Failed Empire

Chronicling the collapse of a failed society

Tag Archives: corporatocracy

Rumsfeld Confirms Obama is Bush III

creepy Donald Rumsfeld

Rumsfeld knows a fellow Corporatist when he sees one:

Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says President Barack Obama has come to accept much of the Bush Doctrine out of necessity, despite what he campaigned on in 2008.

Rumsfeld said that Obama needed to keep the Guantanamo Bay detention center open because of national security concerns, and it was the best solution among a host of bad options.

“They ended up keeping Guantanamo open not because they like it – we didn’t like it either – but they couldn’t think of a better solution,” Rumsfeld told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren on Tuesday.

Rumsfeld then listed a handful of other Bush administration policies that have continued into the Obama administration, something that he sees as vindication of the policies.

“The same is true with the Patriot Act, and military commissions, and indefinite detention. All of those things were criticized but today are still in place two-and-a-half years later because they are the best alternative to the other choices – and they are in fact successful in keeping America safer,” he says.

As usual, of course, Rumsfeld and his ilk are incapable of refraining from twisting the truth in some way or another.  For Rumsfeld to suggest that Obama campaigned against the Bush Doctrine is disingenuous, as Obama’s campaign was little more than a collection of vacuous platitudes.  “Yes, we can” continue our multiple wars of terror; “Yes, we can” ignore the rule of law and illegally detain people without charge or recognition of basic human rights; “Yes we can” continue a 30+ year streak of government policies that strongly favor the rich while decapitating America’s middle class.

And then we have Rumsfeld’s bogus assertion that the Bush Doctrine and its associated tenets – Guantanamo Bay, indefinite detention, the Patriot Act – are somehow the “best alternative to other choices.”  Of course, the vagueness of the term “other choices” leaves open the slimy possibility for a sliver of truth; but to what other choices are we referring?  Mass genocide?  Mandatory castration?  Government-imposed lobotomies?  (Actually, a form of nationalized lobotomy already exists; we call it public school.)

Obama never campaigned against the policies of the Bush administration, because he never had any intention of implementing anything different.  We have been living under a One-Party State since at least the Reagan administration, but that single Party has been becoming more and more brazen in its attempts to enslave the masses for the benefit of the Elite.  The Obama administration represents perhaps the most blatantly corporatist regime in the history of our nation – which says a lot, considering the notoriety of its predecessors.

U.S. elections are now and have long been a sham, and they will only continue to degenerate thanks to the preposterous Citizens United Supreme Court decision.  There is no meaningful difference between the Republicans and Democrats and has not been at any time in the modern era; to vote Democrat is merely to enable to the continuance of our long, dark slide into the depths of the dismal Right, where corporations hold more rights than humans, and the common good is sacrificed for the ever-growing profits of the Elite.  Any person who willingly identifies himself as a Democrat or Republican, and votes accordingly, is a part of the problem, and should be held accountable.

Boycott the One Party State.

Americans Elect: Democracy in the Internet Age

This is exactly the kind of development we need to get us out of the current One Party State:

Though many feel we are stuck with a two-party system after numerous attempts to elect a viable alternative candidate have failed, a new Internet-based political movement is emerging. The goal? To put a presidential nomination on the 2012 ballot derived completely from open voting on the Internet. Called Americans Elect, the nonpartisan, nonprofit organization isn’t a traditional new political party, although it must register as one. Instead, it’s a way to nominate candidates in a more democratic fashion. So far, the group has submitted the required number of signatures to put a nomination on the ballot in eight states and has plans to be on 18 by year’s end. Democratic representation is an old idea that modern technology is reinventing, and the movement has the potential to change American politics forever…and that means 2012 will be an even wackier election year than it is already shaping up to be.

So how does one vote for an Americans Elect candidate?

Visit Americans Elect to find out more.

Murdering Murdoch: Whistleblower Found Dead, American Public Shrugs

creepy Rupert Murdoch

We may now add murder to the deepening scandal surrounding the man who brought us, among much other tripe, Fox News:

Whistleblower in Murdoch Phone-Hacking Scandal Found Dead

On Monday, Sean Hoare, a former reporter who helped blow the whistle on the Murdoch-owned News of the World, was found dead in his home. Hoare had been the source for a New York Times story tying phone hacking to former News of the World editor Andy Coulson, who would later become director of communications for British Prime Minister David Cameron. Coulson was arrested as the scandal broke open earlier this month. Police say Hoare appears to have died of natural causes, but the determination had not lessened suspicion of foul play. Hoare not only talked about phone hacking, but phone tracking as well, or as he said they called in the newsroom “pinging,” where he said News of the World would pay police, he believed, to track individuals’ locations.

It is becoming evident that Murdoch’s revolting media empire, a veritable propaganda factory, has extensive ties to the wealthy and powerful, including government officials and the police force that is entrusted with maintaining public order.  What is less apparent, however, is why exactly this has come to the fore now.  What has Murdoch done to fall out of grace with the ruling elite?

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Bogus Poll Reveals Americans’ Pervasive Belief in the Fictional Republican/Democrat Divide

Bush and Obama, BFF

If it’s not A, it must be B, because life is always black and white, right?

