You didn't think the election of Barack Obama to the U.S. presidency got us out of the danger posed by the greed-capitalism of the Reagan-Bush era, did you? President Obama is facing a tremendous challenge to try and right the economic and political ship of state that was so pummeled by right-wing selfishness. After World War I economic disaster struck the world harshly when European and American government officials allowed banks and industry to call the shots, and government was left to try and protect the general populace. When there was an outcry in the Western World growing to give voice and relief to the common people, here is what happened...
Henry Ford, the DuPont family, and other American industrialists tried to stem the tide of a growing progressive plea by the masses of people who began to suffer deeply. Ford supported the early efforts of Adolf Hitler, and schemed to hold down this mounting revolution of the populace. DuPont schemed to overthrow the elected administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and set up a fascist state in the U.S. Charles Lindbergh, a real right-wing fascist himself, supported Hitler and Mussolini. The right-wing, conservative elements in the U.S. and Europe tried their best to establish a fascist government and society. Hitler and Mussolini rose to power as the people saw in them some hope to correct the economic mess and stem unbridled inflation. Big business and industry supported these two demagogues. Hitler even saw an advantage in naming his movement National Socialism [Nazi]. It was not anything remotely akin to socialism, it was a horrible government run by German industrialists using this crazed former corporal, Hitler, to achieve their ends. German and Italian industry boomed as an unprecedented war machine was built to conquer the world. Chase Manhattan Bank flourished in its Paris office as it was used by the occupying Hitler regime.. The Ford Motor Co. flourished in Germany building trucks for the German army. European and American banking interests met regularly in Switzerland to fund this fascist war machine.
As we scan back in American history, people whose perspective was right-wing or conservative or fundamentalist were usually people who had a more privileged or comfortable existence. Their selfishness proclaimed conservatism at its core because they wanted things to remain just as they were: with them in their comfort zone. This meant that sharing was not at the center of their thought or living. So, what they viewed as threats to their selfish, comfortable world were: taxes, equality, help for the needy or poor or unfortunate, immigration, people whose color or ethnicity was "different," sharing, rights for everyone, guaranteed healthcare, etc. Almost an endless set of excuses were formulated to preserve the status quo at any "price." The "general welfare" was considered socialistic talk and below the favored class.
To protect the people of means or the major ethnic or racial groups, we fostered a strong military. With a strong military to preserve the advantage of the wealthy in America, they got to keep and hold onto their privilege AND spending huge sums on the military meant industrialists and their ilk would have their palms greased further. To question any of this was considered "UnAmerican" or "unpatriotic." And so it goes.
Lady Bird and Lyndon, Pat and Dick, Betty and Gerald, Roseanne and Jimmy, Whatshername and Ronny, Barbara and George, Hillary and Bill, Laura and Junior. Not exactly a classy group. Is that the best the United States can do? Each duo had their missteps, some were monumental tumbles. The last U.S. president had trouble using the English language. Barack and Michelle did not get into academically prestigous universities because their fathers pulled strings. They EARNED their way there. And they came from circumstances that are much more akin to the average American's life. Yet they bring class personified to their positions of President and First Lady. And it shows in all things.
George W. Bush was an embarrassment standing next to world leaders. He is/was a buffoon. Lacking intellect, grace, style, insight, good judgement, and class, yet coming from a privileged background, he mangled the language, made some absolutely horrible decisions, lied to his country and the world. did as much in private as allowed [and beyond], condoned torture. drove us into a financial swamp, and became a sorry, laughing stock. And that was not in the style of an Abraham Lincoln! Exactly the opposite of the rail-splitter.
By any measure, President Barack Obama's first days in office have been a huge success. Not only has he had to immediately jump in to try and fix a financial mess of epic proportions that was inherited from Bush, but myriad other problems confront him from the last 8 years and longer. While it is well to keep in perspective what was turned over to him from the neocons, we should move past it. But the right-wing nutcases won't allow that to happen. They want him to fail, and they will make every little misstep become a tragic headline. Imagine a shady, slithery drug user like Rush Limbaugh saying, "I hope he fails." Imagine Newt Gingrich, who fooled around with aides and other women in Washington, passing judgment on Obama. Imagine a snake like Dick Cheney criticizing Obama. Think of the gall of these hypocrites.
Nevertheless let us celebrate President Obama's recent trip to Europe and the Middle East. It was monumentally amazing after the disaster for America that the past 8 years have been. The world over, people think the U.S. has finally come to its senses with the election of Obama. But the neocon vultures continue to circle. They are so ignorant and envious that it would be easy to dismiss them. But they have fooled so many Americans, that it is dangerous to underplay their role. And they have deep pockets that will buy them more influence. Democracy teeters as long as these right-wngers plot and circle.
