreeable enough about telling us what we want to heat? Set up a new intelligence agency!

To conclude, McCain is NOT a maverick, he is for all intensive purposes Reagan III or W II. Although he has made some appreciated headway in issues of campaign finance reform and has taken military contractors to task, these achievements do not make up for his nonexistent social policy and militant foreign policy. He will only stay the course into America’s economic, military, and cultural ruin.