A quick analysis that very few will pay attention to.
Honestly, the entire anti-Kavanaugh protests by feminists — without ever undermining their just anger (I believe Christine Blasey Ford is a brave role model for all women worldwide, as was Anita Hill) — was focused on one single issue, and that’s how elite and privileged, liberal Democrats and their New York Times, CNN, and Washington Post built it. It was against Kavanaugh’s sexual predatory past.
And it didn’t work.
The same with Trump. The more we focus on his personal character — however obnoxious and nauseating he is — it brings him higher media ratings, and his no-challenge (no press conference unlike any other president) Twitter one-liners make more impact on hardcore right wingers, white supremacists, Alt-Right, and fascists. In fact, such misplaced anger is pumping up their base: they are energizing even more.
Liberal Democrats did not want to build the anti-Kavanaugh, anti-Trump protests on economic and political issues, because their own closet is full of dirty linen. From private prison to Wal-Mart to police brutality to deportation of poor immigrants to global warfare to Monsanto to big bank bailouts to no-tax GE — show me ANY significant difference between these two oligarchies.
There is practically none. And they know it.
So, with no such weapons in their arsenal, they harped on one single issue — sexual assault — to bring Kavanaugh down. And honest, decent, moderate Americans hoped that Susan Collins would cast a woman-for-woman solidarity vote. They have been kept naive by New York Times and CNN. And then there was Manchin the Democrat, whose Mylan CEO daughter profited big on EpiPen.
I quote from what I wrote in my blog just two days ago.
“Confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court — a lifetime appointment — is not ominous for women and their choice only. His confirmation is bound to create an absolute majority for the far right on the highest court. And America will go back to its prehistoric days — once and for all.
It is very likely that even if Roe v. Wade is not overturned (which many Americans are worried about), other irreversible constitutional changes will happen with the Kavanaugh vote on key social, political, economic, and environmental issues.
Social Security, Environmental Protection, right to political rallies and demonstrations, free speech, right to organize, right to unionize, right to education, right to health, equal opportunity, civil rights, civil liberties, and right to judiciary — all such landmark progresses the American people have achieved over two centuries of struggle — would very likely be destroyed.
Roe v. Wade — however precious — is only one small item, compared to the others I listed. Fascists, neo-Nazis, religious and social extremists, gun lobby, war industries, private prison industries, big banks, Wall Street, GMO and drug industries — along with the richest of the rich (the 0.01%) will be ecstatic.”
That’s what I wrote.
What’s more, people who are hoping that somehow in November, all will be changed, Democrats will take over Congress, and Trump and Kavanaugh will be impeached — are day dreaming. This elite DNC leadership will fail again.
And I sincerely, swear to God, cross my heart and hope to die — that I am proved wrong and stupid.
As I am writing this little blog, Brett Kavanaugh is all but certain to become a U.S. Supreme Court judge.
And some people are shocked — both in USA and around the world — that even after it was exposed that he sexually assaulted Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, and this brave, dignified woman came forward to tell her very private story, almost all Republican senators and even one Democratic senator voted yes to confirm him.
But I am not shocked at all.
This Republican Party is now a far right party, with deep connections with white supremacist groups. Trump’s father Fred Trump was involved with KKK, and Trump himself spoke softly about neo-Nazis — starting from the neo-Nazi demonstration at Charlottesville.
Republican Party today is not Lincoln’s Republican Party. In fact, it’s not even the party of Ronald Reagan, president who destroyed FDR’s New Deal economy, and began a new era where America as a country turned upside down.
This Republican Party is now openly, explicitly the party of the richest of the rich. It’s openly anti-immigrant, anti-black, and anti-women. They are against any iota of equality, they are indoctrinated by ultraconservative church and social extremists, and they are funded by billionaires like Koch Brothers who want to destroy the government and any pro-people programs once and for all. This Republican Party’s leaders believe climate change is a hoax, and in case it is real, it occurred because of people’s body heat (I am not making it up). This Republican Party is explicitly against science and arts.
This Republican Party is controlled by known proponents of fascistic rule — such as Karl Rove and Steve Bannon. And they are all supported by a large swath of news media.
Confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court — a lifetime appointment — is not ominous for women and their choice only. His confirmation is bound to create an absolute majority for the far right on the highest court. And America will go back to its prehistoric days — once and for all.
It is very likely that even if Roe v. Wade is not overturned (which many Americans are worried about), other irreversible constitutional changes will happen with the Kavanaugh vote on key social, political, economic, and environmental issues.
Social Security, Environmental Protection, right to political rallies and demonstration, free speech, right to organize, right to unionize, right to education, right to health, equal opportunity, civil rights, right to judiciary — all such landmark progresses American people have achieved over two centuries of struggle — would very likely be destroyed.
Roe v. Wade — however precious — is only one small item, compared to the others I listed. Fascists, neo-Nazis, religious and social extremists, gun lobby, war industries, private prison industries, big banks, Wall Street, GMO and drug industries — along with the richest of the rich (the 0.01%) will be ecstatic.
Far right politics took over the Republican Party for a long time. What we see today is the ultimate manifest of it.
People who thought these Republican senators would suddenly behave differently were day dreaming.
Of course, I am sad. This is a very sad day for the United States of America. Very likely, it’s Doomsday clock ticking from now on.
This is the last and final segment of my three-part article “How New York Times Handed the Election Over to Trump.”
Map: USA Today. Map showing USA’s Rust Belt.
Donald Trump is now the president-elect, like it or not.
We may not like his hairdo, and we all know he is not someone who we would be proud of to see as America’s president. But guess what: we said the same thing about George W. Bush, and celebrities pledged they were going to leave America, if Bush became president. To my knowledge, no one left.
Why is Trump the next president of America? Because Hillary Clinton and her corporate Democratic Party and their New York Times and CNN didn’t have a clue how angry the ordinary Americans were. In fact, they took Americans’ votes for granted, projecting Hillary Clinton…oh, Hillary Clinton…who could beat her? She would be the next American president…and a woman first…history in the making!! Gloria Steinems and Rachel Maddows jumped up and down in joy.
And Hillary called Trump supporters “deplorable.” Hillary’s campaign advertisements focused on Trump’s character and his stupid remarks and ugly body gestures. Instead, the campaign should have told American voters what new measures Hillary was planning to take, to address their serious economic hardship, and their growing fears and frustrations. Obama and New York Times were busy churning out “rosy” employment numbers, until November 7. They would not admit that Obama’s global warfare and TPP, and Hillary’s Goldman Sachs and Wal-Mart, were sucking America dry.
New York Times and DNC from Day 1 excluded, ridiculed, and undermined Bernie Sanders’ countrywide, grassroots revolution that demanded real change — to help the ordinary men, women, and their families. War industries and global polluters and bank tycoons hated Sanders and his nonviolent revolution. They all rallied behind Hillary and DNC. Just the same way Koch Brothers rallied behind the Republicans.
New York Times columns and reports did not talk about Hillary Clinton’s dubious connections with Monsanto, Goldman Sachs, Wal-Mart, and Exxon. Or, her nexus with the private prison industry. The paper did not challenge her to made her Goldman Sachs speeches public.
From early on, poll after poll showed that a Bernie Sanders candidacy would easily beat Trump, and a Hillary candidacy would perhaps not. That public opinion poll was always shoved under the rug by New York Times, and also by MSNBC and CNN. If it was mentioned, it was cursory.
New York Times in particular did its best to undermine a Sanders candidacy. It was truly sad to see how the world-renowned paper stooped low — to promote its pro-war, anti-labor union, pro-1% status quo. It brushed aside any voice of dissent — either from the Republican side or from the progressive Democratic side.
It is definitely NOT only racism. It is definitely NOT only sexism. It’s definitely NOT Hillary’s mass-deleted emails. Of course, racists and sexists all voted for Trump. But all those who voted for Trump were not racists and sexists.
A large number of Trump’s voters were simply angry, disillusioned, working-class Americans who thought they were fooled and cheated by the Clinton-Obama-DNC leadership who kept outsourcing American jobs to Mexico, India, China, Africa, Pakistan…everywhere, who let the Wall Street criminals go scot-free, who failed to solve the global terrorism problem.
Obama voters in Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio and Pennsylvania — key swing states — voted for Trump. Do you think millions of Rust Belt voters were all racists and sexists? If you think so, you don’t know America very well. They may not have college degree, some may have guns, some maybe conservative Christians, and they may not have the political analysis correct, and they may have been brainwashed by right-wing media, supported by Heritage Foundation, and Koch Brothers.
But do not question their values, and do not question their intelligence. Do not question their normal, family-based, peaceful life — just like yours or mine.
Hillary Clinton lost to Trump — simply because of Hillary Clinton.
Results show the people of India have elected right wing BJP in a landslide mandate. Narendra Modi is poised to be the prime minister. Congress Party and its Gandhi Dynasty suffered their biggest defeat, ever.
Hindu nationalist BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party, or Indian People’s Party) has a lot in common with USA’s Republicans. They are both extremely conservative. Both believe in extreme privatization of the economy. They are both staunchly anti-socialism. They are both rabidly anti-immigrant, especially against Muslims.
Both BJP and Republicans have their social and religious mentor groups. BJP is the political wing of RSS, a hardcore, paramilitary organization that has its grassroots network across India. RSS also has its overseas wings in USA, Canada, UK and various parts of Europe. Republicans, especially now, owe their allegiance to far right Tea Party, billionaire Koch Brothers, and ideological think tank Heritage Foundation.
Both political parties have their sister organizations. BJP has its religion-based sibling known as VHP or Vishva Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council). Republican Party in USA works closely with Christian Coalition and Promise Keepers. Eagle Forum is Republicans’ sister organization run by women. Likewise, BJP works closely with RSS’ women-only group Rashtra Sevika Samity (National woman volunteer association).
If India’s elections are any indication to a global right-wing swing, I fear that in November, Republicans and far right Tea Party, massively funded by Koch Brothers and multinational corporations, will sweep U.S. Congress.
That, of course, will be due to elite-liberal Congress Party of India and Blue Dog Democrats and their massive inefficiency and failure to serve the ordinary, 99% people. I have zero sympathy for these so-called liberals.
But, I won’t ever support either the Republicans of USA, where I live now, or BJP of India, where I grew up and learned political activism. I can never support religious or socioeconomic fanatics.
It is now no secret that I grew up with RSS and BJP, through familial connections. My father has been a lifelong activist of RSS. He was well known for his dedication, honesty and sacrifice, and worked closely with big-name BJP leaders such as India’s former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and a top leader L. K. Advani.
I worked with them for over fifteen years of my life, and then quit out of ideological disillusionment. I later wrote a book against them, which drew ire and wrath from many of my past RSS and BJP colleagues. My father was heartbroken to see my permanent departure from RSS. There was a time when I was moving up the organizational ladder quickly. Before quitting, I was a secretary of West Bengal province ABVP, student wing of RSS. My longtime friends in India now say had I not quit, I would definitely be one of their top leaders now, and could run for a parliamentary seat too.
But I am glad I quit. I would never regret my decision.
In short, I would never support them for the following reasons.
1. They are feudal and too conservative on their social positions, particularly about women.
2. They do not believe in equality across the spectrum of gender, sex, race, caste and class.
3. They do not believe in economic models built around socialistic or egalitarian principles.
4. They do not believe in peace-based foreign policy: they are strong believers of violence and war (BJP against Pakistan and China, and Republicans against everybody outside the Judeo-Christian countries).
5. I find their anti-immigrant venom despicable.
6. A vast number of BJP-RSS and Republican-Tea Party members do not believe in scientific facts such as biological evolution, climate change, and global warming.
7. My years of close familiarity with BJP and RSS remind me how superstitious many of them are.
8. Both BJP and Republican Party are strong advocates of a minimal government. They want to do away with the government.
9. They are both against pro-equal-rights groups and labor unions.
10. Both have fascistic tendencies. In fact, their mentor groups have very fascistic qualities.
FASCISM is coming to India (RSS-BJP-Shiv Sena). And fascism is coming to America (Tea Party-Americans For Prosperity-Koch Brothers). Not only because of fascists. It’s because of the privileged, upper-class left, liberals and libertarians who closed their eyes and let the 1% bleed the ordinary people dry, steal the treasury, escalate the rich-poor gap, and break down the society, in the name of democracy and free speech (Obama, Clinton and India’s Gandhi Dynasty and their elite supporters are examples of this class). In both India and America, quick and fake-debate elections have become largely synonymous with the 1% validating their power to be super rich: with corporate profit, land and technology grabbing, and black money (and MOST candidates get massive kickbacks: we have proofs.). The 1% have either directly bought the media, or bribed or silenced them with ad money. Nobody outside of the elite circle knows what goes on at corporate or government board meetings; there is ZERO participation of the people in decisions impacting their lives. Result: HUGE public anger. With absence of a pro-99% force engaging the vast majority of moderate left and right exploiting their many overlaps (which I now call the SECOND CIRCLE), and left-liberals’ arrogance and failure to shed their dogma and ego, and a weak, directionless organized labor, far right, violent fanatics, and Ayn-Rand-libertarians are gaining momentum. This happened at least once before in recent history, when Third Reich came to power in Germany. Now, no single man or woman needs to be like Hitler. Dictatorship will be collective, with the 1% pulling all the strings, to dance the elected governments. In fact, this dictatorship is already in power, but they will be more powerful in the coming days. They will crush domestic and global voices of dissent, using repression, spying and prison inside and war and economic terror outside. And even more young-generation men and women will become apolitical and ignorant of history (and “fun”-loving), and VOTING CYCLES will become even more hypocritical and inconsequential.
WITH ABSOLUTE HONESTY AND TERRIBLE FEAR. — There was a time when elections were held, and media took a relatively neutral position. Not any more. Now media ACTIVELY work for the 1% elite and powerful. IN THE U.S., media take a completely biased position for the two big parties and promote their candidates who have EXPLICIT connections with war, prison, oil, bank, IT, retail, drug, casino, food, car or insurance corporations. These politicians such as Chuck Schumer (D) or Dick Cheney (R) work to safeguard and promote the interest of the 1%. In fact, many own big corporations, such as Cheney. So, Cheney OPENLY supports the Judith Miller lies that created the Iraq invasion and genocide. Others like Hillary Clinton sit on management boards of companies like Wal-Mart. So, Hillary could push Wal-Mart in India, the biggest open market with unchecked corruption. Media — either in USA or in India — do not tell these stories. They do not tell the Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders side of a pro-99% story. So, most people do not know, and fall for consent mass-manufactured with support from Koch Brothers and Heritage Foundation. New York Times, Washington Post, CNN and such major media do it cunningly, and privileged liberals buy their lies and half-truths (and what I now call Journalism of Exclusion). Meaningless newspapers and fascistic talk shows such as New York Post or Rush Limbaugh, take advantage of peoples’ general ignorance and lack of time to do any serious reading, and brainwash them with absolute lies and bigoted views of the world. IN INDIA, right now, a week before a very big, national election, media is OPENLY taking sides in favor of the 1%, and through countless articles, photos and TV shows are promoting film stars, singers, cricket players, womanizers and such wannabe leaders of at least one million poor people EACH — candidates that HAVE NO KNOWLEDGE or insight about the real issues and problems, such as poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, health and environmental crisis, water and food crisis, land grabbing, overpopulation, corruption, communal harmony, child labor, rampant VIOLENCE on women, sky-high prices, and domestic and international terror. Media do not challenge them on these issues, and by NOT doing it, WORK FOR THE 1% to keep the status quo and re-validate this absolutely dishonest and hypocritical system in the name of vote and democracy. HUGE SUMS OF MONEY — PEOPLES’ MONEY AND BLACK MONEY — are spent to carry out these elections — every four years in USA and five years in India. THE 1% SILENCE THE DISSENTING VOICES. A small news broke yesterday that FBI is hiding plots to KILL OCCUPY WALL STREET ORGANIZERS. Google it. I don’t know how long I can continue doing this honest, heart-felt storytelling. YOU DECIDE WHAT YOU WANT TO DO. Wherever you are.
Guess what, I still have the Obama-2008 bumber sticker stuck on my old American car.
We all thought you were going to use your enormously powerful position to drive this country and virtually the entire world back to the direction of the ordinary working people and families, promote economic equality, hold the corporate criminals accountable and bring them to justice. We thought your leadership would stop global warfare and bloodshed, and bring some peace to mankind especially after the horrors of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Ashcroft.
