PS In case you were wondering why you can't have an intelligent conversation with a MSM-only news junkie (NBC, Newsweek, NPR, St Pete Times, etc..), read today's St Pete Times coverage of the thunderclouds now gathering over Pittsburgh that Chris refers to in this article. The link and a few pithy comments from your unstained wretch of an editor follow Chris' piece.
By Chris Hedges
The rage of the disposed is fracturing the country, dividing it into camps that are unmoored from the political mainstream. Movements are building on the ends of the political spectrum that have lost faith in the mechanisms of democratic change. You can't blame them. But unless we on the left move quickly, this rage will be captured by a virulent and racist right wing, one that seeks a disturbing proto-fascism.
Every day counts. Every deferral of protest hurts. We should, if we have the time and the ability, make our way to Pittsburgh for the meeting of the G-20 this week rather than do what the power elite is hoping we will do—stay home. Complacency comes at a horrible price.
"The leaders of the G-20 are meeting to try and salvage their power and money after everything that has gone wrong," said Benedicto Martinez Orozco
The draconian security measures put in place to silence dissent in Pittsburgh are disproportionate to any actual security concern. They are a response not to a real threat, but to the fear gripping the established centers of power. The power elite grasps, even if we do not, the massive fraud and theft being undertaken to save a criminal class on Wall Street and international speculators of the kinds who were executed in other periods of human history. They know the awful cost this plundering of state treasuries will impose on workers, who will become a permanent underclass. And they also know that once this is clear to the rest of us, rebellion will no longer be a foreign concept.
The delegates to the G-20, the gathering of the world's wealthiest nations, will consequently be protected by a National Guard combat battalion, recently returned from Iraq. The battalion will shut down the area around the city center, man checkpoints and patrol the streets in combat gear. Pittsburgh has augmented the city's police force of 1,000 with an additional 3,000 officers. Helicopters have begun to buzz gatherings in city parks, buses driven to Pittsburgh to provide food to protesters have been impounded, activists have been detained, and permits to camp in the city parks have been denied. Web sites belonging to resistance groups have been hacked and trashed, and many groups suspect that they have been infiltrated and that their phones and e-mail accounts are being monitored.
Our global economy, like our political system, has been hijacked by a tiny oligarchy, composed mostly of wealthy white men who serve corporations. They have pledged or raised a staggering $18 trillion, looted largely from state treasuries, to prop up banks and other financial institutions that engaged in suicidal acts of speculation and ruined the world economy. They have formulated trade deals so corporations can speculate across borders with currency, food and natural resources even as, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, 1.02 billion people on the planet struggle with hunger. Globalization has obliterated the ability of many poor countries to protect food staples such as corn, rice, beans and wheat with subsidies or taxes on imported staples. The abolishment of these protections has permitted the giant mechanized farms to wipe out tens of millions of small farmers—2 million in Mexico alone—bankrupting many and driving them off their land. Those who could once feed themselves can no longer find enough food, and the wealthiest governments use institutions such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the World Trade Organization like pit bulls to establish economic supremacy. There is little that most governments seem able to do to fight back.
"Each of Globalization's strengths has somehow turned out to have an opposing meaning," John Ralston Saul
The institutions that once provided alternative sources of power, including the press, government, agencies of religion, universities and labor unions, have proved morally bankrupt. They no longer provide a space for voices of moral autonomy. No one will save us now but ourselves.
"The best thing that happened to the Establishment is the election of a black president," Holmes said. "It will contain people for a given period of time, but time is running out. Suppose something else happens? Suppose another straw breaks? What happens when there is a credit card crisis or a collapse in commercial real estate? The financial system is very, very fragile. The legs are being kicked out from underneath it."
"Obama is in trouble," Holmes went on. "The economic crisis is a structural crisis. The recovery is only a recovery for Wall Street. It can't be sustained, and Obama will be blamed for it. He is doing everything Wall Street demands. But this will be a dead end. It is a prescription for disaster, not only for Obama but the Democratic Party. It is only groups like ours that provide hope. If labor unions will get off their ass and stop focusing on narrow legislation for their members, if they will go back to being social unions that embrace broad causes, we have a chance of effecting change. If this does not happen it will be a right-wing disaster."
St Pete Times' version of reality (and the reason Mr. Hedges is unlikely to ever grace that paper's op-ed):09-21-09
Here we learn that the leaders of the G-20 will hear their economies are "on the mend." Whew! That was a close one, wasn't it? But, wait, stuff called 'trade tensions" are on the rise; "protectionism" too. Could these "tensions" possibly be Hedges' "rage of the disposed"? Trade tensions sounds so less upsetting. Let's go with that. Too, readers may take it upon themselves to assume that trade unions are stirring up all the trouble. But, what can we do about that? Folks should be free to make up their own minds, shouldn't they?
If you wonder if (Editor, Paul) Tash & Company are even on the same planet, let alone country, as Mr. Hedges, I hereby grant you absolution for the sin of even trying to align these competing views of reality. And that's just one term! You will find one or two reality checks in every "Answer" - "hard to live up to fair-trade pledges" (protectionism), "pulling together is extremely important... fragile recoveries" (only way oligarchs can maintain control), and so on.
You might also parse "What about protests?' Today's MSM has honed to a fine art the craft of maximum words with minimal meaning. The groups identified in the answer are all a result of our hostile and determinidly unrepresentative government. These groups cover the waterfront of our discontent. They are the people. If the Times had the balls god gave Crusader Rabbit, they would state that flat -out. The gentle term "house" (soft 's' - an extreme oxymoron; house in a parking lot? How's? Add a roof?) doesn't begin to describe the temporary prison camp it really is. Free speech is not attenuable by clause. The First Amendment's "expression" and "association" clauses must work together, or they don't work at all. . By restricting the protesters to a zone (a remote one, at that), Pittsburgh apes precisely the actions of St Pete in fencing out the Pride protesters.
You can have fun winkling out the rest of the weasel terms and "even-handed" journalistic niceties that have relegated the dead-tree model to the dustbin of history - short-term, not a good thing for any of us, but they appear determined to plunge the dirk by their own hand.
Nigel Watson freethinker 727.493.1990
"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."
-A good pun is its own reword.
-"The burden is always on the intelligence."
- Nigel j Watson 1981