Commander-in-Chef Obama To Serve Boiled Frogs or Lame Duck?
“Wasn’t that awful what happened to Jill Stein?”
It was the first thing I said to my coworker through the wall of our adjoining cubes when I got back to work on Friday night. R___’s a trusted friend and an avid daily reader and watcher and listener of current events, including what I used to consider the “hard stuff”, like the NYT, Atlantic, New Yorker, NewsHour, NPR, etc. I’ll bring up a news tidbit, R__ can not only be counted on to have heard about it, but to fill in the details for me.
R____ is also extremely respectful to me as a Green Party advocate. He is one of my very few coworkers who wouldn’t respond to my question with, “Who the hell is Jill Stein?” Instead, he responded:
“Why? What happened to Jill Stein?”
It had been three whole days since Dr. Stein and her Green Party running mate for Vice President Cheri Honkala had been plastic-cuffed to metal chairs for eight hours in a make-shift detention facility for daring to protest not being given access to the Hofstra presidential debate on Tuesday night in Long Island, NY.
Dr. Stein and Ms. Honkala, who had been blockaded from moving by a bevy of Long Island cops (here’s link to video) suddenly sat down on a dormant street in protest and immediately were arrested and removed for obstructing non-existent traffic.
How would you feel getting a bogus traffic violation and being arrested, physically man-handled, locked up and chained to a chair for eight hours?
Okay, I admit it was no inadvertent traffic violation.
That manipulative Dr. Stein was committing an act of civil disobedience to publicize something she felt deserved publicizing. The fact that she and other third party candidates were not eligible to share their candidate platforms in a nationally televised debate just weeks before this crucial election.
Aha! NICE TRY FOR PUBLICITY, DR. STEIN!!! Remember when famous wannabes complain that “they can’t even get arrested?” You get arrested and can’t even get ANY publicity out of it. Second time, that I know about anyway, Dr. Stein! You got arrested for protesting illegitimate home foreclosures a few months ago. I’m guessing R___ didn’t hear about that one, either.
Of course. How would R__ possibly find out anything about what is going on with the Green or other third parties since the corporate media would sooner bring up the name of “Rumplestiltskin” than one of the non-legacy candidates, particularly Dr. Jill Stein (who whupped Romney’s ass in the MA governor debate in 2002) or the name of the equally courageous Cheri Honkala.
Incidentally, the names “Jill Stein” as an option for our next President of the United States and “Cheri Honkala” for Vice President will be appearing on 85% of the US ballots in November, giving them the CAPACITY -- electorally speaking (no small feat) -- to win the national election. Again, clearing that “eligibility” bar with a mafia-tentacled corporatist aristocracy served by mainstream media and both War/Money parties is near miraculous in itself. But, let’s face it, after getting so close, how many tens of thousands of American voters upon reading those names on their ballots will be asking, “Who the hell are they?”
Stein’s presence in the debate would have changed that scenario. Stein makes a dazzling first impression. Her smarts, her grace, her capacity for empathy, her pro-active, detailed -- not pie in the sky rhetorically vague -- PLANS for recovery. Stein doesn’t play the political lying game. She is a citizen-candidate of integrity, commitment and resourcefulness.
Hmmmm. Consider what would happen if one of the other legitimate presidential candidates, like, oh, maybe Gov. Romney had been roughed up and cuffed to a metal chair for eight hours under the Obama administration’s police force? Oh what a brouhaha that would have been. What outrage and national furor.
So what’s the difference between a Stein and a Romney being mistreated this week? His cronies are politically and financially super-powerful to punish via media and even law enforcement for the arbitrarily harsh and amoral treatment meted out to Stein and Honkala.
This is the hallmark of a country of profound double-standards -- have nots vs. haves, 1%ers vs. 99%ers. Democracy, rights, respectful treatment are extended to the rich, not the non-elites. The lower you drop on the totem, the rougher it gets.
Oh, my friend R____ added one more comment after my Dr. Stein anecdote. He said,
“America sure sounds like a banana republic! Worse than!”
All those years of watching sham elections in struggling third world countries. Sham Elections R Us!
You know, I am a fool. Not for the reasons I am sure some of my cyber peers consider me a fool, and assuredly some of their reasons are valid. Not a fool for trying the entire duration of Obama’s term on calling out his administration on anti-citizen and anti-human-beings-in-general welfare, anti-constitutional and anti-moral behavior.