I am very sorry and dejected to tell you that you have not fulfilled our hopes, dreams and aspirations. You have let us down.
Of course, at that time very few people thought you could lose; and I wrote the article even before that scandalous and racist “47 percent” Romney speech Mother Jones magazine broke: speech at a $50,000 per plate fundraising dinner Romney had in Florida ($50,000 is the average annual income for an American family; in many Third World countries, it’s the annual income for an entire city, perhaps). When that exposé came out, hardly anybody thought you could ever lose; in fact, even diehard Republicans thought Romney threw the elections straight in your lap; the Florida speech was so devastatingly damaging for him and the Republican Party. But who knows, maybe, that episode had made you overconfident, and you took the first presidential debate casually with no preparation whatsoever; your election prospects since then took a nose dive. Boy, how quickly things turn!
You took that debate with your now-familiar demeanor: you took your audience — your supporters and sympathizers and onlookers across the country — for granted. That non-performance in the debate was really symptomatic of your four years of non-performance. That abject failure to rise up and overpower your fierce, well-oiled opponents and their media with measured documents and reasons was symptomatic of your four years of abject failure to rise up and do the right thing at the most critical moment.
You’re going to be paying a hefty price for that non-performance. And you’re going to drag us all down with you, by your non-performance and lackluster presidency. Your elite circle of advisors — dubious and ill-reputed political insiders who are really part of the now-infamous 1 percent, exposed because of Occupy Wall Street’s resistance and challenge — have ill-advised you. You believed in them, and took us for granted. Your drones killed many innocent people overseas; your political actions killed hopes and dreams of many here in the U.S.
President Obama, let me be clear. I would be very sad and disheartened if you get a shock defeat in this election. I would get a chill in my bones if someone like Romney whose racism and hypocrisy is now exposed becomes the president of America. I know he’s going to start another devastating war in Iran: the war industries and Karl Rove are working hard for his victory. I would be frozen to death if a social and economic extremist like Ryan with his Tea Party Glenn Beck doctrine becomes the vice president of this country. I know he is going to kill off the last remnant of the New Deal, including Medicare and Social Security as well as collective bargaining and such precious rights of the working people of America. His party will probably overturn Roe v Wade too, destroying women’s precious reproductive rights. Corporate America, NRA and Koch Brothers as well as organized bigoted groups are working hard for his victory.
Even though I have serious, major issues with your presidency and every single day, I feel cheated by the promises you and your administration didn’t keep, just because I NEVER want a racist and a bigot become the world’s top leaders, I would want you to win.
The only problem is that deep inside, I feel you are not going to win. And you can blame nobody other than yourself for this looming, historic defeat. Your likely loss would be the final letdown of the billions of people — particularly the young generation here in America and peace and democracy soldiers all across the world — who believed so much in your message of hope. They believed in YOU!
You let them all down. How terrible this letdown has been!
Because the so-called mainstream media is not asking them, I thought the onus is on us.
Even though it’s an American election where U.S. citizens vote to elect their president this November, actually it’s an election that has serious impact for the entire world. In a way, it’s a global election. Therefore, politically enlightened people from all over the world need to understand the various aspects of the election as clearly as possible. For the entire world, the stake is too high.
I was happy to see the level of reaction to my posts. A surprisingly high number of readers of this blog — now from near and far corners of the world — read the questions I asked to the Democratic and Republican candidates. Some wrote their comments directly on the blog, and some others sent me their feedback personally. Some of these friends had a strong disagreement with my position on Obama; they were also unhappy to see how a super-excited 2008 me turned into a less than enthusiastic 2012 me. These friends challenged my political acumen when I asked some critical questions to the Obama campaign. When I said I was not feeling excited at all for Obama, they warned me not to pop their excitement balloon. They said my wet blanket to douse their party bonfire might hurt Obama’s chances.
I felt delighted — by the thought that my little, no-name blog had so much power!
Of course, this is almost an academic discussion. Neither Romney nor Obama is going to read my blog, let alone answer my questions. But this is all I can do. I have said it many times before: other than my writing that I use to make my readers, friends and sympathizers think, I have no power. I have no money, no pedigree, no political connection and no real hope for publishing my thoughts for a wide mainstream audience. Therefore, this is really the extent of my political activism. This is the best use of my experience, analysis and energy.
I try to make people think. I try to challenge their minds. This is my only non-violent weapon.
Now, for the sake of time, let’s select only a few issues that are critically important both for an U.S. and global audiences. Food, clothes and shelter: these three have always, historically, been the most primary for the ordinary people across the world. In today’s globally-connected society, some other issues have become critical: I could perhaps select war and violence, energy, environment, education and health for the list. Then, we could perhaps include the subject of labor, immigration and society. I’m sure you quickly see a few other issues that you would want to include in your first list. I am sure I myself would later reflect on it and include a few more that I might have missed this time around.
But at least for the time being, not to make this post unnecessarily long, let’s put together our first list of issues and compare the two big parties and their two big candidates on these issues. It might help us to understand the nature of the electioneering process as it is heating up here in the U.S., and determine objectively what exactly is going on. Often, these critical issues do not surface our way — the ordinary, powerless people’s way — in the 24/7 conversation on big media done by their big experts. I call it Journalism of Exclusion.
Therefore, again, the onus is on us to do it. We must do it. Questioning is democracy. Analyzing is too.
So far, we have identified the following issues to be critical to compare the positions of Obama and Romney and their two big parties.