Voters are increasingly displeased with President Obama’s handling of the economy, but a new poll finds most Americans still think George W. Bush is responsible for the nation’s dismal financial state.

According to a new Quinnipiac poll, 54 percent of those surveyed say Bush is responsible for the “current condition” of the economy, compared to just 27 percent who blame Obama. Among self-described independent voters, a key 2012 voting bloc, the number shifts slightly: 49 percent point the finger at the former GOP president, while 24 percent blame Obama.

Part of the problem, of course, is the simplistic wording of the question which automatically creates a false dichotomy of Republicans versus Democrats.  The question might have been, which administration is more responsible for the current financial crisis, which then translates into the definitive statement that voters “think George W. Bush is responsible.”  This simplified version of reality, which suggests that the complex terrain of the political frontier is easily understood in concrete, black-and-white terms, is then absorbed by an impatient and apathetic public whose attention span is incapable of grasping anything beyond the 10-second sound byte.

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Dennis Kucinich and the Reality of Class Warfare in America

Dennis Kucinich speaks out

A lonely voice of reason in the wilderness of our corrupt single-party Corporate State:

The rancorous debate over the debt belies a fundamental truth of our economy — that it is run for the few at the expense of the many, that our entire government has been turned into a machine which takes the wealth of a mass of Americans and accelerates it into the hands of the few. Let me give you some examples.

Take war. War takes the money from the American people and puts it into the hands of arms manufacturers, war profiteers, and private armies. The war in Iraq, based on lies: $3 trillion will be the cost of that war. The war in Afghanistan; based on a misreading of history; half a trillion dollars in expenses already. The war against Libya will be $1 billion by September.

We have to realize what this country’s economy has become. Our monetary policy, through the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, privatized the money supply, gathers the wealth, puts it in the hands of the few while the Federal Reserve can create money out of nothing, give it to banks to park at the Fed while our small businesses are starving for capital.

 Mark my words — Wall Street cashes in whether we have a default or not. And the same type of thinking that created billions in bailouts for Wall Street and more than $1 trillion in giveaways by the Federal Reserve today leaves 26 million Americans either underemployed or unemployed. And nine out of ten Americans over the age of 65 are facing cuts in their Social Security in order to pay for a debt which grew from tax cuts for the rich and for endless wars.

Sadly, Kucinich stands little chance of having any impact from within the rotting heart of the corporatocracy he despises.  In a nation where the flow of virtually all information is controlled by a vast corporate media machine, where style perpetually trumps substance and political debate is always relegated to the realm of the 10-second sound byte, Kucinich’s passionate and reasoned diatribe will be drowned out in the maddening din of propaganda, pushed to the fringes of our extreme-right corporate-controlled society.

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Vatican Inc.: The Profitability of Religion and Politics

Pedo Pope, CEO

If anyone required further proof of the parasitic nature of religion,  this sums it up quite nicely:

The Vatican says it was profitable in 2010, after three years of being financially in the red.

The Vatican said Saturday that it made a profit of more than $14 million last year on revenue of about $356 million. That contrasts with a loss of nearly $6 million in 2009 and losses in 2007 and 2008 as well.

The separately administered Vatican City State also was profitable in 2010, with earnings of more than $30 million on strong ticket sales at Vatican museums.

Despite the 2010 profit, the church said that donations from churches worldwide – the so-called Peter’s Pence – fell nearly $15 million to just under $68 million. The Vatican offered no reason for the decline in donations, but sexual abuse allegations against parish priests emerged last year in Europe, traditionally a top region for donations.

At least the Vatican is being open about the fact that their crumbling religion is little more than a giant, multinational corporation with hundreds of millions of customers.   Other religions are not quite so honest, but at its core religion is little more than a rather transparent gambit to acquire ever greater wealth and power.

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400,000 Brain-Injured Veterans a Fair Price for American Empire

Bush and veteran burn victim

In addition to the trillion dollar price tag, 600,000+ dead civilians, 1 million orphans and 6,100 dead American soldiers, we can now add 400,000 brain-injured veterans to the cost of our latest wars of aggression:

 Independent experts suggest that more than 400,000 American service members will return from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with traumatic brain injuries that could lead to severe personality disorders, and little is being done to help them.

Having wasted countless billions – trillions, in all likelihood – on our five concurrent wars and exposed hundreds of thousands of American soldiers to the dangers of the battlefield, our gifted military leaders have identified the true culprit behind our reckless spending:  health care for soldiers.

Afflicted veterans have every reason to expect their government to continue to treat them as expendable waste, as the Pentagon actively opposes formal diagnoses of the condition, known as mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and denies the validity of treatment that its own researchers have said could help. Defense Secretary Robert Gates called for a cut in the military’s $50-billion-a-year health budget, saying “health care costs are eating the Defense Department alive,” according to a Huffington Post article in January.