But I am a fool because I continue to keep on assuming as things become more and more surreally unjust and amoral that MOST people will suddenly, seriously GET IT one fine day, like why not today, and become OUTRAGED as citizens. They will acknowledge we have hit a profound bottom. People will connect some of the millions of amoral dots and see the criminal abuse other Americans or non-Americans are enduring at the hands of our tragically corporate-captured police and war criminal state. They will grasp that that matters to all of us and we must rally against it on behalf of ourselves, our fellow human beings, our planet and our descendants!
This optimistic theory has been explained using the “100 monkeys” metaphor. When the hundredth monkey gets something, then that truth will spread immediately through the ENTIRE monkey nation. We are so not there still. I wonder what monkey we are actually up to? Some days it feels like we are “devolving” to less than monkeys, sigh.
What happened to Jill Stein goes beyond cronyistic “gamesmanship” advantage for lesser-evil-than-Romney Obama.
I am not saying many of my Obama-voting peers wanted Jill Stein to be gratuitously and cruelly plastic-cuffed to a chair for eight hours. I know that is not true. They are capable of great compassion and have exhibited it over and over on websites.
But enough to get seriously excited about Stein’s plight and relate it, let’s say, to their own and their country’s basic welfare? Well, that sadly seems asking too much.
Has the “ends justifies the means” modus operandus spread to Obama’s followers as well? Just as courage is contagious, so is pragmatic and expedient cowardice. Amoral opportunistic “ends justifies the means” deliberate apathy to be endured FOR THE TEAM .
ENDS JUSTIFIES THE MEANS! Welcome to Obama’s slippery slope of amorality. Ray McGovern refers to the Obama administration’s Compassion Deficit Disorder especially when it comes to a genocidal war policy. A Romney administration would fulfill the diagnosis as well. I’m thinking the disorder is spreading to the “we’ll take door #2 -- the lesser evil one, Drew. The price is uncomfortable but right enuf for us” short-term winning Obama backers.
Stein must be silenced for the greater good which is the lesser evil. Too bad at least part of her silencing was so creepily and roughly done to her, though, right? But, come on, libby, she needs to stay out of the picture so Obama can win.
And, again, come on, libby. It’s not like she was waterboarded or was made to strip nude “in case she was suicidal” as in Manning’s case. It was only eight hours. Not like years of solitary, like what is happening in our bulging national or privatized and all the more abusive prisons.
So, maybe she suffered a little nerve damage with those merciless plastic cuffs countless activists have complained of. Hell, she’s petite so her wrists were slimmer than most! I myself kept wondering about what happened if she or Honkala needed to go the bathroom, if that had been accommodated. Hoping she was not apprehended with an already full bladder. (I remember reading a moving passage by a Repub convention-protesting detainee -- a friend of a friend -- who desperately had to blow his nose when plastic-cuffed with arms behind. Finally, a very young fellow protester turned his back to the guy and offered, “Go ahead. Wipe your nose on the back of my shirt. I don’t mind. I’ve been there.” My friend’s friend was beyond grateful!)
Sometimes it's hearing about the little. human things that hit home with poignance and break through the fog of our desensitization.
Anyway, clearly Stein was asking for trouble and she got it. And, ha, ha. She didn’t even get much publicity for her trouble. Take that -- you spoiling entire Green party --- you. Chalk a victory for team Obama! I would call it another Pyrrhic victory, since morality, ethics and the constitution take a beating with every inappropriate and unchallenged behavior of an over-extending American police.
There is a lot of positive buzz right now about Obama. You see him being doted on on The View. Being humorously self-deprecating and/or snarky on Letterman. Handsome in his tux holding forth charmingly and wittily at benefits.
Gore Vidal once called us, “The United States of Amnesia.” How true that is.
In two weeks there will be the reckoning -- and more guaranteed wreck-ening -- no matter whom we get as president, Romney or Obama.
There is little mention these days of the 4-year assembly line of Obama betrayals. Not small ones. Telecom. Gitmo. Gazan War. Torture. Habeas corpus. Health industry profits over patients. School privatization. Auto-workers wages slashed. Goldman Sachs and rest of Wall Street immunity. Whistleblower indictments. Droning. More droning. Libya. Syria. Yemen. Somalia. Pakistan. Afghanistan. Iraq. Iran sanctions. IRAN WAR PREP. Israeli-war mongering. Climate change. Manning. Assange. Prison Privatization. Assassination. Deportations. Hydrofracking. BP immunity. The list could go on.
But the advice this month re Obama is “Shhhhhhhh!!!!!” Obama’s colossal flip flopping betrayals are kept as silent as, well, Dr. Stein’s EXISTENCE.
