Lisa's Rants and Raves
Many think that we have entered an era unlike any other in terms of being a citizen of the US of A. I agree with this of course but see things a bit differently, as I usually do. Much of this male bovine excrement has been unfolding for decades but America appears to be going through some kind of awakening, which is a good thing.
I just want to remind readers of things that I have pointed out in the past. Keep in mind too that I am not preaching AT you by any means. I too was once a believer in the television “news” with an emphasis on Fox. If there is hope for me then there is hope for most anyone.
Point 1: A handful of corporations LITERALLY controls 90% of all media. Those same corporations have a vested interest in what the public takes in on a daily basis. I am not a nutty conspiracy theorist—well, not really, as this is common knowledge.
For instance, how many reporters have been on the ground at the Dakota Access Pipeline water protector scene? (DAPL) Why did all outlets send people to Ferguson for weeks on end but have not sent anyone to this horrid scene? Could it be because corporations that own most media might have a vested interest in the oil business? (Check commercials whilst viewing.) Is the reason Obama has been weak on this issue, to say the least, because he has the same backing in terms of political donations? Food for thought. Militarized police are literally wreaking havoc and most are turning a blind eye. Thank goodness for citizen journalism and real journalism on the ground for months.
A corporation is not good or evil. Corporations do however, have “person-hood” because of Supreme Court decisions. Two such decisions unfolded in the late 1970s and two more in the last 6 years. One was Citizens United and I cannot recall the other offhand. I will leave it up to you to research this.
The bottom line is this: When there is a profit motive in play for our “news” then we must be cautious, to put it mildly. The problem that I saw first hand after coming out of the corporate news world, so to speak, was that I was so used to “neutrality bias” information or center-talk, if you will, that when I looked to real journalists I thought they were super far “lefties.” (Fox doesn't even qualify for discussion here as they are clearly a propaganda outlet pure and simple. Just look at the deep colors and flags they use to mesmerize the viewer and the known fact that their talking points in the Bush era were received directly from the White House and infiltrated all other far right on air bloviating types. MSNBC shills for the Democratic establishment but generally doesn't make stuff up. They just avoid anything that makes Dems look bad.)
That is how watered down our media establishment has become. When a person looks at a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist like Glenn Greenwald, for example, he looks like a radical “America hating” left-wing loon, to put it mildly. In reality, he is speaking truth to power and attempting to keep “big government” in check. This brings me back to party identity as well because many won't read anything from a person who sounds too far left, or right, quite frankly. Some of us are old enough to recall when journalists went to war zones and spoke truth to power, which is the whole purpose. Journalism is in play to keep the citizenry informed as to what shenanigans might be unfolding in the government. Legitimate reporters should not cozy up to any political player for any reason. They usually do so in order to gain access. That is crazy behavior but it happens all the time giving the term “media elite” credibility.
Again I will recommend “Democracy Now!” with AWARD WINNING journalist Amy Goodman for an actual news source. TYT Politics with Jordan Chariton is another excellent source as is the Guardian. I just remembered that the Intercept is also good and was founded by Greenwald. (Both Amy and Jordan have been on the scene at DAPL human rights travesty; Amy Goodman was arrested several months ago but won her case. When journalists are thrown in jail, we have a real problem on our hands.)
This kind of real reporting is a shock to society because independent media does not carry the water for any political party period, end of story. They are not beholden to anyone other than the paying members of the audience who keep them in business. They don't have to bury stories or avoid reporting on serious issues because they do NOT have business sponsorship and are funded by ordinary people.
That is why they pointed out the truth of the matter when it came to BOTH recent candidates for the highest office on earth. As a profit center for their parent corporations, cable news and the “big 3” do not divulge information that would affect the bottom line. Rather than doing so, they always concentrate on sensationalism, establishment bias and neutrality. Issues are rarely mentioned. (Examples would be poverty, college debt, environmental problems, infant mortality rates, etc.)
To illustrate until you reach for a weapon, let your minds drift back to the debate about whether or not to invade Iraq. All outlets were cheerleaders for the war. MSNBC at that time was owned by General Electric, which just so happens to be in the war machinery business, for lack of a better description. They actually FIRED Phil Donahue because he pointed out the problematic nature of heading off to war. That same network booted Ed Shultz when he started to report accurately about climate change and the TPP “trade” deal.
Point 2: We absolutely MUST shed “political party identity” and pronto or we are going to be doomed. I'm not trying to be melodramatic but I must state the fact of the matter. I went over this somewhat recently but will reiterate, much to your chagrin I'm certain.