Among my academic credentials is a M.A. degree in history from a university of some note. Therefore I am more aware than the average person of what scholarship is. I clearly know the difference between opinion and primary source material. I distinctly know the difference between opinion based at least on some factual information and support, and blatant distortions of truth. I know the difference between Fox News and the New York Times, or between NPR news and Rush Limbaugh, or between Rupert Murdoch and the BBC. When one enters the blog world or cyberspace generally, these differences begin to blur to various degrees. People think that if it is on the 'net it must have some basis in fact; it often does not have even a remote connection to fact. The Encyclopedia Brittanica states clearly that it intends to present information based on fact as much as is possible, Wikipedia states up-front that its source material is from questionable sources. If you do not know the clear difference in the aforementioned, you live in a world fraught with ignorance. Period.
So, my blog represents to me [and to you] a statement of my opinions. Occasionally I will give some reliable source to document what I write here, but generally I state my OPINION. That is what a blog is. It is not a historical document. I am moved to state clearly, though, that I never intentionally lie or distort facts as I know them. On many issues in the political-social-economic areas there may be at least two sides to any given issue. However it is not necessarily closer to the actual truth to simply give a conservative and a liberal viewpoint on an issue. That is a mistake often made in an attempt to be "balanced" in presenting the news or the interpretation of the news. In most cases it is better than being one-sided, say like Fox News is, but it may only be window-dressing on a very serious, deep subject that requires much more than two stated opinions. But the intention of blogs generally is not to give balanced or historical accounts.
When will America ever mature? Our lack of civilized behavior is showing...
Who demanded we shift totally to HD television? We have clearer pictures and worse content. I sensed no public demand..
As Susan Boyle walked out on the stage of Britain's TV show similar to "American Idol." she looked to many that she didn't belong in such a venue. The three judges sat stoically. Ms. Boyle looked frumpy, unpolished, older, the antithesis of Vogue magazine. In the U.S. we were quick to be told that she had "never been kissed."
As she began to sing a song from "Les Miserables," the audience was stunned, shocked, awed, and immediately got very supportive of the woman singing with such a magnificent popular voice. The judges looked overwhelmed. It was electrifying. Instant stardom. I must ask this question: why?
As you ponder the ongoing tragedies surrounding the victims of Hurricane Karina, as you get angry when you think former President George Bush thought it was enough to fly over the disaster and go "tsk, tsk," as you ponder what will happen when the next disaster hits the U.S., consider the following. After reading the quotes below, you will get the connection, but the American media missed it entirely. The media focused on Brad Pitt and other celebrities walking around the ravaged neighborhoods, TV and newspapers pondered the inability of the levees to handle the hurricanes surge, but nothing was said about the lack of sufficient National Guard help in New Orleans. Where was the National Guard?
"National Guard troops are deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan in historic numbers. Will states finally demand an end to the costly practice of using citizen-soldiers to fight overseas wars?" -"Worldwide WAMM" - April, 2009 issue, page 1
***I must add something since I first posted this blog entry: I have received everything from threats to my personal safety, profane and vulgar personal attacks, and generally ignorant and violent language from right-wingers who think the material below is liberal or left-wing...PLEASE check out all the signees whose websites are listed below; some of them are conservatives, Republicans, and right-wingers. Everything that does not mimic the sewage of Limbaugh, Hannity, et al is not liberal or left-wing.***
Unlike President Obama, and unlike the loyal Gestapo neocons, many of us think George W. Bush and Dick Cheney should be put on trial for crimes against the U.S. Constitution, torture, lying to the voters, breaking international agreements, an illegal war, and a host of other things. If this is not prosecuted, future presidents and administration officials may do whatever they deem necessary to get what they want. This is how fascism works. And for underlings to simply say they were carrying out orders is not an excuse; it wasn't at Nuremburg for Hitler's officials, and it shouldn't be now. There are Republicans, Democrats, Greens, independents, etc. who want Bush and Cheney put in the dock. The following people and organizations endorsed putting Bush-Cheney on trial...[a small sampling of signees]
I'm not sure if I was living in Kansas City or Washington, but I do remember the first time I heard Tommy Thompson interviewed on TV. I had been away from my native Wisconsin for quite a few years and had lost touch with the happenings in the state. So, when I heard that the governor of the State of Wisconsin was about to be interviewed, I became very focused on listening. I was prepared to be proud. Instead I was flabberghasted! Almost immediately I thought to myself, "Oh my, the people of Wisconsin have made a terrible mistake and will correct it in the next election." Little did I know that Thompson would be elected over and over to that office. Thompson always struck me as a guy with little intellect, easily compromised principles, and there were always whispers of his womanizing and intimate sideline activities. But the media seemed to give him a free pass.
Tommy Thompson is not alone in being the governor with little aptitude and littler principles. He has had lots of company. I continue to be amazed at the very low quality of people who run for governor here. Is this the best we can do? How did we slide so far from the wonderful politicians of the past: LaFollette? Victor Berger? Frank Zeidler, Gaylord Nelson?