(4) War and violence
Of course, the all-encompassing, all-pervasive, overarching factor would be economics and money. Given its overlapping nature, I decided not to itemize economics as a separate point. The discussion of money would feature quite prominently when we take up these points — one point at a time. Foreign policy would be another such aspect: it’s going to be interwoven in the discussion of all the other points — one way or the other. And obviously, jobs, wages and unemployment would be another — if not the most important — all-pervasive subject. It brings us to the question of poverty, exploitation and injustice.
But in this intricately-connected world society of the new millennium, where political boundaries have become almost meaningless, especially when we consider how economics and money (and work) can move from one part of the globe to the opposite part — with a speed of light, and considering how the people in power are using the global connectedness to their advantage, I believe that perhaps we could add one more item on our list. And that item would be:
There! I believe we have come up with a good list, at least for the time being. Now let’s see if we can briefly discuss and compare the positions of the two candidates and their parties on these issues. I’ll try to do it as simply as possible, without making it sound too academic. I’ll try to do it with a language most of us — including myself — would understand. You tell me, please, if this language works for you.
If we think carefully, there is practically no way we can discuss one of the above twelve topics exclusively: they are all overlapping. What role does food and water play in today’s politics? Food prices, food quality, water sources, water quality — and the politics of U.S. government and its two big parties — one that media hardly talks about? Coca Cola’s capturing of natural water displacing millions of poor people from their land (and putting a famous movie celebrity as their PR)? U.S. seed company Monsanto’s forced replacement of Indian farmers’ traditional seed banks with their one-crop, genetically engineered seeds forcing those farmers to go bankrupt and commit suicides in hundreds of thousands every year? McDonald’s food colonization with substandard, unhygienic food that caused obesity and serious harmful effects in the U.S. and throughout the world?
Where is the discussion either at the huge, confetti-covered RNC or DNC? Is there going to be any discussion at the presidential debates? Will New York Times, NPR, PBS or CNN talk about them between now and November?
Now, let’s see. war and violence are two subjects where the two parties’ positions are different, they say. Okay, it is true that Romney, Ryan and Rush Limbaugh’s Republican Party openly talk about a new, imminent war on Iran (or Syria, or Yemen…it doesn’t matter); on the other hand, Obama and Hillary Clinton talk about how they have finished the Iraq war and how they’re going to withdraw from Afghanistan in two years. And then of course comes Joe Biden and gives a war-drumbeat speech at DNC…as if John McCain or Joe Lieberman (remember him?) was speaking. And there is rousing chants all around at the convention…USA…USA…USA…
But let’s see: was there any reason for U.S. to be in Iraq in the first place after six or seven years of destroying an ancient civilization, killing hundreds of thousands of people, and looting their oil, gold and other treasures? It’s almost like the British colony withdrawing from India after total plundering, brutalizing and partitioning a once-prosperous civilization, putting their handpicked, subservient, “Gandhian” feudals in power. The aggressors were going to leave sooner or later anyways: there was no more reason either for the British to stay in India or for the U.S. to stay in Iraq. Where is that perspective?
Can we talk about it in a straightforward way? Oh yes, can we also include the politics Israel has always played and has been playing in this incredible mess? Isn’t Iran or Syria or Egypt or Libya or Saudi cards used in the same game?
And then come Obama’s hit list and the drones and the relentless bombing…the war is over?
And then comes Julian Assange and Wikileaks and Bradley Manning…didn’t they say whistle blowing was actually patriotic?
Would New York Times, NPR, PBS or CNN talk about them? Would anyone throw these questions — this straightforward way — in the presidential debate?
We’ll now talk about globalization, immigration, labor and the economy — and their interconnectedness. We need to know how these two parties and their candidates are different on these issues.
I hope you come back to participate in that discussion. I need you in that discussion.
I came up with a list of questions that I think media — big media, corporate media, multinational media, mentor media — should ask Romney and Ryan. But I have a feeling they won’t do it.
So, I guess the onus is on us. Let’s do it ourselves.
(Update on September 18: Especially after today’s breaking news that progressive publication Mother Jones exposed Romney’s gravely disparaging comments that 47% Americans love to live on government entitlements and don’t pay any taxes, mainstream media such as New York Times are jumping all over it, and conveniently ignoring many other issues. Hence, it’s even more important to address these issues now. The political debate is getting shifted from economy to race, etc., and while race is extremely important, this election should be primarily about the economy and the 1%. We must not let vested interests to shift the debate from the economy.)
American media’s coverage of the Republican National Convention was as usual shallow, superficial and sentimental. Just like the previous conventions I’ve seen since Reagan, corporate media didn’t provide any serious analysis on any serious subjects. Its big-name journalists and experts did not show any critical thinking at all. It was all glossing over, spinning, twisting and distorting.
Question: Why is it always that way? Answer: Either they are stupid or they’re not doing their job on purpose. I think it’s the latter because these otherwise well-dressed and articulate (and definitely well-paid) people and their [very well-paid] bosses do not want to lose their tons of ad dollars and traditional viewers that might switch channels once real debates, controversies or unpopular, unpleasant narratives are brought in. It’s like, if someone on TV presents serious research data that among ALL the developed countries, USA has the highest income inequality and also highest social and health problems because of the grotesque divide (these are all facts — look it up here), most people would not like to hear it. They have been brainwashed for decades. They would switch channels.
It’s pathetic to see how American media have totally degenerated especially since Reagan. There is no hard-hitting journalism at all! There is no real analysis that matters to real people and their real lives. The whole RNC 24/7 coverage was, just like before, done almost in a vacuum — as if, it was a fantasy world out there! I have a feeling the Democratic convention will be this way too.
