Archive for October, 2011

Che as OWS role model?

October 20, 2011

[<B>Note:  In an attempt to achieve humor, portions of this column have been fictionalized (it is up to readers to do their own factchecking to discern what has and what has not been fictionalized).</B>]

(VeniceCA)  The Occupy Wall Street demonstrations have been gaining increased media attention recently (although some lackeys in the conservative propaganda branch of the media have taken to blatant mocking the spontaneous combustion of citizen outrage) and so the World’s Laziest Journalist went to Marina del Rey (on the Western edge of Los Angeles County) to contact and interview the leaders of the Occupy Marina del Rey (CA) at their secret rebel encampment.  Unlike the other Occupy protests around the USA, the one in Marina del Rey makes a concerted effort to avoid journalists and we had to switch to stealth mode to talk with the folks who have been trying to reverse the trend of politicians, bankers, and capitalists collaborating on the fleecing of the middle class, in that area of county owned land.

For fifty years the media has been reporting on the cozy financial relationship between the politicians and the developers, but (alas) the trend continues to gain momentum to this very day. 

There is no publicized, centralized location for the Occupy Marina del Rey protesters where the police can focus their efforts to discourage the voters’ discontent.  The rebel forces in Marina del Rey have tended to pattern their efforts more along the lines of the Occupy theSierraMaestroMountains.  Many years ago that protest, in a small Caribbean Island Nation, may have, inadvertently, provided the paradigm for the more visible various Occupy Wall Street clone protests springing up around the USA in the Fall of 2011.

We talked with the leader of the Marina Rebels (formed in the late Seventies) known to his followers as “<I>el Jefe</I>,” and he pointed out that the new Occupy Protesters who say that they “aren’t going away” will need at least a decade to establish the priorities for their demands and develop a dialogue with the opposition.

The Marina Rebels have been stymied at every move by the capitalists who dictate their agenda to the local politicians and stifle any attempts to gain converts by managing the news and thus coercing the locals into becoming “sheeple.” 

<I>El Jefe</I> brandishes a copy of the October 20, 2011, issue of <I>La Opiniõn</I> newspaper and points to the lead story that details the allegations that the S-Comm program (according to Aarti Kohli at the Warren Institute at UC Berkeley) puts electronic tracking devices on undocumented foreigners in the USA and challenges the columnist saying:  “Bet ya didn’t know about this, didja?”

We had to admit that we must have missed that story in our efforts to monitor the news emanating out of that school in the SF area.

 <I>El Jefe</I> calls the fascistic politicians, who let developers deplete citizens’ bank accounts via sordid and assorted devious schemes, by the word “Batista” which we assumes means people born out of wedlock.  He uses the word as a metaphor for a dictator who has a very cozy relationship with the capitalists and should be replaced by someone via legitimate democratic means or somehow. 

The more traditional protest at Occupy Venice (CA) epitomized by a small encampment at theVenice Circleechoes the various bigger protests in places likeNew York City,San FranciscoandLos Angeles, but the Marina Rebels prefer to conduct their efforts via law suits.  The leader of the Marina Rebels is quick to ask the visiting columnist if he knows the details of the dispersal of the Bonus Army in Washington D. C. a few years back.  We replied:  “Didn’t Douglas Macarthur do a superb job of extending ‘interline courtesy’ and limiting the number of fatalities of protesting WWI veterains, to an extremely acceptable small number?” 

“Evidently,” <I>el Jefe</I> responded, “Macarthur was intent on running interference for Ronald Reagan and establishing a precedence for the kind of harsh response to demonstrators which the California governor would condone when he said ‘If it takes a blood bath to end this dissention on campus, let’s get it over with.’”

We asked if the leader of the Marina Rebels thought there would be a heavy handed government move to help convince the protesters to abandon their efforts.  “You had to be blindfolded while you were being brought here.  Draw your own conclusions.” He continued:  “Didn’t your mother teach you that all’s fair in love, war and politics?”

Then he pointed to the front page of the Los Angeles Times October 20, 2011, edition which had a lead story about an FBI investigation into allegations of beatings in the jail facilities. 

“The protesters who compare their commitment to non-violence to Gandhi’s methods may soon want to read Albert Camus’ ‘The Rebel’ because in effect they are forcing a binary choice onAmerica:  ‘change your ways’ or endorse fascism . . . one more time.  Based onAmerica’s past history, we think we know which way the capitalists’ police force will be told to handle the problem.  Camus wouldn’t have expected a Pollyanna ending to the protests, so why should I?”  He paused and then asked:  “How are the ‘No Justice; No BART’ protests going?”  He paused and then asked another question:  “After the 1968 Democratic Convention who was put on trial?  Was it the cops or the kids?”

When we pulled out our Nikon Coolpix camera some of the rebels pulled out pistols.  <I>El Jefe</I> motioned me to put the camera away.  “Go over to the Occupy Venice site if you want to take photos.  You can’t take any here.”

He chuckled and then added:  “We have been conducting our fight for about thirty five years.  We may not live to see the Promised Land where rents are fair, but we will continue fighting until we win or the day we die.  Che Guevara said:  ‘Whenever death may surprise us, let it be welcome if our battle cry has reached even one receptive ear and another hand reaches out to take up our arms.’  We hope the Occupy sites succeed and achieve all their aims but they should know that it may take some time to wear the capitalists down.”

Then he ended the bearded leader added:  “It seems that efforts to shame the capitalists into repenting is a bit more optimistic than this old cynic is ready to expect.”

Now the disk jockey will play “Until the end of time,” and the Stones songs “When the whip comes down” and “StreetFightingMan.”  We have to go check and see if there is an “Occupy Santa Monica” and see how well it is going.  Have an “In it to win it” type week.

Occupy Turtle Island

October 7, 2011

After three unsuccessful efforts to pound out a rough draft of a column that uses the story of Geronimo as a cautionary tale for the people participating in the various local installments of the “Occupy Wall Street” protest in New York City, we realized that just writing a column about it would be a challenge because if you can’t go to one of the locations, where people are expressing their opinion by taking action, to get quotes, and to observe the proceedings; then what is there to say?

It should be obvious that people who make millions and pay no taxes while others eek out a living while paying a big chunk of their income for taxes isn’t fair.

It should be obvious that when police get rough with protesters who objecting to cagy politicians asserting that it is time to reduce the pension payments made to retired teachers and public employees (including law enforcement officers) that may be an example of self-defeating, inexplicable logic. 

A pesky contradiction presents itself in the fact that many of the protesters object to the War on Terrorism because it is a vague concept with no specific goals while their efforts can be similarly criticized.

Liberals who are quite adamant in asserting that Republicans would eventually install fascism in America, and who are very concerned about the Occupy Wall Street movement being co-opted by conservatives, might ask themselves if a series of false flag operatives starts a series of violent incidents, could that provide a convenient excuse for a much faster pace for the slide towards fascism?

Since President Obama has become a stealth Republican do the Occupy Wall Street protesters want to rely on him to protect them from an overly harsh reaction to any agent provocateur activities?

Brad Friedman has been substituting for Mike Malloy on the Malloy’s radio show while the host participates in a protest rally in Washington D. C.  Both Friedman and Malloy are very enthusiastic about the spontaneous manifestations of voter dissatisfaction with the status quo.  We are very tempted to call and ask Friedman (who has been a point man for journalistic criticism of the electronic voting machines and the validity of their unverifiable results) if a call to hold new elections would end the Occupy Wall Street protests.

If they are working toward getting a solemn promise from the capitalists, politicians, and military to reform their ways and end preferential taxation methods and begin more efficient financial oversight then they should all read up on the plight of the Native Americans who tended to get swindled when ever they signed agreements AKA peace treaties AKA “scraps of paper.”  

How did the occupation ofAlcatrazIslandwork out?

How much did the Hippie demonstrations shorten the Vietnam War?

What did the politicians do to end thePullmanstrike?

Have the Occupy Wall Street protesters ever heard of the Ludlow Massacre?

Is it true that the politicians in Washington (AKA “the Great White Father”) ultimately broke every treaty they ever signed with the various Native American groups?  Is it true that the only tribe who was never betrayed by such a duplicitous agreement was the Nez Pierce who were exterminated before they ever signed any treaty?

While perusing a copy of “Geronimo his own story” (the Ballantine Books 1970 paperback edition was edited by S. M. Barrett), we learned that the Chiricahua Apache under Geronimo (who led a splinter faction tribe after Cochise surrendered) led a nomadic existence that was comprised mostly of stealing and waging war.  Wouldn’t Geronimo feel right at home at the 2012 Republican National Convention?

Would a corrupt but compassionate Republican Christian have stolen Geronimo’s skull from Fort Sill and used it as a shrine to remind like minded associates of a commitment to a life of stealing and waging war?