So that above is what the list of the lesser evil one looks like. Imagine what Romney’s list will look like? I imagine as much like Obama’s as Obama’s resembled Bush’s.
But this week, fool that I am, some part of me trusted that people would be outraged about the treatment of Stein, maybe not as outraged as me, but outraged. Maybe it wouldn’t be a catalytic event, but it would make at least a blip on the media screen (nope) and a tug at the conscience of fellow “voters” (doesn’t seem to have) whether they were intending to vote for Obama or Romney or Gary Johnson, or whomever.
What happened to Dr. Stein sucks.
IT SUCKS, HER NOT BEING ALLOWED TO DEBATE. IT SUCKS, HER NOT BEING EVER MENTIONED ON CORPORATE MEDIA . IT SUCKS, HER BEING TREATED IN A TORTUROUS WAY FOR EIGHT HOURS. IT SUCKS, THE RESPONSE OR LACK THEREOF TO HER ABUSE! You know. Crickets!
So much for a free country. I guess we can address that AFTER Obama gets elected because things are so dire we can’t support constitutional rights until we get the Democratic leader back in power again. AGAIN? Oh right. A Democratic watch already! A Democratic guiding the Department of Justice. At the national bully pulpit so to speak. But, it’s all about the Republican meanies who obstructed him at EVERY turn says the crony buzz. Poor, hapless Obama who did his level best. Hell, even Bruce Springsteen is apologizing for him now.
One of these terms we will be able to get serious about fostering “good” just as soon as we can afford to stop morally compromising for and enabling “lesser evil” against “evil.”
Stein’s mistreatment was either under Obama’s nose or even at his active behest but just stick that way in the background for now! In the spirit of short-term, pragmatic and necessary politically expedient gamesmanship.
In two weeks will be the election.
For almost four years I have been working hard to expose the lies and the anti-citizen policies and actions of our PRESENT administration. It wasn’t all that hard. I just didn’t turn to the corporate media-propaganda sources.
The rabid rat bastard Republicans I sometimes brought up but I figured Rachel Maddow et al. were taking good care of exposing their outrages or their wanna-do outrages.
I’ve been interested more, to anyone even reading my headlines, as exposing the Democratic outrages going on under our noses. There were and still are PLENTY
I remember how a massive number of citizens appreciated how trustworthy Oprah along with her comrades in the CORPORATE WORLD AND MEDIA vetted Obama. I joined 70 million others that exhaled collectively and prayerfully that we had seen the last of Bush and Cheney EVIL EVIL EVIL policies. Relieved that we would turn away from wars. Relieved that we ordinary Americans would have an administration capable of empathy and effective leadership to help us weather the economic crisis perpetrated on us by the “robber class” as Cindy Sheehan calls it.
I’ll shut up in a minute.
I am sitting here with a bunch of printouts of non-mainstream articles on my lap as I usually am the end of most nights. Trying to choose among so many fresh hells of injustice and amorality what topic to blog about this week. Hoping that my homework on this one will reach more than the proverbial choir, though God, I need to hear from them for my morale’s sake, as well as me wanting to validate their efforts.
Anyway, just a few words on this random group of printouts. Maybe just one or two.
I have an article by Bill Van Auken from wsws entitled “Obama prepares protracted Afghanistan occupation”. Mr. Van Auken’s asserts that despite Obama’s and Biden’s declarations that the Afghan War will be over in 2014 it is a BIG LIE. Tens of thousands of soldiers will stay in Afghanistan for at least a decade after 2014. German intelligence spilled Obama’s truth beans to Der Spiegel. (Americans are the last to know American military reality.) A total of 35,000 troops, mostly Green Berets and special ops, will be there at a given time at least over the next decade. You know, the guys that terrorize with their counterinsurgency operations. Hunting down and killing “insurgents” -- citizens of a country who have issues with the occupation by foreign countries or who have issues with the CORRUPT AND OPPRESSIVE (as in torturing and killing) PUPPET GOVERNMENT serving the interlopers and not them.
Van Auken claims that the attrition rate each year of the Afghanistan forces we are training is 1/3. Also there are demoralizing and deadly so-called green on blue killings. Afghan soldiers turning on their US mentors. 50 deaths of our poor troops so far this year. As Obama takes an election bow for planning to end (NOT) the War in Afghanistan.
But don’t worry. The CIA, Van Auken assures us, is demanding another 10 drones for its fleet of 35. Petraeus and his agency can use them for smacking down trouble strategically and surgically (NOT) not only in Afghanistan, but Yemen or Somalia or well, Libya’s gotta be punished, and soon if not already Syria -- and then we just gotta rout Al Qaeda out of Northern Africa. Al Qaeda always hangs out near vital militarily strategic regions or regions with vast natural resources dontchaknow.
Apparently there have been 336 drone strikes against Pakistan, most of them under Obama’s command. 2,300 deaths counted by the Pakistan government officially. The Pakistani Prime Minister reports 80% of the deaths were “collateral damage”. In human vocabulary, they were INNOCENT men, women and children. “Bug splats” in drone-speak. But according to Obama’s “Compassion Deficit Disorder” that ratio is totally worth the carnage to get those “war on terrorism” terrorists.
We, of course, are not the terrorists. Even though we continue to brutally terrorize and devastate foreign countries in the name of national security. Which inspires massive hatred of us which does threaten our national security. So, it all fits together diabolically.
Van Auken estimates that between 2/3 to 3/4 of this country is against the continuation of the War in Afghanistan. So of course Obama has to promise to bring it to a close. 2014 will help him bide his time and his lie. Not necessarily to actually do it by then. The pledged goal is necessary to sell the lie.
Just one more article, domestic this time.
Patrick Martin also of wsws has an article entitled, “Wall Street Issues Its Orders to Obama, Romney”. Apparently a letter from a powerful group of banksters a/k/a The Financial Services Forum to the President and Congress is urging (demanding) that Congress and the administration get serious to slash the federal deficit.
Let me quote Martin directly here:
The letter was signed by 15 CEOs of banks, brokerages and insurance companies and by the head of the Financial Services Forum, the industry lobby. Among the signatories are Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan Chase; Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs; Michael Corbat, the newly installed CEO of Citibank; John Stumpf, CEO of Wells Fargo; and Brian Moynihan, CEO of Bank of America.
In other words, it was a manifesto by the financial criminals who caused the 2008 crash and the four years of mass unemployment and social misery that have followed, the heads of institutions that received trillions of dollars in federal support during the bank bailout, pressing their demand that no such support should be available to tens of millions of working people and retirees.
The “fiscal cliff” is media jargon for a series of tax and fiscal measures now scheduled to take place automatically on or just after January 1. ...
The demands would let the Bush tax cuts expire, which would also raise taxes on low and middle income families as well as the wealthy, the expiration of the payroll tax cut which would increase taxes on every worker 3.1%, the expiration of extended unemployment benefits adopted after the slump of 2008, etc. (Obama and Congress by the way have made no move to extend unemployment benefits, despite the horrifying statistics of LONG-TERM unemployed Americans.)
“Instead of seeking to avert the mass suffering that such a cutoff will produce, both parties seek to use the supposed fiscal emergency as a battering ram against popular opposition to cuts in Social Security and Medicare—a position that is completely in line with the demands of Wall Street.”
Sorry to go on so long in this blog. You know I could go on seemingly forever with non-censored information still accessible to us via the internet. How long that portal will stay open your guess may be more optimistic than mine.
Two weeks to go. When we will be massively endorsing heading our government in the continuing wrong direction. Then a whole future before us, our planet, our global family and our descendants. As far as Obama voters go, this time with eyes "pragmatically" wide open not punked, they will endorse “lesser evilism”.
As we all continue to experience the ever-hardening of soft fascism. But, it's often subtle and unnoticeable as the proverbial boiling of ignorant, hapless frogs.
Just one more thing. An old memory came to me last night. There was a guest lecturer in college for my basic psychology course. I remember the young, blonde psychologist resembled Tommy Smothers in looks and drollness. He did an exercise/experiment with our two-hour class. (I also remember the experience giving me a tremendous headache by the end.)
He divided us into two groups. He told us we were going to huddle with our "teams" and then “negotiate” with the other "team" The upshot was that if both groups negotiated for declared “sharing” both groups would earn for themselves $500,000. If one group pretended to negotiate for sharing but had declared in writing beforehand “not sharing” and was bluffing and the other group trusted to go for mutual “sharing” the “sharing” trusting group got NADA and the “not sharing” group got $1 million. If both groups opted for “not sharing” but tried to bluff the other NO ONE GOT ANYTHING.
Most of my college sisters overwhelming opted for bluffing and NOT sharing. You can imagine what fool-in-the-minority libby was preaching.
I asked the visiting professor if he had come across an occasion when both groups ever won the million dollars. WIN/WIN. He shook his head sadly then looked up and smiled. “But I’m still looking!”
So am I.