I also have a feeling we’ll see another pathetic repeat of the above when time comes for the so-called presidential debate with similar hoopla and meaningless moderation. I have a feeling it’s going to be another exercise of naiveté, glossing over, window dressing and scratching the surface — with exclusion of critically important issues.
Maybe, Karl Rove and Koch Brothers, among others, are watching over these media establishments. That’s why they’re so afraid to ask the right questions!
However, if I were one of these big-name media personalities with big privilege to work with these politicians, I’d ask them some straight-shoot questions. But because I do not have that privilege and I have no other power than writing them down in this blog for my friends, readers and sympathizers — now surprisingly from many near and far corners of the world — I’m writing them down here. My hope is that you find these questions worthy of asking; and in case you are one of those privileged journalists with access to these big-name politicians, please see if you can ask some of these questions — and get some meaningful answers that everybody can understand.
So, without further ado, here’s my short wish list. I know, Mr. Romney and Mr. Ryan, you are extremely important and busy. Therefore, I’ll only ask you about a handful of topics. I’ll save the others for later.
Mr. Romney, Mr. Ryan, either of you can answer them. Considering you are planning to be commanders in charge of not just America, but de facto of the world, consider people like me all over the world are eagerly waiting for your honest, thoughtful and straightforward answers. Don’t haze it. Don’t faze it.
Thank you for your time, Honorable Sirs.
Question 1. Trickle-down economic policies have failed us the middle majority, working people. Giving tons of money and power to the rich at the top of the pyramid didn’t work. It has caused enormous income inequality, and the middle class has suffered greatly. What is your plan to change the course of our economic policy and actions?
Question 2. You propose more tax cuts for the rich — individuals and corporations. And, in fact, richest corporations now Supreme Court-validated as individuals — such as General Electric — do not pay any taxes. Don’t you think it’s unfair that we the ordinary, low-income people are paying about 33% federal income taxes (some say, to pay back to Federal Reserve which is a private, all-powerful entity that nobody really knows); yet, the richest corporations are not paying any taxes? For that matter, you said you paid only 15% income taxes yourself. Isn’t that outrageous discrimination against us who make so little?
Question 4. Bush-Cheney’s brutal genocide in Iraq and Afghanistan has destroyed world peace, bled American taxpayers (i.e., us) to death, caused a catastrophic budget deficit, and tarnished the American image (whatever was left) worldwide. Now you’re drum beating another war as soon as you come to power — perhaps against Iran (or is it Syria?). How do you think that would promote either peace or economic prosperity — two things you frequently talk about?
Question 5. Rachel Corrie, a young American woman, in 2003 stood in front of an Israeli bulldozer to protest against Israeli government’s demolition of houses of Palestinian civilians. The bulldozer crushed her to death. You blasted Chinese government’s human rights violation when its tanks threatened to kill Chinese protesters at Tienanmen Square a few years ago. Do you think you can show the same resolution to protest against the action of the Israeli government when they killed Rachel Corrie?
Question 6. At the RNC in Tampa, you and your party’s top leaders such as Chris Christie have championed the cause of the American workers and families who are going through a horrendous time because of high unemployment that some compares with the situation during the Great Depression. Especially younger people, according to some research, have 30 percent joblessness, which is a record in American history. The economic situation our young people are in is simply horrible — check these facts. Are you going to create new jobs within America by supporting traditional job bases such as manufacturing and construction, and stop U.S. corporations’ massive outsourcing of these jobs to China, India and other countries? Are you going to take on Wal-Mart or Apple and their massive outsourcing?
Question 7. Multinational, U.S.-based companies such as Monsanto, Union Carbide, Coca Cola, Chevron and Disney (among many
others) have caused havoc in many other countries because of their ways of doing business. For example, over the past decade, 200,000 Indian farmers (yes, you’ve heard it right!) have committed suicide — the largest in human history — because of Monsanto’s permanent seed replacement with their own genetically engineered products and false promises of crop yield. Union Carbide’s infamous toxic gas leak in Bhopal in 1984 had killed thousand of poor workers and their families; women who suffered are still delivering crippled babies. Are you going to bring these companies to justice and compensate the victims for the disasters they went through?
Question 8. It seems both of you and your colleagues such as Chris Christie, Nikki Haley and Bobby Jindal — and of course, Scott Walker — have fiercely anti-labor-union position. Can you please tell us if you’re in power, are you going to destroy organized labor once and for all? Are you going to take away their non-violent weapons such as collective bargaining?
Question 9. Are you going to overturn Roe vs. Wade and bring American women back to the coat-hanger alley days, with help from a partisan Supreme Court?
Question 10. Are you going to follow the dictates of your party’s “mainstream voice” Tea Party and abolish the separation between the church and state? Are you going to mandate Biblical prayers in U.S. public schools?
Question 11. Are you going to destroy Social Security and Medicare? Yes or no?
I am never going to vote for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. But my vote would not matter. Romney and Ryan are going to win in November, 2012.
Let me tell you why.
But before I do that, let me tell you this. I am terribly worried that a Romney administration, with help from someone like Paul Ryan, is going to destroy the last remnant of the New Deal economic system — an FDR-established, time-tested fiscal policy that saved and prospered the working people and middle-class families of America for decades.
I am scared to think about the future of America and its new generation of working people and families that’s going to suffer the most. Irony is that, many of these young men and women this time wouldn’t even come out to vote. I am frozen to imagine how their lives will shatter into pieces. I am frozen to imagine how the top 1 percent in America will now be even more powerful and richer — at the expense of the poor and middle class. Occupy Wall Street’s worst nightmare will come true! Sadly. Scarily!
The new Romney-Ryan (and Rove) administration also will, in all likelihood, begin a new war in a matter of months. Another ancient civilization will be erased from the face of the earth. Millions of innocent lives and dreams will be destroyed in that new, massive bloodshed.
Because I understand the looming destruction and doom and cannot ever accept it, I shall not vote for Romney and Ryan. But my vote won’t matter. With help from U.S. corporations, think tanks and media, as well as Karl Rove and Koch Brothers, they will win the elections this November.
Let me tell you why.
I shall be brief. After all, with all these big-name political pundits and their big-name media spouting foam-in-the-mouth, who’s going to listen to what a no-name neophyte says on his little, obscure blog?
I quote this from CNN today.
“Congressman Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney are a match made in millionaires’ heaven, but they’ll be a nightmare for seniors who’ve earned their Medicare benefits,” said New York Rep. Steve Israel, chairman of Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, “For the last 18 months, we’ve said Republicans will have to defend the indefensible — their vote to end Medicare. Now with Congressman Ryan on the ticket, House Republicans face the one thing they hoped to avoid — a national debate on their budget that puts millionaires first and Medicare and the middle class last.”
I think that quote says it all. Let’s see what it really says — section by section.
Section 1. “Paul Ryan and Mitt Romney are a match made in millionaires’ heaven.” Okay, great point, Mr. Israel. We all know Republicans’ crocodile tears for the working people and middle class, especially at election times, are phony. But do you know what’s phony about your quote? Democratic Party has done exactly the same thing over the past two presidencies — of Clinton and Obama. You have not done a thing to bring the economy back to the direction of the poor and middle class, who voted you in with so much hope and expectation. You have worked with the rich bankers and financial institutions, and have not held them accountable for their destruction and looting of the American economy.
If the Republicans are hypocrites, at least we always knew they were. But Mr. Israel, you can’t project a different, clean image for your party and your administration. As far as I am — a registered Democrat voter — concerned, I feel cheated.
Secton 1: post script. Bill Clinton destroyed the welfare system in a way even Ronald Reagan or George Bush Senior couldn’t do. See, we’ve heard a lot of talk from the Dems about Republicans’ destruction of Medicare and Social Security. I’m sure some of it is true. But again, they don’t make any pretension about it. They tell us that Medicare and Social Security are wasteful expenses and they want to get rid of them. They tell us that they want to privatize Social Security (which will really be the end of the last remnant of New Deal economics), and I am sure Romney and Ryan will keep their promises. They will also destroy America’s once-prized public education system, once and for all.
But think about it. Clinton destroyed American welfare that was so critical for so many poor people especially poor women and single mothers. You Democrats named it welfare reform. Corporate media was handy again to spin on it and middle class people who didn’t know much about the devastating impact of this “reform” bought your spin. Clinton won in 1996, with help from Southern moderates and Northern conservatives.
At the same time, Clinton put Greenspan, Larry Summers and Robert Rubin in power, who with help from Phil Gramm, et al. in Congress, overturned the landmark Glass-Stegall Act and deregulated financial derivatives. Basically, the Clinton administration privatized the U.S. economy and promoted deregulation — going against the New Deal principles of the Democratic Party.
Section 2. “Now with Congressman Ryan on the ticket, House Republicans face the one thing they hoped to avoid — a national debate on their budget that puts millionaires first and Medicare and the middle class last.” Great again, Mr. Israel. But what if someone like me challenges you and the Obama Democrats how you have performed over the past four years when you bailed out the richest corporations (and let off the hook Goldman Sachs, etc.), took in some of the biggest Wall Street crooks on your administration, and did not do anything significant to drive the economy back in the direction of the working people and families.
What answer would you have for them: like, “Well, I know we have not done anything significantly different from Clinton or Bush W., but see we are really significantly different? Just trust us?”
Well, Mr. Israel, I am definitely not going to vote for Mitt Romey and Paul Ryan, because I just know them all too well. But guess what, a LOT of ordinary Americans, who are sick and tired of your party’s and administration’s false promises for Change We Can Believe In, will vote for them.
I work with American labor and immigrants — all poor and middle class. I know for the fact that a large number of these people will vote Republican this time. Not because they don’t like Barack Obama. They do. Barack Obama is a likeable guy: he is smart, he is extremely articulate, and he is I believe much more caring than some of his predecessors.
But his personal qualities and his administrative records simply do not match.
So, to keep it brief, here’s some of the reasons Romney and Ryan will win.
Bullet Point 1. The Republicans and Democrats are now really flip sides of the same, old coin (or you can use the other cliché and call them same-old wine in a new bottle). People now call them Republocrats, and how much ever you’d dislike to hear it, they have truly become just that.
Bullet Point 2. The Koch Brothers, ALEC, NRA, right wing think tanks such Enterprise Institute, Heritage Foundation, Cato Institute, Center for Immigration Studies, Eagle Forum, and the billionaire Super PAC’s are now going to work extra hard to pump in an historic amount of campaign money to the Romney-Ryan ticket. With U.S. Supreme Court’s recent Citizen United verdict, nobody can prevent them from doing that, and they don’t even have to disclose their identity.
Bullet Point 3.We have seen a small version of that enormous campaign cash in the Wisconsin Scott Walker recall election. It’s going to be deja vu, thousand times multiplied.