We wish the demonstrators all the luck in the world.  Don’t sign any agreements without reading them fully first.

In an introductory note to the aforementioned Ballantine edition, Frederick W. Turner III notes that the famous warrior was a crafty prisoner:  “It is interesting, however, that just as he was the supreme embodiment of the Chiricahua way of life, so he became a very shrewd capitalist when the white man way was forced upon him.  In fact he took on all the trappings of the white man’s civilization, becoming . . .  a tireless promoter of himself, hawking photographs, bows, and arrows at various fairs and expositions.  He was one Indian who exploited the exploiters better than they could him.”

Now the disk jockey will play “Old Age and Treachery (will beat youth and skill every time),” Buffy St. Marie’s “Universal Soldier,” and Paul Revere and the Raiders’ song “Indian Reservation.”  We have to go check to see if the Peace Pipe is still lit.  Have a “fine day to die” type week.

Is Democracy dead in the USA?

October 2, 2011

If Hitler had intended from the very beginning to install a small elite group of supporters in a position of authority in a democratic country, which mostly disagreed with his basic premise that only a limited number of citizens were qualified to run the affairs of state, would it have been a wise course of action for him to candidly admit from the start what his ultimate goal was; or would it have been more expedient for him to do a bit of prevaricating and then use the principles of democracy to subvert the very system of government which he was trying to eliminate?

Didn’t he explain in detail, before he started in earnest, how he would achieve his nefarious objective by reducing all issues down, via über-simplification, to a basic slogan and then coast to an easy win?  Were some Germans caught off guard when he did exactly what he said he was going to do?

If a country had a political party that had openly announced that they swore allegiance to the country’s flag and were fully committed to returning to that country’s founding principles; would anyone who fully understands the meaning of the word “Republic” really be surprised to learn that such a party was working to disenfranchise citizens they deemed ineligible to vote?

Could they secretly have a broad mental reservation about not being obliged to adhere to election results that they considered invalid?  If they did, could they openly announce an effort to challenge the system’s validity or would it be better for their ultimate goal if they ostensibly asserted that democratic values were so important that they would send their kids into battle to earn and keep those principles, while secretly working to restore the right to vote only to men who owned land?

Obviously their efforts would initially be better served by very loud assertions of their belief in the method they hoped would become obsolete rather than being so crass and blunt as to proclaim:  “Vote for us so we can disenfranchise you!”

Reducing the issues down to absurdly simplistic slogans (as Don Imus would say:  “bumper sticker it for me.”) might seem to streamline the debate, but more often than not it means “the lowest common denominator” rather than providing “a level playing field.”

For example could a pseudo intellectual liberal pundit who resorts to long complex sentences, with subordinate relatives clauses and numerous prepositional phrases which would challenge a tea bagger’s analytical ability and stymie any effort to correctly diagram it on the chalkboard, be dismissed by a diabolical troll for being “rambling and incoherent”?  Surely Hitler would bestow kudos for such a “slip the punch” response.

In the film “Point Break,” the surfing guru Bodhi (Patrick Swayze) advises an FBI agent:  “Think it through, Johnny.”  In politics the conservatives prefer to toss out a hot potato and offer the advice “Think fast!” with an accompanying smirk.

Conservatives would not dare to say:  “Don’t worry folks, the only thing at stake here is . . . the future of your country!”  Nor would they be very likely to admit the relevancy of the advice from William Claude Dukenfield (AKA W. C. Fields):  “If a thing’s worth having; it’s worth cheating for.” 

Recently some Republicans inFloridabroke ranks with the national party to reschedule their state’s primary election date.  While it is easy to dismiss all the intricate maneuvering as some silly frat boy game playing (the quarterback reads the defense and calls and audible) but the reality is that the only thing at stake here is . . . the future of the country.

OstensiblyFlorida, which is a bastion of teabag party values and acolytes and which traditionally forecasts the person who will become the Republican Party’s Presidential nominee indicated a preference for Herman Cain. 

Will hisFloridamomentum carry him to a quick Florida Primary win or will there be some second thoughts which cause the Sunshine state to pin their hopes on some other dark horse candidate?  Is it remotely possible (“All things are possible through prayer, my son.”) that a former governor of their state could be persuaded to accept a win in an effort to revive the old “favorite son” ruse?

Since there is a lot of disgruntle teachers (especially inWisconsin?) out there waiting for their chance to vote for the next President and since one former governor of Florida can easily be branded as the “education candidate” (isn’t his family’s name an integral part of the history of the “No child left behind” movement, and didn’t he do great things for education in his state?) maybe he can be persuaded to give it a try? 