Our nation has become absorbed with the mindset that anything a person from one's political party does is A-OK because either a D or an R carried out whatever it was that he or she did. (If you can follow that, you are promoted to “GSRR” Gold Star Rant Reader.) Example: President Obama did not tighten the rules in terms of the drone assassination program and did nothing about the NSA spying on the citizenry. (Check out a lawsuit filed against the Obama administration by Chris Hedges. I believe it's a 2013 suit.) He followed Bush era foreign policies and even placed Bush people in the cabinet. He ended habeas corpus as well. This did not go unnoticed by those in the independent media world who pointed out the danger and human rights factors in play. Because he had a D behind his name, people went to sleep on the job and thought it was just dandy. If an R would do the same, they would FREAK out. (The left fell into a coma under Obama. Sorry I have to use the political party terms as it's hard to type this without doing so.)
Another grave “error” of his is the absolute fact that he has deported more people than most realize. Some call him the “Deporter in Chief.” He has also jailed more “whistle-blowers” than any other but that's OK for the D side because well, he's a D. This isn't mentioned too much via the corporate news because they are too busy talking about Brad Pitt's latest romantic problems and/or Trump's latest tweet.
People who identify with his party said nothing about it. You see, they had to go along blindly due to political party affiliations. When he took office in 08 many Rs screamed that he was not qualified as he was just a community organizer etc., blah. Those same people are fine with the new guy because he has an R behind his name. We cannot be objective when party identity is in play and that is very dangerous in my not-so-humble view. (Pardon my redundancy but I really have to stress these things to the max.)
When people from all “parties” strictly talk about the issues, we can have an open, honest and objective discourse. A majority of the nation is in favor of clean air, universal health care, clean water, peace, human rights, ending the electoral college and getting away from fossil fuels. When party identity rears its ugly head, people simply go along even if it's not in their best interest. Get it?
Another example is that the outgoing man had an opportunity to join with the rest of the modern world and offer health care as just a part of being a human being. Rather than doing so he stayed in bed with his donors in the big insurance world. Because of that, we have “Obamacare.” This is totally acceptable to some because his name is attached to it and there is a D involved. Other people freaked out because he was a “D” even though the mandate portion originated with a conservative “think tank” and emerged during the Nixon administration. Clearly Nixon was an R. Do you see where I'm going here?
We need kindness and decency in terms of leadership and now more than ever. We must also rely on the people and not blind allegiance to any party. It blows my mind that a senator from Vermont has been practically begging Obama to demand action in terms of the DAPL. This should not be as O himself should take action and NOW before someone dies at the hands of the militarized police state on site. He might upset those donors though so he does nothing.
The parties have been shifting for some time now. Rs are simply off the chart to the right and many are not even living in reality, quite frankly. The D side of the aisle has now become what used to be the R side. There is NOT a bit of difference other than WEDGE social issues. Most members of both are establishment types in love with power and money. There are clearly exceptions to every rule; I invite you to follow the money, as the saying goes. Neither official party represents the people and has not for a long time. The veil has been ripped off finally due to the election of a reality show star who knows nothing about public service, other than how to bribe people who are in said service. He admitted to this repeatedly so don't shoot the messenger. It was all perfectly legal though because bribery is fine here in the US of A. The Supreme Court is dandy with billionaires buying elections. Our representatives are basically corporate employees, is my point.
A recent study came out of Princeton which showed that the will of the people has been overlooked for decades because of the political donor world in which we live. Just one more example of this and then I must dash.
A huge percentage of the population is for getting money out of politics via overturning Citizens United and other court decisions. How much effort has been made with this? It is way more important to do the will of the donors than it is the will of the people.
Point 3: Let us not take part in “normalizing” what is going to happen on January 21 or 20 whenever it is. Just because he has an R behind his name is no reason to throw caution to the wind. We cannot afford to look at this passing of the baton as something that happens every four or eight years—nothing to see over here. I mean try looking at it as if you lived on Mars. The bottom line is that a thin-skinned twitter obsessed man with the LOWEST approval rating of any incoming president is soon to be “in charge” of the largest military in the history of mankind.
BUT with that being said, we also shouldn't freak out if progressive thinkers meet with the president elect in order to loan support or advice. I think collective heads exploded the other day when Tulsi Gabbard, a woman who left her post at the DNC to support Senator Sanders, met with DT. (She is a Major who served in Iraq, by the by and is a congresswoman from Hawaii. Just do a Google search.) Calm down as this is a good thing. Anyone who can talk to him about the consequences of wars and regime change is OK in my book. Establishment types were more than taken aback by this and even some so called progressives clutched pearls.
This is not normal by any stretch of the imagination; however, there is some nuance in play. Stop with the love of your party and the blind worship of political figures, who are not looking out for your best interests but are instead bowing down to their corporate overloads. I repeat once again to follow the money and see who takes what from whom.
Again we must unite as people and not party affiliates. “We the people, in order to form a more perfect Union...United we stand, divided we fall...” and all that jazz.
P.S. - I will do my best to continue this column but health issues are preventing me from partaking in life, as of late. Quit with that heavy sigh of relief as you are crushing my feelings. Peace and love floating your way.