Bullet Point 4. Labor and youth will vote in a drastically smaller number because they have lost their enthusiasm for Obama. If anything, a large number of working people — especially non-union people — will vote Republican this time. Even a significantly higher number of union members will vote Romney-Ryan. Congressional elections this November will also be a Republican landslide. Hate me for saying this, and I hope to be proven wrong.
Bullet Point 5. Contrary to the above, Tea Party will come out in full force and with help from white supremacists who absolutely want to see Obama eliminated, will work Romney-Ryan with the same enthusiasm we had for Obama in 2008. They do not believe in government, they hate Obama, and they’ve found their best spokesperson now in Ryan (and Joe Biden is…well, I don’t know what he really is). Government programs, whatever is left for the poor and needy, are going to be history. In fact, chances are, the U.S. government as an institution is going to be history too! And that would be the ultimate victory for Ayn Rand and Frederich Von Hayek and their disciples such as Milton Friedman, Alan Greenspan and Robert Rubin.
Bullet Point 6. The war lobby, especially the Middle East war lobby and their known spokespersons in the media, will make sure Romney wins. Romney’s announcement today on the V.P. pick in front a Norfolk war ship is not a missed point, especially for these powers and their big friends in big media. Romney presidency will start a new Middle East war very soon. In spite of Obama’s so-called terrorist kill list (one that President Carter denounced recently), there has not been a new full-scale war in four years; in fact, people are coming out on the streets of Egypt, Yemen and those places, and are throwing off U.S.-supported dictators. The Middle East war lobby and their media are deeply disturbed.
I shall come back and write more. I hope you come back and send your comments and criticism too.
Trayvon Martin would still be alive today if his killer Zimmerman had no gun. It’s simple. As simple as the bullet that killed the poor kid.
As Bill Cosby said just a few days ago, and I am paraphrasing: “It’s not about race. It’s about guns.” That is where the debate and action should be.
I know what I’m talking about. It’s very real for me.
My uncle Buddha — my mom’s youngest brother who was like a big brother to me — was shot and killed by a gun.
I don’t want to spend a lot of time and words on this subject. I don’t have to. It’s pretty easy to get.
Did you read the paper, watch the TV, or follow the news on the radio? In the last few weeks, almost every single day, some people — innocent people including children — got killed here in America because of guns. Somebody found a gun. Somebody bought a gun from Wal-Mart or some place like that. They brought the gun to school. They brought the gun to their workplace. They brought the gun to a shopping mall. Then, they shot and killed people. They blew skulls out. They destroyed lives. They destroyed hopes and dreams.
Let there be no illusion. Let there be no confusion.
Guns kill. Guns kill the innocent. Guns kill children. Guns can kill my children. Guns can kill your children.
Let’s be afraid of people who’re pushing guns. Just the same way we should be afraid of people who push drugs. Or, those who push pornography. All three forms of vicious killers — guns, drugs and pornography — are abundant now in America. They are beyond control.
They can all kill us. They can all kill our children. Some do it slow. Some do it fast. But, they all kill.
Guns kill fast.
Does the above sound like a sermon? So be it. I have no other way to put it. I don’t have to spend a lot of time and words on this subject. I don’t want to. It’s pretty easy to get. (Even though watching American media, you wouldn’t get it. They don’t mention guns much, if at all.)
Without mentioning the drive for profit, and that too at the expense of hundreds of innocent lives, the big Bloomberg talk against NRA is meaningless.
If you talk about NRA, you talk about the gun industry. You talk about the war industry. You talk about the pervasive culture of violence — promoted by media and TV and Hollywood. They promoted it in USA. They promoted it all across the world. Guns and bombs and grenades and mines and remote-control explosives and computerized drones are big business.
Let’s face it: you cannot talk about one element and exclude the others. They are all connected to each other.
I have no sympathy for the culture of violence. I know Obama frequently talks about Gandhi and his so-called non-violence. Good. But Obama never speaks against the all-powerful NRA. He’s afraid to upset them and lose the Southern conservative votes (and Northern gun owners). Neither does Clinton — either the man or the woman. Republicans and conservatives and American feudals and cave men and women tout the Second Amendment to tout their God-given right to carry a weapon. Good. At least we know they are primitive. But Democrats — the so-called civilized, modern people also never take on NRA and the gun lobby. I believe they are either hypocrites or stupid. I don’t care. Either one is bad.
In 2009, guns took the lives of 31,347 Americans in homicides, suicides and unintentional shootings. This is the equivalent of more than 85 deaths each day and more than three deaths each hour. This is U.S. government’s data.
Think about Columbine, Virginia Tech, Northern Illinois, San Francisco, Colorado, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Trayvon Martin. It’s simple logic. Had the killers carried a baseball bat or knife or sword or poison or drugs or pornography, would they be able to kill so fast and so massively? If the guns and ammunition were not so easily available, would the killers be able to use them so easily?
The same NRA and gun lobby and conservatives and feudals and primitive, pre-historic profiteers and politicians and press often tout God especially during election times. Would God — any God — approve such massacres? Would Jesus approve it? Would Moses approve it?
I don’t want to spend any more time and words on this subject. It’s fairly simple. Guns kill. Nowhere in the civilized world outside USA people carry guns, or buy and sells guns at Wal-Mart and such places. It’s unthinkable. And those countries and societies do not lose their children every other day because of gun violence at a shopping mall or school or day care center.
I do my part. You do yours. Stand Your Ground.
Shun the Gun.
Or, one day, just like my uncle Buddha, somebody in your family might get killed. It’s a very real possibility.
Believe me, I’m not making it up.
Trayvon Martin would still be alive if Zimmerman had no gun. It’s simple. As simple as the bullet that killed the poor kid.