Before any representative of the Columbia Review of Journalism magazine or the American Journalism Review voices strenuous objections saying that the free press might howls of indignation in response to such a (admittedly bucking great odds) hypothetical election result, we would ask them to remember just how quickly the mainstream media (like a dog and pony show) responded admiringly (and submissively?) to the idea that Howard Dean, in one rash soundbyte, had forfeited his “frontrunner” status to Sen. John Kerry because he had manifested symptoms of being emotionally unstable.

The Fox Views team proposed the idea that Dean had suffered a mental breakdown in public and the Free Press of America, which is normally completely paranoid about being vulnerable to damages for liability lawsuits, quickly seconded the motion without a single instance of a quote from a reliable knowledgeable source about the psychological soundness of the candidate’s state of mind.  (Does that mean that the gullible journalists were actually guilty of practicing medicine without a license?  Whatever.  It’s too late to worry about the validity of the 2004 Election frontrunner substitution now.)

Does the World’s Laziest Journalist really think that the quality of news in America today is so decrepit and unreliable that the mainstream media would meekly follow the lead of some invisible, diabolical Svengali to say (on cue) that by winning the Florida Primary, the Republican Frontrunner for the 2012 Republican Election no longer had to counter a negative (family) brand name image?  Yes.

Wouldn’t such a travesty of journalism indicate that the Free Press in America (and one of the reasons for starting the Revolutionary War) was now as extinct as the California Golden Bear (<I>Ursus arctos californicus</I>)?  Yes.

Isn’t a free press necessary to permit informed citizens to make intelligent voting decisions?  Isn’t that precisely why Hitler clamped a censorship lid on the newspapers in the country where he served as chancellor-for-life?  Did he say:  “Elect me and I’ll start a state run news agency”?

Has the Fox Views audience been informed bout the latest news developments at the Japanese nuclear reactors?  Has the Fox audience heard the stories about the feral dog packs now roaming in the Fukushima area?  Do they know the latest developments in the Murdoch hacking scandal probes in theUSAandEngland?  Did they get stories about “Occupy Wall Street” before the arrests began?  Was the Fox Views audience informed about the recent <a href =http://www.swedishwire.com/politics/11277-swedens-west-coast-hit-by-substantial-oil-spill>massive oil spill off the coast of Sweden</a>?

DidAustraliasend troops to aid with the invasion ofLibya?

How many American troops were killed this week inIraq?

InAfghanistan, how many American troops were killed this week?

Hitler specifically made listening to foreign new broadcasts punishable by death.  (Were Murrow’s Boys that good?  Yes.)

Back in the day, the newsstand in the Pan Am building inNew York Citycarried the current edition of Paris Match.  Can New Yorkers still buy that publication there?

On Saturday, October 1, 2011, a promotional event for the publication of the 2012 edition of the Project Censored book was held at Moe’s Bookstore inBerkeleyCA.  One of the problems presented to the editors for this year’s installment in the book series, was fitting it all into the book.  They used smaller type but still it sets the record the most number of pages for any of their annual publications. 

Of course if some tea bagger troll (speaking <I>ex cathedra</I>) says that Project Censored is “just” a collection of “Best of” articles substantiated by “scientific evidence” from crackpot sources, that should be sufficient to prove that the 2012 Project Censored book will be regarded by conservative pundits as the latest product from the Amalgamated Conspiracy Theory Factory.  Murdoch’s lap dogs will be expected to automatically “second the motion.”

Isn’t it so easy to refute the implication thatAmerica’s Free Press (which may have been worth the cost of some of your family members’ lives during World War II) is DOA?  All you have to do is point to Fox Views as living proof that Journalism is alive and well in theUSA.

The debate over the death of Anwar al-Awlaki was put to permanent rest when Herman Goering said:  “Shoot first and inquire afterwards, and if you make mistakes, I will protect you.”

The disk jockey thinks that the Tea Bag party needs an official song and therefore he will humbly offer his suggestions by playing us out with the Horst Wessel song, the 1938 hit (in Germany) The World Belongs to the Strong, and Richard Wagner’s <I>Liebestod</I> from <I>Tristan und Isolde</I>.  We have to go (to try to) buy a copy of today’s issue of the <I>Volkische Beobachter</I> newspaper.  Have a “<I>Die Dreigroschenoper</I>” type week.