And that in a nutshell is the very essence of American empire.  Exploit the little guys for all they’re worth, using them in any way necessary to reap maximum profits.  Because war is, after all, little more than a business venture for the giant corporate entities within the military-industrial complex.  Just as the private sector throughout America has little interest in providing health care for the workers it underpays and overworks, so too does our for-profit military increase it profits for its shareholders by cutting corners on such luxuries as medical care for the severely wounded.

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$6.6 Billion Missing in Iraq Simply Par for the Course in the American Corporatocracy

Iraq war profiteers

The profiteering frenzy incited by war knows no bounds:

Federal auditors now believe as much as $6.6 billion earmarked for Iraq might have been stolen in the early years of the Iraq war in what is now being described as possibly “the largest theft of funds in national history.” Between 2003 and 2004, the United States shipped $12 billion in cash to Iraq in what was the biggest international cash airlift of all time. For years, the Pentagon has been unable to account for where more than half the money went. The Los Angeles Times reports Iraqi officials are now threatening to go to court to reclaim the money, which came from Iraqi oil sales, seized Iraqi assets and surplus funds from the United Nations’ oil-for-food program.

The incident truly epitomizes the rationale behind most armed conflict, though the insatiable greed here  boggles the mind.  Just try to picture what exactly what transpired.  As the invasion went underway, warmongers everywhere smelled the impending cash influx and flocked to the source as $12 billion in cash was physically loaded into aircraft and delivered to Iraq.  Literally stacks of cash then went missing, as money-grubbing profiteers helped themselves to the bounties of the latest American war of aggression.  Such is the norm in war, and has been throughout all of human history.

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The Last Refuge of a Scoundrel: Wounded Saleh Flees to Saudi Arabia

mass protests in Yemen

Yet another dictator has sought refuge in Saudi Arabia, our close ally and notorious perpetrator of gross human rights violations:

The Saudi royal court said on Sunday that Saleh arrived in Saudi Arabia along with other top Yemeni officials to be treated for wounds they suffered in Friday’s rocket attack on the presidential palace, Reuters reported.

Saleh sustained neck and chest injuries in the attack in the capital, Sana’a. However, shortly after the attack, Yemen’s state media said Saleh suffered minor injuries and aired an audio message from him saying he was in good condition. …

Yemeni Vice President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi has reportedly taken over as acting president and supreme commander of the armed forces.

However, Saleh’s Son, Ahmed, is believed to be in the capital to grab power in the event his father does not manage to return to Yemen.

The people of Yemen have been taking to the streets en masse for five months now, demanding the rights of democracy, an end to corruption, and the creation of a government which actually tends to the needs of its populace.  In response, the dictatorial Saleh regime has responded with brute force, opening fire on large crowds of unarmed, peaceful demonstrators and killing – at the very least – hundreds.  In spite of official proclamations to the contrary, Saleh has done so with tacit approval from Washington, enjoying access to both American taxpayer funds and American weaponry.  Neighboring Saudi Arabia, having squelched protests within its own borders and  – with much loss of life – in Bahrain, has undoubtedly contributed to the brutal crackdowns in its own way, as their gleeful welcoming of the wounded Saleh seems to indicate.

There are many questions that need to be asked regarding the American response to the various uprisings across North Africa and the Middle East, and our blatantly hypocritical relationship with the Saudi regime.  The fact that we have not intervened in either Yemen or Syria, where the government response has equaled or surpassed the Gaddafi’s in terms of sheer brutality, should raise immediate flags.  Clearly, there is something we desire in Libya that can be gained through direct military intervention.  In Yemen and Syria, it seems, we already have access to whatever it is we crave.

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A Bleak Future: The Natural Progression of a Capitalist Nation

Once you sift through the layers of thinly veiled racism, a picture emerges of just how bleak many Americans perceive the future to be:

Why the white working class is alienated, pessimistic
The latest measure of this discontent came in a thoughtful national survey on economic opportunity released last week by the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Economic Mobility Project. If numbers could scream, they would probably sound like the poll’s results among working-class whites.

One question asked respondents whether they expected to be better off economically in 10 years than they are today. Two-thirds of blacks and Hispanics said yes, as did 55 percent of college-educated whites; just 44 percent of noncollege whites agreed. Asked if they were better off than their parents were at the same age, about three-fifths of college-educated whites, African-Americans, and Hispanics said they were. But blue-collar whites divided narrowly, with 52 percent saying yes and a head-turning 43 percent saying no. …

… 63 percent of African-Americans and 54 percent of Hispanics said they expected their children to exceed their standard of living. Even college-educated whites are less optimistic (only about two-fifths agree). But the noncollege whites are the gloomiest: Just one-third of them think their kids will live better than they do; an equal number think their children won’t even match their living standard. No other group is nearly that negative.

The focus on whites versus “minorities” is wholly unnecessary, and only serves to reinforce racist notions that have lingered since the birth of our nation.  What is most relevant in the article is the negative perception that people of all races – but particularly working class people – have of the future.

The comment section for the above article is filled with tales of suffering and discontent:  people working three jobs simply to make end meet, or being fired after 20+ years on the job as yet another corporation seeks to maximize its profits by moving operations overseas.  The article has been shared on Facebook nearly 5,000 times, a fact which suggests that a very tender nerve has been struck.

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