Free Enterprise My Ass

The true free enterprise economic system has been moribund in the US for decades.  When so much of the economy is tied up in the anti-competitive government-managed military-industrial-financial complex, then "free enterprise" becomes no longer  a part of reality, simply a useful rhetorical tool.  This has been going on since before World War Two.  But we may soon have a real date to hang on to as the "Death of Free Enterprise Day".

Within the next week or so, we expect the Bush Administration to enact regulations that will fix (i.e., mandate) low interest rates for those house buyers who are classed as sub-prime even when their contractual obligations call for those interest rates to rise steeply in the next months.  In other words, house buyers in the US are being told that it doesn't matter that they purchased a house they could not afford;  someone else will come along and help them pay the bill.  No worries.  Of course, for those tax-payers (and their grandchildren) who will be told to pay these bills there might be some worries.

The Democrats are pushing much the same interest-rate freeze proposals.  Hillary Clinton, for example, came out with hers this morning. 

Both the Democrats and Bush will say they are doing this to help the poor Americans who dug this hole for themselves, to help save them from inevitable foreclosure.  They will say it is the duty of hardworking American taxpayers to pay up to help this unfortunate group save their homes.  Such bullshit this all is.  Both plans in reality seek to save the grasping financial markets from meltdown. 

Both the Democrats and the administration know that the real losers in any genuine sub-prime meltdown are not the new homeowners (who will simply return to their lives in low-rent apartments) but the finance companies who will never be able to sell the repossessed houses at the prices the companies paid for them.  It is the finance companies the American taxpayers will be bailing out -- again!

December 5, 2007 in America Inc, Bush Administration, Capitalism, Current Affairs, Government Intrusion | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Cheney's Pal


November 6, 2007 in America Inc, Bush Administration, Cheney, Dick, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

The Bush Doctrine Lives -- In Pakistan

The Bush theory of the "unitary executive" ( a modern theory of dictatorship, espoused by three or four US Supreme Court justices) has been taken to its logical extent by Bush's favourite partner in the war to promote "democracy".  General Mushareff has declared martial law in Pakistan, and fired the Chief Justice of the Pakistani Supreme Court for disagreeing with him. 

Yesterday, Bush Administration spokespersons loudly and publicly told Mushareff not to do it.  Quietly and more effectively Bush Administration decision makers whispered to him that nothing would really happen, so go ahead. 

Perhaps Bush and Cheney are looking for experience in this business, for their own coup just before January 2009.

November 3, 2007 in America Inc, Bush Administration, Central Asia, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Happy Halloween!


October 31, 2007 in America Inc, Bush Administration, Cheney, Dick, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Normalization of Totalitarianism

Do you ever watch "Without A Trace"?  Every week, Anthony LaPaglia (Agent Jack Malone) and his crack crew of FBI investigators track down people who have been reported missing by relatives or friends, solving mysteries and crimes as they go.

In other words, an adult American crime-free citizen decides to go silent for a while.  By having someone report them as "missing", this apparently gives the FBI the right to tear that missing person's life apart:  tracking bank accounts, credit cards, travel records, phone lists, interrogating friends and colleagues, interviewing doctors and psychiatrists.  And we cheer on their successes .

By what law can they do this?  Is a judge supervising them?  Isn't this the basest form of warrantless surveillance?

We applaud Jack Bauer in "24", as he uses whatever form of interrogation technique (i.e., torture) that he feels is required to obtain the information he thinks he needs.  The last Bourne movie was about nothing but the government's abilities to track individuals anywhere in the world. Wherever we turn, there are attractive images of lawmen breaking the rules to ensure that "justice" wins in the end.

As Chomsky and Herman's "Propaganda Model" of media shows, this is the normalization of totalitarianism.  If we accept -- neh, applaud -- these illegal actions on entertainment TV, we are more inclined to accept them in real life.  This is a not an accident.  This is what they want to see happen.  This is what they need to happen if their plans for control are to be accomplished. 

We need to fight back.  Write to each network and studio and ask them to explain how the law enforcement officers in their series and movies can operate so wildly outside the laws required for you and me.  Write, and write again.  It is the least we can do, to show that we care about our loss of freedoms.


October 20, 2007 in America Inc, Bush Administration, Capitalism, Cheney, Dick, Government Intrusion, Right wing, US Justice System | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

A Plan To Attack Iran

The wingnuts in the Bush Administration -- and outside it -- have clearly determined that an attack on Iran is required.  Norman Podhoretz (now Giuliani's foreign affairs mentor) almost demands it.  Bush in his press conference today talked of World War III.  They have just 15 months to get this done, though, before the next Democratic President sweeps into office.

But I don't think Bush will have the balls for it.  I think he will worry about his historical place, having already weakened the US military through his commander-in-chief blunders in Afghanistan and Iraq.  But I think he still wants to attack Iran.  A quandary, unless ... Bush resigns and allows Cheney to run the balance of his term. 

Cheney, of course, has nothing but a negative legacy to protect, so why would he worry?  On Day One he moves his furniture in, on day two he sends the Marines and the bombers into Iran.


October 17, 2007 in America Inc, Bush Administration, Campaign 2008, Cheney, Dick, Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

"A nightmare with no end in sight."

How about this as a headline in the Stars and Stripes newspaper's Middle East edition:

"Sanchez, former commander in Iraq, calls war 'a nightmare with no end in sight'."

The story is about a speech given by retired Lt.Gen. Ricardo Sanchez to a convention of military journalists on Friday. Sanchez commanded U.S. troops in Iraq from June 2003 to July 2004. His speech continued:

"From a catastrophically flawed, unrealistically optimistic war plan, to the administration’s latest surge strategy, this administration has failed to employ and synchronize the political, economic and military power."

Changes in military strategy will only “stave off defeat,” he said.  When asked why he didn't speak up when he was in power, even after he realized "there were serious challenges to the U.S. military’s strategy in Iraq", he waffled:

"The last thing that America wants, the last thing that you want, is for currently serving general officers to stand up against our political leadership ... I think once you are retired, you have a responsibility to the nation, to your oath, to the country, to state your opinion."

I must have it wrong.  I thought the taxpayers paid good money to these generals specifically to state their military opinions and to live up to their responsibilities to the nation -- not to any particular Administration.

Still, it is a sobering headline for the troops to read in the armed forces' classic newspaper.

October 12, 2007 in America Inc, Bush Administration, Cheney, Dick, Iraq | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The State of US Medical Care -- Again


August 22, 2007 in America Inc, Bush Administration, Right wing, US Medical System | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Sad Truth About American Medicine

If anyone still thinks that Michael Moore's "Sicko" was an inaccurate portrait of the state of health care in the United States, they better read this incredibly sad story and think long and hard about its meaning.

Here is a man who cares deeply about his wife and cannot bear to see her suffer.  He could no longer afford the $800 per week her medications were costing.  All the system could offer was a long drop off the balcony for her, and a lifetime in jail for him.  Truly sickening.

August 16, 2007 in America Inc, Bush Administration, Capitalism, Right wing, US Medical System | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

How To Tell When Alberto Gonzales Is Lying


July 25, 2007 in Bush Administration, US Justice System | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack